British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1993

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Volume 26, No. 4
Fall 1993
ISSN 0045-2963
IMiUh ( ohimbia
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Bridges To the Past MEMBER SOCIETIES
Member Societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their society is
up-to-date. Please send any change to both the Treasurer and Editor at the addresses inside the back cover.
The Annual Return as at October 31st should include telephone numbers for contact.
Members' dues for the year 1990 - 91 were paid by the following Societies:
Alberni District Historical Society - Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Arrow Lakes Historical Society - Box 584, Nakusp, B.C. VOB 1 RO
Atlin Historical Society - Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
Burnaby Historical Society - 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5G 3T6
Chemainus Valley Historical Society - Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society - P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
District 69 Historical Society - Box 3014, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2S0
East Kootenay Historical Association - P.O. Box 74, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4H6
Gulf Islands Branch -BCHF- c/0 Wilma J. Cross, RR#1, Pender Island, B.C. VON 2M0
Koksilah School Historical Society - 5203 Trans Canada Highway, Koksilah, B.C. VOR 2C0
Kootenay Lake Historical Society - Box 537, Kaslo, B.C. VOG 1M0 .
Kootenay Museum & Historical Society - 402 Anderson Street, Nelson, B.C. V1L 3Y3
Lantzville Historical Society - c/o Box 274, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Lasqueti Island Historical Society - Lasqueti Island, B.C. VOR 2J0
Nanaimo Historical Society - P.O. Box 933, Station A, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
North Shore Historical Society - c/o 333 Chesterfield Ave., North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 3G9
North Shuswap Historical Society - Box 22, Celista, B.C. VOE 1 LO
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum & Archives - Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1 WO
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society - 444 Qualicum Road, Qualicum Beach, B.C. V9K1B2
Salt Spring Island Historical Society - Box 1264, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney & North Saanich Historical Society - P.O. Box 2404, Sidney, B.C. V8L 3Y3
Silvery Slocan Historical Society - Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Surrey Historical Society - 8811 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. V3R 4E5
Trail Historical Society - P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
Vancouver Historical Society - P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Victoria Historical Society - Box 5123 Stn. B., Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4
Fort Steele Heritage Park - Fort Steele, B.C. VOB 1 NO
The Hallmark Society - 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society -100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1
Publications Mail Registration Number 4447
Published winter, spring, summer and fall by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria, B.C. V8R 6N4. A Charitable Society recognized under the income Tax Act.
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Financially assisted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture, through the British
Columbia Heritage Trust and British Columbia Lotteries.
Back issues of the British Columbia Historical News are available in microform from Micromedia Limited, 20
Victoria St., Toronto, Ont. M5C2N8 (416)362-5211 • Fax (416) 362-6161 • Toll Free 1-800-387-2689
- Micromedia also publishes the Canadian Magazine Index and the Canadian Business Index.
Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index.
Volume 26, No. 4    Journal of B.C. Historical Federation      Fall -1993
The B.C. Historical News is sponsored
by a provincial federation aiming to inform
readers about events and people from all
over the province. In this issue we present
two writers who make their homes in
Prince Rupert and a lady from Hudson's
Hope who tells of her father's enterprises
which concluded with farming in
Pemberton. You will have a look at
transportation in the Columbia-Kootenay
Valley in eastern British Columbia and a
rich American who purchased an island
near Alberni. We have a few more good
stories to share with you in future issues
but urge would-be writers to get their
favorite bits of local history typed, double-
spaced, and mailed to the editor before the
winter is over.
We hope that local societies are making
some move to observe Women's History
Month in October. A caller from Delta
urged that we devote the Fall 1994 issue to
Women's History. I have agreed ... and it
will be then that a composite story of
Women's Institutes in B.C appears.
(Several Wl members have cooperated
but more is needed.) There are many
possible stories about unsung heroines
(and heros). We need your help to write,
or to persuade others to write, for YOUR
historical journal.
Naomi Miller
"Bridges ToOur Past" includes reference
to this steel cantilever bridge over Niagara
Canyon at the Malahat Summit, Mile 14
north of Victoria on the Esquimalt and
Nanaimo Railway. This is the third span at
this location since 1886. The first two were
timber trestles. This steel bridge was
originally erected over the Fraser River at
Cisco, B.C. It was reassembled here in
1911 and reinforced in 1940. The height
from creek to rail is 79 metres. Photo
courtesy of Tom Parkin.
Atlin Adventure 2
by Hon. James Harvey, QC
Pemberton Pioneer    4
by Anita Ronayne McWilliams
Early Travelling in the Columbia'Kootenay Valley   7
by R.C. Harris
Canon Stanley Smith: Missions to Seamen 11
by Roy J.V. Pa/font
Winged Victory 1918: CPR's War Memorial 16
by Helen Borrell
A Vanderbilt at Alberni   18
by Jan Peterson
Bridges To Our Past   22
• by Tom Parkin
The Very Beginnings of Prince Rupert 25
by Phylis Bowman
McVittie Brothers: Land Surveyors 28
by Robert W. Allen
The Struggle for Social Justice in B.C.: Helena Gutteridge    32
Review by Mark Leier
Aboriginal Peoples and Politics    33
Review by Werner Kaschel
The Fraser Valley: A History 34
Review by Jim Bowman
Fraser Valley Challenge 33
Review by Werner Kaschel
Fish Hooks and Caulk Boots    34
Review by Peggy Imredy
Other Publications Noted 34
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C,   VOB 2K0
Correspondence regarding subscriptions is to be directed to the subscription secretary (see inside back cover)
Printed in Canada by Kootenay Kwik Print Ltd.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Atlin Adventure
by The Honourable James Harvey, Q. C.
Atlin was the one town in the County
of Prince Rupert that survived the 1929-
1939 Depression. In his first term President F.D. Roosevelt caused the price of
gold to rise from $23 and some odd cents
to $35 an ounce. Old placerdiggings from
1898 and a few years later were being reworked profitably. There was no unemployment and no relief payments. Economically it was unique in the province. I
made one of my law firm's frequent trips
there in the fall of 1936. I acted for a
litigious old man named Isaac Matthews
who had staked a fractional claim on
Spruce Creek, on ground which he was
sure was open, between claims of a substantial company which was then operating
a steam shovel on Spruce Creek. Their
claims were appropriately named the
Poker, Joker and Croaker and the steam
shovel was rapidly approaching Matthews'
fraction, which the company claimed was
part of the Croaker. Matthews wanted me
to engage a surveyor and bring him with
me to Spruce Creek. Time was of the
essence. As there were no aircraft based in
Prince Rupert, I engaged a pilot from
Ketchikan, Alaska, to
pick me up in Prince
Rupert, then fly to
Lakelse Lake where
we would land and
pick up Fred Nash, a
surveyor whom I had
arranged to be in a
rowboat at the expected time of our arrival. All went well
and we flew directly
to Juneau, Alaska,
where we met Isaac
Matthews. He had
arranged for us to be
flown from there to
Atlin by a Canadian
pilot named Barrwho
had an ancient cargo
plane on wheels. Barr used the mud flats
at Juneau as a runway, the only method
for a wheeled aircraft. But take-off depended on the conjunction of tide and
wind. The tide had to below and the wind
blowing from the only direction possible
for a safe take-off. Matthews wanted to
use Barr as this was the only way he could
hope to recover a lot of money that Barr
owed him. During the next two days and
after one abortive effort by Barr, Matthews
gave up and we were flown to Atlin by the
American pilot who had flown Nash and
me to Juneau.
During the next few days Nash was
busy surveying at Spruce Creek and I
drove Matthews' car to the Government
Agent's office where I searched old mining records. We seemed to be establishing
what we had come for but Nash needed
another day or two, so it was agreed that I
should return to Prince Rupert as quickly
as possible and Nash would telegraph me
the remaining information I required to
get an injunction against the steam-shovel
people from digging through Matthews'
Meanwhile, Barr had managed to
reach Atlin and land on a primitive gravel
airstrip which, appropriately, had a cemetery at both ends. Matthews was determined that Barr should fly me to Juneau
where landing was a less hazardous operation than take-off. However he insisted
that I was to pay Barr nothing. Matthews
drove me from Spruce Creek to Atlin and
I found Barr at the home of the parents of
an attractive young lady whom he hoped
to marry. Her surname was Sand or Sands.
I gave him Matthews' instructions but he
said he had no money to buy gasoline for
the trip to Juneau. After a discussion lasting far into the night I agreed to pay him
$20 from my own pocket. Early next
morning, in spite of heavy rain and limited visibility, we took off. After about an
hour I noticed that Barr was losing altitude
and peering out of the side window as
though searching for something. Then he
reduced speed and began to circle over a
river in which there were many sand bars
littered with logs. He selected the least
hopeless of these and dove at it. I thought
that would be the end of me, as well as Barr
and his ancient aircraft. Somehow he made
it, the wheels sinking into the sand and the
plane almost vertical, missing by a hair's
breadth various logs, finally coming to
rest, horizontal by now, a few inches from
the end of the sand bar.
The first thing Barr said was that he
had often wondered if he could make a
safe landing on this sand bar. Then he
climbed out carrying a rifle, which didn't
reassure me. I thought the safest thing was
to follow him and was relieved to learn
that the rifle was to be used for nothing
homicidal but to be fired three times in
the air at short intervals as a distress signal.
We were at the junction of the Tulsequah
and Taku Rivers; and I could imagine no
place more remote from any vestige of
civilization. It was pouring with rain. I
was most unsuitably clothed for the oc-
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 casion and had with me only a black valise
containing such items as I had thought
suitable for the trip.
As Barr's distress signal had had no
visible or other response, he decided he
would strip and swim to the other side of
the Tulsequah where he said a trail led to
a trading post. He dove into the river but,
not to my surprise, leapt out within a
second or two.
We were in the process of making a
fire when an Indian suddenly appeared
through the woods on the other side of the
river. Just as abruptly he disappeared but
soon reappeared in a rowboat and gestured us to get in. Across the river he
found a trail and led us to the trading post
Barr had mentioned, which was on the
bank of the Taku River.
There we had a meal and met a man
named Nelson, a Canadian Customs officer whom I had previously met in Prince
Rupert. Hesaid my only chance of get ting
to Juneau was to go down river a few miles
where there was a weather station on the
U.S. side of the border which was in
contact with Juneau by radio. He then left
us to look for another Indian who had an
open boat with an outboard engine. I was
running out of money, and of course Barr
couldn't help me. When Nelson came
backwith the Indian I made arrangements
with him, which I could just afford, and
departed down river in his boat. All went
well until we reached the weather station
and I was told that this was the one day of
the week when radio contact with Juneau
was not possible. My only option, I was
told, was to go several more miles downstream where there was a lodge operated
by a young woman named Mary Joyce,
who had a fast motor boat which she used
to go to and from Juneau.
With the greatest reluctance and my
promise to pay him lavishly if he would
take me to Mary Joyce's lodge, the Indian
started off with me and my valise in his
boat. It took my remaining $5 even to get
him started. How I would fulfill my
promise to him was in the lap of the gods.
Before leaving Barr at the trading post
I was surprised to find him so unconcerned
at his own predicament. He said it was
sure to snow in a few days and that he
would replace his wheels with skis. More
about this later.
The Indian became increasingly unfriendly but continued down the river.
Soon a pontoon plane appeared out of the
fog, flying low over the river. I stood up,
waved frantically and gave the hitchhiker's traditional sign. The plane kept on
until out of sight but to my relief it re-
emerged from the fog flying in our direction, landed near us on the river and I
was able to clamber aboard. I waved goodbye to the Indian and decided the $ 51 had
given him was adequate compensation for
the short ride from the weather station.
The pilot told me that it was my black
valise in the centre of the boat that finally
convinced him I was in distress. We arrived
in Juneau without further mishap. I went
to an hotel, got my clothes dried, had a
meal and a good sleep and was flown to
Prince Rupert where I was able to pay all
my debts. Incidentally, the Mary Joyce
expedition would have been fruitless as
she was in Juneau, delayed by bad weather.
As for Barr, I later learned that he had
used only half of my $20 for gasoline. By
the time he started to look for a sand bar
he had insufficient fuel to fly back to Atlin
and couldn't risk going on to Juneau
because of low clouds and fog. He was
right that he could soon leave the sand bar
as snow came to his rescue. Later I heard
that his finances must have improved as
he had married the attractive Miss Sand.
The Sand-Barr nuptials seemed a fitting
end to this episode.
When I got to Prince Rupert I lost no
time and with the help of Nash's final
report I was able to obtain a temporary
injunction against the steam-shovel people who had not quite reached Matthews'
fraction. They stopped work for the season as they might have done anyway as
Spruce Creek was beginning to freeze.
The case never came to trial. Instead the
defendants bypassed the disputed fraction,
leaving it to Matthews' possession.
Whether or not he ever recovered any gold
from it I do not know. The last I heard of
the matter was that Matthews had died.
Judge Harvey of Prince Rupert is one of a
family of lawyers. His father was one of the pioneer
lawyers at Fort Steele and Cranbrook. His son is a
Q.C. in Vancouver.
Canadian Historical
Certificates of Merit
Regional History
British Columbia - Yukon
The Regional History Committee of the
Canadian Historical Association invites nominations for its "Certificate of
Merit" awards. Two awards are given
annually for each of five Canadian
regions, including British Columbia
and the Yukon: (1) an award for publications and videos that make a significant contribution to regional history and that will serve as a model for
others; and (2) an award to individuals
for work over a lifetime or to organizations for contributions over an extended period of time.
Nominations accompanied by as much
supporting documentation as possible
should be sent no later than 15 December 1993 to Dr. John Douglas Belshaw,
Department of Philosophy, History and
Politics, University College of the
Cariboo, Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5N3
The 1993 awards were presented to:
1) James R. Gibson, Otter Skins,
Boston Ships, and China goods:
The Maritime Fur Trade of the
Northwest Coast, 1748-1841
(Montreal: McCill-Queen's,
2) Scott Mclntyre, Publisher
(Douglas & Mclntyre,
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Pemberton Pioneer
by Anita Ronayne McWilliams
Joseph Michael Ronayne was born on
April 1, 1875, the second youngest of the
seven children of John and Bridget
Fitzgerald Ronayne, of the farm
Donickmore, near Midleton, County
Cork, Ireland. His father died when he
was quite young. All Ireland was a province of Great Britain in those days, and the
Ronayne farm was owned by an English
absentee landlord. It was a struggle to pay
the annual rent. In order to get firewood,
they had to go out under cover of darkness
to gather it on their own place. There was
little future for young Irish men, as they
could not own land.
At the age of 18, Joe emigrated with
his brother Jack to the New World, landing
in New York. He worked for a time on
dairy farms in New Jersey, rising at 3 a.m.
to milk the cows. He contracted malaria
here, but I do not think he suffered from
it in Pemberton. The brothers moved on
to Montreal, whence they took the long
train journey across Canada to Vancouver.
They were on the train for fifteen days,
eight of those snowed in somewhere in the
Rocky Mountains. They spent some time
in Seattle, splitting shakes, but by 1897
were working on farms in the Fraser delta,
first at Ladner and later on Lulu Island. It
was hard work with long hours, seeding
and harvesting, rounding up cows from
pastures, milking, churning, feeding calves
and pigs. They got about five-and-a-half
hours of sleep a night, apparently with no
days off. They were in demand as haying
hands and worked so hard that they lost
weight. Joe, who weighed 210 pounds
when they started the summer's work,
went down to 180 pounds.
Gold fever was burning in the hearts
and minds of everyone by this time, and
the brothers, having decided that they
would never make their fortunes working
as farmhands, set out for the Klondike in
January 1898, taking a year's provisions,
six dogs and a horse. In one of his rare
letters home, Joe says:
January 31
Dear Mama,
We are going to start for
Klondyke the day after tomorrow.
We bought a lot of warm clothing
and one year's provision, axes, picks
and shovels & a whole lot of stuff.
It costs more money than we
thought to go up there with a good
outfit. We are taking one horse and
six dogs to pull the stuff in sleighs.
Some people say dogs are no good
and others say horses are not much
good, so we have decided to buy
We got that 20 Cornelia sent
and were very glad that you did not
send more because we know you
can't afford it. There are thousands
of people going to Klondyke every
week now & they say the big rush
didn't begin yet. I suppose 99 out
of every hundred will come back
without a cent.
It was apity we hadn't the money
to go last spring before the boom
began. We might have been rich
now. However, there is a chance
Every store in town is selling
Klondyke outfits now & it is the
same in all the cities along the coast.
Some people think there will be
more money spent in going there
than will ever come out of it. It is
very cold up there in winter. We are
taking a leather coat, each lined
with sheepskin with the wool on, a
suit of thick woollen clothes called
mackinaws, ashirt of the same stuff,
& two suits of woollen underclothes. Jack is taking a sheepskin
cap & I a cap made of down with
cloth on the outside, Indian
moccassins, sleeping bags, heavy
blankets, and a lot of other things.
I don't think we'll freeze for want
of clothes anyway.
For food we got flour, bacon,
dried beef, beans, butter, lard, dried
fruit, cocoa, tea, sugar & so on. We
are also taking a little box of medicines sold especially for Klondikers.
We bought a rifle & a shotgun too.
There is lots of game in some places
up there.
We may not be able to send a
letter for some time after this, but
we will write whenever we can. We
were glad to hear that Teresa is
going to be married next summer.
I suppose the whole family will be
married before we get back home
Goodbye to all
Joe Ronayne
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 They sailed from Vancouver to
Wrangell, on the Alaskan panhandle, made
their way by the so-called all-Canadian
route up the Stikine River and into the
watershed of the Yukon River, and thence
to Dawson City. Details of the journey
are, unfortunately, lacking, but we know
that they arrived in Dawson City and got
work as labourers, shovelling muck in the
creeks for those who had claims.
Jack apparently left Dawson for the
gold strike in Atlin which also happened
in 1898, butwas never as widely publicized
or romanticized as the Klondike rush. In
a way, this is surprising, because Atlin,
situated in the extreme northwest corner
of British Columbia, was every bit as hard
to reach, and at the height of the rush,
supported a population of about 10,000.
It is also one of the most beautiful places
on earth.
Jack sent for Joe to join him, and in
the following fragment of an undated
letter written to his mother, Joe describes
conditions in Dawson, and with considerable understatement, mentions his epic
journey on foot from Dawson to Atlin in
late winter:
. . . almost walking on top of
each other in the streets of Dawson
last summer when we got down
there. Some would come in and
stop a few days to have a look
around the creeks, then get disgusted, sell their outfits cheap and
float down the river to St. Michaels.
Some other fellows and I did some
work down there last winter, but
we found nothing after sinking several holes twenty seven feet through
the frozen ground. We were to get
50 percent of what gold we took
out. I started up the river from
Dawson on the 15 March with a
tent, blankets, a little grub etc. behind me on a sled to go to Atlin.
[Note: He would have been travelling on the frozen Yukon River.] It
took me 22 days to get here, 600
miles. I found Jack about an hour
after reaching Atlin and we have
been together since. Jack did a lot
of prospecting around this country
but he found nothing that was any
good. There is a great deal of luck
in this business, a fellow just drops
on to a good claim by chance.
We have been working for wages
this last month or so, we were to get
five dollars a day providing it came
out of the ground but the claim did
not pay so we had to quit. We got
50 dollars each out of it, and the
rest is coming to us. This Atlin
country does not amount to much,
the best claims in it do not pay
much more than good wages.
