Monday, 11 July 2016

A few thoughts

I recently took a trip by motorcycle through the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. One place I stayed at did not have any television. They did have books that you could read. I read two local history books on Silverton and Sandon, British Columbia during my stay.

Things were obviously different then. I wish I could have kept the books. One of the more interesting stories was about two men that had a general merchant business. One of them wanted to create a town. So he did. During some free time he thought he found an ideal spot and sent off what he needed to the Provincial Government to register a townsite. His plan was approved. Then he surveyed lots and sold them off. If I remember correctly it was how Silverton was founded. He got lucky because at the time his dreams to start a town were becoming a reality mining claims were staked in the area and his townsite was the perfect spot for the influx of people that soon arrived.

I loved the fact that he had an idea and just went ahead and did it. There were others who had similar ideas in the area and staked townsites. Some never went any further than getting approval for a plan. To do some of these things back then they faced some ridiculous obstacles to create roads, towns, basically civilization where none existed. That did not seem to deter anyone, they tackled stuff with a sense of optimism and confidence they would succeed. Those were the days when if you wanted to do something you went ahead. If you failed, which a number of people did, they went on to their next venture. The rules and regulations these days almost stop you cold before you can begin. Life years ago was more adventurous and entertaining.


  1. About the year 1904 my grandfather moved his family to their homestead in northern Minnesota. They took the train to the end of the line and then followed logging roads and wagon tracks the rest of the way. He built a house and barn, cleared land and planted a crop. He got together with his neighbors and built a one-room schoolhouse on land donated by a neighbor. The community hired a teacher who worked for a small wage plus room and board. They did all of this without any government official telling them that they could or how to do it. Seems to me that was the best way to accomplish most anything.

  2. I started looking around on the web for more information about Silverton. The area is beautiful. In searching I found a link to the historical society and a photo of the sternwheeler SS Slocan on the lake there. 157 foot steam that pushed railroad barges. I can't believe I beat Chickinmom finding this. :)
    See this link:
    Several photos and a link to more sternwheelers and tugs of the Kootenay region.
    There is also an underwater video of the old hull scuttled when they replaced in in 1905 on YouTube.