British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1994

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Volume 27, No. 3
Summer 1994
xx« «;
^ C )
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
ISSN 1195-8294
Member Societies and their Secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their society is up to date.
Please send any change to both the Treasurer and the Editor at the addresses inside the back cover. The Annual Return
as at October 31 should include telephone numbers for contact.
MEMBERS' DUES for the current year were paid by the following Societies:
Alberni District Historical Society
Arrow Lakes Historical Society
Atlin Historical Society
Boundary Historical Society
Burnaby Historical Society
Chemainus Valley Historical Society
Cowichan Historical Society
District 69 Historical Society
East Kootenay Historical Association
Gulf Islands Branch, BCHF
Koksilah School Historical Society
Kootenay Lake Historical Society
Kootenay Museum & Historical Society
Lantzville Historical Society
Nanaimo Historical Society
North Shore Historical Society
North Shuswap Historical Society
Princeton & District Museum & Archives
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society
Salt Spring Island Historical Society
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society
Silvery Slocan Historical Society
Surrey Historical Society
Trail Historical Society
Vancouver Historical Society
Victoria Historical Society
Fort Steele Heritage Park
Kamloops Museum Association
Gavel Historical Society
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society
Okanagan Historical Society
Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
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Published winter, spring, summer and fall by British Columbia Historical Federation
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Back issues of the British Columbia Historical News are available in microform from Micromedia Limited, 20 Victoria
Street, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2N8, phone (416) 362-5211, fax (416) 362-6161, toll free 1-800-387-2689.
This publication is indexed in the Canadian Index published by Micromedia.
Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index.
Publications Mail Registration Number 4447.
Financially assisted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture through the British Columbia
Heritage Trust Fund and British Columbia Lotteries. Volume 27, No. 3
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Summer 1994
Summer. The word conjures up warm days,
travelling around the province, showing visitors
the highlights of your district and, when time
permits, relaxing with some good reading. Within
these pages you will find references to Hosmer,
a newly declared heritage site; Prince Rupert,
where an amazing petroglyph sits beside the
museum; Hagwilget Bridge near Hazelton; Fort
Steele Heritage Town near Cranbrook; and Hat
Creek Ranch near Cache Creek. In the last issue we told of the Chinese exhibit at the Royal
B.C. Museum in Victoria and St. Anne's Church
in Parksville. In other words, we supply both the
tourist and the armchair traveller with a brief history of places which are open for visitors during
the summer.
Clayoquot, on the west side of Vancouver Island, has become known internationally as the
area of confrontation between environmentalists and loggers. Did you know that the
Clayoquot area has been mined over the years?
See page 26.
Three years ago E.L. "Ted" Affleck asked
whether anyone had written on the flood of
1894.1 interpreted this as an offer to write such
a piece. Before his article arrived I became aware
of numerous references, including the Norbury
letter written from Donald (near Golden). A family member recalled seeing a marker — High
Water 1894 — above the tiny rail station at Arrowhead at the north end of the Arrow Lakes.
Most of us remember 1948; floods are nasty but
descriptions of floods make fascinating reading.
Writers and would-be writers, if summer is the
time of year for your best achievement, get on
to that tidbit of B.C. history you have found and
prepare an article, typed double-spaced, up to
3,000 words. Please send it in to the editor (see
address at the bottom of this page).
Naomi Miller
Old Mine Building, Hosmer, B.C. was drawn by Sandy Lightfoot,
who now lives within sight of these walls of the once-huge Tipple.
Cars of coal from the workings came Into the back of the Tipple and
were released on a Philips cross-over dump, tripped to empty into a
bin, then released to the outside to rejoin a string going back empty
to the mine. Coal was passed across a mechanical screen where the
fine coal, W or less, fell through the screen onto a conveyor and
was transported to the slack bins. Beneath this bin the Larrys were
loaded to charge the Coke Ovens. Coal pieces over ■%* were taken
from the discharge end of the screen by a conveyor to the "Picking
Tables" where the coal was hand sorted to remove rock pieces. This
larger coal was then placed in bins awaiting transportation to end
users. Much of the Tipple was torn down during World War 11 to
reclaim the metal contained within the structure. At that time, too,
metal doors and door frames were ripped out of the Coke Ovens.
Motoring in British Columbia on $3.26 Per Day 2
by Edward L. Affleck
Hosmer Colliery Past and Present 3
by Fred Lightfoot
The Man Who Fell From Heaven 7
by Phylis Bowman
Archaeological Findings in the Prince Rupert Area    9
by Phylis Bowman
The Greening of Glenmore    11
by Wayne Wilson
Fort Steele's Presbyterian Church 14
by Lee Chernoff
The Hagwilget and Walcott Suspension Bridge 18
by Dirk Septer
Croatians Enlivened Mining Towns 22
by Dr. Zelimir B. furicic
Mining at Clayoquot 26
by Walter Guppy
Historic Hat Creek Ranch     28
by Michelle Morrison and Darcy Astaforoff
The Great Flood of 1894 33
by Edward L. Affleck
Photos on pages 8,17, 25, 32 and 35.
NEWS and NOTES   35
The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade and Discoveries to 1812
Review by Werner Kaschel
Guide to the Holdings of the Archives of the Ecclesiastical Province
of B.C. and Yukon	
Review by Phyllis Reeve
Women Volunteer to Go to Prison: A History of the Elizabeth Fry Society
ofB.C. 1939-1989  	
Review by Irene Howard
Thomas Crosby and the Tsimshian: Small Shoes for Feet Too Large   ....
Review by Margaret Whitehead
Hidden Cities: Art and Design in Architectural Details of Vancouver
and Victoria   	
Review by Imbi Harding
Rough and Ready Times: The History of Port Mellon	
Review by Carl Ian Walker
Fields of Endeavour   	
Review by Peter L. Miller
Manuscripts and correspondence to the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0.
Correspondence regarding subscriptions is to be directed to the Subscription Secretary (see inside back cover).
Printed in Canada by Kootenay Kwik Print Ltd. Motoring in British Columbia
on $3-26 Per Day
by Edward Z. Affleck
"12,075" was the mileage reading on
the odometer of Godfrey Smith's 1928
Chevrolet Touring Car as Smith, his wife
Olive, and her sister and brother-in-law,
Jean and Angus Galbraith, pulled away
from 568 Rithet Street, Victoria, on the
bright summer morning of Sunday, August 16,1931, bound for the 8 a.m. Black
Ball ferry to Bellingham, Washington.
Descendants of James Strachan, a Victoria settler from pre-Confederation
days, Victoria-born Olive and Jean were
both seasoned motorists, having accompanied their husbands on trips to every
accessible part of Vancouver Island over
the past twenty years.. If their middle-
aged breasts nourished a special flutter
as the Bellingham-bound steamer Olympic drew away from the Inner Harbour,
it was because never before had this
mettlesome foursome attempted the
awesome Fraser Canyon route and the
Cariboo Highway to Barkerville. Seated
on the ferry deck, Angus Galbraith, an
auditor in the Provincial Comptroller-
General's office, entered the $14 ferry
fare ($1.50 per person, $8 for the vehicle) in a notebook which would contain, by journey's end, several pages of
neat entries on disbursements, mileage,
road and weather conditions, etc.
Thanks to the holiday efforts of this meticulous public servant, we have a clear
record of this 1931 trip over the primitive Interior highways of pre-World War
II British Columbia and Washington
After stopping at Bellingham for midday dinner (the Galbraiths picked up
the $2.50 tab), the foursome set out for
the Sumas border crossing, bound for
the Rosedale-Agassiz ferry crossing of
the Fraser River which permitted a side
trip to fabled Harrison Hot Springs. Re-
crossing later at Rosedale, the group
paused at St. Elmo to gas up ($1.85) and
to purchase supplies for a Monday
morning breakfast before stopping overnight at Yale Lodge Cabins ($3), located
at Yale, head of navigation on the Lower
Fraser River and starting point for horse
and wagon traffic on the historical
Cariboo Wagon Road.
An early start on Monday morning
enabled the foursome to cover the 145
miles to Clinton by early evening. The
distance travelled may sound modest,
but it well reflects the tortuous state of
the Fraser Canyon highway of 1931, as
well as the route north of Lytton, which
required the motorist to work his way
via Lillooet and the road over Pavilion
Mountain, a route which even today is
not fit for the faint-hearted. At Clinton,
the men spent the night in a $1 cabin of
the Pine Tree Cabins, while the ladies
repaired to the Clinton Hotel ($3).
Angus Galbraith's notebook contains
many terse comments on the sights
viewed on the trip. The Chasm ("a wonderful freak"), located about twelve
miles north of Clinton, was undoubtedly
Tuesday's highlight. Thanks to frequent
stopovers at 100 Mile House, Lac La
Hache, Williams Lake, Soda Creek, etc.,
the foursome did not arrive at Quesnel
until after 9 p.m., but opted to press on
to Barkerville, arriving there one-half
hour after midnight, having driven 240
miles since leaving Clinton.
Barkerville in 1931 could not have
been the showplace it is today, since
our southbound travellers cleared the
setdement by 8:45 Wednesday morning,
bound for an early overnight stop with
friends at Lac La Hache. Thursday night
was spent at Kamloops, and Friday night
at "the finest tourist camp yet seen" ($4)
in Penticton, numerous stops having
being made between Vernon and
Penticton to admire the abundant fruit
A Saturday 8:30 a.m. departure from
Penticton enabled our motorists to reach
Cashmere, west of Wenatchee, Washington, by dusk. 7:50 a.m. was the setting-
out time for a long Sunday drive which
encompassed the Snoqulamie Pass,
Seattle, Tacoma and Chehalis, reaching
the Portland, Oregon, home of relatives
at 9:45 p.m. Most of Monday was spent
under the roof of the Portland relatives
and our travellers were on the road again
by 6:20 a.m. on Tuesday, pressing 253
miles north to Port Angeles, Washington, to catch the Tuesday afternoon
Black Ball ferry sailing to Victoria.
At the Port Angeles ferry dock, the
odometer registered "13,872," indicating
1,797 miles covered on this ten-day
motor trip. Total expenditure for the trip,
including ferry passage, gas and oil,
meals, accommodation and "extras":
$130.23 or $3.26 per person per day. In
appraising this $3-26 per diem per capita
cost, one should keep in mind diat while
the Galbraiths and Smiths were not "high
livers," neither were they accustomed
to doing without a certain number of
creature comforts. Included in the "extras" were stops for ice cream, soft
drinks, roadside fruit, museum admissions, and other such trimmings which
add to the pleasure of a motor trip.
$130.23 would also have represented a
substantial portion of the monthly salary paid to Angus Galbraith in 1931.
Knowing the zest of the Galbraiths and
the Smiths for motor travel, we may be
sure they considered the outlay worth
E.L. Affleck shares this story with us to
give us a smile. His more serious research centres on sternwheelers in inland waterways.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 Hostner Colliery
Past and Present
by Fred Lightfoot
"Hosmer - Unincorporated" appears
to be a handful of residences beside
Highway #3, between Fernie and
Sparwood in southeast British Columbia. Less than one-half kilometre away,
however, stand the shells of buildings
connected with a coal mine that was
"state of the art" when it opened in 1908.
At the lower elevations of the mine,
many of the beehive coke ovens, part
of the tipple, the powerhouse, boiler
house and foundation for the blacksmith/machine shop remain. The historic
cemetery is an interesting feature nearby.
Up Hosmer Ridge, at a bench known as
A-level, the concrete portals of the original main tunnel and ventilation tunnels
can be seen, plus the lamp house and
fan house. Inclines, where rail lines were
laid, lead down to the main buildings,
or up to a second bench, B-level, where
there were upper mining tunnels. These
inclines are now paths for pleasant hikes
or cross-country ski challenges. Gradually some of the coke ovens, the cemetery and two buildings are being
cleared of invasive vegetation to become
interpretive displays for tourists and history buffs.
Hosmer Mine was operated by Canadian Pacific on a 3,840-acre (1,554 ha)
property obtained in 1902 as part of the
1897 Crow's Nest Agreement. Canadian
Pacific purchased the charter from B.C.
Southern Railway to build a new rail line
from Alberta through the Crow's Nest
Pass and Elk Valley westward to
Kootenay Lake. The Canadian government helped to finance the construction
in return for 50,000 acres of land and
for freight rate concessions from Canadian Pacific Railway. The only lands
eventually remaining to Canadian Pacific were those coal sections at Hosmer.
Part of the agreement was a ten-year
moratorium on coal mining by the Canadian Pacific, provision of rail service
at specified rates to Crow's Nest Pass
Coal for ten years following completion
This picture was taken when afeasibility study was underway to prepare plans for presenting
tbe Hosmer Mine as an historic site. In 1993 tbe trees growing inside tbe building were
removed and it is hoped that in 1994 tbe roof will go on. NOTE- Tbe trusses for tbe roof were
used on tbe Machine Repair Shops for tbe Coal Creek RaUway, owned by tbe Crows Nest
Pass Coal Company. Tbe Shell Oil Company is tbe present owner and when tbey no longer
needed tbe building, tbe trusses were laid aside to be returned to tbe Hosmer site, where
tbey will be included as an important element of tbe restoration process.
of the new line, and carrying construction material for the coal company at
one cent per ton per mile (roughly sixty
per cent of the current tariff rates).
Hosmer had a sawmill which was sold
in 1904 by Alex Black to Skead and
Johnson of Calgary. The investigative
and planning phase for the mine at
Hosmer had some construction commenced in 1907. The majority of building occurred in 1908 — the tipple, boiler
house, power house and machine shops.
Two hundred and forty beehive coke
ovens were built under the supervision
of Harry Oldland from Pennsylvania,
who also supervised the building of coke
ovens at Fernie, Morrissey and Michel.
Originally Canadian Pacific had planned
to build Belgian retort ovens with byproduct recovery and a distilling plant.
By-product tar would have been sent to
Bankhead for making briquettes and byproduct gas would have been used for
on-site power. These, however, were
never begun and the coke ovens here
on display represent the last of the early
format. Despite a brief strike, the ovens
were completed by August 1908. The
first shipment of coal left the Hosmer
Mine on December 19, 1908.
The Hosmer Townsite
On the lower piece of .their Hosmer
property, Canadian Pacific built housing for mine workers. Yuill's 1910 report mentions a general mine office, a
mess house, a large boarding house,
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 three officers' residences, three foremen's houses, eighty-eight miners'
houses, a hospital and a church. The
houses were in rows of similar construction: all were painted and had nominal
servicing, "electric light and running
water." "Electricity" meant that a twenty-
five-watt bulb hung by wires from the
middle of the ceiling and burned continuously. "Running water" referred to
a communal spigot in the street, one
for every six houses. Miners paid rent
of either $7 or $12 per month for their
company "house."
A third community, a collection of
ramshackle houses, was established between the coke ovens and the CP Railway line. This group of about
twenty-five dwellings, not serviced with
electricity or water, was known as
"Tony's Camp" due to the mainly Italian
immigrants who built their own houses.
Hosmer functioned as a busy community during the time that the mine was
operating. Newspapers for 1910 give
researchers a better view of that year
Two coke ovens at Hosmer, as seen in 1980 by artist Sandy Lightfoot, show that time bas moved tbe
insulating dirt from atop tbe brick ovens and spread it across what was a level wharf or walkway. When
operational, a hopper car catted a "Larry" ran on tracks above tbe ovens. Tbe Larry was equipped to
load both tbe east-facing and west-facing ovens standing back to back.
than of other years. There were Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches, each with a ladies' auxiliary.
Societies included the Knights of Pythias,
Hosmer Football Club, Odd Fellows,
Sons of Scotland, the Ukrainian Society,
Hosmer (Men's) Club, Conservative Association, the Hosmer Civilian Rifle Club,
Maple Leaf Lodge, Hosmer Firemen's
Hockey Club, and a Board of Trade.
Dances were held in either the Opera
House or a hotel. Musical entertainment
was sometimes performed by visiting
"celebrities" but more often
was local talent presented
at an organized, or an impromptu, gathering. Early
silent movies were shown
in Hosmer Opera House or
occasionally in the Queen
Hotel. In the hotel, the film
projector had to be set up
outside and shone through
a window on to an interior
wall for viewing. The cost
to see a movie in 1910
ranged from ten cents to
twenty-five cents.
On August 1, 1908, a fire
destroyed most of Fernie.
Many Fernie residents were
evacuated by train to
Hosmer. Norma Fink, still a
resident of Hosmer, remembers travelling out to
Hosmer on a lumber train
with her mother. Her father
did not leave Fernie till
many hours later, after helping to fight the fire in his
lumberyard. The refugees
were sheltered in the brand-
new coke ovens. The fire
spread to above Hosmer before it abated due to rain.
The timbers at the mouth of
the mine tunnels were
burned and had to be replaced before underground
work could proceed. And
the powder house was ignited, detonating the dynamite stored therein.
The Life of a Mine Worker
Table 4.2 shows the
wages for various mine
positions through the years
of the Hosmer Mine operation. It should be remem-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 bered that for outside workers,
this small wage was for a ten-hour
day. Underground workers spent
eight hours in the mine, to-which
was added travel time to walk to
the upper mine levels. Sunday
was the only day off, but probably was not much of a "day of
rest" with home chores to be
done. Note the division of workers into white, Japanese, Chinese
and Indian categories, indicative
of racist attitudes predominant at
that time. Another point of interest is the 1911 increase in potential salaries for coal miners, which
resulted from a lengthy strike that
year which severely decreased
annual production. It was a mile-
long trudge up to the A-level, especially tough when heavy snow
had fallen. (It is conjectured that
a sturdy specimen be delegated
to break trail for a few cents reward at the end of the day.) Before going underground, each
miner had to collect a lamp from
the lamp house and obtain their
numbered brass tag which identified those in the mine at any
given time. The lamp and the tag
had to be returned before a man
could proceed to the wash house.
Within the mine, the room and
pillar system was used for extracting coal. This was exhausting
physical labour associated with
dangerous dust which created
respiratory problems as well as
potential explosions. Hosmer
Mine reported one fatality in 1909
and 1912, with three in both 1913
and 1914. Gravestones tell us that
a number of residents died while in their
early thirties.
The assignment at the coke ovens was
perhaps even harder. Each man was assigned six ovens, of which three would
be ready each shift. Five to six tons of
barely quenched coke had to be pulled
from each oven manually with a metal
long-handled rake weighing sixty
pounds (27 kg). Husky men, usually of
Slavic origin, were hired for this job,
which went on seven days a week on
three shifts. The labourer received between eighty cents and one dollar per
oven, giving a maximum of eighteen
dollars per week, leaving scant to spare
Coke Oven No. 5 West. The surveyor's rod stands on the wharf
landing against tbe front of tbe oven. Below tbe ovens,
foundations were built of flat sandstone rocks to a depth of
six feet This provided tbe necessary support for tbe oven and
rail lines that passed over tbe tops of tbe ovens. Railway tracks
adjacent to tbe wharf were supplied with hopper cars which
were band loaded by tbe operator, who bad to rake tbe coke
from the oven onto a wharf and then load tbe car. Tbe floor of
each oven sloped slightly to aUow drainage of tbe water used
for quenching tbe fire within. There was still enough beat to
ignite tbe next fitting of coal loaded through tbe trunnel atop
tbe oven. Dirt covered tbe brickwork to bold tbe beat better.
Vegetation gradually invaded as shown by tbe trees and vines
around tbe mouth of this oven.
Photo courtesy of the author.
after living expenses were deducted.
The 1908 fire, and others, reduced the
log supply for all area sawmills, including the one at Hosmer. The Hosmer
colliery produced less than its expected
quota of coal but a slightly larger percentage of coke from the East Kootenay
district. Michel, Morrissey and Coal
Creek were run by the Crow's Nest Pass
Coal Company and Corbin Mine produced near present-day Byron Creek
Mine. The Hosmer coal seams were
nipped off unexpectedly, folded and
mixed with conglomerate more frequently than predicted. Hosmer Mine
had been havng difficulty in adequately
supplying Trail smelter with their
coke requirements. The 1911
strike further riled smelter personnel as coke had to be brought in
from Pennsylvania at $10.55 per
ton. In 1912 the power house
burned and, once operations
were resumed, there was a shortage of railway cars allotted. Overburden began to bulge in the
lower tunnels so expensive improvements, such as double
tracking to B-level amd replacing horses with air-pressured locomotives, were done in 1913- By
June 1914 Canadian Pacific announced permanent shutdown of
Hosmer Mine. Ironically, the General Superintendent for Natural
Resources, Lewis Stockett, based
in Calgary, was sent to Hosmer
to direct the closure of the operation where he had been manager until 1911. Stockett gave
instruction for the removal of
mine equipment and structures to
be shipped to Bankhead and
other Canadian Pacific facilities.
Most of the machinery eventually
went to the Stores Department,
while Irrigation got timber and
some ofthe mine houses. By July
28, 1914, A- and B-level openings had been securely fenced
and outside tracks and pipes had
been taken to the tipple yard.
Private property owners were
left with scant reason for existence. Miners drifted away, most
able to find work in other collieries in the Crow's Nest Pass.
Those that stayed remember the
time the electric light was cut off
permanently. In 1922 John S.
D'Appolonia and Alex Morrisson of
Coleman bought many of the Hosmer
houses, cut them in half, and shipped
them to Coleman where they were reassembled, repaired and either sold or
rented out.
Somehow a portion of Hosmer retained viability. Despite the closure of
the Great Northern Railway spur, and
the reduced use of the Canadian Pacific
Railway line, passenger stops were made
at the tiny building which replaced the
earlier station. The population warranted
keeping the school open but teachers
did not stay very long. One teacher, at-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 tracted from Nova Scotia by higher pay
in British Columbia, stayed at Hosmer
only one term "because she could not
find a boarding house that had a bathtub." There were enough residents to
justify a local post office from 1906 to
1948. (It is now on a rural route from
Fernie post office.) Modern transportation allows today's Hosmer residents to
commute to work, and school buses take
children to district learning centres.
Much ofthe Hosmer Mine equipment,
such as locomotives called "dinkies,"
went to other mines in the area. The
drums from the A-incline hoist went to
Maple Leaf Mines on the Alberta side of
the Pass. Some of the tipple steel went
to Michel. In 1938-40 all the remaining
steel and iron (including corrugated
roofing) was removed for use in World
War II. In 1948 a major flood of the Elk
River washed out the Hosmer bridge.
