Terry Slack, director of the Fraser River Coalition and the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, wrote - "It was boat moving day from mom’s garage on 28th Ave., and this piece of Dunbar, Southlands marine river history had to go somewhere, but where? She was not water tight and her repairs were not finished, so into my truck she went! The girl was sticking out a long way past the tailgate and the police friend of mine said it was best to move her in the early morning to avoid a possible hassle by the local authorities.

Yes, I think she was a wooden 12 foot Greenwood canvas covered boat with a unique hour glass transom! This Fraser River boat building family historically made red cedar strip boats on West Woods Island, in the mouth of McDonald Channel, or now slough, on the North Fork of the Fraser River! Granddad remembered a community saw mill there, probably where the boat building people got all the first growth pencil cedar cut to build boats! My river family knew where the boat building shed and house was located on the island and as a young boy went exploring in my row boat, looking for what was left of the mill and shed! I found what was left of the islands history under the cover of dredged up sand, on this Island that now does not exist at all! There were numerous wooden canoe building forms and pieces of the shed, a great place to explore!

So where does this lovely boat really come from, who owned her later on in her life?  It’s a strange story of a real estate agent who just wanted to dump the old girl that she found or maybe owned! The boats life may have been ended in a dumpster! No, no, I looked her in the gunnels and fell in love with this great wooden lady from the past! Her outer hull was clad in green paint soaked canvas, like the top of an old gillnet or trolling boat cabin and the cracked canvas had rotted in places! For sure she was a boat that would not float! The close together spruce frames and cedar inside planking of the hull was varnished and shone like a new penny! Gosh she looked great! Yes right away I had this dream of flying the Union Jack off her stern flag pole, dressing up in a muskrat hat and rowing up river on May Day with the incoming tide of course, to New Westminster!

Yep fisher people are wonderful dreamers, but the boat that would not float just hung from the rafters of my mom’s leaking garage for over 15 years and was a home for the local roof or river rats. Mom’s old Dunbar house and leaking garage sold the other day for a big Sea Mans Chest full of money and the garage full of salvaged row boats, ya there was more than one, had to go somewhere! No one wanted the old lady from I think was Woods Island, but at last I managed an old “Fisherperson to Fisherperson Trade”. My dream, oh she was my dream and in the end I had to trade her for 3 large bags of interior of B. C. Organic Potatoes! Well I piled her into the back of my truck yesterday, with a tear in my eye and left early in the morning, to try to avoid the authorities on Marine! She is waiting now at an old 100 year old house in New Westminster and when the potatoes arrive, she will hopefully start a brand new life, somewhere on a lake in the southern corner of B. C."


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