George Fawcett Drabble
(1833-1901) In July 1891 John Green requested that Drabble come to Savary and survey the island. It was this survey that divided it into five District Lots.

Prior to that, Drabble had moved to Vancouver Island in 1862, becoming the first resident surveyor north of Nanaimo. He had an effective career. For example, he laid out the first roads in the Comox–Campbell River area.

Drabble circa 1895 (Source: Courtenay Museum)

Drabble circa 1895
(Source: Courtenay Museum)

1. Click here to read a review of a biography of Drabble: The Wilderness Profound: Victorian Life on the Gulf of Georgia by Richard Somerset Mackie

Here's an excerpt: "In July 1862, … Drabble, a prosperous farmer in the English Midlands, impulsively boarded the Silistria, a China Clipper ship bound for the gold colony of British Columbia. Dressed in a top hat and a silk suit, twenty-nine-year-old Drabble had gone to Liverpool to say farewell to his friends, but at the last minute he boarded the vessel, saying “Wait Boys! I’m going with you!” Louisa Drabble, his wife, died soon after his sudden departure, and George Drabble stayed on Vancouver Island, settling eventually on a farm in the Comox Valley. His three young children never joined him."

2. Mount Drabble, west of Courtenay, is named for him. Here's the entry from the BC Place Names (3rd edition):

"Drabble was a bachelor and a misogynist. When complaints were made about his fierce dogs, he retorted, 'Don't worry, my dogs never bite anybody that is any good.'"

3. His journals covering the years 1865-1900 are held in the Campbell River and District Museum archives. Here's what he thought of Savary's dunes:

“[July 7, 1891] Worthless Sand … Sand Knolls & bottoms covered with Salla [Salal] and stunted red Fir & small bull pines, worthless for farming land.” (Source: SILTS newsletter, 2002)

A part of Drabble's survey sketch of Green's land, July 1891
(Source: Courtenay Museum)

A part of Drabble's survey sketch of Green's land, July 1891
(Source: Courtenay Museum)

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