Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Steele"ing gold

At the beginning of our holiday we visited Fort Steele, an 18o0s pioneer village in southeast British Columbia. This former boomtown was born in 1864 during the Kootenay gold rush. However, the population quickly declined in the late 19th century when the BC railway bypass this burgeoning community in favour of Cranbrook, BC. Many of the buildings are original and have been carefully restored.
It's very pretty here. Note the Rocky Mountains in the background. This is one of the three churches in the community. Religion was pretty important. I guess they needed a way to offset the effects of gambling, drinking & prostitution (see a bit later in the post).

The Candy Store was an important stop for Lizzie. Almost two weeks later, she's still trying to get to the centre of this jawbreaker.

Lizzie also enjoyed some "ole-timey" playground equipment. She thinks that these swings "swing" much better than the ones at our local playground.

We were joined for the day by my grandma and father. We all took a  ride on a vintage steam train around the property.

These two ladies caused quite the stir amongst the locals by going to the dressmakers' through the front door. I questioned the appropriateness of having what were  obviously a pair of prostitutes parading around the family-friendly exhibits (???).

This poor lady was a bit more appropriate, though I'm unsure how she actually lost her skirt. Hopefully she didn't join up with those other "ladies".

Lizzie always enjoys the horses, especially this little foal. I think he liked her too.

Lizzie was being especially bad that day so we locked her up in the local jail for a while. 

After a while though, we permitted her to come out to pan for gold. We purchased a bucket of dirt, which was guaranteed to contain at least a few gold flakes.

Of course Lizzie is always an over-achiever so she found a gold nugget in her pan! It's estimated to be worth about $30. I walked away with only a handful of fool's gold. 

We all sat through a horrific, 30-minute play. Lizzie said she liked it a little bit, but Javier and I sadly realized that it was 30 minutes we'd never be able to recover. The play was filled with yet more inappropriate material, including adultery & substance use! Yikes. What kind of place were we visiting?

All in all it was a lovely day. Plus we got to spend a little quality time with family and that's all that counts, right?


Liz said...

How much fun is that? I'm afraid I'd have gotten stuck panning for gold all day... especially if I thought there was a chance I could make money! :)

Lizzie is turning into such a little lady! So pretty.

MJ said...

Looks like it was a lot of fun! That jawbreaker looks like a challenge! Good luck with it, Lizzy!

mushroommeadows said...

What a wonderful visit (excluding the prostitutes and the play, of course)! Your family is adorable!

By the way, I just wanted to thank you for the giveaway treats! They're so wonderful. It totally brightened my dreary day. :)

mushroommeadows said...

Oh yeah, I have read the Penderwicks and Bunnicula. I love reading juvenile literature. If you and Lizzie want a good read, there's this book called BUD, NOT BUDDY. If you haven't read it, I could send you a copy. Just let me know cause I have a couple of copies. ;)

little dresses said...

LOL! I can't believe they had steet walkers! That was totally tripping me up, I never imagined!

I miss you! I can't seem to keep up with everything lately. I'm behind on all my favorite blogs :(
I just wanted you to know I still love you!!!!


Saucy said...

I have family in Cranbrook... one of my cousins was "Miss Sam Steele" in her beauty queen heyday about 25 years ago.

Jillian said...