PETERSON, Lester




Author Tags: First Nations, Local History, Mitchell Press

Born in 1917, Lester Ray Peterson wrote The Story of the Sechelt Nation (Harbour Publishing, 1990), The Gibson's Landing Story (Toronto: Peter Martin Books, 1979) and The Cape Scott Story (Mitchell Press, 1974). He also contributed to Raincoast Chronicles. For many years Peterson collected photos and artifacts to maintain an unofficial museum in his basement. He formed a museum society in 1965 with himself as president and fellow local historian Francis Wyngaert as vice-president. A museum for the Village of Gibson's Landing was first established in the newly built Municipal Hall on South Fletcher Road, than transferred to its location on Winn Road. Lola Westell, who arrived in Gibsons in 1968, served for eleven years as the museum director.

The town of Gibsons derives its name from George Gibson, a pioneer who ran away from home in England in 1841. He and his two sons first arrived in the area when they were blown off course in their hand-made sloop called the Swamp Angel. Finnish settlers arrived in the early 1900s, influencing the idealism of J.S. Woodsworth who resided in Gibsons at the home of longtime doctor Frederick Inglis (pronounced Ingels) named Stonehurst. Incorporated as the Village of Gibson's Landing in 1929, town officially changed its name to Gibsons in 1983. The town is known around the world as the setting for the CBC TV-series The Beachcombers, seen in more than 40 countries and produced for 19 years until 1990.

[BCBW 2003]

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Story of the Sechelt Nation