British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1982

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 listorical Assc
- •
Stanley Park Idylls
Trails from New
Westminster, 1865
Successful Convention
*.■*. v
/ancouver Public Library 5397W7S|£ On the cover
Weekend picnicking was one of Vancouverites' most popular recreational pastimes in Stanley Park.
The women's dresses, china cups, wooden picnic boxes, and forest density suggest that these
picnickers may have arrived at their secluded spot by carriage or automobile.
... story starts on page six.
Member societies and their secretaries are responsible for keeping their addresses up-to-date. Please enclose
a telephone number for an officer if possible also.
Alberni District Museum & Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P. O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHA — Gulf Islands Branch, c/o P.O. Box 35, Saturna Island, B.C. VON 2Y0
BCHA — Victoria Branch, c/o Patricia Roy, 602-139 Clarence St., Victoria, B.C. V8V 2J1
Burnaby Historical Society, c/o Kathleen A. Moore, 3755 Triumph St., Burnaby, B.C. V5C 1Y5
Campbell River & District Museums & Archives Society, 1235 Island Highway, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 2C7
Chemainus Valley Historical Association, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
Creston & District Historical & Museum Society, c/o Margaret Moore, Box 253, Creston, B.C. VOB 1G0
District 69 Historical Society, c/o Mildred Kurtz, P.O. Box 74, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, c/o H. Mayberry, 216 6th Avenue S., Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 2H6
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden B.C. VOA 1H0
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2, Ladysmith, B.C. VOR 2E0
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station "A", Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical & Museum Society, R.R. #2, Texaco, Box 5, Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
New Denver Historical Society, c/o Janet Amsden, Box 51, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Nootka Sound Historical Society, Box 748, Gold River, B.C. VOP 1G0
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Doris Blott, 1671 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 1M6
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Ray Joy, 10719 Bayfield Road, R.R. #3, Sidney, B.C.
V8L 3P9
Silverton Historical Society, c/o P.O. Box 137, Silverton, B.C. VOG 2B0
Society Historique Franco-Colombienne, 9 avenue Broadway E., Vancouver, C.-B. V5T 1V4
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Windermere District Historical Society, Box 1075, Invermere, B.C. VOA 1K0 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Letters to the Editor        4
News of the Association        5
Stanley Park: Vancouver's Forest Playground
by Robert A.J. McDonald      6
Trails Radiating from New Westminster, c. 1865
by R.C. Harris     14
Jottings of a Gentleman
by Patrick A. Dunae   19
Discovery: 1912
by E.W. Giesecke     22
News and Notes     25
Reports from the Branches   26
Anne Stevenson     28
The West Howe Sound Story by Francis J. Van Den Wyngaert
The Fort Nelson Story by Gerri F. Young
A Guide to the Study of Manitoba Local History by Gerald Friesen and Barry Potyondi
review by Clarence Karr     33
Manlike Monsters on Trial by Marjorie M. Halpin and Michael Ames, eds.
Totem Poles: An Illustrated Guide by Marjorie Halpin
Gabriola: Petroglyph Island by Mary and Ted Bentley
Mungo Martin: Man of Two Cultures by the B.C. Indian Arts Society
review by Douglas Cole     34
Vancouver: An Illustrated History by Patricia E. Roy
review by Ted Goshulak      35
Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West by Doug
review by Ian MacPherson    36
My Mother the Judge: A Biography of Helen Gregory MacGill by Elsie Gregory
review by Barbara Latham  37
Second-class mail registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, V8W
2Y3. Our Charitable Donations number is 0404681-52-27. Printed by Fotoprint, Victoria, B.C.
Correspondence with editor is to be addressed to Box 1738, Victoria, V8W 2Y3.
Subscriptions: Institutional $15.00 per year, Individual (non-members) $7.00 per year.
The B.C. Historical Association gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. To the Editor
The Editor:
Planned construction of high voltage transmission lines threatens to destroy much of what
remains of the Harrison-Lillooet route. It is a route
of provincial importance: in March 1980, the
Heritage Conservation Branch of the Ministry of
the Provincial Secretary published the Lillooet-
Fraser Resource Study which describes in detail
this one-time road to the gold fields of the Fraser
and its tributaries.
The Study summarizes the potential of what is
left of the southern section of the first Cariboo
Road and its mile houses:
"... significant remnants of the Harrison-
Lillooet route still exist, particularly in the Port
Douglas-D'Arcy corridor." (page 143, Vol. 1)
"The Harrison-Lillooet route offers the best
overall potential in the study region for
conservation and interpretation of heritage
resources." (page 144)
"that the Port Douglas-D'Arcy corridor be
designated a provincial heritage recreation
corridor." (page 53)
B.C. Hydro's plans for additional power lines
threaten this corridor over its entire length. In
1981, the corporation published the findings
which can affect historic sites located at intervals
for about fifteen miles south west from D'Arcy.
They are contained in Kelly Lake-Cheekye 500 kV
Double Circuit Transmission Line, Stage 1,
Summary Report, July 1981. Running as it will
through half-mile wide valleys, this line will
jeopardize important vestiges of the work of the
Royal Engineers and others, all that remain after
construction of four existing power lines.
High voltage lines less advanced in planning
will branch south along Lillooet Lake and continue towards Port Douglas, endangering heritage
resources of the southern section of the Harrison-
Lillooet route. Transmission lines already slice
through some of the historic sites of the Resource
Study. After construction of the proposed massive
developments, all sections of the first highway on
the mainland may disappear along with old mile
house locations.
Several Pemberton community groups: the
ratepayers' organizations of Birken, Pemberton,
and Whistler; as well as the Village of Pemberton
and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, all
oppose more power lines through inhabited
valleys. The ratepayers' groups and the Mount
Currie Band have formed a coalition for more
effective opposition. Because Hydro is planning to
submit an application for the Kelly Lake-Cheekye
line later this year, we who protest the routing of
this line have little time to prepare forceful
arguments to present to the B.C. Utilities Commission.
We are asking for support. The address of the
secretary of the People's Energy Review Coalition
(PERC) is Box 4, Pemberton, B.C. VON 2L0.
Mrs. Thord Fougberg
Pemberton, B.C.
Yes, I wish to subscribe to B. C. Historical News. I enclose a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y3.
Individual      Four issues for $7.00 ( )
Institutional  Four issues for $15.00 ( )
Postal Code
Page 4
British Columbia Historical News Mr. & Mrs. Gerry Wellburn and Donald New (left to
right) at the B.C.H.A. Annual Convention at Cowichan
Bay. Donald New is a past-president of the Association.
News Policy
Members of the News Policy Committee, an
advisory committee set up one year ago, are
Helen Akrigg, Naomi Miller, Winnifred Weir, ex
officio Barbara Stannard, and myself, Ruth
Barnett, chairperson.
The committee has met three times and
members have conferred by telephone and letter.
During this period the News has expanded from
an issue of 24 pages to the last one of 38 pages.
The committee is exploring methods by which
the News may be retailed and become better
known in the province. At this time, the retail
price of a copy of the News has been set at three
dollars. Tom Carrington has kindly agreed to be
My thanks go to our hardworking and imaginative editor, to the members of the committee
for their co-operation, and to those who have
mailed in both suggestions and material.
— Ruth Barnett
A Message from
the President
The convention has come and gone. A hearty
vote of thanks to the Cowichan Historical Society
and their active convention committee. It was a
most successful convention in a beautiful setting
with that feeling of friendship so important to
these occasions. You followed all the rules by
providing a wealth of historical information and
good fellowship. A rose to you all, Cowichan
Historical Society.
The visit of the Heritage Advisory Board with
Mr. Russell Irving was very informative. We look
forward to a closer relationship with this body. Mr.
Frey and Mr. Tarasoff attended our council
meeting and will be attending more meetings,
where they will be able to keep in touch with all
areas of the province.
I make this oft repeated plea to all societies.
Please let your executive know where we can be
the most assistance to you. If you have complaints,
please voice them; if you have praise, let that be
known also. I ask your cooperation with all
committees. I hope to be able to visit some of your
societies next year. I extend a warm welcome to
the new societies who have joined us this year.
— Barbara Stannard.
Back Issues of News
Still Available
Back issues of the B.C. Historical News, over
the ten years that Phil and Anne Yandle were
editors, can still be obtained from the Alberni
District Museum and Historical Society, P.O. Box
284, Port Alberni, B.C., V9Y 7M7.
They cannot guarantee further holding of
these copies after October 1982. The only charge
— postage prepaid.
Summer 1982
Page 5 Stanley Park: Vancouver's
Forest Playground
Robert A. J. McDonald
In its early, unmanicured state, Vancouver's
Stanley Park was unique. It alone among North
American parks was a primeval forest in the front
yard of a big city.1 No other urban park drew
wilderness to the edge of civilization quite like
Stanley Park, a 960 acre peninsula of natural
rainforest standing proudly at the western entrance to the city's harbour.
Its advertising features were fully exploited by
the Canadian Pacific Railway and real estate
boosters alike. Stanley Park became Vancouver's
most widely acclaimed feature. As writer Elbert
Hubbard remarked, "There are parks and parks,
but ... no park in the world ... will exhaust your
stock of adjectives and subdue you to silence like
Stanley Park in Vancouver."2
Stanley Park was much more than a tourist
attraction and civic money-maker. It was also
Vancouver's "breathing spot", its "place of
recreation", its forest playground. Business-
minded civic leaders had not endowed early
Vancouver with an abundance of recreational
parks. Until playing fields on the east side of the
city were purchased in 1902, the poorly maintained Cambie Street grounds provided the inner
core's only recreational space.
One exception to Vancouver's essentially
shortsighted parks policy stood out: Stanley Park.
A former military reserve, it was granted to the city
for park purposes in 1887.3 For Vancouverites, lack
of alternative recreational locations merely
enhanced Stanley Park's seductive natural attractions.
Access to the park remained relatively difficult
for the city's majority until a streetcar line reached
the Georgia Street entrance sometime in 1897."
Thereafter, citizens of all economic and social
backgrounds flocked to the "people's park." A
July 1911 census of users revealed that 53,255
pedestrians, 1114 automobiles, 1171 rigs, and 660
bicycles entered the park during one seven-day
period; almost 22,000 pedestrians entered on
Sunday alone.5 Little wonder, then, in this city of
121,000 people, some would complain that "it was
a hard proposition to get to Stanley Park on a
street car, owing to the crowd."6
Those owning bicycles, horses, rigs, or motor
cars could venture far into the inner heart of the
great forest. A Sunday afternoon carriage drive to
the spectacular lookout at Prospect Point was as
popular with the city's carriage-owning elite as it
was with visiting tourists and dignitaries.
The new safety bicycle's pneumatic tires, lightweight tubular construction, equal-sized wheels,
chain-gear drive, diamond-shaped frame, and
relatively inexpensive pricetag made cycling one
of urban North America's most popular recreational pastimes in the 1890s/ No other part of the
Terminal City could compete with Stanley Park as
a locale for cycling, and middle class Vancouverites, smitten by the cycling bug, swarmed across
the park in the nineties to such northside
attractions as Prospect Point and Siwash Rock.
