Parcel reaches Kaslo, almost 30 years late

A piece of artwork has finally been delivered to the Kootenay Lake Historical Society in Kaslo nearly 30 years after it was mailed.

June Griswold (left) presents the lost artwork (below) to Elizabeth Scarlett of the Kootenay Lake Historical Society

A piece of artwork has finally been delivered to the Kootenay Lake Historical Society in Kaslo nearly 30 years after it was mailed.

In 1982, Montrose author and artist Gerry Doeksen posted a pen-and-ink sketch showing a train crossing a bridge on the Kaslo and Slocan Railway near McGuigan, but it never reached its destination.

Five years ago, the tube addressed to June Griswold resurfaced in a Salmon Arm thrift store, and from there made its way to the Enderby museum, where the curator recognized the intended recipient.

She gave it to Griswold, who now lives in Salmon Arm and who in turn delivered it this month to the historical society in Kaslo.

“The mystery package has now completed its journey,” Griswold says.

However, she’s left wondering about the strange route it took.

“I find this to be a real mystery. How did it get out of the mail system? How did it get from the Kootenays to the Okanagan/Shuswap area?”

The strange thing is the package seemed to follow Griswold, who moved with her husband to Enderby from Kaslo in 1990 after 18 years with the historical society. Since 2004, they have been in Salmon Arm.

Griswold says Doeksen, who has written several books on local railways, visited the archives in Kaslo to seek inspiration for the drawing.

But she can’t remember if he told her he would be sending a copy. He was equally baffled by the wandering parcel when she phoned him recently.

The tube is clearly marked with both addresses and shows a 1982 Montrose cancellation. However, the stamps are missing.

Griswold says in 2006, a woman named Diane Pelletier bought it in a bag sale at the Churches of Salmon Arm thrift store for $2. This year she donated it to the Enderby museum.

Curator Joani Cowan saw the address on the tube and held onto it.

“A few weeks later when I went to the museum I was so surprised to see the tube with my name on it,” Griswold says — adding it could have been an even bigger coincidence had she picked it up at the thrift store herself.

She hopes someone might step forward with an explanation.

“I figured if I could get people reading about it, maybe somebody could fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.”

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