British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1997

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Volume 31, NO. 1
Winter 1997-98
ISSN 1195-8294
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
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Dad's First Car - 1919
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t x
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Volume 31, No. 1
Oh, to see ourselves as others see us!
An exchange student at UBC studied the
Rowell Sirois Commission of the 1930's
and compared public reaction to current
opinions. His professor, Robert A.J.
McDonald, enthusiastically endorsed the
research done by this young man and
added, "He placed third in a class of 45
despite being distracted by a constant
flow of relatives and friends from home
wanting to learn more about 'Beautiful
British Columbia'."
"War in the Woods' commenced as a recollection of life in a logging community
during WWII but was expanded to refer
to the ongoing war-in-the-woods of today.
We present a preview of the 1998 Workshops on Geneology to be held just prior
to the BCHF Conference in Surrey. See
page 29.
Surrey Historical Society has planned a
varied program for the April 30-May 3
weekend in 1998. See page 29.
Thank you to all who contributed to our
magazine in 1997. We are eagerly planning ahead for 1998 and hope that our
readers will enjoy future issues. Tell your
friends about our magazine, or give a gift
subscription at only $12 per year within
Canada, $17 to an out-of-country address. Our new Subscription Secretary
is Joel Vinge at RR#2, S13 C 60,
Cranbrook, B.C. V1C4H3.
Naomi Miller
The pictures saved in the Ades family album by Audrey Ward have been used to
illustrate "Dad's First Car" referring to a
1914 Maxwell touring car with a 1919 replacement engine. This front view enables us to see the bumper, radiator, some
of the understructure, and the glengarry
bonnet of brother Ernest in the front seat
beside Mother Ades.
Winter 1997/98
Harry Ades Apprenticeship 2
by Audrey Ward
Harry Ades First Car 3
by Audrey Ward
Family Portraits in Research 5
by Carol Grant Powell
The Family That Sailed a Million Miles 9
by Ronald A Ansell
Donald Waterfield - Author, Patriot, Prophet   13
by Ronald A. Ansell
The Ides of March: The Rowell-Sirois Commission in Victoria    15
by RalfSchemmann
War in the Woods -Yesterday and Today 20
by Dolly Sinclair Kennedy
British Gentlewomen at Monte Creek   26
by Eleanor Witton Hancock
Two Cable Bridges of Vancouver 30
by Tom W. Parkin
Some Notes on Whonnock, B.C 33
by Edward L. Affleck
The B.C. Supreme Court Registry Scandal of 1895 34
by Edward L. Affleck
NEWS and NOTES  36
H. R. A Biography of H.R. MacMillan    37
Review by Dr. W. Kaye Lamb
Great Canadian Political Cartoons, 1820 to 1914    38
Review by Robert McDonald
Clayoquot Soundings, 1880 to 1980's      38
Review by Philip Teece
Henry & Self- The Private Life of Sarah Crease, 1826 - 1922    39
Review by Sheryl Salloum
Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Park)       39
Review by Susan Stacey
More Than a House     40
Review by Donna Jean MacKinnon
Grizzlies & White Guys; The Stories of Clayton Mack     40
Review by James E. Bowman
Manuscripts and correspondence to the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0.
Correspondence regarding subscriptions is to be directed to the Subscription Secretary (see inside back cover).
Printed in Canada by Kootenay Kwik Print Ltd. Harry Ade's ApprenticeSbhip
by Audrey Ward
Harry Ades and his brothers grew up
at Keefers, B.C. about halfway between
Lytton and North Bend on the west side
ofthe Fraser River. His rather (my grandfather) was section foreman on the Canadian Pacific Railway. With the wisdom
of experience he advised his sons, "If you
are going to work for the railway, you
had better learn about what the trains
run on." Harry, the eldest of six boys,
turned fourteen on January 2, 1900.
Granddad let him finish his year at school
before teaching him the fine principles
underlying the craft of roadbed maintenance. The day after Harry went to work
with the section gang the Native worker
brought his son, Tom, also fourteen to
work, too. The two lads formed a strong
bond of friendship which lasted for most
of their lives.
The picture of the section gang near
Keefers was taken in 1900 by Archibald
Murchie. Murchie and other photographers of that era travelled around by train
or stagecoach, frequendy accompanying
a school inspector making his twice yearly
tours of inspection. These photographers
garnered a modest profit while on their
travels and left researchers a legacy of pictures depicting vignettes of school classes,
portraits of school trustees, or commissioned work scenes and family portraits.
Dad (Harry) is shown in the right foreground, jacket open, hands behind his
back. Tom is a few paces away with jacket
open and black hat. Tom's father (with
light colored braces over a turtleneck
sweater) stands with hands on the
pushcart. Albert Ernest Ades (Harry's
dad), section foreman, is at the left. Note
the watch chain on his suit vest. It was
important that the man-in-charge should
have an accurate timepiece to predict
when trains were expected and to record
the man-hours worked by his section
gang. Up the hill behind Tom are two
other youthful workers, each with a pipe
clenched in his teeth. A pipe was also
trademark for the pair lounging a few
steps further up the bank, and the fellow
on the speeder posed behind the hand
cart. Two roped together rock scalers atop
the scene are visible as well as two men
and a dog beside the track. This posed
work scene is a tribute to Murchie and
his early photographic equipment.
Each ofthe six boys served his appren-
Canadian Pacific Railway Section Gang 1900.  Taken just west of Keefers, B.C
Picture courtesy of Audrey Ward.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 ticeship under Granddad and, at age 15
went up to Kamloops to apply for work.
Each lied boldfacedly that he was 21 and
made up a fictitious birthdate. When the
second boy went to Kamloops and did
so the clerk wrote down details meticulously, intoning as he wrote, "age 21
years, birthdate , name Charlie
Ades," to which the lad indignantly
countered, " I said my name is Albert
Ernest Ades just like my father !" The
clerk just shrugged and continued writing. "You look like a Charlie to me ....
By the way, remarkable woman your
Mother. Did you know that there is only
four months difference between you and
your brother Harry?" So, henceforth
known as Charlie Ades, he commenced
working for the C.P.R.
Granddad must have taught them well.
Harry, Charlie and a third brother
worked up the ranks to become locomo
tive engineers. Two brothers became
roadmasters and one a freight train conductor. When each reached retirement
age he had to face a lot of paperwork to
undo the falsification of birthdate in order to start receiving a pension cheque.
Harry and his brothers went through
further stages of apprenticeship but those
details will have to be told by another
railway historian.
Harry Adeys First Car
by Audrey Ward
Harry Ades became a locomotive engineer and moved to Vancouver. In 1919
he decided that he could afford to drive
an automobile. Driving would be so
much more convenient than catching the
Oak Street streetcar while carrying his
black metal lunch box, riding over the
Cambie Bridge to Beatty Street then
walking down to the C.P.R. roundhouse
on Drake Street. There he would change
into his engineer's overalls, jacket and
cap, report ON Duty and then go
through the routine check preparing his
locomotive for whatever shift he had
been called for an hour earlier. When he
returned to the complex he would change
into his street clothes and then, carrying
his now empty lunch bucket, would
catch the Oak Street streetcar home.
He could drive a car from home to the
roundhouse, leave it safely while he
worked, then "Book out" and drive the
car home. An added incentive to his decision was the presence of a fairly large
two-storey frame building in the southwest corner ofthe backyard. It had served
the previous owner as a carriage house
and barn with hay storage in the loft.
Besides the ordinary door to the
backyard, there was a large sliding door
which gave access to the back lane. It
would make a very suitable garage for his
After much discussion with fellow
workers and visits to several dealers, he
setded on a second hand Maxwell touring car, 1914 model with a new 1919
replacement engine. The chassis had
curved fenders and sturdy running
boards on each side (a definite advantage
for a young couple with three small children!) The spoked wheels had narrow
rubber tires. It even had a toolbox on one
side. The canvas roof was retractable with
a limited vision oval
rear porthole. There
were also canvas side
curtains which could
easily be attached in
case of inclement
weather. The
windshield had two
horizontal glass panes
which could be tilted
independently. To
start the motor Dad
would insert the key in
the ignition and put
the crank in position.
Mother would turn
the key and Dad
would turn the crank
with a forceful jerk to
start the motor. (He
had considerable
strength in his arms
from handling his engines.)
Dad had to practise
driving the smaller
"Skittish" vehicle on the roads in Vancouver which were very different from
the well-groomed C.P.R. roadbed with
shining steel rails. In Vancouver steel rails
were for streetcars or the interurban;
roads had different finishes, some were
blacktopped, macadamized or hard-
topped with cement. Outlying streets
were often just dirt or gravel roadways.
Mother at tbe wheel of a freshly polished car driving on the left side ofthe road.
The author, Audrey aged 3 is in the white bonnet with ber sister Jessie (9)
beside her. Note the coarse grass on the boulevard and the forest of telephone
poles behind the car.
Photo courtesy of Audrey Ward
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Mother Ades and three cbiUren pose in their tiew( 1914 Maxwell with a 1919 replacement engine) car.  This
was at a sandy clearing in Stanley Park.
Dad persisted and gradually became accustomed to sharing the roads with other
automobiles, trucks, horse-drawn vehicles such as bread and milk deliveries, and
freight drays drawn by heavy horses. He
could cope with cross traffic, 90 degree
turns, STEEP hills - some paved with
wooden bricks (Cambie Street from
Broadway to Sixth Avenue), some paved
with stones (Pender Street near the Sun
Tower and the old City Hospital among
others.) He even controlled his temper
when passing "those gadfly bicycles and
The smartest thing he ever did was to
teach Mother to drive. Traffic didn't faze
her. She attributed her ease of adjustment
to her girlhood years when she rode (sidesaddle) with groups of exuberant friends
on trails near Spences Bridge. All three
accompanying illustrations show Mother
in the car as Dad was the photographer.
The last, with her at the wheel, shows
that in 1919 cars were driven on the left
side of the road. The British Columbia
Government passed a law on July 1,1919
that cars were to "Keep to the Right."
Vancouver City, however, had its own bylaws and did not enforce that law until
January 1, 1922.
Dad was soon taking the family down
to Stanley Park for picnics - even driving
all around the park, or out to New Westminster to visit Uncle Jess who had three
boys very close to our ages, or to Lulu
Island for fresh vegetables from market
gardens. Later we went to Burquitlam to
pick wild berries in season. Red
huckleberries, blackberries, and tall bush
blue huckleberries were plentiful in the
undeveloped bushland. Dad drove us out
to Chilliwack to pick cherries for Mother
to preserve in glass jars. The next year
the Maxwell took us out to Abbotsford
and south to Huntingdon where we
crossed the friendly American Border to
spend a day at the Sedro Woolley Fair.
Another favorite destination in Dad's first
(and subsequent) car was the Vancouver
Exhibition for an end-of-summer treat.
The Ades family in their Sunday best at Stanley Park, 1919. Note tbe size ofthe stump!!
Photo courtesy of Audrey Ward
Audrey (Ades) Ward now lives in Penticton -
she was a Public Health Nurse, then a School
Librarian in Nelson prior to retiring, first to
Kamloops and later to Penticton.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Family Portraits in Research
by Carol Grant Powell
For the historian researching
childhood, family portrait photographs can be an invaluable
source of information. There
are, however, a number of difficulties inherent in the use of
these photographs as primary
sources, not the least of which
is their ability to enthrall. The
researcher must consistently resist the temptation to make erroneous assumptions about the
identity of, and relationships
between, the subjects of a particular photo. Being human,
"(W)e tend to accept, even
though we know better, the album as an accurate reflection of
family life."1 Yet any posed portrait is at best an artificially constructed family scene. No single
image can provide us with the
character of people's relationships with each other, (or) the
quality of their interactions."2
Nevertheless, the rewards are
great for any researcher willing
to thoroughly cross-link family
portrait photographs to more
traditional primary documents, such as
newspaper articles and government
In order to investigate the external experience of childhood in mid-nineteenth-century Nanaimo, this paper will
briefly examine the Benton family portrait,3 yet will focus primarily upon the
Horne family portrait. It was during the
annual "members' night" ofthe Nanaimo
Historical Society that Mrs. Mildred
Simpson, a Horne family descendant,
first revealed her ownership and knowledge of this photograph.4 One cannot
help but be immediately fascinated by
the seven somber faces staring out from
this family portrait. As it emerged, the
man seated on the left is Adam Grant
Horne, former Hudson's Bay Company
Ann Elizabeth Benton and family, Nanaimo 1887.
Photo courtesy of Nanaimo Museum 12-272
employee,5 owner proprietor of A.G.
Horne & Son dry goods store in
Nanaimo,6 and 'discoverer' of Horne
Lake.7 Seated on the right is his wife,
Elizabeth Bate Horne, sister to Nanaimo's
first mayor Mark Bate.8 Following their
return to Nanaimo from Comox in late
1878,9 the Horne family resided at 149
Wallace Street.10 Known locally as the
'Freeman House,'11 this home was originally built by A.G. Horne, and currently
houses three local businesses.12
Also present in this photograph are five
ofthe Horne children.13 Anne Elizabeth
(18) is seen standing between her parents, and to the far left is Sarah Maria
(13).14 The taller of the two boys is
Herbert (101/2), and the shorter is
Thomas (91/2). Finally, the child reclin
ing on her mother's knee is presumed to be Lucy Bate Horne
(41/2). This paper will present a
micro-study of the childhood
experienced by these five children
and their siblings between December 1859 and August 1884.
In addition, this paper will briefly
examine the impact of the 1887
Nanaimo mine disaster on the
seven Benton children, the
youngest of whom will be introduced later. Throughout, the
experiences of both the Horne
and Benton children will serve to
underscore the challenges and
rewards of utilizing family portrait photographs as primary
sources when researching the history of childhood.
Accurately dating a photograph is often the first hurdle
which must be overcome. A great
deal of this paper's corroborative
evidence was gathered while attempting to definitively date the
Horne family portrait. Since the
exact date of a sitting is frequendy
unknown, the researcher must
carefully deduce the most probable date
for any photograph under study. As previously stated, the youngest child in the
Horne family portrait is reportedly Lucy
Bate. This photograph must therefore
predate her death on February 4,1880.] 5
It was possible to obtain such a portrait
between October 25 and December 12,
1879, when S.A. Spencer of Victoria
operated a photographic studio on Bastion Street in Nanaimo.16 For simplicity's sake, therefore, a probable date of
December 1879 was chosen for the
Horne family portrait. Thus, the ages
previously given for the Horne children
are the ages they would have attained in
December 1879.
When commencing the analysis of
family portrait photographs, it is impera-
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 tive that assumptions regarding familial
relationships be set aside. Personal experience has shown that, particularly when
perusing a number of photos, the tendency is to assume that any adult male
and female shown together are married.
In the case of Adam and Elizabeth
Horne, an entry in the family bible confirmed that they were indeed married in
Nanaimo on February 22, 1859.17 In
addition, the portrait under scrutiny was
compared to an earlier, well publicized
and documented photo ofthe couple in
order to confirm that this was indeed Mr.
and Mrs. A.G. Home.18 Once the identity of one or more key subjects in a family portrait has been established, the
historian can methodically proceed with
the identification of any accompanying
person(s). Taking caution one step further, one cannot assume that the children in a given photograph are the
offspring of any adults in the same picture. Once again, the Horne family Bible was utilized to confirm the name and
age of each of the five Horne children
represented in this family portrait.19
Finally, one cannot assume that all of
the family members were present for the
sitting. For example, Mrs. Simpson believes that two older boys were missing
from the Horne family portrait.20 The
family Bible reveals,
however, that the
Homes had only
one older son. Born
in Nanaimo on December 9, 1859,
Adam Henry
Horne would have
been twenty years of
age in December
1879. He was living independently,21 and would
marry Emily
Cooper within
eighteen months.22
It is therefore plausible that work prevented his inclusion
in this photo. Mrs.
Simpson also revealed that a girl,
whose death predated the photograph,
was not present.23 A headstone located
in the Nanaimo Cemetery confirmed
that Lucy Amelia Horne, born January
15,1865 died one week short of her second birthday on January 8,1867.24 Her
death explains the obvious gap between
Anne and Sarah. In this pre-birth control era, women could expect to space
their children two years apart at best.
Thus, children included in family portraits often resemble 'stair steps.' Any
obvious gap in the progression of offspring should therefore prompt the researcher to delve beneath the
photograph's surface layer.
The positioning of family members
within a photograph can also motivate
the researcher to look beyond the obvious. Take the Benton family portrait for
example.25 This particular photo commands attention for three reasons. First,
the adult female is standing, an uncommon pose for women of this era. Secondly, there is no accompanying adult
male. Thirdly, the youngest child is not
only central, but is seated alone rather
than upon his mother's knee. This was
undoubtedly a very important baby! As
research revealed, Edwin Benton was
named for his father, one of one hundred and forty-eight men who died May
The Adam Grant Horne family ofNanaimo.
3,1887 in the explosion and subsequent
fire at the Vancouver Coal Companys
Nanaimo mine.26
The May 7th issue of the Nanaimo
Free Press stated that Edwin Benton senior was survived by his 'wife and 6 children.'27 Young Edwin was therefore born
sometime after his fathers death, and is
seen here accompanied by his mother,
Ann Elizabeth Benton, and his six siblings. Thus, the Benton family portrait
reveals another common, nineteenth-
century childhood experience: death of
a parent. Clearly, there are many layers
of information that can be garnered from
a single portrait. More than a simple illustration, a photograph is a historical
document, and as such "it is meant to be
read, all ten thousand words of it, with
at least the same care and attention to
detail as a letter, a diary, a manuscript or
a book - line by line and word by word."28
As the Benton and Horne family portraits exemplify, the story behind missing family members often reveals as much
as, if not more than, those who are
Finally, as with written historical
sources, the researcher must consider motivation. In the case of photographs,
there are two motivations to be considered: the photographer's and his subject's.
One can easily conclude that SA. Spencer was financially
motivated. A visiting
itinerant photographer
from Victoria, he had
temporarily "taken the
Photographic Gallery
on Bastion Street
(sic)."29 His advertisements ran between
October 25th and December 13th, 1879,
and stated that "[f]or
a Short Time" he
would "take Pictures in
the First Style of Art
(sic)."30 Perhaps he
was here to provide
Nanaimo's citizens
with the opportunity
to      commemorate
Photo Courtesy of Mildred Simpson.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Christmas by having a family photograph
Why then did the Horne family choose
to be photographed? Fortunately, the
sobering motivation for this portrait is
part of the family's oral history.31 The
grave illness of the child on Elizabeth
Home's knee prompted the taking of this
portrait. As previously stated, Mrs.
Simpson believes this child to be Lucy
Bate, who died February 4, 1880 at the
age of four years, four months. On February 7, she was buried in Nanaimo
Cemetery beside her sister Lucy Amelia.
Lucy Bate's death certificate reports that
she had been "burned in [the] fire place
(sic)."32 Perhaps her burns account for
the shawl-like garment that shrouds her
as she rests against her mother. In any
case, the somber expressions ofthe family become immeasurably more poignant in light of this information.
Having gone out in all directions from
these photographs, and having gathered
as much corroborative information as
possible, what is the next step in the
analysis? In Visual Anthropology: Photographs as a Research Method, authors Malcolm and John Jr. Collier suggest a return to the original photo(s), the
purpose of which "is to rise above the
minutiae of detailed data that obscure
the discoveries that can lead to conclusions."33 At this point in the research
process, the photographs "are no longer
strangers which you seek to know but
friends whom you understand in depth. "M
Only at this point can one begin to draw
conclusions about the nature of childhood.
For the Benton and Horne children, the
most obvious childhood experience was
that of family. Even without knowing
exact birth dates, it is easy to see that
additions to both families arrived fairly
regularly! In 1871, a Canadian woman
could expect to have 6.8 children.35 Here,
we see the reality of these statistics. As the
family portrait reveals, Ann Elizabeth
Benton already had seven closely-spaced
children in late 1887. Elizabeth Horne,
however would give birth to a total of
eleven children over the course of twenty-
six years. Emily Maude, born February
8,1874, and David William, born March
13, 1878 were both inexplicably absent
from the family portrait taken circa 1879.
