British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1987

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ISSN 0045-2963
Volume 20, No. 3.
Summer, 1987
British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation MEMBER SOCIETIES
Member Societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their
society is up-to-date. Please send any change to both the Treasurer and the Editor at the addresses
given at the bottom of this page. The Annual Return as at October 31st should include telephone
numbers for contact.
Members' dues for the year 1986/87 were paid by the following Member Societies:
Alberni District Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHF — Gulf Island Branch, c/o Marian Worrall, Mayne Island, VON 2J0
BCHF — Victoria Section, c/o Marie Elliott, 1745 Taylor St., Victoria, B.C. V8R 3E8
Burnaby Historical Society, c/o 8027 - 17th Ave., Burnaby, V3N 1M5
Chemainus Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
District 69 Historical Society, P.O. Box 3014, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, P.O. Box 74, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H6
Fraser Lake Historical Society, P.O. Box 57, Fraser Lake B.C., VOJ 1S0
Galiano Historical and Cultural Society, P.O. Box 10, Galiano, B.C. VON 1P0
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden, B.C. VOA 1H0
Lantzville Historical Society, c/o Susan Crayston, Box 76, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station 'A', Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical and Museum Society, R.R. 1, Box 22, Marina Way,Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
North Shore Historical Society,      623 East 10th St., North Vancouver, B.C., V7L 2E9
B.C. V7L 2E9
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum and Archives, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society, c/o Mrs. Cora Skipsey, P.O. Box 352, Qualicum Beach,
B.C. VOR 2T0
Saltspring Island Historical Society, P.O. Box 705, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney and North Saanich Historical Society, P.O. Box 2404, Sidney, B.C. V8L 3Y3
Silvery Slocal Historical Society, P.O. Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Valemont Historic Society,     P.O. Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2A0
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
West Vancouver Museum & Historical Society, P.O. Box 91785, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 4S1
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Valemount Historical Society, P.O. Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2A0
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
West Vancouver Museum & Historical Society, P.O. Box 9"i785, West Vancouver, B.C.
.   V7V4ST
Affiliated Groups
B.C. Museum of Mining, P.O. Box 155, Britannia Beach, B.C. VON 1J0
City of White Rock Museum Archives Society, 1030 Martin St., White Rock, B.C. V4B 5E3
Fort Steele Heritage Park, Fort Steele, B.C. VOB 1N0
The Hallmark Society, 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society, 100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1
Second-class registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5. Our Charitable Donations number is 0404681-52-27.
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B, Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4.
Correspondence regarding subscriptions and all other matters should be directed to the Vancouver address above.
Subscriptions: Institutional, $16.00 per year; Individual (non-members), $8.00.
The B.C. Historical Federation gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. British Columbia
Historical News
Volume 20, No. 3.
Summer, 1987
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Gold in Furs and Sea Giants
Helen Borrell
Vancouver's Pioneer Smelter
Jay Morrison
The Struggle for a New Burial Ground
Ron Hawker
The Settlement of Straiton
Geraldine F. Farina
A History of Dollarton, North Vancouver
Sheryl Salloum
I Love Old Trappers
Clare McAllister
Police in Early Saanich
Geoffrey Castle
News and Notes
Reports from the Branches
B.C. Historical Federation Conference Report
Upcoast Summers
review by Pauline Hemming
Eyes of a City: Early Vancouver Photographers
review by Deryck W. Holdsworth
Braehead: Three Founding Families in
19th Century Canada
review by Phyllis Reeve
Here we are well into another
lovely west coast summer — and
another issue of The News is slightly behind schedule. I hope that the
majority of our readers are pleased with the present format and content of the journal. Once again I
welcome your comments and criticisms. We have, I think, been fairly successful in weeding out most
of the typographical errors in the
last couple of issues — thanks to
the diligence and cooperation of
our typesetters at the University of
Victoria Graphics Shop.
The Fall issue of The News will
be the second of our theme issues
— Native Peoples of B.C. We are
still looking for contributors of
articles dealing with this subject.
The deadline for submissions is
September IS, a slight extension of
the normal deadline. Articles to
2500 words or photo-stories are
Bob Tyrrell
The B.C. Historical News welcomes submissions of interesting and informative
articles or photo essays on any subject relating to British Columbia history.
Manuscripts should be typed (double-spaced) with footnotes and/or bibliography
provided, if possible. Length to 2S00 words. Photos or illustrations appreciated
and returned. Sent to: The Editor, P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B, Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4 TREASURER'S COMMENTS
A copy of the Treasurer's Report
and the Financial Statement for the
B.C. Historical Federation, as at
March 21, 1987, has been sent to
the Treasurer of each Member
The following is a summary of
that Financial Statement:
Revenue from Subscribers (905
Members, 70 Individuals, 80 Institutions) and from other sources
(sales, exchanges, etc.) was
Expenditures on Production
($6,263.43), Distribution
($1,073.59) and miscellaneous items
($419.16 were $7,756.18 —
$1,132.64 more than revenue.
Grants from the B.C. Heritage
Trust were $1,250.00 for 1985 - 86
and $2,000.00 for 1986 - 87. Adding in these two sums of money,
the total income ascribed to the
B.C. Historical News was
$9,873.54. This results in a carryover of $2,117.36 towards the expenses for the current year.
There are two issues of the
magazine still to be paid for before
next fall, so this carry-over will be
very helpful since receipts during
the summer months are not large.
We are indebted to the B.C.
Heritage Trust for its continued
support which has obviated a need
to depend on the reserves to meet
the full cost of publishing our
Receipts from DUES for 1549
members, Interest (on Bank Deposits and Investments), and incidental amounts totalled $2,882.74.
Disbursements for Administration, and Honorarium to the previous Editor, and the Writing Competition, totalled $1,075.89 (I
understand that the DUES structure was reduced by the A.G.M. for
the forthcoming financial year.)
Special Purpose Funds. Donations totalling $205.]] (Scholarship)
and $204 (Writing Prize) were
acknowledged with a special
Charitable Donations Receipt. All
Advances from the Publications
Assistance Fund have been repaid,
and a share of the profits or interest
has been received. The Convention
and Council Travel Funds have had
the usual demands.
Balance in Bank — $5,853,77;
Investments — $20,000.00;
Repayable Advance — $400.00;
together  making   a   Total  of
Convention — $1,259.78;
Council Travel — $1,422.76;
Publications  Assistance   —
Scholarship — $450.00;
Historical   Writing   Prize   —
TOTAL — $9,476.16.
The difference is available for
general purposes — $16,777.61.
Unfortunately, recovery from a
visit to hospital in early May
precluded my attendance to the
A.G.M. The full Treasurer's
Report and Financial Statement
was presented by First Vice-
President John Spittle. Thank you
The Subscription rate to the B.C.
Historical News was not changed
— members of a Member Society,
$5.00 paid through the Member
Society; Individual, $8.00; and Institutional, $16.00; each rate for 4
issues. The expiry issue is now
shown on the address label.
I have been told that a motion
was approved: "That sufficient
funds be transferred from 'funds
available for general purposes' to
bring the Scholarship Fund up to
$5,000.00, the Interest of which will
provide for an annual scholarship
or bursary, beginning in 1988."
Further Donations to the Scholarship Fund will be very welcome,
and will help to increase the value.
J. Rhys Richardson
Deadline for the next issue of the
B.C. Historical News is Sept. 15, 1987
Please submit articles and reports to:
The Editor
P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6S4
Our first theme issue, on railways, appears to have been a great
success. Our thanks to Darryl
Muralt of the B.C. Railways Historical Association for co-editing
with Bob Tyrrell.
Volume 20, No. 2 also introduced two new columnists. Geoffrey
Castle, archivist for Saanich, will
include a short article in each issue
which is drawn from material in the
Provincial Archives. Helen Tre-
maine's column will be of special
interest to our many members involved with their local museums.
The News appears to be in a
financially satisfactory state once
again. Reduced production costs,
the higher subscription rate, and
the continued (but smaller) grant
from Heritage B.C. combined to
leave us with a $750 excess of
revenue over expenditures during
the past financial year. GOLD IN FURS
James Charles Stuart Strange's Expedition
to the North-West Coast of America in 1786
Helen Borrell
"That great source of national
strength, Commerce" was his
shrewd and practical motive. His
"furr" trading expedition "pointed
likewise to discovery . . . through
a considerable unexplored part of
the Pacific Ocean." Thus, on New
Year's Day, 1786, James Strange
began the journal of his pioneer
voyage to the Pacific North-West
A few mentions of him, in B.C.
Coast histories, as the voyage's
supercargo — which he was not —
obscured his "genius and
achievements" until 1928. Then on
February 8,1929, John Hosie, Provincial Librarian and Archivist of
the B.C. Government, read to the
British Columbia Historical Association his paper: James Charles
Stuart Strange and His Expedition
to the North-West Coast of America in 1786.
James Charles Stuart? Yes, born
on August 8,1753, he was the godson of "Bonnie Price Charlie". His
Scotch father, Sir Robert Strange,
devoted to the ill-fated Stuarts,
followed them to Europe after
1745. Undefeated, he became a
famous engraver, returned to
England, and was knighted by the
King — which did not change his
loyalty to the Stuarts.
Young James Strange, handsome
and dignified, was educated for the
Indian Civil Service. His kinsman,
Sir Laurence Dundas, obtained his
appointment as "writer" under the
secretary, Military Department, in
the East Indian Company's service
at Madras, on July 22, 1773. Thus
commenced James Strange's distinguished career with those who
were then the British rulers in India.
On leave in England in 1785,
Strange read Captain Cook's journal of his 1778 voyage to America's
North-West Coast, "a new field for
profitable trade." He also read
Coxe's "Russian Discoveries".
Presumably Strange prepared by
studying not only Captain Cook's
maps, but those left by earlier,
Spanish adventurers. When he returned to Madras, his "outlines"
for a trading expedition persuaded
the Directors of the East India
Company to furnish him with men,
supplies guns and ammunition; and
mathematical instruments. Many of
the officers knew science and were
lunar observers, and each ship had
a surveyor. The voyage was financed by Strange and his merchant col
league, David Scott, who, it appears, loaned Strange 10,000
pounds sterling. On December 8,
1785, James Strange sailed from
Bombay in the aptly named The
Experiment under Captain Guise.
Captain Lowrie's companion ship
was also well-named: Captain
On January 29, 1786, The Experiment anchored in Batavia,
where Strange procurred supplies,
including those for barter with
American Indians. But, alas! he
could not obtain "Sour Crout, Portable Soup and Malt" which, research had told him, were needed
to prevent the scurvy and fevers
which afflicted his officers and
men. "That dreadful distemper"
was then expected "in voyages of
any duration".
Through his stately 18th century
prose shine Strange's excited hopes
and fears when, on June 20, 1786,
they neared "the immortal Navigator's" (Captain Cook's) Nootka
Sound on Vancouver Island. "Had
I found the Field Preoccupied . .
such an Event would have called
forth an Exertion of all my
Philosophy ... to supress with
becoming fortitude the Keenness of
my Regret". "Had our Arrival at
Nootka been protracted Ten Days
... we should have lost perhaps a
score of fine fellows . . . victims to
that fatal Disease, the Scurvy . . .
a third (of the ship's company) were
confined with it". Many were critically ill.
On June 24, like every visitor,
past or present, to British Columbia's coast, they were thrilled by the
snow-covered mountains, gilded by
the sunshine. But two canoes of
Native visitors brought more substantial thrills; half a dozen small
Bream, some Sardines, and six
bunches of small leeks. No later
purchase he made, Strange wrote,
satisfied him so much as giving
"this little mess to our poor invalids". However, the majestic
coast was bleak and rugged; the little ships could not land. But from
the Natives — next day fifty canoes
arrived — the ships' companies
purchased three days' supply of a
B.C. Historical News variety of fish. Later, during their
stay at Nootka, they were supplied,
though irregularly, with "Salmon,
Cod, Skate, Hollibut [sic], Bream,
Trout, Herring and Sardines".
In fog and squalls, the men in
their long-boats explored the
unknown coast till, on July 6, they
found their goal, Captain Cook's
Friendly Harbour. Very friendly;
they were welcomed by a fleet of
canoes and an oration sung by a
Nootka chief. Strange and his
young surgeon, Mackay, at once
looked for shelter for their sick
crews. They were invited into every
house they passed; but the hospitable Natives could not know a
European's disgust for the "the
beastly filth" in which they lived.
"Within and without doors,"
Strange wrote "one could not move
a step without being up to the
ankles in mud, fish, etc." — one
imagines the et cetera!
Offered any habitation he chose,
Strange purchased one "Constructed of six logs, each thick and
long enough to have been a main
mast for the largest ship in the
British Navy". For reasons quoted
above, he set up his hospital in a
large tent, but built its floor and
walls with these massive logs. The
invalids' scurvy, fatal if untreated,
was quickly cured by berries and
green foodstuffs. Strange gave the
men garden tools and a variety of
seeds, and at Nootka they planted
the first white men's garden on the
Pacific North-West Coast.
Strange promptly attended to the
business of the voyage, bartering
for sea-otter skins. He obtained
plenty; but their filthy, verminous
state demanded from him, each
day, eight hours of "Continual
Bodily Labour" at the "Loathsome
Occupation" of cleaning and dressing these furs. "Captain Cook" he
wrote, "represents the Natives of
this Coast as depraved in an extreme degree in cleanliness," and he
bitterly confirmed Captain Cook's
"strict adherence to Truth." But
the well-born Strange, who, presumably, had done no manual
labor in Scotland and Madras,
disciplined himself to the repulsive
processing of the furs, and did it
thoroughly enough to "greatly
enhance their value'' when, afterwards, "Merchants inspected them
at Canton."
He stayed at Nootka until July
28, 1786. His aim, an ongoing fur
trade, required that he learn the
laws and customs of the Natives,
whom he met only when they bartered the filthy otter pelts. He was
objective enough to praise the happy lives of these unwashed folk,
their affection for each other and
their children, and their friendliness. And he added several hundred
words to the Nootka vocabulary
collected by Captain Cook.
It was essential to secure the
friendship of Nootka Chief Maquilla; and Strange lavished gifts on
him. He witnessed a religious
ceremony honoring Enkitsum, the
God of Snow, and asked Maquilla
for some of the god's beautiful
trappings. Maquilla gave him not
only these, but the god itself. The
pagan worshipper was grateful for
the White Man's magic; Dr. Mackay, Strange's surgeon, had cured
Maquilla's child of scabby hands
and legs, a plague of dirt-covered
people. So, when Strange sailed
north, he left Dr. Mackay as the
Chief's guest, that he might
research and record "the manners,
customs, religion and government"
of the Nootka. Strange provided
Mackay with blankets, flannels,
food, books and writing materials.
Planning, perhaps, a future settlement, he also gave Mackay garden
seeds, grains and tools, with which
the young doctor planted a small
farm — the first white farmer on
the North-west coast.
Strange promised Chief Maquilla
rich rewards if he entertained the
doctor well; Maquilla assured him
that his guest would have the
choicest foods (on Nootka menus)
and become as fat as a whale. The
mildness and care of the Natives,
Strange wrote to his superiors when
he returned to Madras, made Mac-
kay's year with them agreeable; but
he was taken away by force by the
captain of an English vessel, who
feared that he would monopolize
the trade (in furs). ' Unluckily for
historians, his journal was lost.
On July 28, 1786, the Captain
Cook and The Experiment continued their trip along the north
half of Vancouver Island. Strange
named Cape Scott after David
Scott, who had funded the expedition; and his men adventured
through rip-tides and reefs,
dangerous for their small sailing
vessels and long-boats, into some
territory of which, the records seem
to show, the were the first white explorers. Venkatarama Ayyar credits
them with the discovery of Queen
Charlotte's Sound. 2 Strange took
possession of the lands he visited
"for His Britannic Majesty" by the
usual ceremony, hoisting the colors
and turning a turf. But four days'
search in Prince William's Sound
cautioned him against risking the
expedition. The few Indians the
company met had almost no furs;
and on September 5 they encountered a completely unexpected rival
from Bangal, Captain Tipping's
"Sea Otter, " named for the trade
its men sought in the district
Strange had planned to claim. His
best reason for cancelling the northern trip was, not enough provisions.
Observing the Indians of Prince
William's Sound, Strange was perhaps the first white man to see, and
admire, one of the now famous
Chilkat blankets "a most excellent substitute for our thickest and
warmest bath rugs." Though he offered the price of sue otter skins, the
Natives would not part with it.