The facing stones from many of the coke
ovens were taken and used for rip-rap
to stabilize the river bank near the bridge
site. In 1973-74, when Stevenson Road
was widened, 148 ovens were destroyed. The heritage restoration project
is concentrating on a series of thirty-six
ovens which are in quite good condition. The cement pillars which supported
the overhead track for the "larry"
dumpster are still sound. Some trunnel
caps are in place eighty years after their
last firing. It should be possible to mock-
1908                1909                 1910                 1911
1913                  1914
Above Under:
Above Under:
Ak„ „ Under-
Above ground
«»» ground ^
Job Classification
Supervision and
Clerical Assistance
7          6
10         9
10        11
12        15          14
Whites - Miners
-      115
-      113
Miners' Helpers
-      113
-      187
-      113
58        17
87        52
95        60
124      144          92
Mechanics and
Skilled Labour
48 i     33
3B        31
31        24
24        67          60
1  1
10 '
9 !      1
13          -          19
8 !       -
Total Employed
361  ,   256
145      394
145      239
173 1   452        105
1908        |         1909       |          1910                  1911
1913                  1914
AMVe ground
Above Under:
.. Under-
Above ground
«»» around »•••
Job Classification
$5*3    $6+
$10*3. $6*
$13*3 $5*
$9*      $6*        $9*
2.42      2.50    2.50
Whites - Miners
J          $3.50*3
Miners'  Helpers $2.75*1           $2.50
1 $2.50
$2.25  $2.50
$2.75 $2.50
$2.75 $2.75
13.40 $3.03    $2.90
-2.47 .2.75    *2.47
■$4>     $3.50
$3.68. $3.50
$3.6B $3.85
$4.25 $3.75    $4.25
1 2.75 -2.75
-1       -3.
*2.90        *3.   *2.90
!$1. SO-
$2.*                   $2.*
1.37                  1.37
Source:    Reports of
Minister of Mines,
3.0.  1908-1914.
Table 4.2 Daily wages for Hosmer Mine workers, 1908-1914.
up a "before" and "after" coking sequence. Hosmer will offer little known
historical features in a lovely setting only
one-half kilometre off a main highway!
200,000 —
175,000   —
150,000    —
125,000   —
100,000    —
75,000   —
50 ,00.0 —
25,000   —
^                           \  /                     --•""•x
/             „--"'              \          /'•COKE PRODUCTION
1               1               1               ■               1               1               1
FIG.    4.11
1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 191
& COKE    AT    HOSMER MINE,  1908-1914
Fred Lightfoot is one of tbe founders of
tbe Hosmer Heritage Society. In 1984 be
was project manager for a federally
funded feasibility study wbicb bad scant
follow-up action until tbe fall of 1993
when a crew of twenty-four worked as
part of an Elk Valley enhancement grant
from tbe provincial government He built
bis family borne across tbe road front
tbe shell ofthe old tipple. The sketches
are done by bis wife, Sandy.
Brown, H. Leslie. Tbe Pass. Biography of a District
Renewed and a Town Long Gone, unpublished
manuscript, 1977. 275 pp.
Lake, D.W. A Study of Landscape Evolution in tbe
Crowsnest Pass Region, 1H98-1971, PhD dissertation,
Graduate Faculty, Norman. Oklahoma, 1972. 184 pp.
Yuill, H.H. "Hosmer Mines Ltd., B.C.," Journal of tbe
Canadian Mining Institute, 12th annual meeting. 1910.
British Columbia Inspector of Mines. Letter Books
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 The Man Who FeU From Heaven
by Phylis Bowman
Petroglyphs, or marks and signs in the
rocks along the rugged British Columbia coast, were made by Indians in past
years to denote boundaries or ownership edges, or perhaps to tell a story,
say the archeologists who have been
studying them these past few years.
Researchers claim that most petroglyphs
on the Northwest Coast are faces dominated by eyes, often with one eye different from the other.
Among the dozens of
large and small and varied
markings on the rocks
along the shores of the
Prince Rupert harbour and
nearby Metlakatla Pass is
one which has been reproduced in the B.C. Museum
in Victoria and also in the
National Museum of Man
in Ottawa. It's called "The
Man Who Fell From
Heaven" for it is the outline of a human figure on
the rocks on Roberson
Point in the Pass, a six-foot-
long figure with a circular
head, straight long arms
and rather short legs. And
it had been there as long
as anyone could remember. It had evidently been
carved with stone tools
long, long ago by someone
who wished to commemorate an important event and there are
many versions told to explain its existence.
One was related by Dominion arche-
ologist Harlan Smith, who visited the site
in the mid-1920s and said he was told
by a resident from Hazelton that the
carving marked the place where the
body of a drowned man had been recovered. A different story was told him
by the Tsimshians who claimed the figure was etched there by a Metlakatla
band member who wanted to impress
his fellows. (Some say it was a strong
young fellow who wanted to mostly impress the band chief and so win his at
tractive daughter for his bride.) He told
them he was going to travel up into the
sky and then disappeared for several
days. When he became hungry he returned to the village and told them he
had fallen from the sky and took them
to show them the spot in the rocks made
by the impact of his body when he
landed. A similar story tells of how he
threw a lot of rocks into the water on a
Tbe outline of "The Man Who Fell From Heaven" is clearly
outlined on a rock on Roberson Point in Metlakatla Pass
near Prince Rupert. It is covered twice daily by ocean tides
and there are many tales of bow it got to be there.
summer day when all the men were
away fishing, and when the women and
children who had been left in the village came to see what the commotion
was about, he told them he had just
landed from heaven. Which tale is true
is up to the listener to believe, but, at
any rate, the young fellow evidently
impressed the chief with his tale and
ended up marrying the daughter with
her father's wholehearted support.
A third story involves the mythological tale of that mischievous culture hero
Raven, or Wegets as he was known to
the Tsimshians, and concerns the origin
of a line of village chiefs. According to
this version, Wegets and his brother, who
were born of unions between two mortal brothers and two spirit sisters, were
expelled in their human forms from the
spirit world. Descending toward the
earth, Wegets' brother decided to land
in a soft bed of seaweed, where he soon
sank out of sight. Warned by his brother's fate, Wegets chose to land on the
rock, where he became firmly embedded. He managed to entice a land otter
to free him and travelled up the Skeena
River, spreading the arts of mankind, and
various rocks upon which he walked or
sat are commemorated by the
Tsimshians. Although "The Man" is completely covered by water twice a day by
the swirling ocean tides, it remains
clearly outlined under a large tree on a
solitary point in one of the small coves
in Metlakatla Pass, an unsolved conundrum which will probably never be
solved but a fascinating marker on the
shores of the Pass and one which has
provided much interest and speculation
by those who have seen it or heard
about it.
Another interesting petroglyph is one
found by an Anglican missionary-
teacher, Canon W.F Rushbrook, who
discovered it lying on the shores of
Observatory Inlet, just north of Prince
Rupert, in 1938, while on his travels up
and down the coast on the mission ship
Northern Cross. The missionary, who
served for many years in Port Essington
and other little communities on the
coast, described the boulder as a "totem in stone" and thus practically indestructible, so it is of unique interest as it
is the only one of its kind "in captivity."
He had lived amongst the Tsimshians
and studied their ways and this is what
he wrote about petroglyphs on June 22,
"When similar art in wood has perished, this will remain a concrete evidence historic, social and cultural, ofthe
aborigines of this district. More aboriginal rock carvings are on cliffsides or
bedrock so that the interested public
sees only impressions or photographs
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 — this is indeed original.
This stone formerly
marked the south boundary of the hunting and
fishing domain ofthe family of Nachklats (meaning
'partly furred cub bear just
emerging from hibernation') and was a deed to
the family of that domain
which stretch northward
from An-ga-ish (the place
where the boulder was
carved) to Nisha-Aks (Indian River) on Observatory Inlet.
"As a totem, it has the
advantage over wooden
totems in that it neither
could be destroyed,
burned nor carried away by maraudering
enemies. So the boulder which is to us
simply a curio with crude markings, is
to the native a family history stretching
back possibly many hundreds of years,
laboriously chiseled through long hours
of patient toil, possibly by many artists
and at widely separated times. On the
upper lefthand corner is carved an eagle, Nachklat's crest, thus we know that
the family was an important one. Crests
are social emblems in local Indian life.
The fish (a halibut) and the beaver face,
etc. depicted on the stone indicate
intercrestal marriage. You will note that
the Eagle does not again recur — a tacit
evidence of the native social custom that
members of the same crest, though of
no blood relation, might not intermarry.
Any breach of this code was classed as
incest and punishable with death. The
spiral-like drawing denotes the origin
of the family as Gish-Ga-Aks ('dwellers
of fresh water'). Near this carving was
found an ancient stone chisel and there
is little doubt this was one of the tools
with which the work was done. The
Nachklats family from whom this stone
carving was purchased now lives in
Kincolith — 'The Place of the Skull' —
on the Nass River."
The unique stone was placed near the
little fountain in Totem Park on Fraser
Street in Prince Rupert for years, but then
was moved to the front of the Museum
of Northern B.C. on First Avenue West
several years after the museum was constructed in 1958. Thousands of tourists
have stopped to admire it and dozens
Beloved Anglican missionary, Rev. W.F. Rushbrook, pictured on tbe beach on
Observatory Inlet, north of Prince Rupert, beside tbe huge petroglyph rock be
discovered there. He moved it on to tbe mission boat Northern Cross with tbe
help of bis engineer, Albert Eyolfson, and it now sits in front of tbe Museum of
Northern RC in Prince Rupert.
of archeological students have taken
rubbings of it to study and keep as mementoes of Indian customs on this coast
many years ago. Canon Rushbrook, who
had come to the north coast from Ontario where he had been ordained in
1901, was stationed for a time at Port
Essington before coming to the new little port city of Prince Rupert to conduct
some of the first services there. And then
from 1912 to 1929 he was skipper-
teacher-missionary aboard the Anglican
mission vessel, travelling to all the little
biways, conducting services, baptisms,
marriages, funerals, and distributing literature, and doing, oldtimers said,
"obliging acts for young and old, thus
embodying the spirit of sacrifice for the
good of others which is the meaning of
the cross of Christ." He conducted services once a month at a stated time in
about twenty different places, and being a practical gardener and poultryman,
was able to give expert advice to the
settlers. He had a most congenial nature, carrying sunshine where he went,
with lonely pioneers greeting him affectionately, their faces beaming with
pleasure to see him again, children especially being attracted to him as to a
magnet. He visited lonely
lighthousekeepers as well as scattered
settlers, bringing the Christian message
and news of the outside world.
His young wife died soon after the
birth of their little daughter, Dorothy,
and it was with a sad heart he took the
child back to Ontario to live with relatives there. However, she returned to
the west to be with her
father when an attractive
young woman and
worked at the Prince
Rupert Public Library for
several years. She often
travelled on the Northern
Cross with her father, and
it was he who married her
and the young man who
worked for a time on the
vessel, Fred Skinner, in
June of 1938 in the little
St. Peter's Anglican
Church in the east end of
Prince Rupert, where he
was in charge of the services after leaving his travels on the mission boat.
He had built a little home
for himself in 1912 in the woods high
on a bluff overlooking the east end of
Prince Rupert harbour — and maintained a well-kept lawn and vegetable
garden around it, and when dozens of
little wartime houses were built in that
area to house construction workers during the Second World War, that section
of the east end of Prince Rupert was
named "Rushbrook Heights" in his honour and the docks below it "Rushbrook
Floats." The well-known and well-loved
canon died in 1951 and is buried in the
Prince Rupert cemetery, leaving thousands of fond memories behind of the
services and kindnesses he conducted
in his many years in his travels to bring
help, love and joy to the pioneers and
settlers in isolated communities on the
north coast of British Columbia.
1    t '""*--
f    *1
mUrM   Iv
W      r^
An entertainer emulates Grade Fields at
BCHF Conference 1994 in Parksville.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
8 Archeological Findings in the
Prince Rupert Area
The first surveyors and railroad workers who trod the shores of Prince
Rupert's vast harbour and environs at
the turn of the century were certainly
not the first humans to do so. Teams of
archeologists from the National Museum
of Man in Ottawa who have been carrying out extensive explorations on the
north coast since 1968 have uncovered
hundreds of artifacts and articles used
by former residents, the Tsimshian Indians, long ago, with some of them dating back more than 5,000 years. Various
samples show that these people had
been short and stocky, with the average male adult being about five feet,
four inches tall, and the women about
three inches shorter.
Life had not been easy for these inhabitants of the dense forests and rocky
shorelines of the coast, for the remains
found showed that arthritis had been a
common ailment amongst them, with
dental problems afflicting many, for they
had eaten coarse food composed mainly
of dried fish and shellfish, and had used
their teeth often as tools: to hold basketry fibres and to soften them with saliva, and to chew hides to make them
more pliable. Parts of some skeletons
found showed the kind of bodily stress
caused by paddling canoes, for the Indians used this method to get from island to island, to the fishing grounds,
and up and down the coast and rivers.
The death amongst infants and small
children was high, it was found, with
childbearing difficulties no doubt shortening the lifespan of women, with most
of them dying in their early thirties. The
men outlived them by several years, but
few people lived much past their fifties.
Researchers say the sites on the north
coast of British Columbia were "among
the oldest human habitation in the New
World, with their 5,000-year history antedating the great dynasties of ancient
China and the blossoming of civilization in Egypt, Babylon, India, Persia, of
by Phylis Bowman
ancient China and Greece, Rome, Meso-
America and Peru by millenia and not
merely centuries."
Prince Rupert's harbour is about the
geographical centre of 200 miles of
shoreline between the Nass River to the
north and Swindle Island to the south
— the traditional territory of the
Tsimshian-speaking people. Between
1966 and 1973, ten of the fifty sites in
the immediate area of the harbour and
Metlakatla Pass were excavated, with
archeologists finding more than 15,000
artifacts, several hundred burials,
200,000 pieces of animal bone, and hundreds of samples of soil, shell and
burned wood. They searched through
the "middens" which were the garbage
dumps of the villages which contained
clam and mussel shells, barnacles, gravel
and earth, besides household utensils
and tools, human remains and primitive tools, all enabling the archeologists
to piece together the complex jigsaw
puzzles of life and how they existed in
the harsh lands so long ago.
In order to preserve one of those sites
and to show what they were investigating, the researchers chose a site on the
shores of Dodge Cove on Digby Island
to reproduce in the museum in Ottawa
an idea of what it was like to search
through these former garbage disposal
sites. The chosen site, 600 feet along
the shoreline and 200 feet inland, was
named "The Boardwalk" as it was alongside the shoreline beside the long government wharf which stretched out into
the cove. It had been one of the main
winter villages of the Tsimshian Indians.
Digging to a depth of twenty feet, the
workers meticulously sifted through half
a million cubic feet of debris and found
many treasures, such as a wide variety
of food remains, including shellfish, particularly butter clams, little neck clams
and mussels, bones from salmon, halibut, deer, wolf, porcupines, beaver, bear,
mountain goat, sea otter and seals, and
more than fifty species of birds, including sea ducks, ravens, geese, loons, eagles and gulls. Nearly 5,000 tools and
other implements made from bone,
stone, shell and wood were found, as
well as fishing and hunting weapons
with bone and stone points, and harpoons.
To make the reproduction at the museum look authentic, samples of each
type of soil were sorted and keyed to
position in the excavation walls and then
fixed with polyvinyl acetate to suitably
sculptured sheets of styrofoam and assembled to look like the continuous
profile of an excavation. More than
twenty tons of shell and soil from the
actual site were gathered by hand,
packed into 200 wooden crates, and
loaded into boxcars to be shipped to
Ottawa. To complete the illusion of a
real "dig," botanists classified the types
of trees and shrubs which grew on the
site, and samples of each were gathered
and preserved for exhibition. New techniques were developed to preserve the
living appearance of the vegetation and,
at the same time, meet the strict fire code
regulations. The limbs of huge cedar
trees were preserved intact, but sheets
of cedar bark were removed from the
trunks and mounted on fibreglass cores
at the museum.
Moss, rotten wood, and hemlock,
spruce and fir needles, all part of the
forest floor, were gathered, sorted and
fumigated before being taken east, to
make the illusion of being in an actual
midden complete, especially since a tape
is played while the visitors gaze at the
reproduction — a tape of seagulls crying in the winds and the tidal waves
dashing onto the rocky shores. Listening to that tape it is easy to imagine the
rustling of the trees above and the blue-
green of the northern waters on the vast
length of beaches and rocky ledges
dashing against the shores in the rise
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 and fall of the tides and winds.
The "Boardwalk" was not the only
valuable find of the archeologists for in
1971 a team working on the mainland
just to the east of the Indian village of
Metlakatla found a site measuring 600
feet long and 250 feet wide, covering
an area of about three acres. Part of the
area had been cleared for potato farms
by the natives long ago, but the rest was
Described as one of their richest finds
in their years of research in the Rupert
area, crews found a large cedar plank
house once used by the Tsimshians, thus
opening up new fields of facts and
knowledge for the archeologists. The
roof of the house had long since caved
in, but a couple of the beams which
had supported it were still in fine enough
condition to yield important clues to life
and housing in that area in the latter
part of last century. The site, on the
shores of Venn Passage, became known
as "Knu Site" and could have been lived
in as late as 1830.
The archeologists surmised the house
to be dated somewhere between 1780
and 1850 as it was in the style of the
Tsimshian and Nishga dwellings as described by the famed explorer, Franz
Boas, in 1896. Eight large posts, ranging from twenty-four to thirty inches in
diameter, marked an area of occupation
roughly forty-five feet square, with about
1,800 feet of living space. The construction of the house was very interesting
in that it was a little different from the
ordinary type used by the people at that
time. There were absolutely no
fastenings of any kind found, such as
nails or spikes, and the planks measuring about six by eighteen inches were
laid on top of one another. Before this
find, archeologists had only photographs
on which to base their research so coming upon this site was a real find.
The house was unique in that it had a
plank floor — a sure sign that it had
belonged to a high-ranking chief, or was
a house of ceremony. It had been a
house of about forty people — they and
their belongings stayed on the outside
edge of a twenty-five-foot square depression in the centre which was used
for cooking and working. The main season of activity for the people then was
in the winter time when they returned
from the Skeena and Nass Rivers with a
supply of salmon to carry them through
the year. They dwelt in such houses for
about six months out of the year and it
was then that the main ceremonies were
held and social life enjoyed.
Another valuable midden found on
the western shores of Digby Island
showed thirty-four house depressions,
proving that from 300 to 500 people
could have lived on that site years ago.
Most of the sites on Digby Island have
remained untouched over the years, but
a very valuable midden on the northwestern shores of Kaien Island has been
obliterated by construction crews. Situated by the railroad's Mile 93 milepost,
1.6 miles east of the Prince Rupert Via
Rail station, this midden showed the site
had been a large Indian village, and
searchers discovered there were bone
points which might have been used as
fishooks or harpoons, a small stone adze
blade for woodworking, a small scraper
probably used for scraping hides, and
several large chopping tools used for
rough woodworking.
Archeologists started work on this site
in 1973 when it was found that artifacts
were being uncovered when the area
was being excavated for the construction of port development at Fairview
Terminal, just west of the Prince Rupert
Fishermen's Co-operative Association's
plant. There, the searchers discovered
remnants which showed there had once
been a large Tsimshian village well over
2,000 years ago, and major artifacts
found included some waterlogged bark
basketry and hard pieces of preserved
wood as well as remains of houses and
house posts. One section was of special value to the researchers for a stream
bed had penetrated the soil and it was
in this entirely water-saturated ground
that such items as wood tools and basketry were found in excellent condition.
The crews used the utmost caution in
uncovering these artifacts, using high-
pressure hoses to wash them from the
sides of the dig, afraid to use metal trowels due to the organic artifacts being so
The North Coast Tribal Council requested the Department of National
Defence to consider extending the time
for port expansion when plans were
being made there in June of 1987 to
expand the terminal to install and store
bunkering fuel tanks, but the site was
eventually destroyed by heavy machinery preparing the site for tanks, and archeologists were disappointed to find
their work cut short and the site ruined.
The artifacts, including wooden wedges
for splitting wood, digging sticks for
clams or root crops, basketry, fragments
of arrows, spear handles made of wood
— and even a wooden bowl — were
immediately immersed in water after
being uncovered to prevent decomposition. All of the artifacts were categorized to Ottawa for final analysis. And
there they are on display, interesting and
fascinating proof that many Indians lived
in this area many years ago.
Those Indians who lived on the rugged west coast then lived off the land
and devised many tools and methods
to garner their food from the sea and
the land. They had adapted well to living beside the ocean, just as they understood the rough terrain of the
beaches and shores and forests, and they
made their tools and artifacts to cope
with nature and the fish and animals.
They knew and understood the ebb and
flow of the tides and currents, and tlie
changing winds which could gently waft
like a summer breeze or quickly change
to a violent storm which could lash huge
waves to a boiling point. These quirks
of nature the archeologists knew too,
and it is these which they have imitated
in their display of the tools used and
the life lived on the rugged west coast
years ago to try to give the present generation, with all their comforts and modern conveniences, a glimpse of the work
and hardships which the Tsimshians
endured to eke out a living in the areas
of Digby and Kaien Islands long before
the explorers and missionaries arrived
to radically change their lives
Port Edward author Phylis Bowman has
written extensively of interesting and
historical events in tbe north coast area
and became most interested in facets of
Indian life and lore when interviewing
archeologists from tbe Museum of Man
in Ottawa who came to search for and
study relics and tools and weapons
found on Prince Rupert harbour
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
10 The Greening of Glenmore
by Wayne Wilson
Study of the settlement process is
aided significantly by the use of historic
photographs. Panorama views provide
a benchmark for landscape change;
portraits help humanize the past; snapshots of special events, workplaces and
streetscapes add context to "place." A
series of views taken over the years reveals the scale, pace and direction of
change. In the Glenmore Valley,
Kelowna, the landscape changes
brought about by the settlement process are given particular focus by a
unique set of photographs that record
the very genesis of an orcharding landscape that has become synonymous with
the Okanagan region.1
Between 1904 and 1914 the entire
Okanagan spatial economy shifted from
extensive to intensive agriculture as
orcharding replaced cattle ranching and
grain growing.2 In the Glenmore Valley
that shift took place in less than half
that time. The land turned from brown
to green, a new road network was set
in place, and manicured blocks of fruit
trees replaced open grazing range. The
change was dramatic, rapid and complete.
