British Columbia History

British Columbia History 2009

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 '■audi; Qolu^iuj> HISTO RY
Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation | Vol.42 No. 2 I $5.00
This Issue: Lumber in Chile   |   Early Auto Travel  |   Newsletter  |  and more
 British Columbia History
Journal of the British Columbia Historical
Federation Published four times a year.
ISSN: print 1710-7881 online 1710-792X
British Columbia History welcomes stories, studies,
and news items dealing with any aspect of the
history of British Columbia, and British Columbians.
Please submit manuscripts for publication to the
Editor, British Columbia History,
John Atkin,
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Submission guidelines are available at:
Book reviews for British Columbia History,
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BC History,
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Phone 604-582-1548
Subscriptions: $18.00 per year
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ISSN: 1710-7881
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copyright of the individual articles belongs to their
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British Columbia Historical Federation
A charitable society under the Income Tax Act Organized 31 October 1922
PO Box 5254, Station B., Victoria BC V8R 6N4
Under the Distinguished Patronage of His Honour
The Honourable Steven L. Point, OBC
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Honorary President
Ron Hyde
President: Ron Greene
PO Box 1351, Victoria V8W 2W7
Phone 250.598.1835 Fax 250.598.5539
First Vice President: Anne Edwards
Box 148, Moyie, V0B 2A0
Phone 250.829.0666
vp1 ©
Second Vice President: Tom Lymbery
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Phone 250.227.9448 Fax 250.227.9449
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secretary@bchistory. ca
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% BC Historical Federation, P.O. Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria V8R 6N4
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611 Robson Drive, Kamloops, V2E 2B4
Phone 250.374.1509
directorl ©
Lorraine Irving
1131 East 23 Ave, Vancouver V5V 1Y8
Phone 604.874.8748
Teedie Kagume, Archivist
4575 Redonda Ave, Powell River, V8A 3H5
Phone 604.485.9710 Work 604.485.2222
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602-139 Clarence St., Victoria V8V 2J1
pastpres@bchistory. ca
Brenda L. Smith
#27 11737 236th St, Maple Ridge, V4R 2E5
Phone 604.466.2636
W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarships:
Contact: Marie Elliott
% BC Historical Federation, P.O. Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria V8R-6N4
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Phone 604.535.9090
Contact: Ron Hyde
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Phone 604.277.2627 or Fax 604.277.2657
Contact: Jacqueline Gresko
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Phone 604.274.4383
publications@bchistory. ca
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Contact: Tony Cox
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Phone 250.365.7292x334
webprize@bchistory. ca
A complete list of the Federation's membership is available at is the Federation's web site
The British Columbia Historical
Federation has been working since
1922 with historical sites, societies,
groups, museums, archives, etc.
throughout British Columbia
preserving and promoting British
Columbia's history.
The British Columbia Historical
Federation is an umbrella
organization embracing a variety of
membership classes.
• Member Societies: Local and
regional historical societies with
objectives consistent with those
of the Federation. All dues paying
members of the local or regional
society shall be ipso facto members
of the Federation.
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organizations and institutions
without dues paying members with
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a historical nature.
• Associate Members: Individuals may
become members of the Federation.
• Corporate Members: Companies are
entitled to become members of the
Annual Membership Dues
• Member Societies: one dollar per
member with a minimum membership fee
of $25 and a maximum of $75, including
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and newsletter;
• Affiliated Members: $35, receive the
Federation's journal and newsletter
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Federation's journal and newsletter
• Corporate Members: $100, receive the
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For further information about
memberships, contact Ron Hyde -
Membership Chair
BC Historical Federation, PO Box 63006,
Richmond, B.C. V7E 6K4.
Phone 604-277-2627
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past"
W. Kaye Lamb, 1937
QxaJMv (^olu^niu^ HISTORY
TheJournal- of -the British Columbia Historical Federal J ^lymg;^
Chile, Peru, and The Early Lumber Exports of British Columbia
Fred Braches 2
An Artist's Legacy
Janet Nicol 8
The Artful Dewdney
CJ Cooney 11
An Education in Gumbo
Mary Leah de Zwart 18
C.W.D. Clifford and His Mysterious Tokens
Ron Greene 22
Archives and Archivists 25
Book Reviews 27
BC Folklore: Mixing Fact 8t Fiction 36
Joseph Genelle Affair
Edward Affleck 37
Miscellany 40
 Chile, Peru, and The Early Lumber Exports of
British Columbia
By Fred Braches
Fred Braches is the
former editor of BC
Historical News, he
edits and maintains (see
Miscellany, pg.
40), and compiles
Whonnock Notes
which can be found
Unless otherwise
noted, photographs
supplied by the
In his annual report for 1891 the Timber Inspector
for British Columbia noted that Chile and Peru
were "the best markets the exporting mills ever
had." South America the best lumber markets of
the early sawmill? Australia and China seem better
candidates for that distinction. Why would there be
such a demand for lumber in Chile and Peru that it
put the two countries in the first place as importers of
the lumber from British Columbia in the late 1800s? It
seems an interesting question worth investigating.
Today the coast of South America may be exotic
and out of the way, but in the 19th century one of the
major shipping routes ran along Chile and Peru. Chile
in particular was familiar to an increasing number
of people travelling via Cape Horn to reach the
Pacific Northwest. Before the opening of the Panama
Canal in 1914 all ships entering the Pacific from the
Atlantic had to round Cape Horn, the southern tip
of South America. Chile's chief seaport, Valparaiso,
was a stop where ships could refresh their victuals,
where repairs could be made, and where passengers
and crew went ashore for rest and recreation. The
Hudson's Bay Company's annual supply ships, too,
would have called at Valparaiso on every trip, and on
the return voyage to England the ships would have
carried some lumber—likely some masts and spars
for sailing ships serviced at Valparaiso. The West
Coast of South America was one of the markets the
Hudson's Bay Company had in mind when it erected
a sawmill on the Columbia River in 1827, starting the
first mechanized lumber export production from the
Pacific Northwest.
In 1837 the British Admiralty established a
Pacific Station at Valparaiso, and W. Kaye Lamb
suggested that it would be "only logical" that the
Pacific Squadron would acquire their masts and spars
from British territory and in particular Vancouver
Island. Even if that is true, the volumes would not
have been great, restricted as they were to a few ships
returning to England with other cargoes on board.
Certainly these early shipments do not mark the
beginning of a lumber trade with Chile. The earliest
known export of lumber of any size from British
Columbia was carried by the Chilean bark Aurelia,
which left Sooke laden with spars for Valparaiso on
the 13th of January 1853.
Gold discovered in California in 1848 caused a
prodigious growth of SanFrancisco. The overwhelming
demand for construction lumber became the catalyst
for the development of a mature industry in the Puget
Sound. The building boom in San Francisco faltered in
1855, but the Fraser River Gold rush of 1858 created
View of Moody, Dietz
and Nelson's Sawmilll at
Burrard Inlet ca 1885.
BC Archives A-03318
 Waiting to take on lumber
on Burrard Inlet.
City of Vancouver Archives photo
a new market for the Puget Sound mills right at their
doorstep in Victoria. For a short time the lumber
exports from Puget Sound went almost exclusively
to the British colony, but a few years later, because of
a revival of the building activities in San Francisco
and a rapidly expanding world lumber market, the
mills in the Pacific Northwest reduced their supplies
to Vancouver Island so significantly that at the end of
1862 some builders had to stop working on projects in
Victoria for want of material. That void would soon
be filled by such small local sawmills as the one at
Sooke, but mainly by new mills on Vancouver Island
at Cowichan and Alberni and by mills at Burrard Inlet
on the Mainland.
Of the Vancouver Island mills, only the Alberni
mill, owned by Anderson & Co. of Great Britain,
seems to have exported any significant quantities
of lumber. This mill, the first sizeable mill in British
Columbia, started operations in 1861 but was closed
down permanently only a few years later. The
sawmills established by Captain Stamp and Sewell
Prescott Moody at Burrard Inlet were more successful,
and for years Burrard Inlet was the only important
lumber-exporting centre in British Columbia.
By 1864 the Americans, now squeezed out of
the British Columbia market by the domestic mills,
were protecting their own mills with import tariffs.
The British Columbia mills, lacking a large home
market of their own and with limited access to the
California markets, had to focus on countries around
the Pacific for their exports: Australia, New Zealand,
Hawaii, China, and South America—all experiencing
rapid growth, to the advantage of the early lumber
industry. Export to all these overseas destinations
was essential for the mills, but for a few years Chile
and Peru took the lion's share of the Burrard Inlet
lumber exports.
It is no surprise that Chile and Peru had such
a high demand of all lumber products. There are few
trees on the arid coast, some of it the driest desert in the
world. Both countries had hardly any access to their
own lumber resources—the Andes chain presented an
insurmountable obstacle to Peru's taking advantage of
lumber from the Amazon basin, and the Chileans were
kept from exploiting the rugged forested south of their
country by the fierce and determined resistance of the
Natives. Lacking any general construction timber,
both countries depended to a large extent on outside
supplies. Most of this supply originally came from
Europe and the Atlantic Coast of North America, but
the development of a lumber industry in the Pacific
Northwest and British Columbia coincided with
rapidly increasing demands for building materials in
the two South American republics.
Since independence from Spain, Chile and Peru
had seen prolific growth. Opening their resources to
European, British, and American capital, commerce
and entrepreneurs created prosperity beyond belief
for the higher levels of society. In Peru, guano (fossil
bird manure) had been harvested by the indigenous
 Ships at anchor at the
guano (Chincha) islands off
the Peruvian coast.
people from small offshore islands and had been used
to fertilize their crops since time immemorial. Now
guano started to be exported in massive quantities.
In the 1850s it was Peru's leading export commodity
and its largest source of revenue, with 300 shiploads of
guano leaving Peru every year. Also Chile's prosperity
had grown since independence. New technology
boosted the production of copper, Chile's main export
commodity. In 1850, Chile produced 15,000 tons of
copper and in 1872 more than 50,000 tons.
Soon the wealth generated by these resources
would be surpassed by the gains from the export
of nitrate strip-mined in the Atacama Desert. In
1830 the first shipment of nitrate, the chief source
of nitrogen, used for the production of explosives,
fertilizer, and for other purposes by the chemical
industry, left for Europe. A fleet of fast sailing "Nitrate
Clippers" carried the precious loads round the Horn
to the Atlantic North. Huge fortunes were made
with this "white gold." Initially Chile, Bolivia, and
Peru profited from this newly found prosperity, but
territorial disputes erupted and the nitrate in the
desert triggered a war between the three countries
(1879-1884), leaving part of coastal Peru and Bolivia
(the latter now land-locked) and their mineral wealth
in Chilean hands.
That prosperity is still visible in many other
Chilean and Peruvian cities. The building of stately
townhouses and mansions, ornate buildings for
government institutions, banks and trading houses,
as well as shops, piers, and warehouses required
shipment after shipment of building timber. The
first principal railroads were built in Chile and Peru
between 1855 and 1880, requiring railway ties and
building materials for train stations.
Valparaiso soon became the greatest commercial
Ships at anchor in the
harbour of Iquique, Chile.
Mineral nitrate was
loaded from barges ca
 Humberstone, a ghost
town in the Chilean
desert, inland from
Iquique.  (left)
Cien velas en la bahia,
a hundred sails in the
bay of Valparaiso during
Chile's "golden age",
centre on the West coast of South America and a
main destination for the lumber shipments. In 1870
more than 4,000 ships called at Chilean ports, some
1,700 under British flag. These figures include the
calls of Pacific Steam Navigation Company, with
headquarters in Valparaiso, operating coastal service
with steam-powered vessels since 1840. From 1847
onward four of its vessels plied between Panama,
Peru's main port Callao, and Valparaiso. In 1869
the company started a direct monthly service via
Magellan Strait to Liverpool, and in 1872 the company
operated 33 steamships.
Of the 4,000 British subjects living in Chile in
1861, half lived in Valparaiso, where British trading
houses with worldwide contacts were established.
At that time Valparaiso was still the support base for
the British navy in the Pacific, but an alternate station
would be established at Esquimalt
in 1865. England had a large
share in the economies
of Chile and Peru.
In 1870 more than
half of the total
exports of Chile    j
went to England,    jj
increasing to   j
65% in 1875, and    f
British imports   I
dominated In    ^
It is possible
that due to the    ^
British presence in the
two republics some of
 The neoclassical Municipal
Theatre in Iquique, Chile,
was built in 1889, during
the nitrate heydays. The
structure of the building
is made of Douglas-fir
(pino Oregon) from British
the lumber would have been contracted directly by
trading houses in South America and the Burrard Inlet
mills, but more likely the lumber trade went through
San Francisco. The British trading houses in Chile and
Peru, often through their principals in London, had
close ties with that Pacific city, and probably most if
not all lumber shipments from Burrard Inlet would
be contracted through San Francisco brokers. This
would for instance explain Sewell Prescott Moody's
frequent business trips to San Francisco, including his
last ill-fated trip in 1875, when his ship was wrecked
and he drowned. The statistics of a decade show
the success of the Burrard Inlet mills: between 1861
and 1870 the total exports of British Columbia forest
products to all destinations grew from a scant $3,500
to $128,000.
British Columbia's contribution in supplying
the massive quantities of lumber required by the
exploding construction projects in Chile and Peru
may not have been as large as that of the mills in the
United States, but it was enough to make Chile and
Peru the best markets for the mills on Burrard Inlet
in its first years of operation. Specific information
about the exports from British Columbia is scattered
and fragmented, but what can be found illustrates
their importance.
The first ship that left Alberni in 1861 carried a
load of lumber bound for Callao, Peru. A breakdown
by destination of the exports of the Anderson mill is
only available for its last year of operation. In that
year, 1864, Chile and Peru received some 60% of
the exports from Alberni compared to China and
Australia with 20% each. Another known lumber
export from Vancouver Island to South America are
two ships that sailed from Sooke in 1867 with sawn
lumber for Valparaiso.
Historian Judge F.W. Howay signalled that at
that time "South America was becoming an important
and increasing market for Burrard Inlet lumber."
Information from newspapers shows that of the
54 ships dispatched from Burrard Inlet between
1865 and 1869, 24 ships left for Peru or Chile, 20
for Australia, and 10 for China. For 1868 Howay
lists the following ships bound for South America
with lumber: the Mercara (Valparaiso), the Eastham
(Callao), the Industry and the Spirit of the Age ("South
America"), the Hudson's Bay Company's Princess
Royal (Valparaiso), and the Guayaquil, Topgallant,
Leonide, and Knowsley (Callao).
In 1871, half of the 40 ships leaving Burrard
Inlet were still heading for Chile and Peru, with no
less than 60% percent or a value of $182,500 of the
total export lumber. But the share of South America
dwindled in the following decades. By 1896 the export
numbers show that the two South American republics
purchased only 21% of the overall lumber exports. In
 Main Sources
i  thk
1913 Australia led with 10,000 mbft (thousand board
feet) of a total of 28,000 mbft shipped to the Pacific
countries. Exports to South America exports were at
par with those to Japan, but far behind Australia.
After the opening of the Panama Canal and
the ending of the hostilities in Europe there was
some speculation that the entire Pacific coast from
Mexico to Chile would enjoy a huge commercial
development, calling for a tremendous amount of
construction timber, but that just did not happen.
For one thing, the development of synthetic nitrates
in the 1920s led to a collapse of the Chilean nitrate
export, and where once bustling company towns had
sprung up overnight, now only ghost towns are left
in the desert, their wooden buildings well preserved
in the arid climate.
Today, only the words of that Timber Inspector
back in 1891 remind us that at one time Chile and
Peru were "the best markets the exporting mills ever
had." •
The port of Callao, Peru. Note that freight is being
loaded on barges, lanchas, by what seems to be a steam-
driven crane. Ships loaded at anchor. In the foreground
freight is still moved with horse-drawn carts but notice
the railway tracks on right side of the picture, (right)
Carrothers, W.A., "The Forest
Industries of British Columbia."
In: The North American Assault
on the Canadian Forest: A
History of the Lumber Trade
between Canada and the United
States. Toronto: Reyerson Press,
Cox, Thomas R., Mills and
Markets: A History of the Pacific
Coast Lumber Industry to 1900.
Seattle: University of Washington
Press, 1974.
Flynn, James R., "Early
Lumbering on Burrard Inlet".
Graduating Essay University of
British Columbia, 1942.
Howay, F.W., Early Settlement on
Burrard Inlet. British Columbia
Historical Quarterly, vol. I, April
 Early Shipping in Burrard
Inlet, 1863-1870. British
Columbia Historical Quarterly,
vol. I, January, 1937.
Lamb, W. Kaye. Early Lumbering
on Vancouver Island., Part I.:
1844-1855. British Columbia
Historical Quarterly, vol. I: 31-
53, January 1938.
 idem. Part II: 1855-1866.
British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, vol. I: 95-121, April
Langevin, H.L., British Columbia:
Report of the Hon. HI. Langevin,
C.B., Minister of Public Works.
Ottawa: I.B. Taylor, 1872.
Lawrence, Joseph C, "Market
and Capital: a History of
the Lumber Industry of B.C.
(1778-1952)." Master's thesis,
University of British Columbia,
... and numerous publications on
the economic, industrial, and
political history of Chile and
Peru. Complete bibliography will
be send to anyone interested.
E-mail  braches@whonnock.
 An Artist's Legacy:
Binning's West Vancouver Residence
By Janet Nicol
Janet Nicol has
written about
Vancouver's history
for both popular
and academic
including the
Vancouver Courier
Images this page:
Approach to the front
entrance of the house
The Binning's living room
Imperial Bank of
Commerce mural on the
east wall of the second
floor of Granville and
Dunsmuir Streets, the
building now occupied by
Shopper's Drug Mart
West Coast modern was a new idea
when Vancouver artist Bertram Charles
(B.C.) Binning thoughtfully designed a
flat-roofed bungalow on the forested
slope of West Vancouver in 1941. And when this
influential artist and educator died in 1976, aged
67, his canvases became his legacy and now so will
his house. In 2000, the Binning home was declared
a National Historic Site and two years ago, was
bequeathed to the community by Binning's widow.
Binning's wife Jessie lived at 2968 Mathers
Avenue until the last day of her life, aged 101. And
thaf s only one of the magical stories swirling about
this timber and glass residence sheltering the unique
and generous lives of kindred spirits, 'Bert' and
Jessie. The couple did not have children, but were
an active presence in the community throughout their
40 year marriage, significantly influencing a large
circle of artistic and architectural friends in post-war
The distant outline of Point Grey is visible
from the home and its university campus was
Binning's workplace for a number of years.
Binning was the founder and department head
of the Fine Arts Department of University of
B.C. from 1955 to 1968. He then continued as an
instructor-only until 1974. Binning left his mark on
both the university and city art scene at a time when
Vancouver was a smaller, more remote metropolis.
The simplicity of Binning's two-bedroom
house design and its integration with the north shore
mountain side has since been imitated throughout the
Pacific Northwest region. Binning's colorful abstract
murals are painted directly on to the home's
walls. One graces the home's exterior entrance
and the other is located at the end of the long
interior hallway. Half-way down this corridor,
the house opens dramatically to the living room
where floor to ceiling glass doors frame a view
of the harbor and open on to a terrace with an
extended trellis overhang. A large stone fireplace
dominates the living room's side wall. The Binnings
had carefully selected furniture to harmonize with the
overall indoor-outdoor effect of this room.