The motor car offered a much less democratic
means of travelling in Stanley Park. Business leader
W.H. Armstrong acquired the first automobile in
B.C. in 1899.8 Throughout the decade after 1900
cars remained the toy of wealthier middle class
businessmen and professionals.9 Motorists, too,
favoured drives around Stanley Park's perimeter
road. Sugar magnate B.T. Rogers, for one, gained
notoriety by roaring around the park in his
"snorting motor" at fast speeds.10
For the vast majority of park visitors, who
entered on foot, Stanley Park's recreational
possibilities were more limited. Crowding occur-
ed in particular at the north end of the Coal
Harbour bridge, the point reached most easily
Page 6
British Columbia Historical News ——SwjtMOOfawl
Tt  ■ fi r -.-
Map of Stanley Park, 1898
Thompson Stationery Company, Tourist Guide Map of Vancouver City and Park, 1898, Vancouver City
from the city by road or streetcar. Between 1891
and 1897 twelve acres of forest were cleared near
the bridge, and a zoo, aviary, bear pit, and lawns
were added.
In the early 1890's the fourteen-acre Brockton
Point athletic grounds were carved from the forest
at the eastern end of the park. Spectators reached
the grounds either by trail from the main park
entrance or by Union Steamship Company boat.
Naval displays by visiting sailors, militia pageants,
band concerts, and competitive athletic contests
made Brockton Point, with its fields and bleachers,
the park's most active recreational centre. Second
Beach, long popular for swimming and seaside
picnics, was within walking distance of both the
Georgia and Beach Street entrances.11
In short, as Park Commissioner A. E. Lees
noted in 1913, Stanley Park was "not for the rich
alone." It was also "the heritage of the masses."
While on the surface Stanley Park's broad popular
appeal appeared to draw rich and poor together
in harmonious union, closer examination reveals
that different socio-economic groups enjoyed the
park's recreational offerings quite unequally.
Vancouver's "plain every-day people" did not
have full use of the park. As Lees himself went on
to say, the "masses congregate near the entrances
because they are not blessed with motor cars and
horses."12 To cite Park Board statistics again, only
3.5 percent of all pedestrians reached Prospect
Point on the park's north side.13 East Vancouver's
residents' support in 1911 for a proposed tramline
from Coal Harbour across the park to Siwash Rock
reflected many Vancouverites' growing frustration with restricted access to the park's outer
The recreational grounds, too, were a source
of public controversy. From 1888 to 1913, control
Summer 1982
Page 7 of the grounds rested with the Brockton Point
Athletic Association, a private body initially
dominated by socially prominent businessmen.15
While some working class players, such as those
associated with the city's lacrosse teams, played at
Brockton Point, fees charged by the Association
tended to restrict use of the playing fields to better
organized and wealthier teams and limit popular
participation to spectator roles.16 Consequently, as
early as the 1890's Vancouver labour unions were
demanding additional free recreational grounds
elsewhere in the park and city.17
By 1912 Stanley Park had reached a turning-
point. Increased patronage stimulated a major
debate about whether the park's wilderness
character should be maintained at all costs, or
whether popular demands for greater access,
more open space, and additional recreational
facilities should be heeded. Should Stanley Park
remain a "holy retreat" as wilderness preservationists demanded, or become a more "practical
breathing spot" as the masses maintained?18
Public pressure and Henry Ford's Model-T appear
to have decided the controversy in favour of the
popular majority.
1 Saturday Sunset, 13 January 1912, in Vancouver Park
Board Papers, R.G.7, Clippings, Loc. 51-B-5, Vancouver City Archives (VCA).
2 Vancouver Park Board, First Annual Report, 1911, p.
53, in ibid.
3 William C. McKee, "The History of the Vancouver
Park System 1886-1929," unpub. M.A. thesis. University of Victoria, 1976, pp. 34-35 and chapter 6.
4 The exact date of completion is unknown, but an
agreement between Vancouver and the street railway
company was reached in May 1897. See Daily News-
Advertiser, 26 May 1897, p. 5.
5 Ibid., 27 July 1911, in V.P.B. Papers, R.G. 7, Clippings,
Loc. 51-B-5, VCA.
6 Vancouver Daily Province, 15 November 1912, p. 16.
7 Richard Harmond, "Progress and Flight: An Interpretation of the American Cycle Craze of the 1890s,"
Journal of Social History, vol. 5 (1971-72), pp. 235-257.
» E.O.S. Scholefield and F.W. Howay, British Columbia
from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vancouver,
1914, vol. 3, pp. 222-226.
9 British Columbians registered only 594 automobiles
in 1909, but this number increased markedly to 6138
in 1913.
10 Vancouver Sun, 21 October 1965, p. 17.
11 See McKee, "Vancouver Park System," chapter 4;
W.S. Rawlings to Major A.B. Carey, 4 January 1913,
V.P.B. Papers, R.C. 7, Correspondence, Loc. 48-E-1,
VCA; and Major J.S. Matthews Photograph Collec-
tion,vol. 149 (Stanley Park), p. 92.
12 News-Advertiser, 7 January 1913, in V.P.B. Papers,
R.G. 7, Clippings, Loc. 51-B-5, VCA.
13 J.W. Wilkinson and J.H. McVetytotheSec. Board of
Park Commissioners, 16 August 1911, V.P.B. Papers,
R.G. 7, Correspondence, Loc. 48-C-3, VCA.
14 News-Advertiser, 17 August 1911, pp. 1 and 4.
15 Ibid, 8 May 1888, p. 6; 10 May 1888, p. 6; and 3 June
1888, p. 1.
16 For example, the city's Vancouver Lacrosse Club of
1890 included a cabinetmaker, compositor, clerk,
upholsterer, brakeman, watchmaker, merchant, and
express company messenger. See Matthews Photograph Collection, vol. 145 (Sports), p. 48, and
Vancouver city directories.
17 News-Advertiser, 31 August 1895, p. 8.
18 See V.P.B. Papers, R.G. 7, Clippings for 1912, passim.,
Loc. 51-B-5, VCA.
Local residents were using the beach on the west side of the military reserve even before
Vancouver acquired Stanley Park in 1887. In 1911 the Park Board underbrushed the area
behind the beach and added picnic facilities.
Page 8
British Columbia Historical News w^rjtoamimmmiBm
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Summer 1982
Page 9 Page 10
British Columbia Historical News Spring 1982
Page 11 Page 12
British Columbia Historical News ■
Summer 1982
Page 13 R.C. Harris
Trails Radiating from New
Westminster, c. 1865
Between 1859 and 1862 the Royal Engineers,
acting under the direction of Governor James
Douglas, laid down the broad outline of highways
in Greater Vancouver. These roads do not
conform with the rectangular street grids adopted
later, and are therefore conspicuous on a modern
street map. Expansion of the road system south
and east of New Westminster began in the 1870's.
The accompanying figure is transcribed from
sheet two of an ambitious 1 inch = 10 miles map of
British Columbia which was a part-time project of
surveyor and draftsman J.B. Launders at the Lands
and Works Department, Colony of British Columbia.
Seven sheets were started, covering southern
British Columbia in two tiers. Although the sheets
are not signed or dated, they can be assigned to
Launders from entries made in the Department's
work book for 1865, and by the style of the work
book for 1865 and the style of the map. Prints of all
seven sheets will be found in the map room at the
Provincial Archives and at the Royal Geographic
Society, London.
Sapper James Benjamin Launders came to
British Columbia in 1859 as one of Captain H.R.
Luard's contingent. When the Columbia Detachment of the Royal Engineers was disbanded in
1863, Launders was part of the majority who
elected to settle here. He remained in the Lands
and Works Department which was set up under
Colonel Moody, Chief Commissioner of Lands
and Works, as part of the fabric of colonial
During his career Launders produced hundreds of finely drawn plans and maps for the
Department. One of his best known compilations
is the 1871 "Trutch" map of British Columbia.
(Joseph Trutch was the incumbent Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.)
Examination of the excerpt from Launders'
map show all seven trails run from tidewater to
tidewater. They were built for at least two reasons:
for alternative military access and to open the land
for survey and settlement. In the case of extremely
severe winters, such as 1861/62 when the Fraser
was solidly frozen for weeks, the trails also gave
civilian access to salt water for supplies and mail.
On arrival in late 1858, Col. Moody showed
alarm at the militarily exposed position of the
provisional capital of Fort Langley on the south
bank of the Fraser. Exploring downstream on the
north bank, he almost selected Mary Hill for the
site of the capital, but finally chose the hill which is
now the Royal City, right at the apex of the Fraser
The Royal Enginers established their camp,
which included an observatory and a printing
press, about a mile upstream of Queen(s)bo-
Page 14
British Columbia Historical News rough, on a flat now in front of the old federal
Two of the five "roads" started from the Royal
Engineer Camp on the east side of New Westminster hill, the other three started on the west
side.1 For some distance from the New Westminster street grid the roads ran straight, before
succumbing to the topography. The straight roads
were used as convenient baselines for district lot
surveys on either side. This applies particularly to
Douglas (now Eighth) Street, and to the North
The standard width of road allowance was one
chain (66 feet or 20 metres), but the early contracts
only called for clearing an aisle 10 or 20 feet wide
through the forest. Most road and trail building
From Sheet 2 of the unfinished LANDS AND WORKS DEPARTMENT 10-mile map of British Columbia, c. 1865.
Draftsman: J.B. Launders (ex Royal Engineers).
Summer 1982
Page 15 work was awarded through public tenders to
specifications and plans drawn by the Royal
Engineers, operating as the Lands and Works
Department.2 The Royal Engineers later supervised and accepted the contractors' work.
Launders made many of the plans and tracings,
which fitted him for compiling his 10-mile and
other maps.
The work was very heavy for hand tools. There
were contractor failures and abandoned contracts, but gradually the roads and trails were
pushed out from New Westminster, then were
widened. The usual contract price was £60 per
mile of road opened 20 feet wide. The contractor
was often paid in land valued at 10 shillings per
acre, the contractor to select the land. A well-
financed contractor could be paid in land at 120
acres per mile. All brush and trees up to 10 inches
in diameter had to be removed. Larger trees were
to be cut down at chopping height and rolled off
the trail. A completion date was specified.
When the trails were accepted as complete,
they required continual maintenance and clearing from traffic and weather and rampant vegetation. For this purpose, chain gangs of minimum
security convicts tethered to a long, clanking
chain were employed as part of their rehabilitation.3     	
Notes on the seven roads and trails on the
excerpt from Launders' map follow. The name on
the map is given first, followed by most of the
synonyms. At times, the same name was used for
two different trails.
North Road
Trail to Burrard Inlet; Trail to Port Moody (inlet);
Port Moody Road; North Road to Port Moody.
The first contract to build this direct connection to Burrard Inlet was let in 1859, but the road
seems to have served more as a baseline for land
surveys on either side than as a thoroughfare. On
29 May 1867 (ex Corporal) Howse reported: "The
roadway from the Brunette to Burrard Inlet is
overgrown with fern and underbrush, leaving
only a foot track along the line ... it is badly cut
up, the surface being washed away, which has
exposed numerous roots, small boulders, etc."4
This accurately describes the North Road 115
years later on its descent to Burrard Inlet from the
shoulder of Burnaby Mountain. This part of the
road was bypassed in 1884, when Clarke Road was
built north east from it to the new settlement of
Port Moody at the end of the inlet, over the
hypotenuse of the triangle.
