Learners at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning recently embarked on a four-day historical road trip.
Grade 10s travelled as far north as Trout Lake, making 13 historical stops along the way, and at every stop a student gave a presentation on the historical significance of the location.
On the first day the learners stopped at the Slocan Valley Sinixt First Nation Village site, where Alesha Hall gave a presentation on the Sinixt Nation.
“I did my project on the Sinixt First Nations and why they are considered extinct. They’re not actually extinct it’s just that their name can’t legally be put on a document,” said Hall. “We went to see one old community where all the pit houses would be, and we got to go into a real pit house.”
From there they went to the Nikkei Interment Memorial Centre in New Denver, where Cobi McBride gave his presentation.
“We stopped in New Denver and talked about the Canadian Japanese internment during World War II and how the Japanese were put into camps … to make sure that they weren’t spying on the Canadian Navy to give away locations of ships,” said McBride. “How the Canadian government took advantage of them and took all their stuff while they were put in the camps, and sold everything to help fund the camps and help fund the army.”
On the second day, the students went to Sandon Ghost Town and Museum where Hayden Butler gave a presentation on the town and the Hydro Electric Generator.
“At Sandon there was a really cool museum, and in the basement there were a bunch of creepy mannequins and all that,” said Delaney Bowman, “and there was an ouija board leaned up against a wall, and we thought it would be interesting if we could try to make it work, but we didn’t have the piece.”
Bowman had the challenge of presenting on a site the learners couldn’t actually visit.
“I was Arrowhead, but we didn’t get to go to Arrowhead because, well, for one it’s under water, and it’s also on the other side of Arrow Lakes,” she explained. “So we drove on the road past it and I spoke a little bit about the history and how it was pretty big in its time, and now that it’s flooded from the Hugh Keenleyside Dam there’s only the cemeteries left.”
Autumn Terwoort presented on the Windsor Hotel at Trout Lake, where the students stayed on their second night.
“The Windsor Hotel was created in 1897, sold to a girl named Alice Jowett in1907, and she was the longest lasting owner. I think she had the hotel for 30 years,” said Terwoort. “It’s said that the hotel’s haunted now by her ghost. She doesn’t mean any harm unless you take something.”
The Trout Lake general store is also home to the last working gravity-fed gas pumps.
On the third day the learners stopped in Kaslo and toured the S.S. Moyie.
“We went on the S.S. Moyie. It’s the [last standing] sternwheeler in the world,” said Sophie Wardy. “I thought it was really cool to see how it was all rebuilt.”
“They pulled out the walls when they were fixing it up and they found like a whole bunch of old gum wrappers, and like lighters, and an old pair of glasses, which was cool,” added Hall.
Learners then spent the night at Kaslo J.V. Humphries School.
“That was really fun,” said Terwoort. “Getting to walk around, have the whole school to ourselves.”
All of the communities the learners stopped in were very welcoming.
“All the way along the trip we were very welcomed…. Like the Japanese internment camp [museum], they stayed open a few days later to welcome us there,” said Jonny Coleshill, the mentor who took the learners on the trip. “We stayed in the community hall in New Denver…, the school in Kaslo, and everybody was very welcoming and excited about our trip.”
On the fourth day students got to go zip lining at Kokanee Creek Zip Line before visiting more historic sites like Nelson and the Dewdney Trail right here in Rossland.