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2942 Malaspina Promenade

savaryheritage

3 min read

Jun 2

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The original Savary Inn, a two-storey structure located at the head of the wharf, was built by Harry Keefer in 1913. From 1915 to 1924, ownership shows both Harry Keefer and the two Misses Roberts who operated the Inn, Emma and Ruth.


In 1925 the property was bought by Emily Louise Wootten who, with her daughter Cora, operated the hotel.   

The next owners were Lorraine Long of Powell River and her husband Val Nichols. At some  point during their ownership, Mrs. Rose Willis of Powell River operated a tea room. This original Savary Inn burned to the ground in 1932.

By 1933 a new Savary Inn had been built by William (Bill) Mace and Harry Keefer. The building encroached on the neighbouring Herchmer property, so Mrs. Herchmer sold them ten feet of her adjoining lot. The newly built single-storey building had a movable partition which could enlarge the main room to accommodate group events. The inn hosted dances, theatrical performances, and musical concerts. Several small sleeping cottages were built around the property. 



During this time the ‘Jungle Theatre’, a canvas walled enclosure, was located behind the inn, where silent movies were projected onto a makeshift screen, providing popular entertainment.   


Phyllis Gardner, later Phyllis Landale, operated the inn for one or two summers from 1941 to 1943. The property was then purchased by Mrs. George Walkem for her children and grandchildren. It passed to one of her children from her first marriage, Margaret Byrnes, who married Ray Bicknell. In 1953 the owner is shown to be Penny Bicknell, their daughter, and it was rented for several years.


In 1960 the inn was purchased by the Alsgard family and was named Windflower. 




The Alsgards are a well-known Powell River family. Anne arrived in Powell River from Vancouver as a teacher where she met and married Al Alsgard.  They first lived in Cranberry where their children, Beverly, Stewart and Gale were born. Al was working in the mill and with his father at Alsgard’s Hardware when he founded the Town Crier in 1933, the first of his several newspapers. Anne and Al knew Savary well as they had been to the island several times staying with friends, one being Lorraine Long. 


In 1960, Al’s son Stewart met Ray Bicknell, the National President of the Navy League of Canada, at a Sea Cadet function and when the subject of Savary came up, Stewart was quick to purchase the Savary Inn with his father.  


For many years Windflower was the scene of countless happy events hosting family and friends, with the player piano often the centre of attention. Stewart was well known to many Savary Islanders as he kept watch on the comings and goings on the Savary wharf from his driveway across the road. Many knew that in addition to being the mayor of Powell River for 12 years and a provincial coroner, he had also served in the Royal Canadian Navy, retiring as Captain (N).  


Beverly had passed away at age three and Gale, trained as a nurse, commuted for many years from Vancouver. After retiring and moving back to Powell River, she was acclaimed for her work in the community and in particular with St. John Ambulance.


In 2020 the property was sold to the Formosa family — Dave Formosa (then mayor of Powell River), his wife Laurie, four children and grandchildren. The property has undergone renovations and additions while retaining many of the original features of the Savary Inn as well as the Windflower name.



savaryheritage

3 min read

Jun 2

17

0

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