By David F. Rooney
Wednesday, May 2, marks a special moment in Revelstoke’s history.
That’s the day 100 years ago when the cornerstone was laid for our beautiful Court House and the City is planning a special ceremony at 4 pm to mark that occasion.
Parks and Recreation Department programmer Meghan MacIsaac said the programme closely mirrors the original from 1912.
Building a grand and proper court house was then — as it still is today — a big deal. It signalled that a community had grown enough in size, wealth and importance to warrant the expense (about $164,000 at the time) of a proper seat of justice. If you doubt that, think back just a few years when the province was seriously thinking about closing the Revelstoke Court House and transferring all judicial proceedings to other communities. Revelstokians were horrified and the City negotiated a deal with the province that kept the Court House open for business. (Please click here to read Revelstoke Museum Curator Cathy English’s history of the court house.)
“There will be dignitaries and officials invited as well as grandchildren of locals from that time (who played a role in the original ceremony),” she said.
“Some of these family members include Helen Grace – granddaughter of T.W. Bradshaw who was the CPR freight agent and was secretary of schools in Revelstoke. Another family coming the Kernaghans – John Kernaghan was a well-known local builder in town in 1912.”
MacIsaac also said that, in keeping with what happened in 1912, the Grand Master of the BC and Yukon Masonic Lodges had also been invited. It was the grand master of the day, Francis Burd, who officially laid the cornerstone. However, the current
Mayor David Raven, members of Council, CAO Officer Tim Palmer, Government agent Erich Breitkreuz from Salmon Arm, the Community Band, our local Rocky Mountain Rangers Cadets, plenty of school children and representatives from Revelstoke’s assortment of fraternal societies.
Although it was, judging by the century-old photos of the event below, a day unmarred by rain, this year’s commemoration could be a little damp so please be sure to bring your brolly.