Kiaira’s Art Cart

Kiaria Anderson

Kiaira Anderson has opened a new business in Coalmont. You may have seen it as you drive by the Hotel. This is our traditional business corner and Kiaira brings her Art Cart here on many days. She sells baked goods and crafts so please stop and have a look. §
Kiaria Anderson and her Art Cart

Little Coalmont

The little village of Coalmont just got smaller – a whole lot smaller!!! Brian Swanton of Lion’s Head, Ontario has been reconstructing a G-scale garden railroad of the Kettle Valley Railway. Among other towns that he is recreating for his model, is the town of Coalmont. This isn’t a toy train set he’s building – this is art combined with history!

Mr. Swanton contacted the Sternes for photographs of old buildings in Coalmont so that his replicas can be as accurate as possible to the originals. His skills are truly amazing. The model is complete with mini people, mini cars, mini trees – well, you get the idea. His outdoor setup is approximately 60 feet by 40 feet with an indoor area of 25 feet by 4 feet. The outdoor track length is 580 feet and the indoor track area is 150 feet. Sit back and enjoy a ride on Mr. Swanton’s train and see Coalmont’s very own “mini me”. A Youtube video of his setup is on Youtube.

Below are some close-ups of Swanton’s Coalmont recreations. The September/October edition of “Garden Railway Magazine” will include an article about his railway.  ~ Diane Sterne

Old Coalmont Courier buildingCoalmont General Store


Coalmont HotelCoalmont Station

Our Historical Artifacts At Risk By Radical Move

The Princeton Museum and Archives houses some of our most dear historical artifacts from this area. Individuals and families have donated their heirlooms and fonds so that they will survive into the future and be available for generations to come. This, along with education and interpretation, is the job with which a museum society is tasked and which is the core of their constitution. Museums can often raise money and provide a focus for tourism, but that is only relevant in as much as it benefits their main goals, and not as ends in themselves.

The Princeton and District Museum and Archives Society has been in existence and run by volunteers since the 1950s. Currently there is a part time manager who makes the whole thing run smoothly. These last few weeks a plan by the Town of Princeton to take over the museum has come to light. Exactly what they believe to be “the museum” is not clear yet, but it looks like they are asking the Museum Society to dissolve and give the collections to them. This is putting the artifacts at risk because the town has no mandate such as a museum society does. Presumably some new legal document would be written up, but obviously that could not be sanctioned or approved by the people who had made donations in the past. These people made a deal with the museum society and not with the Town of Princeton.

At this point it is not known what the outcome will be. We do know that the building is owned by the town. We also know that the museum society is an official repository of First Nations artifacts in the valley. The First Nations view of a possible transfer is not known. In any case, this is going to be an interesting situation which will no doubt bring out some heated discussion between those who support the traditional role of one of our oldest cultural institutions in the area, and those who wish to see a more radical political and business approach as the way forward.

If you are interested in participating in these discussions and becoming a member of the Museum, please come to the Annual General Meeting Thursday 17 March, 7 pm at the Museum on Vermilion.

Six Hour Power Outage Today

At five minutes after one in the afternoon Coalmont went dark. It wasn’t until 7 p.m. that the lights came back on.

Interestingly, when someone called to report the outage, Fortis wasn’t aware that there was a problem. Apparently they don’t do any monitoring of the grid or meters. Not only that, but one Coalmontian reports that “About half an hour after the power went on, a lady from Fortis called us to see if the power was back on in Coalmont“. So apparently those expensive smart meters also don’t report when the power is on.

Horses Found On Auction

One of the Coalmont horses

A reader has spotted the horses which were here last summer and which subsequently disappeared, leaving us wondering about their fate. Coalmont resident Debbie Hong sent in this interesting information about the current whereabouts of these seemingly neglected animals. Debbie writes:

“This ad was posted on the Facebook Page BC Auction Horses. I can’t seem to post the pics but unfortunately they are the ones that are gone, but not forgotten, from Coalmont.”

“These horses are booked into Valley Auction’s THURSDAY Feb 25th SALE…. viewing will be permitted from Saturday the 20th on at the Valley Auction Sale Yard. Please remember these horses have been abandoned since June 2015 and MUST BE SOLD THROUGH PUBLIC AUCTION….. no one is to attempt purchasing them private prior to the sale…. go meet them…. they are super friendly and looking for attention. Please also note, there is no registration papers or confirmation of age available, these are just guesses listed below…..

1) Black stallion, thinking around 4 years old.
1) Buckskin, seems gelded, maybe coming 2 years old.
1) Mature bay brood mare, seems heavily in foal, quiet and gentle, stands about 14hh if that.
1) solid face bay mare, might be coming 2.
1) wide blazed bay mare might be coming 5.
1) bay mare with star stripe snip seems to be about 3 years old….

“I guess someone was tired of feeding someone elses horses since last summer and is now trying to recoup the cost of the feed and care, this being a brutal winter when it comes to the cost of hay. Hopefully they find homes and do not end up in the meat buyers pen, not that there is anything wrong with slaughtering horses but these ones are deserving of a long term home.”    ~ Debbie Hong

Previous stories here and here.

