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British Columbia Historical News 2002

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 British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Volume 35, No. 3
Summer 2002
ISSN 1195-8294
Sugar and Strike
Thomas Basil Humphreys
Simpcw and Secwepemc
Rambling in BC in 1887
Steamboats: James W. Trahey
Award Winners 2001
Above: This photo of two anymous young women; one holding a baseball, was taken
during a picnic for employees ofthe BC Sugar Refinery on Bowen Island.
In "Not Always Sweet," starting on page 2, Janet Nicol writes about a bitter labour
dispute at Benjamin T. Rogers's sugar refinery during the First World War. Our Web site,, is hosted by Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC
British Columbia Historical News
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ISSN 1195-8294
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While copyright in the journal as a whole is vested in the British Columbia Historical Federation, copyright in the individual articles belongs to their respective
authors, and articles may be reproduced for personal use only. For reproduction for other purposes permission in writing of both author and publisher is required. British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Volume 35, No. 3
Summer 2002
ISSN 1195-8294
2 Not Always Sweet: The 1917 Vancouver Sugar Refinery Strike
by Janet Mary Nicol
6        The Simpcw of the North Thompson
by Muriel Poulton Dunford
9        The Honourable Thomas Basil Humphreys: A Controversial
Contributor to Change in Early BC Politics
by Jean (Foote) Humphreys
16      Three Men in British Columbia: 1887
by Stewart Platts
20       TOKEN HISTORY by Ronald Greene
Humphreys & Pittock of Nelson, BC
22     Book Reviews
29 News and Notes
30 Reports
Powerhouse at Stave Falls by Meg Stanley
The "Spanish Jar:" New Light from an Old Chart by David Stone
32 Letters by Readers
33 Archives and Archivists
Museum at Campbell River Archive Research Centre by Sandra Parrish
34 Steamboat Round the Bend by Ted Affleck
The Governor Douglas, the Colonel Moody, and James W. Trahey
35 Winners of the Competition for Writers
36 Family History by Brenda L. Smith
37 Web Site Forays by Gwen Szychter
38 History Web Site Prize 2001
39 Revelstoke 2002
43 Federation News
44 Prince George 2003
"Any country worthy of a future should be interested in its past.
W. Kaye Lamb, 1937
No Change
This journal shall continue to be
called British Columbia Historical
News as it has been for 35 years.
Most attending the council meeting
preceding the AGM in Revelstoke
wished a change in the name of this
quarterly, but when the matter was
raised at the AGM, participants were
not so keen. One observer's opinion:
"the audience was lukewarm at best,
puzzled, and basically against
Please Let Us Know
Please write me a note, a brief
report, or send a newspaper clipping
about extraordinary historical events
in your community.
Delegates of member societies at the
AGM talked about Her Honour the
Lieutenant-Governor visting Galiano
Island; Don Pedro de Alberni's death,
200 years ago, being remembered
with an interesting symposium
hosted by the Alberni District
Historical Society; and Pixie
McGeachie, now an honorary citizen
of Burnaby. Remember:This is your
journal and "news" is part of its
Fall 2001 Issue
I have received a request for a copy
of the "Spanish  presence" issue and
have none left. If you have one to
spare, could you mail it to me?
the editor
The 1917 Vancouver Sugar Refinery Strike
by Janet Mary Nicol
Janet Nicol has been
teaching with the
Vancouver School
Board for 15 years and
is currently a Social
Studies teacher at
Killarney Secondary
School. She was a
clerical worker and
union organizer with
an independent
feminist union,
ALL was quiet along the Vancouver waterfront in the early dawn of 22 April
1917. A lone male figure passed through
the refinery gates and observed smoke rising from
the factory stacks where men had refined raw
sugar for 26 years. Through an arched window
on the main floor of an elongated six-storey brick
building, he could see five men unloading jute
bags of sugar cane. He was determined to turn
around and leave with these men if refinery owner
Benjamin Tingley Rogers didn't respond to their
demands for overtime pay for Sunday work.
But the American-born Rogers, who trained
his first group of 75 employees on the alchemy
of sugar refining at age 25 and had since made
his fortune closely managing the city's pioneering factory, was aware of his employees' rebellious talk. From his yacht Aquilo, anchored off a
nearby Gulf Island, he had radioed his superintendent the previous day." I learned the melting
house gang intends to quit Sunday morning unless given time and a half.Are led by a man known
as Irish Johnny." Rogers ordered the worker fired.
"Will discharge Irish Johnny in the morning,"
superintendent William Aitchison wired back.
"Irish Johnny" could have been any one of
the 25 "John's" or "J's" listed as sugar refinery
employees in the 1917 Henderson Directory of
Vancouver. On that fateful Sunday, the ubiquitous "John" was summoned and dismissed soon
after he entered the building, along with a foreman who came to his defence. Next day, when
more than 240 employees arrived at work and
heard about the firings, most walked off the job.
They rallied at the Vancouver Labor Temple on
Dunsmuir Street and formed the Sugar Workers
These series of events marked the beginning
of a bitter 92-day labour dispute, pitting one of
Vancouver's earliest millionaires against recently
immigrated labourers. Rogers resided with his
wife and seven children in a stone mansion (now
a restaurant) on Davie Street at Nicola in the
city's west end. He was among the city's first citizens to drive to work in an automobile. Refinery workers owned homes within walking distance of the sugar factory in the east-end neigh
bourhoods of Strathcona and Grandview. Many
of their two-storey wood-framed houses still
stand. Though the workers' attempt to form a
union at BC Sugar would end in defeat, their
confrontation with Rogers provides an insightful glimpse into Vancouver's early days.
Rogers sailed back to Vancouver the day the
workers walked off the job and promptly issued
a statement to the press: "The men went out on
strike because the superintendent saw fit to let
out one of the laborers," he maintained. "The
men want him reinstated. I don't know what reason the superintendent had for discharging him,
but I will stand behind the superintendent until
the crack of doom."
Blaming the superintendent for firing John
didn't improve Aitchison's popularity with the
staff. "No matter when or how the employees
return to work there will be serious friction as
long as this man is in charge," a striking employee
complained in an anonymous letter to Rogers.
"We could name about 20 instances of Mr.
Aitchison's craziness, meanness, and insulting ways,
in dealing with men of long service who have
far more intelligence than he. We think he is incapable of handling men."
Rogers had closed the refinery for eleven
weeks the previous December, further distressing his employees. He claimed raw sugar cargoes
were delayed because of shipping disruptions
caused by the First World War. The shortage of
manpower on the home front impacted much
later in the west. Consequently workers in Vancouver were still receiving layoff notices in the
winter of 1916 with slips reading: "Your king
and country need you—we don't." Workers also
had to contend with inflationary prices of consumer goods (including sugar) while their wages
remained constant and BC Sugar, a monopoly
operation in Western Canada, continued to profit.
The week before the strike, nearly all of the
206 men and 36 women on staff had signed a
petition requesting a wage increase from 32 V2
cents to 40 cents an hour with time and a half
for overtime and Sunday work and a maximum
ten-hour day and a minimum five-day week. For
mechanics, watchmen, and women, the workers
■ ■ *
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requested a pay increase from 20 cents to 24 cents
an hour. The petition was left in the storeroom
where it was found by the timekeeper who took
it to management. The following day management pinned a response in the staff dressing room,
offering a three-cent increase to male labourers
only. The workers considered the offer unsatisfactory.
Rogers made it clear he would not deal with a
union and continued operating the refinery. He
hired a personal bodyguard and retained the services of the Thiel Detective Agency, an American
firm specializing in labour relations, with offices
in five Canadian cities. Rogers' resolve may have
been strengthened by the fact that when he was
18 years old, his father, also a refinery owner, was
killed by a brick thrown during a labour dispute
at his sugar plant in New Orleans.
Rogers told newspaper reporters the wages for
the "common labourer" at the refinery were as
high a rate per hour as those for " certain skilled
workmen." As for the women who filled and
sewed the sugar bags,"they are well paid at twenty
cents per hour and I have taken a personal interest in their welfare by giving them each day a
plentiful hot lunch free of charge."
An unnamed female striker took a different
view. "After getting through a day's work all we
can do is to just about get home," she told the
press. "And any recreation is altogether out of
the question." She said most of the factory girls
were between 16 to 20 years old. About half of
them support themselves on their earnings. "It is
not only having to handle the sacks—on one day
40 of us had 30,000 of them to fill and sew," she
said, "but the hours we have to remain standing
are unendurable."
As for Rogers's free lunch for girls, refinery
striker William Lane argued, "If the girls were
paid a reasonable rate for their work they would
be able to buy their own meals and would be
independent of his charity."
Above: B. G Sugar
Refinery, Vancouver, 191-?
Boyd, Robert. BC Sugar
Refinery Company.
Vancouver: 1958.
Howard, Irene. The Struggle
for Social Justice in British
Columbia: Helena
Gutteridge, The Unknown
Reformer. Vancouver:
UBC Press, 1992.
ILWU, Local 500
Pensioners, Man Along the
Shore! The Story of the
Vancouver Waterfront As
Told by Longshoremen
Themselves. Vancouver:
Kluckner, Michael. ML
Rogers 1869-1965.
Privately published
memoir of Mary Isabella
Rogers. Vancouver: 1988.
Leier, Mark. Rebel Life:The
Life and Times of Robert
Gosden Revolutionary,
Mystic, Labour Spy.
Vancouver: New Star
Books, 1999.
McDonald, Robert A.J.
Making Vancouver.
Vancouver: UBC Press,
Phillips, Paul. No Power
Greater: A Century of
Labour in B. C.Vancouver:
Boag Foundation, 1967.
Rogers, M.I. The Story of
BC Sugar Refinery.
Vancouver: BC Sugar,
Schreiner, John. The
Refiners: A Century of BC
Sugar. Vancouver: Douglas
& Mclntyre, 1989.
Working Lives Collective,
Working Lives: Vancouver
New Star Books, 1985.
Conley, James R.
'Frontier Labourers,
Crafts in Crisis and the
Western Labour Revolt:
The Case ofVancouver,
1900-1919." Labour/Le
Travail.23 (Spring 1989):
Rosenthal, Star. "Union
Maids: Organizing
Women Workers in
Vancouver. 1900-1914."
BC Studies 41 (Spring):
36-55 1979.
The top news stories ofVancouver's four dailies were about the war overseas but the inside
pages gave sympathetic coverage to the numerous work stoppages in the city and across the
country, including the strike at BC Sugar. "The
older men are grave and self-contained," the Daily
World observed of the picketers, "the boys delighted to escape a day or two from the daily
round and common task, the girls chattering
among themselves after their kind and plainly
excited by the enterprise on which they had
embarked, that of joining a real labour union and
opposing the will of him who had reigned so
many years as undisputed master of the sugar
The Daily World also noted the strikers were
"...what in labor circles are designated 'white,'
that is to say, they belonged to that race which,
by whatever channels these representatives
reached Vancouver and the sugar refinery, has its
ancestral home in the British Isle." Rogers had
agreed to exclude Asian workers in a deal he
struck with city council when he arrived from
Montreal with financial backing in 1890. Eager
to encourage industry in a frontier port, council
members gave Rogers a $30,000 grant, free water for 10 years and a tax waiver for 15 years.
Labour leaders were behind the exclusion hiring
demand, believing it was a necessary strategy to
prevent employers from undermining wage rates.
BC Sugar began an informal practice of hiring
relatives of employees.
Spirits were high as three Scottish pipers led a
parade of sugar workers through the downtown
streets the Saturday following the walkout. Later,
120 men and seven women from the refinery,
including a Thiel operative hired by Rogers, attended a meeting at the Vancouver Trade and
Labor Council. Parm Pettipiece,VTLC editor of
Phe BC Federationist, advised the strikers to go
back to work until they had their union properly
organized and recognized by the company, the
detective reported. "This seemed to somewhat
discourage the strikers and a good many of them
were undecided as to what to do," the detective
told Rogers.
Some staff chose to cross the picket line and
new employees were hired. Inside the factory, the
refined granulated sugar continued to pour out.
Longshoremen who supported the strikers suggested their response to the strikebreakers was
too mild-mannered. And so with the longshoremen's help, the tactics got tougher. On 1 May
the Daily World reported "a crowd of considerably over 100 strikers and sympathizers were gathered at the gates. They howled and catcalled at
those inside, inviting them to come out." Fearful
strikebreakers were sleeping in the refinery overnight.When a merchant tried to deliver blankets
to them, the strikers burned the blankets. A boy
attempting to cross to deliver milk was turned
"Somebody threw a stone at one man," the
Daily World reported. "And it struck him on the
forehead, inflicting a cut. This man when overtaken was fisticuffed. Several other strikebreakers
were roughed up."
On 2 May Harry Burgess, the refinery coppersmith, crossed the picket line, and was seized
by three picketers who "pounded him, knocked
him down and kicked him about the face and
head," according to the Vancouver Province. On the
same day strikers appeared at the front of the
home of strikebreaking electrician Harry Pavey.
According to news reports the crowd cat-called
and jeered him.
Rogers was dissatisfied with police protection
of strikebreakers and complained bitterly to the
Vancouver mayor, Malcolm McBeath. Not content with the mayor's response that the entire
city depended on a third of its police manpower
due to wartime conditions, Rogers wired BC
Attorney General M.A. Macdonald and later sent
him detective reports of picket-line confrontations. To Rogers' dismay, Macdonald passed responsibility back to the Vancouver mayor.
The longshoremen refused to unload raw sugar
at the docks and the VTLC declared a boycott of
Rogers "scab" sugar. Picketers received $2 a day,
relying on other unions and fund-raising events.
But on 10 May, aThiel detective posing as a striker
reported to Rogers of a "growing despondency"
among the strikers. "The fact, that smoke was
seen coming from the stacks and many guards at
work did not serve to cheer them up any," he
observed.The company now offered to raise the
hourly wage for men to 38 cents and to 22 cents
for the women.
A delegation of two strikers met with Rogers
to discuss the offer. Rogers' son Blythe, grooming for his father's job, kept a detailed diary of
events. He noted that it was a short, tough meeting and that his father would not recognize a
union. One of the strikers, William Mcintosh
asked: "The men would like to know if they can
have a union of their own. Would you discrimi-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 nate against any man for that?" Rogers replied in
part," I will not have the few more years I have
left to run this refinery spoilt by any union."
On 12 May, the refinery was staffed by 76 people, including 14 Thiel detectives and the crew
ofthe yacht Aquilo.They melted 200,000 pounds
of sugar, according to Blythe's diary account.
Rogers's plan was to "carry on the work and starve
us out," Robert Stevenson, president ofthe Sugar
Union, told the press. "We are receiving all the
assistance we can desire from other unions and
we are fighting for a principle," he said. "We want
conditions improved for the girls also and now
we want the right to have our union."
But Thiel detectives posing as strikers urged
the workers to return to work. Detectives were
also harassing strikers, "trailing after the girls on
strike no matter where they go, at all hours of
the day and night," according to the BC
Federationist. On 20 May, Blythe s diary recorded
103 men were working at the refinery. A car with
curtained windows, dubbed the "Black Maria"
by strikers, drove workers through the picket lines.
Samuel Bellamy, the union's secretary, was fined
$25 plus costs for smashing its windows. In another incident, an unnamed female striker was
fined $5 for "roughly persuading" a female strikebreaker not to cross the line.
Two more months on the picket line passed
before striking sugar workers acknowledged defeat and met with government officer J.D.
McNiven to set up a meeting with management.
Rogers refused to recognize a union, McNiven
reported, but "agreed to reinstate as many of his
former employees as there were vacancies, without discrimination, except as to those who had
been convicted of violations of law and order."
McNiven advised the refinery workers to accept
the offer, believing the strike "was lost to them."
On 22 July they voted to end the strike and seek
their jobs back.Those rehired—about half of the
original staff—gained an hourly wage increase
of six cents (with no increase for women), had
their hours regularized to ten hours a day, and
began receiving employer-subsidized meals for
all in the company cafeteria.
When former striker Alex McKinnon made it
a point to refer to non-strikers as "scabs" one of
the Thiel detectives retained by Rogers reported:
"It is evident to the Operative that this man
McKinnon is creating dissension and promoting
ill feeling and if it is possible to replace him, Operative believes it would be a good thing in the
interests of harmony." McKinnon was fired at
noon that day. However he was eventually rehired and would retire in 1944 after 48 years of
Samuel Bellamy was not hired back at the refinery because of his picket-line conviction. He
is listed as a longshoreman in the 1918 Vancouver
Directory. Bill Perry, a crew member of Rogers'
yacht, helped run the refinery during the strike.
He rose from the position of sugar boiler in 1917
to superintendent, retiring in 1958.
The destiny of "Irish Johnny" is a mystery. After the labour dispute he may have drifted to
another job, perhaps as a longshoreman on the
nearby docks. Or he may have gone to war following the conscription legislation in June 1917,
which saw government agents dragnet for men
aged 18 to 35 along Vancouver's waterfront.
A concluding Thiel operative reports "that
those men who have gone back to work seem to
be a very good class of workmen, being steady,
sober and reliable and unless some agitator works
his way in among them, he does not look for any
trouble for some time to come."
BC Sugar organized a staff picnic at Bowen
Island in an attempt to heal the rifts caused by
the dispute. The following year Rogers died at
age 53. His son Blythe took over the operations
and fought another union drive when 141 sugar
workers organized into the short-lived Warehouseman's Union and in 1919 sugar workers
participated in a citywide one-month sympathy
strike in conjunction with the Winnipeg General Strike. Women workers at the refinery did
not join the walkout, possibly discouraged by their
lack of gains in the 1917 dispute.
In 1944 BC Sugar employees organized into
the Industrial Union of Sugar Workers.They later
joined the Retail Wholesale Union and currently
have about 155 members, mostly men. The
manual jobs once performed by female labourers have long since been automated. Sugar is still
being refined in the modern buildings on the
waterfront property. After three generations of
ownership by the Rogers' family, BC Sugar was
sold to Lantic whose headquarters are in eastern
Today, the original six-storey building facing
Powell Street is used for storage. Its gothic factory brick exterior is a popular backdrop for film
makers, but at one time was the scene of real-life
drama among Vancouver's earliest residents.^^
Roy, Patricia. "The BC
Electric Railway and its
Street Railway
Employees: Paternalism
in Labour Relations," BC
Studies. 16 (1972-73): 3-
Conley, James Robert.
"Class Conflict and
Collective Action in the
Working Class of
Vancouver, BC 1900-
1919." MA thesis,
Department of Sociology
and Anthropology,
Carleton University
Creese, Gillian. "Working
Class Politics, Racism
and Sexism: The Making
of a Politically Divided
Working Class In
Vancouver, 1900-1939."
Ph.D. thesis, Carleton
University, 1986.
McDonald, Robert. A.J.
"Business Leaders in
Early Vancouver 1886-
1914." Ph.D thesis,
University of BC, 1977.
Newspapers and Periodicals
Industrial Progress and
Commercial Record; BC
Federationist, Vancouver
Daily'World; Vancouver
News-Herald; Vancouver
Province; Vancouver Sun.
Government Publications
Canadian Royal
Commission on
Industrial Relations,
Minutes of Evidence
(1919) (Mathers
.Vol 1.
BC, Dept. Of Labour,
Annual Report for 1918
(Victoria, 1919).
Henderson s Directory, 1917,
Vancouver City Archives.
Minutes of VTLC
Executive Minutes, 1917,
UBC, Special
Vancouver Court Records,
1917,Vancouver City
Photos: City ofVancouver
Archives, Vancouver
Public Library, UBC
Special Collections.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - SUMMER 2002 The Simpcw of the North Thompson
by Muriel Poulton Dunford
Muriel Dunford spent
more than half a
century in the North
Thompson Valley. She
is the author of North
River, The Story of BC's
North Thompson Valley
& Yellowhead Highway 5,
published by Sonotek
Publishing in Merritt.
Mary Balf, Why That
Name? (Kamloops:
Kamloops Museum,
1978), 41.
Ken Favrholdt, "Piecing
Together an Ancient
Culture," Kamloops Daily
News, 12 February 1999.
Frequent early spelling
was "Kameloops,"
indicating that the
second "c" should have
been read as an " e."
Alexander Ross, The Fur
Hunters of the Far West
(Norman, Oklahoma:
University of Oklahoma
Press, 1956), 100
Coffey, Goldstrom,
Gottfriedson, Matthew
and Walton, The First 100
Years of Contact
(Kamloops: Sewepemc
Cultural Educational
Society, 1990), 16.
HBC Thompsons River
Journal, 8 September
Ibid. 27 September,
Simpson's 1828 Journey
to the Columbia, edited by
E.E. Rich (London: the
Champlain Society for
the Hudson's Bay
Record Society, 1947),
Jean Murray Cole, Exile
in the Wilderness (Don
Mills: Burns and
MacEachern, 1979), 119.
Notes continue on page 8
THE SIMPCW ("SEEM-kuh") of the
North Thompson form part of the
Secwepemc, the largest division ofthe Interior Salish spread over 56,000 square miles.The
closest we come to the pronunciation of the name
ofthe Secwepemc is perhaps "suh-WHEP-muh."
In their journals the traders tried several versions
of the name: "Shewhoppes," "She-whaps," and
eventually "Shuswaps" persisted. For a long time
the name was also understood to be a corruption
ofthe French sauvage into "Siwash." Some said the
name denoted a many-legged insect, like the shape
of Shuswap Lake with its four long arms.1 Others
suggest that the name refers to scattered people2—
aptly so considering their huge territory.
David Stuart first encountered the Secwepemc
of the North and South Thompson rivers in 1811,
when his search for furs stranded him in a dim,
smoky pit house for the winter months. From Fort
Astoria on the Pacific he had probed the Colum-
bia-Okanagan route up to the junction ofthe two
Thompson rivers when frigid weather closed in.
On a return trip the next year, the North West
Company's profits burgeoned as a reported 2,000
Natives congregated at "Cumcloups,"3 eager for
trade goods. Five leaves of tobacco bought a top-
quality beaver pelt; the last remnant of white cloth
fetched twenty luxuriant skins.Ten days of trading
sent sixteen packhorse loads of furs back to Fort
Five years after trade began at the Thomson rivers' confluence, Stuart first explored the north
branch as far as the present East Barriere Lake,
aided by Native guides. He called this lake "Friendly
Lake," having had an amicable meeting there with
two North Thompson families who were "living
on fish, roots and berries, which they were all
employed in procuring and seemed in their
wretched condition to live very comfortably and
In 1821, at the time ofthe merger ofthe North
West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company,
the traders had established Thompson's Post, later
Fort Kamloops. Surrounded and outnumbered by
indigenous people, the traders imposed crude law:
an early log names a white man who shot and
killed a North River Indian, but mentions no retribution.5 However, in general the Simpcw ofthe
North Thompson proved co-operative on occasional encounters to exchange furs for kettles, ammunition, or blankets with the traders. In an 1822
journal an HBC bourgeois described them as the
"gentle Shinpoos," noting that a chief had discovered a company officer's medal upriver and brought
it to the fort: "This shows their honesty. Indeed, I
have better opinion of this band than of any I have
yet seen in the Columbia."6
The HBC journal often found other Shuswap
insolent and quarrelsome; within a couple of years
Governor Simpson threatened to close the post
down until the Kamloops Band had learned some
humility. Simpson thought that were Thompson's
Post closed the "Shinpo" could travel by Athabasca
Pass to trade at Rocky Mountain House. The
Simpcw travelled east of the Rockies to Jasper's
House.7 They endured the rigours of paddling up
the North Thompson and Albreda rivers, and portage three days over to the Canoe River, to eventually arrive at the upper Columbia, but it took
two weeks just to reach the portage.8 Fortunately
Simpson never did execute his threat.
