The showpiece of the Kootenay region during the mining boom, Sandon was known as the Monte Carlo of North America throughout the 1890s. In its heyday, Sandon was home to over 10,000 people and boasted 29 hotels, 28 saloons, many theatres and opera houses, three churches, three breweries, three sawmills, two newspapers, a soft drink plant, a cigar factory, a schoolhouse, a hospital, a curling rink, a bowling alley, 80 brothels and one of the largest red light districts in Canada.   Since the 1970s, a group of volunteers has worked to preserve and restore Sandon’s buildings and artefacts – including the Slocan Mercantile Block, which now houses the Sandon Historical Society Museum. Today, Sandon is recognized as a historical site of international significance and attracts over 60,000 visitors each year.