The catalyst in this change was water,
and the Kelowna Irrigation Company,
with its parent, the Central Okanagan
Lands Ltd., recorded every inch of its
irrigation system on film. A set of more
than one hundred photographs captured
the construction ofthe main storage dam
at Postill Lake to the orchard lots on the
valley floor and everything in between.
Although details differ from system to
system, this photo collection provides a
model for understanding the circumstances surrounding the start of
Okanagan irrigated horticulture — in this
case, the Greening of Glenmore.
Okanagan orcharding requires a
ready, reliable supply of water. For the
most part, that supply was insured by
the construction of dams at the outlets
of upland lakes in the hills that flank
the main valley. The Postill Lake Dam
is typical of early dam construction. Log-
crib, rock filled and earth and clay covered, it withstood years of wave action.
In this case, at twenty-eight feet high,
the dam held back 2,408 acre-feet of
water for use in the heat of summer.3
From this point water was released
into Mill Creek, where it flowed until
reaching the headgate. Built like a small
control dam, the headgate took water
into the irrigation system at the necessary elevation to service benchland and
valley bottom lands. Generally, the water moved by gravity at a grade of one
foot per thousand feet.
Once in the system, a complex and
expensive network of canals, flumes,
siphons and ditches carried water to the
orchards. The more efficient canals and
Prior to irrigation development tbe Glenmore Valley was
known locally as Dry Valley or Starvation Flats. It is not
difficult to see why.
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10.380A
With a regular and ready supply of water, Glenmore Valley
took on a civilized, deciduous green hue.
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10,380
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 Downstream side of Postill Lake Dam. This is one of tbe clearest
photos of log-crib, rock-fill construction.
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10,347
Building concrete-lined irrigation canals for tbe Glenmore
VaUey. Note tbe cast out forms on tbe right
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10.301
Irrigation's visible hardware. This 32-inch sipbon took water
across tbe Ellison Valley to Glenmore.
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10323
Two- and four-borse teams pulled band graders called
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10.289
British Columbia's rugged terrain made construction of
irrigation works difficult and expensive. In tbe Glenmore Valley
this elevated flume was typical of those works.
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10,271
These "laterals" ran down tbe east and west sides ofthe vaUey.
Once in place, tbe area's transformation could take place.
Kelowna Museum photo No. 10,270
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
12 ditches were concrete lined. Using portable wooden forms, crews laid out a
section of canal and poured the concrete. While it set they prepared the next
section to the proper grade, depth and
width. Horse-drawn graders, called
"fresnos," were used to remove large
amounts of earth and gravel.
Where terrain or cost would not allow the construction of canals, elevated
flumes crossed gulleys and rocky outcrops. By and large, these were a system's weak point. Support structures
could be easily washed out and, because
they were made of wood, the wetting
and drying cycle they faced rotted them
Siphons were used extensively in the
Okanagan. In the case of Glenmore, a
thirty-two-inch steel siphon crossed the
Ellison Valley to take water to a large
regulating reservoir. From this point,
canals ran along either side of Glenmore
The new supply of water changed the
landscape and the picture of Glenmore
Valley looked wonderfully prosperous
at this time (1912). Unseen in the photographer's record, however, the
Kelowna Irrigation Company had laid a
poor foundation. Between 1910 and
1915 the company spent more than
$500,000 to build the irrigation works.
Unortunately, it had built poorly.
By 1916 the provincial government
had recognized the problems and hired
A.R. Mackenzie, a Vancouver engineer,
to survey the system. His report called
for more than $325,000 of repairs to be
carried out over the ensuing seven years.
Included was the relining of more than
two miles of canals and scraping and
repainting the main siphon.
These problems clearly threatened
Glenmore growers and they quickly
applied to the government to take over
the failing privately owned and operated water company. In 1920 a public
body, the Glenmore Improvement District, purchased the water system from
the Kelowna Irrigation Company and
embarked on a new approach to water
management in the Okanagan Valley.
Water, during this era, changed its status from a private resource to a public
good, and Okanagan orchardists were
at the forefront of the new management
Today the valley's irrigation works are
largely invisible. Flumes, siphons and
canals have been replaced with buried
pressurized pipe — all that is seen today is the sprinkler. In the Glenmore
Valley, however, the transition can be
better understood because this photo
series records, in detail, one important
starting point of Okanagan landscape
Wayne Wilson is an Assistant Curator at
tbe Kelowna Museum and works largely
at Us satellite facility, tbe British Columbia Orchard Industry Museum. Wayne
is also a professor of geography at
Okanagan University College. He holds
an MA in Historical Geography (UBC),
having written bis thesis on Okanagan
irrigation, 1860-1920.
1. There are now two known sets of these
photographs, the mast complete of which is held
by the Glenmore-Ellison Irrigation District. The
Kelowna Museum holds the other set and has
made four-by-five-inch copy negatives of each.
2. For more detail on the historical geography of
Okanagan irrigation see K.W. Wilson, Irrigating
The Okanagan: 1860-1920, unpublished MA
thesis, UBC. 1989. See also D. Dendy, One Huge
Orchard: Okanagan Land Development
Companies Before The Great War, unpublished BA
Honours Graduating Essay, UBC. 1976.
3- A.R. Mackenzie. Report on the Physical and
Financial Condition of tbe Irrigation Projects ofthe
Province. Pan 1, p. 36- This detailed report
supplies the remainder of the statistical
information quoted here.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 Fort Steele's Presbyterian Church
by Lee Chernoff
Fired by the rumours of rich and bountiful strikes in the Kootenay region, and
stricken by "gold fever," the 1860s saw
hundreds of fortune seekers pour into a
region otherwise uninhabited, save by
the Native Canadian. The next two decades continued to witness this trickle of
prospectors and their families into the
area — a trickle which increasingly gave
way to a flood as the years passed by.
The Kootenay region by the late 1880s
was well on its way to becoming a settled region, and this especially so when
the main line of the Canadian Pacific
Railway was completed in 1885. With
the population steadily rising in this
"new land of opportunity," the Presbyterian Church in Canada saw the land
as one of increasing opportunity as well.
The first men who had journeyed into
the region came seeking gold; these men
who followed would come seeking a
much more precious commodity — the
souls of men.
The year was 1887 and the
General Assembly of the
Canada Presbyterian Church
was meeting in the City of Winnipeg, its concern focused on
the expansion of Home Mission
work on the western prairies
and in the mining camps of the
British Columbia mountains.
Rev. James Robertson ... Superintendent of Missions for the
North-West ... rose to address
his fellow policy-makers. Consumed with a passion to spread
Christian teachings across the
land and to claim new fields for
the Presbyterian cause, he inspired his listeners as in his
Scottish burr he told of humanity sweeping over the country
in the wake of the newly built
railroad: 'These tides of immigration will not wait for us,' he
said. 'If we lose these people
now we shall have a wild and
godless West.' His plea met a
response and the Assembly
moved to form a great new
Presbytery of Calgary.1
This new presbytery would reach far
into the Kootenays, of which Fort Steele
(previously Galbraith's Ferry) was rapidly becoming the capital.
A few years later, in the summers of
1893 and 1894, a Presbyterian missionary by the name of Reverend A.D.
McKinnon was stationed in a field extending from Fort Steele to Golden. His
mandate consisted of three separate
charges: Fort Steele, Galena and Windermere. Reverend McKinnon's most
pressing concern was to set up an educational facility, and this he forthrightly
did at both Windermere and Fort Steele.
For lack of a building, in these early
years, the Presbyterian congregation in
Fort Steele met to worship within the
one-room school house which the community had erected in 1894. The other
Christian denominations, the Roman
Catholics and the Anglicans, met and
shared the building as well — each denomination being designated a specific
time during the day to hold their respective services. Such practice continued for
the next four years, with various Presbyterian missionaries being assigned
each summer and departing in autumn.2
As Fort Steele continued to grow, the
Presbyterian folk resident there also increased. Soon the demand grew so great
that a lonely missionary was stretched
beyond his ability. Something had to be
done. The Presbyterians in Fort Steele
waited anxiously for the decision of the
Church government.
Finally, word came and was published
in the local newspaper, The Prospector,
which reported:
An ordained missionary of the
Presbyterian Church is to be
sent here this fall, in view of
which the local members of the
denomination are contemplating the erection of a church
Excitedly, the congregation looked
and prepared for the arrival of their first
full-time minister, expected to arrive in
the new year.
Reverend John Glass Duncan did arrive in early January of 1898 via the stage
from Kamloops Presbytery in the north.
He was a Scot, born and raised in Glasgow, who entered the ministry and was
ordained in 1882.
Upon his arrival Reverend Duncan
immediately set about his business and
relocated the congregation from the
school house to the Opera House. With
his prime objective being the founding
and construction of a building, following the first service on January 23, a
meeting was held to that effect. According to the session notes of the day, it
was decided that the congregation
should have a Sabbath school as well
as "a choir, and that Mrs. Frizzell be
leader." Mr. Henry Kershaw, of H.
Kershaw and Son General Store, was
"delegated to look after (the) collection
plate and reading desk." Dr. Hugh Watt,
the physician at Fort Steele, was appointed as treasurer.3
The meeting accomplished a great
deal, not only in terms of settling certain specific matters just mentioned; it
also set in motion the plans for construction, and with them, the mindset
of the people who would be called upon
to sacrifice and apply themselves to the
arduous task.
A short three weeks later another
meeting was called to elect trustees to
receive the deed of property.   The
Prospector (February 18, 1898) records:
At the close of the Presbyterian
service held in the Opera House
last Sunday evening a congregational meeting took place for
the purpose of electing four of
their number to the position of
trustees for the new building to
be erected as a place of worship. The Reverend J.G. Duncan
...  chairman  ...  explained
briefly the purpose ofthe meeting. The election of trustees was
then proceeded with, and the
following gendemen were appointed:     Messrs.     Henry
Kershaw, Malcolm McInnes,
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
14 Robert Duncan Mather, and
Hugh Watt, M.D.4
At the meeting the question arose as
to how the building would be financed
and what means the congregation would
adopt to secure the funds. The Prospector continued:
... the congregation agreed to
form a Ladies' Aid Society to
take up the work of collecting
subscriptions and help forward
any scheme having for its object the furtherance of the Presbyterian Church.5
The week was full of proposals, recommendations and finally a decision
was made on the 16th of February regarding the petition for a loan from the
Church and Manse Building Fund of the
Presbyterian Church of Canada for Manitoba and the North West. Estimating the
cost of the building to be $800, it was
decided that half of that sum be requested: "$150.00 in grant and $250.00
loan ... to be repaid in three annual instalments — $50.00 first year, $100.00
(next two), the congregation being expected to raise the other $400.00"6 The
petition was a success.
The trustees were not alone in their
planning and implementing that week;
the infant Ladies' Aid Society went right
to work as well. The Prospector reports
on a successful pie social held on Monday evening, the 14th, at Dalgardno Hall.
There was a large attendance.
The social took the form of a
conversazione, and all felt quite
happy in the entertainment afforded. The arrangements ofthe
dining hall were all that could
be desired, and every variety of
pie was ready to suit the tastes
of all.7
The Ladies' Aid Society, indeed,
proved to be the pillar of strength
throughout the planning as well as the
construction phases ofthe building, raising both funds and spirits when both
dropped dreadfully low. They were a
determined group of women devoted
to the vision of seeing the building of
the first Presbyterian church in South
East Kootenay realized. The initial office-bearers of the society were: president, Mrs. Mather; vice-president, Mrs.
Goodnow; secretary-treasurer, Mrs.
McInnes, assisted by Mrs. Underhill.
According to The Prospector, each mem
ber agreed to pay twenty-five cents per
month, while "Mrs. Mather and Mrs.
McInnes were appointed to collect subscriptions which had been promised
towards minister's salary and church
With actual construction still a ways
off, the Presbyterian congregation continued to meet in the Opera House,
worshipping each Sabbath evening at
7:30. Sabbath School and Bible Class
were held there also, at 3:00 in the afternoon.
The accumulation of the funds was
slow but steady throughout the spring
months, with regular soirees and church
socials being held by the ladies. It will
do well to give an account of one such
soiree, as recorded in The Prospector,
which was held in the Opera House on
the 15th of March:
There was a large attendance,
as all seats were occupied. The
Reverend J.G. Duncan acted as
chairman and introduced the
singers, speakers and reciters to
the meeting. Though the programme was a long one it was
gone through with wonderful
celerity, as all the performers
were thoroughly conversant
with the parts they had taken
in hand ... Where all did so well
it would be insidious to specialize ... It was the general opinion that this soiree excelled any
that had ever been held in Fort
Steele, and the talent displayed
by the various performers was
quite a revelation ... the meeting broke up with the singing
of 'God Save the Queen.'9
The newspaper the following week
reports the funds raised as being $72.25,
and writes: "The proceeds of the pie-
social of a former date are also with the
same bank, the Exchange and Safe Deposit."10
Such was the work of the Presbyterian Ladies' Aid Society at Fort Steele,
which continued on through the spring.
At one of their regular meetings it was
intimated to the society "that a generous offer of an organ for the service ...
had been made. The Society heartily
accepted the offer, thanked the donor
for his generous act, and ordered the
thanks of the Society to be engrossed in
the minutes.11
On May 7, 1898, The Prospector made
an announcement concerning the said
The new organ (Bell, Cathedral
model) for the service of the
Presbyterian Church is now
shipped and may be expected
shortly at Steele. It comes from
Guelph, Ontario, via Jennings.
It ought to be a first-class organ, as its real cost is $300.12
Amidst the busy-ness of organizing the
members and overseeing the development of the construction plans, Reverend Duncan also tended to his regular
pastoral duties of teaching and preaching, as well as conducting both weddings and funerals. An account of the
latter is preserved for us in the May 28
publication of The Prospector. The highly
esteemed lady who has passed suddenly
away is Mrs. Hirtz, wife of Mr. Richard
Hirtz of the Fort Steele Mercantile Company. Reverend Duncan made the following remarks:
We have all been startled and
saddened by the sudden death
of Mrs. Hirtz ... We remember
her geniality, her earnestness,
her vigor of mind, her love of
home, and her faith in God. She
has gone from this earthly scene
to be 'forever with the Lord'...
Her death ... ought to deeply
solemnise our minds and hearts.
Again and again we are taught
that life is uncertain, and death
is universal, irresistible, and inexorable. We are called upon
to live the life God desires us
to live — the life of faith in the
Son of God. We are warned by
the teachings of His Word, by
His Spirit, by the dispensation
of His Providence, by prevalent
sickness, and by the suddenness and frequency of death, to
flee from the wrath to come, to
lay hold of eternal life, to seek
the Kingdom of God and His
righteousness, to believe with
the heart unto righteousness in
Him who is the Son of God and
the Savior of Mankind.
He concludes his sermon with these
May we be ready when the
Master cometh. May these
words of the Divine Master ring
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 in our hearts: 'Be ye also ready,
for in such an hour as ye think
not, the Son of Man cometh.'13
As was mentioned above, Reverend
Duncan not only conducted funerals, but
weddings as well, as this news clipping
The Rev. Mr. Duncan informs
The Prospector that he has now
tied the marriage knot eight
times in the Fort Steele District.
He notes that there were 7
bachelors, 1 widower, 4 spinsters and 4 widows. There appears to be a neck-and-neck
race between the widows and
the spinsters.14
And so Reverend Duncan saw both
to the spiritual needs as well as the ongoing and pressing concern of organizing the congregation for the future
construction of the building.
With the $250 grant received from the
Church Building Board, Winnipeg, and
through much effort on the part of the
congregation, who had managed to raise
$480, on July 16, 1898, tenders were
called for construction by Treasurer
Hugh Watt. Now that the preparation
and planning phase had passed, there
was both a sense of achievement as well
as a re-mustering of their strength and
resolve as they looked to the actual erection of the building. That same week,
on July 28, the congregation gathered
on the two lots which had been donated
by Mr. R.L.T Galbraith, for the purpose
of laying the foundation of the building. It was a ceremony of deep reflection and undoubtably many a mind
wandered back to the days of Reverend
McKinnon when a building of their own
was but a far distant dream. Here now
they stood after countless soirees, socials and much prayer. Reverend
Duncan began to speak:
We are here gathered together
in the presence of God for the
purpose of laying the first Presbyterian church in South East
Kootenay ... Let our aim and
endeavour be: the conversion
of sinners and the edification
of believers. Let us pray that the
Lord will bless this enterprise
begun today so auspiciously for
'Paul may plant, and Apollos
water, but the Lord alone giveth
the increase.'15
Once begun, construction progressed
rapidly, and fund raising continued. By
September the building, though still
unfinished, was functional. On September 4, 1898, the people congregated to
hear their first sermon preached from
within their new building, situated on
Selkirk Avenue, by the secretary of British Columbia North West Missions, Reverend Charles W. Gordon.
The end was in sight. In October an
acetylene gas apparatus was installed,
being the new illuminant of 1898. "The
gas was tested ... with a small quantity
of carbide and burned an hour and a
half. It gave great satisfaction." The Prospector goes on to state that "this gas
promises to come well to the front in
this age of progress."16
By December the building was completed, in time for a Sabbath School
Christmas Social.
The church was beautifully
decorated for the occasion, and
a magnificent Christmas tree
was loaded with valuable gifts
for the children ... After a short
interval, tea and cake were
served, and then came the chief
attraction of the evening — the
arrival of Santa Claus who appeared in appropriate costume
as the 'children's friend' ... All
the children were highly delighted whilst the older people
were much amused.17
Such was the celebration in the newly
finished building. Proudly opened to the
public for viewing,  The Prospector
praises the finished work and describes
the interior in one of its articles:
...  The wainscotting is of
tamarac (dark) and white pine
set alternately, and the carved
pulpit and well made seats enhance the neatness of the
church. The windows show superior design ... As the church
is now lighted with the new illuminant there is much to be
thankful for ... quite an attractive appearance.18
The Prospector adds:
Of course there is a considerable amount to be paid off, but
this debt is not expected to be
hung up too long.19
Although, optimistically, The Prospector predicted the debt soon to be re
solved, it wasn't until well after the turn
of the century that it was finally put
behind them. On January 14, 1900, the
church session notes record that a second loan be applied for in the amount
of $400 "in aid of defraying the cost of
building the church."20
' On a larger scale, as a result of the
railway passing by the Fort, the post-
1898 years witnessed a slow but steady
decline both in the economy and population at Fort Steele. For most of the years
between 1898 and 1925, Fort Steele remained a student mission field. One
such student, CL. Cowan, visited Steele
in 1908 and his account is as follows:
During his weeks work the minister would go by ...  mule
drawn stage to the almost deserted town of Fort Steele. A
scant 200 people now lived
there. Many buildings stood
empty,   cows   and   horses
roamed the streets, but the few
inhabitants look forward eagerly to worship in the neat little frame church on the bench
above the Kootenay River.21
As time passed even the few dwindled, and for all purposes the church
became inoperative.22 It remained this
way until, in the mid-1930s, it was reopened as a United Church for a short
time, through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs.
G.C. Cobb.23 During this reopening, session minutes were again recorded which
state that some maintenance was done
to the building. A fence was to be
erected surrounding the church and Mr.
George Barr was appointed to take
charge of the construction.24 That same
year, 1934, Mr. Voisey was to "paint the
church for the sum of $95.00 ... there
was to be two coats ... same color as
the English Church in Cranbrook."25 As
was earlier mentioned, the reopening
was but for a short time and again the
building stood vacant, only infrequently
visited by various church groups. Finally,
in 1961, Fort Steele was declared to be
an historic park, and buildings of the
1890 to 1905 era were moved and restored for public viewing. The historic
church of John Glass Duncan, the Ladies' Aid Society and the Fort Steele Presbyterians was one of such buildings
salvaged and incorporated into the park.
The church stands to this day, on its
relocated site at the corner of Rocky
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
16 Mountain Avenue and St. Mary's Street,
restored and functional. Throughout the
summer months its doors open each
Sabbath for worship services. In his sermon on the day the congregation gathered to lay the first foundation post,
Reverend Duncan's hope was that the
[would] be an ornament to the
town, and that within its walls
they who fear the Lord will
meet and take counsel of God.26
Indeed, the Presbyterian Church to this
day remains "an ornament to the town"
and an invaluable connection to the rich
heritage of South East Kootenay.
The author researched and wrote this
during tbe summer of 1992. He is a student who portrayed tbe Presbyterian
minister at Fort Steele during tbe tourist seasons of1992-93- This manuscript
is courtesy of tbe Cranbrook Presbyterian Church and Fort Steele Heritage
1. Turnbull. Klsie G. Chnrcb in the Kootenays— Tbe
Story of tbe United Cbtircb of Canada in Kootenay
Presbytery. Trail Times Ltd.. 196S, p. 8.
2. For a list of Fon Steele's Presbyterian missionaries
and ministers refer to Appendix 11. (Available from
the Editor on request. 1
3. Fort Steele Presbyterian Church: Session Notes, Entry
Jan. 23. 1898.
4. Tbe Prospector. Feb. 19. 1898.
5. Ibid.
6. Fon Steele Presbyterian Church: Session Notes. Entry
Feb. 16, 1898.
7. The Prospector. Feb. 19, 1898.
8. Ihe Prospector. Feb. 26. 189H.
9. Tbe Prospector. Mar. 19, 1898.
10. The Prospector. Mar. 26. 1898.
11. The Prospector. Apr. 16, 1898.
12. The Prospector. May 7. 1898.
13. The Prospector, May 28, 1898.
14. The fernie Free Press, May 6, 1899.
15. The Prospector. ]u\y 30, 1898.
16. The Prospector. Dec. 3, 1898.
17. The Prospector. Dec. 31. 1898.
18. The Prospector. Dec. 17, 1898.
19. Ibid.
20. Fort Steele Presbyterian Church: Session Notes,
Entry Jan. 14. 1900.
