British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 2000

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 British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Volume 33, No. 4
FaU 2000
ISSN 1195-8294
Vancouver Public Library,Special Collections VPL 3921
Operating Room in Queen s Hospital at Rock Bay,Vancouver Island.
The room was brightened by many windows and a sky light above
the operating table. Note the bare light bulb over the operating table.
The Victorian Order of Nurses is the subject of articles by Helen
Shore and Lynda Maeve Orr.
Cottage Hospitals
North Thompson
Land Warriors
One-armed Antony
Harley R. Hatfield
Sonia Cornwall British Columbia Historical News
Journal ofthe
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ISSN 1195-8294
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Visit our website: British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Volume 33, No. 4
Fall 2000
ISSN 1195-8294
Molly Moilliet of Aveley Ranch
by Muriel Poulton Dunford
The Hammond Brothers and Port Hammond
by H.B. Cotton
A Half Century of BC's Land-Use Wars
by W.T. Lane
Cottage Hospitals in British Columbia
by Helen Shore
Ministering Angels: The Victorian Order of Nurses
and the Klondike Goldrush
by Lynda Maeve Orr
On the Trail ofthe One-Armed Man
by Graham Brazier
Token History: The Church Collection Tokens of
Holy Trinity Church, Aiyansh
by Ronald Greene
Archives &c Archivists
by Kathryn Bridge
Harley Robert Hatfield 1905-2000
by Harvie Walker
Sonia Cornwall
by Eileen Truscott
Book Reviews
News and Notes
Federation News
Any country worthy of a future should be interested in its past.
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Our journal is not unique because it
deals with the past of British Columbia.
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what happened in the past. Heritage comprises the surviving expressions of those
Because of our focus on history we read
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the past of British Columbia.
All British Columbians, sharing an interest in the women and men who made
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be subscribers to BC Historical News. By
finding a new subscriber, by giving away
a year's subscription to someone intrigued
by the past of our province, you help promoting interest and research in British Columbia history, and that is the purpose of
the Federation and its journal.
The editor
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - FALL 2000 Molly Moilliet of Aveley Ranch
by Muriel Poulton Dunford
Besides raising a family
of five (all now scattered
across Canada) and
then completing her BA,
Muriel Dunford's working years in "North Val-
ley"have been involved
with education and library service. With her
retirement, the combination of delight in the
English language and
her lifelong love affair
with the North Thompson have culminated in
extensive writing of that
region's past.
1 Mrs. Madeline ("Mada")
Moilliet Rendell, who kindly
lent notes on memories of her
2 Today Aveley Ranch is still
owned and run by his descendants, it is the largest high-range
sheep-ranch in the province. In
April 2000, it had 1,350 ewes,
1150 lambs, 40 rams.
The complacent Edwardian environment
of Mary Tregenna Stephens, a young
Cornish woman gently reared, was a
world away from the raw British Columbian Interior. While she grew up amid the soft beauties
of southwest England—the climate of Penzance
on the coast is so mild that palm trees and ba-
. nanas can flourish outdoors—the North
Thompson route was still an unbroken, rugged
sea of green timber. Indeed, when she first saw
the valley in 1909 it had no railway. A rough
wagon trail reached only from Kamloops to the
Raft River (some eighty miles), and the sole
modern improvement was a new cable ferry
across the wide North Thompson River, just
upstream from the entrance of the turbulent
Clearwater. Setders were scattered few and far
Born at Penzance in 1873, Mary was thirty-
six when she emigrated. Until then she had led a
sheltered existence although she had, in effect,
been orphaned. Her mother had died when she
and her two younger sisters were quite small; her
father was a seaman who evidendy sailed away,
sending back only occasional letters. The three
girls had been distributed to different relatives
(as one might find good homes for a Utter of
kittens, to quote Mary's daughter).' Mary was
placed with a maiden aunt in moderate circumstances. Litde May, sent to an aunt in Shropshire
who had married wealth, was raised in luxury.
Annie went to the Oxford parsonage of a bachelor uncle who enjoyed few worldly goods. Although separated so early, the sisters kept up an
affectionate and lifelong correspondence with one
Domiciled with Aunt Anna and her maid,
whom she remembered as "very strict," Mary did
litde work harder than polishing the brass doorknobs. In aVictorian girlhood she was expected
to become accomplished in the finer things; her
piano lessons later enriched a primitive log home
far from sedate English drawing-rooms. Unlike
the stereotypical delicate female of the era, she
took pride in healthy fitness, although she was
small—not more than five feet tall. Around the
time of her birth the bicycle had been invented.
By the 1890s, when the popularity of rubber-
tired "safety-bicycles" among women was a definite step towards their increasing freedom, Mary
relished the independent exercise of riding a bike
to the next village for tea. She played a vigorous
game of tennis despite long skirts. She was strong
on hiking ("rambling," to the British). During
infrequent visits to May's opulent home, she tried
riding sidesaddle, when at least ladies were allowed divided skirts. Like the music lessons, her
physical stamina would equip her for later years
in the Canadian wilderness.
At the age of eighteen needing to earn her
own living, Mary found a situation comparable
to her background. Her response to an advertisement for "a companion help, who had clear
legible handwriting and could play the piano,"
brought about acquaintance with the Moilliets.
She must have suited her first and only employer,
Louisa Moilliet, for she stayed with her the next
eighteen years. Part of Mary's secretarial work
was writing at Aunt Lou's dictation to a nephew
who had left England when he was sixteen,"poor
dear Tarn, in the wilds of Canada;" the note,"Got
another lovely letter from Miss Stephens," appears in an old diary ofTam Moilliet's.When his
father died in 1907 Tarn recrossed the Adantic to
see his mother.While there he seized the opportunity to visit his relatives and so meet the young
lady behind the charming letters.
Although Mary was ten years older than Tarn,
they were drawn to each other at once. She had
a youthful, energetic attitude, ready for any adventure. Tarn had matured quickly: on his own
since arriving in Ontario in 1899, he had worked
his way across the continent at various jobs like
farming, metallurgy, and timber-cruising. He had
weathered ventures like swimming three miles
across a bay of Lake Simco and nearly drowning
as he fought to return against a headwind; he
had skated seventy miles on the lake, using his
coat as a sail, often having to jump cracks. After
serious lung trouble from his stint at Trail, BC, he
had moved on to Kamloops, refuge then for respiratory ills. By the time he met Mary, he had
chosen a location ninety-five miles up the North
Thompson valley where he intended to establish
BC HISTORICAL NEWS-Vol. 33 No. 4 his ranch, "Aveley."2 Just as decisive about his life's
partner.Tam was engaged to Mary before he went
back to British Columbia. The next year, for her
future home in the remote bush, he started a 60-
by 20-foot log house with cedar-shake roof and
a puncheon floor—logs split in half, flat side up.
Meanwhile, his fiancee prepared for her new role
by taking a first-aid course called "homeopathy."
She set herself to learn some basic cooking, and
lodged a while on a farm to see how butter and
Devonshire clotted cream were made. One farming skill eluded her, however; she never did master milking a cow.
As in all good once-upon-a-time romances,
our heroine faithfully cared for Aunt Lou through
feeble old age until the latter's death in early 1909.
That March, as soon as she could, Mary set off
alone on the transadantic, trans-Canada pilgrimage to join her sweetheart. Habitually determined,
Tarn, with an injured leg, managed a heavy
cottonwood dugout canoe all the way downriver.
At Kamloops, where the North and South
Thompsons join, he met and married Mary. No
one is sure exacdy when she became "Molly," but that probably accompanied the title of "Mrs.
Moilliet" as her bridegroom's pet
name for her.
The newlyweds' slow trip up
"NorthValley" was an adventure in
itself. The dugout could not possibly transport up Molly's hope chest
and wedding gifts, one of which was
the finest make of lady's sidesaddle
from her well-to-do uncle.3 Since
the ranch needed a team and wagon
anyway, she insisted on buying them
at once with her own money—
perhaps a litde bequest from her
employer.To find a good outfit they
travelled even farther from home,
some twelve miles south of
Kamloops (in the canoe?—we are
not told) to Cherry Creek and the
Cornwalls—a happy coincidence
for Molly. When they had loaded
all her belongings into the wagon,
as well as camp supplies, hay for the
horses, and undoubtedly extra purchases from town, they turned
north for the week's drive to Aveley
Ranch. Early spring up the valley
was chilly for camping. In an era     courtesy Muriel Dunford.
that required ladies to look ladylike, the bride's
ankle-length ruffled gowns and wide, plumed hats
were hardly convenient for backwoods travel. She
said later that on the first big hill she wore out
new white gloves picking stones off the road.
When after several days they had plodded about
two-thirds of the journey, the very long, very steep
climb by Dunn Lake proved too much for their
handsome team; the wagon had to be pardy unloaded. After they had hauled the partial load to
the top, it was set down beside the trail while
they returned to the bottom for the rest of it.
The farther they went, the worse the route deteriorated, until after about eighty miles its two
frozen mud ruts ended at the banks ofthe tributary Raft River. The Moilliets had to leave the
wagon, storing Molly's lovely presents in a barn.
They traversed a crude bridge and continued the
remaining fifteen miles on foot, their luggage on
the horses. When they finally arrived at Peavine
(nowVavenby) where Tarn's pardy finished house
was just on the other side ofthe North Thompson,
they crossed in a boat that was kept moored on
' At one point her husband
walked a considerable distance
hunting for a second stirrup
that he thought was missing
from the sidesaddle, which actually has only one.
4 In a later letter Molly thanks
her sister for "the Dictionary...
a great joy."
s The letter is used by the late
Jack Moilliet's generous permission.
' Clearwater Times, August 1,
7 Tarn's uncle and brother Jack
were with them. Because of
chest trouble, the first Jack
Moilliet had moved to the
ranch from school-teaching in
Vancouver. At the start of the
First World War he left on one
of the first trains through the
valley, enlisted, and was killed
Below: Molly Moillet in
1910 with her first baby
and farm dogs.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - FALL 2000 the bank, while the horses swam over.
Fresh from predictable England, Molly eagerly took on
new challenges. Her second name, like that of her birthplace,
was pure Cornish. Her spirit was that ofthe tough Celts who,
backed onto their peninsula, had never been conquered by
Romans or Saxons; who sturdily hung on to their own native
tongue until the eighteenth century; who rebelled against the
power of Henry VIII when he ordered their prayer books
changed from Latin to English. In her own time Molly had
watched from the Penzance shores while men risked their
lives launching litde boats in unforgiving storms to rescue
shipwreck victims; some never came back. By the time Molly
next saw Kamloops, she would have endured a second North
Thompson excursion that made her first seem a holiday.
Penned in a time of copious letter writing, the exchanges
among the three sisters, thoughtful, articulate women,4 could
have been a treasure trove now. Regrettably, only one survived. By great good fortune, in the 1980s a niece in England
discovered, packed away in an old trunk, a letter that Molly
had sent after nine months in British Columbia. Molly's Canadian son.Jack Moilliet5, received it for his personal archives
and has kindly shared it—a beautifully understated picture of
her composure in meeting discomforts, even hazards,"back of
beyond." '
In November 1909, the Moilliets, expecting their first baby
in six weeks, decided that Molly should go to Kamloops for
the birth. Although it was a season of low water, the North
Thompson, which was to be their highway, is a major river
and far from docile. Upstream of Peavine savage rapids roar
into Little Hell's Gate. Since the earliest travellers, the
Overlanders of 1862, tried it and lost a man there, it has swallowed other victims. A present-day Search and Rescue man
This river is omnivorous. It'll eat anything, kayaks, canoes...
anything. North of Litde Hell's Gate, the whole North
Thompson goes through a spot only 18 feet wide. Logs come
out of there peeled. There's a ten or eleven foot standing wave
at the end of one chute. It's like hitting a brick wall.6
Fortunately for setdement, the river was navigable between
Kamloops and Peavine (Vavenby). Molly's letter describes the
journey. She wrote, "Having three men to do for made me
very busy before setting out."7 Molly's cooking lessons came
into their own, for she had done Trojan duty in the kitchen:
You can imagine how busy I was—made a huge chicken pie &
a brawn (we had just killed a young pig) & bread & packed up
tea & a tin of your lovely coffee brought by Jack.. .many, many
thanks. That coffee was the saving of us during some of our experiences.. ..The road was impracticable for sleighing as only
the biggest trees seemed to be moved from the track! So we arranged a plan to canoe down while the river was open.
The season was far gone for river travel: an early cold spell had
formed ice that delayed them, but after one day of rain it
seemed safe to start out. Friday, 19 November, they loaded
"tent, blankets, camp stove, hold-all, trunk," into a big dugout
with Molly sitting wrapped up in the middle, her feet on a
heating botde. Jack rode in the bow, Tarn in the stern, poling
or paddling as the water's depths varied.
At first the ride delighted Molly even through small rapids, but pleasure changed to dismay as they began weaving
among ice with very litde room to manoeuvre.
[Twelve] miles from home alas the river was quite
blocked.. .Tarn just managed to turn the canoe in time or we
should have been capsized. And as it was she was too long &
sort of hung on the ice at each end with the running ice banging against her every moment.
Luckily the crisis occurred where all three were able to scramble
onto a log-jam caught by a litde island; as Molly turned to
retrieve an upset lantern.Tam "sternly said 'get out at once'—
so then I knew it was dangerous."They had to leave the logjam as quickly as possible, for it was "so slippery & difficult to
move without the ice between the logs giving way—poor
Jack went into the icy water up to his middle." Somehow they
got safely to shore with part ofthe baggage. The men set up
the tent and got a hot fire snapping, where Molly "had a good
roast," while they went to reconnoitre. Although they found
that more ice gathering downstream blocked any further canoeing, her spirits did not flag: "You would have enjoyed the
real strenuous camping out with snow & ice all around, glorious fire, things hung out to dry & everything just as old campaigners know how to fix it." In her opinion, "We had quite a
good night," yet in the cold dark of midnight Tarn had to rush
out to chop down a fir tree that was burning fiercely. "The
huge thing fell just between my mink hat & umbrella (still on
the logs) & the canoe."
The next morning, to reach a setder near the wagon road
meant struggling three and a half miles, the men with large
packs, and Molly, in skirt, hat and cape, heavily pregnant.
Oh my dear that walk was awful & I really was a weeny bit
frightened... .The snow was frozen on top but gave way at
every step with a jerk. It seemed like 15 miles.
At the Raft River Tarn first carried all the packs across, ran up
and down the bank to get some feeling in his feet after the
freezing water, next carried his brother across, again ran to get
rid ofthe numbness, and then carried Molly over. When at
last they found the cabin, its owner, Fred Cross, was gone but
had left the door unlocked as was customary. The wayfarers
made themselves at home, with a brisk fire and "some punch
with Hudson Bay rum"; after hot food Molly "had a glorious
rest" among their blankets.
Not long before this Tarn happened to have had grub-staked
Cross $100 for his winter's logging; returning to the cabin,
Cross was pleased to keep them overnight. Their third morning away from home, the two brothers and he went back to
wresde the dug-out onto the island "which took hours as it
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 weighed a ton," and to back-pack the remaining supplies and
Molly's trunk to the cabin.
The fourth morning Molly got busy at more cooking and
bread-making while Tam went some distance to negotiate with
another neighbour about a team and sleigh. It transpired that
"old Marty" wanted to get his horses out for the winter, too—
"his ancient horses are his gods": "Well," says Tam, "what are
your horses worth anyway? $300? I think a woman is worth
more than that." Eventually they came to an agreement, and
before it was properly Ught in the chill November morning
(their fifth from home), they started out with hay, blankets,
and all, bundled on a logging sleigh. In spite of deep snow the
road was painfully rough down to the ferry on the North
Thompson. There, the previous day, men had laboured chopping a channel through the ice for the crossing,
.. yet it took six men three hours to get the thing to work
properly. Then they had to cut down trees and brush to get the
horses and sleigh on. I sat like a queen in the sleigh—it was so
funny, only we were a litde anxious.Then began the long weary
road of Mosquito Flat—all snowy and desolate and no stopping
place for about 25 miles. We crawled along.
Mail destined for the upper valley went to Chu Chua Post
Office, fifty miles north of Kamloops, and was haphazardly
delivered farther on by any settler who chanced by. The
Moilliets had travelled only an hour or so along the east side
ofthe river when they met a couple bringing "four long lovely
letters" from Molly's sister. This brightened the trip, as did a
halt for cocoa and a hot-water-botde refill at a logging camp,
where the men "were such dears."
On again—getting dark, where, though the moon wasn't up, the
reflections ofthe hills in the water [ofDunn Lake] were too
wonderful to describe & weird to a degree. Finally just before
eleven, beginning to pour with rain, we reached the
MacTaggarts' stopping place & store.
Those good people, roused from sleep, provided a warm welcome, food, and beds, with all the soaking-wet wraps hung up
to dry.
The sixth morning of the journey Molly enjoyed "a delicious breakfast in bed," while listening to worried debate in
the next room about the safest way to take her to town. The
lower part of the valley evidendy had litde or no snow, for
Tam hired a wagon and team whose owner promised to drive
slowly and carefully. Sacks of hay surrounded the seat in the
middle. "Tam kept all the jar off me when the road was too
awful & got his arm & elbow quite rubbed raw poor man.
First I thought I couldn't bear the roughness, but gradually
got used to it."
That day saw the Moilliets eighteen miles nearer Kamloops
when they stopped at the "Lewis" (Louis) Creek roadhouse.
The seventh morning they got away early and arrived at "the
14-mile house," now Heffley Creek, by noon. November elections were underway; the husde and busde of voters gathering
at the roadhouse were of great interest to Molly, as was she to
the visitors. "No one would beUeve that I had come from 100
miles up—they seemed to think it impossible for a lady to Uve
up there, but it isn't until you try to get out that you reaUze
how far off it is."
That night, Thursday, 26 November, they at last drove up
to the house where she was to await her deUvery.The earUer
happy coincidence was repeated: it belonged to a Mrs. Cornwall. After Molly had been setded a few days, the first Dr.
Burris, a staunch trail-blazer himself, whose son and grandson
have carried on medical practice in Kamloops, examined her.
Past her mid-thirties, she was at a rather risky age for her first
birthing, but he pronounced her "quite all right—very muscular—& none the worse for all the knocking about...."
As soon as Tam was satisfied on that score, he and Jack
turned northwards to hike the ninety-five wintry miles back
to Aveley ranch.Within not many years, trains would cover in
several hours the trip that had taken them a full week. Just a
month before they had left home, Premier McBride had signed
the contract that would bring Canadian Northern rails from
Yellowhead Pass down the North Thompson valley to
The MoilUets' first baby was born 30 December 1909.
Although Molly appreciated the security for her baby out in
what she called "civiUzation," she was desperately lonesome,
not for England, but for the ranch. "Can't tell you how homesick I am feeUng & long to be at home to look after Tam."
Throughout her letter, which she had written shordy after
arriving at Mrs. Cornwall's, one is struck by her gift for making much of small felicities, and light of drawbacks—the
epitome of pioneer character. With no time for recriminations she found reasons for gratitude to the various helpers
along the way: to the doctor "who was most kind & considerate," to Jack,"who fitted in so well, & was so jolly & kind," and
most of all to the husband for whom she was pledged to the
demands of a new country. "I can never tell how resourceful
& wonderful Tam was to me."
In May, 1911, their second baby, a nine-pound daughter,
was born after her parents had successfully canoed all the way
down to Kamloops in a dugout so narrow that it needed outriggers for balance.
On that comparatively easy and uneventful trip MoUy's only
"portages" had been by the Heffley riffles, as she picked her
way past the stench of rotting carcasses where catde had fallen
through the spring ice. Afterwards, her paramount concern
was simply that she "looked a fright." Sunburnt from the bright
reflections off the water, and carrying a big burden on her
small frame, she had been mortified to step ashore in full view
of a leisurely Sunday crowd in Riverside Park.<<*»'
The Moilliets also make an appearance in North River, Muriel
Dunford's new book on the history ofthe North Thompson valley
from pre-contact to the Second World War, published by Sonotek
Publishing Ltd. of Merritt, BC.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - FALL 2000 The Hammond Brothers and Port Hammond
By H. B. Cotton, B.C.LS. (Retired)
H.B. (Barry) Cotton lives
on Saltspring Island.
His interests in BC
history are in particular
the early explorers and
pioneer surveyors.
BC Archives, Maple Ridge
Museum, Victoria City Archives, Pitt Meadows Archives,
Surveyor General's Records,
Land Title Office Records
Hammond, or the Hammond area as it
is described today, is a well-subdi
vided residential part ofthe District of
Maple Ridge. Around the turn of the last century, Port Hammond Junction as it was called
then, was a thriving, busy, industrial community;
a river port and stopping point on the Canadian
Pacific Railway. It was founded on land setded
by two brothers Ham-
As events turned out, there was no need of
this option. Both brothers would fare quite nicely
in British Columbia, although their first few years
could hardly be described as easy. Soon after arrival, the two brothers setded in Pitt Meadows
and started farming on a tract of land later known
as Codd Island. This was about three-and-a-half
miles east of the confluence of the north and
south branches of the
mond born in Fenstan-
ton, Huntingdonshire,
England. John and
William were the sons
of William Hammond
of Fenstanton, a village
known for being the
home of Capability
Brown, the famous
landscape gardener.
John Hammond was
born in 1836. His
brother William was
born in 1843 and he
trained as a civil engineer. The brothers emigrated to British Columbia, William arriving in New Westminster in April 1863.
It is assumed that
both brothers travelled
together on their way
out, although a letter written by WiUiam on the
day after arrival does not mention John. However, it does well describe the impressions made
upon this obviously level-headed twenty-year-
old by the varied crowd of travellers: Australians,
mining men, and Americans—some ofthe latter
being complete with six-shooters and bowie
knives. William writes that his "...intention in
coming out was to make an honest livelihood,
and he mentions the prospect of employment
for surveyors on railroad projects. He admits that
if he "should find in the course of a year that
British Columbia offers no inducement for me
to remain," he would consider trying the United
Hammond Family Land Aquistions
Cathy Chapin - Lakehead University,Thunder Bay
LiUooet (now called
Alouette) River. While
stricdy speaking this
was not an island, it was
hemmed in on the
west and south sides by
the LiUooet River, and
the northeast side by
Sturgeon Slough (then
fed by Blaney Creek),
and accessible practically only by water.
When George Turner
ran his first survey Unes
there for the Dominion government in
1875, the 160-acre
property was designated as the SE %, Section 1,Township 40. In
later years Blaney
Creek was diverted by
ditch and dyke along its
northerly boundary direcdy into the Lillooet
River, and a dyke budt along its southerly boundary, making it even more of an island.
However, aU this was in the future. When the
Hammonds setded on the property in the 1860s
it was fairly remote, vacant, un-surveyed crown
land. They are said to have worked the land for
eight years into a viable farm, fighting flood waters with hand-bmlt dykes. John Hammond, after receiving his Homestead Grant (No. 668) had
to hold on to the property until June 1889 before receiving his patent from the Dominion
government. He sold the land in September 1903
to Robert Lionel Codd. It is stiU being farmed.
