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RETURN To an Address of the Legislative Assembly for copies of all correspondence and papers between… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. 1878

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 41 Vic. Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 509
RETURN
To an Address of the Legislative Assembly for copies of all correspondence and
papers between the Architect, Contractors, Superintendents, Eesident Physician, and Commissioners, in reference to the Lunatic Asylum, New Westminster.
By Command.
A. C. ELLIOTT,
Provincial Secretary,
Provincial Secretary's Office,
6th March, 1878.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster, 7th April, 1876.
Dear Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that I took charge of the Asylum
works on the 1st instant. The contractor commenced laying stone on Wednesday last,
and from appearances is preparing to prosecute the work vigorously as soon as weather
will permit.
I considered it necessary, and got Mr, Turner, the surveyor, to stake off and give
(with instrument) the true levels, at the various angles of the foundation, as a guide for
the contractor. You will please, at your convenience, give an order for seven dollars to
pay Mr. Turner for the above named service.
It will be necessary, before giving a certificate for payment on the work, for me to
know up to what stage of the work the last estimate was made; you will oblige by giving
me any data in your possession to that effect.
I find on looking over the plans and specifications that, contrary to common usage,
there are no figures nor working plans, giving position, heights of storeys, nor of openings
in exterior walls; the tracings furnished are on a scale of $ of an inch to the foot, are too
indefinite to work from. The drawings furnished the contractor, should, in connection
with the specifications, be so plain as to preclude the possibility of any mistakes.
I am, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
The Surveyor-General to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Department.
Victoria, April 13th, 1876.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant. In reply
I have the honour to request that you will not in future incur any liabilities on account
of this Department, unless duly authorized to do so in writing.
I imagine that, with care, you will have no difficulty in arriving at the proper
sizes for the openings in the Lunatic Asylum building, as great care was taken in tracing the original plans.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) A. S. Farweel.
35 510 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
The Surveyor-General to Mr. James Kennedy?.
Lands and "Works Department,
Victoria, April 13th, 1876.
Sir,—I have the honour to appoint you Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum
building, under contract to Messrs. McKay & Kennedy at $33,249. Your salary will be
paid at the rate of one hundred dollars per month during the satisfactory superintendence of the work, or until its completion, dating from the 1st of April, 1876. I enclose
herewith forms of certificate issuable during the progress of the work. You will not
issue the filial certificate until specially authorized by this Department.
The plans and specifications that are in the contractors' hands will be at your
disposal.
You will please report constantly on the progress of the work, and remember that
no deviation from the specifications, or allowance for " extras," will be recognized
unless authorized in writing by this Department.
The following certificates have been issued on the work, viz.:—
No. 1, for...- $   500
No. 2, for  1,200
No. 3, for  1,100
  $2,800
I have, etc.,
(Signed) A. S. Farwell.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Surveyor-General.
Asylum "Works,
New Westminster, April 15th, 1876.
St-r;—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 13th instant, with
enclosures.
The work is progressing favourably, and should weather permit, the ground floor
timbers on east wing may be in place in a week or so.
It is my opinion that the ground floor will be at least two feet too low in west wing.
Please inform me if, in issuing certificates, I will take into account material on the
ground, as well as that erected.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
The Surveyor-General to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, April 27th, 1876.
Sir.—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 15th instant
with reference to issuing certificates on the Lunatic Asylum building, now in course of
construction at New Westminster.
In reply, I have the honour to request that in making your estimates for certificates
that you will not, under any circumstances whatever, include any material on the ground,
but confine yourself entirely to the work done and the material placed in the building.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) A. S. Farwell.
Mr-, James Kennedy to the Surveyor-General.
Asylum Works,
New Westminster, 28th April, 1876.
Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday
instructing me not to include in my estimates for certificate any material not in the
building. 41 Vic. Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 511
I shall obey your orders; at the same time I am aware that it will be hard on the
contractor, as he has incurred a good deal of expense for lumber and wages to carpenters
who have been preparing frames.
The ground floor timbers are built on the north wing, and should the weather be
favourable, a short time will complete the stone work in the foundation.
As a good deal is being said about the limited room for patients, as shown in the
plans, I might venture to suggest that the easiest and best way to extend the capacity
for accommodations, would be to put on a Mansard roof, which would add to the appearance of the building, and room for at least forty more inmates.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and "Works Department,
Victoria, May 4th, 1876.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of 18th and 28th ultimo,
with reference to the size of the cut stone the contractors are placing in the Lunatic
Asylum, and suggesting that a mansard roof should be placed on the building for the
purpose of increasing the accommodation.
In reply, I have the honour to inform you that I have no intention of altering the
design of the Asylum, and to request that you will see'the work carried out strictly in
accordance with the plans and specifications.
