Volume No. 1
Issue No. 2
March 2006
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TRAM TOWER GOES DOWNTOWN

In the early morning hours of 18 September, a small band of Silverton Historical Society members and interested volunteers together with Jim Pownall and his venerable crane truck, successfully moved the replicated tram tower from the south end of Silverton to its new, permanent home at the outdoor mining display in front of the gallery.

Now it can easily be seen from either direction along the road through the village, not the case where it was originally situated. The stunning visual impact of the structure will (hopefully) encourage motorists and visitors to pull over, stop and walk the museum displays and the Village.

Ultimately the Silverton Historical Society will pair the tower with an identical twin connected by overhead cables much the same as were the historic originals. Beginning over 100 years ago, tramlines and towers were the arteries of commerce for Silverton and Sandon. Literally dozens of lines, extending up sometimes thousands of vertical feet, provided mills with the lifeblood of high grade silver ore wrested from otherwise almost inaccessible mines.

The tower properly represents a true historic legacy, one that was instrumental to the creation and ongoing existence of Silverton. In its new location it can better be seen and appreciated, offering all who view it the opportunity and impetus to reflect on the wonderful history and ingenuity of the people who created the originals

newsletter header Silverton mining museum
Outdoor mining museum - August 2005
placing the tram tower
Tower move - September 18, 2005
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WEBSITE

The Silverton Historical Society celebrated the first year of its successful website in the fall. It is updated constantly. Browse our archival images; join us and/or visit our links.

2005 - A WINNER!

Thanks to selfless effort and time on the part of the membership, directors and local community volunteers, 2005 was another dynamic year of accomplishments and successes for your Society.

The Interpretive Centre was re-painted, renovated and re-organized, while future plans were instituted to create a 'library room- and to completely update, preserve and stylize our substantial and important archives. The placement of directional highway signage was finally realized. A multi-page, user friendly website was launched and linked with other relevant historical and informational sites. Select archival images were made available for sale on the website and at the Centre. Our outdoor mining exhibit was updated and benefited by the addition of two new displays. In September the replicated tram tower constructed by the society was ceremoniously moved from the south end of Silverton to its new home at our outdoor display (see adjacent column). Membership was doubled over 2004. This newsletter saw its first edition in 2005 and we are hoping to have two editions out in 2006. A working liaison with the Ministry of Forestry was created to facilitate the protection and preservation of local historical sites that are located within active logging blocks. Our Centre was staffed and open to the public during the busy and productive summer season and saw good traffic and interest.

Grant money was funded and plans put in motion for the construction of a second tram tower on the grounds of the gallery. The hope is to connect the two towers, which will complete a representative display honouring the legacy and importance of tramlines in our area. Village Council has approved the second tower's construction as of February 2006.

Two long-serving and very deserving individuals - Nancy Anderson and Phyllis Ott - were added to the distinguished honour roll of life members.

Our traditional, year end strategy session held to set forth short, medium and long term goals for the Society, has come up with an even more ambitious agenda for 2006. Please come join us for the fun and excitement.

ORAL HISTORY

Beginning this year, the Silverton Historical Society has embarked on an ambitious and meaningful project to record the oral recollections of many of our 'long-time' local citizens. The hope is to gather first hand information about what buisness, social, sporting and generic life was like in Silverton in years past. Eventually this information may be published, but in the meanwhile will be available for your listening pleasure at the Interpretive Centre.


Phyllis Ott
image courtesy Trevor Harrop


2006 Meeting Schedule

All meetings will be at 1 pm unless otherwise noted. Public always welcome!

April 19
May 17
June 21
July 19
August 16
Septemeber 20
Ontober 18


Archival Images for Sale
Prints of archival image are now available for sale on our website and at the Interpretive Centre.


HISTORY:
def: a chronological record of significant events including an explanation of their causes.

Phyllis Ott
Member and Officer: 1986 - present

Phyllis Ott moved with her husband, Sam, to their home on Hume Street in Silverton after he retired in 1972. Being a historical buff, she joined the Silverton Historical Society in 1986 at a time when Nancy Anderson had just become president. Nancy's father, Sandy Harris, a founding member and former president of the society, had recently passed away. Soon after Phyllis joined, the group's secretary left. Phyllis moved into this position and quickly became involved in some major projects which were being undertaken. These included development of the Wakefield Trail and the moving of the historic Fingland cabin to its current popular location on Highway 6.

Phyllis and Nancy really enjoyed working together. They represented SHS interests at Silverton Gallery Society meetings. For many years, Phyllis was well-known in the community as 'Keeper of the Key' for all gallery events. Phyllis and Nancy also attended many other meetings, conferences and training sessions together, including three sessions in archival procedures with the Kaslo Historical Society, and a day-long session with a provincial archivist.

Phyllis says she always tried to maintain high standards, and wasn't afraid to step on a person's tail to get the job done right. This is understandable, seeing as her father was a mountie, starting back in the earliest days of the RCMP, when they were still called the North West Mounted Police (NWMP).

When asked to look back over her 18 years as secretary of the Silverton Historical Society, and to look ahead as well, Phyllis had several observations. She said she found it to be a very useful time and learned a lot doing the job. She felt the society had hired and worked with some great students over the years and advised the SHS to keep that connection up in the future. Phyllis also stressed the need for the society to keep united and stick together as a group.


OLD SILVERTON

Working with the blessing, encouragement and approval of acclaimed author John Norris, last fall the Society began exploring publishing alternatives and funding opportunites for the re-publication of Old Silverton. The award-winning historical work has been out of print for some time and it is hoped that these efforts will make it available in 2006.


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