Edgewood internment camp

Postcard recalls painful part of Edgewood’s past

A rare postcard showing the camp at Edgewood where Ukrainian Canadians were interned during World War I sold recently for $200 US.



Part of a series about Kootenay artifacts popping up on eBay.

A rare postcard showing the camp at Edgewood where Ukrainian Canadians and other Eastern Europeans were interned during World War I sold recently for the opening bid of $200 US.

The unmailed card, showing two rows of tents and bunkhouses — as well as a chicken-wire fence in the foreground — is a reminder a little-known bit of local history.

When the war began, the Canadian government implemented the War Measures Act and issued an order-in-council resulting in the internment of over 8,500 “enemy aliens,” more than half of whom were Ukrainian immigrants.

The Edgewood camp and work site operated from August 19, 1915 to September 23, 1916. Up to 200 men, many from the Crowsnest Pass, were housed in tarp-roofed bunkhouses and forced to build a wagon road through the Monashees to Vernon using hand tools through uncleared land.

The story is probably best told in Bohdan S. Kordan’s 2002 book Enemy Aliens, Prisoners of War: Internment in Canada during the Great War.

In 2009, a tri-lingual plaque was unveiled at the site of the Edgewood camp — today’s Donselaar Memorial Park — by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, one in a series of monuments at former internment camps erected since 1994.

The postcard’s seller was in Peachland.

• A 5 x 7 photograph of Doukhobor leader Peter (Lordly) Verigin literally on his deathbed sold last month for $50 US.

Taken by Campbell Studio of Nelson, it showed a woman looking over Verigin’s body, surrounded by floral tributes, fruit, and what looks like an enormous loaf of bread.

Verigin was killed in 1924 in a train explosion at Farron, between Grand Forks and Castlegar, arguably West Kootenay’s greatest unsolved mystery.

The same seller, from Ontario, also put up for auction a 9 x 11 photo produced in 1925 by Coleman, Alta. photographer Thomas Gushul, showing portraits of Verigin as both a young and old man, as well as his son, Peter Verigin Jr., and former leader Lukeria Kalmykova.

It failed to sell for the opening bid $50, but has since been relisted for $200.

• A cute and colourful teapot showing the old Nelson post office — today’s Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History — sold for $23.50 Cdn.

It was made in Germany and probably dates to about 1910.

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser on August 9.

Just Posted

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

Former teacher acquitted on two of four sex charges

Judge found no evidence to support sexual assault charges against Shanny McIvor

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Most Read