History, Naturally!!

February 8th, 2022 1 Minutes
Mormon Metalmark, collected by C.B. Garrett at Oliver, British Columbia

Most of us look at our world through our own experience, thereby limiting access to many avenues of information. 

Naturalists see a different world, but always one that links to and impacts on (or is impacted by) ours.

C. B. “Chuck” Garrett was a Cranbrook resident and a man with several passions, each of which helps us to understand the Columbia Basin better. 

A taxidermist by trade, C.B. Garrett was never far removed from exploring the naturalist’s world. In the 1920s and 1930s, he collected butterflies throughout the southern interior, although mainly in the Cranbrook area. He shared his knowledge broadly. 

Garrett’s collections were used to name,¬†Pontia sisymbrii flavitincta¬†(Flavous Spring White),¬†Lycaeides idas ferniensis¬†(Northern Blue) found in the Fernie area, and¬†Speyeria zerene garretti¬†(Garrett’s Fritillary) which does him the honour of carrying his name.¬†

In 1924 alone, Garrett was responsible for identifying and naming more than a dozen Fungus Gnats, including Mycomya cranbrooki and Mycomya polleni (named for his kindred soul Col C. Hungerford Pollen).

He deposited specimens with many world-famous collections in his lifetime, including the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Canadian National Collection. As a result, we are all a little more knowledgeable due to this local man’s passion.

There must be others out there who know more of C.B. Garrett’s work in the field of fossils and stamp collecting. Please give us a call or send us an e-mail to info@basininstitute.org. Workers such as C.B. Garrett deserve to be remembered.

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