It's nice to talk to fellow students of Extension Elementary from the 70's.
I only attended there for one year ( 1974 I think ), but the people and the place had a lasting effect. I lived in the Valley but spent more time in Extension especially during the summers.
We used to go digging for Chinese poker chips ( majong pieces probably ), and rumming bottles. There were still a few old abandoned homes up there at that time. Down on the road that leads to M& M stables. That was another cool thing to do, go horseback riding around extension and second lake. I remember when I was in grade six at Extension school, the teacher said we were going to have a couple of new students join us that day. Well those two students arrived at the school riding on a mule. I think they tied it to the fence and then went into the school. Ya see the riding stables up there was also a foster home for girls.
Oh yeah about that two room school, it may have only had two classrooms but it had six grades the year I went there at least. Grades 1, 2, & 3 in one classroom, and 4, 5, & 6 in the other. That's why I only attended one year at Extension. I was in grade six. We had four different teachers that year. The class was a bit unruly!
I did some hay baling up there a couple of years and it really was a hard job for scrawny kids! But I have some pretty fond memories of that. It was fun because you got to do it with your friends and it only lasted for a week or so.
Nice talking to you Riverrat And Yogi and North and thanks for the links to thee old photos. This is a great site!
Oh by the way Mr. Rat, you asked about any local lore regarding the Abyss.
Well I heard that there could be a body down there. It's probably only an urban legend but the story goes that there were two local farmers feuding over a piece of property and yeah well you guessed it, one of them ended up down in that fissure. Like I said, probably only a tall tale but it sure sounded plausible at the time!
Anyways talk to ya later.
Ha! Well, if there isn't actually a human skeleton down there, I'd not be surprised if there's something else. Deer, or dog, or rodents at least.
Originally Posted by Bunky
Those Chinese "poker chips" sound really cool. Anyone got any pictures?
Tales of Extension...
Ah, yes the wonders of Extension school...I attended there from 1968-1970, grades one through three, all in the same classroom...., same teacher too, Mrs. Hitchen. The year I was supposed to make the move next door to the other classroom they decided instead to ship us all by bus to South Wellington instead...
As for the Abyss Legend, well the feudin' farmer story is actually based in some truth....the farmer who had the accident/was murdered was named Stark (ala Starks crossing in Chase River, Stark's lake in Extension)Apparently one evening he was supposed to return to his cabin from visiting a friends ' cottage when, depending whom one believes he either fell or was pushed off a cliff....apparently it also ties into the finding of a coal seam on property claimed by Stark, so there the mystery arises. Apparently most folks at the time thought it highly unlikely that Stark could have fallen on his own accord as he was very familiar with the area and trail, and that it was an exceedindly
clear and bright evening.
Was up in Extension today, saw that there's a "For Sale" sign on the piece of property across from the ol' General Store where the pit head for #! mine is located....It's sad to see how little respect we have for our history here in Nanaimo, it's actually like we're embarassed of our industrial past...How many folks will know of the battles that were fought in the name of worker's rights and wages right where they are standing during the riots of the "teens"?
Cheers, : )
Abyss trail stories..
Well I never found any skeletons or anything like that, but I do remember out adventuring with my older brother one day when we came across a pile of old metal drums, buckets, and copper tubing at the base of the Abyss cliffs near our home.....When we told my Dad later what we had found, he told us we had stumbled across "Ol' Joes' still"... apparently the location of a local "distillery" during the prohibition period....
Hey Al. And all!
Al I was wondering since you seem to be the authority on this subject, was the old Chinatown in Extension located between the back field of the school. and the back yard of the Randal's house? That's where we used to find a lot of old bottles and stuff.
And also is the lake that I refer to as Second Lake , the same lake that you say is named Starks Lake? The one I mean is the Lake you access from just before the top of the of big hill going down into Extension.
And also you stated that you lived somewhat close to the base of the Ridge I think. Was that what I refer to as the Flats sort of down where the big coal hill is? And do you happen to know who owns that farm stuck way out in the middle of the trees over in that area as well?
And hey while I'm imposing on your time, there used to be an old garage or shed right across the street from the store. Is it still standing and do you know who owned it? And who owns that land now that you say is for sale?
And one more big one AL. Do you own a digital camera, and if you do could you snap a few pics of some of the local attractions from Extension and maybe post them here if you get up around there again anytime soon? I know it's kinda a lot to ask but I have a bad case of missin the place. I want to get over soon but it's kinda tough right now.
By the way, my name is David.
Cheers Al and all!
I forgot to say Al you must have been mad at getting all the way through the lil kids class and then gettin the boot over to South Wellington just when it was time to be in the Big Kids Class. I went to South Wellington too for Grade 7. Anouther wierd place, but without Extensions charm!
My great Grandad worked in the mine in Extension and my Grandma used to bring him lunch and beer in a bucket apparently.
Dave ( and all )
Going to South Wellington wasn't that bad, but what was unsettling was the fact that the school district couldn't decide what to do with my class...grade four was South Wellington, then five and six was Chase River, and grade seven was split between the two schools...I was never sure where that bus was going to drop me off! : )
The lake you refer to as 2nd Lake (as do all the locals, myself included) is actually named, suprisingly Harewood Lake...the small one nearby where the sawmill was located (big sawdust piles) is called 1st by the locals, but it's official name is Overton Lake.....Starks Lake is located towards White Rapids Road, across the fields near Brough's old place if that helps.
As for the Chinatown location, you're right on....most of the original areas were covered when they expanded the softball field and built a tennis court about 20 years ago....
The garage across from the store was built by the folks who operated the store...do you remember when that was the location for the Bookmobile stop? it's gone now...the pithead I referred to earlier is just to the north of the garage, you may remember the creek that used to run into the pithead due to it's "fragrence" the water from the creek is very high in sulphur content, apparently the result of a draining flooded coalshaft.
Our home was located at the junction of Virostko Rd and Midora Rd....although I think Midora rd is a recent change, so you may not remember it as such....a bit-o-trivia, Midora comes from the road's oldest residents at that time, MI-ke Wargo and DORA Hamilton....The farm at the end of Virostko Rd in the big clearing by the coal pile was owned by not so suprisingly the Virostko brothers...today I think the owner's name is something like Barraclough....although logging in the area has really changed the landscape.
I've got a digital camera (well quite a few of em' actually..I have a verrry understanding wife : )) So I'll make a plan to get up that way again soon and grab some pics for you...stuff like the school, the community hall, ol' store, and the pithead , etc.
That sounds great Al. Thanks a lot. If that lil house is still standing at the top of the big hill on the way into Extension could you snap a picture of it as well? Thanks for all the info. It's nice corresponding about the good ol days. Ha! I sound like a geezer!
I'm assuming you mean Moore's Hill when you say the hill that drops into Extension...if so, the house on your left, which I think is the one you mean, it's gone...It was the Aquino residence I believe...the house on the right is still there, and it's still owned by one of the original family, John Moore...My Dad was born in that house....kinda amazing, he only moved once, when he built the house I grew up in about a quarter of a mile away, where he still lives, age 81...image that, in todays' transient world, to have moved only once in 81 years....heck I moved five times in four years! : )
I actually meant the house on the right AL. I always loved that house for some reason. Very cool your dad was born there! I'm off to work so I better keep this short.
Have a great day!