During the 1820s fur-bearers had been trapped
to extinction around Kamloops. Archibald
McDonald, bourgeois at the Thompson Post from
1826-1828, wrote that he saw only small brown
squirrels: "even the name of a Beaver is scarcely
heard among the Natives."9The North Thompson
country was on the other hand a significant source
of beaver.
However, not all was well along the North
Thompson either; McDonald told of "Chinpoos"
reduced to eating roots and moss, having probably
sold the traders salmon that should have been their
staple. Rich Sockeye and Chinook migrations up
the main river and its tributaries were always crucial to the Simpcw s existence. Their ninth lunar
month was called "The Salmon Come;" their tenth
was "The Salmon Moon, the People Fish All
Month," when they harvested with net, line, and
weir, or speared fish by torchlight. To prepare for
winter, they smoked and air-dried the fish on racks,
methods some still use today. Flaked and pulverized between stones, then packed into grass baskets lined and covered with smoked salmon skins,
the fish could last several years. What hindered the
salmon migration of 1854 is unknown, but its fail-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 >,   4
Left: The Secwepemc
Nation as shown by the
Secwepemc Cultural
Education Society (SCES)
on their Web site <http'.//
www. secwepemc. org>.
ure was disastrous: ChiefTrader Paul Fraser wrote,
"By the arrival of an Indian from the North River
I am informed that the Indians of that quarter
with their families have gone to Fraser's River as
not a salmon was taken in their country."10
The Simpcws' visits continued to be profitable
for the HBC, so that in 1850, when the Simpcws
requested an auxiliary post up the valley, a small
fort was established, where the New Caledonia
fur brigades used to cross the North Thompson
about sixty miles upriver. Although it closed within
two years, the name endures for the modern settlement whose sign boasts," Little Fort, Established
With the fur trade shrinking, Natives began
bartering a rare new prize. In far-off FortVictoria
in 1861 Governor Douglas spoke of Indians finding coarse gold above the mouth of the Clearwater.
While indigenous people had been of use to the
fur traders, they were inconvenient competition
for prospectors. In 1862 the Cariboo gold rush
sent death up the north valley. Smallpox flowing
inland with American miners attacked those without immunity to a strange virus and weakened by
loss of their old ways. The chief trader tried to
vaccinate the few Simpcw who came to the fort by pricking their skin and
rubbing it with some of the scab, at best a questionable "kill-or-cure" solution. His journal contains several entries, one reading: "Indians dying off
with the Small Pox [sic] up North River." As families migrated for fish and
berries, infection traveled alongside. The annual gatherings at Green Lake
and Lac La Hache spread disease.
When the hungry Overlanders struggled down the valley that fall, they
scrounged potatoes left growing at a village depleted of its inhabitants. In
1863 a British "tourist" travelling the route, Dr. Cheadle, told of a headless
corpse of a Native seated against a tree; beside him several small tools and
fragments of horse bones sucked dry indicated that he had been too ill to
hunt. Farther on, Cheadle's party ".. .passed two dead Indians laid out, covered with blanket, all goods and chattels around, not yet completely rotten.
Could not make out whether starvation or small-pox They give fearful
accounts of ravages of the latter."11 No one was left there to attend to the
dead. Sandford Fleming's survey party of 1872 noted many empty pit houses:
"Small pox had reduced the number of Siwashes in this part ofthe country
to the merest handful."12 Out of thirty Secwepemc bands only seventeen
survived the onslaught, including a remnant of the Simpcw. Few pit houses
were reoccupied.
Extensive CPR surveys of North Thompson regions in the 1870s furnished jobs for some of the survivors as axemen and packers who carried
extraordinary loads from a tumpline across the forehead.The engineer, Marcus
Smith, commended the Natives' integrity, but reported: "an Indian injured
severely.. .a poor Indian was drowned.. .our Indian attendants carried heavy
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - SUMMER 2002 Right: This faded
photograph shows Joe Saul
on his horse in 1933.
10 HBC Journal, 1
November 1854.
11 Walter B. Cheadle,
Cheadle s Journal of a Trip
Across Canada, 1862-
1863 (Edmonton:
Hurtig, 1971), p. 214.
12 George M. Grant,
Ocean to Ocean
(Edmonton: Hurtig,
1967), 295.
13 Sandford Fleming,
Report of Progress on
Explorations and Surveys
up to January, 1874, 155.
14 "From Clear Water,
North Thompson River,"
British Colonist, 1
September 1871.
15 The aboriginal name
for the site meant Red
16 An old rancher's story
illustrates one man's
problem with modern
transportation. His horse
and wagon approached
the Peavine railway
where a gate barred each
side of the crossing.
When his wife opened
the first, but before she
could open the second,
the man drove onto the
crossing just as the one
and only train that day
hove in sight, tooting
wildly. Father and
youngsters jumped to
safety but it demolished
the wagon. Hearing the
noise, the rancher ran to
help, and had to shoot
the horse. The family
philosophically set off
17 Muriel Dunford, North
River (Merritt: Sonotek,
2000), 352.
loads over places which looked as if a goat could
scarcely find footing on them."13 A dispatch to the
Colonist deemed the Simpcw "much more intelligent than those on the Island, and strictly honest."14
In 1850, already diminished by foreign infections like measles, whooping cough, influenza, and
tuberculosis, the estimated population of Natives
ofthe lower North Thompson was 500; by 1906,
it had dwindled to 130. In 1850 the first people of
the upper reaches totalled about 250; in 1906, only
70 remained.
In the 1870s the government, without treaty or
consent, created the Red Trees Reserve15 at Chu
Chua on river flats with good soil, but partially
flood plain. When mining interests opposed plans
for a reserve at Tete Jaune, its residents were transplanted to Chu Chua in 1916. Mr. F. Blackman of
Valemount recalls a childhood memory ofthe long,
orderly file plodding by on horseback, ignoring
the whites staring as they passed. Among those
shifted south, "old Catherine" was a familiar sight
as she went out daily to carry home on her back a
bundle of firewood tied with rags. She died in the
bitter winter of 1950, said to be 110 years old, and
speaking only her mother tongue. Noel
Montagnon remembers as a child inVavenby in
1930 showing Joe Saul an arrowhead he had found;
holding it, Joe mused, "Poor old people." He was
of an age to have seen flint used in his youth.
It was thought that granting suitable land and
grazing privileges would encourage tribes in farming and ranching, but the acreage of the reserves
was insufficient. While some tried to adapt without adequate land or equipment, the old hunting-
gathering subsistence prevailed. The Simpcw
roamed, camping at ancient fishing stations on
ranches like Aveley and Peavine; they gladly used
garden produce if invited, but never helped themselves without permission.They picked huge quantities of wild huckleberries and blueberries, and
drove their one-horse wagons by settlers' cabins,
peddling the berries.16
From about 1890 to 1970 Simpcw children
were confined most of the year in the Kamloops
Residential School, first known as an "Industrial
Farm." Its regimen was harsh and comfortless. "A
two-ton cattle truck came for us. Kids from six to
sixteen had to go, but smaller ones got taken, too.
We got the strap if we spoke our own language, so
some of the little kids forgot how. Sisters and brothers could not talk to each other. Our parents had
no way to visit us. We could not wear our own
clothes. Religion was drilled into us.We were told
what to think. We were always hungry, although
the school grew lots of food. The boys learned
farm work but back home in Chu Chua nobody
had enough land to farm properly." Indeed, the
pupils did most of the physical labour, both indoors and out. The school farm produced dairy
products to sell, yet for them butter, milk, and eggs
were scarce.
The Simpcw staggered under profound change.
After the fur trade economy with its concomitants had permanently disrupted their old ways,
the gold rush had introduced smallpox; and a distant authority now imposed reserves and residential schools on them.
Having lost language, culture, and identity,
graduates entered the larger world as misfits, belonging nowhere, ashamed of their race.The Second World War offered them an unlikely opportunity to earn respect. One Native veteran said:
"In the military we were accepted, we were
equal."17 Some achieved special status as marksmen. One Simpcw lance-corporal lies in Dutch
soil.Those who returned from overseas brought a
new air of self-assurance to their people.
In the intervening years the North Thompson
Band, while cherishing its heritage, has sought to
advance in education and business. As with all First
Nations, problems deep-rooted in the past still must
be addressed but the Simpcw are confidently taking their place in the present. ^^
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 The Honourable Thomas Basil Humphreys
A Controversial Contributor to Change in Early BC Politics
by Jean (Foote) Humphreys
For this essay the society for the Promotion of British
Columbia History awarded Jean (Foote) Humphreys
a Margaret Ormsby Award for the year 2000.
ANYONE interested in the history ofBritish Columbia would recognize many
names associated with early politics, such
as Amor de Cosmos, Dr. Helmcken, Joseph Trutch,
George Walkem, and Robert Dunsmuir, but not
the name of the Honourable Thomas Basil
Humphreys, another gentleman who established
a considerable reputation while playing a part on
the BC political scene between 1869 and 1890.
Over the years Humphreys has slipped into
relative obscurity, unjustly so because he was an
interesting member of early BC governments,
serving in various administrations and holding
several portfolios throughout his career. He was
a controversial character, variously referred to as
a ranting demagogue, a destroyer of governments,
a silver-tongued orator, or a generous, wholehearted, and honest friend, depending upon
whose opinion was being aired. Humphreys was
an apt representative of the rough-and-tumble
of provincial politics of his day.1 A good argument can be made that the Honourable Thomas
Humphreys, in spite of his faults, and in the context of the times in which he lived, had the general public interest at heart and attempted to act,
for the most part, on their behalf.
Representing the mining riding of Lillooet,
Humphreys had been elected to the Legislative
Council in 1868 as a pro-confederation candidate. Listed on the electoral rolls as a labourer for
his entire life, Humphreys was originally from
Great Britain. He had a fair education, having
gone to school at Walton-on-the Hill (near Liverpool). He claimed to have served in the East
India Company first as a cadet and later as a midshipman, although this and other details of his
early life are sketchy.2 In late July 1858, after mining for a while in California, he arrived in British Columbia on the steamship Oregon, later describing himself as a "needy adventurer."3 His
gold-seeking days were brief and he was hired as
a constable at Fort Hope in March 1859, later
transferring to Port Douglas. Humphreys was a
courageous young man, not afraid to track down
thieves and outlaws who preyed on miners. One
particular incident saw him barricaded in a cabin
defending himself against eight outlaws. Shots
were exchanged, but he finally managed to capture two of the outlaws and bring them to justice. For this he received a public commendation
from Judge Begbie.4 Humphreys's independent
character and way with words was notable even
in those days, "intemperance of language" being
the descriptive term used. After a stormy resignation in December 1860 he continued at Port
Douglas for a short while as auctioneer and conveyancer, then moved to Lillooet where he
auctioneered and mined until being elected in
1868 to the Legislative Council as a pro-confederation member.5 During his Lillooet years
Humphreys became convinced of the importance
of the mainland and its need for representation
in the legislature. He believed in responsible government and wasn't afraid to say so, often in sharp
terms. A sample of his views is reflected in these
statements taken from his reply to the requisition from the electors of his district in July 1871:
The next Legislative assembly will probably be
the most important that has ever met in this
colony, and it behoves all good men to be
vigilant, and to exert themselves to insure the
successful working of Parliamentary government.... It is not probable that any modern
English community has suffered political ills so
patiently as the people of British Columbia.
The amount of maladministration, and the extraordinary nature of official aggrandisement is
perfectly astounding. A more deplorable collection of despotic follies can hardly be imagined. We have seen public servants voting their
own salaries, fixing their own pensions, defying public opinion, and pursuing with studied
malevolence the popular
representatives....There are certain requisites
indispensably necessary to the security and efficiency of all just governments, the most important of which I believe to be freedom and
security against wrong.6
Jean Humphreys likes
the great outdoors and
BC wilderness areas.
She graduated from
the University College
ofthe Cariboo this
spring. Jean works as a
reference assistant at
the Kamloops Library.
1 Michael F. Halleran,
" Humphreys, Thomas
Basil," in Canadian
Biography, 1977.
2 Family accounts and
other sources such as the
Daily Colonist, 19 August
1951, say that as a cadet
in the East India
Company Humphreys
was selected to receive
the huge Koh-i-Noor
diamond on behalf of
Queen Victoria, kneeling
before the Lion of the
Punjab, Dhuleep Singh,
to receive it and pass it
on to the Viceroy who
sent it to London.
3 Halleran, Canadian
4 "Life's Shadows are Past,'
Colonist, 27 August 1890.
5 Halleran, Canadian
Biography. Humphreys's
resignation in 1860 was
connected to his alliance
with a Native woman
with whom he had
children. In 1873
Thomas Humphreys
married a white woman,
Caroline (Carrie)
Watkins, inVictoria. In
the 1950s their grandson
Llewellyn met his Native
counterpart in Lytton. In
the Lytton cemetery are
several headstones
showing the name
Humphreys. See also Jean
Barman's "Invisible
Women: Aboriginal
Notes continue >>>
9 Mothers and Mixed
Race Daughters in Rural
British Columbia," in
R.W SandweU,ed.,
Beyond the City Limits:
Rural History in British
Columbia (Vancouver:
UBC Press, 1999), 159-
0 Family scrapbook
reproduction of printed
statement. Source not
7 John Douglas Belshaw,
"Provincial Politics,
1871-1916," in The Pacific
Province, ed. Hugh
Johnson (Vancouver:
Douglas & Mclntyre,
1996), 138.
s Daily Colonist, 25 January
3 The gold watch event
generated different
viewpoints. F.W Howay
writes in his book British
Columbia from the Earliest
Times to the Present
(Vancouver: S.J. Clarke,
1914) that the donors
" thought they were
supporting the
movement for more
liberal institutions,
whereas they were
simply placing a
premium on vulgar and
unmeasured abuse." D.W
Higgins, after being set
straight by Humphreys's
daughter, published a
letter retracting an earlier
statement that
Humphreys had been
expelled, and confirming
that as a member of the
Council when
confederation occurred,
Mr. Humphreys was
entitled to be addressed
as "Honourable." Copies
found among the family
papers unfortunately
without the date and
publication title.
10 Sessions ofthe Legislative
Council, 1870,1871,338-
45, 389-40.
His views were to place him in direct conflict
with the powerful Joseph Trutch. Early governments during Humphreys's lifetime did not have
the characteristics of the party-based system we
know today: "they revolved around alliances of
individuals ...a succession of dynasties held together by shared policy objectives, ideology, religion, social status, and common (often venal) interests."7 In addition, the legislature featured
elected and appointed members; the latter with
connections to judicial and powerful figures who
resisted change. One of the most prominent appointees was Joseph Trutch, an Englishman, who
was the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
He represented the development mentality and
belief in the superiority ofBritish civilization that
characterized the powerful upper classes of the
Things livened up considerably with Humphreys's presence in the legislature. He questioned
ideas put forward by the conservative elites, placing motions before the house, and making observant remarks. His efforts on behalf of his constituents were evident: for example, on 24 January 1870 a bill had been introduced by Dr. Carrall
encouraging the introduction of Thomas's patent road steamers into the province. Amor De
Cosmos protested presenting such a measure and
Humphreys objected to the bill being so hastily
put forward. He was certain his constituents knew
nothing about the matter and since it concerned
them more than anybody else, he wanted to get
their opinion. Other protesting members agreed
and they saw the bill successfully withdrawn.8
Humphreys found a
responsive audience
outside parliament in
Victoria as well as in his
own constituency, but
his eloquence landed
him in hot water in
April 1870, when at a
public meeting, he said
that he felt "degraded"
by sitting in the present
Council and accused
Trutch of fiscal mismanagement. He further said he had no confidence in the Executive, called the Legislative Council an "infamous, rascally arrange
ment," and accused Trutch of embezzlement to
the tune of $500,000.
Although Amor De Cosmos tried to prevent
further action, the Council pursued the issue,
moving that Humphreys be suspended for breach
of privilege on 19 April 1870. He refused to sign
a written apology proposed by Trutch, preferring to submit his own, which was not satisfactory to the Council.
Humphreys's popularity was undiminished. A
petition for his reinstatement was circulated (perhaps the same one was sent to Queen Victoria),
which contained 160 signatures. On 13 May 1870
at a public meeting chaired by Amor De Cosmos, Thomas Basil Humphreys was presented
with an inscribed gold watch and chain from the
"grateful citizens ofVictoria."9
Humphreys then stood for re-election at
Lillooet and was returned with a very large majority. With the Queen's approval he was reinstated with honour for the 8th session (pre-con-
It wasn't very long before he was back sniping
at Trutch and his supporters. For example, the
British Colonist, which reported daily on happenings in the legislature, related on 23 January 1871
that Humphreys had moved that all flour made
from wheat raised in the colony be exempted
from road toll. During the ensuing discussion
Trutch opined that he would not change his mind
in spite of anything that was said and the tolls
would stay until confederation. Dr. Helmcken and
some members agreed with Trutch while others
thought that all tolls should be removed. Finally
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 Amor De Cosmos moved that the flour tolls be
removed and an amendment bill be sent down
by His Excellency the Governor. Before the vote
Humphreys voiced his opinion that
.. .he was not surprised at what the Chief
Commissioner (Trutch) had said. He characterized the acts of the Hon. Chief Commissioner as arbitrary and unjust, and called him
the bootmaker of the colony—every man was
compelled to wear the boots made by him
whether they fitted or not.11
The fact was that Trutch was behind all the
road building and tolls imposed in those days,
the first Alexandra bridge, a toll bridge, in the
Fraser Canyon being an example. However, this
occasion saw De Cosmos's amendment carried
and the flour was exempted.
Confederation was on everyone's minds in
1870 and during the confederation debates Humphreys was concerned that as many offices as
possible be retained in the hands of British
Columbians. He was concerned that the people
had been overlooked and reiterated his call for
responsible government. Among other statements
he said:
We must have a government by and for the
people. [I]t is a gross libel upon the intelligence of the people of this Colony, to say that
we are not fitted for self- government...all the
civil wars and troubles have not arisen from
the uneducated, but from the ambition of
these so-called educated classes...take away the
so-called intelligent and educated classes and it
will be no great loss, the labouring classes can
always supply men to fill their places; but take
away the working classes and you kill the
world, the educated classes cannot fill their
places. In my opinion sir, the people want
practical reality... I think that responsible government should be a sin qua non of Confederation.12
In some ways Humphreys was ahead of his
time by questioning class distinctions when it
came to decision making and influence.
That summer, Joseph Trutch stopped in Ottawa on his way to England to lobby Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald about the proposed
transcontinental railway link. Macdonald and
people in Ottawa were impressed by Trutch with
the result that he came back to Victoria bearing
the title of Lieutenant Governor.13
The opening of the first session of the first
provincial legislative assembly took place on 6
February 1872. Trutch, the Lieutenant Gover-
Left and opposite page:
In 1870, at a public
meeting chaired by Amor
De Cosmos, Humphreys
was presented with an
insribed gold watch and
chain from the grateful
citizens ofVictoria.
nor, read the speech from the throne as John F
McCreight, his appointee for premier, sat nearby.
After the ceremonies whenTrutch left the chambers, TB. Humphreys described the formalities
as "a farce." During the ensuing uproar McCreight
said the Sovereign had been insulted. Humphreys
apologized if it seemed that way, he just was being critical of gold lace and folderols which he
thought unnecessary.14
On 11 April 1872, Humphreys made a sensation in the House when he rose to move that in
Clause 13 of the Municipal Bill that was being
considered, "the word 'male' be struck out, allowing any freeholder, leaseholder, etc. either male
or female to vote in Municipal elections." Calling it a fairer deal for females, he argued that
they had to pay taxes on estates left to them by
deceased relations. But after long arguments the
motion was voted down.The editorial comment
in the Colonist printed the heading "Female Suffrage" and went on to say:
We draw the attention of our readers to our
report of the evenlog [evening] session of the
Assembly in which the senior member for
Lillooet made a motion tantamount to an assertion that he is in favour of "Women's
Later that year the issue of the transcontinental railway was the focus of legislative concern,
plus the even touchier issue of Chinese labour,
for members only had to look to the United States
to see who had helped build those lines. Two
anti-Oriental bills had been introduced but both
were defeated. The second one, moving for the
prevention of Chinese labour in any provincial
works or federal works within the province, had
been described by Humphreys as "pure
buncombe."16 But he was also among those who
warned about Canada dictating terms of railway
construction to British Columbia, no doubt concerned about the independent character of the
11 British Colonist, Victoria,
23 January 1871.
12James E. Hendrickson,
ed. Journals of the Colonial
Legislature 1851-1871,
Vol.11 (Victoria: British
Columbia Provincial
Archives, 1980).
13 Robin Fisher, Contact
and Conflict: Indian
European Relations in
British Columbia, 1774-
1890, (Vancouver:
UBCPress, 1977), 163.
14 Sydney WJackman, The
Men at Cary Castle,
(Victoria: Morriss
Publishing, 1972), 22-23.
15 "Evening Session,'
"Female Suffrage,'
Colonist, (Victoria), 11
April 1872
16 James Morton, In the Sea
of Sterile Mountains: The
Chinese in British
Columbia, (Vancouver: J.J.
Douglas Ltd., 1973), 37-
11 "ibid. 52-53.
18 For a fascinating account
of this episode consult
Dr. Mark S.Wade,
Cariboo Road, Ed.
Eleanor A. Eastick,
(Victoria:  Haunted
Bookshop, 1979), 147-
19 Sydney WJackman,
Portraits of the Premiers
(Sidney: Gray's
Publishing Ltd.), 10,23.
20 Halleran, Canadian
21 Captain Pritchard s
fascinating life story is
outlined in his obituary
in the Colonist of 1
November 1883.
22 Daryl Drew, "The Short,
Sad History of the West's
Toughest Cattle Trail," in
the Islander, (Times
Colonist), 29 December
23 ibid.