I think we will go to work again
in a day or two. Jack got a nice letter
from Mrs. Terry lately. She seems
to think we go through some terrible hardships and run awful risks
out here. We have a strong notion
of going home when we leave this
place in three or four months from
now, but whether we can raise the
money or not is doubtful. Jack will
be able to tell some great yarns
when he goes home, bear stories
and so forth. Of course, you can
believe as much as you like of them.
If we don't go home, I will try to
write a little oftener. I have been
depending on Jack to do the writing, he writes such a good letter and
describes things so fine.
I must now say good bye dear
Mamma with love to all at home
Joe Ronayne
The brothers remained around Atlin
for six years and were later joined by their
older brother Edmond. Joe was not a
partner in the Adin claims, but sometimes
worked for wages at $7 a day. He spent a
good deal of his time hunting to provide
the camp with meat, especially ptarmigan
and duck in great numbers, as bag limits
were unknown then. Joe and another man
were camped somewhere between Telegraph Creek and Wrangell near a glacier,
cutting wood for sale at $8 a cord, when
Jack came upon them during a trip to the
Outside. Jack tells of this meeting in a
letter dated merely April 9th. He says Joe
pulled a load of wood to Telegraph for
another man for four dollars a day and
board, pulling 530 pounds. Unfortunately
the letter does not say how long it took,
nor how far it was. There is no doubt that
Joe was a strong man in his youth. Perhaps
it was feats such as this which strained his
heart and led to trouble later on.
During this time, they managed at
least one trip home, to Ireland, and spent
some winters in North Vancouver, where
their sister Teresa Miller now lived with
her husband and family (Vivien, Sandy
and Gerald Ross). They were looking for
farm land, and heard that there was nothing closer than in the Pemberton Valley,
where land speculators had not yet grabbed
up everything. In 1905 they were still in
Atlin, Jack filing four claims on McKee
Creek, but by 1907 they were farming in
Pemberton. In 1906 they had bought
three adjoining parcels, paying $12.50 an
acre, and for a time operated as a three-
way partnership (Edmond.Jack and Joe),
but later the Joe Ronaynes withdrew their
140 acres from the partnership.
Clearing was done a little at a time
with saw, axe and blasting powder. The
land was broken with a plough and
grubhoe, a job difficult enough in itself,
but complicated by clouds of mosquitoes
which swarmed up from the damp grass
and every pond and seepage pool.
In 1907, as the brothers coped with
various animal diseases new to them1, Joe
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 got distemper from the horses and "had
two or three very bad spells." The swelling
broke into his mouth under the tongue
twice and Edmond lanced it from under
the jaw and let the pus out on the outside.
The infection did not heal quickly and the
cut had to be opened more than once. His
recovery in the end must have been complete, as I do not remember any mention
of this incident by my parents.
It was at the Miller home in Lynn
Valley that Joe met Annie van Snellenberg.
They were married on June 1, 1911, and
lived in a little house on what is now a
short street in Lynn Valley called Ronayne
Road. He was 36, she, 26. Their first
daughter, Margaret Bridget, was born
there. Joe seems to have spent his time in
North Vancouver hunting for deer to
supply the logging camps which at that
time operated on the north shore. When
Margaret was nine months old, they set
out for the farm at Pemberton, travelling
via Lytton, Lillooet, Seton Portage and
D'Arcy2. Four more children were born
to the couple as they developed what
became a very fine farm—Kathleen Mary,
1915; Ronald Joseph, 1917; Clifford
Walter, 1919; and Anita Josepha, 1923.
During thirty years of farming in
Pemberton Meadows, the events of his-
stood between all the pioneers and their
homelands. If Joe had not been married
with a family, he would probably have
gone back to Ireland to help in the struggle for independenceduring theTroubled
Times of the early 20s.
Alifelongsocialist, Joe's political views
were shaped by the English landlord system in Ireland, and by his observations of
the treatment of working and poor people
by those in power. Crossing the ocean in
steerage class, he saw that the shipboard
crew treated steerage passengers with contempt, while at the same time fawning
over those who could afford to tip them.
He believed in the dignity and worth of
working people.
Although he was a well-read man, his
memories of schooling with the Christian
Brothers in Ireland were unpleasant and
his time at school was short. The Brothers
were cruel and the food was poor. Lessons
were literally "pounded in" to the hapless
students. The pounding was effective,
though, because he could recite not only
verse after verse from Walter Scott's Lay of
the Last Minstrel, but also whole pages of
the text of the geography book. He used to
recite weather signs in verse, which he had
learned as a child: "When toads come
hopping on the green, rainy weather soon
will  be seen,"
Joseph and Annie Ronayne with Margaret, Clifford (in arms), Kathleen and
Ronald (Anita not yet born), Pemberton, circa 1921.
tory precluded Joe's ever returning to his
birthplace. The Great War, the struggle to
develop the farm during the 20s, the Depression of the 30s, and World War II,
though he didn't
place a great deal
of store in them.
I remember his
saying to me,
with a twinkle in
his blue eyes,
"When dogs
bark at night, it
will either rain or
it won't."
He was tall
— over six feet
— and handsome, with blue
eyes and a fine
Roman nose,
beneath which
drooped a splendid red moustache. He
was a quiet man, abstemious in his habits
and kindly, who loved his family. He had
a wonderful sense of humour, and at times
a flaring temper, as when dealing with a
balky animal. He had great natural dignity, and earned the respect of all who
knew him. He saw through sham and
pretension and had no patience with either. Gum chewing, cigarette smoking,
drinking, women's high heels, were all
objects of his scorn. He could see no sense
in any of them, though no one could have
called him a bigot. He didn't like riding in
motorcars and preferred to walk whenever
possible. In spite of this, he agreed with
Annie that with sons approaching manhood, a car should be purchased, and in
1932 a second-hand 1928 Ford Model A
arrived at the farm. He had no interest in
learning to drive it.
He loved the mountains and yearly
climbed to Tenquille Lake or Owl Lake
for a few days' fishing, often with his
brothers. Until his sons were old enough
to hunt, he provided venison for the family table in season.
In his later years, he began to have
trouble with his heart. I remember in the
1930s that he was in bed after a heart
attack, and the relatives came visiting.
Sometimes he would feel palpitations,
which would stop when he did a little
workaround the yard. Injuneof 1943 he
entered Vancouver General Hospital for
prostate surgery. Penicillin at that time
was unavailable except for military use,
indeed, was unknown, and septicaemia
developed. With his weakened heart, he
was unable to fight off the infection, and
he died in an oxygen tent, at the age of 68.
It seemed an unsuitable death for one
whose life had been spent on the land and
in the mountains. He lies buried on the
The writer is the editor of a small magazine,
Wordsmith, produced in Hudson's Hope. She was
advised to send this biography to the B.C. Historical News by a subscriber who lives on Bowen
Island, her former teacher Mrs. M. Fougberg.
1. See Pemberton book.
2. See biography of Annie Ronayne and pp. 90-91,
194-5 ol Pemberton book.
John Ronayne, Sr. Letters Home. 1896 - 1947
Joseph Michael Ronayne Letters Home. 1898 & 1899 (?)
Decker, Frances, Margaret Fougberg, and Mary Ronayne. Pemberton,
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Early Travelling in the
Columbia — Kootenay Valley
The Columbia-Kootenay valley is part
of the 350-mile Rocky Mountain Trench
running NNW-SSE, parallel to British
Columbia's eastern boundary.
The natural travel route in the valley
is along its east side; the section passing
Columbia Lake was sometimes called "The
Spirit Trail. "^ 13 Several pictographs
above the trail testify to its long use. On
this side, the trail remains fairly well
protected from development by the topography, which diverted the waggon
road, the Kootenay Central Railway, and
Highway 93/95 to the west side of the
lake. As late as 1954, the B.C. Minister of
Mines was reporting " ... an excellent
Indian trail follows the east side of Columbia Lake."
Armstrong Bay, an unexpected arm
of Columbia Lake jutting into its east
bank, forces the trail onto the Rocky
Mountain side, and there are more cliffs
to be surmounted above the south end of
the lake. These encumbrances were noted
by travellers George Simpson in 1841 and
James Hector in 1859.Refs02>06
Geologists believe that the two Columbia lakes flowed south until dammed
by the massive delta of the upper Kootenay
River arriving from the northeast. Now
the Kootenay River bed is raised ten or
fifteen feet above the head of Columbia
Lake as it passes on its way south. Thus,
there is still seepage north to Columbia
Lake through the loose gravels. This could
be deemed the true source of the Columbia River.
At its north end, Columbia Lake is
dammed by the delta of Dutch Creek.
The lower Columbia Lake (Windermere)
is similarly retained by the delta of Toby
The fall from Columbia Lake to
Golden is very slight, as befits a river
by R. C. Harris
which may have formerly flowed south.
Thus, the broad Columbia valley is filled
with swamps, sand bars and shifting
channels. These kept the main trail to the
east bank, despite such occasional hazards
as cliffs.
The upper Columbia and Kootenay
valleys were used by the natives for
thousands of years in their endless search
for food. Salmon came, in season, to the
"Salmon Beds" below the outlet of the
lower Columbia Lake (Windermere).1^09
Here the immense numbers of spawning
salmon pushed up ridges of gravel high
enough to interfere with steamboat
There were mountain sheep and antelope on the surrounding hills, but for
buffalo meat and sinew, the Kootenay
Indians made an annual hunting trip to
the Buffalo Plains east of the Rockies via
the upper Kootenay River and Kananaskis
Pass. This continued until the buffalo
were exterminated by others. Then the
Kootenay Indians began herding cattle by
the Columbia lakes.
Within historic times the valley attracted a small band of Shuswap Indians
under their chiefKinbasket. They migrated
from the west and settled, against some
opposition from the resident Kootenays,
on the east side of the Salmon Beds (opposite Wilmer), where their descendants
remain today, but without the salmon.
The annual flow of salmon stopped with
construction of the Grand Coulee Dam
on the Columbia River, 1935 to 1940.
The fur trade brought the first recorded European contact when David
Thompson of the North West Company
settled briefly near the mouth of Toby
Creek in 1806; at Kootenae House, as he
called it.Rcfoi
Governor George Simpson came
south through the valley in 1841, on his
westward trip around the world.Ref°2
Four years later, two British army
officers, Warre and Vavasour, travelling
almost incognito, recorded the next expedition past the Columbia lakes. (Captain) H.J. Warre left us a recognisable
lithographed hand-coloured landscape,
"Source of the Columbia River, July 30,
1845 "Ref04
In the same year, Reverend Father
Pierre Jean DeSmet, SJ, also passed the
Columbia lakes on the east side, leaving a
decriptionand an interesting oblique map,
in French, of the sources of Columbia
River, namely the two Columbia lakes
and the headwaters of Kootenay River, as
seen from the west.
Coming from the south, he shows the
crossing of Kootenay River, and from it a
portage of two-and-a-half miles to the
first Columbia Lake. The trail continues
north on the right (east) side of this lake,
passing "Fontaine chaud," which is now
Fairmont Hot Springs.
Halfway along second Columbia Lake
(Windermere), he passed Baptiste
Morigeau's camp, where he shows "My
Tent." On "8 Sept 1845," about eight
miles below the second lake, he erected a
"Cross of the Nativity" on a knoll, to
record his visit, then turned eastward up a
major valley, presumably Sinclair Creek.
Dutch Creek is shown as "Riv. du
CoteY' amassive flow from the west. Toby
Creek is "Riv. a Thompson," since DeSmet
was aware that David Thompson had
built Kootenae House at its mouth.Ref °3
The next explorations were by the
British Palliser Expedition.Ref 06 J ohn
Palliser first saw the Columbia lakes on
August 27, 1858, when he came down
Palliser River from the continental divide,
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 THE ORIGINAL TRAIL
Easf Kootenay Disfricr
British Columbia
NEW NAMES are in Capitols
Old Names, [obsolete, names]
4- ^fc   ktn
i      4- miles
I Flafe, fcrmexly
McGrillivroy's Rjrtaqe.,
Move's Portage.,
olumbia PbrTbge.,
Howe's Fbrtaqc.,
V Columbia FbrTbi
.\ IKotTfcnay Ciry.
and continued down the upper Kootenay
River to "ColumbiaPortage"(CanalFlats).
He climbed several peaks for views of the
country; from Mount Sabine he "was
astonished to find" himself 2600 feet
above upper Columbia Lake. He could
see far up and down the Rocky Mountain
The following year, Palliser's geologist, Doctor James Hector of Kicking
Horse fame, travelled south up the Trench
from the Kicking Horse River, where
Golden now stands.
September 17, 1859, Hector was approaching the Columbia lakes:
Along the banks we found a good
many dead salmon, which had, no
doubt, been worn out by their long
ascent from the sea. We afterwards
saw them all the way to the source
of the Columbia at the two lakes,
October 02, 1859, he passed along
the east side of the two lakes:
Early this morning we reached the
upper Columbia Lake, and to pass
along its eastern side required us to
ascend about 400 feet above its
waters, and wind along the face of
a precipice... The opposite side of
the lake is low and flat for a considerable distance.
The tranquility of the valley was disturbed by the Wild Horse Creek placer
gold rush, starting in 1864, which led to
pack train routes being established over
the old trails from the south.
Pack trains from the north began
when the Canadian Pacific Railway started
operating past "The Cache" at the mouth
of the Kicking Horse River on the Columbia, now called Golden. Some maps of
this era named the route "The Kicking
Horse to Wild Horse Trail."
The pack trail was gradually converted to a waggon road from Fort Steele
to Golden, and Frank Armstrong, one of
the CPR surveyors who quit the railway
service at Golden, established a steamboat
service up the Columbia to the headwater
lakes. This connected, via two short
portages eventually laid with rails, to
Kootenay River and Wild Horse Creek. A
riverboat service to the Great Northern
line at Jennings, Montana, soon became
The rights of the sparse Indian population were ignored by the newcomers.
Reports of the Indians' dissatisfaction
reached Victoria, and surveyor A.S. Farwell
was asked to investigate.Ref 07 From his
report of December 31, 1883, we learn
that the Indians began keeping cattle when
they found that the buffalo had failed on
the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and they saw that white men were
successfully wintering cattle on the east
side of the Columbia lakes:
These Indians at present own about
400 head of cattle and some 500
horses. The major part of their cattle have been wintered heretofore
on the east side of the Columbia
Lakes. This is a favourite grazing
place of the Indians, and they felt
very sore at its being pre-empted,
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Source of the Columbia River, July 30, 1845. This painting was done by Captain H.J. Warre on his travels. This reprint found in
Artists Overland catalogue at the Burnaby Art Gallery.
occupied and fenced in by white
settlers ... On the 9th July last
[1883], FP Armstrong and D
Bellhouse recorded [pre-empted]
320 acres and 80 acres respectively
along the eastern shore of the Upper Lake. Theselast two records the
Indians look on with particular disfavour, as they are located on their
long-used and favourite cattle run
While leading us along this trail,
Naomi Miller showed us several groups of
decayed logs with their cut ends still recognisable. They were likely remnants of
Frank Armstrong's unwelcome fences,
blocking the trail at the boundaries of his
District Lot 48 (see map). It is said that
some Indians called him "Chief
Strongarm," rather than Armstrong.
With the new transcontinental railways operating to the north and south
giving better access to the country, promoters hoped to reshape the land to their
needs. Reclamation of the flats at the river
deltas looked attractive. A small navigable
canal, with the potential of diverting the
upper Kootenay River to the Columbia,
was dug by hand. Eventually, however,
the reclamation schemes, which required
large government concessions and subsidies, were dropped.
Gold Commissioner Cummins reported to the Minister of Mines on the
East Kootenay Mining District as follows:
The Columbia and Kootenay
valleys are exceptionally favoured
by their topography for transportation purposes. The present communication ... is ... by the
Kootenay mail line of steamers plying from Golden Station, on the
Canadian Pacific Railway, southwards for 120 miles to the Columbia lakes: thence the government
waggon road carries the traffic to
Fort Steele and Cranbrook in the
southern part of the district. This
road has been likewise extended
northward from the lakes down the
Columbia valley to within 25 miles
of Golden ...
As the mines develop, a trunk
line of railway will be constructed
[from the CPR at Golden] up the
Columbia and down the Kootenay
River to join the projected Crow's
Nest [rail]road ...
Steamboat service was superseded by
the more reliable railway forecast in 1889.
The British Columbia Southern section
of the railway (Crowsnest to Kootenay
Landing on Kootenay Lake) was opened
in October 1898. The Kootenay Central
Railway was completed (Golden to
Colvalli, four miles west of J affray) in
1914. This line was upgraded in the 1960s
to carry coal north in 100-car trains to the
main line at Golden, whence it is carried
to Vancouver for export.
Highway traffic passed Columbia
Lake on the west side. The road leaves the
east side of the valley near Fairmont Hot
Springs and crosses the Columbia River
and Dutch Creek, which the old trail
There is an airstrip at each end of
Columbia Lake.
RC. Harris is a retired engineer who has
researched and hiked a great many historic trails in
our province. He is also very active in the B. C.
Naturalists Federation and the Vancouver Map
Before walking over the ground, it may be helpful to read sotneofthe records
giving the setting of the trail:
Ref 01 1808. David Thompson's maps and journal give tlie earliest
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 * VI STotfveho Cwrteiis'i / •
Map drawn by Father De Smet to record his mission travels west of the Rockies,
Courtesy UBC Special Collections HR F880 S6314 p. 80.
accounts of travel by the Columbia lake*. Thompson'i best map was not
published until 1843. Between the upper lakeand Kootenay River, heshows
"Carry 2 miles."
Ref02 1847. Narrative ofa Journey Round the World (1841), p. 128.
Simpson and retinue (southbound) camped at the foot of the second
Kootonais (Columbia) Lake. Early next morning, he was taken to see the
three (Fairmont) hot springs. Then, resuming his journey, "our route lay at
first along the face of a steep hill which rose abruptly from the shores of the
1846. In Mission de I'Oregon, 1845-46. Father R.P. DeSmet,
Ref 04 1848. Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory. (Capt)
H.J. Warre. "Source of the Columbia River, July 30,1845"
Ref 05 1859. Map of "The Province* of British Columbia, &Vancou-
ver Island...," John Arrowsmith, June 1,1859. This is asuperior map," ...
constructed at Great Labour ... ," and from a notice under the title,
An*owsmith in tended to exert bis copyright. However, he was likely indebted
to other map makers, such as David Thompson, for his details. Heshows the
trail along the east side of the Columbia-Kootenay valley passing the two
headwater lakes. The upper lake is Oner Lake, the lower is Salmon Lake. Id
season, salmon reached the Salmon Beds here from the sea, spawned, and
died in immense numbers. There is a three-mile portage (now Canal Flats)
from the upper lake to "Kootanie, Flatbow or McGillivray River." To the
south, the trail forks at what became the placer mining settlement of Wild
Horse, the right fork going along the Grand Quite (Moyie) River and Lake
io the lower Columbia River. The left fork follows the left bank of Kootenay
River, passing through the Tobacco Plains near the US border.
Ref 06 1857 to 1860. British Parliamentary Papers, reprinted by Irish
University Press (IUP). Palliser's explorations of British North America
extended from 1857 to 1860. His official papers, illustrated with maps
redrawn by John Arrowsmith, will be found inlUP Reprint, Vols. 22 and 24.
Arrowsmith's  1860 map, "Saskatchewan River and Rocky Mountains.
