Pamphlets: Boosterism

Preamble: I’m taking a a break on regular posts from January through March, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting things to read!

In lieu of regular content, I’m highlighting some of my favorite primary source materials from the last three years. Read a little, read a lot, skip through and look at the photos, it’s up to you! These are all online, so you don’t even have to venture outside into the cold.

Regular posts will resume in April.

This week I’m sharing a series of short pamphlets, all published before the First World War, and all having in common the goal of attracting some kind of economic investment to the Windermere Valley.

These all should be read in the context of the pre-war practice of boosterism, in which local businessmen and community leaders used their influence and connections to secure investment from outside sources and promote development projects, all under the air of optimism that their geographic region had the potential for unbridled greatness. As a general rule, boosters were more interested in attracting investment than being entirely truthful, so brace yourself for some over-the-top enthusiasm.

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Black Diamond

Black Diamond Mountain (head of Delphine and Farnham Creeks)

It could be that the naming of the mountain and the mine was a serendipitous case of separate parties deciding on the same name for separate features in a similar area.

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Athalmer (Kwataqnuk)

Athalmer (Community), Athalmer Road

Other Names: Athalmere, Athelmar, Athelmer, Kwataq̓nuk, Salmon Beds

‘I like Athalmer. It has the air of a city, it carries itself well, with an assurance that sits well on it. … The town is planned on a generous scale, with wide streets and plenty of breathing space. … Who knows but some day the Canadian navy will ride at anchor in Lake Windermere.’
(The Columbia Valley Times, 7 December 1912)

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