Calgary Auto Club Camping Grounds on St. Patrick's Island
Postcards from the Past, PC 1603
The Heritage Roundtable on the 23rd of this month is called “Islands in the stream.” Historians Donna Zwicker and John Gilpin and archaeologist Brian Vivian will talk about the islands that dot the Bow River. Donna has been researching Archer’s Island, which I had never heard of before this. You haven’t either? You should join us at Eau Claire Market Community Room on June 23rd at 7:00.
There are lots of little islands in the Bow. Some have become well known, St. George’s, for example, houses the zoo. Prince’s Island started out as being more of an isthmus until Peter Prince blew a channel in the river to allow for easier passage of logs to his mill. St. Patrick’s island, once well used as a tree farm and then a campground, is undergoing a restoration to its original use as parkland, as part of the revitalization of the East Village. There was also a third “Saint” island, St. Andrew’s (the three islands in the Bow were named for the patron saints of the then United Kingdom, St. George of England, St. Patrick of Ireland and St. Andrew of Scotland. A fourth island, St. David’s for Wales was mentioned but no other evidence can be found of its existence. St. Andrew’s island has since disappeared – the lagoon between it and St. Patrick’s was filled in, effectively making them one island.)
Something I learned in my research on islands is that islands belong to the Federal government (or Dominion government, as it was called at the time of Calgary’s founding). The Calgary had to ask the Dominion government for the right to use these islands. The city was deeded the islands for use as parks.
There is a lot to be learned about the islands in our “stream” so I am looking forward to the Heritage Roundtable event. I hope to see you there. To register for the event by calling 403-244-4111 or online at http://www.calgarycommunities.com/events.php (just select “Roundtables - Islands in the Stream” from the drop-down menu)
St. George's Island
Postcards from the Past, PC 1701