21. Turnbull, Elsie G. Chnrcb in the Kootenays— The
Story of tbe United Church of Canada in Kootenay
Presbytery. Trail Times Ltd., 1965, p. 32.
22. As the church dwindled, regular congregational
and session meetings were also discontinued. As a
result there are no session records IxMween the
years 1916-32.
23. Turnbull. Elsie G. Chnrcb in tbe Kootenays— Tbe
Story ofthe I inted Chnrcb of Canada in Kootenay
I'resybten: Trail Times Ltd.. 1965. p. 46.
2*1. Fort Steele Presbyterian Church: Session Notes:
Entry July 4. 1934.
25. Fon Steele Presbyterian Church: Session Notes,
Entry Sept. 11. 1934.
26. The Prospector. July 30. 1898.
Fertile Free Press
Port Steele Presbyterian Church: Session Notes
Fort Steele Prospector
Turnbull. Elsie G. Church in the Kootenays— The Story
ofthe United Church of Canada in Kootenay
Presbyter): Trail Times Ltd . 1965.
United Church of Canada: Archives, Vancouver, B.C.
White, Derryll. Fort Steele: Here History Lives, Heritage
House Publishing Company Ltd., 1988.
Writing Competition Chair
Pamela Mar honors Robert
Swansonfor bis latest book
Whistle Punks & Widow
This Conference 1994 photo
courtesy of George Thomson.
Branwen Patenaude of Quesnel presents the
following information found during her own
research on Cariboo history. These items apply
to "Lord of Williams Lake,'' B.C. Historical News,
pp. 26-27, Vol. 27:2.
1. To begin with, William Pinchbeck did not set
foot in the Cariboo until 1860 when he
arrived in July of that year as Constable to
Gold Commissioner Philip H. Nind. (Ref:
Philip H. Nind, letter of July 23,1860.
GR1372. F1255. BCARS)
2. It was not until 1875, following the death of
Thomas Menefee, successor to Davidson's
ranch, that Pinchbeck acquired the "Upper
Ranch" at Williams Lake. (Ref: Papers
attached to Crown Grant #2923/16. B.C.
Lands, Legal Surveys Branch, Victoria, B.C.)
3. William Pinchbeck, due to his having been a
Constable at Williams Lake in 1860, did
command some authority in the local district
but was not, to my knowledge, ever
appointed a Justice of the Peace.
4. It was in 1884 that Pinchbeck journeyed to
England where he married Alice Killam. (Ref:
Colonist, Sept. 30,1884, p. 3)
5. When Pinchbeck returned to the Cariboo in
the fall of 1884 he brought with him his sister
Annie Anders and her husband William, who
worked for Pinchbeck at the "Upper"
roadhouse. (Ref: Colonist, Oct. 14,1884,
p. 3)
6. Helen "Emma" Pinchbeck was not a
daughter but a niece of William Pinchbeck,
who arrived in the Cariboo with the wedding
party of 1884. (Ref: Ibid)
7. When Pinchbeck and Lyne dissolved their
partnership in 1888, William Lyne and his
American wife left Williams Lake to settle in
Ashcroft, where Lyne purchased an interest
in the Ashcroft Hotel and became the
proprietor in 1894. (Ref: Ashcroft Journal,
Nov. 13,1974. History of the Ashcroft Hotel)
It was William Lyne, Jr. who settled at Deep
Creek in 1889.
8. Following her husband's death in 1893, Alice
Pinchbeck did not "sell off the assets"
because there weren't any. Pinchbeck had
been carrying a large debt for a number of
years, owed to the Gang Ranch, who
immediately foreclosed on Pinchbeck's
property and belongings. Alice Pinchbeck left
Williams Lake soon after — with nothing.
(Ref: B.C. Land & Investment Agency Ltd.,
Series 1.D.-103. p. 105, Victoria City
Archives, Victoria, B.C.)
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 The Hagwilget and Walcott
Suspension Bridge
by Dirk Septer
Around 1930 the residents of Walcott,
a tiny community between Telkwa and
Houston, depended on a cable ferry to
cross the Bulkley River. In 1930 Walcott
was a flagstation on the Canadian National Railway, with a population of
thirty. The Walcott railway station and
the post office were on the west side of
the river, while other houses and farms
were on the other side. In
May 1931 the children residing on the west side of
the river were unable to attend school due to the
flooded condition of the
river. Later that same year
the Walcott District Conservative Association started
lobbying the provincial government to replace the ferry.
In October 1931 A.M.
Manson, MLA at the time,
wrote to the Minister of Public Works that:
Wolcott (sic) very badly
needs a bridge. The
ferry is a dangerous
one, and loss of life will
occur there one of these
times if the Department
continues to use it. In
these times of unemployment relief it would
be possible to build a
bridge at comparatively
small expense.
A few years earlier the old
suspension bridge across
the Bulkley River at
Hagwilget, an Indian reservation near the historic vil-
would best serve the area, so the steel
was narrowed down to make this possible. The steel was narrowed down to
a new four-foot (1.2 m) wide footbridge
with a step approach. Construction of
the bridge started on March 10. Twelve
weeks later, on May 31,1932, the bridge
was opened for traffic.
Though the Walcott residents had
lage of Hazelton, had been condemned.
In 1931 it was replaced by the bridge
that is still in use today. The cables and
steel from the old bridge were stored at
Hazelton. Using these materials, the
bridge was rebuilt at Walcott in 1932. It
was decided that a four-foot (1.2 m)
wide footbridge with a step approach
originally requested a footbridge, they
were now unhappy with it. The settlers
claimed that the cost of the narrowed-
down bridge would be as much, if not
more, than providing a crossing for cars.
The high cost of cutting down all the
wide angle irons to the new size would
more than offset the small increase in
decking cost required for a wider bridge.
One of the reasons the bridge at
Hagwilget had been condemned was the
ends of the heavy cables had deteriorated. Now, since the rebuilt bridge at
Walcott would have a much shorter
span, it was argued that the cables could
be cut off to a point of perfect safety.
Despite endeavours by Sam Cocker,
Conservative candidate,
Bob Reid, general foreman,
and others in the Omineca
constituency, Walcott had to
be satisfied with the footbridge.
In later years the question
of widening the bridge and
thus making it suitable for
vehicular traffic came up
many times. However, the
government always responded with the same argument: too expensive. To
upgrade the bridge would
require an entire new floor
system. The towers would
have to be rebuilt and the
distance between the cables
increased. Also new hangers would probably be required. As an alternative, the
government suggested the
possibility of constructing a
road on the west side of the
river from Walcott to the station at Quick.
Before relocation to
Walcott this bridge had for
almost twenty years
spanned the canyon at
Hagwilget. Over the years
this canyon across the Bulkley River at
Hagwilget had been the site of four different bridges. The first two were built
by the local Indians. These bridges were
constructed according to the cantilever
principle. Tree trunks were projected
across the river from both sides and
cantilevered over natural rock outcrops
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
18 Hagwilget c 1932. New (still existing) bridge on left, old suspension bridge (now at Walcott) on right.
Photo courtesy Bulkley Valley Museum
or artificial ones. They were counterweighed with logs and rocks. Transverse
wood planking was lashed to the trunks
with cedar ropes. When the trunks did
not meet, the gap was bridged with a
suspended filler piece. This type of construction had the advantage that no
block and tackle or construction scaffolding were required. The only tools
needed were knife and axe. It was not
used in Europe at the time, but was,
widely known and used in Asia. It is
not known if the Indians developed the
construction method by themselves, or
whether this knowledge came from their
place of origin. These bridges looked
frail and insecure to a white man's eye
and many refused to cross diem.
The first bridge at Hagwilget was built
around 1856 using poles and cedar bark
rope. It was some 150 feet (45 m) long
and 100 feet (30 m) above the water.
The bridge, which was built on a lower
level, was about six feet (1.8 m) wide
and able to withstand 300-pound packs
across it. When Colonel Charles S.
Bulkley arrived during the mid-1860s,
the Indians agreed to have the bridge
strengthened with wire. A photograph
of the bridge taken by Charles I loretzky
in 1872 shows a resemblance to a graceful spider web. All the other bridges
were built at a higher level than the first.
With the arrival of the white man, traf
fic increased dramatically and also the
mode of transportation changed Horses
and mules were now used to carry heavy
loads. In 1880 the Indians built a new
bridge from wood and telegraph wire. A
Ministry of Transportation and Highways
publication described this structure as the
earliest known bridge of any size in British Columbia. The quite elaborate structure was constructed of wood poles tied
together by telegraph wire. It supported
a six-foot (1.8 m) wide pathway across a
span of 150 feet (45 m), joining cliffs some
100 feet (30 m) above the river. Though
the cantilever principle supported by
stmts was used again, some new construction methods were applied. New
knowledge was added in the form of
king-post trusses at either end and a
queen-post truss in the centre. Telegraph
wire from the abandoned Collins Overland Telegraph line was also used to construct a suspension system. Some of the
materials used in this structure came from
the telegraph wire abandoned in the
Hazelton area.
During the mid-1860s an attempt was
made to establish a telegraph link from
North America to Siberia via British Columbia and Alaska. The construction of
the ill-fated Collins Overland Telegraph
line came to an abrupt end in 1867. The
Western Union Telegraph Company successfully laid a transatlantic cable, mak
ing an overland line redundant.
Before opening the bridge to traffic,
the new structure was tested. Women
heavily loaded with packs were marched
over the bridge, while below the bridge
the men were standing by with poles to
support part of the bridge in case of
emergency. For over thirty years this
crude bridge carried local Indians, prospectors, traders and settlers beyond the
deep canyon. Through photographs and
even postcards the structure became
very famous. But its bastardized architecture never achieved the same graceful elegance of the older Indian bridges.
Around 1913, Robert Kelly ofthe firm
Kelly-Douglas and Co. was promoting
a new townsite called New Hazelton.
In order to attract more settlers to the
district, Mr. Kelly decided to put in a
new high-level bridge at Hagwilget
across the canyon. It would replace the
old structure built by the Indians.
The British firm of George Cradock
and Company obtained the contract for
the new suspension bridge. This firm
was at the time trying to get into the
western American wire and cable trade.
Building this bridge, they considered,
would be good advertising for their
wares. Thus they took the bridge contract at a very low price.
The firm of George Cradock and Company was originally founded in the early
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 years of the nineteenth century as a
hemp and rope-making concern by the
original Cradock. In
1853 his son, George
Cradock, moved the
works from
Darlington to
Wakefield. Here, in
1854, the firm expanded its line of
products by adding
the manufacture of
wire rope. In the
1870s, John Lang,
works manager of the
firm of R.S. Newall
and Company, discovered and patented
a new improved way
of making wire rope.
The now well-known
Lang's Lay refers to
the strands being laid
in the same direction as the individual
wires, thereby spreading the wear and
tear, resulting in longer life. When Lang
joined the firm of George Cradock as
manager, they were granted the sole and
exclusive right to the patent, which was
also taken out in Germany, France and
the United States. In 1881 the firm ceased
hemp rope-making and concentrated
entirely on wire ropes. In 1900 Cradock
erected their own acid open-hearth steel
works and rolling mills. By 1903 they
had two wire-drawing mills and twenty-
six stranding machines to deal with
every size of rope. Lang's Lay was widely
adopted and proved its advantages in
practice. At that time, Cradock's was the
only completely self-contained firm
making wire ropes from the raw material, which they processed themselves,
to the finished article. One of their early
specialties were wire ropes for steam
plowing, and they acquired a reputation for particularly durable products of
this class. In 1908 the firm became a
private limited company, until it was
merged into British Ropes Limited in
The bridge at Hagwilget was the biggest Cradock ever built and the first the
company built in Canada. At the time it
was the largest construction project undertaken in the northern interior of British Columbia. The wrought-iron bridge
Construction of suspension bridge at Hagwilget 1913.
Photo courtesy Public Archives of Canada PA 95778
was of the stiffened suspension type.
The special stiffened structure was the
first of its kind to be hung from catenaries of locked coil cables which do not
rotate nor lengthen. Stiffening girders
minimized undulations of the platform
when heavy loads passed over it. All
the steel work for the bridge was made
in Wakefield, England, and shipped over
in pieces. The main cables, made from
Cradock's Improved Plough Steel, have
a diameter of 2 7/16 inches (6.19 cm) of
locked coil construction. The bridge,
which was of a very light construction,
had a roadway of nine feet (2.7 m). It
was designed for both vehicle and foot
traffic and would carry a moving load
of 18,000 pounds (8,172 kg), distributed
over a length of sixty-seven feet (20.1
m). The deck and the two towers were
built out of wood, described as "the finest coast fir," supplied by the British Canadian Lumber Company in Vancouver.
The span between the centres of the
two tower saddles was 451 feet (135.3
m). The bridge was anchored on both
sides with four three-inch steel bolts, two
to each cable and buried in blocks of
concrete measuring fifteen by twenty-
one feet (4.5 x 6.3 m) and weighing approximately 150 tons.
The structure was 266 feet (79-8 m)
above the water, and swayed gently in
the slightest of summer breezes. All this
made the bridge unpopular with the public. Oldtimer Perry
"Dutch" Cline described the structure
as follows: "The
bridge was very narrow, just wide
enough for a car if the
owner was an expert
driver and cold sober."
"Dutch" Cline was
a familiar figure up
and down the Skeena
River. Before joining
the British Columbia
Provincial Police,
with others he had
operated a winter
mail service from
Hazelton to Prince
Rupert. The mail was
transported by dog
team along the Grand
Trunk Pacific right-of-way before the
rails were laid. As Hazelton's policeman,
it was to Cline that the oudaw Simon
Gun-an-noot gave himself up in 1919-
This Kispiox Indian of the Carrier tribe,
nicknamed "the Phantom Indian,"
avoided being captured for more than
thirteen years after being accused of
murder in June 1906. Encouraged by
Cline, a friend of Gun-an-noot persuaded the fugitive to hire a Victoria
lawyer and face a trial that he was sure
would end in acquittal. At the trial held
at Vancouver, it took the jury only fifteen minutes to acquit Gun-an-noot.
It took such a long time to get the
excavation started that the Cradock company sent out their chief engineer
William Spencer. Percy Cradock, grandson of the founder George Cradock,
came to British Columbia to spend several months in Hagwilget, supervising
the work. His visit was prolonged by
the fact that the local building contractors ran into financial difficulties before
the work was finished, and he had to
wait some months to collect payment.
Around the middle of June, one of the
Indians employed in the construction of
the bridge was killed after a fall of thirty-
five feet (10.5 m). The fatality was accidental and it was decided that an inquest
was unnescessary. Had the vicitim been
white and of British descent, things
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
20 might have been different. The construction of the bridge was
completed in the autumn of 1913.
Since the provincial
government deemed
the route to Hazelton
over the existing low-
level bridge adequate, Mr. Kelly was
forced to also build
new approaches to
his bridge. Early November 1913 a road
crossing was surveyed and construction of a road started.
In 1920 the provincial government purchased the bridge for
$12,000. In 1928 the
bridge was considered unsafe and
closed to traffic.
Three years later, when the Tolmie government considered the construction of
a highway to the Yukon, the old bridge
was replaced by the current one. At the
time, this new suspension bridge was
the highest in Canada, 262 feet (78.6 m)
above the water with a span of 460 feet
(138 m). It has a sixteen-foot (4.8 m)
roadway and contains over a million
pounds of steel and cable. It is interesting to note that the cables for the new
bridge were supplied by British Ropes'
Canadian factory, which by then had
been established in Vancouver. Thus was
the parent's work continued by its
greater offspring.
For a while, the history of the
Hagwilget bridge became somewhat
clouded. According to an article that
appeared in February 1980 in the
Smithers newspaper The Interior News,
the bridge built at Hagwilget in 1913
came from Mexico. There it spanned a
gorge near Agua Caliente, connecting
two small villages. An earthquake later
wiped out these two villages but left the
bridge virtually unscathed. Since the villages no longer existed, the bridge became redundant and was sold to British
Columbia. The provincial government
would then rebuild the bridge at
Hagwilget. Anybody who read the article, including officials of the Ministry of
Transportation and Highways, con-
Hagwilget c 1914. Old Indian bridge in foreground, suspension bridge in background
Photo courtesy Bulkley Valley Museum
firmed this Mexican connection.
However, after two years of correspondence with sources in Canada,
Mexico and the United Kingdom, major
inconsistencies in the story were found.
The alleged location of the bridge in
Mexico was not in an earthquake zone.
It was also questionable whether this
type of bridge ever served as a public
bridge in Mexico. Such bridges were
usually made of stone. A thorough
search of Ministry of Transportation and
Highways' files confirmed that the bridge
was not bought from Mexico.
The final piece of evidence came from
a British firm that took over the company
that previously had taken over the firm
that originally built the bridge. This company's 1922 bridge catalogue shows a
photograph of a bridge "connecting two
townships situated in the far West of
Canada." The description in the brochure
of the bridge at Hagwilget continues:
The site of the bridge is interesting, as it lies in the direct
route taken during the great
rush  to  the  goldfields  of
Klondyke. Indeed, it was here
that the last of the old Hudson's
Bay Company trading posts was
situated. Probably due to the
facilities offered by this new
bridge, the population of the
district has since shown consid
erable increase.
• So, the bridge came
straight from England
and had never been
in Mexico. When
contacted, the author
of the Interior News
article on the
Hagwilget bridge
commented: "Oh, I
just made that up. I
had to get that bridge
to Hagwilget somehow. You should not
believe everything I
For years the bridge
received minimal
maintenance. Only
some redecking and
other small repairs
were carried out. Following the 1972 flood •
some renovation work
was done on the
pilings and footings. By the late 1970s
the structure was in very poor shape. The
pilings were all rotten, as they had been
for years. All that held up the bridge was
balance and the suspension of cables. It
would have needed only a slight lean to
make the whole structure come down.
In 1980 the Ministry of Transportation and
Highways expressed its intention to close
the bridge.
After heavy public pressure and political intervention, Highways changed
its mind and started major repairs on
the bridge. In 1983 the two wooden towers were replaced with steel ones and
the substructure was rebuilt at a cost of
$105,560. Also, two concrete piers were
constructed and rip-rap applied. It cost
another $15,961 to paint the structure
in 1986.
Though considered a waste of money
by some, this beautiful structure and
unique landmark received a new lease
on life. Not a vital link anymore, the old
suspension bridge at Walcott still serves
some local residents, fishermen and
other recreationists.
Tbe author makes his home at Telkwa
He volunteers at the Bulkley Valley Museum in Smithers.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 Croatians Enlivened
Mining Towns
by Dr. Zelimir B. Juricic
It was an unpredictable December in
1929. Early that month, a freak snow
storm sent pedestrians and motorists into
a panic. Ladysmith's steep streets resembled a winter amusement park. Joyous
red-cheeked children blocked traffic,
skiing, tobogganing and showering annoyed passers-by with snowballs. For
the most part, motorists stayed home.
Only the bravest
dared try their luck
on the icy streets.
Then, by mid-month,
the rains came. It
rained heavily for
several days and the
snow turned into wet,
dirty slush and mud.
Motorists heading up-
Island were delayed
for hours at Qualicum
after the Island Highway was made impassable when the
rains washed out the
roadbed.1 It looked
like there would no
"white Christmas" in
Ladysmith that year.
The area's economic climate looked
just as bleak. Due to the depressed world
coal market, production at the nearby
Extension mines was drastically curtailed. Earlier in the year, two shafts were
closed indefinitely and, for a period in
the summer, the entire operation of Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Ltd. was
shut down for the first time since 1912.
By late August 1929, one mine had reopened, but only part-time; it produced
a meagre 1,676 tons of coal, about ten
per cent of its normal output.2
Especially hard hit by the downswing
in the economy were the small ethnic
communities in Ladysmith, including the
Croatian mining community. In the period of Ladysmith's greatest growth, from
1908 through 1912, there were over
eighty Croatian miners working at Extension. By 1929 their number had been
reduced to less than thirty. Many had
migrated to other parts of Canada and
the United States; others returned to the
"old country." One former Croatian
miner commented: "What else was there
for them to do here, in Ladysmith? There
Extension mine and camp, c. 1920.
Photo courtesy B.C. Archives and Records Service HP 78692
was no work. And they were young men
with families to feed. We had a hard,
but good life here, while it lasted. Some
really good times, oh boy, did we ever.
But, deep down, we knew they would
not last. We knew."3
The Croatian miners and their families lived between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, in the residential section of
Ladysmith known as "on the Hill." It was
a true international village, with a cosmopolitan mix of people: French, Belgian, Austrian, Finnish, Italian, Polish,
and others. The single Croatian men
lived in boarding houses and hotels,
while the miners with families lived in
their own homes. Most had vegetable
gardens, and some kept cows, pigs and
chickens. Margaret Kulai-Thomas grew
up in one such household.
"The house in which we lived is still
there. It was a double lot. And we had
cows. And my father ... he worked like
a slave. He worked in the mine, and he
worked at home; he had to, I mean with
all that property. And he would grow
hay. We all had gardens, you know —
might be sixteen by
twenty lots, but we all
had gardens. It was a
nice vegetable garden, you see ...
Croatians made wine.
They all had grapevines. They would sit
under their vine and
talk about their wine.
And that was their
life. And my mother
used to milk her
cows, and take the
milk round the neigh-
bourhood, maybe
five cents a quart, or
whatever it was in
those days. Often my
father would tell me,
'Go look for the
cows.' And then I'd
come home and say, 'Did our cows have
horns?' My father looked at me and
smiled: 'When you grow up, you'd
know.' Quite a few people had cows in
that neighbourhood. And we had chickens and pigs for a short time."4
"Oh, yes, we had everything we
needed," remembered Tom Kulai. "My
uncle used to phone and my mother
used to say, come on over to stric (uncle's) place. What am I gonna do there?
Trampin' on zelje (cabbage), she said.
That was my job. Cabbage. Used to
make zeljanica (pita with cabbage and
green vegetables). And we had pigs.
