On the Arrow Lakes
Edgewood is nestled between the Monashee Mountains and the west shore of Lower Arrow Lake. The Arrow Lakes are the traditional territory of the Sinixt, who travelled seasonally around the lakes and south to Kettle Falls in modern-day Washington. The arrival of settlers to the Kootaneys and establishment of the international border through their territory disrupted their traditional trade routes and seasonal settlement patterns irrevocably. Although the Canadian government declared them "extinct" in 1956, the Sinixt Nation includes about 6,000 people today.
Settlers established the community of Edgewood as a replacement for the steamboat landing of Killarney located a couple kilometres to the south. The name Edgewood was chosen when the settlement's post office was established in 1902. The town could only be accessed by steamship for the first several years. It wasn't until World War I that a wagon road was built through the Fire Valley, connecting the community to Vernon.
The men who built this road were immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, largely Ukrainian, who were interned as "enemy aliens" during World War I. The camp housed these men for a little over a year while they toiled on the road that would connect Edgewood by land to an urban centre. This wagon road was improved and expanded over the years, and is now a portion of Highway 6.
This project has been made possible by a grant from the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.
Edgewood is located on the traditional territory of the Sinixt Nation, who travelled the Arrow Lakes region since time immemorial. This region also sustained groups from the Okanagan Band, Shuswap, and Ktunaxa, who travelled through for trade.
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