British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1997

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Volume 30, NO. 3
Summer 1997
ISSN 1195-8294
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Member Societies and their Secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their society is up to date.
Please send any change to both the Treasurer and the Editor at the addresses inside the back cover. The Annual Return
as at October 31 should include telephone numbers for contact.
MEMBERS' DUES for the current year were paid by the following Societies:
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Historical News
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Volume 30, No. 3 Summer 1997
What is history? The dictionary offers; "A
statement of what has happened" or "a
systematic chronological account of important events" or "known past." Researchers who stick to written reports
likely have a truer version of events but
they may miss the fun of hearing anecdotes which frequently are sprinkled liberally through a senior's oral accounting.
Local legends may embellish the truth
and can well be classified as "folklore."
A prairie counterpart of our provincial Historical Federation designates itself as the
"Saskatchewan Historical and Folklore
Society." Those who originated that title
gave writers a lot of leeway.
Your editor of the British Columbia Historical News, an unpaid volunteer, receives manuscripts from generous
contributors who present tidbits of history
they have discovered, using terminology
that comes naturally, each in the type font
of his or her machine. We delight in sharing memories and anecdotes with our
readers. As far as possible we ascertain
that the historic framework surrounding
a piece of folklore is correct. We endeavor
to present a variety of topics and writing
styles in each issue. We occasionally receive a rebuke about some "incorrect'
detail which has appeared but more frequently letter writers are appreciative, and
some provide details which, if known earlier would have been included with a story.
To all who wrote, whether you sent a 400C
word epistle or a friendly note, THANK
To all our readers - Have a good
Naomi Miller
by Lloyd Bennett
by Glennis Zilm and Ethel Warbinek
by Winnifred A. Weir
by Norma E. Ratch
Phoenix: The City of Firsts 14
by Norma and Wayne Ratch
Surveying on the Skeena 16
byJ.E. Roberts
The Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club Celebrates 100 Years   20
by Thelma Reid Lower
Summer Trip @ $2.00 a Day 24
by Frances Welwood
Alexander Zuckerberg: From Dream to Reality 26
by John A. Charters
The Prostitution of Native Women on the North Coast of B.C 29
by Jennifer Windecker
by Eldon Lee
CONFERENCE 1997 (Story & photos) 36
NEWS and NOTES   38
Lady Elizabeth, bride of Robert Randolph
Bruce, chose to be portrayed in domestic activity as she sat aboard their houseboat Dorothy M. on Windermere Lake at
Picture courtesy ot
Windermere District Historical Society -AS46
High Slack: Waddington's Gold Road & Bute Inlet Massacre     40
Review by Melva Dwyer
Review by Shirley Cuthbertson
Manuscripts and correspondence to the editor are to be sent to RO. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0.
Correspondence regarding subscriptions is to be directed to the Subscription Secretary (see inside back cover).
Printed in Canada by Kootenay Kwik Print Ltd. Cedar Root Baskets: A Thompson Tradition
by Lloyd Bennett
When Franz Boas reviewed the art of
the Thompson Indians (1900) he lamented on the meagerness of plastic design in their works. Boas' reference point
was, of course, the coastal tribes on which
he had done extensive research: totem
poles, decorated house fronts, and carved
canoes, so impressive on the coast, were
artforms essentially missing in the interior. The one area which impressed Boas
was basket making: "One ofthe elements
of their culture that is most difficult to
explain is the occurrence of the beautiful basketry made of cedar."1 While the
art of the Thompson region is certainly
not as monumental as that ofthe coastal
tribes, there is, as James Teit has recorded,
an abundance of objects made. Still, it is
not difficult to support Boas' comment
that it is the baskets ofthe Lytton/Lillooet
areas that stand out as the most accomplished artform.
In museums across North America, the
Freda Loring in her borne in Lytton, 1996.
Photos courtesy of Terry Thompson
cedar root basket, more than any other
object, has come to represent the art of
the Thompson people. Distinct in style
and superior in craftsmanship, the cedar
root basket has become a classic object
and continues to be made today.
Mandy Brown and Ada Jumbo, two
elders of the Lytton area, continue the
tradition of making baskets from the cedar root. Their baskets and trays, woven
much like they were a hundred years ago,
vary today only in design and decoration.
Mandy learned the artform from her
grandmother and continues many ofthe
traditional shapes: the rectangular shaped
berry basket and the conical vessel with
a scalloped top are but two of her designs that can be traced back to the turn
ofthe century.2 Mandy's work has been
recognized nationally in various museums including the Canadian Museum of
Civilization in Hull, Quebec. Her workmanship is exquisite - there is a refinement to her pieces which links her
work to the best of the past
Thompson basket makers. With
Ada Jumbo, basket making has
been a family tradition, with each
generation continuing to make established shapes. Ada's work shows
considerable skill in sewing the
pieces of cedar root to produce
beautifully symmetric containers
and trays.
From gathering of the roots, to
the forming ofthe vessel, the process of producing fine baskets is remarkable considering that some
pieces take up to three months and
longer to complete. The basket
maker is involved in the complete
process as Lytton artist Freda
Loring explains: The roots are dug
up in May and June, when the sap
begins to flow. We usually take a day
to collect the roots; since cedar is
scarce in the Lytton area we travel
to Boston Bar to get the needed roots.
The roots dug up are about one inch in
diameter or smaUer; the straight ones are
debarked and split and used to wrap around
a core of some ten to eleven irregular pieces.
The base isfbrmedfirstfbUowed by the sides
ofthe vessel Each level ofthe container is
sewn to the previous layer. A bone awl is
used to make a hole through which the cedar strap is threaded. If the material dries
out it becomes too brittle and must be moistened for easier manipulation.3
The method of root gathering hasn't
changed much since Teit observed
women using wooden poles to lever up
roots collected in large carrying baskets.4
Today metal rods or crowbars prove more
durable digging tools and roots can be
stored in plastic bags.
Originally, baskets were made for a
specific utilitarian function such as storage or cooking: "one kind, which is
rounded, or , as the Indians say, nut-
shaped, was formerly used for holding
water. Round, open baskets served as
kettles, the food being boiled by throwing hot stones into the baskets." 5 At
some point, after contact with white settlers, the Thompson Indians began to
produce pieces "in imitation of objects
seen among the whites. The Lower
Thompson have begun to make baskets
in the shape of trays, pitchers, goblets
etc."6 Many of these imitated objects are
being produced today: Freda Loring specializes in cedar trays of various sizes
while Mandy Brown produces a wider
variety of contemporary objects from
trays to baby cradles and will even take
special orders for her cedar work. While
all of the objects could be used, clearly
the cedar root product has moved into
the realm of art object. A retailer in
Lytton observed that he has collectors
from around the world coming to his
shop to buy the unique Thompson basket.
One of the features that gives the
Thompson basket its uniqueness is the
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 method of applied decoration or imbrication. Imbrication is a method of tying in different materials/color to the
cedar structure to create permanent patterns. Today, the most often used materials for this type of decoration are
whitish cattails stems and wild cherry
bark - the natural color of this material
is red to brown but can be made almost
black by being buried in damp soil up
to a year. The imbrication material is
cut to its desired width and then sewn
into the rows of cedar root giving a bold
pattern contrast.
Ethnographers have identified a comprehensive list of traditional designs
which were usually based upon animal
shapes or references in the landscape
such as lakes or trails.7 The designs were
always highly abstracted and often carried a whimsical charm in their simplification: a flying goose would be
represented by a series of rectangles in a
"V" pattern and a flock would be suggested by a group of these shapes. While
today's basket makers continue to use
traditional materials for imbrication
their designs are usually of contemporary
origin; Nature is not always the basis for
a pattern as Ada Jumbo explains, "I make
up my own designs and fit them onto
the basket".8 As the basket maker became
less dependant on Nature directly for
subsistence her importance and influence
would seem to have waned and like all
art which is not tied direcdy to survival
evolves into the realm of Art for Art's
A collection of Baskets.
Mandy Brown in ber home on tbe Two Mile Reserve,
Photos courtesy of Terry Thompson.
Sake. The effect of this personal freedom
for imbrication has meant a wider vocabulary of designs and perhaps less universality in comprehending their
Imbrication design can be identified
under two main types: the geometric
pattern and the figurative design. The
figurative design tends to focus on some
element ofthe decoration - an animal or
a plant and
this design is
in some way.
Brown will
often use size
and color to
her "Indian
design on the
belly of a
vessel. The
pattern tends
to be much more even in its distribution
producing a more holistic design - bands
or repeated motifs dominate this
approach to decoration which is often
favored by Lytton basket makers today.
Yet within these dominant approaches
to decorating baskets individual styles
are recognizable; Mandy Brown, for
example, favors imbrication of
contrasting black and red patterns
which has become a trademark of her
While decoration patterns may
change it is the link with tradition - the
basic method of coiling a cedar root basket and the innate love of Nature's materials that registers in the finished
product that make the Thompson basket a true treasure ofthe interior of British Columbia.
Photo courtesy of Ashcroft Museum.
The writer is an Art Historian teaching at the
University College ofthe Cariboo.
1. James Alexander Teit, The Thompson Indians of
British Columbia, Memoirs of rhe American Museum
of Natural History, Vol. II, The Jessup North Pacific
Expedition, New York, 1900, p. 389.
2. Interview with Mandy Brown, Two Mile Reserve, British
Columbia, June 3, 1996. An excellent example ofthe
scalloped vessel can be seen in the Teit Gallery, Nicola
Valley Museum, Merritt (M994-O4-30).
3. Interview with Freda Loring, Lytton, British Columbia,
May 25, 1996.
4. Teit, fig. 213. An enlarged copy of this photograph is in
the Ashcroft Museum.
5. p. 200.
6. Teit.
7. Livingston Far rand, Basketry Designs of the Salish
Indians, The Jessup North Pacific Expedition, Part V,
New York, 1900, plates XXI. XXIII.
8. Interview with Ada Jumbo, Two Mile Reserve, British
Columbia, June 22, 1996.
Ashcroft Museum Archives.
Farrand, Livingston. Basketry Designs of the Salish
Indians, The Jessup North Pacific Expedition, Parr V.
(New York, 1900).
Interview with Mandy Brown. (Two Mile Reserve, B.C., June
3, 1996).
Interview with Freda Loring. (Lytton, B.C., May 25, 1996).
Interview with Ada Jumbo. (Two Mile Reserve, B.C., June
22, 1996).
Kamloops Museum Archives.
Teit, James Alexander. The Thompson Indians of British
Columbia, Memoirs ofthe American Museum of
Natural History, Vol. II, The Jessup North Pacific
Expedition. (New York, 1900).
Teit Gallery at Nicola Valley Museum.
Turner, Nancy J., Thompson, Laurence C, Thompson, M.
Terry and York, Annie Z. Thompson Ethnobotany,
Royal British Columbia Museum, Memoir No. 3,
(Victoria, 1990).
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 The Tranquillian
by Glennis Zilm and Ethel Warbinek
The Tranquillian was a bright and lively
small, monthly newspaper, referred to
later as a magazine, started by patients at
the tuberculosis sanatorium in
Tranquille, B.C. (near Kamloops) in
1919. A successful publication, it ran for
18 years from August 1919 until
December 1936, when its name was
changed to Your Health. The magazine
was a nationally known and delightful
educational agent in the fight against the
tuberculosis epidemic.
Tuberculosis(TB), a dreadful wasting
disease that usually attacks the lungs, was
also called consumption or the white
plague. It had reached epidemic
proportions in Canada and B.C. in the
early years ofthe century and was a public
health menace. Late in the 1800s, most
places had made it a notifiable disease,
meaning that patients with active cases
had to be reported to the local medical
health officer and had to be isolated to
help prevent spread of the disease.
Although some patients were cared for
in their own homes, advanced cases
usually required care inTB wards of local
hospitals (which were often in isolation
tents on the hospital grounds) or in
The only treatment in the first quarter
of this century was clean, fresh air, stricdy
enforced rest, good food (especially high
protein diets rich in eggs, cream, milk,
and cod liver oil), and education about
the disease and its care and control. For
example, patients had to be taught not
to swallow their sputum and how to care
for the discharge coughed up from
infected lungs because this is highly
contagious. Under ideal sanatorium
conditions, if the disease was caught early
enough, nature often would heal the
infected lesion, and the patient could be
released from isolation.
In the early 1900s, most patients with
TB were treated in sanatoriums. The
daily regime was strict: bed rest, in the
fresh air, between nourishing meals.
Reading and writing were almost the only
permitted activities. As the patient
improved, short, carefully prescribed
periods of restricted exercise would be
allowed. Such exercise might involve a
walk of specified duration in the gardens,
or two hours of social activity in the
billiard room or sanatorium social centre.
Light craft activities, such as model ship
building, might be attempted if a patient
could tolerate this. If he or she was
progressing well, a little light gardening
might be allowed. Time, however, often
passed slowly and medical and nursing
staff sought ways to interest patients in
light activities.
The Tranquillian was started,
apparendy at the instigation of patients,
under H.R. Farmer, a former
newspaperman for the Vancouver
Province and a patient at Tranquille. He
apparendy conceived the idea of a journal
that would provide educational articles
on TB for patients and the general public,
but one that would also be entertaining
and interesting, filled with jokes and
snippets of information. He became the
paper's first editor. The idea was strongly
supported by the medical staff, including
Dr. Lester G. Houle, the medical
Immediately below the title on the first
edition was the line "Published at
Tranquille Sanatorium in the Interest of
Tuberculosis Work in British Columbia."
The purpose, clearly stated in the
editorial in the first issue ("We make our
bow"), was "not merely for the residents
of Tranquille; but primarily for the
education and enlightenment of the
general public, although we hope to
become an additional bond of interest
between the many patients of this
institution."1 According to a small report
on the same page, the average number
of patients at Tranquille during June
1919 was 124.
Farmer produced a quality journal,
with articles of wide ranging interest; he
wanted something that was more than a
local gossip sheet. Under his guidance the
paper contained literary articles,
biographies, and articles on TB by B.C.'s
top physicians. For example, the lead
story in the first issue was a tribute to
Dr. Charles J. Fagan, written by Dr. A.P.
Proctor; Dr. Fagan, shown in an excellent
photograph, had been a leader in the
fight against TB in B.C. and had died in
1915 after a long period of failing health.
The first issue was four pages, size 10
x 13.5 inches, on glossy stock, and was
printed by the Kamloops Telegram Job
Department. Listed on the masthead
with Farmer as editors were J. Neil, A.S.
Henderson, and Bertha Smith. Business
managers were L. Chidley and W.T.
Clarke. Subscription rates were "Canada
$1.00 per year and Other Countries
$1.25 per year." Individual issues,
according to the front page, were 10
Among other articles in the first issue
were: "The cause and cure of
tuberculosis" by Dr. Proctor; "After work
hours" (on the value of outdoor exercise
and recreation) by Bertha E. Smith; and
a literary column entitled "The Book
Lover," probably by Farmer. A short
section entided "Military Jottings" noted
there were 36 returned soldiers in the
Sanatorium with seven of these confined
to bed (advanced cases) but progressing
favorably. Kamloops merchants strongly
supported the new venture, with
approximately 25% ofthe paper devoted
to advertisements.
The first issue was a modest success,
according to the editorial in the second
issue. The first issue had generated many
comments — "some kind, some the
other kind," according to the editor —
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 although "the majority of the home
readers apparently incline to the opinion
that we are lacking in humor, raciness,
and fun." Others complained that the
pages were too few, but the financial
success of the first issue led to an
immediate increase to six pages. As well,
there were more jokes and personal notes.
In the next few issues, medical and
health-related articles by physicians were
predominant, with one main article
commenting on the responsibility of
government in TB, both in passing laws
and in raising the funds to care for
patients unable to afford care themselves.
Another article on "Going Broke"
discussed financial difficulties and offered
some general advice. Bertha Smith again
provided a column on nature, this time
on bird migration.
Support from the "Anti-Tubs"
Although the magazine apparently
made money with its first issue, it also
needed some long-term organizational
and financial backing. In 1922, it was
taken under the wing of the Tranquille
Tuberculosis Publicity Society, which was
incorporated on November 25,1922, to
carry on a publicity and education
campaign for the province from
Tranquille and to publish The
Such local anti-tuberculosis societies
were common in the early years of this
century. In fact, the small community of
Tranquille was itself a product of the
"anti-Tubs," as these societies were
occasionally called. A Toronto society for
prevention of tuberculosis was formed in
early 1900, the first in Canada. Later that
same year the Canadian Association for
the Prevention of Consumption and
Other Forms of Tuberculosis was
founded in Ottawa at the instance of
Governor-General Lord Minto.
A group of prominent citizens in
Victoria, with support from that city's
mayor and the province's premier,
formed the first B.C. group. The first
meeting of the B.C. Society for the
Prevention and Treatment of
Consumption and Other Forms of
Tuberculosis was held in Victoria on
January 21, 1904. One of its prime
movers was Dr. Fagan, who had been
appointed B.C.'s first permanent
provincial medical health officer in 1899.
Control of all contagious diseases was the
primary reason for his permanent
appointment, but Dr. Fagan had a special
desire to bring tuberculosis under
Vancouver and New Westminster also
formed local anti-tuberculosis societies;
the main purpose ofthe local groups was
public education and fund-raising to help
care for local families ravaged by the
disease. Businesses and well-to-do
citizens often made substantial
donations, recognizing that control ofTB
was in their own interests as well as that
of the community. All local groups in
B.C. soon became united in their efforts
to establish a provincial tuberculosis
hospital. Aided by grants from the
provincial and local municipal
governments, the B.C. anti-TB society
in Victoria led the way, augmented by
representatives from the local societies.
Background on Tranquille
Although the group was not officially
incorporated as a provincial society until
1907, Dr. Fagan and officers of the
Victoria group began looking for a site
for a provincial hospital about 1905. The
site selected, despite opposition from
Kamloops locals concerned about spread
of TB in their community, was occupied
by two ranching properties, one of which
was for sale. These were located where
the Tranquille River entered Kamloops
Lake (a widening of the Thompson
River) about 16 kilometres (10 miles)
west of Kamloops on the north shore. In
1907, the Society was incorporated as a
provincial body and it purchased 600
acres, plus buildings, from the family of
early settler William Fortune for
$58,000. It also took over the lease for
an additional 2,000 acres from the
Dominion Government so the ranch
could continue and, it was hoped, be self-
supporting. The ranch became known as
the Alexandra Ranch. The neighboring
700-acre property, with its fine nearby
buildings, was eventually purchased by
the provincial government in 1922 from
the estate of Charles Cooney.
Interestingly, both the Fortune and
Cooney families had been taking in
"consumptives" for care since the 1890s.
Dry, mountainous climates had achieved
a reputation as good areas in which
patients with pulmonary TB could
breathe more easily. The climate at
Tranquille was considered excellent.
Mary Cooney Norfolk, daughter of
Charles Cooney, had taken in boarders
and became well known as a lay nurse,
apparently offering excellent care. Mrs.
Fortune did the same. In both ranches,
those paying "to take the cure" lived in
tents, shacks, or small cabins near the
ranch house; excellent home cooking,
with plenty of meat, milk, cream, and
eggs was provided.
Once the Fortune property was
purchased, the ranch house itself was
converted into a sanatorium for, at first,
10 patients. Dr. Robert W. Irving was
medical superintendent and Miss Jean
Matheson, who had been the nurse in
charge at the Royal Inland Hospital in
Kamloops, was matron. William W.
Shaw was appointed manager to take care
of the farm. Demand for beds was so
great that new cottages for patients were
almost continually under construction.
About one-half the patients paid their
own fees; local anti-TB societies provided
funds for additional construction and
paid for patients from their communities
who could not afford to pay for
In 1910, the society put up a
magnificent new main building, called
the King Edward Sanatorium, with
accommodation for 49 patients, 4 nurses,
and 12 attendants. The old farm building
and cottages became wards for advanced
cases. The San at Tranquille was now one
ofthe foremost in Canada. In 1914 and
1915, Dr. J. S. Burris of Kamloops began
to do surgery at Tranquille, using the new
technique of artificial pneumothorax,
which causes a collapse of the diseased
lung so that it can "rest."
Although the sanatorium was largely
self-supporting between 1907 and 1919,
money for expansion was always a
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 problem. The 1914-1918 World War
meant that provincial government
funding for TB control was limited.
