Monday, November 23, 2009

The Long Beach Diaries

From October 6, 1927 to May 22, 1929, George Jackson, a lineman living at Long Beach, kept a journal. As someone who often writes about local history and natural history, Jackson's short observations are a well-spring of information. I thought you might find it interesting to you, so I'll reprint a few of his observations from time-to-time. I'll post them on the same date on which he made them over eighty years ago.

Jackson's house sat on what many locals will know as the Lovekin Property. The Lovekin house was built on the same spot and they used Jackson's house for a time in the 1930s. For the rest of you, Jackson lived on the rise up above Long Beach — up above the parking lots at Long Beach. At the time, all of that area was an open field with grazing cattle and horses. Jackson maintained the telegraph line along the beach, from South Bay (near Tofino) and then down toward Combers, where a lineman from Ucluelet took over. Jackson also maintained a "spur line" up to the cannery at the Kennedy River.

Wouldn't you know it, though, the one page I seem to have missing in my copy of the journal is from November 23 to December 3. So, in lieu of the exact date, here is his entry from November 22, 1927:

A strong S. E. gale got up quite suddenly about daybreak this a.m. after a quiet night. Blew hard all day and rained and still blowing tonight. Did not get out of the house all day. Had a wire from Runcke, he is not able to come out at present for his hunt. Pressler came in this afternoon and full of trouble, wet through. He left Tofino early this a.m. in his skiff, loaded with his camp equipment. Got caught when storm came on, wrecked in Browning Passage. Smashed his boat which sank, his stuff floated out and he got ashore some way and saved most of his outfit. George Evans picked him and his wrecked outfit up and landed them on the float at Mud Bay and he then walked on home before dark and got dry clothes on. Had been wet since early this morning when his boat sank under him. Pretty tough for an old man. He is nearly 70 years. Bill Lornie was the Captain of the Annie Tuck yesterday. Had two other men aboard with him. They broke a tail shaft and was probably out of business. Lucky for them it was yesterday morning not this morning that they were caught. They would not last an hour out there today.

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