It was boat moving day from moms garage on 28th ave. and this piece of Dunbar, Southlands marine river history had to go some where , but where ? She was not water tight and her repairs were not finished , so into my truck she went ! The girl was sticking out a long way passed the tail gate and the police friend of mine said it was best to move her in the early morning. to avoid a possible hassel by the local authorities.
Yes I think she was a wooden 12 foot Greenwood Packer Canoe with a unique hour glass transom ! This Fraser River boat building family historically made red cedar strip boats on West Woods Island , in the mouth of McDonald Channel or now slough , on the North Fork of the Fraser River ! Grand Dad remembered a community saw mill there , probably where the boat building people got all the first growth pencil cedar cut , to build boats ! My river family knew where the boat building shed and house was located on the island and as a young boy went exploring in my row boat in the 1950ies ,looking for what was left of the mill and shed ! I found what was left of the islands history under the cover of dredged up sand , on this Island that now does not exist at all ! There were numerous wooden canoe building forms and pieces of the shed , I great place to explore !
So where does this lovely boat really come from, who owned her later on in her life? , Its a strange story of a real estate agent who just wanted to dump the old girl that she found or maybe owned ! The boats life may have been ended in a dumpster ! No , No , I looked her in the gunnels and fell in love with this great wooden lady from the past ! Her outer hull was clad in green paint soaked canvas, like the top of a old gillnet or trolling boat cabin and the cracked canvas had rotted in places ! For sure she was a boat that would not float ! The close together spruce frames and cedar inside planking of the hull was varnished and shone like a new penny ! Gosh she looked great ! Yes right away I had this dream of flying the Union Jack off her stern flag pole, dressing up in a muskrat hat and rowing up river on May Day with the incoming tide of course, to New Westminster !
Yep fisher people are wonderful dreamers , but the boat that would not float , just hung from the rafters of my moms leaking garage for over 15 years and was a home for the local roof or river rats . Moms old Dunbar house and leaking garage sold the other day for a big Sea Mans Chest full of money and the garage full of salvaged row boats, ya there was more than one, had to go some where ! No one wanted the old lady from I think was Woods Island , but at last I managed a old “Fisherperson to Fisherperson Trade”. My dream , oh she was my dream and in the end I had to traded her for 3 large bags of interior of B. C. Organic Potatoes ! Well I piled her into the back of my truck yesterday , with a tear in my eye and left early in the morning , to try to avoided the authorities on Marine ! She is waiting now at a old 100 year old house in New Westminster and when the potatoes arrive, she will hopefully start a brand new life , some where on a lake in the southern corner of B. C.
Terry ” From West Woods Island on the North Fork of the Fraser River”