British Columbia History

British Columbia History 2008

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Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation | Vol.41 No. 4 | $5.00
This Issue: It's All About Nelson  |   2009 Conference information   |  and more
 British Columbia History
Journal of the British Columbia Historical
Federation Published four times a year.
ISSN: print 1710-7881 online 1710-792X
British Columbia History welcomes stories, studies,
and news items dealing with any aspect of the
history of British Columbia, and British Columbians.
Please submit manuscripts for publication to the
Editor, British Columbia History,
John Atkin,
921 Princess Avenue, Vancouver BC V6A 3E8
Book reviews for British Columbia History,
Frances Gundry, Book Review Editor,
BC Historical News,
P.O. Box 5254, Station B., Victoria, BC V8R 6N4
Subscription 8t subscription information:
Alice Marwood
211 - 14981 - 101AAvenue Surrey BC V3R 0T1
Phone 604-582-1548
Subscriptions: $18.00 per year
For addresses outside Canada add $10.00
Single copies of recent issues are for sale at:
- Arrow Lakes Historical Society, Nakusp BC
- Book Warehouse, 4th Ave & Broadway, Vancouver
- Books and Company, Prince George BC
- Gibson Coast Books, Gibsons BC
- Galiano Museum
- Gray Creek Store, Gray Creek BC
- Royal British Columbia Museum Shop, Victoria BC
- Otter Books in Nelson
- Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art & History
- Caryall Books in Quesnel
This publication is indexed in the Canadian Magazine
Index, published by Micromedia.
ISSN: 1710-7881
Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and
Production Mail Registration Number 1245716
Publications Mail Registration No. 09835
Member of the British Columbia Association of
Magazine Publishers
While copyright in the journal as a whole is vested
in the British Columbia Historical Federation,
copyright of the individual articles belongs to their
respective authors, and articles may be reproduced
for personal use only. For reproduction for other
purposes permission in writing of both author and
publisher is required.
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: Gordon Miller
Pilot Bay 1126 Morrell Circle, Nanaimo V9R 6K6
vp1 ©
Second Vice President: Tom Lymbery
1979 Chainsaw Ave., Gray Creek V0B 1S0
Phone 250.227.9448 Fax 250.227.9449
Secretary: Janet M. Nicol
611 - 1035 Pacific Street, Vancouver V6E 4G7
Recording Secretary: Jill Rowland
% BC Historical Federation, P.O. Box 5254,
Station B, Victoria V8R 6N4
Treasurer: Ken Welwood
1383 Mallard Road, Parksville V9P 2A3
Phone 250.752.1888
Member at Large: Anne Edwards
Box 148, MoyieV0B2A0
Phone 250.829.0666 Fax 250.829.0676
memberl ©
Member at Large: Lorraine Irving
1131 East 23 Avenue, Vancouver V5V 1Y8
Phone 604.874.8748
Past President (ex-officio): Patricia Roy
602-139 Clarence St., Victoria V8V 2J1
Cover Image: KWC Building c. 1902
Touchstones Nelson photo
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
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Writing:
Barb Hynek
2477 140th St., Surrey V4P 2C5
Phone 604.535.9090
Contact: Ron Hyde
#20 12880 Railway Ave., Richmond V7E 6G2
Phone 604.277.2627 or Fax 604.277.2657
Contact: Jacqueline Gresko
5931 Sandpiper Court, Richmond V7E 3P8
Phone 604.274.4383
BC History Editor, John Atkin,
BC HistorySubscriptions, Alice Marwood,
Newsletter Editor, Ron Hyde,
Website Editor, RJ. (Ron) Welwood,
Contact: Tony Cox
P.O. Box 75, Lions Bay, VON 2E0
Phone 604.921.9496
Website Award:
Contact: Duff Sutherland,
History Instructor, Selkirk College,
301 Frank Beinder Way, Castlegar, V1N 3J1
Phone 250.365.7292 x 334
webprize@bchistory. ca
A complete list of the Federation's membership is available at is the Federation's web site
 BCHF Prizes | Awards | Scholarships
"Any country worthy of a future should
be interested in its past"
W. Kaye Lamb, 1937
W. KAYE LAMB Essay Scholarships
Deadline 15 May 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 be1,500-3,000 words; third
and fourth year, 1,500 to 5,000 words.
All essays must be on a topic relating
to the history of British Columbia. 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 6N4
BC History Web Site Prize
The British Columbia Historical
Federation and David Mattison
are jointly sponsoring a yearly
cash award of $250 to recognize
Web sites that contribute to the
understanding and appreciation of
British Columbia's past. The award
honours individual initiative in writing
and presentation.
Nominations for the BC History Web
Site Prize must be made to the British
Columbia Historical Federation, Web
Site Prize Committee, prior to 31
December 2008. Web site creators
and authors may nominate their own
sites. Prize rules and the on-line
nomination form can be found on The
British Columbia History Web site:
http: 11 www. victoria, tc. cal resources!
bchistory I announcements.html
Anne & Philip Yandle
Best Article Award
A Certificate of Merit and 250 dollars
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.
XaM&Iv \jl
The Corner and the K-W-C.
Patricia A. Rogers 2
A Kootenay Saga
BillLaux 4
An "'umble Tradesman"
Robert G. Dennison 11
Nelson Conference Information and Registration 16
Nelson's Chahko Mika Carnival of 1914: Token History
Ron Greene 26
Restoration of the 1223 26
Book Reviews 28
Miscellany 36
If you are reading this in a public library in British Columbia, that is due to the
generosity of the Hudson's Bay Company Foundation, which has subsidized
your library's subscription as part of its contribution to the commemoration of
British Columbia's Sesquicentennial in 2008.
We hope you will enjoy reading the magazine.
Information about subscriptions may be found on the inside front cover.
 The Corner and the K-W-C
By Patricia A. Rogers
Patrica Rogers is a
Nelson based writer.
She contributes
frequently to BC
1. Kinsella, W. P. Shoeless
Joe,_ New York: Random House
Publishing Group, 1996.
"If you build it they will come/'1, and come
by the thousands they have to Nelson's historic
downtown core. Although Nelson was not the
backdrop for the Universal Pictures movie it certainly
was a held of dreams, a tabula rasa, for the talented
architects of the day.
One of these talented men and the most prolific,
Alexander Carrie, designed a structure that has been
the anchor of Baker Street since its completion in 1901.
Stand anywhere on Baker Street and your eyes are
drawn to that most distinctive turret at the very centre
of our city. Unbeknown to many is the fact that at one
time there were four turrets at this very cross street
and only the Kirkpatrick Wilson Clements Block has
withstood the test of time.
By 1900 the shantytown that became the City of
Nelson was gaining in respectability. The Ward Creek
gorge that bisected Baker Street had been filled in and
the stage was set. With budding entrepreneurial spirit
large stone and brick edifices were being constructed
and the southwest corner of Baker and Ward Streets
was not immune.
According to the Nelson Daily Miner the
Bank of Montreal had cast covetous eyes on Lot 10
of Block 10. They had recently retained architect
Francis Rattenbury to draw plans for a new bank and
this corner was perfect. Mr. Rattenbury attended at
Nelson and announced that he did not believe, with
the proximity of Ward Creek, that foundations could
be constructed that would adequately support his
building. With that the Bank of Montreal "swapped
Titles" with the owner of the lots of the present day
site of the bank.
However, "swapped" is not quite accurate. The
activity on this corner allows for a brief glimpse into
land speculation in early Nelson.
On April 4,1899 the Bank of Montreal sold Lot
10 to Frank Fletcher and Arthur E. Hodgins for the
sum of $10,000. Frank Fletcher purchased the share
of Arthur E. Hodgins on March 5,1900 for the sum
of $1,000 and on the same day sold Lot 10 to Austin
Henry Clements for the sum of $10,500.00!
On June 25,1900 A. H. Clements purchased an
equal share of Lot 9 from John Andrew Kirkpatrick
and Charles J. Wilson for the sum of $1.00. Prior
to this sale the Title had changed hands ten times
since 1891! On June 30,1900 J.A. Kirkpatrick and C.J.
Wilson purchased an equal share of Lot 10 from A.H.
Clements for the sum of $1.00. The K.W.C. partnership
was now on equal footing, the land was secure and
both lots were consolidated into one holding. As an
Alexander Carrie c. 1912
Courtesy of the Wallach Family
interesting aside, Charles J. Wilson was the great uncle
of the actress, Margot Kidder.
Partners were added and deleted over the
next few years until the building was purchased by
A. (Annie) MacDonald in 1905. This company, A.
MacDonald and Company of Winnipeg, eventually
became Canada Safeway Limited. A. MacDonald
continued to hold Title until November 12,1929 when
the building was sold to the K.W.C. Company. This
Company retained ownership until the sale to the
present owners in 1973.
The K.W.C. Block, to be built of pressed brick
with marble trim, would be 3 stories in height and
cover an area of 60 x 120 feet with a 30-foot frontage
on Baker Street. The corner store was to be occupied
by the Canada Drug and Book Company, with the
adjacent store, on Baker, the Kirkpatrick Wilson
Company (Mercantile). The Ward Street frontage
would house The Palm (Confectionery) and the West
Kootenay Butcher Company. The main entrance
would be on Baker Street. The estimated cost was
On April 9, 1900 the work commenced. Just
as today the use of local contractors was preferred
and these were employed by Alexander Carrie. T.L.
Bilderbeck was awarded the excavation contract;
he estimated 3,700 yards of earth would have to be
 removed. Shackleton and Laidlaw supplied the
masons. Their estimate for the foundations and Ward
Street retaining wall was 1,000 yards of masonry. WG.
Gillette was awarded the general contracting; and the
Lawrence Hardware Company would complete the
steam heating, plumbing, gas fitting and sheet metal
work. Pressed brick and terra cotta was to be supplied
by Ernest Mansfield.
While the exterior of the building was nearing
completion plans were made for the interior fittings.
The Kirkpatrick Wilson Company would have
fittings of the "latest model" of "native woods with
mirrors placed at intervals." The third floor had
been leased by Mrs. F.J. Squire to furnish 28 rooms
as "sleeping compartments" with "parlours" and
"toilets." Skylights and light wells were employed
in the darker recesses.
The second floor consisted of offices occupied
by: Galliher and Wilson (Lawyers), The Prospectors
Exchange, Drs. Hall and Rose (M.D.), Dr. Morrison
(D.D.S.), Charles Waterman (Auctioneer), Arlington
Mines of Erie, B.C., Graeb and Mclntyre (Brokers),
Ashnola Smelter Limited and the Similkameen Valley
Coal Company.
The K.W.C. Block was the largest business
bpc^iMie city and according to The Tribune one of
the finest in the province. It was completed at a cost
Many will remember Mann's Drugs. Edward
Mann was the nephew of William Rutherford,
Druggist. Mr. Rutherford was with the Canada Drug
and Book Company until he opened his own store in
this same location eventually evolving into Mann's
Drugs. Ajfiug store was a constant in this one location
for over 70 yepfs. Edward Mann was responsible for
placing'ife clock in the turret
When Nelson was in an economic downturn
Baker Street evidenced the loss. The street looked
forlorn and in need of a face lift. With the Downtown
Revitalization Project of the mid 1980s came a breath
of fresh air and the rebirth of the Queen City - as well
as the KM.!
Th^EW.C. Block today is assessed at over $1
million. jjBltains retail stores on the first level and
private arlirtments on the second and third floors. Due
to theilans of architect Carrie, the fine workmanship
of the local contractors, the natural resources of the
West Kootenay and the care of the present owners, the
K.W.C. Block has not only withstood the test of Jghe,
it will be here long after we have passed. •
KWC Building c. 1902
Touchstones Nelson photo
A Kootenay Saga: The Revelstoke Police War, the "Kidnapping"
of Premier Robson and the Rise of "Pothole" Kellie by bui Laux
This was the last
article Bill sent to
BC History and I've
been waiting for an
appropriate time to
publish it
BUI Laux was a man
of many talents,
known for his
endeavours as an
artist, a writer, a
builder of buildings
made of mud-cement
bricks, a small
hydroelectric plant
operator, as well as
an exotic evergreen
tree nurseryman
but for BC History
readers he was a
historian searching
out the stories about
the early mines
and railways of the
West Kootenays and
eastern Washington
He passed away in
October 2004.
The Canadian Pacific Railway
(CPR) was built across the
Northwest Territories to the Rockies
on Dominion lands. In British
Columbia, the province owned the Crown
lands but was so keen to get the railway
that it agreed to convey "in trust to the
Dominion" a belt of land 20 miles on each
side of the proposed route. From this the CPR
could select its grant lands on completion of
the line. For the cession of this land the
Dominion was to pay British Columbia
$100,000 per year. This arrangement
created a belt of Dominion land through the
province from Kicking Horse Pass to Port
Moody. Missing from the agreement was
any reference to whose laws were to govern
the Railway Belt and whose police were to
enforce them. The Dominion government
and the CPR assumed that they would be
in charge; the British Columbia government
believed that it retained this responsibility. It
was all very abstruse but it came to a head
in Farwell/Revelstoke, in 1885.
Arthur Stanhope Farwell, born in
Derbyshire, England in 1841, the son of a
clergyman, arrived in Victoria in 1864. His
surveyor's skills were much in demand. Farwell
served as provincial Surveyor General 1872 -1878.
After Walter Moberly discovered the Eagle Pass route
to the Kootenays, the provincial government sent
Farwell and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, also a surveyor,
to lay out a road from the Sicamous steamer landing
to the Columbia River at Big Eddy in 1883.
Closely following them was Gustavus Blin
Wright with his men who were building the wagon
road then being surveyed. Wright had built large
sections of the Cariboo road and was now betting that
the next big gold strike would be in the Kootenays.
The government hoped that the Eagle Pass road
would encourage the Kootenay mine owners to ship
their ore out over this route to New Westminster.
As a mineral route, however, the road was a failure
as there was no smelter on the Coast to treat those
Kootenay ores.
With the CPR's announcement that it would
build via the Rogers and Eagle Pass route, Wright's
road was at once crowded with men headed east, all
wanting to get in on the CPR construction. Wright
was waiting for them at Big Eddy where he was
building a sawmill and had taken the contract to
construct the first bridge across the Columbia.
