Revelstoke school girls in costume for a performance at the Chataqua, circa 1920. (Emma Roberts/Revelstoke Museum & Archives photo #3602)

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

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

130 years ago: Kootenay Star, August 9, 1890

F. Hobbs, Locomotive Foreman at Donald, succeeded in bringing Engine 409, or what remained of it, up to the main track, after a three months rest in the mud slide at Mountain Creek. A switch track was laid about four hundred feet down the slide to retrieve the engine, which took four days of work. Fireman McDougall was killed in the slide, while engineer Van Antwerp was seriously injured.

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, August 3, 1900

Around fifteen CPR Machinists and Fitters quit work today as part of a larger strike in Western Canada. The strike occurred over a schedule dispute and the company’s refusal to allow a committee to meet and discuss the issue. The machinists’ union began the strike hoping to supersede the current work schedule with a revised version after their request for a committee in Winnipeg was refused.

110 years ago: Mail-Herald, August 3, 1910

The Dominion Sawmills and Lumber Ltd. was recently formed in London, with the company buying the mills and timber limits of the Mundy Lumber Company of Three Valley, as well as a number of other properties in the region. The deal was expected to involve several million dollars.

100 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 5, 1920

Stores closed across town early on Saturday night for the much anticipated performance of “It Pays to Advertise” at the Chautauqua in town. Chautauqua was a popular movement hosting lectures, music and shows across North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Chautauqua operated in Revelstoke for a few years after WW1 and often involved local school children as well as the travelling performers and lecturers. The paper reported that every effort was being made to keep down the mosquitoes, as the events were held under a large tent.

90 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 6, 1930

The city public works department completed the laying of 12-inch steel pipe into the new reservoir foundation. This consisted of laying pipe down the slope to Mackenzie Avenue, to connect with the main water supply from Greeley Creek. The new tank had a capacity of 1,000,000 litres and was 86 feet in diameter.

80 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 8, 1940

A visitor speaking to the Board of Trade declared that driving on the new Big Bend Highway and the West Road was a treat, but motoring in the city was more or less nerve wracking because of the erratic conduct of local cyclists. He claimed to have had several narrow escapes from cyclists swerving from the curb to the centre of the road, or making turns without signaling.

70 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 3, 1950

A petition was presented to the provincial department of public works by residents of Ninth Street requesting the street to be paved. Half of the street is outside of city limits but it is used extensively by logging trucks and other vehicles. N. M. McCallum, chief engineer intended to do paving work in the city next year and put it under consideration.

60 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 4, 1960

A large fire broke out downtown destroying the old Pradolini Bros. sash and door factory on the corner of Campbell Avenue and Third Street. The fire caught quickly and the flames immediately shot sky high attracting many onlookers. The fire department didn’t have a chance of saving the building but managed to stop the blaze from spreading to nearby warehouses.

40 years ago: Revelstoke Review, August 6, 1980

Roger Morrison from Revelstoke placed second in the Western Canada Body Building championships. To the surprise of many he achieved this completely on his own without help of trainers or even a professional gym. He trained at his homemade gym in his basement studying books on the subject as well as following his idol, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Jack Snoddy is the archives assistant for Revelstoke Museum and Archives.

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