Strange decided to sail The Experiment to Canton, where he
would sell the cargo of furs; the
Captain Cook would go north to
the Russian Copper Island, and her
men could look for the fortune in
copper of which Coxe had written
in "Russian Discoveries." If both
trips brought profits, Strange
planned to invest them in a second
North-West Coast expedition.
But there were no profits. The
Captain Cook left Prince William's
Sound on September 14,1786, but
failed to reach Copper Island because of those cruel foes of these
plucky men in primitive sailing
ships: winds and storms, the ravaging scurvy, and a shortage of food.
The Experiment also had to battle
these curses. On September 16 she
sailed out bravely into an angry gale
which made her spring a leak; the
crew managed to caulk it and reduce the leaks, but had to work the
pumps "three or four times a day,"
ill as they were with scurvy. Thus
they crossed the Pacific (whose
name must have seemed ill-
chosen!), passed Formosa in early
November, and anchored in Macao
Roads on November 15. They were
welcomed as though by angels by
a fleet of fishing boats laden with
fish and fruit; its "Good effects
were almost instantaneous," wrote
the grateful Strange. Two almost
mortally sick men, he recorded,
were magically saved by a dozen
oranges. A month later the defeated
"Captain Cook" joined her
Strange did not record to whom,
and for how much, he sold his
cargo of furs. His niece, Mrs.
Mure, in her book Recollections of
By-gone Days, wrote that the expedition's complete financial
failure was because the market of
China, where her uncle had hoped
to sell his fine collection of furs,
was overstocked. Venkatarama
Ayyar wrote that "no blame should
be imputed to the gentlemen who
planned the enterprise and set out
with every precaution to ensure
success. 3
Strange was a man of strong
character, who was taught, not
defeated, by his losses. No individual merchant, he decided,
should risk a fur trading voyage to
the North-West Pacific coast; any
competitor who arrived there two
days before that merchant would
buy all the furs the Natives had for
barter. But the fur trade had prospects for the East India Company,
if its directors established a settlement on the coast. In a letter to
Major-General Sir Archibald
Campbell, Governor in Council,
Fort St. George, Madras, dated
February 22, 1788, James Strange
detailed a plan for such a
The Company could command
factors, soldiers, seamen and
navigators, many of whom,
Strange wrote, were (in modern
language) on the payroll without
being useful. Bartering for furs
would cost very little; the Company
could borrow from the Bombay
Marine three small vessels, 100 or
120 tons each. Two would convey
the furs to the markets in China
and Japan; the third would sail
north in summer to Cook's River,
to glean whatever furs were
available. Nootka Sound, centrally located, with a healthy climate
and convenient harbours, was the
best site for a settlement. Fruits and
vegetables could be grown there;
wild fruits and greens and fish had
merely to be harvested. Strange advised that no fewer than 100 Europeans should settle in Nootka
Sound, in order to defend it from
possible attacks by hostile Natives.
But he felt that the peaceful and
truth-loving Indians of the district
would welcome the gains of their
barter of furs, and would probably
help the settlers to build homes. In
the discreet prose of his time, he
wrote that "our own People must
strictly observe Decency" towards
Indian women; but probably the
dirt in which the Nootka women
lived would be their best guard
against attentions from white men.
In his ship's journal Strange had
noted the many sperm whales in the
Pacific, and the tall trees of Vancouver Island. More opportunity
for commerce; a fishery, he enthused, could depend on a supply
"equal to the consumption of all
China"; and choice timber was
always in demand in China, especially for ship's masts.
Like a good salesman, he closed
by advising his Honourable Employers to accept at once; for the
Russian fur traders had almost killed off the sea otters they had
hunted for fifty years from Kamtschatka and would likely seek new
territory; or, if they did not move
to the districts explored by Captain
Cook, the Dutch traders could be
expected to do so.
But, Venkatarama Ayyar records, "The East India Company
did not honour Strange for his
sound and practical suggestion of
forming a settlement in the Nootka
Sound, nor compensate him for his
great financial losses." * Very likely
there were reasons against venturing a settlement in a remote and
almost unknown land, even if
enough hardy (or foolhardy) persons could have been induced to
pioneer there.
Strange abandoned his hopes for
establishing the fur trade in Nootka
Sound; but he had a distinguished
career in the service of the East India Company. Retiring after admirable work in several official
positions, he settled in Edinburgh,
and died at the Castle of Airth, at
the great age of 87 years. Mrs.
Mure, his niece, praised his "many
endearing qualities," his "great
liberality and generosity."
Because his voyage to the North-
West Pacific Coast was only one
enterprise of his life, it has been
overlooked by historians of explorers to that part of the new
world. He appears to have been a
model commander, strict but just,
and worthy of his men's trust and
He explored new areas of B.C.'s
coast and recorded new studies of
the Native's customs and life style;
and research into his journal and '
(Cont. on p. 20)
B.C. Historical News VANCOUVER'S
The history of the 1889 fiasco that just missed
establishing a great smelting industry in Vancouver
Jay Morrison
It was January 1888 — The time
was right and the future bright for
any gold smelter that would be built
in Vancouver. By now placer mining in the province was on the wane
and the prospectors were uncovering rich veins of metal in hard rock.
But mining these was not progressing very rapidly as there were no
metallurgical plants in British Columbia to process the ores. This
created a need recognized by both
the Government of the Province
and the City of Vancouver and they
offered subsidies to whomsoever
should build a smelter. Not only
was the time right, but the right
man was there — Claud Vautin, a
brilliant metallurgist and smelting
authority from London. He saw the
opportunity and acted immediately.
Within a few months financing
was arranged, an excellent site purchased, a first rate smelting plant
built, a permanent ore supply assured and selling markets in China
and England arranged for. Organization was near perfect. The opening of the smelter would be a large
and important contribution the
mining industry, to Vancouver and
to British Columbia. The fledgling
city was bouyant when on July 24,
1888, a Vancouver newspaper, the
News-Advertiser printed this glowing report:
Vancouver's future as having
one of the most important industries, that of smelting gold
and silver ores is assured.
Ground has been purchased
within the city limits for a
large smelting works. And before the close of the year they
will be in full operation. The
history  of  Denver,   Butte,
Omaha and Salt Lake will be
repeated in Vancouver, and
around the smelting works
will spring up a large population and the city will be the
location for numerous subsidiary industries.
The smelter, financed at $200,000
was for the time a very big investment. It realistically promised that
Vancouver would become a great
smelting centre. No one could foresee that in less than a year, the venture would become a fiasco.
Vautin formed the British Columbia Smelting Company and
placed his attorney W.J. Steele, in
charge of the paper work for the
establishment and operation of the
Company. In February 1888, Vautin secured an agreement with the
City of Vancouver for a bonus of
$25,000 plus a ten year tax exemption, for erecting a smelting works
costing at least $75,000. In evidence
of good faith the company posted
a bond of $5,000. This would be
returned to them plus the bonus
after the smelter was fully operational and at least 1,000 tons of ore
had been reduced and chlorinated.
On April 18, The Provincial
Government promised Vautin a
bonus of $12,000. The stipulation
this time was that the plant was to
be completed within one year and
that it be capable of reducing not
less than forty tons of ore per day.
Also that the smelter must cost at
least $48,000. A performance bond
of 500 pounds sterling was deposited. It was interesting to note the
difference in the terms laid down
by the city and Province for the
same plant.
Vautin, because of his reputation, had no problem in raising
financing. With English money
available and the Governments
signed up, the company was incorporated in England on May 9,1888.
According to the prospectus, capitalization was for 65,000 pounds sterling, 25,000 preferential shares and
40,000 ordinary shares at 1 pound
sterling each. The latter were to go
to Vautin for his initiation and participation in the company. He
showed his faith in the project by
personally buying 2,000 pounds
sterling of the preferential shares.
Arrangements for the success of
the company had been carefully
gone into. To ensure an adequate
supply of ore it had purchased a
three-quarters interest in valuable
lead mines at Field, B.C. These were
the Monarch, Cornucopia and the
Alpha. These mines were located
within four hundred yards (366 m.),
of the Canadian Pacific Railroad
E.J. Dowlen, author of the prospectus and a metallurgist, stated
that the Monarch mine could produce 40 tons of 55% lead ore per
day, which with ten tons of gold
and silver ores to be purchased
would yield $15 per ton profit. This
would be enough to supply the
smelter with its fifty ton a day
capacity. This report however, was
later to be found wanting as the
nature of the sulfur in the ore had not been analysed, nor was it indicated where the gold and silver
ores could be purchased.
Vautin obtained an agreement
from the C.P.R. for favourable
rates to ship ore to his smelter.
Similarly he arranged for shipping
the smelter's product, pig lead, to
both China and Great Britain.
Vautin purchased from the Canadian Pacific Railway an excellent
site for his smelting plant located
just a little east of Hastings Mill.
The tree-covered area contained
thirty three acres in all, being parts
of city lots numbered 182 and 183.
The land was bordered by the railway tracks that paralleled Powell
Street on the south and by Burrard
Inlet on the north. The lot was
centered at the foot of the future
Woodland Drive.
Clearing of the land began immediately. For a few days the fires
burned very hot and eventually got
out of control. Extra men brought
in protected the railway track and
saved the logs for the buildings and
the cordwood that had been stacked for fuel. When the clearing was
complete the construction of the
buildings proceeded rapidly. From
the salvaged logs the smelter building, a house, and a smaller cabin
for an assay office were built. The
small buildings were located close
to the water where a small wharf
had also been placed.
The description of the main building and its equipment appeared in
the Vancouver Daily World,
February 14, 1889.
The works are constructed in
a most substantial manner.
The foundations are of solid
granite and brick masonry.
The main building at present
is 66 x 56 feet and is divided
into boiler and engine rooms,
sampling, charging and furnace departments. Besides a
space is arranged for a Newberry-Vautin chlorinating
plant which is now on its way
from England. In the principal
room is a wrought iron water-
jacketed furnace, with 7 tuyeres of the most modern and
improved description, carrying
Site of Claud Vautin's British Columbia Smelting Company smelter in 1980. Old
shoreline had been extended over 200 feet (69m), into Burrard Inlet with a fin taken
from the excavation of Vancouver's main Post Office.
Property now (1987), owned by National Harbours Board and being operated by
Vanterm as a sea-going cargo container terminal. "X" marks the calculated and possibly
exact location of the original smelter building. (jay Morrison photo.)
a brick shaft 9lA feet high.
Leaving the furnace room
the visitor proceeds to the
engine-room, where is found
a 35 h.p. side valve engine
with a 12 inch cylinder and a
16 inch stroke, which runs a
blower and an eccentric patent
crusher in the adjoining sampling room. Another engine of
15 h.p. of the same type runs
a pair of rolls, 17 x 10 inches,
and elevates the hoist, carrying the charge from the ground
floor to the feed floor.
In the boiler room adjoining there is one tubular steam
boiler, 54 inches in diameter,
16 feet in length, of 60 h.p.
containing 44 flues 3 Vi inches
in diameter. The boiler has
been tested to 124 pounds
steam pressure, and is in every
respect of the best possible
manufacture. In this room is
also a tubular heater, one no.
2 feed pump and a McAvity
steam ejector.
The buildings built and most of
the equipment in place, there appeared that there could be nothing
to deter the smelter from success.
But now happened the prime event
that was to turn a potentially great
industry into a failure. Claude Vautin left for Transvaal. As an inventor of the Newberry-Vautin chlorinating plant for smelting gold, his
business in Africa demanded his attention. It was later conceded that
had Vautin been able to remain in
charge until the smelter began to
function, it would have been
With Vautin's leaving the management of the smelter was placed
into the hands of two men, E.J.
Dowlen and George De Wolfe. The
plant foreman was W. McLaren.
These men continued to finish and
open the works.
In June 1888, Dowlen returned
from a meeting of the directors in
England. On his arrival he told the
Vancouver Daily World that he had
stopped over in Chicago and had
purchased a furnace and other
equipment. He immediately opened
offices in what was known as the
Springer and Van Bramer building
on the corner of Cordova and Columbia streets.
Construction was complete before the end of the year, but the
plant was not in operation because
of lack of water. There was a rivulet
not too far away which was piped
into the smelter. A large cistern was
B.C. Historical News built on the west side of the main
building to ensure a steady flow.
The water became available February 6, 1889, and a week later on
February 14, the furnace was
"blown in" (put into operation).
On that day the Daily World
At noon the furnace was well
charged and the blast in full
operation. As the ore got
heated up the stone passed
away into slag, whilst the
molten lead was poured off
into moulds. There was no
special ceremony, but a large
number of men were on the
scene watching the various
stages of the process. The
result of this test is not yet
Indeed the results were not yet
known when the paper went to
press. Almost immediately things
were about to change. What followed is reported in a hand written
document held in the Vancouver
City Archives:
On February 14th we started
the furnace and, after running
a few hours, the place caught
fire from the iron flu running
from the furnace to the dust
chamber getting red hot and
the furnace was run down.
Mr. X had the flue lowered
and started again; but the flue
again got red hot and the furnace again was shut down.
Mr. X then had the iron
flue taken out and the apera-
ture bricked up and started
She made slag for about two
hours, when she froze up and
Mr. X. refused to try her
again, saying 'the ore must be
roasted before being smelted.'
The local board tried to persuade him to have another trial
and offered to get thirty tons
of slag from Frisco to start on
... At first he consented but
afterwards refused and he
went off at a moment's notice
to London.
The local board had a long
talk with the man next to X
and sent him off with samples
to Frisco to consult with Prof.
Thos. Price who made a working test of the ore, and certified that it could be smelted
without roasting but that it
wanted silica.
X had never made a working test; he was so sure that
the ore would work out that
it was not necessary. The local
board cabled London asking
them to either send a smelting
expert at once, or for Mr. X
to go home. They never replied.
We had as fluxes limestone
and scrap iron. Our ore is
galena and limestone gangue.
We have not been able to
purchase outside ore for a
mixture and as [the] London
Board would not give us authority to get funds from the
bank here to pay for them, we
had only our own ore to put
into the furnace.
On February 24, the smelter operated for some hours but again was
shut down once more because of
too large percentage of sulfur. The
closure was to be for an "indefinite
period" but in fact it was to be
forever. It was the failure of the
company to take into account the
sulfurous nature of the ore from the
Monarch  mine  that  ultimately
wrecked the whole project.
Even after its closure the smelter
might have been saved had there
been money available in the treasury
to buy silica or to "roast" the ore.
But apparently the funds had been
overspent. Somewhere along the
line money had been wasted and the
directors in England would not help
In April the company made an
effort to get some capital by informing the city council that the smelter was completed and that the
bonus of $25,000 should be paid.
The city ignored the claim. Neither
the city nor the Province ever paid
out a penny in bonuses. In May the
property was mortgaged.
The directors in England not liking what was happening in Vancouver, engaged an outside opinion
from CA. Judkins of Leadville,
Colorado. The concluding paragraph of his report was a follows:
To summarize, I will briefly
state that I find you have a
smelter nearly complete at
Vancouver, a good locality;
that the machinery is ample,
and suitable to run on oxidized ore; and that with the addition of roasters it will run a
good sulfide ore; that you have
a very accessable mine at Field,
which can produce, with development, of 35 to 45 per cent
ore, very low in silver though;
that this ore can be treated in
your smelter, when mixed with
other desireable smelting ore,
and roasted; that concentration will eventually have to be
considered, but not now; that
you can probably obtain suitable ores and fluxes; that you
must buy all good smelting ore
that is offered in your market,
if possible; that $200,000 capital, at least, is necessary to
complete your works, open the
mine and run the business;
that your 50 ton furnace will
probably treat from 30 to 40
tons per day, depending upon
the mixture of the ore smelted,
and there is no hope of getting
any change so that you can
run 50 tons daily; that the
business is good, legitimate,
and will pay a good profit
when established on a scale
larger than is at present contemplated; that the affair had
been horribly mismanaged;
that the ruling rates of wages
in this country are high, common miners receiving from $3
to $3.50 per day; foremen,
engineers and furnacemen
about $4. No good American
labor can be had for less, and
I do not think it adviseable to
undertake to employ Chinese
labor even if it can be done;
that you can get good management, if desired, and you are
willing to pay for it, in this
The London directors noted that
nearly 31,000 pounds sterling had
been spent. Of this 7,400 pounds sterling had been supplied to the
Bank of British Columbia. Feeling
that their money had been wasted,
they did not wish to chance anymore.
