Sunday, June 23, 2024

This iconic Clover Point Park capture merges a piece of the past with the present


If you’re from Victoria, or even just visiting, you’re likely familiar with Clover Point Park — a tiny little peninsula on Dallas Road. 

The area serves  as a great place for a walk in the sun, or a great place to park your car and observe a booming storm.

What you may not be familiar with is the interesting vestiges left of Clover Point Park’s past.

Web-based app, OnThisSpot, has superimposed the two very different worlds occurring at the same place…and time…showing just how much changes over a century.

Depicting both a shipwreck and a gun range from 1914, the little peninsula served as a rifle range during both World Wars.

The large mound of dirt seen behind the gun range was used as a backstop for targets — maybe not the best place to have gone storm chasing back then.

According to Beacon Hill Park History, a letter was discovered from Park Administrator, W. H. Warren, describing military target practice and trench warfare practice near the Park.

“During World War I, troops stationed at the ‘Willows” Fairground marched to Clover Point to practice shooting from the ranges to the butts on the point. H.Q. the building was located just east of Linden Ave. And the whole area was fenced and topped with barbed wire.”

Warren’s note also described practice trenches along the Dallas Road waterfront.

“Between the ends of Cook and Marlborough St. were a series of trenches to train men in this form of warfare. These were… complete with duckboards… which were not finally filled in until after I started with the city in 1930.”

“The On This Spot app takes people on guided walking tours through the history that surrounds them,” said the website.

“At each stop on their journey users will find themselves standing on the spot where a historic photo was taken. They can view a then and now photo comparison, use the built in camera to create their own, and read about local history and how it ties into the broader human experience.”

OnThisSpot said they will also be launching more content in about 33 cities over the next few weeks, including adding Cumberland, Comox and Courtenay.

If you’d like to check out archival photos of old Victoria, see the photos available in the archive here or take a tour with OnThisSpot.

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