TRAIL, city, pop 7,237 (2006), straddles the COLUMBIA R 18 km north of the US border in the southeast corner of the province. The original townsite was a steamboat landing, founded in 1890 by Col Eugene Topping and Frank Hanna as a shipping point for the nearby MINING camp of ROSSLAND, where rich mineral deposits were being found. The site was originally called Trail Creek Landing, a reference to the DEWDNEY TRAIL. In 1896 an American entrepreneur, F.A. HEINZE, opened a SMELTER above the townsite to treat ore from the Rossland mines. Two years later the CPR bought the smelter, later combining it with mining properties and a power company to form the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co, now Teck COMINCO. The smelter grew to become the largest non-ferrous smelting operation in the world. In the year 2000 it was still the world's largest refiner of ZINC and lead. As the smelter expanded, so did Trail, which incorporated on 14 June 1901 and, nearly a century later, was still largely dependent economically on the Cominco operations. Trail is known for its large ITALIAN community and for its sporting heritage: the TRAIL SMOKE EATERS hockey team won the world championship in 1939 and 1961. By the 1970s a serious public health problem had emerged as contaminants from smelting were found to have polluted the air, water and soil. In response Cominco introduced clean-up measures that reduced toxic emissions and residues dramatically.