While most communities in the Kootenay Lake area find their origins in the mining boom, Kaslo is historically a logging town.
In 1889 and 1890, George Buchanan and the brothers Kane staked timber claims. As mining activity took off in the surrounding area, part of the timber claim was surveyed as a townsite called Kane's Landing, which became Kaslo in 1893.
In 1894, devastating floods and fires ravaged the town, but Kaslo rebuilt and continued to push forward. The following year, a new railway was built over the pass to Sandon, and within two years Kaslo boasted telephone and electrical service, a brewery, a cigar factory, and a full complement of hotels, bars, and brothels.
The beginning of the 20th century brought a shift toward agriculture. With the surrounding mining industry in decline, Kaslo turned to fruit farming. The cherries grown in Kaslo at the time were reputed to be as large as plums. The industry abruptly closed due to "cherry disease."
Langham Cultural Centre
The Langham Cultural Centre museum commemorates an unfortunate period in Kaslo's history. During World War II, the Langham Hotel, amongst others, became an internment centre for the Nikkei, Canadians of Japanese decent. Today, the museum and archive offers an opportunity to learn about the incredible strength of the Nikkei people.
Today, Kaslo has an extraordinary community spirit and commitment to the preservation of its roots. This is evidenced by Kaslo's commitment to the restoration of the SS Moyie in 1958, the Langham Hotel in 1975, and more recently, the unique Village Hall. Kaslo continues to reinvent itself with a vibrant home-grown economy.