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authority records
Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre

Gordon Family

  • RMDC
  • Family
  • 1920s-Present

Jack and Holly Gordon, both originally born in Wales, moved to Rossland in 1929. Their children, Joyce (born 1922), John (born 1928), Alice (born 1932) and Clyde (born 1936) grew up in Rossland. Jack Gordon was mayor of Rossland 1937-1938 and again 1940-1945. In 2022 Alice Chiko, in conjunction with the Rossland Museum, wrote a book about her childhood in Rossland in the 1930s and 40s.

Hunter Brothers Ltd.

  • Corporate body
  • 1895 - 1952

The original Hunter Brothers Store was built in 1895 on Columbia Avenue In 1905, the store was moved to a new location on the Northwest corner of Columbia Avenue and Washington Street. The new home of the Hunter Brothers Store was Rossland's biggest retail space. The Hunter brothers retired in 1907, but the company continued under the leadership of W.F. Ternan. Ternan had been working for the Hunter brothers since 1897 and decided to rename the company Hunter Brothers Limited. The Hunter Brothers store operated until 1952.

Red Mountain Ski Club

  • Corporate body
  • 1940-1997

In 1947 the Trail and Rossland ski clubs amalgamated and became the Red Mountain Ski Club. Chuck Sankey was the first president. They built the first chair lift on Red Mountain in the same year, which was the record chairlift in all of Western Canada. The wooden tower lift would run until 1973, when it was replaced by a steel tower Mueller lift. At the base of Red Mountain, they built a lodge in the autumn of 1947. Nancy Greene, a two-time winner of the World Cup (1967 and 1968) and Olympic champion (1968), was a member of the club. The club hosted the World Cup in 1968, which was the first time a World Cup was held in Canada. Nancy Greene won the Giant Slalom. In 1965, the Granite Mountain Lift was built in Paradise Basin, on the west side of Granite Mountain. The RMSC again hosted a World Cup even in 1988. In 1989 ownership of RMSC and all its facilities were bought by Eric Skat-Peterson. In 2004 it was sold again, this time to Howard Katkov.

Rossland Fire Department

  • Corporate body
  • 1896 – ca.2000

The Rossland Fire Department was first started on a volunteer basis in 1896 with eighteen known members under Chief E.J. Carson and Assistant Chief C. Scully. Equipment was bought through donations as well as fundraising. An electric fire alarm system was installed around 1898, with ten alarm boxes throughout town. The firehall building at 2115 Queen Street was built in 1900 and opened in 1901. Presently, the department is no longer autonomous but a branch of the Regional Fire Safety Department, run by volunteers under Fire Chief Gerry Woodhouse.

Cox Family

  • Family
  • ca.1905-ca.1967

Alexander Cox left Liverpool in 1896 and came to Rossland in 1898, where he worked as a miner. He went on to become the Canadian customs officer at Paterson during the late 1920s and into the 1930s. He later became a rancher in Paterson and married Mary Lewis. They had three children: Mary Christine (born 1915), Edmond Thomas (born 1918), and Jane Ethel (born 1920). Edmond became a pilot officer during World War II but went missing in 1943. Helen died in 1961.

The Ladies Discussion Club

  • Corporate body
  • ca.1933-ca.1972

The ladies’ Discussion Club was formed in January of 1933, by the teachers and ex-teachers of the Maclean School staff. The club was originally given the name “Semper Discupulae” but soon became known by its present title of the “Ladies’ Discussion Club”. It was clearly stated at the very beginning that each person was expected to take an active part at every meeting. Although teachers and ex-teachers were charter members, other interested ladies were soon invited to join the club. The members helped start the library, with a “musical” being held in the Anglican church to help raise money to purchase books for a club library. Most of these books were donated to the Rossland Public Library when it was established. The club even had a public debate against the Mens’ Discussion Club in 1936 at the courthouse and won. The women were required to pay a fine if late to a meeting, and the money raised would be donated to organizations such as the Red Cross and the local Community Chest. Two charter members remained in the club from its inception, Dorothy Bisson Fraser and Erna Coombes. Starting in 1948, the club also had a school award for excellence.