MeanwhUe in October 1864,WUUam had pre-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 empted district lot 278, a 147-acres parcel of land
fronting on the Fraser River. Sixteen months later
he pre-empted the adjacent property (district lot
279) of 164 acres in company with John Edward
BeU.WiUiam must have worked his own two preemptions concurrendy with John's, as he acquired
Certificates of Improvements in a few years, although both brothers are said to have Uved on
Codd Island at first. Access from WiUiam's to
John's holdings would be by boat via the tidal
Katzie Slough, which led at the time to the South
LiUooet River, thence by river to the farm. But
whatever arrangements the two brothers made,
there is no doubt that the Hammond brothers
were an exceptionaUy industrious pair and knew
good land when they saw it. They were not in
the least daunted by the rigours of hacking out a
living in the bush.
They were also well informed. It seems that
from the time of Confederation they were aware
of the benefits that a transcontinental railway
would bring.William Hammond would certainly
be able to make an educated guess as to its possible location. He began to visit Victoria in 1872,
taking on surveying for a living. WiUiam worked
mosdy under Joseph Hunter, a weU-known civil
engineer, at the time mainly engaged with work
for the Canadian Pacific survey on the future railway. For the years 1878-1879 WiUiam was Usted
in the Victoria City Directory as "Surveyor." In
1879 WiUiam went to Britain where, on 23 October, he married Francis Gertrude Reade. He
returned with her to Uve inVictoria.
John Hammond must have felt the need to
move his home base, as on 28 February 1872 he
acquired district lot 243, a tract of 179 acres, lying on higher ground about half a mile north
and quarter of a mile east of WiUiam's holdings,
receiving the crown grant in June 1879.WiUiam's
property was by now becoming the centre of a
smaU growing community. The adjoining properties to the west (district lots 280 and 281) had
been acquired by Emmeline Jane (Emma) Newton, the daughter of retired Hudson's Bay Company ChiefTrader John Tod, and district lot 277,
to the east, by John Mclver, an ex-Hudson's Bay
Company employee and early pioneer in the District of Maple Ridge. The Hammond brothers
buUt their house on district lot 279, WiUiam's
Hammond's property. It is now a heritage buUding, stiU standing at Westfield Street and Maple
Crescent in Hammond.
I, >'W •' * ''''•*
Courtesy BC Archives F-02237
Whether intentional or not, the adoption of
the Burrard Inlet route for the railway in 1879
makes the land holdings ofthe Hammond brothers quite interesting. If the line along the north
side ofthe Fraser were to be close to the bank, it
would pass through William's property, and if further back it might weU go through John's. When
Onderdonk's massive projects started to take shape
in 1880, the CPR's main Une went right through
WiUiam's district lots 278 and 279. In 1882 the
raUway company not only began construction,
but also arranged for the use of part ofWiUiam's
property to buUd wharves to land suppUes and
materials for construction.
With their holdings the centre of industrial
activity, the Hammond brothers were not slow
to act; on 3 August 1883, a town plan of Port
Hammond Junction was deposited at the Registrar-General's office inVictoria; a subdivision of
parts of district lots 278, 279, 280, and 281. The
owners ofthe properties were now WiUiam and
John Hammond, and EmmeUne Jane Mohun.
John Edward BeU's name no longer appears as
co-owner of district lot 279. Emma Tod, remarried to Edward Mohun in November 1878, gives
her name as EmmeUne Jane Mohun, labeUing
the remainder of her large property "Hazelwood
Farm." Her husband, Edward Mohun, was a civil
engineer and a Dominion Land Surveyor, so it is
not too surprising that he was retained to make
the survey ofthe new townsite, but there is Utde
doubt that the Hammonds planned the layout.
It -was a shrewd move. Over the next few years
the townsite came into its own, becoming an
important supply port ■where steamers connected
the raUroad to Victoria. According to reports there
was "a large wharf and long freight sheds, a turntable for turning locomotives, a spur-Une from
Above: First CPR
Station at Hammond
around 1898. Unknown
BC HISTORICAL NEWS - FALL 2000 the wharf to the main land to transfer freight,
express, maU and passengers, a water tank, and
office for the construction company's telegrapher.
In town, three hotels, several boarding houses and
doubdess several bars took care of new residents."
In the raflroad era, fourteen trains a day passed
through Hammond, aU but the Transcontinental
stopping. In the townsite the names ofthe suburbs of London, England were weU represented.
Streets were caUed Ealing, Dartford, Wanstead,
Kingston, ChigweU, Bromley, and more, whUe
the street fronting on the miU site remembers
the English county of Kent. Provisions were made
for a chUdren's playground, to be kept unfenced,
and even a bandstand. The first CPR station is
shown in the original plan, halfway round the
big curve—on the outside, a somewhat dangerous situation. The station was moved in 1910,
after being completely inundated with wheat
when two boxcars deraUed. ■
John Hammond continued living on the
townsite. Tired of being single, he eventuaUy
married a maU-order bride from Boston, Mass.,
and they Uved in a house at the corner of Lome
Avenue and Waresley Street in Hammond. It is
said that he played the vioUn.Uked gardening and
duck hunting, and, when he became a member
of council for Maple Ridge, that he was wont to
faU asleep at meetings. After he died in 1909, his
wife sold his property and moved back to the
United States.
WiUiam Hammond and his wife continued to
Uve in Victoria, and they had two sons. These
Hammonds seem to have had Utde connection
with the townsite in later years. He was not Usted
again in the Victoria City Directory as a surveyor,
but is known to have worked as assistant engineer for the E & N RaUway in 1884, and latterly
as a draftsman in their office in 1887. He died of
cancer on 9 February 1891, aged only 48 years.
In his obituary the Colonist noted that he was a
highly esteemed citizen, a man of good business
habits and abiUty, respected by aU who knew him.
He was buried in Ross Bay cemetery, and in the
same plot Ues his second son.WUhelm Martin C.
Hammond, who died aged 11 months.
As the automobUe age progressed, Hammond's
residents became less dependent on the raUway
After the SecondWorldWar the occasional sound
ofthe telegraph key tapping might stiU be heard
in the inner office of the station buUding, but
fewer and fewer trains stopped at Hammond, and
finaUy none at aU.The post office, opened in 1885,
was the last to drop the word "Port" in the town's
address; "Junction" had been dropped long be-
fore.The steamer landing only lasted a few years,
but a sawmUl took its place, and industrial activity has continued throughout the years.The mUl,
now run by International Forest Products Ltd.,
was once noted as the largest cedar operation in
the world.**1^
Right: This photograph,
taken about 1884, shows
John Hammond in the
centre, visiting the cottage
of a Mr. Clapcott, perhaps
the person standing to his
right side. The Coquidam
Star, 8 May 1912.
Courtesy Maple Ridge Museum P 4303
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33  No. 4 A Half Century of BC's Land-Use Wars
By W.T. Lane
I have watched with pride—and sometimes
despair—the evolution of planning and land-
use regulation in this province over the last
half century. The foUowing is (only sUghdy abbreviated) the text of a talk I presented on 19
June 1997 to the Municipal Law Subsection of
the BC branch ofthe Canadian Bar Association.
At the time I tried to dispel the notion that fifty
years of municipal planning law and practice (both
pubUc and private) might be a bit duU by noting:
"I wUl ginger up the talk with anecdotes taken
from the mouths of dead politicians and the
memos of pensionable bureaucrats."
To put order into this varied material I wUl
touch briefly on the start of modern planning in
Britain and North America, the growth of the
planning process in BC, and the widening scope
of provincial planning legislation.
The start of modern planning in
Britain and North America
The squalid housing that had grown up during
the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain pricked
the conscience of people Uke Ebenezer Howard.
In 1903 he launched the Garden City Movement which advocated channeUing urban growth
into new communities that combined the advantages of town and country. Letchworth, near
London was planned (as an altruistic private endeavour) for 30,000 persons with a central urban
area of 1,200 acres and a surrounding agricultural belt twice the core size. Howard's ideals must
have influenced both the CPR in its pre-First
World War development of Old Shaughnessy and
Dr. Frank Buck's efforts to get Point Grey Mu-
nicipaUty to adopt plans that produced both efficient and pleasing communities.
The most courageous—and naive—attempt to
overcome the habitual criticism of conventional
zoning, viz. that some owners were winners whUe
others were losers, was the adoption by the British ParUament in 1947 of the Town and Country
PlanningAct, commonly known as "The '47 Act."
It attempted to apply the concept of "compensation and betterment" whereby the person whose
land was zoned for a more valuable use would
pay cash into a pot to compensate less fortunate
neighbours. A friend of mine, who was present at
the passing of the statute, noted later, "It should
not have been unexpected that the Act would
have to be abandoned when claims for'compensation' far outstripped the value of the 'betterment.'"
Surprisingly, in North America the first steps
in anticipation of modern city planning can be
traced to King PhUip II of Spain's 1573 decree,
the Law of the Indies. He oudined procedures
for estabUshing communities in the New World,
including colonial CaUfornia. Slaughterhouses
were to be located on the outskirts of town and
the streets were to be oriented so as not to be
windswept. Later, in the United States, hit-and-
miss complaints led to the prohibition of specific
uses, such as the storage of gunpowder in Boston
and the buUding of dangerously flammable tenements in New York City. In Los Angeles—an un-
Ukely place for the triumph of Umits on private
initiative—the law of nuisance, triggered by a constant flow of steam from an immigrant's laundry,
was used to justify land use controls. A similar
concern in Toronto led to "districting," a both-
sides-of-given-streets type zoning.
In New York, where the rapidly growing city,
wedged between large bodies of water, faced the
same geographic constraints as downtown Vancouver, authorities were forced to adopt what
was Ukely the first overaU zoning law in North
America. Interestingly, it was a lawyer who spearheaded the action. The idea was not sold as a
device to enhance community amenities but
rather to protect individual property values. To
this day the height of skyscrapers is Umited only
by the strength of the underlying bedrock—the
cluster of towers in mid-town and at the tip of
Manhattan is the result. When next in that city
one should visit the Museum ofthe City of New
York at 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. for graphic
portrayals of what NewYorkers faced before town
The growth of the planning process in BC
In 1909, in reaction to wasteful practices in
the resource industries, the federal government
appointed CUffbrd Sifton to chair a newly created "Commission of Conservation." Sir Wilfred
Laurier, an avid conservationist, saw to it that three
William (Bill) Lane, is a
retired member of the
Law Society of BC and
the Canadian Bar
Association. He served
as municipal solicitor
and prosecutor for the
Municipality of Richmond, as chairman of
the British Columbia
Land Commission,as
Director of Regional
Development for the
Greater Vancouver
Regional District, and
on numerous governmental committees
and councils.
9 Opposite page:
"/ choose indstead to be
photographed on the huge
topographic model ofBC
at the PNE. My reason
was to show the public how
the province was in fact a
relatively small "archipelago of habitable land"
in which towns, roads, and
farms had to share the
warm, narrow valley-
bottoms. It confirmed in my
mind, as nothing else, how
important land use
planning was for British
federal cabinet ministers, nine provincial ministers, and twenty members at large, including one
professor from every province that had a university, were to serve on it. With foresight that today
seems remarkable, the objectives ofthe commission included a mandate to provide the national
and provincial governments with the most up-
to-date scientific advice on human as weU as natural resources.
In due course, the efforts of the Vancouver
Branch of the Town Planning Institute of Canada
crystallized local poUtical sentiment into persuading the province to pass the Town Planning Act,
SBC 1925, c.55. It authorized, but not mandated,
municipaUties including the City ofVancouver
to adopt zoning bylaws regulating land use and
the location of various types of buUdings.
Perhaps the first comprehensive bylaw in
Canada was adopted by the old MunicipaUty of
Point Grey in 1926 and replaced by a more effective one in 1928.The impressive and detaUed
Bartholomew Plan was completed in December
1928. It had been commissioned by theVancouver Town Planning Commission as a "comprehensive Town Plan for the City ofVancouver and
a Regional Plan of the contiguous or adjacent
territory." As a result, a detaUed plan was made
for Vancouver and Point Grey. Shordy afterwards,
on 1 January 1929, Vancouver, Point Grey and
South Vancouver were amalgamated. This sim-
pUfied planning the city.
By 1914 the CPR's first Shaughnessy Heights
subdivision had proved attractive to Vancouver's
affluent. Many had moved out ofthe downtown's
West End to the spacious, carefuUy designed subdivision of curving streets between 16th Avenue
and King Edward Boulevard. The area, however,
was part of the old municipaUty of Point Grey
where, generaUy, a grid pattern of streets and
smaUer lots prevaUed. Some of Shaughnessy's new
residents feared that large lots as yet to be sold by
the Royal Trust Company on behalf of the raUway in Shaughnessy Heights could be further
subdivided. Apartment houses and rental suites
might flourish, as they had in the West End.
In reaction, a group of newly-estabUshed residents petitioned the province to turn Shaughnessy
into a separate municipaUty. The government
wisely refused but, by way of compromise,
adopted a private statute, the Shaughnessy Setdement Act, SBC 1914, c.96. It enshrined the
"single-family structure and no further subdivision" concept. However, lobbying for more com
prehensive protection grew again as some ofthe
short-term restrictive covenants granted to the
Royal Trust began to expire. As a result, the province adopted the Shaughnessy Heights BuUding
Restriction Act, SBC 1922, c.87. The area was
stiU to be subject to Point Grey zoning if the
provisions were more onerous than those in the
statute. It must have been one ofthe few hands-
on provincial or state zoning enactments in North
The role ofthe legislature in the 1922 statute,
although initially to cease in 1925, was extended
from time to time up until, I beUeve, 1978.Thus,
it wasn't until decades had gone by that owners
in the area could obtain a change in zoning without getting a statutory amendment. Sometime
after 1978, the CPR sent me the approved design plan of my own house—albeit a mirror image of what was buUt in 1927. In any event, the
"enshrinement" in the hands ofthe legislature of
what would have normaUy been delegated to local government may have raised the prestige of
the whole process. However, with the coming of
the Great Depression (1929-1939), foUowed by
the Second World War, interest in landuse planning evaporated. Wartime federal Orders-in-
CouncU even displaced the sacrosanct provincial
legislation preventing rooming houses in
After the lengthy struggle against Nazi Germany had ended, the Canadian government instructed its Central Mortgage & Housing Corporation to invest heavUy in new home mortgages as part of the country's post-war recovery
plan. However, the Corporation soon became
worried that its investment might be prejudiced
by hasty or Ul-considered neighbourhood growth.
In what seemed Uke a replay of the enthusiasm
generated by the 1909 federal Commission on
Conservation, the CMHC organized and partly
financed a citizens' group caUed the Community
Planning Association of Canada. To further the
association's efforts CMHC financed one paid
CPAC employee in BC, the redoubtable Tom
At the time CPAC was estabUshed in BC, there
were, I beUeve, only two professional pubUc planners in the province: Sandy Walker in Vancouver—employed by theVancouver Planning Commission—and Mr. Doughty-Davies with the
province inVictoria. Most municipaUties had no
zoning bylaws hence volunteers from the CPAC
were asked to "explain" zoning to town councUs
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 as far away as Prince George. Peter Oberlander (first head of
UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning), Lew
Robinson (later head of UBC's Department of Geography),
as weU as Tom McDonald, were ready to jump into my car on
short notice and head for the scene ofthe most recent caU for
gratuitous advice. One anxious mayor even asked our opinion about the actions of a municipal worker who, upon being
asked to dump a bucket of chlorine each day in the town
reservoir, decided that
seven buckets, once a
week, would do as weU.
BC's Town Planning
Act of 1925 was our
first comprehensive
statute to let communities regulate land use by
district or zone. While
this could have
amounted at law to legal "discrimination" it
was authorized by the
legislature (presently
s.927 ofthe Municipal
Act) no doubt on the
grounds that it was for
the greater good ofthe
whole community. As
noted, both Point Grey
and Vancouver City
were quick to use zoning. But in my early
days as an advocate of
urban planning I found
a distinct reluctance on
the part of municipal
clerks of smaUer communities to dabble in-
any statute other than
the Municipal Act—
"their bible since birth."
EventuaUy, the problem was solved by incorporating the Town
Planning Act into the Municipal Act.
For years the Municipal Act had provided that a council
could by bylaw require that highways within a subdivision be
cleared, drained and graveUed. After protests to government
that gravel roads were no longer appropriate in some communities, the statute was changed to read "and surfaced" which,
as Richmond's soUcitor, I took to include asphalt paving, curbs
and gutters, as weU as sidewalks. Later, the right to require
these was specificaUy added to the Act. A former Reeve of
Delta told me that his councU was reluctant to adopt the new
standards "because, considering the extra costs might
prevent the home owner from buying a television set."
Photo by David Looy
Also, Richmond pioneered comprehensive subdivision contracts (underground wiring etc.), land use contracts (possibly
the first); a sign bylaw that dealt with appearance —not merely
safety—banished biUboards.The municipaUty went on to buy
and develop the 600-acre Brighouse Estate that generated sites
for a new city haU, cultural and athletic centres, Minoru Park,
the Brighouse Shopping Centre, an industrial estate and a
fuUy serviced residential neighbourhood. After a Vancouver
official enquired about
these unprecedented
subdivision standards,
his councU referred the
matter to their Town
Planning Commission.
The considered opinion, I believe, was "It
wouldn't be fair—
we've never asked any
developer to do that in
the past." This explains
the total lack of
sidewalks in the CPR's
subdivision on the old
QuUchena Golf Course
More than fifty years
ago at UBC I heard Dr.
Harry Warren expound
the theory that if the
Nechako River could
be diverted westward to
the coast at Kemano, a
huge hydro-electric
power generator could
be buUt to capture the
down spiU. In 1953 the
Aluminum Company
of Canada, having taken
advantage of this geographic fact, estabUshed
a town at nearby Kitimat as a site for Alcan's aluminum smelter.
The company engaged me to draw the first zoning bylaw for
this planned-from-the-start community. The chaUenge lay in
the fact that construction ofthe town was planned to go ahead
before the land survey was completed. This resulted in the
need to use weird formulae to establish the required separation between buUdings. I learned later that other, established
towns— presumably without the advice of a solicitor—had
"borrowed" the text of my bylaw -without alteration, no doubt
to the endless confusion of builders. With the compliance of
the Alcan planning consultants Meyer & Whittlesey of New
York, and recognizing that a zoning bylaw was used extensively by non-legaUy trained people, we endeavoured to clarify
11 meaning by indenting and Usting vertically subordinate clauses
of equal value. Some wag said it looked Uke modern poetry.
Community planning in BC started with a few knowledgeable activists, such as Dr. Frank Buck; progressed into the
Town Planning Commission stage, with official groups of volunteers advising their councUs; and finaUy became largely the
responsibUity of professionaUy trained planners. UBC's School
of Community and Regional Planning made a very timely
contribution to the training of people with a variety of academic backgrounds, to be staff planners and consultants for
our towns and regional districts. I had the pleasure of being a
course lecturer in planning law and practice at the School for
23 years. The growth ofthe profession led to the founding of
the Planning Institute of BC. As an honorary member, I keep
in touch and can testify to the fact that its pubUcations, seminars, and conferences have encouraged both exceUence and
innovation in the profession.
With the emergence of professionals, it became appropriate that planning departments be set up within town and city
halls. A beUwether decision to do that was made by the City
ofVancouver. I was at the city councU meeting at which the
decision was made. The only additional matter to be setded
was whether it should be a separate body or placed under the
engineering department. After some debate, a separate entity
was created. The planning department took its place as an
effective voice in the city's decision making.
Tom McDonald persuaded an old poUtical friend and BC
cabinet member, Herbert Anscomb, to have the government
enable groups of adjacent municipaUties to create regional
planning areas. Sections 720 to 723 of the Municipal Act,
RSBC. 1960 c.255, set out the conservatively balanced power
structure that ultimately enabled the adoption of a regional
plan, including "unorganized territory." The approval of two-
thirds ofthe regional board members, two-thirds ofthe member councils involved, as weU as the approval ofthe Lieutenant
Governor in CouncU was needed. As a result, the Lower Mainland Regional Planning District—the forerunner of regional
districts in that part ofthe valley—came into being. It operated under a professional geographer, Jim WUson. His work
created a precedent for cooperative multi-municipal planning
in the province.
Prior to 1965 there was a mixture of provincial parks administered direcdy by the province, and a few other parks,
estabUshed by the province, but administered by independent
boards (see: Garibaldi Park Act SBC 1926-27 c.25). In addition, of course, there was a weU-estabUshed system of municipal parks. I was asked to work on an intergovernmental technical committee to see if a regionaUy administered park system could be estabUshed.The result, guided by Reeve Clarence
Taylor, was the Regional Parks Act, SBC 1965, c.43 (now the
Park (Regional) Act, RSBC 1996, c.345). One of the first
such parks boards was estabUshed in the Lower Fraser VaUey.
The members were representatives of the local governments
involved. Land purchases were funded pardy by the province.
After the creation of regional districts, the Municipal Act was
amended to read, "subject to the Parks (Regional) Act, [current tide], a regional district—may, by bylaw, estabUsh and operate—regional parks. [Section 789(l)(g) ofthe current Act]."
A notable example is the vast and varied regional park system
ofthe GVRD. Planners Vic Parker and Norm Pearson prepared the initial plan that today, in enlarged form (9,400 ha.),
is managed by Rick Hankin. In my opinion it was the most
ambitious and successful regional parks plan implemented in
Canada—and perhaps anywhere in North America.
By 1965 it had become apparent to Municipal Affairs Minister Dan CampbeU that more than a quarter of a miUion
people were Uving in "unorganized territory," as they caUed
land outside ofthe municipaUties, and which was thus under
his direct jurisdiction. He added "Division (2) - Regional
Districts" to Part XXIV of the Municipal Act (SBC 1965
c.28), which brought Regional Districts into being. As he
once told me, "I got tired of pushing a button inVictoria and
hoping that aU would go weU 500 mUes away!" In my opinion
it was a vasdy better solution to the problem of bringing local
government—including land use planning—to non-metro-
poUtan areas of the province than the alternative county device.
Much later, I served as Commissioner of Regional Development for the Greater Vancouver Regional District, with
overaU responsibUity for regional planning, some hospital planning, social housing, regional parks, and pubUc information.
In this capacity I had the duty of explaining to the pubUc the
Board's Livable Region Plan—Harry Lash's epic work—and
the Light Rapid RaU Transit plan prepared for the Board. Some
ofthe other duties led to unexpected results. I served on a tri-
level committee to find a way to coordinate federal, provincial, and local government concerns about development along
and in the Fraser River Estuary. The final result, perfected
long after my participation, was creation of the Fraser River
Estuary Management Program (FREMP), which spawned a
twin for Burrard Inlet (BIEAP).The former involves 36 government agencies, of which six provide funds. In 1994 an
Estuary Management plan was adopted. An objective of importance to the pubUc was "one-stop shopping" for a variety
of permits. The astounding thing is that it was aU achieved by
agency and bureaucratic cooperation without a single statutory amendment! This contrasts with an early effort of mine
to have a smaU municipal tot lot in Richmond placed on the
corner of a large school ground. Because of UabUity and union problems it took two statutory amendments (Public
Schools Act and Municipal Act) plus an operating agreement
between the School Board and the MunicipaUty to get the
teeter-totters teetering.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS-Vol. 33 No. 4 At the local level, the Municipal Act s. 945 (4) (a) now authorizes a councU to "designate areas for the protection ofthe
environment" in its official community plan. Some time ago,
reflecting growing pubUc concern about the impact of industry on the environment in Crown land, the provincial arm of
CPAC asked me to approach the minister responsible for the
old BC Power Commission to question the wisdom of damming the river that was to become Buttle Lake without first
removing the forest cover from the area to be flooded. The
matter was important because the lake would extend weU into
Strathcona Park.The government agreed, despite the fact that
this conservation measure had not been required upon the
creation of Lake WilUston behind the then recendy completed
Kenney Dam buUt to bring power to the Kitimat smelter.
