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Welcome to the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre!
We are open Year-Round!
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to 5pm
Archives is available by appointment only

For Archival Posts

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The Museum has entered into a 5-year agreement with the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History to digitize our entire photograph collection. If time and funding permits, this could expand to maps and other items that can be scanned/photographed.

This is a very exciting opportunity as we have been trying to digitize our collection ourselves for a number of years! We are very grateful for the Columbia Basin Institute’s support.
The first batch of the photos were taken to Cranbrook a few months ago to get started, and from there the first section has been uploaded to their website for everyone to see! Take a look at their website (and search Rossland or Rossland Museum) to see the amazing photographs – some of which we haven’t shown publicly in many years or even at all!

You can also find the Institute on Facebook where they regularly post photographs from collections all over the Basin.

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The Rossland Archives’ photo collection showcases some spectacular views of early Rossland. These photos allow us to see which buildings have survived the ups and downs of this amazing boomtown we call The Golden City. From its humble beginnings in the late 1800s, Rossland has grown and changed to fit into the modern world of 2017, nevertheless one can still see sneak peaks of the mining town that once was.
February 13th-19th is ‘BC Heritage Week – MY Canada, MY BC’. In celebration, the Museum is holding a Then & Now Photography Contest. Referring to a selection of iconic historical photos, everyone and anyone is encouraged to go find the original photographer’s viewpoint and capture, as closely as possible, a modern-day depiction. We ask all Rosslanders to embrace, explore, and enjoy the beautiful heritage spaces within this amazing community.

How to enter:

The Museum has posted our pre-selected historical photos in two locations:


Attach your modern-day photo in the comment box below the corresponding historical photo

Instagram – @rosslandmuseum

Use #RosslandThenAndNow and post your photos! Make sure your account is public so everyone can see your photo and the hashtag

Entry Deadline:
The contest will run from February 13th to 28th. The top photo selected for each of the 10 photos will be announced on March 2nd, which will mark the 120th anniversary of the City of Rossland’s official incorporation.

Photo entries will be judged by the Museum’s board and staff. Judgement will be based on quality of photo and accuracy of capturing the historic photographer’s original viewpoint.

What’s a contest without its prize:
The top photo for each of the 10 historical selections will then be posted for a People’s Choice Contest in early March. The People’s Choice Winner will win a mini growler and fill courtesy of the Rossland Beer Company*.

Additionally, these photos may be presented as a gallery display in downtown Rossland to showcase the winners as well as considered for a new set of postcards to be sold in the Museum’s gift shop.
*Entries are encouraged by individuals under the age of 19; if your photo wins, the prize will be of equal value.

*Please read contest rules and conditions before submitting your photos*

Rules and conditions

  • All photographs submitted for the contest must have been taken by you;
  • You may submit as many or as few photos as you would like; you do not have to submit a modern photo for each historical photo in order to be eligible (selecting 1 photo to copy is just fine);
  • Please do not submit photos in which a person is recognizable. These entries will be ineligible as we do not have their permission to publish their photo;
  • You equally retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre (RMDC) a royalty-free, perpetual license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce, and create works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media for any RMDC purpose, including but not limited to, advertising and promotion on our website, exhibition, and commercial products. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit. The RMDC will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses;
  • RMDC will notify the winners via the social media platform in which they have submitted their photos; and
  • Winners will be asked to fill out a transfer of photo copyright form and submit an original, digital file or an original negative or high-quality print. Original negatives or prints may be returned to winners.

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Hometown: Stangvik, Norway / Rossland, BC / Spokane, WA
Date of Birth: 1857
Date of Death: 1935
Inducted to the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame: 1988

Olaus Jeldness pioneered the establishment of competitive skiing in western Canada. Born in Stangvik, Norway, in 1857, he caused a stir there when, at the age of 15, he ski jumped a distance of 92 feet heralded as a world record at the time. He emigrated to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a successful career in mining. He returned to Norway in 1882 to develop a mining operation in the north until 1896 when he left to come to Canada and the mining community of Rossland, British Columbia.

Shortly after arriving, he began to foster skiing. Jeldness brought his skis, his love of the sport, and a single long steering pole. It was reported that he would frequently delight his gallery “…by flashing down the hill holding the pole high above his head, in exultation, to the delight of the throngs of spectators that flocked to witness his daring exploits on skis.” (Rolf Lund, Nordic World, March 1978)

The first recorded Canadian ski competition took place at Rossland in 1897, an event which he organized and promoted. He won this first downhill on Red Mountain on March 6, 1897. Early racing might be considered a free-for-all and clearly dangerous by today’s strict safety standards as the racers all started together at the summit, hurling themselves down the mountain to the finish line on the main street of town. The racers controlled their speed by using their single long pole as both a rudder and brake, choosing their own route down the mountain.

In addition to being a great competitor, Olaus Jeldness was also a teacher of skiing, sharing his skills and his joy of skiing with others in his community. He was instrumental in creating the Rossland Winter Carnival which began in 1898. Included in the carnival were competitive events which included a race called the Canadian Champion Ski Race which descended 2,000 vertical feet over a 1.5 mile course. He won this event as well as another, the first Canadian Championship Ski Jumping contest. He would repeat his successes, now called the Dominion Ski Championships, winning both Downhill and Jumping events in 1899 and 1900, his last year of competition. When he retired from active competition he also retired the MacIntosh Trophy which he had won for the third time. He was 44 years of age.

In the autumn of 1898, he organized the clearing of three separate downhill runs and organized and formed what was, arguably, the first ski club in Canada.

He also donated two historic trophies, the first in 1900 which would become the permanent possession of a skier who could win it three consecutive times. (This was achieved by Torgal Noren who won the ski jumping championship in 1904, 1905 and 1906.) The conditions accompanying the second Jeldness trophy, donated in 1908, stipulated that it would be a perpetual trophy awarded from year to year. This important trophy was given eventually to the Rossland Historical Museum where it remains.

As successful in his mining ventures as he was in skiing, he was able to retire to a comfortable life in Spokane, Washington in 1909. Even in retirement, he remained active in the development of the sport and he is reputed to be the originator of skiing competition in the western United States when he organized a ski jumping event in Spokane.

It would seem appropriate that for his considerable contribution to competitive skiing that he should be known as the “Father of Competitive Skiing in Canada”.