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Defining a Doukhobor Village and a "Dom" ...

There were a hundred or so historic Community Doukhobor villages located throughout the West Kootenay Boundary region of British Columbia in the early decades of the 1900s. That number included a mix of village arrangements, some with two communal houses or "Doms", some with one, or some were just groupings of individual residences. Writers and historians have typically had the "Double-Dom" variety in mind, and these unique brick-faced "Doms" have over time, assumed a lasting role as iconic symbols of the ambitious and once vibrant Doukhobor communal social experiment in British Columbia.

Ozeroff Village at Spencer - bird's eye view photograph - Peter Matheson, Facebook

The two Doms in a village were typically nearly identical. Each accommodated several families, the smaller younger families on the upper floors, while elders and familes with children were allotted spaces within the single storey wooden "barracks" (so called on the Measured Drawing website) constructed in a "U" shaped configuration behind each Dom. There were also various improvised outbuildings associated with this, and other similar villages, and sufficient adjacent land was allocated for gardens and the keeping of domestic farm animals, and these undeniably detracted somewhat from the visual symmetry and tidiness of the village appearance.

These villages and Doms sustained the daily lives of their Doukhobor occupants for over thirty years after their displacement in 1907-08 from the Canadian prairies. And after the collapse of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) in the late 1930s, they were gradually abandoned, and by the mid 1960s, the majority of their original occupants were living in private residences, many on small parcels subdivided from their former communal lands. The Doms gradually deteriorated, and eventually collapsed or were dismantled.

The Ozeroff Village - a chosen example of BC's Architectural Heritage

In the mid-1990s a group of University of British Columbia architectural students chose the Ozeroff village in Grand Forks at Spencer Hill along July Creek as one of fifteen heritage sites across the province, in their studies of British Columbia's architectural heritage. Supported by BC Heritage Trust, they were to research this village as a good example of others in the southern interior, and draw the old two-storey brick homes and their connecting wooden structures, from actual measurements taken at the village site. The drawings were then to be archived as a historical record of these buildings for posterity, and they would also be shown to the public online on a dedicated website. Fortunately this website still remains online (Link), and with the approval of a former member of the original design team, this web page will revisit that website to review the drawings.

As one would expect, these young architects were primarily interested in buildings, and these Measured Drawings are indeed historically significant and unique in that respect. This web page will however attempt to supplement the old website and drawings with additional photographs of the same Ozeroff village buildings, the original villagers themselves, and the village surroundings in the wider Spencer Hill Doukhobor community. And for wider historical context, it will also briefly look at the role of earlier non-Doukhobor settlers along July Creek in the early history of Spencer, and the historic association of Spencer with the Great Northern railroad, the Phoenix townsite, and the Carson orchards below Spencer Hill.


The "Ubezhishche" Spencer Villages

The Doukhobor community at Spencer was called "Ubezhishche", the Russian term for "refuge" or "hideaway", likely so named because of its remote location, and indeed the most distant northerly village in this community appears at "Alaska" on older topographical maps. There were four such brick-veneered villages at Spencer, each named by the occupants themselves. The Ozeroff village name was unofficially acquired over time by its namesakes, three generations of the Ozeroff family, but the village family composition otherwise fluctuated somewhat with the arrival of new families and the departure of others for various reasons. A useful article about the "Spencer Area" with named village occupants, was contributed by a former Sleepy Hollow resident, Mike Zibin, in a 2000 issue of ISKRA, a Russian language publication. It has been transcribed and is posted here in Acrobat form without commentary for interested viewers. (Link)

The following map depicts the three main Doukhobor administrative regions in West Grand Forks, Ubezhishche, Fruktovoya and Khristovoya, as well as the four main Spencer villages themselves (and all others in Grand Forks). A close up can be viewed with a mouse click here. (Link)

Spencer Doukhobor Villages

The four Spencer villages are also depicted in the following photo-composite in their northerly geographical sequence, away from the American border. From top-left to bottom-right ...

