One-by one the photos were pulled out of a pool, examined and hung up on clotheslines to dry. Thousands more were laid out on tables inside a Parks building being used as a restoration lab.

Curled up and wet, the photos document the history of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. Many are unique, original, and/or irreplaceable. Some dated back to the 19th century.

Among the most valuable items damaged were original maps of the Nakimu Caves from 1906, pictures from the CP Rail archives that are dated "pre-1900" on the back and original pictures of the 1910 Rogers Pass avalanche.

The photos – along with thousands of other documents and natural specimens – were damaged in a flood that filled the basement of the post office and Parks Canada office with seven feet of water Tuesday morning.

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