British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1993

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Volume 26, No. 3
Summer 1993
ISSN 0045-2963
BrittA (ohiinhiM
Journal of tne B.C. Historical Federation
Member Societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their society is
up-to-date. Please send any change to both the Treasurer and Editor at the addresses inside the back cover.
The Annual Return as at October 31st should include telephone numbers for contact.
Members' dues for the year 1990 - 91 were paid by the following Societies:
Alberni District Historical Society - Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Arrow Lakes Historical Society - Box 584, Nakusp, B.C. VOB 1R0
Atlin Historical Society - Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
Burnaby Historical Society - 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5G 3T6
Chemainus Valley Historical Society - Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. V0R1K0
Cowichan Historical Society - P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
District 69 Historical Society - Box 3014, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association - P.O. Box 74, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H6
Gulf Islands Branch -BCHF- c/0 Wilma J. Cross, RR#1, Pender Island, B.C. VON 2M0
Koksilah School Historical Society - 5203 Trans Canada Highway, Koksilah, B.C. VOR 2C0
Kootenay Lake Historical Society - Box 537, Kaslo, B.C. VOG 1M0
Kootenay Museum & Historical Society - 402 Anderson Street, Nelson, B.C. V1L 3Y3
Lantzville Historical Society - c/o Box 274, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Lasqueti Island Historical Society - Lasqueti Island, B.C. VOR 2J0
Nanaimo Historical Society - P.O. Box 933, Station A, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
North Shore Historical Society - c/o 333 Chesterfield Ave., North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 3G9
North Shuswap Historical Society - Box 22, Celista, B.C. VOE 1L0
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum & Archives - Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society - 444 Qualicum Road, Qualicum Beach, B.C. V9K 1B2
Salt Spring Island Historical Society - Box 1264, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society - P.O. Box 2404, Sidney, B.C. V8L 3Y3
Silvery Slocan Historical Society - Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Surrey Historical Society - 8811 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. V3R 4E5
Trail Historical Society - P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society - P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Victoria Historical Society - Box 5123 Stn. B., Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4
Fort Steele Heritage Park - Fort Steele, B.C. VOB 1 NO
The Hallmark Society - 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society -100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1
Publications Mail Registration Number 4447
Published winter, spring, summer and fall by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4. A Charitable Society recognized under the income Tax Act.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: Institutional, $16.00 per yean Individual (non-members), $12.00; Members of member
Societies - $9.00; For addresses outside Canada add $5.00.
Financially assisted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture, through the British
Columbia Heritage Trust and British Columbia Lotteries.
Back issues of the British Columbia Historical News are available in microform from Micromedia Limited, 20
Victoria St., Toronto, Ont. M5C2N8 (416)362-5211 • Fax (416) 362-6161 • Toll Free 1-800-387-2689
- Micromedia also publishes the Canadian Magazine Index and the Canadian Business Index.
Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index.
Volume 26, No. 3    Journal of B.C. Historical Federation      Summer -1993
October is designated Women's History
Month. The Minister Responsible for the
Status of Women, Mary Collins M.P. for
Capilano-Howe Sound, implemented this
idea in 1992 but publicity did not reach
many of the intended "celebrants" until
late October or early November. The
1993 letter to local historical societies came
out in May. (This contrast in timing is due,
in part, to our Nanaimo branch protesting
the belated arrival in 1992.) Anyway - for
October turn history into "HERstory of
Women's Contributions to Our Community and Country."
Another item of political interest is Dan
Marshall's article, "Carnarvon Terms or
Separation." This arrived in the mail within
days of the October Referendum on the
Charlottetown Accord. I almost wept that
this could not be shared with historians/
voters right then.
Summer is a time for travel. Many of us
visit local museums. British Columbia has
more museums per capita than any other
state or province on the continent. Some
of these museums have fascinating, unexpected displays. If you have a comment
on one or more places that you have
visited, write a few lines to the editor and
we will share the good news with our
Naomi Miller
Ahhh, summer! Sandy beaches, buckets of water, sunshine, and bathing beauties. This little lass took me back years to
when bathing suits were made of wool,
and a rubber bathing cap was pulled on
even though it did not keep water out of
ears. And look carefully at the beach shoes
on the model, Miss 1928 at Gibsons
Landing near her summer cottage. Thanks
to Rosamond Greer for lending us this
picture to illustrate her summer story.
Features Page
Gibsons - Our Summer Place 2
try Rosamond Greer
A Tale Told by Prescriptions  5
by Cindy Whitmore
The Union Steamship Company of B.C 9
try Kelsey McLeod
Carnarvon Terms or Separation: B.C. 1875-78 13
try Daniel Marshall
Water: Life Blood of the Okanagan Valley 17
try Winston A. Shilvock
Stanley Park 18
by Rosamond Greer
Emily Susan Patterson: Vancouver's First Nurse 20
by He Jen L. Shore
Deadman's Island Dispute of 1899   22
by Mark Leier
Cariboo Honeymon - 1933 25
try lima Dunn
The Priest's Trek From Clayoquot Sound    28
by Walter Guppy
The Rise and Sad Demise of Salt Spring's Lodge of Hope 30
by John Crofton
Cowichan Settlers of 1862  33
by Helen B. Akrigg
H.M.S. Virago in the Pacific   39
Review by Barry Gough
Gentleman Air Ace; The Duncan Bell-Irving Story 39
Review try Cedric Hawkshaw
The Not So Gentle Art of Burying the Dead 40
Review by Kelsey McLeod
Nootka Sound Explored  40
Review by George Newell
Forge in Faith    40
Review by Bev Hills
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C,   VOB 2K0
Correspondence regarding subscriptions is to be directed to the subscription secretary (see inside back cover)
Printed in Canada by Kootenay Kwik Print Ltd.
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 Gibsons: Our Summer Place
by Rosamond Greer
■ fejBBl**B****ffl**
Molly's Reach, Gibsons, B.C. c 1980.
The Village of Gibsons lies at the foot
of Mount Elphinstone, nestled within a
sheltered cove at the mouth of Howe
Sound, about thirty kilometers from the
city of Vancouver. But it is far removed
from the Metropolitan scene, for, although
located on the mainland of British Columbia, it cannot be reached by road.
Many ofthe residents of Gibsons have
retired from the work force and choose to
live far from the hustle and bustle of the
city, although more and more young people are commuting daily by ferry to jobs in
Vancouver. The Village, once known
only to the few who lived there and the
summer visitors who came to enjoy its
tranquillity, acquired world-wide fame in
1971 when television stars and technicians descended upon it to film the CBC
TV program The Beachcombers. For
twenty years the program was televised in
seventeen countries, and tourists from
around the world stood before Molly's
Reach, the focal point ofthe series, to have
their pictures taken.
Sixty years ago Molly's Reach was a
Photo courtesy of Rosamond Greer
hardwarestore, the Villageof Gibsons was
called Gibson's Landing, and I thought it
was the most wonderful place on earth.
Each summer, as soon as schools closed
in the city, scores of mothers and children
boarded one of the Union Steamships,
and the exodus from city homes to summer cottages began. Fathers remained
alone in the hot city, keeping the gardens
watered, the lawns mowed, cooking their
own meals, toiling at their jobs, waiting
for the weekend to arrive when they could
sail to the cool havens their families had
been enjoying all week.
The voyage was an adventure in itself,
beginning at the Union Steamship dock
in downtown Vancouver and endingsome
four or five hours later at the dock at
Gibson's Landing. There we disembarked
and headed for oursummer cottage, closed
up and abandoned on Labour Day ten
months before.
The musty smell that greeted us as we
unlocked the door; the dust and cobwebs
accumulated over the winter; the autumn
leaves still lying on the veranda; the out
house on its side since being pushed over
by local Hallowe'en pranksters months
before; each year it was the same . . .
wonderful to return to!
Most of the summer cottages bore
names which described the purpose of
their existence: Dun-workin', Helen's
Haven or Summer Daze. My father had
named our cottage Bonn-na-Coille, a
Gaelic phrase meaning, "At the base ofthe
Forest", for when he first saw it, it was
secluded within dense woodland.
In the year 1919 my mother had purchased Lot 16 of District Lot 686, for
$200. Two blocks above the beach, it lay
at the heart ofthe original George Gibson
pre-emption, and when my mother had a
cottage built on the land she became a
pioneer ofthe hundreds of summer people who would follow.
A historical account of this lovely place
can be found in The Gibson's Landing
Story by Lester R. Peterson. In his book
Mr. Peterson relates how George William
Gibson and his two sons, seeking safe
anchorage for the night, arrived at the bay.
On the following day, May 24, 1886,
George Gibson drove astake in theground
and pre-empted District Lot 686, aplot of
land approximately 800 metres square.
There he settled his family, and by 1892
some twenty families were living on preemptions circling the Gibson land. In
1895 the settlement became known as
Gibson's Landing.
My first journey to Gibson's Landing
was made in 1925, at the age of eight
months, and for the next seventeen years
Bonn-na-Coille was my summer home.
Its one room contained a black cast-iron
stove, a small wooden table, cupboards
with flowered drawstring curtains, and a
double bed. The bare wooden walls were
adorned with pictures of Campbell Soup
Kids and old calendars.
The room was bordered on two sides
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 by a wide veranda on which were iron cots
for the children, two wicker chairs, and a
large linoleum-covered table with wooden
benches. From it there was a panoramic
view of Keat's Island.
With no electricity and the plumbing
consisting of a cold-water tap outside the
back door, Bonn-na-Coille had none of
the comforts of our city home. Yet it
became my favourite place to be, and
provided me with happy memories I shall
always cherish.
There were two main roads in Gibson's
Landing which were referred to as the
Upper Road and the Lower Road. Most
of the traffic on them consisted of small
groups of cows wandering down from the
farms high on the hill above the village. It
was rare indeed that a vehicle interrupted
their slow and tranquil journey, for there
were very few cars or trucks on the peninsula at the time. It might be Dr. Frederik
Inglis, who from 1912 until 1946 was the
only physician between Sechelt and Port
Mellon; Harry Winn's taxi; or a farmer
venturing down from the hill with produce
to sell.
But there was never any doubt that the
cows had the right-of-way. Their melodious bells clanged as they wandered freely
about the village, keeping the grass mowed
around the cottages, supplying fertilizer
for the gardens and providing an exciting
challenge to those of us who shed our
shoes to spend the summer running
We spent the hot, sunny days at the
beach, lifting rocks to watch crawling
things scuttle away, building towering
sand castles and watching them disintegrate with the tide, searching for exotic
shells and swimming from Armour's float.
There the best fun of all was submerging
under the wharf and coming up in between
the logs where the world took on an eerie
glow. Therewasnolifeguardondutysave
the good Lord, who must have kept a close
watch, for miraculously none of us
Rainy days were wonderful, too, for
then we huddled within Bonn-na-Coille,
playing rummy or solving jigsaw puzzles,
while the rain beat a tattoo upon the bare
Xn ■ ii"rag**i*iaMi*ii»'**'^- i-ii' — -^'<" X
Bonn-na-Coille, a summer place "at the base of die forest"..
Photo by William Fiddes - (my father)
shingled roof. The little stove, filled with
bark from the beach, gave off a glowing
warmth, griddled scones on its top, heated
the hand irons, baked a chocolate cake
and boiled the kettle for tea, all at the same
time. The room was a haven from the
outside world - safe, warm, and filled with
delicious smells.
But perhaps the best days of all were
those when the water was as smooth as
glass, and mother woke us at sunrise to
announce that this was the day we would
go fishing. Then we would rent a boat and
row to Salmon Rock. The fish were not at
all particular in those days and accepted
our crude offerings enthusiastically. With
aline wrapped around apiece ofwood and
a silver spoon dangling from the end of it,
we seldom failed to catch a few grilse, and
sometimes even a salmon.
Our lunch procured, we would row to
Sandy Beach on Keat's Island, build a fire
and fry up our catch. No gourmet meal
ever tasted as good! There we would
spend the remainderof the day, swimming
and sunning, setting off for our return to
Armour's float at dusk.
Loath to see the day end, sometimes we
waited too long, and found ourselves
rowing across "The Gap" between Keat's
Island and Gibson's Landing in the dark.
Then we would sing as we rowed, trusting
that any boats nearby would hear us even
if they couldn't see us. Our roaring rendition of "When the Moon Comes Over the
Mountain" never failed to keep us out of
harm's way.
Our evening strolls took us to Gospel
Rock, a short distance from the village.
There we would sit atop the rock and
watch thesunset in fiery splendour. Gospel
Rock was so named in the early 1900s
when a member of the Plymouth Brethren painted messages upon its natural
galleries proclaiming: "The Wages of Sin
is Death", "He Shall Be Born Again", and
"Christ Died For The Ungodly".
Although the messages could not be
seen from land, the rock was a landmark
for fishermen who could see the inscriptions from the water. For many years the
messages were kept brightly painted, although who did the re-painting remained
a mystery.
During those happy days it never occurred to me to wonder what the "real"
Gibson's Landing people thought about
the interlopers who descended upon them
each summer. Perhaps they enjoyed the
unusual activity, knowing it was temporary, and treasured their isolation the more
when we were gone.
We brought brisk trade to the merchants and gave excuse for social gatherings such as the Saturday night concerts in
the old Methodist Church hall, where any
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Summer fun - 1928 style -Note the woolen (itchy)
bathing suit, rubber swim cap and rubber beach
talent, or even the total lack of it, was
loudly applauded. (In 1918 the pulpit of
this small church was occupied by James
Shaver Woodsworth, who in 1932 be
came parliamentary leader of the newly-
formed CCF.)
There were movie nights at the school
hall up the hill, and the annual regatta
when participants and onlookers came
from miles around. The daily arrival ofthe
boat from Vancouver always drew a crowd
on the wharf, eager to see who was coming
or going, and to catch up on any local
The farmers from up the hill were
seldom seen in the village during the
summer. They were kept far too busy
growing fruit for the Howe Sound Caning Association, which for over twenty
years processed and sold jam under the
label Four Square Brand. (Needless to
say, it was the most delicious jam in the
Another very busy person in Gibson's
Landing was Helen McCall, a pioneer in
the field of photography, and one ofthe
women featured in the book, Eight
Women Photographers of British Columbia 1869 - 1978 by Myrna Cobb and
Sher Morgan. For twenty years, through
the 1920s and 1930s, Helen McCall's
photographs recorded the life and times
along the peninsula, and her scenic sepia
postcards were mailed around the world.
Many of her postcards are now in safekeeping in the Elphinstone Pioneer Museum at Gibsons, contributing to the pic
torial recording of people and places as
they used to be.
. But I do not need pictures to help me
remember. When my days become too
hurried, too cluttered, too scheduled, I
dream of Bonn-na-Coille and those
wonderful summers of my childhood. For
to me Gibson's Landing was more than
justaplace. Itwasawayoflife:asimplistic
way of life that brought with it a contentment no amount of money could ever
buy. Those years saw a terrible depression
and brought the horrors of war; but my
summers at Gibson's Landing remained
the same, untouched by the rest of the
Recently I returned to the place they
now call Gibsons. There I found everything changed. Tree-lined paths have
become paved roads lined with bumper-
to-bumper traffic (a meandering cow
wouldn't stand a chance!); tiny cottages
with funny names have been replaced by
spacious bungalows; the little church is
gone. Even Gospel Rock has changed, its
proclamations weathered and dimmed. A
spanking new house supplants Bonn-na-
Coille on Lot 16 of District Lot 686.
My summer place is gone. And I am
The author is a free-lance writer living in
■T H    E       PIONEER        COASTWISE        FLEET
If— *-
will.  ii=§l  -L
■;■ . ' ■ "i*SE.
SERVING       THE       B.   C.       COAST       SINCE      1889
Union Steamship Advertisment - Courtesy of Vancouver Maritime Museum
4 B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 A Tale Told By Prescriptions
One ofthe most intimate regions of a
person's home is the medicine cabinet.
The contents of the small bottles within
reveal details of a person's private life.
Likewise, the prescriptions requested by
and sold to people of any community
illustrate a segment of its history, its mind
frame, the times, and the forces that
governed the community.
The medical ledgers for Nanaimo in
the years 1914-1923 provide this kind of
social snapshot. These ledgers are a collection of medical prescriptions written
by the physicians of Nanaimo and surrounding area for the people in the community. The ledgers, supplemented with
evidence from the local paper, illustrate
the reactions of Nanaimo citizens to a
rapidly changing world. In analysing this
collection it was evident that Nanaimo
and surrounding areas were in a transitional
phase. The predominantly coal mining
community suddenly had to face changes
in society, such as increased usage of
consumer goods, new technologies, and
acceptance of peoples of differing ethnic
descent. These changes required personal
There was a concern displayed by people
to fit in with the rapid changes. The
motivation for this concern was a decreasing sense of the safe and the traditional,
spurred along by current world events and
rapid changes in the role ofthe individual
as worker, housemate, and consumer. This
concern was reflected, for example, in
prescriptions for items such as aspirin and
Lysol. Advertisements in the local newspaper also played a large role in increasing
consumer demand for many products,
sometimes using guilt tactics. There was
a 'keeping up with the Jones's' mentality.
This indicated an acceptance of the new
role of increasing dependency into which
consumerism and professionalization were
molding people.
New ideas of health and cleanliness in
the community helped to change the way
by Cindy Whitmore
individuals, family units and communities
lived their daily lives. During this time it
was evident that the physician was increasingly relied upon for many things.
Services gradually spread to the outlying
communities: by the end ofthe collection,
Qualicum had acquired its own physician, and no longer had to rely on doctors
from Nanaimo. The international patent
medicines advertised in the local paper
and prescription medicine available only
by doctor's recommendation broadened
the realm of choices available to citizens
and extended beyond traditional methods
of dealing with sickness.
The repercussions of nation wide events
such as Prohibition had far reaching effects
from the professional down to the working class miner. Prohibition brought ethnic
minorities together with the anglo-saxon
majority in the pursuit of a common
desire for alcohol. This was illustrated in
the medical ledgers. Religious influence
was evident in the local paper although to
a large extent the voice of temperance was
a weak one in the community.
Between 1914 and 1923> measles,
scarlet fever, diphtheria, chicken pox, and
whooping cough affected the city from
casual to 'epidemic' proportions. The
Spanish Influenza was an example of an
illness of epidemic proportion. Other
diseases such as mumps affected the
population as well. Although venereal
disease was not explicitly mentioned in
health reports there is evidence that it did
exist. The Medical Health Officer suggested that much illness was caused by
poor sewer systems, the treatment of milk,
the condition of the water, and the tendency to leave garbage rotting in the open,
breeding insects and vermin.1 He suggested that diseases were passed easily in
communal places, such as theatres and
schools. He also attributed many diseases
in 1922 to increasing urbanization.
General prevention methods, a clean city,
and personal awareness and care were
suggested as methods of prevention, as
well as the long sought after Isolation
Hospital, which would provide relief in
the advent of an epidemic.
This is all part of a public health
movement which began in the 1800's.
The public health movement worked to
change the nature and improve the quality of
family life, to establish new systems of child
and family welfare, to transform Canadian
education, and to organize child and family
health care.1 In public schools, and in
Nanaimo general practice, isolation
techniques, education, vaccination, inspection, and prevention of exposure were
exercised as methods to attain the desired
state of a healthier and stronger nation.
Fresh air was often recommended as a
cure for many ailments. These concepts -
increased personal and national awareness
of cleanliness and health, and suggested
alterations to society and its institutions -
are evidence of the many transitions that
Nanaimo was going through. Linked to
the advent ofthe public health movement
was increasing urbanization, and increasing consumerism.
By nature of geography, Nanaimo was
a commercial centre with Vancouver and
Victoria being the nearest large cities. As
Nanaimo expanded, it offered a large selection of consumer products and services
to the general public. Tourists, visitors,
travelling workers such as ships' captains
and crews, and patients from Nanaimo
and surrounding areas called upon the
services ofNanaimo's physicians and drug
stores. The communities of Errington,
Parksville, Qualicum, Coombs,
Ladysmith, and Cassidy were often dependant on these services. According to
the signatures on the medical prescriptions,
from 1914 to 1923 there were two physicians in Nanaimo who handled the
majority of patients: Dr. W.F. Drysdale,
who served as the Medical Health Officer
of Nanaimo until the mid thirties, and
Dr. MacPhee.3 Drug stores J.B. Hodgins
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 and Van Houten's offered their services to
the general public. By the early 1920's,
expansion and competition demanded an
eye/ear/nose/throat specialist W.EJ.
Ekins, and an additional drugstore Terry's,
a branch operation from Vancouver.
Outlying areas also began to acquire their
own professional medical services.4
The families ofNanaimo and area were
predominantly in the working class. The
majority were employed by the Western
Fuel Company Limited, a mining company.5 Although many people were of
anglo-saxon descent, there were also
thriving ethnic populations including
Chinese, Japanese, Southern Europeans,
and Sikhs. Their place in the community
is explored and defined in prescriptions
requested and written for these people.
Simultaneously defined is the place ofthe
professional and theworkerofanglo-saxon
The people ofNanaimo were evidently
concerned with cleanliness and health,
especially in the years between 1914 and
1917. Concern for health in general was
a rather new phenomenon of the late
nineteenth century. This concern was
reflected in numerous prescriptions, a
majority of them prescribed specifically
for women. Lysol, for example, was obtained by prescription and used by many
women as a douche as well as for other
Children Cry for fle^jfiwffa
Tho Kiml Yoit Ilavo Always Bought* and wUcfc'-kM.Mta£V«f{!
la  tifto  for orcr 30 fern*, has borne tbo signature ot- .{a.-*1
• end has been made tender his per- *.&'•>
■onal sopcrrUlon stncottstnbuiey*'^-^
A How no one to deceive 3 tbbk"^ A'-**-
All Counter Id tu, liullnlloiia end '*.Tiirt-ns-ffood,*.arebn*:_i'..t.
Kspcrlinctits thnt trlflv with and cndong;er the health et '->■'. .1
Infants and Children—Experience against SzyeCfanwM. HV'v
What Is CASTOHIA T   '
^fttttorirt Is a harmless snbstltate for Castor OH* Pare** ~:',r
poric, Drops nod Sooth Ine Sjrraps. ' It It rTimtent, r |> V;y
contains neither-Opium, Momblno nor other Kareotte -';,'
subitaaee. Its neo Is Its cnarantoo. lt destroys Wmu *\.*»>
nnd allays FercriithnesB. For more than thirty Tear* le"$ 'Ji
lint bean In constant u*o for the relief ot fTonsf loatloii 1 _ •; /
riatnlenrj-f Wind Colic all Teething* TrenbleanaX-T~rJ
l>b%rrliacA. If Cxegalatcs the Stomach and .Bowehv'y-i -j,
asnlinllntes tbe Food, giving healthy and' natural sleep.
Tbo Children's l*aucev-Tho AIotbcr*s Friend*   --. ■ ■    ■•-■'.^
t Bears the Signature of
Iri Use For Over 30 Years
The Kind You Have Always Bought
disinfecting purposes. Glycerine (an ingredient in soap), thymaline (used as a
lotion as well as for mouthwash), and
various concoctions of sodium bicarbonate mixed with other compounds and
used as a mouthwash or gargle, were all
agents lending to the upkeep of personal
hygiene. The impetus for this focus on
health and cleanliness came from the public
health movement. More products and
services were available to the public than
ever before. It seemed to be the norm to
consult a physician for non-emergencies.
Infant diarrhea, rash, restlessness, and
vomiting required medical consultation.
