Nowadays there are plenty of children in Whistler, but when Norm Barr was a child he was the only kid for miles around.
Norm lived at Parkhurst sawmill on Green Lake until he was 6 years old and his family moved to Squamish. He was the only child in the settlement. (Although there were one or two other children scattered about the valley.)
Norm did, however, have the company of a pet deer, named Lady.
By all accounts, Lady seemed to have been a rather difficult pet. She loved fresh bread and, on occasion, she would sneak up and take a bite out of a newly baked loaf, much to the ire of the camp cook.
Eventually, Lady’s bad behaviour meant that the family had to get rid of her. She was jealous and would be aggressive towards guests who stole her limelight. The family decided to give Lady to the Stanley Park Zoo and she was released on Salt Spring Island. Norm, however, had lost his playmate.
Just before the Barrs left Parkhurst, another family, the Alarics, moved to the end of Green Lake and set up a small portable sawmill there. They had children, so Norm at last had the company of other kids. This was not always a good thing, however, as Norm would get himself into trouble with the other boys.
He recalls: “We were told not to walk on the flume. Well, being boys that was the first place we walked and I fell off the damn flume into this pile of sharp sticks and I got up and walked away. I was so lucky. I could've rammed one of those things right through me. They were long, sharp as a knife and I fell a long ways. But, you know, being kids you bounce. Anyways I, of course, was soaking wet, because the flume was dumping its water on me, and I went back to the house that night and I stood behind the stove all night trying to dry out cause I was afraid to tell Mr. and Mrs. Alaric that I fell off of the flume.”
Nowadays the resort is full of families and it’s typical to see kids of all ages bombing down the slopes or just playing in the snow.
To cater to all of these children, the museum is running a Kids Après afternoon every Thursday in February and March from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Entry is by donation and there will be plenty of kids’ activities, including LEGO building, a scavenger hunt and colouring. We also have a button maker where children can draw their own pictures and make them into a button or magnet to take home. There are activities for all age groups and visitors also get to enjoy the museum's exhibits. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
In other museum news, Rob Boyd and Tom Prochazka have recently been added as guest speakers to our upcoming Speaker Series event happening on Wednesday (Feb. 19). Find out more by visiting our blog at blog.whistlermuseum.org.
Sarah Drewery is the executive director of the Whistler Museum.