Duncan McMillan was a road building superintendent and bridge builder and in 1897 he was appointed government telegraph lineman. His wife Ann McMillan was a telegraphist and used a room in their house as her office. Come take a look as the house now sits on the...

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Lured by the prospect of farming on Vancouver Island, Henry Lee, his wife and their two sons emigrated from Ireland in 1886 and chose French Creek as their new home. Each family member claimed 160 acres of which 40 were oceanfront. The Lee cabin became known as...

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A successful jockey in Ireland until he broke both wrists falling off horses, Ned Despard, took up a homestead on Errington Road naming it “Woodsgift” and later opened up his home as a hobby craft exhibit. Page 62 Parksville & then some by Marjorie Leffler details...

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Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1874, George Bernard caught the excitement of Canada’s gold rush and returned from the north wearing a dead man’s set of pants and hat as he had lost his own! A new job working for the railways brought George to Parksville in 1914. He was a...

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Craig Family

So…..if you were born in Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, home of the world famous oysters (almost as good as Fanny Bay!) and decided to leave PEI and head west – where would you end up? Craig Bay, Craig Cottage, Craig Historic Park – yup – in Parksville. Arriving in...

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Gaetjen Family

The well known and popular Parksville Mini Golf sits on the land once owned by the brothers Herman, Gustav and Henry Gaetjen. In 1891, the brothers donated the land for the first school which sat at the site of the present day Chevron, the corner of Island and Alberni...

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Parks Family

Who put the Parks in Parksville? Nelson Parks! Born in Ohio in 1824, he travelled west with wife Elizabeth and sons George, James and Frank. Nelson and each of the sons registered their land claim and each received 160 acres. In 1886, the Englishman River Post Office...

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Hirst Family

Receiving the dubious distinction as the first white settler to step onto these shores, John Hirst Junior arrived by canoe and purchased 160 acres for $160. In 1895, John and his wife Ann (Harris of Nanaimo) started building the Rod and Gun Hotel. Unfortunately, John...

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For over a hundred years, regularly on November 27th at 11am,  the Gough family descendents of Parksville and Nanaimo attended a ceremony commemorating the arrival of the Princess Royal (in 1853, seventy-five people travelled on this ship from Tillbury, England...

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William Rath, travelling with his brother George, arrived from Ireland looking for gold in California but ended up in Barkerville. On hiatus from the gold searching, they landed a canoe east of the Englishman estuary in 1858. William and his wife Elizabeth Rath...

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Charles Nash knew a good thing when he saw it; when he heard 38 acres with 450 feet of waterfront could be purchased for $800, he bought it. “Seabright’ as it was then and is now known became a showplace. Huge chestnut trees shaded expansive lawns and colorful...

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Imagine being born in Vancouver in 1902, growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii and settling in Qualicum Beach in 1919. Such was the life of George Abernethy. His company, Abernethy Timber Company Ltd. Was the first company to begin operations in the Robert Dollar claim,...

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Albion ‘George’ Tranfield was born in Nanaimo’s East Wellington in 1891. His grandfather was the first white settler and sheep farmer on Lasqueti Island. His father, Alex Tranfield, was a pioneer, trapper and scout. In 1891, he was responsible for surveying the...

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George and Elizabeth Plummer came west in July 1886 on the newly completed railroad link to Canada’s west coast. In February 1887, they travelled by sea to their home in Parksville landing at Arbutus (now Madrona) Point. After a temporary stay in a one room shack with...

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James McCarter joined the British Army and became a Sergeant Major of the Inniskilling Dragoons. When injured, he moved to Canada bringing with him a ceremonial sword. and subsequently his descendents moved to Errington. Joseph McCarter built a hostel, Halfway House,...

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Near Oceanside Middle School on Wembley Road, barely visible behind a fir hedge stands the oldest house in Parksville. It has been renovated and declared as a heritage site. In 1893, it was built by Major Robert Fayer Hickey who left a distinguished career in the...

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Otto Renz, born in Nebraska’s Otoe County (hence, the name Otto) came with his family in 1885 to their new home on what is now known as Church Road. Both Otto and his father, who were Catholics, helped build St. Anne’s Anglican Church. Otto was particularly proud of...

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It’s true! That transport truck driving along the inland highway is owned by Kingsley Trucking but go back to 1893 when Jim Kingsley was born in Victoria – that’s where the story begins. Jim’s dad, Jack meets Mary Mills, marries, has children but Jack goes north for...

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Parksville, BC V9P 2E5

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