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Life in the West Kootenay/Boundary Region


The evolution of a festival


Living history plays out in Nakusp


Take a wander and taste the bounty offered

A Dam good thing

Waneta Dam expansion complete

Enjoy fun in the sun at the Castlegar Millennium Park Natural Swimming Ponds located at 101 5th Street and while downtown be sure to tour the award winning Castlegar Sculpture Walk.

Travel Travel NELSON KOOTENAY LAKE NELSON KOOTENAY LAKE feels els le incfereddiibble incre



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contents Back in Time by Katrine Campbell The middle ages playing out in living history in Nakusp, page 5

Play Ball by Craig Lindsay The Grand Forks International baseball tournament and how it all began, page 7

Dam Expansion Complete by Liz Bevan The Waneta Dam expansion project completed on budget and on time, page 10

Evolution of Fat Tire by Tamara Hynd

The history behind the race, page 12

Hunter-Kendrick by Greg Nesteroff

West Kootenay/Boundary’s homegrown department store chain, page 15

Publisher Karen Bennett EDITOR Jennifer Cowan Production Sandy Leonard

ROUTE 3 is published by Black Press 514 Hall St, Nelson, BC V1L 1Z2 250-352-1890 Printed in Canada. Copyright 2015 by Black Press. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph, or artwork without written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher can assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. Cover photo: Trail Times

The Magic of Markets by Betsy Kline

Discover the best home grown garden market produce in the Kootenay/Boundary, page 18

Bicycles Built for You by Joan Thompson A uniqe foldable bicycle you can take anywhere, page 22

Living in the Kootenays, life is pretty fine. Let us improve your financial life, too. Join us and put your money to work for you and your community. It’s better here.

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Summer 2015 ROUTE 3

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Back in Time The Middle Ages as they ought to have been story by

Katrine Campbell The longing for a simpler way of life has been part of human nature for centuries. Even the ancient Greeks looked back to a “golden age” when people lived together in harmony with nature. The Victorian-era English had their pastoral fantasies, young aristocrats dressing up as shepherds and shepherdesses, and frolicking in meadows. The back-to-the-land movement of the 60s and 70s fulfilled this longing, with young people flocking into the countryside to take up farming, eschewing the complications of urban life and embracing a more co-operative and simpler lifestyle. Also in the 60s, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) arose. It started as a graduation party for a medieval studies student with guests in costume participating in a grand tournament and then parading down the street singing Greensleeves. They called it a protest against the 20th century. Now, the SCA is an international living history group, which studies and recreates life in medieval Europe. Although they try to maintain authenticity as much as possible, their unofficial motto is “The Middle Ages as they ought to have been,” and all members are of the nobility. However, they research and make their own clothing, armour, food and accessories. This year, two medieval festivals have independently sprung up in the Kootenays. The first to be held will be in downtown Kimberley July 11 and 12, featuring a Viking re-creation group from Calgary, the Sons of Fenrir. The bigger event, Nakusp Medieval Days, takes place August 1 and 2 on an 80-acre farm outside of Nakusp. The organizer, the Nakusp Medieval Society, has partnered with the SCA to host the annual At War

Between the Kingdom of Avacal and the Principality of Tir Righ. Tir Righ is the BC branch, composed of 14 sub-branches throughout the province and one from northern Washington state. Avacal covers Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of eastern BC. The SCA will be camping on the site, and wandering around town in costume, for a week prior to the public event. During that week, they live the medieval life, camping, cooking, creating and battling. There is no public access — this is their time to enjoy and celebrate their chosen culture. Nakusp Medieval Days (NMD), is a family-friendly event. Children and teens are welcome. Visitors can come for the weekend or just for the day. There is public camping on-site, separate from the SCA encampment. The gates open at 10 a.m on August 1. Get into the spirit by dressing up in Middle Ages garb. It’s not mandatory, but it will certainly add to the experience, and remember, medieval is not the same as fantasy — try to keep it real. After parking on-site, guests walk through the gates into a medieval village. In the market, they can shop for historically accurate wares and period food and drink. SCA artisans will portray life with hands-on demonstrations of their crafts, creating beautiful and useful items from the Middle Ages. Although the list of craftspeople is still being compiled, visitors can look forward to displays and demonstrations of fibre arts, needlework, calligraphy, cooking and baking, leatherwork, pewterwork, blacksmithing, bronzework, instrument making and more. ➤

Demonstrations of medieval crafts in the artisan village and armed combat at the June Faire in Washington state. Photos by Daniel Abraham