Unknown to most British Columbians was the work done
during the early seventies by federal and provincial soU scientists on the Canada Land Inventory. Their Land CapabiUty
maps were invaluable when the Land Commission was created in 1973—to which I was appointed as the first chair. The
initiative, which was largely misunderstood at the outset, resulted in angry demonstrations in front of the Legislative
BuUdings. One elderly widow, with acreage in the Agriculture Land Reserve, telephoned me asking anxiously, "When
do I have to start farming?" W.A.C. Bennett, then retired,
warned aU farmers not to seU their holdings to the Commission. Of course, no such mass purchase was contemplated,
only the odd isolated parcel for which the owner claimed
there was absolutely no market.
The purpose ofthe Agricultural Land Reserve was to ensure that regardless of what local zoning was or was not in
place, quaUty farm and grazing land would not be lost. We
must add that the quaUty of farmland is made up of a combination of soU and cUmatic factors. Up until the creation ofthe
ALRs municipal councUs-had the habit of considering locaUy
zoned farmland as a "site warehouse" for future urban development. The five percent of the province in the ALR is of
surprising value to some food producers. One rancher complained to me that BC Hydro, without consulting him, had
widened the tote road across his vast grazing lands by about a
metre. As a result, the rancher had to reduce his herd because
of the loss of grassland to the buUdozer.
Years ago, at the time "Habitat" was held in Vancouver, Republican Governor Dan Evans—who had tried to get legislation with the same objective passed in Washington State—
told me that when he asked one ofthe Socred cabinet ministers what his party felt about the BC statute the reply was:
"You can't un-ring that beU!"
Perhaps no area of land use regulation has caused more
soul-searching than the defining and protection of what various groups call "our heritage." As a one-time chair of the
Archaeological Society of BC as weU as ofthe local branch of
the American Institute of Archaeology I had some personal
concern about this matter. FinaUy, as a past member of the
Minister's Advisory Committee on Heritage, I am able to report that after years of dUigent work his staff has come up
with a weU crafted Heritage Conservation Act, RSBC. 1996,
c.187. A "Heritage object" may be "personal property" whUe
a "Heritage site" may be "land, including land covered by water."
Tied in is s.945(4)(c) ofthe Municipal Act. If you wish to be
disabused ofthe thought that our aboriginal heritage is confined to totemic art, enter St.Eugene s Church at the St. Mary's
Reserve north of Cranbrook for the incredible sight of a lav-
. ishly furnished gothic church in the "high chaparral."
The Islands Trust: In 1974, prior to the adoption of the
Islands Trust Act (now RSBC 1996, c.239) an aU-party committee of the legislature recommended a law to protect "the
unique amenities and environment" ofthe Gulf Islands.There
were no incorporated towns on the islands, hence poUcy making ofthe sort necessary to protect what one expert described
as the very northern extremity ofthe CaUfornia cUmate belt
was spUt among several Electoral Areas forming parts of a
number of Regional Districts.
The legislated solution was to place land use control in the
hands of a unique body of elected trustees whose main concern was to set overall poUcy. Special responsibiUties regarding zoning on a given island were given to "LocalTrust Committees" which included the two "Island Trustees" from each
island area. Recendy, as places Uke Ganges grew into significant centres, the Ministry asked me to conduct pubUc hearings on Salt Spring and report on how a suitable form of
incorporation could be designed that would be compatible
with Trust poUcy yet satisfy local aspirations.
At the time I was appointed to the Land Commission, David
Looy, a Globe and Mail photographer, asked me to stand for a
picture on the old QuUchena Golf Course, which would serve
as a make-beUeve "farm" background. I chose instead to be
photographed on the huge topographic model of British
Columbia at the PNE. My reason was to show the pubUc
. how the province was in fact a relatively smaU "archipelago of
habitable land" in which towns, roads and farms had to share
the warm, narrow vaUey bottoms. It confirmed in my mind,
as nothing else, how important land use planning was for British
At the end of a half century of what I caU the "land-use
wars"—in which I am proud to have served as a foot soldier—I beUeve that the practitioners of municipal law, both
pubUc and private, and their coUeagues the planners, as weU as
UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning have
achieved a notable victory. In fairness, I must add that outstanding politicians of every stripe deserve the Croix de
Guerre—some with Oak Leaf Cluster! And I attribute the
motivation largely to what I describe as the "civic patriotism"
of our people, triggered as it is by the endless splendour of this
province. <<5-J
13 Cottage Hospitals in British Columbia
by Helen Shore
Helen Shore is a member of the Vancouver
Historical Society in
charge ofthe Historical
Researcher Referral
Service. As a retired
public health nurse and
teacher, she is interested in pioneer nurses
and hospitals in BC.
1 For example, the Royal
Columbian Hospital in New
Westminster in 1859, Royal
Cariboo Hospital in Barkerville
in 1863, St. Luke's Hospital and
City Hospital in Vancouver in
1888,Royal Jubilee Hospital in
Victoria in 1890.
2 The Vancouver Women's
Council was formed in 1894.
Rosa L. Shaw, Proud Heritage: A
History ofthe National Council of
Women (Toronto:The Ryerson
Press, 1957).
3 Mrs. Duncan Gavin and Mrs.
James Macaulay
'John Murray Gibbon, 77k Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada:
50th Anniversary 1897-1947
(Montreal: Southam Press,
1947), 16
s Ibid., 39
6 Revelstoke (1901-1919);
Kaslo (1903-1919);Arrow-
head (1905-1915); Rock Bay
1905-1910); Fernie (1907-
1910); Quesnel (1911-1919);
BarkervUle (1912-1913);
Ashcroft (1913-1919); Ganges
(1914-1919); and Windermere
AT the turn ofthe century contagious diseases, Ulness, and accidents brought injury and sometimes death to the setder
population throughout urban and frontier regions
of British Columbia.The Native population suffered similarly, especiaUy from contagious diseases.
Protection of water, milk, and food suppUes was
either missing entirely or extremely primitive.
Sanitation was lacking in the famUy homes in
most setdements as weU as in canneries and logging and mining camps. Resources for caring for
the sick and injured were few. SmaU general hospitals were only avaUable in some of the more
buUt-up regions of British Columbia.1 None were
avaUable in the remote regions.
Stories of particular needs and hardships experienced by famUies and workers Uving in unpopulated and remote regions came by word of
mouth to people in larger centres. Doctors, nurse
matrons, and nurses in city hospitals often heard
horror stories from patients who were brought
in after suffering accidents in remote logging
camps. Cottage hospitals were developed for these
remote areas through the combined work of interested communities, social activists, and their
respective organizations.
Women's groups, such as the Local CouncU of
Women, often took up the cause of improving
the quaUty of Ufe to famUies in local communities.2 In 1897 the Victorian Order of Nurses
(VON) initiated a national district nursing program, providing hospital, medical, and nursing
care to setders in remote regions of Canada. In
British Columbia cottage hospitals started after
two members of the Vancouver chapter of the
CouncU ofWomen placed a resolution from the
Vancouver chapter before a national meeting of
the CouncU ofWomen, chaired by President Lady
Ishbel Aberdeen, the wife of the governor general at that time.3 Both Countess Aberdeen and
later Countess Minto gave the district nursing
and cottage hospital movement their unquaUfied
personal and financial support enabUng its growth
and survival on a national level. WhUe many doctors and medical associations initiaUy fought the
development of the Victorian Order of Nurses,
some doctors gave support and encouragement
to the Order.4 Also workers and employers in
resource industries gave positive support. This
support formed the basis for much ofthe growing community action.
The phenomenon of cottage hospitals in the
hinterland of British Columbia lasted from 1898
untU roughly 1919. The hospitals were smaU
buUdings, housing seven to ten patients, staffed
by one or two nurses providing 24-hour nursing. A smaU operating room, a patient ward, and
a kitchen were the usual features. An orderly and
a cook may have been employed on a part-time
basis. A doctor attended when needed or was
caUed for surgeries or emergencies, reaching the
' hospital by boat, horse, or any other means.
The first cottage hospital in BC was estabUshed
inVernon in 1898, with two nurses,Annie McKay
and Bena Henderson.5 Other cottage hospitals
soon foUowed.6 The cottage hospital in Vernon
operated until 1908 when it was turned into a
municipal hospital. As communities grew and
municipaUties were formed also the other hospitals became municipal hospitals or were operated by other groups. An excerpt from the Annual Report to the VON Board for 1904 written
by Margaret AUen, the second superintendent of
the VON in Ottawa, gives an overview of her
impressions gained by her annual visit to the
hospitals in the West.
The work ofthe hospitals in the West has increased
tremendously in the past year: with one or two exceptions they are all over-taxed, cots being placed
in the halls, and often the nurses being turned out
of their rooms in order to accommodate patients. I
do not think that the people in this part of Canada
can reaUze the difficulties under which the nurses
work in some ofthe small Western towns: no light
but oU lamps, and often times the only supply of
water being in the basement of the buUding and
having to be carried to other parts ofthe Hospital.
In fact, in one case the water was brought to the
buUding in barrels and for two days last faU they
were without drinking water.
A large number ofthe patients have come long distances to be treated, one man who had both hands
badly crushed riding 70 mUes on an engine over an
unfinished road — double amputation was necessary when he reached the hospital. Another case
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 Courtesy Archives of Anglican Provincial Synod of BC #634
was a trapper, whose
camp-fire burned his
bed of boughs and
himself severely, having
to walk 16 miles to the
nearest house, by the
time he reached it he
was badly frozen, in this
condition driving 30
miles to the hospital. I
think these two cases I
have cited will give
people a Utde idea of
how necessary the Cot- .
tage Hospitals are to the
people of the West.7
The cottage hospital at
Rock Bay is selected
here as an example because of its remote and
isolated location, the variety of people and groups
involved in its development, and also because of
the surviving historical records. The construction of this cottage hospital illustrates community action at work.
Vancouver Island's abundant fir and cedar forests behind Rock Bay, Sayward, CampbeU River,
and Courtenay attracted logging entrepreneurs
and a large work force. The Hastings MiU Company was one of the largest sawmiU companies
operating in the area. Rock Bay became the Hastings' main logging camp on the BC coast. The
first camp ran under the direction of contractors
or semi-autonomous foremen. Camps were set
up near water and skid roads were pushed inland.
Oxen hauled the logs out.8
Plans for the cottage hospital in Rock Bay
started on Friday, 8 August 1903 in the Hotel
Vancouver at a meeting of theVancouver Branch
of the Victorian Order of Nurses.The Vancouver
branch, formed in July 1898, was experienced in
planning new ventures. At this meeting Chief Superintendent Charlotte Macleod and the board
planned for a cottage hospital in Rock Bay. The
meeting was presided by Sarah McLagan, pioneer newspaperwoman, activist andVON board
president. Others present were Mrs. Macaulay
(past president VONVancouver board), Archdeacon Pentreath (Anglican minister), Margaret
Clendenning (superintendent, Vancouver City
Hospital), Sister Frances (matron St. Luke's Hospital, Vancouver) and other VON board members. Miss Clendenning suggested that a cottage
hospital be started up the coast at some central
location near the logging camps. She told of sev-
Left: Queen's Hospital,
Rock Bay in 1905.
eral cases of men who had died before medical
aid could reach them.The Board resolved to send
a letter to the honorary president of the VON,
Her ExceUency Lady Minto, wife of the governor general.They also began to plan for pubUcity
and fundraising. A letter was sent to aU the lumber miUs in the area to find out their opinions of
location and to eUcit their support.9 Positive responses were soon received. Support for the idea
came from the Loggers Union, the Pacific Coast
Lumber MiU Company, and Robertson and
Hackett Lumber MiU. AU the responses requested
prompt action.
Possible sites suggested for the cottage hospital were Lund, Rock Bay, or Shoal Bay. Rock
Bay was chosen as the best site. One hundred
and thirty miles north ofVancouver on the east
coast ofVancouver Island, Rock Bay had more
loggers employed than any other location on the
coast.10 Mr. R.H.Alexander ofthe BC MiUs and
Trading Company—formerly Hastings MiU—
said that his company would put up a suitable
buUding for an emergency hospital for the use of
The Queen's Hospital in Rock Bay was opened
3 July 1905 in the presence of VON board members travelling from Vancouver. The national
branch of the VON had provided $500 for furnishing the hospital; the Vancouver branch was
responsible for the nurse's salary; the Daughters
of the Empire provided the necessary Unen suppUes. During the VON board's visit to various
logging camps in the vicinity, the Secretary collected donations of $91.50 from the loggers for
the purchase of a cow for the use ofthe hospital.
On Sunday, 9 July Archdeacon Pentreath con-
7 Gibbon, The Victorian Order of
Nurses, 60.
8 Ken Drushka, Working in Ihe
Woods: A History of Logging on
the West Coast (Madeira Park
BC: Harbour Publishing, 1992)
' "Victorian Order of Nurses
Greater Vancouver Branch,
Minute Book No. ljuly 1898-
May 1905."BC.Victorian Order of Nurses Archives.Vancou-
10 Another strong advocate was
John Ande, Anglican clergyman,
who knew first-hand the plight
of men living in small communities along the coast. He had
sailed the BC coast as far as
Alert Bay in a fourteen-foot
boat, the Laverock, and was convinced that the Christian ministry and emergency services
must be extended to these remote areas. He wanted the
church to be involved in establishing reading rooms and libraries to support the social side
to the church's work. A turning point for Antle came in
1903 when the freight and passenger boat, Cassiar, entered
Vancouver from a logging camp
with four dead men on board.
One man bled to death in a
boat trying to reach Vancouver,
another had died on board for
lack of medical attention. Injured loggers in the forest were
rowed by their friends out to
sea in a desperate attempt to flag
a passing ship and get the injured man to hospital. Doris
Andersen, The Columbia is Coming (Sidney, BC: Gray's Publishing, 1982). John Ande became
a VON Vancouver Branch
Board member in January 1905
(VON Minute Book. July 1905).
15 Above: 1906 - Dr. Daril
Hanington sitting on the
front steps ofthe hospital.
Standimg are nurses fean
Sutherland (right) and
Alice Franklin (left).
" Gibbon, Tlie Victorian Order of
Nurses, 41.
12 Andersen, The Columbia is
Coming, 1.
'-1 Ibid., 24.
14 A memorial cairn to mark the
event is located in Stanley Park.
Courtesy Archives of Anglican Provincial Synod # 647
ducted a morning service and a service of dedication for the opening of the ten-bed hospital.
About 50 loggers attended the service, some from
far away. After the service there was a tour ofthe
In 1905 Jean Sutherland was head nurse and
AUce Franklin her assistant. Other staff included
a housekeeper, an orderly and a cook (see table
1). The Queen's Hospital was a smaU wooden
frame building surrounded by logs cut in the
clearing. The interior was plain: a ward of ten
iron-frame beds, tighdy made in the traditional
style, one bare Ught bulb hanging from the ceiling, an oil lamp on a bracket at one side of the
room. The operating room was brighter with
more windows and again a bare Ught bulb hanging from the ceUing, instruments, and suppUes in
cases along the sides ofthe room.
Table 1 - Queen's Hospital staff and salaries in 1905:
Lady Superintendent
Jean Sutherland
Emily Yates
J. A. Biddle
Margaret Laycock
Orderly (Aug, 21)
Nurse (Nov. 27)
Alice Franklin
Nurse (Nov.)
Sara Cruikshanks
Nurse (Dec 6)
Laura Tyner
Nurse (April 1)
Sara Cruikshanks
Miss AUen, Chief Superintendent of
the VON, paid visits of inspection to the
branches and cottage hospitals. She remembered in particular the visits to Rock
Bay and the trip on a smaU boat, the
Cassiar, which carried straitjackets to the
hospital as part of its equipment, since
dehrium tremens was a not infrequent
form of iUness, among the lumberjacks
in that region. The conditions were very
primitive: The strain on the nurses was
Rock Bay had no resident doctor. By
an arrangement worked out between the
VON and the AngUcan Church, a doctor
on the mission boat Columbia included
Queen's Hospital in Rock Bay on his
rounds.The Columbia was a hospital ship
travelling from the Seymour Inlet to
Rock Bay along the northern shores of
Queen Charlotte Strait.12 The Reverend John Ande, captain of the mission
boat, enlisted Dr. W.A.B. Hutton—a
graduate of the University of Manitoba and
former Medical Officer with the Canadian troops
in the Riel RebeUion—as the first ship's doctor
of the Columbia Coast Mission. Dr. Hutton
served as surgeon for both the Columbia and the
hospital.13 After Dr. Hutton died in the 1906 sinking ofthe tug Chehalis opposite Brockton Point,14
Dr. DarU P. Hanington, a graduate of McGUl University came to take Dr. Hutton's place.
The monthly patient records for the Queen's
Hospital provide Uttle information about diagnoses or treatment. From another source comes
a story on the condition of one patient treated. A
logger had jumped from the rear ofthe logging
train, wedging his boots in logs, the train backed
up, knocking him down, and its wooden brake
beams hitting him over and over. An arm and leg
were broken and his head needed 37 stitches.15
Some records survive showing occupancy and
patient days for Queen's Hospital:
Dec.'05   Jan.'06
Total # of hospital days 135 179
Total cases nursed 15 15
Outpatients 63 38
For January 1906 the records show five ticket
holders and the amount of $55 paid by patients.
Ticket holders were patients who were part of a
prepayment scheme instituted to pay a monthly
sum to the hospital to make free care possible
should the need arise, an example of an early pre-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 paid insurance plan.
For March 1906 the records show 14 new cases,
24 cases nursed, 6 medical cases, 11 surgical cases.
There were 42 outpatients. Dressings sent to
camps were 16.The total number of hospital days
was 204. The hospital was then staffed with two
nurses and one servant. Patients paid $151. As
the records indicate, the nurse saw to it that dressings were provided to logging camps and outpatients were seen on a regular basis.
The VON nurses were prepared by the most
up-to-date nursing education of the time. After
graduating of three-year hospital diploma programs, they entered the six-month VON program in Toronto or Montreal, preparing them to
nurse patients in their own homes.16 The nurse
managed a patient's care, provided hygienic and
comfort measures, cared for post-deUvery and post
surgical patients, appUed dressings for burn patients and accident victims, cared for babies and
chUdren, cared for dying patients, and comforted
and supported famUy members.The nurse worked
co-operatively with doctors and other hospital
workers, kept hospital records, and saw that a clean
environment was maintained.
Chief Superintendent Margaret AUen remembered how, when head nurse Jean Sutherland died
in 1906 (from overwork, according to Rev. John
Ande), the Rock Bay loggers made a coffin to
transport her body to the mainland, Uning it with
spirea and other wUd flowers they had coUected.17
In 1910, a fire burned Queen's Hospital. A new
hospital, "St. Michael's," was buUt in 1911 and
the Columbia Coast Mission took over management and operation of the Rock Bay hospital
from the Victorian Order of Nurses.
The establishment and operation of this cottage hospital at Rock Bay shows the rewards of
teamwork and community participation in bringing hospital and district nursing to the hinterlands
of British Columbia.The value of influential partners, the sharing of a commitment, and the cooperation of many key players was as important
then as it is today. Once the cottage hospital was
in place, it was the nurse—often on her own or
with one other nurse—who played the critical
role in making the cottage hospital a success. She
was the only professional present on a 24-hour
basis, she organized and oversaw the hospital's
operation; working in remote and isolated regions she made the decisions and provided professional care in a wide variety of situations and
under the harshest of conditions.'<=a»'
15 Anderson, The Columbia is
Coming, 25.
" Gibbon, The Victorian Order of
Nurses, 38.
17 A Century of Caring.The History of the Victorian Order of
Nurses in Canada. (Ottawa:
VON Canada, 1996), 40.
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections VPL 3920
Left: Ward in Queen's
Hospital, Rock Bay.
17 Ministering Angels: The Victorian Order
of Nurses and the Klondike Goldrush
By Lynda Maeve Orr
"I love history, always
did." Lynda Orr, who is
assistant programmer
at the Burnaby Village
Museum, came from
Ireland in 1973. She
has a degree in history
and women's study
from Simon Fraser
IT was the event ofthe season, a gUttering soiree, attended by the cream of society. On 12
May 1898,Vancouver's most prominent citizens gathered at the home of Mrs. J. C. McLagan
to bid fareweU to four nurses of the Victorian
Order, before they departed for the gold fields of
the Yukon. Among the guests in the flower-fiUed
rooms of the McLagan house were the officers
of the Yukon Field Force, "whose dark uniforms
made a pleasing contrast to the graceful daintily-
robed women." So successful was the event that
it was "past seven before the guests could tear
themselves away."
The nurses, accompanied by Faith Fenton, the
famous correspondent ofToronto's The Globe, had
been continuaUy feted by Vancouver society since
their arrival from Ottawa on 24 AprU. They had
been met at the station by a delegation of the
Local CouncU ofWomen (LCW), of which Mrs.
McLagan was president, and once the nurses'
identity became known, "the ladies attracted a
great deal of respectful attention, the noble character of their mission adding to the interest felt
in their personaUties."
A very special mission it was. Lady Aberdeen,
wife ofthe governor general, had personaUy chosen the four nurses: Georgina PoweU, Rachel
Hanna, Amy Scott, and Margaret Payson, as the
first contingent sent into the Yukon by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). In 1898 the Yukon was the destination for many men hoping to
strike it rich in the gold diggings ofthe Klondike.
The mission was the subject of much discussion
since it was considered a strange place to send
respectable women. However, Lady Aberdeen was
no stranger to controversy and fully understood
the value of pubUcity for the fledgUng order.
It seemed appropriate that the citizens ofVancouver were able to participate in the nurses' glorious send-off, as the whole idea of a nursing
order had originated with the Vancouver Local
CouncU ofWomen. Distressed by the "dangers
and hardships encountered by women, who in
their greatest hour of need were often mUes from
medical aid," theVancouver CouncU proposed in
1896, that the "Dominion and Provincial Governments take earnest steps to estabUsh medical
and nursing aid in those districts." This plea and
the desire of other councUs to estabUsh a memorial honouring the 1897 jubUee of Queen Victoria captured the attention of the national president ofthe CouncU ofWomen, Lady Aberdeen.
The creation of a distinct nursing order based
upon home visits, the Victorian Order of Nurses
seemed a perfect solution to both requests.
Lady Aberdeen lost no time approaching the'
government and bringing her remarkable organizational skills to bear, for the idea was very dear
to her heart. However, not every one in the country was as keen.The conservative press automatically criticized anything with which the
Aberdeens were connected, and the medical profession ranged soUdly against it. Canadian nurses,
struggUng to achieve professional recognition,
were not at aU pleased by the idea of a nursing
order staffed by unquaUfied personnel. Lady Aberdeen, reaUzing the nurses had a vaUd point, decided to use only trained nurses in the Victorian
Order, although this gready increased the overaU
cost and effectively ruled out any hope of government support.
Undaunted, Lady Aberdeen mounted her own
pubUcity campaign to counter the negative press
coverage. First she sent an appeal to the school-
chUdren of Canada asking for their support in
the Queen's name:
If the Queen herself could appear in your
schoolrooms and ask you to do something for her,
what a rush and competition there would be to
do it. Well, Her Majesty has—she has said "Make
this a year of jubUee to the sick and suffering of
my dominions."