Despite the war, the "anti-tubs" were avid
fund-raisers, and two new buildings - the
West Pavilion and the East Pavilion -
were constructed.
But the TB menace remained. In 1917,
B.C. had Canada's highest per capita
death rate from TB; one death of every
ten was from TB. Sanatoriums opened
in other B.C. cities and almost all large
hospitals had TB wards for advanced
cases. Tranquille remained, however, the
best possible place for early treatment and
cure. The War had created other
problems; spread of TB among the
Canadian troops was rampant, and many
soldiers were sent back home with the
disease. Further, it was expected that,
once the war was over, there would be a
flood of new cases identified in and
possibly spread by the returning soldiers.
More construction at Tranquille was a
priority, although it was possible that
federal government money would be
available to assist because ofthe veterans'
needs. The anti-TB societies were
anxious for the provincial government to
take over the operation and funding of
Tranquille. The Tranquillian subtly
assisted in this effort.
A Nationwide Paper
Early issues of The Tranquillian were
sent to other sanatoriums in other parts
of Canada in an effort to attract
subscribers as well as to the other
provincial anti-TB societies. In February
1920, the paper became the official organ
of the "Tranquille Branch of the
Invalided Tubercular Soldiers' Welfare
League" (ITSWL). The ITSWL was
formed at Tranquille in October 1918,
the first branch in Canada, but other
branches were soon formed in provinces
across Canada. A short news column was
instituted for news from the ITSWL for
all future issues and the other branches
across Canada were solicited -
successfully - to back the paper through
Farmer remained as editor for the first
10 issues; he was then discharged from
Tranquille after a 12-month stay. (No
doubt it had taken him the first two
months to get the paper going and his
influence is likely in the last two issues
of volume one). His final issue (May 1,
1920) had 10 pages. He continued to
submit an occasional article for later
issues. A tribute to his work is contained
in the June 1, 1920 issue. As a small
editorial noted in a later issue, editors of
other papers are sometimes obliged to
give up their post because of loss of
health, but editors of The Tranquillian
resigned for the opposite reason - health
Walter A. Hillam, a patient and
another journalist, took over as editor
when Farmer left; Bertha Smith remained
as associate editor. The line under the title
changed at this time to read "Published
for the Education ofthe Well and in the
Interest ofthe Sick." Hillam was editor
from the June 1, 1920 issue until the
March 1921 issue, when he, too, was
discharged from the San. He left the
paper in good financial shape. George
Darling, who described himself in his
first editorial as "an inexperienced
amateur" took over. Bertha Smith
remained as associate editor until the
June 1921 issue, in which it was reported
that she had been forced to resign
"because of illness" but it was hoped that
she would return as soon as her health
allowed. H.R. Farmer, the original editor,
is listed once again on the masthead of
the September 1921 issues (Vol. 2, No.
3) as "editor-in-chief"; G.R Etter is listed
as "local editor." George Darling had
been discharged from Tranquille and it
apparently was difficult to find someone
with experience among the patients so
Farmer's assistance had been sought.
Circulation ofthe paper had grown so
that there now were five times as many
subscribers "outside" as inside the San.
The Tranquille Tuberculosis Publicity
Society recognized what a valuable
educational publication this had become.
Farmer remained only a few months,
during which apparendy the future ofthe
"sanmag" was in question, but an
editorial in the February 1922 issue
proclaimed that it would remain. George
Darling is again on the masthead a few
months later, part of the musical chairs
of editorial staff. The "sanmag" had by
this time become a respectable newspaper
of 12 to 16 pages per issue, no small task,
especially for patients.
The May 1922 issue announced that
the publication was in a healthy financial
position, but that expenses had increased
enormously. As a result, subscription
rates outside the San were doubled to $2
a year, although rates for Tranquille
residents remained at $1 a year.
Meantime, the provincial government
had taken over operation of the
Sanatorium at Tranquille from the B.C.
Society for the Prevention of
Tuberculosis; the hospital, all its property,
and many of its supporting grants were
turned over by the volunteer agency to
the province. Although this had many
positive aspects, one result was the
folding ofthe provincial voluntary group.
As Dr. A.S. Lamb, then provincial
government's "Travelling Medical Health
Officer," wrote in 1926 in The
Tranquillian: "The inevitable result
followed. Whenever a government takes
over anything, the people lose interest..
... All theses voluntary organizations
lapsed and with them all the propaganda
that they had been carrying on, ceased
The Tranquille Tuberculosis Publicity
Society was the one voluntary group that
remained active; it had effectively taken
over the function of the B.C. group,
although the majority of its members
were staff and former patients from
Tranquille. The provincial health
department continued to support its
activities, however. Although it was still
concerned with raising funds, its more
important function was education and
health promotion. The health
department continued to assist, but
raising funds for education and
promotion was the foremost activity for
The June 1922 issue announced that
the editorial offices of The Tranquillian
were moving to the Rotary Clinic in
Vancouver and that the editor (George
Darling) was to be paid a salary of $125
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 a month. The role of the paper was
changing; it became more of an
educational medium in the prevention
of TB and less of an entertainment and
occupation for patients, although it
continued to have local columns. It also
remained financially viable throughout
the boom years ofthe 1920s. At one time,
it generated enough funds to purchase a
radio receiver plus a head set for every
patient in the institution.2
Throughout the 1920s, The
Tranquillian continued to be an
interesting newspaper. The literary
columns continued. Because reading was
the chief occupation for many of the
patients during their periods of enforced
rest, rest, rest, there were excellent book
reviews, often recommending Canadian
authors. Novels that had characters with
TB were favored for review, and critical
comments detailed the accuracy (or
otherwise) of an author's descriptions of
symptoms and treatment. Early on, there
was a two-part series related to "The
Nurses of Dickens" (Sairey Gamp and
Mrs. Prig from Martin Chuzzlewit and
women mentioned as "nurses" - Florence
Dombey, Mrs. Chick, Toodles Richards,
Mrs. Wickham - in Dombey and Son).
Occasionally, there were reprints from
literary works, including those of HiUaire
Jessie Foreshaw, Inspector in B.C. for
the Victorian Order of Nurses, wrote an
excellent article for the September 1921
issue. This article concentrated on the
social ills that lead to TB and on the
importance of a public health role,
especially for nurses.
In 1931, hospitals throughout the
province began sending nursing students
to Tranquille for periods of affiliation so
they could learn ideal TB techniques.
Issues of The Tranquillian listed the
names of all these affiliate students.
Nurses, especially student nurses, in
general hospitals were prone to TB, partly
because of the long, exhausting hours
they worked and partly because they
often cared for patients who suffered
from undiagnosed TB. Nurses at
Tranquille, who learned and understood
the principles related to the contagious
aspects ofthe disease, rarely succumbed.
However, according to small items in The
Tranquillian, they sometimes succumbed
to TB patients while they were working
at the San; engagements and marriages
between nurses and patients were
frequendy announced.
In 1925, the B.C. Society began
considering sale of Christmas seals
through the editor of The Tranquillian;
members started getting prices on
sources, costs, and colors. In March
1926, the Society ordered 100,000 seals
and reported an encouraging sale.3 The
idea for the Christmas Seal was conceived
in Denmark in 1903 as a fund-raising
effort and had been introduced in various
parts of the United States in 1908. In
1927, the Christmas Seal campaign was
introduced into Canada on a nation-wide
basis by the Canadian Tuberculosis
Association. The B.C. Society decided to
cooperate in the Dominion-wide
campaign sale of seals. Stamps were sold
for one cent each. At first the money went
into the general revenues in each
province; later, the money from the B.C.
stamps was earmarked for travelling
expenses of the visiting nurse from
Tranquille and still later for the travelling
In the 1930s, during the Depression
years, the newspaper began to lose
money.5 The B.C. Society still saw the
need for such an educational and
promotional tool, but began to see that
perhaps it should take a different
approach. In addition to Tranquille, there
were now several facilities dedicated to
TB education, prevention, treatment,
and control throughout the province,
including the Rotary Clinic and the
Preventorium (for children) in
Vancouver, a TB Clinic at the Royal
Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, and the
travelling clinics that moved throughout
the province. In 1935, Dr. WH. Hatfield
was appointed Director of TB Control
for the province and a month later the
Division of TB Control was set up under
the provincial board of health. The
Division directed all TB activities
throughout the province from its "centre"
at  10th Ave.  and Willow St.  in
Vancouver. Activities of the B.C. anti-
TB society were more and more centred
in Vancouver and the days of the
Tranquille Tuberculosis Prevention
Society were numbered.
In 1936, the Society decided to change
the name ofthe "magazine" (by this time
it had grown to a respectable 12 to 16
pages an issue) from The Tranquillian to
Your Health and that it be described in
the publication as the official organ of
the B.C. Tuberculosis Society. The official
name became Your Health (Incorporating
The Tranquillian) with the December
1936 issue (Volume 18, Number 5). Your
Health continued to look like The
Tranquillian for a couple of years, but its
focus slowly changed. With the advent
of Streptomycin and other drugs in the
late 1940s, tuberculosis became a
treatable disease and was brought under
control in the 1960s and 1970s.
The role of the "anti-tubs" changed,
too. In 1978, the B.C. Tuberculosis/
Christmas Seal Society changed its name
to the B.C. Lung Association, and
expanded its role to include other chest
disorders such as asthma and cancer of
the lung. The Association continues to
publish Your Health as a quarterly
magazine. And, as drug-resistant strains
of tuberculosis are becoming prominent
in the late 1990s, some of its articles once
again are dealing with education and
prevention of TB.
The two authors are retired members ofthe faculty ofthe UBC School of Nursing. As members
ofthe B.C. History of Nursing Group they are
hosting an international conference in June
1997 in Vancouver. They are also active in the
Surrey Historical Society.
Copies of The InnquUlian, Volumes 1-18 are available in
che archival collection of the B.C. Lung Association, Box
2. Copies from 19xx are also available at the Woodward
Biomedical Library, University of British Columbia.
1. We make our bow (editorial). The Tranquillian, 1(1),
August 1, 1919, p. 2.
2. T.B. patients at Tranquille organized war on disease.
Vancouver Newt-Herald, Monday, October 31,1938,
pp. 15-17.
3. Minutes, Tranquille Tuberculosis Society, Minute Books,
1925-26, B.C. Lung Association Archives, Box 1.
4. See also Tbe TranamlHan, 9 (5), 1927, p. 2 and The
TranauUlian, 27 (4). December 1945, p. 22.
5. Minute Books, Oct. 28,1927, BCLA Archives, Box 1.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Robert Randolph Bruce: 1861 - 1942
by Winnifred A. Weir
He was a man acclaimed as a
promoter ofthe Upper Columbia
Valley, praised for his outstanding
generosity to his community and
scathingly rebuked for falsely representing the valley he loved to entice settlers to the area. He became
a Lieutenant-Governor of British
He was Robert Randolph Bruce,
an esteemed pioneer ofthe Windermere area, for whom a mountain, a creek, a community
hospital and the main street of
Invermere have been named.
Born in St. Andrews, Scodand,
in 1861, the son of a Presbyterian
minister, Bruce had seven sisters
and five brothers. He was educated
in Aberdeen then graduated from
the University of Glasgow in Civil
Engineering, after which he served
five years on the scientific staff of
a Dumbarton firm.
He came to Canada in 1887
with $40.00 in his pocket and a
letter of introduction to Lord
Mount Stephen of the CPR who gave
him a job on the engineering staff. He
worked for the CPR for ten years then
became interested in mining so he went
to Montreal to get his degree in mining
at McGill.
There he met H.C. Hammond, a mining magnate, who asked him to look out
for favorable prospects in the Purcells.
Hammond put considerable money into
two prospects which were disappointing
and Bruce refused to take more funds.
Hammond persuaded him to try once
more and that was the Paradise, a silver,
lead, and zinc mine which led to a fortune for both of them.
In 1899, Bruce was instrumental in
starting the townsite of Peterborough (renamed Wilmer in 1909) for the miners
and their families. He lived in that community until 1914.
R.R. Bruce in Scottish dress c. 1911
Photos courtesy of Windermere District Historical Society c.786.
In 1904, Bruce had also become interested in agriculture and started a nursery
to provide a hearty stock of fruit trees.
In 1912, Bruce left for Scodand to visit
his mother but he, doubtless, had matrimony on his mind because he left detailed arrangements for extensive
improvements to his land on the shore
of Lake Windermere, including plans for
the erection of a spacious house to be
equipped with every modern convenience of the day, steam heat, plumbing,
electric light, and domestic water supply. The house was to be completed in
There must have been considerable
delay in construction because when
Bruce returned in 1914 with a bride, the
house was far from complete.
On January 6, 1914, Bruce married
Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of the
Earl and Countess of Iddesleigh.
The wedding took place in the
church on the family estate at
Upton Pynes, the seat of the
Northcote family.
A detailed account ofthe nuptials took two full columns in the
February 7 issue of the Golden
Star, including a lengthy list ofthe
wedding gifts, many from members of the lesser British nobility
and including a large silver tray
from "friends in the Windermere
After a honeymoon in Algiers,
the couple arrived in Invermere on
May 14, and finding their home
far from finished lived on a houseboat, the Isabella in the bay offshore from their new home.
In September, 1915, Lady Elizabeth became ill. The only resident
doctor had left to serve at the front
in World War 1. As her illness
worsened, a doctor was called
from Cranbrook, too late to save
her. She died September 27 from
appendicitis, on the houseboat, a bride
of twenty months, having never lived in
the fine home under construction. It was
called Pynelogs recalling the name of her
childhood home in Upton Pynes, England.
The Lady Elizabeth was buried in the
garden at Pynelogs in a mausoleum with
pillars of red rock and a canopy. A plaque
reads: "Here lies Lady Elizabeth, wife of
Randolph Bruce, daughter of Walter
(Stafford) second Earl Iddesleigh and of
Lucy, his wife." And the dates, "born
March 8, 1876 died September 15,
In 1911 there had been a surge of settlement in the Columbia Valley. The
CPR made a wholehearted attempt to
attract settlers through brochures circulated in railway coaches and hotels
throughout Britain. Canada was pictured
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 as a land of promise, of milk and honey
and the brochures about rhe Windermere
Valley were among the most glowing and
One was written by Robert Randolph
Bruce in 1912. This colorful brochure
described the valley as a land of fertility.
It said, "strawberries luscious and plentiful pulled in the afternoon will be on the
market in Calgary next morning." This
was before rhe Banff-Windermere highway was built or the Kootenay Central
railway completed. Such transportation
would be something of a miracle.
According to the brochure apples
grown in the valley were bigger and redder; hay was taller and richer, horses
larger and stronger. Brochures were
picked up by coundess people and distributed by CPR travel agents.
Numberless English and Scottish families were persuaded to leave their crowded
cities, and their ancestral homes to come
to the land of promise.
Their enquiries were answered with
descriptions of houses and barns awaiting their arrival. In 1911 and 1912 many
landowners in Britain sold their estates
or their homes to settle on 40 acre tracts
they had purchased sight unseen. They
were encouraged by descriptions of land
already fenced, irrigation systems ready
for the magnificent crops of berries and
apples they would market.
Disillusionment came fast. They found
the valley a far cry from the Garden of
Eden that they had pictured. The irrigation ditches were just being dug by hand.
Houses were not yet built and there were
no stores, churches or schools to help
them adapt to the new life.
Men settlers faced a life of unaccustomed hard labour. Women accustomed
to dusting the drawing room, arranging
the flowers and giving orders to the cook
with electric light and all the conveniences ofthe day, found themselves with
coal oil lamps, outdoor privies, and having to do their own cooking. Cooks in
the mining camps taught many how to
bake bread.
It could be that Randolph Bruce, educated as engineer and geologist, lacked
knowledge of farming potentials. In his
Lady Elizabeth Bruce shown on ber temporary home, tbe houseboat HeralbxAL This vessel bad earlier plied
the Columbia River from Windermere to Golden under the name tbe UaktUa,
Photos courtesy of Windermere District Historical Society A546.
eagerness to encourage setdement of his
beloved valley, he overestimated the limitations of soil, time and human abilities.
His scant knowledge, acquired from
books or farm pamphlets estimated so
many bushels to the acre; so many boxes
of apples from each tree without warning him ofthe quality ofthe soil, the irrigation problem, and the inexperience
of would-be setders. It is possible that
his enthusiasm outweighed his practical
sense of what the settlers expected and
what they arrived to find.
There are descendants in the valley today of those early setders, who sold their
all to come to the promised land. They
talk scoffingly ofthe "scam" that brought
their ancestors to the valley to face unexpected hardships and disillusionment.
In 1912, Bruce was president and chief
shareholder ofthe Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruit Lands Ltd. He encouraged
miners and their families to grow large
gardens of potatoes, carrots, cabbages etc.
This growing concern for agriculture no
doubt fanned his eagerness to bring settlers to farm the valley.
In 1917, he acquired exclusive ownership ofthe profitable Paradise Mine. He
had worked there for 18 years but he was
suffering from his labor. By doing his
own assaying ofthe ore which was largely
lead, his eyesight was failing.
After the death of his wife, Bruce's con
cerns were the prospering Paradise mine
and his interests in attracting settlers to
the Columbia Valley, which he called
"Happy Valley".
His generosity to the people ofthe valley was outstanding. He grub-staked
scores of miners searching for the elusive
gold. He donated the first Legion club
house at Invermere which is now a part
of the Pioneer Museum. He presented
the bell to Christ Church and encouraged local sport and academic success
with cups and plaques. In 1924, he donated a silver cup to be awarded for the
best beaded costume created by a local
Indian band member.
All these activities kept him in the valley except for trips to Scotland and England. In 1926, the University of Glasgow
conferred on him an Honorary LLD degree.
Then in 1926, he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of B.C., a post held
until 1931. During his tenure, he visited
Pynelogs at intervals. In 1926 he was
given a public reception by valley residents and that year was made an honorary chief of the Kootenay Band at a
ceremony. He came again in 1930 and
1932 in spite of being almost totally
His interests were widening in other
fields. The valley was in need of a larger
hospital and he was persuaded to donate
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 R.R. Bruce Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Photos courtesy of Windermere District Historical Society c.8t
Pynelogs to the community as a hospital. He financed renovations to convert
it and left funds for the upkeep of Lady
Elizabeth's grave. The hospital was named
the Lady Elizabeth Bruce Memorial Hospital. It was opened officially on Coronation Day, May 12, 1937.
In 1936, Bruce, long an ardent Liberal, ran for the British Columbia legislature as representative for the Columbia
Valley. It was felt that he was bitterly
disappointed at his defeat despite his
many years of generosity to valley people and organizations. Later that year
he married Edith Bagley Molson the
widow of R.B. Van Horne, railway
magnate of Montreal. That event,
which was followed by his appointment as Canada's minister to Japan
must have given him some comfort.
His 1937 appointment received
considerable opposition in Eastern
Canada, ostensibly because of his failing health and declining eyesight, but
his wide knowledge ofthe mining industry, Canadian economics and
world affairs gave him prestige for the
He and Mrs. Bruce were in Japan
until 1938 when he resigned for health
reasons. They visited Invermere briefly
on their return then went to live in
In February 1942, Robert Randolph
Bruce died in Montreal. Tributes were
paid throughout Canada. In an editorial
February 25, the Nelson Daily News
said. "He was a pioneer of pioneers of
the Windermere District. Successful in
mining, active in public affairs.
"As Lieutenant-Governor of this province, he held the post with high dignity
and a deep sense of responsibility. He was
successful as Canadian Minister to Japan.
Pynelogs - The home of Randolph Bruce served as tbe Lady Elizabeth Bruce Memorial Hospital 1937-1957.
It is now the Columbia Valley Cultural Centre operated by the local Arts Council
Photos courtesy of Windermere District Historical Society and Amor Larson, A527.
. . . though he suffered the handicap of
poor eyesight, he never permitted the
infirmity to arouse in him self-pity.
Cheerfully and with a high degree of
courtesy and consideration which distinguished his character, Randolph Bruce
went through life, glad always to meet
friends, hundreds of them delighting in
meeting him".
The Vancouver Province editorialized,
"In the death at Montreal of Robert
Randolph Bruce, the province and the
nation lost a notable citizen. He will be
remembered for his public service but he
will be remembered most of all in the
beautiful Columbia Valley, ... he, who
was Bruce of Windermere.
"The record ofthe man, who came late
in life to be Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia and later still Canadian
Minister to Japan, was the romance of a
self-made man".
