Historic look at the Earl Grey Pass trail at Windermere Valley Museum

Exhibit on now until the end of September

The Windermere Valley Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit about the Earl Grey Pass Trail, on display now until the end of the month.

The exhibit showcases the history of the trail, from its long-time use by Indigenous peoples, right up to more recent work done to restore sections of the 61-kilometre hike that extends from Toby Creek to Earl Grey Pass, down to Hamill Creek near Argenta then on to the north eastern end of Kootenay Lake.

The display was put together by Elisabeth Scarlett, an archivist at the Kootenay Lake Archives in Kaslo.

“We had received information from a historian from the University of Victoria, Jenny Clayton, who had written for her doctoral thesis about the formation of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy,” said Ms. Scarlett. “Jenny had done quite a bit of research on the history of the area… so we used that as a basis.”

The West Kootenay archivist also wanted to include early uses of the trail, focusing on the importance of the route to the Ktunaxa and Shuswap people.

The exhibit includes some interesting historical photos, such as one of a glacier in the wilderness area, photographed in 1909 then again in 2015 to show its recession. They even have a description of the trail from an explorer back in 1866, when it was referred to as the Kinbasket Trail.

Ms. Scarlett said collecting and presenting the material, which took about four months, helped her to appreciate the valuable area even more.

“The Earl Gray trail gives you access to this wilderness area,” she shared. “It’s hard work, but you can appreciate it … It’s good that this is being preserved because we can all benefit from it. We benefit from being able to see it and appreciate it. And animals benefit from it; it allows them a place they can live undisturbed.”

While the trail is named after Earl Grey, a governor general to Canada back in the 1900’s, the trail was around long before he came upon it in 1908.

“He went from Argenta to Invermere,” shared Ms. Scarlett. “He was so impressed that he wrote to the premier of B.C. and said this should be a national park.”

The following year, Mr. Grey brought his family back and had a cabin built at Toby Creek, about 40 kilometres southwest of Invermere.

As part of a Canada 150 celebration, restoration work on the trail was done through Kaslo and District Community Forest volunteers. That inspired the museum staff to put together a display commemorating the trail.

The Earl Grey Trail exhibit started in March and April in Kaslo then spent July and August in Meadow Creek. Following Invermere, the exhibit makes its way to Kimberley for March, 2018 then will permanently reside in Meadow Creek.

To see the exhibit, visit the Windermere Valley Museum Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Just Posted

Invermere gets new CAO

Invermere found his new CAO after a long period of research.

Radium council discusses short term rentals

RHS council are elaborating the second draft plan for STR

Beautification process begins in Canal Flats downtown

Canal Flats wants to improve the esthetic of the town

More consultation on LWRL to come this fall

Invermere council meeting discussed about the Athlamer neighbourhood plan

Local advocates for CBT climate change priority

Tracy Flynn ask the local government for action on climate change

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Most Read