British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1983

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ntul An hm-, oi H (
J	 On the cover ..
The Empress of Japan II steams past the figurehead of Empress of Japan I, at Brockton Point, Stanley
Park, Vancouver, B.C.
... story starts on page nine
Member societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct addresses
for their society and for its member subscribers are up-to-date. Please send changes to both
the treasurer and the editor whose addresses are at the bottom of the next page. The Annual
Report as at October 31 should show a telephone number for contact.
Member dues for the year 1982-83 (Volume 16) were paid by the following member
Alberni District Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHA — Gulf Islands Branch, c/o P.O. Box 35, Saturna Island, B.C. VON 2Y0
BCHA — Victoria Branch, c/o Margaret Bell, 1187 Hampshire, Victoria, B.C. V8S 4T1
Burnaby Historical Society, c/o 3755 Triumph St., Burnaby, B.C. V5C 1Y5
Chemainus Valley Historical Association, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
Creston & District Historical & Museum Society, P.O. Box 1123, Creston, B.C. VOB 1G0
District 69 Historical Society, c/o Mildred Kurtz, P.O. Box 74, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, c/o H. Mayberry, 216 6th Avenue S.,
Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 2H6
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden, B.C. VOA 1H0
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2,
Ladysmith, B.C. VOR 2E0
Lantzville Historical Society, c/o Susan Turnbull, Box 76, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station "A", Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical & Museum Society, R.R. #2, Texaco, Box 5, Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
Nootka Sound Historical Society, Box 748, Gold River, B.C. VOP 1G0
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Robert W. Brown, 2327 Kilmarnock Crescent,
North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 2Z3
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum and Archives, Box 21, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Ray Joy, 10719 Bayfield Road, R.R. #3,
Sidney, B.C. V8L 3P6
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
West Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 91785, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 4S1
Windermere District Historical Society, Box 784, Invermere, B.C. VOA 1K0 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Letters to the Editor  4
News of the Association    5
Writing Competition      7
Commander Henry Pybus, R.N.R  9
by Elizabeth O'Kiely
1918-1928: The Decade of Social Legislation     13
by E.B. Norcross
The Teedsmuir Trail 1937     17
by R.C. Harris
News and Notes
Reports from the Branches     21
News from the British Columbia Heritage Trust     24
Mattison's Miscellany     25
New Titles    26
Second-class mail registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M4G5. Our Charitable Donations number is 0404681-52-27. Printed by Fotoprint, Victoria, B.C.
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be addressed to 1745 Taylor St., Victoria, B.C. V8R3E8. Send all
other correspondence, including changes of address, to the Vancouver address given above.
Subscriptions: Institutional $16.00 per year; Individual (non-members) $8.00 per year.
The B.C. Historical Federation gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage
Trust. To the Editor
,5>b     i J06+ 9-* 3
Mm/ins //v7 qr s,/c
Sc*/e-   PO So  /*
Dept. of Public Works Map 572
The Editor:
Re-use of old (1863)  piers in new (1926)
Alexandra bridge near Spuzzum/Chapmans
I append some further notes on Alexandra
Bridges land II, which may be of interest to your
reader, Mel Atkey, (Vol. 16, No. 4, p. 4).
Examination of the bridge drawings shows
that the sole feature common to both bridges is
the location of the east tower. The new bridge
has a longer, wider span at a different
orientation: it could not have fitted the old piers.
Comparing the Royal Engineers drawings (1863),
with the Department of Public Works drawings
(1925), we find:
1863 R.E. 1925 D.P.W.
Span, centres 262'-0 277'-0
of main      (on Cpl. White's
towers dwg. but not
reproduced on
B.C. Historical
News copy)
Centres of
main cables
and hangers
Width of
deck inside
Elevation of
road at ends
(from contours
of bridge
on 1925 dwg.)
[say 12"6
Angle between
centre lines of
old and new
height of 1894
— R.C. Harris
page 4
British Columbia Historical News From the Editor
My friend Penny said to me the other day,
"I'm so proud to display the B.C. Historical
News magazine on my coffee table. It's the first
thing my visitors reach for." Penny speaks for
most of our readers, for during two years as
editor, Maureen Cassidy has set very high
standards of editorship and format. I have been
handed a special legacy, which I hope will
continue to be a credit to Maureen's pioneering efforts.
I share with Maureen a deep interest in our
province's history, and the desire to publish and
preserve it for future generations. In 1982, as a
"late bloomer", I completed graduate studies in
British Columbia history at the University of
Victoria. In addition to researching and writing,
I enjoy my association with the small museum
on Mayne Island in the Gulf Islands, and with
the enthusiastic and dedicated council members of the Victoria branch of the British
Columbia Historical Federation.
Our issue this time is cosmopolitan. We look
at Mary Ellen Smith's political accomplishments, sail with Captain Henry Pybus on the
Empress of Japan I, and tramp the Tweedsmuir
Trail with R.C. Harris. I am hoping that our
writing contest will encourage many more
fascinating accounts of people, places, and
And whether you have a coffee table or not, I
think Penny's idea of sharing the News with
visitors is an excellent one. Do encourage your
inquisitive friends to subscribe—better yet, to
become members of our Federation.
— Marie Elliott
Editor's Note: We omitted biographical
information for Kathryn Bridge, who wrote
"Two Colonial Artists" for Vol. 16, No. 4. Kathryn
is an archivist and exhibits coordinator for the
Visual Records Division of the Provincial
Archives, Victoria. She is writing her masters
thesis on Eleanor Fellows and Sarah Crease.
A Message
the President
I have attended to all tasks assigned to me
during the year. I was able to attend the
meeting of six societies. I assisted at the
formation of a new society in Lantzville, and
attended in your name celebrations by Port
Alberni, Parksville and Nanoose societies. I
have been asked to open a new society iri
Qualicum in June. I assisted in the interviewing
for a new editor for the magazine.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank
all my executive and committees for their cooperation. Special thanks to Cathy Henderson
for a job well done. We will miss her. To Fran
Gundry for her devoted service. To Maureen
Cassidy for her tremendous effort in bringing
our magazine up to a very high standard. We
will look forward to more contributions from
this talented lady in our magazine in the future.
Thank you.
Barbara Stannard
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 5 From the Treasurer
The British Columbia Historical Federation
was first registered under the Societies Act in
1927. In the early years a number of Provincial
Archivists in Victoria were actively involved in
the Association and the members were drawn
from throughout the Province. As years passed,
historical societies were established in many
centres in British Columbia, and the function of
the Association developed from being the
central authority for many individuals to being
the co-ordinating body of a number of fully
independent historical societies. This change in
function was recognized at the Annual General
Meeting in 1983 when the name was changed to
The British Columbia Historical Federation.
The re-written Constitution states that: "The
purposes of the Federation are: (1) to stimulate
public interest, and to encourage historical
research in British Columbia history; (2) to
promote the preservation and marking of
historical sites, relics, natural features, and other
objects and places of historical interest; and (3)
to publish historical sketches, studies, and
Membership in the Federation is dependent
upon prior membership in a local historical
society. Bylaw 2 states that local historical
societies are entitled to become Member
Societies of The British Columbia Historical
Federation; that they may use such local
designation as they choose; and that all members of the local society shall ipso facto be
members of the Federation and shall pay dues
to the Federation as provided for in Bylaw 43.
