March 1st, 2018 marked the 119th anniversary of the day Revelstoke was incorporated. The City at that time sat around approximately 1000-1500 citizens and was one of the bigger city centres. Nelson was growing in population and diversifying as the mining activity was quite strong but was not as mature as Revelstoke, Kelowna was a simple orchard leaving Kamloops as the biggest City Centre. After all, Billy Miner was known for robbing trains in Kamloops, where the hustle and bustle was.
With Revelstoke established and growing, Nelson was trailing in its numbers and growth. What is interesting to know, is many Revelstokians responsible for helping create Nelson into what it is now today.The Hume Hotel is a destination landmark for Nelsonites and for the travelling public. The hotel was named after J. Fred Hume who originally owned a general store along Front Street, right here in Revelstoke. After some time, J. Fred Hume sold his store to his cousin, C.B. Hume who moved the store to where the Royal Bank of Canada currently rests. What made this new location and store so unique, is that it was the biggest department store of the interior in 1912. Can you imagine that? Revelstoke was the biggest hub to get all of your shopping done!
What is unique about our little slice of heaven, is that Revelstoke was settled
in 1885 and remained unincorporated for 14 years. A rather lengthy legal battle ensued between CP Rail and a land surveyor, A.S. Farwell on who owned the land in lower town. The first bank did not arrive in Revelstoke until 1897 because of this legal tie up. With locals struggling to get deeds to their land, no banks would step in until the debacle had been sorted.
CP Rail refused to deal with Farwell as they considered him to be a squatter, and they moved the station east of his designated area, and that is Mackenzie Avenue as we know it today.
Of course, this is just a dusting of rich history of our town that still creaks and moans in our community like an old chair, heavy wooden door or an old wooden dock that sings a song of time and antiquity. To truly go back in time and learn how Revelstoke became what we know it to be today, is by Brown Bag History: Revelstoke Origins by Cathy English.
The great news, is sometime this spring, Cathy hopes to release Volume two of her Brown Bag History series.