A 15-minute drive from Panorama and located on the shores of Lake Windermere is the small town of Invermere. This is a variable number town. In the winter population is relatively small at 4,000-ish. In the summer it can swell to 10-times this when vacationers come to town.
Prior to settlement, Invermere was a seasonal fishing village for the Kootenai and Shuswaps peoples who came to the area for the abundance of fish. The first European to arrive was explorer David Thompson and his Métis wife, Charlotte Small in 1807. They were the precursors to all the fur traders, settlers and gold prospectors that would arrive in the next hundred years.
At the top of a hill before entering the town of Invermere itself, you’ll find a small six-building historical village called the Valley Pioneer Museum. This historical site houses information about the original settlers, the buildings they used, and artifacts from days gone by.
What are those little shacks in the photos below? Those are ice fishing shacks. The ones I photographed were empty, however, during our drive around we were able to see many on their belly checking their line.
Originally, the Columbia river (leading into the lake) was the end destination of the Pacific salmon spawning runs. However, human development and the construction of dams have completely eradicated this. That said, the lake is still teeming with trout, kokanee and whitefish.