Bring His­tory to Life

Learn­ing about the rich­ness of BCS past

Westcoast Families - - Families - by Rebecca Hem­phill

BCs Rich Past

his­tory has an un­de­served rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing bor­ing, but it comes to life when you get away from the names and num­bers and give it a face. If you’d like to share Bri­tish Columbia’s di­verse and fas­ci­nat­ing past with your chil­dren, try ex­plor­ing some his­toric sites and ac­tiv­i­ties that are geared to­ward fam­i­lies. Fish­ing played an im­por­tant role in BC’s de­vel­op­ment and a cou­ple of great sites have helped main­tain this slice of his­tory for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Gulf of Ge­or­gia Can­nery

Once a bustling 19th cen­tury can­nery, the Gulf of Ge­or­gia Can­nery is now a fun, in­ter­ac­tive mu­seum. Step into the past with the clat­ter and crash of the can­ning line ma­chin­ery, get up close and per­sonal with fish­ing in­dus­try para­pher­na­lia and learn about peo­ple whose lives de­pend­ing on a suc­cess­ful daily catch.

North Pa­cific Can­nery

If you’re in the mood for a road trip, try head­ing north…way north. The North Pa­cific Can­nery is the old­est com­pletely pre­served can­nery in BC. Lo­cated in the com­mu­nity of Port Ed­ward, the site fea­tures 30 build­ings crammed with relics. Wan­der the build­ings to your heart’s con­tent or join up with one of the guided tours and catch a glimpse of life in a 19th cen­tury can­nery.

Fur Trade

BC would not be the prov­ince we know to­day with­out the fur trade. Al­though the days of trap­pers and traders are long gone, you can still ex­pe­ri­ence the ac­tiv­i­ties and get a feel for the lives of those in­volved with two his­toric sites in­volved with the West Coast fur trade.

Fort Lan­g­ley National His­toric Site

Orig­i­nally a bustling fur trad­ing post, Fort Lan­g­ley National His­toric Site is packed with in­ter­ac­tive ac­tiv­i­ties for the whole fam­ily. En­joy black­smithing demon­stra­tions, feed farm an­i­mals, learn about his­tor­i­cal weapons and much more. Fort Lan­g­ley is fun for kids of all ages, with plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to get hands on with the dis­play items and in­ter­act with cos­tumed in­ter­preters.

www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fort­lang­ley

Fort St. James

If you’re in the mood to travel fur­ther afield, you can sneak in a his­tory les­son while en­joy­ing the sum­mer fun in Fort St. James. In be­tween wa­ter-ski­ing and swim­ming, take some time to pop by the spec­tac­u­lar Fort St. James National His­toric Site. Time your visit to co­in­cide with some of their spe­cial events, or sim­ply wan­der the site and chat with the cos­tumed in­ter­preters. The whole fam­ily will have a blast step­ping back into 1896, with ac­tiv­i­ties rang­ing from bar­ter­ing for furs to re­lax­ing in fron­tier fur­ni­ture and so much more.

www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fort­st­james

Nat­u­ral His­tory

Look­ing for a way to help your chil­dren ap­pre­ci­ate the nat­u­ral world?

Burns Bog

Pile into the car and head to Delta on a sum­mer Satur­day for a guided tour of Burns Bog by the Burns Bog Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety. Known as the Lungs of the Lower Main­land, Burns Bog is a glob­ally unique wet­land that has been a key player in BC’s nat­u­ral his­tory for over 10,000 years. Kids love do­ing the bog bounce, smelling Labrador Tea and hear­ing about how the lo­cal First Na­tions used sphag­num moss in their ba­bies’ di­a­pers.

www.burns­bog.org/learn

Tum­bler Ridge

For those who are in­ter­ested in the more dis­tant past, Tum­bler Ridge of­fers a rare op­por­tu­nity to walk in the foot­steps of gi­ants. The area boasts al­most 200 di­nosaur foot­prints and over 400 bones from two dif­fer­ent ages. Your kids will love the evening lantern tour, when tracks that are nearly in­vis­i­ble dur­ing the day jump out at you by the lantern’s glow. For a day­time ex­pe­ri­ence, visit the pa­le­on­tol­ogy mu­seum, en­joy the Flatbed Creek Di­nosaur Tour or some of the count­less out­door ac­tiv­i­ties the area has to of­fer.

www.visit­tum­bler­ridge.ca

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