Illecillewaet Dam in 1900. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 778)

Illecillewaet Dam in 1900. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 778)

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 19

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the day

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator of Revelstoke Museum & Archives.

130 years ago: Kootenay Star, Aug. 22, 1891

The Kootenay Smelter shut down operations at the beginning of the week; having reduced to bullion the stock of ore on hand. As there is very little lead ore in the country ready for shipment, it is not probable that the furnace will be blown again until next spring. As it turned out, the smelter never went into operation again, and eventually slid into the Columbia River due to erosion of the river bank.

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Aug. 17, 1901

The secretary of the Revelstoke Water, Light and Power Co. made an offer to the city to transfer the plant of the company for the city debentures at par. This was agreed upon. The private company had built the first water system in Revelstoke in 1896, and built the power dam on the Illecillewaet River in 1898.

110 years ago: Mail-Herald, Aug. 16, 1911

On Saturday next, the Agricultural Society and the businessmen of the city will go down the

Arrow lakes on the Revelstoke steamer for the purpose of advertising the annual fall fair. This will hopefully result in increased attendance and exhibits from the south.

100 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 18, 1921

At exactly midnight on August 15, a fire broke out in the garage of Mayor Bews, in the rear of his residence at the corner of Second Street West and Campbell Avenue. The mayor and his family were away at the time, so there were no injuries. The fire was believed to be arson. The fire was put out by the fire brigade.

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90 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 21, 1931

It was decided that the route of the Trans-Canada highway would include the Big Bend highway. Although the project will take advantage of many old roads, thousands of men will be employed rushing this road to completion.

80 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 21, 1941

Revelstoke’s first high school building was demolished to make room for the new Pentecostal Church, which will be built on the corner of Third Street and Connaught Avenue. The old school was located on site for twenty-five years and housed Abrahamson’s sash and door factory as well as Macdonald’s blacksmith shop. The lumber for the new church came from the church at the former sawmill community of Taft, west of Revelstoke.

70 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 16, 1951

Due to a long standing rumor that the Big Bend Highway would be replaced by a high-altitude road though Glacier park, the Trans-Canada Highway division of the Department of Resources and Development stated that highway is though Big Bend and no other way. “And,” said a rather annoyed official last weekend, “that’s official.”

60 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 17, 1961

George Hobbs, MLA, in a letter to the Comptroller of Water Rights, listed 19 reasons for not building the High Arrow dam. One stated that the dam would restrict normal growth by “surrounding Revelstoke with a sea of water, mud, and desolation and will bring to an end all hope of future expansion”.

50 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 19, 1971

Uldis (Dusty) Viedeman took over the Photo House business from Hans Giesen. Dusty was well-known for his photography at weddings and sports events and was a member of the Professional Photographers of America. Dusty came to Revelstoke with his family in 1955 and completed high school here.

40 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Aug. 19 , 1981

The Big “R” Radio station CKCR and stations in Salmon Arm and Golden were sold to Copper Island Broadcasting Co. Ltd. The Big R was started in 1965 by Bob Hall and his partner Walter Gray, with the signing-on of the Salmon Arm station later that year. The Golden station was added in 1974

30 years ago: Revelstoke Times, Aug. 21, 1991

Rising water levels in the Revelstoke reservoir forced B.C. Hydro to open the spillway of the dam, and drain some of the water, but the action washed out the powerhouse access road. Environmental and technical experts were on their way to town to assess the situation and determine the costs and timeline for repairs.

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Local History