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Page last updated February 22, 2011
© Michael Kluckner
|Written/sketched 2002: No one has maintained a place as authentically quaint and historically accurate as Elizabeth Little, proprietor of St. Andrew's Lodge and "Glen Cottages" along the beach. A plaque on the door reads: "Opened August 1, 1938 by Simon, Dora, Robert & Elizabeth Little. Operated by Elizabeth Little, August 1, 1998." As I discovered in August, 2002, when we happened upon it and were able to get a small room inside the lodge for the night, it is a charming place, with all the eccentricity of an English boarding house and the character of a holiday a lifetime ago. Confirming that was an acquaintance of mine, a man named Bruce Box, whom I ran into while sketching on the beach. He and his wife have come every year for the past 59!|
(Newspaper article [Times-Colonist?] courtesy of Bruce Box)
Note from Lorrie Jamieson, 2009: "Your watercolour of "St Andrews Lodge" in Qualicum, and its accompanying text, has brought back a flood of memories for me. Right beside the Lodge is Buller Road, and right down at the end of that road, on the beach, is where I grew up. There is a beautiful waterfront luxury "get-away" there now, but back from 1952 to 1959, when I was ages 3 to 10, there was a fine-looking Cape Cod on the property and my parents rented it, for $60/month, from the Clarkes, who lived across the road. Mr. Clarke had built the house sometime during the forties, I believe. The rent didn't change in that entire time. It was an idyllic place, and I and my two brothers and sister all agree it was the defining time of our lives. My parents retired back to Qualicum (Eaglecrest) in 1983, and I believe thought about that old house, but alas by that time waterfront was the place to be and the price was out of reach. The owner of St. Andrews Lodge, Mr. Little, was quite elderly when I knew him, but nevertheless he was my bestest friend in the whole world. He probably thought I was a little pest, but I just adored him! Before I started Grade 1, my daily routine was not complete until he and I had taken a walk up and down Buller or a short piece along the Highway. Sometimes I was on my tricycle and sometimes I just walked, but it was a treat whichever way it happened. I remember he had a cane and wooden leg that squeaked and I was absolutely fascinated. Our house was vacation central for all manner of friends and family. We were hardly ever without houseguests, and some families would send their kids over from the mainland the day after school ended and not expect to see them back until Labour Day. One time we had 25 people staying in the house (or the yard or in campers and tents) and it wasn't even a family reunion. And there was only one bathroom! My parents, who were by no means wealthy, never turned anyone away, though, so we ate a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers during the summer. Qualicum was a magical place back then. I only remember it as sunny and bright ... I'm sure it didn't rain or snow or get cold during the '50s. It was only after we moved back to the mainland that winters came into my life.
"My parents lived in Qualicum until their deaths four years ago (my mother died, and then my father just lost heart and was gone within months ... funny, and sad, how that happens). I haven't been back since. Although I constantly drove by the Lodge when they lived there, I never stopped in. Occasionally I'd go down to our old house, but it's private property now, and I'd feel like it was trespassing. Somehow the beach just isn't the same as when I was four. Although I'd move to a cabin on the beach in a nanosecond if I won the lottery!"
The postcards below of this property are 1940s or 1950s watercolours by the artist Edward Goodall (1909-1982), who had a lot of his work published as postcards and was a favorite watercolourist on Vancouver Island, dividing his time between Qualicum Beach and Victoria, for many years. He also did black-and-white illustrations for C.P. Lyons' Milestones on Vancouver Island. He is part of a two-hundred year tradition of artists in his family.
Watercolours by Edward Goodall, reproduced as postcards. They have picked up brighter colours and higher contrast, I would guess, during their reproduction, as his originals are considerably softer in tone.
Above (photographer unknown), the old Log Cabin Inn was built in 1925 by Alec Fraser for General Money, allegedly so that the latter's daughter could have a respectable place to dance. Noel Money was managing director of the golf club and the Qualicum Beach Hotel, built by Merchants Trust and Trading Company. The Log Cabin Inn has been demolished.
From Brian Olson, Elk Grove, CA, 2011: I found your website and am wondering if you know of any postcards or pictures of the Ravine Auto Court cabins in Qualicum Beach other than the one I've attached? They were built right next door to the Shady Rest restaurant along the beach. I found out the fire department destroyed them in the 70s during a controlled burn exercise. I'm sure they were in poor condition by then. My father-in-law lived there as a boy in the late 40s and early 50s. His name is Grant Armstrong and his parents who owned the cabins were Wallace and Agnes Armstrong.
||Left, a postcard by J. Fred Spalding of the
Camera Products Company, Vancouver, probably in the 1930s. This
building still exists.