The “City of Nanaimo”
Capt. Foote and Charlie McFarlan
The steamship “City of Nanaimo” served Denman around 1900.
The “Charmer”
Beginning with the early days of pioneer settlement until after WW II steamships operated by Union Steamships and the CPR ran from Victoria and Nanaimo up to Comox often calling at Denman Island. Until the first dock on Denman was built in 1886 passengers and freight were taken off and landed using small craft. The “Charmer” was one of the ships which called at Denman from before WW I until 1935.
The “Charmer”
“The Rex” 1923-1930
Alby Graham used his tug the “Rex” or his other tug the “Diane” to pull a raft behind it which could hold one car. When not ferrying people, freight and cars to Denman from Buckley Bay, the “Rex” was used to move log booms around Georgia Strait.
Inauguration of regular government subsidized ferry service in 1930
The first contract was held by A. H. Swan who used the tug “Garry Point II to push a scow across with one car. In 1935 the Baikie Bros. took over the contract using the launch “Moniker” to push the scow and then in 1940 replaced it with the “Billie B”. In 1954 the Ministry of Highways took over the service.
The “Moniker” with the scow at the Denman dock 1935- 1940
The Baikie Bros. boat “Billie B. in the foreground 1941-1954
Model of the “Billie B”
The “Billie B” was built in Vancouver shipyards and served as the Denman Island ferry from 1941 to 1954. This replica was made by Bill Stout who was a deckhand for many years. Captain Jack Bradley, skipper of the “Billie B” donated the model to the museum.
Scow arriving on Denman
probably early 1930s
“Catherine Graham” at Denman ferry slip
The “Catherine Graham” served Denman Island from Buckley Bay. It was operated by the Ministry of Highways from 1954 to 1973 and carried 8 cars.
The “Catherine Graham” at Buckley Bay
The “Catherine Graham” was replaced by the much larger 26 car “Denman Queen” in 1973, later renamed the “Klitsa”, which was replaced by the “Kahloke” in 1978, which was replaced by the “Quinitsa” in 1987.