24 Jackman, Portraits ofthe
Premiers, 35-37.
25 Mel Rothenburger, The
Wild Macleans (Victoria:
Orca Book Publishers,
26 Colonist, 27 August 1890,
27 Colonist, 1,4, and 6
November 1883.
28 Undated newspaper
clipping, probably Times
February 1887, family
province. Economic union, which could only
come with the railroad, would come at a price.17
Humphreys found himself in a dilemma in late
1872 because his partner, Andrew Jamieson, passed
away while in office (the new regime had given
the Lillooet district two representatives). A by-
election brought in William Saul, a poorly educated farmer with narrow views, who did not
work well with the shrewd, better educated, and
capable Humphreys. The latter suggested they
both resign and run again, each with a compatible partner. This duly done, they both campaigned furiously and at election day, Saul, who
was well-known in the district, and his supporters were feeling confident.
What they did not know is that Humphreys
had an ace up his sleeve. During his years in
Lillooet he had many dealings with the Chinese
in the area. He helped keep their books, sell their
gold, write their letters, and so forth, all in an
honest and fair manner. So they were ready to
help him in his time of need and by a narrow
margin of four, Humphreys and his new partner
Brown were on their way to the legislature thanks
to the Chinese voters. A judge had decreed that
they were all Hong Kong subjects and were therefore entitled to vote.18
Not long after Humphreys returned to Victoria, he presented a non-confidence motion relating to the question of responsible government.19
The ensuing vote led to McCreight's resignation
and Amor De Cosmos became premier. But for
some reason, De Cosmos did not give Humphreys
a cabinet position, and disappointed, the latter
promptly joined the opposition.20
Humphreys was a popular figure in social circles in Victoria, attending banquets and gatherings where his charm and ability with words met
with great success. One of Victoria's prominent
citizens was Captain Pritchard, who owned a large
house and lovely garden at the top of Meares
Street. His niece by marriage, Carrie Watkins, possibly met young Humphreys during some social
affair at the house and they were married in November 1873 at Captain Pritchard's home.21 The
Colonist newspaper congratulated the couple and
wished them a long and happy life.
One project Humphreys backed in 1873 was
a proposed trail from Lillooet to Burrard Inlet,
which was supported by a number of people such
as teamsters, who found it frustrating to get
around herds of cattle on the narrow Fraser Canyon section ofthe Cariboo Wagon Road. Ranch
ers from the south Cariboo were not enthused
but Lillooet folks thought it might revive the
town, which had suffered after the Douglas section of the Cariboo trail was bypassed by the
Ashcroft route. Humphreys was able to persuade
the government to finance the work and construction began. It was to take almost four years
to complete the trail, which approximated the
route that BC Rail takes today, and the description of some of the sections rivals that of Fraser
Canyon construction. In November 1877 a Pavilion Mountain rancher named Carson wanted
to be the first to drive his cattle over the new
trail. He was to be the last.There was hardly any
feed, and the trail had numerous washouts, early
snow, and incredible amounts of mud. Cattle died
of exhaustion, while others had to be shot. The
sorry remnant was barged across the inlet to the
butcher.22 InVictoria, a committee set up to investigate the trail advised Humphreys to travel
that route himself since he had lobbied for its
construction. He evidently did not do this and it
looked for a while that he might lose his political
head, but fortunately for him, news that the transcontinental railway was becoming more of a reality diverted everyone's attention.23
In 1875 the legislature, under Premier George
Walkem, passed the first legislation prohibiting
Chinese and Indians from voting, a move favourable to Walkem and his colleagues because their
opponents, including Humphreys, had support
from these quarters. Walkem was also urging
members to reject the latest amendments regarding British Columbia's Terms of Union offered
by the current Prime Minister, Alexander Mackenzie, and to insist that the province receive its
fair share or they would secede. In the first halcyon days of the new session there was no objection but soon regular business resumed and
Humphreys introduced a non-confidence motion opposing the government's financial and
political policies. The vote resulted in the resignation of the government on 27 January 1876.u
Andrew Elliott formed the next government
in February, giving Humphreys the finance and
agriculture portfolio which he held until 24 July
when he resigned after strongly disagreeing with
the other cabinet members about financial matters. He crossed the floor to support Walkem, who
on returning to power in 1878, rewarded him
with the portfolios of provincial secretary and
minister of mines. Humphreys was to hold these
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 positions until June 1882.
During Humphreys's tenure as provincial secretary, he participated in the transport of the infamous McLean Gang who had committed numerous crimes in the Kamloops area and murdered Johnny Ussher, a police constable. At one
point when the gang was barricaded inside a cabin
near Douglas Lake, Humphreys considered sending a cannon up country for the pursuers to use
but abandoned the idea as too impractical. Finally the gang was apprehended and brought as
far as Yale, where Humphreys met the party and,
under harrowing winter conditions, accompanied
them to New Westminster and prison.25 It would
appear that he had not forgotten his days as Crown
constable; in fact he liked to regale visitors in
Victoria with stories of routing desperados and
thieves who preyed on the miners and honest
Captain Pritchard died in 1883, leaving a sizeable estate, which went to his sister and nieces.
Humphreys's wife Carrie inherited the Meares
street house and a downtown property among
other considerations.27 In spite of this Humphreys
suffered from financial difficulties which could
have been due to the fact that he had lost his seat
in the 1882 general election. He spent the next
four years trying to return, even taking an unsuccessful run at the Canadian House of Commons in February 1887. Calling himself a Liberal-Radical he announced his platform, a quote
from which is worth noting:
True progress, now as ever, consists in adapting
our measures to suit the new conditions of our
sparsely settled country and the requirements
of modern society...It is useless, as well as ridiculous, for men to seek, or expect, immutability in a world of endless mutation....Laws
and institutions that are good and necessary in
one generation, become inoperative, and frequently mischievous, to the successors of those
who made and needed them.28
In December 1887 Humphreys finally made
it back into the legislative assembly representing
Comox. He had become a vocal critic of Robert
Dunsmuir and everything Dunsmuir represented,
finding a sympathetic response with a number of
voters, including those in coal-rich Comox,
which had been affected by the Settlement Act, a
railway land-grant proposal that would reap huge
benefits for Mr. Dunsmuir.
Coal was the catalyst for Scottish-born Robert
Dunsmuirs meteoric rise to fame and fortune as
he progressed from worker to entrepreneur to
tycoon. In his early days his relationship with his
own workers was conciliatory, but the higher he
rose the more despotic he became. He was a good
friend to Joseph Trutch and he got along with
Sir John A. Macdonald, a fellow Scotsman with a
taste for fine whiskey that matched his own.29
Not content with being a tycoon, Robert
Dunsmuir got himself elected to the BC legislature in 1882. He moved from Nanaimo, the scene
of his early mining successes, to Victoria, the seat
of power, in 1883, an act symbolic of the growing distance between himself and the " ordinary
man." Dunsmuir presented the idea to Ottawa
Above: The Hon. Thos.
Basil Humphreys during
his tenure as provincial
secretary and minister of
mines, 1878-1882.
<« Notes on opposite page.
13 Right .'The stone marking
the grave ofThomas B.
Humphrey, his wife
Caroline (Carrie), and
their son Thomas Stanley
at historic Ross Bay
cemetery in Victoria.
For more about the life of
Thomas Stanley
Humpreys read Ron
Greene's "Token History:
Humpreys & Pittock of
Nelson, BC " in this issue.
29Terry Reksten, The
Dunsmuir Saga
(Vancouver: Douglas
Mclntyre, 1991).
30 ibid., 78-79.
that since the transcontinental railway terminus
would be at Granville (Vancouver), he could construct a connection between Victoria and
Esquimalt, provided he and his colleagues receive
a $750,000 subsidy plus a railway belt land grant
that included the timber thereon and the coal
underneath. This railway belt extended beyond
Esquimalt all the way to Seymour Narrows, where
a crossing had been considered before Granville
terminus had been finalized and included the
coal-rich areas of Comox.
This deal, known as the Settlement Act, astounded many but still managed to be passed in
the legislature in 1884 thanks to Dunsmuir and
his alliance, which then held sway. But federal
and provincial legislators were unaware that
Dunsmuir had been dealing with the Crockers
from Portland, Oregon, a father and son duo who
were behind the construction of the California
& Oregon Railroad, which had ties to the Southern Pacific system. They also owned over a fifth
ofthe E&N shares. Dunsmuir hoped to convince
them to extend their tracks to Port Angeles, which
would be a short jaunt by ferries (preferably
Dunsmuir-owned) to Victoria While hedging his
bets by buying land in Vancouver, Dunsmuir was
looking to the south for commercial ties, and
went as far as expressing his regrets to a newspaper in Portland that British Columbia did not
belong to the United States.30
Meanwhile in Victoria talk of a knighthood
for Dunsmuir percolated, encouraged by the
Colonist, and a petition to that effect was eventually sent to Ottawa describing him as "the leading citizen" in BC. But when the Victoria Pimes
and Vancouver News Advertiser got wind of what
he had said to the Portland newspaper, they published highly critical opinions of his behaviour.
Dunsmuir silenced them by threatening lawsuits
and through the Colonist, his media mouthpiece,
attempted to tone down the remarks and reinforce his loyalty to the country.31
Thomas Basil Humphreys was having none of
it, and at a public meeting in January 1888 he
took aim at his adversary. "The present government is the most corrupt that ever existed on the
face ofthe earth," he said.
There is no part of Canada or Great Britain
where unprincipled scoundrels have secured
by corrupt means so great an amount of land.
I will not go into details as to what corrupt
means were used by Mr. Dunsmuir to secure
fully one-third of the lands ofVancouver Island. Suffice it to say that the settlement bill
was the most iniquitous that ever passed in any
Dunsmuir launched a blistering counterattack
at the Victoria theatre a few nights later, implying that Humphreys would never have been
elected if Dunsmuir hadn't allowed it, and then
revealing that the financially troubled Humphreys
had borrowed $400 from him, which had not
been repaid as yet. Humphreys, stunned that
Dunsmuir had violated the confidentiality of such
a situation, wrote through the Pimes that he had
sought to repay the debt twice and been refused.
Dunsmuir responded that he would be happy to
receive the debt through his solicitor. At this point
a horrific disaster at the Wellington mine demanded Dunsmuirs attention and pushed every
other news into the background. But Humphreys
did not back off that easily.
On 28 January 1888, the Speech from the
Throne was the first event in the opening legislature. The second was Thomas Humphreys getting up from his chair and introducing a motion
which charged Robert Dunsmuir with treason
and stated in part:
.. .that the said Robert Dunsmuir did openly
express his desire to annex Vancouver Island to
the United States of America. And further, that
the said Robert Dunsmuir did utter his determination to exert his power and influence to
promote such annexation....such open and advised speaking is disloyal to the Queen, a violation of allegiance and oath of office...33
Humphreys referred to "credible witnesses" in
part of his delivery, but delayed as long as possible in completing his motion, subject to debate,
annoying Premier John Robson, who was a
Dunsmuir supporter. Finally, in February Hum-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 phreys proposed a royal commission of inquiry,
which would investigate Dunsmuirs remarks
while suspending him from his cabinet position
until the inquiry was completed.The legislature
watered this down further, voting to appoint a
select committee, which eventually cleared
Dunsmuir. But newspapers from elsewhere, such
as Great Britain and Ontario, had been following this story with keen interest and the result
was the abandonment of any further talk about
the possibility of a knighthood for Dunsmuir.34
For the past year the baronial-style castle
"Craigdarroch" had been under construction on
select view land Dunsmuir had gradually acquired,
and it would take two more years to finish. Meanwhile the E&N lines had been completed from
Esquimalt to Victoria and on 29 March 1888
Dunsmuir arrived on the inaugural train to a
decorated city, bands, a parade, and an evening
banquet at a grand hotel where he made a speech
in praise of capitalists and self-made men. A few
days later a ditty appeared in the Pimes; set to the
tune of "God save the King," the first stanza began as if it were Dunsmuir singing: "I am King
Grab you see, I own this country...," with the
second stanza taking aim at an adversary:
Hirelings! Come sing my praise!
Bulldoze Tom Humphreys
And crush him down
He's practiced honesty
Hence comes his poverty
Just the reverse with me
wear a crown.'
The Colonist indignantly responded and the
two newspapers, each influenced by opposing
factions, flung accusations at each other until
Dunsmuir sued the Pimes for libel over statements
referring to land and roads in Comox. He won
the suit but other problems were wearing at him,
including threatening letters and the possibility
of a strike at Wellington. In the legislature, Thomas Humphreys would be ready and waiting to
engage him in verbal combat, bringing forward
motions such as appointing a select committee
for altering and amending the Coal Mines Regulation act to "afford the requisite protection to
the hardy and industrious coal miners."36
In 1889, the character of the legislature was
much more subdued; Premier Davie was ill, as
were Dunsmuir and Humphreys. All three had
travelled to the southern states in an attempt to
regain their health. Perhaps Dunsmuir had some
grudging sympathy or respect for his old adver
sary, for he wrote to Trutch, "that fellow Humphreys is a very sick man also, in fact looks worse
than Davie." But it was Dunsmuir who died first,
in April 1889, of uremic poisoning at the age of
Thomas Humphreys was suffering from tuberculosis and was unable to attend the 1890 legislative sessions. On 23 August the Pimes stated
that he was "low, but hopeful and cheerful," but
three days later, on 26 August 1890,Thomas Basil
Humphreys passed away. He was only fifty years
old. The obituary published in the Colonist was
respectfully biographical, hinting at the esteem
in which he was held by many in the community.
This has been a brief look at the career and life of
a colourful and controversial early BC politician.
There is so much that needs further study, such as
finding out Humphreys's personal views on the
Chinese. He supposedly opposed the idea of reservations for Natives and favoured assimilation but
this could not be substantiated at the time of writing. What is certain is his concern about the accountability of governments, and the fact that they
should be in touch with working people, not just
the privileged elite. He disapproved of appointed
politicians, arguing that the people should decide
who represented them in government. He questioned the perceived importance of the upper
classes, arguing that those in less privileged working-class circumstances were necessary to the country's well-being, and deserving of government who
responded to their concerns. Throughout his career he was always concerned about how much
money was being spent, or wasted, by government.
His methods for getting his ideas across were not
always diplomatic, sometimes unorthodox, and he
certainly seemed to enjoy being at the centre of a
storm. But he persisted in putting forward his views,
even if it gained him a reputation of being a loose
cannon. The impression is that he saw himself as
having a duty to be inVictoria representing the
common people, which incidentally also was where
he was most comfortable. A product of the Victorian age, his outlook was influenced by British
ties, but he was a progressive thinker, perceiving
that politics had to evolve, that this province and
country had their own unique characteristics. He
pushed for the rights of the greater society and
suggested that women had some rights too. That
Humphreys was a natural politician is certain, that
he made an important contribution to early BC
politics is undeniable. ^^
31 ibid.. 74, 79.
32 ibid.. 80-81.
33 Colonist, 28 January
34 Reksten, Dunsmuir Saga,
89-91. One newspaper
stated wrongly, that
Humphreys' s motion
had been defeated by just
one vote.
35 Reksten, Dunsmuir Saga,
36 Colonist, April 1888.
37 Reksten, Dunsmuir Saga,
15 Three Men in British Columbia: 1887
by Stewart Platts
Stewart Platts, a retired
banker, lives in Cumbria, UK. His keen
interest in BC history
and literature results
from more than 30
years of regular visits,
in particular to Pender
Harbour, where
relations own Bertrand
Sinclair's old cabin.
1 James Arthur Lees. Born
1852 at Alkrington Hall,
Lanes. Educated at Eton
and University College,
Oxford. Trained as
barrister. Magistrate in
Lancashire and
Staffordshire. Author and
traveller. Died 1931.
2 Walter John Clutterbuck.
Born 1853 at
Hardenhish Park,
Chippenham. Educated
at Cheam and Trinity
Hall, Cambridge. Author
and traveller.
3 Three In Norway and B. C
1887: A Ramble in British
Columbia were published
by Longmans Green &
Centre: The Duchess
presented "a somewhat
decrepit appearance. "A
couple of weeks before the
three men boarded the
vessel, the sternwheeler had
been raised from fourteen
feet of water and was back
in service.
Opposite page:
Top: Map showing the
area of the the three men s
Bottom: Duchess in
better days.
THE YEAR  1887 was an important one
for the  Upper  Columbia and East
Kootenay region of BC. The CPR line
had  recently been completed through the
Rockies to Golden and on to the west.The previous year Captain
Frank Armstrong
had commissioned
his first steamer, the
Duchess,   to   link
Golden with Lake
Windermere along
the Columbia
River. Further south
Colonel James
Baker had established his ranch at
Cranbrook, which
led to disputes with
Chief Isadore and
his band. This in
turn led to the arrival of the North
West Mounted Police "D" Division
under    Inspector -
Sam Steele who set- 9
tied the land dispute J
and established what <
was to be called Fort m
Steele. At the same
time the Irish-Austrian entrepreneur and sportsman, William Adolph Baillie-Grohman was beginning work on a scheme to link the Columbia
and Kootenay rivers at Canal Flats.
It was this rapidly changing area that three well-
educated young English sportsmen in their mid-
thirties chose for their adventure trip in the summer of 1887. James (Jim) Arthur Lees1 and Walter
John (The Skipper) Clutterbuck2 had already
described a similar Norwegian holiday in a book
published in 18823.The third member ofthe trio
was "Cardie", Jim's younger brother, who lived
in the Colorado Mountains. As stated in B.C.
1887: A Ramble in British Columbia, the book
about the trip that they published in 1888, the
object of exploring "this little known country
was to test its capabilities as a home for some of
- Jf V
the public-school and university young men who,
in this overcrowded old England of ours every
year find themselves more de twp."
The Skipper and Jim left Liverpool on the
Sardinian on 28 July 1887. From Montreal, they
travelled by rail to Toronto and on to Owen
Sound   where   they
boarded the Alberta to
take   them   to   Port
Arthur, joining  the
CPR again to cross the
Prairies. The two arrived at Golden City, as
it was then called, at
nine in the morning on
16 August 1887, after
their train had negotiated a landslip to the
west of Field. At five in
the evening they were
joined by Cardie, who
came in on an east-
bound  train, having
taken a month to travel
up from Colorado. The
three booked in at the
Queens Hotel, a log
cabin with three bedrooms. But the hotel
had an excellent cook
in Mrs. Green and the large book in the sitting
room entitled Reveries of a Bachelor turned out to
be the hiding place for a whisky bottle, thus "evading the N.W. drink regulations." The next day
the travellers were entertained to lunch by Captain Armstrong on the Duchess and heard that a
couple of weeks before it had survived a wreck
on the Columbia with a full cargo including the
stores of the mounted police contingent at
Galbraith's Landing. However, the sternwheeler
had been raised from fourteen feet of water and
was back in service, although she presented "a
somewhat decrepit appearance and all her fittings
and former smartness had gone."
The Englishmen had intended to go north
along the Columbia and round the Big Bend but,
warned of the rapids downstream from Golden,
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 they decided to travel south toward Lake Windermere. As the CPR had not yet delivered their
canoes, they left on the Duchess on August 17.
The air was "hazy with the smoke from forest
fires," but the sloughs were full of enormous flocks
of geese, ducks, and plover, as well as some swans.
The three Englishmen were expert shots and keen
anglers and were self-sufficient for game and fish
during much of their trip.Their main "big game"
exploit was when the Skipper shot and skinned a
large wild ram.
At Canyon Creek, the three travellers left the
Duchess for a three-day hike into the Selkirk
mountains. Setting up their tent on the very edge
ofthe canyon, they christened the spot Mosquito
Camp for obvious reasons. Returning to the
Columbia after their hike, they joined the Duchess again on her next southbound trip and found
that their canoes, which meanwhile had been delivered by the CPR at Golden, were on board.
Crossing the spawning grounds at Salmon Beds
(now Athalmer, a suburb of Invermere), the ship
reached Windermere Landing on August 23.The
travellers disembarked and returned to Lewis's
Ranch (near present day Radium Hot Springs).
Here another side trip with pack horses took
them through the Sinclair Pass and to the
Kootenay River, from where they retraced their
steps to Lewis's Ranch, which they reached at
the beginning of September.
The travellers continued southward by canoe
to Geary's Ranch (near present-day Fairmont Hot
Springs), where they encountered the remarkable William Adolph Baillie-Grohman lying on a
makeshift bed on the floor. They had met the
famous Irish-Austrian sportsman and entrepreneur a few days earlier at the small police camp
on Lake Widernmere, when he had been on his
way to organize the canal cutting between the
upper lake and the Kootenay River. But now
Baillie-Grohman was seriously ill. The travellers
tried to assist the sick man, but his own team
managed to get him to Windermere, where he
saw a doctor and soon recovered.
From Greary's Ranch the three friends paddled across the upper Columbia lake. At the southern end of the lake they saw a steam boiler "destined for the saw mill which was to cut the lumber for the building of Kootenay City which future metropolis at that moment consisted of a
single one-roomed cabin."Then, having dragged
their canoes a mile and a half across Canal Flats,
they found several men who had started work
"■iacun *
Hal Springs
AthalmtrT .h, ).   ^^       w*o
„ _   _, v -Windermere
InMtngmT * \*
Fairmont Hot Springs?
< 'oiu nibicti     /;-
Utefc M
Canal Plate*
17 on the canal that was to link the Columbia and
Kootenay river systems.The work gang was commanded by " O [nderdonk?], a rare good fellow
whose acquaintance we had already made."
The travellers then canoed downstream along
the Kootenay River via Skookumchuck and
Mathers Ranch to the police camp at Galbraith's
Ferry (now Fort Steele). Here they took another
side trip to Josephs Prairie and the Catholic Mission and then returned to Galbraith's Ferry, where
they found that three mounted police deserters
had stolen their canoes.
The Englishmen stayed at the NWMP camp
at Galbraith's Ferry and became well aware of
the problems with desertion and mountain fever
that Inspector Steele was facing.They visited the
police hospital where some of the sick men were
delirious. One smart young English police officer they met had failed to pass out of Sandhurst
but was doing "uncommonly well "in BC. He recounted how he had been put to guard two Natives who had been brought down for trial, having passed the night with one of them chained
to his leg. He did not much care for that "but in
most respects was enjoying his present life amazingly."
Jim, Cardie, and the Skipper then undertook
another long side trip along both branches of the
Elk River. During this 13-day excursion they didn't
see a single human habitation. They then continued down the Kootenay and finally reached Phillips
Ranch just north ofthe United States border. Crossing briefly into the States, they bought provisions
and were able to collect their stolen canoes, which
they sent back to Golden. Advised against going
further south, they retraced their route to Galbraith's
Ferry and reached the States at Tobacco Plains. Passing through Bonners Ferry, they finally reached the
Northern Pacific tracks at Sandpoint, Idaho, on November 22.
