The name “Windermere” has become synonymous with the entire Columbia Valley, but in fact it refers to a tiny community on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere.
This area has long been a favourite destination for Albertans and other visitors from around the world. It is now primarily a community of second homes.
Windermere boasts a long history. It was christened Windermere in 1883, along with its namesake Lake Windermere. The first hotel was built in 1888 and the first church arrived in 1899. St. Peter’s Church is called “the Stolen Church” because Rufus Kimpton moved it via rail, wagon and riverboat from another community for his wife, Celina and reassembled it in 1900. The little white church with the red roof has been lovingly maintained and is still used for summer weddings.
The centre of Windermere is called the “Artist’s Corner” where several local artisans sell their wares.
Organized by the longstanding Windermere Historical Society, the Windermere Scarecrow Festival in September is a huge event with more than 1,000 people attending to see sheepdog trials, chainsaw carving, art and photography entries, baking and flower contests and much more, including a contest for the best scarecrow.
Text provided courtesy of the Columbia Valley Pioneer. Photo courtesy Gerry George. Maps provided courtesy of and copyright the Columbia Valley Map Book.