British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1985

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 Published by the British Columbia Historical Federation
VOLUME 19, No. 1
Crowds assemble to hear Sir Wilfrid Laurier at Golden, B.C.      Photostory on page five.
Golden and District Museum photo.
Member societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct addresses
for their society and for its member subscribers are up-to-date. Please send changes to both
the treasurer and the editor whose addresses are at the bottom of the next page. The Annual
Report as at October 31 should show a telephone number for contact.
Member dues for the year 1984-85 (Volume 18) were paid by the following member
Alberni District Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHF — Gulf Islands Branch, c/o Mrs. Ann Johnston, RR 1 Mayne Island VON 2J0
BCHF—Victoria Branch, c/o Zane Lewis, 1535 Westall Avenue, Victoria, B.C. V8T 2G6
Burnaby Historical Society, c/o 5406 Manor St., Burnaby, B.C. V5G 1B7
Chemainus Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
Creston & District Historical & Museum Society, P.O. Box 1123, Creston, B.C. VOB 1G0
District 69 Historical Society, P.O. Box 213, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association, c/o H. Mayberry, 216 6th Avenue S., Cranbrook,
B.C. V1C 2H6
Galiano Historical and Cultural Society, P.O. Box 10, Galiano, B.C. VON IPO
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden, B.C. VOA 1H0
Hedley Heritage, Arts & Crafts Society (1983), P.O. Box 218, Hedley, B.C. VOX 1K0
Ladysmith New Horizons Historical Society, c/o Mrs. V. Cull, R.R. #2, Ladysmith
B.C. VOR 2E0
Lantzville Historical Society, c/o Susan Crayston, Box 76, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station "A", Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical & Museum Society, RR 1, Box 5, Kinghorn Rd., Nanoose Bay,
B.C. VOR 2R0
Nootka Sound Historical Society, Box 748, Gold River, B.C. VOP 1G0 (Inactive)
North Shore Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Elizabeth L. Grubbe, 623 East 10th Street,
North Vancouver, B.C. V7L 2E9
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum and Archives, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society, c/o Mrs. Cora Shipsey, P.O. Box 352,
Qualicum Beach, B.C. VOR 2T0
Saltspring Island Historical Society, c/o Mrs. Olive Clayton, RR 3, Comp. 4, Scott Pt. #1,
Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney and North Saanich Historical Society, c/o B. Peirson, 9781 Third Street,
Sidney, B.C. V8L 3A5
Silvery Slocan Historical Society, P.O. Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Valemount Historical Society, P.O. Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2A0
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
West Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 91785, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 4S1
Windermere District Historical Society, Box 784, Invermere, B.C. VOA 1K0
Affiliated Groups
B.C. Museum of Mining, P.O. Box 155, Britannia Beach, B.C. VON 1J0
City of White Rock Museum Archives Society, 1030 Martin St., White Rock, B.C. V4B 5E3
Fort Steele Heritage Park, Fort Steele, B.C. VOB 1N0
The Hallmark Society, 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society, 100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1 BRITISH COLUMBIA Volumel9Nol
A Visit From the Prime Minister in 1910
by Naomi Miller      5
Joseph William McKay 1829-1900
by Barbara Stannard and T.D. Sale        6
Cemetery Visit
by Elsie G. Turnbull      10
Girl Guides Mark 75th Anniversary      13
The Royal Governor and the Black Militia
by Peggy Cartwright      14
Simon Peter Gunanoot—A Legend in His Own Time
by Geoffrey Castle   19
Contest    20
A Page From the Victoria Directory of 1868    21
News and Notes
Sir Anthony Musgrave Honoured    22
Writing Competition      22
Museum/Archives     23
Canadian Historical Association      24
Piper's Lagoon: A Historic and Captivating Vancouver Island Park by Vi Henderson;
review by Lynne Bowen      25
Battery Flashes of W.W. II by D.W. Falconer; review by Dave Parker      25
Children of the First People
by Dorothy Haegart;
review by Georgiana Ball     26
New Publications of Interest  26
Second-class mail registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5. Our Charitable Donations number is 0404681-52-27.
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be addressed to 1745 Taylor St., Victoria, B.C. V8R3E8. Send all
other correspondence, including changes of address, to the Vancouver address given above.
Subscriptions: Institutional $16.00 per year; Individual (non-members) $8.00 per year.
The B.C. Historical Federation gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the British Columbia Heritage
Trust. Sir Wilfrid Laurier arrives at Nelson, August 1910. See story opposite page.
I wish to subscribe to B.C. Historical News. I enclose a cheque or money order payable to the
B.C. Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5.
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Page 4
British Columbia Historical News Naomi Miller
A Visit from the Prime Minister in 1910
Sir Wilfrid Laurier visited British Columbia in the
summer of 1910, no doubt with a view to
obtaining votes in the 1911 election. In the cover
photograph the crowds assemble to greet him at
Golden, and the photographer caught the
honoured guest on the balcony of the Queen's
Hotel, leaning over the rail to answer a question
from the local postmaster in the audience below.
The detailed description of the visit to Golden
appeared in the Golden Star Saturday, August 13,
The conditions on Monday were all that could be
desired for the reception of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
The rain of the preceding day had cleared the air
and freshened everything up. The sun shone
brilliantly and a good crowd had come to town to
give a hearty welcome to Canada's leading
statesman. The decorations in the town were on
an elaborate scale and everyone did their best to
make the thing a success.... Unfortunately the
time of arrival was advanced an hour, which was
only known shortly before said time. Consequently quite a number of people missed the
reception altogether. On arrival the orders for
stopover time were cancelled and the time cut in
half, allowing only 45 minutes for the stay in
On arrival of the train the reception committee
boarded and H.G. Parson M.P.P. welcomed Sir
Wilfrid to British Columbia on behalf of Premier
Accompanying the Prime Minister were Hon.
George P. Graham, Minister of Railways; E.M.
MacDonald, M.P. of Pictou, N.S.; F.F. Pardee,
Simcoe, Ontario; Senator Gibson of Hamilton;
Senator Templeman of Victoria; Senator Bostock
of Yale-Kootenay; and Ralph Smith, M.P. of
Nanaimo. The party left the train for a short ride
around town, then assembled on the balcony of
the Queen's Hotel where an address of welcome
was read by Mr. Buckham.
The welcoming message included reference to
"our most beautiful valley", and an invitation to
Lady Laurier "to be our guest on a trip to the
source of the Columbia." The treatise was signed
by J.A. Buckham, President of the Liberal Association; Captain F.P. Armstrong, President of the
Conservative Association; and Dr. J.N. Taylor,
President of the Board of Trade.
The article continued:
Sir Wilfrid thanked them for their kind welcome
and good wishes. He said wherever they stopped
on their present tour they had been assured that
the said places were the best and most beautiful in
the Dominion. All beauty was in the eye of the
gazer, and no doubt every one was right in
considering his own town and surroundings the
most beautiful.
Hon. George P. Graham was called upon to
speak. He said that he was much interested in the
projected railway through the valley to connect
with the Crow's Nest, and he would be sure to
bring the matter before the railway company.
After a few remarks by Hon. Senator Templeman,
the party boarded the train which pulled out at
the scheduled time.
The Ottawa delegates stopped at Revelstoke,
Kamloops, and many places in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. The return trip
included a visit to Nelson on August 29th, 1920.
The dignitaries travelled on the S.S. Moyie, shown
here pulling in beside the S.S. Nelson at Lakeside
(Connaught) Park, Nelson. The podium was a
decorated C.P.R. barge. If you look closely you
can see several early Boy Scouts in position to be
Guard of Honour. Many residents of nearby
communities came in small boats to hear the
Prime Minister speak. This reception was held in
the evening, necessitating coats be worn against
the chill and the mosquitoes.
The photos show us how Laurier's visit, brief as
it was, aroused public interest and enthusiasm in
small towns in "the early days."
British Columbia Historical News
Page 5 Barbara Stannard and T.D. Sale
Joseph William McKay 1829-1900
In 1878, Joseph W. McKay's recollections of the
events leading up to the discovery of coal in
Nanaimo were recorded in retrospect. Toward
the end of 1849 McKay had been ordered to Fort
Rupert and from there to Victoria which was the
headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in
whose employ he worked as a chief trader.
His narrative was as follows: "While engaged in
the office there I was one morning in December
called out by the foreman of the Blacksmith Shop
who told me that an Indian named Che-wech-i-
kan, later known as Coal Tyee, from the vicinity of
Protection Island (now Nanaimo Bay), had been
in the shop to have his gun repaired and while
waiting and watching operations he had picked
up some lumps of coal, which he observed very
closely. Subsequently, when he saw the men use
some coal to replenish the fire he said that there
was plenty of such stone where he lived. I went to
the shop and talked with the Indian, and told him
to bring me some pieces of coal from his home,
and I would give him a bottle of rum and have his
gun repaired for nothing.