 The Land Conservancy of British Columbia
recently stepped in to fundraise with the goal of
creating a $300,000 endowment so the house can
be maintained for future generations. The site
will open to the public with a focus on events for
artists and architects, in appreciation of the creative
fusion Binning had pursued in his own work. The
conservancy has also aided in preserving the homes of
writer Joy Kogawa and architect Arthur Erickson.
Binning was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta
and was four years old when his family moved to
Vancouver in 1913. Both his maternal and paternal
grandfathers had been architects but a childhood
illness halted his ambition to follow their path. He
nonetheless developed a talent for art and teaching,
pursuing both careers vigorously. Binning attended
the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts
(now Emily Carr School of Art) then stayed on to teach
for three more years. He later enrolled in art schools
in Oregon, New York and London, England.
Meantime Binning married local girl, Jessie
Isobel Wylie in 1936. The young couple's family
backgrounds appear to have sheltered them from
the worst of the depression. Jessie supported her
husband's artistic and educational endeavors with
a keen enthusiasm. Together they traveled for more
than a year to England, Europe and New York,
absorbing both classical and vanguard culture before
returning to West Vancouver and sketching out their
future home.
As the world collapsed into war, Binning
carried on his creative work in his newly-built home,
his large studio approached from the end of the long
corridor and up a few steps to the back of the house.
He developed a distinct type of art, from his pen and
ink sketches with their draughtsman-like skill to
his abstract oil canvases and murals. Bright colors,
geometric shapes and all things 'nautical' animated
his work. Japanese art also came to influence
Binning's style.
Hie ferry linking travelers from the north shore
to downtown Vancouver was replaced in 1938 by
the Lion's Gate bridge, easing Binning's commute to
the UBC campus in the post-war years. Besides his
educational work, he launched the Fine Arts Gallery,
Brock Hall Canadian art collection and was founder/
director of the Festival of Contemporary Arts.
Binning also worked with architects to express
his artistic vision in public buildings. This included
the B.C. Electric Building at 970 Burrard Street in
downtown Vancouver. Designed by Net Pratt and
his team of architects, many original ideas went in to
creating the lozenge-shaped tower in 1957. Binning
designed the blue, green and grey mosaic tiles—rainy
coastal colors— covering the buildings' exterior
 Donations to the B.C. Binning
Residence endowment fund
can be made by calling 1-877-
485-2422 or visiting www.
Many thanks to Conservancy
staffer and Binning house
caretaker John Keller, for giving
this writer a house tour and
sharing stories. •
Sources and Further Reading:
B.C. Binning, by Abraham J.
Rogatnick, Ian M. Thorn, Adele
Weder, Douglas fit Mclntyre,
Vancouver, 2005.
Bertram Binning fonds,
University of British Columbia
Reconsidering the Binning
House, Adele Weder, Thesis
MAS.A., 2005, UBC School of
walls. He also suggested a curtain of glass for the
adjacent substation wall facing the street. In this way
pedestrians passing by could see in to the interior
building design, including Binning's wall color
scheme. Plastic panels, now yellowed with age, have
since replaced the wall, following an explosion, but
the main building's exterior is largely intact, despite
the building's conversion to a condominium residence
called The Electra.
Binning's artistic abilities shine in another
public display, his expressive mosaic of imported
Venetian glass. The mural, commissioned by
the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for a
downtown Vancouver branch, portrays the many
industries in B.C. in a joyful blend of abstract and
realistic illustrations. Binning's art piece continues to
endure on the east wall of the second floor of Granville
and Dunsmuir Streets, the building now occupied by
Shopper's Drug Mart.
The contributions of Binning were appreciated
in his life time. In 1971 he received the Order of
Canada Medal of Service and in 1974 he received the
degree of D.Litt from UBC. The preservation of his
home marks further recognition. Maintaining this
unique residence and the stories it contains, connect
our city's cultural past to the present. The Binnings
would undoubtedly approve. •
"Colour: Selected after consultation with Knoll's
International Limited and Mr. B.C. Binning, Associate
professor of Art at U.B.C. The blue and green of the
pattern mosaic tile and the soft grey of the curtain wall
are colours which are natural to B.C. landscapes and are
kept in low key, so they will remain in sympathy with the
surroundings of the building, for years to come."
From Information for tour guides, August, 1957 published
by BC Electric
 The Artful Dewdney: New Light on the Sketchy Character of
the Honourable Edgar Dewdney By a cooney
Life is as the little
that runs across
the grass
and loses itself in
the sunset.
— Crowfoot1
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the
Honourable Edgar Dewdney entered his
sunset years. Looking back over nearly
five decades in Canada, he decided that
the perfect antidote to looming obscurity was to get
started on his autobiography.2 Not too far into the
project, Dewdney decided to add a bit of romance to
the work and copied—verbatim—several pages from
W. Champness's To Cariboo and Back, an account of
British Columbia's first gold rush serialized in the
weekly British magazine The Leisure Hour in April
1865.3 Why this attempt at
autobiographical fraud? It
hardly seems necessary. For
better and for worse, few
men before or since have
had a greater impact on
Western Canada than Edgar
In British Columbia,
Dewdney was a pioneering
surveyor, trailblazer and
roadmaker, gold prospector,
rancher, entrepreneur, surveyor general, and popular
colonial politician supporting union with Canada. He
is sometimes called the father of roadmaking in British
Columbia. As the federal Member of Parliament for
British Columbia's Yale-Kootenay district his efforts
had a significant and positive impact on the fate
of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In the Northwest
Territories, Prime Minister John A. MacDonald first
appointed Dewdney Indian commissioner and then
lieutenant governor. As lieutenant governor, Dewdney
appeared to wield near-dictatorial powers that shaped
the fate of the First Nations, Metis, settlers, the CPR,
and the democratic development of the Northwest.
He was a key figure in the Regina Land Scandal, the
1885 Northwest Rebellion, the hanging of Louis Riel,
and the post-rebellion repression visited upon the
First Nations. Dewdney went on to become the federal
member for East Assiniboia in the Northwest and
when Sir John A. Macdonald appointed him Interior
Minister he became the first Western Canadian to
serve in Cabinet. Finally, when Prime Minister John
Abbott appointed Dewdney the lieutenant governor
for British Columbia, he became the first and last
Canadian to serve as lieutenant governor in two
different jurisdictions.
Dewdney had been friend or foe to many of
nineteenth-century Canada's famous names. He had
known: colonial governors James Douglas, Frederick
Seymour and Anthony Musgrave; politicians and
newspapermen Amor De Cosmos, John Robson, and
Nicholas Flood Davin; the chiefs Crowfoot, Sitting
Bull, Poundmaker, Piapot, and Big Bear; CPR men
like Sanford Fleming and Marcus Smith; aristocratic
governor generals Lord Dufferin, Lord Lome, and
Lord Aberdeen; prime ministers Alexander Mackenzie,
John Abbott, John Thompson, Charles Tupper, and
Wilfrid Laurier. And, of course, Dewdney counted the
great nation builder Sir John A. Macdonald among his
closest personal and political friends.
On top of all this, Dewdney was a serial
entrepreneur; he died in 1916 with an estate valued
at around $80,000, which does not sound like much,
but it is the equivalent of 1.5 million today.4
Despite this strenuous, controversial, and
privileged life—for some reason—Dewdney felt the
CJ Cooney a
freelance writer
and researcher
interested in
the areas of
narrative, culture,
and history.
The Honorable Edgar
BC Archives photo A-01176
1 Grant W. Baxter and Wendy J.
Stuart. Death and the Adolescent.
(Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 1999), vii. Quotation
modified by CJ Cooney.
2 Edgar Dewdney.
"Reminiscences." 1-29: British
Columbia Archives, BCA,
E/E/D51, n.d. Dewdney's
autobiographical efforts resulted
in this document.
3 W. Champness. "To Cariboo
and Back." In The Leisure
Hour 1865: A Family Journal
of Instruction and Recreation.
(London: n.p., 1865) pp. 203-07,
Analyis of pages 19 to 29 of
Dewdney's "Reminiscences"
reveal them to be an almost
verbatim copy of pages 257-260
of Champness's work.
4 Converting $80K from 1916
to current dollars is a rough
calculation. Two sources were
used to do this. First Source:
1a) It took one Canadian Dollar
to buy one U.S. Dollar in 1916.
Source for 1a: Lawrence H.
Officer, "Exchange rate between
the United States dollar and forty
other countries, 1913-1999."
Economic History Services,
EH.Net, 2002,
hmit/exchangerates (accessed
6 August 2006). 1b) In 2008,
$80,000.00 from 1916 was
worth between US$1,618,819.55
(using the GDP deflator) and
US $1,131,773.45 (using the
Consumer Price Index). Source
for 1b: Samuel H. Williamson,
"Six Ways to Compute the
Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar
Amount, 1790 to Present,"
MeasuringWorth, 2008, http://
uscompare (accessed 25 March
2009). 1c) In March 2009, US$
1,375,296.50 (the average
of US$1,131,773.45 and US$
1,618,819.55) was the equivalent
of CAN$ 1,576,298.83 (based on
a five-year average interbank
exchange rate of 1.146152
for 2005-2009). Source for
convert/ fxhistory (accessed 25
March 2009). Second Source, for
need to borrow stories from the life of someone else.
In Dewdney's lifetime, he appeared to many a
member of the upper-class English elite—a terrible
snob forever flaunting his wealth.5 To modern
historians, he is a figure of disdain;6 he is the
archetypical self-aggrandizing English adventurer;7
and, he hails from those better classes composed of
well-bred, well-off, expensively educated gentlemen
seeking to duplicate in Canada the British social
structures that automatically afforded them high
social rank, unearned respect, undeserved privilege,
and special access to economic opportunity.8 It is
written of Dewdney today that he "believed that the
low-born were unfitted for the reins of power and that
high office was best reserved for those habituated to
it by birth and formation."9 This is wrong, of course.
Dewdney believed no such thing.
Documents in the United Kingdom's National
Archives now prove that Dewdney was born into
the spectacular nineteenth-century poverty that
provided Charles Dickens and Karl Marx with grist
for their writing. Dewdney was the son of a humble
boatman. He grew up in a tenement with the children
of dhimney sweeps and sailors for playmates. These
documents provide new and unexpected information on
Dewdney's origins in Great Britain and shed new light
on Dewdney's complex personality: he was far more
Artful Dodger than pedigreed English gentleman.
The documents also make clear the true arc of
Dewdney's life: he would defy the traditional fate of
his working class origins; he would do it during a
class-obsessed age when social origin almost always
dictated destiny; he would rise from the depths of an
English slum to the heights of Canadian society. To
do this, Edgar Dewdney reinvented himself in British
Columbia as surely as Archie Belaney had reinvented
himself as Grey Owl in Temagami, Ontario. Of the
two, Dewdney was the more successful pretender,
for Dewdney's secret remained undiscovered for
150 years.
There is no small gap between what we think
we know about the life of Edgar Dewdney and what
we actually know. This gap invites a search for the
real Edgar Dewdney. How is it that the son of a
Devon boatman came to play a large and deciding
role in the fate of early Western Canada? How is it
that Dewdney's deception fooled shrewd colonial
governors, Canadian prime ministers, aristocratic
governors general, and hostile newspapermen?
The Cover Story
Dewdney's life in Canada began with a fictional
cover story. In it, he misidentified the names of both his
father and mother. He falsified the place of his birth.
He misrepresented the quality of his education and
invented stories of having played cricket against the
age's cricketing legends. He concocted a false resume
to give the impression he possessed important social
connections. He claimed acquaintance with famous
politician and author Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton (who
bequeathed to the world the phrase "It was a dark and
stormy night"). He travelled to the new world as all
working-class persons did—in third class steerage. To
explain why he, supposedly a well-educated son from
a family of means, had arrived penniless in Victoria,
he made up a story about blowing a small fortune in
old New York. By sticking to his cover story, Dewdney
was able to spend fifty-seven years in Canada posing
as a member of the better classes and keeping secret the
truth of his lowly origins.
Unfortunate Son
Edgar Dewdney was born on November 5,1835,
but not to Charles Dewdney and Fanny Hollingshead
as Dewdney may have reported.10 In reality, he was
born to John Dewdney and Elizabeth Parsons.11
His family was not one of means.12 His father was
a boatman working the rivers, canals, and harbour
waters of Devon and his mother was most likely a lace
maker.13 By misidentifying them, Dewdney's friends
would not be able to look up his parents during their
visits to England. This was one important way he kept
his secret safe during a very social and gossipy age.
The Geographic Shuffle
Dewdney would claim to be born in the bustling
port city of Bideford.14 He would also claim to have
been "born in a pretty little place near Exeter."15 He
was not born in Bideford, nor was he born anywhere
near Exeter. He was, in fact, born in the sleepy village
of East Budleigh, famous as the birth place of Sir Walter
Raleigh and known for its lace making.16 Not long after
Dewdney's birth, his father moved the family a few
miles west to the river city of Exmoufh. There the family
lived in a South Street tenement with agricultural
labourers, sailors, lace makers, and chimney sweeps
for neighbours.17 Dewdney's earliest memories would
consist of the sights and sounds of this city slum and it
was in this slum, like some apocryphal Artful Dodger,
that Dewdney developed his talent for sleight of hand
and sundry acts of legerdemain.18
 the calculation (in $US): "What
cost $80,000 in 1916 would cost
$1,506,601.27 in 2007." The
Inflation Calculator, http://www.
(accessed 25 March 2009).
5 Canada, The Debates of
the House of Commons of the
Dominion of Canada, 4th Session
6th Parliament, 14 April 1890,
3351. Nicholas Flood Davin
accuses Dewdney of flaunting his
6 Patrick A. Dunae. "Review
of the Frontier World of Edgar
Dewdney / Long Day's Journey:
The Steamboat and Stagecoach
Era in the Northern West." BC
Studies, no. 99 (2001): 3.
7 Brian Titley. Frontier World
of Edgar Dewdney. (Vancouver:
University of British Columbia
Press, 1999), ix.
8 Patrick A. Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants: From the British
Public Schools to the Canadian
Frontier, (Vancouver: Douglas &
Mcintrye, 1981), 3,5.
9 Titley, 142.
10 Madge Wolfenden. "Edgar
Dewdney." 1-7: British Columbia
Archives, BCA.M/D51,1938,1.
The names of Dewdney's parents
in this document cannot be
confirmed through the UK's
National Archives.
11 The National Archives
(United Kingdom). "Family Group
Record.", n.d.,
(accessed May 30, 2009).
12 The National Archive
(United Kingdom). "1841 England
Census." Class: H0107; Piece
255; Book: 15; Civil Parish:
Tiverton; County: Devon;
Enumeration District: 6; Folio:
11; Page: 16; Line: 7; GSU roll:
Edgar Dewdney helped blaze trails through roadless British Columbia.
Image from W. Champness's To Cariboo and Back, which was published In the April 1865 Issues of The Leisure Hour, a British weekly journal.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 42 No. 2      13
 13 The occupation,
relationships, and abodes of
the Dewdney family and their
neighbours are recorded in U.K.
census data for 1841,1851,
1861,1871, and 1881. The
specific census documents are:
1. The National Archive (United
Kingdom). "1841 England
Census." 2. The National Archive
(United Kingdom). "1851
England Census." Class: H0107;
Piece: 1865; Folio: 215; Page: 36;
GSU roll: 221013. 3. The National
Archive (United Kingdom). "1861
England Census." Class: RG9;
Piece: 1382; Folio: 25; Page: 26;
GSU roll: 542804.4. The National
Archive (United Kingdom). "1871
England Census." Class: RG10;
Piece: 2047; Folio: 78; Page: 25;
GSU roll: 831766.; and, 5. "1881
England Census." Class: RG11;
Piece: 2138; Folio: 85; Page: 20;
GSU roll: 1341516.
14 Susan Louisa Allison. "Edgar
Dewdney: Information supplied
by Mrs. Susan Louisa Allison, his
sister, who has been a resident
of Princeton, B.C., since about
1858." 1: British Columbia
Archives, BCA, M/D51,1928,1.
15 Noel Robinson. "The Story
of My Life: Edgar Dewdney." The
Daily Colonist, July 20,1913,10.
16 The National Archives
(United Kingdom)." Edgar
DEWDNEY (AFN: 1X74-08V).", n.d., http:// Eng/
asp?recid=47172608 (accessed
March 25,2009).
17 The National Archive (United
Kingdom). "1841 England
18 William Wymond Walkem.
Stories of Early British Columbia.
(Vancouver: News-Advertiser,
1914), 259. Dewdney's talent for
sleight-of-hand was well known
to his Canadian contemporaries.
19 Allison, 1.
20 Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants, 4.
A Rude Education
When specifically asked about his education,
it was Dewdney's habit to declare that he had been
educated in Bideford, Tiverton, and Exeter—and
leave it at that.19 He would leave it to his audience to
assume he had attended good public schools. This
is important. In nineteenth-century Britain, public
schools were not in any way shape or form public.20
They were elite institutions, and remain so to this
day. Tuition fees were affordable only for the upper
and upper-middle classes. Of course, considering
his origins, it was impossible for Dewdney to have
ever actually attended a public school, and if he had,
if s certain he would have trumpeted the fact. As it
turned out, Dewdney had never lived in Bideford,
let alone been educated there. He had, though, been
schooled in Tiverton and Exeter, but the reality of his
rude schooling would have horrified any true public
school graduate.
This was an essential element of his deception
for Victorian society was riven by class prejudice—the
wealthier classes often assumed the poor and lowborn came from intellectually frail and morally
inferior stock.21 The difference between labourer
and gentleman was the difference between being
shamelessly and cruelly exploited and being treated
fairly and respectfully.22
Dewdney could never reveal that at the tender
age of six, he and his sisters were sent to Tiverton to
live in the home of schoolmistress Eliza Turner—who
probably tutored the Dewdney children in exchange
for household labour and a modest stipend from their
father.23 At fifteen, he was living in Exeter at the school
of James and Emma Templeton.24 The Templeton
school was independent but could hardly be
considered a public school—enrolment included boys
and girls of all ages and the entire number of students
would comfortably fit into a small classroom.
After completing this meagre schooling,
Dewdney claimed to have left Devonshire to study
civil engineering at Cardiff, a city in Wales famous for
its coal and slowly developing a reputation for two
other exports: engineers and geologists.25 In those
days, civil engineering was not studied at universities
or colleges, but learned by apprenticeship—exactly
the kind of practical training class-conscious public-
school boys looked on with scorn.26 Dewdney could
have received this training almost anywhere, if he
received it at all.
Of course, Dewdney played the role of
gentleman to perfection and for his entire life he
benefited from the fact that those he met assumed he
was from a wealthy family and been the recipient of a
superior education. He played the part so well, these
erroneous assumptions would last nearly a century
after his death.
Cricketing Legends
Perhaps to add a dash of public school romance
to his tale of training in Cardiff, Dewdney claimed to
have played on the South Wales cricket team and that
the highlight of his athletic career had been to play
long-stop in a three-day match against All English,
which involved no less than six of the greatest
cricketers of the age: Clarke, Wisden, Wiltshire, Box,
Stacey, and Lillywhite.27 This cricketing adventure
added a wholesome air to Dewdney's story and,
coupled with Dewdney's athleticism, undoubtedly
gave his audiences the impression they were in the
presence of a quintessential English gentleman-
athlete. Upon completion of his training, young
Dewdney headed for London where the demand for
civil engineers was great.
Resume Inflation
Curiously, Dewdney never claimed to have
plied the craft of the civil engineer in London.
