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SilverStar Museum, US Hall of Fame Names Class of 2022



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SilverStar Museum, US Hall of Fame Names Class of 2022

SilverStar offers a muti-stage tour of local history.

When COVID 19 shut down the SilverStar Mountain Museum’s Main Street facility, local volunteers knew that they had to get creative in preserving the community’s history and culture. The museum is part of the four-season SilverStar Mountain Resort, located 14 miles east of Vernon, British Columbia. The resort takes its name from Silver Star Mountain, originally named Aberdeen Mountain for John Campbell Hamilton-Jordan, the seventh Earl of Aberdeen and the Scottish politician who served as Canada’s governor-general from 1893 to 1898. The name was changed in 1952.

Museum spokesperson Linda Peterat explains why shuttering the permanent exhibit might not have been such a bad idea. “Although the resort was open to visitors in 2020, it was obvious that people didn’t want to come into a confined space. So we developed a strategy to tell the Silver Star story by creating storyboards in four different buildings of historical significance around the resort.” Since its inception, the museum has had a close relationship with the Vernon Museum and Archives, which has been the source for many of its photos and stories.

Each of the four tour stops coincides with a different period in Silver Star history. The lobby of the original day lodge constitutes the first stop. Constructed in 1958, when the hill’s first Poma lift was installed, the Pinnacles consists of an A-frame structure that expanded from one to five buildings and eventually hosted overnight guests. A giant mural now dominates the Pinnacles Lounge. It’s accompanied by profiles of the ski area’s seven founding families, panels that recount the events of the early days and a nod to the small colony of cabins that sprung up nearby.

In 1981, Silver Star was purchased by a partnership of Canadian resort investors. The second stop on the tour, in the Vance Creek Hotel, describes their plan to build a new village center and to create nearby real estate opportunities. The development took inspiration from the grand Victorian homes in Vernon’s East Hill neighborhood. The investment group enacted restrictions to ensure architectural and decorative integrity throughout the resort and, at one time, all Silver Star houses and businesses had to be painted in a minimum of three pastel shades.

The third stop, in the Chilcoot Lodge’s lobby, features a screen that displays historical images and videos from around the resort. “We dedicated this space to specific exhibits in three display cases that have included geology and mining, the evolution of downhill and Nordic skiing, early ski instruction and fashions,” says Peterat.

The fourth, and newest, stop is the Lookout, located a short distance from the top of the gondola on Silver Star Mountain. This fire tower, constructed in 1914, then rebuilt in the 1930s and again in the 1960s, ceased operation in the 1970s but was later taken over by the resort as a sightseeing attraction. The storyboards explain the area’s natural history, the early mining days and the tower’s fire-spotting function.

The former museum was only open in summer. The new set-up welcomes visitors year-round to three of the four locations. More information can be found at --Steve Threndyle

Vancouver-based Steve Threndyle wrote about Grouse Mountain in the September-October issue.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2022

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame will induct its Classes of 2021 and 2022 during Skiing History Week at Big Sky, Montana. After a delay due to Covid, the Class of 2021 banquet is scheduled for March 24, 2023, the recently-announced Class of 2022 for March 25.

The Class of 2022 includes Gwen Allard, snowsports adaptive educator; Tina Basich, slopestyle and big air snowboard athlete; Gary Black, Ski Racing owner and publisher; Shannon Dunn-Downing, first American to win an Olympic snowboard medal; Alan “Rusty” Gregory, resort executive; Terry Kidwell, freestyle snowboard pioneer; Kent Kreitler, freeskiing pioneer; Phil McNichol, U.S. Ski Team coach, and CJ Mueller, speed skiing record-setter.

The Class of 2021 includes Sven Coomer, ski-boot pioneer; Herman Dupré, resort executive and snowmaking innovator; John Eaves, freestyler and stunt man; Dave and Renie Gorsuch, retail leaders; Peter Graves, sportscaster; Mike Hattrup, freestyler; Jan Reynolds, ski mountaineer, and Alan Schoenberger, freestyle ballet innovator and champion.


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