British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1986

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 Published by the British Columbia Historical Federation
VOLUME 19, No. 5
British Columbia
Horse-drawn buggy and Stanley Park's famous hollow tree
before the advent of the automobile.
Progress in Heritage Conservation
Victoria Police Chief Too Kind
Father Morice's Syllabis Newspaper
More Vancouver Memories MEMBER SOCIETIES
M?mber societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct addresses
for their society and for its member subscribers are up-to-date. Please send changes to both
the treasurer and the editor whose addresses are at the bottom of the next page. The Annual
Report as at October 31 should show a telephone number for contact.
Member dues for the year 1984-85 (Volume 18) were paid by the following member
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 Mrs. Ann Johnston, RR 1 Mayne Island VON 2J0
BCHF — Victoria Branch, 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
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
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2, Ladysmith, B.C. VOR 2E0
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 & Museum Society, RR 1, Box 5, Kinghorn Rd., Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Elizabeth L. Grubbe, 623 East 10th Street, North Vancouver,
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 1487, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney and North Saanich Historical Society, c/o B. Peirson, 9781 Third Street, Sidney, B.C. V8L 3A5
Silvery Slocal Historical Society, P.O. Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. VIR 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 91785, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 4S1
Affiliated Croups
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 British Columbia
Historical News
Volume 19, No. 5. 1986
Vancouver's Founding Father
Olga Ruskin  3
From Vancouver's Sails to Van Home's Rails
Leonard Meyers  5
Gordon Mercer, An Historical Appreciation
Jacqueline Gresko  8
The Good Shepherd
Lacey Hansen-Brett 11
Gaining Ground in Heritage Conservation
Russell Irvine 15
Lady With a Long Memory
Elsie G. Turnbull 18
A Legacy of Skill and Courage
Marie Elliott 20
Paper Story Teller, Fr. Morice's Newspaper
William O'Hara 21
News and Notes
Appreciation  2
Central Okanagan Records Survey 14
Publications Committee Report 17
Heritage Place Opens
Elizabeth Bork 24
Leonard Frank Exhibit in Victoria
Janis Diner Brinley 25
J. Rhys Richardson 26
Books on hand
Nelson Heritage Tours
Reviewed t>y Angus Weiler 28
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.
In this my first issue of the B.C. Historical News, it
is my duty and pleasure to introduce myself. First, a bit
of background. From 1977 to 19841 taught high school
English, History, and related subjects in various parts of
B.C. (Kelowna, Nanaimo, and Victoria). I started Orca^
Book Publishers as a part-time venture almost three years
ago and have been involved with it full-time for a year
and a half. I will very shortly have five titles; three 'local
interest' books, and two which sell to specialized markets
throughout North America.
I applied for the position as editor of the News because
I saw it as an opportunity to gain experience. Although
I do not have a particularly strong background in
history — my greater interest has always been in
literature — I am becoming more and more fascinated
with learning about British Columbia's past. For me the
challenge of this position will be two-fold: to produce a
quarterly of high quality within the budget available, and
to attempt to enhance the economic viability of the journal by appealing to a wider readership. Both of these
goals seem within reach.
Due to my relative lack of experience in the field of
local history, I expect to rely on the Publication Committee for guidance and direction in the selection of content for the magazine. I will also welcome suggestions as
to what you, the reader, would like to see in the News.
I would very much like to see an active 'Letters to the
Editor' section as a regular feature in the journal. I would
also like to initiate an 'Exchange' section — a kind of
classified advertising section where ideas, information,
materials, etc. could be shared and solicited.
From my perusal of back issues I would say that the
B.C. Historical News has a fine tradition of quality in
the field. In order for this tradition to continue, I suggest that there must be a commitment to involvement by
the readership. As a forum for the exchange of information and ideas, the News must serve your needs. If it does
not, please let us know. If there are areas in which we
can improve, please let us know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Bob Tyrrell
There is one operation connected with The British Columbia Historical News that seldom receives much
recognition but that is very demanding in its execution.
That is the work of the Subscription Secretary.
Nearly 1,200 copies of the magazine are mailed each
issue. Someone has to see that the address labels are correct — in name, address, postal code, and last issue paid
for. First, the names have to be entered in two files —
one file in alphabetical order, the other in the order of
Postal Code as is the requirement of Canada Post for
Second Class mail. As new subscribers are received the
two cards must be typed up and them placed correctly;
as a subscription lapses the cards must be removed; as
a subscription is paid each card requires the entry of the
new expiry issue. It is a time consuming task. It is a task
that Margaret Stoneberg of Princeton has carried out
meticulously for the last three years.
At a meeting of Council after the Annual General
Meeting at U.B.C. last May it was decided that the
subscription list should be transferred to computer operation. This is now being done, and Margaret wil now have
more time for her special interests in the Museum and
Archives in Princetom.
We thank you for your careful work, Margaret.
Don't let your subscription expire.
Check your address label for date of renewal.
Deadline for the next issue of the B.C. Historical News
is December 15,1987. Please submit articles and reports
The Editor
P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C.   V8R 6S4
Scholarship Fund
Help us establish a scholarship for a 4th year
student taking a major or honors course in
Canadian history at a B.C. University. All donations are tax deductible. Please send your cheque
today to:
The British Columbia Historical Federation
Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 35326
Station E
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
British Columbia Historical News Olga Ruskin
A legend then and now
During Vancouver's centennial celebrations due
tribute has been paid to Captain Vancouver. But
another sea captain has also lent his name to the city. Captain John Deighton was the first settler on
the townsite from which the present city of Vancouver grew. To many Captain Deighton is better
known as 'Gassy Jack', after whom Gastown is named. (The Victorian term for talking a lot was "gassing" and it was because he talked a lot and told many
tales that Deighton received his nickname 'Gassy
Jack'.) Because of Deighton's colorful personality
and the role he played in its beginnings, the town
of Granville, which became the city of Vancouver
in 1886, was popularly known as Gastown.
Captain Deighton left behind him few personal
traces, but government records, newspaper sources,
and pioneer reminiscences in the Major Matthews
Collection in the Vancouver City Archives help to
piece together his life story, a tale of globe-trotting
adventure, mystery and tragedy. On the other hand,
there are several tangible acknowledgments of
Deighton's presence in the early settlement on the
south shore of Burrard Inlet.
A visitor to Gastown today will see the statue of
Gassy Jack in Maple Tree Square. The statue was
erected in the 1960s and 1970s when Gastown arose
from its skid row image thanks to the efforts of the
Vancouver Community Arts Council and real estate
entrepreneur Larry Killam. On view at the Vancouver Centennial Museum in its Milltown section
is a handsome camphor wood chest bearing
Deighton's name and labelled as "the only known
relic of Gastown's founder and pioneer saloon
keeper." And further away in the Provincial Archives is a photograph of Captain John "Gassy
Jack" Deighton posed uke a city father.
John Deighton's life story begins in November
1830 in Hull, England where he was born to Richard
and Jane Deighton, the youngest of five children.
When he was 14, Jack went to sea, sailing first in
British ships, then American. When he was 21, he
signed on board a new clipper, Invincible, bound
from New York to San Francisco and the California Gold Rush. From California Invincible sailed
on to Hong Kong with Jack on board as Third Of
ficer. Because the law said that only U.S. citizens
could be officers on American ships, he gave his birthplace as "Pike", a reference to Pike County,
Missouri, a starting point for many trekkers to the
Coast. After Invincible deUvered a cargo of tea to
England, it sailed again for New York in 1853, but
not with Deighton on board. Instead he was returning to California to join the Gold Rush.
Deighton had some exciting adventures in Califor-
nis. Entrusted to go to Frisco to sell a large nugget
worth several thousand dollars, which he and his
partners had found, Jack spent all the money on
himself. He had only a Mexican girl on one arm and
an English bulldog on a chain on the other to show
his partners — and a very good story to recount for
years. He remained in California until 1858, but
when news came of another gold strike on the west
coast, he and partner Jack Kennedy joined the
stream of California gold seekers trekking north.
Like many others, however, he did not find any gold
on the Fraser.
Possibly to earn some money, Jack joined the
customs department in Queensborough (New
Westminster) which was the only port of entry for
the Fraser River. After only a few months in this
position, he was asked by Billy Moore, a former prospector who went into the shipping business, to
become pilot for the 73 foot sternwheeler Henrietta. It took a good deal of skill to navigate the Fraser
to Yale, and perhaps because of this, Jack earned
considerable distinction. He became known as Captain John Deighton. After the Henrietta was bought
out, Deighton went on to pilot other boats. But the
Cariboo Gold Rush of 1861 attracted more gold
seekers, and Deighton was one of these. Though in
August 1862 Billy Barker found a fortune on
William's Creek, Jack did not.
Back on the coast, Deighton returned to work for
Billy Moore, piloting the Flying Dutchman (Moore's
nickname) to Pioneer Mills (later to become
Moody's Mill) recently built on a 480 acre preemption on Burrard Inlet's north shore. During this
period Jack married an Indian woman from Burrard Inlet.
After returning to river piloting for a time, and
British Columbia Historical News then in 1865 unsuccessfully applying for the position of keeper of the new Fraser River lightship,
Deighton bought the Globe Saloon at New
Westminster, and continued his reputation for
"gassing". He was constantly referred to as Gassy
Jack. To improve his health, because at times he had
to hobble about his saloon on crutches, Gassy Jack
went to Douglas Springs in 1867 to try the hot
mineral springs. He left his saloon, cash and liquor
stock entrusted to a former shipmate who spent it
all in a wild and riotous celebration on the fourth
of July.
Again without money Deighton needed a new
lucrative venture. He decided to gamble on starting
a saloon close to Capt. Edward Stamp's new B.C.
& Van. Island Spar Lumber and Sawmill Co. at the
foot of what is now Gore St. He knew that
millworkers and ships crew walked the 30 miles
round trip to New Westminster to get a drink.
Deighton's arrival on the south shore of Burrard Inlet on Sept. 29, 1867 was a colorful one.
He came in a dugout canoe with his wife, her
mother, and her cousin and with what was needed
to set up his own camp and saloon — in particular
a barrel of whisky. He landed at a place Indians called Luck-Lucky — "grove of maple trees" and today's Maple Tree Square in Gastown. The makeshift
12'x24' board and batten saloon built in a day by
eager millhands was located in the middle of what
is now a five way intersection at Carrall and Water
Streets, the heart of Maple Tree Square. A hundred
years ago Luck-Lucky was not what it is today.
Gassy Jack was to write to his brother Tom several
years later "I can assure you it was a lonesome place
when I came here first. Surrounded by Indians, I
dare not look out after dark."
Nor did the isolation disappear over the next
several years. J. Warren Bell in his memoirs described a trip he took through Gastown in 1873. "The
sawmill was some distance away which we reached
by a path. Seems to me there was nothing but Gassy
Jack's small place and the forest back of it.
Moodyville was a city compared to Hastings
(Stamp's) Sawmill."
The settlement was surveyed in 1870 into a
townsite to be named after the British Colonial
Secretary-Earl Granville. The new town plan spread
over six acres was bounded by today's Water, Car-
rail, Hastings and Cambie Streets. Unfortunately
Deighton's Globe Saloon was in the middle of the
intersection of Water and Carrall. He had to move.
As the site for his new establishment he bought Lot
1 on south-west corner of Carral and Water for $135.