After David, Elizabeth Horne went on to
have two more sons: George Grant in
January 1881 and Lindley Dallas in
March 1885.36 Thus, the children in
both families grew up under the guidance of their biological parent(s), and
surrounded by siblings of a wide age
Yet as only eight of the eleven Horne
children survived childhood, these same
children also experienced the loss of a
sibling. Births and deaths are significant
occasions in any family, yet one can only
imagine the roller-coaster of emotions
experienced by Anne and Adam (aged
five and eight respectively) when nearly
two-year-old Lucy Amelia died only seven
days after the birth of their newest sister
Sarah.37 Thirteen years later, Lucy Bate
would succumb to burns suffered from a
fall into the fireplace.38 Finally, David
would die of diphtheria on August 13,
1884 at the age of sixyears, five months.39
Together, the deaths of these three children exemplify the perilousness of nineteenth-century childhood, the reality of
which the surviving Horne children were
acutely aware. As the announcement of
David's death noted, his funeral would
"take place from his parents' residence."40
Thus, the Horne children also experienced the elaborate social rituals surrounding death and mourning.
Throughout their childhood, the older
Horne children also experienced relocation. As an agent for the Hudson's Bay
Company, their father was subject to
transfer. Initially, the family lived in
Nanaimo, where Adam and Anne were
born. Having received a new posting,
however, Adam Grant Horne moved his
young family to Fort Simpson in 1864.
It is here that Lucy Amelia and Sarah
were born. Less than three years later, the
growing family would move to Comox,
where they operated a company store for
ten years. In late 1878, the family would
finally return to Nanaimo.41 While the
Home's eldest son, Adam, already lived
independently in Nanaimo, their two
youngest sons were yet to be born! Thus,
by combining birth records with a family's residency record, the historian can
reconstruct a revealing external framework within which children lived out
their childhoods.
Finally, while the Horne children's experience of family and relocation were not
unusual, their photographic experience
was distinctive. In late nineteenth-century Nanaimo, only children above a
certain socio-economic level could expect to have their photograph taken at
some point during their childhood. That
this photo exists at all illustrates that the
Horne family had attained a certain level
of affluence. There are few photographs
of miner's families, such as the Bentons,
in the Nanaimo Museum collection.
However, Nanaimo's leading families are
well represented by individual and group
photographs taken to commemorate such
significant occasions as births, marriages,
and anniversaries. Each portrait necessitated the careful consideration and acquisition of appropriate clothing, the
arrangement of a convenient time, and
the purchase of the finished product.
Thus, sitting for a formal portrait was
(and still is) a serious occasion that required a significant organizational and
financial investment, well beyond the
means ofthe average family.
In conclusion, how valuable are family
portrait photographs to the historian?
The historian of childhood has a variety
of alternate sources at her/his disposal.
For example, a discussion of current ideologies of childhood can be found in
child-rearing advice literature. Aggregate statistics compiled from birth and
mortality rates, school attendance records,
and the census quantify the existence of
children, but provide no insights at the
personal level. Adults in positions of
authority, such as parents, educators,
health care professionals, and the clergy,
provide anecdotal evidence regarding the
situational experiences of groups of children within their area of responsibility.
Finally, there are adult recollections of
childhood, the primary source which is
preferred by Canada's foremost historian
of childhood, Neil Sutherland.42 Yet all
of these potential sources have one thing
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 in common: they are generated by adults.
Photographs, however, provide the historian with a unique opportunity to see
children as they were, even if it is their
'Sunday best' and posed situations. Photographs enable the researcher to literally
'put a face* on history. In the absence of
writing by children, it is often the only
evidence we have of them as children.
But as Susan Sontag cautions, "[a] photograph is only a fragment, and with the
passage of time its moorings come unstuck. It drifts away into a soft abstract
pastness, open to any kind of reading (or
matching to other photographs)."43 For
this very reason it is incumbent upon the
researcher to apply accepted
historiographical procedures to this as to
any source. For the historian willing to
do so, family portrait photographs can be
so much more than simply illustrative.
They can provide the historians with a
valuable starting point, a focal point, and
a primary source when researching the
history of childhood.
Carol Grant Powell has returned to university studies now that ber children are in school
She grew up in Ontario, married while in first
year at Wilfred Laurier University and now
lives in Nanaimo, This essay was written jbr
History Professor Helen Brown.
1. Joan R. Challinor,, "Family Photo Interpretation"
in Kin and Communities, (Washington: Smithsonian
Institution Press, 1979) 262.
2. John Collier Jr. and Malcolm Collier, Visual
Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method
(Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press, 1986) 83.
3. Daphne Paterson, member ofNanaimo Community
Archives Society. Interview with author, January 30,
1997. My sincere thanks to Daphne for her assistance in
retrieving this photograph.
4. Mildred Simpson. Interview with author, January 9,
5. Patricia M. Johnson, A Short History ofNanaimo,
(Nanaimo: City of Nanaimo British Columbia
Centennial Committee, 1958) 14.
6. Advertisement, Nanaimo Free Press, June 24, 1885.
7. Nanaimo Free Press, August 14, 1886.
8. Johnson, 28.
9. Olga Blanche Owen, The Adam Grant Horne Family,
(Royston, British Columbia, 1980) 4.
10. Mildred Simpson. Interview with author, January 31,
11. Shirley Bateman, Archives Assistant, Nanaimo Archives.
Interview with author, February 13, 1997. My sincere
thanks to Shirley for her assistance in retrieving archival
materials, for her timely research suggestions, and for
providing a congenial place in which to work while the
Museum was undergoing renovations!
12. Field survey, February 13, 1997.
13. Mildred Simpson. Interview with author, January 9,
14. Sarah Maria was the maternal grandmother of Mrs.
Mildred Simpson.
15. Nanaimo Cemetery, January 31,1997.
16. Nanaimo Free Press, December 13,1879.
17. Owen, unnumbered page.
18. E. Blanch Norcross, ed., Nanaimo Retrospective: The
First Century, (Nanaimo Historical Society, 1979) 26b.
19. Owen, unnumbered page.
20. Mildred Simpson. Interview with author, January 9,
21. Owen, 4.
22. Nanaimo Free Press, May 21,1881.
23. Mildred Simpson. Interview with author, January 9,
24. Field work, January 31,1997. Thanks to Jack for his
assistance in locating this gravesite.
25. Nanaimo District Museum Photograph Collection, 12-
26. Provincial Archives, Film No. B13084, Registration No.
27. Nanaimo Free Press, May 7, 1887.
28. J. Robert Davison, "Turning a Blind Eye," in BC
Studies, Number 52, Winter 1981-82, 16.
29. Nanaimo Free Press, October 25, 1879.
30. Nanaimo Free Press, December 13, 1879.
31. Mildred Simpson. Interview with author, January 9,
32. Provincial Archives, Film No. B13084, Registration No.
1880-09-042416. Unfortunately, no further details are
available as the February 4th to 14th issues ofthe
Nanaimo Free Press are missing from the Malaspina
University-College microfilm records.
33. Collier, 205.
34. Ibid, 225.
35. Mary F. Bishop, "Vivian Dowding: Birth Control
Activist 1892", Not Just Pin Money, (Victoria: Camosun
College, 1984)327.
36. Owen, unnumbered page.
37. Ibid.
38. Provincial Archives, Film No. B13084, Registration No.
39. Provincial Archives, Film No. B18084, Registration No.
40. Nanaimo Free Press, August 16, 1884.
41. Owen, 3-4.
42. Neil Sutherland, "When You Listen to the Winds of
Childhood, How Much Can You Believe?," Curriculum
Inquiry 22,3 (Fall 1992) 236.
43. Sontag, 71.
Interview with Shirley Bateman, Mildred Simpson and
Daphne Paterson
Challinor, Joan R., "Family Photo Interpretation." Kin
and Communities. Allan J. Lichtman, and Joan R.
Challinor, eds. Washington: Smithsonian Institution
Press, 1979.239-263.
Collier, John Jr. and Malcolm Collier. Visual Anthropology:
Photography as a Research Method. Revised and
Expanded Ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1986.
Hiner, N. Ray. "Seen But Not Heard: Children in American
Photographs." Small Worlds: Children & Adolescents
in America, 1850-1950. Elliott West and Paula Petrik,
eds. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1992.
Peters, Marsha and Bernard Mergen. "Doing the Rest:" The
Uses of Photographs in American Studies." American
Quarterly 39 (1977). 280-303.
Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Farrar, Straus
and Giroux, 1973.
Trachtenberg, Alan. Reading American Photographs:
Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans.
New York: Hill and Wang, 1989.
Bishop, Mary F. "Vivian Dowding: Birth Control Activist
1892." Not Just Pin Money. Victoria: Camosun College,
1984. 327-335.
Davidson, J. Robert. "Turning a Blind Eye." Special Edition
of BC Studies, No. 52, (Winter 1981-82). 16-38.
Johnson, Patricia M.   A Short History ofNanaimo.
Nanaimo: City ofNanaimo British Columbia Centennial
Committee, 1958.
Norcross, E. Blanche, ed. Nanaimo Retrospective: The First
Century. Nanaimo: Nanaimo Historical Society, 1979.
Owen, Olga Blanche. The Adam Grant Horne Family.
Royston, British Columbia, 1980.
Sutherland, Neil. "When You Listen to the Winds of
Childhood, How Much Can You Believe?" Curriculum
Inquiry 22,3 (Fall 1993). 235-256.
B.C. Historical News-Winter 1997/98 Tbhe Family That Sailed a Million Miles
by Ronald A. Ansell
In the history of steamboating in the
B.C. Interior the Estabrooks name stands
out both in years of service and in
number of vessels on which the family
members served.
From 1892 to 1951, on the Arrow,
Slocan, and Okanagan Lakes mostly, at
least one and often two members of this
outstanding family could be found on
the vessels plying these waters.
The story begins with George L.
Estabrooks who was born in 1846 in
New Brunswick, likely of Loyalist stock.
His career began on the St. John River
in New Brunswick at age 15 and by age
25 he had qualified for his Master's papers. He married and had a daughter,
then his wife died. Remarried in 1877
he began another family. From 1871 to
1892 he worked in the Maritimes; but
as time passed he became increasingly
concerned about the loss of steamboat
business to the railways. Finally, in 1892,
he closed his home, sent his wife and
children to stay with relatives, and set off
by train to the West Coast where, it was
said, the shipping season was twice as
long and the wages twice as large as in
the Maritimes.
In those days, going by train across
Canada meant travelling on the Canadian Pacific Railway. This brought him
to the Columbia, whose lakes and rivers
he would sail for the rest of his career.
The story of his "recruitment" is best
told in the words of his son, Otto, as reported by E.L. Affleck in his book
Sternwheelers, Sandbars and Switchbacks.
"A representative ofthe Columbia and
Kootenay Steam Navigation Company,
which operated a fleet of sternwheelers
from Revelstoke down the Arrow Lakes
and Columbia River to Northport Washington mounted the train at Revelstoke
and strode down the aisles ofthe passenger coaches calling out to see if there was
Captain Estabrooks in the wheelhouse ofthe S.S. MINTO in 1951.
Photo courtesy of Milton Parent, Nakusp.
anyone with a mate's ticket on board.
Once having admitted that he did indeed
hold a master's ticket, my father found
himself hustled off the train, bag and
baggage, on to a C.K.S.N. sternwheeler
which was languishing at the Revelstoke
smelter wharf awaiting a crew to get
underway downstream. My father remained with the C.K.S.N. until Novem
ber, 1892 when low water in the Columbia River tied up the boats for the sea
Meanwhile, on Slocan Lake, the mines
to the east of the new settlements soon
to be known as New Denver and
Silverton had attracted a large number
of people to the area. Miners needed
supplies and clothing, and everyone
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 s*S
' I       Kaslol
locan Ci
Kootenay V, .
Captain George Estabrooks.
needed food. The easiest way to get these
things in 1892 was from Nelson, by
poling a small boat up the Slocan River
and then rowing the boat down the lake
to the area around Carpenter Creek
where it was unloaded. This route, while
both difficult and time consuming, was
better than overland pack train from
Kaslo or the new setdement of Nakusp.
Enter William
Hunter, who decided, with partners J. Fred
Hume and Bill
McKinnon to
start a store and
a settlement at
Four Mile
Creek. The
store was such a
success that
Hunter quickly
saw the need for
an increased
supply and carrying capacity.
Why not, he
reasoned, build
boat that could
carry ore from
the mines, either
up Slocan Lake
to a point where
it could be carried overland, or
down Slocan
Lake to the
mouth of the
Slocan River
where it could
be stockpiled
and later
shipped south.
On its return
trip a boat could
carry to his settlement (and
store) more
food, supplies
etc. from the
world beyond
the Silvery
Slocan, shipped
from his partner's business in Nelson.
Thus were created the plans for the
small twin screw steamboat to be called
the SS WilUam Hunter. She was built
in 1892 on the beach near the store
whose nearby settlement was to take the
name New Denver.
George Estabrooks was approached to
be her captain and he moved his family
to New Denver in 1893 to take up his
duties. The population of the infant
town was then increased by five - George,
his wife Sarah and children - Otto, then
aged four, of whom we are to hear more
later, Richard and Willa.
From 1893 to 1897 George continued
as captain of the Wm. Hunter, an occupation which proved to be a busy one if
not always one with a regular pay cheque.
His boat was a regular caller at New
Denver and the newly established Slocan
City at the lower end of the lake. She
was often at the upper end also where
she served the Hills Brothers' sawmill and
the settlement at the mouth of Bonanza
Creek. The mines behind her home port
of Silverton had proved very rich and
business was flourishing for her owners.
The one problem appeared to be the
sometimes shortage of available cash due
to the remoteness ofthe area and the frequent fluctuation of the price of silver.
However, by 1897 the trade in the Slocan
was so prosperous that the C.RR. had
decided to buy up all the available shipping in the area in order to control the
traffic routes. The Wm. Hunter was purchased and was to run only one more year
under its present captain.
In 1898 the Klondike Gold Rush
brought many changes, including a career move for the Estabrooks family
which took them out ofthe area. George
had joined the C.P.R. and had continued with the Wm. Hunter as master, but
she was soon to be laid up (taken out of
service). By 1898 the C.P.R. had a serious shortage of competent men because
of a vast increase in the service to the
goldfields. George was posted, in October, 1898 to Okanagan Landing to be
the master ofthe sternwheeler Aberdeen.
He remained in the Okanagan for the
rest of his service and retired in Penticton
in 1915.
George Estabrooks' contribution to the
Slocan region was considerable. As master of the first and, for a few years only,
means of water transport to the Slocan
area he helped provide a dependable way
to get supplies in and the produce ofthe
area out. While he didn't own the Wm.
Hunter Estabrooks did guide her with
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 considerable skill and efficiency to her
many shoreline rendezvous with the mine
owners, homesteaders and packers who
needed her services. But his boat was
equally at home moored to the landings
at the head of pack trails and rail lines.
Because he was a reliable carrier he had
considerable effect on the importance
and early growth of the communities
along the shore of Slocan Lake. As a dependable link in the chain of supply to
the area he helped stimulate the need for
the two CP. rail lines which were subsequendy built into the area from the north
and south. He also indirectly added
much business to the fledgling port of
In 1898, when the Estabrooks family
left New Denver for the Okanagan, it is
unlikely that any ever planned to return.
Young Otto, who was then nine years old
had been living in the town since the age
of four. He had begun school there and
had friends among the children of the
miners, merchants and others who were
flocking into the busding town with their
families. Travelling to their father's new
posting must have been an interesting
experience when compared to their first
trip into Slocan area some five years before.
Their route took them on the Nakusp
& Slocan Railway from New Denver to
the port of Nakusp where they boarded
a sternwheeler for Arrowhead. There
they made connections with the train to
take them to Revelstoke and the C.P.R.
main line. A short ride west on the train
took them to Sicamous and the Shuswap
and Okanagan rail line to their new home
at Okanagan Landing, near Vernon.
George Estabrooks began his appointment as master of the sternwheeler Aberdeen on the tri-weekly express run
down Okanagan Lake to Penticton and
the family settled into their surroundings.
Young Otto started school again, made
friends and began to enjoy life in the new
Five years later, at age fourteen, Otto
was to begin his career on the C.P.R.
steamboats as a relief watchman on the
steamer York. When a boat was laid up
for any length of time it was necessary to
S.S. Win. HUNTER at Slocan City - 1895.
have someone on board to make sure
there were no leaks and to do routine
maintenance tasks. Otto Estabrooks,
having grown up around steamboats was
an ideal choice. For the next few years
he was to combine school attendance
with short periods on board the York at
what was to become his lifetime career.
In this he seems not unlike many teens
today who combine school with summer
jobs and part time work.
In March, 1909 at age twenty Otto
passed the exam for his mate's certificate
which meant he qualified for permanent
employment on the C.P.R. boats. He had
been working part time as a deckhand
and watchman on both the Aberdeen
(his father's boat) and the York. As a
mate, but with low seniority, he had to
take the less desirable postings for a while.
He served as relieving mate on the Aberdeen for three months then was posted
to Kootenay Lake, first to the Nelson
then to the Moyie, then returned to the
Okanagan area for the next year or so.
In June of 1911 Otto Estabrooks returned to the Arrow Lakes for the first
time since leaving the area as a child. This
time he was to be the mate on the
Rossland and he would spend the next
summer also on the Rossland as she
made her scheduled runs between
Robson West, on the Columbia River,
and Arrowhead on upper Arrow Lake.
At this time traffic was so heavy that the
Bonnington was also used. To the set-
Photo courtesy of the Silverton Museum.
tiers ofthe area the boats were more than
just a source of transport. Their pursers'
offices acted as banks in some ways, and
the boats also served as travelling post
offices, restaurants and even unofficial
links in the local "grapevine". In the
winter, when the Rossland was laid up
for her annual refit and servicing her
place would be taken by the shallower
draft Minto.
Otto returned to Okanagan Lake each
winter for work on various boats there,
with occasional stints back on the Arrow
Lakes on either the Minto or the tug
Whatshan. July of 1914 saw him back
on the Rossland, then he was returned
to the Okanagan where he was privileged
to serve, first as mate on the Naramata's
inaugural run, then to help his father
close out his distinguished career on the
Sicamous. Upon the retirement of
George L. Estabrooks early in 1915 Otto
returned once more to the Arrow Lakes,
this time as mate on the Minto. In May,
as was usual in those times, he transferred
to the Rossland for the summer season.
But in the Fall, instead of going back to
the Okanagan he volunteered for active
service in World War I, and was not to
return until April, 1919.
Kootenay Lake once again, and the
sternwheeler Kokanee was to be Otto's
next command as they relieved the
Moyie for the next three months. Then
it was to the Bonnington for the summer and (mostly) the Minto for the win-
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 SS. YORKdrS.
ter of 1919-1920. However, in the spring
of 1920 he was to be given his first major long term appointment, as master of
the venerable York - the boat on which
he had first acted as watchman back
when he was only fourteen. Under the
careful guidance of her new master the
York was taken down the Okanagan
River to Skaha Lake where she was to
Both these vessels were built in 1914. Captain George Estabrooks
sailed the SICAMOUS
on her maiden voyage and for several years thereafter. These two are
now beached at Penticton as heritage sites.
Pictures courtesy of the Artist Randy Manuel.
Photo courtesy of the Kelowna Museum.
serve out her last days towing barges till
Captain Estabrooks, as he was known
by then, remained in the Okanagan after 1931 as master of the Naramata. He
had married in 1924 and lived in
Penticton with his wife and two children.
In 1941 a World War had once again
caused a shortage of skilled sailors for the
vessels ofthe Canadian
Pacific and Otto
Estabrooks was posted
as master of the Columbia on lower Arrow Lake. As a captain,
with thirty-two years of
service he likely could
have opted to remain in
his more comfortable
surrounding in the
Okanagan with his
family. It speaks well of
his character and dedication that he chose instead to uproot himself
once again to return to
the area he knew so
In 1943 he was appointed master of the
new tug Rosebery II
on Slocan Lake. The
next four years were
spent, on the lake of his
early youth, towing
barges of rail cars be
tween Slocan City and Rosebery. It was
an ideal position in which to spend the
last few years before retirement; but it
was not to be.
By 1947 the number of vessels still operating on the Arrow Lakes was much
less than before and, as business decreased, so did the number of trips. The
Minto had become the summer boat; but
in the winter remained in the upper lake.
Business on rhe lower lake had been handled by boats such as the Columbia - a
small passenger tug that could handle the
reduced winter volume. Then the Columbia was retired and the replacement
vessel proved inadequate. The decision
was made to try the Minto on a full run
during the low water period. In order to
navigate such a large vessel through the
narrows between Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes a master with extraordinary
skills was required. Accordingly, in 1947,
Otto was appointed as master of the
Minto - a position he held until 1951
when he retired at age sixty-two.
