Brown Bag History
Learn about Revelstoke's History
Join us every other Wednesday for a talk on local history from 12:15 to 12:45. Bring your bag lunch. Coffee, tea, and cookies are provided. $5 per person.
Brown Bag History Schedule January to June 2017:
January 11 – Revelstoke in 1917
January 25 – Three Passes – Canada’s Gateway to the Pacific – Guest Speaker John Woods
February 8 – Pioneer Educators
February 22 – Heritage Buildings in Revelstoke
March 8 – The Land Still Thunders – Bringing You Tomorrow’s Avalanche History Today – Guest Speaker John Woods
March 22 – Growing Up in Revelstoke
April 5 - Vimy Ridge Remembered – Guest Speaker Ken English
April 19 – Italian Community
May 3 – Forest History Panel – local forester talk about their history working in the industry
May 17 – Japanese Community
May 31 – Chinese Community
June 14 – Treasures from the Museum
June 28 – Brown Bag Picnic
Past Brown Bag Talks
Revelstoke in 1912: Revelstoke was in the middle of a building boom
The buildings that now house Style Trend, Nickelodeon Museum and Isabella’s Restaurant were all constructed, and the corner-stones of the Court House and the brick Queen Victoria Hospital were laid.
J. Guy Barber
Revelstoke’s first jeweler came to town in 1890 and his name appears throughout the newspaper whenever there was a cultural or sporting event. He is in the photograph of Revelstoke’s first ski club and often appeared as a soloist or playing his banjo at concerts in town. He remained a bachelor throughout his life, and is a bit of a mystery man, so we have made him the museum’s honorary ghost.
Nels Nelsen, Isabel Coursier, Bob Lymburne, the Gunnarsen family, John McInnes and others made Revelstoke a prominent name for skiing for many years.
Situated up the mountain from the north-east arm of the upper Arrow Lake, this early mining community had a fascinating history. Started by miner Cory Menhenick, it was nestled in one of the richest mining belts in the Lardeau.
Water, Light, Power, Telephone
Revelstoke hotelier and entrepreneur was involved in developing most of Revelstoke’s early utilities. He had the city’s first telephone line, and established the Revelstoke Water, Power and Light Company that built the first water system and a hydro-electric dam on the Illecillewaet River.
This community east of Revelstoke was named after Albert Rogers, nephew of Major A.B. Rogers, surveyor of the pass that bears his name. The community was a vibrant small community, with more than its share of eccentrics. Farming, mining and railway operations, as well as the local hot springs kept this community alive for decades.
Revelstoke had a large population of immigrants from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. They were among Revelstoke’s earliest settlers and contributed to the development of the early Farwell settlement. Later Scandinavian settlers established farms in Big Eddy and were instrumental in establishing Revelstoke as a competitive ski destination.
More Scandinavian Settlers
More stories of some of the Scandinavian settlers who came here, and the connections between them. The Nelsen and Gunnarsen families were among those who put Revelstoke on the map when it came to skiing.
Big Bend Prospectors
Revelstoke had a number of colourful characters who maintained mining claims north of the city. Most of them were bachelors and lived a solitary life in their cabins.
From Revelstoke`s beginnings, the forest industry has been an integral part of this community`s economy.
Revelstoke in 1962
With the Rogers Pass highway opening in the summer, the community was on the cusp of change. New hotels were being built, and the town was sprucing itself up for the influx of new visitors.
Rogers Pass Highway
Since the Connaught Tunnel had been completed in 1916, very few people had seen the grandeur of the Selkirk Mountains. The new highway would again open up this area for visitors.