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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

Exhibits

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PRESS RELEASE

Rossland Museum welcomes its first national travelling exhibit!

December 9th, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ROSSLAND, BC – Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre hosts travelling exhibit From Vimy to Juno.

The year 2017 marks some important anniversaries in Canadian history: Canada’s 150th birthday as a nation and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge – a battle that historians describe as a defining moment in the development of Canada as an independent nation. 2019 is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day and Normandy landings. To commemorate these important anniversaries, the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the travelling exhibit From Vimy to Juno this December. The exhibit will be in the main gallery space from December 20, 2017 – February 16, 2018, with an opening event planned for December 20th at 6:00pm (everyone welcome – entry by donation).

From Vimy to Juno is a bilingual travelling exhibition that was developed by the Juno Beach Centre in partnership with the Vimy Foundation with the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage. It examines Canada’s role in the First and Second World Wars, anchored on the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 and the D-Day landings on Juno Beach in June 1944. The exhibit brings personal stories of the men and women who experienced firsthand these nation-defining moments in Canadian history, while at the same time examining Canada as a nation from 1914 to 1945.

To complement these Canada-wide stories, the Museum is putting together local and regional stories to connect the exhibition to the stories from here.  2017 also marks the 120th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Rossland. From 1914 to 1945, Rossland and region experienced significant changes of its own – with the shift from employment in mining to working at the smelter and the development of skiing on Red Mountain. In From Vimy to Juno, explore the impacts that local people made on the battlefront and the home front, and also the ways that Rossland and the region changed over these significant decades.

The exhibit will be accessible to the public during regular opening hours with regular admission rates applicable. Tours and class visits can be scheduled outside these hours. Pedagogical resources in English and French are available for teachers. As well, the Rossland Museum will be a borrowing point for the Supply Line Kit on loan to us from the Canadian War Museum in February. Teachers will be able to book this kit free of charge from the Museum from February 8th to 21st.

The Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre is grateful for financial support from the Nelson & District Credit Union, and to the local Legions, Seniors, community members, the CFA Kemball Armoury in Trail, and Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History for their contributions.
The Museum is open year-round – winter hours are Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to 5pm.

About the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre: The Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre (RMDC) aims to preserve and dynamically present the heritage of Rossland and area. We are the visitor gateway to the Kootenays and the Columbia Basin, and we inspire and engage the public through virtual and real life displays that bring our history to life. We are situated at the junction of Hwy 22 and Hwy 3B.

Contact:

Libby Martin, President

Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre

PO Box 26, 1100 Hwy 3B, Rossland, BC

Phone: (250) 362-7722

Email: president@rosslandmuseum.ca Website: www.rosslandmuseum.ca

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President Libby Martin with Maureen Brown (Board Member) and Carol Vanelli-Worosz (Teck Community Engagement Leader) - Photo Credit: Mike Sloan

We raised $675,000 towards Phase One and officially re-opened the Museum on June 30th, 2017.

We sincerely appreciate our supporters to date -> please take a look at our ever-growing donor “wall” page for a full list of contributors.

For An In-Depth Look at the public spaces in the Museum prior to the Renovation, check out our Google Virtual Tour done in 2014!

During the annual Golden City Days weekend, on Rossland’s 75th year, a group of friends wanted to contribute in an extra special way. They proposed to run an old time saloon – a fitting tribute to early Rossland’s history! Their saloon was to be called the Golden Nugget, and it would be the birth place of the Can-Can dancers known as the Dancing Waiters.
 
But why?
The morning of the saloon’s opening, they were informed the scheduled can-can dancers out of Spokane had to cancel. With little time left until the start of the event, they took charge and dressed in their matching bartender outfits, practiced a few moves, and put on an unforgettable show. They were such a success that they performed at every Golden City Day festival for 25 years!
 
Visit their display at the Rossland Public Library until November 1st, 2017 to learn more about their many charitable acts, group members, and see their creative outfits.
Library Hours: Tue Wed Thu 10am–8pm Fri Sat 10am–5pm Closed Sun Mon
 
 

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The Head Frame at the main entrance of the museum was originally erected in 1967. It had become a key piece for all of our property tours and a great location for our memorial bench to Jack McDonald.

In 2016, the City examined the structure and concluded it would need to be repaired, and in light of long term plans to move it elsewhere on the property in Phase 4 of the Renewal Project, it was determined it was time for the structure to come down. We can then ensure it is rebuilt during Phase 4 along with the additional Train display shed.

Here are some photos of the process of removing it! All of the collection pieces that were part of it have been moved for display elsewhere on the property until they can be placed in a new head frame structure. Jack McDonald’s bench has been moved closer to the Compressor Unit.

 

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Rosslanders, past and present have always indulged being in the great outdoors. Escaping into nature, soaking up the sun, and sharing the beautiful weather and adventures with family and friends. Together Rossland grew into a community that celebrates nature, encourages active living, and embraces the surrounding landscape. Outdoor activities in the 1900s were not much different from those of present day. Fishing, hiking, and swimming were among some of the most popular summer activities. Visit the museum’s new display located at the Rossland Public Library to learn about some of Rossland’s popular summer activities, such as…

When the Rossland community came together in the Summer of 1932, to support the construction and opening of the Rossland Pool. Coming together to play, competing in competitions, and enjoying a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day. Generations of citizens have created lasting memories at this heritage site.
Come take a closer look at a 1944 swimming trophy won by children.