Instead, he claimed to be the private secretary to
Sir John Lorry Rickards, a special consultant to the
government of Prime Minister Viscount Palmerston
on the bloodbaths of the 1857 Indian Mutiny.28
However, it seems unlikely that Dewdney would be
either qualified or connected enough to secure the
position; indeed, Dewdney's handwriting, unlike
the elegant script of the well-educated gentleman,
was always a bit on the crude side.29 When the
young man immigrated to British Columbia, he
did not have in his possession either a letter of
recommendation or introduction from Sir John Lorry
Rickards. In the absence of such documentary proof
of employment—a critical thing in those days—or
even a claim to have such documentary proof, it is
likely Dewdney never served as private secretary
to Rickards. However, by weaving Rickards into
his origin story, Dewdney was able to add a bit of
gentlemanly polish to his curriculum vitae.
Famous Author
In early 1858, Dewdney decided to immigrate
to the Empire's newest colony, British Columbia,
which—thanks to the Fraser River gold rush—had
 become "as famous a point as there is on the earth's
surface."30 Dewdney claimed to have interviewed with
politician and author Colonial Secretary Sir Edward
Bulwer Lytton and received a letter introducing him
to British Columbia's Governor James Douglas.31
The letter lent credence to the idea that Dewdney
had access to the better parts of London society and
vouched for his respectability and social standing.
However, at the time, the Colonial Office's policy
was to encourage immigration, especially to British
Columbia, which many called Lytton's "child, his
favorite colony."32 It is entirely likely that Dewdney's
letter of introduction from Lytton was nothing more
than a standard boilerplate introduction or what
a letter to Colonial Office undersecretary Winston
Churchill would one day refer to as the "usual soup
plate" letter of introduction.33 Sir Edward's Colonial
Office would hand out letters of introduction like
candy over the next few years and Governor Douglas
would fill a large drawer with letters of introduction
presented to him by hordes of public school boys
seeking comfortable government sinecures.34
Of course, the Colonial Office was not always
so promiscuous with its recommendation of British
Columbia and letters of introduction: Two years
after Dewdney left for the new world, the Office of
the Colonial Secretary—under new management—
refused to recommend the undeveloped colony
of British Columbia to "any particular class" of
A Humble Passage
On March 5,1859, the boatman's son boarded
the Borussia at Southampton—he was on his way to
British Columbia. Had Dewdney been a gentleman
from a well-off family, odds are he would have
purchased one of the Borussia's £20 first-class tickets. *
Had Dewdney travelled first class, he'd have been
exempted from having his name, age, and occupation
recorded in the ship's manifest.37 The ship's manifest
for the voyage records Dewdney as being a 23 year
old civil engineer sailing in the company of farmers,
servants, clerks, and merchants. He had paid £8-8s for
a ticket in third-class steerage.38 A few weeks later,
on May 13,1859, Dewdney arrived in Victoria. He
was almost broke.
The Nest Egg Vanishes
How does a boatman's son posing as a
gentleman from the better classes explain arriving
in a distant colony with only a few dollars to his
name? Dewdney invented a rather ingenious tale. First,
he declared that he had left England with a nest egg of
£150.39 Thaf s the equivalent of $23,000 Canadian dollars.
40 Then, he said he'd blown almost all of it during two
weeks of fun in old New York.41 Did Dewdney ever
actually have £150? Likely not. Explaining how he
had blown £150 in New York meant he did not have to
explainhow a gentleman of his apparent social standing
had arrived penniless in the new world. Of course, this
was a rather cheeky story: then as now, New York was
a "wild metropolis" with a sales pitch for every vice and
diversion known to man.42
It would have amused Dewdney's
contemporaries to imagine which vices and diversions
he had blown his substantial nest egg on. When
pressed for details, if s certain the gentleman Dewdney
would have declined to elaborate.
The Performance
One of the major factors in Dewdney's successful
deception was that he possessed the natural bearing
and good looks of an English gentleman. He was
tall, athletic, and possessed a quick mind. In time,
he mastered the manners, wit, and snobberies of
the gentleman. To complete the picture, Dewdney
spent what little money he had on gentlemanly
trappings, things such as a fashionable frock coat and
a handkerchief embroidered with his initials; indeed,
his tall hat was only the second Victoria's Victorian
society had ever seen.43
Aside from looking the part, Dewdney did
possess the skills of a surveyor; the colony did need
qualified surveyors; he did interview well with both
Governor Douglas and Colonel Moody and appeared
to them to exemplify that "sound sterling English
element" they would endeavour to cultivate (often at
the expense of immigrants unable to claim the status
of English gentleman).44 On his first full day ashore,
Dewdney did win the last surveyor's position in
British Columbia. Had Dewdney arrived a day later
or failed to win that position, it is likely Douglas
would have suggested he try his hand as a labourer
on the mainland. Indeed, Douglas would devastate
many a genuine gentleman with that suggestion over
the next few years.45 Dewdney's performance that
day won him entry into the warm embrace of British
Columbia's insular English society.46
Failing to win entry or losing favour with British
Columbia's ruling elites could prove problematic. The
job Dewdney won had been lost by a man named
Cochrane. Within a few months of losing the job,
21 Two examples of English
upper-class contempt. Margaret
A. Ormsby. British Columbia: A
History. (Toronto: Macmillan,
1958), 266. James S.Donnelly,
Jr., The Great Irish Potato
Famine. (London: Sutton
Publishing, 2001), 20, 31-32.
22 Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants, 3
23 The National Archive
(United Kingdom). "1841 England
24 The National Archive
(United Kingdom). "1851 England
25 Robinson, "The Story of My
Life: Edgar Dewdney", July 20,
26 Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants, 228
27 Details of Dewdney's
cricketing game are found in two
sources. Noel Robinson. "The
Story of My Life: Edgar Dewdney."
The Daily Colonist, September
71913,11. S.W. Jackman. The
Men at Cary Castle. (Victoria:
Morriss Printing Company, 1972),
28 Robinson, "The Story of My
Life: Edgar Dewdney", July 20,
29 Numerous examples of
Dewdney's "crude" handwriting
can be found here in the Glenbow
Museum, Archives, particularly:
Edgar Dewdney Fonds, Series 13,
Diaries and Journals. - 1879-
1888, M 320.
30 Robert Michael Ballantyne,
ed.. Handbook to the New
Gold Fields: A Full Account of
the Richness and Extent of the
Fraser and Thompson River Gold
Mines. (Edinburgh: A. Strahan,
1858), 12.
31 Robinson, "The Story of My
Life: Edgar Dewdney", July 20,
32 Ibid.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 42 No. 2       15
 33 Joseph Chamberlain.
"Letter from Joseph Chamberlain
(Imperial Hotel, Torquay [Devon])
to WSC [Winston Spenser
Churchill]." Churchill College,
Churchill Archives Centre,
Reference code: CHAR 10/8/11,
February 6,1906, http://www-
by=Dscore;index=0 (accessed 19
February 2008).
34 Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants, 40. Governor Douglas's
pattern for dealing with young
English gentlemen seeking work
is based upon the experience of
Richard Byron Johnson.
35 Anonymous. Cariboo: the
newly discovered gold fields of
British Columbia by a Returned
digger. (London: Darton fit
Hodge, 1862), 79-80. This
warning to potential emigrants
appeared under the heading
INFORMATION" and was extracted
from an 1861 pamphlet published
during the tenure of Colonial
Secretary Henry Pelham-Clinton.
36 "Steam to New York, from
Southampton [Advertisement],"
The Times, 15 February 1859, 2.
37 Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants, 6
38 The National Archives
(United Kingdom). "New York
Passenger Lists, 1820-1957." Year:
1859, Arrival: New York, United
States, Microfilm serial: M237,
Microfilm roll: M237190, Line: 11,
List number: 170.
39 Dewdney, Reminiscences, 1.
40 The conversion of £150 in
1858 to 2009 Canadian dollars
is a rough calculation. 1) US$
20,099.92 is the average of
$12,136.03 to $28,063.81, the
range of 2007 US$ conversion
values generated using the
GDP deflator method. Source:
Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel
H. Williamson, "Computing
'Real Value' Over Time With a
Conversion Between U.K. Pounds
and U.S. Dollars, 1830 - 2007",
Measuringwbrth, 2008, http://
In 1860s British Columbia, it took many feats of derring-do just to get to the gold fields
Image from W. Champness's To Cariboo and Back, which was published in the April 1865 issues of The Leisure Hour, a British weekly journal.
 Cochrane would take his own life.47 The consequences
of being excluded from respectable society and Htting
bottom, whether as a result of class prejudice, ethnic
favouritism, or self-destructive tendencies, were
quick and cruel on the frontier.
Dewdney's class jumping would have required
an extraordinary acting ability; it is no simple thing for
a boatman's son to pretend to be a gentleman. While
Dewdney's great bluff hardly seems a mean feat today
then, it would have been remarkably difficult. In the
late nineteenth century, the term gentleman was not a
polite, longer version of the word man, as it is today;
to Victorians, the term gentleman referred to a distinct
class of men who enjoyed superior social rank.48 The
rewards of playing impostor were, however, worth
the risk: liberation from a life of grinding poverty and
hard labour. Indeed, the low-born son of a boatman
had little to lose in the trying.
Cracks in the Gentlemanly Facade
Despite outward appearances, Dewdney was
not quite the epitome of the English gentleman.
His ability to blend in at the extremely civil and
highly refined formal social functions of governors,
lieutenant governors, governors general and prime
ministers was only surpassed by his ability to trade
jokes and stories around the campfire with Indians,
miners and labourers in the most rugged and remote
corners of nineteenth-century Canada. He differed
from the stereotypical English gentleman in two other
important ways. First, he did not exhibit the English
gentlemen's sense of entitlement for the simple reason
that, as a native of the underclass, he had never been
bred to feel entitled. Second, Dewdney was not
immune to the prejudices of his age, however, where
true English gentlemen often exercised class prejudice
and displayed disdain for Indians, lowly miners,
and eastern-born Canadians, Dewdney sometimes
proffered respect and friendship.49 Indeed, few of
his adopted class could claim, as Dewdney could, to
have picked up Chinook Jargon—a patois of native and
European languages—in order to better communicate
with the First Nations people of British Columbia.50
New light on the origin of Edgar Dewdney
makes clear his primary motivation in life was to
escape poverty and attain two key things from which
those of his low social station were excluded, namely,
social recognition and economic opportunity. This
new insight offers a new critical standpoint from
which to reassess our understanding of the life and
career of Edgar Dewdney. If all Dewdney had been
was a successful class jumping impostor, this would be
an interesting project. However, it is also an important
project, for Edgar Dewdney was a key figure at the
centre of many of the essential moments that shaped
early Western Canada and as events played out—for
better and, often, for worse—Dewdney's failures
and achievements left Canada a changed place. It
is a remarkable thing to consider that the fulcrum
of Western Canadian history had, if ever so briefly,
rested upon the ideas and actions of the son of a
Devon boatman.
Equally remarkable is the fact that when Edgar
Dewdney sat down to record the events of his life,
he felt the need to continue mixing fact with fiction.
He had lived a spectacular rags-to-riches story. It
must have been frustrating to be unable to boast
of this accomplishment without blowing his cover
story. Perhaps he was discouraged that his cover
story lacked the romance and epic scope of his true
secret story. This may be why Dewdney felt the need
to borrow stories of gold rush derring-do from W.
Champness's To Cariboo and Back. It is astonishing that
Dewdney's life in Canada began with a fictional cover
story. It is tragic that his life in Canada ended with an
attempt at autobiographical sleight-of-hand. •
exchange (accessed 26 March 2009).
2) In AAarch 2009, US$ 18,307.55
was the equivalent of CAN$
23,037.56 (based on a five-year
average interbank exchange rate of
1.146152 for 2005-2009), http:// fxhistory
(accessed 25 March 2009).
41 Dewdney, Reminiscences, 2.
42 Luc Sante. Low Life: The
Lures and Snares of Old New York.
(New York: Vintage Books, 1991).
43 Dewdney's sense of fashion
can be gleaned from two
sources, for frock coat and tall
hat: Dewdney, Reminiscences,
7; for pesonalized handkerchief:
Robinson, "The Story of My Life:
Edgar Dewdney", July 20,1913,
44 Ormsby, British Columbia:
A History, 191. The governor
and colonel were accused of
promoting English gentlemen
ahead of Canadians.
45 Dunae, Gentlemen Emigrants,
40. The English gentleman Richard
Byron Johnson was told by
Governor Douglas to seek work as a
labourer on the mainland.
46 Margaret A. Ormsby, ed. A
Pioneer Gentlewoman in British
Columbia: The Recollections
of Susan Allison, (Vancouver:
University of British Columbia
Press, 1976), xiv-xv.
47 Dewdney, Reminiscences, 8.
48 Dunae, Gentlemen
Emigrants, 3, 5.
49 Two examples of Dewdney
extending respect/friendship to
persons outside his "adopted"
class, Dewdney, Reminiscences,
14; Edgar Dewdney. "Report of
the Department of Indian Affairs
for the Year Ended 31st December,
1890" Sessional Papers of the
Dominion of Canada, 1891,
Volume 15,1st session of the 7th
Parliament, xxix-xxx.
50 Noel Robinson. "The Story of
My Life: Edgar Dewdney." The Daily
Colonist, August 10,1913,10.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 42 No. 2      17
 An Education in Gumbo
A Road Trip in 1927
By Mary Leah de Zwart
Mary Leah de Zwart's
previous article for BC
History was The Red
Book Revealed: British
Columbia's Home Economics
Secret 1930 - 1975 in issue
ven in 1927, car travellers thought automobile
associations were important for route
planning. Annie Cutler, a twenty-six year
I old teacher from Burnaby, her two younger
sisters Ada and Frank, and Olive Sutherland, a family
friend, found time to stop in at the local auto club
association in Kelowna on their 2400-mile return road
trip from Vancouver to Telkwa. If you look at a map of
B.C., you'll notice Kelowna is not exactly on the way to
either Vancouver or Telkwa. Were they lost? No, they
were just determined not to travel the Fraser Canyon
on the way home. Annie's travel diary, preserved in
the Provincial Archives of British Columbia, explains
their trip on the wild interior roads of B.C. and their
"education in gumbo".
The four travellers left Vancouver at seven a.m.
on June 30,1927, in a 1920 Chevrolet touring car with
over 200,000 miles on it. The car had side steps piled so
high with luggage that the women had to climb over
the doors to get in the seats; its top was canvas with
side curtains to be put on when it rained. The Fraser
Canyon Road was the first challenge of the trip. "If one
is not going up hill," Annie wrote, "one is going down,
and all on what is pleasantly called 'side hill road'".
The women asked at the butcher store in Lytton for
information about the road through to Lillooet, and
heard it was an enjoyable little two and a half hour
drive with a few curves. What they didn't know was
that the road went over the top of Pavilion Mountain.
At one point Annie looked over the side of the car to
the Fraser River, down a graveled cliff, "about one
and three quarters degrees from the perpendicular
and nothing between. Not even a fern".
Annie's party found several auto-camps to
stay at along the way. The best -equipped one was
in Kamloops, complete with electric stoves. Not
that they actually cooked; several meals consisted
of soda biscuits and ox-tail soup with an occasional
change to cheese and soda crackers. Jack Payne
of the Pine Tree Auto Camp in Clinton regaled the
women with stories; "He will tell you much of the
old days, of the hen house built entirely of bottles,
rum bottles, whiskey bottles of every known variety
and plastered with mud and generally entertain
you with lore of the Cariboo, to which country he
is much attached". They spent evenings around the
campfire singing songs and playing the ukulele. At
Clinton they heard, much to their relief, that they
did not have to retrace their steps through the Fraser
Canyon but could return home via the Okanagan
and Washington State. The presence of four young
women on the road was a novelty; two young men
from a road camp split wood for them one evening
and sent over flapjacks and syrup for breakfast. The
storekeeper at 100 Mile House wanted to keep Ada as
a housekeeper for a week as his wife was away. About
this, Annie wrote, "The poor man knew not what he
asked, for Ada as a cook would make an excellent
hair dresser; so as to save his digestion we dragged
our small sister away".
The ultimate challenge was mud. Annie
described the road between Clinton and Prince George
as "looking like a farm yard on a very wet day with
ten sets of ruts". The women bought a set of chains
in Quesnel for $7.50, an extravagance they thought
useless until they hit the roads around Vanderhoof.
Then Annie wrote, "Oh blessed chains, they certainly
saved our lives." A family friend, RCMP Constable
T.E.E. Greenfield (known as Ern) joined them in Prince
George and accompanied them the rest of the way
to his detachment in Telkwa. At Burns Lake they
encountered voracious mosquitoes, "who had called
all their clan to the banquet of fresh meat newly come
from Vancouver". Ern slept in his sleeping bag and
 the women occupied the tent; they made a smudge
in a frying pan to chase the mosquitoes out. The
week at Telkwa left them with warm memories; "We
have never before had the pleasure of meeting more
friendly folk from a more friendly town".
Now to get home; mud, rain and mechanical
problems continued. Between Vanderhoof and Prince
George, Annie drove down Swede Creek Hill for
the scariest ride of the whole trip. "The road was
almost hub deep in mud. Before we knew it we were
halfway down sliding along in second gear with both
brakes on hard and one wheel in the inside ditch".
They stopped, put on the chains, and Ern and the
girls walked ahead with the flashlight while Annie
manoeuvred the car through fog and mist. They said
good bye to Ern at Prince George and continued on
their way through Quesnel and Williams Lake, to
the finest campsite they found, Lac La Hache Camp.
Their favourite portion of the return trip was along
Kalamalka Lake between Vernon and Kelowna; "It
had not the grandeur of the Canyon Road, but the
beautiful colourings of the Lake and the rounded
hills on all sides not to mention the beauties of a wide
road, easy turns and last but not least, the fence on
the outside of the road".
The Chev had developed a front end shbnmy
within three blocks of
the group's departure
from Vancouver.
This did not
deter them;
they simply
called   in
at one of
the many   jgS
garages on
in Vancou-
ver   and
had one of
the bolts in
the steering        I
gear tightened.
After all, Annie
had been driving for
a few years, and their
father, a machinist, had taught
them some mechanical details. Soon
they started to refer to the sriimmy as "our old friend".
The right front tire became known as the "Jonah tire":
it picked up nails and had to be changed twice in two
days, once at the top of Pavilion Mountain. In Salmon
The first car on the "new"
Cariboo road, near Boston
BC Archives A-03076
Cariboo Highway between
Spuzzum and Lytton.
BC Archives A-04683
Greenfield, Annie. (1927).
Reminiscences of a motor trip
made in the summer of 1927
from Vancouver to Hazelton via
the Fraser Canyon and Cariboo
Highway, and of the return
journey made via Kamloops, the
Okanagan, and Washington state.
MS-1066. Victoria, BC: Provincial
Archives of British Columbia.
Permission to use these memoirs
and photographs was kindly
obtained from David Greenfield
of Milton, Ontario, son of Annie
and Em Greenfield.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY ■ Vol. 42 No. 2      19
 Cutler Camp, 1916 Arm they noticed a rumble in the rear end; in Vernon
they took a garage man for a ride to try to diagnose
the cause. "But could we hear that grind? Not a sound
from it while he was with us. We almost ran away
with him as a traveling garage man would have been
a great help".
After picking up maps in Kelowna they
continued on to northern Washington State. Four
miles from the small town of Cle Elum, Washington,
the rear end of the Chev jammed. It was Saturday
afternoon; no mechanic worked on Sunday, and the
party had only six dollars among them. They wired
home for money and waited over until Monday.