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Many of the demonstrators are also merchants, so you can take home a piece that catches your eye. Watch an artisan make leather shoes, learn how a cooper crafts buckets and barrels, or discover how parchment was made in the days before paper was common. For musicians, an instrument-maker will show his craft with lyres, harps and pipes; watch them being made and played and perhaps purchase one for yourself. Not all the merchants are from the SCA. The society has encouraged local crafters and food sellers to participate so you can enjoy your purchases, snacks and meals knowing you are truly buying local product, grown or hand made with care. As you are shopping, eating or drinking, wandering musicians and bards will perform and a fashion show is planned. Just remember, though, not all the merchants will be able to accept plastic, so bring some cash. There will be an ATM at the gate. Look for the large tent beyond the village — a tavern offering beer, cider and shade. Purchase a tankard from one of the vendors and hoist a salute to the combatants — archers to the north and the war field to the west. The main Avacal, Tir Righ War takes place on this public weekend. You will hear the clash of arms as you approach the war field, knights in full armour battling each other with swords to determine who takes ownership of the King’s Land. (No blood — the armour is real, the swords are rattan.) Watch a competition at the archery range, or at the thrown weapons field. And if watching a battle makes you itch to get involved — you can! Visitors will be invited to don a helm and swing a sword at a practice

pole, or to shoot three arrows at a separate demonstration range, or to try their hand at thrown weapons like knives, spears and axes. Despite the warriors in the background, this will be a peaceful event, and to ensure the peace is kept, a local equestrian club will provide security on horseback. A few things for visitors to keep in mind: This is an open tussocky field, not a groomed park. Sturdy sandals should be fine, but flip-flops are not a great idea. Shade yourself from the August sun — they wore big straw hats in the olden days, and you will fit right in. Electronic devices aren’t banned, but except for cameras, you are encouraged to switch them off and put them away. You are somewhere between 600 and 1600 CE — why do you need to talk to someone in the 21st century? Embrace the ambience! For more information, visit the website:, email, or on Facebook: Nakusp Medieval Days. The phone number is 250-265-3209.

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Left to right: Brent Lillibridge celebrates scoring a homerun with the Seattle Studs at the 2003 GFI. Lillibridge was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. Lillibridge played for six teams in the majors over a six-year career including stints in New York with the Yankees and Boston with Red Sox. Lillibridge is one of 37 GFI alumni to play in the big leagues. Photo submitted by Gerry Foster

Rob Morrison of the Kamloops Sun Devils tries to tag Aaron Stroomsa of the North Sound Emeralds at first base during early action at last year’s GFI. Photo by Craig Lindsay

Play Ball When it comes to quality baseball action, the Grand Forks International (GFI) baseball tournament always hits a home run. Whether it’s catching a glimpse of future professional stars, having a tasty ball field hot dog, or cheering your favourite team to victory—there’s plenty to do at the ball field. This year’s GFI, the 34th one in the past 40 years, has another strong roster of teams with the Seattle Studs, Everett Merchants, West Coast Guns and the defending champion Burnaby Bulldogs ranking among the favourites. The Trail Orioles are back as are the hometown Grand Forks Blues. In all, there are 12 teams battling it out over six days (June 30 to July 5) for a total of $54,000 in total prize money. Brian McAndrew, GFI board chair and this year’s tournament coordinator, said last year’s tournament had some of the best baseball yet including an exciting come-from-behind rally in the ninth inning in the final game to give the Burnaby Bulldogs the title. “We will be seeing the Bulldogs return to defend their title as the second Canadian team in 32 tournaments to win the title,” said McAndrew. “We have a great line-up of challengers for Burnaby this year and we expect to see some outstanding ball play.” After taking a year off in 2013 for a number of reasons including the cancellation of a couple of teams to attend the Canadian National Championships, the GFI returned last year with a new date. The switch from late fall to the end of June/start of July has been seen as a positive switch but one that will take some time to get

The Grand Forks International — how it all began story by

Craig Lindsay

used to. “The change of dates to the start of the summer, which was done in an attempt to remedy those challenges has been a big adjustment to the fans as well as the committee and volunteers but there wasn’t much choice,” said McAndrew. “We’re confident that it was the best decision for the tournament. It’s a great way to kick off the summer with the richest invitational baseball tournament in North America.” There’s no shortage of history at the GFI, which has been a staple in Grand Forks since 1975. The tournament can trace its roots back to 1968 when Larry Seminoff and other local baseball enthusiasts held the first annual International Labour Day tournament at James Donaldson Park. The tournament grew from there and began to draw more and more attention. In 1975, the Grand Forks International Baseball tournament, as it continues to be known as, was born and Grand Forks became home to what is recognized by many as one of the best tournaments of its kind in North America. “Gerry Foster, local sports historian and former six-time GFI coordinator, said the event has become so big because of the caliber of play, the outstanding facility and atmosphere at James Donaldson Park, and of course, the prize money. “It’s one of the great amateur stories,” said Foster. “For a community this size to be able to pull it off — it’s amazing. I’ll always have tremendous adoration for Larry Seminoff. It was his dream. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have this thing. I still say that.” ➤

