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Title: Some Reminiscences of old Victoria

Author: Edgar Fawcett

Release date: July 13, 2008 [eBook #26048]
Most recently updated: January 3, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Andrew Sly, Julia Miller and the Online
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[Illustration: FORT VICTORIA, 1859.]



William Briggs

Copyright, Canada, 1912, by

Sir Richard McBride. K.C.M.G.


To My Readers:—

A preface is, as I understand it, an explanation, and maybe an apology, for what follows. If such is the case, I must explain several things contained in these "Reminiscences of Old Victoria" and its pioneers. Had I not been laid aside with the typhoid some eight years ago, it is likely I should not have thought of writing down these early memories, but many know what convalescing after a sickness is—how one longs for something new, something to do. I was at this time at the seaside, and all at once decided to pass my time in writing. Seated comfortably on the beach with my writing pad, I commenced "A British Boy’s Experiences in San Francisco in the Early Fifties," and so have continued on from time to time during the last eight years.

I have been much encouraged, by pioneers and friends, to gather the result of these pleasant labors together, and I feel I have succeeded in a very imperfect manner; but, dear reader, consider how little I should be expected to know of book-making; therefore take faults and omissions in the product of my labors cum bona venia, for there are sure to be many imperfections. There are repetitions of which I am aware, and have decided to let them stand, as I think they fit in in each case. Had I been a man of more leisure I should not have had to apologize for so many of these imperfections.


I have to thank Mrs. Macdonald, of Armadale, the venerable Bishop Cridge, and Alexander Wilson, for valuable information, and also Mr. Albert Maynard and Reverend A. E. Alston for many photographs to illustrate the book. We all know that a book in these days is nothing without pictures. There are others who have helped me in other ways who will accept my thanks.

With these explanatory remarks, and in fear and trembling, I submit the book to your favorable consideration.

Dingley Dell,
   Christmas, 1911.



All the Fawcetts I ever heard of from my father and mother came from Kidderminster. My father’s father was a maltster, and the sons, with the exception of my father, the youngest, were carpet weavers. The family were strict Nonconformists, and produced one or two noted divines of George the Third’s day, one of whom preached before that king. There was also a kinship with the Baxters of "Saint’s Rest" fame.

My mother was Jane Wignall, whose father was a Birmingham smallarms manufacturer in rather a large way of business, but who through the dishonesty of his partner was nearly ruined and brought to comparative poverty. The daughters, who were all well educated, had to take positions as governesses and ladies’ companions. My mother, in this capacity, lived and travelled in France and Spain, and spoke the languages of both countries. In a voyage to her home from Barcelona she was wrecked in the Gulf of Lyons, but through the timely assistance of a Spanish gentleman and his Newfoundland dog, who bore her up, she was brought to shore in little more than her nightdress. I have to-day a letter from the British consul at Marseilles which he gave to my mother, recommending her to the care of other British consuls on her way to England. The Spanish gentleman who saved her life made an offer of marriage, which my mother declined, I think, p.6 on account of his being a Roman Catholic. He would not take no for an answer, but later on followed her to England and offered himself a second time without effect. Shortly after this she and my father were married, and on the advice of Rowland Hill, his cousin (Sir Rowland Hill), he took his young bride to Australia. Rowland Hill, being his father’s trustee under his will, paid my father his share, with which he took a stock of goods and started business in Sydney.

In 1849 we left Sydney, where I was born, for San Francisco—father, mother, my brother Rowland and myself, in the ship Victoria. This vessel my father afterwards purchased and sent to Alberni, or Sooke, for a load of lumber for England, when we all were going with her. The vessel never came back, having been wrecked somewhere near where all the wrecks have since taken place, on the west coast of this island. My father was ruined, for there was no insurance, so he had to start life anew. He came north to Victoria in 1858, where he entered into business until appointed Government Agent at Nanaimo, where he served some years, dying at the advanced age of seventy-six. My mother died in 1863, and at the present writing, in addition to myself, there is one brother in Victoria—Rowland—and another brother, Arthur, in London, England.

The author has completed his fifty-three years in this fair city.

Dingley Dell,
   December 20th, 1911.



