Tag Archives: Halloween

Trick or Treating at Tapley’s

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Legends of Whistler… tell the stories last week!

Quite a few of the stories took us back to a time when Whistler was much smaller, and had us thinking about how Whistler has grown over the last few decades.  This growth can be seen in almost every aspect of the community, including the celebration of Halloween.

Jane Burrows and her class show off their Halloween costumes. Whistler Question Collection, 1980.

Tapley’s Farm has been a popular place to spend Halloween since the 1980s.  What had begun as an idea in a real estate office in 1979 had (with a lot of hard work) become a neighbourhood by the mid-1980s.

According to Francois Lepine, this neighbourhood was different from other subdivisions in Whistler in that, “It was the only subdivision that looked exactly the same on a Saturday night or a Wednesday night.”

John Robinson puts final touches on his MDC home with help of wife Diane and daughter Kristal.  Whistler Question Collection, 1983.

Tapley’s was lived in by full-time residents, while other subdivisions had a mix of residents and second-home owners.  This made Tapley’s Farm an ideal area for trick or treating.

Like most traditions in Whistler, Halloween in Tapley’s began as an unofficial neighbourhood event.  In 1985, the decision was made to close the streets to cars during the evening so that kids could trick or treat without worry.  This was so successful that the neighbours continued putting up roadblocks and families from other subdivisions came and joined in the fun.

Houses received more than 100 trick or treaters in 1986, and Lee Bennett, a Tapley’s resident who organized the event in 1987, expected about 125 as the populations of the valley grew.  By this time, donations of candy were sought from those bringing their kids to the neighbourhood to lessen the cost for residents of Tapley’s.

Donated candy is sorted and then distributed throughout Tapley’s Farm. Whistler Question Collection, 1994.

Bennett attributed the popularity of Tapley’s to both the proportion of occupied houses and the layout of the houses.  As she told The Whistler Question, “They also don’t have to climb 100 stairs like in some other subdivisions.  It’s easy for the children to get around.”

By the mid-1990s, more than 600 kids were trick or treating in Tapley’s Farm annually and it had become known as Whistler’s “designated haunted neighbourhood.”

A trick or treater heads down Easy Street. Whistler Question Collection, 1994.

Residents took an active part, decorating their houses and handing out treats in costume.  A competition had even been introduced for the best decorated house.  Donations of candy for the event could be dropped off at Myrtle Philip School, the Whistler Children’s Centre, or at the house of one of the organizers.

A fireworks display in the lower field, presented by Whistler firefighters and Nesters Market, was the grand finale of the evening.  According to Keith Mellor, one of the firefighters who volunteered for the show, more than 1,000 people were expected to attend the fireworks in 1998, as Halloween fell on a Saturday and Tapley’s was expected to attract Vancouver visitors as well as Whistler residents.

Crowds gather on the field for the Tapley’s Farm Halloween fireworks display. Whistler Question Collection, 1994.

As the full-time population of Whistler has grown over the last 30 years, other neighbourhoods have started hosting their own Halloween trick or treating, including Millar’s Pond and Cheakamus Crossing.  New traditions have developed, such as the annual Cheakamus Zombie Walk.

As of last week, however, Halloween at Tapley’s Farm is still going strong.

Finding Fun at Parkhurst

We’ve written quite a bit about Parkhurst and life at the mill before, and often these stories tell of the challenges that came with daily life on Green Lake in the ’30s to ’50s.  Some of these challenges included the isolation, lack of running water, or the need to haul buckets of sawdust in order to keep the stove going.  For children such as Ron and Jim Kitteringham, living at Parkhurst also meant a long commute to and from the Alta Lake School.

According to the mother Eleanor, however, life at Parkhurst also had its share of entertainment and fun.

Parkhurst when the mill was operating in the 1930s, taken before the Kitteringham family’s time at the site. Debeck Collection.

