Virtual Exhibits

Fernie At War: The Morrissey Internment Camp

The Dominion of Canada entered the Great War with Great Britain on August 4, 1914. From then to the end of the war on November 11, 1918, over 1,100 men from the East Kootenay served King and Country. The Elk Valley also played a much darker role in Canada’s war effort. During Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914 to 1920 thousands of men, women and children were branded as “enemy aliens.” One of these camps was located 13km south-west of Fernie, at Morrissey.

Fernie’s Pioneer Italian Community: 1881-1921

As they have done in numerous other communities across Canada, the Italians of Fernie made important contributions to the town’s development. Originally migrating to southeastern British Columbia to work on the region’s railways and coal mines, many early Italian immigrants overcame discrimination to forge a lasting place within the community for themselves and their families. This Community Memories exhibit comprises thematic essays, individual and family histories, extracts from oral histories, newspaper accounts, birth and marriage records, and photographs. 

Capturing History

Joseph Federick Spalding: Photographer, Tourist, Visionary

This website celebrates the early history of Fernie and the East Kootenay region of British Columbia as captured in the stunning photographs of Joseph Frederick Spalding. From dramatic scenes of floods and fires to imposing industrial landmarks and mountain vistas, Spalding’s photographs reveal a dynamic community in transition from small mining town to burgeoning tourist destination. 

A History Of Team Sports In Fernie

Since its formation in 1897 as a collection of roughshod log structures built to support the coal mines, Fernie has attracted a great diversity of people and cultures. Fernie’s history is filled with events of only local interest, set within the framework of a larger world. From the beginning, one unifying theme runs through this history – a participation in and love of sports. This exhibit and its storyline attempt to illustrate this through images and the collective memories of the people who lived them.