As the name of this boat indicates, you might find yourself Killin' Time waiting for the next tide to take you out to work or off on your next pleasure cruise. Or maybe just heading out to get some fish for supper. Or breakfast. [My partner spent one memorable season fishing for mackerel in the Atlantic and he would often arrive home (to the abandonned house we lived in) with fresh fish for breakfast. Steamed mackerel with new potatoes, I have to say, makes a delicious way to start the day. But I digress...]
The beginning of Finn Slough stretches back to the early 1890s when a group of Finnish people, mostly coal miners and loggers, arrived in the area of south Richmond, BC to buy land with access to the Fraser River so that they could work as fishermen (go figure!) and harvest the rich salmon runs. They cleared the land, put in crops, and built fishing boats. In 1900 they moved from the original settlement to what is now known as Finn Slough.
By 1910 there was a solid group of fishermen here, even though it was a remote place in those days, situated a whole day's journey, one way, from Vancouver. Isolation was eased, to say nothing of the back-breaking labour of fishing, when in the 1920s the fishermen adapted gas motors for their boats. The ensuing 1930's proved to be the busiest decade for this fishing village.
It also became home to more ‘outsiders’ who didn’t speak Finn, but who worked alongside the 2nd and 3rd generation of the original settlers.
Eventually, logging took over from fishing, hastening the decline of salmon stocks as well as the community.
"Even that industry is on its last legs now. What we are left with is a memory of how things were and Finn Slough is an important three dimensional, living, part of that memory. The village developed without the organization of property boundaries, city ordinances, provincial regulations or any governing body. Even so it has been an example of how a community can be carefully built and self regulated to work in harmony with the environment and having as little impact on it as possible. The village is not only a historical artifact it is also an example of a possible way forward to find more creative solutions to the present destruction of the Fraser basin by non stop urbanization."
(quotes and paraphrasing from A Small History of Finn Slough by David Dorrington). For more information on this intriguing place, and others' photos, do follow the link
(but please get off your bike to do so).