Here the trio split up. Cardie set off for Colorado, while Jim and the Skipper caught a westbound
train through the Cascades to Tacoma. The "gorgeously appointed and very comfortable" S.S. Olympian took them to Victoria, and the more modest S.S. Princess Fouise onward to Vancouver, where
they boarded a CPR train to take them back to
Golden. They stopped the night at the Queens
Hotel, picked up their "scattered goods," and took
the train to Montreal, which they reached after five
days of increasingly wintry weather.The S.S. Ptruria
finally brought them back to Liverpool where they
landed just before Christmas 1887.
Lees and Clutterbuck had been away from Britain for five months in all and the three friends
had travelled about 700 kilometres in BC and
the States by steamboat, canoe, on foot, and on
horseback in just over three months. In the year
following their journey, Lees and Clutterbuck
published an account of their Canadian journey
under the title B.C. 1887. Written in a light-
hearted style reminiscent of Jerome K. Jerome,
the book is enlivened with witty verse, photographs, and sketches and presents a vivid description ofthe territory. It also contains shrewd comments on the society they found, as well as the
possibilities for future emigration and development.
During their journey they met many interesting people, among them members of a number
of First Nations bands.They drew their own conclusions about the dispute between Colonel Baker
and the Kootenays (Ktunaxa). In their opinion
the fears of a Native uprising were exaggerated,
although they did find signs of panic among the
settlers. However their sympathies lay with the
Kootenays, and they foresaw the problems lying
ahead for the Natives as they were squeezed out
of their best land. In their view the Natives should
be given "really good reserves of land" but felt
that "this was more than the Government have
any intention of sacrificing." They feared that after further disputes the Natives would "be ruthlessly put down, the survivors placed on reserves
they don't like and the fire-water, missionaries
and other civilising influences of the pale-faces
will do the rest of their deadly work."
Our travellers met various other local people
such as Phillips, Norbury,Vowel (the Gold Commissioner), and Mrs. Clark, one of only three
white women in the area. Two Chinese made a
special impression on them. One was Sam, the
cook on the Duchess, who was described as "the
best cook in mainland B.C." The other was "the
Captain," who kept a ramshackle hotel near the
Cranbrook farm owned by Colonel Baker.They
did not meet Colonel Baker, who was probably
inVictoria on political business at the time, but
they did meet his son and were very hospitably
received at the Colonel's ranch.
In assessing the attractions ofthe area for British emigrants the writers stressed the abundance
of game and fish and the impressive scenery. On
the negative side they pointed out the enormous
numbers of mosquitoes and the variability of the
weather. They were unsure about the suitability
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 Left: Lunch on the upper
deck ofthe Duchess.
of the climate for fruit growing but mentioned
the excellent potatoes that were produced. "For
English gentlemen with small capital who do not
wish or expect to make fortunes we fancy there
is still plenty of room here. They could with
moderate industry live comfortably (though not
luxuriously) in a healthy climate with the Union
Jack over their heads, and the Queen's writs and
taxes so to speak on their doorstep; a fish in the
river, a joint on the mountain, and game in the
forest all ready for every man's dinner; and three
acres and a cow in the back garden; in fact all the
surroundings which we are taught to believe necessary for a happy existence." The writers summarised their views in the following words: "For
young unmarried men with capital say of £2,000
to £5,000 we believe there are great chances." In
present-day values this represents between
400,000 and one million Canadian dollars, which
gives some idea of the sort of readership the authors were addressing. Lees and Clutterbuck also
had a word for the ladies. "The drawbacks from a
lady's point of view are considerable and we
should not advise any woman to go out there
who is not thoroughly able as well as willing to
rough it and to trust to her own resources."
The book provides an excellent view of the
Kootenays through sharp and independent eyes
at a crucial point in the development of the region, but probably more importantly the book
itself may have had a considerable influence on
the region. At the time of its publication there
was already keen interest in Britain in the possibilities for emigration to and investment in British Columbia, now that the Canadian Pacific
Railway had dramatically reduced the journey
time from London.
Longman Green in London had already published in 1865 Macfie s fine book Vancouver Island
and British Columbia. Pheir History, Resources and
Prospects, but that contained very little information about the Kootenays. Now the same publishing house had produced a more entertaining
and humorous work which would appeal to the
well educated and adventurous would-be emigrants, investors, and sportsmen.
The book proved popular and was reprinted
in 1889 and in 1892. How many of the young
men and women who later set sail from Liverpool aiming for British Columbia had been
tempted by the descriptions of Lees and
Clutterbuck in B.C. 1887: A Ramble in British
Columbia ?<^^>
19 Token History
by Ronald Greene
Humphreys & Pittock of Nelson, BC
1 Williams B. C Directory for
1899, which listed
Humphrey [sic] & Co.
2 Nelson Daily Miner 3
December 1899, p. 2
3 Nelson Daily Miner 13
December 1899, p. 3
4 Nelson Daily Miner 23
December 1899, p. 7
5 The Essondale medical
history of Thomas
Stanley Humphreys was
obtained by Barb Ethier,
which mentions that his
business failed.
0 See Jean Loote
Humphreys, "The
Honourable Thomas
Basil Humphreys: A
Contributor to Change
in early BC" in the issue
of BC Historical News.
7 Nelson Miner 25 October
1898, p. 3
s Daily Colonist 2
November 1898, p. 3
Centre: Thomas Stanley
Humphreys at Spokane
Wash., September 1913.
THE Humphreys & Pittock token, a brass
piece measuring 21 mm in diameter, would
have been issued in 1899. At least eight have
survived. Another token, which reads HP & Co., has
been tentatively attributed to the firm but this cannot
be confirmed.
We know that in 1898Thomas Stanley Humphreys
operated Humphreys & Co., fruits and candies, on
Baker Street in Nelson,1 next to the Nelson Hotel.
By February the following year, 1899, the business was being carried on
as Humphreys & Pittock.
The occasional newspaper
advertisements show various merchandise: fruits,
candies, newspapers, tobacco, ice cream soda, etc.
Also, an ad for JoyThe Star
Baker, lists Humphreys &
Pittock as one of the grocers that stocked their
bread.2 On 13 December
1899, a note in the newspaper reads, "John Pittock,
ofthe firm of Humphreys
& Pittock, leaves today for
California in consequence
of a letter received announcing the serious illness of his father. Mr. Pittock expects to be away a   I
couple   of   months.      s
However, only ten days &
later the newspaper an-   |
nounces      that       Joe  c
Howson has purchased
the stock of Humphrey [sic] & Pittock, and is selling
out same, to start in the tobacco business."4 A later
report mentions that the business failed5, which is perhaps not surprising, as it is hard to see how a small
grocery would support two partners.
In Victoria's Pioneer Square, which is the Old
Quadra Street Burying Ground, stands a large monument to Thomas Pritchard and his wife, Margaret.The
reader may wonder what this monument has to do
with a Nelson token, but this monument provided
the answer to the question ofthe relationship between
Humphreys and Pittock. The search in itself would
make an interesting story. We found Humphreys descendant Barb Ethier who had never heard of John
Whistance Pittock, but she had an ancestor, Margaret
Whistance Pritchard Watkins. A rare name appearing
on both sides suggested a connection. Through e-
mail we also contacted other genealogists; John Young,
Graham Ennis (Young family), Michael Cox. (Pittock
family) and had a lineage chart by Carol Hubbard
(Tamblyn family). We were also able to meet Nora
Young Mackenzie and her daughter Stella Cleave. Not
one of us had the whole picture but each brought
information forward that
the others did not have,
with the result that finally
we can piece together a
still sketchy story of the
men Humphreys and Pittock.
Thomas Pritchard was
quite a wealthy man. He
and his wife had no children, so he made bequests
to the children of his sister, Margaret Whistance
Pritchard Watkins, married to John Watkins. One
of the bequests went to
Pritchard's niece Caroline
Watkins Humphreys, and
another to Caroline's sister Anna Watkins Pittock.
These two sisters were the
mothers respectively of
Thomas Stanley Humphreys and John
Whistance Pittock, who
are thus cousins, and who,
together, ran the store in
Nelson in 1899.
Thomas Stanley Humphreys was born inVictoria
on 22 December 1873. He was the son of Thomas
Basil Humphreys, Colonial Constable and later MLA
and the subject of some study already,6 and Caroline
(Carrie) Watkins. Thomas Stanley grew up inVictoria. After his father's death in 1890, he left school and
worked as a clerk for a while at City Hall, c. 1892-
1893. The family is not mentioned in the directory
for 1894 and appear to have left Victoria for a time but
returned to the family home by 1897.Thomas Stanley
is next found in Nelson in October 1898. He appeared as a witness, along with J.W. Pittock, in a notice of dissolution in the partnership of Lewis and
Chase, bakers.7 At the beginning of November 1898
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol.35 No. 3 he married Jane Ross inVictoria. The Colonist report
of their wedding states that Stanley Humphreys was,
"a son [of] the late Hon.T.B. Humphreys and is now
a successful business man of Nelson, for which city he
left with his bride this morning." 8 The couple had
several children including one that died at a very early
age—a child the family hadn't been aware of until this
research was launched.
Following the failure of the business Humphreys
went to work as a bookkeeper, although both he and
Pittock are still listed as merchants in the 1900 voters'
list, dated 7 May 1900 for the June general election of
that year. Later, Humphreys found work as a car repairman with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He
worked for a time in Eholt and by 1912 was in Grand
Forks. As a result of a strike following the First World
War, he lost his job with the CPR but was hired back
and worked for them at Beaver (or Beavermouth) on
the main line between Revelstoke and Sicamous. The
family has been told that he was hit by a locomotive
while switching cars, which caused some brain damage and loss of memory. Unfortunately we have not
been able to uncover any information about such an
accident, but Thomas Stanley Humphreys was committed to the Provincial Mental Hospital at Essondale
on 1 November 1925 and died there on 1 March
1940. His widow Jane Ross Humphreys, died inVictoria in November 1945.
As said earlier,Thomas Humphreys'partner in Nelson and cousin was John Whistance Pittock, known as
"Jack." His parents were Robert Bonner Pittock and
Anna Maria Watkins. The father was born in London
and came to the USA in the early 1840s. He came
west by wagon train and with his brother, Henry Lewis
Pittock, settled in Portland. The brother started as a
printer's devil and in 1860 purchased the Oregonian
newspaper, in time becoming a wealthy man.9 Robert
Bonner's first wife, Maria Buckingham, died in 1857
as a result of childbirth. In his grief, he returned to
Pittsburgh to stay with his parents for a while. Returning to Portland he worked for Thomas Pritchard
and in 1863 married Anna Maria Watkins, Pritchard's
niece. When Thomas Pritchard decided to move to
Victoria he gave his business to Robert Bonner Pittock.The Pittocks had eleven children, ofwhich Jack
was the seventh, born in Portland, Oregon, on 26 July
Following Pritchard's death in 1883, the Pittock
family moved to Victoria, where Jack became a
draftsman. By 1896 Jack had moved to Lewiston, Idaho,
where he became involved in a real estate company.
Jack came to Nelson in late 1898 andjoined his cousin,
Thomas Stanley Humphreys, in the confectionery business.
Jack's father probably moved to San Diego, where
in 1899 he had a stroke that invalided him for the rest
of his life.   It was at that time that Jack travelled to
Left: Monument to
Thomas and Margaret
Pritchard, Pioneer Square,
Victoria BC.
California to see his ailing father, as reported in the
Nelson newspaper. Robert Pittock died in September
190610 and Jack, following the failure of the Nelson
business, seems to have returned to Lewiston and resumed his real estate business.
On 14 February 1906 Jack Pittock married Stella
Tamblyn, whose father, Francis (Frank) Tamblyn, ran
the Nelson Wine Company, which was also located
on Baker Street.11 In 1899 both Humphreys & Pittock and the Nelson Wine Company had listed their
telephone number as No. 93, so they may have been
sharing premises. The 1906 wedding took place in
Lewiston, Idaho, at the home of Stella's mother. At
some time Jack became diabetic, which in the early
part of the twentieth century was tantamount to a
death sentence. By 1907 he was living in San Diego,
and a letter from his sister to a brother says that he was
camping in the mountains nearby and feeling and looking better. However, he did not live much longer and
died in Claremont, California on 19 January 1908.
In 1911 Stella Pittock married again: Charles
WarburtonYoung, who was Chief of Police in Nelson
at that time and also an outstanding artist. The marriage produced four daughters, one of whom, Nora
Mackenzie, we were able to interview.
Both Thomas Stanley Humphreys and John
Whistance Pittock had their share of misfortune and
even tragedy in their life. If it hadn't been for a small
brass token these stories might never have been pieced
together. While the story on the token issued by Humphreys & Pittock in 1899 is brief, it is amazing how
much information about the two men has surfaced—
information that otherwise might have remained scattered in archives, official registries, and even the memories and papers of the Humphreys and Pittock
3 Henry Lewis Pittock
built Pittock Mansion,
which was later
purchased by the City of
Portland, restored, and is
today a part of the city's
parks system.
10 The Pittock Descent,
genealogical notes by
Michael Cox.
11 Incidentally, Prank
Tamblyn also issued a token in Nelson.
21 Book Reviews
Books for review and book reviews should be sent to:
AnneYandle, Book Review Editor BC Historical News,3450 West 20th Avenue,Vancouver BC V6S1E4
Milton Parent
Circle of Silver,
reviewed by Naomi Miller.
Colin Castle
Lucky Alex: The Career of Group
Captain A.M. Jardine,AFC,CD,
reviewed by Mike Higgs.
Catherine A. Cavanaugh and
Randi E. Warne, Eds.
Telling Tales: Essays in Western
Women's History,
reviewed by Ellen L. Ramsay.
Peter E. Palmquist and
Thomas R. Kailborn
Pioneer Photographers ofthe Far West:
A Biographical Dictionary 1840-1865,
reviewed by David Mattison.
Keith Carlson,eta/.
A Std.76 Coast Salish Historical Atlas,
reviewed by Cole Harris.
T.A. McLaren and Vickie Jensen
Ships of Steel: A British Columbia
Shipbuilder's Story,
reviewed by Robert Allen.
Andrew Neufeld and Andrew Parnaby
The IWA in Canada: The Life and Times
of an Industrial Union,
reviewed by George Brandak.
Jean Cochrane
The One-Room School in Canada,
reviewed by Kirk Salloum.
Frank W. Anderson
Old Bill Miner: Last of the Famous
reviewed by Arnold Ranneris.
Constance Horne
The Tenth Pupil,
reviewed by Pat Allejo.
Winner ofthe Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for
Historical Writing, 2001.
Circle of Silver
Milton Parent.
Nakusp: Arrow Lakes Historical Society,
2000. 375 pp. Illus. $45 hard cover.
Order from Arrow Lakes Historical Society,
Box 819, Nakusp, BC VOG 1R0
Reviewed by Naomi Miller
This well-written, superbly illustrated
book is Volume 4 of the Centennial Series
prepared for the Arrow Lakes Historical
Society by Milton Parent, assisted by his wife
Rosemarie and others. The book presents a
detailed history ofthe Lardeau district which
covers a mountainous area extending from
the north arm of the Arrow Lakes to the
northern tip of Kootenay Lake. A community
named Lardeau sprang up at the mouth of
the Fish River near Arrowhead.That Lardeau
was abandoned when the use of lake steamers
replaced the need for a circuitous road.Then
a new settlement, Lardo, was created at the
mouth of the Lardeau River draining into
Kootenay Lake.
Having clarified the geography in my
mind, the history of a succession of mines
with accompanying boom towns unfolded
systematically through the years. Thomsons
Landing (later known as Beaton) was the
entry point for supplies coming in to Trout
Lake City, Ferguson, and Camborne. These
three towns boomed with stores, hotels, a
sawmill, churches, a school, a hospital, and a
newspaper. In 1902 the first, and only, rail
line in the district was built between Lardo
and Gerrard. Gerrard prospered not only
from receiving freight down Trout Lake, but
also as the site for an early fish hatchery and
a major sawmill.
The mining claims in the Lardeau district
held high-grade ore. Bringing these into
production as working mines was challenging
due to steep mountain terrain and very heavy
snowfalls. Although the developers managed
to overcome some ofthe difficulties and work
for a few profitable seasons none ofthe mines
was worked to exhaustion. Fluctuating
commodity prices, the First World War, the
Depression, and the lack of decent roads
impeded any incentive to continuous mining.
As one wag explained a certain flurry of
exploration, "It was a New York outfit and
they were mining New Yorkers."
Large sawmills at Comaplix and Gerrard
provided employment for many in the years
before the First World War. Logging
operations with specialty mills worked
intermittently . Marble was quarried north
of Meadow Creek and shipped out to create
major buildings not only in Nelson, but as
far away as Winnipeg and Edmonton. The
biggest crew at Marblehead numbered 90.
Quarrying provided work over the years until
the rail line was taken out in 1949.
The lake steamers quit serving Lardo. A
road was built along the west side of Kootenay
Lake to connect with the abandoned rail bed
to Trout Lake. The earliest user of that road
was the contractor bringing in supplies and
equipment to build the Duncan Dam.W A.C.
Bennett imagined that a new recreational lake
would be created by the dam, but because
no money was allocated for clearing the basin
the flooding created a debris-laden debacle.
Tourism, however, has become part of the
present life in the Lardeau district, with heli-
skiing drawing greater numbers than summer
Circle of Silver details life in the early
mining communities. The government
records quoted and pictures paint a vivid
panorama from the 1890s to the present.The
author researched archives diligently and
collected personal memories of many
oldtimers. He began interviewing pioneers
in 1972 and has concentrated on collecting
Arrow Lakes history since returning to
Nakusp in 1984. Augmenting and assisting
Parent's work was Edna Daney who has a
good memory and holds records and photo
albums of two families. Mrs. Daney, now of
Nakusp, was a resident of Trout Lake and
Ferguson for almost fifty years. This is a
history of mining laced with details of how
families adapted to changing circumstances.
All in all, this is an amazing history of the
remote Lardeau district, a very valuable
addition to British Columbia history.
Reviewer Naomi Miller is a former editor of the
B.C. Historical News.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Lucky Alex: the Career of Group
Captain A.M. Jardine, AFC, CD,
Seaman and Airman; Adventures at
Sea, on Land and in the Air, from
Hard Times to Cold War, 1929-1965
Colin Castle.Victoria: Fighting Fit Publishers,
2001. 332 pp. Illus., $30 soft cover.
Available from Fighting Fit Publishers, 101 -
110 Douglas Street.Victoria, BC V8V 2N9
Reviewed by Mike Higgs.
It is not often that a biographer is so
fortunate in the availability of his subject-
matter, and the sheer interest of his subject,
as the writer of this book. From an enormous
trove of letters, diaries, records, photographs,
official histories and personal memoirs, Colin
Castle, himself a teacher of history, has
produced an admirable and compelling
narrative, the life story of Group Captain Alex
Born in Vancouver in 1914," Lucky" Alex
Jardine, who at this writing is still, aged 87,
attending functions of the Air Force Officers
Association in BC, has led a life of
extraordinary achievement and purposeful
activity. The book, beautifully printed and
well-bound in glossy soft-cover, traces his
career as an ambitious young man. From a
job as bridge-messenger on the CP
Steamship's Empress of Canada and later as an
officer-apprentice with Donaldson Line,
Jardine moves smoothly ashore to enlist in
the pre-war Royal Air Force as a pilot. The
book teems with the details of his life, his
relations, sponsors, supporters, addresses,
adventures, hosts, friends, and their sisters.This
detail also gives an overview of the Thirties
in England: the age of flappers and cads has
passed, but there is still a layered society.
Without money but with good looks and
plenty of worldly experience, Lucky Alex
made his way unerringly to a commission as
Pilot Officer Jardine and to qualification as a
flying boat pilot.There had been a succession
of girlfriends, but perhaps Alex had been
reading the memoirs of the flinty British
explorer Wilfred Thesiger, who remarked of
his quasi-official travels in Arabia that" a wife
would certainly have been a crippling
handicap". Alex, aged 23, sailed to his new
posting at Singapore with the world before
him. The book conveys perfectly the social
dynamics aboard ship, and then the
atmosphere of life at a peace-time RAF
station (duty hours: 7.30 A.M.. to 12.30 P.M.).
There was plenty of flying, sailing, sport,
and partying, but soon we are into the Second
World War, and then the Japanese assault on
Singapore. Here the author, perhaps with the
historian's dispassionate eye when dealing
with events few now remember from
personal experience, continues his relentless
unreeling of the minutiae of Lucky Alex's
daily life. With an unvarying smoothness,
which is perhaps its only fault, the narrative
carries us through stomach-churning
adventures in combat flying, all-weather
operations in dangerously ill-equipped and
basic aircraft, military disaster, capture, escape,
recapture, survival, and a return to normality
in 1945 in which the legendary luck played
no small part. In addition to his other virtues,
Jardine is a compulsive correspondent, diary-
keeper, and memorialist.This part of the book
is enlivened by pages of direct quotation from
his papers and letters, which give an almost
boyish immediacy to the account. There are
also photographs,cartoons, and simple maps,
which are clear and adequate for following
the action.
The second half, or remaining part, ofthe
book is equally detailed but rather less
inspirational. Alex is able to transfer from the
RAF to the RCAF—"the service that had
refused to consider his application in
1935"—and, with his usual diligence, to
climb purposefully up the career ladder. He
soon gains a permanent commission (as
distinct from a limited engagement), he
attends staff college, he commands the RCAF
component of the National Research
Council, is appointed Director of Military
Studies at RMC Kingston, and makes a semiofficial tour of Australia for both personal
and military purposes.
Then there is that inevitable hiatus in the
military career, a diplomatic posting. But first,
in an almost choreographed way, he decides
that bachelorhood need not continue, and
he marries his first cousin Ann Johnston in
1957. There follows a dreary interval of
learning to speak Russian, and a period of
almost three years in Prague as military
attache to the Czech government.The book
conveys exactly the hollowness of life during
the cold-war period in a Russian-dominated
context. The shortages, the meaningless
shadowing by spooks, the evasions and half-
truths of a foreign administration, are
accurately recounted. But the pull of the west,
both political and geographic, is changeless,
and Alex Jardine's last assignment is very
appropriate. He ends his career as CO of
RCAF Station Penhold, in Alberta.
"Lucky Alex" is much more than the
record of a man's life as seaman and pilot. It
is a rich source-book for anyone interested
in the lives and attitudes of British
Columbians in the first half of the twentieth
century. In those days, anything seemed
possible, most of it could be reached by
aeroplane, and Alex Jardine did it all.
Reviewer Mike Higgs is a retired Canadian
Pacific airline pilot, who has also flown with the
Vancouver Search and Rescue Squadron.
