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A place called Skalistoye

Updated: May 7, 2023

By Jonathan Kalmakoff and Greg Nesteroff


Although Grohman Narrows Provincial Park west of Nelson is a well-known destination for local outdoor recreation and nature appreciation, its storied past has largely slipped from collective memory. The following article examines the property’s many different owners, occupiers, names and uses over its 150-plus years of recorded history.

Looking west toward Grohman Narrows, 1928. The edge of the Skalistoye flats are in the center of the photograph. (National Archives and Records Administration)


The property covers the river flats on the left (south) bank of the Kootenay River at what was once called the Narrows, [1] a natural constriction of the river at the downstream end of the West Arm formed by beds of uneroded hard rock. During periods of high inflow into Kootenay Lake, the constriction raised water levels upriver, causing flooding. The rich alluvial material deposited over millennia enriched the lower portions of the flats, yielding fertile soil, while the higher, unflooded portions remained largely exposed rock.

For centuries before white settlers capitalized upon its agricultural potential, First Nations encamped on the flats, [2] as the Narrows created an ideal location for trapping fish. Its importance as fishing grounds also made it highly sought after, and it is thought to have been the site of a 19th century battle between the Sinixt and Ktunaxa over its control. [3] In the early 20th century, many First Nations artifacts were recovered along the flats. [4]

Baillie-Grohman’s 1886 map showing they flats and narrows, here described as “rapids to be widened and deepened.” [5] Note the railway at that point was surveyed on the north bank but was actually built on the south bank of theriver five years later.

W.A. Baillie-Grohman

In October 1886, 50 acres of the flats were conceded to the Kootenay Lake Syndicate led by Anglo-Austrian author and hunter William Adolph Baillie-Grohman as part of a plan to blast out the Narrows, thereby lowering the lake level in order to drain and reclaim Creston Valley and Kootenay Flats for colonization and agriculture. [6]

In 1889, Grohman’s engineer Leslie Hall and his crew set up camp on the flats, detonating tons of dynamite against the obstructing rock at the Narrows, but the rock did not yield. [7] By 1894, the scheme was a bust and the land reverted to the Crown. More enduring were the names left behind in the form of Grohman Narrows and Grohman Creek, opposite the property.

Early Miners & Ranchers

In 1891, the CPR’s Columbia and Kootenay Railway line was built through the north edge of the property, close to the river, opening it up for mining and later agricultural development.

By November 1898, Dr. E.C. Arthur of Nelson staked the Recluse mineral claim on the property, receiving certificates of work in November 1903 and a grant of mineral rights in February 1905 as Lot 4228; Dr. Arthur still owned the claim as of October 1908, but it was sold for unpaid taxes soon thereafter. [8] A brickyard also reportedly existed in the vicinity, but it’s not clear who operated it. [9]

The original 125-acre Crown grant for Lot 5180 including the Recluse mine.

Meanwhile, in July 1901, New Brunswick native Alfred Bunker (1855-1937) received a Crown grant for the 50.6-hectare (125-acre) property (Lot 5180), subject to the mining claim, for $125. [10] It thereafter became known as the Bunker Ranch. By April 1902, Bunker had cleared some 10-12 acres and planted about 1,000 fruit trees on the ranch, including cherry and pear, and cultivated a large piece for strawberries and other small fruits, making it the oldest acknowledged fruit farm in the Nelson district. [11]

The ranch was accessible by various means. The CPR built Quarry Siding on the property in May 1902 to serve its quarry on the adjacent east lot, which Bunker also used for loading cars with fruit and agricultural products. [12] The ranch was also accessible by boat or via a road at its southern boundary that connected to a wagon road (soon to be known as Granite Road) that led to the City of Nelson power plant on the Kootenay River. [13]

In addition to farming, Bunker was active in the Kootenay Fruit Growers’ Association as vice-president. [14] He was involved in a proposal to assume the assets of the Nelson streetcar service. [15] He bought and sold lots, cottages, and mining claims. [16] And he ran unsuccessfully for Nelson city council in 1912. [17]