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Sports Over the years, the GFI’s roster of teams expanded to include some of the top teams in North America such as Seattle Studs, San Diego Stars and Lewiston Truckers. The tournament went to 12 teams in 1984 and became truly international a couple of years later when Japan joined the field in 1988 followed by Taiwan a year later. Foster said the Asian teams were very popular with fans. “People loved watching the Asian teams play,” said Foster. “They played the game with such enthusiasm that it was electrifying. Fundamentally, they were very sound re: their baseball skills. They were crowd favourites for sure.” The Grand Forks International has seen some of the top young players in the world play over the years. In fact, 37 GFI players have gone on to Major League Baseball (MLB). Some of the top players include two-time Cy Young award winner and current San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum, who laced up the boots in 2004 with the Seattle Studs. This year, Lincecum has a record of five wins and four losses with an ERA of 3.00 including 45 strike-outs for the Giants. Former Boston Red Sox ace Josh Beckett, the 2003 MLB most valuable player (MVP), played at the GFI in 1997 with the Houston Astros. Beckett retired from the majors last year after a 14-year career that included two World Series championships. Trail’s Jason Bay, the most famous Kootenay ball player of all time, played in the GFI with his hometown Trail Orioles. Bay won the National League’s 2004 rookie of the year award with the Pittsburgh

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Pirates. Bay also retired in 2014 after a storied career in the majors. Another famous B.C. slugger, Larry Walker from Maple Ridge, played in the GFI in 1984 with Team B.C. Walker in the all-time home run leader among Canadians with 383. Walker won National League batting titles win 1998 (.361), 1999 (.371) and 2001 (.350). He was also the National League home run leader in 1997 with 49. Walker was named the National League’s MVP that year as well. Walker retired in 2005 following the National League Championship with the St. Louis Cardinals. “Larry Walker was a great story in that he had earlier that summer played in a national event and he did not play that well,” recalled Foster. “This team from the Lower Mainland that was coming to Grand Forks asked Walker if he would like to come. He agreed and had an impressive performance. After his last game, a scout from the Montreal Expos signed him to a contract right there at James Donaldson Park.” McAndrew said the GFI really brings the community together through not only people watching the games, but also the over 300 volunteers that are needed to make it run. “Even if you don’t like baseball and you never watch it you will enjoy yourself,” he said. “Our tagline is ‘Catch the Spirit.’ With a live game there is a feeling, an atmosphere.” As for the army of volunteers, McAndrew said it’s an incredible amount of people for a town of around 4,000 people. “It’s just amazing,” he added. “It’s a real community event.”

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Dam Expansion Complete story by

Liz Bevan

Top: Marc Gagnon, Project Manager at Voith Hydro, stands inside a piece of the newly completed Waneta Dam power house. Inset: Early stages of the project, large amounts of rock and rubble had to be excavated, blasted and removed to make way for the second powerhouse. A worker hangs in the air along a rockface during the early stages of the powerhouse construction. The project took 1,400 workers, 75 per cent of whom are from the local area, four-and-a-half years to complete the project.

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After $900 million dollars and three million man hours, the second powerhouse at the Waneta Dam is switched on and making money. And now that construction is over, management is reflecting on the journey to the finish line. Wally Penner, Regional Project Manager with contractor SNC Lavalin, says looking back on the four-and-a-half years it took to complete the new powerhouse, he doesn’t think it could have gone any better. “We had an excellent team and we had a lot of experience on the team,” he said, adding the goal from the very beginning was to do their best. “We went in with the idea to build a quality project, a project that was safe for workers, and also for the surrounding infrastructure and the environment.” The completed powerhouse is situated near the already existing dam, the Waneta Bridge and endangered species like the white sturgeon. Despite nearly 1,000 blasts, both above and below the water, Penner credits detailed planning and teamwork for the minimal impact.

“You design the blast, and double check everything,” he said. “We didn’t kill any sturgeon, and we didn’t damage the existing dam and intake. The Waneta Bridge is the oldest bridge still in operation in British Columbia, and we were blasting pretty near that. We set up all over the dam and the bridge to monitor vibrations. We didn’t exceed any of the limits set.” Tradespeople, engineers and other workers were also safe onsite, and Audrey Repin, Director of Stakeholder and External Relation with the Columbia Power Corporation, one of the owners of the new powerhouse, says there were only two minor losttime injuries from beginning to end. “You are always going to have little challenges, but we made sure everyone was safe on the project,” she said. “The little injuries that do happen are expected and normal.” Not only were the workers safe, most were able to go home every night. One main management goal was to hire three-quarters of the workforce on the project from within a 100-kilometre radius. Women, visible minorities, disabled and aboriginal people were also a fixture at the worksite, reaching the original goal of making up 15 per cent of workers. ➤