"The man, who was quite old, went away, but
he was taken sick and did not return until early in
April 1850, when he brought a canoe load of coal,
which proved to be of fair quality. I fitted out a
prospecting party at once, and about the first of
May we landed near the place where the town of
Nanaimo is built now. For several days, we looked
around and on the 8th of May, I located the
Douglas vein, which is still [1878] being worked, at
the place from which the old Indian had taken his
"On our return to Victoria, I made a favourable
and very circumstantial report on our discovery,
but owing to the pressure of other business on
hand the mine was not actually opened until
August 1852.
"In the same year, I was commissioned to
explore the country lying between the newly
discovered coal mines and Victoria for farming
lands, and during the summer we located several
large tracts with a view of opening them to
settlers. In the course of these explorations, I
found indications of gold on various occasions,
but nothing which would warrant more extensive
Joseph William McKay was born in 1829 at
Rupert House, where his father served the
Hudson's Bay Company. Young McKay soon
joined the Company and at the early age of
fifteen he was sent to Fort Victoria, a year after
the Company had moved its headquarters from
Fort Vancouver. He rose rapidly through the
ranks, and was only twenty-three when he
arrived in Nanaimo to take possession of the coal
discovery on behalf of his Company. McKay was
of average height, with dark hair, and a dark
moustache and beard. He had piercing blue
eyes, which emitted anger when his quick
temper arose. His speech was very abrupt and
displayed a Scottish accent. He was very outspoken and quick to take umbrage. There was no
doubt that McKay was capable of dealing with
any problems that might arise while he was in
charge of a posting.
Governor James Douglas kept in close touch
with Joseph McKay, and issued frequent and
detailed instructions. The following letters
written at Fort Victoria and dated the 24th and
26th August 1852, are good examples:
Mr. Joseph McKay
You will proceed with all possible diligence to
Wentuhuysen Inlet commonly known as Nany-
mo Bay and formally take possession of the Coal
beds lately discovered there for and in behalf of
the Hudson's Bay Company.
You will give due notice of that proceeding to
the Masters of all Vessels arriving there and you
will forbid all persons to work the Coal either
Page 6
British Columbia Historical News directly by means of their own labour or
indirectly through Indians or other parties
employed for that purpose except under the
Authority of a license from the Hudson's Bay
You will require from such persons as may be
duly licensed to work Coal by the Hudson's Bay
Company, security for the payment of a royalty of
2/6 (two shillings and six pence), a ton which you
will levy on the Spot, upon all Coal whether
procured by mining or by purchase from the
Natives, the same to be held by you and from
time to time to be duly accounted for.
In the event of any breach or evasion of these
regulations you will imediately take measures to
communicate intelligence of the same to me.
I remain Sir
Your obedient servant
(Signed) James Douglas
Mr. Joseph McKay,
Dear Sir:
I herewith enclose Invoice of sundries now
forwarded c/o Cadboro for use of the new
establishment, and the party of Miners, who
proceed to join you by the same conveyance.
The Miners are under the special orders of Mr.
Muir, and you will please to avoid all interference with them directly, giving any instructions
you have to give through Mr. Muir himself, but
in no case directly to the men under his orders.
The Blacksmith Raymond is for general service,
the work of the Miners must however have the
preference in all cases and attended to.
A small forge should be put up as soon as
possible and every assistance in the way of
Carpenters or Axemen be given to Mr. Muir
when and as often as required.
Please to write me fully of your proceedings
and the progress of the work by every opportunity.
The Recovery will be sent up in a few days, and
the Cadboro may be loaded with Coal and sent
back as soon as possible.
I remain,
Dear Sir,
Yours truly,
(Signed) James Douglas
P.S. The Miners are allowed 1/- (one shilling) per
diem instead of rations and will therefore
provide their own provisions, which will save you
much trouble.
List of Miners
John Muir      Oversman
Robert Muir      Miner
Archibald Muir      Miner
John McGregor      Miner P Recovery
Mr. John Muir had been in charge of the
Miners at Fort Rupert and continued in the same
capacity in Nanaimo.
During the period between August 24, 1852,
and the end of September, 1853, a constant
exchange of correspondence amounting to no
less than eighty lengthy letters passed between
James Douglas and Joseph McKay. These letters
contained detailed instructions, reports, requests
for supplies and trade vouchers of all kinds. It is
only possible to capsule a few items of interest in
the early development of Nanaimo when Joseph
McKay was the dominant person in the fledgling
Sept. 9,1852, McKay reported that:
1. The Cadboro was loaded with 480 barrels of
coal (first shipment).
2. The local Indians were working for payment
of one shirt per day (or pay by tickets which
they could collect until they had enough for
the purchase of a blanket).
3. Sufficient wood had been prepared for a
25x12 foot house.
4.1000 pieces of cedar bark for lining the house
had been delivered by the Indians.
5. A salt spring had been discovered nearby that
would produce salt by evaporation—one
pint of salt could obtained from seven
pints of water. (Salmon and venison were
being preserved in barrels for the winter.)
Sept. 20,1852—Douglas wrote to McKay that as
a result of a letter sent to Mr. John Work about 15
reinforcement miners led by Mr. Boyd Gilmore
would soon be arriving from Fort Rupert. McKay
was ordered to build as many small houses as
possible for their accommodation.
Sept. 30, 1852 - McKay informed Douglas by
letter that the Cadboro, Recovery, and Mary
Dare could only be loaded at the rate of 20 tons a
day. (The Mary Dare's full load of coal was 200
Oct. 6, 1852 - McKay reported that a second
25x15 foot building for accommodation for the
miners was in progress.
Oct. 22,1852 - McKay reported that the miners
had reached a depth of 30 feet and that the
second 25x15 foot building would be habitable in
two or three days.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 7 The Cadboro
June 2, 1853 -
I.The Bastion being built for protection from
hostile Indians by two French Canadian
axemen Leon Labine and Jean Baptiste
Fortier was reported nearing completion.
2.Three dwelling houses 20x30 feet were
3. Four houses 25x15 feet and three houses
20x30 feet were in progress.
July 17, 1853 - McKay's letter to Douglas
contained the announcement of the birth of a
son, Alexander, to Mrs. Robert Dunsmuir and a
child to the native wife of John Malcolm,
Sept. 12,1853 - Douglas reported that he had
contracted Francis Cote to construct dwelling
houses 30x20 feet and expected 5 or 6 to be
completed by the spring.
Sept. 27,1853 - Douglas informed McKay that
the Colinda had set sail from Gravesend August 1
with 40 miners.
The foregoing extracts from the frequent
letters that passed back and forth from Douglas
to McKay show the shrewd attention to detail by
both men in the development of early Nanaimo.
Douglas used his authority as Governor without
consulting Hudson's Bay Headquarters in London to achieve the successful completion of
many tasks in the shortest possible time. By their
combined efforts and cooperation the coal
production from Nanaimo for 1853 reached 2000
tons. Most of this coal was shipped to San
Francisco where it was sold at $28 a ton. (The
price at Nanaimo was $11 a ton.) The Hudson's
Bay Company under the name of the Nanaimo
Coal Company continued until 1861 when they
sold out to the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land
Company Limited.
On November 27,1854, Joseph McKay had the
pleasant duty of welcoming to Nanaimo the
twenty-four Staffordshire miners and their
families who had travelled on the Princess Royal.
He had been instrumental in having houses built
for them prior to their arrival. These Brierley Hill
Miners had signed five year contracts with the
Hudson's Bay Company. They joined the people
already in residence in Nanaimo, some of whom
had lived there for three years or more. Joseph
McKay arranged the purchase of 6193 acres of
land from the local native tribe (the payment was
made in blankets) in December 1854. Shortly
after this transaction he left Nanaimo for Fort
Simpson and was succeeded by Capt. Stuart.
McKay continued to rise through the ranks of
the Hudson's Bay Company, becoming a Chief
Factor in 1872 while still a young man of forty-
three. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly
of Vancouver Island in 1856. In 1879 he retired
from the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1883 he
joined the Federal Indian Department. After a
second successful career as Indian Agent he
retired to Victoria, and died in 1900 at the age of
71, leaving a family of four daughters and one
Appendix A
List of Passengers from England per Barque
Harpooner 1849, Captain Grant's men.
Rose, James Blacksmith and Engineer
McDonald, William Joiner and House Builder
Tolmie, Thomas Carpenter, etc.
