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.