It was a long and winding road, but a sketch intended for Salmon Arm resident June Griswold finally arrived after a 29-year journey. Where it was during those 29 years, however, remains a mystery.
In 1982, Gerry Doeksen put a pen and ink drawing he had done of the Kaslo & Slocan Railway in the mail. It shows the train, circa 1896, crossing a bridge near McQuigan, B.C.
Doeksen lived in Montrose, B.C. and put it in the mail addressed to Griswold, who lived in Kaslo at the time, and was secretary of the Kootenay Lake Historical Society.
She’s not sure if he was asked to send the item or not, but notes he is an artist who probably saw a photo of the train which he then drew.
Just recently, Griswold stopped in at the Enderby Museum, where she knows the curator, Joani Cowan. Cowan told her she had something for her.
“I was so surprised to see the tube (with the drawing intact inside) with my name on it,” says Griswold.
She learned that Cowan had been speaking to Diane Pelltier, who had collected some items for the museum. One of them was the cardboard tube, which she’d found at the Churches of Salmon Arm Thrift Store.
“She had it herself for a few years, not knowing what to do with it,” explains Griswold.
Pelltier eventually decided to include the tube with the items for the Enderby Museum because it was addressed to a historical society. As luck would have it, Cowan knows Griswold.
“Now after 29 years I have the tube and the drawing. I find this to be a real mystery. How did it get out of the mail system? How did it get from the Kootenays to the Okanagan/Shuswap area? If only it could talk.”