One of the Regulations under Bylaw 38 makes
the requirements that: (1) all members of the
Federation must be members of a Member
Society; and (2) persons resident within or
without British Columbia may belong to any
Member Society of their choice.
Organizations that are not historical societies,
but that have "specialized interests or objects of
a historical nature" may join as an Affiliated
Group. As such, they may participate in the
activities of the Federation, and may send
observers to its meetings, but without voting
privileges. Alternatively, such an organization
would be very welcome to join as a Member
Bylaw 43 requires that the annual Federation
Dues for all members shall be set at the Annual
General Meeting for the succeeding financial
year. Regulation 8 requires that the publication
of a quarterly magazine shall be a continuing
effort of the Federation. For the year 1983-84 the
dues were set at $1.00 per member of each
Member Society. The subscription rates to THE
set at: (1) another $4.00 if a member wished to
receive the magazine; (2) $8.00 for a non-
member subscriber; (3) $16.00 for Institutions;
and (4) $16.00 for an Affiliated Group.
In 1982-83 Member Societies were located in:
Alberni, Atlin, Burnaby, Chemainus, Cowichan,
Creston, District 69, East Kootenay, Gulf Islands,
Golden, Ladysmith, Lantzville, Nanaimo,
Nanoose Bay, Nootka Sound, North Vancouver,
Princeton, Sidney & North Saanich, Trail,
Vancouver, Victoria, West Vancouver, and
There are 80 or more societies in British
Columbia with the word "Historical" or
"History" in the title. To the many historical
societies that are not members of the
Federation a special invitation to join is issued.
Such support would be welcome for it would
help to give a much more persuasive and
stronger voice to those interested in our history
when matters of historical concern and interest
If you wish to subscribe to THE BRITISH
local Society, or become a Member Society, or
an Affiliated Group, you are welcome to write
to the following address for full information.
— J. Rhys Richardson, Treasurer,
P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5
page 6
British Columbia Historical News Writing Competition
The British Columbia Historical Federation
invites submissions for their first annual
competition for writers of British Columbia
history. Entries are welcomed from any person
or group who has published a book on local or
provincial history within the 1983 calendar
Any book, whether written as a thesis, or a
community project, or just for the pleasure of
recording old timers' memories, is eligible if it
is based on some facet of history within British
Columbia, and bears the copyright date of
Plese send a copy of your book with your
name, address, and telephone number to:
British Columbia Historical Federation,
c/o N. Miller,
Box 105,
Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
Deadline is January 31, 1984.
There will also be a prize for the writer
submitting the best historical article published
in the British Columbia Historical News
quarterly magazine. Articles are to be
submitted directly to:
The Editor,
British Columbia Historical News,
1745 Taylor Street,
Victoria, B.C. V8R 3E8
Deadlines for the quarterly issues are
September 1, December 1, March 1, and June
1. Winners will be invited to the British
Columbia Historical Federation convention in
Vernon, in May 1984.
Certificate of Merit
Requested by C.H.A.
The Regional History Committee of the
Canadian Historical Associations invites
nominations for its "Certificate of Merit"
awards. These annual awards are given for
meritorious publications or for exceptional
contributions by individuals or organizations to
regional or local history. Nominations for British
Columbia and the North should be sent to
Patricia E. Roy, Department of History,
University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. V8W2Y2.
Nominations should be received by mid-
November 1983 to ensure entry in the 1984
The two winners from British Columbia in the
1983 competition were Dr. Margaret Ormsby,
"in recognition of [her] scholarship and
teaching as well as her promotion of the
appreciation of British Columbia history among
the people of the province," and Hugh Brody,
for Maps and Dreams: Indians and the British
Columbia Frontier (Vancouver: Douglas and
Mclntyre, 1981).
Deadline for submissions for the next issue of the
NEWS is December 1,1983. Please type double
spaced if possible. Mail to the Editor, B.C.
Historical News, 1745 Taylor, Victoria, B.C. V8R
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 7 Page 8
British Columbia Historical News Elizabeth O'Kiely
Commander Henry Pybus, R.N.R.
Henry Pybus was born in the Cape Colony,
South Africa, on December 19,1850, the son of
Captain Joseph Pybus and Jeanetta Elizabeth
Smith. Joseph Pybus had retired from the sea in
1843 at the age of thirty, after making a fortune
in the maritime trade between India and China.
The story of Joseph Pybus and his brother is well
chronicled in Basil Lubbock's The Opium
Clippers, a book which is still in print.
When Henry was thirteen he won a scholarship to attend South Africa College (now the
University of Capetown). After three years at
college he went to sea. His family was distraught
because he had not completed his education,
and he was only sixteen years old.
Four years later, Henry received his certificate
as a ship's officer in 1872. Following further
service with the Union Steamship Company, he
qualified as a Master, Extra-Master, and for
Steam and Compass Deviation, in 1881. For the
next five years he served in the Chinese coastal
trade as a river pilot on the Yangtse Kiang,
employed by the Indo-China Steam Navigation
Company. This firm was owned by Messrs.
Jardine, Matheson & Co., a company which had
been one of the Hong merchants at Canton in
the 1830s at the same time that the Pybus
brothers (Henry Pybus's father and uncle) were
Hong merchants there. On the board of
directors at that time in Hong Kong was John
Bell-Irving. Later, Henry Pybus's only children,
his two daughters, both married members of
this same Bell-Irving family.
Henry had learned by now that in order to be
really successful in a career at sea it was
necessary to have Royal Navy training. A new
policy, very much frowned on in many quarters,
had been instigated by the Admiralty in order to
give the merchant service naval experience.
Pybus applied and was the first merchantman
candidate to be accepted for training. He was
appointed Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Navy Reserve,
on March 9, 1885, in England. In 1887 Pybus
married Miss Florence Falconer, the daughter
of Captain William Falconer, a wealthy shipowner and merchant. The couple lived as
newly-weds in London, but soon Pybus went to
sea again.
Henry supervised the construction of the
Cass, one of two vessels being built for the
Viceroy of Formosa, and then took command of
the ship during delivery to her owner. Her sister
ship was the Smith, and each ship had fifty
Chinese as crew. The Cass was 1,394 tons and
250 feet long. She was later renamed the Hating
and eventually became one of the Canadian
Pacific Railway's coastal passenger ships, the
Princess May.
Pybus then applied for an appointment to the
CPR's new steamship line, received it, and was
sent to Barrow to supervise the construction of
the R.M.S. Empress of China. The Empress of
China was launched on March 25, 1891, and
Henry Pybus was in command until her sea trials
were complete and the CPR crew took over
ownership. He was then appointed First Officer.