Used to do everything with them."5
Croatian miners were all strong young
men who had been lured to Dunsmuir
Wellington-Extension Collieries' mines
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
22 either from the U.S. or directly from the
old country in search of a better life. Before advancing underground and working as miners — to become a miner they
had to learn mining techniques and pass
government examinations for a miner's
ticket — they worked as trip or rope riders, miners' helpers, loaders, chunkers and
muckers, pushers, cagers, sprag men and
mule drivers.6 Due to their lack of education — some were illiterate7 — many
never became miners, but spent most of
their working lives at jobs which they
learned from experience and which required no certification.
To the Anglo-Saxon population of
Ladysmith, the Croatians were known
by any number of names, ranging from
"others"8 to Crots, Slavonians, Slavs or
Austrian Slavs — since until 1918 Croatia
was under Austrian rule. The other Slavic
miners — among them Poles, Czechs,
Ruthenians, Montenegrins, Slovenes and
Russians — knew them as either
Croatians or, more intimately, as
Zumbercani, the people from
Zumberak, referring to the area in northwestern Croatia from which most of
them originally came. Among themselves, they addressed each other as
kum (godfather), a kinship term which
is frequently used as a friendly form of
address. "Oh, yeah, they all came from
one locality in Croatia ... you could even
call from one to another. From one village to another."9
In 1903 the Croatian miners in
Ladysmith founded the National Croatian
Society, Lodge No. 268, named "St.
Nicholas," the first Canadian branch of
the National Croatian Society of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, itself the first
Croatian fraternal benefit society on the
American continent. The founding meeting of St. Nicholas Lodge was held on
October 21,1903, in the home of a thirty-
year-old Croatian miner named William
(Croatian Vasilij) "Bill" Keserich. It was
attended by eighteen members, who all
joined in unanimously electing Keserich
as their first president.10
Besides providing its members and
their families with insurance protection,
the National Croatian Society offered
many cultural and social activities to its
members. Soon after its formation, the
newly established Ladysmith lodge
founded the Croatian "tamburitza" orchestra, with Jack Djuric as its first mu
sical director. With help from the national organization in the United States,
the orchestra purchased twelve instruments: bisernice and brae for playing
the melody and bugarije and berde for
playing harmony. By accompanying
dancing and singing at concerts and on
special occasions, the orchestra helped
to preserve the musical heritage of the
old homeland. At first, the enthusiastic
tamburasi spent many hours practicing
in the basement of the Tunnel Hotel in
Extension, the favorite place of miners
for "washing down the coal dust" and
playing bocce. When, on the order of
the Dunsmuirs, the miners and their
families — together with businesses,
churches, hotels and private homes —
were relocated to a new settlement at
Ladysmith, the tamburitza players
"plucked their strings" in the basement
of the old Roman Catholic Church,
which was turned into the Young Men's
Institute hall in 1904 and used by various church and music groups for entertainment, dances, music practices and
Christmas parties for the children. Over
the years, the Croatian tamburitza orchestra staged many concerts in Extension, Ladysmith, Chemainus and
Nanaimo. Their unique music buoyed
people's spirits and warmed their hearts.
"Tamburitzas? We loved it. Yeah. When
these guys played, well you could hear
them from here all the way down to
Nanaimo. And when they travelled, they
played on the bus, too. Beautiful music. Such a nice, really nice music.""
The tamburasi-were most in demand
at Christmas and the New Year, when
Croatians everywhere observe age-old
Advent, Christmas and New Year's customs, especially kolede (from the Latin
calendae), the special Christmas carols
and hymns. Dressed in their national
costumes,12 the tamburitza players
would accompany children and young
men as they went from house to house
singing special Yuletide songs, wishing
good health and happiness to households and receiving food and gifts for
their performance. A curious blend of
simple religious themes and more materialistic requests for a generous handout, such old festive songs were the
favorites of Croats in Ladysmith: Kyrie
Eleison/jesus is born; Veselje ti
navjescujem/l bring you glad tidings;
Christian folk; Opastiri, cudo novo/Oh,
shepherds, a new wonder; Svim na
zemlji/To all on earth - peace and joy;
and Narodi nam se kralj nebeski/The
heavenly King is born to us. Not only
the Croatians, but the miners of other
nationalities enjoyed singing the kodele.
Even the worshippers who could not
speak Croatian joined in. There was a
special bond of understanding between
miners at Christmas which transcended
language and cultural boundaries. "In
those days we were of different nationalities, the Croatians, the English and
others, and had our own special kind
of culture, but at Christmas we all got
together because coal miners, they all
had the same job. They all had the same
worries and the same way of life.
Croatians had a good time. Some
couldn't talk English, but that didn't
matter. They knew a little bit of German, you see, and they picked up English too. At Christmas, it really didn't
matter whether miners understood each
other. They all had a good time."13
The tamburasi became a permanent
fixture at Croatian picnics, marriage and
christening ceremonies and, of course,
frequent private parties (Croatian zabave).
"We had a spare room, and we had a
bunch of apples there. You could smell
apples in there. And in that room, we
used to, when we were little kids, dance
in there, with these tamburitzas. And then
at the Finn Hall... and I remember once
them haviri a concert there. Yeah, the
Croatians had. And, then they had their
picnics, the lodge picnics. We had lots of
picnics. Oh yeah, there was lots of them.
And they'd cook a lamb or a ... pig, I
don't know. I was small. Like in those
days, if you had picnics, the kids went
too. And if there was a christening, there
was a little, you know ... zabava. Maybe
twenty, thirty people in one house. Beer,
whisky, anything. And always a barrel of
wine. Always. Oh, we all used to have a
good time. Everybody. They had their celebrations, they all got together and had a
good time. Many were single men. But
never heard of any fight, or anything like
that. Never! Different than it is today. Oh,
I loved that music, I just loved it. Get-up-
and-go-with-it type of music."14
Like other groups in Ladysmith sharing the same cultural background and
language, the Croatians tended to group
together, belong to the same organizations, and attend the same church. "We
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 all went to the Roman Catholic
Church in
Ladysmith. Just like
anybody else, went
to church now and
again, then. But,
when we were
kids, they made us
go to church. Just
like an ordinary
family, you
know."15 Before
the new St. Mary's
Catholic Church
was built in 1904,
Father Verbeke, the
first pastor, celebrated masses and
performed other
spiritual duties at a
small temporary
chapel in Extension, where many
ofthe Catholic miners still worked and
lived. According to the 1902 parish register, the church at times appointed a
Slavic priest to attend to the spiritual
needs of its Croatian parishioners: "...
the above children were baptized by the
Reverend Father Rech, a Slavonian
priest, who had charge of Extension for
a few months, up to the time that the
inhabitants of Extension were requested
and forced to go and live at Ladysmith."16
With the coming of the Depression,
the once vibrant Croatian community
slowly began to disintegrate. Without
any work, its members started to drift
away. By Christmas 1929 only a handful of Croatian miners were still working. Ilija Badovinac was one of them.
Badovinac was born on May 15,1873,
in the village of Bulici in the province
of Zumberak, Croatia. At the age of sixteen he came via the United States to
Vancouver Island, seeking better wages.
He first worked in the mine on Diver
Lake, in the Nanaimo district, "pushiri
cars on the side entries in the mines, on
two by fours ... for they only had steel
rails on the main railway ... It was a
hard life."17 When the Wellington-Extension Collieries mines opened up, Ilija
found a job there. Soon his wife Martha
and a young son, George, came from
the old country to join him. In 1907, at
a special meeting of the Croatian lodge,
Croatian wedding, ladysmith, 1908. At the far left arejuraj Badovinac, bis wife, and young son, George.
Tom Kulai photo
held in the hall of the Queens Hotel in
Ladysmith, and on recommendation of
the two established members, George
Rajakovic and Janko Kulai, Ilija
Badovinac became a member of the
society.18 For the next two decades, he
would serve variously as vice-president,
secretary treasurer, chairperson of the
committee for sick members, and the
committee to help the victims of drought
in Croatia.19 When his fifteen-year-old
son George started work in the mines,
Ilija persuaded him to join the society
too. "My father put me in when I was a
young fella starting in the mines. He said,
gee, you never know what's going to
happen — it's dangerous work."20 The
Extension mines had their share of misfortunes. On October 5,1909, thirty-two
men, including six Croatian miners, were
trapped underground in No. 2, the worst
tragedy to occur there in years. Ilija narrowly missed becoming a victim himself. "My father was lucky he got out.
Him and another young fellow were on
the other side of the trap doors when
the explosion occurred. Gee, it blew
them doors to smithereens. Everybody
that was on the inside of the door got
killed. If he and his partner were on the
other side of the door, they'd got it too.
That was how close."21
Twenty years later, Ilija was still work
ing in the pits. In 1929 he could consider himself lucky indeed to still be
Two days before Christmas, the
Badovinac home was buzzing with final preparations for festivities which
would continue uninterrupted through
Epiphany. Pigs were already slaughtered
so that the traditional roast pork would
not be missing from the Christmas table. Poppy seed and walnut cakes were
being prepared, together with roast beef,
sausages and homemade bread. There
was plenty of wine in the cellar. This
year, too, the tamburitza orchestra, of
which George was a member, was ready
and waiting for the kodele. On December 23, early in the morning, Ilija took
the miners' train to Extension for his last
shift before the Christmas holidays. Later
that day, young John Pecnik also went
to the mines, not to work, but to look
for work. He saw Ilija Badovinac there.
It was a tragic meeting.
"My home was up, on top, right across
from the church. And if I wasn't workin',
my mother would be after me, she'd say,
John! I'd say, what's a matter? You go
look for a job! Go to Extension. I didn't
want to go to Extension anyway, never
liked it. So, I got on the bike, went up
there. Old Bill Wilson was boss. I got
there around two thirty, the miners were
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
24 comiri out of the tunnel there, round
three o'clock. Well, first train that come,
they had motors runnin', takin' a hundred, hundred twenty car trips, goiri out
— I see George Badovinac's old man
on top of a load — dead. Got killed. I
never asked for a job. That was it. I never
went back anymore. Yes, well them days
a man was worth nothin'. You might as
well forget about him. You know, they
never lost a car of coal. They just put
him on top of a load, and take him out.
I knew him well! I knew George and
I've been in their house many times ...
His sister and his family."22
According to the local press reports,
"Ilija Badovinac, a Croatian miner, was
instantly killed while at work as a miner
in No. 1 section of the Extension mine
at 2:30 Monday afternoon, by an extensive fall of coal and rock. His partner,
Roberts, had a narrow escape from
death, being caught on the inner side
of the cave-in. Rescue parties labored
over two hours before the body was
recovered, but it was found that death
had been instantaneous, the remains
being badly crushed. The late Mr.
Badovinac was 55 years of age ... Beside his wife, he is survived by three
sons, George, Daniel and He, and one
daughter, Miss Caroline, at home."23
"Yeah, 1929, two days before Christmas," recalled his son George. "That was
a tough Christmas, that. And he was the
only one killed."2''
After the closing of the mines in Extension, on April 10, 1931, the National
Croatian Society Lodge 268, St. Nicholas,
moved to Nanaimo, where it continues
as a focal point for the Croatian community. George and Caroline Badovinac-
Tonzetic still live in Nanaimo. And the
tamburitzas? They don't play them
anymore. The instruments have been
gathering dust in the basement of a
home in Nanaimo, perhaps waiting for
the day when the music and colour of
another Croatian Christmas will bring joy
to the people of Vancouver Island.
Dr. "Bob" Juricic is a professor in tbe
Department of Slavonic Studies and a
director of tbe Croatica Research Group
at tbe University of Victoria.
1. "Rains cause closure of island Highway" The
Ladysmith Chronicle (Ladysmith: 27 Decemlwr
1929) No. 20, vol. XXII.
2. "Coal output on Vancouver Island" Tbe Ladysmith
Chronicle (Ladysmith: 8 November 1929) No. 15,
vol. XX11.
3. Interview, Zelimir B. Juricic with Tom Kulai
(Nanaimo: 18 August 1991).
4. Interview, Zelimir B. Juricic with Margaret Kulai-
Thomas (Ladysmith: 8 August 1991).
5. Interview, Zelimir B. Juricic with Tom Kulai, ibid.
6. See Zelimir B. Juricic, "Mules miners' beast of
burden" Times-Colonist (Victoria: 19 July 1992).
7. Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir Ud.) Record ikx>k,
Ray Knight Collection, Ladysmith.
8. Interview, Zelimir B. Juricic with Viola Cull
(Ladysmith: 13 December 1992).
9. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with George Badovinick
(Victoria: B.C. Provincial Archives and Records
Services, Coal Tyee History Project "4051:14).
10. Zapisnik Dntstva Svetog Nikole li Ladysmithy
(Ladysmith: 21 October 1903) 1. The founding
members were Vasilij Keseric, Miko Keseric, Juro
Keseric, Nikola Magovac, Janko Kuljaj, Viktor
Micik, Johan Bojovski.Juraj Badovinac, Janko
Popovic, Tomo Kuljaj, Mato Krizmanic, Simon
Frgacic, Miko Herak, Petar Zivkovic, Stjepan Bulic,
Rade Vrlenic, Ilija Sajatovic and Pravo Rajakovic. In
1926 the name of the society was changed to
Croatian Fraternal Union/Hrvatska Bratska
Zajednica. Since its founding in 1894, in
Pittsburgh, Penn., the national organization has
grown into an organization with 100,000 memlx?rs,
the largest Croatian organization outside Croatia. I
am grateful to Drago Balaban, secretary-treasurer
of Nanaimo lodge, for permitting me to view and
make use of this material.
11. Interview, Zelimir B. Juricic with Tom Kulai. ibid.
12. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with George Badovinick,
13- Interview, Zelimir B. Juricic with Tom Kulai, ibid.
14. From interviews, Zelimir B. Juricic with Margaret
Kulai-Thomas, ibid., and Drago Balaban with Tom
Kulai (Nanaimo: July 1991).
15. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with George Badovinick.
16. The Catholic Parish of St. Mary's Ladysmith 1901-
1988 Today and Yesterday (Ladysmith: 1988). I
would like to thank The Rev. William Hill, Pastor,
St. Mary's Rectory, Ladysmith, for helping me
compile material on Croatian/Slav parishioners in
Extension and Ladysmith, and for providing me
with a copy of this valuable publication.
17. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with George Badovinick,
18. Zapisnik Dntstva Svetog Nikole u Ladysmithy
(Ladysmith: 21 Octoter 1903) 59.
19. Ibid.
20. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with George Badovinick,
21. Ibid. See also Zelimir B. Juricic, "Croatian miners
died in blast" Times-Colonist (Victoria: Sunday.
September 29, 1991).
22. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with John Pecnik
(Victoria: B.C. Provincial Archives and Records
Services, Coal Tyee History Project *4051:98-99).
23. "Extension miner killed on Monday" The Ladysmith
Chronicle (Ladysmith: 27 Decemlx-r 1929) No. 20
vol. XXI, 1.
24. Interview, Myrtle Bergen with George Badovinick.
Tho host committee tor Conference 94. Left to right CoraSklpsey, George Thomson and
Jim Stoney, Qualicum and Jean Higgins, Judith Van Oyen and Paddy Cardwell, Parksville.
Myrtle Haslam of
Cowichan Bay hands
over the gavel to Alice
Glanville of Grand
Forks, April 30,1994.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 Mining at Clayoquot
by Walter Guppy
Clayoquot Sound
is not noted as being an important
mining area today
but it does have a
history of mining
activity that began
with an influx of
prospectors before
the turn of the century. The extent of
this boom is indicated in the following excerpt from
the diary of Mrs.
CF. Rolston, the
wife of a missionary who came up
to the trading post
of Clayoquot on
the steamer
Willapa in 1898:
There is plenty
on all sides.
Bye and bye no doubt there will
be men and means to make this
a Western port of great importance. It seems strange that so
litde is known of this part of
the Island, a part that can easily be reached for many miles
beyond this. No doubt this ignorance will not continue long.
Every day brings fresh miners
and prospectors who with feverish desire to get gold and
other precious metals will push
their way through mountains of
difficulty, and the country will
soon be opened up.
Clayoquot never became "a Western
port of great importance" as visualized
by Mrs. Rolston and, in fact, the site of
the trading post she visited is now only
a privately owned resort. However, the
village of Tofino that was established
nearby did become the centre of considerable commercial enterprise along
the coast, and mining made a signifi-
Tidewater Copper Company, Stewardson Inlet, Clayoquot Sound, c 1923.
Photo courtesy B.C. Archives and Records Service 725-3356
cant contribution to this development.
Bedwell River — known as Bear River
at the time — was the focal point of
much of the early mining activity, with
nine of the thirty-two mineral prospects
of the Clayoquot Sound area mentioned
in the Annual Report ofthe Minister of
Mines for 1898 being located there. Gold
was first found in this river by a member of the party led by John Buttle of
the Vancouver Island Exploration Company in 1865. The stampeders that
flocked to the area in response to this
report met with little success, but a group
of Chinese persisted and found workable concentrations in a boulder-strewn
section of the river about six miles upstream. It is reported that these Orientals
left the area in a body in 1886 because
of, it was said, superstitious fear engendered by the sudden death of one of
their number. Subsequent activity in the
area was centred on the discovery of
lode deposits of gold and base metals,
rather than placer mining.
Deposits of copper-iron mineralization and
gold-bearing quartz
veins were discovered at Bedwell
River as early as
1896 but this first
boom petered out
within a few years
with nothing with
production possibilities being developed at the time.
Later a company
with its head office
in London, England, acquired a
copper prospect on
Big Interior Mountain, between
Bedwell River and
Drinkwater Creek,
and proposed to
put a mine into production with access
from the Bedwell River side. Seven miles
of wagon road were completed and materials for an aerial tramline landed at
the head of Bedwell Sound when war
broke out in 1914 and the crew abandoned the project to enlist. A slump in
copper prices in 1918 and the difficult
access discouraged further development
of this property.
Interest in the area revived when gold-
bearing veins were discovered on a
tributary of Bedwell River seven miles
inland in 1938. A boom of considerable
proportions developed and two mines,
the Musketeer and the Buccaneer, were
put into production, producing between
them nearly 7,000 ounces of gold before being closed by war-time conditions
in 1942. This area of upper Bedwell
River is within the boundaries of
Strathcona Park and is now closed to
Elsewhere in Clayoquot Sound, small
ore shipments were made from various
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
26 mines and prospects at various times,
the largest being 1,500 tons containing
60,000 pounds of copper, 3,544 ounces
of silver and 569 ounces of gold from
the Kalappa Mine on Meares Island in
The Indian Chief Mine at Stewardson
Inlet, thirty miles northwest of Tofino,
was a somewhat larger-scale operation
with an integrated mill and concentrator. It was operated by the Tidewater
Copper Company during the 1920s and
again by Japanese interests shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Total
production from this mine was 2,430,310
pounds of copper, 55,000 ounces of silver and 722 ounces of gold from 72,000
tons of ore.
During the 1960s interest was mainly
in copper, but the Musketeer gold mine
at Bedwell River was rehabilitated and
operated for a brief period and 734
ounces of gold was produced at the
Tofino Gold Mines operation near the
head of Tofino Inlet. Also, during this
same period between I960 and 1964,
the Brynnor Iron Mine to the east of the
Clayoquot Sound area produced three
million tons of iron concentrate. Since
that time, most of the mining-related
activity in the Clayoquot Sound area has
been directed towards exploration for
large mineral deposits rather
than small-scale production.
This exploration activity
was stimulated by the discovery of the Catface copper deposit in I960.
Subsequent drilling and
underground drifting has indicated that it contains over
180 million tons of 0.35 per
cent copper ore. No doubt
the oldtimers knew of this
occurrence of low-grade
mineralization — a malachite-stained bluff that can
be seen from a boat out in
the channel — but they
wouldn't have considered it
as being ore. However,
modern technology has
proven similar deposits to
be feasible to mine (Island
Copper Mine at Port Hardy
on Vancouver Island is an
On the subject of exploration, reference can be
made to the report prepared for the Clayoquot
Sound Sustainable Development Strategy by
Dr. N.C. Carter of Victoria which gives an estimate of $9-5 million
spent on mining exploration in the Clayoquot
Sound area between
1980 and 1989, in addition to an estimated expenditure of $10 million
on the Catface copper
project since the early
Exploration activity
has declined in recent
years as a result of generally unfavourable economic conditions and
particularly because of
uncertainties over land-
use allocation. However,
it can be expected that
it will revive when conditions improve and
there will be mining in the Clayoquot
Sound area into the next century and
S^uitj R*U-4
j             Owaw.
f.j-u-   r,.-*;
Bitiu r. om rm'j
T>AM«>I      -   .*■;
In* Ca»
1mm k SMakkaa ' <' '
UoNU*|Ck      1
Ju*Ur«.l            11
Or. Mink*!
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This 1898 Department of Mines map shows the location of
mineral prospects in tbe Clayoquot Sound area. Rivers bad
not yet been surveyed so tbe mapping of inland features is
Tbe author is a long-time resident of
Tofino. He bas published a book on mining on Vancouver Island and in 1993
Wilderness Wandering describing travel
away from tbe main roads.
An accurate map of
Clayoquot Sound
Courtesy of Allmaps Canada
Ltd.. Markham, Ontario
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 Historic Hat Creek Ranch
by Michelle Morrison and Darcy Astaforqff
One can only imagine Don
McLean's thoughts as he first
looked over the open vistas ofthe
Hat Creek Valley some hundred
and forty years ago ... Perhaps he
imagined the roadhouse he hoped
to establish; he might have pictured his cattle and horses foraging in the snows of winters yet to
come; or it may be that Donald
McLean envisioned a home for his
family and a lifestyle he could
grow old enjoying. Whatever
shape McLean's dreams took, he
would not be alone in his vision.
Many individuals would follow
after him, seeking a prosperous future in the holdings of the Hat
Creek Ranch. Through their stories, the history of the Ranch unfolds.
The Hat Creek Valley's history
begins long before the Ranch's
establishment in I860. For thousands of years Shuswap natives
hunted through the area, and their
traditions remain an important part
ofthe Cariboo region's history. The
area derives its name from Riviere
aux Chapeaux, as it was first called
by early French Canadians who
noted three hat-like depressions in a
large rock by the creek. Later it became
known as Chapeaux Creek, and then
Hat Creek. The rock, unfortunately, can
no longer be seen as it was destroyed
when a new highway was built through
the valley.
