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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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.

April 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: Coke ovens at Union Bay, ca. 1905. CDM 979.3.31

Photo caption: “In 1895, James Dunsmuir’s Union Coal Company built two rows of fifty ovens into an embankment on a foundation of limestone quarried on Denman Island. Workers built the ovens, which were eleven feet in diameter, with angled brick imported from Scotland. Japanese labourers and several Scottish bricklayers brought over specially for the project did much of the work with teams of horses.” Page 55.

March Watershed Moments

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

Photo credit: Races, fair days and parades all passed through the original city centre near the Courtenay Hotel. CDM P55-230a. Page 59.

Photo caption: “Courtenay’s town centre on the east side of the river began with people like William Lewis, who saw the proximity of Green’s Slough and the navigable head of Courtenay River as being advantageous to business. Lewis bought this central plot of land in1881 from Charles Green.” Page 63.

February Watershed Moments

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

Photo credit: View of original 5th Street bridge in Courtenay, ca. 1895. CDM 972.69.4. Page 46.

Photo caption: “Settlement on the west side of the Courtenay River can trace its roots back to Pidcock’s mill and to Joseph McPhee, who in 1888 hired George Drabble to survey and divide ten acres of land he held with Pidcock. Businessmen, speculators and settler families soon began to buy the lots. In 1894, McPhee opened his general store just west of the Courtenay River Bridge.” Page 56.

January Watershed Moments

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

Photo credit: The wedding between adventurer, businessman and trader Adam Grant Horne and Elizabeth Bate took place on February 22, 1859. George Robinson photograph. CDM 978.36.1. Page 31.

Photo caption: “Adam Grant Horne was an Orkney Islander recruited by the Hudson’s Bay Company to work on Vancouver Island. He was a giant of a man, well suited to the challenges of trading…

He opened the post in Comox in the summer of 1868, setting up the store close to the bottom of Comox Hill in several rundown buildings. The company rented the land from the K’ómoks people and paid in rolls of tobacco. The site the HBC chose was less than ideal. All freight arrived at Comox Landing (Robb’s townsite), and K’ómoks paddlers then transferred it a mile and a half by canoe at high tide for a dollar per ton.’ Page 31.