If the Contractors for this work attempt to introduce unsuitable material in the
work, you will take the proper steps to condemn the same.    I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Eeceived at Land Office, 20th December, 1876.
Sir,—My principal object, and immediate cause why I telegraphed you on Wednesday last, was the contractor (McKay) putting in a skylight contrary to the specifications,
after that I had told him how it should be done, according to established usage. But
this is not the only instance in which he has neglected to comply with the plans and
specifications; for instance: The roof is left unfinished, no hanger-pieces to rafters. The
dome is not flushed with lead as directed. The dome stair is not built. The windows
and door in lining of dome enclosing ceiling light are left undone. The front steps and
pilasters are left in a half-finished state. The contractors persist in using red fir in work
where white pine is specified. The frontdoor has been made of wot lumber, and wedged
up and hung at once, which is contrary to the specifications and details of said work.
The contractor, contrary to my wish, has built chimney in kitchen without building in
necessary iron work in connection with the range, and has built the flues without being
smoothly pargetted, which is very essential. The main stair is built in a very unsubstantial manner.
The above are some of my objections to the work being done by the contractors.
Very truly, etc.,
(Signed) J. Kennedy.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Department.
Victoria, January 8th, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to call your attention to the enclosed report of Mr. Smith upon
the present condition of the Lunatic Asylum, New Westminster.
I may remark that I consider it highly injudicious upon your part not to have informed
me at an earlier period of the deviations made by the contractors from the specifications. Certificates of payment should not have been issued until the contractors had rectified the errors
committed. No further payments will be made until the defects stated by Mr. Smith have been
remedied.   Detailed working drawings will be forwarded next mail.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. G-eo. Vernon. 512 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
Mr. A. J. Smith to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Victoria, B. C, 3rd January, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that your communication of the 2'2nd ultimo,
with reference to the Lunatic Asylum Building at New Westminster, was received by
me, and in accordance with instructions contained therein I visited the building, and beg
leave to submit the following report to you:
Eeport on Lunatic Asylum Building, New "Westminster.
The stone-work is very good and has been executed in a workmanlike manner.
The brick-work in main building is strong and substantial, but the face bricks are
not of a uniform colour as called for in specifications; when the walls are dryed out
considerable improvement will take place. The chimney in kitchen is not built where
indicated on plan; as it now is there is no room for stove-pipe leading from tailor's room
to chimney; the workmanship of this chimney is very poor.
The wood-work—especially the finishing, such as doors, door-frames, architraves,
casings, wainscot, window-linings, &c,—have not be constructed in accordance with
specifications; the work is very rough and unfinished. Douglas fir and cedar lumber
have been used in the framing of doors instead of white pine. The architraves, linings,
wainscot, door-frames, &c, have been put together without being smoothed and property
cleaned for painters.
The skylight in roof is defective. The framing of dome is not in accordance with
specifications and drawings. The roof is not finished as called for. The architrave
back-bands and the capping of wainscots have been put on previous to plaster, which is
wrong.
The well-hole in ground floor should have been left out, The basement having been
cut off the original drawings for building, and as the well-hole was intended to give
light to the basement, the said well-hole is now superfluous.
The lead flushings, aprons, &c, called for in specifications for roofs are not completed;
galvanized iron has been substituted in many cases. The hot-water pipe leading from
kitchen to main building, and the cold-water pipe leading from main building to kitchen,
are placed over roof of covered way instead of under the floor. The unions called for
in specification for water supply-pipe or main, has been left out. The reservoir is not
water tight, but could not see whether the cementing has been executed properly, as
there is considerable sediment.
My estimate of the value of work done (deducting the cost of alterations necessary
to conform with drawings and specifications) is twenty-six thousand five hundred
dollars ($26,500).
I have, etc.,
(Signed) A. J. Smith,
Architect.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and "Works Department,
April 24th, 1877.
Consult B. Brown and point out site of outbuildings, Lunatic Asylum building.
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster,
27th April, 1877.
Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of telegram of 24th instant,
concerning site of outhouses, &c. I have, with the approval of Mr. Brown, laid out
the place for those buildings. Your communication of same date with regard to shelving, hooks, &c, just received. I will attend to that matter when contractors are ready
to put them up.
I wish to draw your attention to what I always considered a mistake, both in
design and execution; I refer to. the reservoir. The reservoir and pipes were both com-
pleted so far as yet when I took charge of the works.    The retaining wall was not put 41 Vic. Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 513
in the proper place nor will it hold the water; should this dry weather continue it will
be dried up in less than a month. The union joints called for in specifications were not
put in when pipes wore laid; this omission can be remedied, but the reservoir itself, in
my opinion, will be a complete failure. I mention the matter now to give you time
enough to take such steps as will be necessary to insure the needed supply of water.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
Mr. James Kennedy to Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster,
15th June, 1877.
