British Columbia History

BC Historical News Jun 30, 1977

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Vol. 10 No. 4 ISSN 0045-2963 June 1977
Published November, February, April and June each year by the
British Columbia Historical Association, and distributed free to
ncmbers of all affiliated societies by the secretaries of their
respective societies.  Refer all correspondence in connection with
this publication to the Secretary, Mrs Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest
Road, Campbell River, V9W 3P3.
EXECUTIVE   1976-77
Ron. Patron: Lieut.Gov. Walter Owen
Hon. President:Dr Margaret Ormsby
President: Mr A. Slocomb,1564 Oakcrest Dr., Victoria V8P 1K6
1st Vice Pres: Mr Rex Tweed, 376 McCarthy, Campbell River V9W 2R6
2nd Vice Pres: Mrs Winnifred Weir, Box 774, Invermere VOA 1K0
Secretary: Mrs Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd.Campbell River.
Rec.Sec: Mrs Arlene Bramhall, 5152 Grafton Ct. Burnaby
Editors: Mr & Mrs P.&, Yandle
Treasurer: Mr M. Halleran, #8, 1711 Duchess, Victoria V8R 4W2
Editorial-Valedictory 2
Convention - 77 3
Society Notes and Comments 5
Historic Sites Advisory Board Report 6
Jottings 7
B.C. Books of Interest 7
Book Reviews
Postal History of Yukon Territory by R.Woodall 8
Contact and Conflict: by R.Fisher 11
The Diamond Drilling Industry by D.Fivehouse 13
Blood Red the Sun, by W.Cameron 13
H.H. Stevens, by R.Wilbur 15
Personality and History in B.C, ed. J.Norris 16
Bygones of Burnaby, by P.McGeachie 17
Children in English-Canadian society, by N.Sutherland  18
Book Notes 19
A History of the Vancouver Public Library Part 2,
Carnegie saves the day, by Gwen Hayball 21
B.C.H.A. Directory 31
Special Offer 32
NQJTE: The Editors have available a limited number of back copies
of most issues of the News.  Members may obtain copies at 25«?
each; non-member institutions and other subscribers may obtain
copies at $1.00 each.  Packaging and mailing included.
Everything in life has an ending, and we must, of
necessity, view each one as dispassionately as we can.  The
time has come that we as editors and "parents" of the B.C. Historical News feel it's time to retire and say farewell to all
our members and subscribers wherever they may be.  It's not easy
to casually pack it in without thinking about the friends we
have made over the ten years we have been editors, which would
never have been had we not, as a fledgling member, entered into
a "marriage" contract in 1967 at the Williams Lake Convention.
This was born out of a most frustrating Annual General Meeting
that produced a maximum of talk and a minimum of decision.  The
Association had reached a crisis.  The Quarterly was dead but
not buried at that time, and there was no one forthcoming to
take on the duties of secretary, who was retiring after two
years.  What was to happen to the Association that had neither
publication nor secretary and had just voted a lady as incoming
All the clever suggestions had been made and all the people
nominated to fill the office had just as quickly declined, when
an "unknown quantity" filled with rage and some chivalry for
the new lady President said "I will" and this was to be Editor
and Secretary.  Yes, I had been secretary of various organizations
before and had filled the bill quite nicely, but no one there
knew that.  As regards being an editor this was rather like the
new ranch-hand who informed the boss cowboy that he couldn't
ride a horse and got the answer to his problem very quickly
"Well, son, see that colt in the corrall, he's never been ridden,
how about the two of you learning together".  Well, that was
about the size of it.  There had been a modest sum approved to
buy a Gestetner (how did that operate?) and here were two greenhorns - Gestetner and secretary - trying to produce a publication.  We were given no material to put in it, nor any advice
FRONT COVER  Robert Genn, for his last cover illustration for
the B.C. Historical News depicts the M.V. Swell, ;2.5 x 19.2 x
12.6 ft.  She was built in Vancouver in 1912 by Mr A. Moscrop
for the late Capt. George McGregor, who founded the Victoria Tug
Co. Ltd.  She was built as a steam vessel originally, but in late
1953 a rebuilding programme began at the Point Hope Shipyard in
Victoria that sent her back to sea completely renovated and
converted to diesel power.  Today, no longer a tug-boat, she is
privately owned and operated by Capt. Tom Stockdill of West
Vancouver, who acquired her from her last commercial owners,
Island Tug and Barge Co.  She still has the power units installed
in the 1953 conversion and still bears a Victoria Registry, and
to all intents and purposes she is unchanged from her tug boat
days.  Robert Genn and the Editors, as part of the "crew", have
just returned from a three week cruise to the Queen CHarlotte
Island, Moresby, in the Swell, and explored from Sandspit to
Anthony Island.  The Beaver, pioneer ship of B.C. was reckoned
to be a tough ship since she was afloat for 53 years and during
that period had several years of idleness.  The Swell has been
plying the coastal waters of the Pacific coast for 65 years and
has many more to come. where some might be forthcoming and so it was now editor and
publisher and roving reporter.  The gestation period took seven
mon ths and the birth pangs were horrendous, but we did give
birth and we were quite proud of "child" which we named the B.C.
Historical News.
The "child" grew and with age acquired an ever increasing
personality.  After two years of a nondescript exterior, Robert
Genn took pity on us and started designing the covers, which he
has done ever since, bless his heart.  The circulation has grown
from a modest 350 copies per issue • to the present 1300 and we
have learned a lot over the ten years of its existence.  Some
has been to simplify the physical work by better equipment, but
we have yet to find a substitute for plain old common or garden
or genuine everyday hard work.  One thing certain, we have
maintained domestic harmony, only because the editor has a long-
suffering and patient co-editor; without her help there would
never hawe been the News.
Now that the time has come to say farewell what do we
remember about it all?  The many friends throughout B.C. are our
fondest memory and always will be, since a goodly number have
become very close lifelong friends.  We also have fond memories
of others who have left this life who gave us the kind of encouragement that makes the difference between success and failure.  There
is hardly an area of this province that we can't find a warm
welcome that is not attributable to the News.
We made enemies too, but how can it be avoided when human
nature embraces jealousy, pride and the desire to exploit, and
how many know that the reddest of red hair adorned the scalp of
the departing editor.  This is all part of the game of life and
as such must be dealt with accordingly.
In conclusion, we thank everyone for bearing with us and
overlooking our human frailties; and to our many friends - we'll
be seeing you, and that is as certain as death and taxes.  By the
way, if there happens to be a "raw hand" around that wants to
try his luck, there is still a colt in the corrall and, by
george, you can have a lot of fun if you give it a whirl.
Highlights of the Old Council Meeting of May 26th, Annual
General Meeting of May 28th and New Council Meeting May 29th.-
THAT Minutes of Council Meetings and Annual General Meeting be
published in the News no longer as has been the practice in the past.
THAT the following societies be accepted as members of our
federation:  Sydney and North Saanich Historical Society; North
Shore Historical Society; District # 69 Historical Society.
THAT member societies be urged, again, to join the Outdoor
Recreation Council regional groups in order to press for the pre- servation and restoration of historic trails. Report presented
by Jim McCook, Victoria, Chairman, who made an impassioned plea
for action.
THAT the report of the Chairman of the Cook Bicentennial
Committee, Frank Street, Burnaby, be mailed to the various party
caucuses in Ottawa.
THAT the First Vice-President, Rex Tweed, Campbell River,
chair a committee to enlarge membership in the B.C.H.A. and the
second Vice-President, Winnifred W«.i~, Invermere, foster heritage
THAT the by-laws 10 and 27 were amended as circulated, and
by-law 15 was amended to allow the Annual General Meeting to be
held in the spring of each year (no longer a specific month).
Piloted by I'.en Leeming, Victoria.
THAT, because no invitation has been received for a site for
the 1978 annual convention, the Annual General Meeting and
banquet be held in conjunction with the Simon Fraser University
seminar on Captain James Cook if arrangements to do so can be made.
Arlene Bramhall and Frank Sireet, Burnaby, to negotiate and
report to Council.
THAT all last year's officers were reelected to serve another
THAT members-at-large elected were: (1) Donald New, Gulf
Islands Branch, (2) Helen Akrigg, Vancouver.
THAT the retirement of Anne and Philip Yandle as editors of
the B.C. Historical News with the completion of Volume 10 was
accompanied by praise for their service to the B.C.H.A.
THAT Major George S.W. Nicholson, M.C., Box 78, Tofino, B.C.
was made an honorary life member of the B.C.H.A. in recognition
of his contributions tu the record of our province's history.
THAT in recognition of the role of John Sullivan Deas in
the founding of the salmon canning industry in British Columbia,
ve request the Minister of Highways and Transport to name the
Richmond-Surrey Highway the "Deas Highway".
THAT, on motion at the A.G.M., the New Council set up a
committee, with power to add,
(1) to eecommend a new editor for the B.C. Historical News
(2^ to review the format and editorial policy of the New3
(3) to report its findings and recommendations to the table
officers by June 30, 1977.  The new council established a committee for this task, comprising: Michael Halleran, Victoria,
Chairman, Elizabeth Norcross, Nanaimo, Helen Akrigg, Vancou/er,
Jim McCook, Victoria.
THAT the Association acquire a permanent address for the
benefit of those who do not have the secretary's address.
THAT it was generally agreed that Burnaby had met the high
standard in convention planning set by Victoria last year.  We all
learned a great deal about the Fraser, David Thompson, and Burnaby'o
cultural institutions and lovely gardens.  Our thanks to Arlene
Zr-:**>Vol 1  Chairman of Convention Committee, and to all members.
Ruth Barnett. 5
ALBERNI  At its April meeting the history of tug-boats and pilot
boats on the Alberni Canal was recounted by Alice Riley and
Douglas Stone, both members of seagoing families.  At the May
meeting Mr and Mrs Allan West showed slides of their unusual
South American tour, which included the lost Incan city of
Macchu Picchu.  This month the second annual historical hike
was organized by Dorrit McLeod to the remains of the roadbed of
the C.N.R. that didn't quite make it to Port Alberni in 1914.
As its contribution to the current Youth Festival the Society
will award two book prizes for historical essays at the high
school level.  Current project is the publication of a booklet
on the place names of the Alberni Valley.
BOWEN ISLAND  When the Society was formed in 1967 it had two main
aims - to publish a history of Bowen Island and to establish a
museum.  The first aim was accomplished with the publication of
Irene Howard's "History of Bowen Island".  This year the Society
purchased a lot on which a museum and hopefully a library will
be situated.  The cost of the lot was $21,000, and they still
have a loan of $7000 to repay.  Major fund raising activities
are taking place.
