History

Koocanusa Campsite from aboveIt all began with a trip to the Grasmere dump one Easter Sunday afternoon. Bob and his father-in-law Bill were taking a load of garbage to the Grasmere transfer station & when they came back Bob had bought the campsite.

The Provincial Government of the day didn’t want to put any more money into Kikomun Creek Provincial Park and they also wanted to test the waters with a private operation. The Government of the day then put the property out for tender and two local fellows were the successful bidders. After being the successful bidders they decided it didn’t really fit with their plans and ran into Bob and Bill at the dump and the rest as they say is history!

Bob really felt we shouldn’t have all of our eggs in one basket and he felt we should diversify and not depend totally on our hunting business. He also felt a small campsite would provide jobs for our four young children. That it did.

Sunny Fall Day at Koocanusa CampsiteWe started with just a few sites above where the store is located and along the bench overlooking the parking lot. As we were raking we really wondered who or how many would come through the gate and pay us to camp. The first season was dismal and not many people wanted to pay for camping and in fact some people were really mad about our business venture. The following year we started going to trade shows and of course the kids loved the family tradition of putting flyers onto peoples vehicles in whichever parking lot Bob happened to find himself in.

We started the store in the third season as Ev kept selling the family groceries out of their trailer and we saw there was a need for this service in the area. Fuel and propane sales started soon after.

Full Moon over Lake KoocanusaEach season saw more families and Bob kept adding sites. We moved to long term or seasonal camping a few years later but it was a big move that we really agonized about! When our first repeat camper and Tom James Sr. asked if he could just pay us to leave his unit on his favorite site from weekend and weekend we told him we’d really have to think about this. It took a few weeks and Tom was persistent and we finally agreed and again as they say the rest is history.

2012 marks the start of our 25th season; our four children have all worked for us and along with many other family members. Dano, our youngest son, is still with us and we’d be lost without him. He has plans of sticking around the lake for many years to come. Our six grandchildren now enjoy visits with us at the campsite.

We’ve met some wonderful people over the years and they’ve become good friends, we’ve been helped by many friends and relatives and consider ourselves very luck to be able to earn a living while offering families an affordable vacation spot.

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