Aspirin was frequently prescribed, primarily for women. The childbirth aid ergot
was used often,6 and doctors prescribed
other medications as they came on the
Commercialism had its foundation on
an ever expanding consumer oriented
market. Pharmacy was in a transitional
stage in Nanaimo. The acceptance of
consumer products was balanced with a
belief in traditional ways. Prescription
medication for specific brand names such
as Lysol, Calamine and Witch Hazel were
evidence that many Nanaimo citizens were
comfortable with the concept of buying
health. Patent medicine brand name
products that had something to offer everyone were advertised in the local paper,
such as Beechams Pills.7 Advertisements
were successful: 'Erton's Syrup', to be
used "when required for neuralgia pain,"
and 'Rexall Nerve Remedy' found its way
into the homes of many Nanaimo patients.8 However, there was a strong feeling that perhaps the old ways of dealing
with things were the best. This was illustrated by the many prescriptions for raw
materials such as glycerine, (rubbing) alcohol,sodium bicarbonate, and potassium
iodide, to name a few.9
Prescriptions for the Spanish Influenza
epidemic provided evidence of the confused manner in which cure for illness was
sought. The 'flu' struck Canada with
lightning speed in 1918, and claimed the
lives of thirty to fifty thousand Canadians
in a few short months.10 On October 16,
1918, twenty cases ofthe epidemic had
been officially reported, and others were
suspected. The first death occurred on
October 18, with a report of 135 cases in
the city. The number rose to 175 the next
day. By the twenty-first, there were four
new deaths and an estimated 300 cases.
On October 24 the estimate rose to 700
cases. In November of 1918 there were
seventy-six deaths from all causes in
Nanaimo as compared to the regular
number of eighteen.'1 In the seven weeks
of its heaviest influence, the 'flu' claimed
fifty-six lives.12 The epidemic cost the city
a total of $10,000, and treatment was
given to at least 218 people from the city
itself and the surrounding area under
emergency conditions.13 Prescriptions
show that remedies were searched for
through a mixture of superstition, tradition, and a hope in modern medicine.
Although the purpose of many prescriptions is not identified, requests for camphor, eucalyptus, and chloroform are specific to the time period, and have been
validated as requested forms of cure.14
The role and perhaps often the only option ofthe physician seemed to be 'comfort rather than cure.' Keeping the patient
satisfied in every possible way was the
fundamental prerequisite to keep doctors
and pharmacies in work. Confronted by
(a) wide array of cases, the physician seldom
had recourse to more than symptomatic
treatment. In this respect, his efficacy may
have been rivalled by the patients attempts
at self-medication^
During Prohibition, dating in most of
Canada from late 1917 to the late 1920's,
various forms of alcohol became very
popular as a requested cure for influenza.
In fact, on October 30, 1917 it was in the
local paper that "Provincial Agents Will
Sell Liquor/Dispensary Agents During
Epidemic". The Commissioner had hope
"on the medical profession generally (to)
prescribe only the amount medically
necessary in their judgement for the immediate needs of their patient."16 Apparently this was not demonstrated, resulting
in agreat many sales correctlyprocessed.17
British Columbia had followed the majority of Canada into Prohibition by the
end of 1917, and in spite ofthe constant
pressures ofthe government and the temperance movement, there was still a great
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 demand for liquor.18 Advertisements for
the U.B.C. Brewery even rivalled the
various church bulletins for space in the
local paper.19
This demand was voiced by traffic
through Nanaimo's busy sea port, in the
neighboring communities including most
notably Comox, Parksville, and Qualicum,
and from Nanaimo and area citizens.20
Alcohol was prescribed to all levels in
society, from the Judge to the miner.
There was almost a general lack of prescriptions allocated to ethnic groups such
as Orientals, Southern Europeans, and a
complete lack for Native Indians. This is
due in part I suggest to a general xenophobia and preoccupation with keeping
Canada as anglo-saxon as possible at this
time. The feelings of guilt and inadequacy and attempting to prove themselves respectable by anglo-saxon standards perhaps kept many ethnic people
from requesting alcohol. Community
pressure, control, and negative sentiment
would add to this feeling.21 A third reason
could be that a variety of alcoholic beverages may have been produced in the
back shed therefore there was not a need
to obtain alcohol by prescription.22
Doctors usually demanded an extra
payment of two dollars above the cost of
the alcohol for the prescription. Between
October 6, 1917 and early July 1919, a
period of twenty-two months, approximately 130 prescriptions for brandy, rye,
and scotch whisky were dispensed. Most
prescriptions were for one bottle, but some
requested two or even three bottles. There
were some repeating customers. For example, in a period of eight days, a Nanaimo
Judge received three prescriptions for "1
bottle Scotch Whisky."23 At two dollars
extra per bottle a grand profit of between
two hundred and sixty and three hundred
dollars was accumulated by primarily the
two physicians in Nanaimo. At a time
when the average physician's salary sat at
around two thousand dollars, Dr.
MacPhee pocketed one hundred and forty-
four dollars and Dr. Drysdale about thirty-
six dollars.24
Prescriptions for alcohol began thirteen days after the inception of Prohibition, on October 14,1917. The first pre
scription requests "1 bottle rye whisky"
and had no accompanying directions. The
physician's signature was illegible. No
further prescriptions were given until
August 6, 1918, nearly ten months later,
and they ended abruptly in early July of
1919, at the end of Prohibition.25
One particular ethnic minority family
was of special interest during Prohibition
and in the years following. Between January 11 and April 28 of 1919 twelve prescriptions for alcohol were allocated to
between six and eight different members
of a Sikh family of East Wellington. After
Prohibition, from January 15 1921 for
more than a year, the family began receiving prescriptions for opium and cocaine
from Dr. MacPhee.26
This is an interesting phenomenon for
several reasons. It is unusual because
ordinarily the names of ethnic minorities
were generalized in racial terms on prescriptions, such as the address to "Chinaman," "Japanese," and "Italian," especially in the early years. By 1923, actual
ethnic names can be noted on the prescriptions. All other prescriptions were
addressed formally to Baby Smith, Mrs.
Foley, Miss Young, and Capt. Taylor,
'Master (ofthe) Tug (sic) Tempest'27 It
is also unusual because there were very few
prescriptions for alcohol that were written
for ethnic minority groups. This particular Sikh family had alcohol prescriptions
and later the drug prescriptions addressed
specifically in their name.
The question of social stigma did not
seem to enter the minds ofthe family, nor
did questions of morality seem to bother
the doctor. Numerous opium and cocaine prescriptions similar to this one
werecommon: "(name) Opium 1/4lb. as
directed (Drug Addict) MacPhee."28
Thesedrugshad become illegal substances
in varying degrees at the turn ofthe nineteenth century.29 Traditionally, the
drinking of alcohol had been frowned
upon in the Sikh religion.30 Although the
pattern of drug prescription was specific
to the Sikh family, and they were pioneers
in requesting opium and cocaine with
such frequency, other ethnic families soon
followed suit in increasing numbers.31
Opium was also used in treating dysen
tery, which is caused by dirty water and
poor hygiene.32 As the vast majo'rity of
these prescriptions were for ethnic families, i.e. not anglo-saxon, the prominence
of dysentery would show a great difference in lifestyles between groups in the
community. However the fact that aid for
it was being sought through a physician
illustrates that assimilation and blending
of two different ethnic groups was occurring. Illness forced citizens of every race
and creed to seek help from physicians
and pharmacies, for drugs (and alcohol
during Prohibition.) Prior to this, the
only meeting place ofthe two would have
been at work in the mines. It was indicative that ethnic groups would not co-exist
separately but were beginning to evolve
Venereal disease also broached questions of morality. Although the evidence
of venereal disease in Nanaimo is not
overwhelming, it did exist. The town was
infamous for its prostitutes up and down
the coast. An active seaport, Nanaimo's
large number of brothels catered to local
as well as to transient and visiting customers.33 Prescriptions for venereal disease
were not explicit in their directions, as
other ailment prescriptions usually were.34
This in itself was suggestive ofthe stigma
associated with venereal disease. "Use as
an injection" or "apply to affected areas"
, few doses of Gin Pills, to yon     '
' free—If ycm have any. Kidney
or Bladder Trouble. After you -
sec how good they are—get •
' >v    the 60k>mze at your dealer's.  '
' —W-i' National OrmipS Chemical Co.
ot Canada, Limited     Toronto
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 JfouxSh6u!d-W6rry-lf
it were difficult to find a safe and reliable reniedy for the
ailments due to irregular cr defective action of the stomach,
liver or bowels. These ailments are likely to attack
anyone; likelyrtoo," to lead to worse sickness if notrelieved.-
for their power to correct these
They  cleanse  tho system,' "parify
are   famous   the   world  over,
troubles certainly  antl  safely.
the blood and act as a general tonic" vpon body, brain and' nervetk
Indigestion, biliousness, constipation might, indeed, cause you prolonged  suffering "and' expose yon. to danger if Beecham's Pills
Were Not On Hand
Prepared only ny Thoreae Bccchaea, Sc HcJcaa, Lancashire BajIncL
Sold everywhere in Canada ami U. S. America,    la bosce. 25 casta*
Illustrations are advertisments from the Nanaimo Free Press, April 1915-
were often the only directions for requests
of potassium permanganate, which is used
as a general disinfectant and could have
been required for an eye or foot infection,
or to an open sore.35 "Syphilis was treated
with one of the 'arsenicals' . . .(and)
gonorrhea was treated with Argyrol (and)
silver nitrate."36 Although for all the prescriptions surveyed there were under one
dozen that were somewhat effective in
treating venereal disease, the stigma and
shame must have prompted many people
to hide or ignore their condition and
decline to seek professional help.37
Whereas the medical evidence of venereal
disease is scanty, it is probable that such
disease existed to an extent, due to the
nature of industry and geographical setting ofNanaimo. Thus religion and the
church seem to have played as minor a
role in preventing the spread of venereal
disease as they did in the prevention of
alcohol consumption.
In conclusion, there were the difficulties of undated prescriptions, questionable
chronological order, prescriptions with
no physician undersigned or person or
place addressed, vague directions (when
directions existed at all), and the possible
loss of documents over the years. However, an analysis of the medical ledgers
does provide an insight to the social climate of Nanaimo in the years 1914 -
Social reform and social adjustment are
the tales told by the medical ledgers.
Increasing    pro-
fessionalization of
the medical and
fields forced  the
different   ethnic
populations     in
Nanaimo to patronize the same
physicians and drug
stores. Traditional
methods of dealing
with illness were
being replaced allowing professional
services to become
a norm. As patent
and prescription
medicines became acceptable as methods
of cure, so they also supported a growing
consumer oriented market.   Part of the
support for this market came from ethnic
minorities, who were gaining profile in an
anglo-saxon dominated world. Attitudes
of community were changing. Attitudes
of self were also changing. This is evident
in prescriptions for hygiene aids.   The
responsibility for one's own health was
taken on by the individual.  The transitions to increasing professionalization,
consumerism, a new, healthier goal for the
individual and the family, and ethnic assimilation in Nanaimo society illustrate
the struggle in leaving the safe and traditional ways to accept a new world and
The writer is a student at Malaspina College
and a part-time worker in the Nanaimo Archives
1. City Oetk's Office Committee Reports, 1914-1923.
Nanaimo Community Archives
2. Neil Sutherland. "To Create a Strong and Healthy Race':
School Children in the Public Health Movement, 1880-1914."
Medicine in Canadian Society,   ed. S.ED. Shorn.
Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univenity Press, 1981.
3. City Cleik's Office Committee Report,, 1914-1923.
4. Brian Ray Douglas Smith, "Some Aspects ofthe Sodal
Development of Early Nanaimo." A Bachelor's Essay submitted
to the Department of History at the Univenity of British
ColumbiaApril 12,1956.119-121; E. Blanche Norcross,Nanaimo
Retrospective The First Century (Nanaimo, British Columbia:
Nanaimo Historical Society, 1979) 118-121; Ledgers of Medical
PieacriptionsofNanaimoandArea, 1914-1923 (approx.) Nanaimo
Community Archives: By following the advent of new doctors
and pharmacies as noted in the prescriptions it is easy to trace tbe
path of professionalization.
5. The British Columbia Directory 1919, Vancouver Island
Regional Library Headquarters. 388-399.
6. Ledgers passim.
7. Nanaimo Free Press Wed. Jan. 3, 1915 ff. Nanaimo Community
Archives. Gin Pills, HeadachePowder.Castoria,andBeecham's Pills
were frequently advertised as well as other consumer oriented
8. Ledgers 69.
9. Ledgers passim.
10. Eileen Petrigrew, The Silent Enemy: Canada and the Deadly Flu
of 1918. (Saskatoon: Western Prairie Books, 1983) XV.
11. Nanaimo Free Press Oct. 16, 1918; Nov. 30,1918 "Heavy
Death Rates for this Month."
12. City Clerk's Office Committee Reports, Dec 3. 1918.
13. Nanaimo Free Picas Dec. 3,1918.
14. Pettigrew, Tne Silent Enemy. 110-112. Tne author states
that "Every household bad its own trusted preventative and
remedy. Cotton Bags holding a lump of camphor and worn on
a cord around the neck were commonplace..." 110.
Eucalyptus, mothballs, goose gpease, and castor oil used in a
variety of ways was also popular; Ledgers 70 ff.
15. S.E.D. Shorn, "Before the Age of Mirades": TheRiscFall
and Rebirth of General Practice in Canada, 1890-1940.'
Health, Disease and Medicine Essays in Canadian History,
ed. Charles G. Roland (McMaster University:
Tne Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine by
Clarke Irwin Inc, 1984) 129.
16. R. Douglas Francis et al. eds., Destinies: Canadian History
Since Confederation (Canada" Holt, Rinehart and Winston of
Canada, Ltd., 1988)220. Nanaimo Free Press Oct. 30. "Provincial
Agents Will Sell Liquor/Dispensing Agents During Epidemic"
17. James H.Gray, The Roar of the Twenties (Toronto: The
Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1971) 138-140.
"In the beginning (1917-1919) no restrictions were imposed on
the number of prescriptions a doctor could issue or a druggist to fill.
Nor was either profession required to keep records of business done
As a result, in all the cities across the west the doctors did a roaring
. trade, but only with those who could afford to pay $2 for the
prescription and $3 to $5 to the druggist for tbe whisky." Various
testticrionscameintobeingafteririis. Ledgersl77: onJaouaryl5,
1921 Miss Lee was prescribed one quart of sherry. In order for a
transaction to occur, a very formal physician's form for the "Bridsh
Columbia Prohibirion Act" for tbe "Physicians Prescription for
Liquor" was filled out. "Name of person for whom liquor is
required, Address, Nature of Liquor Prescribed, Quanriry,
Directions for use, Name of Physician," and "Address of
Physician" were all duly noted.
18. Francis, Destinies 218. The Nanaimo Free Press April 8, 1915,
"Prohibition Not Setded:" April 15, 1915, "Waiters Affected by
Prohibition;" April20,1915."TemperanceRallyatHaliburtanSt.;"
May 7,1915, "And-Uquor Law Modified:" June 26,1915,
"Prohibition Campaign for B.C.;" Jury 7,1916, "Manitoba Liquor
Law Raises Serious Trouble;" (re: the sale of medicated liquor.
"Since the Prohibition Act came into fotce, the consumption of
these beverages has grown rapidly.") Aug 24, 1917, "Liquor
Exodus has Commenced;" Aug. 9, 1919, "Uquor Restrictions
are so Beneficial;" The presence of these articles to the general
public leaves no room for speculation that prohibition and
anti-alcohol sentiments were ao issue only for few • it was
19. Nanaimo Free Press passim.
20. Ledgers passim.
21. Ledgers 116 ff; Angus McLaren, OurOwnMasterRaceEugenics
in Canada, 1885 - 1945 (Ontario: McClelland & Stewart Umited,
1968) 44-49; Kathleen Savory, Nanaimo's Chinese Community.
ForDr.C.Y.Lai. Nanaimo Community Archives. Thisessayattests
to the dislike ofthe Chinese in Nanaimo since their arrival in the
nineteenth century by the Nanaimo community in general.
22. Intetviewwith Daphne Paterson, 1992. Nanaimo
Community Archives.
23. Ledgers 116ff.
24. Shorn, 'Before the Age of Mirades...' 136; Ledgers 101 ff: these
figures are taken from prescriptions specifically signed by a
doctor, and many were not.
25. Ledgers 101.
26. Ledgers 19911
27. Ledgers passim. The names of patients have been changed.
28. Ledgers 209.
29. Encyclopedia Americana Vol. 7,20 (U.SA: Grolier Inc,
1981) 160,776-777.
30. W. H. McLeod, The Sikhs History, Religion, and Society
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1989) 76-77.
31. Ledger, 209 ff
32. Paterson  1992.
33. Intetviewwith Mis. Barbara Boyd, 1992. Nanaimo
Centennial Museum.
34. Ledgers passim
35. Ledgers passim; R.E. Allen ed., The Concise Osford Dictionary
of Current English, Eighth Edition (Toronto: Oxford
University Press, 1990)932.
36. Jay Cassd, The Secret Plague: Venereal Disease in Canada
1838-1939 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987) 181.
37. Ibid., 181-187.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 The Union Steamship Company of B.C.:
The West Coast Lifeline
by Kelsey McLeod
Early in the century, 'boat day' to residents of British Columbia's coast meant
one thing only: on that day a Union
Steamship Company ship would call.
Tugboats, fishboats, freighters, rowboats
and sailboats abounded in their waters.
But if someone shouted: "There's the
boat!", it meant the Capilano, theCassiar,
or Catala, Lady Evelyn or Venture, perhaps the Cardena, to name but a few of
the company's ships, had hove in sight. It
was a measure of the importance of this
lifeline with the outside world. It brought
mail and provisions, settlers, loggers,
residents back from holidays in the 'Bright
Lights' of Vancouver, mothers with new
babies, people who had been away for
medical care. For seventy years the red-
and-black funnelled ships steamed the
inlets and tide rips of the vast coastline,
servicing the small dots on the map that
the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian
National scarcely knew existed. It was a
world that came into existence largely
through the services of those ships, and a
world that quickly died once theystopped
sailing. To Vancouver residents the
steamship company meant excursions and '
moonlight cruises - entertainment; to the
coast dwellers it meant survival.
The company was formed in 1889 bya
group of visionaries. It began with a step
that developed into a creed - that of
swallowing another shipping company. It
took over the Burrard Inlet Towing
Company, and so owned SS Leonora, SS
Senator, the tug Skidegate, and several
scows, and quicklyplunged into the hurly-
burly of the pioneering boom that was
shaping up on the West Coast. Both the
name ofthe company and the colours of
the funnels were borrowed from the Un-
ionSteamship Company ofNew Zealand,
for an Englishman, John Darling, who
Catala, up coast- mid20's
was connected with that country's shipping line, gave his support to the new
The 'Union', as the company became
commonly called, started first serving the
Vancouver to Nanaimo run, and Burrard
Inlet communities. But the early pioneers
were already moving north and west along
the coast. They went in small steamboats,
row or sail boats, but the Union had other
transportation in mind for them. Orders
were placed in Scotland for three ships,
which were built in sections there, and
shipped out to be assembled in Coal Harbour. They were given names of local
Indian origin, a naming policy long followed: Comox, Capilano, and Coquidam.
The year was 1891, and few years that
followed did not see added ships carrying
the 'Union' flag.
When the cry of "Gold!" sounded from
the Klondike, it meant the gold to be
made from shipping to the company. In
1897 Capilano was the first British ship to
sail out of Vancouver for the Klondike.
She was followed by the Coquidam,
loaded with gold-mad men and their possessions. And by the Cutch, which made
many trips before foundering on Horseshoe Reef, near Juneau, on August 20,
1900. The gold rush ended, but the
company scarcely noticed, for men's attention was turning more and more to
green gold ofthe coast's timber, and the
wealth of its fisheries. Serving the loggers
and the fishermen became the main interest of the ships and remained so till the
It was a prodigious undertaking, and
remained a constant challenge, even once
the routes were established. There are
basically thirteen major systems of inlets
that wind for miles into the heart of the
Coast Range. The mountains are high
and mean and glacier-covered. Mount
Waddington has an altitude of over 13,000
feet and there are hundreds of peaks approaching that height. Down these
mountain-girt inlets often roar what today is quaintly called an "Arctic outflow".
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 Captain John Mercer A" Sylvia McLeod
In many places the mountains drop straight
into the sea; in others the waters are what
are regarded as shallow, and this means
that in minutes a cruel and dirty sea can
boil up. It is doubtful if there is a completely straight stretch of shoreline anywhere in the "17,000 miles of coastline
within a linear distance of 500 miles",1
and there are countless islands that divert
the Pacific in its surge around the northernmost and southernmost tips of Vancouver Island. "The most outrageous
bottleneck on the Coast is probably
Nakwakto Narrows near Cape Caution
which drains a system of four inlets — 700
miles of shoreline all told - through a
passage barely 1000 feet wide ... It may
be the swiftest tidal rapids in the world,
achieving velocities of 24 knots . . ."2
Places like the Hole-in-the-Wall and the
Yacultas,3 Seymour Narrows, are known
and respected by experienced mariners.
(There is a legend floating around that the
reason the Queen Charlotte Islands became inhabited by white people is that
Hecate Strait is such a rough passage that
no one had the nerve to re-cross it.)
As the years went by the crews of the
Union ships came to know each and every
one of these inlets, rapids, tide rips. They
seemed to develop a built-in magnetic
system that drew them safely through into
fog-bound landings; they never sought
shelter, pitching and ploughing through
the worst storms one of the wildest
coastlines in the world hurled at them.
Where there were no navigational aids,
they invented them: "... he stopped the
vessel in slack water and lowered a boat
with ... seamen and the mate, who had
a . . .can of luminous paint. They . . .
repainted a . . .mark on a large boulder,
upon which the Cassiar's course depended."4 Two and three foot squares of
wood were made in the company's machine shop, and painted with special white
paint, to be set up as beacons in hazardous
channels, as further safeguards.
It was the manner in which the ships
and their crews adapted to coastal life
which made the company's service unique.
A humdrum, structured service would
have been impossible, first because ofthe
terrain itself, and secondly because the
crews had to adapt to the nature of the
individuals served. The BC. coast, in
those far-off days, seemed to attract rugged individualists who did not fit into
known moulds. People like Hole-in-the-
Wall Johnston, Nine-day Jimmie, Cut-
Throat Mike... And, how could aschedule
be kept strictly, when, say, therewas aload
of planed boards in the hold, which had
simply to be tossed into the salt chuck and
let float as its owner rounded up and tied
them for towing? If, in an area where there
was no dock or float for miles around, a
rowboat appeared from behind aheadland,
flagging down the ship? Naturally, the
ship stopped, perhaps to take only a letter,
perhaps a passenger or parcel.
If an injured logger was taken aboard at
some camp, and his time was running out,
stops would be skipped to get him to
hospital. In the 1920's, at Lang Bay, one
day the Union ship went into Stillwater,
which was but miles from us. Stillwater
was usually a lengthy stop, with a lot of
freight to be unloaded. We were thus
amazed to hear the departure whistle
shortly after docking. Out pulled the
ship, which sailed right past our dock with
a brief toot which said: "We know you' re
there, but you'll understand . .." Everyone was concerned, for we knew what it
meant. In this case a logger named
Hannigan had been severely injured at
one of the camps on the Gordon Pasha
Lakes. Sadly, in spite of the thoughtful-
ness of the ship's master, Hannigan died
in the Powell River Hospital.
It was impossible for the company to
make money in servicing in this fashion an
area so sparsely populated, and this led to
the Federal Government giving a subsidy
even before the turn ofthe century. The
thought was of course, to "open up the
country." And open it up the Union did.
The Union never really stopped growing.
1911 saw it with a fleet of nine ships.