Lady Aberdeen's next move was to enUst the help
of Dr.AlfredWorcester of Harvard who persuaded
the influential doctors of Ottawa to change their
minds. Dr. Worcester reassured the medical estabUshment that: "Victorian nurses are trained
nurses, before they begin district visiting. And
this means that they are trained to know their
own proper sphere, they know too much to interfere with the physicians." The doctors were
no doubt most reUeved to know the nurses knew
their place.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS-Vol. 33 No. 4 Left: The four Victorian
Order nurses who took the
Klondike Trail and Faith
Fenton, correspondent of
The Globe, who joined
the nurses on their trip.
Courtesy BC Archives.O06932
Lady Aberdeen had the audacious and briUiant idea of sending four nurses to the Yukon:".. .nowhere could be more remote or more Ukely to need nurses than the Yukon and nowhere would success be assured of more pubUcity." On 28
March 1898, Lady Aberdeen wrote to The Globe oudining her
plans, noting that the nurses were fuUy aware ofthe hardships
they would have to face,"...but [they] count[ed] the opportunity of succouring suffering humanity a joy and an hon
The four nurses would accompany the troops of the Yukon
Field Force as far as Fort Selkirk. The decision to send the
troops was prompted by concern for the maintenance of Canadian law and order, in an area facing an influx of foreign
miners, many resenting Canadian mining regulations. The
commissioner, fearing that "it would be the easiest thing in
the world for a few bold men to take possession," urged the
government to take action.
The Canadian government was asked to provide safe passage for the nurses from Vancouver and in return the nurses
were asked to attend any soldiers who feU iU.The government
did not pay the travel expenses for the nurses. Lord Aberdeen
took care of most of the cost and Lady Aberdeen, in her capacity as president of the VON, made the travel arrangements.
She thought of everything. On 28 AprU she wrote to Sara
McLagan, in Vancouver asking her to procure a list of suppUes
for the nurses: "cocoa, compressed tea, essence of beef, compressed beef and vegetables." She even had the entire list of
suppUes published in the newspapers. No doubt the pubUc
was intrigued by the lengthy list of sleeping bags, long fur
coats, endless kinds of boots, sou'westers and outfits of "neat
brown suits made with bloomers and gaiters in the style of a
natty bicycle suit." One can almost hear the gasps of shock
from astonished readers.
The whole event was a masterpiece in pubUc relations and
ensured that the mission remained in the public eye. Reporter
Faith Fenton would accompany the nurses on their trip. Apparendy Lady Aberdeen's letter oudining the plan to send the
nurses north convinced the editor of The Globe that readers
would be intrigued by Fenton s accounts ofthe nurses'journey. Doubdess he agreed with E.E. Sheppard, the editor of
Saturday Night, that "trifles such as would hardly be read if
written by a man become thriUing and picturesque as an episode in the life of a woman."Whether Lady Aberdeen had any
say in the decision to employ Fenton as a correspondent remains a mystery, but she knew Fenton quite weU. Fenton had
often been in charge of pubUcity at the annual conventions of
The National CouncU ofWomen and, when she was editor of
The Canadian Homefournal, Fenton offered the CouncU a permanent space in the journal that "was under the direct personal supervision and control of Her ExceUency."
19 AU the arrangements were in place by 18 AprU when the
four nurses, accompanied by Faith Fenton, left Ottawa by train
for the west coast. They traveUed ahead ofthe troops as they
had a busy schedule of meetings and interviews along the way.
The Local Councils ofWomen arranged the meetings. Fenton
was frequendy the only member ofthe group speaking pub-
Ucly, praising the nurses and oudining the aims of the VON.
She spoke "feeUngly of the loneUness of the mountain sections of our mining districts and the comfort tender hands
could bring."
In Vancouver, Fenton and the nurses found themselves thrust
into the UmeUght. Fenton stayed with Sara McLagan, who
never missed a chance to pubUcize the causes she beUeved in.
In 1888, McLagan and her husband had founded the Vancouver
Daily World, and although Sara was not involved in the day-today management ofthe newspaper, her influence was evident.
Vancouver was kept informed of practicaUy every move the
nurses and Fenton made. On Wednesday, 27 AprU, they spent
the day inVictoria as the guests ofthe Lieutenant Governor,
on Thursday they attended an executive meeting ofthe Local
CouncU and on Saturday, 30 AprU, they aU went for a drive in
Stanley Park. At a benefit performance of the play May Blossom, The Daily World reported that the nurses, "look[ed] to be
women who reaUse their mission is no ordinary one...the
next three years wiU bring much of toU and perhaps of sorrow
into their Uves."
The Yukon Field Force arrived in Vancouver on 11 May. A
huge crowd turned out to welcome them, "the station was
packed and every point of vantage on the hUl was soon taken
up." The troops enjoyed their short stay, the Vancouver Daily
Province reported that "at night they owned the city and enjoyed themselves hugely, sauntering around the docks and
occasionaUy putting a doUar or two in the way of the hotel
and saloon keepers."
Of course Vancouver was enthraUed with anything concerning the Klondike, for it had brought much prosperity to
the young city. The decision by the North West Mounted
PoUce (NWMP) to bar prospectors from entering the Yukon
unless they had a year's provisions had proved to be a veritable
gold mine for the storekeepers ofVancouver andVictoria. Many
citizens were optimistic that "many ofthe returning Klondikers
wUl setde down to Uve here and there wUl assuredly be a large
investment of capital in a city with so bright a future."
On Saturday, 14 May, "as Vancouver lay sleeping under an
opal sky," the nurses and soldiers left Vancouver for the Yukon.
Their route took them by boat to WrangeU, by river steamer
to Glenora, then overland to TesUn and down the HootaUnqua
andYukon rivers to Fort Selkirk, which had been tentatively
selected as the capital ofthe territory. It had been decided that
they would travel the "aU-Canadian route", rather than seek
permission from the American authorities to enter United
States territory. A pamphlet pubUshed by theVancouver Board
ofTrade admitted that whUe this traU avoided the hardship of
the passes, "it had its own particular hardships," a fact that the
nurses would soon discover for themselves. In an article pubUshed in The Daily World one ofthe nurses, Georgina PoweU,
wrote: "...we went tramping, leaping, springing and cUmb-
ing, a strain that only the strongest and most sinewy women
could bear," and that at a time when women were constrained
as much by their clothing as by convention. Fenton, PoweU,
Scott, Hanna, and Payson were crossing more than one boundary on their journey north.
Propriety stiU had to be preserved. When Fenton made her
first appearance in her short-skirted traveUing costume, Colonel Evans, the commander ofThe Yukon Field Force was horrified as she was not wearing bloomers under her dark green
skirt. Fenton, a fan of dress reform, who once described long
skirts as "impeding our progress in every direction, by increasing if not producing our physical weakness", was eventuaUy persuaded to alter her skirt by sewing on a band of black
sateen. No doubt the colonel heaved a sigh of reUef.
From June to November 1898 Fenton's articles were pubUshed in both Toronto's The Globe and Vancouver's The Daily
World. As a writer, Fenton tended to be somewhat effusive—
she described Vancouver as "a bright young Queen of the
west, the sunset doorway of the dominion"—but she possessed an insatiable curiosity about Ufe that appealed to her
readers. She described the local flora and fauna; the vagaries of
packers and pack trains, the confusion caused by lack of standard
time, and of course the work ofthe nurses.
The representatives ofThe Victorian Order are not idle in this
slow journey over the traU.. .we are rarely a day estabUshed in
camp, without an appeal for help from packer or miner, prostrated by accident, overwork, or the careless neglect habitual to
a strong man.. .the gratitude of these patients by the way to the
nurses and the order under which they labour is deep and
WhUe the soldiers and nurses did not experience the hardships suffered by the miners on the trail, it should be noted
that the nurses did not have to carry their own suppUes or
cook any meals. Fenton even managed to bring a kitten with
her. However, the journey was not without incident. Georgina
PoweU and Amy Scott traveUed with the advance party. They
became separated from the rest ofthe group and spent a most
uncomfortable night, until some miners came to their aid.
The advance party with Georgina Powell and Amy Scott
reachedTesUn on 12 June.The tramp had taken fourteen days,
and they were "weary with tent Ufe and its discomforts." Fenton
accompanied, by Rachel Hannah and Margaret Payson arrived at the beginning of July.
However, the journey was by no means over as the nurses
and the troops stiU had to negotiate the various waterways
betweenTesUn and Fort Selkirk, a distance of about four hundred mUes. The advance party was fortunate, as Colonel Evans
was able to arrange transportation on The Anglican, a steamboat buUt by The Canadian Development Company at TesUn.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 They arrived in Fort Selkirk on 25 July. However, The Anglican
was wrecked whUe attempting to return to TesUn, and so the
rest ofthe party was forced to make do with smaUer boats and
scows, frequendy running aground on the sandbars. "Then
the fun began, aU hands had to tumble overboard up to their
waists in ice-cold water and puU and haul for about twenty
minutes, tiU at last we swung clear and went on our way, damp
but rejoicing." One ofthe most frightening moments occurred
at the Five Finger rapids, when two scows swung broadside as
they entered the fast water, "but at the last minute the current
changed and they plunged through the channel." On 11 September the smaU flotiUa arrived in Fort Selkirk.
Some ofthe troops went on to Dawson to assist the North
West Mounted PoUce in combating lawlessness, the rest stayed
behind to finish the construction of the barracks. Georgina
PoweU had already gone from Fort Selkirk to Dawson to take
charge ofThe Good Samaritan Hospital, where a typhoid
epidemic was raging. In a letter to Lady Aberdeen, which was
reprinted in the newspapers, Colonel Evans explained that in
Dawson house-to-house nursing was impossible and as the
newly completed hospital was overflowing with patients,
PoweU's arrival was truly providential. Colonel Evans added:
The work of the Victorian Order in Dawson is a great one—
their presence with the force has been invaluable.. .1 do not
know how we should have fared without them. Here [in Fort
Selkirk] Nurse Scott holds sway and not only the force but the
surrounding countryside realise and appreciate the value of her
After four weeks of round-the-clock nursing, the exhausted
Georgina PoweU herself caught typhoid. Fortunately help was
at hand as the other three nurses arrived in Dawson three days
later. In Dawson Payson took charge ofthe Grand Forks hospital "if the miserable buUding could be so caUed" where she
slept on the floor "in an atmosphere thick with tobacco smoke."
Scott was sent to the barracks hospital and Hanna remained
with PoweU at the Good Samaritan.Typhoid was not the only
scourge. An outbreak of scurvy proved to be a considerable
chaUenge. For severe cases of frostbite the only solution was
amputation of the affected Umbs. Here Hanna's "services to
the surgeon were invaluable."
The lack of basic sanitation and decent housing, coupled
with the overwhelming amount of work, made for trying times,
so much so that six weeks after her arrival, Margaret Payson
left the Victorian Order and obtained a position with the post
office. She later married a wealthy miner and raised "cats and
dogs to her heart's content."
Rachel Hanna also left the order, as she wanted to remain
at the Good Samaritan Hospital and was apprehensive that if
she stayed with the VON, she would be transferred. In 1899,
Amy Scott, who was never as physicaUy robust as the others,
was sent home to recuperate from an operation. She later served
in South Africa during the Boer War.
That same year, the discovery of gold in Nome, Alaska,
prompted an exodus of miners bound for the new Eldorado.
As the population of Dawson began to dedine, so did the
need for the nurses' services.The original plan of making home
visits had proved unpractical in the Klondike, so despite the
fact that the nurses had done sterling work in the local hospitals, the decision was made to recaU the VON from the
Klondike. On realizing she would be transferred, Georgina
PoweU also resigned, as she was engaged to a sergeant in the
NorthWest Mounted PoUce. She too served in South Africa,
in the same unit as Amy Scott. Faith Fenton also remained for
a whUe in the land ofthe midnight sun and she continued to
write for The Globe until her marriage to Dr. J. Brown in
So the story of these five women and their epic trek to the
goldfields of the Yukon ends here. Undoubtedly it was a great
success. Apart from aU the Uves they saved, they succeeded in
firmly estabUshing the VON as a viable enterprise. Branches
were formed in communities aU across Canada and women
who previously found it difficult to obtain medical aid came
to rely on the Victorian Order nurse. Their success also had
significant if less tangible benefits, since women across the
country were empowered and inspired by their example. ^^
Backhouse, Frances. Women ofthe Klondike.
Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 1995.
Berton, Pierre. Klondike.
Toronto: McLeUand and Stewart Ltd, 1972.
Cherrington, John. Vancouver at the Dawn.
Madeira Park: Harbour PubUshing, 1997.
Coates, Ken S. and William R. Morrison. Land ofthe Midnight Sun.
Edmonton: Hurtig PubUshers, 1988.
Downie, Jill. A Passionate Pen:The Life and Times of Faith Fenton. Toronto: Harper ColUns, 1996.
Disher, Arthur L.'The Long March of the The Yukon Field Force,"
The Beaver. Autumn 1962.
French, Doris. Ishbel and the Empire: A Biography of Lady Aberdeen.
Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1988.
Gibbonjohn Murray. The Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada.
Montreal: Southam Press, 1947.
Greenhaus, Bereton. Guarding the Goldfields. Toronto: Dundurn
Press, 1987.
Lang, Marjorie. "Separate Entrances: The First Generation of Canadian Women Journalists" in Rediscovering Our Foremothers, ed.
Lorraine McMullen. Ottawa; University of Ottawa, 1990.
SayweU.JohnT Introduction to The Canadian fournal of Lady Aberdeen. Toronto:The Champlain Society, 1960.
TheVancouver Daily Province, 1898; The Globe, 1898; The Daily World,
1898; Victoria Daily Colonist 1898.
Other sources
McLagan, Sara. UnpubUshed diary 1898.
Personal Letters of Sara McLagan in the possession of Doria Moodie.
Special CoUections, UBC Vancouver Local CouncU of Women, box
5, file 9.
21 On the Trail of the One-Armed Man
by Graham Brazier
Graham Brazier writes
about colonial Vancouver Island from his
home on Denman
l.WH. Olsen, Water Over the
Wheel, (Chemainus: Chemainus
Historical Society, 1963) also a
series of articles appearing in
The Ladysmith Chronicle between 10 January and 4 April
2. See particularly Richard
Somerset Mackie, "Colonial
Land, Indian Labour and Company Capital: The Economy of
Vancouver Island, 1849-1858,"
(MA. thesis, University ofVic-
toria: 1984). Mackie notes that
material in the "Adam Grant
Horne" Vertical File, British
Columbia Archives and
Records Service (BCARS) also
supports Olsen's speculation.
Significantly, however, Mackie
subsequendy, notes that some of
the material is of "unknown
provenance." See also John
Hayman, ed. Robert Brown and
the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition (Vancouver: UBC Press,
1989), p 26, footnote 29, and
Hamar Foster, '"The Queens
Law Is Better Than Yours:' International Homicide in Early
British Columbia," in Essays In
the History of Canadian Law, volume V, Crime and Criminal Justice, ed Jim Phillips, Tina Loo
and Susan Lewthaite (Toronto:
The Osgoode Society, 1994),pp
41-111, footnote 109 p 101,
and John Cass, "Indian Guide
Governor's Friend," Nanaimo
Daily Free Press, 5 October
3. W. H. Olsen, "Tomo
Antoine...He Who Played
God," Tlie Daily Colonist, 15July
4. Annie Deans, Letter to a
Friend, 1 October 1856.
5. Government Record 308, v.
6. Mark Bate, "How Chase
River Came by its Name,"
Nanaimo Free Press, March 30,
7. For example, on two occasions Olsen portrayed Thomas
IT HAS been almost forty years since W H.
Olsen first speculated that in the summer of
1856 James Douglas deUberately contrived
to deceive his superiors at Hudson's Bay Company Headquarters and the Colonial Office in
London. According to Olsen, Douglas, acting in
his dual capacity of Chief Factor for the HBC in
Fort Victoria and as Governor ofthe Colony of
Vancouver Island, misrepresented the identity of
a severely wounded man who, on 22 August 1856,
had been brought by Cowichan Natives to Victoria for emergency medical attention. In correspondence with the Colonial Secretary, Douglas
described the injured man as "a British Subject
namedThomas WUUams." Olsen aUeged that the
victim ofthe shooting was actuaUy a mixed-blood
Iroquois named "Thomas Quamtany" who may
have seduced the intended bride of a Cowichan
Chief of the Somenos vUlage and as a conse
quence was shot from ambush.1 Olsen further
speculated that Douglas concealed Quamtany's
identity in order to justify what was to be the
largest and most expensive mUitary expedition
to that point in the Colony's history.
Olsen's theory was that Douglas had a particular fondness for the Iroquois guide and interpreter, Thomas Quamtany, who throughout his
many years of service in the Hudson's Bay Company, also answered to "Thomas Anthony," "Tomo
Antoine," and "One-Armed Tomo," as weU as
"Toma." According to Olsen, Douglas was anxious to punish Quamtany's assailant, but doubted
that British authorities would look favourably
upon a large expenditure of money and a massive movement of troops into a territory unset-
ded by whites, simply to capture a single Native
who had been involved in a dispute with another Native. Olsen went on to suggest that, in
reports to London, the name "Thomas WUUams"
was substituted for "Thomas Quamtany," who
was described as being a British subject, as weU
as a "squatter" in the Cowichan VaUey. In spite of
the lapse of almost forty years, Olsen's hypothesis
is worthy of closer examination for a couple of
reasons. Firsdy, it has consequences for the reputation of the man who became known as "Sir
James Douglas, Father of British Columbia," and
secondly, in recent years it has gained acceptance
among a number of scholars and writers.2
Olsen's theory that "Thomas WUUams" was
simply an anglicized pseudonym used by James
Douglas to obscure the identity of Thomas
Quamtany rests on two factors; firsdy, letters written by Douglas in which he appeared uncertain
about the name of the man brought from
Cowichan Bay to Victoria in August of 1856 and,
secondly, the nature of the injury sustained by
the man. Shordy after the arrival of the victim
on 22 August, Douglas wrote a flurry of letters
to various British officials. Before setding on the
name "Thomas WUUams," which he used in aU
correspondence before 22 August, he referred to
the injured man both as "Thomas Williams
Antony" and "WUliam Antony."
Douglas' confusion surrounding the man's
identity is further evident in the text of one letter written to HBC officials in which the "s" in
BC HISTORICAL NEWS-Vol. 33 No. 4 "WUUams" appears to be added later and the first
"Antony" appears above the Une of writing and
then is crossed out. Apparendy alerted by Douglas' uncertainty, as weU as some striking simUari-
ties ofthe name "Thomas Antony" and "Thomas
Quamtany," Olsen noted that the injury sustained
could weU have been the one which caused the
loss of one of Quamtany's arms and the reason
he became known as "One-Armed Tomo." August Jack, a Cowichan elder, who told "the story
as it came from the Ups of his elders," appeared to
offer support to Olsen's conjecture for, according to Olsen, August Jack said that Tomo was
shot by a Chief "in the arm, and the buUet goes
right through and makes a big hole in his chest,"
and then a medicine man packed his wound with
cedar bark before taking him to Victoria in a canoe where the doctor was unable to save his arm
and had to cut it off.3
Olsen's hypothesis is further bolstered by the
fact that the first reUable reference to "One-
Armed Tomo" appeared only a few months after
the shooting. The entry in the Nanaimo Journal
of the Hudson's Bay Company for 21 November 1856 indicated that "One-ArmedToma [sic]"
was "engaged at the mUl which now goes night
and day." Furthermore, the injury suffered by the
man Douglas referred to as "WUUams," was to
the right arm and side, and there seems Utde doubt
that Quamtany was missing his right arm. Annie
Deans, a resident ofthe Metchosin district at the
time, described the wound of the shooting victim almost exacdy the way August Jack had. She
reported that the man brought to Victoria from
Cowichan "had been shot in the right arm just
below the shoulder, the baU shattered the bone
and went into the right side."4 Two sources confirm that Quamtany was indeed missing his right
arm.Victoria CityjaU records show that in 1867,
when he was charged with seUing Uquor to Indians and was admitted to jaU under his angUcized
name ofThomas Anthony, he had his "Right arm
off at [the] shoulder."5 In addition, Mark Bate, an
early setder in Nanaimo, recaUed that '"One-
Armed Tomo'was an extraordinary man...he had
lost his right arm, and it was surprising with what
celerity, and power he could swing an axe, or use
tools—an auger, for instance, with his left hand."
6 Though it is far from clear that Olsen was aware
of aU the evidence oudined above,7 on the surface it appears that his theory that James Douglas
attempted to deceive his London-based superiors is at least plausible.
Evidence to the contrary, however, is abundant. For example, Annie Deans, who, though
she didn't record whether she actuaUy saw the
injured man, noted in a letter to a friend that "he
is getting aU right again—the Doctors set his arm
so about a week after he was shot, the Governor
went off... ."8 In other words, according to Annie,
despite the seriousness ofthe injury, the man who
suffered the gunshot wound at Cowichan Bay
did not lose his arm. Furthermore, HBC employment records show wages paid to both "Thomas WUUams" and"Thomas Quamtany" for work
performed in the FortVictoria area between 1852
and 1855.9 In addition, a number of sources confirm that the gunshot victim was not a "half-
breed Iroquois" but rather a "white man" just as
Douglas had described him in correspondence
with HBC Factor James Murray Yale. 10The Reverend Cridge, HBC chaplain, who along with
Dr. Johnstone tended to the man's wounds, described him as "a white man...[who] recovered."11
Also, according to the daughter of Comiaken
Chief Lo-Haar, the victim ofthe shooting was "a
white setder."12 Neither description would fit
Thomas Quamtany.
At least one contemporary writer has suggested
that, because evidence of the presence of white
setders in Cowichan in 1856 is not conclusive,
Douglas' characterization ofthe victim as "white"
arouses the suspicion that, as Olsen aUeged, the
Governor might have been engaged in a "cover-
up" in order to justify his planned course of action which involved mobiUzing over four-hundred of Her Majesty's troops.13 By most accounts,
however, the earliest white settler in the
Cowichan Valley was John Humphreys (or
"Humphrey") who arrived, along with two unnamed friends,in 1856.u Quite Ukely, one ofthe
friends was Thomas WiUiams, for both WiUiams
and a "Jack Humphrey" had worked together at
the HBC's Craigflower farm, near Victoria, for a
brief period in 1854. According to Robert
Melrose, the unofficial chronicler of events at the
farm, they also drank together on at least one
occasion, and, what is perhaps more significant,
they both quit work and left the farm on the
same day.15 Subsequendy, though WiUiams' contract with the HBC extended into 1857, he did
not draw wages after 1855. It is entirely possible
that Thomas WiUiams grew disenchanted with
working for the company for one reason or another and in order to avoid being compeUed to
honour his contract, and to stay out of sight, he
Ouamtany without his left arm.
(1) The illustration on the back
cover of Water Over the Wheel
depicts Tomo with a rifle in his
right hand and a short stump
extending from his left shoulder. (2) Writing in The Ladysmith
Chronicle in 1963, Olsen noted
that since "the loss of his left
arm, the half-breed Iroquois
[Tomo] had acquired abnormal
strength in the one that remained. WH. Olsen "The Face
ofTomo Antoine (PartVLGold
Bullets)" The Ladysmith Chronicle, 14 February 1963.
8. Annie Deans, Letter to a
friend, 1 October 1856.
9.1 am indebted to Bruce M.
