The Museum’s Blog

Lecture: Against the Current, The Remarkable Life of Agnes Deans Cameron

Cathy Converse presents “Against the Current: The Remarkable Life of Agnes Deans Cameron,” an illustrated lecture based on her newly released book, at 7pm on Thursday, June 14 in the Courtenay and District Museum.

Agnes Deans Cameron was an extraordinary woman who set the educational establishment on edge. Born in Victoria to Scottish immigrants in 1863, she was ahead by a century and achieved a number of “firsts” in her life. She was one of the most well-known educators, writers, and lecturers in Canada and put western Canada on the map through her writing, cycling, and encouragement of Western immigration.

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May 2018 Gift Shop News

The gift shop is now selling local free range honey. The hives of very lucky bees spend their summers taking pollen from fireweed on Mount Washington. The cost for a good size jar is $12.95. Very tasty for your own use or a nice, sweet touch as a gift for visitors.

This Space for Rent

Did you know that the museum has two spaces available to rent for public gatherings?

The spacious first floor Rotary Gallery has seen many a lecture, presentation and party.

There is also a space on the second floor known as the Dogwood Gallery. This area can accommodate approximately 25 people in theatre style seating or comfortably seat 10 around the board room table. Wifi is available.

Rental of the Dogwood or Rotary Gallery is on a first come/first served basis.

For more information on rental fees and requirements please give us a call at 250-334-0686 ext 5.

Welcome Back Vaux’s Swifts!

Swifts on Oak-Beeville Texas 2013. Photo by: Jason Collins

The Vaux’s Swifts have returned to the Courtenay Muesum’s brick chimney! As of Sunday evening, April 29, local birder and naturalist, Krista Kaptein, spotted two hundred and seventy birds entering the chimney and they’ve visited successive nights with arrival times between 7:30 and 8:30 and in varying numbers.

Last year, the swifts made an unexpected visit in mid-May. Here’s CHEK’s May 13, 2017 take the on the event with help from Fox and Bee Studios . The swift’s arrival became a must-see for island birders and some came from as far away as Victoria.

For the swift’s 2017 arrival, local birders let us know how special this visit was and connected staff to Larry Schwitters, a Washington resident and scientist who leads the Audubon supported Vaux’s Happening site which tracks numbers of the “wee birds” and roost sites and has a live cam inside Monroe, Washington’s Wagner Center chimney. Monroe residents even celebrate the swifts’ large migratory event, more than 20,000 birds, with “Swift Night Out”. Here’s a closer look at swifts getting ready to leave the Monroe chimney this spring 2018.

The City of Courtenay also helped last year with a soot clean-up and with taking measures to keep swifts safe in the chimney.

We hope you have a chance to come down to see the swifts in the evening and to welcome them back.

Lecture: Logging the Valley, A Century of Stories

CDM 2008.75.25
A-frame crew at Comox Lake, 1931. Walter Montgomery photo.

Time and Date: 7 pm, Thursday, May 24, 2018

Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum

Speaker: Richard Mackie

Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public (plus GST). Advance tickets strongly recommended as lecture series frequently sells out. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 5.

Popular historian and author Richard Mackie returns to the museum lecture series with a load of logging anecdotes to share.

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May 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.

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Photo credit: Bedroom suite in the Courtenay Hotel, 1941. Charles Sillence photograph. Photo: CDM Sillence Collection. Page 137.

Photo caption: “Before World War I, [William] Lewis added a third storey, and there was no shortage of visitors when the E & N Railway arrived in Courtenay in 1914…Major renovations and additions in 1916 and 1938 left the building with a stucco finish and increased protection against flooding.” Page 68.

Periodical Wisdom

Women’s magazines and periodicals from the past offer some great advice on things like how to economize, care for your baby’s teeth or even the proper way to make social introductions.

We’ve scoured the archives for some examples to share with you. As always, please remember to take the information with “a grain of salt” and use your common sense before implementing.

This month’s write-up is an article is from The Ladies’ Review of May 1908 and offers “Some Homely Cleansing Agents.”

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April 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.

Click for Larger Image

Click for Larger Image

Photo credit: Courtenay’s original city centre, ca. 1905. Walter Gage photograph. Photo: CDM 972.270.2. Page 62-63.

Photo caption: “”Lewistown,” as some called it, was just across from the head of the slough, at the junction of Dyke Road and Upper Prairie Road. It became a thriving commercial centre…Opposite the hotel was McKean & Biscoe’s dry goods and grocery store. The Masonic Lodge met on the upper floor of this building for thirty-three years. Courtenay’s first bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, opened here in 1909.” Page 63.