Going north on the North Road in 1982, it is
blacktopped to just north of Clarke Road,
widening to six lanes at the Lougheed Mall. North
Road is gravelled beyond Clarke Road, to the crest
on the side of Burnaby Mountain. At the crest, it is
closed by two rows of boulders and abandoned
beyond. It can be followed as a foot trail through
the dense deciduous second growth forest on a
good descending grade as far as the Barnet
highway where it appears to have turned sharply
east to ease the increasing grade.
The waterfront served by North Road is now
designated piers 65 and 66: the "Burnaby Bulk
Loading terminal" for petroleum products.
Pitt River Road
The North East Road
This road gave access to the farming lands
north and east of New Westminster as far as Pitt
River. It was first opened in 1862. It branched from
the foot of North Road, not far from the Royal
Engineer Camp, and was built in several stages.
The first third of Pitt River Road is now
Brunette Avenue which follows the old line until it
is superseded by the new, widened, Lougheed
Highway at the tip of the Cape Horn hill. The next
third runs from Cape Horn into the grounds of
Riverview hospital, then turns sharply east to cross
the Lougheed Highway, the CP. Rail tracks and
the Coquitlam River, as Pitt River Road.
The final third makes a loop round the north
end of Mary Hill (named for Col. Moody's wife)
before ending unceremoniously in the bush on
the bank of Pitt River. The road is blacktop all the
Page 16
British Columbia Historical News Unnamed
Coquitlam Lake Trail
At the west bank of the Coquitlam River, the
Coquitlam Lake Trail was built north and south
from the Pitt River Road, giving further access to
lands along the right bank. By the end of 1863, trail
building had reached within two miles of Coquitlam Lake.5
The writer has not found any sections of this
trail on the ground.
Road to 2nd Narrows (sic) (not Second, see
Douglas Street Road; Douglas Road; Burrard Inlet
Road; The Mail Road; New Westminster and
Hastings (Stage) Road; Hastings Road; Extension
of Douglas Street Wagon Road; Road to Lumber
Mills on Burrard Inlet; ...
The many synonyms for this road suggest it was
well used. It began as a straight-line extension of
Douglas (Eighth) Street in New Westminster,
reaching mile 5, between Burnaby and Deer Lakes
in 1861.6 It finally reached Burrard Inlet at the
townsite of Hastings in 18657 One contract
allowed "the contractor to be at liberty to wind
the road to avoid marshy places or large trees ..."
In 1875/76 it was extended west along the south
shore of Burrard Inlet to Granville townsite.
The "Road to 2nd Narrows" survives largely
intact as far west as Vancouver City limits (Boundary Road). Beyond this, it is swallowed by the
Procrustean grid of city streets.
In New Westminster, Douglas Street is now
Eighth and its extension northwest into Burnaby
has become Canada Way. Then as Douglas Road,
the route splits from Canada Way and crosses the
central valley of Burnaby (Still Creek). It joins the
Lougheed Highway for a while, then follows the
sidehill northwest, round to Boundary Road.
Road to False Creek
Started 1859: Trail to False creek; Road to English
Bay; Road to Outer Anchorage (Jerry's Cove/
Jericho); False Creek Trail; Moody Path; Military
Trail; relocated 1885, as:
Granville Trunk Road; Westminster-Vancouver
Trunk Road; New Road; Vancouver Road; and
finally, Kingsway.
This work suffered from shortage of government funds and a succession of inexperienced
contractors. It never reached its original destination on English Bay, but was diverted to False
Creek and eventually crossed it at the Narrows,
now Main Street. Thus, it connected New Westminster with Burrard Inlet at what became
Granville, later the City of Vancouver. It left
Douglas (Eighth) Street near New Westminster at
14th Avenue.
The initial contract was dated 10 October 1859,
but the trail was not open to through traffic until
1861. The original contractor, a loose partnership,
was still claiming extra payment in January of
The trail was sufficiently busy, especially with
the advent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, that it
was entirely relocated and rebuilt as a "trunk"
road in 1885/86. The general concept of the old
trail was followed, but the new alignment intersected the old winding trail in only three places.9
The new road left New Westminster by 12th
Street, parallel to and west of Eighth Street.
Road to Point Grey
McRobert Trail, New Westminster and North Arm
Trail; North Arm Road; River Road; South Marine
This trail was built by Hugh McRoberts and his
two cousins, the McCleery brothers. The three
were relatively experienced contractors having
worked successfully in the Fraser Canyon. They
were paid, as usual, partly in land which they
selected just west of the south end of Granville
Summer 1982
Page 17 Street. The McCleerys are remembered here by a
street name.
There is no evidence of contractor difficulties
on this work, but owing to the shortage of colonial
funds the trail never reached Point Grey, but
turned south to meet the Fraser at a wharf at the
east end of the Musqueam Indian Reserve.
The trail left the road system of New Westminster via 6th Avenue. South Marine Drive follows its
course closely almost to Granville street. West of
this, its course is now lost, but could be reconstructed from the legal surveys of the lots it
To Mud Bay
Mud Bay Trail; Kennedy Trail (1861); Telegraph
Trail (1865); New Westminster and Semiahmo
Telegraph Trial (1874); Great Northern Railway
(1890's), now Burlington Northern.
The contract and plan for this work describe "a
Road from opposite New Westminster to join the
Langley Road, and a Branch toward Boundary
Bay." The emphasis then shifted to Boundary Bay
"with a Branch to join the Road to Langley."10
There is no evidence that any work was done
toward Langley, but Acting Sergeant Major
George Cann, R.E., inspected the work towards
Mud Bay, reporting that it was "nothing but a Trail
and not a Road."11 It is likely that its route along
the base of the hill was an aboriginal trail.
"towards Langley from a point nearly opposite
Tree Island", "about 4 mHes above the R.E. Camp
at New Westminster."12
This uncompleted trail, 1860/61, was the first to
head east from New Westminster south of the
Fraser River to join existing trails at Fort Langley.
The contract was signed 01 December 1860 by
Messrs. Girard and Co. with a completion date of
31 December 1860, which date was deleted and
replaced by 31 March 1861.
Capt. Parsons inspected the first four miles on
04 March 1861 and reported to Col. Moody that
the work was not satisfactory.13 The trail should
have been built further south to avoid three great
ravines, and the line of trail should have been "laid
out by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and
Works, or his Agent" before the work started. A
note on the contract, dated 17 April 1861, shows
"This contract thrown up by Messrs. Girard and
Co. ..."
Part of this trail may have been incorporated in
the 1865 Telegraph Trail which ran up the south
bank of the Fraser River enroute to Alaska and
Siberia on behalf of the Collins Overland Telegraph.
1 British Columbia Colonial Correspondence, PABC,
F950 (1867), Lands and Works (New Westminster)
2 Ibid, F957 (1859, 1860, 1861), Lands and Works
(Contracts and Agreements)
3 Sessional Papers of British Columbia, 1873 onwards,
Annual Reports of Public Works, "New Westminster District"
4 B.C. Colonial Correspondence, PABC, F950 (1867),
F951 (1867), Lands and Works (New Westminster)
5 Ibid, Charles Good, F650 (1864)
6 Ibid, F957 (1861) and F1030, William McColl (1862,
7 British Columbia. Lands and Works Department. "A
Portion of New Westminster District ... and ...
Vancouver Island, B.C." Victoria, 1902. Shows
Douglas Road all the way to Hastings Post Office, on
the shore of Burrard Inlet.
8 B.C. Colonial Correspondence, PABC, F1037 (1865),
D. McDonald
9 B.C. Lands and Works Department. Plan 772 NWD.
"Diagram of Lines, Group I [District Lots]", C. 1861.
Details parts of three roads from New Westminster.
10 B.C. Colonial Correspondence, PABC, F957 (1859,
1860, 1861), Lands and Works Department
11 Ibid, F267 (1861), George Cann
12 Ibid, F963 (1858-59), Lands and Works (Specifications)
13 Ibid, F1313 (1861), R.M. Parsons
Page 18
British Columbia Historical News Jottings of a Gentleman
Patrick A. Dunae
Not all Cariboo sourdoughs were rowdy
ruffians, who denied religion and defied the law.
Many indeed were members of some of the best
families of Great Britain and eastern Canada.1 John
Thomas Wilson Clapperton is a case in point.
Well-born and gently bred, Clapperton left a
comfortable home and promising career in
England for the gold fields of British Columbia.
He was just nineteen years of age and was, by
his own admission, inexperienced in the ways of
the world. Still, this youthful gentleman proved
more than able to meet the hardships, discomforts, and disappointments that were an inescapable part of the Gold Rush.
Clapperton recorded his experiences and
impressions in a diary which he kept from the time
he left England until the rush was over in 1866.
Two years later, he used his diary to compile a
short, but fascinating memoir. Entitled "Jottings
From Our First Seven Years in British Columbia,"
his journal positively bubbles with youthful
energy and enthusiasm.2 The Clapperton memoir
is also packed with wit, humour, and details,
which makes it one of the most informative and
entertaining reminiscences of the period.3
Clapperton's account of his first days in
Victoria provides a good example of his style. On
arriving in the city after their three month journey
from England, Clapperton and his companions
were met by a clergyman whom they had known
in the Old Country. As might be expected, he
advised the lads not to rush headlong to the gold
fields, but to remain in the capital and take some
"sure and steady employment". But as the
following extract shows, Clapperton & Co. were
too impatient, too excited by gold fever, to heed
the clergyman's advice:4
Without further delay P.R. Gray, W.K. and
W.N. and myself entered into partnership for the
trip and everything else we might embark on, so in
the rooms at the Royal Hotel commenced the
work of making up packs of swago for the
Into the deepest recess of trunk or chest are
deposited linen, collars, ties, white shirts, rings,
pins and watch guard, light clothing and heavy —
in short the fashionable young man divests himself
of his entire wardrobe save a change of underclothing and the shirt and trousers that he wears.
At least that is what he should do, but every
novice on his first trip is fain to carry an extra pair
of pants, a light coat, or something else superfluous, and before he is half way to the mines	
he thinks very little of throwing away almost
everything he is not actually wearing or using on
the trip.
We now got blankets, provisions, cooking
utensils and many implements sufficient to undo
the bolts and bars of Nature's treasure vaults, and
each man lifted and relifted his pack, believing it
to be no heavier than his neighbour's.
Next morning, June 4th, up in good time,
breakfast over, sacks shouldered and off to the
steamer "Enterprise" bound for New Westminster. At 9 A.M. we left the wharf, over 100 strong
able-bodied men, amidst the cheers of well
wishers collected on the pier. It was a beautiful day
and as we walked the deck in miners' rig, our new
tin cups, revolvers and bowie knives (the latter
useless heavy appendages) gleaming in the
Spring 1982
Paee 19 Page 20
British Columbia Historical News sunlight.
We felt wild and free as the wave, now
cracking a pleasant joke with each other, anon,
admiring the beautiful scenery of the Straits and
expressing half sympathy, half contempt, for those
of our shipmates who, from reasons best known to
themselves, resolved to remain in Victoria.
From New Westminster, Clapperton and his
companions made their way via the Douglas-
Lillooet route to Antler Creek. There they
endured miserable weather and hordes of hungry
insects. Yet despite their Herculean labours,
Clapperton and his friends failed to find any gold.
What was more, they were forced to pay exhorbi-
tant amounts for supplies and transport.