Farwell was there as well. His experience as a
surveyor convinced him that the CPR would have to
cross the Columbia at a point just below Big Eddy and
he at once applied to Victoria for a pre-emption grant
of 175 acres on this spot plus an additional Crown
Grant of 1000 acres for a town site. His application
was dated October 20,1883, just as he and Sproat had
finished their Eagle Pass survey. Not waiting for his
grants to be approved. Farwell began laying out the
town he named for himself. Farwell's land ran from
the present Revelstoke golf course east to present
Rokeby Street, then south to the River and back along
the river bank to the golf course. It was an ideal site for
a town. Wright was building his bridge, the Columbia
River steamers could have their landing on Farwell's
Front Street and the Canadian Pacific would have to
buy their right of way, station grounds and yards from
him. Title to Farwell's grants was issued January 13,
1885 with the CPR crews already across Rogers Pass
and clearing their line down the Illecillewat River.
Farwell awaited their arrival confident that he was
about to become very rich.
When the CPR graders entered Farwell's grant
an angry William Van Home had no choice but to
pay Farwell for his right of way across this "illegal"
provincial townsite. A small, temporary station called
"Gold Hill" or "Second Crossing was grudgingly
built on the north side of the track between present
Charles and Ford Avenues. But Van Home had a
surprise for Arthur Farwell. There was a large area
of flat land half a mile east of Farwell where the CPR
track emerged from the Illecillewat Canyon. There the
railway laid out a Dominion granted town site of its
own with yards, station, streets, a hotel and lots for
sale. It called the place Revelstoke after a substantial
British investor.
The CPR forbade liquor in its work camps or
anywhere near them and the North West Mounted
Police (NWMP) enforced this rule with vigour.
As construction passed Kicking Horse Pass and
entered British Columbia, the Dominion rule still
held: no alcohol was allowed within the Railway
Belt. British Columbia, however, allowed the sale
by anyone who held a valid liquor licence. Liquor
licences were a valued source of revenue for the
cash-strapped province and the province readily
issued them. As soon as CPR construction arrived at
Golden the workers found plentiful
liquor awaiting them and drunken
trouble soon broke out. Sam Steele
and his NWMP from their Wild
Horse Post were immediately
dispatched to the railroad camps to
enforce the Dominion prohibition
on alcohol. The government
and people of British Columbia,
who had waited 15 years for the
promised railway, were in no
mood to concede anything to the
Dominion government. When
the railway arrived in Farwell,
the province was issuing liquor
licences to everyone erecting a tent
or building a log hotel. It refused a
request to rescind Farwell's grants
and was perfectly content to see its
citizens get as much as they could
of that railway payroll.
Along with the new town
site a NWMP barracks and jail was
built in early 1885 at the top of the
Douglas Street hill to administer
Dominion law and keep alcohol
out of Revelstoke. Sam Steele was
called away to the Northwest or Second Riel Rebellion
but he left Special Commissioner George Hope Johnson
in charge. A half mile away in Farwell, the Provincial
government had appointed Gilbert Malcolm Sproat
as stipendiary magistrate and big Jack Kirkup as
chief constable of Farwell / Revelstoke With the two
towns full of wild and rowdy railway labourers and
alcohol freely available in Farwell, the legal situation
was murky. Special Commissioner George Johnson
was enforcing Dominion law prohibiting the sale of
alcohol while Kirkup was upholding provincial law
permitting its sale.
With two rival police forces, each jealous of their
own authority and enforcing conflicting regulations,
a clash was bound to come. It happened in the hot
summer of 1885. One of George Johnson's NWMP
men came upon a man bringing a pack train of
liquor into the Railway Belt and arrested him. When
Johnson brought the man before Magistrate Sproat
the packer pleaded that his act was perfectly legal
under Provincial law. Sproat agreed and issued a
warrant for the arrest of the Dominion constable
and sent a provincial constable to Douglas Street to
make the arrest. On his arrival at the NWMP barracks
A. S. Farwell, Surveyor-
General (left)
Royal BC Museum BC Archives
photo A-01295
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat
Royal BC Museum BC Archives
photo A-01770
 The Lardeau City Misadventure
Like his misguided pothole
adventure Farwell made an
unlucky choice for what he
hoped would become the
Kootenay metropolis, Lardeau
City. To get in on the Lardeau
mining boom he bought land
in 1893 on the floodplain at
the head of the Northeast Arm
of Upper Arrow Lake and had
it surveyed into the town site
he called Lardeau or Lardeau
City. This, he intended, was to
become the commercial centre
of all the mines being located
up the Fish River and over the
Badshot Range on Lardeau Creek.
J.M.Kellie used his power as
Minister of Mines to have 513
miles of trails built to reach the
isolated mines in his riding but
his Lardeau road project was
an embarrassment. He had the
government build a road from
his town of Lardeau City up the
right bank of the Fish River, over
a difficult mountain and down
to cross the river to Camborne
with its mines. But it was a road
which connected the Fish River
Mines to a muddy village with no
steamer connections whatever.
Lardeau City was separated
from the Northeast Arm by a
wide mudflat, which prevented
steamers from landing. The
Camborne mines had to use
Thompson's Landing to send out
their ore over a road they built
themselves in 1895. In spite of
Kellie's political connections
and persistent advertising as the
"Centre of the Lardeau," which
it was not, Lardeau City was a
failure. It was mostly washed
out by the great storm and flood
of 1894, which also destroyed
Killarney (Edgewood) and a good
part of Kaslo.
Kellie's political and business
rival, Hewitt Bostock a wealthy
Englishman, who owned the
Province newspaper, established
a rival town of Comaplix two
miles west of Lardeau with a
dock for steamers and a large
sawmill. At this, what remained
of Lardeau City including its
hotel, picked up and moved
themselves over to the new
the provincial constable was arrested by Dominion
Commissioner Johnson, who tried him and sentenced
him to jail for interfering with the duties of a Dominion
constable. Sproat then sent another constable to arrest
the Dominion constables and he too was arrested by
the NWMP. An angry Sproat then issued a warrant
for the arrest of Special Commissioner Johnson and
swore in twenty men to act as special officers to
arrest him. This posse captured Johnson and two
of his constables, the remaining Dominion officers
barricaded themselves in their headquarters and
prepared to defend themselves if Sproat should attack.
The standoff did not last long, George Johnson was
released on bail and left both towns. One by one,
most of the NWMP men discreetly took their leave as
well. Sproat and Kirkup then took over the policing
of both towns.
On September 23, an alarmed Dominion
government sent in Colonel J.F. McLeod of the NWMP
to investigate. Sproat and McLeod,
sitting jointly, presided over a hearing on
the matter and concluded - that George
Johnson and his deputies had been at
fault in arresting legitimate Provincial
police constables. They decided that
henceforth the Dominion constables
would police the Railway Belt east of
Farwell, that is, Revelstoke to Kicking
Horse Pass, and Provincial police would
enforce the law in Farwell and from
there west. Sam Steele returned and
set up a new headquarters in Farwell to
police and seize any alcohol east of that
point. After the railway was finished and
the CPR selected its Railway Belt lands
the Dominion police withdrew.
While a compromise over the
question of policing had been reached,
the matter of land titles continued to
be confused as ever. The Dominion
government had been disposed to give
grants of land within the Railway Belt
to businesses and corporations seeking
to develop the area. It granted land in
Farwell to the Columbia and Kootenay
Steam Navigation Company but as the
province had already granted this land
to Arthur Farwell, it refused to register
the grant. Similiarly, it refused to register
a Dominion grant to Kootenay Smelting
and Trading Syndicate comprising 320
acres extending from present Government Road
nearly to Mackenzie Avenue and from the river to
the CPR right of way.
With the province refusing to honour Dominion
grants and the Dominion government refusing to
recognize provincial grants, no one in Revelstoke/
Farwell could obtain a legally registered title to any
property. The town had no hope of incorporating
as long as this situation persisted. The smelter shut
down, demanding a title before it would spend
money to shore up the riverbank where erosion was
undermining its works. Banks and other businesses
refused to locate in such a chaotic place. Many
hopeful businessmen simply left for Nelson, Golden
or the Okanagan. The hope that with the arrival
of the railway, Revelstoke/Farwell would become
the trading centre and metropolis of the Kootenays
Arthur Farwell sued the Dominion government
 Constable John Kirkup
of the Provincial Police
Royal BC Museum BC Archives
photo A-02263
Farwell on the Columbia
River, 1885
Royal BC Museum BC Archives
photo 1-30817
for his rights. The case of Regina vs Farwell dragged
on for ten years while the town waited. Finally,
in February 1894, the Supreme Court of Canada
announced that Farwell was to surrender his
provincial title and receive in exchange a Dominion
title to all 1175 acres of his grant minus those properties
the Dominion government had granted to others. Still,
it took three years after this decision before the first
Revelstoke title deed was issued. Local squabbling
and apathy delayed incorporation until 1899. By
then Nelson was the undisputed administrative and
commercial centre of the Kootenays. Many blamed
Arthur Farwell who prudently moved to Nelson. His
attempt to enter politics never succeeded as the voters
of Revelstoke were solidly against him.
It was not only the businessmen and residents
of the Railway Belt that resented the dual authority
imposed on the CPR lands. Miners were outraged
to find that they had to register all claims within the
Railway Belt with both governments. The Dominion
claimed jurisdiction over "all minerals." while B.C.
claimed jurisdiction over "precious metals." The
Illecillewaet mines in the Railway Belt were on
galena deposits containing lead, silver, zinc and gold
and on these the province assessed a tax of 5% on all
gold and silver mined in the Belt for a period of 25
years following the completion of the railway while
the Dominion government demanded $105 from the
miners for each location within the Belt. This dual
taxation, the angry miners insisted, was wrong and a
detriment to the development of a mining industry in
the Kootenays. Along with double taxation, the hard
rock miners were still grappling with outdated laws
drawn up for the placer miners of the 1860s.
While the miners were the single largest group
in the Kootenays they found themselves without
effective representation at Victoria. The MLA for
Kootenay, Col. James Baker of Cranbrook, was
 J. M. Kellie, M.LA.
for Kootenay
Royal BC Museum BC Archives
photo G-09892
obsessed with his coal and
his railway schemes and had
no time for the Railway Belt
miners. Angry and rebellious,
the miners found their champion
in "Pothole" Kellie.   James
M. Kellie was born in Coburg
Ontario in 1848. By 1884 he was
in Golden prospecting and with
his two partners, Kellie bought
three placer claims on Canyon
Creek, some eight km. south of
Golden. There were two deep
potholes on this creek and Kellie
and his partners were sure they
had gold at their bottoms - if
they could somehow be drained.
The three men set to work that
winter to whipsaw lumber to
build a flume to divert the creek
past the potholes. By spring
it was complete, however, a
sudden snow-melt sent a torrent
of water down the creek taking
their flume with it. Patiently,
they set to work to saw and
carpenter together another
flume and then with buckets
they slowly bailed out the two
potholes. Finally, reaching the
bottom, in great excitement, they
dug the last few feet of sand.
What they found was not gold, but only the decayed
leg of a mountain goat. J.M. Kellie from then on was
known as "Pothole" Kellie.
In 1889 "Pothole" Kellie was on the Illecillewaet
River above Revelstoke where he had located several
mining claims showing silver. Like the others working
in the Railway Belt, he was incensed at being taxed
by two governments. He became well known in the
district among miners as an outspoken foe of both
governments and the CPR, which was now levying an
additional charge of $20 on each mining claim located
on its grant lands in the belt.
In Revelstoke, Kellie joined a group of twelve
miners meeting in Teetzel's drugstore on Front Street
in Farwell to protest Premier John Robson's unfair
taxation of their mines. When the group learned that
Robsori would arrive on the train from Golden where
he had been speaking in favour of his supporter,
Colonel Baker, they decided to confront him forcibly.
The determined miners met Robson's train and
invited him to stop over for a day and listen to their
complaints and have the mining situation explained
to him. Realizing that these angry men were willing
to use force, the Premier was obliged to let himself be
removed from his car and escorted to Cowan's hotel.
The "kidnapped" Robson was kept in his room while
the miners mshed out handbills to advertise a public
meeting with the Premier for the following night. A
large crowd attended, not only miners but most of the
local businessmen as well. Robson had to sit through
the evening listening to speaker after speaker attack
his mining legislation as ignorant, obsolete, unfair
and a hindrance to the mining industry. When he
was at last allowed to speak, the Premier reminded
his audience that in the coming June 1890 election the
Kootenays were for the first time to have a second
MLA and that he would be glad if it were someone
familiar with mining matters who might advise him
 in the legislature. As the meeting came to a close
"Pothole" Kellie was among those submitting their
names to stand for that election. The other candidates
were Arthur Farwell, whom most were blaming for
the land titles mess, WM. Brown, proprietor of the
Columbia House hotel, one of first men to cross Gus
Wright's bridge in 1884, and J.W Haskins, of the
Farwell Volunteer Fire Department.
As for Premier Robson, at his next stop in
Kamloops, he took the platform to blandly proclaim
that he had the mining difficulties well in hand. When
the returns came in for the election, the miners had
won. Their man, "Pothole" Kellie, defeated W.M.
Brown by one vote (46-45) and the unpopular Arthur
Farwell was not far behind with 40 votes.
"Pothole" Kellie went to Victoria and got
himself on the committee drafting the new Mineral
and Placer Mining Act. Together with CPR lawyer,
George Cowan, Kellie and the other committee
1   members increased the size of
1   claims, clarified the rules for
|   holding them, provided for
1   mill site claims and introduced
1   a new section on lode mines.
I   Kellie was, like all miners, blunt
I   and forthright in language and
unwavering in his support of
I   the independent miner. He
canvassed his district faithfully,
soliciting the views of every
I   miner he met and stubbornly
insisted that the money paid
by the Kootenay miners in
taxes, licences and fees should
I   be scrupulously returned to
the Kootenays in the form of
appropriations for road, trail
and bridge building to link the
small miner with his market.
