British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1982

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VOLUME 15, NO. 2
Winter 1982
Provincial Archives of B.C. 92410
Building the Yukon Telegraph
Tracing the Walla Walla Trail
Convention Registration
pes: ■ ■■■■ ■^^■"■■-■*-t"* •-•**&?*■':: :"y
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Published by the British Columbia Historical Association On the cover
Blacksmith shop
The blacksmith was an essential tradesman required by the Atlin-Quesnel telegraph construction
crews since the bulk of materials were moved by horsepower. This blacksmith is preparing to reshoe
a horse. The basic tools used were a portable forge and hand-powered blower shown in the centre, a
small anvil, hand tools and a supply of horseshoes shown on the ground.
... story starts on page six.
Member societies and their secretaries are responsible for keeping their addresses up-to-date. Please enclose
a telephone number for an officer if possible also.
Alberni District Museum & Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P. O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHA — Gulf Islands Branch, c/o P.O. Box 35, Saturna Island, B.C. VON 2Y0
BCHA — Victoria Branch, c/o Mrs. S. Manson, R.R #7, Echo Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8X 3X3
Burnaby Historical Society, c/o Kathleen A. Moore, 3755 Triumph St., Burnaby, B.C. V5C 1Y5
Campbell River & District Museums & Archives Society, 1235 Island Highway, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 2C7
Chemainus Valley Historical Association, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
Creston & District Historical & Museum Society, c/o Margaret Moore, Box 253, Creston, B.C. VOB 1G0
District 69 Historical Society, c/o Mildred Kurtz, P.O. Box 74, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, c/o Betty Oliver, 670 Rotary Drive,Kimberley, B.C. V1A 1E3
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden B.C. VOA 1H0
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2, Ladysmith, B.C. VOR 2E0
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station "A", Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical & Museum Society, R.R. #2, Texaco, Box 5, Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
New Denver Historical Society, c/o Janet Amsden, Box 51, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Nootka Sound Historical Society, Box 748, Gold River, B.C. VOP 1G0
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Doris Blott, 1671 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 1M6
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Ray Joy, 10719 Bayfield Road, R.R. #3, Sidney, B.C.
V8L 3P9
Silverton Historical Society, c/o P.O. Box 137, Silverton, B.C. VOG 2B0
Societe Historique Franco-Colombienne, 9 avenue Broadway E., Vancouver, C.-B. V5T 1V4
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Windermere District Historical Society, Box 1075, Invermere, B.C. VOA 1K0
The Council of the B.C.H.A. has a well-defined policy on granting affiliation. It is a form of membership
granted only to federations of like-minded organizations or to province-wide associations. It allows voice but
no vote at B.C.H.A. meetings. A subscription taken out on behalf of a museum or a library by its governing
society is no more than a subscription. Similarly, an individual subscription does not confer membership in
Vol. 15, No. 2
Letters to the Editor       4
News of the Association        5
The Yukon Telegraph: Construction of the Atlin to Quesnel Section, 1900-1901
by David R. Richeson       6
Discovery: 1887 16
The Walla Walla Trail
by R. C. Harris    18
News and Notes   22
Reports from the Branches  24
Historic Trails Update by John Spittle   26
The Fraser's History compiled by the Burnaby Historical Society
review by Doug Hudson, Doug Nicol and Bob Smith  28
The Colonial Postal Systems and Postage Stamps of Vancouver Island
and British Columbia, 1849-1871 by Alfred Stanley Deaville
review by James E. Hendrickson    30
From Arsenic to DDT by Paul W. Riegert
review by Robert A. Cummings    31
Canada's Urban Past by Alan F. J. Artibise and Gilbert A. Stelter
review by Bryan Palmer    33
Second-class mail registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, V8W
2Y3. Our Charitable Donations number is 0404681-52-27. Printed by Fotoprint, Victoria, B.C.
Correspondence with editor is to be addressed to Box 1738, Victoria, V8W 2Y3.
Subscriptions: Institutional $15.00 per year, Individual (non-members) $7.00 per year.
The B.C. Historical Association gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. From the Editor
I would like to thank everyone for the kind
letters and calls about the NEWS. I am grateful and
relieved that the new format was well received.
Underneath this message is a subscription box.
The economics of production of each issue is such
that every additional name on the subscription list
adds only a few pennies to the overall cost of
production but brings in dollars of revenue to the
If each of you could personally go out and sign
up just one new member to your local historical
society, our NEWS would be on a much better
financial footing. The best way to get new
subscriptions is to get new members (it's a lot
cheaper for them too). If you can't get a new
membership, get them to just plain subscribe. This
would obviously be best for local library subscriptions, for getting your dentist to subscribe for his
office, for a friend now living in Ontario, etc.
Use your imagination! Let's see how many
new subscriptions we can come up with.
— Maureen Cassidy
Deadline for submissions for the Spring issue of
the NEWS is March 1, 1982. Please type double
spaced if possible. Mail to the Editor, B.C.
Historical News, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W
To the
The Editor:
The new format of the B.C. Historical News is
excellent and makes for a very readable magazine.
Special compliments have been making the
rounds concerning the article on Indian Brass
Bands — delightful!
Best wishes,
Anne W. Holt
Secretary, Alberni District Museum and Historical
Port Alberni, B.C.
The Editor:
Congratulations on your appointment as
editor and on the new format of the British
Columbia Historical News. The headings are clear,
the illustrative material lively — in all, an interesting, very readable publication. Our very best
wishes for continuing success during your term as
editor — and a good response to your request for
news items and letters.
Yours sincerely,
Dorothy Shields
Secretary, Vancouver Historical Society
Vancouver, B.C.
Yes, I wish to subscribe to B. C. Historical News. I enclose'a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y3.
Individual Four issues for $7.00 ( )
Instutional  Four issues for $15.00 ( )
Postal Code
Page 4
British Columbia Historical News News Policy
The News Policy Committee has been established as the body responsible to the Council of
the B.C.H.A. with a mandate to make publication
policy for the British Columbia Historical News. As
in the past, the editor (or editors) enjoys freedom
to choose the content of our quarterly, but it is
understood that the News Policy Committee acts
in an advisory capacity to the editor.
In order that this committee reflect the needs
of our members, I, as chairperson of the 1981
Annual General Meeting, called for free-wheeling discussion on all aspects of this arm of the
Some suggestions were made:
• that meeting dates of member societies be
printed annually for the benefit of visiting
• that field trips of individual clubs be publicized
• why not seek advertising?
• etc., etc.
If you, the reader, wish to offer other suggestions, please address them to me for the committee's consideration.
Members of the committee are, the president
(ex officio), Helen Akrigg, and Naomi Miller, all of
whom have had practical experience in publishing, as has our new editor, Maureen Cassidy.
We anticipate a fruitful collaboration, feeling
that we are as fortunate today as we have been
with our editors in the past.
Ruth Barnett, Chairperson,
News Policy Committee,
680 Pinecrest Road,
Campbell River, B.C. V9W 3P3
(Editor's Note: Cathy Henderson is the most
valuable unsung heroine of the organization.
Here's a bit that she wrote about herself and a bit
more about what she does.)
I was born in the Cariboo Gold Quartz
Hospital at Wells, schooled in Vancouver and
have now settled into life on Vancouver Island.
A couple of times each week I slip away from
my desk in the Provincial Archives of B.C. to walk
up Government Street to the B.C. Historical
Association's Box 1738 at the Post Office.
There are two jobs I do for the Association. I
fetch and distribute your mail — cheques to Mr.
Richardson in Vancouver, review copies of books
to Pat Roy, and material for the NEWS to Maureen
Cassidy — and I try to keep the mailing list for the
NEWS up to date. The NEWS now has a circulation
of 1166; 109 copies to institutions, 63 individual
subscriptions, and 994 to members of local
historical societies.
A Message from
the President
Greetings for the "Season"!
I hope we all start the new year with vim and
A phrase I have heard repeated often, and I'm
sure every President before me has heard, "What
does the British Columbia Historical Association
do for us?"
British Columbia Historical Association can
only operate on the concerted effort of every
member. Your magazine can only be successful if
you all contribute to it. I would like each society to
discuss this problem and let your executive know
how we can help this association be more
meaningful to you all.
By the time you read this letter, you will have
received a directive from Winnifred Weir. I hope
you will all co-operate in this new undertaking for
I would appreciate any ideas for projects for
the coming year. Again I ask your co-operation.
Barbara Stannard
Winter 1982
Page 5 The Yukon Telegraph
Construction of the Atlin to Quesnel Section
By David R. Richeson
Lack of communication with the Yukon Territory became an urgent problem following the discovery of
gold there in 1896 and the subsequent rush of tens of thousands of gold seekers to the area around Dawson.
An existing Canadian-American dispute over the exact location of the southern Alaska-northern British
Columbia border ruled out the use of an underwater telegraph cable as a means of connection with a land
telegraph line which the Canadian Government completed in 1899 between Bennett and Dawson.
The decision to proceed with the Atlin-Quesnel section of the Yukon Telegraph line was not made until
December 1899. Private industry involvement was briefly considered and then ruled out.1 The Dominion
Telegraph and Signal Service, a branch of the Canadian Department of Public Works, had been constructing
and operating telegraph lines in all regions of Canada since 1881. They stepped in "where the expected
business to be transacted could not in any way tempt private companies into establishing telegraphic
communications".2 Dominion Government lines served lighthouses and weather stations, provided service
to quarantine stations in British Columbia and Quebec, linked isolated settlements, and connected islands
on both coasts and in the Great Lakes.3 The Yukon Telegraph thus drew upon twenty years of Government
experience in construction and operation of telegraph lines in remote and isolated areas of Canada.
Work began on clearing a trail south from Atlin in March 1900.4 Some supplies remained at Bennett from
the 1899 telegraph construction in the Yukon which could be applied to the Atlin-Quesnel line. J. B.