Realizing that "to remain at Antler Creek was
but to starve," Clapperton's party worked as
labourers on the Yale-Clinton wagon road, before
returning to Victoria for the winter. By operating a
lime kiln and doing assorted odd-jobs they
managed to replenish their bankrolls and in May
1864, they launched another assault on the gold
fields of the Cariboo. This time they were
equipped with a huge cast-iron waterpump,
which they lugged as far as Barkerville.
But still Fortune eluded them and in the
autumn of '64 they trudged back to Victoria. There
the band of young adventurers dispersed — some
returning to their families in the Old Country,
some to Australia and other parts of the Empire.
Clapperton, however, decided to remain in
Victoria, even though the city was then overrun
with erstwhile gold seekers who had lost their
capital in the Cariboo. Many of these "broken-
down gentlemen" languished in tents and saloons
near the harbour. Others, armed with letters of
introduction, languished in the anterooms of
government offices, in hopes of securing a
"plum" government appointment. Like so many
Micawbers, they were all waiting for something to
turn up.
While Clapperton was also a "victim of blasted
hopes" he had no intention of resorting to what
amounted to genteel beggary. Nor did he believe,
as did many of his well-born compatriots, that
there was anything demeaning in manual labour.
On the contrary, he believed that vanity, pomposity, and self-imposed idleness were far greater
"Hard Labour" I have heard idle fops denounce as "mean" and lowering to a respectable
young man. It may be, but eating the bread of
idleness, spongeing on your friends for a living,
running into debt for clothing and other requirements, whilst you are walking round in foolish
pride, "waiting for something nice to turn up" is to
a young man in good health and possessed of
ordinary strength, the lowest dodge and frailest
foundation he can build on for future advancement, especially in a new country ...No honest
calling will disgrace a man if he does not disgrace it
Clapperton's opinions — which echo so
resoundingly in his journal — were reminiscent of
those expressed by the young heroes in the
adventure novels of R.M. Ballantyne. Manly and
resolute, Ballantyne boys inevitably climbed to
success. John Clapperton emulated them. After
working as a clerk and a labourer in Victoria, he
settled at Nicola, near present-day Merritt, where
he established the first sheep ranch. Ranching
proved to be a profitable venture and by the late
1870s Clapperton was one of the wealthiest men in
the Nicola Valley. He subsequently served as
postmaster, government agent, and justice of the
peace for the district.
In the early 1900s, the "Laird of Nicola" sold his
ranch to British interests and retired to Victoria.
The city had changed greatly since he had known
it in the 1860s, but so, too, had Clapperton. He was
a man of property and as befitted a gentleman of
his standing, he was able to purchase a large
country lodge not far from the city. Even so, he
had become very much attached to Nicola and
whenever possible he returned to the valley. He
died on one of his visits in October 1913. He was
seventy-eight years of age.
Today, John Clapperton is remembered
principally around Merritt as a pioneer rancher
and government agent; locally, he is also remembered as a genial raconteur and philanthropist.
But as the preceding extracts indicate, Clapperton
deserves further recognition as a moralist, diarist,
and author of one of the most lively accounts of
British Columbia's Cariboo Gold Rush.
1 W. Wymond Walkem, Stories of Early British Columbia (Vancouver: News-Advertiser, 1914), p. 270.
2 John Clapperton [pseud. "Artemus Ward"], "Jottings
From Our First Seven Years in British Columbia,"
[1868], Provincial Archives of British Columbia,
3 Clapperton's journal was serialized in the Merritt
Herald between 26 February and 27 August 1953. A
comprehensive edition of the journal, however, with
explanatory notes on place-names, secondary
figures, etc. has never been published.
4 Clapperton, "Jottings," p. 4.
s   Ibid., pp. 28-29.	
Patrick A. Dunae is author of Gentlemen Emigrants:
from the British Public Schools to the Canadian
Frontier. Formerly a member of the History department at the University of Victoria, he is now an
archivist at the Provincial Archives.
Spring 1982
Page 21 Discovery: 1912
This letter of 1912 was discovered recently in a
small town in West Germany, to where it was
addressed. It was written from Mount Olie, British
Columbia, the nearest town now being Little Fort,
north of Kamloops. John Frederick Giesecke, the
writer, then 32, was one of the first settlers on this
part of the North Thompson river. (The first had
come by 1908.) By 1912, the population had grown
to 50.
Long before the First World War, J. F. Giesecke
planned to emigrate from his small German
village of Gittelde. His goal was a large farm either
in Canada or South Africa. British Columbia
offered the most land, and the mountains and
evergreen forests were, in much greater scale, like
those of his home in the Harz mountains of
Northern Germany. He emigrated to British
Columbia early in 1912, being the only member of
the Giesecke family to come to Canada.
The 160 acres proved to be on hilly terrain, dry
and strewn with rocks. Fortunately he was able to
buy 10 acres of good bottom land. This was
apparently in the Lemieux Creek valley, "10
minutes" upstream from its junction with the
North Thompson.
His solo settler's enterprise, from Europe to
British Columbia, obviously took a degree of
courage. The North Thompson did not offer the
kind of close social structure that was had in a
German farming village. The "50 settlers" he
wrote about were scattered over several miles of
His earnest letter indicated that he desired at
least a small portion of the companionship that his
ancestral village had provided. The letter was
written to his first cousin, Otto Giesecke in
Gittelde. It asked him to come to Mount Olie and
establish himself as a cobbler, with the side
occupation of farmer on another 10 acres of
bottom land. The addressee, however, did not
choose to emigrate, and not long thereafter his
country was in the center of the First World War.
The translator and editor of the letter, E. W.
Giesecke, is the son of the writer. His home is in
Olympia, Washington, and he writes on Pacific
Northwest history as an avocation.
Mount Olie,
2 July 1912
Dear Otto!
Having come upon a beautiful place for you, I
feel the urge to write to you about it. Since April 20
I am in Canada. I have looked since then for some
land where I could establish myself as a farmer.
The conditions here differ, as there is much
less rain than in Germany. Therefore in most
places irrigation becomes necessary. This is
possible nearly everywhere as the land is mountainous, and brooks and streams are present
The land which the government still has to
distribute, and which costs $1.50 per acre, is
located on the slopes of the mountains. It is hard
to say whether one could really make a living for
oneself there. The land is arid and stony, and water
is not easily available. The best land is in the
valleys. Irrigation there is often unnecessary as the
land is being furnished with the necessary water
subterraneously by the rivers and streams.
Last week I bought 10 acres of land in a valley. I
paid $400.00 which is DM (Deutsche Mark) 1,700.
This land needs no irrigation. As I had intended to
do that earlier, I had begun the planting of the
potatoes and had put the seeds for the vegetables
in the land which belonged to the German man
from whom I bought it. The harvest, of course, is
mine, and I will not have to pay lease on the land
either. Already the seeds are sprouting, and the
growth is very good.
Besides, I have acquired 160 acres of free
government land which is located about 30
minutes away on a mountain slope. This land has a
little brook with which I can irrigate. It is very
stony, however, and I will probably only raise
cattle there.
A German sold me the land. I would like to
have more German neighbors. Here I thought
mainly of you.
Our land here in the valley lies alongside a
stream of the size of the Oker near Braunschweig.
This stream unites, 10 minutes downstream, with a
river the size of the Weser near Holzminden. At
this confluence a town is developing, as the valley
British Columbia Historical News brings traffic from the West, and the river
connects north and south. Both valleys are already
well populated.
Two steamers and two gasoline powered
vessels connect Kamloops with points 30-80 km
farther up the river. Kamloops is situated about
100 km south of here and now has 4,500 inhabitants. It is the nearest market place, and the
people who live in the river valleys go there for
their shopping.
A railroad is presently under construction, too,
in the river valley. It is to come all the way to Mt.
Olie by next fall. We will have a station across the
river. By 1914 the railroad is to be completed, that
is, we will then have transcontinental trains from
one ocean to the other.
Four years ago only one settler had arrived in
these parts. Now there are about 50. The land
increases in value rapidly. The closer the date of
the completion of the railroad comes, the higher
goes the price.
On my 10 acres, I intend to grow mostly
potatoes, vegetables, berries and fruit, also some
hay and wheat. What to do with the 160 acres on
A portrait of John Frederick Giesecke (1879-1957)
taken in 1921. No photos appear to exist from his
days on the North Thompson.
■ courtesy of Mrs. John Frederick Giesecke
Summer 1982
Page 23 Canada. Department of the Interior, Natural Resources Intelligence Service. 1923.
the mountain slope I will decide later. The first job
is to fell the timber and cut it to size. The steamers
buy the cord of wood for $3.00. From this is
subtracted $1.25 for transportation to the river.
One can make railroad ties also.
I intend to build a house for myself in October,
using logs as is customary here. Then I want to
open a store. I hope to acquire 10 more acres as
soon as possible, as I anticipate that within 4 to 5
years each acre will be worth at least $300, which is
DM 13,000 for all 10 acres. The land on the
mountain will then be $20 per acre — $3,200 for
160 acres which is DM 14,000.
I would like to advise you, therefore, to come
here and start as I did. Buy yourself 10 acres, take
also 160 acres of free land, and start a shoemaker's
shop. There is much need for one. I had to put
new soles on my boots myself as one cannot send
the boots to the city.
Down south in this province they specialize in
growing fruit. Around here also, many hope to
grow fruit successfully. This spring, one farmer
planted 4,000 fruit trees. Another has prepared his
land for 6,000 trees, but his order for the trees
could not be filled yet as the fruit tree nurseries do
not have sufficient stock.
Next spring I will plant possibly 200 fruit trees,
also currants, raspberries and strawberries. The
climate here seems to be ideal for berries which
grow in many varieties in the wild. I will also try to
grow asparagus which sells for DM 1.50 per
pound. The raising of chickens seems to be
rewarding. Eggs now cost DM 1.50-1.70 per
dozen. One chicken DM 4.20 at a hundred
pounds minimum. Another German who came
with me has this spring paid DM 13 for 100 pounds
of seed potatoes for planting. One cow costs
about DM 200 to 300.
Wages are high. A farm worker receives about
DM 150 to 170 per month and has free room and
board. The railroad workers get two and 3A dollars
per day which is DM 9.50. One dollar of this is for
food. Anyone who has land can grow most of his
own food, and can also get good income from his
We have here a school, a post office, and a
general store. It is said that we will have a railroad
on our side of the river, too. One railroad
company has extended its service already from
the East up to the Rocky mountains. The purpose
of this railroad is to transport grain produced by
the prairie provinces to the ocean for shipping.
For this purpose the railroad will have to traverse
our province west to the Pacific. Our river valley is
the best route to the coast.
You can make money here in Canada. First you
have to find the place to start. I can only advise
you: come here. There is a fine free life here.
The best would be that you come as soon as
possible. With your reply you should authorize
me to buy 10 acres of land for you. I will then write
you all the necessary details pertaining to the
voyage and the things you need to bring also.
Many greetings also to Willi and Anna.
Your cousin,
Frederick (Giesecke).
Page 24
British Columbia Historical News News and Notes
Successful 1982 Convention at
Cowichan Bay
Delegates to the British Columbia Historical
Association annual convention, held April 29th to
May 2nd, found it a memorable experience. They
returned to their homes across the province with
Cowichan Indian legends and tales of Cowichan
pioneers still in their minds.
