Campbell River, British Columbia
Museum at Campbell River


We welcome Thelma Silkens as one of our columnists, she will be writing about Campbell River's past and present,
as she works for the local museum and will be entertaining us with stories of days gone by and current offerings by the museum.

Following is an extract from the diary of Campbell River pioneer Fred Nunns, who first settled in the area in 1887.
Fred's acreage was on the southern bank of the Campbell River about a mile and a half from the mouth.
A copy of Fred Nunns' journal is in the Museum at Campbell River  

1890
Friday, Aug. 1st. :
Gloomy looking. Went down to mouth of river in canoe to fish, blowing too hard so pulled canoe ashore and went down to Hills to get scythe to cut my oats.
Tuesday, Aug.5th:
It is just 12 years today I sailed out of St. Katherine's Dock, London.
Friday Aug 8th :
Fine. Went over to Casey's for mail 7 p.m. and took marrows for him. Got a bag of feed for hogs, brought Kay's mail over and had tiffin with him. In afternoon digging potatoes.
Saturday, 9th :
Fine washing clothes and cleaning up house. In evening Capt. Curtis and Wright turned up.
Tuesday,Aug.12th :
Fine. Started 8 a.m. to go up to Seymour Narrows, found we were too late for tide so stayed a couple of hours in Gowlland Harbor, then went to Casey's. Had dinner, returned home. 4 p.m. worked putting roof on smoke house. In evening had a game of crib. Just going to bed, heard someone shout, went out. Mr. Kay from other side of river told me to come down and get some salmon in morning.
Wednesday,13th :
Went down with Capt. Curtis. Kay had caught 3 fine salmon last night … 42, 45, 50 lbs. Gave me the three. Came up and salted them. Worked at smoke house.
Thursday, Aug.14th :
Fine but blowing. In afternoon started to go over to Casey's, got to mouth of river, too rough.
Wednesday, Aug.20 :
Fine. Out fishing, no luck, salmon not running very well yet.
Thursday,Aug.21st :
Fine. Went over to Casey's and waited all morning for steamer. Did not arrive so returned home.
Friday :
Wet in afternoon. Went down to Hills, had found steamer had not called at Comox on her way up north but called the morning, no mail of course. Capt. John has had a row with Kay and left. He immediately came up here and offered his services (which were refused) to Mr. Binsac to go after elk. Kay caught a big salmon yesterday 57 lbs. 4'3/4 in length and 28 girth.
Saturday :
Raining all day.
Sunday 24th :
Gloomy. Out fishing, no luck, lost one.
Monday 25 Aug.
Gloomy. Out fishing, lost one fine fish and spoon, hooked another and lost it.
Tuesday 26th.Aug :
Fine. Out fishing ,no luck.
Wednesday 27 Aug. :
Fine. Herman left this morning and Binsac and I started to go up to the falls. Got up to the gorge 11 a.m. ½ mile below falls, a very pretty place, the river is only 40 foot wide there, only got small trout, lots of bear signs. Returned home 4:30 p.m.
Friday,29 Aug. :
Good luck at last. Binsac caught first one weighing 13 lbs. Then one weighing 57 lbs. He gave splendid play. In afternoon got 2 brace grouse and went down to Hills. He has been to Comox and Frank gave him a letter for me which he put in his coat pocket and then left his coat behind.
Saturday,Aug.30 :
Fine. Out fishing, no luck. Got a brace grouse. In evening went around sloughs for duck, no luck. Cattle have been in and destroyed the greater part of my garden. All sweet corn. Got my pumpkins in, about 80. In evening baked, washed and made some pumpkin pies.
Monday,Sept.1st :
Grouse shooting commences today. Rained hard all last night and this morning, cleared up midday. Old Hill talks of leasing his place to a man with a family who wants to start a store. I hope he does as he is not a very good neighbour.
Tuesday,Sept.2nd :
Fine. The oxen got in my garden last night and destroyed 1200 head of cabbage, did not leave a single one. Destroyed altogether about $60 worth of vegetables. In afternoon got 21/2 brace grouse and later on Mr. Binsac caught a 42 lb. Salmon.
Thursday,Sept.4 :
Out fishing in morning, got one 10 lbs. Went out for grouse, got two brace, blowing hard all day from NW.
Friday,Sept.5 :
Fine. NW wind.Went out fishing early, no luck.
Saturday, Sept. 6th :
Out fishing, no luck. Got 2 brace grouse.
Sunday : Fine.
Out fishing, no luck except 1 cod fish.
Wednesday, 10th Sept. :
Fine. Out fishing, got one 12 lbs. No luck in evening.
Thursday :
Got 2 brace grouse. 1 fish, 9 lbs.
Saturday Sept. 13th :
Fine. No luck fishing, lost 2 big ones. A man of war went north this morning. In evening Andy and Percy Smith came over.
Sunday Sept. 14 :
Fine. Caught 1 salmon 12 lbs. Got 11/2 brace grouse.
Monday Sept. 15 :
Fine. Caught one salmon 8 lbs. A man of war, barque rigged, went south under sail and steam.
Wednesday, Sept. 17 :
Beautiful day, cool northerly breeze blowing. Got in my squash and pumpkins today.
Friday 19 Fine.
Up river after trout. Harry got two. In poling canoe through rapids pole broke and had to walk up. Mr. Binsac talks of leaving on 26th and Kay leaves at end of month. Casey shuts down camp today, so I soon will be alone.


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