Fraser, William Farmer and Labourer
McDonald, William Farmer and Labourer
Munro, Thomas Gardener
McLeod, John Labourer
Morrison, James Farmer and Labourer
Muir, John Oversman
Muir, Archibald Collier and Labourer
Muir, Andrew Collier and Labourer
Muir, Robert Collier and Labourer
Muir, John Collier and Labourer
Muir, Michael Collier and Labourer
Smith, John Collier and Labourer
McGregor, John Collier and Labourer
Appendix B
Passengers arriving on the Barque Tory, 1851.
Hunter, Andrew
Malcolm, John
Linklater, James
Stove, James
Page 8
British Columbia Historical News u
Members of the First House of Assembly, Vancouver Island. Front row, left to right: Thomas Skinner,
Dr. J.S. Helmcken, James Yates. Back row: J.W. McKay, J.D. Pemberton, and Joseph Porter (clerk).
Appendix C
List of Families who sailed from England June
1854, and Arrived at Nanaimo, November 27,
Princess Royal
Baker, George, wife, son and daughter
Baker, John, and wife
Bevilockway, Joseph L., wife, two sons, and
Biggs, John and wife
Bull, George, wife and daughter
Dunn, Daniel, and wife
Ganner, Elijah, wife, two sons and two daughters
Gough, Edwin, wife, one son and one daughter
Harrision, William
Hawks, Thomas, wife, son and daughter
Incher, William
Jones, Thomas
Lowndes, Mrs. Thomas
Malpass, John, wife, son and daughter
Meakin, John, wife, and two sons.
Miller, Matthew, wife and two daughters
Richardson, Richard and wife
Richardson, John, wife, two sons, one daughter
Robinson, George, wife, son, daughter, and maid
Sage, Jesse, wife, two sons and daughter
Thompson, John and wife
Turner, Richard and daughter
Webb, Joseph and wife
York, Thomas, wife and two daughters
Barbara Stannard and Don Sale are long-term
members of the Nanaimo Historical Society.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 9 Elsie G. Turnbull
An outstanding event in a Heritage-dominated
spring was the symposium on British Columbia
cemeteries held in Victoria in 1985. Highlighted
by a tour of Ross Bay graveyard, the Chinese
burial ground at Harling Point, the Jewish
Cemetery, Synagogue Congregation Emanue-I
and the Royal Navy Veteran's Cemetery at
Esquimalt, it revealed the historic importance of
how the human race reveres its dead. From the
honored treatment of towering obelisks that
mark the burial plots of important individuals, to
small square contemporary plaques laid flush to
the ground and inscribed with only name and
dates, the cemetery is a place of fascination for
the historian. Throughout British Columbia
many interesting and unusual grave sites abound.
In the Kootenays, for example, one may find the
graves of Doukhobors and Hudson's Bay traders.
As if brooding over his people whose farms
spread out in the valley below, Peter Lordly
Veregin lies in a tomb on the cliffs above
Kootenay River and the Doukhobor town of
Brilliant. A broad slab of gleaming white concrete stands on a stone platform within a tree-
lined square. Flowers and a carefully tended lawn
add decoration, while a rockface on the hillside
bears in the Russian language a lament for the
fallen leader. In imagination one can recall the
long file of grieving mourners, chanting and
singing as they followed the recently slain leader
up the trail from Brilliant on that dreary November morning in 1924, when he was carried to his
final resting place.
Doukhobors in Russia and Canada, had purchased land from the British Columbia government at the junction of the Kootenay and
Columbia rivers, where he set up the Christian
Community of Universal Brotherhood's successful venture into an industrial, agricultural and
trading enterprise. Veregin's sudden death from
an unexplained explosion in a train, as it wound
its way from Brilliant to Grand Forks on the night
Veregin's first tomb
of October 29,1924, brought shock and grief to
all the Doukhobor communities. This found
expression in an elaborate monument with two
columns, supporting a pediment bearing three
white doves. Unfortunately, sporadic vandalism
over the years destroyed this tombstone, whose
shattered remains now decorate the base of the
present rock platform.
Page 10
British Columbia Historical News Veregin's second tomb, 1954
Burial rites for ordinary Doukhobors exemplify
their motto: "Toil and a Peaceful Life!" Graves
standing in a cleared field are covered with a
mound of stones and earth, sometimes decorated with artificial flowers, or simply marked
with a white slab of wood. Much is made of the
three symbols of Doukhobor spiritual belief—
bread, which is considered the staff of life, salt,
the essence, and water, the spirit of life. They
repose nearby, perhaps as simply a slice of bread,
a saltcellar, and a bottle of water on plate or
basket. In earlier burials the symbols were placed
A graveside offering of bread, salt, and water
in a glass-enclosed wooden box, which also held
a wreath and photo of the dead. More modern
interments have headstones of cement or granite
with inscriptions in Russian and in English.
A Russian memorial with a different character
is that commemorating Alexander and Alicia
Zuckerberg, whose ashes repose on the highest
point of an island in the swirling waters of the
Columbia River near Castlegar. Two thoughtful,
cultivated persons, the Zuckerbergs had fled the
Russian revolution of 1917 to set up a life
according to their own philosophy, in a land far
from their birthplace of Estonia. Born in 1880,
Alexander Zuckerberg was raised on a farm but
attended the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology, graduating in civil engineering. He taught
mathematics in St. Petersburg for many years but
when life became more difficult after the
revolution, he emigrated to Canada, settling with
his wife and two children in Vancouver. In 1935
Peter Veregin, leader of the Doukhobors, asked
him to establish a Russian language school in the
Kootenays, and Zuckerberg came to Castlegar,
leasing the small green island in the Columbia for
several years before he became registered owner
in 1951.
Here he built a small log cabin, heated by a
pot-bellied stove, while he pondered the design
for an island home that would embody Russian
features. Crowned by an onion cupola and
square tower with pointed roof, the house was
reminiscent of the country home of his childhood. Within the house was Zuckerberg's
extensive library as well as a room for practical
work. He cobbled his own shoes, built the
concrete causeway between his retreat and the
mainland, and painted scenes of river and forest.
Outside was a vegetable garden and a patch of
grain for the rye bread he baked. In the shrubbery he carved the brooding figure of a naked
woman seated on a giant stump.
Having come to teach in the Doukhobor
schools at Raspberry and Brilliant, he extended
coaching in mathematics to other students and
took a vigorous interest in educational matters,
teaching many classes. Surrounded by the swift-
flowing Columbia River, he saved several people
from drowning and in 1957 received a bronze
medal from the Royal Humane Society for
rescuing a child.
Alicia Zuckerberg, who had been a nurse and
teacher in her Russian days, spent much of her
time in Castlegar, in charge of a beauty salon and
hair-dressing parlor. When she died in February
1960, Zuckerberg erected in her memory a low-
British Columbia Historical News
Page 11 Zuckerberg house, Castlegar
relief statue of white plaster-of-paris beneath a
protective pediment. Wearing the uniform of a
nursing sister of the First World War, she stands
with folded arms in front of a broad white cross in
a group of trees overlooking the Columbia. One
year later Zuckerberg himself died and his ashes
were placed beside those of his wife.
In the far southeastern corner of British
Columbia the quiet little cemetery of Roosville is
the last resting place for many historic pioneers.
This is land at one time belonging to the
Kootenay Indians, known as "People of the
Lakes" or "People of the Flatbow", who were
fishing in the rivers, hunting in the mountains,
and harvesting native tobacco plant long before
the white man came. Now it is Reserve country
and its residents have adopted many foreign
ways. White and Indians are buried alike in the
same graveyard.
One of the outstanding settlers was the
Englishman, Michael Phillips. Bred and educated
in the British tradition, he came out in 1864 to
work for the fur-trading Hudson's Bay Company
as a clerk at Fort Shepherd, and was put in charge
of trading at Tobacco Plains, Wild Horse Creek,
and Perry Creek. He resigned in 1870 and took up
land for ranching along Phillips Creek, spending
much time prospecting and exploring the upper
waters of the Elk River. Phillips is credited with
the blazing of the Crowsnest Pass and discovery
of its coal fields. In 1887 he was appointed Indian
Agent for the East Kootenay Reserve, and
although he met opposition from Indians who
disputed the right of white men to allocate lands
upon which they had lived for years, he was able
to avoid friction and to gain their support and
Soon after his arrival at Tobacco Plains,
Michael Phillips married Rowena David, daughter of Kootenai Chief Paul David. They had a
large family, many of whom now lie in Roosville
cemetery. Michael and his wife are in graves
outlined by white concrete. A white cross marks
Rowena's resting place, while a slant-faced
headstone commemorates her husband with the
words, "To Memory Ever Dear".
