Olaus Jeldness - Rossland, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 04.625 W 117° 48.004
11U E 441571 N 5436333
Born a Norwegian, Olaus Jeldness left his home country as a teenager for greener pastures in first the U.S., then Canada, then again in the U.S. Along with him, he brought his love for and adeptness at downhill skiing.
Waymark Code: WMJBW2
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 10/26/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 2

Though not well known internationally or even nationally, Jeldness has left his mark in the areas of both Rossland, BC and Spokane, WA as a superb skier and for spearheading the organization of ski clubs and skiing competitions on both sides of the border. The City of Rossland has honoured him with this magnificent, larger than life bronze statue. It has been placed in front of the historic old Bank of Montreal building on Columbia Avenue, the major street in the city.

Jeldness, after arriving in Rossland, was instrumental in organizing the Rossland Ski Club and, as well, the first recorded downhill ski competitions in Canada, on Red Mountain. A man of many talents, he was a superb skier and was self taught in the fields of geology and mine engineering. Though he remained in Rossland for only five years, he left an indelible mark on the community.

Olaus Jeldness - extraordinary skier, skiing promoter, prospector, miner, mine developer, geologist, mining engineer, real estate speculator, publisher and free thinker.

Born in the village of Stangvik, Norway on October 1, 1856, Olaus Jeldness immigrated to the United States in 1873. He mined in Michigan, Missouri, Colorado, Dakota, Montana and Washington before arriving in Rossland in 1894. While in Rossland, he was the co-discoverer of the Velvet mine and associated properties, which were sold to an English company, making him a moderately wealthy man. He made an indelible impact on Rossland with his exploits on skis on the southern face of Red and Monte Christo mountains and as one of the organizers of the original winter carnival. His daring jumps and runs down mountain faces on skis between 2.7 and 3 metres long, with simple leather straps as harness, together with his "tea parties" on the peak of Red, were the stuff of legend.

Olaus left Rossland for Spokane in 1899 where he invested in real estate and continued his career in mining. He was a respected, well recognized and frequently consulted geologist and mining engineer, although he was self taught in both disciplines. Jeldness continued his connection with the Rossland winter carnival as patron and judge of ski jumping events.

Olaus Jeldness died in Spokane on April 24, 1935. His ashes were scattered on Red Mountain by one of his daughters and friends. To the skiers who followed him he left the stirring injunction, inscribed on a magnificent trophy that he donated and was awarded at successive winter carnivals and later at inter-university ski meets on Red Mountain:

Play not for gain, but for sport.
Leap not for gold, but glee.
Oh! Youth, play well thy part
Whatever life's gain may be.

URL of the statue: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
You must have visited the site in person, not online.
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Statues of Historic Figures
Nearest Geocaches
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Trail Blaisers visited Olaus Jeldness - Rossland, BC 06/20/2016 Trail Blaisers visited it