Before a navigation canal was built in 1908, a free-flowing creek drained Wood Lake into Long (later renamed Kalamalka) Lake.
Wood Lake was naturally about four feet higher than Kalamalka, perhaps five or six feet higher during the spring freshet. In some years the water gushed down the creek making passage across the isthmus exceedingly dangerous.
Two items in the Vernon News from the time, illustrate: “There came near a drowning accident last week at the creek between Wood’s Lake and Long Lake, at the place known as the “railway.” J. Shore attempted to ford the creek, which is much swollen, and his horses were swept off their feet, and he was carried down for some distance by the stream, getting out with much difficulty. A road and bridge is badly needed by the settlers of that vicinity, and we trust that it will be among the first work of its kind after this year.” (circa 1902)
Two weeks later the newspaper reported another incident: “A. Cary had a narrow escape last week from losing a valuable horse in the creek at the “railroad,” between Long Lake and Wood’s Lake…” (circa 1902).
Since 1985, the Lake Country Museum has been collecting, preserving and presenting the area’s history.