British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1982

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Published by the British Columbia Historical Association
by the
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VOLUME 16, NO. 1
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Bricks and Buildings
in Clayburn
Alexandra Bridge
Early days at
Cowichan Bay
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 ' 1 ' 1 ' 1 ' 1 ■ 1 ■ IE—1 1 ' 1 ' 1 ' 1 ' 1- On the cover
The continuous kiln of the Clayburn Brick Works was part of J.B. Millar's plant expansion in 1911.
Such a kiln consists of several inter-connected chambers which allow the heat produced in one
section to pass through all of the others before going up the chimney. This chimney, the highest
structure in Clayburn, was a landmark visible for many miies until it was pulled down in the 1930s. On
its face is written "Clayburn 1911" in raised, buff coloured brick.
PHOTOGRAPH courtesy Mrs. Lillian Ball Wilkinson
... story starts on page six.
Member societies and their secretaries are responsible for keeping their addresses up-to-date. Please enclose
a telephone number for an officer if possible also.
Alberni District Museum & Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P. O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHA — Gulf Islands Branch, c/o P.O. Box 35, Saturna Island, B.C. VON 2Y0
BCHA — Victoria Branch, c/o Patricia Roy, 602-139 Clarence St., Victoria, B.C. V8V 2J1
Burnaby Historical Society, c/o Kathleen A. Moore, 3755 Triumph St., Burnaby, B.C. V5C 1Y5
Campbell River & District Museums & Archives Society, 1235 Island Highway, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 2C7
Chemainus Valley Historical Association, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
Creston & District Historical & Museum Society, c/o Margaret Moore, Box 253, Creston, B.C. VOB 1G0
District 69 Historical Society, c/o Mildred Kurtz, P.O. Box 74, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, c/o H. Mayberry, 216 6th Avenue S., Cranbrook, B.C. VIC 2H6
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden B.C. VOA 1H0
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2, Ladysmith, B.C. VOR 2E0
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station "A", Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical & Museum Society, R.R. #2, Texaco, Box 5, Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
New Denver Historical Society, c/o Janet Amsden, Box 51, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Nootka Sound Historical Society, Box 748, Gold River, B.C. VOP 1G0
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Doris Blott, 1671 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 1M6
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Ray Joy, 10719 Bayfield Road, R.R. #3, Sidney, B.C.
V8L 3P9
Silverton Historical Society, c/o P.O. Box 137, Silverton, B.C. VOG 2B0
Societe Historique Franco-Colombienne, 9 avenue Broadway E., Vancouver, C.-B. V5T 1V4
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Windermere District Historical Society, Box 1075, Invermere, B.C. VOA 1K0 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Letters to the Editor        4
News of the Association        5
Bricks and Buildings: Clayburn Company and Its Village
by John D. Adams        6
Discovery: 1862
by E. Blanche Norcross       14
Alexandra Bridge
by R.C. Harris       17
News and Notes      22
Reports from the Branches       23
Helping You: British Columbia Heritage Trust
by Roberta J. Pazdro       25
Campbell River - Home of Growing Archival Collection    27
Overland from Canada to British Columbia by Thomas McMicking
review by Frances M. Woodward     29
John Strange's Journal and Narrative of the Commercial Expedition
from Bombay to the Northwest Coast of America
review by Freeman Tovell       30
Simon Peter Gunanoot: Trapline Outlaw by David Ricardo Williams
review by Margaret Whitehead     30
"Grubstakes to Grocery Store: Supplying the Klondike, 1897-1907" by Margaret Archibald, and
"St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Lake Bennett, British Columbia" by Margaret Carter
review by George Newell     32
W.A.C. Bennett by Rosemary Neering
review by Jeff Wooley    33
Vice Regal Mansions of British Columbia by Peter Neive Cotton
review by Robert A.J. McDonald      33
The Boom Years: G.G. Nye's Photographs of North Vancouver,
1905-1909 by Donald J. Bourdon.
review by David Grubbe   34
Second-class mail registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, V8W
2Y3. Our Charitable Donations number is 0404681-52-27.  Printed by Fotoprint. Victoria, B.C.
Correspondence with editor is to be addressed to Box 1738, Victoria, V8W 2Y3.
Subscriptions: Institutional $15.00 per year, Individual (non-members) $7.00 per year.
The B.C. Historical Association gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. To the Editor
The Editor:
We were pleased to receive another attractive
issue of B.C. Historical News. We have a suggestion to make — that the list of member societies be
expanded to include the place, date, and time of
meetings for the benefit of people travelling
around the province who might like to look in on
a meeting of a fellow society.
Miss Dorothy Shields
Vancouver Historical Society
(Editor's Note: here are two member societies we
know .information for.)
4th Wed. of every month 8 p.m.
Auditorium of the Vancouver Museum
1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
No meetings in December or from June to
2nd Wed. except July & August
Studio 2, James Cowan Centre
Burnaby, B.C.
Deadline for submissions for the Spring issue of
the NEWS is December 1,1982. Please type double
spaced if possible. Mail to the Editor, B.C.
Historical News, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B C V8W
Nominations Sought for
The Regional History Committee of the Canadian Historical Association wishes to announce
that it is soliciting nominations for its 'Certificate of
Merit' awards. These annual awards are given for
meritorious publications or for exceptional
contributions by individuals or organizations to
regional or local history. Nominations should be
sent to Professor Robin Fisher, Department of
History, Stephen Leacock Building, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke Street W, Montreal, P.Q.
H3A 2J7.
Yes, I wish to subscribe to B.C. Historical News. I enclose a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Association, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y3.
Individual     Four issues for $7.00 ( )
Institutional   Four issues for $15.00 ( )
Postal Code
Page 4
British Columbia Historical News The Bibliography of British Columbia
3 volumes
Strathern, Gloria:
Lowther, Barbara:
Edwards, Margaret & Lort, John:
YEARS OF GROWTH, 1900-1950
available from the
University of Victoria Bookstore
Box 2200
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 3H6 721-8311
J. Rhys Richardson
(Editor's Note: Rhys is in his second term as
treasurer of the British Columbia Historical
The third son of teacher parents I was born in
Wanganui, New Zealand, in 1910. Having completed secondary school I began teacher training
in 1928 and then went 'Home' to England with my
parents in 1929. There, I earned my B.Sc(Econ)
degree at the London School of Economics and
completed teacher training at the Institute of
Education, University of London. I taught in
Welwyn Garden City, Herts, until December, 1937.
I left England on January 1,1938, for Singapore
as Principal of a Government Aided, English
Presbyterian Mission School, teaching in English.
There, I met my wife, Kathleen who was born in
'old' Alberni, Vancouver Island. We were away
from Singapore on furlough in New Zealand,
when World War II began in the Pacific. In New
Zealand, I taught school in Dunedin; served as an
Education Officer, R.N.Z.A.F. under the Empire
Air Training Scheme; taught in Auckland; and had
a year's study at Knox Theological College,
Dunedin. I returned to Singapore in February,
1946 (Kathleen and our children joined me in July)
to resume my school duties there.
Our second furlough fell due near the end of
1949 and we came to Canada to visit Kathleen's
family. The imposition of the sterling-dollar
exchange control persuaded us to remain in
Canada and I was accepted as a teacher by the
Vancouver School Board as from January, 1950. I
taught a variety of subjects at Carleton, John
Oliver, Magee, and Lord Byng Schools, but Social
Studies, especially Geography, was my main
Of our five children two were born in Singapore, two in Dunedin, and one in Vancouver. The
eldest, who has two children, lives in Wellington,
N.Z.; the next, with two children, is in Greater
Vancouver; our one boy with two children lives
just north of Nanaimo, and the fourth and fifth live
in Victoria.
I achieved retirement in 1975, joined the
Vancouver Historical Society, and somehow,
unexpectedly, found myself nominated as Association Treasurer in 1981. As a teacher of the old
school I believe that any organization should be
carried on "decently and in good order" with
business affairs run accurately and kept up-to-
date. I am trying to carry out that belief.
Fall 1982
Page5 John D. Adams
Bricks and Buildings
Clayburn Company and Its Village
Two noteworthy aspects of British Columbia's
industrial and architectural history are connected
in the early years of the Clayburn Company and
the initial development and later evolution of
Clayburn village. The Clayburn Company, or the
Vancouver Fireclay Company as it was known
initially from 1905 to 1909, was in the business of
manufacturing bricks and other heavy clay
products. It was a relative latecomer in the
province's brick industry because bricks had been
made on rare occasions by the Hudson's Bay
Company during the 1840's and 1850's and from
1859 onwards on a regular basis in commercial
brickyards, mainly in Victoria and the Fraser
Valley. In spite of its late start, however, the
Clayburn Company soon was the leading brick
manufacturer in British Columbia.
The Clayburn Company had one major
advantage over its established competitors. It had
access to excellent deposits of refractory clay
which could be used for making buff-coloured
fire bricks, as well as access to deposits of blue-
gray silt clay for making red common bricks. As
described in 1910 by Heinrich Ries and Joseph
Keele of the Canadian Department of Mines, the
clays were "one of the most interesting series of
clay deposits in the Western Provinces ..."1 The
clays were the most influential factors in the
company's early successes and its continuing
existence until the present day.
Until 1905 the other brick yards in British
Columbia had produced only red common
building bricks. Fire bricks, necessary in the
construction of boilers, fireplaces, stoves, blast
furnaces, and other high-heat uses had been
imported, primarily from Scotland and the United
Knowing the monetary rewards to be earned
from a domestic fire brick industry, John Charles
"Charlie" Maclure devoted time in the early years
of the twentieth century to searching specifically
for fireclay in the vicinity of his boyhood home,
Hazelbrae, overlooking Matsqui Prairie, between
Abbotsford and the Fraser River.2 His diligence
paid off when he tested a seam of clay on Sumas
Mountain in 1905.3
Within a short time after his discovery Maclure
was instrumental in assembling clay-bearing
properties on Sumas Mountain and at a location at
the base of the mountain where a plant could be
built, and in forming a joint stock company.
