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Monday, May 26, 2014

Indian Arm, AKA North Arm

Members of BMN and friends went on an adventure from Rocky Point to the Indian River estuary which is located at the northern part of  Indian Arm, (known more commonly at one time as the North Arm.)  with many stops and pauses along the way to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area. The trip was organized in aid of generating some monies to rebuild the Mossom Creek hatchery, after the disastrous fire last year.

I have created two albums of photographs one at Flickr and another at Panoramio.

And Dave Mountenay has shared some of his photographs at the Friends of DeBoville Slough website

Also Paul Steeves has shared his photo album of the adventure

And Jolene Bonhomme has shared her album with us.

Along the way there are pictographs to be seen, the best known of which are near Best Point, a few poor quality images HERE

But there are many other pictograph sites painted onto the cliffs of the fiord; a short summary below.

DiRr 2. About 750 meters north of Brighton Beach on the western shore of the arm.

DiRr 6. On the western shore of the arm, about 275 meters north of site DiRr 7.

DiRr 7. On the western shore of the arm south of Croker Island and about 275 meters south of DiRr 6.

DiRr 8. On the eastern shore of the arm on cliffs to the east of the Vancouver City Powerhouse site.

DiRr 9. On the western shore of the arm about 100 meters north of Brighton Beach, site DiRr 2.
DiRr 10. On the eastern shore of the arm, almost directly across from Alder Creek, between the powerhouse and Twin Islands.

DiRr 11. At North Sunshine on the western shore of the Arm.

DiRr 12. On the western shore of the Arm, just north of Deep Cove Marina, and a little beyond the Grey Rocks powerline.

DiRr 13. On the western shore of the arm opposite Farrer Cove and approximately at Grey Rocks.

DiRr 14. Approximately 125 feet south of Site DiRr 2 on the western shore of the arm.

The list above from taken from:  Rock art of the Northwest Coast (PDF)
               Author:  Doris Marion Lundy, M.A. dissertion thesis, 1974  SFU.

There are also numerous pictographs along Pitt Lake, the most well known can be viewed in my Pitt Lake blog
The Pitt Lake pictographs have fared better to the weather, and most of the designs appear to be more recent then the art along indian Arm.

Some of the wildlife and ecology seen during the trip.
BMN member Hillary Maguire has shared her birdlist at EBIRD
 And Megan Willie's bird list, also at EBIRD

( Makes me wonder if the birds were counting us, and posting the data on EHUMAN. Certainly appears to be lots of lifeforms utilizing Indian Arm.  )

And collectively throughout the day the list below created:

Common loon (6)
Pelagic cormorant
Double crested cormorant 3
Pigeon guillemot
Canada goose
Harlequin duck
Common merganser 16
Glaucous winged gull
Ring billed gull
Caspian tern (mud flats)
Great blue heron
Bald eagle 3
Osprey 2
Band tailed pigeon
Rock pigeon
Northern flicker
Flycatcher, sp.
Barn swallow
Tree swallow
Purple martin
Northwestern crow
Common raven
Black capped chickadee
Pacific wren
American dipper ( Silver Falls )
Swainson's thrush
Warbling vireo
Wilson's warbler
Yellow warbler
Red winged blackbird
White crowned sparrow
Spotted towhee
Dark eyed junco
Black-headed grosbeak
Rufous Hummingbird

Northwestern garter snake ( Granite Falls )
Harbour seal
Black tailed deer
Douglas squirrel
Pine marten ( Silver Falls )

Moon jelly ( Silver Falls )
Lion's mane jelly  ( Silver Falls )
Pile perch ( Granite Falls )
Shiner perch ( Granite Falls )
Dungeness crab
Purple stars
Leather stars
Mottled stars

Some plants of interest:
Red columbine ( Twin Island and Granite Falls )
Wild strawberries
Parsley fern ( Twin Island )
Tiger Lily ( Twin Island )


I thought that it may be interesting to some to see some of the more historic photographs of the fiord. The area has been enjoyed by people since the earliest times of occupation. (Most of these photos have been reduced to 20% or less from the original size, click on the links to enjoy the images in their original sizes.)

Burrard Inlet 1893.  MAP50

View of Deep Cove, the Quarry and Racoon Island, North Arm. ca. 1912.
Note: the quarry is the Deep Cove Quarry  092GSE035
Photo: James Luke Quiney.  A09342

Rennie's mine on the North Arm. 190?
(Note: numerous test pits dot the landscape along the fiord )    A33386

View of river bank and the mouth of the Indian River,
photo: W.J. Moore, Aug. 15, 1927.  A63531

View of river bank and the mouth of the Indian River.
photo: W.J. Moore. Aug 15, 1927.  A63532

View of the mouth of the Indian River showing wooden piles and a rowboat.
photo: W.J. Moore 15 Aug, 1927. A63534

Indian River from the Pallisades. 1928.
photo: James Crookall. A76311

Indian River. 1928.
photo: James Crookall.   A76337

Wigwam Inn

A short but far complete history of the Indian River Park is available HERE as a PDF.
Note: you will frequently notice that Wigwam Creek as it is known today is frequently referred to as Indian River which it is not.

