A small city on the southern shores of picturesque Shuswap Lake, Salmon Arm takes its name from one of the four arms of the lake. The word Shuswap comes from the Secwépemc people who have inhabited the region for millennia. In the 1880s, after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the first Europeans arrived and began the hard work of clearing the land and farming.
Since then, the town has maintained its hard working community-minded roots, always banding together in times of hardship.
This project is a collaboration with the Salmon Arm Heritage Commission, the R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum, the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, and the Downtown Salmon Arm Improvement Association.
We also owe thanks to the support of the Hilltop Inn.
We are grateful to the Secwépemc First Nation, on whose traditional territory we live, work, and play.
We honour the Elders and knowledge keepers, past and present. We pay our respects to the custodians of these lands, and we value our continuing relationship with the Secwépemc People.
Then and Now Photos
SS Ethel Ross
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1983.0014.0005
The S.S. Ethel Ross sternwheeler sits in the dredged channel at the Salmon Arm Wharf. Built in 1897 by Captain George Ward, a maritime sailor who had settled in Kamloops. This ship largely serviced the logging industry.
Marching to the Station
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1983.0012.0004
The F. Company Regiment R.M.R. march north on Alexander Street towards the train station and deployment in 1914.
In the background, the 2nd building from the right is Salmon Arm Realty office, which would eventually become Neeland’s Furniture. The 4th building on the right, currently the Shuswap Pie Company, became the Quality Store owned by C.R. Beer in 1921 with millinery and dressmaking departments. The Empress Opera House, the 6th building on the right, had just been overhauled and electric wiring installed in 1913. Its name was hand painted onto fire resistant tin siding.
View Across Orchards
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum
A view across the orchards towards downtown Salmon Arm.
Waiting on the Wharf
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1983.0014.0116
Pictured here is the prettiest sternwheeler to serve Salmon Arm, the S.S. Andover, built in Kamloops by Maritime ship builders Captain George Ward and his sons Elmer and Arthur. The boat was christened the S.S. Silver Stream but renamed the S.S. Andover shortly afterwards. Ward didn’t realize the name was spoken for and another vessel in the British ship registry already bore the name.
Boarding SS Andover
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1977.0099.0140
The arrival of the S.S. Andover at the government wharf was a community event. Built in Kamloops in 1908, the sternwheeler measured 91.3 feet long, 19.9 feet wide, and 4 feet deep.
Salmon Arm’s wharf channel was dredged and the future looked bright for water travel. Captain Ward was confident that excursions would appeal to hundreds of tourists. He set his 1910 prices accordingly - a dollar for adults and half price for children.
Farewell to the Soldiers
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1983.0010.0177
A farewell party assembles at the station to see men headed to Vernon to mobilize as the 30th Regiment, British Columbia Horse. This mounted regiment served in World War I and II, and was absorbed into the British Columbia Dragoons.
Hockey on the Lake
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1983.0010.0088
A small crowd cheers on a friendly hockey game of married men against singles, some comfortably perched on a horse-drawn wagon. A small scattering of farms and houses is visible in the background. The lake rarely freezes these days.
Clean Up Day
Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum 1977.0099.0020
Community volunteers participate in the annual Clean-up Day. On the photographer’s left is Heathcott Surveyor, further to the right is the sign for the Sprig of Heather tea room, and in the distance, an automobile speeds down the road. Bicycle riders, teams of horses, and motorists all had to co-exist.