Updated: Dec 25, 2019
It sounds like something out of Game of Thrones, but the evocatively-named Crystal Hall at Willow Point on Kootenay Lake was made of wood. It was named after nearby Crystal Creek and built in 1911 at Emory’s Corner on land donated by A.D. Emory, using volunteer labour.
Work party at Crystal Hall. Courtesy Gwen Arnett/Up the Lake
The building consisted of a hall and small kitchen, and was intended for “religious services, institute meetings, dances, school concerts and general public purposes.”
According to the booklet West Arm Echoes, the hall had three additions over the years. In addition to the above mentioned purposes, it was used for badminton, as a polling station, and for the annual Willow Point flower show and fall fair. It was also home to the Willow Point Drama Society, run by Col. Taylor. The school Christmas concert was usually held there as well.
I found this story about the hall’s opening in the Nelson Daily News of March 2, 1911.
We know more about the hall’s beginnings than we do about its end.
According to Patricia Ormond of the Up the Lake website, who kindly granted permission to use some of the photos seen here, the hall was torn down, but the date is unknown. It stood at least into the 1950s. On the site now is a mobile home, on the Nelson side of the Emorys’ old summer home.
Nelson Symphony Orchestra at Crystal Hall, 1913
“Gwen Acres told us that some of the flooring in her parents house was from the old hall and Eric Denny's daughter pointed out to me some parts of a shed at her parents old house up Annable Road that were also part of the Crystal Hall,” Ormond says. “It got around!”
Inside Crystal Hall, ca. 1940s. Fred Heddle/Up the Lake
Updated on Dec. 24, 2019 to clarify that the hall was built in 1911, not 1910.