Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Wild Duck Inn -- map

The huge map of the lower Pitt River and Pitt Lake that once decorated the beer parlour of the Wild Duck Inn showed a marker with the text: “the approximate search area of legendary lost Slumach mine.” Because of that the map has become part of the Pitt Lake gold story. When was it painted and by whom? 

Among the locations shown on the map is the Lindberg Trout Farm that started operation in 1953 and ended in 1957 or 1958. Therefore the map was probably painted at some time during these five years. 

The Wild Duck Inn changed ownership/management in January 1955 and was completely redecorated. The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Gazette of 28 April includes a description of the changes under the heading “Wild Duck Inn Murals Authentic Paintings.” Was the map there already? 

It is hard to imagine how the correspondent could have overlooked this imposing piece but the map is not mentioned in the article. It seems that the map was not yet there and was added to the Duck’s decoration perhaps later that same year 1955 or in the following two or three years. 

The inclusion of that marker for the “approximate search area” east of Widgeon Lake may have been inspired by The Province’s Defrauder Creek exploration of 1952.

We still don’t know who painted the map. 


Monday, 26 July 2021

Swimming in Drinks

The motive of the killing of Bee in 1890 had probably to do with liquor -- not with gold. Both Bee and his partner Seymour had before done hard labour for selling liquor to First Nations people and they were in all likelyhood still doing that. 

How serious the problem with liquor was among the Katzie at that time becomes clear from a report by Father Peytavin of the OMI (Order Maria Immaculate) about his visits in 1887 to First Nations villages along the Fraser River. Following quote is from a UBC 1988 B.A. Thesis titled St Mary’s Mission by Melanie Ann Jones Clark. 

“… he travelled five miles [from New Westminster] to visit the Quiquittums (Coquitlams), and then a further six miles to visit the Ketsies (Katzies) (238). The Ketsies had one hundred and eight band members and Peytavin considered them the worst Native camp on the river. Peytavin says that, with only a few exceptions, the adults "nagent dans la boisson" [swim in drinks] , and that even the children, whom Chirouse Jr. had tried to help on previous missions, had become just like their parents.”  


Saturday, 10 July 2021