The fireclay on Sumas Mountain was accessible mainly by underground mining. The area
where the mines were located became known as
Straiton after the family of Thomas Straiton, a
farmer of the area. Here the newly-formed
company built a bunkhouse for some of the
From Straiton the clay was transported about
three and a half miles down Sumas Mountain's
western slope along a narrow gauge steam
railway. Deep ravines required high trestles on
part of the route which had an average grade of
about three per cent.
Clayburn village was the terminus of the
narrow gauge railway. Its location was selected by
Maclure on farmland that was high enough above
Matsqui Prairie to escape the annual inundations
of the Fraser River. From this agricultural base rose
a community with a dual image: the smokey,
noisy and dusty brick plant on the north and what
one observer from England described in 1920 as a
"quaint English village" with neat gardens on the
The plant buildings were mostly of red brick.
Dominating the site were raised trestles upon
Page 6
British Columbia Historical News Part of the Brick Works at Clayburn,
circa 1912-15
The trestle at the right brought the railway cars filled with clay from the mines directly into the covered
bunkers at the plant. The tall wooden structure to the left of the trestles is the mill where the clay was ground
up. Once the clay had been moulded or pressed into bricks they would be burned in kilns, some of which
are indicated by the tall chimneys.
Photograph courtesy Provincial Archives, 74B1b(b)
which the rail cars filled with clay entered the
bunker. Rising above the rooftops were the
numerous smokestacks of the kilns from which
the black smoke of burning wet slab wood or coal
often belched forth obscuring the view of the
mountains to the north of the Fraser River.
The residential part of the village was arranged
in a grid, in contrast to the plant which appeared
to be laid out in a haphazard manner. Clayburn
Road running east and west was the principal
thoroughfare into and through the village. From
1906 to 1911 permanent brick houses were built
along it, directly across the street from the plant.
The largest house was occupied by the Plant
Manager; the second largest by the company's
accountant; and a series of five small brick
veneered bungalows were built for the foremen.
Armstrong Road ran south of Clayburn Road,
parallel to it. Two styles of wooden houses, locally
referred to by the descriptive names of "white
houses" and "red shacks", were built after 1911
along this road for the new and lower-ranking
employees. All houses at first were company-
owned and in 1909 rented for from three to five
After 1911 the company began developing the
"new subdivision" on the block west of the
existing houses by making lots available for
employees to buy, on a limited basis. Here
properties facing the Clayburn Road were priced
as high as $350; those facing Armstrong Road were
as low as $200.6
Only two brick non-residential buildings were
ever built in Clayburn village. In 1911 a two storey
brick veneer store was built for the Cooper,
Seldon Company in the centre of the townsite on
the Clayburn Road at Wright Road. A brick
Presbyterian church, the only known double-
walled brick structure in the community, was
opened in 1912.
Samuel Maclure, the well-known architect,
was Charlie Maclure's oldest brother. In 1868 as a
boy of eight he had moved to Hazelbrae with his
parents and he always maintained a close bond
with that place and with his family. A stylistic
analysis of the first seven brick residences built in
Clayburn between 1906 and 1909 points to his
influence in their design.
Bell-cast roofs, fenestration, shingle work, use
of texture, and interior design, including fireplaces, hallways and lighting fixtures strongly
suggest his work. His penchant for utilizing vistas is
also revealed in the arrangement of the houses
along Clayburn Road, with the shorter houses to
the west and the taller ones to the east, to take full
advantage of the vista provided by the flank of
Fall 1982
Page 7 Sumas Mountain which rises behind them when
viewed from the west.
To date only one written reference has been
found corroborating Samuel Maclure's involvement in the design of Clayburn's houses. That is
part of an unpublished note written by the late
Connie Cruikshank, a Central Fraser Valley
historian, who knew the Maclure family well and
wrote many items about them. "Sam designed
homes for the office staff," she wrote cryptically,
but did not divulge her source, although the
article appears to have been based on interviews
with Maclure family members.7
In 1909 the Vancouver Fireclay Company was
reorganized and changed its name to the
Clayburn Company Limited. At this time Charlie
Maclure seems to have had a falling out with the
company and ceased being its secretary and de
facto plant manager. To replace him John Brown
Millar was brought from the Don Valley Brick
Works in Toronto.
Under Millar's direction from 1909 until about
1911 the plant expanded and modernized,
including the electrification of machinery and the
narrow gauge railway. Until 1909 the Columbia
Clay Company's plant on Anvil Island with a
capacity of 30,000 bricks per day was the largest in
British Columbia. The additions to the Clayburn
plant, however, soon gave the Clayburn Company the distinction of being the largest producer
Page 8
British Columbia Historical News of bricks in the province.
Soon after Charlie Maclure left the employ of
the Clayburn Company he founded a brick yard at
Kilgard on the southern flank of Sumas Mountain.
In 1918 the Clayburn Company bought out this
company, the Kilgard Fireclay Company. Also in
1918 J.B. Millar retired and George Ball was hired
as Plant Manager. He had formerly been with the
Berg Machinery Company of Minico, Ontario.
Under his management the Clayburn Company
operated the plants at both Clayburn and Kilgard.
The one at Clayburn was used for the production
of fire and common bricks; the one at Kilgard
primarily for vitrified sewer pipes. Company
housing was located at both sites.
By 1920 the decision was made to close the
plant at Clayburn permanently and rely totally on
the Kilgard operation for the production of all
products. The immediate reason for the change
was the deteriorating condition of the narrow
gauge railway to the village, particularly of the
trestles. Access from the clay mines to Kilgard was
much easier and cheaper to maintain. Soon after
its abandonment, the plant buildings at Clayburn
were razed.
Although the brick plant no longer existed at
Clayburn the company-owned housing remained. All employees who lived there, including the
Plant Manager, began to commute around the
base of Sumas Mountain to Kilgard. During World
War II, however, the company began to divest
itself even of the houses in the village by offering
them for sale to their occupants. Many houses and
subdivided lots were sold at this time as a result.
For several years after World War II most
residents of Clayburn still maintained connections
with the Clayburn Company through its various
reorganizations, name changes, and partial
relocation from Kilgard to Abbotsford. But
retirement, moving, or death slowly caused
changes in the population and appearance of the
village, until by the early 1970's no one living in
Clayburn worked for the brick yards at Kilgard or
Abbotsford. Many structures by this time had
fallen into disrepair; others had been altered
considerably, or been removed.
The passing of the British Columbia Land
Commission Act in 1973 resulted in some owners
of previously subdivided empty lots being offered
attractive prices for them. Faced with increased tax
assessments a few owners of lots sold them to
developers who subsequently built infill houses
and a row of residences unsympathetic in style to
the others along Clayburn Road.
By the mid 1970's, however, some area
residents became concerned about heritage
building preservation in the village. Under the
auspices of the M.S.A. Heritage Society the
Clayburn Church, long unused and then under
the control of the Clayburn Athletic Association,
was reconstructed during 1977-78.8 Since then
interest in the village about heritage preservation
has not manifested itself in other visible ways,
although some property owners have refurbished
their homes, but usually without regard for their
original character.
By 1982 only a handful of village residents
could claim any former family connection with
the Clayburn Company. Clayburn village had
taken on the visual and demographic characteristics of a suburb of Abbotsford, rather than of a
once-isolated and independent company town.
The core of brick structures, some still with
discernable Maclure detailing, alone bear silent
witness to the community's former stature and
1 Heinrich Ries and Joseph Keele, Canadian Geological
Survey, Memoir 24E (King's Printer: Ottawa, 1912), p. 125
2 Maclure's father, John Maclure, had been a Royal
Engineer and later a surveyor and engineer who settled at
Matsqui in 1868. In 1905 Charlie Maclure lived in
Vancouver, but members of the family still resided at
3 Slightly different versions of the discovery are to be found
in: Vancouver Sun Magazine Supplement, May 20,1950,
p. 3; Sylvia Robertson, "The Discovery of Fireclay in B.C.,"
in Shoulder Strap, December 1947, pp. 61-62; and "John
Maclure Passes," in Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui
News, November 2, 1955. p. 1.
4 Interview with Mrs. Cairns, July 15, 1975.
5 Interview with Mrs. Margaret Millar Cooper, April 15,
6 R.W.W. Reid to J.L. Plommer, Clayburn Letterbooks, vol.
Ill, February 8, 1912, p. 5.
' Connie Cruikshank, handwritten, unpublished article in
the Cruikshank Files, MSA Museum, no date.
B The M.S.A. Heritage Society has since amalgamated with
the Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Museum Society.
John D. Adams is head of the Interpretation
Section, Heritage Conservation Branch. He has
been compiling information about brick manufacturing in British Columbia since 1970. The
Clayburn Company was the subject of his Master
of Museology thesis for the University of Toronto.
Fall 1982
Page 9 CI
Panorama of Brick Plant and Village at Clayburn, circa 1912-15
Taken from the height of the mill building, this photograph looks south
from the brick works to the village. The brick houses facing the Clayburn
Road are directly opposite the plant. Behind them are the wooden "white
houses" and "red shacks". Across the fields in the background and out of
the picture would be Abbotsford.
Photograph courtesy Provincial Archives, 74836(b)
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View Looking East Along Clayburn Road, circa 1920
To take this shot the photographer stood on muddy Clayburn Road, with
the plant hidden behind bushes on the left of the picture. On the right is
the row of houses containing seven influenced by the architect Samuel
Maclure, with the foremen's cottages in the foregound and the
Accountant's and Plant Manager's houses farther along. Mist hangs over
part of Sumas Mountain's western flank in the background.
Photograph courtesy Mrs. Lillian Ball Wilkinson
Page 10
British Columbia Historical News Plant Manager's Home
The largest of the Maclure-inspired brick houses in Clayburn, the Plant Manager's house includes
more clues to Maclure's hand than do the others. These include the shingle work, the roofline,
the use of small, diamond-shaped window panes, the banding around the outer walls (in this case
consisting of courses of flashed brick), plus interior detailing. The family of Plant Manager George
Ball poses on the front steps, circa 1920.