I.The Experiences of a British Boy in San Francisco in the Early Fifties11
II.Theatrical Memories20
III.My Boyhood Days in Victoria26
IV.Victoria’s First Directory38
V.Some Recollections of Victoria by One who Was There in the Sixties57
VI.A Little More Street History68
VII.The Victoria Gazette, 185873
VIII.Victoria in 1859–186084
IX.Fires and Firemen92
X.A Siberian Mammoth100
XI.Mrs. Edwin Donald, Hon. Wymond Hamley, Hon. G. A. Walkem109
XII.The Consecration of the Iron Church115
XIII.The Iron Church Again121
XIV.Its Departed Glories, or Esquimalt, Then and Now124
XV.Old Quadra Street Cemetery129
XVI.Pioneer Society’s Banquet144
XVII.Victoria District Church149
XVIII.Christmas In Pioneer Days153
XIX.The Queen’s Birthday Forty Years Ago159
XX.Evolution of the Victoria Post Office166
XXI.Fifty Years Ago170
XXII.Forty Years Ago174
XXIII.The Late Governor Johnson178
XXIV.A Trip to a Coral Island181
XXV.A Victorian’s Visit to Southern California183
XXVI.p.8An Historic Steamer199
XXVII.Colonel Wolfenden—In Memoriam203
XXVIII.The Closing of View Street in 1858206
XXIX.Mr. Fawcett Retires from the Customs212
XXX.Some Colored Pioneers215
XXXI.John Chapman Davie, M.D.220
XXXII.The Beginning of the Royal Hospital and Protestant Orphan’s Home226
XXXIII.Victoria’s First Y. M. C. A.229
XXXIV.The Late Mr. T. Geiger234
XXXV.Roster of the Fifty-Eighters237
XXXVI.More Light on Closing of View Street240
XXXVII.Bishop Cridge’s Christmas Story244
XXXVIII.Christmas Reminiscences258
XXXIX.My First Christmas Dinner in Victoria, 1860263
XL.Evolution of the Songhees283
XLI.Victoria the New and the Old288







I shall commence by saying that I, with my father, mother, brother and sister, arrived in San Francisco in 1850, in the ship Victoria, from Australia, where I was born. From stress of weather we put into Honolulu to refit, and spent, I think, three weeks there, and as my mother was not in good health the change and rest on shore did her a deal of good. During our stay we became acquainted with a wealthy American sugar planter, who was married to a pretty native lady. They had no family, and she fell in love with your humble servant, who was of the mature age of two and a half years. My mother, of course, told me of this years later, how that after consulting with her husband, the planter, she seriously proposed to my mother that she give me to her for adoption as her son; that I should be well provided for in the case of her husband’s death, and in fact she made the most liberal offers if she might have me for her own. It might have been a very important epoch in my life, for if my mother had accepted, who knows but what I might have been "King of the Hawaiian Islands," as the planter’s wife was "well connected." p.12 But, to proceed, my mother did not accept this flattering offer, as naturally she would not, and so we continued on our way to San Francisco with many remembrances of my admirer’s kindness. But this is not telling of my experiences in San Francisco eight years after.

My first recollections are complimentary to the citizens of San Francisco—that is, for their universal courtesy to women and children; but this is a characteristic of the people, and I will illustrate it in a small way. It was the custom in those days for ladies to go shopping prepared to carry all they bought home with them, and I used to accompany my mother on her shopping expeditions. The streets and crossings were in a dreadfully muddy condition, and women and children were carried over the crossings, and never was there wanting a gallant gentleman ready to fulfil this duty, for a duty it was considered then by all men to be attentive to women.

What induced me to write these maybe uninteresting incidents, was the last very interesting sketch of early life in San Francisco by my friend, Mr. D. W. Higgins, giving an account of the doings of the "Vigilance Committee," and the shooting of "James King of William," as I remembered him named, and the subsequent execution of Casey for that cold-blooded deed. Cold-blooded it was, for I was an eye-witness, strange to say, of the affair, as I will now relate.

I might premise by saying that my father was an enthusiastic Britisher. But he was a firm believer in the American axiom, though—"My country, may she ever be right; my country right or wrong," and I, his son, echo the same sentiments. It is this sentiment that makes me have no love for a pro-Boer. It was this p.13 pride of country that caused him to go to the expense of subscribing for the Illustrated London News at fifty or seventy-five cents a number, weekly, and I was on my way to Payot’s bookstore to get the last number, with the latest account of the Crimean War, then waging between England and France against Russia. I was within a stone’s throw of Washington and Montgomery Streets, I think, when I was startled by the sharp report of a pistol, and looking around I saw at once where it proceeded from, for there were about half a dozen people surrounding a man who had been shot. I, of course, made for that point, being ever ready for adventure. The victim of the shooting was James King of William, editor of the Evening Bulletin newspaper, and the assassin was a notorious politician named James Casey, proprietor of the Sunday Times, but a very illiterate man for all that.

The cause of the shooting was that James King of William had in his paper stated that Casey had served a term in Sing Sing prison in New York for burglary. This was true, and was afterwards admitted by Casey, but that it should have been made known by an opponent’s newspaper was too much for him, and he swore that King’s days were numbered. He kept his word, as the event showed.