Of his years on the Arrow Lakes, Captain Estabrooks has stated,"... years have
passed since I have felt the throbbing of
the Minto's pitmans under my feet, but
in my mind's eye I see her yet, and also
the shoreline of the Arrow Lakes, constantly changing with the rise and fall of
the water level. Who can forget the ever
changing colour of the water on Lower
Arrow Lake as the shadows deepen in the
long summer twilight, or the chill light
of a winter sunrise illuminating the
snowy peak of Mount Thor? What
steamboat man, having read the water
in the Columbia River channel above or
below Revelstoke, in the narrows between
the Arrow Lakes or in the West Arm of
Kootenay Lake can ever forget the lessons learned. A thousand and one do's
and don'ts make up the lore of successful
navigation. A hundred and one memories linger ofthe happy times and rough
times working with members of C.P.R.
1. Sternwheelers and Sandbars and Switchbacks, Affleck,
E.A., Nichols, c 1973, p. 105
2. Ibid, p. 119.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Donald Waterfield -
Author, Patriot, Prophet
by Ronald A. Ansell
There is a saying, "a prophet is not
without honour save in his own land."
This, if true, may explain why there are
no statues or plaques to honour Donald
Waterfield in any communities along the
Arrow Lakes. For this former resident
of Nakusp was truly a prophet with a
clear idea of what would be involved in
the flooding ofthe Arrow Lakes and Columbia Valley. He had stated, early in
the 1960s that water would become an
increasingly precious commodity - a resource not to be wasted or too lightly
bargained away. He recognized the negative effects of the Columbia Treaty and
tried to persuade the governments ofthe
day to cancel or amend the terms which
he felt were not in Canada's or the West
Kootenays' best interests. The correctness of his stand, while still in some dispute, has become increasingly apparent.
Donald Waterfield first came to the
area with his parents as a child of four.
His father was from a distinguished English family and had previously served as
secretary to the Governor General of
New Zealand. In 1912 the decision was
made to join the influx of English setders coming to Canada. The father came
to Nakusp, on Upper Arrow Lake, purchased land in the Crescent Bay area and
planted twenty acres of apple trees which,
according to the popular wisdom and
advertising ofthe day, would soon assure
their fortune. Then he began the building of their house which he named "the
Assart," and when it was complete, sent
for the family. Donald, his mother and
his two sisters soon arrived and commenced life and hard work on their land
in the area ofthe Crescent Bay Orchards
development some three miles (four-five
km.) from Nakusp. While somewhat isolated, they had as neighbours others of
similar circumstance and breeding. Thus
Donald Waterfield (Book jacket photo).
pleasant afternoons could sometimes be
spent in the company of fellow would-
be orchardists and relatives at their
homes, also named, and but a short walk
away - albeit an often muddy and strenuous walk on narrow trails through the
seemingly endless forest.
Young Donald spent the next five years
with his family in this setting until there
occurred what he was later to describe as
the worst day of his life.
War had been declared by Britain in
1914 and this had meant that Canada
was automatically at war also. Horace
Waterfield, Donald's father, along with
many others from the area, had joined
the army in 1915 to form the famous
Fighting 54th Kootenay Battalion, and
had gone to France to fight in World War
I. Then, in 1917 came word that he had
been killed at Passchendaele. Donalds
mother was left a widow, with three
young children and an orchard to run
that was just beginning to come into production.
Suddenly, at age eight, Donald became
the 'man ofthe house' and was forced to
accept the fact that the father he had last
seen going off to war some three years
before would never be returning.
Fortunately for Donald there were others to whom he was able to turn for guidance and advice in his growing years -
his mother, Elspeth and his uncle, Captain Clifton Carver . ..
Nonetheless it is obvious that Donald
profited from his misfortune, that he
became a more decisive, better organized
and analytical person with a strong sense
of what he felt was just and right and a
sympathy for those less fortunate.
Donald Waterfield's teenage years were
marked by at least two major events. One
was the accidental drowning of a relative
which once again visited the spectre of
unexpected sudden death. Seventeen
year old Donald was to act as a pall bearer
at the funeral. Another unfortunate accident occurred when a team of horses
bolted and severely injured Donald's leg.
This resulted in a painful injury which
led to surgery, eventual amputation ofthe
leg and what could have been a severe
disability. Instead, his life took a new
turn. Donald found a wife.
Freda Brown was the daughter of
neighbours down by the lake and she and
Donald had many things in common.
Both their families had come from England and were growing fruit on land in
the Crescent Bay Orchards. They shared
a common dislike for war and its horrors, and a common liking of good books
and art as well as an appreciation of the
natural scenery and life in the area. They
had both been good athletes but at the
time were both on crutches - Donald
because of his leg and Freda because of
polio. From this beginning there developed a romance which led to their marriage in 1932.
The couple built their house down the
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 hill from the Assart and began raising a
family - eventually a son and a daughter. Donald invested considerable time
and money in developing the orchard;
but found that fruit farming was not a
profitable venture in competition with
the Okanagan growers. He then
switched to mixed farming.
By 1961 the Waterfield holdings had
increased through the purchase of some
additional land over the years and
Donald had formed a partnership with
his son, Nigel. However the signing of
the Columbia Treaty and the flooding of
the Arrow Lakes, if such was to occur,
would not materially affect their living.
A small strip of lakefront would be lost;
but this was not being farmed and there
was a chance of a just settlement.
Donald's sister and brother-in-law, the
Spicers, stood to lose much of their very
productive vegetable farm; but again,
there was the chance of getting a fair price
for it. Donald was, at the time, president of the Nakusp Chamber of Commerce. He formed a Water Resources
Committee and served as its chairman.
The committee got outside expert help
and tried to alert others in the area to
the impending proposed changes. But
why? Why stand in the way of progress?
Why oppose the Columbia Treaty and
all its supposed benefits to the area and
to the rest of Canada? And why go to
such lengths as to write not one book,
but two, to travel literally thousands of
miles to attend meetings, hearings and
trials, to present briefs and explain a point
of view to officials who seemed to have
already made a decision anyway? In the
valley, many people saw the Columbia
Treaty project as a chance to sell out and
finally be able to leave. Others saw it as
a chance to find work, and some seriously resented the imposition of forced
The answer to Donald Waterfield's
opposition seems to lie in the mental and
emotional makeup of the man. He felt a
responsibility to explain the bad parts to
his fellow citizens. No matter that he
would personally not suffer a loss; he felt
the Treaty was wrong. It would destroy
a belt of rich soils which were even in
those days relatively rare. It would forever alter the ecosystem by destroying the
then existing riparian zone, thus changing the climate, animal and plant life. It
would destroy the beauty of the valley
he had come to call his home. Many
people would be seriously affected. The
treaty was not as good a deal for Canada
as it was made out to be. Moreover, it
was but a part of a master plan known as
the North American Water and Power
Alliance, which would utilize much of
the water resources of the entire continent. The plan would provide water for
the American Southwest; but result in
part in the flooding of most of B.C.'s
vaUeys including the Okanagan, Columbia and upper Fraser valleys and the
Rocky Mountain Trench. It would divert most of B.C.'s northward flowing
rivers south, and see the creation of giant dams to generate electric power to
pump south the flow of several more
northerly rivers of the Pacific watershed
- an idea so far-fetched as to seem ridiculous in the 1960s.1
Now it is almost the beginning ofthe
twenty-first century, and now when we
examine the objections raised those many
years ago they seem to have new importance. The electric power potential of
the Columbia, while still present, has
seemingly decreased in value to the U.S.
power corporations. This has resulted
in a reneging on some ofthe Treaty terms.
Thus, as predicted, the deal was not as
financially beneficial as planned. Having lost the control of our water level to
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers we
Canadians have lost some of the sovereignty over our own resources. No matter that area beaches can vary from year
to year in size from a few hundred feet in
width to close to a kilometre. The level
has become important or rather has remained important, as Donald Waterfield
said it would. And our control was
signed away.
The far fetched master plan that
seemed so ridiculous in the 1960s seems
much more relevant and ominous today
when we hear of proposals to divert part
of the flow of the Fraser River into the
Columbia, to divert more ofthe Nechako
River into the Kemano Completion system, and to dam and reverse the flow of
some rivers ofthe Arctic watershed.
The flooding of the Arrow Lakes and
the creation of the Arrow Reservoir did
eliminate the farmland strip and the
many subsistence farms and small holdings, but at present there does not seem
to be a shortage of agricultural products
on area store shelves. There is, however,
a shortage of locally produced foods, and
as a result there is almost total dependence on outside areas for supply. Most
cities need the produce from somewhere
else in order to eat. But the Arrow Valley is not a city, and having lost the ability to raise at least some of its own food
it has become dependent on the whims
and market trends of others. In tough
economic times some may also do without.
Once there were the small farms, each
with a few chickens, a cow or two and a
large garden. The residents produced
much of their own food. It was more a
way of life than a living. But it was also
a means for independence. Donald
Waterfield foresaw the demise of these
small holdings. We are now living with
the results.
That the physical appearance of the
land would change is inevitable. The
land is ever changing and the beauty of
today is soon replaced, hopefully by the
beauty of tomorrow. Having never seen
the Arrow Valley with its lakes, winding
river joining, small farms and tiny settlements, the viewer of today may instead
be struck by the magnificent mountain
and lake scenery only somewhat diminished by the sight at low water. This is
not Donald's land any more. But it is
what he predicted.
Ansell is a retired teacher, latterly of Prince
George, who now makes his home in Nakusp
on the Arrow Lakes.
1. See Appendix A, Continental Water Boy, Waterfield,
D., Clarke, Irwin and Col, c 1970, p. 241.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 The Ides of March: The Rowell-Sirois
Commission in Victoria
Federal-provincial relations seem to
have been a contentious issue in British
Columbia since 1871 when the province
joined Confederation. The materialistic
attitude of the Province's political elite
towards Canada at that time manifested
itself in statements like J.S. Helmcken's:
"The people (of B.C.) must be better off
under Confederation than alone, or they
will not put up with it."1 This attitude
is often seen as running through the relations between Victoria and Ottawa
right through the present time.2 Issues
like the federal government's failure to
build the promised transcontinental railway in time, the fight for "better terms"
around the turn ofthe century, financial
"justice", freight rates and high development costs in B.C. can be construed as
expressions of a fundamentally materialistic attitude ofthe province towards its
position within the Canadian state.
The Royal Commission on Dominion-
Provincial Relations, commonly known
as the Rowell-Sirois Commission, was established in 1937. Its hearing in Victoria in March 1938 and the following
federal-provincial conference of 1941
highlight the tensions that existed and
still exist between the two levels of government. In consequence of the surrounding debate and the Commission's
report and recommendations B.C.'s premier T.D. Pattullo walked out of the
1941 conference together with the premiers of Alberta and Ontario.3 But while
premier Richard McBride had used the
same tactic in 1906 and had experienced
widespread acclaim for his actions in his
home province, Pattullo was heavily criticized for his behavior. This lack of support is often attributed to the fact that
Canada was at war at the time - and at a
low point of that war - and that provincialism was simply not looked upon
kindly by the majority of the popula-
by Ralf Schemmann
tion.4 As Donald E. Blake puts it: ". . .
Pattullo s problem was mainly one of tim-
But the briefs presented to the Rowell-
Sirois Commission by several political,
economic and social interest groups of
B.C. and the newspaper accounts ofthe
hearings in Victoria show that Pattullo's
and his government's position was already fairly isolated in 1938. The numerous submissions reveal a wide variety
of agendas and suggest not only that there
was more general acceptance ofthe federal government than one might suspect,
but also that diverse interest groups tried
to use the federal connection to further
their agendas by opposing or circumventing the provincial government.
Therefore a detailed look at the briefs
presented to the Royal Commission
might be helpful to draw a differentiated
picture of the political attitudes in B.C.
towards federalism. The following essay
attempts to make a beginning by looking at some of these submissions and the
corresponding reports in the provincial
In February 1937 Prime Minister Mackenzie King announced the formation of
the Royal Commission on Dominion-
Provincial Relations. It was supposed to
examine the history of Canadian federalism, report on the nature of federal-
provincial relations and recommend
policies and reforms to ensure the functioning ofthe system for the future. Due
to the financial situation at all levels of
government after the Great Depression,
its focus was not surprisingly largely economic in nature. Revenue sources, taxation, public expenditure, debts and
Dominion subsidies and grants to the
provinces were the main issues it was
concerned with.6
The Commission was finally appointed on August 14, 1937 and began
a tour of hearings through the provinces
of Canada in November, where it accepted and publicly discussed briefs and
memoranda from the governments and
other public and private institutions.
These submissions, but not necessarily
the submitting institutions' intentions,
formed the basis for the Commission's
report, which was presented to the Prime
Minister of Canada on May 3, 1940.7
The federal government used the report
to form an agenda for a federal-provincial conference which was called for January of 1941.
The Rowell-Sirois Commission arrived
in Victoria, B.C. on March 15, 1938,
duly heralded by the provincial newspapers,8 and began its hearing the following day. For ten days, until March 25,
the Commission sat in British Columbia's capital and heard and debated a variety of submissions.9 It began with the
presentation of the provincial government's brief by premier Pattullo and his
chief counsel, Senator J.W. de B. Farris .
During the next days submissions by
other institutions and organizations followed: the Municipalities of B.C., the
City of Vancouver, the B.C. School Trustees' Association, the B.C. Chamber of
Agriculture, the Greater Vancouver and
New Westminster Youth Council, the
Provincial Council of Women, the Native Sons of B.C., the Catholic Minority
of B.C., the Vancouver Young Liberal Association, the CCF (B.C. section), the
B.C. Library Association, the Primary
Products Publishing Company Ltd., The
B.C. Mainland Branch ofthe Canadian
Association of Social Workers, the Corporation of the City of Revelstoke and
the Langley Farmers' Institute.10
Although events in Europe, like the
Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany
or the Spanish Civil War, occasionally
overshadowed local events, the provin-
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 cial, regional and local press took a lively
interest in the proceedings at Victoria.
B.C.'s Brief
The government of British Columbia
presented a carefully researched and prepared document of 366 pages to the
Rowell-Sirois Commission.11 It contained a detailed account ofthe province's
economic and financial situation and
generally presented the "traditional"
grievances of British Columbia towards
the federal government: the "problem"
of Oriental immigration, the special condition of B.C. because of high costs of
government; economic disadvantages
caused by tariffs protecting the eastern
manufacturing industries and unfair
freight rates, the situation of the Pacific
Great Eastern Railway; the inadequacy
of federal funding in B.C.; and the issue
of taxation powers.
In effect B.C.'s brief made a list of demands of the federal government that
included the takeover of several social
services by the Dominion — from unemployment relief and insurance to old age
pensions and mother's allowances12 - and
a substantial increase of taxation powers
and benefits for the province. The ultimate goal was the financial autonomy of
the province regarding its responsibilities.
Pattullo expressed this aim in the introduction to the government brief
"It should be the desire ofthe Province
and the Dominion that in the final analysis the Provinces shall be placed in a position that they shall be able to function
within the measure of their jurisdictions,
without recourse to the Dominion government for financial assistance, other than in
such measures as may be agreed upon. "13
It could be argued that these demands
were unreasonable, because it would have
been extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, for the federal government to finance the scheme. It should be noted
however that Pattullo approached the
Commission as a pro-federal institution,
which it probably was,l4 and might have
seen these demands as a negotiable statement of the province's position. In his
view the final recommendation of the
Commission might have been a compromise between the government's centralist
and his provincialist position.
This attitude is seen in an editorial of
the Province as an indication for conflicting assumptions between the provincial government and the Rowell-Sirois
Commission over the role of the latter.
"The Rowell Commission feels that its
job is to propose a new basis for Confederation. . . . [The Pattullo government] expects the new basis of Confederation to be
settled by bargaining between the Dominion and the provinces. . . <<15
While these conflicting views might
not have been there in reality, they certainly were portrayed as existent in the
press, explaining part ofthe criticism directed by newspapers at the government.
Overall B.C.'s brief seems to reflect a
basically materialistic attitude ofthe provincial government towards Confederation, because it focuses so strongly on
economic and financial issues. On the
other hand this impression comes as no
surprise, given the nature ofthe questions
addressed by the Royal Commission.
The debates do not seem to have been
very different in the other provinces,16
suggesting that this preoccupation was a
result ofthe time frame and basic agenda
of the Commission and not a singular
phenomenon of B.C. The individual
problems addressed by the brief, like the
PGE or the freight rates, were
specific to B.C. though.
The Municipalities
The financial situation was a
major issue not only to the provincial government of B.C. but
also to the municipalities ofthe
province. The Municipalities of
British Columbia, the City of
Vancouver, the Okanagan Municipal Association and the Cor-
poration of the City of
Revelstoke presented briefs to
the Rowell-Sirois Commission
addressing this issue.17 The text
of the Vancouver submission
makes the central problem clear:
"... the situation has become
more serious during the last five
or six years, by reason ofthe continually increasing cost of unemployment relief, hospitalization
and other social services on the one hand,
whilst on the other hand [Vancouver's] one
important source of revenue, the tax on real
estate has continued to decline. . . '18
To remedy the shortage of funds - essentially caused by the effects ofthe Great
Depression on the city - the brief suggested among other things that the provincial and federal governments should
pay taxes on their properties within municipalities and that all or a substantial
part of payments for social services
should be taken over by them.19
The municipalities' concerns illustrate
the effects of the Depression on the
economy and on the financial situation
of all levels of government. With the
increased social responsibilities expenditures rose substantially. Consequently
the different levels began to argue about
who could and should carry the costs of
services. The Province's political caricature illustrates the result:
The only connection to the Rowell-
Sirois Commission's topic - Dominion-
Provincial Relations - was the question
of who would take up the financial responsibility for social services eventually,
a question that the Vancouver brief attempted to avoid. It tried to remain neutral towards either party and it certainly
was not completely on the side of the
The Problem Children
AN    BP1D«M|C   •■
■ I   BH.HVI   TMSWr *»■
MKK   -rtKMJS.  •««   B C  '
(The Province, March 18,1938.)
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 provincial government, as illustrated by
the fact that it mentions the province's
record revenue of 1937.20
Obviously the Rowell-Sirois Commission presented an opportunity for the
municipalities to give their financial
grievances a public hearing in front of
an important body. The issue of federal-
provincial relations took a back seat to
their own problems. The nature of the
problems put them somewhat at odds
with both higher levels of government,
since financial responsibilities were at
stake and therefore it is no surprise that
Pattullo was criticized from this side
when the 1941 conference produced no
immediate results.
Economic Interest - The Boards of
The most unusual proposition to the
Commission during the hearing in Victoria came from the Associated Boards
ofTrade of British Columbia, Speaking
for them and several other boards of
trade, Vancouver business man H. R.
MacMillan advocated a plebiscite to
abolish the provincial legislatures. Although he was expressively supported on
this topic by the Eastern Boards ofTrade
of B.C., it seems highly questionable
whether this proposition was taken seriously by a significant number of people.
As the chairman of the Commission,
Chief Justice Newton Rowell remarked,
some issues ofthe brief appeared "rather
But with or without this rather presumptuous proposition, the combined
statement ofthe Boards ofTrade was another example of a particular interest expressed on the occasion of the Royal
Commission's hearing. Although superficially advocating radical centralization
at the expense of the provincial government, the brief contained in essence nineteenth century liberal ideas of less
government and "free" enterprise. It
stated that"... British Columbia is overtaxed and overgoverned."22 To encourage economic growth taxation was to be
reduced by eliminating the double income tax paid to federal and provincial
governments, and public expenditures of
the provinces were to be cut drastically.
The brief's demands for commissions to
examine "the rising costs of civil service"
and that "the present wasteful method
of administering unemployment should
be stopped"23 were examples of the
Boards' ofTrade distrustful attitude towards the growing state bureaucracy.
The Prince George Board ofTrade had
the same goal of economic growth in
mind, when it presented its brief to the
Commission, but due to Prince George's
different geographic and demographic
situation, the proposed way to reach this
goal was different. Immigration -
namely British immigration — was portrayed as the way to unlock Canada's untapped wealth of resources and to
encourage economic development.24
Obviously the northern business men
had the situation of their city in mind,
which had suffered from the drastically
reduced immigration after World War I.
Again the Board's agenda was only marginally connected to the issue of federal-
provincial relations. It used the hearing
to voice its economic concerns before the
federal and provincial governments.