Where’s The Phone?

As we all know, our Telus payphone eventually did get installed, thanks to the hard work of Bob and Diane Sterne who were simply not going to give up.

Unfortunately, after all that we still got somebody with an emergency need wandering around town because they couldn’t find the payphone. No wonder. Telus had provided us with a sign, but it was only visible if you had a view up and down Front Street. So, the Sterns put further pressure on Telus and it payed off.

Today, there was a package from Telus with an additional sign and Bob put it up right away. Hopefully now someone traveling on Parrish (at Coalmont Road), or even along the KVR trail, will be able to see it.

Thanks to Bob and Diane Sterne, as well as David Fowler from Telus, for getting this happening for us.

Bob installing signTwo signs now

Coalmont Road Blocked

There was a rock slide on the Coalmont Road earlier this evening and passage is now closed in both directions. According to one motorist who wasn’t able to make it to Princeton the slide happened around a quarter after five.

The location of the slide is a few feet east of the yield sign by the defile. Although it appears that the road itself has not given way, the debris is apparently too big to clear this evening and in the interest of safety needs to be carefully looked at during daylight. Argo has been out there all evening.

The Drive BC Road Conditions site reports that the next update will be tomorrow, Friday, November 19, 2015 at 10:00 am.

At this point there is no knowing when the highway will be open again, but people planning to go to work in Princeton should at least make other plans for the morning. Although it would add almost an hour each way, an alternate route would be Highway 5A and Otter Valley Rd.

UPDATE: There is an Argo truck at the gate by Parrish and Coalmont Road to warn people not to go that way unless they’re local. They now say that it might be cleared today but more likely by tomorrow. Drive BC says they will have the next update tomorrow (Friday) at noon.

UPDATE 2: As of late Thursday afternoon the road is open again. However, they were still working on it so expect delays.

Just A Note

Sorry We're Closed sign

The Coalmont is closed. The food cart is gone. There’s no party tonight.

Chris and Sylvia had a good run and a lot of fun was had at the Coalmont Hotel since they re-opened the pub on October 28, 2013. (see story)

We have no more details about what brought this on, and all you’ll see is a note of thanks to the community posted in the window.

Note:

Montgomery Warren Sings About Hattie

Montgomery Warren

Diane Sterne writes: “A musician named Montgomery Warren stayed with us and has written a song about Hattie McBride. I have posted it on YouTube.

Written and performed by musician Montgomery Warren, this song depicts the life of Madam Hattie McBride who was murdered in Coalmont, B.C. in November, 1920. Her beautiful headstone can be seen at the Granite Creek Cemetery and fortunate visitors may smell her flowery perfume as she drifts through town. Her murder was never solved.   §

Horses Gone

Earlier this week the owners of the seven horses came back. They had been away on a working trip for about four weeks. While they were gone, the horses were penned up in a tiny space on crown land next to The Bailey Bridge. The situation had become a community concern and several people put in a lot of work to make sure the animals were fed and watered.

It’s one of those strange Coalmont Stories. Shortly after returning, the couple left town again but the circumstances are less clear this time. According to reports, the horses were taken away in a trailer. All that remains is a well trampled patch and the posts from the electric fence. We can take it for granted that there is also a lot of horse manure and an old travel trailer.

The crown land lot by river

Campfire Ban Here Now

Effective immediately, there is a campfire ban within the Tulameen & District Fire Protection Area.

Although small camp fires are still allowed in other parts of the Kamloops Fire Centre, due to irresponsible campfire use and in the interest of public safety, there is now a restriction here. Please be advised that this also applies to private land. Failure to comply with a ban can result in fines, and there are heavy penalties for those found to be responsible for starting a wildfire.   §

UPDATE: Effective at noon on Friday, July 3, 2015, all open fires – including campfires – will be prohibited throughout the entire Kamloops Fire Centre. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.

Hot Weather

The current British Columbia heat wave is even more impressive here. Yesterday we got up to 38°C – possibly more. The last time it was this hot around here was in 1996, and that was “only” 34 degrees. There were records broken in several other areas. At 41.1°C Lytton takes the prize as usual.

Perhaps because it is still early in the summer, there are fewer restrictions on fires than one might expect. Specifically, forest use is unrestricted and campfires are permitted, but burning of waste is prohibited as is grass burning and anything more than a small well controlled fire. For ban and restriction details, see the Open Fire Bans in Kamloops Fire Centre page.