The Victoria Times in an editorial remarked. "Apart from his distinguished
career as a servant ofthe Crown, the obligations which he discharged with a dignity and charm that endeared him to all
who came in contact, Mr. Bruce was a
man of many parts. Like others of his
race he was endowed with a genius for
achievement. He could rightly claim the
name of pioneer... and it can be truthfully said that few knew British Columbia, its people or its potential better than
Mr. Bruce."
The flag at the Canadian Legion club
house at Invermere flew at half-mast.
Someone said "One of his outstanding characteristics was his ability to remember people; even when his eyesight
failed, he appeared to remember voices
and never failed to enquire about people's families and personal affairs.
It is probable that no man left a more
indelible impression on the Columbia
Valley than Robert Randolph Bruce.
Someone said at his death, "The light
failed for Mr. Bruce but the light that he
lit for the Windermere Valley will never
Mrs. Weir has been a recorder of Columbia
Valley history for many years. She produced the
local newspaper, many historical articles and
Tales ofthe Windermere (1980).
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Vacancy — Bralorne
by Norma E. Ratch
The road to Bralorne from Lillooet.
In the 1950's, gold was selling for
thirty-four dollars an ounce, and one of
the richest mining areas in B.C. was
booming. Known then as the Bridge
River District (115 km. west of Lillooet)
the area boasted a population of over
5,000 which included the settlements of
Gold Bridge, Brexton, Ogden, Bradian
and Bralorne - but the hub of activity
centred around rhe busding community
of Bralorne.
Today, many of Bralorne's buildings
stand vacant - waiting to once again become a useful part ofthe community. So
too, are the rows of abandoned houses
in Bradian, which stand on the hill overlooking Bralorne. It is hard to imagine
this area as it once was, when the two
mines, the Pioneer and
Bralorne, were running at
peak production.
Taxis ran 24 hours a day
transporting workers to
and from the mines along
a ribbon of road that connected the upper and
lower townsites. Traffic
jams were common in
Bralorne as shoppers vied
for parking in a town that
offered shopping conveniences equal to that of any
big city in the province -
including the largest bakery this side of Vancouver.
Most ofthe store buildings along main street are
gone now, and the few that
remain, have undergone
changes. The old
drugstore is now a General
Store, offering everything
from groceries to video
rentals, T-Shirts to gold
pans. It is also the liquor
store. The Assay Office has
recently been converted
into a motel. A modern Neighbourhood
Pub now replaces the Red Owl building
which was destroyed by fire.
Two huge buildings still stand solidly
side by side in the middle of town. One,
an empty theatre house; the other, the
Community Centre which continues to
be used for town meetings; and dances
are still held on its original hardwood
In the upper townsite, the hospital,
medical clinic, courthouse and jail are
now private residences. The two schools,
once credited with having the highest
educational standards in B.C., were bulldozed to the ground eight years ago. The
church was more fortunate and up until
recently continued to hold nondenomi-
national services throughout the summer
Surrounded by these weather-worn
buildings one cannot help but contemplate their days of glory. A time when
washing flapped on clotheslines, whistles
shrilled in the air, signalling shift changes
at the mines, and each yard held a stockpile of split wood. A happy time, when
the mines brought in top-rated boxers
and wrestlers for entertainment, and
sponsored curling, ice skating, tennis,
basketball and baseball games. It is said
that rivalry in hockey between the two
mines was so keen, a miner was hired first
for his skill with a hockey stick, and his
skills as a labourer counted second - if at
These were prosperous years, even during the Great Depression no one lacked
for employment in Bralorne. Decade after decade the town flourished, and the
people believed the great underground
wealth would last forever.
But in the 1960s, the Pioneer mine
closed its shafts, and ten years later, the
Bralorne mine followed suit. Families
were transferred to a new mine site in
Houston, and within three days, ninety-
five percent of the houses in Bralorne
were vacant.
As the years passed, it was obvious
Bralorne was destined to become a ghost
town. Then hope was rekindled when the
Mines sold the entire town to Marmot
Enterprises (with the exception of the
church and community hall which were
donated to the townspeople.)
The new owners hastily went to work.
The main streets were paved and lined
with street lights. Water and sewer systems were upgraded. Then they advertised the houses as vacation retreats. Since
the ski hill was still in operation and the
landing strip was clear for small planes,
Marmot anticipated throngs of people
coming to take advantage ofthe bargain
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 priced bungalows. But less than fifty
houses were sold, and Marmot faced
Perhaps people thought an old mining town would have nothing to offer.
In actual fact - Bralorne has much to offer!
Most ofthe houses still have their original plumbing fixtures, (those great long
bathtubs with claw feet), large porcelain
sinks, and wood furnaces. Many houses
have been rewired for electricity and although the interiors of some are quite
rough, allow adequate shelter while renovations are continued. (Some have already been partially restored, many are
in various stages of disrepair.)
A few of the houses are lived in full
time, mosdy by loggers and their families, several others are only inhabited
during long weekends and summer
Every first of July, the town comes
alive, as a Bralorne tradition continues.
Baseball teams assemble from Whistler,
Lillooet, Pemberton, Seton and Shalalth
to take on the town's volunteers for the
championship. Campers surround the
fenced diamond. The smell of campfire
smoke fills the air, along with cheers from
the bleachers. Rain or shine, the games
continue throughout the long weekend.
Visitors not interested in the games can
wander through the museum packed
with mementos of years gone by. Outside, sit two arks, well preserved with
pitch and tar, far oudasting the builder
who was convinced God would once
again flood the earth.
Summer or winter, the area has something of interest for everyone. Skiers can
take advantage ofthe finest powder snow
in North America. Miles of endless roads
lie waiting for trail-bikers and 4x4 explorers. Skidoo enthusiasts will find the
terrain as breathless as it is limidess.
Numerous lakes will delight the fisherman, and those not interested in the
abundance of pan-sized trout, can always
try their luck at gold panning in the famous Cadwallader River.
Only a single day's backpacking away,
in Noel Valley, hunters will find Big Horn
Sheep, Mountain Goat, Moose, and
Bralorne Assay Office: recently converted into a motel
Grizzly Bear.
Old prospector's cabins are dotted
along the countryside, but for something
more accessible to explore, just follow the
winding dirt road that climbs above the
town to discover the rows of abandoned
houses in Bradian. A litde way further,
sits the shambled remains ofthe Pioneer
Mine, and close by, the ruins ofthe Pioneer settlement and Shanty Town.
Slowly but surely, the people are coming - bringing hammer and nails, paint
brushes and curtains - and buyers taking
advantage of today's low prices may be
getting an even bigger investment than
they realize.
The discovery of several high-grade
veins north of the Bralorne Mine, plus
the opening ofthe Peter vein means the
rumours which have been circulating for
years, may finally be coming true. If the
mines swing into full production,
Bralorne may once again become one of
the richest gold mining areas in western
Canada. The community will boom, and
land prices will soar.
In the meantime, anyone looking for
a recreational retreat will find there's a
vacancy in Bralorne. In summer, take the
Telephone office: torn down this past spring.
12 B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 short cut over the Hurley Road from
Pemberton (it's rough, but scenic). In
winter, take the well-maintained gravel
road out of Lillooet and follow Carpenter Lake. When you reach Gold Bridge,
you're only 10 km from your destination.
Mrs. Ratch has been associated with newspapers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, Manager of tbe Maple Ridge Chamber of Commerce
and delights in painting, especially oils of events
in B.C. history. She and her husband recendy
retired to Cache Creek. Her family owned one
ofthe Bralorne homes and made it their vacation retreat for twelve years.
Bralorne! Row on row of vacant bouses.
All Photos courtesy of the author
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Phoenix: The City of Firsts
by Norma & Wayne Ratch
A city in British Columbia that produced more dollars from its "glory holes"
than all the Klondike's gold, has gone
down into a thankless pit of oblivion.
This great city that gave out in excess
of $65 million worth of ore, was first
staked in 1891, and called Greenwood
Camp. As the boom began, the town
changed its name to Phoenix.
First came the rough-hewed log cabins, replaced shordy by frame cottages,
then brick homes. Before long its fine
Victorian houses made Phoenix the
"showplace ofthe Boundary."
In 1899 smelters were erected at
Boundary Falls, Greenwood, and Grand
Forks, and the Granby Company began
to ship ore while the Canadian Pacific
and Great Northern Railways built lines
Phoenix was built at an elevation of
4,500 feet, making it the highest incorporated city in Canada. Phoenix was responsible for adding many "firsts" to the
pages of B.C.'s history.
It was the first in B.C. to build a covered curling and separate skating rink,
and formed B.C.'s first professional
hockey team - a team that in 1911 competed in the Stanley Cup play-offs.
Thanks to the Norwegian immigrant
miners who fashioned crude but serviceable foot slats, Phoenix was the first to
introduce the sport of snow skiing to
British Columbia - complete with motorized rope-tow.
When it came to sports, this city spared
no energy. Whether as individual participants or enthusiastic spectators, there was
keen interest shown by all.
Baseball and curling placed high on the
list, but when it came to hockey, the town
went wild. There was nothing uncommon about $1,000 bets on the game's
outcome, and many a small fortune was
won or lost by the scoring of a goal.
When Phoenix played against its arch-
rivals in Grand Forks, special trains had
to be added for transporting the huge
crowds, and the excitement generated
was said to be enough to light the entire
Phoenix was a city of noise. Explosions
from the mines, steam whistles, Shay locomotives blasting as they shunted along
the tracks, straining to pull box cars full
of ore, or screeching to a halt when they
returned empty. There was clanking from
the blacksmith's, rowdy saloons, and the
clatter of horses hooves as they went
about their deliveries.
It was also a city of busding activity.
For 20 years the railway ran night and
day, hauling ore from 26 mining companies to the smelters. McKintye and
Thompson's stage lines made two trips
daily from Phoenix to Greenwood,
loaded with mail, and travellers coming
and going. It must have been as busy
underground as it was above, since in a
town of 1500 population, most of the
males (miners) worked around the clock
in the 50 miles of interconnecting tunnels that ran deep beneath the city's surface.
Phoenix was a "free and easy" city, with
28 saloons, 5 dance halls, 5 hotels, several gambling casinos, pool halls, and "cat
houses" that were open 24 hours a day
to ensure the hard-working miners of
entertainment during their off-shift
hours. (Married women were said to keep
a close eye on the "Blue Goose" and similar bordellos.)
The business section housed an array
of millinery and barber shops, banks,
drygoods, bake shops, tobacconists,
candy stores, and livery stables. Smack
in the middle of town was Bob Lindsay's
barber shop and close by was Mr.
Mussatoe's shoe repair - whose daughter
Mary, married none other than Herb
Former Cabinet Minister Pat McGeer
spent his younger days in Phoenix, and
if anyone is bold enough, they can ask
him about his nickname "Muggins".
Of the five hotels in Phoenix, it was
the Brooklyn Hotel that enabled the city
to truthfully boast the finest cuisine in
Canada, said to being second only to San
Francisco across North America. Their
culinary excellence is shown by excerpts
of their 1911 Christmas Day menu: Russian caviar, Blue Point Oyster on half
shell, turtle soup, broiled salmon and
trout with anchovy butter, turkey with
chestnut dressing, and roast duck with
apple stuffing. Dessert: English plum
pudding with brandy sauce, assorted
French pastry, cocktails, and Havana cigars on request.
The "Phoenix Pioneer" a newspaper
edited by Thomas A. Love, provided
news and advertisements. The "Granby
News" was a monthly bulletin put out
by the mines with everything from the
price of beans, to gossip; prisoners' of war
accounts, to jokes.
Every community has its own notable
characters, and Phoenix was no exception. To write about this city without
mentioning two of its most colourful
characters would be leaving it incomplete: "Willie" Williams stood over six
feet six inches tall and often boasted he
was the "highest judge of the highest
court in the highest city in Canada."
Like the famous Judge Begbie of the
Cariboo, Williams' sentencing was often
unorthodox - and so was his behaviour
in the courtroom. He loved to gamble,
and anyone fouling up his game would
be sure to have his day in court - where
the Judge would have the last word! Judge
"Willie" rode everywhere on his horse,
and on one occasion he was late for his
nightly poker game and rode his horse
up the front steps, through the swinging
doors, direcdy to his chair inside the saloon.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Perhaps the most unique character in
Phoenix was a one-armed Belgian, nicknamed "4-Paw". (His other arm had a
hook on the end). For 20 years this man
ran in every election for whatever office
was on the ballot - and lost every time.
When the mines closed and the residents
abandoned their homes, 4-Paw remained. He moved all his belongings
into city hall, and cutting a badge out of
a tomato can, he deputized himself as
Mayor; Chief of Police; City Custodian;
and Fire Marshal.
Everyday, he made his rounds with a
shotgun, discouraging any would-be trespassers. He also kept Memorial Day in
honour of those men from Phoenix who
lost their lives during the war.
One day some children rode their bikes
into Phoenix from Greenwood, and 4-
Paw sent them home scared to death.
One of their parents complained to the
Greenwood RCMP and two constables
were sent out - but in short order, 4-Paw
had both officers under arrest for refusing to check their guns at the city's entrance. He locked one officer in the jail,
and the other one he locked safely away
at the opposite end of town.
He then discharged his gun, telling
each officer he had shot the other. He
set both men free at different times,
warning them to get out of town - if they
came back, they too,
would be shot.
The officers returned
shortly with reinforcements, and the "chief-of-
everything" was placed
under duress to Greenwood. At the trial the
Judge listened to the Belgian's case, and agreed
that a live-in watchman
at Phoenix was indeed a
necessity to keep children
and trespassers from serious injury, since the
buildings were by now
beginning to rot.
The officers received a
scolding for acting in
haste, and 4-Paw paid a
$2 fine for discharging a
firearm within the city.
"4-Paw" died in 1942, proudly wearing his home-made badge. His body was
found beside his gun in the City Hall of
Phoenix, some weeks after he had died
peacefully in his sleep.
In 1919 the price of copper had
dropped so low it was no longer profitable to mine - the mines closed - and residents of Phoenix were forced to move
elsewhere for work. Believing they would
return to their homes when prices rose
again, they took only their personal belongings with them, leaving most of their
furnishings behind. But they never returned.
Some ofthe stores and buildings were
eventually dismanded and re-erected elsewhere. The rest of the buildings eroded
with the elements of time, weather, visitor's seeking mementos and vandalism.
Finally, for reasons of safety, the dilapidated ruins of this once grand city were
bulldozed to the ground.
Today, all that remains of Phoenix, is
a ski hill, the cenotaph that 4-Paw lovingly looked after, and a huge open pit
mining site. Nearby, along the road to
Greenwood can be found the old cemetery. Photos and memorabilia of Phoenix, the city of firsts, can be viewed in
the museum at Greenwood.
Mrs. Ratch and her son Wayne enjoyed exploring and then researching this bit of Boundary
Information gathered from: editions of The Granby News)
Souvenir ofthe City of Phoenix 1899 - 1919:
prepared by the Grand Forks Centennial Committee)
Greenwood Museum) and special thanks to Mary
Hanam, former resident of Phoenix, whose memories
made this article possible.
■ ^'^■IBBLm^L
■*•"■*   -^»n™"^-  -*a**m
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am             *m-
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The Phoenix Cenotaph - one of tbe few pieces of
evidence that once a booming city stood nearby.
Photo courtesy of the author.
This picture shows a panorama of Phoenix c 1905.
Photo courtesy of J. Glanville private collection.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Surveying on the Skeena
by J. E. Roberts
Dick Septer's article "Highway 16:
Prince Rupert - Terrace 1944-1994," in
B.C. Historical News, Vol. 29, Winter
1995/1996, brought back a flood of
memories of experiences in my younger
days, working on what was then a wilderness piece of roadway.
The survey of the western portion of
Highway 16, now a section of the
Yellowhead Highway, followed, in large
part, the Skeena River and the Canadian
National Railway line from Jasper to
Prince Rupert, and in its lower reaches
had one of the best highway grades on
the western coast of North America.
Similarly, it also had the worst alignment
as it twisted its way around the many
rocky outcrops, as it was much cheaper
to dodge around than to tunnel, or make
a rock-cut through them.
The Preliminary survey line, or P-line,
was originally under the control of the
Provincial Highways Department. This
was later transferred to the Federal Department of Mines and Resources who
supervised the actual construction ofthe
road and necessary bridges, etc. After the
completion of the P-line, which tied in
any missing stretches, a final location
Line, or L-line, was surveyed by crews
assigned to sections of highway, each
about 11 miles in length.
Early in the Spring of
1943 I joined a survey
party at Cedarvale working
on a section of P-line and
there received my indoctrination to physical labour as
an axeman. I had come to
visit my friend Bob Benson
who lived in Hazelton and
with whom I had spent
many wonderful summers,
camping and fishing. Bob
was working on the survey
and through him I got the
job. Much as I enjoyed out-
reasonable shape, I was ill-suited for this
particular form of work, at the time
weighing but 132 pounds on a 5'6" frame
and being possessed of very small hands.
However, by the end of that summer I
could work all day and never raise a blister.
An axeman's job was to cut any bush,
branch or tree that got in the line of sight
ofthe "instrument man", and to remove
snags or other impediments in the path
of the "chainmen", so that they could
make their careful measurements. In his
spare time, the axeman had to make sure
that the faces ofthe stakes were smoothly
shaved, so that the station number, and/
or other information could be inscribed
in blue pencil. He also made "hubs",
which were thicker stakes about 3" or 4"
square, cut from any convenient tree, into
the top of which a tack was driven to
accurately mark the survey center line or
other significant location. Hubs were
very important reference points and care
was taken to see that they were not disturbed.
On the L-line, whenever the line departed from the straight (Tangent) and
formed a curve, it was necessary to mark
its beginning and end, or Beginning of
Curve (BC) or Point of Curve (PC). The
tangent Une was extended to form a semi-
door activities and was in
Survey crew - 1943, Charlie Lambly, "George" and the author.
tangent from which the actual curve was
laid out, usually by offsets, from Points
on Semi-Tangent, or POST. The reference point for the semi-tangent extending past the BC was a tack set in a blaze
made on the face of a convenient tree in
the line of sight. At the end of this semi-
tangent, a point was chosen from which
to lay out the tangent in the new direction and at this Point of Intersection, or
PI, a hub was set.
Each of these points required a cedar
stake, in addition to the stakes set at every
100-foot station, or wherever there was
a significant change in the grade of the
center line. When construction got
underway more stakes were required to
set the grade across the 24-foot width of
the road on its 80-foot right-of-way.
During the survey of our section we went
through many thousands of stakes. Making stakes was a Sisyphean task and I still
do it in my sleep over 50 years later.
Each engineer in charge of a section
had his little idiosyncrasies and while we
were blessed with a man who knew his
job and was a good teacher, he did have
one hang-up. He insisted that our stakes
had to be handmade, with one end
pointed and the other end carefully
smoothed, both sides, where any data
could be written. Other parties were allowed to buy slats from any
convenient local mill and all
it took was to whack them
to length, point them and
you had a passable stake. Not
so with Wilf Lambly. We
had to go down to the river,
find a suitable cedar driftwood log and cut it into two-
foot long bolts which then
had to be manhandled back
to camp where we began the
never-ending chore of cutting stakes.
In late April we were assigned the section with
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Shames, about 50 miles (83 km.) East of
Prince Rupert, as its mid-point and
moved all our gear courtesy ofthe CNR
who provided a box car in which we
could set up our cook stove to do until
such time as the tents could be set up.
The only residents at Shames were the
station master and his wife and young
children who were rudely awakened
about one o'clock in the morning by a
noisy bunch of surveyors, some of whom,
somewhat inebriated, were looking for a
place to sleep. We were given directions
to an old cabin a short distance down
the track, where we flopped down on the
bare wooden floor to sleep off our journey. In the morning we went looking for
the box car containing our stove and
equipment, but the siding was bare and
hunger was setting in with a vengeance.
I will never forget seeing our cook starting to build a fire along the railway tracks,
wondering what he was up to, and then
watching him produce from his pack, a
dozen of the thickest pork chops I had
ever seen. Those chops made one ofthe
most memorable breakfasts of my life.
