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Program Summaries

Glimpses of the Past through description, related books and internet connections

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VPL #2923A, Philip Timms, 189-, wreck of the Beaver  
VPL #2923A, Philip Timms, 189-, wreck of the Beaver

SS Beaver
[February 20, 1951, Capt. F. W. Pamphlet]
Built near London for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1835, the SS Beaver sailed to Fort Vancouver where the paddlewheels were installed. The vessel, which needed great volumes of wood to keep it the steam up, served for many years on the coast, first as a fur trader and transport vessel. Sold by the HBC in 1874, it became a freighter and towboat until it was wrecked in 1888 at Prospect Point [Stanley Park]. (see James P. Delgado's The Beaver: first steamship on the West Coast, Horsdal & Schubart, c. 1993; Derek Pethick's S. S. Beaver: The ship that saved the west, Mitchell Press, 1970; see also;)


VPL #13441, Associated Screen News, 193-, three children at Friendly Cove  
VPL #13441, Associated Screen News, 193-, three children at Friendly Cove

Legendary history of the British Columbia Coast Indians
[March 27, 1951, Capt. Charles W. Cates]
The Pacific Northwest Coast, one of the most densely populated native areas in northern North America, was rich in native cultural and linguistic diversity. It's architecture, boats, totems and masks made it a unique cultural area in North America. Hierarchy was based on wealth and possession of slaves, of which there were many. (see Alan D. McMillan's Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada, Douglas & McIntyre, 1988; many websites exist, particularly for NWC art)

VPL #5134, Philip Timms, 190-, Vancouver High School  
VPL #5134, Philip Timms, 190-, Vancouver High School  

Vancouver's school days
[May 1, 1951, Kenneth A. Waites]
In 1870 in Vancouver, the first school was set up in small building in a stump filled field about 100 meters from Hasting's sawmill. The earliest settler school in the area was set up in New Westminster in 1859. (see Kenneth A. Waites' The first fifty years, Vancouver High Schools, 1890-1940, np, 1943; The Greater Vancouver book, 336-37)

David Thompson's explorations on the Columbia
[October 2, 1951, Dr. Walter N. Sage]
London born David Thompson (1779-1857) was an early fur trader who learned the skills of map-making while working for the Hudson's Bay Company. After defecting to the North West Company he explored and traded west of the Rockies setting up several fur trade posts. In 1811, he traveled down the Columbia to the mouth and returned east of the Rockies in 1812. He died in poverty. (see Richard Glover's David Thompson's Narrative 1784-1812, the Champlain Society, 1962; Barbara Belyea's Columbia Journals, University of Washington Press, 1994; Jack Nibet's Sources of the River, Sasquatch Books, 1994 and Mapmaker's Eye, Washington State University Press, 2005; see also

Brother Twelve
[November 15, 1951, Bruce A. McKelvie]
Birmingham born Edward Arthur Wilson (1878-1934) aka “Brother Twelve” received a vision of imminent apocalypse in the 1920's and, after recruiting followers to his Aquarian Foundation, built an establishment south of Nanaimo on nearby DeCourcy Island. However, after increasingly rough treatment of his followers by him and his mistress, Madame Zee, he absconded with the colony's gold and, apparently, died in Switzerland in 1934. (see John Oliphant's Brother Twelve: the incredible story of Canada's false prophet, McClelland & Stewart, c.1991; Herbert Emmerson Wilson's Canada's false prophet: the notorious Brother Twelve, Simon, 1967;)


From sail to steam in coastal waters
[January 15, 1952, 1951-AGM, Capt. Charles W. Cates]
(see Charles W. Cates' Tidal Action in British Columbia Waters, Richardson Press, 1952)

Mackenzie and his voyageurs
[February 26, 1952, Arthur P. Woolacott]
Scotland born Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820) was schooled in Montreal after his father died fighting on the loyalist side in the Revolutionary War. He entered the fur trade in 1779 and, ten years later, in an effort to find the westward flowing river sailed to the Arctic Ocean and then in 1793, made his way to the Pacific Coast, missing George Vancouver by six weeks. After becoming involved in fur trade rivalries, he returned to England in 1804, was knighted, married and retired to a Scottish estate. (see W. Kaye Lamb's The Journals and Letters of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Hakluyt Society, 1970; see also

Archaeological reconnaissance in Tweedsmuir Park
[March 25, 1952, Dr. Charles E. Borden]
(see Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 724)

Sealing on the North Pacific
[April 22, 1952, Frank Kelley]
The Russians were the first to harvest the northern fur seal in 1786. Millions were killed by Americans, British and others and a temporary total ban took place from 1911-18. The stock is still “managed.” (see Peter Murray's The Vagabond fleet: a chronicle of the North Pacific sealing schooner trade, Sono Nis Press, c.1988; Encyclopedia of British Columbia, 276;)

The old sea chanty
[May 20, 1952, Capt. Charles W. Cates]