The first Europeans to occupy the land
near the Hat Creek-Bonaparte River
junction were Antoine Gregoire and Neil
McArthur. Both were Hudson's Bay
Company employees hired to care for
as many as two hundred horses, mules
and oxen during the winter months of
the late 1850s. Gregoire and McArthur
needed grazing land that could support
their herds through the winter cold, and
the Hat Creek Valley was well known
for its excellent winter feed. McArthur
stayed in the valley after retiring from
the company in I860 and pre-empted
Donald McLean.
Photo courtesy B.C. Archives and Records Service #63818
the land near the mouth of the creek.
About the same time, our Donald
McLean, Hudson's Bay Company chief
trader, also found himself on the verge
of retirement after eleven years as chief
trader in Fort Kamloops and at other
forts around the colony. McLean, too,
looked toward the Cariboo region for
new beginnings; he had pre-empted
land at Cache Creek and had an interest
in McArthur's land at Hat Creek. Having
decided the time had come to settle permanently in this area, McLean retired,
ending a thirty-year career with the
Hudson's Bay Company, and moved his
large family, his horses and cattle to the
grasslands of the Hat Creek valley.
The business acumen that had made
McLean chief trader also influenced his
selection of Hat Creek as the site for his
new endeavours. During his years in
British Columbia, McLean came to learn
much about the region and knew
that Hat Creek, with its fertile soil
and good winter pasture, provided
the ideal conditions for agriculture.
Having been one of the first to see
gold from the Fraser River, he also
knew firsthand that the Cariboo
rush would open up the region.
Most likely, McLean gained prior
knowledge of the proposed
Cariboo Wagon Road development, which intended to open a
route from Yale, direcdy through
Hat Creek and north to Barkerville.
That McLean saw an opportunity for financial success is obvious: he and his sons set to work
constructing a twenty-two by fifty-
five foot log structure that soon be-
came known as "McLean's
Restaurant" or "McLean's Station."
By the summer of 1861, weary
travellers could rest their horses,
have a meal — and perhaps a shot
of whiskey — as they headed
north to the Cariboo goldfields.
The establishment even offered an
overnight stay in the bunks, all for
a reasonable cost.
The station house marked only
the beginnings of McLean's operations in the valley. He worked diligently
to establish his land as a farming and
ranching operation, despite facing summer water shortages. With determination and resourcefulness, McLean
constructed a flood irrigation system
which redirected water from the creek.
His agricultural development was on its
way — so much so that, when visiting
McLean at the Ranch, Governor Jafhes
Douglas deemed McLean's enterprise
one of the finest roadhouses on the
Cariboo Road. Douglas also noted that
Hat Creek was the first ranch in the
colony to be serviced by flood irrigation techniques.
McLean's personal commitment extended beyond his business interests to
his family. McLean first married a native
woman known as "Ali," whom he met
in Spokane, Washington. The couple
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
28 raised a total of four children: Donald
Jr., Elizabeth, Duncan and Alexander.
Shortly after Ali's death in 1848, the Hudson's Bay Company sent McLean to
manage the Babine Lake trading post,
just north of Fort St. James. Here, with
an unknown Babine woman, he fathered one son, John. The death of his
first two wives added to his responsibilities, but he remained a dutiful father,
providing well for his children and keeping them with him. In 1854, at Fort Alexandria, McLean wed a woman named
Sophia Grant. While living in Kamloops,
Sophia gave birth to five children: Hector, Allen, Christina, Annie and Charlie.
Their youngest, Archie, was born at Hat
Creek. McLean had eleven children by
the time he and Sophia settled their family creekside, in a series of simple log
The summer of 1862 brought hopeful
prospects; the Cariboo Road was complete to Soda Creek. Unfortunately,
McLean's hopes never materialized. Although the road increased the number
of travellers passing by the Ranch, the
new McLean family business never really prospered. Nonetheless, McLean
continued to work hard in an effort to
make the venture successful. Reports
suggest that during this time McLean
tried his hand at prospecting. This, how
ever, cannot be confirmed.
The expansion into the Cariboo
continued at a furious pace. Alfred
Waddington, a Victoria entrepreneur, attempted to construct a toll road from
Bute Inlet, across the Chilcotin Plateau,
to Alexandria on the upper Fraser River.
The objective was quick and easy access to the goldfields. Mr. Waddington,
however, ignored previously established
aboriginal occupation ofthe land. Many
of the Chilcotin natives were angered
by the unwanted intrusion; they feared
that the travellers through their territory
would herald the return of smallpox and
the further decimation of their people.
In the summer of 1864, Governor
Frederick Seymour asked McLean to join
an expedition, led by Gold Commissioner George Cox, to end the violent
native rebellion that had developed.
McLean raised twenty-five volunteers, including his own son Duncan, and
headed north to help locate the Chilcotin
rebels. Early one morning in July of 1864,
McLean was shot in the back. He was
wearing a breastplate, but it had not
saved him as it had on several previous
Donald McLean did not leave the
Ranch entirely, even in his death. Legend has it that before he left on the
deadly expedition, McLean told his wife
Sophia to listen for the howl of a coyote.
If the animal barked four times, she was
to follow it and the coyote would lead
her to her husband's cache of gold. Four
days after his death, Sophia heard a
coyote howl four times; she followed it
up the mountain. Sophia was unable to
find McLean's special coyote; if there
was a cache, it never has been found.
For several years after her husband's
death, Sophia tried to keep the Ranch
and roadhouse going, but this proved
too difficult. Complicating her situation
further was the fact that Donald McLean
had not pre-empted the land on which
years of hard work were built: Sophia
and her family were squatters and could
not sell the roadhouse property. Fortunately, another individual would see the
same potential in the Hat Creek property as had Donald McLean. George
Dunne purchased Neil McArthur's Hat
Creek property — on which McLean had
been a squatter — in 1866. The acquisition ofthe Ranch was completed in 1867,
when Dunne, out of "good will," purchased Sophia's claim to land, building
and improvements. Sophia, and those
children still at home, moved to
Upon acquiring the Ranch, Dunne
began expansion of the existing operation. He invested a great deal of money
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 A view of Hat Creek Ranch today. Tbe BX Barn is adjacent to tbe corrals, tbe freight borse barn is in tbe
foreground. Tbe main bouse is in tbe centre with tbe McLean cabin adjacent Tbe hillsides are typically dry
interior vegetation with bunch grass, sage brush and tumbleweed.
Photo courtesy B.C. Heritage Trust
toward the construction of new buildings, and added a barn, granary, a cabin
and new corrals. In 1872, Dunne built a
second floor onto the roadhouse, which
included eight hotel rooms up and a
lady's sitting room on the main floor.
Financial difficulties thwarted Dunne's
improvement efforts, and in 1873 he
mortgaged his property to Jerome
Harper for $2,000.
Dunne's financial hard times would
bring the Ranch's history together with
two of British Columbia's more prosperous ranchers: Jerome and Thadeus
Harper. The brothers, both entrepreneurs from Virginia, came to British Columbia in 1854. Their interest in the Hat
Creek roadhouse was rather limited;
these brothers were cattlemen and the
Ranch provided an ideal location to rest
their herds on the long drive from the
Chilcotin Gang Ranch to their holdings
in Yale and Kamloops. The Harpers
became quite prosperous through land
purchases, and they established several
large ranching operations in the Interior. The Gang Ranch, the Harper Ranch
and the Perry Ranch, all Harper brothers' purchases, remain large cattle operations to this day. Also involved in
lumber and grist mills, and "unofficial
banking," one can only imagine the success the Harpers might have brought to
Hat Creek had they felt the same attachment to the land as Donald McLean had.
To help repay the mortgage, Dunne
leased Hat Creek House — as the old
station house was now called — to Gus
Shubert for $500 per year. Even with
this income, Dunne failed to meet his
loan payments, due in part to his tendency to spend a great deal of money
at the Hat Creek House bar. Jerome
Harper died in 1874, and by 1881 the
effects of the economic slump had
forced Thadeus to foreclose on Dunne's
mortgage. In the same year, for a sum
of $3,000, William Cargyle of Dog Creek
became the next individual to shape the
development of the Hat Creek Ranch.
"Billy" Cargyle brought more enthusiasm — and more development — to
the Ranch. He erected two additional
barns, including the first phase of the
BX Barn, to house the stage horses that
passed through the valley. Billy purchased a billiard table for the bar, or
"men's room," then called "The Stag and
Pheasant." Cargyle's personal attention
to the Ranch was limited due to his diverse business concerns. With the construction of a new hotel in Ashcroft to
monitor, and 250 head
of cattle to manage,
Billy was a busy man.
For this reason, the hotel came to be administered by Charles
A new and exciting
period began at Hat
Creek Ranch in 1894
when Cargyle sold the
property and buildings
to Stephen Tingley, the
owner of the BC Express Co. Tingley had a
long and famous career
as an express driver,
which began when he
was a young man under the employ of Frank
Bernard. Barnard
owned Barnard's Express Stage Company,
which he had established in 1859 at Yale to
carry people, parcels
and mail into the Interior of British Columbia.
Shortly after Tingley began working for
Barnard, he returned home to New Brunswick and there married Elizabeth Harper.
The newlyweds returned to Yale, where
they planned to raise a family. In 1873
Elizabeth died tragically in a buggy accident, leaving behind her husband and two
sons, Clarence and Fred. Tingley, who
had been driving the buggy, which
backed over the canyon edge near Yale
after meeting a group of native women
on the narrow road, always blamed himself for the accident because he had not
been carrying a whip. He remarried several years later in Victoria to Pauline
Laumeister. Pauline gave birth to two
daughters, Pauline and Ada.
Tingley became the sole owner ofthe
BC Express Company in 1866. He had
developed the reputation of being the
"fastest whip in the west," due most of
all to one particular trip. Tingley drove
four people 380 miles in thirty hours,
which was quite a record. Tingley became increasingly successful, purchasing several properties — including Hat
Creek — which served his stage company well. His tales of exciting trips and
adventures on the road brought the excitement of life on the Express to the
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
30 The Hat Creek property experienced further change under its
new ownership. In 1901 Tingley
added a two-storey west wing to
the roadhouse, which featured a
large kitchen and additional dining space. The expansion continued: a piggery; a three-section
barn for draft horses and mules
to serve the lucrative freight business he had developed; a blacksmith shop; and the BX Barn was
expanded to house an additional
six teams. Tingley also decided
to have the old McLean cabin
moved. From its location near the
creek, the cabin was relocated
directly behind the Hat Creek
House, where it would be used
as a meat locker and an icehouse.
Many of the Ranch operations,
in particular the management of
the hotel, were assigned to managers and lessees throughout the
Ranch's history. The Hat Creek
Ranch owes much of its success
to the numerous managers hired
to direct its operations. A succession of managers, most moving
on to supervise operations of
their own, handled business for
Tingley between 1899 and 1910.
Tingley had fully retired by 1905,
and finally sold the Ranch to
Charles Doering in 1910. Tingley remained in Vancouver until his death in
1915 at the age of seventy-six; Pauline
Tingley lived in Vancouver until 1947,
where she died at age ninety.
Finally, Hat Creek Ranch would once
again be owned by an individual who
truly appreciated the Cariboo landscape.
Doering, a very wealthy owner of the
Vancouver Breweries, had been in love
with the Bonaparte countryside for quite
some time. In fact, Doering had wanted
Hat Creek Ranch since the time of
William Cargyle's ownership ofthe property. The $30,000 paid to Tingley over a
five-year period was just the beginning
of Doering's purchases. He continued
to buy property around Hat Creek, including over 2,000 acres of deeded land
and an additional 18,000 leased acres
for cattle grazing.
Once again the Ranch would be
changed to suit its new owner. Doering
expanded Hat Creek House with the addition of a two-storey private section to
This bar room looks much tbe same as it did at the turn of tbe
century when it served traveUers on the Cariboo Wagon Road
Photo courtesy B.C. Heritage Trust
Original blacksmith shop at Hat Creek Ranch.
Photo courtesy B.C. Heritage Trust
the south side of the house. The animal
varieties on the Ranch even received additions: an avid pheasant hunter,
Doering stocked the valley with one
hundred Chinese pheasants. Aided by
his wife, Mary, and her interest in
Morgan and Kentucky horses, the Ranch
became known as one of the best horse-
breeding operations in the province.
And the name changed too. Once "Hat
Creek Hotel," then "Hat Creek House,"
"McLean's Station" finally became "Hotel Hat Creek."
What began in I860 came to a formal
encl in 1915, when Doering closed the
doors of Hotel Hat Creek to the public.
Times had been changing rapidly, particularly since the turn of the century.
The mule pack train and stagecoach era
had neared its end; the Cariboo Wagon
Road was now frequently travelled by
automobiles; Ashcroft and Cache Creek
had grown into substantial communities; and the population had temporarily decreased as individuals went off to
fight the Great War. The region
shrunk in size with improvements
to transportation, and hotel services were no longer required for
the now short trips through the
Though closed to the public,
operations at the Ranch continued on with Doering's stepson,
John Basil Jackson, who returned
to Hat Creek as the full-time manager after serving in the Royal Air
Force during the war. Charles
Doering continued to spend his
retirement years between Vancouver and Hat Creek until his death
in 1927, at age seventy-one. After her husband's death, Mary
Doering returned to her home in
Duncan, but remained owner of
the Ranch. Basil remained active
manager in his mother's absence.
Mary died in 1940, leaving Hat
Creek to her son.
Until Basil married Dorothy
Parkes of the Bonaparte Ranch in
1937, the big old roadhouse must
have seemed a lonely place. Basil
lived there for a number of years
until he wed, but chose to modernize the house with electric lighting as a wedding gift for his bride.
Some things did not change, however; the house remained
uninsulated and, in the extreme cold of
winter, the wood stoves had to be stoked
twenty-four hours a day. The Jacksons
remained in the house until 1952. when
Dorothy built the new and warm house
that she had been dreaming of for quite
some time. Basil spent one night alone
in the old house, perhaps in protest of
Dorothy's extravagance, but was observed
with his duffle bag over his shoulder the
following morning, heading for their
new home.
The operation remained with the
Jacksons until 1977 when John Basil
Jackson passed away. Subsequently,
Dorothy sold the entire property to BC
Hydro. Two years later a portion of the
property, 320 acres containing the ranch
buildings, was again sold, this time to
British Columbia Heritage Trust. Dorothy
spent her remaining years in her house
at the Ranch, until her death in the summer of 1993 in her ninety-seventh year.
Through changing times and changing hands, daily life on the Ranch went
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 largely uninterrupted. It was always a
busy place. Through the winter the
ranching operation employed about six
ranch hands, and in the summer the
number would jump to as many as
twenty. The hands were paid between
$2 and $3-50 per day, depending on
seniority and job title, and Hat Creek
provided many employment opportunities between ranching and the hotel,
the majority of them filled by natives
from the Bonaparte area.
Hard work meant hearty appetites and
a cook was employed for the roadhouse
and hotel. From time to time, Mrs.
McCosh, a neighbour from down the
road, would cook for Hat Creek; usually, however, the Ranch employed a
Chinese cook. In 1910 the cook received
$30 per month to cook for the hotel
guests and Ranch staff. While the hotel
operated, laundresses and chambermaids were also engaged at a rate of $3
to $5 per week. Each of their jobs was
important to the Ranch's success. One
woman, entered in the hotel ledger as
"Indian Mary," was mentioned as having gone on strike for a pay increase for
her job as a laundress. The endeavour
was successful, as she did receive a raise.
When a house has such a long history, with so many different inhabitants,
there are bound to be stories of ghosts,
and Hat Creek is not without spiritual
dwellers. Some people claim to have
seen the figure of a small man looking
out the window of the Chinese cook's
room. Perhaps it is the ghost of the Chinese cook watching over the precious
orchard. Legend has it that one cook
would get very angry as bears made a
habit of coming into the orchard at night
to eat the apples off the trees. The cook
worked long hard days and could not
stay awake all night to watch for the
unwanted guests. After some thought he
finally came up with a brilliant idea. He
tied strings from each of the trees in the
orchard and pulled the strings up to his
bedroom window and attached a bell
to the strings. If any of the strings were
snagged by a bear, the bell would ring
and alert the cook, who would then
jump out of bed, grab his gun and fire a
few shots into the air to scare the bear
away. To this day, he is still watching
and his shotgun still sits by the window.
The Ranch, as it stands today, represents more than the initiative of its
former owners, the administration of its
many managers, and the endless work
of hired hands. People lived at Hat
Creek, and the hopes of newly wed
couples, the laughter of children, the
trials of ranching, still echo through the
valley. Captured in the Ranch's history
are the little events that tell of the
Cariboo region's rich past: James Douglas, Lord Dufferin and Judge Begby all
stopped in for a drink at one time or
another; unknown miners stopped for
a rest on the way to their dreams; the
stagecoach stopped along its well-travelled way, bringing the men and women
that would open the Interior of British
Columbia. And Donald McLean stopped
The Historic Hat Creek Ranch, located
eleven kilometres north of Cache Creek
at the junction of Highways 97 and 99,
is owned and managed by the British
Columbia Heritage Trust and can be visited year-round, with full visitor services  available  from  mid-May  to
mid-October. Admission is by donation.
For further information, please call (604)
The Ranch goal statement is:
The Historic Hat Creek Ranch
is to be conserved and presented for the educational and
recreational benefit of the public, illustrating its role in the evolution of ranching in British
Columbia, and the development
of freighting, transportation,
and accommodation on the
Cariboo Wagon Road from I860
to 1915.
Two staff members at Hat Creek Ranch
collaborated to prepare this article for
tbe B.C. Historical News. Our thanks to
manager Dwane Scott for putting this
project on tbe winter schedule.
Mel Rothenburger and Sydney Jones. The Hat Creek
Ranch: A History. 1993.
f    r*   J
*         #                    «     •
9                                            •
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9     |p
Conference 94 speaker Kim Recalma Clutesi poses with ber
cousin, Francis Recalma, and a nephew, Michael Tbe ceremonial
button blanket drapes over an apron decorated with applique
and ornamental copper pieces. Tbe cedar bats are topped with
white ermine and faced with a crest of motber-of-pearl
^K^\S^ --*-* ^|
lh£:       ■■*»(-■
>•■".'> %
'   °*        "...J
Allison Mitcham, winner of tbe Lieutenant Governor's Medal
for ber book Taku poses with ber daughter Naomi (who
provided many illustrations for tbe book). Professor
Mitcham lives in New Brunswick, daughter Naomi lives in
AtUn, RC
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
32 The Great Flood of 1894
by Edward L. Affleck
This year — 1994 — marks the hundredth anniversary of British Columbia's
great spring flood. While a centennial
celebration is scarcely called for, a few
words on the subject might be appropriate. In June 1893 the U.S. Congress
repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase
Act, which had been enacted, several
years previously to maintain support for
the price of silver. This repeal triggered
a collapse in the world market price of
silver, and within weeks a general financial panic spread over North
America. The mining camps in south
Kootenay, which had been riding high
on the 1891-92 discoveries of fabulous
silver-lead-zinc lodes in the Slocan Mining Division, were particularly devastated, but general financial misery spread
throughout the northwest. The 1893
building constmction boom in Vancouver paused for a deep breath, and rumour had it that half the imposing
dwellings on Vancouver's elegant West
Georgia Street were facing mortgage
To compound the misery, the 1893-
94 winter proved to be protracted.
Record snowfalls were recorded in many
of B.C.'s Interior mountains, and winter's chill lingered on and on into the
spring days of 1894. In the waning days
of May, a hot spell finally struck the
province, causing the hefty snowpack
in the Rockies to melt with astonishing
rapidity. As the headwaters of both the
Fraser and the Columbia Rivers lie in
the Rockies, the snowmelt in these two
river systems caused flooding unprecedented in the nineteenth century. At
the crest of the flood in the Fraser Canyon, the Alexandra Suspension Bridge
was within inches of being swept away.
The most heavily populated area to be
struck by flooding was the Fraser Valley
below the canyon. Farms in the entire
Chilliwack, Sumas and Matsqui areas
were inundated. When the waters finally
receded, heavy deposits of salt-laden silt
made it impossible to seed crops that
year. The stench of rotting salmon permeated the length of the Fraser River.
Transportation in British Columbia was
equally devastated by the Great Flood of
1894. A series of washouts on the Canadian Pacific Railway line west of the
Rockies severed train connections with
Eastern Canada for forty-one days. There
was a resurgence of activity among
sternwheeler fleets on the Fraser and
Thompson River systems as this versatile
craft worked its way over the flooded
terrain to bring succour to settlers and
livestock trapped by the flooding.
The Columbia River waterways, more
sparsely settled, proved equally unruly
during the 1894 run-off. Bridges, trestles and culverts on the few wagon roads
and railways already constructed were
swept away. Kootenay Lake rose to
unprecedented heights, causing waters
to surge back into the Kootenay Flats,
obliterating the great land reclamation
project which was underway. The settlements of Revelstoke and Trail experienced severe flooding, while the
burgeoning city of Kaslo, incorporated
in 1893, received a triple whammy in
1894. A severe fire on February 25 wiped
out many buildings in the lower town.
By June 3, lake water was lapping at
the windows of those buildings and
dwellings still standing east of Third
Street and eroding the support for those
buildings undergoing reconstmction. On
the afternoon of June 3, a freak tornado
working its way north on Kootenay Lake
succeeded in demolishing much of what
was still standing on the site. Kaslo staggered, but by the time the farmers started
1895 seeding in the Fraser Valley, the
plucky mining settlement was once
again on its feet.
The following extract from a June 12,
1894, letter written to his mother by
young East Kootenay settler F.P. Norbury
provides an excellent contemporary account of the 1894 flood:
Donald, B.C.