In June 1907, Bunker sold his ranch to Robert W. Hulbert, former editor of the North Battleford News, who registered it under his wife Rose Elizabeth Hulbert. [18] Hulbert renamed the property the Durban Ranch, after the South African city where Rose was born and the couple married in 1902. [19] Besides ranching, Robert served as a delegate of the Kootenay Fruit Growers’ Association, proprietor of the Empire Moving Picture Theatre in Nelson, a founding director of the Nelson branch of the YMCA and compiler of the 1909 Nelson telephone directory. [20]

However, Hulbert soon ran into financial difficulty and by March 1908 advertised the ranch for sale through Regina realtors McCallum Hill & Co. [21] By this time, 25 acres of the property had been cleared and planted into apples, cherries, plums, peaches, pears and other small fruits, with 1,000 trees in bearing, 1,200 more soon to bear, and 500 in nursery.

Nelson Daily News, March 29, 1908 ad for the sale of the ranch then owned by R.W. Hulbert.

Despite the advert running in over 105 issues of the Nelson Daily News, the ranch failed to sell. Undoubtedly, a significant deterrent was the fact that half of the ranch was rocky outcropping, of little use for anything except quarrying. [22]

Under pressure from creditors, Hulbert sold the Durban ranch to McCallum Hill & Co. in August 1908, staying on as ranch manager until 1911. [23] In the interim, the realtors satisfied many of Hulbert’s local debts, although he lost his theatre to foreclosure in February 1910. [24]

As McCallum Hill & Co. purchased the ranch under an agreement for sale, title did not transfer until all outstanding payments were made in January 1910. At that time, it was registered in the names of company principals Ernest A. McCallum, Walter H.A. Hill and Edgar D. McCallum. [25] The realtors never lived at the property, having bought it purely on speculation. For three years they collected revenues from ranch fruit sales before placing it back on the market in 1911.

Nelson Daily News, April 5-6, 1911 ad for the sale of the ranch then owned by McCallum Hill & Co.

This time, they used a more creative marketing strategy. On April 5 and 6, 1911, they took out an eye-catching, half-page advertisement in the Nelson Daily News [26] which painted the ranch in colourful, hyperbolic terms, emphasizing its overall acreage, fertile soil, number and type of fruit trees along with its development potential, accessibility and nearness to Nelson, while downplaying the limited cleared acreage and rocky portions. Indeed, the rock was euphemistically described as “extremely picturesque,” “suitable for quarrying,” with the granite “being considered the finest in the district.”

To create a sense of urgency, the ad stressed a “price for quick sale,” “at great sacrifice” and imposed a five-day deadline for offers. The two-day listing worked and the following day, the Durban ranch sold for the $10,000 asking price. [27]

The Doukhobors, 1911-61

The purchaser under agreement for sale was Russian revolutionary-turned-Nelson real estate agent Konstantine Popoff via the local firm of McQuarrie and Robertson. [28] Only four days earlier, Popoff had sold his 30-acre ranch two miles downriver at Taghum to Peter V. Verigin on behalf of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) for $15,000. Evidently Popoff used the sale proceeds to finance the purchase of the Bunker/Durban Ranch.

Popoff immediately put some men to work pruning the 2,200 fruit trees on the ranch in preparation for the season’s operations. [29] However, he had no intention of keeping the property for long. Four days later, Popoff resold it to a second buyer, none other than Peter V. Verigin, again via McQuarrie and Robertson. [30]

Verigin assumed Popoff’s interest under the agreement for sale with McCallum Hill & Co., whereby the Durban Ranch would be paid for in $1,000 annual installments over a 10-year period. [31] In addition, Verigin paid Popoff a $3,000 “commission” for his troubles, with the Daily News aptly reporting that, Popoff had “made a substantial profit over the price he paid for the ranch.” [32]

Assignment of agreement for sale of Durban Ranch from Kanstantan (sic) Popoff to Peter V. Verigin, 1911.

Verigin’s reasons for purchasing the ranch seem to be have been two-fold. First, he had already bought up all the available large blocks in the Kootenay, Columbia and Slocan valleys, such as those at Brilliant and Ootischenia, Champion Creek, Pass Creek and Crescent Valley. Going forward, he was limited to purchasing small ranches and farms on the upper reaches of the Kootenay and Slocan Rivers on which to settle his people.

