Welcome to the Townsite Heritage Walk - 19.10.2009
Strange as it may seem, Powell River's namesake never set foot on our local shores
A two hour tour upcoming and so much to see and photograph ....
We are warmly welcomed by Peter Sansburn, Coordinator of the Townsite Heritage Society and our guide for the tour.
Prior to leaving we pore over the table full of well displayed binders containing all sorts of photos of days gone by. You can almost smell the coffee in the bygone Cook House.
We will be walking, thank you.
The Patricia Theatre ... the Queen, the Princess, the Elder Stateswoman ... some might even say the Matriarch of the Townsite....
This was a common sight seen by many folks years ago and very few since ...
Pause and reflect not so much on the marquee but on the record of uninterrupted existence and service to the community.
A closer look would reveal admission prices that BIG cities have not seen in decades. A smile is always a welcoming bonus.
A certain serenity exists ...
... one doesn't want to get carried away here, but a sense of reverence permeates the place ... as you climb the narrow staircase ...
... to the projectionist's booth and conjur up those who have gone before you.
Okay ... I got carried away and am now back on solid ground checking out this imposing new (1939) Federal Post Office. .
How many hands on the rail over how many years?
How many times did the doors swing to and fro?
Letters, parcels and more letters. From here to where?
When did the lights go out? Who turned them off?
Peter provides a preamble before heading into Dwight Hall.
Referred to as the Grand Old Lady of the Townsite.
The mirrored dance ball is the original that has been reflecting since 1927.
Officialdom has its place.
Kudos have to go the CDPR staff who through tender care and perceptive maintenance continue to recognize the importance and significance of this glorious building to the people of the entire community.
Caught my eye inside ...
... and outside too ...
... and all around ...
... and about ...
... as we head back out ...
To the Rodmay.
Still a commanding presence in the Community.
It still needs work to get back to the way it was back then ..
... and it will take time ...
... as residents openly display their love of their place ...
Love, time and money ... thanks to the infusion of cash coupled with the enthusiasm and much elbow grease by the numerous investors, the RodMay is being refurbished and lives on.
The Lobby. Hunting for a word ... ambience, warmth, inviting ... what else?
Comforting and relaxing may come to the mind of one of the permanent residents.
Stay a spell, wont you? ...
The calls would have been routed through the Northwest Telephone exchange on Walnut Street staffed by women operators ...
The word on the street has it that there are at least 5 ghosts who prowl the hallways and whose presence has actually been felt by a touch on the shoulder. Really! YIKEEES.
Ghosts aside, we are headed back out the front door (some of us exiting much faster than others).
Walk around and about and you'll get a sense of renewed activity.
Things are a happenin'
Ah, and here we are finally at The Pub but alas, no time to pause for a wee dram or a Guiness before crossing the street ....
... to The Bank of Montreal .... which has a more permanent and solid resounding name than its present BMO signage to be found elsewhere.
Story has it that the resident Bank of the day, the Bank of Commerce refused an expansion loan for the Mill and so the Mill approached the Bank of Montreal ...
... and they gave a resounding "YES" to the request, built the bank and garnered the Mill's business from then on.
It is no longer a bank ... no longer a barber shop either ... storage on the bottom floor and resident accommodation on the top.
A tudor style not seen elsewhere on our tour. In its former life (built 1939) it housed the Provincial Court, Government Agent and local prison cells well before becoming the beckoning period-type hotel and restaurant it is today.
St. Luke's Hospital was built right beside Dr. Henderson's House.
From hospital to nurses' residence and now rental accommodation. Improvements are ongoing.
Sitting like a good neighbour, this classic building awaits new tenants.
The co-operation of the Mill Owners, Heritage Staff, Contract workers and Volunteers have seen Doctor Henderson's residence coming back to life where it will be a center piece along the Heritage Walk.
Given that the home remained vacant for 10 years and became susceptible to all sorts of leakage and foundation problems, the ongoing restoration work is very extensive.
Just up the hill we were introduced to the Oceanview Apartments.
Well taken care of over the years.
More good wood.
Still a wonderful ocean view ...
The ever present Hulks.
The residences open into a inner courtyard.
A number of charming homes came into view giving testament to the resourcefulness and pride of the owners.
Pretty as a picture.
A stately church in its day trying to weather the tides of time.
Standing in the middle of the road where many previous photographers have taken up position over the years.
... turning around ...
... and around ...
... and around.
I wonder if there were chimes or bells calling the people to Mass on Sundays.
Just caught my eye ...
... as this one did too.
Inside the "new" Church next door, we were impressed by the arrangement of the angled pews giving more face-to-face neighbourly contact. Quite Townsite-like, one might remark.
... and much thanks to Warren W. for providing this timely update.
Just a glimpse ...
Many contributors make this a Community to be very proud of. This lady is one of them.
Come ... sit and rest a while wont you?.
The Regional District has a fine office/home in the Townsite.
Can you imagine a lovelier workplace?
The sidewalk wends it way fronting both old and newer houses that are afforded wonderful ocean views. This is the area where the Mill's Bosses lived.
A newer addition to the ridge area ...
....but retaining much of the charm of neighbouring homes.
Starting back down the path towards the Patricia as our tour comes to a close.
A wonderful respite I'm sure.
An intriguing entrance...
Will return on a sunny Spring day and see a whole new vista.
A touch of whimsy ..
Happy Hallowe'en from the Townsite.
Thank you Peter for a wonderful tour. You were truly in your element. More information and photos on the Townsite Walking Tour to be found at: http://www.powellrivertownsite.com/walking-tour/walking_tour_map.htm
The recognition that Townsite and its people, past and present deserve, has been received and is proudly displayed, front and center, right beside The Patricia. Well done EVERYONE.