Our history

The humble beginnings

The Holtens became the elite of Revelstoke society

From owner to owner

The home was owned by the Holten family until the mid 1970s, and was then purchased by Ray and Lil McDonnell.

They sold it to Cal & Debbie Jackson of Edmonton in the early 1990s, and it was the Jacksons who undertook the extensive restoration of the home.

The Jacksons sold the home to Stephanie Ballendine, and Stephanie Ballendine sold it to Nick Holmes-Smith. 

Charles Holten came to Revelstoke around 1885, and was one of the first to investigate mining prospects in the Lardeau region south of Revelstoke (around Trout Lake, Ferguson, and that area.) He and his partner Thomas Downs located the Silver Cup mine, one of the most successful in the region. They sold it for a nice bundle and both settled in Revelstoke.

Charles Holten was an original director in the Revelstoke Water, Power and Light Company, which was organized in 1896, and in that capacity he supervised the construction of the first water mains for the city. He was an original partner with Thomas Downs and William Cowan in the establishment of the Enterprise Brewery in 1897. Enterprise Brewery continued in operation until 1955. In 1897, Charles Holten had a beautiful home built on First Street, at the crest of the hill. The house was built for his bride, Lyda Edwards, who had come to Revelstoke in 1894 with her family.

The Holtens became the elite of Revelstoke society and their home was the setting for many social events. Charles Holten died on October 13, 1918 and Lyda lived until 1942. Their two sons, Charles and Drennan, passed away without leaving any family, now for the interesting part, Charles and Lyda both reinvented themselves in one way or another. Charles was born Karl Hultengren in Sweden on October 20, 1865. In the census records available, he does not give his ancestry as Swedish, and does not say that he was born in Sweden. His age is always different in each of the records as well. We really don't know why he didn't want to be Swedish, but we haven't come across any particular scandal that would indicate why he changed his name and nationality. 

Lyda, on the other hand, has a scandal attached to her family. When she came here in 1894 as a young woman, she was with her parents Charles and Mary Edwards, her brothers Jim and Eddie Edwards, and her young niece Mary Edwards once thought to be Jim's illegitimate daughter, but recently new information has come to light, we now have information to prove that Jim Edwards was married to Philippa Stearns and that the child Mary was indeed legitimate. Philippa died before the family came to Revelstoke. Records show that the legal surname of Jim, Eddie, Lyda and young Mary was Silcott. Craven Silcott, the father of the three siblings, was from a distinguished Ohio family. Craven was working as cashier in the bank of the House of Representatives in the United States, when he disappeared along with a substantial amount of money.

Some stories said that he had fled to Quebec with his French Canadian mistress, while other stories indicated that he had reunited with his family and they had gone to Mexico, after which no trace of them was found. What we don't know is whether Charles Edwards and Craven Silcott were the same person, or whether Mrs. Silcott had remarried. The Charles Edwards who came to Revelstoke in 1894 claimed that he had once been an Australian sea captain. It's an interesting story, especially the way in which a family who had fled a scandal ended up at the top of Revelstoke society.

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