Second, the CCUB had just purchased the jam factory at Nelson and formed the Kootenay-Columbia Preserving Works to operate it. [33] As the Doukhobors’ earliest planted orchards were only beginning to bear and would not be fully bearing for several years, they required mature, producing orchards to supply their jam factory with fruit and the Bunker Ranch was “one of, if not the most highly developed, fruit ranches in the Kootenays.” [34]

At the time of the Doukhobor purchase, the ranch had 25 acres set out in 2,200 fruit trees, 1,500 of which were apple, including 360 that were already bearing; 60 pear, of which 25 were bearing; 100 plum in bearing, 500 cherry, of which 125 were bearing, and 40 peach, with eight bearing. [35] About 13 acres was under cultivation for small fruits and vegetables, including one acre of strawberries and raspberries, and half an acre of gooseberries and currants. [36]

Buildings on the property consisted of two small houses (one of two stories, measuring 12 by 23 feet and another of a single story, 10 by 23 feet). There was also a small packing shed, stable, large hay barn, pig and chicken house and root cellar. The buildings were collectively valued at about $1,500. [37]

Rare photo of the two-storey ranch house and outbuildings lent by Nelson realtor M.R. McQuarrie to J.T. Bealby for publication in his book, Fruit Ranching in British Columbia. (Toronto: Macmillan, 1909). The original caption read “A successful orchard amongst the stones, near Nelson.”

Verigin forthwith “arranged to put a large staff of men at work on the ranch” [38] to manage the orchard and develop the remaining arable land. Within two years, the Daily News reported the Doukhobors had made “extensive improvements” in clearing and planting the property into orchard and small fruit. [39]

The Doukhobors named the ranch Skalistoye (Скалистое), meaning “rocky” or “craggy” in Russian. [40] The name reflected the fact that despite its rich, fruit-growing soil in places, a large portion of the ranch was barren and unusable for agricultural purposes.

In November 1917, Verigin transferred his interest under the agreement for sale to the newly-incorporated CCUB with $3,000 remaining owing. [41] In the interim, McCallum and Hill assigned their own interest under the agreement for sale to John Allen Wetmore, former accountant of the Imperial Bank at Nelson, now Imperial Bank manager at Regina, in September 1917. [42] In January 1920, after completing the remaining payments to Wetmore, the CCUB received legal title to the Skalistoye property. [43]

Transfer of the Skalistoye ranch from Peter V. Verigin to the CCUB, 1917.

Typically, one or two Doukhobor families was stationed at Skalistoye at a time; often for a period of three or four years before they were rotated back to larger Doukhobor settlements and another family was brought in to take their place.

When the census was taken in June 1911, no Doukhobor families were yet permanently living on the ranch. By the time of the 1921 census (which referred to the property as “Quory” after its railway siding) the Famenoff (or Fominoff) family of 13, originally from Ootischenia, were living there. John and his wife Ahaphia, both 55, were listed along with their four sons and their families, namely Larion, 34, and wife Oprosia, 33, with sons Brilliant, 12, and Fred, 3; Wasil, 29, and wife Fedosia, 34, with daughters Mary, 10, and Polly 3; John, 25, and his son John, 5; and Savely, 16. [44]

Savely married Florence (Fenya) Chigmaroff in Krestova in 1923. Their son, Cecil Fominoff of Winlaw, says the Chigmaroffs briefly joined the Faminoffs at Skalistoye before the families moved to Porcupine, near Salmo, then to Claybrick, near Winlaw, where Cecil was born. [45]

Savely and Fenya Fominoff’s wedding photo, taken during their time at Skalistoye (1923). (Courtesy Valentina Loukianoff and Galena Hadikin)

Savely and Fenya Fominoff with son Tim, taken a few years after their stay at Skalistoye. (Courtesy Valentina Loukianoff and Galena Hadikin)

In 1924, the family of George J., 32, and Polly, 30, Rozinkin, along with their son Peter, 7, and daughter Lucy, 4, were re-stationed from Brilliant to Skalistoye. [46] They remained on the ranch for five years, until 1929.

