The Drinkwater name has been associated with the Alberni Valley since 1887, when Isaac Drinkwater and one of his eight sons (he also had three daughters) trekked across Canada and found themselves walking the Horne Lake Trail over the Beaufort Mountains and into their new Vancouver Island home.
Author Kaye Dukowski chronicles the Drinkwater family in Alberni Valley Pioneers: Drinkwaters and Connecting Families. Joe is arguably the most well known because of his discovery of Della Falls, at the far end of Great Central Lake and part of Strathcona Provincial Park.
Della Falls, fed by Della Lake and dropping into Della Creek below, has a reputation of being the tallest falls in Canada, according to the Canadian government. (This fact is disputed by others, including the World Waterfall Database).
Joe Drinkwater named the falls, lake and creek after his wife Della, who came from another pioneer family, the Fayettes.
Joe was a prospector and contractor among many other occupations. He built the original floating Ark Hotel at Great Central Lake.
This photo and numerous others of the Drinkwater family can be seen in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archive, comprised of 24,000 photos depicting more than 100 years of life in the Alberni Valley. See more at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com.