The new Deighton Hotel was to have a bar-room,
billiard room, several bedrooms, and a verandah
shaded by a maple tree.
During 1870 other changes occurred. The BC &
VI Mill was re-organized as hastings Sawmill. When
his wife died, Gassy Jack married her 12 year old
niece Madeline. In 1871 she gave birth to Richard.
This was also the year that the Colony of British Columbia became a province of Canada. In the 1871
census J. Deighton was listed as a wine and spirit
merchant, though by now not the only one in Granville. But as Gassy Jack wrote to Tom "I have done
the most of the business all the time." His clientele
must have been a rough and ready lot. Bell, writing
about his Gastown trip in 1873, wrote . . " I heard
the men folk talking about a row at Gassy Jack's,
and they sent to Westminster for Dr. Mclnnis to take
a bullet out of a Portuguese who had been shot."
But an attempt to change the clientele was to be
made, though it wasn't of Gassy Jack's doing. In
the summer of '73 Gassy Jack's brother Tom and
wife Emma arrived in Gastown. Emma was to
manage Deighton's Hotel Granville.
His hotel taken care of Deighton went back to
Westminster with his family, and took command of
the steamer Onward described when launched as
"the finest sternwheeler on the river," However, it
was back to the hotel business when Tom and Emma left for Victoria in September 1874.
But the following spring Gassy Jack was not feeling well. His breathing was labored, and his feet and
legs had grown more swollen and painful. Dr. Mcln-
nin followed Dr. C.N. Trew in seeing him. Again
legend steps in. On May 29 Gassy Jack's big mastiff
began to howl. Gassy Jack is supposed to have said
"You son of a bitch! There's something going to
happen." That night he died at age 44. Six days later
Rev. J. Turner held the funeral service at the hotel.
According to the obituary in the Mainland Guardian "a great number of our citizens followed them
(the funeral procession) to the Masonic Cemetery"
in New Westminster. The Mainland Guardian
described him as the best pilot of the Fraser but also
as a hotel keeper "celebrated for his good table and
warm hospitality."
Madeline, many years later, was to describe John
Deighton to Major Matthews as "a nice, good
man." Tragically their son was not able to add his
recollections. Four year old Richard died six months
after his father.
Raymond Hull & Olga Ruskin Gastown's Gassy
Jack, Soules, 1971.
J. Warren Bell, Unpublished Manuscript, Vancouver
City Archives.
British Columbia Historical News Leonard Meyers
From Vancouver's Sails
to Van Home's Rails
"Vancouver is a lovely city. Greatly enjoyed the
beauty of the scenery. . . "
Whose words? None other than those of former
Prime Minister Mackenzie King. The less than immortal lines are from his diary The Mackenzie King
Record. That stolid old statesman must have consulted with the local weatherman to ascertain when
the weather would be salutary in our fair city.
Those who remember the senior Canadian politician will recall that the conservative — with a small
c — prime minister was not given to overly effusive
expressions of rapture or ecstacy. He was not lightly moved. But this town must have turned him on.
A fact that is not too surprising. It has turned people on — hundreds of thousands of them — for an
entire century. It has turned a similar number off —
Torontonians mainly.
It all began with Captain George Vancouver,
R.N., who allegedly was the first white man to explore the waters adjacent to what is now the city of
Vancouver on June 13, 1792. The late Major J.S.
Matthews, the controversial Vancouver archivist,
agreed with this. In his lexicon "V" stood not for
victory, but for Vancouver and Van Horne.
Other writers and historians maintain this is not
so. That, in fact, the Spaniards observed the site
first. Indeed, it is argued, didn't Don Jose Maria
Narvaez map, in 1791, the fjord of Howe Sound and
the Olympic Peninsula "at the mouth of a copious
river?" The future Fraser to be sure. They could tell
by the mud and the pollution in it even then. And
this long before the latter-day ecology kick.
According to authentic old records and even more
contemporary historical research, they are both
right. (Notwithstanding an Indian legend that an ark
landed on the Olympic Mountains after a great
flood, and generated Genesis right here in our own
back yard).
In the summer of 1791, a historical narrative purports to outline the case for Narvaez, and points out
that Francisco Eliza, commandant at Nootka, with
the help of Jose Maria Narvaez investigated Rosario
Strait, Nanaimo harbour, and the Gulf of Georgia
to Texada Island.
' As for Captain Vancouver's explorations, the
following account credits him with the actual entrance into Burrard Inlet, which he named after one
of his officer friends, Sir Harry Burrard who, incidentally, never visited this area. "Vancouver," the
passage relates, "retained the impression that the
space between them was occupied by a swampy flat
that retires several miles before the country rises to
meet the rugged, snowy mountains. Through two
small openings, he thought only canoes could
navigate, he went on to enter Burrard Inlet. . ."
As if to further compound the controversy, a
Department of Recreation and Conservation marker
overlooking the Strait of Georgia contains the
following dogwood embellished inscription: Before
you lies one of the most intricate coastlines in the
world. Into this sheltered strait, ageless domain of
the Indian, sailed Jose Narvaez in the year 1791.
Other Spaniards and George Vancouver foUowed.
Fighting winds and tide, they charted the remote
maze of waterways — a milestone in the mapping
of the world.
Be that as it may. Let the facts of history fend
for themselves. The fact we are preoccupied with is
a city called Vancouver — and some of its early, and
come-lately luminaries. As a city Vancouver exists.
There are those who would love to dispute and deny
it — such as the somnolent, retiring citizens of a
much older Victoria. Some Victorians still think of
themselves as the epicentre of Empire — after all,
they were here first whether Vancouver likes it or
not — with nothing but scorn for crass Vancouver.
But this outgrowth of old Gastown (was there ever
such a place? Some say no), is not prone to be
denied. It is anything but prone, especially the mountainous North Shore.
Vancouver, one hundred years after incorporation, is very much alive and kicking. A cursory listen
to a variety of local radio open-line shows will readily
confirm that the current citizens of Vancouver kick
British Columbia Historical News Hastings Street looking west. Note left
hand drive and forest of telephone
poles. Circa 1905.
(Vancouver City Archives)
about everything. Vancouverites are the champion
kickers and complainers in all of Canada, if not in
the world.
Vancouver is a city conceived in controversy and
colored with characters. Its inhabitants are picturesque in their blue jeans and Indian sweaters. They
are argumentative and unconventional. You name
it and they'll disagree with it. Even Providence was
indecisive at its inception whether to make this area
another tropical paradise, a monsoon lagoon, or an
arctic outpost whenever Vancouver is inundated with
three feet of snow. As it turned out, we're all three.
And ever since its inhabitants have been smiling in
the summertime and scowling in the winter —
everybody, that is, except the late Leo Sweeney, the
fair-weather tourist bureau booster of Vancouver
who didn't recognize rain as anything more than "liquid sunshine."
In the very beginning there was considerable doubt
as to who had — or would like — jurisdiction over
the area — the Spanish or the British. Instead of
leaving conquest and control in the improbable
hands of Providence, the Spanish, even before they
explored this area fully, laid claim to the area. The
native Indians who were here first weren't even consulted. The British had similar ambitions.
Not to be outdone, the Brits sent Captain George
Vancouver in the good Discovery and an armed
tender, the Chatham to do a bit of dickering with
the Spaniards at Nootka. As for his negotiating success Captain Vancouver must have been as adept at
it as he was at navigating, for he eventually induced the Spanish to withdraw, leaving the area wide
open to the British, after the discovery of gold in
the Klondike and the Cariboo, and wild animals and
otters for precious furs for barter.
Years later came the first permanent settlers to the
environs of today's Vancouver nestling in the rain
forests, followed, in due course, by the construction
of the Canadian Pacific Railway transcontinental.
The building of this great and historic railway, as
well, resulted in perhaps the first real controversy
for this young settlement along Burrard Inlet.
The national agreement called for the line to be
constructed to the salt-tide of the Pacific at a place
called Port Moody — Granville or Gastown notwithstanding. It was only upon the insistence of
father-figure William Cornelius Van Horne, railroad
builder extraordinaire, visionary, and construction
catalyst of the great transcontinental, that the line
be extended to Granville at Coal Harbour.
Beholding, in 1884, the motley collection of
wooden shacks, lean-tos and hovels nestling in the
primeval rain forests, Van Horne soon became alive
to the future potential of this strategic settlement on
the Pacific with the coming of the railway, and promptly chose the name Vancouver as a fitting appellation for the western terminus of his celebrated
continent-spanning railway. And so it was. Whether
Port Moody liked it or not. It didn't — at least not
the business interests and land speculators. But
despite Port Moody's lose and subsequent frustration, it still lives on as one of the urban bedrooms
of Vancouver. As such, it is not without honor for,
without bedrooms, even Van Home's CPR would
have been unequal to the task of ensuring a future
population with which to propagate and consummate a great city and a greater nation.
If anyone thinks that was the end of the Une of
Vancouver's claim and fame as the western terminus
and future booming metropolis at the western extremity of the Canadian Pacific Railway, they bet-
British Columbia Historical News ter guess again.
There was downright hostility to the upstart community on the mainland in staid old Victoria. It was
staid even in the early days.
But in retrospect one must be kind. After all, a
bit of jealousy is forgivable. While frontier Victoria
boasted the "birdcages" — its rustic, wooden
"gingerbread" legislative buildings, it was
understandably envious of Vancouver, especially
when it was learned that this brash and uncouth settlement on Burrard Inlet was getting a transcontinental railway. Even before it was named Vancouver
in 1886, it already boasted a number of honest-to-
goodness saloons, including one operated by a lo-
quatious character called Captain John "Gassy
Jack" Deighton, first the Globe, then bigger
Deighton House Hotel in Gastown.
While the best the capital city could muster (even
the capital wasn't originally Victoria's. Fort Langley
and New Westminster shared the honor first) was
an old fort, an egotistical castle and, yes, a
gentleman by the name of Amor de Cosmos (Lover
of the Universe) who went about tilting at self-
perpetuating, pompous governors. He had a habit
of attacking intransigent colonial officials, like a
latter-day Don Quixote, and overseas-oriented politicians with his frontier newspaper, the British Colonist, which he founded, when he wasn't busy running for the legislative assembly, getting elected, and
crusading for responsible government for British
Otherwise, the "little bit of old England" designation hadn't been thought of yet — there was the
Spanish influence, and too many gold miners from
California around. So up tight were the merchants
of historic Victoria about being outdone, and stuck
Canadian Pacific Railway Station at the
foot of Granville Street. Stanley Park in
background (PABC)
with the birds, the tourists, the Americans, and the
British (who knew a good thing when they saw it —
after somebody else did the spadework) that they
even threatened to boycott eastern merchants if they
appointed agents elsewhere on the British Columbia mainland. Indeed, so nasty were they that they
circulated a rumor intimating that the new port of
Vancouver was unsafe for shipping. They almost
outdid Port Moody in espousing hate and invective.
Even the Colonist got into the act.
"We are ready to make allowances," it observed
with a flourish of senior superiority, "reasonable
and unreasonable, to the bumptiousness of our
youthful neighbor, Vancouver."
"Towns, as well as individuals, most go through
the bumptious stage, and it is cruel when they begin
to feel their own consciousness, when the first down
of manhood, so to speak, begins to appear on their
chins, not to give them their fling. We who are older,
know they will soon get the conceit knocked out of
them, that the time will surely come when they will
laugh at the consequential airs they now put on.