Routes [explored] under the Com mandof Captn John Palliser, 1859-1860.
James Hector, 1860," shows, but does not name, the two Columbia lakes, in
fact the detail is muchinferior to his 1859 map. At the head of the upper lake,
a Kootenay Indian camp is shown. The camp of the Shuswap Indians, where
Morigeau was living, is shown northeast of the lower lake. The trail passes
along the east side of both takes.
Ref 07 1883. A.S. FarweU's "Report on the Kootenay Indians" to the
provincial government on the land grievances of the Kootenay Indians. In
addition to the loss of their traditional lands, reclamation of large areas of
seasonally flooded land was being proposed, together with the (diversion/
navigational) canal between Kootenay River and the uppper Columbia Lake
(RC Sessional Papers, 1884, pp. 325 - 327). The tenor of his report is trill
Ref 08 1888. The Kootenay Valleys and the Kootenay Districts, British
Columbia: WithMaps,p.23.TheK£K>tmiySyn6iaie,London,Ea$2nd.An
example of land development and land sales promotion, 1882 to 1890.
Ref 09 1889- Minister of Mines Reports, B.C\ especially p. 372.
Ref 10 1902. For a photograph of a miners' pack train leaving the
Salmon Beds for the Ddphtne Mine, see the B. C Minister of Mines Annual
Report for 1898, p. 1035.
Ref 11 1952. "Steamboat Days on the Upper Columbia and Upper
Kootenay." BCHQ, Vol. XVI, Nos. 1 &2.
Ref 12 1956. "The Kootenay Reclamation and Colonization Scheme
and Willi am Adolph Baillie-Grohman."MabelE. Jordan. BCHQ, Vol. XX,
Nos. 3 & 4.
Ref 13 1985, 1987- The Kootenay Advertiser for September 30 and
October 07, 1985, and May 25, 1987, gives background on the Kootenay
Indians and their culture. The 1987 article is a reprint of a 1912 article with
an early account of a trip over "The Spirit Trail," the "bridle path" along the
east side of Columbia Lake
Ref 14 1987. "The Upper Kootenay River Canal." Mabel E. Jordan,
Canadian West Magazine^ No. 8, Summer 1987.
Ref 15 1989. The Legacy of Fairmont Hot Springs. Janet Wilder. "The
resort history; plans for the future," p. 125. maps, ill.
The writer thanks Naomi and Peter Miller, Art Taplin and Ken Favrholdt for
their genial assistance in compiling data on the Columbia lakes, and in
arranging bikes along the ancient nail and at Wild Horse.
B.C. Historical News • Fall 1993 Canon Stanley Smith — Missions to Seamen
by Roy J. V Pallant
It is near enough to
Christmas to tell a
Christmas story, especially since it is about a
man who promotes an
atmosphere befitting
Christmas all year round.
Anyone who has had the
privilege and pleasure of
meeting Canon Stanley
Smith or listened to his
clever, humorous, articulate and memorable
sermons will agree.
At this time, Canon
Smith is a busy retired
Anglican clergyman; but
before his retirement, his
ability to serve God and
His people with intelligent kindness, good will
and a great sense of humour was applied in his capacity as a
chaplain to Missions to Seamen. He was
an Anglican priest who sometimes partied
as often as seven nights a week, all in the
line of duty. His job was to provide a
home-like atmosphere at the Vancouver
headquarters and entertain hundreds of
lonely and homesick seamen who passed
through the doors of Flying Angel House,
50 North Dunlevy, Vancouver.
The brilliant sea-blue house built in
1906 remains today, a landmark on the
waterfront and a beacon to sailors who
know the work Missions perform around
the world.
When the National Harbours Board
vacated the premises early in 1973 there
was a resistance to the historic building
being torn down or renovated inappropriately for commercial use. So the Mission was offered the house, paying a nominal rent on a 10-year lease.
In September 1981 the National
Harbours Board made a gift of the build-
Flying Angel seamen's club at 50 Dunlevy Avenue North on Vancouver's commercial waterfront. Photo courtesy of the Seamen's
ing to the Missions to Seamen on the
125th anniversary of the foundation of
the society in London, England. Number
50, North Dunlevy, was originally the
office building of Hastings Mill. In 1864
the building was near the water's edge. To
the northeast of it, on the other side of
Burrard Inlet, was Moodyville with its
sawmill. To the west, towards the promontory partially guarding Burrard Inlet,
was the hut of The Three Greenhorns,
with their small coal and brick clay claim,
while to the east was a small summer resort
called New Brighton, used mainly by people from New Westminster.
On November 30,1865, the English-
promoted British Columbia and Vancouver Island Spar, Lumber and Sawmill
Company received a land grant of 243
acres for about $250, on which they were
to build a sawmill. The mill started production in 1867, however in 1870 it was
bought by a San Francisco firm for $20,000
and renamed the Hastings Sawmill Com
pany after Rear Admiral Hon. G.E. Hastings, commander of the Royal Navy base
at Esquimalt.
In 1955 the Vancouver Harbour
Commission purchased the remaining 40
acres of land with 2 50 feet ofwater frontage
for $2,450,000 and the entire area was
known as Hastings Mill. The land west of
the mill was surveyed as the townsite of
Granville in 1870, popularly known as
Gas Town and the nucleus of the future
city of Vancouver.
In 1873 the first public school was
opened on Hastings Mill property and the
Granville Post Office was opened in Hastings Mill Store. In June 1886, fire swept
through Vancouver, incorporated in April
of that year, and although the mill was
saved, many of the houses and outbuildings were lost.
In 1889 the mill was sold and the new
owners merged with the Royal City Planing Mills Company. The new firm was
called B.C. Mills and Trading Co. Ltd.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 In 1900 the firm decided to build
semi-fabricated homes, schools, and
churches which were shipped as far as
Winnipeg. As samples, the company built
two offices, the first on Carrall Street for
the office of their False Creek plant, and in
1906 the building at 50 North Dunlevy
was completed. These showpieces contained panelling with different types of
British Columbia wood: hemlock, red
cedar, balsam, etc., regrettably all painted
over in the 1920s. The basement of the
building contains an appropriate foundation with beams 47 feet long.
In December each year, Canon
Smith's tiny office in this building was
piled high with shoe boxes filled with
small gifts, writing materials, toiletries
and candy. Donated and packed by various churches and charitable organizations,
the boxes were taken aboard ships by
Canon Smith to be distributed to men
who would be at sea on Christmas Day.
The idea started in 1953 when there
were often sick seamen in hospital far
away from home with no one to care
about them. A note went into each box
asking the recipient to write a thank-you
note to the church or organization which
packed the box. Stanley said the men
usually wrote and sometimes the packers
received wonderful letters. But, just to be
sure, Canon Smith wrote to all the packers
In 1973 Flying Angel House was just
one of 95 such clubs sponsored by the
Anglican Church around the world. At
that time Canon Smith had been in the
Missions to Seamen field for 36 years, and
his father had been similarly involved
before him. Canon Smith had worked in
the Middle East, South Africa and England before coming to Canada.
The usual term for a chaplain at that
kind of job was five years, but that would
vary. Canon Smith remained in Durban,
South Africa, from 1938 to 1945 because
of the war. He then served in Johannesburg as Regional Secretary for Southern
Africa from 1945 to 1948. By 1973 he had
served in Vancouver for 19 years and
when he retired in 197 5, he had completed
40 years in the Anglican Church ministry,
38 of them with Missions to Seamen in
This portrait of Canon Stanley Smith
was taken by Campbell Studios, c. 1960.
various parts of the world.
Canon Smith said the aim and object
of the Missions is to minister to seafarers
in anyway they can. "The Missions realize
seamen are away from home for periods
varying from four months to two years,
depending on their nationality and contract. It can be a lonely monotonous life,"
he said. "Their wives, families and girlfriends are all at home."
So every night there was a "starboard
watch" by young women volunteers who
came to Flying Angel to provide a welcome, entertain, or just sit and talk to the
Canon Smith said he could not stress
too strongly how wonderful it was to have
women doing this kind of thing. The men
need to talk to women. They are tired of
men by the time they get off the ship.
Besides the hostesses, there were other
volunteers who staffed a small canteen
which sold coffee and snacks.
Private donations, grants and the
Anglican Church kept the house operating. Besides the party room furnished
with tables made from cut-down beer
barrels and covered with nautical-design
tablecloths, there were a television room,
lounge, three or four games rooms and a
quiet office where seamen could make a
long-distance telephone call in privacy! In
the first four weeks after the Mission
opened at 50 North Dunlevy, 783 seamen
from 17 countries signed the guest register. Canon Smith remarks that at university he had to learn Greek, Latin and
Hebrew, but these were of no use in trying
to communicate with the sailors of many
nations he met at that time. (He tried out
his Greek a couple of times but it was
Biblical Greek, which caused much
One of the most profitable and interesting fund raisers for the Vancouver
Mission came from Canon Smith's tremendous talent for embroidery, which he
learned years ago in a naval hospital while
recovering from an ear operation. A nurse
dropped materials into his hands and said,
"Try that!" So he did, and his North
Vancouver apartment walls and furniture
and those of his daughter bear witness to
his prolific artistry, including his portrayal of The Last Supper.
But the story goes that when he first
took over the Vancouver Mission he realized they did not even have a tablecloth
to put on the club dining room table. So
helent his own cloth to the club volunteers
and went out to buy a replacement. But in
so doing he became inspired with the
thought that here was the way to initiate a
church organ fund: have people inscribe
their names on the tablecloth, instead of
the customary quilt, and charge them a
"quarter" — he liked the North American
term — for having their name embroidered. He commenced with 25 tucked
away in a corner, but it was a start. Next he
was asked to give a talk to the Gyro Club
at the old Georgia Hotel in Vancouver.
Afterwards he invited their signatures at
25 cents apiece. Instead they offered $50
if he would embroider their crest on the
Soon after, Canon Smith was asked
by the Lions Club to give them a talk on
the work of the Mission and, again when
asked, he recounted his tablecloth story to
raise money for an organ. This time
nothing was said and nothing happened
for two or three days. Then Mr. Fairly,
president of the Lions Club, arrived with
four members and said, in return for
embroidering the Lions' crest on the cloth,
would he accept the donation of a new
Hammond organ?
Canon Smith took his treasured tablecloth to England on a lecture tour for
the Church of England and later in visits
B.C. Historical News • Fall 1993 across Canada, when he donated his own
time to tell churches and groups about the
Missions to Seamen. When the tablecloth
was covered in signatures and crests, he
had collected no less than $ 17,000 for the
Mission. The 8-foot by 4-foot cloth was
framed and hung on the wall of the North
Dunlevy Mission.
The Missions to Seamen got its start
on the west coast of England. In the
Bristol Channel, midway between the
coasts of England and Wales, lie two lonely
islets. One, Steepholm, is a bare, desolate
rock standing in bold relief against its
background of sea and sky; the other,
Flatholm, is conspicuous by reason of its
lighthouse. On a summer day in 1835 a
young clergyman on vacation was walking
with his son along the cliffs near Clevedon
when their attention was drawn by a glint
of light from a window in the lighthouse
on Flatholm. The boy asked his father:
"Daddy, how can those men go to church?"
The young clergyman, whose name was
John Ashley, unable to answer his son's
question, visited the two islets and found
a ready welcome there. He learned that
these people would greatly appreciate the
opportunity to attend a religious service
and throughout the rest of his stay at
Clevedon he visited the islets regularly.
Eventually his vacation drew to a close.
On his farewell visit he inquired about a
large fleet of lightships off the coast of
Wales, whose presence he had noticed.
He learned that the fleet had been unable
to leave the Road and had been cut off
from the shore. So, before he left Clevedon,
John Ashley went out to the light vessels
and there received the same ready welcome
which had awaited him on Steepholm and
Flatholm. He found that no one ever
visited the crews or seemed concerned
about their long isolation.
John Ashley was astonished. Here
were the seamen of what was the greatest
maritime nation in the world utterly neglected! He determined to decline the
living he had been offered and to devote
his life instead to the men of the sea. In
1837 a society was formed called the B ristol
Mission. In 1845 this name was changed
to the Bristol Channel Seaman's Mission,
with Dr. Ashley as its first chaplain. The
cutter Eirene was built to visit seagoing
vessels. Services were held on board when
In 1856 a preliminary meeting was
held in London to form a national society,
the Missions to Seamen Afloat, At Home
and Abroad. Two years later the original
Bristol organization united with the London society under the name of Missions to
"But there is not much use talking to
a man about religion when other things
are weighing heavily on his mind," says
Canon Smith. "In a way the Mission is
performing a semi-welfare type of work.
We try to fill a gap, to alleviate the loneliness and separation the seamen feel because they are virtually cut off from the
opposite sex, family and friends."
Canon Smith said his work was exactly
the same as that of a parish priest. But
there was a difference in that Canon
Smith's parish extended virtually around
theworld. Visiting ships in Vancouver, he
received a warm welcome from all but the
Russians at that time. "I could always
meet an old friend and make a new one,"
he says.
The story of the Missions to Seamen
in Vancouver is almost as old as Vancouver itself. Within 15 years of the building
Canon Smith with sailors on mess duty
aboard ship. "Only another ton to go."
of the first shanties on the shores of one of
the world's finest natural harbours, enough
ships were entering the First Narrows to
warrant the establishment of a shore haven for seamen.
The first Seamen's Institute was
therefore established in 1900 by the
Reverend J. Fiennes Clinton, next to St.
James Church on Gore Avenue. In 1904
the establishment became part of the Missions to Seamen Society and in 1906 the
Reverend H. Collison arrived from England at the request of St. James Church.
As the port and the young city grew in
size and importance, the original buildings became too small and a move was
made to the West End. In 1922 a fire
necessitated another move, this time to
1121 West Hastings Street, then Seaton
Street. It was in this building, originally
the home of Dr. Henry Bell Irvine, that
the work of the Missions was carried on
for the next 34 years. In the main hall (an
addition to the house constructed by local
seamen), sailors from all over the world
found companionship, recreation and
spiritual comfort away from their homelands.
Arabs, Greeks, Indians, Armenians,
Germans, men of the mercantile marine
of all colours and many faiths, enjoyed the
picnics, dances and parties arranged by
the hard-working members of what were
then called the Harbour Light Guild and
the Senior Light Keepers. The ranks of
these two women's auxiliaries, the first
primarily a money-raising group, and the
latter, composed of unmarried girls, a
group for social activities, were later augmented by a third group of young married
women, the Watch Ashore.
An active board ofdirectors has always
played a prominent part in the affairs of
the Missions to Seamen in Vancouver.
Among those to be found in the records
areW.W. Maskell.T.W.B. London, E.W.
Dean, A.H. Reed and B.W. Farmer.
It was in 1930, during the chaplaincy
of the Reverend T.H. Elkington, that the
movement began for a new building.
Dropped due to the Depression, the plan
was again revived when the will of Edward
Disney Farmer bequeathed the Missions
$10,000. This formed the nucleus of the
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 building fund.
In 1944 the land and property adjacent were offered to the society for the
price paid for it at a tax sale, $4,000. The
purchase money was forwarded from
headquarters in London and was ultimately
devoted to the erection of the chapel in the
new building, the Stuart Knox Memorial.
In 1952 the land for the new building
was purchased from Alaska Pine for
$13,500 and in the following year the two
adjoining properties were sold by the
Missions for $75,000. In May 1954 construction began.
The cornerstone was laid by the Honourable W.C. Woodward and dedicated
to the memory of Edward Disney Farmer
whose bequest had originally made the
building fund possible. On October 3,
1954, the new building was officially
opened at an impressive ceremony at which
the service was conducted by the bishop,
The Right Reverend Godfrey Phillip
Gower. Headquarters of the Missions to
Seamen was represented by Mr. Peter
So at last there was in Vancouver a
building worthy of the men served by the
Missions to Seamen. But time passed and
the building was purchased and demolished in a massive city development.
So the North Dunlevy Flying Angel
House was the sixth home, beginning
with St. James Church, and the fifth
residence of the Mission. Books and
magazines, much sought after by the seamen, were carried by the armload aboard
ships. "We helped with little things,"
Canon Smith says. "We took the men to
soccer games and races at Exhibition Park,
on sightseeing tours and to ethnic restaurants. We showed what religion is by
doing something and by caring."
One sailor told Canon Smith that in
1972 when the shoe boxes of small gifts
were distributed, that box was only the
second Christmas gift he had received in
all his years at sea. All the Mission is trying
to do is to be human and show a sense of
Although the visiting seamen were
encouraged, they were not coerced to visit
the small chapel in Flying Angel House.
The chapel's motto was "All may enter,
none must.
"The service was simple and short and
modern hymns were sung," said Canon
Smith. "I called it the down-to-earth approach to church ritual."
Everything in that chapel was donated, including three wooden tablets on
the wall carved by a local sculptor, Samuel
Burich. He was the man who caught the.
whale "Moby Doll" (following the male
"Moby Dick") which was housed in the
Vancouver Aquarium.
The wooden tablets depict the disciples fishing after Christ was crucified,
hauling in the nets full offish after taking
the Lord's advice to try a different spot
and being united with Jesus.
"The Lord looked after his followers," explains Canon Smith. "Remember,
he gave them a fire of coals, and fish and
bread, not another sermon. We give the
seamen football games, books and dances."
These wooden tablets remain today
at 50 North Dunlevy and if looked at
closely, the carvings will show that three
of the disciples are wearing a navy collar,
a merchant seaman's jacket and a fisherman's jersey. The boat they are fishing
from is a representation of Samuel Burich's
Operating and maintaining a Missions to Seamen clubhouse was not by any
means easy, in spite of the good intent.
With the administrative difficulties at the
time, Canon Smith can only conclude
that the "out of the blue" offer of 50 North
Dunlevy for the clubhouse was an obvious
answer to prayer. He spent $4,000 and a
lot ofhours converting this office building
to a clubhouse. Canon Smith was also in
charge of three satellite clubhouses, one in
New Westminster
sponsored by Holy
Trinity, and one on
the North Shore at
the corner of St.
Andrews and First
Street, North Vancouver, sponsored
by St. John the Divine. These were
operated by volunteers. One of these
was     Marguerite
(Peggy) Green, who donated the splendid
stained glass window in St. Martins
Church, North Vancouver, dedicated to
her parents, Captain and Mrs. Ernest
Phillip Green. It is also interesting to note
that John Roger Burnes, local historian
and author, was on the committee for this
North Vancouver clubhouse. Other Light
Keepers in North Vancouver were Emily
Simmons, Dorothy Mackenzie, Ruth
Dickson (now Grant), Nancy Hewitt,
Marjorie Rice, Audrey Love, Esther
Douglas and Una Warden, to mention a
As shipping moved from the Japan
Wharf area and returned further east to
Lynn Terminal and Neptune Terminal,
the First Street clubhouse was closed and
replaced by a mobile clubhouse which
could be driven to the terminals. Canon
Smith, with his usual enterprise, bought a
retired bus and in four months fitted it out
with a shop, a reading room and a chapel.
Later a portable dance floor was added,
allowing the floor to be laid out on the
ground at the side of the bus in good
weather. Women volunteer dance partners were brought over on the bus from
Vancouver. This bus served well for some
two years in the early 1970s.
