Dewdney Trail timeline since completion in 1865

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Here is a timeline of significant events and circumstances with the Dewdney Trail since its completion in the fall of 1865.

1865-1898 – Dewdney Trail was the main east-west link between Kettle Valley and Columbia Valley.

nov11 2015 0301905 – West Kootenay Power and Light built a transmission line west of Rossland, using parts of the Dewdney Trail for their access road and right-of-way.

Early 1920s – Cascade Highway built between Christina Lake and Rossland.  The new road crossed the Dewdney Trail many times, but did not follow it for any distance.  Dewdney Trail continued to be used by local ranchers and farmers for moving their cattle and as a horse trail, while the Cascade Highway became important for larger conveyances.

1949 – Completion of Hope-Princeton Highway

1962 – Highway between Christina Lake and Castlegar completed.

Oct. 13, 1963—Ribbon-cutting for Salmo-Creston Highway.

1972 – B.C. Parks Branch did a reconnaissance of the Christina Lake to Patterson portion of the trail and found that 70% of the original trail was still intact.

1972-1975 – Parks Branch in cooperation with the Forest Service works to restore Dewdney Trail section between Christina Lake and Paterson, including interviews with old-timers.

Mid-1970s – archaeological study done on portion of the Dewdney Trail between Grand Forks and Christina Lake by M. Friesinger.

Late 1970s – B.C. Highway installed lines parallel to the West Kootenay Power line, but on a grander scale.

96plan00011985 – A forest fire burned over the 2 km section of the Dewdney Trail along the Wild Horse River, which was the best-preserved section of the trail in the East Kootenays.

1989 – Corridor Plan for the Dewdney Trail produced under the Recreation Corridors program.

April 10, 1991 – Portions of the Dewdney Trail were designated as a Historic Site by provincial Order-In-Council.  Designated portions on Crown Land along the Wild Horse River; near the headwaters of Summit Creek and down to the Kootenay River; and from the Rossland Summit (Record Ridge – Mount Sophia Pass) to Christina Creek.

May 24, 1995 – Memorandum of Agreement on Heritage Trail was signed by the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture.  The trail has also been designated as a forest recreation trail under the Forest Practices Code of B.C., and as an Archealogical Site under the Heritage Conservation Act.

March 1996 – Dewdney Trail Management Plan for Trail Portions on Public Forest Lands in the Nelson Forest Region published and distributed.  The Dewdney Trail Corridor is considered to be 100 meters on either side of the trail centerline.

October 1996 – In line with the Management Plan, the Ministry of Forests commences a procedure of Alteration Permits established under the Heritage Conservation Act, including rehabilitation measures for disturbed parts of the trail.

September 1998 – Mapping and assessment conducted by Champion Contracting for the Forest Service on sections of the Dewdney Trail, including the Santa Rosa Summit, Santa Rosa Creek, Big Sheep Creek to Corral Creek, Corral Creek to Cascade Summit, Cascade Highway Summit, Lost Creek,

closeup of installing dew trail sign1999 – Location of the trail is plotted using a GPS unit.  The GPS plot corresponds to the location found by B.C. Parks in 1972.

September 2015 – incorporation of the Dewdney Trail Heritage Society, focusing on protection and preservation of the section of the Dewdney Trail between Christina Lake and Rossland.

Presentation on The Two Edgar Dewdneys April 24, 2015 at the Rossland Museum

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By Sam McBride

I am looking forward to giving a presentation on The Two Edgar Dewdneys at the Rossland Museum on Friday, April 24, 2015 between 6:30 pm and 8 pm.

For quite a few years I have been collecting images and stories of Edgar Dewdney which I will show in my slide presentation at the museum as part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Dewdney Trail through the Kootenays.   I offer my perspective as a descendant with material on Edgar that has not previously been organized and presented to the public.

Edgar Dewdney never lived in the Kootenays but his nephew Edgar E. L. Dewdney (my grandfather, known as Ted within the family and to close friends) was a prominent resident of Rossland, British Columbia in the early 1900s as a young Bank of Montreal clerk and lieutenant in the Rocky Mountain Rangers militia, and then again in the 1920s as bank manager and community leader.

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A story about the Dewdney Trail in the Cominco Magazine in the 1960s is among the material on display at the Rossland Museum this year in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of completion of the Dewdney Trail across southern B.C.

Ted Dewdney was not famous like his Uncle Edgar, but in many ways his story as a community builder in southern B.C. is just as interesting.  Unlike his uncle Edgar, there were no scandals or improprieties associated with Ted Dewdney, who was highly respected for his integrity and compassion throughout a 43-year career with the bank, followed by 12 years of service with community organizations before his death in Nelson in 1952.

The date April 24, 2015 is also significant for the Dewdney family because it will be 100 years since Ted Dewdney`s brother-in-law Private John Francklyn Peters died at the Second Battle of Ypres in the First World War.  He was the first of three of Helen Peters Dewdney`s brothers to die in the world wars

In conjunction with the Two Edgar Dewdneys talk, memorabilia of Edgar Dewdney and Ted Dewdney will be displayed in two of the Rossland Museum`s display cases.  The displays can be viewed before and after the presentation.

Last week I was interviewed about the Two Edgar Dewdneys presentation by Chris Stedile of Rossland News.  His story can be viewed on the following link:


The Two Edgar Dewdneys presentation at the Rossland Museum went very well.  Extra chairs had to be brought in to the theatre room to accommodate an audience of about 50 local history enthusiasts.    The displays of Dewdney family memorabilia associated with the presentation will stay up as part of the display commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Dewdney Trail through the Kootenays.