Sir,—Please answer by return boat and inform, me if you consider the fence around
the dam included in McKay and Kennedy's contract—they contend that it is not. Should
it not be in their contract, I hope, by next mail, to be enabled to inform you that the
work (with the exception of the bath tubs) is finished.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, June 18th, 1877.
Sir,—In reply to your letter of 15th inst., I have the honour to inform you that the
fence around the dam is not included in the contract.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New "Westminster,
22nd June, 1877.
Sir,—You will please pardon my omission in not signing the statement sent you
last mail, it was an oversight. I remember laying it aside after I had written it, and
going over the figures again, to make sure that I was right, by so doing I forgot to sign it.
Allow me to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the fact, that there
will be a good deal of filling up of the ground at the front steps, and at the lower end of
building, and between the rear door-way to the yard and the wood-shed. The contractors
were only bound to excavate ten feet wide around rear of building. This work will
have to be done before the premises can be occupied. If you will order the use of the
chain-gang, 1 will see that it is done properly. Now that the weather is good the
fencing should also be going on, before the fall rains set in.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
'The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and "Works Office,
Victoria, B. C, June 28th, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 22nd instant,
calling attention to the necessity of filling up, levelling, &c, being done before the
building can be occupied, aud suggesting that the chain-gang's services be promptly
applied. The work under reference, as also the fencing, will receive immediate attention, and the gang will work under their own Superintendent. I have now to instruct
you to accept the building when completed to your satisfaction (with the exception of
the bath tubs already arranged to be supplied) giving the contractors a finaf certificate
as stated in your last communication (the figures named in w7hich are correct) and
acceptinggthe building on behalf of the Department, handing it to Mr. Dickinson, the 514 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
Government Agent. You will please make out an account of the amount due to you
as Superintendent and forward same to this office, as your services as Superintendent
of work of construction will terminate with such acceptance. Mr, Dickinson will be
instructed to pay you the balance of your salary.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
The contractors will be required to hand in,  before receiving the final instalment,
the plans and specifications in their possession.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster, July 2nd, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that in obedience to instructions, in your
letter of the 28th ultimo, I have accepted the key of Lunatic Asylum from contractors,
and given them the final certificate.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
(Eeceived 29th October, 1877)
Sir,—As Mr. Brown requested me to see that the contractors built the fence according to plans and specifications I have to inform you that so far they are making a good
job.    Please give them to 15th November, the weather has been bad and they have had
a good deal of difficulty in getting material.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) J. Kennedy.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, November 12th, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the
1st instant, and have to thank you for the information given therein.
In reply, I beg to inform you that the  Government Agent has been instructed to
cause the work at the Asylum to be performed as suggested by you.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Office,
Victoria, B. C, November 26th 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to request that you will examine the Lunatic Asylum building, the bath tubs for which, I am informed, are now in position. If this be the case
be good enough to forward certificate of completion of contract. Please also examine
the enclosed list of extras and inform me as to the correctness of the charges made for
the work, if done, and also by whose authority such work was performed.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. G. Vernon.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster, November 29th, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of yours of 26th inst., enclosing bill of extras claimed by contractors of Asylum, and asking me by whose authority such work was performed; in answer, I beg to say that the only extras with which
I had anything to do were for covering well, the sum of ten dollars, and for building 41 Vic. Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 515
rear platform, twenty dollars. The above items were authorized by the Surveyor-
General, Mr. Farwell, when up last spring; both were necessary. The only thing
besides the above for which the contractors could claim an extra was for closing up
opening in centre of lower floor, for ;which I see they charged $40 ; this last item was
ordered by Mr. Smith, the architect. These three were all the extras performed on the
Asylum by McKay & Kennedy, and by referring to my last certificate, issued 2nd July
last, you will find that I included the first two items of ten and twenty dollars in that
payment, which left a balance in the hands of the Government of five per cent, of the
full contract price yet due the contractors, amounting to $1,662 45, and if you allow
their bill for closing floor in centre of building, $40.
In obedience to your instructions I have also examined to see if the bath tubs are
in position and complete. I find the tubs in their places, but I cannot say that everything about them is left in a satisfactory condition; the handles of the bib cocks don't
work freely, some of them won't work at all. The specifications call for six fire plugs,
there are only four; none in the pantry nor yet in the washing room, and those that
are in are not what is called for in specifications. There is no water supply pipe in
dining-room, as called for; but, notwithstanding these omissions, I would advise the
Government to accept the whole thing and get clear of the contractors. This bill of
extras is a most outrageous attempt to obtain money under false rjretences.