Canon Smith correctly predicted in
1973 that with the ships spending less
time in port, giving less time or facility for
seamen to visit the Missions to Seamen
clubhouse, the Mission would be based in
a local office with chaplains visiting the
ships to take an interest in social life on
board. One earlier example of this was the
Reverend John Leighton, Canon Smith's
predecessor. He used his own vessel for
visits to ships in the harbour.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Nevertheless, we can well believe that
with the early efforts and enterprise of
Canon Smith, his volunteers and his assistants, Australian deacons John Kelly
and Eric Newman, Flying Angel House
has become today "one of the finest Missions to Seamen clubhouses in North
One other person must be mentioned
in this story of Christian fellowship. That
person is Evelyn, Canon Smith's wife,
friend and faithful companion for 54 happily married years. Mrs. Smith was Welsh
and had been a nurse and matron of a
nursing home in Swansea. Of Evelyn,
Canon Smith says: "She was a born nurse
and a marvellous companion. She perfected everything I did; all chaplains' wives
are like that." They were married on September 2,1937, at St. Cyfelins Maested in
Canon Smith relates that one day
when he was at the Seamen's Mission in
Johannesburg, a relatively young man
entered with obviously painful feet. On
enquiring, he found that the man was the
chief engineer of a steam-powered vessel
and his painful feet were brought about by
the heat of the steel deck plates around the
boilers. Mrs. Smith invited him to stay at
their house and treated his feet in such an
effective manner that he went away and
returned that evening with four of his
engineers with the same problem. All the
engineers were given the Nurse Smith
treatment. The next day the ship's doctor
arrived at the Mission to complain that
Mrs. Smith had stolen his patients and his
credibility, not to mention his pride.
In 198 5 Evelyn fell and broke her hip
and had to be moved to Evergreen House
in North Vancouver, adjacent to Lions
Gate Hospital. For six years Canon Smith
daily visited his wife — until she died on
October 29, 1991 — "Trying," he said,
"to return some of the companionship she
gave me," including the 38 years he gave
to service with the Missions to Seamen.
The name of Canon Smith will be
long remembered with sincere regard in
the history of shipping in Vancouver,
New Westminster and North Vancouver,
and that of St. Martins Church.
The author is currendy president of the North
Shore Historical Society in North Vancouver, and
is the author ofThs History of St. Martins Church,
North Vancouver, B.C. He has written a number
of magazine articles on historical subjects and is
presently writing an extensive Heritage Biographical Index and Socio-Historical Service Infrastructure for the Municipal District of North Vancouver.
The author acknowledges the foregoing information is based on an article written by Audrey
Fox, published in The Vancouver Sun, Saturday,
December 8, 1973, greatly augmented by material
from interviews with Canon Stanley Smith, November 14, 1992, and January 27, 1993, at his
home in North Vancouver.
Ken Drushka, winner of a Certificate of
Merit from the B.C. Historical Federation
Writing Competition 1992.
A Champion Runner
by Margaret fottabera
Cameron Linklater Smith racing after enlistment in
Canadian Army.
Cameron Linklater
Smith was born in
March 1888 in Turtle
Mountain, Manitoba.
His family moved to
British Columbia in
1897, first in Gibsons
Landing, thenEnderby,
and in 1901 settled on
Bowen Island. As a
young man he became
a champion Middle
Distance runner. He
became   a   valued
member of the Vancouver Y.M.C.A. track team winning first place in local
meets, the Herald race in Calgary on two occasions, and the Gold Seal race
(classic of the Pacific Coast before World War One.) Smith entered against
all the well-known runners of that time including Harry Johnston, the Welsh
champion. He not only won first place but set a new record for the course.
Cameron Smith of Bowen Island went overseas with the 11th Canadian
Mounted Rifles and was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in 1917.
Margaret Fougberg, now living in retirement on Bowen Island, remembers her handsome uncle who let her examine his spurs while she sat on his
lap prior to leaving on the overseas draft.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Winged Victory" 1918: CPR's
War Memorial Statue
World War l's "endless columns of
war-weary marching men"1 included
1,115 war dead who had been employees
of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. "Winged Victory," one of the
company's three memorial statues honouring these men, stands at Seymour and
Cordova Streets, beside Vancouver's
former CPR station.
It is a bronze figure of the Angel of
Peace, lifting a dead soldier with her right
arm and holding high in her raised left
hand a laurel wreath. Viewers who know
Winged Victory — 1918. This statue stands
beside the former CP Railway station in
downtown Vancouver.        Photo by John Spittle
by Helen Borrell
history recognize the soldier's leg puttees
as part of a World War I uniform, and
pause to read on the bronze plaque affixed
to the statue's granite base: "To commemorate those in the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company who, at
the call of King and Country ... endured
hardship, faced danger ... " which are
disguised by the approved cliche^ that end
with: "giving up their own lives that others
might live in freedom. Let those who
come after see to it that their names be not
forgotten. 1914-1918."
The grim irony of these concluding
sentences is that the dates "1939 - 1945"
later had to be added. Almost exactly
twenty-five years after World War I
erupted, World War II wasdeclared. Sons,
and daughters, of the first Great War's
sacrifice victims queued at the recruiting
depots. Their leaders had never organized
the country's economy and its manpower
for a war on the Great Depression. But the
1930s unwanted unemployed consciously
ignored the CPR's war memorial statues,
mistakenly named "Winged Victory."
On November 7, 1885, Canada's
transportation managers completed their
nation-crossing railway and built their
Vancouver station, "little more than a
wooden shed."2 Hastings Mill and
Granville, small clearings in the bush beside Burrard Inlet, were then opened by
rail to Canada, and next year they were
incorporated as the City of Vancouver.
Enterprising pioneers came, year by year,
to the promising young seaport. "Rows of
streets, handsome shops, huge brick and
stone blocks seem to have risen up in a
night and displaced the forest of yesterday,"
Bishop Sillitoe of the Anglican Diocese
told Father Clinton, rector ofVancouver's
first Anglican Church.3 But the settlers
who were building Vancouver could not
have ventured through the Rocky Mountains and the Fraser Canyon except via the
Canadian Pacific Railway. Nor could
isolated lumbering and fishing operations
have been started on B.C.'s forested, storm-
barraged coast until the CPR's fleet of
little passenger and freight steamships
linked them to the supply centre, Vancouver.
The CPR's modern station at
Granville and Cordova Streets (inherited
by the city's Sky Train) was finished in
1914. Those who came to hard work but
inviting prospects in Canada could not
know of the power rivalries and arms
build-ups smouldering in their Old
Countries. When war was declared in
August 1914, most of the young men
called by recruitment ads "to serve your
King and Country" expected a brief, soon-
to-be-decided conflict.
So CPR trains then speeded excited
young volunteers to army bases, and
bravely smiling relatives and sweethearts
wished them "Good luck!" The Canadian
Pacific Railway directors encouraged their
employees who joined the Armed Forces
with the promise of full pay for six months
and "a position of equivalent value" for
those who applied for re-employment after the war.
But the war stagnated as opposing
armies "dug in" along miles of trenches in
France. The "khaki, mud, barbed wire,
and mustard gas"4 of their surrealistic existence, with its explosions of mass slaughters, are aged veterans' submerged
memories of World War I.
During its four years, 11,340 CPR
employees enlisted and 1,115, nearly one-
tenth, were killed. Another 2,105 were
wounded. (The records don't specify if
that meant "permanently disabled"; for
such casualties, physiotherapy was then
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 undeveloped.) The CPR Company kept
its pledge to the survivors: it re-employed
7,573 of its own men and provided jobs
for 13,112 other returned soldiers. "The
King and Country" awarded military
decorations and medals, including two
Victoria Crosses, seventeen Distinguished
Service Orders and three Distinguished
Service Crosses, to 370 veterans formerly
employed by the CPR. Useless tokens,
these men must have felt, as they struggled
for a niche in post-war life.
Convention required from the CPR
some memorials of its glorious dead. So,
in 1921, the company directors commissioned an established Montreal sculptor,
Coeur de Lion McCarthy, to create three
identical statues of a fallen soldier borne
on the arm of the Angel of Peace. On April
22,1922, one of these statues was unveiled
beside the Vancouver station, CPR's Pacific terminus; one at the CPR's Winnipeg station in central Canada; and one at
Windsor Station in Montreal, location of
CPR's headquarters. "Each War Memorial was actually unveiled by the father or
the mother of one of those who in lifetime
served the Canadian Pacific long and
faithfully in the district where that Memorial was erected."5
The dedication speeches at these ceremonies were composed of the correct,
impressive generalities. Lord Julian Byng,
then Canada's Governor General, addressed the veterans at the Montreal unveiling because he had commanded the
great battle of Vimy Ridge. The veterans,
we may be sure, were thinking of the
thousands killed at Vimy Ridge: "What a
waste of lives that can't be replaced!"
At other central stations of the Canadian Pacific Railway — in Saint John,
Moose Jaw, Edmonton, and our province's Nelson and Victoria— the company's directors affixed bronze memorial
plaques on the station's wall. Each had the
same inscription as that on the base of the
"Winged Victory" statue: to their employees who "finally passed out of the
sight of men by the path of duty and self-
sacrifice, ..." and so on.
In her account of Vancouver's
"Winged Victory," Peggy Imredy wrote6:
"Raw bronze color is seldom used as a
finish for a statue, ... as the methods
involving acids or burying bronze in the
ground are too long and involved. However, when bronze is placed outside, like
this statue is, over the years it gradually
acquires a patina. Exposure to air gradually changes the bronze to green, sea air
and pollution hasten the process. Rain
saturated with chemicals shows up as
streaks on the bronze. Such a patina is
valued, or if not appreciated, can be prevented from the beginning, by regular
washing and waxing of the statue. In 1967
some concerned citizens were horrified by
what they called a 'dirty' statue and got
busy with wire brushes and detergent to
scrub the 'dirt' off. Scratch marks can still
be seen. The statue quickly assumed the
normal outdoor patina of a bronze."
Vancouver's CPR station is a Heritage Building: artists painted its ceiling
murals and designed its classical-style
plaster work. But the architects of our
modern era's rapid transit built within its
lofty walls the Sky Train terminus and its
passage to the Sea Bus to North Vancouver.
ThestatelyGreekpillars and thehandsome
red-brick exterior have been washed of
city grime and preserved. But, twelve years
ago, Canadian Pacific chose a less congested district for its Vancouver terminus.
For more than seventy years, the two
sculptured bronze figures have been poised
by the former railway station, glimpsed
momentarily by street car and bus passengers riding to their daily stations —
their work places. In a very few more years
the last veterans of the first Great War,
now ninety and more years of age, will
join those who "passed out of the sight of
"And out of mind, too?" one imagines some who perished in World War I
asking its survivors.
The author, now retired, has worked and
walked in downtown Vancouver over the years. She
has chosen to present the history of the statue with
the emotions which surface at services on November
11 and other occasions.
1. "Vancouver Monuments" by Leonard Meyer*. Vancouver Sun,
March 16.1953.
2. A Guide to Sculpture in Vancouver by Peggy Imredy, p. 38. D.M.
Imredy. 1980.
3. Every Good Gift A Hhtorj oj'S Jama'' Church by Phyllis Reeve,
p. 30, chapter2. Mitchell Press Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., 1980.
4. "Vancouver Monuments." Vancouver Sun, March 16, 1953.
5. "Canadian Pacific War Memorials," Canadian Pacific Railway
Archives, in office: P.O. Box 6042, Station A, Montreal, Quebec
H3C 3E4.
6. A Guide to Sculpture in Vancouver, p. 38.
Those listed above. Statistics — number of CPR employees who
enlisted; number of dead and wounded; the mi litaiy awards — are
recorded in a brief history in the Canadian Pacific archives.
Photograph of the "Winged Victory" at Vancouver's CP.R. Station. To Mark Our Place; A
History of Canadian War Memorials, by Robert
Shipley-p. 6. N.C. Press Limited, Toronto, 1987.
Photo by David Street.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 A Vanderbilt at Alberni
by Jan Peterson
Cathedral Grove Road, one of the attractions which brought Neil Vanderbilt to Vancouver Island.
This is a Leonard Frank photo showing the car of Captain George Albert, one of Alberni's first
entrepreneurs. Photo courtesy of Alberni Valley Museum, PN 7147.
Sproat Lake has had its share of famous visitors over the years, however few
have equalled the eccentric millionaire
Cornelius (Neil) Vanderbilt Jr., grandson
of U.S. eastern railroad builder Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794 -1877)
and only son of Brigadier General
Cornelius Vanderbilt II.1 While on a
motoring trip on Vancouver Island in
1920 he purchased Arbutus Island on
Sproat Lake.2 For several years he and his
young wife vacationed there, attracted by
the scenic and fishing possibilities of the
Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. was born on
April 30,1898.3 He first attracted public
attention when he virtually ran away from
home to enlist with the American Expeditionary Forces. In April 1919 he began his
career as a cub reporter with the New York
Herald. He first fell in love with the west
coast when he was an overseas instructor
at Camp Lewis, Washington, during
World War I. Following his marriage to
Rachel Littleton on April 29, 1920, he
and his bride started on a tour of the west
coast.4 It was on this trip he fell in love
with Sproat Lake, near Port Alberni.
His impressions of Vancouver Island
and Alberni were written in an article in
Motor Life, September 1920 issue. "There
is an island off the British Columbian
coast known the world over as Vancouver
Island. It is for the automobilist one of the
most beautiful places in the world."
Vanderbilt raved about the timber wealth,
the streams, the deer, bear and cougar, but
what struck him most about the island
was the English setting. To someone from
New York, Vancouver Island must have
seemed like paradise. The Island Hall in
Parksville particularly impressed him. He
described the inn as ...
well secluded from the dusty road
and commanding a view seldom
surpassed in this great Northwest,
we found one of the quaintest inns
of our trip. It is run by an English
woman who, because of ill health,
has been obliged to retire to a more
suitable climate. The charming
English ideas of tourist inns has
been carried out in minute details.
There are thirty small rooms,
wooden walls, big stone fireplaces
and ahost of other attractions. Cows
and chickens are kept right behind
the house and a vegetable garden
furnishes the freshest kinds of edibles.
When he arrived in Alberni, he asked
the location of the best fishing spot and
was directed to Klitsa Lodge on Sproat
We betook ourselves to the former
lake (Sproat Lake) and were quickly
installed in a tent owned by that
well-known character, Mrs. Wark.
The Chalet is a most unique
boarding house if such a commonplace name may be adopted.
Mrs. Wark lives in a house-boat on
the shores of Sproat Lake. She owns
a few acres of property behind this
which she has had the farsightedness to turn into a kitchen garden.
Besides this she keeps two cows and
about a dozen chickens. Two miles
across the lake on a protruding
point of land she has a little house
which consists of dining rooms,
kitchen and a few bed rooms for
those guests who prefer to be indoors.
One morning, whilst we were
having breakfast, several of the
guests saw a little white ermine
climbing out of one of the large
meat refrigerators on the back
porch. Can you believe this? The
fishing, either fly or trolling, is said
to be better there than anywhere
else on the coast. The climate corresponds very closely with that of
On this visit Vanderbilt purchased
property at Sproat Lake. The Port Alberni
News reported: "Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr.
purchased an island for his wife while they
were on their way down the coast by
automobile en route to California. While
passing the lake Mrs. Vanderbilt saw the
island and admired it so much that her
husband looked up the owner and made
the purchase on the spot. Later the young
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Klitsa Lodge, Sproat Lake, lt was built in 1910 as a summer home for a Vancouver lawyer, E.P.
Davis. In 1919 it was purchased by Mrs. Wark who establishedit as a retreat for the rich andfamous
from around the world. Photo courtesy Alberni Valley Museum PN 4706
couple intend building a hunting lodge
on the island and passing their vacation
there."6 Arbutus Island was renamed
Vanderbilt Island.
During their visit to California,
Vanderbilt decided to enter the publishing field there. In the meantime, he continued honing his skill as a journalist, first
with the New York Herald, then later the
New York Times, before joining the
United Press7 and Universal Services,
Washington, D.C.
In 1923 he made his move to the west
coast, founding Vanderbilt Newspapers,
Inc. As a promotion for his entry into the
world of publishing he flooded Los Angeles with circulars in June, announcing his
newspaper would be called the Illustrated
Daily News. In editorial policy, the News
shunned news of crime, sex and scandal
and featured bright photographs and concise news stories. Each person who bought
a one-year subscription also received one
share of stock worth $ 5 and became eligible
to vote for two of the five members of the
board of directors. His News was capitalized at $100,000.
Vanderbilt insisted on giving organized labour a chance in his printing plant
in the days before unions. Skilled printers
received $1.01 a hour in 1923 for a 48-
hourweek. Cub reporters received $35 for
a 60-hour week. For the first time in Los
Angeles, Vanderbilt offered them, along
with printing tradesmen, two-week paid
The Illustrated Daily News of Los
Angeles came off the presses the morning
of September 3, 1923, with a world's
record circulation of more than 130,000.
Three months later, on December 10,
Vanderbilt launched the Illustrated Daily
Herald of San Francisco, with a circulation of more than 125,000.9
But Vanderbilt was a bit of an upstart
in the newspaper world. William
Randolph Hearst, who published the
Examiner, first ignored Vanderbilt's plans
and then tried to hire him as the figurehead of a sensational tabloid he planned to
publish in New York City. When
Vanderbilt refused, Hearst struck back.
When no Los Angeles company would
rent him billboard space, Vanderbilt was
resourceful. With money coming in from
stock sales, he hired fifteen airplanes
equipped with megaphones which urged
residents to subscribe to his new "Penny
Paper," as he fondly called the News.
Another morning a regiment of bathing
beauties paraded through the streets,
forming slogans such as "See Yourself in
Pictures." He hired 150 boys to paint
messages on the sidewalks and walls of
hotels, banks and apartment buildings.
Angry landlords spent weeks removing
the paint.10
On one of his frequent trips back to
the Albernis, Vanderbilt, a proud American, raised the ire of many residents by his
display of the American flag. This "English type" community, as Vanderbilt so
described it, was firmly behind the Union
Jack. Richard Burde, publisher of the Port
Alberni News, editorialized:
We have been informed that
Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. flies the
American flag over his residence on
Arbutus Island, Sproat Lake and
have been requested to publish a
protest. There are some people in
this community who regard Mr.
Vanderbilt's national display as a
mark of insolence. Mr. Vanderbilt
is a young man who believes that
the people of other countries are
always impressed by a show of the
American flag in their midst. There
is no intention of hostility in
Vanderbilt's exhibition of good or
bad taste. He is reported to be pro
British. He voluntarily acted as
caddie for Lord Northcliffe on the
golf links at Victoria recently
which is something the average independent Canadian would allow
the distinguished lord to do for
Residents of the Albernis viewed their
flamboyant American visitor with some
disdain, ignoring his frequent visits into
town topurchasesupplies. Vanderbilt rode
in his large convertible, his scarf flying in
the wind, his nose seemingly in the air, at
high speeds over the narrow roads leading
to town. He gained a reputation of
"squeezing every orange before they bought
it, then complaining about the prices."12
On one occasion hepurchased some baked
goods from the Higginbotham Bake Shop
in Port Alberni. Thestartled andsomewhat
amused storekeeper watched as Vanderbilt
brought out his cheque book and proceeded to write a cheque out for 25 cents.