The Empress of China carried only twenty
passengers as she set forth on her maiden
voyage to Vancouver via Hong Kong, where she
picked up a Chinese crew. She rounded
Brockton Point at eleven o'clock, September 23,
1891, with her siren sounding. Most of the
twenty original intrepid passengers were still on
board, and about as many more had been
picked up in the Orient.
Pybus remained with the Empress of China on
the trans-Pacific run until 1898, when he was
appointed Commander of the Tartar, which was
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 9 ■i
The Empress of China was constructed under Henry Pybus's supervision. He served as First
Officer on the ship's maiden voyage to Vancouver, via Hong Kong.
to carry passengers and freight bound for the
Yukon gold rush. This venture was not an
economical success for the CPR and was soon
In 1901, after several stints as relief skipper,
Henry Pybus was appointed to the permanent
command of the Empress of Japan. He loved
this ship. As her skipper he gained a reputation
for being "a martinet" (Dr. W. Kaye Lamb,
Dominion Archivist, thus once described him),
but most of all, an extraordinarily talented
navigator. As Kaye Lamb puts it, "When he was
on the bridge things were liable to happen."
While he was Captain he broke all speed
records, events which in their time evoked
world-wide interest.
Henry Pybus's wife Florence and their baby
daughter Anne arrived in Vancouver soon after
he did. He bought a house on Hornby Street,
across from where Robson Square is now
located. Later, as the city grew the family moved
to Jervis Street, near English Bay. A second
daughter Mary was born in 1894. She was my
mother, and in 1975 she wrote the following
about her early life:
It was a red letter day when father came home
and we went to meet him, climbing down a
flight of steep wooden stairs at the foot of Howe
Street to the wharf below. I can still remember
the thrill of seeing father on the bridge calling
orders through a megaphone. Then, when we
finally went on board there was a smell of tar,
page 10
British Columbia Historical News V
The Empress of Japan I at Victoria, B.C.
and teak, and camphor wood. There were
interesting-looking passengers, and Chinese
"boys" in long blue Mandarin coats and pillbox
hats. Then up the stairs to the top deck, near the
bridge, where father had his sitting room with a
big desk. Then the presents. Somehow, they
were always a bit of a disappointment. The toys
were very Oriental, often mechanical. The dolls
were Japanese, and the party dresses made in
Hong Kong were not like the ones worn by
other girts at school.
Henry Pybus did not plan to settle permanently in Canada. He always thought of himself
as a "Cape man", and intended to retire to
South Africa. However, World War I and, later,
a variety of Canadian grandchildren made these
plans change. When he retired in 1911 he
became very active in the Art, Historical, and
Scientific Association of Vancouver, occupying
the position of President from 1921 to 1927. He
died in January 1938, and at his request his ashes
were committed to the sea from the new
Empress of Japan. The eldest grandson of Henry
Pybus, Henry Pybus Bell-Irving, has recently
served as Lieutenant-Governor of British
Elizabeth O'Kiely, West Vancouver, prepared this
article from her grandfather's memoirs, which he
wrote at age seventy-five, in Vancouver.
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 11 Mary Ellen Smith, M.L.A.
Page 12
British Columbia Historical News E.B. Norcross
1918-1928: The Decade of Social
That title might just as well read "The Decade
of Mary Ellen Smith" for it was she who
spearheaded the long-overdue social reforms in
British Columbia. It was no accident that ten
years of social legislation followed the granting
of the vote to women, and no accident that Mrs.
Smith was elected to the provincial House by an
overwhelming majority in the first election that
gave her an opportunity to run. (It was a by-
election to fill the vacancy caused by the death
of her husband nearly a year earlier, in March
1917.) As she said with truth in her maiden
speech—"Not only did the women of my fair
city stand behind me ... but the men were there,
Mary Ellen's campaign slogan had been
"Women and children first", and in her speech
she asked the House for legislation in the
interests of women and children.
For twenty years and more prior to gaining
that legislative seat Mary Ellen Smith had been
active in innumerable organizations that worked
for community betterment, and in particular for
women and children. Her public speeches,
however, dwelt on the issue of political equality
for women. Clear-sighted and practical, for her
the suffrage was a means to an end, the end
being improvement in conditions for women
and children, and social justice for all through
the women's vote.
One of the women's causes for which Mary
Ellen had battled had been equal guardianship
for the mother of the child she bore. The law
which deprived her of this right had been struck
from the statute books in the same year and by
the same government that granted her the right
to vote.
The booming young city of Vancouver with its
crop of overnight millionaires, its hopefuls who
saw no reason why they, too, should not be
millionaires, its ladies young and old leading the
social life of the leisured classes—this Vancouver
had at the bottom of the heap poor widows,
deserted wives, and unmarried mothers scrambling for a bare existence for themselves and their
children. Society recognized its obligation not to
let them starve, at least not outright, not
obviously, but a scramble for existence it was for
many of them. Apart from the social stigma of
accepting charity, most mothers found themselves slightly better off if they went to work,
even on the low wages then prevailing. Having
no option when the job made it necessary, they
boarded their children with ignorant, wholly
untrained women, who gave these children only
minimal care.
Their young sons picked up small change here
and there, mowing lawns, clearing snow from
sidewalks, peddling papers on downtown street
corners and working after school as errand boys
for neighbourhood grocery stores. These things
did them no harm, but when they dropped out
of school at twelve or thirteen if well grown, to
take f jll-time jobs such as floor boys in
department stores, or, in the country, as farm
labourers, it was an undesirable situation.
Almost to a boy, they went to work at fourteen,
the legal school leaving age.
It was mothers such as these and children such
as these that Mary Ellen Smith, and other more
fortunately placed women, saw the need to
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 13 The Minimum Wage Bill
Mary Ellen's first bill—and while it was
introduced as a Government measure, she was
always given sole credit for it—was the Female
Minimum Wage Bill. When moving second
reading, she reminded the House that men
enjoyed the protection of their labour unions,
while women, having nothing of that sort, must
be protected in other ways.
The bill was very moderate in its terms. No
actual minimum was set for any occupation, but
provision was made for an inquiry in each case,
and no compulsion would be exerted except as
a last resort.
In the mercantile industry wages for women
aged eighteen and over were fixed at 26 9/16<t
per hour, or $12.75 per week. The first annual
report of the Department of Labour had shown
that in this industry some 74% of female workers
were receiving less than these rates, 79% less
than $13.50 per week. The newspaper story
which brought out these figures was headed
"Absolute Need of Minimum Wage Law". "The
most interesting feature of the measure," said
the editor of the Vancouver Sun, "is the calm
manner in which it ignores what was only very
recently an axiom—the right of an employer to
run his business as suited himself. This principle,
if it can be called a principle, is one of the many
things being tossed into the discard by social
By way of comparison, in Ontario, in 1920, the
goal of minimum wage legislation was to
provide a "living wage". It had been determined
that a single woman in Toronto would require
$653.25 yearly, which was very nearly the same
figure arrived at in British Columbia. In contrast
to this, in 1919 the Dominion Civil Service
Commission had drawn up a minimum budget
of $903 per annum for a person without
dependants. For "person" perhaps one can read
"man", as witness the question of eligibility for
the Senate. Hence, the difference in the
The Minimum Wage Bill passed the
committee stage with only one major
amendment, that a board of five, instead of
three members should be appointed to
administer it, and that two of these members
should be women. The male legislators,
however great their respect for the lone female
MLA, were not yet ready to put women in a
dominant position on a board set up to
administer a law passed for the protection of
In the next session, the House made one of
its first items of business the passing into law of
the Minimum Wage Bill. Two years later the
Minimum Wage Board was to report that ever
since the law came into operation, there had
been a constant movement towards higher
wages and shorter hours among women and
girls. At the same time that this report was
presented, regulations were brought in to
require employers to give pregnancy leave.