Watson for the following references to HBC Archives
records:York Factory Abstracts
of Servants Accounts (1852-53),
FortVictoria Abstracts of Servants Accounts (1853-54,1854-
10. Quoted in Foster, "The
Queen's Law Is Better Than
Yours," footnote 109, p 102.
11. Edgar Fawcett, Some Reminiscences of Old Victoria (Toronto:
William Briggs, 1912), p 251.
12.B.M.Cryer,"Legends ofthe
Salish", (undated typescript)
BCARS, p 3.1 am indebted to
Chris Arnett for this source.
13. See Foster, "The Queen's
Law Is Better Than Yours," p 64
and footnotes 108. 109, p 101.
14. For reference to "John
Humphrey" see E. Blanche
Norcross, The Warm Land
(Duncan: Elizabeth Blanche
Norcross, 1959), 1.98,and R.I.
Dougan, "Cowichan: My Valley" (ms. 1973) BCARS p 118.
15. W Kaye Lamb, ed. "Diary
of Robert Melrose", B.C. Historical Quarterly, v. 7,1943. See
entry 10 September "John Instant '4 D[runk], Thomas
Williams V* D[runk] Jack
Humphrey 'A D[runk]," and 6
October "Jack Humphrey, &
Thomas Williams dropped
16. Chris Arnett, The Terror of
the Coast. (Vancouver:
Talonbooks, 1999), p 54.
17. Joseph William Mackay,
"The Indians of B.C." The B. C.
Mining Record, 1899, p 83.
18. Lamb, ed. "Diary of Robert
Melrose," 20 August 1856.
19. 25 August 1856, Nanaimo
20. Hudson's Bay Company
"Records on the Affairs of Fort
Victoria, 1852-59," September
1856, p 198-9. BCARS.
23 21. Olsen wrote about the incident three times. Each time,
his description grew less specific. On the first occasion he
quoted August Jack at length
and enclosed Tomo's name inside the quotation marks, stating that Tomo was much feared
and disliked by the local
Cowichans and that he was shot
by a young Chief before being
taken to Victoria where the
doctor had to cut his arm off
(Olsen, "Tomo Antoine.... He
Who Played God",p 8). On the
second writing, in January of
1963, Olsen altered the quote
in a number of minor ways and
also substituted the words "this
fella" for "Tomo" (Olsen, "The
Face of Tomo Antoine: One-
Armed Tomo," The Ladysmith
Chronicle, 31 January 1963). By
the time Olsen wrote about the
incident a third time, the most
compelling piece of evidence
that Thomas Ouamtany and
Thomas Williams were the
same person was omitted altogether: neither the name "August Jack" nor any of his words
appeared in Water Over The
Wlieel, Olsen's only published
book. Though Olsen seems to
have lost confidence in his
source—perhaps August Jack
objected to the particulars of
the words attributed to him in
the first quotation—it didn't
cause Olsen to change his conclusion.
For footnotes 16—20 see
previous page.
drifted into the Cowichan area, along with Jack
Humphrey (or John Humphreys), where they
"squatted," just as Douglas indicated in his correspondence of 22 August.16
It appears that shordy after their arrival in the
Cowichan area, both men became romanticaUy
involved with Native women. Humphrey's relationship with the daughter of a Quamichan Chief
is weU documented and endured for many years.
Unfortunately for aU concerned.Thomas WUUams
was apparendy attracted to a young woman who
had been betrothed from childhood toTathlasut,
a young Somenos chief. It was subsequently
Tathlasut who was identified as the man who
fired the injurious shot.17 Robert Melrose, who
clearly knew Thomas WiUiams from the time he
had spent at Craigflower farm, left no doubt that
Quamtany was not Tathlasut's victim when he
named WiUiams as the man "shot through the
arm by an Indian" in his diary entry of 20 August 1856.18
At the time ofthe shooting.Thomas Quamtany
was under contract with the HBC. Records show
that he arrived in Nanaimo in January of 1856
and worked at various jobs, until 10 May when
he took part in an overland expedition to
Clayoquot.Then on 25 August a "Canoe arrived
with [a] Despatch from the Governor ordering
Thos. Ouamtony [sic] to proceed at once to Victoria to act as interpreter; a white man having
been wounded by a Cowichan Indian."19 It ap
pears that Quamtany foUowed Douglas' directive and served on the expedition to Cowichan,
as accounting records show that, in September
of 1856, "T Quamtany" was paid 4/17/11
(pounds sterUng) for his role "in the expedition
to Cowichan to capture and punish the Indian
who attempted to murder the man WUUams."20
In summary, it seems, that in spite ofthe words
attributed to August Jack by WH. Olsen,21 a preponderance of evidence supports the conclusion
that Thomas Quamtany and Thomas WUUams
were two different men and it was mere coincidence they each suffered serious injuries to their
right arm and chest. Certainly, they foUowed separate trails subsequent to the events of August 1856.
WUUams took up residence inVictoria where he
Uved in a boarding house on View Street. He had
a couple of brushes with the colonial judicial
system before returning to the Cowichan VaUey
in 1862 where he settled on 175 acres.
Quamtany's skUls as guide and interpreter continued to be in demand and he was subsequently
employed on numerous exploring expeditions on
Vancouver Island, culminating in 1864 with the
Brown Expedition, which completed its work
one year after he survived a charge that he had
murdered his wife. Most significandy however,
the aUegation that James Douglas was involved
in a "cover-up" operation in the summer of 1856
seems untenable. <J=5:»'
BC Historical News, Volume 33 No. 2
"Nanaimo's Malaspina Murals."
Author PhyUis Reeve points out that the
photo credit of Edward J. Hughes' mural of "Captain GaUiano sketching the
sandstone'Galeries' on Gabriola Island"
should have been: "Courtesy Schwarze
Photographers, Nanaimo Archives photo collection. "
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 Token History:
The Church Collection Tokens of Holy Trinity Church, Aiyansh
by Ronald Greene
Around 1900 the Nisga'a community of Aiyansh was
located at the head of navigation ofthe Nass River in
northern British Columbia. The river flows into Nass
Bay and the Pordand Inlet. Two mUes (three kilometres) upstream from Aiyansh was another community, Gidadamiks
(Gidakdamix). Until not too many years ago the only way in
or out ofthe area was by water.
The story ofthe token is also the story of Reverend James
B. McCuUagh. He was a missionary working on behalf of the
Church Missionary Society with headquarters in London,
England, a society that is related to the Church of England.
When the Church first came to Vancouver Island and British
Columbia the Diocese of British Columbia was formed. As
the population ofthe area grew, responsibility for certain parts
ofthe diocesan territory was carved off. The Diocese of Caledonia was formed in 1879 and the Reverend W Ridley was
appointed as the first Bishop ofthe See.1 Under Bishop Ridley
several missions were established: on the upper Skeena,
Hazelton in 1880 and Gitwangak in 1882; on the upper Nass,
at Aiyansh in 1883; and on the coast, at Kitkada in 1887. James
B. McCuUagh was selected as the missionary to go to Aiyansh.
McCuUagh had a very English vision of a church with a
tower and spire, at the end of the main street with the forest
and mountains rising behind. He appealed to friends in England and received £200, but when he sat down to work out
the cost he realized that he would be able to build just a very
tiny church for that amount, and that freight up the Nass
River would consume fuUy half of the money. Ultimately he
hit upon the idea of using the funds to buy a sawmUl to cut
lumber on site. The raw material was everywhere around him,
he could eUminate the freight, and produce lumber for the
church, for a school, and for houses. He therefore added what
he could afford to the funds received and purchased a water-
driven sawmUl.
The efforts to harness the river's flow faded so when he
took a trip to England in 1891-1892 he raised enough extra
funds to buy a boUer and engine in order to run the sawmUl
by steam. Once he had everything at Aiyansh he engaged a
skiUed white man to come, erect the mUl, and to teach "my
Indians" to run it. When they could do that he handed the
mill entirely over to them on the condition that they produce,
as required, the value of the miU in lumber for the church,
school and mission house. By 1893 the miU was running and
producing the community's own buUding material.
October 29,1896 saw the church opened officiaUy. It was
named Holy Trinity Church, a name taken from a church in
Cheltenham with which McCuUagh had some early connec-
Courtesy BC Archives - 8-07644
tion. There were 88 communicants
on opening day.2The offerings were
generous and McCuUagh stated that
when the coUection tray was passed
to him he,
.. .could hardly lift it on to the
Holy Table. Each persons offering
was in a small canvas bag with the
name and amount written on the
outside. The offertory amounted to
one thousand three hundred and
eighty-nine dollars, or about £250
... I have no hesitation in saying
that every twenty-five cent piece in
the above collection represented a
definite act of self-denial."3
McCuUagh's biographer, Moeran,
wrote that the amount of that day's
Above: Holy Trinity
Church, Aiyansh.
1 Rev. J.B. McCullagh, The
Aiyansh Mission Naas River, British Columbia (London: CMS,
1907) McCullagh uses the
spelling Naas, a usage which has
been replaced by the spelling
2 J.WW Moeran, McCullagh of
Aiyansh (Edinburgh & New
York: Marshall Brothers Ltd.,
5 McCullagh, The Aiyansh Mission. 55.
25 Right: Map ofthe
Mission Stations from Rev.
Aiyansh Mission, 1907.
The arrow shows Aiyansh.
Bronze 21 mm 3.9grams
4 McCullagh, The Aiyansh Mission, 56.
s The Daily News (Prince
Rupert), 7 December 1917.
'' Letter from Cliff Armstrong,
Archivist, Diocese of Caledonia, 17 April 2000.
special coUection sUghdy exceeded the direct cost
of buUding the Church!
The Reverend McCuUagh described a typical
Sunday and a most unusual method of coUection."
The morning Service is always conducted in the
Indian tongue. The people use the Nishga Book of
Common Prayer, the chants and hymns being sung
sweedy and heartily in the true spirit of praise. Native Readers read the Lessons in Nishga, and a native presides at the organ, while there is no half-
heartedness about rendering the responses.
In the evening we have the service in English when
the people use the English Prayer Book and sing
English hymns with equal facility.The Lessons, too,
are read in EngUsh, but for the present the sermon
is in Nishga. At each Service there is a coUection
but it is conducted on a curious principle by the
Wardens. A supply of two-and-a-half cent, tickets
and five cent, tickets is kept by one of the Wardens
who acts as banker, and who, when the Indians have
money in the Autumn, seUs to each person as many
tickets as he or she may require until the annual
pay-day comes again. The cash received for these
tickets he keeps in a box, and when the tickets are
counted in the vestry after a collection he takes them
back at their face value in cash.The amount is then
entered in a book and signed for by the Reader
who takes the Service or by myself if I am there.
Thus the running expenses of the church are defrayed.
The Reverend's words may need some explanation. Firsdy the Reverend McCuUagh was EngUsh and the English do use the word "ticket" and
"token" somewhat interchangeably so it is quite
probable, that the "tickets" he refers to are tokens
in our sense. Secondly, the community was very
isolated with few opportunities for wage labour.
While the Indians might obtain cash from their
spring hunt, it was the late summer salmon run
that would provide their main source of cash income—the men fishing and the women working in the cannery. They would be paid at the
end of the season—essentially one pay day per
year. Much of this pay would have been spent in
the cannery store to obtain their various needs.
Since the smaUest coin in circulation was a 25
cent piece, even the smaUest coin available would
have represented a great sacrifice. The introduction of the "tickets" would have permitted an
affordable offering each Sunday.
The September of 1917 turned out to be a
very wet month. By November the river levels
had risen very high along both the Skeena and
Nass rivers. Flooding occurred along the Skeena,
M.\t* or N.W. Coast, B.C., showing .Mission Stations.
cutting Prince Rupert off except by sea. On the
18th of November the Nass River broke through
its banks near Gidadamiks. By the 20th the Mission House in Aiyansh was under 10 feet (three
metres) of water and other parts ofthe community were submerged under more than twenty-
four feet (seven metres) of water. Houses, plank
walks, carcasses of horses, cattle and anything that
would float were carried down the river for
mUes.5 OveraU the damage was extensive, to aU
intents the vUlage of Aiyansh was wiped out.The
decision was made to relocate the community of
Aiyansh to Gidadamiks to avoid a recurrence of
the loss.The west window and some interior fittings of Holy Trinity Church were removed and
installed in St. Bartholomew's church at
Gidadamiks which had been started in 1911. Unfortunately aU of the surviving Aiyansh records
and older Gidadamiks records were lost when St.
Bartholomew's church was destroyed by fire.6
FinaUy, in summary, we have the record of two
Church CoUection tokens, one of which is known
to have been used in the Holy Trinity church in
Aiyansh possibly as early as 1896 until 1917.'<*=J
BC HISTORICAL NEWS-Vol. 33 No. 4 Book Reviews
Books for review and book reviews should be sent to:
Anne Yandle, Book Review Editor BC Historical News, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6S 1E4
Beyond the City Limits: Rural
History in British Columbia.
Reviewed by Clint Evans
Nanaimo Community Heritage
Columns, Cornices & Coal; the
Heritage Resources ofNanaimo.
Reviewed by Gordon R. Elliott
Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald
The Sommers Scandal.The Felling
of Trees and Tree Lords.
Reviewed by Kirk Salloum
Shirley CampbeU
Our Fair: the Interior Provincial
Exhibition:Its First lOOYears.
Reviewed by Alice Glanville
Tom Henry
Small City in a Big Valley: the
Story of Duncan.
Reviewed by Adam C. Waldie
Peter Johnson
Glyphs and Gallows; the Rock Art
of Clo-oose and the Wreck ofthe
John Bright.
Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve
Dick Hammond
Haunted Waters-.Tales ofthe Old Coast
Reviewed by Kelsey Mcleod
Leigh Ogston, Ed.
Researching the Indian Land
Question in British Columbia.
Reviewed by Morag Maclachlan
Brian Tidey
The Frontier World of Edgar
Reviewed by Charles Hou
Beyond the City Limits: Rural History
in British Columbia.
R.W SandweU, ed.Vancouver: University of
British Columbia Press, 1998.320 pp., IUus.
$85 hardcover,$27.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Clint Evans
Beyond the City Limits represents an attempt
by a group of university scholars to broaden
the focus of academic history on British
Columbia. According to the editor, Ruth
SandweU, British Columbian history has tra-
ditionaUy concentrated on urban and industrial themes. When rural issues are explored
they are usually cast within the context of
urban dominated, capitalist development.This
has led to a blurring of distinctions between
rural and urban and to the notion that British Columbia has developed in the absence
of a distinct rural tradition. In an effort to
counter these misconceptions SandweU argues that "rural" must be elevated to the status of a discrete "category of description and
analysis", one that cuts across more traditional
categories of analysis such as class, race, and
gender and one that wiU shed new Ught on
the social, political, and economic history of
the province.
Her book represents an eclectic coUection of thirteen essays covering topics as diverse as Aboriginal history, codling moths, and
pimping and prostitution in Depression-era
Prince George. Some of the essays are narrowly focused and wiU have limited appeal
to people outside the academy. Others appear to have been written with a general
readership in mind. Richard Mackie's article
on cougar hunters on Vancouver Island, for
example, is eminendy readable and it wiU
"ring true" for anyone famiUar with rural traditions on the Coast. Ken Favrholt's article
on agricultural setdement south of Kamloops
does a wonderful job of explaining the presence ofthe old abandoned farm houses that
dot the landscape on either side of Highway 5, and David Dendy's account of codling
moths in the Okanagan is a "must read" for
anyone interested in the history of the provincial tree fruit industry or the problems
facing the widely pubUcized sterUe insect
release program.
Perhaps the strongest essay ofthe coUection is Jean Barman's "Invisible Women: Aboriginal Mothers and Mixed-Race Daughters
in Rural Pioneer British Columbia." Despite
its academic sounding tide, Barman's essay is
clearly written and it manages to tackle a
number of potentially contentious issues in
a balanced and non-partisan manner. After
reading Barman's contribution you wiU no
longer accept the arguments that all pioneering women were white, that academics are
incapable of writing a coherent sentence,
and that academic articles are categoricaUy
different from the articles that grace the pages
of 77ie Beaver or British Columbia Historical
Having described some of the strengths
of Beyond the City Limits, a few criticisms are
in order. The first concerns the introduction. SandweU's introduction is marked by
numerous references to theories and theorists, by tortuously complex sentences and
by excessive academic jargon. It is, in other
words, a perfect example of what is wrong
with all too much academic history today.
The editor seems to be guided by the mistaken notion that academic history must be
unintelUgible in order to be considered profound. This is a real pity as her introduction
alone is bound to scare away a large proportion of the book's potential readership.
A second serious problem with the collection is the editor's claim that it represents
"rural history" or an attempt to discover an
"authentic British Columbia voice". Several
ofthe articles are not reaUy about rural topics at aU, whereas others display a profound
ignorance of rural conditions, rural activities,
rural people, and rural space. What, for example, is "rural" about youth employment in
WUUams Lake between 1945 and 1975? Is
this not a study of urbanization, albeit in a
small town setting? SimUarly, is it very meaningful to describe the predominandy male
society ofthe gold-rush-era Cariboo as an
expression of "homosocial" nineteenth century?" True, an absence of women forced
men to wash their own socks and to bake
their own beans, but what is surprising about
that? People do not need to be guided by
convoluted feminist theories to discover that
27 men wiU act differendy in the absence of
women, that gold miners were forced to
perform tasks that they would have shunned
back home, and that drinking, gambUng, and
violence were prevalent on the gold fields
where work was hard, recreation was limited, gold was plentiful, and the law was thin
on the ground.
Beyond the City Limits is best regarded as
an uneven production that iUustrates the
strengths and weaknesses of academic history today. Ruth SandweU does, however,
deserve considerable credit for drawing attention to a much-neglected dimension of
British Columbia's past. Because of her energy and enthusiasm for the topic, academic
historians wUl find it increasingly difficult to
portray British Columbia as an essentiaUy
urban place. Most of British Columbia is rural
in nature and the rural areas continue to
generate the bulk ofthe province's wealth.
British Columbia's international reputation
has always been largely based on its rich and
varied rural heritage, and it is high time that
people in the southwestern corner of the
province took stock ofthe fact that the traditions, culture, interests, and concerns of
rural British Columbians have long been different from those of their urban
counterparts. '"*»'
Reviewer Clint Evans is a historical consultant
and part-time instructor at Okanagan University
Columns, Cornices & Coal; the Heritage
Resources of Nanaimo.
CompUed and pubUshed by the Nanaimo
Community Heritage Commission, 455
WaUace St.,Nanaimo.BC. 90 pp. IUus.,maps.
$15 paperback.
Reviewed by Gordon R. Elliott.
The appearance of this short paperback
booklet brought with it both a sense of pleasure and a sense of shame. Pleasure because it
does so much in a short space to lay out a
sense of the history of Nanaimo for people
who have been, again and again, in, out,
around, and through that city without reaUy
having seen it; in the not-having-really-seen-
it Ues the shame. In fact, one hopes that this
short booklet might become a model for
short heritage histories of both smaU towns
and not-so-smaU cities throughout this province which is only recendy becoming interested in its own historical sites.
The organization is exemplary. The first
five and a half pages give us a quick over
view ofthe city's historical development from
its Aboriginal roots to its beginnings as a Hudson's Bay Company post, through the arrival
of coal miners in 1854, to its name change
from ColvUe to Nanaimo—a corruption of
the Coast SaUsh word Snuneymuxw—and on
through almost one hundred years, period
by period, with eleven sketches of characteristic buUdings, one for each period. Each
of these eleven appears later as a photograph
and in comments making up the main text.
FoUowing this short introduction a single
good map indicates the relationship of the
six districts of the city one to another, and,
thankfuUy, throughout the main text, immediately before the commentary on each of
the districts, a reaUy adequate map lays out
the streets ofthe district next to be discussed.
Immediately foUowing the short historical overview, for example, a map of the
"Downtown & Old City Neighbourhood"
leads into concise descriptions of buUdings
in that oldest part ofthe city, a part you too
might have ignored whUe rushing through
or bypassing this city on your way to
someplace else. And those short descriptions,
usuaUy two or three to a page, along with
pictures, indicate the heritage importance of
them. The 1897 Rowbottom cottage— of
which we had earher seen a sketch—appears
as "The Miner's Cottage" along with a short
description of it and something about
Frederick Rowbottom who emigrated to
Nanaimo in 1872 fromYorkshire and by 1890
worked for theVancouver Coal Company.
Some of the buUdings are old, some new,
some remodeUed and some moved, aU different, aU historicaUy and architecturally interesting.
The Earl Block on Church Street, buUt
1897-1898,"is a proud surviving example of
the brick-faced commercial buildings of
downtown Nanaimo's Victorian era". Nearby,
the Great National Land BuUding, designed
and buUt by the Dominion Realty in 1914
as a Bank of Commerce, stands dramaticaUy
at the north end of Commercial Street; its
classical front bowed out, and "with a deep
projecting cornice supported on four fluted
giant order Doric columns." Such interweaving of facts and impressions lead readers into
seeing something new in these heritage structures they had passed so often yet had never
reaUy considered.
FoUowing the central area, the core of
the old city and still the centre of town,
come the other five areas, each with its own
essential map and characteristics. Harewood,
for example, seems to have been mainly a
residential area, though some houses are on
what was once farm land later "subdivided
by the coUiery for use of its workers," but
one very plain two-storey buUding, a good
example of a "once common" local store is
now a home, as is a smaU and pleasant looking brick house at number 1881 on pleasantly named Jingle Pot Road. Another
"prominent landmark" is the school buUt in
In Newcasde homes are also of most interest, the oldest buUt in 1898 for G.L.
Schetky, an insurance agent who was also
the United States Consul. The Northend
district is less finely defined: a pioneer log
cabin buUt on Bowen Road in 1872 at the
delta of the Nanaimo River; Our Lady of
Good Counsel Roman CathoUc Church
buUt in LantzvUle in 1938 but later moved to
4334 Jingle Pot Road; Pacific Biological Station residence of 1928 at 3190 Hammond
Bay Road; the Beban house buUt around
1930 also on Bowen Road; and Northfield
School of 1920, being somewhat reminiscent
of the later Superior Schools, but more attractive in outward appearance.
The fifth and sixth areas ofthe city, Southend and Chase River, have fewer heritage
sites, although Southend has several elegant
houses of late Victorian style.
Altogether, 124 different justifiable sites
appear in this sUm volume on heritage buUdings, seventeen sketches of architectural details, and seven maps, as weU as contemporary photographs by Donald Luxton and a
colourful cover painted by Fred Peters. Apart
from a few grammatical infeUcities, this impeccable pubUcation does exacdy what it
was intended to do. For that reason it could
stand as a model for almost any city, town,
viUage, or cross-roads community in the
province. '"*>'
Reviewer Gordon Elliott is a member ofthe Vancouver Historical Society.
The Sommers Scandal: The Felling of
Trees and Tree Lords.
Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald. Surrey,
BC: Heritage House, 1999.192 pp. Ulus.$16.95
Reviewed by Kirk Salloum.
Robert Sommers was an early organizer for
the BC Social Credit and, later, a rookie poUtician. As Minister of Lands, Mines and Forests, he was one ofthe most powerful individuals in the W.A.C. Bennett government.
His actions as minister were relatively short
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 lived. Sommers resigned from Cabinet because of accusations of questionable behaviour. Later, he served two years and four
months in jaU after being convicted of conspiracy and accepting bribes while a BC
Cabinet minister.