CAMPBELL RIVER  Several activities were sponsored throughout the
year: (1) a trip to Lucky Jim mine on Quadra Island, with John
Frishholz giving a talk on the mine and island life around 1910.
A pioneer type luncheon followed at the old Heriot Bay Inn.
(2) A showing of Henry Twidle glass slides on early logging in
the Campbell River aread round 1920.  (3) A guided tour of the
new ethnology gallery of the Provincial Museum.  The Genesis
project has been reborn with another LIP grant, and five workers
under the direction of Mrs Ruth Barnett are collecting materials
and information for the archives.
CHEMAINUS  The Society is pleased to report that its book
"Memories of the Chemainus Valley", a history of the peoples of
Saltair, Chemainus, Westholme, Crofton, Thetis, Kuper and Reid
Islands will be published this fall.  This has  been partly
financed under the Federal Government New Horizons Programme.
The Society has been in touch with the C.P.R. in regard to the
acquisition of the old E. & N. station building in Chemainus for
a museum.  Many photographs have already been donated by pioneer
families.  The annual summer trip will be to Kuper Island, with
a work party to clear the cemetery donated by Mrs Audrey Ginn
as a historical site.  A large sign for the site has been carved
by the President, Mr George Pederson.
NANAIMO  During the past year the Society has started transcribing its collection of recorded reminiscences of Nanaimo
pioneers, with a view to future publication.  In June the Society
will visit Salt Spring Island on its annual outing.  During the
past year, Mr W. Barraclough, already a Life Member of the B.C.
Historical Association, honoured the Nanaimo Society by consenting
to become a patron; in this capacity he is no mere figurehead
and is still as active and hard working as ev TRAIL  The Trail Historical Society is going through a difficult
time of readjustment, with a new name, new location for meetings,
and struggling with a new museum.  The museum occupies a few
small rooi-.s in the back of the City Hall and the Society is
endeavouring to make it into a museum of miscellaneous interests.
VANCOUVER  Bill McKee of the Vancouver City Archives addressed
i;he Society in April on "The Struggle over Deadman's Island".
The Annual General Meeting was held on May 25th, at that meeting
John Adams, Curator of Heritage Village, Burnaby, presented
extracts of his studies of the pioneer brickworks, one of the
first industrial histories completed in the province.
VICTORIA  Professor Keith Ralston addressed the Victoria
section in April on the career of John Sullivan Deas, an extraordinary pioneer who in gold rush days was one of the coloured
people who came to Canada in search of freedom and prosperity.
A tinsmith, the remarkable man was a pioneer in the salmon-
canning industry and became prominent in business life.  Cyril
E. Leonoff spo;ce at the May meeting on the history of Jewry
in British Columbia and the Yukon.  Jews were part of the
migration to British Columbia in gold rush days and the synas-
oguc on Blanshard Street was completed in 1863.  New officers of
the Society are Pres. James McCook, First Vice-Ires. M.F.
Halleran, Second Vice-Pres. Mrs Clare McAllister, Corresponding
Sec. Mrs E.F. Stewart, Recording Sec. Dr Patricia R03', Treas.
R.B. Winsby and Assist Treas. L.W. Turnbull,
The last meeting of the Historic Sites Advisory Board was
held in /ictoria March 30, 1977.  The Board now comes under the
Ministry of Recreation ani Conservation - the Honourable Minister
Sam Bawlf, Deputy Minister Lloyd Brooks.  Since the Minister was
to meet with the Board he gave one and a half hours of ".is time,
I did not write a report before this meeting because it seemed
necessary to have some report of his plans for the Board.  Nothing
1-3 finalized but there appear  to be plans for a Heritage Act
and a meiding of Archaeological Advisory Board and the Historic
Sites Advisory Board.  The next few weeks will entail many
meetings of sub-committees and the whole Board before the Minister more detailed plans.  He did stress the need of
representation and input from the whole province on the Board,
which will comprise the melded Board.  It is not known what
individuals will be appointed or retained until the new Board is
functioning.  There is much for the Historic Sites Advisory
Board to finalize and plan projects already discussed,
The many hours spent in discussing the terms of reference of
the Board this last year may appear irrelevant now, nonetheless
the function of the board.  The need for communication between
Government and the Board and between the public and the Board.
The need for a definite budget.  The need for more meetings and for
some of the Board members to travel and under *;he pressu"- of
business to have longer meetings.  The hours were not wasted.
HERITAGE ACT  Has involved detailed discussions in the past and will require much more before the new format evolves with the New
Heritage Act and its ramifications as discussed by the Minister.
Anne Stevenson
Williams Lake.
Fur Trade Conference  A three day conference on the fur trade
will be held May 4th - 6th, 1978 in Winnipeg., Manitoba.  It is
being sponsored by  the University of Manitoba, University of
Winnipeg, Brandon University, Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature,
Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba and the Hudson's Bay
Company.  A tentative programme has been prepared, which founds
very interesting.  Further inform ation may be obtained from
Fur Trade Conference 1978, P.O. Box 835, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 2R1.
Certificate Programme in British Columbia Studies  is being
offered by Simon Fraser University in conjunction with the Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association.  The programme
provides adults an opportunity to complete a sequential and
coherent programme concerning British Columbia's cultural, social
and physical development.  The programme combines selected resources
from Simon Fraser University and the Vancouver Centennial Museums
and draws upon the disciplines of Archaeology, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography and History. For further information write
Continuing Studies, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6,
Phone 291-4304 or 291-4565.  Final date for registering in
person is August 2nd.
Woodwards Stores (Vancouver) have for sale a number of facsimile
prints and charts from Vancouver's and other voyages.  These  are
available in the Picture FRaming Department of the Main store, but
it is proposed to sell them through souvenir departments of all
stores.  In addition to facsimiles from Vancouver's Voyages, tides
available are "Cariboo Waggon Road", "Yale on'the Fraser River",
"Fort Edmonton", and "A North Saskatchewan Steamer".  Prices
vary from$1.50 to $6.95.
The News wishes to congratulate Laurie Wallace, who has for many
years served this province well as Deputy Provincial Secretary,
on his appointment as British Columbia's Agent General in the United
Kingdom and Europe.  His appointment will take effect when the
present fice year term of present incumbent Robert Strachan
terminates at the end of this year.
BARKER, Mary L. Natural resources of B.C. and the Yukon Territory.
Vancouver, J.J. Douglas, 1977. 155 p. $14.95; $6.95 paper.
BLIX, Einar. Trails to timberline; a comprehensive hiking guide to
50 trails in west central B.C. Terrace, Northern Times Press,
(321-OA Kalum St)
11 ot-->• nit nf nlacp. names in B.C. Victoria, 1970. 8
CAMERON, Will Stuart. Some we have met and stocieb they have told.
(Creston, 1967) Vancouver, Alexander Nicolls, 1977. 154 p. ill.5.95
GOULD, Ed. Ralph Edwards of Lonesome Lake. Saanichton, Hancock
House, 1977. 288 p. illus.
HANCOCK, Lyn. There's a raccoon in my parka. Toronto, Doubleday,
1977. 231 pp. illus. $8.95.
HOLLOWAY, Godfrey. The Empress of Victoria. Victoria, Empress Pubns,
1977. 101 pp. illus. $2.25.
KLASSEN, Art and Jan Teversham. Exploring U.B.C. Endowment Lands.
Vancouver, J.J. Douglas, 1977. 110 pp. illus. $4.95.
LANDALE, Zoe. Harvest of salmon: adventures in fishing the B.C.
coast. Saanichton, Hancock House, 1977. 256 pp. illus. $9.95.
MAGOR, John. Our UFO visitors. Saanichton, Hancock House, 1977.
264 pp. illus. $9.95.
MORTON, James W. In the sea of sterile mountains. Vancouver. J.J.
Douglas, 1977. 280 pp. illus. $6.95 paper
OUR TOWN. Published by MSA Community Services, 2420 Montrose St.,
Abbotsford, 1977. 172 pp. illus. $4.95.
PENSON, R.G. Some rambling reminiscences of Creston Valley, 1911-
1936: ir. one ear. (Creston, 1967) Vancouver, Alexander Nicolls,
1977. 73 pp. $1.
PETIT, Andre. Canada:1'aventure a l'Ouest. Paris, R.Laffon, 1974.
Ff 26.
POTTS, Doris. Starting with monuments: Stanley Park. Vancouver,
Vancouver Environmental Education Project, 1974. 46 p ill.$1.50.
SATTERFIELD, Archie. After the gold rush. Phila. Lippincott. 1977.
176 pp. $9.00.
STACEY, E.C. The Monkman Pass Highway. Beaverlodge, Alta. Beaver-
lodge & Dist. Historical Ass. 1974. 44 pp. illus.
TIPPETT, Maria & Douglas Cole. Desolation and splendour: changing
perceptions of the B.C. landscape. Toronto, Clarke Irwin, 1976.
166 p. illus. $19.95.
TURNER, Trudy. Fogswamp: living with swans in the wilderness; with
Ruth McVeigh. Saanichton, Hancock House, 1977. 288 p. ill.$9.95.
VANCOUVER. City Planning Dept. Vancouver local areas. Vancouver,
1975. 115 pp. illus.
VICTORIA. Dept. of Community DEvelopment. Waterfront, City of
Victoria. Victoria, 1972. 28 pp. illus.
WALBRAN, John T. British Columbia coast names. Vancouver, J.J.
Douglas, 1977.546 pp. illus. $7.95 paper.
Lawrence, Mass. Quartermain Publications, 1976. 267 pp. illus.
An initial feeling of guilt for undertaking this review, quite
without any status as a philatelist, has almost completely vanished
by the conviction that, while probably a "must" for ithose so
qualified, this book has much to offer the lay reader interested in
the Great Northwest.  I shall refer to Mr Woodall as "the author"
and to myself, informally, in the first person. I suppose postal history is that of communication evidenced
by the written word on paper, or the like, desirably with identity
of sender and addressee, and franked with dates, places, etc.,by
the postal or other conveying agency.  It thus impregnates the history and geography of Man's migrations over the face of the Earth.
Courier services are known in the Persian Empire under Cyrus  (529
BC).  In Athens, news of the victory at Marathon by runner is
legendary, 490 BC.  Couriers circulated the Roman Empire, and
mediaeval Europe, as well as the pre-Columbian societies of the
Americas.  English postal services began about 1657, and the
"Penny Post" was authorized in 1839.  First American postage
stamps appeared in 1847, mail crossed to the west coast by "Pony
Express" in 1860-61, and by rail in 1862.  Practical aviation,
heritage from World War I, initiated airmail in 1918.  International cooperation began with the Universal Postal Union in 1874,
thanks largely to Heinrich von Stephan (1831-97), Postmaster
General of the German Empire.  The postal history of the Yukon is
inseparable from that of its discovery, exploration and development.
