The Body of Work
T.A. Weaver was a life-long Wenatchee resident whose passion for the Columbia River blossomed into a work that was visionary in scope. In 1962 he documented more than 300 places along the entire mainstem of the river. His slides are a treasure trove of rare oblique (bird's eye) color images of the river.
Weaver's unique portrait of the Canadian Columbia shows the river before the enactment of the 1964 Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada. This historic transboundary agreement called for the construction of two large storage dams (Mica and Hugh Keenleyside) on the main stem of the river above the international boundary. The CRT ushered in an era of enormous change to the river's biological and physical character and transformed the economy of both countries. People living within the Columbia Basin continue to experience its impact on a daily basis.
In 2008 and 2009, the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center conducted a repeat photography survey based on Weaver's views. The combined surveys offer a striking then-and-now perspective on the Canadian Columbia's ever-changing waters.
The photographs from both surveys have been placed on a set of historic maps commissioned in preparation for the Columbia River Treaty. Newly edited and joined into 37 separate sheets, the maps and photographs highlight the Columbia's course through Canada. Originally used by engineers from various fields to study the hydrology, geology and power development potential within the Columbia Basin, the maps along with the photos offer a detailed view of the Canadian Columbia that provides an immediate visual understanding of the changes that have occurred over the last half century to this extraordinary river.
The Aerial Perspective 1
T.A. Weaver's Vision 5
Rephotographing the Columbia 13
The Columbia River Treaty 17
and the River's Remaking
The Columbia through the Last Half Century 25
The Columbia of Tomorrow 28
The Columbia Basin Survey Maps 31