Charleson, who had directed the construction in 1899, returned from Ottawa with a work party of men.
Supplies were shipped to Ashcroft on the C.P.R. main line. Freighters took them north in return for what was
considered the extravagant rate of 4$ per pound. Other supplies were delivered by Hudson's Bay Company
sternwheelers to Hazelton on the Skeena River and to Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River. Horses and
sleighs brought from the east supplemented horse and mule pack trains in moving the supplies from the
river depots.5
The telegraph construction crews and packers at work in northern British Columbia were not the first to
be seen in the region. The Yukon Telegraph between Quesnel and Hazelton roughly followed a route used
in 1865 by the unsuccessful Collins Overland Telegraph. Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River derived its
name from its role as a supply point for the Collins Telegraph in the 1860s. By 1900, however, all that remained
of the Collins line was the Quesnel to Ashcroft section owned by the Canadian Government and operated
under contract by the C.P.R.
Materials for the Atlin-Quesnel telegraph line came from a variety of sources, similar to those used in the
construction of the line in the Yukon. No. 8 galvanized iron wire was ordered from J. A. Seybold & Company
in Great Britain. White porcelain insulators were supplied by the St. John's Potteries in Quebec. Oak insulator
brackets were supplied by Firstbrook Brothers in Toronto.6 Food supplies were largely obtained through
Page 6 British Columbia Historical News British Columbia suppliers such as Kelly Douglas & Company in Vancouver.
Large contracts were tendered but smaller contracts for specific food items, labour, or freight often were
awarded on a patronage basis with local Members of Parliament, such as Hewitt Bostock, or the Minister of
Public Works taking a direct role in the decision making. This was consistent with late nineteenth century
government practice in such matters. Permanent jobs with the Telegraph Service required political approval
even at the level of line repairer or operator.7
By the end of May 1900, wire had been strung 70 miles south of Atlin and 30 miles north of Quesnel.8
Problems had already become apparent which threatened the planned Fall completion date. Supplies of
wire were delayed, spring breakup caused unexpected transportation problems, and it was found necessary
to begin major repairs and renovations on the Ashcroft-Quesnel section of the telegraph. J. B. Charleson
received permission to buy interim supplies of wire and insulators in Vancouver to keep crews at work.9 In
June additional complications arose when it was discovered the distances involved in the construction had
been seriously underestimated, further aggravating a wire shortage and increasing transportation costs.
Work stopped altogether for a period in August and then resumed through late October, when it was
. rt.
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' *j   Provincial Archives of*B.C 92400
Hudson's Bay Company Steamer Strathcona at Telegraph Creek, 1900.
The major supply points for the construction of the British Columbia
section of the Yukon Telegraph were Atlin, Telegraph Creek, Hazelton, and
Quesnel. Supplies from these points were moved primarily by horsepower.
The bulk of the supplies consisted of food; construction tools used in clearing
the line and erecting buildings and support facilities such as bridges and
corduroy roads; and coils of No. 8 or No. 9 galvanized iron wire, barrels of
porcelain insulators, spikes, and oak brackets. Once the materials were
removed from the steamboats, everything had to be repacked for horse
transport to the end of construction.
Winter 1982
Page 7 apparent that a connection between the Atlin and Quesnel ends of the line would not be possible before
winter ended the work for the year.10 The actual gap turned out to be 121 miles, but Charleson badly
underestimated it. This lead to an ill-fated attempt to bridge the gap during the winter using dog teams to
carry messages. This effort was abandoned after some of the dogs died and one man was hospitalized as a
result of the trip.11
During the winter of 1900-1901 there was political criticism of the project in Ottawa for the failure to
complete it on schedule and for the tremendous costs. The Atlin-Quesnel section of the line had been
estimated to cost $225,000 in December of 1899. By March 27,1901, J. B. Charleson had already spent $420,813,
nearly twice the original estimate. This compares with $157,209 which was the initial cost of the Bennett-Atlin-
Dawson telegraph line.12 The Government however was not deterred and expanded the conception to
include a branch line from Port Simpson to Hazelton.13
Plans for the Atlin-Quesnel line included 37 stations or refuge houses, one every thirty to forty miles.
More substantial offices and the chemical batteries which powered the line were established at Quesnel (220
battery cells), Hazelton (175 cells), Telegraph Creek (132 cells) and Atlin (72 cells).14 In each case
accommodation was provided for the operator and separate space for the glass, acid battery cells.
As in other parts of Canada, Canadian Government services were grouped in a single building wherever
possible. In Atlin where the post office previously existed in rented accommodation, a building was
purchased to house the telegraph office, the post office and a custom house. The Atlin building when
completed was described by Charleson as "the finest building in the district by long odds and the admiration
of the people of Atlin".15
The telegraph between Port Simpson and Hazelton line was completed first in 1901 because work could
begin earlier than in the interior.16 It took the remainder of the summer to complete the final link, "through
the hardest possible country" between the fifth and sixth cabins north of Hazelton, at 4 p.m. on September
Communication was now possible between Dawson and Vancouver or Ottawa or any other point in the
world on the telegraph line. The Vancouver Daily World under a heading of "Direct to Dawson" indicated
that it was a day to be marked in the history of British Columbia and the Yukon.18 William Ogilvie,
Commissioner of the Yukon, telegraphed the Minister of the Interior in Ottawa saying: "Time and space
annihilated. We are of the world now."19 These reactions are similar to those of other communities gaining
access to the telegraph for the first time. Perceptions of the greater world were altered, business styles
Unless otherwise cited all references in this article
are to: Canada, Department of Public Works
records, R.C. 11, Public Archives Canada (PAC).
J. Israel Tarte (Canada, Minister of Public Works) to
Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister), December 14,1899,
R.G. 11, vol. 1308.
Department of Public Works "Report", Jan. 16,1905,
R.G. 11, vol. 2851, file 1880-4.
For an illustrated overview of the Canadian telegraph system in the nineteenth century see: David R.
Richeson, The Electric Telegraph in Canada, 1846-
1902 (Ottawa: National Museum of Man/National
Film Board of Canada, 1982), Volume 52 in the series
Canada's Visual History.
J. B. Charleson to Deputy Minister, Public Works,
March 7,1900, R.G. 11, vol. 1381.
). B. Charleson, "Report No. 1" to A. Gobeil (Deputy
Minister, Public Works), Feb. 17,1900, R.G. 11, vol.
Deputy Minister Public Works to J. Israel Tarte, Dec.
18, 1899, R.G. 11, vol. 1308.
Acting Minister, Public Works to Superintendent,
Government Telegraph Service, July 6,1900, R.G. 11,
vol. 1341.
). B. Charleson, "Report" to Superintendent, G.T.S.,
May 30,1900, R.G. 11, vol. 1998.
Deputy Minister, Public Works to J. B. Charleson,
May 17,1900, R.G. 11, vol. 1998.
J. B. Charleson to A. Gobeil, Oct. 26,1900, R.G. 11,
vol. 1359.
J. B. Charleson to A. Gobeil, May 20, 1901, R.G. 11,
vol. 1395.
Public Works, Accounting Department "Report",
May 27,1901, R.G. 11, vol. 1395.
J. B. Charleson to A. Gobeil, March 23,1901, R.G. 11,
vol. 1384.
). B. Charleson, "Report" to J. Israel Tarte, Nov. 20,
1900, R.G. 11, vol. 1367.
J. B. Charleson to A. Gobeil, May 12,1900, R.G. 11,
vol. 1339; also June 12,1900.
J. B. Charleson to J. Israel Tarte, June 14,1901, R.G. 11,
vol. 1399.
J. B. Charleson to A. Gobeil, Sept. 24,1901, R.G. 11,
vol. 1416; also see; Louis LeBourdais, "On the Yukon
Telegraph Line", Maclean's Magazine, October 15,
1932, p. 14.
Daily World (Vancouver), September 25,1901, p. 1.
William Ogilvie (Commissioner, Yukon Territory) to
Clifford Sifton (Canada, Minister of Interior),
telegram, September 28, 1901, Royal Canadian
Mounted Police Records, R.G. 18, vol. 218, file 803-
01, PAC.
For details of life along the telegraph line see: Louis
LeBourdais, "On the Yukon Telegraph Line"; J. G.
Lawrence, 40 Years On The Yukon Telegraph
(Vancouver: Mitchell Press, 1965); Diamond Jen-
ness, "The Yukon Telegraph Line", Canadian
Geographical Journal, vol. 1, no. 8, (Dec, 1930), pp.
"Report", 29 April 1938, R.G. 11, vol. 2841, file 997-3.
Page 8
British Columbia Historical News changed, administrative centralization increased, and local standards of news changed.
Unfortunately, as with many new developments, the subsequent operation for the Atlin-Quesnel section
of the Yukon telegraph presented serious maintenance problems. Maintenance costs were estimated to be
$6 per mile or twice those of lines in eastern Canada. During the first winter's operation the line was
inoperable IOV2 of 19 weeks through February 1902. Falling trees caused all of the interruptions until
December 22 when a month's interruption was caused when massive snow falls near the Nass Summit carried
out nearly three miles of the line. The burden of repair fell fully upon the isolated operators and repairmen
who manned the line of cabins between Hazelton and Atlin. These men, two to a cabin, were supplied once
a year and might not have any other contact with the outside than over the telegraph.20
The completed telegraph line was maintained with great difficulty until 1936 when sudden spring floods
washed out major portions of the line between Hazelton and Telegraph Creek forcing its final
abandonment.21 Between 1901 and 1936 the telegraph served the communications needs of the people of
the Yukon and linked centres in northern British Columbia with the entire Canadian Telegraph system. The
existence of the line established a greater Dominion Government presence, based on length of telegraph
line and total expenditure, in British Columbia's communication system than in that of any other province.
Finally the telegraph provided a measure of stable employment through often difficult economic periods for
those involved in the supply of the isolated line cabins and the maintenance of the "Telegraph Trail."
