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The Chung Collection

Sunset Canada, British Columbia Bell, Archie, 1877-1943 1918

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ouo    "I
Each in one volume, decorative cover, profusely illustrated
By George Wharton James
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
By C. L. G. Anderson
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
By Thomas D. Murphy        -ig£
$3.56; carriage paid, $3.80
By Thomas D. Murphy
$3.00; carriage paid, $3.20
By Nevin O. Winter
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
By Frank and Cortelle Hutchins
$2.50; carriage paid, $2.70
By Forbes Lindsay
$3.00; carriage paid, $3.20
By George Wharton James
$3-50; carriage paid, $3.85
By Mae Lacy Baggs
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
By Thomas D. Murphy
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
By Nevin O. Winter
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
SUNSET CANADA (British Columbia and Beyond)
By Archie Bell
$3.50; carriage paid, $3.85
A number of additional volumes are in preparation,
including Central Canada (Ontario, Manitoba and
the Great Plains), Sunrise Canada (Quebec and the
Lower Provinces), Maine, New'Mexico, Georgia,
Alaska, The Great Lakes, Louisiana, etc., and the
"See America First" Series will eventually include
the whole of the North American Continent.
53 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.   Twin Falls in Yoho Valley.
(See page 270.)  SUNSET
An Account of its Settlement; Its Progress from the
Early Days to the Present, including a Review of the
Hudson's Bay Company; Its Amazing Variety of
Climate; Its Charm of Landscape; Its Unique Cities
and Attractive Towns and Their Industries; A Survey of the Different Peoples to be Found There,
including the Japanese and Doukhobors; An Analysis
of What it Offers in Opportunity to the Home Seeker,
the Agriculturist, the Business Man, the Sportsman
and the Traveller.
Author of
'The Spell of China,"   "The Spell of Egypt,'
"The Spell of the Holy Land," etc.
With a map and fifty-six plates,
of which eight are in colour
BOSTON    *   MDCCCCXVIII Copyright, 1918,
By The Page Company
All rights reserved
First Impression, March, 1918
One who has cruised to Bermuda or Porto Rico from
the eastern seaboard of the United States has known the
joys of Atlantic travel, but he has not crossed the Atlantic
Ocean. In the same way, the tourist who has crossed
British Columbia has known the joys of the mountains.
He has placed his feet on glacial ice, followed trails to
snowy peaks, prowled among forbidding chasms and
plucked flowers from the terraces of the valleys. Angling, hunting, canoeing, camping — all the sports of the
Alpinist have contributed to those rare days of his excursion into one of the most satisfying regions of the North
American continent.
But if he halt at the line that divides the provinces, even
at the mountain roof where the great trail divides and
the waters begin their descent toward the two oceans that
wash continental shores, he has not seen the Rocky Mountains of Canada. To turn back at the provincial boundary posts would be like discontinuing the Atlantic cruise
at an island washed by the Gulf Stream. To know the
mountains and to experience the full joys of making
friends with them, to survive the first impression of
austere rebuke, caused by their majestic and frigid hauteur, one must ascend the great staircase from the Pacific
and follow the trails that lose themselves in the plains of
Alberta, where they have been erased by the settlers' plow.
Thus, while the following chapters relate primarily to the
Sunset Province of the Dominion of Canada, they also
vii YUI
continue the narrative of the Rocky Mountains Excursion
into Alberta. The volume contains no reference to the
latter province, however, excepting as concerns the tourist resorts on the granite embankment at its western
Archie Bell.
Cleveland. :x
Preface  vii
I An Outpost of Empire     ....... i
II   Victoria Regina  ii
III Island of Romance  26
IV " Gentlemen Adventurers "  38
V   The Island Highway  48
VI   Memories of Norway  64
VII   An Unfulfilled Prophecy  80
VIII Captain Vancouver's Namesake     .    .    . 95
IX   " The Royal City "  113
X   Vancouver's Side-trips  13°
XI "The American Liverpool"      .... 144
XII The City of Golden Memories    .    .    .    .162
XIII Orchards and Lakes  188
XIV " The Tour of the Lakes H  207
XV   "What Would Jesus Do?"  229
XVI   Through Ancient Gorges I 252
XVTI   Among Lakes in the Clouds  272
XVIII   Capital of the Rockies  291
Bibliography     .    .    .    .  3°7
Index  311
Twin Falls in Yoho Valley (In full colour).   (See
page 279) ......        Frontispiece
Entrance to Victoria Harbour (In full colour)    . 14
Victoria, from House of Parliament ... 22
Captain George Vancouver ..... 28
Totems and Dug-out Canoes, Nootka Sound       . 31'
Beginnings of Vancouver Island Town       .        . 40
Douglas Fir, on Island Highway (In full colour) 53
Totem Carved to Represent White Man     .        . 66
Indian Shrine for " Oosh-mish "       .        . j2
Firing Svend Foyu Harpoon Gun        ... 74
Whales at Dock on Alberni Canal     ... 76
Salmon Fishing .        .        .        .        .   |    .        .86
Logging on Vancouver Island     .... 88
Sawmill, Alberni Canal    ..... 92
Vancouver, from the Harbour    .        .        .        . 98
" Two Sisters " guarding Vancouver Harbour      . 104
Big Trees in Stanley Park, Vancouver       .        . 108
Si wash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver     .        .110
The Fraser River (In full colour) .... 116
Barges loaded with Salmon at Steveston .        .122
Capilano   Canyon   Suspension   Bridge   (In   full
colour)      ........ 132
Prince Rupert and Harbour       .... 146
Jasper Park Entrance and Government Building 152
Mount Edith Cavell  154
Mount Robson    ....... 156
Emperor Falls  158 Xll
List of Illustrations
Mount Robson Glacier        ....
A Gold Prospector       .        .
The Outside of a Gold Mine       .        .
The Inside of a Gold Mine ....
Indians Spearing Salmon   ....
Junction of Thompson Rivers, near Kamloops
Hotel at Sicamous      .....
Kettle Valley Railroad, overlooking Okanagan
Lake .        .        .        .        .
Cherries grown at Kelowna (In full colour)
Trestle of Logs on Kettle Valley Route
Lake Christina (In full colour)  .
View of Nelson, from Kootenay River
" Big Billy," the " Record " Mountain Goat
Indian   Blanket  Woven  from   Mountain  Goat
Kootenay Lake   .        .        .
Group of Doukhobors at Brilliant
Peter Veregin, Head of Doukhobors   .
Illecillewaet Glacier, near Glacier Station
Trail to the Great Glacier
Mount Sir Donald       .....
Christiaan Haesler, Swiss Guide
JThe Great Divide        .....
Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier
Valley of the Ten Peaks and Moraine Lake
Difficult Climbing on Mount Lefroy .
Banff Springs Hotel .        .        .        .
Big Horn Rocky Mountain Sheep
Herd of Buffalo at Banff ....
Mount Rundle, near Banff
The Three Sisters, near Banff (In full colour)
an outpost of empire
There are many routes that lead to Canada, many
porfs on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that with characteristic pride claim to be the principal gateways of the
Dominion. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of
highways, rivers, railroads and lakes that mark the boundary crossing of visitors from other countries. Many
people prefer to cross the older provinces of the East
and the prairies of the vast territory that stretches from
the Great Lakes to Calgary before mounting the colossal
staircase that leads to the Rocky Mountains, the Selkirks and the Coast Range. They prefer to descend the
pathway toward the setting sun that slopes abruptly to
the Pacific, with huge inlets, towering crags and torrential streams that rush along madly towards the ocean
and in their wake leave a landscape that always has been
and always will be the delight and bewilderment of all
who see it. Statistics prove, however, that the majority
of trans-continental travelers in the western provinces of
the Dominion prefer the itinerary that takes them in the
opposite direction. Easterners going to the Pacific coast,
l Sunset Canada
usually allow themselves the luxury of crossing the
United States outward bound, and returning through
Canada. One who has crossed Canada from coast to
coast many times has no hesitancy in recommending this
route. Rather than not see the marvels of British Columbia at all, however, it is advisable to enter it through
the towering gateway that leads from Calgary, Alberta,
and plunge almost immediately into scenery that challenges comparison with anything in Europe, Asia, Africa
— anything to be encountered on the North American
continent. But one who may come or go as he chooses,
the conscientious traveler who feels that he owes himself
the rarest pleasures to be derived from observing the
wonders of nature, one who appreciates the psychological
effect of approaching a climax in travel as in drama or
fiction, will permit the curtain to rise as he stands on the
deck of a steamer entering the port of Victoria on Vancouver Island. He will arrange that the rising curtain
reveal this enchanting picture of Canada's western gateway when he is forming his first impressions of the
Dominion, which, in many ways, is one of the most remarkable stretches of land on earth — old enough to have
a history, but a country the present and future of which
is destined to be written larger in history than the busy
outside world is likely to realize without personal knowledge of it gained by contact with its people, who have an
inheritance from nature such as few nations have had
since man began to make the earth his home.
Herein lies the first marvel of British Columbia; it
seems to be so self sufficient and all embracing. Some
countries are dry or wet, hot or cold, flat or mountainous,
rich or poor in natural resources, and, after the brief
word of general description,  anything that does not An Outpost of Empire
adhere strictly to the rule may easily be put down as an
exception. One might expect an area so vast as the
Dominion of Canada to present physical diversities; but
to find them all in one province is a surprise to the tenderfoot who enters this outpost of the British Empire for
the first time. At whatever season of the year he approaches the harbour of Victoria it is likely that he will
quickly correct former opinions; and the paradox expands as he travels across the province and up and down
the lanes of its extensive territory!
Canadians from Halifax to Victoria, and from Toronto to Hudson's Bay, have never forgiven Kipling for
his tribute to "Our Lady of the Snows," although he
seems to have given poetical expression to the popular
idea. The people of British Columbia are particularly
resentful when one speaks of the province as a mountain-
strewn land of snow, ice and rain. Is there not snow
also on the towering peaks of torrid Guatemala or Ecuador next to the equator? And as for rain, it is a sad
country whose fields are not watered. The son and
daughter of " B. C." (as the province is usually called
somewhat affectionately by its population) and the
adopted son and adopted daughter, who have recently
made the province their home, insist that it is the " Land
of Sunshine," the land of scenery that can be matched
in few parts of the earth's surface, the land of well-
watered hills, valleys and tablelands that are perfectly
adapted to all kinds of agricultural pursuits — primarily,
however, the " Land of Sunshine." But there are within
the province vast stretches of land that are so dry that
sage-brush does not flourish as it does in the deserts of
Arizona and New Mexico, without the irrigating systems that are now bringing the melted snows of nearby Sunset Canada
peaks to the valleys of fruitful orchards. There are
parts of the province where the rain 3eems to fall continuously throughout the year, oozing into dense forests
that become almost tropical jungles, with long moss
hanging from trees to the tops of underbrush, where
sunlight seldom penetrates for more than a few short
hours at a time, and where the foot sinks deep into velvety
vegetation that exists only in a country of almost perpetual downpour. There are great areas of towering
rock that are chiefly the abode of such creatures as mountain goat and sheep. There are vast forest lands, the
extent of which is barely known to the official surveyors.
And there are tablelands and valleys of great fertility,
having just enough sunshine and just enough rain. The
region around Ashcroft is so mild that cattle have been
left on the range all winter. Even. Victoria enjoys such
a mild winter that snow causes almost as much excitement as it does in England and disappears almost as
readily. East of Prince Rupert, however, a farmer
claims to have registered the temperature at seventy degrees below zero. I have visited the Chinese Nankou
Pass in summer, and I have been in the Arabian Desert
in July, two places in which it seemed that the rocks
and sand would melt under the tropical sun; and yet I
do not recall that I experienced such discomfort from
the heat as I did in the valleys shut off from the breeze
by the mountains of British Columbia. In every way
the province seems a never-ending paradox, and perhaps
this comes about in large measure from the ignorance of
the world in regard to the realities. One hears of the
cold and draws the conclusion that it must be a cold country, of the barren mountains, the timber, the rain, the
heat in the valleys, or of the almost incredible depth of An Outpost of Empire
snow in the mountain fastnesses and forms an opinion.
The books that have been written about the province
usually give the wrong impression, because they treat
particular phases or topics, or they have proceeded from
pens wielded by prejudiced enthusiasts. They do not
tell all of the truth — perhaps because there seems to be
too much to be told — and the result is a surprising un-
familiarity with the " Sunset Gateway to the Dominion "
in the other provinces of Canada, in the United States
and elsewhere. Even so late as 1914 Griffith remarks
in his Dominion of Canada, a rather sketchy and prosaic
tome which seems to aim at facts: " It will be noticed
that in the earlier chapters, dealing with the history of
Canada, very little mention has been made of the northern and northwestern parts. There is, in fact, very little
history to tell of a kind which has any bearing on the
evolution of the Canadian race." To the unprejudiced
observer, even to the casual traveler into what were trackless forests, swamps and mountains only a few years ago,
this will appear to be a most unfair statement. If there
has been a more remarkable evidence of those qualities
that have had a bearing on the evolution of the Canadian
race, if there is anything more typical of the courage,
ambition, and ability of what is best in the Canadian character than has exhibited itself in the conquest of the British Columbia wilderness, the harnessing of natural forces,
the bringing of vast wealth from its soil, rocks and
waters, if there is anything more romantic or spectacular
than the story of the men who penetrated into this wilderness seeking furs, then gold, found both, much else,
and laid the foundation for the cities of the present that
story remains untold in Dominion history.
British Columbia remains a misunderstood and un- Sunset Canada
appreciated province — the latter on account of the former— despite the fact that it is being invaded and
crossed each season by tens of thousands of tourists.
Perhaps its vastness, and, until a comparatively recent
date, the difficulties of penetrating into its interior are
responsible. Diffusion of accurate information in regard to it will prompt a more numerous band of travelers
each year; and their observations will extend to the multitude. It will not be long before people will realize that
almost everything that has been said of the province is
true, but that it is true of only one portion of its estimated area of three hundred and seventy thousand to
three hundred and ninety thousand square miles. In
time the world will cease thinking of one of the largest
of the great divisions of the Dominion of Canada as cold,
hot, wet, dry, mountainous, flat — or any of the other
brief adjectives that have juggled themselves into numerous pages concerning it. It is none and it is all. There
is but one word that may be applied to all portions alike ;
it is beautiful. Nobody has arisen, and none will arise,
to deny that, for none can fail to fall a victim to its
charm of landscape. As there remains a tremendous
ignorance in regard to it, in a comparative degree its vast
resources are undeveloped, and knowledge of it is likely
to increase in proportion to its expansion and progress
even in those directions that are popularly supposed to
have become exhausted. Its mines have produced over
three hundred millions of dollars, almost every running
stream having produced its measure of gold, and yet
mining is believed to be in its infancy, some of the scientists declaring that only the surface has been scratched.
Fruit raised in British Columbia has already received
honours in the markets of the world, yet it is claimed that An Outpost of Empire
there are one million acres south of the Fifty-second
Degree where all the fruits of the Temperate Zone may be
raised. Apples, peaches and grapes were not produced in
sufficient quantities a few years ago to supply the local
markets; but it seems likely that fruit growing will become one of the important industries of the province
very shortly. The cities, towns, and some of the villages are brilliantly lighted by power generated from
waterfalls which are a part of almost every landscape,
yet in his address to the Commission of Conservation not
long ago, Clifford Sifton said that the province had only
a little over 73,000 horse power developed, whereas the
streams are capable of a development of 2,065,500 horse
power. It is not usually considered an agricultural province, and yet its acres yielded over $27,000,000 in 1914.
While fisheries are becoming " worked out" in many
parts of the North American continent, the fisheries production in 1914 was $15,000,000. As in all cases where
men enter a country covered with forests, the timber of
British Columbia has been ruthlessly sacrificed to the settler's ax, but it is officially declared that there are 300,-
000,000,000 board feet of merchantable standing timber
in the 92,000,000 acres of absolute forest land. Pulp-
wood manufacture is thriving in certain parts of the province, and yet James White, assistant chairman of the
Canadian Commission of Conservation, is authority for
the statement that the forests of British Columbia can
continue to provide 6,000,000 cords of wood for this
purpose every year for an indefinite period. As to the
climate: in a province spread over eleven degrees of latitude, seven hundred miles long and four hundred miles
wide, there is almost certain to be a great variety. Ocean
currents, mountain ranges and the forests combine to Sunset Canada
form a series of moist and dry belts which are modified
in places by the varied elevation of the mountains and
the presence of various mountain passes. Macoun,
Canadian government naturalist, has said: "As Germany was to the Romans, so much of the northwest is
to us — a land of marsh and swamp and rigorous winter. Germany has been cleared of her forests and is
now one of the finest and most progressive of European
countries. May not the clearing of our northwestern
forests produce a similar result in the future of British
Columbia? " It seems certain that when the timber has
been cut away there will be a marked decrease in portions of the country where now, the rainfall is heaviest,
but conditions in the greater part of the province are
permanent by reason of the course of the Japan Current
and the location of the mountain ranges. Considered
as a whole, the climate of British Columbia has those
essential features that are to be met with in European
countries lying within the temperate zone, such as the
British Isles, the north of France, Belgium, Holland,
Denmark, and the south of Sweden, the cradle of the
greatest nations of the world, and it is therefore a climate well adapted to the development of the human race
under the most favourable conditions.
But as before noted, winter is not a topic that the
average Canadian cares to discuss. Summer is beautiful — when it comes — and he prefers to talk about the
peach crop or the wheat fields. Even fur coats are not
the most tactful topic of conversation, for the native will
say that in parts of British Columbia they are never
required. This is true in one part of Canada as in another, east or west. There was a movement to revive
ice carnivals at Montreal, but it was abandoned.    People An Outpost of Empire
must not think of  Canada as a place of  snow and
British Columbia seems to have something characteristic of every country in the world. It is a huge melting
pot, with the representatives of the British Empire as the
principal ingredient in the simmering liquid that is assuming its permanent flavour. So I have found that my
notebook constantly compares it to such widely dissimilar
and distant places as China, Panama, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, England and Bavaria, as I wrote
down my impressions during the days, weeks and months
passed within its borders. Some of these observations
and comparisons, when I came upon them months afterward, when far away from the grandeur of the country
in which they were written, caused me to pause and ask
myself if I had been too favourably impressed with what
I had seen, if I had fallen under the " influence " that
has brought so many men and women from remote parts
of the world to be adopted by British Columbia as its
own. I had been merely an on-looker, a casual observer
and traveler. What I felt might be felt by any tourist,
doubtless has been felt by thousands who kept to the
great highways and never ventured into the remoter bypaths that are to become the highways of the future.
There was an impulse to curb the enthusiasm, but while
I questioned the wisdom of doing so I came upon a
fragment of Milton (Oxford Universal Edition) and
then I realized that my enthusiasm needed no apology.
I had seen what the poet did not see; I had experienced
what he could not have experienced excepting in prophetic vision when he wrote:
"Brutus, far to the West in the ocean wide,
Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies, 10
Sunset Canada
Seagirt it lies, where giants dwelt of old,
Now void, it fits thy people; thither bend
Thy course, there shalt thou find a lasting seat,
There to thy sons another Troy shall rise
And kings be born of thee whose dreaded might
Shall awe the world and conquer nations bold." CHAPTER II
British Columbia was named by Queen Victoria in
1858, the capital city having been named in her honour
fifteen years before. Both the province and the trading
station that was to become the administrative metropolis
had borne other names, which appear in the early maps
and letters relating to the territory, but which would be
barely recognizable to-day, save by the student who has
specialized in the conquest and history of the North
American continent.
In the Letters of Queen Victoria, published in 1907,
there is one that solves a problem over which there had
been considerable controversy. It is dated Osborne, 24
July,'1858, and was addressed to Sir E. Bulwer Lytton.
Objections had been made in France to the name of
New Caledonia being given to the proposed colony between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and
in regard to the matter, Queen Victoria wrote: "If the
name of New Caledonia is objected to as being already
borne by another colony or island claimed by the French,
it may be better to give the new colony west of the Rocky
Mountains another name. New Hanover, New Cornwall and New Georgia appear from the maps to be names
of subdivisions of that country, but do not appear on all
maps. The only name which is given to the whole territory in every map the Queen has consulted is Columbia,
but as there exists also a Columbia in South America,
11 12 Sunset Canada
and the citizens of the United States call their country
also Columbia, at least in poetry, 'British Columbia'
might be in the Queen's opinion, the best name."
Victoria, the capital, was originally called Fort Cam-
osun, when it was the administrative center and chief
depot of the western department of the Hudson's Bay
Company; but in 1843 the fort was built and named in
honour of England's Queen.
The first chapters in the history of the province, however, relate to events that transpired before the naming
of the mainland and before the ships of the voyagers,
free-booters and discovery-mad sea-rovers pointed their
bows into the waters of the beautiful bay at the southern
tip of Vancouver Island; but the traveler entering British
Columbia is fortunate if he first sees the land at this point,
and as it has been made most convenient for him to do
so, he is likely to follow the channel of least resistance
or inconvenience and see the capital before he sees what
lies beyond it, something that is not possible in many
countries, states or provinces of the world. The ships
that enter the port may steam on to Vancouver as their
terminal, because Vancouver has direct railway communication with all parts of the North American continent:
but the commercial metropolis seems to be an extension
of the voyage. Victoria is the logical terminus for passengers arriving in British Columbia from Seattle, Japan,
China, Hawaii or Australia. It is the beginning of a
tour of the province; the end of the short or long ocean
voyage. It is the proud British sentinel standing at the
gateway of an Empire. Perhaps you have met this sentinel in other parts of the world; perhaps he has challenged you to pass him and you have respected his
authority.   He is masculine in appearance, well-groomed, ^ Victoria Regina 13
Meatly unformed and pride of race, ancestry, traditions,
all are apparent; everything that is near and dear to the
British heart. This sentinel in the colonies is more typical of the British Empire than England itself; he is the
symbol of its existence.
I have been on ships that poked their bows into many
small and large harbours of the world. Some of these
waterways are guarded by yellow sands, others by high
mountains that seem to be granite gateways opened for
the occasion; some had approaches of long curved lines
of shore above which palms dipped their fronds toward
ultramarine waters capped with white foam, others were
guarded by snow-capped peaks where glaciers were sliding toward the sea. Some gateways were nothing but
seemingly endless lines of warehouses in and around
which the merchandise of the world, huge bales of hides
and cotton, barrels of oil and tar, or cases of fish were
piled. There was the clatter of the stevedores and their
trucks, the moaning of the coolies or the singing of the
workers. Men shouted at horses. Automobiles or rik-
ishas filled the landing stages. I have even seen desert
Bedouins come to port to watch the incoming ship. But
there are none of these as one enters the most western
port of Canada. It is a small event, the arrival of a
ship at Victoria, where ships from far away countries or
nearby islands are tying up to the docks almost every
hour of the day or night. Victoria is on an island, and
people must go to and from an island on ships. It is
of comparatively little importance whether the ship has
come from near or from far. There is not much curiosity to see it on the part of the Victorians. They do not
visit the piers to see the Chinese man or woman in native
dress; these they would see on the streets of the business 14
Sunset Canada
section in their own city, or, failing that, at any time ia
the local " Chinatown." They do not stare at the sumptuous and gorgeous turbans of the Hindoo. Men similarly dressed deliver wood or coal at the doors of their
houses. A Chinese mandarin or Japanese dancer in full
regalia would barely excite comment in the streets of
Victoria. The port is not only the gateway of the empire, but it is a, sort of toll-gate on the world's great
On the steamers that come to Victoria I have floated
into various other ports and harbours accustomed to the
cosmopolitan mob, but none of them surpasses Victoria
— not even Hongkong, the emerald-hilled " Gibraltar of
China." Victoria is a fitting gateway to a land of marvels; sedate, elegant, somewhat prim and marvelous, in
view of the tremendous tonnage that departs from or
enters her gates. The streets are as clean as the floors
of a Dutch cottage. Merchandise is stored away in
warehouses. There is a great stone sea-wall over which
English ivy drapes itself in festoons from adjoining
gardens. Parliament House, the Empress Hotel, the
Post Office, Customs House, and a few large residences
surrounded by gardens and parks of ornamental shrubs
and trees are visible. And yet one arrives in the very
heart of the capital city. The last time I arrived in Victoria harbour it was in the early spring. Instead of the
customary warehouses of port cities, and in addition to
the splendid stone buildings that are grouped around the
quays, there were huge beds of orange and purple iris
in full bloom almost down to the ivy-covered sea-walls.
The shrubbery was that of an English park. Immediately I heard the voices, even those of the newsboys, I
knew that I had reached again " a little bit of England  Entrance to Victoria Harbour.
a ■>  Victoria Regina 15
on the Pacific coast"— a general description beloved by
the people of the city. Such a beginning must have joys
ahead. It seems a promise and it will not disappoint.
Victoria has been called " The Empress City of the
Golden West," " The Floral City," § A City of Homes,"
" The Evergreen City of Canada," " The Mecca of Pacific Coast Tourists " and " A City of Sunshine." Alfred Emberson, a writer who gladly confesses to being an
enthusiast, says that there is a difference in the air immediately felt by one who arrives at Victoria. The first
impression of one who views the city from the sea may
be that the approach is very similar to that of Stockholm.
And yet John Foster Fraser says in a book called Canada
As It Is, but which should have been called " What An
Englishman Thinks of Canada " that Toronto is the most
ultra-British city on earth. By comparison, Toronto is
thoroughly " American"; Victoria is England transplanted to the American continent.
And again the paradox. The newcomer is likely to
believe that everything is " English " because the British
atmosphere permeates everything; but, on the other hand,
it is the great meeting-place of the East and West. One
sees the Indian of the East and the Indian of the West,
the latter with the marked facial resemblance to the Chinese or Japanese, perhaps presenting to the present a
suggestion of that romantic past that has been lost as a
matter of certain knowledge. Orientals are met everywhere. They are waiters and servants in the hotels, restaurants and homes, and they are " common labourers."
East Indians seem to be exclusively the drivers of carts
— a notable example of the adaptability of men to surroundings and requirements. In the Victoria sawmills,
scattered around the bay, the " lumber jacks " are Hin- 16 Sunset Canada
doos. The incoming steamers pass them riding the logs
as if they had done it all their lives. Chinese, Japanese,
Filipinos, Hawaiians, Singalese, Hindoos, Greeks, Italians and Germans — I have met them all within an hour
in this British city and nobody noticed them as more than
a part of the usual promenade in the streets. One day I
observed that a group of woolly-haired Fijiis, bare-head
and barefoot, attracted a glance from the Victorian pedestrian; but I believe that this was on account of the
large number of them who were fighting men bound for
" somewhere in France " rather than from their unusual
costume or personal appearance. Victoria expects the
world's population to pass her gateway, and it has done
so for so long that it no longer excites comment or
attracts attention.
The traveler who can distribute his time as he chooses
should plan to arrive here in May or June. Victoria
boasts that it has in its gardens every variety of flower
that will bloom in England — and many others. In the
last weeks of May the lilac bushes are in bloom and the
deep orange yellow of the broom, which latter spreads
a solid mantle over many hillsides, fills crevices between
jutting rocks, and frequently from a distance recalls the
heather-covered fields in the open country of Scotland.
Parks are in some instances great stretches of woodland
and open spaces with neat walks or automobile drives, but
with no " keep off the grass " signs, and no " bobbies " to
say " go here " or " don't go there." In J:he majority of
cases these beauty spots have been left in their natural
state, with a helpful hint here and there from the gardener who planted a flowering shrub that nature did not
place beside the pathway.
It chanced that the day after my arrival was Sunday. Victoria Regina 17
I was awakened by a chime of bells playing a hymn; it
seemed more " English " than the week day had been.
By eleven o'clock all the bells had rung and their chimes
had echoed and reechoed around the hills that hold the
city in a basin. The grinning " barker " on the " Seeing
Victoria" tallyho the day before had shouted as we
passed a group of churches: " doubtless you have all
heard that Victoria is a temperate or ' dry' city. We
have many, many churches and only three saloons — to
every church." But Victoria is godly and God-fearing
in an English sort of way on Sunday. Most of the shop
windows are boarded up. Shortly before eleven o'clock,
father, mother and the children, all dressed in their best,
file out from behind the closely matted and trimmed
hedges, father opens the gate as his various dependents
pass into the church pew. Although a modern government has provided excellent sidewalks or " paths " as the
English and Victorians call them, the older families of
the city take to the middle of the road. Following an
English custom, some of the streets have a path only on
one side. On Sunday, however, most of the church-
going procession does not deign to use it; they walked
down the road to church in the Mother Country and they
will continue to do so. How reverently they cling to the
old English customs! And they are not the city customs, not those of London, Birmingham or Manchester,
but rather of that beautiful English rural life of which no
country in the world offers a more pleasing example.
Go to the remotest corner of England and the family
will be " dressed " for Sunday. The " boots "of the
men and boys shine like mirrors. Likely as not father
wears his tall hat, carries a stick and gloves; and in the
lapel of his coat there is a flower cut fresh for the occa-
» 18
Sunset Canada
sion from the garden. Mother has one of those prim
little black lace bonnets perched atop her hair which has
been crimped for the Sabbath. The girls — even those
who are old enough to consider themselves young ladies
if they lived in the United States — have their hair hanging down over their shoulders. And Victoria has departed less from the English traditions on Sunday than
on other days.
With a Hudson's Bay " caravan," Father J. B. Bolduc
came to the settlement in 1843 an(i celebrated the first
mass. When Vancouver Island was occupied by the
same company, the Rev. R. J. Staires was made the Episcopal church chaplain. Christ Church was built in 1855
and in 1865 it became the cathedral of the diocese. The
present cathedral, which is built entirely of wood and sits
on a lofty eminence overlooking the city of churches,
as Victoria seems to be on Sunday, is not an imposing structure but it is a favourite meeting-place for
residents and visitors, the pivot of Protestantism on the
The latest census figures give the city a population of
nearly seventy-seven thousand; but Victoria is larger
than other cities with that figure, where people are
crowded into thickly settled districts, apartments and
tenements. The area covered is extensive, served by
thirty miles of electric railway. It is a city of homes and
gardens set within precisely trimmed hedges and shrubs,
with formal walks and|borders and with occasional swans
on the ponds fed by fountains, or peacocks stretching
themselves and strutting over the green lawns that are
clipped like velvet carpets. The Englishman loves his
garden and so does the Victorian. A lecturer who had
been a nurse on European battlefields during the Great ^
Victoria Regina 19
War, brought a message of joy to the sad relatives of
soldiers at the front when she related that wherever it
was possible the boys in the trenches from Victoria were
making small gardens of flowers and vegetables as they
did at home. Where this was impossible, some of the
soldiers had piled up chunks of slag and cinders to resemble garden paths, with splotches of bright paint where
flowers would have bloomed under more favourable conditions. Even in war, the Victorian proved himself romantically and sentimentally attached to his home. He
is | old fashioned "; he admits it and rather boasts of
the fact. Victoria prides itself in being the grandmother, with few of the characteristics of her sprightly
young grand-daughter Vancouver. The railway terminal on the coast declares that it should be the official
capital of British Columbia, because it is the commercial
metropolis; a declaration that seems to be an echo of New
York's contention that instead of Washington it is the
logical capital of the United States. " And one of these
days we'll be obliged to move the capital over here"
taunts Miss Vancouver. Her grandmother Victoria
smiles tolerantly and replies: | One of these days, when
you have a little culture and know that the chief aim of
life should not be a gaudy display and noise, you'll take
the steamer and come over here to live."
The principal buildings and the principal streets of
Victoria are quite in modern style and usually have
unexpected elegance. The shop windows' display is what
might be found in eastern cities. But venture off the
main highways and you will come upon strangely littered and dusty old offices that are reminiscent of the
center of London. As I wandered into one of these side
streets t6 the office of a large real estate concern I ob- 20 Sunset Canada
served that the entire front window was given over to a
huge and gaudy lithograph of Queen Victoria, wearing
the crown jewels, a work of art that may have come
with a year's subscription to a " family " newspaper many
years ago. Victoria is Victorian chronologically as well
as nominally.
A local guidebook, which seems more for the citizens
themselves than for reading by one looking for guidance,
reaches rhetorical ecstasies when it speaks of "the
quietude of the city and the orderly inhabitants," but
what the book says is true. The inhabitants are not only
orderly; they are correct. Victoria is as sedate and
proper, even in its largeness, as any English village with .
hedgerows, gardens, cross-tipped spires and inhabitants
who are shocked by the speed of tourists' automobiles.
There are no railings, fences or gates at the parks, so
the same " guide book " continues: " care for flowers and
respect for the regulations are left to the good sense and
the good feeling of Victorians, old and young, and few
guardians or keepers are found necessary."
There are many ways of visiting the principal points of
interest. There are views that are best appreciated by
one who rambles to the parks and to the environs on foot.
There are numerous justly famous carriage drives and
automobile tours long and short. Even the tramways
follow attractive streets and parkways that open vistas
that are not seen by one who remains in the central part
of the city from the arrival to the departure of the
steamer. Sometimes it appears to the newcomer that the
city tries to appear " big," owing to the so-called decimal
system of numbering the houses. There is a number
reckoned for every twenty feet, one hundred numbers for
each block, to show how far distant it is from a given Victoria Regina 21
point, thus there is a street in the Oak Bay suburb that
has two houses numbered 2565 and 2671 respectively.
Automobiles, carriages and pedestrians turn to the left,
as a rule of the road, thus
"If you go to the right, you are wrong;
If you go to the left, you are right"
which is somewhat confusing at first to the pedestrians
and chauffeurs from the United States.
Beacon Hill Park covers three hundred acres and is no
more than a quarter-hour walk from the center of the
city. Here may be obtained a splendid view of the
Straits that separate the Island from the Mainland, and
the Olympian Mountains in the state of Washington are
plainly visible on a clear day. Stadacona Park is a gem
of a recreation ground five acres in extent. The Gorge
Park is two miles from the city and may be reached by
tramway. Cordova Bay is six miles from the city,
reached by tramway or excellent automobile road. It lies
at the foot of Mount Douglas and the drive thither may
be extended to Elk Lake and Sydney, which is a favourite
resort for picnics and campers. Brentwood, a pleasant
resort, is reached by motor or tramway and is fifteen
miles from the city. Foul Bay, a popular bathing beach,
is less than three miles away. And these are only a few
of the many side-trips that will repay the traveler who
does not arrive in the capital city in the morning expecting to depart by the evening steamer. Victoria has been
a leader in the promotion of provincial highways and one
who motors into the Island roads will find most attractive
drives, rich in scenic beauties for a day, two days or a
week, quite irrespective of time devoted to the city itself.
The Island Automobile Club has been active in the pro- 22
Sunset Canada
motion of the campaign for a trans-Canada motor route
covering four thousand miles, and its home city and Vancouver Island has furnished an excellent example of what
is possible in this direction.
One who has only a day in his itinerary to spend in
Victoria, however, will profit by remaining within sight
of the piers at which he disembarks, where the time may
be profitably employed. The gigantic Empress Hotel is
in many ways one of the best on the entire continent.
The Parliament Building, a massive pile of stone, erected
at a total cost of over two million dollars, is an imposing
structure and worth a leisurely visit. The Provincial
Library, housed within its walls, possesses a fine collection of rare prints and autograph letters and other documents relating to the early history of the northern Pacific coast. The dome is capped by a gilded figure of
Captain George Vancouver, who would be much more
venerated in Victoria if his name had not been appropriated to itself by the city across the channel. There is
an original document bearing Vancouver's signature in
the library collection, but his diaries and journals are
" copies." When I asked to see the originals, the librarian was astonished by my request. " Bless your soul,
sir," he said, " you didn't imagine that we had the originals? Oh, no, the British Admiralty would not part
with them; but we have certified copies."
Over the main entrance of the Parliament Building is
carved the somewhat intricate coat of arms of British
Columbia. Concerning it, the Year Book of British
Columbia says: "The features to which it is intended
to draw attention are: first, unity with the British nation,
both by descent and government; second, its extreme
western   geographical   position;   third,   its   maritime   Victoria Regina 23
strength; fourth, its assured permanence and glory; fifth,
its local fauna. These objects are attained in the following manner, respectively, first, the field is covered by
the Union Jack, the grand standard and national emblem;
second, upon a chief is defined the setting sun; third, this
charge is placed upon a field barry undy which heraldic-
ally symbolizes the sea; fourth, the motto 'Splendour
sine occasu' which has been adopted by no other state or
individual, refers to the sun, which, though apparently
setting never decreases, and to the Empire which has a
glory or radiance encircling the world; fifth, the supporters, a wapiti stag and big horn are the most noble
creatures of the province and typify dignity and strength.
These two animals have a peculiar significance, as they
represent the union of the Mainland and Island, the wapiti
being confined in its habitat to Vancouver Island and the
big horn found only in the mountain ranges of the Mainland."
The Provincial Museum is well worth a visit, having
a particularly fine collection of Indian curios and of the
animals that were slain within the province. There are
agricultural, horticultural and mining collections in the
same building that will prove attractive to the tourist.
In 1858 Victoria's population numbered hundreds, but
the sudden influx of miners, merchants and adventurers
who anticipated a repetition of '49 in San Francisco,
when gold was found in the territory, brought the figure
to over twenty thousand. It was a small and somewhat
insignificant trading post; but it suddenly became a city
— a city of white tents and rude shacks. Land lots that
had gone begging at one dollar each were sold at $100
an acre, and one case is recorded of a half-lot bought
for $25 selling within a month for $3000.    There was
V 24 Sunset Canada
the inevitable reaction, but when it came Victoria had
benefitted and completed many improvements. For example, " sidewalks were built and streets, in which the
pedestrian used to sink knee-deep in the mire, were
D. W. Higgins, who came to Victoria when the first
news of British Columbia gold reached San Francisco
and who has remained in the capital city since that time,
not only told me of the " romance " of these gold-hunting
days in Victoria, but he seemed to express exactly the
local point of view, which was different from that of San
Francisco. He said: " The slump had set in in San
Francisco, following the golden days around the middle
of the last century. The territory was supposed to be
* used up/ so when news came that gold had been discovered along the Fraser River, there was a wild scramble
to reach British Columbia. Every one thought there
would be a repetition of what had transpired in California. There were all those elements of glamour and
romance of what had happened since '49 to stir men to
the new adventure. I imagine that there were twenty
thousand who came to Victoria, which was the nearest
open port. Yes, we were a strange crowd and even
stranger in appearance. Many of the men wore comic
opera costumes with brilliant sashes, hatbands and cravats; but the difference between here and California
was that they did not duplicate them when they were discarded. It was the custom here to put on f working
clothes' after the fancy things were discarded. There
was never the fantastic dressing of San Francisco for
any length of time, never the flash of jewelry, none of
those actualities of the gaming tables that were of everyday occurrence in California.    In Victoria it was all more Victoria Regina 25
practical, yes, more prosaic; it was a hunt for gold, and
that hunt was a little more strenuous in this country.
But they took out over $700,000 worth of gold in 1858,
and they continued to find gold. Men worked diligently
rather than fail, or when they failed and their money
was gone with no results, they accepted all kinds of menial positions for the purpose of getting money so they
could try again. California and the California life exerted a tremendous influence all along the Pacific coast."
Then Mr. Higgins related an experience that seemed to
show the conservative British attitude toward these
epoch-making times in Victoria, quite in contrast to what
had transpired in San Francisco. " I had known two
brothers in a New York bank before I came West," he
continued. " I heard they had reached Victoria before
me, in fact they had reached it long enough before to
have lost their money in search for gold. But I did not
know this and I inquired for them and visited the address
that was given me. When I mentioned the name of one
of the brothers, a hand pointed toward a tub in a laundry,
where a young man was scrubbing dirty linen. I stood
there and looked at him. I thought of a r gentleman *
doing that kind of work, merely to get money to begin
another search for gold, and I admit that I was disgusted.