When the 1920 session of the legislature
opened, Mrs. Ralph Smith (she was still
formally referred to as "Mrs. Ralph") again
spoke in the Throne Speech debate. The
Colonist reported her at some length: "The
people of this province are not worrying very
much these days over the fortunes of political
parties; they are not concerned to any degree
in the Farmers' Party, or even a Women's
Party, but they are very deeply interested in
the matters of human needs ... We are sadly in
need of more humane legislation..." In
particular, she pleaded for mothers' pensions.
Mothers' Pensions Act
The premier had named a commission in
the fall of 1919 to investigate mothers'
pensions, public nursing and maternity
benefits. The report of the commission in
respect to mothers' pensions was presented to
the legislature in April. It recommended an
allowance of $42.50 per month to a widow
with one child under sixteen and $7.50 per
month for each additional child. If these
allowances look niggardly—and indeed they
were, even related to prices of that period—
they were higher than those already in effect
in the prairie provinces.
When the bill came up for second reading in
the House, Mary Ellen spoke in its support.
The needs of industrial widows and fatherless
children were, she pointed out, precisely the
same for the women with children whose
husbands were confined in an asylum. She
noticed that there was no specific provision
for the unmarried mother, and she made a
special plea for that class. And it was here she
enunciated her famous and oft-quoted
philosophy: "Mr. Speaker, there are no
illegitimate children. It may be there are ...
people who will contend there are illegitimate
parents, but in God's name, do not let us
brand the child." This statement has since
become so much a part of society's thinking
that no one remembers what a startlingly fresh
view of the problem it had been at the time.
Page 14
British Columbia Historical ^ews Mary Ellen Smith and the British Columbia Legislative Assembly, ca. 1918.
Mary Ellen, when she made that special plea
for the unmarried mother, had reason to
foresee what might happen. Society at that
time had little sympathy for unmarried
mothers and divorcees, and in those provinces
which had preceded British Columbia in the
provision of mothers' pensions, not only were
rigorous means and residence tests imposed,
but the applicant had also to show good moral
character. Perhaps the divorcees and
unmarried mothers of British Columbia could
thank Mary Ellen Smith for the fact that in
British Columbia their problems received
more compassionate consideration. At that
period in our history the accepted view was
that society benefited when the mother was in
the home, caring for her children.
In 1924 the Mothers' Pension Act was again
to the fore and Mary Ellen again rose to its
defence. She was not, she said, in accord with
all its provisions, but there could be no doubt
that it had been of benefit to the 950 women
and 2500 children it had aided. Her criticism
was mainly directed to the municipalities.
They were responsible for the relief of poverty
within their borders, she pointed out, and
unless they cared for cases that did not come
within the Act, then she suggested that the
Government place half the burden of
mothers' pensions on their shoulders. She
cited one municipality which, in dealing with a
mother and six children who were outside the
strict limits of the Act, but in necessitous
circumstances, had allowed the family only
$20 a month.
It was a case of shifting criticism from the
government she supported to another level.
The critics of the Act were mainly concerned
with its administration, claiming that the
Workmen's Compensation Board (which had
been entrusted with its administration) had
established regulations which exceeded their
powers. That was a problem the attorney-
general solved by introducing a bill which
gave statutory effect to the Board's regulations.
The attorney-general's bill allowed foster
mothers who were grandmothers, aunts or
elder sisters to receive the pension. "To go
beyond this might encourage adoptions for
the sake of the pensions." Mary Ellen
complained of a lack of elasticity in the
Mothers' Pensions Act, but when the time
came, she voted for it, as an Opposition
member unkindly pointed out.
A Colonist editorial on the subject of the
pensions commented: "Under new provisions
of the Mothers' Pensions Act a wife must be
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 15 deserted for two years betore she becomes
eligible for the pension." The writer's
conclusion might well have come from Mrs.
Smith. After remarking that administration of
the Act had now been relegated to the
Workmen's Compensation Board, he went on
to say: "That is a retrograde step inasmuch as
that body by its previous showings can hardly
be said to have as much of the milk of human
kindness as should be in evidence in its new
duties ... And," he added, "the appointment
of a woman in an advisory capacity would not
mitigate the situation."
Other Social Legislation
Among other social legislation passed
during the amazing decade in which Mary
Ellen Smith served as an MLA were: the
Juvenile Courts Act, which provided for the
appointment of women judges in Juvenile
Court; the Maintenance of Deserted Wives
Act; the Testators Family Maintenance Act;
the Act for Registration of Nurses; and the
Maternity Protection Act  Most of this was
legislation in which British Columbia,
prodded forward by Mary Ellen, pioneered
and served as a model for the rest of Canada.
The Female Minimum Wage Act eventually
lost its separate identity, and rightly, but that
was not until 1972. Mothers' Pensions, which
became known as Allowances, also lost its
identity in the general welfare system in 1958.
One other piece of social legislation passed in
Mary Ellen Smith's time is still with us,
recognizably the same, and that is Old Age
This legislation was initiated by the
Dominion Government and presented to the
provinces in 1927 as a scheme in which they
might participate under the conditions of
eligibility laid down by the Dominion Act. The
proposal was the subject of considerable
debate in the provincial legislature. There was
general agreement that the minimum age
requirement of seventy years was too high and
the maximum pension payable too low.
Noting that the senate opposed the bill,
Mrs. Smith had this to say: "Why the senate
should reject the Bill is more than I can
understand. The senate should be the last
body to do any such thing, as the senators
themselves are living in a luxurious old man's
home, drawing down the handsome stipend
of $4000 a year."
What Mary Eiien and everyone else had in
mind was that $240 a year was the maximum
payable in old age pension, and anyone with
an independent income of as much as $365 a
year would not be eligible for any portion of
the pension.
The terms of provincial participation
provided that the province would pay 75% of
the cost, the Dominion 25%. This meant that
while the richer provinces, which included
British Columbia, entered the plan, the poorer
could not, although they were left in the
positionof contributing through their
Dominion taxes to the Dominion portion.
Recognizing this inequity, cost-sharing was
soon changed to a 50-50 basis.
The Depression wreaked havoc with the
social gains of the 1920s. Principles, however,
had been established from which society
benefits today.