HyMi|Wifri'B_» W'l'l! j,l  " hi' "  "T<"."X
Dominion Government Telegraph Office at Pike River
Pike River was the first station south of Atlin and in its finished state reflects
access to sawn lumber for roof, doors and windows. Slab roofs were more
common in more isolated offices. The interiors of such offices, which were
rarely photographed, were simple. The telegraph wire entered the office
from the left side and the operator's table would probably be located under
the left hand window. The operator would have had a clock, a ledger book,
and a volume of telegraph regulations and candles or an oil lamp in addition
to the key and relay box. Other furnishings included rough cots, a couple of
chairs, a small stove and perhaps a one volume medical encyclopaedia.
Operators and repairmen were assigned to such offices on an annual basis
and might receive $60 to $80 a month in 1900 in addition to a year's supply of
food. Small gardens in summer normally supplemented the employees' diets.
Winter 1982
Page 9 Provincial Archives of B.C. 92416
Freight teams crossing a bridge, Little Nakina River
The absence of roads meant supplies moved either by packtrain or on the sleigh-type carriages
shown. Coils of heavy galvanized iron wire can clearly be seen on the bottom of the load pulled by
the centre team. This type of transport permitted movement during spring and fall periods when
snow might or might not exist. The bridge across the Little Nakina River is typical of those built along
the route of construction to facilitate the work.
Page 10
British Columbia Historical News Winter 1982
Page 11 Lunch at a moving camp
Work crews, packers and freighters had ample, if monotonous, fare
during the construction phase of the Atlin-Quesnel section of the Yukon
Telegraph. Live cattle for slaughter and milch cows moved with the crews to
supplement a diet of dried or salted foods. Small cast iron stoves permitted
the cooks to prepare hot meals even on the move. The hordes of insects
which plagued the camps at certain times of the year appear to be mercifully
absent in this photograph.
Page 12
British Columbia Historical News Winter 1982
Page 13 Building a telegraph office, Iskoot River, British Columbia
Telegraph Office buildings were built along the line approximately every
30 to 40 miles. In certain sections, such as north of Iskoot, refuge cabins would
be built between offices and stocked with supplies for use of the repairmen
who were stationed on every section and upon whom the successful
operation of the completed line lay. The log buildings along the line
exhibited a variety of styles, roof lines and cornering techniques. In general
buildings in settled areas were more carefully finished with squared logs and
used sawn lumber for floors and roofs. The Iskoot River Office, shown under
construction, is typical of more isolated offices. It is constructed of peeled logs
chinked with moss. Finishing details such as floors and interior furnishing and
subsequent renovations were normally left to the imagination of the
individual operator and repairman.
Page 14
British Columbia Historical News David Richeson is the Western Canada Historian in the History Division of the National Museum of Man in
Winter 1982
Page 15 Discovery: 1887
Editors' note: Several of our readers have suggested that it might be enjoyable to run excerpts from
old government records or manuscripts from time
to time. This one, our first, is taken from a verbatim
account of a conference which took place in
Victoria on the 3rd and 8th of February, 1887,
between government officials and Indian delegates from Fort Simpson and the Nass River.
Richard Wilson from Fort Simpson gave the
following answer to Premier William Smithe when
asked why the delegation had come. This account
is unedited and unabridged. New paragraphing is
all that has been added.
You have the power to very easily settle what
we want, which is, to be free as well as the whites.
You know, if they catch a little bird, they
put it in a cage. Probably that cage will be very
fine; but still the bird will not be free. It will be in
bondage and that is the way with us, and is what
we have come to tell you. Can we be free under
the laws of Queen Victoria on the top of our land?
We have seen that it is not only ourselves who
will be in bondage, but it will be worse for our
children; because now in this generation there
are some who can read and write — who are
educated; and how much different the next
generation will be from us we cannot say. The
Government sent money to help our Indian
schools, where our children are; and it will be
nothing but right for them to be free as well as the
whites, and get into their ways.
We feel that we are not doing right to be
always Indians. We have followed the law, so far,
and now we are finding it to be very good for us.
We have quit all our old-fashioned ways —
feasting and drinking whiskey — giving whiskey
among the Indians, and we are now keeping the
Queen's Laws, which are very good for us. We
have not come here to cheat another tribe or
blind them.
There is no difference between the Fort
Simpsons, the Naas, and the Skeena Indians. All
speak the same language, and our ways are about
the same; and we go to work and divide lands.
There was a reserve cut out for one tribe, but it is
impossible for them to go on it. It is not enough;
you cannot make them do it.
If all were free on their lands how happy they
would feel. I say this because I have seen it when I
was a boy. The chiefs of the Fort Simpsons ate with
those of the Naas: the chiefs of the Fort Simpsons
were friendly with the chiefs of the Skeena River.
They all ate together, and this is what we want.
We don't want the Government to break this
up. All we want is for them to make it right, and be
as much to us as a father, or something like that.
I ask you that you will always speak with the
Indians just the same as we are speaking now
together, after this. Not by frightening us, or by a
fuss, or making trouble to make it right, but to
make it right with us by what in English you might
We have seen that it is not only
ourselves who will be in
bondage, but it will be
worse on our children . • ■
call a treaty among the Indians; and that is all in
the world we ask you.
We have been sent from Fort Simpson to you
because the Indians' hearts are troubled. It is not
right for a man to be troubled, when a law is
standing to settle his trouble and make peace. We
have come for this one purpose.
We have sent letters to you — sent papers —
and perhaps they never reached you. We don't
know; but we never got an answer, and that is why
we came ourselves for an answer, which we will
take back to our homes and shew to the poor
people we have left.
We, from Fort Simpson and from the Naas are
from Christian villages; but there are tribes
outside of Fort Simpson and outside of the Naas
which are heathens; yet they don't know anything, and that is the reason we are afraid of them
that they may do something that is not according
to the law; and we come for you to settle this
before these blind people (who do not know any
better) do something wrong. We do not wish to
do anything dirty, for that would be no way to
settle it.
This is all I have got to say, and hope that it will
be settled. If it is not settled now, in what other
way could we help ourselves?
British Columbia, Report of the Conferences between the
Provincial Government and Indian Delegates from Fort
Simpson and Naas River, Government Printer: Victoria, 1887,
p. 254
Page 16
British Columbia Historical News Provincial Archives of 8.C. 78667
Winter 1982
<£•'   Prehistoric flint
(Galbraith's Ferry)
0 10
U Hrl Hgfe
(Flatbow or Arcplat) s Njl
/r    (Josephs Praii
V? \    j^
KOOTENAY 1   |,>ev'
river n vv^
*y (Chelempta)
//Pack River Pass
el 2190'
(Sinyakwateen)l jtt KOOTENAI
(Kullyspell Lake)
(Kalispelm Lake)
Modern Names — UPPER CASE
Former Names — Lower Case
Page 18
British Columbia Historical News By R. C. Harris
Hie Walla Walla Trail
From the Lower Columbia River to the
Kootenai Mines
The Walla Walla Trail came to life in the 1860's
as the main supply route to the mineral riches of
the "Kootenai". While the trail flourished, Walla
Walla was the largest city in Washington Territory.1
Primarily, the city served American interests, but
goods would often come up the Columbia River
to be freighted north to the interior of British
The Colonial Government tried to divert the
Walla Walla trade through British Columbia with
Dewdney's "Trail to Kootenai's" from Fort Hope to
Wild Horse. This effort to keep the trade in British
Columbia did not succeed however. As late as
1877, the British Columbia government continued
to recommend the Victoria-Portland-Walla Walla,
Washington route to the "Kootenai".
Much of the Walla Walla Trail's utility came
from its diagonal course, NNE or nearly magnetic
north, across the general grain of the country.
There were no mountain ranges or swampy river
bottoms to cross. Later, much of the route was
used by railways and highways.
The trail's purpose faded as the creeks played
out. Concurrently it was intersected and shortened by several transcontinental railways. The
building of the Canadian Pacific Railway through
Golden in 1883 gave an acceptable all-Canadian
route along the Rocky Mountain Trench. Now
only a few by-passed pieces of the trail remain.
Nearly all of the trail is overlaid by Highway 95.
The names of the trail varied along its length
and with the passing years. Parts were used as
sections of other important routes, such as the
Mullan military road to Fort Benton on the
Missouri River. The most significant factor was the
observer's direction.
Southbound, or from the south, it was the
Walla Walla Trail.
Northbound, or from the north, the entire trail
was the Wild Horse Trail. Above the border, it was
the Mooyie or Moyea Trail to some users. North
of Yahk, B.C., it was adopted by Dewdney's Trail.
David Thompson called it the "Lake Indian
Trail" in 1808. In 1812 he referred to the section
between Coeur d'Alene and Pend Oreille Lakes as
the "Skeetsko Road".
The trail used several interconnecting prehistoric trails from the lower Columbia River and
there have been several interesting archeological
discoveries on its line. Near the border and almost
on the trail are two prehistoric quarries for a
notably hard rock, siliceous siltstone. Flint
quarries, once worked by the Kootenay Indians,
are located just north of the head of the Wild
Horse River at about 7500 feet above sea level.
"Top of the World" Provincial Park has been
extended eastwards to include these quarries.2
South of Joseph's Prairie (Cranbrook), artifacts
and petroglyphs have been found close by.
Early Explorations
The route selected by Lewis and Clark for their
journey to and from the Pacific Coast of North
America passed through the territory of the
hospitable "Walla-Walloh" tribe. Their name, now
spelled Walla Walla, was applied to the principal
river draining their territory.
The first trading post in the area was founded
by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1826 where the
Walla Walla River enters the Columbia River. This
Hudson's Bay Company post was variously known
as Fort Walla Walla or Fort Nez Perces. When the
U.S. military took over the post in the 1850s, Fort
Walla Walla was moved thirty miles east to present
day Walla Walla, Washington.
