Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Trip to Valemount, BC - Part 2

Here is Part 2 from my trip to Valemount.....

Having refreshed myself (and dried out a bit) from my hike, I headed over to the community museum which is housed in a former railway station.  The structure (with the exception of the storage shed, which was a 1950's addition) was built in 1914.  This isn't the station's original site as it has since been moved a couple of times over the intervening years.

Initially located about 2km away at a place known as Swift Creek, the station played its role in the Robson Valley until 1927 when it was moved to a spot just across the road from where it now sits.  (The post office and school also used to be located along this stretch which used to be the main thoroughfare of the community.)

It station remained there until 1981 when the CNR announced it was no longer able or willing to maintain it.  Fortunately, the good citizens of the town stepped in.  It was purchased for $1, lovingly restored, and moved to its current locale across the street.

The museum is well worth a visit.  Not only does it display many railway artifacts from days gone by but it also features displays about the town's history (I got a kick out of the old organ), First Nations and Japanese internment camps.

The outdoor displays were quite interesting.  Not being a train expert, I've never seen a contraption quite like this (though it gave me some interesting ideas!)


As a railway town, the area saw its share of tragedy with the Canoe River train crash in 1950, killing 17 soldiers from CFB Shilo en route to the Korean War and leading to big changes in how the Canadian rail system operated.  As an interesting side note, the sole individual charged in the crash, a young telegraph operator, hired future Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to defend him.  Dief was able to secure him an acquittal.

The disaster is commemorated locally by this marker at the Legion as well as a sign by Cranberry Marsh.

This artillery piece sits in front of the Valemount Legion.  Unfortunately their small museum was closed by the time I got  there.

Mount McKirdy graces the skyline to the west.  Fortunately, the weather was to cooperate more the following day. allowing for some much better photo opportunities.  I should say that I'm horrible at telling mountains apart.  In a perfect world,  they would all have large red dots in the sky to help identify them and make it easier for people like myself.  I do have to give a nod to the anonymous man in the white pick-up who stopped and identified this peak for me.

By this point it was mid-afternoon and I retired to my hotel to recharge the batteries and gear up for some bird-watching the following day.

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