CPR’s Glacier Fanhouse Blowin’ Smoke in Yer Face

From the Article

I visited the fanhouse a number of times during 1971, when a friend was employed there as summer relief. The famous Selkirk undergrowth was overcoming the site, and combined with escaping steam from underground heating pipes, the setting had a surreal, science fiction feeling. Fanhouse homes were also supplied with electricity generated by a Pelton wheel – a utility denied residents of lower Glacier.

It was a decent life for some, but others couldn’t take it. When a former worker from the fanhouse died, his widow arrived unexpectedly one day with his cremated ashes. Her husband’s last request had been to be scattered from the old stone arch where the original track crossed Cascade Creek, high above the eastern tunnel portal. She, however, was having none of that.

The widow unceremoniously dumped his urn’s contents over the track from the fanhouse deck! Horrified, his mates went down and gathered what they could for later dispersal. When I visited, the poor guy was stored in an empty pickle jar on the windowsill, awaiting the return of former friends from holidays so those who would honour him could conduct his wish with grace.

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