Eventually, later that day, our box car
arrived and we set up camp in a clearing
alongside the railway right-of-way and
prepared for our first night. Our tents
had been set within ten feet ofthe tracks
and when the first train went through in
the middle ofthe night, it was almost as
if it were coming into the tent, right on
top of us. The next day we set up again,
closer to the river bank and away from
the tracks, where we dug a
well and had good water at
about six feet. We had three
tents, one for the top brass,
another for the junior
members, and the cook
tent to hold our stove and
supplies when we relinquished the box car. A
stove, made from a 5-gal-
lon naphtha gas can with a
pipe through the roof,
heated our tent but it could
burn only small pieces of
wood. At night, especially
when it rained, it was quite
cold and the heat was never
enough to dry our wet clothing or damp
sleeping bags.
We soon established a routine to lay
out the survey line and in short order had
extended the line eastward to a point
where the highway turned away from the
railway for a few miles, before coming
close together again. We had the use of a
railway handcar which gave us lots of
exercise pumping our way to work It was
monotonous, but it beat walking and
made packing all our gear a lot easier.
One problem we experienced was having to traverse a stretch where a train had
run over a skunk. When the alert was
sounded, we stopped, backed up, had a
bit of a rest, took a deep breath and
started pumping like mad to clear the
area, hopefully before having to take another breath.
The spot where the highway diverted
was through an Indian grave site which
extended to the river and it was here that
we came across a poignant reminder of
the natives' way of life. Close to where
the Skeena River rushed past the rocky
bank was a small pink marble tombstone,
about two feet tall, inscribed to the
memory of a chiefs litde daughter who
had drowned at that spot, nearly fifty
years before. The entire area was totally
overgrown and the little marker leaned
askew and it was impossible to tell when
the site had last been visited. We cleared
the area a bit and in the coming months
would spend many hours fishing at that
spot. When the railway had been put
Overlooking tbe mudslide west of Shames.
One bunkhouse was covered and several men died.
through, special permission had been
obtained from the natives and the same
procedure was followed for the highway,
but I doubt if many bureaucrats ever
knew about that sacred spot though it is
on the maps as Graveyard Point.
Usually, we all got along very well in
our party but we did run into a bit of
difficulty with George. He was an instrument man who came from Ontario and
whose only previous surveying experience
had been in laying out the Ottawa airport. Having to survey in thick bush was
something new to him and he gave us a
few problems, like the time we ran into
a spruce about four feet in diameter and
prepared to offset the line to get around
it. George would have none of it and insisted that the tree be cut down. We had
been going through some relatively light
bush and had left our falling saw and axes
back in camp and had only small stake
axes on hand. This did not deter George,
who, axe in hand, approached the trunk
and began to flail against the bark which
was about six inches thick. It was strange
how our mutiny went off. No one said a
word. We just quiedy left everything and
went back to camp, returning with our
seven-foot falling saw and proper falling
axes. George had given up and was waiting for us, for he knew we would be back
because we had left all the lunches with
him. We spent the afternoon bringing
that giant down and when we got back
to camp our boss tore a strip off George
for wasting time. In spite of George, the
P-line was finally finished
and we were now ready for
the arrival of the construction crews.
One morning the boss advised that we had to get our
gear ready to finish off a section that we were certain had
been completed, and wondering what was up, we set
out fully laden. We were traversing an idyllic stretch of
jack pine forest with a thick
mossy under-carpet when
the boss said that this was far
enough. He found a shady
spot under a tree and lay
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 down, breaking his sides laughing. He
sure had fooled us, for this was to be a
holiday to celebrate the end of our part
of the survey. The cook had made up a
special lunch box of sandwiches and extra fruit and we spent the afternoon resting in the shade, enjoying the smell of
the pines and the sun glistening off drops
of pitch on the tree trunks. There were
no mosquitoes or flies to torment us and
we luxuriated in one ofthe most memorable idle afternoons I have ever spent.
We had only a few more days of such
relaxation, when the first members ofthe
construction crew arrived to begin clearings for bunk houses, cook house, machine shop and commissary and
accommodation for the supervisors and
their wives. We were now provided with
proper cabins, one for the boss and his
engineer helpers and another for myself,
my chum Bob and the boss's son Charlie,
who now made up the survey crew. I was
officially the "tail-end chainman" and
later became "rodman" and eventually
learned to use the level and to keep the
necessary field books.
The first construction camp caterers
from rhe East had no idea of what B.C.
workers expected for food and, after a
steady diet of beans in watery tomato
sauce, there was a near riot and a new
company had to take over. The change
was dramatic. Breakfasts now had hot
and cold cereal, with lots of bacon and
eggs, hash-browns and chops, and pancakes and syrup. Suppers were the same,
with at least three cuts of *»
meat and steaks with vegetables, topped off with all
kinds of fruit and pies. We
always had great appetites,
which increased as the
weather grew colder, and I
gained about twenty
pounds during the time I
spent on the survey.
We also managed to provide the camp with the finest salmon, taken from a
spot near where we found
the gravestone by the river.
On one of our excursions
to rhe point we noticed that
it appeared that a long riffle, extending a
short distance out from the bank, nearly
closed off all access up-river to any fish
trying to make the passage and closer
examination proved this to be true. All
the fish were struggling through a narrow gap of rushing water and we realized that they could easily be taken with
a gaff, or dip net. We immediately returned to camp on our handcar and surreptitiously acquired a length of rebar and
a piece of chicken wire with which we
formed a sturdy dip net. In short order
we were back at the point and in a matter of minutes had filled two large grapefruit boxes with salmon, all averaging
over 5 pounds. There was great excitement when we arrived back in camp and
fresh salmon was on the menu that night.
The land next to the Indian burial
ground had been pre-empted by a couple of brothers named Wilson shortly
after the arrival of the railway and they
had cleared the brush and built a fine
home. For years they moved their supplies from the railway station on a
wooden wheelbarrow arrangement with
flanged wooden wheels that they pushed
along the tracks. The spacing ofthe rail
ties meant that you took a long step, then
a short step, to keep an even pace and
long after the highway went through, old
Wilson could be seen walking down its
gravelled surface, short step, long step,
short step, long step. The coming ofthe
highway changed his way of life completely, but some things were just too
1 small section of road early in tbe building I clearing stage.
All photos courtesy of the author.
Progress on the building of the highway picked up and soon the right-of-way
was cleared, making the job of getting
on line a cinch, compared to the days of
having to struggle over windfalls and
wade through swamps. It was rather eerie to see our feeble little trail through
the bush revealed and we relished the ease
with which we could now cover the
ground as we laid out grade stakes for
the actual construction of the roadway.
A sub-contract had been let to a company from Vancouver for the clearing of
the right-of-way which was the first job
that C Contracting ever had.
They had the idea that they could hire
native help to do the work and were dismayed when they found that the Indians in the area did not take to steady
work, day after day, but much preferred
to do a bit of fishing and a bit of berry
picking when the spirit moved them than
punch a time card. The contractor was
also short of equipment and had only one
small 'Cat' and ended up borrowing
equipment from the major contractor.
They were able to obtain horses to cold-
deck the trees as they were felled in the
clearing, but had many problems with
black bears who panicked the horses
chained to their loads.
We had one disaster when the blasting
crew managed to block the main line of
the CNR by blowing a bank of thick,
wet, blue clay clear across the highway
and onto the rail line at the mouth of a
cut. This sealed the rail line
like putting a stopper into a
bathtub drain and no vital
war supplies were able to get
through to Prince Rupert.
Pandemonium followed,
with rhe official brass trying
to find out what went wrong
and trying to get equipment
on the spot to move that
immovable material. There
was room only for one shovel
to work at a time from each
end of rhe blockage and it
took many days to clear the
There were few serious in-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 juries during the course of construction,
often the result of some rather comical
incident, but we did have one fatality that
placed a pall over the life of the camp
and we felt it most strongly, since it occurred at a spot where we had done some
rather dangerous work. Just to the West
ofthe camp was a steep rock face that we
had to measure for a "borrow" and to lay
out two connected tunnels for blasting.
We had been provided with a long safety
rope which we discarded after the first
day as it was too heavy and there was
more danger in dragging the thing
around and trying to hang on to the rock
face than working without it. We laid out
the lines underground, which was a new
experience and one that I have no desire
to ever repeat. In due course the drilling
of the tunnels was completed and prepared for a huge blast. One day, as one
of the men was walking out of one of
the tunnels, a massive slab of rock fell
right over the spot where he stepped out,
killing him instantly. It was one of those
terrible inexplicable coincidences that
make up life. The construction camp to
the West of Shames had a more serious
episode when a mud slide came down
on one of their bunk houses and a
number of men were killed.
Then there was the time we came
across a moss-covered human skeleton
lying alongside a fallen tree. It had obviously been there for many, many years
and we carefully collected what we could
and carried rhe bones back to the camp
in a powder box. The find
was reported to the authorities and in due course
the police appeared, wanting to see the "body". We
had taken the remains to
the commissary building
and when they were hauled
out from under the counter we were all given a stern
lecture about destroying
evidence, etc. etc., but
more I think to cover up
the bluster of the officer
who was disappointed that
his "big case" turned out to
be nothing of the sort.
As construction moved ahead the
weather changed and we had our first
frost which killed off the mosquitoes and
flies. We could put away our Stay-Away
and enjoy a bug-free environment both
night and day. It was pleasant to work
under those conditions, but before long
the snow started and we soon had a couple of feet on the ground with the temperature below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
One ofthe first things we had done when
we set up camp was to scout the area for
birch trees which we cut for fire wood
and piled carefully all around our cabin.
This wood would burn when green and
we traded many armloads for botdes of
beer or mickeys of rum or whiskey as the
weather deteriorated and firewood ran
short around camp.
I will always remember one hilarious
incident involving Bob C , the
right-of-way contractor who, with his
brother, had a little cabin with a tent top,
next to ours. They would light their fire
in the morning by dousing the paper and
kindling with gasoline and then throw
in a match. The resulting blast would
puff up the tent roof and blow away any
accumulated snow and soon their airtight heater would be roaring away. One
night when they were out partying, we
stole into their cabin and replaced their
botde of gasoline with water. The next
morning we watched as they went
through the usual ritual, this time thoroughly hung over, and had a great laugh
at what followed as it dawned on them
that their fire was not going and that they
had no more dry paper or kindling. They
came roaring out of their cabin, half
dressed, into the below-freezing morning looking for the perpetrators. We professed total innocence but gave them a
fresh supply of wood and paper. It was
worth the price of admission!
Working in the deep snow was a problem but the work of surveying was complete and all we had to do now was to
measure borrow pits and calculate the
amounts of material put in place and
record the culverts and bridges constructed. On the 23rd of November,
when I was out on line, someone came
out from the station with a telegram for
me. It was from my dear mother, congratulating me on my 21st birthday.
Shortly after that my chum Bob received
his draft notice and made plans to leave
the survey and return home to Hazelton
and then report to Vancouver to join the
Airforce. I decided to do the same and
felt that with my surveying experience, I
would have no trouble to get into the
survey wing of the Artillery, but I was
rejected for physical reasons and went to
work at Boeing Aircraft at the Sea Island
One ofthe most interesting and challenging years of my life which was to have
a profound effect on my future, was over.
I had learned many things and had experiences that money could not buy and
on my return down the coast
watched the shoreline go by
with a new understanding of
the work that those earlier
"surveyors of the sea" had
done nearly two hundred
years before. This led me to
learn more about George
Vancouver and his ship and
crew - and the rest, as they
say, is history.
The main line CNR track was blocked by thick, wet blue day brought down by
blasting to widen tbe highway. Tbe author stood on tbe slide to take this photo.
All photos courtesy of the author.
Mr. Roberts has contributed several book reviews and "The
Camelford Controversy" -
(Spring 1995, 28:2). These personal memories should make
good summertime reading.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 The Vancouver Lawn Tennis and
Badminton Club Celebrates 100 Years
One ofthe long-lasting, cosy traditions
of British life brought to Canada is the
English social club. Since the Middle
Ages London has been a city alive with
clubs of every description. For the most
part they centred about taverns and
coffeehouses where beveraging and dining played a large part. A convivial fraternity embraced intellectual discourse,
gossip, foreign news from Europe, Asia,
Africa and North America, and a pleasurable sense of importance in the status
ofthe British Empire.
The English style of social club never
took root in continental Europe. Clubs
in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy had
nasty reputations of violent revolution.
The British of polite society shunned
them altogether preferring leisurely pursuits such as parliamentary debate, music-making and sporting activities.
In Elizabethan times the most famous
club was the Bread Street Club founded
by Sir Walter Raleigh and meeting at the
Mermaid Tavern on Bread Street. Will
Shakespeare read his plays there profiting from outspoken criticisms.
At the Calves' Head Club members
celebrated the beheading of King Charles
I by dining on calves' heads. One club
Le Court de Bonne Compagnie had a
descendant in Canada at Annapolis Royal
in Nova Scotia named The Order of
Good Cheer. Its weekly banquets of wild
Canadian game and fowl were served
with elaborate ritual and ceremony. It was
disbanded in 1607. Music-making clubs
were common in London, Oxford and
Cambridge. The Catch Club which included the musical King George III still
regularly practices music to this date rehearsing and giving concerts. Some social clubs have inherited longevity. The
Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton
Club, celebrating its 100th Anniversary
by Thelma Reid Lower
is true to this tradition.
After the Napoleonic Wars the need
arose for recreational clubs to entice unruly throngs of exservicemen from lolling about the country and congregating
on the streets of London. Clubs devoted
to sports were strongly encouraged. Well
known were the Jockey Club; Alpine
Clubs, Kennel Clubs, The Turf, The
Thames, The Royal Yacht Squadron and
others. The Prince's Racquet and Tennis
Club founded in 1833 included disbanded soldiers from India who were
accustomed to playing Poona, a modified game of battledore and shutdecock.
When the Duke of Beaufort launched
this colonial game at his country estate,
"Badminton," the name stuck to the
game. Rules remained similar to those
of the game played in the outpost station of Poona, near Bombay in India.
The Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club has been shaped by its inheritance from the British style club.
Early arrivals in Vancouver sought to
build a cultured, sports-minded residential community. Mayor J.S. Matthews in
a letter to Alan Stevenson locates early
badminton in the Drill Hall.
Sept. 16th 1963
Dear Mr. Stevenson,
I should like to copy these Drill Hall badminton games photos . . . Captain J.
Reynolds Tite was one ofthe original officers, British Columbia Brigade of Garrison
Artillery at the old wooden Drill HaU on
Pender St. in January 1894. When he read
about a game called Badminton - some
game no one had ever heard of, he wrote to
find out where the tools for it could be obtained Anyway; he obtained the "tools" and
the game started in the old deserted Imperial Opera House, afterwards the wooden
"DriU Hall." There is a tablet in the Shelly
Bldg. by the elevator commemorating it.
Most sincerely,
J.S. Matthews
Only two years after the devastating
fire of 1886, enthusiastic tennis players
could boast of a court in CPR park at
the corner of Georgia and Granville
Streets. Their game on a wooden plank
court was not much different from tennis on a lawn. On both surfaces the ball
skids but more wantonly on grass. "One
summer day in the 1890's a ship laden
with tea from the Orient sank at the CPR
wharf. Canvas was spread over the tennis courts and the tea was emptied from
the chests and was raked out to dry;
watched over by customs officers as the
tea was "in bond" while it passed through
Canada." (J.S. Matthews)
The CPR Park property at the city's
core was soon needed for commercial
development. Not to be deprived of their
leisure sport, seventeen men prominent
in the city's life gathered together at the
original Hotel Vancouver on 2 October
1897 to formalize a Vancouver Lawn
Tennis Club. R Marpole was elected first
president and A.P. Horne, first secretary.
They set the entrance fee at $2.50 with
annual dues of $10 for gendemen and
$5 for ladies. The site chosen for play
was four lots at Denman and Barclay
Streets in the West End, a new burgeoning residential district.
The club remained at this site until
1914 by which time it had laid out nine
grass courts, four cinder courts, and two
croquet and bowling lawns. Even though
croquet and lawn bowling were very
much part of club life with competitions,
prizes and teas they were discontinued
in 1912 in favour of tennis. The tea party,
however, will be revived graciously on
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 "CP.R. Pari", bounded by Granville, Georgia and Howe Streets, was across Georgia street from the first Hotel Vancouver, south west corner, Georgia & Granville St.
Prcciseyear has not been found, but not long after 1880. Tbe Vancouver Tennis Club's wooden tennis courts have been covered with canvas and tea chests are being
opened and the tea which had become wet in transit from HongKong, spread out to dry. Tbe tea was "in bond" as it patted through Canada, and, under the watchful
eyes of customs officers, is being turned over and over, by Chinese with rakes, to dry in the hot summer sun. The long black streaksnearthefence are tea, anda Chinese
man is raking. The building with tbe tower is the "Manor House", renamed "Badminton Hotel", south west corner Howe and Dunsmuir Sts.
Photo courtesy of Vancouver Archives P. Q. N. 28, S.G.N. 1083.
Sunday afternoon, September 28, 1997,
when the club celebrates its official 100th
The CPR which had encouraged rhe
club to locate in the West End now favoured a new site at 16th Avenue and
Fir Street where it was developing the
residential district of Shaughnessy. The
railway company, expanding operations
into real estate, hoped to attract prosperous citizens from Eastern Canada to settle their families and wealth in their
western terminal city.
On 14 November 1911 at a club meeting a proposal was launched to acquire
twenty lots comprising three acres in the
Shaughnessy area. Three years later, after the new club premises were completed
the club was authorized to sell the
Denman property expecting it to yield a
sizable profit. The outbreak ofthe Great
War, however, combined with a downturn in real estate values prevented the
sale and the club's recovery of its investment. The Denman property was foreclosed despite the anguished pleas ofthe
club's directors. Had it not been for the
absence of 90 members on active service
in France the mortgage payments could
have been kept up.
The property was retained by the Canadian Bank of Commerce until 1925
when it was sold to the City of Vancouver for construction of King George Secondary School.
The clubhouse in Shaughnessy, designed by the renowned architect Samuel
McLure, acknowledged the club's historic
ancestry back to Elizabethan Tudor
No sooner had the club moved into
the Shaughnessy facilities than rhe Great
War began its disastrous effects. All tournaments and all socials were suspended
except for "patriotic tournaments" to
raise money for the war effort. There was
a gradual decline in memberships and
intake from fees.
After the war and into the 1920s the
directors sought new ways to entice racquet players. Because ofthe very nature
of outdoor tennis the club was idle for
most ofthe winter. The construction of,
a badminton hall seemed a logical solution. Tennis in the summer, badminton
in the winter and year-round use of the
clubhouse. On 17 November 1928 shut-
decocks flew for the first time under the
lofty green heights of Badminton Hall.
A gala ball celebrated the event but the
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 This photograph, circa 1914, shows the original clubhouse located where the badminton hall now stands. Since then most of tbe facilities have been rebuilt, and
others added. There also have been noticeable changes in racquets, balls, court surfaces and clothing, although our "Whites Only" dress code has been maintained in
honour of our early traditions. Today, we might wonder why tbe gentleman in tbe foreground of the photo was wearing black socks.
real christening came in January 1929
when the club staged the National Canadian Badminton Championships. In
that inaugural tournament two remarkable club members Eileen George and
Jack Underhill, formerly ofthe Hill Club,
added stature to the club and enhanced
the status of badminton on the west
Badminton courts, once installed, require little maintenance whereas grass
courts are a continuous drain on resources. This astute assessment persuaded
the club to install tennis courts indoors
and to cover outdoor courts with "bubbles".
The white code in dress was de rigueur.
Men wore long flannel trousers and
women long skirts. In 1934 the directors grudgingly allowed shorts provided
they were knee length almost reaching
down to their high socks.
When rhe club's youthful female champions, Eleanor Young and Caroline Deacon were sent to Wimbledon in 1935,
Eleanor made the London Press for her
abbreviated shorts which scandalized the
Wimbledon establishment, founded in
1877. In this, she anticipated Gussy
Moran whose lace-trimmed panties
caused an even greater uproar.
During the period 1930-1941 a gathering gloom permeated rhe club's activities as it struggled through the
Depression and came face-to-face for a
second time with war. In September
1941, a financial crisis was averted when
the club was incorporated under the Societies Act of British Columbia.
New arrangements with the CPR and
the Royal Bank allowed the club to move
forward without "the financial shackles
of the past." At an AGM held during a
blackout on 9 December 1941, two days
after the Japanese bombing of Pearl
Harbor favorable changes were approved.