Hosted by the Cowichan Historical Society of
Duncan, the convention was held at The Inn at
Cowichan Bay, mainly in their banquet room
overlooking the waters of the famous Vancouver
Island bay. Registration of delegates started on
Thursday evening, followed by a wine and cheese
During a walking tour of Cowichan Bay
waterfront on Friday morning, delegates heard
Indian legends as well as a commentary on the
heritage buildings along the waterfront from
Cowichan Historical Society secretary, Jack
Fleetwood. The afternoon was filled by a tour of
the fabulous B.C. Forest Museum at Duncan and
a visit to the Cowichan Valley museum, housed in
the basement of Duncan's heritage city hall.
Evening's entertainment included a recital by
Nora Maxwell of several of Robert Service's
poems, preceeded by a talk on the Bard of the
Yukon's 1898 to 1902 residence in the Cowichan
district. Indian dancers and singers Abel Joe and
the four George brothers enthralled everyone
with their stirring songs and dances which
included two from the unique Cowichan Indian
opera, Tzinquaw.
The annual general meeting on Saturday
morning went very smoothly. A motion to re-elect
the retiring officers of the association en bloc was
favoured unanimously. Barbara Stannard will
Deadline for submissions for the Spring issue of
the NEWS is September 1, 1982. Please type
double spaced if possible. Mail to the Editor, B.C.
Historical News, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C.
once again head the organization. Dr. Anne
Stevenson, honorary president, read a very old
poem, "Tzouhalem, the Cowichan Monster."
That afternoon two busloads of delegates were
taken on a 40-mile tour of the historical sites of the
Cowichan district, with John Cannon and Jack
Fleetwood as commentators.
Opening the evening's banquet, Myrtle
Haslam, president of Cowichan Historical Society
welcomed the guests. Duncan city mayor, Michael Coleman, and Graham Bruce, mayor of the
municipality of North Cowichan, congratulated
the society on bringing the convention to the
district. Also present were Cowichan Valley
Regional District Chairman, Gerry Giles, M.P. Jim
Manly, and M.L.A. Barbara Wallace. Diners were
entertained by the O.A.P. Harmonica band.
Guest speaker, John Adams, co-ordinator of
the Cultural Services Branch of the provincial
government, spoke on rural museums: their
formation, operation, and funding.
Barbara Stannard thanked the society for their
hospitality and congratulated them for a well-
planned convention, with an excellent programme. She was presented with a large bouquet
of flowers by Mrs. Haslam, from the society.
Council meetings were held by the executive
on Thursday and Friday, with a final one on
Sunday morning.
— Jack Fleetwood
1983? New Westminster!
The New Westminster Historical Society has
kindly offered to host the 1983 Convention. This is
the first opportunity, we believe, the association
has had to be entertained in the mainland's oldest
city. With its rich historical background it should
prove to be a very rewarding experience.
— 7ohn Spittle
Summer 1982
Page 25 News and Notes
Reports from the Branches
The Chemainus Valley Historical Society
grieves the loss of one of its most respected and
dedicated members in the sudden passing of Mrs.
Mary Anne Niehaus in the latter part of April.
Mrs. Niehaus was a past President and attended many of the Historical Society conventions. She
will be remembered by many for her keen interest
in people and places.
— Mrs. Audrey M. Ginn
Much has happened to the Creston and
District Historical and Museum Society since we
last sent a report to the B.C. Historical News
approximately two years ago. The two years have
been occupied with the tremendous effort in
obtaining the Creston artifacts from the Pioneer
Museum in Yahk. Through the dedicated efforts
of a small but active group, the artifacts were
brought safely to Creston. They are now being
housed temporarily in a building loaned to the
Society by the Provincial government.
The next step was photographing, numbering,
describing and listing each article in a file, and
preparing a catalogue. This job was assisted by a
government grant and is almost completed.
Numerous private donations of valuable
articles and antiques have been made by local
families and families in the Kootenay Lake area in
the hope that we will soon have a suitable
building. We have been working hard to this end
and have a building in view — "The Stone House"
— as it is locally known. It has an interesting history
all its own, having been constructed by an
eccentric Austrian stone-mason, now deceased.
Through the efforts of many people in the
community, we have been raising the money to
purchase this building. For example:
(1) The Pony Express Postal Delivery — Some
private mail was sent from Cranbrook to
Creston via horseback riders Hugh Byrnes and
Cyril Colonel in competition with the Canadian Postal Service. Guesses were sold on the
time it would take the ponies to arrive.
Stores donated space for a display of certain
artifacts. Booths were set up and manned for a
period of six weeks in an effort to sell
memberships and to accept donations. In
addition, a number of displays, 23 in all, have
been mounted by Director Rae Masse in store
windows and in available space in business
premises around the town.
A mammoth Fund Drive was held in 1981 to
canvas for donations. Individuals and businesses responded well. We are sorry to report
that our objective was not reached, but we
hope to resume this drive again when the
economy of the area improves.
A Museum Memorial Fund has been established, with contributions being received in
memory of those who have contributed to the
development of the Creston Valley and
surrounding area.
A number of changes have taken place in the
Society itself. We have a new President — Cyril
Colonel. The board has been enlarged from nine
members to sixteen in an effort to reduce the
work load on the dedicated executive.
The Society mourned the loss of Treasurer
Barry McDonald, who passed away. He has been
sadly missed and the Society will always be in his
debt. We regret also, the resignation of Inga
Hendrickson who contributed a great deal to our
Considerable work has been done on establishing the true location of the Dewdney Trail
where it skirts the Valley in what is now Summit
Creek Park.
— Darlene Hamp
Helen Carmichael
Page 26
British Columbia Historical News Vancouver
The Vancouver Historical Society held its
Annual General Meeting on May 25th. AGMs
rarely bring out members in large numbers but
those who made the effort were treated to a
unique surprise. The incumbent president, Len
McCann, arrived back from England midway
through the proceedings to learn of his reelection. Len, Curator of the Vancouver Maritime
Museum, had been ensuring safe delivery of
Captain George Vancouver's chronometer which
was recently purchased at Christie's auction house
in London for around $83,000.
Following the meeting, members were able to
have a close look at the instrument before it goes
on display June 12 — the 190th anniversary of
Vancouver's presence in Burrard Inlet. While it
was felt by some that a "keg of Nelson's blood"
might have been more appropriate to the occasion, the event was nevertheless toasted with the
grape and the chronometer safely deposited in its
new resting place.
— John Spittle
Len McCann holds Captain George Vancouver's
Archival Notes
Apologies are due to the members of the
Alberni District Museum and Historical Society
which was left off the list of institutions maintaining archival collections printed in the last number
of the B.C. Historical News. This was due to the
mistaken understanding that it and the Alberni
Valley Museum were one and the same. This is not
true, so please add the Alberni District Museum
and Historical Society to the list, their address can
be found in the list of Member Societies on the
inside cover of this magazine.
Additions to Collections
Calder,  c1910, Judge, Small Debts cases
Castillou, Henry. 1950-1961, Judge Bench Books (Restricted)
McKamey, Robert Grenville. c1863-c1893. Carpenter-
packer-freighter-miner-farmer, obituary
Sacred Heart Church Williams Lake, B.C. 1931-1981, Golden
Jubilee history
School System. Cariboo-Chilcotin 1919, correspondence
Kitimaat News. 1945-1947
Campbell, Lome A. President, West Kootenay Power and
Light, correspondence
Kaslo Claim 1893
The Float 1902-1903
Spokesman Review Quarterly 1899
Trail-Tadanac Hospital records
Rossland-Trail Boy Scout Association records
Kitsilano War Memorial Community Association 1946-1976
Vancouver Manx Society 1909-1966
Vancouver-Burrard Lions Club 1937-1970
Knights of Pythias Mount Pleasant Lodge 1892-1940
Vancouver Girls' Corner Club 1917-1957
Photographs:        Nelsons Laundries 1950
Terminal Hardware Company 1920
Weston's Bakery and Hudson's Bay Company employee gatherings 1920-1940
29th Battalion
Maps: Cyclists guide to the Lower Mainland 1896
Paintings: "Vancouver Through the First Narrows" Noel Day
— Michael Halleran
Summer 1982
Page 27 Clare McAllister
Anne Stevenson Honoured
by Simon Fraser University
Anne MacKenzie Stevenson of Williams Lake
has just entered on a fourth term as the vigorous,
actively participating Honourary President of the
B.C. Historical Association. Our members could
only think, "How fitting, how proper", when
Simon Fraser University made her the recipient of
an honourary doctorate at its spring convention,
June 5th.
Anne's parents, Elizabeth and Roderick MacKenzie, left Scotland for a brief stay in South
Africa, where Anne was born. In the early years of
the century the family came to British Columbia.
After some time in North Vancouver and Squamish, they settled in as solid and respected citizens
of Williams Lake.
There was a time when "MacKenzie's Store",
You have taught in, helped
found, governed and served
the educational system of
British Columbia, from first
grade to graduate school.
Simon Fraser is proud to
confer on you the degree of
Doctor of Laws, Honoris
Causa. Mtttttttt<< tttttttttt
its front handsomely decorated with replicas of all
the area cattle brands, supplied most of the food
for Cariboo and Chilcotin ranches. Special scales
were available to weigh nuggets or gold dust,
offered in payment for a grubstake or winter
supplies for ranch bunkhouses. Roderick became
a Conservative M.L.A. and later was elected as an
Independent. Thus Anne was early nurtured in
local folkways and in concern for wider public
Her public school days were spent in Williams
Lake. As there were then no schools on reserves,
native Indian children were fellow students,
giving Anne a foundation for a lifelong interest
and fellowship with them. For high school study, it
was then necessary to go to Vancouver.
Anne had an early occupational goal of
becoming a nurse. For some obscure reason, this
person, such a beehive of vitality, was viewed as
physically unsuitable. Enrolled at the University of
British Columbia, she completed a B.A. in 1927.
Walter Sage, Fred Soward and Hugh Keenleyside
were among those who deepened her interest in
history, in which she majored.
Subsequently, she completed the postgraduate Diploma in Education in 1928, qualifying as a
high school teacher. Some of her fellow students
knew of her resentment against the Director of
the Diploma program, because he customarily
held up Williams Lake as a sordid example of a
town where "more was spent on liquor than on
education". Anne, bantam hen of a student,
roused to combat, flew up in rage when the
figures were again cited by Dr. Weir. She contended that the Government Liquor Store slaked
the thirst of all the Cariboo and Chilcotin, whereas
the town spent money on educating only its own
few children.
Going on to teach in Kamloops, she soon set
out on a lifelong task of inculcating real interest in
history. When she directed class attention to the
historic site of the old fort, she was unsettled by an
unusual volume of tittering. She shortly learned
that it was then in current use as a house of ill
In 1932 Anne married Douglas Stevenson, who
had completed a Bachelor of Applied Science
degree at U.B.C. in 1928. After a brief stay in Trail,
they moved to Pamour, Ontario. Doug was
responsible for the development of mines there
and elsewhere.
In 1946 they moved back to B.C. with three
Page 28
British Columbia Historical News daughters. After further involvement in mining,
Doug became responsible for the management of
MacKenzie's Store and active in community
affairs, such as the Hospital Board.