Waneta Dam facts Now that everything is in place, there is a small crew of operators making sure the day-to-day operations go smoothly, but the benefit to the community, is reciprocating the support the surrounding communities shared during construction. “Now, the owners are getting the money, the community is getting their money, the workers, all 1,400 of them had an opportunity to work on the project,” said Repin, adding that she has worked on large scale projects for two decades, and hasn’t seen anything like this one. “This is our third (long-term project) and I can tell you this one was just stellar. Our Community Impact Management Committee met monthly and we stayed on top of everything.” Both the community impact committee and the contractors had to rely on crystal clear communication and collaboration, said Repin. From a large-scale operation, to fine tuning the smaller pieces allowed the completion on construction six weeks early. “To have a project like this finish ahead of schedule is just unheard of,” she said. “I credit it to the excellent management, phenomenally skilled workers, organizational ability and extensive experience in this industry. Between the heavy jobs — blasting and excavation — to the fine tuning of electromechanical aspects, one millimeter of difference as the turbine is spinning — it was planned, anticipated and constantly driven to stay on track.” Now that the project is in the rearview mirror, both Repin and Penner are kind of sad to see it end. “We had our last community impact meeting a couple of weeks ago and you wouldn’t believe the emotion that was there,” said Repin. “Even people who didn’t always get along were sitting around, talking and reminiscing.” Penner and members on his team are close to retirement, and he says there probably won’t be any more chances for him to work on

a project like this. “We wanted to do a postcard project,” he said. “Some of us aren’t going to be doing projects like this one, especially myself. You also get really close with the people that you work with and now everyone is moving on. We were demobilizing the site and you just kind of look at it and you realize that it has been five years. As a contractor, it is something that you had a lot of pride in completing.” The powerhouse was officially turned on and making money on April 2, putting out 335 megawatts of power — enough to provide electricity to 60,000 homes. The power runs from the powerhouse down a transmission line to B.C. Hydro’s Selkirk substation where it gets distributed to the grid. The finished project is 51 per cent owned by Fortis, and 49 per cent owned by Columbia Power and the Columbia Basin Trust.

• 4.5 years – the length of the project • 60,000 – the number of homes the new generator can power • 75 per cent – the amount of local workers employed on the site • $900 million – the cost of the project • 400 – the number of people employed on site at any given time • 875 – the number of blasts needed to build the expansion • 335 – megawatts added to the province’s power grid • 5 per cent – the number of aboriginal workers • 10 per cent – the number of workers who identify as female, a visible minority or disabled • $300 million – amount of money pumped into the local economy in wages, services and goods • 3 million – the man hours put into the project Above photo: Wally Penner with SNC Lavalin and Audrey Repin from Columbia Power pose with the construction site at the Waneta Dam’s now power house. The powerhouse involved 875 blasts, hauling rock away.

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The festival is growing with the younger crowd. With upwards of 150 children registered in 2014, festival organizers are working to expand the kids race routes this year. Back in 1996, Ross McNamara (owner of Gerick Cycle and Ski) helped organize the first Nelson Fat Tire Festival. Submitted photos

Evolution of Fat Tire Two decades of mountain biking


Tamara Hynd How do you celebrate something you love? Hold a festival! That was the idea and vision of avid mountain biker Cam Alexander who lived and worked in Nelson as a bike mechanic. When he died suddenly in a mountain biking accident in 1996, his friends found a way to celebrate the man they loved and missed so dearly by holding the first Nelson Fat Tire Festival. Twenty years later, the twoday cycling shenanigans have geared up into a full three days of fun where bicycle lovers get to submerse themselves in their passion of everything bicycle. Cam Alexander: The man Alexander, originally from Vancouver Island, made his way to Nelson for a new adventure and a job running the service department at Gerick Cycle in 1995. Owner Ross McNamara remembers hiring the energetic man. “Amazing athletic guy,” says McNamara. “He was a larger-than-life character who attracted people to him and wanted to give back to the cycling community for all that it had given to him. He was not only an employee here at Gerick’s, but he was my very dear friend.” Another friend, Kenneth Craig described him as a “very fit, very fast rider who loved to spend his wages on McMahon titanium bikes.” Alexander and best friend James Wilson “loved to ride trails that very few people had ever contemplated doing on bicycles,” Craig says. “They were pushing high into the alpine and waited for the snows to recede so they could ride right up to the edges of the

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glaciers. “This inspired a whole crew of younger riders to start to modify their bikes and equipment to help them execute epic rides which were generally at least eight hours long, over 5,000 or even 6,000 feet above sea level and sometimes involved an accidental border crossing or two.” According to Craig, manufacturers and distributors used their feedback to design bikes and parts capable of withstanding the abuse that riders like Alexander and Craig could dish out. “In a small way, we helped to shape the sport into what it is today,” wrote Craig. Alexander also loved cooking, fine food, fine wine and dark beer. “His booming laugh made us all smile, even when he had flown 40 feet off the trail into the bush and was hanging upside down in a tangle of logs and ferns,” wrote Craig. “All the guys wanted to be like him, and all the girls wanted to be with him.” The fateful day On Father’s Day, June 16, 1996, Alexander and a group of close friends embarked on a truly epic ride: the Earl Grey Pass trail. The 61 km, five-day hiking trail has multiple cable car crossings. It begins north of Argenta and ends up on the east side of the Purcells. Alexander had forgotten his bike bag, with his clipless pedals and helmet. “He was using toe straps and hiking boots without a helmet and of course being Cam, he was out front leading the pack,” recalled McNamara. “Hamill Creek was raging at the time and there was a bit of a wash out.” ➤