Elizabeth B. Norcross is a familiar name to many of
our readers. Born in Cowichan, and a graduate of
U.B.C, she has been a freelance writer for many
years, mainly in non-fiction and juvenile fiction. Her
books include The Warm Land: A History of
Cowichan; Pioneers Every One: Canadian Women
of Achievement; and Frontiers of Vancouver Island,
which she co-authored with the late Doris Farmer
Tonkin. She recently edited The Company on the
Coast and is co-ordinating editor of Nanaimo
Retrospective. "The Decade of Social Legislation" is
drawn from her as-yet unpublished biography of
Mary Ellen Smith, Queen of the Hustings.
Page 16
British Columbia Historical News R.C. Harris
The Tweedsmuir Trail 1937
North From Bella Coola Valley to the
Rainbow Mountains
Tweedsmuir Trail was cut in 1937 by the
Parks Division of the B.C. Forest Service, as a
recreational horse trail, leading north from the
deep Bella Coola valley to the Rainbow
country. Prehistoric trade routes up several
side creeks already provided access, but these
trails were too rough and steep for recreational use. Moreover, the trade routes did not
necessarily traverse country noted for its
scenic qualities.
A proponent of the new trail was Tommy
Walker, who ran a lodge and a guiding service
at Stuie, some forty-two miles up the valley
from tidewater at Bella Coola. Walker checked
the feasibility of a new horse route to the
Rainbows in the summer of 1936, and made a
detailed proposal to Hon. Wells Gray, Minister
of Lands, in Victoria, in August 1936. He
included a sketch map of the route, and a firm
cost estimate of $650 for the eight miles of
heavy construction to reach timberline in the
meadows of upper Edwards (now Mosher)
Creek. The cost of clearing the forty-four miles
of old trail down Rainbow (now Mackenzie)
Valley and through to the Dean River crossing
was given as $250.1
On September 20, 1936, after granting an
interview to Tommy Walker, the Hon. Wells
Gray noted to the Deputy Minister: "Suggest
that $1500 be included in estimates. AWG." A
3,500,000 acre park reserve had already been
Dlaced over the land on March 11, 1936, and
Wells Gray was aware that the Province of
British Columbia had invited the Governor
General of Canada, Lord Tweedsmuir, to visit
the park in 1937.
The park reserve was gazetted as a Glass ti
provincial park on May 21,1938. In the same
year, the.Minister of Lands issued a commemorative booklet,2 and Lady Tweedsmuir
published an extensive, illustrated article in
National Geographic Magazine, both
describing the 1937 vice-regal progress
through the new park.
A large "Mackenzie Park", honouring the
July 1793 visit of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, had
earlier been proposed for Dominion
administration in 1925.3 This would have
extended twenty miles south of the Bella
Coola valley, to South Bentinck Arm, and for
seventy miles east-west.
In 1951, Tweedsmuir Park, which then did
not reach as far south as the Bella Coola valley,
was curtailed when the Ootsa Lake country
was appropriated for hydro-electric power
purposes. However, some compensation was
made by extending the park southwards to
Monarch Mountain. Also added were
Lonesome Lake, the Turner Lakes, and Hunlen
Falls, which had been part of the 1925
Mackenzie Park proposal.
Mackenzie's name survives in the area as the
Mackenzie electoral district, and more
recently with the reopening of his trail to Bella
Volume 17, No. 1
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TRAIL 1937
Page 18
British Columbia Historical News Early History
The Bella Coola valley was first mapped in
some detail by the Royal Engineers in
November 1862 following Lt. H.S. Palmer's
exploration of the well-used trail between
North Bentinck Arm (Bella Coola village) and
the Fraser River at Fort Alexandria.5 Plan No. 3
of Palmer's report, shows the main creeks that
enter the Bella Coola valley. He notes three of
the deep hanging valleys to the north as
"Possible pass to the Plateau".6
The first side creek was the Kahylskt, now
Burnt Bridge Creek. Mackenzie came down
the cliffs on the east side to his "Friendly
Village" in July 1793. Palmer shows this village
as "Nootkleia",7 and his contemporaries as
"Newcliff", in the early 1860s.8 Nothing
remains of Friendly Village, but Rascals' Village
(Bella Coola) flourishes.
The steep old Burnt Bridge Trail comes
down the west side of Burnt Bridge creek.
Tommy Walker proposed using it for access to
the Rainbows in 1935, before he found the
better route up the next creek, in 1936.9
The next creek, Palmer's "Snookhalk", was
in Walker's time Edwards Creek, and is now
Mosher Creek.10 This was the route chosen for
the 1937 Tweedsmuir Trail. Again, the west
bank was used. Palmer's third possible side
creek was the Cheddea-kulk, now Young
Creek. The Bunch Grass Trail, and in 1955,
highway 20 to the Chilcotin country, again
used the west side of this deep valley.
Walker's Trail
Tommy Walker's location for the new trail to
the Rainbows runs almost due north, in the
general direction of the 126th meridian.11
Deception Pass, at about the midpoint, is split
by the meridian, and is thus not apparent on
maps until adjacent sheets are joined. This may
account for most maps showing the Pass two
miles west of its true location. Despite this
minor deception, the name is attributed to
1937 trail foreman Bob Boyd, who had
expected to find a "real" pass in the ridge,
rather than a shallow saddle in the skyline.12
From Deception Pass, and particularly from
its west flank, there are extensive views north
over the broad flat valley of the Capoose to the
volcanic Rainbows country.13 The Capoose
meadows contain sloughs, swales, swamps and
lakes. The largest lake is Octopus, named by
Ches Lyons in the 1940s for its long arms. The
Rainbow Mountains, or "Mountains that
Bleed" according to the Indians, display
mostly reds, but patches of yellow, green,
white, and purple will be seen in theashes and
lava flows which originate from Tsitsutl Peak.
Just north of Octopus Lake, the Tweedsmuir
Trail crosses the ancient east-west Capoose
summer trail, a "summer trail" because it is
passable in July, August, and September only.
The Be//a Coola Courier, 1912 to 1917,14 shows
Antoine Capoose frequently used the trail,
bringing pack trains from his ranch on
Abuntlet Lake to Bella Coola several times a
year, to trade furs for supplies. He occasionally
continued to Vancouver. Dr. CM. Dawson of
the Geological Survey of Canada also used this
trail, eastbound in 1876, during one of his
numerous surveys in British Columbia, in
association with the Canadian Pacific Railway
Surveys which followed Confederation.
The Tweedsmuir Trail was built, or cut, by
the Parks Division of the Forest Service,
working through the Young Men's Forestry
Training Program.15 They brought in Bob Boyd
as foreman, Wally Hughes as assistant
foreman, and about twenty-two young men
from the. Vancouver-New Westminster area.
The crew travelled to and from Bella Coola on
the Union Steamship vessel Cardena.