Mater Misercordiae Hospital

  • Corporate body
  • 1896-[ca. 2000]

The Mater Misericordiae Hospital was founded in 1896 by the Order of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark and is one of the oldest hospitals in the B.C. Interior. The Hospital Auxiliary was organized in 1938. In 1939, the present structure was added and the old wing subsequently removed. On 2 July 1969, the Hospital changed ownership from the Sisters to the Rossland Hospital Society. The Hospital has been an accredited facility since 1972. Founded on a tradition of caring and sharing, efforts are directed towards maintaining that tradition.

Rossland City Band

  • Corporate body
  • 1898-[ca. 1960s]

Rossland's first city band formed in 1898 under the direction of B.M. Graham. Over the next 17 years, the band was reformed several times before being disbanded during WWI. While the Rossland City Band gave regular performances in the early years, it was not until 1930's that consistent practices, and executive meetings took place. The Rossland City Band gave regular performances throughout the year and won the Blaylock Cup at the Kootenay Music Festival in 1937 and 1938. Performances included parades, weekly concerts at the bandshell (Washington St and Columbia Ave) or the Father Pat Memorial (Queen St and Columbia Ave) as well as an annual concert. The Rossland City Band also notably travelled to Spokane, WA in February 1958 to play at the Warriors-Flyers hockey game. Some of the most notable conductors were B.M. Graham (1898-1900), Edward Gibney (1940-1942), Llyod Austin (1942, 1944), and Seath Martin (1943).

Rossland Post Office

  • Corporate body
  • 1895-

The first Post Office in Rossland was house in David Stussi’s small store at the western end of Columbia Avenue in 1894. The following spring Stussi built the Stussi Block across the street where a small area of 40’ by 10’ was set aside for the post offices. In the fall of 1895, W. Wadds was appointed the Postmaster and he relocated the Post Office to a more commodious space in another commercial building/store – 3rd designated Post Office for Rossland. The third floor of the post office burnt down in the Great Fire in 1929 and was no rebuilt. In 1937, after the death of Postmaster William Wadds, assistant clerk Miss Lowes was appointed acting postmaster. Well-liked by the staff and community, there were no objections to her taking this post. In June of that years, a postal inspector came to Rossland and installed Mrs. K Lloyd as the Postmaster. After much uproar from the community, Mr. L.H. Delmas was appointed Postmaster. In 1962, the Post Office receive an internal “modernization” which included new floors, woodwork, counters, and aluminum lock boxes.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

  • Corporate body
  • 1892-

As early as 1892, a traveling priest named Reverend Father Bedard visited the Rossland mining camp on his missionary circuit and conducted mass. Bedard was followed by Father Peylavin two years later in 1894. Father Lemay became the resident priest in 1895, and at this time mass was held wherever possible. The first Catholic Church in Rossland was built by a contractor named McCarthy in October 1895. A bell was installed in the tower in late 1900, after being shipped from England. In 1902, Father Welsh purchased land on the corner of Butte and Columbia to build a new church and turn the current church into a school. This plan was put on hold until 1915 when it was completed under the supervision and leadership of Father MacIntyre who replaced Father Welsh in 1912. Sacred Heart Catholic Church opened in 1915. The parish rectory was purchased in 1922. The Parish Hall was built across the street from the church in 1930. In the 1960s, the Father MacIntyre Centre (also called the Catechism Centre) was built beside the Parish Hall. In 1997, the priest position was reduced to part-time. Plans to renovate Sacred Heart Church and create a community multipurpose space were approved in 2012. The Parish Hall and Father MacIntyre Centre were sold in 2013 to pay for the renovations.

Rossland Light Opera Players

  • Corporate body
  • 1951-present

The Rossland Light Opera Players is a society in Rossland, BC. It was formed in 1951 by music teacher Bill Baldry and fellow Rossland teachers George Griffin and Margery Littely (nee Hall). The original goals were to encourage music, theatre, and enunciated arts as well as present musical dramas of the opera genre. R.L.O.P. had put on a production almost annually since it was founded. Other important members have included Babs and George Bourchier, Jack Fisher, and Charles Bailey. Currently, they occupy the Bodega Hotel building on Washington Street.

