Labour Day

Monday, September 5 from noon to 2pm the Museum at Campbell River will be celebrating Labour Day by running their 1916 Empire Steam Donkey.  This annual event is always a fun afternoon for families, and includes the popular donkey boiler coffee, apple pie, signalling demonstrations, and family-friendly activities.  Guests will have a demonstration with the steam whistle and experience coastal history at this free event.

As one of the largest artifacts in the collection, the Steam Donkey greets visitors at the entrance to the Museum, where it has been located since 1994.  Built in False Creek, Vancouver, this piece of logging equipment worked on the coast in Knox Bay on West Thurlow Island, as well as Hardwicke Island, Boughey Bay, Minstrel Island, Lull Bay, Glendale Cove, and finally at the head of Knight Inlet, where it was eventually abandoned.  Looking up at this massive piece of equipment, it was hard to imagine in the 1920s to 1940s that it was transported to so many places. 

In 1988 it was pulled from the bush and brought to Campbell River through the combined efforts of Fletcher Challenge and the Campbell River Rotary Club.  It was restored to working condition and steamed up for the first time in 2004 on Labour Day.   The annual tradition of bringing it to steam, blowing the whistle, and gathering to reminisce of the days when steam power reined has continued in Campbell River ever since.

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