All which is most respectfully  submitted.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
Mr. James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster, November 30th, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that the contractors for the Asylum fence
have completed their contract. I am going- up to-day to examine the work to be sure
that nothing necessary has been overlooked. The chain-gang has done valuable services
on the grounds in grading and draining; they opened a drain around the outside of the
outer fence which carries off all surface water, and I found it necessary to under-drain
around the inner fence to carry off the spring water, which was damaging tho foundation
of the building. The crib around the root-house door, and the enclosure and roof
over it, has been done at a cost of $20, for which vouchers will be given—to Digby for
the brick-work, $11, and to McNeilly and partner for the carpenter work, $9.
The drain around outer fence has not yet been laid with timbers and enclosed; and
I noticed j7esterday that the late heavy rains had caused the banks to cave in in places.
To prevent any possible damage to the foundation of fence, it ought to be timbered up
and enclosed instantly. It can be done by the chain-gang without any additional cost to
the Government.
Yours, etc.,
(Signed) James Kennedy.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. James Kennedy.
Lands and Works Office,
Victoria, B. C, December 5th, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of
29th ultimo, recommending that the building be accepted and the contractors settled
with. I would refer you to your communication of 19th June, in which you say, with
exception of the bath tubs, the work included in the contract is done, and upon this the
key of the building was accepted, and the contract money (less 5 per cent, retained
for the supply of the tubs, in accordance with specifications) paid to the contractors.
Under these circumstances it would be futile to raise the question of the shortcomings
as mentioned by you. I have, therefore, enclosed form of certificate of acceptance of
the building, as also for the extra work certified to by you, which be good enough to
return signed, should you see no objection to so doing.
1 have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon. 516 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
Mr, James Kennedy to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
New Westminster, 4th January, 1878.
Sir,—In answer to your letter of the 31st ultimo, asking for details of my charge
for services rendered in connection with Asylum, from &c, &c, see annexed bill:—
To plans and specifications for fence, 2J per cent, on $2,500  $ 65 00
Superintending  erection of   fence   and grading grounds,  &c,, 3
months, at $100 per month     300 00
Total $365 00
I have, etc.
(Signed) James Kennedy.
The within bill is what I was entitled to, for I was fully three months employed
from the time the chain-gang commenced work until the work was finished, but if the
work had been clone in the summer time it could have been done in two months. By
only charging $250 you can see that I made a very great deduction; you can please
yourself which bill you pay; I will be satisfied with the lesser.
Truly yours, J. K.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Government Agent, New Westminster.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, B. C, January 14th, 1878.
. Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 4th instant,
enclosing a voucher from Mr. James Kennedy (herewith returned). The usual charge
of 5 per cent, on the contract price is considered a very liberal payment for superintendence of work that could only require casual inspection, and which would amount on
the contract in question to $126 57. You have my instructions to pay that sum to Mr.
Kennedy, on his signing a receipt in full.    I have, &c,
(Signed)       F. Geo. Vernon.
The Deputy Provincial Secretary to W. Macnaughton Jones, Esq., M.D.
Province of British Columbia.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
20th September, 1877.
Sir,—1 am instructed to inform you that His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor has
appointed you Medical Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum of this Province, situate
at New Westminster.
Your salary while holding this position will be two thousand one hundred and sixty
dollars ($2,160) per annum.
I am also to request that you will be good enough to apprise this department of
your arrival at New Westminster, from which date your salary will commence, and at
which place additional instructions will await you.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) T. Elwyn,
Acting Deputy Provincial Secretary.
The Besident Physician to the Deputy Provincial Secretary.
Government Agent's Office,
New Westminster, November 9th, 1877.
Sir,—I beg to say that I have to-day applied at this office for further instructions.
I am informed that none await me.
I further beg, in accordance with your directions, to report myself at New. Westminster.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) W. Macnaughton Jones, M.D. 41 Vic. Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 517
The Deputy Provincial Secretary to the Resident Physician.
Province of British Columbia.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
12th November, 1877.
Sir,—I am instructed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th inst., and
to request that you will report, at your earliest convenience, as to the state of the
Lunatic Asylum, outhouses, fences, &c, also giving your opinion as to the date when it
will be possible to commence furnishing the same, the Government being anxious to
transfer the lunatics to New Westminster without delay.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) T. Blwyn,
Deputy Provincial Secretary.
The Resident Physician to the Provincial Secretary.
Victoria, November 19th 1877.
Sir,—In accordance with the request contained in your letter of the 12th inst., that
I should report on the state of the Lunatic Asylum, its outhouses, fences, etc., and say
when it would be possible to commence furnishing, I have the honour to say:—
The Asylum may be furnished at any time. The fences, as, according to my information, at present contemplated, will be finished this week. They are sufficient for the
security of patients, and are well made. The outhouses are almost completed, and
require but a few minor alterations to render them all that is necessary. An excellent
drain, carried down to the concrete stratum, has been dug by the chain-gang around the
present enclosed grounds. This is a good piece of business. As far as one could judge
by frequent inspections of the building itself, it appears in good condition, but requires
some alterations before it can be successfully used as a lunatic asylum.
