Historic & Heritage Sites
Heritage buildings (Picture BC photo)
The area around Castlegar saw the settlement of more than 5,000 Doukhobours, Russian immigrants escaping religious persecution, between 1908 and 1913.
More than a century after their immigration, people of Doukhobor descent constitute a significant proportion of the population of Castlegar and many of its neighbouring communities. The influence of this cultural community is evident today in Castlegar at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre, Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park, and the Doukhobor-constructed Brilliant Suspension Bridge.
Doukhobor Discovery Centre
The Doukhobor Discovery Centre (across from the Castlegar Regional Airport) recreates a Doukhobor village. A typical Doukhobor village comprised two large brick houses and a series of connected outbuildings. Led by Peter V. Verigen, Doukhobors established villages in Ootischenia (the Castlegar area), in the Slocan Valley, and as far west as Grand Forks.
The Discovery Centre serves as both a museum and monument to the traditional Doukhobor way of life. One of the village's houses is furnished as it would have been in the early part of the 20th century. The other is set up as an audio-visual gallery, displaying historical photographs and video documentaries.
1 Historic & Heritage Sites in Castlegar
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112 Heritage Way
Castlegar, British Columbia
A rare heritage attraction nestled at the confluence of the Kootenay & Columbia rivers, this museum, on traditional orchard land, will introduce you to the unique skills, beliefs, culture & lifestyle of the Doukhobors as it was lived 1908-1938. The museum is a complete communal village which features videos, thousands of artifacts, the communal house with petch (oven), the banya (sauna), linen textiles & other crafts. The Village Gift Shop features art displays and Doukhobor Arts & Crafts for sale, CDs, books, videos & cards. The Village Bistro Restaurant is closed for renovations but the Village Market (the blue building) is host to The Apple Guy who sells fresh produce and locally made borshch.