British Columbia History

British Columbia History 2005

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Journal ofthe British Columbia Historical Federation | Vol.38 No.4 2005 | $5.00
This Issue: Armstrong | Farm History | New Westminster photographer | Books | Tokens | And more. British Columbia History
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation
Published four times a year.
ISSN: print 1710-7881 online 1710-792X
British Columbia History welcomes stories, studies,
and news items dealing with any aspect of the
history of British Columbia, and British Columbians.
Please submit manuscripts for publication to the Editor,
British Columbia History,
John Atkin,
921 Princess Avenue,
Vancouver BC V6A 3E8
Book reviews for British Columbia History,,
3450 West 20th Avenue,
Vancouver BCV6S1E4,
Subscription 6 subscription information:
Alice Marwood
#311 -45520 Knight Road
Chilliwack, B. C.   V2R 3Z2
phone 604-824-1570
Subscriptions: $18.00 per year
For addresses outside Canada add $10.00
Single copies of recent issues are for sale at:
- Arrow Lakes Historical Society, Nakusp BC
- Book Warehouse, Granville St.  Vancouver BC
- Books and Company, Prince George BC
- Gibson Coast Books, Gibsons BC
- Galiano Museum
- Gray Creek Store, Gray Creek BC
- Royal Museum Shop, Victoria BC
This publication is indexed in the Canadian
Magazine Index, published by Micromedia.
ISSN: 1710-7881
Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and indexed in HISTORICAL ABSTRACTS and AMERICA: HISTORY AND LIFE
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Magazine Publishers
While copyright in the journal as a whole is
vested in the British Columbia Historical
Federation, copyright in the individual articles
belongs to their respective authors, and
articles may be reproduced for personal use
only. For reproduction for other purposes
permission in writing of both author and
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British Columbia Historical Federation
A charitable society under the Income Tax Act Organized 31 October 1922
PO Box 5254, Station B., Victoria BC VSR 6N4
Under the Distinguished Patronage of Her Honour
The Honourable lona Campagnolo. PC, CM, OBC
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Honourary President
Melva Dwyer
Jacqueline Gresko
5931 Sandpiper Court, Richmond, BC, V7E 3P8
Phone 604.274.4383
First Vice President
Patricia Roy
602-139 Clarence St., Victoria, B.C., V8V2J1
Second Vice President
Bob Mukai
4100 Lancelot Dr., Richmond, BC   V7C 4S3
Phone 604-274-6449
Ron Hyde
#20 12880 Railway Ave., Richmond, BC, V7E6G2
Phone: 604.277.2627 Fax 604.277.2657
Recording Secretary
Gordon Miller
1126 Morrell Circle, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 6K6
Ron Greene
POBox 1351, Victoria, BC, V8W2W7
Phone 250. 598.1835 Fax 250.598.5539
Past President
Wayne Desrochers
13346 57th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3X 2W8
Phone 604. 599.4206 Fax. 604.507.4202
Members at Large
Alice Marwood
#311 45520 Knight Road, Chilliwack, BC, V2R 312
Tony Cox
Box 571, Lions Bay BC   VON 2E0
Phone 604-921-9496
Historical Trails and Markers
John Spittle
1241 Mount Crown Road, North Vancouver, BC, V7R 1R9
Phone 604.988.4565
W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarships Committee
Robert Griffin
107 Regina Avenue, Victoria, BC, V8Z 1J4
Phone 250.475.0418
Writing Competition - Lieutenant-Governor's Award
Bob Mukai
4100 Lancelot Dr., Richmond, BC   V7C 4S3
Phone 604-274-6449 the Federation's web site is hosted by Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC British Columbia Historical Federation Members
103 member societies representing 10,113 members throughout British Columbia.
Abbotsford Genealogical Society
PO Box 672, Abbotsford, BC V2S 6R7
Alberni District Historical Society
PO Box 284, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 7M7
Aldergrove Heritage Society
3190 - 271 Street, Aldergrove, BC   V4W 3H7
Anderson Lake Historical Society
PO Box 40, D'Arcy, BC VON 1L0
Arrow Lakes Historical Society
PO Box 819, Nakusp, BC VOG 1R0
Atlin Historical Society
PO Box 111, Atlin, BC VOW IA0
Barriere a District Heritage Society
Box 228, Barriere, BC VOE 1E0
Bella Coola Valley Museum Society
Box 726, Bella Coola, BC VOT 1C0
Boundary Historical Society
PO Box 1687, Grand Forks, BC VOH 1H0
Bowen Island Historians
PO Box 97. Bowen Island, BC VON 1G0
Bulkley Valley Historical 6 Museum Society
Box 2615, Smithers, BC VOJ 2N0
Burnaby Historical Society
6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6
B.C. History of Nursing Group
c/o Beth Fitzpatrick Box 444 Brackenda:e BC VON 1 HO
Chemainus Valley Historical Society
PO Box 172, Chemainus, BC VOR 1K0
Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C.
c/o David Lam Centre - SFU Harboour Centre Room
2600. 515 W. Hastings St, Vancouver BC V6B 5K3
Cherryville and Area Historical Society
22 Dunlevy Road, Cherryville, BC VOE 2G3
Chilliwack Museum a Historical Society
45820 Spadina Ave, Chilliwack, BC   V2P 1T3
Coquitlam Heritage Society
1116 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam, BC V3K 1G3
Cowichan Historical Society
PO Box 1014, Duncan, BC V9L 3Y2
Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum
Society 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5
Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society
PO Box 183, Masset, BC VOT 1M0
East Kootenay Historical Association
PO Box 74, Cranbrook, BC V1C 4H6
Finn Slough Heritage a Wetland Society
9480 Dyke Road, Richmond BC V7A 2L5
Forest History Assn. of BC
c/o 5686 Keith Rd West Vancouver, BC V7W 2N5
Fort Nelson Historical Society
Box 716, Fort Nelson, BC VOC 1R0
Fraser-Fort George Museum Society
PO Box 1779 Pr. George BC V2L 4V7
Gabriola Historical 6 Museum Society
Box 213, Gabriola, BC, VOR 1X0
Galiano Museum Society
S13 - C19 - RR1, Galiano Island, B C VON 1P0
Gailatley Nut Farm Society
Suite 702 - 22 - 2475 Dobbin Rd
Westbank BC V4T 2E9
Gray Creek Historical Society
Box 4, Gray Creek, B.C. VOB 1S0
Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society
12138 Fourth Avenue Richmond, B.C. V7E 3J1
Gulf Islands Branch BCHF
c/o S-22, C-11, RR # 1, Galiano Island, BC VON 1P0
Hallmark Society
c/o 810 Linden Ave, Victoria, BC V8V4G9
Hedley Heritage Society
PO Box 218, Hedley, BC VOX 1K0
Historical Map Society of BC
4450 Portland St   Burnaby BC V5J 2N7
Horsefly Historical Society
Box 11, Horsefly, BCV0L1L0
Hudson's Hope Historical Society
Box 98, Hudson's Hope, BC VOC 1C0
Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia
206-950 West 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2N7
Kamloops Heritage Railway Society
6-510 Lome St, Kamloops, BC V2C 1W3
Kamloops Museum Association
207 Seymour Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 2E7
Kimberley District Heritage Society
Box 144 Kimberley BC V1A 2Y5
Kitimat Centennial Museum Association
293 City Centre, Kitimat BC   V8C 1T6
Koksilah School Historical Society
5213 Trans Canada Highway, Koksilah, BC VOR 2C0
Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society
112 Heritage Way, Castlegar, BC V1N 4M5
Kootenay Lake Historical Society
PO Box 537, Kaslo, BC VOG 1M0
Ladysmith a District Historical Society
c/o 781 Colonia Drive Ladysmith, BC V9G 1N2
Langley Heritage Society
Box 982, Fort Langley, BC V1M 2S3
Lantzville Historical Society
c/o PO Box 274, LantzviUe, BC VOR 2H0
Lions Bay Historical Society
Bopx 571 Lions Bay, BC   VON 2E0
Little Prairie Heritage Society
Box 1777, Chetwynd BC   VOC 1J0
London Heritage Farm Society
6511 Dyke Road, Richmond, BC V7E 3R3
Maple Ridge Historical Society
22520 116th Avenue, Maple Ridge, BC V2X 0S4
Marpole Museum 6 Historical Society
8743 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6P 6A5
Metchosin School Museum Society
4475 Happy Valley Road Victoria, BC V9C 3Z3
Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society
PO Box 1675, Sparwood BC VOB 2G0
Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society
PBC Box 611 Kelowna BC    V1Y 7P2
Nakusp ft District Museum Society
PO Box 584, Nakusp, BC VOG 1R0
Nanaimo ft District Museum Society
100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2X1
Nanaimo Historical Society
PO Box 933, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5N2
Nelson Museum 6 Historical Society
402 Anderson Street, Nelson, BC V1L 3Y3
Nicola Valley Museum Archives Association
PO Box 1262, Merritt BC V1K 1B8
North Shore Historical Society
c/o 1541 Mertynn Cres., North Vancouver, BC V7J 2X9
North Shuswap Historical Society
PO Box 57, Celista, BC VOE 1L0
North Vancouver Museum and Archives
209 West 4th St North Vancouver BC V7M 1H8
Okanagan Historical Society
PO Box 313, Vernon, BC V1T 6M3
Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria
Box 5004, #1 5-1594 Fairfield Rd, Victoria BC V8S 5L8
Parksville a District Historical Society
PO Box 1452, Parksville, BC   V9P 2H4
Pemberton Museum & Archives
PO Box 267, Pemberton, BC, VON 2L0
Pitt Meadows Heritage a Museum Society
12294 Harris Rd, Pitt Meadows BC V3Y 2E9
Port Hardy Heritage Society
Box 2126, Port Hardy, BC VON 2P0
Powell River Historical Museum a Archives Assn.
PO Box 42, Powell River   BC   V8A 4Z5
Prince Rupert City a Regional Archives
PO Box 1093, Prince Rupert BC V8J 4H6
Princeton a District Museum a
Box 281, Princeton, BC VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical Society
587 Beach Road, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1K7
Revelstoke a District Historical Association
Box 1908, Revelstoke BC VOE 2S0
Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society
PO Box 3018, Revelstoke, BC   VOE 2S0
Richmond Heritage Railroad Society
c/oSuite200, 8211 Ackroyd Rd., Richmond, BCV6X3K8
Richmond Museum Society
#180 - 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond, BC V6Y 1R8
The Riondel 6 Area Historical Society
Box 201, Riondel, BC VOB 2B0
Roedde House Preservation Society
1415 Barclay St, Vancouver BC V6G 1J6
Royal Agricultural a Industrial Society of BC
(Samson V Maritime Museum) POBox 42516 -
#105 - 1005 Columbia St New Westminster
BC   V3M6H5
Royal Engineers Living History Society
c/o1225 Purmal Ave, Quesnel  BC V2J 4T4
Saanich Historical Artifacts Society
7321 Lochside Dr., Saanichton, BC   V8M 1W4
Saanich Pioneer Society
7910 East Saanich Rd, Saanichton BC V8M 1T4
Salt Spring Island Historical Society
129 McPhillips Ave, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2T6
Sandon Historical Society
Box 52, New Denver, BC VOG 1S0
Sea Island Heritage Society
4191 Ferguson Road, Richmond, BC V7B 1P3
Sicamous District Museum a Historical Society
Box 944, Sicamous, BC VOE 2V0
Silvery Slocan Historical Society
Box 301, New Denver, BC VOG 1S0
South Peace Historical Society
c/o 900 Alaska Avenue, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4T6
Steveston Historical Society
3811 Moncton St., Richmond, BC V7E 3A0
Sullivan Mine a Railway Historical Society
PO Box 94, Kimberley BC   V1A 2Y5
Surrey Historical Society
Box 34003,17790 #10 Highway, Surrey, BC V3S 8C4
Terrace Regional Historical Society
PO Box 246, Terrace, BC V8G 4A6
The Electrical Heritage Society of B.C.
6522 Wellington PL  West Vancouver V7W 2J1
Trail Historical Society
PO Box 405, Trail, BCV1R4L7
Union Bay Historical Society
Box 448, Union Bay, BC VOR 3B0
Vancouver Historical Society
PO Box 3071, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Victoria Historical Society
PO Box 43035, Victoria North, Victoria, BC V8X3G2
White Rock Museum 6 Archives Society
14970 Marine Drive, White Rock, BC V4B 1C4
Whistler Museum and Archives Society
Box 1122, 4329 Main Street, Whistler, BC  VON 1B0
Williams Lake Museum and Historical
113 - 4th Ave North, Williams Lake, BC V2G 2C8
Yale a District historical Society
Box 74, Yale, BC VOK 2S0
Yellowhead Museum
Box 1778, RR# 1, Clearwater, BC VOE 1N0
Affiliated Groups
Archives Association of British Columbia
PO Box 78530 University PO, Vancouver BC
V6T 1Z4
Barkerville Historic Town
Box 19, Barkerville, BC   VOK 1B0
Hope Museum
PO Box 26, Hope BC   V0X1L0
Kelowna Museum Association
470 Queensway Avenue, Kelowna, B. C. V1Y 6S7
Langley Centennial Museum
PO Box 800, Fort Langley BC   V1M 2S2
Northern BC Archives - UNBC
3333 University Way, Prince George BC   V2N
North Pacific Historic Fishing Viiliage
PO Box 1109, Port Edward BC   VOV 1G0
North Vancouver Museum and Archives
209 - West 4th Street North Vancouver BC
Quesnel 6 District Museum and Archives
410 KinchantSt Quesnel BC V2J 7J5
Women's History Network of BC
402 - 9603 Manchester Dr., Burnaby BC   V3N 4Y7
The British Columbia Historical
Federation is an umbrella
organization embracing regional
entitled to become Member Societies
of the BC Historical Federation. All
members of these local historical
societies shall by that very fact be
members of the Federation.
AFFILIATED GROUPS are organizations
with specialized interests or objects
of a historical nature.
MEMBERSHIP FEES for both classes of
membership are one dollar per
member of a Member Society or
Affiliated Group with a minimum
membership fee of $25 and a
maximum of $75.
Question regarding membership
should be sent to:
Ron Hyde, Secretary
#20 12880 Railway Ave.,
Richmond BC WE 6G2
Phone 604.277.2627 Fax
604.277.2657  BCHF Prizes | Awards | Scholarships
"Any country worthy of a future should
be interested in its past"
W. Kaye Lamb, 1937
W. KAYE LAMB Essay Scholarships
Deadline 15 May 2006
The British Columbia Historical
Federation awards two scholarships
annually for essays written by students
atBC colleges or universities on a topic
relating to British Columbia history.
One scholarship ($500) is for an essay
written by a student in a first-or
second-year course: the other ($750)
is for an essay written by a student in
a third-or fourth-year course.
To apply tor the scholarship,
candidates must submit (1) a letter of
application: (2) an essay of 1,500-3,000
words on a topic relating to the history
of British Columbia: (3) a letter of
recommendation from the professor
for whom the essay was written.
Applications should be submitted
before 15 May 2006 to: Robert Griffin,
Chair BC Historical Federation
Scholarship Committee, PO Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria, BC V8R 6N4.
The winning essay submitted by a
third or fourth year student will be
published in BC Historical News. Other
submissions may be published at the
editor's discretion.
BC History Web Site Prize
The British Columbia Historical
Federation and David Mattison are
jointly sponsoring a yearly cash award
of $250 to recognize Web sites that
contribute to the understanding and
appreciation of British Columbia's
past. The award honours individual
initiative in writing and presentation.
Nominations for the BC History Web
Site Prize must be made to the British
Columbia Historical Federation, Web
Site Prize Committee, prior to 31
December 2006. Web site creators
and authors may nominate their own
sites. Prize rules and the on-line
nomination form can be found on The
British Columbia History Web site:
Best Article Award
A Certificate of Merit and fifty dollars
will be awarded annually to the
author of the article, published in BC
Historical News, that best enhances
knowledge ot British Columbia's
history and provides reading
enjoyment. Judging will be based on
subject development, writing skill,
freshness of material, and appeal to
a general readership interested in all
aspects of BC history.
The Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation | Volume 38 Number 4 2005
William Charles Heaton-Armstrong, 1853-1917
Dagmar Watkins 2
James Cooper Keith
Robert Cathro 6
Doctors Edward Charles St Isabella Delamge Arthur
Pat A. Rogers 10
The Kosiancic Farm in Crescent Valley
Ray Kosiancic 14
The Use of Saltings on the BC Coast
V.C. Brink 17
Through Japanese Eyes
Jim Wolf 18
Token History:
Ronald Greene  24
Archives and Archivists 25
Book Reviews 26
Miscellany 35
From the Editor
The late arrival of the last issue of the News was
one of those unfortunate things where someone just
didn't pay attention to their job. Our printer very kindly
sent issue 38.3 off to the wrong distribution company
where it then sat unnoticed in a warehouse for many
weeks until someone at that company phoned to ask
about the lonely boxes!
In the last issue I asked for assistance in locating
an author and their manuscript of which I  had an
incomplete copy and no name. I'm happy
to say I now have the complete file and you
can look for the history of the Vancouver
Poetry Society in the next issue.
This issue also contains the 2006
conference registration form and program.
It looks like it's going to be another
interesting get together this year.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 William Charles Heaton-Armstrong, 1853-1917
His story and his connection to the Okanagan. By Dagmar watkins
Dagmar Watkins is an
active volunteer at
the Armstrong
Museum Archives,
her interest in the
family was sparked
when she discovered
that William Charles
was born near her
childhood home in
Austria, her
persistent detective
work tracked down
some of the
descendants and
brought to light the
information for this
William Charles Heaton-Armstrong's
story is one of those larger than life
histories. It is a story full of hardship,
excitement, entrepreneurial
adventure, wealth, insinuated skulduggery, power,
courage, and much satisfaction. It is a tale of ancient
lineage, of ancestors who reached the highest peaks
before spectacular falls, not once but a number of
times. W.C. was true to this lineage and embodied all
the spirit and adventure of his ancestors. He was a
well-travelled man who knew that the old world order
of being either a gentleman or a business man, but
never both, was becoming a thing of the past. It was
this latter realization which was to lead him to invest
in Canada and give his name to Armstrong, BC.
The transformation of W.C. from gentleman
adventurer to merchant banker would have found
approval with his entrepreneurial ancestors. They can
be traced back to the English Plantagenet King
Edward I and to King James II of Scotland. Legend
has it that the earliest mention of the name Armstrong
in British history was in ancient times when a grateful
king of Scotland, who had been unfortunate enough
to have his horse killed from under him in battle, was
immediately remounted by his armour bearer who
was named Fairbairn. In gratitude, the king rewarded
him with lands on the border between Scotland and
England, and changed his name from Fairbairn to
Armstrong with the added bonus of a personal crest
designed by the king himself.
The border land was a dubious gift since it was
a piece of property constantly in danger from
marauding brigands from both England and Scotland.
By the early sixteenth century the chief of the clan
was John Armstrong of Glenockie. His clan was
numerous and warlike and they spent their time
harassing their English neighbours. After the
Armstrong clan had defeated an army sent by the
English king, the ungrateful Scottish king felt
threatened by the Armstrong show of strength and
had John and his retainers hung on June 8,1530. This
caused the new laird to flee to Holland as the rest of
the clan dispersed to different parts of England.