Not far from the Phillips plot is that of Colin
Sinclair, 1846 to 1910, and his wife Mary Ruby
Phillips, whose life spanned the years 1873 to
1941. Member of a family tracing its engagement
with the Hudson's Bay Company back to the year
1792, Colin Sinclair's grandfather William was
born on the family freehold farm in the Orkney
Islands, and received enough schooling to join
the Hudson's Bay Company as a clerk in 1792.
Sailing from Stromness to Rupert's Land, he was
sent out from York Factory to establish new posts,
and in time rose to be Chief Factor at Winnipeg
and its environs. He died in 1818, leaving many
descendants to become part of the fur-trading
Of his sons, James Sinclair would conduct two
groups from Red River over the Rocky Mountains, to take up settlement land in Oregon. The
first contingent, setting out in 1841, crossed the
Rockies by Whiteman Pass and found their way
to the Columbia River Valley through Red Rock
Gorge, a spectacular cut through blood-red cliffs
now memorialized as Sinclair Canyon. On the
expedition in 1854, Sinclair led his party on a
rough new pass in the Kananaskis Valley.
In 1829, James Sinclair had married Elizabeth
Bird, Scottish daughter of James Curtis Bird who
was a retired Chief Factor living in Red River. She
died in 1846 after giving birth to a son named
Colin. James Sinclair married a second wife, Mary
Campbell, who accompanied the family on
James' second trip to Oregon. At this time young
Colin, Elizabeth's son, was nine years old and he
journeyed to Oregon riding across the prairies in
a wooden two-wheeled cart that carried supplies.
Page 12
British Columbia Historical News James Sinclair was to meet his death in 1856 at
the hands of an attacking Indian at the Cascade
Falls of the Columbia River, but his son Colin
would end his days in East Kootenay. Lured by
the discovery of gold at Wild Horse, Colin took
up homestead land in 1881 at Tobacco Plains in
northern Montana. While living there he became a friend of Michael Phillips and in 1890
married Phillips' daughter Mary Ruby. Ten years
later the Colin Sinclairs moved across the border
into Canada where their decendants live to this
day. For many years their son J.W. Sinclair served
as Customs Sub-Collector at Roosville.
The Doukhobors by George Woodcock and Ivan
Avakumovie, pp. 225-232, and 257-260.
Zuckerberg Island, Historical Restoration Project
Report for City of Castlegar, August 3, 1983.
The Story of the Tobacco Plains Country by Olga
W. Johnson, pp. 19-24, and pp. 55-57.
Backtracking with Fernie Historical Association
pp. 17-21.
West of the Mountains, by Geneva Lent, d. 140
142, 300.
Girl Guides of Canada
Mark 75th Anniversary
Shortly after 1910, when the first Girl Guide companies were in Canada, the above company was formed in
the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. The leader, Mabel Sellars, is third from left in the second row. Please
contact the Editor if you can identify the other women.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 13 Peggy Cartwright
The Royal Governor and the Black Militia
In March 1858, word began to spread of "gold on
the Fraser!" From the Puget Sound settlements in
Washington Territory to San Francisco and
around the world, the news travelled, and men
came in search of fortunes to a hitherto unknown corner of the North American continent.
They poured into Victoria by the thousands, to
be outfitted and to continue on by ship, canoe,
almost anything that would float, to the mainland
and the dangerous ascent of the turbulent Fraser
The city of Victoria, capital of the Crown
Colony of Vancouver Island, consisted then of a
Hudson's Bay Company fort, with a fair-sized
Indian village facing it across the harbor. The
population, exclusive of Indians, was less than
three hundred. Once the gold rush was started,
Victoria doubled, trebled, quadrupled in size. Its
wooden buildings and the prevalence of fires
inspired the formation of three volunteer fire
companies, the Deluge Company (British), the
Tiger Company (American), and the Union Hook
& Ladder Company. These convivial groups of
citizens were devoted not only to the rescue of
their city from burning, but to social gatherings
such as family picnics and parades in full regalia.
They let it clearly be understood that despite the
fact that approximately eight percent of Victoria's population was colored, the volunteer fire
companies would remain exclusively white.
There was, however, an all-Black organization
at least equal in importance to the fire companies: the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps. Formed
in 1860 by authority of Governor James Douglas,
who also saw that it was armed with old Hudson's
Bay muskets, the forty-odd members of the
Pioneer Rifle Corps drilled twice weekly under
their captain, Richard Johnson, for the following
four years. Then, in 1864, the power and authority of the colony was transferred to a new
Suddenly, there was a great upsurge of
nervous activity in the planning of two separate
but related events, an appropriate farewell to
James Douglas and a suitably impressive welcome to Arthur Edward Kennedy. A suggestion
that these two events be combined in one large,
community banquet, was put down as impractical. A Management Committee was appointed
and met on the 26th of February, 1864, to lay
plans for the proper reception of Governor
Kennedy. His Worship, Mayor Harris (he was
fond of referring to himself as "an 'umble
tradesman", since he had been Victoria's first
butcher), presided. John T. Pidwell, prominent
businessman, pious Methodist, and self-appointed civic leader, acted as secretary. Also
present were representatives of Victoria's three
volunteer fire-fighting companies, members of
the Hebrew Benevolent Association, and the
Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps. The fact that
Negroes were excluded from the volunteer fire
companies, though they had repeatedly offered
their services in the beginning, added to the
discomfort of the Management Committee. And
the fact that John T. Pidwell had been Honorary
Secretary of the Victoria Volunteer Rifles No. 1,
now defunct (it had lapsed out of existence for
lack of attendance), did not increase his affection
for the Pioneer Rifle Corps.
Pidwell had arrived in Victoria at the age of
fifty, and speedily achieved prominence as the
proprietor of the city's foremost furniture
emporium. His business fell far short of absorbing his boundless energy, the excess of which he
devoted to civic works and horseback riding. His
uninhibited style in the saddle was a source of
wonder and dismay to his family and fellow
Victorians. He was in at the start of almost
everything. He rather wished now that he had
kept a sharper eye on the progress of the Victoria
Volunteer Rifles No. 1, but since he had not, he
decided to turn their decay into an asset by
blandly announcing that "the other rifle corps"
was not going to take part, as they were rusty
from inactivity, and it was thought best, since
Captain Kennedy was a military man, not to give
him a military type of reception unless it could be
Page 14
British Columbia Historical News very well done. At this point Richard Johnson
stated to the Management Committee that the
Pioneer Rifle Corps was well drilled and had too
much pride to appear at all unless they were able
to do so properly. John T. Pidwell reiterated his
statement that no military were to take part.
The British Colonist carried a full report of the
meeting in the next day's newspaper. Then the
letters to the editor started to appear. The first
was from an indignant member of the late
Victoria Volunteer Rifles No. 1, asking John T.
Pidwell who had made him spokesman for the
corps, and asserting that "the late corps could
with one week's close drill be made presentable
in a procession," and calling it disgraceful not to
include them. Members of the Pioneer Rifle
Corps refrained throughout from writing letters
to the paper.
While carefully not taking sides, the British
Colonist chose to reprint an article from the New
York Tribune of February 9th: "The 20th Regiment of the United States Colored Troups is now
fully recruited, upwards of 700 men are at Riker's
Island and the remainder are at Elmira. Almost
every county in the State of New York is
represented in this fine regiment." The British
Colonist ran the dispatch in full, adding that the
regiment contained "friends of some of our
colored citizens of this city," and giving the
names of socially prominent New York women
who had met at the Union League Club House
"to appoint a committee to procure a stand of
colors for presentation to the 20th Regiment."
If the planners were susceptible to being
shamed it was not apparent. On March 1st, under
the heading, "Reception Committee", there was
a report of a meeting held in the Council
Chamber the day before. Preparations were
going along merrily. Three arches, with inscriptions, were to be erected, and two bands had
been engaged. Invitations to participate in the
festivities had been sent to distinguished citizens
and local benevolent societies. The volunteer
fire companies were not mentioned, but it was
recorded that a motion was passed "that no
Society or organized body shall be permitted to
form in the line of order other than the one
assigned to them by the Marshall of the day."
