Interpretive Signage for Lemon Creek and Popoff Internment Camps
This summer, interpretive signage will be erected on the sites of the Lemon Creek and Popoff internment camps. Developed by Kaslo’s Ian Fraser (developer of the Langham Museum and the New Canadian show) with funding assistance from the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance and the Columbia Basin Trust, the signage will be installed along the Slocan Valley Rail Trail—the old CPR Slocan Valley rail spur up the Valley.
Lemon Creek was the largest internment camp in the Slocan Valley from 1943 through 1946. It was located on private, leased land and there is nothing there to hint of its existence. Through the years, generations of Japanese Canadian visitors, including many of the 1800 internees and their descendents, have been disappointed to find no remnant of this major part of their past. As of this summer, that will change for Lemon Creek and Popoff. It is hoped that further funding might become available to commemorate Bay Farm and Slocan City interpretation and benches in the future.
While the signage itself is fully funded, the Society is soliciting donations from the Japanese Canadian community to assist in construction of sheltered benches and kiosks along the trail at the Lemon Creek and Popoff sites in commemoration of these internment camps. The attractive long-life structures will be well-designed, multifunctional and Kootenay-made. Each of the two commemorative structures are estimated to cost $2500. They will serve to protect the signage from winter weather, provide seating and an educational meditation or rest stop for visitors to the Internment Camp sites and for the many general users of the trail. It is expected that the kiosk/benches and signage will be dedicated in an onsite community event this coming July. Bench and kiosk donors will be recognized with permanent brass plates.
The Slocan Valley Rail Trail is the most popular recreational resource in the Slocan Valley. It enjoys extensive all-season use by hikers, bikers, skiers, birders, equestrians, naturalists and explorers from throughout the Slocan Valley and beyond. For more information, visit the Slocan Valley Rail Trail website: slocanvalleyrailtrail.ca
Funders of the sheltering bench/kiosks will be acknowledged onsite. If you wish to contribute suggestions as to improvements/revisions/corrections to the interpretive content, please contact Ian Fraser: email email@example.com. If you wish to sponsor a bench or kiosk onsite (opportunities from $500), please contact Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society President Rory Lindsay: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or ph. 250-355-2397.