By the 1600s, the Armstrong families in
England had regained their status and one, Sir
Thomas Armstrong, had become a Member of
Parliament for Leicester in 1660. The family had been
staunch supporters of the monarchy and were well
rewarded with lands in Ireland. By the 1680s,
however, Sir Thomas' son was unjustly accused of
plotting against the king's life and he, like his ancestor
before him, fled to Holland. In doing so he was
branded an outlaw, seized by bounty hunters and
returned to England, where he was condemned as a
traitor. On June 20,1684, without trial, he was put to
death in a most horrible manner. He was taken on a
sledge to Tyburn and hung, drawn, and quartered.
His body parts were set up in various parts of London.
In 1689, somewhat ironically I must say, he was
pardoned, in absentia; the proceedings before his
death were considered illegal and his widow received
a small pension.
After this, the family settled quietly in Farney
Castle, Ireland, and in 1731 Colonel William
Armstrong Esq., married the wealthy heiress, Mary
Heaton, of Mount Heaton in County Offaly. Mary
was not only wealthy but also well connected, her
family having been granted clear titles to Irish land
by Charles II. She was the sole heir to the large Mount
Heaton estates and, on the death of her father, her
lands were joined to those of Col. William Armstrong.
Their son was offered a peerage as Baron Dunmace
but died before he could accept it, otherwise
Armstrong might well have been Dunmace, BC.
It was their grandson, William Henry
Armstrong, M.P. who lost most of the estates, except
for Roscrea, through gambling. This forced the family
to move to the European continent, finally settling in
Austria. William Henry's oldest son, John, had the
good sense to marry Josephine Mayr of Leoben,
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 whose father, a descendant of Baron Mayr Melnhof,
owned the largest inn in town and was extremely kind
to the impoverished Heaton-Armstrongs. John also
assumed, by Royal licence, the additional surname
and Arms of Heaton of Mount Heaton. Their son
William Charles (W.C.) of the town of Armstrong
fame, was born in 1853 in Gmunden, Austria and was
the second son. The kindly innkeeper, his grandfather,
was particularly fond of him. When W.C. ran away
from school at fourteen to join the Merchant Navy
his grandfather would often write and send him
W.C. spent his time on a frigate called The
Windsor Castle which travelled between London and
Hong Kong. The journey took roughly 6 months for
which he was paid two English pounds. Once, while
in Hong Kong, he was the victim of an attempted
robbery by two men and it is reported that with his
fists he killed one man in self defence. All his life he
was a keen supporter of boxing and in his youth he
tried to win the light-weight amateur title. Always
being short of money he took on a heavy-weight in
Portsmouth, England. It was a bare-knuckle fight and
he broke his opponent's arm but lost his amateur status.
He did win, however, a purse of five English pounds.
One day, while in Mumbai (Bombay), W.C. was
left on board alone and amused himself by playing
with the captain's binoculars. To his joy he spotted a
cousin inspecting the troops on a neighbouring ship,
made contact with him and, being short of funds (as
usual), managed to wangle some money.
W.C. served in the Merchant Navy for about
thirteen years, eventually becoming a captain. He
sailed mostly in the Caribbean and South China Sea.
Once he recorded in his log book that he had rescued
one of his ratings who had fallen overboard and then
"finished my breakfast." Officers in the merchant
navy were given space in the cargo hold for trade
goods so W.C .supplemented his income by trading
and thus perhaps began the change from merchant
seaman to merchant banker.
His buccaneering days were not over, however,
and in the Russo-Turkish War of 1876 he served as
Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial Turkish Army
and was known as Adam Bey. Between 1879 and 1884
he sailed a war ship from England to Chile to support
the Chileans against Peru in the War of the Pacific.
During his seafaring days, he had surveyed the
coast of Labrador and Nova Scotia and had charted
all the lighthouses along it. He liked this part of
Canada very much and always spoke fondly of it to
his children. He brought back to England First
Nation's artefacts given to him by various chiefs.
These gifts are now in the American Museum in Bath,
England, with his name inscribed.
On his return to England, W.C. entered into
business. This change from seafaring to business did
not please his father who constantly reminded him
The dashing, young
William Charles Heaton-
Armstrong. (far left)
Photo courtesy the family
Bertha Heaton-Armstrong
attired for a grand ball in
Austria before her
marriage to William
Charles Heaton-Armstrong.
Photo courtesy of the family
In London, England,
William Charles Heaton-
Annstrong enjoys a time
out in the latter years of
his life.
Photo courtesy of the family
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 that business was not the occupation of a gentleman.
Sometime in the early 1880's W.C. sent his
impoverished father some money, whereupon father
changed his mind and even invited his son to Velden,
Austria, where he was staying with his two daughters
at the home of Baron Alfons Zois
Edelstein. Here W.C. met his future
wife, Bertha, the youngest daughter
of the Baron. After a three year
courtship they were married in 1886
at Schloss Egg, Kreinsburg, which
is in present day Slovenia but was
then part of the Austro-Hungarian
After living in Austria for a
few years he and Bertha moved to
London, England and, in 1892, he
bought the majority of the bonds in
the Shuswap and Okanagan
Railway joining Sicamous with
Okanagan Landing,Vernon. The
route went right through the
swamp which has become Railway
Avenue in downtown Armstrong.
The railroad's location forced the
original settlement of Lansdowne, which was up on
the bench above Deep Creek, to relocate its business
centre to take advantage of W.C.'s
railroad. This gave the people
working with W.C. the opportunity
to attach the Armstrong name to the
new settlement and Lansdowne
became just another area of the
Spallumcheen Valley.
Also in 1892, although living
in London, he stood as a Loyalist
candidate for Mid-Tipperary,
Ireland but didn't get in, probably
because he was against the
separation of Ireland from England.
In 1906, he was more successful and
was elected to Parliament for
Sudbury, Suffolk, England, as a
Liberal. It was during this time that
he was accused by another
candidate of various
misdemeanours in his financial
enterprises but the charges were eventually dropped.
He sat in the House of Commons until 1910.
W.C. was now financially well established. His
business ventures had been varied and mostly
successful. All his life he had been an ardent supporter
of free trade and one of his enterprises was to import
German beer,  showing market  analysis  and
entrepreneurial skills well ahead of his time. Although
the venture was profitable it did not go down well with
English brewers who did not like to see their monopoly
Perhaps it
was at this
time that he
involved in
a brawl in a
street  and
had        to
escape   by
over     the
shafts of a
politics, heestablished his own bank, Armstrong &
Company. It was successful for a number of years but
did not
manage to
World War
I. He was
forced to
of W.C.
recall that,
present day
W.C. paid
off all his
from his
funds. As a result, he and his family had to leave their
grand home in 30 Portland Place, London, and live in
reduced circumstances. They lost their live-in servants
but two opted to stay with them, one Austrian and
one Scottish. These two faithful servants had been
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 with the family for such a long time that to leave was
W.C. died soon after this in 1917, leaving his wife
with very little money. He had been a man of many
interests as his biography in Who's Who 1912 shows.
He had been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical,
Zoological, Botanical, Statistical and other learned
Royal Societies. He loved motoring, big game shooting,
and billiards. He had also published Calculations of
the Sun's Meridian Altitude and Astronomical Tables.
He had enthusiastically supported the building of the
Channel tunnel between France and England again
showing insight way ahead of his time, since "The
Chunnel" was not built till much later and opened in
1994. In his electoral speeches, he advocated freedom
from sectarian influence in schools, more money to be
spent in agriculture, fairer railway rates, and a reform
of the Poor Law to improve social conditions especially
in housing.
Throughout his life he and his family continued
to maintain a strong connection to Austria and all
three of his children spoke German fluently. In 1886
his older brother John died without issue and W.C.
became Lord of the Manor of Roscrea, Ireland. In 1892
he petitioned Queen Victoria for the baronetcy that
had kept eluding the family in the past, asking the
queen to take into account the eminent public services
and loyal support to the crown of his ancestors. It was
eventually denied but the baronetcy continues to be
a goal of the family.
In 2002, W.C.'s great-grandson, Anthony
Heaton-Armstrong, a barrister in London, England,
together with his wife, Anne, and daughter, Celestine,
visited Armstrong. They brought gifts, including a
portrait of W.C, for the city, and spent a busy five
days being hosted and entertained, and attending
official functions, viz: meetings with The Historical
Society, City Council, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Anthony opened the 2002 Interior Provincial
Exhibition and brought a message from the Queen
which he read at the opening. He presented "The
Nomad Cup" to the Armstrong 4-H swine club to be
given every year, from his father, William "Bill"
Heaton-Armstrong who has a pig farm in England.
The highlight of the stay, however, was
Anthony's visit to all the places along the railroad
from Sicamous through Armstrong to Okanagan
Landing. It was immensely fulfilling for him to walk
along his great-grandfather's legacy to the Okanagan
and to be the first of the extensive Heaton-Armstrong
family to visit the town which carries their name. •
Sources and Acknowledgements.
I especially wish to thank Michael Hogan, of
Armstrong, who was kind enough to visit Roscrea
for me while in Ireland and for putting me in
touch with the abbot, Dom. Lawrence Walsh,
who kindly forwarded some names and
addresses and whose book Richard Heaton of
Ballyskenagh was most helpful. The present
abbey, Mount St. Joseph Abbey, was once the
property of the Heaton- Armstrong family.
Special thanks to Anthony Heaton-Armstrong
who did extensive research for me in England
and who also gave me a copy of a tape made by
Duncan William Francis (1886-1969) son of W.C.
Thanks also to Daniela Rippitsch, in Austria, who
helped with the research there; Mag. Martin
Roessler, Pfarrer of Rutzenmoos , Austria, for
clarifying the choice of church for W.C.'s
christening. Many thanks for all the information
from the various Heaton-Armstrong clan
members: Duncan Heaton-Armstrong, Scotland;
Mike & Hazel Heaton-Armstrong, Scotland;
Hazel Heaton-Armstrong, Portugal; Grizelda
Adam, nee Heaton-Armstrong, England;
Wm.J.P. Heaton-Armstrong, England.
Information of the early history of the
Armstrong family was found in Clifford Stanley
Sims' The Origin and Signification of Scottish
I would also like to acknowledge the continual
support of local historian, Jessie-Ann Gamble.
Anthony Heaton-
Armstrong, great
grandson of William
Charles Heaton-
Armstrong, explores the
railway line from
Sicamous to Okanagan
Landing in August 2002.
(top left)
Photo taken by Jessie Ann
Mayor Jerry Oglow of the
City of Armstrong is
presented with a painting
of William Charles
Heaton-Armstrong by
great grandson Anthony
Heaton-Armstrong at the
Council Meeting on August
26, 2002. (bottom left)
Photo taken by Jessie Ann
Anthony Heaton-
Annstrong, his wife Anne
and Enderby historian Bob
Cowan at Sicamous on
August 27, 2002 following
the route of the old
Shuswap & Okanagan
railway line, (top right)
Photo taken by Jessie Ann
In August 2002, Anthony
discusses the military
insignia of the Memorial
in Armstrong
Spallumcheen Memorial
Park, with Vern Flatekval,
Air Force veteran of
World War II.
(bottom right)
Photo taken by Anne Heaton-
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 James Cooper Keith
Business Pioneer and Treasure Hunter
by Robert J Cathro
Bob Cathro is retired
geological engineer
whose interest in
history was
stimulated by a
career in mineral
exploration in Yukon
Territory and
northern British
The author would
tike to aknowledge
the help and
encouragement of
the Bowen Island
Historians and its
James Keith (opposite)
Vancouver Archives Photo
Port.P. 1085 #1
A previous article in the B.C. Historical
News (issue 37.1) recounted the visit by
Lord Minto, the Governor-General of
Canada, to the Pacific Coast in September,
1904 and his surprise stop on Bowen Island to sign
the register at the Howe Sound Hotel.1 The owners of
the prime 350 acre waterfront lot at Hood Point on
which the hotel was built were James Keith, who
played a pioneering role in the founding and
development of North Vancouver, and his wife Anne,
a member of one of Victoria's most prominent
Although James was one of the leading
forefathers of the Vancouver business community,
history has ignored him. Unlike most prominent
figures of the day who inserted paid autobiographical
notes in publications such as Who's Who, he must
have been a more modest person who preferred to
protect his privacy. No biographical summary has
been found, merely brief mentions in newspaper
articles, books, footnotes or photo captions. This
article will try to set the record straight.
James Cooper Keith was born on February 18,
1852 at Strichen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the son of
an Anglican minister, William, and his wife Christine
Smith. Although little is known about his family, there
is evidence that he was a member of a well-known
family of financiers 2 that later was prominent in
American railway circles.3 That may explain why Lord
Minto, a fellow Scot, made his unpublicized visit to
the Keith property.
Keith arrived in Victoria in 1876 to take up a
position as clerk in the Bank of British Columbia. The
usual route for bank personnel from England was a
six-week trip by sea via Panama and San Francisco. It
was the first bank in the province, created in April
1862 by a group of London bankers to provide service
to, and purchase gold from, miners engaged in the
Cariboo Gold Rush. By 1876, the bank operated
branches in New Westminster, Barkerville, Quesnel,
Yale, San Francisco and Portland.4
In 1879, James Keith was married in Victoria to
Anne Jane Finlayson, who had been born in the
original Fort Victoria on March 16, 1856. Both her
father, Roderick Finlayson, and her grandfather, John
Work, had played prominent pioneering roles in the
expansion of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) into
the former Russian fur-trading region along the Pacific
coast, as well as the founding of Victoria. Both
Finlayson and Work were former Chief Traders and
Chief Factors of the HBC. James and Anne's only
child, Mary, was born on November 7,1880.5
Roderick Finlayson was born at Loch Alsh,
Rosshire, Scotland on March 16, 1818 and sailed in
July, 1837 to New York, where he was hired by the
HBC. Following a brief posting to the head office at
Lachine, Quebec, he was transferred to Fort William
in 1838. The next year, he travelled by canoe to
Edmonton, by horse through the Rockies, and by
canoe down the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver
(near Portland, Oregon), where he was placed in
charge of the sawmill. In 1840, at the age of twenty-
two, he was chosen by James Douglas to be a member
of the small group that accompanied him to Alaska
in the ship Beaver to take over Fort Stikine (near Sitka)
and Fort Durham (near Juneau) from the Russians.
After short postings at Fort Stikine and Fort Simpson,
Finlayson was transferred to the south end of
Vancouver Island in June, 1843 to take charge of the
construction of Fort Victoria. The next year, he was
placed in charge after the death of chief trader Charles
Ross. After the 49th parallel was made the Canada -
U.S. border in 1846, Douglas moved the HBC
headquarters north to Victoria in 1849 and Finlayson
became head accountant. When Douglas became
Governor of the new colony in 1851, he appointed
Finlayson as a member of the Legislative Council, a
position he held until 1863. He was awarded his
commission as Chief Trader in 1850 and Chief Factor
in 1859, was placed in charge of affairs in the interior
of the mainland in 1862 and elected mayor of Victoria
in 1878. He died inVictoria on January 20,1892 at the
age of seventy-four.6
Finlayson married Sarah Work at Fort Victoria
in 1849 and they raised a family of five daughters and
four sons. Sarah was born at Fort Colville,
Washington, south of Grand Forks, in 1829 and died
at Victoria on January 25,1906. Roderick became one
of Victoria's wealthiest and most prominent citizens,
having accumulated much valuable real estate in and
near the city. By 1923, all of the sons and one daughter,
Mary, had died, Sarah and her sister Mrs. Cotton were
living in Victoria, Agnes lived in Europe and Anne
had married James Keith. The Finlayson's only
grandson was killed at the battle of Vimy Ridge,
France in 19177
Finlayson's father-in-law, John Work, had an
even more impressive pioneering career. John was
born at St. Johnstown, County Donegal, Ireland in
1791 with the surname Wark. He emigrated to Canada
and joined the HBC at York Factory in 1814, at which
time he changed his name. He was posted east of the
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 Rocky Mountains until 1822, when he was transferred
to Fort Colville, where he established a successful farm
that is thought to be the first attempt at agriculture in
British or American possessions west of the Rockies.
From then until 1835, when he became Chief Trader
in charge of the coastal trade, he travelled widely for
the HBC, exploring the lower Fraser River in 1824 and
taking charge of trapping parties east of Fort Colville
and as far south as San Francisco Bay. John Work was
posted (or exiled) to Fort Simpson from 1835 to 1849,
was promoted to Chief Factor in 1846 and was
transferred in 1849 to the new Fort Victoria, where he
joined his future son-in-law. He was appointed a
member of the Legislative Council of Vancouver
Island from 1857 until his death on December 22,1861
and concentrated during his senior years on the
impressive gardens at his 1300 acre Hillside Farm. He
was described then as the largest landowner in the
colony. His brother David settled in eastern Canada,
became a member of the Senate, and died in 1905 at
the age of 102.8
John Work married Susette Legace, who had
been born of mixed parents in Fort Colville in 1809.
Their marriage, which occurred sometime after he
arrived there in 1822, was finally solemnized by the
Church of England in Victoria in 1849. They raised an
accomplished family of five daughters and one son.
In addition to Sarah, daughter Jane married Dr.
William Fraser Tolmie, who joined the HBC as a doctor
and scientist and became a Chief Factor. Their son Dr.
Simon Fraser Tolmie, a veterinarian who was Anne
Keith's cousin, became the premier of British
Columbia from 1928 to 1933. Another daughter
married James A Graham, who was later Chief
Commissioner of the HBC.9 John and Susette Work's
son, Charles Wark, was an eighty-four year old retired
painting contractor living inVictoria in 1951.10 Susette,
who died in Victoria on January 30, 1896, has been
described as a woman of incredible strength and
No information has been found about James
Keith's banking career before 1886, when he was
transferred to Vancouver to open a new branch for
the bank on September 1. Located on Cordova Street,
it was the first bank in the new city, which had been
incorporated and burned to the ground only a few
months earlier. The branch moved to a new location
at 542 West Hastings Street in 1887 and to the corner
of Hastings and Richards in 1891. In 1901, the bank
name disappeared in a merger with the Canadian
Bank of Commerce.12 Keith immediately recognized
the growth potential and investment possibilities of
the new city but his enthusiasm eventually put him
at odds with the more cautious directors of the bank.
He was dismissed from the bank at the end of June
1892 because he went beyond the guidelines by
making loans secured only by real estate.13 A silver
tray presented to him by the bank on his retirement
was donated to the City of Vancouver Archives by
his daughter.
Before he left the bank, the Keiths had already
started to invest in quality land. The earliest record I
have found is the purchase of DL 792 on the Capilano
River in 1890, which was sold to the District of North
Vancouver in the early 1900's,14 and the Bowen Island
property in 1891.
1 Cathro, Robert J, "Bowen
Island's Howe Sound Hotel", BC
Historical News, 37.1 (Winter
2003), 2-5
2 Kathleen M Woodward-
Reynolds, "A History of the City
and District of North Vancouver",
M. A. Thesis, University of British
Columbia, 1943, 52.
3 Letter from J C Keith to
Premier Richard McBride re the
Howe Sound and Northern
Railway, January 6,1911, in
which he stated that his family
operated the Chicago, Burlington
and Quincey Railroad and the
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul
Railroad. BC Archives.
4 Kenneth M. Pattison, "The
First Bank of British Columbia",
BC Historical News, 1990, vol.
23:1, pp2-3.