In August of the latter year, the couple were swept up in a peace protest of several hundred former CCUB members from Thrums who marched past Skalistoye. George and Polly joined them, leaving their children at the ranch house while they trekked to Nelson. [47]

Their granddaughter, Sharon Hoodicoff of Kamloops, recalls that her mother Lucy and brother Peter had no idea if their parents would return and, out of a sense of survival, began planting potatoes, although it was the wrong season. [48] Their aunt soon came and took them to their parents. Sadly, the family never returned to the ranch, being subsequently confined with 530 other protestors at Porto Rico, an abandoned CCUB lumber camp, until July 1930. [49]

Polly, Lucy, George and Peter Rozinkin with unknown man in front, taken at Skalistoye in 1924. (Courtesy Sharon Hoodicoff)

By late 1929, another family was place at Skalistoye, that of Fred A., 23, and Polly W., 20, Konkin and their son Phillip, 1, formerly of Brilliant. [50] The family tended the ranch for two years before leaving the CCUB and resettling in Thrums as Independent Doukhobors in 1931. [51]

Life at Skalistoye was communal and revolved around the agricultural seasons. In spring, the men pruned the orchard fruit trees, while on the cultivated land, the women planted annual vegetables and small fruit where perennial berries were not already established.

Throughout the summer, the men laboured to clear and break additional land on the property. By late summer, the entire family picked the fruit and berries grown at the ranch. These were shipped from the siding, initially to Nelson and after 1915 to Brilliant for processing in the CCUB jam factories.

A portion of the vegetables grown were retained by the ranch families for their own use, with the bulk redistributed among other Doukhobor settlements as needed or else sold at the Doukhobor market in Nelson. Over late fall and winter, the men worked at the CCUB sawmills or else sought employment from local ranchers.

The farm also served as an important stopping place for Doukhobor wagon teamsters travelling from outlying settlements. Steve Hoodicoff of Castlegar says that his grandmother Mary S. Hoodicoff often mentioned how her parents Stepan and Marfa Samorodin of Koch Siding, near Slocan Park, and other Doukhobors would regularly stop at Skalistoye to rest, water and feed their horse teams before heading out to Nelson. [52]

By January 1931, after 20 years of communal ownership and operation, the Doukhobors had more than doubled the amount of cleared land, with 30 acres in orchard at Skalistoye and another 30 acres under cultivation, with the remaining 65 acres of rocky outcropping used for pasture. [53]

For all its rocks, the ranch generated significant produce and income for the CCUB during this period from the produce grown there, with the orchard yielding approximately 240 to 450 tons of fruit per year, and the cultivated land yielding about 2,000 cases of berries and 180 tons of potatoes and other vegetables per year. [54]

As for the property itself, the Doukhobors do not appear to have made any substantial improvements or additions to the buildings over this period, their value depreciating from $1,500 in 1911 to $800 in 1931. An inventory conducted in the latter year listed “Two dwelling houses, one barn and other small buildings,” valued at $800. [55] And despite significant improvements made to the land in terms of clearing, the property value increased only modestly after 20 years from $10,000 in 1911 to $15,450 in 1931. [56]

However, by this time, Skalistoye no longer held the strategic and locational value to the CCUB it once had, with the organization owning over 3,500 acres of bearing orchard and another 10,000 acres of small fruit and vegetables at larger, more centralized tracts elsewhere in the Kootenay and Boundary. Accordingly, then-president Peter P. (Chistyakov) Verigin arranged to sell the isolated and remote ranch to Doukhobor John George Evin in March 1931. [57]

Evin was a founding member of the board of directors of the CCUB following its federal incorporation in April 1917. [58] By 1921, he relocated from Brilliant to the CCUB colony at Cowley, Alta. where he remained until at least 1926. [59] However, by 1930, he left the CCUB to live and farm as an Independent Doukhobor at Blaine Lake, Sask. [60]

Evin subsequently returned to the Kootenay with his family of five. However, if they lived at Skalistoye, it was exceedingly brief, as from 1933 on they were living at Slocan Park although they continued to own the property. [61]

John G. Evin, photographed in Cowley, Alta., circa 1926. (Jonathan J. Kalmakoff collection)