Telling Tales: Essays in Western
Women's History
Catherine A. Cavanaugh and Randi R.Warne,
Eds. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2000. 359 pp.
$29.95 paperback
Reviewed by Ellen L. Ramsay
Telling Tales, an anthology of eleven essays
edited by Catherine Cavanaugh and Randi
Warne, deals with women's history in western
Canada from 1880 to the 1940s.The chapters
have been arranged chronologically from first
"encounters" to the development of "diverse
communities" in later years.The editors suggest
that the volume takes a multicultural and cross-
cultural perspective engaging with the
convergence as well as the difference between
women of many cultures.
The introduction by the editors situates the
volume in the context of contemporary
history writing on women with a highly
theorized opening section.The editors suggest
that the "battle lines" of historiography have
been drawn in three directions: firstly the
traditional national narratives', secondly the
oppositional history of the "particularity"
school (e.g. women's history, social history,
working-class history), which questions the
homogeneity and objectivity ofthe traditional
narratives. The third direction is the
postmodern school where the homogenized
identity of "woman" (now part of "gender"
studies) is questioned by a theory of multiple
subject positions and shifting identities of race,
gender, class etc.
The editors present their volume as a
contribution to women's history celebrating
the diversity between women. The sources
consist of both conventional sources (official
documents, newspapers and government
records) and broader sources (diaries, letters,
memoirs, and oral histories). However the
intent is to ask new questions of these sources
and to tell history from the point of view of
the women who lived it. Women are to be
seen as active agents shaping their lives within
the resources available to them.
23 The most successful essays in this anthology
base their findings on letters and diaries as
opposed to those that rely on reading between
the lines of official sources. The chapter on
Native women by Sarah Carter, based on the
letters of Mary E. Inderwick, for instance,
demonstrates how the acceptance of Native
women into the white community altered over
time from the prized companions of European
men in the early years to "dissolute and
dangerous" menaces following the Riel
Rebellion and the invalidation of mixed
marriages. The volume then begins to
strengthen midway with Sheila McManus's
diligent work on the primary sources of
Alberta farm women from 1905 to 1929.The
stories of Kathleen Strange, Sarah Roberts, and
Evelyn McLeod settling on the prairie and
turning sod shacks into their new homes
resonate as distinctly personal tales. McManus
deals with the contradictions in the women's
lives between "inside" work and "outside"
work, which were segregated in the public
realm. Only inside work (in the home) is
spoken of despite the fact that many of the
women were most active in the public realm,
especially with the United Farm Women of
Alberta. The UFWA women campaigned
actively for municipal hospitals at a time when
death from childbirth at home was a common
occurrence.The UFWA supporters also joined
the campaign for better property laws so that
wives could hold joint ownership of property
with their husbands in the 1920s.
Chapters 6 and 7 further develop women's
struggles around medical provisions
demonstrating the resourcefulness and
fortitude of the women involved. Nancy
Langford, in her essay "Childbirth on the
Canadian Prairies, 1880-1930" provides us
with an account of sisterhood amongst women
who helped each other with their deliveries
in the absence of midwives and doctors.
Women came face-to-face with the issue of
their own mortality, as so poignantly illustrated
by Sophie Puckette who, in 1905, arranged
all her personal belongings in the event of her
death during delivery. Even some trained
public health nurses saw themselves as" nurse
and undertaker" during these deliveries.
Beverly Boutilier develops the story of the
struggle for trained nurses and municipal
hospitals through the Victorian Order of
Nurses, which was founded in 1897 by the
National Council of Women of Canada.
Boutilier examines the new sense of solidarity
that was emerging at the end of the nineteenth
century when women joined together across
the divide of religion to fight for improved
conditions in western Canada.
Other chapters provide fine reading. Frieda
Esau Klippenstein contributes a chapter on
Mennonite domestics', Frances Swyripa a
chapter on Ukranian women in theVegreville
Bloc of East Central Alberta; Sherry Edmunds -
Fletton on African-American women on
Vancouver Island; and Ann Leger-Anderson
on Gertrude Telford's commitment to the cooperative ideal in the early years of the CCF
The essay on African-American women
demonstrates a skilful use of primary sources
including census, church, cemetery and court
records, as well as will and probate files to locate
the estimated 179 women of African-
American origin on Vancouver Island from
1858 to 1901.
The main criticism this reader has of Telling
Tales is that the introduction to the book
promises a level of theoretical reflection that
is not carried out in the remainder ofthe book.
The individual chapters provide samples of
the diversity in women's lives but they do not
contain much theoretical reflection. Perhaps
in the attempt to avoid a homogeneous
narrative, the contributing authors have chosen
to stay away from any generalizing comments
about theory. This is unfortunate. While the
lack of theoretical reflection in the essays
doesn't detract from the volume's usefulness
as case studies of individual women, it does
make for uneven reading. For instance it would
have been interesting if Nancy Longford's
chapter on "Childbirth in the Canadian
Prairies, 1880-1930" had commented on
another volume on the subject, Elaine Leslau
Silverman's The Last Best West: Women on the
Alberta Frontier 1880-1930 (1984), which also
has a section on childbirth. Silverman's volume
is omitted from the bibliography of this
volume. It would be interesting to learn in
which ways Langford's chapter is similar or
departs from Silverman's book.
TellingTales challenges many of the deeply
rooted myths surrounding the founding of
western Canada through the recovery of
women's histories in the region. While the
book does not fully develop the theory that
the editors outline in their introduction, it does
provide the historian with some useful
histories of women in the west. The volume
reads easily, is carefully researched, and leaves
the reader with a clearer impression about the
history of particular women in the western
Reviewer Ellen Ramsay is Recording Secretary of
the Vancouver Historical Society.
Pioneer Photographers of the Far
West: A Biographical Dictionary,
Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn.
Stanford: California: Stanford University
Press, 2000. 679 pp. US$125 hardcover.
Reviewed by David Mattison
Peter Palmquist, who lives in northern
California, is likely the world's most prolific
photographic historian. Certainly in North
America he is unequalled for the depth and
quality of his research and writing. Palmquist's
enthusiasm for the field led him early on to
the amassing of a large personal archive and
museum of photographic artifacts (referred
to in this book as the "study collection").
Palmquist's own bibliography stretches back
nearly 25 years and includes some ofthe most
detailed accounts of the first photographers
in California. This massive volume is the
capstone of a brilliant and dedicated second
career as an independent researcher, along
with his co-author, into the history of
photography. I cannot claim to be entirely
neutral in my praise for this work. As a
photographic historian myself and a frequent
correspondent with Palmquist over the past
two decades, I must acknowledge his thanks
for my own modest efforts at documenting
our province's earliest photographers. I am
also gratified to see British Columbia's photo
history during its colonial era incorporated
into Palmquist's book. It is especially
fascinating to read of Richard Carr's (Emily
Carr's father) first career as an itinerant
daguerreotypist in New York, Latin America,
South America, Mexico, and California, the
details of which are found in his diaries in
the BC Archives (MS-0610). Up until
Palmquist's book, preceded by his 1987 article
about Carr, the full breadth and significance
of Carr's photographic travels were virtually
The bulk of the book (about 600 pages)
consists of meticulously researched
biographical entries for every known
photographer,anonymous and named,along
with photo studio employees, who worked
in the American West, Alaska, Hawaii, British
Columbia, Central America, and Mexico.The
entries range in length from a single short
paragraph to several pages constituting a
major article about some of these
photographers. Over 1,000 individuals are
documented, including more than two dozen
men and women working in or passing
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 through BC before 1866. BC even served as
an advertising ploy for one California
photographer during the Fraser River gold
rush.Thomas M.Wood warned miners that
should they not survive, or if they did return,
a photo portrait would serve as a reminder
of their death and life. The only other
comparable work to Palmquist and
Kailbourn's monumental work is the almost
equally monumental Biographies of Western
Photographers by Carl Mautz (1997). It covers
more territory, both geographically and
chronologically, but the entries are much
more abbreviated.
The well-illustrated introduction covers
the role photography played in establishing
the American West as suitable for settlement:
that it was not, as described by the early
explorers, all desert; the excitement generated
by the California gold rush; how the
photographers operated as merchants and
trades people; the technical and artistic aspects
of photography, especially outdoor or field
work; the incorporation of photography into
entertainment such as panoramas and magic
lantern shows', and the use of photography
in the publishing industry.
The question of who took the first
daguerreotype on the west coast of North
America remains unanswered. The archival
and published historical records have failed
to yield a definitive name and identity of this
mystery man or woman. Palmquist and
Kailbourn have, however, traced some of the
earliest daguerreotypes to a 12 year old
daughter of a Mexican general who may have
produced some portraits around 1847. The
authors conclude that given the intricacies
of the daguerreotype process, someone, an
as yet anonymous photographer, must have
taught the girl how to operate the camera
and produce the daguerreotype.The earliest
years of photography were the most difficult
and exhilarating for its practitioners, as well
as the most elusive to document for today's
historians. For the photographer, there was
the thrill of being the first to capture the
splendour of unknown vistas or to venture
deep into Native territory, risking life and
camera equipment for the precious novelty,
when they would be allowed, of
photographing exotic customs and peoples.
Many photographers regarded the Indians as
both customer and subject matter. Fire and
long-term health damage from exposure to
hazardous chemicals were daily worries. Fresh
water was a constant requirement for
processing work. As with any commercial
enterprise in mid-nineteenth century North
America, photographic businesses were
varied in their level of capitalization and
staffing, from mom and pop operations such
as Victoria's Maynards to early franchisers
such as California's Robert H. Vance to
partnerships, quite often between brothers.
Among some of the entries about
photographers and ex-photographers who
lived in or visited BC are those for Richard
Carr, Francis George Claudet, the Corps of
Royal Engineers, Amor De Cosmos
(formerly William Alexander Smith), George
Robinson Fardon, Charles Gentile, David
Roby Judkins, Hannah and Richard
Maynard, Noah Shakespeare, Stephen Allen
Spencer, and John William Vaughan. Of all
these individuals, Judkins, who resided in the
Puget Sound area at the time, had the most
innovative approach: he barged his studio—
Judkins' Floating Sunbeam Gallery—around,
including a trip up the Fraser River in June
1882. One of BC's most famous early
photographers, Frederick Dally, does not
make the book because he is known to have
started his photography business in 1866.
Minor imperfections mar an otherwise
exceptional presentation. Although death
dates are recorded in the biographical
narrative for individual photographers, the
date does not always appear at the start of
the entry. There is no evidence the authors
used Internet/Web resources. For example,
digital libraries such as The Making of
America (University of Michigan and
Cornell University) and American Memory
(Library of Congress) provide alternate and
immediate access to otherwise difficult to
locate published and archival sources. The
Library of Congress site contains several
digital representations of early photography
in the U.S., including photographs from the
Denver Public Library documenting the
American West back to 1860. Works that exist
in hardcopy and electronic formats such as
my own online biographical dictionary,
Camera Workers '.The British Columbia, Alaska
& Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950, and
John S. Craig's Craig's Daguerreian Registry,are
only referred to by their hardcopy editions.
The bibliography is extensive, but as noted,
flawed by its lack of references to the
Internet/Web.The authors give no rationale
or justification for excluding electronic
references.The bibliography, while extensive,
is also far from complete. Works cited as
endnotes may not necessarily be in the
bibliography and works in the bibliography
are not always referenced in the endnotes of
the individual entries. Appendixes include
cross-reference lists and indexes. There is no
overall index and given the long (71 pages)
introduction, a subject index to its contents
would have been useful. A technical glossary
explaining photographic processes used
between 1840-1865 would also serve the
reader better than the explanations offered
at various points in the introduction. A
separate index by variant forms of names
would also be useful. For Canadians, the other
major problem with this book is the price.
Aimed at a specialized audience as well as
the library and archives reference market,
Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, as
historian Martha Sandweiss concludes in her
foreword, "becomes the standard that future
biographical compendia and photographic
history books will aspire to match."
Reviewer David Mattison is an Access Services
archivist at the BC Archives and a widely
published historian ofBritish Columbia
photography. Web site:
dma ttison/index, h tml
A Std:lo Coast Salish Historical
Keith Carlson, ed. .Albert McHalsie, cultural
advisor, and Jan Perrier, graphic artist.
Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre; Seattle:
University ofWashington Press, 2001.
208 pp. Maps, illus. $65 hardcover.
Reviewed by Cole Harris
I know what is required to produce a good
historical atlas, and I am astonished by this
one. It has been created in less than two years,
is full of absorbing detail, and is beautifully
presented.There is nothing like it elsewhere
in Canada, perhaps on the continent.
Moreover, given the price of books these days,
it is a bargain that I cannot recommend more
The St6:16, essentially the people of the
lower Fraser, have been well organized for
years, and have accumulated a rich pool of
interpreted information about themselves
and their territories, past and present, some
of which is displayed in this atlas. Using this
information and the techniques of modern
cartography, they have set out to show the
world who and where they are, something
of what they have been through during the
last two hundred years, and even to imply
that a renegotiated relationship between
themselves and the people who now
surround them would be mutually beneficial.
25 Almost 140 years ago the St6:16 chief Peter
Ayessik protested the loss of St6:16 land, a
protest that would continue, virtually
unaltered, through the years. In a sense, this
atlas is a sophisticated contemporary successor
of generations of petitions and protests, but
this time with more confidence and with the
sense that the St6:16 have something to give
as well as to get back.
The atlas is a treasure trove of information
about the St6:16 and their world. It begins
with St6:16 cosmology, the creation stories,
and the peopling of the St6:16 world—all set
against maps of late Wisconsin and Holocene
deglaciation. It maps St6:16 settlement
patterns and house types, and deals at length
with the vexed question of the St6:16
population before and after the main
epidemics. It considers traditional resource
procurement strategies and seasonal rounds,
also pre-contact geopolitics and warfare.
There is a good deal of meticulous
genealogical data, and a careful record of
Halkomelem toponyms.The atlas deals even
more with changes in the St6:16 world
introduced by explorers and gold seekers, and
followed by settlers and industrial capital. It
deals with St6:16 employment in the
canneries and on the hop farms, and with
St6:16 attempts to become the sedentary
farmers advocated by missionaries and Indian
agents. It deals with the residential schools,
and with introduced systems of law and
justice. It deals with an increasingly
transformed and, from a St6:16 perspective,
damaged environment: sloughs diked and
diminished from the 1870s, Sumas Lake
drained in the mid-1920s, clear-cuts reaching
with the introduction of the bulldozer and
logging truck further into what had been
St6:16 territory, streams channeled and
reapportioned among different users. At the
end it reproduces the main St6:16 petitions
over land—they are poignant reading—and
the astonishing images—almost Klee-like but
infused with St6:16 spirituality—in the
"Dreambook" of a St6:16 chief in the early
A powerful foreword by the distinguished
St6:16 judge Xwelixwelth (Stephen Point)
places the atlas squarely in the political
context that, in any event, it cannot escape.
The St6:16 are more than willing to share,
but they do want to enter into respectful
negotiations with the society that now
surrounds them over the terms of the
relationship. In this atlas they describe
themselves as a proud people in a defined
territory.They make little of the reserves, the
spaces of colonialism, and instead treat their
whole former lands.They are saying that they
need some of these lands back and, with them,
more opportunity for local St6:lo
government. But they are also saying that they
bring an immense knowledge of these lands,
and a distinctive way of being in the world,
and that these are contributions that can
enrich the larger society. In effect, the atlas is
an example of another way of thinking about
British Columbia, a way that welcomes the
province's most fundamental differences as
part of a whole that would be diminished
and duller without them. In my view the
St6:16 are right; this atlas itself is a compelling
part of the case.
Reviewer Cole Harris, Department of
Geography, UBC.
Ships of Steel: A British Columbia
Shipbuilder's Story
T.A. McLaren and Vickie Jensen.
Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2000.288
pp. Illus. $39.95 hardcover.
Reviewed by Robert Allen
Shipbuilding is one of those businesses I
have never really given much thought to in
the past. Having lived most of my 50 plus
years on British Columbia's coast, I suppose
I have just taken it for granted. A day doesn't
go by though without at least a dozen vessels
going past our home in Sechelt and a lot of
these were built by T Arthur McLaren and
family and Allied Shipbuilders Ltd.
This book chronicles the building of steel
ships in British Columbia over the past 100
years but deals mainly with those built by
Arthur McLaren and the various companies
he worked for and especially his own
company, Allied Shipbuilders Ltd. Much of
the text comes from McLaren's own writings
and stories and has been nicely woven into
the history of the industry by marine writer
Vickie Jensen.
There are numerous photographs, charts,
drawings, and maps and they are well placed
throughout the book. There are two
appendices: the first has the details of all of
Allied's vessels from Hull #001 to Hull #257
and the second is a list of the BC builders of
steel and aluminum commercial vessels.
In the preface,Vickie Jensen writes: "The
McLarens have never been one to toot their
own horn, but readers can be grateful they
made the commitment to this book."
The epilogue starts out with: "Arthur
McLaren died on February 19, 1999. From
early childhood he had dreamed of building
ships, and he did exactly that for nearly 60
Thank you, Arthur McLaren, for your
determination to build ships, thank you to
the McLaren family for the commitment, and
thank you to Vickie Jensen for putting it all
Anyone     remotely     interested     in
shipbuilding would be wise to read this
interesting book.
Robert Allen, BCLS, CLS
The IWA in Canada: The Life and
Times of an Industrial Union
Andrew Neufeld and Andrew Parnaby.
Vancouver, New Star Books, 2000. 336 pp.
Illus. $50 hardcover.
Reviewed by George Brandak
"Success and Struggle" is not only a
chapter heading for the 1946-1971 period
of the IWA, but it is also the theme of this
well-illustrated narrative on the economic
gains of its workers.The word success comes
first, as symbolized by the three historic
strikes of 1946, 1953, and 1986 that gave
members significant union rights and security.
Struggle is always present, as the economic
market conditions dictate employment and
employers attempt to dictate wage rates and
work conditions. The book gives the reader
a feeling of appreciation for the social activism
and union pride that motivated the IWA's
Chronologically, the book summarizes its
radical roots (Industrial Workers of the World,
One Big Union, and the Lumber Workers
Industrial Union) the emergence ofthe IWA
in 1937, the breakthrough that occurred at
the end of the Second World War in gaining
membership, its success and struggle to 1971,
the raids of "Canadian" unions, and the
struggle of the "red" versus "white" factions
for control of the union. It covers consensus
to conflict in the decades of a wage freeze in
1975 and Operation Solidarity in 1983 Qack
Munro is no villain in this book, as a solid
case is made for the IWA's point of view),
and concludes with the approach of IWA-
Canada in the 1990s to technological change
and the needs of the environment. A
bibliographical narrative follows with a
detailed index that lists most persons and
activities mentioned in the book, but doesn't
include strikes.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Throughout the book, the history of
individual locals throughout Canada is told
in a way that doesn't interfere with the general
history.There are also feature articles such as
"Assassinated by their Occupation" and other
articles relating to health and safety that fit
in well. The insert "David versus Goliath"
with the IWA-Canada as "David" and the
Greenpeace Foundation, a multinational
lobby group,as"Goliath" clearly shows how
well the union members stood their ground
and promoted a conservation of the woods
program that was superior to the " Goliath."
There is a photograph with the caption
"Clayoquot economic refugees" showing
loggers unemployed as a result of land use
decisions. Most of the photographs are clear,
well captioned, and placed where they are
relevant to the story.
Andrew Neufeld and Andrew Parnaby are
to be commended for taking the mass of
information on the unions in wood,
especially the early history assembled by Clay
Perry, and turning it into a good read. May
equally good work follow on many of the
diverse issues covered in the life and times of
a mighty union.
George Brandak, Manusrcipt Curator, UBC
Library, Rare Books and Special Collections
The One-Room School in Canada
Jean Cochrane.
Calgary: Fifth House Ltd., 2001.340 pp. Illus.
$16.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Kirk Salloum
Jean Cochrane's The One-Room School in
Canada contains photographs, documentation,
and recollections that capture the nature of
rural education across Canada during the latter
part of the 1800s through to the mid-1900s.
Each chapter focuses on a theme that assists
the reader to appreciate that the one-room
school was more than a building. A critical
approach to understanding these educational
facilities enlightens the reader to Canada's
history: they were integral to the settling of
communities throughout Canada during
specific periods of time. Most chapters begin
with a discussion of the topic and are
enriched by the recollections of educators,
students, community officials or members,
or quotes from archival materials. The
numerous black-and-white photographs have
been well selected and are of good quality.
Cochrane points out that as compulsory
attendance laws came into existence," one-
room schools began to sprout like dandelions,
dotted around the countryside to serve the
next hundred years." How each school
operated was determined by the community.
Teachers were often expected to reflect
community values and standards. Today the
one-room schoolhouse has mostly vanished,
as have many of the communities that
supported them.The one-room schools that
still exist have many of the characteristics of
their earlier counterparts: they serve the needs
of "small, scattered communities, whose
children would otherwise have to travel miles
to get to a school, if they could get there at
Cochrane does a good job of explaining
the reasons for the emergence and
disappearance of the one-room school in the
realm of social, political, and governmental
contexts of the day. Using documentation of
various sorts, she covers a number of topics
that inform readers of the realities of the
facility. For those readers that have attended
one-room schools, memories of personal
experiences will likely be sparked.
This book would be of interest to a general
readership while students of education would
find value in the content. Cochrane manages
to preserve a piece of history that was
significant to the settling of Canada. Her
discussions illustrate how provincial
governments needed to address certain issues
so that schooling became standard
throughout each jurisdiction.The shaping of
how specific educational policies came about
in a changing society are underlying in
Cochrane's lucid work.
Reviewer Kirk Salloum is an educational
consultant living in Vancouver, BC.
Old Bill Miner: Last of the Famous
Frank W.Anderson. Surrey; Heritage House,
2001. 95 pp. Illus., maps. $9.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Arnold Ranneris
Bill Miner has been adopted as part of
British Columbia history, although he spent
most of his "working life" in the United
States. He has been immortalized as a
"gentleman bandit", known for his good
manners and courtesy, especially toward his
customers. His life was popularized in the
1982 movie The Grey Fox, and he is credited
with the coinage of the phrase" Hands Up!"
This small book of 95 pages is an update
of the original 1963 edition entitled Bill
Miner: Train Robber, and a second edition in
1982 entitled Bill Miner Stagecoach & Train
Robber. This 2001 Heritage House edition
draws on some new sources and adds some
original police files as appendices, giving
more details about his British Columbia time.
The activities of himself and his accomplices
in the 1904 train robbery near Mission, BC,
and the Princeton robbery of 1906 are
described in particular detail.