Water supply is uncertain. That in the reservoir is at present sufficient to cover
the supply pipe; but as it is only surface water, we must expect that in summer this
will fail. This actually happened not long since, when there was not sufficient water
in the reservoir to give a drink to the working chain-gang or the markers at the butts.
The tank in the building is made of lead, and has been painted inside with red lead.
There is, however, a good supply from the galvanized iron mains.
There is not a water-closet nor a urinal in the building. Baths are, 1 am informed,
to be provided.
The window bars in the cells and patients' general rooms invite, and preclude the
possibility of preventing, suicide, while the unaccountable precautions taken to prevent
the patients from obtaining even a glimpse of the outside world will have a very deleterious effect on the inmates; indeed, would be enough to drive a sane man mad.
An ornamented hole in the upper lobby invites suicide or suggests murder.
There are ventilating apertures for the exit of foul air in the cells and patients'
rooms, but I could not discover whence pure air was to come. The transit windows
are placed at the wrong end of the building.
The officers' rooms are all constructed, apparently, on the belief that these people
do not require air; several of them are only boxes plastered inside.
There are no bells in the building, nor any means of communication except by word
of mouth.    There are no padded rooms.
In case fire originated in the body of the building, the inmates in the wings could
not possibly escape. There are only three modes of exit in the building, viz.: the front
door and two small ones in the direct rear of the building, at the end of the main hall.
The interior is so badly lighted that one can hardly see to read.
On the whole, the building, in its present state, seems to me a madhouse of former
times, and not a modern hospital for patients affected with diseases of the brain.
It would be to travel beyond my instructions to make suggestions, I therefore
simply report.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) W. Macnaughton Jones, M.D, The Deputy Provincial Secretary to the Resident Physician.
Province of British Columbia.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
26th November, 1877.
Sir,—I am instructed to request that you will inform this department, at your
earliest convenience, as to how many patients can be accommodated at the new Insane
Asylum at New Westminster.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) T. Blwyn,
Deputy Provincial Secretary.
The Provincial Secretary to C. N. Trew, Esq., AI.D.
Province of British Columbia.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
26th November, 187V.
Sir,—It is the intention of the Government to appoint a  Commission to  enquire
into the suitableness of the Lunatic Asylum at New Westminster for the immediate
reception of patients.    Will you be good enough to act with Dr. Matthews as one of the
Commission ?
I have, etc.,
(Signed) A. C. Elliott,
Provincial Secretary.
The Provincial Secretary to Dr. Trew.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
29th November, 1877.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th instant,
consenting to act on the Lunatic Asylum Commission, in conjunction with Dr. Matthews.
I enclose copy of report received from Dr. Jones for your perusal.
Dr. Matthews will, in all probability, proceed to New Westminster on Tuesday next.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. C. Elliott.
Deputy Provincial Secretary to J. B. Mattheivs, Esq.
Province of British Columbia.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
30th November, 1877.
Sir,—I am instructed to inform you that Dr. Trew7 of New Westminster _ will act
with you on the Lunatic Asylum Commission. I am also to enquire whether it will be
convenient for you to proceed to New Westminster on Tuesday next ? I forward a
copy of Dr. Jones' report for your perusal.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) T. Blwyn,
Deputy Provincial Secretary.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. John League.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, December 3rd, 1877.
SIR,—I beg to inform you that the Government have appointed a Commission, consisting
of Drs. Matthews and Trew", to examine and report cn the suitability of the Lunatic Asylum
building at New Westminster, for the accommodation of patients, it having been reported by
Dr. Jones, the Resident Physician, that this structure is in every way unfitted for the purpose
for which it was intended. 41 Vic. Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 519
I have the honour to instruct you to accompany Dr. Matthews on his visit to New Westminster to-morrow (Tuesday 4-th) and carefully examine the Asylum building, and take the
necessary measurements, &c, in order to be in a positiou, on your return, to make sketches
showing distinctly any alterations or additions the Commission  may suggest or think advisable.
The building as it stands at present is supposed to be completed, therefore your report and
remarks will refer entirely to either suggested alterations or additions, or both.
I hand you herewith the original plans and specifications for your guidance.
You will please request Mr. James Kennedy to deliver to you the duplicate copy of the
plans and specifications and the detail drawings.
You will please take the greatest care of the above mentioned documents and deliver them
at this office on your return to Victoria.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
Report of the Commissioners.
New Westminster, December 15th, 1877.
