Courtenay’s Puntledge Elasmosaur Receives the Most Votes!

Thank You to All of Our Supporters!

On November 23, 2018, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development closed its voting period for designation of a Provincial Fossil. Courtenay’s Puntledge elasmosaur, discovered by Mike Trask in 1988 was included as one of seven important fossils from around the province.

Today we have the results with the elasmosaur having received forty eight percent of the votes.

Thank you to the Ministry for seeking input through this process and to the British Columbia Palaeontological Alliance for its initiative.

Thank you and congratulations to all who voted and to the City of Courtenay staff for supporting the museum’s efforts throughout the campaign. Finally, a big thank you to all of our local business and tourism, economic development, arts, culture and heritage colleagues who helped create this legacy.

February 2019 Watershed Moments

Here is the latest newsletter installment of an image and quote from the museum’s award-winning book Watershed Moments – A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District.

Photo credit: Picking up the pieces after Courtenay’s devastating 1916 fire. King Studio photograph. CDM 972.54.5 Page 113.

Photo caption: “In [July] 1916, a devastating fire destroyed a city block, and the residents had only a bucket brigade with which to fight it. Joseph McPhee went to work once more to persuade his fellow citizens that the city should be in the water business.” Page 113.

Merville – 100 Years and Counting Part 2

Merville was originally founded as a farming community, a government initiative for returned WWI veterans to settle on their own plot of land. It soon became apparent that land quality was questionable and people had to turn elsewhere for income to make ends meet.

Here’s a look back at the folks who made up Merville in 1941. Many loggers and farmers are noted but you’ll also find a maid, a school teacher, an artist and even a Fuller Brush dealer!

This listing is from the British Columbia and Yukon Directory for 1941.

Periodical Wisdom: February 2019

Nothing says “February romance” like the sniffles! Take heart cold sufferers and read on to find out how to get the better of “Winter’s Special Beauty Problem.”

This entertaining column is from the February 17, 1938 edition of The Lady. It is one more example of the type of helpful hints that can be found in periodical magazines in our archival collection.

February 2019 Gift Shop News

Callling Local Artisans!

The museum gift shop is looking for 2-3 new artisans willing to sell their items on a consignment basis.

Items should be:

  • locally crafted
  • giftware suitable for the local and tourist market
  • size appropriate (not too big or heavy)
  • retailing for a maximum $50.

Please note that the split for items sold under consignment is 60% to the artist and 40% to the museum. If you are interested, email details and photos of your wares to

Heritage Week 2019

Photo credit: CDM 972.55.18
The ladies tug of war was reported to be a very amusing innovation. And talk about “the tie that binds”…they’re using actual rope!

This year’s BC Heritage Week (February 18-24) theme is “The Tie That Binds.”

One way to interpret that theme is “those who play together, stay together.” Whether it was a picnic or dance party, celebrating together connected people. A notable example from the Valley’s past was the May 24, 1916 festivities at Comox Goose Spit prepared by the 102nd Battalion.

The Courtenay Review newspaper of May 25 recounted that the soldiers decorated the grounds, provided refreshments and set a programme of sports to entertain the civilians.

BTW, the Cumberland Empire Events Committee is hosting this year’s Heritage Faire at the CRI Hall on Saturday, February 16 from 11am to 4pm. Click to find out more

Lecture: Henry & Self

Time and Date: 7 pm, Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum
Speaker: Kathryn Bridge
Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public (plus GST). Advance tickets strongly recommended as lectures frequently sell out. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 5.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, author Kathryn Bridge speaks about the life of Sarah Crease, a remarkable woman who lived through nearly a century of British colonial history.

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This presentation is made possible with financial assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts through The Writers’ Union of Canada.