The Stevensons shared an interest in B.C.
history, archaeology and anthropology. Their
library grew as they became notable collectors of
B.C. material. With an addition to the house in
progress, a would-be reader, visiting, might have
seen piles of books, ten or twelve deep, covering
the floor. How to get at a notable volume? Six
down — without upsetting the legions of other
Because of her keen knowledge and warm
concern, Anne became custodian of an extensive
and superb collection of Chilcotin baskets, jade
tools and a variety of valuable artifacts.
Anne taught in the high school and served as
school trustee. Whether as teacher or trustee, it
was Anne who knew which mother walked
halfway between a ranch and a school bus stop to
meet a child at 40° below ("old style"). It was Anne
who was trusted to care about trouble or sorrow,
as well as to share in joy with students and families.
Some years ago she was honoured by having
her name given to the Anne Stevenson School at
Williams Lake. As a negative side effect, she
complains that, at times, she receives the school's
parcel of books; or they may get her book orders.
In the wider community, Anne served on the
governing body of the Cariboo College in
Kamloops from its founding in 1969 to 1977. She
represented the B.C. Historical Association on the
B.C. government's Historic Sites & Monuments
Committee until the government dispensed with
the Committee. Her detailed and lucid reports are
remembered by those who were members of the
Historical Association's executive. She was appointed by the City of Williams Lake to serve with
the Cariboo Museum and Archives.
Many oldtime members of the B.C. Historical
Society recollect an annual meeting in Williams
Lake, with a visit to the Stevenson home. "Anne,
when can we meet again in Williams Lake?" they
badger. Anne is obliged to explain that the small
local membership cannot plan for the now much
larger annual meeting turnouts; that the town
boasts no busses for tours; that there are many
other reasons why — alas! we may not get another
annual meeting in historic Cariboo.
Meanwhile, we are proud that a now Dr. Anne
Stevenson continues to animate the role of our
Society's Honourary President.
Clare McAllister lives in Victoria. She is a long-time
friend of Anne.
Summer 1982
Page 29 Historic Trails Update
The Spring issue of the News reported that the
"Historic Routes Symposium" scheduled for mid-
May in Vancouver fell victim to the provincial
government's policy of fiscal restraint. At the
Annual General Meeting in Cowichan I was able
to report that the concept had been resurrected
by the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. (of
which B.C.H.A. is a member) and was to take place
in the Robson Square Media Centre more or less
in its original format under the new name of
"Historic Routes '82".
"Historic Routes '82" did go ahead as planned
and was, I feel, a great success. It was attended by
more than eighty, in spite of the short notice.
Now for a brief review of other activities this
past year.
Of most concern to the B.C.H.A. at this time is
the future of the proposed Cascade Wilderness
west of Manning Park; Its well-preserved sections
of numerous historic trails make it unique not only
for British Columbia, but for all of Canada. At this
time no decision has been made by the provincial
government and the suggestion is that the
moratorium placed on logging may be extended
for a further period.
The Mackenzie Trail:
Preservation of this historic route has probably
received more consideration than any other at
both provincial and federal levels. A preliminary
agreement has been reached between the various
provincial agencies and they await the word to go
from Parks Canada. For those interested in this
trail, John Woodworth's guide has now been
published and is available at major bookstores.
John Woodworth was the principal speaker at
"Historic Routes '82."
The Athabasca and Howse Pass Trails:
Our earlier invitation for news from other
societies resulted in a report from the "Golden
Historical Society". They have long worked for the
preservation of these historic routes, and expressed concern over logging activities in the lower
pressure from the Alberta government to extend
the David Thompson highway through Howse
I have been given to understand that a
representative of the Heritage Conservation
Branch will be investigating the impact of logging
western approaches to the Athabasca Trail and
on the approaches to Athabasca pass this summer.
Any thought of a highway through Howse pass has
so far been opposed by Parks Canada.
Another letter from Dr. John Marsh, Chairman
of the Environmental and Resource Study Programme at Trent University reports that he is
actively lobbying through the National & Provincial Parks Association (of which he is currently
President) for the preservation of the Howse Pass
Trail. Dr. Marsh is soon to publish a guide to the
trail. He enclosed one of his articles which
appeared in Park News and I have some extra
copies for anyone who might have a specific
interest in this area.
West Coast Trail:
Phase III of the Pacific Rim Park, Port Renfrew
to Bamfield has not yet been finalized and the
fight continues over boundaries.
Yukon Telegraph Trail:
I understand that more than one group is
currently interested in retracing and reporting on
various sections of this route. I, along with my
colleague Adrian Kershaw, hope to examine the
The James Jerome Hill Reference Library in St.
Paul, Minnesota, has opened the papers of James
J. Hill (1838-1916), architect of the Great Northern
Railroad. The Hill Papers chronicle his interests in
transportation, colonization and settlement,
agriculture, mining, lumber, and other topics of
The collection spans the years 1856-1916 and
includes his involvement in the construction and:
operation of the Great Northern and the Canadi-:
an Pacific railroads. A three-roll, microfilmed;
index to the James J. Hill Papers is available;
through Interlibrary Loan.
Page 30
British Columbia Historical News Dorothy Shields, Erik Imredy, Fran Gundry, Peggy Imredy, John Adams (left to right,
standing), and Jill Rowland and Leonard McCann (sitting) at the B.C.H.A.
Convention at Cowichan Bay.
portion south of Telegraph Creek this coming
The Northwest Mounted Police Trail (Peace River
to Cabin 4 on the Telegraph Trail):
I had heard that the Taylor Museum Society
was retracing and mapping the eastern section of
this route (along with that followed by Charles
Bedeaux on his ill-fated expedition) but have
received no report to date on how they made out.
A word of appreciation: To our editor,
Maureen Cassidy, whose presentation of the
numerous articles on historic routes in recent
issues of the News has brought many complimentary remarks and to Bob Harris who continues to
astound us with his seemingly inexhaustible
supply of detailed maps and instructions on how
to make use of them.
Bob, incidentally, was one of the speakers at
"Historic Routes '82". He was presented with a
certificate by the Okanagan Similkameen Parks
Society in appreciation of his many years dedicated to identifying historic trails through the
Cascade Wilderness.
— John D. Spittle
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Association and receive British Columbia Historical News regularly?
The BCHA is composed of member societies in
all parts of the province. By joining your local
society, you receive not only a subscription to
British Columbia Historical News but the opportunity to participate in a programme of talks and
field trips and to meet others interested in British
Columbia's history at the BCHA's annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(addresses on inside of front cover). ... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think of
forming one. For information contact the secretary of the BCHA (address inside back cover).
British Columbia Historical News
Page 31 Hallmark Society,
Preserving Our Legacy
Paul Bennett
No, we don't print and market greeting cards
and stationery. The Hallmark Society of Victoria is,
in fact, a registered non-profit society, dedicated
to preserving historic and architectural landmarks.
These landmarks constitute an invaluable legacy
inherited through numerous generations, which
we enjoy today and are obliged to pass on to
Members of the Hallmark Society camapign
for the preservation of local landmarks, improvements in conservation legislation, and better
management of our historic resources. We
sponsor historic building research, walking and
bus tours, regular newsletters, popular exhibitions, public lectures and restoration clinics.
One of the highlights of the year is our Awards
Night, held this year at Government House, at
which our Grand Patron, the Lieutenant Governor, presided. This is a gala evening at which we
present awards for the restoration of buildings
and to winners of our popular school heritage
essay and poster competition. The winner of our
prestigious Louis Award was the Congregation
Emanu-el of Victoria for their accurate and
sensitive restoration of Canada's oldest synagogue.
The Heritage Building Foundation of the
Society is a registered charity administered as a
separate trust. The Foundation enables the Society
to purchase properties and covenant with individuals, groups or companies for restoration.
When resold under restrictive covenants, or
designation bylaws, properties are protected and
The Richard Carr House was
the childhood home of Emily
Carr. The top floor is presently
occupied by the Hallmark
Society of Victoria.
funds can be re-used for further purchases. The
Foundation also supports the publication of books
and pamphlets for resale.
Our most significant recent achievement is the
restoration of the Jackson House, built in the
summer of 1901 by Richard and Mary Ann
Jackson, both descendants of pioneer Victoria
families. In late 1979 the house was threatened
with demolition. With the assistance of the B.C.
Heritage Trust and the B.C. Buildings Corporation
we were able to purchase the house and a suitable
property. On March 14, 1980, we moved the
house to its new location with the intent of
restoring the building and making it financially
self-sufficient. It was a proud day when the house
was officially opened by the Lieutenant Governor
and designated as a municipal heritage building
on January 17, 1982. Cost of the acquisition and
restoration is estimated at $170,000, and the
appraisal value of the house is currently $215,000.
We are also pleased to have concluded an
agreement with the provincial government to
occupy the top floor of the Richard Carr House.
This magnificent provincial historic site, designed
by John Wright in 1863, was the childhood home
of Emily Carr. These premises will give us much
needed space for storage of files and archives,
office space and meeting rooms.
If you are interested in learning more about
our activities, please contact us at 207 Government
Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8, telephone 382-4755.
Paul Bennett is Vice President of the Hallmark
Page 32
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
The Practice of Local History
Francis J. Van Den Wyngaert. Gibsons: Pegasus,
1980. Pp. 299, illus., $13.00 (paper). [May be
ordered from the author, Highway 101, R.R. 1,
Gibsons, B.C. VON 1V0, for $13.00 plus $1.00
mailing charge.]
Nelson: the author, 1980. $10.95. [May be ordered
from the author, Box 362, Fort Nelson, B.C. VOG
1R0 for $10.95 plus $1.50 for postage and handling.]
HISTORY. Gerald Friesen and Barry Potyondi.
Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1981. Pp.
viii, 182, illus. $4.95 (paper)
Traditionally, local history has not attracted much
attention from professional historians in Canada. Until
recently even regional studies were considered
inferior to national ones. Hence, the appearance of a
professional's guide to local history represents a major
Although A Guide to the Study of Manitoba Local
History by Gerald Friesen and Barry Potyondi focuses
on Manitoba, there is much in it for a British
Columbian audience of teachers, university students
and local historical societies. The authors believe that
many local histories are marred by inaccuracies, a lack
of organization, and poor writing and that the real
strength of local historical activity in the past has been
the collection and the preservation of archival
Unfortunately, their guide provides little information on how to correct these deficiencies outside of
registering for college and university courses. In their
attempt to professionalize local history, the authors'
primary advice is for local historians to abandon the
book format and move to shorter pamphlets on
smaller, more manageable topics. This advice appears
to be based on the assumption that most local groups
have already produced a one volume local history.
For those who have not been deterred by these
warnings the last chapter provides a short, seven page
guide to producing a book. It advocates a committee
structure with separate, research, finance, editorial
and distribution functions. Of particular interest is the
editing function. Many potentially good books suffer
from the lack of an editor's blue pen. For all of us the
elimination of collected material is always painful.
Little good writing happens without it.
Perhaps the best advice in the book is a plea for
local historians to address an audience beyond the
local scene. To accomplish this a writer must put a local
sense of place and chronology in a larger regional or
even national setting while eliminating unfamiliar
events and meaningless names. Hence, the first step
should be a familiarization with regional history. Local
societies should develop a bibliography of pertinent
background material and purchase key volumes for
the use of their members.
After three short chapters addressed in turn to
local societies, teachers and university students,
Friesen and Potyondi devote eleven chapters to
specific research areas covering everything from
environment to local politics. There are also bibliographies of printed materials, descriptions of specific
bodies of information, and a survey of archives.