The Yukon was first identified as a "District" of the Canadian N.W. Territories in 1395, together with those of Franklin,
Mackenzie and Ungava.  Administrative needs, aggravated by the
Klondyke Gold Rush, made it a separate territory in 1898, with
boundaries unchanged. Prior to 1870 it was in "The Northwestern
Territory", west of Rupert's Land, of British North America.  The
boundary with Alaska (then R.ussian) was fixed in 1825 on the 141st
Meridian West, Long, its boundary with British Columbia on the
south, in 1863.  The bit to Mt. St. Elias, at the west end, was
specified by the Alaska Boundary Tribunal in 1903.
T^e author published a first edition of his book privately in
1964.  He confesses two disillusionments in its making - first
that the subject extends beyond the Yukon to roots in adjoining
territories, and second that it reaches back in time more than a
century.  His skilful and meticulous condensation of events,
prior to Part I, during Part II and after the Gold Rush (Part III)
give strong and broad appeal.  "The Catalogue" following Part III
is in two parts: (a) "List of Post Officer and Postmarks" (28
pages); and (b) "Code of Types of Postmarks" (10 pages).  By an
apparent oversight these are interchanged in the TAble of Contents.
Through Part I of Woodall's book those who have read Clifford
Wilson's "Campbell of the Yukon" (1970) and more recently,Allen
Wright's "Prelude to Bonanza", are offered the pleasure of renewing
many agreeable acquaintances.  Campbell had built Fort Selkirk
at the Pelly's mouth in 1848, having first reached that stream in
1840 via the Liard from Fort Simpson.  Meanwhile, John Bell had
descended .the Porcupine to the Yukon, in 1844 from Fort McPherson
via the Peel and across the watershed of the Richardson Mts.
Alex Murray followed in 1847 to build Fort Yukon.
The author remarks that "the first mail ever" to and from
Yukon Territory was probably that of Campbell between Pelly Banks
and Fort Simpson in 1843.  He also observes that Campbell effected
a yearly exchange of letters, 1848 et seq., from Fort Selkirk with
the HBC steamer Beaver on the Pacific coast, by the truculent
Chilkats probably via Chilkoo! Pass.  The aborigines held a reverence for written messages, which transcenaed hostility, ensuring 10
eventual delivery of those entrusted to them.  Piior to 1863
communication down the Yukon via the Russian outposts was unlikely.
Bell's route from the lower Mackenzie via the Porcupine etc. to
Fort Yukon was favoured over Campbell's to Fort Selkirk via the
lethal Liard, which he himself referred to as "The River of Malediction" .
The gamble of Perry McD. Collins, 1864-67, to locate and build
his "Overland Telegraph" from Portland, Oregon via the Cariboo,
the Nechaco, Skeena, Nass, Stikine and Yukon Rivers to Bering
Strait and the Amur River in Eastern Siberia, where the Russians
were to connect to St. Petersburg and Europe, deployed a remarkable
array of explorers, surveyors, trail and line builders.  After the
success of the Atlantic Cable, summer 1866, it took a year for the
sudden but decisive "cease fire" order to reach the far-flung ends
of the two-prong attack, one up the Yukon as far as Lake Laberge,
spearheaded by Frank Ketchum and Michael Lebarge, June 1867, and
the other northward from the Stikine as far as Teslin Lake,
reached by Michael Byrnes, August that year.  Woodall observes
that the unclosed gap was only 120 miles.
The pattern of penetration into Yukon Territory from Bering Sea
in the west, from the Arctic and lower Mackenzie in the north, from
Fort Simpson in the east and from Lynn Canal anc the Stikine in
the south, pioneered by fur traders, 1840 et seq., and followed by
miners, missionaries, surveyors, carriers, merchants and the
rudiments of government, police, sporadic and intermittent postal
services, set the stage for the explosion of the Klondike Gold
Rush of ".897-98 which has been copiously chronicled.  However, to
retrace it from M." Woodall's special perspective of its postal
history provides a unique and fascinating story, covering communication by river in summer, dog team in winter, and the carriers,
individual and commercial firms, with the valiant efforts of the
K.W.M.P. to operate post offices in addition to their other duties.
The author remarks on earlier conveyance of letters etc. by random
travellers, to be placed in official mail at remote opportunity,
"when considerations .of honesty never arose".  With tho subsequent rush of "get-rich-quick" operators, described by Supt.
Constantine of the N.W.M.P. as "sweepings of the slums and a
general jaiL delivery", honesty could no more be taken for granted.
Later chapters of Woodall's book include enticing captions:
"The Rush and Trails of 1897-99"; "Private Expresses 1897-1900";
"Construction of the White Pass Railway 1898-1900"; "The Dawson-
McPherson Patrol 1899-1962"; "The War Years and After, 1914 on";
"The Development of Airmail Services 1927-61"; "The Northwest
Staging Route, the Alaska Highway and the Canol Project, World War
II"; and finally "Herschel Island, Yukon Territory"   He includes
the related Atlin and Discovery diggings in northern B.C.  He
mentions a_i ill-starred route in the Rush of 1897-98 from Valdez
across the Malaspina glacier near Yakutat Bay.  Of several thousand
people "... with no guides, no reliable maps, it if? doubtful if
more than a handful .., got through after spending two winters on
the way".  In the International Boundary Commission Report (1952)
of operations in the 1912 season in that region, the Canadian
party on Nunatak glacier observed that ".... this Glacier had been
one of the routes to the Yuk„n gold fields during the rush years; it
was littered from end to end with old sleds, discarded clothing and 11
In Chapter 18 on airmail services I had the pleasure of
encountering items about several "bush" pilots known to me directly
or indirectly during early air photo flying for mapping B.C.,
1936-39.  His excellent summary on Herschel Island in the last
chapter was also of special interest.
Mr Woodall's book is generously illustrated with good monochrome examples from his own collection.  A vintage map (frontispiece) covers the broad region, from the Skeena to the Aleutians,
but he cuts off the Arctic coast.  Legible sketch maps show
detail between Lynn Canal and Hootalinqua (p. 22) and from the Pelly
down to the boundary on the main Yukon (p.37).  There is a condensed index with chapter references instead of pages.  Just one
inconsistency in dates was noticed.  Lukeen's trip up the Yukon
to Fort Yukon is dated 1863.  Allen Wright uses the spelling
"Lukin" and gives the date 1861.  As Woodall remarks., dates (and
spellings) do not always jibe in source material.  Events are
often dated from the time officially recognized or reported, and
foreign names tend to vary in anglicized spellings.
In conclusion, referring to my opening confession of ignorance
in philately, I have been fortunate to enlist warm collaboration
of a renowned expert and longtime member of the B.C. Historical
Association,. Mr Gerald E. Wellburn.  He was well aware of the
eminence of Robert G. Woodall as "an authority on the Postal
History of the Pacific Coast of North America".  While I have
endeavoured to interest the lay reader,at some length, sufficient
to say, for philatelists, Mr Wellburn recommends the book highly
to them.
G. Smedley Andrews.  X
Col. Andrews is  Past President of the B.C. Historical Association,
COLUMBIA, 1774-1890, by Robin Fisher.  Vancouver, University of
British Columbia Press, 1977.  xviii, 250 pp. illus. $18.50.
The s:bject of the relationships of whites and Indians on
the Northwest Coast and particularly British Columbia has long
been of interest to scholars and laymen alike.  It is particularly
welcome  therefore, to see Contact and Conflict on the shelves
of good booksellers and in the lists of bibliographers.
Thxs volume is a fine introduction to a most worthy subject.
Any scholar who has stepped on the miry ground of this particular subject will realize the difficulty of Professor Fisher's
task, and it is to the credit of the author that he has given
form and substance to an otherwise tricky subject.  Some critics
will complain of his organization: the first three chapters are
mainly chronological, the fourth (entitled "Image of the Indian")
is analytical, and the remaining four chapters are largely topical,
■Structurally, therefore, the book reads as a series of essays.
But truly this is no fault, for in these profiles Professor
Fisher introduces, in turn, the events, forces, themes, and
personalities that made white-Indian relations in that time and 12
place uniquely British Columbian.  As such, this book is of
interest to all persons irrespective of race, who would like to
read how one set of people, secure in their identity, became
subject peoples when the British tide of empire lapped these
particular shores.
This reader, however, quarrels with several points of fact
and interpretation,  The first chapter, on the maritime fur trade,
is heavily Indian centered, a welcome sign; subsequent chapters,
except perhaps the last, tend to be increasingly white-oriented.
Perhaps this reflects the fact that History is regrettably
Eurocentric in character and few sources of information record
the Indian position.  Still, more information on the Indians,
their chiefs and ranks, their villages and environments would have
been welcome.  One would like to know more about individual
Indians and their responses and one would like to know more about
how certain tribes responded to the imperial tide.  More data on
the chiefs as mediating elites, as is hinted in the maritime fur
trade chapter, would also have been welcome.  The author gives
us more information to support the received version of Sir James
Douglas, fur trader and governor, as a man whose attitudes to
Indians were, to use Professor Fisher's words, "a mixture in which
the knowledge of the fur trader was accompanied by the paternalistic
concerns of the nineteenth-century humanitarian".  But Douglas
could often be more high-handed than high-minded.  With respect
to the Fort Rupert affair Douglas appears lionized at the expense
of the neophyte Governor Richard Blanshard.  But, as Douglas wrote
to a fellow fur trader after the event, "It is to be regretted
that the Indians were not more severely punished, but I trust
they have had a lesson they will not soon forget".  Finally,
Professor Fisher points to the Fraser gold rush as the critical
turning point in white-Indian relations,  It seems to this reader
that the imperial process was well in train by 1858, especially on
Vancouver Island where economic activity in agriculture, coal
mining and lumbering were already making substantive changes to
the relationship.  The Hudson's Bay Company on the Pacific slope
was not just a fur trading company, and by the same token the
Indians were not simply trappers and hunters.  Even in the critical
colonial years British Columbia was a locale of economic pluralism,
and the paradigm of fur traders giving way to settlers as so
uncritically adopted by many students of the North American
experience invites a reassessment.
These points having been said, this book is nonetheless an
important contribution to our understanding of a worthy and
relevant topic.  We have to thank Professor Fisher for his painstaking endeavours in bringing to light the features of a subject
fhat too long have been spoiled by prejudice.
Barry Gough
Dr Gough is a member of the History Department, University of
Waterloo. 13
THE DIAMOND DRILLING INDUSTRY, by Dan Fivehouse. Saanichton,
Hancock House, 1976.  199 pp., illus. $9.95.
