Exploring the Evolution of Mamquam Blind Channel with Eric Andersen
Eric Andersen stands along Mamquam Blind Channel on a crisp spring day and points to a friend’s home on Hospital Hill as his mind searches for a childhood memory. “I have a picture of me and my brother standing there looking at the Interfor Mill being built,” he says, smiling.
A long-time Squamish resident, a serving municipal councillor and a local historian with a prodigious memory, Eric has seen many things that will be just ‘history’ to many of us. This Sunday, hear him make a sliver of the past visible with a talk on the culture, geography and history of the Mamquam Blind Channel.
On May 7, from 2 pm to 3:30 pm, Andersen will give a presentation on “The Past Present and Future of the Mamquam Blind Channel” at Cordelia’s Locket, a cafe and wine bar located at 38038 Loggers Lane in Downtown Squamish. His mission, he says in his trademark animated style, is to raise awareness and give the Mamquam Blind Channel the love it deserves.
“MBC needs love and respect and it can only come from better knowledge and awareness of its history and its geography,” Andersen says. “This is where the downtown started at Mashiter Landing, and this is where the railway had its hub….all the eras of Squamish development are represented here,” he says, conjuring the past he will spotlight this Sunday at Cordelia’s Locket.
His presentation will trace the blind channel through the eras, starting with the pre-contact history of First Nation villages along the channel, followed by the influx of Europeans settlers, and then the railways and the tourists that gave the blind channel—and Squamish—a distinct shape and identity.
He will share interesting snippers of information such as this. “This wasn’t just a blind channel but a river. Old maps have blind channel’s name as the east branch of the Squamish River as the river used to wrap around downtown on the east and west side of the town. We will trace the changes in the use of this channel, from 1860s to today and part of that is the long process of transformation that we are still witnessing today,” he says.
As the community grows, Andersen says thousands more will be living along the channel and that would meaning looking at the ecological restoration of the channel as well. From ecology to culture to economy and a place thousands will call home in the future, the Mamquam Blind Channel continues to evolve along with the community.
See here for tickets and more information on the event.