Much of Revelstoke’s historic downtown was constructed by 1913. Revelstoke shared in the general economic boom that took place in Canada in the early 1900s, and this can be seen in some of the commercial and government buildings that were constructed during that time. In 1912, Revelstoke saw the completion or at least the start of construction of several of our prominent heritage buildings. McKinnon’s pool room and cigar store and Bourne Brothers General Store were both opened in February of 1912. They are now operating as Nickelodeon Museum and Style Trend Clothiers respectively. They are both beautiful buildings and both have restored parts of their original pressed tin ceilings. C.R. Macdonald opened his drugstore on Mackenzie Avenue in March and that building now houses Isabella’s Restaurant. Our beautiful brick Courthouse was being constructed by contractors Foote and Pradolini. The cornerstone was laid on May 2, 1912 and the building was completed in October of 1913. Horace Manning arranged for the construction of his new candy factory in the fall of 1912 and it was completed the following year. The building retains the original name of Manning’s although it is now a Chinese Restaurant rather than a candy factory. There are residents who still remember the delicious Manning’s Broadway Chocolates made there. Another beautiful building that began construction in 1912 was the Queen Victoria Hospital.
Revelstoke’s first public hospital had been constructed in 1902 on the site where Cooper’s is now located, and a brick annex was added to it in 1910. In 1912, the original cottage hospital was moved to the next lot where it eventually became the first Legion building. A new brick hospital was built up against the brick annex to create the new Queen Victoria Hospital that remained in use until the end of 1970. Sadly, the brick hospital was torn down in the early 1970s. The bricks in the posts at the back end of our Heritage Garden came from this building. In 1912, Revelstoke was one of the largest centers in the interior of the province, third in size after Kamloops and Nelson. Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm were still fairly small farming communities at that time. The CB Hume Department Store in Revelstoke was the largest of its kind in the interior. Revelstoke boasted a large YMCA building equipped with a full gymnasium, bowling alley and indoor pool. There was also an Opera House where local and travelling performers could stage shows. A local group known as the Progress Club was negotiating with the federal government to have Mount Revelstoke declared a National Park and construction of the auto road to the summit began in the summer of 1912. The CPR was the major employer and operated a branch line to Arrowhead, south of Revelstoke, with steamer traffic from Arrowhead to West Robson. This growth continued up until the outbreak of war in August of 1914, which changed Revelstoke irrevocably.