The East Half

What is known is that by September 1938, the West Kootenay Power and Light Company had its corporate eye on Evin’s property. At that time, it applied to the International Joint Commission to make certain river improvements upstream from its Corra Linn dam; namely dredging the Kootenay River at Grohman Narrows and excavating rock on the south side of the narrows at Evin’s property to improve river flow for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. [62] The Commission green-lit the project in December 1938. [63]

Within weeks, the West Kootenay Power and Light Company acquired the east half of Evin’s Lot 5180 consisting of 24.3 hectares (60 acres); however, it is unclear whether it did so by purchase or expropriation. [64] Presumably, Evin would have been a willing seller, since the east half contained the rockiest portions of his ranch.

Between April and October 1939, the utility excavated some 500,000 cubic feet of rock, boulders and gravel from the shore of the east half of Lot 5180, along with nine million cubic feet dredged on either side of Narrows Island, thus successfully deepening and widening the narrows where Baillie-Grohman had failed 50 years earlier. [65]

Dredging and excavation work adjacent to Lot 5180, April 1939. (Fred Fransen photo, courtesy Thor Fransen)

Once the river improvement project was completed, the east half of Lot 5180 apparently reverted to the Crown. Four years later, a reserve was placed over it on Dec. 9, 1943, as part of an order-in-council securing all vacant Crown land in the province. [66]

However the land wasn’t actually vacant. At some point prior to 1939, Evin rented out his Skalistoye ranch to William George Hadikin who occupied it with his family. Owing to some mix-up, Hadikin continued to pay rent for the entire Lot 5180 after the east half was transferred to the West Kootenay Power and Light Company. This only became apparent in May 1946 after Evin died.

In order to validate his occupancy of the land and protect the improvements he had made, Hadikin applied to purchase the east half of Lot 5180, now subject to the Crown reserve. The government approved his purchase request on May 8, 1946 by order-in-council at a price of $5.50 per acre for a total of $330. [67]

The reserve was cancelled but the property transfer wasn’t completed until July 12, 1947. [68] William Hadikin died at his home on Nov. 10, 1948 at age 73 and his wife Mary followed a year later. [69] The property passed to their son Bill W. Hadikin, [70] who in turn sold it to Louis H. Skapple in 1952. [71]

The Andersons & Creation of Grohman Narrows Provincial Park

In 1950, Donna and Wilbert Anderson bought the west half of Lot 5180 from the Evin estate and began farming, although the property was not actually transferred into their name until August 1954. [72] By 1961, they also purchased the east half of Lot 5180 from Louis Skapple. [73]

In 1966, the Department of Highways bought 19 acres of the Anderson Ranch as part of a project to reroute Highway 3A through the middle of the property. The purchase saved the government the trouble of building an underpass and fence for the Andersons’ cattle.

However, the Andersons only agreed to the sale on the condition that the northerly portion of the land, now cut off by the highway, be developed as a park. The government paid for the property but for some reason it was never properly conveyed. Officials tried to rectify this oversight in 1971, minus the conditions of the 1966 agreement. The Andersons refused. [74]

One of the workers rerouting Highway 3A through the ranch in 1967 was John N. Derhousoff of Blewett, who, according to his daughter Joyce Tucker of Nelson, recalled that it was a former Doukhobor orchard. [75] John approached Wilbert Anderson about picking the fruit from the orchard trees, now gone to wild. Anderson agreed, and for the next 15 years, the Derhousoff family went to Skalistoye, as they still called it, to pick fruit each fall. [76]

Meanwhile in 1971, the Department of Highways let the City of Nelson build a road through the north part of the property to access its new sewage treatment plant, built on adjoining Crown land. This violated the agreement with the Andersons, who still held title to the property. [77] The access road was constructed directly through the original two-storey ranch house and outbuildings, resulting in their demolition.

In 1978, the City of Nelson asked the Andersons to let them use part of the property for an incinerator. They declined. The provincial government then tried to clear the way for the incinerator by establishing the entire 19 acres as a highway and obtaining title. But it became a moot point when Nelson residents defeated the proposed incinerator in a referendum. [78]

The BC Ombudsman’s office investigated the matter, concluding the actions of the highways ministry were “unjust and improper.” The Ombudsman also helped find a solution that gave the City of Nelson continued access to their sewage treatment plant while converting the remaining property to a park. [79]

District Lot 5180, showing original ranch building locations and Grohman Narrows Provincial Park boundaries.