Needless to say, the cheque was received
with particular flair. The storekeeper,
recognizing a good publicity move, had
the cheque framed and mounted on his
wall, much to the consternation of his
diligent bookkeeper.13
In Los Angeles, San Francisco and
later Miami, his newspaper chain was not
thesuccess he anticipated. The newspaper's
failure had a lot to do with his editorial
policy. Advertising revenue was a disap-
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 pointment. At first it had filled the News,
but as Vanderbilt tore into the business
establishment, the 32-page tabloid dwindled to 20 within a few months. For the
next three years, the newspaper lived off
advertisements for motion pictures,
chicken and rabbit ranches, and oil stocks.
After appraising the situation, he tried to
kill the San Francisco paper but his
stockholders outvoted him, leaving him
no choice but to continue on.
In June 1924 Vanderbilt caused a
flurry of excitement in Port Alberni when
it was reported he planned to build a pulp
mill in British Columbia. He had given a
speech at the Ambassador Cafe in Vancouver, announcing he and his associates
were making arrangements for the construction of a pulp mill in B.C. At the Port
Alberni City Council meeting the following week, Mayor A.D. Maclntyre
raised the question of interviewing
Vanderbilt on his next visit to his summer
home at Sproat Lake. The mayor and
Alderman Macfie were appointed to interview him to try to persuade him to
locate the pulp mill in the Alberni district.14 Whether the talks ever took place
is unknown. What is known is that the
pulp mill project never materialized.
While Vanderbilt's news policies may
have bored his readers, his editorials
outrightly enraged many readers and ad-
• vertisers both in the U.S. and Canada.
Unable to meet his expenses, he asked
his parents for money in 1924. They
agreed — but only on the condition he
place most of his authority in the hands of
a family-picked manager. Vanderbilt
grumbled, but agreed to the conditions to
preserve the chain.
By 1925 the problems in the newspapers could no longer be ignored.
Vanderbilt, too, was in poor health. He
had been seriously gassed during World
War I, never quite recovering. He was in
and outofhospitals dozens of times. Again
he asked his parents for help. Again they
helped but imposed more control over his
editorial and business operations. For a
brief time the newspapers were revitalized
under new managers.
On March 26, 1926, Vanderbilt reluctantly proposed to close all three dai
lies. (The Illustrated Daily Herald Miami
newspaper had been started in 1924 under the same policies as Los Angeles and
San Francisco.) The MiamiHeraldv/as left
with $600,000 in unpaid bills when several hotel and real estate developments
failed. Advertisers, too, owed the Herald
about $300,000. His advice was timely.
He commissioned a study into the chain's
finances. The report believed the newspapers could be made profitable again
with more money.
Vanderbilt went to his parents again.
They refused. They said his papers would
have to be sold, if not sold, then closed.
His father had Vanderbilt sign a promissory note for $901,000 for the money they
had loaned him previously. The money
would be taken from Vanderbilt's inheritance when his father died. He bitterly
signed the note. By April 28 he admitted
defeat. All three newspapers were soon in
The Port Alberni News reported
Vanderbilt had landed on the financial
bad times with two of his newspaper enterprises.15 Not only was his business in
trouble, so too was his marriage to Rachel.
They were divorced November 16,
1927. *" He sold his island at Sproat Lake
in October 1927 to Dr. CB. Cooper, a
retired surgeon from Honolulu.17 A year
later he married Mary Weir Logan but
this marriage did not last long, within
three years they were divorced. He married two more times. Both ended in divorce.
He continued to write for a variety of
newspapers and magazines. In 1933 he
returned to Alberni, spending ten days at
Klitsa Lodge, now a thriving tourist lodge
on Sproat Lake and home of his friend
Mrs. Wark. At this time Vanderbilt was
active in the candidacy for F.D. Roosevelt.
During the past five weeks he had covered
25 states, speaking on behalf of the
Roosevelt recovery programme. He was
also an assistant editor of Liberty, a weekly
magazine, which compiled a survey of the
reaction to that program.
Alberni district residents noted he
was driving the very latest model car, a
1934 model, carrying a Florida license
plate in the rear and a blue plate with the
word "Roosevelt" on it in front. This
license plate marked him as a personal
envoy of the president ofthe United States.
In an interview with Dick Burde of
the Port Alberni News, Vanderbilt reported that in the past year he had covered
a lot of territory, visiting India, Arabia and
Africa for the Saturday Evening Post. He
was in Germany at the time ofthe Hitler
crisis and later travelled in western Europe
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 and Russia. "In the past nine years Mr.
Vanderbilt has written nine books, the
best known of which is Reno. His daily
writing contract calls for six thousand
words a day which is syndicated to six
hundred newspapers." (In 1935 he wrote
Farewell to Fifth Avenue, in 1938 The Story
ofthe Tabloid Newspapers; in 1959 My Life
on Five Continents) He said the Alberni
Valley was the best place he knew of to
find rest and quiet.18
During the Second World War,
Vanderbilt served as a major in Intelligence. During 1942 to 1943 he was in
Walter Reed Hospital for a physical disability. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross of Federal Bureau
of Investigation in 1942. After the war he
became active in the candidacy of General
Dwight Eisenhower.19 Eventually he made
his home at the Vanderbilt Ranch in
Sutcliffe, Nevada. He died in Miami
Beach, Florida, in July 1974. He is still
remembered by old-timers in the Albernis.
Mrs. Peterson is a retired reporter now researching early history of Port Alberni. She is a
director ofthe Alberni District Historical Society
and a member of the Alberni Valley Museum
Advisory Board She has just released her bookThe
Albernis 1860 -1922,publishedby Oolichan Books.
The residence on Vanderbilt Island as it looks today.  There have been few changes over the
years. Photo courtesy of Joe Van Bergen.
1. Biltmore Estate, North Carolina, U.S.
2. Port Alberni Neue, August 25, 1920.
3. Who's Who on the Pacific Const, published by The A.N. Marquis
Company, Chicago, Illinois: California State Library CF 595, W64,
4. RockwellD. Hunt, editor. California and Califomians, 1926: Cali
fornia State Library, California Book Collection, GC979.4 H9, cz
pp. 19-20.
5. Motor Lifemitpzme. "Vancouver Island as Vanderhilt Sees it. APan
of Old England in North America." September 1920 issue.
6. Port Alberni News. August 25, 1920.
7. California State Library. California Historical Quarterly, Summer
1976, No. 2, source: Periodical collection,Vol.55*2,pp. 162-169.
Alan Hensher. Article "Penny Papers, The Vanderbilt newspaper
crusade," published in the California Historical Quarterly, Summer
edition 1976. Vol. 55 #2, p. 162.
See California and Califomians, p. 19.
See "Penny Papers," p. 162.
Port Alberni News, August 17, 1921.
Victoria Times, May 31,1952.
Dorm MacLeod, January 1991.
14. Port Alherni News, ]anc2i, 1924.
15. Ibid, May 5, 1926
See Who's Who on the Pacific Coast.
Port Alberni News, October 5, 1927.
Ibid., November 16, 1933.
See Who i Who on the Pacific Coast.
Operation Empty-The-Garage
bp Helen Moore
Hedley Heritage Society learned on July 3, 1993, that Aurelia
Vescovi offered the museum the contents of her garage <ythe garage
could be cleared out before the real estate agent sold the property.
This was an old Hedley house which could well have historical
items. After consulting with museum directors Sharon Minshull
and Ruth Dunham, project "Empty-The-Garage" began on the
afternoon of Sunday, July 4, and ended Tuesday, July 6. Our
judgment call: which would be museum-class objects and what
items suitable for flea market sale? Many volunteers were pressed
into service.
We shared many a laugh as we all got dirty as we moved items,
debating which were "saleable" and which "historic." Suresharpens
your eyes! Ruth, who is an inspired cook, recognized the beauty in
a dusty box of liquor bottles. These were chosen for colour (clear)
and shape (interesting) and washed later to hold beautiful herbs for
herb vinegar to be sold in our shop. Another director fell excitedly
upon a pair of ladies lace-up, soft black leather boots. Indeed they
carried on the instep the name of a daughter of a pioneer family.
"Just what I need," said Sharon, "for my lady at the sewing
machine." A third director showed us an ordinary length of black
iron ... hmmm ... we will need lots of pieces of metal for the
blacksmith's shop.
Two lifetimes ofstuffwas moved. Old wood went to neighbours.
Bed springs went to a secondhand store. Some had to go to the
Aurelia Vescovi was so pleased that she added many objects from
the house ... like 1930s cookbooks. We are pleased with the
acquisition of museum artifacts, and look for some cash profit from
sales at flea markets and grateful to all who responded on short
notice to participate. Aurelia, who has flown back to Switzerland,
and these helpers did much for the preservation of Hedley's social
and mining history.
Helen Moore wrote this for the newsletter ofthe Hedley Heritage, Arts
and Crafts Society. She is obviously an active board member.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Bridges To Our Past
€tt Muutif, level*:
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tttdinp tot twt&iuil ttt 4M*te place
iefuvuxted fam t»Aexe tue went,
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— /ttdnctn &. Aemcx
Bridges: Symbols of Progress
Most of us cross bridges with little
thought of their placement. Indeed, many
people consider transportation systems
more significant than these spans en route.
To engineers, however, bridges are a key
to success — without them, the larger
linear system becomes non-functional. For
example, the spectacular loss of Niagara
Canyon trestle to a flood on November
12, 1896, closed the Esquimalt &
Nanaimo Railway for eleven weeks and
resulted in significant revenue loss and
temporary layoffs.
The significant bridges on Vancouver
Island still carry railways and highways
over water (Europe also has aqueducts
carrying water across valleys). Consequently they belong to companies or to
government, though there are instances of
transportation bridges built privately in
B.C.'s Interior.
by Tom W. Parkin
One early bridge on Vancouver Island was Parsons' Bridge at the mouth of
Millstream in Colwood. A structure has
stood continuously on this site since the
first span was erected by Bill Parsons in the
early 1850s. Parsons didn't charge tolls,
but being entrepreneurial, found a more
profitable method of collection; he erected
Parsons' Bridge Hotel — today known as
the Six-Mile Roadhouse. Other former
stagecoach stops beside this route are also
named for their mileage from Victoria.
As might be expected in a region with
strong trees and imported steel, most early
bridges were built of wood. But the magnificent trestles carrying E&N trains
required ongoing maintenance, and were
footed near volatile water. About 1907,
after replacing the 400,000 board-foot
Niagara bridge twice in ten years, the E &
N began filling their wooden structures
with gravel or replacing them with steel.
The steel cantilever that line now uses
across 79-metre Niagara Canyon was
manufactured in 1885, but first used on
the mainline in Fraser Canyon before
being relocated in 1911.
Of wooden trestles remaining on the
Island, the best is Kinsol trestle over
Koksilah River. This 44-metre high,
gracefully curved beauty, built in 1934,
has deteriorated
significantly since
its last use in 1979.
Following withdrawal of Canadian
National Railway
from Vancouver
Island, its right-of-
way and associated
structure were acquired by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.
The provincial
government is
holding the corri-
dor for potential transportation use in the
next century. In the meantime, it's cooperating with Regional Districts wanting to
lease the land for recreation. In the case of
the Kinsol trestle, the Cowichan and
Chemainus Valleys Ecomuseum Society
wishes to sub-lease the trestle and adjacent
roadbed for development as a tourist attraction.
The bridge is an inspiring relic with
few equals in Canada, and the site offers
opportunity for viewers to learn of the
importance of trains in the forest industry. Regrettably, the cost of stabilization
and modest development are estimated at
over $550,000, not including ongoing
annual maintenance expenditures of nearly
ten per cent of that sum.
In the United States, legislation has
existed since 1966 for the national/state
funding and inter-agency cooperation
necessary for preservation of such structures, but Canada has no equivalent. The
March-April 1992 issue of Transportation
Research News detailed many successful
American examples of historic bridge restoration, but funding for the Kinsol project
remains uncertain.
Another unusual Island bridge, no
longer in use but awaiting a decision on its
fate, crosses the San Juan River west ofthe
trestle. Owned by Fletcher Canada Ltd.,
this is a cable-stayed design. The substructure is two parallel laminated wood
girders hung between wooden towers on
the opposing banks. The deck is built
above. The bridge was designed by company engineer George Milligan and opened
in 1957.
A deteriorating load limit, increasing
maintenance costs and potential damage
by loaded logging trucks caused the company to build a sturdier steel structure
immediately adjacent to it in 1988. This is
one of only two cable-supported bridges
for vehicles on Vancouver Island. Both are
privately owned, and neither is still in use.
The change in composition of bridges
B.C. Historical News • Fall 1993 Taken at the official opening ofthe Englishman River bridge near Parksville, May 20, 1948. Do any readers know the
significance ofthe license plates, E'l and E-2? Photo courtesy ot B.C Government Travel Bureau
from wood to today's dominant materials, steel and concrete, results from rising
load-bearing demand and recognition of
the savings in bridges with long lifespans.
Wooden Howe truss bridges, which were
widely used on highways from the 1920s
through the 40s, are now being replaced.
While a wooden bridge can last fifty years
(with high maintenance), cost-effectiveness is the ultimate goal of modern engineers. Today's bridges have service lives of
one hundred years.
Risk to the structure by vehicles and
vandals is also a consideration in bridge
design. The Kinsol trestle was ignited by
graduation pranksters in 1988, but was
fortunately extinguished quickly by volunteer firefighters from Shawnigan Lake.
However, the vulnerability of those links
was demonstrated by loss of the Sproat
River bridge near Port Alberni on May 19,
1990. Youthful arsonists set a fire there
which cost taxpayers $2.6 million for a
replacement concrete bridge.
With the lifespan of bridges increasing, forethought is required in their design. Traffic volumes have to be projected
and the unimagined anticipated. Like
earthquakes. Since the late 1950s, highway bridges in British Columbia have
been designed with consideration of
earthquake forces. During this time, en-
gineeringknowledge and earthquake codes
have been substantially increased, particularly after seismic disasters in Alaska
and California. Today's bridges are designed to withstand shakes measuring 7.0
on the Richter scale, and older bridges can
be strengthened to improve resistance.
They will be vitally important to relief
efforts in event of the anticipated "big
one" on the West Coast.
A study of bridges reveals not just
principles of engineering and trends in
design, but something of society's success.
While intended to be functional, some
have coincidentalty come to be viewed as
beautiful or worthy of preservation for
historic reasons. As you ride the roads or
rails on your next trip, take time to appreciate the value of bridges. Their construction, design and function provide insights
into history, engineering and welfare of
our society.
Tom Parkin is a Public Information Officer
with the Ministry of Transportation and Highways
in Nanaimo. Previous writing by this author includes a dictionary, Wet Coast Words, Orca
Publishers, 1989.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Parsons' Bridge, Victoria, prior to 1900 (now on Hwy IA). This crosses Millstream
where it enters Esquimalt harbour. The building was an inn and is now the location
of Six-Mile Pub. This timber trestle was originally built in 1873 and subsequently
upgraded to two two-lane curved concrete bridges.     Photo courtesy o( BCARS C#8030 fit f-9390.
Looking south across abandoned CNR trestle on the Koksilah River near Shawnigan
Lake. This 614-foot trestle, height 145 feet, is called "Kinsol" for a nearby copper
prospect (1902-1907), the King Solomon Mine. Last used in 1988 when the last train
to cross it weighed 350 tons (315 tonnes). This was taken over by the Ministry of
Transportation and Highways on December 31, 1990. Photo taken 1991 by Tom Parkin
Viewing north across the Kinsol trestle. Work on the original trestle began
in February 1911 but completion was postponed by economic hard times
and WWI. Work resumed in 1919 and was completed in 1920. Local
youths burned a hole in the deck in 1988 (space just visible in this view).
Pholo courtesy of Tom Parkin.
Demolishing an 180-foot
treated-timber Howe truss
bridge over the Sooke River on
Decembers, 1969. This bridge
on Hwy 14 was built in 1941
and replaced by a steel-arch
structu re in 1968. Cha rges were
placed at each panel point and
simultaneously ignited. Thirty
pounds of7/8 "x 8 "75 per cent
forcite was used. Neither the
new bridge, just 20 feet away,
nor a 200-pairtelephonecable,
15 feet away on the other side,
were damaged. (Notetheboom
strung to catch the debris.) Such
methods are no longer used in
this environmentally sensitive
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 The Very Beginnings of Prince Rupert
Many and varied were the characters
who passed through the new little port
city of Prince Rupert in its fledgling days
— some whose names are perpetuated in
geographical points — and others who
laboured for awhile and then drifted off to
seek new fields of endeavour or left to
serve in the First World War and never
The story of the actual construction
of the "Dream City" of Prince Rupert
began in April of 1906 when the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railroad's assistant engineer,
Joel Pillsbury, travelled from the company's head office in Montreal to Vancouver
where he expected to find a crew and
supplies assembled by an advance man.
But, according to notes recorded by
Pillsbury's son, Richard, he found "some
supplies alright — 30 tons of iron for
blacksmith work — with the advance
man in a skidroad hotel suffering from the
effects of entertainment by the fast-
working sales force of a large wholesale
hardware outfit."
After some fast and heated work on
Pillsbury's part, a crew of thirty men,
along with supplies and that thirty tons of
iron (but minus the advance man) were
loaded aboard the sturdy coastal vessel
Teesto be taken up the coast to the Indian
village of Metlakatla, the only habitation
anywhere near Kaien Island on which the
port city was to be constructed. Founded
by a dedicated Anglican missionary, Rev.
William Duncan, in 1862, Metlakatla
had a wharf and could provide adequate
accommodation for the work orew until
buildings were constructed on the new
But here again, Pillsbury met with
another disappointment, for the wharf
had blown down in a storm the previous
winter, so everything, including the thirty
tons of iron, had to be unloaded onto the
beach from the anchored ship offshore.
After finally getting everything ashore and
stored above tideline (the shore was all
mud and the tide rose twenty-four feet),
by Phylis Bowman
the tired engineer found shelter for himself and his men on the ground floor ofthe
village hospital. Father Duncan and his
followers had left the village some years
before to start a new settlement, New
Metlakatla, in Alaska, but Pillsbury was
welcomed by George Morrow, the Indian
Agent (and later president ofthe National
Biscuit Co. ofVancouver), Mr. Scott, the
schoolteacher, and Dr. J.E. Tremayne, a
young physician from Toronto who had
been persuaded to come to the village
because of the future ofthe nearby railroad
"The first camp on Kaien Island was
located in accord with company instructions," Pillsbury's notes continue, "an
important point as it set the focus for the
centre of the city and has caused since
many bitter controversies. At that time, a
large part of Kaien Island was still Indian
Reserve, and company orders were to build
a small dock and headquarters within
1,000 feet of the Reserve line. Here the
work crew began clearing the trees and
brush, beside a small stream, and built a
dock reaching out 50 feet in the water.
The space between the dock and foreshore
was later filled in with rock and earth for
the railway yards which stretched along
the waterfront.
"Up the little stream," continue
Pillsbury's notes, "was built a 12-ft. plank
road and the first buildings were a few
tents with wood walls and floors, and a
lean-to shack for a cook-and-mess house,
with eight steps leading up to it, so steep
was the slope. The wharf was built using a
piledriver rented from George
Cunningham of Port Essington and two
Columbia River boats which Pillsbury
had bought for the survey crews. Peter
Magar brought the driver over after piles
had been bought from the Indians for
eight cents a foot—they were all hemlock
with the bark left on as protection from
"J.H. Bacon, the harbor engineer,
had set up his headquarters near the dock
in December of 1906, and Dr. Tremayne
moved from Metlakatla with his wife and
two tiny daughters. They lived in a tent
beside the boardwalk, which Pillsbury
named 'Center Street,' and Mrs. Tremayne
often told of the bitter cold of that first
winter when water beside their beds froze
overnight and the baby's bottle, put under
the pillows to keep warm, became frosted.
