Sam Alexander was born in 1892 just north of Nanaimo.
His first job was starting and stopping a steam engine on a coal conveyor at the mine. He was 13 years old and received 75 cents a day.
Alexander also drove a mule team hauling cars of coal, worked as a blacksmith’s helper, was a pump man and spare brakeman, and a fireman on locomotives. He was skipper and engineer on the SSBute, carrying loggers to the camps and hauling freight and towing logs.
One day the regular locomotive engineer was away and Sam took over as locomotive engineer and shovel engineer. He operated locomotives in Chemainus from 1940 until his retirement in 1964.
You can find out more about Sam Alexander and other colourful characters who shaped the history of Chemainus at the Chemainus Valley Museum, 9799 Waterwheel Crescent.