The Hlookoff village is at left in the top row, formerly located just above Hwy 3 on the Spencer Hill curve, and the Zibin or Sleepy Hollow village is next, accessed down a steep dirt road toward July Creek. The Ozeroff village is depicted in the bottom row at left, located on a bench above July Creek, and the Danshin village is last at right (at Alaska) located east of Hwy 3. The old West Kootenay power line to Phoenix is visible in the distance in that photo, and an old wagon road to the copper mines also followed nearly the same route in earlier times. Except for the Sleepy Hollow BC Archive image, these photos were taken by the author of this web page in the early 1970s.

Spencer Doukhobor Villages
Of the four villages, the Hlookoff village was most accessible and functioned as a central location for the local Sunday school and for evening Russian classes, held in a refurbished community bathhouse. In the 1950s, public school students were dropped off at this village by the downtown school bus in the early evening, and would walk to their respective homes after two hour Russian classes, often in the dark and rain or shine.

Spencer Doukhobor Villages


The "hydrology" of Spencer

The Spencer lands were watered by two small streams, the larger being July Creek from the north and the smaller, May Creek from the west, and their confluence in the valleys was located immediately below the later Ozeroff village. As Spencer was initially occupied by both Canadians and Americans, the naming of the creeks not surprisingly, initially reflected their international association, their place names prefaced with their respective national holidays. The "Twenty Fourth of May Creek" was historically important as an accessible route for the Dewdney pack-horse trail through the mountain summits from Midway to Grande Prairie (Grand Forks). The "Fourth of July Creek" gained early notoriety for two highly publicized legal disputes regarding its water rights involving Spencer settlers and the orchardists and ranchers in the Grand Forks valley below.

Doukhobor leader, Peter (Lordly) Verigin, also later recognized the value of the Spencer properties for that purpose when he purchased them for the Doukhobors in 1911, extending ditches and wooden pipelines from both creeks along the existing Great Northern railroad track, to irrigate other purchased lands, below Spencer. These former Covert, Vaughan & McInnis, and Coryell acreages on the upper bench lands of west Grand Forks would become known as Fruktovoye, and later the USCC Sion Doukhobor Community. A reservoir was built on a hillside above Fruktovoye for the storage of creek water to augment the irrigation system in dry summer months. This water system is of interest and is being researched and has been mapped for an upcoming dedicated web page on this topic. (Link) The old VV&E Great Northern railroad, which is to be discussed in a later segment of this page, can be seen in this photo, carved into the face of Spencer Hill as it wound its way to Phoenix between 1905 and 1919.

Sion Doukhobor Community orchards

The first Spencer settlers were Americans

Previous to the arrival of the Doukhobors in the Spencer area of Grand Forks, the lands and mountain slopes in the Boundary country between Midway and Grand Forks had been of particular interest to mineral prospectors, many from the United States, who were well aware of previous gold strikes elsewhere in the southern interior of British Columbia. But copper minerals also became sufficiently interesting, when rich deposits were discovered near Boundary Falls and Greenwood in the late 1890s. The actual mining boom itself however occurred in the mountains around Phoenix where a townsite sprang up almost overnight.

At that same time, but more closely to Grand Forks, a pioneer settlement was also quietly emerging, more calmly and methodically, close to the American border along July Creek north-west of town. Between 1898 and 1902 a string of six parcels of land were located there for pre-emption and were granted to the settlers at minimal cost as Crown Grants, the most desirable of these acreages being, as it turned out, to Americans .... the Pettijohns, Spencers and Hoffmans. (Link)  

All three families were referenced in local newspapers at that time, particularly the Pettijohns, and their family story has also been more extensively later documented. They appear in the photo-composite below. Dyer B. Pettijohn, his daughter Mable, and wife Mary Catherine, are depicted at left, and Dyer himself as a younger man is at right. The fascinating account of the family migration from the United States to Spencer was told in a Boundary Historical Society annual booklet, and the online version, includes an account of young Dyer's service as a Berdan Sharpshooter in the American Civil War when he was captured by the Confederate army. (Link) The Spencer account is found in Chapter Three.