During David Thompson's extensive explorations in the Columbia Basin, he used parts of what
Winter 1982
Page 19 became the Walla Walla Trail. In 1808, he travelled
south from Skirmish Brook (Wild Horse River), via
the Moyie Valley and Chelempta (Bonners Ferry on
the Kootenay River) to Kullyspell (Pend Oreille)
Lake, on what he called the "Lake Indian Road".
Thompson completed his traverse of the future
Walla Walla-Wild Horse Trail in 1812, starting from
"Wollar Wollah", passing Coeur d'Alene Lake
(Skeetsho), and continuing north on the Skeetsho
Road to Kullyspell Lake.
It was nearly fifty years before the trail was in
the news again. The section straddling the border
was used during the surveys of the first North
American Boundary Commission. It appears on all
appropriate rough and finished maps.
The official strip maps along the boundary,
showing the topography about five minutes of
latitude to the north and south, and the locations
of the relatively few monuments installed, were
certified by the Commissioners in 1869. The
border crossing of the Mooyie (Walla Walla) Trail
is shown on British Sheet No. 6 and U.S. Sheet No.
2. The entire course of the Walla Walla Trail is
depicted, though not named, on two finely
detailed map sheets, East and West, reduced to
1:720,000 and published at Washington, D.C. in
Contemporary Reports
Conditions on the Walla Walla Trail and its
competitor the Dewdney Trail can be assessed
from contemporary reports. A.N. Birch, Colonial
Secretary for the Colony of British Columbia,
travelled the trail in 1864. He reported meeting
"ten or twelve heavily laden pack trains daily. The
entire supplies are at present packed up from
Lewiston, Walla Walla, Wallula ..."* Birch's
photograph and part of his private diary of this
journey were published in B.C. Historical News,
Volume 14, No. 3 (Spring 1981).
The Dewdney Trail, built after Birch's trip, was
not as successful as the Colonial Government had
intended. The first indication that the Walla Walla
Trail was not getting much competition comes
from James Turnbull, eastbound on the Dewdney
Trail in 1865. Turnbull was extraordinarily well
qualified to comment, being a surveyor recently
retired from Col. Moody's detachment of Royal
Engineers. Turnbull made several important
explorations, laid out the mule trail, and later the
Cariboo Wagon Road from Yale to Spences
Bridge. He recorded that:
The tra/7 from Fort Shepherd (Columbia River) to
the 5 mile creek is very badly located, considerable
very heavy and tortuous grades having been
adopted which might have been easily avoided
had the trail been carried lower ... The trail to the
Summit (Kootenay Skyway) is very steep and
swampy, in fact almost impassable in places ...
(the height I found to be 6200 feet); for the first 6
miles eastward of the summit the trail is very bad—
one continuous mudhole, which must be corduroyed before it is practicable for horse traffic ...
The British Columbia Tribune of Yale, B.C.
reported August 20, 1866, on the "Latest from
(T)he men were waiting for canvass from Walla
Walla to proceed with the work in a shaft ... An
express from Walla Walla runs regularly to Kootenay, making the round trip in 21 days. Provisions
were exclusively supplied from Walla Walla; the first
(pack) trains had arrived in the middle of May .. .6
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat wrote in his "Report
on the Kootenay Country" that even by 1884
(T)he district of Kootenay has been supplied of late
years entirely from the United States. The goods
have been brought in by pack routes. Kootenay
has not reached the humble level of a bull-team
country ... (g)oods were brought from Walla
Walla and other places by teams or (pack) trains to
Sand Point on Lake Pend d'Oreille in Idaho and
thence 165 miles by pack-train up the Mooyie
Valley to Joseph's Prairie, or Wild Horse Creek, as
centres of distribution. The Northern Pacific
Railway now comes to Sand Point ...7
Railways and highways gradually shortened
and superseded the trail. The transcontinental
Northern Pacific crossed the trail at Sandpoint in
1882. The Great Northern arrived at Bonners Ferry
in 1892. In Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway
gave access via the Rocky Mountain Trench at
Golden in 1883. Finally, wagon roads, railways, and
then Highway 95 were built along the northern
half of the trail. Now only a few short by-passed
sections of the trail remain.
There are two historical markers on the line of
the Walla Walla Trail just north of Bonners Ferry,
but the best acknowledgement of the trail is
Highway 95 which closely follows the trail for
nearly two hundred miles passing right by Fort
Steele at the mouth of Wild Horse River.
Three sections by-passed by Highway 95 in or
near British Columbia may reward examination:
The trail crosses the border in a broad
abandoned river channel at Monument 213,
whereas Highway 95 stays with the Moyie River
Page 20
British Columbia Historical News Supplies had to be carried to the Kootenay mines at all times of the year. Notice the snowshoes on the horse.
crossing in its canyon at Monument 217. Past
Monument 213 the trail was improved to a wagon
road about sixty five years ago according to the
legal surveys of the Kootenay District Lots through
which it passes.8 This road was converted to a
logging road on the British Columbia side in the
summer of 1981. South of the border, however, it
remains an overgrown wagon road with a carved
rustic wooden sign "Wild Horse Trail" about a
mile below the border.
There is no trace of bronze Monument 213 at
the border although its supposed site is the
intersection of the twenty foot border slash with
the wagon road. The only artifact remaining is a
solitary gatepost.
Highway 95 diverges again from the Walla
Walla Trail just north of Moyie Lake; this time to
the west. The Walla Walla Trail takes a higher but
more direct north northeast route to Cranbrook,
up Peavine Creek and over Peavine Prairie. This
was not examined by the writer in 1981, but it has
good potential.
The last remnant of the trail likely to be found
is close to its terminus at Wild Horse placer mines.
Downstream from Brewery Creek a well-preserved one and a half mile section runs along the
north side of a ridge bordering a canyon section of
Wild Horse River. The wagon road was built south
of the ridge on the canyon side which spared the
trail. This section of trail was resurrected and
signed by the East Kootenay Historical Society in
1962 as part of the Dewdney Trail which is correct.
However, it is also part of the Walla Walla Trail. A
few of the EKHS signs remain at the ends of this
piece of the trail where it leaves and rejoins the
gravel road.
1 Numerous references to the Walla Walla Trail and the
traffic it carried will be found in contemporary
Washington, Idaho and Oregon newspapers. The
trail is often mentioned in the learned publications of
the Oregon Historical Quarterly, the Washington
Historical Quarterly, and its successor, the Pacific
Northwest Quarterly.
2 B.C. Studies, No. 48 (Winter 1980-81).
3. Datum (Heritage Conservation Branch's newsletter);
Vol. 5, No. 2 (1980).
4 U.S. North West Boundary Survey, 2 sheets: Map of
Western Section, Map of Eastern Section. U.S.
National Archives, RG 76, Series 66.
5 British Columbia, Gazette (1864).
6 p. 3.
7 G.M. Sproat, "Report on the Kootenay Country",
S.C. Sessional Papers, 1884, p. 322.
9 Surveyor General of British Columbia, Kootenay
Land Recording District. Field books: 1911: District
Lots 10317, 318; 1921: District Lots 10102,104; 12978.
Winter 1982
Page 21 News and Notes
The Symposium Committee pose
for the NEWS. Standing left to
right are Clarence Karr, Barbara
Stannard, Don Sale, Shirley Ramsay, Pamela Mar and Elizabeth
on the Coast
The Nanaimo Historical Society and Malaspina
College are co-hosting a one-day symposium on
the Hudson's Bay Company's activities on the
Pacific and adjacent lands. This event will be held
on Saturday, 27 March, 1982, in the Malaspina
College Theatre.
Generally, historical conferences are based on
a variety of themes, often national in scope and in
participation. Local emphasis must, therefore,
come from those residing in the local area. For
many years local historical societies have provided
the focal point of community history. The
"Company on the Coast" is simply an extension of
that commitment to local history. It combines a
local historical society with a local college and
brings to the community's doorstep experts from
the universities, the colleges and other institutions, while still focusing on the local history too
often ignored at the professional level. It promises
to be an enriching experience for all.
Those participating will be: from the universities, H. Keith Ralston on the Hudson's Bay
Company and coal production on Vancouver
Island, and Barry Gough on Fort Rupert; from the
colleges, Clarence Karr on James Douglas and
Morag MacLachlan on Fort Langley; and from
other institutions, Jocelyn McKillop from the
Hudson's Bay Archives in Winnipeg and David
Hansen from Fort Vancouver, Washington.
A registration form for the Symposium is on
page 25. Please photocopy it or make a facsimile if
you do not wish to cut up the News.
Need Help
to Publish?
An anonymous contribution from a member
of the Association in 1980 made possible the
establishment of a publication assistance fund to
aid British Columbia Historical Association
members (groups or individuals) engaged in
publishing British Columbia material of historical
The aid is made in the form of grants to help
pay printing costs. The fund is not intended to
assist in typing or editing costs.
It is hoped that, if the sale of the publication
goes well and a profit is realized, part or all of the
grant will be returned to the publication fund so
that others will benefit in the future.
There are two deadlines for applications,
March 1st and September 1st. Any manuscripts
submitted must be typed double-spaced.
Requests for application forms should be
addressed to:
Publications Assistance Fund Committee
British Columbia Historical Association
P.O. Box 1738, Victoria B.C. V8W 2Y3
The publication assistance fund was recently
reimbursed by the Burnaby Historical Society for
the $1000 granted them to help with the publication of The Fraser's History. The Burnaby group
also donated an additional $200 to help the fund
aid future publications.
Page 22
APRIL 29, 1982 - MAY 2, 1982
WINE AND CHEESE                         $6.00
WALKING TOUR                              FREE
FOREST MUSEUM TOUR               $5.00
4 HISTORIC SITE TOUR                      $5.00
BOX 1014
V9L 2Y3
Winter 1982
Page 23 News and Notes
Reports from the Branches
The program committee of the Burnaby Historical Society is planning the following events for
the balance of the 81/82 season. Please note these
dates on your calendar.