The   decade   of  the
1890s saw the proliferation of
*   Kootenay mines draw in an
I   increasing population.  In the
f   provincial election of 1894,
j   Kellie was returned with a
handsome majority for the new
I   riding of West Kootenay-North.
I   By 1898 West Kootenay elected
I   4 members to the legislature
and had a voter's list with 6115
names. Kellie, now as Minister
of Mines, defended his district vigorously, loudly
complaining that his "Kootenay Kow" was being
milked of its riches to support poorer and unproductive
districts like the Okanagan and Cariboo.
His slogans were long remembered. In 1964 the
author was told by an ancient Trout Lake miner that
the magnificent legislative buildings in Victoria had
all been built with Kootenay gold and silver. Not true,
of course, but this had long been one of "Pothole"
Kellie's contentions, that his beloved "Kootenay Kow"
was being milked for Victora's aggrandizement. The
loyalty of this Lardeau miner to his long ago champion
suggests the power Kellie had been in his district.
"Pothole" Kellie held his legislative seat for ten
years and earned the respect of the legislature for plain
talk and passionate defence of the small miner.
The great influx of miners, merchants,
tradesmen and others into the Kootenays had turned
the original rude mining camps into sizable towns.
The Honourable John
Robson, Premier from
1889 to 1892
Royal BC Museum BC Archives
8      si*"*1
5lG    I    1
II |     1    1
If   1
Revelstoke Today
The unincorporated towns of Nelson, Rossland, Kellie summed up his political career, "whether
Trail, and Grand Forks were administered by the my political actions were wise or otherwise I am
provincial government which received  substantial not a judge. All I know is that I have done what
tax revenues but returned only a pittance in grants my conscience dictated, and I commanded my own
for improvements. Again crying that Victoria was respect."
still shamelessly milking the "Kootenay Kow," Kellie The Railway Belt lands which had created all
and the other interior MLA's forced the passage the problems turned out to be largely semi-desert
of the "Speedy Incorporation of Towns Act 1897" land unsuitable for agriculture. The CPR selected
which allowed towns to incorporate without the its grant lands from the heavily timbered mountain
usual six months waiting period. Immediately, the regions and those riverine lands along the Thompson
towns of Rossland, Nelson, Trail, and Grand Forks and Fraser which could be farmed. As for the rest, the
incorporated themselves and were now able to Dominion government privately sold 4,900,000 acres
claim those tax revenues for local improvements. mostly in the Peace River Block but the remainder,
Revelstoke, however, was unable to use the new act as which no one wanted, was transferred back to British
its status was still before the courts in the interminable Columbia in 1930 and dual sovereignty in British
Farwell vs Regina. Columbia ceased. •
Kellie was elected for the last time in 1898.
His usual support eroding with the miners' and
railwaymens' unions now urging support for Socialist
candidates. Kellie acknowledged that his miners'
world had changed. He did not run in 1900 and
retired from provincial politics after losing the 1903
election.  In blunt, miner-like language, "Pothole"
 An "'Umble Tradesman":
Thomas Harris First Mayor of Victoria
By Robert G. Dennison,
What a sight! Old John Butts walking
slowly and ringing a bell before
Thomas Harris, the huge 300 pound
plus butcher, proprietor of the "Queen's
Meat Market on Wharf Street" riding his favourite
horse George. Attired in a Prince Albert coat, black
trousers, top hat, polished boots, a thick gold watch
chain stmng across his chest and his ever present
riding whip in his hand,1 Clerk of the Beacon Hill
Race Course, the bearded Harris told all spectators
in his booming voice to clear the track.
This day was Her Majesty Queen Victoria's
birthday celebration, the 24th May 1859. Even at what
was considered the edge of the British Empire,2 the
community of Victoria did not feel the great distance
from the Mother country with such celebrations. In
their minds they represented England, they were
England, with their gallant navy, and a melange of
characteristics found in their native land. This day,
however, was also a time to socialize and bind them
together with this invisible thread that connected
them in a reminder of who's who in the scheme of
things. Today there would be fun for all ages, the
races, "catching pigs by their tail, climbing a greased
pole and running in sacks," with a grand ball to
According to Mary Cheny Ella's diary, the
Beacon Hill races had been run as early as 1856, and
horse racing had been part of the small community's
life even before this time.4 Certainly horse riding was
integral for transportation and as part of the pastimes
of many newcomers, particularly visiting naval
officers who were eager to demonstrate their skills
dashing across the unfettered countryside. This was
not lost on the young daughters of the HBC officers,
many of whom were accomplished riders, who knew
they were in for a very enjoyable time at the lavish
parties and dances provided by their parents.5
With the discovery of gold in the interior of
British Columbia the Victoria community had passed
through great changes. Once the word was out a never
ending stream of people descended on the small
community. The first wave was that fateful April
morning Sunday, April 25,1858 when the steamship
Commodore sailed into Victoria harbour, at 10 in the
morning. According to Shipping Intelligence,6 it landed
a large noisy group of passengers and part of its
freight then left for Port Townsend. It followed the
same procedures with Bellingham Bay as the next port
of call for discharging cargo and then on to Nanaimo
arriving at the Hudson's Bay Company's coal depot
Thomas Harris, first mayor of Victoria
Royal BC Museum BC Archives photo A-01332
to load coal. The vessel then retuned to Victoria May
1, unloaded more freight and sailed again for San
Francisco touching several communities before it
arrived at its home port on May 5.
Gold had jerked Victoria unceremoniously from
its slow comfortable way of life. The Victoria Gazette
reported that at least another 15 ships, advertising
Victoria and the Fraser Mines, were berthed in San
Francisco ready to sail for Puget Sound.7 Men were
Dr. Dennison is a
graduate of the
University of Toronto,
with an interest in
late 19th century
Canadian history,
newspapers and
social behaviours
of the day. His last
article in BC History
appeared in issue
1. City of Victoria Archives.
Photograph of Mayor Thomas Harris
(186?). Photo Number 98509-01-
939 (M06974). See also The British
Colonist, May 20,1859. (Racing
Advertisement), and Edgar Fawcett,
Some Reminiscences of old Victoria.
(Toronto: William Briggs, 1912J, 60.
2. Richard Charles Mayne. Four
Years in British Columbia and
Vancouver Island (New York: S.R.
Publishers Limited Johnson Reprint
Corporation, 1969), 1.
3. The British Colonist, April 25 a
May 20,1859. The proprietor of the
Union Hotel provided refreshments
under a large circus tent on the
race grounds, while the race dinner
was to be held at the Royal Hotel.
Tickets were two dollars each.
4. James K. Nesbitt (ed). "The
Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-
56", British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, 7 (1949), 264.
5. Mayne. Four Years, 31. Sir James
Douglas' home was a good example.
Many Bay men had open houses
particularly when H.M. navy was in
port. Even Bishop Cridge had people
in for musical evenings.
6. The Daily Alta California, May
6,1858. See also: The Daily Alta
California, April 21,1858. Ship's
Intelligence. The following freight
bound for Vancouver Island included
95 packs of liquors, 409 packs of
groceries and provisions, 59 dozen
hardware and mining tools, 5 dozen
drugs, 25 boxes of candles, 2 boats,
6 cases of gunpowder, 26 dozen ale,
27 packs of dry goods and clothing
and 14 cases of boots and shoes.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4       11
 7. The Victoria Gazette, June 30,
8. Dorothy Blakey Smith (ed.),
The Reminscences of Doctor John
Sebastian Helmcken (Vancouver:
University of British Columbia
Press, 1975), 161.
9. The Victoria Gazette, June
25,1858, displays Thomas Harris'
Butcher shop advertisement. His
note to the electors of Esquimalt
in the British Colonist, March 26,
1862 states "I have been a resident
in Victoria nearly four years..."
Therefore he must have arrived
between April and early June,
10. The Liverpool Records
Office, England to Robert G.
Dennison, October 9, 2007.
Copy of the Liverpool Census,
1851, (H0107/21813-f-644a),
page 43 verifies his birthplace as
Herefordshire not Hertfordshire.
Almeley is only located in
11. General Register Office,
Southport, England to Robert G.
Dennison, August 1, 2007. Certified
Copy of Birth Certificate for Emily
Harris, born December 17,1851.
12. The Da;7y Colonist, November
13. The Liverpool Records
Office, England to Robert G.
Dennison, October 9, 2007 Copy
of the Liverpool Census, 1851
14. General Register Office,
Southport, England to Robert
G. Dennison, August 24, 2007.
Certified Copy of Marriage
Between Thomas Harris & Eliza
Dickinson, at St.. Nicholas Church,
Liverpool, England, March 20,
15. Ibid.
16. The Liverpool Records
Office, England to Robert G.
Dennison, October 9, 2007. Copy
of the Liverpool Census, 1851
three domestic servants were
Elizabeth Cole age 24, Jane Seville
age 23 and Elizabeth Rowley age
being attracted from all over the world including
deserters from many ships' crews, settlers, all kinds
of speculators, and Hudson's Bay Company workers
all blinded by the lure of possible riches. Young men
from aristocratic families, journeyed from England,
in their tailored clothes and fancy prospecting outfits,
with no knowledge of the hardships they would
encounter, and swaggered around the community. It
did not take them long to return to Victoria with no
gold and only the rags on their backs willing to take
jobs they had ridiculed a few weeks earlier.
Because these transients used Victoria as
the center to purchase supplies and passage to the
mainland, shelter was at a premium and a tent
city mushroomed fonrting a canvas canopy on any
vacant land. Before the gold rush very few town lots
had been purchased as the Hudson' Bay Company
had picked most of the prime areas around the fort.
Now with the constant stream of speculators, town
lots were snapped up. Not all people, however, kept
traveling on. A number remained in the community
buying land and setting up businesses, increasing the
small population to several thousands. Even Dr. J.S.
Helmcken boasted he sold one of his lots for a " very
handsome profit."8 By this time all the community's
resources had been stretched to the limit. The Church
of England tried to accommodate the newcomers in
its church on the hill, but as the Rev. Edward Cridge
lamented the building would only hold about 400
worshippers. Unfortunately the Fraser River did
not produce gold diggings during the high water
of the spring freshet and hundreds of disgruntled
miners returned to California. As a result Victoria's
businesses and real estate became liabilities.
Thomas Harris arrived in early 1858.9 One of
the most flamboyant residents, with his noticeable
size and confidence he gave off an aura of the finer
luxuries of life. Harris, who was born in Almeley,
Herefordshire, 1818,10 arrived in Victoria with his wife
Eliza, two young daughters and three step-sons in
tow. The youngest child Emily was born in Liverpool,
December 1851.11 Harris' obituary briefly mentions
he arrived in California by 1853 and then traveled
on to Victoria by 1858 but little else is known about
their journey.12
Before leaving England, his eldest step son,
Robert, age 15, in 1851, had been employed in
Liverpool as a "timber merchant's" apprentice while
Frank, age 11, and Charles, 7 years still attended
school. Their half-sister Eliza was just over one year
old, Harris himself was age 34 and his wife Eliza 33.13
Eliza Harris, wife of the first mayor of Victoria
Royal BC Museum BC Archives photo G-01056
His wife had been previously married at age eighteen
and became a widow shortly after the birth of Charles
Dickinson. Thomas Harris was a widower at the time
when he married Eliza in 1848.14 What did he do in
Liverpool? His father Zaccharias was a farmer,15 but
according to the 1841 Liverpool Directory Thomas
Harris had been a victualler at 100 Stanhope Street
moving to 2 Stanhope Street by 1845. Not long after
he branched out as an estate agent and established
Harris and Harding, estate agents and auctioneers.
Continuing his occupations the 1849 directory lists
him as an estate agent and victualler residing at
117 Tithebarn Street. He declared his occupation as
auctioneer on his marriage certificate and that both
 he and Eliza were living at the same address, "at the
time of marriage," March 20,1848. When Emily was
born in 1851, the Harris' family had already moved to
90 Bridgewater Street, Liverpool. To help Eliza with
their larger premises three female domestic servants
were engaged.16
When Thomas Harris arrived at Fort Victoria,
he lost no time in advertising his skills and wares in
the first Victoria Gazette with the claim that he could
supply, "all kinds of meat to Hotels, Restaurants,
Private families and shipping, at short notice."17 The
next few years were a flurry of activity for Thomas
Harris & Co., as the step-sons were included in all
aspects of the butcher business. His first butcher's
shop was rumoured to have been set up in a tent with
a sheep on credit from the Hudson's Bay Company
but by June, 1858 he had opened the "Queen's Meat
Market," on Wharf Street, (corner of Johnson Street
and Waddington Alley). A little later during the same
year he was haggling with Charles Kerr over the
delivery of several head of cattle and back payments
for pasturing fees.18
He soon became a Victoria fixture and townsfolk
would see him in front of his butcher's shop arranging
his hanging meat carcasses or engaging many of
the locals who cared to pass the time of day. His
produce by all accounts was first class and the Victoria
Daily Standard gave praise to its exceptional quality
particularly his Christmas meats.19 With his stepsons
Robert, Charles and Francis (Frank) Dickinson, he
managed two stores in Victoria and another in New
Westminster named Harris & Co.20
The firm prospered. When Lady Franklin
visited Victoria in 1861, her schedule included
supper with the Thomas Harris family.21 Harris was
described, at this time as a rich butcher living in a
"substantial building of brick." All this appearance of
wealth was apparent to Lady Franklin's group. "He
is making a great deal of money, is living in as much
comfort as can be obtained in the colony," reported her
niece Sophia Cracroft, and both women were pleased
with the visit as "everything was in good taste without
affection of any kind" P-
The Voter's List of 1859, shows the opportunist
Thomas Harris as owning freehold property in
Esquimalt and a house with land on Broad Street in
Victoria.23 He applied for pre-emptions on many acres
of land including on Barkley Sound, North and East
Saanich, New Westminster, Esquimalt and Victoria.24
Having pasture and being able to get cattle whenever
he wished initiated a partnership with John D. Carroll,
a grocer, liquor dealer and also owner of the Brown
Jug Hotel. Both men collaborated, planned to finance
and build the first screw steamer in the Victoria area
for transporting cattle and passengers. This small
steamer, christened the Emily Harris, after his youngest
daughter, was launched at the beginning of 1861.25
The vessel was an instant success, and described by
the British Colonist as "one of the most beautiful craft
we have ever beheld." It began a regular freight and
passenger run up the coast to Nanaimo, particularly
for consignments of coal. Later Harris sold his share to
Captain Frain, a long time resident of Victoria. In 1871
the steamer's boilers blew up and the vessel sank with
the loss of the captain and most of the crew.26
Central to all his activities was Thomas Harris'
great love for horse racing. As previously noted, in
1859, he was involved as Clerk of the Course and,
when horse racing became more regulated, later as
judge and steward. He even rode in several races
challenging the Hon. H.D. Lascelles and won even
though his mount was sucking wind at the finish
line. In addition, he had other jockeys ride his
horses in the races. Harris was a founding member
of the Victoria Jockey Club, 1861. The members
drafted a set of regulations for the "promotion and
advancement of Horse Racing in Vancouver Island
and its Dependencies."27 Now dissatisfied horse
owners could present any presumed discrepancies
in the May or November races.