The Pacific Great Eastern Railway may not have been the most convenient method of travel through the valley, but it did provide some excitement for young children at the mill site.  When the Kitteringhams first came to Parkhurst most of the trains were steam engines, or “steamers”.  The engineers would blow the whistle on their approach to Parkhurst and Ron and Jim would run out to wave, even during supper.

Later, the “steamers” started to replaced by diesel engines, which, though a lot louder, continued to announce their arrival.

The steam engines would announce their arrival at Parkhurst to the delight of the two Kitteringham boys.  Philip Collection.

Despite all the whistles of trains, Eleanor described life at Parkhurst as peaceful, lacking the traffic or crowds of a city.

Without more common forms of entertainment, such as television, the Kitteringhams spent time listening to their battery-powered radio and shows such as The Shadow and the racing programs.  While the family enjoyed the radio programs, Eleanor regretted the lack of Sesame Street and other educational shows when she thought back on teaching her children.

The journey from Vancouver, though it could be long and inconveniently timed (the train only ran north on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), was also a chance for a social occasion.  After taking the steamship to Squamish, the Kitteringhams and other passengers would have time to head to the Squamish Hotel for a 10-cent glass of beer, ice cream for the kids, and a chance to chat until the train headed out.

More social gatherings around Parkhurst happened each summer and fall.

In the summer, the logging camps played regular baseball games at what was then Charlie Lundstrom’s farm at the end of Green Lake, an area that today is still full of mosquitoes and long grass.  Parkhurst even had a building used as a community hall where families and other workers could gather.

With no stores, Halloween at Parkhurst was sure to produce some creative costumes. Clausen Collection.

The last big “do” of the year that families would attend was usually Halloween.  As Eleanor recalled, the lack of stores to buy costumes meant coming up with some pretty ingenious outfits.  After Halloween most of the families would leave Parkhurst for the winter.

Neighbours could be scarce at Parkhurst, especially in the winter when the Kitteringhams were often the only family left at the mill.  Parkhurst was located at Mile 43 and some evening the Kitteringhams would walk over to Mile 45 for a “musical evening” with the Greens.  Bob Green would play first fiddle, Olie Kitteringham second, and Helen Green would play the banjo while Eleanor played the kettle drum.

They even formed a band, the Valley Ramblers, and played for benefit concerts to raise money for the Squamish Hospital.

Daily life at Parkhurst and Alta Lake did come with challenges, but the people who lived here also made sure to enjoy themselves, whether listening to radio shows, playing sports or simply spending time with their neighbours.

This Week In Photos: November 1

If you’re looking for photos of Halloweens past, look no further than the Whistler Question Collection!

1978

This large pile of building material debris collecting under the power line at Function Junction.

Package #7 – The new Post Office site is identified at the Town Centre with the school in the background.

The western pine log home nearing completion in Alpine Meadows – construction by Canadiana Homes Corp.

1980

Whistler Daycare Hallowe’en Party!

Jack Davey (far right) talks to one of his first customers in his new hardware store in the Town Centre. Only open a week, the store boasts a huge inventory of dry goods from kitchen ware to backyard tools.

Blue Northern belted out the dancin’ tunes to the delight of the 250+ customers that attended the Country Hoedown and Trucker’s Ball in the Blackcomb Maintenance garage. It was the third annual for the Cookhouse Organization.

Member of the fitness awareness squad that visited the school over the weekend chats with Joan Gross as she pedals the specially adapted exercise bike that measures how the body’s cardiovascular system is working.

The Town Centre as it is this last week of October from the north looking south. Parking is now available on the large football field-looking structure to the right. The structures at the bottom left are the employee trailers, the circle in the middle is for dropping passengers at Blackcomb Lodge and Phase Two projects are shown in various states of construction in the middle left.

1981

Auctioneer Paul Burrows offers the giant collage by Chris Speedie for sale at the Ski Team Benefit. The picture fetched a tidy $1,100.

Discussing the benefits of the benefit (l to r): Dennis Waddingham, Steve Podborski, Dave Murray, Toulouse and Deedee Haight of the Alpine Ski Team.