February 10th: We expect to have a speaker to
give us the history of the Burnaby General
March 10th: Our annual general meeting. This is
a dinner meeting to be held in the Ice Cream
Parlour in Heritage Village. Blythe Eagles always
has some interesting entertainment for us.
April 14th: Mr. Brian Kelly will tell us about the
early days of the B.C. Electric Company.
May 12th: B.C. Telephone Company has promised us a speaker to give us the early history of the
phone company.
June 6th or 13th: Annual Picnic. At the present
time we have two suggestions — a trip on the
Royal Hudson or one on the Sampson — to be
decided at a later date.
This year has been particularly rewarding for
members of the Cowichan Historical Society, as
they saw seven years of perseverance and hard
work become a reality with the opening on
August 29th of the Cowichan Valley Museum, in
the basement of Duncan City Hall.
Built in 1913 as the post office, customs and
Indian Affairs offices, this three-story heritage
brick building is a most fitting site for the museum
and has attracted a large number of visitors.
Rooms of a typical Cowichan Valley pioneer's
home of the 1885-1915 era are portrayed. A rather
unique hospital room exhibit set in 1911 uses items
from the old King's Daughters' Hospital.
The museum operates throughout the year
and is manned by members of the Society on a
volunteer basis. It will be a valuable asset to
Duncan's current program for rejuvenation of the
downtown core of the city.
The Cowichan Historical Society is, of course,
basically engaged in finalizing plans for the 1982
B.C. Historical Association convention, for which
it will be host. It has an interesting program
drafted for the visitors coming from all over the
province to the Land of Tzinquaw. We hope to see
you there.
— Report submitted by Jack Fleetwood
A public meeting was held on March 8,1981, at
the Nanoose Bay, B.C. library to organize the
Nanooa Historical and Museum Society.
Elected to the board of directors were:
president, George Butler (Nanoose Bay); vice-
president, Gordon Williams (Nanoose Bay);
secretary, David R. Elliott (Parksville); treasurer,
Robert W. Carpenter (Nanoose Bay), and directors, R. Clingon Cughan (Qualicum Beach), Edith
Gilmour (Cassidy) and Marlene Akenclose (Nanaimo).
Prior to this date, George Butler and the
Friends of the Nanoose Library had collected over
2000 photographs and several dozen artifacts
pertaining to the history of the area between
Craigs Crossing and the Nanoose Indian Reserve.
The Friends of the Nanoose Library turned the
One of the lovely drawings done by Marion Robinson
for the Nanooa Society.
Page 24
British Columbia Historical News collection over to Nanooa during Nanoose Days
in August.
The society received its Certificate of Incorporation on June 29, 1981.
We have approximately 50 memberships at
present; some are single and some family. The first
member was none other than B.C.H.A. president
Barbara Stannard! We are very pleased to have
Barbara and Mr. Stannard in our membership.
As the junior member of B.C.H.A. we would
appreciate any helpful information from other
The NEWS will be a great asset to us and we are
looking forward to each publication.
The Nanooa Historical & Museum Society
chose its name Nanooa from the native Indian
band which resides on the shores of Nanoose Bay.
Several interpretations of the word Nanooa
have been passed down through the years but the
accepted meaning now is indentation or to work
or push in which describes Nanoos Bay where
Indians settled when they broke away from the
Nanaimo tribe. Other spellings of Nanooa were;
Sno-no-was, Sno-noos, Nuas, and Nanoose.
In 1859, Captain Richards of H.M.S. PLUMPER,
chose the last name for the bay, Nanoose Bay.
Since incorporation we have participated in
Nanoose Days, displaying our photos, artificts and
historical site road signs, selling prints and hastinotes depicting historic sites of Nanoose; submitted articles and stories to local newspapers (a press
book is started with thirty clippings so far);
donated historical prints to three area schools;
and have a dark room in the last stage of
We have yet to finalize our letterhead and
membership card design. We are considering
using the historic prints drawn for Nanooa by
Marian Robinson.
Future plans of Nanooa include finding a
museum site, building a museum, and filling it to
Looking forward to an "historical" membership with the B.C.H.A. and B.C.H.A. NEWS.
— Report submitted by Marlene M. Akenclose
Historical Symposium
'The Company on the Coast" (Hudson's Bay Company)
Sponsored jointly by the Nanaimo Historical Society and Malaspina College
Saturday, March 27,1982, at Malaspina College Theatre, Nanaimo, B.C.
Registration desk open: 8:30 a.m.
Please mail all registrations as soon as possible together with covering cheque made payable to Nanaimo Historical
Society, c/o Mrs. G. Ramsay, P.O. Box 117, Cedar, Vancouver Island, B.C- VOR 1J0.
You may also register at the door.
If further information is required, contact Miss Elizabeth Norcross, at 754-6191.
Member society (if applicable)  :	
Basic registration (per person)  $20.00
Couples     35.00
($2.00 discount on registrations before February 15.)
Students, special rate    •....•    10.00
(Coffee and lunch included in registration fee.)
I enclose my cheque, made payable to Nanaimo Historical Society for $	
Do you wish a room reserved for you at Nanaimo's Tally Ho Town & Country Inn?   □ Single   □ Double  □ Twin
"Conference" rates, subject to change, $39-45 single; $47-49 double; $52-54 twin beds.
NOTE: Accommodation in Nanaimo will be tight; make reservations early.
Do you wish to attend our no-host dinner Saturday night? (Approx. cost, $12.00)   □ Yes   □ No
Winter 1982
Page 25 Can You Add Information?
Historic Trails Update
By John Spittle
Study and documentation of the routes of the
explorers and the evolution of lines of communication and transportation is fundamental to an
understanding and appreciation of a country's
history. The preservation and protection of
representative sections of such routes, whether it
be for their characteristic method of construction
and/or the visual amenity of the terrain through
which they pass, is fundamental to recognition of
a country's heritage. This article briefly examines
some of the current activity and the problems
Of the sixty or so recorded historic routes in
British Columbia only a handful played a significant part in our history, although many rate high
in visual amenity. A few have been studied and
documented in varying degrees. None has been
preserved to the extent that they are afforded any
permanent protection.
The study of any route requires a great deal of
diligent historic research before any attempt is
made to retrace it in the field or to search for and
identify any extant portions. Whilst the Heritage
Conservation Branch of the Provincial Government has carried out extensive studies of some of
the more significant routes (Mackenzie's Route,
the Harrison-Lillooet Wagon Road, the Cariboo
Road and the Dewdney Trail, for example), their
resources are limited. Much of this work has fallen
to private groups and individuals throughout the
The most prolific in this field has undoubtedly
been Bob Harris of West Vancouver. His regular
contributions to B.C. Outdoors and B.C. Historical
News include lucid maps and reflect the great
amount of historical research which precedes his
field trips. Another, Harley Hatfield of Penticton,
was recently honoured with an award from the
Heritage Canada Foundation in recognition of the
more than fifteen years he has devoted to the
discovering, marking and preservation of old pack
trails in the Cascade Wilderness adjoining Manning Park.
The writer, in collaboration with Adrian
Kershaw of Kelowna, has for several years studied
Provincial Archives of B.C. 90044
Page 26
British Columbia Historical News and retraced historic routes through the Coast
Range — Alfred Waddington's Wagon Road
from Bute Inlet, Lieutenant Palmer's Trail from
Bentinck Arm, and Commander Mayne's Trail
from Jervis Inlet. To provide some relief from the
monotony of rain forest, our next project is to
retrace the section of the Yukon Telegraph Trail
which runs through Mount Edziza Park.
Preservation and Protection
Urban areas and private property: Usually
little can be done to preserve and protect trails to
any extent here. However, all is not lost, even if
they are perpetuated in name only. Sections of the
Semiahmoo Trail in Surrey have recently been reopened as a corridor park. Near Langley, residents
successfully opposed their street, Telegraph Way,
being "straightened" to assist traffic as it is built
over the line of the old Telegraph Trail. Sections of
the Dewdney Trail over private land have been
allowed to remain open to hikers. Even the visual
amenity of the Cariboo Road still remains even
though most of the original now lies beneath a
modern highway.
Parks: In Class A Parks, any known historic
trails would generally be preserved and protected
... after up-grading to park standards! Unfortunately, few if any, historic trails appear to fall
within park boundaries. Other parks and nature
conservancy areas allow "limited" resource
extraction or can merely be re-zoned by Order-
Crown Lands: Whilst the legislative machinery could preserve and protect historic trails, in
practice there exists only a tacit agreement between the Parks Branch and B.C. Forest Service
for the latter to maintain known trails which
receive public usage. This in no way affords any
protection to the visual amenity which is usually
reduced to a completely defoliated landscape
criss-crossed by logging roads. Mines have less
overall visual impact, but access roads unfortunately open up the area to vehicular traffic.
The lobbying of our resource extraction
industries has never been greater than it is today.
The main opposition is coming from environmentalists and recreationalists who greatly outnumber
those interested primarily in preserving a piece of
our cultural heritage. The fact is that, unless an
historic trail meets all the criteria necessary for the
support of these groups — the hiker, camper,
fisherman, botanist and all who merely enjoy the
unspoiled wilderness, its preservation is unlikely
to receive any sympathetic consideration. Those
who support cultural heritage alone have little
impact in the voting booth.
The Cascade Wilderness adjoining Manning
Park proposed by Harley Hatfield, the Okanagan
Historical Society, and the Okanagan Simalka-
meen Parks Society is at this time the only such
region which meets all of these criteria and
embraces well preserved sections of numerous
historic trails. Victor Wilson admirably presented
the case at the 1980 B.C.H.A. Conference. For the
past year he has been addressing meetings around
the province. The moratorium placed on logging
there is soon to expire.
Shortly after taking office I was reminded by
my predecessor that the Cascade trails were not
the only historic trails in B.C. True — but the
message is clear. If the attempt to save this region
fails, I can unfortunately see little hope for any
other historic trail when its preservation is in
conflict with a resource industry.
