Kootenay postmarks start bidding war

How much would you pay for a 1952 postmark from Beaver Falls? How about $103.50 Cdn?

Beaver Falls postmark



Latest in an ongoing look at eBay auctions concerning local history.

How much would you pay for a 1952 postmark from Beaver Falls? How about $103.50 Cdn?

That’s what one sold for last week. The high price was a result of its scarcity; the post office opened there in 1949, but was renamed Montrose four years later (although the two are adjacent but separate places).

It was one of six cancellations from defunct West Kootenay post offices offered by a Victoria seller, and by far the most highly sought after. The next-highest price paid was $21 for a 1960 cancel from Brouse, just south of Nakusp. The post office there operated from 1910-17 and 1932-64.

Postmarks from Blewett (1953) and Appledale (1950) each went for $11.50. The Blewett office operated from 1923-58, with namesake postmaster William J. Blewett in charge for all but the last seven years.

The Appledale post office was open from 1914-59.

The last two postmarks sold for the bargain price of $2.50 each: Bonnington Falls (1953) and Deer Park (1963). The former operated from 1911-64. The last postmaster was the late Dawn Penniket, a well-known Nelson old-timer who died three years ago.

The Deer Park office was around for 70 years — from 1897 to 1967, until the impending completion of the High Arrow Dam flooded the community out.

• Overlooked in this column’s recent round-up of noteworthy Phoenix items was a syringe attributed to a World War I nurse.

Manufactured by Sharp and Smith of Chicago in the 1890s, it reportedly belonged to Miss Rose Wall, who taught in Phoenix, ca. 1908, and later nursed in the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in France.

It sold for $20 US.

• A trade token from Nelson’s KV Dairy sold for $60 US.

It’s of comparatively recent vintage, dating to about 1960 according to Leslie Hill’s British Columbia Numismatica. The aluminum token, with a scalloped edge, reads “Good for 10c with empty bottle” on the back.

Between 11 and 20 were known to exist when Hill wrote his book in 1980, but it’s the first to appear on eBay in the last decade.

Palm Dairies eventually took over KV.

• Two more semi-common Rossland tokens, described in this column a few weeks ago, fetched significant sums: one from tobacconist S.B. Shaw went for $103.50 US, and another from Crow and Morris $48.

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser.

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