3 things I bet you did not know about Slocan…

#I bet you did not know Slocan has an extremely cool camp ground on the edge of a beautiful creek.

Slocan is a very small town at the south end of Slocan Lake, in South eastern British Columbia. We drove here today from Nakusp, BC. We quite accidentally found it, just picked a campground in Slocan and I guess got lucky. There are trails heading off in every direction from the campground to various other places, including a waterfall. Of course we hiked for an hour to find the waterfall only to find it was 50 feet from our camp spot.

With a foot bridge….how cool is that? No Mushrooms though. Oh and the campground is called Springer Creek RV park and campground. (I guess I should have known there would be a creek🤔🤔)

More about the town of Slocan from the Slocan News

“The name “Slocan” is an Indian name that the white man tried put to use. It means to strike or pierce on the head, and this was derived from the Indian practice of harpooning salmon. At one time, this area had an abundance of salmon. It is also said to be derived from Indian Pidgin English, Slo-can-go, owing to the difficult terrain.

The town site was staked at the lower end of the Slocan Lake in 1892 following massive silver strikes nearby; the site was conveniently close to three principal ore-producing areas. By the 1900, there were 12 hotels in Slocan; by 1920 there were only 3 hotels left. Slocan became a city in June 1901 and incorporated as a Village in 1958.

It is said that the first white man to arrive in Slocan were Billy Clements and his partner Tom Mulvey, who came up the river in a boat in the summer of 1892. Nels Nelson came next, prospecting up and down the Valley and visiting often at the camp of Clements and Mulvey. In 1893, Neil Gething and G. Henderson visited this camp on their way to New Denver, there to build a hotel. It was during this year that Springer Creek was named. Billy Springer found and staked the Dayton claim; the first of its kind up this creek, and since it lacked a name, he gave it his in order to give his claim a definite location.”

So Slocan was involved in mining back in the 1800s. ……

#The Second thing I bet you do not know about Slocan is that Ken, (My Ken)…. worked in the Slocan sawmill the year he graduated from Highschool in 1972. This picture shows about what it looked like in 1964, 8 years before Ken was there. It is kind of sad that the saw mill seems to have been built on a lovely beach.

THIS picture was taken today from where those wharfs were at the top of the picture. It seems that it has all been turned into a park.

First time back in 50 years

So we went down behind where the saw mill was and walked to the beach….

I dug down and it was at least a foot deep in sawdust. I could not help but think how great this would all be on someones garden… not enough room for us to take home. Just been sitting here composting for 30 years. At least a few acres of it.😀

#OK the third thing I bet you did not know about Slocan. David Suzuki (who is a very famous Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist.)was interned in Slocan City, in a Japanese internment camp when he was a child. From the town information post:

Not everyone is aware that in WW2, people of Japanese descent were rounded up and put in internment camps. Japanese people arrived in BC as early as 1877, and they were treated poorly, but when Pearl Harbour was bombed things got a lot worse. Fears of a Japanese invasion were sparked. Flames were fanned by a sensationalist press. Distrust of Japanese Canadians spread along the Pacific Coast. The RCMP moved quickly to arrest suspected Japanese operatives. The Royal Canadian Navy impounded 1,200 Japanese-owned fishing boats. On the recommendation of the RCMP, Japanese newspapers and schools were voluntarily shut down to avoid racist backlash.

1200 Japanese Canadian fishing boats being rounded up in Steveston BC 1941. Three days after the bombing of Pearl harbour.

“On 16 March, the first Japanese Canadians were taken from areas 160 km inland from the Pacific coast — deemed a “protected area” — and brought to Hastings Park BC. More than 8,000 detainees were processed through Hastings Park. Women and children were housed in the Livestock Building. All property that could not be carried was taken into government custody.”

Trains then carried the Japanese detainees to Slocan, New Denver, Kaslo Greenwood, and Sandon — ghost towns in the Kootenays. I am thinking that these places were chosen because most of them had been booming towns in the mining boom, and so had empty hotels and “accommodations” albeit, quite outdated and dilapidated.

(Ken grew up in the Kootenays, originally Cristina Lake, and never really knew why there were so many Japanese people living there, it just seemed normal. He later found out that there had been an Internment camp in Fife, east and on the hillside above Christina Lake.)

“Though the camps were not surrounded with barbed wire fences, as they were in the United States, conditions were overcrowded and poor. There was no electricity or running water. Those who resisted their internment were sent to prisoner of war camps in Petawawa, Ontario; or to Camp 101 on the northern shore of Lake Superior.”

“In a further betrayal, an order-in-council signed 19 January 1943 liquidated all Japanese property that had been under the government’s “protective custody.” Homes, farms, businesses and personal property were sold. The proceeds were used to pay the costs of detaining Japanese Canadians.”

I have obtained this information from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/japanese-internment-banished-and-beyond-tears-feature#

I guess I am quite taken that someone who has done so much to try to save our planet started off with the world treating him so badly as a child. ..David Suzuki

Well there you go 3 things about Slocan that I bet you did not know.

Thank you for reading this blog, much love from Janet, Ken and Tucker the waterfall dog…