Vautin who was then in Africa,
and who stood to lose the most as
he had a personal interest in the
company, and also because he knew
better than anyone its real potential, pleaded with London to retain
the property. A further meeting of
the board in England was then
held, but it was reported as being
"chaotic" and nothing more was
The Daily World published the
following editorial on September
20, 1889:
The smelter was badly conducted and did not deserve
countenance. The closure was
positively shocking and met
by Vancouver with extreme
disgust and deep regret. Today the smelter is comparatively useless. We recommend
this report to the careful perusal of our readers as it throws
much light on what is still
unknown, but for some reason
has been kept quiet in some
quarters. There is no question
for the fact that there is room
for the grave accusations
made from time to time. But
those who were supposed to
have been competent judges
said that gross mismanagement had prevailed, both as
regards the mineral bearing
limits and the erection of the
works in the city. The Government of the Province and the
City of Vancouver each pledged a bonus for the smelter
now standing idle there. It was
hoped that those who were instrumental in organizing the
company would be processing
. . . [words illegible in print]
. . . Not only was there no
money in the affair, but it was
alleged that some $5,000 was
secured in some irregular
manner by one of the those
charged with mismanagement
of the company's affairs.
Some 2,500 pounds sterling
were eaten up by the officials
of the company in the first
year. So it appears that they
have been profligate in spending money committed to their
charge. Certainly it is to be regretted for it was hoped that
nothing but straight forward
transactions would be tolerated by them. The conclusion
has been thrust upon us that
it was a duck and drake game
that had been largely indulged
in, and that which otherwise,
could have been a valuable
property and an important industry has been wrecked, if
not irretrievably, at least for
months to come.
The Bank of B.C. foreclosed on
its order and in December 1889 the
plant was sold at auction to a Thomas Dun for a reported. $39,500.
In later years the press reported this
follow-up on the story from information given by a Vancouver pioneer, W.C. Ditmars, a member of
the old accounting firm of Armstrong and Morrison:
In 1899, W.H. Armstrong and
M.J. Haney a contractor from
Toronto bought the property
of the B.C. Smelting Co. located on Powell Street as a
speculation. They tore down
the buildings, and I recall
there was a big steel jacketed
tank, lined with lead. They
took that down too, and we
took it to our plant, and sold
the lead to a junk man.
Armstrong and Haney kept
the property for a couple of
years or so, and sold it to P.
Burns and Co. There were no
buildings on at the time they
sold it.
In 1907, P. Burns and Co. built
a packing plant on the property.
This building was ultimately razed
in 1950s. When Vancouver's new
Post Office was being built, the
material from the excavation was
used as a fill to extend the shoreline
for about 200 feet (61m.), into the
inlet in front of the old smelter
grounds. This left a large flat area
that was used for a few years for
storage of imported automobiles.
Today, the area is owned by the
National Harbours Board and is
operated as Vanterm, a cargo-
container loading facility and
storage area. Where the smelter
once stood there is now nothing but
acres of blacktop paving.
Time has moved on. Because of
the absence of the founder Claud
Vautin, of later financial mismanagement with possibly some
skulduggery, of ignorance of the
nature of the ore from a single
mine, what could have been a very
successful smelter and industry for
Vancouver, almost immediately
upon its "birth", became a fiasco
and passed into oblivion.
The Scholarship Fund
and The Historical
Writing Prize Fund
Our thanks go out to: Evelyn
Salisbury of the Burnaby Historical
Society, Pamela Wetmore of the
West Vancouver Museum &
Historical Society, and Helen B.
Akrigg of the Vancouver Historical
Society for a donation to one or
other of these two Funds. As at
December 10th the amount in the
Scholarship Fund was $435.00 and
in the Historical Writing Prize
Fund was $1,541.41 (most of this
sum has been transferred from the
former Seminar Fund).
B.C. Historical News The Struggle for
a New Burial Ground:
A history of the Beginnings of
Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery
Ron Hawker
Throughout the 1860s there was
a movement in Victoria to open an
extra-mural public cemetery, as was
the fashion in Britain and the
United States. This finally culminated in the establishment of
Ross Bay Cemetery in the early
1870s. Yet, the new cemetery had
to be fought for. For fifteen years,
concerned citizens struggled to convince the municipal, colonial and
finally, provincial governments that
such a cemetery was necessary and
when the administration at last
chose a site for the new burial
ground, the choice was unpopular.
It is the intention of this paper to
chronicle this long and occasionally
bitter struggle, providing along the
way glimpses into the mechanisms
of Victoria's early politics as well
as insights on Victorian attitudes
towards death and the cemetery.
In 1843, the first European-style
cemetery in Victoria was established at what is now the corner of
Johnson and Douglas Streets. This
old burial ground was Victoria's
version of the overcrowded English
church graveyard that eventually
gave way to the nineteenth century's
celebrated landscaped public cemetery. With the 1858 Gold Rush and
Victoria's sudden and overwhelming population explosion, it was
decided that the cemetery was too
close to the downtown core and
that it could cause health problems
and was too small to accommodate
the city's rapid expansion. It was
therefore decided that a new cemetery would be established on the
Church Reserve land on Quadra
Street's Church Hill.1
There were problems with the
cemetery on Quadra Street from
the beginning. The Victoria Gazette
wrote in July, 1858:
... we are satisfied that even
the present location of the
burying ground is much too
near, as we anticipate that the
town will, in the course of a
very few months, be thickly
populated  far  beyond  the
'cleared'   country   in  that
As well as its proximity to the town,
there were also problems resulting
from the cemetery's design, or lack
of. Apparently, it sloped from
south to north in the direction of
Meares Street and all the water
would settle in the lower ground,
stagnating and smelling. The Quadra Street cemetery was originally
divided into three blocks, the Anglican or Episcopal section, the Naval
corner and the Roman Catholic section. The Roman Catholic section
was located in the northern, lower
ground. The drainage problem was
so bad that it was sometimes necessary to hold the coffin down in the
water with shovels or have a man
get down and stand on the coffin
until enough soil was thrown on it
to keep it down.2
As for the smell, the British Colonist wrote on May 22, 1861:
The stench and effluvia is so
great that the sexton declares
he had to consume an unwonted amount of tobacco to
enable him to complete the
necessary excavation.
Since the area around the cemetery
was developing, it was feared that
this situation might provoke an
Another problem was related to
disagreements between the religious
denominations sharing the cemetery
ground. In May, 1861, the Church
Reserve suit was brought before
court. It seems that there was some
question about who Governor
Douglas had granted the Church
Reserve land to; and Bishop Hills,
who has assumed that the land belonged to the Anglican church, had
apparently erected a gate which
Bishop Demers considered to be an
obstruction. In a later account,
A.J. Brabant, a Roman Catholic
priest, wrote that Bishop Hills had
decided to extend his garden and a
fence was built which blocked the
way to the Catholic portion of the
By July, 1861, the idea of a new
cemetery had reached the Colonial
Legislature. A bill was proposed to
close the Church Reserve land and
provide another beyond the limits
of town. Although this was wholeheartedly supported by the British
Colomst and others, the bill was
shelved. Throughout the better part
of the next decade, complaints
about the size, location and possible health hazards of the cemetery
continued in the local press.
Nothing happened until October,
1868, when greater pressure was put
on the municipal government to
purchase cemetery lands outside city
limits. The potential health risk for
those living in the immediate vicinity became a catch phrase for reform. As a compromise, plans for
the restoration of the Quadra Street
site were made. These included improvements in drainage and the lay-
10 View of the Quadra Street Cemetery and Paul Medana 's tombstone today. The cemetery
is now known as Pioneer Square.
ing out of walks and the planting
of trees.
In order to initiate the proposed
improvements for the Quadra Street
cemetery, an improvement committee was set up with W.J. MacDonald as the chairman and E.
Graham Alston as the secretary.
The committee managed to convince the colonial government to
pay for the rebuilding of a surrounding fallen fence. This would shield
the committee from the embarass-
ing problem of stray grazing cattle
and pigs. Rooting swine had been
digging up graves.
Although the cemetery was now
more beautiful, Alston and the
committee were still concerned
about any potential health problems. Alston even suggested in the
Legislature that the colonial government take a more active role in the
purchasing of cemetery lands outside the city limits. In response, the
Legislature briefly considered attempting to obtain part of the
Songhees Indian Reserve. The idea
was immediately rejected since the
government lacked any spare funds
and it would be "highly inconvenient" to purchase Indian land.
By the following year, the cemetery was again in a state of disrepair. The press rang out with
more calls of poisoned air and water
and the possibilities of an epidemic.
Finally in June, 1870, a breakthrough in the movement towards
a new cemetery occurred. The
Governor appointed MacDonald,
Alston and John Ash to be trustees
of the Victoria Cemetery in order
to carry out the provisions of the
1870 Cemetery Ordinances, a move
to create the new extra-mural cemetery. By December the same year,
the Board had drawn a code of rules
and regulations as well as a scale of
fees and on April 30, 1871, on the
advice of the Cemetery Board, the
Governor announced that after
twelve months there would be no
more burials in the cemetery on
Quadra Street.
The initial goal was to purchase
land suitable for a larger, more
rural burial ground. At first, there
was some confusion about whose
jurisdiction this move fell under,
the Cemetery Board's or city council's. This was finally sorted out by
February, 1872, when the Cemetery
Board purchased Medana's Grove
in James Bay. The choice was immediately unpopular.
The original location of
Medana's Grove, variously spelt
Medena or Medina, was bounded
to the north and south by Simcoe
Street and Dallas Road and extended from Menzies Street to either
Government Street or Pilot Street
and MacDonald Park in the west.
It was originally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company as part of its
James Bay farm. In 1862, the Company surrendered its land grant to
the Crown, although some land had
been sold as early as 1850. It seems
that Paul Medana either bought
land from the Company prior to
1862 or homesteaded after the land
return. At any rate, he had established a farm at what is now Boyd
Street by at least as early as 1865.
The surrounding area was heavily
wooded and has been described as
being similar to Lovers' Lane in
Beacon Hill Park. Medana, who
was involved with the Masonic
Lodge, had no objection to the
public using his land, and Medana's
Grove became a popular picnic spot
for James Bay residents and local
organizations. There was, for example, an annual Fire Department
parade to the grove.4
While the popularity of the site
as a picnic spot was undoubtedly
largely responsible for the following uproar, there were a range of
complaints about the choice of
Medana's Grove as the new cemetery. Since it was located on the
windward side of the town, there
were further doubts about both the
smell and potential health hazards.
It was also considered to be too
close to town and it reportedly
became a virtual swamp during the
winter. In addition, it was felt that
it was too exposed for funeral purposes, an important aspect of Victorian social life.
A petition against the proposal
was circulated by James Bay residents and presented to the Governor
in August, 1872. While the Cemetery Board refused to acknowledge
the strengths of any of the petitioners' arguments, they agreed to
one week's grace in order to find
a cheaper plot of land. Robert Burnaby came forward with twelve
acres of his farmland. Burnaby,
who had been active in local politics
and instrumental in the founding of
the Colony's first Masonic lodge,
had also been interested in the
cemetery issue earlier on. In July,
1861, Robert Burnaby moved for
a Legislative inquiry into the state
B.C. Historical News
11 of affairs at the old cemetery at
Johnson and Douglas Street.5 Perhaps one of the contributing reasons
for Burnaby's decision to sell was
his paralytic stroke suffered in
1869. As his condition deteriorated,
he was unable to take an active role
in tending his land. His condition
eventually forced him to return to
England in 1874.
Portions of Medana's Grove were
sold and used to buy Burnaby's
Ross Bay land. Other portions of
Medana's Grove were mortgaged to
pay for ploughing, fencing, housebuilding, laying out and gravelling
the walks, putting in brick drains
and surveying the ground into
blocks and lots. The property was
transferred to the Cemetery Commission in October, 1872. The land
was more than twelve acres, already
cleared and easy to drain. It was
expected that the cost of converting
Burnaby's land would be half the
amount needed to convert Medana's
While in comparison with other,
larger metropolitan centres, Victoria's first attempt at creating a
landscaped public cemetery based
on  the  tenents  of Picturesque
thought was half-hearted at best at
the Quadra Street site, contemporary reports clearly show that
Victoria residents were aware of the
fashion. As early as January, 1859,
the Victoria Gazette wrote:
The resting places of the dead
should not be crowded in desolate and dreary graveyards,
where scarcely a tree or green
shrub relieves the gloominess
of the scene, but amid the
beauty of nature, where the
old, moss covered trees of the
forest spread their arms, and
wave their venerable crowns
to the passing breeze; where
fragrant flowers bloom, and
where the sweet notes of the
feathered warblers greet the
early dawn, or chant their vespers at the close of day; where
loving hands will delight to
smooth the green turf upon
the little mound, and bathe
the spring flowers with tears
of affectionate rememberance
View of Ross Bay Cemetery today.
and  love   . . .   Cemeteries
should be rural and attractive
and located beyond the business and bustle of life.
This poetic, romantic, idealized approach to death and the cemetery
is completely in step with the attitudes of Victorian Britain and the
nineteenth century United States.
This same ideal propelled the funeral as an important vehicle of nineteenth century social customs and
contributed to the popularity and
design of grave markers.
The apparent hurriedness of the
move to Quadra Street, coupled
with its size and location and the
general attitude of the citizens of
Victoria, insured that a larger
cemetery like Ross Bay was destined to happen from as early as 1858 -
1859. While both cemeteries at
Johnson and Douglas Streets and
at Quadra Street did not have Chinese and Native Indians buried
there, Ross Bay was the first to
have a block or portion allocated
specifically to these groups. While
it was probably true that this was
done so as not to offend the Christian colonists by burying them next
to "heathens", it indicates that the
cemetery was not in principle exclusive. There were also provisions for
the poor and in this sense, Ross Bay
was Victoria's first truly "public"
city cemetery.
' Unless otherwise noted, contemporary
reports from either the Victoria Gazette
or the British Colonist serve as historical
2 Edgar Fawcett, "Old Quadra Street
Cemetery," Some Reminiscences of Old
Victoria, Toronto: William Briggs 1912.
3 A.J. Brabant, Historical Notes of Victoria Cemetery, Victoria: Cusack, n.d.
4 This information is based on the following newspaper articles in the vertical files
at the Provincial Archives of British Columbia: James K. Nesbitt, "Paul Medana
Family Lived Across Bay," Daily Colonist, December 12,1954; Herbert Kent,
"Medina's Grove," (letter to the editor),
Daily Colonist, December 19, 1954;
Margaret Sharcott, "James Bay's Medana
Grove Nearly Became a Cemetery," DaUy
Colonist, November 4, 1973.
' At the time, there were still remains
buried in the old cemetery. A chain gang
sent to exhume them in August, 1861, recovered a number of coffins, bones, bits
of clothing, trinkets, ribbons and pieces
of shrouds. It was estimated that only
two-thirds of the remains would be
Ron Hawker is currently enrolled in
the Masters of Arts program in the
History of Art at the University of
Victoria where he also works as a
tutorial assistant.
12 The Settlement of Straiton
Geraldine F. Farina
After the first through passenger
train under the power of Locomotive 374, pulled into Vancouver,
B.C. on May 23, 1887, the city
became the western terminus of a
national rail line and a deepsea
port. Soon passenger ships brought
tea and other imports from Japan.
The beautiful Empress Line of ships
became known as the "silk ships",
bringing oriental silk which was
then taken by train to eastern
Canada clothing manufacturers on
the "silk trains". A whole new
era opened up; men seeking work
flocked to the new city.
A journey to reach the west was
a long and arduous one. Many of
the early settlers travelled through
the United States. It was the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railroad that led to the vast influx
of immigrants. Begun in 1881 it was
pushed rapidly westward and completed in 1885. The completion of
the CPR opened many new regions
of the west to settlement. The advantages to be found in western
Canada were not only recognized
by outsiders. Many native-born
Canadians in eastern provinces
sought greater opportunities "Out
West". Many western cities were
populated in considerable measure
by migrating Canadians from Eastern Canada.
Vancouver, after its disastrous
fire of April, 1886 was being quickly populated and about to enter the
era known as "The Golden Years".