Jubilee Park and Playing Field Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1986-1987

In 1986 and 1987 there were numerous meetings held by the Jubilee Park and Playing Field committee concerning the proposed upgrade of the Jubilee Park for Rossland Secondary School (now Rossland Summit School). They proposed a slight leveling and raising of the field, a double soccer field, jogging track, tennis court, and basketball court. Cook Pickering & Doyle Ltd. surveyed and presented comments and recommendations on the geotechnical matters affecting improved drainage for the playing fields. Members of the advisory committee included Jean Cormack, Hugo Smecher, Lloyd McLellan, Harry Lefevre, Stan Fisher, Iain Martin, and Jack Richardson. Ultimately, the plans never went ahead, possibly due to lack of funding by the Ministry of Education.

Allan Hotel

  • Corporate body
  • 1896 – ca. 1960

In 1897, The Allan Hotel was built on the south-west corner of Columbia and Washington Streets by Mrs. M E Allan. Subsequent owners were Mrs. M E King (1905-1908) , Alexander W Smith and James Clarise Belton (1921) A Robert Stephens in 1922, (illegible writing) and Josh Buchewick (1958) Salty and Horace McCain (1960).

B.C. Police (Rossland, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1897-[ca. 1949]

While the British Columbia Provincial Police force dates back to C. 1850s, the first records of it in Rossland date from 1897 with gentleman from the area applying for jobs within the force. In 1911, J.D. McDonald was appointed the License and Police Commissioner for the city of Rossland.

Bank of Montreal (Rossland, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1896 - [ca. 2000]

The Bank of Montreal was opened in 1896 by A.H. Buchanan, who remained the manager until J.S.C. Fraser moved to the area. It was built by architect Francis Rattenbury, who also designed the Provincial Legislative Buildings. At its first conception in the area, BMO was in competition with four other banks in the area, Bank of British North America, Bank of Toronto, Marchant’s Bank of Halifax, and Bank of British Columbia. The building BMO was in had apartments above to house staff. The Rossland Branch was closed in 2000.

B.C. Mining School

  • Corporate body
  • [ca.1971]-1982

The B.C. Mining School in Rossland was original an open pit program at the Molybdenum mine on Red Mountain which started in June 1971. It was a twelve-week course, and the students were chosen by Canadian manpower. The students were typically from the metropolitan Vancouver area with an average education level of grade eight. Due to its success, an underground program was suggested, with the site of the school moving to the base of Kootenay Columbia Mountain. The first sixteen-week course started in October 1943. The school was to later produce the first open pit, and underground female worker. On fifth August 1981 newly arrived students came to the school to find a padlock on the door. The school was abruptly closed with little warning. The last open pit and underground classes had their graduation take place on third July 1981 and nineteenth June 1981. Multiple letters and resolutions were sent to the Minister of Education (later Minister of Energy Mines, and Petroleum Resources), Brian Smith (1975-1983), and many other ministers and organizations to try and reopen the school. This included a considerable amount of action was taken by Harry Lefevre.

There are multiple different reasons that were given for the student closure of the school, two of which being that (1) according to Smith, that the Canadian Employment & Immigration Commission refused to sponsor any more students after September 1981, and that, (2) according to Gerald Bell of Western Industrial Relations, major mining companies no longer wanted to employ graduates from the school. This, apparently, had nothing to do with the standard of teaching but rather that Canada Manpower had not carried about sufficient screening of potential students, which resulted in an excess of poor-quality students. Harry Lefevre attributed the closure to a breakdown in the financial support agreement between the Ministry of Education and Canadian Manpower.

Kokanee Derby

  • Corporate body
  • [ca. 1973]-[ca. 1990]

The Kokanee Derby was a club in the area for fishing and hunting. There were competitions for weight and game. They had meetings at the Rossland Club and some competitions at Big Sheep Creek.