The title of this book may be slightly misleading; it is not
a technical work.  Rather it is a fascinating history of the
drilling industry, written for the general reader.  It contains
some explanations of the mechanical features of diamond drilling
from its beginnings, especially relating to British Columbia, to
the Kootenays in particular, and to Western Canada in general, as
well as the Middle East and Africa.
The foreword states that Connors Drilling Limited commissioned the book.  This gave Mr Fivehouse ample opportunity to
research his subject.  Diamond drilling may be generally considered
as a comparatively modern method, but the atithoi reveals that the
first book on the subject x^ritten in English was by a British
engineer in 1900.  Obviously, there have been many improvements
in the industry since then.
In lighter vein, while researching his book he tells of some
reactions to his information requests from librarians and archivists
such as "Aren't those the drills they use to discover diamond
deposits?" and "I thought all drills had diamond tips"; also "I
didn't know we had a diamond industry here!"  His book is an
attempt to bridge that information gap and he does it well by
telling what it is all about.
Having been involved indirectly with mining and quarrying at
various times, this reviewer can appreciate the value and necessity
of diamond drilling and the cores it disgorges which give the
geologic information from beneath the earth's surface as to whether
furthrr development is desirable, and if so just what the reserves
are.  Mr Fivehouse relates on several different projects as well
as theiv outcome.
In addition to the foreword and introduction there is a Short
History of Diamond Drilling; also a section on Diamond Drilling
in Western Canada.  The book contains a wealth of Information for
the general public as well as for the professional, and is w.'dcr
in scope than the title suggests.  There are thirty-two pages of
sketches and photographs of diamond drills at various stages of
progress through the years as well as results.  These include
very fine photographs of the destruction of Ripple Rock in Seymour
Narrows in 1958.
Although lacking a general index, the chapter titles are given
and a complete list of sources and a bibliography is included at the
back of the book.  It is a most interesting and easy to read work
and is recommended for any reader interested in geology, mining,
and/or history relating thereto.
Mabel E. Jordon.
Mrs Jordon is a Past President of the B.C. Historical Association.
BLOOD RED THE SUN, by William Bleasdell Cameron. Edmonton, Hurtig,
225 pp. $9.95; $4.95 paper.
This book, first published in 1926, is an account of the Frog
Lake Massacre, which was carried out April 2, 1885, in Alberta by 14
a group of Cree warriors.  The author was one of the three survivors, and the only male, and in 1926 told his story in this book,
not as a dull commentary,but as an emotional first hand account,
for he was no child at the time of the massacre, being 23 years of
age and had been quite adventurous for the previous five years since
graduating from high school in Ontario.
This adventure story, for it is in narrative form, tells it
as it was, nothing vindictive, nor is there any attempt to try to
right the white man's wrong by playing games with the truth.  The
day after Frog Lake massacre he was taken to be questioned by
Wandering Spirit before the tribal Council.  He describes in some
detail the gathering and how the questioning began.  Cameron is a
bad omen in the eyes of all assembled, for it was never intended
that anyone should survive, and here was one in their midst.  This
was also just over a week since Riel had fought with the North
West Mounted Police at Duck Lake, and Wandering Spirit wants
Cameron to give an account of "the half-breed war".  Cameron does
so and is called "liar" for attempting to fully recount the
message he had received of what happened at Dudk Lake.  Wandering
Spirit continues
"You seem to remember everything against us - all this talk of
soldiers coming to fight us," he sneered.  He regarded me darkly
for a moment; then: "I am going to ask another question.  A
minute ago you wanted everyone to hear you.  Let them hear you
now when you answer: Do you want to see Riel win, or the whites?
Whose side are you on?"  (Cameron's thoughts are) I hope never
again to find myself in so critical a predicament.  I could not
bring myself, in no matter what extremity, to say I sided with
these cut-throats, even though, because the thought of death so
appalled me just then, I had taken the hand iheld out to me by
the arch-assassin... What I finally did say - and I spoke to
the whole council - was: "The other day you made us - ten
white men - prisoners, over yonder.  A little later nine died.
I am glad that I am alive - that you saved me - but I have no
life of my own any more.  It is yours.  I am in your camp.  Who
can I side with?"
Speaking of another incident when Cameron's friend
Simpson had an attack of quinsy and could eat no solid food for
days ,
"Then Lone Man's wife came to him one evening with a bowl of
broth.  Simpson was ravenous; intense yearning filled his eyes
as he sniffed at it.  The aroma was raos*- intriguing.  Still,
he hesitated.  He wishes most ardently to drink it, yet he
feared to ask questions and he did not dare touch it without.
And he might not care for it when he got an answer.  "What's it
made of?" he said at length desparately.  "Meat", said Mrs Lone
Man, non-committally.  "That must mean beef," Simpson observed
thoughtfully.  "Smells nice - looks all right," I remarked
encouragingly.  I was glad to see one of the dearest friends I
ever had want to take something, no matter what.  And he drank -
drank it with relish.  A moment later Mrs Lone Man said with a
grin: "I suppose you don't know what it was?"  Simpson looked up
in alarm.  He shook his head.  "WE11," said the warm-hearted 15
lady; "dog soup."  And Simpson went out with a rush and parted
with his broth in much mental and physical anguish."
The whole drama unfolds with such spontaneity that it is hard
to visualize the time sequence from the happening to the recounting.
If you like historical adventure well told then be sure to read
"Blood Red the Sun".
This new paperback edition, published by Hurtig, has a new
introduction by Hugh Dempsey, as well as the original foreword by
Owen Wister in 1929.
H.H. STEVENS, 1878-1973, by Richard Wilbur.  Toronto, University
of Toronto Press, 1977.  244 pp. $9.50.
In his foreword to this volume, Alan Wilson states that the
University of Toronto's Canadian Biographical Studies were intended
"primarily to interest the general reader.  They have sought
to fill a gap in our knowledge of men who seemed often to be
merely secondary.... contributors to our regional and national
experience in Canada.  Our social, educational, and economic
history may perhaps be better understood in their light."
Wilbur's study of H.H. Stevens certainly meets those criteria.
Because the author has skillfully combined a thorough documentation
with rich anecdotes of Stevens' life, he has produced a book that
should be pleasingly informative and readable to anyone, whether
neophyte or professional historian, interested in the story of this
country.  As he traces Stevens' business and political careers, he
provides one more perspective of Canadian federal politics from
1911 to the end of the thirties.  He includes illuminating  glimpses
of the Conservative Par y and its leadership from Borden to Bennett,
giving mqre detailed portraits of Meighen and Bennett.  Naturally,
the author also dwells upon Stevens' key roles in the 1926 Customs
Scandal Inquiry, the later Price Spreads Inquiry and the ill-fated
Reconstruction Party.
Wilbur's study is, however, of special value to historians
interested in the spread of the social gospel and those concerned
with the history of British Columbia.  Having outlined Stevens' firm
Methodist upbringing, Wilbur then shows how Harry Stevens was
apparently motivated throughout his adult life by a "mission" to
correct inequities he perceived in Canadian society.  While he was
blatantly racist, like most of his white contemporaries in British
Columbia - viz. his hostility to Oriental immigration at the time
of the Komagata Maru incident - and "conservative, almost reactionary" toward civil unrest engendered by the Great Depression - viz.
his unquestioning support for Bennett's hard line against the
leaders of the "ON-to-Ottawa" trek - Stevens was sincerely indignant
about many injustices, especially those experienced by. the smal?
entrepreneur, he witnessed.  Outraged by irregularities in the
operations of the Customs Department which had come to light,
Stevens brought the issue to the attention of an embarrassed Liberal
Government and the electorate.  Wilbur concludes that "The 1926
Customs Inquiry" which Stevens' revelations precipitated, "was
merely the latest chapter in 'he political career of this Methodist
lay preacher".  His crusading spirit reappeared curing his Price
Spreads Inquiry, convened in the depths of the Great Depression, 16
which revealed gross distortions in the Canadian economy.  Wilbur
makes it clear, nevertheless, that Stevens wished to reform rather
than destroy the capitalist system; he proposed to reassert the power
of the small businessman in both the marketplace and government,
which he believed was synonymous with national welfare.  In this
respect, Harry Stevens belonged to the populist political school,
dominated by smaller businessmen, which continues to play a major
role in politics in B.C.
Those interested in the history of Canada's Pacific Province
will also find that Wilbur pictures Stevens as a proponent of B.C.'s
interests in Ottawa.  Summarizing Stevens' first term as a Member
of Parliament, Wilbur accordingly notes that he
"... concentrated on the demands and needs of his Vancouver constituency.  By December 1916, according to the Monetary Times, his
efforts had resulted in a two-million dollar dredging operation of
Vancouver harbour, a grain elevator with a capacity of 1,300,000
bushels, and a harbour commission.  He was also largely responsible
for the scheme of the terminal railway and wharfage extension to
cost $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 and secured a subsidy for a dry
dock to cost $5,500,000 and worked for the extension of postal
facilities and construction of postal stations.
This was a commitment he never abandoned, as the author repeatedly
illustrates.  Wilbur's portrayal of the life is, then well worth
reading.  Having spent so much time and effort preparing the manuscript, the author ensured an informative, readable story.  This
reader would like to see the author prepare an article on H.H.
Stevens' influence on the development of Vancouver, based on the
Stevens papers held at the Vancouver City Archives, which were
apparently unavailable when he wrote the original manuscript for his
Bill McKee
Bill McKee, a mamber of the North Shore Historical Society is a
member of staff of the Vancouver City Archives.
Margaret Ormsby, edited by John Norris and Margaret Prang.  Published
by B.C. Studies as No. 32, Winter 1976-77.
This issue of B.C.Studies has been published also as a separate
volume as a tribute to the scholarship of Dr Margaret Ormsby.  John
Norris, in concluding his biographical sketch states "The essays in
this volume express not only the tribute of fellow scholars, but
also, by their variety, a sense of the way in which Margaret's
influence has extended the reach of history of British Columbia and
Canada" •
Norris's chapter on Dr Ormsby is a very perceptive piece of
work. He traces the picture of a Canadian who has been liberally
endowed with Anglo-Irish background that has placed its mark upon
her in her long and dedicated career to the study and teaching of
Dorothy Blakey Smith's essay ""Poor Gaggin": Irish Misfit in
the Colonial Service is an outstanding piece of scholarship; Walter 17
Young follows the theme of this volume in his well documented
"Ideology, Personality and the Origin of the CCF in British Columbia"
while Keith Ralston has reached into one of the province's basic
resources to produce an essay on"John Sullivn Deas: a Black Entrepreneur in British Columbia Salmon Canning".