"Vancouver," the Colonist went on with its con-
descentind appraisal, "is just now in its pup-
pyhood — we won't use that word in an offensive
sense at all, for — and we are ready to look with
the utmost indulgence, knowing it will be wiser by
and by . . "
Strong words for cultured old Victoria, and it had
a final dig to get in: "Let Vancouver remember it
is not all the world, or even the whole of British Columbia — it is not much more than a tenth of this
province; it will be sometime yet before it rivals New
York, or even Montreal in population. We say this
with due deference to the very superior people who
make Vancouver their home . . .
British Columbia Historical News Jacqueline Gresko
Gordon   Mercer
An Historical Appreciation
In recognition both of Gordon Mercer's work in
the family firm Star Shipyard New Westminster, and
in donating Star records to British Columbia archives, I have asked his family's permission to
publish an article based on an interview with him
February 24, 1983. My part as interviewer in this
piece is an expression of appreciation to the Mercers
and their yard superintendent, Victor Gresko, my
late father-in-law, for having invited me down to the
yard to see construction and repair of vessels. Those
occasions interested me in maritime history and provided background for recent research on the Fraser
River Harbour Commission. In that study the
Mercer collection of photographs in the Provincial
Archives provided valuable information. Also this
article was completed with the assistance of Mrs.
Gordon (Peggy) Mercer, herself a decendent of one
of the pioneer families of New Westminster, the
Gordon Mercer began the interview by telling how
the Mercer Star Shipyard at Queensborough on
eastern Lulu Island came to be founded. In the 1890s
the Bay Rivers Newfoundland Mercer brothers, including Gordon's father Edward — a former apprentice in a St. John's shipyard — left the tough
conditions of their home district for a farm near
Brandon, Manitoba. In 1894 Edward and his four
brothers went on to New Westminster, B.C. There
they met a group of Newfoundland bachelors who
had banded together to live in a community of scow
houses at the foot of Twentieth Street. Edward
Mercer shared in salmon fishing on Columbia River-
type boats on the Fraser River until 1900. In that
year he and his Newfoundland bride moved to Victoria. He hired on as an assistant to Bullen of
Bullen's Shipyard.
By 1908 the economy of B.C. was booming and
so were Mercer fortunes. Edward Mercer returned
to New Westminster, bought an acre of land in the
industrial suburb of Queenborough next to
Westminster Marine Railway and Dawes Yard and
began his Star Yard. (According to his grandson
David Mercer the name star came from a class of
boat). Mr. Mercer's finances then consisted of "$10
in his pocket." His firm would incorporate but
would never have shareholders, only brothers and
sons at work together. It began with jobs building
and repairing small boats but soon drew larger contracts for fishing vessels, scows and motorboats.
Before World War I it completed the wooden dredge
"John A. Lee." The war years did not bring government contracts as the Liberal Mercers were on the
wrong side politically.
Gordon and his twin sister (now Gladys Ait-
cheson) were born in 1904. Gordon remembers his
youth in New Westminster and work for his father
on the river. From the family home on Mercer Street
in Queensborough, Gordon walked first to Lulu
Island School, then with his older brother Art over
the bridge to Howay School in town. There he met
boys like Howie Myers. En route to school the boys
saw changes brought by World War I like the Poplar
Island Shipyard. The family business did pickup
from a wartime slump but some of the years were
tough,  for example 1920 just before the
Liberals came back to power federally.
Gordon aimed for his masters certificate while attending high school and working for his father's
shipyard. After school he worked there helping build
the replacement for Beaver, the Woodwards
Landing-Ladner car ferry. On that job he broke his
ribs. He decided to go to Captain Eddy's navigation school to complete his certification. In 1928-29
things were so tough at the yard that he left to skipper a West Coast fish boat for BC Packers.
During the slump of the early Thirties there was
little work at Star Yard even for the owner's son.
Gordon Mercer went north. He hired on with the
H.B.C. from Fort McMurray, Fort Smith, Slave
Lake (Tar Sands shipyard), Fort Norman, Fort
Resolution. Gordon repaired boats like the
Athabasca and worked as a mate on them. This ex-
British Columbia Historical News Star Shipyard Company. (L. — R.) John Mugford; Harvey Mercer; Ed Mercer
(owner of the yard); Jack McBeath; Ky Way, and brother John Way; Art Mercer
and Gordon Mercer seen sitting on the cross-span. (PABC photo, Cat. No. 89093).
perience would help him later in obtaining contracts.
Gordon Mercer remembers things continuing very
rough in the Thirties even on his return to New
Westminster in 1934. He and his brother Art worked for their father and had their own firm renting
lumber scows.
Improving economic conditions in the late 1930s
and during the Second World War meant large contracts from Gilley Brothers the Gilspray —
— and  federal  fisheries theNitnat	
came to Mercers Star Yard. Family connections to
the post-193 5 Liberal government and membership
in the Canadian Manufacturers Associaton in 1938
helped too. Gordon and Art Mercer took over their
father's firm in the latter 1930s. During World War
II they produced minesweepers, gate vessels and
supply craft for the Air Force and Army. Many of
these ships were built of wood. Production was
shared with other local firms like Benson Brothers,
Vancouver Shipyards and Mackenzie Barge and
Dredging. A brief strike in 1941 did interrupt activity. Gordon Mercer's favorite memory of those
years is of building the minesweepers Poplar Lake
and Spruce Lake and retitling these for the Russians
at the end of the war. This account can be corroborated by press accounts and interviews with
those who as high school boys worked weekends at
the Star Yard.
Mercer brothers Star Yard boomed in the postwar
years. From its ways came fishing vessels like the
Sleep Robber, fishboats for Todd Packing of Victoria, harbour patrol vessels like the Port Fraser, and
the DPW Samsons. In 1956 when federal fisheries
minister James Sinclair toured Star Yard with
visiting Russian officials they were impressed with
the 72 foot fish boats under construction (Gardner
design, Seattle). Russian attempts to order several
were blocked by Americal government refusal to
release permission for export of the engines.
In the last part of the interview Gordon Mercer
discussed the 1960s when the Star Yard went into
steel construction and itself had 16 machinists at
work. Then he commented on the October 1970 sale
of the yard and the arrangements he and Art made
to make their business records available to historians.
His final remarks were reminiscences of working on
the Samsons and sources for history of those DPW
I append a quotation from Oct. 3, 1970 New
Westminster Columbian.
Star Shipyard
Launching of the 87 foot tugboat Le Beau
in Queensborough on Oct. 15 will close a
chapter in the history of one of New
Westminster's pioneer industries.
The steel hulled, twin screw vessel, built
for Vancouver Tug, is the last ship to be constructed by Star Shipyards (Mercers) Limited
British Columbia Historical News prior to the company changing hands.
Founded in 1908 by the late New
Westminster pioneer, Edward Mercer, the
family-owned company has been sold for an
undisclosed sum.
His sons, Art and Gordon, joint managers
of the shipyard, announced the sale Friday.
It has been purchased by Grant Aspin,
formerly president of Horton Steel Works
in Fort Erie, Ont., and three associates.
"We felt is was an opportune time to
retire," said Art Mercer, who joined the
company with his brother in 1921 . . . During the past 62 years, the company has built
hundreds of fishing boats, tugs, barges and
pleasure craft. The shipyard, presently
employing about 70 people, reached its peak
of activity during the Second World War
when a work force of about 250 was turning out fighting craft for the Royal Navy.
The company switched from building wood
to steel-hulled ships in 1960.
But whether wooden or steel hulled, Star
Shipyards has won a reputation over the
years for building top quality vessels."
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 give:
1.) A monetary prize to the winner(s) 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 a seen endowment which will guarantee a $100 prize can be paid
to the 1986 winner. 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
The Scholarship Fund at present is not sufficient to endow a scholarship for 1986. Please make it possible for
us to award this scholarship in 1987.
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 Federation
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
Writing Competition
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submission of books or articles for the third annual competition for writers of British Columbia History.
Any book with historical content published in 1986 is
eligible. Whether the work was prepared as a thesis or
a community project, for an industry or an organization,
or just for the pleasure of snaring a pioneer's
reminiscences, it is considered history as long as names,
dates and locations are included. Stories told in the vernacular are acceptable when indicated as quotations of
a story teller. Writers are advised that judges are looking for fresh presentation of historical information with
relevant maps and/or pictures. A Table of Contents and
an adequate Index are a must for the book to be of value
as a historical reference. A Bibliography is also desirable.
Proof reading should be thorough to eliminate
typographical and spelling errors.
Submit your book with your name, address and
telephone number to:
British Columbia Historical Federation
c/o Mrs. Naomi Miller
Box 105
Wasa, B.C., VOB 2K0
Please include the selling price of the book and an address from where it may be purchased.
Book contest deadline is January 31, 1987.
There will also be a prize for the writer of the best
historical article published in the British Columbia
Historical News quarterly magazine. Articles are to be
submitted directly to:
The Editor
British Columbia Historical News
P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6S4
Written length should be no more than 2,500 words,
substantiated with footnotes if possible, and accompanied
by photographs if available. Deadlines for the quarterly
issues are September 1, December 1, March 1, and June 1.
Winners will be invited to the British Columbia
Historical Federation Convention in Mission in May,
British Columbia Historical News Lacey Hansen-Brett
The Good Shepard
An Overview of the Career of Victoria
City Police Officer, Henry William Sheppard
Henry Sheppard, a well-known and highly
respected individual in Victoria during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, was a member
of the Victoria City Police for thirty-five years. Sheppard held the positions of Constable, Sergeant and
Chief Constable, and for the last eleven years of his
life, was the city police gaoler. Sheppard endeared
himself to the Victoria public with his kindly disposition and warm-heartedness. His major fault in later
years was that he was too easygoing, too forgiving.
Sheppard had high standards and expectations for
police work and a police officer's conduct, and was
said " to be the best Police Chief Victoria ever had"
(Colonist, n.d.), but his soft-heartedness and his
good nature contributed to his forced retirement as
Chief of Police in 1899.
Sheppard was born in London, England, May 14,
1835. While still a child he immigrated to New
Zealand with his family and in 1862, at the age of
27, he moved to British Columbia. He spent two
years as a gold miner in the Cariboo and Cassiar
area and arrived in Victoria in 1864 where he joined the Victoria Metropoliton Police. The Colonial
Police Force for Victoria was established by Governor Douglas in 1858 and is the oldest police department west of the Great Lakes.
Sheppard recalls what it was like to be an officer
with the early police force. When he joined, the
department consisted of the Chief Constable,
Frances W. O'Connor, one Sergeant and five Constables. Sheppard (Colonist, April 16, 1906) states
that the goal and barracks were located in Bastion
We lived in barracks then, like soldiers and we
had a regular routine to follow, just as enlisted
men in the army. We partrolled certain beats
regularly and looked after outside work as well.
Sheppard relates an incident in which he and a
"brother officer" were assigned to apprehend two
native Indians who had had liquor and "were in a
nasty frame of mind". Sheppard and his partner
were ferried across to the native encampment and
"stole through the darkness to the community
Well, we got into a house of sleeping Indians
[sic] located our two men and had them handcuffed and outside before the others awoke.