I thought of the position that he had left in the bank to
come here for the great gamble, so I turned away and did
not speak to him." CHAPTER III
island of romance
Habitual doubters and searchers for " actual facts "
in modern times have robbed Vancouver Island of much
of its legendary history, a considerable portion of which
has never been adequately disproved by the scientific historians. This treasure island has an authentic record
that dates considerably beyond the coming of the British
to its shores. There was a day when the Spaniards in^
eluded it among their vast possessions on the Pacific coast
of the New World, and as time goes on and some of the
secrets of the Far East, which have reposed on the dusty
shelves of monasteries and temples, are disclosed, it may
be proved that the Chinese were the discoverers and the
first colonists in this beautiful island of mountains, lakes
and trees, which is a bright jewel in the diadem of the
British Empire. Glittering romance seems to have departed from the island when it became a colony of Great
Britain. First there was the hunt for furs, then the lure
of the gold, and, finally, the dream of a notable colony in
a supposedly cold region, which had been visited by several voyagers looking for the water passage to the Atlantic ocean, but which had not been so agreeable or dramatic in incident as the cruises along the coasts of
California, Mexico and Peru. Spain turned a jealous
eye toward Great Britain's extension of territory and
cruises along the northwest coast were renewed with
vigour.    In 1592 the Straits of Juan de Fuca, between Island of Romance 27
Vancouver Island and the Mainland, were discovered by
the navigator whose name they bear, but reports of visits
to the coast of British Columbia are lacking until the voyages of Bodeja and Haceta in 1775 and of Captain Cook's
voyage in 1778. Thus for over a century there are blank
pages in British Columbia history and the continuation of
the story dates to the time when Spain began to fear the
loss of her traditional hold on the western seas, as the
Russians were " threatening " from the North and the
British seemed to be everywhere.
Captain James Cook visited the coast on his third voyage in 1778, having been commissioned by the British
government to examine the coastline from about 45 degrees north to the Arctic Ocean, for the reported inland
openings toward the east, which might be found to extend to the Atlantic. He seems to have passed the Straits
of Juan de Fuca without observing them and continuing
northward visited Nootka Sound, where such important
events were to transpire at a later period, Prince William
Sound and Cook's Inlet. After searching the Arctic
through Behring Straits, he began the homeward voyage,
having demonstrated the impossibility of the " North
West Passage," touching at the Sandwich Islands, where
he met a tragic death in 1779.
Cook's reports of his voyage renewed the activity in
northern waters. Spain's claims and Great Britain's
claims almost brought the two countries to war; but
events transpired at Nootka that brought the rivalries to
a climax with the result that Captain George Vancouver,
who had been with Cook, arrived at Nootka in 1792 as
the representative of his government, to see that Great
Britain's demands for satisfaction and Spain's promise
to pay an indemnity were successfully carried out, which 28 Sunset Canada
resulted in the complete restitution of " British rights and
property " under the terms of the Nootka Convention of
1790. He and Captain Quadra, the representative of
Spain, could not agree and the dispute was referred back
to the home governments for a settlement; but, in the
meantime, the ambitious young officer of Great Britain
undertook another commission and for three years explored and surveyed the coastline, which resulted in the
termination of Spanish activity in northwest Pacific waters. Vancouver named the coasts he visited | New
Georgia," " New Hanover " and " New Cornwall," but
the names barely survived the intrepid young officer,
whose charts of 1798 give the first accurate representations of the western seaboard of Canada. His brief life
was one of rare accomplishments. He made his eventful
voyages and discoveries and left a name that is perpetuated in the land of his activities and died before he was
forty years of age.
There is a history of Vancouver Island, however, that
dates far beyond the coming of the British, the Spanish,
or the Russians, who may have followed the coast from
Alaska at an early date. It is a history that is clouded
in the vapour and incense of China and not understood
nor accepted as " authentic " by the present, although the
not far distant future may reveal further facts that cannot be disputed, even by the white race which clings zealously to claims of " superiority " in discovery and invention, although it may be conclusively proved that much of
western achievement in these directions was merely rediscovery and adaptation of inventions of the long ago
in Old Cathay.
The stranger, or the " native f of Vancouver Island
quickly and constantly observes the resemblance of the CAPTAIN   GEORGE  VANCOUVER.  1 Island of Romance 29
Indians to the Chinese or Japanese. The traveler unacquainted with the two would be unable to distinguish
one from the other if they were similarly dressed. In
fact, many Indians and Chinese resident in the Island
wear semi-European dress, both frequently live on the
outskirts of the small towns in shacks or huts and derive
their living from fishing. The Chinese clings to his
oriental recipes for preparing his food, because he has
never known the necessity for doing otherwise. The
Vancouver Island Indian prepares food according to the
traditional recipes that may have had their origin in
necessity to conditions. Merely circumstantial evidence
would point to very early visits of Chinese voyagers to
this coast; whether by intent on voyages of discovery, or
in ships driven across the Pacific by storms is a matter of
speculation. Chinese junks and vessels were blown
across the Pacific as late as the last century and the sailors
were captured and enslaved by the Indians near Fort
Flattery, resulting in a demand from James Douglas,
governor of the colony, for their immediate release, when
knowledge of their tragic experience was brought to
In 1761 the distinguished Sinologist, De Guigues, published a paper which he had found in the works of early
Chinese historians, in which appeared the statement that
in the Fifth Century a. d. certain travelers of their race
had discovered a country which they called Fu-sang,
which from the direction and distance described by them
appears to have been northwest America. The original
document, according to the author of " Fu-sang, or The
Discovery of America by Chinese Priests in the Fifth
Century," was the report of the priest-missionary, Hosi-
Shin in the year 499 a. d., who returned from a long 30 Sunset Canada
journey to the East. The report was entered in the Year
Book of the Chinese Empire and the French author declares that while the evidence offered is limited, it has
every appearance of being a serious state document.
O. S. Scholefield, provincial librarian and historian of
British Columbia, says in regard to these interesting records : " They open a fascinating field for speculation
and while they do not establish the right of Chinese to
claim the discovery for their race, yet the chain of general and presumptive evidence as to the discovery of the
continent by the Norsemen in the Eleventh Century is
scarcely stronger than the evidence contained in the old
Year Books of the Celestial Empire, touching the voyage of Hosi-Shin. It is indeed interesting, if not startling, to realize that perhaps America may not have been
found by Europeans from the East, but by Asiatics from
the West."
No doubt it was the voyage of Captain Cook and its
subsequent publicity that led to events which determined
the political future of British Columbia. He called attention to the abundance of the sea otter along the coast,
and, as so often in Canadian history, it was the race for
the fur prize that prompted many other traders to venture
into the land that was almost unknown to the world.
Captain John Meares commanded an expedition from
China in 1788 that established a trading post at Nootka,
which had been discovered by Juan Perez as early as
1779 and named Port Lorenzo, after the saint on whose
day it was first seen. Captain Cook either forgot or
overlooked the previous discovery when he entered the
sound a few years later and rechristened it " King
George's Sound," although he says it was called Nootka
by the natives — which was doubtless a mistake as there TOTEMS AND DUG-OUT CANOES, NOOTKA SOUND.  Island of Romance 31
is no such word in the language of the Indians there and
he may have confused their word Nootche (mountain)
for the name of the place. Captain Meares, in the establishment of the trading station, became the first white
man to conduct a business enterprise in British Columbia,
athough the scene of his activity is well nigh deserted
to-day. Nootka is one of the most celebrated spots on
the continent, when it is recalled what momentous events
in North American history transpired here; but it remains little more than a fishing village and the Indian is
its chief inhabitant, with totems set out in his yards, and
where he is left to live much as he pleases. Captain
James Hanna came to Nootka soon after Cook's voyage
in the Sea Otter and made such a memorable haul of sea
otter skins that it soon became a rendezvous for traders,
particularly those dealing with China, where the skins
were a prized possession and brought high prices.
By the aid of Chinese carpenters, Meares built the
North West America in the winter of 1788-89, this sloop
being the first vessel other than a canoe built on the
Pacific coast north of California. Things were prospering famously. The English and American traders were
sailing from Nootka to Macao, the Portuguese possession
in southern China that was so close to the great fur market, and the trade grew to such proportions that Spain
determined to assert her rights of original discovery.
Accordingly, Don Estevan Martinez took possession of
the whole sound, seizing the vessels there and building a
fort to hold the territory against all comers. Meares'
trading post was raided and confiscated, and although
he had been sailing under the Portugese flag, he was a
British subject and his ship was a British vessel. It was
England's demand for an indemnity and recognition of her " rights " that led to the Spanish withdrawal from
the territory and the mission of Captain Vancouver to
the Island, which it is believed the Captain did not know
was an island until his second voyage.
Most cordial and friendly relations seem to have
existed and to have been maintained between the two
representatives of the British and Spanish governments.
In a letter dated from Nootka in September, 1792, Vancouver wrote: " Next morning after breakfast we embarked on our return. The weather was pleasant but the
wind though light was contrary. The afternoon was
cloudy attended by some rain, thunder and lightning:
about 5 o'clock we reached Friendly Cove, having dined
by the way. In the course of conversation which passed
this afternoon, Sigr. Quadra requested that in the course
of my farther exploring in this country I would name
some port or island after us both, in commemoration of
our meeting and friendly intercourse that on that occasion
had taken place; which I promised to do; and conceiving
no place more eligible than the place of our meeting, I
have therefore named this land (which by our sailing
at the back we have discovered to be an extensive island),
the Island of Quadra and Vancouver: which compliment
he was exceedingly pleased with, as also my retaining
the name of Port Quadra to that which in May last I
had called Port Discovery, but finding it had been explored and named after this Officer, I had since adopted
that name."
For some time the Island was variously known as Quadra's Isle, the Island of Quadra and Vancouver and
finally as Vancouver's Island; but finally the charts and
maps came to refer to it as Vancouver Island, the name
it will doubtless continue to bear, although an official Island of Romance 33
of the city of Victoria assured me that there was
a definite movement on foot to refer to it simply as
The Island, with no reference to the name by which
a populous and aspiring young municipality across the
Straits is known. " It is unfair and too much to expect that the inhabitant of this beautiful island shall
mention the name of a city on the Mainland every time he
speaks of the land on which Victoria is situated," he said.
"'If we are successful in our undertaking to promote
reference to Vancouver Island as The Island, all well and
good; but if we are not successful, some of us are in
favour of changing the name back to that of the Spaniard whom Captain George Vancouver delighted to honour by linking the name with his own. Quadra Island!
I believe that would be very acceptable to the people of
Most of the American traders between Nootka and
Macao came from Boston, so the Indians of the region
called the American trader a " Boston Man," while the
trader of another nationality was known as a " Kint-
shautsh Man "— as nearly as they can pronounce " King
George's Man."
Before and after the difficulties had been adjusted
between the nations involved, there were constant clashes
between the white and the red men, and several tragedies resulted, one of which was related for posterity by
its hero, whose story, which is believed to be a relation
of the facts, reads like a hair-raising fiction of the Wild
West, so many of which were published in the last century.
John Jewitt, a youth of nineteen years and a blacksmith
by trade, sailed as armourer with the ship Boston from
"The Downs," England, direct for the port on Van- 34
Sunset Canada
couver Island. They carried a cargo of " English cloths,
Dutch blankets, looking-glasses, beads, knives, razors,
sugar, rum, ammunition, cutlasses, pistols, muskets and
fowling-pieces." After an uneventful voyage of nearly
seven months around the Horn, the vessel arrived at
Nootka and anchored. Maquinna, the Nootka chieftain,
came aboard the ship and gave the crew a formal welcome. According to Jewitt, he was dressed in " a mantle of black sea otter skin," held by a belt of yellow
fabric made from bark, presumably stripped from spruce
roots, from which the Nootka Indians continue to make
many articles, such as belts, fishlines and baskets. The
savages dined with the crew and the occasion was a
merry one, which seemed prophetic of the pleasant relations to follow. Jewitt relates that on this occasion the
Indians particularly enjoyed bread dipped in molasses,
for which they offered salmon and ducks in exchange.
One day the captain of the ship loaned Maquinna a fowling-piece. It was returned in a damaged condition,
whereupon the owner expressed his displeasure. Maquinna became enraged but retired from the ship and
when next he paid a visit to his " friends," he wore a
wooden mask, the head of a wild beast. The following -
day a general massacre followed and the entire crew was
slain, with the exception of Jewett and a sail-maker,
John Thompson. The two men became slaves of the
chieftain and remained in his service from March, 1803,
until they were rescued by the brig Lydia of Boston in
July, 1805.
Jewitt's life was spared because of his skill as a mechanic, and Thompson survived because his companion
pleaded that he was his father and begged his life from
the chief.   While serving Maquinna as his slave, making Island of Romance 35
arrow-heads, spears and fish-hooks, which pleased him,
and thus having become a favourite at " court," Jewitt
kept a journal. It was published in 1815 as Adventures
and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt, Only Survivor of the
Crew of the Ship Boston During a Captivity of Nearly
Three Years Among the Savages of Nootka Sound, and
ran through many editions causing wide comment and
discussion as well as laying the foundation for many legends modeled on the rescue of Captain John Smith by
Pocahontas. Some of the latter may have arisen from
the fact that Jewitt was compelled by Maquinna to marry
the daughter of a neighbouring Chief A-i-tiz-zart. In
reality, Jewitt's story as he relates it has few sentimental
episodes and there were enough stern realities to provide
thrilling paragraphs on every page of his book. His
life was spared by almost a miracle, considering the plot
of the savages and their determination to drive away all
white men and thus terminate all relations with them.
Almost a miracle was his ability to live according to the
habits of his captors, which was demanded of him, and
his escape was no less miraculous, owing to the fact that
he was able to tell the world of the inhuman treatment
of his shipmates by the treacherous band which had professed friendship.
Jewitt says that he was cleaning muskets in the steerage when he heard loud voices and general confusion on
deck, so he ran up the ladder only to be caught by the
hair of the head as he was emerging from the hatchway,
and was lifted from his feet. " Fortunately for me,"
he relates, " my hair being short and the ribbon with
which it was tied slipping, I fell from his hold into the
steerage. As I was falling, he struck at me with an axe,
which cut a deep gash in my forehead and penetrated.
s m
36 Sunset Canada
the skull, but in consequence of his losing his hold, I luckily escaped the full force of the blow, which otherwise
would have cleft my head in two."
It developed that he was merely unconscious when his
assailant thought him dead, and when he showed signs of
life Chief Maquinna commanded his men not to strike at
him and explained that the captive would be useful to
them in repairing their arms. The Chief knew enough
of English to make himself understood. He asked Jewitt if he would promise to be his slave through life, if he
would fight his battles, repair muskets and make knives
for him, if he would spare his life. Six natives with
daggers in their hands stood beside him to back up his
authority of granting life or death. After Jewitt had
promised, the Chief commanded him to kiss his hands
and feet as a sign of submission.
There was a joyous home-coming for the savages who
reached the shore amid loud cheers and sat down to a
great feast. Jewitt's wounds were tied up and he was
obliged to endure great suffering without indicating as
much to the Indians who must think him " brave," if his
life was to be spared. He says that as they sat at the
feast, the Chief ate great quantities of dried clams and
train oil " and encouraged me to follow his example, telling me to eat much and take a great deal of oil, which
would make me strong and fat," although the food was
loathsome to him and nauseated him. In later days all
the cargo was plundered from the ship and much of it
was traded to Indians of other tribes who came from
miles away when they heard the " good news " of the
massacre of the white men. Much of the clothing was
put on by the savages, the braves frequently appearing in
loose women's  wrappers  and   feeling  that  they  were Island of Romance 37
dressed better than their fellows who wore skins and
Jewitt says that the Indians of Vancouver Island were
expert fishermen of his day, as they are at the present
time. He made them iron fish-hooks, which they fancied,
although they were as successful with the hooks which
they made from a bearded and pointed bone bound with
whale sinew, while their lines were strong cords woven
of spruce root bark. The diary of unusual adventures
and experiences gives much valuable information in regard to the ceremonies and conditions of life of the
Nootka natives which other white men did not have the
opportunity to observe. Captain Cook reported that
when his ship entered the Sound it was immediately surrounded by hundreds of canoes, but he did not remain
long among the natives and sailed away to spread the
news of what he had encountered, although disappointed
in his quest of the Northwest Passage. Jewitt conversed with the Chief who declared that as a boy he
remembered the arrival of Captain Cook at Nootka,
when the natives took the ships for " monstrous birds
swimming toward them with wings expanded." On account of the fate of the Boston and her crew, ships remained away from Nootka until 1805 when the brig
Lydia arrived, and by strategy, Jewitt and his companion made their escape. CHAPTER IV
In these later days it is amusing to think of the scratch
of a pen by which Charles II signed away the rights of
trade and possession of Canada, when he wanted to do
something for a few favourites who had helped him back
to his throne. Prince Rupert, Albermarle, Shaftsbury,
the Carteretts and a few others became " The Gentlemen
Adventurers of England Trading on Hudson's Bay,"
and the King having not the remotest idea that he was
giving away more than half of the North American
continent made only one limitation in the famous charter
of 1670 — the lands must be those not already claimed
by any Christian power. Otherwise, the " gentlemen "
were at liberty to send their ships where they pleased and
their representatives in Canada became clothed with imperial authority, because they not only made the laws,
but saw to it that they were obeyed. The " clause of limi-
ation " did not prevent their progress when men of other
" Christian nations " were found to be in the field ahead
of them. The company had been chartered as Lords of
the Outer Marches and such a charter and such privileges
as those granted were not of a kind to keep the company's
agents in the land that bordered on Hudson's Bay. They
went on by foot and by canoe; there was seemingly no
end to the virgin empire which in reality they were claiming for England. They rewarded whoever was of assistance to them in the mighty enterprise, as for example, a
38 ^
I Gentlemen Adventurers " 39
cat-skin counterpane was voted to the Right Honourable
Earl John Churchill (Marlborough) for whipping " those
vermin, those enemies of all mankind, the French," and
when King Charles and the Duke of York petitioned
France to forbid interlopers, " two pairs of beaver stockings are ordered for the King and the Duke of York "
and the company's executive committee instructs " Sir
James Hayes do attend His Royal Highness at Windsor
and present him his dividend in gold in a faire embroidered purse." The great thing in the beginning was the
dividend and it was often the wonder of the financial
world at the time. The company sometimes sent out
thirty or forty men in two small vessels to bring home
the cargo which brought as high as $100,000, and after
paying all expenses there was a clear profit of fifty per
cent, on the investment.
There were periods of depression, when there was
trouble with the French " vermin," but these were followed by periods of triumph so that the sales for a single
year ran close to the half-million mark. The number of
boats and men was increased; instead of small trading
posts where furs could be procured from the Indians,
strong fortresses were built, and the " lands bordering on
Hudson's Bay," so far as the operations of the " Gentlemen Adventurers " were concerned, were bordered on
the west by the Pacific ocean and reached from Russian -
America, now known as Alaska, to Mexico and at one
time reached to Hawaii, as a convenient stopping-place
on the voyage around the Horn to England. Every
share-holder in the company was obliged to take a solemn
oath: " I doe solemnly sweare to bee True and faithful
to ye Govern'r and Comp'y of Adventurers of England
Trading into Hudson's Bay and to my power will sup- 40
Sunset Canada
port and maintain the said comp'y and privileges of ye
same; all bye laws and orders not repeated which have
been made or shall be made by ye said Govern'r and Company I will to my best knowledge truly observe and keepe;
ye secrets of ye said company which shall be given me in
charge to conceale, I will not disclose; and during the
joint stock of ye said com'y I will not directly nor indirectly trade to ye limits of ye said company's charter
without leave of the Govern'r, the Deputy Govern'r and
committee, So help me God." It was feudalism transplanted from the Old World to the American continent,
the only instance in which it has survived to the present
day — obedience of every servant to one above him, the
paddlers of canoes to the one who gave the order of
direction for the cruise, the trader to the chief factor,
the latter to the governor and the governor of the company to the King. Much always depended on royal
favour, and this seems always to have been maintained.
An English ruling house ran its course and a new family
arrived on the throne; and the Hudson's Bay Company
representatives were speedily at the foot of the throne
renewing the ancient bonds that linked the " Gentlemen
Adventurers of England " with the Sovereign.
Naturally, such a company has been the object of much
condemnation, ridicule and criticism; but it seems likely
that future history will accord the company its full share
of credit in gaining another bright jewel for the British
diadem. Profit from furs was primarily the force that
sent men in canoes up unknown rivers and among unknown people in a far-reaching wilderness. Others followed these path-makers, found gold and other treasures
that prompted an influx of adventurers which resulted
in population of a vast region that might otherwise have BEGINNINGS OF VANCOUVER ISLAND TOWN.
I I " Gentlemen Adventurers " 41
remained a wilderness for a greater length of time.
Hudson's Bay Company forts became the centers around
which villages, towns and cities were built. The way had
been paved and the foundations laid by trusted servants
of the king, usually with great profit to the company,
but sometimes with great losses, as for example the
$500,000 expended in an effort to find the North West
Passage before the beginning of the Nineteenth Century.
Even at the present time, the boats of the company venture into waters that are visited in no other way; the
Hudson's Bay company in the Twentieth Century carries the lamp of civilization into quarters not otherwise
reached by white men. Its treatment of the Indians, concerning which there has been much malicious fiction in
the last two centuries, is best answered by asking an
Indian of the wilderness: " Who's your friend ? " as I
had occasion to do nearly twenty years ago, when far
north of what were considered centers of civilization.
The red man will invariably reply: " Hudson's Bay
company "— and the red man does not forget a wrong
to himself nor to his fathers.
Almost a library of books has been written about the
activities of the company, and books on the same subject
continue to come from the presses of the world. A commissioner of the company once said to me: "Still the
story has never yet been written in its entirety; no, not
even in some of its essential points." I believe that he
might revise this opinion, however, at the present time,
because the indefatigable Agnes C. Laut has examined
the minute-books of the company in London, in addition
to making extensive researches elsewhere, and in captivating style she has related many thrilling chapters in
the company's history that seemed to be overlooked by 42 Sunset Canada
previous writers who sketched the exploits and adventures of the representatives of the favourites of royalty
who entered the Canadian wilderness and prepared the
way for the glorious present. Her volumes The Conquest of the Great Northwest, Lords of the North
and Pathfinders of the West contain much apparently
authentic material put down in graphic style and having
the interest of fiction.
In 1821 the Hudson's Bay company divided the country into three departments. The chief depot of the western division was established at Vancouver on the Columbia river. Prior to the conclusion of the Oregon Treaty,
on June 15, 1846, which fixed the boundary line between
the United States and Great Britain, the company anticipated the result and moved the western depot to within
British territory. The present site of Victoria on Vancouver Island was selected by the company's chief factor,
James Douglas, who was destined to play an important
part in British Columbia's beginnings as a colonial possession of Great Britain. The depot was called Fort
Camosun, the Indian name of the place, but it was soon
changed to Fort Victoria to honour England's Queen.
In 1849 a special charter was granted to the Hudson's
Bay company which made the beautiful island the largest
of the archipelago along the coast — two hundred eighty-
six miles long and from forty to eighty miles wide, covering an area of twenty thousand square miles — practically a company possession. As usual, however, there
was the " saving clause," which stipulated that a resident
colony should be formed within five years, subject to
revocation of the grant in case of failure and reserving
to the Crown the right of purchase on expiration of the
charter.    In the same year Vancouver Island was pro- " Gentlemen Adventurers | 43
claimed a British colony, the first to be established in the
northwestern region of America.
The Hudson's Bay company had received reports of
vast deposits of coal in the Island, so for this and other
obvious reasons it asked the home government for an
exclusive monopoly. Gladstone argued that the company
which had worked under a charter of exclusive monopoly
for two hundred years and had done little or nothing in
the direction of colonization had proved itself an incompetent colonizer. But the company's request was
granted. One-tenth of the land sales were to go to the
company; nine-tenths were to go toward the improvement of the land. For every one hundred acres at five
dollars an acre, the buyer was to bring to the Island at
his own expense three families or six single persons —
and at the end of five or ten years the government might
buy the Island by paying to the company what it had
In 1851 James Douglas was appointed governor, and
upon the renewal of the grant of Vancouver Island in
1854 the home government requested him to establish
representative government in the colony. The first parliament assembled in 1856, its members numbering less
than a dozen, all of whom were connected with the Hudson's Bay company in some way. A writer has said that
"while settlement was the pretense, sovereignty to restrict settlement was the ulterior object. Fur hunting
did not prosper in communities where colonization was
encouraged. But the events that followed precipitated
the end of company rule. Gold was discovered along
the Fraser River in 1856 or 1857, the exact date being a
matter of dispute. Thousands of men rushed to the open
port of Victoria.    It brought the company's monopoly 44
Sunset Canada
of trade and government to an end and it gave birth to
the two independent colonies of Vancouver Island and
British Columbia. Events moved rapidly after the coming of the gold-hunters and the country was glowingly
referred to by Governor Douglas in the following words:
" Self-supporting and defraying all the expenses of its
own government, it presents a striking contrast to every
other colony in the British Empire and, like the native
pine of its own storm-beaten promontories, it has acquired a slow, but hardy growth." Correct perhaps, save
in the reference to the speed of its development.
During the early days, the Mainland, later to be known
as British Columbia, remained Indian territory under the
control of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1858 Governor Douglas of Vancouver Island was made governor
of the Mainland and authorized to make provision for its
administration. In the same year the Hudson's Bay
company's charter for exclusive trading with the Indians
was cancelled and new officials of the colony were sworn
in at Fort Langley. The rush of the gold-hunters up
the Fraser valley made it necessary for the governor to
act upon his own initiative in many matters, which as a
representative of the company he had been in the habit
of doing on many occasions. For example, he thought
that the large numbers of men from American mining
camps might become a menace to British rule, so he placed
a headtax on all comers from the United States, which
implied the Queen's authority, and in this rather zealous
move he was not upheld by the home government, but his
acts generally were confirmed by the Secretary for the
Colonies in London, as it was believed that he had acted
wisely in the new country, where he could receive no adequate instructions to deal with the unexpected events "Gentlemen Adventurers| 45
that transpired. To curb the " lawless " element and to
keep a better check on the gold country, Langley was at
first chosen as the seat of the Mainland government,
but this place was abandoned in favour of the present site
of New Westminster.
The next step was the union of the two colonies, which
naturally resulted in a spirited contest as to which city
should become the capital of the new province, New
Westminster or Victoria. A petition for union was
signed by four hundred fifty persons. In the Life of
Sir James Douglas appears the following summary of
these events:
J In the end the British government decided the question, and the authority of the executive government and
council of British Columbia was extended over Vancouver Island, the number of members of the council
being increased to twenty-three. The customs regulations of the Mainland colony were likewise extended to
the island. Other ordinances remained for a time as
before. The original authority of the governor to make
regulations for peace, order and good government was
not restricted. The act bore date of August 6, 1866. A
short time after, the attorney general of Vancouver Island
introduced a bill for assimilating its laws with those of
British Columbia. There then remained only the question of the seat of government — a rock which the act
of union had discreetly avoided. Amid the violent altercations of partisans, the choice fell on Victoria and though
the bitterness of the defeat rankled long on the Mainland, no effort subsequently availed to secure a revision
©f the decision."
Immediately following the union, came advocacy of
Confederation with the other Canadian states into a con- 46
Sunset Canada
solidation of the whole British North America. Sentiment on Vancouver Island was unfavourable to such a
move, but the Mainland was almost unanimously in its
favour. The promise to link the province with the rest
of Canada by overland communication, however, was the
determining factor. On July 7, 1870, the news was received from Ottawa that terms had been agreed upon and
the construction of the trans-continental railroad had
been guaranteed. The provisions ensured that the
Dominion assume all debts and liabilities of the colony,
several " operating " expenses, a fortnightly steam mail
service between Victoria and San Francisco, a weekly
mail service with Olympia and, most important of all,
the railway which became the Canadian Pacific, uniting
the Pacific seaboard with the eastern railway system, its
construction to begin within two years of the date of
union. There were the inevitable delays in beginning
the work of construction and many arguments were advanced for the abandonment of the project. It was said
that the building of the railway was into a territory
" where nothing will grow and where nobody wants to
go," and " it will go down in history as the most colossal
blunder of the Dominion of Canada "; but the wonderful
system was built at a cost said to have been in the neighbourhood of $300,000,000, and, although the contract
called for ten years' work, it was completed in five years,
and in 1885 the first trains crossed. The company controls thousands of miles of railway, telegraph lines,
builds its own cars, operates over fifty steamers on British Columbia lakes and rivers, and is said to have expended $25,000,000 on the most remarkable string of
hotels in existence, reaching from New Brunswick to
Vancouver Island. " Gentlemen Adventurers " 47
And with the opening of railway connection with the
East began British Columbia's great era of prosperity
through which it is still passing. Instead of it being a
region " where nobody wants to go," it is invaded by
tens of thousands of tourists every year, and indications
are that the number will soon become hundreds of thousands, because it is one of the great natural recreation
fields of the earth, and the time is approaching when
one who has not visited it may not claim to have " traveled." The tour through the Canadian Rockies is coming to be what a visit was to Switzerland in our father's
day; the difference being that thousands who come to
look and remain but a couple of weeks, decide to make
their permanent homes in the magic land of sunset. CHAPTER V
There are several routes by which a traveler may
reach the attractive interior of Vancouver Island with the
greatest ease; in fact, with the comforts that are possible
in going from New York to Boston, although it appears
that not enough people know about it. Perhaps the usual
traveler knows that there is " some sort of a railway
running somewhere outside of Victoria "; but the majority of strangers who enter the port are so pleased with
the city and its immediate environs that they make no inquiries about going further inland. I have heard visitors
lately returned from Victoria praise the city very highly,
and then not knowing anything about it advise others to
plan to stay there only a few days, "because in that
time you can see everything." I have heard Mainland
booking agents advise much the same thing. So it frequently happens that the newcomer does not hear about
anything excepting the capital city on the Island, or he
hears too late, and after a pleasant sojourn of several
days in the principal city imagines that he has " seen
everything." This was my experience during several
visits to Victoria and I know that it has been the experience of many others. After I had returned from the inland tour it seemed that something had been held back
from me in the past, for it was one of the " prize packages " in the entire British Columbia tour. It seemed
almost that it had been reserved for the " discriminating
few," for they were there enjoying themselves in full
48 The Island Highway 4$
measure while the rest of the world was passing its
way, not exactly unmindful, but in absolute ignorance of
what it was missing.
I mentioned the matter to an official of the Island and
his reply was to place in my hands several attractively
printed folders and leaflets that told of the inland journeys. There were reproductions of photographs that
showed lakes, mountains, rivers and fishermen standing
proudly beside huge strings of fish, which cutlines declared represented " One Day's Catch." But even these
advertisements failed to present the subject adequately,
and it seemed certain that the leaflets and folders never
reached the hands for which they were intended. " Tourists are making the inland journey more and more every
year," said the official, and he seemed to be satisfied. But
I still felt a sting of resentment for never having made
the little journey before; and for the knowledge that it
was generally overlooked by most of the tourists who
came to see as much of British Columbia and its beauties
as they were able to see in a given length of time. And
now I have my " revenge " by telling every one who
chances to read this page that in the province there is no
more fascinating territory for a " side-trip " of a few
days than this inland journey. It is not a virgin field for
the traveler; others have been there in large numbers.
The inns are prepared to entertain those who come in a
cozy, home-like fashion, and they have room for all who
are likely to visit them in the immediate future; but the
Island from one end to the other has not been " spoiled "
by routine tourists who rush from place to place, hesitating between trains for a glance at the " principal attraction," a few meals and a room or suite of rooms at the
leading hotel.    Upper Vancouver Island is still what
SJ 50
Sunset Canada
most easterners consider " wild." There are many fine
homes in the towns and cities, where the stumps have
not been removed from front door yards. A ten-minute
walk from the center of some of these towns brings one
into the " bush " that is as tangled and overgrown with
luxuriant foliage as it was centuries ago. The woodman's ax is at work and he is clearing more and more
of the land to adapt it to his use, as the days pass, but
there are still vast reaches where the ax has not been
heard, mountains capped with snow that have been barely
prospected by men who venture far from the populated
districts in search of mineral treasure, of which the Island
has given its share to the world. There are beautiful
mountain lakes with fish waiting to be caught, but few
fishermen visit them each season. There is a frankness
noticeable and commendable in the people who are taming this wilderness to their needs and requirements. It
has not the savage grandeur of the Rocky Mountain districts of the Mainland; but it has a distinctive beauty all
its own, which is perhaps the more beautiful by contrast
in the British Columbia tour.
And it is all to be seen and appreciated with so little
effort on the part of the spectator! It is true that he
may make the Island trip as strenuous as he desires it to
be. There are trails into almost unknown regions and
there are vast districts that have no trails. There are
mountains that are the delight of amateur climbers, and
there are great areas where one may pitch his tent for
many days with not the slightest probability of coming
upon human beings. There is plenty of big game, some
of which is shy of the gunner and some which likes to
give him a desperate battle. One making an automobile
journey over the Island Highway at sunset will some- The Island Highway 61
times see from a dozen to twenty deer timidly peeping at
him from behind the green foilage that borders the roadway. Those who climb far up into the hills may meet
the black bear or the cougar, both of which in times when
food was scarce have ventured into the dooryards of
residents of the principal towns. In short, Vancouver
Island, when properly visited, seems to be British Columbia in miniature and in gentler mold. Whatever
reaches the apex of bewilderment on the Mainland is here
in a lesser degree, as if suggestive of what is to come in
the faithful pilgrim's itinerary. And one may reach most
of it in the seat of an automobile, view it from the window of a parlour car on the railway, or from the deck of a
steamer, which last makes a complete circuit of the Island,
entering ports that are barely known by name to the outside world, and sometimes pointing its bow into long inlets or fjords which almost cut the Island in two.
Perhaps it is preferable to make the inland tour from
Victoria to Port Alberni (134 miles) or to Courtenay
(140 miles) by automobile, at least in one direction, returning by rail. The excellent motor road, which will
ultimately become the western terminus of the trans-
Canada route, parallels the railroad much of the way, but
as a rule lies lower in the valleys and commands a more
intimate view of the scenery through which it passes,
while the rails, often spiral along mountainsides, and the
car window commands a more distant view of mountain
peaks, as it shoots along through century-old fir trees,
which are claimed to be " unequalled by any trees occupying corresponding latitudes in other countries." It may
be more convenient for the majority of travelers who
do not bring their own cars with them, unaware as the
world seems to be of the excellence of roads in many parts 52
Sunset Canada
of the province, to make the entire journey by rail. It
is a trip that offers many of the thrills of the ride from
Lucerne, Switzerland, to Milan, Italy, with very few of
the obnoxious tunnels which detract from the pleasure of
any train ride, where one finds delight in the scenery and
dislikes to catch a glimpse of a beautiful landscape only
to be plunged into the darkness of a hill.
From the start to the end of the trip one observes the
same cosmopolitanism that was apparent in Victoria.
Far out on the country roads the Chinese are seen trudging with bamboo poles over their shoulders. At the logging camps or sawmills one sees the picturesque and
gaudy turbans of the Hindoos, who are more fortunate
than their brethren of India, who desire to come to this
country of promise, but failed to do so when the special
dispensation was offered for workers on the trans-continental railway at the time of construction, and now learn
that it is too late, that Canada must remain a " white
man's country." There are Italians, Swedes, Norwegians, Portuguese and Spaniards, all more or less distinctive amid the British population. All came in the first
instance for the same reason, or with a few notable exceptions this is true. They like the free life of the wilds,
and in bettering their condition they are glad to work
diligently, holding on to the roseate prospects for the
future — at least for the future of their children who
are receiving what they could not have received at home.
There are a few Englishmen who came because they prefer to spend their years of retirement in the locality that
pleased them from the report of others, or when they
saw it during a tour of British dominions it pleased them
more than any other place they had seen. The homes of
some of the latter are miniatures of English country resi- ^ Douglas Fir, on Island Highway.
ftt   The Island Highway 53
dences. At least, there is one large room, the floors of
which are covered with bear-skin rugs and the walls are
decorated with deer, elk and moose heads with spreading
antlers. There is a large fireplace in which logs crackle
and my English gentleman seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself in an atmosphere of a century ago — with
the exception that he reads by electric lights, for the
people of Vancouver Island have learned how to harness
the waterfalls that splash over almost every hill, and
doubtless the house is heated by steam, the fireplace
being more of an ornament and luxury than necessity.
It is a beautiful life in the primeval woods for one who
knows how to enjoy it; and there are enough who do to
set a worthy example to the colonists who dream of the
day when their land of promise will enable them to live
in the same way.
As the train leaves the queer little station on the waterfront, it seems as if one were starting on a boat journey,
for it circles around bridges, over the Inlet, and seems to
be gliding on the water. Almost immediately, the train
plunges between the rocks and begins its climb, spiraling a
big hill. Immediately it enters great forests of Douglas
fir (named for the botanist and not for the governor)
the huge tree that is the pride of the Island. Such great
shafts of timber with barely a limb until they have reached
the height of perhaps two hundred feet, then breaking into
myrtle green plumes like a small umbrella at the top of a
lengthy pole! Early in the trip they wave their fronds
high above the train; but as the train climbs, leaving the
trunks of the trees in the valley, they shoot their tops
beside the car windows. Soon one looks through the
fragrant screen of green and sees blue lakes filling the
canyons below, or rushing streams that our fellow trav- Sunset Canada
elers equipped with all sorts of tackle, say are the abiding-places of trout of actual weight that make all fishermen hereabouts appear to be boasters — or worse — when
they relate past experiences in the same streams.
One's suggestion to the tourist who can arrange his
own time is to plan to make this trip in the last days of
May or in June, when the foliage of the hills is taking
on the rank green of spring — although autumn is said
to offer a picture as diverting with the sprays of colouring foliage against the green. The trees, however, are
mostly fir or cedar and in the spring a frequent tall
dogwood bursts a mass of white bloom in the high arches
of green. Along the clearing at the trackside the grass
is splotched with masses of white or pink " English "
daisies, wild columbine and whole banks of flowering wild
The morning train from Victoria — and all trains
start in the morning — soon reaches Esquimault, which
probably would have been the capital of the Island and
Province if the Hudson's Bay chief factor had dreamed
of the city's future importance, when he located a fort
at the southern tip of the Island. For many years the
harbour of Esquimault was Great Britain's only naval
station on the Pacific coast and it is now the base of the
Canadian and Imperial navies. There is a large dry dock
here, and one of the largest docks in the world is in
prospect for construction at an early date. It is a quaint
and interesting place with the atmosphere of " officialdom " about it and is well worth a visit. It is easily
reached by tramway from Victoria and therefore unnecessary to come by train.
The train makes a rather meandering and slow climb
to Shawnigan Lake, a distance of twenty-eight miles. The Island Highway 55
The lake, which bears an Indian name, is a popular and
conveniently reached resort during the shooting and fishing seasons. It is five miles long, winding like a river in
a basin of tall green hills, and at the train platform is the
entrance of Strathcona Lodge, a pretty little hotel set in
rustic-fenced gardens. Motorists who visit the lake and
return to Victoria may do so by way of Sooke Lake.
Several small towns are scattered along the railway
beyond the lake, but there are vast stretches of timber-
land with no suggestion of a habitation, save the deserted
shacks of the construction gang or lumber jacks. Some
idea of the amount of unsettled land may be gained from
the statement that the railway still has over one million acres unsold. Duncan is a little agricultural center,
where dairying is a specialty. Crofton, £hemainus,
Ladysmith! The train rolls along and in watching the
name-boards on the stations one detects sometimes a recollection of " the old home," as well as an adoption or
adaptation of the local Indian name.
Nanaimo, the Coal City, which claims a population of
ten thousand, has twice-daily steamer service with Vancouver, the crossing being much shorter than by the
Victoria-Vancouver route of slightly over eighty miles.
