Washout at Connaught Tunnel, September 1931. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 4249)

Washout at Connaught Tunnel, September 1931. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 4249)

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Sept. 9

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, Sept. 9, 1891

A man and his son were descending from the Illecillewaet Glacier and were resting on the bridge over the stream which runs from the glacier. They were leaning on the hand rail when it broke and they were thrown into the water just above a thirty-foot waterfall. The man reached the shore safely, and was able to rescue his son, who was fortunately caught by a projecting limb of a tree. The stream was forty feet wide where the accident occurred.

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Sept. 11, 1901

James Reilly came in from his Wild Goose group of claims, situated about 12 miles up the Jordan River from Revelstoke with some fine samples of galena and copper ore from a new find known as the Big Jim group. Mr. Reilly was a pioneer of the Jordan River district, and had been there for several years.

110 years ago: Mail-Herald, Sept. 6, 1911

A terrible uproar awoke the crew building snow sheds at Three Valley Lake. The men left the railcars and scurried up the track in terror. It was found that a huge boulder, weighing several tons, had broken loose from the mountain and embedded itself in the soft ground a few yards from the track. The boulder damaged the telegraph wires. There was some speculation that the boulder was actually a large meteor which fell from space.

100 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 8, 1921

Emma Roberts and a party of berry pickers in the vicinity of ‘The Bluff’ on Mount Revelstoke, found a bottle which had been cached away eight years previously by a tourist. A note in the bottle read, “C.M. Steinford, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, June 8, 1913.” A letter was sent to Mr. Steinford letting him know that the bottle had been found. He replied the following month, expressing surprise that the bottle had been found. Mrs. Roberts sent him photographs of the stump where the bottle was found.

90 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 11, 1931

The Mountain sub-division of the Canadian Pacific Railway was the scene of severe wash-outs, and rail traffic was tied up for almost a week. The Illecillewaet River, swollen by torrential rains, changed course and reverted to a bed from which it was diverted during the building of the Connaught Tunnel. The east end of the tunnel was blocked up with debris, and several feet of water stood over the tracks. A pier on the bridge east of Twin Butte also washed out, causing a drop in the alignment of the bridge.

80 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 11, 1941

There was some excitement in the land between Mackenzie and Connaught Avenues when a very frightened porcupine was noticed ambling along the alley. Game Warden McLean and Constable Weisman tried to direct the animal down the lane toward Mount Revelstoke. The porcupine tried to take shelter behind wood piles and other obstructions. After considerable prodding, he was finally escorted out of town.

70 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 6, 1951

Eligible residents were encouraged to register for the newly established Old Age Security payments. It was noted than less than one-half of those eligible had registered in the first month of registrations. The first cheques were to be issued at the end of January 1952. Anyone over 70 years of age who had twenty years or more of continuous residence in Canada was eligible to apply.

60 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 7, 1961

Nicola Borelli, a CPR employee and his six-year-old son Reno lost their lives when a truck driven by Borelli slid into the Columbia River at the garbage dump below Centennial Park. He had gone there to dump an old stove and it was believed that the truck slid into the river. At the time of the article, the truck had been recovered, but the bodies had not been located.

50 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 9, 1971

A referendum on September 11, 1971 was asking voters whether or not they were in favor of selling the city’s Electrical Utility System to B.C. Hydro and Power Authority for a sum of not less than $3,250,000. City council itself, as well as citizens in general were divided on the subject, with several letters to the editor arguing both sides of the question.

40 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 9, 1981

Canadian Pacific Railway held a ceremony to open their new shops facility in Revelstoke. The former building was built in 1898. CPR also celebrated the 100th anniversary of their company with a picnic at Queen Elizabeth Park. Ralph Gallicano of Sally-Ann Bakery make a giant cake which took him one day to complete, and cost $500.

30 years ago: Revelstoke Review, Sept. 11, 1991

The rental vacancy in Revelstoke had dropped to virtually zero, with local realty offices having waiting lists that were pages long. The vacancy rate in April 1986 was at 28.2 per cent, and in April 1991 was at 6.4 per cent. Local rents had increased by about 40 percent, with typical house rental up from $485 per month to $525 per month. The market for buyers was not much better, with a limited number of houses on the market.

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