Readers wade in with river pilings theories

You know that old saying, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes?

Well, there's a third one, too: helpful readers.

Whenever our Readers Reporter department can't find the answer to a question -as is sometimes the case with history queries - Daily News readers happily come to the rescue.

Last week, we ran a question about some old wood pilings in the water behind RiverBend Seniors complex in Brocklehurst. A reader wanted to know the story behind them.

Transport Canada said it's looking into the situation as a potential boating hazard, but was unable to tell us much of anything about the pilings' origins.

So Daily News readers waded in with some plausible answers.

Chase resident Peter Anthony phones to say those wood postings are remnants from the old logging days.

"Back in the '30s and '40s, they ran big log booms down the river, and you'll notice there are pilings all the way up to the Chase area, all the way up the river," said Anthony.

"And what they were for is, the guys that were on the booms, it would help them to guide the logs down the river. The pilings would keep the logs out of the back eddies and stuff, so they didn't get hung up."

In the case of the Brock pilings, which jut out from the shore almost to the middle of the river, it's possible they were used as a collection point or as a temporary stopping point to slow the progress of a boom as the log drivers guided it to sawmills downstream.

Now, that's not the only answer we received.

Daily News reader Vee Nolan emailed with a some ideas.

"A friend of ours said the pilings . . . were perhapsinstalled as a foundationto housea pier or dockand probably usedas a stop-off pointbythe old sternwheeler/paddle wheelersthat were usedon the Thompson River to transport goods prior to railroadsbeing built," wrote Nolan.

"Sounds quite logical and may beworth checking that avenue out for an answer. Good luck."

We also received an email from an unidentified writer, who said, "That is the old water pickup pipe for Brocklehurst."

Keep the suggestions coming. We're still hoping to nail this one down.

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