Gertrude "Gunpowder Gertie" Stubbs is a fictional pirate, often mistakenly reported as real.
Stubbs, the story goes, was born in 1879, in Whitby, England, the daughter of George Stubbs, a train engineer and his wife, Violet, a seamstress. Her family moved to Sandon, British Columbia in Canada in 1895. Her mother died in an avalanche and her father turned to alcohol. Having to fend for herself, Gertrude became a pirate on the Kootenay River in Canada. She was known as "Gunpowder Gertie, the Pirate Queen of the Kootenays" and her steamship was called "The Witch." She supposedly hid her treasures and never let anyone know the location, even after her eventual capture and imprisonment by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The story of Gunpowder Gertie was told as an April fools joke in the local Kootenay area newspaper, the Kootenay Review. So many people believed that it was true that it was later retold as historical fact on the CBC program, This Day in History. The story of Gunpowder Gertie was written by Carolyn McTaggart, a local storyteller and resident of the Kootenays.
The story was later adapted into a script by a reputable director, and performed by youth at Centre Stage Theatre.
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