O'Keefe and Macdonald masterfully out-
Une the Sommers scandal. The authors encapsulate the scandal using government,
court, and media documentation, supplemented with people's recoUections. Discussions on relevant events, such as the development of the forest industry and government poUcy at the time, assist the reader with
appreciating the details of the Sommers affair.
The authors suggest that it was Gordon
Gibson, a Liberal MLA, started the ball roU-
ing in the legislature. Without mentioning
Sommers by name, Gibson accused the
Socred government that "money talks and
has talked." The House deemed these allegations inappropriate and Gibson became
"the first MLA ever ordered out ofthe B.C.
legislature." As a form of damage control, the
government appointed the Land Commission to probe Gibson's charges. People involved in money transactions with Sommers
immediately began assessing their files. Others distanced themselves from Sommers, including WA.C. Bennett.
O'Keefe and Macdonald outline the
events that led to the lengthy trial and supply a lucid analysis ofthe compUcated court
case. The reader finds out that though other
accused individuals escaped a guUty verdict,
the Sommers scandal altered their Uves. The
authors address a host of questions that
evolve from the trial and convictions of
Sommers and Wick Gray (a major character
in the Sommers affair).
The media played a substantial role in
making pubUc the story ofthe Sommers scandal. O'Keefe and Macdonald provide background as to the relationship that each political party had with the media. Before and
during the trial, media reports provoked
pubUc debate. At its conclusion,"almost everyone had an opinion ofthe trial."The outcome of the Sommers affair made history:
The Province newspaper maintained that it was
the first time in the British Commonwealth
that a cabinet minister had been convicted
of conspiracy to accept bribes.
Information coUected from major players
throughout the decades foUowing the trial,
including an interview with Sommers, adds
to the story's intricacies. What the authors
eUcited and documented makes for a good
read. O'Keefe and Macdonald conclude the
book with two contemplative topics regarding the governance of this province: one focuses on the moral and ethical behaviours of
politicians, and the other revolves around BC
forest poUcies and practices. As with the media coverage of the Sommers scandal, this
book provokes debate and reader opinion.'*5*'
Reviewer Kirk Salloum is an educational consultant living in Vancouver, BC.
Our Fair: the Interior Provincial Exhibition: Its Firstioo Years.
Shirley CampbeU. Armstrong, BC: Armstrong
Advertiser, 1999.174 pp. IUus. $23.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Alice Glanville.
Any thought that Our Fair would be a rather
dry compUation of facts and statistics, is dis-
peUed after becoming absorbed in the contents of this deUghtful book. The Usts of trophy winners, presidents, life members, etc. and
a relevant timeUne are there, but documented
in the appendices for quick reference. An
index is also included. Shirley CampbeU has
done a masterful job of chronicUng the development ofthe Armstrong Fair—the Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE).
Although the book foUows the development of the fair starting in 1900, the author
takes us back to the Overlanders of 1862 when
Al Fortune pre-empted land at Enderby, followed by Moses Lumby near Enderby in 1870,
Martin Furstineau at Lansdowne in 1873, Price
EUison in Priest VaUey in 1876, and Benjamin
Young a short whUe later. These men and
others, with the same pioneer spirit, aU realized that they had rich, productive land. It
was from this soU that the challenging exhibits to the Armstrong Fair would come.
Immigrants from Eastern Canada, United
States, Europe, and Asia joined the First Nations people in the Okanagan and brought
with them their favourite seeds and breeds
of Uvestock and their competitive spirit. This
"winning combination of people" gathered
in 1900 to decide who had the best produce.
The actual site of the Fair was determined
following the completion ofthe CPR across
Canada. A number of wealthy businessmen
and farmers formed a company to buUd the
S and O Line, a connecting raU Unk from
Sicamous to Okanagan Landing. Arriving at
"the island in the swamp," they parked a box
car beside the tracks and called it Armstrong,
in honour of WE. Heaton-Armstrong who
floated most ofthe bonds for the S and O.
This site became the locale of the future
Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE).
Expanding to a three-day show in 1932
at the height ofthe Great Depression, the
fair experienced a further expansion in 1974
to a four-day event. By 1988 the show enlarged to a five-day event foUowing its designation as a class "A" exhibition in 1982. A
splendid agricultural haU was completed in
1906 and in 1960 a new grandstand with
dining haU below the bleachers was opened.
Other grandstands, a new agricultural complex and the horticultural buUding have been
added to accommodate the increased
growth.The grounds, the buddings, the racetrack, the quaUty of exhibits and Uvestock,
and the entertainment have aU been targeted
to become even better. Attendance increased to 55,000 in 1993, to 86,000 in 1998,
and 95,000 in 1999, making the IPE the largest
agricultural fair in the province.
A progression of many relevant and Uvely
photographs (almost 200) spanning the century not only provide an attractive window
but also attest to the depth of research
achieved by the author and her advisors.The
researchers have used The Armstrong Advertiser extensively, a reminder of the importance of local newspapers in recording history. Interspersed throughout the text are
interest boxes of vignettes, mainly quotes
from the Armstrong Advertiser, adding another
dimension and providing further insight into
the phenomenal success of this fair.
The Wagner Shows, formerly Gayland,
became a substantial part of the entertainment for many yean with Mark Wagner himself being an enthusiastic supporter of the
IPE. Prominent politicians and entertainers
have shared the podium over the years.The
names of Mat Hassen and his son, Matt S.
Hassen, are synonymous with the
Armstrong Fair. Their combined record of
59 years as secretary-managers have given the
fair the necessary continuity for networking and buUding the reputation of a first
class fair.
With directors who were alert to the
needs of aU branches of agriculture, the IPE
continued to grow and to flourish whereas
some other fairs did not. The directors encouraged "outside competition," and this
prevailing competitive spirit, along with a
strong beUef in the educational value of agricultural exhibits and displays, contributed
to the "general improvement and productivity ofthe entire community."
29 To quote from the book:
The phrase 'Where farming comes first' is the
essence of the Spallumcheen district historically and today. It is a guide to policy making
in the Official Community Plan ofthe present
municipal government. Farming is the trunk
ofthe tree and the IPE is the enduring branch.
The story of early families in Spallumcheen
and of the townspeople of Lansdowne and
Armstrong brings the creation ofthe IPE into
present history.
The book is a well-written, inclusive account
ofthe IPE, a remarkable achievement which
today stands as a testimony to aU who have
contributed over these hundred years.
The author and her excellent research
committee worked on this volunteer project
for the Armstrong and Spallumcheen Museum and Arts Society and have more than
adequately fulfilled the purpose of this history of "Our Fair -"to discover its origins,
acknowledge its evolution and to inspire its
present direction."«"**'
Reviewer Alice Glanville, a member of the Boundary Historical Society, is a former president ofthe
British Columbia Historical Federation.
Small City in a Big Valley: The Story
of Duncan.
Tom Henry. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 1999. 182 pp. Illus, maps. $36.95 hardcover.
Reviewed by Adam C. Waldie.
This beautiful volume looks like a smaU coffee table book, though it is much, much
more. Its 182 pages encompass some ofthe
livehest prose and most interesting photographs and Une drawings this reviewer has
seen for a long time. It could weU be read in
an evening by anyone even remotely interested in this unique Vancouver Island town.
Covering a span ofthe first hundred years
ofthe hundred and thirty seven year history
of Duncan, it relates at once the anatomy
and development of this thriving community. Interwoven in the fabric of this history
are the stories of the Native people, a distinctive Chinese community, a smaller Japanese one, a hard-working East Indian group,
and the purely British phenomenon of the
"long stockings." British Columbians have
long referred to this latter group as "remittance men." It is a good account ofthe cultural legacy of these turn-of-the-century
pensioners from the British Army and Navy
and victims ofthe laws of primogeniture.
Nesded at the foot ofthe Cowichan Valley, in the rain shadow of the Island mountains, the MunicipaUty of North Cowichan
had the warm, sheltered chmate to become
the breadbasket of British Columbia. Indistinguishable from the surrounding municipaUty is the City of Duncan itself, not unlike the civic anomaly ofthe City of North
Vancouver encircled by a district ofthe same
name. At various times it has been called the
city of totems, the dairy capital of British
Columbia, and the sweet-pea capital of
The author, Tom Henry, is a native of
Duncan and a graduate of its school system.
Presumably this intimate connection is at least
one reason for the freshness of the anecdotes he relates, and for the caring way in
which he describes the various ethnic communities. For example, he mentions that a
son of a large Chinese family started out in
the family corner store, and ended up one
of the top photographers for Playboy Magazine. An older brother became a pharmacist,
then a senior officer in the Canadian Armed
Forces, and, on retirement, mayor of
Petawawa. Similarly he notes that Frances
Kelsey, who as head of the United States
Food and Drug Administration forty years
ago prevented the marketing ofThalidomide
in America, was the daughter of a Major
Oldham ofthe Cowichan Valley. A new high
school and a newly discovered planet have
been named in honour of this distinguished
daughter of the valley.
Sir John A. Macdonald made but one short
trip to British Columbia,in 1886, to hammer
in the traditional last spike ofthe Esquimalt
and Nanaimo Railway. There were to be three
stations in the Duncan area, but at the last
minute Premier Robert Dunsmuir, the coal
mining baron, decided to eliminate the one
at Duncan's Crossing, as it was then known.
The locals put up such a protest that, at the
last minute, Dunsmuir relented and restored
the plan for the station.
The author won the Bill Duthie B.C.
BookseUers' Choice award for 1999 for his
Westcoasters: Boats that Built B. C. This delightful volume on Duncan and the Cowichan
VaUey should put him in the running for
another honour. '**»'
Reviewer Adam C. Waldie, BA, MD died in May
of this year.
Glyphs and Gallows; the Rock Art of
Clo-oose and the Wreck of the John
Peter Johnson. Surrey,B.C.:Heritage House,
1999.254 pp. $18.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve.
Pete Johnson breezes ashore with an entourage of students and tourists. I don't know
which he enjoys more: learning some new
thing or refreshing it with his own enthusiasm and teaching it to someone else. His initial encounters with petroglyphs on Gabriola
sent him questing on the outer edges ofVancouver Island and sleuthing in the depths of
the Provincial Archives, attempting to uncover a Unk between a set of Aboriginal rock
carvings and an historical murder mystery.
The word "art" in the title indicates
Johnson's appreciation of petroglyphs as an
art form heavy with symbolic and likely
shamanic implications, with roots deep in
tradition and history. He looks at them with
eyes accustomed to looking at art, and reacts
to the "plethora of metaphorical images and
symbols that took me to places I did not
know I wanted to go." But at Clo-oose on
the West Coast Trail the carvings depict sailing ships. How can we read these records of
European arrival?
Joy Inglis, in Spirit in the Stone, (Horsdahl
and Schubart, 1998) interprets them as references to cargo and part of the wealth of
the sea. Presumably shamanic power could
call in cargoes as it called in fish. But Johnson
thinks them a factual account of events.
In February 1869 the EngUsh barque John
Bright came to grief on the rocky coast near
Nootka Sound. Soon the Victoria press
printed rumours of bodies found on shore,
some decapitated.The revelation that several
women and chUdren had been aboard fired
the good colonists' tenderest feehngs, righteous indignation, and thirst for revenge.
Johnson suggests that unscrupulous traders
seized the opportunity to instill some useful
terror into the Aboriginal people with whom
they had to deal. Inquests and Grand Jury
were duly called, but the real trial was by
press and pubUc opinion. By July, the formal
verdicts were in and two Hesquiat men were
hanged for murder.
Johnson finds loose ends, suppressed clues
and room for reasonable doubt aU over the
case, and works out Unks between the John
Bright tragedy and the Clo-oose glyphs, despite the distance between locales. He gives
us speculation at least as credible as the "evi-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 dence" which convicted Katkeena and John
Johnson's murder mystery, set in a somewhat unsavoury oldVictoria, moves at a rapid
and engrossing pace. His personal journey
and engagement with the rock carvings invites a thoughtful, even meditative response,
but the action doesn't stop. Johnson's head
or legs, or both, are always on the move.
The final chapter "Revelation and Desecration" pleas for protection of the
petroglyphs through education rather than
restriction of access, arguing, "If the federal
government, through its National Parks Service, invites the world to experience the West
Coast TraU, then I beUeve it has an obUgation
to raise pubUc consciousness about the rock
art of First Nations peoples."
Johnson's book should help raise some
consciousnesses. It's also a lot of fun.<<5a»'
Reviewer Phyllis Reeve lives on Gabriola,
"Petroglyph Island."
Haunted Waters: Tales ofthe Old Coast.
Dick Hammond. IUustrated by Alistair
Anderson. Madeira Park: Harbour PubUsh-
ing, 1999.243 pp. Ulus. $32.95 hardcover.
Reviewed by Kelsey Mcleod.
The waters are indeed haunted in most of
these tales, not to mention the islands and
mountains. The settings are mainly on the
upper and lower Sunshine Coast areas, as
would be expected with the author's lifetime in that part of our province. In the main,
the stories fall roughly into a few categories:
logging, hunting, offbeat characters, as would
be expected when dealing with those early
days. As much as the core content of the
stories, the detaUs given about logging practices, boats, engines, terrain, and weather,
make for interesting reading. Only someone
who has spent a lifetime on our coast could
give such details with accuracy.
"Living off the land" is good for many a
chuckle, as it teUs of a group of hunters inexperienced in coastal Ufe, who set off on
an expedition with the idea of Uving off the
land whUe stalking their prey. Who, Uving up
the coast, has not encountered such people—the know-it-alls who regard the rain
forest as their oyster? As they get their comeuppance a tremendous sense of satisfaction
fills the reader.
"The house by the Talking FaUs" is the
book's longest story. To say it is weird is an
understatement, and the author's father, who
relates the story, remains a bit of a mystery.
What did he reaUy experience? Were some
of the characters and happenings a product
of imagination? The real impact ofthe tale is
at least pardy taken away by the disclosure
toward the end of two separate incidents: In
one, a family who have Uved in the area for
years deny that there is any house in the
location. Here would be a fitting place to
end the story. But it continues with the writer's parent returning to the site and finding
the remains of the house. So we are left
wondering if the house was a total illusion,
or if it was known to neighbours who preferred to pretend the house and its occupants did not exist. Take your pick.
"Svendson and the Taxman" is a narrative
ofthe amusing outwitting of an income tax
official. "That's Nothing"— the chronicle of
an only too typical character poUuting his
surroundings with his ego. "The Deer and
SUence" give shivers up the spine. One would
Uke to shrug off the stories told as superstitious nonsense, but the supernatural auras
make this impossible, and one is left with
the uneasy feeUng that it just could aU be real.
"The Stoics" is my favourite story, for all
that it relates rather gruesome accidents, back
in the days before there were mercy flights,
rescue helicopters, the Coast Guard, and
quick communication. It is the reaction of
these injured men that holds the interest.
These were the people, theirs the attitude,
that buUt our province. When reading the
stories, I could not help thinking of so many
of today's individuals who deUght in making
much of every twinge, every symptom, every
discomfort, every difficulty they meet. How
they do go on, on TV, radio, in the printed
word, deUghting in the display of their lack
of intestinal fortitude. This story should be
required reading in our elementary schools,
to give chUdren a role model early on. It just
might bring back a smidgen of that old pioneer spirit.
As I read the last sentence, I found myself wondering: if today's men had to face
what these pioneers did, would we have the
country, the province, we share today?
AU in aU, a good read. It is heart-warming
that here, on the West Coast, young as we
are historically, we are at last publishing myths,
legends, superstitions, happenings, that are
unique, and our own.'***■'
Reviewer Kelsey McLeod is a free-lance writer living in Vancouver. She is on the executive of the
Vancouver Historical Society and has contributed
articles to BC Historical News over the years.
Julie Stevens of UBC wins
British Columbia Historical
Federation Scholarship iqqq-
Frances Gundry announces that the
BCHF scholarship this year was won
by JuUe Stevens, a fourth-year student at the University of British Columbia with a double major in history and English. The tide of her essay is "Letters from Montney: an insight into the rural teaching experience in early twentieth century British Columbia." Nine essays were submitted this year and the judges noted
that aU of the essays were of a very
high standard and that they had a
difficult time making their decision.
Ms. Stevens is working at a volunteer job in Switzerland for the summer and wiU travel before returning
to British Columbia at the end of
the year to go into teaching. It is
hoped that she wUl be able to attend the BCHF conference in Richmond for the announcement of the
Julie Stevens' essay is scheduled to
appear in the spring issue of BC Historical News.
Researching the Indian Land Question
in British Columbia.
Leigh Ogston, ed.Vancouver: Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, 1998. Unpaged.
IUus. No price given. AvaUable from Union
of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, 500-342
Water Street.Vancouver, BC.V6B 1B6.
Reviewer Morag Maclachlan.
Although, as the tide indicates, this manual
is primarUy intended for those researching
Indian land claims, Saul Terry, speaking for
the Union of B.C. Indian chiefs, expects it
wUl have much wider use. He hopes those
writing family, band, or First Nations histories, those engaged in land-use studies, those
planning initiatives in self-government and
31 education, and those involved in community planning wiU make use of this exceUent
reference material.
This book provides practical advice about
research basics, so clearly presented that beginning researchers can start work with confidence. But as weU as instruction in methodology, there is a great deal of information
about sources—Ubraries, archives, government
departments, and web sites, and there are bibUographies to accompany most chapters.The
use of anthropological, archaeological, and
legal resources are explained and there is information about reserves, treaties, cemeteries, water as weU as land rights, the use of
maps, and oral history.
In spite ofthe comprehensive nature of
this pubUcation, it is obviously a work in
progress. There are no page numbers and
the ring binding makes it possible to alter or
add material as more information is acquired.
In his famous en' de coeur in 1967, Chief
Dan George predicted that his people would
become great and that education would be
one ofthe tools that would help them overcome the effects of colonization. An educational system designed to assimilate and to
train a labour force faded miserably, producing instead, with some notable exceptions,
apathy and despair. The production of this
reference work is a clear indication that this
generation of Native people freed from that
system, is making great progress in improving their economic and social status. But
improved education for the First Nations
people is not the only answer. It is only when
enough people in the dominant society are
educated and enlightened that progress can
be made.
The chiefs in the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, who saw their reserve
lands being curtaUed and their way of Ufe
destroyed, were fuUy aware of the damage
being done to their people and used aU the
legal means avaUable to them to reverse the
situation. Until the 1930s they were a dying
people weakened by white men's diseases,
and those in power refused to Usten, expecting that the problem would disappear.
In view of the "apartheid" nature of the
reserve system, it is ludicrous to insist that
there should be no "special status" for Native people.The separate status has been well
and truly established. As the research goes
on and aboriginal land claims are estabUshed,
particularly in densely populated urban areas, there wiU be many people with longstanding claims who wiU find their owner
ship disputed. Two wrongs do not make a
right and the great chaUenge ofthe twenty-
first century wUl be to find a way in which
we can aU Uve together with consideration
and respect for each other, f*5**'
Reviewer Morag Maclachlan is the editor ofThe
Fort Langley Journals, UBC Press, 1998.
The Frontier World of Edgar Dewdney.
Brian Tidey.Vancouver: University of British
Columbia Press, 1999.181 pp. Ulus. $75 hardcover, $25.95 paperback.
Reviewed by Charles Hou.
As a high-school teacher I kept coming across
Edgar Dewdney's name. I hiked with students on the Dewdney TraU in Manning Park,
had my students debate the arguments for
and against British Columbia's entry into Confederation, used Dewdney as a witness in
mock trials of Louis Riel, and took students
to see his grave in Ross Bay cemetery. In
each case I wanted to learn more about the
man. Brian Tidey has solved this problem for
me and probably many others, as the chapter headings of his book wUl Ulustrate: "The
TraUblazer,""The PoUtician," "Indian Com-
missioner,""RebelUon,""Lieutenant Governor," "Minister ofthe Interior," and "A Frontier CapitaUst."
Tidey documents how Edgar Dewdney
acquired some of his strongest biases in his
native England. He beUeved in government
by a small poUtical and social eUte drawn
from the upper classes. When given a chance
to be part of the government in Western
Canada he resisted the democratization of
poUtical institutions and opposed native-born
democrats such as Amor de Cosmos, Louis
Riel, and Frank OUver. When British Columbia joined Confederation and acquired
responsible government, Dewdney was
elected as a Conservative Member of ParUament and continued the battle with de Cosmos and others.
In order to Uve and function in the proper
strata of society (another idea he picked up
in England) Dewdney reaUzed he would
need a lot of money. He sought wealth in
British Columbia during the gold rush. His
skills as a civU engineer were useful and he
worked briefly with Colonel Moody ofthe
Royal Engineers before striking out on his
own to fulfill government contracts building roads in southern British Columbia. He
speculated in agriculture, ranching, mining,
real estate, and transportation schemes in
Western Canada from 1860 tUl his death in
1916. The results were mixed and he depended more on secure government appointments for most of his wealth, as government officials were very weU paid at the
time. When Sir John A. Macdonald offered
him positions as Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, Lieutenant-Governor of the North
West Territories, or a member of his Cabinet, he quickly accepted. He did the same
after Macdonald's death when offered the
position of Lieutenant-Governor of British
Tidey clearly shows how Dewdney arrived in the colony with an imperiaUst disdain for Native people—an attitude he never
lost. As Indian Commissioner and then as
Lieutenant-Governor ofthe North West Territories, Dewdney had a hand in events leading up to the Riel RebeUion of 1885. As an
agent of colonization he went along with
the government's decision to force the Natives to move to reservations, and was very
adept at minimizing the costs involved. Even
Big Bear, the one chief he respected, was
brought to his knees by the threat of starvation. Unlike Macdonald, Dewdney was weU
aware ofthe incredible hardships faced by
the Native people in 1884-1885 and the halfhearted government response to their needs.
WhUe Tidey is reluctant to blame the RebeUion of 1885 on Dewdney, many historians beUeve that Dewdney should have lobbied Ottawa more forcefuUy, visited Ottawa
to explain the urgency of the situation, or
resigned, in order to get Macdonald's government to act on what he knew were serious and legitimate Native grievances.
Like Matthew BailUe Begbie.another British immigrant with a similar social background
but a more tolerant attitude, Dewdney was
also motivated by a sense of adventure and a
wiUingness to take risks. Both left the safety
of jobs in England to seek their fortunes in
a faraway British colony. They both reveUed
in the tough frontier conditions and enjoyed
camping and travelUng in the somewhat harsh
conditions of British Columbia.
Unfortunately Tidey mars an interesting
chapter on the Riel RebeUion with a couple of significant errors. On two occasions
he has Big Bear surrendering on 2 June 1885.
In fact Big Bear's band was involved in several skirmishes with Major-General Strange
in June and did not surrender until July. Big
Bear was one ofthe last Natives on the prairies to select a reserve in 1882 and was one
ofthe last to surrender in 1885. He was also
wrongfuUy convicted for his actions during
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 the rebellion and was released from prison
only when it appeared Ukely he would die
there.Tidey also states that Chief Poundmaker
led the looting at Battleford when in fact
the chief opposed the looting and, like Big
Bear, did his best to keep his more militant
followers out of the rebeUion.