Location of the five miles of trail from base
camp to the first summit was by Tommy
Walker. From summit camp, Walker and Boyd
climbed a fairly high peak (probably now
Mount Walker), and Walker showed the
general route north to Boyd, who continued
the locating. The trail construction camps
were set four or five miles apart, as follows:
No. 1 Base Camp—at the end of the wagon
road (Mackenzie Highway),
near Atnarko River
2 Summit Camp— at the first summit, before
descending to cross Bear
Camp Creek
3 Mosquito near crossing of Mosquito
Camp— Creek
4 Pass Camp—        near the small lake, south
east of Deception Pass
5 Capoose between Octopus Lake
Camp— and the rim of Mackenzie
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 19 6 Rainbow in Mackenzie Valley, near
Camp— Kohasganko Creek, where
the new trail joined
Mackenzie's route
North from Rainbow Camp, the old trail
down the Mackenzie was brushed out as far as
Tanya Lakes, near where it intersected the
prehistoric Algatcho summer trail from Bella
Coola, described in the Minister of Lands
Report for 1914, p. 335.
Not long after the Tweedsmuir Trail was
opened, Tommy Walker put in a westerly
diversion via Bear Camp Meadows (just north
of Mount Walker), to ensure horse feed would
be available on the first night out. The two
ends of this diversion are still marked by
wooden finger boards on trees, now illegible.
Where the diversion rejoins the main trail, a
Rogers Golden Syrup tin is also nailed to the
signpost tree. A card in this simple mail box
records that a Geological Survey party under
Alex Baer passed this way, en route to Octopus
Lake on August 17,1962, confirming that the
Tweedsmuir trail was being used 20 years ago.
During his 1937 visit Lord Tweedsmuir and
his entourage were expected to fly to Tanya
Lakes, on their way south through the new
park. Due to a shortage of time, they were
flown over the trail, and landed in the sea at
Bella Coola, whence they were driven east to
Tommy Walker's lodge at Stuie. Tommy
Walker was graciously permitted to rename it
as Tweedsmuir Lodge.
Though Lord Tweedsmuir did not use his
trail, it fulfilled its primary purpose of
improving recreational access to the
Rainbows. However, completion of highway
20 in 1955 has drained much of the traffic from
the horse trails.
1 T.A. Walker to Hon. Wells Gray, August 17,1936, letter
1168940, Lands file 0124360, Victoria.
2 Tweedsmuir Park, British Columbia, Canada, a
commemorative booklet, pp 30, incl. map and illus.
Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C., 1938.
3 "Mackenzie Park as a Field for Survey, Exploration,
Literature and Art" by Harlan I. Smith. Reprinted from
Science; Sep. 4,1925, NWp 971.242 S649, PABC.
4 7ra/7 Guide: "In the Steps of Alexander Mackenzie",
John Woodworth and Halle Flygare, 1981, sponsored
by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, pp 105, illus.; +
folded maps.
5 "Reliable News from Bentinck Arm", British Colonist;
Aug. 26, 1862; and "Four Days Later, from Bentinck
Arm", British Colonist; Aug. 27, 1862.
6 Plan No. 3, "Sketch of the Valley of the Bella Coola or
Nookhalk River from the Coast to the Precipice" by
Lieut. H.S. Palmer, R.E. "To accompany Report of Nov.
24, 1862." Scale: Two Miles to One Inch.
7 Barnston and Macdonald to Governor Douglas, from
Bonaparte River, July 24, 1861. Report on a new and
shorter route into the upper districts of British
Columbia. Mentions "Nontclaoff". EB B261, PABC.
8 "The Bentinck Arm Road", Oct. 1862, A.L. Fortune, in
British Colonist, Jan. 3,1863; p. 3, mentions "Newcliff",
Mackenzie's Friendly Village.
9 T.A. Walker to Chief Geographer (Major G.S. Aitken),
Victoria, B.C., September 10, 1935 pp 5, proposing a
tourist route from Stuie to Tetachuck, 9 days, using the
Burnt Bridge trail, then following Mackenzie's route.
10 See number 1.
11 With the Trail Riders through Tweedsmuir Park, under
the Personal Direction of Mr. T.A. Walker. Inaugural
Ride, 1938, from Tweedsmuir Lodge to the Rainbow
Mountains" [uses the new Tweedsmuir Trail]. Lands
File 0124360.
12 Bob Boyd continued with the Parks Branch until his
retirement. He was responsible for the Lightning Lakes
dam, and several of the main trails in Manning Park.
13 "The Rainbow Mountains in Tweedsmuir Park", by
Don Munday, shows pack train crossing, "Tommy's
Pass", Canadian Geographical Journal; Jan. 1939. p 2-
17; illus.
14 The Bella Coola Courier, a local weekly newspaper,
published almost continuously between 1912 and
15 Record of Interview between Bob Boyd, Trail foreman,
1937, and Bob Broadland of Heritage Conservation
Branch, 1973.
16 Topographic Sketch Map 19T2, Surveyor General of
British Columbia; by F.C. Swannell, B.C.L.S. April 9,
1928 1 inch = 1 mile, shows parts of Algatcho and
Capoose summer trails, and Mackenzie's route.
Swannell's Report of Surveys, seasons of 1926 and 1927,
describes trails north of Bella Coola valley. Add. MS.
392, PABC.
R.C. Harris is a retired professional engineer and
has a lifelong interest in trails and bridges.
Page 20
British Columbia Historical News News and Notes
Reports from the Branches
The major event of the year was the very
successful and well-attended symposium,
"The Company on the Coast", in March 1982.
Three junior secondary schools participated
in the Ethel Barraclough Memorial Fund
Awards. Books were presented to students
and school libraries, and to commemorate the
year Constitution Dollars were also presented
to the students.
There has been an encouraging response
from members to a request for their Family
Histories. A valuable resource is being
accumulated for a possible further publication.
The book published by the Nanaimo
Historical Society in 1979, Nanaimo Retrospec
tive, proved to be a best seller, and paperback
copies are now out of stock.
An excellent slate of speakers provided
variety and special knowledge. All were taped
for reference.
Due to the inclement weather the Princess
Royal Day ceremonies organized by the
Society were held inside the Bastion this year.
Mr. Howard Nicholson used his many years
experience as clerk to the city council in his
Late in 1981, the Hope and District Historical
Society began to make arrangements to acquire
and restore the derelict Home Gold Mill. The
machinery was dismantled at the mine site and
brought to Hope Museum by enthusiastic
volunteers in 1982. Plans to restore the mill
adjacent to the museum were approved by
Hope town council, which supported the
society's application for a winter grant under
the Community Recovery Program funded
jointly by the Federal and Provincial
Governments in conjunction with the
Unemployment Insurance Commission.
Great attention was paid to re-creating the
exact layout of the mill circuit and, fortunately,
people involved in the original design were
available to give valuable advice. Metal parts
were sandblasted to remove rust and then
painted. Many donations of time and materials
necessary to build the log foundation and
assemble the machines were received from
interested residents. A special plaque mounted
on the front of the mill building lists these
indispensable donors.
Since most of the machines are free to rotate,
the society plans as a future project to fully
restore the circuit to working condition.
The official opening of the mill took place
September 16, 1983.
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 21 District 69
Craig Heritage Park has been established
this year in the Qualicum School District 69on
land bordering the Island Highway near
Craig's Crossing where the Craig family first
pre-empted property in the 1880s.
