Since 1936, membership in the Vancouver Historical Society has been open to everyone who has an interest in the sharing and preservation of local history.

Next Event

FEB 22 2018

The Death and Life of the Single Family House

  • 7:30 PM
  • MoV
Speaker: Nathan Lauster, Associate Professor of Sociology - UBC

Nathan LausterIn his 2016 book, The Death and Life of the Single-Family House, sociologist Nathan Lauster explains how residents in Vancouver – recognized as one of the most “livable” cities in the world - have attempted to make themselves at home without a house. Building on historical and interview data, Lauster has painstakingly studied the city's dramatic transformation to curb sprawl. He tracks the history of housing and interviews residents about the cultural importance of the house as well as the urban problems it once appeared to solve. Although Vancouver's built environment is unique, Lauster argues that it was never predestined by geography or demography. Instead, regulatory transformations enabled the city to renovate, build over, and build around the house. 


Upcoming Events

Mar 22 2018

Blood, Sweat, and Fear: the Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s First Forensic Investigator

  • 7:30 PM
  • MoV
Speaker: Eve Lazarus, author

Eve LazarusHeralded internationally as the Sherlock Holmes of Canada, John F.C.B. Vance was Vancouver’s first forensic investigator. During his 40-year career (1907-1949) Vance was constantly called upon to use his skills in serology, toxicology, firearms, trace evidence and autopsy to solve hit-and-run, robberies, and some of the most sensational murder cases of the twentieth century. His skills and analytic abilities were so effective that there were seven attempts on his life, and for a time, he and his family were under constant police guard. Vance was on the forefront of forensics, often inventing his own equipment when none was available.

In 1932 he was given the honorary title of Inspector and put in charge of the newly formed Police Bureau of Science.

Eve is the author of several books on Vancouver history, her latest being the subject of this talk.

Apr 08 2018

Incorporation Day Luncheon

  • 12:30 PM
  • University Golf Club
Old VHS Logo$40 for members and guests/$50 for non-members.

Prizes, Presentations and Excellent Food!


Tickets can also be purchased by cheque by mail OR by cash / cheque at the February and March lectures.

Apr 26 2018

The Gardens of Vancouver

  • 7:30 PM
  • MoV
Speaker: Christine Allen, Master Gardener

Christine AllenIs there a typical Vancouver garden? Was there one at any time in the past? Author Christine Allen looks back through the photographic record to analyze the gardening preferences of the city's residents, explaining fashions in landscaping, plantings of orchards and vegetable gardens, and trends such as English Cottage and Asian. The talk mentions avid gardeners including "sugar king" B.T. Rogers and influential landscapers such as Raoul Robillard.

Christine Allen is the author of "Gardens of Vancouver" (Raincoast, 1999) as well as books on roses, climbers, and the large garden she created on a farm in South Langley. She is a Master Gardener and a long-time volunteer at VanDusen Garden.

MAY 24 2018

Emily Patterson: The Heroic Life of a Milltown Nurse

  • 7:30 PM
  • MoV
Speaker: Lisa Anne Smith, Docent & Curator

Lisa Anne SmithWhen Emily Patterson arrived in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children in 1862, she found herself worlds away from Bath, Maine, the staunchly pious township of her birth. Up the remote reaches of Vancouver Island’s Alberni Canal, Emily learnt much about self-reliance in a fledgling milltown where pioneer loggers and the native Tseshaht community shared an often tempestuous co-existence. In search of their ideal homestead, the Pattersons next travelled to Oregon’s fertile Willamette and Columbia River regions, confronting both joy and tragedy along the way. After many years, their quest finally led them to Burrard Inlet, where the sawmilling communities of Hastings Mill and Moodyville dueled for lumber supremacy. Emily gained wide recognition amidst the hard living mill workers for her extraordinary nursing skills, self-taught from sheer necessity over the course of her nomadic life. In a time when the nearest doctor was several hours of travel away, Emily served as a midwife and lay nurse to both Indigenous and pioneer residents of Burrard Inlet.