The remainder of the essays have little coherent value as
related to the title of the volume and could well have formed as
much relevancy in any other issue of B.C. Studies.  They include
"The Character of the British Columbia Frontier" by Barry Gough;
"The Illumination of Victoria: Late Nineteenth-Century Technology
and Municipal Enterprise" by Patricia Roy; "The British Columbia
Origins of the Federal Department of Labour" by Jay Atherton;
"Locating the University of British Columbia" by R.Cole Harris;
"Forty Years On: the Cahan Blunder Re-examined" by F.H. Soward, as
well as a list of Dr Ormsby's publications by Frances Woodward.
With so little connection betweer. the subjects of the essays
and the main title of the volume, the subtitle would seem to be a
more appropriate title, as it is apparent that they have been
written as a tribute to a dedicated historian by her fellow scholars
and former students.  In this regard they do form a worthwhile
collection of essays. ^jj^
J Editor
BYGONES OF BURNABY: An Anecdotal History, by Pixie McGeachie.
Burnaby, B.C, Century Park Museum Association, 1976. 108 pp. illus.
The timbered land between the young settlements of Vancouver
and New Westminster was destined to become as populated as they.
The first settler in the area was Charles S. Finlayson who came to
Deer Lake about 1860.  Ev 1890 that lakeshore had jumped in value
from $1.00 per acre to $30.00 per acre, so sought after had thf1 beautiful land become.  In September, 1892, came the inevitable creation
of the Municipality of Burnaby, named for Robert Burnaby, a one time
private secretary to Colonel Moody.
Early settlers to Burnaby made livelihoods by logging, fishing
and farming.  A big land boom came in 1911, after tae Council set
aside half a million dollars to put in water mains, streets and roads.
By 1920, when 12,000 people called the area home, the logging era
was over.  The population doubled over the next decade but the twelve
communities that comprised Burnaby were in financial difficulties.
Sixteen thousand people were applying for depression relief, and
Burnaby had not balanced its books in ten years.  From 1933 until
1943 a Commissioner took over the ruling of the troubled municipality
helping it get back on its feet.  Now in the seventies, population
has  soared to 132,000.
Pixie McGeachie's anecdotal history of this area is a collage
of Burnaby oldtimers' recollections of everyday happenings "back
then".  Mrs H.W. Godwin remembers how her brothers caught "trout from
the creek with th2ir bare hands", and how the building of Oakalla
Prison Farm spoiled Deer Lake.  Charlie Brown recalls hox? he delivered the Province for two long, teenage years before he had saved up
enough to buy a bicycle.  Bernard Hill had his furniture transported
from England around Cape Horn to Vancouver for lust $12.50 because
it was used as ship ballast.  A furthei $12.00 was spent in hauling
it to Burnaby. 18
The cloth from which daily living was cut is woven here: fetching water, picking blackberries, trucking strawberries over corduroy
roads, cutting wood, clearing land, laying macadam roads, fighting
fire without water, playing lacrosse.  Artwork by Anthony Hurren and
several photographs courtesy Heritage Village highlight such details.
Ms McGeachie, a member of the Burnaby Historical Society, keeps
her readers abreast of change, e.g. "Dr Morris ... carried on a
private practice from his office in his home on Trafalgar Street
(now Maywood St)." and "Mrs Vogel ran a nursing home at Kingsway
and Nelson (Super Value site)."
Two oversights are disappointing.  Little attempt seems to have
been made to sort this book's contents chronologically.  The lack of
a Burnaby street map is very evident.  However, for those who love
Burnaby as much as Ms McGeachie does, these shortcomings will not be
noticed; rather they will allow the reader's own feelings for the
area to set the stage for this reasonably priced local history.
Nina Woolliams
Mrs Woolliams is a member of the Kamloops Museum Association and the
Nicola Valley Archives Association.
CONSENUS, by Neil Sutherland. Toronto, University of Toronto Press,
1976. 336 pp. illus. $19.95.
This book is a study of children in English-Canadian society
at a time of rapid industrialization, urbanization and population
growth.  These changes challenged the late 19th and early 20th
century attitudes that children were junior adults who must work and
suffer as did their elders.  What emerged was a recognition that the
youth of the nation had an inalienable right to a . protected, happy
and wholesome childhood.  Dr Sutherland, a professor at the University
of B.C., approaches the many facets of these changes under three
major headings, health, welfare and education in the years between
the 1880's and the 1920's.
The general advances in health and sanitation at the turn of
the century brought a new concern with children.  As the public
health movement developed, schools were used to promote the detection
and prevention of such child-killers as diphtheria and public health
advocates turned their attention to the appallingly high rate of
infant mortality in the cities.  The result was a reduction in the
number of infant deaths, thanks to pure milk deppts and well-baby
clinics.  Once the public health movement had been established in the
cities, it then moved to extend the benefits of improved health care
to children in rural areas.
Sutherland's examination of child welfare concentrates on the
treatment of juvenile delinquents.  At the turn of the century,
institutional care was the normal fate of neglected, delinquent and
dependent children.  This study reviews the rise of family-centred
methods of preventing juvenile delinquency through the work of Children's Aid Societies.  Attempts to change the existing treatment of
young offenders by more sympathetic procedures in courts, reformatories and industrial schools culminated in the children's court
movement and the establishment of juvenile courts.  But older 19
attitudes persisted nevertheless, and the theories of the child-
savers were much more humane than the practices they fostered.
Although the health and welfare movements represented the greatest departures in the formulation of policies for children, important changes also occurred in public schools.  A noticeable improvement in the quantity and quality of schooling took place in this
period.  New ideas in education, ranging from Froebelian kindergartens to manual training, found expression in such initiatives as the
Macdonald-Robertson movement.  With agricultural specialist James W,
Robertson's enthusiasm and concern for the quality of rural schools,
and tobacco merchant William Macdonald's money, new approaches were
tried if only on an experimental basis.  The implementation of some
of these Innovations wandered off on false trails, however, as for
example in the campaign to Canadianize immigrants.
The combined impact of the health, welfare and education movements had produced a new approach to child rearing by the end of the
First World War, and the policies became formalized with the establishment of the Canadian Council on Child Welfare in 1920.  There can
be no doubt that Canada was by then a much safer, more humane and
stimulating environment to grow up in than it had been forty years
earlier.  Unfortunately, the professionalization of the workers in
child-related fields after 1920 tended to stifle further innovation.
Dr Sutherland vividly conveys the impact of an amazing variety
of reforms through a judicious use. of case studies and representative
illustrations.  This pioneering study of attitudes and policies
towards children is primarily concerned with the agencies that were
created and revised to reflect the attitudes of reformers.  Commend-
ably, the author escapes the dryness and tedium that so often
characterizes institutional studies.  Despite the almost unavoidable
reliance on Ontario sources for much of his material, the author is
not Ontario-centred and gives both eastern and western Canada considerable attention.  If the study may seem occasionally piecemeal,
the reader is able to sympathize with Sutherland's own explanation
that a work composed of so many fragments reflects the nature of
the movement itself.
This book can be recommended to readers on a number of levels.
For the specialist, the study is a work of great importance, based
on meticulous research and enhanced by the pains the author takes to
relate his findings to those of other historians and social scientists.  For the teacher of Canadian social history, this book is a
veritable gold mine.  For the general reader, the appetizing
flavour of the author's style and approach is a high recommendation.
Unfortunately, the volume is costly.  Run, don't walk, to your
nearest Public Library. _ , .... „.     ,
' Judith Fingard
Dr Fingard is Associate Professor of History, Dalhousie University.
HALFWAY TO THE GOLDFIELDS - A History of Lillooet, by Lorraine
Harris (J.J. Douglas, $9.95) is a good local history that has tied
the history of the area closely together with that of pioneer
families.  It gives an insight into life in another century and some
interesting relevant statistics.  There has to be a gripe against
the publisher, not for the paper or the printing, but for the 20
idiotic format chosen.  This book is large enough to be a coffee-
table book, which it certainly is not.
and published by Hurtig (Paper $4.95 and $5.95) are of similar format
and have been designed for the "glove compartment" for hanuy reference.  They clearly define the parks' boundaries and give a layman's
geological history of the mountains and their origin.  The illustrations - both coloured and black and white - are excellent, with
considerably above average text covering the .illustrations for this
type of book.  The fold-out maps, however, are too small to adequately
cover the subject matter of such concise hand-books, but could be
used satisfactorily in conjunction with a larger scale map.  Anyone
planning to visit the area by car should certainly have copies.  It is
an interesting new approach.
published by the Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society, written by R.C.
Harris and H. Hatfield.  This is a very informative pamphlet on the
old pack trails in the Hope-Princeton area, with an excellent historical background being a dominant feature.  The maps are particularly
good.  (The Association has been active for many years for the preservation of these trails.)  Copies, at 75c each may be obtained from
Tom Nichols, 3369 W.2.4th Ave., Vancouver V6S 1LS, or James McCook,
811-450 Simcoe St., Victoria, V8V 1L4.
CANADIAN BATTLES & MASSACRES, by T.W. Paterson has just been published
by Stagecoach Publishing at $15.95.  The preface of the book states
"Few today must think of Canada as having had much of a history of
warfare beyond our involvement in the World Wars and Korea.  Yet this
"pea-e-keeper" of the 20th century has known 300 years of military
strife on her native soil; from inter-tribal rivalry to the Riel Rebellion".  So what else could one expect to find in any country that
is annexed for colonial expansion and exploitation?  A simple recounting of death and misery from coast to coast with no thought of the
"whyc" or "wherefores" of these happenings places this book in an
elementary or school-age book.  Its coffee-table size and small print
do  nothing to encourage the prospective reader.
WHO'S WHO IN ALASKA POLITICS, by Evangeline Atwood and Robert N. De
Armond, published by Binford & Mort, Portland at $10, is a biographical dictionary of Alaskan political personalities 1884-1974 ccverr
ing every category, plus a miscellany of personalities who made
substantial imprints on Alaskan politics.  A very concise list of
abbreviations makes this an excellent resource for historical researchers.  An appendix of all "big names" listed alphabetically by
category and the names by year of service, makes a quick guide for
ready reference.
