Writing and Research

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It has been said that "To steal from one is plagiarism, to steal from many is research". If that is so I plead guilty. I have stolen from many, both living and dead. But then, were it not for folk of like mind there would be no history. And that would indeed be unfortunate.

Over the years I have been interested in various forms of history. When I collected automobiles it was essential that I knew everything about what I had. Who made them, what made them, etc. The only thing that was missing was the classic where.

History filled in that blank for me. Not only could I research the who and the what but now I could find out the where. The circle was almost complete.

Then along came the internet. The Valhalla for any curious. Suddenly it was all laid out in front of me. Nothing seemed to be impossible. And honestly, nothing is now impossible.

Over the last number of years, notable in my retirement I have been able to research more fields than I could imagine. I learned about logging, mainly on Vancouver Island. Coal mining in same area. Not just about the industry but the people that were involved. All the way from those that were made rich and famous to those that never made a mark on anyone. Some folk died unfortunately, some lived on for us. I learned about towns and cities, all over North America, both from research and actual visits.

Now, remember the internet may be a great source of information. But how many people would spend an afternoon crawling around cemeteries looking for names to attach to stories. Want to spend an adventurous afternoon take a run to Victoria and visit the old cemeteries. All those folk we hear and read about are remembered there. Almost down to the first person to set foot on this island we live on. Image to left is clickable for larger image.

Drive by a display or a museum and pop in. It's amazing what you will find.

Where my passion lies is in steam engines. I was born too late. Thankfully I do have memories of them. I could hear the famous "Silk Trains" come through town. I spent endless hours at the rail yards watching trains. Memories turn into passions. I can vaguely remember riding street cars. I remember hearing the first jet airplane take off at the airport. But I will always remember the sound of a steam train on a cold winter night. Can you say that with the same fondness of an airplane taking off.

History if not documented is wasted. Just look at our generations. My parents were born with no radio or television. People who owned cars were a minority. We went from horses to satellites in just a couple of generations. Thankfully for the curious someone had the good sense to research and dig out stories or some things would have been forever lost.

Researchers are necessary folk. I am proud to call myself one of them. And if I can pass some bits on I am grateful.

If there is anything I can do to help anyone's understanding of the past I would consider it an honour.


Over the years I have written a number of stories and articles. I hope to gather them into a collection here as time permits. Allow me to interest you in a few.

Brother 12, Cult Leader, Prophet, or just plain crazy...
Ebook on Cowichan Bay, a fairly complete history
Art Williams, the Wizard of Ladysmith
Cowichan Valley life in the 1890's
Cowichan Bay Sailpast
Colonization of Cowichan Bay and area
Cowichan Trail, before the Malahat
Fishing in Cowichan Bay
Fire in Cowichan Bay
John Wayne and Cowichan Bay
Native kills settler in Cowichan Bay
Railways on Vancouver Island
Recreation in Cowichan Bay
Robert W. Service in Cowichan Bay
Robertson II
The Bay actually froze over


Last update October 4, 2012 7:23 PM ©