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Mudlarkin’ on the Fraser River

June 30, 2012
  old Canada Dry bottle   This old Canada Dry bottle is a second “treasure” found at Brownsville.
Of course, it is not so very old. It was found on the bank of a Fraser River slough, sticking out of the mud at low-water. A scow house was located there until the late 1930’s, and the pop bottle probably was just tossed into the water.The Canada Dry bottle with its bright green glass,  raised lettering and tactile notches is impressive for its size compared to that of present-day containers—it held only a tea-cup of sparkling ale—nonetheless very satisfactory in quenching old-time thirst.

Unlike the site of the brick (previous post), the location where the Canada Dry bottle was found would likely turn up many such interesting items, if such a “dig” were to be sanctioned.

There are older things to be found. As mentioned in previous posts, plenty of cannonballs have been found along the river, sent over in target practice by gunners of the Royal Navy and the local militia.

Some of these can be seen in the New Westminster Museum, and at the Drill Hall of the Royal Westminster Regiment, where they also have a small museum.   Link to Royal Westminster Regiment Museum

On the Thames River in London, mudlarkers have to be licensed, and  many genuinely old treasures are turned up, dating back to Roman times.

A fine site for old bottles along the Fraser River was down in Vancouver at Marpole,  and this riverside site was  also comprised of fill trucked in—some said from China Creek.  There were bottles to great depth, of every size, shape and color.

On the Fraser near Brownsville the better bet for finding souvenirs is over on the north side of the river, just upstream from the New Westminster rail bridge, where once existed a cannery. There are bricks and brick fragments and interesting bits of metal. No doubt many interesting sites exist along the river, but be careful and be safe: although its called mudlarking, its better to stay out of the mud and just comb the shore.   old Canad Dry bottle
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