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  • Hastings Mill MuseumHastings Mill Museum Vancouver, Canada
    Hastings Mill was originally a lumber saw mill that sat on the south banks of the Burrard Inlet, becoming the first commercial endeavor in the site that would grow into the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. The mill's first owner was Captain Edward Stamp, who planned a saw mill in the area, bought and brought the equipment from England, during 1867, and after initial hardships and difficulties, was able to build the lumber mill and start cutting lumber for export. After just two short years, Stamp retired and closed down the mill, and it went into receivership until bought by Dickson, DeWolf and Company of San Francisco; which renamed the mill the Hastings Sawmill Company or just plain Hastings Mill. As the years passed, the small settlement grew, at first a company town, with Hastings Mill Store being the general store used by all those around the area, and the Hastings Mill School where their children would attend. Soon the school was teaching children from the opposite side of the inlet, called Moodyville, and the sawmill was supplying all the needs of the area's residents and businesses. Sometime during the early 1880s, the Canadian Pacific Railroad arrived in the small city, which would become the western terminus for the transcontinental railroad. The railroad would help the region grow, bringing passengers and supplies from the east, and other parts of the continent. The sawmill, however, was still the biggest influence yet in the town, and would stay an important part of the city's economy until it closed in the 1920s. After the mill closed down, the building that is was held in was then transported to the foot of Alma Street, where it would become the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum. It is being managed by the Native Daughters of British Columbia, and highlights many wonderful Native American, immigrant and pioneer relics; as well as being one of the few buildings to survive the great fire of 1886; which allowed it to be used as a hospital and later morgue for the victims of that fire.  The Native Daughters of British Columbia were able to get the old mill in 1929, when it was scheduled to be razed, and make room for new developments that might happen in the city. A committee was created that would talk with Eric Hamber, the owner of the mill store and have it moved to the bottom of Alma Road. Mr. Hamber had no objections, and the old building was then moved by barge along the river to its new site. In January of 1932, it was officially made a museum and opened for the public. It was called the "Pioneer Museum", in memory of the many pioneers that helped build the city and all therein, but its original name, the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum, was used more often, and soon the name of the Pioneer Museum became an old memory and finally forgotten altogether. There are numerous artifacts and relic s of the period, both from pioneers and native Americans, with upper floor used as a meeting room and lounge and the caretaker using the first floor for his needs. 

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  • Ecowalk Tours VancouverEcowalk Tours Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    There are a great number of tours around the city of Vancouver, Canada, and one such company called Coastal Revelations offers some of the more spectacular options that you can try; including guided private tours, either walking or hiking tours, tours in the rainforest, nature tours, ecotours, wildlife viewing, sightseeing, marine life, bird watching, nordic skiing or showshoeing tours. One of the goals of the company can be seen on their site, where the phrase "adventure is not in the guidebook and beauty is not on the map. Seek and ye shall find". Their marine life ecotour is called Essence of the Sea: Nature tours of Vancouver Island's beaches and tide pools and looks to be quite exciting and allows you to enjoy watching all the creatures of the deep. Another is the rainforest tour, which is called Passage to Eden: Vancouver Island rainforest tours of giant trees/Cathedral Grove and beyond; which included visiting the magnificent and huge trees, with many enjoying circumferences as big as 30 feet and more that include; Sitka Pine, Douglas Fir and western Red Cedar. There are still many areas of old growth rainforests, and the BC Big Tree Registry would be the best place to find where these are hidden. Another great and exciting tour is the alpine hiking tour called; Ascent to Paradise: Alpine Wilderness Adventures.  There are numerous tours in this grouping, that has you hiking through the mountains, or valleys with incredible sights and excellent hiking or walking. The wildlife viewing tours allow you to enjoy the fantastic sights of elk, otters, seals, bears, eagles, and more. Their birdwatching tours offer you up to 250 varieties of birds, to watch or photograph or just enjoy seeing them in their own environments. Because this is such a wild area of the country, the many opportunities abound for those wanting to get closer to nature and all of her attributes, with many more glamorous tours that will thrill you to no end and give you the best vacations in your life.

January 11, 2011