Sunday 27 January 2013

Comox Valley North - Churches

Post #7b  -  Churches - Comox Valley North

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  A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley

 Comox Valley - North


                                   Churches of Merville

 Sign facing the Old Island Highway
 Merville Mennonite Church
1424 Kruger Road just off the Old Island Highway


St. Mary's Church (Merville, B.C.)


The Church of St. Mary, Merville was built in 1915 at Grantham, within the Grantham Mission. The Mission was included in the parish of Sandwick and Courtenay, which was amalgamated with Comox and Cumberland in 1917. Comox was removed from the parish in 1919 and Cumberland was separated in 1921. Since 1982 the parish of St. John the Divine, Courtenay has included: St. Andrew's, Sandwick; St. Catherine's, Fanny Bay; Holy Trinity, Cumberland; St. John's, Courtenay; and St. Mary's, Merville. St. Mary's was never an independent parish and has been inactive since June 2003. The church was moved from Grantham to Merville (the Soldiers Settlement) in 1921.   

 An Article in the Comox Valley Echo, dated Friday, January 17, 2014

Former Church moving to Merville this weekend
In 1915, the pioneer farmers of the Grantham area decided to build a house of worship for the Anglican community. For the sum of $200, St. Mary's church was constructed near the present Tsolum School. When the Soldier Settlement project was established in Merville in 1919, the need of a church there was apparent and the little church was skidded up the gravel highway with a Clee tractor. The first sacrament was held in March 1920. According to one account, a Sunday service was interrupted by loud squeals from beneath the floorboards. A parishioner's pigs had followed them from their farm and were being harassed by a dog, disturbing the sanctity of the morning.
The Sunday School was held in a small room off the front porch until it was no longer
adequate. In 1960, an army hut originally from the WW2 Sandwick Camp was moved onto the site for the use of the congregation.
In 2003, the diocese decided the small church was no longer needed as transportation to Courtenay's St. Andrews was adequate.The buildings were deconsecrated, the altar vestments distributed respectfully and the church was sold.
After several owners, Alison and Brad Orr purchased the property in 2013. They were approached by Craig Freeman of the Merville Community Association with a request.He suggested the buildings, so linked with the history of the district, be moved to the Hall and renovated. The Orrs graciously accepted the idea and recently donated them to the MCA. "Once fixed up, these buildings will be available for smaller functions than the big Hall," says Freeman. "The church has a stained glass window and high ceilings, making it perfect for an intimate wedding."
The Community Association has struck a committee to raise funds for the move and subsequent repairs and will be soliciting local trades and businesses for support. Some donations have already been made and Regional Heritage funds have been applied for. A quote for the relocation has been received. "We intend to make the move a real event," says Freeman. “Perhaps inviting the antique tractor club to participate. A parade up the highway with the church, parish hall and the heritage outhouse on the move. We will invite a local celebrity to ride in the latter building!"
However, the first business is the clean-up of the accumulated detritus in and around the buildings. On Saturday, January 18 at 10:00, volunteers with brooms, rakes and trucks are needed to sort out the junk and transport it up to waiting dumpsters at the Big Yellow Merville Hall. The church is located just south a half kilometer from the MerylIle Store at 6567 Island Highway. For more information call Harold Macy at 337 5332 or email hqcreek@
 St. Mary's Church out house mentioned in the newspaper article.

The building that was once St. Mary's Church before the move to Merville Hall

 Sign on the door of the old St. Mary's Church building


Churches of Black Creek

Living Waters Fellowship
Affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies
2222 Regent,
Black Creek
250 337 5053


Valley United Pentecostal Church
1814 Fitzgerald Ave.
Black Creek, BC
V9N 2S8
p: 250.338.7877


 Sign at Road Entrance
 United Mennonite Church, 2277 Enns Road, Black Creek
United Mennonite Church
2277 Enns Rd.
Black Creek, BC
V9J 1H7
p: 250.337.5341

...........In 1937 a group of Mennonites that had been meeting in homes and the local school decided to formally organize as a congregation with 34 members under the leadership of Henry H. Schulz. At the same time, the decision was made to build a church. Bil Halbe donated the land for the church and also donated land for the cemetery and school (now Halbe Hall) for a total of three acres. Elder Jacob H. Janzen helped to raise funds for the church, collecting half of the $200 needed for the construction of the 24 by 36 foot building. United Mennonite Church was built by a group of men and women who, despite the challenges of cultural barriers and the Great Depression, were determined to have a central meeting place to worship God. The foundation was laid on 24 March 1937 and Rev. Janzen dedicated it in the fall when he arrived......


