when I was a youngster, there were "shacks" all along the hill overlooking the lagoon as it was called then...don't recall when the name became piper's lagoon...they were used as summer homes by locals and visitors...the shacks on shack island wouldn't of been a place the japanese were interned as they were removed to the interior as far as i recall...i believe they were, as someone mentioned, built by local fishermen...and are supposedly still owned by their descendants...I understand that they are not allowed to be sold, but am not positive about that...there was at one time a lot of heated discussion about wether or not they should be torn down...hence the moratorium on selling them...as the owners died off maybe the shacks were to be torn down?...myself, i think they are an interesting piece of local history, and would hate to see them disappear.
oh...as a side note...also when I was a child, there used to be a series of homes built out over the water along stewart ave....they were torn down long ago, but I can recall going to visit a lady that lived in one of them and having tea there with my mother a few times. the place fascinated me because when the tide was in there was a constant wave noise...and because she had a front porch that ran the length of her rather tiny home that had a trap door in it with a ladder that went down to where she had a rowboat...does anyone else recall these homes?
Japanese in the 40's
During the 2nd World War BC's Japanese were sent to a town called Minto BC between Lolloett and Gold Bridge. When the LaJoie dam and powerhouse were completed, the excess water after the reservoir filled up was sent down the spillway, creating another reservoir for the next dam downstream. I think the second was Thergazi. When the water rose Minto was flooded, and for a short time some buildings were visible below the water. (circa 1959).
This period was one of the best of my lifetime (56-58)as there was so much to see, learn, and do for a city teen from Montreal.
lol...i can well imagine tenspot, small town life somehow offered a lot of freedom that larger cities might not have...as children here, we biked all over the area...sometimes travelling what i now realize was 10-15 miles out and then 10-15 miles back home again in one day...lunches packed, and large thermos bottles of lemonade or kool-aid hanging off small knapsacks...we'd row over to newcastle island in "borrowed" boats, float down the millstream river on inner tubes...climb the hills and run wild thru the bush and scrubland which was so plentiful close to home back then...build forts...lay on the grass under trees and dream wonderful dreams...we were very fortunate to have the freedom we did...and we took full advantage of it...lol...childhood was a blessed time
People of Japanese descent were also moved into the Kootenays in eastern British Columbia, and into Greenwood (east of the Okanagan Valley) as well. Many in Greenwood never moved back to the coast, and when I was a teen it was virtually a Japanese-Canadian town. And some Canadians of Japanese descent were moved to the prairies, too, as I recall it. Chemainus at one time had a large Japanese-Canadian population, and they were moved, too. One of the Chemainus murals shows a Japanese-Canadian gentleman in a Boy Scout uniform who had started, against a great deal of opposition, a Scout group for boys of Japanese descent.
Originally Posted by Tenspot
Some moved to Japan after WW II, and that generally was not successful, because they were not received well by people who had never left Japan. A friend of mine is the son of one of those Greenwood couples, and was born in Tokyo. They took as much of it as they could, and returned to Canada. They felt they didn't fit in Canada, and they didn't fit in Japan, either.
Some people of German descent were forcibly moved off the coast, too, and when I was a kid we lived next to one of those families.
When I was vacationing on Saltspring in the very early sixties, I was told there that a magnificent waterfront estate owned by a Premier of BC had been picked up by him when properties owned by people of Japanese descent went at bargain basement prices in the early 1940s (and commercial fishing boats, too.) Another waterfront property owned by a well-known broadcaster of the time had previously been owned by people of Japanese descent who were moved. This, however, is entirely hearsay. I was simply told about this by someone who was still living on Saltspring but remembered when it had all happened, he said.
(sistercedar and kickidee, I've started a new thread about remembering being a kid (in Nanaimo and elsewhere) and moved your recent posts to it - sorry, but we were just getting too far off topic.)
I saw that
Sorry and thanks.
Originally Posted by riverrat
I believe these were weekend homes for local fisherman back in the 1930's , when it was a long journey from downtown Nanaimo to these beautiful fishing grounds. Although they appear to be abandoned they are still used as summer cabins by a lucky few decendants of the origional owners
Originally Posted by islandgal
My query is not really Shack Island related, more Piper's Lagoon. My Dad has mentioned often about a sawmill my Grandfather operated at Piper's Lagoon, but we have no photo's of it and cannot find any. Does anyone recollect this sawmill? It would have been quite a small operation in the shallow bay area of Piper's Lagoon, probably in the late 1940's early 1950's.
Since this old thread still comes up on google searches, I thought I would update with some correct information. My grandfather and great grandfather were among the fishermen who in the 30's and 40's built fishing "shacks" on the islands at Piper's Lagoon. At that time, there were holiday cabins all around bay from the lagoon to pages point (now neck point). When my Mum was little, the families began to join the men on the island. In my youth (60's and 70's) there were still more cabins on the bay than houses. Yes, we still go down every summer. The cabins are privately owned, and passed along through the families. They may look run down, but it only takes a couple of rough winters to rip up the decks and wash off the paint. Believe me, these cabins are lovingly maintained!
No one is really sure where the stories of Japanese on the island originated. We speculate there were Japanese workers involved with the short lived whaling station (located near the current boat launch). They would have lived in cabins nearby. I'm not sure they would have chosen to be across stormy waters on an island with no water though.