There were bewildering moments for many Whistler residents upon awakening Saturday, October 31 to the sounds of raging creeks. This resident of Panorama Drive in Brio says it all with a shrug – after all, what can you say when there’s a river where there once was none?

Norm Dedeluk (centre) gets more than a helping hand from two fellow volunteer firemen in dislodging debris from raging Brio Creek.

Half of the Myrtle Philip Kindergarten Class – from the left: Kris Jones, Kelly Hamilton, Michael Hoffmann, Simon Beller, Christopher Systad, Aaron Gross, Alexander Fordham and Karen Kogler.

Principal Bob Daly is surrounded by teachers Sue Christopher (left) and Sandra Pauliuk-Epplett all dressed in their Halloween finery.

1982

Smokey Batzer demonstrates artificial resuscitation techniques to employees of the Delta Mountain Inn.

And the winner is… Steve Podborski draws the lucky number of the grand prize winner at the Canadian National Ski Team Benefit as Dennis Waddingham looks on. The benefit was held October 29 at L’Apres.

His Honour Dave Murray passes royal judgement on the winning costume at Araxi’s first birthday party Sunday, October 31. Lucky Andre walked away with $100 for his light and airy costume, which just may give the mountains some bright ideas for transporting skiers.

Halloween brought all kinds in all sorts of outfits into Whistler Village October 30 and 31. Revellers whooped it up at Nasty Jack’s Halloween Party and Bullets Cabaret.

What better way to end an evening of trick or treating than being treated to Whistler’s third annual Halloween fireworks display, put on by the Whistler Volunteer Fire Department.

Provincial crews began taking apart the Bailey bridge which spans the River of Golden Dreams at Highway 99. Work on the dismantling job began November 1.

1983

Members of the Canadian Olympic Soccer Team gathered in Myrtle Philip playing field Tuesday after training on top of Whistler Mountain Monday. Twenty-one players and coaching staff head to Mexico City Saturday to battle against the Mexican national team which they defeated 1-0 in Victoria. The Canadian team must draw or win against Mexico to advance to the next round in the Olympic qualifying matches. Good luck lads!

Gruesome monster Davey Blaylock tricked and treated with timid lion Jake Humphrey and hideous Swamp Thing Aaron Gross. Students of Myrtle Philip School paraded before parents in the gym before going off to Halloween parties in their classrooms.

One of the, ah, more penetrating costumes worn by a reveller in the Mountain House.

It was a Monday full of goblins, ghouls and costumes as Whistlerites celebrated Halloween around the village. Kids and parents watch fireworks in front of the Tri-Services Building put on by the Volunteer Fire Department. Coffee and a huge log fire kept everyone warm as they oohed and aahed the well-organized fireworks display.

The first crests and embroidered garments will soon be rolling off a computerized embroidery machine at Function Junction. Owners Jan Holmberg and Ted Nebbeling paid $80,000 for the Japanese-made machine that has twelve sewing heads.

1984

Antonio Pellin from Custom Paving takes a 16 tonne compacting machine to Highway 99 at Village Gate Boulevard in preparation for the final paving and installation of a traffic light at the intersection. Once the work is completed this month, Whistler will have its first traffic light and the intersection will have an extra lane for turning into the village from both north and south.

About 12 cm of powdery snow covered the valley Tuesday in the first major snowfall of the season. A group of local women decided to herald the unofficial beginning of winter by building a ‘snow-woman’ in Village Square Tuesday. The ‘snow-woman’ featured brussel sprouts for a mouth, potatoes for eyes and a carrot for the nose.

Youngsters at Myrtle Philip School had their first frolic in the snow Tuesday morning, arriving at the school to find their friends as well as about 12 cm of fresh new powder.

Spooktacular Crafts at the Whistler Museum

This Halloween weekend, join us at the Museum October 29 & 30 for some creepy crafts and a special Halloween tour of our haunted museum.

halloween-crafts

On Saturday, make your own Paper Bag Monsters to take home and use as decorations or puppets.  On Sunday we’ll be creating Paper Plate Spiders.  These spooky Halloween creatures can be displayed hanging in windows or on walls to frighten your guests or passers-by.