The city is one of the oldest on the island, a Hudson's
Bay Company post having been located here and the coal
mines having been worked to some extent since 1850,
when they were discovered through the help of the Indians. In the district vast fortunes have been made
from the industry, but they were not spent there. It is
a somewhat uninteresting place having the combined
qualities of a mining town and a port. It was to this
district that young Robert Dunsmuir came as a coal expert  from  Scotland.    He remained in the employ of
JM 56
Sunset Canada
others for a number of years, but in his explorations for
himself he discovered rich veins of coal that laid the foundation for the Dunsmuir millions. In the early days he
had several partners, the conditions being that he own
one-half the mine and have complete control of the operations. In time he was able to buy out all his associates, the last being Lieutenant Diggles, to whom he
gave his personal check for $800,000 in settlement of all
claims. His properties eventually made him the richest
man in the province, perhaps in the Dominion. Naturally, he became a man of great influence in British Columbia and there was barely an enterprise of any magnitude in the province in which he was not financially interested. He was one of the promoters of the proposed
Canadian Western railway, to which the provincial legislature granted a charter and a subsidy of about fourteen
million acres of land.
The train arrives at Parksville Junction for lunch,
where one may have the experience of what might be
called de luxe roughing it. He is traveling on a parlour
car, but the railway has not yet reached the point of
offering its patrons dining-car service, so all passengers
rush to the eating-room of the little station, climb to the
tops of high stools and sit around the counter, while
nattily dressed young ladies pour coffee or tea and
recite a long menu which sounds something like — 5 ham
sandwiches, egg sandwiches, cress sandwiches, lettuce
sandwiches, beef sandwiches, sardine sandwiches — or
pie." And such pie! It is of that almost gold-leaf flak-
iness that makes one feel that the Canadian Pacific railway is having its little joke and serving better pie at the
Parksville Junction station than in its magnificent hostel-
ries at better known stopping places across the country. The Island Highway 57
And the station agent at Parksville Junction must be
an artist, proving his love of the beautiful in this out-of-
the-way corner of the world in a practical manner, where
perhaps his example will have a better effect than if he
were a rich man in the city who built a beautiful park
and permitted the public to saunter through its walks
and enjoy the old masters' marbles set up by formal lake
or fountain. The Junction is located in a dense forest
of Douglas fir, which looks as if it had never known the
tread of man. There is a small clearing at the railway
tracks and a small plot at each end of the station.. This
has been enclosed by an ornamental fence made of white
birch limbs woven and twisted into fantastic designs. Inside the railing there is a grass plot, a teahouse, tables
and benches of birch like the fence — and, when I passed,
there was a bed of tulips in full bloom! Tea in this little
garden in the wilderness, a sandwich and the never-to-
be-forgotten pie was the temptation that drew us away
from the more substantial meal at the counter and high
The rails part and one branch leads to Qualicum Beach,
where there is a beautiful white strand two miles in
length and where the surf rolls high, where there is a
sheltering cove for yachting, a golf course and a hotel.
In a short time the rails will extend up this branch to
Campbell River, which is already a fisherman's paradise and the gateway to Strathcona Park, which is not
yet " formally " open to the public, but which is already
an ideal retreat for a camping tour. Towering mountains, of which Mount Victoria is the highest (7,500
feet), are in this district and much else that will delight
the eyes of all who venture so far off the main highway
of travel. 58
Sunset Canada
The entire Dominion of Canada has made remarkable
strides in selecting natural beauty spots, of preserving
them, and building roads and trails which make them
available to travelers. Having many of the scenic wonders of the continent within its borders, British Columbia has many large areas already set apart and improved
and they are becoming a great asset to the province as
well as a joy to an ever increasing number of travelers.
On this subject Richard Watrous of the American Civic
Association says: " Canada has been ahead of us on the
national park proposition in every respect — in almost
every respect. I am going to say, first of all, that that
was best illustrated when the great drift of travel from
the East to the West on account of the expositions at
San Francisco and San Diego brought out the fact that
the Canadian National Parks, because of their exploitation, and because of the things that have been done to
make them ready for the comfort and convenience and
safety of the tourists, drew the great, wholesale travel
— I learned on very good authority that of the travel
which went West about 75 per cent, was routed either
going or returning by Canadian railroad systems."
Robert Sterling Yard of the Department of the Interior,
Washington, referring to the Canadian mountains says:
" till then in this country every man, woman and child
has been brought up to the belief that the greatest scenery
of the world was in Switzerland, and now in the last few
years, they have also added the Canadian Rockies. That
is the great word in this country to-day — the Canadian
The European war delayed the final preparations for
opening Strathcona Park, and it may be some time before
it is ready to accommodate travelers who do not care for The Island Highway 59
camping, but a motor road through to the entrance from
Victoria will one day take visitors to this wonderland,
where now it is necessary to proceed on horseback.
There are a few cabins, with stoves and bunks along the
trail going into the park at Goose Neck Lake; and these,
together with " Packers' Cabin " just above the lower end
of Upper Campbell Lake, can be utilized by travelers.
It will be a thrilling lifetime memory to recall such an
experience. No " tame cat" vacation through a well-
groomed National Park will ever compare with it. In
addition to the direct trip into the Park itself, a delightful and easy trip is afforded by taking a motor car
up to either Campbell River or to lower Campbell Lake
at Forbes' Landing. All the superb scenery from Victoria north to these points will be seen along the road.
Between Forbes' Landing and Buttle Lake there are good
camping sites at Echo and Mirror Lakes, and good trout
fishing is obtainable almost everywhere. Visitors starting from Victoria will see the famous Malahat Drive
among other beauties.
The trip into Strathcona Park from Campbell River
takes the visitors to Mclvor Lake and thence to Forbes'
Landing at Lower Campbell Lake by automobile, where
pack horses brought on from Campbell River may be
taken unless visitors decide to walk up the trail, about
twenty-two miles to the lower end of Buttle Lake, breaking the journey at the Packers' Cabin. There is a sleeping cabin at Buttle Lake which will accommodate twenty-
six persons, a stove and a special room for ladies being
included. A man is in charge of this cabin for the
months of June, July and August.
There are a number of creeks and rivers entering Buttle
Lake which afford splendid fishing at their mouths, par- 60
Sunset Canada
ticularly the mouth of Wolf Creek, Phillip Creek, Myra
River, the first bay on the west side of Buttle Lake and
other points. There are a few boats belonging to the
provincial government stored at Buttle Lake, and there is
a keeper in charge of. these who will give the use of them
to responsible parties. Such parties should obtain from
the Minister of Public Works a permit to use these boats
before leaving Victoria. Such permits are directed to the
man in charge. To prevent disappointment, however,
in the event of the visitors finding the boats in use when
they arrive, the precaution of taking canoes or boats in,
together with suitable motors is urgently advised by
the officials. Horses and guides can be obtained at
Campbell River or Forbes' Landing at Lower Campbell
Shooting is forbidden inside the park limits, but permission to take along a rifle or revolver can be secured by
application to the Minister of Public Works. Trout in
the district readily take the regulation flies used by
anglers. The best month for sea trout is June and the
Campbell River at and near its mouth affords splendid
sea trout fishing. June, July, August and September
provide trout fishing and August and September are the
best months for the big tyee or spring salmon at the
mouth of the Campbell River. September gives the cohoe
salmon fishing, and while these fish do not run nearly as
large as the spring salmon, they are very gamy and give
excellent sport.
The following calendar for fishing and shooting on
Vancouver Island has been tabulated by a provincial
bureau and is the result of a wide observation extending
over a number of years, so that its information is as
correct as any available. The Island Highway
January       For the shooter, ducks, geese, snipe.
For the fisherman, grilse in salt water with a
good chance for salmon.    Steelhead in
nontidal waters.
February      For the shooter, ducks, geese, snipe.
For the fisherman, grilse, spring salmon and
March For the shooter, geese (Brant and Canada
For the fisherman,  grilse,  spring salmon,
trout, steelhead; trout fishing opens and
steelhead fishing closes March 26.
April For the shooter, geese, black bear.
For the fisherman, trout, grilse, spring salmon.
May For the shooter, black bear.
For the fisherman, trout, grilse, small run
of cohoe salmon.
June For the fisherman, trout, black bass, grilse,
small   run   of   cohoe   salmon.    (Best
month for sea trout.)
July For the fisherman, trout, black bass.
August For the shooter, wild pigeons (Bandtail).
For the fisherman, trout,  spring salmon,
black bass.
September    For the shooter, grouse, deer, ducks, geese,
snipe, pigeons, bear.
For the fisherman, trout, spring salmon, cohoe salmon, black bass.
October        For the shooter, grouse, deer, ducks, geese,
snipe, pheasants, quail, bear.
For the fisherman, trout, spring salmon, cohoe salmon. 62
Sunset Canada
November For the shooter, grouse, deer, ducks, geese,
snipe, pheasants, quail, bear.
For the fisherman, trout until November 15,
cohoe salmon until November 15.
Trout fishing closes and steelhead fishing opens.
December For the shooter, grouse, ducks, geese, snipe,
pheasants, quail, deer until December
15. December 31 pheasant, grouse and
quail shooting ends.
Taking the opposite fork from Parksville Junction, the
railway proceeds to Cameron Lake thirteen miles away,
an emerald blue body of water that lies at the base of
Mount Arrowsmith, which occupies as commanding position in the landscape as Mount Fuji does in the typical
Japanese scene. It is less than six thousand feet high,
but its top is capped with eternal snow and it stands
effectively prominent among neighbouring peaks. The
railway skirts along high shelves of rock on the banks of
the lake with the firs and cedars of the valley reaching to
towering heights, but failing to reach the altitude of the
rails in the skyward flight. Here, it is claimed, is some
of the finest standing timber in the world, magnificent
shafts that shoot upward like granite pillars, five to nine
feet in circumference and from one to three hundred feet
high. There is a pleasant little chalet here for the entertainment of visitors, famous fishing, and much to delight
the excursionist. The automobile road lies in the valley
close to the lake and the Island Highway passes directly
through the magnificent stand of timber to which reference has been made. The tourist who comes here will be
tempted to stay and let it mark the terminus of his inland The Island Highway 63
journey, because there is everything that most human beings enjoy when on pleasure bent: canoeing, fishing, hunting, motoring, mountain-climbing — and, if he prefers,
a landscape that seems to have been created for his special
benefit if he is looking for absolute quiet and fascinating
scenes. The railway leads on, however, and so does the
motor road, and circles over to the other side of Mount
Arrowsmith, so that its snowy peak is viewed to the eastward instead of being the southwestern " decoration " of
the lake picture. Twenty miles further is Alberni, the
port which lies nearer the opposite coast than the Pacific,
being situated at the head of the so-called Alberni Canal,
a fjord or deep gash in the mountains from the Pacific
to within a few miles of the Straits, where it is suddenly
cut off by lofty barriers of stone. Arriving at the terminus of the railway, the traveler is glad, after all, that
he was able to overcome all temptations to stop his journey at any of the numerous enchanting spots that beckoned to him along the route. Arrived and settled in the
evening before the crackling log fire of the cozy hotel
which has many features to remind one of an English
inn — including the cuisine, which however is presided
over by a white-capped chef from the Celestial Republic
•— one glances over the schedule for days soon to come
and it seems that here is the fisherman's paradise and
that all roads and trails of the district ultimately lead in
this direction. CHAPTER VI
The traveler who arrives at Alberni by motor or railway may spend several days there before he is reminded
of those granite walls of Norway, as straight as if they
had been cut by the knife from mountain-top to water's
edge, because the hills and mountains are more sloping
toward the head of the fjord and often their lower strata
are covered with trees; but one who enters from the Pacific side will have had recollections of the celebrated country of rock-bound waterways long before the steamer
enters this beautiful channel on its circuit of the Island,
which is scheduled for twice a month and which takes six
days to complete. The first important stop out of Victoria is Bamfield, the station of the Australian cable, said
to be the longest single stretch in the world. Clayoquot
never fails to excite admiration on account of its scenery.
Nootka is touched, the scene of so much of importance in
the early days of the Island; and finally more than scenic
suggestion^of Norway, Holberg is reached, the westerly
terminus of the voyage that is pleasant for " good sailors," but not exactly to be recommended to those who are
uncomfortable when the tides and currents play tag and
when the steamer stands on end most of the time. The
chief interest of this cruise is the opportunity it affords
to visit small towns which remain somewhat primitive
and which in several instances are populated almost entirely by the coast Indians who live much as their fathers
64 Memories of Norway 65
and grandfathers did, excepting that they are certain that
provision will be made for them by a paternal government if they come on evil times, which is so often the fate
of the red man anywhere on the continent.
There is ample opportunity for one to observe the red
men in their villages along the Canal, a trip that may be
made from Alberni to the coast and back in one day.
They are essentially aquatic Indians and spend their lives
fishing — and carving totem poles, concerning which there
is still so much misunderstanding and mystery. But perhaps much of this " mystery " has arisen from the " explanations " and theories of the men who have endeavoured to elucidate the " mystical message " that in many
instances does not exist at all, save in their own minds.
At least this is the opinion of the Dominion Indian Agent,
who has spent his life among red men, speaks their own
language, and by reason of his position has had many
opportunities to learn " secrets " that are withheld from
most white men.
" I have even read that the making of totems is a ' lost
art,' " said the Agent, smiling, as he pointed to a large pole
in his front yard. " That doesn't l6ok much like lost art,
does it? Look at the carving on the eagle's wings, and
see that statue of me! It isn't exactly after Greek standards ; but apparently it is a red man's conception of what
an Indian Agent ought to look like. They carved that a
few years ago and presented it to me with all the oldtime
ceremonies, some of which had an almost ' Masonic'
meaning that might have been rather vague to the layman
but which were not' mysterious ' in the way that some of
the * scientists' would have us believe. None of the
I scholars' have ever f explained ' this totem, but it would
be amusing to know the' symbolism ' that they would read 66
Sunset Canada
into it. I am represented on the pole with a skull in my
hands. Now that is very promising as a field for - explanations.' As a matter of fact, it is all perfectly simple, as
are most of the other totems that I have seen — at least
they are simple to me, because I know the Indians well and
I know that they are first of all very * primitive' and have
never dreamed of the things that white men discover for
them. Tossing the skull harks back to an ancient custom
among them. The chief stood in front of the young
bucks and threw a skull. There was a great scramble to
get hold of it, for good fortune would come to the possessor. On this totem I am represented as the Big Chief
because I represent the government. In my official capacity I am in a position to do many things for them that they
want done. They consider that I can be of great service
to them. I hold the skull and I am about to toss it.
Whoever catches it will be lucky because I am the dispenser of government gifts. Now what could be simpler?
It is nonsense to read too much ' symbolism ' into any of
these things, particularly to give them too great religious
significance. I have usually found that a chief's personal
totem is in reality a boast; but I have read that a chief
is sometimes buried in his totem. Never! It is rather
his means of telling every one what an unusual person
he is. He kills large whales, deer or bear, at least he
claims that he has done so by his totem. As for ' symbolism,' here is a favourite story with them often represented on the poles and it is very characteristic of most
of the others. 'Once upon a time — a very long time
ago, as most Indian stories begin — the kingfisher was
so smart that he could talk, and, in consequence, he
became a great liar. He boasted so much about what he
could catch to eat that the bear asked:    " Can you take TOTEM   CARVED  TO  REPRESENT  WHITE   MAN.  Memories of Norway     67
a lizard from your stomach ? " The kingfisher could not
do it and the bear could.' So you, find the bird, the
bear and the lizard on many totems to-day to remind the
Indians that it is not wise to boast about your accomplishments or prowess, unless you can make good."
Perhaps the Agent's words are much nearer the truth
than most of the " scientific explanations "; but it is possible that the whole truth lies between too close familiarity with the red men and too great ignorance of them in
everyday life. The totem in some form or other usually
representing animals has appeared at some stage in the
development of practically all the people in the world, as
MacLean says in Canadian Savage Folk:
" Traces of its existence are found in the symbolism of
the Bible, as the lion was the animal symbol for Judah,
the ass for Issachar, the wolf for Benjamin, the serpent
for Dan, and the hind for Gad. . . . The natives protected their totems and they expected to be protected by
them. . . . They were divinities which guarded and protected them. . . . Rival totems made war with each
other as in Grecian mythology, Lycus the wolf flees the
country before Aegus the goat. ... A husband may
belong to different totems which will divide them when
there arises a totem feud. Intermarriage between the
members of the same totem was forbidden. A member
of the wolf clan could not marry a wolf, but he might
take a wife from the women of the hawk clan. . . . Natives make a theoretical claim of descent from the animals, which they accept as their totems, but it cannot be
shown that this is a literal descent. Confounding the
ideal with the real they have come to speak of them as
their ancestors. ... A clan was forbidden to kill or
eat the totem." Sunset Canada
Sometimes an Indian's totem is tattooed on his body;
but this is always concealed from white men. The contact of man in his primitive condition with animals doubtless gave rise to a choice of them as totems, the bear,
deer, wolf and buffalo being most frequently selected.
Sometimes the Indians sign their names to treaties and
letters with their individual totems. They seem always
to have been partial to the bear, as they had great respect
for his cunning. In the British Association Report of the
Northwest Tribes appears the following as to the origin
of the bear totem, which is fairly typical of the stories
concerning other animals:
" An Indian went mountain goat hunting. When he
had reached a remote. mountain range, he met a black
bear, who took him to his home, taught him how to catch
salmon and how to build boats. Two years the man
stayed with the bear; then he returned to his village.
All the people were afraid of him for he looked like a
bear. One man, however, caught him and took him
home. He could not speak and could not eat anything
but raw food. Then they rubbed him with magic herbs
and he was transformed into the shape of a man.
Thenceforth, when he was in want, he went into the
woods and his friend the bear helped him. In winter
when the rivers were frozen he caught plenty of salmon.
He built a house and painted a bear on the front of it.
His sister made a dancing blanket, the design of which
represented a bear. Therefore the descendants of his
sisters used the bear for their crest."
Walter Moberly, living in Victoria at the time of writing, but nevertheless one of the early explorers in several
parts of the province, relates that at one time he was
badly in need of food for himself and the Indian who
NT Memories of Norway 69
was accompanying him and fortunately he shot a bear.
It was an exceptionally large specimen and he wanted
to pack the head and hide over the trails to have it
mounted for his home. But his companion urged him
not to do so, declaring that it would make all other bears
very angry. He would be unable to procure any more
bears for food and all grizzlies would be particularly
ferocious. He begged that he might have the head to
dispose of in " Indian fashion." Moberly gave it to him
and watched the Indian tear off a piece from his red
shirt (the ceremonial colour) thus paying to it the respect
which Indians always like to pay to the bear, tied it to
the bear's head and then climbed to the top of a spruce
tree, tear away the branches and leave the head there,
ornamented with red, thus an adequate tribute in death.
Modern totems are perhaps best represented among the
coast Indians of British Columbia at the present time,
although they are also found among the natives of New
Zealand and Australia. It does not require much of a
stretch of the imagination to associate these wooden images with the stone carvings of the ancient Egyptians,
Assyrians, Chinese and even the Greeks. In fact, it has
been maintained that traces of totem worship are indicated in the names of Christians and pagans alike in the
catacombs of Rome.
" It is my opinion that our coast Indians will remain
fishermen despite the educational opportunities that are
afforded them or whatever they observe from contact
with white men," continued the Agent. 1 They are notably undemonstrative and appear to take very slight
interest in what one would expect to interest them profoundly. For example, the first automobile they saw did
not occasion any particular interest.    They would not Sunset Canada
be interested if a submarine should come up the Alberni
Canal. These Indians are prosperous and could become
rich if they wanted to be, but they are improvident, and
when old age overtakes them they are usually pitiable
objects, because they may not expect help from children,
relatives, or members of the tribe. It seems that most
of my work consists of looking up the cases of the
outcasts who are neglected and become declasse for no
other reason than that they are old, infirm or ill. To
these I give blankets, flour, or whatever they need and
their relatives or tribesmen do not resent my ' interference,' although it seems to be in their nature to deal
otherwise with those in distress."
On this subject Sproat's Scenes and Studies of Savage
Life says: " The practice of abandoning aged persons
or those afflicted with lingering diseases was lately quite
common among the Alts. Before satisfying myself on
this point, I had believed that this inhuman custom was
confined to those savage tribes which being forced to
wander over extensive districts in pursuit of game for
food and obliged to be at all times ready to fight an
enemy, were unable to carry with them in their rapid
marches persons infirm from age or sickness and children of defective forms. But the practice is common
among the tribes on^his coast who are seldom in want
of food and who never move their encampments but
for short distances, and the custom I think rests simply
on the unwillingness of the natives to be troubled with
the care of hopeless invalids. It is not much worse as a
proof of the insensibility of the human heart than the
manner of treating insane persons in Scotland and other
civilized countries before lunatic asylums were established.   The victims among the Indians, as stated above, Memories of Norway 71
are not always aged persons, young and old of both sexes
are exposed when afflicted with lingering disease. A
father will abandon his child, or a child his father. In
bitter weather a sufferer has been known to have been
taken to a distance from the encampment and left unsheltered with a small quantity of water and dried salmon.
No one is permitted to add to the allowance, or to show
attention to the miserable invalid, his own relatives pass
him by in the woods with perfect indifference. Individuals thus abandoned occasionally recover and return
to the village, but more often they perish wretchedly and
the wild beasts devour them. In opposition to this indifference an eye-witness told me of the frightful manner
in which the parents of a young girl who died showed on
that occasion their excessive grief. As soon as life had
departed, they screamed, and frantically seizing the body
by the hair, arms and legs, threw it about the house until
they were quite fatigued, then, after a time, they placed
it on a couch in a sitting posture to await burial."
I called the Agent's attention to the fact that I had
seen a young Indian receive $6y for one day's catch of
fish, and that I had been told of an Indian who received
$10 a day for eight days' fishing.
" That's nothing for these Indians," he replied. " I
know a young fellow who made $117 in one day with his
fish lines. There are times when they get eleven cents a
pound, and when you realize that a good salmon weighs
in the neighbourhood of fifty pounds, the abundance of
salmon in these waters — and the fact that they are better
fishermen than white men, you can see how they can make
money. At present, most of them are buying launches,
as they do not care to paddle canoes as their fathers did.
Here is what they used to fish with."   The Agent ex- 72
Sunset Canada
hibited hooks made of twisted spruce roots and prongs of
bone, with fine strong lines made of bark shreds. " But
they don't like to do it any more; they fish with trolling
spoons and beat the white man with his own invention.
Fishing, as I said before, is their ambition and their life.
As a general rule they are holding their own pretty well,
although some of the tribes have become almost extinct.
I cannot say that I am particularly optimistic about the
results from educating them in our schools. In the first
place, they do not want education and they do not use it
after they get it. I have seen girls remain in our schools
until they seemed to be completely reclaimed from savagery, but contact with home influence soon brought them
back to where they started or worse — because after they
had been to school they had gained a knowledge of a
life that made them unhappy afterwards. I knew a girl
who was several years in our schools. She seemed a
shining example of what could be accomplished with
proper training. You should have heard her play the
piano! Then she returned to her parents and instead of
having any influence for good in the home life, she
quickly returned to where she was in the beginning. I
saw her not long after she left school. She was wearing a dirty calico wrapper and sitting in the doorway of
a tumble-down shack —- just like the others who had no
education, excepting that she was miserable because she
had tasted a better life."
A few days before I visited him, the Agent had made
what he considered a most important discovery, because
so little remains to be found out about a people who have
been so diligently studied by the specialists, who have
always endeavoured to find something that would definitely link them with the Chinese or Japanese. 1 ^^wl^^^^^^c^^^^lf^
IBs  Memories of Norway 73
" I always knew that they had some sort of ceremony
at the beginning of the fishing season, or when they were
about to go to their boats and particularly wanted' luck,' "
he related. "At one time and another they have been
pretty confidential with me about these matters; but they
always denied that there was anything of the kind. Last
week, when I was completing a tour of my district, I
chanced to come to a village where the men had left on
a fishing expedition. Looking around the place, as I
usually do to discover any old and destitute Indians
who had been thrown out of the village, I scented a trail
in the woods, one that would not be likely to be recognized
by any one but an Indian, unless he knew them and their
customs pretty well. I followed it and by the merest
chance I came on what I had always wanted to see, a
shrine for ' oosh-mish ? which may be roughly interpreted
as a prayer for fish. Fortunately, I had my camera with
me and snapped this photograph. The foliage was
heavy, and there was very little sunlight; but I am certain it is the first and only photograph ever taken of such
a shrine. If you look closely, you will distinguish two
men in a canoe, a spear over the side of the boat and three
' seals' or fish in the moss at the side. All this was
neatly woven and formed of moss and twigs. Rather
simple, yes; but I assure you that it is probably one of
the most sacred shrines the coast Indians knows. He
would believe implicitly in the efficacy of a prayer at this
shrine, in bringing him ' fisherman's luck,' which in these
waters means several fifty-pound salmon, which he could
sell at about eleven cents a pound."
On the Canal there is one of several British Columbia
whale fisheries where the operation of carving the sea
monsters into various articles of commerce may be wit- 74
Sunset Canada
nessed. Formerly there was world-wide interest in the
catching of whales, and many towns in the United States
and Canada practically owe their existence to the day
when it was supposed to be a more flourishing industry.
Then whales became " scarce" and profits decreased.
Boats that had been exclusively used in whale fishing
were sent on other sea errands. And then as the industry revived it attracted so little attention that the
world is not aware of its magnitude in various places, one
of the most important being on Vancouver Island and
adjacent waters. The Pacific Whaling company has
averaged about six hundred whales each season since it
began operations. It has adopted modern methods —
like the other fishing concerns — and instead of old-
fashioned sailing ships, whales are now pursued by fast
steamers and are harpooned not in the old style, but by a
Svend Foyu harpoon gun. After the harpoon enters the
carcase it explodes and the whale is speedily despatched.
Sometimes when the boat is near a school of whales a
second harpoon is shot, which connects with a tube by
means of which steam is pumpe'd into the body, which
assists it to float. A flag or marker is placed in it and
the steamer loses little time in the pursuit of another
whale. After the catch, the carcasses are towed to the
whaling station, where they are raised to piers convenient for cutting. Practically every portion of the
huge mammal is used to profit. Whalebone of a certain
variety fetches $12,000 a ton. The body bones are
crushed and used as fertilizer. Strips of flesh are cut
from head to tail, about a foot wide, from which the
blubber is torn by means of hooks and a steam winch. It
goes to steam-heated pans where it is " tried " for whale
oil, which likewise continues to bring a fancy price in the 1
I' I I'll'"   • mm »l Memories of Norway 75
market. On the Pacific coast a considerable profit is
derived from salting or pickling the tails and sending
them to Japan, where they are deemed a delicacy. And
the experiment of salting some of the " beef " for the
oriental market has been a success, resulting in annual
shipments worth $50,000 from the province. In this
manner the whaling industry on Vancouver Island has
paid a profit of from fifteen to forty per cent., although
it is an industry concerning which one hears very little.
There is a possibility that it may become far more profitable, because in the spring of 1917, .when food prices
were soaring on account of the European war, a serious
propaganda was started in Victoria to encourage people
to eat whale meat. It was placed on sale in all the leading markets, attention being called to its cheapness and
food values by large placards. The price was ten cents
per pound and it was widely heralded that official analysis
had proved it to possess two per cent, more protein matter than beef, which it resembled, although of a darker
red colour, more like corned beef that has been cooked.
It is said that the average whale contains about six tons
of this "beef," so that the source of supply is almost
The British Columbia Yearbook says that the average
whale in these waters weighs about sixty tons and at
present prices (not counting that which is sold for food
at ten cents a pound) is worth about $500. There are
several varieties, however, some of which are much
smaller and bring less revenue; but there is also the so-
called " right" whale, exceedingly rare and which is
worth in the neighbourhood of $10,000. About two-
thirds of the whales captured are cows, either with sucking calves or with the young unborn.    I saw one of the
n 76
Sunset Canada
latter which was about eighteen inches long and perfectly
formed. It had been preserved in the collection of the
above-quoted Indian Agent, who said that the average
whale is about fourteen feet long at birth.
" I have seen the time when I ran into a dozen or
more whales here at the mouth of the Canal as I started
on my inspection tours," he continued. "They seem
to thin out for a time, and then when there is something
of a letup in the killing they quickly become numerous
again, which makes it appear that indiscriminate slaughter makes them scarce. The whale seems to be an affectionate animal. When his mate is harpooned, it is pretty
certain that another will be caught, because he will remain
in the vicinity and pay the penalty. I have known two of
them to linger around the baby which had been killed,
until harpoons brought them to the same fate. Whale
hunting was at one time the sport of kings in this region,
or more correctly perhaps, it had a deep political or religious meaning, something like the opening of Parliament by the King. You recall that John Jewitt refers
to this in his Journal written at Nootka, when he was
the slave of Maquinna the Chief. He wrote: 'The
whale is considered as the King's fish and no other person when he is present is permitted to touch him until the
royal harpoon has first drawn his blood however near
he may approach; and it would be considered almost a
sacrilege for any of the common people to strike a whale
before he is killed, particularly if any of the chiefs should
be present.'"
Sproat gives more explicit details of this ceremony of
royal whale-fishing. He says that preparations for the
event sometimes continue over several months and adds:
" I particularly noticed this circumstance from having in   Memories of Norway 7%
boyhood heard of the Manx custom in which all the
crews of the herring fleet invoke a blessing before ' shooting ' their herring nets. The honour of using the harpoon in an Aht tribe is enjoyed but by few — about a
dozen in the tribe — who inherit the privilege. Instances, however, are known of the privilege having been
acquired by merit; eight or nine men, selected by the
harpooner, form the crew of his canoe. For several
moons before the fishing begins, these men are compelled
to abstain from their usual food, they live away from
their wives, wash their bodies morning, noon, and night
and rub their skins with twigs, or a rough stone. If a
canoe is damaged or capsized by a whale, or any accident
happens during the fishing season, it is assumed that some
of the crew have failed in their preparatory offices and a
very strict inquiry is instituted by the chief men of the
tribe. Witnesses are examined and an investigation
made into the domestic affairs and the habits of the
accused persons. Should any inculpatory circumstances
appear, the delinquent is severely dealt with and is often
deprived of his rank and placed under the bans for
months. When the whales approach the coast, the fishermen are out all day, let the wind blow high or not.
The canoes have different cruising-grounds some little
distance apart. The Indian whaling gear consists of
harpoons, lines, inflated sealskins, and wooden and bone
spears. The harpoon is often made of a piece of the
iron hoop of an ale cask, put with a chisel into the shape
of a harpoon blade — two barbs fashioned from the tips
of deer-horns being affixed to this blade with gum.
Close to the harpoon the line is of deer sinews. To this
the main line is attached, which is generally made of
cedar twigs laid together as thick as a three-inch rope. 78
Sunset Canada
Large inflated skins are fastened to this line about twelve
feet from the harpoon. The weapon itself is then tied
to the yew handle ten feet long. On getting close, the
harpooner, from the bow of the canoe, throws the harpoon at the whale with his full force. As soon as the
barb enters, the fastening of the wooden handle, being
but slight, breaks and it becomes detached from the line.
The natives raise a yell, and the whale dives quickly, but
the sealskins impede his movements. Very long lengths
of line are kept in the canoe and sometimes the lines from
several canoes are joined. On the reappearance of the
whale on the surface he is attacked from the nearest
canoe, and thus, finally, forty or fifty large buoys are
attached to his body. He struggles violently for a time,
and beats and lashes the water in all directions, until,
weakened by loss of blood and fatigued by his exertions,
he ceases to struggle, and the natives despatch him with
their short spears. The whale is then taken in tow by
the whole fleet of canoes — the crews yelling and singing
and keeping time with their paddles. Sometimes, after
being harpooned, the whale escapes and takes ropes, sealskins and everything with him. Should he die from his
wounds and be found by another tribe at sea, or on shore
within the territorial limits of the finders, the instruments
are returned to the losers, with a large piece of the fish
as a present. Many disputes arise between tribes on the
finding of dead whales near the undefined boundaries of
the tribal territories. If the quarrel is serious, all intercourse ceases, trade is forbidden and war is threatened.
By and by, when the loss of trade is felt, negotiation is
tried. An envoy is selected who is of high rank in his
own tribe, and, if possible, connected with the other tribe
by marriage.    He is usually a quiet man of fluent speech. Memories of Norway 79
Wearing white eagle feathers in his head dress as a mark
of peace, he departs in a small canoe. Only one female
attendant, generally an old slave, accompanies him to
assist in paddling, as the natives never risk two men on
such an occasion. As a general rule, the first proposition is rejected. Objections, references, counter-proposals, frequently make three or four embassies necessary
before the question can be settled." CHAPTER VII
The two Albernis, for some reason or other which
nobody seems to be able to explain, were named for the
Spanish Captain of Infantry, Don Pedro Alberni, who
served in Mexico. One is old, a sawmill having been
located there about sixty years ago, when Douglas fir
timbers were cut and prepared for the Scotch and English
ship-builders; and it is said to have been the first ship*-
building port of the British Columbia coast in modern
times, not considering the vessels that were constructed
at Nootka by the early traders who had the assistance of
Chinese carpenters. The other is new. When the Es-
quimalt and Nanaimo railway completed its extension to
the Alberni Canal it was considered practicable to go
beyond the old town, where the waters were shallower
on account of the Somas river's spring freshets which
brought down great quantities of deposit. So Port Alberni became the railway terminus, leaving the old town
two miles away. It had hotels, stores, and was the center of a large community; new hotels, stores and houses
were built in the new town. An era of prosperity seemed
at hand and the district was caught in a real estate boom
that seems to have anticipated that it would become a second Chicago, Winnipeg or Vancouver. The city's limits quickly included the old town and the new town. Forest land and land where timber had been cut, but where
stumps remained, swamps, hills and valleys, lie between
80 ^
 An Unfulfilled Prophecy 81
the two; but the ground was plotted for streets and house
sites over the entire distance and far beyond. The town
was immediately laid out to accommodate twenty-five
thousand inhabitants. A water-works system was installed bringing fine snow water from China Creek (so
named because the Chinese washed gold out of its sands
in the early days) electric lights were installed, and a
building boom started and continued for some time. Nobody seemed to know just why; but it was in the air that
Alberni was to become a great city. There may have
been a few doubting questioners; but they were silenced.
Were there not similar doubters in the first days of Vancouver, Seattle and other populous port cities? Every
newcomer seemed to be as optimistic as those who had
preceded him. If a direct inquiry had been made as to
this optimism, he would have replied: " Why will the
sun rise to-morrow morning? You can't tell why it
will; but you are sure of it."
But Alberni did not become a metropolis. Perhaps it
never will. If it does not, it will remain a charming
rendezvous for sportsmen of all kinds and a delightful
place to make one's headquarters, while exploring the
dozen interesting places in the vicinity. If it does, and
for some reason it is necessary to bring colonists and
settlers by special train because their numbers overtax the
regularly scheduled trains, then the town is large enough
to accommodate them — all that are likely to arrive for
many years to come. It has never had more than two
thousand five hundred inhabitants in its most exciting
days — this city laid out and equipped to make life attractive for twenty-five thousand at the beginning.
Dozens of pretty bungalows on the hillside are deserted
or have never been tenanted.    They are set amid plots ii
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of ground that would easily produce fine gardens if there
was any one to cultivate the soil. They look down a
gently sloping hill, across the mile-and-a-half wide waterway to a steep mountain of green and away to snowcapped mountains beyond. Here it appears that one
might enjoy a blissful life. Fish swarm up the waters
of the Canal in such numbers that even the trainmen drop
their lines when they reach the terminal, and while the
cars are being switched and the engines turned have been
known to capture salmon or trout that paid them for
their day's journey across the Island. There is game in
the neighbouring woods some of which browses at
shrubs in the gardens of the town itself. There are
enough excursions in the nearby " wilds " to make the
average residents a year's holidays to enjoy them all.
And still the people did not come. The city was prepared for them, but they remained elsewhere. The slump
from the real estate boom had already set in, and, when
the European war began, Alberni's young men heard
their country's call and left by trainloads. When I visited it the cruel effects of speculators' optimism and the
war had combined to make it merely a shadow of what
it had been, which was but a shadow of what its chief
promoters had anticipated. Still its inhabitants were
optimistic and were thinking of the future. Many of
them assured me that " some day it will be a great city ";
but even if this prophecy should be fulfilled, if the streets
of forest and stumps should become gardens and rows of
bungalows, it would add nothing to the traveler's pleasure. In fact, Alberni may be more attractive to the visitor as it is at present. Accommodations for his comfort
are ample. And his excursions afield could be no more
enjoyable if he returned at night to a populous city of II
An Unfulfilled Prophecy 83
paved streets and the noise and clatter of the Island
" The conditions here are peculiar," explained a man
of Alberni. " In a prairie country agriculture produces
towns and cities; here the reverse is true, the towns will
promote agriculture. This district is surrounded by a
vast amount of fine timber. First of all, that must be
cut and the cutting will bring men. Unfortunately,
much of it is held by capitalists who are waiting until
other timberlands fail. Ultimately, however, they must
come here; and, when they do come, their employees are
likely to remain. Land that is now forest will be bringing money to the small agricultural producer, which will
develop Alberni; and, in the meantime, we have resources
in fish. From the reports of prospectors who have recently returned from nearby mountains, we have reason
to suspect that mining operations will be carried on here
shortly. Out-croppings near the base of the city indicate
that the townsite itself is upon a large deposit of coal.
Copper has been found and larger quantities are almost
within sight. Whatever develops, however, we are in
the midst of the splendid timberlands and they cannot
fail to promote Alberni's prosperity."
Alberni is cool and misty in the morning; in fact at all
seasons of the year the nights are cool, made so by a
breeze that comes through the granite tunnel of the Canal
every afternoon, a breeze that seems to sweep inland from
the Pacific. The waters that early in the day are like the
proverbial millpond, pile into small waves, sometimes
crested with whitecaps by four o'clock in the afternoon.
It is a climate in summer that produces appetites and
hotels are usually well stocked with what is popularly
known as " fruit in season "■— salmon of various kinds, 84
Sunset Canada
trout from the cold waters, and even several kinds of
game, much of which is contributed to the larder by tourists who not only prefer to eat " the fish I caught" and
" the goose I shot," but who " have such good luck," that
they like to invite others to share in their fortune.
Data collected by the Provincial Bureau of Information shows the duck tribe is well represented by mallards,
Widgeon, Pin-tail, Buffle-head, Golden-eye, Blue-bills and
some teal. On the west coast and in the Alberni district,
and on the east coast in the Comox and Campbell River
districts, and further north, the shooting is the best at all
times. Where the birds feed on the flats extending up
the rivers they will be found to be of good flavour. As
the season advances and they commence feeding along
the seashore their flesh becomes fishy. Some of the lakes
afford fair shooting and the birds feeding there are good
Willow grouse is the popular name for the Ruffed
Grouse, which is common. In the early part of the season they frequent the swamps and thickets, where they
are difficult to get at, and, when found, are apt to play
into the hands of the pot-hunter by the way they have
of perching in the trees and staying there until he spots
and potshots them. Later on, however, when the swamps
become overflowed, they take to higher and more open
ground, when the sport they afford over a good dog is by
most British Columbia sportsmen considered the best of
any of the game birds. The blue, sooty or pine grouse
is a timber bird, which is plentiful, particularly in those
places in the hills where there are bare patches of rock
among the tall timber. For the greater part of the year
they feed on the foliage of the Douglas pines and keep
in the trees.    They come down to lower ground in the i
 An Unfulfilled Prophecy 85
breeding season, but when the young birds are full grown
they speedily retake themselves to the tall timber and
the higher levels of the mountains. Hence the season
for blue grouse shooting is in practice a short one, as
however plentiful the birds before the shooting opens, a
week or two of shooting will find them very scarce, not
because they have been decimated by the hunters, but
because they have taken to their natural refuge in the
timber of the mountains. Shot on level ground over dogs
the blue grouse is not a particularly hard bird to hit, but
among timber, and especially on steep hillsides, where
they invariably fly down hill at a great pace, they afford
shooting which is difficult to beat for its sporting qualities.
