A noon bbq on Saturday was part of Coalmont's 100th birthday celebration.

A noon bbq on Saturday was part of Coalmont's 100th birthday celebration.

Coalmont turns 100

One hundred years from its founding, this past Saturday in Coalmont, was quite an event.

One hundred years from its founding, this past Saturday in Coalmont, was quite an event.

Once again, Lillian Young served as the Coordinator for the Annual Coalmont/Blakeburn Reunion.  Only, this year, she held the additional responsibility of coordinating Coalmont’s Centennial, (no small feat for Coalmont’s oldest, living, former resident). Fortunately for all, Lillian received a great deal of help for this event.

Coalmont Energy Corporation stepped in and paid the bill for the BBQ lunch, as well as the roast beef dinner. They recently purchased the Compliance Energy and Coal open pit operation above Blakeburn and, expect to begin operations this autumn. Their generosity made a good first impression with all those who attended Coalmont’s Centennial.

One hundred and twenty-one guests registered for the reunion. Perhaps 300 actually participated. The Official Reunion record is 130 from the big event of 1981.

Thanks due to Lillian Young our Coordinator and, to Coalmont Energy Corp. for their generosity and, to the Princeton Legion for catering the meals and, to the Coalmont Hotel for supplying the grounds and electricity and, to Ole Juul, Bob and Diane Sterne for their support and the old photographs.

Despite the fact that 24 people registered for the Sunday walk at Blakeburn, only five guests participated. Those who participated enjoyed a visit to the “Anchor Hill Trestle System.” This unique, engineering marvel, is deteriorating rapidly: not more than five years until the remaining towers fall.

Later, they enjoyed a visit to the downtown section, where we discovered that nature has reveiled a previously sealed room, or perhaps the underground passageway, from the “town cellar” to the Cook House. That was a “wow” moment for all.

“Bob and I prepared two boards with 40 old photos which were on display at the event,” stated Coalmont resident Diane Sterne.  “Six of the photos were donated by Babe Norton, who is the daughter of Wes Rossiter who married one of the Cook daughters. Her original photos have just been  donated (at her request) to the Princeton Museum and Archives. After the event, visitors were allowed to take whatever copies of photos they wanted. That went over very well and the boards were stripped in minutes.

Cost of the burgers and dinner was “by donation” with proceeds going to the Tulameen Fire Department which is in need of $12,000 to purchase six new outfits for its members. Ole Juul and his partner, Eileen Walsh, also had an old fashioned looking ice cream stand where they sold ice cream cones, pop and Centennial t-shirts.

*Many thanks to Terry Malanchuk and Diane Sterne for providing the information and photos.