Sir,—We have the honour to report that having, in accordance with the instructions contained in your letter of appointment, dated November 29th, 1877, examined the
Lunatic Asylum buildings at New Westminster, we find that certain alterations, w7hich
are detailed below, are required in order to make it available for use as an hospital for
insane, and that increased accommodation is imperatively required, as, without encroaching upon the rooms set apart for attendants and for other purposes, a sufficient number
of dormitories for the patients at present under treatment at the Asylum in Victoria cannot be obtained; accommodation being provided for only seven patients in each of the
four corridors—28 thus being the highest number that could at once be placedin the
building—while there are now 36 at Victoria; and, in proportion to the increase of
population in the Province, so will be the number of insane requiring treatment. The
proportion being 1 to about 500.
By providing a residence for the Medical Superintedent on the grounds near the
building, several apartments would be set free and be available for patients' use, and by
further conversion of other rooms (referred to below) the total number of patients now
undergoing treatment at Victoria might be accommodated.
But, until the following alterations are completed, we do not consider the building-
fit for the use for which it was erected; and we would strongly urge the necessity of
increasing the accommodation by adding to the wings a sufficient length to provide at
least six new single dormitories to each corridor.
We consider the following alterations necessary :— *
On the Ground-floor.
A door full width of corridor is required at each end of same, to permit of free
egress from the wings without going through the main hall; the entrances from the
corridors to the main hall to be widened to full width of corridors by removal of doors
and part of wall, and two closets in main hall; the lavatory at east end of east corridor
should be converted into a padded room, and lavatory removed into adjoining bath-room;
two water-closets for patients, one at end of each corridor, must be provided; the small
store-room at north end of main passage should be added to small dining-room, which
could then be used as a dining and day room for the "attendants and as a visitors' room;
the door at north end of main passage should be made to swing both ways, and all doors of
egress and ingress should be made to open outward; a door opening to the yard is
required at the north side of the kitchen. Should a cottage residence for the Medical
Superintendent not be provided, the four rooms at the entrance should be given for his
use.
On the First-floor.
A door must be provided at end of each corridor to pertait of exit in case of fire'
&c, and a stairway communication with lower corridor added ; entrance from corridors
to main building widened to fullest extent, and doors now existing removed; the large
spare room to be fitted properly for an associated dormitory for three or four patients,
and the two small spare rooms at north end of main passage to be fitted up for hospital
dormitories or rooms; the lavatory at the west end of west corridor to be converted into 520 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
a padded room, and the lavatory removed into bath-room; two water-closets to be provided, one at each end of corridors; the well-hole in centre of main hall should be
covered with strong iron grating or bars; the bannisters of stairway must be made six
feet high; the glass diaphragm in dome removed, and free exit for foul air provided for
in dome.
The lavatories on both floors not converted into padded rooms might, when emergency required, be made use of as dormitories.
The following general alterations are also absolutely required;—
Hot air should be supplied to the whole building; the present proposed mode of
heating being both insufficient and unsatisfactory.
Ventilation of all the dormitories and day rooms requires to be increased, and ventilating apertures from corridors to main hall, as well as to rooms for attendants, and for
other purposes, not now provided with them, built in the walls on both floors.
The windows in all the dormitories and day rooms must be lowered so that the sills
will be not more than four feet from the floor. The w7indow-sashes should be of east
iron with small oblongs, seven inches by fifteen, for glass, thus doing away with the
necessity for bars. Should it be impossible to procure proper cast iron sashes, tho windows should be guarded on the outside by ornamental iron guards and inside, w7here
necessary, by strong wire netting.
The locks to the dormitories are all unlike, and we strongly recommend that they
should be-changed, and that locks of the same pattern should be placed on all the doors
that the attendants may at any time have occasion to unlock. The locks for the female
wards should be of a different pattern to the others.
The water supply can be made sufficient by constructing a proper reservoir at the
head of main pipes, which are only one and a half inches in diameter, and probably not
large enough to carry a full supply. The leakage from the present reservoir seems nearly
to equal the inflow7. A proper iron tank, of the capacity of not less than two thousand
gallons, should be placed under the roof as a receiving tank. The leaden tank now in
place can be retained as an overflow and fire tank. A well, with a depth of about fifteen feet and a diameter of six feet, has been dug at a short distance in a westerly
direction from the kitchen, and now has twelve feet of water in it. The kitchen should
be connected with this well by a force pump and pipes, and take supplies from it. The
well must be properly covered in. Should the reservoir supply run short, additional
wells could be dug in a north-w7esterly direction from building, and pipes laid to reservoir or cistern near building, from which force pumps could take it to the top of the
building. The water supply can easily, by7 proper work, be made amply sufficient. The
use of lead for tanks or distributing pipes is to be condemned. The rainfall could be
collected and made use of for flushing and ventilating the water-closets and drains.
