History of Kuskanook, and the South end of Kootenay Lake
Before European settlement of the area, this area was used extensively by the Yaqan Nukiy people of the Ktunaxa First Nation for sustenance and trade. To learn more about Yaqan Nukiy history, visit their website here. The site of Kuskanook became a town in its own right and was booming in 1898, during the CPR expansion in the area, during the era of sternwheelers and railroads on Kootenay Lake. It was to be a short-lived boom however, as most of the town’s 2 dozen or more buildings were destroyed in a massive fire in March 1900. The post office continued to operate until 1918, but the site never returned to it’s former glory, and was largely abandoned for much of mid 20th century. To learn more about the site and the history of the area, visit the Creston Museum.
Construction of Kuskanook Harbour and Boat Launch by the Federal Government began in 1987, and was completed 1988. The Creston Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in championing this effort. The Kuskanook Harbour Society was formed soon after and managed harbour operations. The Federal Government ended their management of Inland Small Craft Harbours in 1999, leaving the water lot to the BC Crown. A vacuum was created because no level of government was interested in assuming responsibility for the site. The Kuskanook Harbour Society stepped in and took the lead, signing a 30 year lease with the Ministry of Environment. The Society continues to pay a marina lease to the Province.
Photos from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs (UBC Library)