This is obviously but a sample of what is and
has been going on throughout the province. I
would like to hear from any individuals or groups
researching and retracing historic lines of communication with a view to providing a regular update in the NEWS. Unfortunately, the difficulty of
access to source material is often a problem for
those in remote parts of the province; perhaps we
can be instrumental in providing some help.
Hopefully we will make available an inventory of
historical trails together with a bibliography of
published reports in the not too distant future.
John Spittle is Chairman of The Historic Trails
Committee of the British Columbia Historical Association.
Local History Book Sale
The Vancouver Historical Society is repeating
last year's successful sale of local histories at the
upcoming B.C.H.A. Annual Convention in Cowichan Bay. Member societies who have published
local histories or other items such as hastinotes
should act now to have their items sold at this
popular convention feature.
This year the Vancouver group is asking for a
25% discount. Proceeds will augment their
Centennial Fund, set up to finance a bibliography
of Vancouver.
Anyone interested should get in touch with
Anne Yandle at the Vancouver Historical Society,
P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6.
Winter 1982
Page 27 Bookshelf
EARLY SETTLEMENTS. The Burnaby Historical
Society, comp. Burnaby: British Columbia Historical Association, 1981. Pp. 50, illus., $4.95 paper.
The Fraser's History, published by the Burnaby
Historical Society, consists of four papers presented at the Annual Meeting of the British Columbia
Historical Association in May 1977. These essays —
"From Glaciers to the Present" by W. H. Mathews,
"Archaeological History of the Lower Fraser
River" by C. E. Borden, "The Fraser River Gold
Rush" by G. P. V Akrigg, and "Agricultural
Settlement of the Fraser Valley" by J. E. Gibbard —
add little or nothing new to our understanding of
the subjects they entertain. Rather, these authofis
present concisely many of the themes which they
have long studied.
One often greets with some trepidation the
attempts of highly respected authors to translate
their knowledge to an audience generally outside
their field of expertise. All too frequently such
attempts leave the reader with more questions
than answers, or with an account of little substance.
It is perhaps some measure of W. H. Mathews'
scholarship that his contribution to this work
avoids both difficulties and provides an account
that is intelligible and informative.
Mathews' short article focuses, for the most
part on the recent and post-glacial geological
history of the Lower Fraser Valley. After providing
some detail on the technique, practice, and
usefulness of radiocarbon dating, Mathews uses a
chronological framework to document the
processes and patterns of surface geological
change in the Fraser Valley between about 12,500
years ago and the present. The chronology is
based, to a large extent, on the availability of
radiocarbon dates in the area, and is illustrated by
a series of four very useful maps. For each period
identified, the author discusses the position of
glacial ice, the pattern of sedimentation, the
courses and activities of the Fraser River, and the
general shape of the coastline.
Throughout the discussion Mathews avoids
virtually all geologic jargon (no mean feat in
itself!); maintains a general, but satisfying, level of
analysis; and provides the reader with a clear
sense of how well-known physical features of the
present valley developed over time. In the latter
regard, for example, we learn Pitt Lake was once a
fjord, and Point Roberts an island in a much more
extensive Strait of Georgia.
Mathews concludes his article with a reference
to an 1880 newspaper description of a landslide
near Haney. He points out how the written
evidence of "ordinary historians" (Mathews'
term!) can sometimes be used to supplement the
geological record or explain recent changes in the
activity of the Fraser. The example reminds us, too,
that while the Fraser has had a significant impact
on the nature of the Valley itself, it also has the
capability of greatly influencing the residents
along its course.
In sum, while geologists and geographers may
not find much new information in Mathews'
article, it stands nevertheless as a worthwhile
contribution to the literature of the Fraser River. It
pulls together data and interpretations from a
variety of sources, not the least of which is
Mathews' own work. Many of these sources are
complex, difficult for the non-geologist to read,
and not readily available. Their distillation in the
present form should be welcomed by teachers,
instructors, and any individuals whose interests in
the Fraser Valley include its geologic history.
The late C. E. Borden's article describes the
theory of the movement of Indian cultures into
the Fraser Valley region, and the text of his oral
presentation has its positive and negative aspects.
On one hand, it stands as an understandable
summary of archaeological evidence for early
movements into the southwest of British Columbia and highlights the work of others who
expanded on Borden's initial excavations and
conclusions. But, on the other hand, part of the
text consists of descriptions that accompanied
visual material not reproduced in the article.
While the latter is interesting, its utility to someone
Patricia Roy is the Book Review Editor. Copies of
books for review should be sent to her c/o B.C.
Historical News, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W
Page 28
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
not "in the know" about specific sites and artifacts
is limited.
Borden deals with the problem of the origins
of the first people in southwestern B.C. after ice
sheets covering B.C. had dissipated perhaps 11,000
to 15,000 years ago. Discounting interior and north
coast origins on the basis of geological and
cultural evidence (interior and north coast were
ice-bound after the southwest was deglaciated,
for example), Borden argues that we must look in
Washington, Oregon, and the American northwest for the antecedents of southwest B.C. Indian
Between 11,000 and 15,000 years ago desiccation in the plateaus of Washington and Oregon
forced hunting groups over the Cascade Mountains to the ice-free and inhabitable Puget Sound
lowlands. From there, movement to the Fraser
Valley was easy, although much of the Valley was a
salt-water reach. Borden argues that the move
into southwestern B.C. is reflected in crude
artifacts from the Yale area, one hundred miles up
the Fraser River. While Borden suggests that these
artifacts may date as far back as 11,000 years ago,
he also notes that controversy exists — on both
the dates and whether or not the items can be
classified as artifacts. However, other sites excavated by Borden in the same area do take the record
back 9,000 years (for example, the Milliken site).
After describing some of the important phases
revealed in the archaeological record in the Yale
area, Borden provides an exercise in diet reconstruction. Wild cherry pits were found in some of
the sites (including the oldest). As the cherries
ripen in the fall, one can infer that the sites were
occupied during this period. This would also place
the people there at the time of the salmon run.
While lacking the remains of salmon bones at the
Yale site, Borden suggests that other evidence
establishes that salmo/i was part of the Indian
economy perhaps 9,000 years ago.
Shifting locality somewhat, Borden then
presents information indicating that by at least
8,000 years ago Indian groups were in the Vancouver area.
The last part of Borden's paper consists of the
material accompanying slides which he presented
at the conference. However, the overview stands
as one of the clearest statements on the issue of
movements of indigenous people into the lower
mainland of B.C. A more sophisticated version of
the same argument is found in Borden's last
published article, "People and Early Cultures of
the Pacific Northwest: A view from British
Columbia, Canada," Science, 9, March 1979. With
that article in hand, the reader can then refer to a
recent issue of B.C. Studies (No. 48, Winter, 1980-
81) devoted to archaeology in which mention is
made of several of the sites and theories briefly
discussed by Borden. The publication of this brief
article gives us an idea of how Borden's pioneering work started the dialogue.
G. P. V. Akrigg's "The Fraser River Gold Rush"
addresses the familiar events of 1856 when Indians
extracted gold on the Thompson until 1859 when
the lower Fraser River gold rush had begun to
extend onto the Interior Plateau. He focuses on
European-Indian violence, Douglas' protection of
Indians, the overnight transformation of Victoria
from sleepy fur-trade outpost into bustling
entrepot to the gold fields, and the massive impact
of European miners.
The article tends to overdo, in the "Britannic"
fashion, the lawlessness of Americans. This view
can be sustained only on a selective basis, since
most American miners, like most others, readily
accepted Douglas' invocation of law and order,
British sovereignty, and mining regulations. In
fact, Akrigg seriously over-estimates the violence
in and around Yale in the summer of 1858 and fails
to cite examples of widespread cooperation, i.e.,
the Native supply of food, canoes, and packers.
Akrigg's statement that Indians "supersti-
tiously ... believed that the presence of the
whites would drive the salmon from the streams"
might have read "presciently ... believed ..."
Akrigg's estimate of 700 Natives in the lower
canyon is incorrect and much too low, unless he is
referring to the number of Natives at Yale only.
Another estimate — that miners extracted
Northern B.C Books
The possibility of getting out-of-print and
hard-to-find Northern B.C. books from a periodical price list is proving to be a popular
shopping method according to Audrey L'Heureux,
who is responsible for offering this service.
Customers for her NORTHERN B.C. BOOKS
Catalogue and Newsletter are researchers and
both public archives and private reader/collectors.
Anyone interested in receiving a current copy
can write NORTHERN B.C. BOOKS, Box 1502,
Vanderhoof, B.C. V0J 3A0, or phone 567-2836.
Winter 1982
Page 29 Bookshelf
$50,000,000 worth of gold "at that time" — is
colossally inflated. Akrigg concludes with references to further American outrages against
Indians on the Okanagan and Indian retaliation —
references out of keeping with the essay's
geographical focus — and Douglas' attempts —
assisted by these "lawless" miners — to improve
transportation routes as the gold rush extended
It seems that with little effort this essay could
have introduced other themes such as the nature
of "pick and pan" technology, the role of gold
commissioners, the beginnings of a multi-ethnic
society, and so on by reducing the melodramatic
and forced emphasis on violence.
By comparison, John E. Gibbard's "Agricultural Settlement of the Fraser Valley," the final
presentation in The Fraser's History, is much more
satisfactory. Gibbard focuses on the period from
1827, when Fort Langley was founded and the first
crop of potatoes was harvested, to 1885, when the
Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.
The author mentions at least a dozen major
themes, among them the coming of notable
pioneer farmers; early horticulture and dairying;
the supply of produce to the gold fields; survey
and alienation of Crown lands; the appearance of
municipalities and agricultural fairs; population
growth and variations such as the Chinese and the
Royal Engineers who, having come to B.C. for
other purposes, shifted to agriculture; dyke
construction; the linkage between land clearance
and sawmiUing; formation of co-ops; and the
supply of produce and milk products to the
emerging metropolitan markets of the Lower
Mainland via the B.C. Electric Railway.