Only three members were actually able
to attend. R.D. Peers, vice-president,
Harry Monk, secretary, and one unnamed shareholder. Despite rhe lack of a
quorum the meeting proceeded according to the agenda on rhe due notice circulated beforehand.
Again the club had to face member-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 ship loss; this time of both men and
Suspension of tournaments and socials, scrambles, sock hops, dances,
fancy dress balls, bridge games, bingo
- cast the club into such despondency
that it was miraculous that it survived.
But there was always that underlying
Churchillian determination to keep
going forward.
After the cessation of the war and
the return of veterans, the club had to
make a conscious effort first, to rebuild
membership and second, to recoup its
former stellar reputation in championship play. To do this family memberships were introduced in 1957 thus
accomplishing at one stroke an increase
in membership, but more importantly,
the opportunity to put juniors (formerly almost a nuisance factor in the
club) into the capable hands of experienced senior players and professional
As early as 1960 the club contracted
a professional tennis coach. Paul
Willey, who, in 1956 at Victoria had
distinguished himself on Canada's
Davis Cup team. His proteges included
such champions as Bob Puddicombe,
Bob Moffatt, Tony Bardsley and Mike
Bolton. When Willey retired Abdul
Shaikh, uniquely certified to teach all
three racquet sports, became the club's
"Professional", coaching youthful players to international levels. In addition
he has been manager/coach of Provincial and Canadian badminton teams participating in Pan-American Games,
European Tours, Commonwealth Games
and World Championships. In 1996 he
was on the coaching staff of Canada's
Olympic Badminton Team.
The excellence of the club's coaching
attracts family memberships. Today there
are about 1500 memberships which extended to family members include nearly
3000 adults and children. The family
names Bardsley, Nicolls, Milne, Jeffery,
Underhill, Meredith, Desaulniers testify
to several generations of champions.
In 1960 the club also gave the go-ahead
for extensive building renovations which
included two American-sized squash
John Samis - Canadian Junior Badminton
Champion, 1937 and 1938.
courts. Later in 1970 a third singles court
and a doubles court were added in the
Link building. When the club hosted the
Canadian Squash Championships Colin
Adair of Montreal became the first Canadian to win both the Canadian and
American singles tide in the same year
Squash is potentially a dangerous game
because of its speed and swinging racquets. Cautiously the club relaxed its
"whites only" dress code permitting players to wear colored shirts thus helping
players to distinguish partners from opponents. A tournament which tests the
skills and stamina in all three racquet
sports is the Racquets Triathlon, devel
oped by a club member and first
played in 1991.
On November 20th - 23rd 1997, a
Tri-Club Invitational Racquets
Triathlon will taper the club's centennial celebration to an exciting conclusion except of course for those
delightful annual Christmas and New
Year Festivities still to come.
Mrs. Lower's husband, Arthur, and two sons,
Malcolm and Philip were very keen members of this club. Mr. Lower was a founder
ofthe B.C. Badminton Association which
promoted tournaments for junior and senior high school students.
Williams, David R. History Vancouver Lawn Tennis and
Badminton Club 1897 - unpublished manuscript in club
Ker, Lois; Match Point "Vancouver Lawn - Celebrating
100 years" Chair Centennial Committee.
Stevenson Alan R. First Service - 100 Years of Tennis in
Monk Harry, Shellard, Doug; Centennial Committee:
Photos: Club Archives: Centennial Calendar
Letter: Major J.S. Mathews
VLTBC Members in
Halls of Fame
Claire Lovett (75)
Wayne Macdonnell ('93)
John Samis ('72)
Daryl Thompson ('84)
Margaret (Taylor) Turner ('67)
Eileen (George) Underhill (70)
John Underhill ('68)
Edward Cardinall ('66)
Marjorie Leeming (77)
Lome Main (75)
Bernie Schwengers ('66)
Jack Wright ('66)
George Morfitt ('88)
Jim Skelton
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Summer Trip on $2.00 a Day
by Frances Welwood
At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday,
August 8, 1936 the delivery
truck of A&C Company deposited boxes of groceries,
fresh fruits and vegetables for
a small, eager group of
holidayers aboard the
Marlen. The Marlen was
berthed at the Vancouver
Harbour Commission Wharf
(commonly known as "the
Government Fish Wharf") at
the foot of Campbell Avenue
in Burrard Inlet. This part of
Vancouver's waterfront was
very familiar to the seven
members of Marlen's crew.
Mary and Margaret
Devereux were the mid-20ish
daughters of Nicholas
Devereux, timber cruiser, recently retired after over 40
years cruising on Vancouver
Island for B.C. Mills Timber
and Trading Company. The
Devereux family had lived on
Union St. since 1907 and the
busy Vancouver waterfront,
B.C Mills Company office
and the Hastings Mill Store1
at the foot of Dunlevy Street
were their territory.
First-generation City-
dwellers, Mary and Margaret
were not seasoned maritime, outdoor
enthusiasts like their rugged and resourceful father. However Mary "was
keeping company" with young Ed Clay,
a Spencer's Department Store clerk who
from childhood, had a yen for boats and
the islands and inlets of the coast north
and west of Vancouver. Ed was the experienced "Captain" of this nine day voyage to Desolation Sound, Redonda,
Stuart and Thurlow Islands. Harold Clay
(Ed's father and B.C. Electric machinist
by trade) and Ray Coghlan made up the
male complement. Two more single la-
CitygidMary Devereux hoists 38 lb. salmon caught oft"Stuart Island, August1936.
Photo courtesy of the author.
dies of middling age and very limited
nautical ability, Edie Horton and
Constance Hignett, were along for "the
A bookkeeper and life insurance adjuster by trade, Mary was the voyage's
supply officer. Her shopping lists, accounts and assignations of galley duties
and menus have been found nearly 60
years later, tucked inside the personal
diary and daily log she faithfully kept.
The total bill for A&C Company groceries delivered dockside was $14.84.
With other thrifty purchases made
nearby at Spencer's,
Woodward's, the Hudson's
Bay, Piggly-Wiggly and
Blackburn's butchery, $14.72
was added to the accounts payable ledger - costs to be divided
7 ways at a later date. Only the
Liquor Store tally of $4.40 was
shared three ways. Forty cents
worth of ice and a $1.57 bag
of groceries were taken on at
Refuge Cove on West Redonda
and were carefully entered.
Mary's proposed eight-day
menu made no assumption
that the crew would be successful fishermen (although this
was, without doubt, the intent
of the young males on board.!)
Happily, Wednesdays Vegetable Salad and Cold Meat meals
were substituted with excellent
freshly caught salmon and Friday's tinned Mushroom soup
gave way to filets of cod. Breakfasts were combinations ofthe
familiar routine of cereal, toast,
eggs, pancakes, fruit and coffee. Pork n beans, salads and
sandwiches made satisfactory
lunches. Dinners, although often eaten late at night due to
fishing expeditions, were ofthe
meat and potatoes variety with
lots of tinned vegetables and cakes.
Mary's diary hints at "considerable difficulties" encountered with a "cantankerous stove" in frequent need of first aid,
but generally she praised her companions'
heroic efforts in preparing meals particularly after successful late-evening fishing
Marlen was a 30 foot motor launch
rented from a Mr. Allen (with a hefty $5
deposit) for $7 per day and capable of
sleeping seven. The total charter was
therefore $63 for the nine day expedition. During this time she consumed
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 approximately 100 gallons or $20.75 worth of
gas. Repairs were made
to the clutch in West
Vancouver, 40 minutes
after casting off from
Vancouver's Fish
Wharf but this was not
seen as a bad omen.
The Marlen proved
herself capable of bucking the Yuculta2 Rapids
between Sonora and
Stuart Islands, the narrows west of Dent Island and the Seymour
Narrows. Mary admits
to a bit of apprehension
as she records how the
Marlen beat the furrows through Seymour
Narrows and dealt with
a westerly out of Desolation Sound. Her only
complaint with the entire venture came three
days into the journey as
she reported, "There is
a snoring trio aboard
who hit their notes long
and loudly."!
In her final diary entry, Mary uses rather
colourful prose to summarize the scenic delights she and her
friends experienced on
a holiday forever after
referred to as "the
Stuart Island Trip".
"Stanley Park seems like
a friendly giant on the
starboard and hundreds
of midgets line the
roads and Vancouver's
Mosquito craft is returning home, too!.
The rays of the sinking sun strike the
windows of the Marine Building like a
fiery torch and then pass on to the CNR
Hotel (sic CPR), the Customs Buildings
and now (7:48 p.m.) [we've come to ]
the Vancouver Harbour Commission
Dock at the ft. of Campbell Ave. - a most
The 30foot "Marlen", hired from Vancouver at $7per day, moored at Cole's Landing, Stuart Island, August 1936.
Photo courtesy of the author
L. to It Jack Tyndall (storekeeper, Refuge Cove, Redonda Island), Constance Hignett, TyndaU's dog "Flapper'', Ed Clay, "Buster"
(hidden), Margaret Devereux, Mary Devereux, Harold Clay, Ray Coghlan: Holidayers from Vancouver at Refuge Cove, August 1936.
Pholo courtesy of the author.
unromantic spot to be designated as the
Alpha and Omega of our Venture aboard
the 'Marlen'". All this for $2.00 per day
per person!
Frances Clay Welwood, now living in Nelson is
tbe daughter of Mary Devereux Clay. Mrs. Clay
is a still resident of her native Vancouver.
Frances is Nelson Courthouse Librarian and
Welcome Wagon Hostess.
I .Hastings Mill Store was relocated to the foor of Ainu Road
in 1931 to serve as a Museum.
2.  spelling variations: Uculra, Yucultaw
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Alexander ZuCkkerberg -
From Dream to Reality
by John Charters
The Chapel House on Zuckerberg Island. This picture was taken in 1989 by G. Nelson Jr.
He was already 70 years old when I
first met him, yet he looked both older
and younger. His hair and beard, for example, were quite white, yet full and
neatly trimmed. His back was bent and
his legs bowed by a bout with osteomyelitis which had almost killed him years
before, but he rode everywhere, up hill
and down, on his ancient black English
bicycle. There were wrinkles on his face
but they were located only at the corners
of his twinkling, intelligent eyes and they
were wrinkles of laughter. He was a wise
and practical man and his advice, when
asked for, was full of humor and good
solid common sense, yet he was an idealist and a dreamer, and it is of these
dreams I wish to write.
As an emigre who had lost practically
everything in Russia after the revolution
he had come with his family to Canada
with almost nothing, but when he died
he was rich in works and friends and
His name was Alexander Feodorovitch
Zuckerberg; 'Alexander Feodorovitch' to
his Russian friends and pupils, 'Mr.
Zuckerberg' to others and he was born
in Estonia in 1880 of early German stock
(Zuckerberg means 'sugar mountain in
German). When he was still young his
family moved to an estate near St.
Petersburg (now Leningrad). Here he
took a degree in civil engineering but
spent most of his life teaching children
and adults, with or without pay.
He left Russia with his wife and family in 1920 under the terms of the Treaty
of Versailles, and after considerable wandering built a home in Vancouver, where
he worked as a cabinet maker. But the
love of teaching was in his blood, so when
in 1930 Peter Verigin II ('the Cleanser'),
leader of the Doukhobors, invited him
to come to teach the community children, as required by law, he moved to
the then tiny community of Casdegar in
south-central British Columbia. Here at
the confluence of the
Kootenay and Columbia rivers he found a small island,
to be known to later generations as Zuckerberg Island,
and fell in love with it.
The island, well known to
the local children as a special play place, had been used
for hundreds, some say thousands of years as a fishing
winter camp site by the
Lakes Tribes of the Interior
Salish Indian People until
the early 1900's.
The first white man to discover it was explorer David
Thompson who had camped
near the mouth of the
Kootenay River in 1811 and
recorded it on his charts.
Unfortunately, when the
CP.R. surveyed the area for the Casdegar
town site near the turn of the century,
the island was omitted from the survey
maps. Therefore, when Alexander
Feodorovitch, to give him his usual Russian name, wrote to Victoria with an offer to buy it, he was told that since the
island did not appear on the maps, it did
not exist. On the other hand, the correspondence went on with impeccable bureaucratic logic, if the island did exist,
then it must be crown and he couldn't
buy it. He could lease it, though, at a
nominal fee for 99 years.
As a philosophical opponent of all bureaucrats he refused the offer and after
20 years of dogged negotiation, and after having it surveyed at his own expense,
(thereby bringing it back into legal existence), he bought it. In the interval, he
had built two houses on the island. The
first was a small high-peaked, one-man
log cabin of unusual design in which he
lived for the first several years. The sec-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 ond, built in 1935, and now called the
Chapel House, is constructed of mitred
logs, and has a Russian style cupola, carvings, and a decorative exterior. It is reminiscent of the small, Russian Orthodox
country chapels of Old Russia and is
unique in B.C if not in Canada. It was
and still is a point of greatest interest to
visitors. It was of even greater symbolic
importance to its creator, who, though a
staunch Canadian, retained strong ties
with his homeland and it is an intimate
expression of the man himself.
He also cleared some of rhe land on
the island for orchards, vegetable and
flower gardens, and a rye field. Again,
this latter has a certain symbolic or philosophical significance, for he had come
under the influence of Count Leo
Tolstoy, the great Russian novelist, reformer and religious philosopher, for
whom self-sufficiency was essential to
life. A true man, Tolstoy said, should be
capable of doing everything needful for
himself, right down to growing his own
grain and making his own bread. This
Alexander Feodorovitch did, and more.
Thus all his life, even to his last days,
he wore the belted, high collared Russian shirt and baggy trousers, made on
his own sewing machine, and tucked
them into high boots, cobbled regularly
on his own last. His self-
barbered, crew-cut hair, was
covered with a peaked Russian
cap. His hands were work-
hardened and calloused. He always wore a full moustache and
the pointed beard of the Russian intellectual, even at a time
when beards and moustaches
were out of style. In his spare
time, to satisfy his artistic bent,
he carved several women out
of stumps, one of which still
remains. He was, in brief, a true
eccentric in the best sense of
rhe word.
When he had reached retirement age his back was bent
with arthritis and he could no
longer ride his black bicycle so
he built a concrete causeway to
the island for his electric car.
The only difficulty with this idea was the
fact that the car would not climb the
slopes at either end. Consequently he
spent most of his time on his island,
where friends drove or walked over to see
him. Here he entertained, sculpted busts
of his pupils and grandchildren, painted,
studied, and continued to teach anyone
who would be taught, and acted as a gen-
de, persistent gad-fly to local councils,
boards and the provincial government on
behalf of the arts, women, children and
social unfortunates.
He had however one problem. Since
there was no course called English for
new Canadians when he arrived in
Canada he had learned to speak English
from books. This at times, produced
some interesting results. The English articles 'the' and 'a' which are apparently
absent in Russian would appear and disappear in his conversations with gay
abandon and the pronunciation of the
fiendish English 'ough' was for him a
perennial booby trap. Thus, to take one
example: 'Today I made dough for the
rye bread, though it took a long time'
would arrive as: 'Today I made the duff
for the rye bread, then it take long time!'
Sometimes he would pretend to spit
out these offending words and then his
eyes would twinkle and his lips turn up
in an impish grin. For us who cherished
him it never really mattered.
Zuckerberg Island has on the landward
side, a deep permanent pond, one of several, which in flood time, over the years,
has taken a number of lives. It is a popular swimming hole in summer and outdoor skating rink in winter, and as a
regular and alert swimmer and skater
there, the old man was able to save at
least two children from drowning, for
which he received a life-saving award.
His great dream, therefore, was to see
his beloved island and pools developed
as a park, particularly for the enjoyment
of children and for teaching them to
swim. When he offered it to the town
council however, he was turned down
with little consideration for his feelings.
The old man was deeply hurt.
When his wife Alicia died in I960, he
built a monument for her in the style of
a wayside country shrine - a large cross
with a likeness of Alicia in the uniform
of a 1st-World War Russian nurse, superimposed on it in high relief. He placed
it beneath a peaked roof on the highest
point ofthe island, overlooking the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia
rivers. When he in his turn died a year
later at age 81 - his dream still unrealized
- his ashes were placed at his request, next
Suspension Bridge, built as a field exercise project in 1984 by tbe 44tb Field Engineer Squadron, to connect Zuckerberg
Island Heritage Park to tbe mainland. Tbe 474 foot bridge was erected with donated material and won the coveted
Canadian Militia Hertzberg award.
Photograph by Dick Caunt
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 to hers, beneath a bronze plaque set level
with the ground. It reads simply: Alexander Zuckerberg 1880-1961.
In the 20 years that followed the island became an overgrown jungle, the
houses vandalized and decayed shells.
Almost everyone forgot its existence. But
not all.
In 1981 the city of Casdegar, at the
urging of certain interested citizens,
bought the island as a future park but
lacked the funds to develop it. In the
spring of 1983 however the Castlegar
Rotary Club decided, as a community
project, to revitalize the old dream and
build a park. With a Rotary supervisor, a
volunteer craftsman and four college students, two male and two female, and the
Federal Summer Works program grant,
the project was started in May, 1983; it
was formally opened in the presence of a
large crowd, as Zuckerberg Island Park.
After a second summer's work, the team,
in spite of floods, bad weather and poison ivy, continued the work and by August 1984 had cleared 1500 metres of
wide, tree-shaded winding trails, hand-
groomed 4 ofthe 5 1/2 acres of land,
erected a dozen permanent directional
signs, built a chain link fence (pedestrians only), and installed, at strategic spots
about the island, 9 park-viewing benches
and six picnic tables. As a consequence,
no senior citizen today need walk more
than 90 metres about the island before
finding a place to rest and relax.
In the meantime the city had hired
another college team to do a study-in-
depth of the island and on the basis of
its report, a Casdegar Heritage Advisory
Committee was formed in September
1983. By December the committee had
matching grants from the B.C. Heritage
Branch and the city. Three months later
architectural restoration drawings were
completed and the work was begun,
mosdy with senior volunteers.
By this time however, there was another problem. The number of visitors -
local families and people from out of
town - had soared. Consequently the
committee became greatly concerned
over the increased danger of fire and the
lack of access in flood time. A near
drowning, when two women attempted
to wade across the flooded causeway
heightened their anxiety. In the old days
Alexander Feodorovitch, a skilled boatman, had rowed himself and visitors
across the dangerous waters, but this was
no answer now.
What to do? There was no money and
no apparent way in which a year around
link between island and mainland could
be realized. Then, in late December, an
officer ofthe 44 th Field Engineer Squadron of Trail came to see the committee
chairman. The popular commanding
officer ofthe squadron, he said, was leaving. Under his command the unit had
twice won the Hertzberg Trophy, the
highest militia engineering project award
in Canada. If the 44th could win it a third
time it became theirs and they would
therefore like to make him a going away
present of the trophy. Their project, he
went on, was to construct a pedestrian
suspension bridge. There were 3 possible locations and he named two of them,
Zuckerberg Island Park was the third.
What followed is a story in itself. Suffice to say that the island site for the suspension bridge was approved and with a
$2000.00 grant from the Castlegar Rotary Club for the purchase of concrete
for the 20 tonne bridge anchors the army
engineers got to work in early March.
With the donation of towers, cables,
timbers, flooring hardware, heavy equipment and engineering consulting skills
from Westar Lumber Mill, Cominco,
West Kootenay Power, Emco Engineering Consultants and other firms as well
as private citizens, the army engineers
completed the project in three months -
mosdy on weekends.
On Mayday, 1983, the 300 foot span,
474 foot suspension bridge was formally
opened by Brigadier-General M.E.
Heppell of Pacific Command and Audrey
Moore, Mayor ofthe City of Casdegar.
That bridge won the Hertzberg Award
for the engineers. It provides vital year-
around access to the park for hundreds
of visitors local, national and international, every week. It is a major step in
the old dream.
Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park has
now become a favorite route for early
morning joggers, and an outdoor classroom for schools from kindergarten to
College, and the Chapel House a visit
stop for everyone.
The anthropology class of Selkirk College has built a full scale kukuli (an Indian winter pit house) close to the
original pit house sites, and the city has
installed a fire pipeline and a nearby
washroom. The volunteer Heritage Advisory Committee workers, whose average age is 70, have just completed the
first and most difficult phase of the restoration on the Chapel House as they
complain half-jokingly that the island is
a seductress, drawing one on to more and
more effort. But the sense of pride in
achievement is tremendous.