Through grants-in-aid, District 69 Historical
Society moved Knox Heritage Church to the
new park, and then restored it to its original
appearance. It was officially opened on
February 19 by Mrs. Barbara Stannard,
President of the British Columbia Historical
Federation, and remained open for the
showing of special displays during the day,
and also was open to visitors on Sunday,
February 20, 1983.
The first post office in District 69, a log
building dating back to 1886, has been moved
from French Creek to Craig Heritage Park,
near the old church. In the early days,fires
were kindled on the beach at French Creek,
signalling to the pioneers on Lasqueti Island
that their mail had arrived.
The Society is now waiting for funds to move
the old Duncan McMillan house from the
Seaton farm near Englishman's River in
Errington. Built in 1886, it is one of a very few
which were built of squared-off logs in British
Columbia. It will join the Knox Heritage
Church and the French Creek post office at
Craig Heritage Park.
Regarding plans for a museum in District 69,
all organizations in the district, including
Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Errington, and
Nanoose Bay, were invited to a meeting
addressed by Mr. Greg Evans, Museums
Coordinator for the Provincial Museum, who
provided our Society with guidelines for
planning. This April meeting is to be followed
up by a September meeting to receive further
input from District residents. We have the
approval to go ahead with washrooms and a
fireproof vault for Craig Heritage Park.
—Grace d'Arcy
The Cowichan Historical Society has had
another busy and interesting year. We have
held eight General Meetings and ten
Executive Council Meetings.
Our speakers have been: Mrs. Audrey Ginn,
on the history of Kuper Island; Hank Williams,
slides of Port Townsend, Washington; Jack
Fleetwood, on Duncan and the boom year of
1912, and the early days of education in the
Cowichan Valley; Mrs. Shirley Green, slides of
totem poles near Kitimat; and Mrs. Barbara
Stannard on first aid to small museums. We
also had one meeting of show and tell, and at
our December meeting we had entertainment
by the Chemainus Hillbillies.
Our executive council meetings were held
in the museum and were mostly concerned
with the purchase and storage of the
mahogany shelving from the Rexall Drug
Store, and the development of the C.P.R. train
We have had interviews on CKAY Radio and
CHEK-TV—Channel 6.
Our display case in the library has been well
used and well received. Displays have been a
bell collection by Roma Croy, antique toy cars
by Shane Davis, Egyptian display and presently
we have a display of items from an old country
store by Art Dawe.
For the third year we were able to hire a
student, Michael Sandercock who was
extremely efficient in the museum, cataloguing, arranging displays and performing many
other valuable duties.
The archival section of the museum is
developing with the acquisition of the old
copies of the Cowichan Leader; the tax rolls of
the Municipality of North Cowichan; the
diaries of Elias Castley, the first telephone
linesman in the district; and the autobiography of May Robinson Castley, the first
telephone operator.
—Myrtle Haslam
Page 22
British Columbia Historical News Vancouver
An active program for its members and
friends was held during the 1982-83 season, its
47th year. In addition to our monthly speaker
at our Annual Incorporation Day Celebration
on April 6,1983, we were addressed by Chuck
Davis on his forthcoming book on the history
of Vancouver.
A seminar on Oral History was given by Mr.
Alan Specht of the Provincial Archives, which
has now led to the establishment of a
permanent operation on the part of the
Vancouver Historical Society.
Two tours were laid on: one to the Grocery
Hall of Fame in Vancouver, which is a
gathering of items from times past that used to
be the stock of your neighbourhood grocery
store; and the other was a visit to the Western
Canada Gold Rush Museum in Cloverdale,
operated by VHS member, N.E. Barlee. This is a
celebration of the pioneer days and people of
British Columbia. The VHS's Certificate of
Merit was awarded to the Grocery Hall of
Fame for its unique and nostalgic presentation.
The Society's current major undertaking, a
bibliography of Vancouver—to be published
as its contribution to marking Vancouver's
centenary in 1986—is proceeding very well
both in terms of operation and staff. Financial
support from both the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council, and from the
B.C. Heritage Trust is in place.
At its Annual General Meeting held on May
26, 1983, membership was reported to be 189
and finances were in a satisfactory condition,
but major problems in both areas were
foreseen to be imminent and steps to meet the
problems were urged. The Vancouver Record,
the proposed annual publication, has not yet
appeared due to ever-escalating publishing
costs. Three members of the Executive retired
and three new members were elected to the
—Leonard G. McCann
I wish to subscribe to B.C. Historical News. I enclose a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5.
Individual   Four issues for $8.00 ( )
Institutional   Four issues for $16.00 ( )
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 23 News from the
Heritage Trust
Some grants of note recently awarded by the
Trust include:
A $15,000 grant was awarded to the
Underwater Archaeological Society of B.C.
toward their inventory of historic
shipwrecks in Clayoquot Sound and
Nootka Sound. The UASBC will research,
locate and document the current status of
each wreck. Their findings will be
compiled into a final report as well as
recorded on film.
■ The Trust has awarded a grant of $42,500 to
the Greater Vancouver Regional District
for restoration of the former Bowen Island
General Store. The store was built by the
Union Steamship Company in 1924 and
continued to operate until 1975. The
building will be restored for use as visitor
centre for the newly established Crippen
Regional Park.
■ The District 69 Historical Society received a
grant of $4,000 toward restoration of the
McMillian log house, built in 1885-86 and
believed to be the only hand-hewn log
building in the area.
The District of Chilliwack was awarded a
grant of $31,750 to assist with restoration of
their former City Hall. The structure was
designed by Thomas Hooper and served as
municipal offices until 1980. Upon
completion of restoration, the building
will be used by the Chilliwack Museum
and Historical Society.
Bowen Island General Store
New Publications
The sixth publication in the Trust's
Technical Paper series is Local History in
British Columbia: A guide to Researching,
Writing and Publishing for the Non-
Professional by Maureen Cassidy. The paper
guides the inexperienced author through the
monumental task of writing a local history.
The paper provides the criteria the Trust uses
to judge all local histories submitted for a
possible grant from their Publications
Assistance Program.
Copies of the Technical Paper are available
from the Trust at the cost of $5 per copy of
$3.50 each for ten or more copies. The Trust's
address is: B.C. Heritage Trust, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V1X4.
The Trust's 1982-83 Annual Report, which
describes the Trust's programs and lists all
grants awarded in the previous fiscal year, is
now in print. It is available upon request, free
of charge, from the Trust.
Roberta J. Pazdro
Page 24
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
Mattison's Miscellany — Brief Notes on
Some Recent Books
The Best of Canada West. N.L. Barlee, ed.
Volume 2. Langley: Stagecoach Publishing, 1980.
184 pp., illus. $3.95 pa. (Stagecoach Publishing,
P.O. Box 3399, Langley, B.C. V3A 4R7)
Second anthology from N.L. Barlee's Canada West
magazine. Lively, entertaining stories all set in B.C.
Compares with the Pioneer Days in British Columbia
series (see below) for colour and conversationality.
