Liv Kennedy's parents were pioneers on Quadra Island, and she was born aboard the Coast Mission ship Columbia. She grew up in logging camps and fishing villages along the coast, spending much of her time in boats, and in 1965 began a four-year trip around the world in a 37-foot cutter. She now lives in Nanoose Bay, BC, where she works as a freelance writer. Her articles and photographs appeared in Pacific Yachting for twenty years, she contributes regularly to Boat World and she is co-author of Vancouver Once Upon a Time. She is the author of Coastal Villages . [Harbour Publishing 2003]
Liv Kennedy, born on the mission ship Columbia when it was docked in Port Neville, was raised in the logging camps and fishing villages of the coast by her Norwegian-Canadian parents. After 20 years of writing a column for Pacific Yachting and Boat World she gathered her coastal photos, research and memories for a 1991 bestseller, Coastal Villages of British Columbia.
Coastal Villages of British Columbia (Harbour $39.95)
AS THE HUB OF GYPO LOGGING FROM 1900 to 1960, Minstrel Island and its beer parlour are legendary. Into the 1970s a visitor could still find hundreds of old liquor bottles strewn on the beach at low-tide. "The hotel once had the distinction of selling more beer than any other outlet in B.C.," says coast historian Liv Kennedy, "The loggers would get themselves over to Minstrel whenever they needed to ask around about work. From there they'd catch the Union Steamships to take them to another camp." A.M. Grainger, who wrote Woodsmen of the West, stayed in the Minstrel Island Hotel in 1907, paying for his patch of floor by sawing firewood. In the days when the hotel doubled as a whorehouse, hundreds of hand loggers used to row down to Minstrel With their jacks in their boats, just in case they spotted an available tree along the route. The story goes, according to Jim Spilsbury, 'that once the over-tired staff refused to work on Sunday.' Minstrel's disgruntled clientele retaliated by jacking up the entire building. The hotel rose higher and higher off its foundations until the 'working girls' finally relented. For gypo loggers such as Panicky Bell, Step-and-a-Half Phelps and Eight Day Wilson, Minstrel Island remained a shrine until its gradual demise in the 1960s. Today the people who live on Minstrel Island know very little about the hotel's often outrageous clientele. Although a resort has re-opened on Minstrel for summer visitors, few realize the historic building was actually floated to Minstrel from Port Harvey by owner Neil Hood before he gave way to operators such as Isador Herawitz (usually remembered as Izzy the Jew), Buck and Grace Munn, Russ Boyd and Perley Sherdahl. "People who come to buy pieces of the coast nowadays," says Kennedy, "such as fish farmers or European investors, have no idea what went on here before." Minstrel's rough history, plus tales of more than 20 other coastal communities such as God's Pocket, Sointula, Owen Bay, Heriot Bay and Lundcomprise Liv Kennedy's forthcoming Coastal Villages of British Columbia (Harbour $39.95). Born on the renowned Coast Mission ship Columbia when it was docked in Port Neville, Kennedy was raised in logging camps and fishing villages by her pioneering Norwegian parents. As a child she lived at HardWick, Sayward, Lochborough Inlet, Owen Bay, the north end of Quadra and Redonda Bay. "Sometimes it feels to me like I've been researching my book all my life," she says. After she completed a four-year circumnavigation of the world in the 1960s, the Nanoose Bay resident returned to B.C. and began supplementing the family income by writing. For 20 years her column Offshore People appeared in Pacific Yachting; currently it's featured in Boat World. Coastal Villages will contain archival and contemporary photos of the coast, mostly taken by Kennedy, comparing the coastal communities then-and-now. Covering similar territory, filmmaker Mike Poole recalls coastal history and details of a summer-long canoe trip in his forthcoming Ragged Islands: A Journey through the Inside Passage (D&M $24.95). Poole's recent award winning film, Island of Whales, was aired on the PBS series Nova. Kennedy ISBN 1.55017-057-0 Poole ISBN 0-88894-718-0
[BCBW 1991] “History”