Photogrph courtesy Mrs. Lillian Ball Wilkinson
Fall 1982
Page 11 Page 12
British Columbia Historical News 1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1
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i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i    i'i
 i    i    i    i    i    i    i i    i    i    i    i    i    i ' i    i ' i
Fall 1982
Page 13 Discovery: 1862
August 1862. The Hecate with Governor James
Douglas and one hundred settlers aboard enters
Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island. No list of that
party now exists, but its arrival is duly cairned as
marking the first official effort to settle the
Cowichan Valley. Earlier than this, two young men
in England had already completed their plans to
emigrate to this same valley. They were Edward
and Henry Marriner, clergyman's sons, not yet out
of their 'teens.
"Diary commencing on leaving England for
British Columbia August 5, 1862, by frigate Bird
from Liverpool."
With these two lines nineteen year-old Edward
Marriner recorded the beginning of the new life
on which he was embarking. He kept his diary
going, off and on, until his death by accident in
1884. Ten years later his eldest daughter, Mary,
took up the task, and chronicled daily the events,
mainly small and routine, which made up the lives
of the family, until within a few years of her own
death in 1928.
The dry, laconic recording by father and
daughter of the tasks, and occasionally the
pleasures, which filled their days provide what is
probably an accurate picture of the average farm
family's life as it developed through the first three-
quarter century of Cowichans history.
The Bird arrived at Victoria just after Christmas.
On December 29, the brothers rented a shanty
rather than staying at an hotel, prudently conserving their capital. On January 7, Edward recorded
with sober triumph that he had earned his first
dollar. He'd found work aboard the Bird and
continued to work on her until January 18. In his
free time he called on friends, people he had
known in England and others to whom he had
been given letters of introduction. One of these, it
is safe to assume, was Dr. John Chapman Davie,
the elder, for it was to the log cabin he had built in
Cowichan that they headed on January 20.
"Travelled in canoe with Hunter to Shawnigan
Castle." Castle? Obviously he had confused his
geographical nomenclature and was referring to
Cowichan Bay, and the "castle" would be a
humorous reference to Sam Harris's log John Bull
Inn. They proceeded by canoe as far as the
waterways would take them, reaching Dr. Davie's
farm after eight miles through brush.
In spite of the brevity of his style, Edward builds
up for us a picture of the country and of the life he
and his companions led in the first weeks —
shooting grouse, hunting deer, learning the skills
of cooking and baking bread on an open hearth.
Like so many of North Cowichan's early pioneers,
they had included books in their luggage, and
Edward at least, spent his evenings reading by the
light of the fire or a tallow candle.
"New church at Somenos begun to be built on
Saturday 14 of March 1863". On the 18th, 19th and
20th, Edward worked steadily on this building (it
was all, needless to say, volunteer labour), but on
the Saturday that the job had begun he had gone
down to Cowichan Bay, rented a scow, and gone
across to Saanich to bring back oxen.
On March 24, despite the time taken out for
such journfyings and for the building of the
Somenos meeting house, he finished his own
house and moved into it.
April 1863. Edward had his house, his oxen,
and a few simple items of land-clearing and land-
breaking equipment. He laid down his diarist's
Page 14
British Columbia Historical News pen and did not take it up again until April 1,1867.
In the interim he had moved from his original
holding in Somenos, down to the more open
lands at Cowichan Bay. Here is a sampling of his
diary entries:
"Working at the cow shed, and finished. Got
wild heifer up into shed."
"April 3. Wed. Went up to meeting at
Parsonage and in church held by the Bishop."
"April 7. Went up to church at Parsonage and
to Somenos in afternoon. Holy Communion."
"May 4. Rolling wheat with horse. Washing
clothes, etc."
"July 1. Mond. Churning 14 lbs and sewing."
"July 2. Thurs. Fine. Putting rafters in dairy. H.
(brother Henry?) brought shake blocks up river
with Wisdom."
"July 8. Showery. Went to Victoria on FiMS
Sparrowhawk. Dougherty was drowned; fell off
In four years Edward Marriner had progressed
from oxen to horses, from travel on foot to travel
on horseback, but while he went to Victoria on
this occasion by naval ship, he returned the usual
way, walking out to Saanich and so home by
He was churning butter regularly and selling it
at Giovanni Ordano's store at Cowichan Bay.
The occasional business<um-pleasure trip to
Victoria, the roof-raisings, the twice on Sunday
church services were the highlights of Edward's
social life. It was a sober sort of socializing,
perhaps, but there is certainly no suggestion of a
grim struggle for bare existence.
"December 4. Inquest held over squaw.
Verdict against Indian. Wilful murder."
"December 5. Murderer escaped."
The days were short now, and the rough trails
that connected the scattered farms were hazardous in the dark. Edward, having called for
whatever reason at a friend's, often stayed the
night. Similarly he often kept a neighbour for the
It was hard work beginning in a new land.
Fall 1982
Page 15 night at his own home. The cows of the pioneers
had been educated to accept milking at odd
intervals. In fact, in winter, for lack of fodder, they
were often dried off. The farmer of the 1860s was
no slave to his cattle.
On January 8,1868, Edward gave a party. "Fine.
Frost, bright sun. Busy at home cooking etc. for
evening. Mr. and Mrs. Carswell, Mr. Reece (the
parson), Wing, Lomas and Singe, Wisdom and
Guillod at dinner. Jolly evening."
The diary for that year, and the last entry for
many years to come, ends with a note dated June
29. "Monday, St. Peter's day. Fine. Went up to
Alexander's with cattle to haul logs for bridge,
came home and went up to evening service with
King and Follett..."
It is now 1882. "Ian. 2. Churned and made up
15 lbs. butter. Paid to Gilmore on account $2,
leaving $19.75 due."
Thus matter-of-factly does Edward Mariner
recommence his diary, and the absence of any
explanation of the long hiatus leads one to suspect
that some volumes of the diary have disappeared.
In that interval of nearly fourteen years
Edward's life had changed remarkably little in
spite of his change of status from bachelor to
married man. He still salts pork and beef, churns
regularly, and bakes bread. Gussie Marriner,
unhappily for her, was not cut out for the pioneer
life. "Poor Mother!" the youngest daughter,
Nettie, the only surviving member of the family at
that time, said to me. "She always hoped she
would return to England, but she never did."
Occasionally Edward misses a church service
to stay home with the children while Gussie goes,
and he is troubled with rheumatism from time to
The entries regarding labour hired and paid
become frequent. Sometimes the labour is
provided by white friends, sometimes by Indian,
most often the latter.
"Tues. 24th. Mary Molock all day washing. Pd.
$1.871/2 in full."
In October that year, "Lac's mother" is at work
daily getting up potatoes or picking apples. Five
men were employed for four days at $1.50 per day
to thresh wheat.
"Nov. 11. Drove to Somenos with wheat for
mill." This is an interesting reference to a shortlived experiment in milling local wheat.
Now we have come to 1883. "Jan. 10. Sent to
Mrs. Drinkwater $2.25 for making children's
clothes. Sent to Mr. Drinkwater $1 for grinding 400
lbs of wheat."
Before that year was out Edward Marriner's
team bolted, throwing him to the ground where
he received a kick in the head. An old Indian told
me how his people had found him unconscious in
the road and taken him into one of their houses.
They applied to the head wound the sort of
dressing prescribed by their native medicine. It
would have been some hours later before the
white doctor could get there. When he came he
removed the Indian dressing and applied the sort
prescribed by his own medicine. "If he hadn't
done that," said Canute, "perhaps Mr. Marriner
would not have died." Perhaps. Who can tell?
These notes on a pioneer's diary were provided by E.
Blanche Norcross. She is the author of The Warm
Land: a History of Cowichan, Pioneers Every One:
Canadian Women of Achievement, and other works.
She is presently working on Our Mary Ellen, a
Page 16
British Columbia Historical News R.C. Harris
The First Alexandra Bridge
Fraser Canyon 1863 to 1912
Early in the 1800s, the fur trade began to look to
the Pacific Ocean for a supply route more effective
than the long overland journeys from Hudson Bay
and from Montreal then in use. Stage by stage, a
new route was established from the west coast, up
the Columbia and Okanagan river systems to
Kamloops, thence northwest through British
Columbia's interior plateau to Fort Alexandria and
Fort St. James.
Transportation studies in the Fraser Canyon
began with Simon Fraser's unexpected journey of
1808. Fraser deemed the Fraser Canyon unnavig-
able. His opinion was officially confirmed in the fall
of 1828 by Governor George Simpson, who ran the
canyon by boat.1 Clearly, a portage, or land
journey was required to bypass the Fraser Canyon.
Just before Simpson's descent, Fort Langley had
been built at the head of sail navigation on the
Fraser River, in anticipation of the eventual
Oregon settlement.2
When the international boundary was set at the
49th parallel of latitude in 1846, the Hudson's Bay
Company had to relocate their main supply line,
from the Columbia River to the lower Fraser River.
Chief Trader Alexander C. Anderson undertook a
series of explorations between Kamloops and Fort
Langley to find a route, wholly within British
territory, which would join the existing trail system
at Kamloops.
Anderson's explorations resulted in the
Hudson's Bay Company building the first horse
road up the Fraser Canyon in 1847-48 to join an
existing Indian horse road running east from
Boston Bar to the Interior.3 As shown in Figure 1,
right, taken from Anderson's map, the Hudson's
Bay Company avoided the first section of canyon
by the "Douglas Portage" which rejoined the river
at Spuzzum.4 Just above Spuzzum, the ferry to the
east bank was established. The upper section of the
Fraser Canyon was avoided by crossing the ridge to
Anderson's River in a northeasterly direction. On
Figure 1, left, the entire route from Yale is shown as
"Old Mountain Trail".
At the start of their horse road, the Hudson's Bay
Company established a storehouse, Fort Yale, at
the Indian village of Shilquel. This was favourably
situated on the west bank of the Fraser River just
below the "Falls" at the foot of the canyon. In those
days the "canyon" was taken as extending from
Yale to Boston Bar. Apart from being at the head of
practical canoe navigation, the Shilquel site had a
plentiful supply of salmon, a flat at the mouth of
Yale Creek, and a gentle eddy which stilled the
river current along the bank. Its west side location,
however, necessitated the crossing to the east
bank, somewhere in the canyon.
