Windermere Highlights & Historical Aspects
The community has been active since the 1880’s and many old buildings still remain, the Stolen Church, the Whitehouse Hotel, the old RCMP barracks, and the Gold Commissars house. The community was originally serviced by paddle-wheelers and remnants of an old wharf remain submerged beneath the waters of Hidden Bay.
“The Stolen Church”
The picturesque red-roofed St. Peter’s Anglican church was built in 1887 at the town of Donald, near Golden. The church was dismantled, stolen, transported by rail, wagon and riverboat, and was reassembled in Windermere in 1900.
Located at the northeast corner of Victoria Avenue and Kootenay Street, the church is administered by the Windermere Valley Shared Ministry and the Diocese of Kootenay. Windermere residents provide lawn care, plant window boxes and maintain the building. Church services are held monthly in the summer and on Christmas Eve. The church is also popular for weddings with a capacity of 90-100 people. For information on services or using the church for weddings please contact the Windermere Valley Shared Ministry’s office in Invermere, 250-342-6644.
The times for the summer services at St. Peter’s for 2012 are:
The first Sunday of the month in the evening at 7:00 p.m. – July 1, August 5, September 2, and October 7.
The third Sunday of the month in the morning at 9:00 a.m. – July 15, August 19, and September 16.
Located on 4.4 acres on beautiful Windermere Point, the first recorded burials were in 1886. The tombstones tell the story of early settlers, miners and soldiers who lived and did in the Windermere Valley. Old maps show the cemetery divided into thirds, Protestants, Catholics and Others.
In 1972, the cemetery property was transferred to the corporation of the Village of Invermere, the closest official town. In 1984, the cemetery was declared an historical site under the Heritage Conservation Act, and it is currently owned by the District of Invermere. In 1997, the Windermere District Historical Society and the Rotary Club of Invermere constructed a columbarium and memorial wall.