Gifted with a remarkable backyard, Rossland is surrounded by an extensive network of high quality trails and paths winding through forests and ending with breathtaking views. Hiking has always been popular in Rossland. One of the most popular and an annual tradition is the hike up Mount Roberts to celebrate Canada Day. Want to know what hikers wore in the early 1900s? It’s all revealed in our new display. Join the museum for the hike this year and be part of this long lasting tradition! Carpooling 8am from the museum parking lot.

Some of the most popular fishing spots from the 1900s are still popular among Rosslanders today. Fishing spots such as Trail Creek, Big Sheep Creek, and Nancy Greene Lake. Come take a look at a handcrafted bamboo fishing rod made circa. 1920s.

Are you more of a behind-the-scene picture taker during the summer? Have you ever heard of a Brownie Camera? Ever wondered why it’s called a Brownie? Come see this artifact in its original 1920s leather case with lens and read all about it.
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Want to learn more about other popular summer sports? Stay tuned for the Museum’s next display on golf and tennis at Mountain Town Properties – downtown location.

The name “The Flying Steamshovel” can be seen when traveling through the streets of downtown Rossland, but have you ever thought, what does it mean? What is its story? And how has the name survived the test of time?

Today, 114 years after the flight of the Flying Steamshovel, and 71 years since the written accounts by Father Freney, the Flying Steamshovel makes its way back home to the Golden City and has landed at the Rossland Museum & Discovery Center’s newest display!!

There has been, and still is, considerable controversy surrounding this peculiar story. Just keep in mind that the famous Wright Brothers’ first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight took place in 1903, in North Carolina. Paul Cornu is credited with the first free vertical ascent in a helicopter in France in 1907. Meanwhile, the Flying Steamshovel is reported to have flown in 1901, at the height of 200ft in little, old Rossland, BC! SO, should The Golden City be acknowledged as the true birthplace of man’s gravity-conquering abilities?

This new display will capture the interest of locals and new comers alike. Rossland is well known for its place in the Mining and Skiing domain, but this display will highlight Rossland’s due place in the Aviation world. The display showcases the research and persistence against adversity that Father Freney had to face to get the story recognized by top aviation magazines. It showcases the only information found on the inventor – Lou Gagnon and his life before and after his explosive crash and his smashed dreams of flying in the wintery month of February.

Have you ever wondered what the Steamshovel may have looked like? Well, this display hosts the only (known) three dimensional model created based on sketched images of eye witness accounts! Why is it called a Flying Steamshovel? Our new display holds all the answers.

The museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays 10am to 6pm through to the end of June. We are open 7 days a week 10am to 6pm starting July 1st until the end of the summer.

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There has been a smelter in Trail, BC for over 100 years. It has evolved from crude to sophisticated modern technology and provides British Columbia with one its main economic engines.

In 1906 the War Eagle and Centre Star Mines of Rossland joined up with the St. Eugene Mine of Moyie, BC and the fledging smelter at Trail to form Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co of Canada Ltd.

From the small beginning it has now grown into the world-wide metallurgical and chemical fertilizer operation known as Teck Cominco.

The Cominco Wing exhibit was added to the museum building to depict this remarkable success story. It was officially opened in 1979 by the Honourable James Hewitt, Minister of Mines, Energy and Petroleum Resources of the Government of British Columbia.

 

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Skiing was first introduced to the people of Rossland by Scandinavians who came to the area to work in the mines. The most famous of them was Olaus Jeldness, a mining engineer, who came to Rossland in 1896.

Skiing was mainly jumping and what was called ski running, but there was also a form of cross country and skijoring. The first timed downhill race was held in 1897 and was won by Jeldness.

The first Canadian downhill ski championships were held in Rossland in 1898. The winner of the downhill event was presented with the Jeldness Cup (won by Jeldness himself three years in a row).

Our Ski Wing exhibit showcases four Rossland locals: Nancy Greene Raine (Olympic Gold Medalist and World Cup Champion), Kerrin-Lee Gartner (Olympic Gold Medalist), Kimberly Joines (IPC world champion, IPC World Cup winner and two-time Paralympic bronze medallist) and Olaus Jeldness (First Dominion Champion in 1900).

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Rossland’s first fire department was organized on a volunteer basis in 1896.

The first equipment was paid for with money raised by public subscription and by a Ball described as the “biggest and most successful” help up to that time in the mining camp. It was put on by the ratepayers’ association.

Fire-fighting equipment for 1900 was three horse drawn carts complete with ladder, hoses and other apparatus. They lined up in front of the new fire hall on Queen Street and First Avenue.

An electric fire alarm system was installed as early as 1898 with call boxes located at 10 strategic points throughout the city. For many years alarms were announced by the ringing of a large bell which sat atop the Fire Hall.