DVDs Available

Our Coloured Past DVD is 84 minutes long and has the best coloured photos and slides of our collection. These are from 1940 up to 1985 and are from Trout Lake to Renata, Fauquier to Ferguson, and everywhere in between. The Arrow Lakes underwent a multitude of changes between those years which are shown in the photos on this DVD. There are sternwheelers, silver mines, July 1st parades, pre-Keenleyside Dam landscapes or bears being hand-fed from the bow of a tugboat. This presentation captures pivotal moments and scenes throughout the Arrow Lakes region. $15 + $2 shipping & handling


The Ichi100 DVD is 60 minutes long and is a celebration of the photographs and films of Ichiro Shiino on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Originally from Cumberland, Vancouver Island, Ichiro Shiino (1915-1999) arrived in the West Kootenay as a Japanese-Canadian internee. Though arriving under the bleakest of circumstances, ‘Ichi’ persevered to become a beloved member of the Arrow Lakes community for over half a century. From his arrival in Nakusp in 1943, Shiino documented the region through films, drawings, and thousands of photographs developed in his private dark room. Many of these photographs were published in local newspapers and magazines. We offer this presentation as a tribute to his kind, industrious spirit. $15 + $2 shipping & handling


Milton Parent’s taped interviews are being put onto the website and so far 225 interviews have been done. That is about halfway to the completion of the entire collection and which can be listened to now by the public.

Upcoming Slide Shows for 2015

We will be trying to have the shows on the 3rd Friday of the month at the new archives office at the back of the Centennial building at 92 – 6th Ave NW. This is where the Museum and Library are already housed. The Paddlewheel Tourist Booth is next door.


Admission is by donation and there will be coffee tea and goodies.



In February on Friday the 20th at 7 p.m. we will be showing an old favourite slide show called Our Coloured Past. We’ve revamped the show for 2015 by adding brand-new images and footage, and have restored many of the older slides as well. This year marks the 75th anniversary of colour photography in Nakusp. This is the only time the show will run in 2015, so don’t miss out!

History Comes Alive Montage

In March on Friday the 20th at 7 p.m. we will be showing History Comes Alive which has only been shown once before. This show was standing room only the first time we showed it, so make sure to come early.

Shiino Montage

In April on Friday the 17th at 7 p.m. we will be showing ICHI100, a series of photographs and movies that were taken starting in the 1940s when Ichiro Shiino came to Nakusp. For over half-a-century, Ichi documented the lifestyle of the Arrow Lakes with his photographs and movies. He took photos of many occasions such as July 1st celebrations and graduations, as well as landscapes and industrial imagery. His movies are unique in that they depict the last run of the Minto and the tugboat industry that occurred up until 1968 to name a few. Ichi would have been 100 years old in June and this is a tribute to him.

2015 Newsletter

2015 Newsletter


written by David Coleman

We wish to extend to all a late but happy and good New Year!

1. Requests from far and wide for assistance continues and we are happy to be able to help – over 600 from as far away as England and the U.S.   Many have come from emails from people who have looked at our website.  If you have not looked at our upgraded site for a while, check it out- www.

2. Grants:  We are very grateful for the Grants we received in 2014.  These are much needed for equipment for our new building and for Kyle’s wages.  Grants included B.C. Gaming ($6000); Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance – CKCA ($4000) to digitize photosWe have over 15,000 photos digitized so far and we are finally using up the CKCA 2009 grant of $20,000 for furniture and equipment; NACFOR ($6,000) and Nakusp Foundation ($500) for our entrance sidewalkWe thank Rosemarie and staff for all the hard work they have done to prepare and follow up the applications for these grants.  We also wish to thank all of the volunteers who have contributed over a total of 2000 hours to our Society this year!

3. Highlights & Events in 2014:

  • Our Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting for our new building was held on April 5th with over 80 people attending.  A surprise and much needed cheque for $9000 was presented to Rosemarie by Paul Peterson from the RDCK.  We thank all those who helped with the heavy move of maps, file cabinets, books, binders and furniture, from our old offices to our new building in February.
  • Our AGM was held in April at our new building.  Bruce Rohn’s photos were a big success as was Greg Nesteroff’s post card collection.
  • We hosted the AGM for the Heritage Foundation of South East B.C. at our new building in September.
  • Our field trip this year was to Birds Landing and Old Arrow Park.  Members and guests toured the sites of these pioneer communities in September and enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Old Arrow Park Memorial Grounds.  Booklets showing maps and notes about these places were prepared by Ollie Roberts, Kyle and David and were given to participants.
  • Kyle prepared and presented many Slide Shows on the history of Nakusp and the Arrow Lakes.  Presentations were given at the Archives, the Seniors Centre and Selkirk College.  The shows are for education and are also used to raise funds for the Society.
  • Ken Williams and Kyle presented a slide show on the 100th Anniversary of WW1 held at the Archives and a slide show on the 70th Anniversary of D Day at the Legion.
  • A DVD on the MINTO, done by Milton, is now available.  The 10 minute video can be purchased for $5.
  • An 80 inch TV and sound system was purchased and installed for our slide shows. 
  • Our members volunteered at many fundraising and promotional events for the ALHS including Meat Draws at the Legion, Bingo and Silent Auction, PALS “Creative Hands” Craft Fair, the sale of used books, and slide shows.