The next step will be the development
ofthe island's pit-house sites, so carefully
protected by Mr. Zuckerberg during his
life time. Now the Committee sees them
properly developed by skilled architects
and local volunteers, as a window to our
past and a link in the future to our extensive pre-history of this valley, a consciousness of our heritage. The dream is
becoming reality.
Alexander Feodorovitch Zuckerberg,
emigre, teacher, artist, romantic and
dreamer will make the history books.
Apparently he was a small, slight, crippled old man who spoke a sometimes
strange English with a heavy accent. He
was, in reality, a giant who wore the cloak
of his humanity with dignity, whose concern for his fellow citizens and students
and whose courage is a local legend. He
left us with more in 30 years than most
men leave in a lifetime.
When he died his dream died too - or
so it seemed, but he had tilled and sown
his ideas and dreams well. Now, 25 years
later, with the overwhelming success of
the Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park assured, his ashes still lie quiedy on the high
point above the rivers, and his spirit
moves free over the island and the
Kootenays - a reminder that dreams can
reach beyond the grave.
John Charters is a retired teacher and heritage
activist in Castlegar.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 The Prostitution of Native Women ofthe
North Coast of British Columbia
Prostitution has for the most part been
ignored as a topic of research in history.
It has not been until recently, with the
rise of gender and women's history, that
prostitution has been considered an important aspect ofthe social and economic
history of Canada. Most research has
generally focused on contemporary political aspects of prostitution, and litde
on the history of prostitution. Historical
studies during the colonial period are few,
particularly in regards to Native women.
In this paper I wish to uncover some of
this hidden history. I will try to historically examine the participation of Native
Women ofthe Northwest Coast in prostitution during the period ofthe fur trade
and during the period of European setdement. I will show that Native women's exchange of sexual services for
payment, which was already inherent in
Aboriginal social structure prior to contact with Whites, was further utilized by
Natives during the time of trade and setdement as a means of adapting to and
profiting from the emerging European
capitalist economy. In doing so, I will also
try to contextualize the meaning of prostitution during the time of cultural contact between Natives and Whites.
In order to examine the participation
of Native women in prostitution during
the time of contact and settlement, it is
necessary to have an understanding ofthe
status of Native women amongst the people ofthe West Coast. One area that must
be considered is the treatment of women's sexuality within the Native cultures
along the Coast of British Columbia. Did
Native women have sexual autonomy
prior to cultural contact? Did men have
any form of control over women's sexuality? Was women's sexuality used as a
form of economic and social interaction
between Natives prior to European contact? As there are no written accounts by
by Jennifer Windecker
Native women themselves, I will draw
on the written accounts about Native life
and social organization of European explorers and early fur traders to analyze
and examine these questions. I will also
draw on some articles written by female
historians which focus on the social, economic and political role of Native women
during the time of pre-contact, and settlement.
In Native Women of the North Pacific Coast: An historical Perspective,
1830-1900, Carol Cooper explains that
the Nishga and Tsimshian enjoyed a position of economic and social strength
prior to contact during the time of the
land-based fur trade. Tsimshian and
Nishga women's continuing contribution
to the economic welfare of their households and lineages was the important factor in the women's position of economic
and social equality.1 According to
Cooper, there was little evidence of prostitution, as defined by European standards, in these aboriginal societies prior
to contact with Whites. However, the
sexuality of some Native women was utilized as a form of social and economic
transaction. Within these two Native
societies, a social structure based on class
was present. This structure served to divide women into different social positions. There were the slaves, the lower
rank, and the upper rank. Within this
social ranking, higher rank women's sexuality was something that was valued and
sought after. Cooper explains:
There were always certain women
of high rank who were considered
"lucky" or able to impart luck and
power to those with whom they had
intercourse . . The oral traditions
of the Tsimshian related that Chiefs
sometimes offered valuable presents
for the privilege of engaging in sex
with these women even though they
might be the wife of another chief.2
Sexual relations such as the one mentioned above was a form of accepted social interaction between tribes and tribal
members. Payment for the sexual services of women seemed to be accepted
forms of behavior among these Native
cultures. This was part ofthe economic
and social structure of their society.
Cooper also notes that this form of social and economic structure in regards
to women's sexuality did not imply loose
moral standards contrary to the beliefs
of the European traders and settlers.
Within Tsimshian society, just as in the
Nootka culture, Natives were especially
concerned about such matters as guarding the chastity of young, unmarried
women.3 In the same vein, Gilbert
Malcolm Sproat, an ethnographer who
lived amongst the Nootka prior to setdement, stated that guarding women's
chastity was extremely important within
the Nootka culture. He observes that a
girl who was known to have lost her virtue, lost with it one of her chances of a
favorable marriage: and a chief, or man
of high rank in a tribe, would have his
daughter put to death for such a lapse.4
Exchange of sex for payment and goods
was also found between Natives within
Kwakiutl culture. Clellan Ford's book
Smoke From Their Fires recounts the
life of a traditional Kwakiutl Chief. During adolescence boys usually issued
money to girls in exchange for sexual
services. Contrary to the social ranking
within Tsimshian society where higher
ranked women are paid for their services, within Kwakiutl society women of
lower rank were the women who were
paid for and performed these services.
The Kwakiud Chief states:
When I first talk with one of these
girls I just talk at first and then
maybe we kiss. Maybe for a month
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 I just talk to her, and then we hug
each other, and then we kiss. That is
the first thing we do. When I get the
money she wants, I tells her I am
going to come and see her that night.
She wouldn't let me bring the money
when I come, for fear I wouldn't
bring it. She wouldn't think of backing out - not after she has the money.
This is only the girls that you are
fooling around with. It's not usually
the girl you are going to get married
Exchanging the sexual services of Native women (lower-rank and higher rank
women) for payment seemed an integral
part of Native culture among the peoples of the Northwest Coast of British
Columbia. All ofthe Native cultures discussed above had some social structure
that supported and encouraged the exchange of women's sex for payment prior
to contact with Whites. There were no
social stigmas attached to these practices
and in many cases they were encouraged
by many Native men. Scott writes in his
book The History of Prostitution that
among some tribes it was customary for
Native men to cause their wives or daughters to have intercourse with strangers,
usually in return for a reward, though in
certain cases the practice has all the hallmarks of a religious rite.6 In some of these
exchanges Native women profited, and
in others Native men profited from women's participation in sex for payment. In
all cases we see that women's sexuality was
seen as a means of social and economic
transaction amongst these Native tribes.
Many explorers also wrote about the
structure of marriage within these societies in relation to women's sexuality.
Francis Poole, an early explorer in the
Queen Charlotte Islands writes about the
gender relations among the Haida in his
journal Queen Charlotte Islands: A
narrative of Discovery and Adventure
in the North Pacific. He states
They view a woman purely as a
thing of purchase, to be had connubially for a month's trial, and then,
if not satisfactory, to be returned to
her parents, who are thereupon
bound to give back whatever she
fetched in blankets, trinkets, or the
In reading this account of gender relations we get the sense that women in the
Haida culture were in an inferior position economically and socially than the
Native men. If a man found that he was
not satisfied with his wife then he had
the right to "return" her just as you could
return any other object of purchase.
Sanger, the author ofthe book The History of Prostitution also describes to us
the most common form of courtship and
marriage ceremony found generally in
Native cultures prior to European contact and setdement. He explains;
The predominant custom is for a
man to procure a wife by purchase
from her father, thus acquiring a
property over which he has absolute
control, and which he can barter
away or dispose of in any manner
he   pleases.   The   example   of
Pawhattan, who was the Chief ruler
over thirty tribes in Virginia at the
time of English colonization, is a case
in point. It is said that he always had
a multitude of wives about him, and
when he wearied of any would distribute them as presents among his
principal warriors. In most cases the
woman is not consulted at all, the
whole transaction being a mercantile one.8
This practice, which also occurred
amongst the Natives of the Northwest
Coast, is known as wife-lending. Sproat
states that among tribes of the Coast of
British Columbia the temporary present
of a wife is one of the greatest honours
that can be shown to a guest.9 This age
old practice was a form of hospitality
which carried with it certain expectations
for reciprocal return. In reading these
accounts of wife-lending we get the sense
that women's sexuality was something
that men could purchase, share and exploit. These economic transactions paint
a position of inferiority and subservience
on the part of Native women. Were some
Native women just objects of economic
exploitation for men within Native society? Some early accounts written about
this subject claim that Native women
found nothing wrong with this form of
social structure, in fact some explorers
claim that women were revered for participating in these practices. Francis Poole
noted that Haida women cohabit almost
promiscuously with their own tribe. He
states that not only does no dishonour
attach to this degrading practice, but, if
successful in making money, it is highly
In analyzing the position of women
within the Native cultures ofthe Northwest coast we can conclude that prostitution, if defined solely as engaging in
sex for payment, did exist in Native societies along the coast of British Columbia. Prior to European contact, Native
women's sexuality was utilized as a form
of economic and social interaction within
Native society. Prostitution as defined by
Europeans, with its negative moral connotations, was not evident in these Native cultures. The exchange of sex for
goods or payment was part of their accepted social structure. Native women
and men within these cultures probably
did not find these practices demoralizing nor did they term it "prostitution".
In addition Native women probably did
not view what they were doing as a form
of prostitution, nor did they consider
themselves "prostitutes". However, the
Europeans who first came into contact
with Natives and witnessed these forms
of social relations, concluded that the
Native women who participated in the
practice of exchanging sex for payment
were in a position of economic, social and
sexual inequality.
Cultural contact and the fur trade
brought many changes to aboriginal cultures along the Northwest coast. The introduction of a capitalist economy was
welcomed by Natives as it allowed them
to acquire new goods for use in
potlatches. Early changes in Native
economies resulting from the fur trade
also led to an increase in the already existing slave trade between Natives. Slave
trade was established between Native
tribes prior to European contact for
means of economic purposes. For natives,
slaves were an important source of labour
and a major commodity in trade with
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 other tribes. According to Cooper slaves
were highly valued as potlatch gifts, bearing a cash value of two hundred to two
thousand dollars.11 As contact with Europeans continued, Natives learned
the economic value in trading and selling the sexual services of female slaves.
By the 1850's the Native slave trade for
purposes of labour was becoming secondary to the profits from selling Native slave
women to Whites for purposes of prostitution. This form of sex-trade was the
first form of economic exploitation of
Native women's sexuality during the fur
trade. As Europeans began to settle in the
region of Coastal British Columbia, particularly during the time ofthe gold rush,
the sexual slave trade became more institutionalized. The majority of what early
sailors and traders viewed as prostitution
was the selling of slave women's sexual
services to White Europeans. John Lutz
writes in his thesis Work, Wages and
Welfare in Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal
Relations, British Columbia, 1849-
1970 that
It seems certain that a portion of
what the Europeans called prostitution was the coerced 'rental' of
women slaves. Slaves, according to
the social relations of aboriginal society, could be prostituted by their
owners. From the first appearance of
Europeans on the coast, the hiring
out of women slaves to the fur traders/sailors had been a sideline venture. With the gold rush, slave
prostitution became an industry.12
Native males and high-ranking Native
women were most frequendy selling these
slave women into prostitution. Natives
along the Coast of British Columbia
learned quickly that the selling of slave
women's sexual services to White Europeans was a very profitable industry. By
1855, the Hudson's Bay Company officials at Fort Simpson remarked that the
northern Kaigani Haida and Tsimshian
were taking south as many as sixty
women at a time for purposes of prostitution.13
The majority of the slave-trade was
from the north and the coast of British
Columbia. Victoria seems to have been
the slave-trade capital during the colonial period. Nations from up and down
the coast of British Columbia came to
Victoria to participate in the slave-trade.
The larger population of Europeans in
this region during the colonial period and
settlement provided an enthusiastic market, actively seeking out and purchasing
the sexual services of Native female
slaves.14 The absence of white women,
and the significant number of Native
women, was probably the most significant reason for the popularity and prevalence of the slave-trade prostitution
during the time ofthe fur trade and early
setdement. Matthew Macfie, an English
explorer, writes about the prevalence of
the slave-trade in Victoria during the
1860 s in his book Vancouver Island and
British Columbia. He mentions how
White Europeans actively sought out and
supported the sexual slave-trade of Native women. He writes;
Even now one cannot walk from
the ferry up the Esquimalt road by
day or night without encountering
the sight of these Indian Slaves
squatting in considerable numbers
in the bush, for what purpose it is
not difficult to imagine, and the extent to which the nefarious practices
referred to are encouraged by the
crews of Her Majesty's ships is a disgrace to the service they represent,
and a scandal to this country . .
.Hundreds of dissipated white men,
moreover, live in open concubinage
with these wretched creatures. So
unblushingly is the traffic carried on,
that I have seen the husband and
wife of a Native family canvassing
from one miner's shanty to another,
with view of making assignation for
the clootchmen (squaws) in their
The prostitution of Native women
slaves during the slave trade remained to
be a very profitable form of interaction
between Natives and Whites until
around the 1860's. At the same time as
the slave trade, many White European
men were also forming longer lasting relationships with Native women. Prior to
European setdement Native women were
considered positive advantages to fur
traders as they represented the link between Native culture and European culture. European traders had both social
and economic reasons for taking Indian
mates. Not only did they fill the sexual
void created by the absence of White
women, but they performed many valuable economic tasks.16 During the time
of trade, liaisons with White men were
encouraged in aboriginal society as it was
a way of drawing Europeans into their
circle of trade. However, as the European
population grew and spread along the
Pacific Northwest, this relationship of
dependency faded. Europeans no longer
needed Aboriginal women for purposes
of economic trade alliances. However,
Native women were still seen as essential
to Europeans for sexual purposes. Thus,
during the time of early setdement, the
prostitution of Native women emerged
as a major industry.
Native women themselves initiated
participation in prostitution during the
time of early settlement. By engaging in
sex for payment with White settlers,
Native women were able to gain access
to European goods for use in trade and
podatches. Hudson's Bay officials at Fort
Simpson maintained that large numbers
of women who engaged in sex for payment at Victoria, and on the ships that
regularly plied the coast, did so in order
to obtain whisky and rum.17 Settlement
of European males brought many opportunities for women to acquire goods by
means of prostitution. By the time ofthe
goldrush, opportunities for Native
women to earn large sums of money by
means of prostitution was at an all time
Native men and Native women seemed
to profit from Native women's sexual alliances with European settlers. For
women, acquiring new trade goods
seemed to elevate their status within their
social organization. Acquiring goods by
these means was not looked down upon
at all, in fact the more goods you could
acquire in this way, the more admiration
the women received from other tribe
members. Native men in the tribe did
not oppose these forms of transactions
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 and more often than not sanctioned
them. Fisher points out in his book Contact and Conflict that large numbers of
Indian women from the North came to
Victoria to earn money by prostitution.
Native women were able to raise their
husband's social position with the wealth
that they acquired in this way.19 Similarly, Niblack writes about the prevalence
of Native women going to Victoria to
earn money by means of prostitution in
order to elevate social status within Native society in his book The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska and Northern
British Columbia. He states
Money earned in summer months
by these adventurous spirits is squandered in the most reckless dissipation about the various settlements in
the winter months. Jealousy being
unknown amongst the Indians, and
sanctioned prostitution a common
evil, the woman who can earn the
greatest number of blankets or the
largest sums of money wins the admiration of others for herself, and a
high position for her husband by
reason of her wealth.20.
As Europeans settled along the coast
of British Columbia, prostitution became
more important as a means of enhancing individual prestige and wealth.21
During this time, prostitution was a
means of Native women to acquire
wealth independendy from men for trade
and podatch. It also seems that the wealth
obtained by Native women also helped
to raise the status and prestige of their
husbands within Aboriginal society. The
exchange of women's sex for money was
seen as a valid and admirable way to acquire goods in order to elevate status
within Native society.
These sexual contracts between Whites
and Indians did have a significant impact on Native societies during the time
of setdement. One ofthe most disastrous
consequences of the increase in sexual
relations between Native women and
Whites during the time ofthe fur trade
and early settlement was the rise in the
incidence of venereal disease. By the
1860's, many Native women were ill or
dying from diseases contracted at Victo
ria and on the European naval ships.22
Another consequence of these relations
was the introduction of alcohol and alcoholism within Native society.
During the late 1850's and 1860 s there
was the appearance of missionaries in
many areas along the Coast of British
Columbia. Missionaries during this time
felt that their newly established Christian villages and Christian teachings
would lead to the termination of the
prostitution of Native women. In the eyes
ofthe colonists social ills such as prostitution were associated with the presence
ofthe Indians rather than with the sudden influx of a large and unstable European population.23 Prostitution, in the
eyes ofthe White missionaries, was simply the result of Native women's loose
moral being and low ethical standards.
Europeans viewed Natives as being
overtly promiscuous and ill mannered.
Native women in particular were viewed
as degraded and inclined to prostitution.
Missionaries in their efforts to suppress
the prostitution of Native women began
working to change the traditional belief
systems ofthe Natives. One ofthe main
areas of change was the imposition of
Victorian Standards of domesticity and
sexuality upon Native women. In addition to missionary work, the federal government also participated in the
regulation of Native women's prostitution during the late nineteenth century.
The Canadian Advisory on the Status of
Women states in their report Prostitution in Canada that in 1880, an act to
amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians prohibited the keepers of
houses from allowing Indian women
prostitutes on premises.24 This law was
soon repealed. In 1887 a new provision
meant only to apply to Indian women
was introduced. This law took all legal
responsibility away from male brothel
owners and placed it on Native women
prostitutes. This law remained unchanged until 1892. In 1892, keeping a
house of ill-fame was an indictable offence subject to one year's imprisonment.25
Prostitution, or the exchange of sexual
services for money, was not seen as prob
lematic within Native society. Practices
such as wife-lending and the selling of
slaves for sexual purposes, which were
part of Native social structure prior to
European contact, were seen as a means
of social and economic profit during the
time of the fur trade. The initiation of
Native women into the exchange of sex
for payment or goods during the time of
early settlement was a way for Native
societies to adapt to and profit from the
emerging European capitalist economy.
There is no evidence that Natives found
these forms of transactions degrading or
demoralizing nor did these practices
lower the status of women within their
societies along the Coast of British Columbia. In many cases it actually elevated
women's position within the culture. As
we have seen in the European accounts
of prostitution along the Pacific Coast,
White Europeans found these practices
primitive and barbarous. Drawing from
their own set of Christian morals and
beliefs, European colonists were determined to civilize Aboriginal peoples by
changing sexual relations between Native
women and men.
Researching the prostitution of Native
women during the time of cultural contact and early setdement is very challenging as there are few written sources
pertaining to the subject. The sources
that are available are written by the European sailors, fur traders, and settlers
who were in contact with Natives during this time. The extent to which these
observations represent an accurate reflection ofthe reality of Native women's lives
along the Coast of British Columbia will
perhaps never be known. The cultural
and class biases of these traders and setders are obvious. Most of these early accounts concerning the existence of
prostitution and the treatment of women's sexuality within Native society are
written by White European men who
draw on their own ideas and values concerning gender relations and notions of
women's "proper" sexuality.
In this paper I have attempted to uncover some ofthe hidden history of Native women during the time of contact
and setdement. Although I do not be-
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 lieve that it is possible to truly reconstruct
this history using only the written accounts of European traders and setders,
I do believe these writings are very important historical tools that allow us to
gain a deeper understanding ofthe subject. In order to truly contextualize the
meaning of the prostitution of Native
women we would need to hear from the
Native women involved. It is these voices
that are missing throughout this paper.
10.  Poole, Queen Charlotte Islands; A Narrative of
Discovery and Adventure in the North Pacific, p. 312-
The writer, from Nanaimo, is a student at the
University of Victoria.
1. Carol Cooper, "Native Women of the Northern Pacific
Coasr: An Hisrorical Perspective, 1830-1900" Journal of
Canadian Studies, vol. 27 (Winter 1992-93). p. 54.
2. Cooper, Journal of Canadian Studies, p. 59.
3. Cooper, Journal of Canadian Studies, p. 61
4. Gilbert Sproat, The Nootka: Scenes and Studies of
Savage Life (Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1987). p. 68.
5. Clellan Ford, Smoke From Their Fires (Archan Books,
1968), p. 128.
6. George Scott, A History of Prostitution From
Antiquity to the Present Day (London: Torchsrream
Books, 1954), p. 51.
7. Francis Poole, Queen Charlotte Islands: A Narrative of
Discovery and Adventure in the North Pacific
(London: Hurst and Backed Publishers, 1872), p. 312-
8. William Sanger, The History of Prostitution: Its
Extent, Causes and Effects Throughout the World
(New York: Eugenics Publishing Company, 1939), p.
