STORIES BENEATH THE SURFACE

A DIP INTO TIME: REVELSTOKE MUSEUM & ARCHIVES PEERS BENEATH THE SURFACE AT THE LOST TOWNS OF THE ARROW LAKES RESERVOIR

The proud sternwheelers SS Trail, SS Rossland and SS Minto all being adorable in port at Arrowhead, in 1898. PHOTO COURTESY RM&A

>> BY Cathy English

Sections of British Columbia experienced devastating flooding this year, particularly in the community of Grand Forks. Residents there are beginning the long process of reclaiming and rebuilding their homes. This has been a traumatic experience for all those affected.

PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR FLOODPLAIN

Imagine how traumatic it would be if you knew that your home and land would be flooded for all time, and that you could never live there again. This was the experience for more than 2,000 residents between Revelstoke and Robson when the Hugh Keenleyside Dam was built at Castlegar in the late-1960s.

Between Revelstoke and the Galena Bay ferry terminal, several communities were displaced, including Mount Cartier, 12-Mile, Sidmouth, Arrowhead, Beaton and Galena Bay.

LostCities—Arrowhead1910

Skyline of the thriving metropolis of Arrowhead, circa 1910. PHOTO COURTESY RM&A

COMING TO A MUSEUM NEAR YOU

The Revelstoke Museum & Archives is creating a new exhibition—set to open later this year—that explores these communities. Learn about the lives of the people who once lived, worked and farmed in the valley.

Stories Beneath the Surface looks at why the valley was settled and what people did for a living. See their lifestyles. It looks at the once-thriving community of Arrowhead, which was created as the terminus for CPR steamers in 1895. It even had a railway branch-line from Revelstoke (built to connect with the steamer traffic on the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes).

The exhibition explores the community of Mount Cartier, settled mostly by Ukrainian immigrants between 1908 and the 1920s.

LostCities— 12 Mile ferry in winter, c.1950's

 Emil Rauchert on the Twelve-Mile cable ferry sometime in the 1950s. PHOTO COURTESY OF RM&A

This farming community, now known simply as “the Flats” was once home to several families, who had their own school, church and post office. They celebrated their own culture and traditions.

GETTIN’ DOWN RURAL-UKRAINIAN-STYLE

Stories of former residents will be included in the exhibition, talking about the good and the bad of their rural lifestyles, and all about being displaced from their homes and their way of life.


Watch for the exhibition opening later this summer, and contact the museum if you have artifacts, photographs, or stories to share.

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