... You will probably long before this reaches you have
heard of the disastrous flood
from which this western country is suffering and in all prob
ability know much more about
it than I do as we have had no
news from the east or west for
15 days, all traffic being completely blocked. The extraordinary thing about it is that it was
so entirely unexpected, as our
floods are not caused by rain
but by snow fallen some
months before, the fall of which
was not much out of the way
but we had a nasty cold spring
and no hot weather to melt the
snow, followed by seven of the
hottest days I have seen in the
country. 97 degrees [Fahrenheit]
in the shade. The consequence
was a rush of water all at once
which sent bridges and railways
and towns flying. What the loss
of life has been I have no idea
as all telegraphic communication has been stopped also but
we heard they were rescuing
settlers by steamboats along the
Fraser River. In the Fort Steele
district we have one bridge left
out of six, but what further damage it has done there I do not
know as the water was not
nearly at its highest when I left
... There are not many settlers
along the Kootenay River but
along the Columbia, Fraser and
Thompson I am afraid they
must lose their entire crop.
Golden was flooded and Anthracite, a town some 50 miles
east, was half swept away. I had
to walk to Golden and back the
other day to hold [Provincial
Voters' List] Court of Revision,
the track being flooded in many-
places. I had to take to the hills.
No one turned up at the Court
as they were too busy fighting
water, besides no one takes any
interest in politics in this division and Col. [James] Baker will
be unopposed ...
How great was the spring flood of
1894? The systems used to gauge the
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 wicked flood of 1948 were not in place
in 1894, but experts agree that the 1894
flood surpassed that of 1948 in practically every area of southern British Columbia. Thanks to post-war inflation and
a much denser population, the dollar
loss in the 1948 flood was higher. Those
who figure they saw it all in 1948, however, might do well to ponder the following message to be found on page
183 of the Fraser River Upstream Storage Review Report, published in Victoria in 1976 by the Canada/British
Columbia Fraser River Joint Advisory
... The Lower Fraser Valley
. faces a continuing and serious
flood threat. Greater floods than
that of 1894 can and will occur,
but the specific year or years of
their occurrence cannot be predicted. There is a 1 in 3 probability that the 1894 flood will
be equalled or exceeded during the 60-year period from
1973 to 2032 ...
A predicted flood of this magnitude
will provide a severe test for the great
water storage systems constructed in the
Columbia River waterway since 1948. No
comparable systems harness the Fraser
River, so that ultimately the dyking systems in the Fraser Valley will again bear
the brunt of the flood stress. When such
a test comes, will we be able to face it
with the degree of fortitude summoned
by our forebears?
Edward Affleck, born in tbe Kootenays,
bas worked in several communities and
explored much ofRC He is now retired
and living in Vancouver.
BCHF Conference 1994
The tide rolled gently over the huge
expanse of sand viewed from the Island
Hall conference centre as inside the past
was unrolled by local speakers. The tallest mayor in B.C., Paul Reitsma, and his
counterpart, Jack Collins of Qualicum,
greeted the visitors. Members from District 69 (Parksville) and Qualicum Historical Societies hosted the event. We heard
of pioneers who landed at the various
beaches, then cleared enough of the forest to establish a home; of ships which
floundered on sandbars, allowing the
passengers to dig clams while awaiting
high tide to refloat the vessel; and saw
examples of the early buildings erected
by early British and European settlers at
Craig Heritage Park and while on a bus
tour conducted by Man' Leffler.
Kim Recalma Clutesi gave a glimpse
of the native peoples who made seasonal migration from hunting to fishing
to food-gathering grounds. It is only
within the last fifty years that these people have stayed in one place. This young
lady, wearing hereditary robes, was
elated that potlatches are again permitted and her family had recently held a
burial potlatch to honour her grandparents. From pre-contact civilization, the
topic switched to pre-historic
paleontology with an excellent slide
show by Graham Beard. This was the
introduction prior to our visit to Beard's
private museum in Qualicum and the
Qualicum Power House Museum.
Lunch at the Civic Centre in Qualicum,
followed by tea at the 80-year-old
schoolhouse, now an art gallery, and a
marvellous buffet supper at Island Hall
ensured that all were replete. A fashion
show titled "From the Skin Out" kept us
watching, listening and laughing. Gwen
Speering of the Canadiana Costume
Museum and Archives of British Columbia (Victoria) commented as two young
ladies were dressed from chemise out.
The 1860s garb included a bustle (which
was surprisingly compressible), two or
more petticoats (one holding the hoops),
a garibaldi blouse, wide skirt and a tiny •
hat. The 1887 garments started with the
chemise, drawers and a larger whale-
boned corset than in the 60s. Again there
were two petticoats, a lined skirt with
weighted hem, an elegant blouse topped
with either a lovely shawl or a restrictive jacket, and small black hat. The
1900s model demonstrated a style which
amplified the matronly bosom, and a
straw boater glorified with many flowers. A 1908 ensemble consisted of blue
taffeta skirt and white tucked blouse,
with a restored hip-length jacket in magnificent Battenburg lace. The model
wearing this lace jacket circulated, demonstrating the combination of embroidery and cutwork which made
decorative edging or yardage. Next there
was a teen modelling a short dress, cape
and headband from the 20s, and a sophisticated lady wearing a charming
pleated dress with coordinated coat and
cloche hat.
Saturday's after-dinner speaker, Hugh
Taylor, observed that archival garments
on live models gave a magnificent exhibit — surpassing the items on man
nequins, on video, or flattened in a protective display case. This retired archivist predicted that family/home archives,
when well organized, are the treasure
of future researchers.
The awards for the Competition for
Writers of B.C. History were presented
by Chair Pamela Mar. She thanked the
three judges who had read and evaluated the thirty-four books entered in
1993. Dr. Allison Mitcham of New Brunswick attended to receive the Lieutenant
Governor's Medal for her book Taku,
written about the Atlin district. Allison's
daughter, Naomi, has lived in Atlin since
1979 and prepared many of the illustrations in Taku and an earlier book, Atlin:
The Last Utopia (1989). Robert Swanson
was honoured for his Whistle Punks and
Widow Makers. Absentee winners were
Lee Stewart for Women Volunteer to Go
to Prison: The Elizabeth Fry Society and
Jeffrey Locke, now a law student, for
his Best Article, "No Salmon: No Furs"
{.B.C. Historical News, Vol. 26: No. 2).
The annual general meeting was conducted very efficiently by retiring president Myrtle Haslam. Committee heads
reported enthusiastically. Local society
representatives summarized highlights of
the past year. Election of officers was
conducted by nominating committee
chair Mary Rawson. The slate of officers (always listed inside the back cover)
resulted in two new faces at the council
table. These are Marjorie Leffler of
Parksville, second vice president, and
Melva Dwyer of Vancouver, replacing
Rawson as member-at-large.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
Our BCHF Archivist
and Honorary Life
Member, Margaret
Stoneberg, was
recognized recently as
Princeton's "Citizen of
the Year." Congratulations! In the photo at
right Margaret is
shown giving her
report from the
Princeton Historical
Society at BCHF Conference 94.
Your readers may be pleased to note that
Lieut. Peter Puget's Noon Breakfast
Point, noted in the Spring 1994 issue of
the B.C. Historical News, pp. 12-14, has
been spared from oblivion and that while
it may forever be in the shadow of Point
Grey it nevertheless has been recognized
as commemorating the contribution made
by the men of the boats of Vancouver's
expedition. In 1981 the writer contacted
the Canadian Permanent Committee on
Geographical Names with the suggestion
that the southwest tip of Point Grey be
designated as Noon Breakfast Point and
it was agreed that the official position be
at 49° 15.9' N and 123° 15.8' W. In March
of 1981, Mr. Don Pearson, the B.C.
representative of the C.P.C.G.N., confirmed that it would be so designated in
future editions of the British Columbia
Gazeteer of Geographical Names, but
that its use on maps and charts would be
limited to those of the largest scale.
Tomas Bartroli has the story of Noon
Breakfast Point basically correct, though
there is no evidence that Vancouver had
stopped in the Bowen Island area on his
return from Jervis Inlet. More than likely, it
would have been at the Winchelsea or
Ballenas Island group which match 'Ihe
Cluster of Islands in Mid Channel off
Noon Breakfast Point" noted on p. 112 of
Puget's rough journal. Puget's Noon
Breakfast Point was not the first of his
designations that Vancouver ignored.
Earlier on the morning of June 12 (Vancouver's dating), Puget had given Tongue
Point at Semiamoo Bay at the entrance to
Drayton Harbor, the delightful name of
Strawberry Level, from the "large quantities of tolerable flavoured Strawberries &
abundance of wild Onions." Vancouver
was not impressed. The writer has also
shared Tomas' rejection in trying to
promote Noon Breakfast Point. In 1989,
when a contest was held to name the
regional park in the University Endowment Lands, "Noon Breakfast Point Park"
was submitted, along with supportive
historical evidence that gave the attending public the reasons behind the rather
enigmatic name. This, however, lost out to
the memorably forgettable "Pacific Spirit
Park." It should be noted that great care
must be taken in using Puget's rough
journal (British Museum Add. MS 17545)
for he was a notoriously poor
recordkeeper as far as his dating was
concerned. Many of the date headings for
the period of the Fourth Boat Expedition
were changed and he does not record
their stopping overnight on Beaver Island,
prior to entering Agamemnon Channel,
noted on p. 200 of Vancouver's journal.
- submitted by J. E. (Ted) Roberts,
P.S. Mr. Bartroli thanks Mr. Roberts for
this note. He admits that "Bowen Island"
was merely a conjecture.
Frank Wade of West Vancouver (who
contributed articles to the News Vol. 23:3
and Vol. 24:3) has just published A
Midshipman's War: 1941-43. This is one
of a trio of naval histories released by
Cordillera Publishing Company with
offices in Blaine, Washington, and
Vancouver, B.C.
The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in
Cranbrook was the site of the first
regional meeting of the Heritage Society
of B.C. Directors of the Heritage Society
were overnight guests assigned berths in
a restored sleeping car. We understand
that sleep was interrupted by modern
yard engines shunting on adjacent lines,
and the taller visitors complained of very
short beds. Local representatives from
Creston, Invermere, Fernie, Moyie,
Kimberley and Fort Steele gave reports
on their museums, archives and historic
site development. Naomi Miller was
invited to represent the B.C. Historical
Federation. Directors of the Heritage
Society attending were Sue Thompson of
Grand Forks, Stephen Bathy of Prince
George, President Arthur Buse of Surrey,
Linnea Battel of Mission, John Stuart of
North Vancouver and Jim Wolf of New
Westminster. Garry Anderson of the
Museum of Rail Travel hosted the event
as a prelude to the 1995 Heritage Society
Conference which will be held in
There are many special events planned
at, or connected with, the Vancouver
Museum during this, its centennial year.
Locals as well as out-of-towners are
advised to attend and enjoy.
And in Victoria the Royal B.C. Museum
has many new programs, rotating displays and even out-of-city tours on a busy
Shawn Lamb, curator of the museum in
Nelson, was declared "Citizen of the Year
1993" and was honoured at a banquet
April 16,1994. This good lady does
volunteer work for her church, etc., when
not busy at the Kootenay Museum.
Douglas Harker of Pender Island leaves a
legacy of written history, plus memories of
those who were his pupils, neighbours or
business colleagues. This gentleman was
an officer in WWII, a schoolteacher, an
administrator in the Woodward's Stores
empire, then headmaster of St. George's
School. His written work includes The
Woodwards, The Saints (St. George's),
The Dukes (Duke of Connaught's Own
Rifles) and two volumes of which he was
editor, Gulf Islands Patchwork 1 and 2.
Miss Caetani died in Vernon on April 27,
leaving her home to the city as an Art
Centre. A book, Recapitulation, featuring
fifty-four of her water colour paintings and
short pieces of her philosophical writings
is currently being readied for publication
by Coldstream Books (for details phone
542-1551). Readers will find Sveva's
article on her family on page 29 of the
News, Vol. 27, No. 1, Winter 1993-94.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 BOOKSHELF
Books for review and book reviews should be sent directly to the Book Review Editor:
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
The Northwest Coast: British Navigation,
Trade and Discoveries to 1812
Barry M. Gough, UBC Press, 1992. 265 p.,
Professor Gough has spent some of the last
twelve years researching and writing about the
significance of the British Navy and its influence on the development of the Pacific northwest coast. The Northwest Coast: British
Navigation, Trade and Discoveries to 1812 is
Professor Gough's fourth book on British
marine influence on the "littorals" off the Pacific northwest. In his book, Gough studies
the incentives and "efforts of the British seaborne activities," and the international struggle among a few European countries for
"advantage and accord" on the Pacific northwest coast. He suggests that British superiority in marine technology, Cook's delineations
of the Pacific northwest coast, and Cook's introduction to the sea otter population in
Nootka Sound all triggered international trade
in the sound and abetted expansion into this
coastal region.
The earliest proven exploration off the coast
was completed by Sir Francis Drake, who laid
claim to today's San Diego region of California in 1579, calling the land "New Albion."
As early as 1711 the British had plans for
colonizing territory in the Pacific, and during
the 1740s George Anson's voyage initiated
these plans. This voyage was to help destroy
the "Spanish stronghold on the Pacific."
While conflicts between the two imperial
powers, Spain and England, intensified during the 1720s to 1740s, the Russians had twice
sailed to the north Pacific (present-day Alaska
Panhandle), finding abundant supplies of sea
otters for a lucrative Asian market The Russia-China trading of sea otters had been clandestine for many years. In reaction to the
Russian exploration in the north, the Spanish
settled the San Francisco area in 1769, which
resulted in the Spanish locating sea otters off
the California coast.
The mission of Captain James Cook's voyage of 1776 was to search for the Northwest
Passage. In 1778, en route to the Pacific northwest, Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands.
On 22 March 1778 both the HMS Resolution and HMS Discouery entered Nootka
Following the contact and interaction with
the natives of Nootka Sound, the vessels were
refurbished, after which they went north. Unsuccessful in discovering the Northwest Passage, Cook planned to spend the remaining
winter on the Hawaiian Islands, where he died
on 14 February 1779.
James Cook provided the world with charts
that delineated the Pacific northwest coast,
including new geographical information on
present-day Alaska, the Bering Sea and the
Arctic Ocean. The sea otters procured by
Cook in Nootka Sound initiated the maritime
fur trade on the Pacific northwest and led to a
frenzy of international trading at and around
Nootka Sound which quickly expanded up
the Pacific coast.
Men such as Hanna, Dion, Meares and
Barkley tried their success with the new trade.
No matter how successful these men and their
companies planned to become in the sea otter trade, they all had one common adversary — the East India Company. The charter
and the policies of the East India Company
were too overwhelming for the mariners and
mercantilists to overcome, forcing British interests to subdue their trading on the Pacific
coast. The charter was revised in 1833, allowing British vessels to sail into Canton from
the Pacific northwest without requiring the
East India Company's permission to enter
Canton. However, by 1833 the sea otter
population on the northwest coast was almost
decimated, making the sea otter trade an unprofitable venture.
By the late 1700s the competition in Nootka
Sound became intense. The Spanish believed
they held exclusive trading rights at sea and at
Nootka Sound. This dogma led to the Spanish
arrest of two British whaling vessels in 1789 off
the Patagonia coast and to the seizure of two
British vessels in Nootka Sound in 1790.
The Nootka Sound Convention dealt with
Spain's desire to exclude rival trading at
Nootka and Britain's desire for "all nations to
trade on the high seas." Martinez charged the
captain on board the British vessel (Iphigenia
Nubiana) with illegally trading in the King of
Spain's domain.
On the 28 October 1790 the Anglo-Spanish Convention in Madrid was signed between
Britain and Spain, where the latter country
had to return land in Nootka Sound to the
British, promise British whalers sailing rights
in the Pacific, and allow British mariners to
trade at sea without fear of being harassed by
the Spanish. This pact between the two countries was not completely resolved until 1794.
Captain George Vancouver explored the
west coast of what is today known as British
Columbia and entered Nootka Sound on 28
August 1792. Captain Vancouver continued
the negotiations over the Nootka Sound Crisis. The mutual agreement regarding Nootka
Sound was accomplished in 1794 where both
countries would abandon the settlements at
Nootka Sound in 1795, with the exception of
allowing temporary buildings to be erected by
any country. Nootka Sound was to become
a "free port of exchange."
Inspired by Captain Cook's literature and
charts, Peter Pond, a fur trader, explored the
Athabasca region of North America in the mid-
17805. In turn, a new land-based fur trade
network was created that would eventually
reach the Pacific coast with Alexander Mackenzie's journey to Bella Bella in 1792-93.
Pond had envisioned a new "Mecca" for the
fur trade industry on the west coast and he
had urged the British government to financially support the North West Company, so
the company could build trading posts on the
west coast enabling them to hold a secure
position in the fur trade. Bond was unsuccessful in his objective.
Competition in the fur trade and control of
the land was evident in the form of the American expeditions of Lewis and Clark, and
Kendrick and Gray, which created more pressure for the British to establish trading posts on
the Pacific coast. As well, the formation of the
Pacific Fur Trade Company in 1810 and construction of Fort Astoria (1811) added to the
American control of land and their domination
of the fur trade. The Americans were plying
their trade for furs as far up the coast as the
Skeena and the Nass rivers.
Simon Fraser's and David Thompson's
explorations significantly abetted the British
knowledge of the geography of the regions
explored. These expeditions led to the North
West Company establishing numerous posts
in New Caledonia (what is today central British Columbia) and in other locations in order
to undermine the threat of American expansion and competition on the coast. By 1821,
the North West Company, for economic and
political reasons, was forced to merge with the
larger Hudson's Bay Company.
Distance, cost and the East India Company
were the deterrents leading to the demise of
British participation in the maritime fur trade
on the Pacific northwest. The Americans and
the Russians were the main traders on the west
coast between 1795 and 1825.
However, the British superiority in shipbuilding technology and their discoveries and
charts delineated by Captain Cook, and fellow
explorers who followed him, contributed significantly to the maritime fur trade on the Pacific west coast and to the westward expansion
from the Athabasca region of North America
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
to the coast, both directly and indirectly.
The Northwest Coast: British Navigation,
Trade and Discoveries to 1812 is an informative book that has been well researched and
written, utilizing both primary and secondary
sources, definitely a scholarly work. One typing error was found on page 23: "occupaton"
should read "occupation." On a personal
note, I believe that the author could have used
the native term for Nootka, which is Nuu-
chah-nulth. The Nuu-chah-nulth should be
given the respect and dedication for their linguistic/cultural name, whether a person is describing a contemporary or pre-historic period
of an aboriginal group.
Gough, I believe, used the word "discovery" loosely when applying it to Cook's acquisition of the sea otter pelts in Nootka Sound
which sparked the maritime fur trade. The
Nuu-chah-nulth peoples were the first to "discover" the sea otter population and incorporate it into their trade network. Captain James
Cook perhaps initiated the international maritime fur trade, but he did not "discover" the
sea otter population.
Charts or graphs depicting the total number
of ships represented by each country trading
on the northwest coast and the years these
countries traded would have been interesting
to see. Information on the marine technology
of each country's vessels was lacking, and the
book could have been improved by using either plans, drawings or descriptions, since this
issue was one of Gough's main points for British superiority at sea. The extra information
would have been useful to compare and contrast the marine technology used by the other
Professor Gough neglected to mention
John Finlay's expedition of the Peace River
in 1797 that led to the North West Company
establishment of a few trading posts in the
northern part of New Caledonia prior to the
posts founded during and after the Fraser and
Thompson expeditions.
The Northwest Coast: British Navigation,
Trade and Discoveries to 1812 is a great addition to Professor Gough's trilogy on British
marine influence on the Pacific northwest
coast that will be a welcome addition to any
library, maritime or history buff's collection.
Werner Kaschel
Werner Kaschel, a Surrey
schoolteacher, is a member of the
Vancouver Historical Society.
Guide to the Holdings of the Archives of
the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon
The Archivists of the Ecclesiastical Province
of British Columbia and the Yukon. Published
by the Anglican Church of Canada General
Synod Archives, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto,
Ontario M4Y 2J6, 1993. $15
My favourite research tools reach beyond
their appointed mandate towards new vistas
of serendipity and surprise. This Guide performs splendidly and is recommended to all
historically minded browsers of reference libraries. It succeeds also in its stated purpose:
to open up to researchers a "memory of activity ... which stretches back to the establishment of the Diocese of British Columbia in
1859, and even before then," and to allow
the Anglican Church "to enter its own memory
in the course of carrying out its tasks."
The introduction provides a useful description of the Guide's contents:
The guide is composed of fourteen sections.
The first eight sections are the entries for the
archival holdings of the Ecclesiastical Province,
the six dioceses, and the Vancouver School
of Theology. Then ... there are two glossaries, one is for the record types and other terms
used in the guide entries and the other is a list
of ecclesiastical terms used in the Anglican
Church; and two indices, one for geographical names and one for personal names. Finally, there is a section of short biographies
of individuals prominent in the histories of the
Ecclesiastical Province or dioceses for which
significant records are held in the archives and
a section listing those persons who have held
the offices of Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province and Bishops of the six dioceses.
Each of the eight sections, in which the
holdings are listed and described, begins with
an introduction which provides an overview
of the holdings of the particular archives and
general access guidelines. Then, a fonds level
description of the provincial or diocesan administration is provided which summarizes the
whole of the records of the provincial or diocesan administration, which are arranged
and described in greater detail in the first three
categories which follow. In the sections for the
holdings of the ecclesiastical province and
each diocese, the entries are organized into
eight categories.
The first three categories cover Diocesan
Synod, General Administration, Offices and
Officers, and Boards and Committees. The
remaining categories are: Related Organizations, Collections, Individuals, Deaneries and,
last but certainly not least, Parishes.
Users should heed the introduction's clarification of the Guide's intention: not "to replace the more detailed finding aids at the
different archives, but to direct researchers to
appropriate archives." Length of entry in the
Guide is not an indication of the extent of a
parish's archival riches, but only of the infor
mation immediately at hand to the compiler
of the entry. The parish which I know best,
St. James, Vancouver's oldest Anglican parish, receives a minute historical description,
in contrast for instance, to St. Luke's on the
facing page. Careful reading of the entries
shows that St. Luke's has deposited its original records, ninety-one centimetres of them,
with the diocesan archives, whereas St. James
has deposited microfilm copies and retained
possession of the originals.
The same dependence on information immediately at hand accounts for a sometimes
tiresome vagueness of details, particularly
dates, which should be verifiable. We are told,
for instance, that "since about 1974 the
BCAYM has published the newsletter, Logos,"
and that "by the 1910's" the Bishop and
Synod administration had moved from New
Westminster to Vancouver. Minimal consultation of reference texts and maps might have
helped when describing rural and remote areas; Alert Bay is not on Vancouver Island.
