Submitted by Everette Surgenor, Castlegar, BC I believe that Mr. Kagetsu started his logging operation in Fanny Bay in 1923 and his timber license gave him access to timber from the highway up into the mountains between Coal Creek and north to Cougar Smith Creek. He shared a highway railway crossing and dump with Chemainus Logging, just south of the Fanny Bay Inn. My Grandfather Bill Surgenor ran locomotive for Mr. Kagetsu from 1932 to 1942. My Grandparents and their family lived in the camp. I believe that they were the only non-Japanese to do so. They became friends with the Kagetsu’s and would visit them at their home in Horseshoe Bay. There were approximately 100 people in the camp but it differed in substantial ways from other logging camps of the day. Instead of bunkhouses, each logger had his own house made of boards with shake roofs. Wives and children lived in the camp and they had gardens and flower beds. My Mom, who taught pre-school children in the camp to prepare them for attending the Fanny Bay school, said that the beds were made of wood and had wooden pillows. She also said that each house was equipped with a 3 by 4 foot outdoor tub with a metal bottom. The women would build a fire under the tub and heat the water so that the husband could have a bath when he returned from work each day. When 1942 arrived, Mr. Kagetsu lost Deep Bay Logging and his house in Horseshoe Bay overlooking where the ferries dock, as well as other possessions. My Dad believes that a Mr. Fletcher bought all of Deep Bay Logging from the Government, including the timber license, three steam and one gas donkey, 8 or 9 miles of track, extra steel, 15 out of 16 skeleton cars, a speeder, and a locomotive for $15,000. Fletcher went on to have his own logging show in Fanny Bay. I was told that Art Irizawa ( Fuji on the Super Dave Osborne Show ) was born and raised in this camp during the late 30/early 40’s. Photo credit: Kagetsu Saw Mill Courtesy of Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Archives Accession number “2001.06.55”
Deep Bay Logging-the Japanese Camp in Fanny Bay
Sep 10, 2014 | Touched by Dispossession | 8 comments
I have been trying to find the location of the Kagetsu camp for the last couple of years as to geo locate it mark it with signage. This is an important part of our local history that everyone in the Union Bay and Fanny Bay community should be aware of.
I have been up and down Cougar Smith Creek, found track and the occasional cross cut saw. No evidence of where the camp was though. If anyone in your organization has any clues to where the camp location was that would be of great help in achieving my goal.
Important part of the history not only in the area but for Canadian History. I have some maps from a reader a few years ago but couldn’t find the camp, although he said it’s better to go in the off season when the bush is not so overgrown. I’ll email you directly and see if I can get you in touch.
Thank you very much Mike, that would be wonderful. I look forward to hearing from you.
I just saw your post and offer the following comments.I grew up in Mud Bay and have been to the Deep Bay Logging camp as a teenager to dig for bottles etc.We accessed the Camp from the Coal Creek Road- it was just a short walk over the bank to get to it but that was awhile ago.I do know that ( what was then called Cherry Creek just south of the old Stop and Shop) ran through the camp.My Grandparents and family lived in the camp and my Grandfather ran loci for Mr Kagetsu(1932-42).As I understand it the Depp Bay Logging Company dumped logs to the south of the FBI- their tracks intersected with HR Macmillans logging outfit just off the highway between the FBI and whta was then Tweedys garage.
If you desire more infor I can contacy other memners of my family who might be able to add mor info.
Everette Surgenor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apologies for previous text – hit send before proofing.
I too have been looking for evidence of the Kagetsu camp and would love to see your maps if that is appropriate. I live in Fanny Bay. I can be quite certain of their first area here because in about a month and a half countless plum trees burst into flower all around the intersection of Cougar Smith Rd and Hwy 19a.
Looking forward to hearing more.
Deep Bay Logging’s log dump is actually right behind the F.B.I. (Fanny Bay Inn)…
A long breakwater on which track was laid out on into somewhat deeper water was built out off the Cougar Creek spit. There was trail leading down towards it in behind the F.B.I. but it has become quite overgrown with bush over the years.
Ships would sit out on anchor and wait for a good high tide and then come alongside to be loaded. Quite the industrial operation back in the day there in Fanny Bay.
And, oh yeah, some years ago I did come across some photos of ships waiting out there off it but can’t recall where I saw them.
Thank you for the update. Hope you are well.