5 F. W. Howay and E.O.S.
Schofield, British Columbia
(Vancouver: S J Clarke, 1914), IV,
6 A Bryan Williams, "Roderick
Finlayson Played a Part in Stirring
Times on the Coast", The
Vancouver Daily Province,
February 3,1923
7 Williams, "Roderick Finlayson"
8 Howay and Schofield, British
Columbia IV, 1176-9; B.A.
McKelvie, "Indefatigable John
Work", The Vancouver Daily
Province Magazine Section, May
9 Lugrin, N de Bertrand, The
Pioneer Women of Vancouver
Island, 1843-1866, The Women's
Canadian Club of Victoria,
Victoria, 1928, 60-63.
10 McKelvie, "Indefatigable
John Work"
11 Lugrin, Pioneer Women
12 Constantineau, Bruce, "Banks
in Greater Vancouver" in The
Greater Vancouver Book, Chuck
Davis, Editor in Chief, Linkman
Press, Surrey, 1997, 506.
13 Robert A. J. McDonald,,
Making Vancouver: Class, Status,
and Social Boundaries, 1863-
1913, (Vancouver, UBC Press,
14 James W. Morton, Capilano:
The Story of a River, (Toronto
McClelland and Stewart, 1970), 104.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 15 Morton, Capilano, 72
16 Woodward-Reynolds, West
Vancouver, 52
17 Morton, Capilano 97.
18 NVA, Western Corporation
19 Doreen Armitage, Around
the Sound: A History of Howe
Sound-Whistler, (Madeira Park:
Harbour Publishing, 1997), 113.
20 CVA, James Keith File, op. cit.
21 CVA, caption of photo Port,
22 Woodward-Reynolds, West
Vancouver, 52
23 McDonald, Making Vancouver, 168.
24 McDonald, Making Vancouver,
25 Robert J. Cathro, "Bowen
Island's Howe Sound Hotel", BC
Historical News, 33 (Winter
1999-2000), 19-21.
26 Irene Howard, Bowen Island
(Bowen Island: Bowen Island
Historians, 1973), 74.
With his impressive local connections through
his wife's family in Victoria, his banking contacts and
his own family background, James Keith was perfectly
positioned for successful career in real estate. In the
words of Morton, Keith "spent the remain(der)... of
his life unobtrusively speculating in a thousand
enterprises, most of them in North Vancouver. As the
British Columbian put it in 1912, he had a positive
genius for sound speculation".15
In 1891, the year that the District was
incorporated, he was already a director of the newly
incorporated North Vancouver Land & Improvement
Company. The following February, while he was still
manager of the bank, he reportedly underwrote a
$40,000 loan to build an initial road across the District
from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. It is not clear
whether this loan came from the bank or from family
funds. Although this proved an inadequate amount
and construction was delayed by a ten-year recession,
the new community showed its gratitude by naming
Keith Road after him.16
The same year, 1892, he became one of the
backers of a bizarre treasure-hunting expedition to
Cocos Island. His partners in the venture were
Captain James Van Bramer and Benjamin Springer.
Van Bramer, an American, was a partner in the
Moodyville sawmill and is generally credited with
starting the first ferry service across Burrard Inlet,
from Moodyville to Hastings Mill. Springer came
from Delaware, Ontario to work at the Moodyville
Sawmill. They became involved in many business
ventures, including mining development on the
Argyle mineral claim adjoining the Keith property on
Bowen Island in 1890-91. For example, Van Bramer
and Springer were the founding president and
secretary, respectively, of the British Columbia
Telegraph & Delivery Company Limited in 1891 and
together they built a three-story building at the
northwest corner of Cordova and Cambie Streets in
1887. That building was later occupied by the Masonic
The Eliza Edwards, a schooner-rigged steamer
built in Vancouver in 1891, was outfitted for the trip
and departed for Cocos Island in June, 1892. The target
was Spanish treasure that had supposedly been
plundered by Captain Graham and the crew of HMS
■'■'■' . ■> '"> ' ; '     * 7 *
iiiiihi - •   '   -    •
8 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 Devonshire in 1820 and buried there. The
fruitless venture reportedly cost $20,000.
In 1893, the Keith family moved into
an impressive home at 1130 West Georgia
Street that had been built in 1888 by another
land developer, Henry Ceperley. In the same
year, the Keiths bought Passage Island, off
the shore of West Vancouver.
Over the next dozen years, occasional
clues exist that suggest the extent of his
commercial involvement. In 1897, he staked
the Surprise mineral claim, near his Hood
Point property on Bowen Island. He and his
family were large shareholders of the
Capilano Park Company from about 1902 to
1907.17 In 1907, he was a director of the
Western Corporation, Limited, another of
North Vancouver's largest land
development companies, as well as president
of the Port Nelson Canning Company18 and
the Howe Sound, Pemberton Valley &
Northern Railway, a predecessor of the
Pacific Great Eastern Railway and BC Rail.19
He was also involved in the Dollar Company,
which operated a lumber mill where
Dollarton was later established.
James Keith also made many contributions to
civic life. He served a term as President of the
Vancouver Board of Trade, was one of the founders
of the Vancouver Club, served on a committee that
spearheaded the incorporation of the City of North
Vancouver in 1905 and played a role in establishing
the first ferry service between the new city and
Vancouver in 1896.20 He also donated land at the
corner of Capilano and Keith Roads in 1907 for one
of the first schools on the North Shore and a cup for
rugby competition in 1909. According to McDonald,
he was also a patron of Whetham College, a private
boys school, and of the British Columbia Society of
Fine Arts "because he was part of the group of
powerful families that belonged to both the upper
class and to High Society".21
At his death from pleurisy on October 6,1914,
at the age of sixty-two, James Keith left an estate
initially estimated at $580,000, ninth highest in
Vancouver prior to 1940. In the opinion of MacDonald,
this was based on exaggerated land values and heavy
mortgaging. When the real value was finally
determined some thirteen years later, debts of almost
one million dollars remained.22 However, that is an
unfair conclusion because, had he lived, an investor
as clever as Keith would probably have rearranged
his affairs to respond to changing conditions, such as
the increased business activity in the port during
World War One.
After the operator of the Howe Sound Hotel
on Bowen Island, Arthur Newland, ran into financial
difficulty about 1910, ownership of the Bowen Island
property reverted to the Keith family, who converted
it to a summer home and renamed it Invercraig
("between the rocks").23 James' widow, Anne, sold it
to Captain John A Cates in 192424 and later sold the
home on West Georgia and moved into an apartment
at 1400 Beach Avenue, where she lived until her death
on November 28,1937 at the age of eighty-one. Their
only child, Mary Isabelle, who never married, died
in Vancouver on November 18, 1958 at the age of
seventy-eight. Passage Island was sold by her
executor for $7000 after it had been rejected as a
provincial marine park. Today, it contains at least a
dozen fine homes. •
James and his wife
attending a picnic in 1888
of "leading citizens" in
what was to become
Stanley Park, (above)
Vancouver Archives Photo
Bu.P.290 N.183
The impressive Keith
home in the 1100 block of
West Georgia.(opposite)
Vancouver Archives Photo
Bu.P.290 N.183
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 Doctors Edward Charles 8t Isabella Delamge Arthur
Nelson Pioneers
By Pat A. Rogers
Pat Roger's article
was originaUy
written as a script
for the 7th Annual
Storytelling Festival
held at Proctor, BC.
with Ms. Susan
LeFebour as the
Mrs Susan LeFebour as
Miss Margaret Arthur at
the 7th annual
Storytelling Festival held
at Procter, BC, Summer
Welcome. The time is July 1938, an
afternoon social hosted by Mrs.
Alexander Carrie. The guest of
honour is Nelson Pioneer, Miss
Margaret Arthur.
"Well, well, well do I have a treat for you! My
name is Margaret Isabella Lennox Arthur and I am
going to both enchant and educate you today. How
many here have heard of my parents, the doctors
Edward Charles and Isabella Delamge Arthur? Let
me see a show of hands. Tut, tut, not near enough.
Now get comfortable and listen closely as I tell you
the tale of how Nelson came to be.
My Father entered the world in 1856, kicking
and screaming. Grandma Arthur said these traits
followed him all his life through and I must admit it
was so.
He was a headstrong, curious man. You know
the type, always poking at things with a stick. As a
result he had a difficult time staying within the
bounds of polite society. Oh, how his sharp tongue
became the bane of others. I suspect that when he
finished school there was a sigh of relief as he collected
his sheepskin and was out the door!
With a BA and an MA under his belt Dad set out
to teach the classics to the masses. He soon realized there
was not much of a future in the dead languages, so he
enrolled at Trinity College and graduated as a physician
in 1888. He was ready to hang out his first shingle!
Well, practicing medicine in Ontario did not
hold enough excitement for my wanderlust stricken
Father. He soon learned that the CPR needed a
physician, so he signed on for one year.
So, you can imagine my Dad was in quite the
dilemma when he chanced upon the dark haired
beauty known as Isabella Delmage. Talk about
pitching woo, he was smitten. After a whirlwind
courtship they were married in 1889. Now, do not
think for one minute that my mother was going to
pack in all her life's dreams for the chance of being a
housewife! Before the nuptials she extracted a promise
from the young doctor that she would marry him only
if he allowed her to study to become a physician.
Being a smart man, my Dad agreed!
Dad headed West with the CPR and my mother,
newly pregnant, kept the home fires burning. Oh, how
their lives were about to change.
Dad wrote home just about every day regaling
my mother with stories of life on the rails. He had a
soft spot for the Chinese. They took all the dangerous
jobs in hopes of earning extra money. With the Head
Tax it cost so much more to bring their families to
Gold Mountain. So many of them were blown to bits
trying to set the dynamite charges that there was never
much left to bury.
As the rails were laid in the Kootenays my Dad's
wanderlust kicked in. One day in 1890 he walked the
rails and trails into a shantytown on the shores of a
mountain lake. As he sat on a hillside overlooking the
shanties and tents he could see Kootenai Indians
paddling heavily laden canoes ashore and the smoke
curling skyward from cook stoves and bonfires. His
curiosity got the better of him so he picked himself up
and headed down the hillside.
Before he knew it, he had sauntered through
the town site, spoken to a dozen or more people, and
planned his future. He found a log at the water's edge
and set about writing home. He was so excited his
thoughts flew from his pen to paper. He could hardly
contain his enthusiasm. Mom said later that this letter
home so ignited her spirit that she, too, garnered a bit
of wanderlust!
Once Dad's contract expired he tightened his
laces, set his hat, picked up his pack and walked into
his new home. In early 1891 he was the newest
resident of what was to become Nelson.
Mom was so enchanted by his letters home that
they helped her through the mourning period
following the loss of their first child. She packed her
bags and all their belongings, bought a ticket West
and started on the journey of a lifetime.
Now, we must remember that Canada was only
twenty-four years old and the most civilized part of
the country was the part she was leaving! There were
towns with houses surrounded by white picket fences;
cities with modern transportation, telephone and
telegraph systems; and libraries and universities.
Canada East was booming.
Bearing that in mind can you imagine what
went through my Mother's mind when she set foot
in Shanty Town West? She often reminded my Father
of her first sight of what was to become her new home
and how much she loved him.
Dad set up his drugstore and took on the duties
of the Provincial Coroner. He tramped about the area
holding inquests in mining camps, under tarps and
in makeshift halls and churches.
He hung out his shingle and welcomed all to
his practice. He was ready to set the world on fire, or
at least his little corner of it.
Mom busied herself creating a home for them
and their expected child. She felt herself starting to
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 love this wild west town. There were areas she
avoided, as her Presbyterian, Eastern, sensibilities had
not quite evaporated. The Ladies of the Evening made
her uncomfortable at first, but gradually this lessened.
The Chinese and their open use of opium made her a
bit fearful. Saturday night brawls meant a constant
knocking on their door in need of her husband's
services. Rainy days socked in the little town and
turned the makeshift roads into gigantic mud holes.
Mom would laugh as she remembered how excited
everyone was when the wooden sidewalks were
finished! She called this her learning experience. She
was made of far tougher stuff then even she realized.
Dad was a stickler for education and knew this
booming shanty town needed a school. He and the
Reverend Rogers put their heads together and
converted a room in our home into a classroom. The
first students arrived in May 1891 and an education
system was born in this small corner of British
Columbia. The town was growing and with it the
school population. Before long Dad lead a committee
to acquire a proper schoolhouse and teacher. After
some wrangling and many, many letters what was to
become Central School was born. My Dad was the
first School Board Trustee and remained one for
twenty years!
During this time Mom gave birth to a son. All
was right with the world and nothing could upset
her, not even the Chinese and their opium.
Unfortunately, little Edward died within the year and
Mom sank into melancholy.
The spring flowers, the warmth of the summer
sun or the falling leaves of autumn could not stir her.
When the gray clouds of winter set in Mom thought
she would go mad. She went to Portland and spent
the winter months taking long walks, attending
medical seminars, and trying to regain her strength.
Upon her return home, she extracted her
prenuptial promise of medical training, applied to
Portland and was accepted. Mom entered Medical
School in 1894 and was one of only three women to
graduate as a physician in 1897. Her months of
melancholy lead to Mom being one of only a handful
of women physicians in Canada at the time.
Grass did not grow under Dad's feet. He knew
this shantytown could grow and prosper and he set
out to make it so. Education was on the right track;
the new school was a definite asset and the Board of
Trustees a capable lot.
The town site was another matter. If John
Houston, publisher of the local paper, thought this
town could be incorporated into a full
fledged city there was an awful lot of
work to do; a lot of bad habits to be
broken and the people educated as to a
healthier and cleaner way of life.
One of the first things needed
was a proper fire department. When a
fire broke out it often took out several
buildings, not just the originating one.
On one hand Dad thought this was a
blessing as someone needed to put a
match to the lot of them! I remember
some of them - this was years later, and,
oh my, fire traps one and all. A town
made of wood needed a fire
department, so Dad chaired a fund
raising committee and before long a fire
hall was built and a pumper wagon
was on order. The task at hand now was
to train the lot. Now, whenever I see
the Keystone Kops, I am forever
reminded of Dad's stories of those early
training sessions!
A hospital was next on his list as
the days of treating patients in their
homes was coming to an end. Once more
Dad chaired a committee to fund raise
and before long the first hospital took
shape. Another, newer, more modern
hospital would follow a few years later.
Everything was falling into place, as the
framework of a city took shape.
Now, Nelson was a rather
unsanitary place at the best of times.
People threw their waste into open pits
in their back yards or threw it out the
front door and into the gutters. Dad
knew disease spawned in these areas
and the thoughts of having to fight a
plague caused him to blanch. The rats
were bad enough. Disease could be
stemmed if the cesspools were built to
Dad was the Community Medical Health
Officer and he was on a roll. While he was running
about the town trying to get the cesspools under
control the new Provincial Sanitary Inspector came
to town. It seemed Dad and the Inspector locked horns
and before you knew it Dad was in court for having
the cesspools at his home and drug store below
standard. He cited a busy schedule, but it all fell on
Edward Charles in uniform
1916 (above)
Isabella Delamge Arthur in
1919 (below)
11 Doctor Edward Charles &
Miss Margaret Arthur in
deaf ears. Dad was fined $50.00, but the matter did
not end there. Remember, I told you Dad had a short
fuse, well, it was lit! One thing lead to another and
Dad ended up spending the night in jail!
Dad missed my Mother and was most anxious
for her return. He was so proud of his wife that he
nearly burst at the seams. He wanted something
special for this extraordinary woman, so he decided
to meet with Alexander Carrie, a young furniture
maker and Architect, new to town. He wanted Mr.
Carrie to build him a fine house.
Oh, poor Mr. Carrie. My Dad was like a dog
with a bone! He did not have much respite from my
Dad until the last nail was driven. When Mr. Carrie
handed him the keys both of them grinned from ear
to ear, as both knew a job well done. Dad set about
creating a surgery for my Mother, equipping it with
the latest medical texts and instruments. She would
have the comforts of a home office.
Dr. Isabella Arthur was soon home and hanging
out her shingle. Before long Mom was busy with her
practice, as well as trying to keep her well intentioned,
but short tempered husband in check. Soon they were
both off and running trying to secure a sanitary water
system for the new City. Dad would regularly hike
into the watershed to inspect the conditions of the
system. Bad things happened when beavers fouled
the water. These cases were better off prevented, if
you get my drift.
To pasteurize or not to pasteurize was the
question. Mom and Dad both lobbied for the complete
pasteurization of all milk and the immunization of
all cattle to help prevent disease. My parents were
well ahead of their times.
Nelson was incorporated in 1897 and their work
only intensified.
I popped into the world in 1899 and you could
not have found two more proud and doting parents.
Mom had a certain wisdom that comes from losing a
child. She believed that strong and healthy parents
brought healthy children into the world. She loved to
do deliveries. She was the first to hold a completely
virgin soul in her hands. She urged the schools to teach
girls all aspects of child rearing and home making. Too
many girls were cast into motherhood far too early and
had no tools to deal with it. It was easy to be a parent,
but oh, so hard to be a good one. She was the first to
advocate and provide pre natal care to her patients.
In 1910 Mom became the first School Medical
Health Officer. She received $1.00 per head of each
student, teacher and janitor examined per year. There
were always outbreaks of lice for which she insisted
on washing my hair in coal oil, if I needed it or not! I
smelled like an old oil lamp, but then again so did
everyone else!
Mom and Dad were founding members of the
University Club. They, and others of like mind,
believed the province needed a university. They
petitioned the government to set aside the
Endowment Grounds in Vancouver. Dad is listed
among the graduates at the First UBC Convocation
in 1912.
Dad was bound and determined to fight for
King and Empire in World War One. He had a devil
of a time attesting, as he was a bit grey about the edges.
He fudged his birth date and finally attested in
Winnipeg in 1916. Now, my Father does not know, that
I know, of his little tantrum. He was famous for them
at home and it was no surprise to learn that on the day
of his arrival in England he found himself cooling his
heels in the detention hut. He was not good at taking
orders. Mom just sighed when she heard, as she knew
nothing would change her Edward. He would speak
his mind and suffer the consequences. She showed me
the picture of Dad standing so proud in his uniform.
She said it was the only time since their wedding that
he had not looked like an unmade bed.
Mom was busy looking at heads, caring for the
ill and taking on Dad's duties as Medical Health
Officer. She worked endlessly for the Library Board,
the National Council of Women and the Women's
Institute. Somewhere she found the time to present a
paper on Child Welfare to the Provincial Board of
Health in 1918 and to lobby the government to put
nurses into rural areas.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 Meanwhile, I was studying music and voice and
hoped to continue in Washington and at the Toronto
Conservatory. I was most fortunate to grow up in a home
where I was encouraged to speak my mind and to have
parents who strove to make the world a better place.
One of the most trying times for my Mother
was the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918. Nelson was
very fortunate for it was my Mother who kept the
death rate down. The deaths that did occur, like that
of Izzie Nelson's mother, upset my mother greatly.
The Flu seemed to be unstoppable. Edmonton passed
a bylaw making it illegal for anyone to be outside
without a sterile mask over their face. The fine was
$5,000.00. Mom had such a good grasp of contagious
diseases that she fought tooth and nail to have all
public gatherings cancelled. As the City Medical
Health Officer she had a duty to protect her home
and she fought like a Lioness. City Council hummed
and hawed and worried about the economy. They did
not seem to realize you needed people to spend their
money on wares, not on graves. Mom came home
from City Council meetings on the verge of needing
spirits! Finally public gatherings were cancelled and
sterile masks issued. She had to keep on top of the
City Council, as they no sooner banned gatherings,
then they wanted to open them up once more! It was
not enough for mother to battle the Flu, but she also
had to combat the stuffed shirts who thought they
knew better than a woman! I can just imagine how
those old goats must have felt taking orders from her!