Then we ran at right angles to the path to the
ferry and made a detour in the dark. It was just
as well we did [sic] for the other natives, nor
caring to give chase, for they did not know the
strength of our side, stood at their doors and
British Columbia Historical News
11 fired shot after shot down the path they supposed us to have taken. (Colonist, n.d.)
Sheppard resigned from the Police Department in
1865 and returned to mining in the Cariboo for a
number of years. After a trip to his old home in New
Zealand, Sheppard returned to Victoria in 1874, and
in 1876 he rejoined the Victoria Police Department
as a special constable. He was appointed full constable in 1880 and sergeant in 1882. Charles Bloom-
field was the Chief of Police at this time.
When Sheppard was appointed Chief of Police,
October 18, 1888, it was probably a natural elevation for a competent sergeant. The Colonist (October
19, 1888) reports that
Mr. Sheppard has been for many years an efficient and painstaking officer and has proved
himself  well   qualified   for  the   position.
Superintendent Sheppard has always shown
himself worthy of his place and we have every
confidence that... he will prove an efficient
Chief and an excellent disciplinarian.
The   Mayor,   in   declaring   Mr.   Sheppard
Superintendent of Police, expressed a hope that he
would prove "a good shepherd" (Colonist, October
31, 1888). Chief Sheppard received many letter of
congratulations and support from Chiefs of Police
in Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma and San Francisco.
Chief Mitchell of Seattle wrote "congratulations . . .
[I hope] everything will move smoothly with you and
that you will cover yourself with glory".
There were numerous transients travelling the
West Coast, and Sheppard and the other Chiefs of
Police kept each other informed of criminal movement. Several letters to and from the Chief of PoUce
in Nevada record the movement of William Clark,
alias 'The Kansis Kid'. Sheppard referred to the Kan-
sis Kid as a "tuff nut" and described him as having
"shallow complexion, blue eyes, opinion fearce".
I am sure [the Kansis Kid] is no good, I believe
about two years ago this same man committed a burglary in your city. If this should be
the same man that done [sic] it, please let me
know has [sic] soon has [sic] possible, or if you
can pull out anything about him I will greatly
Sheppard's expectations and insistence on proper
police officer conduct is evident in the directives he
issued to his men. These directives are located in the
Superintendent's Order Book, and along with orders
to "keep a sharp look-out" for criminal activity,
Sheppard issued orders regarding police conduct,
suspensions and dismissals.
March 1, 1891 I wish to call the attention of
Sergeants and Constables to the fact that it is
my intention to see that the Police Rules and
Regulations are carried out to the letter and I
trust you will one and all do yOur part in
assisting me to that end.
June 12, 1891 I wish to call attention of [sic]
Constables loitering on the corner streets is
strictly prohibited, also talking to persons on
the streest. . . And all Constables weather [sic]
on or off duty whilst in uniform will keep their
coats buttoned up and will not be allowed to
smoke in uniform. I do not wish to have to
mention this fact again.
Officers drinking while on duty were not tolerated
by Chief Sheppard. On March 23, 1891, Sheppard
wrote in the order book, "[a Constable was] . . .
this day discharged ... for neglect of duty." The
charge against this officer was that "he was found
beastly drunk and asleep in an Indian woman's cabin
in uniform whilst on duty." This case was not the
only one cited of an officer drinking while on duty,
but it does not appear to have been a major personnel problem for Chief Sheppard. In most cases, when
Sheppard found an officer to be derelict of duty,
he was inclined to give the offending officer a second and sometimes third chance. When a situation
arose which was serious enough to require immediate
dismissal, Sheppard did not hesitate. He noted on
May 31, 1889 that "Frederick Taylor resigned his
position in the Police Force today and was very
gladdly [sic] accepted by me . . . when I told him
he had better leave at once which he done [sic]."
The Victoria Street Directory in 1892 printed a
feature article on Chief Sheppard stating "There are
few people in this province better known or more
respected than the popular subject of this sketch who
has the honor of being the Superintendent of the Victoria City Police." The article concludes ". . . In
1888 he was elected to the responsible and important office of Superintendent of Police, which office he still holds with much honor and credit to
himself and the police force at large."
Clearly, Chief Sheppard was well thought of and
was a diligent and fastidious Chief of Police whose
primary concern was the safety and protection of
the citizens of Victoria. His high expectations and
discipline is evident in many directives contained in
his Officer Duty Book. A particularly forceful directive to his officers states,
should any robberies or burglary take place any
time during the night, the officer in that beat
where such offence has been committed will be
at once suspended.
A major accomplishment of Chief Sheppard was
the establishment of a photograph collection for
criminal investigation. In fact, the Victoria City
Police was the first department in the west to use
photographs for criminal identification, and under
Sheppard, Victoria maintained an extensive rogues'
British Columbia Historical News Victoria Police Department.
Chief Sheppard, seated, centre,
(n.d.) (Victoria Police Archives).
gallery. Hannah Maynard was the police photographer at this time. She produced seven copies of
each mug shot. One was kept by the Victoria City
Police and the others were sent to police departments
along the west coast of Canada and the United
States. This arrangement was reciprocal and greatly assisted the police chiefs in tracking criminal
By 1899, Chief Sheppard was 64 years old, had
served on the police department for 24 years, and
his salary was $125.00 per month. Sheppard's forced retirement was the culmination of several public
outcries against the Police Commission and the
Police Force. In January, 1899 the Police Commissioners were accused of "willing to tolerate women
of 'ill-fame' flaunting their wares in the city" (Bayley
n.d.) A public meeting was called in which citizens
gave evidence of their indignation, and the Commissioners were requested to take effective action to end
prostitution in the city. Of course, prostitution was
not eliminated and later that year was part of another
police enquiry.
On September 20, 1899, A Mrs. Bing suffered a
gruesome and terrible death on a local reserve. For
a city with only eight murders in the previous ten
years, such an event was indeed notable. Two weeks
later, another murder occurred in a back alley in Victoria, and the public focused their attention on the
efficiency of the police. These two murders so swiftly
following one another, coupled with the outrage over
prostitution earlier in the year and improper police
conduct, resulted in a police enquiry into the competence of Chief Henry Sheppard. External pressures
and internal police division exacerbated the situation. The external pressure was initiated by a letter
in the Colonist, October 4, 1899. The writer claim
ed that "the administration of the City Police
Department ... is such that Victoria is not
safeguarded." The letter further states "there is no
attempt at concerted, intelligent, systematic unravelling of the horrible crime (Mrs. Bing's murder)." The
letter stressed one element which was to run through
the whole affair. That element was the benevolent
attitude of Chief Sheppard. He was consistently seen
as a kindly, generous, good-hearted man who had
allowed things to get the better of him.
By the end of October, 1899, further charges were
made against the police, a result of internal division
within the department. Constable Clayards accused Sergeant Walker and Constable Abel of
blackmailing prostitutes. As a result of charges and
countercharges, Sergeant Walker and Constable
Abel were dismissed; however, the two men were
given no reasons for their dismissal. Constable
Clayards was himself charged by the Police Commission with "shielding a woman whom he knew
to be a prostitute" (Colonist, December 2, 1899).
Clayards was asked by the Police Commissioners to
state in writing why he had made accusations against
fellow officers. His letter set off a new and final
round of scandal. In the meantime, the police enquiry focused on allegations of illegal gambling and
noisy saloons. The mayor stated that he had received numerous complaints of saloons, and in response,
the Chief asked why formal complaints had not been
made to the police. The mayor replied "they decided not to do so." With this reply, the Chief became
somewhat annoyed, "That's just it, they never will,
and how are we to get at them" (Colonist, November
11, 1899).
As the enquiry continued, the competency of
Chief Sheppard was increasingly called into ques-
British Columbia Historical News
13 tion, but it appears that Sheppard was becoming a
convenient scapegoat. Undoubtedly, public pressure
and the continued kindly image of the Chief was
becoming an embarrassment to the Police
In spite of unceasing attacks on Chief Sheppard's
competence, the press maintained a spirit of
generosity. "He is an amiable man . . . kind-hearted
and considerate and he has worked hard as Chief
of Police, but he lacks that spirit of purpose"
(Times, November 23, 1899).
The enquiry ended,  having  resulted  in the
dismissal of Sergeant Walker and Constable Abel.
Constable Clayards was formally reprimanded for
shielding a prostitute, and Henry Sheppard, after
eleven years as Chief Constable, was advised of the
result of the investigation and tendered his resignation. The Colonist, November 30, 1899 reports,
We are quite certain that almost unanimous
feeling of the public will be that he acted wisely. There will be no disposition on the part of
anyone to speak harshly of the retiring Chief,
whose fault lay in his own good nature, too
great an amount of that estimable quality being a detriment to the encumbent of such a
During the years that Sheppard had been Chief
of Police, he had acted as Chinook (Indian trading
language) interpreter and as prosecutor and it was
suggested by the Colonist that he be employed by
the city in this capacity. The city council appointed
Sheppard to that occupation on January 10, 1900.
On January 18, 1900, Sheppard was appointed
gaoler for the Victoria City Police, a position he held
until three days before his death in 1912.
Henry Sheppard continued to be well-thought of
by the police force and was especially popular with
the men. Apparently, he delighted them by telling
tales of the gold rush and of the early days of policing. The officers called him "Dad" (Colonist n.d.).
On January 1, 1912, three days after contracting
pneumonia, Henry Sheppard died at the Royal
Jubilee Hospital. He was seventy-six years old and
had spent a total of thirty-five years with the Victoria City Police. Henry Sheppard lies in an unkempt
double grave in Ross Bay Cemetery, the carved name
barely visible in the cement edging.
To properly police a city is a difficult task. The
public is inclined to judge by isolated incidents, and
Henry Sheppard, while maintaining a benevolent image with the public, became a scapegoat. That he
continued to work for the Police Department at a
considerably lower level speaks well for his integrity and his dedication and devotion to the citizens
of Victoria. It is clear that Henry Sheppard was a
competent and effective police officer in all the positions he held; however, his greatest fault was that
he was too kind-hearted.
Central Okanagan Records Survey
Okanagan College, located in the interior of
British Columbia, has received a one year Canadian
Studies Research Tools grant from the Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council of
Canada to conduct a Central Okanagan Records
Survey. The product will be a published guide to archival documents held by public repositories, private
agencies and the general public. This document will
be sent to the archives of the federal, provincial and
territorial governments, to selected archives, universities, colleges, historical societies, libraries and
school districts in British Columbia, as well as to
other institutions upon request.
This is a significant project for a variety of
scholarly, administrative, and archival purposes.
Canadian scholars are turning increasingly to the
local level for source material. It is hoped that the
project will stimulate establishment of comprehensive records management/archival programs and institutional responsibility at the local level.
Members of the project team are Duane Thomson, Maurice Williams, and Kathleen Barlee. Dr.
Thomson, head of the team and a history instructor at Okanagan College, has recently completed his
Ph.D. dissertation on the regional history of the
Okanagan Valley. Dr. Williams, Dean of
Mathematics and Science at Okanagan College, has
published scholarly articles which have appeared in
major academic journals. The Project Coordinator,
Kathleen Barlee, has a Master of Archival Studies
Degree from the University of British Columbia. She
has worked for the P.A.C., the P.A.B.C. as well
as the Records Management branch of the Government of British Columbia.
