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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Pynelogs Cultural Center (Invermere)

Pynelogs, “is picturesque in the extreme. It is built of rough-hewn logs and faces south, with a glorious prospect of lake and mountain from its windows.”28

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Peters Hill

Peters Hill (Informal name, northwest of Toby Creek Bridge in Athalmer)

“Morning wasn’t morning until the Peters’ had made their daily milk delivery.”31

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Fort Point (2)

Fort Point (unofficial name), Fort Point Close (Invermere)

The years following the Second World War were not so kind to the Memorial Fort. … Maintenance was lacking, and the building was gradually falling into a state of disrepair.

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Fort Point (1)

Fort Point (unofficial name), Fort Point Close (Invermere)

It was a small step to take the idea of commemorating David Thompson and blend it with Invermere’s desire to stand out as a tourist destination.

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Mount Stockdale, Stockdale Creek (tributary of Horsethief Creek), Stockdale Glacier

“When it is said Frank Stockdale is the most popular young man in this vicinity it is only repeating what many have said during the past week.”25

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Invermere (Community)

Other names: Kya knuqti?it (pronounced kya-k-nook-thi it), Copper City (1898-1899), Canterbury (1899-1910)

“Invermere… is going to be, when she grows up, …‘the last word in towns.’ … And then the unfortunate souls who are doomed to exist in Calgary and such like places will come in their thousands to Invermere and, for a brief season, live.” (The Columbia Valley Times, 1912)49

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