Miller’s Landing

Originally known as Bindley’s Landing, Miller’s Landing has always been a bustling part of Bowen Island on land and in the sea.

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Moonwinks Gazebo on Miller’s Landing c. 1908

In the late 1800’s, Dewitt Becker owned 145 acres (District Lot 1553) of Miller’s Landing. He labour intensively cleared the land for farming whilst simultaneously working as a foreman in the island’s logging camps. Lucia Becker, his wife planted roses along either side of the road in 1885, nicknaming the farm Rosebank. The two were the postmaster and postmistress of Bowen from 1894 to 1900. When their children reached high school, the family moved back to Vancouver.

 

The land was eventually sold to Isaac Miller, a Vancouver Dairyman. Similar to his predecessors, he established a farm, hiring Fred and Annie Billington as farmers. However, the farm was short-lived. Even though the farm failed, Miller’s son George Sr kept a summer cottage on the acreage and called it “Moonwinks”. High up on the rocks, this 1926 open summer pavilion overlooked the water. If one walks to the end of Miller Road and down the hill to the edge of the water, this little white pavilion can still be seen. It was a well-known landmark for passing boaters. The home of Isaac Miller on the other hand cannot. It burned to the ground, leaving only the strings of the piano in its place for many years.

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The “Sannie IV” docked c. 1948

The Bindley’s later established “Montrose Hotel” and a store by this pavilion. The area became known as Bindley’s Landing once the federal government established a wharf nearby. The Belcarra steamship stopped at this wharf as it sailed north from Snug Cove. It similarly became one of the many stops along the Sannie passenger ferry’s route. The Sannies travelled up and down the Howe Sound from 1921 to 1956, stopping. These little “grocery boats” were a major form of transportation before the first car ferry greeted Bowen. Marilyn Beth Harris remembers boating on one, then carrying their food, clothing, and other supplies up to their cottage.

The Blackball car ferry in 1957 changed the way residents of Miller’s Landing lived and worked.

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Group photo on the U.S.S Pier at Miller’s Landing 1943