When it had its Jubilee in July of 1949 the
number was sixteen with a gross tonnage
of 19,000, as well as speedy ferries operating on Howe Sound. The previous year
the ships had carried half a million passengers, logged 586,435 miles, and provided employment for 600 persons. The
company had absorbed the Boscowitz
Steamship Company of Victoria, and the
All Red Line, and gone into the resort
business when it acquired the Bowen Island resort, and those at Sechelt and Selma
Park. Much of the company's progress
had been done by strictly B.C. interests.
Until 1911 the company was completely
B.C. owned, when the interests of
Welsford and Co. of Liverpool, England,
acquired control. In 1937 the company
once more reverted to ownership and
management by B.C. businessmen.
The one thing the company's service
could never be called was dull. The
Venture had, as well as sixty-two first-
class berths, extra loggers' berths, which
were free for the down-on-their-luck. In
the Cassiar: "Aft ofthe cargo-room.. .was
the skookum box - that is, the strong
room or lock up. To it the first mate.. .is
wont to shoot too-noisy drunks, pushing
them before him at arm's length, with that
fine collar-and-trouserseat grip of his.. ."5
In a Vancouver newspaper, many years
later: "... on these work ships ofthe B.C.
coast, you get a ringside seat into a show
that makes a heavyweight bout look like a
Sunday school picnic... Adrunk watched
a shapely young passenger head for her
cabin. He knocked on the door. When
she wouldn't open up, he put his fist
through the panelling... Police officers
were called aboard at Alert Bay . .. You
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 had only to split an infinitive, or tread the
decks with your shoe lace untied, to warrant a slug in the nose. . ,"6
The Union was progressive as well as
flexible and adaptable. For instance, they
fitted into the Camosun the first Marconi
wireless, and early went into the freight
business. By 1941 they were operating
the Frank Waterhouse Company, with
five coastal freighters. They also gave
summer excursions to the Howe Sound
area, lending an air of festivity to Vancouver Harbour as the flag-decked ships
sailed past Prospect Point one behind the
other. There were periodic one-day excursions from Powell River to Vancouver
as well, and to Savary Island.
The company's adaptability was more
than matched by its customers. There
were many ways of meeting the boat's
arrivals. It could be by simply rowing out
to the ship. But it was more often by a
community's leisurely movement toward
the dock or float area. (The ship's schedule
was one that could stretch a span of many
hours, one of unpredictability.) No matter,
it was a time to gather at the local store and
post office, which usually was close to the
wharf, and chat with neighbours, get
caught up on all the local doings. It was
boat day, entertainment day, meet-your-
neighbours day - the one day ofthe week
when the boat's arrival proved there was
another world out there, a world not
hemmed in by forest and mountain and
- And then, there was the meeting
method of a hand logger, who deserves to
go down in history. Picture him, on his
lonely claim way up the side of a mountain
on a winding inlet. Far below is the small
bay that holds a float where.the ships
dock, and where he booms the logs he
fells. - Logs that go hurtling down a
narrow wooden chute, down, down those
hundreds of feet into that bay. He is busy
at his work, preoccupied, when the sound
of the ship's whistle bounces back and
forth from peak to peak. The boat! There
is absolutely no way he can hike down that
mountain trail and arrive at the float in
time for the ship's docking. He solves the
problem: He flings himself into the log
chute, and rides it corks7 first, the seat of
his tin pants8 smoking, and arrives in the
bay with a splash and a shout just as the
ship ties up. City slickers may doubt this
tale; those who have lived up the coast will
not. You simply did not miss the boat
All through its life the Union had many
ups and downs. It was plagued by strikes:
one in 1955 lasted two months and cost
the company an estimated $700,000. But
the real misfortune was simply so-called
progress, which waits for no man, and
cares not who is hurt. As months and
years passed, airplane service to small
communities cut heavily into the passenger
service. After World War Two ended
Black Ball ferries spanned both Howe
Sound and Jervis Inlet, which meant that
the Union was no longer needed by the
two most populous areas of the coast.
Though the northern runs were retained,
the company turned more and more to
freight service in an effort to survive.
Yet always it was the humanness ofthe
service that has kept memories alive. The
officers in their navy serge uniforms with
the gold braid, the others in the crews,
were not simply seamen, they were friends.
Captains likejohn Muir, Howard Lawrey,
Harry Roach, to name only a few, were
well thought of because of the type of
person they were, not because of their
usefulness. People got to the point where
they were so familiar with the way a captain handled a ship that they could judge,
long before it docked, who was in command. It could be said it was a type of
mutual admiration. When Granny Young,
at Lang Bay, handed over flowers to steward
William Gardiner for use on his dining
room tables, she did not have to. He had
not asked; she did it because she wanted
to, knowing he felt it made the dining
room a pleasanter spot. And let there be
no doubt as to the decor and the atmosphere of those dining rooms. Eating in
them was by way of an occasion. Even the
way meals were announced had panache.
A steward strode the decks, sounding a
chime that must have been cousin to the
glockenspiel: "Bong, bing, bing, ting, bing,
bong. First (or second) call to lunch! (or
dinner.)" To the purser's office to purchase your ticket for the meal, then down
the stairway to the dining room, at the
1st Mate Jack McLeod, Cardena - 1933.
foot of which your ticket was taken, and
you were directed to a table. There were
linen tablecloths and napkins, gleaming
silver. The china had the Union Steamship
logo. You were not just eating here; you
were dining out! And what food, what a
Here is apartial list of a luncheon menu
aboard the Cardena. (It must be noted
that the menu was decorated with a lovely
depiction of forest and sea, with a company
ship in the foreground.) - Sardines on
toast.. .iced green olives. Barley broth, or
consomme. Boiled ling cod with parsley
sauce. Entrees: Boiled ox heart with
Italian sauce, Veal Fricassee and Green
Peas, or Banana Fritter with Maple Syrup.
For Joints: Roast prime ribs and Horseradish, Roast Leg of Mutton with Currant
Jelly. Vegetables were not too numerous,
only steamed or mashed potatoes were
offered, and string beans. The desserts
make one long for the "Good Old Days".
- Steamed Marmalade Pudding with Sweet
Sauce, Green Apple Pie, or Pear Pie.
Raspberry Jelly with Whipped Cream,
Vanilla Ice Cream, and either plain or
fruit cake. To finish off, there was achoice
of four cheeses, fresh fruit, mixed nuts,
tea, milk, buttermilk or coffee.9 Observant readers might ponder the fact that the
individuals who laid foundations of our
province did so on a meat and potatoes,
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Lady Cecelia - Lang Bay wharf, early 30's.
enjoy-your-food diet, without benefit of
tofu or Caesar salads.
It is difficult to describe, to analyse, the
atmosphere aboard the Union Steamship
ships, particularly in the early years. They
were like small, lighted and warm islands
amidst the vastness and loneliness of the
land and sea around. There was a sense of
striving against an as yet untamed frontier,
and the knowledge that the land and the
struggle were worth it all. There was an
underlying feeling of excitement about
life in general. There was such a friendliness in the coastal community. Every
ship that was passed was saluted; people
waved and shouted greetings. At each
stop, whether dock or float, or just a
rowboat, passengers lined the rails of the
ship, calling greetings, looking for friends,
giving and receiving news. All the freight
carried by those ships was not in the form
of tangible bundles, crates and packages.
But sometimes, the heartiness was muted,
and the atmosphere became sombre indeed. As one night when the Cassiar was
docked at a float: "Suddenly someone
behindmecalledout'Gangway!'... There
was a tone in that word... I did not need
to look behind me. I knew without seeing, what was there! ... I watched five
men advance . . .it was a great big box ..
.it was the hand-logger killed the day
before... A quiet-looking man, cleaned
up for town in rough black woollen clothes,
followed the box on board — the dead
man s partner.
in the world, however, did not save the
Union Steamship Company. By May of
1957 they had not the largest passenger
fleet on the coast, but the largest cargo
fleet — fourteen vessels and three steel-
covered barges that called at a hundred
small ports as well as the larger centres.
This changeover from passengers to freight
had come about so swiftly, yet so insidiously, that it was scarcely heeded in many
quarters. Prince Rupert, Port Hardy,
Sointula, Minstrel Island, to name a few
places, were still given the old service. The
Cassiar gave fortnightly service to the
Portland Canal and to the Queen Charlotte Islands. But those in the really
isolated, smallest places, those who had to
make a long trip to where plane or boat
landed, were already suffering.
The breakthrough in the fog of indifference came in a newspaper report from
Ottawa in April of 19 57. It stated that the
Federal Government subsidies to the
company were to be reviewed. In December came the announcement that the
subsidy was ended. The coast dwellers
were in an uproar. Headlines in the Prince
Rupert newspaper heralded: "End of Era
Arrives!" The Native Brotherhood got
into the act. Ottawa was besieged, as far
as it is possible to besiege from beyond
mountains and prairie. Ottawa shrugged
its collective shoulder, and compromised
by subsidizing, for three experimental
months, C.P.R. service north of Johnstone
The Union did its best. In Vancouver
papers of March, 1958, there was the
announcement: "Effective, mid-April,
Union Steamships Ltd. is reinstating
combination passenger and cargo service
to the Johnstone Straits-Bella Coolaroute
on an unsubsidized basis. . . .Union
Steamships realized that the upcoast
communities need dependable and regular water transportation . . "
Unfortunately, Ottawa did not recognize this unarguable fact, and the service
was short-lived. By early 1959 B.C.'s
oldest in-service shipping company had
sold its floating assets to Northland
Navigation Co. The sight ofthe red-and-
black funnelled ships was gone forever
from west coast inlets and bays. An era
had ended, and countless litde places served
by the company would also vanish into
The writer is a very active member of the
Vancouver Historical Society and a docent for the
Vancouver Museum. She is also supporter ofthe
Vancouver Maritime Museum.
The pictures are all from her family album.
1. Raincoast Chronicles, Tides", p. 242.
2. Ibid, p. 241.
3. Pronounced Yooclataw, Ibid, p. 243.
4. Whistle up the Inlet, p. 93.
5. Woodsmen of the West, p. 20.
6. Les Rimes, Vancouver Sun Marine Editor, in his column, "I
cover the Waterfront".
7. Caulked boots. A logger would refer to his boots as his "corks".
8. Waterproofed canvas pants worn by old-time loggers.
9. Echoes ofthe Whittle, p. 81.
10.    Woodsmen of the West, p. 101.
Woodsmen of the West:: M. Allerdale Granger
Raincoast Chronicles First Five: Harbour Publishing
Whistle up the Inlet: Gerald A. Rushton
Echoes of the Whistle: Gerald A. Rushton
Personality Shipa of British Columbia: Ruth Greene
Vancouver Public Library, Marine Section
Vancouver Sun Newspaper, Marine column
My persona! memories.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Carnarvon Terms or Separation: B. C. 1875-78
by Daniel P. Marshall
Never before has there been
such interest taken in apolitical
organization in this city as is
now being taken in the organization ofthe Carnarvon
Club. Meetings are held nearly
every night of the week.
Hundreds of members are being enrolled, and the greatest
enthusiasm prevails. If an
invasion were expected there
could notbea moredetermined
effort made to enroll a force to
resist the enemy, than there is
to oppose all attempts to surrender the Carnarvon Terms?
On 20 July 1871, British
Columbia's long held dream
of a convenient transportation link to eastern North
America seemed assured,
when their demand for a
transcontinental railway became enshrined in the Terms
of Union by which they
joined the Canadian Confederation. The necessity of a fixed rail
link was deemed of importance if the
tyranny of distance was to be genuinely
conquered. Indeed, for some such as Dr.
John Sebastion Helmcken, the Pacific
Railway was a sine qua non and without it
there could be no Confederation.2 As a
consequence, the federal government
agreed to the colony's request and gave the
additional guarantee that railway construction would begin in the province
within two years of the date of Confederation, and be completed in ten.
Speculation immediately arose, however, as to the federal government's faithful
adherence to the railway clause of the
agreement. British Columbia's enthusiasm for the literal fulfilment of the Terms
of Union was not shared by successive
federal governments. The obligation for
ASpeoial aVKootixxg,
Will be he held on SATURDAY next
the 20th instant, at 8 o'clock, for tho
transaction of Important Business.
Every member is requested to attend.
By order of the President.
C. W. HORTH, Secretary.
Notice of a Special Meeting ofthe Carnarvon Club.
the commencement of construction within
the two year limit was carried out only in
symbolic form just one day before the
expiry date of 20 July 1873.3 In keeping
with his order-in-council, which established Esquimalt as the terminus, Sir John
A. Macdonald ordered, 19 July 1873, a
survey party to run a location line for a
portion of the proposed Island Railway.
Once this was done, however, the federal
government, having kept its promise, if
only minimally, returned to its languid
state and the absence of railway construction became apparent once more.
British Columbia remained patient, but
with the election of Alexander Mackenzie's
Government in 1873, the province's fears
were exacerbated by a Prime Minister
who had previously pledged that the railway terms were "a bargain made to be
broken."4 Consequently, a
deadlock ensued between the
provincial and dominion
governments over the question
of relaxing the ten year limit
for the completion of the
railway. This impasse was not
effectively broken until both
parties agreed to an impartial
mediator: Lord Carnarvon,
Colonial Secretary ofthe Imperial government, who insisted that his decision
"whatever it may be, shall be
accepted without any question
or demur."5
Vancouver Island, and especially Victoria, had the most
to lose at this juncture.
Macdonald's Order in
Council of 1873 naming
Esquimalt the terminus had
been rescinded, and the Island
Line, as offered in compensation for delay, would not be
built as a government work, if
at all.6 Lord Carnarvon's decision as it turned out, guaranteed the building ofthe E&N Railway,
and as long as the Bute Inlet Route was
still seen as a viable option for the transcontinental line, Victoria's hopes of being
part ofthe main nationwide railway were
still very prevalent.7 Yet, even after the
Carnarvon decision had been made, the
practise of procrastination continued
under the Mackenzie Government and
became a concomitant to the rallying cry
of "Carnarvon Terms or Separation." The
nonfulfilment of the Terms of Union
acted as a catalyst for political opposition
and was waged against not only the federal
government, but also the provincial government if a strict adherence to the
Carnarvon Terms was not kept. As opposition grew, so did the need for formal
organization: both as a forum for discussion and, if required - political action.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 This naturally led to the establishment of
the Carnarvon Club, which before the
introduction ofthe "old" line parties of
Canada, played an important and influential role in the politics of the province
and can be seen as one ofthe best examples
of a political pressure group in the immediate post-Confederation period, if not
in the whole political history of British
Even before the formation of the
Carnarvon Club, Sir Joseph Trutch,
Lieutenant Governor ofB ritish Columbia,
noted the "extra-ordinary wave of radicalism" that had overtaken the province.
In writing to Sir John A. Macdonald,
Trutch described the political mood as
The temper of our community is greatly
excited and set against Canada and the
Canadians by the nonfulfilment of the
Railway Clause ofthe Terms of Union and
especially by the tone and manner regarding
it taken by those who have expressed a desire
for some readjustment ofthe obligations of
Canada wfith] this respect}
Talk of secession was becoming so
frequent among provincial politicians and
the electorate alike, that it was decided
that a vice regal visit by the Earl of Dufferin,
Governor General of Canada, and his wife
Princess Louisa, might help to mend relations between the two governments.9
Consequently, in August of 1876, British
Columbia made special preparations for a
royal celebration, while in Victoria, a
private audience was anticipated with the
queen's representative to detail the city's
many grievances with the Dominion. At
a large meeting held at Philharmonic Hall
in Victoria, an address was prepared and
approved for presentation to the Governor General.10 In part, it stated that:
The action of the Dominion Government
in ignoring the Carnarvon settlement, has
produced a wide feeling of dissatisfaction
towards Confederation . . . .(and if the)
Government fails to take practical steps to
carry into effect the terms solemnly accepted
by them, we must respectfully inform your
Excellency that, in the opinion of a large
number of people of this Province the withdrawal of this Province from Confederation
will be the inevitable result."
This fact was made immediately known
to Lord Dufferin upon arriving in Victoria.
The grand procession that ushered both
him and his wife to Government House,
travelled the streets of Victoria where
magnificent celebratory arches had been
erected to commemorate the visit.12 One
such arch, however, had been raised by the
"Fort Street Shopkeepers" which proclaimed: "The Carnarvon Terms or Separation," but the Governor General refused to lend any official recognition to
the slogan when he bypassed the offending arch altogether.13 In addition, Lord
Dufferin later declined the address prepared for him by the Philharmonic Hall
meeting which had outlined Victoria's
grievances. He instead spoke privately
with the meeting's deputation and informed them that the Island Railway would
be abandoned.14 In an attempt to quell
the secessionist threat, Dufferin further
warned that "the Crown would allow the
Island to go; but... the Mainland will be
held to the Dominion by inducements of
self interest which the building of the
main line will furnish."15 In other words,
if the threat of separation continued, Bute
Inlet as a railway route would be overturned
and "the proposed line of the Pacific
Railway might possibly be deflected south"
to New Westminster.16 This then, was the
political climate which the Governor
General's visit was supposed to alleviate,
but instead intensified as a result of
Dufferin's consistent refusal to publicly
recognize the legitimate constitutional
complaints of Victoria.
As adirect result, on 9 September 1876,
the Carnarvon Club was formally established with an approved constitution entrenching the society's main objective to
the effect that:
Whereas doubts have arisen in the
public mind as to the intentions of the
Dominion Government to carry out the
Terms of Union in the manner determined by Lord Carnarvon it has been
deemed advisable to organize a society
for the purpose of using all constitutional
means to compel Canada to carry out her
railway obligations with this Province;
(ailing which, to secure the withdrawal
of British Columbia from Confedera
The Club's constitution also provided
for executive positions forsix-month terms
to which the following well-known gentlemen were elected: Charles Hayward,
President; James Fell, Vice President; Dr.
William Wymond Walkem, Secretary, and
Thomas Chadwick, as treasurer.18 These
were undoubtedly some ofthe same men
who raised the Fort Street arch which bore
the identical inscription later used by the
Club as its motto: "Carnarvon Terms or
Separation." Although no record ofthe
participants exists - in part explained by
the Club's oath of secrecy - the arch,
nonetheless, symbolizes the early origins
ofthe society, and can be seen as a turning
point in the creation of formal political
opposition under the Carnarvon Club
Political opposition took the form of a
two-pronged attack, as the Mainland, and
New Westminster in particular, believed
that the Island Railway, if built, would
secure the Bute Inlet route over their
preference for the Fraser River route. Most
of Vancouver Island, consequently,
worked not only against the federal government, but also the proponents of the
Fraser River alternative which was "destined to keep the sections asunder and
preclude the possibility of united action. "2C
Two such proponents ofthe Fraser River
route, both elected to Provincial Parliament in 1875) were Messrs. Brown and
Vernon, of New Westminster District
and Yale respectively. Both were also
members of Premier A.C. Elliot's administration. These appointments to
cabinet caused considerable consternation
among Victorians, and especially
Carnarvon Club members. Elliot's intentions towards the Carnarvon Settlement
were questioned as these gentlemen were
"two avowed and openly pledged enemies
of the Island Railway and consequently
the Carnarvon Terms. "21 For the Victoria
Daily Standard the natural conclusion
was quite simple: Premier Elliot's Government was preparing to surrender the
Carnarvon Terms.22 In consequence,
thereof, the Carnarvon Club's mandate
now swung from the federal theatre to
include the realm of provincial politics
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 and the close scrutiny of the Elliot Government. The Premier must have been
aware ofthe observation he was under as
Ebenezer Brown was asked to resign in
conjunction with apublic pronouncement
he had made in support of reopening the
Carnarvon Terms.23 Perhaps it was felt
that the forced resignation would keep the
Carnarvon Club in check and prevent any
further opposition-secessionist sentiment
from being directed towards the provincial government. Indeed, the British
Colonist thought the action more than
"sufficient to silence the clamorous knaves
who are attempting to mix Local with
Federal politics in the hope that they may
seize the reins of Government."24 The
Colonisthad become increasingly aware of
an attempt to inject party politics into the
whole debate over the fulfilment of the
Terms ofUnion contract. The newspaper
claimed that the ultimate aim of the attempt to link the Elliot Administration to
a conspiracy to "sell out" the Carnarvon
Terms, was that of destroying public
confidence in the Government.25 Joseph
Trutch described the political manoeuvre
while writing to John A. Macdonald:
But it is a great mistake to introduce — as
is being done here of late by the 'Standard' of
which Mr. Walkem now has control - the
Party politics of Old Canada into this
province. For as there are here as everywhere
else at least two parties in politics the more
one adopts Conservatism the more tendency
with the other naturally in the other direction — and of this introduction of Canadian
party politics here (ifit) has any effect at all
it must be to divide up a community . . .
which would otherwise continue united (to)
... that party which is thoroughly acknowledged as truly friendly to B. C26
Yet neither the Standard, nor former
Premier George Anthony Walkem necessarily attempted to introduce party politics, as presumably they were as tute enough
to realize that such a course would be
unpopular with a non partisan public.
The approach taken was more subtle, in
that the introduction of old party labels
merely consisted ofa contrived perception
being made that Elliot's Government was
an ally of Mackenzie's Liberal Government, and therefore, Liberals themselves
working in concert against the Carnarvon
The strategy, in fact, was similar to the
Carnarvon Club's which within a month
of having been established became decidedly preoccupied with provincial
politics once the Elliot-Mackenzie linkup had been made. The Standard ventured to forecast that "Without a doubt
the Carnarvon Club will sweep all before
it at the approaching provincial election. "27
Clearly, if any party had been introduced
into the political milieu of British Columbia at this time, it was unquestionably
the Carnarvon Club incognito.
Three mass public meetings held at
Philharmonic Hall, after the Club's inception, were convened for the express
purpose ofdeciding on "Carnarvon Terms
or Separation" and acted as the main
political impetus for further provincial
legislative action on the question of se-.
cession. The first such meeting, 19 September 1876, recorded not only an attendance of "Seven Hundred Citizens in
Council," but also a "unanimous vote in
favour of separation!"28 Likewise, 4 March
1877, separation was again endorsed by a
similar mass public meeting with the additional demand for George Vernon's resignation from cabinet for having publicly
opposed construction of the E&N
Railway.29 In this case adeputation waited
upon the Premier to determine whether
he planned on retaining Vernon in his
administration. Elliot refused to meet
with the deputation which led to a third
mass meeting, 12 March 1877, that called
for Premier Elliot's resignation for not
having met with his own electors of Victoria City.30 Carnarvon Club executive
members, such as President Charles
Hayward and others, were always prominent at the Philharmonic Hall meetings
(and subsequent deputations to the Provincial Government), as were opposition
politicians such as Robert Beaven, T. Basil
Humphreys and James Douglas, Jr.31
Perhaps Club members were a little too
prominent, however, as the first warning
shot as to their provincial political involvement was made in the Colonist by
former Member of Provincial Parliament,
W.A. Robertson. In his trenchant letter
to the editor he claimed that:
/ deemed it in the interest of the public,
and the people particularly of Victoria, to let
it be known that there is in our midst a
political Star Chamber (wrongly called the
Carnarvon Club) which, whileprofessingto
be working in the interestofthe Province, is,
in reality, wholely and solely run in the
interests of a political faction - a faction
which is nothingmore nor less than the rump
ofthe late (Walkem) Government.. ?2
Robertson further cautioned to beware
of all calls for further mass public meetings
which he believed to be the work of the
former Walkem Government. Other
Elliot supporters also pointed an accusing
finger to the secret political organization
called the Carnarvon Club as those responsible for the agitation being meted
out to the Government. Ofthe two later
meetings held at Philharmonic Hall, the
Colonist reported that:
They were initiated, regulated and controlled generally by decisions arrived at in a
secret society meeting previously held, and
which the late Cabinet of the dethroned
Walkem Ministry were the head centre,
backed by a few individuals who are so
notorious in this connection as to make
public mention of their names unnecessary.