Grohman Narrows Provincial Park was finally established on May 21, 1981 containing 13.23 hectares (33 acres), but a few months later, it was reduced to 10.23 hectares (25 acres). It may have simply been the correction of a typo, but the order-in-council didn’t provide a reason. The park consists of the northerly Lot 1 of District Lot 5180 and an adjacent unsurveyed mid-channel island, known as Narrows Island. [80]

The park wasn’t formally dedicated until a year after its creation. The BC Ombudsman, Karl Friedmann, was present at the opening with other officials and the Andersons. [81] Friedmann previously noted in his annual report: “Although the Parks Branch has decided to give the park a rather dry name for historical reasons, to me it will always be the Anderson Provincial Park.” [82]

A monument in the park recognizes the Andersons, but otherwise it’s devoid of interpretive signage. No acknowledgement was made during the park process that Lot 5180 was a Doukhobor farm for 50 years, although Donna Anderson briefly mentioned this fact in a family history she contributed to Granite Road Memories, a local history book published in 1985 and reprinted in 2020.

BC Ombudsman Karl Friedmann poses with Donna and Wilbert Anderson at the opening of Grohman Narrows Provincial Park in 1982, as seen in the Nelson Daily News. The plaque is also seen below in 2020.

The Andersons retained the southerly portion of the property, Lot A of District Lot 5180, containing 46.3 hectares (114.41 acres) for several more decades. Today, it is the site of a mini-storage facility and surplus store development, which stand across the highway from the park.

Over the course of the past half-century, subdivision, highway construction and new development have made it difficult to imagine what the Skalistoye ranch originally looked like in full bloom. However, vestiges are still visible today to those who look for it.

The foundations of the one-storey ranch house lie just south of the head of the loop trail at the parking lot. The barn foundations can be found on the lake side of the trail, halfway between the parking lot and the road to the sewage treatment plant. A row of fruit trees stand along the sewage treatment plant access road itself, while others can be found near the mini-storage facility. These, and the memories held by descendants of the ranch families, all bear witness to its communal fruit-growing past.

Special thanks to Stan Sherstobitoff, Sharon Hoodicoff, Valentina Loukianoff, Galena Hadikin, Steve Hoodicoff, Cecil Fominoff, Bill W. Evin, Vera Maloff, Sierra Dante and Steve Cleary.

Foundations of the one-storey ranch house near the head of the trail loop at the parking lot. (Courtesy Stan Sherstobitoff)

Foundations of the large barn on the lake side of the trail loop, halfway between the parking lot and waste treatment plant access road. (Courtesy Stan Sherstobitoff)

Orchard trees along the road between Grohman Narrows Park and the City of Nelson sewage treatment plant, 2021.


[1] Mabel E. Jordon, “The Kootenay Reclamation and Colonization Scheme and William Adolph Baillie-Grohman” in British Columbia Historical Quarterly, (Vol XX, Nos. 3 and 4, July-October 1956) at 187-220

[2] The Daily News (Nelson), July 28, 1910 reported that Granite rancher Frank Phillips “brought in a number of Indian curios … He found them in an Indian mound which is supposed to have been an old Indian battle ground …”

[3] First Nations’ Ethnography and Ethnohistory in British Columbia’s Lower Kootenay/Columbia Hydropower Region, Randy Bouchard and Dorothy Kennedy (Castlegar: Columbia Power Corporation, 2000) at 229-30

[4] Supra, note 2

[5] W.A. Baillie-Grohman, The Kootenay valleys in Kootenay district, British Columbia (London: Witherby, 1886)

[6] The property was legally described as “50 acres on the left bank at the Narrows”: Jordon, supra, note 1; "Lease: Kootenay Reclamation and Colonization,” British Columbia Sessional Papers, 1887, at 315-32. See also International Kootenay Lake Board of Control, 2005 Annual Report to the International Joint Commission (Vancouver, 2005) at 6

[7] Jordon, ibid.

