January 1967: ‘Glittering’ Selkirk College, a train derailment and a new liquor store

Greg Scott takes readers on a historical journey back to 1967.

Greg Scott is a historian and columnist for the Star.

January 5, 1967

A major reassessment of land in the city’s Rosemont area designed to bring in added tax revenue in keeping with the inflated sale price of lots in the area has been instituted by the Nelson City assessor for the 1967 tax rolls.

Land assessments on nearly 300 parcels of land in Rosemont, with each parcel representing from one to 50 lots, have been increased from five to 300 per cent.

The overall assessment increases have averaged 46 per cent. Blame for the reassessment was laid on the doorstep of Rosemont area property owners who have forced an inflated market value on their property.

It was noted that on the sale of 49 lots since the reassessment was completed there is every indication that the assessed land values in Rosemont are still slightly on the low side.

Many of the Rosemont property owners are up in arms over the huge assessment increase.

January 13, 1967

New York’s Kennedy Airport would be hard pressed to match the splendor of British Columbia’s first Regional Collage, glittering Selkirk.

The three million dollar college throws its doors open for the first time today and the effect is going to be stunning as the unveiling of Vancouver’s Court House Fountain.

This is the interior’s answer to Simon Fraser University, a superb blending of simplicity with futuristic design. The student’s lounge focal point of the main block only needs uniformed air stewardesses and a paging system to complete its air terminal image.

“This is like the Hilton,” commented one enthusiastic student. Despite the luxury there is still an atmosphere of learning in the college.

Beige brick tiles and bare concrete sections, give the added touch of austerity that creates the balance. When the students get there, they will find mud, constructor’s debris and workmen.

But at least they will be claiming their rightful home. And once through the portals of the college Wow will they find that education has changed.

January 18, 1967

Three men were slightly injured and wire and telephone communications between Nelson and Creston were disrupted Monday night when an east-bound C.P.R. freight train crashed into a rock slide on the tracks, 42 miles east of here.

Two diesel engine units and nine freight cars were derailed with another car severely damaged.

A C.P.R. spokesman said the freight cars were mostly empties with some carrying pulp from the Celgar mill at Castlegar.

The crash occurred at mile 94 near Midge Creek where the tracks are located about 60 feet from the edge of Kootenay Lake.

Two of the derailed freight cars crashed into shallow water at the edge of the lake. Telegraph and telephone lines were knocked out, severing communications between Nelson and Creston.

No assessment of the amount of damage was available. Track crews from Nelson and Cranbrook were immediately dispatched to the scene to begin clearing operations.

January 26, 1967

There wasn’t even the snap of a bottle cap, let alone the pop of a cork, to mark the opening of one of Nelson’s most popular stores, in new premises this week.

In fact the debut of Nelson’s liquor store in its bright airy new home went unnoticed, unheralded and unknown by many people.

Unbelieving faces on Ward Street gave evidence of the ignorance prevalent about the store’s move.

But the truth has now sunk home. North Shore and Fairview residents aren’t the only people belting along Anderson Street these days.

But there isn’t all happiness about the B.C. Liquor Control Board Store’s move to its new location on Anderson Street.

“My corns are killing me,” grumbled one auto-less old regular, after he staggered back from the glittering new store to his downtown hotel room.

January 26, 1967

Nelson’s annual Christmas trees will go up in a blaze of glory this Tuesday. Fire Chief E.S. Owens said that by the time of the annual burn, 3000 trees will be piled up on the waterfront waiting to be touched off into flame.

The 12th annual burn, this one will be known as the Centennial Burn. Gallons of hot chocolate and scores of doughnuts will again be provided by the Nelson Lions Club, which sponsors the burn.

Trees are being picked up from residences throughout the city, and the pickup will continue until Monday.


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