Canada geese or " Honkers " are shot in large numbers
up the west coast. Live decoys when such are obtainable
are the best, and after that the sheet iron profile decoys.
Some geese are shot during the brant flight, but the
" honker " is a wary bird. When the pheasants, grouse
and quail are out, the ducks and geese are in, and the
wild fowl shooting is at its best. Before these are out of
season, angling is open for salmon and grilse, with excellent prospects of large baskets of these latter and a very
fair chance of good sport with Spring salmon on most
parts of the coast.
Practically speaking, all the streams and lakes of the
Island contain trout of some kind, chiefly rainbow or
cut-throat; but they are particularly plentiful around Alberni. The Somas river, which flows into one end of the
town itself, and neighbouring streams and lakes offer
splendid sport for the pedestrian. Sproat Lake is within
easy distance and it is only twelve miles over a good
motor road to Great Central Lake, where the Ark, a 86 Sunset Canada
I •
floating hotel, provides novel comforts for those who
wish to avail themselves of its hospitality, instead of
returning to Alberni. Large fish are caught in the large
lakes by trolling, but larger fish are caught on the fly as
a general rule in the streams than in the lakes. In the
heat of midsummer, when the rivers are low and flyfishing is barely practicable, except in the early morning
and late evening, excellent sport is afforded by sea trout
in the estuaries. These sea fish average heavy, two-
pounders being common, three-pounders by no means
rare, and four and even six-pounders occasionally
caught. As a general rule, they take a fly well even in
the salt water.
Only the Cohoes and the Spring salmon interest the
sportsman. The latter is the finest table fish and attains
a great weight in these waters, often weighing fifty
pounds. It is known as several names such as " King,"
" Tyee " and " Chinook." Twenty to thirty-pound fish
are common in any of the estuaries, when the run of
" Springs" is on. These salmon are caught in these
waters practically all the year around. In February and
March there is a run to the rivers, but the big run comes
in August, September and October, varying in date according to locality. There is a run of small " Cohoes "
in May and June, but these early fish, although very game,
do not average very large. The big run of " Cohoes "
does not arrive until the latter part of September, when
their number is legion all over the coast and the sport they
give is superior for their size to that yielded by the
" Springs," as they play more on the surface.
At least most of the foregoing is a condensation of
the advice, suggestions and observations of fishermen of
extended and varied experience, who have passed it on
J   An Unfulfilled Prophecy 87
to the Provincial and Island authorities for the aid of
amateur anglers. It may prove to be more helpful than
the instructions for cooking a hare: " First catch your
hare"; but, on the other hand, it may simply suggest
other means of luring the splendid game fish of the region
from the rivers and lakes. Every fisherman has his own
" style " of fishing, after following a few fundamental
rules of the sport, and a part of his pleasure comes from
following no stereotyped advice. He may be an advice-
giver ; but he rarely accepts it willingly from others, and
when he does, he rarely follows it. Around Alberni fish
are so plentiful that there is a wide field for all of those
little " experiments" in which anglers delight, with a
fairly certain promise of I results." If all else should
fail in the cycles of a year, the " run " of salmon is as
dependable as the changing of the seasons. And it appears that this condition has not altered since the first
white man visited the Island's coast line. John Jewitt
says in his Journal, published in 1815: " Such is the
immense quantity of these fish and they are taken with
such facility that I have known upwards of 2500 brought
in to Maquinna's (the Chief's) house at once; and at one
of their great feasts have seen one hundred or more
cooked in one of their largest tubs."
Black tail deer are numerous in season and are plentiful in this region. It is illegal to hunt them with dogs.
Good specimens of black bear are occasionally met on
the road; but it usually requires dogs and a guide to get
them. Wapiti (American elk) are met with occasionally, but they are protected for a term of years. Cougar,
known variously as panther or mountain lion, are plentiful. To hunt them with success, it is necessary to employ
guides who will provide suitable dogs.    A cougar skin Sunset Canada
makes a handsome trophy, but cougars can hardly be
classed as game. The provincial government, by putting
on a bounty of $15 a head, classes them as vermin.
Wolves, both black and gray, are found in northern and
northwestern districts of Vancouver Island, but are seldom seen by the casual hunter. The bounty is the same
as for cougar.
At Alberni one has not the opportunity to see the spectacular logging operations of the far interior where trees
are sawed down, tumbled over the mountainside into a
rushing river and sometimes travel fifty, sixty or even
a hundred miles, before they are gathered by a chain of;
logs thrown across the river; but there is the chance to
see the harvesting of mighty firs, cedars and hemlocks,
such as is rarely visible close to a city entered by a railroad. The former is bewildering to the layman, and
the logging camp at Alberni's doors — just beyond the
bungalows of the last inhabited street — is thrilling. In
some of the distant camps of the hinterland logs splash
into wild streams and the spring thaw carries them far
on their ride through wild country. Sometimes they
jam or catch on the rocks and balance themselves in midstream defying the onward rush until the waters fall too
low for them to float, so there they remain until another spring thaw brings a new onrush of water. The
banks of some of the rivers are strewn with this precious
timber; but enough has found its way through to supply
the jaws of the great sawmills, and nobody seems to
care about the possible or probable loss. Far down the
stream below rapids through which no raft could ride in
safety and where no power boat would venture, the logs
are caught and chained into huge floats. Sometimes
these are so large that a temporary shack is built on them   An Unfulfilled Prophecy 89
and the men who guide them eat and sleep aboard the raft
on its course further down. Sometimes they are permitted to drift to the railroad that will carry them to the
sawmill and sometimes to the sawmill itself, where they
are gathered like a huge carpet over the river or estuary
upon which the mill has been built. Who can say that
the wild terrors have departed from far-western life when
he sees these lumberjacks in their perilous occupation?
Comparatively few people see them, however, and there
are few places where the larger logging operations are
visible, unless one plunges far into the wilderness.
Alberni's surrounding hills are so covered with trees,
however, that it will likely be possible for all tourists
who visit the place within a period extending over many
future years. It is not the old-fashioned method of
sawing the trees and hauling them to the open with a
twelve-horse team. A standard gauge railroad spur has
been run into the forest. It crosses canyons and ravines
that are piled full of logs as supports or foundations,
instead of bridges, and one who sees the locomotive cross
these improvised " bridges " that will have served their
purpose as soon as the large trees have been felled, expects to see it topple from the rails as it seesaws over the
rough " right-of-way." The flat cars have been loaded
with the giant trees, sometimes five or six of them piled
upon one another the length of two flat cars. The engine
is coupled on, there is a toot of the whistle as a signal
and off the strange train goes circling down the hillside
to the water's edge, where the logs are rolled into the
Canal —" where they can be more easily handled," explains a man who appears to be in charge of the operation.
The ease with which these forest giants are manipu- 90
Sunset Canada
lated by a handful of men is astounding. One man chops
wood and feeds a stationary engine set up on logs near
the end of the railroad where the flat-cars are switched
to receive their load. Another man stands with his hand
on the lever. When I arrived, I could not see where
the big logs came from, for the railroad ended in a small
clearing where there were only stumps to prove that the
ground had once been a " stand " of Douglas fir. It
seemed for a moment that operations had been suspended
and that I had arrived too late. A third man, smoking a
cigaret, stood near the empty cars. Then there was a
shrill whistle from the distance, a signal for the man at
the engine to do something. He did it, and I observed
what I had not seen before; there was a steel cable attached to the engine which ran to the top of a solitary
fir which had been left standing, and then stretched far
away over a hill into the dense forest beyond, further
than I could see. The cable tightened and the tree quivered, almost threatening not to stand the strain, but it
was one that had been picked because its roots ran far
into the earth and it was held upright by four steel cables
attached to the trunks of distant trees. It strained and
creaked as the cable drew tighter and tighter, continuing
to wind itself around a huge spool or winch. Soon, on
a distant hill in the direction reached by the cable, the
tree-tops began to bend and rustle. There was the cracking of many limbs and the breaking of many branches as
a gigantic fir log, perhaps a hundred feet in length, came
crashing over the hill the heavy end in the air. It had
been sawed, the cable attached to it, the signal given to
the engineer and it had started on its defiant way. As it
Teached the top of the hill it bounded against other trees
and the impact echoed through the forest.    Small trees An Unfulfilled Prophecy 91
that impeded its progress snapped like match-sticks and
fell over. On and on the monster bounded like a vessel
ploughing through rough seas, and presently it was lying
on the ground beside the car that was destined to carry it
to the mill. The man who had been smoking a cigaret
stepped forward, twisted cables and caught hooks in its
sides. Another whistle and it rose in the air as if hesitating which way to turn; but the cables had been twisted
by an expert, and in righting themselves they caused
the log to twist until it hung lengthwise, directly over the
two cars. The man at the engine observed this and let
it fall gently into position, as easily as one could place
a toothpick on the palm of his hand. There was no
loud talking, no expressions of wonder when this monster of the forest came crashing toward them. A fourth
man took hold of the cable, which was slackened, and
started off over the hill again. There were a few minutes of calm, similar to that during which I had arrived,
and then the same operation was repeated. It was repeated until the train was loaded in the same way and
then the locomotive came and went puffing down the hill
with its cargo of forest giants. It was " all in a day's
work " as one of the men explained and " nothing to get
excited about." To them it was as simple as the opening of a letter by an office man seated at his desk. To
me it was one of the most spectacular and thrilling operations that I had ever beheld!
The sawmill is similarly interesting to the traveler because of the immensity of most of the operations, for
while shingles, lath and small boards are manufactured
in the various departments, the chief distinction lies in
the production of the huge square beams of unbelievable
length, which are to form the keels of ships or the frames 92
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of heavy buildings where they must withstand a heavy
strain and weight. There is a long spiked chain that
moves slowly from the top of an incline to below the
water's surface. The logs are ridden by turbanned Hindoos, who easily manipulate them with spiked poles as
they are floating in the water. They are directed toward
the chain end on, a spike catches them and raises them a
little, then another spike and soon the giant is moving upward toward the saws. Arrived at the exact position,
they are caught in a vise, a Chinese operator touches a
lever and the log is sawed square on one side, the bark
slab falling to an endless chain that carries it outside
the mill. Another lever is touched and the log flops over
on its square side again as easily as one could flip a match-
stick. As it travels back to the first position, the second
side is squared. Back and forth once more and it has
become a gigantic square beam in less time than it takes
to tell about it. A series of rollers start it on its way
and it is soon in the yards making way for the log, the
nose of which has just caught the first spike in the chain
that rises from the canal.
The refuse passes along an endless chain in the mill-
yard, where Chinese sorters lift out the pieces which are
suitable for sawing into chunks for firewood; but the
sawdust and smaller fragments proceed along the route
and are finally raised to an elevation and dropped on
the fire which, like the flame at a temple altar, is eternally burning. This huge flame from all British Columbia sawmills seems a wanton waste of fuel where fuel is
so expensive; but it seems to be an ancient custom to
destroy wood wantonly in a land of trees and the province, like other well-forested countries, cannot look far
enough ahead to see the time when wood will be scarce.  1
I An Unfulfilled Prophecy 93
It is reported, however, that the provincial officials are
investigating a possible method of utilizing these enormous quantities and other refuse now burned by sawmills by converting it into gas, oils, tar and charcoal
through destructive distillation. It is reported that experiments recently conducted by the chemistry department of the University of Columbia at Vancouver show
that out of one cord of wood it is possible to obtain forty
gallons of tar, twenty gallons of oil, eighty pounds of
acetate of lime and nine hundred pounds of charcoal.
In these thickly wooded districts of British Columbia
stove fuel brings almost as much as it does in the treeless
sections of the East. One is not permitted to use the
logs that have fallen and will soon decay on the vast
timber reserves of the capitalists who live far away.
Drift-wood from the rivers and lakes is sawed and
chopped by Indians — and sold in town for prices that
often soar beyond five dollars a cord. An ambitious
resident of Alberni told me that, having no other occupation during a couple of weeks in the winter, he went
to the Canal and sawed and chopped his own fuel; but
when he paid $14 for cartage he came to the conclusion
that it was better to pay the Indians even what they
charge for the fuel. And still the great fires at the sawmills flame day and night, like active volcanoes. It is
the traditional practice, and no man is rash enough to
alter it until he is compelled to do so. I saw a Chinese
timidly approach the chain that leads to the great fire,
pick out a few sticks to cook his rice and attempt to
carry them away; but the loud voice of a foreman told
him to drop them and he retired like a thief who had
been caught with his booty.
Day after day there is something in this delightful 94
Sunset Canada
wilderness to attract and hold the traveler and he may
spend a pleasant week barely aware of the passing time.
One who enters British Columbia should do so via
Victoria the front door as before noted; but even then
he should not pass too quickly through the portal and
beyond. The Island tour is the vestibule just inside the
gate, and visitors will be well paid for pausing there for
at least a glance around, before crossing the threshold
that leads to the Mainland or the inner beauties of the
province. CHAPTER VIII
captain Vancouver's namesake
In the winter, snow fell on the mountains and when
spring came it thawed and the streams of water ran into
the valleys. When the valleys were completely surrounded by a rock basin the water accumulated and
formed lakes, but water seems to abhor quiet basins and
in its nervous lapping against the rock and sand it seeks
release. Finding a crevice through which it can trickle
it soon forces a passage and the tiny rivulet, dripping each
minute as the years pass, finally forces an opening
through which the waters gush. Granite walls that defiantly hem it in at first finally give way before what seems
to be the resistless force of water rushing from a mountainside. Deeper and deeper it carves its way until it
becomes a mighty river rushing to the ocean. It plunges
against mountains of rock, and where they are impregnable it rushes around their bases, seemingly forces channels where there is the least resistance; but always flowing onward, stopping in a canyon or valley only long
enough to fill the basin and then repeat previous dashes
for the sea, seemingly its logical destination.
With natural instincts the animals of the hills followed
these water-courses from their homes in the timberland
or above timber-line to the green meadows fertilized and
watered by the rivers and streams that flow into them.
Then when the Red Men came to the impassable districts
they followed the footprints of their companions of the
forest, the deer, bear, sheep and goat.    The first white
95 96
Sunset Canada
men who came followed the lead of the Indians over
these trails that spanned yawning precipices or led along
shelves of rock through which the water had cut its way
and was surging below. As time went on, the Indians
and the white men built ladders of logs to scale dangerous ledges and they made a tiny footpath of the same
materials that reached from one side of ravines to the
other. The moss became trampled and the branches of
trees were torn away if they impeded progress. But the
first animals and the first men followed the snow waters
of the mountains in their struggle to reach the sea.
The Indians who followed the animals found food,
raiment and shelter in these courses, so they remained
beside the rivers or where the rivers met the sea. The
white men who followed the Indians found gold, so they
were followed by other white men who gained supremacy
by force and intellect over the Red Men. Along the
difficult trails they built wagon roads and bridges to
carry the gold and other treasure with speed and safety,
and when, as elsewhere, wagon roads were followed by
the railroad, the skill of surveyors and engineers could
not discover a better route than that of the white pathfinders, who followed the Red Men, who followed the
animals, who followed the course of melted mountain
snows. Thus was built the great Canadian Pacific railway, which crossed the mountains and linked British
Columbia with the Canadian prairie provinces and the
provinces of the eastern seaboard. At its terminus it
was desirable for the railway not only to reach the mouth
of the river it had followed, but to run to the ocean's brink
where mighty steamers from the Orient and Antipodes
could moor at piers where the world's commerce could be
transferred with a minimum of labour and time, so an is- Captain Vancouver's Namesake       97
land and rock-studded channel that led to the sea was
chosen. Of the exact spot, Captain George Vancouver
wrote in his Journal of 1792: " The shores of this canal,
which after Sir Harry Burrard of the Navy I have distinguished by the name of Burrard's Channel, may be
considered on the southern side of a moderate height and
though rocky are well covered with trees of a large
growth, principally of the pine tribe. On the northern
side the rugged snowy barrier whose base we had now
nearly approached, rose very abruptly and was only protected from the sea by a very narrow border of lowland."
On this site a small town was located, an insignificant
little village known as Granville. But when it was ac-*
cepted by the officials as the terminus of the railroad, Sir
W. C. Vanhorne, the chief executive of the company,
suggested that the name be changed to Vancouver, honouring the young man who did more to add this vast
northwestern domain to the British Empire than any
other. The suggestion was favourably acted upon and in
1886 the city was incorporated. Its growth has been
as great as that of any city on earth within a given time
and its well-wishers boldly prophesy that it will soon become the metropolis of the Pacific Coast. Yet. a little
over thirty years ago it was in the midst of the wilderness
and there was no man wise enough to look off to the eastward at snow-capped mountains and dream that their
streams of water would lead the march of civilization and
commerce in this direction.
Approaching Vancouver from the sea, which is the
advisable route, not only to incoming travelers from far
corners of the world, but to those American tourists who
have made the journey to the coast over continental railroads to the south of Canada arid have followed the coast- 98 Sunset Canada
line to Seattle and thence by boat to Victoria, one obtains
a panoramic impression of this North Pacific metropolis
that will not be forgotten easily. The guide-books say
that Vancouver is a city with no " motif," that it lacks
individual character, that it is " like other port cities "—
which is manifestly unfair — and that it is a place where
Pacific ocean travelers are caught in the net for a day
or two, so that the hotels and merchants may reap a
profit from " goers and comers." English writers have
declared it to be the most un-British city in the British Empire and have classed it with Seattle, Chicago
and New York as a "city of dollars" and nothing
All of these declarations of opinion are right and they
are wrong. Compared to Victoria, Vancouver has no
" motif." It is not essentially " British " in exterior —
not professionally British at any rate — and it must plead
guilty to being young. But it is a lusty youth, and one
who tarries longer than between trains or the arrival
of the steamer and the departure of the first train, will
realize that it does not lack distinction and that it is the
symbol of the Canadian West in enduring form. Here
are centered many of the hopes and ambitions of a vast
imperial domain. Dollars have been made in Vancouver,
many millions of them, and many millions have been
spent in crowning the hills that were covered with trees
less than a half-century ago with towering sky-scrapers
and architectural monuments that would be a credit to
cities that date their beginnings from the dawn of the
Christian era. Vancouver has several structures that
would be notable in London, Paris or Berlin. The Vancouver Hotel, for example, a saffron-hued pile that looms
high above surrounding high buildings and that is visible
"»'.y""' J   Captain Vancouver's Namesake        99
from the deck of incoming steamers when they are far
down the Bay, would be counted a marvel of construction amid Rhenish castles, Venetian villas or New York
hostelries. Close to it is the classic courthouse set in
spacious grounds, its imposing entrance guarded by two
colossal white lions. And around it are splendid groupings of hotels, office buildings, and shops that in general
appearance compare favourably with any on the American continent. Vancouver has achieved one great ambition. After little more than a quarter-century of real
history as a city it has become more than " a railway
terminus in the wilderness," more than " just another
port city," it is a spacious and thriving metropolis. It
cannot and does not boast of its past; but it rejoices in its
present and sees its great future not afar off. Already
its business section has reached far into residential quarters and many hills and valleys beyond are covered with
homes. Across the Inlet, another hill has become North
Vancouver and is already taking on metropolitan airs,
which is likewise true of West Vancouver — both
reached by ferry and occupying positions similar to Oakland and the various bay cities across from San Francisco. The streets are wide and well paved. In every
way Vancouver seems prepared to become one of the
great cities of the continent. Even those vast plots of
stumpage in the outskirts, which cause a smirk from evil-
wishers, will one of these days live up to the claims of
real estate boomers, who in this instance do not seem to1
be false prophets but men whose range of vision carries
further ahead than they care to admit to prospective customers. Lay down a map of the world, note the situation of the most prosperous and famous cities, and it will
be apparent that most of the geographical and natural 100
Sunset Canada
advantages are in Vancouver's favour. Forces that have
contributed to the making of great centers of population
are working speedily and energetically with Vancouver
as a pivot.
Preferably, one should not only arrive at this port by
steamer, but the arrival should be during the hours of
light. The cruise over the Straits of Georgia is constantly in view of " land " on a clear day, for Mainland
is visible, and the steamer plows along between wooded
islands and rocky coves that are a suggestion of that
rugged scenery that awaits travelers north from Vancouver, to Prince Rupert and intermediate points. A
hundred ships from foreign ports might lie in many harbours of the world and be so sheltered and cradled at
their moorings as to be barely discernible from any given
point in the cities. This is not true of Vancouver. The
Inlet is more spacious than it may appear to be to the
stranger because it is surrounded by mountains on all
sides and it is not easy to distinguish from the city exactly the location of the small channel behind the islands
through which the steamer has passed on arrival at port.
All the large boats in the harbour are visible from the
city, and instead of appearing diminished in size on
account of the distance, some of them loom to large proportions as viewed from the deck of an incoming boat,
from the city streets or from the windows of a building
that commands a view of the broad harbour. One of the
" Empress " boats is usually lying at her berth, taking an
Oriental cargo for the long cruise to Japan, the Philippines and the China Coast. The three yellow funnels are
visible from all parts of Vancouver, and it is unnecessary
for any one in the city to inquire whether or not one of
the big C. P. R. floating palaces is in port. Captain Vancouver's Namesake      101
Vancouver calls itself " The Front Door of Canada "
— perhaps with its tongue in its cheek, hoping to bring a
frown or rejoinder from Grandmother Victoria across
the Straits. In the most diverse ways she claims superiority. She has over one hundred miles of cement sidewalks, over one hundred miles of macadamized or paved
roads, the largest area of any city in Canada, the birthrate is higher than in any city Of the continent, in giving
Single Tax a long and successful trial (it has been written in a Single Tax Magazine that " Vancouver is a city
set upon a hill, whose light cannot be hid — a beacon
to guide the municipalities of the world into the haven of
righteousness in raising public revenue "), the estimated
population of what is known as " Greater Vancouver "
is considerably over two hundred thousand, she has eighty
miles of water frontage and forty miles of anchorage, the
tonnage of the port has increased four hundred sixty-
eight per cent, in the last five years, waterfalls nearby
provide a possible supply of 500,000 horse power of which;
200,000 is now available, she has a water supply of glacial
origin that is now 36,000,000 gallons a day with an available supply of 100,000,000 gallons, and there is an annual
pay roll of $14,000,000 from industries in which over
$100,000,000 is invested.
These are not figures coming from a city statistician
and filed away for reference in dusty municipal cupboards. They are the regular conversation of the ordinary citizen of Vancouver; he loves to talk in hundreds of thousands and millions. When he decides to
make his home in the city it is as if he took an oath
to join the chorus of civic publicity promoters. He is
for Vancouver first, last and all the time, and he takes it
as a personal affront if into a casual conversation slips 102
Sunset Canada
the slightest suggestion that the visitor does not consider
it the superlative degree in everything, the ideal toward
which the world has been struggling for thousands of
years. One suggests that the climate is not exactly to his
liking, if he be a tactless person and unfortunately
chance to arrive in the city during one of those frightful
downpours that continue day and night for a week, and
the loyal citizen replies: " When it rains in the East
you call it mist, and when it rains in Vancouver you say
there is a continuous downpour for days. Remember
that the official figures show that our winters are as mild
as those of Atlanta, Georgia. There is no better climate
in the world! "
Figures and the superlative degree of all adjectives in
the language! One never dreamed of so many of them
before, never heard so many of them used in conversation. The citizen of Vancouver exudes them as naturally as he breathes. And the strange result is that it does
not convey the impression that he is boasting. One does
not accept it as braggadacio. Rather, it seems to be the
natural exuberance of youth, like the college boy who
returns to tell of his victories in the field or classroom.
Likely as not the stranger becomes sufficiently interested to " check up " or recapitulate and finds that he has
heard more truth than fiction. The city has expanded so
rapidly, stretched itself so far beyond expectations and
expanded into so many channels that could not have been
anticipated by its founders, that every one takes a personal pride in its greatness and considers it a pleasure,
rather than a duty, to extol its virtues, much as one would
feel love for parents who reared him. They feel about
it as the psalmist felt about Jerusalem when he beheld it
from Mount Olivet and rhapsodized:    " Beautiful for ">
Captain Vancouver's Namesake      103
situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, the
City of the Great King."
At the top of the mountain overlooking the entrance
to the harbour there are two peaks that when viewed in
certain lights resemble the forms of lions, which has
been seized upon as the opportunity for giving the channel at this point the name of " Gateway of the Lions."
It appears, however, that there is an ancient Indian legend
attached to these " lions," which calls them the " Two
Sisters." Pauline Johnson, the Indian poetess, relates
it in one of her books and says she had it from Chief Joe
Capilano, with whom she could converse in the Chinook
tongue. While the language of the legend seems to be
that of the poetess, and not a very literal translation of
the story as it was related to her, there remains in it much
of the traditional Indian manner and it seems a fairly
typical example of the stories that were heard over ancient campfires; those tales of the days when rocks, trees,
rivers, fish, birds and animals close companions of the
Red Men, had souls and tongues, when they passed
through experiences of life similar to those of men.
Pauline Johnson was the daughter of the head chief of
the Six Nations and an English woman. She traveled
extensively, and in late life came to reside in Vancouver,
which she loved. She wrote pretty verses about the
new city and its environs and she put down on paper
many legends that came to her from the Indians, but
which she " adapted " into fluent prose. Before she died,
she requested that she be cremated and that her ashes
be deposited in Stanley Park, which was the scene of so
much of interest in Indian traditions. Of the " Two
Sisters," she relates:
" It was many thousands of years ago that the great 104
Sunset Canada
Tyee had two daughters that grew to womanhood at the
same springtime when the first great run of salmon
thronged the rivers, and the ollallie bushes were heavy
with blossoms. These daughters were young, lovable
and oh very beautiful! Their father, the great Tyee,
prepared to make a feast such as the coast had never
seen. There were to be days and days of rejoicing, the
people were to come for many leagues, were to bring gifts
of great value to the girls and to receive gifts from the
chief, and hospitality was to reign as long as pleasuring
feet could dance, and enjoying lips could laugh, and
mouths partake of the excellence of the chief's fish, game
and ollallies. The only shadow on the joy of it all
was war, for the tribe of the great Tyee was at war with
the upper coast Indians, those who lived north, near what
is named by the paleface as the port of Prince Rupert.
Giant war canoes slipped along the entire coast, war
parties paddled up and down, war songs broke the silences
of the nights, hatred, vengeance, strife, and horror festered everywhere little sores on the surface of the earth.
But the great Tyee, after warring for weeks, turned and
laughed at the battle and the bloodshed, for he had been
victor in every encounter and he could well afford to leave
the strife for a brief week and feast in his daughters'
honour, nor permit any near enemy to come between him
and the traditions of his race and household. So he
turned insultingly deaf ears to their warcries; he ignored
with arrogant indifference their paddle dips that encroached within his own coast waters, and he prepared as
a great Tyee should, to royally entertain his tribesmen
in honour of his daughters. But seven suns before the
great feast, these two maidens came before him, hand
clasped in hand.  fi Captain Vancouver's Namesake      105
"' Oh, our father,' they said, ' may we speak ?'
*'■' Speak my daughters, my girls with the eyes of April,
the hearts of June.' (Early Spring and early summer
would be the more accurate Indian phrasing.)
" - Some day, oh our father, we may mother a man-
child who may grow to be such a powerful Tyee as you
are, and for this honour that may some day be ours we
have come to crave a favour of you — you, oh our father.'
1l It is your privilege at this celebration to receive any
favour your hearts may wish,' he replied graciously,
placing his fingers beneath their girlish chins. 'The
favour is yours before you ask it, my daughters.'
"' Will you for our sakes, invite the great northern
hostile tribe — the tribe you war upon, to this our feast? •
they asked fearlessly.
'' To a peaceful feast, a feast in honour of women ? *
he exclaimed incredulously.
" " So we would desire it,' they answered.
" * And so shall it be,' he declared. 11 can deny you
nothing this day and some time you may bear sons to
bless this peace you have asked, and to bless their mothers' sire for granting it.'
"Then he turned to all the young men of the tribe
and commanded, 'build fires at sunset on all the coast
headlands — fires of welcome. Man your canoes and
face the North, greet the enemy and tell them that I,
the Tyee of the Capilanos, ask — no, command — that
they join me for a great feast in honour of my two
" And when the northern tribe got this invitation, they
flooded down the coast to this feast of the Great Peace.
They brought their women and their children, they
brought game and fish, gold and white stone beads, bas- 106
Sunset Canada
kets and carved ladles and wonderful woven blankets to
lay at the feet of their now acknowledged ruler, the great
Tyee. And he, in turn, gave such a potlatch that nothing but tradition can vie with it. There were long, glad
days of rejoicing, long pleasurable nights of dancing and
campfires and vast quantities of food. The war canoes
were emptied of the deadly weapons and filled with the
daily catch of salmon. The hostile war songs ceased and
in their places were heard the soft shuffle of dance feet,
the singing voices of women, the playgames of the children of two powerful tribes, which had been until now
ancient enemies, for a great and lasting brotherhood was
sealed between them — their war songs were ended forever. Then the Sagalie Tyee smiled on his Indian children : * I will make these young-eyed maidens immortal,' He said. In the cup of His Hands, He lifted the
chief's two daughters and set them forever in a high
place, for they had borne two offsprings — peace and
brotherhood — each of which is now a great Tyee ruling this land. And on the mountain crest the chief's
daughters can be seen wrapped in the suns, the snows,
the stars of all seasons, for they have stood in this high
place for thousands of years and will stand for thousands
of years to come, guarding the peace of the Pacific coast
and the quiet of the Capilano Canyon."
Vancouver has a remarkable asset in Stanley Park,
easily within walking distance from the piers, depots and
principal business streets, but reached by tram and various
motor conveyances that deposit their passengers at the
rustic entrance built of limbs and trees and appropriately
inviting pedestrians to roads and paths of corduroy covered with gravel that lead through great tangles of ferns
and undergrowth to the giant trees, which are one of the Captain Vancouver's Namesake      107
wonders of the entire province, the Dominion of Canada,
and perhaps of the world, because it is claimed that such
colossal vegetation does not exist elsewhere in this latitude. Although it is a much frequented park and is
properly within the city limits, those in authority have
wisely left it the jungle that it was when the first white
men passed this way. The paths are well kept, but for
miles they are arched by the canopy of rank green, and
frequently by layer on layers or tier upon tier of foilage,
while in many places, two yards away from the walk are
masses of tumbled over tree giants, passing to decay and
permitting the mold of their trunks and roots to be penetrated by the roots of masses or ferns, moss and fungus
that form a bewildering maze from which the tenderfoot
would find his way out with difficulty. Huge, crisp leaves
of skunk-cabbage, resembling the canna of domestic flowerbeds, borders the underlying logs of the paths. Now
and then a flower or flowering shrub shows itself through
the dense shade, but seems to do so with difficulty. The
air in the huge forest on a summer day is that of a hothouse. The moisture seems to rise from the earth and
emit the odor of aromatic spruces, resins, balsams and
pitch that reaches the nostrils when pine needles are rolled
in the hands.
Layer on layer the green branches sway in the breeze
that usually floats in from the sea, the leaves of plants
at the side of the path, the shrubs, the trees that shed their
leaves, such as beeches and maples, the firs, pines, cedars,
that tower above them, and then high above the fir
monarchs, which are the pride of Pacific coast forests,
are the giant trees that have made Stanley Park known
around the world. One tree reaches the amazing circumference of fifty-four feet and seems at its base to be a
71 108
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round building until one follows its towering trunk skyward and observes where huge limbs leave the parent
trunk and wave their plumes of green. There are several
"largest" trees in this one-thousand-acre forest which
juts out into the waters of the bay, and a well-made log
and gravel path leads close to all of them. First of all,
one comes upon a group of seven monarchs known as the
" Seven Sisters.'1 Primitive flat arches of logs, a railing
of the same and square-^hewn logs for benches are the
sole furniture of this mighty cathedral in which there is
perpetual music by the wind. One takes his pew, if he
chances to have come on a day when there are few visitors, as I have done on three occasions scattered over
fifteen years. A gray-coated water-fowl from the bay
soars over the tree-tops and chants his low, monotonous
vespers, while smaller birds of the forest, sweet singers
in gay surplices, seem to be the acolytes and choristers.
This cathedral with the mystic number of pillars reminds
one of the remnants of that colossal temple of Jupiter at
Baalbek, Syria. One was the sublime creation of nature, and the other was the work of man who learned the
secret of the towering pillar and cornices roof from forests trees and crowning foliage. And, strangely enough,
the scientists no doubt could date the building of the Baalbek temple of stone from the same period as the beginning of this " Seven Sister" Cathedral in Stanley
At the outskirts of the park there are nurseries where
there are formal gardens of flowers and flowering shrubs,
there are refreshment pavilions and a rather limited collection of animals, the conventional beginnings of a city's
outdoor " attractions." One encounters them elsewhere
and they will attract but a glance from the eastern visi-   Captain Vancouver's Namesake      109
tor. The real thrill, the distinctive feature of Stanley
Park as compared to other parks of the world, comes after
one has penetrated beyond log gateways and immediately
falls back one thousand years to a forest that remains
much as it was when Christopher Columbus was seeking
a passage to the Indies.
Throughout the park there are well-marked trails that
lead over waterways bridged by logs in corduroy fashion, where, if one has not been in Japan, he is likely to
imagine that he has come upon the original views of the
Hiroshige drawings. Above, are the tall firs and cedars
and along the meandering narrow streams, so suggestive
of those that clatter down the Japanese mountains, the
natural beauty has been retained, logs lie helter-skelter,
sometimes fallen across the streams and by the aid of
birch poles as railings have become bridges, huge bowlders
are as perhaps they fell from glaciers thousands of years
ago, huge tropical waxen leaves of the skunk cabbage bank
themselves along the edges of streams not more than four
feet wide, yet deep and rapid — it is all as if made by
some landscape architect, inspired by the Japanese gardens, which in turn were inspired by West Lake and the
environs at Hangchow, the ancient capital of China.
The late Elbert Hubbard, who usually etched an exact
portrait when he guided the pen, wrote: " There are
parks and parks, but there is no park in the world that
will exhaust your stock of adjectives and subdue you into
silence like Stanley Park at Vancouver."
It is probably on the program of all visitors to go to
the park soon after they have placed their names on hotel
registers; and it is likewise on the program of many to
pay it at least a farewell visit before departing. Sightseeing automobiles and tram-cars make the trip conven- Sunset Canada
ient for those who are in a hurry to reach the gates; but
it is pleasanter to approach it on foot, and, when there
is leisure enough, to follow its entire water line and to
follow its shady pathways wherever they have been made
to lead by a wise guide. On the northern side is a rock
that juts out from the surrounding ledge and at high tide
seems to be surrounded by water. It is not particularly
distinctive in the landscape of the West Coast; but it has
been made locally famous, at least, by amateur and professional photographers who have " snapped " it from all
angles. Thus it has happened that no portfolio of
" Views of Vancouver " is complete without a page devoted to " Siwash Rock," the shop windows where photographs are displayed feature it, and it has become a popular background for tourists' photographs, so that its fame
has reached far and it has become one of the " sights "
for which all visitors inquire when they are on their way
to the Big Trees or the bathing pavilion at English Bay,
if they go by the circuitous drive around the Park. A
small evergreen tree — or several of them in a clump —
springs from the rock, and it was this fact, perhaps,
that gave it its " legend," for Siwash Rock, like the person of great prominence who discovers that he has a
" family tree," has its legend, which probably was born
after the city fathers of Vancouver decided to make a
park of the surrounding territory.
According to the legend, there was a young chief who
visited a northern tribe to claim one of its maidens for a
bride. They were married, and in time their tepee was
to be blest with a child. There was an ancient custom
that before the birth of the child both parents should
bathe, so that no animal could scent them. The wife,
leaving her husband in the water, went to the land and   Captain Vancouver's Namesake      111
the husband must wait until he heard the cry of the infant before he could follow her. As the young chief
and his wife were very good and respecters of the ancient customs, they were undergoing this order of purification. The wife had reached land and the expectant
young chief was swimming in the water, listening for
the signal that would delight him. At this moment a
large war canoe came near him. In it were four giants,
emissaries of the Deity. They shouted to him to go to
shore, because it was well known that if a mortal touched
the canoe, its occupants would become human. The
young chief refused and explained the reason. The
giants took counsel and decided that as he was a wicked
man he must be turned into stone, the fate of all wicked
men, because stones do not give life or protection to living beings, whereas the spirits of good men go into trees,
so that they may continue their ministrations of good to
the living. Suddenly they heard the cry of a child and
the young chief started for the land, but before he
reached it he was turned to stone — Siwash Rock.
It was a decree of the gods and could not be altered;
but he had been so good in life that a tree, the symbol
of goodness, sprouted from the rock, that all who passed
that way might know that he suffered the supreme penalty
for defying the emissaries of the Deity, but until that
time had been a model of all the virtues. In the vicinity
there are only two other rocks that resemble Siwash and
these are his young wife and their child, for the innocents
also suffered for the sin of the husband and father.
One may pleasantly spend three or four days in Vancouver and not venture beyond the city limits. In an
earlier day it was the custom of most travelers to make
it merely a transfer point from train to steamer or from 112
Sunset Canada
steamer to train; but this has been altered, and many
tourists bound for the Orient now arrange their itineraries
to spend several days amid the attractive scenes of this
port, although they are anticipating greater novelties in
foreign ports. There is nothing with age about the city,
with the exception of its ancient trees; but there is a
hustle, a spic and span-ness, the newness of fresh paint
about everything, that is agreeable to the stranger who
is about to plunge into landscapes that threaten scenic indigestion.
A pamphlet is handed to incoming passengers on steamers and trains, entitled " Captain Vancouver Welcomes
You To The Pacific Coast." The title is an inspiration,
for it is literally true. The captain lies in his tomb, but
the city that bears his name not only " welcomes " strangers, but extends a cordial invitation for a long, friendly,.
old-fashioned, visit ■>
"the royal city"
The " old worthies " as the Honourable Adventurers
of the Hudson's Bay Company were popularly known in
England, held tenaciously to their royal charter and
jealously attempted to monopolize every mile of the
vast domain of Canada as soon as their own men or other
explorers extended the field toward the West. As their
profits increased, in the same proportion the attacks upon
them became more numerous, both at home and abroad.
As time went it became apparent that many of the attacks, aiming to mold public opinion, had been fostered
by interests which threatened to become frank and bold
rivals in the business of fur collecting over a territory
that the older company seemed to deem its own by almost
" divine right."
The London Quarterly Review, 1816, says: We cannot join in the praise ascribed to the Hudson's Bay Company whose only merits (if they have any) are, at any
rate of the negative kind. Their total disregard of every
object for which they obtained and have now held a
royal charter for nearly one hundred and fifty years
entitles them to anything but praise. The great leading
feature on which their petition for an exclusive charter
was grounded, the discovery of a North-West Passage
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, has not only been totally
neglected, but, unless they have been grossly calumniated,
thwarted to every means in their power."
113 114
Sunset Canada
Reports reached the company that the French were
steadily pushing westward from the Great Lakes, endeavouring to intercept the fleets of Indian canoes laden
with furs for the traders on Hudson's Bay. The " bourgeois du Nord-Ouest," as they were known in Montreal,
seemed to be the most serious of these rival concerns
and but for various strategic moves on the part of the
older company the Northwest Company would have
gained complete control of fur trading in the Far West.
The founder of this company was Simon M'Tavish, who
was born in the Scottish highlands in 1750. He engaged in the fur trade from Montreal immediately after
the cession of Canada to England and formed the combination with several other men who had been independ-
dent fur-traders in the Northwest.
