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"Tales of Rathtrevor Beach
   Legacy of a Family"
by Lynn Starter

This book is an account of the lives of the people of Rathtrevor Beach, gained from documented research, done both in Canada and in Ireland, from Lynn Starter's personal relationship with some of the Rath family, and includes the author's memoir of happy childhood summers spent with the Rath family.

Book Information:

"Tales of Rathtrevor Beach
   Legacy of a Family"
Author: Lynn Starter
ISBN: 978-1-897518-64-9
8"x10" Soft cover, full color plates
160 pages, fold-out document at back of book
All original prints (drypoint on copper) by the author 

Author Contact Information:

Lynn Starter
Phone: (250) 746-4972
Email: send email to Lynn Starter

Books available at:
Mulberry Bush Bookstore Parksville 
Rathtrevor Beach Nature House Parksville
Lynn's Vitamin Gallery Health Food Store Duncan
Nanaimo, Duncan and Victoria Regional Library  
Author will do mail outs  


"Too many of our pioneers have gone to their graves unsung. Lynn Starter has ensured that this will not happen to Elizabeth (Rath) Roberts, George Edward Lawrence Rath or Ede Robinson with her memoir. For years Lynn, sparked by a ranger's lack of answers on the park's personal history, has researched family and legal records to compile this book. Tales of Rathtrevor Beach fills this omission admirably. It's thanks to the Raths of Rathtrevor Beach, lifetime friends of Lynn and her family, that all British Columbians can continue to enjoy this seaside and forest treasure that otherwise would have been despoiled by development."

- Tom Paterson, author and historian

About the Author/Artist

The natural child of a family of talented artists and writers, Lynn Starter was encouraged by her beloved adoptive parents, to follow the art talents they knew to be inherent. A Vancouver Islander, she finds worthy subjects for her art in events and personalities close to her. Lynn has always been a storyteller, seeing what is unique in everyday events, and enthusiastically communicating to others the stories that touch her life. Now she brings these two facets of her personality together, to express her feelings for a time, a place and people that together made an indelible impression on her childhood.

Lynn earned her living as a commercial artist before marrying, and continued to develop as an artist, painting and drawing, while raising two daughters. In the early 1980's she studied Fine Art at Malaspina College, with a special focus on printmaking.

Lynn chose to use the drypoint printmaking technique during the creation of this book. The illustrations were rendered in this intaglio process which is similar to etching but involves working an image with various tools (instead of acid) onto a copper plate. The resulting metal burr on the plate, when inked and printed, produces the softness characteristic of drypoint. The front cover image entitled 'George and Ede' is an original hand coloured etching. Lynn is a founding member of Printmakers Only Group (POG) and participates in solo and group exhibitions throughout B.C. She and her husband Robert share their home and garden in the Cowichan Valley with two short sturdy dogs, and enjoy a close relationship with their daughters' families.

See artwork by Lynn Starter

From "Tales of Rathtrevor Beach - Legacy of a Family" by Lynn Starter


Part One: is a detailed family history of the Raths, pioneers on Vancouver Island. William Rath left Ireland to adventure for years in North America with younger brother George. The Rath brothers did well prospecting for gold in British Columbia, but after George's death, William returned to Ireland, and at the age of 52, chose a 20 year old bride, Elizabeth Talbot.

William, Elizabeth and a new baby arrived in December of 1886 by canoe on the beach near Parksville, where they created a homestead, had four more children and became an integral part of the community. Inevitably, Elizabeth Rath was left a widow at age 39. She survived with the help of her children, by farming and running a campsite on their spectacular waterfront homestead, which would eventually become the famous Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.

Part Two: is a childhood memoir, the reminiscences of the author's summers living with the Rath family on Rathtrevor Beach, when the campsite was a family operation, and time moved more slowly. A child's love and admiration for 'Uncle George' and 'Aunt Ede' come through clearly as she tells of childish innocence and mischief. Besides appealing to anyone with a curiosity about the past these simple tales will resonate with thousands of older British Columbians who also spent idyllic days of their own youthful summers at Rathtrevor Beach.

