Brian Mitchell bought a house in October of 2016 on Emerald Crescent in Lac la Hache. He’d been wondering about the Emerald Lodge for a long time. His brother, Murray, had stayed there the year Brian was born. His parents had also stayed there going from Williams Lake to 100 Mile House and it was one of the first places Brian was taken for a visit.
“Murray’s 84 right now so I’m getting some of the old family stories from him and so from that point forward I’ve been trying to find photos of the lodge and the area.”
That led Brian to find some old photos from the area in the Rare Books and Special Collections University of British Columbia Library that he thinks most people won’t have seen before.
Brian said he started searching a while back but the find only came after he changed up his search terms at the beginning of the year. That’s when he found the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs.
“Try as I might I couldn’t actually see a photo.”
However, Brian kept at it and found out where they were. Brian contacted one of the librarians and they uploaded the 660 so pages.
“No public person had physically seen these photos unless you went in there and looked at the album.”
Brian says he’s always looking for historical photos of the area.
“When you look at the store in 100 Mile and the lodge and building the highway, there’s photos there that I’ve never seen and I’ve seen a lot of photos.”
Brian was quite surprised with the find.
“My mouth just about dropped. I could not believe… It was ten years of journeys that these kids had taken on their bicycles and fully documented. So there’s areas from all over B.C.
“Once I started to find them it was just amazing. I sent them to my wife, a couple of photos and we’ve since spent many hours going through the collection… I was just blown away that nobody had really seen these before.”
Now that they’re available online, Brian says it feels like he’s unlocked some history that had been locked away. He’s also going to take some of the pictures out on the lake to try and figure out where they were taken from.
However, while it’s got some photos of the dirt road near Emerald Crescent, it doesn’t show the lodge.
“It’s gotta be one of the most difficult places to find photos of. They just didn’t exist. Even in this collection, there isn’t photos of the lodge.”
Brian will keep searching and would like to know if anyone from the area has any photos of the lodge. If you do, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m sure somebody up there has it.”
See the full album at the library website.