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Greenwood and Phoenix, August 1958

Updated: Mar 11

I bought these slides of Greenwood and Phoenix on eBay, apparently all taken on the same day. I’m always excited to see photos of the mid-20th century onward, especially in colour, because they tend to be underrepresented in local archives.

We start with a view of South Copper Street in Greenwood looking north.

Those phantom signs are all still there on what is now the Copper Eagle (and was then a hardware store) while the Greenwood Inn/Windsor Hotel next door has been undergoing a restoration the past few years.

There’s a McGavin’s bread truck in the distance. The Rendell block at left is still standing but unfortunately later lost its turret and its third storey. The McArthur centre, at right, has fared better.

Next some photos of the abandoned smelter.

The brick kiln is gone and so is the large wooden building, which burned on Halloween night 1965. As reported by The Vancouver Sun a few days later, the fire burned for four hours and residents more than a quarter of a mile away had to wet down their homes as burning embers fell on them.

The RCMP said they expected to lay charges against those responsible, but I don’t know if that happened. Oddly, while the fire was mentioned in the Sun and the Vancouver Province (which didn’t add any other details), it did not make the Grand Forks Gazette.

At the time the smelter belonged to Vancouver scrap dealer Leon Lotzkar. Following the fire, he donated the site to the City of Greenwood, which then renamed it Leon Lotzkar Memorial Park (although he was still alive at the time of the transfer). The smelter site still has that name, although most residents would probably be hard pressed to explain who Lotzkar was.

A brief biography: he was born in Bulgaria in 1892, and came to Vancouver in 1909 where he was said to be an early advocate for recycling metal and other materials. He founded a company called Pacific Metals Ltd. in 1912.

He was also a member of the Socialist Party and was arrested that year trying to address a crowd. The charge? Vagrancy. According to The Vancouver Sun, “Among the things he admitted were that he was in sympathy with the ideas of Socialism, the IWW movement, the Secular Union, Free Thinkers, and other revolutionary dogma.”

He ran for mayor of Vancouver in 1922 as the Labour candidate and for alderman in 1923 and 1933, all three times unsuccessfully. Later, Lotzkar changed his political outlook, serving many years as president of a local Conservative association.

The Vancouver Sun, Jan. 12, 1922

He also sued an immigration officer for making anti-semitic slurs and death threats against him. The officer denied the allegations and the case was dismissed.

Later Lotzkar was among the founders a seniors home now called the Louis Brier home and hospital. He died in 1976, age 84, survived by his wife and three children.

I don’t know when Lotzkar acquired the Greenwood smelter site. I imagine he bought it for scrap value, but don’t know what he removed.

Painted on this stage coach are the words “Red Stage Lines/Grand Forks-Bossburg.” The coach was restored in 1955 by Jim Bush of Midway and then again in 2011 by the Boundary Woodworkers’ Guild and Boundary Museum Society. It is in the Boundary Museum Collection at Fructova.

There were apparently competing stage lines between Grand Forks and Bossburg (a ghost town in Washington). I haven’t found anything about the Red Stage Line, but lots on its rivals.

The Grand Forks and Bossburg Daily Stage line was started in January 1897 by Wright and Schwan. They made two round trips per week, departing Grand Forks at 1 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, stopping about 10 miles from Bossburg for the night, and then arriving in Bossburg on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Mr. Wright had previously run a stage line between Marcus and Grand Forks for two years. How long the service existed I don’t know. Ads ceased after six months.

Grand Forks Miner, March 6, 1897

Another service evocatively dubbed the International Flyer Line began operating between Grand Forks, Bossburg, Cascade, Republic, and Greenwood in April 1899, I.r. Daniels and a Mr. Hutchins proprietors. They offered same-day service, leaving Grand Forks at 4 a.m. and arriving at Bossburg at 7 p.m.

They won this glowing endorsement: “They don’t dump passengers out and break their legs. Such drivers are not employed by them.”

The last ad is from September 1899.

Grand Forks Miner, May 6, 1899

Then there was the Boundary Express Line between Grand Forks, Cascade, and Bossburg.

Grand Forks Miner, June 3, 1899

Now some photos of Phoenix. Here’s a general view of what was left in 1958.

What remained of an unidentified mine.

The abandoned Brooklyn mine.

Buildings constructed by the Granby Mining Co. in 1956-57. They’re long gone. A note on the slide says most of the equipment was moved from Granby’s operation at Copper Mountain near Princeton.

The First World War cenotaph, which is still there.

And finally, a prototype of a Granby mining car. The Greenwood Museum has another photo of it with a different sign with the same wording. The car is now in the display of various vehicles and equipment in Gyro Park in Grand Forks.

— With thanks to Christopher Stevenson

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Mar 11

Some fine vehicle shots in this post. The old cars and trucks are particularly interesting to me, but I also like the Grandby cart shot. No idea they are still being used. Thanks, Greg. Ron


fabulous set, and 1958 was a year that British Columbians (and visitors from elsewhere) were especially primed to think about historical features on the landscape. I especially appreciate the image and info about the restored stagecoach! Ben

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