Bringing a piece of history back to Nakusp

A town hall meeting took place on Jan. 7 to determine if there is enough interest to bring a vintage CPR caboose to Nakusp.

Back in December, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decided one of its riding end platforms, a caboose, could be disposed of.

The village of Nakusp was contacted to see if it was interested in bringing the caboose, and possibly one of CPR’s plows, to the village.

It’s estimated it would cost at least $20,000 to bring the caboose from its current location in Revelstoke to Nakusp, get it settled and have the location landscaped.

On Jan. 7, the village had a town hall meeting to gauge the reaction of residents on this idea.

About 20 people showed up, a variety which included members from the village council, the historical society, rail buffs, and residents of the area.

Discussions were had over how to bring the caboose to the village, where it would be placed, and what could be done for potential security, such as fencing.

It was decided that a committee would be formed under the umbrella of the Arrow Lakes Historical Society.

“It would just be too hard for us to do it, just the legwork trying to form a committee,” said Tom Zeleznik. “What better place can it be than under the Historical Society.”

Though he is part of the village council, Zeleznik was here on his own, and not as part of the council.

Everyone in attendance was in favour of bringing the caboose to Nakusp. Some were also very eager to bring in the plow as well.

Benefits to having the caboose in the village were brought up, with tourism being highlighted as one such benefit.

“I think it would be a real tourism draw, especially for train buffs, who know it’s here, and they and to come and see it,” said Beth McLeod.

McLeod thinks it’s important for the village to recognize its history involving the rail roads in British Columbia.

“Nakusp was established as the terminus on the rail line to bring ore to the paddle wheelers, the rail was an important transportation route.”

If brought to the village, a temporary location for the caboose has been determined. It will be placed at the former site of the large recycling bins that were in the village.

Many village residents would love to see a piece of history come back to Nakusp.

“We’ve been here for 30 some years, and we can remember the last train coming through,” said Linda Van Immerzeel. “We remember the trains running through here, and it’s just really good that they’re trying to bring some of this back, some of the history that people probably aren’t aware of anymore.”