Letters From Readers


Dear Lynn,

Reading “Tales of Rathtrevor Beach” brought back so many happy memories of camping at “Rath’s”, as we knew it, with my parents in the early 1950s. As noted in your book, the campground was in what is now the Day Use area. In those days, most of the tents (heavy canvas) were not self-supporting, and were tied at each end to the big fir trees, along with makeshift clotheslines for wet bathing suits and the towels that never got completely dry. The beach was childhood Heaven, so safe that kids were free to spend all day building sand castles, looking for sea critters in the shallow pools and playing games with new friends, with minimal supervision. One summer my cousins were there as well and had a home-made flat-bottomed plywood kayak - totally unseaworthy, but that didn’t matter because the lovely warm water was only knee-deep. Back in the campground, a bit of added entertainment seemed to happen almost daily, when a family would get all packed up to go home and their car would get stuck in the sand. Fathers would materialize from all directions, and with much laughter, push the car to solid ground and send the campers on their way. I think you have done something very important in telling the story of George Rath and Ede Robinson. Because of their generosity, this marvellous property came to be a provincial park, to be enjoyed by all, when it could so easily have become the private estates of a few rich people. Your extensive research into the history of the Rath family is interesting to read and the drypoint on copper illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the early photos. The stories of your Uncle George and Aunt Ede really bring them to life, and your hilarious childhood adventures make me wish I’d known you back then!

Eleanor Montour, Maple Bay

January 11, 2009


by Dave Obee, Editorial page editor of Times Colonist

"...Lynn Starter's contribution is 'Tales of Rathtrevor Beach; Legacy of a Family'. Quick now, where did the name of Rathtrevor Beach come from? Well, the Rath family of course - William Sinnott Rath and his wife Elizabeth Talbot. They farmed the land south of Parksville and gave a lyrical name by adding "trevor" to their family name. The theory is that it was a play on the word "retriever," the kind of dog the Raths raised for hunting.

Now, how is the name pronounced? That's a tough one, because it's evolved over the years. But the Rath-TREE-vor is the pronunciation used by those in the know.

Starter's history of the Rath family shows how the property came to be a provincial park, and the family's love of the property shines through. This book should be welcome reading for anyone who enjoys the beach."

February 22, 2010


I have just completed reading your book about Rathtrevor and SO enjoyed it! I have always had a pull to the place and was delighted to hear your remembrances and find we are of similar age. I came originally from Northern Ireland to Alberta, so when I ‘found’ Rathtrevor it was like finding my favorite childhood haunts all over again and your childhood spin on it made me laugh and relate as if you had been in my world at that time.

Congratulations on this lovely work. Now I have to go back to Rathtrevor and see it all over again through your eyes! We are currently retired newcomers to the area so I will be able to do that.

Thank you again,

Irene Dreger

January 12, 2009

Lynn, I'm so proud of you. Many people have ideas but very few carry through to completion. I know the work you did was out of love and appreciation, and that comes through - making your pages alive. Your book is much more than just it’s writing. It is a significant work of art, a portrait, a slice of real history. Being at your book-signing was such a privilege - a highlight for me and usit felt like - um, how do I say this - it's like after you did the work, you let us help with the varnishing.

Roy Getman

Dear Lynn,

A few years ago when I was visiting the Rathtrevor Visitor Center and chatting with a lady there, asking all sorts of questions, she mentioned that someone was writing about the history of Rathtrevor. I was intrigued. A few weeks ago I saw the ad for your book in the Nanaimo newspaper, and was delighted.

I've just finished the book, and want to say a big THANK YOU for all the effort and devotion that you put into gathering the facts, and writing this captivating story. I feel now like I too knew your uncle George and aunt Ede. How fortunate you are to have such rich memories! How grateful we all should be to the family for being excellent stewards, and preserving the natural beauty and wonders of their property.