The victim of the shooting was able to stagger forward towards the Pacific Express building on the corner of Washington and Montgomery Streets, and entered the office, only to drop to the floor. Several doctors were soon in attendance, and his wound bandaged, and he was eventually moved to Montgomery Block, where he remained until he died, six days later. It was contended by Doctor Toland that King’s death was caused by the leaving in the wound of the sponge that was inserted p.14 immediately after the shooting to stop hemorrhage. There were about twenty doctors in all who attended King, so is it any wonder he died?

The assassin was taken in charge by his friends, some of whom were at the time close at hand, and he was taken to the station, which was a block away, and locked up. This was the safest thing for Casey, as his friends were in office, and he expected to get off, even if tried for the offence, as many a like rogue had done.

It was not long after the shooting ere the bell of the Monumental Engine House rang out an alarm. Ten thousand people assembled, as louder pealed the bell. The crowd now surged in the direction of the jail, calling out, "Lynch him! lynch him!" All this time I was swept along in the living stream of people, and well it was for me that I was able to keep upright, for had I fallen it is doubtful if I should have been able to rise again. The jail was doubly guarded to prevent the citizens from getting possession of Casey, who would have been summarily dealt with. I was now able to get out of the crowd and go home to tell of my wonderful adventure.

I was always in trouble through my continual search for adventure. A gentleman friend of ours, bookkeeper, in the San Francisco sugar refinery, was one of the Vigilance Committee, which was composed of all grades of society, from merchants to workingmen. There were five thousand of them enrolled to work a reformation in city government, which was then in the hands of gamblers, thieves and escaped convicts. At home I heard the trial and execution of Casey discussed, and decided at all hazards to go to the important event, but I knew it would have to be done on the sly, as my mother would never have consented. "I let the cat out of the p.15 bag" somehow, as my mother gave me a solemn warning that if I went I should get the worst whipping I ever had in my life.

I brooded on this for some days, and finally decided to go and take my chances of being found out. So on the day I of course played hookey, and got to the place early. I climbed up an awning post nearly opposite the gallows, and sat on the top with some other adventurous spirits, who, like myself, were hungry for adventure. I shall not describe what I saw, for my friend, Mr. Higgins, has already done that. When I got home I paid dearly for my disobedience. My elder brother happened to have been opposite me, on the other side of the street. I got my promised whipping, well laid on, and was sent supperless to bed, feeling very sore. But I was not fated to go without supper, for, as I lay unrepentant, Amy, my little sister, crept into the room and brought me part of hers, and, what I more appreciated then, her sympathy and tears. God bless her! She was taken from us soon after to a better life.

One afternoon later (I won’t be sure of dates), as father and I were going home, we were arrested by the sweet strains of music, which proceeded from a band a block away. Father hesitated for an instant, then started off at a run, calling to me to come on. We were soon there, and to explain father’s strange action in running after a band of music, I have only to say that the tune was one dear to the hearts of all Britons, "God Save the Queen," so, could you wonder at his excitement, as we stood in front of the British Consulate? The reason of it all was the news received that day of the fall of Sebastopol. After a few words from the consul we all moved off to the French Consulate, and here all was repeated, but to the strains of the Marseillaise p.16 hymn. Of course this good news was fully discussed at home, and some days after it was decided to have the event celebrated by the British and French residents by a procession and banquet in a pavilion, with an ox and several sheep roasted whole. The day arrived, and I, of course, had to go with father in the procession, carrying a British flag. In the midst of the festivities a lot of roughs broke into the pavilion, tore down the British and French flags, and then worked havoc with the pavilion itself. It was a most disgraceful affair, and would not have occurred, I am confident, in any British possession; but then ours may not be such a free country. Father was most indignant, and wrote to Marryat’s newspaper calling on the British Consul to take official notice of the affair, but I don’t remember the result. Marryat was, I believe, an Englishman.

The next little incident I shall name the "Battle of the Standard," because it was all about a little flag. It was the celebration of the laying of the Atlantic cable, and all the public school children took part in a monster parade. Each child carried a small flag, such as we have for the Queen’s birthday celebration in Canada.

As may be supposed American flags swamped the British in numbers, still there was a good sprinkling of the latter. I happened to be one British boy among many American boys, and they bantered me considerably about my flag being "alone," and at last exasperated me, and on my flag being snatched away by a boy I snatched it back again, and in the scuffle it was torn from the stick and I cried with vexation. One of the teachers, however, supplied me with another, which you may suppose I took good care of. Will the Americans never get over their silly jealousy with respect to the flying of foreign p.17 flags in their country? We Canadians are always pleased to see the Star Spangled Banner waving alongside the Union Jack, and hope it may long wave.