The Hudson's Bay Company found their
"mountain trail", or portage, from Fort Yale to be
unsatisfactory, due to the steep grades, the lack of
feed for the pack animals, and to a lesser extent,
the ferry operation. In 1849, they replaced Fort Yale
with a depot, Fort Hope, 12 miles downstream on
the east bank. From Fort Hope, they built a more
successful brigade trail eastwards to Fort Colville in
Fall 1982
Page 17 Washington Territory, and to Kamloops.
The Spuzzum ferry, in various configurations,
ran intermittently for ten years, then actively for
five more years, until superseded by the waggon
road and the Alexandra suspension bridge
Gold Rush
Though restricted by the annual snows to use in
the summer only, the significance of the Old
Mountain Trail from Yale increased as the needs of
the gold rush spread up the Fraer River. First it was
improved; then in 1860 a low-level all-season pack
trail was built along the banks of the Fraser; finally,
as traffic continued to increase, the government
pack trail was superseded by the famous Cariboo
Waggon Road in 1862 and 1863. The growing need
for an improved road up the Fraser Canyon is
evident from Douglas' despatches to London,
beginning with Douglas to Lytton, 12 October
The ferry was not suited to heavy and frequent
waggon traffic, and Governor James Douglas,
aided by his Chief Commissioner of Land and
Works, Col. R.C. Moody of the Royal Engineers,
decided it would be replaced by a bridge.
There were two rival gold rush routes to the
upper Fraser, which could have avoided the
crossing in the Fraser Canyon. The prior Harrison-
Lillooet route, which by this time had been
converted at considerable expense into a waggon
road, gradually fell into disrepute on account of
the tedious freight transfers at the several lake
crossings. This road would still have required a
bridge over the Fraser at or near Lillooet town.
Secondly, there was the less renowned Boston
Bar Trail from Hope, mapped by Lt. A.R. Lempriere
of the Royal Engineers late in 1859, and shown as
"New Trail"; see Fig. 2, left.5 Lempriere reported
correctly that if the Cariboo Waggon Road were
built north from Hope, a crossing in the Fraser
Canyon would not be required. However, by this
time, the revitalised route north from Yale was too
firmly established. It is interesting to note that the
C.P.R. followed a similar traffic pattern below the
town of Lytton in the early 1880s, crossing from east
to west bank at Siska.
Location of the waggon road between Yale and
Boston Bar was supervised by Sgt. William McColl,
R.E., with Sapper James Turnbull responsible for
the field notes. Turnbull had located the horse trail
built two years before.
Careful explorations were made by the Royal
Engineers for the bridge site, aided by such
interested citizens as the town council of Yale. Lt.
H.S. Palmer, R.E., and Sgt. McColl produced
reports identifying three sites:
Near Chapmans Bar:
a 250 ft. span suspension bridge
at Hells Gate:
a 150 ft. span trussed timber bridge
At China Bar:
a 280 ft. span suspension bridge
The bridge site was in the end determined by the
estimated cost of roadbuilding along each bank to
each site, and the space available for turning onto
the bridge. The location near Chapmans Bar won.
Prudently, Col. Moody had Capt. Jack Grant, E.R.,
Page 18
British Columbia Historical News "the greatest road-builder of them all", call into the
site on his way north to the Cariboo, for a final
verification.6 The location was almost the same as
the 1926 bridge which can be seen today, but the
span was 15 feet shorter, the deck was about 12feet
lower, and the approaches to the bridge had
tighter turns.
Suspension Bridge
Tenders for the suspension bridge were invited
in the Government Gazette of 30 October 1862.
The contract was awarded to Joseph Trutch, who
sublet the design to A.S. Halladie of San Francisco.
The resulting bridge had massive timber towers,
each leg being framed from four 20 x 20 inch
timbers sawn in the nearby woods.7 The wooden
floor system was supported by main cables of
parallel iron wires laid up along the bank near the
site and hauled over the gap. The floorbeams were
hung from the cables by iron rods.
Bedrock on the west bank was built up with a
pier of local "granite" to get above usual high
water. Lime for the mortar was burnt about seven
miles downstream, just below Spuzzum.
The terms of the contract had the bridge
financed by the contractor, who was to recover his
investment by collecting an agreed schedule of
tolls for seven years.8 There was no charge for foot
As often happens during a contract, the
contractor extracted some concessions from the
engineer.9 The roadway was to have been 18 feet
inside the handrails, but this was reduced, in stages,
to 12 feet 10 inches inside the curbs. Along the way,
sidewalks were moved outside the main cables,
then disappeared. These changes apparently
justified reducing the main cables from 51/2 to 5, to
41/2 inches diameter, and the rods suspending the
floorbeams from V/b to V/s inches diameter.
Despite these design refinements, the bridge
withstood its load test satisfactorily, and, with
regular maintenance, gave admirable service on
the main traffic artery of the country until
superseded by the Canadian Pacific Railway.10
A fair set of as-built drawings was almost
completed by 2nd Cpl. J.C. White, R.E. in August of
1863.11 These are now in the Map Room at the
Provincial Archives. The bridge was often sketched
or photographed during its 25 years of active life.
There are dozens of illustrations in local libraries
and archives.
Interesting details of bridge maintenance may
be found in Colonial Correspondence at the
Provincial Archives, and later in the printed
Reports of Public Works in the Sessional Papers of
British Columbia.
Headroom under the bridge was limited by
wind guys angling down from the quarter points to
bedrock. Road superintendent Neil Black noted
the roots of a tree caught on a wind guy in the
freshet of 1879, but the tree was released without
difficulty. However, during the "1000 year" flood
of 1894, the water rose 90 feet from its usual low
water level, damaging the bridge deck. Wheeled
traffic had virtually ceased with the advent of the
C.P.R., so thereafter the bridge was restricted to
Fall 1982
Page 19 ~-5*~~Jnu)jfe /r"
m hope 5*r/g*5S
Explanatory notes in   ( J
0      5       10      15
t^ H U M M  Ll M l-l M M
Map takeo -from " Sketch of "TtbliI
frr>m Hope to boston E>ar"
Lr AR. Lempriere, g£   51 D«^ 165^
v(fe Lytton)
||TcjU&vpWm (Z5M)
\ [Boston Barj
(fo Nicola and
Joree trail [Brigaolr IB**)]
Note.% by Anderson shown L        i.
Brigade. Itnik and Waggon Road added
To Lempricres   SkeWr\, from:
Map of a  Portion  of tne Colony of
Cornpiltd from Various sources inoluaW original
Notes TrDtrt  bersonal eyplorut-ior\s
6etW«er\ Hk, -years    1&32- a«d   195/
Moarder C Anders^ 25* May Igty"
FIGr I Two maps showing crossings in Fraser Canyon
Page 20
British Columbia Historical News foot traffic until road superintendent Dan
Sutherland cut the main cables in 1912, to protect
the public.
During the 1920s, highway traffic in British
Columbia increased to the point where the
Cariboo Waggon Road was reinstated. The work
was completed in 1926. While excavating on the
east bank for the anchorages of the new main
cables, the ends of the original iron wire cables
were found. Some short sections were cut for
souvenirs; one is held at the Provincial Museum in
1 "Peace River. A canoe voyage from Hudson's Bay to
the Pacific by the late Sir George Simpson in 1829".
Edited with notes by Malcolm McLeod, 1872.
2 "The History of Fort Langley, 1827-96". Mary K. Cullen
1979. National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks
3 "Map of Thompson's River District 1827 by Archibald
McDonald". H.B.Co. Archives.
4 "Map of a portion of the Colony of BRITISH
COLUMBIA ... Alex C. Anderson 23rd May 1867."
PABC: 615 pPC A545m.
5 Surveyor General of British Columbia. Plan 15T1,
Roads and Trails (1859). Lempriere's report 02 January
1860, which accompanied his sketch map, is filed in
PABC Colonial Correspondence at F985a. Lempriere
was promoted to Captain between preparing the
map and the report.
6 PABC Colonial Correspondence CAB 30.7J. Letter
book 3. Moody to Grant; Victoria, 06 April 1863.
Grant to examine proposed site of suspension bridge,
in passing north, p. 140.
7 PABC. Colonial Correspondence CAB 30.7J. Letter
book 3. Moody's "Notes: 12 March 1863". [on design
details for Alexandra Suspension Bridge], pp. 127 to
7 PABC Colonial Correspondence CAB 30.7 letter
book 7. Moody to Colonial Secretary; Yale, 21 May
1863. Reports on visit to bridge under construction.
The work has been placed under the supervision of
Capt. R.M. Parsons, R.E.
7 PABC Colonial Correspondence F1900. Parsons to
Woodcock; New Westr., 10 July 1986. Cpl. Woodcock
to inspect the materials bring used in the bridge, and
to bring back specimens.
7 PABC Colonial Correspondence [File No. missing).
"Notes on condition of the Alexandra Suspension
Bridge". 05 September 1863. Lt. H.S. Palmer, R.D. A
deficiency list prepared as the bridge neared
B PABC Colonial Correspondence F959 letter 9. The 3-
page agreement with Jos. W. Trutch for construction
of a Wire Suspension bridge, c. January 1863.
9 PABC Colonial Correspondence CAB 30.7J. Letter
book 3. Moody to Trutch; New Westr, 14 March 1863.
Moody approves reduction in size of main cables,
9 PABC Colonial Correspondence CAB 30.7J. Letter
book 7. Moody to Colonial Secretary; Yale, 21 May
1863. Comments on further changes to the bridge
design proposed by the contractor.
10 British Colonist. (Victoria) 12 September 1863, gives a
detailed description of the completed bridge and its
" PABC Map Room. Plans-3 6.1.6 gmbf R88.8.6 1863. 3
linen tracings of Alexandra Suspension Bridge,
August 1863.
Fad 1982
Page 21 News and Notes
In Memoriam
Frank Street
Historians of British Columbia and his many
friends throughout the province will be saddened
to learn of the passing of Frank Street of Burnaby,
at age 72, after a brief series of heart seizures.
