Riondel has it’s own website at www.riondel.ca.
Riondel was settled by Europeans because of a very productive silver, lead and zinc find that later became the Bluebell Mine. In the 1882 an American named Robert Sproule staked four claims along the peninsula, including the Blue Bell. When he left to register his claims an Englishman, Thomas Hammill, restaked the claims. The dispute ended with Sproule shooting Hammill dead and going to the gallows for his crime. In the 1890’s the settlement was known as Hendryx, after Wilbur Hendryx, who had control of the Bluebell in the mid 1880’s. In 1905 The Canadian Metal Company purchased the mine, and in 1907 the settlement was re-named Riondel after Count Edouard Riondel, the president of the company.
The Bluebell mine operated from 1895 to 1929, and the population was stable at about 70. With the closure of the mine the population dwindled until in 1943 there were only 22 left. In 1950 the mine re-opened and the population soared to almost 300. The expansion of the mine required more electricity and in 1952 Cominco built the power lines across the lake, bring secure power to the East Shore.
From 1950, Riondel was a bustling, thriving mining town until 1972, when the mine closed. Many liked it here too much to leave. Riondel became a popular as a retirement community and at one time had more seniors per capita than any other postal code in Canada. Currently about 400 people of all ages live in this quiet and picturesque community.
Today it is a tidy village with well tended gardens, a marina, lakeshore campground, beach, community center, cable TV system, Riondel Golf Club’s 9-hole golf course and post office, grocery and liquor store.