This sudden expansion did not
appeal to all men! One such man
was Tom Straiton who later said he
wanted to live in a place where he
could yell his head off and no one
would hear him.1 So he looked for
a remote spot to start a new life in
the west. This he seemed to find on
Sumas Mountain in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.
Thomas (Tom) Bell Straiton was
born April 15,1869 in Port Union,
Ontario to Alexander Straiton and
Anna Runn Grant. Tom's father
worked for the Grand Trunk Railroad in Port Union as a telegrapher
after 1863. The growing family
moved to other areas as the western
section of Ontario opened up.
Goderick was Alexander's final
posting where he died in 1919. His
eldest son John took over this job
on the death of his father.
Tom came to Vancouver, in the
early 1890s as a single man. While
living there he tried commercial
fishing. Tom rented a boat and net
but soon the market was so glutted
with fish that the price paid was only five cents a salmon. He went into a photography partnership with
George Wadds until a fire destroyed
their business. It was the first shop
of that kind in Vancouver and was
located on Water Street. Wadds
later became the leading photographer in Vancouver. Tom was an
excellent photographer and some of
his works still exist.
In 1893 Q.D. McNyter and Tom
Straiton came up the Fraser River
and disembarked at Wade's Landing. They walked up Wade's Trail
looking for property on Sumas
Mountain. Tom liked the area and
on returning to the city filed on a
quarter section. He bought some
tools in town and unloaded them,
making several trips up Wade's
Trail to get them to his property.
Kilgard General Store. Tom Straiton and
W. Lane circa 1920.
On this homestead he built a cabin
of small logs and split cedar. The
little house was situated on the hillside, next to the trail leading from
Sumas, Washington to the Fraser
River. Tom was the only settler in
the area.
When he had the house completed, he returned to Ontario
where he married Mary Ellen (Nell)
May in March, 1895 when he was
26. Nell was born in 1870 in Whitby, Ontario to John May and Mary
Ellen Salter. Nell's family had a
large farm and a general store in
In October of 1896 a forest fire
started on Sumas Prairie. While
Tom was helping fight the fire for
several days, he did not realize it
had travelled over the mountain and
burnt his own house. Nell could
have saved the house if she had had
water available. In her panic she
picked up an old wool shawl to wear
and left behind a valuable fur cape.
Tom came home to find the cabin
destroyed and Nell staying with the
Boleys who lived on a rise overlooking Sumas Lake on the trail to
Tom built a new house, using the
timber from his own land, cutting
the lumber with a whipsaw. Tom
split his own shingles from cedar
blocks. This two roomed house as
built below the original one. The in-
B.C. Historical News
13 terior was papered with the "Gano-
noque Herald" from Ontario. The
house was finished in the spring of
1897, just after the birth of their
first child, Stella. While Tom was
building the house he made an
allowance for a stairwell so more
rooms could be added in the upper
section as the family grew.
The mountain was covered with
large trees which were slowly cut
down, providing fuel, timber and
feed for the cattle. No grass could
grow until the land was cleared so
Tom was forced to feed the cattle
on the leaves during the summer.
The .area on Sumas Mountain
was very slowly being populated.
New Westminster, Sumas Washington, Mission and Yale were all
growing towns. The Yale road was
usable and the CPR had just completed a branch line from Mission,
B.C. to Sumas, Washington, joining the western USA with Vancouver and points east by rail. Most
of the residents had more than one
livelihood. Nearly everyone had a
small farm, did some hand logging
with horses and worked at cash
jobs when available.
A bachelor by the name of
George Mackay or McKay who lived near the bottom of Sumas
Mountain owned a team of oxen.
He was hired to do most of the land
clearing in the area.
Tom started trees of every fruit
variety and he had quite a few acres
of orchard later. He would graft
trees for his neighbours and his
eldest daughter Stella learned the
art of grafting and later supplied
her own farm. Tom always had
rows of small trees in his garden in
the 1920s, either to sell or give
In 1905 Charles Maclure found
fireclay on Sumas Mountain. The
underground mines supplied the
brick plant at Clayburn Village.
The area where the mines were located became known as "Straiton"
after Tom Straiton, the first settler
on the mountain. Here the company
set up a tent camp for some of the
miners, until a more permanent one
was built. One of these miners later
became Tom's son-in-law. Tom
Entire population of Straiton, B.C. The Straiton family barn in background.
(Taken by T.B. Straiton, circa 1914).
worked on the railroad grade. The
company used steam locomotives at
first, then in 1917 the railroad was
electrified. The company told Tom
Straiton and other settlers that they
could be supplied with power if they
would wire their houses. Unfortunately when this was done, they
were told the power was not available. They had to wait until 1940
for the whole area to be supplied
from B.C. Hydro and the houses
needed different wiring.
The population on the mountain
continued to grow so in 1911 Tom
built a store onto the house. The
new addition was the full length of
the house.2 Tom would travel by
horseback to Cox's Station or
Wade's Landing on the other side
of Sumas Mountain to pick up
groceries ordered from New Westminster and delivered by boat to the
Landing. He also carried groceries
on his back from Sumas. The family raised beef cattle, hogs and
sheep, butchering them for the
miners and local residents. Tom
raised bees and sold quantities of
honey. In his spare time he made
"shakes" for many of the buildings
around the mountain and helped the
neighbours survey road allowances
and property lines.
The area became officially known
as Straiton, with the opening of a
post office in the store. Nell was
Postmistress. A six foot square corner of the store was allotted to the
Post Office business. Tom and Nell
drove to Abbotsford with the horse
and buggy to collect the mail which
was brought home and sorted on
her bed. In 1935 Nell Straiton was
presented with the King's Silver
Jubilee Medal for serving as Post
Mistress in Straiton for 30 years.3
The Straiton home seems to have
been like a community centre with
church services held there, Reverend
Hibbert came by horseback for
morning services. Voting during
elections was held at the store.
Tom and Nell by this time had
a larger family with Ernest Arthur,
born in 1900, Edith in 1905, Roy
in 1906, Helen in 1907 and Eileen
in 1909. Another daughter Harriet
was born in 1912. The children were
all born at home in Straiton, a common practise in those days. An upper section had been added to the
house and also a larger kitchen. A
Doctor Sarvis came from Sumas,
Washington, for the births even as
late as the 1930s. Until Abbotsford
acquired a doctor and hospital,
everyone had to go to Sumas, New
Westminster or Vancouver. Most
of the Straiton residents were served from Sumas, which also had the
only funeral home for many years.
About 1910 Straiton and Kilgard
Schools were built. Miss Edna Boley
was the first teacher at Straiton
with 10 pupils. Andrew Lang was
another of the teachers. School progress was by "Readers", most of
14 the children passing through two
Readers a year. This would give the
school the equivalent of grade eight.
The Straiton's organ was moved to
the school and a Reverend Miller
from Clayburn Village held church
services there.
In the early years a Doctor Swift
used to come to the school to check
the children's health. He had about
the only car that came up to Straiton, so the children use to run and
hide whey they heard a car coming.
Tom and Nell's children all attended Straiton School and later Harriet's own children received part of
their education there.
Tom was a kindly man and well-
liked in the area, He took an interest in the community, serving on
the school board and on Sumas
District Council which at that time
was a separate group. He played
the violin for all the dances at the
school. His brothers Douglas and
Arthur accompanied him on the
mouth organ and tin whistle. He
was fond of sports, enjoying in particular, baseball and lacrosse.
After the Kilgard Fireclay Company, later known as the Clayburn
Company, started at Kilgard in
1910, Tom expanded and put a
store and post office in a building
owned by the Company. This was
in 1915. Daughters Stella, Edith
and Eileen looked after the Straiton
store while Tom and Nell ran the
second store. The Clayburn Company operated at both Clayburn
Village and Kilgard, with bricks being made at Clayburn and vitrified
sewer pipe produced at Kilgard.
Housing was located at both villages. There were about 150 people
living in Kilgard in 1915. In 1920
the Plant closed at Clayburn Village
and more residents moved to Kilgard. This area was also an Indian
Reservation but Tom knew enough
of the local native language to be
able to converse when the people
came into the store. In June, 1928
the Kilgard General Store, after being operated by the Straitons for 12
years was sold to O.W. Bennedick.
It change hands many times before
becoming obsolete.
Tom and Nell's children were
marrying and raising families but
most stayed in the Sumas-Abbots-
ford area.
E.D. Barrow, Minister of Agriculture in the John Oliver Liberal
Government from 1918 to 1927 had
a dream of draining the marshy
Sumas Lake to be reclaimed for
rich farmland. This was eventually
accomplished in 1922 by dyking,
draining, ditching and installing a
pumping station.
About 1926 Tom and son-in-law
Arthur Keeping each bought 80 acre
farms next to each other on Sumas
prairie. Tom's farm was eventually
owned by his son Roy. In March,
1938 Tom was elected President of
the newly formed Matsqui-Sumas-
Abbotsford Pioneers Association.
Nell Straiton died in June, 1939,
predeceased by her daughter Helen
in 1919 and son Ernest in 1927.
Tom's youngest daughter Harriet
and her family moved from Vancouver, back to Straiton to help her
father with the store and farm.
During 1939 Tom built a new
combination store and house closer
to Sumas Mountain road on the
end of his property. He began spending his winters in Florida, playing
softball with a Senior Citizen's
group called "The Three Quarter
Century Softball Club". The teams
were called the "Kids & Kubs'V
This Club was originated by the late
Connie Mack who owned the
"Philadelphia Athletics", a major
league baseball team at that time.
Tom was a good "south paw" and
at age 79 in 1948 was still hitting
home runs!
In the fall of 1941 Tom married
Miss Hilda Durbeck whom he had
met in Florida. They continued to
spend the summers in Straiton in a
small frame house at one end of his
property and the winters in Florida.
The Straiton Store and post office
was sold in October, 1945 to Mr.
CR. Bowen. Ownership changed
until it was no longer feasible
to operate. It closed in the early
Tom died in Florida in January,
1955 and was buried in Musselwhite
Cemetary near Abbotsford.
The Straiton property, including
buildings and land was sold in 1957
to TransMountain Pipeline Company. All the buildings were torn
down and burnt. A tank farm was
built and remains to this day.
This area known as Straiton is no
longer called that, except by people who have lived there. Members
of some of the original families still
make their homes on Sumas Mountain. The name can be found on
some maps. There is no store or
post office. Abbortsford is only 15
minutes away by the four-lane
highway passing the bottom of the
Mountain. Straiton School is now
a private home.
It is a quiet, peaceful area with
huge maple, some stands of Garry
Oak and a relaxed atmosphere.
Tom Straiton would still enjoy
living there.
1 Abbotsford-Sumas-Matsqui News, April
26, 1978.
' Invoice courtesy Allan Keeping.
' Copy of letter accompanying Medal,
courtesy Roy Straiton.
4 Abbotsford-Sumas-Matsqui   News,
February 11, 1948.
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B.C. Historical News
15 A History of Dollarton,
North Vancouver
Sheryl Salloum
Bygone Days
Dollarton came into existence in
1916 and until the 1940s was known
for the lumber the Dollar Mill exported world-wide. From the 1930s
to the 1960s squatters' shacks lined the foreshore and housed local
workmen and their families, fishermen, vacationers, and a few now
prominent individuals such as Norman Levi (former B.C. New Democratic Party MLA), writers Earle
Birney,   Dorothy  Livesay,   and
Frances Duncan, as well as the
deceased writer Malcolm Lowry.
The Dollarton landscape has changed from bygone days, but the history of the area hs been preserved
in the memories of its pioneers.'
In 1916 the Canadian Robert
Dollar Company built a sawmill adjacent to the Vancouver Cedar Mill.
According  to  the Memoirs  of
Robert Dollar, his company
bought 100 acres of land near
Roache's [sic] Point on Burrard Inlet, . . . and built a
modern, up-to-date saw mill,
especially constructed to supply our China trade . . . Then
we had to lay out a village,
and build houses for our employees . . . Each house has a
garden and the rent of $15.00
a month includes water, electricity and wood. A postoffice,
with a daily mail service has
been established, which is called Dollarton.2
Loading a ship with lum ber at the Canadian Robert Dollar Company. Some of the mill
housing can be seen in the background, as well as the tank that supplied the mill and
its inhabitants with water. The large building on the right served as a bunkhouse. The
DoUarton Highway is beyond the trees. (Vancouver Public Library, Historical Photograph
6504, circa 1939.)
When the Dollar Mill began operations there were no bridges connecting Vancouver with the North
Shore, making Dollarton accessible
only by boat. Some people rowed
across the inlet and some used the
service provided by the Harbour
Navigation Company.3 Dollarton
was not accessible by road until
1918 when the Dollar Road was
built to Keith Road (now Mr.
Seymour Parkway). The road replaced the trail through the bush to
Deep Cove and gave Dollarton residents access to Deep Cove and
North Vancouver.
The Canadian writer and poet
Earle Birney recalls travelling to
Deep Cove via Keith Road in the
early 1920s. The last few miles of
the road ran through dense forest
and he describes it as
really a one-way with passing-
places about every half-mile;
you had to keep your wheels
on mill-planed 'reject' boards,
to keep from bogging down in
the rain-soaked earth, and be
prepared to drive backwards
if you met another vehicle.4
Construction of the Second Narrows Bridge was complete in 1925,
substantially increasing highway
and rail traffic to North Vancouver.
The route to Dollarton was circuitous until the opening of the Dollar-
ton Highway in 1930.
In 1929 the Vancouver Cedar Mill
and the Dollar Mill ceased operations due to the economic pressures
of the Depression. The "Cedar
Side," as it was commonly referred
to, never reopened and was eventually dismantled. The Dollar Mill
reopened in 1932 and operated until
1943 when the mill and its timber
rights were sold to the Northwest
Bay Logging Company, an H.R.
MacMillan (now known as MacMillan Bloedel Ltd.) subsidiary
16 located on Vancouver Island.5 The
new owners closed the mill and it
too was dismantled.
The burner base of the "Cedar
Side" can be seen in what is now
Cates Park. A few houses from
both mill sites are still in existence,
but they have been altered and
renovated over the years. Nothing
remains of the Dollar Mill, other
than the name it gave to its town.
Dollarton/Roche Point School
The first Dollarton schoolhouse
opened in 1917. It was situated at
the northeast corner of Dollar Road
and what is now the Dollarton
Highway. The school had one room
and five curtained windows. The
students were the children of the
men who worked in the Vancouver
Cedar and the Dollar mills. As the
neighbouring town did not have a
school, children from Deep Cove
also attended the Dollarton School.
Amy (Crompton) Bishop taught
at the school from 1921 to 1922.
She recalls that the mill's generator
provided the school's electricity,
water from the mill's storage tank
was obtained from a tap on the
school's front porch, and the one
room was heated by a wood burning stove. She taught
thirty-nine children in every
grade, as well as two boys who
spoke no English — one from
India, one from China. Schooling was strictly the 3R's in
those days. I remember my Inspector's Report said 'Miss
Crompton is quite properly
stressing the essentials'. It was
all you could do.
In 1924 the new Roche Point
School was built at the corner of
Dollar Road and what is now Fairway Drive. By 1926 a second room
with a basement and running water
was  added.   In   1963  the  more
modern Sherwood Park School was
constructed above the location of.
the Roche Point School.
Olive Nye taught at the Roche
Point School for thirteen years,
1923 to 1936. Her daughter Mollie
taught there for six years, September 1933 to June 1939. According
B.C. Historical News
Amy (Crompton) Bishop in front of the Dollarton School. (North Shore Museum and
Archives, Photograph 5760, circa 1922.)
to Mollie her mother took
over this rather difficult Roche
Point School where there were
forty children, of many nationalities, in eight grades.
Language was a problem with
these foreign children because
many of them couldn't speak
a word of English.
At first there was no
[regular] transportation available for the teachers to get out
to the school. On Sunday
nights my mother would travel
by ferry from Gore Avenue in
Vancouver, and board out in
Dollarton until Friday night
. . . Later on she travelled by
bus, morning and evening,
and if she missed the bus she
had to walk eight and a half
miles. In the winter it was very
trying and cold.
The people of the [Dollar-
ton] community couldn't do
enough for their teacher. They
would invite her to their homes
and she would go home laden
with vegetables, whatever
happened to be growing in
season. At Christmas mother
received really lovely gifts:
afternoon tea plates and china-
ware of different kinds. The
Japanese were very kind people. Mother would go home
from school and find a load
of wood, split, all piled on her
back porch, or sometimes a
sack of rice . . .
