June 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.

Photo credit: Navy personnel at Goose Spit, 1940s. George Hobson is second from left in the front row. CDM 999.140.1 Page 187.

Photo caption: “…an article from the Comox Argus of April 20, 1944, titled “Camp Followers in Courtenay,” described a report by Sergeant Hatcher of the Provincial Police to Courtenay city council about camp followers, wild women and sharks – civilians who travelled around to exploit military personnel – who were showing up in town.” Page 176.

BCHF Conference Reminder

The BC Historical Federation Conference starts Friday, June 6, 2019.

There are a multitude of field trips, presentations and tours to choose from that are open to everyone.

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The British Columbia Historical Federation encourages interest in the history of British Columbia through research, presentation, and support.

It’s All There in Black and White: Comox Valley Milk Run

Remember the Milk Runs? Not just an excuse to get out in the spring sunshine, they also raised money for the BC Society for Crippled Children. This page from the May 2, 1980 Comox District Free Press is sure to bring back memories for people schooled here in the valley. Presented with apologies to the lactose intolerant.

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

Historic Building Fire in Courtenay

DM 972.235.19 / The Riverside Hotel trees are visible on the left, as well as the McPhee Store with awning and the second bridge, which lasted from 1900 to 1923.

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CDM 989.69.56 / 5th Street (Union Street), c. 1913. The first J. McPhee and Sons building is visible on Anderton Avenue (Mill Street) behind the new McPhee Block at the foot of the hill.

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An unfortunate fire occurred at the former J. McPhee and Sons General Store building on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The building is the current home of the Cona Hostel and is located on Anderton Avenue in downtown Courtenay. Arson is suspected.

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The above article appeared in the Comox District Free Press of March 4, 1994. Since then, Ian J.M. Kennedy’s book The Life & Times of Joseph McPhee has brought new information to light.

Please note the following corrections:

  1. The original McPhee building was likely moved to Anderton Avenue in 1913.
  2. While the first post office was located in the 1894 building it was moved to McPhee’s remodelled warehouse and Birdie Callin (nee McPhee) acted as Postmistress during the First Wold War from this second location.

Periodical Wisdom: April 2019

April is national oral health month so in the spirit of staying behind the times we present “Care of Baby’s Teeth” from the December 1917 edition of The Christmas Peoples Home Journal.

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