The difference of levels between the main building floors and those of the wings is
much to be condemned, but it is difficult to see how it can now be remedied. Proper
water-closets for the Medical Superintendent and family, and for tho attendants, must
be provided; they may be at a distance from the building, but those for the patients
must be in the building or attached to it. The privies or cess pools at present built in
the yards should be removed and the cess pools filled in with earth.
The largest room in the building is the dining-room on the main or ground-floor, and
it is not sufficiently large (containing only about 3,700 cubic feet) to use as a lecture or
recreation room for all the patients who may at any time be under treatment. If,
while adding more dormitories tosthe wings, a large room for this purpose could be
built, it would conduce much to the benefit to be derived from the asylum, and add
largely to the probabilities of cure in many cases. The cubical contents of each room
used for patients should be painted on the door of such room.
To recapitulate:—
The dormitory accommodation must be increased to afford room for forty patients.
The windows in all the dormitories must be lowered, so that the sills be not more
than four feet from the floor.
Hot air should be at once supplied to the whole building.
Ventilation must be increased and properly7 provided for.
The water supply must be made permanent, and should be equal to at least fifteen
hundred gallons per day.
Modes of exit should be at once provided from each end of the corridors on both
floors. 41 Vic. Correspondence -Lunatic Asylum. 521
Water-closets, with good drainage pipes, must be provided at each end of corridors
on both floors, and also for the Medical Superintendent and staff.
Properly padded rooms, two in number, one for each floor, must be provided.
The windows in the dormitories and rooms used by patients, should have cast iron
sashes, with small oblong openings, 7 inches by 15 inches, for glass; or, if such sashes
cannot be obtained, the windows should have ornamental ironwork guards, let in to the
brickwork outside of the sashes. Strong iron wire guards can be used inside where
needed.
When these alterations are effected the building may be occupied, and the erection
of additional wings gone on with; and we very strongly urge the erection of such
wings and recreation room as soon as possible; after this is done the rooms in the main
building may be used for such purposes as the Medical Superintendent may see fit.
"We would also urge the necessity for a detached cottage residence for the Medical
Superintendent, and we suggest that a quantity of land, not less than fifty7 acres, in the
immediate vicinity of the asylum, be set apart as a farm for the same. This ground
should enclose the present water reservoir and also the pipes from it to the building.
In conclusion, we beg to say that we have obtained much valuable assistance from
the suggestions contained in the report of Dr. Wilkins, Commissioner in Lunacy7 for the
State of California, made to Governor Haight of that State in 1871, and to which we
may refer you for further information, as it relates to enquiries similar in many respects
to that one which we have been entrusted with.     '
We have, etc.,
(Signed) C. Newland Trew, M.D., &c.
J. B. Matthews, M.B.C.S., &c.
Jno. Teague,
Architect to the Commission.
To the Honourable
the Provincial Secretary.
Dr. Macnaughton Jones to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Victoria, January 7th, 1878.
Sir,—In accordance with your instructions that I should advise you as to what
furniture, etc., in the present Lunatic Asylum can be utilized, I beg to say that I caused an
inventory of the contents of the building to be made; this I enclose, and am of the opinion
that the bedding, clothing, restraints, office furniture, officers' furniture, and stores in the
male department, the clothing, bedding, and contents of matron's room in the female one,
can be removed with profit. Anything else is hardly worth removal. Thus there would
remain to be procured kitchen and dining room furniture, bedsteads for male and female
wards, furniture for officers' rooms and for the general rooms.
The present bedding would be enough with very little addition, which I think
would be more economically procured as occasion might arise. Bedsteads, chairs and
benches would be the principal requisites.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) W. Macnaughton Jones.
Mr. John Teague to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Victoria, B. C, January 16th, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to report that having closely estimated the cost of the proposed
alterations and additions to the Lunatic Asylum at New Westminster, in accordance with the
recommendations contained in the report of the Commissioners (Drs. Matthews and Trew), dated
15th December, 1877, I beg to report as follows: 522 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
1.—Alterations and additions to the present building  $ 8,689 00
2.—New east wing  12,068 00
3.—New west wing  11,900 00
4.—Beservoir, 120,000 gallons capacity   3,420 00
5.—Alterations to well, force pump, etc   300 00
Total $36,377 00
If the wings are built the cost of alterations and additions to present building would be
reduced $800.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) John Teague,
Architect.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. John Teague.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, 18th January, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 16th
instant, giving an estimate of the proposed alterations and additions to the Lunatic Asylum, New
Westminster.
I have now to request that you will furnish me with a detailed estimate of each particular
alteration required, as it is quite impossible to carry out all the alterations suggested by the
Commissioners, much less undertakeat present the construction of additional wings to the present
building.