M'Tavish, a dominating person known among his
associates as " Le Marquis," made many enemies, and
some of these formed themselves into another rival concern known in the fur trade as the " X-Y Company."
One of the leading spirits of this concern was young Alexander Mackenzie, who was to become the explorer of the
great river that bears his name. At the death of M'Tavish, however, the rivalry ceased and a union took place
between the two companies, to combat the strength of the
Hudson's Bay company. Young Mackenzie's first journey of consequence was to Detroit. He had soon pressed
westward to the Athabasca district and north to Great
Slave Lake and Peace River. Then he decided to reach
the shores of the Arctic ocean, but along the route of a
river which the Indians assured him was as large as the
Saskatchewan. His Journals show that he traveled two
hundred and seventy-two miles in less than one week.
On June 30, 1789, he was on the Mackenzie River.    On m
 "The fioyal City" 115
July 14 he almost reached the sea, which was in sight,
but on July 16 "turned back," as his diary records, and
no reason for doing so has ever been found. He was
back to the fort from which he started in one hundred
and two days, having covered a distance of 3,000 miles:
Several later voyages followed, and in time Mackenzie
reached Pacific tidewater at Bella Coola. He followed
the coast for two days and when he arrived at Vancouver's Cascade Canal took vermillion and melted grease
and wrote on a rock: Alexander Mackenzie from Canada by land 22 July, 1793. It was a memorable date in
Canadian history, as he was the first white man to cross
the northern continent from ocean to ocean. By degrees
the great territory, was being explored by the intrepid fur
merchants, either the representatives of the Hudson's Bay
Company or its great rival, the Northwest Company, the
rivalry always goading them to greater effort.
In 1805 a young man named Simon Fraser was selected
by the Northwest Company to assume charge of its field
beyond the Rocky Mountains, when it was decided to invade that territory opposing the " oppressor, monopoly,
intriguing aristocrats " or the " smug old lady," as the
Hudson's Bay Company was referred to at the time.
After establishing several forts in territory now known
as British Columbia, Fraser organized an exploration
party and discovered the mighty river that bears his name,
which he believed to be the Columbia, but which he followed toward its mouth and thus pointed the way for
epoch-making events of the future. The river rises in
the Rocky Mountains and runs almost due west for two
hundred miles, them southerly through the Cariboo, Lillooet and Yale districts, until near Chilliwack it turns
abruptly to the west and finds a broad outlet to the Pacific 116
Sunset Canada
through the Gulf of Georgia. Its total length is about
seven hundred fifty miles, and it is one of the important rivers of the continent.
Simon Fraser's river played an important part in the
making of British Columbia and its two principal cities,
Victoria and Vancouver. It was the discovery of gold
along the Fraser's channel that suddenly turned Fort
Victoria of the fur-traders into a populous city, and it
was the same channel that marked the westward course
of the railroad through the mountains, linking the province with the rest of Canada and giving birth to Vancouver at the western terminus. The rush of the gold-hunters made a mainland capital advisable for the maintain-
ance of peace and order, so the present site of New Westminster was chosen, land about twelve miles from the
mouth of the river, which at this point more nearly resembles a wide bay than a river, giving the place a fresh
water harbour navigable for vessels drawing twenty feet.
Immediately there arose dispute in regard to the name
to be given the new city. There was a desire to " honour " Queen Victoria, but as the capital of Vancouver
Island had already appropriated that, the first choice
fell on Queenborough, but this seemed to be too nearly
a paraphrase of Victoria, which assumed to be the only
" Queen borough " and in reply to the taunts of the old
city the name " Queenborough " was adopted, which was
a distinction without much difference. The dispute
grew hot, as it is likely to do over such matters, and the
whole subject was referred directly to the Queen of England, as the name of the province had been. Her Majesty
suggested that "the Royal City" be called"New Westminster, a name that pleased all parties to the controversy,
and after the settlement there was a lively speculation in   ">
J  "The Royal City" 117
real estate, as it was believed that this city was destined
to become the provincial metropolis. Lots were sold at
auction at fancy prices, the understanding being that the
proceeds from the sale would be devoted to civic improvements, such as the opening of streets and the clearing of timber. But the Government had other uses for
the money and it was diverted to other channels.
Still, the people of New Westminster were optimistic.
Here was the only fresh water harbour of consequence
in western Canada, it was the capital of the Mainland
province, what more could a city ask for at its beginning?
But events that could not be anticipated transpired.
After the union of the two colonies, the capital became
Victoria. When the Canadian Pacific railroad was
pushed to tide-water it did not come to New Westminster, but after following the Fraser River for many miles,
it branched away to Burrard Inlet and Vancouver arose.
It was a crushing disappointment and " the Royal City "
has never recovered. The swirling river rushes past its
doors and it continues to have all the "natural advantages," but like a faded woman come on sorrow7 ful days
who boasts of her noble lineage. New Westminster
continues to refer to itself as " the Royal City " in all
printed announcements and advertisements; but it is like
one of those royal residences scattered over Europe from
which royalty long ago departed, leaving the echoing
walls to be stared at by curious visitors. It seems to be
disappointed with itself like the human derelict who had
his opportunity but who did not improve it until too
late. Visitors find the ride over from Vancouver attractive. There are fine motor roads, tram cars or the ride
may be taken entirely by water; but strangers do not
remain long.    Perhaps they inquire for the ruins of the 118
Sunset Canada
structure erected by Simon Fraser, one of the oldest on the
Mainland coast, perhaps they glance at the river, the
" million-dollar bridge," the lumber mills, one of which is
said to be " the largest in the world," the salmon canneries, the provincial asylum, or the penitentiary, but they
do not remain long. New Westminster is only one of
the features of a day's excursion into the territory from
Vancouver, one of the stations of the British Columbia
Electric railway in the network of three hundred miles
" of track, it is only one " settled district" along the motor
route. I sought out the studio of a photographer whose
signboard announced that he made " Commercial Photography a Specialty." The day was cloudy and not suited
to camera work on the outside and, like Jeremiah, I did
not expect " to pass this way again." I asked him if he
had any views of the city, which claims a population of
twenty thousand, although fully half the population
seemed to be " out of town " during my visit. " No, I
haven't any," he replied, " for the simple reason that
nobody seems to want them, so I never wasted the time
taking any. Once a man came here and took some; but
he carried his films or plates back to Vancouver with him
and we never received any copies — and perhaps it is
just as well, because we never had any demand for
them. Nobody seems to stop here long enough to buy
And yet the location of New Westminster is strikingly
similar to that of New Orleans on the Mississippi river
or Shanghai above the mouth of the Yangtze-Kiang.
Both of the latter compelled the commerce of the world
to come up the river to them, instead of permitting it to
drift to sites further down, and, in consequence, they have
become populous cities, the largest of the region.    There
^^^imtimrH' j "The Royal City" 119
is much else to prompt the comparison between the
Fraser and the Yangtze: both rise far inland and are
navigable for many miles above their mouths. Their
rapid flow brings fertility to the valleys that border them,
lands particularly adapted to agriculture. A pleasant excursion from New Westminster is to board one of the
stern wheelers that each day plows its way up the heavy
current to Chilliwack and back, giving a view of these
lands with their large gardens and meadows in which
cattle are numerous. It is further down the river, however, that the comparison becomes more striking. The
suburban trolley skirts the river along villages on fertile
silt lands, where bungalows are springing up, some of
them still set among uncleared stumpage. Eburne is
one of these that seems to be passing the village stage.
It feels the blessing of the Fraser, as ancient Egypt lived
by the annual overflow of the Nile. But there are no
fellahen along the Fraser's lower banks. As I passed,
the owners of the land seemed to be sitting in their trim
gardens, while the real work of raising vegetables seemed
to be almost entirely in the hands of Chinese. I saw
many of the latter in large patches of radishes, onions,
tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and potatoes who were wearing the costume of the Chinese peasantry, which seemed
to be strangely appropriate, because I had just observed
the similarity of the black silt lands to that rich region
below Shanghai. The similarity continues as the big
bridge is crossed and the tram reaches Lulu Island, so
like the fertile island of Tsung-ming-tau near the mouth
of the Yangtze-Kiang, where ocean liners anchor and
transfer their passengers to lighters and launches for
Shanghai and inland cities. Crossing the Canadian
Yangtze, the car soon comes to Steveston, which is almost
j 120
Sunset Canada
an Oriental City — but one with a difference. The inhabitants, with a few notable exceptions most of whom
are lodged in the hotels, are Japanese fishermen, who
live much as Japanese do at home, although they are much
more prosperous than they could expect to be if they had
remained in Nippon and followed the same occupation.
Here are Oriental fishermen who during the run of salmon in the Fraser average as high as $500 a month,
which is more than they would receive for a year's work
of the same sort at home. Most of the stores of Steves-
ton are not only " Japanese " in the much abused American description of bazaars that expose china and bamboo
for sale, but deal principally in Oriental foodstuffs and
apparel. It is in reality Japan in America, as I .have
never seen an Oriental community represented elsewhere,
because those sections of San Francisco, Los Angeles,
Vancouver and New York popularly known as " Chinatown " are merely American streets in which many Orientals live and conduct their business in an almost " American " fashion, even tempering their lives to accord with
social laws, ordinances, rules and prejudices of western
In Steveston there seem to be no such restraints. It is
almost their city and they have brought most of their
customs with them, instead of adapting " American
ways" to their requirements. The proprietor of the
principal European-style hotel of the place, which is called
the Sockeye after the salmon that gives Steveston its
being, told me that a several years' residence among the
Japanese had brought him to the belief that despite the
prejudice against them along the Pacific coast they are
an industrious, frugal and desirable people in a country
that is always wailing for more labourers.    He said that ^
 "The Royal City" 121
one of them who caused any annoyance or trouble or
misbehaved himself in any way was an exception to the
rule; and that such a person was usually warned by his
countrymen that he must mend his ways or leave the city.
" Their record in Steveston would be a difficult one for
Occidentals to improve upon," he concluded, " which from
me, I believe, will convince you that I believe in giving
credit where credit is due."
Lulu Island at Steveston is enclosed by high dikes that
keep back the water when the tide rises and which provides against flood when the Fraser threatens to overflow
its banks, following the melting of the winter snows in
the mountains among which it flows. There are several
large ditches or canals around the city and the majority of
the Japanese live along the banks, where often their
houses are approached by narrow bridges that need only
the arches of Oriental bridges to make them thoroughly
"Japanese." Along these spans over the waterways,
the native instinct for beauty and love for the picturesque has prompted the planting of shrubs and flowering
plants. Sometimes they are in painted tin cans, in soy
kegs or in China urns; the idea is the same, the beautifi-
cation of the dooryard, which is as noticeable among
Nippon's very poor, where the dooryard may not be more
than two square yards in area, as among the rich and
noble who can build extensive parks and landscape gardens. " See there," said the above-quoted hotel proprietor, pointing to a little bridge the rails of which held many
flowering plants, " the Japs may have their faults — as
other people do — but I believe a man can't be so very
bad who works diligently every day, takes good care of
his family — and loves flowers."
The Japanese appear to be strangely at home in this
J 122
Sunset Canada
far-off city of a foreign country and one sees the same
smile on their faces that the visitor notes when he sees
them about their work in their native land. The children throng the streets or stand in little groups on the
bridges, wearing the brilliant colours of childhood in
Japan. When they are old enough, and if their parents
can afford it, they are sent to Japan to be educated, and
although Steveston's prosperity has not extended over a
sufficient number of years to ascertain for a certainty, it
is likely that most of them will improve upon their father's
position in life. Their elders left a country that has
three hundred and seventeen population to the square
mile and came to one that averages less than two in the
same area, where the labourer has a better opportunity.
While the colony is composed of fishermen, there are so
many of them that several other trades and crafts are
being represented more and more, the blacksmiths, makers of nets, floats and sinkers — even trained engineers
to run the launches, for many of the boats in these waters
retain a suggestion of the Chinese junk in their lines, and
are owned and operated by the Japanese, who find a ready
market for their fish. In the evening they sit in front
of their homes along the canal banks and listen to the
music of strange little native guitars or the samisen.
One can hear them from the hotel veranda and imagine
that he has crossed to the land of the wisteria and lotus.
Most visitors will not remain the night at Steveston,
however, as two or three hours will suffice to observe its
"atmosphere" and to visit the principal points of interest, which relate in some way to the catching, preservation and marketing of fish, and the city is included in
the circular excursion that may be made from Vancouver in one day.    It is worth remaining over, however, to  I
J "The Royal City" 123
sit around the various meeting places of the " old residents," to hear them relate their stories of the fancied
or real experiences of the past when the great salmon
drove started up the river, impelled by the powerful instinct of reproduction. To listen to these " old timers,"
one must believe that the "run" is not so large as it
used to be. They tell of the pirate sea fish that pursue
the salmon for the purpose of eating its spawn, of the Indians they saw clubbing or spearing them in the Narrows
of the river, of the bears that could " teach any salmon-
fisher a few lessons "— and one leaves them wondering
that there remain any salmon to be caught, and understands the " scarcity " that must have caused the increase
in prices for the canned article in recent years.
But one recovers from the effects of these stories when
he visits a cannery in July or August when the " run " is
at its height. The barges and launches come to the piers
with all available space piled full of the beautiful fish
that form one of the great assets of the province. Salmon marketed from British Columbia waters in 1915
amounted to $8,018,626, the next most valuable fish, the
halibut, bringing only $1,561,626. By far the greater
amount of this catch comes from the Fraser district and
a large per cent, of it is marketed fresh or canned at
The salmon's strange life story has offered a special
field of study for the scientists for many years, and while
many unusual claims were made it was not until very recently that much that was accepted as gossip — or worse
— was accepted literally and vouched for by leading
authorities. It seems reasonably certain that after a
salmon is hatched in the headwaters of the stream it
makes its way to salt water within the year.   Just where it I
Sunset Canada
goes in the broad Pacific has not been definitely determined
— perhaps to the Japanese coast — and the route of its
return is not definitely known; but there is sufficient proof
to satisfy investigating* zoologists that it returns to the
stream in which it first received life. It is even claimed
that the majority of the salmon return to spawn in the
exact locality of the stream in which they were hatched.
As they enter the rivers after their long voyage in the
big ocean they rush onward at a terrific pace, leaping
over obstructions and performing wonderful feats of endurance. In small streams they are sometimes so numerous that they are plainly visible from shore in a great
mass struggling forward and seem to cover the surface
of the water. The " big run " occurs every fourth year
with absolute certainty, and there are canneries in Steveston which operate on a large scale and suspend operations during the lighter years. During this run there are
sometimes as many as two thousand boats pursuing the
much prized fish at the mouth of the Fraser, and it is not
unusual for them to bring in one hundred to five hundred
fish each at night — fish varying from ten to seventy-
five pounds in weight.
And there is no reason to doubt that this run has taken
place every year from an exceedingly early period, as the
Indians were well acquainted writh its habits and entertained almost a religious respect for the fish that did so
much to sustain life during the long seasons when other
food was scarce. He preserved salmon by sun-drying
and smoking, much as he does to-day, and preferred it to
all other food.
Charles Hill-Tout, author of a book on British Columbia Indians, says: "Whenever they, (the salmon)
began to run, no Indian was allowed to fish or kill until ^
 " The Royal City " 125
the first salmon of the season had been reverently brought
to the chief of the tribe, who would gather his tribesmen
and bid his wife cook the fish in a new basket specially
made for the purpose. Then he would distribute a small
bit to every man of his tribe who was ceremonially clean,
for none who were ceremonially unclean could be allowed to touch a bit of that first fish. After that, any
member of the tribe was free to kill salmon, but it was
understood that they were to return the head and entrails to the water."
This practice of returning the portions of the fish to the
water was with the belief that if they did this the fish
would return to life, thus the waters of the river would
not become depleted — as it may be noted the waters of
British Columbia rivers may be unless adequate laws
are framed for the protection of the salmon, which has
already shown signs of diminishing in certain " fished-
out " localities. Hill-Tout continues: " The Indians
believe that the spirit part of the fish and animals is more
real than the corporeal part. They believe that the destruction of others parts of his carcass besides his flesh
which may be used for food purposes, would make the
bear, for example, very angry, and that he would take his
revenge on the Indians for the indignity placed upon his
remains. They believe if the animals allow themselves to
be killed for food, then it is the duty of those who kill
them to treat with reverence what they do not use."
The Indian legend of how the salmon came to British
Columbia waters, is related by the same author as follows:
" It seems that long ago there were no salmon in the
rivers, and Khals, the culture hero of the Indians of this
coast district, determined to go out to the salmon islands
in the Pacific and induce the salmon people to visit the 126
Sunset Canada
rivers and streams and allow themselves to be caught by
the Indians as fish. He set sail with his brothers and
some priests of the coast tribe and after many days rowing arrived at the home of the salmon people somewhere
in the Pacific. They were people just like the Indians
and the visitors were made welcome. Just when the
midday meal was being prepared one of the visitors
noticed that two of the young people of the salmon tribe,
a youth and a maiden, went down into the water and disappeared. Shortly afterwards two salmon were caught
and when they were being distributed to the visitors the
chief of the salmon tribe asked them to be very careful to
keep all the bones together. After the meal one or two of
the young men came round and collected the bones left
over and these were taken and thrown into the sea.
Shortly after this the young man and maiden who had
entered the water were seen to reappear."
" This happened each day and excited the curiosity of
one of the visitors, who determined to put his suspicions
to the test. Believing this entering of the water and
catching of salmon to be intimately connected, he, at the
next meal, hid a piece of salmon bone under his blanket.
Presently, when the young people came up out of the
water, it was seen that the youth was holding his blanket
up to his jaw. The chief went forward and the youth
told him that all of the bones could not have been returned
to the water because his jaw bone was missing. The
chief asked the visitors if they had returned all of the
bones. A search was made and the missing bone was
found thrown a little way beyond the circle, where the
visitor had thrown it. The chief threw it into the water,
the young man returned into the water and came out
whole.    By this means the visitors knew that the salmon " The Royal City " 127
that they had been eating were the salmon people. So
Khals asked the chief if he would visit their coast and
permit his people to catch them as salmon. This the chief
agreed to upon certain conditions, the principal being
that they would always throw the offal and bones back
into the water."
Every one has seen the bright labelled canned salmon
on the shelves of every grocery store in the world, because
there are few articles of food so relished by practically
all people of all zones. It is prepared in a manner that
will preserve it under equatorial skies and in the cold.
It is " ready to serve " when taken from the cans and one
rarely comes across any that is not in prime condition,
whether it be old or new. Such a product must have been
prepared with infinite care! At least that would be
the natural belief. But of all the rapid-fire operations I
have ever seen in a factory this preparation of salmon for
the market seems most speedy. The present rate of skill
and time-saving, however, has come about after years
of experimentation and experience. Efficiency experts
have been busy and where a part of the process could be
accomplished in one movement of a worker's arms he was
trained not to take two. Where a machine could be devised to do the work of several men some one invented it
and the machine was installed and put into operation.
The busy season is short, but when the fish come they
come by millions and they must be disposed of at
As the boats arrive at the pier and deposit their precious cargo at the cannery the floor is covered, and from
that moment quick disposition is made of them. One
by one they are fed into the jaws of a machine that chops
off their heads, slits open their stomachs and " cleans j 128
Sunset Canada
them. They fall into vats, attended by Japanese women,
where there is running water and they receive a final
inspection as to their fitness for the can. One by one
they are fed into an iron " chink " that in one operation
cuts the whole fish to can-length sizes. They are packed
into cans filling a circular iron tray, a spring is touched,
something falls, and when it rises back to place every
can has been topped and sealed. They are placed on
endless chains and begin their journey through vats of
hot water which discharges them near large retorts, where
they are heated to soften the bones. A label is pasted
on the can and the cans are packed in cases for shipment,
the operation finished.
A considerable trade has grown up in frozen fish, which
are shipped to the markets of the world in refrigerator
cars and steamers, so that London, Melbourne and New
York may receive " fresh fish " from the British Columbia fisheries. Several plants specialize in this product,
which seems to be growing in favour. Visitors are welcome here as at the canning factories and usually a
" guide " is provided at the office on application for admission beyond tightly closed doors where the temperature is kept at a point that endangers the health of men
who work more than two hours at a stretch without
coming into the open air. I did not see salmon frozen
or freezing, but I saw shelves and racks piled high with
halibut and cod, much of which is brought down from
more northern waters for cleaning and freezing. Also
there were several mammoth sturgeon from the Fraser,
one tipping the scales at one thousand pounds and with
a " body " almost as large as a horse, although its head
and snout had been severed. Sturgeon here have weighed
as high as seventeen hundred pounds.    Such a fish is a "The Royal City" 129
prize to the captor; but they have not been plentiful of
late, owing to lax laws and piratical fishing.
Another department of the " cooler " has unique interest for although it is of great importance to the fisheries the public is unaware of its existence. It shows how
small fish, six to nine inches long and mostly herring, are
preserved for bait. In the month of January these fish
run in schools of incredible numbers near the mouth of
the Fraser, and they are never so plentiful in the waters
where the halibut and cod are caught. So the Japanese
fisheries of Steveston, who catch salmon in the summer,
throw their nets for " bait " in the winter and bring them
to the refrigeration plants by scow-loads. Some seasons
they are so plentiful that only five dollars a ton is paid for
them; but the price sometimes runs as " high " as ten
dollars a ton. The plants sometimes receive as many as
fifty tons at one time. They are thrown into square vats,
into which water is poured, filling the intervening crevices
and then they are frozen into rectangular cubes about
two feet long, one foot high and one foot thick. The
cubes are stacked up in huge storerooms, where they are
preserved for an indefinite time — until a steamer comes
in with a load of fish and takes on bait for the return
cargo. A block is permitted to stand in the sun, or hot
wrater is poured over it when bait is required and the small
fish again find the sea " as fresh as when they were
caught"— only this time to serve as a lure to a hungry
halibut that may shortly find its way to the tables of England and Australia. III
II   ! f
The stranger in Vancouver could begin a well laid out
program of excursions from that city, little jaunts afield
and by water that require from one-half day to twelve
days, and rarely if ever traverse the same territory, although he followed the program conscientiously for several weeks and allowed himself none of the stop-overs
at the places visited that will beckon and lure. Nature
was not so prodigal of her gifts to many cities of the
world; and where she was there was no Canadian Pacific
Railway to make the journey toward them comfortable
and luxurious with the minimum of expense and fatigue.
And then, as already noted, Vancouver is on the great
world's highway from London to Hongkong, another
unusual advantage. Most around-the-world travelers
are pleased to remain for some time in such a city, and
the people, recognizing that they have something to offer
and enough traffic to pay for the development of tours in
every direction have devised means of making these trips
mutually satisfactory to those who pay and to themselves.
At almost every hour of every day there is some steamer
entering the deep waters of Burrard Inlet for a cruise to
one of the enchanting fjords, coves, bays or islands of this
typically Norwegian shore line. Some of them move
slowly along the rugged coast and return the same day.
Others have ample accommodations for the night and
passengers remain aboard for thirty-six hours.    Some go
130 Vancouver's Side-Trips 131
further and take forty-eight hours, three, four, five days
and more for the round trip. One who begins to follow
the marine program before having made many excursions
by land might fancy that Vancouver's chief recreation
and charm was in its ever-moving water pageant.
A good beginning is the little trip to Capilano Canyon,
which may be made by motor car and ferry, or by a combination of ferry and tramcar. I have made it in both
ways and I have walked the entire distance — put down
as about twelve miles round trip from Vancouver — and
I have no hesitancy in recommending this more strenuous
manner, at least for the tourist who intends making a
day's trip of it. The North Vancouver ferry, which runs
at frequent intervals during the hour, will carry one
across the Bay, and if you do not care to venture into
trails that are merely the footprints of " white Indians "
who despise macadam roads, the tramcar tracks may be
followed up over the hills in a northwesterly direction until a road is reached that skirts along the bank of the awful precipice, where the rushing waters are hurrying in the
last hours of their plunge toward the sea. There are
trails from the road down into the canyon itself where
the steep descent is made along a stairway of roots and
trampled earth, or one may follow the road to the teahouse which is set in a rock garden of almost indescribable
beauty where a wise landscape gardener has preserved
the natural charm of the place but has caused flowering
shrubs and vines to cover the terraces and fill the rock
crevasses with brilliant colours that have a background of
pine, fir, spruce and hemlock, festooned over prongs of
jutting rock. At the side of the veranda of this teahouse built of cedar planks piled flat to resemble solid
beams or square-cut logs,  is  the celebrated  Capilano 132
Sunset Canada
Bridge, one of the most photographed " sights " in the
environs of Vancouver. It provides more thrills than a
Ferris wheel or switch-back of the amusement parks, and
yet the element of danger is practically nil, as one realizes
afterwards but fails to appreciate at the time.
The gorge of the glacial stream seems to be narrow
until one ventures onto the bucking, trembling footpath,
when it suddenly seems to be of interminable length.
Rocks that seem to have been cut by a knife reach down to
the water two hundred feet. Cables four hundred and
fifty feet long have been imbedded in rocks and stumps
on each side of the ravine and a slender bridge of narrow
boards is suspended from the cables. From the tea-house
the aerial pathway leads to a group of rustic tables on
the opposite bank where picnickers spread their lunches
and mingle the joys of the environment with human delight in watching new arrivals start out bravely on the
bridge and then, when it begins to buck and sway, either
become panic-stricken and shout for help or grasp the
side cables and creep timidly to the end. One person
might cross the bridge and the vibration might respond
to the footstep, but there are no limitations as to the
number who may venture upon it at one time. One
starts out and reaches the center, new visitors arrive and
in their new enthusiasm rush onto the end and immediately the whole structure is careening and billowing as if
it resented the action of the thoughtless.
The guide books say that the bridge was constructed
by an inventive Frenchman who wandered through the
canyon on a hunting expedition and as it was within easy
distance of Vancouver saw the " possibilities " of the
place as an amusement park if " thrills " were provided
for visitors.    This is incorrect, however, and when I     Vancouver's Side-Trips 133
heard the true story of its building and saw a strange
bunk-house of hand-hewn cedar planks that have aged to
Rembrandt browns, I thought I was on the scent of just
such a human story as such a place should have. There
is " gossip " that a white man once wandered into this
canyon, that he fell in love with an Indian girl who returned his affection; she was thrown out of her tribe and
he felt that he could not return to his people, taking
with him his wilderness " soul-mate." So they went to
the top of this canyon and the man built the home from
which they could look down on the turbulent waters and
the ravine which both of them loved. I thought of an
American "Madam Butterfly," or "Madam Chrysan-
theme "— did the white man remain faithful to the Indian
maid and did they end their lives here together? Just
by chance was there a tragic ending to their existence
here together? There was the yawning chasm in the
wilderness and I could fancy a dozen "climaxes" to
such an adventure. Or did he tire of it all and go back to
his kind? Did she return to her tribe, repenting of her
" sin," or, like Cio-Cio-San, did she end it all when she
knew that she had been deserted ? Capilano Canyon is a
place to prompt such fancies. One dreams them and
fancies that they may have been realities, or should
have been.
" I have heard whisperings — very vague whisperings
— of the story that a white man and an Indian girl once
lived in the old shack," replied the lady of the tea-house,
when I asked her concerning it. " None but me seemed
to be interested and my inquiries met with a raising of the
eyebrows and the suggestion that such a yarn was scandalous and had best be forgotten, unless I wanted the place
to lose its good name.    This somewhat' proper' way of 134
Sunset Canada
looking at it did not deter my investigations, however,
but my researches did not lead to anything very satisfying, for instead of this romantic story I found the truth,
which was that the bunk-house was built for the accommodation of labourers when a water-works system was
being installed from these headwaters for the valley below. No, everything in Capilano Canyon history has
been perfectly ' regular' so far as we know and there is
no reason why unchaperoned young ladies should not
pause on this veranda for tea and their parents need not
fear that ' scandal' ever touched the place — even when
the territory was inhabited by Indians with only an
occasional visit from a white trapper or adventurer. As
for the bridge itself, it was built by a Scotchman, a
Chinese and an Indian — a rather unusual human combination for such a work, but not at all romantic. This
garden? Yes, I have done it all myself, with an occasional lift from a Japanese servant when I wanted to move
a big rock to another position. Many years ago I lived
in Macao, in the south of China. There was a wealthy
mandarin there who used to allow us to walk in the beautiful garden that surrounded his palace. In those days,
knowing nothing of the future, I promised myself that if
I ever had the opportunity I would attempt to duplicate
in my own garden some, of the effects of those enchanting
landscapes. And in time, I came here where there were
the rocks and the trees beside this beautiful canyon. I
set to work to fulfil that promise to myself of long ago.
These are the stories of the bridge, the bunk-house and the
garden; nothing romantic in them you see! May I pour
you another cup of tea and won't you help yourself to
another scone ? "
One may continue this day's jaunt to include other
^J Vancouver's Side-Trips 135
views of the same canyon and other canyons, where there
are good endurance tests for the amateur climber, or
where, as at Canyon View Hotel, one may sit quietly
and enjoy the beauties of nature in rugged and wild
Another trip that may be made in one day is along
what is known as the North Arm, in reality a continuation nineteen miles in length of Vancouver's harbour. At
the head of the Inlet is the Wigwam Inn, a modern hotel
with spacious verandas in a pleasing location for a brief
holiday. The " Falls of the Soray of Pearls "— Vancouver folk are becoming almost Oriental in their nomenclature of natural beauty — are within the grounds of the
Inn and Cathedral Canyon is in the near neighbourhood.
A day may be spent en joy ably at Horseshoe Bay, a
pretty beach that invites anglers, bathers and boatmen.
It lies about twelve miles from Vancouver and is reached
by the ferry to North Vancouver and the Pacific Great
Eastern Railway to Whytecliff station. This excursion
affords a view of Burrand Inlet, the Narrows, English
Bay and the shore line of Stanley Park. The trip to
Bo wen Island, an estate of about eight hundred acres,
may be made in one day, or this trip may be included in
the one-day cruise to Howe Sound, which is a pleasant
reminder of the Norwegian coast, because it offers close
views of glacier-tipped mountains as well as a stop at
Seaside Park and a call at the Brittania Copper Mines.
It would be difficult to recall a day's trip from an Atlantic coast city that offers so much in landscape beauty
and so likely to make an appeal to visitors.
Perhaps the most popular two-day sea trip from Vancouver is that by what is known as the Jervis Inlet and
Butte Inlet routes.    Leaving at nine o'clock in the morn- 136
Sunset Canada
ing, one returns to the city at five the next afternoon,
having cruised among many islands and stopped at fully
a dozen little ports, all barely known by name to the
visitor from beyond British Columbia's borders. The
steamers visit Sechelt, which lies close to Porpoise Bay,
Pender Harbour, which affords a close view of Mount
Diadem which towers six thousand feet above the sea
in lonesome grandeur. In the harbour is a small island
covered with Indian huts, a tiny reservation that is near
to good herring fishing in season. Nearby is Painted
Point, so called from Indian writing daubed on the
rocks and supposed to have been placed there generations
ago. Lund has been Called " the British Columbia Cornwall," as it seems to be set in a shady bower amid greenish coloured rocks. The Yeucaltau Rapids are interesting in themselves and for the fact that Captain Vancouver camped in the region during his explorations of the
coast, which gives the name of " Old Village of Vancouver " to a point on the coast, a name by which it is known
on the official charts. The romance associated with Buccaneer Bay has usually credited it with the pirates, but
while there is a " story" in connection with its picturesque name it is modern and does not date to the days of
the sea-rovers. It appears that there was a celebrated
horse on the English turf called " Buccaneer," a contemporary of " Thormanby," which won the Derby in i860.
Captain Richards of H. M. Surveying Vessel Plumper
named the Thormanby Islands — perhaps he had won
money on the race — and one of the prettiest of the bays
he named after " Buccaneer " with several other places
like Epsom Point, Oaks Point, and Tottenham Ledge in
memory of the famous race-course. Powell River is the
site of a large pulp and paper mill, operated by water Vancouver's Side-Trips 137
power from the falls nearby and at Powell Lake and
Goat Lake there is good fishing.
There are steamers that take three days instead of
two to cover this route, allowing more time ashore at
various points of landing. There are two, three and
four-day cruises to Johnstone Straits and Kingcome Inlet. A six-day excursion by three different routes includes the Skeena River, Campbell River, Bella Bella,
China Hat, Anyox, Alice Arm, Alert Bay and Prince
Rupert. A tour around the Queen Charlotte Islands and
return in twelve days is gaining popularity with tourists
each season. Any of the longer trips, of course, include
most of the scenery of the shorter ones, thus the cruise to
Prince Rupert or to the Queen Charlotte Islands from
Vancouver is perhaps advisable, rather than several of
the briefer excursions, if one has the time; but the traveler may rest assured if he take only one of the day
trips that he has seen what is typical of the entire coastline, and what he would see in more extensive or more
abbreviated form when following the longer routes:
islands covered with evergreen trees, jutting rocks, deep
blue bays, and snow-capped mountains. It is the same,
although it seems to be ever changing to the leisurely
traveler, from Vancouver to Alaska.
Leaving Vancouver on the cruise to Prince Rupert, the
water seems to be land-locked and the deep channel is
sheltered almost its entire distance, being also studded
with islands, some of which are of considerable size —
as for example, Vancouver Island, whose mountains are
visible during the first hundred miles in the Straits of
Georgia. The Straits end as Seymour Narrows are
reached, where the rushing waters pass through a channel
that seems almost at the steamer's sides, although the 138
Sunset Canada
official figures show it to be almost a quarter of a mile
wide. The tide streams into this passage in a rushing
torrent, however, and it seems that the boat were ascending or descending a rapidly flowing river. The scenery
is constantly changing as one passes the islands of Johnstone Straits and Discovery Passage and one observes
the deep indentures in the coast line, which permit the
warm Chinook winds from the Japan current to sweep
inland and temper the climatic conditions of the interior.
In this region passengers frequently see schools of whales,
sometimes a dozen or as many as twenty of them, floundering and spouting in what seems to be their chosen playground.
The first point of particular interest after passing Johnstone Straits is Alert Bay, which is noted for its fish canneries, and what is believed to be the largest and finest
collection of totem poles in the province, with the possible exception of the group at Nootka Sound. The one
street of the village is fenced with these quaint wood
carvings, some of them thirty or forty feet tall. The
route continues through winding channels, between scores
of islands, until Queen Charlotte Sound is reached, and
steaming across this opening with nothing to the West but
the Pacific Ocean brings the boat into sheltered ways
again behind Calvert Island, when a natural canal to Bella
Bella is followed. Bella Bella marks the entrance to one
of the channels of the Dean Channel, which penetrates
the main coast for a hundred or more miles. It was
here that Sir Alexander Mackenzie reached the Pacific
ocean, after his overland journey across Canada in 1793,
the first to perform the feat; and twelve years prior to the
accomplishment of the overland journey across the United
States from the mouth of the Missouri River by Lewis Vancouver's Side-Trips 139
and Clarke. North from this point the scenery is even
finer than in the channels east of Vancouver Island, although the mountains are not so high. Finlayson Channel and Greenville Channel give an almost unbroken canal-like passage to within a short distance of Prince
Rupert, and Finlayson Channel offers the most attractive
scenery on the route between Vancouver and the new city
of the north coast, being very narrow and the hills abrupt.
One who prefers to make the trip to Prince Rupert
and still desires the cruise to the Queen Charlotte Islands
will find a comfortable and speedy passage from this
port to the mountainous archipelago, of which Graham
Island and the port of Massett will be of particular interest, where he will find the opportunity to observe the
remnants of the once powerful Haida nation of Indians
who have attracted so much attention from writers and
scientific ethnologists. The Haida people have comparatively fair skins, and light hair is common among them,
while their principal occupations are fishing, the carving
of wooden or slate images and the manufacture of jewelry that preserves ancient barbaric designs. Of unusual
interest are their stone carvings made on blocks of shale
which they procure in the mountains and which is capable
of taking a high polish; but the younger representatives
of the race do not look with favour upon the perpetuation of this artistic cult of their fore-fathers, while they
have produced nothing that compares to it, although
some of them are beginning to show skill as boat-builders, and frequently, as among the Indians on Vancouver
Island, they have built craft that was purchased by white
men. The Indian agents report that they have often
seen young men destroy these ancient carvings with intentional strokes of the hammer or ax, a ruthless destruc-
s 140
Sunset Canada
tion that cannot be in the wake of civilization, because
the younger generation is shiftless and almost totally
lacking in those characteristics that attracted the world's^
attention to their fathers. One hears the sound of the
piano in the homes of Massett and Skidegate instead of
the native instruments; and while the Haida nation is as
fond of dancing as ever, it is the waltz and the quadrille
that interest them more than the war dance, and the
gramophone frequently provides the accompaniment instead of the tomtom and the drum.
In 1840 the number of Haidas was about seven thousand and they occupied about thirty villages. They have
decreased in numbers so rapidly that only about seven
hundred of them remain and more than half of this
number are at Massett, where they still prove themselves
expert fishermen, often proving their superiority to white
men in this ancient occupation.
Thomas Deasy, who was Dominion Indian Agent in
the islands for many years, says that the Haidas were
a nation of warriors and that in their raids on other
tribes they sometimes ventured as far as the mouth of the
Fraser River in their war canoes, which were carved from
huge cedar logs. Every man's ambition in those early
days was to have a retinue of slaves of his own capturing, and the greatest desire of parents was to rear warrior
sons. Summer and winter it was the custom for them to
throw small boys into the cold water, where they would be
compelled to swim for their livqs, and sometimes when
they had reached the shore in safety they were beaten
with thongs made from the roots of spruce trees until
they returned to the water and gave further proof that
they were not cowards nor weaklings. From infancy
the fact was impressed upon them that they were to Vancouver's Side-Trips 141
become warriors and unless they were to prove themselves stronger and braver than other Indians it was
better for them to perish in infancy, so that they would
not become a tax upon the resources of the parents or
the tribe. They had many other strange customs, some
of which have survived to the present, although they are
not practised with the oldtime vigour. Thus the nephew
of a deceased brave inherits everything that his uncle
possessed, even to his name and title of chieftain. They
prepare for death by having tombstones made and by laying aside enough money to provide ample funeral expenses. Their marriage ceremonials are still notable,
being a mixture of heathen and Christian rites. Dressed
in their finest raiment, the bride and groom enter the
church to the accompaniment of band music; after the
ceremony they retire to the town hall with all their
friends and acquaintances, and feasting and dancing continue frequently until the following day, the expenses of
the orgy being borne by the groom and his relatives. It
is said that while Haida marriages may be made in
heaven, the relatives of the contracting parties still have
a good deal to say in the preliminary arrangements.