Bill Miner was born in 1847 in Kentucky,
into a traditional family with good religious
training. He moved west in the 1860's,
presumably to escape the compulsory service
of the Civil War, which was raging in the
United States at the time. His travels took
him to Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and
California, and it was about 1865 that he
began his career as a stagecoach robber in
these states. The decade also saw the first of
several imprisonments (1866) in San Quentin
Prison. The punishment meted out in these
prisons was severe, but Miner appears to have
ingratiated himself to other inmates and staff.
Indeed, he was to spend about half of his
adult life in prisons, including a time in New
Westminster Penitentiary in the early 1900s.
Miner spent his last years in a Georgia
prison, among people somewhat in awe of
their famous gentleman bandit. He died in
1913, at the age of 66, and was buried with
an appropriate Christian burial, with
pallbearers and interment in Milledgevillle's
This book is a delightful reading
experience, well illustrated with appropriate
maps and such interesting additions as
"wanted posters", letters, and a ballad written
in Bill Miner's honour. The authors and
editors have provided good sources and
bibliography.The book would be enjoyed by
anyone with a special interest in the history
of the Western Frontier and a biographical
approach to history.
Reviewer Arnold Ranneris is President ofthe
Victoria Historical Society.
27 The Tenth Pupil
Constance Horne.
Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2001. 159 pp.
$8.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Pat Ajello
The Tenth Pupil is a novel set in a logging
camp, Camp Mellor, on Lake Cowichan.
Although Camp Mellor is imaginary, it
provides an accurate picture of the camps of
the period in terms of location, environment,
buildings, equipment, flora, fauna, and the
daily lives led by the loggers and their families.
It tells of the ordinary and sometimes
extraordinary occurrences during the school
year 1934-1935 through the eyes ofthe main
character Trudy Paige, a grade 6 student. Each
chapter tells of a separate incident: a fishing
trip, a cougar threat, a storm, a school concert,
the finding of a lost child, and so on.
Constance Horne provides a teachers'
guide which gives excellent information
about the period, including historical facts
concerning the racial prejudice against
Japanese Canadians current at the time, who
had been forbidden from fishing by law a year
or two earlier, and forced to find other work,
such as logging. It also tells of the race riots
that occurred in Vancouver. A map is also
provided showing the location of the camp,
and there are notes giving thoughtful topics
for classroom discussion, suggested social
studies projects, and archival photographs of
the period. There is, in fact, nothing in the
current social studies curriculum concerning
the period covered by the novel, though this
book could certainly also be used in a language
arts class.
The title The Tenth Pupil refers to the fact
that a rural or camp school needed to have at
least ten pupils before being assigned a full-
time teacher. At Camp Mellor the enrolment
at the beginning of September 1934 is only
nine. There is consternation among both
parents and students, and much discussion
takes place. Trudy has a brainwave: why not
enrol the family dog Shaggy? He comes to
school most days as it is. This is a delightful
idea and might have led to some lively
dialogue among the children, but
unfortunately it is adopted and acted upon,
though reluctantly, by both Mrs. Paige, a
member of the School Board, and by the
young teacher whose appointment is the first
of her career. I find this a poor plot device,
which could easily have been avoided while
retaining the imaginative idea of the child.
One might also take a moral stance and argue
that children should not be introduced to the
concept that parents and a teacher may lie to
achieve their purpose.
The story opens with Trudy and two of
her friends on "spark duty."They stand by the
railroad track waiting for the Shay engine to
pass by, showering sparks. Their task is to dip
strips of fabric into pails of water, and to swat
any embers which threaten to set fire to the
dry grass. Children may find this activity of
interest, as well as other chores expected of
the children of their grandparents' time,
compared with the chores they are responsible
for today.
The Tenth Pupil is aimed at grades 4 through
7. It introduces the students to racial prejudice.
Though the terminology is accurate for its
time, I find the term "Japs" used by both
children and adults in dialogue, offensive and
unnecessary. A teacher might find herself
compelled to explain that today the term is
not considered polite, and this in itself could
lead to difficulties, particularly for a Japanese
Canadian student present in the class. The
most dramatic incident ofthe novel describes
a race riot witnessed by Trudy when she visits
Vancouver and becomes caught up in it.
Generally, however, the writing is lacklustre,
the characters bland, and incidents occur and
are over with little attempt made to build
toward a climax. One incident that does build
tension concerns the Japanese Canadian boy,
Shisi, (the "tenth pupil"), who saves the lives
of loggers by walking bravely along the
railroad track in a severe storm, swinging a
lantern, in an attempt to halt a train that
otherwise will collapse a badly-damaged
bridge. However, even at this point, the climax,
when Shisi sees the train approaching, abruptly
ends the short paragraph with the words "It
In 2002 racial prejudice remains a serious
concern for all of us, and particularly in schools
in cities such as Vancouver, where frequently
a large proportion of the students are
immigrants hailing from many countries and
speaking diverse languages in their homes.
School boards, as well as the staffs of individual
schools, have spent time, energy and
imagination in building programs to help
children focus on the similarities between
peoples of different races, faiths, and customs.
I doubt that this book, though likely of interest
because it covers many and varied aspects of
life in a 1930s era logging camp, has much to
say concerning the solving or combating racial
Reviewer PatAjello is a retired Vancouver
April 22,2002
Dr. Jacqueline Kennedy Gresko,
Douglas College,
Box 2503,
New Westminster, V3L 5B2
Dear Jackie:
I just got around to reading my latest
British Columbia Historical News
[35:2, Spring 2002, p 34] and noted with
pleasure your review of the first Quest
Library releases.
You had some very nice things to say
about the series and about me but I
must let you know that I cannot accept
the credit you gave me.
I wrote the Robert Dunsmuir book and I
do the Chronologies for each book in
the series. I am also on the Editorial
Board but I must give all the credit for
the series to its Editorial Director,
Rhonda Bailey of XYZ Publishing,
Lantzville, B.C.
Rhonda Bailey is a publisher and editor
with wide experience in Canadian
publishing. She was approached by
Andre Vanasse of XYZ Editeur of
Montreal to establish an English version
of the French language series of
Canadian biographies he has been
publishing for some time now. Since she
began work in 1998, Rhonda has
published seventeen books for The
Quest Library—a publishing feat of
amazing proportions I think you'll agree.
She deserves the credit you so kindly
heaped on me in the final paragraph of
your review.
Lynne Bowen
cc: Rhonda Bailey,
AnneYandle, Book Review Editor, BCHN
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 News and Notes
Above: Ron and Kathy Blair at the book fair in Revelstoke. They claim to have ink in their veins
after 34 years with Friesens. The Blairs recently donated a hundred BC and Alberta history books to
the Revelstoke Museum and Archives.
Please send information to be published in News and Notes to the editor in Whonnock before 1 5 August, 15 November, 15 February, and 15  May.
Honorary Citizens
Frances Welwood was selected Nelson's
"Citizen of the Year" with a particular reference to her extensive volunteer work in the
community including the Nelson Museum,
&c, &c. Pixie McGeachie, member of the
Burnaby Historical Society was made
Burnaby's" 2001 Citizen of the Year" and was
presented with the Kushiro Cup at an Awards
Ceremony in May.
Young Bambury's Travels
(See BC Historical News, Spring issue, 3 5:2, p
42). Harry M. Bright wants you to know
that he is ready to ship a copy of his booklet
William H. Bambury's Travels-1894, (spiral
bound, softcover) to anyone sending him a
cheque or money order for Cdn. $22.00.That
includes mailing. Write to Harry M. Bright.
PO Box 433, Metaline Falls,WA 99153, USA.
This is a somewhat rough, but well told first-
person account by a young prospector of his
wanderings, mostly on foot, from the Boundary District to Douglas on Harrison Lake
and back. It is an entertaining story with some
surprises and glimpses of the relationships
between First Nations and the new white
settlers often ignored in historical writing.
Scots Heritage in British Columbia
and the West
On page 41 of the Spring edition of BC
Historical News (35:2) is a list ofthe talks that
will be given at the conference on Scots
Heritage in the west "and beyond," organized by the Centre for Scottish Studies at
SFU, to be held in Vancouver from 12 to 14
September. The speakers and the subjects
presented convey a sense of the range and
breadth ofthe conference agenda. At this time
the Centre for Scottish Studies is in the process of arranging for the addition of several
musical performances and lining up experts
for the Archival Roadshow component of
the event. Space does not allow us to give
more information, but please contact Wendy
Sjolin at by e-mail, or
call her at 604.291.3689.
Women's History Month
The 10th anniversary of Canadian Women's
History Month is coming up in October.
Information will be available at http:// or contact founder
Lyn Gough at
Friesens in BC
Community historians frequently choose
Friesens to publish a book on their locality
because of the helpful guidance offered in
literature and workshops. Ron Blair has become the consultant to several hundred book
committees, each with a satisfying conclusion.
Ron Blair was recruited by Friesens in 1968.
He moved his family to Altona, Manitoba,
where he did cover designs, then became a
sales representative for school yearbooks. A
group inThree Hills, Alberta signed on for a
history book. Ron quickly designed a history book program and kit.This first history
book led to many more and the Blair family
transferred to Alberta, then later to British
Columbia. In the early years he was assigned
to present workshops in all four western provinces. His office has been in his home and
his wife, Kathy, the faithful office manager
who sorted out problems, made appointments, and kept things running smoothly for
family and Friesens.
The workshops are available for interested
groups, such as our own Historical Federation, or small local gatherings of nervous
novices. Ron inspires and instructs. If a group
agrees to proceed a contract is signed and
work begins. Ron circulates through the
province, stopping to check on each group.
He is willing to explain, encourage, and advise on everything from picture management
to computer techniques. Many a person feeling frustration and burnout has received helpful hints and a dose of renewed enthusiasm
from him. Ron is quick to respond to queries by phone, fax, or e-mail but his visits
over the kitchen table best serve to explain
puzzling terms or procedures to worried
Blair likens himself to a midwife at the launch
of each community history book. He has
worked with historians and would-be historians across the province. Most of the books
combine family stories with accompanying
reports on businesses, schools, churches, transportation and industry.
Recently Friesens printed High Grade and
Hot Springs written by Edward L. Affleck.This
history of Ainsworth held personal interest
for Ron who had holidayed there with his
aunt from his own childhood through his
years as a family man with Kathy and their
own children. Another Friesens success story
is the Arrow Lakes Historical Centennial
Series, the fourth of which, Milton Parent's
Circle of Silver, took the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for 2001 publications. Ron and
Kathy have occasionally been dubbed, "Mr.
& Mrs. Friesen."
—Naomi Miller
29 Reports
Powerhouse at Stave Falls
MOST Vancouverites are puzzled when I say that I have
written a history of BC Hydro's plant at Stave Falls.Very few know
where Stave Falls is, and most have no
idea that it is part of BC Hydro's system
of hydroelectric generating stations.This
is not surprising. Although for a time
between the wars Stave supplied most
of the Power Mainland's electricity, in
the postwar period it has been eclipsed
by giant developments on the Columbia and Peace Rivers.
Stave Falls, on the lower Stave River,
is located north ofthe Fraser River, about
50 km east ofVancouver. First identified
as a potential source of water power in
the 1890s, electricity generated at the site
has been sold commercially since late
1911. Today, power is still being generated there, but the old plant is no longer
in use. Instead, a new facility has been
built and the old building transformed
into a visitors centre. This old power
plant is an outstanding reminder of the
richness ofBritish Columbia's industrial
Built by Western Canada Power in
1909-1912, the plant had two generating units when it opened, and plans to
add two more were already in place. Each
unit consisted of a Swiss-made Escher-
Wyss turbine and a generator built by
General Electric. The total capacity of
the plant was 26,000 horsepower. Western Canada Power and its predecessor,
the Stave Pake Power Company, had a
long, hard battle building the plant. Although local financiers played an important role in getting the project started in
1900, they ultimately had to go east, to
Montreal, to meet the big-time capitalists at the Bank of Montreal and Royal
Securities to raise additional funds.
When Western Canada Power took
over the project, Robert E Hayward was
appointed engineer-in-charge. Hayward,
an Englishman with a number of hydroelectric projects to his credit, worked
on the project for over ten years. He
oversaw the project's development from
a construction site to an operating power
plant and supervised the installation of
another generating unit in 1916. One
of Hayward's first initiatives when he
arrived in 1909 was to build a railway
from the CPR's track at the mouth of
the Stave River to the construction site,
10 km north. Reputed to be the shortest chartered railway in the world, the
railway's slogan was "not quite as long as
the CPR, but just as wide!" Until it was
abandoned in 1944, the railway was used
to haul a variety of cargo, transporting-
among other things construction materials to the site and raw logs from the
surrounding forests to mills at the mouth
of the river.
In the early 1900s, when the Stave
plant was built, the electricity business
was at an early stage of development. BC
Electric, the dominant player in theVancouver market, provided power for the
street railway interurban system and
street lighting. Western Canada Power's
early marketing strategy, in contrast, concentrated on supplying industrial customers with bulk power in order to
maximize the return on its investment
without having to build an extensive distribution network.This approach worked
for a while, but wartime exigencies, combined with other factors, eventually
forced the company into the arms ofBC
Electric in 1920.
Part of the attraction of the Stave Falls
site to both Western Canada Power and
its rival, BC Electric, was the fact that a
second site, downstream at Ruskin, could
also be developed to generate power. BC
Electric had an advantage in that it held
water rights in the nearby Alouette wa
tershed. By diverting water from the
Alouette into Stave Pake through a tunnel, even more power could be generated. Market demand forced BC Electric to act quickly, and by 1930 dams
were raised at Stave Falls and two more
generating units were added, while entirely new facilities were built at Ruskin
and Alouette.
For many years, there was a company
town at Stave Falls. Beginning as a raw
construction camp it eventually matured
into a relatively stable community. Recreation facilities and other amenites provided by the company helped make it
an attractive place to live. The last operational employee left the camp in 1984.
Two brick houses that were part of the
campsite survive today.
When men signed off their shift at
the power plant they sometimes noted
that they were leaving the "station normal." That simple phrase captures a lot
about what it was like to work at the
plant. While in the early years the work
required a certain amount of innovation,
for most of the time working there was
about mastering routines-endless rounds
of maintenance and record keeping.The
workplace had a clear hierarchy-from the
helpers and apprentices through to journeymen and managers. Indoors, there
were operators, electricians and machinists. Outside, there were labourers, carpenters, locomotive engineers, and even
a ship's captain.
For BC Hydro, the question of what
to do with Stave Falls only became a
pressing issue in the 1980s, when the
plant could no longer operate efficiently.
Construction work on a new plant began in 1995 and was completed four
years later. A number of options for the
old plant were considered, including
demolition, passive interpretation, and
the establishment of a visitors centre.
Demolition costs, combined with BC
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Hydro's desire to contribute to local economic development and to educate the
public about electricity and energy conservation, led to the decision to create a
visitors centre in the old plant.The site's
proximity to Vancouver also played a role.
The official opening is scheduled for
May 2002. In the meantime, organized
school tours are being held; over 800
children visited the facility between
November and December last year.
—Meg Stanley
Reprinted from Heritage, Spring 2002, with
kind permission of the Heritage Canada Foundation and the author.
Meg Stanley is a historian and interpretive planner with Commonwealth Historic Resource Management in Vancouver. She prepared the interpretive plan for the history exhibit at Stave Falls
and co-authored Station Normal: The Power
of the Stave River (Vancouver, Douglas and
Mclntyre, 2001), winner of a certificate of merit
in the Competition for Writers of the British
Columbia Historical Federation.
The "Spanish Jar:" New
Light from an Old Chart
NEW research strongly
suggests that an 18th-century
"Spanish jar" found in B.C.
waters came from the frigate Aranzazu,
and was lost July 20-22, 1792.The artifact came up in a fishing net in 1987 off
the east coast of Pangara Island at the
northwest tip of the Queen Charlotte
Islands. It is the lower portion of a large
earthenware jar. Research identified it
as a Spanish-style "olive jar" (though they
were used to contain many things), possibly made in Mexico. Thermoluminescent dating showed it was made between
1720 and 1790.
In 1990,a UASBC team dived the area
where the jar was found. They did not
find any evidence of a shipwreck and
speculated that the jar had probably broken and been tossed overboard.
But from what ship? A Spanish pot
does not necessarily mean a Spanish ship.
However foreign ships were banned from
trading in Spanish ports, so a Spanish
vessel was the most likely source. Only
two Spanish ships are known to have
been in the vicinity of Pangara Island in
the early days—the Santiago in 1774 and
the Aranzazu in 1792—and only the
Aranzazu went to the east side of the
island. Trouble was we did not know
precisely where she had gone.
Recently, the UASBC assisted John
Crosse, a maritime historian researching
the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamano.
Caamano commanded the Aranzazu. In
July 1792 he anchored her off the southeast corner of Pangara Island, staying two
days and mapping the immediate area.
Unfortunately, Caamano's maps have not
been properly published because his pen
lines are too fine to reproduce well. Past
year, John Crosse visited Spanish archives,
tracing exact copies from Caamano's
originals, including the one of Pangara
Island. His results were published in the
British Columbia Historical News (vol. 34,
no. 4, Fall 2001).
The Pangara map showed where the
Aranzazu anchored (marked by an anchor, of course) and recorded a line of
depth soundings up the east side of the
island.The soundings were near to where
the jar was found and were about the
right depth too, a reassuring point since
Caamano was probably only estimating
his distance from shore. So he was close.
But how close?
To check that, my wife and I got on
the computer. We superimposed a scan
of Caamano's map over a modern chart
that is marked with a circle showing
where (approximately) the urn was
found. Naturally, there were lots of dissimilarities: varying orientations, a tendency for Caamano's bays and peninsulas to be more prominent than in reality,
and a glaringly inaccurate distance scale
on his map. Fortunately, an article by
Nick Doe, also in the Fall 2001 British
Columbia Historical News, explained the
scaling problem, which was common on
old Spanish charts We knew how to dispense with the scale and seek a "best fit".
We shrank the maps until selected
landmarks were the same size on both.
We got a good match for eastern Pucy
Island and the reef off it—Caamano was
careful to get them right because they
formed one side of his anchorage. Further north, both maps lined up at a headland where the shore starts to trend west,
another important landmark for navigators. With this alignment, Caamano's
track went right over the area where the
jar was found. One sounding is actually
inside the circle!
An alternative approach was to align
two widely-spaced "known" points.
Again we used the eastern tip of Pucy
Island but this time we stretched
Caamano's map further north along the
headland, where his drawing most resembles the shoreline. This method
swelled the size of the landmarks but
hardly changed the end result. Caamano's
track still passes over the eastern edge of
the circle.
A "best fit" implies some inexactitude,
of course, but our results strongly suggest that the "Spanish jar" came from the
Aranzazu. The very ship most likely to
have had such a jar went pretty much
right over the find spot.
It follows that the jar went into the
sea between the evening of July 20,1792,
when the Aranzazu arrived at Pangara,
and her departure two days later. John
Crosse speculates that a broken jar would
most likely have been tossed on departure, as the crew cleared the decks after
setting sail. If so, that places the "loss"
shortly after 11 a.m., July 22, 1792.
The Spanish jar, which now graces the
Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum at
Masset, may well be the best—perhaps
the only—artifact in BC to link us to a
Spanish voyage of exploration.
—David Stone
David Stone is the executive director of the Underwater Archaeological Society ofBritish Columbia. He also edits and takes care of the layout of
their bimontlypublication Foghorn.
Reprinted from Foghorn, volume 13, No. 2,
March-April 2002 with kind permission of the
author and the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia.
31 Letters from Readers
The Depression
I was most interested to read in Vol 35,
No. 1, Fillian Corriveau's article entitled
"Pooking for Grass," in which she describes
the 1933-1934 migration on foot ofthe
Eppard family with 300 sheep from the
drought belt of Southern Saskatchewan to
Nahun on the west side of Okanagan
Lake. I have some childhood recollection of
the travails that ensued when the Eppards
discovered that they lacked the wherewithal
to cross Kootenay Pake on the ferry from
Gray Creek to Fraser's Fanding. Phe
Eppard migration was probably the largest
sort of its kind, but they were not the only
western migrants to find themselves
stranded at the Gray Creek ferry landing
on the east shore of Kootenay Pake. Phe
following excerpts from the memoirs of
former Gray Creek resident Frank Drew
may be of interest to your readers:
Throughout the spring and summer, an
endless stream of people headed west
through the province searching for work
and a better climate than the harsh, cold,
long winters of Eastern Canada and the
Prairies.The majority dreamed ofVancouver, a big city in a wonderful climate, where
there must be the possibility of work and
where existence would at least be easier.
Some chose the Banff-Windermere route
south to Cranbrook, others came through
the Crowsnest Pass via Fernie. All had to
travel through Creston up the east side of
Kootenay Pake to Gray Creek. Many of
them did not know that the ferry crossing
to Fraser's Panding would cost money, or
that the last trip for the day left Gray Creek
wharf at 4:30 RM.A car and driver were
charged at $1.25; foot passengers 25 cents
each. Many of the men travelling alone
had "ridden the rods," that is, stowed away
in railroad boxcars; others hitch hiked by
car or truck and many just plain walked
for hundreds of miles, seeking food or shelter at the small farms or settlements they
Our house was set well back from the
road, out of sight, so the majority passed
us by and ended up at the ferry landing.
If they had money, they could rent a
cabin at the Auto Camp for $2 or $3 for
the night and get a bowl of soup or a
sandwich at the Podge for 25 cents.They
would still have to keep enough money
for the steamer fare the next day. Many,
or course, could not afford a cabin, so
they spent the night on the beach or in
their vehicles.Those who had no money
at all would search for the nearest ranch
or house to ask for assistance.They were
men of all ages, some only lads of sixteen. We never encountered one who
was rude or demanding.They all offered
to work—splitting wood or digging the
garden—to compensate for any meal and
the privilege of sleeping in the hay barn.
Having a surplus of fresh eggs, and, in
the summer, fruit and vegetables, we incurred no great expense in giving them
a decent meal, except the extra effort by
my wife in cooking it.
I remember one elderly man who arrived leading a horse. He was trying to
get back to his home near Castlegar but
had missed the last ferry. Although he
had enough money to pay for the crossing, he had none for food for the horse
or himself. Having tended to the horse,
the little man set to work splitting wood
until suppertime. After supper, we told
him not to carry on working as he and
the horse had had a long day. So he retired gratefully to the barn. At about 5
A.M. the next day, I was awakened by the
Pabrador retrievers, Zephyr and her
daughter Breeze, barking furiously. Sticking my head out of the window, I saw
the little man on his hands and knees
weeding a large vegetable patch. When
we called him in for breakfast at about 8
A.M., he told us that he felt he had not
done enough the night before to repay
our food and accommodation, and he
had noticed that the garden needed
weeding and thinning, and hoped he had
done the right thing, as wood splitting
or sawing would have made too much
noise and disturbed our sleep.
