Explore over 20,000 images

Downtown Sandon, BC, 1918
Night School 1960s: Pottery Class at Mount Baker Secondary School 1960
Waldies Sawmill
10th Ave. School. Ski Day.
Sullivan Mine Concentrator
Rocky Mountain Elementary School c.1991
Brass Band, Slocan City, B.C
Fredrick Entwisle Sullivan Mine c.1941
Kaslo, BC, 1908
Marge Dulsrud and Elaine Jackman
Boy Scout Jamboree
Kimberley Snow Fiesta Parade 1965
Mount Baker Secondary School, Trojanette Volleyball Most Improved Player
Sulivan Mine Lamp House
Halcyon, B.C.
Surveying Cranbrook Townsite
SS Moyie
Rod Loraas
Ethel Ada
YMCA Building
CN Station
Hudson Bay Store
Careful Crossing
McDougall Townsite

Feature Exhibits

South Country Web Exhibit

The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is proud to present our latest installation, a web exhibit chronicling the Triangle Women's Institute from Grasmere B.C. and its origins in the South Country. This project was sponsored by the Columbia Basin Trust, Heritage BC, and the RDEK. Special thanks to creators Erin Knutson and Derryll White and the many hours of consultation and time spent with dedicated TWI members.

The Life of a Mineral Lake Logger

Young men looking for adventure and career, often found themselves in logging camps as the industry in British Columbia emerged in the late 1890s. The interior was host to numerous camps with men seeking opportunities at sawmills.

Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band

A beloved legend hangs in the balance as the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band searches for a new director to replace Miss Pat Ronalds, next fall. Ronalds, after 23 years of service, is turning over a new leaf and ready to pass the baton.

Memoirs of Angus Davis: A Mining Legend

Angus Ward Davis Sr. was born into a prominent Montreal family of Welsh origins on March 1st, 1878. Before his death on January 24th of 1949, he completed a book of memoirs, chronicling his life as an engineer. It covers his momentous career across British Columbia and the U.S. and was published by the Western Miner and serialized in 1949 and 1950.

Mirror of Development

Examining the common elements shared by two Kootenay communities - Rossland (West Kootenay) and Kimberley (East Kootenay). Major co-operating partners in this undertaking are the Kimberley District Heritage Society and the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre which are contributing more than 3,000 historical photographs from their collections.

Mirror of Development: Rossland

The Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association is a non-profit society and registered charity whose mission is to preserve and dynamically present the history and heritage of Rossland and area and to inspire and engage the public through virtual and real life presentations that bring our history and heritage to life.

Mirror of Development: Kimberley

The Kimberley Heritage Museum is operated by the non-profit "Kimberley District Heritage Society". The building displays galleries and archives of local historical objects and subjects, and stores 10,045 artifacts, 10,788 photographs, as well as maps, published books and small items.

History of Early Kimberley Schools

A look in to the history of education in Kimberley, B.C. We will explore the opening and closing of schools that shadowed the rise and fall and rise of the small mining town of Kimberley.

Hiking the High Line

A collection of over 1800 photographic slides in vivid Kodachrome chronicles Bill Hurst's mountaineering from the late 1950s to the 2000s. Bill's photos will fascinate those with an interest in the history of climbing in the Rockies, those interested in how climbing gear has evolved and those interested in the rapid recession of glaciers.

Power on the Kootenay: The Fred Elwell Collection

A digital archive detailing the building of the Upper Bonnington Dam in 1906 by West Kootenay Power & Light.

Legacy of Learning - Yearbooks

An educational history project in partnership with School District #5. We are interested in things that evoke memories of what school was like and how it tied into the larger community. This would include photos of people schools were named after, programmes from past dramatic events, sports trophies, club crests, school publications, photos of teachers and school buildings.

Cranbrook Sweethearts

A tradition going back into the 1920s in Cranbrook, selecting a group of young women to be town ambassadors is still alive today. This site explores the history of that tradition and will focus on the Sam Steele Sweethearts.

Sweet Music

Cranbrook has always rocked! From its early beginnings until now, the town has had a music scene. Choral groups, city bands, huge musical productions, the Salvation Army and fraternal organizations have all contributed through time. One group that stands out, however, is the Cranbrook Girls' Bugle Band. This site will explore in depth the history of the Bugle Band.

The Largest Pool

The Gyro Pool was open from 1930 to 1969 and was boasted as being the "largest pool in Western Canada." Go Cranbrook! The Gyros hard work paid off and if the cost of upkeep and keeping up with the new government regulations hadn't gotten so outrageously high, Cranbrookians of today might have been able to share in that ice cold swimming goodness.

Historic Tourism

Towns throughout the Columbia Basin, opening to the new possibilities of auto tourism, began to plan for the auto travelling public. Cities began to develop parks close to downtown. They set aside areas for camping and developed facilities to encourage camping. Tourism was now an economic force to be reckoned with. The Cranbrook Tourist Park was born and it set the mark for many others which followed.

The Florence Nightingales of the Columbia Basin

An investigation into early medical services in the Columbia Basin, and in particular the St. Eugene Hospital. This is a diverse site that looks at the Saint Eugene Mission and the role of the Catholic Fathers and Sisters, the development of the St. Eugene Hospital, particular doctors, and primarily, the institution and traditions of the St. Eugene School of Nursing.

The Great Cranbrook Elephant Hunt

In August of 1926 Cranbrookians were given the pleasure of looking out their window and catching a glimpse of an elephant moseying on through their back yard. The hunt that followed the Elephant stampede lasted until September when Charlie Ed, the last remaining of the rouge elephants, was finally captured. He was led down Baker Street and was renamed Cranbrook Ed.

Cranbrook's Wandering War Memorial

A look at the impact of WWI on the Cranbrook region, and what returning soldiers did to advance their own causes. We present images of Cranbrook's involvement in WWI perhaps not seen before, and examines the Great War Veterans' Association, the organization that was the forerunner of the Cranbrook Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.


Investigating Castlegar's history is analogous to wrestling with a very large octopus. There is no definitive site or date that immediately proposes itself. It means that we have the opportunity to pull together a number of vanished or amalgamated communities into one fascinating exploration - Sproat's landing, Waterloo, Westley, Robson, West Robson, Brooklyn - the list of communities goes on and on. Please take advantage and move from the Castlegar Album deeper into the history of the Castlegar area contained within the Image Bank. Enjoy the rich diversity!


First a summer location used by the Ktunaxa Nation and known as Akisq'aq'li'it, Cranbrook became a stop on Joseph's Prairie in 1864 for miners traveling to the Wild Horse Creek gold claims. First pre-empted by John Galbraith and then purchased from him in 1885 by James Baker, the site eventually became known as Cranbrook which was the name of Baker's birth place in England. Deeding half of the townsite to the Canadian Pacific Railway, Baker secured the divisional headquarters of the CPR and the new Crownsnest line built through Cranbrook in 1898. Enjoy the album and the vast array of Cranbrook images, stories and memories in our collection.


Kimberley has always been an outdoors town, with skiing, ski jumping, mountain climbing and other outdoor pursuits providing the release from the trials and stress of the mine. And the town has experienced the tribulations that form a strong community. Use the Kimberley Community Album as a starting point to explore the vast holding of Kimberley photographs in the Columbia Basin Image Bank.


Valemount is a mountain community laying in the shadow of three major ranges - the Monashees to the south, the Cariboos to the west and the magnificent Rockies laying to the north and east. Mount Robson figures prominently in the photo collection of the Valemount Museum. Use this Album to explore the rich history of the northernmost community in the Columbia Basin.