Coming to British Columbia from Saskatchewan at an early age, Frank grew up on a Burnaby
farm. His interest in natural history led to his skill in
photography. His camera work supplied material
for many television travel shows.
In his working career in timber and as timber
technologist, Frank also developed his historical
interests. He was an active member of the Burnaby
historical society and was president for two years.
One of the prime movers of the Burnaby Heritage
Village, Frank was a member of that board and a
tireless worker in organizing displays.
A faithful delegate to many annual meetings of
the B.C. Historical Association, he became
president in 1977 where he provided enthusiastic
leadership. He was responsible in a very large part
for having the Captain Cook Memorial established at Friendly Cove.
Frank's kindness and great zest for life will be
missed by many. Our thoughts go out to Helen his
wife and his sons, Sheridan and Ernest, and their
wives and families.
— Jack W. Roff
Archival Notes
The Mennonite Historical Society of British
Columbia is to be congratulated on completing
their first year of operation and is actively seeking
to preserve the history of the Mennonites of this
The Archives of the Diocese of New Westminster announce the publication of fchos Through a
Century, a 141 page illustrated centennial history
of Christ Church, Surrey Centre, by the Most Rev.
G.P. Gower, Retired Archbishop of New Westminster and Metropolitan of British Columbia.
The book is available for $10.00 from Christ
Church, 6250, 180th Street, Surrey, B.C. V3S 4L6.
— Michael Halleran
1984 B.C Studies
Invites Papers
The third B.C. Studies Conference will be held
at the University of British Columbia in February
1984. Proposals for conference papers are now
invited. Enquiries should be directed to R.
McDonald, Department of History, University of
British Columbia; Alan Artibise, Department of
History, University of Victoria; and Hugh Johnston
and Robin Fisher, Department of History, Simon
Fraser University.
Suggestions for conference papers will be
considered as they are received, the final deadline
for proposal submissions is December 1, 1982.
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Association and receive British Columbia Historical News regularly?
The BCHA is composed of member societies in
all parts of the province. By joining your local
society, you receive not only a subscription to
British Columbia Historical News but the opportunity to participate in a programme of talks and
field trips and to meet others interested in British
Columbia's history at the BCHA's annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(addresses on inside of front cover). ... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think of
forming one. For information contact the secretary of the BCHA (address inside back cover).
Page 22
British Columbia Historical News News and Notes
Reports from the Branches
At dawn on July 7 a contingent from Victoria
numbering 41 in all, well armed with loaded
picnic baskets and steaming thermos jugs,
gathered at a secluded corner of the Mayfair Mall
and embarked on a bus headed for the Outer
Islands, with Mayne Island as their objective.
It was a highly successful operation, the
invaders being quickly overwhelmed by the
warmth of the Gulf Islanders' hospitality. They
skillfully retreated in the later afternoon, laden
with memories, snapshots and not a few artifacts
and souvenirs picked up as they combed the
The ferry was uneventful, with many of the
Victorians clustered at or near the refreshment
counter most of the way. Stops were made at
several island landings on the way, including a
fascinating side-trip to Montague Bay, a secluded
cove on Galiano Island, before sailing through
Active Pass to the landing at Village Bay. Here
they were met by a welcoming committee
headed by Marie Elliott who boarded the bus as
resident tour guide and described the many
interesting places and features on the way to
Mayne Inn on Bennett Bay. There a lunch stop
was made, with some enjoying the Inn's hospitality and others seeking picnic spots nearby and on
the beach not far away.
During the afternoon another tour on the
island took place, with all disembarking at the
Georgina Point Lighthouse at the far end of
Active Pass. A pleasant hour was spent there,
talking with the friendly lighthouse keeper who
allowed those daring enough to ascend the 148
steps leading to the light chamber at the top of
the tower. Here he explained the workings of that
important light and described some of the history
of the area as well as some personal experiences
and adventures while there. It is estimated that
147 pictures were taken from the top of the
lighthouse, while other members less inclined to
tackle the narrow spiral staircase roamed about
the attractive, park-like grounds.
The bus then took them to Miners Bay where
SAVO*^ 7/Ot/se.
Copyright NAA/OOA H.MS
Fall 1982
Page 23 the Victorians were offered the choice of
incarceration in the historic Plumper Pass Lockup
(now the Mayne Island Museum) pr afternoon
tea in the community hall across the road. It goes
without saying that the visitors accepted both and
thoroughly enjoyed the abundant and delicious
tea, coffee and home-cooked delicacies provided by the ladies of the Gulf Island Historical
There was plenty of time on this beautiful day
to browse around, explore the museum, a nearby
church, a fascinating country store, to chat with
the residents, visit the docks and discover what a
delightful place Mayne Island can be. In due
course, however, the ferry arrived to pick up the
retreating invaders and take them back to
Vancouver Island.
Our sincere thanks to our Mayne Island hosts
for their part in making this event such an
unforgettable summer outing.
Ted Belt
We have had a very busy and fruitful year. Our
speakers have been: Alf. Flett, Alderman of
Nanaimo and a member of a pioneer family of
Cowichan; Terry Malone and Carl Schlishting of
the B.C. Forest Museum; Barbara Stannard,
President of B.C. Historical Association; Doug
Barker, Alderman of Duncan; Jack Fleetwood,
Society Historian; and Will Dobson, retired editor
of the Cowichan Leader and Anglican clergyman.
After much persuasion, we were able to realize
our ambition of opening the Cowichan Valley
Museum in the basement of the Duncan City Hall
on August 29, 1981. It has been most successful
with over two thousand visitors. Several school
classes and groups have visited as well as the
delegates to the B.C.H.A. Convention. The
Museum has been shown on Channel 3 T.V. and
we have had several radio broadcasts on C.K.A.Y.
The highlite of our year was the hosting of the
British Columbia Historical Association Annual
Convention. The Executive Council were of
immeasurable help in the organization of this
convention. The Directors John Cannon, Shane
Davis, Dr. Gunn, Art Dawe and Eileen Beckerly
worked hard with the Executive to make the
convention so successful.
Thank you again for your help and support.
— Myrtle Haslam
In Loving Memory of
1907 - June 1982
First president of the
Golden and District
Historical Society.
Assistant editor of
"Golden Memories" (1958),
"Kinbasket Country 1972", and
'Golden Memories Revised 1982'
Regular monthly meetings are held on the 4th
Wednesday of every month in the Auditorium of
the Vancouver Museum, 1100 Chestnut Street,
Vancouver, B.C., commencing at 8:00 p.m. No
meetings are held in December or from June to
August. The meetings generally consist of an
address or presentation on some aspect of
Vancouver, British Columbia or even Canadian
history; refreshments are served at the conclusion.
Tours, seminars and other activities are also an
integral part of the Society's program - as well as
The Parksite 19 and Roedde House tour in June
attracted an exceptionally large number of
interested members. Robert Lemon of Randle,
Iredale and Associates (consultants for the
Vancouver City Planning Department) led us
through all the buildings, ending at Roedde
House for a detailed look at its potential, in part, as
a headquarters for the V.H.A. After the tour
refreshments were served courtesy of Mr. and
Mrs. A. Bingham.
This summer's progress in collecting materials
for the Vancouver Centennial Bibliography
Project has been excellent, due in large measure
to the enthusiastic participation of the project's
assistants Dorryce Smelts and Colin Preston. The
initial design phase of the crucially important
computer file definition is not complete and trial
runs are underway. By mid-September the
programme should be debugged and ready for
the inputting of records in the project's new
Televideo terminal.
The New Westminster Historical Society will be
hosting the B.C. Historial Association conference
in early May of next year.
Page 24
British Columbia Historical News British Columbia Heritage Trust
Helping You
Roberta J. Pazdro
The Atlin Courthouse in 19S1 before the Atiin Historical Society began its
major restoration project.
The British Columbia Heritage Trust was
established by the Heritage Conservation Act of
1977. Its mandate is "to encourage and facilitate
the conservation, maintenance and restoration of
heritage property in the province". The Trust's
primary means of carrying out its goal is through
seven grant programs. Three of these programs,
Publications Assistance Program, Building Restoration Program, and Additional activities, have
been the most beneficial to B.C.'s historical
In June 1982 the building
was prepared for painting
in its original colours.
The activities of many historical societies
include the production of local and regional
histories. These publications ar eligible for grants
of up to $2,500 toward printing and production
costs. (The Trust does not fund research.) The
publications generally are in the form of books or
pamphlets, but they may also take the form of oral
histories such as the Atnarko Valley Historical
Society's tape documentary, Man in Nature: Lester
Fall 1982
Page 25 Dorsey, Anahim Lake, B.C, which received a grant
of $600.
The Publications Assistance Program can also
provide funds to assist with small displays or
exhibits. The Bulkley Valley Historical Society
received a grant of $400 to assist with preparation
of permanent photo display of the history of the
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
Some societies, such as the Atlin Historical
Society, have initiated major building restoration
projects. These projects are eligible for grants of
up to 50 percent of the exterior restoration costs to
a maximum of $50,000. A $25,000 grant was
awarded fo the Atlin Historical Society for
restoration of the Atlin Courthouse. When
completed, the Historical Society hopes to rent a
portion of the building to provide much needed
office space in the community. The Little Prairie
Heritage Society has managed to save the oldest
building in Chetwynd from demolition. The Little
Prairie General Store, built in 1949, has been
relocated and will be restored for use as a
museum. Half of the moving and restoration costs
have been provided for by a $13,000 grant from the
More unique projects which do not fall within
the guidelines of the Trust's established programs
may be eligible forfundingthrough the Additional
Activities program. For example, the Nanaimo
Historical Society received a grant of $1,000 in aid
of their symposium, "The Company on the Coast",
which was held in the Spring, 1982. The Kootenay
Lake Historical Society, in an effort to save the S.S.
Moyie from vandalism, applied to the Trust for
funds to erect a fence around the vessel's moorage
site. The Trust awarded them a $5,500 grant.
Another service provided by the Trust is a
travelling photo exhibit, Conservation British
Columbia, which consists of large panels of colour
photographs of heritage sites from around the
province. The exhibit is available for display, free
of charge, to groups such as historical societies
who may wish to have the exhibit shown in a
museum, library, school or other suitable location
in their community.
