Self Guided Historic Walking Tour of Nanaimo - Newcastle Island

Newcastle Island Pavillion

Nanaimo, BC

Digital History & heritage Photography Self-guided Tour Writing & literature

Newcastle Island is a Marine Provincial Park. Its 756 acres are given over to leisure: camping, walking, biking, and bird-watching. There are no cars or roads, and only one permanently occupied dwelling. Visitors are drawn to the island's tranquility, natural beauty, and charm, and have been for thousands of years. Besides natural beauty, the island also possesses a long and rich history. It is part of the Snuneymuwx First Nation's Traditional Territory. Traces of their ancient culture can be seen all along the water's edge--in shell middens and in the old traces of bark-stripped cedar trees, particularly around Giovando Lookout. Archaeological finds indicate that Departure Bay (which looks onto Newcastle Island's north-westerly coast) has been inhabited for anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 years. The Snuneymuxw refer to Newcastle Island as Saysutshun, which in Hul'qumi'num means 'training for running.' This is a reference to the fact that the island was used for training by Snuneymuxw canoe teams. Before European arrival there were two seasonal villages: Clostun, which means 'protector' and was located on what is now called Midden Bay; and Sasytshun, which faced Protection Island. Archaeological evidence indicates that both sites were inhabited when Europeans first arrived. Besides athletic training, the island was principally used as a base to catch the herring that ran between Newcastle and Protection Islands, and to gather medicinal herbs. Over time it became a spiritual retreat and place of healing, where bereaved members of the community went to yu'thuy'thut to "fix up their heart, mind, and body, and let go of their tears." Most of this tour will focus on European settlement for which photographs exist: the island's early coal mining industry, and its successor: the famously high quality Newcastle sandstone. We will also look at the 1930s, when the mines were closed down and the island was purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.) and transformed into a place leisure and relaxation, which it has been – in one form or another – ever since.

This event runs the duration of Culture Days.

Learn more about On This Spot

Download on App Store (iOS)

Download on Play Store (Android)

This event is free.

Organized by

On This Spot

On This Spot​ guides people on a tour back in time, showing & telling the history that surrounds them. On each spot, users will find themselves standing in the footsteps of a photographer who took a historic photo. On site tourists/users can use the built-in camera feature to create their own then-and-photos, which can be shared on social media and saved as a digital souvenir. Selections of these photos are chained together into walking tours that take a deep dive into local history. On This Spot​ strives to make history engaging, educational, and accessible to all with a focus on easy to use features and a succinct writing style. The aim is to create an intuitive user experience that provides historical unparalleled depth without overwhelming or confusing users.

This event is part of a hub:

On This Spot - Virtual City Tours

On This Spot Vancouver, BC

On This Spot​ guides people on a tour back in time, showing & telling the history that surrounds them. On each spot, users will find themselves standing in the footsteps of a photographer who took a historic photo. On site tourists/users ca...

Location

Nanaimo

Nanaimo, BC

Event Contact

Ross Hiebert

info@onthisspot.ca

Language

English