The Mountain Alexander fell into the canyon of whitewater and a desperate search proved fruitless. Friends suspect he hit his head and was caught under debris. His body was found a month later in Kootenay Lake. A festival is born The first Fat Tire festival was held that summer. While the rest of the world watched mountain biking in the summer Olympics for the first time, the two-day festival saw naked wheelie competitors and lingerie-clad lady riders with actual maxi pad protection stuck on their shins and forearms. The two main culprits were McNamara and Bjorn Enga, along with help from Ann Bokser-Wishlow (nee Fletcher). It was designed to celebrate all the disciplines Alexander loved: fast, timed road racing, gruelling cross-country, high-speed and high-danger downhill and tricks and stunts for the crowds. “It was pretty wild back in the day,” McNamara says of the inaugural year. “We had a massive party the night before and live music.” The cross country race used to be a “bonkers trail” as downhill wasn’t much of a thing back then. While McNamara describes it as a fairly tame two loop race, the aptly named Insane race was five laps with a very steep descent. “There was always a bit of carnage after and during this,” he says. In honour of its namesake, the Cam Slam event was a tough loop with a big jump at the bottom. “All-in-all it was a crazy fun, out-there event,” laughed McNamara.

Fast forward two decades Twenty years later, the festival has grown into a three-day bicycle bonanza thanks to Nelson Cycling Club organizer Jessica DeMars and a mass of volunteers. As mountain biking has evolved, so has the festival. Gone are the days of bar ends and foam helmets. All those crazy cross country riding stunts actually perpetuated the last decade’s obsession with downhill biking, something the general public views as sheer madness. New this year will be an open jam on Aug. 20 at the Rosemont bike park. There will be bike camps for women and kids for the first time and weekend wristbands to access all events. This is in addition to all the classic favourites. Friday night’s Bike Fest brings out the spectators for the bike parade, and seriously fun competitions for the last wheelie standing and the Kootenay Krawl. Saturday is Kootenay Casino Day where you can try a hand at friendly group ride, a poker ride, or join the Black Jack downhill with shuttles from downtown Nelson. All this is followed by the apres Roots, Rocks and Rhythm party. But the highlight is the Morning Mountain Madness on Sunday. As a relay where costumes are encouraged, the cross country race has serious elements of fun. Then there are the kids races and epic downhill. The grand finale is the Cam Slam Award, which goes to a rider who shows great spirit and sportsmanship through the weekend. For more information on how join in, check out

It’s a new dawn for Morning Mountain in Blewett. When the old ski lodge burned down in 1999, rather than rebuild, the Nelson Cycling Club proposed turning the ski area into a network of mountain biking trails. In 2004, the club initiated a program to improve trail maintenance and stewardship in the area. With a paid crew who do maintenance throughout the summer and special volunteer trail blitzes, the club is making sure the trails stay fun and fresh. Last year saw the opening of Lefty, a machine-built downhill trail designed by Rick Schneider. With its table top jumps and bermy curves, it has quickly became a new favourite and is now the course for the festival downhill. Add to that the new kids loop and timber framed picnic shelter, and the rec area is more popular than ever. This June, a new trail called Upper Bottoms opened as well, creating a gradual 4.5 km climb, topping out as Giveout forest service road, providing access to existing trails up there. (Total climb from the base of Morning Mountin is 7 km, 1,700 feet.) Since 2003, $150,000 has been invested in Morning Mountain recreation area with contributions from Recreation Sites and Trails BC, the regional district, private contributors and in-kind work. The work continues this summer with enhanced summer picnic area, a station to wash bikes before and after riding to prevent the spread of invasive plant species, and an outdoor skating rink. Above photos: Superheros Lucas Meyers and Dylan Henderson getting serious for the cross country race. Submitted A photo of the man himself, Cam Alexander (right), competing in the 1992 Brodie Test of Metal at Roberts Creek, on the Sunshine Coast BC. Photo by R. Sinclair.