Ignored in the invitations, given to understand
that they were not wanted when a city-wide
reception for their new governor was being
planned, the blow to the pride of the Pioneer
Rifle Corps was a bitter hurt. But it was soon clear
that the decision of the Reception Committee by
no means reflected the total climate of opinion in
the city. An irate letter denouncing the obviously
prejudiced actions of the Reception Committee
with considerable force was followed in a few
days by a letter from another member of the "late
No. 1 Company". The writer paid warm tribute to
Black soldiers of the Queen, then answered his
own question, "Were the late corps still in
existence, would I parade with the colored
folks?" with, "Why not? If they could go through
their evolutions better than we, the more credit
to them!" In conclusion, he remarked that
"some of those who now decry the colored corps
and decline to walk with them, would probably
in case of a disturbance feel much more secure
with an additional score or two of Rifles at their
backs, even though carried by black men."
The next issue of the British Colonist contained, in a report of the Reception Committee's
March 7th meeting, the information that Richard
H. Johnson, Captain of the Pioneer Rifle Corps,
had addressed the committee, stating the desire
of the corps to take part in the reception for
Captain Kennedy, and respectfully requesting
that they be assigned their proper place in the
The following day there were no letters, no
comments or reports about either the Banquet
or the Reception. There was news of the war,
brought by the Eliza Anderson, in from Olympia
with files of the Oregonian and other papers.
Also, the Brother Jonathan had arrived with the.
latest news from San Francisco. The North was
doing well at last—with Chattanooga and Gettysburg behind him, Grant had assumed supreme
command over more than a million men.
On March 10th, the date of the "Grand
Banquet to Sir James Douglas", the British
Colonist printed a letter written by an old friend
of the retiring Governor, Dr. John C. Davie. It was
a long letter which began by noting that the
doctor's "two respectable neighbors, Messrs.
Lester and Gibbs, have been refused tickets for
the approaching banquet because they are men
of color." That which was "wrong in principle
must ultimately prove mischievous in practice,"
Dr. Davie warned, and therefore the venerable
Scottish surgeon would not attend the banquet,
despite his high regard for Governor Douglas.
The banquet which took place that night was
the occasion for much speech-making, and the
proposal of toasts ranging from one "To Foreign
Residents of Victoria," at which the band played
"The Star Spangled Banner," and other national
British Columbia Historical News
Page 15 anthems, to a toast to "The Press," which the
paper regretted was made by a gentleman who
was "not sufficiently audible to be understood."
Sir James Douglas bore it all with grace and
equanimity. He departed amid cheering and flag
waving on March 14th, and the members of the
Reception Committee then turned their undivided attention to the welcome for Governor
Kennedy, to take place in just ten days. Meanwhile, the ornamental arches were causing some
problems, or rather, the inscriptions on them
were. One letter to the editor asked "Pidwell &
Co." to be so kind as to translate what the writer
called "this choice piece of vulgarity." Reference
was to a Latin inscription of dubious merit.
Pidwell was incensed. He wrote several drafts
of a reply, and became so wrought up that only a
ride could relieve his feelings. Alas, the answer
which he composed and sent to the paper as
from "Pidwell & Co." only drew a scathing
critique from another Latin scholar. Still, the
Reception Committee plunged on, causing
startled reflexes among friend and foe alike,
rather after the manner of Pidwell on horseback,
until the great day finally came.
Almost the entire population of Victoria
converged on the Dickson, Campbell & Co.
wharf to which Her Majesty's Gunboat Grappler
brought the new Governor and his family. Their
ship had docked earlier at Esquimalt, as large
ocean steamers had to, the harbor at Victoria
being too shallow for them.
Mayor Harris, sundry Councillors and other
notables, all with their wives, greeted the
Governor and Mrs. Kennedy and their two
grown daughters, as they landed. His Excellency
replied with a short but gracious speech. Then, in
a carriage drawn by six splendid horses, embedded in a procession composed of the three
volunteer fire companies, two bands, the French
and Hebrew Benevolent Societies, and the
carriages of dignitaries, the Kennedy family were
taken on a tour of the city, under the ornamental
arches with their debatable Latin inscriptions,
and eventually deposited at the St. George Hotel.
It appeared that the Reception Committee had
exhausted itself in planning the welcome. The
matter of where the new Governor and his family
were to be housed had somehow been overlooked. There were those who said this was a
fortunate oversight, especially because Kennedy
was a man of means and definite tastes. He first
rented a house from a local tycoon, then bought
a half-finished mansion on Rockland Hill and
permitted the provincial government to stand
the cost of completing it for him, thus establishing an official residence for the Royal Governors
of the colony.
Three days after his arrival, Captain Kennedy
was formally inaugurated as Governor of Vancouver Island. An "Address of the People" was
presented by a committee consisting of Mr.
Pidwell and four other men of distinction in
Two days later an item appeared in the British
Colonist: "Members of the Pioneer Rifle Corps
will proceed today in uniform to the Government buildings for the purpose of presenting an
address to His Excellency the Governor."
They were as smart, as polished, as precisely
drilled as Governor Kennedy expected they
would be. He had learned during his years in
Gambia and Sierra Leone that when Africans set
out to stage a ceremonial display, they had few
peers, and none who could surpass them in
disciplined coordination combined with zest.
At eleven o'clock exactly, the band of eight
which had played them from the drill hall where
they assembled, along Government Street and
across the James Bay Bridge, hit the last bar of
"The March of the Men of Harlech" and the
company stood at attention in front of the
government buildings, where His Excellency
awaited them.
Governor Kennedy stepped forward to receive the salute. Then A.H. Frances, chosen
because his voice had a clear, pleasing ring that
carried without effort in a hall or on the parade
ground, took two paces out from the center of
the line and read the address. The wording was
graceful but concise. Following the opening
expression of devotion to the person and
Government of Her Most Gracious Majesty,
Queen Victoria, the members of the Pioneer
Rifle Corps conveyed their regret to Governor
Kennedy "that in the general rejoicing over Your
Excellency's arrival we were precluded, on
account of an anti-English prejudice against our
color, from the honor as well as the pleasure of
taking part in the procession as a military
company—a company whose highest aim is to be
of service to Her Majesty and whose greatest
privilege is to be Her Majesty's most loyal
The address then made reference to the
company's having been organized under the
sponsorship of Sir James Douglas, then stated the
Page 16
British Columbia Historical News satisfaction they felt in the knowledge that
Governor Kennedy adhered to the non-recognition of distinction in class, creed, color, and
nationality that formed the basis of English law,
"principles that found in your great Curran
so eloquent an expounder in days gone by". A
damn good reference, the Governor noted, the
brilliant, incorruptible John Curran, champion of
the humble against the rich and mighty. Whoever put the address together had a touch of
brilliance, too—also the good sense to be brief,
for the soldier who had read it was closing with
the signature, "R.H. Johnson, Captain, on behalf
of the Company", and stepping back into the
Kennedy first thanked them for their sentiments of loyalty to the Crown and to himself as
Her Majesty's representative. As to their being
excluded from the procession, he hoped they
were laboring under a misapprehension; however, he could not affect ignorance of the
prejudice that existed in the colony. But they
must know from the instructions he had received
from Her Majesty's Government and from his
own sentiments, expressed already in his inaugural speech, that no distinctions could be made in
class, color, or nationality.
He sketched the administrative patterns in
African colonies where he had served as governor, and where numerous officials in the
government were black men. He referred to
having learned since his arrival in Victoria that
there were many highly respected colored
members of the community. He advocated
patience in overcoming prejudice, at the same
time expressing surprise that it should exist in an
English colony such as Victoria, and attributing it
"to influences from the sister country." He even
touched carefully upon the Civil War, rooted in
the question of slavery, that was being fought in
that country.—It was no secret that many Victoria
businessmen supported the South, as much from
personal inclination as because they believed
Southern commercial policy to be more advantageous to them. It was also known that Victoria
harbored agents who reported to Washington,
and who worked to promote feeling in favor of
Kennedy hadn't meant to speak at such length.
Something—a nostalgia for the days of his first
governorships in African colonies, or the fine
military bearing and precision of the men before
him—had caught him up and carried him along.
He realized that he had enjoyed this encounter,
and it had brought him greater satisfaction than
anything that had happened since his arrival in
Victoria. But it was time to bring it to a close. He
repeated that he knew no distinction in the
colony but between loyal and disloyal—the
honest and dishonest. He thanked them again
for the sentiments they had expressed in their
address and hoped they would always adhere to
The members of the Pioneer Rifle Corps gave a
cheer for His Excellency. The band played "God
Save The Queen" while everyone stood at
attention. Then Richard Johnson gave the order
and the Company wheeled about smartly and
marched off.
The Governor returned to his task of presiding
over a disparate collection of amateur politicians
whom he suspected of shrewdly manipulating
the affairs of the colony, each with an eye to
where the greatest advantage lay to himself.
