thrown in the Lake

There was a time when all trash was merely thrown into the Lake. Sternwheelers and tugs routinely sank their refuse; their passengers casually tossed their beer bottles over the railing; boaters discard all manner of detritus before heading home; cottagers rowed out and sank the previous week’s bottles and cans into the depths. This is just how it was done.

That all changed when the practice was banned sometime (apparently) in the mid 1970s. So far, I have been able to determine neither the exact date nor who established the ban. Of course, as some of the images below demonstrate, not everyone heeded the message.

The underwater pictures below were taken opposite Troup by Artine Brown. Is this a representative sample of the Lake as a whole—who knows? I wonder what the lake floor off Nelson, Balfour and Kaslo holds.

sinking the trashIt is the mid 1950s; a father proudly takes a picture of his daughter who is helping on the weekly rowboat run to the middle of the Lake to sink the trash. It would be another twenty years before this long–standing practice was stopped.

basketThe many sternwheelers on the Lake merely dumped their trash over board. This painting was done by Jessie Fraser who grew up at Fraser’s Landing on the West Arm—a stopping point for most sternwheelers and the terminus of the Main Lake ferry from 1931 to 1947.

shoeBroken bottles of indeterminate age on the floor of the West Arm are the legacy of nearly a century of dumping trash into the Lake.

teapotThis broken tea pot characterizes the sort of refuse which was discarded in the Lake for many decades.

basketThis woven basket looks old, yet it is unclear whether it was a discard or might have been weighted and used as an anchor for a raft.

shoeAn old shoe—who knows why it is here or for how long.

stollerThis is a view looking down from the Orange Bridge in front of the the R.C.M.P. station during low water. I just assume the baby was not in it when some benighted person tossed the stroller off the bridge.

beer canNow, this beer can is distinctly modern. Apparently some people have not received the message.

golf ballMy…, this golfball looks remarkably fresh.

toilet seatAs metaphors go, one could hardly imagine a better one.

Fraser tartan