What many of you may not know is that White River is actually the “real” Winnie the Pooch’s birthplace.
White River had been founded by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1800s, and at the beginning of World War I it was an important stopover for trains carrying soldiers and horses.
In 1914 one of these trains stopped in White River and let the horses off for watering and exercise. The man in coverall charge of these horses – Lieutenant Harry Cole bourn – saw a bear for sale and bought it. Cole bourn brought the bear with him to Val artier (Quebec) and then on to his posting on the Salisbury Plains en England.
After Cole bourn (now a Captain) was stationed to France, he placed her temporarily at the London Zoo. Cole bourn survived the war and returned to Canada, but decided to leave Winnie at the London Zoo. This was where author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin eventually discovered him and re-christened him Winnie-the-Pooh – which became the inspiration for these beloved tales.