Local historian Isabelle Stubbs sometimes reminisced about bridge closures and detours in the “Coffee Cup Chatter” column she wrote for the newspapers.
Isabelle and family were relatively new to the Valley in 1923 when the bridge crossing the Courtenay River was closed. Folks could either detour miles out of their way over the Condensory Bridge or try a shorter but more labour-intensive route.
Isabelle recalled that “…a footbridge was built just north of the condemned structure while repairs and a new bridge was completed. During construction, farmers brought milk, eggs and farm produce to the Courtenay Hotel, then used wheelbarrows or carried the containers across the footbridge and up to the creamery.
The task took time and heavy work, which developed a great thirst that could be quenched by frequent stops at Courtenay Hotel and again at the Riverside [Hotel].
By summer’s end, the farmers were enjoying watching the bridge workers, offering sage advice and forming close friendships with neighbours…”