February 2018 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: Florence Harmston and Sam Cliffe both sailed to Vancouver Island on the Silistria in 1862 and married a decade later in 1872. Photo: CDM 974.78.1 Page 14.

Photo caption: “Ten years after his 1862 voyage, in April 1872, Sam Cliffe married Florence Harmston, who had made the same voyage on the Silistria at the age of six with her parents, William and Mary Harmston. According to family stories, the Harmstons had intended to continue their voyage on the Silistria to arrive in April in Port Clemens, New Zealand. They changed course when they noticed an ad for prairie land in the Comox Valley. Florence, born on the Isle of Man, had fifteen children with Sam. Ten survived to adulthood. Florence and Sam took over the Lorne Hotel in 1883. Sam died in 1908, and Florence twenty-one years later, in 1929.” Page 14.

January 2018 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: The Riverside Hotel made an impressive sight at the corner of 5th Street and Cliffe Avenue, 1944. Charles Sillence photograph. Page 180-181.

Photo caption: “When the Riverside was lost to fire in 1968 [January 2], people perhaps missed it most for the curved wall that marked the corner and provided a seat for those with time to spare. Here, they would comment on the passersby, venture an opinion on matters of local and national import, and pontificate for all who would listen.” Page 70.

December 2017 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.

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Photo credit: The biggest and best dance floor in British Columbia: the Royston Imperial Pavilion, 1931. Charles Sillence photograph. Page 146-147.

Photo caption: “From 1923 to 1940, the steady stream of traffic winding its way south from Courtenay on a Saturday night was heading for the Royston Imperial Pavilion, the largest, and reputedly the best, dance floor in British Columbia…In July 1940, as the band was setting up, a short in the wiring caused a fire that swept through the building, engulfing it completely in ten minutes. Paper decorations and greenery fuelled the blaze.” Page 145.

November 2017 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: Seeing the boys off. Valley residents turn up en masse to say farewell to the 102nd Canadian Infantry Battalion, 1916. Walter Gage photograph. CDM 972.55.20. Page 130-131.

Photo caption: “The Battalion participated in a number of prominent campaigns in France and Flanders in the following years: the Somme and Ancre Heights in 1916; Arras, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70 and Passchendaele in 1917. It played a major role in deciding the battles at Amiens, Scarpe, Drocourt-Queant, Canal de Nord, “The Hindenburg Line” and Valenciennes. More than a quarter of its members died. The unit disbanded on September 15, 1920.” Page 132.

October 2017 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: The Comox District Women’s Institute making Red Cross Jam, 1941. Third from left is Mrs. Margaret McPhee, fourth from left is G.W. (Bill) Stubbs and third from right is Theed Pearse. Charles Sillence photograph. CDM Stubbs Collection. Page 183.

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.

September 2017 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.

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Click for Larger Image

Photo credit: Courtenay Elementary School class brandishing sports equipment, ca.1906. Walter Gage photograph. CDM 983.55.1

Photo caption: Photo caption: “T.J. Barron, a graduate of McGill University, taught at the Courtenay school from 1905 to 1915. Previous teachers had mostly been young, with little experience, but Mr. Barron was a seasoned and accomplished educator who had high expectations for decorum, academic results and physical activity. Club swinging and wand drills were popular forms of athletic training in the early 1900s.” Page 115.

August 2017 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: Courtenay’s 5th Street lined with cars. CDM 989.69.34 Page 151

Photo caption: “…due to an economic boom in the mid- to late 1920s, automobile sales increased, which meant there were more drivers on the road. Businesses developed to service four-wheeled travellers and holiday makers. By the late 1940s, Courtenay directories listed five auto courts (or auto camps), which clustered around the main routes. In Courtenay, that meant along Cliffe Avenue and near the 5th Street Bridge.” Page 151.

July 2017 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: Cast of “Nothing But the Truth,” directed by G.W. (Bill) Stubbs, 1932. Left to right: Roy Harrison, Dorothy Sutherland, Henry Rankin, Warwick Revie, Russell Rickson, Isabelle Moncrieff, Sid Williams, unknown, Ella Harrison, Jack Bowbrick, Lillian Anderson, Agnes Sutherland, Peggy Watt. Charles Sillence photograph. Page 123.

Photo caption: “Movies played at the Gaiety once or twice a week, often with piano accompaniment, but the zeal for amateur theatre, music and other live productions was a hallmark of the place. In April 1932, for example, G.W. (Bill) Stubbs, a local educator and theatre enthusiast, directed Nothing But the Truth. His star was Sid Williams, a popular and respected community leader and actor who later played the part of “Century Sam” during BC’s colonial centennial in 1958, Canada’s centennial in 1967, and BC’s provincial centennial in 1971. In 1984, Williams was named a Member of the Order of Canada.” Page 123.

June 2017 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: The celebrated wedding between fashionable young couple Harry Simms and Janet Graham. Left to right: Janet Graham, Harry Simms, Blanche Dando, Tom Simms. Charles Sillence photograph. Page 162-163.

Photo caption: “Elaborate details of weddings were features of community newspapers. When Janet Eade Graham married Henry Charles (Harry) Simms on September 4, 1929, two prominent Comox Valley families joined. Thomas Graham, the bride’s father, was the senior superintendent of Canadian Collieries in Cumberland, and Charles Simms, the groom’s father, had been mayor of Courtenay.” Page 160.

May 2017 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: Staff of the Comox Valley Cannery, September 1934. Charles Sillence photograph. CDM 2004.42.133. Page 170-171.

Photo caption: “As the Great Depression took hold in the Comox Valley, P.H. Harrison’s decision to open a cannery on the banks of the Courtenay River was welcome news. He built a large two-storey building on the east side of the river, and operations began on May 30, 1934. About fifty women clad in white and green uniforms packed the first batch of Comox Valley spinach. Later in the season they were working with beans, peas, beets, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, cherries and pears.” Page 170.