Any book which attempts to inform an audience as
diverse as this guide to local history cannot be wholly
satisfactory to any group. Although there is much
useful advice for local societies in this volume,
including the need for an index, not rushing, and not
being hesitant in seeking the assistance of experts, it is
probably of greatest value to the university student.
There is still room for a guide to British Columbia local
history which would include material on research
methods, organization techniques, synthesis and
It is an interesting exercise to examine the books
by Gerri Young on Fort Nelson and Francis Van Den
Wyngaert on West Howe Sound with the standards
of the Manitoba guide. Both books represent initial
productions of individual authors attached to
relatively new historical societies. Both authors have
strong roots in their community and a strong desire
to preserve the past.
The Fort Nelson volume is the story of how a
town grew out of the wilderness. Its primary
purpose is to provide the children of the community
Patricia Roy is the Book Review Editor. Copies of
books for review should be sent to her c/o B.C.
Historical News, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W
Summer 1982
Page 33 Bookshelf
with a sense of their past. Gerri Young has produced
a unique volume with a left hand illustrated page
with a simple text aimed at younger children and the
opposite page dealing with the same subject in more
detail. She has a good sense of time and place as well
as a provincial and national context. With modest
aims she claims only to have done the spade work
for future more profound volumes.
The Fort Nelson Story evokes a real sense of what
life was like through the years in a northern
community struggling with a severe climate and
isolation: what it meant to have a drug store, radio
and scheduled air service. The reader also experiences history from a hinterland centre rather than
the more usual metropolitan perspective. Of
particular interest is the impact of the Alaska
highway project, oil and gas discoveries, and the
dichotomy between the military and civilian sectors
of the town.
Overall, The Fort Nelson Story is a handsome,
well written volume. It addresses a wider audience
and should find its way into the primary classroom as
a study of a small northern community. It has
excellent maps and drawings and a good selection of
In The West Howe Sound Story Francis Van Den
Wyngaert also deals with a community on the fringe
of civilization. In spite of its proximity to Vancouver,
this region did not receive its first pharmacy until
1912. For many decades few residents had electricity
or telephone service and postal and navigational
services were haphazard until after the Second
World War.
The author set out to portray a comprehensive
record of events, individuals, businesses and
services. Within this framework he has been
successful. The book is a goldmine of information.
Van Den Wyngaert, however, provides a weaker
context than Gerri Young, is less organized within
chapters, and has more difficulty relating to a wider
audience. An index would have been useful.
Nowhere in the Friesen-Potyondi volume was
there advice on the merits of self publishing as
opposed to using a publisher or in selecting a
publisher or printer. Both of these local histories
were published by the authors. Unfortunately, the
West Howe Sound book is so poorly bound it has a
tendency to fall apart during the first reading.
Checking out the reputation of a publisher or
printer is an important aspect of local history
Although there is merit in the pamphlet orientation suggested by the authors of the local history
guide, local historians should not entirely abandon
the writing of books. Pamphlets are less noticeable
on the library shelf and are easier to misplace. Most
provincial history continues to be written from a
centralist perspective; local history can tell the story
from a hinterlands perspective. Only through local
studies can we really understand such things as the
impact of technology, of large megaprojects and of
the cyclical nature of resource industry production
on the people themselves. Neither the forest
industry nor jam making provided long term
prosperity for West Howe Sound. Even the appearance of a cemetery is a significant indicator of the
permanence of the settlement and the roots of its
inhabitants. No study of J.S. Woodsworth could be
complete without the details of his West Coast
experience provided in the West Howe Sound
volume. Similarly, no study of the Canadian left is
complete without the evidence Van Den Wyngaert
supplies of the attraction of communism during the
In the final analysis the production of local
history by local societies is important because, in
most instances, no one else will ever do it. In the
future, one hopes that with the assistance of experts
and of guides to local history, such books, pamphlets and journal articles will consistently display
evidence of solid research methods, good organizational techniques and writing with a wider audience
in mind.
Clarence Karr teaches history at Malaspina College.
Halpin and Michael Ames, eds. Vancouver:
University of British Columbia Press, 1980. Pp. 370,
illus., $24.95.
TOTEM POLES: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE. Marjorie Halpin. Vancouver: University of British
Columbia Press, Pp. 58, illus.
Ted Bentley. Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1981, Pp.
111, illus. $5.95.
The B.C. Indian Arts Society. Sidney: Gray's
Publishing, 1982, Pp. X, 45, illus.
"THE TERROR OF BIG FOOT" screams the Weekly
World News, the cheap tabloid in the corner grocery
rack. The story on page fifteen is improbable, but not
unusual — the sighting of a nine-foot non-human
Page 34
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
creature in California's Sequoia National Park.
Manlike Monsters on Trial at first appearance seems as
improbable and lightweight as the WWN. It is not. The
book is a very serious look at the stories in European
and non-European myth of the Sasquatch and his
cousins in North America and around the world.
The emphasis of the collection of essays is less
upon "scientific" investigation of the existence/identity of such creatures as upon the role they play "in the
forests of the mind", what seems to the sceptic as a
celebration of 1978's silly-season — the book is a
collection of papers presented at a "Sasquatch and
Similar Phenomena" conference at the University of
British Columbia in May of that year — turns into a
stimulating exercise on legend, tradition and mythology, with some zoology and sound electronics
thrown in as gesture to the desire of the modern mind
for "scientific" tests of evidence.
This is largely an anthropologist's book with a
comparative perspective. There is a natural emphasis
on the Northwest Coast and here the pieces by Wayne
Suttles and Marjorie M. Halpin can be cited as
particularly subtle and imaginative explorations of the
Tsimshian and Salish minds.
Dr. Halpin's Totem Poles: An Illustrated Guide
disappoints at the same time as it fills an undoubted
gap. The major problem with the guide is that it is
uncertain as to whether it is on Northwest Coast poles,
British Columbia poles or merely the poles at the
University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology.
It is based on the Museum's fine collection, so
there are no poles representing the important Tlingit
tradition. The foreword and introduction sidestep this
ambiguity, but the reader quickly realizes that the
book is an unsuccessful attempt to universalize from
the Point Grey particular. Even the map of "linguistic
divisions of the Northwest Coast culture" omits the
Tlingit, a tacit admission of parochial provincialism (or
mere confusion of scope and purpose). In the end,
one decides that this is a fine museum guide masquerading as something else. Within the framework of a
museum handbook it is valuable for the newcomer
and provides even the experienced viewer of UBC's
remarkable display of poles with useful pointers
toward a deeper appreciation.
Petroglyph Island is a commendable book about
the authors' discovery and investigation of a major and
very intriguing petroglyph site on Gabriola Island. The
Bentleys are "amateur archaeologists", but operate
with professional concern and thoroughness. The
publication of this book on the Gabriola site contributes to our knowledge and appreciation of these
strange and still mystifying rock carvings. Publicity may
endanger conservation, but it may also raise the
consciousness that will foster it. The book's intention is
to serve the latter function and it is admirably designed
to fulfill that purpose.
Mungo Martin is a popular, well-illustrated
introduction to this remarkable Kwakiutl carver.
Martin, who was born about 1880 and died in 1962,
occupies a key place in that continuity of Kwakiutl and
Northwest Coast art which has allowed it to flourish
with legitimate vigor in recent years. This booklet is a
tribute to the carver and, at the same time, to the B.C.
Indian Arts Society which produced it.
Douglas Cole, who teaches Canadian History at Simon
Fraser University, is currently engaged in a study of
Franz Boas, the anthropologist.
Patricia E. Roy. Toronto: James Lorimer & Co. and
National Museum of Man, National Museums of
Canada, 1980. Pp. ii, 190, maps, tables, photographs, $24.95 clothbound. (The History of
Canadian Cities: 3).
Vancouver: An Illustrated History is an "urban
biography" which attempts, not to provide "the
definitive history of Vancouver, (but) rather ... to
sketch and explain certain aspects of the city's
development" (p. 4). This volume is the third in a series
on the history of Canadian cities. Roy, an associate
professor of history at the University of Victoria,
closely follows the format of the two previous
The book systematically traces the history of
Vancouver from the first European encounter until
1979. Clear and concise maps and tables augment the
text while giving the work an academic air which
appears in conflict with the series' aims. Copious
footnoting provides further credence to this discrepancy. However, the thorough and massive research
done by Roy does place this volume in a class above
the more popular renditions of Vancouver's past. Her
style, though not popular, reads easily. Roy carries the
narrative and the reader's interest throughout. Her
inclusion of relevent minutiae makes this volume both
interesting and informative.
What remains to be discussed is whether this
volume is an illustrated history or a history with
illustrations? The editor of the series boasts of "over a
hundred photographs" (p. 5) being used in each
volume of the series. Is it true that these historical
photographs "enhance the text" and "play an
essential part in recreating the past" (p. 5)? Or, is this
Summer 1982
Page 35 Bookshelf
pure rhetoric gleaned from avant-garde photo
historians? One sure test of this thesis is to investigate
the care taken with the reproduction, integrity and
identification of the photographs used, both individually and as a whole.
Individual photographers, with a few exceptions,
are not given credit in this volume. The "Credits"
listed on page two of the work, by"and large, identify
the repository in which the photographs are housed.
Also, while the repository is identified no identification numbers are given for individual images. This
practice would be inconceivable in the footnotes
where the name of the journal would not be given
without citing the volume number, year and pagination of the article under consideration. Overall, the
placement of the photographs follows the flow of the
text, but one wonders why a photograph showing
"Indians making canoes at St. Paul's Mission, North
Vancouver" (p. 17), was placed between the text
speaking of the arrival of the first CPR train in 1887 (p.
16) and the visual image (p. 18) depicting the event?
Vancouver: An Illustrated History presents an in-
depth and balanced narration of the growth and
development of this exciting West Coast community.
Any future attempts at writing a definitive history of
Vancouver will be forced to use Roy's work as a
starting point. However, the inclusion of historical
photographs in this volume, while not detracting from
its worth, does little towards presenting a wide-
ranging visual history of the city. The query remains, is
this an illustrated history or a history with illustrations?
Ted Goshulak has spent the past two years working
with the historical photograph collections in the
Special Collections Division of the University of British
Columbia Library.
WEST, 1856-1900. Doug Owram. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1980. Pp. x, 264, illus. $10.00
paper; $25.00 cloth.
Assessing the role of myths in history is one of the
most complex tasks an historian can undertake.
Establishing the nature of a myth, tracing its antecedents, and estimating its extent are all intimidating
tasks. Doug Owram, in successfully outlining the rise
and fall of a popular idea, has achieved a noteworthy
The myth Owram examines is the nineteenth
century idea that the west — specifically the Prairies —
would be the focus for Canadian development. The
myth, based only partly on reality, emerged in the
middle of the nineteenth century and remained
prominent until the 1890s. Owram searches an
extensive array of books, articles, and private papers to
show how many observers changed their ideas of the
west during the 1850s.
Previously, eastern and European commentators
had regarded the Canadian North West as a wilderness
caught in coldness and inhabited by savages. With the
scientific and private expeditions of the 1850s and early
1860s, outsiders began to recognize the agricultural
possibilities of the region. A committed assault began
on the domain of the Hudson's Bay Company, and an
organized campaign for annexing the west to Canada
was undertaken.
