Alta Lake Live


We love to share the photos we have in our collections, but did you know that we also have a huge collection of video footage?  Not all of it has been digitized, and even less is currently available online, but we hope to remedy this in the future.

Today we’re sharing four films of Alta Lake from the Petersen Collection that show the lake in different years and seasons.

Up first is a film from around 1960 showing skaters on the frozen lake.  With a game of hockey going on, it looks a lot like winters on Alta Lake today.

While we have many photos of sail boats on Alta Lake most of them are black and white.  This film captures the sails in all their colourful glory.  Taken during a regatta, this footage may just be of the Alta Lake Sailing Club’s first “Regretta”.

Another film of boating, this time from 1970, gives a closer view of some of the cabins and other means of transportation along the shore.  As a bonus, the film also includes footage of the PGE moving a building from the side of the railroad tracks.

Last, but certainly not least, we have footage from the 1974 Regatta hosted by the Alta Lake Sailing Club.  Based out of Dick Fairhurst’s Cypress Lodge, the location may seem familiar to those who sail on Alta Lake today.  The full day event included a tug-o-war, pie eating contest, sailing (of course) and more.

Other films available online can be viewed here.  We hope to add more soon!

5 thoughts on “Alta Lake Live”

  1. Thank you so much for bringing back to me the Whistler I knew as a kid. Florence Peterson, née Strachen, was my next-door-neighbor and early mentor (she taught me to dance at Rainbow Lodge). Especially interesting (to me) in the first clip at 0:30 is the shot of two of the original cabins at Cypress Lodge. My family stayed in the one on the right for several summers beginning in 1956, before buying a lot from the PGE and building our own cabin (Worlebury Lodge).

  2. Also of note in the first clip is the footage of Witsend, the original cabin that stood where Florence and Andy Petersen later built their home.
    Witsend was owned by 5 young school teachers: Florence, Kelly (who later married Dick Fairhurst), Jackie, Betty and June. I believe the skater in red is Kelly Fairhurst, which means the child with her would be David.

  3. In the second clip, at 2:24, are Myrtle and (I believe) Alex Philip, who was always a bit of a dandy and often wore bolo ties. He used to wear a nautical outfit when motoring down the lake from Whispering Leaves in his little inboard motor boat to have breakfast with Myrtle. My parents always referred to him as “the Admiral.”

  4. In the third clip, beginning at 1:11, the building that is being moved is the old forest service cabin that stood near the outlet of Scotia Creek, immediately north of a short railway spur and spar tree, where logs were loaded from booms in the lake onto railway flatcars. The forest service cabin was staffed by a ranger in summer at least into the early 60s, as I recall.

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