When Stacey Anderson contacted the archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village on the advice of Salmon Arm’s Visitor Information Centre, she was looking for something. Not unusual.

Her email asked for the location of an historic highway marker on Shuswap Lake. She was on holiday and looking for a place along a road with a specific view of the lake. She had a photo. In it her grandfather was pictured with his back to the camera, enjoying the view, and drinking from his thermos.

I asked Lise Ouimet, the archives’ photo expert to do a search for views of Shuswap Lake. Lise has been working on photo key terms for seven years. She’s done 9,829. Her system works. Within minutes she had a similar image with the marker in view.

Lise’s photo was commissioned by British Columbia’s Department of Travel Industry in Victoria. We had a copy courtesy of the Salmon Arm Observer. The photo was taken from a different angle, but the wording on the marker was the same.

I wondered if there could be more than one marker?

The next search used Google Images looking for highway markers on the Shuswap. Thank you, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. One was found, but the view looked different again.

A Google Search revealed  that the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure keeps a record of all its markers. I found the database online but this marker, located 16 km east of Salmon Arm, wasn’t transcribed.  I emailed and got a call from a Ministry representative. The marker wasn’t transcribed because it was due, for obvious reasons, for an update, said my  contact. She was enthusiastic and said that the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure would love to work with the Museum and the area First Nations bands to update the sign text.

“Nice,” was my thought.

My rep sent me a file with a transcription. The wording matched! In the meantime I had asked Barry and Wilma Swenson if they knew of the marker, at a rest stop close to their home at Annis Bay and if they recognized the view.

“It looks right,” Barry said, but he cautioned, “the trees have grown and the view won’t quite be the same.”

Wilma made the trip to the rest stop, took a photograph and emailed it to the archives.  Bingo! The sign matched Stacey’s photo!

I emailed our researcher with Wilma’s evidence. She was still on the road.

“Thank you Wilma, Barry and Deborah,” Stacey emailed. She found the spot on her holiday through the Shuswap and recreated the photo as a gift to her mother.

"Museums are wonderful,” she also said. I had to agree with her.

Point of Interest
Lake of the Shuswap , Hwy 1
16 km east of Salmon Am, towards  Sicamous
50.814965 - 119.044381

From the Researcher:

"It's a photo of my papa, Maurice Quinn, from about 33+ years ago. He was my mom's dad.  He passed away when I was 5.

It has been one of my absolute favorite photos of him since I first saw it years ago.

It popped up in my Facebook memories on August 16th, his birthday, and coincidentally the same day we were leaving on our road trip. I realized the sign said Shuswap Lake and thought it would be so cool if I found the spot and got a picture there so I could do a side by side photo in a frame for my mom. :)

Your help on this was fantastic and the fact that the sign might not be there much longer as it currently reads made it even more awesome to get it."
                                                                                                                              Stacey Anderson