Some of the children came
by boat form Strathcona and
Cove Cliff [areas between
Dollarton and Deep Cove].
They rowed themselves and
docked at the Dollar Mill
wharf . . . [Others] used to
walk along the trail from Deep
Cove to the school, which was
a long way.
The Dollar Mill Hall was
used as a concert hall. It had
a stage and the residents would
hold whist drives, dances, and
play bridge there. They would
raise money for each child in
the Roche Point School to get
a Christmas present from Santa Claus . . . The presents
were really lovely: roller
skates, large books, jewellery
for the older girls and all kinds
of toys for the little ones . . .
The Christmas concert was the
highlight of the year.
Health problems caused
many difficulties. Ships would
come in from the Orient and
various parts of the world.
Often the sailors would come
ashore, and I'll never forget
the time that Scarlet Fever
broke out in the school. There
was also an epidemic of ringworm and many children had
their hair shaved right off. . . There were the usual scabies
outbreaks and sometimes the
teachers got it [too].
When I started teaching at
Roche Point School I think I
made $780.00 a year — so life
was hard, but people were
Early Business
Edgar Percy Cummins, known
as Percy, lived in Dollarton from
1919 to 1966. Initially he worked in
the Dollar Mill, and later was a
storekeeper, postmaster, justice of
the peace, and notary public. Percy
was interested in the development
of Dollarton and ran for Council.
He was the Chairman of Finance
for the District for a number of
In October 1930, Reeve Fromme
appointed a special committee of
three District Councillors to look
into the high depression-related
unemployment in North Vancouver. The members of the com-
mitte, one of whom was Percy
Cummins, recommended construction of a highway to Dollarton. According to The North Shore Press,
the seven mile primary highway
provide first class road communication between Dollarton
and the North Shore and Vancouver, . . . result in access
being given to several miles of
very valuable waterfront property . . . [and] greatly alleviate unemployment in the
district during the winter
In 1930 Cummins opened a grocery store on the new highway, adding a garage and postal service.
The "General Store" became a
main stop for the privately run
Deep Cove Stage Lines, as well as
later bus service. The store was a
focal point in the community: people went there to collect their mail,
catch the bus, buy groceries, and
converse with one another. Many
of the squatters living on the
foreshore hauled water from Percy's tap.
The highway brought new businesses to the Dollarton area. In
The Second Narrows Railway Bridge. (Vancouver PubUc Library, Historical Photograph
6462, circa 1926.)
1930 McKenzie Barge & Marine-
ways Limited was founded; in 1949
Matsumoto Shipyards began operations (both are located southwest of
the village). In early 1949, Robert
Stirrat, who in 1935 had opened a
"General Store" on the Dollar Mill
site, built a new store on the Dollar-
ton Highway, a few hundred yards
northeast of Cummins' store. The
new store was operated by Robert
Stirrat and his father until it closed in 1968, two years after Cummins' store closed.
In 1944 the Dollar Mill property
was subdivided for the proposed
Roslyn Park Subdivision. In the
initial phase of development the
twenty-one homes on the mill site
were renovated and painted; two
new roads, Roslyn Drive and Beach
Drive (now Beachview Drive), were
The subdivision never reached
the stage of development that was
advertised, however lots were sold
and a number of new houses built.
Since the mid-1940s the area has
grown due to a postwar housing
shortage in Vancouver, property
being made available to war veterans at lowered prices, and the fact
that the beauty of Dollarton continues to attract new residents.
Cabins began appearing on the
beach new Dollarton in the 1930s.
Times were hard and the dwellings
provided rent-free accommodation.
They also provided a solution to the
area's lack of housing; this was true
for a number of men who worked
at McKenzie Barge. Situated on
property that belonged to the Vancouver Harbour Board, the beach
dwellings came to be known as
squatters' shacks. Over time other
people were attracted to the beach
for its pristine setting. By the early
1950s the shacks had increased to
approximately ninety in number,
most being used for summer cabins.
In 1940 Malcolm and Margerie
Lowry, writers who were new to the
Vancouver area, rented a squatter's
shack for a month long vacation.
Captivated by the everchangjng seascape, lifestyle, they lived on the
Dollarton beach for the better part
of the next fourteen. A number of
Lowry's short stories, particularly
"The Forest Path to the Spring,"
describe Dollarton and life on the
The local Ratepayers' Association began lobbying to have the
area made into a park and in 1949
the Town Planning Commission
visited the proposed site; with the
guidance of Mr. Percy Cummins
. . . [they] tramped the whole
area."9 The two Dollarton storekeepers, Cummins and Stirrat,
helped to work out the most suit-
(Cont. on p. 31)
— what I mean is old prospectors —
who can tell 'em apart?
Clare McAllister
I love old prospectors. Just say
"old prospector" to me, and so
many pictures come thronging. I
can't imagine B.C. without old prospectors, and I can't imagine myself
apart from B.C. So you can see I'm
pretty close to old prospectors; or
old prospectors are pretty close to
me; or I wish they were; — haven't
actually talked to an old prospector for a coon's age!
You get the right old prospector,
now, and he'll tell you how to get
"riz doughnuts" to rise, even if
she's thirty below. Likely as not, he
used always to bake up a batch of
them for the boys who'd come into
town for Christmas or 24th of May,
or some such time, up in his neck
of the woods. Believe me, old prospectors that can cook more than
beans and bacon, and lots of them
can — they don't belong to your
mathematical, modern measuring
school of cooks. I tried once to find
out how you really did make that
salt-rising bread that my father used
to rave about as the best in the
world: "Well, you take a good
measure of cornmeal and put in
enough warm water, so's you could
bear your hand in her if you's to
paddle it round a bit, and you
throw in your handful of salt, and
you keep her warm, EVEN warm,
that's important, until she's a good
sour smell worked up . . ."
An old prospector can frizzle-fry
you a trout, or turn you a grouse
inside out, and get it stewing, and
no time wasted about it; while
you're standing there hungry, if
you light off the trail, handy to his
An old prospector, whether he's
at his cabin, or whether he isn't,
you'll find a good stack of fine dry
kindling cut, and probably a middling lot of pitch-wood, too. He's
a fellow that knows the value of
quick heat, an old prospector. Lots
of 'em run a trapline, on the side,
in the winter. You come in out of
a day of snowshoeing round a trap-
line, in bitter winter, and you'll
really know the value of a stack of
kindling. Your oil heat, nowadays,
constant, that's grand, for sure; but
nothing matches that little smoking
curl of smoke and cedar smell, as
the kindling lights, and then a little bit of smoke snakes out round
the stove lids, after you first put in
the wood, maybe, and then she
begins to roar, and you turn down
the stove-pipe damper, and pretty
soon she's so hot the dog'll crawl
out from under the stove, where
he's sneaked in to start getting
warm. Good dry wood, and the
oven's hot enough to bake biscuits,
in no time.
Some old prospectors have two
stoves, even in a small cabin.
There's comfort for you: an old
prospector with his sock feet on the
oven door of the little range, and
his boots with fresh dubbin soaking in to them, behind the round
base-burner heater.
An old prospector has got a sense
of important values. He's looking
for gold, sure, or silver-lead or
whatnot. But he's got a good woodpile, cut and stacked dry, against
the cabin eaves. Freeze your hand,
or break your leg, that wood could
be your life, and it surely to goodness is your comfort. Glinting yellow in the summer sun, or garlanded with snowdrifted icicles "when
the days begins to lengthen and the
cold begins to strengthen" —
there's wealth for you: the clean
grain, the sharp, Uvely smell of
year-old split wood.
Old prospectors can tell you stories about animals; the time two
skunks had a fight under the cabin
floor, so that folks had to move out
for some time, and move out pretty
lively, too. They can tell you how
grizzly bears know enough to poultice up their wounds with grass and
mud; how bears won't bother you
any, either, if you meet 'em on a
trail; you just need to gentle them
on, and sweet talk them, softly,
softly like, and they'll sidle along
and mosey out of your way. They
know the ways of the wolverine,
trapline robber! Among the birds
they are closest to ravens and
screeching blue-jays and grey-
drifting whiskey jacks. They know
the mountain cedar trees where the
grouse huddle in a snowstorm, and
the low ground where the deer yard
up in a spell of bitter cold. They can
tell about times you'd see a timber
wolf, looming as big as a grown
calf, head raised in the early winter
twilight. They know the particular
shoulder of mountain where a bighorn, that most unsheeplike of
sheep, may show against a late
summer's sky. They've crossed the
little cities peopled by citizen marmots, sitting up in front of their
holes, whistling down the empty,
boulder-littered mountain passes.
Old prospectors know their way
up and down more than mountains.
There's luck, that some have and
some don't. Talk about gardeners,
long-lived, waiting for another and
another summer — an old prospector once told me that what kept him
and his partner alive was pushing
B.C. Historical News
19 another forty feet into the mountain, year by year. Rheumatics and
being 82 didn't prevent him from
getting a few more charges of
dynamite, to lug up to the claim.
Dynamite, now, that is surely
something that old trappers can tell
you about, dynamite and blasting
caps. I've heard in different places
the story about the prospector
found thawing out his frozen dynamite in the oven of his range.
There's the story, too, about the
one who made a stab at canning the
good rich meat of a particularly fat
bear he'd shot (one that had been
feeding on black, shiny fall mountain huckleberries, I suppose).
Turned out to be nearly as powerful as dynamite, cans shooting off
all over the shack, rotten bearmeat
plastered on the ceiling as well as
the floor. Fellow'd just about as
soon build him a new cabin as try
to clean that up! Of course, if
you're really interested in power, I
guess there's no way to beat an old
prospector's potato hooch. Zowie!
That potato whisky (heaven
knows — would it end in aquavite
or alcohol?) isn't so much for solitary consumption, though old prospectors are oft-times solitary
enough. It's for friends. Old prospectors know more about friendship
than city folks do. Some of their
friends are way back, so that memory nourishes tales of their prowess. "There was old Healey" they
muse — "he was fetched up to
Whitehorse to play on the ball
team, $200 a game, they gave him."
"Remember that time the crew
went on strike, at the Silver King,
and Red Levinson beat up on that
slew-legged boss?" "You wouldn't
ever a-knowed old Pat Handley
that lugged me out from Bear
Creek, that time I broke my ankle,
and ravin' with the pain and blood
poison goin' up my leg. He kept the
Doc from cutting' off my leg, too,
like they wanted to. Said I's tough
as a yellow-eyed lynx, and I'd pull
through. I never woulda, though,
but for Pat."
Old prospectors will pick up,
suddenly, and cross two mountain
creeks and three mountain ridges to
see how Bill is making out, with
pushing his tunnel further into the
mountain, or to see if there's any
colours in Pete's panning. Old prospectors will head into town at a set
season, might be they'll whoop it
up, but more likely they'll settle
down and spit, and swap stories.
Old prospectors have friends alright.
When I was a child, the first prospector ever I saw was an old "coloured" man. That was in Kootenay.
We, in our brass-bound Ford, passed him in a tail of sun-warmed
yellow dust. At an even pace, never
varying, he slogged ahead of his
laden pack-pony, his dog behind.
Yes, old prospectors can mostly
throw a diamond hitch on a pack
pony, too. I suppose packhorses
still, somewhere, tugged up close to
timber line, or maybe even further,
beyond mountain meadows that
might pasture them, are then turned loose, and find their way, packs
unburdened, down to the known
No prospector I ever knew had
a homing pigeon. But just say prospector to me, and my thoughts go
homing, straight to the mountain
country: I see a tobacco-stained
moustache, a weathered hat, covering a weathered face, boots botched together with the tail-end of an
old belt, the seat of the pants with
maybe a checkered shirt-tail showing through. What is it all? — the
very hammering, dynamiting,
powerful; frail worn, thin, beat
out, beat up incarnation of confidence. Your old prospector is a
man who's willing to gamble on his
faith and his hopes. The last quiver
of muscle in his skinny shanks'U
carry him up the mountain of his
(Cont. from p. 5)
Gold in Furs and Sea Giants
other accounts may, one hopes,
place him beside the early pioneer
discoverers of our North-West
1 Letter written at Fort St. George, Madras,
on February 22, 1788.
2 An Adventurous Madras civilian: James
Strange, 1753-1840 by Venkatarama
Ayyar. Page 11.
' Venkatarama Ayyar,  op.  cit., Pages
12- 13.
4 V. Ayyar, op. cit., Page 16.
James Charles Stuart Strange and His Expedition to the North-West Coast of
America in 1786 — by John Hosie, paper
read to the British Columbia Historical
Association on February 8, 1929.
Contained within the above paper are excerpts from James Strange's Journal and
Narrative of the Commercial Expedition to
the North-West Coast of America, first
presented in 1787 to Sir Archibald Campbell, then Governor of Madras.
"An Adventurous Madras Civilian: James
Strange, 1753 - 1840," by Venkatarama
Ayyer, in Volume XI, Indian Historical
Records Commission, 1928. Pages 10 - 16.
Letter from James Strange to Major-
General Sir Archibald Campbell, Governor
in Council, Fort St. George, Madras. Dated
February 22, 1788.
Alexander Hogy's Sketch of Nootka
Sound, 1778. Copy of map in Captain
Cook's Third Voyage.
The above are all in the Special Collections section of the Main Library of the
University of British Columbia. I obtained photocopies of them.
20 Police in Early Saanich
Geoffrey Castle
Constable Robert Stevenson Brown on his
Triumph motorcycle, 1930. He was promoted to sergeant the foUowing year and
retired in 1934.
When the Corporation of the
District of Saanich was formed, in
1906, it included what is now Central Saanich Municipality and
covered 67 square miles. The
population was less than 5,000.
During the first 4 years, Constable
Russell patrolled on horseback and
he was authorised to collect the
Road and Poll Tax.
In 1911, the first chief constable,
E.F. Dawson, was appointed and
a second horse was acquired. During the First World War, the force
was increased to three men and the
rate for special constables was
$2.50 per day. Mechanization came
in the form of one motorcycle.
The following year, in 1916, a
new Ford car was purchased for
$500 plus the proceeds from the sale
of one of the horses and the motorcycle. The poundkeeper was sworn
in as a special constable. The khaki
uniforms cost $33.00 each and
salaries were revised to $85 monthly
for constables and $5 extra for the
chief. Each officer received $20 extra to keep his horse. The police
were assigned to wind clocks on at
least one route.
During 1918, the chief constable
and three special constables handled 875 complaints. Two years
later, salaries were raised to $150
and $120 respectively. A new Indian motorcycle was purchased for
$625 and the first Policemen's Ball
was held.
Following a reorganization of the
force in 1925 when total expenditures were $10,219.54,107 applications were received for the position
of constable, one of whom was
Robert Stevenson Brown who had
been with the force since 1918.
Later, Brown recalled that the
price of oats caused a changeover
to a bicycle which cost about $5 a
year to maintain, compared to
$22.50 per month to feed a horse.
Eventually, he was provided with
a new Triumph machine in 1930
when members of the police force
were appointed as weed inspectors.
In June, 1987, the Saanich Police
Force consisted of 112 policemen
and 29 civilian staff serving 82,940
people in an area of 41 square
miles, with a budget of $6,937,852
for this purpose.
Geoffrey Castle is the Municipal Archivist for the Corporation of the
District of Saanich. He is immediate
past president of the Victoria section
of the B.C. Historical Federation.
B.C. Historical News
21 News and Notes
The Second Heritage
Cemeteries Symposium
— April 24 - 26, 1987
The Symposium began with a
cemeteries research workshop at the
Provincial Archives on Friday afternoon. There was a tour of Stuart
Monumental Works with descriptions of the making and repairing
of headstones in the evening,
followed by wine and cheese at the
home of Mr. and Mrs. John
Saturday's events were held at
the YM-YWCA and included lectures and slide presentations by Dr.
Richard Meyer of Salem, Oregon;
Dr. David Lai of UVic on Chinese
Cemeteries of Vancouver Island;
Ron Hawker on Victoria's Pioneer
Cemeteries; Barry Dunvers on
Jewish Cemeteries in B.C.; Dr.
Doug Michal on Chilliwack Cemeteries Steve Babak on the Doukhobor Cemeteries of Southern B.C.
