LOOK BACK: Port Alberni’s first printing press

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

Fred Warren sits at a machine in Port Alberni’s first printing shop, front right, in 1914, while Williams Venebles stands at the press at the back of the room. The press room belonged to the Port Alberni News, which came into being in March 1912. As of Sept. 1, 2020, the Alberni Valley News will move into a new home at 4918 Napier Street, where Houle Printing operates a print shop in shared space. The building was once home to a different newspaper, the AV Times, and housed a large press at one time. This photo is one of 24,000 in the Alberni Valley Museum’s collection. See more at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com/. (PHOTO PN00238 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

We thought it appropriate since we moved into a new location on Sept. 1, 2020 to share an historical photo of the Alberni Valley’s first printing press, circa 1914. Sandra Oickle at the Alberni Valley Museum found the photo for our Look Back feature, and we have been saving it for this week.

READ: How the original Port Alberni News got its name

Our new home, at 4918 Napier Street, may be new to us, but not to the newspaper and printing business. Up until October 2015, it was home to the AV Times newspaper, which operated for 48 years. The building is still home to Houle Printing, a private printing business that former Times pressman Denis Houle owns and operates.

For many years, the AV Times was printed on premises, until the press moved to Nanaimo in September 2001.

The final edition of the AV Times was published on Oct. 9, 2015, after which the paper shut its doors for the last time.

This photo is one of nearly 24,000 in the Alberni Valley Museum’s collection. See more online at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com/. The Albernis: Then and Now, 1912-2012 is still available for purchase at the Alberni Valley Museum.


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