Sign facing the Old Island Highway
Black Creek Mennonite Brethren Church 
Mennonite Brethren Church
7898 N Island Hwy.
Black Creek, BC
V9J 1G5
p: 250.337.5423

On December 30, 1934, a group of seventeen Christians began plans for the formation of what was to become the Black Creek Mennonite Brethren Church (Black Creek, BC). The decision was formalized January 6, 1935. After considerable discussion, the name "Merville Mennonite Brethren Church" was chosen, since, at that time, Merville, BC, was the closest Post Office. The name did not stick. As of a February 1, 1937 meeting, the official name was changed to Black Creek Mennonite Brethren Church. During this same meeting, members also decided to seek affiliation with the BC and Canadian Conferences of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Land for a building site was donated by [Isaac?] Goertzen and Henry Falk, and a five-dollar per member levy also helped cover costs. The building was dedicated December 1937, and served the church until 1953. At this time a new structure, seating about 200 people, was built almost entirely with volunteer labour. The new building was dedicated April 11, 1954 with Rev. J.F. Redekop and Rev.J.A. Harder as guest speakers.........


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Saturday 26 January 2013

Comox Valley North - Recreation & Beaches

  Post #7a  - Recreational areas & beaches - Comox Valley North

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   A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley

Recreational areas in the Comox Valley
North of the City of Courtenay   


Kitty Coleman Beach & Park

Kitty Coleman Beach & Park is located 6 kilometers northwest of Courtenay on central Vancouver Island. This park is accessed via Coleman Road off Hwy 19A, north of Courtenay. Turn on Left Road, then right on Whittaker Road until you reach the park. Nearby communities include Courtenay, Comox Valley, Merville and Campbell River.

Situated on the south side of the Strait of Georgia, Kitty Coleman Provincial Park is a popular destination for swimming, boating, fishing, hiking and oceanfront camping. The  park protects the mature forest of Western hemlock, Western red cedar and Douglas fir in the upland portion, the estuary of Kitty Coleman Creek, and 900 meters of shoreline. Park facilities include a picnic shelter, picnic tables, pit toilets, two boat launches, several nature trails and camping for individuals and groups.

History - The original park was donated to the settlers of Merville around 1900 and operated by the community until the 1940s, when financial difficulties led to the province assuming management responsibility. Kitty Coleman was established as a Class “C” Provincial Park in 1944, and a community park board was set up to oversee its operation.

 Special Features: The eastern portion of the park is home to a single majestic old-growth Douglas fir, estimated to be more than 500 years old. Wild onions can also be found growing throughout the area. Kitty Coleman Park is located 6 kilometers northwest of Courtenay on central Vancouver Island. This park is accessed via Coleman Road off Hwy 19A, north of Courtenay. Turn on Left Road, then right on Whittaker Road until you reach the park. Nearby communities include Courtenay, Comox Valley, Merville and Campbell River.      

Some of the above information is from the following web site.

Kitty Coleman Beach & Park       

 Sign at Kitty Coleman Beach Entrance

 Kitty Coleman Beach

Kitty Coleman Beach Douglas Fir

                                          Bates Beach 

 Road sign at the end of Aldergrove Road and the access to a section of Bates Beach
You will notice the birth and death date of Davey Janes on the road sign, this is the first time I have seen dates on regular road signs.  David William Janes born 1912 and died 2002, was first a logger then a fisherman, he was married, his wife's name Sally Janes, his children, Greg Janes and Norma Janes. 
(Thank you to Norma Janes for sending me the correct information on the family, RR)

                                         Bates Beach
Bates beach is the name of a community along the Georgia Strait. There is a beautiful Oceanfront Resort in the area which has camping, boating, kayaking, fishing and more. There are a few public access points to the waterfront which is mostly rocky, with tidal pools and sand bars. 

 Bates Beach area at the end of Davey Janes Road

 Bates Beach area at the end of Davey Janes Road

A section of Bates Beach   


Seal Bay Park


The park was originally part of a larger area offered to W.W.I soldiers as settlement lands. The soldiers opted not to claim the lands leaving the area as Crown land. In 1971 the Comox-Strathcona Natural History Society started lobbying the regional district and provincial government to have the area designated as a park. In 1975 approx. 135 ha (335 acre) were leased to CVRD as a park for a 20 year term.  In 1985 the area under lease was Crown granted to the regional district. An additional area of approx. 16.2 ha (40 acre) was added on with another Crown grant in 1988.

The area was last logged in approximately 1913 with cutting ending in the early 1920s. Springboard marks are still visible on the old growth stumps. Several trails follow rail or logging grades once used to haul cut trees. There was a small Japanese camp on the beach along with a sawmill where the Seabank Road trail reaches the water.

