Saturday, September 4, 2010

We have arrived in Prince Rupert. The town sits in a sheltered inner harbor protected by a rim of islands along the Inside Passage. Once a thriving port town of 18,000 there are now less than 10,000 people. In the past few years the town has lost its logging, fishing and tourist industries. Many businesses are closed up, lots of homes are for sale. We walked down by the harbor, an area referred to as Cow Bay. In 1908 a load of Swiss dairy cows was shipped to Prince Rupert by barge. It wasn’t until the cows arrived that they realized they had a problem, there was no way to unload the cows. The solution? They tossed the cows overboard into the bay. Thus the name Cow Bay. Good thing PETA wasn’t around then!

We visited the Museum of Northern British Columbia where they had an amazing collection of First Nation artifacts. We walked the town’s sunken garden which is being restored to its former grandeur. So much for Prince Rupert.

We drove around the bay to Port Edward (population 577) to see the North Pacific Cannery museum. In the late 1800's, from the Sacramento River in California to the Yukon River in Alaska, there were almost a thousand salmon canneries. Today, most of these rural canneries are gone, burned down and forgotten. When these canneries operated, workers in Canada were segregated. Whites had individual quarters and did office work or held managers positions.

Indians lived together in communal buildings and fished or mended nets.The Chinese also lived in their own communal building and they fished or did construction on the cannery.

So much for Port Edward, 250 miles out of the way, wasn't worth it. Time to get serious about going home.

1 comment:

  1. We're assuming you made it home safe & sound by your target date of 9/11. What a fabulous trip you had, we really enjoyed following along your post allowed us to feel we were right there with you. Now rest & relax for a few days and then it must be time to start on your Halloween