The Dyer Pettijohn family
The photograph below is the Hoffman pioneer residence, photographed in the 1920s on their former Crown Grant property at Spencer. Fred Hoffman had previously operated a flour mill in Stevens County, northern Washington State, and on moving to Canada, he found a suitable power supply for it at July Creek. He and his wife Catherine had five children, and he died shortly after moving to Spencer, but his wife Catherine, also locally known as Kate, had then later managed the Clarendon Restaurant for a time at the Alberta Hotel in Grand Forks until her retirement in 1906. She moved to Spokane after then where she died in 1909. Interestingly, not long after her departure to Spokane one day, a fire broke out in the alley behind the restaurant and destroyed the Alberta Hotel, the "commodious Yale" across the street, and indeed a whole Grand Forks city block in the devastating fire of 1907.

The Hoffman residence at Spencer

Placing Spencer on the map ...

Although the Pettijohns may have been the more prominent or visible Spencer residents, the Spencer place name seemingly became associated over time with the lesser known family of Joseph Spencer. Online Spencer family research was not too productive although census and mortgage records do suggest a presence in Whitman County, lower Washington State. In Canada, Joseph appears to have had an interest in a mining claim near Spencer, and his daughter Louise, was known to ride a horse into Grand Prairie to attend school. Beyond that, the family record seems to have faded away. The Spencer place name however, has not done so to this day. That distinction may or may not have been well founded, although personal research into Spencer matters suggests that the namesake may have been quite different, had it not been for the Great Northern Railroad (VV&R) and the townsite of Phoenix.

The Spencer Great Northern Station

The CPR and Great Northern (VV&E) railways were both competing at that time for a quick rail connection between the Phoenix mines and the Grand Forks Granby smelter, and they chose very different routes. The GNR surveyed a potential route to Phoenix as early as 1902 from its Weston Yards at Grand Forks, uphill westward through Spencer as we know it today, and northward following July Creek toward Eholt and then to the copper mines. (Railroad Map) Unlike the CPR, the GN purchased its own right of ways, including those through the Spencer Hill ranches, and that process took more time, and construction challenges along the route made the Phoenix railroad more complicated and expensive than anticipated. The steep grade of the railroad curve around Spencer Hill didn't help much either, requiring additional railroad infrastructure to address it. The solution involved the placement of a railroad stop or station on a flat portion of the right of way near the crest of the hill on the Spencer acreage. And this station became a regularly scheduled stop for the Great Northern freight and passenger trains between Grand Forks and Phoenix.

The Spencer station served a dual purpose, for both uphill and downhill trains. Uphill ore trains returning from the smelter to Phoenix, though empty, were still pulling heavy ore cars made of steel, and pusher steam locomotives were required to help move them through the entire route. Making steam required a lot of water, and large wooden water tanks were installed for that purpose at Spencer and certain other subsequent stations along the uphill route. A Great Northern ore train with two such steam locomotives is depicted below (Boundary Museum photo) struggling uphill through the Coryell Bluffs two or three miles west of the Weston Yards in Grand Forks. Restricted to a 15 mile per hour speed limit through the bluffs, it would have taken more than a few minutes to reach the Spencer station, where it could take on additional water to continue its uphill journey to Phoenix.

GNR ore train returning to Phoeinix
Downhill freight trains loaded with tons of Phoenix copper ore were especially heavy, and these trains were required to make two 15 minute brake-checks along the downhill route for a visual inspection of the steel wheels, and for cooling overheated brakes. A bypass siding (2020 feet according to Burrows) was also installed at Spencer where a brake-check could be made prior to the steep descent of the trains around Spencer Hill. As an extra precaution, a long curved safety runaway spur was also installed below the station should a complete brake failure occur. This was significant Great Northern infrastructure and these facilities at the Spencer station were an essential component of its daily operations between Grand Forks and Phoenix for well over 20 years, placing it permanently on the railroad map.

But there was still more to the story ...