The National Museums of Canada publishes twice a year MATERIAL HISTORY
BULLETIN, designed to meet the need for a publication to encourage and
disseminate research on Canada's material history.  The Bulletin
publishes short articles, research notes and comments, news of recent
acquisitions, lists of publications and reviews of exhibits.  The
second issue, edited by Robb Watt and Barbara Riley, includes "British
Columbia's experience with early chain saws" by Jim Wardrop; "British
Columbia interiors" by Virginia Careless; and "Early B.C. SawmiUing
machinery" by R.D. Watt.  Cost per issue is $1.50, from Marketing
Services Division, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa. K1A 0M8. 21
by Gwen Hayball
This article is part 2 of a two part account tracing the early
beginnings of the City of Vancouver and its early pioneers who strove
to provide a place of peace and comfort, where men far from  home and,
family could find solace in a book, or at least get word of local
interest through newspapers and periodicals.  Part 1 traced the history from a forest encampment in 1869 to the end of 1893, by which
time Vancouver was an established city of some importance, but was
suffering from "growing pains" and an overabundance of officialdom.
The Free Reading Room and Library had at last an established
home since a lease agreement with the YMCA was signed Jan.10, 1894 by
the City Council, covering the premises the Library had occupied for
the past year at 169 Hastings St. West.  The first of the famous
Machin Christmas suppers and entertainments took place on thee-2 premises in 1863, permission being sought at the last meeting of the
Library Board of each succeeding year, by Mr Machin, to use the Reading Room for this purpose.
One wonders if the librarian felt very happy about various non-
book things which were 'wished' on him, occupying precious space.
One such item was a group of sea-lions which had been captured
locally and then stuffed and somehow got into the hands of the Mayer.
Mr Towler of the City Council and Library Board reported at the Jan.
10,1894 meeting that the Mayor had instructed him to order a platform
to be made for the sea-lions and have them placed in the reading room.
There were various collections of minerals.  In a letter to the
City Council dated 16 Dec. 1893 the Board says they will be pleased to
provide space for an exhibition of Australian geological specimens
and other Australian material.  Several months later a Captain Roose
made a formal application to arrange the minerals and other specim°r.s
in cases at the cost of $75.  He was requested to attend the next
meeting to discuss the matter.  Apparently in the meantime he nad
made a start on the display.  He came under severe fire from the Board
and was asked who had authorized him to proceed in arranging the minerals and preparing a catalogue.  Roose could not give a satisfactory
answer and was told to look to those who had actually given him.permission to go ahead with the job for payment.  The Chairman requested
Captain Roose to hand over to the librarian the original catalogue cf
the minerals prepared by Dr Bredemeyer.  However, after Roose had
sent to the Board a revised quotation for the work, $35, it was
accepted and he was told to proceed.  Before he had got ver> far he
sent a letter of complaint to the Board to which Mr Machin replied on
behalf of the Board in his usual masterly style, "... your letter of
the 15 ult. was read and discussed and I was inst~ucted to write and
inform you that far from admitting that any portion of the work was
or would be done for 'nothing' they considered that the sum of 35
dollars was an adequate and ample sum to be paid by the Board for preparing cards, numerating mineral specimens, placing same in cases and
completing the whole work to the satisfaction of the Board.  Be good
nnough to write that you are satisfied and agree to complete the business for the above sum and also let me know when you propose to
resume the work. 22
At the September meeting the bill for the display work was produced by Mr Towler, who said Roose had done an excellent job and deserved an increase in his fee; the sum eventually paid was $40.  Finally
letters of thanks and invitations to inspect the exhibition of minerals and other material, were sent to Mr Oppenheimer and those of the
Council who had contributed towards the gift, adding that the Reading
Room was open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
During this year, 1894, a wide range of subjects was discussed
and dealt with.  The response to an appeal for donations of books was
most satisfactory.  A reward of $10 was offered to any person giving
information leading to conviction of anyone found guilty of mutilating
the periodicals and newspapers.  "...the Board undertook to prosecute
with utmost rigor of the law..."  Because of the heavy load of cataloguing 'it was agreed that the Library Dept., but not the Reading Room
be closed, so that the librarian could catalogue the large order of
books received from Simpkin Marshall & Co. - to do so uninterruptedly.
Some people might think that the Board was taking a backward step when
it decided to make children under the age of twelve not eligible as
borrowers; however the reason for this decision is not in the Minutes,
Vancouver was experiencing its first slump and hundreds sought
the warmth of the library and the soup kitchen organized by the
churches.  The Machins must have had a very busy year.  The bad times
were reflected in the library estimate of expenditure for this year,
1894.  The secretary, Mr Machin, pointed out to the City Council that
in presenting the needs of the Library he had taken into consideration
the financial condition of the City and the absolute necessity for
economy in all departments - only the 'actual and absolute needs of
the Library' have been included.  The money to be spent on new books
and salaries remained the same.  A reduction of $142 only was made
from the previous year.
As far as can be traced in the Minutes, the first annual report
to be forwarded to the Mayor and Council was in 1895.(for the year
1894).  Included were the following statements:Library hours: Reading
Room open every day including Sunday; on Sunday Reading Room open 2 pm
until 6 pm; the Library itself was open every day except Sunday from
10 am until 9 pm.  Number of books in the library approximately 2200
plus about 300 reference books.  The number of books issued 29,594.
The Reading Room contains leading magazines, periodicals and newspapers (English, Canadian and American).  A fair number of books have
been donated during the past year.  A financial statement, together
with Bank Book and an account of fines as received and sundry disbursements made by Mr Machin, from this account during the past year.  The
latter showed a balance due to the Library Board of $19.63.  The Board
instructed the librarian to hold this amount to meet small expenses in
the future.
Mr Carter-Cotton, owner-editor of the News-Advertiser, who was
so closely associated with the Reading Room and Library in the beginning, apparently decided against serving on the Board once it had been
established.  He was a great supporter of the library and whenever an
occasion arose gave it publicity.  But he was also in the book-binding
business and it is noticeable that it was his tender that was usually
accepted because his price was the lowest.  Early in 1895 the Board
examined some of the work done by the News-Advertiser and decided to
withhold part of the amount due for payment as the work on some of the
volumes was unsatisfactory.  This action was to have a dramatic result. 23
A special meeting was called on June 18th for the purpose of reading
and discussing a letter from the News-Advertiser.  It is worth
quoting in full.
"Dear Sir: Although we saw by the report of the meeting of your
Board that our account had been duly passed, our collector was told
by Mr Duval that he would not on any account sign the cheque by
which we were to receive payment.  We shall be obliged therefore by
your informing us whether the Board intend to refuse payment, as in
that case, we will at once place the matter in the hands of our
Mr Duval then addressed the Board at some length - saying that the
standard of binding supplied had not been equal to the samples supp- ^ .
lied.  Mr Duval offered his resignation when the Board said that the
difference in the binding was so 'trifling' that payment should not be
withheld.  After complimentary speeches and persuasion, Mr Duval speaking with considerable feeling, and obviously moved by what had been
said, thanked the Board and withdrew his resignation.
Another local binder, Mr G.A. Roedde, who had been competing for
the business of binding from the library was apparently getting a bit
disgruntled.  In response to a letter he had written to the Board, an
order for binding fifty novels was handed over.  (Contents of letter
not recorded)  But a few months later his wrath spilled over and he
wrote to the City Council complaining that he had not been treated
fairly by some members of the Board with regard to the last contract
for binding books and asked the Council to appoint a committee to look
into the matter.  The Board took charge of the situation and wrote to
the Council in no uncertain terms, saying that "Mr Roedde's suggestion
was quite unnecessary as the misunderstanding which had existed
between members of the Board had been fully explained and removed and
that the matter should be left to the Library Board to be dealt with
if any steps were deemed necessary".  Whether or not these two
situations- were related we shall never know as the full facts are not
given in the records.
The growing emphasis on minerals and mineralogy is very noticeable and of course understandable in a province where mining and gold
rushes involved the lives of so many people.  Mr Machin was fully
appreciative of such works as those by Geo. M. Dawson and sought permission from the Board to purchase seven such government publications,
dated 1887-1890 dealing with mining, geology and exploration in B.C.
and the Yukon.
Mr H.P. McCraney, another public figure of the day who had helped
to establish the library in 1887, donated and sent to the library a
quantity of samples of minerals from Trail Creek.  This prompted the
Board to contact all managers of mines in B.C. suggesting that the
interests of the province would be expanded if they would care to add
to the collection of mineral samples.
At the meeting on Nov. 13, 1895, a Mr G.F. Monckton was introduced.  He wanted to borrow 30 to 40 mineral specimens from the
library    display to illustrate his pictures which he would be giving
to prospectors and others.  He was allowed to borrow up to six at a
time on production of a bond.  A few months later Mr Machin wrote to
the State Mineralogist, California State Mining Bureau, asking to be
put on their mailing list for free material, "... the Board gratefully wishes to be put on your free list for the supply of your
valuable publications...", "...the Board would esteem it a great 24
favour..."  "There is a large mining community in this district and I
need hardly add that your publications would be a welcome addition..."
As further evidence of the ever increasing interest in mining, two
periodicals, Canadian Mining Review and The Mining Record  wefce ordered, 'as it had become highly important to give every possible facility to prospectors and others anxious for information on those subjects.'
Conscious of the limited grant and the need to keep a close watch
on the volumes already held and possible losses through over-due boohs,
special letters, such as the one to a Mr R.J. Hamilton, merchant, of
Water St. had to be written: "..the immediate return of the book called
Black Water by James Grant borrowed by you from this library many
months ago and I beg to inform you that unless you at once comply with
such request the Board will take such steps as may be necessary to
compel the return of the book or to enforce payment for the loss.;:"
A more serious case was that of Sir George Simpson's Voyage Round
the World",  It had been presented to the library by a Mr Snowden who
had lent it to a Mr McLagan; the latter said it had been mislaid; Mr
Duval, a Committee member,was delegated to approach Mr McLagan and insist that the book be given up at once as it contained 'much useful
information about B.C. in the early days. Eventually it was recovered.
Even when the well known scholar, Mr Hill-Tout, applied to borrow
reference volumes donated by the Smithsonian Institution, the matter
had to be referred to the Committee - "A resolution was moved and
carried that the books be lent to Mr Hill-Tout on condition that Bond
be given as security to the satisfaction of the chairman".
We shall never know whether Mr Machin, as librarian, approved the
buying of two tables for chess in June 1894 nor if he voiced an
opinion at the meeting of the Committee on Feb. 12,1896 when Mr Towler
a former member of the Committee offered a 'rare and splendid specimen
cf our local birds in the shape of a white swan...', to the Reading
Room for •-'15, the cost of the bird to him.  It had been shot .^ear
Gabriola Island; he had purchased, stuffed and mounted it.  The Committee agreed to buy it.
Mr Duval was deputized to procure a railing to be made and placed
round the stand for sea-lions and swan to protect them from injury;
and to prove that this was carried out promptly = the bill for railing
placed round stand for sea-lions etc. and for lock on library door -
$16.28 was passed for payment 11 March 1896.  It may be noted as a
comparison, that they decided not to purchase Lewis and Dryden's
Marine History of the Pacific Northwest.
