Location F

On the way to the new high school location, you can see the curling rink on the left hand side. Up until the 1950s, just behind the curling rink stood the Agricultural Hall. It was the site of many Agricultural fairs, ball games and in 1925 Cliff Swan was granted a lease to use the building as a skating rink in the winter. Early in the internment of the Japanese Canadians, the “old dilapidated skating rink was turned into a kitchen and mess hall with more tents set up inside…” George Doi remembers walking to Slocan for meals here. When the Pacific Logging built the curling rink the old hall/skating rink was torn down.

Slocan School District #8 was formed in 1946 and managed school affairs for all the Slocan Valley schools. In 1970, it was dissolved and the schools at the north end of the Valley became part of the Arrow Lakes School District and the schools at the south end of the Valley were joined with the Nelson School District. The School Board offices were right next to the new high school and after 1970 the building was used by the school. In the 1980s it was remodelled to make a band room.

In a report written by Nancy Larsen in 1989, she chronicled the evolution of WE Graham school from a two classroom facility to a ten classroom complex including a full size gym. According to the report, in 1950 the residents of Slocan passed a bylaw to build a two classroom high school.  The new Slocan School District (#8) purchased the lots further south of the existing school on Harold Street. It began as a two room high school and in 1951 an additional room was added and it was then named WE Graham school. In 1964 the gym was built and over the next 25 years it expanded to include 3 more classrooms, a shop and 2 portables.

As a part of the purchase agreement, the City agreed to close Arthur Street behind the school so that the students would have a playground and this was done in 1953.

WE Graham school was named for one individual who was an integral part of the community in so many ways. Nancy Larsen also gives us a brief look at William Edward (Ed) Graham. He was one of the early settlers of Slocan and started here in the mining rush of the early 1900s. He began working in McNeish’s store in 1920 and bought McNeish out in 1938. He continued to operate the store which included the post office and telephone switchboard. In the late 1920s he had one of the few cars in town which made him the ambulance and taxi service. He was Justice of the Peace and City Clerk, the latter for 25 years. He initiated the construction of both schools in town and served on the school board for 20 years. He was also mayor from 1961 until his death in 1964.

According to the West Kootenay Advertiser, July 13, 1990 – Logger Sports have been the official Industrial Sport of B.C. since 1967.

Taken from a Short History of “Slocan City Logging Show” by Gary Burns

The Slocan City Logging Show (SCLS) was held annually in Slocan, B.C. from 1980 until 2010, and made possible by the volunteer help of many local people, and the generosity of area sponsors.

This Logger Sports Event started in 1980 as a local competition first hosted by the “Mountain High Four Wheelers”, and was held on the south-east corner of the ball park in Slocan. Many professional hand loggers lived in Slocan at that time. They competed in events which showed off their skills, strength, accuracy, and speed which were used in their everyday work and also in events such as chopping and crosscut sawing which kept alive the logger’s skills from times past.

When the show was held at its location in the corner of the ball park, all the infrastructure for each event had to be set up and removed each year.  This included:

  • placing a number of large logs to attach competition sawing wood to,
  • setting up running logs for the Obstacle Pole event
  • digging out, lining and filling a pond for log rolling,
  • setting up axe targets
  • erecting an 80’ climbing pole

By 1985, the Slocan City Logging Show had outgrown its temporary location, and through the vision of Slocan Alderman Jerry Simmons, was offered a permanent home on the current site, by the Slocan Village Council. (The new park was modeled after the Pacific National Exhibition Logger Sports show area.)

With generous donations of equipment, labour, time and materials from local businesses and individuals, the Logger Sports Park was built, complete with a fully landscaped site, portable bleachers, axe targets, concrete log birling pond, and matched 80’ competition climbing poles.

In 1986, Slocan Mayor Bernie Czelenski and the Slocan Village Council accessed funding from the BC  Expo ’86 event which improved the Slocan Logger Sports Park with the additions of underground irrigation, grass turf, and a permanent building complete with electricity, and water services. The building provided secure storage for equipment and accommodated score keepers, announcer, PA system, washrooms and provisions for hosting a beer garden. It also contained a skate change room which was used in winter for the adjacent ice surface on the tennis courts. 

The Slocan City Logging Show became a sanctioned event on the Canadian Logger’s Sports Association (Canlog) competition circuit and regularly hosted Canadian Championship Events in the Ladies, Novice, Intermediate, and Open Classes. Because of the high quality of the infrastructure, sawing and chopping wood, and organization of events, the SCLS became well known internationally and attracted many of the highest ranking competitors in the world. Competitors came from Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, France, Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

Crowd attendance was often up to 1500 spectators, which would essentially quadruple the population of Slocan for the day of the logging show. The SCLS often attracted over 75 competitors for the day! Admission was free for anyone to attend. This was made possible by Local and area sponsors who generously donated prize money which attracted the highest level of competition. 

In 2004, the Slocan City Logging Show was filmed by a professional crew and televised internationally on TSN. The Slocan City Logging Show had become a first class logger sports competition on the world stage!

Famous Climbing Tree Acts by Copper Canyon Sally, Ramblin’ Jessie Elliot and Dave McLeod were a regular feature at the SCLS. These acts would amaze the crowd when after a raucous dialogue with the Announcer, the “intoxicated” climber would jump (or get shot) off the top of the 80 foot climbing tree!

Slocan City Logging Show is famous for being one of the best logger sports competitions anywhere in the world, regardless of size!

WE Graham school achieved Community School Status in 1997. That same year WE Graham Community Services Society moved into the building next to the school, where the school board offices were once located. WEGCCS provides a vast array of community services given its small size, in recent years adding a community garden and cob oven, and a bus service on weekends for youth travelling to and from the Youth Centre, which is housed in this building. This Society was instrumental in assisting with the building of the skate park.

Tenacity Skatepark was named as such to recognize the tenacity needed in the ongoing efforts to have it built. The community’s youth created a petition in 2002 to see if there was enough interest. Twenty-five people showed up at the very first meeting and the six-year journey of fundraising began. The Blue Moon Saloon, located at the Slocan Inn, donated all their empties for an entire year, and through a variety of fundraising activities the youth were able to raise $10,000 in the first two years. The Village of Slocan was approached for their support, and grants applications were submitted. This was indeed a community effort and in the summer of 2008, the dream was realized.

Location E
Location G