The Vancouver Junior Board of Trade's
brief summed up the central demands of
the business interests of British Columbia: an increase in centralization at the
expense of the provincial government,
regulation of public finances, federal responsibility for social services, increased
immigration and most importantly the
balancing of budgets on all levels of government.25
Social Groups
A variety of interest groups not direcdy
linked to political or economic institutions submitted briefs to the Rowell-
Sirois Commission. Organizations like
the Greater Vancouver and New Westminster Youth Council, the Provincial
Council of Women, the Native Sons of
B.C. and the Catholic Minority of B.C.
could be classified as social interest
groups, while the B.C. Branch of the
Canadian Association of Social Workers
and the B.C. School Trustees' Association represented even more particular
Nationalism seems to have been strong
in the arguments of these groups. They
generally argued for stronger federal powers to increase Canadian unity,26 apart
from arguing their own agenda. For instance the Youth Council's brief contained a vocal argument for greater
"Canada has existed as a political entity
for seventy-one years. It is high time that
she cast off the cloak of disunity and became a nation in fact as well as in name. '27
At the same time the particular interests ofthe groups were also strongly put
forward, with the Youth Council advocating a youth employment service,28 the
Catholic Minority arguing for separate
schools29 and the School Trustees
clamoring for the transference of school
funding from the municipalities to the
While the general nationalistic attitude
of the late thirties may account for the
national sentiment in the briefs of these
groups, there is another common thread
running through them. Most of them ■
seemed to be committed in one way or
another to social reforms. For example a
central issue on the agenda of the Provincial Council of Women was the
"elimination of differences in the standards of living, labor and social legislation
and cultural conditions in all parts of
Canada,"31 and the Youth Council advocated a "greater measure of protection
for various minority groups, especially in
the matter of discrimination which is
practiced against those persons of certain
races now living in Canada."32
Significantly these groups placed their
trust for enacting measures of reform in
the federal, not the provincial government. The state was seen as an important vehicle for enacting social reforms,
but it was the federal level which got the
benefit of this growing reliance on government and bureaucracy.
It might be argued that these organizations showed the greatest influence of
the international situation and the
strongest emphasis on national unity.
But still they did not simply argue for
centralized government, rather they put
forward their own agendas and connected these with the issue of federal-provincial relations.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Political Groups - The Parties
Only one party and one party organization presented briefs to the Royal Com-
mission, the socialist Co-operative
Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and
the Vancouver Young Liberal Association. The absence of statements from
the main party organizations of Liberals
and Conservatives might be explained by
the conflict of interests between their
provincial and federal levels, but that is
hard to tell.
The CCF brief argued strongly for a
strengthened central government, including complete federal sovereignty over
income tax, social legislation and marketing.33 This is hardly a surprise considering that the CCF still based its
policies on socialist theories, which generally favor centralized systems of government over federal ones. Especially
obvious was this theoretical background
in the brief's statements on economic issues:
"Provincial economies should be controlled to confirm to national economies. Industry cannot be separated into production
units, interested in local, provincial, national and export consumption. Large scale
and social production necessitates national
control. "^
Additionally the socialist movement
has traditionally held an international
view, away from regional politics.
Federal legislation was seen as a means
to ensure minimum standards of social
services in the provinces:
". . . we suggest that the federal government have power to establish minimum
standards of codes, and provinces have concurrent powers to establish higher standards
Clearly a reorganization of provincial-
federal powers was seen as a chance to
achieve better social legislation.
More surprising than the position of
the CCF was the fact that the Vancouver
youth organization of Pattullo's own Liberals also presented a brief arguing for
more federal control.36 Although it
agreed with the government brief on
many ofthe issues, it contended some of
the central demands of Pattullo's case.
The Young Liberals proposed that the
right to income taxation, which the government brief saw basically lying with the
province, belonged to the Dominion.
They also argued for larger concentration of powers in Ottawa as opposed to
Pattullo's wished for more provincial au-
It is difficult to tell whether this attitude of the party youth organization
came from a strong connection to the
federal party or out of municipal concerns (since it was the Vancouver organization). It shows, however, that even
within the Liberal party no complete
consensus existed on the reorganization
of the Canadian federal system.
Press Reactions
Aside from local or special interest
newspapers, like the Prince George Citizen and the Federationist, the main coverage of the Victoria hearing appeared in
the Province, the Vancouver Sun, the
Victoria Times and the Colonist.
Generally Pattullo's proposition to the
Rowell-Sirois Commission did not generate a positive echo in the provincial
press. While radical positions like
MacMillan's call for the abolition ofthe
provincial legislature did not get a very
sympathetic press either - most papers mentioned Rowell s classification ofthe matter as "impractical"
- a sense that national unity was
necessary and that Pattullo threatened this unity with his position
permeated all accounts ofthe proceedings.
The Province was the most vocal critic of Pattullo, exhibiting
strong sympathies for the members
of the Commission as in the following description of the chairman:
"Chief Justice Newton Rowell is a
mild-mannered old gentleman, soft
of voice, beautifully precise of diction.
But his questions from the head table of his royal commission here are
as sharp as rapier thrusts. '97
But also the Sun and the Times
reported generally favorably on the
briefs arguing for national unity
and more centralized government.
The newspapers assumed that
Pattullo saw the Commission as an
adversarial representative of the federal
government and that he wanted to bargain over provincial-federal powers, while
they themselves saw the Commission as
a neutral party with the objective to create a newly balanced federal system. It is
hard to tell how far this perceived clash
of assumptions was shared by the general public, but it foreshadowed the general negative reaction towards Pattullo's
performance at the 1941 federal-provincial conference.
The Conference
When the federal-provincial conference based on the Rowell-Sirois report
was held in Ottawa in January of 1941,
World War II was in its second year and
prospects were grim for Britain and its
allies. The situation intensified the calls
for national unity, making demands for
more provincial autonomy seem anachronistic.
Whether the failure ofthe Conference
to produce results must be attributed to
the stubborn position of the three dissenting premiers Aberhart, Mitchell and
Pattullo38 or to the questionable agenda
ofthe Mackenzie King administration,39
(The Province, March 26™, 1938.)
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 is impossible to decide in the context of
this essay. But whatever the cause, the
public response in B.C. to Pattullo's walkout was overwhelmingly negative and
certainly contributed to the Liberals' loss
of the absolute majority of seats in the
elections ofthe same year and to Pattullo's
subsequent replacement by John Hart.
The B.C. government's attitude towards the Rowell-Sirois Commission is
generally seen as having been in keeping
with the province's history of antagonism
towards the Dominion government.40
The failure of Pattullo's policy to pay off
in terms of public support or provincial
votes contrasts with the success of other
"fed-bashing" premiers like Richard
McBride or W.A.C. Bennett, but is easily explained by the critical international
situation and the resulting emphasis on
national unity and on the importance of
the federal government. There is certainly a lot of truth to this interpretation
of events surrounding the Rowell-Sirois
Commission and of the reactions to it,
but it seems possible to find other themes
and additional explanations.
One is the financial situation of the
time. The Great Depression left a legacy
of increased government responsibilities
and public debt. It is no surprise then
that the Royal Commission and its hearing became a forum for the ensuing fight
between the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government over who
was responsible for the new burdens and
who would pay for them. Obviously this
created opposition to the provincial government of Pattullo on the municipal
level, which came to a peak with the failure ofthe 1941 conference to address the
At the same time many interest groups
saw the expanding regulatory powers of
the government as providing chances to
further their own agendas. Perhaps due
to the nationalistic mood ofthe time they
turned largely to the federal government
to make it the vehicle for their intentions.
Ironically business interests which resented the growing taxation and regulatory powers of government attacked the
provincial level in their quest to achieve
less government, perhaps because
Pattullo had attempted to address the
problems ofthe Depression by establishing a form of social capitalism in British
Columbia - his "little new deal".41
Together all of these interests produced
the rift between the provincial government's view on the future of federal-provincial relations and the general tenor of
the non-government proposals. Pattullo
seemed to be bereft of public support,
with traitors on all sides as the cartoonist ofthe province illustrates: (page 18)
Overall the Rowell-Sirois Commission
seems to have been a forum not only for
provincialist or nationalist views of government but also for a plethora of hopes,
agendas and propositions put forward by
an equally diverse group of institutions
and organizations. Common to all participants was the expectation that the
Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, its report and the following conference would address their
concerns. The failure of the conference
to deliver on these expectations and
Pattullo's apparent responsibility for this
failure logically led to the hostility and
discontent that produced the immensely
negative reaction in his home province.
Rolf Schemmann wrote this while he was an
exchange student at the University of British
Columbia. His home is in Siegen, Germany.
1. J.S. Helmcken, during the 1870 Confederation debate.
2. See Norman J. Ruff, "British Columbia and Canadian
Federalism", in J. Terence Morley (eds.), Reins of
Power (Vancouver 1983), pp. 271-304; Donald E. Blake,
"Managing the Periphery: British Columbia and National
Political Community," in R. Kenneth Carry and W. Peter
Ward (eds.) National Politics and Community in
Canada (Vancouver 1986), pp. 169-183 and Martin
Robin, Pillars of Profit: The Company Province 1934-
1972 (Toronto 1973).
3. Robin Fisher, Duff Pattullo of British Columbia
(Toronto 1991), pp. 330-333.
4. Ruff, p. 296; Blake, p. 172.
5. Blake, p. 172
6. Donald V. Smiley, Introduction to The Rowell/Sirois
Report, Book I, edited by Donald V. Smiley (Toronto
1963), p. 2.
7. Ibid., p. 1.
8. The Vancouver Sun, the Province, the Victoria Times
and the Colonist, all March 15, 1938.
9. Report of the Royal Commission on Dominion-
Provincial Relations, Book III, Documentation (Ottawa
1938), p. 211.
10. Ibid., pp. 211-212.
11. British Columbia in the Canadian Confederation: A
Submission Presented to the Royal Commission on
Dominion-Provincial Relations by the Government ofthe
Province of British Columbia (Victoria 1938).
12. Ibid., pp. 351-354.
13. B.C in the Canadian Confederation, p. iii.
14. Fisher, pp. 318-319.
15. The Province, March 26, 1938, p.?.
16. Report ofthe Royal Commission on Dominion-
Provincial Relations. Digest of briefs and reports
(Ottawa 1938).
17. Digest of briefs and reports, ex. 181, 182, 203 and 215.
18. Brief of the City of Vancouver, as printed in the
Vancouver Sun, March 21, 1938, p. 2.
19. Brief of the City of Vancouver, as printed in the
Vancouver Sun, March 21, 1938, p.3.
20. Brief of the City of Vancouver, as quoted in the
Vancouver Sun, March 21, 1938, p. 3.
21. The Province, March 22, 1938, pp.1+2; The Victoria
Times, March 22, 1938, pp. 1+2.
22. Brief of Associated Boards ofTrade of B.C., as quoted in
Victoria Times, March 22, 1938, p.2.
23. Ibid., p.l.
24. The Prince George Citizen, March 24, 1938, pp. 1+4.
25. The Vancouver Sun, March 24, 1938, p.!
26. Digest of briefs and reports, ex. 183, 205, 206, 207, 208
and 214.
27. Brief of Greatet Vancouver and New Westminster Youth
Council, as quoted in the Province, March 24, 1938,
p. 9.
28. The Province, March 24, 1938, p. 7.
29. The Province, March 24, 1938, p. 9.
30. The Vancouver Sun, March 22, 1938, p. 2.
31. Brief of the Provincial Council of Women, as quoted in
the Province, March 24,1938, p. 7.
32. Brief of Youth Council, as quoted in the Province,
March 24, 1938, p. 7.
33. Digest of briefs and reports, ex 210.
34. Brief of the CCF (B.C. section), as resumetl in the
Federationist, March 17, 1938, p.3.
35. Ibid.
36. Digest of brief and reports, ex. 209.
37. The Province, March 18, 1938, p.;
38. Robin, pp. 45-47.
39. Fisher, pp. 245-249.
40. See Ruff, pp. 271-304; Blake, pp. 169-183 and Robin,
pp. 38-62.
41. Fisher, pp. 245-249.
Donald E. Blake, "Managing the Periphery: British
Columbia and National Political Community," in R.
Kenneth Cany and W. Peter Ward (eds.), National
Politics and Community in Canada (Vancouver 1986).
Donald £. Blake, Two PoUtical Worlds: Parties and Voting
in British Columbia (Vancouver 1985).
British Columbia in the Canadian Confederation: A
Submission Presented to the Royal Commission on
Dominion-Provincial Relations by the Government ofthe
Province of British Columbia (Victoria 1938).
W.A. Mackintosh, The Economic Background of
Dominion-Provincial Relations. Appendix III of the
Royal Commission Report on Dominion-Provincial
Relations, edited and introduced by j.H. Dales (Toronto
Robin Fisher, Duff Pattullo of British Columbia (Toronto
Report ofthe Royal Commisssion on Dominion-
Provincial Relations, Book III, Documentation (Ottawa
Report ofthe Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial
Relations. Digest of briefs and reports (Ottawa 1938).
Martin Robin, Pillars of Profit: The Company Province
1934-1972 (Toronto 1973).
The Rowell/Sirois Report, Book I, edited by Donald V
Smiley (Toronto 1963).
Norman J. Ruff, "British Columbia and Canadian
Federalism", in J. Terence Morley et al (eds.), Reins of
Power (Vancouver 1983).
David RJcardo Williams, Mayor Gerry: The Remarkable
Gerald Grattan McGeer (Vancouver 1986).
The Daily Colonist
The Federationist
The Prince George Citizen
The Vancouver Province
The Vancouver Sun
The Victoria Daily Times
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 War in the Woods - Yesterday and Today
by Dolly Sinclair Kennedy
Port McNeill Company Limited -1940. The Company Boat tbe PITCO, Captain Lorrie Vereken; EdMcKierakan - teacher; Dolly Kennedy)
Kay Shelly; Mrs. Shelly Sr.; and David Kennedy, age 4 years.
Port McNeill, Forest Capital of British Columbia, has grown from a small
logging camp - Pioneer Timber Company Limited — to a major logging centre on North Vancouver Island. No
longer inhibited by geographic isolation,
Port McNeill can be reached by highway,
water, or air. A number of major logging companies have their regional headquarters there. Named in honor of
Captain W.H. McNeill, who brought his
vessel to trade in the north Island in
1852, Port NcNeill now has a population of nearly 3,000 with a hospital, library, and all the amenities needed to
make life comfortable.
The logging camp at Port McNeill
came into existence in 1937, when Pioneer Timber Company Limited, signed
an agreement with Broughton Timber
Company and Powell River Company to
log the area. Pioneer gave up its logging
operation near Sointula on Malcolm Island, and moved its bunkhouses over to
Port McNeill. After the initial growing
pains of 1937 and 1938, Pioneer settled
down to a production of 50 million feet
per year, for the duration of the war.
In the 1930's and
early 40's, logging was
done by a hi-lead system called skiddersky-
line logging. The lines
on the skidder went to
the top of a spar tree
and were called
Northbend and
Southbend. The lines
could go 2000 feet
into the bush and pull
the trees to the road,
to be loaded onto
hard-tire logging
trucks. The logs were
then driven to the
booming grounds,
where by the use of a
donkey and an A-
frame, they were
lifted from the
truck and skidded
into the water.
The logs were
then sorted by a
boom man, using
a pike pole, and
put into a flat
boom to be
towed away.
When war
broke out in September 1939, the
logging industry
became immensely important to the war
effort. Spruce
was needed in the
manufacture of
warplanes, shipyards were working day and night, and it was said that
80% of Canada's lumber production was
geared to defence work.
Loading a truck - 1940
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Tommy Taiki - High Rigger -1941.
In wartime high riggers were the aristocrats of the camps, and were highly
paid. They had to be in excellent shape,
physically and mentally and most were
careful men. High riggers used climbing irons and a rope which they looped
around a spar tree, then tied to their thick
belts to steady themselves. The most
dangerous time for a high rigger was the
moment he cut off with his axe, the top
of a hundred and fifty foot tree. As the
Rigging a spar tree -1941.
top fell, the tree would whip
back and forth in an arc. To
steady himself the man would
drive in his spurs and his axe
and hang on.
Power skidding by overhead
cables consisted of a 1 1 /4 inch
cable rigged like a clothesline
from a head spar, a standing
tree, which had been trimmed
and topped, 125 feet or more,
to a tail spar, guyed to a stump.
When it came to rigging spar
rrees, the rigger
was the supervisor. The second
time up, after
topping, the high
rigger carried a
pass rope to rig
the guy lines and
the high lead
Trees are felled by faller
using eight-foot long handsaws and a springboard.
The faller cut a notch well
above the base of the tree,
which was not considered
worth the extra labour to
harvest. Iron tipped, five-
foot long springboards were
wedged into the cuts in the
tree, and on these precarious perches, two men
swung their axes until
the tree began to lean.
With a stand-clear cry
of "Tim-berrr" they
would fling their axes
into the bush and dive
off the boards.
Once the tree was
down, two buckers
sawed a 200 foot tree
into logs of 40 feet or
Engineers did the
layout, roadbuilding
and bridge construction. The loggers
yarded and loaded rhe
logs onto big trucks.
The donkey puncher
ran the donkey and the hooktenders had
to choke the logs in the pile. Then the
logs were fastened by the hook-tender,
picked up, and danced through the air
under the carriage on the skyline, into a
pile for loading.
Our family arrived in Port McNeill
before our house did. Harry McQuillan,
logging superintendent, was faced with
the dilemma of where to put us. His
problem was solved by Ed McKierahan,
teacher for the school which had been
Topping a spar tree.
built in 1940. Ed, a bachelor, was only
too glad to move out of his quarters behind the school and into the bunkhouses
with the men. Here he would share the
camaraderie ofthe loggers and eat in the
We moved into the teacher's quarters
and our piano was stored in the classroom, much to the delight ofthe school
children. Our evening meal in the cookhouse, was a real luxury in those days of
rationing. The cook enjoyed our company and filled the pocket of my four-
year-old son David, with an apple or an
Our prefabricated house arrived eventually by barge. On skids, the house was
no problem to shift to a spot in the
woods, east of the government dock.
Beyond us, along the beach, were the
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 AspiU-1941.
quarters of a Japanese logging camp.
Before Pioneers move to Port McNeill,
once-weekly visit, all
the single men would
board the ship to
travel to Vancouver,
and spend their hard-
earned money. We ladies waved them off
and turned back to a
strangely empty camp.
The men left behind
to look after the safety
of the place were always invited by us for
Christmas dinner.
Pioneer Timber had
a forty foot boat, the
Pitco, used for ferrying people between
Port McNeill, Alert
Bay and Sointula.
Once a week the Pitco
would take the ladies shopping to Alert
Bay, which had its roots in the fishing
The crummy returning with the crew. Pioneer dock and log dump. Tbe government dock in tbe distance.
a Japanese firm had bought a large block
of Crown-granted lands in the name of
N.S. McNeill Trading Company Limited, or Nipon Soda of Port McNeill.
There were no cars, no pleasure boats,
nor telephones, freezers, dishwashers, nor
electric clothes dryers for the use of
women living in camp. At Christmas,
when the Union Steamship made its
industry. As you walked along the shoreline, you would pass St. Michael's Residential School, the B.C. Packers cannery,
store, and wharves; the Nimpkish Hotel, an Indian graveyard with its totems,
and St. George's Hospital.
Most of us sent a mail-order to
Woodwards for our canned goods. But
our favourite place to shop was with a
friendly Chinese, Dong Chong from
whom we bought fresh food stuff and a
variety of goods. If the ladies were short
of cash, Dong Chong was always willing
to extend credit.
On a few occasions in a summer, Lorie
Vireken, Captain ofthe Pitco, could be
persuaded to take us over to Sointula for
their dance. Sointula means harmony,
and it was the name given to the litde
setdement on Malcolm Island, by the
Finns, who came at the beginning of this
century, dreaming of a Utopian society
where the colony could live and work
together in peace and harmony. The
colony failed in a collectivised form, but
many stayed on, built their own homes,
and are there today. The women ran the
dances and did a very good job of it.
Entertainment in a logging camp is
organized by the people themselves. We
had a community hall large enough to
have dances, whenever we could get an
orchestra from Alert
Bay. On Saturday
nights we had a
movie, with Reg
Shelly running the
projector. Reg
Shelly's father, W.C.
Shelly, came often to
visit our camp. Mr.
Shelly was a proprietor of the Fourex
Bakery, and had
been involved in
building the Grouse
Mountain Highway
and Chalet in Vancouver. In 1928 he
had served as Minister of Finance in the
Tolmie government.
W.C. Shelly's
hobby was magic.
His performance of magical tricks in our
community hall thrilled not only the
children, but all those tough independent loggers. And we had a good friend,
Aurel Chanady, who was adept in the art
of fencing and offered to teach a few of
us, if we were so inclined. Accordingly,
we sent to Vancouver for masks and foils.
