Desolation Sound

 Harbour Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-55017-407-6 

 Desolation Sound lies north of Texada at the head of the  Strait of Georgia. It was named by Captain George Vancouver whose 1792 visit was dripping wet.  Modern vacationers in power and sail boats usually enjoy sunshine along with the warm swimming water where the north and south tides flowing around Vancouver Island meet.

Excerpt –


“Disaster struck in August 1928. Carl [Christenson] was away from home, being treated for a logging injury, and [his wife] Bertha was alone with the two children, three-year-old Maria and baby Joe. As Bertha made jelly, Maria stuffed paper into the stove.

“What’s that crackling?” she asked her mother, but Bertha was a bit deaf and didn’t hear anything.

“Go outside and see if there’s a bird on the roof,” she told her daughter.

“There’s flames out there,” cried Maria, running back inside. Bertha picked up the bucket of water that was always kept handy, leaned a ladder against the house and climbed up. Maria climbed up behind her mother. She had a little pail of water, but unfortunately spilled it.

“It’s too late,” said Bertha, climbing down. “Take your brother and go to the water and stay there.” Maria grabbed Joe and took him to the well because she’d been told many times not to go near the lake.

Bertha ran back into the house and threw out two chairs and the sewing machine. Flames blocked the door. She was trapped. Throwing a felt mattress out the bedroom window, she jumped down onto it and ran to the lake to find the children. When she discovered they weren’t there, she panicked and called out their names, then found them at the well.

All three ran down the trail by the creek to Salt Lagoon, where Jamieson Company operated a logging camp on Crown land. The men were out on the logs using a saw and didn’t hear Bertha’s cries, so she took her bloomers off and waved them. That got their attention.”