This district and the region beyond it are fields for the
excursionist that are are likely to attract greater numbers
of travelers each year; in fact, this is true already, some
of the steamers having booked for the July and August
trips to full capacity long before the date of sailing. It is
the opportunity to travel over unfrequented routes with
all the comforts to which one becomes accustomed on
well-beaten pathways. Provision has been made at most
of the places mentioned for the entertainment of all who
desire to remain in port until the next steamer, be it a day,
week or a month distant, not luxuriantly appointed hotels
J 142
Sunset Canada
like those to be found along the railroad lines in the larger cities, nor at those Meccas of scenic marvels like Lake
Louise, but neat cottage hotels that seem to be more in
keeping with the atmosphere and surroundings than large
and expensive hotels would be. Here is the place for a
leisurely taken summer outing far away from scenes
with which one is familiar, far away from the people
whom one expects to meet on the familiar highways of
Canada. Queen Charlotte Sound itself is a marvel of
beauty that would pay the voyager for his trip across
country, if his eyes beheld nothing to delight him before
he reached it. It is a fitting climax to journey's end, " a
splendid sweep of purple water," writes Ella Higginson
in Alaska the Great Country, which has to do principally with the land that lies beyond the Sound. But her
pen pauses at this approach to the land of gold and she
continues: " The warm breath of the Kuro Siwo, penetrating all these inland seas and passages, is converted
by the great white peaks of the horizon into pearl-like
mist that drifts in clouds and fragments upon the blue
waters. Nowhere are these mists more frequent, nor
more elusive, than in Queen Charlotte Sound. At sunrise they take on the delicate tones of the primrose or the
pinkish star-flower; at sunset all the royal rose and purple
blendings; all the warm flushes of amber, orange and
gold. Through a maze of pale yellow, whose fine, cool
needles sting one's face and set one's hair with seed
pearls, one passes into a little open water-world where a
blue sky sparkles above a bluer sea, and the air is like
clear, washed gold. But a mile ahead a solid wall of
amethyst closes in this brilliant sea; shattering it into
particles that set the hair with amethysts instead of
pearls. ... It is this daily mist-shower that bequeaths Vancouver's Side-Trips 143
to British Columbia and Alaska their marvelous and luxuriant growth of vegetation, their spiced sweetness of
atmosphere, their fairness and freshness." These words
might impress the reader as a somewhat strained effort to
convey mental impressions by means of similes, which
usually fail in their mission, or at least the mission intended for them; but at least they give a fair example
of the intoxicating delights one experiences in this cruise,
as of the utter impossibility of recording those delights
upon the printed page. CHAPTER XI
Ten years ago the engineers and surveyors had made
their reports. " Here," they said, pointing to Kaien
Island, which lies five hundred and fifty miles north of
Vancouver in practically the same latitude as London.
It was an island about twenty-eight square miles in extent, an island of tremendous rocks with a prominent
mountain peak standing erect in a central basin of peaks.
" Here," they repeated, as they saw by their figures that
the land-locked approach by water was fourteen miles
long and that the " waterfront" was thirty miles in extent. A further argument was that Kaien Island was five
hundred miles nearer to Japan and China than the Pacific
ports further south. "If there was a railroad," said
one, the traveler could be in Winnipeg if he landed here
as soon as he would be disembarking from an Asiatic
steamer at the docks of Vancouver. The waters here
teem with fish of all sizes from shrimps to whales. The
distance from Liverpool to Yokohama via Kaien Island
is eight hundred miles shorter than via New York and
San Francisco.    This is the place! "
It was supposed to be a very cold region, and, when it
was less cold, it was rainy. Perhaps there was some
hesitation, but the scientists who specialize on climate
said the same word " here," when they were asked for an
opinion. They said that the cultivation of the soil would
alter the climatic conditions and pointed to the fact that " The American Liverpool" 145
the climate of Quebec and Ontario was changed in the
same way. In Manitoba the earliest settlers lost their
crops by summer frosts, something that has not happened
in recent years. " Cultivated soil stores up heat and
radiates it to keep off frost," they said, " vote in favor
of Kaien Island."
By an act of Parliament in 1903 the Grank Trunk
Pacific railway came into being, under an agreement with
the Canadian Government for the building and operation of a railroad. It was to penetrate a virgin territory of vast natural resources, timber, mineral wealth and
tens of thousands of acres of arable land suitable to the
plow and for grazing purposes. The route was agreed
upon, a vast hinterland that awaited the farmer, lumberman and miner; all seemed definitely settled excepting the
very important matter of the Pacific terminus. Naturally, there was a lively speculation as to the site agreed
upon and several places were erroneously reported to have
been selected. The report of the engineers and other
experts was carefully concealed from the public which was
stirred to a flurry of excitement by the possibility of arriving in advance upon the scene of a future port city
that might repeat the history of San Francisco, Seattle
or Vancouver. The great all-Canadian continental line
ran far to the north of other railroads and in many
lands it might have been a comparatively easy matter to
anticipate the Pacific terminus; but this was impossible on
the coast of Canada, where nature has carved the shore
with a series of splendid inlets, any of which is a port
city in prospect. In October, 1906, however, the late
Charles Melville Hays, at that time president of the railroad system, visited Kaien Island and not only agreed
with the surveyors and engineers who had preceded him, 146
Sunset Canada
but confirmed their findings. " Here," he said in a
dramatic moment that must always be considered one of
great importance in the history of Western Canada, for
his words gave birth to a city of undoubted future greatness and upon the huge rock where he stood the city began to grow almost immediately as if an enchanted wand
had been raised over the spot.
Most of the cities of the world have had a slow growth.
The rule has had exceptions several times in Canada,
where such centers of population as Winnipeg, Calgary
and Vancouver survived the dangerous process that is
popularly known as " mushroom growth " and literally
became cities almost between the setting and rising of the
sun; but even Calgary and Winnipeg seemed the evolution and growth of trading posts long ago selected by the
Indians as representatives of the fur companies. There
were sawmills near the present site of Vancouver and
around them were small villages; the place seemed marked
by fate to become a metropolis. The conditions were
different at Prince Rupert, which was located in a region
that seemed to have been overlooked by builders of railroads and future cities. And availing themselves of the
exceptional opportunities offered, the promoters of Prince.
Rupert immediately laid the foundation of a city of ten
thousand inhabitants and placed the contract in the hands
of an American firm for execution. Whatever it may
become in future, and its inhabitants are certain that it
will become to Canada what Liverpool is to England,
Prince Rupert was Boston made. It was one of the most
remarkable commissions ever undertaken and must have
appealed to the imagination of the men who received it.
Not Algiers, Amalfi nor Hongkong set on terraced hills
have a more imposing situation than this rocky eminence   " The American Liverpool" 147
of Kaien Island. " Plan the city that will accommodate
ten thousand inhabitants, a modern city in every respect
and a beautiful city," were the instructions to those who
undertook the task of landscape architecture. The result was that most of the streets, parks, and squares have
a rare scenic outlook. There are ninety acres of parks
and playgrounds and the area of the city proper included
^something like two thousand acres. A water gravity system was installed, the supply coming from a lake five
miles distant. Twenty miles of plank roads were built,
and as it was planned and plotted before any buildings
were erected nothing was overlooked that might add to
the attractiveness and symmetry. Lots were first sold
in May, 1909, and in six months four thousand six hundred of them had passed to private ownership. The first
sale amounting to over a million dollars. It has been
said that these first inhabitants were a peculiar sort of
men, almost unique perhaps in their grim determination
to make Prince Rupert a great city. They overcame
obstacles some of which may have been anticipated and
others which arose to balk their progress. But they had
only one thought. They pulled together and helped one
another in the great object. Speculation in the real estate
there was of course, and many men made large sums of
money within a few days, as matters were adjusting
themselves and land values mounted in response to reports of large business prospects in the neighbourhood.
But most of the purchasers had decided to make Prince
Rupert their home; it was to be their city and they felt
a personal interest in its welfare. It is said that one
speculator, an Englishman, purchased so many lots that it
was believed he was doing it for some " boone " purpose, which was not looked upon with favour by his asso- 148
Sunset Canada
ciates; but it developed that he bought heavily because
he had great faith in the investment and inside of twelve
hours after the purchase had sold enough property to
show profit of fourteen per cent, on the investment.
F. A. Talbot, who was on the scene in the first days
and wrote The New Garden of Canada about what
he saw, says: 1 In the early days they were exciting
times. The hub of activity was the point on the waterfront where vessels called and unloaded. The quay
space was being leveled. The shacks were of timber with
shingled roofs. Suddenly there would be heard the
strident blast of a siren. Instantly one and all hustled
away from the water's edge to a respectful distance,
leaving all buildings vacant. Workmen would be seen
tumbling across the ragged ground as a second blast
rang out. A few seconds of intense silence. Then a
violent shivering under foot, and a tremendous bellow,
accompanied by plumes of smoke, dust and debris rising
gracefully into the air. All eyes were turned skywards,
and dodging rocks as they descended was an exhilarating
pastime. There would be heard the sharp crack, crack,
crack as of sniping rifles, as a few pounds of disintegrated rock swooped down into the streets and riddled the
shacks. When the citizens returned they found the roofs
of their establishments perforated like a pepper-box.
Out in the yard were shacks of shingles, and soon one
and all were aloft their buildings putting the damage
aright. Riddled houses and shops were the penalties
exacted for being in a hurry to settle down in the new
hub of commerce before the fabric had been fashioned.
Strange to say, never a man was killed. One or two received contusions from falling missiles, and that was
all." " The American Liverpool" 149
Many things soon transpired that kept up the orgy of
civic enthusiasm. A drydock was constructed at a cost
of $2,000,000 that will float any ship on the Pacific ocean.
A cold storage plant having a capacity of seven thousand
tons was built in anticipation of the development of the
fish industry, while the railway had constructed one hundred specially designed refrigerator cars for the same
purpose. It became known that the spruce, hemlock and
cedar in the forests within a radius of one hundred miles
had enough timber to supply twenty-five mills for twenty
years. A whaling station was built, banks, newspapers,
hotels and wholesale as well as retail stores were established. The provincial government made Prince Rupert
the headquarters for the northern part of the province,
and buildings were erected for officials, a court house,
jail, customs house, postoffice, wireless station and
churches. Enthusiasm knew no bounds. The most
beautiful part of the eastern portion of the island was
selected for the residential section and it was connected
with the business section by a broad highway, which
forms a link in the great circular drive of twenty miles
around Kaien's circumference. It is likely that in future the great fishing trade of the North will center
around Prince Rupert as it is in the heart of the cod
and salmon industry and within a few miles of the harbour are the great halibut banks. The first train was
run from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert and arrived at the
latter terminal April 9, 1914. It reached a romantic
young city that is in many respects the most modern in
the world. It has single tax, owns its own electric light
and power plant, telephone and water systems. And the
greatest surprise of all was the climate, for while the
world had the opinion that any place so far north must Sunset Canada
be very cold it was found that the thermometer rarely
went far below zero in winter. The rain full averages
one hundred and five inches in the year, but the snowfall
only two inches.
The enthusiasm, civic pride, or whatever a loyal feeling toward a city may be called in lieu of no English
word which means what patriotism means toward native
land, has not decreased in the passing of the few years
since the first days of excitement. Every resident of
Prince Rupert is certain that it will not only become a
great commercial metropolis, but that the tide of travel
will change and that tourists who visit the province of
British Columbia will not, consider their tour complete
unless they have seen Prince Rupert, its environs and
the territory between the coast and Edmonton, opened
by the new railroad and only a few years ago considered
" Furthest North " and which now seems to roll back
that barrier a thousand miles toward the top of the map.
Prince Rupert is worth seeing, when one thinks how it
has sprung from a rock as by miracle, and its scenic environs will repay a visit; but I venture the opinion that
as a tourist's city it will remain for many years what
Vancouver was in its earlier days, only a roadhouse on
the long highway. People are likely to remain only a day
or two between train and steamer, until better acquainted
with the rugged beauty of the vicinity and until carefully
planned excursions are in operation over the principal
routes. Visitors are certain to arrive as sufferers from
scenic indigestion, as they will have passed either through
the marvelous pathway between the mountains, or on a
steamer that has cruised among islands, across bays and
through fjords that are equal in beauty to any to be
encountered on the European continent.    They are likely " The American Liverpool" 151
to be overfed on scenic beauty; they will have exhausted
their vocabulary of expletives and adjectives, and in a
relapse from superlatives they will again arrive at the
positive degree. Compared to other great port cities,
Prince Rupert is disappointing; when one recalls what
it was ten years ago, however, and what it is to-day, as
well as what it may be ten years hence, it has no equal
on the face of the globe.
Among attractive excursions from the city are those
by steamer to the Portland Canal, Observatory Inlet,
Port Simpson near the Alaskan boundary, Anyox, Atlin,
which is reached via Alaskan ports, Skagway, Alaska,
only two days away, and, as before noted, any of the
long or short cruises to the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The traveler who makes an all-Canada tour, instead
of going or returning through the United States will not
regret it if he tangents from Winnipeg and completes
the triangle that includes the coast between Vancouver
and Prince Rupert and either outward bound or returning takes the northern route. The latter is certain to
grow in popularity, for although the great railroad was
projected for the purpose of bringing communication to
the vast agricultural lands of the Far North, although it
passes through only three or four towns that are entitled
to rank as cities, like Prince George (a station of the
Hudson's Bay company over a century ago), Hazelton
and lesser settlements, the road leads to Jasper Park,
certain to become a Mecca for tourists to Mount Robson ("giant among giants, immeasurably supreme"),
through the Yellowhead Pass, along the Skeena River
and along a scenic route that compares favourably to
what may be encountered on lines further south, while
frequently there are pictures in the region that challenge 152
Sunset Canada
comparison, a matter which must remain one of personal
opinion and judgment. Best of all tours through the
Canadian Rockies and the most comprehensive, would be
that beginning at Prince Rupert east to Jasper Park,
through the trail to Lake Louise and back to the coast at
Vancouver. At the present time it is a somewhat strenuous journey; but surveys have been made and preliminary arrangements looking to the construction of a
motor route connecting the Grand Trunk Pacific and the
Canadian Pacific railways through the mountain passes.
If this is done, there is no doubt that the most beautiful
scenery on the North American continent will be made
easily accessible and tourists will not be slow in responding to the opportunity offered.
Westbound passengers over the Grand Trunk Pacific
leave the prairies and enter the Rocky Mountains through
the celebrated Yellowhead Pass (a translation of Tete
Jaune) which it was named by the Indians and half-breed
hunters after a trapper in the service of Jasper Hawes
at the Hudson's Bay post in Jasper Park, who was distinguished among men for his great shock of " yellow "
hair. He is said to have been an Iroquois of huge
stature and perhaps his hair was red, but the Indians
called him " Yellow Head " and as he always selected
the ravine in the mountains between the post and the
Fraser River for his rapid journeys the trail became
known as the "Pass of Tete Jaune," which has been
perpetuated by travelers since his time and by the railroad. No more attractive introduction to impending
scenic marvels could be wished for; the entrance being
guarded by Boule Roche Mountain and Roche a Pedrix,
which also serve as the entrance to Jasper Park.
This great national reserve of over four thousand .  "The American Liverpool" 153
square miles has been set aside by the Dominion Government and will be kept from spoliation at the hands of lumbermen or hunters and for the perpetual enjoyment of
visitors. The townsite of Jasper is situated on a plateau
at the base of Pyramid Mountain at the confluence of the
Myette and Athabasca rivers. Jasper Mountain overlooks the town, which is the headquarters of the Dominion
Government Officials, who have supervision of the Park.
Hunting within the Park enclosure is not permitted, but
fishing is good for those who desire it; but for some time
to come, the principal joy of the region will consist simply
in seeing it. Mountain-climbers, professional and amateur, will find ample opportunity for the exercise of their
favourite pastime and those who delight in following the
trail will find the vast Park a paradise. Carriage-roads
have been built from Jasper to Pyramid Lake at the
foot of Pyramid Mountain, a distance of a little over
four miles, and also around Edith and Beau Vert Lakes
through six miles of fragrant woods to Jasper Mountain
and the Maligne Canyon, at which point a second trail
leads for some twenty-three miles up the Maligne River,
past Medicine Lake to Jack Lake, where there is excellent fishing for rainbow and Dolly Varden trout. From
Medicine Lake a pleasant return trip may be made across
the Divide to the East by way of the South Esk, which
stream is descended to the Brazeau River, where elk
and moose are to be met with, and Brazeau Lake, thence
to the Sunwapiti River to the Athabasca and so on to
Jasper from Athabasca Falls, which descend a spectacular chasm surmounted by a bridge, where Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle and his party were photographed, the picture having become familiar to readers. The ground in
this region has been so improved as to render it par- 154
Sunset Canada
ticularly attractive for camp sites and a lodge has been
built for the game and fire wardens.
A trail has also been built by way of Maligne Gorge,
along the valley between Maligne Mountain and the Colin
Range, past Medicine Lake to Maligne Lake. This is
perhaps the most beautiful sheet of water in the Rockies,
if one is to accept the verdict of many travelers. The
tourist may return from the Lake by way of Shovel Pass,
a magnificent route of thirty-five miles, which takes him
up to an altitude of nearly eight thousand feet and affords
one of the.finest views in the whole mountain system.
Ice fields and many snow-capped mountains, most of
them unnamed, may be seen from an elevation a few
feet above the Pass. On the descent, Mount Edith
Cavell in all its magnificence is in full view, with grim
Hardisty in the distance.
There is a bridle trail from the station up Jasper
Mountain where a magnificent view of the Athabasca
may be obtained, up to the Whirlpool River, past Mount
Edith Cavell and on towards the Athabasca Pass and
the Committee's Punch Bowl.
Not two miles from the station is Beau Vert (formerly
Horseshoe) Lake, where there are waters of continually
changing green and blue which afford every facility for
boating, bathing and fishing. Among other trails from
Jasper is one southward to Mount Edith Cavell, formerly
known as Mount Geikie, which is suitable for motor cars
and gives access to a large glacier that hangs between
three peaks.
These are only a few of the excursions, however, that
already are available to the visitor who is not frightened
but thrilled by the prospect of what may be called rather
luxurious " roughing it."   Hotels have not yet been built   " The American Liverpool" 155
to " entertain " guests as they would expect to be entertained on the boulevard of a large city; but ample provisions are readily made by campers' outfitters and guides,
who make it possible for one to obtain plenty of good,
wholesome food throughout the pilgrimage and at night
to lie down within well-sheltered tents, through which
the breezes laden with aromatic pine needles blow fresh
from the great drifts of glistening snow. R. Kenneth
maintains a camp on the shore of Lake Beau Vert in a
supremely beautiful location and with full equipment of
canoes, saddle-horses, driving conveyances, photographer,
guides and a " tent city " life that is certain to fascinate
all who give it a trial.
Of supreme interest for some time to come is likely to
be Mount Edith Cavell, not alone because it is one of the
most majestic peaks in a large group, but on account of
sentimental attachments toward the heroine whose name
it bears. It is over eleven thousand feet high and can
be seen plainly from Jasper Station, although it lies
twelve miles distant. Its northern face is eternally covered with snow and glaciers, and lying between it and
an unnamed peak is a tremendous glacier rock that closely
resembles the form of a woman with hands extended
toward the side of the mountain, which it is proposed
to christen Mount Sorrow. The snows melt on Mount
Edith Cavell and fall in a cascade to Cavell River, one
of the highest waterfalls in the entire system. The river
forms southwest of the mountain and flows northward through a mountain-flanked valley to the Athabasca. On the mountain is a beautiful lake of jade-green
Byron Harmon, professionally a photographer, as
thousands of tourists realize every year when they shuffle I
r »
Sunset Canada
through the thousands of views that he has taken of the
Canadian Rockies, which are exhibited in studios and
shops from Hongkong to London, is by nature an Alpinist and wilderness-haunter, and he declares that in all
the territory between Calgary and the Pacific coast, most
of which he has covered many times, preferably on foot,
but also by pony, canoe and train, there is none so marvelous as that lying between Jasper and Lake Louise, a
distance by trail of something like one hundred and
seventy-five miles. " Lake Louise is in one Dominion
Park " he said to me as I was looking over some of his
remarkable collection of photographs, " and Jasper Park
is in another. One of these days the government will
construct at least a motor road connecting the two. In
fact, I understand that a preliminary survey has already
been made. I am certain that when this territory, which
now takes about eighteen days to cover properly by pony,
is made a little more convenient to the general public
which now seems to be afraid of the mountains, lakes and
valleys that are not visited by railways, the world will
concede that on this route and in this region is scenery
that cannot be matched on this side of the world. Those
of us who have made the trip, once, twice, or several
times, may have become enthusiasts to a certain degree;
but the truth is that we are obliged to smile when we read
descriptions in which the superlative degree is used relating to other places on this continent. As yet, we form
a comparatively small group, although the tourists are beginning to follow the trail and the number is increasing
every season. And when we read an article about this
and that view being ' the most superb in North America,'
we know that if does not refer to the country lying between Mount Robson, Jasper Park and Lake Louise, it   I The American Liverpool" 157
was written by some one who has never covered this
" I imagine that the usual traveler in western Canada
believes that nothing could be more beautiful than Lake
Louise; I would refer him to Maligne Lake. Probably
he will praise the Illecillewaet Glacier at Glacier above all
others; I would refer him to that on Mount Robson. He
will extol the great field of ice that lies on the mountain
top over Sir Donald's shoulder; but I will call his attention to the ice field estimated at two hundred square miles
in area around Mount Columbia. Many people believe
that the Yoho Valley is the most beautiful on the continent; but if they do, they have not seen the valley of
Bear Creek, which runs to the north fork of the Saskatchewan. Mount Sir Donald is beautiful and high, so
is Mount Stephen, and so are any number of peaks; but
none of them is so high and none so superb as Mount
Robson, the loftiest pinnacle in the Canadian Rockies.
So on and on, point by point, I will meet them and contest
every claim.
"There is not the hardship in making this trip that
some people imagine. A guide will be necessary for the
average traveler, and he should go well equipped with
camping apparatus, preferably the outfits arranged by
some one of experience, because he is unlikely to find any
means of replenishing his stock 'between stations.' So
far as there being human habitations is concerned, one
may pass the entire distance without seeing a person save
his companions. Some of the territory lies along the
route of the old Hudson's Bay company fur traders and
an occasional trapper may cross the trail to-day; but one
does not see them. Provisions and necessary camping
apparatus are carried on pack horses — those that are 158
Sunset Canada
able to swim the Saskatchewan, there being no other
means of crossing it. Probably one who is not a seasoned hiker should ride. Personally, I prefer to cover
the trail on foot, and instead of going or trying to go
straight between the two termini, as the Czar is said to
have commanded when he drew a line with a ruler between St. Petersburg and Moscow and said: ' Construct
a railroad here,' it is preferable to make many detours
where, as for example, around Mount Columbia, the second highest peak in Canada, one becomes almost an
explorer, because the district is almost wholly unknown.
" Crossing beyond Jasper Park, a stream leads to
Maligne Lake. Beyond this, old Indian trails lead to
Wilcox Pass. Then along a fork of the Saskatchewan,
with a view of several of the highest peaks in the Rockies,
Beau Pass and Beau Lake, Hector Lake and finally to
Lake Louise.
" Here is everything to delight the traveler, something
to suit every taste. Game, with the exception of mountain goat and sheep, I would not call ; plentiful'; but an
occasional bear is met with and several other animals.
The climate is often not what would be called ' mild,'
for I have seen the snow pile up in huge drifts that
made it necessary for us to dig trails for the horses in
September. No, it is not a ' tame cat' excursion; but it
is a superb experience, one to be cherished in memory
throughout a lifetime. There is only one fault to find
with it; when you have reached Lake Louise on the
downward trip you are so fascinated with all that you
have seen, everything else seems so much less by comparison, that you want to turn back and go over the same
route again and most of us are so busy that we cannot
m Courtesy of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
EMPEROR FALLS.  "The American Liverpool" 159
spend the time to follow natural inclinations and desires
and must wait until another summer."
The western boundary between Jasper Park and Mount
Robson Park is also the boundary line between Alberta
and British Columbia, and as it is passed the traveler
immediately finds himself in another government national
reserve almost as large as Jasper Park and combined with
it, covering an area as large as Switzerland, to which it is
so closely related by natural marvels. Mount Robson is
13,068 feet high, which gives it supremacy among the
Rockies; but it has other points which make it notable
among the world's mountains. It is frequently the case
that high mountains are approached by lower hills and
mountains that lead up to them by degrees. Robson
towers above all surrounding peaks, however, and stands
out boldly in majestic isolation over two thousand feet
above all its neighbours, most notable of which nearby
is Mount Resplendent. It is beautiful when its head is
hidden in mist, as is so frequently the case, beautiful
in the full sunlight and beautiful in the light of the moon
— always visible in some form from the car window to
those who do not stop to obtain a more intimate acquaintance with it by following the trail that leads around its
northern base to the Grand Fork River, the shore of
Lake Helena, through the Valley of a Thousand Falls,
with the celebrated " Emperor Falls " in view, to Berg
Lake and Robson Pass. Mount Robson has a large
glacier from which small and huge icebergs break off
and drift to and fro upon the waters of the lake. The
giant peak does not pass from sight of the train windows
for a distance of twelve miles.
Major C. H. Mitchell has gladly provided this tribute
and testimonial on the request of the railroad:    " I look 160
Sunset Canada
back with the keenest pleasure upon my f ortnight^pent in
the Mount Robson region and consider it to be the most
unique and interesting of my many holidays in the Canadian Rockies — interesting because of the novelty of
being entirely new and almost unexplored country and
unique because this region stands out in my opinion, far
beyond all others of those I have visited, by reason of
its grandeur and its magnificent heights and distances.
It is hard to conceive of a grander mountain prospect
than greets one when alighting from the train at Mount
Robson station, and nowhere else in my travels in the
Swiss and Tyrolese Alps or in the Rockies have I seen
the rare view of a great mountain peak rising in a sheer
isolated mass ten thousand feet from the valley floor.
The route which we followed through the wonderful
Valley of a Thousand Falls was in itself apart from
towering* Robson, a trip for which I think many will
travel days to enjoy. Not until one gets up to Robson
Pass, however, does the real greatness of this great mountain region unfold itself, and when one contemplates the
bulk of the Robson mass, the glistening slopes of Resplendent and the towering pyramid of Whitehorn, he will
truly stand spellbound among their grandeurs. The
Robson glacier is unique amongst the famous glaciers of
the world, not only because of its size, length and breadth,
but because of its uniformly even and easy slope."
From Mount Robson the route onward toward Prince
Rupert follows the waters of the Fraser, the line running
high above the stream. This great river, which has its
headwaters in the Yellowhead, flows through a broad
valley and waters great fertile tracts before it enters into
the Pacific eight hundred miles away. At Prince George
the Fraser turns sharply to the South, but the line of the Courtesy of Byron Harmon. 	
MOUNT  ROBSON  GLACIER.  "The American Liverpool" 161
railway continues west through another valley, the
Nechako, characterized by its wealth of plateau and valley lands suitable for agricultural purposes, and along its
course are many gems of sylvan scenery. Vanderhoof,
the capital of the Nechako Valley, is the gateway of the
lake regions of British Columbia's northland. Not far
from Hazelton the Bulkley meets the Skeena River, and
the railway follows the Skeena down to the Pacific ocean.
Near the junction of the rivers is the Rocher Deboule,
known as the Mountain of Minerals. Quaint Indian villages with totem poles are situated along the banks of the
Skeena and both sides of the river are fringed with mountains. One of these peaks was chosen in the spring of
1916 to bear the name Mount Sir Robert in honour of
Canada's prime minister, Sir Robert Borden. This peak
can be seen from the grade near Doreen Station, and
on its flank a large glacier has been named Borden
Victoria never was gay. In its days of wild gold excitement, when twenty thousand men were encamped
around the city, either bound for the gold of the Fraser
River, or just returned with sacks of the precious yellow
stuff that usually turns men's heads and causes them to
do as they would not have done under any other circumstances, they seemed to feel the sedate reticence that the
visitor detects there to-day. The " lawless" element
was subdued, and if they did not celebrate their good fortune before they reached the capital of Vancouver Island they waited until a ship took them to San Francisco.
And the riff-raff that congregated under such circumstances was never spectacular. It was wholly different
from the California city that had recently passed through
a similar stampede. There were no Spanish beauties in
gorgeous gowns, gentlemen bedecked in pirate costumes
and loaded with jewelry, no " Yale graduate selling
peanuts, ex-governor playing the fiddle in a barroom,
physician washing dishes in a hotel, minister waiting on
table in a restaurant and lawyer paring potatoes in the
same place"—to quote a California historian. Even
in those days Victoria boasted that in all this California
human pot-pourri the Englishmen kept themselves aloof
from the others and engaged in a small part of the hilarity
that reigned. It is written that the leading London magazines were to found in Englishmen's camps during the The City of Golden Memories       163
days when " men who forgot their breeding or had none "
were exchanging thousands of dollars each night in
gambling and other vices. Victoria never tolerated anything of the sort and the gold-hunters never seemed to
show an inclination to have it otherwise.
But British Columbia had its " Paris," its city of
gaiety, where " all the world " stopped long enough to
squander some of the gold taken from Fraser River
sands. In the provincial museum at Victoria are prints
and drawings representing the life in Yale at that period.
The streets are thickly crowded with hoop-skirted dames
and their beaux, some of whom are cutting up didoes like
dancing a sailor's hornpipe on the public highway; a
thing that would have been frowned upon in Victoria or
other places that brought their traditional " good form "
with them from England. It seems to be in the nature
of things that men who are in exceedingly good fortune
shall have a place in which to " celebrate." As Yale
marked the head of navigation on the Fraser and as men
stopped off there either outfitting and preparing for the
gold fields or returning therefrom, it become a natural
rendezvous for the celebrants. There were wine, women
and song, and because of this atmosphere of a large city
and owing to the location of the town those who remained
at Yale had visions of the day when it would become an
important center of civilization. But, apparently, not
enough remained. I looked diligently, but I could find
only one who did so, although he said that there had been
two of them, " the other one died a few years back."
After a time the rush for gold subsided, and instead of
stopping at Yale the miners hastened along to other
points. The railroad came — and the death-knell had
been sounded.    Nobody cared that it was " the head of
i 164
Sunset Canada
navigation on the Fraser," because nobody came by boat.
They took the train at Vancouver and it barely hesitated
at Yale long enough for a passenger to alight at the station platform. The station remains, a general store, that
is also the postoffice, hotel and there is a church. Also,
no doubt, there are several dwellings back from the river
somewhere in the trees, for on the Sunday I spent there
a memorial service was held in the church for the last
pastor and at least twelve distinct individuals came from
somewhere and attended the service. But Yale is dead.
At one time the gayest town north of San Francisco, it
now has a few citizens, an Indian school, a group of
Indian shacks — and memories of its golden days.
Starting on the Trans-Canada train from Vancouver,
it is a pleasant ride of about three hours to Yale. The
railroad runs along the arm of Burrard Inlet, which is
in reality upper Vancouver harbour. Mountains to the
north, south and east make a pretty picture, and as one
glances ahead he wonders, as he is so often to wonder
on this route of curves through the valleys, where the
train will find its way through what seem to be impenetrable barriers. There is snow above the timberline on
these heights. One glances back to the " Lion's Gate,"
which guards the pathway to the other side of the world,
and knows that the great city of Vancouver has been
left behind; but the transition to the " wilderness " has
come suddenly. There is none of the filth and litter that
one has come to expect at the entrance to American port
cities. A few sawmills — the beginning of most of the
villages in British Columbia — reach down to the water's
edge; but they are soon passed and then all is forest again,
or forest marked by a few groups of bungalows on am-1
bitious townsites that have not yet fulfilled expectations. The City of Golden Memories       165
Westminster Junction reached in about half an hour
recalls the tragedy of the " Royal City." If the Canadian Pacific railway had made New Westminster its
Pacific terminus, or even if a point further down the
river had been selected, then Westminster Junction would
have marked the pathway of the main line, and Vancouver would have remained the name of an island.
The rails reach the river banks and as for so many
miles into the interior follow its twistings and turnings.
At Agassiz, across the river from Chilliwack, one plunges
into a rich dairy country among the foothills. Fine
herds of cattle are visible, knee-deep in dark green grass
that stamps this as a " butter " region, like Holland or
Denmark. Pass through this country in the early spring
or summer and the swollen waters of the Fraser in the
inlets make the landscape suggestive of the European low
Countries — excepting for the fact that within view of
the river on both sides are towering hills with a frequent mountain peak beyond. Agassiz is a point of departure for anglers and for excursionists bound for the
hot springs nearby.
As the train pulled into Yale I alighted and asked the
station agent if there was a hotel. He answered in the
affirmative, and as I collected my luggage he added:
" Maybe it's closed, and, then, again, maybe it isn't, I
can't tell you." At any rate, the train started and left
the station, so I went to the hotel veranda. The manageress was enjoying a noon-day siesta, as she had no
guests. I aroused her and asked if the hotel was open.
She did not move, but scrutinized me carefully and
replied: "That depends." In my desperation at the
thought of sleeping in the grass and eating crackers purchased at the general store until the next train arrived,
—— 166
Sunset Canada
which was long after midnight, I assured her that I had
stayed at some of the best hotels in the world and some
of the worst; there was no good reason why —.
" I'lbtake you in," she interrupted, as if overcome with
a desire to do a good act. " You are not an official of
any kind, are you?" Satisfied as to these doubts, she
ushered me to a neat room overlooking the river and furnished in a manner that might be described as Grand
Rapids-Mid-Victorian. And soon came the secret of so
much mystery. "If you had been an official this hotel
would have been c closed '— do you understand ? " I
did not, but she continued: " That's my silent protest.
Yale is dead, and the last blow came when the government destroyed the old suspension bridge at Spuzzum.
My silent protest is that when any of the officials come
to Yale there is no place for him to stay over night or get
his meals. Now, do you understand ? " I assured her
that I understood perfectly and that I considered such
love for a town ahd a bridge truly touching. And continuing the conversation, I inquired if she knew any one
who had come to Yale in its golden days and still remained there. " Yes, Ned Stout," she replied, and
directly following the very good dinner which she had
prepared, half-suspecting that some one might enter
Yale by the noon train in an " unofficial" capacity, I
started out to find the man whose name I had come
across many times in reading of the history of gold in
British Columbia.
A few Indian shacks line Front street, which is now
roamed over by the cows and horses of the place, which
find heavy grass between the stones that were cleared
back from what was once one of the streets upon which
the world's attention was focused.    Near it there is a ^
 The City of Golden Memories        167
neat, tiny cottage surrounded by a small garden. Two
lilac trees stand beside the gateway, and as I approached
it I saw an old man pulling one of the purple clusters
to his nostrils. Perhaps observing me coming towards
him, he let the bough rise into place and puffed at his
pipe. Again he pulled the lilac bloom over and again
puffed his pipe, alternating the fragrance of the nicotine
and the blossoms. He was the oldest white man perhaps
in all British Columbia; at least the oldest citizen of Yale.
You can see his cottage and garden as the train stops
beside it, because it borders the station grounds. It was
Edward Stout, commonly known as " Dutch Ned," or
" Ned " in the chronicles of the golden era of the Fraser
River. He is the " last leaf on the bough," and he rather
enjoys the distinction. After we sat down beaneath the
lilac bushes and he had refilled his pipe he reached to an
inside coat pocket drew out his miner's license for the
current year and proudly exhibited it as his " credentials,"
giving " authority " to his words. But it was unnecessary. In the histories that refer to the mining operations
in the Cariboo country a half century ago and in the
colourful tales of the early navigators of the rushing
waters of the gold-bearing river, I had frequently come
across his name. He came before Yale's beginning, built
his shack on the bank, saw a city grow around it, and he
has survived long enough to see only the ghost of that city
remaining. Every one else who came with him has died;
those who came later have moved on to other centers of
Mr. Stout is ninety-four years of age, and he knows
from the record in the family Bible that he was born in
Bavaria; but his earliest recollection is of when he was
in the United States.    Even as a boy he was an adven- Sunset Canada
turer and he was employed as a cracker-maker by the
Mormons on their great trek westward. A drover
passed them with his herd and said he was bound for
California, so Stout joined him and arrived at the beginning of the gold rush. Taking his supplies with him
a few years later he hired a schooner and went to Bell-
ingham, Washington, where he built a flat-bottom boat,
worked it along the coast into the mouth of the Fraser
and finally reached the locality that later was to become
Yale, May 20, 1858.
"Look at this," he said, holding a letter from the
Premier of British Columbia which he had just received
with the license. It was a complimentary reference to
his sixty consecutive years as a " prospector and miner."
" Look at this and then we'll talk about the old days.
Sure, I can remember! I can remember everything that
you'll want to know. What kind of tobacco is that
you're smoking? I like the odour and I don't mind trying a pipeful of it myself." So we sat under the lilac
bushes, " Dutch Ned" and I, and we sat for several
hours, as he related to me the story of gold in the regions
further up the Fraser; a story in which I was able from
references to fill in exact dates that had passed his memory.    I heard history from one who participated in it.
It seems likely that gold was first discovered in British
Columbia by J. W. McKay, a Hudson's Bay company
man in 1850, but it was in small particles and nothing
seems to have come from the discovery. A year later
gold was found at Gold Harbour in the Queen Charlotte
Islands. There was some excitement and it has been
claimed that one seam produced over $25,000. In 1852
another " company " trader procured gold from the Indians; this time near Kamloops.    Probably there were ^
 The City of Golden Memories        169
many such " discoveries " of which no record has reached
the present. The Hudson's Bay company did not look
with favour upon them, doubtless reasoning that if there
was gold in the hills they would get it after they had made
certain of the fur. Their chief business in Canada was
to procure fur from the Indians; and after their men
had become established in distant posts the company did
not look with favour upon the lure of gold, which has
so often caused men to forget their first duty. Between
1855 and 1857, however, a Hudson's Bay man sent to
Victoria for iron spoons with which to dig for nuggets.
Before 1858 — usually given as the date of the discovery
of gold on the British Columbia mainland in the Fraser
region — it was a known fact that the precious dust was
in the river sands. But Governor Douglas, who always
had a thought for the " company," sought to discourage
men from leaving their posts by issuing a proclamation
that all gold belonged to the crown and forbidding all
persons to " dig or disturb the soil in search of gold until
authorized in that behalf by Her Majesty's Colonial Government." This authorization was granted on the payment of ten shillings a month, and even then the right to
exercise the privilege was subject to so many conditions
that the proclamation was withdrawn.
In 1858 the news of gold finds reached California,
where it stirred men to action as it might not have done
elsewhere. The memory of '49 was still with them and
about thirty prospectors left immediately for Victoria and
began to ascend the Fraser River. Mr. Stout, having
superintended the building of Bellingham for his own
use, reached the mouth of the Fraser May 2, 1858, and
the present site of Yale eighteen days later. Near Yale
was discovered Hill's Bar, concerning which the report 1
Sunset Canada
that reached San Francisco brought four hundred and
fifty men for the new El Dorado.
" Hill's Bar wasn't much different from the others,"
related " Dutch Ned." " It seemed to us that there was
gold everywhere that the river waters touched the sand,
not enough of it to make men rich in a day, but enough
to cause every one to get what he could by skimming the
surface and then moving on, hoping to find something
better further up. I have taken out $100 of gold in a
single day here; but that was not very much when you
consider the cost of getting into the territory and the cost
of staying there, if you didn't happen to bring along
everything you needed. I always smile about the high
cost of living. Why, I have seen flour $100 a sack in
those days, and everything else about as high. You see,
if you took out $100 a day in gold, it didn't go very far.
I had taken all these precautions, however, because I had
passed through similar experiences in California. I had
three tons of beans, bacon, sugar, and other things, some
of which I traded to the Indians for salmon, which they
caught in large quantities from nets made of cedar bark
twine. But the difficult part of this trading was that
the Indians had no liking for white man's grub and didn't
consider it worth their delicious salmon. Excepting
sugar; they liked that. And after a while we didn't care
whether we made fair trades with the Indians or not,
because we soon discovered that they were treacherous
and we could place no reliance in them, even when they
appeared to be friendly. See here!" The old man
pulled his coat and. shirt-sleeves to his elbow and his
trousers above the calves of his legs, exposing several
indigo blue scars. " That's what I got from Indian
* friends.'    They'd appear friendly enough when I met A GOLD PROSPECTOR.  The City of Golden Memories        171
them in the open in the daytime; but they'd skulk around
thickets, or they'd prowl around at night and when there
was a good chance they'd shoot a poisoned arrow. All
of the boys were not so fortunate as I wras, as you see I
only got them in the legs and arms; but even this treatment from men who pretended to be friends didn't serve
to cement the friendship. Why, I had seemingly friendly
visits and trading bouts with some of them, where I was
obliged to stand with my back to a big tree, as others were
taken unawares by an arrow from the background in
just such times. So, as I say, we were not too ' ethical'
in our trading with them. They lived in shacks made
of split cedar logs placed upright against the river bank.