.. The public safety requires its immediate -
its utter extirpation?*
To take the Colonist'sv/ord at face value
would be putting a little too much faith in
the editorial integrity ofthe newspaper's
political coverage. It is indeed, often
difficult to discern what might be considered reliable reporting of Carnarvon Club
events. In such circumstances where
there has been a partisan war of words, the
only real test ofthe validity oftheir claims,
is to determine whether the issue of adherence to the Carnarvon Terms was still an
influential factor contributing to the outcome ofthe 1878 provincial election.
The Standard in endorsing opposition
candidates in 1878 remained consistent.
Electors were warned of the Elliot-Mackenzie conspiracy and to vote for the
opposition ticket straight if the Island
Railway was to be secured:
There is no doubt that if Elliot is returned
it is intended not to call the Legislature
together until next February, so that in the
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 meantime should the Dominion elections
result in a majority for Mackenzie, the sale
ofthe Island Railway can be consummated.3*
On election day, 23 May 1878, Victoria elected all four opposition candidates
to provincial parliament and even deprived
Premier A.C. Elliot of his own seat.
Overall, ten opposition members out of
twelve were returned for Vancouver Island, and the Mainland having yielded
similar results led the Standard to predict
that "any opposition that may be offered
to the new (Walkem) Gov't on any ofthe
great questions of the day will be unimportant and inconsiderable. "35 Indeed, one
of the greatest questions of the day was:
"Carnarvon Terms or Separation" which
newly restored Premier Walkem, in
keeping with the election results, was determined to act on promptly. Upon
winning the third general election in 1878,
Walkem and other pro-Carnarvon colleagues immediately passed the famous
secession petition to Queen Victoria which
threatened to pull British Columbia out
ofthe Canadian Confederation.36
The work of the Carnarvon Club, in
mobilizing support to raise and hold the
issue on the public agenda, would seem to
have brought very good results for opposition candidates and those determined to
have a strict observance ofthe Carnarvon
Settlement. So favourable were the results
to be, in fact, that Premier Walkem who
had previously denounced the separation
cry, declared upon later reflection that "it
would be better to be alone than to have a
partner we could not trust."37 The
Carnarvon Club, for George Anthony
Walkem, had become the next best thing
to a political party: as a pressure group, it
certainly was the most successful the
province has ever seen, having secured
major government losses at the polls, and
a return of a sympathetic ministry. In its
role as a political party incognito, however,
the Carnarvon Club was perhaps even
more effective, being the only group in the
history of British Columbia ever to have
succeeded in returning a Premier to power
after his political defeat. This they did for
George Anthony Walkem, and all before
the age of political parties.
Dan Marshall is nearing completion ofaPh. D.
in History at the University of British Columbia.
Readers may recall that thisyoungmanfrom Cobble
Hill received the first BCHF Scholarship in 1988.
1. "The Carnarvon Club," Victoria Daily Standard,
7 August 1876, p. 3.
2. Dorothy Blakey Smith, The Reminiscences of Doctor John
Sebastion Hdmdcen (University of British Columbia Press,
1975), p. 261.
3. Margaret Ormsby, British Columbia: A History (Vancouver
MacMillan, 1958), p. 256.
4. Mackenzie's Speech at Sarnia, 25 November 1873, IbirL, p. 261.
5. Carnatvonto Dufferin, 18 June 1874, is quoted in Margaret A..
Ormsby, "The Relations Between British Columbia and the
Dominion of Canada, 1871-1885," Ph D. dissertation, Btyn
Mawr College, 1931, p. 201.
6. "Tbe British Columbia Government contends that it was not
witbin the power ofthe Dominion to caned the 6rst Order, as that
order made them parries to a specific agreement which was
completed and tendered binding and permanent by the fulBlment
bytbeotherpartiesofthecondirionsdemandedoftnem. British
Columbia holds, and with apparent reason, that the Esquimalt and
Nanaimo Railway became part of tbe great Canadian Pacific line..
.". See "In tbe House of Commons," London Daily Post, 6 July
1876. Reprinted in British Colonist, 13 August 1876, p. 2.
7. Fot a re-examination ofthe viability of Bute Inlet Route No. 6,
see Chapter V in Daniel Patrick Marshall, "Mapping the Polirica]
Worid of British Columbia, 1871-1883," MA Thesis, University
of Victoria, 1991.
8. Trutch to Macdonald, 25 May 1874, private, in Macdonald
Paper., BCARS. Add. Mss. 1433/vol. 278, p. 127853.
9. G.P.V. Akrigg and Hden B. Akrigg, British Columbia Chronicle,
1847-1871: Gold ec Colonists (Vancouver Discovery Press,
1977), p. 48 of epilogue.
10. A private meeting was hdd at the Victoria Council Chambers with
Mayot Drummond presiding. Draft resolutions were prepared for
the public meeting to endoise. Among those in attendance were
M.P.P.s Beaven, Asb, De Cosmos, Jas. Douglas, Jr., plus Simeon
Duck, James Fdl and Thomas Chadwick. See "Preliminary
Meeting," Standard, 11 August 1876, p. 3.
11. "Tbe Address to the Governor General," Colonist, 13 August
1876, p. 3.
12. For a description of the vice regal tour see Mohyneux St. John,
The Sea of Mountains: An Account of Lord Dufferin's Tour
Through British Columbia in 1876 (London: 1877). Also see
"The Governor General's Reception," Colonist, 18 August 1876,
p. 3.
13. "The Arch Enemy," Colonist, 19 August 1876, p. 2., "Fort Street
Arch," Colonbt, 25 August 1876, p. 3, and "The Reception ofthe
Governor General," Standard, 18 August 1876, p. 3. For an
illustration of the Fort Street Separation Arch see Chuen-Yan
David Lai, Arches in British Columbia (Victoria: Sono Nit Press,
1982). p. 54.
14. The Railway Imbroglio: A Deputation waits Upon Earl
Dufferin," Colonist, 22 August 1876, p. 3.
15. "Earl Dufferin'* Address," Colonist, 23 September 1876, p. 2.
16. St. John, The Sea of Mountains, pp. 215-217-
17. Constitution ofthe Carnarvon Club, organized 9 September
1876. BCARS. NW/975.51/C288.
18. "Carnarvon Club," Colonist, 12 September 1876, p. 3.
19. A case for Carnarvon Club involvement can be made as follows:
(1) In "The Arch Enemy," the Colonist (28 October 1876, p. 3)
notes that "the seceders were chiefly Oddfellows in regalia." (2) In
"Carnarvon Club," Colonist, 12 September 1876, p. 3, Hayward,
Fell. Walkem and Chadwick are elected as officers. (3) In
"Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Communication ofthe Grand
Lodge of B.C. of thel.O.O.F.," 14 Fevruary 1876, BCARS. Red
I05A, Hayward is listed as W. Grand Marshal (p. 39), and Fell as a
member (p. 40). In addition, Walkem (Premier Wallum's
brother) is listed as member in Constitution and Bylaws of
Victoria Lodge No. 1,1.O.O.F. (Victoria: Standard Printing
House, 1878), p. 70. (4) In "Orders to Marshals," Colonist, 15
August 1876, p. 2, Odd Fellows are one ofthe largest participants
in the Governor General's procession, and in "Reception of the
Governor-General," Colonist, 15 August 1876, p. 3, Captain T
Chadwick is listed as in charge of No. 3 Company of Lady
DutTerin's Guard ofthe procession. Also see "Mr. Sproat on the
Fort Street Incident," Colonist, 20 August 1876, p. 3.
20. "CounringUnhatchedBroods,"Colonbt, 1 September 1876, p. 2.
21. "Mr. Brown's Position," Standard, 14 September 1876, p. 2.
22. "Two-Faced," Standard, 11 September 1876, p. 3.
23. "The Elliot Conspiritors are at Work," Standard, 1 September
1876, p. 2. and "Hon. Mr. Brown's Resignation," Standard, 14
September 1876, p. 3 where Brown stated: "My constituents will
judge from this, of my entire disapproval of the agitation on the
Carnarvon Terms in Victoria which 1 consider inimical in the
welfare of the whole mainland and the Province in general."
24. "The Resignation ofthe President ofthe Council, " Colonist, 14
September 1876, p. 2,
25-   "The Cloven Foot," Colonist, 5 September 1876, p. 2.
26. Trutch to Macdonald, 3 March 1876, Confidential, Macdonald
Papers, vol. 278. pp. 127871 - 127872. Macdonald confirmed
that "We consider ourselves as a Party pledged to carry out the
terms of Union in spirit and substance and the people of B.C. may
depend on our taking that course .. " Macdonald to Trutch, 29
April 1876. BCARS. Add. Mss. 412. O'Reilly Family. 11:3.
27. The Carnarvon Club," Standard, 29 September 1876, p. 3.
28. "Great Railway Meeting Last Night," Colonist, 20 September
1876, p. 3. Among the platform speakers listed were Carnarvon
Club members C. Hayward, C. Gowen, J. Fell, and C. Chadwick.
Others were politicians R. Beaven, S. Duck, A. Bunster, T.B.
Humphreys and James Douglas, Jr.
29. "Mass Meeting!" Standard, 5 March 1877, p. 3 and "Elliot's
Treachery! Mass Meeting of Citizens," Standard, 27 February
1877, p. 2.
30. "Mass Meeting Last Nighd Elliot's Resignation Demanded!"
Standard, 13 March 1877, p. 3 and "Oh A.C.E. resign," Colonist,
13 March 1877, p. 3.
31. In "The Triumph of Common Sense," Colonist, 6 March 1877, p.
2, both Beaven and Douglas are noted as members ofthe
Carnarvon Club.
32. "The Carnarvon Club- Its Object to Oust the Ministry,"
Colonist, 3 March 1877, p. 3. Also see: "The Carnarvon Club -
an ex-M.P.P. Proves himself a Traitor," Standard, 6 March
1877, p. 3.
33. "The Impending danger," Colonist, 15 March 1877, p. 2.
34. "The Island Railway," Standard, 22 May 1878, p. 3.
35- "Glorious Victory," Standard, 23 May 1878, p. 3; "The People
Winning all along the Line," Standard, 24 May 1878, p. 2; and
The Election Right Side Up at Last," Standard, 27 May
1878, p. 2.
36. Seejournals ofthe Legislative Assembly of the Province of
British Columbia, (Victoria: Government Printer, 1878) VII,
30 August 1878, pp. 109-110.
37. "In the House," Colonist, 27 February 1877, p. 2. Also see
"Public Meeting at Philharmonic Hall," Colonist, 4 March
1877, p. 3.
Kieth Ralston - Honorary President
Photo courtesy of John Spittle
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Life Blood ofthe Okanagan Valley
In its original state the Okanagan Valley is basically desert country, replete with
sagebrush, cactus and rattlesnakes.
About 19,000 years ago a massive glacier, more than 2,000 metres high, covered
the whole area, bringing with it vast
quantities of rich alluvium. When the
glaciers melted some 10,000 years later,
this fertile mass was left behind to form
the abundantly productivesoil of the whole
But there was one problem. For the
land to produce with maximum efficiency
it required water. There was lots of water
in Okanagan Lake but in the early days
technology hadn't advanced enough to
pump it up several hundred feet to the
Settlers and orchardists therefore had
to go back into the hills and route water to
their land from the lakes and streams that
abounded there. Forced by gravity, the
water sped for many miles along large
wooden flumes to be channelled into
ditches that interspersed the agricultural
The first known attempt at irrigation
was in 1859 when the Parson brothers
took up land just north of Kelowna and
hand-dug a 500-foot ditch to direct water
from today's Mission Creek to irrigate
their land.
Among the first settlers in the Valley
were miners who had come from California
where primitive irrigation methods were
used. So it was natural for them to put
their knowledge of sluice boxes to good
advantage to direct the flow of water. It's
from their association with irrigation that
the term "miner's inch" was used as a basis
for measuring water. This later became
"water inch."
Eli Lequime and his family came to
Okanagan Mission in 1861 and began
ranching. He prospered over the years
and by 1890 his cattle business required
more hay than could be produced in the
bottom lands so he tapped into Canyon
Creek and was the first to bring water by
by Winston Shilvock
flume to the upper dry benches, now East
As more and more people moved into
the Valley and the demand for water increased, it became necessary to allocate
"rights." Recording water rights began in
the 1870s and one ofthe first was issued
on April 17, 1874, in the name of the
Roman Catholic Bishop of Vancouver
Island to cover the use of water for irrigating
purposes of Father Pandosy's Okanagan
Mission. This gave control ofthe water in
Mission Creek.
Near the turn ofthe century the increase
in population accelerated and demand for
fairly small blocks of agricultural land
gave rise to the large development companies. These were obliged to provide
water on a scale beyond the capabilities of
the individual and large irrigation systems
came into being.
The Kelowna Land and Orchard
Company (KLO) was formed in 1904
and bought out the Lequime holdings and
expanded the comparatively small irrigation system.
That same year John Rutland, an Australian, brought water in an open ditch
from Mission Creek to irrigate his land in
what is now Rutland. He too found the
going rough and sold out to the Central
Okanagan Lands Co. in 1906 when that
company purchased most of what is now
the Glenmore area of Kelowna.
Despite the trend to centralization,
some small water systems known as "water users communities" - the lowest form
of life in the large irrigation fraternity -
continued to operate in other areas such as
Oyama, served by the Wood Lake Power
On the west side of Okanagan Lake
pioneers such as Gellatly and Lambly
developed their own irrigation systems.
However, it remained for the big promoter, J.M. Robinson, to create a vast
water transportation system that resulted
in the establishment of Peachland,
Summerland and Naramata. (See BCH
News Spring 1990 page 26).
In the south end of the Valley, development of large water systems was late in
coming owing to the great tracts of land
held by Tom Ellis' cattle empire which
precluded subdividing. Eventually, near
the end of 1905, the South Okanagan
Land Company bought the Ellis property, surveyed the townsite of Penticton
and laid out an irrigation system in preparation for future development.
In Kaleden, British capital under the
name of Kaleden Estate Co. developed an
Peachland Irrigation District flume.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 irrigation system in 1909.
Little attention was given to the area
further south until 1919 when the provincial government bought out the South
Okanagan Land Cattle Company whose
holdings included Vaseux Lake. The
purchase was instigated by premier John
Hart to provide land for World War One
Water was taken from Vaseux Lake
and sent by gravity in concrete flumes and
laterals south to serve the 23,000 acres of
the development. The system was opened
in 1921 but it took until 1927 to fully
complete the project. The town of Oliver
is named as a tribute to Premier Oliver's
pet project.
With the completion of this project
water was able to be sent south to Osoyoos
to replace the original arrangement of
drawing water from Haynes Creek or
pumping it from Osoyoos Lake with a
one-cylinder gasoline engine.
At the north end ofthe Valley Charles
A. Vernon received the first known water
rights on September 25,1871. It allowed
him to draw 1,000 inches of irrigation
water from Coldstream Creek just east of
Vernon. When Lord Aberdeen acquired
the land in 1891, a subdivision took place
and extra water was drawn from Lake
Aberdeen via the Grey Canal to feed into
the burgeoning orchards.
It wasn't always peace and goodwill
among the orchardists when it came to
water and disputes often arose as to who
had what rights. Some were settled amicably and some went to court but on one
occasion in 1908 a chap named Layton
was shot and killed near Vernon when,
after receiving permission from the government, he attempted to run an irrigation ditch over a neighbor's property.
Water was also a valuable asset for
domestic use and firefighting. Settlers
drew their water from wells and the house
that had a hand pump in the kitchen was
considered very modern. In 1904
Kelowna's old Broderick fire truck was
able to function by hooking up to shallow
wells scattered throughout the townsite.
For fires near the lake bucket brigades
would swing into action.
Great progress has been made in the
field of irrigation since the primitive ditches
ofthe miners and the Parson brothers and
the flumes ofthe 1860-90s. Today there
are modern underground pressurized systems and a universal use of sprinklers. But
maybe this comes too late with so many
orchards being ripped out to makeway for
housing subdivisions.
Winston Shilvock is a freelance writer living in
Kelowna. He delights in sharing tidbits of B.C.
Stanley Park
Stanley Park has been a topic of controversy for over one hundred years; ever
since September 27, 1888, the day David
Oppenheimer, the Mayor of Vancouver,
officially opened the park to the public.
But despite altercation and dissension over
the evicting of squatters, building the Lions Gate Bridge and approaching causeway, constructing (then enlarging) the
zoo, constructing (then enlarging) the
whale pool, the implementation of a
"Forest Management Program", the proposal to levy a licence fee upon the artists
who display their craft in asmall section of
the park, and, most recently, the installation of parking meters, millions of people
have accepted David Oppenheimer's invitation to relax and enjoy this unique
Stanley Park has been a part of my life
as far back as I can remember. It had been
my mother's "back yard" as she was
growing up on Comox Street, and she
by Rosamond Greer
introduced me to the delights of her childhood domain. One of my first memories
is being taken to see the drinking fountain
at English Bay dedicated to Joe Fortes,
Vancouver's first life guard, and being
told the story of how he had taught my
mother and her younger sister to swim.
Stories of bicycle outings, picnics and
strolls through the park followed as she
and I shared many good times together in
the park. As a small child I spent hours
playing on the grass beside the tennis
courts while my mother played a set or
two with friends, and afterwards, as a very
special treat, being taken to the pavilion
for tea, or going to Second Beach for a
picnic lunch and a swim in the new saltwater pool. As the years passed, the park
continued to be a place to return to - to its
beaches in the summer and to ice skate on
Beaver Lake in the winter. What memories
I have of those forbidden climbs up to the
top of the original Lumberman's Arch,
there to jeer at those, far below, too fainthearted to achieve such a daring feat; of
dancing the Highland Fling in a woollen
kilt in the sweltering heat of mid-summer
at the Scottish Games at Brockton Point;
of being taken to admire the bridge-
keeper's house my father built alongside
the southern end of the new Lions Gate
Bridge; of tossing peanuts to the lethargic,
odorous, caged bears, and laughing at the
antics of the monkeys at the zoo; of the
magical summer's night in 1936 when
Gerry McGeer's fountain, commemorating Vancouver's 50th anniversary, first lit
up Lost Lagoon; of attending band concerts at Malkin Bowl, and spending delightful evenings at Theatre Under the
Stars. It was within Stanley park, in 1943,
that I was transformed from a civilian to a
Wren when I joined the Women's Royal
Canadian Naval Service at H.M.C.S.
Discovery, then accommodated in the
old Vancouver Rowing Club building.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 All of my life I have lived within hearing
distance ofthe Nine O' Clock gun. For
years my father set our hall clock according to its message, and I still glance at a
clock to be sure it is recording the correct
time when I hear the gun's report.
But Stanley Park was an important part
of my family's life long before I was born:
in the year 1900 my grandfather was
brewing beer on the shores of what is now
known as Lost Lagoon.
In 1893 my grandfather had journeyed
from England to "the wilds of Canada" in
search of his fortune, leaving behind a wife
and eight c hi Id ren. He sp en t several years
working his way across Canada, eventually settling in Pitt Meadows where he
purchased a farm on which there was a log
house, an apple orchard and a hay field.
For the first few years he transported his
apple crop into Haney in a wheelbarrow,
as there was no money with which to buy
a horse and wagon.
It was 1898 before he was able to send
for his family; first for two sons to help
him on the farm, and a year later he sent
for my grandmother and the other children. But the farm did not provide the
fortune my grandfather had dreamed of,
and in the summer of 1900 he went into
Vancouver in search of work.
Grandfather was not a farmer (which
had soon become all too apparent); he was
a Master Brewer, a fairly prestigious occupation in England at that time. But he had
been unable to find employment in his
trade in Canada, as the favorite beer in this
uncivilized country was Lager, of which
he had nothing but disdain.
But luck was with him, and heobtained
a position as Head Brewer in a brewery
operating out of a small building situated
on Coal Harbour (now Lost Lagoon) called
The Stanley Park Brewery. On the side of
the building, which had originally been a
house built around 1889, was a sign announcing:
Here my grandfather happily brewed
his heavy English ale, with two of his sons
working as bottle washers after school. It
was a thriving business. When visiting
warships were in port the Royal Navy's
Jack Tars came to enjoy an ale-or two; on
sunny days people who had taken a stroll
in the park would call in at the brewery to
quench their thirst; and grandfather's love
of his own brew undoubtedly contributed
to the constant flow.
But grandfather's euphoria was shortlived. In 1902 the land was expropriated
by the city, The Stanley Park Brewery
closed down (the building was demolished in 1906), and grandfather was once
again unemployed.
Today Stanley Park is a haven of flowering gardens and greenery, sandy beaches
and walking trails through dense forest,
only minutes away from a downtown core
that has become a jungle of towering
Entrance to Stanley Park in 1889.
Painting done by William Fiddes.
office buildings and horrendous traffic
congestion. The thousands who walk
around the seawall or visit the aquarium
and the zoo are unaware that th is wondrous
place was, for several centuries, the home
of B.C. Indians and the burial ground for
their dead; in 1859 the site of a military
fortification guarding against the threat of
an American invasion; from the 1860s to
the 1880s the location of several logging
companies; the locale of a squatters' village (the last squatter remained in his
home until his death in 1958); or that at
one time the park even harbored a pig
Pauline Johnson loved Stanley Park,
and wrote of her beloved Lost Lagoon:
O! lure ofthe Lost Lagoon,
I dream tonight that my paddle blurs
The purple shade where the seaweed stirs,
I hear the call ofthe singing firs
In the hush of the golden moon.
If you should be strolling around Lost
Lagoon "in the hush of the golden moon"
some summer's eve, be sure to look carefully into the shadows of "the singing firs"
and the shimmering willows.   You just
might catch a glimpse of the ghost of my
grandfather lurking there ... a foaming
glass of ale held high in a salute.
This writer expresses her love for Vancouver,
and its surrounding area, in columns which appear
in various newspapers and magazines. We thank
herforgivingusa renewed appreciation andunder-
standing of beautiful Stanley Park.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Emily Susan Patterson:
Vancouver s First Nurse
by Helen L. Shore
Mrs. John Peabody Patterson, nee Emily Susan Branscombe, a beloved and practical lady who arrived at
Hastings Sawmill, Burrard Inlet, in April, 1873; moved to Moodyville Sawmill, 1874. She was a "Lady
ofGraceofSt.John"in the wilderness; a "Dame Hospitaller" to Indians and to whitemen alike before there
were doctors or hospitals. Immortalised in poetry as "The Heroine of Moodyville". Mother of the first white
child born, 26 February 1864, at Alberni, B. C, now Mrs. Alice Crakanthorp, ofVancouver, hale and hearty
at over 86 in August 1950. Died at Vancouver, 12 Nov. 1909, aged 74 years. Her granddaughter is Miss
Muriel Crakanthorp. P.S.: The place of birth was "Stamp's Mill, "Alberni.
Photo courtesy of City of Vancouver Archives.
The dedication for a stained glass window in Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, "To nurses in Vancouver from
1873 to 1954..." provided the incentive
for this article. Who was the first nurse in
Emily Susan Patterson fills this role.
