Latest News2020-04-05T21:41:30-07:00

Latest News

Collection Selections May 2022

For this edition of Collection Selections we take a look at this 1:24 scale Puntledge River Powerhouse model, made by John Henry Boffy and his son, James, in 1935. Thank you to the Cumberland Museum and Archives for donating it to the Courtenay Museum in 2021 The Puntledge River Powerhouse, completed in 1912, provided hydroelectricity to Cumberland and Courtenay and to the local mines. In 2017, the original decommissioned powerhouse structure, unused for years, was demolished as it had become a safety hazard. Collections Assistant, Erik Duncan (above) cleaned and repaired sections of the miniature and reassembled it for display in the museum’s [...]

May 16th, 2022|History, The Comox Valley|

May 2022: Gold in the Oyster River

See more historical images and stories like this in the museum’s 2020 book Stepping Into Wilderness published with Harbour Publishing. Dedicated prospectors John Brown and Jimmy Aston had found placer gold on the Oyster River, and hoped to find the mother lode near their camp at Circlet Lake. Photo: CDM Stubbs Collection The Oyster River has long been a magnet for gold seekers. Placer mining, which uses water to separate gold deposits from river gravel washed downstream from the mother lode, could be done with something as simple as a pan or as complex as a series of sluice boxes. The list of [...]

May 16th, 2022|History, Step into Wilderness|

It’s All There in Black and White: Norman Leung Honoured

Community Leader and Business Owner, Norman Leung receiving the 1986 Citizen of the Year award, published in this January 28, 1987 article from the Comox District Free Press. With legacy support from the Bickle Family and the Comox Valley Echo.

Swift Observations

Swifts on Oak-Beeville Texas 2013. Photo by: Jason Collins The Vaux’s Swifts have returned to the Courtenay Museum's brick chimney. As of Sunday evening, April 29, local birder and naturalist, Krista Kaptein, and other observers spotted two hundred and seventy birds entering the chimney and they’ve visited successive nights with arrival times at all hours. As of this printing, the daily average was close to five thousand birds. With help from Bob Wells, City of Courtenay staff, ACS solutions, museum staff have placed a live camera on the chimney to observe the Swifts entry and exit to the museum chimney. This rest [...]

May 16th, 2022|Museum News, The Comox Valley|

Online Lecture: “Lest We Forget”

“Lest We Forget” is a unique scrapbook created in the 1970’s by Ruth Masters, to commemorate the men from the Comox Valley who died in the First and Second World Wars. Ruth spent years researching each individual and created pages of photographs and clippings pertaining to their lives. It is a massive book: 21 inches high, 13 inches wide and 8 inches thick. Although the book has held up remarkably well, it is a heavily accessed item and there has been accumulated damage over the years. A major problem was that the adhesive had liquified causing pages, and items, to stick together. This presentation discusses the challenges of conserving the original book and the process of creating a facsimile copy for future use.

May 2nd, 2022|Museum Events, Museum News|

Online Lecture: Travel Journal 101 – Proof of Life

Join artist and travel journaler, Wayne Wilson, for a primer on how you can get going on keeping your very own travel journal for each of your epic travel adventures. Whether it’s a wine tour, cycling tour, a vacation in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, or a camp out with your family, you will learn lots of tips and tricks on how to start a travel journal that will keep your memories rich and fresh for years to come.

May 2nd, 2022|Museum Events, Museum News|

Live Lecture: Adventures with A Juvenile Elasmosaur

The summer of 2020 was a time of discovery for the Courtenay and District Museum. The bones of a juvenile elasmosaur were discovered in the bank of the Trent River. Thanks to museum staff and community volunteers, this 85 million year old fossil was safely delivered from a 12 m high cliff to the Courtenay Museum. Rescued from certain loss due to erosion, this important specimen took two months to excavate and several months of careful cleaning and preparation.

May 2nd, 2022|Museum Events, Museum News|

April 2022 Gift Shop News

New items are arriving in the gift shop. The latest Dinosaur Alphabet Posters and Growth Charts we have received are by Dera Design and made in Canada. If you know any children who love dinosaurs, these are the perfect addition for their room. There are a variety of options including two sizes of posters and a growth chart. Each print is made of high quality canvas and fitted with brass grommets for hanging. The dinosaurs are featured in a beautiful watercolour style, and the lettering is large and pleasing to read. Large poster - 24” X 32” - $56.75 Small poster - [...]

April 21st, 2022|Gift Shop|

It’s All There in Black and White: 1960 Easter Bonnet Contest

To commemorate the holiday, the Senior NCO Wives’ Club threw an Easter bonnet contest featuring some imaginative designs as seen in this April 20, 1960 Comox District Free Press article.With legacy support from the Bickle Family and the Comox Valley Echo.

April 2022: Sowing Seeds Near Oyster River

See more historical images and stories like this in the museum’s 2020 book Stepping Into Wilderness published with Harbour Publishing. Photo credit: In the early 1930s, brothers Guy and Darrell Smith began developing a show garden and seed farm in the Oyster River area. The Oyster River Seed Farm, as it became known, would eventually cultivate lobelia, Canterbury bells and Iceland poppies as well as twenty acres of pansies, whose seed was shipped across Canada and to California. The Smiths sold their property, located just north of Oyster River to Barret Montford in 1949. For decades, the property was the location of the UBC Oyster [...]

April 11th, 2022|History, Step into Wilderness|

Taking Eggs to Forbidden Plateau: June 1929

A horse team loaded with supplies and boxes of trout eggs, 1930. Photo: 2004.42.28 In the late 1920s, as Forbidden Plateau became a more popular destination, Clinton Wood, who would later become the president of the tourist trade development Bureau, contacted Major J.A. Motherwell, Dominion chief supervisor of fisheries, and suggested stocking some of the lakes. The fisheries department approved the suggestion, and in June 1929, one hundred thousand Kamloops trout eggs arrived on the E&N Railway from the Cowichan Lake hatchery. Local fisheries officer Captain Harry Beadnell supervised the transporting of the eggs up to Forbidden Plateau by pack horse in [...]

April 11th, 2022|History, The Comox Valley|

Precious Pysanky

Pysanky, also known as Ukrainian Easter eggs, are an ancient art tradition. Pysanky is the plural form of “pysanka” which stems from the Ukrainian verb “pvsatv” meaning “to write”. Artists use a stylus to create wax-resist designs that began thousands of years ago with pagan tribute to seasonal elements and the cycle of life. In later centuries, Christian symbolism melded into the designs. Courtenay residents, Willie and Moreen Haras met in 1983 and ran a business creating and selling pysanky. In 1995, they generously donated these beautiful eggs to the museum. Here is a YouTube video suggested by the Comox Valley Ukrainian Cultural [...]

April 11th, 2022|History, The Comox Valley|

March 2022 Gift Shop News

Easter and spring are just around the corner and the gift shop has items for perfect presents. There are adorable stuffed toys like lop eared bunnies, lambs, hares, chicks, and squirrels. If you are looking for eggs, we’ve got plenty that are dinosaur related! Everything from hatching to slime to coloured eggs that fizz in water to reveal the dinosaur inside. And don’t forget our mug and card selections which feature sweet Easter creatures.

March 9th, 2022|Gift Shop|
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