Those wanting further information should contact Kathleen Barlee at Okanagan College in
Kelowna, (604) 762-5445, Local 301.
British Columbia Historical News Russell J. Irvine
Gaining Ground in
Conservation Heritage
Moving to my new position as the director of the
Recreation and Sport Branch has left me with little
time to keep abreast of the current events in the
heritage field. However, on the prompting of your
editor, I was asked to consider some of the significant changes in heritage conservation during the past
Putting a time frame of the past ten years on this
article is most realistic as many readers will recall
that it was in the fall of 1977 that first steps were
taken to develop the new B.C. Heritage Conservation Act. The legislation was undoubtedly the most
important change, but it should be noted that it was
also tied to a re-organization of a number of government staff to form the new Heritage Conservation
Branch. Also at the same time the Heritage Trust
was established with its new programs which provided funding to local programs and projects.
Obviously these were major steps which assisted
the heritage conservation movement at the local
level. During this period the Provincial Government
also undertook several "model projects" in cooperation with a number of municipalities, local community groups and related government agencies.
These endeavors such as the Nelson Conservation
Plan, the Vancouver Inventory, and the Barkerville
Masterplan demonstrated the type of joint effort
which would be pursued on a cooperative basis. Thus
a trend toward partnerships in heritage projects
developed early in this period.
At this point it is important to indicate that this
report is not an attempt to describe the various programs and projects that actually occurred during the
past decade. Rather it is my intention to deal with
the positive forces that shaped the heritage movement during this time period.
For the most part these are very positive forces
and their review by conservationists will do much
to encourage the excellence that is now obvious in
the field. Overall there are four factors; however it
is important to realize that the dynamics of these
forces are of an integrating nature. They can be independent but they are best managed in a fashion
which interlocks them in the project plan.
The recent success in heritage conservation has
been achieved because individuals and groups have
emerged at the local level to undertake heritage projects as important community efforts. In several
cases of "projects floundering" the basic cause is
not necessarily the lack of funds or technical problems, but sheer lack of reputable leadership. The
executive of the British Columbia Historial Federation should be complimented for their efforts on
guiding many efforts throughout the province, particularly to organize local groups and to foster this
necessary leadership.
In the future every effort must be made to insure
good leaders are encouraged to participate from the
outset of local projects. It may mean more effort
is placed on seminars and good resource materials
but today's conservationists must recruit and effectively train their successors. If this is not a priority
in the heritage conservation the momentum in many
small communities will be lost.
Possibly at the beginning of the decade that we
are reviewing this could be cited as one of the major problems conservationists faced in British Columbia. There were not a great number of experts
in the field and the amount of reference material
available was limited. Unfortunately, during the early stages it could also be stated that there were a
number of projects where an effort to undertake a
"quick fix" resulted in damage that was far worse
than having done nothing at all.
British Columbia Historical News
15 However, the enthusiasm of the movement in
British Columbia to follow proper procedures and
to seek expert advice has grown rapidly. Much credit
must go to the provincial associations and likewise
to a number of specialists who have operated from
the Heritage Conservation Branch and the Provincial Museum, as well as from the academic community to develop and deliver this expertise. It
should be noted that I'm not talking only of experts
in restoration projects but there has been much
assistance given in the area of archaeology, archival
work and other areas of historic site management.
The "knowledge factor" is being tackled. The results
are improved communications to local project
leaders to that conscientious efforts are being made
to ensure authentic and accurate work at the field
level. To me, this shows a maturing process and one
that should be nurtured so that the best of technical
information continues to be available throughout the
In examining local heritage conservation programs
it was the writer's experience that they were often
conceived with very broad intentions. Undoubtedly the ideas were beneficial to heritage conservation,
but often with limited resources the local group was
unable to focus on a key problem and be effective.
An initial effort that the British Columbia
Heritage Trust took to rectify this situation came
through the development of two programs. They
were Planning and Inventory and Student Employment with both technical and financial resources
available to support local programs. The response
was excellent and by the early 1980's a large number
of heritage planning strategies began to emerge. Probably the largest and most complex of these was cited
earlier as the City of Vancouver Inventory Program.
Certainly it is naive to suggest that all solutions
to community based heritage programs can be solved
by this approach. However, it is my opinion that
it is essential to work through a planning and problem solving identification process so that a definite
assessment of local priorities is established. Most of
the local groups and associations with the aid of their
provincial governing bodies have begun to set up
such initiatives toward priority setting.
Setting priorities is s difficult process because it
is an interaction of both political and technical matters. However, the new approaches recognize the
wide variety of issues facing local groups and there
is a better understanding of identifying urgent matters as opp'osed to those projects which might be
more easily pursued. This is a difficult process in
any field but it appears that the heritage conserva
tion movement in British Columbia has come to
grips with it. Much of the working arrangement in
this area parallels the emergence of technical papers
and references as outlined in Part 2.
;> -r
It is fascinating to note that, in the most successful
heritage projects, the broadest possible base of community support has often been estabUshed. Some of
this support is very direct in the sense of a heritage
group working with a nearby museum or library.
Obviously the staff of these institutions are very
familiar with this consultation role. However, it is
essential on larger and more complex projects to seek
an even wider scope of support in volunteers, private
business and civic departments.
Heritage conservation has gained not only community acceptability in British Columba, but in
many communities, it has become a popular
volunteer activity. For example, groups under the
provincial associations have been formed in architectural conservation, historical research,
cheology and geneaology, to name only a few of the
subject areas. Harnessing this interest to tackle major
community problems, hwoever, requires now partners beyond the traditional groups and agencies. The
diverse community support for the Heritage Trust
program of Heritage Area Revitalization in many
smaller communities such as Fernie, Greenwood and
Rossland has provided some excellent illustrations
of this diversification. Tourist associations,
downtown business groups, major national companies, service clubs, and youth groups were but a
few of the many new partners now seen in downtown
•revitalization work. •
When harnassed, even a major project with clear
objectives and good leadership can engender this cooperative spirit so that its results are of good quality. The matter of "integrated community efforts"
is more than raw labour for projects when it becomes
part of the community image, part of the tourism
marketing plan and a basis for local celebrations and
During the past decade there has been a tremendous growth in the heritage conservation movement.
The foundations have been strengthened and there
has been a renewal of several of the major provincial organizations such as the British Columbia
Historical Federation. Likewise the provincial
associations have established co-operative arrangements among themselves so that the lead role
is not necessarily that of government.
British Columbia Historical News Looking towards the next decade it will be the
strength of the provincial organizations working with
local groups that will set the targets on future
achievements. Current objectives are merging in a
number of areas but the focus of the next year or
so must very much be meetings of the Provincial
Societies and various local groups in the province
to ensure that there is a clear focus to the heritage
Dr. Irvine is the former Director of Heritage Conservation Branch and Executive Officer of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. He served in this capacity from
1978 to 1986. Earlier this year he was appointed Director of the Recreation and Sport Branch.
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Publications Committee Report
Major changes are taking place with the British
Columbia Historical Federation News. We hope that
these will solve the financial crisis which our quarterly has faced over the past few years.
Most important is the fact that we have a new
editor. Bob Tyrrell is a young publisher located in
Victoria (Orca Book Publishers). His most recent
publication, Terry Reksten's "More English than the
English", has proven very popular. His background
is in the teaching of English and Communication
Arts at the high school level. Despite his own expanding business, he has volunteered to edit the
News. We wish him every success.
We will miss the many personal contacts and the
devotion that Marie Elliott brought to the magazine
over the past four years. It is because she, helped
by her family, put in so many hours with each issue
which went far beyond the call of her editorial duties,
that we have survived financially while maintaining
such a high standard of publication.
We have a new Publication Committee composed of Joan Selby (Vancouver), Arthur Lower (Vancouver), Edrie Holloway (Galiano Island) and Ann
Johnston (Outer Gulf Islands). The Committee will
work closely with Bob Tyrrell in searching for new
subscribers as well as in developing a more
economical format for the News. We also hope soon
to have a more efficient method of getting issues out
on time, especially to new members.
Already some progress has been made toward
these objectives. Our editor expects to bring out this
issue for some $500 less than the cost of recent
Our treasurer, Rhys Richardson, has spent time
this summer finding us a computerized mailing
system which will come into service with the January
issue. We decided to number this an exceptional issue
5 of Volume 19 in order to introduce our new format in the new year with the first issue of Volume 20.
Naomi Miller, our president, has written a letter
to the historical and heritage societies in the province
which are not now members of the Federation. This
has been mailed out with a sample copy of the News
in an effort to solicit subscriptions and extend
membership in the B.C. Historical Federation.
We are also in the process of contacting university, college and school history departments in order
to encourage both future submissions and new
subscriptions to the journal.
Once again the British Columbia Historical
Federation News is making a new start. We look forward to receiving your suggestions and comments.
Ann Johnston
Publications Committee
British Columbia Historical News
17 Elsie G. Turnbull
Lady With a Long Memory
In this year of many commemorations perhaps it
is fitting for the British Columbia Historical Federation to call to mind one of its former members,
Dorothy Letitia Schofield of Trail. Now confined
in a nursing home and no longer able to attend annual meetings she still recalls a treasured inheritance
from the past. Her father, James Hargrave
Schofield, growing up in the midst of aunts and
cousins was nurtured by tales of his grandmother
Letitia Mactavish, the young wife of Chief Factor
James Hargarve, who left her Scottish home to
spend a brief life at York Factory and the Hudson's
Bay Company post at Sault Ste. Marie. Dying at the
age of 41 she left a legacy of letters describing fur-
trade life which would become part of a family
heritage and would be published in 1947 by the
Champlain Society. J.H.S. (called "Sunny Jim" by
his constituents) gave her name to his only daughter,
Dorothy Letitia who soon felt a kinship with the
woman whose husband described as "a happy,
equal-tempered, contented creature" — so Uke Letty
The Schofields would spend a lifetime in the
Kootenays. James Hargrave Schofield, after training as a freight clerk with the CPR was sent to Trail
in 1898 as station agent at Smekter Junction. Trail
was still unincorporated, a hodge-podge of frame
houses, shops and hotels huddling beneath the tall
stacks on the hill. The 1500 residents by their own
effort had bridged the creek, taken out stumps and
laid out rough roadways. J.H.S. soon joined their
number, becoming a member of the local Board of
Trade, Fidelity Lodge and several sports groups.
When incorporation as a city was celebrated July
1,1901, he became a school trustee, then alderman
and finally Mayor from 1903 to 1907. That was the
year he entered provincial politics as the representative for Ymir Riding. Politically a Conservative,
he rarely made a speech, taking no part in debates.
But he always managed to secure needed im
provements such as a bridge over the Columbia, a
road to Castlegar, acquisition of railway lands in the
Gulch. His constituents were satisfied and he continued as member for the riding of Rossland-Trail
for 26 years, retiring in 1933 because of failing
health. He died December 7, 1935 and was buried
with Masonic rites.
Such was the life that moulded Letty Schofield.
As a girl she attended All-Hallows' School for Girls
at Yale before being caught up in the busy life of
her parents in the community. Her father had resigned as station agent the first year he became a member
of the legislature and had opened an insurance and
real estate office. Letty acted as his helper, carrying on the business after his death, but although immersed in family affairs she was intrigued by the
thoughts and feelings of her great grandmother,
Letitia Mactavish Hargrave.