It is tempting to speculate on what may have
become of the members of the Victoria Pioneer
Rifle Corps. How many of them returned to the
United States after the Civil War ended? How
many remained in British Columbia, and are any
of their descendants still in Canada? We do know
that one member of the Corps, Paris Carter, lived
for the rest of his life in Victoria and was in the
business of hauling goods in his own van, which
was smashed up in a collision with Governor
Richards' carriage, after the horses had bolted
and the Governor and his wife had been dumped
in a ditch. The only person seriously injured in
the accident was Paris Carter, who managed to
stop the runaway team and hold the horses'
heads until help arrived.
Of the other members of the Victoria Pioneer
Rifle Corps there seems to be no record. Perhaps
now that interest is turning towards a restoration
of the early history of British Columbia, to
include all the first settlers, more will come to
light. The frontier province has still many facets
of its past that are little known and the fictions
which have been accepted over the years are far
less vital and revealing than the facts of its mixed
and colorful history.
Peggy Cartwright has a special interest in the
colonial history of British Columbia.
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Page 18
British Columbia Historical News Landmarks
Geoffrey Castle
Simon Peter Gunanoot—
A Legend in His Own Time
Graveyard Point is a promontory on the northern
shore of Bowser Lake, about 60 kilometres
northeast of Stewart, B.C. On this point, at an
elevation of 390 metres, a pile of weathered
boards marks the grave of Simon Peter Gunanoot
who, in less than the thirteen years he was a
fugitive from justice, became a legend.
On June 19, 1906, Gunanoot (Zghun-min-
hoot—meaning young bears that run up trees),
otherwise Simon Peter Johnson, was alleged to
have shot and killed Alex Macintosh following an
altercation in the Two Mile Hotel, a dubious
tavern in the care of James Cameron, generally
known as "The Geezer".
The dispute appears to have concerned
Simon's wife, Sarah. Patrons later confirmed that
they heard Simon threaten to shoot Alex who
was killed with a single shot in the back sometime
between 6 and 7 o'clock next morning. As it
happened, another man, Max Leclair, was also
shot in a similar manner the same day near the
present location of the bridge at Hazelton.
Furthermore, Simon was seen riding away from
the area. He also had a reputation of being a crack
shot with a rifle. In any event, all the circumstantial evidence pointed to Simon so he decided to
flee in the face of James Kirby of Hazelton
Detachment of the B.C. Police swearing out
warrants for Simon's arrest and organizing a hunt
for him.
Up to that time, Simon Gunanoot was a
respected and hard-working individual. He and
his wife ran a store at Hazelton. He had a
productive farm 80 kilometres to the north.
Simon was also a successful trapper. In view of
this good record, it might be difficult to understand why, if he were innocent of the charges, he
would forsake all for the life of a fugitive. Perhaps
the overwhelming consideration was that life
would be impossible for him if all contact with
the environment were lost, even if only for a
short time.
A suspected accomplice, Peter Himadam,
together with his wife, Christine, accompanied
Simon, Sarah and his wife, and the children to
Bear Lake where it was familiar country and felt
safe. Simon's father Nah-Gun Johnson also went
along, discouraging his son from giving himself
up. For the first two years, the authorities spent
much time, effort and money trying to track
down Simon. A $300 reward was offered and
gradually raised to $2,000 without producing the
desired results. The Attorney General, W.J.
Bowser, was kept informed of the progress—or
rather the lack of it—almost daily. It had to be
admitted that 10,000 square miles stretching from
the Nass River to the Ominica Mountains, and
from the Nechako River to the Stikine River was a
lot of territory. Enticements, ruses and persuasions were of no avail. Even the arrest of Nah-gun
failed to attract Simon, especially since the old
man managed to escape.
Eventually, the services of Pinkerton's International Detective Agency, founded during the
American Civil War, were obtained, but they, too,
were unsuccessful. Over the ensuing years,
prospectors, friends and well-wishers, upon
meeting Simon, would try to encourage him to
surrender voluntarily. Eventually, through
Simon's friend, George Beirnes, meetings were
set up with Victoria lawyer, Stuart Henderson.
Henderson had a reputation for winning cases
for Indian people and apparently convinced
Simon that his case stood a favourable chance in
Accordingly, on June 24, 1919, Simon Gunanoot turned himself over to the Hazelton police.
After his October trial in Vancouver, lasting
barely 15 minutes, Simon was acquitted and
Henderson received $20,000 in fees, a fortune in
those days. A few months later, Peter Himadam
was also acquitted.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 19 Simon Gunanoot returned to the life he knew
and enjoyed best—trapping. In 1933, now aged
60, Simon succumbed to a bout of pneumonia
and was buried next to his father, Nah-Gun, who
died 25 years earlier and was buried at Graveyard
Point. Peter Himadam died in 1937 near his
birthplace on the Bear River. With the news of
the death of Sarah Gunanoot in 1958, memories
were again easily rekindled as they would be
again when James Kirby passed on in 1965, aged
Whether or not Simon Gunanoot was actually
guilty of the murders, his impact on Canadian
history and culture will endure. Certainly it is
unique having two major geographic features
named after someone once accused of a double
killing. They are Mount Gunanoot, near the head
of the Spatsizi River, and Gunanoot Lake, north
of the Babine River.
Kelley, Thomas P. "The Long Search." True West
14-16, 54-55, August 1961
"Death Ends Strange Life." Province, 20 October
1958, p. 19.
"Simon Gumanut a Willing Prisoner in Hazelton
Jail." Omineca Herald, 27 June 1978, p. 1.
Williams, David Ricardo. Trapline Outlaw.
Victoria, Sono Nis, 1982.
Berton, Pierre. My Country—the Remarkable
Past, Toronto, McLelland & Stewart, 1976.
Clark, Cecil. "The Saga of Simon Gun-an-noot,"
British Columbia Digest, 21:1, January 1965.
Geoffrey Castle is an archivist with the Provincial
Archives of British Columbia.
Back Issues of the News
Back issues of the News can be ordered at $3.50
each plus postage from the Editor.
Deadline for Next Issue
December 1,1985
Please submit all material for the B.C. Historical
News (except book reviews) to the Editor, 1745
Taylor Street, Victoria, B.C. V8R 3E8.
Book reviews should be sent to Dr. P. Roy, #602,
139 Clarence Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2J1
We have received just two letters so far, giving us suggestions for improving the Historical News. Assuming
that we are not THAT perfect, the contest is being kept open for another three months.
The handsome prize, Sunlight in the Shadows, The Landscape of Emily Carr, by Michael Breuer and
Kerry Dodd (Oxford University Press, 1984) is surely worth a few lines of constructive criticism of the
Historical News. Please send all entries to the Editor, 1745 Taylor Street, Victoria, V8R 3E8, by December 1,
Page 20
British Columbia Historical News A Page From the 1868 Victoria Directory
The Following Articles will be admitted Free of Duty:
Agricul ural Implements, Books Printed and Manuscript, Bricks,
all Fresh Fruits not enumerated in Schedule of Specific Duties,
Coin, Gunny Sacks, lion and Steel, all kinds of Woods not
enumerated in Schedule of Specific Duties, Calves under 12
mout .3 old, Personal Effects, S:lt, Garden Seeds, Gra;n for Seed,
Tar and Pitch, Tin, Copper and Zinc, Wire (iron and brass) Copper Sheets, Boiler-plates and Bolts and Patent Metal for Ships,
Iron Hoops, Sheet Jron, Rough and Partially Manufactured
Woods used in construction of Carriages and Wagons, and Steel
Springs, Anchors. < ables, Chains and Copper Bolts for Ship
Building, Fresh Fish, Oil, Whalebone, Raw Hemp for Rope
making, Tallow. Gas Retorts, Fire Clay, Furs, Hides Lemon and
Liinc Juice. Guano, Wool, Oakuin, Jute, Wagon Axles, Ship's
Blocks aud Junk, and Blacksmith's Coal, Lead in pipe, sheets and
Chinese mimmnmn
Kwong U. Shing, Canton. Kwong-man-Fckg, Hong-Kong.
In   Connection 'with
Hop Kee & Co., 703 Dupont stceet, San Francisco, California.
Yale, Lilloet, Forks Qursnelle, Mouth Qhesnelle,
birkerville, cariboo.
A Ia~ge Stock of Groceries Provisions, Bice, Tea, Sugar, Ci*ar«,
Tobacco, Opium, Closing, Boots & Shoes, Hardware. Mining Tcols.
Which arc off.rid fur Sale »t Iieisoniible Rules, Wholesale Bad Reiuil.
