After months of preparation MCTRS opened one of the KVR construction era camps to the general public. The camp, named after the 1912 contractor E A Morrissey, is one of two camps run by Morrissey in Myra Canyon.
In 2007 the Society and the University of British Columbia Okanagan co-sponsored an historical archaeological dig at the site. The students and professors uncovered several features – two ovens, two wells, an animal watering hole, the old tote (service) road as well as cabin and tent foundations. They also found numerous artefacts, including bottles, utensils, a make-shift shower, tools, and other paraphernalia associated with camp life.
Today (August 2022) those features and some of the artefacts are available for the public to view. Located a short distance from the Ruth parking lot and gate, a short trail leads to the camp. There are signs giving general information about the camp as well as others which specifically identify the features. Numerous historic photographs on the signage add to an understanding of the living conditions for the workers building the KVR.
As part of the opening MCTRS President Denis Davis welcomed the participants and thanked B C Parks and Katim Construction for their support and preparatory work. Denis also gave a brief history of the society since its inauguration in 1993 and then announced, unfortunately, that MCTRS members had recently voted to dissolve the society due to a drastic reduction in membership.
After Denis spoke he introduced Maury Williams, one of the professors from the 2007 dig, who spoke about the importance of the KVR to the southern part of the province, both in ensuring that this region remained part of Canada and then as the life line of the Kootenays and the Okanagan. The KVR provided crucial freight and passenger links to Vancouver as well as secure communication connections to the rest of British Columbia.
Morrissey’s Camp #2 is open to the public and is easily accessible from the old KVR railbed. Look for the cement bike racks at the trail entrance.
August 31, 2022