by Dawn Green
Learning about Whistler's rich history lends itself to a greater appreciation of the distinctive town's roots.
Your key to unlocking the mysteries of Whistler's history lies in a visit to the Whistler Museum. Herein lies information on the resort development and natural history of the region. In addition to showcasing Whistler's history, the Whistler Museum offers walking tours, interactive exhibits and a gift shop.
A snapshot look at Whistler's history reveals its first inhabitants — the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations people have been the ancestral stewards of these lands for thousands of years.
The original pioneers to settle on the land arrived in the 1880s and the mountain became known as "Whistler" due to the shrill whistle produced by the western hoary marmots living amongst the rocks.
In 1913, Alex and Myrtle Philip purchased 10 acres of land on Alta Lake to be the site of the fishing lodge they dreamed of creating. Rainbow Lodge became the first tourism venture in the area and its success attracted a growing number of year-round and seasonal residents, planting the seeds of the community that eventually became Whistler. In the following years, the valley would transform from its humble beginnings into the internationally renowned fourseason resort we know today.
Click to www.whistlermuseum.org to discover more of Whistler's history, or go discover it in person at the museum on Main Street behind the library.
Photo: Courtesy Whistler Museum & Archives,