4. Upcoming Events and Activities for 2015:

  • A Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the ALHS will be held on Saturday, January 24 from 1:00 to 5:00 at the new Archives.  The actual date of our Anniversary was in December, 2014 but it was too busy a time of year to hold the celebration then.  We hope all members and many others from the community can attend.
  • Our AGM will be held on Friday, April 10 from 1-5 p.m.  We encourage all to come and bring friends if you wish.  The BC Gaming Grant requires that we send in the AGM minutes and want to see a good attendance of members at the meeting.  We are hoping Hal Wright from Sandon will speak about Sandon’s history.  It is possible that our field trip for 2016 will be to Sandon.
  • A new book on the MINTO is being written by Bruce Rohn and we hope it will be published next year.
  • Our field trip for 2015 will be to the old Fauquier and Needles area on September 19th.  Peggy is preparing maps for the tour and Bruce and David are adding information about these communities.
  • Digitizing Photos:  Kyle will be helping four of our members who are interested in learning how to do work with photos.  He is continuing to work on thousands of photos by Milton and those donated by several families.
  • Landscaping of our entrance with a garden of plants and bushes is planned for the Spring.
  • The BC History magazine will have a feature article about our Society in the Spring edition.
  • Slide Shows:  Kyle will be doing more of these in the upcoming year.

Hopefully, you will continue to support our society by keeping up your membership with us.

Memberships are $5 per year,   Life Memberships are $50

Meetings are held at our office during the day – the 3rd Thursday of the month at 3 p.m.  We don’t meet during the summer or at Christmas but we do have a Christmas party mid-December for members and guests.  New members are always welcome.

Our office hours are yearlong – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-3, except for 2 weeks during Christmas.  We hope that you will visit our office and see what we have and what we have accomplished.  Also if you have any archive items or information that you would like to donate, we would appreciate receiving them.

Mailing address:   Box 819, Nakusp BC   V0G1R0

Phone/Fax:   250-265-0110      Alternate Phone:   250-265-3323

Email address:  [email protected]      Alternate Email[email protected]


Our location is the new annex to the Nakusp Library and Museum.  Our offices are on the second floor.  The building is wheelchair accessible and an elevator is available.  Our parking lot and entrance are behind the Post Office.  Come and visit us!

2015 Heritage Week

Heritage Week – February 16 – February 22, 2015  by Rosemarie Parent

The Arrow Lakes Historical Society just celebrated their 30th anniversary from when they obtained their Society registration on the 4th of December 1984. Their first year, they completely overhauled the museum which was started in 1968 by the Kinettes of the Kinsmen Club. When the Kinettes had to move on to other projects, Harry Murphy and Bert Gardner tried to keep the museum open in the summers. They asked for assistance and a few meetings later, the Society was formed and work was started – cleaning, making new display areas, painting the cement floors, repairing the showcases and to get it ready to reopen in the summer of 1985. To do this work, we contacted Denis Stanley of the Arrow Lakes News to print several small books to cover the costs – the Pioneer Cook Book, Christmas Stories, a poem book, the Arrow Lakes Indians booklet and a reprinting of the PTA cook book that was printed in 1949 as a fund raiser to build the elementary school.

In 1989, through the help of a Federal grant they printed their first book of the Centennial Series called Faces of the Past. We had archive material brought to the Society from Milton Parent’s hobby of taping pioneers and copying their priceless pictures with names and occasions already given. This made the writing of this book much easier because we already had the information needed. This won them their first Award for Historical Writing from the BC Historical Federation. As they sold their books, they saved the funds from book sales to produce six more books. Port of Nakusp, Silent Shores and Sunken Ships, Circle of Silver, and Bugles on Broadway completed the five books of the Series. Milton Parent won the coveted Lieutenant Governors’ award for Historical Writing for the book Circle of Silver in 2001. He then wrote Halcyon: a Captain’s Paradise and Caulkboot Riverdance. We have had to reprint four of these volumes and we do have them all in stock.

When a space for rent became available in the Hydro office, the Historical Society and the Museum decided to separate. There had never been any room in the Museum for the archival material that we were accumulating and which was stored and worked on in the basements of members. We moved into the new office at the Hydro office in 1999. After fifteen years of being at this office, we wondered how long we would be allowed to stay there and also what would happen if the valuable items we had were put into storage. Photos, negatives, and paper items would soon deteriorate. Milton decided to ask the Village of Nakusp if we could build an addition onto the Centennial Building that already housed the Museum and Library. The Village agreed to the construction and after several years we managed to build a spacious office for all of our material.

On the 5th of April we opened our new office to the public and we were thrilled to be able to have more room to do our work and to hold meetings in.  Through another grant (Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance), we managed to obtain funding to buy the desks, tables, chairs, an 80” TV set with complete sound system so that we could show our slide shows to the public. We hope to show these to school students in Nakusp as well.

With the sudden passing of author/historian Milton Parent in 2012, we had to find someone with expertise to digitize the over 10,000 photos that Milton had accumulated while taping interviews from 1972 on. Most of these early pioneers are gone but the photos are named and therefore very valuable. Kyle Kusch has been working with us and is very able to do the work on the photos. So far over 15,000 photos have been digitized, named and are available for the slide shows that we have been putting on. Even though these photos have been used in the books that we published and used in newspaper articles, the photos were not given to the society until last year as part of Milton’s estate.

A book on the SS Minto is being prepared now and we hope that it will be ready to publish next year.  We will be doing more family tree work as well; especially of the pioneer families. We managed to complete taking photos of the houses on the avenues and finding the information of when they were built and by whom, and hope to do the same on the streets of the town this coming year.

Nakusp Featured in British Columbia Magazine

Be sure to check out the Fall 2014 edition of British Columbia Magazine, which has a wonderful feature on Nakusp. Our own Rosemarie Parent was interviewed for the article, which you can read on the BCM website here.