Gibbard's essay concludes with a reference to
the enormous incursion of the city and housing
into the Valley and questions whether the decline
of agriculture can be arrested by the "land
freeze." Gibbard's work, based on his M.A. thesis
completed in 1937, offers a good point of
departure to the novice reader, and his themes
retain, at least for this writer, a certain freshness,
given the virtually studied neglect of our agricultural history by B.C. historians.
The Fraser's History is not, nor does it propose
to be, a major contribution to the geolgocial,
archaeological, frontier, or agricultural history of
the lower Fraser. The articles' brevity is better
suited to their original medium than the printed
one. Only two articles contain references. There is
no index, bibliography, or substantial introduc
tion. Still, with the exceptions noted above, the
articles do present to the layman quite a number
of varied and established themes in their respective disciplines' approaches to a burgeoning
interdisciplinary study of the Fraser.
Doug Hudson, Doug Nicol and Bob Smith teach at
Fraser Valley College, Chilliwack, B.C.
Stanely Deaville. Victoria: The King's Printer 1928.
Reprinted by Quarterman Publications, Lawrence
Massachusetts, 1979.
When Anthony Musgrave, the last colonial
governor, arrived in British Columbia, he was
amazed to find American postage stamps for sale
in post offices throughout the colony. To his
colonial secretary he protested in January, 1870,
that he had "never heard of anything so undignified in any other place as importing the stamps of
another nation for use in a British Colony."
How this extraordinary situation arose was the
subject of a detailed investigation by a Victoria
philatelist, Alfred Stanley Deaville, at the request
of Provincial Librarian and Archivist, John Hosie.
The study, the result of meticulous research in the
Colonial Correspondence in the Provincial
Archives and records of the Canadian Post Office
Department, was originally published by the
Provincial Archives in 1928 as volume VIII in their
Memoir series.
Now, more than fifty years later the copyright
has apparently expired, and the volume has been
reprinted as a facsimile reproduction by Quarter-
man Publications of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
That a commercial press a continent removed can
expect to show a profit from such a venture while
British Columbians sit on their hands and bemoan
the dearth of scholarly publications about their
Page 30
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
past says something about the state of local
history, as well as the publishing industry in this
province. Nevertheless, in this instance, this
reviewer can only applaud what has happened
because the work in question has been out of
print too long and deserves to be more readily
available. Although Deaville was primarily interested in the philatelic aspects of his topic, he
emphasized that "a thorough understanding of
the philately of Vancouver Island and British
Columbia cannot be had without a knowledge of
the general and postal history of those colonies"
(p. 10). What is most impressive is the way in which
he goes to original records to document the
historic context in which events transpire, whether it be the expansion of post office facilities
throughout both colonies, or the perennial need
to subsidize both ship owners and express
companies to provide more regular and efficient
service. His description of F. J. Barnard's poker-
faced approach to negotiating contracts, for
example, highlights an important but little
documented aspect of colonial politics, just as his
description of James Douglas' relations with the
charming but venal John D'Ewes offers additional
insight into Douglas' character.
Deaville convincingly argues that the establishment of a postal system in British Columbia
constituted "a chapter of unusual and perhaps
unique interest in the annals of British postal
affairs." (p. 90). The Hudson's Bay Company
initially provided free mail service for the colony
of Vancouver Island, but even after the island was
reconveyed to the crown in 1859, not a single
piece of legislation governing its postal services
was ever enacted.
There and on the mainland after the gold rush
occurred, Douglas was content to let the express
companies take the lead, as they had in California,
subject only to pre-paying a postal tax of 2Vi pence
or 5 cents. Then they charged existing American
postal rates for mails entering and leaving the two
colonies, plus an express charge of about 25 cents
per letter.
This colonial levy in turn led to the issuance in
1860 of the first postage stamps, bearing the
legend "British Columbia & Vancouver Island
Postage Two Pence Half Penny". This use of the
same stamps by two distinct and separate colonies,
Deaville believes, was "probably unparalleled in
British postal history" (p. 107). This confusing
situation was terminated in 1865, after Douglas'
retirement, when separate stamps were issued by
each colony. Frederick Seymour, Douglas' succes
sor on the mainland was also surprised to learn no
legislation of any kind existed in that colony and
promptly introduced an ordinance to establish a
proper postal system there but even then found it
necessary to continue to use express operators
and private individuals to carry the mails.
Only after a postal convention was negotiated
between Britain and the United States in 1867 was
it possible to use colonial postage stamps exclusively to pre-pay letters from British Columbia to
the United Kingdom, but American stamps
continued to be used on mail to Canada, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island until after
Confederation, when the Canadian government
assumed responsibility for postal services in British
The work has weaknesses, to be sure. The
chapters are somewhat mechanically organized
around the tenure of postal officials in each
colony. Moreover, the incorporation of philatelic
information in a separate section at the end of
most chapters, as well as in appendices, leads to a
certain amount of disjuncture in style and
repetition of material. In keeping with the format
of the series footnotes are quaintly placed in
margins but are overly abbreviated. There are also
occasional errors: Richard Blanshard had not
"held several positions under the Colonial Office"
(p. 24); Vancouver Island did not initiate a tariff in
1852 (p. 39); the enforced union of the colonies
took place on November 19 (not 17) 1866 (pp. 106
and elsewhere). But such trifles are more than
compensated for by a wealth of little known
information that infuses this work. Philatelists will
be delighted to see this work back in print, but all
serious students of the colonial period will profit
from its reappearance.
lames E. Hendrickson teaches nineteenth century
British Columbia history at the University of Victoria
and has edited the Journals of the Colonial Legislatures of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Winter 1982
Page 31 Bookshelf
W. Riegert. Toronto; University of Toronto Press,
1980. Pp. xii, 357, 20 pp. illus., $30.00
Seldom does a book appear chronicling the
development of a natural science in Canda.
When one does, it should be devoured eagerly
by both the workers in the discipline and
historians interested in the development of this
nation. The latter should pay particular attention when the subject is entomology, for this
science played a vital role in the settling and
subsequent prosperity of Canada;, especially in
the western provinces. From Arsenic to DDT is
an authorative yet readable volume that
documents the severe insect problems faced by
explorers, settlers and farmers of western
Canada and relates how these problems were
solved by the ingenuity and persistence of the
early entomologists. At stake was the agricultural economy of the country.
Paul Riegert is an entomologist, head of the
Biology Department atthe University of Regina.
He has spent twenty years as a research assistant
for Agriculture Canada. In his preface, he states
his intention is to write "about insects and man,
their encounters and the ensuing consequences". His story is "an interaction of species
embarked upon a journey through time,
struggling for survival and dominance". The
long battle is a fascinating one, told in detail
with clarity and humour.
The volume is attractively printed, with
extensive use of quotations from letters and
government documents, many of them decidedly humorous. There are twenty pages of
illustrations, mostly photographs, including
portraits of prominent entomologists mentioned in the text and entomological facilities
and techniques of great historical interest.
These photographs form an integral part of the
book — it is a shame that more were not
included. It would have been informative had
the portrait captions carried the lifespans of the
The book is divided into five major parts.
First, the hardships endured by early explorers
. and settlers are documented; the first entry is
from 1619. We today can hardly imagine that for
some time important regions such as the Fraser
Valley were virtually uninhabitable in the
summer because of the plagues of biting flies.
In this part, the important contributions of
amateur collectors and naturalistsarediscussed.
The second part describes the organization
of the first professional entomologists, the
appointment of the first Dominion Entomologist in 1884 and the subesequent spread westward of the federal government's insect control
programs. The history of entomology in British
Columbia is dealt with in the third part,
including such topics as early quarantine
problems, mosquito control, the growth of the
fruit industry and the establishment of federal
and provincial research laboratories. The
parallel growth of entomology on the prairies is
the subject of part four, with special emphasis
placed on the war against locusts in the 1920s
and 1930s. Related topics such as research into
insects and health, the pests of stored products
and the growth of entomology in the universities make up the last part. A comprehensive list
of sources arranged by chapter is included.
The history covers the four western provinces. Riegert reports that a history of forest
entomology is being prepared, and so to avoid
duplication, he has restricted his efforts to
predominantly agricultural topics. He was
shown a manuscript at the Pacific Forestry
Research Station in Victoria, but was not
allowed to examine it. The status of this
complimentary work is unknown. It is unfortunate the two projects were not produced in
cooperation, but at least their separation has
enabled Riegert to delve more deeply into his
The present volume ends rather abruptly
with the outbreak of World War II. Nowhere,
except in a brief publisher's blurb before the
title page is this stated, and no reason for the
decision to stop at this point is ever given. Those
knowledgeable about pesticides get a hint from
the title (arsenic compounds were widely used
insecticides in the 19th and early 20th centuries;
DDT came into use in the 1940s). The title is
otherwise misleading. From Arsenic to DDT
reflects the tone of the book (man versus the
insect hordes) but A History of Entomology in
Western Canada fails to eliminate forest
entomology and suggests the history is complete to the present day. A title reading From
Arsenic to DDT: A History of Agricultural
Entomology in Western Canada before World
War II would have described more accurately
the book's contents.
From other sources I understand that
Page 32
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
Riegert's history does continue to the present
day, but that the manuscript has been split
arbitrarily into two or more volumes. When
such divisions of a continuous work occur, the
fact should be clearly stated in the title of each
As one of the minority of Canadian entomologists whose work, for the most part does not
involve studying or controlling insect pests, I have
some obvious biases. While I acknowledge the
overriding importance of economically significant
species and their stranglehold on most entomologists' activities, I regret that more attention
cannot be paid in Dr. Riegert's work to the
development of "uneconomic" (for want of a
better word) entomology. He certainly does not
ignore the topic and its importance, but it could
have occupied a few more pages. I refer to the
establishment of museum and research collections as well as studies on the behaviour, distribution and systematics of non-pest species.