Mom brought Nelson through the Flu, but not
without herself being bed ridden with it. It took all
her energies to get back on her feet and I wonder if
she really did recover from it.
Dad wrote home and we soon learned of life in
France. He survived the war, but I do believe it
changed him. He did not talk of the War and we did
not ask. He was home in 1919 and championing the
soldier's rights for a pension. The Drs Arthur were a
team once again! They saw what needed to be done
and they did it.
Mom's health suffered after the Flu Pandemic
and she could not regain her strength. In 1923 she took
a leave of absence and journeyed to Ontario to visit
her sisters and me. We were all invited to a party at
Mrs. Stephen Leacock's home the next evening, but
mother fell ill. My aunt was not in favour of going to
the party, as she said they were all drunken
debaucheries. Mom suffered a stroke and fell into
unconsciousness, dying a few days later. Dad could
not get to her bedside in time and this forever haunted
him. He had not said good-bye. From that day forth
the light went out in his eyes. Mom is buried in St.
Mary's, Ontario.
Dad continued with his medical duties and
assumed those of my mother. He puttered away at
his mining claims, attended various meetings and
fought the good fight for Nelson. He saw what needed
to be done and he did it.
One thing father did not do well was manage
his business. He collected very few bills and paid little
attention to the money matters at hand. When he died
in 1932 he left only enough money to be buried. Please
stop by the Nelson Cemetery and visit with him. He
would love to hear of all the happenings in his city.
I have given you just a wee glimpse into the
lives of the Drs. Arthur. They spent their entire adult
lives working and advocating for the City of Nelson.
Without them I do not believe Nelson would be the
Queen City. As you can see the community is the
richer because of their lives." •
^P^ WT
_______________! ^— ^^H
13 The Kosiancic Farm in Crescent Valley
100 Years in the life ol.»family *Virm
bt R*r fcMUnc k
fre*n tr*-
tatcr $n**l to fncMH
and ««m«y fy t*f
C'M£**it toliry *nd
* j'» ,i'i  nlr-i-V. in
cUss*c ttMclcv Hk
ooUectuxi 'ocludet a
<■«<■> erf the truck*
r»r writr\ about in
f»« r>.*» »*•/ •» t^
i>^v   rB»^*n#.,
R—<yorftM»Udii4w<iyh—t+j     »h<vl nMI I on<r   Uy
(4 «ry ten fathm mi aU •» trial.     pM Jladaii ajjand hn —n tmtm <d vmm ttm
•^1rt*ui*on»nrhrUllOD»T. Uffr*tor»atf laVclhnf p»*a^ V ramd .
p^B*. <h«W and tf*«. OMMI 4 t V W«ttat«at *»
ul 60 «v erik «ii wmnmr atont   4» paal     I ut*h rwmini
Sa what At w» BanV ani i
mil c*m * Cmm W
lnlWlnyfjnwll^ll)lrf talaa.i «>)r>
- tw Amw< Mt TitcMt in Amtite and teardad a
A   I lit Hill   * —    -■■    -     l.nnk .1
i**4»j»rw-. UWwt«4«t
btrttoCnteatli |Mft ***********
fbiWjnd i« MM « Vn rv hw»J *.rl * ifc, ., L.
•«i >v AlrfetarnrtanrhrapriW**
*n*n land m Canonl Vaftry
litaMf   Mt
otvmm l nan two
• v. | -m
■«!■ m-»« W-» «vlaaJ*-a
n!Wv n iKr CPR tram wm th
Thn tniiajhl in
Ik da
tefcluHtorjnianr )wnb<|V>idH»thf nflw4»jt
4 fit**, » H05 and MM piaM enr (WMdnt wtf
Sr «*unnl hunln* at T«nfc e«nr» In pt,
P«*ot |r*W to* i»- Hrnwiwdowtc*
• in dart
Uv granJpawnto had tmi mm ten*. |ar wd
.  and «*•»* Ai v#*n> the tam »•     I       nm
n^ir^Y bwilt K th*
Raahray (CFtl aa IW) M a
fcn wttf phiianal and to too waa th*
Mr frarahMthv wnafcJ
•rah a tiotjrVhamVd tHrtran » thr 4
Hr Viadad oonhatnl a*
and <W*. ahyiwl a to thy C<wi»f4iJaa»d Hfcw4 and
tottttnc C«a«/a«A toaVr»COMIN
h* vafirf |M a nr»
n v r««r*iu, i< tl«w
:i kianr* an htamn haaoo 1«mc* TK
re*   ratiwt and aa* miow rtacaX p4nMMMo thr
CTWrtnacnan *t Canada* hn* u*t*U
farnaad tW fMdk C4HMt lfc»,»» Awoatmil IV
tnhatiy gn«v |»mh a nrw »* Hr aavwwri t
nOTMCBUaanaMPOtT   «.  rv« « rt*- iv
contract to njpfh 400 ptlim. (.>-< in Wtgfh
that ta*ir driven mo th* centre oi th* n
■red to th* pne» Id auk* a ramp on
•.rmhitf*. .k»nmtotVsaw»»liVa»*l
faah ■ c .. fli loaaj MMraj ka v M aa tavanand fnl
Lodging tool plact Bjnfdy in th* winter aa at was
reiaanvfy easy to »*jd ah* toga <>
a team crt own or horwv Dae* I rvr
'he wttlm dramd rht Und wnh a wump pullrr
A team ot cwen would go Ina circle windtnr. >>;
Larpr o*a> ani paB the »tumpt but. mikh dynamite^*ja*rh)mlhr»atecilr^C^aod*J
that i<< I'utkl • ljrr>- p*\t ham with a shake roof and
s.J.r* in IW* «rJ two >*an later, a Urge two rtoey
tirmh<.uwtTi*ik-Hh.->.nLi>i4rlot> which natal en
thr I arm today. My grandmother was very religious
and nude one m t! 'm« :n ilyhnarintei
antdaaviiwtflprv :.... n.r'.iiin>«iv^)n.!
tV Station* cd the Cam*. Priest* vraaaVi often corn*
by to uy Mass and i
(kandadahodhvmtw i»piara>d29>
*fV** «n*»> and n 1925 loaded JOT bow* ol apptr*
wr> m \rfan. Howttw; tfV
>ujth Ui p*» tor thr ho»rv and faking
Another iteiff u*f*ananl foftowed IV n**t year a
carioad<«cutato»d*pptd ««> AmraatedCtowTit wa»
•uppoaed k> wQ i. a* hondnd wvaght. but
whir n ttorage many • i Utrrworkrn
wrt>rdthrmth«w*»ne*rh jM*Uii*v
Paining was a mc or*
-•meted a fifty cow dairy an
dtipprd aadh by tram to the City Dairy in M*l
•vom there was no ttain. bV «*£»
taken by hnrwanJ wagon halfway toNefaon whrw
i 'fun.-..-, and hr* -u; in <:i }kj__m Bad bjaj aaWatnJ
andladk nan a five ganVm can for ten cant*
per v|uart Until 19]6 when the Emp ir* milking
■tachtnr was fnmhaavd - thr fin* m the Kootern
all ndDdng was by hand. In W3> tor. the wxond ion.
went to Vancouver to* a chars* maiang ohjpw and
dte farm began lawaWtog NOD pounds nf rhna* a
Rumth which wa* UNatayaold in ii
l» ante beg.<
mnhamx* thr farm. In 1*21 Valeminr. thr aj
enrolled 1ndrm Autonaobtle and I..,
Sch «ixivrr mr a aaedunact course. <rt>
purchased   hi* 6nt *ar. a Model T. but because cd
trouble an kerpm
NI.1  « An aerial view of the
farm today. The 1911
house is shown in the
bottom right of the
Photo from the author
Ford). At the same time as Valentine studied
mechanics, the farm bought its first tractor, a two-ton
Caterpillar Cletrac costing $600.00. This machine was
slow and two years later it was traded in for a 12-20
Case wheel tractor that cost $1100.00.
In 1928 Valentine decided to start up a sawmill
to cut lumber for sale and to build houses and other
buildings on the property. He purchased a 1926
Chevrolet one ton to haul the lumber and rail ties and
two Crosley single cylinder two cycle 25 hp diesel
engines imported from England cost about $1200.00
each. One was used in the sawmill and the other
propelled a Gould's three cylinder piston pump which
brought water up from the Slocan river and raised itr
to an elevation of 300 ft into a huge cement reservoir,
gravity then fed the it back to the irrigation sprinklers.
Jack drove a 1928 Dodge sedan to deliver milk
in the area and to haul the cheese to Trail.
Although the 1930s are usually equated with
the Great Depression, the Kosiancic farm continued
to diversify and expand. In 1931, a Chinese worker,
Yew, was hired to run a market garden and grow
vegetables and some fruit. A large three story chicken
house was built in 1933 to hold 1000 hens. The eggs,
along with vegetables and fruit from the market
garden, were sold on the milk route. Expansion
required new vehicles notably a new International
milk truck in 1936 and the next year, for $3,000, a new
three ton White truck with a fourteen foot steel flat
deck and a hydraulic dump. It was one of the biggest
trucks in the Kootenays. The farm was now growing
300 tons of netted gem potatoes and 100 tons of K.B.
turnips each year.
In 1955 Valentine's third son Ray [the author]
and his wife Ida purchased the farm. They continued
the dairy business known as Raida's Dairy. The
author's interest in vehicles, inherited from his father,
saw him delivering milk with a custom 1964 GM
pickup with a 353 Detroit Diesel engine. This special
conversion was the only one in Canada and most of
his customers remember hearing the "Screaming
Jimmy" on the milk run. The dairy was discontinued
in 1972 and Ray started driving busses for the City of
Nelson and the school board. Beef cattle and hay
production continued on the farm until 1995 when
the cattle were sold.
And there's just part of the history of the
Kosiancic farm. •
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 The Use of Saltings on the BC Coast
By V.C. (Bert) Brink and June Binkert
Saltings is an old English term for land which
is regularly flooded by salty water and used
for various purposes when the tide is out,
notably as pasturage for horses and cattle.
In the early days of farming along the British
Columbia coast saltings played a significant role,
providing grazing and browsing areas for farm
animals at a time when forested land was being
cleared for the plough and the building of homes.
For many decades (and, in some places, right
up to the present time) the use of saltings helped to
make farms viable. The extensive use of saltings in
the Fraser River delta is now almost forgotten but a
map of the original vegetation of the estuary, put
together in 1979 by Dr. Margaret North, of the
Department of Geography at the University of British
Columbia,1 shows how extensive brackish marsh and
shrub used to be. In fact, saltings were surveyed and
sold by the provincial Crown; some were dyked while
others extended outside the dykes and remain as salt
marsh to-day.
The photograph, taken in 1946, shows horses
and a cow using the saltings of Boundary Bay- with
Mount Baker in the background. It is believed-that
the horses belonged to Murray Davey, a prominent
Delta farmer, and at least one is a Clydesdale
draughthorse. Very likely the photo is the last taken
of saltings used as pasturage in the Lower Mainland
of B.C.
Along the North Arm of the Fraser River, the
McCleery farm (1962)2 made use of the saltings, and
this use is recorded in the Vancouver City Archives.
There are many past references to the use of
saltings along other estuaries, for example the
Cowichan and Comox areas and Delkatlah Slough on
Graham Island in the Queen Charlottes. However,
over and above their use by early settlers, saltings
have always been heavily used by wildlife (bears, elk
and birds in particular).
The botany and habitat values of saltings have
been only scantily described in formal terms, and this
lack of knowledge has allowed many saltings along
the Coast to be compromised environmentally (for
both good and bad) by debris from the forest industry
(logging and milling).
Saltings are associated with river estuaries at
the heads of more than 400 fiords on the coast. It is
time to recognize their ecological importance and
history, and to treat them as a valuable natural
resource. •
1M.E.A. North etal.
Vegetation of the Southwestern
Fraser Lowland 1858-1880.
([Ottawa:] Environment Canada,
Lands Directorate, 1979).
2 Bruce Macdonald,
Vancouver: A Visual History,
(Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1992).
17 Through Japanese Eyes:
The Portrait Studio of Paul Louis Okamura
By Jim Wolf
Jim Wolf is author of
the B.C. Bestseller -
Royal City: A
Photographic History
of New Westminster
1858-1960 (Heritage
House, 2005). He
also contributed his
Okamura research to
the travelling exhibit
"Shashin: Japanese
Canadian Photography
to 1942" prepared by
the Japanese
Canadian National
Museum which is
touring the Province.
An abbreviated
version of this essay
appears in the exhibit
catalogue published
in 2005.
New Westminster's pioneer studio
photographer Paul Louis Okamura
created an impressive legacy of images
that will forever be part of the city's
heritage. Despite the prominence of Okamura's gilded
name on his portraits, like so many other early artists
of British Columbia, he has become an obscure
historical figure. Okamura's story is fascinating. He
was the first of an exclusive group of Japanese artists
to be educated in Western art methods and to travel
outside Japan to pursue an artistic career. Fate
determined that he would find a home in New
Westminster and be welcomed into Caucasian society.
Although he was a talented portrait artist, Okamura
found few commissions. Learning the technical skills
of a photographer finally provided the opportunity
for Okamura to establish a business and earn an
income. His classical art training enabled him to
master portrait photography and with this new
medium create works of art that were widely
appreciated and sought after. Today Okamura's story
can be understood as an important example
of an immigrant's experience as our country's first
Japanese-Canadian artist. He has left an inspiard artistic
legacy that documents not only British Columbia's early
history, but his own artistic expassion of the place that
he called home.
Okamura's photograph studio must be viewed
as a very unique circumstance that had few precedents
in Canada. The only other known Japanese
photographer in the country was R.Z. Tashiro who
lived and worked on the Skeena River from 1891-
1900.1 However, his studio was designed to serve the
working-class Japanese fishing communities there
and when he relocated to Vancouver he chose
"Japantown." His working-class studio clientele was
similar to that of other well-known Asian
photographers including his compatriot Senjiro
Hayashi of Cumberland on Vancouver Island or
Chinese-Canadian CD. Hoy of the northern B.C. town
of Quesnel. After 1907 other Asian-born
photographers became active in the Lower Mainland.
Yucho Chow, Vancouver's first Chinese photographer
began his Chinatown studio circa 1908. The
burgeoning Japantown on Powell Street was the
location of several new businesses including Shokichi
Atatsuka and Yataro Arikado a former apprentice of
Okamura. The Fujiwara Studio in 1911 was operated
by F.S. Fujiwara who advertised in local business
directories as providing "Fine Portraits".2
Okamura's New Westminster studio, by
contrast, was established to serve primarily an affluent
Caucasian community in a sophisticated urban center.
Okamura is known to have operated a successful
business over an extended time period from c.1893-
1930. Okamura, through economic circumstance, was
forced to look beyond the opportunities within his
own small immigrant community. Despite the
widespread racism against all Asians during this
period he found acceptance in a wider social sphere
through a combination of factors including his
character and artistic talent.
The lack of surviving historic records places
limits on determining clearly the scope and
achievement of Okamura role as a photographer.
Unfortunately his studio's business records and
negative collection have not survived. Only a
fragment of the studio's output remains in the form
of approximately 100 prints held by public archives.
The New Westminster Museum and Archives has the
largest collection of over 80 individual photographs.
These valuable surviving "photographic documents"
are primarily those collected and preserved by
Caucasian families. Photographs taken by Okamura
of British Columbia's Japanese community are very
rare in public collections. To date only a handful of
his studio images of the Japanese community have
been located.3 The relative rarity of Okamura's
photographs reflects the history of the Japanese-
Canadian community that existed during the
operation of his studio. The community's tragic
internment during World War II separated families
from their homes and possessions and destroyed
many private collections. Despite these limitations,.
Okamura's surviving photographs reveal a talented
artist and successful photographic portrait studio.
Paul Louis Okamura was born inl865 in
Katamonmaemachi, Shiba-ku, Tokyo, Japan, and
demonstrated his artistic ability from an early age.4
He was born with the name Tsunenojo Oyama, the
son of one of the last of Japan's samurai, and so
connected to the Emperor's court. Following the
prescribed Japanese tradition, Okamura as a second
son would inherit none of his father's wealth and
would be subject to military conscription. Apparently
to avoid this fate and pursue his artistic studies, the
Okamura f amily.adopted him to become a 'first-born'
son.5 In 1879 Okamura was accepted as a student at
the Technical Fine Arts School (est. 1876), part of the
Engineering Department of Tokyo Imperial
University.6 The Japanese Government created it to
facilitate the use of Western artistic techniques for
cartography drafting, and architectural rendering and
gave it the mandate of supplementing "the
shortcomings of the art"of Japan.7
The Japanese Government made the error of
hiring three Italian artists for the fine arts school
faculty rather than teachers of the technical arts. One
of the Italians was Antonio Fontanesi (1818-1881), an
ardent advocate of the 'Barbizon' school of painting.
Named for a French village on the edge of the forest
of Fountainbleu, this artistic movement celebrated the
straightforward and quietly dignified depictions of
meadows and woodlands. It was a movement that
turned away from the classical and historical painting
that had dominated previous generations. Fontanesi,
although opposed to "free and undisciplined
brushwork," conveyed his Romanticist view of
painting to his students, which appealed to their
natural sensibilities as artists.
Okamura and other students were so enamored
of Fontanesi, and his romantic painting philosophy,
that many of them soon adopted the idea of pursuing
a life devoted to art rather than technical drawing.
When Fontanesi was forced to resign because of illness
he was replaced by another Italian artist who
apparently tried to enforce the intended government
prescribed curriculum. Okamura and other students
protested the loss of their beloved mentor and they
felt compelled to leave the school and start their own
elite study group called the "Group of Eleven".
Several of these young men were obsessed with the
goal of visiting the western world to pursue their art.
Japan had recently changed its emigration laws to
allow more opportunities for its citizens to travel.
While some of the Group of Eleven chose Europe,
Okamura traveled to the United States in the 1880s,
where he spent several years before coming to British
Columbia in 1891.8
Okamura is said to have found Vancouver
"crass and garish" without an outlet for his artistic
expression and employment.9 By chance, he saw a
newspaper advertisement placed by St. Louis College
in New Westminster, seeking an art teacher. This was
a venerable Catholic school for young men founded
by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate missionary order
in New Westminster in 1865. In a remarkable situation
Okamura met and impressed the esteemed Oblate
Augustine Dontenwill, who would later become
Bishop of New Westminster. Okamura's success in
convincing the Oblates of his ability is a testament to
his superior talent, ambition and personality. As he
was still not yet proficient in English he was granted
permission to attend college classes to become
immersed in the language. By 1893 he was listed in
the directories as "Professor of Drawing," heading up
all art instruction at both the college and New
Westminster's St. Ann's Academy for young women.
During this time, under the direction of Dontenwill,
he converted to Catholicism and acquired his English
first name Paul Louis.
