Discovering the Kootenays -
A Heritage Gallery of Art & Design

An Artist's Journey through the history books of Exploration and Settlement in The Columbia River Basin, and the Western Plains of Canada and the United States, from the arrival of the fur-traders to the Colonization of the West.

In the Kootenays/Kootenais the introduction of the horse, the gun, liquor, the quest for furs, David Thompson's and Lewis and Clark's explorations all paved the way to discovering the resources of The Columbia River Basin, and the subsequent influx of opportunists, exploiters, capitalists, saints and sinners, subjects of so many dedicated historians and writers that have inspired this project.

The thumbnail images are links to larger images, important dates, historical backgrounds, names, facts, places of interest, inspirational books, websites, local gems and off-the-beaten-track connections and musings.

Viewable links have a blue border - completed links include text, the rest are works in progress.

Part 1. Discovering the Kootenays.

 Discovering the Ktunaxa, Ktunaha, Kutenai, Kootenais, Kootenaes/Kootenays. David Thompson, the early years leading up to crossing the divide in 1807. David Thompson and the quest for the Columbia.1807-1812. Canadian Kootenays in B.C. Kootenays Region

The Aboriginals and strangers in their lands.

Ktunaxa-Kutenai David Thompson meets The Flatbows and the creature of the woods. Nez Perce Kainai at Massacre Butte. Buffalo Hunters Kootenay Brown The Gold Seekers

Part 2. Gallery of Characters and Communities.

Kootenay Communities Rossland Characters TRAIL-Heinze and Topping  The Gulch in Trail. Hector to the rescue -Trail Hanna and His Sisters Topping and Mrs Meakin's Hotel William (Bill) Devitt Nelson's first mayor. The Lardeau Kaslo Mr Olsen and Ainsworth Winlaw/Slocan Creston Valley-Rykerts, Creston, Wynndel  FORT STEELE Tekahionwake.

Part 3. Corporate Confluence.

Part 3 is inspired by The Columbia Basin River system that gave birth to the Corporate Confluence of Cominco, CPR and West Kootenay Power which has given the area the longevity of industry and employment for over 100 years.

Discoveries and Mining. The smelter-Trail 1895. Birth of Cominco. Workers C.P.R. and Transportation. Immigrant Families arrive in the Kootenays. Campbell and Co. Blaylock and the new bloods. Electrical and other fires. Antonio Vannucchi joins the firm. Working conditions. Strikes and Unions. Elsie Turnbull and Blaylock. Home of the Champions. Cultural Legacy.

Part 4. Immigration and Settlement in the Kootenays.

The discovery of ores and interconnected industries throughout the Kootenays and the subsequent mushrooming of communities spurred a large influx of people from all over the globe to seek their fortunes and secure better futures for themselves and their families.

Italian Emigration to Canada and USA.

The patterns of Italian emigration to Canada and USA have been formed along the lines of historic European events that affected the Italian homelands and North American requirements for labour to develop the resources of nationalistic endeavours. Most of the patterns of mass emigration involved both these factors coinciding at different intervals in time, leading to them being described as 'waves'.

The history of the ancient peoples of Italy, origins of the Flags, the formation of the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Papal States, the modern Republic of Italy and the background leading to the modern waves of emigration are explored in this next series of webpages.

The Ancient Peoples of Italy. The Roman Republic. The Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire.  Italian history and the flags. Italian Emigration. Italian Immigrants. Families follow.

Colombo Lodge Centennial mural - Trail Georgetti Family. The Merchants of the Gulch. Founding Members of the Colombo Lodge. Death and funerals. The Present Lodge Building. Sisters of the Lodge. Men's activities. Women's activities. 
Children's activities. Arts, Crafts and Trades. Construction and Masonry. Musical Legacy. Theatre and entertainment. Antonio and Felicita. The New Generation. The Tognotti family and Al's your pal. St. Anthony's Many served. Community Leaders. The Lerose Family. The Devito Family. HockeySports Heritage Baseball and Sports Teams Heritage Athletic Excellence. Bocce.  Grapes, wine and gardening. Picnics, Festivals and Parades. Legacy and Dedication. Modern Arts.

Introduction. Goals and Focus of the project, Acknowledgements.
Research material. Where appropriate, references are included on each webpage, otherwise Books, articles, websites, organizations, archives and museums used in the project are listed here.

Maureen and Michael Travers - Art and Life. Artists' statements and background; including Maureen's drawings of modern characters of the Kootenays, a link to Michael's wabi-sabi webpage, and 'About the artists', a more detailed chronological list of their qualifications, awards and achievements.
Our Heritage Gallery of Stained Glass. Discovering the Kootenays Series. --- Bob Blair's Heritage Window.

The views, opinions, contents, design and artworks are the copyright and intellectual property of Maureen A. Travers and Michael J. Travers, any requests for reproduction are to be made directly to the artists.

This is an ongoing webpage. It is updated, revised and added to on a regular basis. If there are any errors or omissions we apologise and appreciate any comments, suggestions or requests by E-mailing:

Thank you for visiting this webpage.