She came to Hastings Mill on Burrard
Inlet in April, 1873. She was an American, born in 1835 in Maine, married to
John Peabody Patterson who began work
at Hastings Sawmill supervising the loading of ships. The family had come from
Stamp's Mill, Port Alberni, and are also
remembered as parents of the first white
child born there, a daughter, Alice, born
February 26, 1864.1
Granville, a lumber mill community,
had few conveniences and many inconveniences. Muddy ground covered with
stumps and rocks surrounded the buildings. The Patterson family settled first in
cramped quarters above the Hastings Mill
store. There were four children, Abigail,
Rebecca, Alice and Adelaide.    The
Pattersons were welcome newcomers on
several counts; Emily as the only nurse was
soon busy in the community; their four
children made possible the opening of a
school. The Hastings Mill Company had
built a school in 1872 and operated it
privately. In 1873 a public school began,
it had a wood stove, coal oil lamps, and
slates for the children to write on. The
teacher, Miss Georgina Sweeney of
Granville, was the first teacher and was
paid $40 a month. A minimum of fifteen
children were needed before aschool could
be opened. It meant that the Pattersons'
youngest, four year old Adelaide, would
also be needed to attend school, but she
writes later how thrilled and excited she
was at the prospect. The first group
consisted of 8 children from the Alexander and Miller families, 2 half-Indian children, 1 child from a Hawaiian family and
4 Pattersons.2
While British Columbia had become a
province on 20 J uly 1871, the population
in the lower mainland was still small and
clustered around what industry there was.
Captain Edward Stamp moved his sawmill (from a poorer location) to the foot of
Dunlevy where Stamp's - later Hastings -
Mill was built in 1865, but did not get
really going as a lumber mill until 1867
because of lack of machinery.3 A little
shack town sprang up for the mill-hands
and supervisors. There was a wharf for
small boats, a store that sold food, clothes,
cooking pots and patent medicines.
Gastown got a jail in 1871, a post office in
1872, and a school in 1873. Daily steamboat service to New Westminster began in
1874. Well into the 1870's Vancouver
was a straggling line of buildings set in a
two block clearing on the edge of the
forest. Several hundred loggers with their
families made up the community. Local
Musqueam and Squamish Indians were
also hired by the mills, and often moved
closer to their work. Mr. Sewell Prescott
Moody operated a lumber mill on the
north shore ofBurrard Inlet at Moodyville.
He had come from Maine (like Emily
Patterson); his mill was larger and said to
be better run than Hastings Mill. Moody's
Mill was, in a sense, a model community
complete with library, school and electric
light - a luxury then unknown in Victoria,
New Westminster, or any setdement north
of San Francisco.4'56 In 1874 the Patterson
family moved to Moodyville, and from
there they witnessed the fire of 1886 that
gutted Vancouver.
Earlier John and Emily Patterson had
travelled and lived in New York and San
Francisco. An oil painting, a copy of a
tintype made by an artist in China in 1855
suggests travel there, but it is hard to know
whether the picture was purchased in
China or in San Francisco. They were
described (years later) by their daughter
Alice as "gypsies, they travelled and travelled until they settled down for good on
Burrard Inlet."7
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 There were no hospitals and no doctors
in Vancouver in those early days. There
were hospitals and doctors in New Westminster and in Victoria, both difficult and
time-consuming journeys from Vancouver. The doctor from New Westminster
would come if a message was sent to him.
The usual means of communication was.
to send an Indian in a canoe along the
shore to the end of Hastings street, and
from there a rider on horseback would
take the message to New Westminster
travelling by the Douglas Road. Dr.
A.W.S. Black of New Westminster had
been killed in an accident with his horse
on that road in 1871.8 The doctor would
come for emergencies, serious logging
accidents requiring surgery, or to certify
death. Otherwise sick and injured were
transported to the Royal Columbian
Hospital in New Westminster. Women
expecting confinement might travel to
Victoria to await birth there. Dr. Walkem,
the first doctor at Hastings Mill, arrived in
1877. Dr. John Lefevre, who established
theCP.R. Hospital in Vancouver, arrived
in 1886.
Emily Patterson was not a trained nurse.
Nurses' training began in London, England in 1860 at St. Thomas' Hospital. In
Canada, the first nurses' training school
opened in 1874 in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Before that, women in families had a
number of commonly-used remedies:
sulphur and molasses for children in the
spring, mustard plasters for chest colds,
syrup of figs for regularity, poultices of
goose oil and turpentine or flaxseed for
chest ailments. Nevertheless, the presence of a local woman who knew what to
do in times of illness and childbearing and
who did not hesitate to help when called
upon was asource ofstrength and comfort
in many pioneer communities. These
women acted as midwives, knew herbal
potions and remedies for illnesses and
could also be called upon to lay out the
dead. Emily Patterson was one of these
Stories abound of her willingness and
success as midwife and as giver of first aid
and treatment to white settlers and Indians alike.9 Onestory told by her daughter,
and recorded by Major Matthews, Vancouver archivist and historian, tells of her
being called to
come and attend a man who
had been in a
fight where the
Kanakas (Hawaiians) lived.
His lip had been
split in a fight.
Indians were
often given liquor by sailors
on sailing ships
tied up at the
dock. Emily
sewed up his lip
while his terrified wife told
her to watch out for him. "Be careful,
Mrs. Patterson, he will strike you." "No,
he won't", and to the man "You dare
move and I'll hit you on the head with a
club." Apparently he had terrified others,
but Emily Patterson was up to the challenge. Another day an Indian woman
came by her house to show her baby to
Emily. The baby's eyes were almost
swollen shut. Emily washed them out
with a little milk and water and some
boracic acid. She told the woman to go to
the Hastings Mill store and get some
Steadmans Teething powder. The woman
came back with baking soda, but Emily
said it was not right and sent her back to
the store with a note to get the right stuff.
Emily Patterson delivered the first child
born at Hastings Mill, a child born to
Mrs. Alexander, wife ofthe mill manager,
whom she confined and later nursed.10
Women would recall how they remembered her and described her as a "good
woman", saying that she delivered all their
children. Many white and Indian children were named after her.
A poem "The Heroine of Moodyville"
(written in 1936 by Nora M. Duncan)
sets in epic terms one of Emily Patterson's
heroic missions made in 1883." Word
had been brought that Mrs. Erwin, wife of
the Point Atkinson lighthouse keeper, lay
dangerously ill. The lighthouse could not
be reached by land, it was only accessible
by water. As luck would have it a gale was
raging. The skippers of available tugboats
were asked for transportation. They told
Moodyville, Burrard Inlet, circa 1890. The home of Mrs. John Peabody Patterson,
(Emily Susan), first nurse on Burrard Inlet, immortalised in poem, the "Heroine of
Moodyville. Most northerly cottage on hill. Corner of Mt Randall's house. 8 pigeons.
Chinese lantern. L to R: Fred Patterson & Mrs. Emily Susan Patterson, Willie
Williams. Photo presented Sept. 1941, byDavidH. Pierce, son of Capt. E H. Pierce,
and Mrs. Pierce, nee "Beckie" Patterson, daughter of Mrs. Patterson and nephew of
Mrs. Alice Crakanthorp, nee Patterson. In 1941, David and his mother reside at
1240 Park Ave., Alameda, CaL Photo courtesy City of Vancouver Archives.
her that with dusk falling and the height of
the storm such a trip would be foolhardy
and advised delay. A Squamish Indian,
possibly one that had brought the word in
the first place said he would take her there
in his dugout canoe. They set out in the
storm and dark of night reaching Point
Atkinson at daylight. The mission was
While many questions remain to be
answered in the chronicle of Emily
Patterson's life we do have ample evidence
of her devotion and determination in
bringing nursing care to her community.
She died on the twelfth of November,
1909 at the age of 74 years and is buried in
Mountain View cemetery, Vancouver.
Stories about the Patterson children appeared in local newspapers for many years.
Alice Patterson Crakanthorp, first in many
things on the British Columbia coast,
died in 1971 at 97 years of age.
1. Major J. S. Matthews. Eariy Vancouver, Vancouver B.C.
Vancouver City Atchives, Volume 4.
2. Chuck Gosbee and Leslie Dyson, Editots, Glancing Back:
Reflect ions and Anecdotes on Vancouver Public Schools.
Vancouver British Columbia,. Vancouver, School Board, 1988.
3. Thomas W. Patterson, The Pioneer Years, Langley, B.C.
Stagecoast Publishing, 1977.
4. Raymond Hull, Gordon Soules, and Christine Soules.
Vancouvet's Past, Vancouver, B.C. Gordon Soules Economic
and Marketing tesearcb, 1974.
5. Matthews, op. cit.
6. James, Morton. The Enterprising Mt. Moody and the
Bumptious Captain Stamp. Vancouver, B.C. J.J. Douglas
Ltd. 1977.
7. Matthews, op. cit.
8. Monon, op. cit.
9. Matthews, op. cit.
10. Matthews, ibid.
11. Nora M. Duncan, The Herione of Moodyville: An Epic of
Burrard Inlet, 1883. Printed Booklet. 1936. Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver City Archives.
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 The Deadman rs Island Dispute of 1899:
A Monument to Stupidity and Vandalism
by Mark Leier
The choice between jobs and the
environment poses
a dilemma for British Columbians. It
is most evident in
the battles over forests, as loggers, forest companies, and
find it difficult to
forge a compromise.
Though this dilemma is as contemporary as the
daily newspaper, it
is not new. Nearly
one hundred years
ago, a similar fight divided the city of
Vancouver over the logging of Deadman's
Island. The division was nowhere more
evident than in the Vancouver Trades and
Labour Council; then and now, the labour movement found it difficult to reconcile the pressing concerns for both steady
employment and preservation of old-
growth forest. An examination of this
affair gives some insight into the political
evolution of Vancouver's labour movement and into the difficulty of trade union solidarity on environmental issues.
Deadman's Island, today the site ofthe
naval reserve training base HMCS Discovery, is a small islet in Coal Harbour. It
lies a few hundred feet off Stanley Park,
and received its name from its use as a
burial ground by coastal Indians. In the
1860s, it was used as a rendering station
forwhalers. Both the peninsula that would
become Stanley Park and Deadman's Island were part of a colonial government
land reserve, and came under federal jurisdiction when B.C. joined Canadain 1871.
As federal land, the area was held out of
the real estate development that fuelled
Deadman's Island before the logging. Picture courtesy of City of Vancouver archives P. 98 N125
Vancouver's early growth. One real estate
broker, A.W. Ross, believed that the pristine forest could still help him turn a
profit, if only indirectly. Reasoning that a
large park within the municipal boundaries would attract tourists and settlers, and
thus drive up the price of his own nearby
lots, Ross lobbied to have the federal government transfer the land to the city. In
1887, the request was agreed to. Stanley
Park was officially proclaimed and given
to the city.'
Deadman's Island was commonly believed to have been included in the Stanley
Park grant, but the federal government
did not agree. In 1899, the issue was put
to the test when Wilfrid Laurier's Liberal
government leased the island to a Chicago
businessman, Theodore Ludgate. Ludgate
soon announced his intention to build a
saw mill and log the island.
His plans created a furor in the city.
Different factions sprang up to argue the
respective merits of park space and industry. Politicians split on the issue. The
Conservative mayor, James Garden, used
the police and the powers ofthe Riot Act
to halt the first attempts to cut down
the island's trees.
Staunch Liberal L.D.
Taylor, who would
become mayor some
years later, supported
the logging scheme,
but the Liberal newspaper, the Vancouver
World, broke with
the party and supported Garden's actions.2
Business leaders
too were divided.
Some, such as Henry
Bell-Irving, opposed
the logging of Deadman's Island, while
others, such as Charles Woodward, favoured it. This factionalism can be explained, in part, by the different kind of
enterprise each man controlled. Bell-
Irving headed the fish canning company
ABC Packers, and prospered in a resource
industry that exported most of its product. More jobs in Vancouver would not
increase his sales and so Bell-Irving was
not faced with the hard choice between
profit and quality of life. Woodward, on
the other hand, was a merchant whose
downtown store sold consumer goods to
city residents. Local industry would create new jobs and attract more people to
the city. A sawmill on the foreshore had
the potential to increase customers and
revenue for represented potential customers and revenue for the retailer.
But it was in the ranks ofthe Vancouver Trades and Labour Council (VTLC)
that division was the keenest. The dispute
over Deadman's Island was the most fractious issue to come before the council
since its founding in 1889, and was the
only controversy in that decade that caused
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Vancouver from roof of Hotel Vancouver on Georgia St., Howe to Granville Sts., circa 1910.
Picture courtesy of City ot Vancouver Archives, P. 152, N. 129.
resignations, parliamentary intrigue, recriminations, and outright feuding. At
stake were the labour movement's ability
to act as a united force and the direction of
its political activity.
The VTLC had been concerned with
recreational and green space since 1891,
when it called upon the city to create
public beaches along the shores of English
Bay. In 1898, the labour council urged
municipal voters to support a referendum
that would allow the city to purchase lots
and make them into parks to provide
"breathing spaces" for local residents. In
its campaign, the VTLC warned voters
against the moneyed interests who opposed
the park plan and instead favoured unregulated speculation and growth. Despite
the council's activity, the city did not
build parks for working people. Instead,
local businessmen pressured the local
government to create parks in the wealthier
areas of the city. As a result, upper and
middle class neighbourhoods, such as
Kitsilano and Grandview, had parks
relatively early, while working class districts
had virtually no park space until well into
the twentieth century.3
Thus the proposal to use Deadman's
Island for private profit touched a nerve in
the labour council.  Its president, Harry
Cowan ofthe International Typographical Union, informed his fellow council
delegates that Ludgate had received the
rights to log and run his sawmill on the
island for the nominal fee of $500 per
year. Outraged, the VTLC resolved
unanimously to "condemn ... the action
ofthe Dominion government in granting
(the) lease of Deadman's Island for commercial purposes." The council then voted
to send Cowan as labour's spokesman on
the delegation of business and community
leaders that was on its way to Ottawa to
protest the leasing of the island.4
But this apparent united front soon
cracked. At the next meeting, with Cowan
on his way to the nation's capital, J.H.
Watson, delegate from the Boilermakers'
Union, praised industrialization in general
and the leasing of Deadman's Island in
particular. After his speech, two other
delegates moved that the council reconsider its previous decision to oppose the
logging scheme. Struggling to prevent the
council's opposition from being overturned, delegates George Bartley, John
Pearey, and Francis Williams tried to get
this new motion referred back to the affiliated unions for discussion. This would
have delayed the vote on the motion to
reconsider indefinitely, for the individual
unions that made up the VTLC would be
under no obligation to discuss the matter
and nothing could be done until they had
reported back. If Bartley and the others
had been successful, the motion to reconsider the council's resolution would
have been effectively tabled. But Watson
outmanoeuvred the island's defenders. He
simply moved that the VTLC, "after more
mature consideration, does heartily approve the leasing of Deadman's Island or
any other foreshore around the city, for
manufacturing and commercial purposes,
as being in the best interests of the working
classes." In one ofthe most heated meetings
in the history ofthe council, it voted 12-
9 in favour of Watson's motion and declared itself officially in favour of logging
the small island. Cowan was notified of
the abrupt about-face and returned to
The matter did not die there. Supporters ofthe original decision to oppose
logging did not take lightly the devious, if
legal, machinations of the pro-logging
faction. President Cowan, secretary J.H.
Browne, treasurer Joseph Dixon, and auditor George Bartley all resigned from the
council executive in protest. Bartley was
then denounced by Watson as a front man
for the politicians who were organizing
against the saw mill. Bartley hotly denied
the charge, and counter-attacked by insisting that those council delegates who
supported logging were dancing to the
tune of their Liberal masters. Bartley
reminded the council that some of its
members had recently received government sinecures and as a result were
"amenable to government influence."6
This was a shot aimed directly at
Watson. He had been a Liberal supporter
since 1897, and was a close associate ofthe
Liberal MP and labour leader from
Nanaimo, Ralph Smith. Watson's parry
loyalty had been rewarded with a patronage job in the federal customs service, and
he was now called upon to help the Liberal
party garner support for its decision to
lease Deadman's Island to Ludgate. The
Vancouver Liberal MP George Maxwell
was also pressed to support the logging
plan. Maxwell initially had been elected
as an independent candidate friendly to
labour, but he had quickly allied himself
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 with Laurier's Liberals. He now declared
that the logging of Deadman's Island was
in the interest of the working class. The
city's rich wanted to maintain the forest,
he argued at a public meeting, for only
those "who wore kid gloves" preferred
scenic views to jobs for workers.7
But class was not a reliable way to
predict how people would react to the
issue of clear-cutting the little island.
Businessmen, politicians, and trade unionists united with each other on both
sides of the dispute. Watson and Maxwell
could make no claim to speak for all ofthe
city's workers, and their attempt to make
support for logging a class issue failed.
One opponent archly inquired just when
Maxwell had done the manual labour that
would qualify him to voice the opinions of
workers, while another deplored Maxwell's
talking to the gallery.  When will the
laboring classes give over being gulled
this way? The most hopeless sight in
the world is that ofthe working man
led, captured at will, by unscrupulous
demagogues who simulate an undying
interest in them while they (the
workingmen) fondly dream that they
are governing themselves.8
Nor was the fight in the VTLC between those unionists who advocated
political action and those who followed
the advice of the American labour leader
Samuel Gompers.  The president of the
American Federation ofLabor maintained
that trade unionists should not support
any particular political party. Instead, he
maintained, they should reward their
political friends and punish their enemies
at the polls, regardless of the individual
politician's party ties. But the VTLC had
been created in 1889 precisely to coordinate labour's political demands and present
a united political front. The difficulty lay
in trying to reach a consensus on which
party to support.  Watson plumped for
the Liberals provincially and federally;
Bartley for the Conservatives at the local
level. To confuse the matter even more,
the VTLC was about to launch its own
political party. In May 1900, the council
would nominatejoseph Dixon and Francis
Williams as provincial candidates on the
Independent Labor ticket.9
Nor was the split in the council simply
between those who favoured industrialization and those who favoured parks.
Watson had earlier been a strong advocate
of municipal parks, beaches, and recreational sites, and had worked with Bartley
on these issues. For his part, Bartley
admitted that he was "something of a
crank on parks," but insisted that "a man
might as well say that he would be opposed
to three square meals a day, as that he was
opposed to industries." The fight was
over this particular site and this particular
logging scheme.10
Union affiliation may help explain the
schism over Deadman's Island. Watson,
representing the Boilermakers, was supported by Thomas Tyson of the Iron
Moulders. The Stonecutters delegate,
William Lawson, also came out in favour
of Watson's motion. It may be that the
building of the sawmill would employ
members of their unions. However, carpenters too would be employed, yet Joseph
Dixon, delegate of the Carpenters and
Joiners union, resolutely opposed the logging of the island. The typographical
union, represented by Bartley, Cowan,
and Browne, was united in its anti-logging stand, and this may have been because printers would not benefit in any
way from the proposal. Indeed, they
would lose a recreational site.
The conflict in the VTLC over
Deadman's Island indicates the difficulty
that faced trade unions when they moved
away from pure and simple issues of wages
and conditions. The very craft bonds that
created solidarity on, say, the eight hour
day, created friction and division when
the council tried to tackle larger political
issues. The trade unions that had affiliated
to create the VTLC had different positions
on Deadman's Island depending on how
each would benefit, and according to the
ties each leader had with the important
political figures ofthe day. Even though
the VTLC was created to give labour a
united voice, such unity over issues other
than standard trade unionism was difficult
to achieve.
The division caused by the Deadman's
Island dispute was soon healed. In
September 1899, the council held new
elections, and former opponents were now
serving on the executive.    Dixon and
Watson served amiably as president and
vice-president, respectively, and Bartley
was unanimously made the VTLC's candidate for the parks board. But this renewed solidarity could not save the small
island. Though the dispute dragged on
outside of the labour council and was
ultimately resolved by the British Privy
Council, the preservationists lost the battle. Some years later, the Province
newspaper observed that: The last tree has
been cut down on the "isle of dreams"..
. desolate and pathetic it lies across the
entrance to Coal Harbour, shivering in its
nakedness, a monument to materialism,
vandalism, and stupidity, cleverness and
Trade unionist and environmentalists
have much work to do if we hope to avoid
a similar fate for the remaining old-growth
forests of the province. For if unity is
difficult to achieve, without it labour and
others are doomed to failure. Perhaps
Deadman's Island can serve as a cautionary as well as a historical tale ofthe need for
thoughtful cooperation and compromise.
Mark Leier received his Ph.D. at Memorial
University in Newfoundland and is now a sessional
instructor at Simon Fraser University. He is author
co-author ofthe UGHT AT THE END OFTHE
1. EricNicol.Vancouver. Toronto: Doubleday, 1970.40,108. W.C
McKee, "the Vancouver Park System, 1886-1919: A Product of
Local Businessmen. "Utban History Review. 3, 1978, 33-49.
2. World, 27 February, 1 March 1899.
3. World, 15 October 1898; Robert A.J. McDonald, "Holy Retreat'
or 'Practical Breathing Spot"?: Class Perceptions of Vancouver's
Stanley Park, 1910-1913." Canadian Historical Review, Volume
65. Number 2 (June) 19*4,127-53: McKee, 44-5.
4. George Bartley. "Twenty-five Years of B.C. Labor." B.C
Fedeiationiat. 27 December 1912; World, 4 March 1899.
5. Bardey. "Twenty-five"; World, 4 March 1899.
6. Vancouver Province, 1 April 1899.
7. For Watson's career, see Mark Leier, "Bureaucracy, Class, and
Ideology: The Vancouver Trades and Labour Council, 1889-
1909." Ph.D. thesis, Memorial University of Nesvfoundland,
1991, especially chapters 3 and 8. For Maxwell's remark, seethe
World 28 February 1899.
8. World, 28 February 1899.
9. Vancouver Independent, 19 May 1900.
10. For Watson's earlier standin favour of parks, see Wodd, 3 August,
31 August 1895; VTLC Minutes, 6 December, 8 May 1896,17
July, 31 Jury 1896. For Banley's remarks, see Daily
Newa-Advettiser, 6 January 1900.
11. Province, 28 November 1911, cited in Mckee, 43.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 Cariboo Honeymoon —1933
by lima Dunn
This picture show the remains ofthe Swift River dredge taken in 1970 prior to removal for scrap metal It
is described in theReportofthe Minister of Mines, 1925, and did not prove very efficient. From 1940-49
die same stretch of river was mined by J. V. Rice and G. Hinkley - using a huge dredge mounted on five steel
pontoons, each 8-by 40 feet by 41 inches deep.
In 1970 Sovereign Ventures Ltd. got tenure and did very well using a dragline, trommel and washing plant.
Photo by Branwen Patenaude
One ofthe happiest memories I have is
ofthe trip I took on the road that ran from
the little town of Stanley to Quesnel Forks.
When I came to the end of my year's
teaching at Enterprise School I looked
forward to a summer of joy. I had
promised to marry my special boy friend
from the Wingdam Mine as soon as I
reached the goal of my permanent teaching
He had already met and been accepted
by my parents in Burnaby while he was
studying in Vancouver for his Second
Class Engineer's Certificate, the goal he
had set for himselfbeforeweshould marry.
So it was in July of 1933 that I was
married to William Dunn. By August 1
we were on our way in his 29 Chev. for a
month's honeymoon in the Cariboo,
looking forward to the future Fall when
the Wingdam Mine would reopen after
closing due to a big fire. Bill had been
promised that his engineer's job would be
waiting for him when he left to pursue his
studies in Vancouver.
In the late twenties before working at
the Wingdam Mine, Bill had fired and
operated a Donkey Engine which provided power to operate a Gold Dredge in
the Swift River. Nearby he had staked
some gold claims. He had been one ofthe
many young unemployed prospectors in
the 20s and 30s who had gone to the
Cariboo staking claims on the various
creeks and rivers in the Barkerville area
with the hopes of striking it rich. So it was
to the Swift River we were headed.
