The Museum’s Blog

Merville – 100 Years and Counting Part 11

The area now known as Merville was logged by the Comox Logging & Railway Company.

In his book Island Timber, historian and author Richard Mackie wrote: “Two other camps-4 and 5-were both short-lived, and logged most of the area that became Merville just prior to and during the First World War. Camp 4 was situated at what is now the corner of Merville Road and the west side of the Island Highway. After the war it was taken over by the Soldier Settlement Board. Camp 5, open from about 1914 to 1916, was a mile and a half down Williams Beach Road on what became Reid’s Farm.”

Bonus Photo
Originally identified as logging, but perhaps land clearing for the Soldier Settlement, circa 1920.

Periodical Wisdom: November 2019

Looking for ways to “Avoid Wars at Mealtime”? This article from the Farm & Home magazine of October 15, 1930 contains some thoughts on how to keep the peace with finicky eaters. As the author says “Every modern mother must … combine her knowledge of dietetics with some of the tact of a seasoned diplomat.”

All kinds of helpful hints, advertisements and practical “how-to” advice can all be found in periodicals from our archival collection.

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It’s All There in Black and White: Comox District Blackouts During WWII

Blackouts to avoid air attacks during WW II were not limited to Europe. The Comox Valley was also under threat and observed its first blackout in 1941.

This article from the December 11 edition of the Comox District Free Press tells of some successes, a car accident and local first aid stations.

With legacy support from the Bickle Family and the Comox Valley Echo.

November 2019 Watershed Moments

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

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Photo credit: Local members of the British Columbia Women’s Service Corps display plums picked for the “Jam for Britain” campaign, ca. 1941. Left to right: Pam Harvey, Mrs. Lucy Muir, Mrs. Clive, Mary Bell. Lynn Henderson photograph. Photo: 982.24.76. Page 182.

Photo caption: “In 1941, the Red Cross, the Women’s Institute (WI) and the Comox Valley Co-operative Producers joined forces with the people of the valley to send jam to Britain. They borrowed a jam kettle from the Creamery and asked the public to take surplus fruit and sugar to the old cannery, where Mrs. McPhee, Mrs. Harmston and the ladies of the WI made plum and blackberry jam. Children raised money to purchase sugar and went on blackberry-picking expeditions by the busload. The Courtenay Rotary Club arranged the buses and helped with packing. That year, they shipped three tons of jam. In the following two years, when the harvest was leaner, two tons.” Page 182.

National Philanthropy Day

November 18, 2019

The Courtenay and District Historical Society was registered as a nonprofit society in 1961 to preserve and interpret cultural and natural heritage of the Comox Valley. Funds are derived from the generous support of the City of Courtenay, British Columbia Arts Council, Comox Valley Regional District, British Columbia Gaming Branch, and from museum generated revenues.

Your donations play an important role in making special projects and future museum operations possible. November 18th is National Philanthropy Day. The CDM extends appreciation to the Comox Valley Community Foundation and to donors who have, since 1996, supported the Courtenay and District Museum Endowment Fund. If you would like to make an online donation to this fund go to Canada Helps and click for Courtenay and District Historical Society, or contact us. Thank you for your support!

Lecture: In Natures Realm

Time and Date: 7 pm, Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum

Speaker: Michael Layland

Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public. Advance tickets recommended. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 2.

In Nature’s Realm is a celebration of the richly diverse flora and fauna of Vancouver Island as discovered through the records of settlers, explorers and visitors, and with due respect to the wealth of Indigenous traditional knowledge of the island’s ecosystems.

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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.

Lecture: Survival Strathcona Style

Time and Date: 2 pm, Saturday, November 23, 2019

Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum

Speaker: Catherine Gilbert and Myrna Boulding

Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public. Advance tickets recommended. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 2.

Learn about the backstory of the Strathcona Park Lodge – a place truly ‘off the grid’ and ‘on the edge’.

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Periodical Wisdom: October 2019

All kinds of helpful hints, advertisements and practical “how-to” advice can all be found in periodicals from our archival collection.

For example, if you ever wondered “Where’s the beef?” we’ve got the answer! Learn more about the cuts of meat you may have been missing with this chart from the Farm & Home magazine of November 15, 1930.

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