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Elphinstone Chronicles: Historically action packed Pratt Road

Parsing the past and present of Pratt Road
Pirate Pete at Banditry Cider on Pratt Road.

In this column I’m going to start happy, get kind of depressing, then, hopefully, round it all out. 

The amazing Captain Ampersand and his comically grumpy sidekick, Pirate Pete, are coming to Area E June 18 for a Father’s Day Festival. Banditry Cider is hosting a day for dads on Pratt Road that Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. Captain Ampersand will have a schedule of exciting events and prizes: The Papa Olympics include an egg race, a kale eating contest, and a diaper changing challenge. Personally, I’d fail at all three, but I’m no super-dad. There will be a Newly Weds knock-off called Do You Know Your Dad? challenging your knowledge on a few of your father’s most favourite things. For those seeking some serious comedy, there will be an ultimate dad joke contest, so start perfecting that punchline now.  

I recently received an email asking for a brief history of Pratt Road, and I’m always happy to reference my bookshelf collection of local historians Rosella Leslie and Lester Peterson, or also ask the wonderfully helpful Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives for a hand.  

In Bright Seas, Pioneer Spirits, Keller and Leslie tell the tale of the Pratt brothers Roger, Robert, William and James “pre-empting” the land in 1890.  

Pre-empting means the land was never legally given to the Crown by Indigenous folks, through a treaty or other agreement, but given to settling colonizers nonetheless to live on and cultivate. The brothers logged their 640-acre pre-emption from Shepherd’s Rock, now called Gospel Rock, all the way to the end of Gower Point Road. They used ox teams to carve out Pratt Road as we now know it, but lived a pretty rough time in shake shacks.  

The sad ending to this tale is that a visitor later reported rumours of residents of the Pratt shack starving to death. The Tim Hortons never came in time for them. 

Between Father’s Day festivals, hedge mazes, and Secret Beach parties, look how far we’ve come on this road which is the life line of the Elphinstone community.  

I would love to hear feedback, take suggestions on topics, and hear from all 3,883 residents of Elphinstone. Email me at [email protected]