In April of this year a large consignment of books arrived from
Mudie's of London.  All agreed that the bindings were eminently suitable for a public library.  In order to catalogue and list them it was
decided to close the Library Department for two weeks, also that all
outstanding books be called in to enable the Board to ascertain which
cf them should be rebound.  A notice advising the public of this
decision was inserted in the newspapers.  The Board accepted the services, gratis, of a Mr A.H. Ewer to assist in the work.
At the meeting held on October 16th, 1896, the Committee learned
that the owners of the YMCA building had offered it for sale to the
City for- $33,000.  A special Building        .Committee was elected to
go into the matter and the opinion ot the City Engineer was sought.
The subject was brought up at a number of meetings but finally the
City Council and Library Board turned down the offer. 25
The annual report for 1895 showed an increase in circulation of
5,277 over the previous year.  The estimated expenditure for 1896 remained the same, $3,600, which included $1,200 salaries and $1000 for
new books.  Letters acknowledging gifts continued to be written to
considerate citizens such as Mr A. Abbott, General Superintendent of
the C.P.R., for donating Transactions of the Canadian Society of Civil
Engineers and other pamphlets.
The beginning of the end of the depression was now making itself
felt as news of the Yukon gold discoveries spread.  Hotels were filled
with prospectors and some even slept in tents on vacant lots or by
the water-front.  All the necessities for outfitting could be obtained at local stores and all Vancouver benefited.
At the mention of a consolidated catalogue during the meeting of
February 10, 1897, Mr Machin said that he had partially prepared the
catalogue for printing but needed help especially in view of the increased work in the library.  As a consequence three members were
appointed to investigate and discover a means of dealing with the
situation, and whether temporary or permanent assistance was needed.
This group was headed by a Mr Wm Prentice who was to prove particularly unsympathetic towards Mr Machin.  A special meeting was called a
month later to hear the report of the Committee of Inquiry.  The
raison d'etre for the Committee was to enquire into the present management etc. of the Library.  Points to be considered were named:
1. The present work and wages of the librarian ($1,200)
2. The condition of the Reading Room and the arrangement of newspapers and magazines on the tables.
3. The present system of giving out books in the Lending Library.
At the previous meeting of the Board it felt that $100 per month
■for wages was amply sufficient to look after all aspects of the library including keeping it clean and in good order.  It was felt that
there was room for improvement in points 2 and 3„  The suggestions
put forward by the Committee were that the Board in future insist on
dealing directly with its employees in order to obtain the best results for wages paid; this change to be made at once - it was recommended for implementation.  (Perhaps Mr Machin had been communicating
directly with the City Council regarding his job.)
The librarian was supposed to keep the library clean - "a glance
at the floor in any single part of the building will convince anyone
that ... it is not being attended to as it should".  The Chairman
stated that he had repeatedly complained to the librarian about his
laxity but with little or no effect.  Mr Prentice and his committee
recommended that a cleaner be hired to do specific jobs and were sure
someone could be found to do this work for ten or fifteen dollars per
month.  With regard to the arrangement of the library hours, although
the number of hours worked by the assistant Mrs Machin is not recorded, in order to afford 'a very moderate time schedule for the assistant librarian' it was suggested that the library be closed at 8 pm
instead of 9 pm, every night except Saturday; and that both the
librarian and his assistant should be at the library together for at
least four hours every weekday.  The librarian would then have ample
time in which to do cataloguing, writing, etc.  The Committee
recommended that the Lady Assistant be paid $25 per month directly by
the Board; that it must be distinctly understood that her whole working day is to be devoted to the service of the Board.  They saw no
particular reason why Mrs Machin should not continue in this position. 26
It is not difficult to see why the Committee wanted to discontinue the position of assistant as a voluntary one; the Board would
have control and would be able to dictate exact hours and specific
work.  It is obvious that the Board wanted to put a stop to the library
being used as a social centre where the Machins dispensed help, advice
and words of comfort to the poor and to people generally with problems.  It is also borne out in the suggestion that the counter be
kept clear of litter and that writing pads and pencils be placed next
to the catalogues on the counter so that books could be requested
and handed out without a word being spoken.  The untidy state of the
newspaper and magazine tables was disturbing and the Committee recommended that three newspaper racks be purchased, that stout cardboard
covers be provided for the magazines, which were to be allotted specific places on the table; notices to the public asking that the papers
be replaced on the racks and magazines not to be removed from the
table should, they said, be placed at strategic places.  Rather
nastily the report continues, "No doubt we shall be informed that this
arrangement is impracticable and will not work, but your Committee do
not believe it.  It is done elsewhere and can be done here".  Finally
it was recommended that a table be curtained off in the Reading Room
and set apart specially for ladies only.  This apparently was acted
upon as there was, up to 1956, a separate table for the use of ladies
in the newspaper room, but in later years there was no curtain.
Poor Mr Machin was called in and handed the Report.  His salary
was to be reduced to about $60 per month in order to cover the cost
of an assistant and caretaker.  The caretaker neglected to do a
thorough job of cleaning the Reading Room and staircase, and was dismissed in December 1897,
Apparently some former Vancouver residents who had moved beyond
the City limits were still borrowing books, which was against the regulations.  The Secretary was instructed to recall all such books.  It
spoke well for the merits of the library that these former borrowers
persisted in trying to continue to use the library and on such terms
as the Library Board might deem necessary.  In reply to their second
application the Board referred the matter to the City Council for a
decision.  A reply was received stating that the Council was willing
to extend the privileges to rate-payers residing in the vicinity of
the City.  The matter was discussed by the Board and they decided that
owners of property in the City and residing withih a five mile radius
of the City Hall would be allowed to participate in the benefits of
the Lending Library.
Mr Charles Hill-Tout was now actively interested in the library
and had accepted on its behalf 41 volumes of the Proceedings of the
Royal Society of Canada; but there was some hesitation in paying the
$14.50 freight on a gift.  The matter was held over until a later meeting and the Chairman, Mr Wm Brown, stated that in his opinion the books
would prove instructive etc. and they were accepted.
A complaint from a borrower signing himself "Pro Bono Publico"
appeared in the News-Advertiser regarding the delay in making a recent
consignment of books available to the public.  An extremely well
written reply, undoubtedly the hand of Mr Machin, revealed that the
Library was not guilty of holding books back, on the contrary 'with
the exception of a very few days devoted to their arrangement and
classification, the books have been in constant use ever since their
arrival.  It is true that no catalogue of them has been printed... but 27
a manuscript catalogue is in the hands of the librarian and can be
referred to by any reader at any time.  The catalogue was a list of
all the books in the library printed and issued in book form, classifying and numbering each volume according to its subject.  Borrowers
were expected to make their selection and request books from this
list.  But of course it was not possible to keep it up to date.  Supplements and then new catalogues were issued from time to time.
A proposition was made by enterprising Mr W.H. Goodwin of
Victoria to print a catalogue of the library holdings and to distribute it himself at 10c each.  The Secretary was asked to issue a certificate that he, Mr Goodwin, was the only authorized person to issue
a catalogue for the Library-. . A Mr Tothill advised the Board that he
also was involved in this proposed catalogue but his name had not been
mentioned.  On being asked to agree to Mr Tothill's name being included on the certificate of authorization, Mr Goodwin advised the
Board that he had assigned all his interest in publishing a catalogue
for the Library to Mr Tothill and requested the BoarJ to sanction the
change.  In the estimated expenditure for 1897, $50 was allowed for
the cost of the new catalogue, but the actual cost was $100.  Eventually the Province Publishing Co. was given the order to print a new
catalogue 16 August 1899 and it was on sale at 15c each by 6 Sept.
In addition to those sold to the public in paper-backs, there were 20
extra copies strongly bound in cloth for the use of the librarian
and members of the Board.
The first item to be dealt with at the Board Meeting on 5 Jan.
1898 was a complaint regarding the chess and checker players.  Crowded
conditions were such that onlookers who gathered round the players
disturbed the quiet and interfered with the readers.  The Board could
not act on the suggestion that the games should be moved to a separate room as none was available.
The library was still searching for a satisfactory appliance
which would indicate whether books were 'in' or 'out'.  At the May 4
meeting 1898 a plan for one was produced and the Board authorized its
construction and purchase.  It appears to have been a hasty decision.
When the account was presented by the manufacturers, Mr Wilson was
deputized to examine the work and report as to correctness of account
at the next meeting.  At the following meeting Mr Wilson reported
that he had induced Messrs Robertson and Hackett to take off $5.76
from the account 'which was the utmost they would agree to'.  The cost
of the Indicator was $90.38!
Mr Machin's ability to compose an unhurried yet telling letter
was displayed in a letter to the City Hall regarding 'water-closets'.
It was in reply to the City Clerk's letter which stated that it had
come tc the notice of the Board of Health that the water-closets used
in connection with the Free Library were closed to patrons.  "
request that in future such patrons be allowed to have free use of
the closets".  Mr Machin replied,
"...this Board was much surprised at the request contained in your
communication and cannot believe that they who caused it to be made
are acquainted with the location of the "closet" (not closets) and
its surroundings, but that if they are, they manifest a strange
disregard of the ordinary decencies of civilized life.
I was also instructed to inform you that the "Patrons" of this
Institute are "every man and woman, boy and girl in Vancouver" who
choose to avail themselves of the newspapers and magazines on the
tables, and the books on the shelves. 28
I was further instructed to call your attention to the fact that
this Board has only a part of the second floor of this building and
therefore it would be an unusual circumstance to have a public library
and reading-room with water-closets combined, the latter being in full
view of the former.
And I was finally instructed to inform you that this Board having, as it conceives, a legitimate respect for the proprieties of
civilized life cannot hold out the hope that your requirements will
be complied with."
The fact that structural alterations which followed almost
immediately included a small ladies' room, made further discussion of
the matter unnecessary.
A problem of a very serious nature was the subject of a joinf
meeting of the Library Board and the City Council on August 3,1898.
The subject to be discussed was the condition and alleged instability
of the YMCA building where the library was situated.  A committee was
formed to enquire from the agents for the building what repairs or
changes were necessary and then to engage a competent architect to
report on the state of the building and if in his opinion the proposed
repairs were sufficient to ensure the safety of the public  Details
of the proposed alterations to the Library and Reading Room were forwarded to the City Council suggesting that they be accepted with a few
changes in the lease including a reduction of the rent to $100 per
month and that the owners provide a thoroughly experienced man to
attend to heating.  At the same time the Board strongly recommended
that the City Council take steps to acquire a suitable site, centrally
located, fcr the erection of a library building to be owned entirely
by the City; in the meantime, and simply as an expedient, the enclosed
proposals and amendments should be agreed upon.