When Japan entered the war by attack-
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Logs lifted from truck by use of A-frame and donkey
ground- 1941.
ing Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the
threat of a surprise attack on Canada's
west coast became real. Approximately
22,000 Japanese Canadians were
branded as enemy aliens by the Federal
Government. The Japanese fishing fleet
was docked, the shipyard at Alert Bay was
closed, my truck gardener, who rowed
over from the Hyde Creek area, with milk
and vegetables came no more. And I
awoke one morning to find that the Japanese men who lived near me were gone.
Never again would I hear the sound of
their gong calling them for dinner.
During the war, all the key men such
as the donkey punchers, hookers, high
riggers, head loaders, were frozen to their
jobs. With so many men gone off to war,
logging crews were short staffed. In the
George Smith - a record load of cedar, 17,000 B.F.
summer, students came to
the camp during their
school holiday.
When he was
sixteen, and
going to college, my
brother Rob
Sinclair came
ro camp to act
as whistle
punk for a
skidder crew.
He pulled a
and skidded into the booming        line       which
rang a signal
whistle on the skidder, exactly as he was
ordered. It could cause an accident or
death of a logger if the whistles were
wrong. Six blasts on the whistle meant
there had been an accident.
Logging was dangerous, hard and
lonely but satisfying to most ofthe logging crew.
The Japanese invasion ofthe Aleutian
Islands in 1942, threatened Alaska and
B.C. In Victoria, people were convinced
that they were going to be bombed at
any moment. On June 20th 1942, a
Japanese submarine, 1-26, was sighted off
Estevan. Plans were made to evacuate
Prince Rupert, and checkpoints were set
up along the coast to monitor small boat
Reg Shelly was sent into the woods to
discover if
there was any
place the
women and
children could
be evacuated if
it became necessary. Reg
came back
rhree days
later to report
rhere was no
way women
and children
could walk
through the
underbrush, and in truth there was no
place for them to go.
The Pacific had now become an active
theatre of war. The armed forces under
Pacific Command took necessary defensive measures; and units of the army,
navy, and airforce, were deployed at strategic locations.
EA. Harris in his article, "Ranger Remembrance", stated that "because British Columbia's coasdine is long, irregular,
and sparsely settled, a volunteer home
guard composed of residents . . . could
with their knowledge of local conditions,
render a valuable auxiliary service. Thus
in March 1942, the Pacific Coast Militia - the PCMR - came into being".
fohn Field 1943, making a boom with a pike pole.
Meetings ofthe Militia were held in the
community hall.
Ironically, on a Sunday afternoon, we
would walk beyond the former Japanese
camp, have a picnic on the beach, followed by target practice.
The women in camp took up First Aid,
and practiced their skill at bandaging on
their children, who served as models.
Sometimes the results were hilarious.
To fill in a gap in my day, I decided to
take an Extension Course from the University of British Columbia. What an
exciting day when a large parcel of books
would arrive from their library. I could
B.C. Historical News-Winter 1997/98 Target practice at former Japanese camp site -1942. Dr. McNeill, Aurel, Ken, Doll, Alex &
Photo courtesy of Ken Huddart
Ken Huddart and tbe Pacific Coast Militia Ranger PCMR - meet
in tbe community ball of Pioneer Lumber Company Limited -
never have planned it so well, but my
daughter, Robin, was born in April,
1944, just in time for me to rise from
my bed at the Vancouver General Hospital and travel our to the University to
write my exam. This was necessary if I
wished the course ro count on my degree.
John Ande, a Newfoundlander, a good
seaman, a pragmatic man, set up loggers'
Jimmy Wilson - engineer on the skidder - 1942.
hospitals at Alert Bay, Rock
Bay, Vananda, and Pender
Harbour. His ship, the Columbia, visited 84 small
communities. St. George's
Hospital in Alert Bay was of
great importance to the safety
of the loggers at our camp and to the
families as well. John set up a small hospital on his ship which allowed him to
deliver social, religious and medical help
to isolated communities. The Reverend
Alan Greene was master ofthe Columbia when it came time to have my daughter Robin baptized.   A cheerful and
obliging man, he came ashore for the
baptism. We had tea and cake and Aurel
Chanady acted as godfather. This was probably
the firsr baptism in Port
War in the woods continues today, though not
against Germany and Japan. Loggers today feel
that their livelihood and
their communities are in
danger for other reasons.
The environmentalists
believe that the destruction of forest land will
ruin life as we now enjoy
it in B.C.
The Royal Commission on the Forest Resources began sittings in
1945 under Chief Justice
Gordon Sloan. The basic question was: "Were
we to continue to follow a system of unrestrained and unregulated forest exploitation .. or were we to continue to move
to a system based on the concept of sustained yield, wherein the forest was to
be considered as a perpetually renewable
asset... these lands once logged need to
be treated as permanent tree-farms producing continuous crops."
In November 1993, Greenpeace
brought global attention to forestry practice in B.C. The issue was the logging of
old forest timber in Clayoquot Sound.
Greenpeace made the news read like dispatches from Dieppe.
In March of 1994, afraid of lost jobs,
forest-industry workers organized a rally
to be held outside the legislative building in Victoria. About 300 vehicles set
out from Port McNeill with ANTI-
CORE banners. The convoy grew as it
passed through each logging community:
Woss, Campbell River, Courtenay,
Nanaimo, Duncan. The rally was peaceful and passed without incident. At the
rally, Port McNeill Mayor, Gerry Furney
was quoted as saying, "I've had it with
anybody threarening to spike a tree or
blockade a worker going to work... loggers, farmers, miners .. carry rhis country on their backs."
The Foresr Practices Code of British
Columbia Act - CORE - was introduced
in the B.C. Legislature on May 16,1994.
The intention was to make better forest
practices the law — backed up by tough
enforcement and heavy penalties.
Saturday, December 14,1996, Gordon
Hamilton reported in the Sun, "B.C.'s
B.C. Historical News -Winter 1997/98 cost burdened forest industry will find
1996 losing money, and there's litde prospect 1997 will be any better. The new
presidenr of IWA Canada hails from Port
Alberni, and he believes that the envi-
ronmenralists are set to shut logging
down in B.C. He promises active opposition to the endless regulations that have
resulted in the continual erosion of our
members' jobs."
I like to quote from Green Timber,
"Them Blommin Trees! they are causing
a scandal in the woods!"
The author has described her years in Port
McNeill She returned to the community with
her son David, for a visit in 1996. She now
makes her home in Vancouver.
Dolly Kennedy holding daughter Robin, first baptism in Port NcNeiti, 1943.
Garner, Joe. Never Chop Your Rope Cinnibar Press,
Nanaimo, British Columbia, 1988.
Healey, Elizabeth and Oswell A.E., History of Alert Bay and
District. Booklet printed fitst in 1958, later in 1971 by
the Alert Bay Museum.
MacKay, Donald. Empire ofWood Douglas and Mclntyre,
Vancouver, 1982.
White, Howard, and Spilsbury. Spilsbury's Coast Harbour
Publishing, 1945.
* Photos courtesy ofthe author.
The author, Dolly Kennedy is shown here standing in front of her former home on Shelly Crescent, Port McNeill
on her visit in 1996. This house is now a child-care centre.
Photo courtesy of David Kennedy.
History, although sometimes made up of
the few acts of the great, is more often
shaped by the many acts of the small.
Mark Yost -
in the Whll Street Journal
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 British Gentlewomen at Monte Creek
by Eleanor Witton Hancock
Lizzie Bostock and her family
were pioneers who spent much
of their time near Kamloops and
left sufficient record that the
story of their lives can be told.
In 1888, while a student travelling around the world, Hewitt
Bostock purchased a ranch of
3380 acres from Jacob Duck.
However he did not immigrate
from Britain until 1893. Hewitt
and Lizzie arrived in Victoria
where they built a home near
Government House. They visited the Monte Creek ranch with
their older children, dividing
their time between Victoria and
Monte Creek.
The ranch, located 18 miles
from Kamloops had a big house
for the owner, a store, a post office, residences for ranch hands,
and after 1893, a one-room
schoolhouse. The Kamloops -
Vernon wagon road passed
through the property as did the
Canadian Pacific Railway as it
paralleled the South Thompson
A new, larger house was built at the
ranch in 1906. This was designed with
high ceilings for coolness in summer, and
a front and back verandah. It formed
the centre of an oasis of lawns and flower
gardens, fruit trees and a tennis court.
Even in the blistering heat of summer
Monte Creek could be heard trickling
nearby. In 1926, the Bostocks built a
small church, St. Peter's Anglican, in their
Hewitt Bostock started a lumber company, a printing business and founded
the Province newspaper. In 1896 he ran
as federal Liberal candidate for the vast
Yale-Cariboo riding. When campaigning he travelled when possible by train,
Lizzie Bostock
Photo courtesy of
holding meetings at stops across the hinterland. He used a team and wagon to
access voters from Fernie to Soda Creek
and was victorious on election day. He
served four years as MP but declined to
stand again. However, in 1904 he was
appointed to the Senate permitting his
family to maintain a residence in Ottawa.
Lizzie Bostock bore eight children,
each with the assistance of a midwife.
Alex was the eldest, Marian next, followed by Jean in 1894, Nan in 1896,
Hugh 1901, Norman 1903, Jessie 1905
and Ruth, her youngest in 1910. The
seventh child Jessie Septima died of pneumonia shortly before her first birthday;
her litde grave was the first in the cem
etery at the ranch. Lizzie read
widely, played the piano and
was a prolific letter writer. Pas-
rimes at Monte Creek included
tennis, reading and riding.
Among her children she promoted leisure activities such as
sketching, handiwork and the
enjoyment of music. Cricket
was also played with the ranch
hands and two of her sons
sometimes travelled to
Kamloops to play polo.
The Bostock daughters,
Marian, Jean, Nan and Ruth
attended Monte Creek School
with their brothers. The girls,
however, subsequently attended
private schools in Victoria or
Ottawa and then in England.
Lizzie Bostock believed that
British schools were the best;
she also wished to acquaint the
children with their relatives,
their British heritage and to encourage independence. Marian
and Jean, for example, went to
Priorsfield School at
Godalming in Surrey, England,
a prestigious school for girls run by Mrs.
Thomas Huxley.
There were many visitors to the ranch
in summer - Englishmen with letters of
introduction to the Senator, politicians
from Vancouver coming up on the train
for the day, clergymen and old friends.
Over the years Mrs. Bostock would welcome such notables as Prime Minister
William Lyon Mackenzie King, Governor-General Viscount Byng and Lady
Byng (a personal friend of Lizzie's school
days). One day she entertained Princess
Alice while her husband (Governor-General Earl of Athlone) was occupied in
Kamloops. Perhaps the visitors joined a
family riding party, dashing across the
H. Fallis.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 grasslands with Alex on his favorite horse
"Pepper" in the lead. English saddles
were used and, until WWI, the girls rode
side-saddle in skirts. Lizzie was horrified when her daughrer wished to ride
asrride. She continued to ride side-saddle for the rest of her life. Clearly some
ofthe English social proprieties were difficult to sustain at Monte Creek
In Ottawa, where the Senator was obligated to maintain a second residence,
there was always one daughter "Lady-in-
waiting" to assist Lizzie as hostess. The
daughters participated in many social
activities with other Ottawa young people while Lizzie was, for several years,
president of the Mothers' Union, an
Anglican Church organization. Lizzie's
extensive reading kept her abreast of current literature as well as pursuing her
studies of classical books. She also
learned wood carving and created fender
stools, tables and lettered altar panels for
their Anglican church at Monte Creek.
In a family where daughters were encouraged to believe that anything sons
could do they could do better, the
"Womens' Movement" was regarded at
first with indifference. In the second
decade ofthe century British suffragists
began visiting Canada. Helena
Gutteridge arrived in 1911 and helped
to organize laundry and garment workers in Vancouver. Gutteridge campaigned for a minimum wage for women,
and for pensions for mothers who were
without support. In 1912 Canadian
born Helen MacGill brought out a booklet describing the inequities women faced
Monte Creek Townsite, c 1919.
before the law. Also in 1912, a labour
convention in Kamloops drew up a resolution demanding women's suffrage, a
resolution endorsed by the British Columbia Federation of Labour.
Ironically, it would take a world war
to clinch the vote for women. But home
from Ottawa in 1912, holidaying and
tenting at Duck Meadow during hay
making, war for Lizzie Bostock and her
family seemed almost an impossibility.
Marian was going to be a doctor. Alex
was to take over management of the
The war, however, would change many
plans. Jean, who had been in the habit
of returning to Monte Creek each spring
with Nan, worked in Ottawa as a volunteer to the armed services. Then, in England she joined the Women's Auxiliary
Corps as a chauffeur for army officers.
(She was already a good driver from
chauffeuring her father about; Hewitt
Bostock disliked driving.) Part of Jean's
training in England included a course in
mechanics. During the war, Alex was
killed in France. Killed also were a
number of their friends; others died in
the influenza epidemic which followed.
It became obvious that Nan and Jean
would remain unmarried. Nan continued to garden each summer at the ranch
and to work in the apple orchards. She
began raising bees in 1921, pursuing this
for the rest of her life. The gentle Nan
was gifted both musically and artistically.
She sang, played the piano and drew and
painted. In 1920, at the age of twenty-
four, she went to Paris to study art at the
Photo cortesy of R. Fallis.
Sorbonne. In 1922, Jean, twenty-eight,
entered Reading University in England,
graduating in 1924 with a degree in horticultural science.
Dr. Marian Bostock, with eighteen letters after her name, representing five degrees wenr to India in 1922, with the
Zenana Bible and Medical Society.
Marian was the tenth woman in the British Empire to receive her FRCS (Eng.)
In Patna, she was one of only two surgeons at the Duchess of Teck Hospital,
an institution for women in purdah (that
is, women who wore face veils).
In 1924, Ruth, at age fourteen, was
sent to Godolphin School in Salisbury
for three years. In 1925 she joined her
parents on a trip to Geneva, where the
senator was a delegate to the Assembly
of the League of Nations. (Senator
Bostock had become Speaker ofthe Senate in 1922, a position he would hold
until his death in 1930.) Lizzie, in Geneva, acted as hostess for the Canadian
representative, Senator Raoul
Dandurand, who was elected president
of the ten-day assembly and who was a
Marian, in 1928, under the auspices
ofthe Canadian Club, gave a lecture in
Kamloops, describing her work in India.
She illustrated her talk with lantern slides.
She was married that year in Ottawa to
Victor Sherman, manager of the Imperial Bank of India in Patna. Sherman
was a widower with a daughter. Marian
was thirty-six. She did not practice medicine after her marriage, nor did she have
children of her own.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Ruth Sherman and Jean Bostock at the ranch c 1930.
Life changed dramatically for Lizzie,
Jean and Nan after the crash ofthe stock
market in October 1929 and the death
of the senator, six months later. The
women assumed management of the
ranch. They were guided by foreman E.P
Coles, and later by Fred Nichol. Women
ranchers were almost unheard of, the
consensus being that they would necessarily fail by virtue of being female. Nan,
after a course in accountancy, became
bookkeeper. The sisters began to assist
with jobs such as mending fences and
tarring flumes. Jean's war-time Training
in automobile mechanics was put to good
use when the ranch vehicles needed repair.
At the onset of the Great Depression,
Bostock livestock amounted to 150 head
of commercial cattle and 500 ewes. In
summer rhe ranch staff numbered twelve,
including two cooks; wages for the men
were one dollar per day. By 1931, dry
cows and female stock were fetching
about two and a half cents a pound, steers
were three and a half to four cents. Hay
sold for $12 per ton. The cattle were
gradually culled, a herd of 500 Herefords
built up, and horse-breeding was begun.
With a large orchard, the Bostocks
were able to give away fruit during the
Depression. They drove about the country-side in rhe 1928 Chev pickup truck
"Flippety", distributing fruit to needy
Courtesy R. Lindsay
L i z z i-e
reached her
families in
a number
of other
ways as
the Depres-
sion, the
ranch was
the scene of
Red Cross
garden par-
ties. In
1935 some
300 people attended from Kamloops and
the rural area. In winter, sleigh rides were
often held. The three women continued to holiday at Duck Meadow during
hay making; Nan and Lizzie would drive
to the meadow in the 1918 Dodge, car
top down and Lizzie's parasol up, and
Jean would ride her horse. They would
stay for ten days at the "Red Cottage".
Ruth alternately studied and travelled.
She studied at the University of
British Columbia, the University
ofToronto, and in England and became an occupational therapist.
Her marriage in 1938 to Dr.
Murray Fallis, a parasitologist, took
place at St. Peter's Anglican
Church which had been built on
the ranch in 1926 by her father.
The couple then settled in Toronto. Ruth did not work after her
marriage. She had three children.
Summer holidays sometimes
found her bringing her offspring
to Monte Creek.
Lizzie Bostock died in Victoria
in 1942 at the age of seventy-four.
Jean and Nan arranged for her
body to be returned to Monte
Creek and interred in their cemetery, then devoted their energy to
ranch and community projects.
Their prime concern was the well-
being ofthe livestock industry and
their fellow ranchers. Jean is remembered
for spearheading an attempt to control
the spread of diffuse knapweed. She and
Nan and the children of Monte Creek
pulled knapweed ceaselessly. They educated others about the threat of
knapweed and they petitioned for government intervention. One of their successes was obtaining better terms from
B.C. Hydro for rights-of-way across various ranch lands.
Jean continued her inrerest in horticulture, experimenting at the ranch until her death in I960. She was a School
Trustee for many years. In 1936 she accompanied a group of children from
England to a Fairbridge Farm in Aus-
rralia. The previous year she had helped
ro establish the Fairbridge Farm School
at Duncan for underprivileged British
children. Jean Bostock also spenr many
volunteer hours despatching Sunday-
School-by-Post lessons to rural children
in the Anglican Diocese of the Cariboo.
Nan, too, was busy as a community
leader. She was associated with the Canadian Red Cross, the SPCA, Girl
Guides, Canadian Club, the B.C. Beef
Cattle Growers Association and the Livestock Cooperative.   She sold the ranch
Nan &Jean Bostock, 1956
Photo courtesy of R. Lindsay.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 in 1962, but with Fred Nichol continued to raise cattle on land near the mouth
of Monte Creek. She also continued ro
draw and painr. A watercolour of rhe
ranch stable won a prize at the Vancouver Art Gallery. (This stable still stands
at Monte Creek roday.) Nan died in 1970
ar the age of seventy-four.
Marian Bosrock Sherman and her husband retired early ro Victoria. Marian, a
profound rhinker, was involved wirh rhe
Anglican Church in the 1940s, but left
the church to become a humanist. She
lectured extensively in western Canada.
In 1975, at a ceremony in Ottawa, she
was named Canadian Humanist of the
Year. She passed away shortly after that
ceremony and is buried beside her parents and her sisrers in rhe cemetery at
Monte Creek.
The records left by Lizzie Bostock and
her daughrers are more complete than
most references available ro a student of
womens' history. These ladies exemplify
rhe lives of rhe affiuenr with "connections" and social stature. The experience
of rhe "average woman" in Kamloops or
elsewhere is scantily recorded and poorly
preserved. Local hisrorians who have
access ro a derailed recounring ofthe role
of women in rheir community are fortunate indeed. We gratefully acknowledge
rhe cooperation of Ruth Bostock Fallis,
her children and Fred Nichol.
Eleanor Witton Hancock is a Kamloops teacher,
education director ofthe Kamloops Wildlife
Park Society, and former editor ofthe Kamloops
Museum newsletter.
This article first appeared in KAMLOOPS:
1893-1993. Sonoteck Publishing Ltd. and is
reprinted here with permission by the publisher.
Kamloops Museum and Archives: Bostock Files and
Newspaper files
Private interview and correspondence with Ruth Bostock
Fallis and Fred Nichol. Other contributors of
information: Murray Fallis, Hugh Fallis, Violet Nichol,
Phyllis Flatt Churchill, Audrey Earl, Ruth Lindsay, Dr.
Andrew Yarmie, Elizabeth Duckworth and Wayne
P.S. Brother Norman Bostock ranched at
Pritchard. Hugh Bostock was a senior geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada.
Hugh wrote a book on his years of surveying
ls)or£shop dc Conference 1998
The British Columbia Historical Federation will be
sponsoring a one day free workshop on GENEALOGY
on April 30, 1998. This is one day prior to the annual
conference. This year the workshop will have two
venues: The Surrey Inn and the Cloverdale Public
Library. One topic will be Genealogy on the Internet
presented by Ron Taylor, Mission, B.C. The other session
will concentrate on several Genealogical topics with
other speakers. Full details about the program and
registration will be available in the early spring from
Melva J. Dwyer and your local society.
