Two separate developments in Rossland have emerged out of Castlegar’s Sculpturewalk.
The first is a local favourite, Rusty, hoping to make Rossland its permanent home. Second, a new addition has made its debut just a few paces away.
Rusty has been earning his oats for over a year now, becoming a favourite backdrop for photos with kids of all ages. Rusty brings a smile to locals and visitors alike and gives all in Rossland a reason to slow down during their busy day. He quietly reaffirms the message that Rossland is a town connected to nature. But our four-legged friend is also a great reminder of the role that horses played in the early days of this mining community.
Edgar Dewdney mapped the first trans-Canada route through the Rossland Range in 1865. Prospectors with their pack horses traveled the 720 kilometer Dewdney Trail between Fort Hope and Fort Steele in the East Kootenay in search of gold. The first claims staked on the slopes of Red Mountain happened in 1890. The news ran like wildfire and in a few short months the gold rush was on and prospectors made the two-week trek on horseback from Fort Hope to Rossland insearch of gold.
Horses were the primary means of hauling materials and supplies along the wagon road between the growing townsite of Rossland and Trail Creek Landing in those early years. The first shipment of Rossland ore was delivered to Trail by horse-drawn cart in 1895.
This month, the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture is hoping to raise $3,000 by the end of April to buy Rusty outright from Nelson artist Cedar Mueller, who will sell the sculpture for $8,000. The arts council will contribute $5,000 of this from funds held in reserve for public sculpture projects.
It only requires 100 fans of Rusty and public art to donate $30 each to reach the council’s target. Major donations of $500 or more will be acknowledged on a plaque that will be erected in front of the sculpture.
Keeping in touch with Rossland’s spirit, the newest addition is a large sphere of re-purposed bicycle parts.
The Sphere of Influence was installed on Friday and attracted several passersby to come and see what all the commotion was about.
Created by Winlaw artist Carl Schlichting, the sculpture will remain between Laundry Dog and Revolution Cycles for the following year as part of the Rossland’s public art program.