A mysterious locked trunk has arrived at the museum. We are nearly certain that it belonged to Adelard Blondin, given the initials ASB embossed on the lid. As a carpenter and boat builder by trade, we have a good idea that the trunk contains an assortment of tools; but until we can open it we like to dream of old love letters, and lost treasure. Here’s some of what we do know for certain about the owner of this trunk:
“Adelard Blondin had been engaged as a carpenter and contractor in the Arrow Lakes area since early in the 1880s. Mrs. Lana Snowman, who had been operating the Nakusp House for the past year, met Adelard and they were married in 1900. His work with the C.P.R. (he was an expert barge builder as well as very knowledgeable in the art of boat construction) often took him away from Nakusp. The couple moved into a small house on Pine Ave., where Lana Blondin was quite happy with the prospect of a more normal and settled life. But Adelard was bitten by the speculation bug, as had many others of the time.
Lana and Adelard Blondin purchased 120 acres of virgin land about one and one-half miles below Halcyon in 1909. Adelard, whose boat building talents kept him steadily employed, had spent considerable time at the Pingston Mill, which was six miles below and across the lake from their homestead. The Blondins had always been enchanted by the small curved bay, the lower boundary ending abruptly in a high rounded prominence.
He built a large squarish house house where the ridge poles were left exposed and the interior undivided. Out back was a beautiful spring to which Adelard had affixed a small flume to carry the water to the house. Flowers abounded around the house, while a vegetable garden helped to fill the larder. Goats were kept for milk with the cream made into butter, the quality of which was superb, as often noted by many visitors to their farm.
At the time of Lana’s death in 1945, it was reported in the obituary of the Arrow Lakes News that Adelard purchased the lake property to comfort Lana, who was reportedly suffering from some incurable disease. Whatever it was, she certainly didn’t succumb and lived to the fine old age of 94.
Adelard had passed away in 1934, but the belief that Lana would live in solitude in such a remote and quiet area was not to be the case. A beautiful trail ran from their property to Halcyon and in fact all the way to Galena Bay. A guest book she kept attested to the fact that hundreds of vacationers, as well as employees at Halcyon, strolled over this trail to take advantage of the generous hospitality offered by the Blondins. Though all is now gone, the name Blondin’s Point lives on, with the curved hill, showing only during low water in the spring, to remind us of this once lovely homestead.”
Excerpt from Centennial Series: Port of Nakusp Volume 2.
Written by Milton Parent.