Saturday, June 19, 2010

story: Forests of Riley Park

It is often good to get a little context in relation to the history of the area when gathering the library one day I came across this little historical anecdote:

In the early 1900's a fellow by the name of Hugh Gunn* was hired to clear Main Street all the way south to 33rd. The idea of course was to expand the community and provide roads. In those days, Hugh needed to cut down a lot of trees since it was dense forest...but what Hugh didn't know when he started the project was that between Main and Fraser was mostly swamp!

Apparently Hugh needed to fit the oxen with snowshoes to allow them to walk on the boggy areas! He certainly didn't want to lose his oxen team disappearing into the swamp!
Imagine that sight: a team of strong oxen wearing snowshoes!

The rest of the forest from 33rd south to 41st wasn't logged and cleared for housing until the 1950's.
Until that time folks continued to hunt for rabbits in there... if you can believe it!

*Hugh Gunn unfortunately blew himself up while building Hastings Street many years later.

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