Helen Parker, age 10, with the CCM bike she won in 1928 for riding a five-inch plank for a total of 2420 feet. Helen’s mother, Eva Hobbs Parker, was famous as the person after whom Eva Lake, on Mount Revelstoke, is named. (Revelstoke Museum & Archives)

Glimpses of the Past

From a hawk preying on tame pigeons in 1893 to a housing shortage in 1943

By Cathy English, Revelstoke Museum & Archives

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, April 1, 1893

A hawk was noticed in pursuit of the tame pigeons around the old post-office building on Front Street. After several attempts, it succeeded in capturing one and made off across the river with its prey.

110 Years Ago: Mail-Herald, March 28, 1908

The YMCA classes were preparing for their annual gymastic display the next week. A progamme was arranged with both boys and senior classes, and all participants were doing hard practice to make the different drills and pyramids go off in the best possible style.

100 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 28, 1918

Revelstoke had 19 school teachers, and their average salary per month per teacher was $77.63, below the provincial average of $83.58. The highest paid teachers in the province were in the Kamloops school district, where the average salary was $97.69. At that time, each teacher had to negotiate their salary individually.

90 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 28, 1928

Revelstoke became the home of another world’s record when 10-year-old Helen Parker, competing in the plank-riding competitions of famous cyclist Fred St. Onge, rode the 150-foot five-inch plank 16 consecutive times and 20 feet, making a total distance of 2,420 feet. The previous record was held by a girl in Miami, Florida, with five times and 80 feet to her credit, a distance of 830 feet. The boys competition was won by Helen’s twin brother with a distance of 315 feet. Fred St. Onge was known for teaching Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, how to ride a bike.

75 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, April 1, 1943

An acute shortage of housing has developed locally and as a result, Revelstoke is losing prospective residents. Local real estate offices are being asked daily for suite accommodation, the demand far exceeding the supply. There are a number of houses in town which are not in use, but all would require some work to make them habitable.

50 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 28, 1968

The new Big Bend Highway from Revelstoke to Mica Creek was rebuilt at a cost of $21,511,000. Cost sharing for the highway between the Province of BC and BC Hydro was under discussion. The new highway was an improvement over the original Big Bend Highway that opened in 1940.

40 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, March 28, 1978

A public hearing was held into a land use contract to allow construction of a 72 unit apartment block on Laforme Boulevard. Rental rates would be set by Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This is the apartment block currently known as Columbia Gardens.

20 Years Ago: Revelstoke Review, April 1, 1998

Dredging work began on the Illecillewaet River as part of a joint flood-control project by BC Hydro, BC Environment, and the City of Revelstoke. About 40,000 cubic meters of gravel will come out of the river channel. The city will use some of the gravel for the Greenway bicycle/footpath extension work along the east side of the Columbia River near the Downie Timber log yard.

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