(Trail Historical Society photo #1959-600)

(Trail Historical Society photo #1959-600)

Trail Blazers: Iconic image emerges from a muddy road

Photos: Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

One of the most recognizable scenes in the Silver City is the view from Bay Avenue looking toward the smelter.

Of course this image has evolved ever since pioneers landed in the City of Trail 125 years ago to work at the hill, so the idea of looking back at Bay Avenue development presents a compelling mini-series for our Trail Blazers feature.

The Trail Museum and Archives has seven historical photos of the downtown street facing the plant, starting in the 1890s extending right up to the 1970s, excluding the 1900s and 1930s.

“I was thinking for the next several photos it might be interesting to do a series of Bay Avenue through the decades,” explained Jesslyn Jarvis, collections coordinator. “I don’t have a lot of additional information for each photo, I just think it will be interesting to let people see and compare them in a series.”

The first photo (#1959-600) shows a muddy Bay Avenue looking towards the smelter circa 1897.

“Note the smoke stacks,” said Jarvis. “This photo was taken only two years after the smelter was constructed in 1895. By 1897, the town site was cleared, streets were graded and businesses established.”

The image also shows Trail Creek News – the original Trail Times office – which is the first building on the left side of the photo.

The Crown Point Hotel, Trail’s first large hotel, was established in 1895 and can be seen on the right hand side of the image, across the street from the turret of the Arlington Hotel (est. 1896).

By 1899, Trail’s population had grown to 1,500. Then on June 14, 1901, the City of Trail was incorporated.

The second photo (#0501-600) shows Bay Avenue on May 24, 1914.

Note the dirt road and wooden sidewalks; Bay Avenue and Riverside Avenue wouldn’t be paved until 1926. The cost was a whopping $40,000, which, according to an inflation calculator, equals $580,000 today.

The Crown Point Hotel and the Arlington Hotel stand on either side of the street. At this time, Trail had no less than 20 hotels to accommodate the single male, working population.

Also on this Sunday, May 24, 1914, Trail gathered to celebrate Empire Day under a sign that says, “Welcome to our City.” Families came together for children’s games, sports events and to break bread.

(Empire Day, now called Victoria Day, is a holiday in recognition of Queen Victoria’s birthday).

“In a couple months’ time, tensions in Europe would come to a head and World War I started,” Jarvis said.

“Many volunteers joined the war efforts and 34 Trail men lost their lives.”

City of TrailLocal History

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Trail Historical Society #0501-600)

(Trail Historical Society #0501-600)

Just Posted

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin
Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

West Kootenay communities like Rossland are transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050. Photo: Mathew Roland/BBJ
Rossland commits to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050

“It’s a really unique plan, and we have to go forward, we have to go to a low carbon future.”

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

Summit Ski Hill had a delayed start to the season because of warm temperatures. Photo: Summit Ski Hill
Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill

Summit Ski Hill only just opened Jan. 14

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read