I showed your book to a friend who reminisced about family gatherings at the beach every July 1st, come rain or shine. She stated that it will make a great gift. I agree.

Thanks again Lynn, for your labour of love. Many of us truly appreciate it.

Anne Kraskin
Nanaimo, BC

Sept 28,2008

Dear Lynn,

Thank you so much for coming to talk to us. Everybody at the Parksville Senior's Group enjoyed it very much and I'm sure, until your talk on Wednesday, there were few of us who knew a great deal about how Rathtrevor Park came into being.

We found the slides most interesting, and the fact that you have such a variety of pictures of the Rath family and legal documents that concerned them is amazing. Unless one has tried to do any amount of research it is hard to imagine just how much effort goes into such a project and it is very evident that a great deal of research has gone into this one.

I believe that a relaxed speaker means an equally relaxed audience and your natural talent for presenting the facts is impressive. So thanks again for taking the time to come and talk to us. It was good to meet you. You made it a special day for us.

Cynthia Burns

Parksville Senior's Group
Parksville, BC

Dear Lynn

Wanted you to know I finished reading your book and I so enjoyed it that I didn't want it to end. I liked the history and found your childhood adventures entertaining. I love the drypoints as they really add to the book. It's a wonderful tribute to the Raths and they would be proud of you. I can hardly wait for your next book.

Fil Wiltse
Powell River, BC

Hello Lynn,

I recently received your book as a baby shower gift for my son William Campbell May. I wanted to say thank you for all the hard work and nice memories of my paternal family history. My name is Jason William May and William Rath May was my grandfather.

I just wanted you to know that the May/Rath family history is carrying on strong.

Thank you again
Jason May

March 24th, 2012

Good afternoon Mrs. Starter,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kathleen Young, I live in Arizona. I've recently purchased your book, 'Tales of Rathtrevor Beach'. I've just glanced through it and can't wait to read it from cover to cover. I was looking for a connection to my past. Something to share with our daughter. I was doing a family tree, both my parents have passed and our daughter is an only child. While combing through my memory and trying to remember every last detail of what my parents had taught and told me, places they had lived.....suddenly Rathtrevor Beach sprang to mind. I remembered it so clearly. Walking on the beach with my Dad....how beautiful it was. I remembered the farm house, the hunting dogs, I couldn't have been more than two or three. The visit would have been about 1959. Remembering these things I wasn't sure if it was a dream or a real memory. I had to find out. I remembered Aunt Ede and Uncle George. I 'googled ''Rathtrevor Beach' B.C. You could not have imagined how happy I was to find your book. This was more than I could have hoped for...actual true stories of the relatives I had not seen in so many years. After a bit more investigation and a few phone calls, the wonderful ladies at Mulberry Bush Book store in Parksville assured me my copy would be on it's way.

Sincerely, Ede's Niece Kathleen Young

Continuing correspondence from Kathleen Young,

Dear Lynn, I was looking for my past but thanks to you, I've found so much more. Thank you so very much for such a wonderful book. All the hard work you put into this venture. Thank you so much for your friendship. You filled in all the blanks of my memory.... put it all together for me with your kind letters and your stories of the past. Aunt Ede and Uncle George. I will never forget them and I am so happy to say that I have found a wonderful friend in you. Without you, I would have been lost.

Love to you always, Kathleen

September 3, 2012

Lynn- thanks so much for sending the book along. Quite delightful. Your art work adds much to it. The cover is accurate but witty. Since I live on San Pareil in Parksville, within walking distance of the park, I shall have great fun making use of the map you have included to figure out things as they were. A nice place to grow up.

Best, Graham MacDonald

Tales of Rathtrevor Beach      Current Artwork by Lynn Starter      A Pictorial History of Artwork       Email Lynn Starter