A Story of How It All Came About!
Here's a story, wild and true, how this little town just grew and grew - and grew and grew and grew.
Back in the Old West, 2001, a young, well that might be a stretch, cowpoke by the handle of High Country Amigo grew tired of city life and decided to, "Go west, young man! Go west." Approximately 5 miles away as it turned out.
He wandered far and wide, not so much, until he found the spot he thought would be an acceptable place to build a town.
Nestled in the woods at the east end of Comox Lake, he acquired a plot of land from the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association and proceeded to begin building what would become known as 'BOOMTOWN!' Courtenay Kid and High Country Amigo staked out the boundaries of the town in February, 2006.
With the lake so close, food and water weren't a problem. The forest was good for hunting and trees good for building the new community.
Now all he needed was to convince family, friends and even strangers that this was a worthwhile endeavor. This didn't turn out to be any problem at all. As word spread, as it tends to do, even back in the sticks, townspeople came from all over the Island; some from as far away as Victoria, don't ya know.
There weren't many townsfolk at the beginning, but they were an eager and productive bunch. They became known as the Valley Regulators and included High Country Amigo and his older sons, Andy, Nick and Eric. The rest of the family would get involved later. Old Al and Komox were instrumental in starting Boomtown, but Old Al passed on before the building of the town started.
Land was cleared by horse and wagon, also excavators, hoes, tractors and dump trucks. The town was built with lots of manpower, and even some woman power, and lots and lots of hours of volunteer time.
Trees were felled and hauled to the town site by horses, well horsepower anyway, and also 4-wheelers. Logs came from the trap and skeet shooting range in May, 2006. Blind Bart and Ticklewood Kid peeled the logs for the livery in July. Little Edgy, Nevada Jim, Dodge City Kitty and Crazy Horse joined the group that year.
Range plans were developed by High Country in January of 2007. In March, Stan Ziolkowski lent the club the use of his portable mill, to mill the wood for the saloon, on site. Captain Jesse Moore, Kananaskis Kid, Yukon, Erick and Ron Watanabe got involved. Whistlin' Will could be seen working hard when the gang got together for a work party. In April the gate posts were installed. Caycuse Kid and his trusty horse, ummm, tractor, were moving dirt. Haweater Hal and Victoria Diamond helped peel logs for fence posts.
The first building to be constructed, wouldn't you know, was the Longhorn Saloon. Building a town is mighty thirsty work and cowpokes and miners need a place to 'wet their whistle.' Walls, roof, bar and stove for them cold, winter nights, were built. Thirsty visitors and townsfolk could come in for a sarsaparilla. The saloon foundation was laid and building begun in May, 2007. Casanay Farms donated an old barn to the club to use the materials in their building projects. The roof was put on the saloon in August. The interior would be completed during the next few years.
A tunnel was dug, well built above ground and covered, but who's keepin' track. Blind Bart, our local miner, undertook the building of the tunnel with help from Terrance Walker. This is now the entranceway from the horse corral, aka the parking area, into Boomtown. It was completed in February, 2008.
A fun shoot happened in September that saw all the volunteers enjoying the range. Pikanni Pete, Yuma Bird, Miss Beadazzled, Prairie Buck, and Century Sam were some of the shooters.
By now some more folks had moved to town: Wild Country Kate, Senorita Itchy Finger, Low Country Amigo and the rest of the High Country clan not all who needed to adopt an alias to remain allusive, Pikanni Pete, Crow's Nest Gordie, Judge, Little Edgy, Lady Dove, Slim Delgado and Debbie, The Swede, Jolly Swagman, Timmy Boy, Gear Jammer, Old Northwest, Century Sam, Yuma Bird, Tangleweed and Rim Fire to name a few.
Next came the livery stable, a place to fix wagons and wheels, make horseshoes and build other necessary metal products. High Country, a blacksmith by trade, needed to support his wife and family.
Dunsmuir House came next. It was named after a family from Cumberland and was erected in early 2008.
Other stages were finished in 2008 and the fort was built to protect the town from hostiles.
The locals set up a monthly competition to let the rowdies blow off steam.
The first 'Bust Up At Boomtown' saw over 70 shooters taking part. This Single Action Shooting Society, (SASS) regional shoot was held at Boomtown in 2008 and 2009. Cowboys and cowgirls dressed the part and completed stages over a two-day period. Shooters came from BC, Alberta, Ontario and one from Europe to compete and enjoy the fun.
They also set up an annual competition, which they called 'SHOWDOWN IN THE VALLEY,' to which they invited other gunslingers from the island and whoever else was willing to travel from afar. The first one was held in July, 2009.
The jail was built in July, 2009. As with most, not so Old West towns, there was bound to be some brawlin' and gunfightin.'
The mercantile was the next full building added to the town, as the locals needed some place to buy dry goods, furniture, guns, and other materials. The most recent building to be added is the Comox Valley Railway depot. It houses visitor's gun carts, props and targets.
With the town still growing and more people moving west all the time, there are still plans to maybe build a bank, a church up on the hill, so Preacher Man John can come by for sermons and weddings and such. An assay office and hotel are possible for the future. Thank you to Miss Belle Fire for putting this album together. There is a link below where you can view the whole album. Above are just some of the images Sharon put in the album for the club.