On Sunday we toured a number
of cemeteries in the Cowichan
Valley area, including the James
Dougan Memorial Family Cemetery, St. Ann's Roman Catholic
Church Cemetery, the Maple Bay
Pioneer Cemetery, St. Peter's
Anglican Church Cemetery, and
the Hillcrest Chinese Cemetery.
The tour concluded with a visit to
a Sihk Cematorium. Well-informed
guides provided a wealth of information at each of these sites.
Heritage Canada
The Heritage Canada Foundation
will hold its 14th Annual Conference in Quebec City September
24 - 27, 1987. The theme of this
years conference is "Heritage
Tourism". For more information
write or call: P.O. Box 1358, Stn.
B, Ottawa, Ontario, KIP 5R4
Cannery Society Promotes Fishing Heritage
A substantial permanent tribute
to the people and skills involved in
Canada's west coast fishing industry is one step closer to reality
with the formation of the Gulf of
Georgia Cannery Society.
The original Gulf of Georgia
Cannery which at one time was the
largest canning complex in B.C. has
been a vital part of the Pacific
salmon and herring fisheries since
its construction in 1894. It is one of
the few remaining buildings of its
age and type on the Pacific coast,
and stands today as an active and
integral part of the Steveston
The founding members of the
new society initially organized a
successful campaign for community
support which was instrumental in
securing the federal government
funding necessary for primary
stabilization of the structure.
In conjunction with Parks
Canada, the society is now focusing its activities on establishing a
public display and interpretation
center to have a July 1,1987 opening date.
Membership in this society is an
opportunity for people from all
walks of life to participate in the
development and operation of a
unique historic site. Charter
membership fee is $10.00 (Send to
3811 Moncton St., Richmond, B.C.
V7E 3A0.
Presidents of the British Columbia
Historical Federation 1937 -1987
1937 - 38 Dr. W. Kaye Lamb
1938 - 39 Dr. W.M. Sage
1939 - 40 Dr. J.S. Plaskett
1940 - 41 Dr. T.A. Rickard
1941 - 42 Kenneth A. Waites
1942 - 43 Rev. John Goodfellow
1943 - 44 Bruce A. McKeivie
1944 - 45 Bruce A. McKievie
1945 - 46 Helen R. Boutilier
1946 - 47 Madge Wolfenden
1947 - 48 George B. White
1948 - 49 Dr. Willard Ireland
1949 - 50 Dr. Margaret Ormsby
1950 - 51 Bort R. Campbell
1951 - 52 Major H. Cuthbert Holmes
1952 - 53 D.A. McGregor
1953 - 54 Prof. Henry C. Gilliland
1954 - 55 Capt. CW. Cates
1955 - 56 Elsie G. Turnbull
1956 - 57 Russell Potter
1957 - 58 Dr. W.N. Sage
1959 - 60 Mrs. Lois Haggen
1960 - 61 Mrs. Lois Haggen
1961 - 62 Dr. F. Henry Johnson
1962 - 63 Major H. Cuthbert Holmes
1963 - 64 Donald New
1964 - 65 Donald New
1965 - 66 Major H. Cuthbert Holmes
1966 - 67 Donald New
1967 - 68 Mabel Jordon
1968 - 69 Mabel Jordon
1969 - 70 Mabel Jordon
1970 - 71 H.R. Brammall
1971 - 72 H.R. Brammall
1972 - 73 Col. G.S. Andrews
1973 - 74 Col. G.S. Andrews
1974 - 75 Frank Street
1975 - 76 Frank Street
1976 - 77 A.G. Slocomb
1977 - 78 A.G. Slocomb
1978 - 79 Helen B. Akrigg
1979 - 80 Ruth Barnett
1980 - 81 Ruth Barnett
1981-82 Barbara Stannard
1982 - 83 Barbara Stannard
1983 - 84 Barbara Stannard
1984 - 85 Leonard G. McCann
1985 - 86 Leonard G. McCann
1986 - 87 Naomi Miller
1987 - 88 Naomi Miller
(Research  by  Douglas  Turnbull  with
assistance from Frances Gundry.) Reports from the Branches
Chemainus Valley
Historical Society
Mrs. Edith Stephenson, our Treasurer, was our representative at the
1986 Convention at U.B.C. and she
gave us a very thorough report. Our
guest speaker at our June 1986
meeting was Miss Beverley Bruce
who runs the "Chemaniac Shop"
in Chemainus and also happens to
be the sister of our M.L.A. Graham
Bruce. There was a tall ship built
in Chemainus last year which was
christened "The Spirit of Chemainus". It made trips up and
down the coast last year. On one
trip from Victoria to Port Hardy,
Beverley Bruce acted (or I should
say worked) as a crew member and
she gave us a very amusing account
of the trip. Last summer there was
a write-up in the Readers' Digest
about the murals in Chemainus and
they showed a picture of the Hong
Hing mural and mentioned that it
had been paid for by the Chemainus
Valley Historical Society. We were
all very pleased as it didn't mention
any other name in the article. At
our September meeting, our guest
speaker was unable to be present
due to illness in the family. We have
a new member from Thetis Island
who is an American and, at one
time, he worked for the California
State Turkey Marketing Board and
he got up and volunteered to give
us a talk on turkeys. We didn't
quite know what to expect but it
was really very interesting. We had
our Annual Meeting in November
and the business part was very short
as all the officers were re-elected.
Mr. Art Dawe of Chemainus then
spoke to us. He is the owner of two
antique stores in Chemainus and he
told us how he started collecting antiques when he was quite young and
how it evolved into a business.
Everyone enjoyed his talk as he is
very knowledgeable but, at the
same time, very casual — I think
B.C. Historical News
the term is "laid back". At our last
meeting, which was in March, we
were honoured to have Marshall
and Myrtle Haslam as our guests
and Mrytle gave us a very interesting talk on the Federation and also
about the Duncan Museum and Archives and the E and N Railway
Station. Our Society now has the
Chemainus Chamber of Commerce
and the Chemainus Rotary Club
behind us and they are going to get
us a railroad coach which we can
use as our Archives and Museum.
There are a few cars available now
and we have been promised the first
Grace Dickie
Cowichan Historical Society
The society met at nine general
meetings and 10 Executive Council Meetings, plus many committee
As we were unable to obtain an
elected President, I performed the
duties of president in my position
as Vice-President, according to the
constitution and by-laws of the
I attended numerous meetings
with Mayor Doug Barker and City
of Duncan Administrator, Paul
In August 1986, we received a
copy of a letter of intent signed by
the City of Duncan and Via Rail.
The City of Duncan would lease the
Railway Station from Via Rail,
then the City would sub-lease the
station to the Historical Society,
to house the Cowichan Valley
September 15,1986, we received
a letter from the Hon. Hugh Curtis giving the society a grant of
$125,000 from the Lotteries Branch
of the Provincial Government of
B.C. to renovate the train station.
In the last week of September,
we moved the museum out of the
basement of the City Hall: the archives to the top floor of the train
station and the artifacts to storage.
Since that time the archives has
been open Thursdays and Fridays
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with members of the society in attendance.
The Executive-Council meetings are
held in the Program Room upstairs
at the station.
In accordance with the request of
Via, we have had to pay someone
to open and close the waiting room
of the station on Sundays and holidays. The City Commissionaires attend to this Monday to Saturday.
There has been some vandalism,
but hopefully it will diminish. The
City has requested that we take out
liability insurance. Quotes have
been received for this.
Our speakers for the past year
have been very interesting and informative. We had Cyril Weismiller
showing slides and a film of local
interest, Patrick Hind on the topic
of steam, Hank Wilkinson with
slides of World War Memorials in
Europe, Dr. Nancy Turner on
Ethno-botany, Mary-Liz Bayer on
Heritage Canada and Doug McDonald on the Kings Daughters
Hospital, 1940 - 1945. For other
meetings we had a tour of the train
station, a party and Reminiscences
of Christmas Past, and a Show and
Tell by members.
Myrtle Haslam
East Kootenay
Historical Association
This year the East Kootenay Historical Association held two tours
to historic sites, both of which were
very interesting. One was along the
Spirit Trail, a centuries old Indian
trail on the east side of Columbia
Lake. The name provides a hint of
its interesting history. The second
tour was to an old CPR construction campsite where a stone bake oven in the shape of a small igloo
still stands in perfect condition.
A work bee was held to tidy up
the Wildhorse Cemetery. Within a
mile of the cemetery is the site of
Fishervill, the first, though shortlived, town in the East Kootenay.
This is a very interesting area with
a number of valuable historic sites
and artifacts remaining, but they
are now in danger of being destroyed by the huge modern machinery being used nearby to extract
what little gold may still be left in
the hillside. We are trying to have
the area designated an historic site.
Last, but not least, we were very
pleased to have one of our members
recognized for the important part
he played in having Fort Steele
made into a Heritage Park. Al
Hunter was given an award by the
B.C. Museum Association for the
considerable effort he put into the
creation of the Fort Steele Heritage
Park, an honour he most certainly
Verdun Castleman
Elderhostel asked the Cranbrook
campus of East Kootenay Community College if they could put
together a one week package which
would attract lively senior citizens
from across the continent. Campus
personnel began planning. Suggested topics were local history,
plant and flower identification, (or
geology), and photography. The
East Kootenay Historical Association was invited to provide 4-6
hours of classroom time recounting
facts and legends from district
The visitors arrived June 14th.
For four mornings they were in a
lecture hall; the fifth day they were
taken on a bus trip to St. Eugene
Mission, Fort Steele, and Kimberley. East Kootenay Historical
members entertained them with
slides, commentaries and anecdotes. A young lady enthused the
group about wildflower identification — with pleasant outdoor
classes — and a gifted photographer gave hints for the amateur
and sophisticated camera buffs.
The 44 Elderhostel participants
who gathered in Cranbrook came
from Florida, Maryland, Texas,
Colorado, Illinois, California, and
across Canada. The five who contributed to the history presentation
found the audience very attentive
and appreciative. We hope we will
be invited to do this again next
Elderhostel programs first appeared in British Columbia in 1985.
This year thirteen one week packages were offered, with thirty in the
planning stage for 1988, many of
them offering local history as one
feature of interest. Check your
public library for a catalogue of
Elderhostels   offered  here  and
Naomi Miller
The Gulf Islands Branch
This year we continued our lobbying for the building of sea walls
to protect the 5000 year old middens. These middens are located at
Montague Harbour on Galiano Island and on the Pender Canal between North and South Pender.
We also wrote letters and lobbied
for the retention of the lighthouse
keeper on Galiano at Porlier Pass
and on Mayne Island at Active
Pass. We feel these men should not
be replaced by machines. Since then
a new lighthouse keeper has been
appointed for Porlier and Mayne
continues to be manned.
In August Dr. Roy Carlson from
Simon Fraser spoke to us of the artifacts from the Pender Dig.
In September the whole group
went to the Porlier Light Station.
In October Foye Miles gave us a
conducted tour of St. Mary Magda-
line Church and the cemetery on
In February many of our group
took part in a work shop at the
Provincial Museum in Victoria on
recording oral history.
In April Les Laronde told us of
the Coast Indians using an observatory on Galiano to pin-point the
summer solstice so the Indians
could use favourable tides for mass
travel to the Fraser River fishing
At the May meeting Marie Elliott
gave us a short lecture on the
geology of the Gulf Islands.
All told it was a busy and interesting year.
Nanaimo Historical Society
Attendance at meetings during
the past year continued to be encouraging with several presentations by our own members. A
popular programme was a "show
and tell" when many items were
brought and their histories discussed. Other speakers have included
Dr. David Handley on forest management, Mr. Ed Bell on geneology,
Provincial Archeologist Mr. Art
Charlton and Mr. Walter Meyer zu
Erpen on his family's connection
with Nanaimo's Occidental Hotel,
which is celebrating its 100th
Field trips have taken us on an
historic tour of Newcastle Island
and to Port Alberni to see the
"Paper Treasures" exhibit.
It is with great regret that we
record the passing of three of our
staunchest members — Past Presidents Elizabeth Norcross and Dr.
Seiriol Williams, and Mr. Reg Dickinson, Nanaimo's 1985 "Citizen
of the Year".
Probably the longest continuous
event to be observed in British Columbia, "Princess Royal Day" on
November 27th was celebrated for
the 132nd time. Mr. Herschel
Biggs, a grandson of one of the
passengers on the ship, was our
speaker at the Bastion. The ceremony was followed by a lunch at
the Nanaimo Centennial Museum.
Our Society continues to present
books to students at secondary
schools as prizes for historical
essays, and as gifts to school
libraries. We also donate reference
books to the Nanaimo Centennial
Museum to honour or in memory
of our members.
A new project is being undertaken to identify and record all plaques in the City and to seek out
their historical connections.
24 Our time and meeting place has
been changed this year to the Vancouver Island Regional Library on
Fitzwilliam Street on the second
Thursday in the month at 8 p.m.
Okanagan Historical Society
In my report I have chosen to
take you on an historic, perhaps
sentimental journey through the
Okanagan Valley from Salmon
Arm to Osoyoos and into the
First our narrow scenic Valley is
being torn apart in several sections
by road construction — four lanes
in the name of progress. What a
change in my lifetime from the
leisurely pace we had enjoyed.
West Summerland train station
last used as a Museum was demolished. Our new Museum in town
now three years old is already overcrowded. The train station at Penticton is closed down and sits unloved. Even the round-house is gone.
There are plans for the stately
S.S. Sicamous beached at Penticton and now a restaurant. Talk of
making it into a museum again, has
evolved into the Hon. Bill Reid,
Minister of Tourism, Culture and
Recreation promising that his
Government will do everything possible to have the vessel completely
restored. A brickwalk is presently
being constructed on the beach
from the Chamber of Commerce
Office to the Sicamous with rest
areas en route. A project of the
Penticton Kiwanis Club, the large
plaque to be erected will honour
many pioneer families, funded by
donations for each small section.
Further in transportation, a project headed by the International
Bicycling and Hiking Society (275
members) based in Oliver has
created great interest. An Okanagan
Valley International Peace Park
sign was unveiled and dedicated on
May 13 by Rick Hansen at Penticton. The 300 km route will run
from Brewster, Washington to Vernon, B.C. River dykes and K.V.R.
rights of way will form part of the
linear park. A committee of the 400
member Okanagan Similkameen
Parks Society will be involved plus
many Okanagan Historical Society
members. On the Washington side
of the border the State Game
Department has taken the lead.
Brochure and membership form is
As for the six branches of the
Okanagan Historical Society, they
continue to work steadfastly for the
good of the Society. On May 3rd
the 62nd Annual Meeting of the
Parent Body was held in Penticton.
As was said at the 50th A.G.M. by
Guy Bagnall, Charter and Life
member, "The Society has found
it possible to regenerate its membership and officers and with amazing
success." Here we are twelve years
later still presenting a slate of officers of high caliber. Lois Haggen,
former M.L.A. and Past President
of the B.C. Historical Society attended the meeting with Mr. & Mrs.
Jim Glanville of the Boundary
Historical Society.
Starting at the north Salmon Arm
Branch had a set back with the loss
of Helenita Harvey, their President, in a car accident. Another
hard worker, Earl Tennant is not
well. The three Peterson brothers
and Florence Farmer come faithfully to all our meetings. They acquired a pioneer family farm near
the highway and with the original
Haney house on it have great plans
for the future as a Heritage Park.
The Armstrong-Enderby Branch
is still reeling from the sudden
deaths of Jack Armstrong, Branch
President and OHS Past President,
and his wife Merle last year. At
their Annual General Meeting,
April 10, a posthumous award as
Citizens of the year was presented
to their family by the Enderby and
District Chamber of Commerce.
Also, George Armstrong received
on behalf of the family, a posthumous Life Membership in the
O.H.S. for his father Jack at the
O.H.S. A.G.M. on May 3rd. Winning student essays were from that
Branch and will be in the 51st
The Vernon Branch is very ac
tive holding their monthly meetings.
Many members are involved in
plans for a new Museum. They are
sponsoring an O.H.S. Field day
August 9, at Cherry Creek (gold
panning). Peter Tassie has produced a concise booklet "The Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail". Dr. Margaret Ormsby P.P. of B.C. Historical Federation is to present a paper
at the Canadian Historical Federation conference in Hamilton, Ontario so cannot be here with us.
