Roof Collapse Spells Near Disaster New Year’s Eve

Fifty years ago, Campbell Riverites were looking forward to attending a New Year’s dance being held at the Campbellton Community Hall.  The hall was built by volunteer labour in 1923, but the interior was not actually completed nor equipped with sanitary facilities until November of 1949.  In the early hours of the morning of December 31 of that year however, around 3:30 am, the roof and walls collapsed from the weight of the snow, two feet thick, that had been piling up on the roof.  Only the two end walls were left standing (see photo).  Fortunately, no one was in the building at the time – had it happened during the evening of the dance, there could well have been a number of injuries or even fatalities.

“The loss of the hall is a great blow to residents of the district as it was the only hall in the immediate vicinity large enough to accommodate large size gatherings.”  Campbell River Courier January 4, 1950.

The hall (located at the site of the present day Mohawk gas station) was never rebuilt, then was demolished entirely in March of 2000.  A new hall was constructed on land donated by the Royal Canadian Legion on 11th Ave and it opened in 1954, with the help of the Kinsmen and Rotary Clubs and several individuals who donated time and effort towards its completion, in an inspired show of community spirit.    Incidentally, the unique edge-grained plywood floor that was the centrepiece of this building was salvaged by the Rotary Club and used in the Maritime Heritage Centre.  The community hall that we have today was built in its place and completed in 2000.

The Museum Archives has a wonderful collection of books and newsclippings for those doing research on local history.  Open 1-4, Tuesday to Friday or by appointment, 250-287-3103.  There is no fee, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Dances of the Kwakiutl, from 1951

Gift Shop — By Lawrence Lewis on December 19, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Edit

The potlatch, a ceremonial distribution of property and gifts unique to Northwest Coast peoples, was elaborately developed by the Kwakwaka’wakw – people of the Canadian Pacific Northwest. Their potlatches were often combined with performances by dancing societies, each society having a series of dances that dramatized ancestral interactions with supernatural beings. These beings were portrayed as giving gifts of ceremonial prerogatives such as songs, dances, and names, which became hereditary property.

Below is a magnificent film featuring Pacific Northwest Indian dances of the ancient winter ceremonial handed down among the Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka’wakw) families as their way of keeping history. Beautiful costumes and masks are worn by the dancers in this black and white film.

If you know the origins or history of this film please let us know the details.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

p8260145_grouse_mask

Grouse Mask by Campbell River artist Raymond Shaw of Kwakiutl heritage. This stunning mask is carved in yellow cedar with cedar bark decoration. Total dimensions including cedar accents, 20” by 12”…buy it now just in time for Christmas!

Find a great selection Museum Gift Shop Products online at Wagsta.com…Click Here

Connect with us here:

Campbell River Museum on Facebook
Campbell River Museum YouTube Channel
Campbell River Museum on Flickr
Campbell River Museum on Twitter

The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit www.crmuseum.ca


Ship Mishap Creates Christmas Bounty

On December 15th, 1927, an Alaskan bound steamer, the Northwestern, with 187 passengers and crew, ran aground onto the rocks at Cape Mudge during blinding a snowstorm with fierce gale-force winds.  The ship left from Seattle and had been following the Union Steamship ‘Chilosan’ in the snowstorm, guided by its whistle.  When the ‘Chilosan’ turned east heading for Cortes Island, the Northwestern failed to negotiate the turn, and as the visibility was extremely poor and they couldn’t see the light of the lighthouse, the ship crashed onto the rocks at Cape Mudge.

All passengers and crew were safely rescued and taken to the Willows Hotel, after a wait in heavy seas of about eight hours.  The Northwestern had been laden with Christmas supplies intended for Alaska and these were ferried ashore to Quadra Island.  As it happened, it had been a particularly tough year in the area, and the goods from the ship, including turkeys, chickens, oranges, apples and grocery supplies, as well as a full cargo of general goods, quickly and mysteriously disappeared. It has been said that a bountiful Christmas was enjoyed by Quadra Island and Campbell River residents that year!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

p8260179_loggers_legacyLegacy Goldsmiths – These unique pieces are created by local Campbell River goldsmith David Nickel. What better gift to give than a memento of the logging and mining industries that shaped our Vancouver Island culture. Pictured here is a Logger Legacy piece – sterling silver haulback block miniature (the wheel rotates) in the form of a pendant that can be converted to a key chain…buy it now just in time for Christmas!

Find a great selection Museum Gift Shop Products online at Wagsta.com…Click Here

Connect with us here:

Campbell River Museum on Facebook
Campbell River Museum YouTube Channel
Campbell River Museum on Flickr
Campbell River Museum on Twitter

The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit www.crmuseum.ca

Harry Thurston, Haig-Brown House writer in res

Welcome to our new Haig-Brown House writer in residence who arrived on Monday, with his wife Cathy and elderly cat Elsa. Harry is self described as a dedicated fly fisher, conservationist and natural historian, and a long admirer of Roderick Haig-Brown’s writings. For the last 25 years Harry has been a full time writer, an author of 9 non-fiction books, 3 books of poetry, a feature writer for more than 30 leading magazines, including Audubon, National Geographic, a contributing editor to Equinox and Harrowsmith and has won several national awards.

What a privilege it is to have a writer of this caliber, live in our community until the end of March. In addition to living in the Haig-Brown House along our Heritage River as a muse to his writings, he will will be giving a talk at the Museum in the new year, and he will be available for consultations with local writers, who can make appointments through the HBH phone # 286-6646 or email: harrythurston@seaside.ns.ca

We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Cambell River, the Haig-Brown Institute, and of course the City of Campbell River in it’s support of the HBH which enabled us to continue with the program. Check out Stillwater Books and Art for some of Mr. Thurson’s books and watch for upcoming Museum programs with Harry Thurston at the Museum.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out a number of Museum video productions at the Campbell River Museum YouTube Channel.

We also have a growing photo album on Flickr…worth the visit.

The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit www.crmuseum.ca