Exhibits
The exhibits listed below are currently on display at the Museum. These will change over time, check back for more details!

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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.

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During Rossland’s long cold winter nothing was more exhilarating as Winter Carnival. The first carnival was held in 1898 and was a week-long celebration. Winter Carnival opened with a skating masquerade party followed by hockey matches, curling, skating competitions, ski running, ski jumping, snowshoeing, and tobogganing down the “Zip”.

A snowshoe torchlight parade wound its way up Monte Cristo’s side to light a beacon fire at the top. Fans from around the Kootenays came to town in special trains flying the colours of their hockey teams, singing their songs and practicing their cheers to rouse the rafters of the skating rink.

Winter Carnival of 1917 was the last for decades following the killer flu epidemic of 1918. In 1947, with Rossland celebrating its 50th Anniversary there was a revival of the winter carnival. It was called the “Sno Sho” with emphasis on hockey and curling.

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The West Kootenay Power and Light Company was incorporated in 1897 to supply power to the booming mines of Rossland. A hydro electric generating plant was built at Lower Bonnington Falls on the Kootenay River.

Power was delivered to Rossland over a 20,000 volt transmission line 32 miles (52kms) – the longest and highest voltage transmission line in the world at the time.

One of the early customers of W.K.P. & L was the struggling little smelter at Trail. At one stage the W.K.P. & L threatened to terminate service to the smelter because of an overdue account. The same smelter ultimately grew into the world wide Cominco complex of today and in 1916 the W.K.P & L Co. became its wholly owned subsidiary.

Abundant low cost power from the subsequent W.K.P. & L hydro plants on the Kootenay River made possible the future growth of the largest base metal plant in the world at Trail.

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The first Post Office was erected in 1894 by Rossland’s first Post Master, David Stussi. The new office was located on Columbia Avenue, where the Garage is located today. As Rossland’s population grew, so did the amount of mail and a larger building was built by Mr. Stussi in April 1895 and remained at this location for six months.

On October 1, 1895, W. Wadds was appointed Post Master and he relocated the post office for a third time to another building and for a fourth time to a large building situated on Columbia Ave.

The new Post Office, the fifth in Rossland’s history, was a three storey structure built with granite blocks quartered in Rossland. The first floor was utilized as the post office, the second floor became the customs office and Inland Revenue offices and the third floor housed the caretaker.

Tragedy struck on March 1, 1929 as fire tore down the north side of Columbia Avenue, between the Bank of Montreal and the Post Office, demolishing buildings and leaving nothing unscathed. The Post Office suffered the loss of its third floor. Fortunately, the rest of the building was saved due to the granite and brick composition of the bottom two floors. The Post Office today is composed of the remaining two floors.