"Someone suggested church, but we had no hats and
not much ambition". They started on the last lap to
Vancouver at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 29, "determined
to go until we got home even if the car fell to pieces on
the way". Ten hours and two hundred and forty miles
later, Annie drove the Chev into the family garage at
32417th Avenue, Vancouver. The family soon appeared
in pajamas to let the travellers in, and they had tea
and talked until daylight.
Annie concluded her diary with these words:
"Here endeth the famous history of our motor trip
through the ever changing scenery of interior British
Columbia, surrounded by the glamour of the old
Cariboo days and the beauties of that wonderful
country, not to mention the mud". The secrets to
successful road trips in 1927 were maps, chains and
a good mechanic. •
 British Columbia Historical Federation
NO. 26   June 2009
ISSN  print
From the President's Desk
We have just returned from the Nelson conference. The event
was notable and most enjoyable except for my hard drive dying
and a 4 hour closure on the Hope-Princeton. We doubled back to
Princeton, then up to Merritt, a road new to us and down the
Coquihalla, an extra 280 kms and 3 hours. The Conference was
highlighted on Thursday with the Lieutenant Governor In
attendance and presenting the book prizes. Friday's bus tour had
visits to New Denver, Sandon and Kaslo and trips through Slocan
and Ainsworth. A lovely day with fascinating history of the area.
The evening offered the first reading of a historical drama being
developed about S.G. Blaylock and Ginger Goodwin.
Saturday's AGM was well attended with interesting members'
reports followed by Eric Jamieson's presentation on the collapse
of the Second Narrows (Ironworkers Memorial) Bridge in
Vancouver (Eric's book won the Lt-Governor's award) and a
walking tour of downtown Nelson. The banquet finished off the
day. Thanks to the Nelson crew that put on a very enjoyable
Your Council met on Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. A
good amount of material was covered. Your President was
authorized to sign the contract with Johnson Inc. to make travel
and home insurance available through membership in the
Federation and this has now been done. Both products are
spoken highly of by those who have used them. Member
societies will receive information in the coming months.
Digitization of printed material, documents and maps was another
topic discussed in detail and the Federation is prepared to enter
into a program with UBC to digitize the back issues of the BC
Historic Newsletter and BC History magazine. We have
permission to digitize the BC Historical Quarterly produced jointly
by the BCHA and BC Archives between 1937 and 1958.
Proposed changes to the Bylaws and Regulations were adopted
and revisions will be posted on the website and mailed to those
without net access. A new Committee headed by Anne Edward
is to encourage government to teach B.C. history and a
committee headed by Tom Lymbery for the promotion,
preservation and marking of historical sites, relics, natural
features and other objects & places of historical interest.
Welcome to new Council members Teedie Kagume and Mary
Campone and thanks to retiring member Gord Miller. Other
Committee heads have agreed to continue serve. A committee
recommendation was the formation of the position of Federation
Archivist. Teedie Kagume, who has been an archivsitforthe past
18 years, has assumed the position.
Ron Greene, President
Nelson Conference
The Council for 2009-2010 elected at the AGM
Honorary President
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Recording Secretary
Board of Directors
Mary Campone
Tony Cox
Marie Elliott
Jacqueline Gresko
Barb Hynek
Lorraine Irving
Teedie Kagume
Alice Marwood
Brenda Smith
Patrica Roy
John Atkin
Ron Hyde
Ron Welwood
Ron Hyde(Richmond)
Ron Greene (Victoria)
Anne Edwards (Moyie)
Tom Lymbery (Gray Creek)
Jill Rowland (Vancouver)
Janet Nichol (Vancouver)
Ken Welwood (Parksville)
(Lions Bay)
(Powell River)
(Maple Ridge)
Past President (Victoria)
Journal Editor (Vancouver)
Newsletter Editor (Richmond)
Website Editor (Nelson)
2008 Historical Writing Competition - 2008
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal
Eric Jamieson, author of
Tragedy at Second Narrows: The
Story of the Ironworkers Memorial
Bridge (Harbour Publishing)
Second Prize - Margaret Horsfield
for Voices from the Sound:
Chronicles of Clayoquot Sound     Eric Jamieson & The
and Tofino 1899-1929 Honourable Steven Point
(Salal Books) Lieutenant Governor BC
Third Prize - StephenHume for Simon Fraser: In search of
Modern British Columbia (Harbour Publishing)
Honorable Mention - Eileen Truant Pedersen for Set in
Stone: A History of Trail's Rock Walls (The Rock Wall
Project Entusiastico Soc & Lookout Mountain Productions)
 2008 Historical Writing Competition cont'd
Honorable Mention - Douglas C. Harris iovLanding Native
Fisheries: Indian Reserves & Fishing Rights in British
Columbia 1849-1925 (UBC Press)
Daphne Sleigh for The Man Who Saved Vancouver: Major
James Skitt Matthews (Heritage House Publishing)
These awards were presented at the Nelson Conference
Reception May 14th
The 2008 Recognition Winners were presented
certificates at the Nelson Conference May 16, 2009
Certificates of Merit
Vancouver Historical Society - City Reflections 1907 -
2009. This DVD is a resource for students and a model of
Historic Film preservation.
Vancouver Sun - For their 2008 series of articles of B.C.
families covering all ethnic groups
Certificates of Appreciation
Melva Dwyer - for her many years of service on the BCHF
Council and indexing the BC History magazine
Eileen Mak - for Journal sales, website and many other
service to the Federation
David Obee - For his many contributions to BC History.
He has researched, spoken, written campaigned, lobbied
and published the Province's heritage.
B.C. Library Association and the Public Services Branch of
the Ministry of Education for "Read all over the Map". The
summer reading club that had over 80,000 children
celebrating B.C.'s 150th birthday and learning about B.C.'s
history and the past.
Certificates of Recognition
Ms. Tracey Groot - To honor Ms.
Groot for the preservation and
communication of hockey in
Smithers and the Bulkley Valley
Marg Leffler -To honor the contribution Marg has made to
activities and publication to the Parksville Historical Society
and Region.
Parker Williams - For long-time
Community Services and the
Nanaimo Historical Society
This is the first year for the
Certificates of Recognition which are specifically designed
for Member Societies to nominate an outstanding member
of their Society or a local resident who has made a
significant effort or contribution for the preservation and/or
promotion of British Columbia's exciting history.
For information on these awards check
and Awards/Merit
A note from Marg Leffler -1 am deeply appreciative of the
honor you are bestowing on me with this Certificate of
Recognition and am grateful to the members of the
Parksville and District Historical Society for nominating me.
Thank you all so much!
Anne & Philip Yandle Best Article Award
Bill Laux (in memorium) for A
Kootenay Saga published in
Volume 41 No. 4. The $250
award is being presented to the
Fauquier Reading Club of which
Bill was a member
Rosemarie   Parent   accepting   Bill
President Ron Greene
Laux   award   from
BC Editorial Cartoons at SFU's Special
The following editorial cartoonists are included in this
digitized collection - Robert Bierman, Graham Harrop,
Robert Krieger, Dan Murphy, Len Norn's, Roy Peterson,
Ingrid Rice, Jim Rinner as well as two cartoonists with
Alberta connections - John Larter and Edd Uluschak.
Other cartoon collections held atSFU Special Collections
include Mike Apsey's collection
of over 70 editorial cartoons on
the 'softwood lumber wars' and
the Charles Hou collection.   Mr. j
Hou, now retired, was an award j
winning   Burnaby  high   school j
teacher and a tireless promoter j
of editorial cartoons - he also
collection    them.    A    rough i
estimate of Hou's collecting are
over  70   volumes,   each   volume   holding   250  to  300
To view over 6,000 digitized editorial cartoons, go to The site also has
information on teaching resources and technical notes.
SFU Library has recently received monies from the British
Columbia History Digitization Program to digitize and
additional 800 editorial cartoons, all of which will feature
British Columba.
Langley Heritage Society and Genealogy
The Fraser Valley Regional Library now offers access to
Ancestry, a free searchable database of genealogical
resources including US, UK and Canadian census returns,
vital statistics, parish records, military records, court
records, ship passenger lists, city directories, family trees,
periodicals, local histories and maps.
This is a library edition of a popular commercial database
and is available on the library computers.
 The Bill Silver Digital Newspaper Archive
The project was named in recognition J
of the late Bill Silver who was a long
time resident of Vanderhoof and an
avid historian.   Mr. Silver had a keen I
interest in the development of the area I
which inspired him to collect issues of ■       ___jl  ? jta
the weekly newspaper. This collection
became an invaluable resource for the community.
The papers also became the basis of a weekly column in
the Omineca Express entitled "A Look at the Past" by Bill
Silver. Now that the collection has been preserved, the
Silver's work will be appreciated for generations to come.
The creation of the Bill Silver Digital
l^^^^^W Newspaper    Archives    has    been
J_l§ilS iS*    undertaken  in partnership with the
^Spi        t;-Jte     Nechako  Valley  Historical  Society.
,L JaP     ^ne 9oa' °^ t'1e Proiect 's to digitize
~^r     the   weekly   newspaper,    Nechako
Chronicle,   and   make   it   available
worldwide   in   a   searchable   online
database.   The digitized issues range from 1930 -1983.
The digitization and publication of the material will be of
great benefit to local historians, teachers, genealogists and
students from elementary school through university
The official opening of the Bill Silver Digital Newspaper
Archive took place March 21st, 2009 at the Vanderhoof
Public Library.
A great reminder to share your history, collectibles,
photographs, etc. with your local historical society,
museum, archives, etc.
Bamberton Historical Society invites you
to celebrate Bamberton's 98th Anniversary
family entertainment with Live
Theatre, Bus and Walking
Tours of the Historic Site,
Guided Museum Tours,
Documentary "Movie
"Bamberton, Gone but not
Forgotten" every Sunday 11:00
- 5:00 from June 28 til Sept. 27
Visit the historic site of the old
company town and cement plant; the largest private
remediation project and soil storage facility in B.C. and
the quarry extending over 1000 feet into the
mountainside. Enjoy the magnificent ocean and
mountain views that are part of this tour
For more information contact Maureen Alexander at or 250-743-9196
Enjoy a  whole  day of
Bella Coola Valley Museum's new Digital
Heritage site
website now includes over 600 new photos and a new
History of Logging Page.
The logging history of the Bella Coola Valley is an
enticing story that continues to resonate in our
community. It begins with the ingenious techniques of
the local Nuxalk peoples to harvest trees for personal
subsistence. Significant First Nations participation in
logging also extended into commercial logging in later
years. Some started their own logging company prior to
the arrival of multi-national companies.
The history of the commercial logging industry begins in
1898 and traverses the development of local logging
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ cooperatives
■ to the moving
in of the
Its history,
which is still
being made,
has come full
circle with the
of the Bella Coola Valley Resource Society, which has
recently obtained a community forest license. The
Nuxalk Nation has also received tenure for a community
forest license.
Click on the link to enter the Digital Heritage Project
SFU Downtown Memory Project
The Writing and Publishing Program at SFU launched
the Downtown Memory Project with the boundaries of
Burrard Street to Main Street and from False Creek to
Burrard Inlet with stories of no more than 300 words.
65 stories were received and were heartfelt and
passionate ones about experiences - many from
childhood - that characterized downtown Vancouver for
the writer. Segments such as: "Hastings Street was alive
with buskers plying their trades outside Woodwards: the
man playing the saw, the pencil seller and of course,
Foncies Fotos" (Ron Hyde) created strong visual images
and it seemed fitting to treat the text visually.
A graphic artist at SFU, Jennifer Conolly, offered her
skills to turn the stories into a visual display and the
outcome was superb. The text as art worked and the
stories were displayed in a corridor in Harbor Centre.
A two day group of workshops and talks around
capturing community history titled "Collective Memory"
will   take   place   November   13th   and   14th. Check
 Historic Ymir Hotel
After the Nelson Conference, a group of 8 participants
visited the historic Ymir Hotel in the town of Ymir just
north of Salmo and 28 km south
of Nelson.   The 1886 hotel was
restored    and    expanded    by
owner  Hans  Wilking  who  has ,
given   new   life   to   one  of  the
oldest remaining buildings in the
region and has the distinction of
being   the   longest   continuous
operating hotel/inn in the region.
Wilking, originally from Germany, wanted a heritage
I collection of the country he
came to and starting with
■ sketches, his collection grew to
^ include west coast native art
and paintings B.C., Canadian
and American artists and has
carvings from Papua New
' Guinea with a considerable
amount of art work from Hawaii. The j
Hotel's dining room is named Pua Hana j
and the lounge/bar the Cowichan.
On  entering the Ymir Hotel,  we were
greeted with music played by a harpist I
and a invitation to musical patrons to
use one of the musical instruments on
display to entertain the patrons.    The
restaurant and lounge serve excellent food with friendly
Hans gave us a tour of the Hotel, the 16 bedrooms and
two large suites where the walls of the
rooms are covered with painting and
artwork. Every wall is covered
including the ladies washroom (34
pieces) and the men's washroom (10
pieces) with over 500 artworks, 200
carvings, collectibles and books.
The jewel of the Kootenays is a "must
see" for anyone travelling to the Kootenays. The Historic
Hotel Ymir is an Associate Member of the BC Historical
Federation. Check out the Hotel's history, services and
rooms/suites on their website
$8.1 million for Provincial Heritage Sites
The Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Tourism, Culture
and the Arts, announced $8.1 million in new funding over
the next three years for the dozen provincial heritage
properties which include Barkerville, Fort Steele, Hat
Creek Ranch, Cottonwood House, Yale Historic Site,
Kilby Store and Farm, Keremeos Grist Mill and several
historic houses in Victoria.
These sites are operated by independent managers and
a 2007 study recommended an infusion of cash for
deferred maintenance and increase operating subsidies.
It will also give site managers better ability to plan
beyond the coming operating season.
Trail Mysteries Revealed in new book
"The Semiahmoo Trail: Myths, Makers, Memories" pulls
back the curtain on a little-known piece of Surrey history.
The Semiahmoo Trail was built 1873-74 and crossed
Surrey from the Fraser River to the Canada-U.S. border.
Local author Ron Dowle has written a highly readable
first ever history of the Trail and was ppublished by the
Surrey Historical Society.
Much  intrigue surrounds the origins
of the  Trail.     Was   it  built   by the
renowned  Royal Engineers?    What
was the catalyst for its construction?
For a time, horse-drawn wagons and
stagecoach   service   ran   along   its
bone-jarring    surface,    transporting I
settlers, intrepid visitors, government '
officials and fortune seekers, but within just 30 years it
fell into disuse.   Today, only a part of the original Trail
The 68 page book includes previously unpublished
material from pioneer writings, surveyor field books and
historical plans and maps held in the collections of the
B.C. Archives and the archives of Surrey, White Rock,
New Westminster and various sources in Whatcom
County in Wahington State. It also includes a complete
recreation of the original route superimposed on a
current map of Surrey.
The book is available at Black Bond Books, Chapters,
Save-on-Foods, Whitby Books or from the Surrey
Historical Society 778-294-1515 email
Nanaimo Museum website shows the life
and times of Snuneymuxw First Nation
Learning about the history of the Snuneymuxw First
Nation is now fun and intereactive, thanks to a new
website the Nanaimo District Museum is encouraging
students to visit. Bobbi Williamson, the museum's
program co-ordinator, said the "Voices of the
Snuneymuxw First Nation website, created by the Virtual
Museum of Canada, brings together a number of
Snuneymuxw cultural objects that are in museums
around the world and features them in colorful,
interactive ways.
Each object (such as fish hooks, looms and spindle
whorls uncovered in archeological digs) form the centre
of a class discussion, including their history and stories
from elders of the Snuneymuxw, whose traditional
territory surrounds the Nanaimo River estuary. The site
also includes information about their language
(Hul'q'umin'um), the environment they lived in and the
band today.
The new way of studying the history of the people who
populated the area before the Europeans came, is a hit
and using the Internet as a means to present the history
of the Snuneymuxw and other subjects is becoming
increasingly popular and useful to educators.
 1934 Bedaux Expedition - 75   anniversary
The Hudson's Hope Historical Society is celebrating the
role the Hudson's Hope Cowboys played in Bedaux's
adventures with a special summer exhibit "Our Hudson's
Hope Cowboys: Packers on the Rail - a 75th anniversary
celebration of the 1934 Bedaux Expedition".
The Hudson's Hope cowboys were part of the advance
freight outfit and others from the region that
accompanied the Bedaux outfit as packers and
Heritage   Legacy   Fund
museum's    web    site
The  summer  exhibit
Funding through the BC150
enabled the Society to procure
previously unpublished
photographs and
correspondence from the
cowboys' families and Library
& Archives Canada. An online
education component funded
by the History Education
Network (THEN) through UBC
will be developed on the
officially opened on Sunday May 24th.
Bob White, one of the Hudson's Hope cowboys,
participated in the expedition and wrote about his
adventures in his book Bannock & Beans. With the
generous permission of his family, BC author Jay
Sherwood has edited the manuscript and added more
photographs and anecdotes. The new edition, published
by the Royal BC Museum, will be launched at the
Hudson's Hope Museum Friday July 10th along with the
Paddle for the Peace event and a cowboy family reunion.
For information contact Rosaleen at 250-783-5735 or
What's happening at BC heritage sites
Maple Ridge Historical Society Music on the Wharf
Since 1997, this free (by donation) concert series has
taken place on the historic Port Haney wharf (on River
Road just east of the Port Haney West Coast Express
Twice in July and twice in August at 7:30 pm Monday
nights, the concert series features local and regional
bands with a variety of musical styles including jazz,
blues, bluegrass, brass band and western.
No seating is provided so bring your folding chair and
sun hat and enjoy a lovely evening breeze off the Fraser
July 13 - Golden Ears Jazz Band
July 24 - Lavalights
Aug 10 - Newhouse (formerly Roca)
Aug 24 - John Hough & Jim Woodward
for more information 604-463-5311 or check the website
www.mapleridgemuseum .org
What's happening cont'd
Vancouver Maritime Museum celebrates 50 years and
has plans to celebrate its 50th year with a spectacular
August 8 - 9 weekend of maritime events with
entertainment that everyone can enjoy.
Heritage Harbour will be brimming with boats and the
museum will feature many activities scheduled into the
two days at the museum. Everyone is invited to
celebrate and all events will be free to Museum
The New Westminster Museum & Archives came
across a donation offer on file that was received
sometime between 1950 and 2005, reading verbatim
"The two large Giant axes on handles were found under
a large fir stump when the land was being cleared
sometime in the 1920's by E.M. Norman, W.E.N. These
axes were used by the Sasquatch who were the off
spring of a Giant Father + human mother. There are two
axes who were used by the Giants themselves but are
too heavy to move"
U.S. President Ronald Regan made famous the old
Russian phrase "Trust but verify". Museum workers
should take it to heart!
A hearty welcome to our new members
Castlegar Arts Council
Chase & District Museum & Archives Society
Cherryville & Area Historical Society
Greenwood Heritage Society
Golden & District Historical Society
Lumby & District Historical Society
Native Daughters of British Columbia (Hastings Mill)
Sooke Region Historical Society
South Cariboo Historical Museum Society
The Riondel & Area Historical Society
Allen County Public Library (Michigan)
Bamberton Historical Society
Hotel Ymir
John Oliver Historical Society
Parks Canada - Fort Langley NHS
Revelstoke Nickelodeon Museum
UBC Faculty Women's Club - Heritage Group
Alex Ash - Vancouver
Bill McNullty- Richmond
Check our website - membership -
present ones for members' web sites and review their
activities, sites, events, etc.