Despite the disappointments in the spring of
1858, the gold rush did bring an influx of miners and
businessmen to Victoria and increased its population.
This created a demand for local services. During the
1862 elections for the House of Assembly, the pioneer
government body, several candidates supported the
incorporation of Victoria as a city. "Raising taxes is
not the stumbling block," editorialized the British
Colonist, "but the reluctance of elected members who
would have to have some outside pressure for it to
come about." While the House of Assembly mulled
over the incorporation bill, Harris was elected to it
when Captain Gordon, representative for Esquimalt,
resigned in March 186228
During his term in the House of Assembly from
March 31,1862 to August 14,1862 29 Harris became
involved in several matters involving community
concerns. He spoke up for farmers and land owners
who found the land fees and payments a heavy
burden and proposed to reduce land fees and suspend
payments through the winter. This was an unpopular
motion.30 Although mocked by his colleagues he was
17. The Victoria Gazette, June
18. In the Superior Court of Civil
Justice, 1858. Kerr v Harris. (Box
1,pp. 136-14, PABC). See also:
Attorney General's Opinion for
Transfer of New Westminster
Wharf, 1865. Thomas Harris v
Henry Holbrook, (Crease Collection
Add. MSS 54 No. 1459 Box 1 file
2, PABC).
19. The Victoria Daily Standard,
December 23,1870.
20. The British Columbian,
November 16,1864.
21. Dorothy Blakey Smith (ed)
Lady Franklin Visits The Pacific
NorthwesLIebruary to April,
1861 and April to July, 1870.
(Victoria, British Columbia, PABC,
No. XI, 1974), 17-18. Lady Franklin
would be about 69 years of age
in 1861 visit. According to her
biographer Frances J. Woodward,
she could not even walk a mile.
22. Ibid. p.19.
23. The British Colonist, December
24. British Columbia Department
of Land a Works (GR-0766 Box 4/
file 9 &. Box 2/files 5 & 28. PABC).
25. The British Colonist, January
4,1861. The vessel was 100 feet
long, 54 feet wide and about 6
feet 6 inches in depth. It was
considered well built for strength,
speed and durability.
26. Jaques Whitford.Vancouver
Island Transmission Reinforcement
Project: An Archaeological
Overview Assessment (Victoria,
December 19,2005) After loading
Nanaimo coal, on August 14,1871,
the vessel was retuning to Victoria
when the boilers exploded.
Captain Frain, the cook and one
passenger were lost while others
were badly burned but rescued.
The boat is still in 21 fathoms of
water in the Trincomali channel.
27. Rules And Regulations of
the Victoria, V.I., Jockey Club.
(Printed at the British Colonist
Office, 1861) CIHMNo.17230.
 28. James E. Hendrickson
(ed). Journals of the Colonial
Legislatures of the Colonies
of Vancouver Island and British
Columbia 1851-1871. v 2, p.153
29. Ibid. List of Members of the
Second House of Assembly.
30. Ibfd., Tuesday April 15,1862
(Second House 3rd Session p.356).
31. The British Colonist. August
32. /bid., April 1,1862.
33. The British Columbian. August
34. The Vancouver Daily Evening
Post. November 8,1865.
35. The Victoria Daily Colonist.
May 23,1862.
36. The British Colonist.
September 24,1862. The
newspaper lists the 13 sections
for Ordinance on Nuisances and
the 9 sections for the Ordinance
to Regulate the Construction of
Foot-paths. The city was also very
concerned about smallpox.
37. Ibid., August 30,1862
38 The Victoria Daily Colonist.
August 3,1952.
39. Victor E. Virgin. History of
North And South Saanich Pioneers
and District (Saanich Pioneer
Society, Victoria, 1959), 79
40. The British Columbian. August
41 .The Vancouver Daily Evening
Post. November 23,1864.
42. The British Columbian.
November 16,1864.
43. The British Colonist. November
44. Ibid., March 29,1865. See
also: The Vancouver Daily Evening
Post, February 15,1865. There
is no indication the Harris family
returned to England at this time.
45. The Victoria Times, March 23,
not intimidated by them. When the bill for fixing
interest rates to a loan was discussed one member
told Harris he didn't know what he was doing.
"Springing to his feet with a bound which made the
frail building shake to its very foundations," Harris,
the burly butcher, requested the member be called
to order.31
As the year wore on the House finally
incorporated the city Victoria. Harris had already
resigned his seat in the House of Assembly and was
easily elected as mayor in Victoria's first municipal
election.32 The election was elected by a show of hands
with the High Sheriff counting them. "The process,"
the British Colonist, informed the public, was carried
out in "perfect order and decent behavior." Even the
British Columbian of New Westminster raved about the
choice for mayor claiming, "he will make a proper
good one." 33 Yet, Harris saw his support dwindle
over the next three years. By the third term, the British
Columbian, pointed out that the constant bickering
clouded the community's progress as Victorians
sought to escape the frontier image.34
What did Harris do while in office? He
and his council set about with great gusto to
improve the pioneer environment of Victoria by
regulations featuring uniform standards throughout
the community. Their first meeting room was in the
police barracks and certain council members were
irifuriated when Commissioner of Police Pemberton
did not provide a suitable room. They wanted the
Mayor to swear in special constables and turf him out.
Needless to say Pemberton continued the business
of the police court and did not acknowledge their
request.35 Gradually this problem was solved. The
council attacked the state of the city and, to much
applause, the beefy mayor told the councilors and
audience that he would do his best for Victoria. After
several committees reported back on the state of
the community, two "Ordinances" were drawn up,
in September 1862. No area was to be exempt and
all Victoria had been scrutinized. The ordinance on
nuisances was divided into 13 sections and featured
rules stating that slaughterhouses, tanneries, or any
other "offensive trade or occupation," would be
fined. Animals roaming at large, location and care
of privies, "houses of ill fame," illegal fences, water
from bath houses, refuse thrown in the streets and
harbour, and speeding within city limits would not
be tolerated. Not only were the regulations aimed
at healthier living conditions but the ordinance on
building footpaths guided citizens in safety for the
Throughout all the petitions and requests
the new Mayor never lost his sense of humour. For
instance he disappeared from view while conducting
city business with a "loud crash and a heavy fall,
which jarred the house and set the doors and windows
to rattling loudly." Slowly his bald head and then
his smiling face appeared above the judge's bench.
He was holding the broken chair "its dilapidated
appearance reminded us of a crushed eggshell",
reported the British Colonist.37 Harris also enjoyed
playing simple tricks on others. Herbert Kent recalled
meeting Thomas Harris, a huge and jovial man, who
had just had a late breakfast of boiled eggs, toast and
tea. Unseen by young Kent, Harris turned an eggshell
upside down and pushed it toward the young lad.
Naturally when he went to crack it open it was
empty but he was rewarded with a real egg that he
ate heartily. Kent also remembered the big man on
horse back riding around Victoria.38
At the end of July 1863, Harris attended the
Saanich elections for a member to the House of
Assembly.39 While in the area he checked over his
isolated North Saanich Hall Farm. As drove on the
Saanich Road the harness broke free from his wagon
dragging him over the rough terrain inflicting a
broken collar bone and fractured leg as well as a
variety of cuts and bruises.40 Due to his injuries he
had to miss several council meetings and reduce his
activities and never regained full use of his limbs.
Still he managed to return to his civic duties several
months later and was elected for two more terms.
While Mayor Harris busied himself with his
farm, butcher business, racehorses, fraternities and
civic duties, his wife Eliza besides attending all
mayoralty functions was very active in community
helping organizations. Taking care of family and
home was not as fulfilling as aiding others. The
bride ships, the orphanage, the female hospital, and
numerous family visitations, were just a sample of
her involvement. Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Cridge, Mrs.
W.J. Macdonald and the Christ Church womens' ad
hoc committee provided many little known types of
services for the community. In fact Mrs. Harris and
the church ladies were the initiators of the new female
hospital and she had the honour to lay its first stone,
November, 1864, at the top of Pandora Street.41 Later
it would amalgamate with the Royal Hospital.
While the female hospital was celebrating, the
British Columbian carried a notice from Thomas Harris
thanking New Westminster and British Columbia for
 supporting Harris & Co., "Butchers & Cattle Dealers"
since 1859. Continuing he wrote," I have this day disposed
of mybusinesstotheDidcinsonBrofhers." c In continuing
this business the brothers promised to continue
the excellent service of Thomas Harris. They also
informed the Victoria public that they had established
a first class shop on Government Street opposite the
Bank of British Columbia. Robert Dickinson would
run the New Westminster operation and Edward &
Francis would handle the Victoria premises.43 Was this
the beginning of Harris' financial woes? It was well
known he made money but lived and spent lavishly.
In a surprise announcement Harris also let it be
known as his "family about to leave for England in
the early part of April, his entire stock," was for sale.
This included horses, carriages, harnesses, saddlery
and bridles, all to be auctioned off at a later date.44
His North Saanich Hall Farm, an area of six
hundred acres,45 was immediately leased by Arthur
Bunster the brewer. Bunster had always complained
about his lack of land but could now supply his
brewery with all the barley and grain to expand his
business. With this lease in place Harris named March
30 for the auction of an impressive array of animals,
farming implements, seed and cottage furniture to be
sold without reserve. North Saanich Hall Farm went
on the auction block September, 1865.46 About the
same time, Harris put up for auction all the family's'
"superior furniture" including a "7 octave piano forte
by Kirkman." Despite such drastic actions the stout
butcher hied for bankruptcy in 1867.47
Family and financial problems with creditors
began to take more of a toll than was realized, and if
this wasn't enough the question of the clergy reserves
caused great rifts in the community by 1865. The
Anglican bishop, George Hills had fenced off all the
church land with the intention of dividing it into lots
for sale to make the diocese financially self supporting.
This action caused a great hue and cry from the
community as the lands had always been the viewed as
the "lungs of the city," where families could walk and
play in an unfettered park like setting. Town councilors
wanted to pull down the fence and after several threats
the Bishop retained an injunction against the city. It
was a complicated land ownership battle relating back
to the 1855 land glebe given to the Reverend Edward
Cridge by the Hudson's Bay Company. Harris was
reluctant to oppose his own church and was so unsure
of the city's legal power to restrict the Bishop that his
colleagues applied for a mandamus to force him to call
for a vote on the topic.48
In 1866 after his third civic term, Harris sought
to represent the Cariboo in the Legislature. However,
due to irregularities the Mining Board refused to
acknowledge him as the district representative.49
Needing an income after his bankruptcy, he opened
the "Family Market" butcher shop on Government
Street, next door to London House.50 He tendered
successfully for the contract to provide meat for the
"gaol at Victoria" and the "lighthouses."51 Still his
being the lowest tender was not profitable enough to
keep his butcher's shop afloat and in 1871 Sir James
Douglas bought the building housing his store along
with three others for $16,000. He finally gave up the
butcher business by auctioning off the rest of his
stock at his Cedar Hill Crossroads pasture in October,
1873.52 In 1873 he was elected Sergeant at Arms for
the Legislature and in 1876, High Sheriff of Vancouver
Island.. During these years his two daughters married
the Wilson brothers. In 1869 Eliza married Thomas
and in 1872 Emily married William.53
With his daughters gone and his old injuries
causing complications he became more and more
depressed and after a short illness Harris died in
1884.54 Many people attended his funeral while Bishop
Cridge performed the service. Sadly two years later
his widow Eliza caught a pulmonary disease and
passed away while visiting her eldest daughter Eliza
in England.55 •
46. The Vancouver Daily Evening
Post. September 1,1865.
47. The British Colonist. March 30,
April 11 a April 25,1867. Thomas
Harris was required to make a full
listing of all his estate and effects
for Chief Justice Needham.
48. The Vancouver Daily Evening
Post. September 21,1865. Mayor
Harris refused to put a motion
to the vote of the Council in his
official capacity. A mandamus
granted by the Chief Justice would
force him to comply.
49. The British Columbian. October
50. The Victoria Daily Standard.
June 20,1870.
51. Hendrickson (ed). Journals,.v
4,. 109-110. This spelling of "gaol"
was used at this time.
52. The Victoria Daily Standard.
September 20,1873.
53. The Daily Colonist, December
18,1872. The first marriage in
the new Christ Church Cathedral
performed by Dean Cridge was
between Emily Harris and William
Wilson. Eldest daughter Eliza
Harris married Thomas Wilson
earlier in 1869 and later they
moved to England.
54. Ibid., November 30,1884.
55. General Register Office,
Southport, England to Robert G.
Dennison, Certified
Copy of Death Certificate for Eliza
Harris, October 25, 1886. Mrs.
Harris passed away at 68 years
of age, while visiting her eldest
daughter Eliza at her home The
Bounds, Hemhill, England. Cause
of death was Chronic Bronchitis
and Contraction of the Mitral
Valve. See also: The Daily Colonist.
