Have you driven down Devon Street lately?
If so, you’ve probably noticed a new structure out in front of the Creston Museum. It’s an approximately 30-x 30-foot shed, built by the Creston Valley Rotary Club to house an historic logging arch.
Logging arches, also called katydids and Michigan wheels, were used in the days of horse logging to skid logs out of the bush. This particular one was brought into the Creston Valley as early as 1908 for C.O. Rodgers, who had recently established his Canyon City Lumber Company.
“It’s the only artifact in the Museum’s collection that exclusively represents the historic horse-logging in the Creston Valley,” says Museum manager Tammy Bradford. “It’s also one of the oldest industrial artifacts in our collection – so it’s pretty special.”
The logging arch has been standing outside for most of its life, first at the Canyon Mill and later at the Lyons’ ranch in Canyon. Then it was acquired by the Yahk Pioneer Park Museum, and, when that museum went bankrupt in 1979 and the local Historical Society purchased its collection, the logging arch returned to Creston.
Much restoration work was undertaken when the logging arch was first put on display at the Creston Museum, but that was more than 30 years ago.
“Being made principally of wood, it’s highly susceptible to damage from weather,” adds Bradford. “We have long wanted to put a roof over it, but there were always so many other priorities, we were not able to manage it.”
The problem was solved when, about a year ago, Bill Pfeifer and the Creston Valley Rotary Club undertook the project.
“The Rotary Club did all of the fundraising (through the Creston-Kootenay Foundation, Creston & District Credit Union, Fortis, and Canfor), co-ordinated the contractors, and did a lot of the work themselves,” says Bradford, “and we are very grateful for everything.”
Restoration work on the logging arch itself is expected to take place this summer and fall.
“The roofed-in area represents a significant increase to the Museum’s display space,” adds Bradford. “In addition to restoring the arch, we’ll be working on a brand-new exhibit, showcasing the role of forestry in the community’s development.”
That will help free up additional space in the Museum’s older buildings for other exhibits and programs.
“The impact of Rotary’s project goes well beyond preserving this wonderful object for the future,” says Bradford. “We really can’t thank them enough.”