These are caveats, not quibbles, necessary
because the Guide is often fascinating enough
to cause an unwary user to grant it authority
where it claims none.
Browsing Anglicans may learn more than
they care to know about the paper burden of
diocesan commissions and ad hoc committees. One could meditate on the six centimetres of text arid six video cassettes left by the
Archdeaconry of Vancouver Coordinating
Committee, charged with planning the Primate's tour of Vancouver parishes in 1988,
contrasting with only ten centimetres of paper left by the New Westminster Deanery over
a seventy-year period.
More profitably and pleasurably, however,
the browsers might continue leafing through
the Guide, enjoying its riches: from the Diocesan Church Society (1861-76) formed by
Bishop Hills in the light of diminishing financial support from England, to the Vancouver
Island Joint Committee of Ten (1966-77)
formed to study the ramifications of proposed
union with the United Church (1969-74). Examining the correspondence, notes and clippings left by Canon Walter Field Rushbrook,
first Superintendent of the Prince Rupert
Coast Mission and later historian for Caledonia diocese, one discovers the typescript of
his fictional work The Trotters. I'd like to read
the letter from Rev. FL. Stephenson written
"to a Miss Tatow in England" in 1912, and 1
would love to peruse Amy Wakefield's album
of photos from Kingcombe Inlet in the 1930s.
Phyllis Reeve
Phyllis Reeve is the author of
Every Good Gift: A History of St. James,
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 BOOKSHELF
Women Volunteer to Go to Prison: A History oj the Elizabeth Fry Society of B.C.
Lee Stewart. Victoria, Orca, 1993. 207 p.,
illus., $16.95
"Prison" is a common enough word.
Oakalla, Dorchester and Kingston are common Canadian place names. Yet the idea of
prison for most compassionate people must,
on reflection, be almost incomprehensible. To
go to prison means to be taken out of one's
life, as if one could be separated from it,
wrenched loose and disconnected and made
anonymous with a number. It means being
confined against one's will and, like an animal in a cage, made to obey a keeper. The
women of the Elizabeth Fry Society of British
Columbia (EFSBC) well understand the essential idea of prison, and that is why for over
fifty years they have been volunteers working
on behalf of women prisoners, providing support and practical help and helping to implement much-needed reforms in the corrections
system. As one member said, "Only by understanding the enormity of the fact of prison
can the rationale of the Elizabeth Fry be truly
Lee Stewart's history of the EFSBC is not,
as one might expect of a subject so replete
with marketable human interest, a sensational
account of female oppression under the Canadian legal system, with lurid glimpses into
the criminal underworld and inspiring sketches
of women "rescue workers." When the
EFSBC commissioned her to write its story, it
made clear that it did not want this kind of
People magazine account. As she herself explains, "They only wanted me to get it right
— to project the real story of E. Fry." (p. xii)
She has honoured their wishes in this interesting and well-documented history which
traces the EFSBC from its beginnings in 1939
as an "offspring" of the Provincial Council of
Women through fifty years of innovative and
productive work in penal reform.
The EFSBC takes for its inspiration the life's
work of the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, the
English Quaker who began visiting the infamous Newgate Prison in 1812, then gathered
together a Ladies' Committee. In 1818, one
hundred years before women obtained the
vote, she appeared before a parliamentary
committee to urge more humane living conditions, education and rehabilitative work for
women prisoners. In British Columbia in the
1930s, Oakalla was not Newgate: at least children were not bom in prison. Yet British Columbia's Oakalla Prison Farm housed women
inmates under squalid conditions. Their only
useful employment was mending the socks
of male inmates. Discharged prisoners, men
and women, were left to their own devices,
the Salvation Army was the only guiding
friend. The penitentiary, literally a place to
encourage and instill penitence, was just beginning in Canada to move away from the
Aubrey system of hard labour, silence and
solitude, long held to be the means of changing and reforming the character of the antisocial prisoner. Penology as a social science
was emerging, and the Archambault Commission of 1938 reflected the new ideology with
its recommendations for educating and training prison inmates to become contributing
members of society.
The Elizabeth Fry volunteers also aimed to
rehabilitate rather than punish. They were not
sociologists, however. Like Elizabeth Fry herself, they were practical women with a fund
of compassion mixed with good sense, and
their first undertaking was to prod the provincial government into building a new facility
for women at Oakalla. They also persuaded
the government to introduce an occupational
therapy program. Throughout the years the
EFSBC continued to urge construction of
more humane facilities, along with implementation of a philosophy of rehabilitation in line
with modem penology. In succeeding decades
they themselves established a number of
group homes for girls and women in conflict
with the law, looking to the community for
ways of helping them and reflecting in their
programs the new and more understanding
attitudes towards juvenile delinquents. And
all the while, Elizabeth Fry volunteers continued to visit women in prison and befriend
them on their release: "Like the trees or the
mountains, the Fry women and their homes
were familiar landmarks in an alien landscape." (p. 54)
In Canada, offenders receiving a sentence
of two years or more are sent to a federal
penitentiary; women thus sentenced were, in
past years, sent to the only facility available
to them, Kingston Penitentiary for Women
(P4W), for many women offenders half a continent away from husband, children and
friends. The EFSBC strongly advocated the
closure of Kingston P4W, with its barred cells
and barbed wire notoriously patterned after
nineteenth-century prisons for hardened male
criminals. They urged instead that federally
sentenced women from British Columbia be
housed in provincial facilities through a joint
services agreement with the federal government. (The federal government finally announced in 1991 that Kingston P4W would
be closed in September 1994.)
Lee Stewart emphasizes that the EFSBC
does not regard itself as a feminist organization. That outdated attitudes towards female
criminality discriminate against women and
create inequalities in the justice system, the
E. Frys are well aware of, and in this concur
with the feminist interpretation that "women
in prison have more in common with other
women than with male inmates." (p. 140)
However, in recent years, unlike some other
Elizabeth Fry Societies in Canada, the EFSBC
has actually "recoiled from any alignment with
prison activists or radical feminists." (p. 158)
The Elizabeth Fry Society in British Columbia belongs rather to the volunteer tradition
of "philosophic caring," working within the
justice system and with government and other
organizations to help women in conflict with
the law in a practical way.
Lee Stewart's history is respectful of the
society and appreciative of its efforts. The
writing is careful and restrained. At the same
time, this plain, factual narrative is often quite
moving for the reader who is willing, like Elizabeth Fry volunteers, to understand the idea
of prison.
Irene Howard
Irene Howard is the author of
The Struggle for Social Justice in B.C.:
Helena Gutteridge, The Unknown
Thomas Crosby and the Tsimshian: Small
Shoes for Feet Too Large
Clarence Bolt, Vancouver, UBC Press. 163
p., illus., $35.95
Clarence Bolt's Thomas Crosby and the
Tsimshian is a welcome addition to what is
still a largely neglected area of research, the
relationship between First Nations and the
Christian churches. The author attempts to
assess the nature of this relationship by focusing on the Tsimshian peoples and their
contact with two charismatic missionaries,
Thomas Crosby, Wesleyan Methodist, and
William Duncan, Anglican. He challenges
those writers who have portrayed the relationship between First Nations and missionaries only in terms of native response to
uncontrollable upheavals in their lives. He
refutes the argument that the First Nations'
inability to deal with the pressure of white
encroachment on their land and white-introduced diseases led to their acceptance of
Christian teachings; that their positive response was a direct result of demoralization.
In Bolt's account, the First Nations are
proactive, with the Tsimshians sending for a
Methodist missionary and, once Thomas
Crosby arrived, working with him in what the
author sees as a mutually beneficial partnership. Crosby, a man from the lower classes,
would gain prestige, a life of adventure and
excitement, and vocational fulfillment. The
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
Tsimshian hoped to gain access to white political and economic power. Bolt argues that
although, like native peoples around the
world, the Tsimshian responded to the Christian message for a variety of specific reasons,
they were strongly motivated by their belief
that a positive attitude towards Christianity
would facilitate their desired assimilation and
guarantee them equality with whites. The
author believes that Crosby's struggles in later
years to keep the Tsimshian attached to
Methodism was a direct result of Tsimshian
failure to achieve these goals.
In portraying the First Nations as active
participants in the acculturation process, Bolt
has certainly advanced the writing of contact
history. Particularly convincing are Bolt's arguments regarding Tsimshian efforts to gain
autonomy within the church. The research is
impressive and the book is highly readable
and generally well organized — although the
final chapter reveals information on past research that might have been better included
earlier. Bolt's work is sure to be challenged
by both First Nations and whites who still focus on the victimization aspect of contact history, an attitude which does tremendous
disservice to those First Nations in the past
who surely did more than simply react to circumstances beyond their control.
In spite of its refreshing approach, however,
the book has a fundamental flaw. The author
states that most of the material for the book
was written ten years earlier, but that, in view
of recent research, he sees no need to make
too many changes. What he has ignored is
the recent scholarship by women such as
Eleanor Leacock and Carol Devens that examines gender as a factor in First Nations'
responses to Christianity; because of the work
of such scholars, we know that native women
responded differently to Christianity than men.
Christianity taught that women must be submissive to men and the missionaries stressed
the authority of men. How did Tsimshian
women respond to such white-defined sex
roles? Was assimilation at any cost the goal of
both women and men? Given that religious
changes could lead in many respects to the
marginalization of women, did the conversion
of the Tsimshian lead to female/male conflict?
And was one reason for Crosby's problems
in later years the continued resistance of
women? As Devens has suggested for other
groups, was the persistence of native culture
among the Tsimshian — particularly their spiritual beliefs — due in part to Tsimshian women's efforts to preserve their "political,
economic, and ritual significance"?
The author also notes the presence of
women at the mission. He mentions Emma
Crosby and uses quotes from one or two of
the women mission staff. Not taken into account is the extent and impact of their work.
Bolt concludes, for example, that Crosby's
many absences were in part responsible for
his loss of favour and control. He does not
note that during those absences the female
staff not only continued the practical teaching and medical work of the mission, but also
took up the preaching role — sometimes assisted by Tsimshian women and men. On one
particular occasion, a woman missionary,
Susannah Lawrence, gained First Nations'
interest where Crosby had failed. Why? And
given that the Crosby Girls' Home was considered by the Methodist Church as a vehicle
for assimilation, and that the Tsimshian desired assimilation, surely the work of the female missionaries of the Home must be
factored into any analysis of Tsimshian missionary relations?
While there is much of value in Thomas
Crosby and the Tsimshian, it is not a definitive treatment of the conversion process; no
book that ignores the role of women in that
process could be.
Margaret Whitehead
Margaret Whitehead teaches history at
Camosun College, Victoria.
Hidden Cities: Art and Design in Architectural Details of Vancouver and Victoria
Gregory Edwards. Vancouver, Talonbooks,
1991. 151 p., illus., $22.95
Hidden Cities is a delightful collection of
photographs of architectural details from
buildings in both Vancouver and Victoria. As
the introduction notes:
There are lions, dragons, gods, goddesses,
gargoyles and historical figures inhabiting an
unexplored landscape in the Hidden Cities oi
Vancouver and Victoria.
These building elements are indeed "hidden" except to those with binoculars or a very
powerful telephoto lens.
The book consists of ten chapters divided
by the subject matter depicted, starting with
Lions and ending with Inner City Flora, with
Dragons and The Orients, The Architectural
Zoo, Hidden Faces and The Romanesque,
History and Allegory, Gods and Goddesses,
Classical Motifs, Heraldry and The Gothic, and
Art Deco in between.
The photographs are wonderful. The writing, unfortunately, is not of as high a calibre
as the photography. The text is written in a
rather convoluted and awkward style. There
are innumerable blind references to "this" and
"these" at the beginnings of sections or paragraphs. Were there headings in the original
text that were removed in the final printed
The author also seems somewhat confused
by styles. When discussing the Victoria Public Library (p. 35), he refers to elements in the
building as being in the Art Nouveau, Viking,
Celtic, Neo-Romanesque and Arts and Crafts
styles, and ends up asserting that the building
is in a "pure Richardsonian Romanesque
style" with a "Classical portico."
The layout could be improved. By cutting
the columns of text in half in order to fit in the
photographs, the resulting column of text often ends up being only two words wide. This
does not add to the legibility.
The titles under the photographs have been
omitted in the first two pages of each section.
These photographs are identified in a list at
the end of the book, but the reader would
not necessarily know this at first. In some instances the text describes elements not on the
photographs. In other instances, as on page
71, there is a reference to "these two panels"
showing "these two primary B.C. professions," but only one photograph is printed.
Were the photos in some cases cropped to fit
the page with no corresponding change in the
text, or dropped altogether?
As well, there are typos in the text. The following is an example: "The unknown architect of the Green Shields (sic) building on
Water Street could easily have been of (sic)
one of the Five Sisters Block architects." The
"Green Shields Building" is in fact the
Greenshields Building, and one "of" in the
sentence is unnecessary.
The text could use closer editing. On page
63, the author notes "With only a single exception," and then goes ahead to give two
examples. On page 89 he states first that "Of
all the Classical orders the Ionic is probably
the most familiar to us" but in the next paragraph states that "the Corinthian ... is the most
frequently encountered Classical order in Vancouver and Victoria."
The end of the book includes a number of
suggested tours, which locate many of the
buildings photographed in the text, both in
Victoria and Vancouver. These would assist
the reader to visit these wonderful sites.
The quibbles of layout and text aside, the
book contains innumerable delightful and instructive photographs, which are uniformly excellent. The photographs of the Marine
Building, printed in colour, are particularly
beautiful and well worth close perusal. Buy
the book and enjoy the pictures.
Imbi Harding
Imbi Harding, a member of the Vancouver
Historical Society, is an architect and
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994 BOOKSHELF
Rough and Ready Times: The History of
Port Mellon
Ellen Frith with Peter Trower. Gibsons, B.C.,
Glassford Press, 1993. 136 p., illus., $29.95
This book is an excellent example of that
popular genre, the local history, and its even
more specialized and fascinating sub-genre,
the company town. Its authorship is described
as "by Ellen Frith with Peter Trower." The
respective roles of Frith and Trower are not
completely clear, but I assume that Frith wrote
the main text, and Trower, whose name appears with two inserted articles and two poems, provided background material, having
lived in Port Mellon since childhood. Frith
credited Trower thus in the Acknowledgements: "whose memories and talents have
done much to breathe life into this history."
Rough and Ready is the story of the pulp
and paper mill at Rainy River on Howe
Sound, near the present Langdale ferry, from
the time of the original Squamish Indian settlers, to its establishment in 1908 by Captain
Henry Mellon and Greely Kolts, through its
twelve corporate manifestations, until the
present time. It describes in well-laid-out detail the many vicissitudes endemic to the industry: periodic changes of ownership,
shutdowns, technological difficulties and developments, problems with markets, starts and
stops for various reasons, union activity, layoffs and bankruptcies.
The text is by no means linear. While there
is a principal narrative adorned with many
excellent photographs, the main text is supplemented by numerous inserts, some acknowledged and some anonymous, providing
informal vignettes which deal with interesting
incidents in the life of the mill and the goings-
on in the townsite. In addition, there are many
headlined boxes expanding upon some important event in the main story. With all of
the additions, the reader has to have at least
one finger handy so as not to lose his place in
the main text
The author has included considerable technical data, which I cannot assess. This information would be especially interesting to those
with a pulp and paper background and to Port
Mellon workers and residents, past and
present For the uninitiated, considerable concentration is required if full benefit is to be
derived from these topics.
Having lived, adjacent to Britannia and
Woodfibre for many years and having worked
at Powell River in my earlier years, all of which
operated company towns, I found this topic
of special interest I am indeed familiar with
the oft-repeated litany that the town went
downhill once the road was opened to the
outside world. The romantics who express that
opinion would undoubtedly overlook the low
wages and dangerous working conditions
present in the early days, the sub-standard
living conditions, where repairs were at the
mercy of the Townsite Manager (although Fbrt
Mellonites seemed to have fared quite well
on this score), the necessity of shopping at a
company store where prices were always high,
and where there was the omnipresent odour
of effluent from the non-environmentally
regulated mills. Often the locals were forced
to wear some of this unwelcomed effluent,
here called "black dandruff." Perhaps it demonstrates that absence (in both distance and
time) makes the heart grow fonder. Fond
memories of self-generated entertainment and
a well-developed community spirit seem to
have offset these areas of unpleasantness.
The optimism and cheerfulness of the residents is indeed heartwarming, made evident
in the phrase "Well at least Port Mellon isn't
Ocean Falls."
An attractive, highly readable and well-illustrated history, Rough and Ready: The History of Port Mellon will be a welcome addition
to the libraries of those interested in local history, the pulp and paper industry, company
towns and Howe Sound.
Carl Ian Walker
The author of Pioneer Pipers of British
Columbia and Pipe Bands in British
Columbia, C.I. Walker has worked as a
Provincial Court Judge in Squamish
since 1959.
Fields of Endeavour
Albert E. Field. Kelowna, B.C., Jon-N Publishers, 1993. 88 p., $19.50
This autobiography of an Englishman who
came to Canada in 1927 offers more than a
personal history. He came first to Saskatchewan as a fanner's helper, but soon moved
to jobs in British Columbia. He worked in
Anyox from 1928 to 1934, the Bullion Placer
Mine, 1934-37, and at Allenby, 1937-43.
The chapters dealing with those three mining
communities are documented with detailed
descriptions, names of personnel, statistics
about operations, and many clear illustrations.
The author then became a citizen of Prince
Rupert for eighteen years. The account of his
life while there is anecdotal and interspersed
with tales and pictures of holidays taken away
from Rupert.
Kelowna became his retirement home
where Field intensified his love for golfing. He
and his wife kept their home there until
Mildred died three years ago. The author now
lives in a seniors' home in Kelowna. The final
pages of the book describe and illustrate many
friends and relations met on extensive travels.
This is a well-produced book following the
moves of an enthusiastic commentator. The
chapters on the now-vanished mining communities make this book a worthwhile addition for libraries of B.C. history. The book is
on sale at Marika's Books in the Capri Shopping Centre, Kelowna, or at Mosaic Book
Store, 1420 St Paul Street, Kelowna, B.C.
V1Y 2E6 or from the author at Hawthorne
Place, 104-867 KLO Road, Kelowna, B.C.
V1Y 9G5.
Peter L. Miller
Peter Miller is a past president of the
East Kootenay Historical Association.
This spray platform was typical ofthe type recommended by turn-oftbe-century horticultural
books. In fact, there are few historic photos that show this type of platform. More often tbe
applicator simply walked beside tbe spray machine and used a long bamboo pole (fitted
with a spray nozzle) to reach tbe upper limbs. This etching dates from 1913-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1994
His Honour, the Honourable David C. Lam, CM, LLD.
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
J. Arthur Lower
4040 West 35th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6N 2P3
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Recording Secretary
Members at Large
Past President
Alice Glanville
Ron Welwood
Marjorie Leffler
T. Don Sale
Arnold Ranneris
Doris J. May
Wayne Desrochers
Melva Dwyer
Myrtle Haslam
Box 746, Grand Forks, B.C. VOH 1H0
RR #1, S22 C1, Nelson, B.C. V1L 5P4
516 Willow St, Parksville, B.C. V9P 1A4
262 Juniper St, Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 1X4
1898 Quamichan St, Victoria, B.C. V8S 2B9
2943 Shelbourne St, Victoria, B.C. V8R 4M7
8811 - 152nd St, Surrey, B.C. V3R 4E5
2976 McBride St, Surrey, B.C. V4A 3G6
Box 10, Cowichan Bay, B.C. VOR 1N0
B.C. Historical News
Publishing Committee
Book Review Editor
Margaret Stoneberg      Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Tony Farr
Anne Yandle
Naomi Miller
Subscription Secretary     Margaret Matovich
RR #3, Sharp Rd, Comp 21, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1 EO
3450 West 20th Ave, Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
6985 Canada Way, Burnaby, B.C. V5E 3R6
Historical Trails
and Markers
John Spittle
1241 Mount Crown Rd, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R 1R9 988-4565
Publications Assistance    Jill Rowland
(not involved with
#5 -1450 Chesterfield Ave,
North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 2N4
B.C. Historical News)       Contact Jill for advice and details to apply for a loan toward the cost of publishing.
Scholarship Committee    Anne Yandle 3450 West 20th Ave, Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Writing Competition
(Lieutenant Governor's
Pamela Mar P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
(NOTE: All phone numbers listed use the area code 604)
758-2828 The British Columbia Historical News
P.O. Box 5254, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4
Publications Mail
Registration No. 4447
BC Historical
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions of books for the twelfth annual Competition for Writers of B.C. History.
Any book presenting any facet of B.C. history, published in 1994, is eligible. This may be a community
history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections giving a glimpse of the
past. Names, dates and places, with relevant maps or pictures, turn a story into "history."
The judges are looking for quality presentations, especially if fresh material is included, with appropriate
illustrations, careful proofreading, an adequate index, table of contents and bibliography, from first-time writers as well as established authors.
NOTE: Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
The Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded to an individual writer whose
book contributes significantly to the recorded history of British Columbia. Other awards will be made as
recommended by the judges to valuable books prepared by groups or individuals.
All entries recieve considerable publicity. Winners will receive a Certificate of Merit, a monetary award
and an invitation to the BCHF annual conference to be held in Chilliwack in May 1995.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: All books must have been published in 1994 and should be submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two copies of each book should be submitted. Please state name,
address and telephone number of sender, the selling price of all editions of the book, and the address from
which it may be purchased, if the reader has to shop by mail.
SEND TO: B.C. Historical Writing Competition
P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
DEADLINE: December 15,1994.
LATE ENTRIES: Three copies of each book must be submitted and must arrive before January
31,1995. Please phone (604) 758-2828 to clarify shipping arrangements for late entries.
There is also an award for the Best Article published each year in the B.C. Historical News magazine.
This is directed to amateur historians or students. Articles should be no more than 3,000 words, typed double
spaced, accompanied by photographs if available, and substantiated with footnotes where applicable. (Photos
will be returned.)
Please send articles directly to:
The Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0


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