9. Sproat, The Nootka, p. 69.
11. Cooper, Journal of Canadian Studies, p. 58.
12. John Lutz, "Work, Wages and Welfare in Aboriginal-
non-Aboriginal Relations, British Columbia, 1849-
1970 (University of Ottawa, Unpub. PHD, 1994), p.
13. Cooper, Journal of Canadian Studies, p. 58.
14. Lutz, Work, Wages and Welfare in Aboriginal-non-
Aboriginal Relations, British Columbia, 1849-1970.
Mathew Macfie, Vancouver Island and British
Columbia (London: Longmen Roberts, 1865), p. 471.
Silvia Van Kirk, "Women in Between: Indian Women in
Fur Trade Society in Western Canada" Pre-Indtistrial
Canada, 1760-1849 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart,
1982), p. 193.
Cooper, Journal of Canadian Studies, p. 59-
18. Jo-Ann Fiske. "Colonization and the Decline of
Women's Status: The Tsimshian Case" Feminist Studies,
vol. 17 (Fall 1991), p. 523.
19. Robin Fisher, Contact and Conflict (Vancouver:
University of British Columbia, 1977), p. 113.
20. Albert Niblack, The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska
and Northern British Columbia (New York: Johnson
Reprint Co., 1970), p. 347.
21. Douglas Cole and David Darling, "History ofthe Early
Period" Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 7
(Washington: Smithsonian Instirurion, 1990), p. 130.
22. Cooper, Journal of Canadian Studies, p. 61.
23. Fisher, Contact and Conflict, p. 113.
24. Canadian Advisory on the Status of Women,
Prostitution in Canada (Ottowa: Canadian Advisory on
rhe Status of Women, 1984), p. 16.
25. CL. Hanson-Brett, "Ladies in Scarlet: An Historical
Overview of Prostitution in Victoria, British Columbia
1870-1939" British Columbia Historical News,
p. 21, vol. 19-2
Canadian Advisory on the Status of women. Prostitution in
Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Advisory on the Status of
Women, 1984, pp. 3-17.
Cole, Douglas and David Darling. "Hisrory ofthe Early
Period," in Wayne Sutdes, ed. Handbook of North
American Indians, vol. 7 (Washington: Smithsonian,
1990) p. 130.
Cooper, Carol. "Native Women ofthe Northern Pacific
Coast: An hisrorical perspective, 1830-1900." Journal of
Canadian Studies, vol. 27 (Winter 1992-93), pp. 44-75.
Fisher, Robin. Contact and Conflict. Vancouver: University
of British Columbia Press, 1977.
Fiske, Jo-Anne. "Colonization and the Decline of Women's
Status: The Tsimshian Case." Feminist Studies, vol. 17
(FaU 1991), pp. 509-31.
Ford, Clellan S. Smoke From Their Fires: The Life of a
Kwakiud Chief. Atchon Books, 1968.
Hanson-Brett, C. Ladies in Scarlet: "An Historical Overview
of Prostitution in Victoria, British Columbia 1870-
1939." British Columbia Historical News, vol. 19:2.
Lutz, John S. Work, Wages and Welfare in Aboriginal-non-
Aboriginal Relations, British Columbia, 1849-1970.
University of Ottawa, PhD, 1994.
Macfie, Mathew. Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
London: Longman, Roberts and Green, 1865.
Niblack, Albert P. The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska
and Northern British Columbia. 1888 Reprinred, New
York: Johnson Reprinr Co., 1970.
Poole, Francis. Queen Charlotte Islands: A Narrative of
Discovery and Adventure in the North Pacific
London: Hurst and Blackett Publishers, 1872.
Sanger, William. The History of Prostitution: Its Extent,
Causes and Effects Throughout the World. New York:
Eugenics Publishing Company, 1939.
Scott, George R. A History of Prostitution From Antiquity
to the Present Day. London: Torchstrcam Books, 1954.
Sproat, Gilbert. The Nootka: Scenes and Studies of Savage
Life. Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1987.
Van Kirk, Silvia. "Women in Between: Indian Women in Fur
Trade Society inWestern Canada." Pie-Industrial
Canada, 1760-1849. Toronro: McClelland and Stewart,
PastPresident Alice Glanville chats with guestspeaker Bill Barlee
at head table. Nelson May 3,1997.
Gavin Halkett ofNanaimo recreated the
character of a telegrapher. He is shown here
with his wife Dorothy.
"Her Majesty" reading ber address from a
balcony in the Capitol Theatre.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Pioneer Doctor, Richard Herald
of 150 Mile House
by Eldon Lee
The first physician to practice at 150
Mile House was Dr. Hugh Watt of
Barkerville fame. He arrived in the spring
of 1894 from the gold mines ofthe upper Cariboo, and by the end of 1894 was
established to the extent of receiving a
$500.00 annual grant from the public
purse - a financial incentive to attract
practitioners to the Cariboo. This was
renewed to 1896 at which time Dr.
Richard Herald took over the Cariboo
practice and Dr. Watt moved to Fort
It is hard to imagine the 150 Mile
House as a medical centre for the
Cariboo, yet during the years 1894 to
1918 it occupied that position. The doctors were fully qualified, registered in
B.C. and some had advanced degrees in
surgery and medicine from highly respected teaching centers in the British
Isles. These adventurous men commanded respect and affection for their
readiness to make house calls to the most
isolated ranches, often one to two days
travelling distance from the 150 Mile
In 1896 there were no more than 200
inhabitants in the 150 Mile, scattered in
homes along the Cariboo wagon road. A
Russell fence along either side of the
highway kept wandering horses and cows
out of gardens and yards.
Along the road came wagons, democrat buggies and saddle horses. Four-
horse teams dragged dusty, heavy laden
dead X wagons over tortuous roads to
Quesnel and Barkerville. From the 150
Mile House a road went west to the
Onward Ranch and on to the Fraser river
and Chilcotin. Another road led east to
Horsefly and Likely.
It was to this community that Dr.
R.T.W. Herald arrived in 1896. He was
a handsome, suave, thirty-five year old
Dr. Richard T.W. Heraldc 1896.
Photo courtesy of Dr. John Roberts.
graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. His Victorian style full
moustache set off handsome features and
trim athletic build.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia confirm his
graduation from Queen's in 1890 and
registration in B.C. in 1891. Initial practice was in Vancouver and the lower
He was thus an experienced practitioner when he set up office at 150 Mile
House. Local people were seen in the
office or at home but a rented team and
buggy were used for distant house calls
which sometimes meant travel of up to
40 miles.
At the turn of the century there were
less than a dozen medicines effective by
modern day standards. These were morphine and heroin for pain, digitalis for
heart failure, phenobarbital and bromides as sleeping potions, ether and chloroform as anaesthetics and iodine and
carbolic acid as antiseptic agents. Asprin,
a very useful drug in modern day medicine was known but not widely used.
Most basic common surgical instruments were available. These included
pearl handled scalpels, haemostats, retractors, bone saws, and improvised
splints. Some practitioners had forceps
made for difficult obstetrical cases.
The late Laura Moxan tells of an emergency appendectomy performed by Dr.
Herald on her father. Dr. Herald was
notified of John Moore's illness and travelled the 20 miles from 150 Mile House
to Alkali Lake on a "Howler" (a 2 wheel
cart with ungreased wooden axles.) On
arrival Dr. Herald confirmed the diagnosis and operated on a table in the
Moores' ranch home. Mrs. Moore gave
the ether anaesthetic. Following the operation the doctor remained with the
family for several days until recovery was
assured. Laura mentions that all the
Moore children were scared stiff.
Over the four years of Dr. Herald's residence at 150 Mile, babies were delivered,
illnesses treated and operations performed, most in the patient's own home.
There was no hospital nearer than
Barkerville over a hundred miles away.
There is an amusing anecdote attributed to Dr. Herald. It seems a Mrs. Flett
of the 141 Mile House, a maid working
for the Murphys, was grossly overweight.
Finally after failures with diet and exercise programs, the doctor put her on the
second floor of the store at 150 Mile
House and locked her in with a small
portion of feed to last each day. Weeks
went by without a pound of weight loss.
One evening the suspicious medical
practitioner quiedy walked around the
building. He found his patient lustily
hauling a pail of food from ground to
second story with a lasso rope tied to the
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 bucket, her husband the co-conspirator.
The treatment was ended forthwith and
obesity stymies doctors to this day.
In 1901 an assistant came in the person of Dr. Mostyn Hoops (pronounced
Mosty Oops) a graduate of the famous
Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.
Dr. Herald then took a three year leave
of absence from the British Columbia
College registry only to appear in 1906
in Cloverdale. In 1914 he moved to Vancouver and in 1921 to Kelowna.
Mrs. Moxan states his descendants are
still to be found in Vancouver with a son
graduating from Dalhousie University in
Medicine in 1936. Dr. Herald, of 150
Mile House was well regarded in his profession and esteemed by the ranchers and
miners for his medical skill and devotion
to his patients.
The author is a retired physician who has researched many ofB.C 's pioneer medical practitioners. Dr. Lee makes his home in Prince
Memorial Window in Chemainus
Pete Pearson (left) after unveiling the stained glass window dedicated to his wife's memory. Brian Donald,
artist who created the window stands in front of a wall in the Chemainus Museum where minatures of tbe
famous murals are on display.
Photo courtesy of Bertha George.
A memorial window designed by a Chemainus artist, depicting the
grandfather of the late Mamie Pearson, was unveiled at the Chemainus
Valley Museum on December 15, 1996. The window will be set in the
wall by the stairs leading to the upper room in the museum which Marnie
Pearson worked tirelessly to launch and support.
Marnie was born in Chemainus in 1932 but her roots go back to the
arrival of her grandparents in 1899. She was daughter of Earl and Hallie
(Cathey) English. She married Pete Pearson in 1948; they had two
daughters, Julie and Cathey. She worked for Canada Post, delivering
mail to Thetis Island for well over 18 years. She worked hard fund raising,
enjoyed quilting and other handicrafts, and was the editor/illustrator of
the Chemainus Museum cook-book When Food Was Food. Marnie
also frequently worked with Doreen Millard preparing and serving goodies
at Chemainus Historical socials. Marnie passed away on October 19,
Shirley Gunderson researched the Cathey history and planned the
dedication ceremony. Mamie's grandmother, Mary Jane Hargrove came
from North Carolina with her father to settle in Toston, Montana (south
of Helena). Here Mary Jane met Charles Burton Cathey who at that
time was working as a wrangler for Mr. Hargrove. They fell in love and
wanted to marry, but Mary Jane's father did not approve. To separate
Mary Jane from her swain, she was sent to college in California. This,
however, was a case of true love. Charles worked hard, saved his money
then followed Mary Jane to California. They were married in 1899 and
left immediately for Vancouver Island.
When they arrived at Chemainus housing was at a premium. At first
they lived in a local hotel then were able to obtain a small cabin. Next
they moved to a company house on Maple Street in Chemainus, their
home for about ten years. Charles worked for the Victoria Lumber
Company (which later became the forest giant McMillan-Bloedel.) Charles
began in the lumber business driving a donkey,
but he really wanted to drive a locomotive. He
studied until he qualified as a steam engineer
and achieved his ambition to become a
locomotive engineer.
Charles and Mary Jane had three daughters and
five sons. Hallie (Cathey) English, Mamie's
mother wrote of many happy memories these
children had of their years growing up in the
house on Maple Street. In Memories of the
Chemainus Valley Hallie described fishing in
a stream close to home, of local talent shows,
and a special "Bee Tree". When her father found
a bee tree it was a cause for a Sunday picnic.
The family would watch while father cut down
the tree and began the work of extracting the
wild honey. The taste of that honey was SO
GOOD! Later the family moved to a farm on
River Road. Mr. Cathey worked for the company
until he was 72 years old; he was honored by
the compay for his many years of service. Mary
Jane Cathey died in 1940 at the age of 62 while
Charles passed away in 1957 at 82.
The stained glass window shows the company
house which was the Catheys' first permanent
residence. In her talk, Mrs. Gunderson gave the
history ofthe old mill house. It was built of wood
siding with a cedar shake roof. A front and back
porch each ran the length of the house. The ground floor housed the
kitchen, pantry, dining room, front room and one bedroom. The upstairs
held three bedrooms. Plumbing was the outdoor variety. Heating was by
wood and kitchen stoves. It was not known what rent the Catheys paid,
but the house rented for $15.00 per month in 1944 and was purchased
for $1,500 in 1948.
The window depicts the mill house but has Charles Cathey walking the
road to their second home on River Road. This road is what most residents
living in Chemainus between the 1930s and 1950 remember. They
watched Mr. Cathey walking home from work, over the Company Store
hill, over the railroad tracks, past the old recreation hall behind the Catholic
Church. Near there he stopped to
cut grass, growing between lumber
piles, for his cows.
Gustafson, Lillian and Gordon Elliot
Memories of the Chemainus
Valley; A History of People 1978
Morriss Printing Company, Victoria,
This article was taken from the notes
compiled by Shirley Gunderson for
the December Memorial service for
Mamie Pearson.
Else    Kennedy    edited    this
submission for our magazine. We
regret to announce that Shirley
Gunderson passed away on April
19, 1997 while we prepared this to
go to press.
Shirley Gunderson, Secretary of tbe
Chemainus Valley Historical
Society is shown here reading the
history ofthe Catbey family just
before tbe unveiling ofthe memorial
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 Conference 1997
Over 120 history buffs attended the annual B.C.
Historical Federation Conference in Nelson. An
interesting variety of programs was offered and
beautifully executed. Those who travelled on
Wednesday, April 30, experienced glorious
sunshine enroute. Those who travelled later faced
rain and hail and even snow. The weather played
tricks during the walking tour of heritage
buildings, the cemetery tour, and the heritage
home tour, alternating dazzling brilliance with
dastardly downpours. The all-day tour, happily,
proceeded without the need for umbrellas.
The opening gambit was the Oral History
workshop by Vera Rosenbluth. This skilled
professional punctuated her playful instructional
material with humorous and heartwarming
accounts of some of the interviewing she had
done in the past. Several
exercises involved the
participants who worked in
small groups exchanging ideas
and experiences, or
conducting a mini-interview of
a 'classmate' who was usually
from another community.
The afternoon workshop,
moderated by Helen Akrigg,
featured Terry Reksten of
Victoria who did a fantastic job
on short notice. She combined
the assignment on
"Researching" with "Writing
Local History" as Linda Hale
had a major business
commitment and author
Charles Lillard passed away
suddenly. Terry, who has
produced several wonderfully
vibrant books since her first
Rattenbury in 1978, spoke
with enthusiasm imparting her
experience and expertise.
Byron Johnson of Friesen Printers noted that the
Manitoba based press puts out books at a rate of
more than 300 titles per week. The
writer or local committee becomes
the Publisher. Johnson presented
examples of how some local
committees had moved successfully
through the stages of preparing a
book with good organization, coordination and mechanics. He also
warned about the pitfalls prevalent
and gave listeners hints on how to
do-it-right, using all volunteers with
their respective talents channelled
into jobs which capitalized on
strengths, sharing the work load and
reaching results by realistic
deadlines. He noted that the average
book requires 3 to 4 years from initial
Rosemarie and Milton Parent of Nakusp appeared in vintage
dress at die Saturday banquet.
Two of our Host Committee, Frances & Ron
Welwood, pose in front of Queen Victoria -
May 3,1997
research stage to the
final edit He explained the technological changes
which have altered the latter stages of preparing
a book to go to press. A computer
disc prepared by the author is
translated into the desired type size,
formatted with spaces for
accompanying pictures and quickly
divided into pages from which the
Index may be prepared. Pictures are
increasingly important to hold the
attention of the upcoming
generations. The new inexpensive
NOT recommended. Glossy prints
are better than mat. All would-be
writers went away armed with
practical advice, planning outlines,
technical tips, and enthusiastic
Mr. &Mrs. Canning proudly wear tbe Lieutenant - Governor's
Medals won by their sons Richard & Sydney. Alice Glanville (left)
and Len McCann (Hon. President) made tbe presentation of this
Writing Competition award.
encouragement. Our thanks to
Canada's National History
Society for financing this day of
free workshops and to Melva
Dwyer for making all
Thursday evening the Hume
Room was abuzz with delegates
greeting   old   friends   and
welcoming newcomers. Old
timers stood tall, smiled brightly,
and thanked the name tag maker
for using bold print.
Friday morning two buses
headed off in opposite directions
taking 82 visitors on the Silvery
Slocan Loop. Bus 1 moved
through the Slocan to Silverton,
New Denver, Sandon then to
Kaslo. Bus 2 followed the West
Arm to Balfour, Highway 31 to
Kaslo, on past Rettalack, Zincton,
and Three Forks to Sandon
where both busloads were
served lunch. The highlighted stops were the SA
Moyie, Sandon's Powerhouse and Museum, the
Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre and Silvery
Slocan Museum in New Denver, and the Silverton
Lookout. Both buses held tour guides who
prepared travellers for each spot of interest to
be glimpsed, told thumbnail histories, and gave
personal memories of events in the locale. It was
a full day which gave delight to all participants.
The Old Nelson Opera Company performed in
the restored Capital Theatre on Friday, May 2 at
7:30 pm. The plot took episodes from Nelson's
beginning, through early settlement, orchard
planting years, to WWI, the 30's, to a rousing
finale with a speech from 'Her Majesty Elizabeth
II', thanking Nelson's City Council for special
dispensation to walk her corgis on dog-free Baker
Street. Good music, tidbits of history, costumes
for each era invited the audience to absorb the
Writing Competition Chair Pixie
McGeachie shown here at the Awards
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 atmosphere of the 100th
Saturday morning the Annual
General Meeting chaired by
President  Alice  Glanville
proceeded efficiently. There
were a heartening number of
voting delegates (63) and the
Society     reports     were
interspersed with traditional
topics. Those reports of local
societies drew considerable
attention and comments such
as "We should try that activity
in our community." Details of
the AGM and these society
reports will appear in the Fall
1997 issue. New officers are
listed on the inside back cover
of this issue.
The luncheon guest speaker
was John Pollack with a slide
show on Kootenay Underwater
Archaeology. Pollack was
envied for the clear waters in his research
area by other executive members of the
Underwater Archaeological Society who
came from Vancouver to attend this
Saturday afternoon was umbrella tour time.
Many managed to enjoy the Heritage
Walking Tour of downtown buildings.
Nelson is justifiably proud of its Heritage
Buildings and about a dozen local
enthusiasts each led a group of ten
sightseers. The Rattenbury Courthouse
stands across from the conference hotel
and kitty-comer from the City Hall. The Bank
of Montreal, also by Rattenbury, was
considered one of the finest commercial
buildings in the interior of B.C.. Baker Street
boasts seventeen old landmarks (which makes
for a very pleasant streetscape.) Others trudged
A little comic relief - Audrey Ward of
Penticton came decked out in CPR togs of
her father's era.
One of next years hostesses, Kathleen Moore
of Surrey is shown here giving her report.
between the tombstones while Ron Welwood
Shawn Lamb at tbe Book Sales table; sbe is a very busy lady.
Thanks for major contribution to conference planning.
regaled them with the stories about a few
prominent persons with rather special markers.
The Awards Banquet on the evening of May 3
was a pla affair with many in period costume.
Shawn Lamb, curator of Nelson's Museum was
MC for the evening. Alderman Dave Elliot
delivered good wishes from City Council,
Announcements of awards included appointing
Pamela Mar of Nanaimo Honorary Life Member,
and Leonard McCann as Honorary President.
* JL\       mmWi
^■JLnWi s*   ^k.
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Retiring Subscription Secretary Margaret
Editor Naomi Miller - poses with Lorna Barnhardt of Chase and
Frances Gundry of Victoria. The Hume Room at the Conference
hotel has enlargements of scenes of early Nelson along the walls.
Four volunteer workers were
given the new Award for Service:
Nancy Peter of Burnaby, Tony
Farr of Salt Spring Island, Melva
Dwyer of Vancouver and
Margaret Matovich of Bumaby.