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Photos by David Gluns

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HISTORY Snow drifts nearly obscure Hunter Bros. in this postcard from February 1946. The building is now home to a number of businesses. Greg Nesteroff collection

Hunter-Kendrick: West Kootenay/Boundary’s homegrown department store chain STORY BY

Greg Nesteroff In the first decade of the 20th century, the biggest name in retail in West Kootenay/Boundary was Hunter-Kendrick. With branches in Rossland, Sandon, Greenwood, Phoenix, and Grand Forks (as well as Northport, Wash.), the company had one of the largest mercantile establishments in BC and did a roaring business. The Hunter brothers — James, Robert, Charles, and William — were four of ten siblings from Woodstock, Ont. William established a store in Wheatland, North Dakota in 1883, while James and Robert were in business at Coulee City and Conconully, Wash. before coming to Rossland in 1895, during the early days of the mining boom. Here they teamed up with Albert Tracy Kendrick, who had a dry goods store in Northport, and were briefly known as Hunter Bros., Kendrick & Co. However, the partnership dissolved in 1896, with Kendrick continuing the Northport business and Hunter Bros. their Rossland store. The following year, Kendrick erected a new two-storey store in Northport at the corner of Fourth St. and Columbia Ave. — the city’s first brick building. It boasted hardware, crockery, grocery, clothing, carpet, tin, and shoe departments and was one of the few buildings to survive fires that ravaged the business district in 1898 and 1914. Meanwhile, Hunter Brothers’ store on the south side of Columbia Ave. in Rossland offered mining equipment including powder, candles, and steel, plus stoves, ranges, plumbers’ supplies and steam fittings. An early history of Rossland claimed: “It may be said without disparagement of others that this firm has contributed in a marked degree to every industry and enterprise which has helped to make the prosperity of this city and great mineral district.” What gave Hunter Bros. their competitive advantage isn’t clear, although they appeared well-backed by American investors, and had the example and support of another brother, John Croil Hunter, secretary/treasurer of the Fargo Mercantile Co. Charles Hunter opened a branch of Hunter Bros. in Sandon in

1897 and when the city incorporated early the following year, he was elected to its first council at age 24. (A.T. Kendrick was also an alderman on Northport’s inaugural council of 1898.) Soon after, Bessie Hunter — a sister — came to Sandon to visit Charles but suddenly took ill with spinal meningitis and died. Her body was sent back to Ontario for burial. On Feb. 28, 1899, A.T. Kendrick and the Hunter Bros. joined forces a second time as the Hunter-Kendrick Co. James Hunter served as president, Charles S. Slawson of Northwood, North Dakota (a brother-inlaw to the Hunter brothers) was vice-president, and A.T. Kendrick was secretary and general manager. Robert Hunter, John C. Hunter, and Robert Riddell of Minneapolis rounded out the board of directors. The registered office was at Greenwood, where Hunter-Kendrick opened a new store under the management of A.T. Kendrick at the corner of Copper and Deadwood streets, where the museum parking lot is today. Stores and warehouses also opened in Grand Forks and Phoenix. After the great fire that destroyed Sandon’s business district in May 1900, Hunter-Kendrick spent $5,000 on a new store — the only brick structure in that city. Soon after, Charles Hunter moved to Phoenix to look after the thriving branch there and soon found a much larger location. As the mining boom died down, Hunter-Kendrick acquired the stock of other merchants who went under. James and Robert also acquired a large portion of the Sayward townsite south of Trail in partnership with Charles Slawson which they renamed Columbia Gardens and tried to resell as fruit lands. By 1906, the company’s heyday was already ending as N.L. McInnes of Nelson acquired the Grand Forks branch (McLeod and Hodgson Co. in turn took over in 1917) and in 1910, what was characterized as “the most important mercantile sea in the history of the Boundary country” occurred when Morrin-Thompson Co. bought Hunter-Kendrick’s business in Phoenix, a consolidation said to be worth about $250,000. ➤ 17

Summer 2015 ROUTE 3

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Left photo: The Sandon museum, the only brick building the city ever had, is the former Hunter-Kendrick store, built in 1900. Right photo: The former A.T. Kendrick store in Northport was built in 1897.

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Later that year, Hunter-Kendrick opened a hardware store in Merritt and disposed of its interests in Greenwood. (What became of the Sandon branch is unclear; the building sold at a tax sale in 1914 and subsequently became the Slocan Mercantile Co., operated by Neil Tattrie and James Greer.) Hunter Bros. lived on in Rossland, however. In 1908, they moved to the northwest corner of Columbia Ave. and Washington St. and remained there until Eaton’s bought the business in 1953. The building has since been home to Super-Valu, Ferraro Foods, and Rossland Hardware, and is now home to several different businesses. William and Charles Hunter became president and vice-president respectively of Empress Manufacturing Co. of Vancouver. William died in 1915, age 54, while Charles died in 1948, age 75, and Robert died in 1945, age 73. James was the lone brother to remain in West Kootenay; he was head of the Trail Mercantile Co. and died in Spokane in 1934 at age 71. In 1901, A.T. Kendrick moved from Greenwood to Ritzville, Wash. where he opened another department store and also worked as a bank cashier. In 1919, he was killed in a farming accident north of Grangeville, Idaho after losing control of the team of horses he was driving and being thrown from his wagon. Kendrick was 54. He was survived by a wife and two sons. The store at Northport carried his name until at least 1970, operated by Charlie Slawson and then Ben Hofer, who started there in the warehouse in 1916. The building still stands but its storefront is vacant. Maureen Hern recalled visiting in the 1940s: “They stocked a little of everything from shoes to kerosene and feed for animals. It was a large high-ceilinged brick building that seemed to be always cool inside. A combination of the scent of oiled wood floors, new shoes, smoked bacon and licorice candy lingered in the air.” Hunter-Kendrick Co. officially dissolved on July 19, 1923. Today, the Rossland and Boundary museums both have exhibits dedicated to Hunter-Kendrick, while the Sandon museum is in the former Hunter-Kendrick block.