You will also be good enough to inform me what, in your opinion, is the least expense at
which the Asylum can be rendered habitable for its intended occupants.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. "Vernon,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Mr. John Teague to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Victoria, B. C, 21st January, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 18th
instant, requesting me to furnish detailed estimates of the proposed alterations and additions to
the Lunatic Asylum, New Westminster.    T beg to report as follows:
1.—64 new iron sashes and frames, cutting out and building in new
frames, etc •  $ 3,232 00
2.—doors of exit at east and west ends of corridors, enclosed stairs
leading from first floor to ground floor  600 00
3.—Widening corridors and removal of closets under stairs  120 00
4.—Twopadded rooms  350 00
5.—Alterations to baths and lavatories   160 00
6.—Water-closets and connections with drains  400 00
7.—Alterations to stair rails and well-holes  300 00
8.—New locks to cells  100 00
9.—Ventilation increased  457 00
10.—Alterations to outer doors to open outwards, small store-room
added to small dining-room, and extra door to kitchen  70 00
11.—Hot air furnaces for heating cells, etc.,  on ground floor, and
necessary work in connection with the same       1,500 00
12.—Do. on first floor       1,000 00
13._Iron tank (2,000 gallons), and necessary work in connection with
the same  400 00
14.—Reservoir to contain 120,000 gallons       3,420 00
The items detailed above are, in my opinion, equally indispensable.
I have, etc.
(Signed) Jno. Teague,
Architect. 41Vio. Couh-espondence—Lunatic Asylum. 528
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Messrs. Matthews and Trew.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, 21st January, 1878.
Gentlemen,—I have the honour to enclose an estimate forwarded by Mr. Teague, of the
amount that will be required to construct the additions to the present Lunatic Asylum Building,
New Westminster, and also a detailed estimate of the amount requisite to perform certain alterations reported by you to be necessary to render the building habitable for its intended occupants.
I have now to acquaint you that the funds at the disposal of the Government entirely
precludes the possibility of expending the large sums mentioned by Mr. Teague, and I have to
request that you will be good enough to point out specifically only those alterations that you deem
imperative, in order to utilize the building at the earliest possible moment, leaving the remaining
work to be carried out at a future date.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) F. Geo. Vernon.
Dr. Jones to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Victoria, January 22nd, 1878.
Sir,—I find, by a conversation I had to-day with Mr. Teague, that he has not sent in to
you an estimate for furniture. I beg, therefore, to inform you that, from enquiries made, I am
of opinion a sum of fifteen hundred dollars would be sufficient to furnish all at present necessary for the new Asylum for the insane.
1 aave, etc.,
Signed) W. Macnaughton Jones,
Medical Superintendent Insane Asylum.
Dr. Matthews to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Langley Street, Victoria,
27th January, 1878.
Sir,—In answer to your communication of the 21st January, requesting Dr. Trew
and myself to state the smallest possible amount of alteration necessary to make the
Insane Asylum at New Westminster fit to receive the insane patients now at Victoria,
I have the honour to enclose a list of absolutely necessary7 alterations made out by my
colleague and myself, and also a few suggestions of my own.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) J. B. Matthews.
Alterations absolutely necessary in the present building at New Westminster before
it can be ready for the reception of the Insane Patients now at Victoria :—
1.—Sixty-four iron sashes and frames, and alterations in existing
windows, at an estimated cost of  $3,232 00
2.—Doors of exit at ends of corridors, and enclosed stairs leading
from first floor to ground floor       600 00
3.—Two padded rooms ,       350 00
4.—Water closets, and connection with drains       400 00
5.—Alterations to stair-rails and well-holes       300 00
6.—Outer doors to be made to open outwards; small store room to
be added to small dining-room and extra door to kitchen         70 00
7.—Hot air furnace for heating cells, &c, on ground floor, and
necessary work in connection with same    1,500 00 524 Correspondence—Lunatic Asylum. 1878
8.—A full supply of water, say 6,000 gallons per twenty-four hours,
either by connecting with Penitentiary reservoir or otherwise,
and an iron tank to hold water for inmates' consumption, besides the leaden one already there, to contain 4,000 gallons.
(Signed) J. B. Matthews,
M. R. C. S., &c,
C. Neavland Trew,
January 25th, 1878. . M. D., &c.
I have to suggest that it would be highly advisable, indeed almost necessary, that
all the locks on doors of patients' dormitories should be of the same pattern, to be
opened by a master key7, for the sake of safety in the event of fire.
Mr. Teague is of opinion that this would probably be done by the contractor at a
small advance on the price of the present complicated locks.
Also, that as all the available space in the present building will be required for the
accommodation of the patients now in the Asylum, and the Superintendent must have a
dwelling house provided for him, it would be better to build him a residence at once
near the Asylum at a cost of $3,000
(Signed) J. B. Matthews,
M. R. C. 8., &c.

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