The Langham restoration, Michael Guthrie repainting the Langham name!
Visit the Langham Cultural Centre
A history of: how “The Langham Cultural Society” was started, and the formation of the Board of Directors.
This story is based on my journal notes, press articles and public documents from The Provincial British Columbia Registry.
The time frame is from early July 1974-July 17, 1977, the time frame of which I first conceived of a society to purchase “The Langham”, my term as President of “The Langham Cultural Society” and the Grand Opening.
By; Michael Guthrie
November of 2014
“Burn it down, didn’t you hear me.” These were the words spray painted on the wall of the old Langham Hotel in Kaslo, BC. Like many of the old historic buildings in Kaslo that were previously burnt down by local residents, the Langham was facing this same fate.
The Village of Kaslo, in June of 1974, placed a notice on the bulletin board stating that; if the owner of the building didn’t restore the building, or sell it to someone who would, they would condemn it and have it torn down. Bill Mellus from South Fork told me about the notice one day at his house.
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The first volunteer work crew at the Langham.
Photo from the National Geographic Society's, "The Magestic Rocky Mountains" published 1976
Back Row: Mike Guthrie, Jim VanHorn
Second Row: Dare and Joli Guthrie, Norman Berglund, "little" Jim VanHorn, Brian Kurlick, Nikola and Jackie Bowyer, Fred Higley, Barb Scrivens,
Front Row: Elizabeth, Fern and John VanHorn, Pat and Susan Bowyer, Samuel T. Bones, the Guthrie's dog, and Holly's Cat
Michael Guthries dream of keeping the Langham from becoming a pile of ashes came true. Funded by a $28,000 government grant, the LCS hired 7 people and managed to completely refurbish the exterior and interior of the building for 146,961.82. Over two thirds of that funding was secured by the LCS; volunteers were the lifeblood of the Langham then, as they are now. ...
.. The Idea of having a performing and visual arts space with the upper floors used as studio space was Michaels. His ideas were unanimously accepted and at the same time he was elected president. Michael coordinated the first Rec. Fund and LIP Grants. He also conceived of and organized the first two Langham benefits. Michael and Darelyn were already running "The Village Green Cafe" with a coffee house venue. They turned over their performing venue to the Langham as a donation to help get the Langham off the ground.