Information about Conservation British Columbia and other Trust programs is available by
British Columbia Heritage Trust
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, B.C.
V8V 1X4
Roberta J. Pazdro is Project Officer with the British
Columbia Heritage Trust.
Okanagan Society
The Okanagan Historical Society in Vernon has
won an award of merit for "more than fifty years of
publishing Okanagan history and stimulating
heritage preservation".
The American Association for State and Local
History conveyed the award at its Annual Meeting
in Hartford, Connecticut in America's most
prestigious competition for local history
Award recipients were notified in special letters
of congratulations, in the form of "History-Grams",
sent following two days of deliberations by a
national selection committee. The committee,
composed of leaders in the history profession,
reviewed more than 150 nominations in its annual
The American Association for State and Local
History, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee,
has given awards to local historians and historical
agencies since 1944. A nonprofit educational
organization with a membership of more than
7,500 individuals and institutions, AASLH works to
advance knowledge, understanding, and
appreciation of local history in the United States
and Canada. It publishes books, technical leaflets,
History News, a monthly magazine, and holds
seminars, workshops, and other educational
programs for professional and volunteer workers
in the field of state and local history.
Page 26
British Columbia Historical News Campbell River - Home of
Growing Archival Collection
X*   V- -■ ,     3f%AJfi.'*B
Willows Hotel and Annex, Campbell River, B.C.    1912
Photograph #8248, Campbell River & District Museum & Archives
Researchers interested in the history of Northern Vancouver Island from Black Creek north,
including surrounding islands, will be interested
in the growing archival collection at the Campbell
River Museum. The collection consists of vertical
files of newspaper and magazine articles, a small
manuscript collection, tape recorded interviews,
books, maps, and an extensive photograph
collection. Though work is still in progress much
of the backlogged material has been catalogued
including cross-referenced card indexing which
makes the material easily accessible.
The museum began in 1959 as a small display of
Indian artifacts put together by a group of local
collectors. Soon afterwards the Campbell River &
District Historical Society was formed to care for
Fall 1982
Page 27 "The Willows Hotel, beautifully situated within a few yards of
the sea, is all that a sportsman could desire. Clean, well-
furnished bedrooms, a bathroom and quite a decent table,
all for the moderate sum of 2 dollars a day. The drawback to
the hotel was the logging camp in the vicinity. The bar of the
hotel was about fifty yards from the hotel itself, in a separate
building, and on Saturday night many of the loggers came
dropping in to waste the earnings of the week." From Sport
in Vancouver and Newfoundland, Sir John Rogers, K.C.M.G.,
"There is a hotel on the beach which I detest as there are
such a lot of drunkards there..." From a letter written by
settler Frederick Nunns in 1912.
and administer the public collection. Space was
provided in the City Hall building to house the
museum. In 1967, a building was erected to house
the museum, as a Canadian centennial project. In
1981, the name of the society was changed to
Campbell River & District Museum & Archives
Society to more accurately reflect the focus of the
Since its inception the Society has been
collecting archival documents. The archives were
formally created in 1974 when the first of three
successive Local Initiative Project grants were
received to collect archival material. The bulk and
diversity of what was collected encouraged the
Society to form an Archives Committee in 1976 to
establish collection policy and cataloguing
procedures (registration, cataloguing and card
indexing). Since 1976 permanent staff hired under
grants from the Provincial Youth Employment
Project and Museum and Archives Development
have been cataloguing the collection. This work is
still in process, with the manuscript and map
collections yet to be completed. This summer,
work on the collection of 12,000 photographs was
Of special interest is the collection of historic
and ethnohistoric photographs. A major focus in
the collection is northern Vancouver Island
ethnography and logging. The vertical file provides quick reference to people and communities
within the collecting area. The museum's growing
reference library has an emphasis on Kwakiutl,
Coast Salish and Westcoast (Nootkan) art and
culture, local history and museology. Through a
recent grant from the Leon and Thea Koerner
Foundation, out-of-print and rare editions of
anthropological and historical works have been
The archives are available by appointment only.
Those interested in using the collection should
contact Jeanette Taylor one week in advance.
We look forwrd to assisting with your research.
Campbell River & District Museum & Archives
1235 Island Highway
Campbell River, B.C.
V9W 2C7
Telephone: 287-3103
Contact Person: Jeanette Taylor, Assistant Curator
Page 28
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press,
1980. Pp. xl, 121, illus., $19.95
Thomas McMicking's narrative was originally
published in the New Westminster British Columbian
in fourteen instalments between 29 November 1862
and 28 January 1863 as a continuing letter to the editor,
and was headed:
An account of a journey overland from Canada to
British Columbia during the summer of 1862,
embracing a general description of the country,
together with the various incidents, difficulties and
dangers encountered, for circulation in the eastern
British colonies, by Mr. Thomas McMicking, of
Queenston, Canada West.
Now, for the first time, the narrative has been
published as a whole. Of the nine extant first-hand
accounts of the Overlanders, only two others have
been published and only one is still in print and readily
available. The Diary and Narrative of Richard Henry
Alexander was published in 1973 by the Alcuin Society
who later initiated the project to publish this narrative
by McMicking.
The editor is the granddaughter of the Schuberts'
who were with the McMicking party, and who
accompanied the group who chose the Thompson
River route over the Fraser upon reaching Tt?te Jaune
Cache. Mrs. Schubert had with her three small
children and gave birth to a fourth soon after arriving
at Fort Kamloops. The editor has used family papers
and stories along with her other research.
The preliminary pages include a sixteen-page
introduction, with an additional six on "William G.R.
Hind: the 'Expedition Artist'," and three more for a
note on the text. The appendices include "A Note on
the McMicking Family" and "A Note on the Trail".
'There are lengthy and informative notes, a "Selected
Bibliography", and an index. The book is well
illustrated with twenty-one paintings and drawings,six
in colour, by Hind who was with the Redgrave party
which followed McMicking's group, and twenty-one
The only maps included are a small outline map of
Canada showing the route and a sketch map based on
Palliser's Genera/ Map showing the route as determined from McMicking's notes. It is a pity that a
reproduction of Palliser's map, such as the one printed
in 1965 for the Champlain Society's edition of The
Palliser Papers, could not have been used. It is a large
map, however, and would have had to be folded in, or
put in a pocket, or perhaps printed in overlapping
sections in appropriate places in the text. Fortunately,
the Palliser map is cited so that readers can look it up
for further contemporary information about the
The index has some peculiarities that should be
noted. Although the introduction and notes on Hind
are included in the index, the appendices are not. The
only entry to Stamford in the index, for example, refers
to page two (which is an error for page one), but there
is no reference to pages 57 and 58 of the appendices
which contain further mention of Stamford. The
lengthy "footnotes" have been indexed, but no
reference is made to the page which is being
footnoted. A reader looking for information about
Alexander Fortune will find a reference in the index to
"71n17," that is page 71, note 17, but he will have to
search the introduction to find the passage (which
occurs on page xix) about Fortune to which "17" is a
On the whole, little fault can be found with this
book. The narrative is an interesting story, well written
and well presented. It should appeal to anyone who
enjoys travel and adventure stories, with the added
benefit of additional information in the notes for those
who are interested in pursuing history. The illustrations, particularly Hind's paintings, are an attractive
feature and, with the note about the artist, provide an
important contribution to the historical resources of
the province. I would highly recommend this book as
a worthy addition to anyone's library.
Frances M. Woodward, the well known British
Columbia bibliographer, is especially interested in
historic maps and in the work of the Royal Engineers in
British Columbia.
Patricia Roy is the Book Review Editor. Copies of
books for review should be sent to her c/o B.C.
Historical News, P.O. Box 1738, Victoria, B.C. V8W
Fall 1982
Page 29 Bookshelf
AMERICA, (with introductory material by A.V
Venkatarama Ayyar, John Hosie and F.W. Howay).
Fairfield, Washington: Ye Galleon Press, 1982, Pp.
144, illus., $12.00 U.S. (May be ordered from Ye
Galleon Press, Fairfield, Washington, 99012).
Ye Galleon Press has established itself as a unique
publishing venture. Its handsomely printed and
bound publications, devoted to the early history of the
Northwest Coast of the United States and Canada, can
be purchased at an unusually economical price. Its
policy would appear to be to make widely available
materials which have long been out of print or difficult
to come by. But as the publisher tells us in his
colophon to the present volume that "this was a fun
project", we must suspect that he has two loves he
wishes to share with as many as possible: the printer's
craft and the early history of this corner of our world.
Strange's voyage was essentially commercial in its
purpose. It was directly inspired by the reference to
the potentialities of the fur trade of the Northwest
Coast in the official publication of Cook's third
voyage. Though Strange was employed by the East
India Company, the venture was an independent
affair, financed by himself and his friend David Scott,
also an official of the Company. Moreover, the
Company furnished supplies, ammunition and men.
(One of them, Alexander Walker, who was later to rise
to the rank of Brigadier General, also kept extensive
notes. His papers, recently acquired by the Scottish
National Library, complement Strange in his more
detailed description of the conduct of trade and his
astute and perceptive observations of the Nootka. A
microfilm of his notes has been acquired by the B.C.
Provincial Archives).
No expense was spared to equip the expedition in
the best manner possible. Two appropriately named
ships, the "Captain Cook" and the "Experiment",
manned by professional crews, were lavishly equipped for their journey. The planning as revealed by the
formal instructions was excessively ambitious. A
military unit was embarked to be left behind as an
assertion of British sovereignty. It was also hoped that
new discoveries would be made. Yet the result was
commercially disastrous. Strange and Scott lost almost
their entire investment and found no new lands. To
add to his misfortunes, Strange later discovered that
Hannah preceded him as the first European to visit
Nootka Sound after Cook.