"Social activities were very limited
this first winter, with the menu for the
Christmas dinner hand-printed and
colored with drafting inks by a railroad
foreman, Count Carlos Zenardi-Landi,
and when the first dance was held on the
site on Feb. 23, 1907, a number of ladies
came from the nearby communities of
Port Essington and Port Simpson to
provide partners for the workers, and some
of the passengers aboard the CP steamer
Princess May joined the party for the
"A government hydrographic survey
in charge ofG.B. Dodge and H.D. Parizeau
arrived, along with John Moore, a locating engineer for the railway, who chose
the actual route of the line along the
Skeena River. In September of 1906,
railway executives had come west to inspect
the work done and decided to rush through
a topographic survey of the site so that
streets could be laid out and lots sold. The
survey was done by 14 parties, led by
crews from the construction camps on the
prairies where work had closed down for
the winter along the rail line. The Pacific
Stevedoring Company contracted to clear
and grub the townsite at $200 an acre, but
had to throw up the job as they found it
too tough going. However, this company
did build alargewharf for landing supplies
and rails for the railroad construction.
The townsite was eventually cleared by
individual contractors for $120 an acre."
Bacon, the harbour engineer, featured
greatly in Prince Rupert's history at this
time, for, according to Pillsbury, "it was
he who advised the railroad company to
build their port city on Kaien Island rather
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 than on the mainland across the harbor,
because of the prevalence of southeast
gales, and the south shores would be more
sheltered. Furthermore, due to the great
depth of water close to shore, floating
piers could be constructed much like those
in Liverpool in England, and he envisioned
that 24 or 25 T-shaped docks could be
constructed along the harbor so the port
would have docking facilities for up to 75
freighters at once, with five overhead
trestles over the tracks to the docks."
And so the little port grew, with pioneers and settlers coming from all over to
find work and set up businesses. In 1914,
some of them, who had been there for
seven or eight years and therefore considered themselves "oldtimers," published
a souvenir album which they called "the
authentic story of the City's Development from Primeval Forest of Yesterday
to Commercial Centre of Today. Colossal
Railway Terminal, Spacious Harbour,
Bountiful Hinterland and Commanding
Location make Prince Rupert the acknowledged Capital ofthe North ..."
And this is what was written under
that glowing head: "In the western half of
this New World there is scarcely a city that
does not hold one or more citizens who
can boast of having seen the place grow
from a village to what it is today, but here,
at the western end of the Grand Trunk
Pacific Railway, we have the rare opportunity of looking forward and fashioning
in our mind's eye a city sure to be. Prince
Rupert is situated midway between the
54th and 55th parallel, 550 miles north of
Vancouver and 40 miles south of the
Alaskan boundary. It is the same latitude
as London, and has a climate whose mean
temperature is about the same as that of
the metropolis ofthe British Isles.
"The land-locked, spacious harbour
made this the undisputable point for a big
terminal in keeping with the high standard which is the great feature of Canada's
new Transcontinental Railroad. Why was
this magnificent harbour unknown before
this time? It was generally believed that a
ledge of rocks extended across the narrows
at the entrance to the harbour which
prohibited vessels of large draught to enter it. The CPR Steamship Company's
veteran skipper on the North Coast on the
occasion of the visit of the GTP official
party in 1904 exclaimed, in steaming up
the narrows: 'Just think of it — I have
passed this entrance hundreds of times
and never knew there was such a beautiful
harbour there!'
"The lands, comprising the townsite
excepting a small Indian Reserve, were
acquired by the Railway Company from
the Provincial Government. John Knox, a
lone prospector, secured a footing in the
townsite by locating a mineral claim. The
location afterwards became the settlement
of 'Knoxville' on which 'squatted' the
pioneers who disregarded the warnings of
railroad officials not to come to Prince
Rupert until the lots were sold. The tent
'towns' of Baconsville, Knoxville and
Vickersville represented the divisions and
camps ofthe earlier residents of this now
great and growing city.
"Baconsville, which took its name
from the harbour engineer, included the
railroad staffers and followers. Knoxville
sheltered the independent pioneers and
Vickersville took its name from the first
policeman stationed here, the popular
and kindhearted Billy Vickers, who had
been transferred from Atlin where he had
been Provincial Chief Constable and arrived in Prince Rupert in March of 1907
to take over the policingduties. Baconsville
and Knoxville have been totally obliterated from their former appearances and
have been levelled down, making a wide
expanse of yards and quarters for the
terminal and station. Vickersville has also
been graded down and is included in the
extensive area comprising the GTP
Drydock and Ship Repair Plant which is
now the pride of the Coast and almost
"The pioneers commenced the forbidding task of city building on this rock-
girt island with optimism and determination and the accomplishments of today
constitute a world's record. With Electric
Light, Telephone, Water, Sewerage and
Permanent Roads in operation over the
townsite, the city is in a position today to
accommodate Factories, Industries and
any manner of Commercial Enterprise
and care for a population of 25,000.
" From the earliest days, the citizens of
Prince Rupert have been the zealous
guardians of their franchises and by theit
own efforts reserved for the future popu-
lation the right and voice to hold and
dispose of their heritage. These struggles
have been the cause of bringing into the
limelight many ofthe rugged and invincible characters which tread so often the
unbeaten paths of frontier life on the great
American continent.
"Some ofthe oldtimers were virtually
shipwrecks cast up on this rock-hewn
coast. Without money and without means
to move on to the next port they had of
necessity to stay. It is often among such
that noble deeds and great triumphs are
found. Amongst the prominent citizens of
today are men of this class. Forgetting
what had been in the face of the dire
circumstances, they valiantly assumed the
role of toiler in whatsoever manner they
could be used. 'Hewers oflogs and drawers
of water' as man was so ordained to do.
Character and manhood was thus ripened
to the glory and power of the coming
generation who should build their homes
here ...
"Prince Rupert's growth has nothing
ofthe mysterious about it, the city had an
usually active body of citizens and the
energetic spirit has accomplished the work
in hand thoroughly and well, with the
result that today Prince Rupert has a large
number of beautiful homes, up-to-date
wholesale and retail stores, three first-class
schools, five banks, Government buildings, five churches and a number of societies and is still steadily today, in 1914, on
the path of greater and more substantial
And that's how Prince Rupert began.
Certainly not all of those high hopes have
come true today, but you must admit that
the city certainly had a very auspicious
start, with the Sky as the Limit as far as
progress, expansion and development were
Long-time North Coast resident Phylis Bowman has written thirteen books and hundreds of
historical and humorous articles about the region
for the Prince Rupert Daily News and other publications. Daughter of pioneer residents Syd and
Erna Hamblin, she has heard many of these tales
firsthand from them and other relatives. She served
in the Canadian Women's Army Corps in the
Second World War and then, with husband Lloyd,
raised their three sons in Prince Rupert and are now
enjoying watching their six grandchildren growing
up. A former editor ofthe Prince Rupert News,
Mrs. Bowman is now a featured columnist for the
paptr' B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 These scenes of die first days of Prince Rupert show the wooden shacks and buildings which lined the plank sidewalks which had been constructed over the baggy
muskeg and stumpi, on the newly cleared townsite. At upper left is die tent-town of"VickersviUe"— a conglomeration of settlers who squatted on land taken over
by Provincial Chief Constable Billy Vickers before tots weresoldby the GrandTrunk Pacific Railroad. The tents, which had wooden floors and sides, with canvas
coverings, were later remo ved to make way for the construction of die rail yards. The picture in the middle ofthe bottom row, taken in 1912, shows busy activity
on the first main road in town — Center Street—spelled the American way as it had been named by the harbour engineer, J.H. Pillsbury, who was an American,
and shows some ofthe wholesale and retail stores, government buildings, five banks and three schools which were already flourishing in the new little town.
Prince Rupert, on Kaien Island, is connected to the mainland and Ridley Island by
bridge, and to Digby Island by ferry.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 McVittie Brothers: Land Surveyors
by Robert W. Allen, BCLS, CLS
Archibald Westmacott McVittie
A.W. McVittie, PLS (Ontario), DLS,
LS (British Columbia) was born in Toronto, Ontario, on May 5, 1858. He was
the second son and fourth of eight children
born to Thomas Sr. and Bessie McVittie.
Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers were half-pay military officers from
the Napoleonic Wars. They, along with a
number of others, came to Canada about
1830, setding on the shores of Lake Simcoe
on land granted by the Crown to army
and navy officers. At the age of fourteen,
McVittie moved to Barrie, Ontario, with
his family, where his father owned a
hardware store on Dunlop Street. He
attended public and grammar schools in
Barrie and later went to Upper Canada
College in Toronto to study architecture.
In the meantime, he also took up land
surveying and became articled to Maurice
Gaviller, PLS, of Barrie, in 1872. McVittie
was Mr. Gaviller's first pupil and he states:
"Archie was a good and reliable boy who
served his three years' apprenticeship ...
but as he had not then attained his (age of)
majority, he was not sworn in until July
10, 1879."1 In the fall of 1879, McVittie
was working in Michigan state for a Mr.
Henderson of Barrie.
Early in 1880 he opened his own
office in Barrie but by December had
joined with Thomas Kennedy, Architect,
and was in the partnership of Kennedy
and McVittie until August 1881. When
William J. Holland, a carpenter and
builder, joined the partnership it became
known as Kennedy, McVittie and Holland. The firm eventually had offices in
Barrie, Collingwood and Toronto. It is
interesting to note that the 1881 census
for Barrie lists McVittie as an architect.
McVittie qualified as a Dominion
Land Surveyor (number 103) on March
30,1882, and shortly afterward, employed
r JiMttfei ..^■H
^^L       V j
'~'«t HETi .'>Ma3
4J8l   ^^B             ^\i
Archibald Westmacott McVittie.
courtesy of Association of Ontario Land Sur
by the Dominion government, he moved
west and surveyed some ofthe outlines of
the townships west of the second and
fourth meridians on the Prairies. He returned to Barrie that winter and advertised in a Barrie newspaper (January 1883)
as a surveyor and real estate agent in
Calgary, soliciting investment in the
Northwest Territories. Later in 1883 he
laid out the townsite for Fort Macleod and
on January 1, 1884, McVittie signed the
first subdivision plan in the new City of
Calgary. This plan is known as Plan A,
Calgary. The "certification" on that plan
states: "This plan is correct and is prepared
under the provisions of the North West
Territories Registration of Title Ordinance. Winnipeg, January 1st 1884
(signed) A. W. McVittie, D.L. Surveyor."2
This plan has since been redrawn under
the authority of the Land Titles Office
with the original no longer being in circulation. Reprints of this second plan can
be ordered through the Calgary Land
Titles Office. These moves led Archie to
retire from Kennedy, McVittie and Holland in Ontario "to take charge of the
branch office at Calgary, N.W.T."3
McVittie's house, built in 1882 of logs,
driftwood and scraps of lumber, was
probably the first one built in Calgary.4 It
was once moved to the Calgary Zoo for
McVittie home now at Calgary Heritage Park. Photo by Syd Loeppky, ALS (December 1991).
B.C. Historical News -Fall 1993 use as a souvenir shop but in 1965 it was
moved to Heritage Park, where it stands
today. The signboard in front states:
An early Dominion Land Surveyor,
Archibald W. McVittie, lived in
this cabin. Dominion Land Surveyors, as these men were known,
divided the prairies and parklands
of western Canada into legal parcels
that incoming settlers could claim
as homesteads. Between 1879 and
1889 surveyors measured  and
mapped some 61 million acres, an
area more than one-third the size of
Alberta. In addition to surveying
farm lands McVittie laid out the
town plots at Fort Macleod in 1883
and at Calgary in 1884.
A.W. McVittie hosted the first Masonic meeting in Calgary in his home and
is recognized in the records ofthe Grand
Lodge of Alberta. Until 1887 McVittie
lived in the Calgary area and worked in
the partnership of McVittie, Child and
Wilson, Architects and Surveyors.
Archie then moved to Fort Steele
where he joined his brother, Thomas
Thane McVittie, LS, where they practised
land surveying in the booming East
Kootenay. McVittie Bros, shared a building with the Fort Steele Assay Office.
(This assay office is now reconstructed in
Fort Steele Heritage Town.) Thomas
Kennedy invited him to return to Barrie,
which he did from 1895 - 97, then retraced his steps to Calgary and Fort
Macleod. Silver-lead mining development
in British Columbia brought him back to
Fort Steele in time to become a charter
member ofthe Fort Steele Board ofTrade,
which held its inaugural meeting on September 2, 1897. By spring 1898, four
surveyors were advertising in The Prospector. AW. and T.T. McVittie, Charles
Estemere and T.H. Taylor.
He married Emily Louise Leslie of
Prescott, Ontario, at St. John's Anglican
Church, Fort Steele, on November 18,
1899. They had two children, Charles
Archibald, born in June 1900, and
Margaret Emily, May 1902.5 After the
children were born, the McVittie family
moved to Cranbrook where he was in
strumental in developing the district coal
and lumber industries, as well as working
with John Hutchison in real estate. He
was a founding member ofthe Cranbrook
Board ofTrade.
McVittie's next move was to Victoria,
where they had a home on South Turner
Street. Mrs. McVittie's sister and seven-
year-old son followed for a "visit." That
visitingyoungsterwas to become Canada's
renowned newspaperman and author,
Bruce Hutchison. The late Hutchison
says in his book The Far Side ofthe Street.
"Thanks to the McVitties' generosity it
(the visit) lasted for about two years."6 In
the same book he described Uncle Archie
as "... a successful Land Surveyor of
middle age, an inveterate speculator in
worthless mines, and a good man though
his bristling black beard somewhat
frightened me."7 McVittie dabbled in real
estate in Victoria and Lake Cowichan
and, according to Hutchison, the collapse
of the land boom at the beginning of
World War One "ruined" him.8
Archibald Westmacott McVittie
passed away after a short illness on August
24, 1926, at his home at 1411 Mitchell
Street in Oak Bay, Victoria, B.C., and two
days later he was laid to rest at the Ross Bay
Thomas Thane McVittie
T.T. McVittie, LS, was born in Barrie,
Ontario, on February 9,1855.Hewas the
first son and third of eight children born
to Thomas McVittie Sr. He acquired his
education at Upper Canada College in
Toronto, then was engaged in railroad
work and township surveys. He came to
British Columbia in 1879. At the age of
twenty-six he went into private practice as
asurveyor at Galbraith's Ferry (later called
Fort Steele). Thecommunity was renamed
following the withdrawal of the North
West Mounted Police in 1888, at which
time T.T. McVittie was made a Justice of
the Peace. He had the longest continuous
service of any Justice of the Peace in the
East Kootenay.
The East Kootenays were being explored, mines developed and townsites
built in the 1890s. A partial list of survey
projects conducted byT.T. McVittie gives
us some idea of his contribution to the
1896 St. Mary's Trail to Summit and a
Map of Fort Steele Mining
1897 Kimberley Townsite, Sullivan
Group of Mineral Claims,
Marysville Townsite and Wardner
1898 Moyie River Placer Mining
1899 Fernie Townsite.
1900 North Star Claims.
1901 Marysville Smelter and additional
1903  Kootenay Central Railway,
Wardner Townsite, Estella Mine,
Sullivan Minesite.9
T.T. McVittie was elected as one of
the first churchwardens when an Anglican
congregation formed St. John's parish in
January 1896. He was secretary of the
Fort Steele Mining Association, president
ofthe Liberal-Conservative Club, school
trustee, on various committees ofthe Board
ofTrade, and found time to join in the
entertainment presented following the
annual school Christmas concerts. He
became Townsite Agent for R.L.T.
Galbraith in April 1898. An announcement in the Fort Steele Prospector, April 16,
1898, states: "All persons having business
in connection with the townsite are directed to transact the same with T.T.
McVittie and to make all payments due or
accruing due on lots already sold to him."
He resigned as school trustee in June
1899, made extensive renovations to his
house, and in December he married Anna
Galbraith, daughter of Alexander S.
Galbraith of Oneida, New York, and niece
of Robert Galbraith, Fort Steele's most
prominent citizen. In October 1900 Anna
lost the only child they ever had, an infant
son, a great disappointment for them.
Quotes from the extant correspondence of Harold Nation, a young Englishman working near Moyie, describes visits
to the McVittie home where they had "a
great number of papers and magazines
and a splendid little library with many
first editions and out-of-print copies."
Mrs. McVittie was very fond ofThackeray,
among other authors, and Nation was
glad to borrow and read a number of
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 books at her suggestion.
In December 1901, when he was
working in the bush near Moyie, Nation
was invited to spend Christmas with
Thomas and Mrs. McVittie. To get to
Fort Steele he "struggled through the
snow" in his best shoes to the Swansea
railway junction and used a borrowed two
dollars to buy a train ride to Fort Steele
junction, where he caught the stage to
Fort Steele. He continues: "My feet got
pretty wet during my walk and pretty
nearly froze when I was sitting still in the
stage. However three hours chill in the
evening air came to an end as we drew up
in front of the house where a welcome
light was streaming like in those post
cards. McVittie came out on the sidewalk
to greet me. As soon as I got into the tiny
hall Mrs. McVittie advanced up the
drawing room and greeted me. She is very
small and jolly and is fond of young men,
having had many brothers and no sisters.
"They at once showed me to my
room, a bright small place plastered and
beautifully clean. After my old tent and
more or less dirty surroundings, it seemed
too nice to go into. However, I changed
and got my poor feet warm and dry and
Thomas Thane McVittie at Fort Steele with his Chinese
servant (could be Chin Tie or Louis). PhotoF.S 1 281 courtesy of Fort
Sleflle Historic Park Archives
then we had dinner. My, how awkward I
felt in manipulating the dainty silverware
and china, and my poor hands looked
terrible against the tablecloth, being ingrained with pitch in every cracked place.
"To describe the house; the original
log cabin, in which McVittie lived for a
long time, with its open fireplace and
stone chimney is now changed into a
modern drawing room, and the fireplace
surrounded with a mantle piece. A verandah is on each side, and a bathroom with
water is a splendid luxury."
Young Nation was invited back quite
often, even though he turned down
Thomas McVittie's offer to article him as
a surveyor-in-training. During a visit in
July he gives a charming account of the
beginnings of a new day in the McVittie
household: "In the morning McVittie gets
up and lights the fires and makes coffee,
singing cheerfully the while (the dog
chiming in with a sympathetic whine!).
He then comes to me with coffee and says
that the bath is ready. (Oh my Gawd,
what luxury!) Out I pop and while I am in
the bathroom Mrs. McVittie comes out
and gets breakfast ready."10
By March 1903, Nation was reporting to his Aunt May that he was
to be "sort of general assistant
to Mr. McVittie at $75 amonth
... on the Kootenay Central
Railway preliminary survey."
This was a generous wage. He
had been making up to $34 the
previous December. Perhaps
surveying wasn't so bad after
Thomas, cheerful, active
and successful in both business
and civil affairs, gradually assumed leadership in the community. If the Premier of the
province visited the area, it was
Thomas who made the arrangements. He became a personal friend of Richard
McBride during his premiership, but hosted many other
political visitors. If a major trade
fair was to be held, even in
Cranbrook, he would be involved in planning. All these
jobs he did with ease and grace. His
speaking ability was often praised; even
his acting (in a Fort Steele farce) received
In 1916 his beloved Anna died, after
which time his own health began to fail. In
1918, thinking a change might help his
condition, he went to Edmonton to stay
with his brother-in-law and sister, Mr.
