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Explosion on the Kettle Valley Line: the Death of Peter Verigin

Explosion on the Kettle Valley Line: the Death of Peter Verigin

This site includes a complete collection of historical documents and images, and two animations, related to the death of Peter Verigin in 1924. When an explosion destroyed the train car of the leader of the pacifist Doukhobor religious community, killing their aristocratic leader, his 17-year old female companion and seven other people including a member of the legislative assembly, near Castlegar B.C. in October 1924, there were many theories about who did it. Was it dissident Doukhobors upset with his worldly ways, nativist zealots jealous of the success of the Russian émigrés, agents of the Canadian or B.C. government trying to undermine Doukhobor pacifism and resistance to public schooling, Verigin's own son, Soviet enemies with a score to settle, or merely an accident? To this day the explosion that rocked the Doukhobor community, and threw light onto Canadians attitudes to immigrants in the inter-war era, remains an unsolved mystery. Visitors can look at the collection of archival materials and develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing the evidence provided. Students are encouraged to come up with their own interpretations of primary documents, rather than relying on other people’s analyses. Educators have access to a Teachers' Guide and experts’ interpretations of the mystery. The site is available in English and French.

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