Nevertheless, his journal is of interest. Strange was
a man of education and intelligence. His engagingly
written account is important to historians and
ethnologists alike. Not only does he amplify some of
Cook's observations and confirm others; he gives the
first subtstantial account of how a commercial
expedition was carried out. He gives insights into its
financing, risks, and methods, its possibilities and
limitations, and especially the Indian reaction to the
trade. Ethno-historians will wish for more detail of
Indian life in this very early post-contact period. But
we can still be grateful for what Strange gives us.
This volume brings together under one cover the
main published materials relating to the voyage. The
Journal is introduced by a paper read by A.V.
Venkatarama Ayyar, who published the original
edition, before the Indian Historical Records
Commission in December, 1928; John Hosie's
"remarks" on the voyage which appeared in the
Fourth Annual Report of the British Columbia
Historical Association; and F.W. Howay's article
written for the British Columbia Historical Quarterly,
1941, on Strange's sailing directions. The sources of this
"introductory material" are not given.
Such a handsome edition of an improtant work, so
long out of print and now available at an attractive
price, should be on the shelf of all who are interested
in British Columbia history.
Freeman Tovell, a Victoria resident, is especially
interested in Spanish voyages to the Northwest Coast.
SIMON PETER GUNANOOT: TRAPLINE OUTLAW. David Ricardo Williams. Victoria: Sono Nis,
1982. Pp. 170, illus., $12.95
Four years ago, when reviewing a book on
Canadian outlaws that included the story of Simon
Gunanoot, John Morgan Gray asked: "Is there a good
reason for re-telling these stories unless the retelling
provides a good deal of new information or they are
supremely well-told?"1 David Willians' book on the
life and trial of Simon Peter Gunanoot proves that the
story was worth one more airing. Using material "not
available to earlier writers", Williams offers a factual
approach to what he terms a "romantic episode".
The Skeena area was frontier territory at the turn of
the century. Premier Richard McBride, who visited the
region in 1905, was favourably impressed with the new
British Columbia. Allowing for some inevitable racism,
the white people of the area lived in comparative
harmony with the Indian communities; the Indian
uprising of 1883 that had been serious enough to
Page 30
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
warrant the building of a fort and the arrival of a gunboat from Victoria was in the far if not the dim past.
Change was in the air with the 1902 proposal of the
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to extend its line to the
coast, the discovery of gold on the Igenika River, and
the resultant increase in prospectors, settlers and
speculators, but the affairs of the Skeena were unlikely
to draw nation-wide attention.
This changed in 1906 when a Gitksan Indian, Simon
Peter Gunanoot, apparantly murdered two white
men, Alex Mcintosh and Maxwell LeClair, and fled
into the bush with his wife, children, parents, brother-
in-law Peter Himadam (also implicated in the murders)
and Peter's wife, Christine. The group remained
hidden from the law for thirteen years. With the
passing of time, Gunanoot became something of a folk
hero and both Indians and whites concealed his
whereabouts from the law. In 1913, after arranging
with friends for a good defense lawyer, Gunanoot
gave himself up, stood trial and was aquitted of the
murder of Mcintosh; he did not stand trial for the
murder of LeClair.
Williams strips away the romantic aura with which
other writers had surrounded the life of Gunanoot.
Using a variety of sources, including legal documents,
diaries, reminiscences, newspapers, and interviews, he
draws a portrait of the Indian that is far from heroic;
Williams' Gunanoot was not a victim of the white
invasion. The author reveals him a someone who took
advantage of the white man's presence to compete
successfully in the white man's world; Gunanoot was a
man of property and prosperity.
Apparently, in either a jealous or drunken rage —
one of the questions that remains unanswered — he
shot two men in the back, threatened to kill his wife,
shot at the child on her back and slaughtered his
horses, one with a pick-axe. After retreating to the
bush, an environment with which he was familiar and
one which, according to the author, held few fears for
him, he continued to trap and, with the aid of friends,
sell his furs.
Before surrendering, he secured the aid of Stuart
Henderson, possibly the province's best and most
expensive lawyer. Williams, a lawyer himself, believes,
and he is convincing in his arguments, that the
prosecution was so inept and public sentiment so
strongly in favour of the Indian that, although
Gunanoot was declared "not guilty", the trial did not
establish his innocence. Using evidence either not
known or not presented at the trial, Williams argues
Gunanoot was guilty — although he points out that
there are the unanswered questions of Simon's
continued protestations of innocence and Christine's
deathbed confession of LeClair's murder — and these
contradictions leave nagging doubts.
The book is highly informative on many points.
Although Williams cannot entirely negate the almost
comic-opera aspects of the search for the fugitives, he
does reveal the unavoidable difficulties facing
conscientious law officers. He details the problems
experienced both by the prosecution and defence
lawyers and gives insights into the workings of the
legal system as it was in the early decades of the
century. The author briefly places his book in a wide
perspective by tracing the rift in Indian/White
relations in the Skeena area but he gives too much
emphasis to what he himself considers a non-incident
and ignores pre-1900 problems.
The book has several minor but irritating flaws.
There is a marked tendency to repetition; perhaps not
trusting to his readers to remember among all the
detail, Williams describes the relationship between
Gunanoot and Peter Himadam four times — once in a
confused manner that obviously escaped the editor.
There are contradictions. Williams seems unsure
whether the Indian was a folk hero and legend or a
forgotten man; and, having established that Gunanoot was not the heroic figure enshrined by both the
press and, to some extent, by other writers, he
sympathetically equates him with the "battle-scarred"
veterans of Passchendaele. There is also an obvious
error. When Williams argues that Ikey Moore "was
hopelessly drunk before and after the killings" and
could not therefore have been responsible for the
murders, he is in error. According to an earlier
statement, Moore was drunk at the inquest, a good
twelve hours after the events.
But the book's major weakness is its lack of
footnotes. Without documentation, there is no way
the reader can distinguish the author's ideas, analyses
and conclusions from those of the sources listed in the
bibliography or from those supplied by interviewees
upon whose information the author "relied heavily".
The comments of government officials, so crucial to
Williams' thesis, could be found in public records,
private papers or even the so often erring newspapers.
(And newspapers when cited are not always dated.)
It is particularly important to be able to assess
sources when the author himself seems uncertain of
them, or when uncorroborated sources are used to
denigrate a character. Twice, in Chapters III and VIII,
Williams expresses distrust of information supplied by
Hazelton resident Sperry Cline; yet, in Chapter VII,
the reader is told that Cline's account of the Indian
trouble "cannot be improved upon" and his
assessment of local officials clearly influenced the
writer's opinion of them. Williams uses the unsupported letter of Charlie Barrett as evidence that the Indian
Agent's wife, Margaret Loring, had created, through
her "overheated imagination" an absurd situation.
According to her daughter Constance Cox — who
Wiliams cites, neither fully nor correctly, as one of his
primary sources — Mrs. Loring was a stern, reserved
individual, who, because of her calm nature and
dependability, was in demand as both nurse and midwife; she travelled great distances in bitter winter
conditions to perform these duties.-' As Margaret
Hankin, wife of Hazelton's founder, Thomas Hankin,
Fall 1982
Page 31 Bookshelf
she had lived thorugh the threatened attack of 1883
and, both before and after her husband's death, had
traded with the Indians for many years. In the case of
apparent contradictions of this nature, assessment of
source material is vital.
In spite of Williams' new "trial" of Simon
Gunanoot, the arguments over the Indian's innocence
or guilt will continue. Williams has presented a strong
case for Gunanoot's guilt but some of the evidence
remains inconclusive. There will be those who
question the memories of old men who were but
children at the time of the event; oral sources, like
written sources, must be substantiated. Yet David
Williams' book on Gunanoot can be considered the
definitive work on the subject; definitely not only for
the questions it answers but for the unanswerable
questions it exposes.
Margaret Whitehead is the author of The Cariboo
1 Canadian Historical Review, Vol. LIX, No. 1, March,
1978, pp. 81-82
2 Constance Cox and Eve McLean, "Seed of a
Sourdough", Unpublished manuscript, family
26: "Grubstakes to Grocery Store: Supplying the
Klondike, 1897 -1907", by Margaret Archibald and
"St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Lake Bennett,
British Columbia," by Margaret Carter. Ottawa:
National Historic Parks and Sites Branch. Parks
Canada, 1981. Pp. 294, illus., $8.00 (in Canada),
$9.60 (outside Canada) [This Occasional Papers...
also includes two articles on the archaeology of
the "Old Fort Point Site" on Lake Athabasca which
are not reviewed here.]
Those interested in the Klondike Gold Rush and
the history of the Yukon will welcome Archibald's and
Carter's monographs. The articles provide valuable
insights into distinct and interesting aspects of the
Essentially, "Grubstake to Grocery Store" as
Margaret Archibald suggests in the introductory
"Abstract", "examines the Yukon trade in provisions
and general merchandise during and immediately
after the Klondike Gold-rush." Several basic elements
moulded the system which developed. The Yukon
region supplied little of the stampeders' needs for
foodstuffs or products. Most goods were brought in
from the "outside'. They had to be hauled over long
distances; there were severe weather conditions to be
combatted; storage was difficult and expensive; and
the credit arrangements generally used in Canada
were not suited to the Klondike situation.
Archibald has provided a comprehensive treatment of the merchandising system which evolved in
response to these, and other factors. The relationships
which developed between suppliers, transportation
organisations, and "inside" wholesalers and retailers
are examined and clearly presented. Readers
interested in the histories of New Westminster,
Victoria, and Vancouver will find useful references
and observations on the activities of businessmen
from these communities.
In addition, Archibald carefully relates the
activities in the Yukon to business conditions in the
rest of Canada and the United States, and makes
comparisons, for example, between grocery prices in
Dawson with those prevalent in the rest of Canada.
Some observations on the importance of brand-name
products and the degree of their market penetration
are most informative. Twelve detailed appendices give
some good statistics and list firms and products to be
found in the Dawson region.
Margaret Carter's article on the church at Lake
Bennett examines a very different aspect of the gold
rush. The settlement of Bennett was at the meeting of
the White Pass and Chilkoot trails and at the head of
lake and river navigation on the Yukon. In 1897 the
Presbyterian minister in nearby Skagway, sensing the
possibilities of the location, set about establishing a
church in Bennett. In '98, '99 and 1900 it was a
populous community. Completion of the White Pass
and Yukon Railway in 1900, linking tidewater at
Skagway with the Yukon River at Whitehorse, meant
the demise of Bennett. In 1902, the last minister
abandoned the church there.