Although Dewdney did use his position
in government to further his financial interests (his choice of Regina as the capital of
the North West Territories was based on his
ownership of property there),Tidey makes a
strong case for Dewdney's leadership abilities. Dewdney avoided extreme solutions to
problems. He sympathized with Alexander
Mackenzie when depression conditions prevented Mackenzie from buUding the Canadian Pacific RaUway on time, and worked
for a reasonable solution; he was flexible in
assigning reserves to Native people in the
prairies; he worked to improve decisions affecting western Canada made in far-off Ottawa; and he worked for a compromise solution in the contentious matter of reUgious
schools in the North West Territories.
Tidey's book unfortunately does not tell
us much about the personal Ufe of Dewdney
or his wife Jane. The author states that this is
due to the lack of documentary evidence.
Hence the book focuses on Dewdney as a
pubUc figure and does a fine job of documenting him as "a representative of that class
of adventurer who saw in the western frontier an unprecedented opportunity for self-
aggrandisement." Oddly, Tidey also states that
he does not consider Dewdney a great man
or a nation builder. Tidey does not explain
what it takes to be considered a great man
and one must assume that his standard is so
high that only a few Canadians have achieved
it. His book provides plenty of evidence in
Dewdney's favour. To hike from Hope to
the Kootenay gold fields without a map in
all kinds of weather, and to later buUd roads
and search for railway routes through the
same difficult terrain, surely qualifies
Dewdney as a nation buUder. (A map would
also have been a useful aid to readers of the
book.) In Tidey's words Dewdney was "never
far from the most vital decisions and actions"
affectingWestern Canada. Dewdney was particularly well liked in British Columbia for
his work in opening up the province and
for his efforts to make Burrard Inlet the western terminus ofthe CPR, and Tidey comes
to many insightful conclusions about his
Charles Hou, now a retired history teacher is known
for his interest in the preservation of historic trails.
Archives and Archivists
Edited by Frances Gundry
Although we may look the same on the outside—same address, same buildings—the public
face ofthe BC Archives has changed radicaUy in the last five years. In January 1995 we went
live on the Internet and we haven't looked back since. In 1997, the first instalment ofVital
Events indexes were added to the Internet site. Every year the site gets larger as more
research tools, indexes, catalogue cards, finding aids, maps, film, and images are scanned and
added. We even have an award-winning section designed for school chUdren and Unked to
the curriculum.This "AmazingTime Machine" includes eleven different gaUeries on a variety of BC historical themes, each geared to specific school grades and reading levels.
In 1999 our Web site received seven and a half miUion hits from over 61 countries and over
105 gigabytes of data were sent over the Internet. Our remote enquiries jumped 67 percent
over the previous year. We now have over 50,000 photos and artworks scanned and avaUable
via keyword search. Many ofthe private manuscript holdings and the government records
are described or Usted in finding aids pointing you to the specific citations for your on-site
What has happened of course is that it is now possible do conduct preUminary research
from the comfort of your own home or the pubUc Ubrary. You can use the Web site to learn
more about the BC Archives, our services and our holdings; do searches to compUe shordists
of coUections or groups of material you think wiU be useful to your research; or even just
keep track of what photos have been newly scanned through the daUy log. When you plan
your visit to Victoria (because it is still necessary to visit the actual Archives to view actual
documents), your research days at the BC Archives are gready tailored because of your online preparation.
The Web site gives equal access to aU British Columbians and opens the institution and its
treasures to the world. It is the broadest form of outreach and one that is important for our
profile both within and without government. The future is a busy one for staff as we try to
balance the ever-increasing demands of today's electronicaUy oriented society and our re-
sponsibUities "to coUect, preserve, and make avaUable" the Province's documentary heritage,
a heritage that includes not only manuscripts, diaries, photos, maps, and other paper records,
but film, video, computer discs, and electronic databases.
Web Site Highlights:
Births Registration Index: 1872 - 1899 (events over 100 years old)
Marriage Registration Index: 1872 - 1924 (events over 75 years old)
Death Registration Index: 1872 - 1979 (events over 20 years old)
The Registration documents are on microfilm. Tlie actual documents are only available through
on-site visits. Other BC locations for these microfilms are: Okanagan Regional Library, Kelowna;
Simon Fraser University Library; Surrey Public Library; Victoria Genealogical Society and West
Coast Family History Society in Victoria; Vancouver Public Library and any Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Centre.
10,000 entries covering the entire paintings, drawings and prints collection
Over 50,000 historical images with item level description
Approximately 5,400 catalogue descriptions with hypertext subject cross references
and over 1,200 related finding aids for textual records
Selected images of historical maps and related information
Over 10,000 publications (about 1/7 ofthe library collection)
Listing of our holdings of BC newspapers on microfilm
The award winning "AmazingTime Machine" featuring 11 educational gaUeries
covering BC history topics from the Province's K-12 social studies curriculum ap
peals to anyone interested in BC history.
Soon to come: Index to wills and probates, annual update ofVital Events indexes,
and "This day in history."
Kathryn Bridge
Kathryn Bridge, Manager Access Services of BC Archives, can be reached by telephone (250)
387-2962 or e-mail:
33 Reports
Harley Robert Hatfield 1905-2000
A tribute spoken by Harvie Walker
on 1 April 2000 in Penticton.
I am greatly honoured that I have been
asked to speak about a person who has
touched our Uves, in so many positive and
personal ways. Harley Hatfield has been a
model citizen—the mentor of many of us
here today, both young and old, who have
known him through family ties, through his
family business, the Boy Scout Movement,
civic politics, his profession of civil engineering, and the numerous volunteer organizations, in which he served so faithfully.
I would Uke to preface these remarks with
an apology to Harley. I know that because
of his modest nature and quiet demeanour,
he would not be particularly comfortable on
an occasion such as this one in praise of his
character and achievements. We are here to
celebrate Harley s Ufe, and to acknowledge
the many ways he has touched and influenced the lives of so many of us, through his
great skUl in the art of quiet leadership and
his abiUty to move others to action.
It has been said that, "Every exit is an entry to somewhere else" and that "Nothing is
final among friends." So these comments are,
in a certain sense, a litde stock-taking along
the pathway of a continuingjourney for this
most unique individual, who has enriched
the Uves of aU of us. In that vein, I would like
to take a little time to visit the life of this
remarkable person.
Harley Robert Hatfield was born in Saint
John, New Brunswick, on 28 February 1905,
the son of A. Seaman Hatfield and Roberta
Christie. The Hatfields moved to BC in the
summer of 1907, and they lived in a tent on
the edge of Shuswap Lake, whUe Seaman
Hatfield worked as a timber cruiser.That fall,
they moved to Summerland to their new
home, which still exists there today. In 1909,
they moved on to Kaleden, living first in a
tent, then in a converted chicken coop, and
finally, in a new house on the Skaha Lake
Growing up in the pioneering days of
the South Okanagan along with his brother
Phillip, Harley graduated from Penticton High
If #1 $
Photo by John P.Hatfield
School in 1923The following year, he bought
a horse and rode it over the Hope trail to
Chilliwack. In his later years, he would relate
with pride, that he paid $35 for the horse
and sold it for $50—in his words,"at a handsome profit of $15." In ChiUiwack, carrying
his saddle, bridle, and pack, he boarded the
old inter-urban tram for Vancouver, .There
he enrolled in the fledgling University of British Columbia where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
His career in construction began with Dominion Construction during the rebuilding
of the Fraser Canyon section of the old
Cariboo Road. In 1930, Harley and his father founded the Interior Contracting Company. Working with his brother PhiUip, the
family business became well known for the
quaUty of its work and
the unfailing honesty
and integrity of its operation. Many of the
roads, bridges, and
dams in the BC Interior have the Hatfield
"stamp" on them. On
one occasion, while
travelling with Harley
past the Nickel Plate
Road, a Hatfield road
that snakes its way up
the hillside near
Hedley, I asked him, in
jest, if it were true that
every Hatfield road had
to have at least one
switch-back in it. After thinking about it for
a while, and taking a
long Hatfield draw on
his pipe, he replied,
"Well you must admit
they are a good way to
get up a hiU, and sometimes a helluva fast way
to get down one."
In 1932, Harley mar-
ried Edith White
Tisdall. "Toddy," as she
was affectionately
known, was the
daughter of Charles
Tisdall.Vancouver's mayor in the 1920s.Toddy,
an RN, served as a pubUc health nurse in
Kelowna prior to her marriage to Harley. In
the early years of their marriage, they lived
in the cottage that stiU exists on the island at
Vaseaux Lake. Children foUowed, as they usually do, so she was able to use her health-
nurse talents raising and repairing an active
and adventurous family of four. Son John
was born in 1934, Peter in 1936, and the post-
Above: Harley Hatfield in sight ofMt.
Hatfield. John P. Hatfield took this picture in
August of 1986, when his father was 81 years
old. Harley never made it to the top, but he got
pretty close.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 war babies, Chris and Ah/son, a decade later.
There is an old saying, I suppose no longer
pohticaUy correct, that says, "A good wife is
the best home remedy." The Hatfield chUdren have aU achieved success in their chosen fields; proof positive ofthe care and support they received from their parents, in their
chUdhood years.Toddy Hatfield predeceased
Harley in 1984.
Harley began his engineering career during World War II, serving first in the Royal
Canadian Air Force, and then in the Royal
Canadian Engineers, where he achieved the
rank of captain. After returning to civilian
life and further study, he became a member
of the Association of Professional Engineers
ofBC in 1948. FoUowing the sale ofthe family
business, Harley set up practice as a consulting engineer. In 1987, in recognition of his
devotion to his community and its youth,
and to his profession of civU engineering,
Harley was honoured by his coUeagues, "as
a most worthy recipient of this Association's
1987 Community Service Award."
As the award suggests, Harley was an active and tireless community worker. One of
his long-time associations was with the Boy
Scout Movement. Beginning in 1913 as a Wolf
Cub, his Scouting career spanned every level
of Scouting leadership, from cub master to
president ofthe Interior Region. In 1967,
he was awarded Scouting's Medal of Merit,
and in 1994, the Silver Acorn, Scouting's highest service award. The citation for the award
reads, "Harley Hatfield through his long association with Scouting in the Okanagan
VaUey has exemplified the finest Scouting
traditions as an active outdoorsman who has
combined those skills with sustained community service. Beyond this legacy to Scouting and to his community, is a man who has
gready influenced the Uves of many boys and
men—a man of great warmth and unfailing
My personal association with Harley and
his famUy began in my impressionable teenage years, and as a consequence, I owe many
of my values and attitudes to the things he
modelled through example, quiet urging, and
his parable stories about Ufe. He was one of
those catalytic people who could relate to
young people and demonstrate the important basic values needed for a caring society
that recognizes and celebrates the uniqueness of individuals. Harley's steadfast adherence to the ideals of the Scouting movement, and his unfailing beUef in the goodness of humankind, made him "the right
person at the right time" in our teen-age
struggle "to find out who we were and what
we wanted to be." He was our model for
what we would Uke to be. He was a leader
by doing, and a doer by leading.
Harley possessed a passionate and keen
sense of history, as weU as an intense love and
respect for nature. He combined those interests in his historical research, and in his
long-time association with the Okanagan Historical Society, as a writer and director, and
latterly, as an honorary Ufe member of that
society. He was also a founding member of
the Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society. It
is natural, therefore, that his pioneer background, his research skUls, and most of aU,
his dogged determination, drove him in his
efforts in re-locating and protecting sections
of the Okanagan Fur Brigade TraU, and the
1849 Hudson's Bay Fur Brigade TraU, between
Princeton and Hope. There are people here
today, myself included, who wUl remember
those days in the rain, fog, mosquitoes, and
devU's club at Fool's Pass, so apdy named,
might I add, when Harley would, with the
determination of one possessed, drag us out
of our sleeping bags and lead us in search of
old axe blazes and other signs of a trail, long
since reclaimed by nature. Most ofthe credit
for saving those important historical and recreational traUs belongs to Harley. It is appropriate, therefore, that a mountain near the
traU has been named Mount Hatfield.
In addition to the pubUc service I have
already mentioned, he made other substantial contributions to his community. He served
two terms as a Penticton city alderman, was
on the executive of the Similkameen Regional District, from 1965 to 1969. He served
a term on the Penticton School Board, and
was the CivU Defence Officer, in the 1970s.
He was a continuing member of the
Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society and was
a founding member ofthe Apex Alpine Ski
Area - one of its tireless early volunteer workers.
Harley was also an active member ofthe
South Okanagan Naturalists' Club, a director of the Engineering Institute of Canada
from 1961 to 1971, a member ofthe Museum Advisory Committee and the Penticton
Centennial Committee, in the 1970s. He was
active in the Canadian Legion and the Canadian Club, and served 20 years on the
Penticton Board ofTrade. He was an active
member of Engineers for Disarmament, a
member of the World FederaUsts of Canada,
and the Borstal Society of Canada. Such a
record of pubUc service by one individual is
a remarkable reflection of his unlimited energy, and his deep concern for others.
As you know, one of Harley's most endearing characteristics was his talent as a sto-
ryteUer. He had a story for every occasion,
and often spoke in parables. To travel with
him was to experience a colourful historical
travelogue, and a variety of anecdotes
prompted by the moment. He was self-deprecating, often making himself the victim of
his own humour, as the foUowing incidents
he related to me wUl show.
In his youth he worked for his unclejim
Christie, one of the pioneer ranchers of
Okanagan FaUs. Each morning his uncle
would rap on Harley's cabin door to waken
him to go fetch the cows for milking. One
morning the rap came as usual, and he answered, "Airight, Uncle Jim". The rap was
repeated a second time, and Harley responded even louder. And a third time, when
he realized that a woodpecker had taken over
the waking chore, and had, as Harley put it,
"done me out of a half hour's sleep". Another story he related involved Bobby
Christie.Jim's son, who Harley described as
"a serious Utde boy, anxious to know all about
the world". One day, tiring of Bobby's incessant questions, he said to him, "Haven't
you heard that curiosity killed the cat?" to
which Bobby repUed, "Was it his cat?" As I
have said, Harley never minded a joke on
himself. He told me about the time he and
Tommy Shutdeworth were riding the range
in the late faU gathering the catde. On one
particularly cold night, they were camped
out in the lulls above Okanagan FaUs. In the
middle of the night, Tommy poked him in
the ribs and said, "I think your horse is loose
and you had better get up, if you don't want
a long walk back to the FaUs". So Harley
dressed, and in the dark and cold, managed
to retrieve the horse in question, only to
find it was Tommy's horse, and not his own.
I recaU one day when I was the victim of
Harley's humour. We had spent a particularly
hot July morning wandering through the
sagebrush and cactus near White Lake, looking for signs of the old Okanagan Fur Brigade TraU. By mid-day, I had developed a
burning thirst. And as luck would have it,
we arrived at a small pipe sticking out ofthe
hillside with a nice stream of water flowing
out of it. Producing a cup from his knapsack and filling it, he poUtely offered me the
first cup, which turned out to be the foulest
alkali water I have ever tasted.This of course,
35 much to his amusement.
Being from a profession that uses words
to make a Uving, I have always been impressed by the unique and succinct way in
which Harley used language. Not long ago,
he reminded me that we could use the cabin
on the Island at Vaseaux by saying, "I think
the wheelbarrow on the island needs fixing
again." And in a letter I received from him a
few years ago, he wrote, "Apologies for the
spelling and other mistakes. I am almost ninety
and if I took the time to check the spelUng,
I would never get this letter done."
In the past couple of years I have visited
him at GranviUe Park Lodge, often taking
him his favourite Borkum-Riff whiskey-flavoured pipe tobacco—the only kind he
would wilUngly smoke. Each morning he
would go out with his walker for his morning pipe. He related to me how, one morning at the nearby park, he went to sit down
on his walker seat, but had failed to engage
its brake. So as he put it, "the walker had
migrated from the spot where I had left it,
to a place where I wasn't, so I ended up on
the ground. But, I am good at falling, and
the only damage I suffered was to my dignity. The only problem was that one of the
men who helped me up stepped on my favourite pipe and broke it in half". One final
example of Harley's unique brand of humour
has come to me through his famUy. When
great-grandchild, Sam was a babe in arms and
drooUng, as babies are prone to do, Harley
was heard to remark, "Just think, Sam, in
another ninety years, you will be doing that
all over again."
Because each of us has known Harley and
in different ways and in various circumstances, each one of us has our own set of
personal memories and special feeUngs about
this truly remarkable man. So we will remember him in a variety of ways.We are aU better
for having known Harley. We wiU miss him
Harley Robert Hatfield—husband, father,
grandfather, great-grandfather, scout, scouter,
soldier, engineer, pioneer-buUder, alderman,
trustee, but most of aU, good and faithful
February 28, 1905 to February 14, 2000 -
a long and productive Ufe! To use the gende
old Scout saying,"Harley Has Gone Home!"
Mourn not too long that he is gone, but
rejoice forever that he was, and walked with
Sonia Cornwall
By Eileen Truscott
This summer, from July to September, the
Kelowna Art GaUery presented an art exhibition of some historical interest. The work
shown was by Sonia CornwaU, an artist well
known in the WUUams Lake area. Showing
her work at this time is appropriate, considering the increasing interest in both Canadian history as weU as regional Canadian art
history, especially in regard to history
moulded by women. Much of Sonia Corn-
waU's early life intersected with the very romantic era of the opening of the west, and
the transition from European cultural traditions to the beginnings of a particularly Canadian art history.
Sonia was born in 1919 in Kamloops
where her father, C.G. (Deadwood) Cowan
was a property agent. Leaving Ireland when
he was 15, Deadwood Cowan arrived in
Kamloops to visit his brother's farm in South
CaroUna. In the late nineteenth century he
went to Mexico, arriving during a pre-revo-
lutionary Mexican gunfight. FamUy legend
recounts how he saw, looking at a magazine
while sheltering under a bed from stray bullets, an advertisement for the North West
Mounted PoUce, in Edmonton. He rode up
to Edmonton to join their division and stayed
with them for six years. During that time he
learned how to speak the Cree language, how
to guide, and how to track and hunt. WhUe
foUowing a murderer into British Columbia
he first saw what later became his Onward
Ranch, and vowed to come back. Later, when
he became a property agent in Kamloops he
started to put together the land that formed
the Onward Ranch, which included the 150
Mile Ranch, and the Jones Lake Ranch. At
one time Onward Ranch included over
11,000 acres and substantial grazing rights on
Crown Land. Sonia still calls this a small ranch
when compared to other ranches in the area.
"Deadwood" also guided EngUsh visitors
on 6-month trips to Canada whUe persuading them to invest in land. He wrote about
these expeditions for the British magazine
Country Life and traveUed back and forth,
crossing the Adantic from Canada to Europe numerous times. He had a Canadian
Pacific RaUway pass for raU and steamship
travel because he wrote for their agricultural
column. Before his marriage he spent the
winter in London enjoying theatre and his
club. He used to visit for a few days atTatton
Place as a guest of Lord Egerton who had
frequendy employed him as a guide and agent
and he would also visit Lord Exeter at
Burleigh House. He had met Lord Exeter
serving as the agent for Lord Exeter's ranch
at 100 MUe House. "Deadwood" also served
as a guide for the collection for the
RothschUd Museum in New York, and the
Kensington Museum in London where you
can see the record moose, with anders over
seven feet, that he shot in Kodiak, Alaska.
We can imagine that "Deadwood" Cowan
would be quite a catch. He was good looking, and had an office, a house, a buggy with
a handsome pair of bay horses with brass-
trimmed harness, a chauffeur, and a housekeeper. Every year a crate of books would
arrive from the Times Book Club in London, England. When Soma's mother Vivien
TuUy arrived from Pordand, Oregon it was
love at first sight.
Sonia was born in 1919. She grew up at a
time when there were smudge pots in the
garden, mosquito nets at home over the bed,
and children were to be seen and not heard.
She had her dog, Mr. Timothy, and her horse,
Camp. When she was nine she stayed with
family friends in Kamloops and attended Miss
Beattie's school. On Saturday mornings she
had art classes. When she was old enough
she joined Grade 9 at Strathcona Girls' School
at Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island. In
Victoria, after she left Strathcona Girls'
School, she began to study to be a set designer with Don May ofthe Cornish Theatre in Seatde
Sonia loved going home to the ranch
during the summer months and would see
her famUy during the winter inVictoria. Any
isolation the family felt on the ranch would
be counter balanced by the winters spent in
Victoria, where the famUy went each year,
accompanied by trunks of Unen, sUver, and
books. In 1939, when her father died, aU this
ended. At that time her family, like many
others, had no money. Sonia began to take a
serious interest in the working ofthe ranch,
labouring beside the men, which was quite
an undertaking for a woman at that time.
She would rise at 5 a.m., eat breakfast, feed
and harness the team, and head to the hay
fields for a ten-hour day. Sonia loved it. The
family would stiU have their books to read
because during the 1930s and the 1940s the
pubUc Ubrary inVictoria would lend up to
six books, sending them by maU even paying
the postage each way. At night Sonia remembers rigging up a car battery to a radio and
Usten to jazz from New Orleans.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 Sonia Cornwall: House at the Outward Ranch, 1960. Oil/paper 18" x 23'A".
During this time Sonia s mother Vivian
began to take art classes at the Banff School
of Fine Arts and met A.Y.Jackson. In 1943,
Sonia was working on the ranch when she
received a telegram from her mother teUing
her A.Y. Jackson would arrive by bus and
instructioning her to "take care of him." A.Y.
Jackson returned several years, each time staying for approximately three weeks. At the
end of each visit he would set up the paintings that he had produced during this time
and offer Sonia and her family a choice from
among them. He would then pack up his
works with wooden matchsticks between
the panels and tie them with string and set
off to return east. A.Y. Jackson continued
his association with the famUy and Sonia
would later send him half a dozen of her
paintings at a time for his criticism.
In 1946, when Sonia was 27 years old she
and her sister went to the Provincial Institute of Technology in Calgary to study art.
They had been attracted to this school because Jock MacDonald taught design there.
Most of her classmates were ex-servicemen
of similar ages, but in spite of this, Sonia and
her sister felt they were all treated like children. Sonia remembers how they studied still
life. No nude studies were allowed. She would
take a tram as far out as she could go on the
Bow River and paint, or hitchhike out of
Calgary to Okotoks and draw people in the
This only lasted three months. She returned to the ranch. In 1948 she married
Hugh Cornwall, a native of Ashcroft who
had served as a pUot with the RAF and a
flying instructor with the RCAF before coming to the'Cariboo to work for the Cariboo
Catdemen's Association. Like many people
living in supposed isolation, she didn't feel
lonely or deprived. She continued to work
as a rancher whUe she raised a family.
She continued to paint. Sonia is largely
seff-taught and with the help of the CBC
radio programmes and extensive reading she
continued to learn. She attended outreach
workshops in the Cariboo and received critiques from well-known artists such as Molly
Bobak, Herbert Ziebner, Joe Plaskett, Jack
Hardman,TakaoTanabe, Cliff Robinson and
Zelko Kujundzic, besides A.Y.Jackson. Sonia
also credits friends who were involved with
playwriting, set designing, and writing books
and poetry, encouraging her to paint. Sonia
says she always had interesting friends.
But her real inspiration is the ranch where
she and her husband Hugh stiU live. She is
famiUar with all its terrain, with the seasonal
pattern of calf birthing, branding and
roundup. Sonia wasn't able to paint when
her chUdren were very young and she and
her husband were busy running the ranch.
But she was able to store images and experiences to be released later when she could
work again in her own lyrical extension of
the Canadian Impressionist tradition.