Letitia Mactavish had been born in Edinburgh in
1813, daughter of the Sheriff of Argyleshire.
Through her brothers, already engaged with the
Hudson's Bay Company at York Factory she met
and married James Hargrave in 1840. A fellow Scot,
born in 1798 in Hawick, Hargrave had risen in rank
to be Chief Trader at the time he journeyed to Britain for the purpose of securing a bride. After their
marriage and the long voyage to Rupertsland
Letitia's life was hemmed in by the large white
buildings of the trading post set on a marshy peninsula between the Hayes and Nelson rivers. Often
blanketed in fog, swept by raw cold winds from the
bay or enveloped in mosquitoes, it was vastly different from her Scottish home in Argyleshire. But
Letitia seemed to have an inner strength that enabled her to accept without a fuss that which she
couldn't change.
Soon she was involved with babies, her first
daughter being born in 1844. Christened Letitia
Lockhart, she was nicknamed Tash and in the opinion of her mother was the best child she ever saw.
British Columbia Historical News When little Tash reached the age of ten her mother
died suddenly of cholera, leaving James Hargarve
with three children in his care. Meanwhile Tash
growing up in Brockville as a tall pretty girl, married a young barrister named Frederick Schofield.
Their firstborn son, christened James Hargrave was
born in 1866 and would grow up to call his daughter
after his mother and grandmother, but she would
receive the nickname Letty.
Letty was fond of recalling a story about the
nickname of Tash. While attending a party at Dr.
Helmcken's house in Victoria, J.H. Schofield was
introduced to the old doctor as being related to Hudson's Bay people. The doctor asked "What name?"
On receiving the reply, "Hargrave and Mactavish,"
Dr. Helmcken said "When I was coming to Victoria
I met on the boat Chief Factor Hargrave and his
daughter Tash." Proudly J.H.S. declared "That was
my mother!"
Retirement gave Letty the chance to indulge her
hobby. Buying a cottage in East Trail she filled it
with greatly treasured keepsakes, china, crystal,
monogrammed silver and table linen used by
parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. In her tiny
formal parlor visitors sat beneath the straightforward gaze of Chief Factor James Hargrave, painted
in oil from a photograph. A daguerreotype of Letitia
set in a small tray with carved edging of roses, thistles
and concolculus appeared alongside porcelain
miniatures of her daughters, Tash and Mary Jane.
Engrossed as she was in history, Letty Schofield
became a committed member of the TraU Historical
Society. With her background connection to pioneers
of fur-trading days it was natural that she be chosen
to take part in community historical ceremonies. One
such occasion was the dedication of a cairn commemorating Fort Shepherd, a post of the Hudson's
Bay Company downriver from Trail, just above the
international boundary line. Fort Colvile had been
the headquarters for HBC trade on the upper Columbia river but when the boundary was placed on
the 49th parallel the company decided to set up a
post nearby in British territory. A site was selected
on the west bank of the Columbia opposite the
mouth of the Pend D'Oreille River where Fort
Shepherd was built in the summer of 1957 five
buildings of hewn logs. For awhile the trade in furs
was good foxes, red and silver, wolverine,
musquash, black bear, mink, weasel and marmot —
— but surrounding benchland was covered with
chaparral and had no grass for grazing. In 1865
discovery of gold in the East Kootenay led to the
cutting of the Dewdney Trail so that miners could
be supplied from British rather than American
sources. At first that trail was much used but the
good years did not last long. By 1868 the frenzy of
the gold rush was over, and the fur trade was not
profitable enough to pay expenses of the post. In
1870 the HBC closed Fort Shepherd, leaving the
buildings in the care of the local Indian Chief. Two
years later they were destroyed by fire and Fort
Shepherd passed into history. Isolated from the
modern highway which follows the east side of the
Columbia River, it was for many years accessible
only by a jeep road servicing a power line.
On the 50th anniversary of Trail City's incorporation, the local Kinsmen Club decided to erect a stone
cairn marking the site of old Fort Shepherd and a
group of officials drove down-river on the afternoon
of July 1,1951. Letty Schofield was chosen to unveil
the bronze plaque, a fitting tribute to her family interests. She would participate in many later celebrations, sometimes wearing her mother's black lace
dress that had graced government functions of her
father's time.
In 1960 Letty and her brother Jack presented their
collection of heritage documents including some letters of James Hargrave written to his wife, to the
Provincial Archives as a gift in memory of their
father, James Hargrave Schofield. Letty herself inheriting many qualities from her great grandmother,
is a very gracious lady and after a lifetime of kind-
neww has earned the affection and respect of
everyone who has ever met her.
Certificate of Merit Nominations Invited
The Regional History Committee of the Canadian Historical Association invites nominations
for its Certificate of Merit Awards. These annual
awards are given to individuals, groups and
organizations who make an outstanding contribution to regional history. In 1987, for the first time,
the emphasis will be on the work of the nonprofessional historian. Please send your nominations with as much supporting documentation as
possible to:
Clarence G. Karr,
Department of History,
Malaspina College,
900 5th St.,
Nanaimo, B.C.
V9R 5S5
British Columbia Historical News
19 Marie Elliott
A Legacy of Skill
and Courage
In the foyer of the Provincial Museum, the
dramatic spectacle of a large West Coast canoe filled with a Nootka whaling party sets the tone of awe
that remains throughout a visit to the many
fascinating exhibits. Officers and men on Cook and
Vancouver's ships were similarly impressed when
they first arrived at Nootka Sound two hundred
years ago. They were met by seventy-foot canoes
manned by expert paddlers that could easily outflank
a sloop of frigate of the Royal Navy cruising at seven
Today, this prowess is maintained by a select
group of young Indian men and women who train
vigorously for the honour of competing in the
numerous canoe races held annually in the Pacific
Northwest. Although good quality cedar trees are
now at a premium, the sleek racing canoe is carved
from a single tree. Special attention is given to the
keel that must permit the canoe to turn quickly
without upsetting the occupants.
The canoeists in this photograph are members
of the Penelakut tribe of Kuper Island, near Chemainus, Vancouver Island.
Bill Sam, Dennis Charlie, Dan Harris, Len Sylvester, Bernard David, Oscar Brown, Joe Rice,
Simon Edwards, Len James, Larry Joe, Sam Wilson (L to r.)
British Columbia Historical News WiUiam O'Hara
Paper   Story  Teller
Father Morice's Syllabis Newspaper
Adrian Gabrial Morice was born in Saint-Mars-
sur-Colmont (Mayenne) in the west of France on
August 27, 1859. At the age of fifteen he listened
intently to accounts of missionaries to the Indians
of the Canadian Northwest. Convinced that this was
the Ufe for him, Morice joined the Oblate order in
1877. When a decree of 1880 commanded the dispersion of all members of religious orders not sanctioned by the French government, the climate was right
for Brother Morice to sail to North America. He arrived in Victoria in July 1880, finished his theological
studies at New Westminster and was ordained a
priest in 1882.
Father Morice was assigned to St. Joseph's Mission, Williams Lake, which served the Shuswap and
Chilcotin Indians. Morice's first duties, however,
were to say Sunday masses in EngUsh and to run
a school for white and Metis children. In 1883 he
was ordered to evangelize the Chilcotins west of the
Fraser River. Fr. Morice was finaUy a missionary,
finding himself among the most primitive Indians
in North America.
Morice beUeved that learning the language was the
first condition for success among the Indians. An
elderly Chilcotin woman married to a black man
gave lessons to the eager missionary. He found
Chilcotin as different from French as Chinese was,
but was soon translating the catechism, prayers and
hymns, and compiUng a 6,000 word dictionary. In
1885 Morice was transferred farther north.
Late in the evening of August 20,1885 Fr. Morice
reached Stuart Lake and camped on an island with
his Indian guides. In the morning he was greeted by
Fr. Blanchet (now 66 years old) and said his first
mass at Stuart Lake Mission.
Near the residence and Our Lady of Good Hope
Church was a neat little Indian viUage of twenty
substantial log houses built in straight rows foUowing a plan drawn by Fr. Blanchet years earUer. When
the Mission site was approved by Bishop Durieu in
1876, the Indians of NecosUe Reserve, just below
Father Adrian Gabriel Morice, O.M.I.
(1859 - 1938)
Fort St. James, were invited to build near the missionaries. This viUage at the Mission, called Kessel
kez yati, was home for 165 residents.
For Fr. Morice, this was the ideal Mission. Apart
from traders at half a dozen posts and miners passing through, there were no white settlers to influence
his flock, and no Protestant ministers. The arduous
trip to Quesnel prevented easy access to Uquor and
other evUs. The Indians had been wilUng converts,
already beUeving in a Supreme Being and an
afterUfe. The Carriers were fond of singing, their
traditional airs greatly resembUng the hymns introduced by the missionaries. The Durieu system
added a structured dimension to native life, affecting reUgious and social behaviour. For five years,
British Columbia Historical News
21 however, after the departure of Fr. Lejacq, Stuart
Lake Mission and district stagnated. While Fr. Blanchet fulfilled his mostly domestic duties, Fathers
Pandosy and Marchal visited the various reunion
centers, but could only communicate through an
Fr. Morice's first priority was to immerse himself
in the difficult Carrier language. Carrier belongs to
the Dene or Athapaskan language family. Morice
was already familiar with Chilcotin — a Dene
language — and had learned the rich sounds of Carrier from Jimmy Alexander, a residential student at
Williams Lake.
Fr. Lejacq, conversant in French, EngUsh, Latin
and Greek, once remarked that Carrier possessed
more words than all the languages he knew.
Fr. Morice's missionary district stretched from Ft.
George (Prince George) to Bear Lake south to north,
and from McLeod Lake to Hazelton, east to west.
It was inhabited by Carriers, Babines, Sekanis and
Nahanis, number together 1800 souls. At predetermined times of the year the people of smaUer viUages
and camps would travel to one of fourteen reunion
centers for a revival or mission. The more remote
centers were visited only once or twice a year.
Without prayer books, hymnals or a written
catechism, it was impossible for the Indians to learn
aU that was required of them. Fr. Morice therefore
devised a system of writing for the Indians which
he called the Dene SyUabary. It was complete and
ready to use in November 1885. The idea of a
syUabary was borrowed from Rev. James Evans,
who invented the Cree SyUabary in 1841. Since it
lacked enough signs to express aU the sounds of Carrier, Morice fashioned his own signs. Each sign of
the Dene Syllabary represented a whole syUable.
There was no spelling to learn as we know it, and
no confusion caused by vowels that are pronounc
ed differently in different instances.
For weeks at a time, Fr. Morice was absent from
home, travelUng from one reunion center to another
by canoe, horse, snowshoes, dogsled and on foot.
In winter a roaring fire was made each evening of
entire tree trunks, and spruce boughs served as beds.
Huddled round the campfire, priest and Indian
guides recounted the adventures — or misadventures — of the day, and plotted their movements for
the morrow.
Each reunion usually lasted eight days. Mass was
held in the morning, followed by a sermon. In the
afternoons there were catechism lessons, another sermon, then benediction. The last days were devoted
to mending marriages and hearing confessions.
Throughout the mission, transgressors caught by the
watchmen stood or knelt, sometimes with hands tied,
before the assembly for atonement.
