“At Penticton we find a sandy beach, shade and well – who doesn’t like a swim?” Screenshot from the We Drivers film, produced for Vancouver’s Trimble Service Garage.

Blast from the past: Southern Interior featured in 1930s film

The Penticton, South Okanagan and Nakusp area featured in this archive film

A snippet into the past of Southern B.C. has revealed itself in the form of a City of Vancouver archival video.

The rather crisp and high-quality silent film showcases a rare look into the every day life of Southern B.C. residents during the mid to late 1930s.

Penticton historian Randy Manuel was blown away by the footage.

“It is fascinating,” said Manuel. “It is a piece of Okanagan and Kootenay history that just has not been seen. I was surprised to see this piece of film that one does not usually associate with this era. People would have had some private funding to have a camera. The clarity of the film is fantastic.”

The segment shown above is part of a series of three films called We Drivers that were produced for Vancouver’s Trimble Service Garage.

Shot on an eight-millimetre camera, the film showcases footage captured between 1936 and 1939 of the Arrow Lake and Penticton region.

The 10-minute film contains footage of the sternwheeler S.S. Minto (0:30 mark), Nakusp, a steamboat, Arrow Park, Carrolls Landing, Burton, Penticton and Okanagan Lake as well as several towns and some beach scenes.

“Nakusp was remote country in those days and a lot of those little towns along the way, Arrow Park (2:45 mark), they are all under water now because of the big Hugh Keenleyside Dam that was built just upstream from Castlegar. All those towns shown are now 85 feet under water,” explained Manuel.

“This also shows very rare footage of sternwheelers operating and the shots of Penticton (5:00 mark) showing Penticton’s waterfront (6:10 mark). It also shows Penticton’s Main Street (7:00 mark) which I suspect is roughly 1937 footage as the original 1936 post office is in the background, as well as the The Three Gables Hotel.”

Manuel said the video revealed even more “neat” pieces of Penticton history.

“The other neat thing is the scene with the cows being milked (8:20 mark). That is Bird’s Dairy, which was located just about where the trade and convention centre is today.”

Manuel said that region was called the “meadows,” as anything west of Power Street was natural grasslands and marshes at the time.

“The Bird family had a dairy down that way. The last houses going west would have ended at the end of Wade Avenue, anything further west was marshy. If you had a year like this year where Okanagan Lake came up high, that would all naturally be under water,” said Manuel.

The video recently gained traction after it was shared on Facebook by Old Kelowna. Their Facebook upload has already racked up more than 29,000 views and 460 shares.


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gators, Bobcats compete in basketball tournament

Two Langley teams competed, but it would be the Gators who would become champs.

VIDEO: Rubbing shoulders with country stars a dream for aspiring young Langley singer

One day soon, maybe, 10-year-old Mackenzie Hurtubise will sing at the Basics for Babies fundraiser.

Crafts and Santa arrive in Fort Langley

The annual food and craft fair showcases local products.

Vancouver concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Giants back in Langley hoping to continue winning streak

The G-Men defeated Royals in Victoria Saturday, the second triumph of the week over the same team.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Most Read