Gabriola Edition  January - July, 1879
January 4


     Mr. R. Grey, the keeper of the Entrance Island Lighthouse, informs us that the weather for the past month has been exceptionally free from wind, and that during the month alluded to the waters of the Gulf of Georgia have been as placid as a millpond.

     Such a lengthened period of calm weather, at this season of the year, is not within the recollection of that much abused person - "the oldest inhabitant."

February 26


     Inspection, 11th Feb. 1878 - Enrolled: boys, 11; girls, 4; total, 15; average, 10. Present 11.

     The school was by no means a model of neatness. The blackboard requires to be repainted.

     The reading of the scholars was not good, though their spelling was somewhat better. The progress made in writing, grammar, and geography was fair, but the answering in history was neither ready nor accurate.

     The teacher is apparently painstaking and conscientious, and exercises a good moral influence over the scholars.

April 30


     It will be remembered that the settlers of Gabriola Island and those below the rapids signed a petition to the Dominion Government asking them to make a boat or canoe passage across Bigg's Portage, adjoining Mr. John Daholt's farm.

     This portage is a natural depression in the land where the tide meets within two or three feet, and if a cutting was made there it would enable the settlers, with their produce, to escape the danger of rounding Jack's Point besides materially decreasing the distance. This place we believe was inspected by Mr. Peck, Harbourmaster, and the outside cost estimated by him was $1000.

     The Hon. Mr. Bunster has given the following notice of motion in the House of Commons, but how he makes out that it will require a canal three miles long is past our comprehension. If he had dropped the word canal and said a cutting fifty yards in length he would have told nearer the truth. Three miles of canal would cost over $100,000.

     "Mr. Bunster - On Monday next - Enquiry of Ministry - Whether it is the intention of the Government to place a sum in the Supplementary Estimates for the construction of a canal (some three miles in length) in rear of the property of John Langholt, in order that the settlers on the coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. may reach Nanaimo city with their produce and purchase supplies."

     Mr. Tupper replied in the negative.

     (In an official copy of the votes and proceedings of the House of Commons of April 4th sent to us by Mr. Bunster himself, the length of the canal, as stated in a previous issue, was put down at three miles. The Dominion Government have, however, declined to construct one even if only 300 feet in length. - Ed.)

May 7


     From Mr. Drabble of Comox, we learn that several Indians reported at Comox, that they saw the body of a white man among the kelps in a little bay on Gabriola Island, just opposite the lighthouse. From its appearance the Indians took the body to be that of a sailor.

     Several small boats have been found adrift lately, and it is very probable that this man was capsized and drowned.

     The reason the Indians did not come into Nanaimo and report to the authorities, was that the weather was extremely rough.

June 28


     Three persons, representing themselves as commercial travellers, have lately visited this district with the object of selling cloth, etc. In this city, we believe, they transacted no business, but one of them, O'Brien by name, visited Gabriola Island and there it appears transacted a land office business in disposing of his wares.

     Two settlers - T. Dignan and Magnus Edgar - bought cloth, etc. to the amount of $150 each, for which they gave their promissory notes payable in four or six months at the banking house of Garesche, Green & Co., at Victoria.

     In a second examination of the cloth they found pieces which O'Brien represented and guaranteed sufficient to make a suit of men's clothes, only contained three and three and a half yards each. The gulled settlers then took the cloth back to O'Brien and wanted him to take it back again, but Mister O'Brien was not in the habit of doing business in this manner. He acted on the principle that a bargain was a bargain and refused to take back the cloth or to refund the notes.

     Before any further action could be taken by the tillers of the soil, O'Brien had gone in search of pastures fresh - rumor says to Comox. Before leaving, however, the "traveller" made strenuous efforts to "shave" the notes, offering to take $200 for the two notes,- a neat little discount 33 1/3 per cent. But it was unsuccessful.

     Mr Dignan and Edgar now advertise that they will not be responsible for the payment of the aforesaid notes, as they were obtained from them by misrepresentation. Dignan goes so far as to say that he firmly believes he was mesmerized, for he had no need of the cloth and had not the slightest intention of purchasing any such material from him or anyone else.

July 3


     Mr. Thos Digman has been elected trustee for Gabriola School District.

July 20


     The steam launch "Nellie" engaged in running a ferry between Nanaimo and Departure Bay, went ashore on Cameron Island during Monday night. It appears that after returning from the Bay on Monday evening, Mr. Flewett anchored the launch in Commercial Inlet, opposite Hirst's wharf, and that during the night she swung on the rocks on Cameron Island and filled with water. At hightide only the smokestack is visible. Mr. Flewett was engaged yesterday in raising the launch by means of small boats lashed alongside. It is thought no damage will result from the immersion.

July 30


     One of the settlers on the north end of Gabriola Island, informs us that a skeleton, apparently that of a white man is lying exposed on the beach in a bay opposite the lighthouse. It is thought this is the skeleton of the man seen by the Indians some time ago in the kelp off Gabriola Island.

     It is not likely that any information will be obtained as to who the unfortunate person was or how he came to his death. For the sake of humanity, however, the skeleton should be accorded suitable burial.

The Steam Launch
`N E L L I E'
Will leave the public landing, Nanaimo, for Departure Bay, carrying freight and passengers every day, as follows:
      At 8 o'clock a. m. and 4 o'clock p. m., returning at 10 a. m. and 5:30 p. m.
      Persons wishing the use of the steam- launch for picnics, etc., can obtain full particulars on application to
Wm Flewett, on board,   
Or at Renwick & Co.
and Glasgow House

Notice to Shipowners
and Captains

                   The Powerful Steam Tug
      Fitted with two 36-inch Cylinders, having been thoroughly overhauled and fitted with New Boilers and other improvements, making her one of the most powerful and economical Tugs on this coast, is now prepared to tow vessels in B.C. Waters.
     For further information apply on board to Captain J.D. Warren at Dickson-Campbell's Wharf.