Saturday and the sun is shining.  Even with the snow on the ground this is a glorious country with the mountains crystal clear and a lovely day to get out.

Pat gave me a book for my birthday, signed by the author about Joseph McPhee the founder of Courtenay.  He left a poor farm in Nova Scotia and worked his way west arriving at the age of 20 in the Comox valley in 1870.  He had hoped to get in on the great farmland being offered but the best land had been grabbed in the previous 2 years. 

So he worked as a labourer and then bid on contractor jobs.  He built the first bridge across the Courtenay river (now the 5th street bridge) and built the original long wharf in the Comox harbour.  Those that have visited us know these landmarks.  He was by now 22  and took the money to build a store in Comox and in what is now Cumberland which was becoming a thriving coal mining town. 

He predicted that the future was the place where the bridge crossed the river to connect the farming in the valley with the industrial Cumberland.  So he bought 160 acres of bush on the west side of the Courtenay river and progressed to clear the land, lay out the streets and promote the site.  He partnered to develop the sawmill, the dairy, the waterworks and brought electricity to the site all the time financing by selling lots one by one.  Today the city of Courtenay is built on his plans.  He died in 1946 at the age of 97 as the wealthiest citizen but basically gave everything to the city in parks and land. 

Anyway the reason for this story is that I finished the book this week so spent today driving and walking around town to visit the various sites that remain from him.  His original store, his old house, the wharf, the sawmill and later building supply that is now Central builders.  Living history, maybe not as exciting as battle sites but every bit as interesting for me.

Aside from my wife, I expect the tour would have bored most people but a lovely day. 

So again no exciting bachelor stories but I still have a few days until I back in the married routine.