Part of a weekly look at items of local interest being sold on eBay.
The latest West Kootenay postcard to sell online for an astronomical price was a 1907 coloured lithograph depicting the town of Lardo (now Lardeau) near the north end of Kootenay Lake.
Despite the misfortune of having a pair of holes punched in it, the card fetched $135.50 US.
Not only is it extremely rare, it’s one of very few images of the townsite of any kind.
It had a cool message, too, which alludes to the popularity of exchanging and collecting postcards before World War I: “Not[e] X is our hotel. All right I will ex[change] a few cards with you. ‘Dots vot I say.’ I have 700 cards. How’s that? How many have you?”
The sender’s first name is hard to make out, but their surname was Ulvin.
Ole Ulvin ran the Britannia Hotel — and “Britannia Hotel” is pencilled on the front of the card, which also shows several other long-vanished buildings and a sternwheeler moored at the wharf.
It’s addressed to someone who may have been Fred J. Richtip (it’s also hard to read) of 210 Penn Ave., Dowagiac, Michigan.
Produced by W.G. Thomson of Nelson, and postmarked Lardo, November 8, 1907, the card also carried the curious stamp: “From member, to member, Teddy Bear Post Card Exchange.”
The seller was in Paris, Tennessee.
• An envelope from the Arlington Hotel in Trail postmarked 1949 sold for $31 Cdn. The return address had an elaborate monogram for proprietor Pete Levesque, and promised “modern high class accommodation.”
R.T. Daniel built the hotel in 1896. Although much changed, it’s still there.
A second, less interesting envelope in the same lot was postmarked Trail 1935.
• A round aluminum trade token from the Nelson street railway, “good for one fare,” sold recently for $104 US.
Variations on this token have previously sold for $61 in 2003, $26 and $45.50 in 2005, $29 in 2007, and $34.50 in 2008.
Nelson’s electric streetcar system ran for 50 years beginning in 1899. The last survivor of the fleet, Streetcar 23, was rescued from the North Shore in the early 1980s, after serving as a dog kennel, chicken coop, and souvenir shop storage shed.
After a huge restoration effort, it was placed back on track between Lakeside Park and the Chahko Mika Mall 20 years ago this July.
This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser on May 3.