Once several of us had wandered a considerable distance
from our supplies and we were very hungry. We approached one of these shacks and begged for something
to eat from the plentiful stores of dried berries and cured
salmon. They declined to give us anything, so we
promptly set fire to the shack, burned or smoked them out
and took what we wanted. I never knew exactly what
made them feel about us as they did, for assuredly it was
not because we were after gold. I think they did not
want white men in the region because the river was so
plentifully stocked with fish, which provided an easy living. I suppose they thought we were going to take their
fish away from them. And then on the other hand, they
may have simply resented the coming of the white man
into their country, so they tried to kill us; and as we didn't
come to the Fraser for that, we — well we were not particular what happened to them."
This insinuation that the Red Man was "put where
he could not shoot any more poisoned arrows " on any
sort of provocation, seemed a part of the wail of " white 172
Sunset Canada
men's cruelty to the Indians," concerning which the sentimentalists in later years have had so much to say. But
somehow, as Edward Stout related this hand-to-hand
combat with savages who attempted to kill before they
were killed^ the " useless murders " seemed quite a different thing. And I recalled that it had been the same
everywhere else: Bret Harte sitting in his old newspaper office, pistols in hand, to defend himself against
the mob that had come for vengeance because he had
written an article pleading for fair play for Indians, or
the newspapers of the United States printing as they did
in a boasting manner the number of Indians killed and
the number held prisoner in the camps, following the gold
stampede. I thought of that California miner who
shouted to an Indian boy to hold his horse, and because
the youngster did not understand English and started
away frightened, the miner shot off the boy's head. It
seems always to have been the same story in the first
march of " civilization " into savage regions.
The ranks of the gold hunters increased from hundreds
to thousands, some coming overland with great difficulty,
others from the East by way of Panama, but the majority
from California. The first men on the ground steadily
fought their way upstream, always hoping for something better. Iri June, 1858, Stout and the rest of his
party, after leaving two men at Yale to watch the boats,
proceeded to Spuzzum. "You will recall," he related,
" that Simon Fraser and his men were there exactly fifty
years before, the spring of 1808. Fraser said: 'This
is impassable' and we said the same thing, when we saw
the rushing and foaming waters. But there was a way.
Every bar of the river held gold and that was enough to
spur us on.    The Indians had made a trail before us; but The City of Golden Memories        173
a trail that was rather difficult at first for human beings
who were unused to playing that they were flies. But we
all enjoyed it and never suffered the hardships that I had
suffered on the plains going to California. Our plan was
usually to stay close to the river, for several reasons.
First, we thought that was where the gold was to be
found; and second, we knew that other men, Indians most
of them, had passed over the trail ahead of us. There
were steep precipices that led to shelves of rock jutting
out over the river. These were reached by means of ladders which the Indians had made of logs and roots.
When we reached the ledges, they were often so narrow
that we could not walk straight ahead on account of the
packs we carried, so we put our faces to the wall, held on
the best we could and let the packs hang out over the
river. Of course a mis-step would have meant certain
death; but we took good care not to make mis-steps, and
the difficulties of the trail were not what bothered our
progress; it was the Indians. Of the first twenty of us
who forged ahead only five escaped the Indians with our
lives. We retreated down the river as far as China bar
and continued our work. We didn't want the savages
to hack our friends' bodies to pieces as we knew they
would do if they could, so we threw the bodies in the
river and they swept along until they were discovered
by the California prospectors who were following us as
fast as they could. They suspected what was happening
and mustering all their forces they came ahead to give
us aid. The Indians had a good supply of tomahawks
and a few old Hudson's Bay Company muskets which
supplements their poisoned arrows, and they gave us a
good fight but we finally won the day and pressed on."
Shedding light on these days, although the incident 174
Sunset Canada
was not recalled by Stout, is the story of how a certain
Captain Taylor arrived on the river one day, bringing a
cargo of whisky, instead of rockers and provisions. He
gave the Indians a small bottle of " fire water " for five
dollars' worth of gold dust. The miners observed that
danger would soon arise if this procedure continued, for
drunken savages were difficult to keep in subjection, so
they went to the boat and offered to buy Captain Taylor's
entire stock at his own price. He declined to sell, so they
held a meeting and taking the law in their own hands,
walked down to the river front with their guns at full
cock, and while a few of the number kept guard over
the Captain, the others broke in the heads of the casks and
emptied the whiskey in the river, giving the captain
one hour to get out of sight, which he did without de-
The total yield of gold from the Fraser country in
1858 is usually put down at $705,000, although the exact
figure is unknown. By 1859 the miners had reached the
Chilcotlin, and Peter Dunlevy was told by Indians of
gold in what was called the Cariboo country, because
when the men were hastening into it they saw huge herds
of cariboo. The prospectors worked down the Quesnel
River, finding many rich bars, and by i860 there were
six hundred of them in the district In the summer of
i860 Lightning Creek was discovered, and from that
Creek went Wilhelm Dietz, known as Dutch Bill, who
crossed the Divide and found what he called Wilhelm's
Creek, an important event in British Columbia gold
" Dutch Bill came back to camp and told us what he
had found and showed us proof of what he said when
he exhibited as fine gold as you ever saw.    Immediately,   The City of Golden Memories        175
there was another stampede. Every one forgot all about
everything else and started for Wilhelm's Creek. But
we found nothing — at first, and a madder lot of men
you never saw. They said that Bill had fooled them and
lured them away to his creek for some reason. Yes, I
believe you're right; there was some talk of hanging
poor Bill. In those days men had to be mighty particular
about what they did; but it got no further than calling
the place Humbug Creek, the name that it bore until the
first name was Anglicized to William's Creek. Well,
those who remained found that ' Dutch Bill' wasn't a
liar or a humbug after all. Sometimes as high as $5,000
to $20,000 was taken from a single claim in one day.
No, I didn't strike one of them. Either the chap in
front of me or the chap behind me always struck it richer
than I did. But I am not complaining. Think of poor
Bill Dietz! He never made much from his great discovery, and I believe he died in Victoria not a rich man.
But the report of the discovery went around the world.
The Victoria Daily Press said: ' Never in the history of
gold mining have there been such fabulous sums amassed
in so incredibly short a space of time.' It is believed
that fully $2,000,000 of gold was sent to Victoria before
the season ended.
" In 1862 the trail to the Cariboo country was a difficult one and it was crowded with excited men on their
way to the land of promise. Bacon was two dollars a
pound, flour was one hundred and fifty dollars a sack, and
while the wages of miners were from sixteen to twenty
dollars a day, it was barely enough to provide more than
necessities. But the Williams Creek district continued
to astound the world and men risked everything to reach
it.    It was a single discovery that was never equaled and 176
Sunset Canada
naturally intoxicated the fortunate miners, so that when
they returned to Victoria in the autumn they reported
that there were millions of dollars' worth of gold yet unclaimed, which spurred larger numbers to greater activity in the spring. Two towns, Barkerville and Richfield,
one mile apart, sprang up suddenly. There was an orgy
of gold. From first to last it is claimed that Williams
Creek yielded $45,000,000, probably the richest find in
the history of gold.
" Pack trains of new-comers arrived every hour and
by 1862 there was a population of five thousand men
in the Cariboo District. Not one married woman came
until 1867, and even missionaries who attempted work in
the field gave it up for a time as impossible. Men were
gold-mad and could think of nothing else. It has been
said that one-third of those who went to Cariboo in 1861
made great fortunes, another third made small fortunes
and another were wholly unsuccessful and became objects of charity, who were assisted by their fellow miners
in reaching Victoria.
" Most every one stopped at Yale on the way up or
down the river," said Stout. " I tell you in those days
this was a lively town. Money slid through the fingers
of the miners as it does not to-day, even among those
millionaires that we read about in New York City.
When I first came back here to settle down for good,
Denny Murphy, who had been with me up in Cariboo,
and I were chums. We had stuck it out together through
some pretty rough places and when we got back we used
to go out in the evening and look things over. * Panama
Lil' was the name given by the boys to a woman who
ran one of the gambling-saloons. She had her place all
fixed up fancy with glass prisms hanging on the lamps   The City of Golden Memories        177
and everything. It looked pretty gay and nice when a
man had been off up the river all summer; and I guess
the boys looked pretty good to her when they came back
with good-sized sacks of gold, because more of them
spent the evening at her place than at any of the others.
Some way, the others didn't feel so comfortable.— Isn't
it funny now to think of what seemed cozy and comfortable in those days? — Well, Denny and I were to
blame for the downfall of Panama Lil. It isn't anything to boast about; but we were all used to square-
dealing in those days, and it went pretty hard on any one
who wouldn't play that way. One night after Denny
and I had been in Lil's place we came out and looked
funny at one another. Every one knew that Lil made
lots of money; but that night she had made more than
usual. And both of us had our suspicions. At the same
time we had observed that she was playing crooked with
loaded dice. But we wouldn't let the matter rest on
suspicions, so the next night wre went back. The game
was being played as usual for fifty-dollar gold slugs.
Denny and I both stepped in and watched what Lil was
doing—she was up to her old game — so we stayed in
and won $250 apiece. Then when she saw what wre
were doing, she said we couldn't play any more. That
was enough to satisfy us, however, so we took our five
hundred dollars like two young fools and wrent out and
spent it. How? Well, we went and bought supper for
one thing and what a supper it was! We had everything that we wanted, and as the best there was in the
market was being brought up to Yale at that time, because
it was bought by miners with big bags of gold, we had a
grand feast. Eggs were a dollar apiece and they tasted
mighty good because we hadn't eaten any for a long time. 178
Sunset Canada
I always liked pie and I had all the pie I wanted that
night, although they were little ones smaller than your
hand and they cost $2.50 apiece. There was fruit that
had been shipped up the coast from Chili and Peru and
they made you pay enough for it to reward the skippers
who brought it. But Denny and I ate more than we
had eaten for six months I guess, all told. It's funny
what a man will do when he has been without good food
for a long time and suddenly finds it in front of him.
Well, and that wasn't all; for we told about it. We told
the other boys and not one of them would go in Panama
Lil's place again, so as she didn't think it looked ? healthy '
for her, she closed up and got out of town as fast as she
could. It wasn't very safe for any one caught cheating
in those days, you know. Her place was right down
there on Front Street.
The speaker directed his finger toward the river bank
on which cattle were grazing. " It was right near Barnard's stables, you know, the Barnard who ran stages on
the Cariboo Road. The boats used to tie up over there
— and the stages used to come in here. I tell you those
were lively days. People used to wait for the stages to
arrive and after welcoming the newcomers with a cheer,
gather around and listen to the stories about the newest
gold finds. Men went up from here in the spring with
barely a shirt on their backs, and then came back in the
fall rich. It was all pretty exciting, because you never
knew which ones would find the gold. As I said before,
however, the men in front of me and the men behind me
would get bags of it; but I never got a great deal, never
came back rich after the summer's work. But I don't
complain. I've got enough to provide all the tobacco I
want to smoke; and look what happened to Dutch Bill, %
The City of Golden Memories       179
he found the gold and the others brought it back down
the river."
" Dutch Ned " and I walked along Front Street, which
to-day is little different from any of the grassy hillsides
on the banks of the Fraser River. Once or twice, however, we scuffed the grass aside and saw a pile of stones
which had been a part of the foundation of this or that
structure in the 'Sixties, but which has entirely disappeared, all but the stones. Where there was once a
gambling saloon with prism lamps and where gold nuggets changed hands, a bent and gray-haired Indian was
hobbling about feeding a pig that seemed to share his
shack with him. A little further along we were still
walking in the grass, but the ground seemed hard and I
observed the ruts of wheels in crushed stone. " This
was the beginning of the Cariboo Road " said Stout,
" but, like Yale, they haven't any use for it any more."
And Edward Stout, aged ninety-four, walked briskly
back to his cottage gate, puffing his pipe and apparently
rather pleased that he had met some one who liked to
" talk history," as he expressed it.
" Have you lived in this cottage since you came to
" Land sakes, no! I've only been here about forty
years. Used to live down the road a bit nearer the
" Dutch Ned " has watched the river flow past his door
for nearly sixty years. He saw Yale born, grow to be
a lusty adult and die. He saw the steamboats and the
stages arrive and depart forever. He watched the railroad come and remain; and the men and various carriers of British Columbia have passed him with over
$70,000,000 worth of placer gold.    As he approaches 180
Sunset Canada
the century mark he has not many of the dollars in his
own possession, but, as he says, he has enough for smoking tobacco and he has many pleasant memories.
Yale will ever be recalled as the western terminus of
the trail that led from the head of navigation to the
gold fields. Amazing remnants of the roadway's basketlike construction around rocky cliffs and over the Fraser's torrent still remain and are seen at several points
along the river from a railway observation platform or a
car window. Sometimes the route is close to the water's
edge so that during the early summer floods the water
comes close to the foundations that from a distance appear to be the size of match-sticks, although close examination shows them to be logs of rather formidable dimensions. From the deep valley the trail makes quick turns
over rocky chasms and starts up the mountain-side. On
precipitous cliffs a shelf was cut from the solid rock, or
the shelf rested upon upturned logs. The trail circles
mountains, so that it runs high above the tallest tree-tops
and then plunges abruptly into canyons and falls away
again to only a few feet above water level. As one views
it to-day, compared to modern engineering works 6f
similar nature, it is easy to understand that it might have
been a boon to pedestrians who were covering the difficult
path towards El Dorado. Even a pack-horse might have
made its way, hugging the rocky walls, but to recall that
six- or eight-team wagons and caravans made up of
treasure-cars once passed this way — sometimes at a
gallop if contemporary records may be believed — gives
the old Cariboo Road added interest, and one strains his
eyes as the train speeds along endeavouring to trace every
yard of the spectacular pathway. In many places *it has
merged itself with the railway roadbed; elsewhere it has The City of Golden Memories       181
become grass-grown and covered from sight by tangled
shrubs and vines, but there are points at which it is still
in prime condition and seems strong enough to support
heavy loads to-day, for while the logs have rotted, huge
boulders have moved to the outside of the shelf so overhanging ledges that have broken away since the wreck
that was caused by the building of the railroad, have
fallen into the path and during the years they have lain
there have pressed their faces deep into the soil and made
a lasting foundation. One who leaves the train at Yale
and traces the old pathway discernible from deep ruts in
the cobblestone pavement now overgrown with tall grass
has little difficulty in marking the exact route covered by
the stages that were eagerly looked for by the Yale
crowds, who knew that each fresh arrival would bring
new stories of quick fortune, and exhibit the bags of gold
as proof of his words.
Long before white men found this golden trail the
Indians were following it as the only pathway through a
district that replenished their larder with salmon, which
seems to have been their principal article of food in
summer and in winter. The way was first pointed to
.white men by Simon Fraser, who gave his name to the
river and who records in his journal of 1808: " As for
the road by land, we could scarcely make our way even
with only our guns. I have been for a long period among
the Rocky Mountains but have never seen anything like
this country. It is so wild that I cannot find words to
describe the situation at times. We have to pass where
no human being should venture; in these places there is
a regular footpath impressed or^ rather indented, upon
the very rocks by frequent travel. We had to pass many
difficult rocks, defiles, precipices through which there was 182
Sunset Canada
a kind of beaten path practiced by natives and made
passable by means of scaffolds, bridges, ladders so peculiarly constructed that it required no small degree of
necessity, dexterity and courage in strangers to undertake.
" For instance, we had to ascend precipices by means of
ladders composed of two long poles placed upright writh
sticks tied crossways with twigs; upon the ends of these
others were placed and so on to any height; add to this
that the ladders were often so slack that the smallest
breeze put them in motion, swinging them against the
rocks, while the steps leading from scaffold to scaffold
were often so narrow and irregular that they could
scarcely be traced by the feet without the greatest care
and circumspection; but the most perilous part wras where
another rock projected over the one we were clearing.
The Indians certainly deserve our grateful remembrance
for their able assistance through this alarming situation.
The descents were, if possible, still more difficult; in these
places we were under the necessity of trusting our things
to the Indians; even our guns were handed from one to
the other. Yet they thought nothing of it; they went up
and down these wild places with the same agility as sailors do on board a ship."
As this first chronicler observes, the trail was that of
the Indians and it is likely that it would have remained
little more than a well-made trail for many years if the
men who followed the river's course from the ocean had
not found golden sands, which was proof enough to spur
them to great dangers and hardships, that there were vast
quantities of the treasure upstream. Their hopes were
more than realized, and it was the duty and privilege of
the young province at the head of which was Sir James
1 m
 The City of Golden Memories       183
Douglas, known as the " King of Roads," to make the
road as easy for them as possible. This seems to have
been a distinguishing mark of all great peoples; they built
roads. It was a part of the great imperial policy of
Rome; by its roads its conquests in Europe, Asia and
Africa may be traced to-day. It was the policy of ancient Egypt and China, just as it has been of mighty
nations in modern times. Confucius advised judging a
nation by its music; but its roads are likewise suggestive
of its condition and of its future. Douglas was looking
far ahead to the present day and to the great future; and
although severely criticized for expenditures in the matter
of road-building, it is known that he contemplated more
ambitious enterprises than his span of life permitted him
to realize. He was the moving force back of the construction of the great Cariboo Road, but he received
valuable assistance from the Royal Engineers who were
summoned to the new colony, and from several other men,
some of whom are still living. One of them, Walter
Moberly of Victoria, played an important role and he
relates many amusing stories of the construction days,
when many of the labourers in the " gang" were Chinese. Once when he was on his way from Cook's
Ferry to Lytton, he stopped to inspect a large camp of
celestials, where an insistent plea soon went up for him
to provide them a pig for the proper celebration of a
festival which was soon to arrive on the calendar.
Realizing that their request was almost impossible to
grant, owing to the scarcity of all domestic animals so
far inland, he attempted to convince them by argument
that their request or demand was absurd. They were
in the wilderness and should be reasonable enough to demand wilderness fare — even when they were celebrating. 184 Sunset Canada .
But he was particularly anxious not to incur their displeasure, which might result in a delay to the great work
upon which they were engaged, so he finally told them
that he would see what he could do. He knew of a
settler who had two pigs and he made it known that he
wanted the animals; but pork suddenly became more
valuable than ever before and the owner demanded two
hundred dollars apiece for his darlings, which he had
brought from the coast with much difficulty. Moberly
went back to the Chinese and reported; but the excessive
price made no difference to them. They were about to
celebrate a festival, and how could they do it properly
without roast pig? Unable to answer the question, and
realizing that many times four hundred dollars might be
at stake, the pigs were purchased, roasted, and the Chinese were satisfied. fffS
When the road was completed it was necessary for
some one to organize transportation and the man arose
in F. J. Barnard, who had arrived at Yale as an emigrant with only five dollars in his purse. In 1862 he had
a " pony express " between Yale and the Cariboo country,
a distance of three hundred and eighty miles. He
charged two dollars each for delivering letters and one
dollar apiece for newspapers. In time, " Barnard's Express " came to be an institution in the colony and he
became a wealthy man in consequence. In the newspapers of New Westminster or Victoria of the period one
finds such items as " Barnard's stage arrived at Yale on
Sabbath bringing a Cariboo express with $130,000 in
treasure." As his business increased, he improved the
service and finally heavy stage-coaches drawn by four or
six horses dashed along the roadway that seems in many
places to hang in the air like the rails of a " switch- The City of Golden Memories        185
back" at an amusement park. It was an expensive
luxury, however, as the single fare from Yale to Richfield was $130 exclusive of meals and accommodations
at the roadhouses along the route. Meals consisting of
bacon, beans, slapjacks and tea cost $2.50 each. But it
was necessary to make what now seem to have been excessive charges. Hay was $35 a ton at Yale, and $250
a ton at Barkerville; and horses required it if they were
to be kept in fit condition for the perilous journey along
the great highway. It was possible to purchase horses
in Oregon for about $200 each at this time; but the purchase price had doubled by the time the animals reached
Yale. By 1872, however, Barnard had over two hundred
horses in the service. Passenger coaches were brought
from California and safes were placed in specially constructed wagons for the purpose of carrying the gold with
what was at that time considered the greatest precaution,
and a regular service of two passenger stages each way
weekly was installed. They were started when the
steamer from Victoria reached Yale and run on dependable schedule time.
It seems marvelous that there were so few accidents,
but the newspapers of the province chronicle several hairbreadth escapes that must have been fully as trying to
the nerves of the occupants of the coaches as a modern
railway wreck would be if passengers finally reached
safe ground after having experienced a head-on collision
on a suspension bridge over the Niagara rapids. Much
depended upon the drivers, of course, and as the best men
were hunting for gold, once they reached the district
where it was known to be within easy reach, it was not
always possible to procure the services of men who were
fitted by temperament or habits for the difficult feat of I
Sunset Canada
driving horses over the highway. The editors of the
day seem to have been expecting " big news " from the
Cariboo Road every day or every hour and, while it
proved to be a great newsgiver, there were few serious
accidents and no plunges of passengers, driver, horses,
stages and treasure into the Fraser torrent, which must
have been momentarily expected.
In the British Columbian in August, 1865, however,
appeared the following account of an incident on the
Road that would be worthy of the pen of a novelist:
" Just after leaving the Ninety-Mile Etouse the driver,
who was intoxicated, commenced whipping his horses
furiously and kept them at full gallop for about two
miles, when one of the wheels struck a stone, causing the
tongue to break in two; the jagged end coming in contact
with the horses' flanks rendered them completely ungovernable and they dashed on at full speed, the wagon
swaying from side to side and bounding over the stony
Road in a most alarming manner. At length they
neared a part of the Road running along a high bank and
the passengers fearing that they might be hurled down
the precipice with one exception (an invalid) sprang out
of the wagon, several being injured by the fall. A well-
known Cyprienne who was the first to leap out had her
leg severely sprained. Had not the driver been too
drunk, the wagon might have been stopped by the use of
the brakes; as it was, it fortunately passed the dangerous
spot in safety and brought up at the next ascent. The
same party had a narrow escape coming over the very
dangerous portion of the Road known as Chinaman's
Bluff, about twenty miles above Yale. The Road at that
point is a narrow track blasted out from the cliff, the
turbulent stream of the Fraser rolling several hundred The City of Golden Memories       187
feet below. The stage was passing this point one night,
it being very dark, when suddenly one of the four horses
began to rear and plunge so frightfully that the passengers momentarily expected to be hurled into the abyss
below. The driver, however, who on this occasion was
a careful and steady man, managed to unhitch the fractious animal and the remainder of the way to Yale was
safely accomplished with three horses." CHAPTER Xin
Only a few years ago as time goes, Thomas Ellis,
like so many others known as the " Cattle King," owned
a big ranch at the extreme southern end of Lake Okana-
gan. They reckoned property by miles rather than by
acres in those days, and Ellis' property ran away off beyond the lake almost to the International Boundary.
It was like many other vast " estates " in early British
Columbia; it covered so much territory that the owner
barely knew by personal observation exactly where it
stopped or where it began, excepting as in this instance
it bordered on a lake. A boat of some description came
down the lake at irregular intervals, brought supplies and
provisions for the big ranch and took away a cargo of
cattle that had fattened on the picturesque range that
stretched through and included mountains, valleys and
rivers. " Tom " Ellis, as he is affectionately called today by the natives of the city that has grown up near
his old ranch house, had the opportunity to observe the
Indians at close range, because they were his neighbours,
dwelling along the shores of the lake, where a paternal
government has permitted them to remain. Red Men
have frequently felled trees to suit their purpose; but
these Indians seem to have been planters of trees, thus
being almost unique among savage tribes. They were
fruit trees and the fruit was of such an exceptional nature that Ellis followed their example. He also planted
fruit trees, which is believed to be directly responsible for
188 Orchards and Lakes 189
what seems likely to become one of the principal industries
of the rich province of British Columbia, for there are
men who believe that after the fish have been taken from
the sea, after the timber has been leveled to the ground,
and after the hills have given their full mineral treasure
to man, the province will turn to agriculture and that the
most remunerative branch of it will be fruit culture.
" Tom " Ellis planted fruit trees and they bore fruit that
excited nation-wide comment. The ">>pld-timer " likes to
relate that one of those cherry trees bore one thousand
pounds of fruit every year until it died. And such fruit!
World's fairs have distinguished Okanagan fruit with
medals and prizes for its size, colour and flavour. And
yet it is a British Columbia industry almost as new as
automobile and phonograph manufacture are elsewhere.
It was inevitable, a land company was formed and
took over the Ellis ranch. The possibilities of fruit culture was the inspiration. An irrigation system costing
nearly $200,000 was installed, and at the end of the lake
the foundations were laid for the present city of Pentic-
ton, where Indian tribes were wont to meet to plan for
war or to smoke the pipe of peace, literally " the place
where all ways meet," Pen-tic-ton, and the Indian nomenclature was retained. The usual western " boom " followed and has continued. Prospective settlers came to
the new city and to dozens of lesser communities that
began to spring up along the lake shore. What had been
" wilderness " or " desert" to the layman and merely a
big cattle ranch to those who were better acquainted with
the circumstances, suddenly became a Mecca for colonists
and home-seekers, the majority of whom had considerable money in their purses and who were captivated by
the location and the prospects of a future home set among 1
Sunset Canada
orchards and gardens. The boat that had been ample
for demands of travel on the lake at irregular intervals
began a daily schedule. More boats and larger ones
were built and the sailings were made to connect with
trains that met the trans-continental trains on the main
line east and west. The territory was not developing
into one great city of skyscrapers and banks, but into
many small cities and towns of homes as pleasantly located as could be imagined anywhere. The railroad built
a big hotel at Penticton for the accommodation of tourists
and smaller hotels sprung up along the beautiful lake
shore of " shelved " or terraced orchards. " Tom"
Ellis' cherry trees may be thanked for it all; and conditions have now reached a pass where the tourist will
enjoy himself immensely by including this " tour of the
lakes " in his itinerary, but where it has become one of
the " high spot" features of the trip through the Canadian Rockies and should not be overlooked by one who
desires to include much that was hitherto neglected, but
has much to prompt a traveler's enthusiastic praise. The
trip which appears to be rather complicated when outlined on a railway map, develops with ease when undertaken. Railway and steamboat connections have been
perfected after considerable experiment to accommodate
a constantly increasing traffic, and the easterner with
previously formed ideas of what traveling in the Far
West must be like after leaving the main line of the railroads will necessarily correct his errors with much speed.
Going eastward from Yale the train hugs the precipitous banks of the Fraser River and shoots through a
tunnel near what is known locally as " Lady Franklin
Rock," which balances itself in the swift water and parts
the stream.    The train soon reaches  Spuzzum where   Orchards and Lakes 191
Simon Fraser camped in June, 1808, believing the river
to be the Columbia. Up to Spuzzum everything seems a
foretaste of what is to follow. The scene becomes more
rugged, the rocks are higher, the channel of the river
narrower and the waters foam in their rush toward the
sea. The region is still the home of salmon-spearing
Indians, whose ancestors resented the coming of the
white invader, but who now look up at the car windows
with a listless expression as they stand on improvised
platforms built over the rapids or place the day's catch
on racks to dry in the sun. It is preferable to take this
ride in the spring when the melting snow in the mountain
has filled the canyons and splashes down the rock walls
of the mountains to the river. At Hell's Gate the stream
is squeezed between two projecting crags that shoot the
water and debris into the air where they strike defiant
rocks and are hurled back into the whirlpool below. The
old Cariboo Road crossed the river at Spuzzum and shreds
of the old suspension bridge are still visible as they shot
out from the roadway among cliffs that rise two hundred
feet from the water's edge. It is comfortable to sit in a
Pullman car or on the observation platform and observe
these tell-tale survivals of the perilous pathway, a sturdy,
gone-forever past.
After plunging through a veritable riot of surprising
landscape, the train emerges at North Bend, which has
a somewhat spacious hotel and grounds near the station,
known principally to hunters, but a comfortable and exhilarating spot for at least a brief stop-over amid the
hills and just above the river which here becomes more
placid, the calm that precedes the awful plunge at Hell's
Gate. The rails soon leave the Fraser and take to the
canyon of the Thompson River, which is on a more ma- 1
Sunset Canada
jestic scale than the valley just penetrated. Towering
banks are on either side and the rails run along little
shelves of rock, making it possible to look at the water below and to the peaks overhead. The train climbs to
Lytton, which is but a shadow of its former importance
in the days of gold. At Ashcroft it is possible to take a
motor stage to Barkerville, through a region of " dry-
belt " that is being reclaimed by " dry " farming and irrigation. When the Canadian Pacific railway was being
constructed the officials thought, for no particular reason
except operating necessity, that this was the place for a
station, and as the ranch passed was called " Ashcroft"
the name was appropriated, a signboard painted and a
station built. In later years the town and the immediate region has assumed considerable importance. The
ride to Barkerville by motor is along the trail of the
early gold-hunters and through regions where sensational discoveries a half century ago attracted the world's
attention to the coast province. Beyond Ashcroft is
Kamloops Lake and the eastern side of the Coast Range
of mountains. The cliffs are highly coloured and protrude through huge masses of myrtle green foliage, while
in June the sides of the railway tracks are almost gardens of blossoming field lilies, often as large as the
cultivated species in lands that seem more favoured by
Kamloops is a town of considerable size and pretensions, which has grown around the old trading-post of
the fur companies. Among cities of mushroom growth
in the province it is aged, having been a " center of population " for over a century. Its name, derived from the
Indian "meeting of the waters," refers to its location
at the junction of the North and South Thompson rivers, j
B                        'v^SISfcl                            fit Hi
T-     j
. ^fflSia
l              l             l                   J m\ Orchards and Lakes 193
on a picturesque land cove. In the old day it was the
great half-way house of the northern brigade bringing
produce to the Pacific coast, after the overland route
was discarded as a waste of energy for the sea route
by way of Hawaii and the Horn. There were lively
days around the trading-post here, for in addition to
thrilling episodes in which the factors and their men
figured, the fort entertained most of the important personages who were making the great journey, and several
of them figured in a series of episodes that some one has
observed read like the tales of Scottish border warfare,
but which are frequently tinged with the more exotic or
Oriental flavour of the Corsican or Sardinian vendetta.
One thinks of the latter, for example, when reading the
story of Tranquille, after whom the nearby river and village were named; a story rescued from the past by Hubert
Howe Bancroft, who so frequently performed a similar
mission in this interesting Northwest. The story goes
that Tranquille and Chief Factor Black had engaged in a
verbal battle concerning a gun which another Indian had
left at the post. Matters were satisfactorily settled, however, and the chief went home in his usual health, but
immediately fell ill. His squaw quickly put the blame
upon the " medicine" of,, the white man. The chief
denied this and before expiring he asked his friends to
bury him in the " white man's fashion." Black sent a
coffin and the ceremony was performed as requested by
the deceased; but the widow wailed piteously, not because of the death of her husband, but because " all our
men are cowards now." Her young nephew struck her
in the face and told her to be quiet, whereupon she
publicly taunted him with being brave enough to strike an
old woman, and not being man enough to avenge his 194
Sunset Canada
uncle's death. So the boy arose and went to the post
where he was well received and given a pipe to smoke.
As Black was passing him the young Indian raised a
gun and fired. The trader dropped dead, and in the
confusion that followed the murderer escaped and went
toward the Cariboo. When the factor's successor arrived, however, he demanded the capture and execution
of the boy. In time he was found, but as he was being
brought back to the post in a boat he gave a sudden jerk,
capsized it and would have made another escape but for
the loyal Indians who observed him from the bank and
shot him so that his lifeless body sank in the stream.
Another story relates to the celebrated botanist, James
Douglas, who gave his name to the towering fir tree of
the coast. Douglas had stopped at the Kamloops fort and
with Chief Factor Black, another Scotchman, he formed
a friendship which ripened as the days passed. While
they were over their cups one night the conversation
drifted to the Hudson's Bay company. " There is not an
officer in the company with a soul above a beaver skin,"
declared Douglas. The Factor sprang to his feet and
challenged his friend to fight a duel with him, but as it
was late the event was postponed until the morning.
When the sun came above the horizon Black rapped at the
door of the guest's room and asked: " Meester Douglas, a' ye ready ? " The botanist declined to fight and a
night's sleep had cooled the brain of the man who had
challenged him, so they renewed the friendship that had
been suddenly shattered by a tactless remark.
Kamloops has come upon prosperous and less romantic
days. It has a population that has been placed as high as
five thousand, and one who chances to pass through the
town on an early evening train imagines that fully that Orchards and Lakes 195
number of pedestrians are promenading the station
platform during the pause of about a quarter-hour in the
journey. One gains the impression that the arrival of
the train is one of the notable social events of the day.
A big electric sign near the station flashes the words
TRY KAMLOOPS and the citizens seem to take pride
in proving that they followed the advice. And it is an
interesting spectacle to watch the promenading groups
on the station platform, including Indians in an adaptation of what is considered " native " costume, squaws in
flaming scarlet sweaters and with green or purple handkerchiefs knotted around their heads, cowboys in fantastic and theatrical outfits of the American magazine cover
variety, Chinese of various ages, young men about town
wearing " sport" shirts, and girls! — girls elaborately
and gaudily costumed as if for a carnival or costume
ball. I saw several of them remain in their motor cars
until the train had stopped, whereupon they bounded to
the platform and joined in the promenade. One of
these wore a Tyrian purple gown trimmed with a profusion of gold fringes; another carried a huge bouquet of
American Beauty roses. Low ballroom slippers of once
delicate shades were the rule — strangely noticeable in
an assembly where their sisters of darker skin wore
moccasins! Life in Kamloops must be gay, if one may
be permitted to judge from a glance.
It is possible to leave the train here and proceed down
the line over fifty miles to Sicamous by launch, through
the river, Shuswap Lake and along Salmon Arm, a pretty
region through which the rails are usually close to the
water's edge. The train that leaves Vancouver early in
the morning reaches this point as darkness comes, and as
it is one of the^most popular trains for trans-Canada 196
Sunset Canada
travelers the territory is not so well known as that which
is penetrated by the day trains. And this is unfortunate.
One should not pass anywhere between Vancouver and
Banff in the night hours, unless pressed for time; and one
of the most inviting spots for the night stop-over — in
fact a hotel built for the accommodation of leisurely
going tourists — is Sicamous, a place that for beauty of
situation reminds one of a sequestered inn by a lake in
Switzerland or Italy. The rails run close to the edge of
the lake, so the hotel is principally on piling over the
water, with balconies and rooms that command a charming view. It has been said that " nobody lives at Sicamous," because there was no more room after the railway
built the hotel. But as I walked down the platform to the
pier, from which steamers make the delightful trip around
Shuswap Lake, named for the Indian tribe that inhabited its shores when the white men came and which
still has a reservation of them in the neighbourhood, I
was surprised to hear the voices of a dozen or fifteen
children. They were scrambling up the rocks to the
little schoolhouse that is perched upon an eminence that
overlooks a scene much like that at Lakes George and
Champlain. The teacher was on the steps awaiting them
and ringing a bell. The little folks stood around in a
group as the British flag was raised, saluted it, sang the
national hymn and then filed in to the day's lessons. So
there are a few inhabitants here, although they are invisible from the railroad.
The rails carry one to the door of this hotel, which
seems a Good Samaritan Inn for the people who like to
enjoy the quiet magnificence of lake, mountain, river, pine
forest and scenery unbroken by smoking chimney pots,
frame dwelling and roofs.    " Yes, we pride ourselves on   Orchards and Lakes 197
keeping vases of wild flowers everywhere in the hotel
during the entire summer. We have the pageantry of
the floral season," said the manager when I commented
upon the profusion of wild columbine, moccasin flowers
and other bloom from the forests scattered over various
tables. Orchids, hundreds of them at a summer hotel
in the mountains! Just across the lake there is excellent
deer hunting and caribou are plentiful; but the angler is
the sportsman who will be particularly gratified. A few
strokes of the paddle from the hotel steps brings one into
deep water and this water seems alive with trout waiting
to be caught. I have seen men awaiting a railway connection for the South, take a canoe and spend no more
than thirty minutes on the lake and yet come back with
strings of fish that look like the " Good Day's Catch "
advertisements of the magazines. Guests who arrive
at night frequently rise an hour earlier than usual for
the purpose of making sure of catching their own fish
for breakfast and having good time to enjoy them before
the departure of trains East, West or South.
I believe that if statistics were available they would
show that the large majority of tourists keep to the main
line, but it is certain that when the great lake district
to the South becomes better will not be overlooked by the summer traveler. I have crossed the
Rockies many times and in the course of other years I
have found myself among several of the celebrated mountain systems of the world, but I can say without hesitation that there are scenes to the south of Sicamous that
will not suffer by comparison to the most famous beauty
spots in the itineraries of world travel. One requires
only a few days' additional time to make the circular side-
trip of which mention will follow, and these days will be 198
Sunset Canada
remembered among all days of journeys abroad or at
home. The little circuit shoots south to Penticton, thence
over the Kettle Valley route to Midway, to Nelson with
several optional extensions to include Kootenay Lake and
the Arrow Lakes, which are merely a broadening of the
Columbia River, and one arrives back at the main line
ready for the mighty plunge into the most majestic scenery of the Rockies, but having enjoyed an experience
which he would barely exchange for any similar time in
the tour.
The branch train from Sicamous, equipped with parlour car service equal to that of the main line, threads the
shores of Mara Lake, around which are towering tree-
covered hills. It also comes close to Shuswap River along
which the " pioneers " seem lately to have arrived. They
are cutting the trees and building roads, bridges and
villages, which shows their unbounded faith in the district which was passed by those who hurried on in the
mad rush to procure property on Okanagan Lake, when
it was found to be a " land where orchards bloom "—
and where the orchards make independent men of their
owners in a few seasons. Horses and cattle are in this
stumpland already, and further along there are a few
towns and villages, notable among which is Vernon, that
have already become prosperous as a result of fruit and
vegetable raising. Where the stumps are still standing,
I saw splendid fields of celery, onions and other vegetables that flourish in the rich dark loam that was covered
with forest primeval until a few years ago. This is still
considered to be " far interior " of British Columbia;
it is a " wild " country, and after one has ascended the
valley of the Fraser, after he knows that he has passed
the Cascade Range and gone south of that great high-  I Orchards and Lakes 199
way of rails over which it has been the pleasure of passengers to ride at top speed, it is something of a surprise
when the train emerges from a deep forest and stops beside a lake as attractive to the eye as any of those sapphire
waters of which he has obtained a glance from the car
window. It is a surprise, because this is the " end of the
line." But one is not left in this wilderness; for tied to
the dock is the big three-decked steamer that is scheduled to meet the incoming train.
It is close to the noon hour and the experienced traveler inquired from a train man if it would not be a wise
precaution to fortify himself with a couple of sandwiches
at the railway station. This is the out-of-the-way portion of British Columbia; perhaps the steamer's owners
do not think of the comfort and convenience of the
passengers, as one has frequently found to be the case
under similar conditions far to the east of British Columbia. The train man laughs: " I guess you are a
stranger, all right." This admitted, he continues: " yes,
you'll find all accommodations aboard ship." Here on a
lake in the British Columbia hinterland is a fine ship,
with a great lounging room, a fine observation deck enclosed within glass windows, and a luncheon similar to
that which is served on the famous "Empress" greyhounds that cross to the Orient from Vancouver and
Victoria! Quickly after the arrival of the train there
is a signal, all of the passengers and cargo are on board,
and the steamer starts on its zigzag cruise of the lake
that brings it to the other end in time for dinner at
Penticton. Here again one steps into the wilderness, but
with all the luxury of travel that might be expected anywhere in the East. The country is " new "; even its
principal cities and towns.    In some of the smaller ham- 1
Sunset Canada
lets log cabins are visible, perhaps a few shacks of recent
arrivals, because people came so rapidly that there were
not enough carpenters to put up the more substantial
dwellings for which their*owners were prepared to pay
cash; but the majority of these "westerners" live in
good homes, however, dwellings that were built for the
future as well as for the present. It is a well-known fact
that the majority of settlers in this region brought fat
purses when they came, and it is whispered that it is
one of the favourite regions for those Britishers who
may expect " remittances " from home as regularly as
the calendar indicates a certain day each month. The
people who come down to the rustic piers to meet the incoming steamer are not the usual " country louts " of
eastern villages, but in the majority of cases are well to
do, educated and well groomed people of the sort who
make cities of progress.
