Crowe students file down the wooden staircase circa the early 1960s. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Crowe students file down the wooden staircase circa the early 1960s. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: School’s out for summer …

Trail Blazers is a weekly series in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

Trail Blazers is looking back to days long past at the old high school, now that students are out for summer.

While this is not part of the story per se, one feature from both photos that may jump out to readers is how bare and dusty the landscape is. Over the past 19 years, locals have likely gotten used to seeing verdant hillsides as Trail Community in Bloom volunteers so passionately plant, tend to garden beds, and clean-up desolate city plots.

These images depict the stark contrast of how lifeless the valley was before Teck Trail modernized operations starting in the mid-1990’s, mopped-up terrain, and hardworking community groups rolled up their sleeves to revitalize the land with greenery, with life.

Regarding the photos, the (right) shows students filing down the wooden staircase from the former J Lloyd Crowe Secondary School to a few parents waiting patiently at the bottom.

“But this sight would soon disappear as the highway was completed and the stairs were removed a few years later,” says museum manager Sarah Benson-Lord.

Further, the Crowe high school these students attended was torn down in 2009 after a newly built school opened on the same grounds earlier that year.

For the (left) photo, Benson-Lord poses a question.

“Who remembers this sight, taken at the intersection of Bailey Street and Fifth Avenue in East Trail around 1964?”

With construction of the new bridge in 1961, plans to re-route traffic and Highway 3 out of downtown Trail and away from the Old Trail Bridge were in motion.

Bailey Street, on the east side of the Victoria Street Bridge, effectively halted at the base of the steep high school grounds, bending to meet Fifth Avenue.

With the new highway came the Fifth Avenue tunnel and a new cut-off through upper Shaver’s Bench and into Glenmerry.

Snake hill, which still connects East Trail/Columbia Avenue to Glenmerry today, is the “old” highway.



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The intersection of Bailey Street and Fifth Avenue circa 1964. Photo: Trail Historical Society

The intersection of Bailey Street and Fifth Avenue circa 1964. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Photo: Trail Historical Society