The Kelowna Branch is involved in many projects. Their President
Dorothy Zoellner is now President
of the Parent Body, O.H.S. Next
year's Annual General Meeting will
be in Kelowna on May 1st, always
the first Sunday in May. Mr. Mid-
dleton's recently released book on
Lord and Lady Aberdeen is fascinating reading. A continuing responsibility is the Father Pandosy Mission. Also the Guisichan Ranch
home has been saved. We hope the
ghostlike sounds of the horsedrawn
carriage going along the avenue of
trees will not cease with this interruption of a long history! You will
have received by now an enquiry as
to why Frank Pells subscription to
the News has ceased. He was a
charter subscriber. Which reminds
me — I have had enquiries from a
number of people as to where the
News can be purchased on
newstands. People have written
for information because they saw
my name in the News. I have given
out subscription forms and information for the Article Competition,
and for the Book Contest.
The Penticton Branch has a
lively new Vice President who is
program Chairman and introduced
thumbnail sketches of members by
members. They have proved very
popular and help people get to
know one another better. The Penticton Fire Department was honoured on its 75th Anniversary.
Heritage Day was celebrated with
a choir from the Multicultural
Society and a talk on Native issues
by Debbie Crow of the Penticton
Indian Reserve. Our Okanagan
Historical books were displayed
and sold during National Book
B.C. Historical News
25 Festival Week. Book sales are continually on our minds as 6000 back
issues are now reposing in storage
— four numbers: 44, 45, 46, 47
having been overprinted due to
enthusiasm. Any ideas as to how to
reduce the supply would be welcome.
The O.H.S. index of its 50 reports is almost ready and will be
very helpful.
The Oliver-Osoyoos Branch
has a project two lots at Fairview
Historic Townsite. Jean and Bernard Webber are members of the
Oliver-Osoyoos Branch. Jean is the
Okanagan Historical Society Editor
— Bernard is First Vice-President
of the O.H.S. The Branch keeps in
close touch with the Boundary
Country and across the border.
On April 28th a world class new
Research Station building was officially opened by Agriculture
Canada at Summerland. Many of
the former building dating back to
1914 have been demolished. The
Superintendent's house will be saved and possibly Wilcox Hall. Of
immediate concern are the historic
gardens (overlooking the Trout
Creek Canyon Bridge) for which
there is no money. I'm happy to announce the reopening of the Hedley
Mascot Gold Mine in the Similkameen after 25 years of silence.
Mary Gartrell Orr
Princeton and District
Museum and Archives
A very busy year for the "Archives" section of the Museum in
A collection of ten boxes of
rocks, artifacts, etc. donated by
the daughter of Mrs. Verna Cawston, a writer and historian in the
Also, the contents of a building
occupied by the Princeton and
Similkameen Star newspaper due to
the death of the owner, Dave Taylor whose family made available to
the Princeton Archives whatever
related to our area in the way of
records (94 boxes) as well as complete files of the Star, Hedley
Gazette, and other local newspapers
of the early days dating back to
1898. Also a large mineral rock collection, luckily mostly classified.
With the help of a 'catch-up
grant from the Canadian Archives
Branch, and with the support of the
B.C. Archives Council, much of
the work to clean up and classify
this material was done last year.
Much work remains to assimilate
the information into our files. This
material is invaluable for research
in our district.
With the help from a Federal
Employment grant much useful
work was done cataloguing and
conservation of pictures and library
books in our collection. In this connection the Kelowna Museum offered us a 3-day seminar on every
phase of museum operation with
help from its professional staff.
In September 1986 we held a
show of fossils and other rocks of
the area, well supported by schools.
500 children appeared in classes
with their teachers in two days. Our
fossil collection has been written up
in several international journals and
will be added to this year.
This year the Museum display is
about Indians and much valuable
information has been uncovered
about our aboriginal people in this
district. A local writer, Lynda Carter published a book "Tall Tales"
concerning much about horses and
horseracing in the Okanagan-
Similkameen. Our records afforded much information. The historical-Archives section is open all
To meet the requirements of the
Okanagan Regional Heritage Survey, we made up a Heritage Register of all sites that we feel are important, both those existing and
that can be seen and preserved,
and, for the record, all site of
historical or legendary significance
which have disappeared and are
now history. We will use this register when we hold a local forum to
give interested people and organizations a chance to make a submission to the present "Project Pride"
survey being done by the Ministry
of Tourism, Culture and Economic
Margaret Stoneberg
Historical Society
As reported last year, the Vancouver Historical Society was immersed in projects for the Vancouver Centennial Year celebrations
— a bibliography, an oral history
of False Creek slopes, hosting the
AGM and the BCHF conference
and other ventures. These efforts
and Expo appears to have left us
"flat" and drained of energy. We
have had an almost complete turnover of executive and have undertaken nothing beyond our regular
program, which is essentially a
monthly program of speakers.
Some interest is stirring in a joint
oral history project, especially if
members of the Lower Mainland
societies respond to this idea.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Of interest to members may be
the services of Johnson and
Small Booksellers who offer a
list of rare Canadian books and
manuscripts. A catalogue can
be obtained from Box 805, Stn.
E, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2P9,
(tel. 384-6646). THE B.C. HISTORICAL
Mission Historical Society gave
a warm welcome to delegates attending the 1987 B.C. Historical
Federation Conference. Dorothy
Crosby, Curator of the Mission
Museum, spearheaded the committee which prepared the full program
from May 14th to 16th. The old
Mission Memorial Hospital was officially dedicated as a Heritage
building at a ceremony on Thursday afternoon. Stave Falls Scottish
Dancers entertained in the evening
prior to a wine and cheese social.
Friday morning John Gibbard presented slides and a talk on the early days in Mission and district. Joe
Aleck recalled his days as a student
at St. Mary's Indian School, and
the years when he became teacher,
then the first native administrator
of the school (a post he held until
the school closed in 1984).
Mission Heritage Association
members explained their roles in the
acquisition, development, and plans
for the Fraser River Heritage Park
which occupies fifty acres of the
former O.M.I, mission land. Delegates viewed the new Norma Ken-
ney House, a log building erected
to be the Interpretive Centre, and
took a conducted walk around the
site to see the foundations of the
early school buildings, the cemetery
and the vandalized Grotto.
Friday's bus tour out to Kilby
Historic Park where the store-on-
stilts was explained by Curator
Clarence Wood. In the evening Mr.
Wood spoke on "The Role of the
General Merchant in British Columbia 1858 - 1948". The dates
were explained as "after the monopoly of the Hudson's Bay Company
was broken, and the time when larger stores became department stores
rather than general stores."
The Annual General Meeting on
Saturday morning moved expeditiously to allow presentation of
various committee reports, special
resolutions, and reports from mem-
B.C. Historical News
ber societies. A vote of thanks was
extended to retiring Treasurer Rhys
Richardson. The Federation and the
Historical News are in a healthy
financial position. The first Scholarship from the BCHF will be awarded in 1988; a few more donations
would bring the principal to a size
where interest will provide $500 in
annual interest for this scholarship.
Historic Trails Committee chairman John Spittle presented the
paper which was given May 12 at
a Project Pride hearing at UBC.
the Heritage Cemeteries Symposium of April 24-26 was described by committee member Myrtle
Haslam of Cowichan. John Adams
of Victoria organized the symposium in conjunction with the
Cowichan Historical Society.
The judges for the Competition
for Writers of B.C. History were
applauded for their many hours of
effort in evaluating the entries.
Chairman Naomi Miller acknowledged the publicity received from
CBC radio and other agencies, and
appealed to all "to keep articles
coming in to the editor of the B. C.
Historical News".
Ann Johnston reported on the
work of her energetic committee
which included the appointment of
a new editor, new book-review
editor, subscription secretary, and
mailing crew. Recent changes have
cut the cost of producing the Historical News, and a major thrust is
being made to increase the number
of subscribers.
Resolutions were passed to:
1) Make the membership fee $1 per
person to a maximum of $60, with
IOC per member over the basic 60.
2) Support the Nanaimo Historical
Society in its request for having a
mountain peak on the west coast of
Vancouver Island suitably named
to recognize the 200th anniversary
of the arrival of the first Chinese
settlers in western Canada.
3) Protest to  the Place Names
Committee of Canada:
a) about renaming Mt. Stalin
(which stands near Mt. Churchill &
Mt. Roosevelt)
b) about removing long standing
names when there are many unnamed features which can be named in honour of current heroes.
Reports were received from fourteen member societies. Elections
saw the addition of Dorothy Crosby
of Mission, and Daphne Sleigh of
Deroche as Members-at-large. An
invitation is issued to attend the
joint B.C. Alberta Historical Conference in Banff May 5 - 8, 1988.
Saturday afternoon a bus tour
took delegates to the seminary and
monastery of Westminster Abbey.
The beautiful complex in its lovely
setting is a showcase of a place
where Christian philosophy has
been adapted to modern needs.
From the Abbey the bus followed
rural roads to Stave Falls, Ruskin
Dam, and Storyland Trails. Car-
mela Clark conducted tours of her
private museum. Mrs. Clark has
captured local and natural history
along with Mother Goose folklore
in special displays.
The concluding event, held in the
Birch Room of the Royal Canadian
legion in Mission, was the banquet.
Presentations were made by Don
Sales to winners of the Writing
Competition. Betty Hess collected
a Certificate of Merit for best Anthology 1986 for Wynndel Heritage
Group. Special Award for the
Okanagan Historical Society's 50th
Report was accepted by Jean Webber, Editor, of Osoyoos. Mrs.
Webber also received the award for
"Best Article for 1986" for her Nelson Ferry Vol. 20, No. 1. Charles
Lillard of Victoria was presented
the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal
by acting Honourary President
Gerry Andrews, as well as a cheque
for $100 for his winning book Seven
(Cont. on p. 30) Bookshelf
Book Reviews should be sent directly to the book review editor, Anne
Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V6S 1E4.
Upcoast Summers, by Beth Hill
Ganges, Horsdal & Schubart,
1985. 156 pages
Upcoast Summers is a lively and
informative account of the travels
aboard the little ship Tokete of
Francis and Amy Barrow, on an exploration of the "Inside Coast" —
the three-hundred-mile long land of
inlets, islands and harbours east of
Vancouver Island — during the
summers of 1933 to 1941. Francis
Barrow kept journals and photographs of their expedition, as the
middle-aged couple with their two
black spaniels chugged along the
waterways of the British Columbia
coast, observing the busy lives of
the coast people of the Depression
Years, and joining in their activities. The now-vanished coastal lifestyle of the Thirties is vividly recreated in Coastal Summers; the
waterways throng again, not with
yachts, but with working-boats —
steamers, barges, tugs and log-
booms, fish-boats of every size and
design, gas-boats, row-boats,
canoes, Indian dugouts — and
above all, houses and camps on
floats, usually with gardens of
flowers and vegetables. Thousands
of people who lived in the area then
used the boats — miners, prospectors, loggers (particularly hand-
loggers), fishermen, farmers, storekeepers, recluses, retired folk,
nurses, school-teachers, cooks, and
government workers. When the big
logging and fishing companies
monopolized these industries, the
small operations were squeezed out,
all the small upcoast canneries were
closed down, and the lifeline of the
coast, the steamship service, stopped operating and so the life of the
Inside Coast died.
Francis Barrow's journals and
photographs alone are not respon
sible for the readability and appeal
of this book; much of the credit
must go to Beth Hill, who has edited
and arranged the journal, displaying in doing so all the fruits of assiduous research, interspersed with
unfailingly interesting observations
and anecdotes into background
material. It is this treasure-trove of
background detail and comment
that truly illuminates and plumps-
up the summer adventurings of
Francis and Amy Barrow. Besides
visiting with their many friends, old
and new, living in the remote bays
and inlets, the Barrows made a
most important contribution to the
record of coastal pre-history, as
they searched for and photographed Indian Rock art, both petroglyphs and pictographs.
Beth Hill has selected events from
the eight summers to make one
meandering route. This means that
the incidents are usually not in a
chronological time-order. Events
are arranged in an editorially imposed p/ace order, which I found
irritating at times for a historian of
"times-past" to read. It is the coast
dewellers themselves, (including
Francis and Amy Barrow) who are
the real world of Upcoast Summers
and it would be more satisfactory
to participate in their activities,
summer after summer, in an unfolding time-sequence.
The book consists of seven chapters. Chapter One introduces the
Barrows, expatriate English people,
supported by an income from
"home" — Amy's fortune — which
enabled them to enjoy a hobby-
farming life in North Saanich, and
long, leisurely summers at sea in
their little 26 foot-long boat Tokete.
(Tokete is said to mean "pretty" in
the language of the Salish people of
the Saanich Peninsula).
Chapters Two, Three, Four, Five
and Six lead us through a meandering route from, amongst other
places, Lasqueti Island, Sechelt Inlet, Texada Island, Powell River,
Desolation Sound, Surge Narrows,
Cameleon Harbour, Loughborough
Inlet, Burial Cove, Bones Bay,
Minstrel Island, Simoom Sound, to
their most northerly port of call,
Mackenzie Sound. Chapter Seven
deals with Francis Barrow's very
earliest journals, of 1903 and 1905,
when he first came to British Columbia, to visit his brother, Arthur,
a land-surveyor. Francis kept a
scribbling diary during a rowing
holiday among the Gulf Islands and
we get a sketchy glimpse of the
elements that were to become the
most important in his future life.
Francis and Arthur Barrow had
camped for the night at the head of
Browning Harbour, and the next
day, April 3, 1903, we read that
"after breakfast had a jaw with two
brothers of the name of Hamilton.
Left Browning Harbour 12:30 for
S. Pender Island. Went through
canal and arrived at Stanford's
place. He was away but we broke
into his house and made ourselves
pretty comfortable. At supper we
finished our 50th egg. All day long
we heard the blue grouse drumming
in the woods and all night long the
frogs kept on croaking". Four days
later, on April 7th, the brothers'
rowing holiday ended and we read
"left for Sidney at 7 p.m. when we
arrived at 9:15. Could not get any
grub at hotel so Arthur walked
back to Victoria. I put up at Hotel
Sidney, not being able to walk 16
miles without any dinner. Egg total
up to 7 p.m. since April 1st (evening) about 104".
Francis Barrow continued to enjoy his food and in his later jour-
28 nals the never-failing recording of
meals and provisionings becomes,
at times, tedious, until one realizes
that food was for him a means to
the grand end of good fellowship,
companionship and conviviality.
The early part of Chapter Seven,
dealing with Francis Barrow's first
experiences of life in British Columbia, in the Gulf Islands just after
the turn of the century, and his letters to his friends Harlam-Smith
and Billy Newcombe, indeed a foreshadowing of his later travels with
Amy upcoast, would, to my mind,
be better placed as part of Chapter
One — "Introducing the Barrows".
Each chapter is headed by a picto-
graph, providing a unifying element
demonstration the very valuable
work done by the Barrows in recording Indian rock art. I warmly recommend Upcoast Summers as a
delight, as well as an engrossing
tfudy of the social history of the
.xside Coast" in the Thirties.
PauUne Hemming, a history researcher, is a member of the B.C.
Historical Federation, Victoria
David Mattison
Eyes of a City:
Early Vancouver
Photographers 1868 -1900
Vancouver City Archives
Occasional Papers No. 3, 1986.
75 pages. Bibliography, index,
illustrations. $9.95
One of the finest resources for
researchers of Vancouver's urban
history has long been the wonderful photographic collection held by
the City Archives. For me it was an
invaluable link between fragmentary paper data and a sense of the
early city being carved out of the
forest on the Burrard Peninsula.
Marvelous photos let the imagination range; if you looked out of the
archives windows, there were the
same mountains, the same sea, but
what a transformed built environment! In this wonderful booklet,
published in association with Van
couver's recent Centennial celebration, David Mattison has brought
67 of those early photographic images into attractive book form. He
adds a useful commentary that
gives appropriate recognition to the
talents of a few critical early photographers. After discussing a variety
of early image makers in the pre-
CPR era, he notes the special place
of J.A. Brock and Co., the Bailey
Brothers, Trueman and Caple, and
S.J. Thompson before the turn of
the century.
In addition to a useful short biography of the individuals and their
firms, Mattison lets the reader in on
a few stories behind several of the
visual legends. The famous photo
of the first City Hall in a tent, traditionally dated June 16,1886 (three
days after the disastrous fire), is exposed as a posed reconstruction, for
example. Mattison tracked down a
September 9th newspaper account
reporting that Brock had taken the
picture the day before; mircroscopic
examination of the glass negative
revealed that a provincial government notice for contractors, pinned to a billboard next to "City
Hall", is one that first appeared in
an August 31st newspaper!
