Gordon Mackie shows off a scale model of the old CPR Hotel on Sunday, May 19. The model was donated by the Hawkes family of Calgary and assembled by Rick and Doug McCollum. It will be on display at the museum when they open for the season on May 21. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)

Video: Sicamous Museum gifted with model of historic CP Rail hotel

Calgary family with ties to the area commissioned intricate model for museum

The CP Rail hotel once towered above Shuswap Lake on the west side of the Sicamous Channel.

The 75 room structure served as a respite for travellers on the railway’s main line and those heading south to Vernon and Kelowna.

The grand old building has been nothing but a memory since the early 1960s when it was demolished, but now visitors to the Sicamous museum will be able to view it in miniature thanks to a handcrafted model. The model, constructed from 1914 plans by Rick and Doug McCollum of Calgary, will be on display when the museum opens its doors for the season on May 21.

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Gordon Mackie of the Sicamous and District Museum and Historical Society said the hotel was very advanced for its time, sporting electricity and running water in the early 1900s. Guests could entertain themselves in the hotel’s library, music room and billiards room. The building also housed the CPR telegraph office and waiting rooms for passengers.

Passenger service on the railway was phased out by the mid 1950s and, as the hotel could only be accessed by rail and by pedestrians, its days were numbered. Mackie said the telegraph office remained in use for a few years and then the building stood derelict before its demolition.

All that remains of the hotel is its stone foundation which can still be seen from the lake.

The model of the hotel was commissioned by Doug and Dorothy Hawkes, Calgary residents who had a summer house in Seymour Arm and donated to the museum.

“We’ve never had anything like this in our museum before so this is quite a coup for us,” Mackie said.

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The museum opens for the summer at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21. Mackie said some of the Hawkes’ children will be on hand for the unveiling of the model and the museum and historical society plans to present them with a plaque thanking them for their contribution to the preservation of Sicamous’ history. The museum is located in the civic building at 446 Main Street; regular hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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