The Creston Valley Rotary Club has constructed a shed to protect the historic logging arch in front of the Creston Museum.
Logging arches also referred to as katydids and Michigan wheels, were used in the days of horse-logging to skid logs out of the bush. The one owned by the Museum was brought to the Creston Valley circa 1908 for C.O. Rogers, owner of the newly established Canyon City Lumber Company.
“It’s the only artifact in the Museum that exclusively represents horse-logging in the Creston Valley,” Museum manager Tammy Bradford said recently. “It’s also one of the oldest industrial artifacts in our collection, so it’s pretty special.”
Most of the logging arch’s life has been spent outdoors, first at the Canyon Mill and then at the Lyons’ ranch in Canyon. It was later acquired by the Yahk Pioneer Park Museum, which went bankrupt in 1979. It has been at the Creston museum since, after being acquired by the local Historical Society. Most of the restoration was done more than 30 years ago.
“Being made principally of wood, it’s highly susceptible to damage from weather,” Bradford said. “We have long wanted to put a roof over it, but there were always so many other priorities.”
The Creston Valley Rotary Club, inspired by Bill Pfeiffer and Casey Messinger, came to the rescue a year ago, when it took on the project.
“The Rotary Club did all of the fund-raising (through the Creston-Kootenay Foundation, Creston & District Credit Union, Fortis and Canfor), co-ordinated the contractors, and did a lot of the work themselves,” Bradford said. “We are very grateful for everything.”
More restoration of the arch, now under the cover of a 30×30-foot shed, will be done this summer and fall.
“The roofed area represents a significant increase to the Museum’s display space,” Bradford added. “In addition to restoring the arch, we’ll be working on a brand new exhibit that showcases the role of forestry in our community’s development. That will free up space in our older buildings for other exhibits and programs.
“The impact of the Creston Valley Rotary Club’s project goes well beyond preserving this wonderful object for the future. We really can’t thank them enough.”