The work on the building proceeded during which time the books
were removed and the library closed.  Some months later a paragraph
in the News-Advertiser reported that "the Reading Room of the Free
Library is again open to the public.  The recent alterations have much
improved the library premises and in addition to the othe- innovations
a small ladies' room has been added.  Librarian Machin and his able
assistants are now busy revising the catalogue but the lending department will not be open to the public for a week or so".
The Board had forwarded a claim for the inconvenience caused to
the public by way of a deduction from the rent.  This was agreed to
by the agent for the building.  The amount may have covered the bills
passed for payment at the July 5th 1899 meeting; work and materials
supplied by Mr Fraser $34.83.  Mr T.G. Smith for work done in the
Reading Room, removing books, cleaning room etc. $24.  Extra lights
were also installed which probably relates to more than one letter of
complaint to J. Buntzen of the B.C. Electric Co. "...its entire dissatisfaction with the lights supplied in this Reading Room..." "The
Board considers that the expenditure is greatly in excess of the value
of the present lights...".
The selecting of books to be purchased was the job of a varying
number of members of the Board elected each year.  On one oceasion a
committee went through the entire library to select the volumes which
needed rebinding.  At other times three members catalogued books;
others had to decide whether the books needed reclassification and
the Chairman had to deal personally with Mr Caple, the supplier of
newspapers, as to reasons for delay in delivery. 29
According to the records, book selection was done from catalogues received from agencies in Canada, England and the U.S.A.  It is
interesting to note that at this period large orders went to Simpkin
Marshall & Co. and Mudies of London, England, and only once is a
specific supplier of American books mentioned.  Tenders were invited
occasionally from local booksellers and these may have been for
American publications.  Strength of binding was constantly emphasized
as in a letter to Simpkin Marshall & Co. which states that the extra
cost for bindings must be added accordingly.  As it was considered
desirable that local booksellers should have the option of tendering
bids for orders, the first $1,000 order went to Mr Diplock, a local
bookseller.  He had offered a discount of 33% off and 2%% for cash,
and the books ordered in October 1892 were to arrive by December of
that year.  Mr Diplock's promise to supply the books within two months
could not be kept and the Board threatened to cancel the order, but
the threat was never carried out.  In the matter of buying books young
people were not forgotten, for it is interesting to note that the
Chairman of the Board in Dec. 1896 produced an invoice for 350 new
books that, he said, "was especially liberal in the number of good
wholesome books for young people".
Tenders from local firms were invited regularly for the supplying
of newspapers and magazines.  Every advantage was taken to obtain free
material from the Queen's Printer in Ottawa and Victoria as well as
other Dominion government printing offices overseas, and in June 1900
German and French books were added to the shelves, the selection
being left to Mr Machin.
Early directories are often used extensively by researchers, but
they are not nefiessarily infallible.  As an example, the Williams
Directory of Victoria for 1893 was examined by the Board, and so many
inaccuracies were found that it was considered 'well nigh useless'
for the purposes of the library and it was left to the discretion of
the Chairman as to whether it should be returned to the publisher or
During all the years and the long hours that the Machins had
served the public at the library so devotedly, there was no mention
of a holiday or any break for them until October 5th, 1898.  On this
day a holiday was granted by resolution, to enable Mr Machin to go to
the Westminster Fair.  The Library and Reading Room were closed for
the day.  Another indication that the Board was beginning to give
more consideration to the hard working librarian is suggested in two
bills passed for payment covering the cost of temporary help used in
the library.  An event which had become an institution connected with
the library and the Machins was the annual Christmas dinner and
entertainment for the poor.
If all the decisions were left to Mr Wm Prentice it is fairly
certain that the Machins would have had no breaks.  His harshness is
indicated in the following record quoted from the Minutes of 6 Sept.
1899. "Mr Prentice stated that the Librarian ought to have prepared a
report showing how often during each month certain magazines, when
bound, had been given out in the Lending Library so that the Board
might judge whether it was justified in agreeing to expense of replacing lost numbers of certain magazines in order to bind the volumes
The Librarian then pointed out that the work in the Library was
already more tnan he could get through, hence his inability to furnish
the report required by Mr Prentice.  The Board thereupon authorized
the Librarian to procure the magazines applied for". 30
A further quotation from the Minutes of the meeting July 5, 1899
is worth recording with regards to a more humane attitude towards the
Librarian.  "As the Board considered it right and proper that there
should be some relaxation in the Librarian's Sunday duties during the
summer months a resolution was moved and carried unanimously that the
Reading Room be closed on Sundays from the present time until the end
of September".  Finally in the following year a resolution was moved
and carried, authorizing the Management Committee to grant"six weeks
holiday to the library staff and to arrange what portion each member
of the staff should have and the commencing time".   (This was six
weeks collectively, to be divided on a proportionate basis for each
member of staff.)
From the first mention of the necessity for larger premises at
the meeting 27th Oct. 1898, the Board would not let the matter drop.
Persistently and regularly all through the next two years, it was
included in reports or was the subject of a special letter to the City
Hall.  On the whole, the Council seemed reluctant to take any steps
towards meeting this need, but at the meeting of May 3, 1899, a bill
was passed for payment from the Province covering an advertisement for
a library site.  Finally six months before the lease became due for
renewal, (June 1901) the Board was allowed to look for more suitable
and more conveniently situated premises for the library and Reading
Coupled with the plea for an adequate building was the request
to bring the library under the Free Libraries Act.  Mr Machin had been
instructed _o obtain six copies of the Act from the Queen's Printer
in Victoria for the use and guidance of the Board, "so that the status
of the Board working for the benefit of the citizens of Vancouver
might be more clearly defined in these important matters".
The year 1900 certainly went out in a "blaze of glory" for the
library.  Owing to the heating stove being set on a single ply of
bricks instead of on a concrete floor, the library caught fire.  Mr
Machin acted promptly in advising the City Hall and had also sent a
report claim of the damage amounting to $177.50 to the insurance
companies.  As a result of a specially called meeting of the Board
he was instructed to purchase a temporary heater while the damage was
being repaired so that the public would be inconvenienced as little as
It might be idle speculation, but at the same time an interesting
study, to estimate how long it would have taken the committee, the
Library Board and the City of Vancouver to find a new home for the
Free Reading Room and Library of Vancouver.  Fortunately for the
citizens of Vancouver and all concerned, in 1903 Vancouver witnessed
the opening of a beautiful new library building right in the heart of
the City.  This imposing building was made possible by the generosity
of the world famous Andrew Carnegie, and so the citizens of Vancouver
were spared the frustrations and dalliance of committees in obtaining
a new public library.
NOTE:  The sources used for this article are contained in the following:  Minute Book of the Free Reading Room and Library, 1892-1901
(Vancouver Public Library) and Letter Book of the Free Reading Room
and Library, 1892-1905 (Vancouver Public Library.)
*********** ** 31
Addresses of table officers etc. not on this list may be obtained
from the Secretary, Mrs Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest, Campbell
River, V9W 3P3 (Phone 287-8097)
SOCIETY; Cam Holt, Box
284, Port Alberni. 723-3006
Bowen Island, VON 1GO. 947-9790
Burnaby, V3N 1M5. 521-6936
B.C.H.A. GULF ISLANDS BRANCH: Mrs Gillian Allen,
VON IPO 539-2926
B.C.H.A. VICTORIA BRANCH: Mrs E.F.Stewart, 408 Dallas
V8V 1A9. 382-2079
P.O. Box 101, Campbell River, V9W 4Z9. 923-6273
Chemainus VOR 1KO. 245-3205
Gidluck, Box 164, Creston, V0B 1G0.
Parksville, VOR 2SO.
Dickenson, Box 111, Atlin.
, Blue Water Park, R.R.I,
8027 - 17th Ave.
R.R.2,Galiano Is.
Box 172,
1020 Lee
St.Duncan V9L
Mrs Margaret
Leffler, Box 213,
Mrs Marge
670 Rotary Drive, Kimberley, VIA 1E3. 427-3446
21920 Cliff Dr., Maple Ridge. V2X 2L2 467-2849
NANAIMO HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Jack Roff, Box 10, Rrilse Rd. R.R.I,
Nanoose. VOR 2RO.
NORTH SHORE HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Miss Lilian Broods, #407, 170 East
Keith Rd., North Vancouver. 985-4393
10719 Bayfield Rd. R.R.3, Sidney. V8L 3P9 656-3719
TRAIL HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Mrs M.T.Jory, Box-405, Trail V1R 417
V6B 3X6
Invermere, VOA 1K0.
Box 3071, Vancouver
Stevens, Box 784, 32
Philip and Helen Akrigg will be publishing shortly their new book:
British Columbia Chronicle, 1847-1871
This is the history of British Columbia's most colourful years,
those between the drawing of the international boundary and B.C.'s
entry into Confederation.  Eccentric Captain Grant, the first
"independent" settler, arrives,  Coal is found at Nanaimo and gold
in the Queen Charlottes, along the Fraser and Thompson Rivers and,
in incredible quantities, in the Cariboo.  Missionaries pursue their
pious labours, and William Duncan builds his authoritarian Christian
Indian village at Metlakatla.  Douglas plans his roads to the
Interior, Moody and his Royal Engineers arrive from Britain and the
Royal Marines from China.
Fascinating episodes abound: "Ned McGowan's War:, the "Fraser
Canyon War"x a massacre of Okanagnn Indians by goldseekers from
the U.S., :nd "The Chilcotin Uprising".  War almost breaks out
over the San Juan Islands.  The brideship Tynemouth arrives, and
"The Overlanders of '62" cross from Canada.  Following their route
come the epileptic Viscount Milton and Dr Cheadlt.
The Fraser freezes so solid no ship can reach New Westminster.
The John Bright is wrecked under mysterious circumstances.  Rivalry
soars between the colonies of Vancouver's Island and British
Columbia.  Forced into union, each manoeuvres to secure the capital.
The Collins Overland Telegraph is built up the centre of British
Columbia.  The colonists prepare for attacks by the Fenian Irish.
The Royal Navy performs errands of mercy or vengeance.
But all this is the merest sampling. The book is thoroughly
researched and compulsively readable. Enjoy yourself discovering
old British Columbia.
Hard cover, Pp,xvi + c.425. Frontispiece and 74 other illustrations.
10 maps. Fully indexed. Retail price $17.50.
Books mailed early September Offer expires Sept.15
To: Discovery Press
P.O. Box 46925
Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4G6
I lease send me .... copies of B.C. Chronicle, 1847-1871: Gold and
Colonists at the special pre-publication, price of $13.50 postpaid
Remittance of $  is enclosed.
Name .


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