This year, Revelstoke celebrated it’s 119th year of incorporation. That’s more than a century of adventure, industry and community. The history of Revelstoke is celebrated in our great museums, which make for great family days out!
Revelstoke has changed a lot since its incorporation as a railway town and the Revelstoke Museum and Archives is the place to find out all about the town’s rich history. It’s a great family activity, with fun interactive exhibits and fantastic activities. Try the Brown Bag Lunch History Talks to hear talks on fascinating local facts, take a guided cemetery tour to learn about Revelstoke residents of yore, or enroll your kids in the summer activity camps. Find out all about Canada’s most deadly avalanche and check out their newest exhibit about the lost communities that hide under the waters around Revelstoke.
Locals’ tip: the Museum has one of the prettiest spots to sit in town, next to the building there is their beautiful heritage garden!
Ever wanted to see a locomotive up close? Want to find out what it’s like to live in a caboose? The Railway Museum is for you! There’s a lot to see and plenty to find out about Revelstoke’s railway history. The railroad is woven into the very fabric of our town and the Railway Museum is a snapshot into the importance of the tracks to Revelstoke past and present.
If you’re here during the summer, August 11th is National Railway Day — check out the museum’s special events to celebrate!
Local’s tip: If railway history is your thing, check out the Last Spike at Craigellachie – a 30 minute drive west of Revelstoke on Highway #1.
Just 15 minutes west of Revelstoke on Highway #1, you’ll find 3 Valley Gap Ghost Town. Sitting at the merging of (you’ve guessed it) three valleys, the Ghost Town is a collection of historic buildings from the local area set against a beautiful mountain backdrop and lake. Step back in time and explore the way life used to be while you soak up the views!
Locals’ tip: Glacier Helicopters is based at 3 Valley Gap in the summer time. Take a sightseeing tour over the mountains for a unique perspective on the area!
Find out about the forestry in the Revelstoke area at the BC Interior Forestry Museum. Located 5 minutes from Revelstoke up Highway 23 North, the museum has a replica fire tower, a collection of antique machinery and each summer they host some of the fantastic Timber Days events — Revelstoke’s very own lumberjack games on May long weekend!
Locals’ tip: check out the museum gift shop, it’s full of neat creations from local artists and cool souvenirs. It’s also a great spot to pick up the wood for your campfire!
On Highway #1 in Glacier National Park sits what Explore Magazine calls “The Best National Park Museum in Canada” — the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. The Rogers Pass Discovery Centre is a replica of an historic railway snowshed, that sits at the heart of the Rogers Pass National Historic Site. Here you will learn the stories of triumphs & tradegies that define this national historic site. In the summer, you can take a stroll along abandoned rail beds, or hike awe-inspiring trails in Glacier National Park. The museum features a theatre, exhibits about avalanches, wildlife and the history of the area. The Discovery Centre is the only frontcountry facility open during the early spring and winter when campgrounds, trails and day-use areas lie under a two-metre blanket of snow.
Locals’ tip: if you think the “Breeches of Miss Conduct” (above) are a cool photo op, get yourself into “Nels Knickers” in Mt. Revelstoke National Park.
After a leisurely drive up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, take a stroll through history. The Koo Koo Sint Trail celebrates the expeditions of explorer David Thompson, while the First Footsteps Trail takes visitors on a 750-metre loop through subalpine meadows enhanced with original First Nations artwork.
Come discover what makes us unique, in both the past and present. While you’re here checking out these historical sites, make sure to check out downtown Revelstoke, and you will find that it retained many of its original 20th century business buildings and homes. Revelstoke is a mountain community that truly acknowledges its history, and proudly celebrates it!
Cover photo courtesy of the Revelstoke Museum and Archives.