This is one of many online photos that make up the new Discovered: Images of the Kootenay Outlet at the turn of the 20th Century exhibit.

This is one of many online photos that make up the new Discovered: Images of the Kootenay Outlet at the turn of the 20th Century exhibit.

Virtual exhibit shows life in the Kootenay

This online exhibit features over 150 glass plate negatives of the Kootenay Lake Outlet area, Nelson and Ainsworth.

Touchstones has created a new exhibit of photos.

Discovered: Images of the Kootenay Outlet at the turn of the 20th Century is an online exhibit.

This exhibit features over 150 glass plate negatives of the Kootenay Lake Outlet area, Nelson and Ainsworth; the Prairies; and even Europe. The photos document Kootenay Outlet area homes, businesses, farming and logging industries, school and community events, landscapes, social groups and families. These photographic records capture an area developing into a residential and agricultural centre at the time of growth in the fruit industry in the West Kootenay region. As a collection they fill an important gap in documenting the history of the Nelson and Area.

The identity of the photographer is still a mystery. However, there was an itinerant commercial photographer, David Wadds, who was active in the Kootenay Lake area during the period of 1900-1910. He was known to leave behind his glass plate negatives (a heavy burden to carry around), after selling the prints ordered by his clients.  The artful compositions and the diversity of the subjects and locations make it likely that they were the product of a professional photographer.

The creation of the site was funded in part by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia, British Columbia History Digitization Program. The exhibit is available at http://touchstonesnelson.ca/exhibitions/discovered/.