Dr. John Woods submitted this photo taken on Family Day, Feb. 15, 2021, of people out on the frozen waters of Salmon Arm Bay, to the Salmon Arm Museum for its archives. By Woods’ count, more than 1,000 people took to the ice over the course of the day. <em>Image is from the John Woods Collection and courtesy the archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.</em>

Dr. John Woods submitted this photo taken on Family Day, Feb. 15, 2021, of people out on the frozen waters of Salmon Arm Bay, to the Salmon Arm Museum for its archives. By Woods’ count, more than 1,000 people took to the ice over the course of the day. Image is from the John Woods Collection and courtesy the archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.

Shuswap history in pictures: A day for the records

More than 1,000 people were out on the frozen Salmon Arm Bay on Family Day

The archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum is a proactive place. It collects records and photographs created recently.

Take this photograph by Dr. John Woods for example. Woods recently wrote that he was bird-watching along the waterfront on Family Day when he noticed a huge number of people out on the ice enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

“I took pictures from the wharf (where there were very few people) and thought you might be interested in having them for the archives,” he said in an email.

Woods explained that since he was used to counting large groups of birds, he decided to scan the entire bay (from the mouth of the Salmon River to Canoe) and count by twos.

“I was astonished that my tally added up to at least 850,” said Woods. “Given people were coming and going while I took the photos, it is very accurate to say that well more than 1,000 people must have been out there over the course of the day.

“I think you have historic photos in your collection of residents enjoying skating, hockey and walking on the ice, but I’m wondering if Family Day 2021 marks the day with greatest number of people to enjoy the bay in this way ever.”

Woods is right. The day was an event! When will mother nature cooperate again? And what are the chances of it happening again during a pandemic?

Image is from the John Woods Collection and courtesy the archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.

Submitted by Salmon Arm Museum archivist Deborah Chapman

Read more: VIDEO: Salmon Arm residents enjoy Valentine’s Day skate on frozen Shuswap Lake

Read more: Skaters warned Salmon Arm Bay ice may not hold their weight

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