Prime Location in Downtown Dawson Creek
The Alcan Smokehouse is the second building that has stood at 932 – 102nd Avenue in downtown Dawson Creek. Located only a block away from the Northern Alberta Railway Station (now the N.A.R. Station Museum and Visitor Information Centre) and on the city’s main street, the lot was home to the Dawson Creek Post Office starting in 1930 when the railway came to the area. That year, many buildings were moved from the old townsite to what is the present downtown of Dawson Creek. In November of 1942, the Post Office caught fire from an overheated stovepipe and burned to the ground, leaving many residents uneasy as to whether they had lost Christmas packages from the latest postage shipment! A new temporary Post Office was established in a steel quonset shed in a different location, and the lot at 932 stood empty for the remainder of the winter. Check out this great recollection by Dorothea Calverley about the early days of the Dawson Creek Post Office.
After the Alcan Highway
In the spring of 1943, a new building was constructed – this time a two-storey multipurpose landmark built by local entrepreneur Walter Wilk. Mr. Wilk owned a jewelry store down the street and had a private trucking company with his brother Adolf. The Wilk brothers opened Dawson Creek’s first bowling alley at the storefront, while the upper level and back of the building were cordoned off for living accommodations. Over the years, 932 – 102nd Ave was home to other businesses such as a roller derby, land registry office, stationary store, and a newspaper office. In 1967, Lothar Triebel moved his small jewelry store and watch repair shop from two doors down. For 45 years, 932 was home to Lothar Triebel Jewellers, a full-service exclusive landmark to the Dawson Creek downtown. In 2013 Lothar Triebel Jewellers was closed and over the course of two years, Gerald and Melanie crafted their vision for the current dream: The Alcan Smokehouse.
Renovation and Restoration
The building underwent a top-to-bottom renovation that restored some of the best features of the architecture and design, including the original fir flooring on the upper level. This flooring was from U.S. Army Surplus materials that were purchased before the military left northern BC after the completion of the Alaska Highway. The renovation contractors, local company Marion Construction, noted that the construction style of the building is unlike any others in the area, and is very likely credited to American engineering. We are proud to make use of this wonderful building as a community established that locals and travellers alike can enjoy and connect with our local history for many years to come.