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The Magic of Markets story by

Betsy Kline The West Kootenay/Boundary has a thriving market scene. Whether its name includes farmer, artisan, craft or local, each market has a magic of its own. Today’s farmers markets offer a lot more than the customary locally grown produce. The selection and variety is ever changing week to week, but one can expect to find beautifully handcrafted products including everything from pottery, paintings, jewelry and textiles to wooden bowls and spoons.  It is a good idea to show up at the market hungry as the amazing food offerings are too tempting to pass up. Gorgeous loaves of freshly baked breads, cinnamon buns and cupcakes are staples at most markets. BBQ grills are frequently fired up, sending tantalizing aromas through the air, often for the purpose of raising money for a good cause. Colourful jars of jams, jellies and salsas stand in tidy rows waiting to be admired and taken home. Ethnic offerings can also be found with Doukhobor specialties in particular, making an appearance at many markets, supplying a good solution for a borscht craving. Many markets, such as Trail’s Market on the Esplanade, are held in picturesque settings adding to the charm of shopping in an open air market. Located along a river walkway, the Trail market offers a wide view up and down the Columbia river. Bald eagles are frequently seen circling above the river looking for an afternoon meal.  Nelson’s Cottonwood Market is held in Cottonwood Falls Park, a beautiful spot featuring natural landscapes as well as a Japanese friendship garden adorned with statues, trees, shrubs and flowers. When your shopping is complete, you can take a short walk to cool off beside the waterfall on Cottonwood Creek that gives the park its name. Nelson is home to a second market that stops traffic, literally. The Wednesday Downtown Local market is held right in the middle of Baker Street, the centre of the city’s shopping and dining district. Castlegar’s Farmers and Craft Market is held on the grounds of the Station Museum, giving shoppers a chance to take in a bit of history along with their veggies. The museum is housed in a one hundred

Page 18 ROUTE 3 Summer 2015

year-old railway station. The first provincial police station and a caboose are also housed on the beautifully landscaped grounds, adding to the atmosphere of the location. You will also find some of Castlegar’s Sculpturewalk sculptures to enjoy as they beckon you to continue walking until you see all of the interesting sculptures downtown Castlegar has to offer. The majestic mountain views from the Rossland Mountain Market complement the historic charm of downtown Rossland. Architecture from another era frames the market that won the 2015 Farmers Market of the Year Award for the small market category. The Grand Forks Farmers Market has an abundance of farming vendors. The area is one of the most agricultural in the region, offering up enough bounty to justify two markets a week. The fertile soil and plenteous sunshine combine to produce delectable fruits, vegetables and meats. “We try to bring in as much agriculture to the market as we can and we enhance on that with artisans. We are also trying to bring in musicians to every market,” said Scott Davis, the Grand Forks Market manager. Grand Forks is not the only market to add music to the line up. Many markets have now become a favourite venue to feature local musicians and street performers. Talented musicians can be found performing everything from folk and country to blues and rock and everything in between. The Trail Market on the Esplanade is even bringing in some bands for their special evening markets.  “What we are trying to do with the evening markets is make them a little more festival-like,” said organizer Andrea Jolly. “The music will be a little different.  We will have bands come in so people can dance.  We will also extend the vendors and have more food so people can come down and have supper.” After spending four years as the Markets and Events Director for the West Kootenay EcoSociety, Jesse Woodward has come to believe people desire a connective experience when they are purchasing food.  “I have been struck by how farmers markets really draw the community together,” he said. “It is one of those unique places where you get a mixing of everyone from the community, all different socioeconomic areas and all different people who like different things. It is a real melting pot. I really appreciate that because there aren’t a lot of those kinds of things any more in our culture.”  The magic of an outdoor market is not just found in the food and products offered, but in the sense of community it provides.  The opportunity to stroll at your leisure, talk to the growers, bakers and artisans, learning about them and their products can be quite satisfying. At the same time, supporting local farmers, entrepreneurs and craftsmen helps build the local economy, thus helping our small communities to thrive.  ➤


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Left to right: Dark Olive Green EVO 3-speed with copper wheels and M-Style handlebars. Named the Copper Eagle. Sunkist Orange Lt folded single speed. black and red EVO 3-speed, named the Manhattan Special by the first owner in Manhattan. Photos by Bill Wilby

Bicycles Built for You  in Grand Forks story by

Joan Thompson

For the last couple of years, I’ve been intrigued by the stylish foldable bikes unfurled in the window of The Pedaller’s Choice on Market Ave. in Grand Forks, pocketing the vow to try one out one day. The opportunity finally arose, and after returning unscathed from a surprisingly effortless “whip around the block,” I was eager to find out more out this fetching new phenomenon — the Strida foldable bike. Bill Wilby, the proprietor, was happy to oblige. Question: Clearly, Bill, you’ve plunged into a particular piece of the foldable bike market; the Strida bike. What is a Strida bike — can you tell us more about its origin, its raison d’etre and how it has developed since its early days?