The Swift River and Lightning Creek
where the Wingdam Mine was located,
are both tributaries of the Cottonwood
River which joined the Fraser just north of
Quesnel. In the gold rush days of the
1860s to the 80s large quantities of gold
had been taken from the banks and gravel
bars of all of these, and there had been a
mine at the Wingdam site since before
1900. It was a well established mine in the
30s with an office in Vancouver and investors from England supporting it regularly.
The President ofthe company was a Mr.
Unverzagt; his son-in-law, C.N. Deronne
managed the mine.
It took us three days to reach Quesnel,
for we had stopped at a lovely little Auto
Court in the Thompson Valley, the name
ofwhich I have forgotten, but it has always
held a special place in my memory. Each
time as we drove past in later years we
would reminisce about our first few days
together. In 1990 as I drove through that
way I could see no trace of it at all.
On reaching Quesnel, we went right to
the home of Lilly and Sig Susag in theTen
Mile Valley. It was in their home I had
boarded while teaching at the Ten Mile
Lake School the year before. Besides
Frances, who had been one of my grade 4
pupils, they now had a new baby son,
Raymond, so we stayed and renewed our
friendship, and also visited the family of
Emil and Hildajohnson. There were four
Johnson children in my class at the Ten
Mile School, Vernon in grade 8, who now
lives in Oliver and who over the years has
kept in touch with me, Queenie in grade
6, Hazel in grade 4, and little Joan in
Grade 2. In 1990 Joan was in charge of
the Billy Barker Days in Quesnel, and she
enjoyed introducing me to her co-workers
as her grade 2 teacher of 60 years ago,
reminding them that she herself had just
had her 39th birthday.
But Bill was anxious to get on with the
trip to initiate me into camping in the
rough and to search for the illusive gold
nuggets. He had purchased for me a
smaller gold pan than his own, and also
secured for me a Free Miners License
when getting his. So we left one morning,
taking with us Emil Johnson as far as the
little town of Stanley. He was bound for
work at the Gold Quartz. Mine which,
along with the town ofWells in 1933, was
just in its early beginning stages.
The highway between Quesnel and
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 Barkerville in 1933 was also in its beginning stages in comparison to what it is
today, but Bill had taught me to drive the
previous year, so I remember I drove over
it that day much to the disgust of our
passenger, Emil, who hadn't much faith
in women drivers. We by-passed
Cottonwood House that day, but we had
enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs.
Jack Boyd the year before on our way from
a weekend in Barkerville. Along with
anothercouplewehad driven to Barkerville
just to attend a special dance in the Theatre
Royale Dance Hall, and stayed the night
in the Barkerville Hotel. Eric Magnuson,
whom I visited in Quesnel in 1990, and
who will be 89 this year, remembered that
weekend also, for he was the other young
I was really glad to see in 1990 that
Cottonwood House has been restored to
a Heritage Stopping Place, and also that
large signs on the Highway tell where the
Wingdam Mine was once located.
The first day we stopped at Little Valley
to visit with an old prospector that Bill
and Emil both knew. I remember that his
name was Murphy, but his first name does
not come to mind. I remember that he
made the best hot-cakes I'd ever tasted,
but then in those days "I was no cook".
That night I was given the bunk in the
cabin and the men bunked outdoors. I
remember that the cedar bough put in the
bunk for my comfort, made the most
uncomfortable bed I have ever slept on. I
found out soon after that a blanket on top
of the tarp on the bare ground, made a
much better bed. The men were up at
dawn and had the coffee boiling before I
was awake. I volunteered to cook the
bacon and my new husband took a picture
ofthe very first camp cooking I ever did.
That day we reached the little town of
Stanley where we said good-bye to Emil
and started on our way up the Swift River
Road. We found indeed that it was a
muddy road, full of holes. At one time it
must have been a good road, for the machinery for the Gold Dredge had travelled
over it.
We had almost reached our destination
of Bill's claims when we landed in one
beautiful mud hole, and since it was by
The 29 Chev & BiU.  Our camp up ihe Swift River
near the abandoned homestead, August 1933-
then late evening we slept that night in the
Yes, it was a cramped position and by
morning I was uncomfortable, but I'll
never forget that Cariboo sunrise. I had
been in the Cariboo for two years already
but had never been up at dawn, when the
great orb ofthe sun makes the earth seem
so small. I can still see it in my mind's eye
after the 59 years. The only comparison I
have ever seen in my life is to watch a
sunset in the Caribbean from the Island of
Grenada when the great orb drops from
sight and immediately darkness descends.
Bill soon had the car out of the mud
hole using boards and straw from an
abandoned homestead nearby, and there
we set up our tent and our camp. It was
within walking distance ofthe old Dredge
and the Falls on the river.
I learned very quickly to adjust to
outdoor living and the cooking all done
over the open fire. The next week or more
were days full of happy times. We hiked,
and we fished, we picked Saskatoon berries, and Bill taught me how to handle a
gun, and every day we panned for gold in
the Swift River. Yes, we had rain and we
stayed in the tent on those days, but
Cariboo summer days are mostly long,
and warm and golden.
There was another young fellow with
claims nearby who was one step ahead of
panning for the nuggets. He had what was
lima Dunn panning for gold in die Swift River,
August 1933.
called a "long torn". I don't know where
the name "long torn" came from, but it
was like a sluice box, and I know that with
it more gravel could be washed with less
arm work than with panning. But during
the time we were there neither way produced many nuggets, and the fish were
scarce too. We camped until our food
supply was pretty well exhausted, and
then we started back for the civilization of
the Ten Mile Valley, not with a wealth of
gold, but with a wealth of a marriage well
begun, and happy days to look back on.
The poor old Chev took a real beating
on that muddy road between the little
town of Stanley and Quesnel Forks, and
we had yet another experience with it on
our way back to the coast through the
Fraser Canyon.
Anyone who has travelled that road in
the Canyon in the 30s well knows what a
treacherous winding road it was. It went
up the one side of a creek for miles then
crossed it when it was just a stream, then
wound back down the other side for miles.
Today there is a lovely bridge right across
where the creek joins the Fraser, thus
cutting off so many miles of driving, and
what an improvement that is.
The straps holding the battery must
have become damaged in that mud hole
beside the Swift River, for when we were
going down Jackass Mountain the battery
fell to the ground and was smashed. Bill
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 picked up what was left and hurled it into
the canyon.
Fortunately we were able to coast down
the hill and keep the engine running until
we reached and sailed right across the
Alexandra Bridge. In the 30s there was a
one dollar toll to pay to cross that bridge,
and the toll collector came running after
us waving his arms. Bill stopped on a
downslope and went back to explain. In
the 30s too, a Free Miners License covered
the cost ofthe toll, so the collector did not
get his dollar. We coasted again until the
engine started and we managed then to
get to the town of Yale where we bought
a new battery.
Such experiences were part ofthe hazards of driving in the 30s.
Yes, I had some gold flakes from that
gold panning trip of ours, and I kept them
in a jar for all to see for many years.
During my twenty years that I taught
again in Prince Rupert, they were looked
at by many a young pupil, especially when
we'd be doing a unit on Rocks and Minerals. Then fifty five years after, when my
one and only granddaughter was in her
twenties, I had what were left of them put
in a locket for her to keep, so that now she
has my memories in her heart.
I do not know what happened to the
old Dredge or which company had put it
there. It was inaccessible when we were
there and already was falling into disrepair. I only know that for someone besides ourselves, the Swift River had been a
Land of Golden Promise that had not
come true.
During Bill's last year as Engineer at
Fraser Mills, in 1945, he had his first paid
holidays so he took our two sons on a
camping trip similar to ours of 1933,
hoping to reach the Swift River. The road
by then was absolutely impassable, and
they didn't even see the river.
In 1990 on my last trip to visit in the
Cariboo, all that was left ofthe little town
of Stanley were the usual tourist attractions associated with the restoration of
Barkerville, and nothing at all to be seen of
the road into the Swift River. So time has
obliterated what only memory can retain.
lima Dunn is a member ofthe Burnaby Historical Society who makes her home in White Rock.
Gold Dredging Syndicate, Limited.
A group of leases on the Swift river, about 5 miles above Cottonwood
Post-office, has been secured by the Gold Dredging Syndicate, Limited.
The capitalization of the company is $50,000, with the head office in
Vancouver. M.M. Kerr is secretary-treasurer of the company and manager
in charge of the work.
The ground was drilled in 1922 by G. A. Dunlop, and according to Mr.
Kerr the results showed 5,000,000 cubic yards proven with an average
value of 40 cents a yard. Most of this pay-gravel is contained in a surface
run of gravel from 10 to 20 feet thick, lying on clay. Most ofthe drilling
did not go to bed-rock, as but little values occur in gravel under the clay.
After the drilling was done Mr. Kerr promoted and organized the
company. An arrangement was entered into with F.A. Rowe, the inventor
of the "Rowe Circulating Dredge," whereby the properly would be
equipped with a dredge of this design. Late in the fall of 1924 most of the
machinery was shipped in to the property and assembling of the dredge
commenced. Owing to severe winter weather, construction was stopped
before completion of the dredge, but it is expected operations will be
resumed in the spring of 1925.
The principle of the dredge is that by suction and force pumps the gravel
is forced up a 6-inch pipe to the washing-sluice. The 6-inch pipe is inside
another pipe of larger diameter - 8 or 9 inches; water is forced down the
annular space between the two pipes and emerges from the end in four
small jets; this is expected to cut the gravel, which is then drawn by suction
up the inner pipe. The pressure-pump delivers 900 gallons a minute and
the suction-pump 1,200 gallons a minute. The concentric pipes stand
vertically and are expected to sink into the gravel-deposit as the digging
proceeds. After the pipe has mined out the gravel around it the pipe is
withdrawn by a winch and started in a new place. No boulders are mined,
but it is claimed that the water-suction will draw into the discharge-pipe
all fine gravel, sand and gold, leaving the boulders behind - an ideal
system if it works.
The whole plant, including boilers, pumps, etc., is to be mounted on a log
raft 60 by 22 feet, which can be moved and moored by cables as necessary.
The raft has been constructed right in the Swift river, but will be carried
ahead in a pond as desired. It is claimed that the dredge will mine 3,000
yards a day ofthe gravel-deposit, but by leaving behind the boulders, only
a portion of this yardage is actually handled. The ordinary sluice-boxes
and riffled tables will be used for washing the gravel.
It is to be hoped that the claims of the inventor are substantiated when
the dredge is in operation.
B 116  Report of the Minister of Mines.   1925
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 The Priest's Trek From Clayoquot Sound -
Circa 1875
Excerpts from the diary of Rev. AJ.
Brabant, a Catholic priest charged with
establishing a mission at Hesquait, in
Clayoquot Sound, in 1875, provides an
interesting insight into conditions on the
outer coast of Vancouver Island at that
time; as recounted in REMINISCENCES
The account begins with a general description of these conditions from Rev.
Brabant's perspective:
On the west coast of Vancouver Island,
between the entrance of the Strait of Juan
de Fuco (sic) and Cape Cook, there live
eighteen different tribes of Indians, forming, as it were, only one nation, as they all
speak the same language. Their manners,
mode of living, in one word, all their
habits are so much alike, that to know one
tribe is to know them all. This coast, at the
time of our taking possession of it, was
exclusively inhabited by Indians.
Four trading posts had, however, been
established and were in charge of one
white man. But besides these four men
there are absolutely no white settlers to be
found on this extensive coast of nearly
two hundred miles.
I need hardly say that communication
was very rare, for beyond a couple of
small schooners, that made an occasional
call on the coast for the purpose of supplying the stores with goods and provisions, and at the same time making a
trading call at different tribes, no vessel
frequented this part of the World. I have
been as much as six months without
seeing the face of a white man, and
consequently speaking a civilized language.
The difficulties encountered in transportation to and from points along the
coast is illustrated in the following excerpts from Rev. Brabant's diary, dealing
with a return from a visit to up-coast
points accompanied by Rev. Seghers,
by Walter Guppy
Bishop of Vancouver Island and two
Kyuquot Indian guides. Having arrived
at Opitsat, the Bishop prevails upon
Shiyous, chief of the Clayoquot Indians,
to take them to Ucluliat (Ucluelet) and
the account continues:
Having proposed to theClayoquot chief
to take us to Ucluliat he wished us to go
with him up to the Clayoquot arm to his
salmon station; he would from there cross
to Long Bay or Schooner Cove. If no
canoe was at any of the outside camps it
would be an easy task to pull a canoe
across and put herafloatwithourbaggage
at Long Bay, comparatively speaking, a
short distance from Ucluliat harbor. We
complied with his desire, which gave us
a chance to see Clayoquot inlet, the
entrance to the lake, and the muddy flats,
literally alive with ducks and geese. The
dreary hours that we spent at the chief's
house are painful to remember; the smoke
and stench inside cannot be imagined;
besides, the house was so low and the
abundance of salmon so great that we
could not move except in stooping position and we could not put down a foot
except on or over dissected salmon or
salmon roe! We, therefore, went outside
and pitched our tent, and next morning
begged of the chief as a favour to take us
to Long Bay and thence to Ucluliat. The
poor man seemed anxious to comply with
our request, but upon coming to the sea-
coast he found the surf would not allow
the launching of a canoe. We, therefore,
were compelled to pitch our tent and
await better weather. Meanwhile he
went to his house and family, promising
to come next day. He kept his word, but
made the same remark as the day before,
- easterly wind. Off he went again with
the promise of another visit next day.
Again he kept his word, but again the
same difficulty - easterly wind..This
morning, upon rising, we noticed that our
tent had been visited by a bear. His tracks
were there, but finding the tent occupied
he had preferred to walk off rather than
disturb us.
About noon His Lordship proposed to
walk over the Indian trail to Ucluliat. The
Clayoquots hardly approved of the idea,
but promised to take our baggage to Capt.
Francis's house as soon as the weather
would permit. With this promise the
Bishop was satisfied, ordered me to prepare some provisions, which I did with
reluctance, and off we went, on foot,
accompanied by two Kyuquot Indians
who helped us in carrying the things that
we had judged necessary to take along.
We walked all that afternoon, first over a
beautiful sandy beach; then we crossed a
point and arrived in Wreck Bay, around
which we also walked that day over a
nasty, gravelly shore, and shortly before
dark we made a fire and prepared our
supper. Then the Bishop ordered the
Indians to prepare for us a decent camping place, which they did, half way on a
sandy hill. We laid down and fell asleep,
but were soon awakened by heavy drops
of rain, and we then noticed that the sky
had clouded up and that it was pitch dark.
About midnight the water was streaming
down the hill under us, and having decamped to the upper side of the stump of
a large tree, I called the Bishop to come
and join me, which after some persuasion
he did, I showing him the way by striking
from time to time a match. I was afterwards sorry for extending the invitation,
as we soon discovered that we had moved
from bad to worse. Here, however, we
remained in the water and mud till four
o'clock in the morning, when I went
down the hi II and made a cup of tea on the
fire of last night> which had kept alive
under a large piece of log.
Weleft as soon as itwas daylight. After
a short walk along the beach we took to
the bush, intending to make a short cut of
a projecting point. After struggling about
a couple of hours through the thick salal
brushwood, we came to the Indian trail,
which we were glad to discover; and
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 cjF=^^
/^AC IFIC   ..       OCEAN
rowft? ;#&i» by Rev. Brabant and Rev. Seghers.
following it with great avidity we travelled
about five miles an hour, when lo! to our
great disappointment, we noticed that the
said trail led directly to our old camping
place, where the fire on which we had
cooked our breakfast was still smoking.
Our courage now sank very low, and
then, instead of following the same trail in
an opposite direction, which on a little
reflection we ought to have done, we
went over the rocks and boulders around
the point which we had intended to have
cut off that morning. According to directions given by the Clayoquots we were
at a certain spot to cross to the Ucluliat
inlet. This we intended to do, when we
took to the bush again. We walked and
walked till I found my strength failing,
which the Bishop noticing, he proposed
that we should take something to eat.
Accordingly we made a fire in the bush,
and then we boiled doughnuts! We ate
them with great appetite; then we noticed
that our two Kyuquot Indians began to
show bad will and insisted on going back
to the beach, which we accordingly did.
Early in the afternoon the rain, which
had fallen in the morning in the shape of
aScotch mist, became thicker and thicker,
and having come to a small bay, where
driftwood was piled in great quantity, we
prepared a place where we could spend
the night. We started a big fire, which
soon spread to the trees around, and in the
morning I discovered that a hole was
burned through one of my boots and that
my cloak was badly damaged. The Bishop's cloth ing had also suffered to a certain
extent through fire. We took as breakfast
the last piece of meat we had left, and we
also made slapjacks (sic) with our last
flour. After this we began to walk with
renewed courage. However, about nine
o'clock the Bishop took a fainting fit. He
lay down on the rocks and asked if I had
any food left. I took down a satchel which
I had on my back, and after careful examination I found in a paper a few grains of
sugar and a little flour in the corner of an
old flour sack; this I gathered in a spoon
and presented to His Lordship; he would
not, however, take any of it except that I
had taken my share, saying that he did not
know what would become of us in case I
should give out. We next noticed that the
Indians were gathering mussels on the
rocks and ate them with great relish. This
we also did and raw mussels and salal
berries were the only food which we took
till we reached Captain Francis' place in
Ucluliat next morning.
The captain could hardly recognize us;
seeing our condition and hearing of our
long compulsory abstaining from food, he
advised us, and we followed his advice,
not to take any full meal till we had eaten
very little at a time preparing our stomachs for their usual functions - at   the
same time the captain went into his store
and gave us new pants and shoes, for all
our clothes had been reduced to rags in
our attempts to travel through the brushwood. His Lordship, Bishop Seghers, at
one time escaped being drowned, having
slipped from a rock in crossing a ravine,
where the sea swept in very freely at high
Our experience from Clayoquot to
Ucluliat had such an effect on our general
condition that it took more than two
weeks for us to recover our usual strength.
After recuperating from their ordeal in
the bush, the two priests continued their
journey to Victoria accompanied by an
"Ekoul Indian" they hired as a guide for
the sum of six dollars. Rev. Brabant's
diary describes a pleasant trip up Alberni
Canal, a stop to visit miners at "Gold
River" (no doubt China Creek) and a visit
to two white settlers and a tribe of Indians
at Alberni. The hike across to the east
coast is described as "a delightful trip over
a newly-made road"; the crossing of a lake
(Cameron Lake) by canoe, and on to
Nanaimo where they caught a steamer to
The writer is a long time resident of Tofino -
Earlier writing was on mining on Vancouver Island
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 The Rise and Sad Demise of Salt Springs
Lodge of Hope
by John Crofton
In the evening of February 1, 1886 in
the small, lamp-lit classroom ofthe Central School on Salt Spring Island, in the
Gulf of Georgia, twenty men and women
came together to form the Hope of Salt
Spring, Lodge 7.
This was a temperance organization
under the Grand Lodge in Nanaimo and
was part of the Independent Order of
Good Templars. Emblazoned across the
logo of the Order's great seal was the
word, in bold letters, "PROHIBITION".
The motto was: "In Unity Strength".
Salt Spring at that time was just beginning to become well populated with
i. o. a
Wfft&m&. ftottgf ©f jpijiiij^ fpioluiiilbia.
d&COA    C&lMzi
OAe. j6*£eUe4 *
Letter from Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
farming families from various parts ofthe
world, in particular from Western Europe,
England, Scotland and Ireland. By 1886
there were about 400 people there, black
and white, all trying to make homes out of
the thick wild bush and forests.
At the same time, they were developing
a community spirit and began forming
social and fraternal organizations according to common interests and concerns.
The Hope of Salt Spring - Lodge 7 was
one of these. The story that follows tells of
its rise and sad demise.
It is taken from the original Lodge
record of minutes of meetings and presents
a snapshot picture of one aspect of life
during those early pioneering days.
This record is now stored in the archives
of the Salt Spring Island Historical Society.
The Rise
The Lodge meeting that was held on
February 1,1886 was an organization and
installation meeting.
If the weather that night was a typical
February night for Salt Spring it would
have been stormy with perhaps rain or
snow falling. The people who attended
the meeting must have been highly dedicated to the temperance movement in
order to venture forth into that dark night
after a long hard day of clearing land and
doing tough, heavy farming chores. It is
to be remembered also that they had to
travel over appalling roads that were not
much more than muddy wagon tracks.
When the meeting opened, before the
election of officers took place, a Mr.
Hemlow from the Grand Lodge at
Nanaimo gave instructions on "grips and
signals and all rules necessary to the proper
conduction of a Lodge".
He told those present that they were to
address each other as "Brother" or "Sister"
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 The embroidered motto ofthe Lodge.
as appropriate.
Brother John Booth was then elected
"Worthy Chief Templar" (WCT),
William Harrison - Treasurer, and Tom
Mouat - Secretary. Also elected as an
official was Sister Jane Mouat.
The Meetings
The first regular meeting ofthe Lodge
was carried out on February 10 with the
"Worthy Chieftan in the chair". After the
meeting was called to order a committee
was organized to draft a code of laws.
Unfortunately: "Considerable argument
here ensued which, however, took no
definite effect". Consequently action to
proceed with the preparation of by-laws
was tabled for discussion at the next meeting.
The second meeting was held on February 24. After accepting and initiating
new candidates to the Lodge the members
proceeded with the business of preparing
by-laws. They also agreed that meetings
be held on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings of each month beginning at
7:30. At a later meeting members decided
to meet on Tuesday nights.
At the third meeting on March 11
proceedings were much the same as before
except that prior to adjournment Sisters
Dagan, Isaacs and Anderson along with
some others "devoted themselves to the
good ofthe Order with song".
At the April 14 meeting, the fifth meeting, two candidates for membership were
Photo courtesy of Tom Holtby, Salt Spring Island H.S.
put forward and ballots for acceptance
were cast. William Caldwell was elected
but Albert Sokin was black-balled. A
committee was created to investigate the
reasons for the black-ball. Joel Broadwell
then announced he wanted to resign. His
resignation was accepted. Later he was
Meetings continued regularly through
1886 to January 26, 1987.  Elections of
new officers were carried out each quarter
with Brother Robinson becoming Worthy
Chief Templar on May 12. At this May
meeting William Caldwell and some others resigned and several were suspended or
fined for non-payment of dues. At later
meetings there were more candidates for
membership most of whom were accepted,
the rest black-balled. Approval of by-laws
remained outstanding.    The financial
situation was always a bit shaky because of
many expenses - particularly for lights
and Lodge regalia.   For example at an
April meeting the total indebtedness was
$12.22. Revenue collected at that meeting was $3.00.
There were no meetings during February of 1887, but one took place on March
9. At this meeting Brother Baker was
accused of violating some rule but after he
"expressed his sorrow for having broken
this vow" he was "reobligated". However,
Brother Robinson resigned, the name
James Anderson was "erased from the
roll" and Sister Margaret Dagan and
Brothers McHaffey and Norton were suspended.
At the May 24 meeting a debate was
held on the subject: "Which is happier, an
old bachelor or an old maid?" After the
debate, a ballot of the judges was taken.
They decided in favour ofthe old maid.
This decision "was called into question by
Brother John Harrison and a somewhat
heated argument followed in the course of
which Brother Ernest Harrison made a
somewhat serious charge against the WCT
. . "   The charge was that the WCT
"allowed things to be carried on in an
unconstitutional manner",    the WCT
ruled he "would have to substantiate or
withdraw at the next Lodge meeting".
Finally the motion was made "to stop this
argument and proceed to further busi-
ness". The motion passed.