Retiring President Alice Glanville
was presented with a specially
minted centennial-of-Nelson
coin. Shirlee Anne Smith of
Winnipeg was thanked for
representing Canada's National
History Society at our
conference. Frances Gundry
reported on the 1996 winner of
the BCHF Scholarship and Essay
Contest. (The 1997 applications
are due by the May 15, 1997
deadline.) Pixie McGeachie
announced the winners of the
1996 Writing Competition.
Lieutenant-Governor's Medals
were presented to Mr. & Mrs.
Canning of Summerland who
attended in lieu of their twin sons, Richard
and Sydney, authors of British Columbia:
A Natural History. Robert McDonald (for
Making Vancouver 1863-1913) and Betty
Keller and Rosella Leslie (for Bright Seas,
Pioneer Spirits) were honored in absentia.
Leo Rutledge of Hudson Hope gained a
Certificate for Best Article in 1996 in the
B.C Historical News. Leo sent a message
to those assembled that he was donating
his prize money to the Writing Competition
Fund. George Thomson of Qualicum Beach
made a surprise presentation to the
Kootenay Museum Society. Mr. & Mrs. Dill
made their home for many years in the
beached hull of the tug Valhalla across the lake
from Nelson. Later the Dills moved to Qualicum
Beach and upon their death their estate was
divided among several museums. One item they
had treasured was the wheel from the Valhalla.
This is to be repatriated to Nelson as soon as
transportation can be arranged.
Guest speaker Bill Barlee (looking years younger
than when he sat in the B.C. Legislature) gave a
lively talk on 'Ghost Towns in the Kootenays'. He
showed some of his prized collection of artifacts
and left the audience truly appreciative of our
collective legacy of B.C. History.
Dozens of delegates plus numerous
townspeople moved through Nelson inspecting
many restored homes. The former C.P.R.
Superintendent's home was a tea time
destination in the afternoon. A truly old
fashioned Sunday afternoon was enhanced with
music by a violinist, tea and tasty treats. Nelson
deserves three hearty (Victorian) cheers for their
multifaceted welcome to the Visiting BCHFers.
All photos by Art Joyce of the Nelson Dally News for
Kootenay Museum Society.
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 NEWS & NOTES
Royston Waterfront Signs
Two interpretive panels were placed on
Marine Drive at Royston (just south of
Courtenay and Comox on Vancouver Island.)
These signs overlook a piece of historic
industrial architecture, the Comox Logging
and Railway Company's Breakwater, The
company began collecting scrapped vessels
in the 1930s to create a protection for their
booming grounds. By 1960 the site contained
the remains of four Royal Canadian Navy
ships, two westcoast whalers, two CPR
steam tugs, a deep-sea rescue tug (a
veteran of the D-Day invasion) and a wooden
five-masted barquentine, an auxiliary
schooner and three Cape Horn windjammers. (See the Laurel Whalen p. 17, Vol.
The first panel acknowledges the significant
role that Comox Logging and Railway played
in what claimed to be the largest timber
enterprise in the British Empire: the Canadian
Western Lumber Company. The second
panel outlines the individual histories of the
fifteen ships that the logging company utilized
for their hulk breakwater. This also recognizes the important contribution of the four
RCN vessels to the Battle of the Atlantic.
Field Sawmills Ltd. Partnership assisted the
Royston Community Club and Recreation
Commission with building materials for the
project. B.C. Heritage Trust provided financial
assistance. A dedication ceremony was held
April 20,1997.
Submitted by Rick James
Marriage & Death Registration
in Archives
The British Columbia Archives (BCA) and
British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency
(BCVSA) are pleased to announce, effective
13 January 1997, the release of indexes to
B.C. marriage (1872-1921) and death (1872-
1976) registrations on the B.C. Archives
This project is the result of close cooperation
between the BCVSA and the BCA, in
partnership with the Genealogical Society of
Utah which has provided the staff to microfilm
the original registration documents. Volunteers from the Family Histories Society of
British Columbia and the Victoria Genealogical Society provided an invaluable service by
indexing the pre-1900 marriage and death
Microfilm copies of original marriage registration documents (1872 to 1921) and death
registration documents (1872 to 1976) are
available for viewing in the BCA reading
room in Victoria. Negotiations are currently
John A. Charters andbis wife Bernice are shown here receiving the Third Annual Minister's Heritage Award
from the Hon. Jan Pullmger. Theyareposed'infrontof'picturesshowingZuckerbergIslandandother Casdegar
sites that were preserved under Mr. Charter's leadership. This picture was taken February 14, 1997 at the
Interchange gathering at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
" * * Photo courtesy J. Charters
underway between BCVSA and genealogical
societies, family history societies, and public,
university and college libraries to have the
microfilms available across the province by 1
April 1997. The complete set of marriage and
death registration documents on microfilm
(322 reels) may be obtained from BCVSA for
$2500 plus tax and the COMfiche index (42
fiche) for $20 plus tax. Prices are effective 20
January 1997 and are subject to change. For
details on how to place your order, please
contact BCVSA at:
or at the mailing address below.
Marriage registrations are released 75 years
after the date of marriage, death registrations
are released 20 years after the date of death.
In 1997, birth registrations will be released
100 years after the date of birth. These time
frames are consistent with the protection of
privacy provisions in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (section 36)
governing disclosure of personal information
for historical or archival purposes.
BCA staff cannot provide photocopies of
marriage or death registration documents,
nor do research in the on-line databases or
registrations on behalf of remote users. BCA
will refer all requests for genealogical
services, including photocopies, received by
phone, email, FAX or mail, to the British
Columbia Vital Statistics Agency, 818 Fort
Street, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W1H8.
Phone: (250) 952-2681 or
toll-free (800) 663-8328.
Information re Architects?
A book on architects practising in B.C. up to
1929 is currently being compiled by well
known heritage advocates Don Luxton and
Stuart Stark. Anyone with any information or
wishing to contribute to the Early Architects of
B.C. Project, please call Don at 604-688-
1216 or Stuart at 250-592-1282 or write to
Don Luxton and Assoc. #800 - 626 W.
Pender St. Vancouver, V6B 1V9.
Heritage Seeds
Sharon Rempel, who came to our attention in
1988 when she was able to reintroduce the
zucca melon at the Keremeos Grist Mill, now
works for the research department at the
University of Alberta. She has travelled the
world studying old gardens and seeking older
seed sources. Her current project is on
Heritage Wheat. Each batch of internationally
acquired seed is carefully screened for
possible disease spores; the Department of
Agriculture in Ottawa does a microscopic
inspection before releasing the "clean seed"
to her.
Anyone wishing detail of the Heritage Seed
program in Canada should contact:
Seeds of Diversity Canada, Box 36,
Station Q, Toronto, On. M4T 2L7.
If you have an old strain of fruit, flowers or
vegetable, especially if you collect your own
seed, Sharon would love to hear from you.
The address is: Sharon Rempel, Box 1406,
#194,3803 Calgary Trail, Edmonton, Alberta,
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 NEWS & NOTES
T6J 5M8 Phone (403) 430-0538 Fax (403)
434-7413 or Email:
Conservation & Museum
The University of Victoria (Division of
Continuing Studies) offers courses
summer and winter on topics ranging
from "Preserving Masonry Structures" to
"Museum Information Management". For
details phone (250) 721-8462, Fax
(250) 721-8774 or Email:
Desktop Publishing Studio 7.96
I. J. Wightman has just moved from Ocean
Falls to Telkwa, near Smithers. She is
offering a Writers' Service like editing or
proofreading, especially community histories
or biographies. Contact her at: Studio 7.96,
RR#1 S8 C20, Telkwa, B.C. V0J 2X0
Phone (250) 846-9190
University of Northern B.C.
Judge William Ferry of Quesnel was known
for his thoughtful disposition and practical
sentences handed down in Cariboo courtrooms. He presided at many Citizenship
Court Ceremonies with warmth and diplomacy. He died and has left $1 million to the
UNBC to establish new bursaries, and make
library acquisitions.
Wardner Reunion
Wardner is a once busy sawmill town on the
Kootenay River, a town that was served by
riverboats running from Jennings, Montana to
Fort Steele. It was an important stop on the
Crowsnest to Kootenay Lake Rail line. Now it
is celebrating its Centennial. On August 1,2 &
3 former residents are invited to return.
Registration packages available from
Wardner Reunion Committee, Box 113,
Wardner, B.C. VOB 2J0 or by phoning Avis
(250) 429-3160 or Erica at (250) 489-1877.
Deadline for registration June 30,1997.
Heritage Canada's Annual
The Heritage Canada Foundation announced
that its 1997 annual conference will focus on
the fiscal and regulatory framework of
heritage preservation. Entitled Lightening
the Burden: taxation, regulation and
heritage property, the conference will
feature experts from Canada and abroad
who will speak on the dynamics and shortcomings of the regulatory system affecting
built and natural heritage property.
Heritage Canada's Executive Director, Brian
Anthony, stressed the pivotal importance of
the conference theme, saying "During the
current era of deep cuts and the outright
dismantling of support programs at all levels
of government, there is an urgent need for all
those involved in heritage preservation to
look at tax policy and heritage regulation
systems. For instance, the federal tax
treatment of revenue-producing heritage
property is the number one national public
policy issue affecting heritage in Canada
Mr. Anthony added, "On the eve of Heritage
Canada's 25th anniversary, the 1997 annual
conference will provide a national forum for
significant debate on what governments need
to do, in cooperation with the private and
voluntary sectors, to improve this climate."
Lightening the Burden will be an important
forum for those involved with the regulatory,
legal and financial aspects of heritage
preservation. The conference content will
appeal to public officials, property developers
and members of heritage advisory committees, as well as builders, accountants and
lawyers with particular interest in heritage
In addition to the conference sessions,,
delegates may enjoy a number of social
activities, including an opening reception,
dinners in historic homes, and a gala awards
presentation ceremony.
Lightening the Burden: Taxation, Regulation, and Heritage Property
The Heritage Canada Foundation
October 16-18,1997, Conference Centre,
Ottawa, Canada
For further In formation: 613-237-1066
The Heritage Canada Foundation is a
national registered charity, membership
based, dedicated to the preservation and
promotion of Canada's built and natural
heritage. Established in 1973, the organization is funded through an endowment and
other revenue sources.
Mystery Monument
Researchers are detectives, particularly
historical researchers. Mysteries abound in
archives and libraries. Often there is never a
solution, many times a few years will pass
before you find the final piece to the puzzle.
My riddle started many years ago when I
began investigating the background to
Vancouver sculptures.
The story of commissioning the David
Oppenheimer memorial on Beach Avenue
was fascinating. That story appeared in
newspapers. Oppenheimer had been second
mayor of Vancouver and served four one-
year terms. He and his brothers were
prominent business men from 1858 when,
shortly after arriving in British Columbia, they
founded Oppenheimer Bros, in Victoria.
(Today one of the province's oldest businesses.) The company quickly established,
either a warehouse or store in major towns or
distribution centres. In 1880, Yale became
the focus for the CPR to build the railway
through the Fraser Canyon.
David Oppenheimer, and his first wife Sara,
moved to Yale to be near the centre of
activity and contracts. Sara, age 46, became
ill and died October 15,1880. Her death,
funeral service and procession to the Yale
cemetery received extensive coverage in the
town's Inland Sentinel.
Oppenheimer remarried, January 3,1883 to
Julia Walters. While on a tour of Victoria
cemeteries, a few years ago, we were taken
to the Jewish Cemetery. One of the prominent monuments had the name Sara
Oppenheimer and correct date of her death.
This provided me with a mystery. The
Oppenheimer businesses were well established in Victoria. How could her monument
be in Victoria when the newspaper gave
accounts of her funeral in Yale? Did the
family have the monument erected in a more
well known and prestigious cemetery?
Recently while looking at the Inland Sentinel
for June 14,1883,1 found a news item:
"Marcus Wolfe, a nephew of Mrs. David
Oppenheimer, removed her remains to the
family cemetery in Victoria."
That item solved my "Mystery Monument".
Doing the Charleston - Nelson Opera
Company. (Conference 1997)
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 BOOKSHELF
Books for review and book reviews should be sent directly to the Book Review Editor
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6S1E4
High Slack: Waddington's Gold
Road and the Bute Inlet Massacre.
Judy Williams. Vancouver, B.C., New
Star Books, 1996.119 p. illus.
High Slack is an account of an historic event which occurred in the colony
of British Columbia in 1864. It is also a
commentary on the treatment of the native population by the explorers and first
white settlers to the colony. The author
refers to the smallpox epidemics, the violation of native women and the expropriation of the land without much
thought of the consequences to the resident population.
An intimate knowledge of the west
coast's terrain and the tides gave the author the idea for selecting the title High
Slack the time when the tide crests and
pauses briefly before receding. It is a time
to look back and reflect, also to look to
the future, which the author does.
The past is represented by the story
of the proposed Waddington gold rush
to the interior by way of Bute Inlet, the
future tells of the results of the massacre
to the Chilcotin natives. Williams brings
the events even closer to the present by
visiting and describing Bute Inlet today
where these events took place.
Throughout the work the newly accepted native terminology and spelling
is used for places and people. There are
a number of illustrations which have
been taken from both personal and archival sources. The book concludes with
a fairly complete index, although a few
references seem to be missing. There is
also a list of acknowledgements.
This is an excellent introduction to a
subject in British Columbia's history
which has not been explored to any extent up to now. It gives us a new perspective on events which occurred in the
northwest coastal area of the colony
when gold was the driving force in its
Melva J. Dwyer
Fine Arts Librarian Emerita
University of British Columbia.
Go Ahead or Go Home: The
Trethewey Story.   $24.95 Daphne
Sleigh, Abbotsford; Vicarro Publishing,
1994. Hard Cover, illus.
The Trethewey story is a family history. Samuel Trethewey, father of
James, who came to British Columbia
in the 1880's was a Cornish engineer
associated with mines in Cornwall and
Derbyshire. Late in life he followed two
of his sons from Cornwall to Ontario.
They lived in various parts of the province before they pre-empted land in
Muskoka, where part of their operation
consisted of a lumber mill.
This mining and logging background
remained a focus for the Trethewey family and is the core of the individual histories told in this book.
James was the one to be attracted to
British Columbia. He had been fascinated with the idea of gold, came out in
1875, and was convinced of the tremendous opportunities that would exist
when the railway arrived. James
Trethewey is associated with several of
the early grist mills in British Columbia,
and spent some time prospecting in the
interior when he could. Although he
returned to Ontario, in 1881 he came
to British Columbia to stay. He established his family in the new and growing setdement at Mission as the CPR
came toward the valley. The other
thread that runs through the stories is
that of recognition of opportunity and
the entrepreneurial spirit expressed in
the later family saying "Go Ahead or Go
The Tretheweys embedded themselves in the early development of business (from grocery stores to real estate),
logging and sawmills (also in the Fraser
Valley), ranching (in the Chilcotin), mining (in British Columbia and back in Ontario), and eventually engaging in huge
clearing projects for B.C. Hydro in the
1960's. Over the years, the family experienced serious setbacks from sawmill
fires to depression-era closures, but for
the most part, they prospered and one
or two made modest or great fortunes.
One of James' sons, Will, went back
to Ontario in 1904, and made one of
the great discoveries in what was to be
Cobalt This event established Will's fortune, but other members of the family
also benefitted, and it with other mining
investments that James' other son
Joseph made, purchased the Chilco
ranch. It is this association with development in the province that will make
this book valuable to historians.
Although it has a narrow focus,
Daphne Sleigh has given us a useful,
well-researched book. Family history is
extremely hard to fit into a historian's
overview of history. It is necessarily awkward as each individual story overlaps
the others and the Trethewey story
seems to start over with each member.
There are enlightening references to
character and family relationships which
help bring it to life, without relaying gossip. There is a nineteenth century flavour in the attitudes toward "progress",
and toward logging and mining which
we need to understand better as our
historical context However, the writer
has not only dealt fairly with each person, but has given readers a good index
and complete footnotes so that it can be
used as a reference . .. which it should
be, as it helps clarify developments in
the history of the Fraser Valley. It broadens our conception of the Fraser Valley
as a farming community, and gives detail that adds depth to understanding the
changes that have taken place there. Although it covers many locations in the
province, the central Fraser Valley is the
core region for the Trethewey family.
Shirley Cuthbertson, Curator,
History (recently retired) Royal
B.C. Museum
B.C. Historical News - Summer 1997 THE BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORICAL FEDERATION - Organized October 31,1922
His Honour, the Honorable Garde B. Gardom Q.C.
Leonard McCann
First Vice President
Ron Welwood
c/o Vancouver Maritime Museum,
1905 Ogden Ave. Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1 A3
RR #1, S22 C1, Nelson, B.C. V1L 5P4
Wayne Desrochers #2 - 6712 Baker Road, Delta, B.C. V4E 2V3
(604) 257-8306
FX(604) 737-2621
(250) 825-4743
(604) 599-4206
Second Vice President
Melva Dwyer
2976 McBride Ave., Surrey, B.C. V4A 3G6
(604) 535-3041
Recording Secretary
Members at Large
Past President
B.C. Historical News
Publishing Committee
Book Review Editor
Membership Secretary
Subscription Secretary
Historical Trails
and Markers
Publications Assistance
(not involved with
B.C. Historical News)
Writing Competition
(Lieutenant Governor's
Arnold Ranneris
R. George Thomson
Doris J. May
Roy J.V. Pallant
Robert J. Cathro
Alice Glanville
Margaret Stoneberg
Tony Farr
Anne Yandle
Naomi Miller
Nancy Peter
Joel Vinge
John Spittle
1898 Quamichan Street, Victoria, B.C. V8S 2B9 (250) 598-3035
#19,141 East 5th Ave., Qualicum Beach, B.C. V9K 1N5 (250) 752-8861
2943 Shelbourne St, Victoria, B.C. V8R 4M7 (250) 595-0236
1541 Merlynn Crescent, North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 2X9 (604) 986-8969
RR#1 Box U-39, Bowen Island, B.C. VON 1 GO (604) 947-0038
Box 746, Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0
Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
(250) 442-3865
(250) 295-3362
125 Castle Cross Rd, Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2G1      (250) 537-1123
3450 West 20th Ave, Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
(604) 733-6484
(250) 422-3594
FX (250) 422-3244
#7 - 5400 Patterson Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5H 2M5        (604) 437-6115
RR#2 S13 C60, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H3
(250) 489-2490
1241 Mount Crown Rd, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R 1R9     (604) 988-4565
Nancy Stuart-Stubbs 2651 York Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6K 1E6 (604) 738-5132
Contact Nancy for advice and details to apply for a loan toward the cost of publishing.
Scholarship Committee        Frances Gundry
Pixie McGeachie
255 Niagara Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1G4
7953 Rosewood St, Burnaby, B.C. V5E 2H4
(250) 385-6353
(604) 522-2062
(NOTE: Area code prefixes are effective from October 19,1996 onward). The British Columbia Historical News
P.O. Box 5254, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4
Publications Mail
Registration No. 4447
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions of books for the fifteenth annual Competition for Writers of B.C. History.
Any book presenting any facet of B.C. history, published in 1997, is eligible. This may be a community
history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections giving a glimpse of the
past. Names, dates and places, with relevant maps or pictures, turn a story into "history."
The judges are looking for quality presentations, especially if fresh material is included, with appropriate
illustrations, careful proofreading, an adequate index, table of contents and bibliography, from first-time writers as well as established authors.
NOTE: Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
The Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded to an individual writer whose
book contributes significantly to the recorded history of British Columbia. Other awards will be made as
recommended by the judges to valuable books prepared by groups or individuals.
All entries receive considerable publicity. Winners will receive a Certificate of Merit, a monetary award
and an invitation to the BCHF annual conference to be held in Surrey in May 1998.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: All books must have been published in 1997 and should be submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two copies of each book should be submitted. Books entered become property ofthe B.C. Historical Federation. Please state name, address and telephone number of sender,
the selling price of all editions of the book, and the address from which it may be purchased, if the reader has
to shop by mail. If by mail, please include shipping and handling costs if applicable.
SEND TO: B.C. Historical Writing Competition
c/o P. McGeachie
7953 Rosewood Street, Burnaby, B.C. V5E 2H4
DEADLINE:      December 31,1997.
There is also an award for the Best Article published each year in the B.C. Historical News magazine.
This is directed to amateur historians or students. Articles should be no more than 3,000 words, typed double
spaced, accompanied by photographs if available, and substantiated with footnotes where applicable. (Photographs should be accompanied with information re: the source, permission to publish, archival number if
applicable, and a brief caption. Photos will be returned to the writer.)
Please send articles directly to: The Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0


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