Essays

SOME LITTLE KNOWN INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERS FROM ROSSLAND’S GOLDEN AGE

SOME LITTLE KNOWN INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERS FROM ROSSLAND’S GOLDEN AGE

These essays are extracted from a longer work on law and order in early Rossland that is still in progress.  I have assembled this collection of stories from the gold-boom days  --  some short, some quite long  --  in the hope that you will find the incidents and characters interesting and perhaps entertaining and that they will give you new insights into the early history of the city that we all called home for so many years.  I know that not everyone is interested in history, particularly in historical minutia, and that some of you may find that these essays are too long and detailed for your interests and tastes.  That is understandable, but such is the nature of my research.  I try to explore people and events that are ignored or glossed over in standard histories and document them in sufficient detail that the story is as accurate as possible given the usually fragmentary historical records. I provide a very brief sketch of the subject of each essay below.  With this as your guide, you may want to dip into the essays here and there to see if there is anything that interests you.  Perhaps you would want to start with the final essay about the unhappy Nellie Lake.  

Yes there was skiing before we built the chairlift - Ronald A. Shearer

Yes there was skiing before we built the chairlift - Ronald A. Shearer

The Red Mountain chair lift transformed skiing in Rossland;  it did not create it.  Before the lift, the skiing community was active and vibrant, both athletically and socially.  Skiing was not skiing as we know it today, in equipment, technique, skill, speed or the terrain casually conquered in a day on the slopes, but we had slalom, downhill of a sort and cross country races  --  and a skilled and daring cadre of jumpers.  Everyday skiing, however, was essentially Nordic, on the fields, trails and mountains north of the city, with the beginnings of alpine skiing on the steep slope adjacent to the ski cabin.  Skiing occurred mostly on weekends, but our local hill had lights so we also had skiing at mid-week.  Often, after skiing, the ski cabin rocked with music, singing and stomping that passed as dancing.  We had exercise and we had fun, but most of us did not ski very well.  The ski club was as much a social as it was an athletic institution.  The story of skiing in the pre-lift days deserves to be told and retold.  It was an important part of the history of that unique community, Rossland, that we know and love.  This essay is my attempt to fill in some neglected aspects of that history.