Photo Friday: Chaos

This week’s entry for Photo Friday:

Using the magic of digital photography, our Research Assistant and I went through about a dozen shots while laying on our backs in order to get the picture above. It is a picture of our white museum gloves, which we use to handle artefacts. Like we tell our visitors (especially our young ones), the oils in our fingers are damaging to the pieces; therefore we need to use white cotton gloves while working with our collection.


We have many, many pairs of gloves!

By Kristin Meier

Kids Day at the Queen Street Market

On Saturday, our Research Assistant and Exhibits Assistant took the day off from regular tasks to man our heritage games booth at the Queen Street Market.

The Queen Street Market started in 2003, growing this year to every weekend during the summer. This year, the organizer of the market added a day for children to the calendar of events. There were face painters, entertainers, a petting zoo – along with our own historical games.

The bubbles were really popular with the very young:

Heritage Games at the Queen Street Market Kids Day

Then there was the sidewalk chalk for the slightly older crowd:

Heritage Games at the Queen Street Market Kids Day

Our Research Assistant demonstrating jacks for a new generation of kids:

Heritage Games at the Queen Street Market Kids Day

To make sure our assistants had fun, we booked them next to the petting zoo:

Petting Zoo at the Queen Street Market Kids Day

It worked. The assistants were over-cuted by the bunnies:

Petting Zoo at the Queen Street Market Kids Day

Shelling Scimitar Peas

The Port Moody Station Museum has a CPR heritage garden, based on railway gardens of the 1910-1912 period.

It’s a mostly volunteer endeavour, with volunteers planning, planting, weeding, researching heritage period varieties and, of course, harvesting the goodies.

Sometimes Museum staff members need to help out.

On one of Vancouver’s last sunny days, we stayed out after lunch to shell the scimitar peas:

Scimitar Pea Seed Shelling

Some of the seeds will remain at the Museum for next spring’s planting. Others, we’ll trade to other heritage gardeners around Canada. Still others will be on sale at Treefest, a free celebration of horticulture in the neighbouring city of Coquitlam.

Message in a Barrel

Our Postcard Barrel is set up and ready – it even made the front cover of the Tri-City News on Saturday!

The barrel project is based on the Post Office Barrel on Floreana Island in the Galapagos. An English whaling captain started the tradition of having a barrel with unstamped letters on the island so that sailors starting out on a voyage could leave their letters there for other sailors returning home to hand deliver.

Today, instead of whalers, tourists leave postcards in the barrel for others to deliver.

We found out about this barrel a few months ago when some Museum staff members sent their own postcards into the barrel as a result of reading about it in the Tri-City News.

We got in touch with Kyle MacDonald, the Port Moody Secondary grad who delivered our postcards and is working on a book about his experiences delivering postcards.

Turns out Kyle wants to set up other barrels around the world, with one per country. He already helped install one in Crete.

So Canada’s Official Postcard Barrel is here in Port Moody now.

We have three barrels in the Museum’s collection. First we used an extra small one. It was too small.

Then we decided to use the biggest barrel in our collection.

It took some work getting the barrel out of the Museum’s vault.

We had to roll it through a labyrinth of artefacts, then uphill and over the railroad tracks to the Museum’s front door:

Bringing in the Barrel

After we installed the barrel, we realized something. It was too big.

Luckily we had another barrel upstairs on display.

This is the Dustbane Co. of BC Barrel that is now the Postcard Barrel:

The Dustbane Barrel

Sisal Sweeping Compound is “a heavy duty compound built for use on concrete or wood floors in factories, garages and warehouses where heavy soil loads exist.” It has dust-absorbent wood fibre mixed with oil and sand and is red.

We’ve got a few postcards inside already.

There is no more Sisal Sweeping Compound in the barrel.

Annual Squash Race

From the Gabriola Sounder: “Too many zucchinis growing in the garden? Stick some wheels on them and see if they will be the winners this year in the annual Islander Days Squash Race.”

Seems as if it’s happening this Saturday. BC Island life must be nice.

Comox Valley Cemeteries

Through the Comox Valley Family History Research Group, we ran across a page on the cemeteries of that area. The group has transcribed graves at the Courtenay Civic Cemetery, the Cumberland Cemetery, the Denman Island Cemetery and the Hornby Island Cemetery; these are available by emailing the group.

This page led us to the British Columbia Cemetery Finding Aid, which “contains more than 344,000 entries and includes 264 British Columbia cemeteries and 2 Washington state cemeteries.” You can search by surname, cemetery, location or region.

John Murray, the name of both the Port Moody pioneer and Royal Engineer and his son who named many of Port Moody’s streets, yielded 58 entries.

Once a researcher narrows down the search, he or she can use the resulting reference number to contact other organizations for more information. A very good tool for those of us interested in geneaology!

First Fish Ceremony

From the Clearwater Times, an article on a First Nations ceremony:

About 100 local residents, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, from Clearwater, Barriere and other North Thompson communities, attended a First Fish ceremony hosted by Simpcw First Nation at the Raft River salmon viewing platform Wednesday afternoon…..

The event started around noon with the construction of a traditional pit oven.

Salmon, as well as potatoes and other vegetables, were layered in the pit with fir boughs, saskatoon branches, rose hips, grasses and rocks. Five hours later the contents were removed for a feast.

While the food cooked, members of the Chu Chua youth group and others took part in traditional games such as Lahal.

In the Lahal game, participants divide into two teams. Two members of one team hold a bone in both hands. Members of the other team try to pick which hand holds a white bone. Finding which hand holds a white bone means winning a stick. The game ends when one team has all the sticks. Other participants beat hand drums and sing while the game is going on. Experts at the game use many specific had movements, maneuvers and tricks.

Day Camp Tour

This morning we led a tour of about 20 children around the Museum.

When we got to the telegraph, we thought we’d quiz the kids on Morse Code.

“Can anyone guess the name of the code used to send telegraph messages?”

One girl put up her hand. “Braille?”

“Sorry, no, that’s what blind people use to read. I’ll give you a clue. It starts with an M.”

A little boy yelled out “Malaysian!”

Telegraph Machine

When we got to the parlour, everyone thought our floral arrangement looked like it was lifted from the movie Beauty and the Beast:

Floral Art

Log Debarker

A sign for the Log Debarker finally went into place:

Log Debarker Sign

The City of Port Moody installed the Log Debarker (which we always called the “Log Roller”) back on April 14 of this year:

Log Roller April 14, 2005

The Log Debarker got a fancy foundation under the Moody Street Overpass:

Log Roller April 14, 2005 Close-up 3

Many visitors pass under the Overpass to walk to the Museum and they always ask us what this interesting piece of machinery is.

Log Roller April 14, 2005 Close-up 2

Photo Friday: One

Royal Typewriter

(Click on photos to view larger sizes.)

Both these typewriters are located in the Telegraph Room of the Port Moody Station Museum.

This Royal typewriter was made by Byrmes, Hume Typewriters Ltd. in Vancouver, BC. It was purchased and used in this station from 1954 to 1967 for billing carloads.


This typewriter is an Underwood typewriter made by Elliott Fisher Limited in Toronto.

Where is the key for the number 1?

By Kristin Meier