From the Hope slide comes beautiful rock furniture

From tragedy comes beauty

Museum manager Sharon Ives shows Ava Carpenter

When the southwest slope of Johnson Peak collapsed in January of 1965, it sent about 60 million cubic yards of rock down a 6,000-foot slope, burying the highway and four people 300 feet deep.

Known forever after in B.C. as the Hope Slide, at least a little of that tragic jumble of rock was turned into something beautiful and is now available for viewing a the Qualicum Beach Museum.

“Cliff Smith and his wife Dorothy went up to the slide and cut slabs of the rock, which Cliff used to make miniature furniture,” said museum spokesperson Graham Beard.

That miniature furniture, he said, shows a high degree of craftsmanship, reflecting the great love and care put into the project.

“He was incredible,” Beard said. “He had to cut them to the right thickness and once he got the slabs he had to select them for the type of furniture he wanted to build, cut them precisely, polish them and glue them. I can’t imagine how many thousands of hours he put into it.”

Those hours were well-spent, resulting in a set that is a true thing of beauty.

“All the chests of drawers open and he has petrified wood for logs in the fireplace,” Beard said. “There’s a little TV with the image of a hockey game on it, at record player, lamps and a grandfather clock with a pendulum that swings.”

Beard had run into Smith in the course of his paleontological work.

“He collected for many, many years and donated some amazing things,” Beard said. “He donated a set of 700-million year old jellyfish from the Precambrian and some whale skulls I’m cleaning right now.”

Smith, who died two years ago, also donated the miniatures to the museum and they are now on display in the community cupboard section of the museum.

The Qualicum Beach Museum is open Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Hope’s visitor centre re-opens, as tourism revs up in the area

Visitor centre, area tourism businesses open doors as B.C. travel allowed by provincial government

Harrison Festival Society unveils further summer lineup

Children’s concert, drum making on deck for July 15 and 18

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board says sales double in June, buyers returning to market

Month’s property sales rebound 113% over May’s sales, 32% over June last year

Return of the Jedi – and the Chilliwack Cultural Centre art gallery

The O’Connor Group Art Gallery re-opens today with Chris Woods’ Star Wars themed paintings

Fraser River may surge one more time next week

It’s unusual for the Fraser River to peak twice in one season, let alone three times

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Investigation clears RCMP in incident where man fell from Langley overpass

‘Officers acted commendably and placed themselves at risk’ police watchdog report finds

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Rural Chilliwack residents asked to stay indoors, lock doors amid heavy police presence

Heavy police presence in rural Chilliwack neighbourhood as RCMP contend with ‘serious situation’

Councillor Doug Elford Surrey’s acting mayor during McCallum’s “health concern” absence

Mayor issued a statement Tuesday night saying he’ll be back on the job by Monday

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read