 Sign at entrance to Seal Bay Park
 Alex checking out the trees on pathway at Seal Bay Park
 Beach area at Seal Bay Park
 Map showing trails at Seal Bay Park
 Plaque for Jim Egan at Seal Bay Park
 Plaque for Jim Egan is on this burl at Seal Bay Park


 Miracle Beach

Located on the waterfront midway between Courtenay and Campbell River, this park provides easy access to both communities and a wealth of entertainment. On the beach, sandcastle building, sunning, swimming, exploring tide pools or just frolicking along the shore are all part of the Miracle Beach experience. And don’t miss the non-competitive annual sandcastle building day in June, where playful people of all ages create fantastic sculptures for all to enjoy....................

Miracle Beach Provincial Park is located 22 km north of Courtenay and 22 km south of Campbell River off Hwy 19a. From Hwy 19 take exit #144 (Hamm Road) to Hwy 19a (the Oceanside Route). Head north a short distance to Miracle Beach Drive, then drive 2 km straight into the park. Nearby communities include: Campbell River, Comox Valley, Merville

Beach area at Miracle Beach

Beach area at Miracle Beach

Women's Fitness Day at Miracle Beach
"Tug of War" time

Sand Castle Competition at Miracle Beach
This picture was taken a few years ago

Saratoga Beach

Next door to Miracle Beach is sandy Saratoga Beach. With its many resorts and campgrounds, Saratoga Beach is a good alternative if Miracle Beach is full. For your convenience the park has a concession managed by the Park Facility Operator.
The popular resort area of Saratoga Beach, located at the mouth of the Oyster River at the far north end of the Comox Valley, is considered by many vacationers as one of the prime beaches on sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. The tide along this part of the coast goes out for over a quarter of a mile, creating a sandy oceanfront playground perfect for children. The gently sloping beach extends for more than a mile into the calm waters of the Strait of Georgia, creating safe, warm and  shallow swimming conditions, free from deep water, strong currents, deep water or powerboat traffic. Saratoga Beach is flanked by popular Miracle Beach Provincial Park to the south and Oyster River Regional Park to the north.  
The Old Island Highway, also known as the "Oceanside Route" ( BC Highway #19A ) passes through Saratoga Beach about 25 minutes north of the central Comox Valley city of Courtenay, and 15 minutes south of Campbell River.
 Strathcona Beach


 Puntledge River
also popular fishing area

 Puntledge River (Condensory Bridge )
Puntledge River looking north from Condensory Road Bridge
Great for swimming, fishing, Kayaking 

Swimmers waiting to jump into the water at Condensory Bridge

The Puntledge River showing the old logging railway trussel

    Stotan Falls

Stotan Falls. Short trails leading to waterfalls. Great for suntanning on large boulders in the summer and spectacular autumn colours during the fall. Access via Lake Trail Rd to Duncan Bay Main Rd.
The correct spelling is really STOKUM FALLS. If you ask anyone who grew up in the Comox Valley they will tell you that this is the correct spelling. A few years back the province put up new signage around Courtenay and INCORRECTLY labelled the area as Stotan Falls.

 Stotan Falls as viewed from Bridge

 Stotan Falls 

 Stotan Falls 

 Relaxing at Stotan Falls

 Nymph Falls

Nymph Falls Nature Park : Well maintained mountain biking, hiking and walking trails. Nymph Falls Park is an extensive network of trails for all skill levels spanning over 55.4 acres. A shorter loop trail is also available leading to the fish ladders and Nymph Falls. Access from Forbidden Plateau Rd.
 Nymph Falls showing fish ladders

Swimming at Nymph Falls
Barbers Hole

Barber's Hole is just north of (adjacent to Nymph Falls Regional Park)
- it is part of the BC Hydro recreational site.

 Barber's Hole
Picture from ""
Thank you for the picture

Barber's Hole or Boubors Hole
Forest paths and a deep swimming pool surrounded by large boulders in the Nymph Falls Nature Park.  Access via the dirt road before the fish hatchery on Forbidden Plateau Road.


Medicine Bowls

 Medicine Bowls is located off Forbidden Plateau Road just before you really start to
climb up to Forbidden Plateau.


Medicine Bowls Trail. Three waterfalls born from Browns River carved out by the force of nature and rushing currents. Medicine Bowls Trail is a great hike for novice walkers offering spectacular views after a short 2 km walk on a dirt road at the end of Forbidden Plateau Road west of Courtenay, BC

In the summer the river ebbs, and you are left with fabulous "bowls" of water, just like a hot tub! The rock is it gets real hot.
Thank you for the great picture, check this web site for more information and pictures

Browns River 

Another area that is very popular in the summer. for some great photos of Upper Browns River


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