Welcome to the Vancouver Island History Blog!

Dave Flawse

What is the blog all about?

I delve into the continually unexpected history of Vancouver Island’s peoples and places. Join me as I interview remarkable islanders and comb through source material to feed my passion for story telling.

People like the Flying Dutchman, a twentieth-century pirate who marauded the BC coast.

Or present-day Cumberland Museum and Archives Curator Lia Tarle who gazes deep into soil and far into the past.

And places like Tsulquate where the Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw Peoples now make a home after being forced from their traditional homelands.

Why a Vancouver Island History Blog?

My interest in Vancouver Island history began as a child when I climbed a small, linear rise near my parent’s home. A hunk of rusted steel protruded from the hill’s black soil, and I hauled the heavy bit of old machinery out with two hands.

The rise, my mom told me later, was an old collieries rail line and the black soil was coal slag. The railbed must have been built a long time in the past, I thought, because even an adult couldn’t get their arms around the Douglas firs growing where the rails used to be.

Just down the tracks of another nearby railway at the Trent River, stood a 170ft-high E&N trestle where my friends and I would throw boulders off and watch them crack against the riverbed below.

I learnt one day how a previous bridge in this exact spot had collapsed in 1898, killing several people. This kind of dramatic accident—and a fall I could clearly envision—so close to my home got me thinking. What else didn’t I know about the past on Vancouver Island?

The answer to that question is the reason for this blog. It’s a place for me to share what I learn along the way. And while I appreciate this entire province, restricting my area of interest to Vancouver Island keeps the research somewhat manageable; it also means I’m saved from taking one of the big ferries anywhere.

Please excuse any errors

My blog posts are a part of my journey to learn more about Island history, and I ask forbearance from historians (or anyone in the know) as, despite my best efforts, I will inevitably make some mistakes along the way.

If you do notice something that’s not right, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I’ll address the concern as soon as possible.

Sources and Research Tips

I strive to include sources at the end of some stories so readers can see where I’m pulling my information from. If you’re interested in learning more about researching history on Vancouver Island, please get in touch, and I’ll be happy to share any advice.

Popular Posts

The Highway Jet

The owner of the Antique Barn is always on the lookout for interesting artifacts. His most recent purchase? A military jet.


Book Reviews

Local Interest

Flying Dutchman Series

Indigenous Platform

Island History Notables

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