The 1886 retreat at Lhedli viUage, near Fort
George, was a typical one. Arriving by canoe, Fr.
Morice was greeted by all the 130 inhabitants, and
hundreds of salvos were fired in his honor. His first
duty was to shake hands with everyone, even the
babies. The newly-invented syUabics were introduced
to the chUdren by a means of a hand-written primer.
A similar reunion was held at Natle on Fraser
Lake. Fr. Morice gave lessons to half the children
for only three days. When he returned in 1887, he
perceived that aU the children from Natle, Stoney
Creek and Chestlatta had some knowledge of the
syUabics. The smaUer chUdren, whom the priest had
turned away the previous year, knew the most. One
Uttle boy wrote to Stuart Lake Mission requesting
medicine for his baby brother; he had never received a lesson from Morice. In the missionary's
absence, the adults and other children would gather
to read what one of the more adroit children would
write. In this manner the Dene SyUabary spread
Indian village at Stuart Lake Mission.
Rectory and Our Lady of Good Hope
Church in background.
(Wm. O'Hara photo)
British Columbia Historical News throughout the territory. Many learned to read and
write with it after only a few weeks of practice.
Now that the Indians of New Caledonia were
Uterate, they would need reading material. Towards
this end, Fr. Morice procured a small primitive printing press — the first north of Quesnel. This hand
press was sent in 1888 by Fr. Sardon in France for
a sum of ten dollars. Special lead type was cast by
the Dominion Type Founding Co. of Montreal. The
Indians generously helped to pay this great expense.
Fr. Morice used the chapel attached to the rectory for his print shop. He worked late into the night,
and slept in each morning, missing mass with his
confreres. He would say mass alone, consume the
Blessed Sacrament, then go about his printing. To
Fr. Marchal, director of the Mission, it was a
sacrilege to use the chapel for a print shop, and to
leave the tabernacle empty without the Blessed Sacrament; he was reluctant to give Morice the tabernacle
key. In a moment of inspiration, Fr. Morice solved
the problems. He threw the key into Stuart Lake.
In unprinted manuscript form Morice had
translated into Carrier dictionaries and grammars
(1887); the Book of Genesis (55pp. 1889); the
Gospels (78pp. 1890); and Twelve Short Lives of
Saints (26pp. 1891).
The first items printed in the Dene Syllabary were
phamphlets of a reUgious nature, then the first book
Pe testies et' sotel eh (32pp. 1890) — a reading book
or primer containing spelUng and reading lessons.
Next followed a Little Catechism (55pp. 1890) of
which 500 copies were printed, then Le Petit
Catechisme a l'usages des Porteurs (144pp. 1891)
containing prayers and hymns and a French translation. Since Fr. Morice printed in the Carrier spoken
at NecosUe, the Babines, Sekanis and even Nahannis learned aU the requisite formularies in this dialect.
From October 1891 to June 1894 Fr. Morice
printed a monthly review, gazette or newspaper in
syUabics for the Carrier Indians. Its name Dustl'us
Nawhulnuk — Uterally "Paper Story-teller" — was
translated "the paper that relates" by its author. In
aU there were twenty-four issues, each consisting of
eight pages. Subscriptions for a "futur journal" were
taken as early as November 1890 for $1.25. Morice
gleaned newsworthy items from the Winnipeg Free
Press, Cariboo Sentinel, and Victoria Colonist. The
idea to print "letters to the editor" was borrowed
from the American daiUes. The gospels, Uves of
saints and adventure stories translated earUer also
appeared in Paper Story-teller. An illustration was
included in each issue, with an explanation
underneath. A steam locomotive is shown in the first
issue — something that none of the Indians of New
Caledonia had yet seen.
British Columbia. Papers connected to the Indian Land
Question 1850-1875. Victoria: R. Wolfenden, 1875.
British Columbia. Dept. of Education. Dene (Our Native
Peoples Series) 1953, Vol. 9
Carriere, Gaston. "Adrian-Gabriel Morice (1859-1938):
Essai de Bibliographic In Revue de L'University
D'Ottawa, Vol. 42, No. 3, Jul-Sept. 1972.
Cronin, Kay. Cross the Wilderness. Vancouver B.C.:
Mitchell Press, 1960.
Lamb, W. Kaye, Ed. The Letters and Journals of Simon
Fraser 1806-1808. Toronto: MacMillan, 1960
Morice, Adrian Gabriel. Au Pays De L 'ours/Noir Paris:
Delhomme et Briguet, 1987.
— Carder Prayer Book Stuart Lake Mission, 1901.
— "The Dene Syllabary and Its Advantages". In
a First Collection of Minor Essays, Mostly
Anthropological. Stuart Lake Mission, 1902.
— Souvenirs D'un Missionaire en la Colombie
Bdtannique. Winnipeg: La Liberte, 1933.
Pilling,   James  Constantine.   Bibliography of the
Athapaskan Languages. Washington: Gov't.
Printing Office, 1892.
Sage, Walter. "A Note in the Change in Title of Fort
St. James." In British Colubia Historical
Quarterly, 1938, p 55-56
Oblate Correspondence for British Columbia. Archives
Deschatelets, Ottawa.
Rev. George Forbes Papers. Special Collections, Univ.
of British Columbia
Omenica District Pre-Emption Records, 1871 - GR1041
Provincial Archives of British Columbia.
Stuart Lake Mission Account Book, 1873 -
British Columbia Historical News
23 Elizabeth Bork
Heritage Place Opens
Okanagan  Falls'  Heritage  and  Museum Society
Nostalgia gripped the residents and visitors of
Okanagan Falls and surrounding area Saturday
afternoon, August 16th, 1986, when Heritage Place,
the special project of the Okanagan Falls Heritage
and Museum Society was officiaUy opened. The
heritage house, the restored Bassett House, was also
opened in a separate ribbon cutting ceremony. Society members and guests were dressed in period
costumes, as was Master of Ceremonies, Jack Petley,
a Director of the host society.
MP Fred King was represented at the opening by
E.R. (Corky) Hewson, Constituency Manager. Mr.
Hewson arrived at the heritage site in a 1918 truck,
once owned by the Leir SawmUls of Penticton, which
was driven by a son, Jim Leir of Kaleden. MLA Jim
Hewitt, the Honorable Minister of Agriculture &
Fisheries, and Mrs. Hewitt arrived in an antique car
driven by owner Linda Lawrence of Penticton,
Secretary of the Okanagan Chapter of the Vintage
Car Club of Canada. Other dignitaries included Mrs.
Jeanne Lamb of Kaleden, Director — Regional
District of Okanagana and Similkameen, and Mrs.
June PhiUips from OUver, Director — B.C. Heritage
Society. Mrs. PhiUips represented Mrs. Sue Morhun
of OUver, who is President of the B.C. Museums
Association and a Director of the B.C. Heritage
Trust, but was unable to be present due to a trust
commitment in Kamloops. The Rev. Derek Salter
of Okanagan FaUs, gave the Prayer of Dedication.
Special guests were members of the Bassett family.
A brief history of the Heritage & Museum Society, and its project the Bassett House and heritage
site, was given by Jack Petley. Society President,
Doreen Duncan, thanked the three past presidents
and other members of the society for their hard
work, time, and donations, all voluntary, and expressed the society's appreciation to all the companies and corporation, as well as citizen voluntary
labour, materials, and financial contributions given
to the society, "to make a dream come true." Mrs.
Duncan also acknowledged the trememdous
assistance to the society by both the Federal and Pro
vincial governments.
A grandson of the Bassett family, Harvie Walker
of Vancouver, recaptured some of the past in his
"May I suggest," he said, "that you consider this
not just the Bassett House, but rather a house
representative of aU the people who pioneered here.
"It is the Christie House, the Hawthorne House,
the Thomas and McLean Houses, the Pryce,
Wolstenholme, Waterman and Shuttleworth
Houses; and it's old Mr. McKay's cabin, the Keogan
shack, the SYL Ranch, Mrs. Worth's store, and all
the rest.
"I'm sure that this museum's main purpose is to
recognize those incredible people who came here,
settled, struggled and survived."
Mr. Hewson cut the ribbon declaring the grounds
of the heritage site open. Mrs. Florence Walker, a
daughter of the pioneer Basset family, and Mr.
Hewitt shared the ribbon cutting honor in opening
the heritage house to the pubUc. Light refreshments
were served by Society members to visitors, while
toe-tapping, foot-stomping music was played on a
fiddle, guitar, banjo, mouth organ, and the spoons,
from the back porch of the Bassett House — "just
Uke it was in the old days," commented an enthusiastic visitor!
Anglican Diocese Index
The Archives of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia was recently awarded a grant from B.C. Heritage
Trust to hire a student to construct a subject index. Grant
Mitchell, a student from the Master of Archival Studies
Program at the University of B.C., has devised indexing
rules and is indexing the correspondence of Bishop
George Hills, (the first Anglican Bishop of British Columbia), along with other collections. The collections
reflect both the development of the Anglican Church and
early British Columbia.
British Columbia Historical News Leonard Frank Exhibit Brought
to Victoria
The University of Victoria has announced that the
Leonard Frank collection of historic photographs
and enlargements will be displayed in the Maltwood
Museum, October 15th to December 2nd.
A photographer of great insight and energy,
Leonard Frank left behind one of the most valuable
historic treasures of B.C.'s recorded history.
Although straightforward documentation was clearly
early photography's major purpose and function,
certain photographers such as Leonard Frank introduced creativity, sensitivity and artistry into this
The public acknowledged the exceptional talent
in Frank's work and his photographs were much in
demand. His technical perfection and variety of
visual images launched him into a career as a highly
respected commercial and industrial photographer.
His photographs in the field of logging are considered the most significant in the world, and film
and photographic speciaUsts have come from far and
wide to use Frank's work as a resource.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Frank's
work is the artistry which is brought to the task of
being a commercial photographer. He invariably
managed to produce photographs which included
not only the required factual information, but also
the most exquisite natural Ught and unusual camera
angles. His pictures of timber, mountain, stream and
lake are marvels of beauty and artistic
This intrepid Jewish photographer/adventurer
spared no effort and endured many hardships of
climate and terrain in order to achieve the ultimate
in photographic results. As an artist Leonard Frank
used the camera as other artists before and after him
used brush and pencil ——- to interpret the world,
to present a vision of nature and its structure as well
as the things and the people in it.
The collection, entitled Leonard Frank, A
Retrospective, was produced by the Vancouver
Jewish Festival of the Arts. The photos and negatives
are the property of the Jewish Historical Soceity of
B.C. The exhibit will be open to the pubUc.
(Maltwood Museum: 721-8298).
Janis Diner Brinley
Oregon Trail Journal Published
The Societe Historique Franco-Colombienne is pleased to announce the publication of Honore Timothee
Lempfrit, O.M.I. His Oregon Trail Journal and Letters
from the Pacific Northwest 1848-1853 by Ye Galleon
Press, Fairfield, Washington, December 1985, Edited by
Patricia Meyer, translated by Patricia Meyer and Catou
Levesque. Hard cover, 263 pages, amply illustrated, index and bibliography, colored map. ISBN 0-87770-347-7
This book is the translated and edited work of Father
Lempfrit's original French manuscripts.
The Oregon Trail Journal was written at Fort Victoria,
in 1849, from notes kept by Father Lempfrit during his
long journey over the Oregon Trail the previous year.