Victoria, V. I., B. C.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 21 News and Notes
Sir Anthony Musgrave
Sir Anthony Musgrave, Lieutenant-Governor of
British Columbia from 1869 to 1871, encouraged
the province to enter the Dominion, which it did
on July 20, 1871. On this day in July 1985 the
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
paid tribute to Musgrave at a ceremony in
Government House, Victoria. His Honour the
Honourable Robert G. Rogers, Lieutenant-
Governor of British Columbia, assisted by the
Honourable Allan McKinnon, M.P., unveiled a
plaque that will be permanently displayed on the
grounds of Government House.
A career Imperial civil servant, Musgrave
served as governor of Newfoundland from 1864
to 1869, before coming to British Columbia. He
subsequently held vice-regal office in Natal,
South Australia, Jamaica, and Queensland. He
was knighted in 1875 and died in Queensland in
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites
submission of books or articles for the third
annual competition for writers of British Columbia History.
Any book with historial content published in
1985 is eligible. Whether the work was prepared
as a thesis or a community project, for an industry
or an organization, or just for the pleasure of
sharing a pioneer's reminiscences, it is considered
history as long as names, dates and locations are
included. Stories told in the vernacular are
acceptable when indicated as quotations of a
story teller. Writers are advised that judges are
looking for fresh presentation of historical
information with relevant maps and/or pictures.
A Table of Contents and an adequate Index are a
must for the book to be of value as a historical
reference. A Bibliography is also desirable. Proof
reading should be thorough to eliminate typographical and spelling errors.
Submit your book with your name, address,
and telephone number to:
British Columbia Historical Federation
c/o Mrs. Naomi Miller
Box 105
Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
Please include the selling price of the book and an
address from where it may be purchased.
Book contest deadline is January 31,1986.
There will also be a prize for the writer of the best
historical article published in the British Columbia Historical News quarterly magazine. Articles
are to be submitted directly to:
The Editor
British Columbia Historical News
1745 Taylor Street
Victoria, B.C. V8R 3E8
Written length should be no more then 2,500
words, substantiated with footnotes if possible,
and accompanied by photographs if available.
Deadlines for the quarterly issues are September
1, December 1, March 1, and June 1.
Winners will be invited to the British Columbia
Historical Federation Convention in Vancouver
in May 1986.
Page 22
British Columbia Historical News MUSEUMS/ARCHIVES
Police Archives Established
in Victoria
A Police Archive Project, funded by British
Columbia Heritage Trust, was undertaken in
Victoria, B.C. during the summers of 1984 and
1985. The initial project in 1984 was the outgrowth of a concern shared by Chief Bill
Snowdon of the Victoria City Police, Dr.
Marjorie Mitchell, Anthropology and Forensic
Science instructor at Camosun College, and by
the writer. It was realized that the Victoria City
Police historical records, dating from 1866, were
of considerable historical interest, but inadequate storage facilities, the deteriorating
condition of many documents and the lack of
any classification made research extremely
difficult and time-consuming. Furthermore, it
was apparent that restoration and cataloguing
was essential for all inactive historical records in
order to retard further deterioration, and to
make them more accessible, at least on a limited
basis, for research.
The purpose of the project was two-fold: first
to provide Victoria City Police with a detailed
descriptive inventory of all historical documents and early police photographs, and
second, to provide a catalogue and finding-aid
system that would enable researchers to locate
records while minimizing unnecessary handling of these fragile documents.
As a result of the 1984 Archive Project at
Victoria City Police, both Chief Peter Marriott
of Esquimalt Police and Chief Bill Moyes of Oak
Bay Police expressed interest in establishing
comparable archival resources for their own
historical police records, dating from 1915 and
1912 respectively. As well, the discovery of
additional records at Victoria City Police and
donations to the department required cataloguing.
British Columbia Heritage Trust provided a
second grant for the summer of 1985. In order to
ensure consistency among the three police
department archives, the catalogue and finding
aid system devised in 1984 was applied to
Esquimalt and Oak Bay.
A numerical cataloguing system, organized
by subject matter, was developed with the
assistance of the B.C. Provincial Archives.
Individual index cards were prepared which
provide a description of the contents, date,
location, and condition of each document and a
catalogue number. The Victoria City Police also
has a large collection of police department
photographs dating from the 1870s. These were
assigned catalogue numbers and an inventory
was prepared. Unframed photographs were
placed in individual envelopes and labelled.
Minor conservation measures were undertaken
to safeguard the older records at Victoria City
Police by binding more fragile volumes with
cotton tape.
Recommendations for use of the Archives by
researchers were submitted to the police
departments. Following a security check required by the police departments, researchers
will be requested to use pencil only, and to
refrain from smoking or consuming food or
beverages while working with historical documents. The most important recommendation is
that researchers not be allowed to use the
records unsupervised.
The project was a process of examining
documents and photographs to determine age,
content, historical significance, and physical
condition. The archival system, as devised for
the project, could be applied to any police
department, with the assistance of student
employment grants.
The importance of preserving and maintaining historical police documents, photographs
and artifacts cannot be overemphasized. They
provide a window on the history not only of
individual police departments, but also of
communities and society in general. From the
perspective of researchers, police archives are a
valuable source of information about changing
patterns of crime and enforcement. From the
perspective of police officers, the materials can
help to promote a sense of pride in the history
of his or her own department.
Lacey Hansen-Brett
British Columbia Historical News
Page 23 Canadian Historical
Dr. W. Kaye Lamb Honoured
The Canadian Historical Association recently
honored Dr. W. Kaye Lamb for his many contributions to British Columbia history by presenting
him with one of its Certificates of Merit. Dr.
Patricia Roy, the British Columbia representative
on the C.H.A.'s Regional History Committee,
made the presentation at the May meeting of the
Vancouver Historical Society. The citation
accompanying the Certificate read as follows:
The distinguished literary scholar, Roy Daniells,
once wrote:
Kaye Lamb reminds one of the European
scholar about whom it was asked, "does he
contribute to learned journals?", to which it was
replied, "He founds them." Lamb's role as
Provincial Librarian and Archivist in British
Columbia, as Librarian at U.B.C. and, supremely,
as Dominion Archivist and first incumbent of the
National Library, together with his ceaseless
research into historical documents, give him the
status of a founding father of Canadian studies.
[Dalhousie Review, vol. 51 (Winter 1971-72), p.
While Dr. Lamb has been widely acclaimed for
his role in fostering Canadian Studies, he has
made a very special contribution to historical
studies in British Columbia. While Provincial
Librarian and Archivist (1934-1940), he founded
the British Columbia Historical Quarterly (1937),
a journal renowned for the quality of its scholarship, the diversity of its readership, and its unique
role in encouraging the scholarly study of British
Columbia history. Dr. Lamb edited this journal
until 1946 and regularly contributed articles and
edited documents. Over the years, Dr. Lamb has
also written articles on British Columbia's history
in the Canadian Historical Association Annual
Report, the Canadian Historical Review, the
Beaver and other historical journals. In all, Dr.
Lamb has published at least thirty-eight articles or
edited documents relating to British Columbia.
Dr. Lamb's special interests in British Columbia
history have focussed on transportation and
exploration. His widely acclaimed History of the
Canadian Pacific Railway (1977), though national
in scope, has a particular interest for British
Columbia. He is also the co-author (with Norman
Hacking) of The Princess Story (1974), a history of
a coastal shipping fleet. His long interest in
exploration of the north west coast and of the
interior of British Columbia is attested to by his
editions of the writings of John McLoughlin
(1940-1944), Daniel Harmon (1957), Simon Fraser
(1960), Gabriel Franchere (1969), and Alexander
Mackenzie (1970). His edition of Vancouver's
Voyages, published by the Hakluyt Society (1985)
maintains the high standard of historical scholarship and literary elegance for which Dr. Lamb's
other work has been justifiably praised.
Certificate of Merit Awards
The Regional History Committee of the Canadian Historical Association invites nominations
for its Certificate of Merit awards. These annual
awards are given for outstanding publications or
for exceptional contributions by individuals or
organizations to regional history. Nominations
for British Columbia and the North should be
sent, along with a brief statement of why the
individual or organization is being nominated
and supporting documentation such as a publication, reviews, or newspaper clippings relating
to a project, to: Patricia E. Roy, Department of
History, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. V8W
2Y2. To ensure inclusion in the 1986 competition,
nominations should be received by December 1,
Page 24
British Columbia Historical News Bookshelf
Piper's Lagoon: A Historic and Captivating
Vancouver Island Park. Vi Henderson. Nanaimo:
Quadra Graphics Ltd., 1984. Pp. 52, $6.95.
Vi Henderson has put into words what so many lovers
of Piper's Lagoon Park feel, and she is to be thanked
for her affectionate description of this jewel which lies
in the midst of suburban Nanaimo.
