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Avenue of the Clans - Trail, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 06.338 W 117° 42.532
11U E 448261 N 5439440
Quick Description: At the concession stand in Gyro Park are a pair of historical markers. This one tells of the Scots who immigrated to the area, and of their influence on the community.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 11/22/2014 6:13:30 PM
Waymark Code: WMMY8F
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member The_Draglings
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Lang may yer lum reek!"

Little Scotland
While Trail is often recognized for its Italian heritage, another segment of early pioneers who contributed a major influence in the growing city came from Scotland. Ferguson, McLeod, Urquhart, Moffat, Weir, Crombie, Forbes and others were all instrumental in developing the City of Trail. Little Scotland was a section of East Trail where many Scottish folks lived after the bridge was built in 1912. McQuarrie, Robertson, McLean, McBeth, Gardener and Stewart Streets were named after early Scottish settlers.

Katie Shaw School of Dance
Another major Scottish influence was Katie (McLeod) Shaw, who taught highland dancing in Trail for more than 75 years! She was a life member of the British Association of Dance and started the first Square Dance Club in Trail in 1946. She was named Citizen of the Year in 1975. The Ancient Shaw Tartan is in memory of Katie's family; but also represented is her family tartan, the McLeod of Harris Ancient Tartan.

Caledonian Society
The Caledonian Society was formed on April 11, 1923 with 54 members. It had grown from a group of Scotsmen who'd been holding annual Burns Night dinners at the Star Cafe, an annex of the Arlington Hotel, since the early 1900s. By the end of the year, membership increased to 83.

By 1930, the society had become quite active; and hosted an annual Highland Games celebration at Butler Park in conjunction with the Trail Athletic Society. They also celebrated annually: St. Andrew's Nights every Nov. 30; Hogmany every New Years; and of course, Burns Nights on Jan. 25.

During its heyday, the Caledonian Society sponsored baseball, hockey, soccer and curling teams. In 1938, the male-dominated society opened up to include women as members.

The group continues to celebrate Trail's Scottish heritage with Highland Dance and two annual competitions. The society sponsored the Ancient Caledonian tartan.

Ferguson's Castle
In honour of the coronation in 1936 of King George and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, who was born in Glamis Castle, a replica of the castle was built by local Caledonians. Then after the Second World War, a retired Scotsman, John Ferguson, built a larger replica of Glamis Castle. "Ferguson's Castle" became a landmark on the city's hillside, attracting hundreds of visitors between 1954 and the mid-1960s. The castle was made to scale; was 12 feet high and 10 feet square. Ferguson added a gatehouse, stable, servant quarters, landscaped grounds and cement walkways. His wife Anne would serve tea to visitors; but the couple never charged people to view the castle. After John's death in 1966, the castle passed on to various owners and fell into disrepair until it was repatriated back to the city in 1993. It was refurbished for Trail's centennial in 2001; is stored at the City Works Yard; and makes appearances in the annual Silver City Days parade. In honour of John Ferguson, the tartan used here is the Ferguson Dress Tartan.

Trail Pipe Band
The Trail Pipe Band was organized in 1924 and has been active continuously ever since. The Royal Stewart Tartan was selected in 1942 when William McLeary became Pipe Major.

Other Scottish Contributors
Local historian and writer Elsie Turnbull was instrumental in forming the West Kootenay Branch of the B.C. Historical Association which today is the Trail Historical Society. A number of books about early Trail can be attributed to her. Also, her husband, A. Douglas Turnbull. served as an MLA. The Turnbull Hunting Ancient Tartan is in memory of Elsie and A. Douglas Turnbull.

The Ancient Crawford Tartan is in memory Dr. Greg Crawford, who was an internal medicine specialist between 1930 and 1963. He was instrumental in bringing other medical specialists to Trail in the 1930s. No doubt this contributed to Trail's designation through the decades as being the centre of the West Kootenay for medical services.

The Balfour Hunting Tartan represents one of Trail's longest running businesses - J. Balfour and Son, established in 1912 by John Balfour who emigrated from Dumferline, Scotland.

Other tartans are in recognition of people and/or families who made significant contributions to the city: Pettigrew (Ancient Mathieson); Ross (of Aberdeenshire, Scotland); the Rae clan (McMillan Modern); McEwan and Campbell; Reid (Dress Gordon and Dress McLeod); Milne-Taylor (Ancient Dress Gordon); plus Forbes, Urquhart, Moffat, Weir, Crombie-McDonald, Robertson, Wallace, Cumming, Buchanan, and Cameron.

(The expression at the top means: "Long may your chimney smoke."
However, a good Scot would answer: "Aye, with other folk's coal.")
From the historical marker


Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Parking lot on site.

What Agency placed the marker?: Trail Historical Society

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