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Ghost sign for Totem Travel reappears in Trail

A hand-painted sign probably from the 1970s re-emerged recently when an awning was removed from a downtown business in Trail.

The building at 1560 Bay Avenue, which is now Miller and Associates Wealth Management, is one of several on that block that were originally homes and had storefronts added. It was Totem Travel from at least 1973 to 2020.

The sign, which says “Travel with Totem,” is expected to be covered up again once the building is fitted with a new awning.

BC Assessment indicates the house was built in 1914. It shows up on a 1918 fire insurance map, along with two neighbouring homes to the south that were also later converted for business use.

From at least 1938-53, 1560 Bay was Robert and Margaret Weir’s photography studio. In the 1960s, it became Vipond Travel, operated by Jim and Betty Vipond, and Northern Electric Ltd.

More recently the building was home to a tailor shop called The Chesterfield.

Ad from the Nelson Daily News of Feb. 22, 1963 showing the building, which did not yet have the sign that has been uncovered.
(Greg Nesteroff/Vista Radio)
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