Vintage Vignettes 1 -18

Have you ever wondered what life was like in a small island community in simpler times?  Imagine: no ferries, no electricity, few roads or cars, no medical services, ambulance or firefighters. Back then life was what you made of it, with the help of your neighbours. Local self-reliance meant gathering and growing food, rowing and walking to get around, and generally having a great deal of practical knowledge and skills. And making your own entertainment. But that doesn’t mean life was dull. Not at all.


Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society

Vintage Vignettes, a joint project of Cortes Community Radio and Cortes Island Museum and Archives, brings you “radio snapshots” of local life in simpler times. We focus on colourful characters and memorable events, from winter sledding to major earthquakes.  These brief episodes feature dramatized voices from the past with archive recordings of music from the “Old Timers”, a dance band that played locally for several decades.

Cortes Radio and Cortes Island Museum and Archives thanks the whole crew of volunteers who bring Vintage Vignettes to you:

Museum Research: Bonnie McDonald, Nancy Kendel, Lynne Jordan.

Scripts: Brittany Baxter

Production: Greg Osoba, David Rousseau, Andy Vine.

Voice Coach: Anne Wasyliw

Voice Actors: Elizabeth Anderson, Connie Brill, Andy Ellingsen, Bobo Fraser, Oriane Lee Johnston, Lynne Jordan, Patricia Leroux, John Nursall, Greg Osoba, Kim Paulley, Amy Robertson, David Rousseau, George Sirk, Sheryl Thompson, Anne Wasyliw, Rex Weyler.

If you would like to sponsor a Vintage Vignette, please contact Cortes Radio at, or call the museum at 250 935-6340.

Episode #1

Lost Teeth

Hot off the press from the late 1940’s Whaletown National Enquirer!

Episode #2

The Wharf is Out

Penned by Peg Pyner, reporting for the Manson’s Landing Mirror, Nov. 5, 1954

Episode #3

Escape the Antihill Ruminations from retired logger Elton Anderson, questioning the soundness of his decision to move away from Cortes Island and take up residence on the Vancouver anthill.

Episode #4

Moving a Cow to Cortes

From the typewriter of Mary Ward, reporting for the Cortes Grapevine 1964

Episode #5


When an earthquake hit the islands in 1946, it left the islanders a little shaken up. Reverend RM Boas reports.

Episode #6

Overland Route

The first overland drive the length of Cortes Island; a True Tale of Travel and Adventure as told by Frank Hayes.

Episode #7

Women Loggers

Women loggers!  Barbara Thompson looks back on her days of being a logger in Carrington Bay

Episode #8


A tale from Gladys Houghton-Brown Rekert about her first adventure up to Cortes aboard the Union Steamship in 1927!

Episode #9

Post Office

The first Squirrel Cove Post Office. From the desk of the Post Office Inspector, Victoria BC, August 19th, 1915. To a Mr. D. Forrest of Squirrel Cove.

Episode #10


Now that’s a load of chores! From an interview with Larry Borland, resident of 821 Sutil Point Rd from 1948-1968

Episode #11

Big Dance

A lively dance!. Penned by Peggy Pyner, reporting for the Manson’s Landing Mirror in 1955.

Episode #12

Mouse Pie

Mouse pie! Now introducing Peter Police, the man, the myth, the legend.

Episode #13

Holiday Hooch

Loggers moonshine. Mary McMillan tells this story about Joe Gregson, a real Cortes Old-Timer

Episode #14

Frozen Pipes

From the delightful memoirs of Violet Herrewig.

Episode #15


Winter! Ron Forrest, Shirley Cole, Fred Reedel, and Elaine McKenzie remember the days of snow on Cortes.

Episode #16

Phone Is Out

Nude lineman above! Larry Borland has this story about being on call for the phone crew in most unfortunate weather.

Episode #17

New Years Party

New Years Dance. Penned by Peggy Pyner, reporting for the Manson’s Landing Mirror on January 5th, 1958

Episode #18

Christmas Party

A Cortes Christmas story from 1932, as told by Rachel Houghton-Brown when she was 95 years old