It is a ride of about sixty-five miles across Okanagan
Lake, as the crow flies; but the steamer does not follow
any such route and cruises over eighty-five miles in
making the trip, sometimes nearer a hundred miles, because she answers signals from the shore on " flag days,"
and the traveler is glad to find that almost all days are
so designated. Some of these piers are little more than
wooden pathways that lead down into the water from
dense forest. Always looking beyond the bow of the
steamer the hills roll to the water's edge, row after row
or range upon range, while away beyond, on a clear day,
one sees still higher peaks covered with snow that glistens
in the sunshine and appears to be a waving fleecy cloud.
At Kelowna, a town with over three thousand population, there is a pavilion to watch the wate£ sports near
the pier, a park and streets that are busy with the trade  Cherries Grown at Kelowi  I
It Orchards and Lakes 201
from something like fifty thousand acres of fruit land,
much of which has already paid big tribute to cultivation.
The landing-stage swarms with the smartly costumed
throng which has assembled to bid "bon voyage" to
those who are departing. In their farewells one notes a
decided English accent and a friendliness that is almost
that of fellow exiles, but they would resent any " sympathy " on that score. Most of them are here from
choice; they prefer Kelowna to anywhere else. The
feminine population wears bright coloured silk sweaters,
Panama hats with bright bands — they seem almost to
have become infected with the Indian's love for flashy
colours — silken hose, fine American " boots " and gowns
the latest cut, all purchased with last year's harvest of
fruit that is coming to have a name that means as much
as Red River oranges or California grapes. Kelowna
peaches, pears, plums, cherries and strawberries! The
advertisements are true; one who tastes them, cares for
no other. And with all this money-making in most
agreeable surroundings, the best traditions of England
have been maintained, although somewhat adapted to the
new surroundings. Here is no suggestion of the Briton
of Victoria, but the out-door loving Englishman and the
English woman of ambition and rather athletic tendency.
They revel in the beautiful free life of the country and
are convinced that it is the most attractive spot in the
whole empire. It is a locality that is producing young
ladies who would readily be recognized by their American sisters as " English," but they are the English girls
who have tennis racket in hand rather than those willowy
Burne-Jones types who seem to be imitating the figures
on stained glass windows.
Peachland, Summerland, Naramata are much the same, 202
Sunset Canada
prosperous communities most of which owe their life
to the orchards that cover the " shelves " of the lake bank.
Most of them have comfortable hotels, " Belle Vue,"
"Bella Vista" and " Buena Vista," with an occasional
tribute to English royalty in their names, that are equipped
to entertain all visitors who pass this way and are so
charmed with the surroundings that they " break " the
lake trip by stopping over until the steamer next day or
next week. There was one notable exception, however, a
pier that was reached a few minutes after leaving Kelowna. It was more what the average easterner believes the " Far West" to be like; and yet so speedy is
the growth of these towns that are reclaimed from forest
lands that one imagines that conditions will have altered
ere these lines are in print. The place is called West
Bank. A young " cow boy," lassoo and all the " trimmings " on his horse, came down to the edge of the pier
at a full gallop and deposited a sack of mail in the hands
of a ship's officer. On the bank there was a fine crop
of sage brush through which a meandering trail was
visible from the deck. It seemed almost the waste lands
of Arizona; but here were the waters of the lake, and
we had seen Kelowna such a short distance away! One
place remained as it was and another had responded to the
hand of man. A stolid Indian was sitting on the pier,
seemingly the only other " inhabitant" of the place. He
did not take any interest in the arrival of the steamer and
looked off in the opposite direction. It is possible that
over beyond' the " shelf " there are orchards and " colonists "— the mail sack suggested that possibility —but it
was weird, this stopping of a big steamer at a port where
there were only two men, only a sack of mail for cargo!
As evening is approaching the steamer pulls up to the Orchards and Lakes 203
wharf at Penticton, the " Hub of the Okanagan," " The
Place Where All Ways Meet," the former site of Tom
Ellis' ranch and the cherries that started immigration in
this direction and not only caused a city to rise as if by
magic but also prompted the building of other towns
and villages that border the misty waters. Some one
around the big hotel that was erected by the railway for
the entertainment of as many guests as are likely to pass
this way for many years handed me a slip of paper,
when I asked for information about the city. One side
of the slip was covered with a photographic reproduction of the city viewed from the lake and the other
contained the stereotyped statement that this was a town
that offered much to home-seekers. Testimonial letters
from " early settlers," who had been on the ground four
or five years told of the amount of money they had made
on small investments, of the number of bushels of peaches
and apricots grown on small acreage, and of the improved
facilities for getting fruit to market. There was only
one sentence that interested me; only one that is likely to
interest other tourists. " Penticton has been much
blessed by nature." None who gave it even a passing
glance could doubt that. One who stayed on for many
days or weeks would doubtless be zealous in his repetition of this truism. It would not be exaggerating to say
that there are few spots on earth where nature has been
more lavish of her gifts. It is no borrowing from a
real estate agent's pamphlet to say that one has seldom
seen a place in his life that seemed more perfectly adapted
to becoming the habitation of man, for while there is
beauty to enchant him at all hours of the day and in every
direction his eyes may follow, there is also an assurance
of ample reward for his toil. 204 Sunset Canada
Majestic mountains hem in the city and the lake in a
basin that has a mild climate, rarely too hot or too cold;
on these mountain peaks, excepting in midsummer, are
great drifts of snow. The lake is said by the scientists
to serve as a thermostat which tempers the cold winds
that sweep over nearby districts in winter and the hot
gusts that parch fields in July and August. I have not
seen the life here in winter but I have seen it in summer
when it appears to be blissful and serene. When I inquired of an " old-timer " as to the principal winter occupation, he replied: " We spend our time chopping props
to hold up the fruit-laden trees during the following summer." Many people have come here from the prairies of
Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. " Life is dull in
a flat country," they say. The prairie-lover retorts:
" We do not care to be - hedged in ' by hills when we want
to look beyond our own dooryards." And they both
compromise by conceding that " what's food for one is
poison for another "; but the weight of opinion would be
in favour of the hills. And the hills where things grow
as they grow in the sub-tropics! That may be claimed by
the residents of the lake country.
Penticton's Front Street is a long avenue that skirts
the end of the lake. Across the pavement are the sands
of the beach and underneath the group of shade-trees
are rustic benches for the townsfolk as if it were a park
— enough seats almost for the entire urban population.
Here is a fine club-house set out over the water. The
depths usually float canoes and rowboats, and excellent
bathing beaches extend the length of the town. Large,
substantial bungalows of modern design and fine gardens border the highway. Little wonder that Earl Grey,
when Governor General of Canada, saw conditions here Orchards and Lakes 205
and said: " Fruit growing has acquired the distinction
of being a beautiful art as well as a most profitable industry."
Penticton has wide cement walks in its principal streets
and in other " streets " where large plots of ground are
still stumpage, even along marshy districts not yet reclaimed, where tall cat-tails abound and where turtles may
be seen sunning themselves on logs — five minutes' walk
from the business center of stone and brick buildings.
But this is not the most remarkable feature of life in this
" boom " metropolis of the lake country. One also sees
electric lights in tents occupied by newcomers who have
not had time to erect bungalows, but who are enjoying
the " luxury "of living in Penticton. Not far from these
tent dwelling are shops that would compare favourably
with those in any city of similar population in the world.
" Our people want only the latest fashions and the best
of everything," said a merchant, who stood in front of his
store inspecting a new window display of gowns that had
just arrived from New York. " You are suprised ? You
expected to find our girls wearing ' Mother Hubbards'
away off here, I suppose. No, they are more particular
about their costumes I imagine than they were when they
lived in the East or in London. We've girls here who
lived in the largest city in the world before they came
here and they used to get gowns made from Paris models.
And they haven't changed their ideas; they want the latest
styles in Penticton; and, what's more, they get them, as
you have doubtless observed."
And this demand of the girls and women for " style "
is equalled by the demand of the men. They demand
and have acquired municipal ownership of waterworks,
electric light and irrigation.    They have Single Tax.    I
J 206
Sunset Canada
doubt if there is any region elsewhere in which a railroad
offers its patrons so much as in this Canadian Pacific railway territory of Okanagan Lake. Here a crossing of the
lake and a full stop at a wharf is made by the scheduled
steamer for the purpose of delivering a bag of chicken-
feed, a crate of eggs or a coil of rope. It is service such
as many larger communities do not obtain from transportation companies; and the secret of it all must be that
the big corporation is thinking of the future rather than
of the present, of that day which it is predicted is not far
off, when every available acre of land on Okanagan's
shores will be sending its wonderful fruit to distant parts
of Canada and to other countries.
And yet Okanagan is but one of a chain of lakes and
rivers over which similar steamers run and where portages
are made by fast railway connections, some of which have
been recently installed and provide as good entertainment
for tourists as the necessary communication with the
outside world for the lake-dwellers, who have come to
expect mail, express and freight deliveries as punctual as
the apartment house resident of Toronto, Chicago or Los
Angeles. I have no doubt that the " Tour of the British
Columbia Lakes " will become as popular with travelers
a few years hence as the Tour of the Mountains via main
line has been in the past. It is a tour that has no equal
on the Atlantic seaboard, either in Canada or in the
United States and it is one that deserves to take its place
along with those wonder days in the European itinerary
that includes the Swiss Lakes, the Italian Lakes, the
Amalfi Drive, or those marvelous twistings'and turnings
along the French or Italian Riviera. CHAPTER XIV
" I've been on those American switch-back, shoot-the-
chutes, loop-the-loop scenic-railway affairs that you have
at pleasure resorts to provide a thrill," said a hotel clerk
at the Incola, when I checked out and remarked that I was
leaving by the morning train that goes to Nelson over the
comparatively new Kettle Valley route, " but I am willing
to admit that I never found out what a real thrill was
like until I went over the Kettle Valley. Think of what I
say when you find yourself out on a shelf of rock on top of
the mountain and look down on Arrow Lakes! That
makes the wildest thriller of Coney Island seem as tame
as a canoe ride on Lake Okanagan. Remember what I
say when you begin to slide along the edge of that shelf
to the valley below. If you have ever looked at scenery
that equals this — from the window of a railway car —
well, they should give you a medal. But you haven't;
there isn't any."
I did recall the clerk's words, not only once, but several
times during the day's ride. Not only when we were
creeping along shelves far above the water, when we were
sliding down the " chute " that borders the Arrow Lakes,
but also when we were zigzagging up mountainsides,
where the rails seem to follow a trail first made by goats,
and when we were skimming along the banks of rivers
close to waterfalls and rapids, or plunging around curves
in the valley in which tall pines were reaching their
207 208
Sunset Canada
crests towards the sun. I recalled them when the locomotive seemed to have found gateways to mountain-passes
and was plunging ahead past great snow-capped sentinels
which seem, as one looks ahead, to bar all further progress. This, however, is what appears to be the case as the
train enters other mountain-passes, when it is constantly
turning sharp curves and the locomotive shoots from
sight as if it had plunged its face into a cliff. One
knows there has been no such accident, because the wheels
turn at their usual pace. One by one the cars reach what
seems to be the obstruction and they glide over the great
mountain threshold into the ravine. What seemed to bar
admission was but huge piles of rock standing like guardians of an enchanted land.
The morning train leaves Penticton at an early hour;
but the hands of the clock are pointing on well toward
noon when Penticton finally disappears from sight.
From the shores of the lake one may follow the trail of
the railway up the mountain side, if he look carefully
and trace a worm-like path — that goes through the pine
tops and finally fades from sight over the northern crest;
but it is impossible to imagine the splendour of the view
of the entire lake unless one has hung upon those benches
of rock and viewed it from the several shelves that were
carved by the railroad-builders. In the morning light it
appears to be a huge sapphire set in a rim of emerald.
It glistens, and the passing clouds cast weird reflections
in its depths. The orchards at its shores spread their foliage on huge prongs — in reality cliffs jutting from the
bank — holding the jewel in place and giving it an appropriate setting. A canoe seems to be no larger than a pinprick ; the steamer which seemed surprisingly large when
one was a passenger is now but a toy barge.    One traces " The Tour of the Lakes " 209
the shore-line until it fades from sight in the north; to
the south until the waters narrow to the beach that is the
front door of Penticton, on and on through that crooked,
narrow stream to Okanagan Falls, fourteen miles south of
the city. Off there is the Similkameen District that lies
near the International Boundary. It is as if the traveler were a passenger in an aeroplane; the train with its
curvings back and forth seems to be drifting on the wind.
Certainly if the steamer were larger it would be possible
to look straight down the funnel. Such is the sensation
of being carried at a rapid pace to such dizzying heights!
But the passenger should settle back in his chair and decline to become panicky. Greater thrills are in store.
This is but a practice exhibition for the feats that the train
is to perform later in the day. One continues to be
awed, but comes to be surprised at nothing. If the engineer should decide to loop the loop that, too, might be
possible! Who dares to measure the accomplishments
of railway-builders of the present or the future! Nothing seems to be a permanent obstacle in their pathway. A
few years ago this Kettle Valley route would have been
considered an improbability or an impossibility; to-day it
is a reality, and already those who frequently patronize
the line look upon it as being worthy of little remark in
this country of so many superlative marvels. It will be
many years, however, before it fails to thrill even the
most seasoned tourist who is used to trestles, bridges,
mountains and lakes.
The train takes a running start from the little railway
station that reaches to the pier in the lake. Circling far
out among the orchards of the suburbs, it turns abruptly
and begins the ascent. During the first three or four
miles it keeps close to the first " bench " of the shore, but 210 Sunset Canada
gradually rising among the pine forests which it penetrates, it turns a curve and begins another ascent toward
the South. One feels that he must have gone half the
length of the entire lake; but here at the end of over an
hour he is back in the neighbourhood of the city, the
difference being that the train is far above the church
spires down there in the valley, far, far above the tops of
the cottonwood trees that line the shore at Front Street.
Again a curve. The engine pants furiously under the
task that it is performing, but there is no perceptible
diminution of speed; it was built for climbing, and although the train is heavy, the engineer knows its powers.
Again the journey is repeated toward the North, but in
addition to looking down upon and across the lake it is
possible to look down to the rails on the lower " bench "
that were covered an hour before. The operation con*
tinues several times, the locomotive takes curves and
spurts ahead again on a new grade and the cars follow.
One looks out and sees the neat and prosperous little
towns that line the valley on both sides of the lake; but
the train is constantly withdrawing from them in its
journey toward the summit of the mountain. Midway
in the ascent there are great slits in the mountainside,
ravines and canyons, the floor of which is carpeted with
waving pines. The train shoots out upon trestles far
above the topmost branches and is soon again on the
stone or gravel shelf. The sensation from a car window is that of looking at motion pictures taken by a
photographer in an aeroplane. Toward the summit the
timberline is neared and the vegetation becomes sparse.
The big blocks have been blasted from the pathway of
the rails and they have gone tumbling down the mountainside, until they met an obstruction and piled up in &
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rugged heaps, sometimes in fantastic manner supported
by one projecting prong as if awaiting the slightest vibration that would send them tumbling down the incline,
where gaining momentum they would crush everything
in their path to the lake's bottom. In many ways it is
the " wildest" region penetrated by a railroad in British Columbia. The only " houses " are the deserted log
cabins that were occupied as construction camps. I
wanted to send a telegram, but the conductor said: " We
won't arrive at a telegraph office before three o'clock this
afternoon." We were on some long hike into the wilderness, or traveling by ponies; at least this would have
seemed to be the case, had not the good rate of speed continued.
Up near the summit we are on neighbourly terms
with the surrounding peaks that are covered with snow
summer and winter. They are higher and far distant,
but many of them seem to be little more than a stone's
throw across the valleys. Up here the air is chilly,
even in a July noon; but we know that it is summer by
the patches of flowers that bloom along the railroad
tracks and because a few hours before we have seen fruit
on the trees in the valley.
Finally, the streams caused by melting snow are running in the opposite direction. We have crossed a
" divide " without being aware of it. The streams combine their courses and become the rapidly flowing Kettle
River, along the banks of which the train now runs.
Again we are in the valley, and in most ways it is like
other valleys of the province, fertile meadows in which
cattle graze, considerable plowed land and many farmhouses; but there is a difference, because it is a valley
far up in the mountains.    We recall the climb of the Jill
Sunset Canada
morning and a glance around shows that the green fields
are irrigated. We have arrived near Midway. There is
a breezy, somewhat " western," group of people on the
station platform.
% That big fellow is one of the best guides in British
Columbia," said a railway man, indicating a huge, raw-
boned male who was strutting along beside the train.
Sombrero, chaps, rattling spurs and a bright scarf around
his neck gave him distinction among the others. " When
you want game — big game — he's the boy who can lead
you to it."
" Ever come across deer beside the railway tracks; that
is, do you ever see them from the car window ? " I asked.
" Do we ? Yes, and bear too! You know what they
tell you about seeing zebra from the African railroads?
Well, we can match any of those stories on this line with
deer. Why, we've run straight into herds of them!
Several times they were crossing the track and the engineer tooted his whistle for them to get out of the way.
The train usually makes them panicky and if the herd is
crossing the rails those behind will all attempt to follow
the leaders. Just the other day many of them had
crossed considerable distance ahead of the engine. The
engineer tooted the whistle, because several were on the
track. They gave a leap and reached safe ground in the
underbrush — all but one. In his hurry to join the
herd, and in fright, he tried to leap the fence and became
impaled on a post. He was still there when the train
passed, but the next day we looked and he was gone.
The best way to see them is to come through here on a
freight just at nightfall when they are going to water.
Then you see them best of all if you can get permission
to ride on the engine.    The headlight confuses them and   %  " The Tour of the Lakes " 213
they stand and look at it from the trackside. Bear, of
course, are not so plentiful; but several times this season
we have seen bears scampering off to the bush when the
train intruded upon them. Like a number of people,
they haven't yet heard that the Kettle Valley railroad has
been built. When tourists begin to find it out, I expect
the deer and bear will know it too, and they'll keep back
from the tracks."
Grand Forks is a town where the irrigated orchards are
as well kept as the orange orchards of California. Consequently, and by reason of other favourable conditions,
there is a demand in the markets for apples from this
place. The river rushes along beside the rails, water
seems to be plentiful; but the banks are dry. Logs begin
to clog its passage and cover the surface of the water.
They are on their way to the mill at Cascade, where the
railroad crosses a deep slit in the rock and the water
plunges over a high dam built of logs.
The rails begin to rise again on a shelf of rock and
over the tops of the trees far down in the valley spreads
Lake Christina, placid, glistening and bluish-green, like
the other lakes of this forest land. The train proceeds
along the pine- and spruce-clad banks, as earlier in the
day it had skirted Okanagan Lake. " These are mineral-
laden hills," continues the trainman who admits that however the passengers along the route may feel about it he
has the enthusiasm of a tenderfoot every time he makes
the run, " only the surface has been scratched (an expression that one is to hear so often in this region). The
prospectors have been too busy elsewhere."
A " helper " engine is coupled on ahead of the " regular " and there is a steep climb, more difficult than any
of the grades previously encountered.    Up and up until 1
!   !
% \m-
Sunset Canada
the summit of another mountain is reached and when one
is anticipating the usual curve before the descent the
train runs out on a ledge of rock, as if floating in midair ; from the car window is visible the amazing panorama
of the Arrow Lakes.
When Robert Hichens was in Egypt he visited the remains of ancient civilization scattered along the Nile and
was reminded of the " personality "of cities, even as they
are viewed in ruins. He was right; cities like New York
and Chicago are different in essentials. Osaka is unlike
Toyko, just as London differs from Paris or Berlin.
Toronto is no more like Victoria than San Francisco is
like Bombay, so far as " personality " or individuality is
concerned. But if this be true of cities, it is truer of
rivers. Cities might resemble one another when viewed
from a Zeppelin; rivers never! The Yangtze, Amazon,
Mississippi, Nile and Hudson, each is as individual as a
human being. And even more noticeable perhaps is the
fact that the same difference or distinction may be observed when the rivers lie close together, when they
water the same slopes and flow through the same state or
province. Their common source may be the same pool
of melted snow, but one flows south, the other north, east
or west; it is the same with two persons starting from
the same pivot and pursuing different tangents which
will result in the development of contrasting characteristics. The Fraser, Skeena, Columbia, Mackenzie, Peace,
all rivers of this far Northwest, are as distinctive as if
they belonged to different continents. One thing they
all have in common, however; they are all boisterous at
times, proving a similarity of disposition. There are
placid stages in their rush toward the ocean where their
waters are as calm as millponds.    It is in this mood that
lil "The Tour of the Lakes" 215
one who journeys in this direction first views the Columbia. Here it loses its identity and passes by the name of
Arrow Lakes.
One recalls how the Jordan's banks broaden, its waters
become still and the world knows it as the Sea of Galilee, although it proves its identity as it bursts forth at
the further end of the lake and becomes the Jordan again
until it reaches the Dead Sea. The Columbia flows
through the Arrow Lakes, just as in theory the St. Lawrence might be said to rise in Lake Superior if Lakes
Huron, Erie and Ontario were channels'easily spanned by
the naked eye.
The Columbia River rises far to the north, and in its
descent of over two thousand feet before its waters reach
the Pacific the fourteen-hundred mile river merits its
reputation for beauty. It bounds over rocks and plays
turbulent pranks with the banks that hem it in. Enthusiastic travelers have made the descent of this river in
boats, following in the wake of the canoes of the fur-
traders of long ago, and reveling in scenic marvels that
have caused them to doubt if there is anything more
beautiful on the continent. But even these modern voyagers and writers doubt if the stream is ever more alluring than in the broadened channel known as Arrow Lakes.
The fur-traders looked forward to reaching these placid
waters principally perhaps because they were glad to
escape from the rushing waters further upstream and to
reach the transparent depths of this serpentine waterway
where canoeing was easy; but they, like the modern tourists, must have been delighted with what they saw. Indeed they were, and many a journal note and diary
paragraph of the long ago pays eloquent tribute to the
beauties of this region.
Sunset Canada
The individuality of the Columbia may not be most
marked at this point, there are other rivers that flow into
British Columbia lakes and then on beyond and it seems
more natural to think of the Columbia as a foaming and
rushing dash among stones between which salmon are
attempting to force their way to a spawning ground; but
after one has encountered the same stream elsewhere and
witnessed it in livelier antics, he is glad that he first saw
it at Arrow Lakes. Let the Mackenzie flow through cold
deserts to the Arctic, the Fraser and Skeena dart between
precipices and bound their waters back and forth as if in
a game of battlecock and shuttledore, the Columbia is best
remembered for its almost threatening grandeur, as if
too wonderful to endure, its ultramarine depths that like
a coil of wire wriggle themselves through the distant landscape as one looks down from the heights and obtains
his first glance from a railway carriage. If the view were
but a passing glance, it would be ample compensation for
the inconvenience in arranging the itinerary, but instead
of a flash and disappearance it is a matter of hours. The
same wonderful picture is at one's left hand until the
train has made a cautious descent along the shelf-slope
that seems so beset with perils. The brakes are applied and one seems to be tobogganing to the valley.
Where a huge rock protrudes from the cliff with no vertical support the tracks curve around a blasted shelf and
for a moment there is the impression of passing through
a deep rock gorge, but soon the rails run toward the rim
of the precipice again. One looks from the car window
and fails to see them, however, and all seems far, far
below — the deep blue of the water and the tops of pine
trees, which pierce their roots into crevasses in the wall
of rock.   ft
 " The Tour of the Lakes " 217
At the foot of the slide is West Robson, point of departure for the lake ride, which is taken when returning
to the North and the main line, -Castlegar, a junction
where a branch line runs along the Columbia for thirty
miles to Rossland, a town of mines of' fabulous wealth,
and Trail, where there is a large smelter. Beyond
Castlegar the line runs along the banks of the tempestuous Kootenay River and beside Bonnington Falls, one of
the most picturesque cataracts in the entire Columbia system, where the waters are harnessed to provide light
and power for various municipal and commercial enterprises. Near here the Kootenay joins the Columbia in
its rush toward the ocean.
The oft-quoted trainman passed me again. This
time: " I guess folks don't have to go to Europe to
see scenery, eh? I've had them on this train as has
been all over the world and they say there ain't nothing in
the Alps (pronounced Allups) to beat this."
I nodded approval of this sentiment and closed one of
the days that I shall remember long among many days of
travel, by arriving at the city of Nelson, which prides itself upon being " the most important city in the interior
of the province."
Nelson is charmingly situated on a commanding eminence overlooking the broadening Kootenay. If the
river has not already become the lake of the same name
at this point it seems to be about two miles to the opposite
bank which is also flanked by high mountains. One
climbs a hill from the wharf or station to the hotel,
further up the hill if he go to the business section, still
further if he venture into the suburbs, and finally, if
he continue to climb, he is ascending that wonderful
mountain where is located the Silver King mine from 218
Sunset Canada
which over $10,000,000 of treasure has been taken and
to which Nelson owes its existence. Manifold reasons
why a city should be situated at this point now exist and
are plainly apparent, it is at the convergence of lake systems and it is claimed that over twenty-five million dollars' worth of ore has been taken from the district which
would have caused some center of population to arise in
the district; but the early days of the Silver King decided
the location of this center. Nelson seems to be but a
growth of yesterday, yet in general physical characteristics it has much that would make favourable comparison to many older municipalities. Also, it has much that
long ago should have made it a favourite rendezvous of
British Columbia tourists. " Perhaps we've been too
busy looking after other things to think of visitors,"
explained one man of Nelson; " we know that the scenery
will be here after we have taken out the ore."
But the people of Nelson delight in quoting: "God
made Switzerland and then He made British Columbia,"
they like to compare the location of their city to Lucerne,
to think of the Alps as being inferior to the Selkirks,
which are the dominant feature of the Kootenay landscape. " We have the climate of Italy and the verdure of
the Emerald Isle" is another favourite claim. These
manifold attractions, they believe, will ultimately bring
the tourist hordes in this direction, because Nelson has
command of seven water and rail routes of entrance and
departure, already it has land and marine liveries, outfitting stores and hotels; it is the natural point of departure for excursions to many mountains, lakes and rivers.
For the present, however, nobody seems to have much
time to spend upon the development of this tourists'
Happy Hunting Ground.    Guides may be obtained in "The Tour of the Lakes" 219
Nelson and all equipment for the grand tour afield; those
who desire to avail themselves of opportunities offered
may do so, those who require further encouragement must
wait. At the present time there is very little in Nelson
itself to attract or hold the tourist's attenion. The entire
city thought seems to be upon mining and mining prospects. It is reflected in the newspapers, as editors usually
find out what their readers want and then give it to them.
Thus, whole pages of a Nelson newspaper are given over
to comment upon ore, metal and mining matters that
would be bewildering to the average community, on the
prairie for instance, where the principal topic is wheat, or
to maritime peoples where similar space is devoted to
boating and fishing. Columns and columns are printed
that relate to rather technical reports of ore deposits and
geological formations. Presumably, people want to know
anything and everything in regard to the principal source
of wealth of the district. Here, as in other mining districts, agriculture will follow when the mines have contributed their treasure and when the forests have been
The great lure of hunters in the Kootenay district is
the mountain goat, and while he seems to be almost as
isolated and rare as the musk-ox and must be sought for
in regions where he is known to live, this country, including all the peaks northward beyond the main line of
the railroad, is one of his favourite abiding places.
Every man of Nelson who makes any pretentions to
being a hunter has at least one trophy of a successful shot.
Few who come here and are properly equipped and
guided into the mountain fastnesses on this errand will
be disappointed. The splendid snow-white animal which
seems to be so rare, is in reality plentiful if one takes the 220
Sunset Canada
time, patience and energy to follow him to his natural
home among the snowdrifts and steep crags of the
mountain summits. Flocks of these coveted creatures,
including a dozen or more, are frequently encountered not
far from Nelson; but always after strenuous climbing
and scrambling along difficult trails or on mountains that
have no trails.
The book classic of Nelson is Hornaday's Camp-Fires
in the Canadian Rockies. Fishing is excellent in the
entire neighbourhood, beginning at the piers in front of
the city and extending in all directions over many lakes
and streams, and naturally claims many devotees; but
the principal thought of the amateur sportsman is the
bagging of mountain goat. Hornaday's very chatty and
informing volume, which relates primarily to the subject, the experiences of a naturalist and animal lover on
the trail of this animal, finds its place on library tables,
office desks and in lounging-rooms of Nelson residences,
where the latest novels may be unheard of and where
these experiences in goatland form a never-failing topic
of conversation. In reality, the mountain goat is a remarkable animal and provides as good hunting as may
be found on this continent. " In its physical aspects,"
says Hornaday in this epic volume, " the mountain goat
is both striking and peculiar. In September it is brilliantly white, and its coat is as immaculate as a new fur
coat fresh from the hands of the furrier. From nose to
tail it is newly combed and without spot or stain. It
seems as white as newly fallen snow, but in direct comparison with snow there is a faint cream-like tint. It is
the only wild hoofed animal in the world (s. f. a. k.)
which is pure white all the year around; for in spring and
summer the white mountain sheep stains his coat very " The Tour of the Lakes " 221
badly. The pelage of a mountain goat is the finest and
softest and also the warmest to be found on any North
American hoofed animal except the musk-ox. In September the rain coat is not fully developed, and the fine
pelage which covers the sides is almost as soft as down.
As winter approaches, the fine hair of the undercoat seems
to stop growing, but the coarser and straighter hair of the
raincoat keeps on until it has attained such luxuriant
length that the animal takes on a shaggy appearance.
Late in November this reaches its full length. Even in
September the beard and knee breeches are of good length,
and these, with the queerly rounded crests, on the shoulders and on the hind-quarters, contain the only hair of
the whole coat that is coarse and harsh. The goat is
very stockily built — for stability and strength rather
than for agility and speed. The long spinal processes of
his dorsal vertebrae give him a hump somewhat like that
of a bison; and, like a bison, he carries his head low,
and has short, thick legs, terminating in big hoofs. His
body is big and full and his sides stick out with plenty.
He can carry his head above the line of his neck and
shoulders, but he seldom does so save when frightened
or when looking up. His horns are jet black, round, very
smooth for the terminal half and sharp as skewers.
When the goat fights, he gets close up to his assailant's
fore-quarters, and with a powerful thrust diagonally upward punctures his enemy's abdomen. In attacking, the
movements of the goat are exceedingly jerky and spasmodic, advancing and whirling away again with the
quick jumps of the modern prizefighter. The horns are
not long, usually ranging in length from nine to eleven
inches by five and three-fourths inches in basal circumference.    The longest pair on record is owned by Mr. Clive 222
Sunset Canada
Phillips-Wolley of Victoria, B. C, and its length is eleven
and one-half inches."
James McGregor, a photographer of Nelson, last year
shot what his guide, George Sarver, has always called
" Big Billy " and which comes close to being a " record "
goat by actual measurements, although several larger ones
have been " reported " at various times. " It is impossible to tell what his live weight was," said McGregor as
he pointed to the big skin spread out on the floor of his
studio. " We didn't have scales up there where we got
him and it was too much to try to pack his carcass down
the mountain. His horns are ten and a half inches long,
over an inch shorter than Hornaday says is the record;
but I am certain that he weighed over three hundred
pounds. It was pretty stiff climbing to get up to where
we found him. We were up to our necks in snow several
times during the day and it was June; but that's hunting!
' Big Billy ' was worth it. He was just under eight feet
long from nose to tip of tail and, as you see, there is a
coat eight inches long at the back. I didn't think he was
a goat at all, when I first saw him, although I have come
upon a good many of them in my time; but Sarver asked:
* Did you ever see horns like those on any other animal ? '
So I crept to a ledge and landed him."
Beautiful blankets and rugs were formerly made from
the wool of these goats by the Indian women, and perhaps
they are still woven, but the fine specimens in the collection of the Provincial Museum at Victoria were not
apparently of recent manufacture. The process is thus
described by the Guide to the Anthropological Collection:
" The dried skins of native white-haired dogs, or of the
mountain goat being ready, a quantity of burnt diato-
maceous earth is crumbled over the woolly hair and beaten ■■
' BIG BILLY," THE " RECORD " MOUNTAIN GOAT.  "The Tour of the Lakes" 223
in with sword-shaped sticks of maple, so as to absorb the
grease and allow the threads of wool to bind well during
spinning. The wool is then removed with knives, or
pulled out after moistening the skins and ' sweating *
them to loosen the roots. It is now made up into loose
threads, by rolling either on the actual thigh or an artificial one, covered with sheeting. Two baskets are filled
with the thread, and from each is taken an end to be
twisted together by means of large spinning wheels, which
seem to have invariably been made of the large leaved
maple, many of them well carved with designs of the protecting spirit of the owner. To get sufficient tension the
combined threads before being attached to the spinning
apparatus, are passed over a beam or through a perforated
stone or carved bird, fastened to the end of the loom."
There are many other kinds of game in the Kootenay
country, mountain sheep, bears (black and grizzly), marten, wolverine, land otter and porcupine being among
those most prized by sportsmen.
Nelson people appreciate and take advantage of their
favourable opportunities for water sports. There are
many motor boats, canoes and pleasure craft of various
description, which seem to dot the water from early
morning until far into the evening. Racing shells are
usually in practice at sunset and frequent regattas add
competitive interest. Distance craft go as far as Bonner's Ferry, Idaho, a distance of one hundred and sixty-
eight miles, but as the water area of Nelson's neighbourhood is over two hundred square miles even this is not
counted a great distance.
It is the rule for steamers to start down Kootenay Lake
at an early hour in the morning, so it is the custom for
passengers to go aboard the night before, also making 224
Sunset Canada
it convenient for those who arrive by the night train
and do not plan to spend more than one night at Nelson.
One should beware not to oversleep, however, and when
the wheels of the steamer begin to turn shortly after
sunrise, he will miss much on a route that provides a delightful panorama for each moment of the long trip to
Kootenay Landing if he be not above deck. As on Okanagan Lake, the steamer crosses from one side of the lake
to the other throughout the half-day's voyage. Fruit-
raising is becoming one of the principal industries and
capital orchards are rapidly taking the places of the pine
forests along the benches of the sloping banks, giving rise
to many small towns and villages, each of which is
visited by the steamer on " Flag Day," which as on Okanagan appears to be every day. The pioneer fruit-grower
of the Kootenay is said to have been a Scotchman who
observed that mining would " peter out" in time, so he
decided to experiment with an orchard. A rancher of
the district had grown fruit in an earlier day but his success had been forgotten by those who had followed the
| boom." It was only about twenty-five years ago that
this experiment was made, but to-day Kootenay fruit is
shipped in large quantities to Australia and England.
The district has not been developed as Okanagan has been,
but it undoubtedly has a future. Before " development"
has taken place, however, the district may be fully as
interesting to the tourist as it is likely to be afterwards,
when cities take the places of timberland and those thinly
settled hamlets where only an occasional bungalow is seen
among the trees.
As the steamer leaves Nelson it plunges immediately
into the widening lake which has the lofty and eternally
snow-covered   Selkirks   for   its   background.    It   soon m  "The Tour of the Lakes" 225
crosses to Balfour where the Canadian Pacific railway
has constructed a mammoth hotel "with the water at
the front door and the mountains at the rear." At several other stopping-places there are smaller hotels which
cater to local vacationists, rather than the " foreign"
tourists, but any one of which is an ideal location, offering many varieties of sport for the holiday-maker.
The steamer's passenger list is made up of about equal
numbers of excursionists, miners and prospectors, because
the latter realize that there remains much treasure in
these hills only "waiting to be found." They leave us
at the crude little landing-stages and hike away up the
canyons and valleys or up the steep mountains into the
wilderness — assuredly the most optimistic of men,
spurred on by great ambition and by the recollection that
" what has happened in Nelson may happen again in the
vicinity." As we sat on deck and the steamer wheeled
back into deeper water, after dropping off these fortune-
hunters, many of whom were expecting to be gone many
weeks and wrho were bent under heavy packs of provisions
and prospecting implements, we waved them the " good
luck " which they seemed to deserve. It was like cruising along the coasts of Africa and dropping off shipmates who were starting for the interior to become missionaries, ivory-hunters or searchers for rubber. But
there was this difference: instead of the malarial swamps
of the tropics, these men of Kootenay were going into
the crisp, pine-perfumed and life-giving air of the mountains. One almost envied them the experience, with no
thought of their future fortune.
I heard much interesting conversation on the deck of
this steamer. For example, one veteran said that he
never had seen a railroad.    He went overland to Nelson 226 Sunset Canada
in the early days, and he had been in the bush near
where he embarked since the railroads entered the city
by the Silver King. He declared there were many others
like him in these mountains. " They've been looking for
gold all this time," he said. "Discouraged? Never!
Perhaps you feel a little down in the mouth some days,
but you go along and perhaps find ' colour.' That's
enough encouragement to keep you going another year;
and after you have been back there for a couple of years
you don't care to come out until you have found what
you are looking for."
There were three men in a group, one old and the
others young. The old man had always claimed and still
maintained that he was with a group of prospectors many
years ago when they located a fine ledge of copper about
twenty miles inland from a point on the lake which he
thought he could remember. None of the original party
had money enough to " work " the find and they failed to
interest others. The rest of the party were dead, so the
young men were taking the old man to try to locate or relocate the ledge. The steamer was stopped when the old
man pointed to a canyon, they had brought along a row-
boat, so they entered it and were started toward the shore
as our stern-wheeler took us away from them toward the
next " regular stop."
The end of the lake at Kootenay Landing does not
appear to be the end, for the port consists of a huge trestle
of logs that extends into deep water and the swamp lands
abound in channels and estuaries that are usually full
from melted snows in the neighbouring mountains.
From this point all sorts of tours are available to the
traveler. He may have planned to make connections
over the Crow's Nest into Alberta or the United States,   "The Tour of the Lakes" 227
or, returning to Balfour, he may continue the lake tour
to Kaslo and Lardo, visit the beautiful country around
Windermere Lake and pass among the Selkirks and
Rockies, beside the Columbia and Kootenay rivers, to
Golden on the main line. Another point of interest to
many is Fernie, where there are huge coal mines and
majestic mountains, which as at Nelson and all intermediate stations, beckon to the hunter of big game. Or,
unwilling to miss even so much of the main line scenery
and the celebrated resorts among the Selkirks as would
be necessitated by the return via Golden, one may slightly
retrace the route to Nelson and West Robson and there
take the steamer that will bring him into direct connections for Revelstoke, which will include the never-to-be
forgotten cruise on the Arrow Lakes, of which he obtained a view when sliding along the ledge outlook of the
Kettle Valley routed
While in this Kootenay country one should not fail
to give at least a passing thought to David Thompson, the
discoverer of the Columbia River, who often traveled
over these waters more than a century ago, established
Fort Kootenay, one of the first trading posts in the district, and who has been called " The greatest geographer
of his day in British Columbia." He made several far-
reaching and daring journeys into the unknown and left
forty-five volumes of manuscript which did much to
acquaint the world with the remarkable country, which
was practically unknown until he passed this way. The
traveler, however, has little thought of history as he
passes through the Selkirks and the lakes at their bases,
and remembrance of those fur-hunters who paced what
was a treacherous wilderness may escape his mind. More
interesting seems to be the fact that these beauties of na- 228
Sunset Canada
ture have been known for over a hundred years and yet
the region remains terra incognita to the majority of
tourists who visit this corner of the world.
The Arrow Lakes cruise is the climax of this entire
side-trip from the main line. It begins at four o'clock in
the morning, just as the summer sun is lighting the eastern peaks, but one may go aboard the night before as at
Nelson and rise as early as he pleases. In a measure,
the general view may be a