CHAMBERS DIARY – May 6th, 1891

CHAMBERS DIARY – May 6th, 1891

This is the final day of the Chamber’s Diary. Jessie records the family’s arrival at Bowyer Island. We know that this was not their final destination because we know they purchased land and settled in what was to become Lantzville. The Historical Society has some documents related to their property purchase plus a will which we are researching. We hope to post these documents here soon and we will try to round out the story of this pioneer family. B Blood, Lantzville Historical Society

Wednesday, may 6th, 1891 Jessie Chambers

Breakfast at hotel served from 7 a.m. to 8. We get down to ours about 7 a.m. and really enjoy it. Suppers, bedroom and breakfasts for the three of us cost $3.00 (12/6). Arthur pays the bill and we go straight to the wharf, where we have to wait about an hour and a half. It is cold and a very small dirty boat we have to go by. Mr. Hutchby comes and says good-bye but does not wait until we start. We get on board but it is so packed with boxes, sacks, lumber etc. and the only available space for us is the wheelhouse, where there is only one form and high office stool, the former littered with letters, groceries etc. I manage to clear a small space for poor May, as she is far from well. Arthur and I stand. Capt. at the wheel and we are packed. We get into such a strong current, boat dipping right under in front. Then I get the stool and get up on it and hold by a hook in the wall and Arthur holds by me. It is almost impossible to keep from falling (I afterwards found out that we passed through two most dangerous pieces of water where many accidents and fatalities occur with small row and sail boats). May and I came very nearly being sea-sick again.

We see a stranded steamer, green with lying in the water. I learn afterwards it is the Beaver, first vessel (steam) that came round Cape Horn – was stranded here through drink and was never taken off.  She is being carried away piecemeal, one a bit of copper, another a bit of oak etc. as relics. We pass a lighthouse, most dangerous part, rocks barely covered at high water and cliffs perfectly perpendicular, no foothold for anyone to land. We now enter Howe sound by Queen Charlotte channel. The horn is blown and a boat puts off from a lovely bay, its occupant a Chinaman who receives a letter for which he has to pay $1.00 (4/2). We proceed a little further, where the call is again repeated and this time a small boat brings a passenger, a young lady who takes the wheel and steers until we reach our destination. The last two stoppages were at points on Bowen Island. Boat now turns to the right and Capt. points out Bowyer island to us and as we round a point, the boat’s horn is blown and we enter a pretty little bay where we see two diminutive wooden huts which (were it not that smoke is issuing from one), we should take for cowsheds. After some little time (Capt. impatient), a boat puts off with one occupant, little, red-haired and frightfully freckled, who turns out to be Cousin Charlie. May and I are the first taken off and landed, where we meet with a most hearty welcome from a tall, genial, elderly man who is waiting on the shore and turns out to be Uncle Alfred. He is accompanied by a large dog and a cat. The former makes friends with May immediately and she is delighted. The next boatload brought Arthur and some baggage ashore., then Charlie went back to kick up a row with the Captain for daring to expect any money for bringing us there (he asked $7.00  30/-). We had not the money and to pledge uncle’s money for our passage money, but the Capt., knowing Uncle, refused it – but, seeing both us and our goods were on shore, he had no alternative, although up to date he has never received the money. We are delighted with the natural beauties of the island, but taken aback by the squalor and poverty in the house, but here we are. We have finished our journey and that finishes this Log, which please do not criticize too closely, as it is a first attempt. – J.C.

Brian Blood

Brian is old Lantzville. He gardens, walks his Aussies, reads about the Ottoman Empire and was an anarchist in his youth.

Posted in 1891 Diary - London to BC, Historical Society, May 2013

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