history Archives - West Wind Hardwood

Coastal Nostalgia: Dalziel Box Co.

Dalziel Box Co., Ltd started with the making of wood baskets and boxes for berries and fruit in 1916. The company metamorphosed over the years and was still in existence in the early 80’s. They were the go-to folk in Victoria offering resaw facilities. Jan recalls taking teak boards for resawing in the early years of West Wind Woodwork when we manufactured nautical wood products for outfitting yachts and boats.

These products were sold across Canada and we had a dedicated on-the-road salesperson. Additionally, Jan recalls purchasing lumber for the planking and keel of our small boat, Puddleduck. Puddleduck was launched in 1986.

Circa 1983 – Keel for Puddleduck

Near and Far – At Home in the Tay Valley

1800’s – Ontario, Canada

The Nielsen Family is not the only folk here at WWH that have deep roots. My great-great grandfather (maybe another great is needed), Abraham Ferrier immigrated from Kirkintilloch, Scotland with his brother (and families) in response to the British Government’s offer of free land and promises of government support – those often proved unreliable.

Jean S. McGill researched the Ferrier family. In McGill’s book, “A Pioneer History of the County of Lanark” she provides a vivid description of the economic unrest that followed the Napoleonic wars. Two years of unusual prosperity were followed by severe depression – unemployment, low farm prices, reduced demand, and political disruption. Certain areas of England and Scotland suffered particular hardship, including the western Scotland area of Paisley and Glasgow. There, the weavers were especially hurt as wages, which had peaked at 25 shillings per week in 1803, fell to ten in 1816 (and then to around five in 1819).

This depression was the direct result of the war, during which prices in Britain were driven up by reduced competition from closed borders. The weavers, who, according to McGill, practiced their trade at home, extended their hours continually as competition increased and markets dropped after the war. Coincidentally, soldiers were returning in large numbers from the war to that same region – as it had been the largest supplier of troops–and seeking employment.

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Coastal Nostalgia – #1

Our Inaugural Editorial

Pacific Motor Boat Magazine – Boats of Wood: Men of Steel

Excerpt from Vol. 7 – No. 2 November 1914
I found this ad of interest for two reasons.  First, the cost of accommodation in the wilds of BC; and secondly, the segment of the population they were marketing to.  In 1960, Easterners still considered BC to be wild, woolly and full of trees.  When the Nielsen Family applied to immigrate to Canada, they were seriously told by Government Bureaucrats to avoid BC as all it had to offer were forests and loggers.

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Near and Far: Arriving in Montreal in 1960

The Nielsen Family immigrated to Canada in 1960.  They were heavily guided towards settling in Montreal, Quebec.  They were told that British Columbia wasn’t a good choice for a family as it was full of lumberjacks and wild forests. Ove, Else, Jan (son) and Lene (daughter) arrived by the Polish Liner, MS Batory.  Lars (son) was born Valentine’s Day 1966 in Montreal.

They settled into creating a family life and established their home and business in Dorval (outside Montreal) Quebec.  Eventually, they moved to British Columbia in the late 60’s as the separatist movement hit the province.

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Near and Far: The Little Wood House

This newspaper article is about the home my grandparents built in 1920; my dad was under one year old at that time. My grandfather was a Mill Manager at the Abbotsford Lumber Company on Mill Lake. Their lovely old wood home was a Sears’ Catalogue home. A prefab before it’s time. This clipping is from the local Abbotsford, Sumas, Matsqui News. What I found so fascinating was that even 40+ years ago ‘green’ space was considered an important landscaping concept.

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