Conference Headquarters will be the Surrey Inn,
9850 King George Highway in Surrey (This is opposite a
Sky Train Station.) The general conference starts on the
Thursday evening with a Wine and Cheese party. At that
time greetings from the Mayor of Surrey will be extended
and Irish Dancers will perform.
The theme of the conference is "Transportation."
Speakers Jackie Gresko, on the Fraser River, Victoria
Sharmen on the Inter-Urban, and Jim Folkes on the
Telegraph Trail appear in Friday's program. Saturday
visitors are offered a ride on a paddlewheeler or a
conducted bus tour. More details next issue., but mark
these days on those 1998 calendars. We hope to see you
Our 1997 BCHF Scholarship Winner - Carol Grant PoweU with her family - left to right. Daughter Heather,
husband James, Carol and son Matthew PoweU.
B.C. Historical News -Winter 1997/98 Two Cable Bridges of Vancouver
by Tom W. Parkin
Lions Gate Bridge. Entire deck is suspended from two overhead cables.
Probably the majority of commuters
who enter the City of Vancouver do so
by either of two spans; the Lions Gate or
Alex Fraser Bridges. Though separated
by location and nearly half a century in
their construction, they are nevertheless
linked by common purpose, similarities
in design and the thread of history.
The impetus ro build both was growth
and mobility of population, as it is for
the current proposed third crossing of
Burrard Inlet. Land development preceded construction of each, and public
pressure grew for easier access by those
separated by a water crossing. Matters
of space below, aesthetics, environmental impact and other concerns also influenced the cable designs.
Lions Gate Bridge
Two hundred and fifty years ago,
H.M.S. Chatham and Discovery, under the command of Capt. Vancouver,
were the first European vessels to enter
Burrard Inlet. They anchored on the
edge of a forest where now stands the city
which bears the captain's name. Towering trees have been supplanted by buildings of even greater height; rocky,
shelving beaches by piers,
wharves and jetties of a modern seaport; canoes of the
Coast Salish by busy marine
The idea of bridging the first
narrowing of what became the
city's harbour was first proposed in 1890. Vancouver was
then only four years old, and
unready for such dreams. Ferry
service at First Narrows and a
small bridge at Second Narrows sufficed.
By 1926, two companies
were seeking franchises to build
a bridge at First Narrows. Nature lovers protested that
Stanley Park would be desecrated, and shipping interests
thought the span might menace navigation. A 1927 plebiscite by the citizens defeated
the idea. But neither the need,
nor the proposal, went away.
The competitors merged and,
in 1933, citizens endorsed a
bridge by an overwhelming
majority. All concerns were subsequently
satisfied by a suspension design which
gave navigational clearance of 61 vertical metres and a span of 472m. It was to
be the largest suspended bridge in the
British Empire, and it was to be built and
maintained by private enterprise. North
Shore land developers British Pacific
Properties Ltd. were the financiers.
In January, 60 years ago, contracts for
the steel work were let. Most materials
were delivered to the site by barge. Even
concrete for the Prospect Point anchorage and abutment came by sea. It was
taken up the cliff by conveyor belt, passing through a small tunnel near the edge
of the precipice. Massive concrete anchorages for the cables were also poured.
The mouth ofthe Capilano River was
diverted to reduce risk of flooding
lions Gate, now nearly 60 years old, is now scheduled for
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 footings of the viaduct 'legs', or bents.
They, and the north anchor pier, are secured in the river's former delta. The revised river channel continues to support
a salmon run.
Erection of the North Shore viaduct
was accomplished in less than a year.
Erecting the superstructure ofthe bridge
itself began February 1938. Three
months later, the main towers were up.
Catwalks were suspended between them
and drawn tight to the approaches on
either side. Across them, workers pulled
61 strands of wire rope each side, attached the ends, and lifted them into saddles on top of the towers. This idea of
putting long pre-stressed cables on
'whole' was fairly new. Previous practice
was to 'spin' cables in place, wire by wire.
Vertical suspender cables, trusses and
deck assembly were quickly hung. The
pouring of concrete to fill the steel deck
grid was comparatively simple, done simultaneously from either end ofthe span
so unequal stress was not placed on the
towers or cables. After that, the main
cables were given protective wrappings
and everything was given several coars of
paint - 5,000 gallons of it.
The structure opened to two lanes of
toll traffic on 12 November 1938. The
Provincial Governmenr purchased it in
1955. Toll gates were removed in 1963.
Today, 80% of the West Vancouver labour force commures across this bridge
each day. Bur this beautiful bridge is
scheduled for replacement as it is now
nearly 60 years old.
Alex Fraser Bridge
Alex Fraser Bridge spans B.C.'s longest river, the Fraser, but the similarity of
name is coincidental. The Fraser is the
province's mosr important river, economically. Its upper reaches are critical
spawning grounds for salmon; its lower
length is a navigable corridor into B.C.'s
industrialized heart. It was named for
Simon Fraser, who descended the stream
in 1808. Alex Fraser was a Socred highways minister whose riding spanned the
river in the Cariboo. He opened the
bridge on 23 September 1986.
B.C. Governmenr committed to construct a bridge in 1980, at Annacis Is-
Alex Fraser Bridge - heated within spectacular scenery and heart of industrial corridor.
land, a mid-river island about seven kilometres downstream from New Westminster. Along with Richmond, Surrey and
Delta, this region was experiencing a
population explosion, becoming not only
commuter communities for greater Vancouver, but centres in their own right.
Since 1964, traffic had more
than doubled in the region. It
was predicted that 50% ofthe
growth in households in the
1990s would be south ofthe
river, with many people working on the opposite side.
The Ministry ofTransportation and Highways requested
bridge designs in both steel and
concrete. Based on cost, a design in steel was the winner.
CBA Engineering Ltd., with
Buckland and Taylor Ltd. of
Vancouver, proposed what, at
the time, would be the world's
longest cable-stayed span - 465
m between twin 50-storey towers, with an overall length of
930 m! The multiple splay of
cables and the 56-m clearance
above the river combined
beauty of form with futuristic
None of this would be
achieved easily. The structure
had to withstand heavy loads,
high winds and a possible
earthquake. Its piers had to be capable
of withstanding the impact of an out-of-
control freighter which might hit at a
speed of 12 knots. Plus the bridge
couldn't interfere with migrating salmon.
In this regard, the most comprehensive environmental study ever done for a
Alex Fraser Bridge - cable stayed rather than suspension design.
All Photos courtesy of the author.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 B.C. bridge took three years to complete.
This research resulted in addition of
breakwaters to force the current away
from the shore, creating quiet water
where salmon can rest. As well, a new
fish-rearing area built on Annacis Island
ensures no loss of habitat.
In 1983, preparations began on the
foundations. The towers were in place
by mid-1985. They are hollow, constructed from concrete using a slipform
which was walked up, section by section,
as the concrete hardened. The deck was
cantilevered out from each tower, alternating sections on each side to balance
the strain. Each was 'tied' in place by
steel cables, separately tensioned. Computers monitored the load as sections
were added, allowing the contractors to
react immediately with changes should
strain go beyond acceptable limits. This
ability to instantaneously see effect was
a significant advance in such erections.
To the uninitiated, the design looks like
a suspension bridge, but close comparison with Lions Gate Bridge shows the
Alex Fraser does not hang in suspension;
its deck is stayed direcdy by the cables -
hence the name. This is the only cable-
stayed highway bridge in B.C., and for a
while, it was the longest in the world.
Today the record is held by the Normandy Bridge near Le Havre, France
(opened January 1995).
Still, both of our structures have inspired and continue to inspire British
Columbians and their visitors. Even
within a spectacular landscape, they
themselves have become symbols of the
province's beauty.   They have come to
symbolize the resources, enterprise and
transportation systems which are protected, sustained or supported by them.
Vancouver's cable bridges have a goodly
In September 1995, Canada Post Corporation commemorated the World Road
Congress, held in Montreal that month.
Four stamps were issued, depicting eras of
bridge building in Canada; one was of
B. C. 's Alex Fraser Bridge.
The author worked for many years as an Information Officer for the Ministry ofTransportation and Highways. He enjoys writing and has
contributed articles to this magazine several
times in die past
Thelma Lower is shown here presenting a new award, to Douglas SheUard,
for Triathalon Racquets Champions. This trophy was donated by the Lower
family in memory of J. Autbur Lower - Nov. '97. See tbe VLTB article in tbe
News, Summer 1997, p. 20-23.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Lower.
Rio Car licence plate.
Red Rio car with drivers plus Ron and
Frances Welwood L to Rijohn Nicol,
Webooods, Lome Findlay and Rio at
Kootenay Bay (waiting for die Kootenay
ferry) "Rio Rides Again"see page 36
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 Some Notes on Whonnoclzy B. C.
by Edward L. Affleck
In 1985 the Whonnock Community
Association received a grant which enabled two students to be hired for the summer to work on a compilation of
historical material about the Fraser Valley settlement of Whonnock. When the
granr ran our, the project came to a halt,
leaving a vast miscellany of tapes, notes
etc. to be stored, Transcribed and compiled. For a decade the materials rested
in seclusion, then in 1995 interest in a
possible historical publication was revived and the materials were turned over
to Whonnock pioneer Brian Byrnes for
a review.
In November, 1995 Fred Braches, who
with his wife Helmie had sought refuge
in Whonnock from life in the big city a
decade before, retired from a career in
international travel. Fred already had a
plethora of projects on his retirement
agenda, but when he learned of the
wealth of uncatalogued historical material on Whonnock crying for some tender loving care, he immediately
designated action on the history project
as his agenda item 1. As Brian Byrnes
proceeded to cast an editorial eye over
the material, Braches embarked on the
monumental task of transcribing, compiling and indexing the Association's
material. Many hours spent at his word
processor over the spring of 1996 enabled him to publish a massive source
book entitled Whonnock Community
Association Historical Project - Summer, 1985. Copies of this source book
have been donated ro the archives in
Mission and Maple Ridge as well as to
other appropriate depositories. Any one
wishing to acquire a copy at cost + postage = $27.50, may do so by contacting
Mr. Fred Braches, P.O. Box 130
Whonnock, B.C. VOM ISO (604) 426-
As indicated, Braches received much
editorial support from Brian Byrnes, who
has resided in Whonnock since 1919.
Byrnes' automobile repair service was a
landmark on the Lougheed Highway for
decades. I spenr an afternoon this past
August with Mr. Byrnes, who is now 82.
Our discussion centred on the transportation changes wrought in Whonnock
over the past seventy-five years:
E.L.A.: "How did your parents come
to settle in Whonnock?"
B.B.: "My father came west from
Ontario early in this century ro work in
the mines around Sandon. He mer my
mother, who was reaching in New
Denver, and rhey were married in 1906.
The financial panic of 1907 caused many
mines to close, so my father took up
farming on part ofthe old H.B.C. farm
site on Glover Road in Langley Prairie.
When my father went overseas in World
War I the family moved to New Westminster, but on his return he acquired a
chicken ranch on what is now 269th
Street in Whonnock."
E.L.A.: "Given the massive changes
which have converted much of Maple
Ridge to the west and Mission to the east
into bedroom suburbs for the Greater
Vancouver area, how is it that relatively
little change has taken place on the
Whonnock riverfront?"
B.B.: "Much ofthe eastern and western frontage of Whonnock lies within
Indian Reserves. Furthermore, the potable water supply here is skimpy, shallow wells being the chief source. Until a
massive monetary outlay is made to secure large-scale water and sewer service,
Whonnock is likely ro rerain much of its
rural aspect."
E.L.A.: "Despite its bucolic aspect, I
suspect that life in Whonnock in 1996
differs considerably from what you encountered in 1919."
B.B.: "I cannot emphasize enough the
degree of isolation which existed in
Whonnock and other north side Fraser
Valley settlements seventy-five years ago.
Settlers did not use the railway casually.
Passenger, express and freight rates on the
C.P.R. were relatively expensive. My
family might purchase a rail excursion
ticket to the New Westminster agricultural exhibition once a year, but I was a
teenager before I first saw the circus at
Mission City, a few miles upstream. Our
isolation was mitigated, however, by the
availability of electric power from the
Stave Falls project, and a public magneto-
powered telephone was located at the
nearby post-office should some exigency
"Around 1902, a start had been made
on the Dewdney Trunk Road. A strip
was constructed from the railway junction at Coquidam to a ferry landing on
the Pitt River. The first Pitt River ferry
was a primitive man-powered affair, i.e.
one or more men pulled on a rope which
was secured to each shore and attached
to the ferry. Various ferry improvements
were effected before the first Pitt River
bridge was opened on March 2, 1915."
"East of the Pitt River ferry landing,
the Dewdney Trunk Road was built in
meandering bits and pieces as far as
Webster's Corners. Closer to the Fraser
River, more birs and pieces were gradually joined up to form what was called
the "River Road." As late as 1919, however, relatively few passenger or delivery
vehicles ventured on these roads. When
the frost went out in the spring, the
unimproved surface was a mass of treacherous mud holes and for the resr of the
year these roads continued to challenge
the axles, springs and tires of rhe hapless
vehicles driven over them. We had a
neighbour in Whonnock, a fervent Conservative, who actually owned a car. He
would frequently pick up his children at
the elementary school which was located
then as now about a mile north on 272nd
Street, but no ride was ever offered to
one ofthe Byrnes kids, so my childhood
experience with the internal combustion
vehicle was stricdy limited."
B.C. Historical News -Winter 1997/98 E.L.A.: "Was transportation then
chiefly a horse and buggy situation?"
B.B.: "No, our lifeline was mosdy the
steamboat. Long after the completion
of the C.P.R. through the Fraser Valley,
the riverside settlements continued to
depend on the steamboat. Each settlement had its wharf, eventually funded
by the Federal Government, and close to
the wharf one would encounter the general store, storage shed etc. The steamboats carried passengers but it was the
provision of less-than-carload freighting
that was so important. Hay, livestock,
small shipments from New Westminster
wholesalers and retailers were vital elements for the welfare of riverside setders.
By 1919, one sole sternwheeler, the
Skeena, was still providing this type of
way service, making two round trips
weekly between New Westminster and
up-river points."
"The Skeena was a modest
sternwheeler which had been built in
1908 for service during the construction
ofthe Grand Trunk Pacific Railway along
rhe Skeena River. She lay idle for a few
years, but was purchased in 1914 by my
mother's distant relative, Capt. Charles
E. Seymour, who worked her on the
Lower Fraser after the C.P.R. pulled its
steamboat off the run. Meals were served
on the Skeena as I well know, since frequendy on hearing the steamer's departing whistle at Albion, my mother would
send  me  scurrying  down  to  the
Whonnock Wharf with a lard-pail of her
buttermilk, for which Capt. Seymour
had an insatiable craving. I would be
dispatched up to the wheelhouse with my
cargo, then sent to the galley to receive a
large slice ofthe cook's succulent pie."
"I suspect that Capt. Seymour, who
was a generous, good-natured soul, barely
made expenses on the Skeena, and certainly after he died in 1925 no one clamoured to take over the trade. We were
then left to the vagaries of the highway
system, and the cry soon arose for a
straight-line expressway which would run
from the Pitt River bridge east to
Dewdney. Such a highway, named after
M.L.A. Nelson Lougheed, Minister of
Public Works in Doc. Tolmie's Conservative regime, was built during 1928-30,
affording much local employment, particularly for those favoured by the local
political bagman. The Lougheed Highway opened in 1930-31, but motoring
still did not offer smooth sailing, as the
round gravel surface ofthe road presented
a grim challenge to windshields and
headlights. By this time I was attending
high school in Haney, courtesy of a retired milk truck which had been furnished with wooden benches and dubbed
a school bus. The driver played his
mouth organ continuously, thus drowning out yelps from pupils bruised by the
rough rrip."
"Shortly after the Lougheed Highway
was completed, it was blocked at the west
end ofWhonnock by a massive landslide.
Local help was mustered to clear off the
part of the old River Road which had
also been blocked by the slide and for
many months a detour was made via the
River Road until funds were forthcoming to rehabilitate the Lougheed. Some
time before the beginning of World War
II the Lougheed was blacktopped and it
was then that the rubber-tired army of
buses, delivery vans etc. fanning out of
the Greater Vancouver merropolitan area
began to multiply."
E.L.A.: "I expect the days of
steamboating will never return."
B.B.: "Steamboating has never quite
died out. The Swan, a 103-year old tug
formerly powered by steam now diesel-
powered still calls in occasionally at the
Whonnock Wharf, which is kepr in repair chiefly to serve fish boats. I wouldn't
predict what the next transportation development will be. When the C.P.R. cut
its express rrains some years ago, who
would have predicted that the Pacific
Express commuter rrains ro Vancouver
would be offering rail competition to the
clogged Loughheed Highway. Perhaps
some form of express riverboat service
will be the next development. If so, some
adequate replacement for the old steam-
powered snagboat Samson V will have
to be found, as the Fraser remains a re-
lendessly snag-prone river."
E.L.A.: "Mr. Byrnes, many thanks for
a most interesting afternoon."
The B. C. Supreme Court Registry
Scandal of 1895
The judicial system in British Columbia still retains vestiges ofthe days when
the Province existed as the two separate
Crown Colonies of Vancouver Island and
British Columbia. A century ago, one
such vestige involved the existence of two
Supreme Court administrative centres,
one located in Victoria having jurisdiction over Vancouver Island, Kootenay
and Cassiar, and one in New Westminster having jurisdiction over the remainder ofthe Province. There were thus two
Supreme Court Registrars, each carrying
out a highly responsible administrative
and fiduciary function. Had there been
but one headquarters and one Registrar
in 1895, the events which comprised the
great Supreme Court Registry scandal of
that year would not likely have seemed
so compelling to newspaper publishers
and subscribers of that day.
Prior to August, 1895, references to the
"Registrar ofthe Supreme Court" could
generally be found in the dry legal no
tices published in B.C. newspapers. Beginning with the August 28, 1895 issue
ofthe Victoria Colonist, however, B.C.'s
two Supreme Court Registrars suddenly
became front page news. "J.C.
the first headline of a sleuthing adventure which became a ten-day wonder for
the populace of B.C.
James Charles Prevost, born in England in 1845, was one of Victoria's fa-
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 voured residents. The son of Sir James
Prevost, Admiral of the British Navy at
Esquimalt during B.C.'s colonial days,
Prevbst's birthright naturally included
entry into the B.C. Establishment. After naval service as a midshipman he
married Anna Jane Fry, daughter of
Henry Fry, Sr., a respected pioneer ofthe
Cowichan District, and later secured a
coveted appointment as Registrar ofthe
Supreme Court in Victoria. An inveterate sailor, Prevost was a familiar figure
on the coasdine between Esquimalt and
Maple Bay. His sudden disappearance
over the August 25,1895 weekend, however, marked the culmination of a growing dissatisfaction in the community over
rhe way he had been dealing with trust
monies as a court receiver. The climax
had come in the week of August 19, when
an irate Mr. Justice Drake, on failing to
receive from Prevost an accounting of
monies held for a disputed estate, ordered
Prevosr's accounting records ro be sent
to Provincial Audiror WJ. Goepel for
As Prevost had not been seen since the
morning of Friday August 23, the rumour quickly spread that he must have
boarded the S.S. Warrimoo, ofthe Canadian Australasian Line which had left
Victoria at 4 p.m. on Friday bound for
Honolulu, TH. and Sydney, Australia.
In those days before wireless telegraphy,
there was little hope of intercepting
Prevosr on board rhe vessel.
Ar rhe same time as the Prevost affair
caprured the from page of the Victoria
Colonist, wide-eyed subscribers ro rhe
New Westminster Columbian were
reading that a warrant had been issued
for the arrest on a charge of embezzlement of William Henry Falding, Registrar of the Supreme Court in New
Wesrminster. Falding had left New Westminster on August 23, bound for Victoria, but had not turned up in the Capital
Falding, like Prevost, was a favoured
member of the B.C. Establishment.
Born in England in 1858 to the wife of
the Rector of Rotherham, he had emigrated to New Westminster in 1878 and
in 1880 had married Georgina Charlotte
Homer, eldest daughter of Joshua
Reynolds Homer, a man prominent in
the public life of New Westminster since
colonial days.
The simultaneous disappearance of
both Registrars stoked the fires of conjecture on both sides ofthe Gulf of Georgia. A detailed examination of the
boarding list for the Warrimoo established that Prevost was not Australia
bound. There were reports, however, that
he had been sighted on the Puget Sound
steamer City of Kingston. At the same
time it was rumoured that Falding had
been seen in St. Paul, Minnesota. Both
newspapers carried breathless daily accounts ofthe manhunts for the two fugitives.