It appears that Okamura could not
economically sustain himself with the limited income
his teaching position provided. He began to place
advertisements in the locally produced Catholic
newspaper The Month that promised to produce "Fine
Portraits in Oil and Crayon from Photographs."10
Okamura's use of photographs to complete these
portraits likely led to his interest in pursuing
photography. According to an early biography
Okamura became the trusted assistant of a Canadian
photographer and eventually took the operation of
the business after the owner retired.11 The unnamed
studio and its owner remain a mystery. Although
Okamura was producing photographs as early as
1893, no directory listings or advertisements have
1 David Mattison, Camera
Workers: The British Columbia.
Alaska & Yukon Photographic
Directory. URL: http://
2 Henderson's Greater Vancouver
and Fraser Valley Directory 1911,
(Vancouver: Henderson
Publishing Ltd. 1911) lists on
p.1642 "Photographers -
Japanese: Fujiwara Photo Studio,
245 Powell Street." And on p.
219, an advertisement.
3 Okamura's photographs of the
Japanese-Canadian community
include: Suzuki Family Portrait
(Suzuki), Kumagai Family
Portrait (Dr. Paul Kumagai),
Kisuke and Sanoko Mikuni Portrait
(Nikkei Legacy). Okamura's
portrait of self and Shinkichi
Tamura (Banno), and Tamura
Shokai (Kodama), All are held in
private collections.
4 Jinsiro Nakayama.Kanacfa Doho
Hatten Taikan (Vancouver Jinsiro
Nakayama, 1921)43-44.
5 Personal interview with Myea
Innoye (Okamura's daughter), 6
May 2004.
6 Kazuo Kaneko, Study of the
Education System in Meiji Art
Institutes, (Tokyo: Fine Arts
Discussion Group, 1993)
7 Motoaki Kono, Some Italian
Imperial Employee-Artists and
Japanese Art, (Tokyo: University
of Tokyo, undated)
8 "P.L. Okamura", Supplement to
the Daily Columbian, (New
Westminster: Columbian Printing
and Publishing Company, 1903) 79.
9 Toyo Takata: Nikkei Legacy
(Toronto: NC Press, 1983)67.
10 The Month, January, 1894,
advertisement following page 18.
11 Nakayama, Kanada Doho
Hatten Taikan, 1921 79-80
(Japanese Canadian National
Museum (JCNM) Collection)
12 Nakayama, Kanada Doho
Hatten Taikan, 43-44.
19 Self Portrait 1905
Courtesy the Banno family
been located to determine more details of his first
photographic studio and mentor. It is certain that
Okamura was a close friend of R.Z. Tashiro, the
earliest known Japanese photographer to operate in
the country who moved from the Skeena River in 1901
and opened a studio at 263 Powell Street.12 They
apparently met by accident when Tashiro was taking
photographs in New Westminster. It was
from Tashiro that Okamura learned about
many technical aspects of photography
prior to opening his own business.
Regardless of how Okamura was
introduced to the technical skills of
photography, this new venture required
him to become something new - an
entrepreneur. The inauguration of his
studio's operation coincided with an
economic recession that hit the province
hard in 1893. It is quite likely the
photograph studio Okamura took over
suffered from a lack of business, which
may have precipitated its sale. Operating
a studio during this period likely required
a great deal of patience on the part of the
photographer to find business. In addition
to his location in the relatively small
market of New Westminster, he faced the
competition of several very well
established and prestigious studios. The
largest of these was operated by the
talented Stephen J. Thompson, (New
Westminster, 1885-1904; Vancouver 1897-
1911), but even he was forced to open a
Vancouver studio to stay in business.13
The earliest of Okamura's known
photographs include both portraits and
landscape views that mark his
experimentation with the technology of
cameras. Promotional landscape
photography that captured views and
landmarks of a city was typical of the
Victorian era of photography in B.C.
Okamura was likely following the lead of
his unknown Canadian mentor and other
photographers in the city by taking
landscape views of New Westminster.
These images would have been popular
purchases for local residents, businesses
and tourists. Few have survived but they
include images of the City Market,
Brunette Sawmills and a circus parade on
Columbia Street. When the Great Fire of September
10-11,1898 destroyed downtown New Westminster
Okamura was one of the few local professional
photographers to have his camera ready to document
the destruction and reap the benefit of local souvenir
sales in the wake of the disaster. He combined before
and after panorama scenes of the city taken from
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 across the river to capture the need and desire of
residents to come to terms with their loss.
Surviving examples of Okamura's early portrait
work are in the popular form of carte-de-visite and
cabinet cards. These photographs appear cliched but
are as technically accomplished as those of any other
local photographer. These images differ from his later
photographs as the subject is posed on a white
backdrop. Taking cues from his western competitors,
but perhaps drawing on his own ambitions, Okamura
styled his business as a high-class art photography
studio. Great care was taken to select beautiful printed
card stock on which to mount and display the studio
portraits. The earliest cabinet cards were decorated
with a handsome gilded or silvered 'artist' signature
that promoted the work using his 'exotic' Japanese
name.14 Every photograph also announced his
location in "New Westminster, B.C.", should a viewer
be impressed with the image.15 He later utilized
custom dyed and pressed card stock that provided
elegant frames to elevate his photographic prints to
their rightful position as art. A custom stamp featured
either the artist's palette or his distinctive stylized
signature plate and was centred below the image.
Okamura must have been keenly aware of the value
of promoting his photographic portraits as works of
art to provide a distinct commercial advantage over
other competitors. Although other studios used
similar methods to influence a potential customer's
choice, Okamura was the only photographer
acknowledged in the community as a talented portrait
Another distinct advantage for Okamura's
business was his Japanese ethnicity. The establishment
of his business coincided with the wide popularity of
"japonisme" a term coined in 1876 to capture the
thematic use of Japanese style during the Victorian
aesthetic movement. The distinctive characteristics of
Japanese design influenced the decorative and fine arts
of the West and influenced such artistic luminaries as
Tiffany and Monet. When Gilbert & Sullivan's
celebrated comic opera The Mikado opened to rave
reviews in New York and London in 1885 it fuelled the
love of all things Japanese. Later his elaborate studio
sets also conveyed his stylish ethnic origins. A very
beautiful Japanese screen decorated with cherry
blossoms was frequently used as a backdrop for group
photographs, as were oriental rugs and exotic chairs.
Portraits of children sometimes incorporated the
addition of an artistic and stylish prop - a Japanese fan.
At the turn of the century Okamura's early
successes provided the opportunity to build his own
combined home and studio. He also turned his camera
from the placid landscape to work primarily as a
portrait photographer.16 This shift may have been his
intent to further his interest in portraiture which he
had mastered as an artist. It may also have been born
from purely a financial necessity, as studio portraits
were the most lucrative work for a photographer. In
establishing his studio Okamura was greatly assisted
by the very influential friends he made thorough
teaching art at St. Louis College and St. Ann's
Academy17 The Catholic Oblates were instrumental
in the venture as they provided a lease to a valuable
property owned by the diocese. In 1902, The Daily
Columbian reported: "Mr. P.L. Okamura, it is
understood, has recently acquired a vacant lot at
Royal Avenue, near Fourth Street and will shortly
have a residence erected thereon by Contractor
Williams."18 In this house at 99 Fourth Street he
opened his own studio for art and photography.
Finally, the acknowledgement of his business came
in the tangible form of being listed as a photographer
in the 1902 city directory19
Okamura employed various methods to market
his artistic portrait work to the general public. One of
the most successful venues was through the very
popular Royal Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition
held annually in the city's Queen's Park. The fair was
one of the largest public events held in the Pprovince
and attracted thousands to see the local exhibits of
agricultural products as well as the wares of local
manufacturers. One of the key exhibits included the
professional and amateur work of both artists and
photographers. In 1893 Okamura exhibited his
painting title "Last Communion of St. Clare" which
brought him a cash prize and the attention of the local
press and in 1894 his work was complimented as
"beyond all criticism"20. His first known exhibit of
photography occurred at the 1896 fair and the local
newspaper reported that the "north wall [of the hall]
is occupied by the photographic displays of Messrs.
Thompson and Okamura. These exhibits are both of
superior merit"21 At the 1901 fair he displayed
photographic enlargements that were embellished
with his own chalk drawing. In 1900 he participated
in the first Vancouver Arts & Crafts Exhibition
showing a collection of photography alongside the
work of amateurs and other studios.
Okamura's studio reflected his intention of
creating a venue that evoked good taste and certainly
upper middle-class values. The studio at Fourth Street
13 Mattison, Camera Workers.
14 See Portrait of Richard Oddy,
1897, IHP 4185. [IHP: Irving
House Historic Centre and New
Westminster Museum and
15 See Portrait of Mary Jan
Adamson and Howard Adamson,
IHP 4188
16 Few landscape photographs
with Okamura's studio
identification have been found
that date after 1898.
17 Nakayama, Kanada Doho
Hatten Taikan, 1921, 79-80
(JCNM Collection)
18 "City News," The Daily
Columbian, 27 May 1902, 4.
19 Henderson's British Columbia
Directory 1902, (Vancouver:
Henderson Pubishing Ltd. 1902)
20 " The Exhibition Over," The
Daily Columbian, October 13,
21 "The Exhibition," The Daily
Columbian, October 9,1896 3.
22 Interview with Florence Hart
Godwin, 5 October 1990.
23 See IHP 0615
24 "P.L. Okamura", Supplement
to the Daily Columbian, (New
Westminster: Columbian Printing
and Publishing Company, 1903) 79
25 See IHP 0475
26 "P.L. Okamura", Supplement to
the Daily Columbian, 79 (It is not
known whether or not the editor
chose which business people to
include or whether the features
were paid advertisements)
27 The Daily Columbian:
November 16,1903,4, "New
28 Kanada Doho Hatten Taikan,
21 29 Tairiku Nippo Sha: Kanada
Doho Hatten Shi, 2, (Vancouver
Tairiku Nippo Sha, 1917),
advertisement on unnumbered
page; Takata, Nikkei Legacy, 34.
30 Nakayama, Kanada Doho
Hatten Taikan, 43-44
31 Interview with Dr. Paul
Kumagai New Westminster, 15
July 2004.
32 Nakayama, Kanada Doho
Hatten Taikan, 111
33 Nakayama, Kanada Doho
Hatten Taikan, 262
34 See Portraits of Manuella
Briggs IHP  IFP 061 and IFP 062
35 Personal interview with Myea
Innoye, Burnaby 6 May 2004
36 "Obituary - T. Okamura," The
British Columbian, 27 March
and Royal Avenue did not encourage just
anyone to walk in off the street for a
quick photograph. Rather, it was several
city blocks up a steep hill away from the
dirt and dust of the commercial district
of Columbia Street and close to the fine
Queen's Park residential district where
many prominent families lived. Clients,,
wearing their best clothes, could easily
walk to the studio. The studio's
backdrops during this period also
reflected the values of good taste, status
and domesticity valued by patrons. The
scene is designed to be viewed as the
parlour or hall of a wealthy home.
Expensive tapestry drapes, oriental
carpets, fur rugs, fine furniture and
palms are all part of creating an
appropriate set. Okamura also painted
backdrop canvases that featured a
distinctive stained glass window and a
library of books which greatly added to
the effect.
The majority of the surviving
images are portraits of the prominent
families of New Westminster. One
pioneer noted that a portrait sitting with
Okamura prior to 1914 was widely
acknowledged as a mark of being part
of the city's leading society. n One close friend was
former student William H. Keary who served many
years as a city councillor and later as mayor from 1902-
1909. Keary's patronage provided Okamura with the
opportunity to produce portraits and to photograph
civic events such as the visit of Japanese naval officers
led by Rear Admiral Ijichi in 1909.23
Another friend and neighbor was the well
known pioneer and provincial court registrar, J.J.
Cambridge who also served as the Master of
Ceremonies for the annual May Day festivities.
Established in 1870, May Day was one of the premier
social events of the Royal City. Several popular young
ladies were selected and one crowned in the ancient
English tradition as May Queen. Okamura was
contracted by the civic May Day Committee to take
the official portraits of the May Queen and her "suite
of maids" in all their white floral finery from 1899 to
1920. Okamura lavished attention on these
commissions, recognizing the important position that
these young women held in the eyes of the
community. Unlike other studio images,, many of
these portraits were printed on quality sepia toned
papers and Okamura personally signed each one.
Some of these images reflect Okamura's expert eye
for composition and the use of light and are among
his most accomplished photographic works. Likely
they also provided a substantial income from sales to
many of the young girls and their admirers.
The sport of lacrosse and the Royal City's fine
roster of players was another civic tradition that could
draw crowds as large as May Day. Okamura's studio
was apparently quite popular with local teams and
players as the place "of the close of
each season."24 When the New Westminster
Intermediate Lacrosse Team became the Champions
of B.C. in 1902, Okamura mounted individual
portraits and a photo of the "Allingham Cup" on a
backdrop with hand-painted decoration including
lacrosse sticks and patriotic maple leaves. This
photographic montage, which would have been sold
in quantity to the players' families and fans, was even
printed with the phrase "Copyright 1903" - indicating
his knowledge of this legal device and the importance
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 of protecting the income from his art.25
New Westminster photographers rarely
advertised in the local press and there is no evidence
of advertising by Okamura in the Caucasian press.
However in 1903, in a rare case of unbiased treatment
by the local press, a special supplement of the New
Westminster's Daily Columbian featuredOkamura's
own portrait and business beside Caucasian
businessmen and pronounced him as "one of the
photographers of the city." 26 The studio garnered
other favorable attention such as mention of his studio
receiving "5,000 feet of picture molding of all styles
and descriptions." 27
Okamura did advertise in the early journals of
British Columbia's Japanese community.28 In 1917,
he celebrated the fourteenth anniversary of his
business with a full page tribute banner in the Tairiku
Nippo, the leading Japanese language newspaper in
Vancouver. It included congratulatory messages from
over twenty other Japanese businesses in Vancouver
and New Westminster.29 This and other
advertisements of his studio in Japanese publications
and directories illustrate Okamura's growing
reconnection to his immigrant community. While
setting up his business, he was isolated and had few
Japanese friends:30 but once established financially,
Okamura began to reconnect with his compatriots and
became well regarded and respected throughout the
Fraser Valley as an interpreter. If a Japanese person
was "in trouble" and needed assistance with the City
of New Westminster or other Canadian government
officials he would be encouraged to see Okamura who
would "fix it".31
By 1912 Okamura's reintegration with the
Japanese community was complete when he married
Misao Sugiyama, a resident of Vancouver. However,
Okamura's fortunes turned for the worse when
another recession took hold in British Columbia. In
April 1913, Okamura opened a studio at 303 West
Hastings Street taking over the former Carpenter
Photo Studio. The business closed shortly afterwards
as the recession and World War I crippled normal
business activities and the demand for portraits and
artistic photographs plummeted. Okamura with time
on his hands became an instrumental player in
organizing a Camera Club in Vancouver's Japanese
community in 1914 that included amateur and
professional photographers such as F.S. Fujiwara.32
When the Club staged a photograph exhibition
Okamura served as the show's jury33
During the war years everything came to
standstill and Okamura returned to live in New
Westminster with his wife to raise their three
daughters. The studio remained open but few
photographs from this era survive, perhaps indicating
that Okamura was employed elsewhere. The old
combined studio and home became too crowded for
both a family and business. In 1918 Okamura moved
his studio to offices in the Carnarvon Block located in
downtown New Westminster in an upscale business
district close to the court house, opera house and
across the street from the fashionable Russell Hotel.
The new studio was outfitted with Arts and Crafts
styled paneling and wallpaper that reflected the
changes in popular taste of interior decoration. These
changes indicate Okamura's awareness of the value
of maintaining a modern operation which would be
appealing to new customers.34
Although the photography business continued
to operate, Okamura's business listings in local
directories during the 1920s bounce from categories
that include: "Artist", "Art Dealer" and "Artist's
Materials and Supplies". Okamura received many
commissions to photograph and paint the portraits
of many famous local and provincial personalities but
was often requested not to include his Japanese
signature.35 Despite these commissions, times were
difficult and the artist had to resort to giving art
lessons to make ends meet. Okamura was able to
support his family during this period of economic
uncertainty with the aid of many Japanese friends
who would bring fresh vegetables and fish, ensuring
that no one was ever hungry. Finally in 1931, the Great
Depression forced Okamura to close his storefront
studio. He continued to work from his old home on
Royal Avenue as a photographer until he died on
March 26,1937 at age 72. His passing was recognized
in his home city with an obituary in The British
Columbian that acknowledged the valued contribution
of this "pioneer city photographer."36
Today, Paul Louis Okamura may certainly be
viewed as a remarkable pioneer - Canada's first
Japanese- born artist and early studio photographer.
His story has largely been lost through time and
recovered mainly through the beautiful and evocative
photographic images that survive. Okamura's
successful operation of a photographic studio and the
artistic legacy of his portraits clearly need to be seen
as a rare achievement in spite of the widespread
racism that existed in British Columbia. Okamura
focused on the beauty that he saw through the lens of
his camera, creating a legacy for all to behold. •
Okamura's magical use of
light and composition is
seen in this extraordinary
portrait of May Queen
Miss Alvina Munn, 1899.
New Westminster Museum and
Archives IHP 6911-22
23 Token History
W. T. Beadles & Co., of Salmo, B.C.
By Ronald Greene
1 John Fahey, Inland Empire,
D.C. Corbin and Spokane,
University of Washington Press,
Seattle, 1965
2 Victoria Daily Colonist, March
7,1897, p. 8
3 Rollie W. Mifflin, The Early
Salmo Story and other true
stories, the author, Seattle,
1958, p. 15
4 GR-55, Correspondence
Inward, Superintendent of
Provincial Police, Box 25, file 17
5 not mentioned in the
Henderson's B.C. Directory for
1900-1901, but mentioned in the
Probate files
6 Vital Events, GR-2962 Marriage
Certificate, 1900-09-144551
microfilm B11384'
7 Vital Events, GR-2965 Birth
Certificate, 1901-09-287828,
microfilm B13817, GR-2951
Death Certificate 1901-09-175530
microfilm B13107
8 Vital Events, GR-2951 Death
Certificate 1913-09-088746,
microfilm B13090
9 GR-2214, British Columbia.
Supreme Court (Nelson), Probate
files 1895-1947, B14 (1901),
microfilm B9680
Salmo is a small community 46 kilometres
south of Nelson, in the Kootenay region of
British Columbia. The original name for the
railway siding on the Nelson & Fort
Sheppard Railway was Salmon Siding. This railway
was completed in late 1893 by the Spokane Falls &
Northern Railway, which was taken over by the Great
Northern Railway in 1898.1 At one time salmon runs
came up the Columbia River and into the Salmo River,
but that was before dams were constructed on the
Columbia River for hydroelectric and irrigation
purposes. The site grew from a railway siding into a
small town as it developed into the supply centre for
small nearby mining communities such as Ymir and
Erie. Lots were being advertised in the Victoria Daily
Colonist in March 1897, "over 300 lots sold in 90 days".
H.A. Jones was the Victoria agent.2 A post office was
established in May 1897. The population in 1900 was
given as 300 people. As the mines played out the main
economic activity centered more on forestry and
William Thomas Beadles came out to British
Columbia in by 1897, to run the Northern Hotel in
Salmo. He had been born in Decatur, Illinois c. 1870,
the son of William Thomas and Catherine Beadles.
He became the second postmaster at Salmo on March
1,1898. By the 1898 B.C. directory Mr. Beadles was
listed as a general merchant and postmaster.
