Andrew “Ole the Bear” Westerberg, circa 1930. Photo by Earle Dickey. (Revelstoke Museum & Archives photo 908)

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Dec. 12

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

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Dec. 13, 1899

People were complaining about snow on the sidewalks. The editor stated that one man with a shovel and scraper could have easily pushed it all off the sidewalk from end to end in a day’s work. Walking on the sidewalk through the slush was awful and the middle of the road afforded the best going. Such neglect is discreditable.

110 years ago: Mail-Herald, Dec. 11, 1909

Owing to the outbreak of scarlet fever in the schools, the trustees have decided to close Central School and the High School early for Christmas break. Up until yesterday, there were four cases of the disease, each coming from the same room. The elementary school has been thoroughly fumigated. There were also small pox cases reported in Revelstoke.

100 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec.r 11, 1919

Andrew Westerberg, also known as “Ole the Bear,” fashioned a pair of snowshoes for a horse, and brought the animal into Revelstoke, a trip of 45 miles. Westerberg was the mail carrier between Revelstoke and Downie Creek. The great depth of snow up the Big Bend made it impossible for the horse to travel normally, so Westerberg made snowshoes for the horse out of birch branches. The pair made the trip to Revelstoke in three days.

90 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec. 11, 1929

Local skiers Ivind Nilsen, Hans Gunnarsen and Orice Higgs left Revelstoke for Quebec, to take up their duties as ski instructors at the Chateau Frontenac. Ivind Nilsen had been at Quebec for several winters, but Higgs and Gunnarsen were going for the first time.

80 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec. 15, 1939

Considerable interest has been focused on the asbestos mining claims at Sidmouth owned by J.T. Lauthers, after a recent discovery of a big deposit of manganese ore, one of the most sought after metals for war purposes. Lauthers is driving 100 feet of tunnel to gain depth on the asbestos showings.

70 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec. 15, 1949

A giant Christmas tree was erected Monday at Mackenzie Avenue and Third Street, just outside the door of the United Church. This had been an annual custom in Revelstoke for quite a number of years. The tree was decorated with coloured lights.

60 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec. 10, 1959

The new elementary school at Big Eddy was in use. The fast growing community, also known as West Revelstoke, lost its schoolhouse about a decade previously, but the rapid growth in population necessitated the building of a new school.

50 years ago: Revelstoke review: Dec. 11, 1969

An early morning fire did extensive to Downie Street sawmill. It likely begun from an ember embedded into the sawdust within the workshop. A few days earlier there was a fire at Revelstoke Secondary school caused by chemicals stored in the cupboard in the science room; firemen were forced to use gas masks when entering the building and students were dismissed for the rest of the day.

40 years ago: Revelstoke review: Dec. 12 1979

A Vietnamese family was welcomed to Revelstoke. Luong San Tran, his wife Van Thai Kit and their six children arrived from Calgary. The family was being sponsored by the local Alliance Church. The family speaks Vietnamese and Cantonese. The Revelstoke Refugee Committee also sponsored a family from Vietnam.

20 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec. 10, 1999

A fatal slab avalanche fell in Glacier National Park killing one person and injuring four others. The five were skiing on McDonald West shoulder in the early afternoon when the avalanche occurred. The Canadian Avalanche Association was the first on the scene followed by Parks Canada personnel. Of the survivors, two were taken by helicopter to Golden and two were transported to Revelstoke. The skiers were wearing avalanche beacons which helped in locating them quickly.

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