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.

December 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!

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Photo credit: Jimmy Walker and his orchestra at the Native Sons Hall, 1939. CDM Sillence Collection, Page 141.

Photo caption: “Over the years, the [Native Sons] hall served as a community centre for the arts, sports, conventions and car shows, and it played a central role until the early 1970s as gymnasium, dance hall, temporary post office, roller-skating rink and all things combined.” Page 140.

November 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!

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Photo credit: CDM 980.65.16 Page 168.

Photo caption: “From the 1930s until the early 1950s, Courtenay residents enjoyed the luxury of having fresh bread delivered to their door three times a week. Venables Bakery’s route covered the entire city from 1st Street to 21st Street.”

October 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!

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Photo credit: CDM 990.24.265 Page 94.

Photo caption: “By 1900, when larger companies turned their attention to the Island’s interior timberlands, enough infrastructure was in place in the valley to improve people’s livelihoods and the future success of resource companies.” Page 93

September 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!

979.3.2

Photo credit: CDM 979.3.2 Page 45.

Photo caption: “In 1874, the government provided a grant to construct a wharf at Comox Landing on James Robb’s land. The cost of the 12-foot-wide, 1,035-foot-long wharf was $3,337. The wharf head was fifty by sixty feet across, which made it possible for larger ships, like those operated by Canadian Pacific Navigation and Union Steamships, to deliver and offload passengers, cargo and mail.” Page 44.

August 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.

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Photo credit: CDM 986.15.17

Photo caption:
Amidst the wreckage of the 1920 railway explosion. Page 101.

“On August 18, 1920, however, after pulling a train of fifteen loaded cars up a steady slope, #4 Engine stalled. The crew of #3 Engine came to the rescue and pulled the loaded train to a level spot. As soon as #3 uncoupled and pulled away, #4’s boiler exploded, sending large pieces of boilerplate into the air before landing 120 feet from the wheels. (A later investigation revealed that low water in the boiler caused the explosion.)” Page 101.

Psst! Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the book at the museum gift shop, too.

July 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.

990.24.107Click for a Larger Image

Photo credit: CDM 990.24.107

Photo caption:
Dairy farmer Frank Childs with his family. Left to right: Frank, Mary Jane, Edith and Jane, ca. 1905. Walter Gage photograph. Page 89.

“Jane loved horses, and as a young girl would often be seen riding throughout the valley. She especially loved riding along with her father as they shot deer and quail for the family dinner. She was a “crack shot,” as was her son Robert. Robert was so proficient that the organizers of the local turkey shoots barred him from entering the popular competitions. In the parlour of the Childs’ home were rugs made from the skins of a cougar and a bear, as well as three mounted owls that had attempted to enter the chicken coop.” Page 88.

Psst! Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the book at the museum gift shop, too.