However, he was still listed as the manager of the
Northern Hotel in 1899 when an M.S. Bittencourt was
shown as the proprietor. In 1900-1901 Beadles and
John A. Benson were shown as the proprietors of the
hotel. A reminiscence by Rollie W Mifflin, who came
to Salmo in April 1900 stated that the Northern Hotel,
"was by all standards the best hotel in town. It was
cleaner, sold the best brands of liquor, had the best
equipped rooms and kept better order than the
The 1901 letterhead of W.T. Beadles & Co.,
(shown above) mentions "Boots & Shoes, Gents
Furnishings, Drugs & Toilet Articles." There is also
correspondence with the Superintendent of the
Provincial Police enclosing payment for a liquor licence
renewal for the period of January 1 to June 30,1899.4
Since the covering letter was on W.T. Beadles & Co.
letterhead it is unclear whether the correspondence
regards the hotel, which was licensed, or whether Mr.
Beadles' company was selling liquor. If we had to guess
we would say the licence related to the hotel. This 1899
letterhead mentions "General Merchandise and
Miners' Supplies, fresh and salted meats, fruit and
^^■e*** /^     /f^r
vegetables." There was also a branch store in Erie, some
4 kilometres to the west of Salmo.5
William Thomas Beadles married Lenora
Moffatt Coghlan on July 2,1900.6 She was shown as
23 years of age, a native of Owen Sound, Ontario.
According to Mifflin she was the first teacher in Salmo.
The couple became parents of a baby girl on April 5,
1901, but the joy of becoming parents must have been
drastically tempered because just days before the birth
William had come down with typhoid fever.
Unfortunately he did not recover from the illness and
died on April 19,1901, leaving a widow and his infant
daughter, Wilhelmina Thomasena,7 both names being
feminine equivalents to her father's name.
Mrs. Beadles left Salmo after her husband's
death, moving to Mount Lehman, just west of
Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley. This was the home
other parents, Robert and Helen Coghlan, who were
farming there. She remarried in 1904, to John A.
McDonald. He was listed as the deputy mining
recorder in Olalla in both the 1905 and 1910 B.C.
directories. She succumbed to tuberculosis in August
1913.8 The death certificate gives her permanent
address as Seattle, Washington, but she died in Mount
Lehman, where she returned in the late stages of her
illness. We have found no further mention of
W.T. Beadles died intestate, which resulted in
James Lawrence of Nelson being appointed the
administrator of the estate. The gross value of the
inventory was $13,713.64, the personal property
$12,303.00 and the debts were $9380.98, leaving a net
personal worth of $2983.00. The schedule of creditors
was largely store suppliers, such as the Oppenheimer
Bros., Brackman-Ker Milling Co., P. Burns & Co.,
Hamilton Powder Co., Giant Powder Co., and
Imperial Oil Co.9
The Beadles token was listed by the Ontario
collector WR. McColl in a sale of tokens in 1903, which
might hint that the pieces were struck in eastern
Canada. We list the token on the BC Database as
S1760b. It is made of Aluminum, round, 21 mm in
diameter. •
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 39 No. 4 Archives and Archivists
By Reuben Ware, City of Vancouver Archivist
Edited by Sylvia Stopforth,
Librarian and Archivist, Norma Marian Alloway Library,
Trinity Western University
Vancouver City
Archives acquires
L.D. Taylor Fonds
In September, the City of Vancouver
Archives acquired the private records of Louis
Denison Taylor (1857-1946), early Vancouver
newspaperman and one of the City's most far-
thinking, colourful and controversial Mayors.
Of course, there are extensive holdings of
official city records of Mayors and Councillors
at the Archives, but private records and
archives of former Mayors of Vancouver are
scarce. Thus, the Taylor acquisition is a unique
and important archive for documenting the
City's history, especially the first four decades
of the 20th century.
Known widely as "L.D.," Louis
Denison Taylor achieved political feats some
of which are not likely ever to be equalled
— he won nine Mayoralty elections [his
record was nine wins, seven losses], was the
first Mayor to win re-election after a loss,
and the oldest person ever elected Mayor
(age 75 in 1932). Included in his totals are
wins in both of 1915's two Mayoralty
contests; L.D.'s January 1915 victory was
nullified, but he won again in March by an
even larger margin. Serving his eight terms
between 1910 and 1934, he was Vancouver's
populist voice of reform and advocated a
number of progressive ideas, including the
eight-hour day, universal suffrage for
women, property taxation based on land,
city planning, and regional cooperation. The
City of Vancouver Archives has a special
connection with L.D. in that his support for
the efforts of Major James Skitt Matthews
was instrumental in the 1933 establishment
of the City's archives.
When L.D. died in 1946, one of his
sons came to Vancouver from California to
look after his affairs and make arrangements
for his apartment at Granville Mansions.
L.D.'s personal effects, library, apartment
furniture, papers and archives were taken
to California and held by the family ever
since. In 2001, former City Archivist Sue
Baptie made contact with Roy Denison
Werbel, L.D.s great grandson, in San Pablo,
California and explored the possibility of
having L.D.'s archives returned to
Vancouver. When Dan Francis was
researching materials for his biography of
L.D., Roy Werbel contacted him and offered
the use of L.D.'s archives for his research. In
2004 this led to renewed contact with the
City ofVancouver Archives and, earlier this
year, to a successful acquisition of the Taylor
archives and their transfer to Vancouver.
In June, I travelled to San Pablo and
surveyed more than 80 boxes of family
archives, identifying those parts of it
pertaining to L.D. (45 containers). The
inventory describes correspondence,
notebooks, clippings, election material,
financial records, leases, mining stock, and
photographs. Personal artefacts include
gavels, business cards, wallets, and a compass.
One significant part of the acquisition is L.D.'s
letters to his sons, Ted and Ken, and to his
father-in-law, Osborne Pierce. These offer
personal commentary on family matters, as
well as political and civic affairs.
When the details of the acquisition
had been set with the family, arrangements
were made for Gillian Boal, conservator
from the University of California Library
(Berkeley) to prepare and pack the materials
for shipment to Vancouver. A shipper made
the pick-up, Customs was cleared, and the
records arrived in Vancouver. The boxes
were first placed in the Archives freezer
vault at -17° Celsius to eradicate any mites
or other creatures, and the records are now
safely stored in the stack area of the City of
Vancouver Archives. Plans are now being
made to process the records (arrange and
describe, re-folder and re-box, and possibly
microfilm them), and we hope that the
records can be made available for research
by the end of 2007. •
Mary Rawson, "Eight Times Mayor of Vancouver, Single-Tax
Taylor: Louis Denson Taylor, 1857-1946," British Columbia
Historical News, vol. 34, no. 1, Winter 2000, 25-26.
Daniel Frances, L.D.: Mayor Louis Taylor and the rise of
Vancouver, (Vancouver: 2004), p. 7.1 would like to thank
Roy Werbel for his interest in seeing the records returned
to Vancouver and for his assistance in making it happen.
Funds for the Archives' freezer vault came from the
Friends of the Vancouver City Archives and the BC Gaming
Commission, 2002.
25 Book Reviews
Art & Artists in Exhibition Vancouver: 1890 -
1950 [electronic resource]
Gary Sim. Vancouver: Sim Publishing, 2004. CD-ROM.
Available from Gary Sim, 304 -1348 Barclay St.,
Vancouver, BC V6E1H7
This slender little disk holds a wealth
of information. There are capsule histories
of arts organizations, short biographies of
artists, lists of exhibitions and titles of
paintings included. There are exhibition
reviews, bibliographic citations and artists'
statements. All of these are linked together
to make easy work of finding the
information you're looking for. One bonus
included in this opus is a partial index of
the Vancouver Art Gallery publication
Vancouver Art and Artists, 1931-1983. This is
a volume that will be much more useful with
an index, though I'm not certain how many
will find it in this format. Mr. Sim continues
to add more information, the latest release
of the CD includes 1,044 web pages listing
1760 artists with 818 biographies, 310
exhibitions and 4,477 titles of paintings are
included. The printout is reported to be 1600
This reference tool is of great value to
a busy librarian who gets many queries
about artists who were working during
these early years. The sheer volume of
information is astonishing. Like many
references in Canadian art, it was created by
an author who wanted to share the results
of his research. The researcher, Gary Sim, is
a man of many talents, whose resume
includes work in mountaineering, mining,
engineering and architectural technology.
He has also been an active member of
community arts and heritage organizations
and exhibited his own works of art.
Standard references about Canadian
art and artists that are such independent
projects share a tendency to be overly
personal and lack a certain scholarly rigour
that might hold sway over an institutionally
funded professionally edited work. It is not
always clear when sections of text are being
quoted, nor are the criteria for inclusion
immediately apparent. That being said, we
are extremely indebted to creators of
reference works that bring together bits and
Books for review and book reviews should be sent to:
Anne Yandle, Book Review Editor BC Historical News,
3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6S 1E4
pieces of important history from many
sources. This work, in particular, is well
documented and most sources are near at
hand. I am somewhat baffled that nowhere
in the list of references is there a mention of
William Wylie Thorn's 1969 M.A. Thesis,
Fine Arts in Vancouver 1886-1930, which, to
my knowledge, is the only previous
gathering of information about this period.
I was also unhappy to find that the CD-ROM
did not function fully on my Macintosh
This electronic resource will be a
useful collection of information for libraries,
schools, galleries, dealers, curators, and
students of Vancouver history. We are
indebted to Mr. Sim for the staggering
amount of research and planning that went
into this project. And, a very positive aspect
of electronic resources, it is still growing!
Cheryl Siegel, librarian, Vancouver Art Gallery.
British Columbia; land of promises.
Patricia E. Roy and John Herd Thompson. Don Mills, Ont.,
Oxford University Press, 2005. 216 p., illus., maps. $36.95
My regret in reading Patricia E. Roy's
and John Herd Thompson's British Columbia;
land of promises is that I haven't had the
opportunity to read the first four published
volumes of the six volume set that comprise
Oxford University Press's Illustrated History
of Canada. In reading the aforementioned
volumes I might have had a better
perspective on how this, the fifth volume,
stands in comparison. As an illustrated
regional history on its own, however, it
holds together rather well. Photographs
have been selected to advance the storyline
of our province and the authors have taken
great pains to research each and every
image, going as far as to identify the
photographer, provide details about the
photograph and correct the historic record
where previous historians have erred. The
addition of the odd map is also helpful.
There appears to be a "shameful
legacy" theme throughout the text regarding
our treatment of natives and immigrants,
namely Asians, which I found particularly
interesting and likely flows from Roy's
previously published work, A White Man's
Province: British Columbia Politicians and
Chinese and Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1914.
This theme also brings to mind the obvious
question though; which group was viewing
the province as a Land of Promises?
It's not until you sit down and read
our history through in one go that you
realize the impact unions have had in the
province and their role in shaping our
resource industries and general mindset.
Yes, we are different than the east. This
theme was also adequately addressed.
The authors' earnest desire that this
volume be added to their colleagues' course
list is probably warranted, but as a
framework for further research; the book
gallops along at a furious pace, packing into
its 216 pages only the essentials of B.C.'s
past, from its inception to our current
government. The traits that make it a
valuable research tool for any student of
history are its good use of quotes and
reference footnotes. But this is not to say that
the book is unreadable for the general
public; I found it to be well written,
interesting and engaging, especially the last
chapter, A New British Columbia? 1972-2004.
Eric Jamieson, retired banker, now taking up free lance
Coldstream: The Ranch Where It All Began
Donna Yoshitake Wuest. Madeira Park, B.C. Harbour
Publishing Co. Ltd. 2005. 182 p., illus., map. $23.95
While the Coldstream Ranch near
Vernon is neither the largest nor oldest
spread in the BC Interior, it has certainly
been one of the most diverse. And one of
the most interesting too as portrayed in
Coldstream: The Ranch Where It All Began by
professional journalist and former Ranch
resident, Donna Yoshitake Wuest.
Deservedly on BC's best-seller lists for
several months, Wuest's book is a lively and
entertaining record of archival details,
historical photographs, amusing anecdotes
26 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3 and revealing quotations from the hundreds
of individuals she interviewed to
supplement her own family experiences on
the ranch from her birth in 1949 until she
left in 1968. Additionally, she acknowledges
her gratitude to Ted Osborn, the Ranch's
general manager from 1974 onwards, for his
provision of "boxes and boxes of historical
records and information from the ranch
archives and the key names to contact." A
single-spaced, more than four page appendix,
as comprehensive as she could make it, lists
the contributors, their occupations, and their
dates of employment at the ranch - an
important research resource for others
wishing to pursue further information about
Coldstream and its history.
Wuest's eleven concise and easily read
chapters provide a panoramic and
kaleidoscopic view of Coldstream's
diversity over the years, all the way from
its original land-grant settlement claim by
soldier-adventurer, Captain Charles
Frederick Houghton in 1864, to his trade of
it to the brother Lieutenants, Forbes George,
and Charles Albert Vernon, then to their
development and expansion of it before its
sale to bluebloods, Lord and Lady Aberdeen,
and to its eventual purchase in 1994 by
current owners Keith and Chelsea Balcaen.
From then until now, as Wuest details,
literally thousands of individuals - including
in the early years as many as 400 First Nations
workers at a time - were employed as
cowpunchers, wranglers, apple pickers and
packers, sheep herders, market gardeners of
potatoes and asparagus, grain and corn
harvesters, gravel pit operators and all the
hands needed to support and maintain them
and their families.
Each of the succeeding chapters
highlights a phase in the diversity of the
ranch's operations from livestock to apples
to crops to hay to forestry and gravel, even
to its use as a military training base before
returning to the horse and cattle interests of
the Balcaens. The Orchard Ranch, for
example, details its history from a labour
intensive operation that developed with
improvements in mechanization, irrigation,
spraying and packing and served for a time
as home base for the Japanese Canadians
relocated from the lower mainland during
World War II. The chapter on The Crop Ranch
features the raising and harvesting of hops,
potatoes, asparagus and tobacco along with
the work of the Chinese market gardeners.
And the final chapters centre on Coldstream,
now surrounded by suburbia and split down
the middle by Highway 6, but as an
economically viable operation with Keith and
Chelsea Balcaen's commitment "to keep the
Coldstream Ranch going as long as possible."
Although Wuest provides a myriad of
requisite facts and statistics about
Coldstream's growth (the number of owners
and employees, the dollars invested at
various times, the size and variety of its
herds, the amount of hay and hops
harvested, the tons of beets grown, the cubic
yards of gravel dug, and the number of
hand-made crates produced daily by "the
apple box champ," Norm Schram) she never
loses sight of the people who came and went
or met, married and remained at the ranch.
So there are stories about the Vernons, the
Aberdeens and their never used jam factory,
and about the remittance man and self-styled
"Major," Coutts Marjoribanks, "the black
sheep of the family," who rode a horse into
the Vernon hotel. There are other stories too
about the succession of Coldstream
managers: William Crawley Ricardo,
"Fluffy" Wollaston, and the family duo of
father C. D. "Bill" Osborn and his son
Edward T. "Ted" Osborn and the
improvements they made. There's even a list
of the Ranch's "climatological observers"
who tended its weather station over the years.
Overall, Wuest's book is an
informative and inspiring popular history
of a unique ranching operation in the
Interior of BC. It's well worth reading.
M. Wayne Cunningham, book reviewer for the Kamloops
Daily News.
Denny's Trek; a mountie's memoir of the
march west.
Sir Cecil Denny. Surrey, Heritage House, 2004. 191 p.,
illus. $18.95paperback. [Originallypublished, 1939]
This is a little book with a big story.
It is more than a re-telling of the formation
of Cananda's first police force, it is a book
about Indians of the plains and how they
came to Canada from the States and how
they gave those early policemen something
to remember for the rest of their lives.
It is a tale of unrelenting hardship.
Not only for the force of 297 officers and
men, 308 horses, 142 oxen, 93 cattle, 114 Red
River carts, 73 wagons and 20 Metis drivers,
(the line stretched out along the prairie
through two miles of wilderness prairie), but
also for the thousands of Indians, Canadian
born or American born, who suffered
starvation,deprivation of their lands and
hunting areas, and finally, the exploitation
of unscrupulous traders who exchanged
buffalo hides and furs for rotgut liquor. The
tale, indeed, is a sad one. It also gives the
reader some idea of the complexity of the
relationships between those police officers
whose mandate it was to protect and
maintain law and order in a lawless land,
with the native Indians who comprised
most, if not nearly all of the population of
the plains at that time.
Whiskey forts hastily built to exploit
the Indians were a plague on those endless
plains. Fort Whoop Up in southern Alberta
was the most notorious. Denny describes the
preliminary preparation of the police for its
destruction and incarceration of the
operators. But the need for law and order
across the entire prairie region to the Rockies
was urgent, and even the remote, and
reluctant P.M. Sir John A. Macdonald, nicknamed, "Old Tomorrow", finally put his oar
in the water, and allowed the formation of
the North West Mounted Police.
Sir Cecil Denny was a remarkable
man whose story contains details which are
both a compelling and primary source for
the scholar. Denny's book may be in the
genre of popular histories, but the
information the book contains sheds light
on the more personal reactions of Denny
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3        27 himself, and the remarkable men, white and
Indian, who figure prominently in the
dramatic events of the time: the destruction
of the buffalo and its dreadful impact on the
Indian people; Custer's inglorious defeat at
the hands of the Sioux; the wholesale
slaughter of an entire white village by Sioux
in Minnesota; the American versus the
Canadian treatment of the Indians; the
hardships faced by that early police force;
all unfold in Denny's Trek holding the
reader's interest to the end.
The book is plentifully provided
with photographs, and the drawings of the
artist journalist Henri Julien, maps and
details of the battles, white and Indian,
Indian against Indian, and the Riel
Rebellion. Much has been written about the
Rebellion, but I found Denny's opinion of
Louis Riel interesting. "Riel was a man of
weak personality, Indian, French, Irish and
Scandinavian blood ran in his veins. He was
vain, inordinately susceptible to flattery, and
he welcomed any opportunity for theatrical
display". The old imperialist attitudes are
more than apparent in Denny, but they are
balanced by a real sense of decency and fair
play. He was essentially sympathetic to the
plight of the Indians in his care, when an
agent for the Government, after serving in
the police force.
The greatest of the police officers at
the time of the trek to the West, which Denny
describes in fascinating detail, is North West
Mounted Police Superintendent, James A.
Walsh. If any man was a match for the great
Sitting Bull, and Poundmaker, it was Walsh.
One might say the mandate of the police
force was too vast and complicated to put
into manageable focus. It is a fiction that the
West in Canada somehow developed
without the mayhem and the complex
problems the American Government had to
deal with. But the truth of it was, the
Canadian police force and the Government
in Ottawa often found themselves on the
receiving end of American demands which
Canada could not or would not comply
with, not unlike the present climate of
relations between Canada and the U.S.
The American government wanted
the extradition of Sitting Bull, for example,
after the massacre at Ulm, in Minnesota.
Sitting Bull and his people - about 5,000 of
them - had fled to Canada. Canada was
reluctant to comply. The relationship
between the two fearless men, Sitting Bull
and Superintendent James Walsh, became a
remarkable one. They were friends for many
years, until the death of the great chief. Grant
MacEwen's book on Sitting Bull is a valuable
adjunct to Denny's book.
How the police force coped with the
challenges of maintaining law and order in
the land that was sheer wilderness when
they marched into it in 1874 is a fascinating
story. This book is highly recommended.