Another time, a small migrating family arrived in a haywire jalopy. The parents asked if they might walk through
the orchard; the children, aged about six
to eight, had never seen fruit growing
on trees, especially cherries, plums or
peaches. I think they had come from the
great drought area of Saskatchewan.
—Edward Affleck
&-1 VI  /U-
Lardeau: Two Settlements
Henry E. Stevenson of Nelson BC,
familiar with the settlement of Pardeau
on the west shore of Kootenay Pake,
wondered if there could have been two
settlements bearing the same name.
On the map on page 23 ofthe Spring
2002 issue of BC Historical News, a settlement named "Pardo (Pardeau)" is
shown on the north east arm of Upper
Arrow Pake, east of Arrowhead.
I apologize to volunteer mapmaker
Cathy Chapin for insisting, against her
advice, to show the Upper Arrow Pake
settlement of Pardeau as "Pardo." The
name of this settlement Pardeau was
never spelled that way.
Indeed, two settlements existed at the
same time, with the same name, but with
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 a different spelling. As this detail of an
1897 CPR map shows, the name
"Pardeau" was used for the Upper Arrow Pake settlement and the name
"Pardo" for the settlement on Kootenay
Pake. In 1899 a post office was opened
at Pardo, but not before 1947 did Pardo
on Kootenay Pake become Pardeau. (See
also: Akrigg, BC Place Names).
The 1901 article on the Pardeau published in the Spring 2002 issue of BC
Historical News does not mention the
lumber settlement of Pardeau on Upper
Arrow Pake. By that time Pardeau had
lost its struggle against nearby Comaplix
and Thomsons Panding (Beaton) to become the shipping centre for the mining camps in the western part of the
Pardeau mining division. Milton Parent
deals with this at length in his prize-winning book Circle of Silver.
—the editor
Historical Diversion
R.G. Harvey's interesting article, "The
Trek of the Huscrofts in 1891" (35:2)
unfortunately repeats a century-old error. The author prefaced his essay by stating "William Adolph Baillie-Grohman
conceived a perfectly feasible scheme" to
divert the Kootenay River into the Columbia River at Canal Flats. The error
that Baillie-Grohman conceived the idea
of the diversion is so frequently stated
that it has assumed the guise of historical fact.
The original idea for the diversion
scheme came from a Kootenay pioneer,
David McPoughlin, son of HBC's Dr.
John McPoughlin. His lengthy letter to
the Spokane Falls Chronicle, published in
September 1881, outlined the project in
detail—one year before Baillie-Grohman
arrived at the flats south of Kootenay
Pake and two years before he ventured
into the East Kootenay region where a
canal was later constructed. Circumstantial evidence suggests that another
Kootenay pioneer, Richard (Dick) Fry,
was also instrumental in devising the
—RJ. (Ron) Welwood
Archives and Archivists
Editor Frances Gundry
Museum at Campbell River Archive Research Centre
NESTLED on the lower floor of
the Museum at Campbell
River is a gateway to the diverse history of the Northern Vancouver Island region. That gateway is the
archival collection in the Museum's Archive Research Centre: letters, diaries,
company records, oral histories, photographs, and ephemera. Overlooking Discovery Passage, the Research Centre is
an excellent setting to discover the history ofthe coastal communities and people of the region.
Campbell River's museum was begun
by a small group of collectors in 1958. It
was during the 1970s however, that a
series of local initiative projects established a firm foundation for the archives.
The records collected during this period
provided a solid body of information and
confirmed a commitment to documenting the history of the region through
continued active collection of archival
Over the years the archives has initiated and collaborated on several research
and collecting projects. One such example is the "Women of Northern Vancouver Island" historical record, developed
in response to the limited material available about the lives and experiences of
women who lived on this coast.The interviews recorded and archival material
collected during the project document
an often isolated transient lifestyle, which
was inextricably connected to the resource industries of logging and fishing.
The project produced four widely respected videos, and a range of researchers with varying research topics access
the Women's History Fonds.
Aside from the results of subject driven
research projects, the archival collection
continues to grow with incoming donations. Recent notable acquisitions are
the personal papers of Roderick and Ann
Haig-Brown and the files of long serv
ing Comox-Alberni MP Tom Barnett.
These and other acquisitions provide an
ever increasing range and depth of topics that can be explored in the Archives
Research Centre.
One ofthe most commonly requested
areas of the collection are the original
archival photographs.The images, numbering over 30,000 in total, provide infinite details and wonderful glimpses into
the everyday lives of the people of the
region. Photographs from the collection
are frequently featured in books, magazines, video productions, and more recently Internet Web sites. You will also
find copies proudly displayed in several
local businesses and private homes.
Initially access to the archival holdings was severely limited due to the
shortage of space in our previous location. However, when the museum
moved to a new purpose-built facility
in 1994, the Archives Research Centre
was open for business. Within the first
two years of operation in the new location the number of researchers increased
by a hundred percent. Yet, despite the
marked increase in use, many people are
still unaware of this valuable resource and
are pleasantly surprised by the quality
and quantity of material housed at our
A listing of the Archive Research
Centre's holdings appear on BCAUP or
can be accessed through our Web site at
<>. The Archives
Research Centre is open Tuesday
through Friday from 1-4 P.M. and is located at 470 Island Highway in Campbell
River, BC.
—Sandra Parrish
Sandra Parrish has been Collections Manager
at the Museum at Campbell River since 1990
and responsible for the management of archival and artifactal collections.
33 Steamboat Round the Bend
by Edward E.Affleck
Above: The picture ofthe Colonel Moody originally came from Lewis and Dryden s Marine History ofthe Pacific Northwest. Through the skilful manipulations of Helga Martens, Art at Work Productions, the vessel was given a new background and a snappier sheer than the original vessel may have had.
The Governor Douglas,  the Colonel Moody, and James W. Trahey
THE discovery of gold on the bars
of the Fraser River above Hope
and on the Thompson triggered
an invasion of British Territory by seasoned prospectors who now found that
the pickings in California and Nevada
were somewhat slim. By 1858 the human invasion was in full force and it was
accompanied by an invasion of US
coastal and river steamers, particularly
that efficient economic battering ram the
sternwheeler. Strictly speaking US vessels had no business working between
Victoria and the Fraser River or up the
Fraser, but Governor Douglas was in an
invidious position. If he attempted to
close the Fraser to US vessels, the pesky
Yankee prospectors would simply sneak
into the FraserValley via Bellingham Bay
and the Sumas gap. Douglas proceeded
to issue "sufferances" to US vessels and
yearned for the day when sufficient British bottoms would be available to cope
with all the traffic.
The vacuum in local shipbuilding was
filled promptly in mid 1858 by the ap
pearance of a native of Nova Scotia,
James Trahey, who had learned the shipbuilding trade on the eastern seaboard,
but had been lured with many of his
countrymen to the California gold rush.
On his arrival in Victoria, Trahey established a shipyard on Songhees land in
Victoria's inner harbour, and by September, 1858 had launched his first steamer,
the pint-sized sidewheeler Caledonia for
a Yankee concern intent on working a
lighter between Esquimalt and Victoria
harbours.The Caledonia was adequate for
this type of service but the temptation
to send her over to the Fraser River was
too great. She was too small and underpowered for the Fraser trade and got into
many difficulties.
Before Trahey moved his yard across
the harbour to Paurel Point, he completed a considerably more imposing
vessel, the sternwheeler Governor Douglas, for the Victoria Steam Navigation Co.
a syndicate whose driving force was a
seasoned steamboat man, Alexander
Sinclair Murray, who sold out in 1860
to Captain William Irving, perhaps the
most famous of the Fraser River skippers, and went out to Australia to make
his fortune on the Murray River.
Equipped with powerful engines manufactured in San Francisco, the Governor
Douglas gave a brilliant performance
during her trials in January, 1859 and
proved to be the first in a long line of
successful shallow-draft sternwheelers
designed by the gifted Trahey for the
inland trade in the new colony of British Columbia. A second sternwheeler, the
Colonel Moody, virtually a sister ship, was
launched at Trahey's Paurel Point yard
in May, 1859 for the syndicate, which
then purchased a small US sternwheeler.
The syndicate sought to establish a monopoly on the Fraser River trade when
they petitioned the colonial government
for incorporation as the British Columbia and Victoria Steam Navigation Co.
Ptd., but the monopoly section of the
bill of incorporation was rejected by a
government well acquainted with a formidable competitor, the Hudson's Bay
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Company. The amended bill was passed
in February, 1860 and the new company
managed for about two years to dominate the trade, with the Governor Douglas working between Victoria and New
Westminster, the Colonel Moody between
New Westminster and Hope, and the Str.
Maria between the mouth of the
Harrison River and Port Douglas at the
head of Harrison Pake.
The lives of both the Governor Douglas and the Colonel Moody were relatively
brief, and thereby hangs a tale.The wily
William Irving apparently realized that
the coming transfer point for trade to
the Cariboo would be established at Yale.
Both of the bigger vessels of the B.C. &
Victoria Steam Navigation drew too
much water to work the Fraser River
upstream from Hope with much success. In the mode ofthe time, Irving proceeded in 1862 to sell his shares in the
existing company, then to form a rival
concern, the Pioneer Pine. He ordered
from Trahey a more nimble vessel, the
sternwheeler Reliance, capable of working up to Yale without undue difficulty.
Within two years the older company was
bankrupt. The Governor Douglas and the
Colonel Moody were bought up at a distress sale, promptly broken up and their
powerful machinery sold out of the
colony, thus removing them from competition in an increasingly sanguinary
competition developing in the Fraser
River trade. In a series of articles published decades ago in the British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Norman Hacking has written a vivid account of the
cut-throat competition pervading
steamboating on the Fraser River in the
1860s. Steamboat afficionados will find
Hacking's series irresistible.
An early demise robbed the Governor
Douglas and the Colonel Moody of their
renown as the first sternwheelers built
in British Territory on the Pacific Coast.
An early demise also snatched from James
W Trahey his due laurels as a pioneer
shipbuilder. Contemporary issues of the
Victoria Colonist do give him some credit
for his shipbuilding prowess, but more
frequently his name appears in press reports of court proceedings. The magis
trate's court saw fit to fine the convivial
but choleric Trahey for his involvement
in bar brawls, while the supreme court
wrestled with his claims against steamboat owners, who went broke with some
frequency in the 1860s.Trahey died suddenly on 26 December 1868 at his home
in Victoria of a heart attack, leaving a
grieving widow but no offspring. The
grieving widow is said to have remarried with commendable promptitude
and to have departed from the colony.
There was, accordingly, no one around
to hold the torch for Trahey when Pewis
& Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest was compiled in 1896.
To be granted sketchy coverage in Pewis
& Dryden was to be virtually erased from
marine history.
Trahey and his legacy to British Columbia of well designed sternwheelers
deserved a better fate.^^
This is the first of what promises to be an interesting series of brief accounts on the history of
early steamers in British Columbia by this authority on the subject.
Winners of the Competition for Writers
SHIRLEY Cuthbertson announced
the  winners of the Federation's
Historical Writing Competition
at the Federation's Award Banquet in
From the hands of Alice Glanville,
honorary president ofthe Federation for
the past year, MlLTON PARENT received
the Pieutenant-Governor's Medal for his
book Circle of Silver published by the
Arrow Pakes Historical Society. In the
judges' opinion [Milton Parent's book]
"...adds to the mining history of the
province, covers the subject thoroughly,
and shows strong original research, using excellent pictures and unique maps."
Runners up were the late TERRY
REKSTEN for Phe Illustrated History of British Columbia, published by Douglas and
Mclntyre: "...the best yet of the illustrated histories, with over 300 maps, il
lustrations and unique archival photographs....The emphasis is on people and
their individual stories...a delightful read
and good visual presentation;" and
DEREK HAYES for First Crossing: Alexander Mackenzie, His Expedition Across North
America, and the Opening ofthe Continent,
"...a landmark book on the Mackenzie
expedition, attempt to give Mackenzie the same level of [regard] that Americans give Pewis and extraordinarily beautiful book...crammed with
information and insights."
Mentioned with distinction were:
Robert D. Turner for Phose Beautiful
Coastal Piners'.Phe Canadian Pacific Princesses, published by Sono Nis Press, "...a
beautiful book [that] provides enough
for the buff, and is still readable for the
A Sto:Id-Coast Salish Historical Atlas,
edited by KEITH CARLSON et al. published
by Douglas & Mclntyre:"...a unique and
significant approach to First Nations history."
Douglas C. Harris for Fish, Paw, and
Colonialism: Phe Pegal Capture of Salmon
in British Columbia published by University ofToronto Press: " original and
unusual study of Native self-regulation
... a [resource] for teaching Native-European history, [including] how conflicts
were shaped by law."
Meg Stanley and Hugh Wilson for
Station Normal: Phe Power of the Stave
River, published by Douglas & Mclntyre
for B.C. Hydro:" ...a good, solid, readable and attractive study of Stave Falls
development in the 1920s and re-development in the late 1990s."
35 Pioneer Poetry
Orchards frothing with blossoms or
spangled with fruit have inspired
generations of poets. The vast
Okanagan orchards were the most renowned
in BC but the Kootenays also had a thriving
fruit-growing industry.
While travelling in that area, Lloyd Roberts
(son of famed poet Sir Charles G. D. Roberts)
considered the orchardist s lot.
The Fruit-Rancher
He sees the rosy apples cling like flowers to
the bough;
He plucks the purple plums and spills the
cherries on the grass;
He wanted peace and silence,—God gives
him plenty now—
His feet upon the mountain and his shadow
on the pass.
He built himself a cabin from red cedars of
his own;
He blasted out the stumps and twitched the
boulders from the soil;
And with the axe and chisel he fashioned
out a throne
Where he might dine in grandeur off the
first fruits of his toil.
His orchard is a treasure-house alive with
song and sun,
Where currants ripe as rubies gleam and
golden pippins glow;
His servants are the wind and rain whose
work is never done
Till winter rends the scarlet roof and
banks the halls with snow.
He shouts across the valley and the ranges
answer back;
His brushwood smoke at evening lifts a
column to the moon;
And dim beyond the distance where the
Kootenai snakes black,
He hears the silence shattered by the
laughter of the loon.
—Lloyd Roberts
Yvonne Klan is putting together a collection of
pioneer poetry from which she kindly selected
this poem for BC Historical News.
Family History
by Brenda Smith
AN "I Brake for Cemeteries"
bumper sticker is fair warning
that the passionate family history
researcher has hit the road. All winter
you have studied census records, corresponded with relatives, worked hard to
understand your discoveries. But oh, how
you long for a glimpse ofthe old homestead, or to read the inscription on great-
uncle's grave marker.
Now is the season for a field trip to
satisfy your craving for on-the-ground
experience in ancestral territory. This
may be the opportunity to visit an aging relative, or attend a family reunion.
Here are a few tips for making your trip
more than a wander through the countryside.
Before planning your itinerary, get an
overview of the history and geography
of the region you plan to visit. Be alert
for jurisdictional changes that may affect where you look for traces of your
forebears. If possible, make advance contact with newspaper, church, and municipal offices. Be aware that local family history organizations are often recessed in the summer. Know the open
hours and costs for research assistance in
the archives of local museums. Determine the holdings of archives and libraries so that you can make the most of
your research time. Make appointments
to visit archives, relatives, and neighbours.
And make alternative plans in case the
first plan is frustrated, or you have a
chance to extend the scope of the trip.
Have mercy on your travelling companions. Give them the opportunity to
contribute to the program. For the tourists in the group, plan holiday events and
rests. If you are travelling with children,
arrange childcare for your research time.
Develop checklists of the clothing and
equipment you will need to take advantage of the research opportunities on
your trip. Checklists help you pack to
leave home, support preparations for day
trips, and are a useful tool for repacking
when it is time to leave.
Prepare a workbook for each surname
you expect to research. Include pedigree
charts, family group sheets, research
notes, photographs, and your prioritized
questions. Add plenty of lined letter-size
paper and polypropylene sheet protectors. Take along summaries and photographs to share with relatives.
Maps are an invaluable part of trip
planning and execution. Historical maps
help you understand how the countryside looked in times past, and how your
ancestors might have used the land. Road
and topographical maps help you pinpoint the present-day lay ofthe land, and
reduce the likelihood of getting lost.
Dress for archival work should be
"business casual" and comfortable. But
for prowling in a cemetery, pack comfortable shoes, mud boots, rain gear, and
warm clothing Your travel tool kit should
include money for parking, photocopying, and nourishment; gentle tools for
cleaning cemetery markers; camera and
film; and tape recorder, video camera, and
blank tapes.
Serendipity doesn't just happen.
Happy accidents are the result of good
background research, effective communications, and careful planning.
Sources: Maps: Geological Survey of Canada, Vancouver, BC; Rose, Christine and Kay Germain
Ingalls. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy.
New York: Alpha Books, 1997; Smith, Brenda L.
PackYourParachute:The Research Plan. Maple Ridge,
BC:Wellspring Communications, 1999.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Web Site Forays
by Gwen Szychter
IN my last "Web site Forays,"
I wrote about what I considered the
major archives in British Columbia.
In this issue I'll undertake to explore
some smaller community archives, with
no particular focus except to bring them
forward for readers' attention.
Most small community archives have
no on-line databases and their respective Web sites merely state the general
contents of the archives. The Web site
for the Chilliwack Archives at <http://
index.htm> includes a listing of its holdings which one can browse and a search
feature for accessing the database.
Even when a listing is all that is made
available, some times those contents can
be especially revealing. The Creston and
District Archives, for example, in its resource list at <
cvm/archives.htm> includes the birth,
death and marriage records from 1909 to
1973, as well as a partial index of the
Creston Review from 1909 to 1975 and a
complete index of the Creston Valley Advance from 1900 to the present.
The Courtenay Museum, which I
visited earlier this year, has a fabulous
collection of photographs. Samples of
over a dozen from the Archives can be
viewed on the Web site at <http://
main.html> by clicking on the photograph. Interestingly, this institution
charges a "$5.00 annual user fee for the
archives," which is certainly not an onerous expense for researchers.
On occasion, when the institution is
linked to the local government, the Web
site is a little more difficult to find. This
is the case with the archives in my own
community, Delta. One has to travel
through the Web site of the Corporation of Delta before arriving at the page
for the Delta Museum and Archives at
museum/museum home.htm>.
In some instances, the archives contain municipal records, as well as materials relating to individuals, families and
organizations. A case in point is the Archives of the Fraser-Fort George Regional Museum for which the link is
research.htm>. In the list entitled "selections from the archives" you will find
municipal records such as the Prince
George and District cemetery records
for the period 1928 to 1983.
Small communities in the past often
didn't have their own newspaper, which
can make research doubly difficult. The
Gabriola Island Archives has solved that
problem by extracting relevant news
items from the Nanaimo newspaper and
posting them on its Web site.These items
from the 19th century can be found on
the Gabriola Archives site at <http://
Not all small or community archives
include a list of their holdings on their
Web sites. The Web site for the South
Peace Historical Society Archives at
< http://www. calve rley.dawson-> is among the
many that do. However, it is the only
listing that I can recall which included a
"Restaurant Menu Collection" and a
"Commercial Calendar Collection."
Those two entries stood out in the company ofthe more usual items of an obituary collection and many photo collections.
And, lastly, there are new discoveries
to be made in community archives. In
this case, the town of Whistler, for which
the URP of the Archives is <http://
flash_index.html> has a very sophisticated
site. Not being a fan of either sound or
movies on Web sites, I didn't click on the
"Play Intro Movie," a feature that will no
doubt appeal to some internet users.The
quality ofthe photographs displayed is im
pressive—no doubt a reflection of the fact
that the Web site is connected to Industry Canada's Digital Collections program.
I've gathered here a smattering of what
we can access for research on the internet.
The only possible order is alphabetical,
but I would point out that in every case
research in archives, whether large or
small, still demands that we go back to
the basics: a personal visit and a commitment of time.^^
The link to Gwen Szychter's own Web site is
She just added an archive of her History Helps
newsletter to the site.
■' 17
Best Article\Award
The winner is Freeman Tovell
Lhejury writes: "Again, it was a challenge
to choose the best article in British Columbia Historical News (2001). The amount
and depth of research that went into several ofthe articles was impressive. Writing
skills presented the research in a readable
way. There was one article that stood out
and that was our choice: "Chief Maquinna
and Bodega y Quadra" by Freeman Tovell
(Vol. 34:4). We congratulate Mr.Tovell on
his outstanding research and ability to
translate it into enjoyable reading."
37 History Web site Prize 2001
by Christopher Garrish
British Columbia Licence Plates
Writing Competition
WE are surrounded by licence
plates in urban British Columbia. We see them everyday on the roads we travel and in many
instances we possess a pair or more of
our own. These funny little pieces of
metal that we attach to our vehicles can,
if properly read, reveal a lot about who
we are.
They let people know where we come
from, and they announce the arrival of
out-of-province visitors to our roadways.
They can indicate a motorist's occupation, skills, or even their hobby. A licence
plate can further reveal where and when
a vehicle was first registered.
It is also possible to identify with licence plates in a personal sense. Many
years ago BC motorists could request
certain numbers that matched their
phone number, address, or birthday. Today, we have the option of personalizing
our plates; announcing to anyone, and
everyone who we are, distinguishing our
vehicles in the process.
A licence plate can also reflect the
values of a society. After a long absence
from its plates, New York is once again
announcing that it is "The Empire State,"
New Hampshire will "Five Free or Die,"
the District of Columbia resents "Taxation Without Representation," Quebec
will always remember: "Je Me Souviens,"
while Puerto Rico controversially pushes
its own sovereignty:" Estado FibreAsociado
de Puerto Rico." In British Columbia, we
Above: Christopher Garrish s licence plate
reads "BC plates," as does the address of his
winning Web site <hrrp://>.
have been "Beautiful" for almost forty
years, but is this all we are? Most of the
proposed slogans that have never made
it onto our plates have dealt with the
natural beauty of the province ("Pand
of Beauty," and "Supernatural"). But
other suggestions have attempted to celebrate industry ("Industry Moves West,"
and a proposal to design plates in the
shape of a log to promote forestry), and
First Nations heritage ("Totemland").
Why have our licence plates carried
the same old slogan for so long? Unfortunately, the history ofBC licence plates
is one that has remained largely unrecorded. For instance, why did ICBC
switch to pink coloured registration decafs for the last two months of 1996?
Why were the 1967 plates painted red-
on-white? Did somebody really sabotage the 1948 plates causing all the paint
to peel off? Is it true that prisoners once
made BC's plates? Who was the first vehicle in BC registered to, and when?The
list of questions could go on.
I am, therefore, very honoured that
my site; "British Columbia licence
Plates," has been selected by the British
Columbia Historical Federation and
David Mattison to receive the 2001 BC
Historical Web Site Award. Not only has
winning this award encouraged me to
continue my research, but it has also been
very important to me on a number of
other levels.To a degree, it has validated
the study of licence plates as an historical topic (albeit, as a rather obscure one).