November 16,1886.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 "No. 4       15
B.C. Historical Federation
Nelson Conference, Nay 14-17, 2009
U5!f> THEME: History in your Neighbourhood
i  Full-day circle tour: SS Moyie, Sandon,
Nikkei Interment Centre, scenic drive...
j Tour of Touchstones Nelson
4 Celebrate the (Rattenbury) Courthouse centennial
4  Enjoy a historical play or Kootenay storytelling
4  Heritage tours of Nelson
4 Stay at the 111-year-old Hume Hotel
WEBSITES historical organizations:
4 (Touchstones Nelson)
4 (Moyie)
.j (Sandon)
| (Nikkei)
Ugg* WEBSITES promotional sites:
s (City of Nelson)
§ (Nelson C.C.)
4 (commercial)
«# (Hume Hotel)
Painting: Robert Amos, courtesy Heritage Society of BC
Nelson today (top), courtesy Alistair Fraser
Nelson c. 1910 (bottom), courtesy Stan Sherstobitoff
D5^* WEBSITES neighbourhood delights:
4 (Kootenay Lake)
4 (Nelson's heritage buildings)
*#  Ron or Frances Welwood  250.825.4743 or
4 Touchstones Nelson  250.352.9813
SPONSOR: Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art & History
JPPfc*      ""IS^X;
 British Columbia Historical Federation
Theme: History in Your Neighbourhood
Regional publications may be purchased from:
> Touchstones Nelson or Otter Books in Nelson, 398 Baker Street
> BCHF Writing Competition and Gray Creek Store books (Tom Lymbery) at the Hume Hotel
> Main venues on the circle tour (Friday)
THURSDAY, MAY 14: Registration at Hume Hotel, Lydia Room
WORKSHOPS: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
1. Dollars & Donors: How to Write a Successful Grant Propsal
2. Defining Community Investment in Heritage: Touchstones Nelson, a success story
|   Includes buffet lunch as well as refreshments for morning and afternoon breaks
Dinner on own
7:00-9:00 — Touchstones Nelson (TN) Opening Reception including Sternwheelers of Kootenay
Lake Virtual Exhibit TN's third consecutive project sponsored by Virtual Museum Canada.
FRIDAY, MAY 15: Registration at Hume Hotel, Lydia Room
7.30 a.m. — Advocacy session (Hume Hotel, Emporium Room - Breakfast may be ordered)
9:00 - 5:00: Silvery Slocan Heritage Tour will include stops at Kaslo's SS Moyie, a National
Historic site, traveling along the former Kaslo-Slocan Railway, the ghost town of Sandon and its
Museum, New Denver's Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre and Japanese gardens, and a trip
along the spectacular Slocan Valley
• Wear sensible walking shoes, bring warm clothing and a camera
>  there may be snow in Sandon and the Museum is unheated!
• Includes Tour Guide, Admission to all three Venues, a Bag Lunch (beverage, sandwich, fruit,
dessert), water and a copy of Silvery Slocan Heritage Tour (book)
• Regional publications are available for sale at each venue: SS Moyie, Sandon Museum and
Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre
Optional: Explore Nelson on your own or with a guide - visit Touchstones Nelson (admission via
conference name tag), Nelson's Rattenbury Courthouse, Nelson Fire Hall Museum, Nelson Art
Tour: Craft Connection, Kootenay School of the Arts, Mermaid Gallery, Capitol Theatre, etc.
3:30 Brewer Tour @ award winning Nelson Brewing Company
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4       17
 FRIDAY cont'd
Dinner on own
8:00: Lakewood: a play at the TNT Playhouse, Anglican Church Hall, Ward and Carbonate Streets.
Lakewood, the summer residence of S.G. Blaylock (1879-1945), a few kilometers east of Nelson
overlooks Kootenay Lake. Those on the Silvery Slocan Heritage Tour will pass by this magnificent,
Tudor-revival mansion and its exotic gardens.
SATURDAY, MAY 16: Registration at Hume Hotel, Lydia Room
8:30-12:00: Hume Room, BCHF Annual General Meeting with coffee, juice and cookies available
12:00: Hume Room, Buffet lunch
1:30: TN Museum of Art and History, TN Heritage Walking tours, free time
6:00: Hume Room, Awards Reception and Banquet with Susan Hulland, Storyteller. Susan and
coauthor, Terry Turner, were second place winners for the Lt. Governor's Award for Writing in
9:30: Nelson Memorial Park (Cemetery) tour— sign up at the Registration Desk
Other Kootenay Offerings:
• Regional Museums
• Kaslo May Days, Sunday-Monday
• Doukhobor Discovery Centre, Castlegar
 British Columbia Historical Federation
Sponsored by Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History
Annual Conference at the Hume Hotel, Nelson, B.C., 15-17 May 2009
REGISTRATION: one form per person
Please photocopy or download from need additional copies
E-MAIL ADDRESS PHONE (including area code)	
CITY AND POSTAL CODE _          :	
Member Society (if applicable).
Member Society Officer (signed) _
Member rates apply to members of a Member Society—if you are not such a member, join up!
THURSDAY WORKSHOPS: Indicate Workshop (full day)
1. Dollars & Donors      or_    2. Defining Community Investment in Heritage	
Member: $ 45.00      Non-Member: $ 70.00 Total $	
Please check if you wish to receive information about future workshops and conferences [
Early Bird deadline is 15 March 2009; Regular registration deadline is 17 April 2009. Late registrations will be
accepted subject to the availability of space. (Dates refer to postmarks)
BASIC REGISTRATION (Reception, Admission to Touchstones Nelson, General Tours, Buffet Lunch and Awards Banquet)
Member: Early Bird ($150.00) or Regular ($175.00)
Non-Member: Early Bird (175.00) or Regular ($200.00) $	
FULL REGISTRATION (Basic Registration plus Silvery Slocan Heritage Tour)
Member: Early Bird ($240.00) or Regular ($265.00)
Non-Member: Early Bird (275.00) or Regular ($300.00) $_
SILVERY SLOCAN HERITAGE TOUR (max. 82) - all day Friday, May 15
Member: $110.00 per person      Non-Member: $125.00 per person $_
LAKEWOOD, a historical play — Friday evening, May 15 @ $10.00 per person      $_
TOTAL      $
TICKETS:   THURSDAY Reception @$15.00 $	
ADDITIONAL banquet tickets @$45.00
SUB-TOTAL (Guest Tickets)
Cancellation policy: Total paid less $20 administration fee TOTAL enclosed
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4      19
 Send this form and Payment either by
CREDIT CARD: MasterCard Visa	
Card Number:.
Three digit number on card verso [in signature panel]:
Name on Card:	
Expiry Date: Mo..
BCHF Conference 2009
c/o Touchstones Nelson,
502 Vernon Street
Nelson BCV1L4E7
For email advice:
Personal information is collected under the authority of British Columbia's Personal Information
Protection Act and may be used by the British Columbia Historical Federation for registration purposes.
If you provide an e-mail address (verso), you will receive confirmation of your registration. For confirmation by
regular mail please provide a self-addressed stamped envelope. Receipts will be included in the registration kits.
1. Food sensitivities? Please list below
2. Special accessibility requirements? Please describe below
14 MAY 2009—9:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
Hume Hotel, Nelson, BC
Lynne Milnes returns with this popular workshop presenting the key items that foundations look for
in successful grant proposals e.g. clear language, accurate budgets, timelines and deliverables
etc. Lynne will emphsize relationship building, research, what to do and what not to do when
approaching a foundation and how to steward the relationship.
Are you responsible for writing grant proposals or do you over see others who write foundation
grants? This workshop will interest directors, members, treasurers and bookkeepers—anyone
concerned with revenue procurement in non-profit organizations.
Speaker: Lynne Milnes, Development and External Relations Officer for the University of Victoria
has been involved in the non-profit world in BC for decades serving on boards in the executive and
leadership capacities. For the last 10 years she has been employed as a full time fundraiser and
has raised over $11 million for various charities.
Touchstones Nelson, a success story
Join Leah Best, Executive Director of Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, and others
in a discussion about community investment in culture. Learn how Touchstones and other
organizations are reinventing their role as memory institutions, and consider how we will tell the
story of British Columbia in the future.
This workshop will interest anyone involved in the redefinition of their organization's facilities and
service delivery.
Speaker: Leah Best, Executive Director of Touchstones Nelson.
This day includes a behind-scenes tour of Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History.
Cost for each full-day program:
♦ $45 for members of BCHF member organizations ♦ $70 for non-members
Lunch and refreshments are included in the registration fee.
To qualify for the lower fee, membership status must be authenticated by providing the signature of
an officer of your member organization, or the BCHF membership secretary.
Register using the main conference registration form and payment method.
See the BC History Web site: 2009 Conference or call 604 466-2636
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4      21
 "You Come", Nelson's Chahko Mika Carnival of 1914
Token History
by Ronald Greene
Ron Greene is the
current president
of the BC Historical
Possibly after viewing Victoria's very
successful Water Carnival of August 1913
some energetic citizens of Nelson decided to
organize a carnival in Nelson for 1914. The
first reference to a carnival appeared in September
19131 announcing a prize of $25 for naming the
proposed event. Already there was a provisional
committee which consisted of a number of prominent
citizens to organize the event. It was also mentioned
that a company would be formed to operate the
In November it was announced that the
successful name was Chocko-Mika, Chinook for
"You Come/'2 Three names had been selected from
the 67 proposed, and the suggestion of R. A. Cockle of
Kaslo won over Kootenay Karnival and Carnagatta
at a meeting held November 5th.3 The spelling of the
name very quickly morphed into Chahko Mika. By
late November the dates had been set for July 13 to
20,19144 and events proposed included land sports,
a rifle shoot, a flower show, and a multitude of water
sports and races, and more events were to be added
later. In January 1914, the chairman of the committee
in charge, H.W. Rust, was quoted as saying that the
intention was to promote a carnival which would be
of interest to Nelsonites, and also attract visitors from
the coast, neighbouring provinces and south of the
line (U.S.). The water sports were more fully outlined
as rowing contests, launch races, canoe races, and
swimming competitions. It was anticipated that there
would be lacrosse, baseball and athletic competitions
on land. A desire was also expressed that many of
the normal sporting competitions usually spread
throughout the summer would be concentrated in
one gala week. The gun club was going to manage
the shooting competitions and the YM.C. A. was going
to manage the athletic competitions. A parade was in
the planning stage as were get-togethers of pioneers,
veterans and fraternal organizations.5
It was proposed to incorporate a company to
raise as much as $12,000 by selling shares. Pledges
of $3,000 were made within several hours of the
announcement being made. The Nelson Carnival
Company, was incorporated on March 5,1914.6 Its list
of subscribers to shares is long, but there is little else
of interest on the file. With World War I starting just
weeks after the carnival everything changed and there
was not to be another Chahko Mika. The company
did not continue to operate after the carnival, nor did
it file the required annual reports and was dissolved
September 15,1921 by the Registrar of Companies.
In February the manager of the Seattle Potlatch,
John W. Pace, was invited to confer with the
committee and discuss plans for making the event
;7T-^^~T"T~~ *s^jp^ f'
 successful. Mr. Pace was one of the applicants for
the position of manager of the carnival, but had also
offered to act in an advisory role. As it turned out Mr.
Pace was unable to come to Nelson. Some twenty-
two fraternal organizations gave hearty endorsement
to the event and a Fraternal Day. This included the
Moose, Eagles, Knights of Columbus, Knights of
Pythias, Sons of England, Oddfellows, the Canadian
and the Independent Orders of Foresters, the Orange
Lodge, the Legion of Frontiersmen and others. In
February a Nelson resident, George Paterson, was
appointed as manager of the Chahko Mika at a salary
of $125 per month.
The election of the Queen of the Carnival
appears to have been held in the usual manner of the
day. People bought votes for the candidate of their
choice, with the recipient of the most votes being
crowned. Miss Dora Jordan was named the winner
on June 29th, in the same issue of the newspaper that
announced the assassination of Archduke Francis, heir
to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife. Miss
Jordan received 5,525 votes, with Miss Ida Frost being
in second place with 4,493. The duties of the Queen
included presiding over all the social events and riding
Chahko Mika Arch to the
midway in 1914
Touchstones Nelson photo
94.193.3 with thanks to Shawn
Chahko Mika Grand
Parade (opposite page)
Ron Greene Collection
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY • Vol. 41 No. 4      23
 Notes                                                       «
1 The Daily News, Nelson,
I  o
*"***""   ■    ~—~~----------~»--™--
Septembers, 1913, p. 4
1 s
1 t
V}                    N
2 Edward Harper Thomas,
Chinook A History and
Dictionary of the Northwest
Coast Trade Jargon, Metropolitan
Press, Portland, Oregon, 1935
says that Chahko is a verb "to
come" and Mika is the second
person singular, "You" and so a
more literal translation might be
"Come You"
1     i
3 The Daily News, Nelson,
November 6,1913, p. 1
4 although it later was shorted to
July 13th to 18th inclusive
5 The Daily News, Nelson,
03           /
k           w,
January 23,1914, p. 7
i           °
6 GR1526, B.C. Registrar of
I J                               H
Companies, BC002419, British
_*L                              If
Columbia Archives microfilm
«5"*                      ^
• 1                             »dn
7 The Daily News, Nelson, July
,ll |[i lilillB
14,1914, p. 8
8 The Daily News, Nelson, June
27,1914, p. 10
E   ,
9 Weldon B. Cooke, died in an
airplane accident at Pueblo,
Colorado, Sept. 6,1914. For
more details on his career see
ecooke. htm. The Daily News
spelled his name a number of
different ways.
w               :J
c        <^
>,\                3
10 The Daily News, Nelson, July
|k         a
3,1914, p. 8
11 The Daily News, Nelson,
o jm,
Chahko Mika reports ran in
Jn^.,   y*
T^M^\                   (■
every issue from July 14 to July
"       V
wSSSSstS                 *
20th. The flight surpassed that
"Nwpr                     1 _Jt — T
seen at the annual fruit fair two
years prior. On one occasion
Mr. Cooke was unable to get the
plane into the air due to weather
J1 /^         \ vtM
3 **^             \•-£.