The Federation has 150 memberships representing over
13,000 members.
 Stop of Interest Signs - New Virtual
History Tour
Heritage BC has received a $20,000 grant to create a
virtual history tour of the province based on the Stop of
Interest (SOI) sign program first developed for the 1958
provincial centennial.
Many British  Columbians recall the signs fondly from
The   SOI   program
past auto trips and vacations,
highlights and celebrates our
historic milestones and
increases British Columbians'
knowledge and appreciation of
their own history. It also
promotes heritage tourism by
encouraging B.C. residents to
vacation at home and explore
their province.
Through    the    BC    Stops    of j
Interest   website,    adults    and
children will travel the province
via the internet using innovative
Google  Map technology, exploring  heritage  sites  and
places of historic significance along the way.    In years
past, travellers would pull in at the SOI signs to learn
something about the rich history of the province.   Now
they will be able to do this from their laptops.
The website, designed by Lis Bailly of Portfolio Art
Services, will be informative, entertaining and visually
stimulating. At each "Stop" you will find a story
supported by archival images, contemporary photos,
graphics, and artifacts. Enlivened by simple animation
and rich media, visitors will be able to interact through
games and quizzes. Each of nine virtual history tours will
have a Web 2.0 community 'zone' for visitors to share
their stories, post comments and upload photos or
The site will include lesson plans and support materials
for teachers and parents and function as a portal to other
relevant resources,
Reflections from a first time Conference
As a contact person for the BC History of Nursing
Society, I traveled to Nelson and experienced my first
Conference and it made the BCHF come alive for me.
From start to finish, I enjoyed every minute of it meeting
so many interesting and enthusiastic people. The
Registration desk was filled with useful information and
the hospitality suite, with book sales, offered a restful
haven. The workshops on Thursday were both relevant
and practical to member societies.
The Opening Reception was special with the piper in full
kilt regalia, piping in the honored guests including the
Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Steven L. Point, his
wife and representatives from both local aboriginal tribes.
The venue in Touchstones was incredible.
The Silvery Slocan Heritage Tour showcased the
wonderful scenery around Nelson and our guide
enhanced the tour with hi intimate knowledge of the area
making it an educational, interesting and fun day. The
workshop production of Blay and Ginger at the Anglican
Church Hall provided more history about Kootenay
The AGM was conducted efficiently with tact and
diplomacy. I attended Eric Jamieson's talk and book
signing in the afternoon and found it fascinating. The
cemetery tour completed my afternoon. The banquet
was lovely with great food, a surprise musician, the
presentation of awards and certificates and a wonder
story teller who wowed us with her story anof the
Reckless Life of Henry Rose - the last man hanged at the
Nelson Goal.
Congratulations to the organizers of BCHF's Nelson
Nan Martin - BC History of Nursing Society.
New Westminster celebrates 150 years
As the oldest city in Western Canada, New Westminster
has a proud  and rich  history.
In     1859,    Royal    Engineers
arrived    from     England    to
establish the first capital of the
colony of British Columbia and
Governor    James     Douglas
proclaimed  that the  new city I
would be officially names "New i
Westminster" - a name chosen
by    Queen    Victoria    herself
which gave residents, both then and now, the honor of
referring to their home as the "Royal City".
Saturday - June 20th Heritage Neighbourhood Trolley
Tour will showcase special pockets of the Royal City as
neighbourhoods and organizations present entertainment
and historical highlights unique to their part of the city
includes a trip by boat across the Fraser River to visit the
Queensborough neighbourhood.
Saturday - June 27th Fashion Show "Fashion throughout
the ages - Waisted efforts". A light-hearted look at the
history of women's fashions during the 20th century.
Wednesday - July 1st Canada Day festivities in
Queen's Park and a spectacular display of fireworks
along the Fraser River.
Sataurday - August 22nd. A special fundraising event
for the New Westminster Museum and Archives.
Entertainment by a string quartet, a guided tour through
Irving House and a fabulous dinner. For more
The BCHF Newsletter is published quarterly.
Editor   Ron Hyde newsletter(a)JDchistorv. ca
To get your own copy of the Newsletter mailed to you for
4 issues, send $5 cheque payable to BCHF and mail to:
B.C.H.F Newsletter
Steveston PO Box 63006 - Richmond, B.C. V7E 6K4
 Piper Alistair Fraser
Anne Edward & Jacqueline Gresko Tony Cox, Rosemary Parent, Lorraine Irving
Don Wilson & Ron Welwood
Flyndi the Magician
Banquet guests
Alistair Fraser, Lietenant Governor
Steven Point and Mrs. Point
Susan Holland
Jacqueline Gresko, Ron Hyde and
Ron Welwood
Photos courtesy of Alistair Fraser, Ken Welwood, Tony Cox, Ron Welwood and the office of the
Lieutenant Governor.       Check out more Conference pictures     Http://
 The S.S. Moyie Tour- Kaslo
The Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre
Silversmith Powerhouse - Sandon
Heritage Machinery Park - Silverton
Tour Guide Terry Turner
Tour Guide Bill Sloan
Sandon Grave Markers
Silversmith Powerhouse - Sandon
Photos courtesy of Alistair Fraser, Ken Welwood, Tony Cox and Ron Hyde
 Authors Please Take Note
New and Updated BC History Submission Guidelines
The submission guidelines for BC
History have recently been updated.
Please take the time to read them and
acquaint yourself with the changes that
have been made. Two major changes have
been made.
1) no embedded images in the text file. While
the majority of articles arrive in good order
with separate text and image files a few
have had embedded photos and lots of
formatting, something that can consume a
lot of time to undo.
2) digital files please. Digital files are now
the order of the day, however in the rare
circumstance where a computer does not
exist as part of an author's set of tools BC
History may accept a paper manuscript.
The rest of the changes are clarifications and
British Columbia History publishes feature-length
articles as well as documentary selections, essays,
pictorial essays, memoirs, and reviews relating
to the social, economic, political, intellectual, and
cultural history of British Columbia.
The Publications Committee and the editor of BC
HISTORYMagazine invite submission.
Enquiries are directed to:
The Editor
912 Princess Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6B 3E8
Manuscripts which have been published elsewhere,
or are under review for publication elsewhere, will
be considered at the editor's discretion.
Illustrations provided with article submissions are
welcomed. Scanned images must be:
• of sufficient resolution for high-quality reproduction
• no less than 300 dpi, preferably in jpg format
• not embedded in text
Permission to publish photographs and artwork
from archives and other repositories is the responsibility of the contributor, and citations and copies
of permissions (or assurance of permission) must
be included with the submission.
A two-three sentence biographical note about the
The British Columbia Historical Federation assumes no responsibility for statements made by
To submit an article:
Word Count 3000 to 5000
Electronic version, with file extension (either .doc or
.rtf), will be required should the article be accepted
for publication.
All manuscripts must be typewritten, double-
spaced, with footnotes (also double-spaced) at the
end of the paper.
Endnotes must follow Chicago Manual of Style, do
not insert notes in text.
Copyright policy:
The BCHF maintains copyright in author's articles
for onetime use only, after which the rights revert to
the authors. However, the BCHF reserves the right
to digitize the article as it appears in British Columbia History, and to reprint it in a future publication.
The author may receive one complimentary copy.
 C.W.D. Clifford and His Mysterious Tokens
Token History
By Ronald Greene
Ron Greene is the
president of the BC
Historical Federation
ne of the more unusually-denominated
| tokens from Canada is a 17 cent trade
f token bearing the name C.W.D. Clifford
& Co., L.L. and the location "North West
Another token is good for 35 cents, which is
also an uncommon denomination. In the 1890's the
region of British Columbia known as the North-West
Coast extended from Alert Bay to Alaska. Charles
William Digby Clifford was the only son of the Rev.
Richard S. Clifford of Kent, England and Harriet
Young Clifford. He was born at Carrick-on-Shannon,
County Leitrim, Ireland on October 14, 1842.:
According to his obituary Clifford, "came to British
Columbia attracted by [the] gold rush of the spring of
1862 and went into the Cariboo district. Among those
who knew him best the lure of the mountains and
their hidden treasures were always known to exercise
strong fascination for him, and kept him constantly
in strong touch with mining men and matters."2 The
year of 1862 is confirmed in letters written in that year
to William Wilson by his brother, Joseph Wilson, a
friend of Clifford's from England who also came out
about the same time.3
The earliest British Columbia Directory in
which Clifford's name appears is the 1877 edition, in
which he was listed at Germansen Creek. In the next
two directories, 1882 and 1885, he was listed at Vital
Creek, Omineca. In 1885 Clifford started working
for the Hudson's Bay Company at Hazelton, Forks-
of-Skeena, where he was a clerk and postmaster.
He remained at this post as agent until 1891 when
he was succeeded by J.H. Lyons. It was while here
that he married Lucy Margaret McNeill on May 24,
1888. 4 She was a grand-daughter of the pioneer
captain of the S.S. Beaver, William Henry McNeill.
The Clifford's only child, Harriet Mary (Hattie), was
born in Victoria on January 10,1890. However, there
is strong evidence that Clifford had a family by a
native woman prior to this marriage. A Chief, Charles
Clifford, who died in 1954, was reported to have been
born to a HBCo factor in Hazelton about 1880.
From Hazelton Clifford moved to the Hudson's
Bay Company post at Port Simpson. He served at
this post until January 12,1897 when he resigned to
engage in the active development of several claims on
the Skeena. Clifford was the first locator at Kitselas
Canyon, locating three claims, Emma, I.X.L. and
Bootjack in 1893.5 He also had interests in property
on the Queen Charlotte Islands and a 1904 newspaper
article6 quotes Robert Cunningham as saying, 'that
he and Clifford each own half of Hazelton.'
C.W.D. Clifford
BC Archives photo 5296
The C.W.D. Clifford and Company, Limited
Liability, was incorporated on March 10,18977 The
principal place of business was listed as being in the
electoral district of Cassiar. The first directors were
Clifford, Charles Lockhardt Ross., Bart., of Rossland
and John Irving of Victoria, Master Mariner. These two
partners of Clifford's supplied him with contacts and
financial backing. Irving was the sitting member of the
provincial legislature for Cassiar (the 7th Parliament,
elected 1894) and in the eighth Parliament, (1898) he
was one of the two members for Cassiar. living's
father, Captain William Irving, had started a shipping
company which Captain John built up. In 1883 he
formed the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company
which was purchased in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company and became the nucleus of the
C.P.R/s British Columbia Coast Service. Charles
Lockhardt Ross was - at somewhat greater length - Sir
 Charles Henry Augustus Frederick Lockhardt Ross,
9th Baronet Ross. Ross not only possessed an estate
in Ross-shire of over 350,000 acres but also was the
founder of the Ross Rifle Company of Canada and
inventor of the rifle that bears his name. He designed
and built the power plant of the West Kootenay Power
& Light Company at Bonnington Falls, B.C. and was
a consultant to the Canadian Government on small
arms, ammunition and ballistics.
The Clifford company must have ceased
activities by 1909 for an October 9,1911 letter from
the Registrar of Companies stated that as no returns
had been received for two years the company would
be removed from the Register. Clifford's reply was
that the company was not carrying on business nor
was it in operation.
Clifford entered politics in 1898 and was elected
as the other member for Cassiar along with his
partner, Captain John Irving. Clifford was re-elected
in Cassiar in 1900, and following redistribution in
1903 in the Skeena seat. He did not seek reelection
in 1907.
In 1900 John Irving, J.A. Mara, and F.S. Barnard
petitioned the Government for a charter to build a
railway from Kitimat to the Skeena River. As Clifford
was then in the Legislature his name does not appear
but it is believed that he was the leading light in the
syndicate that applied for the charter. The Charter
was granted to the "Pacific, Northern & Omineca
Railroad Company" in August 1900.8 According to
Dr. R.G. Large,9 Prince Rupert historian, a subsidy
was provided at $5,000 per mile provided that the
sum of $100,000 was spent in construction before
1907. The scheme may have been merely a promotion,
for actual construction was not commenced and the
charter was sold to the Grand Trunk Pacific in 1905,
although Wiggs O'Neil wrote that Clifford tried to get
the Grand Trunk Pacific to make Kitimaat their ocean
port instead of building at Prince Rupert. However,
extensive surveys by the railway could not find the
stringent grades that the railway required.10
The origin of the name Kitimaat has been
explained by the following First Nations legend11
One winter of exceptionally deep snows the Haisla
people who inhabited the village dug paths through
the snows parallel to the shoreline and thus not visible
from the sea. A group of Tsimpsians passing by in
their canoes could only see a mass of human heads
bobbing up and down along the top of the shoulder-
deep snows. An imaginative Tsimpsian called out,
"Look, they are walking right through the snow, they
are Git-a-maat, people of snow." In time this name
was corrupted to Kitamaat, sometimes Kitimaat. In
the early 1950's when the smelter town arose on the
inlet it was named Kitimat.
At enquiries into the Land Grants in the
Kitamaat area in 1905 Clifford gave evidence that he
had made applications for land in the area as early as
1896. A note in The Sun of Port Essington on December
28,1907 states, "C.W.D. Clifford, the ex-member and
the ex-licence commissioner for the Skeena district
is in Kitimaat looking over his large interests at that
point. Mr. Clifford is a large holder in the Kitamaat
townsite, has a store, wharf and warehouse there, and
it is stated that his present visit is in connection with
the erection of an hotel at that place." Speculation
that the railway would pick Kitamaat as the Pacific
Terminal created a short-lived boom in Kitamaat.
Settlers and speculators poured in. Land and right-
Sketch map by the author
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 42 No. 2      23
 1 Canadian Parliamentary Guide,
2 Vancouver Province, May 12,
1916, p. 23
3 Joseph Wilson, London to William
Wilson, September 24,1862, Ross
Wilson collection, box 1,1862,
Victoria City Archives 99003-06
4 GR2962 Marriage registrations,
Division of Vital Statistics
Registration No. 1888-09-173026,
microfilm B11387
5 1898 Report to the Minister
of Mines, p. 1153 Details of the
claims are given in the 1902 Report
to the Minister of Mines, p. 998
6 The Skeena District News,
January 9,1904, p. 1
7 GR1438 Attorney General,
Registrar General, Q.D712,
microfilm B04414
8 Statutes of the Province of
British Columbia, 1st Session,
9th Parliament, 1900, Queen's
Printer, Chapter 50, pp 247-253
9 Dr. R.G. Large, The Skeena, River
of Destiny, Vancouver, 1957 p. 68
10 Wiggs O'Neil to C.W. Beck,
private correspondence, March
11 Gordon Robinson, Kitamaat,
Northwest Diyest, May-June
1958, pp 11,28-30
12 Henderson's British Columbia
Gazetteer and Directory for
1910, Henderson Publishing
Company, Ltd., Lby., Vancouver,
B.C. pp 460-462
13 GR2951, British Columbia
Vital Events, Charles Clifford,
1917-09-095364, microfilm
B13377, Lucy Margaret Clifford,
1956-09-007331, microfilm
B13228 and Hattie Clifford, 1962-
09-008810, microfilm B13257
14 Cicely Lyons, Salmon:
Our Heritage: The story of
a Province and an Industry,
Vancouver, 1969
of-way prices soared.  The bubble burst with the
selection of Kaien Island as the terminal of
the Grand Trunk Pacific, later to be
named Prince Rupert. The high
cost to the railway of coming
through to Kitamaat played a
part in its decision. Within
a few years very few of
the settlers remained in
Kitamaat.  Eventually
the wharf and hotel were
abandoned, the wharf to
collapse under a winter
load of snow and the
hotel to be torn down.
In 1910 Clifford was listed
in the directory at Kitimat,
as a contractor and William
Ross was listed as the proprietor
of the Kitamat Hotel.12 Clifford was
also listed as a Justice of the Peace and the
Townsite Owner at Kitselas, B.C.
Clifford was the leading spirit in
the building of a community next
to the First Nations village of
Kitselas. He built a hotel there
in 1907 and a store. When
the railway was being
built through the Kitselas
Canyon the hotel was
the only licensed liquor i
outlet available to the |
construction gang.  The
railway, however, came
through the canyon on the
other side of the river and
following its completion
the townsite was abandoned.
From then most of Clifford's
time appears to have been spent in
Kitselas pursuing his nuriing interests
or in Vancouver. He died in Vancouver after a
short illness on May 10,1916, aged 73. His wife died at
the age of 91, in 1956 and Hattie, who never married,
in 1962. All three are buried in the family plot at
Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, B.C.13
In digging into the raison-d'etre of the token
we note that the company was incorporated in 1897
and was no longer in operation, probably by 1909.
We know of Clifford's extensive interests in railways,
mining, two hotels and two stores.  However, the
odd value of 17<t seems to suggest something rather
different. Perhaps the answer is to be
found in the following notes in the
Port Essington newspapers.
The Skeena District News and
The Sun. During 1904 the
fishermen wanted an
increase in the price paid
for sockeye salmon from
7(t to 10<t. The News
noted on July 11, 1904
that quietude had been
restored with an increase
to 8%d: for sockeye. The
Sun of May 25,1907 noted
that, "the schedule for 1907
was to be 10d: for sockeye,
30(t for springs, cannery gear;
14d: for sockeye and 40d: for
■W^ springs, private gear, steelhead and
cohoe to be taken as sockeye during the
entire season." Thus between July 1904 and May
1907 sockeye were paid for at the rate of
8%$ each. As shown above, Clifford's
interests in Kitamaat covered this
period. Were tokens issued for
17$ then only half as many
tokens would be required.
; Unfortunately it has not
been possible to discover if
Clifford ever was associated
with a cannery. Cicely
Lyons does not mention
a cannery at Kitamaat.14
Indeed, nothing has been
discovered that can show
the existence of a cannery in
Kitamaat during this period.
Each season many of the local
Natives left to go fishing or working
at canneries along the coast. There is
also a 35(t token which is not as easily explained.
It is a denomination that is usually found only in
a series such as 15 -20-25-30-35, etc and associated
with restaurants or clubs. One final comment on the
tokens. Only one of each denomination is known
and both pieces came out of the east. They may have
been trial strikings for an issue that did not proceed
into production. •
24        BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 42 No. 2
 Archives and Archivists
Submitted by Jillian Povarchook, the Archives Assistant at the Jewish Museum
and Archives of British Columbia.
Edited by Sylvia Stopforth,
Librarian and Archivist, Norma Marian Alloway Library,
Trinity Western University
Otto Landauer of Leonard Frank Photo Studio at the Jewish
Museum and Archives of British Columbia
Like the bridges whose construction
he was renowned for documenting,
Otto Landauer's career as a
photographer in British Columbia
spanned decades. In 1985, the Jewish
Historical Society of British Columbia
(JHSBC) was fortunate to acquire, from
Landauer's wife Barbara, a collection of
approximately 30,000 photographs that
Landauer had both taken and acquired
since he became proprietor and principal
photographer of Leonard Frank Photo
Studios in 1946. Today, the Jewish Museum
and Archives of British Columbia (JMABC),
governed by the JHSBC, considers this
collection, part of the Leonard Frank Photo
Studio/onds, to be one of its most significant.
Extensive research on Landauer and Leonard
Frank Photo Studio has been conducted by
Founding President and Historian Emeritus
of the JHSBC, Cyril E. Leonoff, for his book
Bridges of Light, which was published by
Talon Books in 1997.
