I have read somewhere recently that a couple does a service to their children to get away from them and spend quality time with each other. I don’t know where I read this, but it is my story and I’m stickin’ to it. On one of these occasions recently, my husband and I had dinner and took a stroll in Steveston. Checking the internet tonight, I had no idea of the history, (why would I – growing up in Calgary!)
- Down on the southwestern shore of Richmond sits the historic Steveston Village, a once-boisterous frontier seaport and principal port on the Fraser River, founded in 1880 by William Herbert Steves.
- At the turn of the twentieth century, Steveston was the busiest fishing port in the world, with fifteen salmon canneries, six hotels, numerous saloons and gambling dens, and up to fourteen windjammers simultaneously loading canned salmon for world markets. On a Saturday night, 10,000 people thronged the board walks, including Native Indians, Japanese, Chinese, European immigrants, and sailors from the seven seas.
- Now over 100 years old, Steveston has evolved into a picturesque working fishing village, home to Canada’s largest commercial fishing fleet, home base to more than 600 seiners, gillnetters, trawlers and other vessels that line the docks two, sometimes three, abreast.
I am reminded of a funny story going back to 1992 that my Alberta family took part in. We wanted to cook fresh shrimp, right off the boat. For next to no money you could buy a huge bag of shrimp, (heads and tails on) and for 3 times as much, have all the work done for you. Being industrious flat landers we thought, no big deal, we will peel and eat! There is a reason that the word shrimp is used to describe very tiny things. That is because shrimp are tiny creatures and once you do away with all the non edibles, you have a sliver of meat. 10 pounds was not even an appetizer sized portion, it was hilarious.
After our date night dinner we took a drive down the river back towards the tunnel. And we came upon a piece of Richmond history called “The Village of Finn Slough”. It is not surprising that I didn’t know this existed, but neither did my husband the native. However, my father-in-law knew all about it. Here is a posting from Wikipedia:
- Finn Slough is a tiny Fraser River fishing community located at the south end of No. 4 Road in Richmond, British Columbia. The community has approximately 30 residents who live in wooden houses both floating and built on stilts along the marshy river bank. Many of the buildings were built between the late 19th century and 1950s and many have decayed severely, while some have been carefully restored. Finn Slough was founded by Finnish settlers who came to Richmond in the 1880s. Most of these residents made a good living from fishing and ended up as local landowners.
- The sleepy and decaying village of Finn Slough has been repeatedly photographed, and it appears on numerous postcards sold throughout Vancouver tourist shops.
I have been to many, many restaurants on date night, but I have never discovered an unknown slough with homes looking like they belong in a southern US swamp. Good times!