The William Macy Granby Hotel enterprise

In 1903 the Phoenix Pioneer newspaper reported that a W. S. Macy had purchased "the Spencer Ranch, a fine piece of land on Fourth of July Creek", which the owner was expected to stock with "cattle, pigs, and poultry". Later clips reveal that this was William Sherman Macy, a Spokane hotelier and restaurateur, who was no stranger to Phoenix. He had acquired and operated three boarding houses for miners, and had also obtained a prized contract to operate the fine dining room on the basement floor of the celebrated modern Granby Hotel.

W.C. Macy dining room at Granby Hotel in Phoenix
This hotel provided comfortable accommodation for over 200 miners, and they were undoubtedly hungry at least twice a day, and it was Macy's responsibility to take care of business, including the laundering of tablecloths, seen here drying outside the door in the morning sun. While the CPR had previously delivered dining room produce from Grand Forks, the arrival of the VV&E in Phoenix, offered him an opportunity to generate produce at his own "Fourth of July" creek ranch, and have it delivered by train to the Granby every morning. That arrangement seemed to be working in 1903, when it was reported that Macy had received a special full carload of Spokane cattle for the Spencer ranch. Being a sophisticated entrepreneur, however, Mr. Macy would not have been too eager to personally mess with barnyards, and sure enough, he was reported to have leased the ranch operation and this source of produce to others, who over time made their own additional marketing arrangements. A newspaper Hunter-Kendrick's grocery store advertisement claims it routinely took daily delivery of fresh strawberries and raspberries from Macy's Spencer ranch.

Mr. William Sherman Macy's Phoenix operations, and the presence of the Great Northern station at Spencer, both contributed immensely to the awareness and visibility of the July Creek ranches and settlements, perhaps bringing more public attention to "Spencer" as a place name, than Joseph Spencer himself and his family could have ever done as individuals.

Locating the Ozeroff village

Despite the association of the Ozeroff Village with Spencer, it is important to note that this village was not part of the Spencer ranch at all. It was located on the adjacent Hoffman property. And it should also be clarified that the village itself did not historically have a direct connection to the railroad, or the government road, which was later to become Highway 3. The access road to the village was through the old Joseph Spencer acreage, presumably engineered by either Joseph Spencer himself, or Mr. Macy, and according to other non-village Doukhobor dwellers along that road, it was originally referred to as Road No. 7. Google Street View is however perfectly aware of this road, (now called Gibbs Creek Road), and it can be followed online further north-west uphill all the way to the old Phoenix townsite. The dirt road access to the village begins where the Gibbs Road pavement ends. This Highway Street View (Crowsnest Hwy) also depicts the former site of the GNR Spencer station, and a slow 360 rotation reveals remnants of the abandoned railroad beds above the highway. (Link)

The Measured Ozeroff Drawings - the anatomy of a Doukhobor Dom

Aside from a small number of rudimentary schematic diagrams of typical Doukhobor village arrangements, there have been few, if any, available detailed architectural renderings of these villages to visualize them as they existed in earlier times. The following segment of this web page will revisit the story and website of the 1998 Measured Drawings of the old Ozeroff Village in Grand Forks, which may be of interest not only to its surviving original residents (or their descendants), but also to general readers and researchers alike. The Ozeroff village drawings stand alone in their outstanding depiction of these buildings, illustrating their exteriors and their interiors with floor plans and cross sections, unmatched in print or elsewhere online.

Ozeroff Village Drawings composite

British Columbia's architectural heritage

A group of third and fourth year architecture students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) embarked on a special mission in the mid 1990s with two objectives; firstly the project was to be of practical benefit to their academic studies, and secondly, it was to bring wider public attention to the diversity of the rich architectural heritage of British Columbia. In coordination with BC Heritage Trust, a non-profit advocate of the preservation of historical places, fifteen significant historical subjects of study were chosen for this project from across the province. Their task was to use their newly acquired architectural knowledge and skill-set to research, then measure and draw the buildings or structures at their chosen sites as a means of preserving them on paper precisely "as they were found" at that time. As it turned out, only two sites were chosen in the West Kootenay Boundary, the Fletcher Hardware Store at Ainsworth, and the old Ozeroff Village at Spencer in Grand Forks.