Justice and Mrs. Scott. He passed away on
March 25, 1918, and his funeral took
place in Edmonton two days later.
Judge Frederick Howay described
Thomas Thane McVittie as "widely and
favourably known, not only as an able
surveyor but also as a representative and
useful citizen."11
Robert AUen heads a company of surveyors in
Sechelt, B. C He is a member ofthe Historical and
Biographical Committee who have written Early
Land Surveyors of British Columbia Vol. I and are
preparing volume two.
1. Association of Ontario Land Surveyors annual meeting report For
1927, p. 122.
2. Copy of Plan A in tbe Calgary Land Titles Office.
3. Biographical sketch on Tile with the Simcoe County Archives, p. 7.
4. Description of the McVittie cabin by Calgary Heritage Park Society,
p. 12.
5- St. John's Parish Records, Fort Steele Archives.
6. The Far Side ofthe Street, Bruce Hutchison, p. 25.
7. Ibid, p. 25.
8. Ibid, p. 44.
9. List compiled by David Morley, Operations Manager, Fort
Steele Heritage Town.
10. Research from the H.T. Nation files by David Morley.
11. British Columbia From Earliest Times to the Present, Vol. 3,
Judge Frederic Howay,
Simcoe County Archives (James R. Campbell); JimSharpe, BCLS;
Bob Lemaster, BCLS, John Armstrong, BCLS; Syd Loeppky, ALS;
Betty Thompson; Bruce Hutchison; Tales ofthe Kootenays, Fred J.
Smyth (pp. 79 and 81); Association of Ontario Land Surveyor.
(JaneHeffernon); Fort Steele HeritageTown (Martin Ross. General
Manager, andDerrrll White, Archivist); Fort Steele-Here History
Lives, Derryll White.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 NEWS & NOTES
Anyone with certificate, diploma or more than
45 credits from Douglas College is urged to
send his/her current name and address to the
Douglas College Alumni Association, Box 2503,
New Westminster, B.C. V3L 5B2 or phone 527-
5322. It is fun to receive the newsletter or
receive invitations to special events.
On June 19,1993, the Cranbrook Railway
Museum became officially "The Canadian
Museum ot Rail Travel." The collections of
period cars, lovingly restored to their original
beauty, are a showcase of railway passenger
cars ranging from the 1880s to 1954. Curator
Garry Anderson has worked tirelessly since
1976 to accumulate and restore whole train
sets. The Trans-Canada Limited, 1929, is
described as "a collection of world-wide
significance; in its niche it is without rival."
Revelstoke Railway Museum opened June
16th, just 11 months after the first sod was
turned. This new project was directed by Wilma
Wood of Island Eco-Museum fame. The interior
of the new museum takes on the appearance of
a pioneer railway station. Its aim is to honour
the builders and workers on the Canadian
Pacific Railway from Kamloops eastward. A
papier-mache model shows the.different routes
the rails have followed through Rogers Pass
from 1885 to the present.
Both museums are significant attractions for
train buffs and their families.
The 1993-94 Honorary President of BCHF has
held many challenging positions over the years.
He obtained his B.A. & M.A. from UBC; became
Vice Principal of University Hill School; executive assistant Vancouver School Board and of
Continuing Education at Langara College;
Provincial Coordinator for UNESCO 1973-74;
National Coordinator Interchange of Canadian
Studies 1975-76; and President, Vancouver
Historical Society 1954. He prepared several
Curriculum Guides for the province, and has
written six textbooks on our history, the most
significant of which is Canada: An Outline of
History, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1966 with
second (revised edition) 1991. He continues to
write for magazines, periodicals and newspapers. He was awarded the 1984 medal for
distinguished Canadian writing by the Canadian
Authors Association. Mr. Lower and his wife
Thelma have served as consultants to the B.C.
Historical News for six years. We welcome Mr.
Lower to his new role with our Federation.
TURNBULL - 1903-1993
Doug Turnbull graduated in 1925 from the
University of Toronto with a BASc in Metallurgical Engineering. He came to work in Trail, B.C.
at the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co.
where he held various posts over the next 40
years. He was active in municipal and provincial
government affairs between 1944 (when he was
Reeve of Tadanac) to the 1949-52 sitting of the
B.C. Legislature where he served with three
portfolios under Byron Johnson. He was
appointed to the Science Council of Canada
1966-70. He and his wife Elsie moved to
Victoria following his retirement. He was very
active in the Natural History Society, then the
founding president of the "Friends of the
Provincial Museum" (1970). Elsie and Doug
moved into Somerset House in the spring. A.D.
Turnbull passed away on 23 June, 1993 in
by Anne Yandle
It is with regret that we have learned of the
death of Mrs. Mabel Jordon in Calgary earlier
this year. Mabel and her husband Ben, both
members of the East Kootenay Historical
Association, were staunch participants, along
with their faithful terrier, of the annual meetings
ofthe B.C. Historical Association. In 1968,
during one of the many crises in the life of our
association, Mabel took over as President, even
though she and her husband had retired to
Calgary. Over the years, at considerable effort to
herself, Mabel never missed a Council Meeting
or Annual Meeting.
Mabel's sound leadership and calm diplomacy
set the Association in a new direction, and it
was during her presidency the B.C. Historical
News was established as the voice and record of
the Association to replace the then defunct B.C.
Historical Quarterly.
Mabel was an enthusiastic and accomplished
local historian. She published extensively in the
Canadian Geographical Journal, the Alberta
Historical Review, and the Steele House
Magazine. During her term as President, she
delivered three Presidential addresses: on
Florence Baillie-Grohman, Dr. George Mercer
Dawson, and Sir Sandford Fleming, all of which
were published in the B.C. Historical News at the
time. The Jordons gave generously not only to
the East Kootenay Historical Association, but
also to the Glenbow Museum and Archives. We
should not only celebrate the life but also mourn
the passing of such a gifted and gracious lady.
Thomas Donald Sale has been Corresponding
Secretary of the BCHF since 1983, plus being a
thoughtful judge for our Writing Competition
since its inception. This work has been dovetailed with many community activities in his
hometown of Nanaimo, everything from the
Bathtub Races to Legion to St. Paul's Parish
Council (where he served since 1946 and is
accorded title of Warden Emeritus). He is a
Knight of Grace in the St. John Ambulance
Brigade where he has been an instructor for 50
years. He is currently Vice President of O.A.P.
Branch #4. Masonic duties have been attended
to for years, and he serves as a director of the
Nanaimo District Museum Society and Treasurer of Nanaimo Historical Society. Don was
named Nanaimo Citizen of the Year by the'
Chamber of Commerce in 1974, received the
1967 Centennial Medal in 1967, and the 125th
Anniversary Medal in 1992. This busy fellow
takes time to be with his family of four children
and eight grandchildren up in the Cariboo, on
Gabriola Island, or in Victoria. We honor Don
for the many hours he has worked to preserve
and promote B.C. history (and hope we have
energy to follow the energetic path followed by
this almost octogenarian).
B.C. Historical Federation Officers: back row - Doris May, Treasurer; Wayne Desrochers - M.L.;
Arthur Lower - Hon. Pres. Front row - Don Sale - Corr. Sec; Mary Rawson - M.L.; Alice Glanville -
1st V.P.; Myrtle Haslam - Pres. Missing: Ron Welwood - 2nd VP. and John Spittle - Past Pres.
Photo by John Spittle
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 BOOKSHELF
Books for review and book reviews should be sent directly to the book review editor:
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
The Struggle for Social Justice in
British Columbia: Helena
Gutteridge, the Unknown
Irene Howard. Vancouver,
UBC Press, 1992.
318 p., illus. $29.95
Helena Gutteridge has long deserved a biography. A crusader for women's suffrage before
the Forst World War, labour organizer, CCFer,
and the first woman to sit on Vancouver's city
council, Gutteridge was a key figure in the
province's political life from 1911 until her
death in 1960. Born in England, she was
introduced to politics there through the women's suffrage movement and Theosophy.
Theosophy was a bizarre blend of eastern
metaphysics, mysticism and spiritualism that
attracted thousands of followers, many of whom
were prominent political reformers, in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Whateverthe worth of the movement's beliefs,
Gutteridge met with a variety of activists and
rebels, and received some practical experience
in organizing and debating.
Once in B.C., Gutteridge turned away from
self-enlightenment and towards social reform.
The book details her efforts to organize laundry
workers, win the minimum wage and other
reforms, and her participation in strikes and
elections. Of particular interest is the description of Gutteridge'sworkasatailor and member
of the union. The craft changed considerably in
this period, as ready-made clothing undercut
and displaced tailors. We learn a great deal
about the trade, conditions of employment,
and attempts to ward off the changes in the
industry. Gutteridge's commitment to reform
continued through the interwar years and beyond. In the 1930s, she joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and worked
with the unemployed during the Depression.
There she continued to represent the practical,
rather than the ideological, wing of the socialist
movement. Elected to the Vancouver city
council in 1937, Gutteridge pressed for low
income housing and women's rights, and remained active and involved in civic politics until
her death at the age of eighty-one.
Irene Howard has crafted a fitting biography
of the woman. This was a difficult task that
required a great deal of ingenuity and
patience. Gutteridge left no papers; her family
had little contact with her after she left England
in 1911; no one who knew her in her activist
days remains alive. With no repository of personal papers to draw upon, Howard h as worked
hard to piece together Gutteridge's life and
career. One small omission should be noted:
Howard suggests that Gutteridge left the Theosophy movement before coming to Canada,
but her name shows up on a register of the
Vancouver local. This oversight is surprising,
given the author's obvious skill and determination as a researcher, but it makes no real
difference to the book. Where material has
been scarce, especially on Gutteridge's early
years in England, Howard has pulled together
a wide variety of secondary sources on family
life and social conditions to piece together
reasonable inferences to fill in the blanks. She
is careful to alert the reader when she treads on
shaky ground, and the cautious speculations
are always plausible and stick close to the
available evidence. If we cannot know some
things with certainty, Howard has skilfully
presented the most likely interpretation of
events. Well-versed in the secondary literature,
Howard places Gutteridge in the rich context of
the province's social history. As a result, this
biography also tells us much about the history
of the labour movement, the socialist parties,
and the struggles of women in this period.
Though the author is highly sympathetic of
Gutteridge, she is not uncritical: Gutteridge's
ambiquous stance on Asian workers is noted,
as is her opposition to industrial unionism, the
One Big Union, radical socialism, and
communism. One area that the author might
have explored more fruitfully was the implication of Gutteridge's relationship to the world of
the labour intellectual and reform politician.
For Gutteridge was by no means an "average"
member of the province's working class. She
was, by the standards of the day, well-educated,
and often earned money as an intellectual,
serving as secretary-treasurer of the Vancouver
Trades and Labour Council, politician, and city
councillor. Thus it may be that she should be
regarded not as a typical woman worker, but as
a member of a working class elite that carved
out a semi-professional niche in the labour and
reform movements of the day. This different
class position must have had some impact on
her world view and politics, but is little explored.
Despite this minor criticism, The Struggle for
Social Justice is an exciting and fascinating
book. Howard has woven an intricate story and
takes care to make the book accessible and
readable. Though on occasion it is almost
chatty in tone, it remains both authoritative and
entertaining. The ample footnotes are arranged
to be useful but not intrusive, and the result is
a necessary book for anyone interested in
labour, women, and politics in British Columbia.
Mark Leier
Mark Leier is a member of the History
Department at Simon Fraser University.
Helena Gutteridge and Co-Masonry
in Vancouver
by Irene Howard
Did Helena Gutteridge ever meet Annie
Besant, founder of Universal Co-Freemasonry
in Great Britain; Annie Besant, president of the
Theosophical Society? This was a question 1
could not answer in my book. Since its publication, however, 1 have found additional information thanks to Mark Leier and the answer
is almost certainly "yes." Moreover, Helena
was indeed a member of "Human Duty No. 6,"
Britain's first Co-Freemason, or Co-Mason
lodge, which Annie Besant founded in 1902.1
said that Annie Besant was a "profound influence" on Helena, and that statement receives
confirmation from the new evidence.
We do not know if a Co-Mason lodge existed
in Vancouver at the time of Helena's arrival
here in September 1911. However, in April
1912, Lodge 399," Inner Light," was established
under the American Federation of Universal
Co-Freemasonry. Helena began attending in
September, a visitor in the second degree from
Human Duty No. 6 in London, and was soon
initiated into the mysteries of the third degree.
She was an enthusiastic participant in the Masonic ritual, gave a talk to the members on
"Some Aspects of Masonry," and even proposed that one meeting per month be devoted
to ritual.*
Helena's Co-Masonic career in Vancouver
was brief, however. She attended Inner Light
meetings for only six months. During part of
this time, in the spring of 1913, she investigated
the wages and working conditions of women
factory workers in Vancouver and gave her
evidence at the hearings ofthe Royal Commission on Labour where she met leading Vancouver trade unionists. That spring she also
joined the Journeyman Tailors' Union and
became a correspondent for the Labour Gazette, gathering information on women workers. Aware now of the power of the working
class movement, she abandoned the handful
of Co-Masons practising their secret symbolism
and joined the workers marching in the streets
for hours and wages. She had found a more
powerful way of fulfilling her human duty.
* City of Vancouver Archives, Add. Mss. 831,
Freemasons. Inner Light Lodge, No. 399, Box
1, Universal Co-Masonry Society, Lodge 399,
Minutes, 22 September 1913-13 April 1913.
Box 2, Members' and Visitors' Register, 1912
- 1931. The Universal Co-Masonry records
were found by a researcher who happened
upon them in a building slated for demolition
and turned them over to the Vancouver Archives.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 BOOK SHELF CONT D
Aboriginal Peoples and Politics:
The Indian Land Question in
British Columbia, 1849 - 1989
Paul Tennant. Vancouver, UBC Press,
305 p., cloth $39.95, paper $19.95.
In pre-contact times they were autonomous
denizens who traversed land, forests and waters in what is now known as British Columbia.
•These Native tribes hunted, fished, gathered,
traded and some even pillaged other groups, all
for acommon goal: to maintain their sustenance,
cultures and beliefs. The Indian Act (1876)
shattered many Native traditions. The Natives
became second class citizens, who lost traditional
rights and lands and were placed in small
isolated enclaves in once, their own homelands.
Paul Tennant's book, Aboriginal Peoples and
Politics: The Indian Land Question in British
Columbia, 1849-1989, provides what seems
to be the most comprehensive study of the
Indian land question and native politics in B.C.
from the early colonial times up to 1989. The
purpose of the book "is to describe the history
of the land question in British Columbia and to
reveal something of remarkable achievements
of the Indian peoples in their steadfast pursuit
of their land rights through peaceful political
means" (p. ix).
The author describes the first treaties established in colonial times on Vancouver Island
and he provides more insight than have other
scholars as to why James Douglas did not
establish treaties with the Natives on the
Mainland or more on the Island. "The central
elements in Douglas's land policy after 1854
were his de facto denial of aboriginal title, his
granting of only small reserves, and his defence
and encouragement of Indian land pre-
emption" (p. 37). Douglas believed that Natives
would be granted the same land rights as non-
Natives within a short period of time. However,
this belief did not materialize. Douglas's replacement, Joseph Trutch, postulated that the
Natives did not own the land which they had
lived on for hundreds or even thousands of
years. Trutch ensured that Article 13 of the
terms of agreement between Canada and B. C.
stated that when B.C. entered Confederation
in 1871, the Dominion government would be
responsible for Indians and their reserve lands.
Loggerheads have generated since this time
and still exist between B.C. and Canadian
governments regarding the extinguishment of
Indian land claims. After the introduction of the
Indian Act in 1876, Natives in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada lost more rights and valuable
land. As well as being concerned for traditional
rights and land entitlement, different Native
groups from B.C. have sought self-government
and have been concerned for social issues
since the late 1880s.
The McKenna-McBride Commission (1913
- 1916) was organized to regulate the land
question with the province. The result of the
1916 Commission led to the 1927 federal
government special committee report of which
Paul Tennant provides an excellent synopsis
showing that the tactics used by the federal
government during the committee meetings
were unjust and that the report showed signs of
contradiction. The result of the 1927 report
was an amendment to the Indian Act which
suppressed the Indians from becoming politically active and from seeking legal services for
land claims. This amendment lasted until the
Indian Act was revised in 1951.
The Indian Act intended to assimilate the
aboriginal peoples but instead it segregated
and destroyed many tribes and their cultures.
Not until recently, during the late 1960s and
more importantly in the 1970s and 1980s,
have the Native groups gained an active voice
within B.C. and Canada with the support of
political Native groups. Tennant looks at how
pan-Indianism in British Columbia compares
with its counterpart that started in the U.S. and
how it has helped Natives politically in B.C.
The book discusses the various Native organizations that were active during the 1930s
to 1950s, specifically focusing on those associations found along the coast. He examines
some of the significant contributions of Native
leaders who supported and led Native organizations such as Bill Wilson, George Watts,
George Manuel and Frank Calder. Tribalism
witnessed a revitalization, gaining popularity
during the mid to late 1970s since the Nisgh'a
and Nuu'chah'nulth organized in the 1950s.
The purpose of the tribal groups was to replace
bands as a means of political representation.
Paul Tennant describes the dissension and
sometimes animosity that evolved between the
different Native organizations and their leaders.
Individual philosophies, ideologies and the
classification of status versus non-status Indians
were some of the reasons for discord among
the different Native leaders and organizations.
He addresses aboriginal title in several significant court cases in which the Natives gain
some status in the Canadian legal system. The
1963 White and Bob case of Vancouver Island
acquitted two Indians who were hunting out of
bounds. Thomas Berger argued on behalf of
the Indians using the 1763 Royal Proclamation
and the Douglas 1854 treaty documents, both
of which stated that Natives still had hunting
and fishing rights in these territories. Berger
won this court case which facilitated him in
being the legal advisor of the Nisgh'a people in
the 1973 Supreme Court hearings. The outcome of this court case granted the Nisgh'a the
right to the title of lands prior to the colonial
government coming to power in 1858. These
were essential court victories for the First Nations people and "by 1989 the courts had
answered one of the two basic legal questions
pertaining to aboriginal title in British Columbia. The Indians did have title to their lands
before colonial government was established,
and aboriginal title is a pre-existing legal right.
The other question, whether explicit extinguishment is necessary or whether implicit extinguishment is sufficient, was still to be answered" (p. 226). He also deals with the
compromises that have been made between
the Natives and big forest corporations and the
Social Credit Party during the 1980s. These
compromises were the result of protests that
occurred in the Stein Valley, Meares and Lyell
Islands which prevented the forest companies
from logging old growth forests on Native lands.
Aboriginal Peoples and Politics: The Indian
Land Question in British Columbia, 1849 -
1989 is an excellent source that is a concise
history dealing with a period of 140 years of
intriguing and valuable information on Native
land claims, Native rights and Native politics.
This book will be a welcomed addition to the
already vast and growing list of literature on the
First Nations people available for both scholars
and those who are familiar with British Columbia's past.
Werner Kaschel
Werner Kaschel is a teacher in the Surrey
School District.
The Fraser Valley: A History
John A. Cherrington. Madeira Park,
B.C., Harbour Publishing, 1992.