View of Wigwam Inn from dock. 1913.  A08336

Wigwam Inn gardens. 1912   A09308

Falls, North Arm. ca.1910-1929.
Attributed to Franklin Walter Hewton. A22658

Spectator's on the judge's boat at a regatta near Indian River. ca. 1910.
photo:  W.J. Cairns.  A34083

View of spectators at Indian River. 1910?.
photo:  W.J. Cairns.  A34086

Spray of Pearls Falls, Indian River  193-?   A63327

Spray Falls at Indian River. 1928.
photo:  James Crookall. A76289

Spray Falls, Indian River. 1928.
photo: James Crookall. A76315

Spray Falls, Indian River.1928
photo: James Crookall.  A76351

The Spray of Pearls Falls, even has a legend about it created to bring in the tourists, a quick read…
The legend of the falls of the spray of pearls  (PDF). 1916   Author: Jane Parkin
The legend is about two Scottish immigrants, Norman and Pearl McNabb.

View of the mouth of the Indian River from the grounds of the Wigwam Inn.
photo:  W.J. Moore. Aug. 16, 1927.  A63529

View of the mouth of the Indian River from the grounds of the Wigwam Inn.
photo W.J. Moore, Aug. 16, 1927. A63530

View of the mouth of the Indian River from the grounds of the Wigwam Inn.
photo: W.J. Moore, 15 Aug. 1927. A63533

Wigwam Inn, Indian River, Burrard Inlet . 1923
photo: Hubert William Lovell.  CVA258-47

At the end of Burrard Inlet, Indian River, Wigwam Inn. 1923. Note: This is located just north of the Wigwam Inn, it is showing part of the trail that connected the Inn with the eastern side of the Indian River.
photo:  Hubert William Lovell.  CVA258-48

Granite Falls, on Grand Creek

This is the largest waterfall in Indian Arm, the immediate area near it was heavily exploited for the local granitic rocks, which were used as building stone, and later as rip-rap primarily in the Lower Mainland area. After the mining was over, a recreational lodge opened up on the site, which did not last very long. (If you want to know more about the quarry, just PM me, I have a fair amount of facts and figures about the mine. ). The Grand Creek watershed has been heavily logged, and the resultant damage is very evident in the hills above, numerous slides abound from the road building efforts involved in getting to the wood. A nice quick read of some of the history of the area near Granite Falls is available HERE as a PDF. Today in 2014 the area is part of Indian Arm Provincial Park.

. Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1890?.
Photo: Charles S. Bailey.  A04085

Group of men, women and children assembled at Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1890?

Three men standing by Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1888?

Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1919.

Boating scenery near Vancouver. 191?.
  Shows a boat up the North Arm of Burrard Inlet, near Granite Falls.
Note: Granite Falls is barely visible to the right of the bow of the boat in the distance.  A18087

North Arm, Granite Falls, 1887.
From the collection of  Dr. A.M. Robertson   A26755

Granite Falls, North Arm 1887  A26756

View of Granite Falls near Indian River. August 1891.  Shows yacht "Yvonne", Miss Rose Townley, Grange Holt, J.P. Roberts, W.E. Gravely and others.
photo: W.M. Tegart.  A26878

The steam yacht "Yvonne" at Granite Falls near Indian River.  Aug. 1891 shows Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Gravely, Grange Holt, J.P. Roberts, and others. Croker island in the background.
photo: W.M. Tegart.  A26879

View of Coast Quarries Limited and Granite Falls in the North Arm of Burrard Inlet, ca.1925

View of Granite Falls at the north end of Indian Arm. 1914-1915.
Photo attributed to Franklin Walter Hewton.  A33035

People sitting at the base of Granite Falls at the north end of Indian Arm. 1914-1915.
Photo attributed to Franklin Walter Hewton.   A33036
The Granite Falls quarry, Indian River Quarries  092GSE036 was the longest running quarry in the Indian Arm area. Here is a listing of some of the other quarries:

Deep Cove Quarry  092GSE035
Brighten Quarry, Burrard Inlet 092GSE033
Indian Arm Granite quarry 092GSE003 this quarry is near Elsay Creek
Croker Island quarry 092GSE034 located on Croker Island which is now a park.

And the,  Racoon Island, Dot Fraction 092GSE013 which is a minor gold showing on Racoon Island

1: 20 000 maps are available to download as PDF’s for free from the Province.

Upper Indian River:  092G056      
Indian River and estuary: 092G046 
Barnet to Buntzen:  092G036
Port Moody: 092G026

And finally the mayor of Belcarra, Ralph Drew has been very prolific in gathering and sharing some of the history of the area, have a look HERE for many hours of reading pleasure.


  1. Interesting stuff here, Niall, as usual!

  2. What a bonus to be able to read all about Indian Arm. I was also impressed with the bird count and plant life. Thank you so much. More to read at my leisure and beautiful old photos. Thank you Niall.