[8] The Miner (Nelson), Nov. 19, 1898; The Daily News (Nelson), Nov. 12, 1903 and Oct. 15, 1908; Crown Grant No. 1212 dated Feb. 27, 1905

[9] David Norcross writing in Granite Road Memories (Granite Road Women’s Institute, 1985) at 12

[10] Crown Grant No. 1458 dated July 3, 1901, viewed at

[11] The Daily News (Nelson), April 25, 1902, Oct. 10, 1902, March 29, 1908 to Aug. 2, 1908

[12] The Daily News (Nelson), April 24, 1902, July 27, 1907

[13] The Daily News (Nelson), April 5-6, 1911

[14] The Daily News (Nelson), Jan. 20, 1904

[15] The Daily News (Nelson), Dec. 15, 1908

[16] The Daily News (Nelson), June 15, 1905, Aug. 26, 1906, Nov. 7, 1908, June 17, 1909, Feb. 12, 1910, April 12, 1910, April 11, 1911

[17] The Daily News (Nelson), Jan. 8, 1912

[18] The Daily News (Nelson), June 14, 1907; AFB 24/387 No. 7288a registered July 26, 1907

[19] The Daily News (Nelson), Aug. 10, 1907, and April 10, 1911. See also Robert William Hulbert family tree by Dave May on Hulbert moved to the Lower Mainland and founded the Coquitlam Star.

[20] The Mail Herald (Revelstoke), Aug 2, 1908; The Daily News (Nelson), Dec. 11 and 15, 1908 and June 1, 1910; Creston Review, June 10, 1909

[21] The Daily News (Nelson), March 29, 1908 to Aug. 2, 1908

[22] The Daily News (Nelson), April 5, 1911

[23] The Daily News (Nelson), Aug. 2, 1908, Jan. 6, 1909, March 16, 1910

[24] Ibid.

[25] AFB 27/256 No. 11954a registered Jan. 5, 1910

[26] The Daily News (Nelson), April 5-6, 1911

[27] Agreement for Sale dated April 7, 1911 between Ernest A. McCallum, Walter H.A. Hill and Edgar D. McCallum and Kanstantan (sic) Popoff appended to Certificate of Title 7275-I dated April 17, 1920; The Daily News (Nelson), April 10, 1911. The realtors went on to become two of the most successful businessmen and real estate developers in Regina’s history:

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Assignment of Agreement for Sale dated April 15, 1911 between Kanstantan (sic) Popoff and Peter Verigin appended to Certificate of Title 7275-I dated April 17, 1920; “Quick profits in Bunker ranch,” The Daily News (Nelson), April 17, 1911

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, “The Doukhobor Jam-Making Enterprise” in West Kootenay Advertiser, April 23-30 and May 7, 14, 21, 2020:;;;;

[34] The Daily News (Nelson), April 5, 1911

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] The Daily News (Nelson), Jan. 6, 1913

[40] William Rozinkin, correspondence to Jonathan J. Kalmakoff dated June 3, 2003; Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, “Doukhobor Place Names” in ISKRA No. 1951-1965 (USCC, 2002)

[41] Indenture dated Nov. 1, 1917 between Peter Verigin and the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, Limited appended to Certificate of Title 7275-I dated April 17, 1920

[42] AFB 33/2 No. 22290a registered Sept. 18, 1917

[43] Certificate of Title 7275-I dated April 17, 1920

[44] 1921 Canada census, viewed at and Brilliant Fominoff was reportedly the first Doukhobor child born in BC. When leader Peter V. Verigin heard of his birth, he visited, offered a blessing, and asked to name the newborn Brilliant. In his late teens, Brilliant contracted tuberculosis and at Verigin’s recommendation, he went to Arizona for treatment, dying there in 1928 age 19: ISKRA, March 3, 2008

[45] Cecil Fominoff, interview with Greg Nesteroff, March 26, 2020

[46] Sharon Hoodicoff, interview with Jonathan Kalmakoff, April 3, 2021

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] List of Doukhobors Camped at Porto Rico, Nov. 24, 1929 (GR 1725, Attorney General Correspondence [B-7621] File P291-17/1929-30, p. 109-11);

[50] Ann Malahoff, interview with Sharon Hoodicoff for Jonathan Kalmakoff, April 3, 2021

[51] Ibid.

