By Cathy English, Revelstoke Museum and Archives
On September 20, 1919, His Royal Highness, Edward, Prince of Wales, unveiled a plaque on Mount Revelstoke National Park dedicating the park, “for the benefit, advantage, and enjoyment of the people of Canada.” Precisely 100 years later, Revelstoke Museum & Archives, in partnership with Parks Canada, has created a new exhibition to celebrate the park and the strong connection with the community.
“A Mountain on Our Doorstep” looks at the early residents who explored the beautiful alpine environment at the summit of the mountain, and their determination to have it declared a national park to preserve this unique landscape for future generations.
The exhibition includes the story of Eva Hobbs Parker, after whom Eva Lake is named. She recounts being the first recorded person to reach the lake and her excitement at having the lake named after her, stating, “I’d rather have that than a tombstone in a cemetery.” The photographs of Emma Roberts are featured in several of the panels, and in a photograph album, along with a cut-out of Roberts herself. She and her daughters spent hours on the mountain in the 1910s and 1920s and she recorded their treks with her camera.
Sophie Atkinson, an internationally known painter, was on a trip to Canada in the late 1940s and fell in love with Revelstoke, particularly Mount Revelstoke National Park. She lived in Revelstoke for many years, and started the Revelstoke Art Group. Her sketchbook, portable painting stool, and other painting implements are included in the exhibition.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is unique due to the easy accessibility to the summit via the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. Construction of the original road began in 1912, and was completed in 1927. It was known as the Royal Road due to the fact that several members of the Royal Family visited and planted commemorative posts during the construction.
Another feature of the exhibition is the story of Heather Lodge. The chalet was built by Craig Rutherford in 1939 and served as a winter haven for back-country skiers, and a lovely tea house and guest house in the summer. It lives on in the memories of those who stayed there.
“A Mountain on Our Doorstep” will open to the public with a ceremony (and cake!) at the museum on Friday, Sept, 20, 2019 at 3 p.m.