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History of the Kootenays: Paradise and Prison

Program Number: 14172RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/4/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: The Kootenays, British Columbia
Price starting at: $863.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

With its sheltered valleys between the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, the Kootenays attracted those who desired and were denied freedoms. Discover the story of the pacifist, communal Russian religious sect, the Doukhobors. Hear their history from persecution and destruction to immigration. Learn about the forced internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII and the bounty of lumber, minerals and rich soils that transformed this wilderness into a land of plenty.


• Learn the story of the uniquely religious and pacifist Doukhobors from a historian and member, as you enjoy the sect’s Russian vegetarian cuisine, crafts, and music.
• Visit a former detention center, now museum, where Japanese Canadians were imprisoned for several years in crowded conditions during WWII.
• Discover how the rich, mineral-laden lands and forestry products attracted settlement to this remote corner of British Columbia.

Activity Particulars

Walks up to one mile; standing up to one hour.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

The Kootenays

Known as the Kootenay Rockies, the region is a vast wilderness of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, beaches and snowcapped mountains. Just west of the Canadian Rockies and hemmed in by three mountain ranges, it is a playground for sports enthusiasts. The area also boasts restored gold rush boomtowns and thriving arts communities.

Exquisite historic English country home with verandahs, gardens and trails.
Meals and Lodgings
   Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
  Crawford Bay, BC 5 nights
 Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: This beautiful historic home sits on a park-like site in a wooded 50-acre estate near Kootenay Lake. Splendid gardens, hiking trails, a large verandah, beautiful rooms, superb food, warm fireplaces and a well-stocked library make you forget your everyday life.
  Contact info: 16002 Crawford Creek Road
Crawford Bay, BC V0B 1E0 Canada
phone: 250-227-9233 xor8008620022
  Room amenities: Three with fireplaces (wood or electric); two with jacuzzi tubs. All have hairdryers.
  Facility amenities: Fireplaces, large verandah, wonderful library. Complimentary afternoon tea, hi-speed web access. Fabulous food!
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for current rates. Availability may be limited - call early.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for current rates. Availability may be limited - call early.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals in the afternoon; check-in after 3 p.m. Welcome dinner at 6 p.m. at the inn. You will be staying at Wedgwood Manor Country Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at the inn in the morning. Check-out is 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Wedgwood Manor Country Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Passport requirement for land and sea is subject to change. Visit for up-to-date info.
  Parking availability:
Free parking.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Crawford Bay, BC
  Nearest city or town:  Nelson and Creston
  Nearest highway: Hwy 3A
  Nearest airport:  Castlegar Airport - 50 miles: Spokane - 4 hours
  From End of Program
  Location: Crawford Bay, BC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Spokane to Crawford Bay


From Airport




None - Car Required


Travel Time:


3.5 hours 


Car rental at Spokane airport, daily flights to Spokane from major cities. The best way to get to our location is by car. There is no public transportation to our site. See directions on website or call Wedgwood Manor for more information 250-227-9233


Castlegar, BC to Nelson, BC


From Bus Terminal




Public Transportation


Travel Time:


6 hours 


Flights into Castlegar, BC (1 1/2 hours from site); Cranbrook, BC (3 hours from site) ; or Kelowna, BC (5 1/2 hours from site); connect through Calgary and Vancouver. Bus from airport to Nelson, BC. The site coordinator will make arrangements to pick you up in Nelson, BC (about 20 - 30 minutes from the Wedgwood Manor). Car rentals available at each of the airports.