VPL #4244, Leonard Frank, 1924, former storehouse at Fort Langley  
VPL #4244, Leonard Frank, 1924, former storehouse at Fort Langley  

Fort Langley
[June, 1952 (Field Trip)]
Built to capture the fur trade in 1827 about 50 km from the mouth of the Fraser at a place now called Derby, the site was moved in 1839 to nearby its present site. Not successful as a fur trade site, it became more useful for its salmon and farming capacity. It was burned accidentally in 1840 and in 1858 became a jumping off point for gold miners heading into the interior. It was closed in 1886 and is now a National Historic Site. (see Morag Maclachlan's The Fort Langley Journals, 1827-30, UBC Press, c.1998; see also B. C. McKelvie's Fort Langley, birthplace of British Columbia, Porcepic Press, 1991; see also

Okanagan-Cariboo trail of the sixties
[September 10, 1952, Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby]
(see January 1937 entry)

VPL # 44346, Province News, 1947, Doukhobor (Dukhobor) Young Women  
VPL # 44346, Province News, 1947, Doukhobor (Dukhobor) Young Women (Krestova, B. C.)  

Some Doukhobor history
[October 28, 1952, Prof. R. J. Mawer]
A religious sect of Russian Christians, the Doukhobor's came to Canada in 1899, moving to British Columbia in 1908. However, from the 1920s to the 1960s they vigorously and dramatically resisted being assimilated into Canadian society.
(see George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic's The Doukhobors, McClelland and Stewart, c. 1977; The University of British Columbia's A Doukhobor Bibliography, collected in the University of British Columbia Library;)

Early explorations in the lower Fraser Valley and mainland areas
[December 2, 1952, 1952-AGM, John E. Gibbard]


Walter Moberley, explorer, and Henry J. Cambie, railway construction wizard
[February 10, 1953, Noel Robinson]
England born Walter Moberley (1832-1915) was a civil engineer who laid out New Westminster in 1859 and several trails and roads throughout BC. Ireland born Henry J. Cambie (1836-1928) was a railway engineer and railroad builder who laid out routes for the CPR. (see Noel Robinson's Blazing the trail through the Rockies: The story of Walter Moberly and his share in the making of Vancouver, by Noel Bobinson and the old man himself, News-advertiser, Printers, c.1915; and Blazing Trails in B.C.: adventures and misadventures of Henry J. Cambie, now 87, who built railways in Canada, in pre-confederation days, np. 1923; see also

British Columbia boundaries
[March 17, 1953, G. S. Andrews]
(see Enclyclopedia of British Columbia, 86; see also

The American buffalo
[April 14, 1953, Dr. Frank G. Roe]
(see Frank G. Roe's The North Amercian buffalo; a critical study of the species in its wild state, David & Charles, 1972 and The Red River Hunt, Quintin Pub, c.2000; see also

Indian trails in British Columbia
[May 19, 1953, Mildred Valley Thornton]
(see Mildred Valley Thornton's Indian lives and legends, Mitchell Press, c.1966)

Oblate shrine at Mission
[June 27, 1953 (Field Trip)]

VPL #5668, Philip Timms, 1904, 100 block Esplanade, North Vancouver  
VPL #5668, Philip Timms, 1904, 100 block Esplanade, North Vancouver  

When North Vancouver was young
[September 15, 1953, Capt. Charles W. Cates]
(see Henry Ewert's Perfect little street car system. North Vancouver 1906-1947, North Vancouver Museum and Archives Commission, 2000; Patrick O. Hind's Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company: a short history of the North Shore subdivision, 1914-1928, North Short Archives and Museum Commission, 1999; see also

From Beaver to Princess
[October 13, 1953, Norman Hacking]
(see Norman Hacking's Early maritime history of British Columbia, np, 1924; The Princess story: a century and a half of West Coast shipping, Mitchell Press, 1976)

Story of Prince Rupert
[November 10, 1953, Col. J. W. Nichols]
Prince Rupert, on Kaien Island, was selected as the Pacific terminus for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway but never grew to its potential, becoming a fishing centre instead. The site was cleared from 1906 and it was officially incorporated in 1910 amidst scandal of improper land grants. Today it continues as a growing port. (see W. B. M. Hicks' Hay's Orphan: the story of the Port of Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert Port Authority, c.2003; see also

VPL #8145, Philip Timms, 190-, Men, women and children in New Westminster  
VPL #8145, Philip Timms, 190-, Men, women and children in New Westminster  

New Westminster
[December 8, 1953, AGM, Mrs. Emilie B. Campbell]
Founded in 1859 on the north shore of the Fraser River as a defense against an attack from the south, New Westminster was declared the capital of the colony of British Columbia. In 1868, two years after the colonies of Vancouver Island and BC were joined, the capital was moved to Victoria. Originally called Queensborough, it is also referred to as the Royal City and the Queen City. It was burned in 1898 and is a thriving city today. (see Alan Woodland's New Westminster, the early years, 1858-1898, Nanaga Publishing Co., 1973; see also


