George Laforme’s pack train on Front Street, 1894. (Photo by R.H. Trueman. Revelstoke Museum & Archives photo 4538)

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 2

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

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Jan. 3, 1900

The bell for St. Peter’s Church, for which the Ladies Talent Society have been working so long, has been shipped from the factory of McNeely & Co., New York, the best bell founders on the continent. The bell weighs 250 pounds and will be placed on a temporary scaffold until a tower can be built for it.

110 years ago: Mail-Herald, Jan. 5, 1910

Owing to the accumulation of ice around the false work and structure of the new Columbia River traffic bridge here, the river has gone into a new channel, and now sweeps directly against the east bank, behind the Victoria Hotel, and where the shore end of the east approach of the bridge commences. Contractors were shoring up that portion of the bank, which was expected to prevent further erosion.

100 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Jan. 1, 1920

An ad for Standard Dairy included housewife resolutions for the New Year: “I will find out if the milk used by my family is from Tubercular Tested Cows, and if my dairyman holds a Dominion Government Certificate for Sanitation and Cleanliness. I will visit the premises from which my milk supply comes, and inspect the same at first opportunity. I will return all bottles regularly, and also return all I now have on hand.”

90 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Jan. 2, 1930

The D.O.K.K. Christmas Cheer Committee collected a total of $1,022.83 and distributed 58 hampers, providing assistance to 90 adults and 96 children. Twelve loads of coal were distributed, and patients in the public wards of the Queen Victoria Hospital were remembered on Christmas Eve. Donations were up over $400 from the previous year.

80 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Jan. 5, 1940

George Laforme, one of Revelstoke earliest pioneers, died on December 30, 1939 at the age of 78. Laforme was born in Quebec, and followed railway construction across Canada. He walked into Farwell (Revelstoke) in May 1885, and began prospecting north of Revelstoke. He ran pack trains of up to 35 horses and mules into the Big Bend region from 1890 until 1905, bringing supplies for the many miners and trappers in the region. He had a farm on what is now Columbia Park Drive where he grew cherries and strawberries for the prairie markets. Laforme Boulevard is named after him.

70 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Jan. 5, 1950

Revelstoke had a week of unusually cold weather, with temperatures dropping to -20 Fahrenheit. Sandwiched in between the cold winds, 70 inches of snow piled up during December. The temperature was moderating by January 5, and heavy snow was falling.

60 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Dec. 31, 1959

A $200,000 will of Brigadier-General F.W.E. Burnham was set aside in Supreme Court, giving half the estate to a nephew in North Vancouver. Mr. Justice Manson ruled that the will, which had been before the courts for several years, was not properly executed because no witnesses were present. He had left his estate to the poor, sick, and afflicted of Montenegro, Macedonia, and Armenia.

He had established a hospital in the Balkans during World War I, and organized the Canadian White Cross. He took over Halcyon Hot Springs in 1924, and ran it until his death in 1955 in a fire that also destroyed the hotel.

20 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Jan. 1, 2000

In the changing millennia, the world was in a frenzy worrying about Y2K, or major glitches in software due to the changing of the date. In Revelstoke there was nothing to worry about; the only issue was a downed power line due to heavy snowfall. BC Hydro was most worried about it; their software needed to be heavily upgraded because of Y2K and they spent between 16 and 20 million in preparation for it.



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