Nine of the ten letters written from Fort Victoria,
describe conditions on Vancouver Island after James
Douglas arrived at Fort Victoria in June 1849 as Governor pro tempore of the newly founded British colony.
In the back pocket of the book is a map in four colors, specially prepared to reflect the distribution of the
Hudson's Bay Co.'s holdings as well as the company's
subsidiary Pudget Sound Agricultural Co.'s reserved land
and the lands involved in the Indian treaties from 1850
to 1852.
The book is sold in Canada at:
Duthie's Book Store, Robson Street, Vancouver
Planaterium Gift Shop, Vancouver
Societe   Historique   Franco-Colombienne,
Broadway Ave., Vancouver
Provincial Museum Book Store, Victoria
Price: $21. Can. $15. U.S.
For large orders (five or more) directly from the publisher
at 40% trade discount, please phone for details at
879-3911   (Societe  Historique  or  943-3009  (Catou
British Columbia Historical News
25 Changes
This issue of The British Columbia Historical
News will show the start of a series of changes that
will affect the magazine.
1.) First, a reminder to the President and
Treasurer of each of the 25 Member Societies that
a motion from the floor was passed at the Historical
Federation's Annual General Meeting last May, that
both DUES and SUBSCRIPTIONS of Members of
Member Societies should be increased by $1.00
each — Dues to $2.00 per person and Subscriptions
to $5.00 per address. The result of this change is that
one person and one subscription should pay $7.00
per year, and that two persons with one subscription should pay $9.00 per year. This change becomes
effective for each Member Society from the start of
its next financial year foUowing the Federation's
decision. There is no change in the Individual ($8.00)
or the Institutional ($16.00) subscriptions.
2.) The Historical News PubUshing Committee
has decided that this current issue of the magazine
should be numbered volume 19-5. There are vaUd
reasons for the change, an important one being that
the volume numbering wiU coincide with the calendar year. Volume 20-1 wUl appear in early 1987 even
though the editorial deadline wiU remain as
December 1st, 1986.
3.) We have now begun the process of entering
the Subscription List into a computer data-base. This
should be in use for volume 20-1 in early 1987. A
Ust of address labels has already been printed for
this current issue (19-5), but the number of the last
issue paid for, by each subscriber, has been adjusted
on each address label (see the numbers in the top
right corner).
4.) When we have the computer data-base
established and the subscribers Usted, the up-dating
of each subscriber's payments, change of address,
or other changes will be entered at times to correspond with the Editorial deadline: December 1,
March 1, June 1, and September 1. There is a
subscription Ust of about 1,200 names and it would
be most helpful if Member Society Treasurers would
send in subscriptions and relevant information just
before these dates rather than at one time for the
whole year (this appUes especiaUy to those Societies
with large memberships).
5.) It is hoped that once the computerized system
is estabUshed it wiU be possible to send each Member
Society a copy of its information in the computer
file as in early September (or other acceptable date)
each year. This would be a print-out showing: (a)
Name and address of the Member Society; (b) The
date of the society's financial year; (c) the name and
address of the President, the Secretary and the
Treasurer; (d) a telephone number (for contact); (e)
the day and time of meeting (if held regularly); (f)
the Ust of Subscribers; and (g) the dates and Receipt
No. when monies were received during the
preceeding 12 months.
A practice such as this would help to preserve accuracy in our records.
J. Rhys Richardson
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.
Individual   Four issues for $8.00 ( )
Institutional    Four issues for $16.00 ( )
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
Your new book review editor is off to a slow start.
While a number of books are out for review for the
next issue of the News, here is a brief Usting of those
still on hand.
Pipers' Lagoon is a brief history and description
of a smaU park which was officiaUy given to the City
of Nanaimo in 1983. OriginaUy a whaUng station,
the area was settled later by the Piper family, some
of whom still live in the neighbourhood. Pipers'
Lagoon is now an ecological reserve and pubUc
recreation area.
Hancock House is pubUshing a series of pocket-
sized guides to historic areas of the province. Profusely illustrated, they provide good introductions
for tourists, schools, or those just interested in some
quick information about a place. Fraser Canyon
traces the canyon from the early gold trails to the
superb Trans Canada Highway. Mysterious Powell
Lake is a series of reminiscences and accounts, based on interviews with old-time residents of the PoweU
River area. Barkerville the town that gold built is
a handy illustrated pocket-sized guide-book.
Walhachin Catastrophe or Camelot? is a succinct
history of an ambitious settlement that failed. The
P.G.E. Railway and B.C. Railway histories are
covered in British Columbia's own Railroad.
The Canadians, a continuing series, pubUshed by
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, is a set of short, inexpensive biographies of notable figures in Canadian
history, from Amy Semple McPherson to Matthew
BaiUie Begbie. On hand are La Verendrye and Jerry
Potts, both indexed and well-written, with lists for
further reading.
More ambitious is Jim Martin's Northern Man,
a good yarn about Martin's Ufe and survivial in the
northland as a trapper, fisherman, bush pilot and
prospector — a dwindUng race of individuaUsts.
On a lighter vein, British Columbis Heritage
Cookbook is a gathering of grandmothers' and
newer recipes, from such deUcacies as venison pate
and Yale Street baked beans, to peaches in Cariboo
gold sauce, and the ever ubiquitous Nanaimo bars.
Finally, a new issue of Canadian West Magazine
is out, with articles on Ripple Rock, the White Pass
& Yukon Railway, BeUa Coola, Gladstone mine and
the Lardeau country.
Book editor is Anne Yandle. Books and review
articles should be sent directly to her c/o:
P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
Henderson, Vi. Pipers' Lagoon; a historic and
captivating Vancouver Island Park. Nanaimo,
Quadra Graphics, 1984. 53 pp.
Harris, Lorraine. Fraser Canyon from Cariboo
Road to Super Highway. Surrey, Hancock House,
1984. 64 pp.
Mobley, Carla. Mysterious Powell Lake; a collection of historical tales. Surrey, Hancock House,
1984. 96 pp.
Harris, Lorraine. Barkerville; the town that gold
built. Surrey, Hancock House, 1984. 64 pp.
Weir, Joan. Walhachin — Catastrophe or
Camelot? Surrey, Hancock House, 1984. 104 pp.
Harris, Lorraine. British Columbia's own
Railroad. Surrey, Hancock House, 1982. 64 pp.
Benham, Mary Lile. La Verendrye. Don MiUs,
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1980. 64 pp.
Sealey, D. Bruce. Jerry Potts. Don MiUs, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1980. 64 pp.
Martin, Jim. Northern man; the victor. Surrey,
Hancock House, 1983. 256 pp.
Evans-Atkinson, Mary. British Columbia
Heritage Cookbook; a treasury of British Columbia treats. North Vancouver, David Robinson for
Whitecap Books. 124 pp.
Canadian West CoUector's No. 3, Spring 1986.
Langley, Sunfire PubUcations.
British Columbia Historical News
27 Book Review
Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, Architectural
Heritage Walking Tour, Nelson Streetscapes 1984
Historic Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, Architectural Heritage Motoring Tour, Nelson
Streetscapes Plus 1986. Free. Available from Nelson
Chamber of Commerce, 501 Front St., Nelson, B.C.
V1L 4B4.
Self guided city tours can be an important introduction to a local community. A weU done tour
can merge many elements of story teUing into a
relatively small document supplying many facts,
photographs, and maps. There are two brochure
tours about Nelson currently avaUable, pubUshed by
Nelson Streetscapes. One tour is a walking tour and
the other is a motoring tour.
Although, these tours contain a great deal of information they have missed the mark on two scores.
Firstly, as architectural guides they address only a
smaU portion of the potential market, namely those
knowledgeable in architecture. Secondly, as historic
documents they skim too quickly over interesting
anecdotes about the city.
The text in both documents is a Uttle sparse. People and incidents are briefly mentioned and then
abandoned without being fleshed out. A case in
point is Judge Forin's campaign to move the "houses
of joy." Not close them but just move them! Where
were these offending houses? How many houses
were there? Why were they there to begin with?
Similar additional detaU could be added about such
characters as Rattenbury, "the furious local architects," or the local businessmen mentioned.
The photographs in both documents are clear and
crisp giving a great deal of detail, a difficult task,
when they have to be printed as halftones. In the
walking tour, the building detail photographs should
be moved in future printing to appear beside the
buUdings they come from. A case in point is the terra
cotta buU's head from the Burns BuUding which appears on one side of the brochure while the building
is actuaUy on the other side of the page.
The maps are particularly good. The 3-D view of
the downtown for the walking tour is very effective
and no one should find themselves getting lost or
not finding the building they have been directed to
see. The plan map of the city is also very weU done
and again people should easily find their way,
however, the map has many heritage sites marked
and not explained. The pubUsher might consider
either expanding the text to include the heritage
buildings and sites shown on the map or remove
them. At this point, the caution about steep hUls and
narrow roads making the motor tour inappropriate
for motor homes and vehicles puUing trailers must
be mentioned again.
These brochures are a beginning. The photographs
and the maps are good. The editor should spend
some time before reprinting them thinking about the
market which is being sought and about the actual
users. Remembering that most of the time a user wiU
be passing through and wiU not have time to consider the information hidden between the Unes.
When ever we try and explain our communities we
are trying to make people excited about our place.
We want them to go home and teU everybody, "This
is the place to visit." So, everytime one of us writes
one of these tours we should try and improve on our
last one and be better than the one written by the
community down the road.
Angus Weiler
VOLUNTEER NEEDED: The B.C. Historical News urgently needs a capable person to prepare the News for mailing (this involves attaching mailing labels, sorting by
postal codes, and delivering to P.O. — a number of hours
four times a year.) Contact Rhys Richardson, (733-1897).
Honorary Patron:
Honorary President:
His Honour, the Honourable Robert G. Rogers,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Dr. W. Kaye Lamb
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa VOB 2K0
422-3594 (res.)
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver V7R 1R9
988-4565 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1975 Wessex Rd. Cowichan Bay, VOR 1N0, 748-1897 (res.
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper St., Nanaimo V9S 1X4
753-2067 (res.)
Recording Secretary:     Margaret Stoneberg, P.O. Box 687, Princeton VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Jacqueline Gresko, 5931 Sandpiper Ct., Richmond, V7E 3P8
274-4383 (res.)
Mary G. Orr, R.R. #1, Butler St., Summerland VOH 1Z0
Past-President: Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
R.J.C. Tyrrell, Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B.,
Victoria, V8R 6S4.
Chairmen of Committees:
Seminars: Leonard G. McCann
Historic Trails: John D. Spittle
B.C. Historical News      Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River V9W 3P3
Policy Committee: 287-8097 (res.)
Award Committee:        Naomi Miller
Publications Assistance Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver V6R 2A6
Committee (not
involved 228-8606 (res.)
with B.C. Historical
News): Loans are available for publication.
Please submit manuscripts to Helen Akrigg. JOIN
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Federation and receive the British Columbia
Historical News regularly?
The BCHF is composed of member societies
in all parts of the province. By joining your local
society you receive not only a subscription to
British Columbia Historical News, but the
opportunity to participate in a program of talks
and field trips, and to meet others interested in
British Columbia's history and the BCHF's
annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(address on the inside front cover).... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think
of forming one. For information contact the
secretary of the BCHF (address inside back


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