Owram describes the intellectual and cultural
dimension of the Canadian expansion westward. In
doing so, he does not add much new material, but he
does effectively show how the expansionist urge
became a crusade. He demonstrates how Canadians
were caught up in a national dream, not unlike the
Manifest Destiny campaign so powerful in the
American experience.
Owram also shows the way in which the optimism
of the sixties and seventies gave way to the frustration
of the eighties and nineties. The land boom of the
early period collapsed in 1882; settlers did not come;
the acrimony of the Manitoba schools' issue poisoned
the body politic. This undermined the original
utopianism of the west and consequently encouraged
bitter denunciations of federal policies and Ottawa
politicians. This regional dissatisfaction, as Owram
points out, had similar sentiments but different
motivations than later Prairie protest movements. It
was in retrospect, though, a key phase in the evolution
of a prairie consciousness.
One of the major problems with intellectual
history lies in establishing a systematic sampling of the
relevant written information. Owram has been
particularly successful in summarizing the information
about the west presented in government reports and
popular volumes. He has also provided an astute
commentary on the attitudes of many of the main
political figures involved, noteably John A. Macdonald and William McDougall. He has been less
effective in describing the views of such French-
Canadian leaders as George-Etienne Cartier and
Bishops Tache and Langevin. The weakest elements in
the sources, however, would appear to be newspapers. Newspaper accounts are rarely cited in
footnotes, at least, and the notion of a crusade would
have been enhanced by accounts from, in particular,
western Ontario newspapers.
Owram might also have examined more completely the impact of western development upon
scientific thought. The Canadian Prairie posed an
Page 36
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
immense challenge to the sciences of the nineteenth
century. Botany, geology, zoology, "agricultural
science", and geography were all ill-equipped to
comprehend and explain the differences in the west;
the resultant uncertainties may go far in explaining the
disillusionment of the eighties and nineties.
One of the hallmarks of the mid-nineteenth
century optimism was a confidence that science, and
its hand-maiden, technology, would ensure a better
world. In the case of the west, the scientific and
technological impulses initially proved inadequate to
the tasks of settlement and production, causing
widespread uncertainty and disillusionment. Eastern
and European migrants would require generations to
adjust to the strange environment of the Canadian
plains. This point should have been made more
Owram's work, however, is a thoughtful, well-
written account of an important theme in Canadian
history. It should be read by everyone interested in
how ideas and social forces helped to shape this
country's development.
Ian MacPherson teaches Western Canadian history at
the University of Victoria.
The winner of last issue's contest is:
Miss Carol Dolman
Kamloops, B.C.
She will be sent a free copy of Pierre Berton's
Flames Across the Border, 1813-1814. Amy
Cassidy, 53A years old, did a scientific "Eeny,
meeny, miney, mo" to determine the winner
from our three correct answers.
D.W. Harmon was the Vermont Yankee who
represented the North West Company in New
HELEN GREGORY MacGlLL. Elsie Gregory MacGill. Toronto: Peter Martin Associates, 1981. Pp.
xxiv, 248, illus., $6.95. (Reprint of 1955 edition with
an introduction by Naomi Black)
When My Mother The Judge first appeared in 1955
it had few companions: earlier volumes pertaining to
Canadian political women included Campaign
Echoes: The Autobiography of Letitia Youmans (1893);
My Seventy Years (1938) by Martha Black, second
female member of Parliament in Ottawa; The Stream
Runs Fast (1945) by Nellie McClung; Emily Murphy:
Crusader (1945) and Brave Harvest: The Life of E. Cora
Hind (1945). However, in 1950, Catherine Cleverdon
had published her thorough account of The Women
Suffrage Movement in Canada.
To Elsie MacGill's credit she tried to avoid the
hagiographer's approach, so typical of the former
books, in favour of producing, like the latter, an
enduring historical account of the franchise and post-
franchise era in women's legislative history in B.C.
Until the 1970's no other Canadian woman's political
biography, or autobiography, offered so much raw
data on the activities of political women and parapolitical women's organizations.1 What the biography
lacks in clarity, chronology and coherence, it makes
up for in sheer usefulness.
In My Mother The Judge, Elsie MacGill defines her
mother's life in terms of her desire for higher
education in the 1880's, followed by her work as a
journalist. The remaining two-thirds of the book,
which takes us to Helen's death in 1947 at the age of 83,
identifies her active part over thirty-six years in
changing the laws pertaining to the women and
children of B.C. Special emphasis is on her turbulent
career as a juvenile court judge and as the author of
Daughters, Wives and Mothers in British Columbia
(1912), a booklet which evolved through a number of
editions to become Laws for Women and Children in
British Columbia (1925).
Peter Martin Associates and Naomi Black, a
political scientist, are to be congratulated for reissuing My Mother The Judge, which had been
accessible only in libraries and in second-hand
bookstores. Black, in her introduction, makes it clear
that for current students of social reform and women's
political history, My Mother The Judge can act as a
case study of attitudes and events in British Columbia
and in Canada as a whole. That Elsie intended the
biography to be of both provincial and national
application was made clear in her personal correspondence:
It has always dismayed me that articles and books
Spring 1982
Page 37 Bookshelf
on Canadian Women feminists omit the many
B.C. and prairie women who did fine work in
promoting the status of women at the turn of the
century and mention usually only women in
Ontario and Quebec. Indeed, it was this great gap
that lead [sic] me to write My Mother The Judge.
(11 July 1979)
My Mother the Judge reveals the domestic and
social affairs of the MacGill family in carefully chosen
statements but Helen stands at the centre as Earle
Birney could still recall in 1979:
In her vivacity and intellectual toughness and wit
she was much more of our generation than of her
own, and we both admired and loved her... She
was a wise and tolerant hostess to us, the young
pseudo-sophisticates of the Aldous Huxley
generation, and a shrewd challenger of our ways
of thinking and not thinking. (30 August 1979)
1 For annotated references, see Beth Light and
Veronica Strong-Boag, True Daughters of the North:
Canadian Women's History — An Annotated Bibliography. Toronto: OISE Press, 1980.
Barbara Latham teaches Canadian Studies and Women's Studies at Camosun College, Victoria. She
reports that Camosun College is establishing a MacGill
Memorial Award to be presented to an outstanding
woman student in Canadian Studies or Canadian
New Titles
Andersen, Doris. The Columbia is coming: a history of the
Columbia Mission ships, 1905-1969. Sidney, Gray's Publishing, 1981. 256 p., ///. $9.95.
Balf, Mary. Kamloops: a history of the District up to 1914.2nd
ed. [Kamloops] Kamloops Museum Association, 1981. [vi]
157 p., ///. $5.95
Bernsohn, Ken. Cutting up the north: the history of the
forest industry in the northern interior, 1909-1978. North
Vancouver, Hancock House, 1981. 200 p., /'//. $17.95.
Brody, Hugh. Maps and Dreams. Vancouver, Douglas &
Mclntyre, 1981. 288 p., /'//. $19.95.
Carver, John Arthur. The Vancouver Rowing Club: History
1886-1980. Vancouver, Vancouver Rowing Club, 1980.300 p.,
ill. $20.00. (May be ordered from 516-355 Burrard St.,
Vancouver, B.C. V6G 2G8).
Drushka, Ken. Against wind and weather: a history of
towboating in British Columbia. Vancouver, Douglas &
Mclntyre, 1981. 320 p. /'//. $24.95.
Keller, Betty. Pauline: a biography of Pauline Johnson.
Vancouver, Douglas & Mclntyre, 1981. 240 p. ;'//. $18.95.
McGeer, Ada. "Oh call back yesterday, bid time return."
Vancouver, Versatile Pub., 1981. 185 p. ill. $8.75
Macintosh, Robert. Boilermakers in British Columbia.
[Vancouver] Lodge #359, International Brotherhood of
Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and
Helpers, 1976. 124 p., ill.
Matsura, Frank. The real old west: images of a frontier town.
Vancouver, Douglas & Mclntyre, 1981. 144 p., ill. $29.95.
Paterson, T.W., ed. British Columbia: the pioneer years,
Volume 2. Langley, Sunfire Publications, 1981. 128 p., ///.
  Encyclopedia of ghost towns & mining camps of
British Columbia, volume 2. Langley, Sunfire Publications,
1981. 168 p., ///. $9.95.
Shervill, R. Lynn. Smithers: from swamp to village. Smithers,
Town of Smithers, 1981.128 p.;'//. $13.00.
Sunahara, Ann Gomer. The politics of racism: the uprooting
of Japanese Canadians during the second world war.
Toronto, James Lorimer, 1981. xii, 222 p.,;'//. $12.95.
Turner, Robert D. The Pacific Empresses: an illustrated
history of the Canadian Pacific's trans-Pacific ocean liners.
Victoria, Sono Nis Press, 1981. 304 p.,;'//. $34.95.
 The Princess Marguerite: last of the coastal liners.
Victoria, Sono Nis Press, 1981. 48 p.;'//. $5.00.
Vassilopoulos, Peter. Antiques afloat: from the golden age of
boating in British Columbia. Vancouver, Parallel Publishers,
1981. 116 p. ///. $29.95.
Woodworth, John and Halle Flygare. In the steps of
Alexander Mackenzie: trail guide; written and mapped by
John Woodworth and Halle Flygare, sponsored by the
Nature Conservancy of Canada. Kelowna. Printed by
Sunbird Press, Inc., 1981. Distributed by Douglas & Mclntyre,
ix, 108 p., ///. $11.95.
Work, Lillian C, comp., ed. and ill. Petticoat pioneers of the
South Peace: life stories of fifteen women of the South
Peace; in co-operation with Northern Lights College
Community Education and the Department of State for the
George Dawson Centennial Celebrations 1979. Dawson
Creek, South Peace Historical Book Committee, 1979. 80 p.
ill. $3.00.
Page 38
Honorary Patron: His Honour, The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Henry P. Bell-Irving
Honorary President: Anne Stevenson, Box 4570, Williams Lake, V2C 2V6
392-4356 (res.)
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Ex Officio:
Barbara Stannard, #211-450 Stewart Ave., Nanaimo, V9S 5E9
754-6195 (res.)
Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver, V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
Naomi Miller, Box 1338, Golden, VOA 1H0
Frances Gundry, 255 Niagara St., Victoria, V8V 1G4
385-6353 (res.)
387-3623 (bus.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver, V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Tom Carrington, 125 Linden St., Victoria, V8V 4E2
383-3446 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1875 Wessex Road, Cowichan Bay, VOR 1N0
748-8397 (res.)
Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
287-8097 (res.)
John Bovey, Provincial Archivist, Victoria, V8V 1X4
387-3621 (bus.)
Marueen Cassidy, Editor, B.C. Historical News, 316 Montreal St., Victoria,
V8V 1Z5
383-8062 (res.)
Chairmen of Committees:
Historic Trails: John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver, V7R 1R9
Place Names Committee: Winnifred Weir, Box 774, Invermere, VOA 1K0
342-9562 (res.)
B.C. Historical News Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
Policy Committee: 287-8097 (res.)
Publications Assistance Committee (not involved with B.C. Historical News):
Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver, V6R 2A6
288-8606 (res.) Tom Carrington
Cen> Hfetffc
Snapshots of the
1982 B.CH.A. Annual Con
held at Cowichan Bay.
Jill Rowland and Dorothy Shields


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