Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Billy Goat Smith

I don't doubt that every little town in the country has a story of some old character from the past, and Powell River is no exception.
Billy Goat Smith, according to the Powell River Historical Museum, came to Powell Lake around the year 1906, and built a cabin at the head of the lake. His real name, Robert Bonner Smith, gave way to "Billy Goat" Smith, given that he raised goats for milk. He was said to have one of the finest gardens in the area.
No one really knows why he lived as a recluse on the Lake, though several different stories include robbery and murder. After he lost his boat in 1931 he seldom left his property, and with the exception of a few friends, shut out the world. His final resting place, Cranberry Cemetery, is marked by a stone with both his real name and his name in local lore .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Municipal Rose Garden

The little Rose Garden at the corner of Joyce and Westview, with its park benches, provides a nice resting spot. A place for the many walkers that stroll Joyce Ave to take a minute and smell the flowers!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pacific Coastal Airlines

Pacific Coastal Airlines provides scheduled flights between Powell River (YPW) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), using a variety of different aircraft. On the left is a 30-passenger Saab SF340A, on the right a 33-passenger Shorts SD3-60. Below is the front end of a 19-passenger Beechcraft 1900C. All three aircraft are making their approach, with landing gear down, to runway 09 of the local airport.

 These shots were taken from my home near the airport. Standing on the corner of Manson Ave and Duncan St in Westview also provides a great, albeit noisy, perspective of these aircraft coming and going. Check it out!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Henderson House

The Henderson House project is a massive undertaking by the Townsite Heritage Society to restore one of the first homes built in Powell River, in 1911. The house was originally built as an enticement for Dr Andrew Henderson and his family, when he became the first doctor in Powell River. When the home was deeded to the doctor it had the distinction of being the only privately owned home in Powell River.

With the aid of a federal government heritage grant, some funding from the city, and much volunteer work the house is slowly being brought back to its original condition. At its completion it will house the Society and become an interpretive centre for the history of the Townsite.

While much work has been done, much more remains to do. But when finished, it will be a building to be treasured.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chips and Hog

One of the most common sights on the coast - a tug pulling a chip barge between 2 scows of hog fuel. This is the Seaspan Navigator, on Malaspina Strait, almost at her destination of the Mill. Unfortunately the days when the Mill produced much of its own chips to turn into paper are long gone. And even at the best of times hog fuel was purchased on the open market to supplement that made in the now-gone Woodroom. 
Hog fuel is a wood by-product - bark, sawdust, woodscraps - all are put through a "hog", a set of rotating hammers that pulverizes everything into fine particles, and this is used as fuel in the steam boilers to replace relatively expensive natural gas.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Grand Old Lady ...

... of Walnut St. That's Dwight Hall to the uninitiated. This is I think, my favourite building in all of Powell River. It was built in 1927 by the Powell River Co., and named for Dr.Dwight Brooks, one of the founders of the company. In 1957 it was sold to the District of Powell River. As the signage says "Since then care has been taken to maintain the building as close to its original state as possible. It is still a centre of community activity and remains as beautiful now as it was in 1927."
I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to School

These school buses, parked on what used to be the firehall lot in Cranberry, are a timely reminder that back-to-school is happening soon, leaving the Mall a quieter spot for all the retired guys having their coffees!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spotted Towhee

This Spotted Towhee will soon be making its way to the central plains of the United States for the winter. I caught this bird on the shrubbery in front of my home, hence the background pavement colour. The bird was close enough to hear the shutter "click" on the camera, obviously not a sound it was familiar with!

I enjoyed the perplexed poses of this Towhee, though it did eventually figure out that the noises were coming from my direction, and it went its way.

These birds are classed as New World Sparrows, though they are a good deal bigger than the size we usually associate with sparrows. A walk down the pole-line in summer will almost certainly give you a sight of several - they are very common.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Seawalk

The Seawalk along the foreshore of Malaspina Strait is part of the Powell River Waterfront Projects. The view is definitely nice, I never tire of it.
On a hot day it's recommended to do this walk in the early morning, before the summer sun gets full. On a cooler day it can be nice to sit on one of several benches along the walk and watch the boats go by. And if you sit long enough, the odds are good for seeing one of the eagles that have taken up a summer residence.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Arts Alive in the Park

Arts Alive in the Park started yesterday and continues today at Willingdon Beach Park from 11:00 to 6:00.
Artists will have their work on display and for sale. Paintings, textiles, photographs, soapstone carvings and more will be available by both established and emerging artists. Plus music, dancing, poetry and workshops.

Come see some of the great work by Powell River artists!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Townsite Heritage Society Building

This lovely little building on Ash Ave is currently being used as the Townsite Heritage Society offices. As to its original purpose, I'll save myself the typing and post a picture of the sign!
("Clicking" will bring it up larger.)

In this the centennial year of the Townsite it is nice to look at some of these older buildings with a view to their origin. There is a lot of history in our little town!

Friday, August 20, 2010



I like cruising the back lanes of the city streets around town on my bike. You never know what will strike the eye. These sunflowers I found in the Townsite.
Pretty as a picture!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Valentine Mountain View

Valentine Mountain View

The hike up Valentine Mountain in Cranberry certainly didn't do my arthritic knees much good, but the stupendous views from the top were worth the trip. This is the view WSW, overlooking the Mill, with Harwood Island on the right and the mountains of Vancouver Island in the distance.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feeding the Squirrels

The Willingdon Beach Trail is a very pleasant stroll along the water. The squirrels here have been fed so often they are almost semi-tame. It had been some time since I fed them myself, so I grabbed a handful of sunflower seeds and headed down the trail.

This little fellow was quite territorial. A younger-looking specimen was the first to sample my wares, but with some very loud screeching on this guys' part he was chased off in quick order.

A pleasant way to spend an hour or two on a hot summers' morning, feeding the squirrels and strolling along Willing Beach Trail.

This is a Douglas Squirrel, native to the Pacific coast from California to British Columbia. Quite small as squirrels go, it's a treat to watch them scurrying around. I put my seeds down in 3 places, and within minutes I had my choice of 3 photographic subjects.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BC Air Ambulance Service

BC Air Ambulance Service

As a small regional hospital - part of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority - Powell River General Hospital is limited in the types of services it can provide. In those cases where extra care is required the patient can be flown either by helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft to a different hospital, usually in Vancouver.
Pictured is a Sikorsky S-76A, owned and operated by Helijet, going to and from the helipad at the hospital. It is one of 2 Sikorsky S-76A's, a Learjet, and 5 Beechcraft B300's that form the BC Air Ambulance fleet.

BC Air Ambulance Service

This aircraft is also featured today in my other blog, Fly By, pictures of
airplanes "flying by" my home in Westview.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Regional District Offices

The Powell River Regional District offices are housed in one of the nicest heritage buildings in the Townsite. This was originally one of the homes on "Management Row", homes built for the management of the Powell River Co. along Marine Ave, facing the Mill. The Chief Superintendent of the Company, for whom it was built, must have enjoyed living here.

The building is superbly maintained, and the Regional District is rightly proud of their presence in the historic Townsite.