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The Doukhobor Gazetteer - Search Details



District: Ootischenia
Province: British Columbia
Country: Canada
In 1908, Community Doukhobors from Saskatchewan purchased 2,700 acres along the Columbia River valley in the Castlegar district of British Columbia. Having forfeited their lands in Saskatchewan, this spacious and beautiful valley was to become their new place of refuge. Thus, Doukhobor leader Peter “Lordly” Verigin named it Dolina Uteshenaya (Долина Утешеная) meaning “valley of consolation” in Russian. It was later known as Utesheniye (Утешение) and eventually Ootischenia. It was the first Doukhobor settlement in British Columbia. There, the Doukhobors cleared the forest and planted fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and grain fields. The valley, however, proved to be arid and unsuitable for agriculture without extensive irrigation, leading some to refer to it as Dolina Opustosheniye (Долина Опустошения) or the “valley of desolation”. Nonetheless, it was the largest Doukhobor settlement area in British Columbia, with twenty-two communal villages as well as a concrete reservoir, pumping plant, irrigation-works, steam plant, saw mill, planer mill, flour mill, linseed oil press, harness shop, blacksmith shop, granaries, barns, leader’s residence and community hall there. Ootischenia School District operated there from 1922 to 1986. Today Ootischenia is an unincorporated community. [District Lot 4598, Kootenay District]



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