Denny's Trek is one of the most interesting
Canadian histories I have ever read, if not
THE most. Full of fascinating detail,
descriptions of battles, the endless conflicts
between the various tribes, fractious and
genocidal as they were, the aftermath that
produced untold misery and deprivation to
the Indian people of Canada and the U.S.
and the reasons for their suffering, is all told
by Sir Cecil Denny in a writing style without
some of the fantasies and sloppy research
one finds in popular paperback histories
these days.
Esther Darlington, Cache Creek, B.C.
Enduring Threads; Ecclesiastical Textiles of
St.John the Divine Church, Yale, British
Columbia, Canada.
Jennifer Iredale, editor. Historic Yale Museum, 2004.
52p., illus. $12.
An imaginative initiative, the
Community-University Research Alliance
(CURA), is facilitating collaborations among
academic departments, government
branches, and local organizations which
share a mandate to preserve and document
cultural history . They have brought
together the work and interests of the
Department of History in Art at the
University of Victoria, the Fraser Heritage
Society. The Historic Yale Museum, and the
British Columbia Heritage Branch. In this
instance CURA has enabled the small Fraser
Valley community of Yale to share a
meaningful collection.
Never merely decorative despite
their beauty, the textiles within a church
speak obviously of seasons, patron saints,
and priestly rank. They testify more quietly
to the devotion and skill of their makers, and
to the history and spirituality of the
communities of artisans and worshippers.
The linens at St.John's were created in the
late 19* century by the Anglican nuns at
their school, All Hallows in the West, and
by their pupils, both white and First Nations.
Historical and present background
and context are provided in introductions,
statements and essays by Jennifer Iredale,
curator, B.C. Heritage Branch; Bev Kennedy,
curator/director, Fraser Heritage Society;
and University of Victoria student, Rachel
Edwards. In a reprint from the All Hallows
in the West Magazine, 1901, Sister Althea
Moody tells 'The Story of a Piece of
Embroidery". In "Clara Clare: The Keeper
of the Fabric." Irene Bjerky movingly
recreates the viewpoint of a First Nations
student, the author's great-grandmother.
The textiles themselves appear spectacularly
in the full-colour Catalogue of Works; some
photographs are detailed enough to show
the stitches.
The St.John's exhibition traveled to
the University of Victoria's Maltwood Art
Museum and Gallery, to accompany another
CURA project: A Woman's Place; Art and the
Role of Women in the Cultural Formation
ofVictoria, BC, 1850s-1920s. Both catalogues
are available through the Maltwood
Phyllis Reeve, author of Every Good Gift; a history of S.
James', Vancouver (1981)
High Seas, High Risk; the Story of the Sudburys.
Pat Wastell Norris. Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing,
2005. 235p., illus., $24.95paperback. (Originally
published 1999)
British Columbians routinely observe
tugboats tending ships coming in to port,
towing logbooms and barges and assisting
in water rescues, but Island Tug and Barge's
Sudburys were not a familiar sight to much
of the coast. The Sudbury and Sudbury II were
28 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3 large deepsea tugs that spent most of their
time out on the Pacific, in the worst possible
weather, salvaging deepsea freighters and
tankers that were in need of assistance.
Pat Norris's book, now in soft cover,
chronicles the 20-year history of the two
Sudburys, bringing their crews' experiences
to life through quotes from the tugs' former
skippers who shared their stories of fires,
sinking ships, tornadoes, disappointments
and even elation. To them it was all in a day's
Pat, who grew up at Telegraph Cove,
Vancouver Island, brings her knowledge of
boats and the ocean to her writing, making
the book a good read, especially for those
with a yen for the sea.
Doreen Armitage, author of From the Wheelhouse (2003).
Legh MulhaU Kilpin - Teacher, Painter, Printmaker,
Ed. Barbara Winters. Langley Centennial Museum and
National Exhibition Centre, Langley, BC, 2003. 80p. $19.95
This publication documents the
professional history of a man born in
England in 1853 where he went to school
and later taught at art schools for 30 years
until he came to Canada in 1906. He then
lived and worked in Montreal until he died
in 1919. Fame and fortune in the fine arts
can bea fickle mistress. It is imagination and
inspiration slightly ahead of the current
milieu rather than technical expertise that
leads to fame and fortune. We are fortunate
that his grand-daughter managed to
preserve a large collection of his works for
many years and that most of these works
have now been donated to the Langley
Museum. This collection of essays by the
editor and three others who have studied,
documented and catalogued this large
collection of the work of Kilpin provides a
professional history of this rather obscure
but clearly talented artist. Anyone interested
in the history of the evolution of art in
England during the latter years of the
Victorian era as well as the activities of the
artistic community in Montreal will find this
publication fascinating. Those interested in
the Canadian art world will find it
stimulating reading. Indeed, it should
encourage many art lovers to visit the
Langley museum and view some of the
works described in the catalogue of his
works. This is a fine example of the
important role that the federal government
plays through its various heritage programs
in preserving and making available to
Canadians our rich cultural legacy.
Harvey Buckmaster, emeritus professosr of physics, with a
strong interest in the history of climbing and photography
in the Rockies.
The Life and Times of Victoria Architect P.
Leonard James.
Rosemary James Cross, Victoria, Dear Brutus Publishing,
2005. 220p., illus., map. $38.95paperback. (Available
from Dear Brutus Publishing, 349 Linden Ave., Victoria BC,
Rosemary James Cross characterizes
her book as the "life story" of her father, the
architect Percy Leonard James, rather than
"an architectural treatise of his work."
Indeed, the book's true value lies in the
insights and memories of an only child and
in the exhaustive study of a professional
architect's career. While we had an inkling
of her work in Building the West: The Early
Architects ofBritish Columbia (2003), compiled
and edited by Donald Luxton, this book lays
out all of that fastidious research in detail. It
is a singularly important contribution to the
vigorous and mature heritage advocacy
movement in Victoria, which may be traced
back to the 1950s and the work of restoration
architect Peter Cotton. Not surprisingly,
Victoria's Hallmark Society awarded the 2005
Mark Madoff Award to Cross and this book.
In fact, Cross provides her readers
with something more than "an enlightening
and amusing view of the life and times" of
her father and describes at length his activity
as a British Columbia architect of
considerable significance. She recounts the
factual history of James's major and small
commissions executed largely, but not only,
in Greater Victoria: several prominent
buildings, such as the Canadian Pacific
Railway Steamship Terminal, the Royal
Jubilee Hospital, the Crystal Gardens, and
the Federal Building and Post Office; many
notable houses in the Oak Bay, Uplands, and
Rockland areas; and the Better Housing
Scheme and Wartime Housing Limited
programs associated with both world wars.
According to Cross, the origins of James's
major stylistic influences, which she
identifies as the Arts and Crafts and the
Classical Revival styles, are found in his
training in Britain rather than in the work
of West Coast architects such as Samuel
Maclure and Francis Mawson Rattenbury,
and his later interest in the Moderne and the
International Style developed during a year
spent in Britain. Always the gentleman,
James worked easily with other architects,
including his brother Douglas James and,
beginning in 1926, his partner Hubert
Savage. He even survived a professional
relationship with the testy and quirky
Rattenbury. Perhaps the best testimony to
his professionalism was his role in shaping
the provincial architectural associations in
Alberta and British Columbia as well as the
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Without any doubt, Rosemary James
Cross's greatest contribution to the study of
architecture has been to assemble the body
of work created by her father: the lists of
commissions, the collections of historical
photographs, the locations of the working
drawings, and the identification of the
public and private records, all of which
academic architectural historians will need
to know about in assessing his work. For the
task now is to discover where P. Leonard
James, the architect and not the father,
figures within the larger context of the
history of British Columbia, Canadian, and
indeed North American architecture.
Jill Wade teaches history at Thompson Rivers University,
Open Learning Division.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3        29 Land Here? You Bet! The true adventures of a
fledgling bush pilot in Alaska and British
Columbia in the early 1950s.
Sunny Fader and Edward (Ted) Huntly. 183 p., illus., map.
$19.95 paperback
Outposts and Bushplanes.
Bruce Lamb. 207p., illus. $17.95 paperback.
Both books published: Surrey, Hancock House, 2005.
Land Here? You Bet! and Outposts and
Bushplanes are two similar, yet individual,
books published as part of the recent
remarkable increase in aviation memoirs.
Each details the flying career, or part of the
flying career, of the authors.
However, Land Here? You Bet! is the
better written book, as the final text is the
work of Sunny Fader, a professional author
and writer in many fields. She was a friend
of the Huntley family for five years before
the death of Edward Huntley in 1996. He
was then a retired Captain of Delta Airlines,
and his story, told in her words, is a zestful
and evocative return to the days of basic
bush-flying in the early fifties.
Here is a case where enthusiasm
became almost obsession, and the narrative
carries us smoothly from the teen-ager
working long, long hours to pay for his
flying lessons, to the skilled and experienced
arctic pilot of a few years later. The
adventures are colourful, as are the excellent
illustrations, and they follow each other like
beads on a string: unexpected landings in
the wilderness, contract flying for the Coast
and Geodetic Survey, adventures with bear
and moose, helicopters and storms,
appalling weather and engine problems,
fuel shortages and breakdowns. The almost
boyish good nature of the young pilot, and
the first-rate detail in the story, are
fascinating. Read this? You bet!
Outposts and Bushplanes is a slightly
heavier book, and is set mostly in northern
and central BC, rather than Alaska. It is also
autobiographical, and gives us the full
benefit of Bruce Lamb's lifetime of
experience as a bush-pilot. Today, the
answer to the often-asked question "What
is the definition of a bush-pilot?" seems to
be "The captain of Air Force One", but
Lamb's personal story, covering decades of
BC history as well as aviation, reveals an
independent frame of mind which would
put him well outside that classification. He
has much to say about life in the north before
power-dams and flooded valleys, rules and
regulations, and the ever-spreading
tentacles of government. There are 32 pages
of photographs, in authentic black-and-
white, and they form a window in time, a
view back to the age of individual
responsibility, survival, trust, ingenuity,
goodwill, and an open sky.
Although there is much aviation
detail in it, this is a history book for average
readers, who may well need a map to follow
the action, should they not be familiar with
Graveyard Lake and Germansen, Kluskus
Lake and the Lower Parsnip, Monkman Pass
or Scatter River. The text is informative,
solid, and well-considered, with only trivial
peculiarities such as "a hoard of animals"
or "a shear cliff" in it. The question of why
the name of Grant McConachie is spelled
"McConache" throughout the book is
At one point, the writer says "When I
think of the great freedom and
independence we enjoyed in the fabulous
outdoors of times past, I realize this great
adventure is being increasingly denied to
our present young outdoors people". He is
certainly right, and this book is an excellent
yet detailed overview of that situation,
which every thoughtful reader will endorse
and enjoy.
Mike Higgs, retired Canadian Pacific pilot.
Selling British Columbia: tourism and consumer
culture, 1890-1970.
MichaelDawson.Vancouver, BC. UBCPress, 2004. 274p.,
photos, illus., $29.95paperback.
Michael Dawson's book, Selling British
Columbia, has had recognition beyond that
of reviews. In 2004, he received the third
place prize for the BC Historical Federation's
22nd Annual Competition for Writers of BC
History. The book's 80-year account (1890-
1970) of promoting tourism in the Pacific
Northwest, more specifically BC, will appeal
to historians, tourism workers, and
The sound scholarly rigour found in
Dawson's work provides a historical
description of tourism that includes
attracting settlers, industry, and consumers
to specific regions of BC. Interwoven are
analyses of how national and international
events influenced private and public sector
decision makers to shape the promotion of
BC tourism. Archival materials used by
Dawson include newspapers, tourist
pamphlets and films, and other
documentation from an array of agencies.
Highlighted are the roles of prominent
individuals. These stories make for an
interesting read, especially in light of the
political and economic activities that
surrounded major tourism events prior to
the 1970s.
Readers currently working in BC's
tourist industry, as well as a more general
readership, will find the events captured in
Dawson's work to be informative. How BC
tourism evolved is easily understood
through Dawson's interpretations. Readers
are introduced to the ways accommodation
facilities came into existence, including
hotels, auto camps, and motels. Part of
Dawson's discourse is the examination of
the various methods used to determine the
success of tourism. In the past, success was
based on the number of tourists. Today, that
measurement is a dollar assessment. A
healthy discussion is provided on how
technologies of the day were used: how
advertising was conducted through the
media of print, radio, and television.
Dawson shows how specific cultural and
social imageries, such as Aboriginal art,
hunting and fishing, BC hospitality, and "A
Bit of England on the Shores of the Pacific,"
were used for promotional purposes.
Dawson comes up short on explicitly
linking his ideas to major tourism
promotions after the 1970s (for example,
EXP086). The astute reader will see, as the
2010 Olympics approach, the parallels
between notions examined by Dawson and
Olympic organizers' intentions beyond the
actual games. Currently, with economic
growth in mind, each level of government
30 BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3 and a variety of business groups are backing
the Olympics with the plan to attract
investment and consumers.
As a heads up, there is a minor
slippage in the map found in the preliminary
pages. The Cariboo lake labeled Canim Lake
is, in fact, Lac la Hache.
Dr. Kirk Salloum is an educational consultant living in
Vancouver, BC.
The Story of Hudson's Hope to 1945.
M.A. Kyllo. Salmon Arm, 2003. 160 p., illus., maps, spiral
bound. $25. Available from Martin A. Kyllo, 2541, 221st
St. NE, Salmon Arm, BCV1E3Y3.
Almost any local history is sure to
disappoint. On the one hand these histories
can be endlessly frustrating for those
seeking out the core of a community's
history, for, all too often, local histories stand
as little more than a sanitized compendium
of stories, local lore and fond remembrances.
For such an audience these amateur
histories, with their antiquarian research
and tepid enquiry obscure a great deal more
than they illuminate. On the other hand, few
readers within the communities under study
are particularly inclined towards
theoretically informed autopsies of barn
dances and whist drives. For as much as
such scholarly enquiries attempt to decode
the local events for deeper meaning, they
are often guilty of decimating the humanity
at the heart of these communities and their
shared histories. Faced with such prospects
one wonders why anyone would willingly
take on the challenge of local history.
Yet despite such risks, M.A. Kyllo's
The Story of Hudson's Hope sets out to detail
this community's history on the banks of the
Peace River in north eastern British
Columbia. And one of the distinguishing
aspects of Kyllo's history is the extent to
which the author resisted the antiquarian
amateur urge. While he does present a
traditional narrative treatment, a strenuous
research effort underpins this history.
Unsatisfied with cataloguing the
recollections of pioneers or their
descendants, Kyllo doggedly sought out
secondary sources, unpublished diaries,
corporate records, newspapers, and archival
records in an attempt to frame Hudson
Hope's history within a broader context. He
may not have always succeeded and we are
sometimes presented with cursory
treatments but, in the least, Kyllo recognised
that a larger world existed beyond the Peace
River country and that world informed an
understanding of events in and around
Hudson's Hope. And while he ultimately
favours a celebratory view of his good
fortune of having been raised in a
community where he argues that they
enjoyed absolute freedom, his research
pulled him towards murkier questions
about the details and interests shaping and
distorting Hudson's Hope history, far
beyond the glance of young boys raised on
the banks of the Peace River.
Taken as a whole, Kyllo's Story of
Hudson's Hope succeeds more often than it
falters. Yes, the page numbers in the index
are off by two pages for all but the first few
pages of the book and Kyllo almost invariably
adopts a safe view of events and their
consequences. But it is his research effort that
raises this above the crowd. There is a wealth
of information to be mined in Kyllo's sources
and, indeed, a lesson to be taken from his
decision to seek out a much wider base of
information. His industry is a lesson that all
local historians need to hear; while one may
not be interested in deconstructing barn
dances or whist drives such a position does
not mean that local histories, even those
created by amateur historians, need not be
only an assortment of happy recollections
and melancholy. One can, as Kyllo has done
in The Story of Hudson's Hope, make a
contribution to knowledge that will not only
bring back fond memories of the past but can
also arm the more adventuresome with the
means of exploring what that past may have
actually meant.
Dr. Jonathan Swainger, History Department, University of
Northern British Columbia
The Best Miners in the World; stories from
Canada's Sullivan Mine.
W.R. (Bill) Roberts. Kimberley, Hardrock Publishing 2004.
335 pages, illus.$29.95 paperback. Available from Sandhill
Book Marketing, #99,1270 Ellis St., Kelowna, BC V1Y124
The Sullivan Mine is located in
Kimberley in the south-east corner of the
province of British Columbia. Author Bill
Roberts notes in the prologue to his book
that the Sullivan Mine contributed to the
coffers of the province over a period of 110
years. In all, the mine produced 185 billion
pounds of lead, 17.5 billion pounds of zinc
and 297 million ounces of silver as well as
major amounts of tin and some rare metals.
Despite its tremendous contribution to the
economy of the area and to the province as
a whole, the Liberal government in all its
wisdom, chose to close down the local
hospital as well as 3 out of 6 local schools.
The dangers inherent in working
underground are always there and accidents
can occur at any time. Rock that has been
overlaid by thousands of feet of overburden,
when penetrated by tunnels and other means
of access, expands and causes 'rock bursts'
that are extremely hazardous and in some
cases fatal. Bill Roberts taped interviews with
many men who got out the ore. Their stories,
told in miners' vernacular, show that
accidents were not confined to miners but
included electricians, barmen, timbermen,
pipefitters and others sent underground.
My memory of the Sullivan goes back
to the beginning of WW II. I was fresh out of
university, a graduate in geology, and was
sent to the Sullivan to get involved with the
war effort. Most of the oldtimers I met then
are long gone.They even predated some of
Bill Roberts' friends. I refer to Eric Eskog, Ed
Petersen, and John Olsen and note that the
sons of these men were hired on by "the
Company" and in their way contributed to
the ongoing success of the mine. These men,
who are a real cross section of those who daily
put their lives on the line for the Company,
were interviewed over the period of years
that Bill Roberts worked underground.
There were eras of problems as the
extraction of ore continued. One of the most
dangerous periods was the time of the 'Hot
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3        31 Muck" and the extreme efforts that were
made to control the problem, initially caused
by using the waste from the sink and float
plant to backfill large open spaces (stopes)
created by extraction of the ore. Men had to
be suited up in fire protection gear, and of
course were paid "danger pay " to work in
those areas affected. Accidents may happen
under many circumstances but are
particularly bad when they occur inside a
mine. The toll that such events takes on
families is recorded in some of the
interviews of men who worked on mine
rescue teams sent to scenes of severe
disasters. The description of their work is
most vivid and undoubtedly the memory
of some of those events haunted the rescue
team members for years after.
All in all, the book Best Miners in the
World, is a must read for anyone interested
in the history of the East Kootenay. What
makes it so interesting to me is that I had
the privilege of knowing some of the men
who participated in making the Sullivan the
great mine that it turned out to be.
Alistair Drysdale. Retired geologist who lives in Kimberley
during the winter and at Premier Lake during the summer.
Vanishing British Columbia.
Michael Kluckner. Vancouver, UBC Press; Washington,
University of Washington Press, 2005. 223 p., illus., map.
$49.95 hard cover.
This is Michael Kluckner's thirteenth
book and it is a treasure. He describes it as
"a roadside memory" of historic places of
British Columbia. It is a collection of subjects
arranged geographically, described in text
and illustrated by 160 of his watercolour
sketches and various photographs He
captures a province he (and some of the
older of us) knew in the 1940s-1960s, most
of which is now "vanishing".