In large part, "St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church..."
is concerned with the fine church building, celebrated
throughout Western Canada, which Bennett's third
minister, the Rev. J.A. Sinclair, built in 1899. It remains
one of the more picturesque remnants of the gold
rush, its exterior, in Carter's words, "a curious but
successful combination of frontier necessity and
civilized taste."
The reasons for that necessity and taste are fully
explored in the article. Carter lays to rest "the mystery
of St. Andrew's Church," the oral tradition that the
building had not been finished or used for religious
Page 32
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
services. Carter explains that, as was usual in frontier
communities, the church building filled a role in the
life of the community well beyond its religious
The bringing together of these two articles is a
bonus for the reader. Here are two separate and
distinct aspects of the same great event. Interestingly,
Carter points out that the railway rates charged by the
White Pass and Yukon were "competitive" and
therefore Bennett as a trans-shipping point declined
whereas Archibald argues that Dawson merchants and
residents repeatedly complained that the railway's
tariffs were much too high: two contrasting, yet valid,
Photographs are important to both articles: in
Archibald they number fifty-nine, in Carter seventy-
four. They are reproduced clearly and integrated well
with the text. Carter provides a simple, effective map.
There are a few typographical errors, minor but
irritating. The book is an unfortunate size, 21cm by
21Vicm, and is inadequately bound; its size and limp
cover make it awkward to hold.
George Newell, a resident of Prince Rupert, has a
long-standing interest in the history of British
Columbia and the Yukon.
W.A.C. BENNETT. Rosemary Neering. Don Mills:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1981. Pp. 63, illus.
W.A.C. Bennett, by Rosemany Neering, is a short
biography written for use in high schools. Contained
in this book is an account of the late Mr. Bennett's life
and political career.
The biography commences in 1911, when Bennett
was eleven years old and living in the town of
Hampton, New Brunswick. This ambitions young man
then moved to western Canada where, based in
Kelowna, B.C., he began his political career. The book
presents in a clear and easily understood fashion
Bennett's long political struggle to attain the role of
premier. His persistent nature earned him this position
which he maintained for twenty years. The biography
concludes with Bennett's death in 1979, six years after
his party's defeat and his own political retirement.
The language used in this study is simple, and the
style is quite factual, although a story line is maintained
throughout. This style of writing is appropriate. It is
much easier for a student to become involved in a
book that contains a story line as opposed to a book of
only facts and dates.
Included in this biography are many well-chosen
quotations from Bennett's years. These quotations
allow the reader to develop an accurate image of
Bennett's personality. There are also numerous
photographs of Bennett's political supporters and
The short length of the book works more as an
advantage than a disadvantage if it is to be used as an
exercise book for high school students. The length
allows students to read the book quickly, still receive a
good summary of Bennett's life and career. It also
allows the book to be easily used for class discussion.
The book's point of view towards Bennett is
definitely a positive one. In fact, I felt rather disturbed
at the amount of glorification. From this biography
one can conclude that Bennett was a faultless leader.
The only mistakes that were present were those made
by Robert Sommers, the Forests Minister, and Phil
Gaglardi, the Highways Minister. Personally, I feel this
is the book's only major shortcoming.
The information, style of writing, photographs and
length all make Rosemary Neering's W.A.C. Bennett a
worthy book to be used in high schools to provide
average students with a basic understanding of the life
and political career of one of British Columbia's most
productive premiers.
leff Wooley is a Grade 10 student at Esquimalt Senior
Secondary School.
Publications, 1981, Pp. 118, illus., maps, $24.95
Peter Neive Cotton was British Columbia's "first
serious restoration architect" and was one of the first
in B.C. to advocate the preservation of heritage
buildings. While working in Victoria in 1958 as
provincial architect in charge of interior design for the
restoration of Government House, which had been
destroyed by fire in April 1957, Peter Cotton
commenced to research and write the history of the
province's vice regal mansions. Over the years various
additions and amendments were made to the original
draft, but at the time of his death in 1978 Cotton's
"labour-of-love" remained in manuscript form. With
the editorial help of friends and financial assistance
from The British Columbia Heritage Trust, Vice Regal
Mansions of British Columbia has now been published
Fall 1982
Page 33 Bookshelf
as a handsome tribute to one of the founders of B.C.'s
heritage conservation movement.
Cotton's book traces the history of governors' and
lieutenant-governors' official homes in British
Columbia from the colonial period to the completion
in 1959 of the present Government House. Short
references to the backgrounds of appointed occupants and brief descriptions of political issues,
particularly during the colonial period, set the stage
for a fuller exploration of the buildings themselves.
These are well illustrated in the many maps, drawings,
and photographs that fill more than half the book.
Black and white photographs of both exteriors and
interiors are superb. Reproduction of the vice regal
mansions' floor plans are also excellent, documenting
the social use of interior space characteristic of the
upper portion of B.C. society.
Despite the successful presentation of its visual
elements, Vice Regal Mansions in the end leaves the
reader disappointed. The written text may on occasion
be informative: for example, details of plumbing,
lighting, roofing, interior furnishings, appliances and
grounds provide intriguing glimpses into British
Columbia's material history. But the book makes no
attempt to account for the architectural design of
B.C.'s Government Houses, so well portrayed in
historical photographs and drawings. Nor does it
explain the historical significance of the building
materials used in, or the architectural styles adopted
for, government mansions.
We are not told what influences shaped the
architectural character of these buildings, nor are we
informed of the effect they in turn might have exerted
on other structures in the province. In short, the visual
record of B.C.'s vice regal mansions is presented in an
interpretive vacuum. One wonders if pictures in
themselves can fulfil The British Columbia Heritage
Trust's large goal of expanding our understanding of
the province's built heritage.
Robert A.J. McDonald teaches British Columbia
history at the University of British Columbia.
Written and compiled by Donald J. Bourdon.
North Vancouver, B.C. : Hancock House, 1981. Pp.
85, $9.95 paper.
Using photographs taken by the late George G.
Nye in North Vancouver, this book is a satisfying
survey of life in the city and district at the beginning of
the twentieth century. The "boom" referred to the
fact that the population of North Vancouver climbed
from 365 in 1901 to more than 8,000 ten years later.
George Nye was the area's first professional
photographer, and his excellent photographs,
discovered in an attic in 1970, were donated to the
North Shore Museum and Archives. The book consists
of 33 full-page pictures, with short explanations on the
facing pages. The writer, Donald Bourdon, is now on
the staff of the Glenbow-Alberta Institute of Calgary.
David Grubbe is a member of North Shore Historical
New Titles
Allen, Harold T. Forty Years Journey: The Temperance
Movement in British Columbia to 7900. Victoria, 1982.138 p.,
$8.00. (Available form the author, 7850 Champlain Crescent,
Vancouver, B.C.)
Boit, John. Log of the Union: John Boit's remarkable voyage
to the Northwest Coast and around the world 1794-1796;
edited by Edmund Hayes, specially illustrated by Hewitt R.
Jackson. (North Pacific studies no. 6.) [Portland] Oregon
Historical Society, 1981, xxxviii, 136 p., ill., $12.95 US.
Bradshaw, Janice. Heritage conservation in British Columbia: a selected bibliography. Victoria, Heritage Trust, 1980.71
Brock, Peter Fighting Joe Martin founder of the Liberal Party
in the west: a blow by blow account. Toronto & Vancouver,
National Press, 1981. 418 p.
Dunae, Patrick. Gentlemen emigrants: from the British
public schools to the Canadian frontier. Vancouver, Douglas
& Mclntyre, 1981. 276 p., ill., $18.95
Kershaw, Adrian and John Spittle. The North Bentinck Arm
route: Lt. Palmer's trail of1862. Kelowna, Okanagan College,
1981. ill., $6.50
Pearson, Anne. Sea-Lake: recollections and history of
Cordova Bay and Elk Lake. Victoria, Sea-Lake Editions, 1981.
120 p., ill., $8.25.
Varley, Elizabeth Anderson. Kitimat my valley. Terrace,
Northern Times Press, 1981. 229 p., ill., $12.95 pa.
Page 34
Honorary Patron: His Honour, The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Henry P. Bell-Irving
Honorary President: Anne Stevenson, Box 4570, Williams Lake, V2G 2V6
392-4356 (res.)
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Members-at- La rge
Ex Officio:
Barbara Stannard, #211-450 Stewart Ave., Nanaimo, V9S 5E9
754-6195 (res.)
Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver, V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
Naomi Miller, Box 1338, Golden, VOA 1H0
Frances Gundry, 255 Niagara St., Victoria, V8V 1C4
385-6353 (res.)
387-3623 (bus.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver, V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Tom Carrington, 125 Linden St., Victoria, V8V 4E2
383-3446 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1875 Wessex Road, Cowichan Bay, VOR 1N0
748-8397 (res.)
Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
287-8097 (res.)
John Bovey, Provincial Archivist, Victoria, V8V 1X4
387-3621 (bus.)
Maureen Cassidy, Editor, B.C. Historical News, 2781 Seaview Rd.,
Victoria, V8N 1K7
477-6283 (res.)
Chairmen of Committees:
Historic Trails: John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver, V7R 1R9
Place Names Committee: Winnifred Weir, Box 774, Invermere, VOA 1K0
342-9562 (res.)
B.C. Historical News Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River, V9W 3P3
Policy Committee: 287-8097 (res.)
Publications Assistance Committee (not involved with B.C. Historical News):
Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver, V6R 2A6
288-8606 (res.) Fees are now due!
Greetings from the B.C. Historical News.
Please, can you send me a 1982/1983 membership list
in your historical society. Be sure to include name(s),
address and postal code.
Send it to:
Catherine Henderson
B.C. Historical News
Box 1738
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 2Y3
I'm looking forward to the same co-operation that I
got from all the local groups last year.
C ^nWrtML.    TWV3£X*±G»r\
P.S. Dues are still only $3 per household!


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