Page 22 ROUTE 3 Summer 2015

Answer: The Strida bike was launched 28 years ago by a British designer, Mark Sanders, as part of his final thesis for his industrial design project. The name Strida was chosen by a young son of one of the engineers involved in developing the project. It was designed specifically to meet the needs of people who find the standard bike position uncomfortable; the pedal design positions the rider in an upright position and the adjustable back rest provides back support. It was also designed to be extremely easy to handle and fold fast (5 seconds, would you believe?) for those people taking it on/off busses and trains on their daily commute to work. Interestingly, the Strida bike’s first customer was Harrod’s in London. ➤


Owner Bill Wilby with his red and leather Strida EVO folding bike. Photo by Laura Wilby

Question: Harrod’s? That couldn’t have been bad for business! Answer: No, I don’t think it was. And Sanders and his team knew they were on to a good thing, as the design of the first production prototype is still about 70 per cent of the current Strida. Its triangle frame remains a signature component, but two sizes of wheels (16” and 18”) are now available, as is a 3-speed model, and most recently, a full carbon fibre model. The Strida bike has won a number of international design awards, and was chosen with 119 other products to be featured recently in an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York. The exhibition, which ran from December to May, was entitled “Beautiful User,” paying tribute to products that have been custom-built for the human body. Question: Right, I heard you talking about that in your CBC radio interview last September. With that kind of endorsement, it is not difficult to see why the Strida has a devoted following. What else makes it popular? Answer: Well, as mentioned, the beauty of its design and tall triangular frame makes it unique among foldable bikes, allowing the rider to sit in an upright position. It’s UBP combined with high handlebars also ensures that there is no undue weight on the rider’s wrists and arms. Its quick assembly and disassembling appeals to many customers as well. A number of its other features, like being belt driven, having no chain or gears that need adjusting or wheels that need removing with a flat tire, make it incredibly low maintenance as well. That holds huge appeal to a dedicated rider. And one shouldn’t underestimate its performance capability: on a recent 30 km ride on the EVO 3-speed model, I averaged 25 km per hour. Question: I didn’t run into any other Stridas on my sweep through town, but I know the North American market is going to grow exponentially in the next few years as people begin to realize the charm and practicality of these bikes. Who is your main clientele right now? Answer: True, Stridas have been, up to now, more popular in Europe in Asia. You can even

join a Strida club, for instance, in Moscow and Seoul, Korea. Many of my customers in North America, like a graphic designer in San Francisco and a cinematographer in Boston, are drawn to designs that serve a function. And most are mature, urban — I have about 25-30 customers in the state of New York who are looking for a second affordable bike for commuting, to take in the motorhome or sailboat, or to sneak in as a second piece of luggage on a flight (easiest, at this point in time, on an Air Canada flight). A long distance trucker who purchased a Strida bike from me finds it a perfect truck cab accessory, allowing him to easily exercise on his “coffee” breaks. Question: Judging by your enthusiasm for the Strida, I’m going to guess that is a large reason for becoming involved in promoting and selling them. Answer: Yes, and I was looking for something which, after I had sold our photo business, I could do on a part-time basis. I realized, through the on-line camera sales I was starting to do, the efficacy of this form of sales, and that it is something a retailer can do anywhere, at anytime. However, while the bulk of my business is conducted online and at the post office where I am able to ship Strida bikes and parts to customers 98 per cent assembled, I am delighted to also have a storefront as it is so much fun to connect with people all over the world on the sidewalk outside this shop. And I am also filling a need — I am the only Strida dealer in Canada, and in fact, because of my good connection with manufacturer in Taiwan, Ming Cycle Company, and comprehensive inventory, I find that my business overseas — for bikes and parts — keeps growing. I am also beginning to sell bikes on consignment to a few bike shops in Vancouver and Victoria, but ground central remains right here in Grand Forks, B.C. Promising myself that on my next cruise down the Adriatic, I would make sure I had a Strida ready to saddle for those port-o’calls along the way, I slipped away while Bill attended a customer online from Redding, U.K. If you would like more information on the Strida bike, go to, call 250-584-4231 or just drop by and take a classic Strida for a sweet spin around town the next time you’re in Grand Forks. Summer 2015 ROUTE 3

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