The British Columbia Wildfire Management Branch has an up-to-date web page of Fire Prohibitions and Area Restrictions. It’s probably a good idea to bookmark that.   §

Joe Lucas of Coalmont

Information from Joe Lucas of Coalmont, B.C. Recorded before his move to assisted living in Penticton, B.C. June 24, 2015. ~ By Diane Sterne

Joe Lucas in Coalmont, 2015Joe Lucas was born in London on October 8, 1930. He was a true Cockney because he was born within hearing distance of the Church bells of St. Mary Le Bow. He has a sister and two brothers (plus one deceased). Joe lied about his age to get in the Merchant Marine at the tail end of WWII. The first ship he was on was a tanker. He was in the British Merchant Navy for 10 years. While in London, Joe was a butcher in Brixton, England. He made sausage and cut meat. Joe sailed with his brother, Jack, from Liverpool to New York on the Saxonia. When they arrived in New York they had planned to fly to Vancouver, however there had been a huge snowfall. They were stranded in New York for three days and then took a bus to Chicago and another bus to Vancouver.

Joe continued his trade as a butcher in Vancouver and worked for Kelly Douglas & Co. of the Super Valu chain. From there he went to work for H.Y. Louie Co. of the IGA chain and opened their new store in North Vancouver. Wishing to work for himself, Joe ventured into the cabaret business and owned the El Mocambo Dine and Dance in Burnaby. He was partnered with his wife’s brother. His first wife, Myrna, was a singer in the club. It was the first licensed cabaret in Vancouver that didn’t have a restaurant license. This was in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.

Eventually Joe and Marilyn left this business and worked for a customs broker in Vancouver.

When Joe and Marilyn decided to retire, they planned on moving to Princeton. They put down a deposit on a house, but it turned out an offer had already been accepted on the property. The Lucas’ decided to move to Coalmont and purchased a building that was about 3 years old. It had not been finished and the lower half of the house was originally built to be a Firehall in Coalmont. This never happened so the Lucas’ purchased it and made it their home. At first they owned three lots and then expanded it by two more lots to include what Joe owns today. The property was eventually amalgamated into one large lot on the corner of Columbia St. and Bettes Ave. Their plan was to live in Coalmont in the summer and Arizona in the winter. Unfortunately on April 2, 2001 while coming home from Arizona, Joe’s wife passed away in Nevada.

Joe has lived in Coalmont for about 25 years and has one son, Mike, who is a professional drag racer in Fort St. John. Joe has travelled the world throughout his exciting life and will be missed when he moves to Penticton sometime in July.

Joe Lucas' house in Coalmont, 2015

Heather Deanne Lutz

Heather Lutz

Heather Lutz

January 24, 1968 – June 4, 2015

Survived by her much loved partner Todd Lester, her mother Margaret Tissuer (Ron) and brother Trevor Lutz (Laura) and her extended Tisseur and Lester families. Predeceased by her father Daniel Lutz in 1996.

Todd has a little house on Columbia and Heather first came here seven years ago. She initially enjoyed walking, rollerblading and bicycling around town, until the disease made it too uncomfortable to do so.

Heather is deeply missed by her family, as well as extended family members, friends, and collegues who loved her.

There will be a Celebration of Life: Sunday, July5, 2015 at 1pm Sullivan Hall at 6306-152 St., Surrey, BC.

New Look for CoCo

The first edition of the original Coalmont Courier was printed with ink on wrapping paper. The New Coalmont Courier is printed with ones and zeros right on your screen. It’s a lot less messy, and also easier to reformat.

First edition Courier headline

It’s time for a new look. As you see, the Coalmont Courier is now different, and we’ll be making some more changes over the next little while. Some parts are old, obsolete, or downright deprecated, and they’ll have to go. In the meanwhile, the publication will continue as usual and the older stories will still be there.   §

Horses In Coalmont Again

There are horses in Coalmont again. This little equine family, which includes a new baby, was looking for a place to stay and has temporarily settled next to Nick’s Gold Pan Inn down by the river. The owners are actively looking for a permanent place. Although the horses are well looked after and happy for the moment, they will need more suitable lodging before the winter – ideally much sooner. Please contact the Courier if you can help.

Family of horses beside Gold Pan Inn

Coalmont used to have lots of horses when the town was first established. There were two liveries on Front Street which were built right at the beginning. One is still there. The Colliers had their stable in upper town and were transporting coal by wagon in the summer and sled in the winter.

A few years back regulations were enacted which disallow the keeping of farm animals in most areas. In fact land use zoning and other by-laws do not actually permit quite a few of the freedoms which Colmontians enjoy. We all want laws to apply to others while we prefer our own exception. That’s human nature. Now we have some horses here again. Hopefully they will be welcome for a little while. Horses represent an important and colourful piece of our history and this could be seen as an opportunity to engage in a little nostalgia – and perhaps also a little tolerance.
~ Ole Juul

Smart Meter Concentrator

First smart meter repeater in town

It looks like Fortis installed the first smart meter concentrator here yesterday.

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) requires a medium to provide continuous point-to-point communication connectivity. Your smart meter (to be installed next week) needs to connect to an aggregation node and have a data uplink to the AMI Control center. Typically, a local AMI system includes smart meters and data concentrators. Also, each smart meter can serve as a hub or repeater for other smart meter communication with data concentrators.

There are more steps to the whole chain. Obviously what starts at your meter will have to end up in a Fortis control centre. The equipment shown here, located on Main Street, will have backhaul communication. It could connect to satellite or possibly the China Creek Internet tower.   §

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