More importantly, it reinforces my belief that the Web is the ideal medium in
which to publish such a history.
If you haven't already done so, please
feel free to click your way through
cyberspace and visit:
Above: Honorary president Alice Glanville presented the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for
Historical Writing for 2001 to Milton Parent
for his book Circle of Silver published by the
Arrow Lakes Historical Society. More winners
on page 35.
W Kaye Lamb
Essay Scholarships
British Columbia Historical Federation's
scholarshipjudges awarded a W. Kaye
Lamb Essay Scholarship of $750 to
Kimberly Boehr for her essay'lndividual
Acts of Kindness and Political Influence:
Alice Parke's Experience with the Women's
Council," recommended by Dr. Duane
Lhompson ofOkanagan University. Readers will find the winning essay in the
Spring issue of BC Historical News (35:2).
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Revelstoke 2002
by Naomi Miller
REVELSTOKE, the Railway City,
presented an attractive face with
its revitalized homes and businesses, colorful gardens, and backdrop of
peaks topped with new snow. Ninety-four
delegates from 21 member societies plus
a few friends appreciated the program,
tours, and overall hospitality.
Revelstoke boasts four museums:
the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, Revelstoke Railway Museum, B.C. Interior Forestry Museum, and Revelstoke Firefighter's
Museum. We saw them all. A book
fair and quilt show was open to the
public for the three days adjacent
to the meeting rooms. Members of
Mt. Revelstoke Quilting Guild
brightened the book fair room
considerably with a display of their
beautiful quilts.
Thursday evening in the
Revelstoke Museum the official
welcome was given by Gail
Bernacki, Mayor of Revelstoke.
Museum Curator Cathy English
and Historical Association president
Helen Grace gave the background
of their museum development under the leadership of the dynamic
Ruby M. Nobbs. A panel display
dedicated to the memory of Mrs.
Nobbs was unveiled by her son,
Fred Dowdy, his wife Minnie and
their son Grant.
Friday morning the eager
attendees were given descriptions
of past and present programs and
activities that make Revelstoke a
great place to live. Dr. Battersby, Lyn Dyer,
Pynne Barisoff, Tom Knight and Ken
Magnes presented their committee's highlights. Cathy English, museum curator,
finished the morning with tales of very
special, mostly humorous, activities and
people in early Revelstoke.
Delegates had a choice of four tours
each afternoon.The Rogers Pass tour was
conducted by two Parks Canada staff
members who wove together railway history with descriptions of flora and fauna,
geology, and avalanches. They looked at
Avalanche Mountain while the drama was
recounted ofthe slide that killed 58 workers in 1910.
Above: Emily Joan Desrochers has never missed a conference since
her first one in Surrey in 1998. Here she is with Revelstoke
Queen Kristin Marcolli and Revelstoke First Princess Christy
Those who visited the BC Hydro's
Revelstoke dam were startled when told:
"No backpacks, no purses, no cameras
allowed."This security measure had come
to this friendly site in the aftermath of 9/
11. The groups were escorted through
many different floors and chambers, then
to the top of the dam where the panoramic view included "toy cars" in the
parking lot below. Following the dam tour
we visited the BC Interior Forestry Museum, a new facility with some excellent
The city tour by bus, with Cathy English as guide, drew rave reviews.The walking tour led by Helen Grace of necessity
covered less ground but was rich
in commentary and a closer look
at a couple of heritage homes.
The Railway Museum hosted
all on Friday evening. Everyone
becomes a train buff in that setting. Diesel engines pulling up to
125 cars glided along the main
CPR line beside the building,
while a giant Mikado steam locomotive and a business passenger car
loomed over observers indoors.
The simulator turned many a
greybeard into a boy at the controls.
Saturday the annual general
meeting was very well attended by
78 voting delegates.Treasurer Ron
Greene reported that financial affairs are most satisfactory. Shirley
Cuthbertson described the hurdles
overcome by the judges who had
to read 42 books between November and February. Frances
Gundry outlined the format for
the senior and junior WK. Pamb
Essay contest, and John Spittle presented updates on Trails and Markers with his usual flash of humour.
Regrets were expressed that our
Archivist, Margaret Stoneberg, had
not recovered enough to attend.
The Federation currently has 4,200 members across British Columbia, involved in
44 local societies. Each society representative told of the highlights of activities in
his or her community.
A hearty vote of thanks was given to
Melva Dwyer for arranging two workshops given on Thursday. Pinda Wills of
the Vernon Museum spoke on the pres-
39 ervation of historic photographs and
Allen Specht lectured on oral history.The
AGM concluded with election of officers, chaired by Ron Welwood.
That Saturday afternoon we were out
and about again. The dam tour, city bus
tour, and walking tour were repeated for
different participants. A fourth group
went onto Mt. Revelstoke to view the
site of championship ski jumping—we
also saw a bear. Pat Dunn of Parks Canada
led a leisurely walk laced with ski history
and a botany lesson.
At the awards banquet on Saturday
night Milton Parent of Nakusp received
the Pieutenant-Governor's Medal for
Historic Writing from the hands of outgoing Honorary President Alice Glanville
for his book Circle of Silver; the fourth in
the Arrow Pakes Historical Society's
Centennial series. After the awards had
been announced, patrons filled their plates
from a delicious buffet, catered by a third
generation Italian restaurateur.The theme
for the banquet was "A Salute to
Revelstoke's Italian Community" and the
hall was decorated with posters prepared
by pioneer Italian families for
Revelstoke's centennial in 1999.
After dinner Helen Akrigg accepted
the nomination as Honorary President
ofthe Federation and Myrtle Haslam was
lauded for her many contributions to BC
history and named an Honorary Fife
Ramona Rose of the University of
Northern BC received the yardstick to
take home in preparation for the 2003
conference in Prince George. A happy
weekend concluded with a concert by
local musicians Saskia Munroe, Darrel
Delaronde, and Krista Stovel. Their six
songs were all based on stories from local history events.
Thanks to Revelstoke volunteers, hosts
and hostesses, and especially the conference committee of Piz Barker, Helen
Grace, Shirlee Pudwig, Marlene Pelttari,
Cathy English, and many other
volunteers. ^^
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Left: A word of thanks spoken by Helen Grace,
president of the Revelstoke & District Historical
Association, to Cathy English, conference coordinator, fn return Cathy thanked the other
Revelstoke volunteers, hosts and hostesses, and especially the conference committee: Liz Barker,
Helen Grace, Shirlee Ludwig, Marlene Pelttari.
Right: Peter and Naomi Miller and]oel Vinge,
our always good-humoured subscription secretary.
Naomi served as president of the Federation, as
editor ofBC Historical News, and kindly
agreed to write a report about the conference for
"the News. "
Left: At the welcome reception at the Revelstoke
Museum a panel display dedicated to the
memory of the dynamic Mrs. Ruby Nobbs was
unveiled by her son, Fred Dowdy, his wife
Minnie and their son Grant.
Right: At the BC Interior Forestry Museum
Enabelle Goreck, president of the Okanagan
Historical Society, Irene Alexander of North
Vancouver, and Tom Lymbery of the newly-established Gray Creek Historical Society are
studying a slice of a 480-year-old Engelmann
spruce providing a timeline starting from about
the time Lacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence to find a water route to the Pacific and the
Orient. Tom may be pointing at the time when
BC joined Canada.
Left: A hearty vote of thanks to Melva Dwyer
for arranging two succesful workshops by Linda
Wills and Allen Specht. Melva (left) is seen
here with Allen Specht and Ramona Rose, conference chair of the 2003 conference in Prince
Right: Morag Maclachlan (centre), Yvonne
Klan, and Peter Trower discussing Morag s plan
of action to give Annacis Island its orginal name
back. Annacis Island was originally named after
Noel Francois Annance: Annance s Island.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - SUMMER 2002 Right: Against a backdrop ofthe Columbia
and the snow-capped mountains are Alistair
Ross, Ron Welwood, Frances Welwood, and
John Spittie..
Right: Springtime in the rockies. Bag lunch on
the shores ofthe Columbia. From left to right:
Irene Alexander, Ron Greene, Ann Greene,
Arnold Ranneris, Eileen Mak, and Helmi
Right: Officers of the British Columbia Historical Federation. Front row, left to right:
Ronald Greene (treasurer); Gordon Miller (recording secretary); Arnold Ranneris (member at
large). Back row, left to right: Roy Pallant (2nd
vice president); Ron Hyde (secretary); Wayne
Desrochers (president);Lacqueline Gresko (1st
vice president); Ron Welwood (past president).
Missing are Melva Dwyer (member at large),
and Fred Braches (editor), who took the photo.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 Federation News
Sound Opportunity
New Members
Welcome to the Women's History Network of British Columbia, who joined our
members as an Affiliated Group. The WHN
BC incorporated as a society in 1996.Their
mandate is to enhance interest and encourage activity in women's history across BC.
We encourage interested readers to contact
WHN's president, Carrie Nelson, Malaspina
University College, 222 Cowichan Way,
Duncan BC V9L 6P4. 250.743.3679.
Gray Creek Historical Society is the most
recent addition to the membership of the
Federation.The society hasjust been incor-
porated.They have five directors and a growing number of members. If you are interested in joining them, call Treasurer Janet
Schwieger at 250.227.9210. Or call President Tom Lymbery at 250.227.9315. Tom
Lymbery is an avid supporter of the Federation and BC Historical News. He never seems
to miss a conference and for many years the
Gray Creek Store has been selling copies of
our magazine.
Warm Welcomes & Fond Farewells
During the conference in Revelstoke we said
goodbye and thank you to a few members
of the executive and committees.Their contribution and dedication helped us achieving our goals promoting BC history. We also
welcomed and thanked those stepping forward to replace them in their positions. Some
just changed hats.
ALICE GLANVILLE stepped down as honorary
president. We are honoured that HELEN
AKRIGG agreed to assume that position.
Ron Hyde has agreed to be the Federation's
secretary, replacing ARNOLD RANNERIS, who
will continue on the executive as a member
at large.
Elizabeth (Betty) Brown has served the
Federation since 1999. GORDON MlLLER will
assume her position as recording secretary.
FRANCES GUNDRY retired from her position
heading the W Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarship Committee. We welcome ROBERT GRIFFIN as her replacement in that position.
Shirley Cuthbertson ably headed the Writing Competition since 1998. She has now
handed the torch to HELMI BRACHES.
Above: Helen Akrigg, the Federation s honorary
president, at the Awards Banquet in Revelstoke.
PATH Conference,
First Vice President Jacqueline Gresko and
Treasurer Ronald Greene thank the conference sponsors, Canada's National History Society and the Historica foundation, for a
wonderful opportunity to visit Quebec, to
network with historical society representatives from across Canada, and to discuss history in education. We would also like to thank
the British Columbia Historical Federation
for sending us as delegates.
The goal of this conference was to establish
a national network of people working to
popularize Canadian history at the grassroots
level.The conference activities included tours
of Quebec historic sites, sessions on organization, publications, education activities, and
fundraising for historical societies.
The PATH group in Quebec identified two
distinct issues to fight for: Canadian history
course for secondary school students and the
post-1901 Canadian census information. For
more read PATHnewsletter May 2002 on
Canada's National History Society's Web site
Heritage Series. This set, 36 volumes in total,
is complete from the first volume, # 1
through #40. There were two quite splendid
double issues and the associated but
unnumbered Aural History Program
publication Steveston Recollected: A
Japanese-Canadian History. The original
owner of the set, a well-known historian and
book reviewer, signed many ofthe covers
and made ink annotations to some issues,
and there is slight cracking to the perfect-
bound spines of some issues. Otherwise the
copies are in quite reasonable condition.
Lhe content ofthe Sound Heritage
volumes were primarily edited transcripts of
recorded interviews and reminiscences,
covering a wide variety of topics related to
BC history. Articles were usually
accompanied by archival photographs,
sometimes with maps and illustrations. The
collection was donated to the Victoria
Historical Society and the society wishes to
sell the set complete. Proceeds will go to the
Scholarship Fund.
The Sound Heritage Series was born at the
Aural History Convention at UBC in June
1973. With new funding by the provincial
government, the Reynoldston Research and
Studies group (RR&S) was re-designated as
the Aural History Institute of BC, chaired byW.
J. Langlois and located within the Provincial
Archives. At that time the RR&S quarterly
journal was renamed"Sound Heritage."
The first issue ofthe Sound Heritage
Series was numbered volume III #1 and
published in 1974. Langlois continued to edit
Sound Heritage through VII # 2, when Derek
Reimer, one of his assistant editors, took over.
After VIII #4, the Aural History Program of the
Provincial Archives changed its name to the
Sound and Moving Images Division (S&MI).
The numbering of the series changed to
straight numerical beginning with Sound
Heritage #28. Reimer continued as editor
through #35 when he became head of the
S&MI division. Charles Lillard was editor of
the Sound Heritage series through #39. No
editor was listed for the final issue #40 but
Reimer was still head of the Sound and
Moving Images Division at that time (1983).
Please contact Michael Layland at (250)
477-2734 or <> with
offers or for further information.
43 Prince George 2003
Work and Society:
Perspectives on Northern BC History
THE THEME of next year's conference "Work and Society: Perspectives
on Northern BC History" will provide participants with a unique look
at BC's industrial heritage and on the communities that diverse peoples created in British Columbia's north.
Hosted by the University of Northern BC and Prince George's heritage supporters it will combine local tours of industrial and transportation heritage
sites with presentations by UNBC students and local historians focusing on the
events and people who have shaped the North. Tours of railway and sawmill
sites are planned as well as walking tours of the surrounding communities.
Our committee is looking forward to hosting this event and hope that everyone will mark "Prince George May 8-11, 2003" on their calendar! For more
information please contact the conference chair.
Ramona Rose
Conference Chair
BCHF 2003 Prince George Organizing Committee
Manuscripts submitted for publication in BC Historical News hould be sent
to the editor in Whonnock. Submissions should preferably not exceed 3,500
words. Submission by e-mail of the manuscript   and illustrations is welcome.
Otherwise please send a hard copy and if possible a digital copy of the manuscript by ordinary mail.  All illustrations should have a caption and source information.   It is understood that manuscripts published in BC Historical News will
also appear in any electronic version of the journal.
W. Kaye Lamb
Essay Scholarships
Deadline 15 May 2003
The British Columbia Historical Federation
awards two scholarships annually for essays
written by students at BC colleges or
universities on a topic relating to British
Columbia history. One scholarship ($500)
is for an essay written by a student in a first -
or second-year course; the other ($750) is
for an essay written by a student in a third-
or fourth-year course.
To apply for the scholarship, candidates
must submit (1) a letter of application; (2)
an essay of 1,500-3,000 words on a topic
relating to the history of British Columbia;
(3) a letter of recommendation from the
professor for whom the essay was written.
Applications should be submitted before
15 May 2003 to: Robert Griffin, Chair BC
Historical Federation Scholarship Committee, PO Box 5254, Station B.Victoria, BC
V8R 6N4.
The winning essay submitted by a third-
or fourth-year student will be published in
BC Historical News. Other submissions may
be published at the editor's discretion.
BC History
Web Site Prize
The British Columbia Historical Federation and David Mattison are jointly sponsoring a yearly cash award of $250 to recognize Web sites that contribute to the understanding and appreciation ofBritish Columbia's past. The award honours individual
initiative in writing and presentation.
Nominations for the BC History Web
Site Prize for 2002 must be made to the
British Columbia Historical Federation,
Web Site Prize Committee, prior to 31 December 2002.Web site creators and authors
may nominate their own sites.
Prize rules and the on-line nomination
form can be found on The British Columbia History Web site:  <http://
Best Article Award
A Certificate of Merit and fifty dollars
will be awarded annually to the author of
the article, published in BC Historical News,
that best enhances knowledge of British Columbia's history and provides reading enjoyment. Judging will be based on subject
development, writing skill, freshness of material, and appeal to a general readership interested in all aspects of BC history
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 35 No. 3 British Columbia Historical Federation
Organized 31 October 1922
Affiliated Groups
Archives Association of British Columbia
Women's History Network of British Columbia
Member Societies
Alberni District Historical Society
PO Box 284, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 7M7
Anderson Lake Historical Society
PO Box 40, D'Arcy BC VON 1L0
Arrow Lakes Historical Society
PO Box 819, Nakusp BC VOG 1R0
Atlin Historical Society
PO Box 111, Atlin BC VOW 1A0
Boundary Historical Society
PO Box 1687, Grand Forks BC VOH 1H0
Bowen Island Historians
PO Box 97. Bowen Island, BC VON 1G0
Bulkley Valley Historical & Museum Society
Box 2615, Smithers BC VOJ 2N0
Burnaby Historical Society
6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby BC V5G 3T6
Chemainus Valley Historical Society
PO Box 172, Chemainus BC VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society
PO Box 1014, Duncan BC V9L 3Y2
District 69 Historical Society
PO Box 1452, Parksville BC V9P 2H4
East Kootenay Historical Association
PO Box 74, Cranbrook BC VIC 4H6
Finn Slough Heritage & Wetland Society
9480 Dyke Road, Richmond BC V7A 2L5
Fraser Heritage Society
Box 84, Harrison Mills, BC   VOM 1L0
Galiano Museum Society
20625 Porlier Pass Drive
Galiano Island BC VON 1P0
Gray Creek Historical Society
Box 4, Gray Creek, BC VOB ISO
Gulf Islands Branch BCHF
c/o A. Loveridge S22, CI 1, RR # 1
Galiano Island BC VON 1P0
Hedley Heritage Society
PO Box 218, Hedley BC   VOX 1K0
Jewish Historical Society of BC
206-950 West 41st Avenue,
Vancouver BC V5Z 2N7
Kamloops Museum Association
207 Seymour Street, Kamloops BC V2C 2E7
Koksilah School Historical Society
5213 Trans Canada Highway
Koksilah, BC VOR 2C0
Kootenay Lake Historical Society
PO Box 1262, Kaslo BC VOG 1M0
Langley Centennial Museum
PO Box 800, Fort Langley BC VIM 2S2
Lantzville Historical Society
c/o Box 274, Lantzville BC VOR 2H0
Lions Bay Historical Society
Box 571, Lions Bay BC VON 2E0
London Heritage Farm Society
6511 Dyke Road, Richmond BC V7E 3R3
Maple Ridge Historical Society
22520 116th Ave., Maple Ridge, BCV2X 0S4
Nanaimo & District Museum Society
100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo BC V9R 2X1
Nanaimo Historical Society
PO Box 933, Nanaimo BC V9R 5N2
Nelson Museum
402 Anderson Street, Nelson BC V1L 3Y3
North Shore Historical Society
c/o 1541 Merlynn Crescent,
NorthVancouver BC V7J 2X9
North Shuswap Historical Society
Box 317, Celista BC  VOE 1L0
Okanagan Historical Society
PO Box 313,Vernon BC V1T 6M3
Princeton & District Museum & Archives
Box 281, Princeton BC VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical Society
587 Beach Road,
Qualicum Beach BC V9K 1K7
Revelstoke & District Historical Association
Box 1908, Revelstoke BC VOE 2S0
Richmond Museum Society
Minoru Park Plaza, 7700 Minoru Gate,
Richmond BC V6Y 7M7
Salt Spring Island Historical Society
129 McPhillips Avenue,
Salt Spring Island BC V8K 2T6
Silvery Slocan Historical Society
Box 301, New Denver BCV0G ISO
Surrey Historical Society
Box 34003 17790 #10 Hwy. Surrey BC   V3S 8C4
Terrace Regional Historical Society
PO Box 246,Terrace BC V8G 4A6
Texada Island Heritage Society
Box 129,  Blubber Bay BC VON 1E0
Trail Historical Society
PO Box 405,Trail BC V1R 4L7
Union Bay Historical Society
Box 448, Union Bay, BC VOR 3B0
Vancouver Historical Society
PO Box 3071,Vancouver BC V6B 3X6
Victoria Historical Society
PO Box 43035, Victoria North
Victoria BC   V8X 3G2
Yellowhead Museum
Box 1778, RR# 1, Clearwater BC VOE 1N0
Lhe British Columbia
Historical Federation is
an umbrella organization
embracing regional
Local historical societies
are entitled to become
Member Societies of the
BC Historical Federation.
All members of these
local historical societies
shall by that very fact be
members ofthe Federation.
Affiliated Groups are
organizations with
specialized interests or
objects of a historical
Membership fees for
both classes of membership are one dollar per
member of a Member
Society or Affiliated
Group with a minimum
membership fee of $25
and a maximum of $75.
Please   keep the  editor  of BC Historical News informed about any changes to be made to this page.
Questions about
membership should be
directed to:
Lerry Simpson
Membership Secretary,
BC Historical Federation
193 Bird Sanctuary,
Nanaimo BC V9R 6G8
Phone: 250.754.5697 Return Address:
British Columbia Historical News
JoelVinge, Subscription Secretary
561 Woodland Drive
Cranbrook,   BC    VIC 6V2
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40025793
Publications Mail Registration No. 09835
We acknowledge the financial support of the   Government of Canada, through the Publications Assistance Program (PAP), toward our mailing costs.
Contact us:
BC Historical News welcomes
stories, studies, and news items
dealing with any aspect of the
history of British Columbia, and
British Columbians.
Please submit manuscripts for
publication to the Editor,
BC Historical News, Fred Braches,
PO Box 130,
Whonnock BC,V2W 1V9.
Phone: 604.462.8942
Send books for review and book
reviews directly to the Book Review Editor, BC Historical News,
AnneYandle, 3450 West 20th
Avenue, Vancouver BC V6S 1E4,
Phone: 604.733.6484
Please send correspondence about
subscriptions to
Subscription Secretary, Joel Vinge
561 Woodland Drive
Cranbrook BC VIC 6V2
Phone/Fax: 250.489.2490
Subscriptions: $15.00 per year
For addresses outside Canada add $10.00
Any book presenting any facet ofBC history, published in 2002, is eligible.This
may be a community history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections giving a glimpse of the past. Names, dates and
places, with relevant maps or pictures, turn a story into "history." Note that
reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
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 bibliography, from first-time writers as well as
established authors.
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 individuals.
Winners will receive a Certificate of Merit, a monetary award and an invitation
to the BCHF annual conference to be held in Prince George, May 2003.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: All books must have been published in
2001 and should be submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two
copies of each book should be submitted. Books entered become property
of the BC Historical Federation. Please state name, address and telephone
number of sender, the selling price of all editions of the book, and, if the
reader has to shop by mail, the address from which it may be purchased,
including applicable shipping and handling costs.
SEND TO:   BC Historical Federation Writing Competition
PO Box 130, Whonnock BC  V2W 1V9
DEADLINE: 31 December 2002


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