Driving Directions
  Spokane, Washington Spokane .............. 3.5 hours Coming from Spokane, we have discovered the most pleasant & fastest route is straight north through the city on Division Street, becoming Highway 2. Near Diamond Lake, there's a rather poorly marked turn to the left for Highway 211 to Metaline Falls. If you miss that, you can easily recover at Newport, turning left onto Highway 20, all the way to the border at Nelway. Shortly after entering Canada, there's a turn to the right, Highway 3 to Creston. Take that, go over the pass & through the beautiful Creston Valley. In the pass, you might see Big Horn Sheep or other spectacular wildlife. Highway 3 deadends in Creston; turn left onto Highway 3A which borders our glorious Kootenay Lake. It's just 60 more kilometres (about 40 miles) to the well-marked turn-off for Wedgwood Manor! Flights to Spokane Arrive daily from major US cities. Car rentals are available at the Spokane airport. There are NO connecting flights from Spokane to Canada. If you wish to fly into the Kootenays at Castlegar, flights link from Vancouver or Calgary.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Orientation
(Sunday, September 29)
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the Inn.
 Evening: Orientation and review of program schedule. Optional walk around the property.
Accommodations: Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Castlegar/Doukhobor Museum/Doukhobor Crafts
(Monday, September 30)
 Breakfast: Hot buffet breakfast at 7:00 a.m.
 Morning: 8:30 am departure for Castlegar. Spend morning at Doukhobor Museum, set in a building that served as their communal living quarters. This provides insight into how they lived, and complements the extensive photographic archives on site (Doukhobors were largely educated in an oral tradition, so there are not many writings.)
 Lunch: Authentic vegetarian Doukhobor lunch of Russian foods in Castlegar.
 Afternoon: Exhibition of Doukhobor crafts.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Manor
 Evening: Free Evening
Accommodations: Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Doukhobor Historian/Free Afternoon/Games Night
(Tuesday, October 1)
 Breakfast: Hot buffet breakfast.
 Morning: Film & talk by Doukhobor historian, followed by Q&A. This will delve deeper into their pacifist communal philosophy, and their religious belief that God resides in all people. This is important for understanding the community’s internal splits and their difficulties with Russian and Canadian authorities.
 Lunch: Lunch at the manor
 Afternoon: Afternoon free to explore Crawford Bay, the artisans and surrounding area.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Manor.
 Evening: Games Night in the parlor – learn the strange & unusual abilities of your fellow Participants!
Accommodations: Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kaslo/Japanese Canadian Museum/Historic Sternwheeler
(Wednesday, October 2)
 Breakfast: Hot buffet breakfast at 8:00.
 Morning: Depart for Kaslo at 9:45 (10 am ferry). Just as in the US, the Canadians interned their ethnic Japanese during WW II. Many were sent to small towns in the Kootenays. This museum is in one of the buildings where the Japanese-Canadians lived, and shows how they lived and coped with their detention.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a film & guided tour of the SS Moyie, a beautifully restored steam-powered sternwheeler that served the communities of Kootenay Lake. This incredible boat was the last running passenger sternwheeler in North America and has now been restored into an incredible museum.
 Dinner: Dinner in the Manor.
 Evening: Free evening.
Accommodations: Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Historian, Author and Storyteller/Nelson/Evening Entertainment
(Thursday, October 3)
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast buffet.
 Morning: Historian & storyteller Susan Hulland telling of the sinking of the sternwheeler ferry SS Ainsworth on Kootenay Lake. She is a rich source for local history, with several books on the topic.
 Lunch: Bag lunch will be provided for those who would like to spend the afternoon exploring the Silver City of Nelson, catching the 11:40 ferry & returning on the 5:30 ferry.
 Afternoon: Nelson sits on the shores of Kootenay Lake, one of the largest lakes in British Columbia. Traditionally, the economy of Nelson and area has been primarily resource based (forestry and mining). Stroll down historic downtown Baker Street with its impressive display of heritage buildings. Check out the surrounding neighborhoods as well, which boast a large number of Victorian homes. A trip on the heritage streetcar, which runs along the lake front, will give you breathtaking views of the mountains and lake. Return to Crawford Bay on the 5:30 ferry.
 Dinner: Festive final dinner at the Inn.
 Evening: Evening entertainment by Howlin' Dan, singer & raconteur.
Accommodations: Wedgwood Manor Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wedgwood Manor and its British Family
(Friday, October 4)
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast buffet at 8 am.
 Morning: For those not departing early join us for a guided walk around the Manor to gain insight into its history & that of the British family that built it. Independent departures from the Inn; check-out is 12:00 noon.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Traveller's History of Canada

Author: Robert Bothwell

Description: HISTORY, 2010, PAPERBACK, 220 PAGES An admirably concise march through Canadian history by Robert Bothwell, who has also written "Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories." Compact, easy-to-read and covering from prehistoric times to today, it's a useful introduction to the country, designed specifically for travelers. (CND82, $14.95)

British Columbia Map

Author: ITMB

Description: 2005, MAP This attractive map, covering the region from Seattle to the Yukon and across to the Rockies, including Alaska's Inside Passage, at a scale of 1:1,250,000, shows topography, parks and attractions. With an index and city maps of Victoria and Vancouver. Two Sides. 27x39 inches. (CND61, $8.95)

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