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Day 14 - Free day at Peace River, AB

This morning we were treated to a pancake and sausage feast prepared by our staff, with Larry Lee helping at the griddle.

The day started with beautiful sunshine which lasted much of the day. However, dark clouds were threatening us to the North.

Fortunately, we did not have to resort to barbeque sauce on the pancakes.

A man's work is never done. Skeeter and Larry are returning from washing the cookware. We're proud of you gentlemen!

Some of us went into town to stop at the Tourist Information Center in Peace River. It is located in a restored train station.

Inside they have a couple of rooms with period displays. This one had a "Steamer Trunk" ... it looks like it would work beautifully today.

The lady at The Information Center directed us up a road that led to a couple of historic landmarks. The first one was for Dr. William Greene, a local dentist. According to the New York Sun of 1910, he was one of the first 8 men to fly. A year later, he was the first man to fly with three passengers. He came to Peace River in 1911 to pursue his dental career after he ran out of money on his aviation venture.

This monument was erected by the Masonic Lodge of Peace River to honor Greene and his accomplishments.

A view of the Peace River valley. The town is to the right along the river and the local ski area can be seen across the river in the center of the picture.


This was supposed to be the monument to Twelve-Foot Davis, although there was no marker identifying it. We later learned it had been removed for renovation and was scheduled to be re-installed soon.

Henry Fuller Davis was one of the original "Forty Niners" of the California gold rush, he soon moved on to the Caribou area of east central British Columbia. The new rush there had attracted so many gold seekers that by the time Davis arrived, all the prime claim areas had been staked out. Two miners were doing particularly well at two adjacent claims. Though he was unable to read and write, Davis discovered that there was a 12-foot (3.4 metres) gap between them. He quickly filed on this narrow strip and within a short period of time, had extracted between $12,000 and $30,000 dollars worth of gold from it. This was the origin of the nickname he bore for the rest of his life ‘Twelve Foot’ Davis.


Davis had a plan for his hard-earned cash. He made his way over to the Peace region of Alberta and built a homestead at Sagitawa. He established a network of trading posts and maintained an outfit of packhorses, in direct competition to the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Upon further investigation, we found this statue in the city park honoring good-old Twelve-Foot Davis. The statue is approximately 12 ft tall, and is carved of wood. The inscription reads:
"LEGEND OF TWELVE-FOOT DAVIS
Pathfinder, Pioneer, Miner and Trader.
He was every man's friend,
and never locked his cabin door."

To read more about Davis, click here.


On our first stop at The Information Center we were told about the cookout they were having to raise money for people who had lost their homes in a recent forest fire.

So we decided to help support them and go back for lunch. They were the best hamburgers any of us had tasted for a long time. Money well spent!

The next place we visited was the Sagitawa Friendship Centre. In partnership with community agencies and service providers, the Sagitawa Friendship Centre provides opportunities and programs that assist Aboriginal People to feel valued, supported and capable of reaching their full potential.

Inside we found quite a variety of original work by local Aboriginal people. This is a design made from tufted moose and caribou hair.

These are beautifully carved "Talking Sticks". They are used when First Nation people are in a group and need to discuss important topics. Whoever has the talking stick, is the only person who is allowed to talk. If you want to add to the discussion, you must ask for the talking stick. This way only one person is talking at a time. Great idea!

While we were there we met Tracy Zweifel, the Executive Director of the Centre. She has such a wealth of knowledge of the traditions of the Aboriginal people it was just astounding. She talked to us for over an hour and a half and we were just mesmerized the entire time.

Larry and Ann Lee drove across the Dunvegan suspension bridge over the Peace River. It was opened in 1960 and is Alberta's largest vehicular suspension bridge and the fourth largest in Canada at 2,375 feet long. (Ann Lee)

When we finally returned to the campground, there were six of us ready for a glass of wine. Well, lets have a wine tasting party and see who would like to join us! Soon we had people arriving with bottles of wine, cheese and crackers, nuts, and all sorts of munchies to go with wine. It was a great way to finish a fun day of exploring and share our tales of the day.

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