Costumes are encouraged and early Halloween treats will be provided. Admission is by donation and children must be accompanied by an adult. Thanks to Arts Whistler, Brendan Cavanagh and the Whistler Haunted House team for the Museum’s spooky transformation.

Halloween Inspiration from Whistler’s Past

So, if you were somehow unaware, tomorrow is Halloween. If you didn’t know that, then chances are you don’t have your costume sorted yet. Fret not! The Whistler Museum is here to help.

Just because you’re thinking up your costume last minute doesn’t mean you need to resort to some cliché pop culture reference like Game of Thrones or Matt Damon from the Martian. Whistler’s past is full of great ideas for timeless costumes to impress your friends. As a bonus, your costume can spark intriguing discussions about Whistler’s history at your Halloween party, something we fully endorse.

It’s no secret that Whistlerites love to party, especially when dressing up is involved. Let’s examine some examples of party dress from Whistler’s past.

First off we have the Freaker’s Ball, a party of legendary proportions that occurred in the 1970s in the Christiania Inn, in Alta Vista. Based on a rather freaky song by Dr. Hook, people liked to dress, well, freaky. This could mean anything, basically, which isn’t a bad place to start when trying to come up with up with unique costume ideas.

wig.jpg

Mozart, anyone? He was like the classical Taylor Swift.

pirate.jpg

Is this guy having a good time, or what? Buccaneer baby!

Not into the whole hippie thing? OK, let’s go further back in time for some pioneer-era inspiration.

Unfortunately, this next photo from our archives doesn’t have any real explanation. One could even assume that it’s not a costume, but historically appropriate farming attire from the period. We’re not going to dwell on this for too long. It’s a sweet costume idea.

It's Halloween every day in Whistler! (When I first saw this I thought it was a KKK thing, but I think maybe this person is dressed as a wizard).

Know a member of the opposite sex? Well you can always borrow their clothes and dress in drag! These guests at Hillcrest Lodge donned some feminine attire to great effect, freaking out passersby on the PGE railway.

Hillcrest Lodge guests dressed to meet the train

We'll never forget the year Dad put on a one man show of Swan Lake.

Admittedly, cross-dressing is a more interesting costume idea for men, generally. It’s hard for a woman in men’s clothing to look this stunning. I’m sure some creative ladies out there could pull it off though!

Of course, Myrtle and Alex Philip, Whistler’s founding couple, had a distinct sense of style. A quick check through your wardrobe, your tickle-trunk, or trip to the Re-Use-It centre might be enough to pull one of these off. Bonus points for couples who pull of the historic pair.

typical.jpg

Myrtle Philip in riding garb. She designed and tailored most of her outfits herself.

alex.jpg

The all-white safari ensemble was an Alex Philip staple. This elegant get-up is sure to impress the ladies.

A little Myrtle & Alex dress-up inspiration. Photo: Joern Rohde/wpnn.org

A little Myrtle & Alex dress-up inspiration.
Photo: Joern Rohde/wpnn.org

To be fair, these costumes rely on some pretty unique clothing items that you may not have lying around the house. Fair, I guess. Have a bunch of cardboard and some metallic spray paint? Well you can go as the original Creekside Gondola!

You can be the hottest aluminum box at the party!

One bonus with this costume is that the original gondola had a four-person capacity, so you can host your own mini party within the party!

If an inanimate metal structure isn’t your thing, that’s cool. How about a marmot? These fuzzy little creatures are the reason Whistler Mountain got it’s name.

Not feeling energetic? Wear all brown and chill out on a couch. Just like a marmot.

All it takes is some furry brown clothing, buck teeth, and an ability to whistle. You might be dressed as a marmot already, and not even realize it! With the proliferation of animal onesies, this should be easy.

Why stop there. There are plenty of other icons from Whistler’s past that could become killer costumes with a little creativity: Willy Whistler, the Roundhouse Lodge, Black Tusk… BLACK TUSK!!!