Reference is made to George Spencer's
pioneer work on grasshopper control in British
Columbia, as well as his legendary facility for
turning out enthusiastic, expert students, but
nothing is mentioned of the insect collection he
developed, which today is the most important
research collection in the province containing half
a million specimens. What of Gordon Stace-
Smith, miner and poet, who amassed the largest
and most important collection of B.C. beetles? E.
M. Walker, although based in Ontario, was the
expert on Canadian dragonflies. In 1914 at Banff,
he made perhaps the most exciting and certainly
the best-known discovery in Canadian entomological history — the icebug, Grylloblatta. This
insect, of great scientific interest, is placed in its
own Order, and is the symbol of the Entomological Society of Canada. These and other omissions
come to mind.
The book has a smattering of typographical
errors and a few minor errors of fact. On p. 52 F.C.
Whitehouse is mentioned as having described
new species of dragonflies, which he never did;
there are 80 species of dragonflies in B.C., not 89.
The Provincial Museum is in Victoria, not Vancouver (p. 53) and pear leaf blister mites are not insects
(p. 180). On p. 106 it is noted that lady-bird beetles
were released in Victoria in 1897 to control aphids
and scale insects while on p. 115 the 1917 release of
the beetle Calosoma syncophanta in Victoria to
control oak loopers is termed "the first attempt at
natural control, through the use of predators, in
British Columbia".
These are mostly minor criticism of a fine work
on an important subject. Out of a huge mass of
information, Dr. Riegert has managed to make the
history of western Canadian entomology informative and entertaining. All who are interested in
Canadian history, science and insects owe him
thanks for creating this book. I look forward to the
Robert A. Cannings, is curator of entomology at the
Provincial Museum, Victoria.
New Titles
Drake, Stephen. A look through our past: a self-
guided walk through historic Merritt; researched and
prepared with funding from Young Canada Works
grant under supervision of the Nicola Valley Archives
Association; sketches by Jody Bjarnason. (Merritt)
Nicola Valley Archives Association (1979) 12 p., ///.
England, Robert. Living Learning, remembering: the
memories of Robert England. Vancouver, Centre for
Continuing Education, University of British Columbia,
1980. x, 210 p. $10.00.
McHarg, Sandra, and Maureen Cassidy. Before roads
and rails; pack trails and packing in the Upper Skeena
area. Hazelton, Northwest Community College, 1980.
37 p., ///.
Early days on the Skeena River. Hazelton,
Northwest Community College, 1980. 45 p. ///.
Raven, Mary, ed. Thesaga of Canoe 1888-1938. Canoe,
Canoe Historical Research Committee, 1980. (v) 208 p.,
ill. $10.00
Rees-Thomas, David M. Timber down the Capilano: a
history of the Capilano Timber Company of Vancouver's North Shore. Victoria, British Columbia Railway
Historical Association, 1979. 60 p. ///. $4.50
Sanford, Barrie. The pictorial history of railroading in
British Columbia. Vancouver, Whitecap Books, 1981,
144 p., ///. $17.95.
Van den Wyngaert, Francis J. The west Howe Sound
story. Gibson, 1980. (xii) 299 p., /'//. $14.00
Watt, Robert D. Rainbows in our walls: art and stained
glass in Vancouver, 1890-1940. Vancouver, Vancouver
Centennial Museum, 1980. (9v) 20 p., ill. $4.95
Winter .1982
Page 33 Bookshelf
1980 AND GUIDE TO CANADIAN URBAN STUDIES. Alan F. J. Artibise and Gilbert A. Stelter, eds.
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press,
1981, Pp. xxxii, 396, $42.00.
Most reviewers wonder what there is to say
about bibliographies, and the more there is to
them the less it seems possible to come up with.
This volume, when weighted in the intellectual
scale, is a heavy item indeed. Prefaced by an
opinionated and schematic introduction, it casts
the 'urban' net far and wide, capturing more than
7,000 entires which encompass experiences across
the regions, arranged both thematically and
geographically and indexed according to subject
and author. For those, like myself, who have
trouble finding the reference to their last footnote, this is a book to behold with awe and
There is no doubt that it represents tremendous labour and will stand as one of the most
'complete' bibliographic compilations available to
those interested in a wide range of concerns
associated with the study of the past. Artibise and
Stelter deserve our thanks. Yet, for all the praise
that we must bestow upon them, it would be
foolhardy to see this undertaking as the basis, in
the words of the authors, enabling "those
interested in studying Canadian urban development to make full use of virtually all of the material
that already exists." (xiii)
The problem is simply one of scope. Correctly
taking an eclectic approach to material on the
urban past, Artibise and Stelter cover such a vast
analytical ground and such a voluminous scholarly
production that what is presented is necessarily
and understandably selected in a rather arbitrary
manner. Much is passed over completely.
What makes Harold Barclay's work on Arab
and Lebanese communities in Alberta worthy of
inclusion, when Allen Seager's study, "The Pass
Strike of 1932," goes unmentioned? Why is Louise
DecheVie's work on the seigneurial system
considered relevant, when her study of William
Price is not? Does S. D. Clark have more to tell us
about British Columbia and Canada than Martin
Robin? Perhaps, but not so much more that Clark
should merit fourteen entries and Robin none.
Upper Canadian travellers' accounts and
antiquarian local histories of Ontario towns are
underused, as are folklore studies (many of which
have an urban dimension) for the Maritimes and
Quebec. The latter province is perhaps the least
thoroughly enumerated, with many studies
neglected and other listings outdated (appearing
as theses when books have been available for
some time).
All of this is compounded by problems of
indexing. Some articles actually appear in the
collection but are not included under the author
index. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for
this, save for the considerable difficulties in
covering everything, a task too large for a score of
researchers let alone a mere duo, however
dynamic they may be.
I write these words tongue in cheek, poking a
little good-natured fun at two eminent authorities.
In the authors' introduction there is a tone of
certainty and a willingness to walk with a determined and sure-footed gait that is distressing if not
dangerous. For they, of all people, knowing what
is involved in the urban past, must surely recognize that around each analytic corner lies disputed
territory or blocked pathways; within each field of
inquiry an undergrowth of sources and published
work obscured from view.
In spite of these obstacles Artibise and Stelter
have produced a vitally important work of great
use to researchers. A closing "Guide to Canadian
Urban Studies" provides crucial information on
journals of interest, archival holdings, film
resources, and on-going projects.
The section on British Columbia will prove of
particular significance to readers of this publication, encompassing approximately 600 entries
arrnaged from the general to the specific.
Vancouver, of course, looms large in this regional
coverage (almost half of the material cited), but
other centres including Esquimalt, Nanaimo, and
Victoria are also given specific treatment.
The ultimate compliment, I think, is that this is
truly a book that historians, geographers, sociologists, economists, urban planners, and political
scientists will want to have on their shelves. Unfortunately, most of them will be unable to afford
it. They should not pass it over, however, on their
next trip through the library.
Bryan Palmer, a specialist on working class history,
teaches at Simon Fraser University.
Page 34
Honorary Patron:
His Honour, The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Henry P. Bell-Irving
Honorary President:
Anne Stevenson, Box 4570, Williams Lake, V2G 2V6
392-4365 (res.)
Barbara Stannard, #211-450 Stewart Ave., Nanaimo, V9S 5E9
754-6195 (res.)
1st Vice President:
Winnifred Weir, Box 774, Invermere, VOA 1K0
342-9562 (res.)
2nd Vice President:
Leonard G. McCann, #2,1430 Maple St., Vancouver, V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
Frances  Gundry, 255 Niagara St., Victoria, V8V 1G4
385-6353 (res.)
387-3623 (bus.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver, V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Recording Secretary:
Margaret Stoneberg, Box 687, Princeton, VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
Naomi Miller, Box 1338, Golden, VOA 1H0
Catou Levesque, 10420 Cambie Road, Richmond, V6X 1K5
273-0254 (res.)
Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
287-8097 (res.)
Ex Officio:
John Bovey, Provincial Archivist, Victoria, V8V 1X4
387-3621 (bus.)
Maureen Cassidy, Editor, B.C. Historical News, 316 Montreal St., Victoria, V8V
383-8062 (res.)
Chairmen of Committees:
Historic Trails:
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver, V7R 1R9
H.R. Brammall, 4649 W. 12th, Vancouver, V6R 2R7
228-8958 (res.)
Leonard G. McCann, #2,1430 Maple St., Vancouver, V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
B.C. Historical News
Policy Committee:
Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
287-8097 (res.)
Publications Assistance Committee (not involved with B.C. Historical News):
Arlene Bramhall, 5252 Grafton Court, Burnaby, V5H 1M7
433-7176 (res.)
Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver, V6R 2A6
288-8606 (res.) B.C Historical Association
1982 Convention
The Inn at Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Bay,
Vancouver Island
Thursday, April 29    registration, wine and cheese party, Council
meeting (7:30 p.m.)
Friday, April 30 morning — walking tour of Cowichan Bay
afternoon — a visit to the B.C. Forest Museum
evening — entertainment
Saturday, May 1       Annual General Meeting (9 a.m.-12 a.m.)
afternoon — bus tour of historic sites of
Cowichan district
evening — banquet (7:30 p.m.)
Sunday, May 2 new Executive Council meeting
Forms with prices and reservation requirements will be mailed to each
member society early in the new year.
The Cowichan Historical Society will be
the host.
Cowichan Bay is 36 miles north of Victoria, 5 miles south
of Duncan, Vancouver Island.
Pacific Coach Lines buses leave the Vancouver depot, at
Cambie and Dunsmuir, at 5:45 a.m. and 12:35 p.m., and
travel via Nanaimo to Cowichan Bay.
Air B.C. has flights from Vancouver harbour to Quamichan Lake, 2 miles from Duncan.
As well as the convention site, there are hotels and
motels nearby.


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