Arrow Lakes News History

Written by Rosemarie Parent using archive papers and the Arrow Lakes Historical Society publications.

Arrow Lakes News, Vol. 1, No. 1
Arrow Lakes News, Vol. 1, No. 1

The first edition of the Arrow Lakes News was printed on June 28, 1922, when Frank Rouleau started the paper. The shop was located on the top floor of the Small Hall (where the Liquor Store is today, 2022).

Frank bought the equipment that the Advocate newspaper had used in 1914. The Advocate was started by Thomas Abriel with Robert Barrett as the printer and editor. Unfortunately, the paper only survived about nine months. It was thought that lack of commercial participation was the cause of its demise. However, it did provide some insight into life and times of those early days.

A short time later, the Arrow Lakes News moved to a new location on the upper floor of the Edwards building on Bay St. Tom Roberts was hired to operate the business for Frank Rouleau. However, a fire made necessary another move to the rear of the old bank building on Slocan Ave. (This building was situated below what is now Home Grown Market).

Through the brave efforts of some people, most of the printing equipment was saved. When Lewis Edwards rebuilt his business, he decided to relocate on Broadway. (The Edwards block now houses Home Grown Market, 2022). When the building was completed, the Arrow Lakes News moved into the rear and Dr. McLean used the front for his drugstore.

Lewis set up an office for his notary and land business in the room that had been added to the north side of the building, with an entrance put onto the front to accommodate his customers.

The move by Lewis Edwards to Broadway and the building of the beautiful Masonic Lodge in 1922 saw the emergence of this wide street as the business centre of town. This was in accordance with the original plan of Nakusp.

Old Arrow Lakes News building, 1924
Old Arrow Lakes News building, 1924

The paper then moved to the back of the Arrow Lakes Supply building (where Royal LaPage Selkirk Realty is located now, 2022). Mrs. Ralphia McLean was the editor in 1923.

A.B.S. Stanley bought the paper from Rouleau in 1924, and with his son A.B.S. Stanley Jr., who was just 17-years old at the time, established a family business that was to last 70 years. A.B.S. Stanley Sr. decided to move on a few months later and left the paper in his son’s hands.

Arthur Jr. hired Marjorie White to help with the typesetting and in 1932 they were married. The building with the peak roof that housed the back part of Stanley Printing (now Spiritwood Cards, Baubles & Tunes) was built in 1924 for the Arrow Lakes News. In 1968, Denis Stanley built on the portion later known as Stanley Printing Ltd. This building later became the NACOMO centre and is now home to Art Works from Turtle Island.

New Arrow Lakes News Office - became Stanley Printing office later
New Arrow Lakes News Office – became Stanley Printing office later

In 1970, Denis Stanley ably took over the business when his father, Arthur, retired. Both father and son received many awards and accolades over the years for the quality of the paper they printed. Not everyone always agreed with them, but they printed timely stories and were keen to advance historical events and to help their town in all ways with free advertisements or articles of support.

On December 1, 1994, Denis sold the business to Small Town Press Ltd. The paper retained the name and moved to 88 Broadway Street W to begin work. They then moved next door to Nakusp Agencies for a short time, then across the street to a portion of the building occupied by Nakusp Glass in 2001, then the office formerly occupied by Dr. McNeill (203 Broadway Street W) where they remained for a decade, and finally the former Columbia Cable building (89 1st Avenue NW) in 2014.