Unencumbered by footnotes, bibliographic
references or index, all the articles should be used
with caution. Great value as motivational reading for
budding historians as many may go on to research
further some of the fascinating but lightweight
treatments offered in this collection.
Pioneer Days in British Columbia. Art Downs,
ed. Volume 4. Surrey: Heritage House, 1979.160
pp., illus. about $7.95 pa. (Heritage House
Publishing Company, 5543-129 St., Surrey,
B.C. V3W4H4)
Layout improvements have shaped this reprint
series into one of the finest of its type in Canada.
Largely selected from past issues of B.C. Outdoors,
this volume also includes articles from reports of the
Okanagan Historical Society and the Boundary
Historical Society, as well as an article from The
Fisherman, and an excerpt from Hilary Stewart's
Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest
Coast (J.J. Douglas, 1977). The map indicates the
general area of each article; the index, photo credits
and the notes on contributors all make this and
previous volumes good reference tools, though,
again, the lack of bibliographic notes is a
shortcoming for scholarly purposes.
Patricia Roy is the Book Review Editor. Copies of
books for review should be sent to her at 602-139
Clarence St., Victoria, B.C. V8V2J1.
The Nine Lives of a Cowboy. H. "Dude"
Lavington. Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1982. 216
pp., illus., $8.95 pa.
Born in Alberta in 1907, Dude Lavington's densely
packed memoirs are full of humour, aphorisms,
cowboy English (note the glossary of terms), and just
plain good information on the life of a rancher near
Quesnel. Contains all the quirks and prejudices one
expects from the older generation. No index.
Barkerville Days. Fred Ludditt. Revised ed.
Langley: Mr. Paperback, 1980. 158 pp., illus.,
$3.95 pa.
Originally published by Mitchell Press in 1969, this
history of Barkerville by long-time resident Ludditt is
unimpeded by footnotes, a bibliography, or an
index. Covers not only Barkerville but satellite
communities such as Camerontown and Richfield.
Deals largely with the 1860s-70s and 1930s-50s
period. Lacks continuity. Ludditt credits himself and
another early resident, Miss Lottie Bowron, daughter
of Barkerville pioneer John Bowron, with initiating
the restoration of Barkerville by the provincial
The Long Beaches: A Voyage in Search of the
North Pacific Fur Seal. Ian MacAskie. Victoria:
Sono Nis Press, 1979. 136 pp., illus., $6.95 pa.
Reminiscences of fur seal research. If ever there
were a misleading title, this is a prime example. The
cover likewise lends credence to the old saying you
can't judge a book by its colour photograph. Candid
and graphic, MacAskie's memoir reveals little of his
research work—he was primarily a collector of
corpses. Sketches impressions of coastal life in the
late 1950s through the 1960s. Dates are almost nonexistent. Author's value judgments—"If mankind
continues to spread himself across the earth like
mould upon an orange" is a typical sample—spoil
the effect. A few pages of photos break a nicely
written but otherwise unexceptional book.
Volume 17, No. 1
Page 25 New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada.
James H. Marsh and Daniel Francis. Volume 2.
Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1982. 270 pp.,
illus., $8.95 pa.
High school social studies text in the "new" style
of history. Concentrates on social movements and
general trends. Well supplied with photos, maps,
glossaries of terms, bibliographies, and an index.
Chapter 3 on the development of Vancouver and the
coming of the CPR is particularly revealing as shoddy
writing: "The year before the railroad came, there
were only 900 people living in Vancouver. Forty
years later the city was the fourth largest in Canada."
Nowhere up to this point has the date of the
railroad's arrival been given!
The text covers the period from 1850 to 1919,
though the sections on British Columbia begin with
native contact with European explorers. There are
some anomalies such as the Klondike Gold Rush
preceding the Cariboo Gold Rush in the British
Columbia section.
East Kootenay Chronicle. David Scott and Edna
Hanic. Langley: Mr. Paperback, 1979. 171 pp.,
illus., $3.95 pa.
First published as fast Kootenay Saga by Antonson
Publishing in 1974, this general history focuses on
some of the more outstanding episodes of this
region's history: the 1860s gold rush days of Wild
Horse Creek, David Thompson's exploration of the
area in 1812, Father De Smet's duplication of
Thompson's feat in 1845, the Kootenay Indian
uprising of 1887 and the founding of Fort Steele, and
William Adolph Baillie-Grohman's land reclamation
scheme. Maps and a bibliography make this work
appealing, but no notes are used and much of the
"history" is fictitious with character's thoughts and
dialogue being thrown in as if they were on record
somewhere! No index.
David Mattison is an archivist with the Sound and
Moving Image Division, Provincial Archives of
British Columbia, Victoria, and a regular contributor
to the B.C. Historical News.
New Titles
The Faces of Captain Cook—A Record of the Coins and
Medals of James Cook. Allan Klenman. Victoria: Cook
Publications, 1982. Illus., $30 pa. (Cook Publications, 944
Woodside Place, Victoria, B.C. V8Y 2P3.)
The British Columbia Heritage Trust assisted
with publication of these new titles:
Indian Art Traditions of the Northwest Coast. Roy L.
Carlson, Burnaby: Archaeology Press, Simon Fraser
University, 1983. 214 p., ill.
A Bit of Okanagan History. Dorothy H. Gellatly, Kelowna:
Ehmann Printing, 1983.
Historic Routes '82: A Seminar Summary. Gordon Price,
Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C., 1983. 28 p.
As Far As I Know: Reminiscences of an Ahousat Elder.
Peter S. Webster. Campbell River Museum and Archives,
We received several correct answers to our
contest, necessitating a draw. Our winner is
Margaret R. Grant, Chetwynd, B.C., who will
receive To Market, To Market: The Public Market
Tradition in Canada by Linda Biesenthal (Toronto:
PMA, 1980), for correctly identifying the New
Westminster public market.
Honorary President:      Col. G.S. Andrews, 116 Wellington, Victoria, B.C. V8V 4H7
382-7202 (res.)
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Recording Secretary:
Barbara Stannard, #211-450 Stewart Ave., Nanaimo, V9S 5E9
754-6195 (res.)
Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver, V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa, VOB 2K0
422-3594 (res.)
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper St., Nanaimo, V9S 1X4
753-2067 (res.)
Margaret Stoneberg, P.O. Box 687, Princeton, VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver, V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Tom Carrington, 125 Linden Ave., Victoria, V8V 4E2
383-3446 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1875 Wessex Road, Cowichan Bay, VOR 1N0
748-8397 (res.)
Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
287-8097 (res.)
Marie Elliott, Editor, B.C. Historical News, 1745 Taylor St., Victoria, V8R 3E8
Chairmen of Committees:
Historic Trails: John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver, V7R 1R9
B.C. Historical News       Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
Policy Committee: 287-8097 (res.)
Publications Assistance: Committee (not involved with B.C. Historical News)
Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver, V6R 2A6
228-8606 (res.)
Loans are available for publication. Please submit manuscripts to Helen Akrigg. ENTER
The British Columbia
Historical News
See page   7


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