The majority of the Landauer collection
is represented by photographs that document
post-war construction in Vancouver. It may,
therefore, seem an odd collection to be
held by an institution whose mandate is
to collect, preserve, and make available for
research the history of the Jewish people of
British Columbia. Landauer was, however,
of German Jewish origin, as was Leonard
Frank, his predecessor who registered the
eponymous studio as a corporate entity in
1928. Born to a Jewish merchant family in
October of 1903, Landauer spent most of
his youth working for his father's Munich
firm, Gebruder Landauer, and skiing in the
mountains surrounding Bavaria. His alpinist
skills proved life-saving when in 1937, after
the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws, he
fled through the mountains to Liechtenstein
and from there to Switzerland. In 1941,
his sister Hansi was able to send money
for Landauer to make the passage to
North America.  Hansi had immigrated
Otto F. Landauer in the office of Leonard Frank Photo Studio, Vancouver, BC
Photographer: Albert Urquhart, Leonard Frank Photos; Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia; LE03837
to Vancouver with her husband two years
prior, but restrictions on immigration made
it difficult for Landauer to join them there.
He instead settled in Portland, Oregon until
he was able to cross the Canadian border
permanently in 1947.
When Leonard Frank died in 1944, his
dark room assistant was able to temporarily
maintain the studio. In ailing health,
however, Leonard's brother Bernard, a friend
of Hansi and her husband, felt he needed
to sell the business. He suggested that
Landauer, who was completing a program
at the North Western School of Photography
in Portland, buy the studio. With a $1,500
loan from his brother-in-law, Landauer was
able to do so. Being a registered business
owner in Canada made securing Canadian
citizenship much easier. Landauer took
over Frank's existing contracts and with his
professional reputation and Vancouver's
steady growth, added an impressive list of
architecture, engineering and construction
companies to the studio's already extensive
This prolific collection chronicles the
construction of such Vancouver landmarks
as the stalwart example of Modernist
architecture, the Main Post Office building at
349 West Georgia Street; the Queen Elizabeth
Theatre at Dunsmuir and Hamilton streets;
and many 1960s concrete high rises in the
West End.
One of the most significant
photographic series of this collection,
however, was born of tragedy. Landauer
was contracted in November 1957 to
document the progress of construction on the
new Second Narrows Bridge. On 17 June,
1958, while Landauer was photographing
 Vancouver's Ironworkers Memorial Bridge,
placement of connecting beam, June 7, 1960
Photographer: Otto F. Landauer, Leonard Frank Photos;
Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia; LF.01024
High-steel men working on the Port Mann Bridge
above the Fraser River, February 23, 1962
Photographer: Otto F. Landauer, Leonard Frank Photos;
Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia; LF.02058
the north end bridge approach, falsework
supports gave way, causing spans four and
five of the bridge to collapse. Landauer
was the first photographer on the scene,
documenting the initial damage to the
bridge and later, by Royal Commission,
the wreckage of the bridge that eventually
claimed twenty-five lives. In 1994 the bridge
was renamed the Ironworkers Memorial
Second Narrows Crossing.
Images from this collection have been
used in two recent publications: Falsework,
by Gary Geddes and Tragedy at Second
Narrows: The Story of the Ironworkers Memorial
Bridge, by Eric Jamieson.
The recent release of these two
publications coincides with the JMABC's
upcoming exhibit Vancouver: Bridging its
History, 1895-1980, which will open in May
2009. The exhibit will use bridge construction
photographs from the Landauer collection
that have been digitized as part of the Otto
Landauer - Leonard Frank Photo Studio
fonds Digitization Project. This project was
made possible by grants from the Irving
K. Barber Learning Centre's BC History
Digitization Program and the Young Canada
Works in Heritage Institutions Program
sponsored by the Canadian Heritage
Information Network.   Many of these
images have never been made available to
the public and the JMABC is very pleased
to share them through Artefacts Canada's
Virtual Museum of Canada Image Gallery,
and through the Jewish Museum and
Archives' flickr site.
To preview these photographs, visit:
sets/. •
For more information on the Leonard Frank
Photo Studio fonds, or on the JMABC's
collections, telephone (604) 257-5199 or
e-mail: archives@jewishmuseum. ca.
Book Reviews
A Discovery Journal: George Vancouver's
First Survey Season -1792
John E. Roberts. Victoria, Trafford Publishins, 2005.
353 p., maps, illus. Paperback, $40.75. Available from
Trafford Publishins, 1-888232 4444.
In 1991 Captain George Vancouver's
most diligent champion, Ted Roberts of
Victoria, self published the first edition of
the current work. In 2005, not long before
his death, this edition appeared from the
Print on Demand specialists Trafford. This
handsome publication, the work of energy
and dedication emblematic of its subject,
joins the bibliography on one of the great
mariners of all time and certainly one of the
greatest marine surveyors of history.
Vancouver has not been overlooked
by historians, though many are the claims
that he has been. George Godwin, his first
serious biographer, produced a life of the
hero in 1930. Admiral Bern Anderson,
USN, followed, with a sailor's biography
in 1960, the first work based on academic
research. The dean of Vancouver scholars,
W. Kaye Lamb, edited the Hakluyt Society
edition in 1984. Brenda Gillespie wrote her
delightful, insightful On Stormy Seas in
1992. Other work has been done, too: on
Valdes and Galiano, on Bodega y Quadra,
and on the botanist/surgeon who sailed
with Vancouver in uneasy association,
Archibald Menzies. There are books on Peter
Puget, Joseph Baker and Thomas Pitt. No,
we have not been starved of material on
George Vancouver, but what Ted Roberts
Books for review and book reviews should be sent to:
Frances Gundry, Book Review Editor,
BC History,
P.O. Box 5254, Station B., Victoria, BC V8R 6N4
accomplished was to provide a living
presence as it were of Vancouver moving
through the watery world of Northwest
America, coming north along the coast of
Washington entering Juan de Fuca Strait,
no longer fabled, for the British fur traders
had spied it out, encountering Robert
Gray out of Boston in the ship Columbia,
examining Puget Sound, moving north to
places such as Bellingham and Birch Bay,
and then encountering the Spanish explorers
who had been sent on a somewhat similar
mission - to disprove the claims of the closet
geographers that a North West Passage
existed somewhere in these latitudes. It is,
in all, a marvelous subject, focusing only
on one year.
Although Roberts seeks gallantly to
portray this real time presence, the reader
will find it a difficult task. For sorting
through journal extracts and reconstituted
statements is no easy job. Fortunately the
work is done in the form of a journal or a
chronology of day by day occurrences. Thus,
if you wanted to know what happened on
a particular day you might find a cross
reference to something Menzies, Lieutenant
Puget or Lieutenant Broughton had said.
The story is followed, so to speak, from
the quarterdeck and cabin of Captain
Vancouver's Discovery. The work is sprinkled
with draft charts. Cross references are given
to current printed charts. In a work such as
this it is not unusual to find a segment of
original journals reproduced, and thus we
have one from Puget. There's an appendix
on ship musters and yet another on music
of the times. The work is enriched by
fulsome notes, a rich bibliography and a
serviceable index. Roberts laboured long
and mightily to see that his hero got the
attention he deserved. He prepared the
drawings for the Discovery display in the
Royal British Columbia Museum and he
arranged a special Vancouver Sunday held
at Christ Church Cathedral Victoria 18 May
1990 to commemorate the 200th anniversary
of Vancouver's internment in St Peter's
Church, Petersham, Surrey. In 1999 he
prevailed upon the Government of British
Columbia to proclaim 12 May in perpetuity
as Captain George Vancouver Day. This
book is highly recommended for those who
collect books on George Vancouver.
Barry Gough of Victoria, B.C., professor emeritus of
History, Wilfred Laurier University, is the author of
several books on the Royal Navy on the British Columbia
Beyond the Chilcotin, On the Home Ranch
with Pan Phillips.
Diana Phillips. Madeira Park, B.C., Harbour Publishins,
2008. 286p., illus., $34.95 hardback.
Pan Phillips is certainly a pervasive
personality in the west Chilcotin. On a
week-long trail ride through the Ugachuz
Mountains a few years ago, guided by
Wanda Williams of Anahim Lake, we
forded Pan Creek, camped in Pan Valley,
and added our names to the graffiti on the
walls of his hunting cabin. During pleasant
evenings around the campfire, the topic of
conversation often drifted to Pan, his wife
Betty and their Home Ranch, which was
located thirty miles to the northeast. Pan's
ingenuity had already manifested itself one
morning when I unearthed a large spoon,
roughly crafted from thin sheet metal, while
tidying up our campsite. When I learned that
it was "one of Pan's", I brought it home as a
souvenir. Although we explored about 100
miles of trails, we met no one and saw only
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY • Vol. 42 No. 2       27
 the occasional float plane taking fishermen
to remote lodges. Riding through this
splendid isolation you just had to wonder
what it took to live beyond the Chilcotin, to
the north of the magnificent shield volcanos
that form the Hgachuz and Itcha Ranges.
Over the years several of Pan Phillips'
friends have written popular books about
his exploits but, now, for the first time a
member of the family, his daughter Diana,
has ventured to record her memories of the
Home Ranch. In preparation for writing
she researched the published material, but
relied primarily on her personal experiences,
her diaries and those of her mother. Initially
we learn why Pan left Wyoming for the
Chilcotin, how Betty came on the scene,
and of Diana's triumphant arrival, snuggled
into a Pacific milk box on a horse-drawn
wagon. The well-written chapters, often
humorous and sad at the same time, were
obviously meant to be inclusive of all family
members, but it is Betty's story that carries
the most impact.
Pan readily admitted that ranch life
was hard on women, and it was. By the
young age of fifty Betty's health was failing
and she had arthritis in her hands. Pan
could meet up with his cronies on frequent
trips to Anahim Lake, but the women and
children remained isolated on the ranch.
Betty's closest female neighbour and good
friend, Mary Cassam, resided twenty miles
away at Kluskus. The local Carrier families
were extremely helpful with ranching chores
and keeping an eye on the ranch when Pan
was absent. Diana describes how other
friendships with distant ranching families
were cemented at the annual Aiiahim Lake
stampede in July, and the fall cattle sale at
Quesnel. We also learn how she and her
brothers, Ken and Robert, grew up and
received their education in that challenging
environment of mosquitoes, muskeg, long,
cold winters and grizzly bears.
With Diana's vivid descriptions it is
not difficult to visualize ranch life and the
annual 180 mile cattle drive to Quesnel.
But Richard Harrington's professional
photographs, taken on two separate visits
to the Home Ranch, and others from the
Phillips' personal collection contribute
immensely to the overall enjoyment of the
After more than three decades Pan
sold the Home Ranch in 1969 and developed
a fishing and hunting resort nearby. Diana
ranched in the area until 2005. In the final
chapter she hints that a sequel is planned
and that is good news. We look forward to
learning what the next three decades held
in store for this remarkable family.
Marie Elliott enjoys researches and writins about the
history of the central interior of B. C. Her forthcomins
book is titled, Fort St. James and New Caledonia, Where
British Columbia Besan.
Hollyburn: the mountain and the city.
Francis Mansbridse Vancouver, Ronsdale Press, 2008. 240
p., illus.
For anyone living in the Lower
Mainland, the North Shore mountains
are the backdrop to everyday life. This
is the story of one of those mountains,
Hollyburn, which parallels the history of
British Columbia itself. Common elements
include early logging, attempts at protection
of the ecology, recreational uses and more
recent battles between developers and
The story of the area is told in a
familiar manner aimed at local residents.
The work is up to the usual high standards
of Ronsdale Press and the inclusion of many
well reproduced historical photographs
adds to the appearance of the book.
The introduction is a brief geological
and natural history of the area, followed by
the story of early logging on the mountain
which leads into the main portion of the
book. The next chapters focus on the various
recreational activities that have taken place
in Hollyburn's history, tying them in to the
cabins and lodges that have been built on
the mountain over the years. The order of
these stories is a bit confusing and since
they are not chronological, there is a good
deal of jumping back and forth resulting in
subjects being somewhat fragmented. This is
countered by the photographs which serve
to tie the stories together and give a good
flavour of the atmosphere on the mountain
from earlier times to the more recent protests
It is striking to read how close the
area came to having a huge residential
development and how fortunate it was that a
provincial park was established to preserve
public access. The compromises of having a
private ski development in a park are well
While the book includes a couple of
hand drawn historical maps illustrating
trails and road access, it would have
benefitted from the inclusion of a more
detailed overview of the mountain and how
it relates to the neighbouring topography
of the North Shore. This is particularly
important since Olympic marketing has
rebranded the area as "Cypress Mountain",
a geographical feature that doesn't exist.
This has the potential to relegate to history
the use of Hollyburn as a description of
the area.
The author looks forward to the 2010
Olympics with anticipation but details on
the permanent consequences for the park
are somewhat glossed over, particularly for
the hiking trails and flora on the north slope
of Black Mountain.
. The book is well indexed and there
is a comprehensive bibliography. Two
appendices seem like an afterthought and
would have been better included in the main
 body of the book.
The final chapter is a positive look
at the future including speculation by
a number of key players on where the
mountain will be in 20 years. Given the effect
of the Olympic developments, Hollyburn's
proximity to a large urban population
and the pressures it has faced for the past
century, it is remarkable that so much of the
area remains undeveloped and accessible to
the public for recreation. This book does a
good job of documenting this history and
giving credit to the people who made it
Ron Clancy of Vancouver is hiker and a retired librarian
Legacy in Wood - The Wahl Family Boat
Ryan Wahl. Madeira Park, B.C., Harbour Publishins Co,
2008. 222p., illus.   $32.95 hardcover.
Ryan Wahl dedicates Legacy in Wood,
to the late Iver Wahl, his grandfather.
Iver Wahl, a master shipwright, told his
grandson many stories about the Wahl
family's wooden boat-building business that
is the subject of the book, at times surprising
him, as well. "He delivered some of the
stories with so much passion that he caught
me off guard -1 had never seen that side of
him before," the younger Wahl says in the
It soon becomes clear that this passion
was part of the Wahl family's success. If s
evident in the way patriarch Ed Wahl, a
young Norwegian immigrant, built the
business, starting with one boat a year in
the mid-1920s and ending up with two
boatyards in the Prince Rupert area. And
if s apparent in the way his six shipwright
sons, who Ed had trained to cut wood for
the boats by eye, continued to push the
limits of wooden boat building. Just one
example: in 1963, eldest son Henry extended
a 72-foot herring seiner, the Sunnfjord, by 11
feet - risky work, as some experts thought
the altered boat would sink when fully
Importantly, the Wahls were also
fishermen. Founder Ed Wahl had initially
moved to the Prince Rupert area to fish
the Skeena River. For the first few years
he fished during the summer in boats he'd
built during the winter. His sons worked on
the water, too, and this shaped their boat
designs - the Wahls knew firsthand what
fishermen needed and just what the coastal
waters could throw at a boat.
With a reserved respect, Ryan Wahl
tells the story of family members who set up
and ran the business, as well as those who
worked at the boatyards and the wooden
boats themselves. Roughly 130 black and
white photos add significantly to this book,
allowing the reader to see the evolution of
the Wahls' boat designs and to put faces to
the names of those who built them. They
are laid out elegantly within the text. In
addition, several sidebars in each chapter
highlight significant events and people. The
author also uses sidebars to document the
Wahls' innovations, such as changes to stem
design and the construction in 1960 of the
"largest boat built on the BC coast solely for
trolling," the 48-foot Escapade. The sidebars
for the most part add detail and sometimes
charm to the book.
The last large wooden boats were built
in the early 1990s and represent "the last of
their kind on the BC coast," Ryan Wahl writes
in the final chapter. Building with wood has
simply become too expensive, compared
with fiberglass and steel. It is in this last
chapter that the author's voice comes out
most strongly. While staying firmly in the
background in the previous chapters, it is
here that some of the grandfather's passion
can be heard in the voice of the grandson.
He analyzes the decline of the commercial
fishing industry and reflects on the loss of
commercial wooden boat-building - and the
creative and physical skills it demanded.
Within that somberness, however, Wahl
writes of his hope that the tradition will
live on through those who love the art. His
handsome book offers a unique view and
record of that tradition.
Connie Kretz is a freelance writer based in Campbell
Resurrecting Dr. Moss: the life and letters of
a Royal Navy Surgeon, Edward Lawton Moss
MD, RN, 1843-1880.
Paul C. Appleton, ed. William Barr. Canary, the
University of Canary and the Arctic Institute of North
America (Northern Lishts Series, no. 10), 2008. 252 p.,
photos., illus. $42.95softcover.
In Resurrecting Dr. Moss: The Life
and Letters of a Royal Navy Surgeon, Edward
Lawton Moss MD, RN, 1843-1880, author
Paul Appleton and editor William Barr bring
together Moss's achievements as a medical
doctor and his endeavors as an artist and a
scientist. Moss produced a host of documents
(letters, journals, and paintings, to name a
few) that are interwoven within the text.
The nature of the material selected for the
book captures Moss's voice and augments
 Appleton's interpretation of the era.
Of special note, the reader is informed
how a single letter led Appleton to archival
and research material—the ultimate gem
for a researcher. Background information
on Moss's life and events from his career
are captured in 21 chapters. Expeditions
that Moss took as a Royal Naval Surgeon are
outlined with accounts of how governments,
the Royal Navy, and the public reacted to
these adventures. Chronicled are the times
he spent on Vancouver Island, in the Arctic,
and in the West Indies.
Moss "may not have been a major
figure in the fields of nineteenth-century
medicine, art, or polar explorations, but his
life and career exemplified the best traditions
of the Royal Navy Medical Branch during
the Victorian Era." Whatever Moss did,
he did well and within the confines of the
naval command. The reader quickly comes
to appreciate Moss as a man of principle
and tact. This becomes evident in the years
he spent in British Columbia as he applied
his talent and skills, using limited resources,
in renovating the Royal Naval Hospital in
For the reader interested in British
Columbian history, Appleton provides
four substantive chapters on Vancouver
Island. Included is Moss's role in making
Esquimalt's navy hospital functional. This
appointment was an acknowledgement of
the young man's ability to carry out a duty
as significant as operating the only hospital
for the vast Pacific fleet. The reader is further
provided with Moss's appreciation and
understanding of the Canadian outdoors;
some of what he learned proved valuable
on future Arctic expeditions.
During his 3-year stay in Esquimalt,
Moss married his Irish wife, Thomasina.
Something occurred that drew him to
Vancouver Island, but evidence to this link
is not immediately obvious until the end of
the book where Moss states in a letter to his
wife, who was living in southern England,
"How would you like to go back there
[Vancouver Island] for the last two years
service and stay out there afterwards? I often
flunk as I am tumbling about at night that it
might be better than idleness in England."
Unfortunately, they never returned because,
at the age of 37, while voyaging home from
the West Indies, Moss and the ship he was
serving on disappeared.
Not only is the book cover striking
and the text lucid, but the content is
enhanced through the inclusion of photos
and Moss's paintings. This book highlights a
pioneer and an explorer who has had limited
recognition for his contribution to British
and British Columbian history.
Dr. Kirk Salloum is an educational consultant livins in
Vancouver, BC.
Georse Bowerins. Vancouver, B.C., New Star Books, 2008.
272 p. $19.00 softcover.
Originally published in 1994 by Key
Porter Books, this 2008 New Star Books
Edition has a new cover and an insightful
six and one-half page end-of-book essay,
"Stories that Never End: Listening to Shoot,"
by UBC's Professor Sherill Grace. The story
itself, however, remains as vibrant and
exciting as ever and is still deserving of
praise for the uniqueness of its telling as
a piece of creative fiction built around a
foundation of historical facts.