391 p., illus. $44.95.
The Lower Fraser Valley is a distinct region of
B.C., with a population in excess of 750,000.
Ithasdistinctphysical, ethnic, social and religious
characteristics. Yet there has never been a
comprehensive regional history of the Valley
until the publication of the present work.
John Cherrington is well qualified for the task.
He is a Mount Lehman lawyer whose interest
in Fraser Valley history was piqued by boyhood visits to his grandparents' Maple Ridge
farm. He is the author of the 1974 history of
Mission, Mission on the Fraser, and is active in
the Fort Langley Legacy Foundation, a heritage conservation group.
Harbour Publishing has done excellent design
work with this large-format, hard-cover volume.
There are historical photos illustrating most
pages and ihe typography and layout is attractive
and interesting.
Geographically, the book covers the territory
from Richmond and Delta east as far as Hope,
as well as the traditional market town of the
Valley, New Westminster. The time period
covered is circa 1800 to the present.
In his treatment, Cherrington succeeds in
striking a balance between the scholarly and
popular approaches to history. The major events
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 BOOK SHELF CONT D
in the region's political, social and economic
history are covered with as much detail as the
scope ofthe work allows. There are a few errors
of historical fact, but they are not serious. As an
amateur historian, the author can be excused
for failing to examine all possible information
sources. It is unfortunate that he was unable to
visit all of the excellent community archives in
the Valley, however.
The narrative is lively, peppered with quotes
from contemporary reports, correspondence
and news articles. It is enlightening to note
Lady Franklin's impressions of New Westminster in 1861; the Surrey School Board's opinion of young female teachers in 1907; and the
excitement experienced by the soldiers of the
Westminster Regiment coming home by train
in 1946.
Anecdotes and personality profiles give a
good feel for the social customs and life experiences of Valley residents and history-makers.
The reader is introduced to such characters as
the stoical Fort Langley furtrader James Murray
Yale; the earthy farmer-politician Honest John
Oliver; and the irascible Ladner potato-grower
Chung Chuck.
For Cherrington, the study of the past is not
compartmentalized or separated from an understanding of the present or the future. In his
final chapter, he views the rapidly changing
landscape and social make-up of the Fraser
Valley with concern. As the population of
southwestern B.C. grows, friction between
urban and rural lifestyles will continue. In his
view, the traditional individualism of Valley
farmers and small business people is increasingly
at odds with the need for regulation, and is
threatened by large-scale development.
This book is likely to be popular for years to
come, as an attractive gift item, as a well-used
librarybook.andasauseful information source
for students.
Jim Bowman
Jim Bowman is a Chilliwack archivist and local
The Fraser Valley Challenge: An
Illustrated Account of Logging and
SawmiUing in the Fraser Valley
Arnold M. McCombs and Wilfrid W.
Chittenden. Treeline Publishing, 1990.
176 p.
The two authors should be commended for
their efforts in this book on logging and
sawmiUing in the Fraser Valley. The book, The
Fraser Challenge, describes and illustrates the
technological advancement of logging and
sawmiUing equipment in the forest industry, as
weU as the various entrepreneurs and forest
companies that have both harvested and established sawmills in different areas of the
Fraser VaUey. Some of these lumber barons still
harvest the forests in the Fraser VaUey today.
This latest book is an accompaniment to the
authors' first book, entitled The Hanison-
Chehalis Challenge, which was published in
1988. McCombs and Chittenden provide an
overview of the logging and sawmiUing in the
vaUey, starting with the eariiest operation in the
1850s and working up to the present day. Each
chapter describes the history of a different
section of the Fraser VaUey, covering areas
from Surrey to the lower reaches of the Fraser
The book is fiUed with both amazing and
intriguing pictures of the past, depicting destruction, toil, progress and stature. Accompanying these photographs, the authors have
includedhand-drawn pictures of logging apparatus and maps of each logging region which
show the railways and their spurs and nearby
cities or communities. Unlike their first book,
Harrison-Chehalis Challenge, this book provides a chronological summary for a quick
reference to a certain time or location in the
logging history ofthe Fraser Valley. As well, the
addition of a glossary is convenient for people
unfamiliar with forestry jargon.
One error in the book was a typing error.
"Aluoette" found on page 64 should have read
"Alouette." An important part of writing any
history is describing both the area and the
people who made it possible and in this book
the authors have done an admirable job doing
this. However, they describe the owners of
these operations and the size of these mills
without mention of the labourers. They could
have briefly aUuded to the latter part of the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when
Chinese, East Indian, Japanese, Scandinavian
and other ethnic people were employed as
labourers in these enterprises in Surrey, Langley
and other locations of the Fraser VaUey.
Prior to this extensive research the authors
"did not fuUy realize the severity of the problem
[overcutting] in the Fraser Valley until writing
this book" (p. 153). They suggest that more
effort and care must be taken in the future
harvesting of our forests if there is to be a forest
industry in the future.
The Fraser Valley Challenge was an enjoyable read and wiU provide new knowledge for
those who were unaware of the Fraser VaUey's
logging and sawmiUing past and it wiU bring
back memories for those who worked in the
forest industry.
Werner Kaschel
Raincoast Chronicles 14; Fish
Heads & Caulk Boots.
Florence Tickner. Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing, 1992. 80 p. No price
Fish Heads Caulk Boots' cover painting by
Jim Spilsbury sets the scene for this book. The
isolation of the float logging camps and the
mountain forest could be in no other place in
the world but British Columbia.
The thirty-nine short stories teU us of life in the
camps, ending with World War II. About the
same time easily accessible logging was finished.
The stories relate to day-to-day living, the
happy and sad times, especiaUy how children
adapted to their environment While there
were many restrictions, there was also a freedom that is lacking in modern day childhood.
The most poignant story is about finding a
lonely cabin built by a Worid War 1 draft
Photos from the author's album have been
chosen to illustrate and capture the work and
play of the isolated camps.
The book is of a vanished social life, and would
be an excellent text -book for school chUdren to
see life without roads, cars and television.
Peggy Imredy
Peggy Imredy is a member of the Vancouver
Historical Society.
Other Publications Noted
The Bella Coola Indians.
T.F. Mcllwraith, Toronto, University of
Toronto Press, 1940, re-issued 1992.
2 vols., $60 paper, $125 cloth.
The Discoverer's Guide: Fraser River
Delta; Exploring the River.
Don Watmough, Edmonton, Lone Pine
Publishing, 1992.
The Forbidden City Within Victoria: Myth,
Symbol and Street scape of Canada's
Earliest Chinatown.
David Chuenyan Lai, Victoria, Orca, 1991.
212 p., $12.95
Nelson British Columbia Canada. Architectural Heritage Walking Tour.
Revised edition, Nelson Streetscapes, 1993.
Available from Ron Welwood, RR 1, 1806
Ridgewood Road, Nelson, B.C. V1L 5P4.
Page's on Silva Bay: Memories of Fifty
Years, 1943 - 1993.
Gabriola Island, Page's Resort, RR 2, Site
30, Gabriola Island, B.C. VOR 1X0, 1993.
28 p., $1.50.
Railroading in British Columbia:
A Bibliography.
Ron H. Meyer, B.C. Rail Guide No. 12,
1973, second edition revised 1993.
No price given.
When The Rains Came and Other Legends ofthe Salish People.
As told to Dolby Bevan Turner, illustrated by
D. Johnnie Seletze, Victoria, Orca, 1992.
112 p., $19.95
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Whatever your Heritage,
Be Thankful for It,
Mountain men and a trappers cabin won the
prize for Best Float (see picture to right) in the
Creston Blossom Festival parade in May 1993.
The cabin is a replica of one on display at the
Creston Museum. Those on the float are
(clockwise): WaUy Johnson, in black tarn,
original owner of the cabin. Now 93, this man
made his living in the mountains, and until two
years ago, enjoyed dancing especiaUy the two-
step and quadriUes.
Fred CappeU (white beard) last owner of the
cabin. He made his living for many years by
Rae Masse, backpacker, lumberman, miner,
and charter member of the Creston Historical
Cade Jones, mischievously guarding the still,
as he has always guarded the Dewdney trail
near Creston. Carle has just received an Award
of Merit from the B.C. Museums Association.
Grace Dickie, Past President and Audrey Ginn,
(white gloves) past Secretary of Chemainus
VaUey Historical Society as they appeared in
the Chemainus Daze Parade 1991.
Thetis Island has lost its Historian with the
passing of Grace Dickie on August 19, 1993.
Mrs. Dickie served many years as president of
the Chemainus VaUey Historical Society. She
was also active in the Chemainus Hospital
Auxiliary, Rebakah Lodge, and served on the
Chemainus Hospital Board. This cheery lady
attended many BCHF conventions, sometimes
sharing her enthusiasm for Railway History
with like-minded attendees.
Dn tJyXemoriam:
It is with sadness that the Burnaby Historical
Society notes the death of Dr. Violet Eagles in
June, at the age of 94. Dr. Eagles and her
husband, the late Dr. Blythe Eagles, established
the Evelyn Salisbury Scholarship in honour of
Evelyn Salisbury, a past president ofthe Society,
who worked tirelessly to protect Burnaby's history.
Both Violet and Blythe Eagles were longtime active members of the Burnaby Historical
Market Hunting in Surrey
by Stan MeKiaooa
Boys growing up in Surrey after World War
1 and into the 1930s hankered after a gun ...
and their parents often let them hunt a little bit,
even if they were under age. A licence to hunt
accompanied by an adult could be secured
when you were sixteen years of age.
There was very little possibility of junior
teenagers getting into trouble with the law.
There was only one game warden for East
Delta, aU of Surrey and much of Langley Municipality. And most fields in Surrey were surrounded by bush into which a young lad could
scramble if the game warden were sighted.
Jim SuUivan of 6311 - 152nd Street, Surrey,
recalls the first gun he was aUowed to use. lt was
a .22 rifle.
" In those days we plinked at everything. One
day I had the .22 and took a shot at the hawk
which had been soaring around the district for
a few days. Down it came, and 1 discovered that
the 'hawk' was apigeon belonging to one ofthe
neighboring ladies!"
Jim Sullivan remembers a Mr. Lund who
was stiU shooting ducks for the market, though
there were few practitioners left by then.
"That would be about 1918.1 can remember
Mr. Lund waiting at the Sullivan station for the
B.C. Electric train. He had a leather harness
which went over his shoulders, with loops of
heavy wire shaped like a keyhole. The duck's
head was placed through the loop, with about
ten ducks held by each loop.
"He'd be carrying as many as forty maUards,
which would make it quite a load with which to
mount the steep steps into the train."
Lund took the ducks in to the New Westminster Market or to Vancouver restaurants.
"Twenty-five cents a brace was the standard
price for the ducks."
Lund lived in a house built on stilts adjacent
to the marshy area where Bear Creek flowed
into Serpentine River. A trail led to it from
Johnston Road (152nd Street).
He used a 10-gauge shotgun, sometimes
mounting it in the bow of his duck punt. Lund
loaded his own shells, as did many of those who
hunted for sport
Game birds were abundant in the Fraser
Valley prior to World War I. Even in the late
1920s the possession limit for ducks was fifty
per day; for pheasants, sixteen a day.
From an interview with Jim Sullivan,
March 29,1993
Burnaby Scholarship Winner
Paige Raibmon - This UJS.C. student is
the 1993 winner of the Burnaby
Historical Society Scholarship
The Burnaby Historical Society is pleased to
announce the awarding of the 1993 Evelyn
Salisbury Scholarship of $1,000 to Paige
Raibmon of Vancouver. About to enter her
fourth year in honours history at the University
of British Columbia, Miss Raibmon has shown
an interest in researching aU aspects of the
Indian residential schools in B.C. particularly
the Coqualeetza Residential School which was
located in Sardis. She is planning to explore this
part of the history of the province's Aboriginal
People as the topic for her graduating honours
This year, the Burnaby Historical Society
received five exceUent scholarship applications
which gave the judging panel a difficult job in
the selection of the award recipient.
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 Books entered in the B.C. Historical Federation
1992 Writing Competition
* Medal Winner
** Certificate of Merit
Listed in the order received.
Beginnings: The Rollin Family and Rollin Art Centre by Catherine Lord.
Funeral Service in British Columbia by Harald Gunderson.
Vancouver and Its Region edited by Graeme Wynn and Timothy Oke (UBC).
"Otter Skins, Boston Ships and China Goods by James R. Gibson (McGiU-Queen's).
Silver, Lead and Hell: The Story of Sandon by Veronika PeUowski (Prospectors Pick).
Our Chiefs and Elders by David Neel (UBC).
On Stormy Seas: Captain Vancouver by Brenda Guild Gillespie (Beach Holme).
Thomas Crosby and the Tsimshian by Clarence Bolt (UBC).
Canada's First Nations by Olive Patricia Dickason (McCleUand & Stewart).
The Albernis, 1860 - 1922 by Jan Peterson (Oolichan).
Hourglass: The Deforest and Carpentier Families by Diane Dobson.
The Struggle for Social Justice in B.C.: Helena Gutteridge by Irene Howard (UBC).
Vancouver: A Visual History by Bruce Macdonald (Talonbooks).
Savona Remembered by Edward Villiers.
In the Path ofthe Explorers by Steve Short and Rosemary Neering (Whitecap).
Heritage Walks Around Vancouver by Michael Kluckner and John Aitkin (Whitecap).
Port of Nakusp by Milton Parent (Arrow Lakes Historical Society).
H.M.S. Viragcin the Pacific by G.P.V. Akrigg and Helen Akrigg (Sono Nis).
The Vancouver Voyages ofthe Barque Pamir by Richard E. WeUs (Sono Nis).
Victoria's Street Car Era by Henry Ewert (Sono Nis).
Not Without Hope by Louise Johnson (Maple Lane Publ.)
Vancouver's Voyage by Robin Fisher (Douglas & Mclntyre).
Cork Lines and Canning Lines by Geoff Meggs and Duncan Stacey (Douglas & Mclntyre).
"Working in the Woods by Ken Drushka (Harbour).
The Fraser Valley by John Cherrington (Harbour).
**Homer Stevens: A Life in Fishing by Homer Stevens and Rolf Knight (Harbour).
Slow Boat on Rum Row by Fraser Miles (Harbour).
Fish Hooks and Caulk Boots by Florence Tickner (Harbour).
Kikyo: Coming Home to Powell Street by Tamio Wakayama (Harbour).
Kamloops: 100 Years of Community by Wayne Norton and Wolf Schmidt (Sonotek).
••The Victoria and Sidney Railway, 1892 - 1919 by Darryl E. Muralt (B.C. RaUway
Historical Association).
Light at the End of the Tunnel by M.C. Warrior and Mark Leier (Tunnel & Rockworkers
Valley of Dreams: Pictorial History of Vernon and District (Greater Vernon Museum &
The Milk Lady: Memories of a Farmer's Wife by Patricia Lines.
Conference 1994
District 69 Historical Society and
Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society are co-hosting the annual
conference of the B. C. Historical Federation April 28 to May 1, 1994.
Headquarters will be at the Island Hall,
a long time resort hotel on the beach at
Plan now to attend this conference with your friends and enjoy a
good program. Stay awhile and take
in the many attractions ofthe beautiful
Paksville-Qualicum area. Wewill look
forward to having you.
Corrections - Summer 1993
"Carnarvon Terms or Separation"
Page 14, c. l.par. 4.
Princess Louisa
is Princess Louise.
"Life Blood of the
Okanagan Valley"
Page 18.
The purchase was instigated
by premier John Hart...
should read
premier John Oliver.
Both were errors of the author, missed
by your editor.
7<7 SaAzcAiptbom, to-
a, cyiz&t
CAAibtsYiOA, Q<i>£t!
Send your gift order to:
Nancy Peter -
Subscription Secretary
#7 5400 Patterson Ave.
Burnaby, B.C.  V5H 2M5
Only, $1200 within. Canada.
SHOO peA y&an, to- othtA. cotcnbiitA.
This magazine is available
in microform. Back volumes
of this publication are
available in microform
(film or fiche).
Honorary Patron:
Honorary President:
His Honour, the Honourable David C. Lam, CM, LL.D.,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Arthur Lower
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Recording Secretary:
Past President:
Myrtle Haslam, P.O. Box 10, Cowichan Bay, B.C. VOR 1N0 748-8397
Alice Glanville, P.O. Box 746, Grand Forks, B.C. VOH 1 HO 442-3865
Ron Welwood, RR#1 S 22 C 1, Nelson, B.C. V1L 5P4 825-4743
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper Street, Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 1X4 753-2067
Arnold Ranneris, 1898 Quamichan Street, Victoria, B.C. V8S 2B9 598-3035
Doris J. May, 2943 Shelbourne St., Victoria, B.C. V8R 4M7 595-0236
Mary Rawson, 1406 Woodland Drive, Vancouver, B.C. V5L 3S6 251 -2908
Wayne Desrochers, 8811 152 Street Surrey, B.C. V3R 4E5 581-0286
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Road, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R 1R9 988-4565
B.C. Historical News
Publishing Committee
Book Review Editor
Margaret Stoneberg, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Tony Farr, RR#3 Sharp Road Comp. 21, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Subscription Secretary
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0
Nancy Peter, #7-5400 Patterson Ave., Burnaby, B.C. V5H 2M5
Historical Trails & Markers   John Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Road, North Vancouver, B.C. V7R 1R9
Membership Secretary        JoAnne Whittaker, 1291 Hutchinson Road, Cobble Hill, B.C. VOR 1L0
Publications Assistance
(not involved with
B.C. Historical News)
Jill Rowland, #5-1450 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 2N4
Contact Jill for advice and details to apply for a loan
toward the cost of publishing.
Scholarship Committee        Anne Yandle, 3450 West 20th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6S 1E4
Pamela Mar, P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Writing Competition
(Lieutenant - Governor's
B.C. Historical News - Fall 1993 The British Columbia Historical News
P. O. Box 5254, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C.
V8R 6N4
Publications Mail
Registration No. 4447
BC Historical
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions of books for the eleventh
annual Competition for Writers of B.C. History.
Any book presenting any facet of B.C. history, published in 1993, is eligible. This may be a
community history, biography, record of a project or an organization, or personal recollections
giving a glimpse ofthe past. Names, dates, and places with relevant maps or pictures turn a story
into "history".
The judges are looking for quality presentations, especially if fresh material is included,
with appropriate illustrations, careful proof reading, an adequate index, table of contents and
bibliography from first-time writers as well as established authors.
Note: Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
The Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded to an individual
writer whose book contributes significantly to the recorded history of British Columbia. Other
awards will be made as recommended by the judges to valuable books prepared by groups or
All entries receive considerable publicity. Winners will receive a Certificate of Merit, a
monetary award and an invitation to the B.CH.F. annual conference to be held in Parksville in
May 1994.
Submission Requirements: All books must have been published in 1993, and should be
submitted as soon as possible after publication. Two copies of each book should be submitted.
Please state name, address and telephone number of sender, the selling price of all editions ofthe
book and the address from which it may be purchased if the reader has to shop by mail.
Send to: B.C. Historical Writing Competition
P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
There is also an award for the Best Article published each year in the B. C. Historical News
magazine. This is directed to amateur historians or students. Articles should be no more than
2,500 words, typed double spaced, accompanied by photographs if available, and substantiated
with footnotes where applicable. (Photos will be returned.)
Please send articles directly to:
The Editor, B.C. Historical News - P.O. Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0


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