12 The Daily News, Nelson, July
.-**.           ^s^-^
17,1914, p. 8
13 The Daily News, Nelson, July
%3m  C3*   I       -rX*
t p
18,1914, p. 1
14 The Daily News, Nelson, July
20,1914, p. 1
%-^                             "               1
No. 4
 on a float in the parade. A grand carnival ball was
given in her honour. Miss Jordan was attended by
Princesses from Grand Forks, Trail, Rossland, Fernie,
Cranbrook and Kaslo. A diamond set medal for the
Queen and medals for the princesses and the queen
of the rose festival were designed by Mr. Paterson
and produced by local jeweller, J.O. Patenaude. Mr.
Patenaude also advertising souvenir Chahko Mika
fobs for 50 cents, and Chahko Mika buttons for
25 cents.7 Another jeweller, J.J. Walker advertised
brooches in a wide range of colours from 25 cents to
50 cents. Pennants and picture post cards were other
souvenirs widely available.
A few weeks before the carnival it was
announced that the old steamer, Nelson, which had
been recently dismantled, had been purchased from
the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and was to
be burnt as part of a spectacle.8 Weldon B. Cooke,9 of
Oakland, California, brought his hydroaeroplane -
what we would call a seaplane today - and planned
to make five flights over the six days of the carnival.
Throw in a drilling competition, a wild west show, a
midway and a tug-of-war between the Scots and the
Scandinavians and you have just about everything
that a person could want to see. The civic arch at
Connaught Park was moved to Vernon Street to be
placed in position for the week.10
When the first day of Chahko Mika arrived
an early morning rain had left the streets in poor
condition and the parade was postponed until the
second day, July 14th. Another contributing reason
was that the Pathe Freres Motion Picture Film
Company, who were planning to film the parade
and other events did not arrive in the city until the
evening of the 13th. The parade proved to be the most
impressive one ever seen in the Kootenays and Mr.
Cooke's flight was a "triumph for airman" exceeding
the duration of the longest flight previously seen in
Nelson.11 The weather had steadily improved and
the regatta opened on the 16th under ideal conditions.
The Nelson was burnt that evening and must not have
been much of a spectacle as The Daily News mentioned
it only as prelude to the gathering of pioneers and an
interesting talk by Walter Moberley, the earliest of the
old-timers. The 16th also saw some 400 pioneers and
native sons and daughters born before 1897 register at
the log-cabin headquarters at the recreation grounds.
A list of these people and the dates of their arrival was
printed.12 The regatta was reported as "Magnificent."
The Portland, Oregon senior fours, Pacific Northwest
champions, won that event over Nelson, but the
Nelson's junior doubles, George Gore and E. Murphy,
won their event to the delight of the home-town
crowd. The result of the middle weight Dominion
boxing championships angered the crowd. They
thought that Frank Barrieau won the match, but the
referee awarded it to the defending champion, Billy
Weeks.13 The Chahko Mika ended on the 18th with a
Battle of Confetti at the midway on Vernon Street.14
The opinion expressed was that the Chahko Mika was
a great success. However, no financial figures were
ever forthcoming. •
Patenaude's advertisement
showing the fob
(opposite page)
microfilm from the Daily News,
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4      25
 The Restoration of the 1223
This text comes from
the City of Burnaby
Arts and Culture
pages on their
1223 under restoration
John Atkin photo
The restoration of the 1223 was undertaken
by a group of dedicated volunteers: the
Friends of Interurban 1223. The Society was
formed in 2000 and was responsible for the
work of the restoration, as well as raising the money
to complete the restoration project. The Museum's
conservator provided technical advice and support
for the five-year project.
In September 2001 the deteriorating car was
moved from the Burnaby Village Museum, where it
had been stored outdoors since 1971, to a warehouse
on Royal Oak Avenue. Once it had been given some
time for drying out, the tram was taken apart, with
each piece inventoried. The sides of the tram were
removed, leaving only the floor and roof, with the
roof held up by metal scaffolding.
The Friends persevered with the project,
recruiting volunteers, raising money, and finding
suppliers to donate materials and services. A few of
the projects they undertook as part of the restoration
Removing 90 years of paint layers from the
original cherry and oak interior and refimshing and
varnishing the wood to its original beauty
Drafting patterns and repairs of the original
steel side beams and structural posts to support the
wooden side structure of the tram. After years of
exposure to the elements, much of the wood was
rotten. The new beams and posts ensure the structural
integrity of the tram.
Entirely reconstructing the seats, including
having casts made for the 18 iron seat frames in
the tram, working with a foundry to recreate the
seat frames, and finding
a supplier that could
replicate the original twill
weave rattan upholstery.
Each individual seat had
to be machined and
adjusted to ensure smooth
movement of their
reversing mechanism.
Rewiring the
tram's electrical system,
including the interior
system that lights the
interior, and the wiring to
the switches, controllers,
and motors that operate
the tram.
Missing brass hardware was recast and
produced, including luggage racks, window hardware,
and handles.
Working with other tram restoration groups to
locate pieces that had been collected from sister cars
of the 1223. Some of these items were donated to the
Friends - including the controllers. Others pieces
were loaned to them so they could use them to make
patterns - including the trolley pole base. Countless.
other tasks were completed by the volunteers and
their supporters. By the time the project was complete,
the Friends of Interurban 1223 had contributed over
20,000 volunteer hours and generated over $550,000
of cash and in-kind support for the project.
The 1223 in Retirement
In the 1950s, electric railway service was
replaced by buses. The 1223 was retired from service
in 1958. It was one of only seven B.C. Electric Railway
cars that was saved from destruction: the car became
the property of the Burnaby Historical Society.
The Society put it on display at Edmonds Loop, at
Kingsway and Edmonds.
During the 1960s the car was vandalized.
The decision was made to donate it to what is now
the Burnaby Village Museum. The car was put on
display, but its continued exposure to the elements
led to a proposal by the Burnaby Historical Society
for its restoration. In 2000, the Friends of the 1223 was
formed to undertake the restoration project. •
 From the Heritage Society of BC
The My by Nobbs Award
Pixie McGeachie
Pixie McGeachie has given over
30 years of her skills to preserve,
promote and celebrate the heritage
and history of Burnaby an*?*:
British Columbia.
Pixie was first drawn to the history
of Burnaby while she was the editor
of the Burnaby Examiner. She pixie McGEACHiEwrrHim^uRBAN im
developed a keen interest in writing
about history, turning out columns and books through a successful career as an
author Pixie wrote her first Burnaby book, Bygones of Burnaby, in 1974. Other
books have included Burnaby - A Proud Century, which celebrated the City's 1992
centennial, and in 2002 a biography of the city's namesake: Land of Promise: Robert
Bumaby's Letters From Cobnial fkC
Pixie contributed many hours volunteering to establish Burnaby s Heritage Village
in 1971. She has always been a force within the Burnaby Historical Society,serving
as President from 1991 to 1993, and she was a member of Burnaby's Community
Heritage Commission for six years. For 20 years Pixie was the Community Archives
volunteer archivist, gathering thousands of rare and valuable photographs and
documents of the city's history, which now form the core of the new Heritage
Burnaby Website's photograph collection.
Pixie also took charge of Friends of Interurban 1223 just when this project to
restore one of the last interurban trams needed a leader. The Friends' volunteers
contributed over 20,000 hours and generated over $550,000 in cash and in-kind
support. She saw this project through to completion with accolades, and a Heritage
BC award in 2006. The City of Burnaby has honoured her with a special heritage
award and die Kushiro Cup as "Citizen of die Year' in 2002.
 Book Reviews
Be of Good Mind: Essays on the Coast Salish.
Bruce Granville Miller, editor. Vancouver, UBC Press,
2007. 323 p. illus., index, $32.95 paper.
In Be of Good Mind: Essays on the Coast
Salish, editor Bruce Miller brings together
new scholarship, perspectives and voices,
including those of Aboriginal Coast Salish
authors, to re-examine the legacy of Coast
Salish ethnographic and archaeological
research over the past century and a half.
Miller acknowledges the late Wayne Suttles'
enduring insistence that Coast Salish
peoples and their communities should not
be viewed merely as a peripheral group,
worthy only of "salvage" research. Thus,
this volume highlights the distinctive culture
and intercommunity social network among
Coast Salish villages on both sides of the
international border. Each chapter attempts
to answer the question,: "Who are the Coast
Salish?", and to illustrate how fresh answers
can be gleaned by investigating multi-
layered local Coast Salish histories based on
Aboriginal, as well as academic, accounts.
Although Be of Good Mind seems
geared towards use as a university-level
text, several chapters will have appeal
for the general reader. For example, Brent
Galloway's comparison of American
and Canadian approaches to Nooksack-
Halkomelem language revitalization
contains an inspiring account of how he
participates in telephone conversations and
lengthy e-mails conducted almost entirely in
the Aboriginal language.
Books for review and book reviews should be sent to:
Frances Gundry, Book Review Editor,
BC Historical News,
P.O. Box 5254, Station B., Victoria, BC V8R 6N4
Daniel Boxberger outlines how
Euro-Canadian courts, based on common
law, have dispossessed Aboriginal peoples
not only of resource rights, but also of
their traditional knowledge and ways of
telling their histories. He argues that non-
Indian academics, by competing among
themselves for authority to speak as/
for/about the "Other", have abetted the
marginalizing of Aboriginal groups. He
urges these academics to acknowledge
their complicity and to commit to assisting
Coast Salish peoples to take control of their
own intellectual property, histories and
traditional knowledge. Similarly, Alexandra
Harmon challenges ethnographers and
historians to acknowledge the rights of Coast
Salish peoples to be their own historians
and to reclaim, as a modern version of the
Aboriginal quest for spirit power, their
knowledge of local histories.
An absorbing example of how
anthropologists might contribute to a
transformed re-telling of Aboriginal history
is found in Crisca Bierwert's chapter that
recounts how, in 2000, Bierwert and retired
anthropologist, Estelle Fuchs, returned
to the site where, in 1945, Fuchs made
extensive field notes based on the narratives
of the late Fred Ewen of the Seabird Island
Reserve. In essence, Bierwert and Fuchs take
the reader back 55 years to hear, through
the meticulous detail of Fuchs' notes, Fred
Ewen's colourful recollections of the past,
and his complex and shifting views of the
"contradictions and transformations in the
social fabric of his life" (p. 184).
The insightful essay by Raymond
(Rocky) Wilson includes an account of a
devastating encounter, in 1863, between
Wilson's Vancouver Island ancestral village
and a British gunboat. Wilson refers to his
ancestors engaged in this encounter as
"freedom fighters" (p. 133), protecting their
land and resources from colonial invaders.
He points out that ownership of all Coast
Salish territory and resources was a matter
of stewardship, maintained and upheld
by intertribal marriages among important
families. The colonial and modern notion
of individual property rights, he remarks,
is not a problem with Aboriginal definitions
of property and ownership, but rather, with
the limitations of a government which has
rejected the concept of overlapping land
claims without attempting to understand
it in the context of Coast Salish resource
use. Wilson regards the on-going struggle
for formal acknowledgment of his people's
treaty rights as a way to honour his ancestors,
enabling them to become visible again.
Finally, of particular interest to non-
academic readers is the spirited reclamation
and analysis of Coast Salish place names
by Sto:lo Nation director of research,
Naxaxalhts'i. Much more than points on
a map, he states, place names are layered
with meaning. These meanings are key
to understanding how stories of creation
and mystic transformation of people
and landscape, along with histories of
extended kin and personal resource use, are
manifestations of the Coast Salish life force,
enlightening and connecting humans to each
other and to all things. His account of the First
Salmon Ceremony is a revealing example of
how his story parallels academic versions but
"just looks at it differently" (p. 85).
The book's emphasis on the importance
of Coast Salish people themselves defining
and controlling traditional Aboriginal
knowledge and being accorded the right
to speak for themselves in courts and other
venues is brought home in Naxaxalhts'i's
poignant account of a call he received from
a university. The caller wanted to know if
the Aboriginal Thunderbird was a raven or
an eagle. Naxaxalhts'i consulted with Sto:lo
elders who responded two days later. Their
spokesperson explained: "The Thunderbird
is shxwexwo:s. Shxwexwois. is not a raven.
Shxwexwo:s. is not an eagle. Shxwexwois.
is its own bird and it's rea. " (pp. 126-27).
This powerful metaphor will enlighten
both academic and general readers of Be of
Good Mind.
Marjorie Mitchell taught Anthropology at Camosun
College and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of
Anthropology at the University of Victoria.
 Breathing Stone - Contemporary Haida
Argillite Sculpture
Carol Sheehan.   Calgary, Alberta, Frontenac House,
2008. 191 p., illus. $50.00 hardcover.
This magnificent book is a
celebration of Haida argillite carving that has
gone through various stages of survival and
renaissance during the past two centuries.
It is a unique contribution to Canadian
culture because the reader gains a much
deeper appreciation of how an ancient, rich
First Nations art form originated and has
managed, eventually, to influence and
enrich another culture. Carol Sheehan has
produced a book in collaboration with two
photographers, Jack Litrell and John W.
Heintz, which is simply stunning. It is much
more than merely an art book about argillite
carving, as it is a unique combination of the
history of argillite carving, a description
of the carving techniques and form-lines
used in argillite sculpture, and an account
of the lives and work of contemporary
carvers. Sheehan has carefully selected
fifteen outstanding young contemporary
Haida argillite artists and has recorded her
dialogues with each artist in which they
discuss their lives and the influences that
led them to become a carver. Each carver
explains how they think about and approach
their work as Haida. There are photographs
of each artist and close-up views of their
hands and the way they hold and use their
carving tools. Carefully selected examples of
each artist's work have been photographed
from various orientations so as to reveal the
many intricate details of each work and the
artist has been encouraged to explain his
objectives and how they were realized in
these examples. Their story line is given to
enhance the reader's understanding of how
the carver has approached his work.
An introductory chapter introduces
the reader to the history of argillite carving.
Argillite is a unique black stone that is
harder than sandstone and softer than slate.
It is brittle and fractures easily when worked
and occurs in only one remote quarry in
the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)
and very few other places in the world.
Consequently, argillite carving has become
a unique part of the Haida culture. Another
chapter describes how one particular
carving was created by giving its evolution
in the carver's words and in photographs
over the six month period it took to create.