The wreck of the Forerunner
[January 22, 1954, H. C. Gilliland]

Arctic exploration
[February 9, 1954, Dr. J. Lewis Robinson]

Films of the St. Roch and “The Loon's Necklace.”
[April 13, 1954]

Cedar Creek gold rush
[May 5, 1954, N. H. McDiarmid]
( see

Yale & Place names of the Cariboo Road
[June 26, 1954, (Field Trip), Bruce Ramsey]
(see Bruce Ramsey's Ghost Towns of British Columbia, Mitchell Press, c.1963)

Prospectors and prospecting in BC
[October 12, 1954, H. V. Warren]
(see Sidney K. Cole's Spud's Dream: The story of how a Canadian Mountain man helped create a World Class City, Rand & Sarah Publishing, 1987)

Your archives
[November 26, 1954, Willard Ireland]

Bodega y Quadra, Spanish explorer
[December 14, 1954, AGM, Norman Hacking]
Peru born Juan Francisco de la Bodega Y Quadra (1744-1794) studied at the Naval Academy in Cadiz before coming to the Pacific Northwest Coast in 1775, 1779 and on later voyages while Spain still claimed the coast to Alaska. From Nootka, he worked co-operatively with Captain George Vancouver and died in Mexico city. (see Norman Hacking's The Spanish Influence and George Vancouver, Vancouver Sailings, May 12, 1986; see also


Whaling industry of British Columbia
[February 11, 1955, Dr. C. R. Elsie]
Hunted for millennia off the west coast of Vancouver Island by the Nuu-chah-nulth people, whales began to be hunted on a large scale for industry from the 1830 until 1967. Whaling stations were built on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Whale hunting was officially halted in 1972. (see T. T. Waterman's The whaling equipment of the Makah Indians, Seattle, The University, 1920; Charles Melville Scammon's The marine mammals of the northwestern coast of North America, described and illustrated; together with an account of the American whale history, Camany, 1874; see also

Fort Langley Restoration Society
[March 8, 1955, Alex C. Hope]
In 1955, the Fort Langley Restoration Society was formed to accompany the Federal declaration of the site as a National Historic Park. (see April 20, 1943 and June 2, 1952 entries)

VPL #1268, unknown, no date, Yukoner and his dog  
VPL #1268, unknown, no date, Yukoner and his dog  

I married the Klondike
[April 18, 1955, Mrs. Laura Berton]
Like her more famous son, Pierre, Laura Berton became a well known writer in the Yukon. (see Laura Berton's I married the Klondike, Boston, Little Brown, 1954; see also

History of the Chilliwack area
[May 15, 1955, John Gibbard]
On the Fraser River, 100 km east of Vancouver, the Chilliwack area began filling with non-native settlement in the 1860s and was incorporated in 1908 as the City of Chilliwack. It is at present an agricultural, forestry and a growing retirement centre. (see Cecil C. Couts' Cancelled with pride: a history of Chilliwack area post offices, 1865-1993, author, 1993; see also;

Fort Langley
[June 18, 1955 (Field Trip)]
(see April 20, 1943, June 2, 1952 entries)

Film of Trans-Mountain pipeline
[September 20, 1955, Derrick Humphries]
The Trans-Mountain Pipe Line Co. Ltd. (now Terasen Pipe Lines Limited), is a company which brings most of the lower mainland's petroleum products from Edmonton through Kamloops to its Burnaby location.

VPL #9362, Leonard Frank, 1927, Council of Jewish Women Club House  
VPL #9362, Leonard Frank, 1927, Council of Jewish Women Club House  

The Jewish community in BC
[October 28, 1955, A. J. Arnold]
Jews have been a part of British Columbia historical settlement since the gold rush of 1858 and have contributed considerably to business, scholarship, music and the arts. David Oppenheimer (1834-97), Vancouver's from 1888-91, has been called “the father of Vancouver.” (see Vancouver Jewish Community Council's centennial service commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Crown Colony of British Columbia and of the Jewish settlement in this province, Sunday, Iyar 14, 5718 - May 4, 1958 at Congregation Schara Tzedeck, Vancouver, BC 1958 (UBC library)

Captain Vancouver
[November 20, 1955, James S. Marshall]
(see entry for March 25, 1992)


VPL #6179, Leonard Frank, 1935, Locarno Beach  
VPL #6179, Leonard Frank, 1935, Locarno Beach  

Archeaological sites at Marpole and Locarno Beach
[December 13, 1955, Dr. Charles E. Borden]
The Marpole and Locarno Beach archaeological sites have provided a rich insight into past native settlement. (see David Burley's Marpole: Anthropological reconstructions of a prehistoric Northwest Coast culture type, Dept. of Archaeology, SFU, 1980; Sharon Johnson's Herman Leisk's journal notes 1927-1933 of excavations at the Marpole site: DhRs 1, and other coastal sites, Vancouver Museum, 1986; see also

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