Williamson’s Lake has been Revelstoke’s popular swimming spot since the 1890s. In 1930, the Rotary Club took it on as their project and brought in truckloads of sand, and built docks and a diving tower, and changing rooms. This photograph was taken circa 1960s by Walter Jowett. (Revelstoke Museum & Archives)

Glimpses of the Past

From lots at Trout Lake going on sale in 1893 to Williamson Lake Park going under the auspices of the City of Revelstoke in 1998

By Cathy English, Revelstoke Museum & Archives

25 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, March 4, 1893

Lots in the new townsite of Trout Lake were about to go on the market. The first hundred lots would be sold at $200 for corners and $150 for insides. Trout Lake was advertised as the distributing point for the rich mining claims of the Lardeau district.

120 Years Ago: Revelstoke Herald, March 2, 1898

Three separate articles reported on mining activity in the region. There were recent gold and silver leads found in Pool Creek, in the Lardeau, and placer gold discoveries at McCullough Creek, with mining development moving forward in the Ground Hog Basin in the Big Bend, north of Revelstoke. The Silver Cup group near Trout Lake was producing large quantities of ore, with 48 men currently at work, and 300 tons of ore at Thomson’s Landing (Beaton) awaiting shipment out of the region.

80 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 4, 1938

Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Miller, on Sixth Street East, reported the first crocuses of the season, blooming alongside their house, in an area exposed to the sun. A foot or two away from the flowers, almost three feet of snow still lay on the ground.

75 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 4, 1943

Flight Lieutenant Omer K. Middleton of the RCAF was reported missing after air operations overseas. Middleton was born in Revelstoke and joined the RCAF in 1941, graduating at the top of his class from the No. 2 Wireless School at Calgary. He was attached to the Demon Squadron overseas. He was later reported as presumed dead.

60 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, February 27, 1958

A.W. Lundell, MLA, placed the question of river bank erosion near the wing dam before the provincial government recently. His request for a survey of the situation has been granted and engineers of the highways department will conduct it as soon as possible. The wing dam was built on the river bank near Front Street in 1908.

50 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, February 29, 1968

The new CPR Bridge over the Columbia River at Revelstoke was opened on February 23. Mayor Arvid Lundell threw the switch to let train 938 onto the structure, with Conductor Harold Garner in charge of the train, with engineer Swan Gradin and fireman D.H. Mullholland and crew Owen Ross and George McAstocker. The bridge was replacing an steel bridge that had been in use since 1908.

40 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 1, 1978

BC Hydro has agreed to dredge the Illecillewaet River and provide rip-raffing along the bank to guard against potential flooding. The Illecillewaet Dam, originally built on the river in 1898, had been removed by BC Hydro the previous year, resulting in the release of hundreds of thousands of tons of silt and gravel. MLA Bill King was asking for additional remedial measures, including compensation to the Snowmobile Club, who had lost part of their property due to erosion after the removal of the dam.

20 Years Ago: Revelstoke Times Review, March 4, 1998

Williamson’s Lake Park now belongs to the city, but the regional district will continue to share the cost of maintaining the park. Council’s committee of the whole recommended the city accept an offer from the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District to transfer tenure over the park to the city for a dollar.

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