Queen Victoria Cottage Hospital, with first matron, Elsie Mackinnon, of the Victorian Order of Nurses, 1902. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 1081.)

Queen Victoria Cottage Hospital, with first matron, Elsie Mackinnon, of the Victorian Order of Nurses, 1902. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 1081.)

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 31

Local history as told by the newspaper of the day

Revelstoke Museum and Archives


130 years ago: The Kootenay Star, September 2, 1893

The Fire Brigade had been called out multiple times to fight a fire burning brush and timber on the east side of Douglas Street. A trench was dug around the fire to corral it and a man was hired to watch the blaze all night. The following day, the fire had burned itself out. The cause of the fire was unknown. Citizens were encouraged to be mindful of where they put out matches and cigar ends. Thankfully there was no wind as residential houses were 50 yards away from the fire.

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, September 3, 1903

The Ladies’ Hospital Guild was raising money to contribute to the Minto Endowment Fund which helped to pay for the salaries of the Victorian Order of Nurses, who were working at Queen Victoria Cottage Hospital. The guild encouraged locals in Revelstoke and surrounding districts to donate from 25 cents up to maintain the nurses at the hospital.

110 years ago: The Mail-Herald, September 3, 1913

G.W. Bell’s horse stable by the river and Front Street, and Mr. Carlson’s cow barn on First Street both burned down the same day. While the horses and livestock were saved, both fires were suspiciously started in the loft. The Fire Brigade was applauded for their efforts, but the same appreciation was not extended to the police who could not identify a culprit. The police were investigating four suspicious fires in the month of August, including the City Hotel fire.

100 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 29, 1923

A sad accident occurred when Revelstoke resident, Fiorino Perosso died while working on the new highway to Arrowhead, about 12 miles south of town. The 27 year old was springing a hole in preparation for a blast which prematurely exploded. The highway to Arrowhead was completed later that year.

90 years ago: The Revelstoke Review, September 1, 1933

Kitsilano Boys’ Band, acclaimed to have been the leading world juvenile band in the world, arrived in Revelstoke by train and almost immediately arranged to take a drive up to the summit of Mount Revelstoke. The band was scheduled to perform two concerts: one upon their return in the afternoon at the YMCA and another the same evening.

80 years ago: The Revelstoke Review, September 2, 1943

Residents warned of wildlife encounters particularly in West Revelstoke where orchard gardens were being invaded. A bear with three cubs was found leisurely walking through the area and a deer was found in the area as well. Guards on duty on the Columbia River bridge reported sightings of coyotes and bears during the night.

70 years ago: Revelstoke Review, September 3, 1953

Both Canadian railway top executives were in town the same day. The vice president of CPR, N.R. Crump, who was born in Revelstoke, enjoyed a lunch at Heather Lodge, at the summit of Mount Revelstoke with his family. Donald Gordon, president of CN was on a passenger train, marking the first time a head of CN travelled through Revelstoke. Gordon joked about CN’s dining car service which was losing 55 cents a meal, saying, “it would pay to give each patron half a dollar to eat elsewhere.”

60 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 29, 1963

Jerry and Ricky Armstrong had deciding that fishing could be both a thrilling and lucrative pastime. Upon returning from a fishing trip, the boys found a wallet containing $50. They contacted the owner, Mrs. M. Warner of Edmonton. She instructed them to send the wallet to her house, but not before keeping a $20 reward from the wallet. There was little doubt the boys would be fishing again.

50 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 30, 1973

The first Columbia River Days program was launched. The program included a Fish Derby on the Arrow Lakes as well as a 30 mile canoe race from Centennial Park to Shelter Bay. Prizes were awarded at the dance on Sunday night located at the forum featuring a local band, Monashee Express.

40 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 31, 1983

B.C. Hydro spent $23 million over 10 years in an attempt to stabilize Downie Slide. They were confident that when the reservoir of the dam would fill, the slide’s stability would not be in jeopardy. The installation of drainage tunnels has helped to reduce ground water levels beneath the slide. Downie Slide, located 64 km north of town was comprised of rock layers. Some of these layers were considered weak and the 18 degree slope towards the river was what caused the initial movement.

30 years ago: Revelstoke Times Review, September 3, 1993

The Revelstoke Times Review had seen many letters come in over a short period regarding the state of the Trans-Canada highway. One letter describes the embarrassment felt when showing the “so-called national highway” to their European guests, calling it a “two-lane goat track” with a low speed limit.

20 years ago: Revelstoke Times Review, September 3, 2003

The Rod and Gun Club and B.C. Hydro had been working hard at improving the Kokanee and trout spawning channel at Moses Creek and Jordan Creek. The Kokanee spawning run was expected to begin September in shallow creeks. Using a $10,000 grant, volunteers like Jack Carten had been using water-rakes to enhance the gravel and remove algae as the fish need clean gravel to lay their eggs.

Compiled by Burke Camara and Ryan Watson, collections assistants for the Revelstoke Museum and Archives.

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