The spit head is a primeval place where the
closeness of the city is forgotten. Here on a rocky
headland youngsters play at games of pirates, families
scramble over rocks and around twisted Garry oaks,
couples find places in which to be alone.
Anyone who has walked the smooth-pebbled
beach of "the spit" on a blustery winter day, or has
toasted on that same beach in the hot sun of summer
and watched southbound sailboats do a spinaker run
before a fair weather wind will want to read this little
book. Anyone who has dug clams in the mud of the
lagoon emptied of its water at low tide, or gathered
oysters on the ocean side or pried mussels off rocks,
roasted them in a beach fire 'til the shells open and
eaten the little peanutty morsels will agree that Piper's
Lagoon is worth having a book written in its honour.
The author's celebration of these natural wonders
includes a section on the history of the area.
Unfortunately, this section is incomplete, omitting as
it does any more than a mention of the Place and
Planta families. In addition, Mrs. Henderson's otherwise clearly written prose is marred by the use of such
words as "noachian" which sends the reader to the
Quadra Graphics of Nanaimo has done an excellent
job in the production of this book. It is small,
handsome and well-designed. It would fit easily into a
jacket pocket, knapsack or picnic basket on an outing
to Piper's Lagoon Park.
Lynne Bowen is the author of Boss Whistle: The Coal
Miners of Nanaimo Remember.
Patricia Roy is the Book Review Editor. Copies of
books for review should be sent to her at 602-139
Clarence St., Victoria V8V2J1
Battery Flashes of W.W. II: A Thumbnail Sketch of
Canadian Artillery Batteries during the 1939-1945
Conflict. D.W. Falconer. Victoria: D.W. Falconer, 1985.
Pp. 496, illus. $19.95 paper.
(Available from the author, 1225 May St., Victoria, B.C.
V8V 2S8 at $19.95 plus $1.00 postage and handling
Canadian; $2.78, International)
In compiling Battery Flashes of World War II, D.W.
(Wilf) Falconer has produced a remarkable reference
tool for those interested in the history of the Royal
Canadian Artillery. It is possible to trace individual
units from formation, through service either on the
home front with the 6th, 7th, and 8th Divisions, or
overseas with the Canadian Active Service Force, to
Using General Orders: 1939-1946, War diaries, unit
histories, and other documents such as site fighting
books and organizational orders, Falconer has
produced "thumbnail" sketches of individual units,
relating salient facts such as where they served, in
what actions, and, often, which ordnance was
employed in the course of operations. Where
appropriate, the compiler chronicles changes in a
unit's designation as a result of operational requirements, and indicates its inclusion within larger-
formations such as infantry divisions, corps or armies.
A brief description at the head of each major section,
and an extensive table of abbreviations, assist
researchers who are not familiar with the specialized
terminology of the artillery. A bibliography provides
additional background. Written descriptions and
some illustrations in the appendix will be of interest to
collectors and those attempting to catalogue uniforms.
British Columbia has a long association with the
Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. Using this
book, a researcher can determine which units served
in this province, when, and where; changes in
designation, and which of B.C. origin served overseas.
Battery Flashes of World War II is as useful a reference
source as it is an impressive piece of research and
compilation. It is vital to any collection concerned
with Canadian military history.
Dave Parker, a curator at the Provincial Museum, is
the co-author of the recently published Helicopters:
The B.C. Story.
British Columbia Historical News
Page 25 Children of the First People. Dorothy Haegart.
Vancouver: Tillacum Publishers, 202-986 Homer
Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2W7.
Children of the First People is more than the picture
book of Indian children it appears to be at first glance.
It is, rather, a compilation of the memoirs of ten
elderly Indian women and men of their childhood
years, illustrated with black-and-white photographs
of the storytellers and numerous photographs of
modern Indian children. Dorothy Haegert, a professional photographer living in Victoria, spent four
summers travelling the southern coastal area of British
Columbia photographing the children, and another
one and a half years collecting the memoirs. What she
has produced is an oral cultural history, albeit a brief
one, of the southern coastal Indians during the
transitional period "between two ways of life" as Dave
Elliott, a Saanich contributor, succinctly describes it.
Almost all of the ten contributors were raised in the
traditional longhouse culture. As young children they
spoke only their native language and learned their
religion, their crafts, hunting, fishing, food processing
skills, the rites of puberty, and much more, as their
ancestors did. When they grew older, many boarded
at residential schools where they were immersed in
the English language and Canadian/European culture. However, none of the stories is an indictment of
the effects of white culture upon that of the Indian.
On the contrary, the stories emanate the quiet pride
of the storytellers in their cultural-adaptation accomplishments as modern fishermen, carvers, knitters and
native culture teachers in schools and universities.
Still, the contributors do not avoid some cultural
adaptation problems like alcoholism and often useless
training offered by the residential schools—useless in
that it did not prepare them adequately for the
Canadian lifestyle while, at the same time, it caused
them to miss parts of their Indian education. However, it is their memories of the traditional lifestyle
which permeate the stories. I will remember particularly their emphasis on the respect they accorded
family members, friends, animals and even trees. The
memoirs, brief as they are, are interesting and
substantially informative.
The photographs of the children illustrate what is
left of the traditional lifestyle in the modern setting of
coastal reserves. They show children at play, participating in ceremonies, learning crafts, and in loving
poses with animals and adults. The photographs,
many of which are excellent, strongly suggest that
coastal Indian culture, so well described by the elders,
continues to live.
I have one criticism and that is that, unlike the story
contributors, the children are nameless. If the author
thought captions would detract from the pictures, she
could have recorded their names in an appendix. Out
of respect and for posterity's sake, these children
deserve recognition. The author has included a brief
biography of each contributor and of herself in the
last pages of the book.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in
Indian culture and history. It should be in the library
of every school in British Columbia and perhaps other
provinces. Grade 1 teachers could use the pictures for
oral discussions. The stories should give older students
and adults some understanding and appreciation of
coastal aboriginal culture and the evolving culture of
the transitional period.
Georgiana Ball, who is currently writing a history
of the Cassiar district, has taught in several coastal
New Publications of Interest
Heritage Cemeteries in British Columbia
John Adams editor. 55 pp. Published by Victoria Branch, B.C. Historical Federation. ($6.00) Order from 628
Battery Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V1E5. Papers presented at Heritage Cemeteries in B.C. Symposium, April
Metis Outpost, Gerry Andrews. 200+ pp. Order from Pencrest Publications, 1277 Fairfield Rd., Victoria,
B.C. Frontier Life in Northwestern British Columbia in the 1920s.
Victoria Landmarks, Barry King and Geoff ry Castle. Order from P.O. Box 5123, Station B, Victoria, B.C. V8R
6N4. One hundred line drawings with historical description of subject.
Page 26
Honorary Patron:
His Honour, the Honourable Robert C. Rogers,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Honorary President:      Col. G.S. Andrews, 116 Wellington, Victoria V8V 4H7
382-7202 (res.)
Leonard G. McCann, #2-1430 Maple St., Vancouver V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa VOB 2K0
422-3594 (res.)
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Rd., North Vancouver V7R 1R9
988-4565 (res.)
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper St., Nanaimo V9S 1X4
753-2067 (res.)
Recording Secretary:     Margaret Stoneberg, P.O. Box 687, Princeton VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
J. Rhys Richardson, 2875 W. 29th, Vancouver V6L 1Y2
733-1897 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1875 Wessex Road, Cowichan Bay VOR 1N0
748-8397 (res.)
Mary G. Orr, R.R. #1, Butler St., Summerland VOH 1Z0
Barbara Stannard, #211-450 Stewart Ave., Nanaimo V9S 5E9
754-6195 (res.)
Marie Elliott, Editor, B.C. Historical News, 1745 Taylor St., Victoria V8R 3E8
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Chairmen of Committees:
Seminars: Leonard G. McCann
Historic Trails: John D. Spittle
B.C Historical News      Ruth Barnett, 680 Pinecrest Rd., Campbell River V9W 3P3
Policy Committee: 287-8097 (res.)
Award Committee:        Naomi Miller
Publications Assistance Helen Akrigg, 4633 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver V6R 2A6
Committee (not
involved 228-8606 (res.)
with B.C. Historical
News): Loans are available for publication.
Please submit manuscripts to Helen Akrigg. JOIN
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Federation and receive the British Columbia
Historical News regularly?
The BCHF 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 program of talks
and field trips, and to meet others interested in
British Columbia's history and the BCHF's
annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(address on the inside front cover).... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think
of forming one. For information contact the
secretary of the BCHF (address inside back


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