View of Ozeroff Village from Hwy 3

Ozeroff Village in 1995 - Jerry Shaw photo

With strict Heritage Trust guidelines for the creation of such documentary drawings in mind, and with measuring tapes in hand, the students personally visited Grand Forks presumably between 1996 and 1997, to undertake this task. The Ozeroff village by that time had no longer been exclusively occupied by community Doukhobors. It was sold in the mid 1960s to private individuals who had their own unique visions for its destiny. Nonetheless the students also consulted with available local Doukhobors, and informed them of their honourable scholarly intentions. They then proceeded to the village to take photographs, make sketches, take accurate measurements and make notes of unique structural details. The objective was to document the village for posterity as best they could without inflicting damage to its structures, and then on returning to the university, they were to visualize their findings in detailed scaled drawings of the building floor plans, side elevations and cross sections to reveal their interior construction.

By definition, these "as found" measured drawings were not meant to be working drawings for carpenters to construct new buildings. These drawings were to be visually somewhat more artistic and pleasant to look at, to serve as historical graphical illustrations for researchers or the general public rather than as actual blueprints. But they were nonetheless expected to be informative and accurate representations of their subjects, in their current condition as they had been observed. In that respect, and true to form, the Ozeroff drawings demonstrate that there had already been severe modifications to the buildings since their initial construction in 1910 or 1911. The rooftop addition of an attic loft to one of the residential houses, would be one example that would have undoubtedly affected its architectural authenticity, yet the village "was, what it was", and in a sense its history was of lesser importance than its current status. To the BC Heritage Trust, these drawings may indeed have been useful to evaluate the suitability of these buildings for future preservation.

Ozeroff Village side elevations
With the first phase of the UBC student task accomplished, the measured drawings of the village, along with the other 14 provincial sets, were handed over to others for archival purposes and the next stage of the project, to raise public awareness. To initiate this process, 53 drawings of historic buildings from around the province were photographed and reproduced in hard copy at half-size in six bound manuals or albums for distribution. Unfortunately the available documentation of this process is a bit hazy and the location of these albums is also unknown, although one would hope they might be sequestered somewhere in BC repositories. Nevertheless, the albums appear to have been made available in 1998 to a Victoria based independent group of talented, technically savvy and educated youngsters, who scanned them and created a website featuring these drawings for use by school teachers, students and the general public. The project was funded as one of dozens of similar initiatives by the CDC (Canada's Digital Collections) Program, operated by Industry Canada between 1996 and 2004 to provide young Canadians with skills and experience in preparing Canadian digital content. (Link) The completed website was then archived in 1999 by Library and Archives Canada (1033139030) and remains online today in 2023.


On viewing the Ozeroff Measured Drawings

The following low-flying bird's eye view of the Ozeroff village, undoubtedly created long before 1995, will help viewers better understand the drawings in their real world context at Spencer Hill. The photograph has been annotated to identify the village structures and their names as used on the website, and as they are identified in the titles of the drawings themselves. (Website Link)

Aerial view Ozeroff Village  annotated
Each Measured Drawing is identified by name at its bottom, which also reveals the drawing scale. There are two brick faced two-storey "Houses" or Doms - No. 1 and No.2, each with "Side Elevations", "Section Drawings" and "Floor or Basement Plans". These drawings are also identified by the cardinal compass direction of the building faces depicted. And there are three designated sets of wooden single family dormitories or residences, connected together in a continuous "U shaped" configuration, called "Barracks", each depicted with "Side Elevations". The naming of these structures is somewhat curious as the term is usually associated with soldiering, and Doukhobors as pacifists would certainly have preferred them named otherwise. And there are also numerous out-buildings in the village that were essentially ignored by the students. Highway 3 would be at right in the distance across the July Creek valley.