At the following meeting on May 31 a
more friendly atmosphere seems to have
prevailed. However members decided to
punish Brother Ernest Harrison because
he had been unable to substantiate his
charge against the WCT at the previous
meeting. Their decision was that he be
fined and that "that fine be nothing".
Next, "Brother Atkinson having used
profane language, apologized to the
Lodge". He was forgiven. A subject for
debate at the next meeting was selected:
"which are the most useful to mankind,
the services ofthe agriculturist or those of
the artisan?" At the June 7 meeting the
artisan won.
The next debate took place on June 28
on the subject "which is most beneficial to
man - gold or iron?" Iron won.
According to the record of minutes,
two meetings were held during July, but
none during August and September.
Three meetings were held in October, two
in November and none in December.
At these meetings, opening ceremonies
and other rituals were observed, secret
passwords and handshakes exchanged,
some members resigned, punishments
were meted out to wayward members,
new members initiated, other candidates
for membership rejected, elections were
held, and "for the good of the Order"
meetings closed with various brothers and
sisters singing songs, reciting poems, tell-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 -AC —~t~J^
Charter of Salt Springs Lodge of Hope.
Spring Island Historical Society.
ing tales, or giving a speech. The minutes
at no time mention there was discussion
about temperance and prohibition. Perhaps such matters were covered in discussions about by-laws that may have arisen
but, if so, they are not recorded. However
by-laws, probably because they were a
source of much acrimony and disunity,
were never agreed upon and officially accepted.
Meetings normally opened at 7:30 p.m.
and closed at 10 p.m. depending on the
tempers of those present.
At the April 14, 1888 meeting Sister
Anna Broadwell was elected WCT, and
Brother Henry Stevens became Treasurer. Brother James Horel was nominated to the position of "Inner Guard",
but he lost out in the election to Brother
Mansell.  Before the meeting adjourned
Brother Stevens, "for
the good ofthe Order",
sang "Biddy Small" and
Sister Broadwell sang
"No Sir!".
Other songs sung at
meetings were: "The
Courting Man", "Curfew", "Where Has
RosannaGone?", "Not
Yet!", "No Use Trying
to Stop Here", and "No
Man Shall Ever Break
My Heart".
At   one   meeting
Brother Rosman did a
reading called "Drop
and Be Hanged!".
The Demise
Finally, at the September 1, 1888 meeting, after a stormy
meeting in August
when Brothers Stevens
and Mansell resigned,
members at first discussed various routine
matters. Then the demise ofthe Lodge suddenly came about.
It happened on a
poignant note when the
following motion was
made by the Chaplain, Arthur Walter:
"In view of the want of harmony displayed at several meetings of this Lodge
displacing the fraternal feeling that should
prevail, I move that the Lodge be dissolved and its charter be surrendered to
the proper authorities."
The motion was carried.  The Lodge
was then officially closed on September
During its 30 months of activity the
Lodge held 50 meetings and had a total of
49 members. Of these, ten resigned, 13
were suspended, and Brothers Bishop and
Anderson were expelled and their names
erased from the roll. The Lodge motto,
"In Unity Strength" was seldom remembered.
In December 1888, an attempt was
This is in the archives of die Salt
Photo courtesy of Tom Holtby.
made by William Caldwell, theBroadwells,
Tom Mouat and a few others to resurrect
the Lodge from its ashes. "By unanimous
vote it was decided that the name ofthe
Lodge be the Phoenix Lodge."
Unfortunately the same want of harmony that prevailed with the old Lodge
seems to have carried over to the new one.
An indicator of this state appears in the
minutes of the May 7, 1889 meeting
when: "The Chairman ofthe room committee reported that his assistant, Sister
Malcolm, was quite beyond his control".
Meetings continued for several more
months on an irregular basis. Then in
April 1890, with no apparent notice of
Lodge closure being given, they ceased.
John Crofton is a third generation resident of
Salt Spring Island and is the Past President of its
Historical Society
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B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 The Cowichan Settlers of 1862
A group of settlers arrived at Cowichan
Bay, near present day Duncan, on August
18, 1862 on H.M.S. Hecate and the
schooner Explorer. These colonists arrived less than twenty years after the
founding of Fort Victoria, the first European settlement on the southern part of
Vancouver Island.
The Cowichan Indians were known to
residents of Fort Victoria from the very
early days of that fort. In 1843 the first
white arrivals found that the local Songhees
Indians had left their main village and
"fortified themselves within stakes. . . at
the head of the harbor (perhaps up the
Gorge at Portage Inlet) through fear ofthe
fierce Cowichins ... who crept stealthily
down the strait in their canoes, entered
villages at night, massacred the men, and
carried the women and children into
Bancroft has an interesting account of
the early relationship between the
Cowichans and the white settlers.
Among those encamped in the vicinity of
the fort (Fort Victoria), and who watched
operations with as keen a zest as any, was a
band of Cowichans, whose chief was
Tsoughilam, and who had come down from
the north on a plundering expedition.
The horses and catde ofthe fort-builders
were magnificent prey for these brigands,
particularly the work-animals, which were
finer, fatter, and more easily approached
than the others. It was not often the good
gods sent them such abundant benefit at
so small a cost; and to decline them might
seem ungrateful. So some of the best of
the work oxen and (work) horses were
killed , and the Cowichins were filled to
their utmost content.2
These depredations called for immediate reaction on the part of the officer in
charge, Roderick Finlayson, who demonstrated among other things the damage
a nine-pounder gun could inflict on Indian
lodges. The Cowichan Indians wisely
decided to reimburse the company in furs,
by Helen B. Akrigg
and so the matter was settled.
Once Fort Victoria was built, life settled down to routine - there was fur
trading with Indians who came by canoe,
and the comings and goings of the Hudson's Bay Company's own ships carrying
on maritime fur trade along the British
Columbia coast. Very important also was
the water communication with the
H.B.C's establishment at Fort Nisqually
on Puget Sound, which was not only a
vital link in the communication network
with Fort Vancouver, the H.B.C's main
depot for its Columbia Department, but
also the source of agricultural produce.
Breaking the monotony was the arrival in
Esquimalt Harbour (for Victoria's harbour
was much too small) of increasing numbers of ships ofthe Royal Navy.
In 1852 James Douglas decided to
explore by canoe the east coast of Vancouver Island, to examine the country and
to communicate with the native tribes
who lived there. Although his charts were
fairly accurate as far as Cowichan Head
(on Douglas' sketch map this was just
north of Cordova Bay), he was amazed to
find that, what the charts indicated was
the coast of Vancouver Island, was not
that at all - but really a "multitude" of
islands stretching northward from
Cowichan Head to Gabriola Island, with
the real coast of Vancouver Island lying
15 to 20 miles further west. Douglas
mentioned that he touched at Cowichan
river, whose name was derived from the
tribe of Indians which inhabited the
neighbouring country:
They live in several villages, each having
a distinct chief, or headman, who cannot be
said to rule the community which acknowledges his supremacy, as there is no code
of laws, nor do the chiefs possess the power or
means of maintaining a regular government;
but their personal influence is nevertheless
very great with their followers. The
Cowichins are a warlike people, mustering
about 500 fighting-men, among a popula
tion of about2100'souls. They were extremely
friendly and hospitable to our party, and
gave us much information ofthe interior,
which by their report, appears to be well
watered'andabounding in extensive tracts of
arable land . . . These Indians partially
cultivate the alluvial island near the mouth
ofthe river, where we saw many large and
state, and a number of fine cucumbers,
which had been raised in the open air without
any particular care?
Douglas continued up the coast to the
Inlet of Winthuysen (today's Nanaimo)
which he was particularly interested in
visiting because of the reports of coal in
the area:
These people are called Nanaimo, and
speak nearly the same language, but have not
the reputation of being eitherso numerous or
warlike as the Cowichin tribe. We entered
into immediate communication, and found
them very friendly, and disposed to give every
information we desired in regard to all
matters concerning their own affairs and the
country which they inhabit.
They live chiefly by fishing, and also grow
large quantities of potatoes infields which
they have brought into cultivation near their
villages. These are built chiefly on a river
named Nanaimo. (the name of this river
was really Quamquamqwa = swift swift
Douglas was excited by what he saw of
the area, which he described as "one vast
coal-field" and wrote urging the Colonial
Office in London to arrange for a
hydrographic survey of the route to
Nanaimo which he foresaw as a busy coal
port. He mentioned that the H.B.C. had
already sent a small body of miners to
examine the coal beds, and to commence
immediate operations there.4
In the next few years Governor Douglas
had two more opportunities to have a
close look at the agricultural potential of
the Cowichan valley. The first was in early
1853 when, with an armed force of about
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 125 men travelling by the Beaver, the
sailing ship Recovery and several smaller
boats, Douglas arrived at the mouth ofthe
Cowichan River. He was intent on the
capture of a Cowichan brave who, with a
Nanaimo chiefs son, had murdered a
Scottish shepherd in Saanich. At a meeting
with the local Cowichans the following
morning, Douglas addressed them in
Chinook declaring that, just as a white
man must be punished if he killed an
Indian, so an Indian must be punished if
he killed a white. After much "impassioned
oratory", the Cowichans decided to give
up the wanted man.
The second occasion was in 18 56 when
Douglas, with an expeditionary force of
over400 men aboard H.M.S. Trincomalee
and the H.B.C. ship Otter, again went to
the Cowichan country, this time to capture an Indian who had attempted to
murder one Thomas Williams. Douglas
wrote to the Colonial Office as follows:
The Cowegin Tribe can bring into the
field about 1400 Warriors but nearly 1000
of those were engaged upon an expedition to
Fraser s River (for salmon fishing) when we
entered their Country. About 400 warriors
still remained in the VaUey, nevertheless no
attempt was made, except a feeble effort by
some of his personal friends, to rescue the
prisoner or to resist the operation ofthe law.
The Troops marched some distance into
the Cowegin Valley, through thick bush and
almost impenetrable forest. Knowing that a
mere physical force demonstration would
never accomplish the apprehension of the
culprit. I offered friendship and protection to
all the natives except the culprit and such as
aided him or were found opposing the ends
of' Justice. That announcement had the
desiredeffectof"securing theneutrality ofthe
greater part ofthe Tribe who were present,
and after we had taken possession of three of
their largest ViUages the surrender ofthe
culprit followed . . . The expedition remained at Cowegin two days after the execution ofthe offender, to re-establish friendly
relations with the Cowegin Tribe, and we
succeeded in that object, to my entire satisfaction.
I greatly admired the beauty and fertility
ofthe Cowegin Valley, which contains probably not less than 200,000 acres of arable
land.  I shall however address you on that
subject in a future communication?
Douglas, who in his many years in the
fur trade had learned to deal kindly but
very firmly with Indians, by this policy
soon won the trust of most Indians and so
made it feasible for whites to start settling
in the Cowichan country. But traditional
rivalry between tribes still flared up on
occasion. Walbran tells of an incident
which happened on July 4, 1860 when a
canoe of Bella Bella Indians (containing
nine men, three women and two boys,
plus a white man) arrived at Admiralty
Bay (now Ganges Harbour) and were
invited by about fifty Cowichan Indians
to come ashore and rest. Soon after the
white man left to visit a nearby settler, the
sound of shots was heard and the whites
soon found the Cowichans had killed all
the Bella Bella men, had taken the women
and boys as slaves and escaped in the Bella
canoe. Old habits died hard.6
Until 1858 Fort Victoria remained a
sleepy village with fewer than 300 white
residents. Then in the spring word leaked
out in San Francisco that gold had been
discovered in mainland British Columbia
and, by the end of the year, over 30,000
people had arrived. Most ofyou know the
story ofthe Fraser River gold rush and the
later Cariboo gold rush very well, but the
only reason I mention them is to point out
the great pressure on the very limited local
food supply. After all, the site of Fort
Victoria was chosen because it had a safe
and sheltered harbour for small vessels, a
well disposed tribe of Indians, a location
convenient for intercourse with Fort
Nisqually, and enough open land for
subsistence farming to supply the servants
of the Hudson's Bay Company. What
arable, lightly treed land there was within
a reasonable distance of Victoria, such as
on the Saanich Peninsula and out in
Metchosin and Sooke, had long since
been settled.
So in 1859 it became very obvious that
plans MUST be made to open up new
agricultural areas as hundreds of unsuccessful goldseekers had returned to Victoria and were looking for land on which to
settle. At the same time the colonists, who
could ill afford to pay for imported food,
saw the constant arrival of herds of cattle
and sheep from Washington Territory,
and even from the Sandwich Islands. But
things were not simple when it came to
acquiring land. The British Colonist of
July 11, 1859 printed a list of 19 people
(some non-resident such as Royal Navy
officers E.P. Bedwell and RC. Mayne)
who in 1858 had paid the first of four
instalments on a total of 9880 acres in the
Cowichan valley. Alongside this list was
an editorial entitled "Land as a Right, Not
as a Favor". When a group of would-be
settlers petitioned the Governor to permit
them to settle in Cowichan, they were
informed that it could not be done at
present. Instead they were offered
unsurveyed land in the Chemainus
But the government was surveying
possible agricultural land for, in 1859 a
booklet entitled Vancouver's Island -
Survey ofthe Districts ofNanaimo and
Cowichan Valley was published.7 It covered the three districts of Mountain, Cedar and Cranberry around Nanaimo
(30,000 acres in total), and the five districts
of Shawnigan, Cowichan, Comiaken,
Quamicham and Somenos in the
Cowichan Valley (some 57,000 acres).
About the same time the British
Colonist ran a short item headed "Indian
Title". This read:
'Why is not the Indian title to Cowichan
extinguished at once?' This is repeated over
and over again, and yet no response is heard
from the government. It may require judicious management, but it has to be done.
The country expects it without delay. We
want farmers—and the best way to get them
is to open the lands of Cowichan to actual
settlers by extinguishing the Indian title."*
For two years from spring 1859 to
spring 1861, there was little news about
the proposed Cowichan settlement; then
in March 1861 two items appeared
touching on subjects of real concern to
any intending settler - the Indians and
roads. A resident of Harrisburg
(Cowichan Bay) wrote about the "Remarkable Success of Catholics at Cowichan
to Reform the Indians":
I reside in the above district, in the midst
of about two thousand Indians, who eighteen months ago carried on a system of drunkenness and murder too horrible to relate. At
this date they may be said to be a reclaimed
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 people. Drink is forbidden by them, and a
penalty attached to drunkenness by order of
their chiefs. Consequently, other crimes are
of rare occurrence. And to what is all this
owing? To the honest and persevering labors
of a poor Catholic priest..9
The other article said that the proposed
road from Saanich Inlet should not stop at
Cowichan but continue right through to
Nanaimo. It pointed out that, with the
10,000 acres in the Cowichan valley
purchased in 1858 still held for speculative purposes, would-be settlers had to
look elsewhere for cheaper land, and the
extended road would be a great help.
In July 1862 the government suddenly
came to life, and called a meeting on the
29th "for the purpose of organising a
party of immigrants to proceed to
Cowichan Valley under Government
protection, and take up lands on the preemption system". To the more than 300
people present Attorney-General Cary said
that many people wanted to settle on
Crown land and become citizens of Vancouver Island but there were too many
obstacles in their way. However, now
6000 acres ofthe land originally bought in
1858 by speculators were available for the
newcomers, as well as other land in various places. Each man would be allowed to
pre-empt 150 acres, with 50 additional
acres for his wife and 10 for every child.
Accompanying the party would be a gunboat, a surveyor, and "a competent party
to deal with the Indians". All that the
government wanted was an assurance that
a sufficient number of men would go up
in a fortnight and a vessel would be provided to take them.10
At this time also, Governor Douglas
notified Rear-Admiral Maitland that a
gunboat would be needed to escort the
party of settlers to Cowichan (or possibly
to the alternate destination, the Comox
country, but Douglas believed that settlers
would choose Cowichan.) Douglas added
that this was "a matter of more immediate
importance than the visit ofthe Gun Boat
to Sitka..." Captain Richards, of H.M.
Survey Ship Hecate, was ordered to escort
the party, an order that did not please
him, for his hydrographic work was already far behind schedule due to such
- "/,,!>■-
H.M.S. Hecate.
Photo courtesy of Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre.
Finally, on Monday, August 18,1862,
H.M.S. Hecate, towing the Explorer
schooner, sailed for Cowichan Bay. I have
two accounts of this trip - one from the
British Colonist of August 22; the other
of Captain Richards. First, the newspaper
article entitled "The Cowichan Expedition":
H.M. ship Hecate, having on board His
Excellency the Governor, returned to
Esquimaltyesterdaymorningfrom Cowichan
District, whither she departed on Monday
last with 100 intending farmers. The expedition reached Cowichan at4o 'clock, p. m.,
on Monday, and the settlers, divided into
three parties, under the guidance of the
Surveyor General and his assistant, and the
Attorney General, werelandedatthelocalities
in which it is intended they shall inspect and
select lands for farming purposes. The Governor also disembarked and encamped. . .
The few natives at present in the district (the
major portion of the tribes being absent
fishing), agreed without hesitation to the
surrender of their lands to the Government,
with the exception of their village sites and
potatoe (sic) patches, being informed that
when the absent members ofthe tribes had
returned to their homes in the autumn,
compensation for the lands taken up by the
settlers would be made at the same rate as
that previously established — amounting in
the aggregate to the value ofapair of blankets
to each Indian - the chief, of course, coming
in for the lion's share of the potlatch. The
Indians, one and all, expressed themselves as
perfectly content with the proposed arrangement, and even appeared anxious that
settlers should come among them.
One party ofthe settlers was dispatched to
Shawnigan District, another to Somenos
District, and the third to Quamichan. The
settlers were all in good health and spirits,
and appeared greatly pleased with the appearance ofthe country. The weather was
fine, and from the expressions of satisfaction
which fell from the lips of every member of
the expedition, it is believed that many ofthe
settlers will make the Valley ofthe Cowichan
their permanent home. They were given to
understand by His Excellency that actual
residence on the land would alone entitle
them to hold it. . . Game of all kinds is
abundant and numerous deer-paths were
observed leading to the river shores.
The Hecate on the way down stopped in
the Sansum Narrows where His Excellency
went ashore and inspected the copper mines
there located and was furnished by Mr.
Smith, the manager ofthe company, with
several beautiful specimens of rich copper
Now for Captain Richards' version:
Monday 18th August. In morning anchored offVictoria Harbour at 7a. m. At 10
embarked the Governor and his Civilstaff&
towing theExplorerschoonerwithabout80
settlers, proceeded for Cowichan, where we
were anchored at 3:30p. m. Governor & his
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 party landed with the settlers, the object
being to establish them on some of the
Cowichan land as farmers. Anchorage off a
viUage on the south side ofthe bay, very close
in, in 14fins. Bank very steep. Onswinging
next morning we grounded abaft and had to
shift further out.
Tuesday 19th August. The Governor
encamped on what he calls Mt. Bruce, an
elevation of something like 100feet, on the
north side ofthe bay. On it stands a Roman
Catholic church, the Priest of which seems to
have caught more souls - or rather bodies -
than his Episcopal brethren. It is a question
of who will bid highest for them; if the
Catholic Roman is going ahead, it is necessary for the Protestant to launch into more
rice or molasses - or to beautify the church or
school house a little more. Both do a certain
amount of good in checking drunkenness,
but as to instilling any principles of religion,
I fear for long to come this is not to be looked
for. They will go to Church and sing and
howl as much as may be desired, but they will
kill or defraud their neighbours if necessary
as soon after as convenient.
The surveyors were employed in marking
off allotments of land all today, but the
would-be settlers shew (sic) the greatest apathy
and won't even accompany the gentlemen to
see the district. A few of them start away
with this view in the morning but as soon as
they find they have to walk a couple of miles,
they drop off one by one and the surveyor
finds himself left alone.
On Wednesday 20th I wasgoingon shore
to visit the Governor and look at the district
in the neighbourhood of the River, when he
was seen coming off in a canoe. He acquainted me that he had completed his task,
and had some interviews with the natives
who were perfectly disposed to receive the
white men andaUow them to cultivate and
occupy any lands other then their potatoe
fields and villages; that the surveyors were
going on with their labours and when
completed, every man would if he chose be
put in possession of an extent of 100 acres
subject to the pre-emption law — that is, to
occupy and improve. (In some other areas
150 acres was the size allotted.)
In the afternoon I took the Governor in
my boatto look at the Copper districtjustthis
side of Maple Bay, on the W. side of Sansum
Narrows. 4milesdist. we found some people
prospecting and they had some very fair
specimens of copper ore out, some in quartz,
others in a calcose slate, the former the most
favourable looking. Mr. Wigham, an
Englishman who has been years working in
the Mexican mines, thinks the mount on the
east side, Mt. Bruce, and Mt. Sullivan on
Admiral Id. (Salt Spring) are the spots where
the copper will be found, and he thinks the
indications here very good.
We returned to the ship at 4p.m. and
visited the settlers who had landed on the S
side ofthe bay. I walked more than a mile
inland, with the Governor. The soil appeared
very fair butrather light, thegroundpartially
clear or loosely timbered, and no great labour
would be required to clear it. The men all
acknowledged this but I saw no disposition
except on the part of2 or 3 to set to and clear
and cultivate. After a talk with the natives
and a few trifling presents of tobacco and
pipes, we embarked.
Thursday 21st. At 4 a.m. we left
Cowichan and with a favourable tide passed
down the inner channel, anchoring off
Victoria at 9 a. m. After landing the Governor I steamed into Esquimalt where we
remained till Saturday morning.
So here ends the story ofthe arrival of
the settlers of 1862 in Cowichan Bay, and
the rather strikingly different accounts -
Douglas' as reported in the newspaper,
full of "developer" style of optimism, and
Richards', rather sardonic and cynical. It
is difficult to know, 131 years later, which
version is the more accurate.
Helen Akrigg is best known as co-author of
British Columbia Chronicles. British Columbia
Place Names, ami the more recent H.M.S. Virago
in the Pacific.
1. H.H. Bancroft. The History of British Columbia,
1792-1887. (san Francisco, 1887) p. 95.
2. Bancroft, p. 107.
3. James Douglas, "Report of a Canoe Expedition along
the East Coast of Vancouver Island," Journal ofthe
Royal Geographical Society, Vol. 24,1854, p. 246.
4. Douglas, p. 248.
5. James Douglas' letter to H. Labouchere, London,
6th Sept. 1856. (P.R.O., Adm. 1/5678).
6. J.T. Walbran, B.C. Coast Names, 1592 - 1906.
(Vancouver 1971 reprint), p 117.
7. H.M. Stationery office. (London 1859).
8. British Colonist, March 19,1859, p. 1.
9. British Colonist, March 26,1861, p. 3.
10.  British Colonist, Jury 30,1862, p. 3.
summer why
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Recruit a new
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Historical News.
■J*      «|<»      «|t*      *|g      «|g      *1<*
You will feel
Alice Glanville, Helen Akrigg and Jim
Glanville at the 1993 Conference
in Kamloops.
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 THE 1993 BCHF CONFERENCE IN KAMLOOPS
by Nancy Peter
Many of the coastal delegates opted to drive
up the Fraser Canyon, enjoying the scenery
before arriving in time for the 5:30 Council
meeting. The Stockmen's Hotel provided
comfortable facilities, and the entertainment by the Happy Choristers, wearing
turn-of-the-century costumes, created a happy
ambience during the opening reception.
Chairman John Belshaw opened the Friday
morning program introducing Mel
Rothenburger, local editor and descendant
of "The Wild McLeans." His lively story was
followed by a review of "Early Medicine in
Kamloops" by Dr. Stewart Burris. The morning
concluded with Marilyn Ivey giving a detailed
history of Wallachin. A lady in the audience had lived there and shared her memories. Following an excellent buffet lunch
visitors, in groups of up to 8 people, were
given a guided walk through the older area
of West Kamloops. (Guides specified that
only one block would be uphill... Kamloops
has less flat than you would imagine.) The
old homes and public bu ildings were attractive
and interesting, and the weather was lovely.