On September 3, 1895 the
Columbian was able to report that
Falding had been nabbed on a westbound
Northern Pacific Railroad train when it
stopped at Spokane. Apparently Falding
had sobered up at the home of a relative
in St. Paul and was on the way back to
the Pacific Coast to face the music. Provincial Constable W. Bullock-Webster
was dispatched to Spokane to pick up
Falding, who waived extradition and arrived back in New Wesrminster in Bullock-Webster's custody on September 7.
The Colonist in turn was able to report on September 6 that Prevost had
been caprured the previous day in Roche
Harbour on San Juan Island. It transpired that he had borrowed a small sloop
from a friend and had been dodging
about the entrance to Puget Sound.
Prevost also waived sanctuary in rhe
U.S.A. and crossed the next day to Victoria.
On October 23, Falding pled guilty in
Supreme Courr to misappropriation of
funds and was sentenced to 18 months
in gaol, cognizance being raken of a
drinking problem which had besmirched
a hirherto spotless record. He did not
serve the full sentence, however for by
1896 he, his wife and their three young
children were already starting a new life
in the burgeoning mining town of
Rossland, where Mrs. Falding's brother-
in-law was conducting a thriving legal
practice.   Falding secured employment
in Rossland first as accountant for P.
Burns & Co., then as comptroller for the
LeRoi mine. Later he established a public accounting practice in Rossland and
in 1921 secured membership in rhe Institute of Chartered Accountants of B.C.
when the Chartered Accountants Act
was amended to admit certain public
accountants on the basis of their long-
term practical experience. For several
years Falding served as auditor for the
City of Rossland. In 1931 he died, leaving a creditable record of public service.
His was a happy story of rehabilitation.
James C. Prevost pled guilty to three
charges of embezzlement aggregating
about $5,400 when his trial came up on
November 15. It appeared that he had
recently lost considerable money in
speculative ventures. After he was sentenced to four years imprisonment in the
Provincial Penitentiary his wife and their
five children moved to a farm in the
Cowichan area. The two boys secured
employment in the Mt. Sicker mining
works. On his release from prison, J.C.
Prevost worked in the office of one of
the remoter sawmills in the Cowichan
District. In time the Prevost family became well respected members of the
Cowichan community, the eldest son, H.
Fairfax Prevost serving for some years as
mayor of Duncan.
The newspapers accounts of the time
made much of the simultaneous disappearance ofthe two Supreme Court registrars. The parallels were intriguing.
Both fugitives were family men of irreproachable Brirish descent who held high
office in the Province. A calm retrospective view a century later, however, finds
the coincidence much less remarkable.
Ir is highly doubtful that any conspiracy
existed between Falding and Prevost, but
it is quite plausible that when Falding
heard that an audit of Prevost's accounts
had been ordered, he panicked and
elected to disappear before a similar audit might be ordered of his own accounts.
E.L. "Ted" Affleck is a very active senior living
in Vancouver. Besides researching and writing
history he plays in a Seniors' Orchestra, volunteers at Brock House, and has been a judge for
the B.C. Historical Federation Writing Competition.
B.C. Historical News-Winter 1997/98 NEWS & NOTES
Harbour Details Sought
Gordon Miller has been commissioned to
create paintings depicting the early years
(1850-1920 in the harbours at Victoria and
Vancouver. He seeks pictures, accounts of
events happening on these waterfronts or
written descriptions of wharves or buildings.
If you can help in any way please contact
Gordon at 2636 West Third Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6K 1M3 or phone (604) 731-
Pixie M. Seeks a Successor
The Chair of the B.C. Historical Federation
Writing Competition has thoroughly enjoyed
her role which entailed receiving new books,
dispensing them to the judges, convening a
judges' meeting and announcing the prize
winners. Do you wish to volunteer for this
position? Duties to start May 1st, 1998.
Please talk to Pixie McGeachie at (604) 522-
2062 or Naomi Miller at (250) 422-3594.
Women's History Network
This group held a conference in Mission on
September 26 and 27. The weekend
featured good meals, a visit to Hatzic Rock
(Xa:ytem Longhouse), and guest speakers
Gordon Mons, Valerie Billesberger, and John
Lutz. Organizers were Suzanne Matheson,
Cyndie Bartos and Lynda Maeve Orr.
Readers wishing more information on this
organization can write to WHN/BC at #109-
1755 Saltan Road, Abbotsford, B.C. V2S
7C5 or contact Lunda Maeve Orr c/o the
Burnaby Village Museum or her home (604)
St. Ann's Academy Restored
A beautiful old building has been restored
and reopened to the public. Four Sisters of
St. Ann arrived in Victoria in 1858 to serve as
teachers for the children of newly arrived
settlers. The first Academy was a mere
cabin, followed by larger space on View
Street. The building of the present complex
began in 1871, with expansion in 1886 and
again in 1910. The B.C. Building Corporation
has been using part of the complex for office
' space, and will continue this area of management while the Provincial Capital Commission will control the chapel and interpretive
centre. The Academy Gardens will be
upgraded and opened as a public green
space - effectively extending Beacon Hill Park
and connecting it with downtown. The official
reopening was conducted on July 12,1997.
Vancouver Historical Society
Web SHe -
The VHS Home Page is now being updated
on a regular basis and new features will be
added during the coming months. Among
these will be Links to other historical societies, museums, archives and similarly related
organizations. Please send John Spittle
( your URL of you wish to be
included and feel free to reciprocate by using
Theatre History
Jim Hoffman, an instructor in theatre at the
University College of the Cariboo, recently
did extensive research in England. He
discovered that a play "Nootka Sound" was
performed at Covert Garden several times
between 1790 and 1796. There is also the
possibility that the song Rule Britannia was
written to be performed with that show.
Freeman of the City of Nanaimo
Former BCHF secretary, Don Sale, was
honored by the mayor of Nanaimo on
October 1st, when in a private ceremony at
Dover House, a medal declaring Don is now
a freeman of the city, was presented.
Historical Researchers Available
The Vancouver Historical Society has
inaugurated a new service designed to
connect researchers and clients seeking
assistance with historical research. This
service meets a long-felt need among
members of the historical community. The
general public has not always known how to
find historical researchers. Even historians
may not know who is available to do research. Too often, librarians, archivists and
others have met with a plaintive cry "where
can I find someone to help me?" Sometimes
they are able to make a recommendation, but
often they have had to reply, "I dont know."
Now with the establishment of the Historical
Referral Service, HRRS for short, a client
merely has to get in touch with the Vancouver
Historical Society via the web-site at http/7 or at the Vancouver
Informational Line at 878-9140 and make a
detailed request. Or a letter can be sent to
Box 3071, Vancouver, V6B 3X6. The home
phone of committee chair, H. Shore, is (604)
A list of researchers with their areas of
expertise and references is kept by the
Vancouver Historical Society enabling a quick
response to someone looking for expert
assistance in researching historical topics.
Once the client and the researcher are
connected they make their own arrangements as to terms and conditions of work.
Requests may come from an individual
outside of the lower mainland looking for
someone to do a search on her ancestors in
Vancouver, or from someone outside the
province looking for background information
on roads linking Montreal and Vancouver in
the 1920's. Since the service began in
September the list of researchers is growing
and so are the numbers of requests for
Author's Excitement
On November 3 a truck bearing boxes and
boxes from Wayside Press unloaded at the
Nelson Museum. Author Art Joyce and
Curator Shawn Lamb did a little war dance.
Your editor was allowed a peek at the fresh
off-the-press book A Perfect Childhood:
100 Years of Heritage Homes in Nelson.
Booklaunch was November 15th and sales
start at $23.95.
Reo Rides Again
In 1912, Thomas W. Wilby and Chauffeur/
mechanic, Fonce Val (Jack) Haney crossed
Canada from Atlantic to Pacific in a Reo 5
passenger touring car on what was dubbed
the "All Red Route". The Kootenay leg of this
intriguing journey was recorded in two
articles which appeared in the British
Columbia Historical News (Fall 1987),
Winter 1990 and combined for a current web
features/heritage/redroute. htm)
This historic trip has been re-enacted eighty-
five years later by Lome Findlay, followed in a
motorhome by his wife, Irene, and son, Peter.
The daily everts of the 1997 trip appear on a
web page:
newsdays.htm) John Nicol, author of a short
monograph about this epic trip (Jack Haney,
1989), is going along for the ride in order to
gain first-hand experience for a lengthier
book comparing the 1912 and 1997 motoring
BCHF President, Ron Welwood, was
fortunate to be able to ride in the front seat of
this "air conditioned" automobile from Balfour
to Nelson, B.C. (35 km); and Past President,
Alice Glanville, had the opportunity to
entertain the modern day Reoists in Grand
Hedley Success
This winter the Museum, Gift Shop and Tea
Room will be open five days a week 10am - 5
pm (closed Monday & Tuesday) Chuck
Schmidt pays rent for the Wild Goat Gift
This helps pay for upkeep of the building -
like the new roof recently applied. This is the
first time for a winter program.
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 BOOKSHELF
Books for review and book reviews should be sent directly to the Book Review Editor:
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
HR. A Biography of H.R. MacMillan. Ken
Drushka. Madeira Park, B.C., Harbour
Publishing, 1995. 416 p., illus. $39.95, hard
This biography is an illuminating chronicle of
an extraordinary life. It may surprise many to
find that it is a rags to riches story. Harvey
Reginald MacMillan was "bom and raised in obscure poverty on a small farm north of Toronto."
His father died when he was two and he and his
mother were forced to live apart with relatives.
Deliverance came at the age of 15; he was hoeing potatoes one day when a man driving by
stopped and told him that scholarships were available at the Ontario Agricultural College (now the
University of Guelph). MacMillan hated agriculture, but the scholarship took him off the land,
and summer jobs kept him safely away from it
It was at Guelph that he first encountered forestry, and in particular the ideas brought to North
America some years before by Bernard Femow,
a German forester. The objective was a permanent industry based on sustained yield, instead of
the smash-and-grab tactics that brought quick
profits but left the forests devastated. A Forestry
Branch had been established in Ottawa, and
MacMillan secured summer employment with the
survey parties it sent to the West
After graduating from OAC, MacMillian decided
to pursue graduate studies at Yale's forestry school.
It was a two-year course and in the intervening
summer MacMillian joined a party that was to timber cruise in British Columbia - his first introduction to the province that was to make his name
and fortune. When he graduated in 1908, all
seemed set fair for a successful career, but disaster struck in the form of advanced tuberculosis -
the disease that had killed his father.
To many it would have been a mortal blow,
but H.R. faced it with the determination characteristic of him. The battle lasted thirty months,
but he emerged cured and ready to resume his
career. The Forestry Branch was again his employer until 1912, when the organization of a forest service in British Columbia offered a new
opportunity. In May 1912 he was appointed its
first Chief Forester.
MacMillan assembled a staff (no small task as
trained foresters were still few in number) and
launched a forestry management programme. All
seemed set fair until 1914 and the outbreak of
war. The impact on the British Columbia lumbering industry was severe. It had depended
heavily on American brokers for orders and on
sea transport; the war diverted the interests of one
and disrupted the other. The B.C. Government
decided that some first-hand knowledge of world
markets was essential and sent MacMillan on a
tour that took him to Britain, South Africa, India
and Australia
Home again, H.R was restless. He felt that
the B.C. Forest Service was "in for some lean
years" and he had no lack of opportunities for
alternative employment Four universities wanted
him to head their forestry schools; one invitation
came from Bernard Femow, who had become
Dean of the school at Toronto, and wanted
MacMillan to succeed him. But H.R. decided to
enter business instead and became assistant manager of a lumber company based at Chemainus.
His experience there was not happy, and only
a year later he moved to a new and much more
exciting assignment British airplane losses in the
war were mounting; one of the vital needs for
building replacements was Sitka spruce, the largest available supply of which was in British Columbia, much of it in the Queen Charlottes. The
British Imperial Munitions Board set up a subsidiary in Vancouver to tackle the spruce supply problem, and late in 1917 MacMillan became its
assistant director. His task was to secure vast
quantities of airplane quality spruce as quickly as
possible, and to do this he had to "organize from
scratch" what Drushka describes as "the biggest
logging show anyone ever attempted to put together." A tentative objective of three million
board feet per month was reached in July 1918,
and this had been tripled by the end of the war.
MacMillan was to perform a comparable feat
in the Second World War. He had been called to
Ottawa by the redoubtable CD. Howe to serve
as Timber Controller, but within months the heavy
toll being taken by U-boats made it clear that an
emergency shipbuilding programme to produce
replacement ships was essential. Late in March
1941 MacMillan became head of a new agency,
Wartime Merchant Shipping, with headquarters
in Montreal. He tackled the assignment with his
usual speed and efficiency. By early April he had
placed orders for a hundred standard cargo ships
with Canadian yards; the first of them was
launched in October and went to sea on her first
voyage on December 7 - Fteari Harbor Day. As
Eastern yards were heavily engaged in repairing
damaged ships, the bulk of the orders were placed
with western yards, with the Burrard yard in North
Vancouver at the top of the list
MacMillan had vastly increased his activities in
the inter-war years. He had acquired sawmills
and had become one of the major lumber producers in the province. He had experienced firsthand the difficulties of securing orders for lumber
from distant customers and of securing space in
cargo ships to fill them. In 1919, in association
with Montague Meyer of London, who had been
British timber controller during the war, he organized the H.R. MacMillan Export Company:
Meyer would secure orders in Europe; MacMillan
would fill them. Except for the odd lean year, the
Export Company expanded rapidly. Securing
space in cargo ships continued to be a problem,
and in 1921 MacMillan founded the Canadian
Transport Company to solve it At times it had as
many as forty or fifty ships on long-term charters.
In 1930 he had become involved in another
industry - fisheries. B.C. Packers, "the largest fish
processing company on the West Coast" was in
financial difficulties.   H.R. was invited to join a
new board of directors, whose first task was to
avoid bankruptcy. MacMillan was new to the industry, but Drushka remarks upon his "capacity
for taking on a diverse variety of tasks, without
losing track of the details in any one of them."
The fishing industry intrigued him; he visited canneries strung along the West Coast to become
familiar with details. In 1933 he became President of B.C. Packers; three years later, despite
the depression, it returned a small dividend; and,
within a few years, through the Export Company,
he had gained control of it
In 1958 MacMillan decided to resign as Chairman of MacMillan & Bloedel, as his company had
become. As a successor he chose J.V. Clyne, a
justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Drushka remarks that why he did so "is one
of the great mysteries of Canadian business" as
Clyne had had no business experience. Certainly
the consequences were not what MacMillan had
anticipated. He had always endeavoured to raise
capital within Canada; Clyne looked to other
markets, notably the United States. MacMillan
had kept the operations of his companies largely
confined to Canada; under Clyne they became
involved in operations in such diverse locations,
as the Netherlands, Alabama and Australia All
this was accompanied by a steady effort to push
MacMillan into the background.
Drushka throws considerable light on
MacMillan's philanthropic activities. He gave
many millions to causes that interested him, with
UBC at the top of the list The Vancouver Foundation, the Vancouver Aquarium and the
MacMillan Planetarium were all supported liberally. In 1965 he gave the UBC Library
$3,000,000 for the purchase of books - the largest grant of the kind ever given to a Canadian
library. Conditions were often attached to his gifts;
in this instance he specified that the money was
to be spent on books and on books only - UBC
was to meet the very substantial cost of cataloguing them. Every gift or grant was followed
promptly by a letter or telegram confirming the
gift and recalling any conditions that had been
attached to it
The book is rich in detail, but one wishes that a
little more had been said about MacMillan's close
associates, notably WJ. VanDusen. Femow introduced him to MacMillan at a meeting in Montreal as early as 1908 and H.R. recruited him for
the B.C. Forest Service in 1913. A decade later
he persuaded him to leave the Service and join
the Export Company. They were close associates thereafter, and he prospered with the company. As a philanthropist he rivalled MacMillan;
he was virtual founder of the Vancouver Foundation; and to it and the related Van Dusen Foundation he gave in all more than a hundred million
W. Kaye Lamb,
Dr. Lamb is former Dominion Archivist and
Librarian, and former Honorary President of
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 BOOKSHELF
the B.C. Historical Association.
Great Canadian Political Cartoons, 1820
to 1914. Charles and Cynthia Hou. Vancouver
Moody's Lookout Press, 1997. 232 p. $39.95,
Consider, for a moment, the following image.
It shows a stem looking Sir John A Macdonald,
dressed as a police officer, facing outward from a
precipice high above the Pacific Ocean at the
Western edge of Canada. Behind him stand a
throng of European men and women, shovels and
suitcases in hand. They have just disembarked
from a railway train, above which floats the word
"civilization." On the horizon the glow of a setting sun shouts "Westward Ho!", as if enticing
settlers to a land of dreams. But not all is sunny
in this visual story, for in front of the Prime Minister, cowering against the continent's edge, huddle four First Nations people, apprehensive,
scared, and clearly on the defensive The police
officer, his baton hovering menacingly above
them, barks out a stem and authoritative warning: "Here you copper colored gentlemen, no loafing allowed, you must either work or jump." What
European concepts like "loafing" could have
meant to Native people who were after all, just
"living" here, much as they had done for centuries, is open to speculation. But what is clear is
that the cartoon, published on 20 June 1885 in
the Toronto Evening News, offers a classic statement of the "conquest" that lies at the heart of
nation-building in nineteenth-century Canada.
Native peoples had two choices, according to the
Prime Minister: either join "civilization" or face
This cartoon is one of 336 carefully selected
and sharply reproduced by Charles and Cynthia
Hou in their privately-published volume, Great
Canadian Political Cartoons. The images reflect widely on Canadian political life from the
1840s to the First World War, with one lone cartoon dating from an earlier period, in 1820. The
visual commentary that emerges is as diverse as
the complex history of Canada itself. Politicians
such as Sir John A Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier,
and Henri Bourassa figure prominently, as do
such predictable themes as Confederation, the National Policy, anxiety about the power and influence of our southern neighbour, the naval
question, Canada's ties to Britain, and French-
English relations. But even for those of us who
teach Canadian history the cartoons constantly
delight the reader with new insights on familiar
topics. One of my favourites is a simple sketch
showing three images of a civil servant "at work";
published in Quebec City journal called "La Sde"
in April 1866, the portrayal of the man named
Pacot lounging, snoozing, and yawning while on
the job was clearly controversial, and resulted in
the arrest of the cartoonist Two caricatures of
the Senate as a home for aged politicians have
contemporary relevance, as does a striking image from 1882 asking if Macdonald intends to
abolish provincial autonomy by centralizing power
in Ottawa. Unlike the Senate cartoons, however,
the latter stands out for its contrast to the present
day, rather than its parallel.
I found particularly fascinating the visual commentaries on social and cultural aspects of Canada's political culture. The image of Macdonald
telling Native people to "get civilized or else" is an
obvious example, but there are many others
throughout the book. Prostitution, the growing
tension between capital and labour, the power of
the Roman Catholic Church, anxiety among the
country's dominant French and English-speaking
groups over the ethnically diverse character of
immigrants in the early 1900s, and the place of
women in society are commented on, sometimes
in ways that appear to be quite outrageous and
controversial. Take, for example, the cartoon
published by Bob Edwards of The Eye Opener
in Calgary on the occasion of a visit to Canada in
1910 by British feminist Emmeline Pankhurst
Entitled "Mrs. Pankhurst, at Toronto: the day will
come when women will at in your Canadian Parliament," it portrays women MPs in what by today's standards would be considered a blatantly
sexist manner. One woman asks a male colleague, "Is my hat on straight," while another suggests, "Let's have a cup of tea." A third woman
MP is sitting on the knee of MP Frederick Borden.
What are we to make of this? Is the cartoonist
satirizing the cause of suffrage for women, or is
he intending to be ironic, and critical of male attitudes?
The cartoons can be read at two levels, as a
straight-up presentation of contrasting views of
Canadian life, which Charles and Cynthia Hou
have done much to emphasize by choosing cartoons that offer conflicting points of view; or as
visual metaphors that can be "read" for "meaning." The visual presentation of countries as
women, of French Canadians as happy farmers
named "Baptiste", or of businessmen as bloated
plutocrats comes to mind. At whatever level, the
book is fun to read. It will appeal to both a general audience and to history teachers, for whom
the cartoon images offer an exciting way to illustrate Canadian attitudes from times past The
House have chosen to present the cartoons without analytical comment, yet an interpretive essay
on cartoons as a communication form might have
added usefully to our appreciation of their political function. The credits, set off in a separate section at the end of the book, are also rather
inaccessible. That said, the book is beautifully
produced, and the cartoons selected original and
provocative. Great Canadian Political Cartoons
belongs in every Canadian history classroom in
the country. It will have a prominent place in
Robert McDonald,
Department of History - University
of British Columbia.