[52] Steve Hoodicoff, interview with Jonathan Kalmakoff, April 3, 2021

[53] The Doukhobors in British Columbia, Vladimir N. Snesarev (Harry W. Trevor), 1931, Appendix 1, List 3 at 9

[54] For average fruit yields at Nelson and elsewher in the Kootenay at the time, see J.T. Bealby, Fruit Ranching in British Columbia (Toronto: Macmillan, 1909)

[55] Snesarev, supra, note 48

[56] Ibid.

[57] Certificate of Title 32075-I dated March 30, 1931

[58] Minutes of the first meeting of The Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood dated Sept. 8, 1917, Doukhobor Collection of James Mavor, viewed at:

[59] 1921 Canada Census viewed at:; 1926 Census of Prairie Provinces viewed at:

[60] Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, The Society of Named Doukhobors, 1930 Saskatchewan Membership List (Regina: 2004) viewed at

[61] John W. Evin, interview with Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, March 16, 2021, Red Deer, Alta.

[62] International Joint Commission, Kootenay Lake Order, dated in New York on Nov. 11, 1938 viewed at:

[63] Ibid.

[64] Supra, note 48

[65] BC Hydro, Grohman Narrows Channel Improvement Project, Sept. 12, 2013 viewed at:

[66] British Columbia Order-in-Council 1653, Dec. 9, 1943, viewed at:

[67] British Columbia Order-in-Council 963, May 8, 1946, viewed at:

[68] Crown Grant No. 2240 dated July 12, 1947 viewed at:

[69] The Province (Vancouver), Nov. 19, 1948

[70] Certificate of Title 74252-I dated 1948

[71] Certificate of Title 91205-I dated 1952

[72] Donna Anderson writing in Granite Road Memories (Granite Road Women’s Institute, 1985) at 59; Certificate of Title 99407-I dated Aug. 6, 1954

[73] Certificate of Title 125191-I dated 1961

[74] 1980 Annual Report of the Ombudsman to the Legislature of British Columbia, supra at 55-56

[75] Joyce Tucker, interview with Jonathan Kalmakoff, April 3, 2021

[76] Ibid.

[77] 1980 Annual Report of the Ombudsman to the Legislature of British Columbia, supra at 56

[78] Ibid; “Couple win a 15-year wrangle,” Nelson Daily News, Rita Moir, June 5, 1981

[79] Ibid.

[80] Grohman Narrows Park in BC Geographic Names, viewed at; and British Columbia Order-in-Council 1220, July 21, 1981, viewed at

[81] “Local park area is dedicated,” Nelson Daily News, May 25, 1982

[82] 1980 Annual Report of the Ombudsman to the Legislature of British Columbia (Victoria: Queen’s Printer for British Columbia, 1979) at 57

This story also appeared in print as a series in the West Kootenay Advertiser between April 1 and 29, 2021 and can be found on the Doukhobor Heritage site.

Updated on April 4, 2021 to add photos and more information about the Doukhobor families who lived at Skalistoye, as well as the photo from J.T. Bealby’s book.

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Betty Osachoff
Betty Osachoff
Jan 03, 2022

Great research into local History! Great to know the past!


Lorna Visser
Lorna Visser
May 23, 2021

As much as I enjoy your incredible detective skills, Greg, unearthing these historical stories, in reading them I wonder how the Sinixt feel. All of this is Sinixt land and they are rarely if ever mentioned. There was a considerable amount of disrespect, displacement and outright genocide done to the original people of this area. It's time to start considering their story, as well.


Absolutely fascinating. With the help of these photographs I will take another look at the area


Apr 28, 2021

A truly superior effort, Greg and Jon. Thank you again for another enlightening glimpse at Kootenay history. Ron Verzuh


Robert Payie
Robert Payie
Apr 03, 2021

Brilliant sleuthing as always Greg.

The history you bring to life is always fascinating, and never fails to make me homesick.

God bless you for your invaluable work.


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