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Page last updated October 27, 2004

© Michael Kluckner

Written/sketched 2003: As evocative as the Alexandra Bridge in the Fraser Canyon, the Brilliant Bridge is a magnificent relic, a piece of heroic construction. It spans the Kootenay River at Brilliant, just upstream from its confluence with the Columbia River not far from Castlegar. Built by Doukhobor labourers for the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, their cooperative society, it was completed between the early spring and October of 1913 to provide access between Ooteshenie (The Valley of Consolation south of the modern-day Castlegar airport) and the Doukhobor jam factory and administration centre at Brilliant.


There is a new site for the restoration of the bridge:

The Columbia River Valley near the confluence with the Kootenay River was called The Valley of Consolation, Dolina Ootishenia , the Ootishenia village itself being just south of Castlegar airport, where the Doukhobor Village Museum stands. The burnt-out ruins of the last communal house stand in the middle of a large field on the bench above the river, surrounded by small bungalows and a rather untidy landscape dotted with RVs. The floorplan of this communal house is on the Doukhobor page.

The village of Brilliant has lost most of its historic character--it is a collection of fairly modern bungalows on the bench above the Columbia River, with the main buildings of the co-op nearby. There is still a very good set of brick houses at Raspberry, and an excellent school building that was for sale (Joanie Askew, 250 365-4731) in the fall of 2002. The road to Krestova is quite nondescript--a kind of hillbilly country--with the few remaining old sites badly deteriorated.


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Artwork and text ©Michael Kluckner, 2001, 2002, 2003