Of necessity, there is some repetition
between the accounts of each carver's early
life and their work as they express their
individual views and feelings about what it
is like to be a carver and how it is realized
in the examples discussed. This becomes a
strength of this book as it helps the reader
learn about Haida mythology in slow stages
and its importance in this culture. The Haida
have two clans; the Ravens and the Eagles.
Marriage is permitted only between these
clans and the society is matriarchal. These
clans have family crests that are inherited
through the matriarchal line. Many of
these carvers were primarily raised by
their "naanii" (grandmother) and "tsinii"
(grandfather). Each person has a special
name usually chosen by their "naanii" that
encapsulates their personality in addition to
their family name. Their family lineage gives
them a very strong sense of their identity
and helps them to evolve their individual
styles while remaining constrained by Haida
Each artist has a unique but extremely
strong vision about how they can play a
significant role in preserving Haida art and
culture through their creations and through
their commitment to foster and encourage
younger Haida to follow in their footsteps.
Each of them acknowledges the debt they
owe their parents, grandparents and other
artists in helping them become immersed
in and knowledgeable about Haida culture,
art and, in particular, argillite carving. They
did not all become carvers early in their
lives and some did so after much struggle
and hardship. Each of them believes that
they have found their own identity through
their carving as it has become an extremely
important influence in their lives and
provides them with a sense of intense pride
in being Haida. One carver believes "When
argillite leaves Haida Gwaii, it's like sending
postcards to the universe: "Hey! This is Haida"
"They retain a strong link with their work
and many would like to see and feel their
work again.
Each carver believes that each piece of
argillite tells them how it should be carved
and what story should be told so they spend
many hours contemplating the raw argillite
before they attempt to start carving. In one
carver's words "I like to look at a chunk of
argillite and ask what could be in there. ... It's
all inside the stone more than it's in my head".
The brittle and fractured nature of argillite
means that pieces frequently break off after
the carving has commenced so the carver is
forced to revise his plans. The raven is the
dominant figure in Haida mythology so it
is focal in most stories that the carvings tell
but the whale, bear, dogfish, halibut, weasel,
etc. all have important roles.
Culture is the lifeblood that enriches
and sustains our lives for it embodies where
we have come from, where we are and
where we are going. We preserve ourselves
collectively through our culture and have
much to learn from the Haida. Everyone
interested in their art should own this
definitive book as it is an important and
valuable addition to our knowledge and
understanding of these unique carvings and
its cultural underpinning. The production of
this book is outstanding and Carol Sheehan
has been brilliantly successful in giving
the reader a lavish banquet of images and
concepts to savour and digest.
Harvey A. Buckmaster is a retired university professor
with strong interests in the arts and BC history.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4       29
 Heart of the Cariboo-Chilcotin, Three.
Karla Decker, editor. Surrey, B.C.: Heritage House, 2008.
255p., illus. $19.95 softcover.
Stranger Wycott's Place.
Stories from the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
John Schreiber. Vancouver: New Star Books, 2008. 115
p., illus. $19.00, softcover.
"You can never get enough of a good
thing" seems to be the publishing policy for
the Heart of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Series.
Volume Three's new editor, Karla Decker,
adheres to the tried and true fomula: a
chronological arrangement, with First
Nations and women well represented. So
once again we have a delightful selection
of stories from a special part of British
Diana French's thoughtful
introduction, tempered by half a century as
a Cariboo resident, claims that the Cariboo-
Chilcotin was considered the last frontier
as late as the 1950's: "...the land can still
be giving or unforgiving, depending on its
mood." But in spite of hard times, some
people managed to do things their own way.
Barry Broadfoot's tribute to Cariboo legend
Fred Lindsay, "Farewell to an Old Friend",
Hilary Place's "Dog Creek Community
Club," and Paul St. Pierre's "Joe's Electric
and the Truck That Drove Itself" are good
examples. Mostly it's an even draw and
on rare occasions Mother Nature triumphs.
Ann Walsh never wants to see rhubarb
again; beaver restored the waterways near
Riske Creek for Eric Collier; and Will Jenkins
and Veera Witte learned that motherhood
has no bounds when it comes to loons or
Canada geese.
Recent research has disproved the
historical accuracy of Alex P. Mclnnes's
stories about Peter Dunlevy. But don't
puzzle too long over "Looloo" being a
"Yabatan Dene"—enjoy "Dunlevy" as a
good Cariboo yarn, complete with a knock
down, drag 'em out wrestling match.
This book is great for spending a rainy
afternoon by the fire, or you may want to
save it for bedtime reading. I guarantee
you will fall asleep smiling.
Great travel destinations are like
beautiful roses. You can enjoy their
superficial beauty but look inside the outer
layer of petals and there are fascinating
whorls to contemplate. John Schreiber,
the author of Stranger Wycott's place:
stories from the Cariboo-Chilcotin, knows
something about this. He was born and
raised in the North Thompson area where
he soon learned to appreciate all nature had
to offer. It is pleasurable to read about his
first discovery of the southern Chilcotin and
his explorations on foot and horseback. He
has taken the time to meet the First Nations
peoples and to learn about their ancient
trails and meeting grounds. Returning
again and again, he delves into the land's
history until he meets the ultimate challenge,
Stranger Wycott's abandoned homestead.
Who was this man and how did he survive
in the rugged Churn Creek area?
Schreiber's stories are personal and
introspective, but for anyone who wants to
visit the Cariboo-Chilcotin region they are
a good introduction. For those who know
it well, they reaffirm that our province can
match any destinaton in the world.
Marie Elliott of Victoria researches and writes on the
Cariboo and Chilcotin
Daniel Francis, Editor, Vancouver, BC: Anvil Press, 2008,
256 p., $18paperback
The BC Federation of Writers produced
this anthology to mark the Province's
sesquicentennial. Members were asked
to submit non-fiction essays and out of
the 100 sent in, 20 were chosen by editor
Daniel Francis for their strong sense of place
and connection to British Columbia. This
anthology features many noted writers whose
essays take us into a moment in time.
As I picked up this book to delve into
the writings, I noted the purposeful use of
"imagjuning" in the title instead of the more
familiar "memories of" or "remembering".
In the book's first offering, author and noted
publisher Howard White defines what it
means to imagine ourselves, observing that
British Columbians tend to have a limited
view of our place in the larger world. He feels
this is in contrast to other societies whose
cultural life is recognized and celebrated for
its legacy.
In British Columbia our diverse
geography and how the individual responds
to it is an important factor in defining our
collective identity. It is worth remembering
that history is not just the distant past
recorded, preserved, and studied by our
public institutions, but is also in the small
stories of individual experiences that may
evoke common responses. This publication
helps to reveal that notion. Essays such as
Shannon Cowan's description of being a "do-
it-yourselfer" conquering the wilderness to
carve out a home, Victoria Marvin's tentative
first feelings about establishing "delicate taproots," and Margaret Thompson's search for
a "weighty" historical legacy are experiences
 that many newcomers over the past 150 years
would recognize.
Sights, sounds, and smells that bind
us through the ages in our humanness evoke
emotions. Trevor Carolan's essay brings
us the sensory feelings of our working
coast with the kind of detail rarely found
in historical accounts. With Dawn Service
we share the timeless experience of the
awe and fear when one of our indigenous
animals, the grizzly bear, lumbers into view.
Harold Rhenisch gives us his observations
on the natural world and the images that
emerge from an imagination fired by these
It may be argued that this is as much
a historical record as a primary sourced
research document. It gives us the thoughts,
feelings and impressions of each author in a
particular time and space. It reveals opinions
and passionate sentiments on issues that
are still discussed in the present and likely
beyond - the plight of artists for recognition,
the established against the marginalized, the
urban versus rural - all of which define and
iUuminate our cultural landscape as surely
as academic studies.
I thoroughly enjoyed this publication,
identifying with some essays, while others
offered a vicarious experience. While reading
this book I was also engrossed in Isabel
Allende's reminiscences of her life in Chile,
My Invented Country. Towards the end
she describes her feelings on the concept of
"Who can define reality? Isn't
everything subjective? If you and I witness
the same event, we will recall it and recount
it differently...Memory is conditioned by
emotion; we remember better, and more fully,
things that move us..."
And that is the pleasure of reading
these essays. We can experience the sounds,
smells and images of British Columbia that
touched these authors' lives. In turn we
are moved by our own recollections with a
certain pride that this is also our imagined
Linda J. Eversole is a heritage consultant and the author
of Stella: Unrepentant Madam
Kootenay Tales: Historical Glimpses of the
Arlene Pervin. Victoria, BC, Trafford Publishing, 2008.
116p., photos. $17.95 softcover.
At first glance this slim monograph
gives a great impression with its nine
captivating photographs from the Cranbrook
Historical Archives and its crisp layout
presenting a "unique collection of stories
about the Kootenay Rockies gleaned
from original East Kootenay and regional
newspaper articles." However, after reading
it my initial enthusiasm evaporated. This
publication is more like an unedited and
uncompleted first draft. Perhaps a weakness
of self-publishing?
The feature story, "Circuses, Elephants
& Fate: the Sells Flotto Circus & the Great
Elephant Hunt of 1926," could be an exciting
tale, but the author's inclusion of circus
history trivia [11/20 pages] unrelated to
the Cranbrook story is distracting. Another
obvious example of book padding is the
insertion of blank (white) pages between
most of the twelve thematic chapters. Even
though each chapter heading is listed on
a separate page, it is repeated in the same
oversized type font at the beginning of the
chapter — again, more infilling. In reality,
this is only a booklet with approximately 70
pages of text. Rather than relying on a back
cover promotional squib, an introduction
would have helped to link the diverse
stories together; and, unfortunately, the
title is misleading because it includes only
East Kootenay tales to the exclusion of the
West Kootenay. More research is required
to expand both the book and its brief,
unorthodox bibliography.
This monograph has an abridged
similarity to previously published books: F.J.
Smyth's Tales of the Kootenays or D. Kay's
Come With Me to Yesterday: Tales Retold of
Pioneer Days in East Kootenay: a collection
of items of historical interest gleaned from
old files of early district newspapers and
other sources, telling of some of the more
important events and people of the early
days in the area.
Unfortunately, Kootenay Tales does
not live up to its own expectations.
RJ. (Ron) Welwood lives in Nelson, B.C. and is the editor
of the B.C. Historical Federation's website.
Making the News: A Times Colonist Look at
150 Years of History
Dave Obee. Victoria, B.C., Times Colonist, 2008. T74pp.
Illus. no price stated
Not only did British Columbia
celebrate its 150th birthday in 2008; so too did
the Victoria Daily Colonist, the predecessor
of today's Victoria Times Colonist. The
publishers and editor, Dave Obee are to be
congratulated in producing this generously
illustrated coffee table history of Victoria
and its environs as recorded in the pages
of the Colonist since 1858 and the Victoria
Times since 1884.
The volume rings true to Amor
De Cosmos's first editorial in which he
promised to present "a bird's eye view" of
the course his paper would follow. Each
chapter covers a decade and opens with
a short essay by Obee that sets some of
the stage for the snippets - extracts from
 the newspapers of the day presented in
chronological order - that are the main
content. Obee quite rightly points to the
most difficult task of all in producing the
book, keeping it to a manageable size.
Reflecting the varied concerns of a
daily newspaper, the snippets cover politics,
prominent visitors, the opening of new
buildings and roads, the victories of local
sports teams, disasters, popular culture, and
unusual weather. A few prominent figures
such as Robert Dunsmuir, Emily Carr,
Francis Rattenbury, Nellie McClung, George
Pearkes, Sue Rodriquez, and Steve Nash are
the subjects of sidebar profiles.
Obee began his research by reading
secondary sources relevant to Vancouver
Island's history. It is disappointing that
he did not provide any suggestions for
further reading. In their variety the snippets
provide something for every interest but
only enough to whet the appetite. The well-
chosen and clearly captioned photographs
show how Victoria has changed over time
yet how much of it has remained the same.
Only in the 1930s do photos from the Times
Colonist's own archives begin to appear;
the earlier photographs reveal the richness
of the archives in greater Victoria. A time
line that runs across the bottom of pages, a
few maps, and an index enhance the volume
that is fine celebration of the Colonist's
sesquicentennial. Amor de Cosmos would
be pleased with these "bird's eye views" of
the course of the city's history.
Patricia Roy is professor emerita of History at the
University of Victoria.
Two houses half-buried in sand: oral
traditions of the Hul'q'umi'num' Coast Salish
of Kuper Island and Vancouver Island.
Beryl Mildred Cryer. Compiled and edited by Chris Arnett.
Vancouver, B.C., Talonbooks, 2007. 326p., illus., notes.
$24.95 paperback.
From early 1932 through March 1935 a
series of articles on cultural topics from the
Hul'q'umi'num' area (six closely related Coast
Salish peoples, comprising the Chemainus,
Cowichan Halalt, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson
and Penelakut) appeared in the Daily
Colonist newspaper in Victoria, B.C. This
narrative material had been elicited from
Hul'q'umi'num' individuals and written
down by Beryl Cryer, a part-time journalist
of upper-class British background. In 1967
the articles were deposited in the British
Columbia Archives where Chris Arnett, the
editor of this book, found them and prepared
them for publication. The articles themselves
along with much informative annotation by
Arnett ultimately form the major portion of
the book.
At the time Beryl Cryer collected these
texts, there was no standardized system in the
Hul'q'umi'num' community for writing the
language, nor had she any anthropological
or linguistic training beforehand to help her
transliterate the unfamiliar sound system
that she heard. In order to render Cryer's
transcriptions in a more consistent and
readable format, Arnett consulted some of
today's Hul'q'umi'num' speakers who use a
"user-friendly" orthography.
Arnett provides the social and cultural
context in which Beryl Cryer functioned,
both within the non-Native and the Native
communities. Her life and background are
fully described in a very interesting and
informative chapter.   There Arnett also
highlights Cryer's strengths -her remarkable
rapport with her sources and genuine interest
in the Native culture, the responsibility she felt
in transferring the tales intact to the readers
of the newspaper, and her use of the informal
scene description as a context in which to
introduce the stories told to her. Through
her writing, Cryer provided the means for
her sources to express their resentment over,
government policies and treatment, an outlet
otherwise not often furnished. On many
occasions she documented various women's
activities, data not well represented in the
extant anthropological literature.