Clayoquot Soundings: A History of
Clayoquot Sound, 1880s - 1980s. Guppy,
Walter. Tofino, Grassroots Publication, 1997.
$16.95, paperback. ISBN: 0-9697703-1-1-6
The authors of community histories vary considerably in their qualifications as historians. Walter
Guppy lays claim to credentials as good as most
"Somebody had to write a history of Clayoquot
Sound ... (and) I have lived here for the better
part of three-quarters of a century."
Beginning with the arrival of the first European
missionary in 1875, and progressing through the
coming of "the hippie element" about a century
later, Clayoquot Soundings presents a strong
theme that underlies the region's history: the
movement of Clayoquot and Tofino from the era
of simple focus on primary industries to its present
period of conflict and change.
Guppy lays heavy emphasis on economic and
industrial events in the region's history; a large
portion of the book's sectional titles describe logging, fishing and mining developments, or make
reference to specific industrial companies. Perhaps indicative of trends to come is the story of a
legendary early pioneer, Frederick Tibbs, who
occupied Tibbs Island and immediately "removed
all the timber from the island, leaving only one tall
The author presents a highly significant list of
Clayoquot-Tofino residents from the 1918 British Columbia Directory. The fifty-three residents
were all male, and virtually all were connected
with logging, fishing or mining. Commenting on
the absence of female listings in the directory
Guppy says, "by 1913 there were some second-
generation sons of settlers, so there obviously had
to be women here."
Also present were a large Native population and
an important Japanese population. It is a creditable feature of this history that it gives reasonable
acknowledgement of their roles in the community.
Early in the twentieth century the centre of activity moved from the settlement at Clayoquot on
Stubbs Island to the growing new village of Tofino.
Nevertheless, "Clayoquot (retained) the only beer
parlour up-coast from Port Alberni."
Early logging in Clayoquot, driven by a demand
for cedar in the eastern United States, was limited
by the necessity of shipping the product around
Cape Horn. Much of the Clayoquot's history centres on the evolution of improved contact with
the rest of the world. Guppy identifies the critical
moment in this development in the 1950s B.C.
Forest Products promised the residents of Tofino
and Ucluelet that, in exchange for public support
of the company's timber operations, the forest
company would construct a road into the region
from Port Alberni. In October 1964, when this
road was opened to the public, Tofino and
Clayoquot region entered the present era of tourism and residential development The region also
became the theatre of land use conflict that it tends
to be nowadays.
Although Clayoquot Soundings is a fine industrial history of the district, it lacks a dimension
that has given some recent community histories
(a good example is Time and Tide, Pat Wastell
Norris' 1995 history of Telegraph Cove) their spe-
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 BOOKSHELF
dal depth. In Walter Guppy's narrative, individual
persons emerge only as names that pop up briefly
in the text When the author mentions the names
of persons who were the "characters" of the early
Clayoquot region, the reader wishes for a few
anecdotal paragraphs that might bring these personalities to life.
Among the best features of the history is its
impressive album of Photographs of Clayoquot
people, landscapes, boats and settlement from
about 1900 to the present day. Browsing through
this excellent collection of photos, one gains an
intimate feeling for the homesteads, classrooms,
fishermen and school-children that have comprised the Clayoquot communities
A very thorough index makes Clayoquot
Soundings useful as a reference source.
Phillip Teece,
Greater Victoria Public Library
Henry & Self: The Private Life of Sarah
Crease 1826-1922. Kathryn Bridge. Victoria, BC
Sono Nis Press, 1996. 216.p., illus. $21.95
Kathryn Bridge used the diaries, letters,
sketches, photographs and other records of the
Crease Family Collection housed in the B.C. Archives to portray the world of a Victorian woman
who was raised in England and emigrated to British Columbia in 1859. The eldest daughter of
John Lindley, a noted botanist and horticulturist
Sarah's life was framed by relationships with her
family, friends, and the social activities of the day.
Her documented impressions provides a portrait
of a charming and complex individual; and, as
Bridge points out, Sarah's "contemporary observations about people and circumstances provide
a unique insight into B.C. history, and in particular a long-needed female perspective. We can
learn much about nineteenth century perspectives
on class and race through Sarah's comments."
In 1849 Sarah was engaged to Henry Crease,
whose family was involved in the mining industry. The financial difficulties that he experienced
in England during their engagement and early
years of their marriage caused Sarah and Henry
to suffer lengthy separations. Sarah's frequent
letters to Henry reveal much about her character,
the details of every day life, and the mores of the
period. Bridge notes that "Sarah learned patience
of a sort which many others could never master.
The long painful wait before marriage taught her
that nothing in life comes easily and once
achieved, should never be taken for granted."
Financially ruined in 1857, Henry travelled to
Canada in the hopes of making enough money
to pay off his debts. Sarah and their children were
left behind not knowing what their futures held.
Bridge notes that returning "to live with her parents marks a remarkable yet typical situation for
women at this time."
After beginning work as a barrister in Fort Victoria, Henry writes Sarah that she and the children should emigrate.   She replies, "Your
proposition of Vancouvers' Island was a little startling at first - from its great distance away - but I
am quite ready dearest to consider that as our
future home if it pleases God to direct our steps
thither." Bridge's attention to archival detail, as
demonstrated in reporting the contents of the
seven boxes Sarah packed for her new life in
Canada, provides additional insights into Sarah's
character. The boxes contained such necessities
as featherbeds, house linens, wash tubs, a brown
teapot, sketch books, and "1 doz. old Port - 5
bot Champagne - 2 bot Gin." She explains to
Henry that "If we can start with these comforts I
shall be very thankful. ... I will do my best to
extract all the good I can out of them."
From the time of her arrival, Sarah's letters,
sketches and paintings provide intriguing details
of colonial life. According to Bridge, Sarah's
sketches "document human aspects of the colony
... the previous regime of the Hudson's Bay
Company... objective information about the size,
situation, and composition of the aboriginal settlement, . . . and subjectively reveal clues as to
the attitudes and perspectives of the artist"
The book concludes with Sarah's 1880 journal of a three month trip she took to the Cariboo
and Kamloops with Henry as he travelled on the
assize court circuit as a puisne judge. Bridge also
includes the letters Sarah wrote to and received
from her children during the trip. Bridge's detailed annotations bring these documents to life,
illustrating their richness as a historical resource.
Relying heavily on Sarah's own voice and those
of her female relatives, Bridge provides readers
with an intriguing biography that interweaves historical record with a female perspective. The result is a story that has multiple levels and which,
in Bridge's words, gives "flesh, face, and personality" to facts and statistics.
Sarah Lindley's Family Letters to Henry
Crease Part One -1949; Part Two -1850-1851;
Part Three -1852-1855. Robert M. Hamilton.
9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C. V6X1V7
(604) 278-2566.
Anyone wanting to read more of Sarah Lindley
Crease's letters will be thankful to Robert M. Hamilton who has "gathered, transcribed, indexed and
issued provisionally in photocopy" (1996; 1997)
three collections {Part Four is forthcoming). Each
included a brief introduction, a list of sketches,
and an index. While interesting and informative,
the selected sketches and illustrations are not always as clear as one would like due to the photocopying process.
The correspondence is one-sided as there are
only a few extant letters to Sarah from Henry.
Rirt Two contains an account of a 100 mile boat
race Henry participated in on Lake Superior in
the summer of 1850. He described the race as
one "in which the pure Red man was pitted against
representatives of several of the great families of
the White man." Henry's lively account sheds
some light on his personality. As Hamilton points
out, Henry's account also reflects "a slight degree
of romantic or adversary racism regarding the
natives that was common until modem times."
The topics and contents of Sarah's letters are
sometimes repetitious, a reflection of the quiet
cycle of her life in England and the frequency with
which she wrote. What is compelling are the
insights gained about her relationship with Henry.
She becomes more and more candid about "very
boldly" expressing her love. At the same time
she is always deferential, emphasizing that while
Henry is "as constant to me as my own shadow.
.. you do not follow, but are always before me."
Both Henry & Self and Sarah Lindley's Family Letters to Henry Crease provide readers with
an intimate peek at life in an earlier era.
Sheryl Salloum,
Sheryl Salloum is the author of ■
Malcolm Lowry: Vancouver Days (Harbor
Publishing, 1987) and Underlying Vibrations:
The Photography and Life of John
Vanderpant (Horsdal & Schubart, 1995).
Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Park).
Jan Peterson. Lantzville, Oolichan Books,
1996.133 p., illus., $19.95, paperback.
Cathedral Grove is a place where many people first experience the coastal forest as it was
before European settlement This tiny tract of giant cedars and Douglas firs, also known as
MacMillan Park, inspires awe (hence its name), a
fair bit of poetry, and enough photography to keep
Kodak stocks healthy. Unlike many of the huge
nature preserves being created today, Cathedral
grove, situated on Vancouver Island near Port
Alberni, is easily accessible; nearly a quarter of a
million tourists visit it each year. But as Jan
Peterson points out in Cathedral Grove
(MacMillan Park) it is noteworthy not only for its
mystical magnificence but also for being the focus
of British Columbia's first fight for the preservation of old-growth forest
This well-researched book provides a compact
history of the coastal logging and tourist industries, of the evolution of the movement to save
the Grove, and of the development of the provincial park as government and industry finally
negotiated the land transfers and park tides necessary to protect the forest It also gives an account of the continuing campaigns to keep
Cathedral Grove viable as both a forest and a tourist attraction. Over the many decades it took to
create the park, numerous individuals and groups
played a part in having the forest preserved;
Peterson includes biographies of the good, the
bad, and the bureaucratic. These vignettes make
some of the most interesting reading as they cast
many of the familiar characters of B.C. logging
history in conservationist roles that might surprise
some readers. There is also a section on the trees
and plants to be found in MacMillan Park, and a
selection of the poetry and other writing inspired
by this 31-acre refuge. The footnotes, bibliography, and index are thorough and useful springboards to more information should the reader
B.C. Historical News - Winter 1997/98 BOOKSHELF
desire it
It is a shame that the budget couldn't run to
color illustrations, but what the graphics lack in
glitz they make up for in generosity. There are
over 45 pages of historical and present-day photos, editorial cartoons, and maps, informatively
All this background is packed into approximately 65 pages of reader-friendly text It can be
used as a textbook for successful park development Or, if read before visiting the forest, it can
serve as a resource that will help the reader appreciate what both nature and a community of
dedicated and patient conservationists can
Susan Stacey,
Susan Stacey, a Richmond writer, is the coauthor of Salmonopolis, the
Steveston Story.
More Than a House. Janet Bingham. Vancouver, Roedde House Preservation Society,
1996.109 p., illus. $14.95, paperback.
This book is a recollection of the life of Roedde
House - from start to finish, beginning with the
inspiration to preserve the West End house and
proceeding to tell about the original Owners and
their special place in Vancouver's early cultural
landscape. It culminates with a first hand recollection of the strategies used by an early preservation society to raise public support and funds
and carry out the work of renovating what had
become a decrepit old house.
Architectural historian and heritage activist,
Janet Bingham's prose flows logically and naturally from one section of the book to the next - no
doubt a recollection of her close interest and involvement with the preservation process of the
house up to its current status as a living museum.
The personal approach is seamlessly supplemented by information acquired through interviews, newspaper articles, books, and archival
The story begins with the history of the Roedde
family, their early business. Built in 1893, the so-
called Roedde House is attributed to the notorious architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury, who
left Vancouver soon afterward to launch his career in Victoria. This, along with its reputation as
an outstanding example of the Queen Anne revival style of architecture, and the pioneer bookbinding family who originally lived there made
for a strong foundation upon which to build Vancouver's young heritage movement
In the 1960's, the City of Vancouver did not
have a policy regarding the demolition or preservation of old houses in the city. However, a few
years later, under the auspices of the Community
Arts Council of Vancouver, a group of interested
historians, architects, and others began to lobby
local politicians to preserve some of the old, and
at one time, prestigious houses in the rapidly growing West End. At that time, owned by the City of
Vancouver, it served as low-cost rental housing.
By 1974, growing interest in heritage issues had
precipitated the City to formulate the Heritage
Advisory Com mittee. It came out with a list of 22
Vancouver buildings earmarked for preservation,
but Roedde House was not among them. The
house did, however, make it on to the Advisory
Committee's "B" listing the following year, much
to the chagrin of the Roedde House advocates.
Under the "B" designation, the house was vulnerable to non-heritage renovations, demolition,
or to moving. After much pressuring, Roedde
House was rightfully placed on the "A" listing,
ensuring it full heritage protection.
Heritage architect Peter Cotton from Victoria
and architectural historian and planner Jacques
Dalibard from Heritage Canada gave the preservationists detailed assessments on the condition
of the house and ideas for use of the site. It was,
in fact, Dalibard's vision that led to the creation of
the Heritage Live-in Park that Roedde House
eventually became. The group lobbied for full
authentic restoration of the house and its surrounding grounds, with the goal of making it Vancouver's first house museum.
Then began a series of consultations, reports,
and presentations that spanned nearly ten years.
In the process of garnering public support, the
Roedde House Preservation Society was formed,
a body through which the preservationists could
organize, lobby, and gain publicity. It found itself
in an interesting situation vis-a-vis the then City
Council, with the left-leaning aldermen being opposed to the eviction of the low-rent tenants and
the right-leaning aldermen opposed to spending
to renovate old houses. As public support for the
project grew, however, it soon became apparent
that it was merely a matter of time before the site
would be granted special status and given a
chance to regain its former glory.
Rounding out the historical, biographical, and
political components of the Roedde House story
is the nitty-gritty of the preservation process, what
renovations to do first and why, and when to hire
professionals or rely on the group's joint judgement and experience. Bingham talks about the
moments of impasse when paint colours had to
be determined, and decisions made about the
spending of precious renovation funds. And the
reader learns about installing modem plumbing
and heating and about the attainment of work
project grants to do some of the time-consuming
and repetitive work like scraping off old wallpaper and removing cedar panellings and mouldings Four years after the exterior renovations
began, the interior restoration work got underway.
In May 1990, the Roedde House Museum was
officially opened by then Mayor Gordon
Campbell. It is now a house museum and also
plays host to a number of special events throughout the year.
Anyone curious about the process of lobbying
for heritage projects, renovation of old structures,
or the history of Vancouver and its first prestigious neighbourhood, the West End, will enjoy the
multi-faceted picture presented in this book by
Janet Binghasm.
Donna Jean Mackinnon,
Donna Jean MacKinnon is President of the
Vfancouuer Historical Society
Grizzlies & White Guys; The Stories of
Clayton Mack. Madeira Park, B.C., Harbour
Publishing, 1993. 239 p., illus. $17.95, paperback.
Clayton Mack was bom in 1910atNieumianus
Creek near Bella Coola, a member of the Nuxalk
(Bella Coola) Nation. He died at Bella Coola in
1993. In his final years, he enjoyed telling stories
of his life, and some of them were recorded by
his physician, Harvey Thommasen.
Like many of his generation of First Nations
people, Clayton Mack never received much formal education. His career followed whatever
opportunities presented themselves, and he had
experience as a cannery worker, agricultural labourer, fisher, rancher, trapper, logging company
owner, rodeo cowboy, and movie actor. But he
achieved greatness as a guide for wealthy grizzly
bear hunters.
Intelligent and cool-headed, and intimately familiar with the Central Coast bear habitat, for over
fifty years Mack attracted a steady clientele of
wealthy patrons willing to pay big money to kill
record size grizzly bears. He rarely disappointed
Though he was invited to hobnob with the elite
of Los Angeles, including California Governor
Brown, Mack found the experience bewildering,
and returned to his home as soon as he could.
As a guide, he was paid to suffer fools gladly. He
had admiration for some of his clients, but disdain for others who wasted wildlife resources,
failed to listen to instructions, or were inattentive
to the dangers of the wilderness. He also had
criticism for the actions of archaeologists and Fish
and Wildlife officers.
He had much greater respect for sasquatches,
which he encountered three times, and for grizzly
bears, whose behaviour and habits he understood
Editor Harvey Thommasen is to be
commended for not editing out Clayton Mack's
economical but grammatically imperfect English
usage. Grizzlies and White Guys offers a rare and
delightful glimpse into the life of an exceptional
British Columbian.
A sequel, More Stories from Clayton Mack has
also been published by Harbour Publishing.
James E. Bowman.
Jim Bowman is a Calgary archivist
B.C. Historical News-Winter 1997/98 THE BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORICAL FEDERATION - Organized October 31,1922
Web Address:
His Honour, the Honorable Garde B. Gardom Q.C.
Leonard McCann c/o Vancouver Maritime Museum,
1905 Ogden Ave. Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1A3
Ron Welwood
RR #1, S22 C1, Nelson, B.C. V1L 5P4
First Vice President
Wayne Desrochers #2 - 6712 Baker Road, Delta, B.C. V4E 2V3
(604) 257-8306
FX(604) 737-2621
(250) 825-4743
(604) 599-4206
Second Vice President
Melva Dwyer
2976 McBride Ave., Surrey, B.C. V4A 3G6
(604) 535-3041
Recording Secretary
Members at Large
Past President
Arnold Ranneris
R. George Thomson
Doris J. May
Roy J.V. Pallant
Robert J. Cathro
Alice Glanville
1898 Quamichan Street, Victoria, B.C. V8S 2B9 (250) 598-3035
#19,141 East 5th Ave., Qualicum Beach, B.C. V9K 1N5 (250) 752-8861
2943 Shelbourne St, Victoria, B.C. V8R 4M7 (250) 595-0236
1541 Merlynn Crescent, North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 2X9 (604) 986-8969
RR#1 Box U-39, Bowen Island, B.C. VON 1 GO (604) 947-0038
Box 746, Grand Forks, B.C. VOH 1H0
(250) 442-3865
B.C. Historical News
Publishing Committee
Book Review Editor
Membership Secretary
Subscription Secretary
Historical Trails
and Markers
Publications Assistance
(not involved with
B.C. Historical News)
Writing Competition
(Lieutenant Governor's
Margaret Stoneberg
Tony Farr
Anne Yandle
Naomi Miller
Nancy Peter
Joel Vinge
John Spittle
Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
(250) 295-3362
125 Castle Cross Rd, Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2G1      (260) 537-1123
3450 West 20th Ave, Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
(604) 733-6484
(250) 422-3594
FX (250) 422-3244
#7 - 5400 Patterson Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5H 2M5 (604) 437-6115
RR#2 S13 C60, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H3
(250) 489-2490
1241 Mount Crown Rd, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R 1R9     (604) 988-4565
Nancy Stuart-Stubbs 2651 York Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6K1E6 (604)738-5132
Contact Nancy for advice and details to apply for a loan toward the cost of publishing.
Scholarship Committee        Frances Gundry
255 Niagara Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1G4 (250) 385-6353
Pixie McGeachie
7953 Rosewood St, Burnaby, B.C. V5E 2H4
(604) 522-2062
(NOTE: Area code prefixes are effective from October 19,1996 onward). The British Columbia Historical News
P.O. Box 5254, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4
Publications Mail
Registration No. 4447
BC Historical
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions of books for the sixteenth annual Competition for Writers of B.C. History.
Any book presenting any facet of B.C. history, published in 1998, is eligible. This may be a community
history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections giving a glimpse of the
past. Names, dates and places, with relevant maps or pictures, turn a story into "history."
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.
NOTE: Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
The Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded to an individual writer whose
book contributes significantly to the recorded history of British Columbia. Other awards will be made as
recommended by the judges to valuable books prepared by groups or individuals.
All entries receive considerable publicity. Winners will receive a Certificate of Merit, a monetary award
and an invitation to the BCHF annual conference to be held in Merritt in May 1999.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: All books must have been published in 1998 and should be submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two copies of each book should be submitted. Books entered become property of the B.C. Historical Federation. Please state name, address and telephone number of sender,
the selling price of all editions of the book, and the address from which it may be purchased, if the reader has
to shop by mail. If by mail, please include shipping and handling costs if applicable.
SEND TO: B .C. Historical Writing Competition '
c/o P. McGeachie
7953 Rosewood Street, Burnaby, B.C. V5E 2H4
DEADLINE:      December 31,1998.
There is also an award for the Best Article published each year in the B.C. Historical News magazine.
This is directed to amateur historians or students. Articles should be no more than 3,000 words, typed double
spaced, accompanied by photographs if available, and substantiated with footnotes where applicable. (Photographs should be accompanied with information re: the source, permission to publish, archival number if
applicable, and a brief caption. Photos will be returned to the writer.)
Please send articles directly to: The Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0


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