Over a period of ten or more years
Kluckner travelled around the province
researching, sketching and painting places
and scenes—early settlers, aboriginal, and
Chinese and other groups who left some
marker of their passage.
One of the unique features is the
incorporation of input gleaned from
correspondents around the province, after
he posted the subjects on his website. Over
450 people contacted him with additional
pieces of information and personal
perspectives. It thus became a collaborative
effort by the author, who has generously
acknowledged contributions. Another
feature is the extensive use of footnotes (in
sidebars), providing additional information
or details.
This 223-page book can be used in
many ways: for reading pleasure from
beginning to end, geographic regional
description, or browsing at random. The text
and typefaces used are very clear and the
general layout is very pleasing. Additional
notes and an extensive bibliography provide
resources and sources for followup.
Kluckner makes an excellent case for
regional preservation and the stewardship
of regional history. The initial 3000 printing
has been sold out and an additional 3000 are
being printed. People and libraries who
want a copy should not delay.
Arnold Ranneris, Past President, Victoria Historical Society.
Watari-Dori (Birds of Passage).
Mitsuo Yesaki. Vancouver, Peninsula Publishing Company,
Surrey, 2005.175 p., map. $15 paperback. Available from
Mitsuo Yesaki, #1105,1740 Comox St., Vancouver, BC V6G 221
Set mainly in the Steveston area, this
novel is about a young fisherman, named
Miyakichi Ezaki, whose family has
emigrated from a fishing village on Honshu
Island, Japan. While the story covers less
than a year of Miyakichi's life 0une 1915 to
January 1916), in that period we see him
come of age. Moreover, the author
thoroughly describes the fishing practices of
the period, the day-to-day experiences and
routines of the fishing families, and the
various hardships endured by the tiny
Japanese fishing community, "which in 1900
accounted for over 50 percent of the
fishermen" on the Fraser River Delta.
Traditional Japanese foods are described and
a glossary gives helpful translations. The
construction and use of the furo 0apanese
bath) is also detailed.
Although the dialogue is sometimes
stilted and certain details are repeated,
interesting historical facts and insights will
intrigue anyone interested in the chronicles
of BC's fishing industry. For example, to troll
for salmon, the fishermen attached lines to
"branch poles," which "were weighted with
small lead pellets fixed at regular intervals
along the extreme third of the lines and with
large balls on the ends. Three spoons are
attached at regular intervals from the end of
each line. With this setup, . . . [fishermen
could].. fish eighteen hooks." The fishermen
knew when they had a catch "by the tingle
of the bells, and watching the branch poles."
Although their boats and methods were
primitive by today's standards, the
fishermen's hard work and long hours
resulted in the construction of numerous
canneries. A map of the Fraser River Delta
(dates not given) shows the location of 20
canneries, one cold storage facility, and the
Hong Wo General store in Steveston.
The life of the early Japanese residents
in the Greater Vancouver Area is another
fascinating aspect of this novel. During peak
periods, the wives of the fishermen worked
up to 10 hours a day, six days a week in the
canneries. When the canneries shut down,
the women would work on the local farms.
During the off-season, most of the men were
unemployed; so, they spent their time
repairing and making nets, cutting
cordwood, fishing different species in other
areas of the province, or working in the boatbuilding industry. The Japanese fishing
community's main, and in some cases only,
holiday was New Year's. At that time the
members took three days to celebrate
"furusato [birth place] customs and traditions
and to indulge in the special dishes and
delicacies of their homeland." These are
described in mouth-watering detail.
While this book often reads more like
an oral history than a novel, learning history
through a story is entertaining and
memorable. I hope Mitsuo Yesaki will
publish more stories and that the next one
will also provide some information on this
local author.
Sheryl Salloum, Vancouver writer.
Books listed here may be reviewed at a later
date. For further information please consult
Book Review Editor.
Aboriginality; the literary origins of British
Columbia Vol. 2. Alan Twigg. Vancouver,
Ronsdale Press, 2005. $24.95.
The BC Almanac Book of Greatest British
Columbians. Mark Forsythe & Greg Dickson.
Madeira Park, BC. Harbour Publishing, 2005.
Bear Child; the life and times of Jerry Potts.
Rodger D. Touchie. Surrey, Heritage House,
2005. $19.95
Enderby; an illustrated history. Robert and
Joan Cowan. Enderby & District Museum
Society, 2005. $20
Gold Below the Canyon; the life and times of
William Barker, gold miner, 1817-1894.
Branwen C. Patenaude. Victoria, Trafford,
2005. $20.95
Halcyon; the captain's paradise - a history
of Halcyon Hot Springs. Milton Parent. Arrow
Lakes Historical Society, 2005. $25
Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower
Fraser Valley. Derek Hayes. Vancouver,
Douglas & Mclntyre, 2005. $49.95
Homefront to Battlefront; Nelson, BC in
World War II. Sylvia Crooks. Vancouver,
Granville Island Publishing, 2005. $24.95
Imagining Difference; legend, curse and
spectacle in a Canadian mining town. Leslie
A. Robertson. Vancouver, UBC Press, 2005.
A King from Canada. Conrad Swan.
Stanhope, UK, The Memoir Club, 2005. $50
Klondike Cattle Drive. Norman Lee. Surrey,
TouchWood Editions, 2005. $12.95
The Klondike Quest; a photographic essay
1897-1899. Pierre Berton. Erin, Ont., Boston
Mills Press, 2005. $29.95
Lovingly Yours, Nellie; letters home and
other stories from Portland, Maine to the
shores of Ness Lake, BC. Victoria, Trafford,
2004. $38
An Okanagan History, 1905-1919, written at
Fintry. Westbank, Sugars Publishing, 2005.
Once Upon a Time in the West; the making of
the Western Canadian Philosophical
Association, 1963-2004. Bela Siabados. Kelowna,
Academic Printing and Publishing, 2005.
Pioneer Jews of British Columbia. Vancouver,
Western States Jewish History and The Scribe,
Pioneers of the Pacific; voyages of
exploration, 1787-1810. Nigel Rigby, Pieter
van der Merwe and Glyn Williams. Fairbanks,
University of Alaska Press, 2005. $26.95 US
Raincoast Chronicles Fourth Five. Howard
White, ed. Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing,
2005. $42.95
Reading the Riot Act; a brief history of riots
in Vancouver. Michael Barnholden. Vancouver,
Anvil Press, 2005. $18
Royal Metal; the people, times and trains of
New Westminster. Vancouver, 2004. $39.95
Selected Excerpts from the Vancouver
Natural History Society "Bulletin" (with
notes and an index). No.. 1, September 1943
to No. 153, December 1971. Bill Merilees,
comp. Vancouver Natural History Society,
2005. $45
The Small Cities Book; on the cultural future
of small cities. W.F. Garrett-Petts, ed.
Vancouver, New Star Books, 2005. $39
Stella; unrepentant Madam. Linda J. Eversole.
Surrey, TouchWood Editions, 2005. $19.95
The Valley of the Fraser. John Pearson and
Lome Pearson. Surrey Museum, 2005. $12
Waterfront; the illustrated maritime history
of Greater Vancouver. James P. Delgado.
Vancouver, Stanton, Atkins and Dosil
Publishers. $45
Wingns across the Water; Victoria's flying
heritage, 1871-1971. Elwood White and Peter
L. Smith. Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing,
2005. $28.95
William Wilson, pioneer entrepreneur.
Christopher J.R Hannan. Victoria, Trafford,
2001. $26
33 Gerald Smedley Andrews
December 12,1903 December 5, 2005
Gerald Smedley Andrews, born in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, passed away
peacefully in Victoria, BC.
His passing culminates a long life rich
in accomplishment and service. Highlights
include teaching at Big Bar Creek and Kelly
Lake, BC (1922-26), obtaining a Forestry
Degree from the University of Toronto
(1930), working as Party Chief with the
Surveys Division of the BC Forest Service
(1930-39), post graduate studies in aerial
photogrammetry at Oxford and Dresden,
Germany (1932-34); mapping the
Normandy Coast in advance of the D Day
Invasion for which he was awarded an MBE
and on return to BC, laying the foundation
for a mapping service second to none in the
world, as Surveyor General and Director of
Surveys and Mapping, Government of BC
(1951-68). Upon retirement he undertook
several short term projects: one for the
Federal Department of Energy, Mines and
Resources and the other for CIDA teaching
air photo interpretation to graduate
engineers at the University of Paraiba,
He was active in the B.C. Historical
Federation, and wrote prodigiously on
matters related to history and surveying. He
published his first book, Metis Outpost in
1985, a tale of two youthful years at Kelly
Lake, and twoadventurous packhorse trips
through the Rocky Mountains before the
advent of roads. He travelled extensively in
his modified Ford van at home and abroad,
spending many memorable summers at his
cabin in Atlin.
For years he delighted friends and
family with Christmas cards made from
remarkable pen and ink drawings featuring
scenes from BC and around the world. Later
in life he received recognition for his
achievements with an Honorary Doctorate
in Engineering from the University of
Victoria, 1988; the Order of British
Columbia, 1990 and the Order of Canada,
1991. Above all, he succeeded as a human
being: beloved by his late wife Jean (nee
Bergtholdt), and by his daughters, Mary, and
Kris; his sisters Leila Logan, Nora Sloane,
Mary Bonny castle, Betty Richards, Gertrude
and Emily Moar; brother Bill Andrews;
numerous nieces, nephews and their
children; and respected by friends and
colleagues of whatever age, race, colour,
creed, skills or estate. He will be greatly
missed. •
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3 Miscellany
BC Conference Archivist Bob
Stewart Passes Away
"He has been, for all my years in archives, one
of the mainstays of our community. A giant of
an archivist with a sense of humour to match,
Bob was great in bringing life to our gatherings
but he also brought a thoughtful and caring mind
to our discussions."
Gary Mitchell, Provincial Archivist of BC
Bob's connection with archives was
established in the early 1970s when
researching in archives for his Master of
Divinity thesis on the Oxford Group
Movement in Canada in the 1930s. His
career as an archivist began in 1982 when
he joined the BC Conference Archives. At
that time he became a member of the
Church's National Committee on Archives
and History to which he continued to make
an important contribution up until the time
of his death. Under his guidance, the
Conference Archives was established as a
repository with a rich collection of records
documenting of Methodist, Presbyterian,
and Congregational Churches within British
Columbia prior to 1925, and The United
Church of Canada after 1925.
Bob's thinking and rants about
archives nurtured the development of both
a United Church Archives and a religious
archives community. He mentored archival
studies students from UBC's program since
its inception in 1981.
A worship service in celebration of
Bob's life was held Friday, November 25, at
3:00 p.m. at First United Church, 320 East
Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Royal City: A Photographic
History of New Westminster
New Westminster's long and rich
history comes alive in a new book available
now. Jim Wolf's "Royal City: A Photographic
History of New Westminster 1858-1960": is
a unique history that includes 250
photographs, many of which have never
been published. Weaving together images
and memories, this book celebrates the
collective history that make the Royal City
such a special place.
Royal City is a beautifully designed
200 page hardcover book that forms a visual
documentary of New Westminster. The city
was founded at thesame time photography
was becoming a popular hobby, business
and art form. Every chapter is framed by a
brief history of an era and illuminated with
photographs that represent that period's
built landscape, society, industries,
celebrations and disasters. Jim has tapped
into the wealth of the city's fascinating
history and also filled his book with quotes
or 'voices' from the past which add drama
to the compelling images. Each section also
includes a profile of the the life and work of
one of the city's talented pioneer
photographers. The book works well both
as a keepsake for current and past residents
as well as a useful tool for anyone interested
in the history and heritage of BC's first
capital and early photographers.
Historian and author Jim Wolf is a
long-time resident of New Westminster and
past president of the Heritage Preservation
Society. "Royal City" is produced as a joint
project by the Arts Council of New
Westminster and the Heritage Preservation
Society with funding assistance from the
City of New Westminster Heritage
Endowment Program. Funds from the sale
of the society's books will assist with
funding programs of the New Westminster
Heritage Foundation. To find out more
about this book or to order a copy please
call 604-521-5733 or send an email inquiry:
Get Planning. Heritage Week
themes announced
As plans are generated to recognize
Heritage Week each year, please note the
themes, as identified by Heritage Canada,
for the next seven years. Let's find ways to
promote and celebrate our common heritage
to our communities and visitors. It's a shared
resource for all.
This year's Heritage Week poster for
British Columbia will feature the former
Victoria Law Courts Building, now the
Maritime Museum of British Columbia.
2006 - "Our Cultural Heritage Places"
Museums, art galleries, theatres, cinemas,
bandstands, festival buildings
2007 - "Vernacular Architecture -
Buildings of Everyday and Everyone"
Settlements, houses, neighbourhoods, and cultural
2008 - "Heritage of Trade"
Trading posts, warehouses, retail shops,
department stores
2009 - "Heritage of Education"
Schools, colleges and tmiversities
2010 - "Our Communications Heritage"
Buildings and sites related to post, telegraph,
telephone, radio and television
2011 - "Heritage of Sport & Recreation"
Parks, stadiums, arenas, leisure and
vacation places
2012 - "Heritage of Power"
Water mills, hydroelectric plants, transformer
Moti our mascot c. 1920s
Editor's collection
The Moti Prize
Our annual competition for elementary
students writing on local history.
The rules are simple: the competition
is open to elementary school students
in BC; the submissions must be on local
history; the editor of this journal is the
judge; entries must be submitted by
May 1st of each year; and the winner
may be published in British Columbia
The prizes: $50 to the winner and a
subscription to BC History for the
school library.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 38 No. 3        35 2006 BCHF Conference
Our 2006 Conference is hosted by the
East Kootenay Historical Association and will
be held in Kimberley between 4 - 6 May 2006.
Rocks, Walks & Talks is the theme for
the Kimberley Conference. The Rocks stand
for the geological specimens gathered
during the 100 years that the Sullivan Mine
was the main employer. Walks you will take
around the Heritage Museum, the Platzl, the
Sullivan Power House, the Book Fair and
the restored rail cars at the Canadian
Museum of Rail Travel. Talks will be by
speakers sharing the history of various East
Kootenay Communities.
Don't forget; Kimberley is on
Mountain Time — not Pacific time — so add
one hour to your projected arrival time.
from the Kootenay Weekly Express August 3, 2005
Nelson Museum, Archives and
Art Gallery board hires Leah
Best as executive director
The Nelson Museum, Archives, and
Art Gallery board has been looking for an
ideal candidate to take over as executive
director and they ended up finding the best
in Leah Best.
Best arrived in Nelson two weeks ago,
fresh from at four year stint at the Vancouver
Art Gallery where she was assistant curator,
and managed the gallery's significant art
acquisition program. She brings a vast
amount of experience and education to the
job not to mention enthusiasm for what she
considers an amazing opportunity.
"It's a great opportunity to bring
together all my various experiences, and to
move to Nelson, which is great," she said.
"What's happening here is quite well-known
throughout the museum community, both
provincially and I would suspect nationally
because it's so unique."
Best was chosen out of 38 initial letters
of interest that came to the MAAG board
from the UK, US, and across Canada. She will
replace Shawn Lamb, who will take on other
responsibilities within the MAAG project.
"Leah brings to the position a
remarkable mix of museum and gallery
experience," said MAAG board president,
Don Lyon. "The board felt she best served
the interests of the organization during this
dynamic period in our history."
Best was born in B,C, and grew up in
Calgary and on Gabriola Island. She
completed an honours degree in Art History
at UVic, and went on to do her masters in
Art History at the University of Toronto
before working for the National Ballet of
Canada for several years. She then completed
additional training in museum management,
and returned to B.C. to work with a variety
of museums before landing the MAAG
position. She is already enjoying the small
town way of life in Nelson.
"I love that I can be standing on the
comer at 502 Anderson and the mayor will
walk by and stop by to say 'Hey how's it
going,"' she said. "It's so different from what
I'm used to."
Programs of Interest in Genealogy
from the Surrey Public Library
Cloverdale Branch
Please call the Cloverdale Library at 604-576-1384 or
refer to our website: and
Orientations to the Cloverdale Genealogy Collection
The Cloverdale Library holds the largest, Canadian family
history collection west of Ottawa. Orientations are held
on the first Saturday of every month from 9:30 am to
10:20 am. No charge - but pre-registration is still required.
Creating Fine Pictures from Distressed Photographs:
Photoshop Tips and Tools with Warren Sadler
(Lecture with on screen demonstrations)
Bring out the best in your family photos! Learn how to
enhance and restore the precious visual records of your
past. Bring a problem picture with you - one or two of
these will be chosen from the group to use as an "object
lesson". Pre-registration is required.
Saturday, February 4,10:30am to 12:30pm  $10.00
You Can Create Your Own Family History Website:
Simple Methods for Technophobic Genealogists! with
Diane Rogers
Creating a family history website can be easier than you
imagine! This session is intended specifically for people
with little or no knowledge of web site design. Discussion
will focus on why you might want a family history website,
what you would want it to look like and how to get one up
and running with a minimum of technical knowledge; for
example, by utilizing free web services.
Saturday, February 18,10:30am to 12:30pm  $10.00
Genealogy on the Internet: United Kingdom with Jacqui
Haines (Lecture with on screen demonstration)
Have you been frustrated by Internet searching for family
history records in the British Isles? How do you know when
it's worthwhile to pay for online services? Are the free
sites authoritative? Learn more about these issues and
others during this workshop, focused specifically on United
Kingdom genealogical resources on the Internet.
Saturday, March 18,10:30am to 12:30pm   $10.00
American Family History Records Demystified for
Canadians with Judith Argent
An introduction to researching American records for
Canadian genealogists, including starting points and major
resources, records unique to the USA, and differences
regarding access to information and privacy laws.
Saturday, April 1,11:00am  $10.00
Tracing Your Roots in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia
with Vera Shpolyansky: Forensic Genealogist
Vera Shpolyansky is a forensic genealogist specializing in
locating living people in Eastern European countries. She
is also a member of the Association of Professional
Genealogists and National Genealogical Society in the
U.S.A. This session will be of interest to anyone looking for
Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian family history records.
Saturday, April 8 -11:00 - 12:30pm $10.00
Researching, Writing, & Publishing Your Own History
with Author/Historians Gavin Hainsworth & Katherine
A New Westminster Album: Glimpses of the City As It
Was Dundurn Press 2005
Whether your passion for exploring history is biographical,
genealogical, heritage home, organizational,
neighbourhood, or local community-based, many
participants would desire practical strategies to take their
research forward into engaging writing, creative artifact
documentation, and possible publication. Author-Historians
Gavin Hainsworth & Katherine Freund-Hainsworth (who is
also an artist) will share their experiences on how make the
transition from hobbies to creator and writer.
Saturday, May 13, 2006:1:00 - 3:00pm   $10.00
General Audience: Five Issues in Last Wills & Testaments
that Lead to a Costly Probate Process (General Audience
Session: 40 minute lecture followed by a question period)
with Vera Shpolyansky: Forensic Genealogist
Vera Shpolyansky is the owner of a search company: VS
Probate Assistance & World Search Co. that serves
probate attorneys and trust companies in Canada and the
U.S. The company searches for missing beneficiaries, heirs
at law and descendants of property owners.
Saturday, March 25,11:00am   $10.00


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