The facts that support Bowering's
story are outlined in Professor Grace's essay
with its abbreviated bibliography of sources
she has drawn upon for her theme positing
Shoot! as a unique answer for all Canadians to
the Gitskan Elder's question, "If this is your
land, where are your stories?" in Edward
Chamberlin's book of the same name.
Although it is a story not as well known
as that of the popularizing of Billy Miner's
and omitted from two official histories of
BC, the McLeans' saga is equally deserving
of a prominent place in western Canadian
folklore, especially in the canon of literary
fiction in the stories of luminaries such as
Fred Stenson and Guy Vanderhaeghe. Set
in and around Kamloops in the late 1800s,
the story centres on the escapades, sober
and drunk, of four young half-breed men,
three McLean brothers, Allan, Archie and
Charlie, and a tagalong friend Alex Hare,
enamoured of a McLean sister, Annie. In a
drunken rage over slights real and imagined
they kill two men, raid neighbouring
ranchers and farmers for their firearms "for
a good cause," threaten additional murders
and engage in a prolonged standoff with
successive posses intent on restoring the
area to its former status of white man's rule.
Between the episodes of mayhem, Bowering
adeptly layers in other stories of icons like
"hanging judge" Matthew Begbie and the
family background for the McLean family
with patriarch Donald McLean, a Hudson's
Bay Company Chief Trader and avowed
Indian hater and killer, his two wives and
extended family of eleven children, some
wild, others not, and even a grandson who
"would one day become the greatest warrior
ever born in British Columbia." There are
stories too of Alex Hare's love for Annie and
his jealous rages when she is seduced as a
child by Kamloops businessman J.A. Mara
who claimed Kamloopsians "didn't need
any outlaw racial degenerates riding around
destabilizing the territory" and upon whom
Hare repeatedly vowed vengeance. There
are the stories of the development of the
region with the coming of the railroad, the
influx of settlers into territories Indian bands
regarded as their own, and the McLeans'
attempts to foment an uprising. And there
are the stories of racism and intolerance and
 of the treatment of the boys when they are
captured, trussed up and trundled to New
Westminster, tried twice, and jailed to await
their ultimate fate on the gallows. And all of
the stories blend beautifully into a complete
novel of artistic integrity and frontier justice
worthy of repeated reading for the humanity
and credibility of its characters, guilty and
innocent, and the believability of the hopes,
thoughts and dreams with which Bowering
- Canada's first Poet Laureate - has imbued
Shoot! as professor Grace surmises
and a reading of it substantiates is truly a
definitive story "about belonging here."
M. Wayne Cunningham reviews from Kamloops, B.C.
The Death of Captain Cook; a Hero Made
and Unmade.
Glyn Williams. Cambridse, Mass., Harvard University
Press, 2008. 197p., map, illus. $19.95 hardcover.
After Captain Cook left Nookta Sound
in April, 1778, he headed north, where he
failed to find a North West Passage, and
then south again to Hawaii, receiving a
"rapturous reception" at Kealukekua Bay
on January 17, 1779. After two weeks of
repairing ships and men, replenishing
food supplies, and interacting socially and
ceremonially with the islanders, he set sail.
Storm damage forced him to return within a
few days, but the rapture had disappeared.
He was killed on February 14, 1779. I
write on Valentine's Day, 230 years later,
and British Columbians have long made
Captain Cook our explorer-valentine. We
love Captain Cook.
Yet a conference in Vancouver,
commemorating the bicentenary of Cook's
third voyage, signalled the "unmaking"
of our hero. The historians in attendance
did not belittle his achievements, although
some asked hard questions, but presented
them as the collective achievements of a
team of navigators and scientists. And the
Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council dramatically
reminded them of another viewpoint when
the predominantly "first world" scholars
turned tourist and tried to land at Nootka
Sound without permission.
The Vancouver conference need not
shoulder the entire blame for the iconoclasm.
There had never been agreement on what
exactly happened at Kealakekua Bay. The
stark facts were clear enough; the details
and nuances were not. Glyn Williams,
Emeritus Professor of History at Queen
Mary University of London, argues that
the circumstances and reporting "of Cook's
death are "the key to his reputation." In the
process, he demonstrates the elusiveness of
historical consensus.
The book's first section, "A Distant
Death" examines the early reports and
the lack of a definitive narrative, due to
the distances and time lapses between the
events and their publication, the confusion
on the scene, and the number of writers
and semi-witnesses with differing views
and agenda.
John Douglas, who compiled the
official account, had not been on the voyage,
and took as his mandate the presentation of
James Cook as a quintessential Enlightenment
Hero. The evidence emerging from the
various sources at his disposal suggested
something different. Physically and
mentally exhausted from the two previous
voyages, Cook exhibited extreme stress and
impatience, made errors in judgment, took
risks and increasingly resorted to violence.
Most difficult for his biographers was the
ambiguity of his relationship with the
people of Hawaii. Not only did they greet
him as a great chief, possibly as a god, but
he accepted the honours and encouraged
the "worship." Why did they kill him? Did
he by returning reveal his mortality? Did he
cause his own death? By excessive anger? Or
excessive humanity? Did he, on the beach
at Kealakekua, descend into his own heart
of darkness until Captain Cook became
Colonel Kurtz?
Douglas amended the journal to
achieve the style befitting a heroic figure
who dedicated his genius to the extension of
knowledge rather than empire. In his second
chapter "An Enlightenment Hero", Williams
shows all Europe enthusiastically celebrating
the legend Douglas had published. But if the
concept of hero as pagan god offended the
rationalism of Cook's own time, it suited less
the missionary and "civilizing" sensibilities
of the nineteenth century. In "Cook in the
Colonial Age", we see how the "official"
story continued to serve its purpose, even as
the more warlike figure of Nelson captured
the public imagination. Meanwhile the Cook
myth in the British Pacific (including British
Columbia) developed in a mode startlingly
different from that in Hawaii.
Williams brings us to date with "Cook
in a Postcolonial World", initiated by J. C
Beaglehole's magisterial edition of Cook's
journals (1955-74) From Beaglehole's works
and Alan Moorehead's Fatal Impact to the
"bad tempered wrestling match between the
two anthropologists" Marshall Sahlins and
Gananath Obeyesekere ,Williams reviews
his contemporaries, and finds today's
perceptions, like yesterday's, clouded by
presentism. Having crammed more than
two hundred years of historical speculation
into fewer than two hundred compelling
pages, he leaves us with a question, "How
far should an explorer following official
instructions be held responsible for the
long-term consequences of his actions?"
- and a comprehensive thirteen-page finale
of "Further Reading".
The debate continues.
Phyllis Reeve reviews from Gabriola Island
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 42 No. 2       31
 The Remarkable World of Frances
Barkley 1769-1845.
Beth Hill and Cathy Converse.  Victoria, B.C.,
TouchWood Editions, 2008.  224 p.  $19.95
A little gem of B.C. history has
recently been re-published after 25 years by
TouchWood Editions and Cathy Converse.
Many readers will remember when this book
came out in 1978 edited by the noted author
the late Beth Hill.
This is the rousing tale of the first
European woman to reach these shores in
1787 only 9 years after the arrival of Captain
Cook. Seventeen year old Frances Hornby
Barkley (nee Trevor) married the 26 year old
Captain Charles William Barkley at Ostend
in October of 1786. Frances had been born
in Somerset, one of five children, however,
her mother and twin sister died. Her father,
a Protestant minister, moved to Hamburg
then to Ostend, remarried and subsequently
had four more children. Frances was sent
off and was educated at a convent. It was in
Ostend her fate was entwined with Captain
Barkley who sailed into that port in the ship,
the Loudoun. Frances was described a having
red gold hair and Charles William as a man
of exuberant spirits, fond of company and
show. Charles already had 15 years at the
mast and had been persuaded to leave the
employ of the East India Company for a new
venture, the Bengal Fur Company to exploit
the new lucrative sea otter trade in the North
Pacific. To evade high fees the Loudoun was
outfitted in Ostend, re-named the Imperial
Eagle, flying under the Austrian flag. After
a 6 week courtship the two newly married
embarked on their first voyage together.
The conditions of life at sea at that
time are described fully in the account so
the reader will have some context as to
the situation young Frances found herself
experiencing. After a brief stop in Brazil
where Frances nursed her new husband
back to health, the Imperial Eagle was the
first European ship and the largest at 400
tons to sail into Nootka Sound that season,
arriving in June, 1787. The Barkleys were at
the beginning of the sea otter trade when
fortunes were made. While at Nootka,
Frances noted in her diary observations
on landscape, flora, climate, trade with the
first nation's people including their chiefs
Maquinna and Wickaninnish. The ship
explored south into what is now Barkley
Sound, another region that proved rich in
furs. Names were given to islands and bays
when they anchored near Village Island
(now Effingham). When 6 of the crew were
murdered while exploring near the mouth
of Juan De Fuca, the Imperial Eagle set sail
for Canton to sell the furs.
After the first voyage, the Barkleys
settled in Mauritius where Frances gave
birth to their son William in 1788. However,
the tale then takes many twists with the sale
of the Imperial Eagle, being defrauded by
Captain Meares, surviving a ship-wreck,
birth of a daughter at sea, plus five other
voyages to China, India, Russia and Alaska.
Frances returned to England in 1794 and 2
more children were born. Letters survive
from this period rounding out the details
of personalities and events. Her beloved
Charles died in 1833 and Frances in 1845.
In 1836, when she was 66, Frances began
to write her reminiscences, and it is this
slight notebook at the Provincial Archives
that piqued the interest of Beth Hill and
formed the basis of this book. Captain
Barkley's journal disappeared as well but we
know Frances's diary existed when Captain
John Walbran used it in 1901 for his article
on the trading voyage of the Imperial Eagle.
Walbran also extensively quoted from the
diary for his British Columbia Coast Names.
By a quirk of fate, a descendent, Captain
Edward Barkley lived at Westholme on
Vancouver Island in 1909 but he died in a
fire that destroyed the house. The quest for
the diary was again taken up in 1942 by W.
Kaye Lamb in his article "The Mystery of
Mrs. Barkley's Diary" in the British Columbia,
Historical Quarterly. The tantalizing fact
remains the diary, thought to have been
burned in 1909 at Westholme, may not have
been destroyed. Alas, the diary remains
The pleasure of this book is marred by
lack of care in the final proof reading with
paragraphs and sentences being repeated.
One is excusable but three are just plain
annoying. If this book is re-printed these
mistakes need to be corrected. There is
also another odd relic of the Barkleys - a
Malacca cane chair, likely obtained during
their visit to Canton that now resides in the
Vancouver Museum. It was presented in
1955 by Major V.A.H. Denne, a great great
grandson to Major Matthews, City Archivist
of Vancouver. Matthews then collected an
extensive family genealogy.
Kudos to Cathy Converse for once
more bringing this robust account of
the truly remarkable Frances Barkley
remembered today by present day travellers
to Barkley Sound who board the MV Frances
Barkley for their own adventure.
Sue Baptie of Victoria, the retired City Archivist for the
City of Vancouver, has spent many summers sailins on the
B.C. coast.
Our Past
Tracing Our Past: A Heritage Guide to
Boundary Bay.
Anne Murray with photosraphs by David Blevins. Delta,
B.C., Nature Guides, B.C., 2008. 236 p., illus, maps.
$27.95 paperback.
After reading Tracing Our Past: A
Heritage Guide to Boundary Bay, I could not
help but think how much the late Dr. Barry A.
Leach would have enjoyed Anne Murray's
text and David Blevin's photographs. Dr.
Leach, a European historian and college
administrator, was also an environmental
advocate. From 1970 to 1986 as Director
of the Institute of Environmental Studies
at Douglas and Kwantlen Colleges he
worked on courses, conferences, research,
and an information centre. His concern
for waterfowl conservation led him to
contribute to field studies at Reifel Island,
Serpentine Fen and Boundary Bay. Murray
cites Leach's 1982 provincial government
publication, Waterfowl on a Pacific Estuary.
In Tracing Our Past Anne Murray
combines interest in history with interest
in the environment. She aims to tell "the
story of a landscape and the people who
transformed it.... from the last Ice Age to...
the modern day," and to cover "the whole
watershed of Boundary Bay, including ...
Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley and
Richmond, in British Columbia to Point
Roberts, Blaine and Birch Bay in Washington
State." (p.l) She draws on her experience
writing a Nature Guide to Boundary Bay to
outline its natural history. She then moves
into "The Hidden Story of Middens," the
archaeological record of the region. "Only
the Coast Salish themselves can truly speak
for their history," so Murray bases her
chapter on them "on published literature
and conversations." (p.43) She describes
Salishan peoples' lives both before and
after the arrival of Europeans, particularly
traders in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
She constructs her survey of Fort Langley
traders, gold rush and farming settlers,
and the impact of roads and railways
from published histories. Murray draws
on Derek Hayes' historical atlas to explain
how "Boundary Bay was put firmly on
global maps in the 1850s," by the British and
American Boundary Commissions, (p.83)
Murray's tracing of Boundary Bay's
heritage is not a simplistic study. She
acknowledges that Coast Salish were "by
no means only hunter gatherers." They
"actively maintained certain crops, digging
and nurturing wapato marshes and camas
prairies, clearing clam beds of stones and
broken shells, and setting regular fires to
limit forest growth and foster berry plants."
Murray details the changing watershed in
the era after the gold rush and agricultural
settlement: the disappearance of sea shore,
the impact of resource exploitation, and of
ditches, drainage and new species. Yet she
acknowledges that the "ditches [created]
wildlife habitat similar to natural sloughs"
for "great blue herons, mallards and red-
winged blackbirds." (p. 107) In chapters
on "Harvesting River and Sea" of salmon
and on reaping "Riches of the Land" she
underlines the complexity of changes in
landscape and environment. Farm fields
have served as flood plains absorbing rains
and also as food sources for migratory
birds, (p.143) "Channelisation of the Fraser
River made changes on both Roberts and
Sturgeon Banks.... good for some birds like
waterfowl but detrimental to migrant flocks
of shorebirds." (p.166) Today agriculture and
waterfowl are both increasingly threatened
by suburban development.
Anne Murray concludes her survey
of the heritage of Boundary Bay with
discussion of current concerns about
the "ecosystem, in the wider context
of accelerated habitat loss, biodiversity
declines and global climate change." (p.163)
She then leads us beyond her book. She
directs us to "Heritage Destinations" where
"the long history of Boundary Bay can be
appreciated and enjoyed."
British Columbia historians should
applaud Anne Murray's survey of Boundary
Bay heritage and her promotion of heritage
sites. She raises questions for students to
explore and her notes and bibliography
provide some references for their research.
One suggestion for improving the book and
assisting research would be for Murray to
direct readers to more historical primary
sources for probing development of the
Boundary Bay watershed. The Fraser River
Harbour Commission records, available on
miaofilm at Douglas College Library, would
aid understanding of the channelisation of
the Fraser River, as would Dr. Barry Leach's
files from the Douglas College Institute
of Environmental Studies, available at the
Surrey Archives.
Jacqueline Gresko, of Richmond, B.C., Faculty Emeritus
ofDouslas Collese, is a former President of the British
Columbia Historical Federation, and now teaches at
Corpus Christi Collese, University of British Columbia.
Where the Grass Is Always Browner on the
Other Side of the Fence: A History of the
Okanagan Commonage.
Dr. D. John Price. Vernon, B.C., Kettle Valley Publishins
Inc., 2008. 213 p., maps, illus.
(Available from the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
(250) 542-3142; e-mail; mailins
address: 3009 32ndAve., Vernon, V1T2L8.) $40.00 (plus
shippins and handlins) softcover.
In May 1876 the Joint Federal-
Provincial Indian Reserve Commission
designated a long narrow ridge of land
between Okanagan Lake to the west and
Kalamalka (formerly Long Lake) and Wood
Lakes to the east as common pasture for
the cattle and horses of both the Okanagan
people and non-Aboriginal settlers. If the
 arrangement for this Okanagan Commonage
failed, the commissioners intended that it
would "become another reserve." (Cole
Harris, Making Native Space: Colonialism,
Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia,
Vancouver, UBC Press, 2002, p.127).
Several Okanagan women and male
newcomers created families and used this
area but when settlers pressed for more
land, a new reserve commissioner Peter
O'Reilly terminated the Commonage in 1889.
In exchange for losing access to the 25,114
acres of Commonage, the Okanagan people
were allotted 3,238 acres as a reserve on the
west side of Okanagan Lake. In 1893, the
province offered former Commonage lots
for sale by auction, then as pre-emptions. The
Commonage lost its purpose as a commons,
but kept its name.
Veterinarian and Commonage resident
D. John Price's book, Where the Grass Is
Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence:
A History of the Okanagan Commonage, is a
popular history of Commonage families
and land use. It is carefully footnoted and
based on extensive research into sources
such as newspapers, reports of the Okanagan
Historical Society, correspondence, local,
institutional and family histories, and a
few academic studies. Price's research into
land title and transfer results in detailed
information about the legal history of
Commonage properties. Dozens of historical
photos of families, structures, landscapes and
ranch labour complement the text. Lovely
colour photographs by Shirley and John
Smith of Vernon offer intimate glimpses of the
variety of local wild flora and fauna.
After explaining the origin and
subsequent privatization of the Commonage,
Price follows with a chapter describing
its geography, landscape, and plant and
animal life. Thematic chapters explore
topics such as the history of lake traffic,
education, recreational land use, quarries,
and urbanization, and provide context for
tihirteen chapters organized alphabetically
by family or farm.
These family histories provide
mtriguing glimpses into the challenges and
strategies of living there. Chapter 19, on the
Tronson family, for example, points to racist
land laws and the gendered nature of the
Indian Act. Married couple George Tronson
and Louisa Vernon, both children of First
Nations mothers and immigrant fathers,
required permission to live on the reserve
to care for Louisa's ailing mother. Following
her death, the RCMP removed the couple
from the reserve. George had lost his status
as an "Indian" because, thanks to his non-
Aboriginal father, he was listed as a voter
and had pre-empted land, rights not available
to Aboriginal people at the time. Although
Price's language is unfortunately dated
("how an unsuspecting half-breed became a
victim of the bureaucracy of the time"), this
story is valuable for exploring the complex
land laws and their consequences for families
"in between" (141-142). Chapter 18 tells the
story of the Thorlaksons who traveled from
Winnipeg to Peachland to work for a mine
in which Mrs. Thorlakson was a shareholder.
After the mine closed, the family bought a
ranch. This chapter illustrates the flexible
gender roles of men and women on family
farms: grand-daughter Norma-Jean learned
to knit from her grandfather, and logged
with her father. It also demonstrates the
importance of education to rural families, as
two generations of the family relocated three
times so their children could have access to
Occasional repetition suggests that
this book could have been better edited and
organized. I would have liked to read more
about Aboriginal land use and the operation of
the Commonage as a commons between 1876
and 1889. Nevertheless, by integrating a wide
variety of sources and images and bringing
to light previously unpublished stories and
photographs about Commonage residents,
A History of the Okanagan Commonage offers
valuable information about the settler history
of the Okanagan, and is a useful starting point
for studying why some agricultural pursuits
failed and others succeeded on a particular
Jenny Clayton, a student at the University of Victoria, is
writins a doctoral dissertation on recreational land use in
twentieth century British Columbia.