"The Story of Kamloops Canneries" by John
Stewart told of the wonderful fruit and
vegetable crops in the district, not fish as
coastal residents envisioned. Unfortunately
the agricultural component of Kamloops
economy has disappeared. A bus whisked
delegates to St. Joseph's Church and the
SecwepemcMuseum. Ourguidesendeavoured
to teach us the pronunciation of Secwepemc
but most of us resorted to "Shuswap" after a
few vain efforts. The outdoor exhibits
showed some of the early lifestyle of district aboriginal peoples. Indoors, the canoes
and other exhibits were enthusiastically
explained by Laura Thomas, then cooks
served a superb luncheon in the cafeteria.
The Federation Annual  General  Meeting
(Necessary but rarely exciting) was executed
smoothly by President
Myrtle Haslam. Important decisions included
reappraising the status of
"Affiliates", Societies which
are not exclusively historical become Affiliates
of the Federation for a
fee of $25 up to 50 members and $50 for larger
groups - these memberships to include one subscription to the B.C.
Historical News. Regular Society members pay
$ 1 each to the federation
for membership. These members get a
reduced rate for the magazine, $9 per year
while non members pay $12.
Don Sale of Nanaimo was accorded a standing
ovation when he was awarded an Honorary
Life membership by the Federation. Arthur
Lower, distinguished historian from Vancouver, was declared Honorary President
for the coming year. Melva Dwyer conducted the election of officers. Mrs. Doris
May of Victoria became Treasurer to replace Francis Sleigh. (Readers Note: Names
and addresses of all Federation officers are
listed inside the back cover of each issue of
the Historical News.) The AGM concluded
with reports from Member Societies.
The Awards Banquet was well organized
and very enjoyable. Musical entertainment
of a few old songs, preceded the announcement of winners of the 1992 Writing Cora-
petition. Pamela Mar announced that the
winner of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal
was James R. Gibson of York University,
author of Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China
Corresponding Secretary
1      \   *l
Arnold Ranneris, Secretary and Myrtle Haslam, President.
All photos courtesy of John Spittle.
Goods. Other absentee recipients of Certificates of Merit included Ken Drushka for
Working in the Woods, Darryl Muralt for
The Victoria and Sidney Railway, 1892-
1919, and Christopher Hanna for Best Article in 1992. Rolf Knight was present to
accept h is award for h is book, Homer Stevens:
A Life in Fishing. After dinner speaker
Robert Matthews spoke of the importance
of bringing our history to life with pictures
and stories, sharing the rich inheritance of
all groups who have lived in this province.
The Kamloops Museum Society were thanked
for the well planned and managed conference under the leadership of Liz Murdoch,
Pat King, and Lila Dyer. A truly happy
feeling was obvious in the cluster of friends
reluctant to leave.
Don Sale & Leonard McCann. I
Some ofthe Happy Choristers on stage in Kamloops.
At the Secwepemc Museum - Guide Laura Thomas,
Naomi & Peter Miller and other visitors.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 NEWS & NOTES
The ground breaking ceremony for an addition
to the Hudson's Hope Library will take place on
May 18, the day that Alexander Mackenzie
passed this site on his journey of exploration.
The library is situated above the Peace River at '
the mouth of the canyon. This is a place where
undoubtably Mackenzie and his crew stopped to
view the next part of their journey up the Peace.
The Municipality has decided to add a reading
room with many windows to take advantage of
the view and the sounds of the river. Architects
plans and funds are in place. Completion for a
ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for
August 22nd, 1993 concurrent with other
community celebrations on the 200th anniversary of Mackenzie's arrival here on his way back
from Pacific tidewater.
(This item contributed by Leo Rutledge of
Hudson's Hope.)
A group of farmers in the Cowichan Valley
have arranged to offer weekends to individuals
and families interested in experiencing farm life
as it was prior to WW1. These farms have been
in their families almost 100 years.
Anyone wishing further information can
phone Lyle & Fiona Young at Cowichan
Bay, (604) 746-7884 for details.
The department of history at the University of
Victoria is sponsoring a Conference on "Columbia Department Fur Trade" at Dunsmuir Lodge
October 1-3,1993. There are 14 sessions with
a total of 36 presentations. This unique
conference has a few more openings for
attendees at Dunsmuir Lodge.
For information or applications contact
Richard Mackie, Jamie Morton, or Sylvia Van
Kirk at the University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3045,
Victoria, B.C., or phone (604) 721-7382, or fax
(604) 721-8772. An international look at our fur
trade history!
Your Editor visited writer/cartoonist Ernest
Harris shortly after "A Kettle Valley Rail Ride"
appeared in Vol. 26:1. So many letters of
appreciation arrived to add to the admiration for
several cover illustrations that we deemed it
logical that Mr. Harris deserved the seldom
awarded Certificate of Appreciation. BCHF Vice-
President Alice Glanville accompanied Naomi to
make this presentation. A lively discussion took
place about some stories in Boundary District's
Burnaby Historical Society was presented with
a clock for their archives room as a Heritage
Award from the City of Burnaby.
Charles Alfred Bayley signed a five year
contract with the Hudson's Bay Company in
1850 and came to Victoria on the Tory arriving
in 1851. On board ship he ran a Library and
conducted classes for the children and some
adult passengers. Governor James Douglas did
not find Bayley useful as a labourer so in 1852
appointed him as schoolmaster for children of
the Company's "Labouring class." Bayley was
transferred to Nanaimo in 1853 where he taught
the miners' children and those of the Company's servants. These children are listed in
Bayley's diary hald at BCARS and in Nanaimo
Retrospective. He was to be paid £1 for each
child - to be paid by the parent, but was often
unable to collect his salary. Disgruntled with
the lack of supplies and omission of his salary,
he returned to Victoria when his term with HBCo
was completed. There he opened a store to sell
supplies to gold miners.
While in Nanaimo he boarded with the Andrew
Hunter family who had also been on the Tory
bound for Fort Rupert. The coal venture there
was unsuccessful and Douglas moved the
workers to Nanaimo. On Christmas eve 1854
Charles Bayley and fifteen year old Agnes
Hunter were married by James Douglas on
board ship in Nanaimo harbour at 7 p.m. (This
is the first recorded marriage in Nanaimo.)
Their first child was a boy born in October 1855.
Charles Bayley was elected to the Colonial
Legislature by a majority of 2 out of the 8
electors for the sitting 1863-65. Representation
of Nanaimo was ineffective because Bayley
chose to live in Victoria. Due to Charles' ill
health the Bayleys sold their Victoria business
and moved to the Dalles, Oregon. Later they
moved to San Francisco to seek further medical
treatment; Charles died 3rd November, 1899.
Thanks to Peggy Nicholls of Nanaimo.
B.C. local histories traditionally mention the
first Nation tribe or tribes who roamed the sites
of our present cities. Many descendants of
those people are now well-educated individuals,
eager to share their version of pre-colonial
history. We appeal to writers of coming
publications to consult with band historians
when preparing that chapter on aboriginal
Let us share our Heritage!
This message from Robert Matthews, guest
speaker at the BCHF banquet on May 1st, is
endorsed and practised by your editor.
John Wilson, winner of the 1991 BCHF Scholarship, completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1992
and went into service as an officer in HMCS
Porte Dauphine in Victoria. He finds the duties
challenging and rewarding, but plans to further
his studies in history at a future date.
is available in
Back volumes
of [his publication
are available in
(film or fiche).
For further
Canadas Information
20 Victoria Street,
Toronto, Ontario M5C2N8
B.C. Historical News • Summer 1993 BOOKSHELF
Books for review and book reviews should be sent directly to the book review editor:
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6S1E4
HM.S. Virago in the Pacific,
1851-1855: To the Queen
Charlottes and Beyond
G.P.V. Akrigg and Helen B. Akrigg.
Victoria, Sono Nis Press, 1992.
209 p., illus. $21.95
Ofthe thousands of ships wearing the White
Ensign and sailing the distant seas during the
era of Pax Britannica, Her Majesty's steam
sloop Virago was but one. The progressions of
such vessels on their lonely vigils is sadly lost to
history. So much, even disproportionate attention, has been given to ships of discovery
and of the great fleets in line-of-battle. But what
of the vessels who sought to keep the peace,
promote legitimate commerce, end slavery and
the slave trades, prevent piracy, support the
economic and colonizing activities of parent
states and their offshoots, and make seas safe
for seaborne commerce by their tedious but
important hydrographic duties? Their achievements deserve to be known, not just in what are
known as "station histories" of say the Pacific,
Australian, or North American and West Indies
stations; they deserve to be known in the
accounts and interpretations of individual ships,
their officers and men. As an historical enterprise, too, such recounting can reveal much
about places and peoples visited in the course
of a three- or four-year cruise to distant,
unfrequented parts of the world
It is commonplace to say that the outlying
ramparts of British influence and obligation
were established by the use and control of the
sea. Whether the object was trade or colonization, the British imperial ethos was a seaborne matter. Joseph Conrad, in the evocative,
brilliant images in the opening pages of Heart
of Darkness, wrote how the Thames led to
"the uttermost ends of the earth." "The tidal
current," he continued, "runs to and fro in its
unceasing service, crowded with memories of
men and ships it had borne to the rest of home
or to the battles of the sea." And then, warming
to the imperial theme, he added: "Hunters of
gold and pursuers of fame, they all had gone
forth out on that stream, bearing the sword,
and often the torch, messengers of the might
within the land, bearers of a spark from the
sacred fire. What greatness had not floated on
the ebb of that river into the mystery of an
unknown earth! ... The dreams of men, the
seed of commonwealths, the germs of empire."
Such emotions have now passed from our
hearts, minds and bodies. Empire, at least as of
yesteryear, is but a memory or a nostalgic
hangover. Even nationhood seems at risk, and
new principalities replace old dominions, and
knowledge of country and tradition but a fleeting phase of citizenry and of classroom.
In this era it is not easy to classify the type of
book that is under review, for the uninitiated
may well ask what indeed was a British warship
named after a quarrelsome, shrewish woman
(thankyou.Mr. Webster) doing poking around
the harbours of Tahiti, the Marquesas, Chile,
Hawaii, Petropavlovsk and, of particular importance to readers of this journal, Vancouver
Island, British Columbia and the Queen
Charlotte Islands? This is a segment of a history
of a British man-of-war, but it is very much part
of a very much larger story that I had the
pleasure of examining in my Royal Navy and
the Northwest Coast (1971), Gunboat
Frontier (1984), and in several articles. Years
ago Longstaff and Lamb made a preliminary
excursion into this topic, and in the 1960s
Vancouver-bom Rear Admiral P.W. Brock,
R.N. retired, took up the herculean task of
writing for the Maritime Museum of British
Columbia the individual histories of individual
ships, the Virago being one of them. The debt
that the Akriggs owe to Admiral Brock is fully
acknowledged in this book, and the splendid
foresight of the Maritime Museum of British
Columbia in funding such research is now
again repaid in this fine volume.
Not all British warships were the same in the
nature of the officers and non-commissioned
officers they carried, and I thin kit fair to say that
the Virago was an exception, for many of her
officers kept records that have survived. Thus if
the scholar wishes to explore the interrelationship of the Virago with Eda'nsa (a.k.a. Albert
Edward Edenshaw), Haida chief, trader and
pilot, that scholar has not only all the known
Admiralty papers in London and Victoria but
the journals of Paymaster W.H. Hills and especially Master G.H. Inskip and the welcome,
first-time used illustrations of Master's Mate
W.E. Gordon. James Prevost commanded this
paddlewheel steamer, and his contribution to
British Columbia was later enlarged by his
assistance to William Duncan and the Church
Missionary Society.
Because history is essentially a salvage operation of the past, the authors of this work
have done an extraordinarily impressive job in
bringing to light much of that which was lost in
the progressions of this warship from port to
port on the imperial mission. At west coast
Mexican ports the Virago turned "smuggler"
— the Mexican government saw the export of
silver as illegal, being a drain on their resources,
but the British government saw such a practice
in a different light and authorized the shipment
of specie by order-in-council. In the Queen
Charlotte Islands the men of the Virago encountered the aggressive, upwardly mobile
chief Eda'nsa. Governor Douglas makes his
appearance, and the ship undertakes repairs
on the beach at Fort Simpson. We have here a
recreation of an aspect of British Columbia life
in the mid-1850s. It is to be regretted that this
work contains very few footnotes and no bibliography — undoubtedly editorial choices
made along the way. This does not challenge
the veracity of the authors; it only makes the
task of future investigators that will follow in
their wake all that more difficult The work is
richly illustrated and, in several instances, adds
new visual images to our extensive canvas of
the Pacific world atthe mid-nineteenth century.
The authors are to be congratulated on another successful venture carried to its logical
conclusion. They have tracked down important
primary material for this work, especially Inskip's
account. More, they have presented an impressive, highly readable Pacific travelogue,
one that may induce armchair travellers to
venture just a little bit beyond the usual beats.
Just like British men-of-war of yesteryear,
readers of this fine book will find themselves
exploring distant, palm-fringed lagoons and
pestilence-ridden Latin American ports — besides the green-grey landscape of Vancouver
Island and British Columbia that is, correctly,
the focus of this imperial odyssey in miniature.
Barry Gough
Barry Gough is Professor of History at Wilfrid
Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont.
Gentleman Air Ace; The Duncan
Bell-Irving Story
Elizabeth O'Kiely. Madeira Park,
Harbour Publishing, 1992.
216 p., illus. $29.95
Once in an adventurous lifetime is the theme
which covers much ground in the story of
World War I and II aviator Duncan Bell-Irving.
The biography, written by his daughter, Elizabeth O'Kiely, reveals to the public and particularly historians a fabulous experience and history of not only the air warrior, but of the Bell-
Irving family for the past one hundred years.
The recently published book, Gentleman Air
Ace, is a really well-equipped manuscript of
eleven chapters, sprinkled liberally from beginning to end with a collection of family and
historical photographs, which in no short measure adds to a very fulfilling reading experience.
Indeed this writer recalls from the distant past
the arrival and meeting at a Vancouver west
side school in the early thirties, the flyer himself.
Following a brief history of the air force to the
assembled students, we later joined with thousands of Vancouverites at the official opening
of the Vancouver airport in July 1932, where
Bell-Irving, from the eyes of this young student,
was the star performer.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1993 BOOK SHELF CONT D
Elizabeth O'Kiely deserves three cheers for
the tremendous effort on her part of giving us
the background and detail to a very distinguished record in her recently published book
Gentleman Air Ace.
Cedric Hawkshaw
Cedric Hawkshaw, a member of the Vancouver
Historical Society, is a one-time resident of
Lasqueti Island.
The Not So Gentle Art of Burying
the Dead. The real story of how
cemeteries began in New Westminster
Helen C. Pullem. New Westminster,
Bridges to Yesterday Publishing, 1992.
68 p., illus. $12.70
The preface states the writer's purpose in
compiling this book. "The first purpose of this
book is to entertain ... my prejudices against
churches shine through.... if you're looking for
a doctoral thesis about the positive influence of
religion, this isn't it."
The book deeds primarily with the beginnings
of New Westminster's cemeteries during the
years 1859-71. Information on two special
cemeteries is intriguing. One is that of Woodlands School, the other the Penitentiary's.
Locations of early burial grounds are given,
and names of those first buried. Snippets of
information regarding the division between
Catholics and Protestants tire listed, giving insight into the colonial society of the time — a
time when churches, which had in the past
been responsible for cemeteries, were beginning to turn the responsibility over to governments.
There are maps showing the location of the
grounds, pictures of early headstones, early
pioneers. Ten pages are devoted to the telling
of a "legend", a rather complex tale which
begins in Yale in 1860, and ends in New
Westminsterin 1935. Perhaps one of this book's
most intriguing aspects is the listing of the ages
and causes of death of many of the deceased,
and details such as the fact that convicts who
were buried in "Boot HiU" had on their
gravemarkers no name, only a number. Death,
dying, burial are subjects difficult to make entertaining, but there are indeed enlightening
moments in this slim volume.
Kelsey McLeod
Kelsey McLeod is a member ofthe Vancouver
Historical Society.
Nootka Sound Explored: A West
Coast History
Laurie Jones. Campbell River,
Ptarmigan Press, 1991.
236 p., illus. $34.95
In many respects, Jones's Nootka Sound
Explored is a superior book, a model in the
local history genre, and worthy of the Federation 's Certificate of Merit, which it received last
year. It is well organised and clearly written,
and presented in a handsome format with
some useful maps and vivid and appropriate
photographs. Theshortcomingsare ofthe small
and annoying type, which appear all too often
in local histories, shortcomings which, with a
little care, need not be there.
The geographic region covered by the book
is that of the north and west coast of Vancouver
Island, from Nootka Soun d to Kyuquot Sound,
a region somewhat more extensive than that the title. The non-native communities which developed within the region were,
in the main, isolated one from another, and
prospered and died because of outside economic forces. There is a surprising, and most
interesting, diversity in the industries which,
often for but a short time, brought people to
particular places in the region: furs in the nineteenth century; fish canning and other fish
processing, including a pilchard fishery; mining
activities, especially in the vicinity of Zeballos in
the 1930s and '40s; and various sectors ofthe
forestry industry, including small independent
water-based operations and large company
mills at Tahsis and Gold River.
The pulling together into a cohesive unit of
such diverse elements is not easily done, yet
Jones does soin Nootka Sound Explored. The
photographs are a great help and complement
the textual narrative admirably. They are well
chosen and cover the range from general views
of the landscape (and seascape) to interior
views of the homes of residents. There are
good general maps on the endpapers, and
several additional maps in the body of the
book. Jones has provided a useful bibliography
of works consulted and a listing of interviews
conducted with people connected to the region. This latter resource formed the basis for
particularly impressive chapters on the communities of Tahsis and Gold River.
Given the strengths of the book, the shortcomings are most annoying. As is the case with
many local histories, there is a need for severe
editing. Why, for example, is the reader subjected to a sentence such as: "In 1871, the
colonies of Vancouver Island and the mainland
joined together as one province and entered
confederation with Canada"? And the author
tends to editorialize. "One unenlightened
canner," we are told on page 68, "pointed out
that the Chinese were less trouble and less
expense than the whites. They are content with
rough accommodation at the cannery. If you
employ white people, you have to put up
substantial buildings with every modem appliance ... "The reader knows very well what the
author is trying to say here, but a good case
could be made from the canner's words that he
knew very well what he was talking about...
was, in fact, enlightened. Another word is
needed here, if the author must put in an adjective. On the other hand, why not allow the
reader to draw his, or her, own conclusion?
This is the type of book which I will consult
again and again, but unfortunately the index
will be of limited value. It is inconsistent, incomplete, and too often inaccurate. The photographs, an essential part of the book, are not
included, with some surprising exceptions. The
"Laing Expedition", for example, mentionedin
the legend as the source for a photo reproduced
on page 19, is entered; another entry for the
expedition, on page 20, is not Subjects such as
"fish processing" and "fox farms" are included;
"forestry" and "mining" are not "Tree Farm
License #19" is indexed, but the whole business of tree farm licenses, nicely treated on
pages 145-7, is not The S.S. Princess Norah
is listed as "Norah, S.S. Princess", similarly the
S.S. Princess Maquinna
The maps, like the photos, are good, yet they,
the maps, have not been listed in a table of
contents. With the exception of the endpaper
maps, which presumably one will remember,
the reader must search through the book to find
them. They are too much a part of the whole to
be disregarded in this manner.
Despite these matters, this is a superior work
in which the demanding problems of organisation and writing and design have been admirably handled. Member societies thinking of
publishing a local history would profit from a
close study of Nootka Sound Explored.
George Newell
George Newell is a member of the Victoria
Historical Society.
Forge in Faith; A History of First
Presbyterian Church
Nelson, First Presbyterian Church,
n.d. 47 p., illus. $8.00
Tracing the development of the Presbytery
since 1888 in the Kootenays, where tides of
immigration could presumably create "a wild
and godless West", this little booklet weaves
historical milestones with personal recollections. Forge in Faith is perfunctory in tone,
and features a diverting design which seems to
randomly follow the salt and pepper school of
Bev Hills
Bev Hills is a bookseller in Kimberley.
Honorary Patron:
His Honour, the Honourable David C. Lam, CM, LL.D.,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Honorary President:       Arthur Lower
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Recording Secretary:
Past President:
Myrtle Haslam, P.O. Box 10, Cowichan Bay, B.C. VOR 1N0 748-8397
Alice Glanville, P.O. Box 746, Grand Forks, B.C. VOH 1 HO 442-3865
Ron Welwood, RR#1 S 22 C 1, Nelson, B.C. V1L 5P4 825-4743
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper Street, Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 1X4 753-2067
Arnold Ranneris, 1898 Quamichan Street, Victoria, B.C. V8S 2B9 598-3035
Doris J. May, 2943 Shelbourne St., Victoria, B.C. V8R 4M7 595-0236
Mary Rawson, 1406 Woodland Drive, Vancouver, B.C. V5L 3S6 251-2908
Wayne Desrochers, 8811 152 Street Surrey, B.C. V3R 4E5 581 -0286
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Road, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R 1R9 988-4565
B.C. Historical News
Publishing Committee
Book Review Editor
Margaret Stoneberg, Box 687, Princeton, B.C, VOX 1W0
Tony Farr, RR#3 Sharp Road Comp. 21, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V6S1E4
Subscription Secretary
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
Nancy Peter, #7-5400 Patterson Ave., Burnaby, B.C. V5H 2M5
Historical Trails & Markers   John Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Road, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R1R9
Membership Secretary        JoAnne Whittaker, 1291 Hutchinson Road, Cobble Hill, B.C. VOR 1L0
Publications Assistance
(not involved with
B.C. Historical News)
Jill Rowland, #5-1450 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 2N4
Contact Jill for advice and details to apply for a loan
toward the cost of publishing.
Scholarship Committee       Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Pamela Mar, P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Writing Competition
(Lieutenant - Governor's
B.C. Historical News - Spring 1993 The British Columbia Historical News
P. O. Box 5254, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C.
V8R 6N4 	
fr =
Publications Mail
Registration No. 4447
BC Historical
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions of books for the eleventh
annual Competition for Writers of B.C. History.
Any book presenting any facet of B.C. history, published in 1993, is eligible. This may be a
community history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections
giving a glimpse ofthe past. Names, dates, and places with relevant maps or pictures turn a story
into "history". f
The judges are looking for quality presentations, especially if fresh material is included,
with appropriate illustrations, careful proofreading, an adequate index, table of contents and
bibUography from first-time writers as well as established authors.
Note: Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
The Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded to an individual
writer whose book contributes significantly to the recorded history of British Columbia. Other
awards will be made as recommended by the judges to valuable books prepared by groups or
All entries receive considerable publicity. Winners will receive a Certificate of Merit, a
monetary award and an invitation to the B.CH.F. annual conference to be held in Parksville in
May 1994.
Submission Requirements: All books must have been published in 1993, and should be
submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two copies of each book should be submitted.
Please state name, address and telephone number of sender, the selling price of all editions ofthe
book and the address from which it may be purchased if the reader has to shop by mail.
Send to: B.C. Historical Writing Competition
P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
There is also an award for the Best Article published each year in the B. C. Historical News
magazine. This is directed to amateur historians or students. Articles should be no more than
2,500 words, typed double spaced, accompanied by photographs if available, and substantiated
with footnotes where applicable. (Photos will be returned.)
Please send articles directly to:
The Editor, B.C. Historical News - P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0


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