The tales and narratives cover many
topics. Descriptions of actual historical events
that took place during earlier centuries include
texts on warfare between the Hul'q'umi'num'
and groups such as the Haida, the Bella
Bella, and other Northern peoples. Some
tales furnish the only Native account of an
event, such as an eyewitness description of
the signing of the last Douglas Treaty in 1854
in Nanaimo.
Valuable ethnographic accounts of
"the old ways" still remembered but often
little practiced by the 1930s, include healing
practices, childhood games, wedding rites,
potlatches on various significant occasions,
and many other aspects of daily life and
A number of myths and legends tell
of the creation of different Salishan-speaking
groups on Vancouver Island and Kuper
Island, and about the wonders that the
Transformer wrought in his travels, changing
animals to humans and humans to animals
long ago before historical times.
Throughout the book, Arnett has
supplied many interesting and illustrative
photographs, some of Cryer's family and
many of those who helped Cryer by telling
her stories and many who placed a role in
the stories. The copious footnotes furnish
ancillary cross-references to, for example,
anthropological studies, translations of Native
words (especially place names), and dates for
the texts. While these are not absolutely
essential to the reading or understanding
of the texts, they supply information which
will enhance the serious reader's enjoyment
 of the texts.
In summary, Beryl Cryer's
documentation of Native oral literature is
immensely important, gathered as it was at a
time when the Hul'q'umi'num' language was
still widely spoken and the memories of the
events and customs described were relatively
recent. One cannot overestimate the value
then added to these narratives by Arnetfs
careful emendations and supplementary data
to clarify Cryer's material for the modern
Barbara Efrat is the retired Curator of Linguistics at the
Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria.
South Park School: Memories Through the
Debbie Marchand and Linda Picciotto. Victoria, B.C.,
2007. Available from South Park School, 508 Douglas
Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V2P7. $25.00 softcover.
Phone (250) 382-5234 or Fax (250) 381-3209
There are a number of individual
school histories now in British Columbia, but
this book stands out because the authors not
only chronicle student and teacher memories,
they describe how parents, teachers and
students went about developing cultural
change within the school. Although this
book is particularly attractive to the people
who were there, it may well be valuable to
historians researching education history
or social history: how does the culture of
a school change? How does it affect the
grown-up culture? School histories written
by participants are worth looking at as well
as government, private, or case reports. Do
the attempts to change stand over time?
The second part of the book describes
such changes. The new principal in 1971,
Dave Allan, described developments
starting with parents who focused on
parent involvement in education, which
led to the development of a co-operative
school, and in 1979 the South Park Family
School was established. The participants
tell of the transformation with enthusiasm,
but acknowledge that it wasn't easy. It is
probably safe to say that few of the people
involved realized at the start the full depth
of the parent's and teachers' commitment,
as well as the time and energy it would
take. It is much to the credit of many people
that South Park continues to function - as
a heritage building! - as well as a family
school. The students may have realized they
were living in history, but they may not have
seen themselves as making it.
The authors state that "This publication
is intended as a general interest document
and not a work of scholarship." It does not
contain an index, but the book is organized
in chronological order, and each chapter
has a "Facts and Events" list that gives
contextual information under "South Park
and District Schools", "Victoria and British
Columbia" and "Canada and the World".
One of the appealing aspects of this
book is that the authors have used historical
sources as well as contemporary students,
families and teachers, and have allowed
them to speak for themselves. The reports
of early principals, excerpts from The Daily
Colonist, individual stories and a plethora
of photographs give life to a time we don't
remember. The more recent memoirs are
lively and mostly short. They enlighten the
changing attitudes and social context of
more recent times.
In 2006 "An enthusiastic group of
parents began work on a proposal for an
alternative parent-involved middle school."
I will be interested to know the outcome. The
final section brings the memories to 2007.
I have only one small criticism - not
of these authors, but of previous historians
who have tagged Agnes Deans Cameron,
who was a remarkable woman, as the first
female principal. She was born in Victoria,
an outstanding product of our own British
Columbia education, and the first female
to become a high school teacher - but not
the first woman principal. Mrs. S. Hayward
(British) was listed in the Annual Report
of 1873, and was Principal of the Girl's
Department (school) for several years
following. Old timers in James Bay when
Kingston Street School was in operation
would have remembered that Miss Ellen G.
Lawson became the Principal about 1884.
She was also Miss Cameron's 1st Assistant
at South Park after February 1895. There
were others listed in the latter part of the
19th Century as well, who deserve their
place in history.
Shirley Cuthbertson lives in Victoria and worked for
many years at the Royal British Columbia Museum.
Government House: The Ceremonial Home of
All British Columbians.
Rosemary Neering and Tony Owen. Winlaw, B.C., Sono Nis
Press, 2007. 24p., illus. $39.95 hardcover.
As British Columbians celebrate the
sesquicentennial of the founding of the
Crown Colony of British Columbia (and
with it, the introduction of the name British
Columbia into the lexicon of empire), it is
fitting that we have a new publication on
Government House.
It has been over thirty years since Peter
Neve Cotton published his architectural
history of the Government House as the
Vice Regal Mansions of British Columbia and
brought to a new generation a sense of the
history and grandeur of this notable and
renowned estate.
For those seeking an academic treatise
on the Government House Estate and the role
of the Lieutenant Governor, your quest must
continue. I must readily admit the Government
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4       33
 House Estate (that is, the House, its grounds
and outbuildings, etc.) is a special place for
me, both personally and professionally. For an
institution which predates Confederation and
for an estate which have served as the "seat"
of our governments through the colonial era
into Canada, its history deserves a broader
Government House: The Ceremonial Home
of All British Columbians is a publication which
begins to reach out to the 21st Century and
brings to us an upbeat, updated and generally
appealing story of Government House.
Rosemary Neering's writing style and Tony
Owen's photography bring forth the story of
Government House, its volunteers and staff in
a modern, well paced narrative complimented
with lively colour images. Neering notes
that Government House is the ceremonial
home for British Columbia and our society;
and stresses, as did our former Lieutenant
Governor Iona Campagnolo throughout her
term, that this House and its Estate grounds
are not the preserve of the social elites of
previous generations but it is open and
accessible to all. Throughout the narrative
and images there is a conscious efforts to
display this and to illustrate that the House
and its gardens play host to many events and
functions which recognize and honour ,our
fellow British Columbians contributions to
our province and the nation.
In an easy to read narrative, Neering
entertains and educates the reader through
an engaging combination of historical fact,
personal stories and highlights of staff and
volunteers working behind the scenes. The
book has three main chapters with a chapter
devoted to the House, the garden and
grounds and the events and ceremonials.
However, prior to the discussion in the
House chapter, there is a nicely worded
page devoted to the role of the Lieutenant
Governor in our parliamentary system,
A very concise review which the general
reader, teachers and students should find
informative and rewarding.
In the Chapter on the House proper,
Neering gives a brief history of Cary Castle
(Government House after Confederation)
up to the 1957 fire and credits greatly the
Lt-Governor Ross and his wife, Phyllis, for
their efforts to refurnish the House to its
previous condition. Lieutenant Rogers and
his wife Jane carried assumed the mantle
and begun major interior renovations, the
results of which can be seen in the images
of the Main dining room and the second
floor rooms, rooms which are seldom seen
by the public. The outstanding image of this
chapter, for me, is the photograph of the Bill
Reid bear mantelpiece illustrates how far we
have come as a society that we today readily
acknowledge First Nations contributions to
our society and province.
I regret that the Rogers' stained glass
window is not seen in its entirety as it is the
signature contribution of Robert Rogers term
to the Estate. With that image displayed,
a fuller description of the heraldic devices
displayed throughout the House could have
been made. I note that recent Lieutenant
Governors (and Joly de Lotbiniere) have
had their Grants of Arms hung below their
official portraits.
It is mentioned and should be
reinforced that Government House has a
heritage officer assigned responsibility for
the historic photographs, paintings, works of
art, etc.. A long overdue action which needs
acknowledgement and recognition from our
historical and heritage communities.
The chapter on the grounds and garden
is greatly devoted to a discussion on the
changes to the various gardens and to the
fulfillment of the original Maclure plans
for the grounds. For those of us interested
in the botanical aspects, Neering weaves
throughout the history and personal stories
an amazing number of Latin botanical names
to illustrate the variety of the grounds. It is in
this chapter, that the importance of the Friends
of Government House Garden Society to the
modern revitalization of the estate is made
known. For Victorians (the inhabitants of the
capital city rather than the adherents to the Era)
the volunteer work and efforts of this group
are readily seen each spring and summer as
the dozens of gardeners soldier forth to do
combat with the weeds and undergrowth
throughout the grounds. It is nice and overdue
for their contributions outside and inside the
House to be recognized. I regret that there was
not time to have more comparative drawings
of the earlier gardens and the current gardens;
these would be extremely enlightening.
While mentioned in the earlier pages,
one cannot underestimate the impact of having
the Estate listed as a national historic site and
much of the recent revitalization of the Mews
and outbuilding flows from that recognition.
As the Rosses and Rogers were champions
for the House, Neering acknowledges that Dr.
and Mrs. David Lam and Iona Campagnolo,
followed in the footsteps of Sir Henri-Gustave
Joly de Lotbiniere, for their strong efforts to
make the natural landscape more attractive
and accessible. The Lams and the rose garden
and Campagnolo for the opening of the
southern portion of the estate and its Garry
Oak ecosystem to the public. The flowering
of the southern portion is late April and early
May amidst the giant oaks is simply breath
taking. One will need to visit the grounds at
that time as there are no images of spring in
the field.
The last chapter lists the events
and ceremonials which take place on the
grounds every year; the behind the scenes
vignettes and the general description of the
wide and varied functions (and associated
images) reinforces and strengthens the
overarching theme of Government House as
the "ceremonial home" of British Columbia.
The absence of political personages and
officials clearly underscores the theme and
the focus of the chapter, if not the entire
The publication is targeted as a general
interest book with a clear and undiminished
focus on entertaining, educating and
enlighten a new generation to the majesty
of our Government House and its grounds.
More than a coffee table book and less than an
academic history, it hits its target and scores
a bull's eye.
The challenge remains to the political
historians or public administration wonks to
develop an up to date history of our Lieutenant
Governors. What was the influence of David
Lam upon the demise of the Vander Zalm
government? What is the impact of having
an aboriginal Lieutenant Governor during a
time of treaty making? Where is S. W Jackman
when we need him!
Gary A. Mitchell is the Provincial Archivist of British
34        BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY - Vol. 41 No. 4
Announcing the Edgar Wickberg Prizes in Chinese Canadian
History for 2009
The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia (CCHS) is pleased to
announce the Edgar Wickberg Prizes in Chinese Canadian History for 2009. The award
is named after Edgar Wickberg, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia and
founding president of CCHS. These awards, one each at the undergraduate and graduate
levels, are open to current and recent students of post-secondary institutions in British
Columbia who have demonstrated promise of research achievement in this area. The
amounts of the awards may vary from year to year and will be decided annually.
Enquiries should be addressed to the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British
Columbia, Kerrisdale Postal Station, PO Box 18032, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4L3, or contact
Cool Websites
Colonial Despatches
The colonial despatches of Vancouver Island
and British Columbia 1846-1871
http: I /bcgenesis. uvic. ca/
This digital archive contains the
original correspondence between the
British Colonial Office and the colonies of
Vancouver Island and British Columbia. This
project aims to digitize and publish online
a complete archive of the correspondence
covering the period from 1846 leading to
the founding of Vancouver Island in 1849,
the founding of British Columbia in 1858,
the annexation of Vancouver Island by
British Columbia in 1866, and up to the
incorporation of B.C. into the Canadian
Federation in 1871.
The British Colonist
The British Colonist, an online archive
of the historic British Columbia newspaper.
The archive spans over 50 years of The
British Colonist, from its beginning in 1858
until 1910, when the paper changed its name
to The Daily Colonist. The archive contains
approximately 100,000 page images.
Icelandic Archives of British
The Icelandic Archives of BC is "a
community archives whose purpose is to
collect and maintain original documentation
and artifacts concerning the history of
Icelanders and their descendants in the
Province of British Columbia
 New Publication from the British Columbia
Historical Federation Celebrates BC's 150th
British Columbia Histor
Windows to our past
To celebrate British Columbia's 150th birthday, the British Columbia
Historical Federation has published a 24 page booklet with 117
postcards and images from 1880's thru 1930 Windows to our Past-A
pictorial History of British Columbia.
This exciting publication has many historic pictures from private
collections, small museums and member societies. The Federation is
most pleased that the majority of readers will never have seen the
pictures and information featured.
This is a lovely addition to a library, resource for researchers and an
interesting glimpse of British Columbia's colorful history.
Priced at $5.50, which includes mailing to any address in Canada ($6.50
to U.S.A. and $8.50 to other countries) you might like to have a copy
for your collection, donate a copy to your local or high school library.
Residents of your local seniors' homes would love to reminisce about
some of the events featured in this publication. If you wish to include a
note to the recipient, include it with your order and we will enclose it
with Windows to our Past when mailing.
Send your order and cheque to BC Historical Federation, PO Box
63006, Richmond, B.C. V7E 6K4.   For additional information
contact Ron Hyde at
 British Columbia Heritage 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 6N4
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
The British Columbia History Web site:
http: I /www. victoria, tc. catresources/
bchistory I announcements, html
Anne ft Philip Yandle
Best Article Award
A Certificate of Merit and 250 dollars
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
Award's Banquet at the Federation's annual conference in May,
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 property of the BCHF.
 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Circulation Department.
British Columbia History
Alice Marwood, 211 -14981 - 101AAvenue Surrey, B C V3R 0T1
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40025793
Publications Mail registration No. 09835
751 13/1 xxP 1(T)
C/3I1303. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Publications Assistance program (PAP), toward our mailing cost
A Look Back
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