You may think that a fridge is only used for conventional things such as keeping cucumbers, Coca-Cola, and beer cool. However, there are many other uses for old refrigerators. In the museum, we have a fridge that serves as a chronological monument documenting Whistler life from the beginnings of our ski town to the famous destination resort it is today. Gordy Harder’s fridge truly is a tribute to the spirit of the early ski bum – and, of course, “stickermania” at its best.
Bruce Prentice and Bob Sanderson (r.) smoking and hanging fish. Whistler Museum, Benjamin collection, early 1970s
One more purpose of a fridge is – believe it or not – salmon smoking. In the early 1970s, this old fridge actually garnished the backyard of the Worlebury Lodge on Alta Lake Road, a property which is now owned by Roger McCarthy. Back then, using an old fridge was a common way of smoking a fish or meat, remembers long-term local and president of the Whistler Museum, John Hetherington.
Do-it-yourself salmon smoking fridge with Bruce Prentice in the background. Whistler Museum, Benjamin collection, early 1970s
Promising: Bruce Prentice kissing fresh fish from Alta Lake to be smoked in the old fridge in the back of Worlebury Lodge. Whistler Museum, Benjamin collection, early 1970s
Someone would get an old fridge from the dump, cut a hole in the side for the stovepipe leading from an airtight stove, and light a fire. An airtight was a cheap heater stove made of a sheet of metal, he recalls. Ask Bruce Prentice or Bob Sanderson. Maybe they will share their fridge construction plan for the white dragon with you. Enjoy!
Posted in Beyond Skiing, photo from the archive, Ski-Town stories
Tagged Bob Sanderson, British Columbia, Bruce Prentice, Hippie summer, John Hetherington, salmon smoking, Squatters, unusual fridges, Whistler, Worlebury Lodge
I have a feeling most viewers are envious of this mass amount of snow from approximately 50 years ago! “Hey Alex, ‘mind transferring some of that to the future over here?” I love looking through old photographs from our archive and noticing the changes in landscape and weather that are apparent. I especially love pictures like this that showcase some of our earliest pioneers and their Whistler lifestyles—and not without subtle humour, of course.
This photograph shows Alex Philip in his later years. Alex was the co-founder of Whistler’s first resort, Rainbow Lodge, and is also known for being an author of romance novels. Click here to learn more about the life of pioneer Alex Philip.
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