View Ozeroff Drawings web pages (Link) View an Acrobat pdf file of all drawings - 6 Mb. (Link)

It should be noted that although these drawings are indeed useful, they are somewhat limited in their optical resolution, most visibly on close inspection of structural dimensions and textual notes. The originals have understandably undergone considerable optimization for web page use, and the original full-sized drawings would undoubtedly have been of greatest research and historical value.


Photographing the Ozeroff Village

A photographer from Spokane, Washington, who was also a family friend with a shared interest in computer technologies, occasionally crossed the border into Canada. An accomplished professional, Jerry Shaw always travelled with eyes wide open, and had observed what appeared to be a derelict Doukhobor village on a hillside along the highway near Grand Forks in the summer of 1995. Google Street View below (Link)

Google Street View of Ozeroff Viillage
The village was vacant, but given assurance it would be fine to visit personally, he thoughtfully took a series of photographs of the village from various vantage points. He was later contacted for their use in a USCC Doukhobor website photo gallery in 2008. This gallery is no longer online, but the source photos were not forgotten, and they were recovered for potential use here once again. And by an extraordinary coincidence on their inspection, one of the photographs was an exact match for an elevation view of one UBC student Measured Drawing. Both images were created nearly at the same time, and they both appear below for comparison.

Ozeroff Village Dom photographOzeroff Villafge north elevation

The following photographs from this same photo-shoot depict the wooden single story detached residences and other outbuildings associated with this village in 1995, and they do reveal their general state of disrepair. Existing original occupants of the village, or now their descendants, may nonetheless be interested in viewing them as they were, and as a reference to better understand the Measured Drawings should they wish to view them.

Ozeroff Village barracks

Ozeroff village window view

House No. 2 Ozeroff Village

The Villagers in photographs ...

Many of the villagers, aged and young, were memorialized in a number of rare photographs taken at the village in the 1920s and 30s. The upper left photo in the following composite is of particular significance. That photo and the photo immediately below it, depict Petroonya and Nikolay Petrovich Ozerovi, a father and son who were indeed the original namesakes of the Ozeroff village. These photographs were taken by a former villager and the negatives were preserved in a small shoe box. The negatives and the Kodak Hawkeye Model C2 vintage camera used to create them, have now found a special permanent place in this writer's personal collection of Spencer memorabilia.

Ozeroff Village residents composite


Village Demolitions and Restorations

Once abandoned, the derelict Doukhobor village Doms weathered slowly and many simply quietly collapsed. Others were deliberately dismantled and the old bricks were salvaged and repurposed elsewhere. These demolitions were somewhat routine and they usually happened in plain sight, but the demolition of these brick-faced buildings was seldom photographed, perhaps out of nostalgic respect and sadness for their passing, or perhaps they just happened unannounced and then so quickly.

The photo-composite below depicts the Gritchin village in the Sion Community before and after its demolition. In the upper left image, the Village and the old Fruitova school are intact in the background. The barn-like building below them in the foreground, was a blacksmith or machine shop, which then functioned as the Sion Community prayer and meeting hall, and a Sunday and Russian/English Language School. (Link) The two next photos were among a few others taken by this writer during a personal visit to Grand Forks in the early 1970s, when the demolition of the Gritchin village was encountered in progress and almost complete. One photo depicts a few custom-made wooden school desks salvaged from the Community Hall.

The photo beside it at right depicts a similar demolition underway at Brilliant, Castlegar, also likely in the early 1970s. It is included in the composite to demonstrate what a Gritchin Dom (much similar) may have looked like mere hours earlier, with its layer of brick veneer removed, exposing the previously obscured wooden stick-framing of the Dom. This photograph was taken by Vancouver photographer, Victor Stevenson.

