This past weekend, I went to Port Hardy to give a talk about Yorke Island’s history at the Port Hardy Museum & Archives on Market Street. I had met the curator, Jane Hutton in early May, when she came to attend the British Columbia Historical Federation’s annual conference, held at the Museum at Campbell River where I work. Jane had graciously invited me to come and do a talk earlier in the year, when the book would be out, and we confirmed it for June 23.
We had a nice time – the weather and the technology cooperated, and every seat in the small museum was filled. Julia Blair, whose father had been posted to Yorke Island during the war came, as well a good friend Karen Schwalm from Strathcona Park Lodge days, and Jessie Roland, an artist and the owner of Jessie’s B&B, about whom I wrote an article in 2009.
The museum has wonderful gift shop which carries beautiful native artwork and great books on BC’s history. Jane tells me that much of the artwork comes from remote villages along the coast, from extremely talented artists who have nowhere to display their art in their own communities, and it is therefore unique to the Port Hardy museum. Visitors should also browse the collections to gain an understanding of the driving forces that created the settlement of Port Hardy, situated close to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Like much of the BC coast, logging, fishing and mining have been the main industries of Port Hardy, and today, tourism and sport fishing are what the area is known for.