The works in her exhibition were produced over a forty-year period and are a testimony to her love of Ufe and her energy
and talent to capture this love in her work.'*5"
Archives Week
The Archives Association of British Columbia (AABC) is seeking support for the proclamation of an Archives Week in BC to help
raise public awareness of the importance of
On lOJuly 2000 the AABC wrote the following letter to the Hon. Graeme Bowbrick,
Minister of Advanced Education.Training and
Technology and Minister Responsible for
Youth, with a copy to the Hon. Ian Waddell,
Minister of Small Business,Tourism and Culture.
Dear Minister:
Re: Proclamation of British Columbia
Archives Week, November 19-25, 2000
The Archives Association of British Columbia (AABC), which represents archives and archivists throughout the
province, requests your support in establishing an annual Archives Week.
We have selected the week of November
19-25, 2000 as the most suitable because
it begins on Douglas Day, which commemorates the proclamation ofthe
Crown Colony of British Columbia at
Fort Langley in 1858.
As you will see from the enclosed Resolution from our Executive, we are requesting a permanent designation ofthe
third week in November, centred on
November 19th, as British Columbia
Archives Week. Why an Archives Week?
Archives are the foundation from which
our society maintains continuity with
our past, and preserves the present for future generations.
Archives care for the records that document all aspects ofthe public and private
life of our society, including official
records that protect citizens' rights and
hold elected officials accountable to the
For these reasons we think it is important
to mark the accomplishments of our
community archives network, including
the provincial BC Archives, with a new
celebratory week. We hope you will be
able to honour our request for a Proclamation of Archives Week and be available
for a public announcement on Monday,
November 20, 2000.
Sincerely, Jane Turner, President
If you consider supporting this initiative,
by writing to the ministers or participating
in the activities planned by AABC, you may
reach Jane Turner by phone (250) 721-8258,
e-mail:, or fax (250) 721-
8215. Visit the AABC homepage at http:/
37 News and Notes
Please send information to be published in News and Notes to the editor in Whonnock before 15 August, 15 November, 15 February and 15 May.
From the Branches
Alberni District Historical Society
said goodbye to their past president Simo
Nurme who died of cancer at the far too
early age of 54 years. He was born in Finland, grew up in Alberta. Simo Nurme taught
history in Alberta, and worked with CUSO
in Papua New Guinea before coming to
Port Alberni 13 years ago to teach history
and mathematics at North Island College, Port
Alberni Campus. He worked tirelessly developing a course in BC history incorporating a portion of the local history for each
coUege region using this format. He was one
of those rare people who delight in the
knowledge they acquired and share it willingly and with enthusiasm. His pupils could
not help but join in the quest for more
By accepting the volunteer position of
Community at Large Member of the Museum Advisory Committee in 1989 he became involved with the heritage family. He
served for six years. Jean Mcintosh, Director
of the Alberni VaUey Museum, reflects, "He
strove to create partnerships amongst community institutions and to integrate education into the museum's purpose and history
and use ofthe museum in coUege level education." Simo continued as a volunteer with
the Alberni Valley Museum, the McLean MUl
National Historic Site Project, and the
Alberni District Historical Society.
Since January Simo was busy buUding a
canoe, serving on the planning committee
for the British Columbia Historical Federation Conference, and presenting a double
course on Canadian Political History to
EldercoUege. On 3 and 4 May he hosted a
two-day meeting of 19 coUege history teachers from all over the province, and, beginning on the evening ofthe 4th, as the President of the Alberni District Historical Society, he began his duties as official host for
the four-day BCHF conference. On 17 May
Simo presided over the Alberni and District
Historical Society's AGM. After serving as
president for two years he passed on the presidential torch to Bob Gray. "He never hesitated to guide and work with me. He was a
generous man," said Bob Gray.
Just two weeks later, Simo fell ill and was
admitted to hospital. On 4 July, he was gone,
leaving a legacy of enthusiasm to learn and
share knowledge that wiU last many lifetimes.
— Valentine Hughes
Photo by Helmi Braches
Above: Simo Nurme at the BC Historical Federation Awards Dinner in Port Alberni in May.
Sidney and North Saanich Historical Society
Members of the society are keen on seeing
a plaque, or perhaps a statue, installed at
Sidney town in memory of a First World War
hero, Colonel Cyrus Wesley Peck,VC.,D.S.Q
and Bar, ofVimy Ridge and Arras. A committee has been formed headed by the
mayor, Don Amos. Colonel Peck was a longtime resident at Sidney and said to be "the
best-known and most popular man in Western Canada." - Don Robb
District 69 Historical Society
Craig Heritage Park & Museum had its official summer opening in June. Parksville's
mayorjulia McDonald, presented Life Memberships to the five remaining members who
formed the District 69 Historical Society 25
years ago: Graham and Tina Beard, Grace
d'Arcy, Marjory Leffler, and Josta Tryon. A
memorial bench was also dedicated to the
memory of CUff Leffler, a long-time member who died in 1998. The beautiful clear
day saw a good turnout with free admission,
musical entertainment, and tea, coffee, and
snacks provided. - Ben Burns
Bowen Island Photo Album
Audrey Ades Ward of Penticton recendy presented a photo album of the 1928-1929
school year to the Bowen Island Historians.
Audrey's sister Jay (Jessie) taught on Bowen
Island and carefully recorded the dates, places,
names, and circumstances for each picture.
The Bowen Island Historians were deUghted
to receive pictures of so many of Bowen's
pioneer citizens. That should remind us of
the importance of recording names, dates,
and places on each picture one takes as soon
as the film returns from the print shop and
it will be easy. Someone, some day, will be
very happy that we took the trouble.
- Naomi Miller
Chemainus Valley Historical Society
Once again the Chemainus Valley Historical
Society celebrated Canada Day with an old-
fashioned tea served under the towering firs
in Waterwheel Park. The members, dressed
in period costume, passed out pieces of red
and white "Canada flag" birthday cake and
iced tea to an appreciative crowd.
And just to show our island individuality,
the society purchased a Colony ofVancouver Island flag to fly over the museum with
the Maple Leaf and the British Columbia
flag.The Colony ofVancouver Island flag was
authorized by Queen Victoria in 1865 but
as we amalgamated with the mainland in
1866, it was never officially flown.This handsome flag displays the Blue Ensign with the
badge of the Colony ofVancouver Island;
the Wand of Neptune, Mercury's Wand of
Commerce, a pine cone, representing our
forests and the beaver for the Hudson's Bay
Company emblazoned on the fly. Unfortunately, someone Uked the flag so much, it
disappeared five days later along with the
other flags. - Liz M. Forbes
Other News
Galiano Museum Society
On 22 July the little Galiano Museum
opened its doors. Members ofthe executive
have spent much time getting things ready
for pubUc viewing. Donated furniture has
been arranged to create areas for theme displays and explanatory information sheets are
created. Donations of things suitable for display continue to arrive. Entry to the mu-
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 seum is free, but there wiU be a donation
box. Several donations of five hundred dollars have been received as weU as many hun-
dred-doUar cheques. A membership in the
society is five doUars per year. Send for them
to Joan Coralan at Page Drive, RR 1,
GaUano VON IPO. Other contributions go to
Joan or to Nancy Davidson, Devina Drive,
Outstanding Achievements
In May, at the annual conference of the
Heritage Society of British Columbia in
Victoria, Outstanding Achievement Awards
for Advocacy were given to:
"V Five members of the Armstrong
SpaUumacheen Museum & Arts Society for
writing and publishing Our Fair. Shirley
Campbell, Innes Cooperjessie Ann Gamble,
Marion Hope and Kristen Kane collaborated
to produce this extensive history of the Interior Provincial Exhibition.
V The Nanaimo Heritage Commission for
the pubUcation of Columns, Cornices and Coal:
The Heritage Resources ofNanaimo.
\ Delta pioneer and Uving legend Edgar
Dunning for his life-long commitment to
the promotion of heritage conservation in
Delta. He is especiaUy acknowledged as a
V Donald Luxton and LiUa D'Acres for the
pubUcation of Lions Gate.
"V The Port Moody Heritage Commission
for the pubUcation ofthe City of Port Moody
Heritage Inventory.
\ The OUver and District Heritage Society
for their Heritage Week program.
The Lower Skeena Revisited
The first volume of Pioneer Legacy: Chronicles
ofthe Lower Skeena—reviewed in BC Historical News, Winter 1998-1999 by George
NeweU of Victoria—was awarded second
prize in the 1997 BCHF writing competition. Pioneer Legacy is a compilation of stories
up to about 1920 coUected by Norma V
Bennett, who donated her material to the
Dr. R.E. M. Lee Hospital Foundation in Terrace for pubUcation. Any funds realized were
to go toward hospital equipment. So far approximately $20,000 ofthe revenues ofthe
first volume has gone towards the new endoscopy unit for MiUs Memorial Hospital in
Helene McRae has just gone through the
final editing ofthe second volume of Pioneer
Legacy with Harbour PubUshing's editor.The
book should be available before Christmas.
The book is dedicated to Mrs. Bennett, who
passed away in AprU of this year at the age
of 88. She went with the knowledge that
her book would be pubUshed. Mrs. McCrae
worked with her on both books and certainly misses her and her help.
This second volume of Pioneer Legacy wiU
cover some ofthe riverboat landings, the telegraph Une, maU service, and the buUding of
the Grand Trunk Pacific RaUway. The reviewer of the first volume mentioned that
there are no articles devoted to Meanskinisht.
WeU, in this volume there are several stories
of the Tomlinsons of the Holy City, once
known as Meanskinisht, now Cedarvale.
- Helene McRae
Ormsby Prizes Awarded
The Society for the Promotion of British
Columbia History announced the 1999 winners ofthe Margaret Ormsby Prize for B.C.
History. The award recipients are:
V Jean Foote, University-CoUege of the
Cariboo, for her paper "The Honourable
Thomas Humphreys: A Controversial Contributor to Changes in Early B.C.PoUtics."
V Anne Dore, University-CoUege of the
FraserValley, for her paper"Good Neighbours:
Remembering Japanese Canadians of the
Fraser VaUey."
V Leanne Dyck, Okanagan University-College, for her paper"Goal Symbiosis: An Analysis ofthe MutuaUy Compatible Goals ofthe
BeUa BeUa HeUtsuks and the Methodist Missionaries of B.C."
V Wendy Robertson, Malaspina University-
CoUege, for her paper '"You start the work,
and I'U fiU in the blanks/To AU Appearances
a Lady: Fact or Fiction?"
The Margaret Ormsby Prizes are offered by
the Society for the Promotion of British
Columbia History for the best essays in British Columbia history and are meant to encourage researching and writing about British Columbia history in a way that informs
and engages a broad audience.There are four
awards of $200 each presented every year
for the best undergraduate essay on an aspect of BC history.
Welcome Shale
This faU the Gabriola Historical and Museum Association wiU pubUsh the first issue
of Shale. This issue ofthe new magazine wUl
be distributed to members free of charge.
The prime focus of the journal wiU be on
history and pre-history ofthe Snuneymux*,
Chemainus, and Lyakson  people and the
history of later "Gabriolans." Aside from history, attention wiU also be given to archaeology and anthropology as weU as geology and
natural history. Anyone with a special interest in Gabriola please contact editor Nick
Doe. E-mail:
Rupert's Land Colloquium 2000
The Centre for Rupert's Land Studies at the
University of Winnipeg collaborated with
Washington State University to present Colloquium 2000 at Vancouver, Washington, 24
to 28 May 2000. Approximately half of the
about hundred people in attendance were
from Canada. British Columbia historians
giving papers included Ken Favrholdt,
Secwepemc Museum, Kamloops; Richard
Mackie, Malaspina CoUege, Nanaimo; and
Roberta Dods, Okanagan University College.
The papers covered a broad range of topics,
primarUy focused on the for trade in the
Pacific Northwest. Visits to Fort Vancouver,
French Prairie and Cape Disappointment
were part ofthe program.
This was the ninth biennial coUoquium.
The Centre for Rupert's Land Studies faciU-
tates research and pubUshing in the human
history ofthe Hudson's Bay Company territories known from 1670 to 1870 as Rupert's
Land and the Columbia District, promotes
awareness of the Hudson's Bay Company
archives in Winnipeg, pubUshes The Rupert's
Land Newsletter, and co-pubUshes a series of
documentary volumes on aspects of Rupert's
Land history in partnership with McGUl-
Queens University Press. For further information on the Centre's activities and the location of the next coUoquium please contact: The Centre for Rupert's Land Studies,
University ofWinnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue,
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9.
- Marie Elliott
Cranbrook School Heritage Fair
Five members ofthe East Kootenay Historical Association were among the judges for
Cranbrook's first Heritage Fair. StewartWU-
son, an energetic teacher from Steeples Elementary School, enhsted cooperation from
most ofthe other elementary schools in the
city and had entries from one class in Fernie.
He arranged for sponsors to provide aT-shirt
and a certificate for each youngster who entered. Stewart Wilson also enhsted groups
such as the QuUters GuUd, Amateur Radio
Club, Western Wireless Company, and Fort
Steele's harness maker to have adult displays
within the haU, and antique car owners to
show off in the parking lot outside.
39 This first Heritage Fair attracted 125 students between Grades 4 and 9. The individual students or team chose topics for
projects and 90 projects were displayed. For
a small number of outstandingly weU-done
projects a Certificate of ExceUence was issued. From those with "ExceUent" rating are
chosen entrants to district, provincial, or national fairs. — Naomi Miller
The Heritage Fairs are promoted by the CRB Foundation (who sponsors the Heritage Minutes TV spots).
The foundation has a Web site called "Historica" that
contains more information at:
Elko Homecoming Weekend
During the last weekend in June the East
Kootenay community of Elko of less than
two hundred citizens hosted a special reunion for former residents. Honorary Mayor
Viola Wilkinson came to Elko as a toddler
and has Uved there for the rest of her more
than eighty years. She welcomed visitors and
presided over the anniversary cake cutting.
There was a fascinating parade of old vehicles and machinery. Local chUdren rode in
a hay wagon. There were musical entertainment, food booths, chUdren's games, raffles,
a steak supper and dance. Neighbours from
nearby Wardner put on a fashion show. Returnees came from aU across Canada, parts
ofthe United States, and from as far away as
England and New Zealand. One family came
from New Mexico to attend the reunion
and stayed for a friend's wedding the fol
io the 1940s, the Vancouver artist F. P.Thursby painted
a rendition ofthe ship Thames City infull sail. The
Province reproduced that painting (14 April 1945) to
illustrate an article by George Green. Mike Layland of
Victoria seeks help locating the painting and wants to
hear from anyone who happens to know what happened
to the ship after the Columbia Detachment disembarked
in Esquimalt in 1859.
lowing weekend. About nine hundred
people participated on the Saturday and
seven hundred turned up for the pancake
breakfast on Sunday.
One of the reasons to celebrate was a
history book tided A Century in the Life of
Elko, compUed and composed by a committee of five: Gladys Wilkinson, Marjorie
Fitzpatrick, PhylUs Johnson, Corlyn Usarstad,
and Caroline Mercer. Ron Blair, of Friesen
Printers, gave the group guidance and encouragement. A large number ofthe books
were presold and attendees purchased almost
aU the extra copies at the reunion.
— Naomi Miller
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
In AprU the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
(UBCIC) announced the release on the
Internet of its book Researching the Indian Land
Question In BC:An Introduction to Research Strategies & Archival Research for Band Researchers.
This timely pubUcation is the first ever
how-to manual focused exclusively on the
full spectrum of BC repositories and records
relating to First Nations.The entire pubUcation or chapters of the manual needed can
be downloaded from the Web site http://
www.ubric.bc.calmanual.htm. Comments and
suggestions on any aspect of this manual are
welcome. Please call UBCIC Research at (604)
684-0231, fax (604) 684-5726 or e-maU
Morag Maclachlan's review of this book
can be found on pages 31 and 32 of this
issue of BC Historical News.
John Woodworth Honoured
On 12 June 2000 John Woodworth, a retired
architect and founding member of the Alexander Mackenzie Trail Association
(AMTRA), was honoured in his hometown
of Kelowna with an Honorary Doctor of
Laws Degree from Okanagan University
The tiny group of volunteers that formed
AMTRA twenty years ago has grown into a
national organization: the Alexander Mackenzie Voyageur Route Association (AMVRA)
of which John Woodworth is executive secretary. John Woodworth wrote an article,
"Show Us Where Mackenzie Walked," in BC
Historical News, 26:2, Spring 1993.
— Naomi Miller
British Columbia Historical
2000 - 2001 scholarship
Applications should be submitted
before is May 2001
The British Columbia Historical Federation annually awards a $500 scholarship to
a student completing third or fourth year at
a British Columbia college or university.
To apply for the scholarship, candidates must
1. A letter of application.
2. An essay of 1500-3000 words on a topic
relat-ing to the history of British Columbia. The essay must be suitable for publication in British Columbia Historical News.
3. A professor's letter of recommendation.
Send submissions before 15 May 2001 to:
Scholarship Committee,
British Columbia Historical Federation
PO Box 5254, Station B.
Victoria BC V8R 1N4
The winning essay will, and other selected submissions may, be published in British Columbia Historical News.
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, longer than one page, that contribute
to the understanding and appreciation of
British Columbia's past.
Judgement will be based on historical content, layout, design, and ease of use.The award
honours individual initiative in writing and
Nominations for the BC History Web Site
Prize for 2000 must be made to the British
Columbia Historical Federation, Web Site
Prize Committee, prior to 31 December
2000. Web site creators and authors may
nominate their own sites.
Prize rules and the online nomitation form
can be found on The British Columbia History Web site:
A Certificate of Merit and fifty dollars will be
awarded annually to the author ofthe 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
Manuscripts submitted for publication should be sent to the Editor, BC Historical News, PO Box 130, Whonnock BC V2W 1V9. Submission by
e-mail of text and illustrations is welcome. Otherwise please send a hard copy and if possible a disk copy ofthe manuscript by ordinary mail. Illustrations should be accompanied by captions and source information. Submissions should not be more than 3,500 words. Authors publishing for the first
time in the British Columbia Historical News will receive a one-year complimentary subscription to the journal.
BC HISTORICAL NEWS -Vol. 33 No. 4 British Columbia Historical Federation
Organized 31
October 1922
Member Societies
Alberni District Historical Society
Nicola Valley Museum Archives Association
PO Box 284, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 7M7
PO Box 1262, Merritt BC V1K 1B8
Anderson Lake Historical Society
North Shore Historical Society
PO Box 40, D'Arcy BC VON 1L0
c/o 1541 Merlynn Crescent,
Arrow Lakes Historical Society
NorthVancouver BC V7J 2X9
PO Box 819, Nakusp BC VOG 1R0
North Shuswap Historical Society
Atlin Historical Society
Box 317, Celista BC  VOE 1L0
PO Box 111, Adin BC V0W1A0
Okanagan Historical Society
Boundary Historical Society
POBox313,VernonBC V1T 6M3
PO Box 1687, Grand Forks BC VOH 1H0
Princeton & District Museum & Archives
Bowen Island Historians
Box 687, Princeton BC VOX 1W0
PO Box 97. Bowen Island, BC VON 1G0
Qualicum Beach Historical Society
Burnaby Historical Society
587 Beach Road
6501 Deer Lake Avenue,
Qualicum Beach BC V9K 1K7
Burnaby BC V5G 3T6
Richmond Museum Society
Chemainus Valley Historical Society
Minoru Park Plaza, 7700 Minoru Gate,
POBox 172, Chemainus BC VOR 1K0
Richmond BC V6Y 7M7
Cowichan Historical Society
Salt Spring Island Historical Society
PO Box 1014, Duncan BC V9L 3Y2
129 McPhillips Avenue
District 69 Historical Society
Salt Spring Island BC V8K2T6
PO Box 1452, Parksville BC V9P 2H4
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Soc.
East Kootenay Historical Association
9281 Ardmore Drive
PO Box 74, Cranbrook BC VIC 4H6
North Saanich BC V8L 5G4
Gulf Islands Branch BCHF
Silvery Slocan Historical Society
c/o A. Loveridge S22, CI 1, RR # 1
Box 301, New Denver BC VOG ISO
Galiano Island BC VON IPO
Surrey Historical Society
Hedley Heritage Society
Box 34003 17790 #10 Hwy.
PO Box 218, Hedley BC VOX 1K0
Surrey BC V3S 8C4
Kamloops Museum Association
Terrace Regional Historical Society
207 Seymour Street
POBox246,TerraceBC V8G 4A6
Kamloops BC V2C 2E7
Texada Island Heritage Society
Koksilah School Historical Society
Box 122,Van Anda BC VON 3K0
5213 Trans Canada Highway,
Trail Historical Society
Koksilah, BC VOR 2C0
PO Box 405,Trail BC V1R 4L7
Kootenay Lake Historical Society
Vancouver Historical Society
. PO Box 1262, Kaslo BC VOG 1M0
PO Box 3071,Vancouver BC V6B 3X6
Lantzville Historical Society
Victoria Historical Society
c/o Box 274, Lantzville BC VOR 2H0
PO Box 43035, Victoria North
London Heritage Farm Society
Victoria BC  V8X 3G2
6511 Dyke Road, Richmond BC V7E 3R3
Yellowhead Museum
Nanaimo & District Museum Society
Box 1778, RR# 1
100 Cameron Road
Clearwater BC VOE 1N0
Nanaimo BC V9R 2X1
Nanaimo Historical Society
PO Box 933, Nanaimo BC V9R 5N2
Affiliated Groups
Nelson Museum
402 Anderson Street, Nelson BC V1L 3Y3
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
The British Columbia
Historical Federation is
an umbrella organization
embracing regional
Local historical societies
are entitled to become
Member Societies ofthe
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.
Questions about
membership should be
directed to:
Terry Simpson,
Membership Secretary,
BC Historical Federation,
193 Bird Sanctuary,
Nanaimo BC V9R 6G8
Please write to the
Editor, BC Historical
News for any changes to
be made to this list. Return Address:
British Columbia Historical News
JoelVinge, Subscription Secretary
561 Woodland Drive
Cranbrook,   BC    VIC 6V2
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 1245716"
Publications Mail Registration No. 09835
CcHlelCjel     We acknowledge the financial support ofthe  Government of Canada, through the Publications Assistance Pro
gram  PAP , towfard our mailing costs.
BC Historical News
welcomes manuscripts dealing
with the history of British Columbia and British Columbians.
Please send stories or essays on
any aspect ofthe rich past of our
province 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, Anne Yandle
3450 West 20th Avenue
Vancouver BCV6S 1E4
Phone: (604) 733-6484
NEWS ITEMS for publication in
BC Historical News should be
addressed to the editor in
Please send correspondence about
subscriptions to the Subscription
Secretary, Joel Vinge
561 Woodland Drive
Cranbrook BC ViC 6V2
Phone: (250) 489-2490
The British Columbia Historical Federation
invites submissions of books for the eighteenth
annual Competition for Writers of BC History.
Any book presenting any facet of BC history, published in
2000, is eUgible. This may be a community history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections giving a glimpse ofthe past. Names, dates and places, with relevant
maps or pictures, turn a story into "history." 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 HistoricalWriting will be awarded to an
individual writer whose book contributes significandy 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 Richmond in May 2001.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: All books must have been published in 2000 and.
should be submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two copies of each book
should be submitted. Books entered become property ofthe BC Historical Federation. Please state name, address and telephone number of sender, the selling price of
all editions ofthe 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
c/o Shirley Cuthbertson
#306-225 Belleville Street Victoria BC    V8V 4T9
DEADLINE: 31 December 2000


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