Set in Stone: A History of Trail's Rock Walls
Eileen Truant Pedersen. Trail, Friesens, 2008, 258p., illus,
$75 hardcover
This title received an honourable
mention in the 2008 Lieutenant Governor's
historical writing competition and is one
of the most lavish local history books ever
published. Five years in the making, it is a
beautifully-designed, full-colour, hardcover
tribute to a unique attribute that might
still be languishing in obscurity if not for
author Eileen Pedersen and the Rock Wall
Entusiastico Society.
The rock walls in Trail are ubiquitous,
yet somehow disappeared into the city's
background until one day a friend of
Pederson's suggested they would be a good
subject for a photo essay. Over the next few
years, the society measured and mapped
every wall, conducted interviews, published
a walking tour, and held a celebration in
honour of the builders. The book, however,
is the pinnacle of their efforts.
Split into three main sections, it begins
with a history of the walls, which were
constructed between the 1920s and '60s,
often as part of government relief programs.
While they served a practical purpose of
retaining the steep hillsides, they were also
undeniably beautiful.
A short subsection details the basic
principles and different methods used to
build them: the earliest walls were rough
rock, set flush in mortar, or dry-stacked
without mortar, and created using only
hand tools. Later walls incorporated large
boulders and were erected with the aid of
 steel bars, cranes, and much drilling. Either
way, it required a discerning eye, geological
and engineering know-how, and a huge
amount of physical labour.
The second main section features
often-touching tributes to 15 stonemasons
who toiled on the walls, including a couple
who are still alive. Without exception, they
were immigrants, most from Italy and a
few from Baltic republics. Some learned
their trade at home, others apprenticed on
the job. Long after the fact, they are finally
being recognized and appreciated for their
backbreaking efforts.
The final section, which accounts for
over half the book, is a neighbourhood-
by:neighborhood inventory of the walls,
portrayed in stunning photos, both recent
and historical.
It's impressive to so fully document
a heritage asset that until recently was not
even recognized, and doubly impressive
given that so little information was readily
available: the society drew on newspaper
accounts, original interviews, and field notes
to piece together the story of the walls and
their creators.
Due to its lavishness, this is an
expensive book, but that didn't stop the first
printing from quickly selling out. A second
printing has since arrived.
The book's primary font choice is also
appropriate, for it is literally set in Stone.
Greg Nesteroff is a radio news reporter and historian. He
lives in Castlesar.
The May 19th edition of the Williams
Lake Tribune announced the
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and
the Arts grant of $2million to the
New Pathways to Gold Society. One of the
projects is for approximately $300,000 for
the Brigade Trail-First Nations route from
the Anderson River to the Coldwater River.
"Part of this trail starting at Alexandra
Lodge has been the focus of preliminary
work by local First Nations." Another
$300,000 is for the Douglas Portage-Spirit
Trail from the top of Lake Harrison through
to the Pemberton Valley and the balance of
the funds will go to mapping, cataloguing
and restoring the Cariboo Wagon Road from
Hope to Barkerville. •
Historic Trails and Markers
report 2006-2007
Charles. Hou, Chair, Historic Trails and Markers Committee
In May 2006 the BCHF passed a
resolution asking the provincial government
to add about 700 hectares of land in the
Fraser Canyon to the provincial park at
Alexandra Bridge. The extension would
preserve the Hudson's Bay Company's First
Brigade Trail (Anderson's Brigade Trail)
and the viewscape of the Fraser Canyon
from the trail.
On April 18, 2007, the provincial
government announced that it would
establish 41 new conservancies and three
class A parks in BC, and add territory
to sixteen existing parks and three
conservancies. The addition of over 165,000
hectares of land will increase the total of
BC's protected land base from 12 per cent
to nearly 14 per cent.
My correspondence with the
government had previously indicated that
the government considered the 12% figure
to be set in stone.
The recent announcement indicates
that they are in fact willing to expand the
parkland base of the province. However, our
proposed addition was not included.
Quite a few schools make use of
field trips to help interest students in our
history. Some teachers and students like
to go beyond visits to museums, and take
students to historic places that allow them to
experience some of the physical hardships of
the past. Two historic trails near Vancouver
are heavily used - Anderson's Brigade Trail
and the Harrison-Lillooet Gold Rush Trail.
The schools and students who use
them have adopted these trails, and when
students hike the trails each spring they
help to clear them for use by the general
public. In addition, this spring a group of
eight teachers and volunteer leaders spent
three days in April working on the Harrison-
Lillooet Gold Rush Heritage Trail and two
days working on Anderson's Brigade Trail in
order to clear the many trees brought down
by the winter wind storms. The Chilliwack
District Recreation Site and Trails section
of the provincial government had already
cleared the latter trail of trees too big for
the students and volunteers to handle. The
government also erected an outhouse, fire
pit, and picnic table on the ridge overlooking
the Fraser River, as well as markers and a
sign at the beginning of the trail.
Recommendation: That the executive
of the BCHF attempt to set up a meeting with
Stan Hagen, Minister of Tourism, Sports
and the Arts, to explore the possibility of
extending the provincial park at Alexandra
Bridge north to include Anderson's Brigade
Charles Hou's article "A Proposal for
a New Park in the Fraser Canyon" appeared
in BC History issue 39.4
See pages 39 and 40 for information on
ordering back issues of BC History.
 BC Folklore - Mixing Fiction and Fact
By Janet Nicol
As a man walked along a forest trail
in a remote area on Vancouver
Island, he suddenly heard the
ringing of a bell. "Strange,
he thought, there is no town for miles."
Seconds later, he saw a white horse gallop
by on the far side of a stream, disappearing
into the bush. He approached the area
where the horse had appeared, but found
no hoof prints.
This is a re-telling of a story submitted
to the journal of the BC Folklore Society by
Russell Godfrey. It was Godfrey's father
who had this ghostly encounter while
walking through Jordon Meadows, not far
from a lost Spanish mine.
Folklore is about all of us—what we
share and pass on. While the historian
searches for the truth in a story, the folklorists
wants to know why people tell these
Mike Ballantyne, a professional
folksinger who immigrated to British
Columbia in 1973, established the society
in 1992. "I came from southwest England
where folk songs are close to the soil,"
Ballantyne says in a telephone interview
from his home on Vancouver Island. "When
I came here, I wanted to explore Canada's
heritage of folk songs."
"I was giving a course on family
folklore at a local college," he recalls.
"A woman, whose husband had died,
approached me. She wanted to give me
her husband's records, dancing ribbons and
books on folklore. I felt these materials were
far too valuable for one person to have and
should be preserved within a society."
While the society has only 35 volunteer
members and rninimal funding, its quarterly
journal provides an accessible and lively
collection of local lore.
"The mandate of the society is to
preserve and collect BC folklore," Ballantyne
says, "but we will also publish folklore from
The journal has many tall tales, ghost
stories, First Nations legends and songs.
Considering BC has its share of monsters,
shipwrecks, outlaws, lost mines and treasures,
there are many yarns to spin.
Folklore is not only
about the past. Forestry
workers' jargon drifted into
the camps of contemporary
tree planters, as John Cathro
discovered when he visited
west coast work sites. Cathro
compiled a lengthy glossary
of occupational words and
included a portion of them
in the folklore journal. A
highballer, for example, is
the fastest tree planter on the
job. A crummy is a broken
down rig used to drive
workers to the cutblock,
where the tree planting
takes place. Workers bag
up, that is, fill bags with
seedlings, and bag out, or
empty bags of trees.
Another form of
contemporary folklore can
be found on Snopes, a popular internet
site containing urban legends. The site is
maintained by a husband and wife team
in California, both folklore enthusiasts.
A search of 'British Columbia' on the
site reveals many tales. One story tells
of members of British royalty visiting a
northern BC town around 1911. The royals
were feted at a banquet and as the waiter
was clearing between courses, he leaned
over and told the honored guests "hold your
fork, the pie is coming." This story (if it is
true) reveals the "warm and unpretentious"
nature of Canadians, according to a Snopes
The journal has also published a
long list of 'weather wisdom' stories, taken
from people all over BC. In the interior,
for instance, some folks believe a storm
is coming when mountain goats make
their way down to the sagebrush. And a
fisherman prefers a cat to a barometer when
he takes his boat out to sea. The cat will run
up the mast and claw before a wind storm.
True crimes of the past can leave the
boundaries of truth and enter the field of
fiction when re-told, as this yarn, contributed
to the journal by T.W Paterson, reveals.
>t/GfNG TOC&v _,
In 1893, John Green, a 67 year old
Englishman with a successful trading post
on Savary Island, was said to have hoarded
a small fortune. One day Green and his new
assistant were killed by two men who went
on to Green's property and robbed him. The
murderers were captured and confessed but
admitted only finding a few dollars. Some
say the money they were after is still buried
on the property.
For more information about the BC
Folklore Society, visit their website at www. or contact by mail at 7345
Seabrook Road, Central Saanich, BC V8M
1M9. •
 The Joseph Genelle Affair
Edward L. Affleck,
News is something invented by
newspapers to sell editions and
thereby thrive. The seasoned
historian who sifts through files
of newspaper back issues only to discover
that Day One's controversial front-page item
has a tendency shortly to disappear from
sight forever after cannot help but develop
an ounce or two of cynicism as he realizes
that once again the press has copped out of
following a story to a climax or conclusion.
The case of Joseph Genelle provides a good
example of the fickleness of the press
Joseph Genelle was one of fourteen
children who had come west from
Thessalon, Ontario with a widowed mother
to participate in the building of the Canadian
Pacific Railway through the Rocky and
Selkirk mountains. The young men in the
family had worked on railway construction
while the youngv women worked as cooks
in the construction camps. They conserved
their earnings and plowed them into
the lumber industry. By the mid '90's
the Genelle family was prospering, their
chief endeavour being the Yale-Columbia
Lumber Co. whose mills were established
from Yale to the Kootenay District in British
Joseph Genelle first became
involved in steamboating when in 1895
he commissioned the Str. Thompson to tow
booms of logs on Shuswap Lake to the mill
at Tappen. He seemed to resist getting into
the steamer business during the height of
the Klondike Gold Rush, but did in April,
1900 become involved in a steamboating
consortium headed by Samuel Barber, a
coast entrepreneur. At the height of the
Klondike boom in 1898 the consortium
had acquired the coastal vessel Alpha and
later had picked up two modest river
sternwheelers, the Mono and the Glenora.
Page two of the Tuesday, April 8,
1902 issue of the Victoria Colonist contains
a generous spread advising that Kootenay
District lumberman Joseph Genelle had
been arrested in Rossland the previous
Saturday evening and was being brought
to Victoria under police escort to answer
charges that he had incited or conspired
with steamboat watchman Harry McMillan
to torch the sternwheelers Mono and Glenora
at their winter berth in a slough on the west
side of the Yukon River upstream from
Dawson City.
The screw-propelled Alpha had been
built in 1863 by Barclay Curie of Glasgow
for the Cunard Line's Halifax-West Indies
service, and had worked faithfully in that
trade until she was snapped up and brought
out to Vancouver in 1898 to work up the
Inside Passage to the ports serving the
Klondike traffic. She likely earned her keep
at the outset, but by mid-1900 the boom had
slackened and competition on the northern
runs became fierce. The Barber consortium
found itself with a coaster in dire need of
a major refit and of some profitable trade.
The sternwheelers were in relatively good
condition, but the pickings on the Yukon
River were now slim. The bloom was
obviously off the Barber fleet by April, 1900
when Genelle elected to buy out the interest
of Captain J. Warren in the consortium.
On December 7,1900 the Alpha set sail
from Victoria, bound for Japan with a cargo
of salted fish. Several hours later, the vessel
sprang a leak in a gale off Cape Flattery and
limped back to the Union Iron Works for
some hasty repairs. On December 14,1900
she set out again, bound for a coal up at
Union Bay. A number of new crew members
had been recruited to replace those who
refused to sail again in the vessel. To escape
the worst of a storm, the Alpha was worked
through a passage between Denman Island
and the east coast of Vancouver Island, but
piled up on Yellow Island Reef. Captain F. H.
M. Yorke, Samuel Barber and seven others
lost their lives in the wreck.
In its April 8,1902 coverage on Joseph
Genelle, the Victoria Colonist saw fit to print
a retrospect of the ugly details of the final
months of the career of the Alpha, and also
advised that the sternwheelers Mono and
Glenora had been heavily mortgaged to
McLennan and McFeely. It certainly looked
plausible that Genelle, sole surviving villain
in the Alpha affair, might have been hard-
pressed for cash and might have seen fit to
cash in on some fire insurance.
It was said in Dawson City that the
Mono and Glenora had in the late fall of
1901 both loaded up cargo at St. Michael,
Alaska and had worked up the Yukon River
to Dawson City and had gone into winter
shelter before all the cargo was unloaded
at Dawson, as an imminent freeze-up
was threatened. When watchman Harry
McMillan was arrested after the March, 1902
fire, he is said to have confessed that over
the winter he had stripped both vessels of
remaining cargo and had quietly disposed
of it in Dawson. He then doused the boats
with kerosene and set fire to them. Was there
complicity between McMillan and Genelle
in this evil action? Was McMillan merely
covering his tracks, or did Genelle stand
some chance of cashing in on the demise
of the sternwheelers? Some revealing clue
may linger in obscurity in the Court Records
of Yukon or British Columbia, or on the
back page of a newspaper. In the meantime
the reader, along with this historian must
await patiently the final word on the Joseph
Genelle affair. •.
Edward (Ted) Affleck was a chartered accountant,
opera lover, and prolific historian. He spent 40 years
documenting the maritime history of BC. His column,
Around The Bend, regularly appeared in BC Historical
News, the last one was published in issue 36.3.
A eulogy of Ted Affleck appeared in BC Historical News 36,3
This is one of a number of Affleck's articles on file with the
magazine. (Ed)
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Contains 117 different unpublished photographs, postcards and images from around British Columbia.
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Greg Nestoroff presents the 2008 British
Columbia Historical Federation website prize
to Brenda Smith representing Fred Braches.
Photo by Alistair Fraser
From Wes Knapp, City
As chair of the City Reflections
Committee within the Vancouver Historical
Society, I would like to acknowledge with
thanks your nomination of the DVD, City
Reflections: 1907-Vancouver-2007, for an
Award of Merit by the British Columbia
Historical Federation. We are thrilled
with the news that we have received one
of the two Merit Awards. To be recognized
in this way by our parent and provincial
organization is such an honour. Peer
recognition is perhaps the most important
form of acknowledgement, thus making us
so delighted to receive this award.
The response to the City Reflections
film project and student resource guide
is proving to be very gratifying. The
recent workshops with teachers in which
we show the dvd and work through the
student resource guide underscore what a
valuable historical document we have in the
1907 film footage by William Harbeck. Its
implications for teaching history to students
are far reaching. And, as teachers are telling
us, the resource materials are making history
fun—something that isn't easy to do in a
classroom setting.
2008 British Columbia
Historical Federation
announces website prize
winner: " A website
for all who prefer facts over
The site explores and documents the
story of Slumach, an elderly Sto:lo man
from the Pitt Lake area, who is believed
to have discovered one of the richest gold
mines in British Columbia history. In 1890,
however, Slumach shot and killed Louis Bee
at the south arm of the Alouette river. He
was subsequently hanged for the murder in
January, 1891. Over the years, there has been
considerable interest in circumstances of
Slumach's case and his reputed knowledge
of a gold bonanza.
Fred Braches' "Slumach" is a well
designed site which nicely lays out the
history of Slumach and has transcriptions
of virtually everything ever written about
the subject. The website is easy to navigate,
has many primary and secondary sources
that are nicely presented and documented,
and includes some excellent and relevant
photographs. In general, the site represents
a huge amount of research work and careful
thought given to the presentation of an
interesting and controversial piece of British
Columbia history. As the author/creator of
the site, Fred Braches is a very deserving
winner of the 2008 BCHF website prize.
 British Columbia Historical Federation Awards and
Scholarship Information
W. KAYE LAMB Essay Scholarships
Deadline 15 May 2009
The British Columbia Historical
Federation awards two scholarships
annually for essays written by students
at BC colleges or universities, on a topic
relating to British Columbia history.
One scholarship ($750) is for an essay
written by a student in a first or second
year course; the other ($1000) is for an
essay written by a student in a third or
fourth year course.
To apply for the scholarship all
candidates must submit (1) a letter
of application and (2) a letter of
recommendation from the professor
for whom the essay was written.
First and second year course essays
should be 1,500-3,000 words; third and
fourth year,1,500 to 5,000 words. By
entering the scholarship competition
the student gives the editor of BC
History the right to edit and publish
the essay if it is deemed appropriate
for the magazine.
Applications should be submitted
to: Marie Elliott, Chair BC Historical
Federation Scholarship Committee, PO
Box 5254, Station B, Victoria, BC V8R
BC History Web Site Prize
The British Columbia Historical
Federation and David Mattison
are jointly sponsoring a yearly
cash award of $250 to recognize
Web sites that contribute to the
understanding and appreciation of
British Columbia's past. The award
honours individual initiative in writing
and presentation.
Nominations for the BC History Web
Site Prize must be made to the British
Columbia Historical Federation, Web
Site Prize Committee, prior to the
31st of December each year. Web site
creators and authors may nominate
their own sites. Prize rules and the online nomination form can be found on
BCHF's web site:
Anne & Philip Yandle
Best Article Award
A Certificate of Merit and $250 will
be awarded annually to the author of
the article, published in BC History,
that best enhances knowledge ot
British Columbia's history and provides
reading enjoyment. Judging will be
based on subject development, writing
skill, freshness of material, and appeal
to a general readership interested in
all aspects of BC history.
The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions
for the 27th Annual Historical Writing Competition for authors of
British Columbia History.
• To be eligible for this competition, books must be
published in 2009.
• Non-fiction books representing any aspect of B.C. History
are eligible.
• Reprints or revisions of books are not eligible.
• Books may be submitted by authors or publishers.
• Deadline for submission is December 31, 2009.
Judging Criteria
Judges are looking for quality presentations and fresh material.
Submissions will be evaluated in the following areas:
• Scholarship: quality of research and documentation,
comprehensiveness, objectivity and accuracy
• Presentation: organization, clarity, illustrations and graphics
• Accessibility: readability and audience appeal
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal and Other Prizes
The BC Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing will be
awarded together with $600 to the author whose book makes the most
significant contribution to the history of British Columbia. The 2nd and
3rd place winners will receive $400 and $200 respectively.
Certificates of Honorable Mention may be awarded to other books as
recommended by the judges.
All winners will receive publicity and an invitation to the BCHF Awards
Banquet at the Federation's annual conference in May, 2010.
Submission Requirements
Authors/Publishers are required to send three copies to the Chair of
the Writing Competition Committee.
Barb Hynek
2477 140th Street, Surrey, B.C. V4P 2C5
Email:    Phone: 604-535-9090
Books are to be accompanied by a letter containing the following:
• Title of the book submitted
• Author's name and contact information
• Publisher's name and contact information
• Selling price
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2009
By submitting books for this competition, the authors agree that the
British Columbia Historical Federation may use their name(s) in press
releases and in its publications.
Books entered become the property of the BCHF.
 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Circulation Department.
British Columbia Historical News
Alice Marwood, 211 -14981 -101A Avenue Surrey, B C V3R 0T1
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40025793
Publications Mail registration No. 09835
745 15/2xxP1(M)
PO BOX 2119
L/3I13.CI3. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Publications Assistance program (PAP), toward our mailing cost
ffospitai, Phoenix^ M &
Postcard courtesy of Ron Hyde


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