Silverton Gallery had it’s birth as a Schoolhouse and remains a very significant heritage site in the Village of Silverton.
The Village began as a camp to serve the rich mines located on the southern slope of Idaho Mountain, and was eventually named after the famous mining town in Colorado, Silverton. By the early 1890’s lots were being sold and the population grew to 500 people, with four hotels, three general stores, and a newspaper, called the Silvertonian.
As people flocked to exploit the Slocan Valley ore mines, the population of children also swelled. Nearing the end of WW1, the old village schoolhouse was too small and saw the construction of the two-storied Silverton School.
This striking two-classroom school taught local children from grades one to six until the 1970’s. A high school was also located in the back of the building. One can still find original features of the building such as the bell and the bell tower.
From 1977-1996, the east side of the ground floor housed Silverton’s Fire Department. The Silverton Historical Society has also made it’s home in this building.
After extensive renovations in the early 1980’s the building was renamed the Silverton Galley.
Since this time, the building has been used as the village’s premier community meeting place, cultural centre, workshop space, public art gallery, and music venue.
Although owned by the Village of Silverton, the building has been managed by The Slocan Lake Gallery Society (SLGS), a non-profit organization, since the early 80’s. It’s popularity, as a venue, confirms this social and historical icon of the Slocan Valley.
The building is presently undergoing another round of renovations with much needed fire suppression and heat upgrading. Although closed until renovations are completed, the SLGS continues it’s mandate of Arts Programming as well as supporting artists from the Enterprise Creek to Summit Lake stretch of the Slocan Valley.
While waiting for the rebirth of the Silverton Gallery, SLGS presents performances, art cafes, dances in the Silverton Memorial Hall with thanks to the ongoing and generous support of the Village of Silverton, the Mayor and Council. The board of directors expects the Gallery Building to be in full swing by this upcoming summer of 2018.