Doukhobor Doms dismantled
The historic photograph below was clearly not a snapshot. It was slowly created by a clock-driven rotating Cirkut panoramic camera in the hands of a professional, one of the Trail Hughes Brothers, in 1929. It depicts a large group of local Doukhobors at the Gritchin village welcoming the arrival of Peter Lordly's son, Peter P. Verigin to Grand Forks, to assume his father's former leadership. The photograph also depicts the Fruktova School, just them being opened for English public school classes, accepting Doukhobor children from the wider Doukhobor local community. The school functioned in that manner until the late 1940s, and the unique building now serves an even wider multi-cultural community, functioning as the Boundary Historical Museum and Archive. Peter P. Verigin is depicted  in a closeup of the panorama reclining on the hillside below the school with others at lower left, in the link below.

Doukhobor Gritchin Village Fruitova School

View Gritchin village up close (Link)         View Fruktova School up close (Link)


The Castlegar Ostrov Village and Selkirk College Mir Centre

A few Doukhobor village homes in the West Kootenay Boundary however did survive, one very noteworthy example was refurbished in Castlegar, and two others were reconstructed from scratch as part of a village model museum.

A Dom in the Ostrov Malloff village at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers, in Ootischenia, Castlegar, was rescued from its almost certain demise in the later decades and was salvaged to serve a wider worthy community purpose as a component of the new Selkirk College campus.

Ootischenia lands, including the land surrounding the two Ostrov villages were surveyed and partitioned into small sized lots in the late 1950s and a group of lots were reserved in 1961 for the building of a future new college.

Selkir College lease
The reserved properties were leased for a period of time as Selkirk College was constructed, and it became operational in 1966, while the Malloff village Dom remained occupied. Its occupants were respectfully permitted to complete their remaining years living on the college site. With the passing of the final resident, the college embarked on a mission to preserve, remodel and reconfigured the Ostrov Dom for its use by the college as a lecture hall and teaching facility, now known and in use as the Mir Centre for Peace.

Doukhobor Ostrov Malloff Village

Photographs of this Dom were taken by Selkirk College employees prior to its restoration, and after its refurbishment as the Mir Centre. The original digital photos were taken in high resolution, but they were also optimized for web use and donated to the USCC Doukhobor website where they remained online as a slideshow until the gallery infrastructure itself was abandoned. The original slideshow images however remained intact and interested viewers can still access them in Acrobat pdf form here. (Link)

The Ostrov Dom slideshow included both exterior and interior views of the building after it was abandoned, but just prior to its restoration. Interior views of these old communal buildings were rarely if ever photographed, and as all B.C. villages were essentially alike, these photos may serve as reasonably good representations of other such villages, including the Ozeroff village at Spencer. Interior views of the upper living quarters and the structural details of basement construction are especially rarely seen elsewhere.

The refurbishment of the Malloff Ostrov Dom as the Mir Centre was completed by 2008, the restoration itself accomplished by skilled college craftsmen and workers. In recognition of the historic Doukhobor adherence to pacifism, Selkirk College to this day offers a curricular program in Peace Studies, and it also hosts world recognized speakers at the Mir Centre to promote the peaceful-coexistence of global societies, while at the same time advocating for the reconciliation of outstanding local issues concerning indigenous cultures. And it can indeed be argued that to some extent, both of these cultural groups shared a common respect for the land they occupied, and they also shared a similar history of displacement from it. The Russian word "Mir" for "Peace", couldn't have been a better choice as the name of this unique facility and the worthy purposes it envisioned.

View the Ostrov Village as the Mir Centre for Peace Studies. (Link) 

Mir Center for Peace Selkirk College

The Doukhobor Discovery Centre Museum

A complete Doukhobor village has also been "reconstructed" from scratch in 1971 as a museum in Castlegar. Its twin-Doms were recreated from precise measurements taken of two intact buildings at a Glade village along the Kootenay River. An ambitious project by the Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society, supported by public funding, and the City of Castlegar, the museum currently reminds British Columbians of the unique Doukhobor culture and their community that had once flourished in their midst. The following image of the museum is a stitched composite also used on the USCC Doukhobor website, (Link) and donated to members of the Historical Society for promotional purposes and the Discovery Centre museum. (Link)

Doukhobor Discovery Centre Village

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