In the early 1950s many of the historic buildings were torn down in order to “beautify” the village and make it attractive to would-be residents. Behind this sign is the ballpark used throughout the spring, summer and fall for sporting events, outdoor markets and celebrations. It was the initial location for the Slocan Logger Sports, which sometimes ran at the same time as ball games were going on. Across the road is a housing complex where once stood the Slocan Inn. It was a perfect location for stopping on the way through Slocan for a meal. At times it was the location of the pub, the library, a restaurant as well as providing rooms to rent. In 1965, the Slocan Inn celebrated its grand opening. Nelson Daily News article. (link) It fell into disrepair and the site was eventually purchased in 2008 by developers and the current housing units were built.
If you continue north on Slocan Street, just past the creek on your right you will see the remnants of the Columbia Apiaries. Little more than a dilapidated shack now, this was once a thriving industry up and down the Slocan Valley. Founded by V.K. Soharov in the 1920s and from 1943 to 1956 it was owned and operated by the Howard family.
The following is taken from a description by Joan Perugini (nee Howard):
V.K. Soharov was a well respected professor at a Russian university before 1916. Sometime in the 1920s while travelling through BC, he happened into the Slocan area. At the time there were many large orchards and truck gardens. He saw a business opportunity to supply the orchards and gardens with bee supplies. At that time, these supplies needed to be shipped in from eastern Canada or California. He was successful in his application to the provincial government to set up an experimental apiary in the (Slocan) Valley. Thus was born Columbia Apiaries which he set up near Springer Creek.
He set up groups of 5 to 15 beehives where needed in the Valley – the farmers benefited and he hauled in enormous amounts of honey.
Education being his first profession, he continued to educate the public, lecturing at conventions and having a demonstration hive in Slocan. He was also a physical fitness enthusiast, seen doing calisthenics as he walked down the street and extolling its benefits to any children nearby.
Nelson Daily News article
Oct 29, 1965
By Bob Campbell
The search-weary sourdoughs who gouged a silver empire out of the wild tapestry of mutinous rock that eventually became known as Slocan City, would stare bug-eyed and stupefied at a sleek, ultra-modern two-storey structure just recently completed at the east end of town.
They might have found more identification and kinship with the man who conceived the $300,000 oasis of luxury, B. P. Fagan.
“They called it Fagan’s Folly”, says the gentleman who shares his faith and vision with the other partners in this venture.
Although designed to blend with nature – carved topography that was responsible for the birth pains of “Silver City”, the new 23 room hotel is a far cry from the rugged, history hewn architecture that surrounds it.
Officially opened today, the Slocan Inn is the epitomy of luxury in a rustic environment, with bath, showers, TV and telephone services in all rooms. Feature of lobby is a large stone fireplace.
Not just a place to ease the body-aches or find respite from the elements, the Slocan Inn has all the other elite accoutrements the name implies such as diningroom, coffee shop, beer parlor, cocktail lounge and banquet rooms.
Long range plans also include a shopping centre adjacent to the hotel.
Why such a luxurious investment in what armchair speculators consider an “unlikely locale”?
“All concerned feel the area is definitely going to grow,” and this view is shared by partners Allan Gray, the architect who designed the inn. Paul Schwab, the contractor and president of the firm, and John Bartholomew, secretary-treasurer.
Managers Thomas Morrell and Mrs. Morrell have been in the hotel business for 15 years. Their most recent operation was in Cayman, British West Indies, where they spent a year and a half. Their firt hotel was the Turf at North Surrey, B.C. They went on to the Oasis at Cache Creek, B.C., then the Gallion Beach and Coral Caymanian hotels in the Indies. Mr. Morrell was formerly in the automobile business in Hong Kong.