There is some slight dichotomy
between the text and the images.
Mattison points out that many of
these artists made their money taking photos of men, managers and
machinery in various logging camps
up the coast or mining camps in the
interior, as well as at Vancouver
work-sites. Yet the selection is
dominated by streetscapes in the
commercial part of the city, rarely
places of work or home settings.
Some of his captions to those street
panoramas insist on informing that
a certain building was constructed
in a certain year and designed by a
specific architect, as if that was the
most important aspect of the scene.
Who are these architects anyway?
For the reader who might not know
where all the streets are, a sketch
map of the pre-1900 city might have
helped, perhaps even one that
located camera position and vista
covered. Why, as well, does the
coverage stop at 1900 — it didn't
seem to be a watershed in photographic technology?
These quibbles aside, this is an
extremely interesting book. It includes some of the most breathtaking panoramas of the early city
from Burrard Inlet and from Fair-
view, and these hint at the awesome
sense of opportunity Vancouver
was seen as offering. Many of these
photographs were used by boosters,
by the CPR, and by real estate
companies in the city's infant years.
They contribute an appropriately
enjoyable benchmark at the city's
Centennial. Major J.S. Mathews
was responsible for making many
of these early images available for
researchers by attaching pioneers'
recollections of facts to certain
plates. Subsequent archivists have
enhanced the collection and their
utility, and the Archives is to be
congratulated for making some of
these gems accessible beyond their
vaults at such a reasonable price.
Deryck W. Holdsworth
Historical Atlas  of Canada,
Braehead: Three Founding
Families in
Nineteenth Century Canada
Sherrill MacLaren
McClelland and Stewart, 1986
Braehead looks like the sort of
"epic romance" which translates
with advantage into a television
miniseries. The dust jacket shows
an archetypal New World mansion
squarely set on a vast yellow prairie.
Blue foothills in the background
signal to the Canadian reader that
this is not Texas, but Alberta. The
three cover characters are enough
to make one settle at once into an
easy chair, reading glasses on nose
and telephone unplugged. On the
left is Ernest Cross, dark with piercing visionary gaze and dashing
moustache. On the right is fiery,
bearded James MacLeod, resplendent in the scarlet of the North
West Mounted Police. Between
them is Helen "Nell" Rothney
MacLeod Cross, daughter to James
29 and wife to Ernest, a statuesque
beauty with upswept dark hair curling over her fragile features and
high-necked gown.
The experienced miniseries fan
will perceive that such a cast guarantees fiery passion, fierce determination, heartbreak and triumph.
Braehead does not disappoint
these expectations. The reader in
the easy chair will stay up long past
bedtime, thrilling to the adventures
of James as he matures from rebellious student to NWMP Commissioner, the Queen's emissary to the
plains Indians, and chief lawgiver
in the North West Territories; pulsating to the driven, restless spirit
of Ernest the rancher, politican,
brewer, oilman, filmmaker and
founder of the Calgary Stampede;
battling drought and prohibition;
confronting the likes of Louis Riel,
Sitting Bull, and R.B. Bennett. Best
of all will be the early realization
that this is more fun than a saga of
a fictional Ernest, James and Nell,
because we know these people and
their children. This story is, in fact,
Our Story.
Sherrill MacLaren has charted
the progress of three families who
immigrated from Scotland to Canada in the early nineteenth century;
the Crosses to Lower Canada, the
MacLeods to Upper Canada, and
the Drevers to the Red River Settlement. At first the story unravels as
three distinct threads, then becomes
one as the families and their fortunes are intermeshed. MacLaren
traces "the emergence of a character
known as 'western Canadian' "
and the development of a race of
"quintessential westerners."
The names of MacLeod and
Cross remain prominent. The
Drever name is now less known,
but the Drevers, Nell's maternal
grandparents, were the original
residents at Winnipeg's Portage
and Main. Helen Rothney Drever,
the fierce servant-girl who defied
her employer, the formidable Judge
Thorn, and successfully took him
to court to win her rights, deserves
a book to herself.
James MacLeod dominates the
first half of the book, the age of
survival and settlement, and Ernest
Cross the second half, the entrance
into an industrial age. The supporting cast is strong. The women include Janet Selkirk Cross, Ernest's
grandmother, who began the family's entrepreneurial enterprises with
her general store in Ormstown,
Quebec; Helen Drever's daughter
Mary, a suitable match for James
MacLeod; the Frenchwomen Lea
and Marguerite, who were never
quite accepted by either Montreal
or Victoria. Among the men are
William Drever, frontiersman par
excellence; Alexander Cross,
Ernest's father and lawgiver for
Quebec; Willie Heber Cross, who
was more Wildean than wild; and
Harry Cross, pioneer senator of
Suffering was a frequent companion, through terrible winters and
long droughts, as they faced the
starvation of cattle and the sudden
deaths of children, the dreariness of
separations and the bitterness of
failure. MacLaren identifies the
ideals which impelled them to continuous effort, and Ernest's daughter, Mary Drever, has explained his
perception of their roles as developers and public servants: "he felt
that we should take our place."
"Braehead" is a unifying symbol
as well as the name of places in
Scotland, Alberta and Wyoming.
The word means "riverbank" and
was "the name given to the Cross
ancestral home established on the
Clyde River in Scotland in 1721.
Throughout this story it symbolizes
the flow of generations, and the
riverbank homes provided a refuge
from the floods and frozen waters
they endured or confronted over
more than a century."
The research behind the telling of
the Braehead saga has been formidable. MacLaren has been tireless
and thorough, stressing that the
Cross family left her free to present
and interpret facts as she found
them. The result is of benefit to us
all. One of Ernest's sons observed,
"We survived because we were dedicated, and you know, we did a
damn good job."
Sherrill MacLaren, too, has done
a damn good job.
Phyllis Reeve
(Cont. from p. 27)
Report on the B.C. Historical
Federation Conference — 1987
Shillings a Year. Jacqueline Gresko,
a history instructor from Douglas
College, gave an indepth account of
Indian Schools in the Fraser Valley.
Her after dinner talk wrapped up
what had been presented earlier,
leaving delegates knowledgeable
about the history of Mission, and
very appreciative of the work done
by Dorothy Crosby and the Mission
Historical Society.
We appeal...
for donations to build up endowment funds for two projects undertaken by the British Columbia
Historical Federation. It has been
moved/seconded and carried that the
British Columbia Historical Federation
1.) A monetary prize to the winner^) of the annual competition for
Writers of B.C. History. May 10,
1986, Annual General Meeting.
2.) A scholarship for a student
entering fourth year in a British Columbia university taking a major in
British Columbia/Canadian history.
Annual General Meeting May 4,1985.
The writing Competition Prize Fund
has seen endowment which will
guarantee a $100 prize can be paid to
the 1986 winter. This is a beginning.
You can make it possible for the B.C.
Historical Federation to offer more
than one prize, and attract more entrants to this competition.
We thank all those who have made
donations to these projects, and urge
other readers to send a cheque today
The Treasurer — B.C. Historical
P.O. Box 35326
Station E
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
State which project you are supporting. All donations will be acknowledged with a receipt for tax exemption
30 (Cont. from p. 18)
A History of Dollarton
able area and the park was approved. Cates Park, as it is now called,
was named after a prominent North
Vancouver family who donated
property to the site.
Today the squatters' shacks and
the mills are gone but some aspects
of Burrard Inlet have not changed
from bygone days. These are best
described in the writings of Malcolm Lowry: the Roche Point light
beacon "standing lonely on its
cairn," the "hallooing" of distant
trains, deep sea vessels moving up
and down the inlet, and "seagulls
blowing four ways at once."10
' Various interviews with long-time
residents of Dollarton were conducted
during 1985/1986. Information from
specific individuals is indicated in the
body of the article; where individuals
wish to remain anonymous, names are
not given. Warm thanks are extended to
all those who so generously helped me
to piece together this history.
2 Robert Dollar, Memoirs of Robert
DoUar (San Francisco: W.S. Van Cott
& Co., 1921), Vol. II, p. 13.
3 Kathleen Marjorie Woodward-Reynolds,
A History of the City and District of
North Vancouver (Master's Thesis,
University of B.C., 1943), p. 135.
4 From a letter to the author, dated October 11, 1985.
' "Subdivision Planned For Dollarton
Site," The Vancouver Sun, 17 May,
1944: 1.
6 Cummins Place in Dollarton was named after the community pioneer Percy
7 "Dollarton Road Work Commenced,"
The North Shore Press, 31 October
1930: 1
' "Rosyln Park Renovation Provides
More Homes," The Vancouver Sun, 14
June 1944: 12. Information regarding
development of the Roslyn Subdivision
was also obtained from area residents.
' "Town Planners Approve Roche Point
Park," North Arm News, 15 September
1949: 1. North Shore Museum and Archives, No. 85-11.
,0 These excerpts are taken from Malcolm
Lowry's "Forest Path to the Spring,"
Hear usO Lord from heaven thy dweU-
ing place (Philadelphia and New York:
J.B. Lippincott, 1961), 218, 217, 254.
Selections from this article have been
previously published in Sheryl Salloum's,
"Eridanus: Another View," The
Malcolm Lowry Review No. 17 and No,
18 (FaU 1985 and Spring 1986): Malcohr.
Lowry: Vancouver Days, MaderiaPark
B.C.: Harbour Publishing Ltd., 1987.
The following books were submitted for the 4th annual Competition for Writers of B.C. History.
Each is available at local bookstores or may be ordered from the
address listed below the title.
Seven Shillings a Year, Charles
Lillard, Horsdal & Schubert Publishers Ltd., Box 1, Ganges, B.C.,
VOB 1E0, 248 pages soft cover,
$12.95. An overview of the history
of Vancouver Island.
Forest to Fields, Wynndel Heritage
Group, Box 1, Site 23, R.R. No. 1,
Wynndel, B.C., VOB 2N0, 615
pages, hard cover. $50.00, $3.00
postage. Wynndel celebrates a Century — an anthology.
Okanagan History — 50th Report
of OHS, Editor Jean Webber,
Order From: O.H.S. Treasurer,
Box 313, Vernon, B.C., V1T 6M3,
208 pages soft cover. $10.00, $1.55
postage. The Okanagan Historical
Society's 50th anthology. Interesting variety of topics.
British Columbia Place Names, G.P.V. &
Helen B. AKRIGG, Sono Nis Press, 1745
Blanshard St., Victoria, B.C., V8W 2J8,
346 pages, $16.50 soft cover, $29.95 hard
cover. A Dictionary of B.C. place names.
BuUdings of Samuel MacLure, Martin Segger, Sono Nis Press, 1745 Blanshard Street,
Victoria, B.C., V8W 2J8, 276 pages hard
cover $39.95 . A well illustrated biography
of one of B.C.'s earliest architects.
Camera West: B.C. on FUm 1941 - 65,
Dennis J. Duffy, Sound and Moving Image Division, Provincial Archives, Victoria,
B.C. V1V 1X4, 318 pages soft cover,
$12.00. A catalogue of films produced in
B.C. from 1941 - 1965. The list includes
where these are held in storage.
An Early History of Coldstream & Lav-
ington, Anne Pearson, 784 Claremont
Avenue, Victoria, B.C. V8Y 1K1, 176
pages, soft cover, $10.00 plus $2.25
postage. An intimate look at the lives of
early settlers in North Okanagan.
Deeper Roots & Greener VaUeys, Fraser
Lake Historical Society, c/o Box 56, Fraser
Lake, B.C. V0J ISO, 316 pages hard cover,
$24.95 plus $2.95 postage. An anthology
of the people and activities at Fraser Lake
and District.
Fraser Port: Freightway to the Pacific,
Edited by J. Gresko and R. Howard, Sono
Nis Press, 1745 Blanshard Street, Victoria,
B.C. V8W2J8, 131 pages soft cover.
$12.95. Compiled projects of students at
Douglas and Kwantlen Colleges.
Gordon Shrum: An Autobiography, As
told to Peter Stursberg, University of B.C.
Press, 303 - 6344 Memorial Road, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1W5, 158 pages hard
cover, $19.95. Memories of a man who was
a legend in his own time — the story of a
dynamic educator, project manager,
Historic Spallumcheen, Jessie Ann Gamble,
Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum, Box
308, Armstrong, B.C., VOE 1B0,135 pages
paperback, $6.95. A brief history of Armstrong and District explained in terms of
local road names. An Anthology.
Journal of Lady Aberdeen, Edited by R.M.
Middleton, Sono Nis Press, 1745 Blanshard
Street, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2J8, 91 pages
soft cover, $8.95. See the social life of the
"upper class" in the Okanagan in the
Ladysmith's Colorful History, Viola
Johnson-Cull, Ladysmith Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Johnson-Cull, R.R. No. 2,
Ladysmith, B.C., VOR 2E0, 315 pages hard
cover, $20.00 plus $2.00 postage. Colorful
memories of Ladysmith during the Dunsmuir coal mining era.
B.C. Historical News
31 Lucky to Live in Cedar Cottage, Editor
Seymour Levi tan, Lord Selkirk Elementary
School, 1750 East 22nd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V5N 2P7, 72 pages soft
cover, $10.00. A neat anthology compiled
by an elementary school celebrating its 75th
Mayor Gerry: The Remarkable Gerald
Grattan McGeer, David R. Williams,
Douglas and Mclntyre, 1615 Venables
Street, Vancouver, B.C., V5L2H1, 315
pages hard cover, $24.95. The biography
of Gerry McGeer, populist, M.L.A., MP,
mayor of Vancouver and Dominion
More EngUsh than the EngUsh, Terry
Reksten, Orca Book Publishers, P.O. Box
5626, Stn. B., Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4,180
pages soft cover, $9.95. True history written with delightful levity. Victoria pioneers
analysed rather than eulogized.
On the Shady Side: Vancouver 1886 -1914,
Betty Keller, Horsdal & Schubart Publishers, Box 1, Ganges, B.C., VOS 1E0,121
pages soft cover, $9.95. Documentation of
interesting happenings that are rarely noted
in a history praising "good" pioneers.
Oregon Train Journal: Honotre Timothee
Lempfrit O.M.I., Patricia Meyer & Catou
Levesque, Societe Historique Franco-
Colombienne, 9 Broadway Avenue East,
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 1V4, 261 pages
hard cover, $21.00 plus $1.50 postage.
Travels across the continent to Ft. Victoria.
Translations from the diary of the first
priest on Vancouver Island.
Pioneers of Revelstoke, Revelstoke Senior
Citizens Assn., Book Committee, Box
2145, Revelstoke, B.C., VOE 2S0, 345
pages hard cover, $32.00 plus $2.50
postage. Revelstoke — a railway city — an
Shipyards of British Columbia, G.W.
Taylor, Sono Nis Press, 1745 Blanshard
Street, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2J8,216pages
hard cover, $17.50. Detailed studies of a
west coast industry.
Stories About People of German Language
Background in Victoria, Dr. Elizabeth
Mayer, German Canadian Historical Assn.,
P.O. Box 406, Station K, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 2G7, 208 pages soft cover,
$6.00 plus $1.60 postage. Victoria seen
from a different viewpoint.
Story of the B.C. Electric RaUway Company, Henry Ewert, Whitecap Books
Limited, 1086 West 3rd Street, North Vancouver, B.C., V7P 3J6, 336 pages hard
cover, $39.95. Transportation in the lower
mainland — painstakingly documented.
Victoria Landmarks, Geoffrey Castle and
Barry King, Box 5123, Station B., Victoria,
B.C., V8N6N4, 200 pages soft cover,
$21.95. One hundred illustrations and
descriptions of building boats and totems
in Victoria.
Will to Power: The Missionary Career of
Father Morice, David Mulhall, University
of B.C. Press, 6344 Memorial Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1W5, 221 pages hard
cover, $29.95. The Biography of Fr.
Morice, OMI, who built a veritable
kingdom for himself in northern B.C.
1885 - 1903.
Youngblood of the Peace, Shirlee S.
Matheson, Lone Pine Publishing, No.
414 - 10357 109 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 1N3, 246 pages soft cover, $9.95.
A Catholic priest serves natives in the Peace
River Area 1930 - 1983. See the changes in
Indian lifestyle in 50 years.
I wish to subscribe to B.C. Historical News. I enclose a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5.
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