The Mexican coin valued at two reals, or two bits, as we called it then, represented the value of two small apples in those days, and everything was dear in proportion. These coins were more in circulation than American, I think, the place being full of Mexicans. They were very picturesque, riding about dressed in buckskin trousers with fringe down the leg, wearing wide-brimmed felt hats and on their heels immense spurs, which made a great noise as they walked. They were a great attraction to me as they galloped like mad after cattle, throwing with great skill a rawhide lariat or lasso, which rarely missed its victim. My thirst for adventures led me with several other kindred spirits to play hookey from school, and go into the country to see these Mexicans drive wild cattle about, and then to the slaughterhouse to see them killed. When I was found out I was well whipped, of course, but I often escaped.

San Francisco in those days was mostly built of wood, and when a fire started, with a fair wind, the damage done was something enormous. My spirit of adventure took me to many of these fires, in fact it was hard to keep me in when a large one was burning. From our house I have seen the greater part of the city swept away twice, and a grander sight cannot be imagined, seen from an eminence, and maybe at night, too. I was off like a shot, and, running all the way, was soon on the scene. Anyone and everyone volunteered to help carry goods to a place of safety, and hot work it was, I can tell you, for being mostly of wood, and maybe redwood, they (the houses) burnt like tinder. From running to so many fires and falling p.18 down in my haste I got my shins bruised and bleeding, and my trousers, of course, torn. I was showing my children these scars only lately, they being still much in evidence after fifty-four years.

As I have before stated, the stores were built of redwood, and with cellars. The floors of many had trapdoors, and when the fire got near them the storekeeper opened the trapdoor, and all the goods were swept off the shelves into the cellar, and covered up. After this the owner of the building took a bee-line for the lumber yard to get in his order for lumber for a new building ahead of his neighbor. They were the exciting days and no mistake! A week after one of these devastating fires all was built up and looked the same as usual. I might state that the firebells rang on all occasions to bring the citizens together in those times of tumult, and all prominent men were firemen.

I can well remember the election of President Buchanan, and if I remember right, the voting was in the open air in each ward of the city, the ballots being placed in large glass globes. At one of these polling-places I saw a fight, the result of a dispute between a Democrat and a Republican over an accusation by one that the other had put in a double ticket (I think this was the cause).

To close this history, I might say that my father and his partner put all they had, some ten thousand dollars, into a venture which eventually brought us to Vancouver Island to live. They bought a vessel, and sent her in ballast to Alberni or Sooke for a load of lumber, and it was arranged that on her return to San Francisco she was to take the lumber to England, and we all were to go home again in her. But "L’homme propose et Dieu dispose" was here exemplified, for the p.19 ship never came back. After weeks of anxiety when the ship was overdue, one day either the captain, or the mate came to my father with the news that the ship was wrecked in Barclay Sound, and as there was not a dollar of insurance we were ruined, and had to commence all over again.

The result of all this was that later we embarked with about six hundred others on the steamer Northerner for Victoria, to try and retrieve something of what we lost. I will not vouch for the accuracy of the dates or the rotation in which the incidents are related, but I have done my best after cudgeling my brain for weeks for the general result as here presented.

[Portrait: Edgar Fawcett.]




In looking through a trunk of old letters and other odds and ends the other day, I came across what might be considered of some interest to some of our pioneers in the sixties. The find consisted of six playbills, or, as they could very well be considered, theatrical posters, from the size; but they were such as were then given to people as they passed the doorkeeper into the old Victoria Theatre on Government Street. They measure two feet long by ten inches wide, and are like posters alongside those now used. These plays were produced in the times of Governors Douglas and Seymour, and were under their distinguished patronage.

In those days very few theatrical companies visited Victoria, except at irregular intervals, so that theatre-goers had to rely, to a great extent, on the productions of the Victoria Amateur Dramatic Club to fill up the intervals. At this date there were many well-educated and professional men here who had come from the Old Country to get rich in a short time; and, thinking the mines were close to this city, many of these joined the club. Charles Clarke was a prominent member, also W. M. Anderson, C. B. Tenniel, together with many of our young business men, viz., Arthur Keast, the brewer; Lumley Franklin, the auctioneer; S. Farwell, the civil engineer; H. C. Courtney, the barrister; H. p.21 Rushton and Joseph Barnett, of one of the banks; Ben Griffin, mine host of the Boomerang; Godfrey Brown, of Janion, Green & Rhodes; W. J. Callingham, of McCutcheon & Callingham, drapers (the latter, by the bye, was a most clever low comedian); Plummer, the auctioneer; and last, though not least, Alex. Phillips, of soda water fame. These names will all be familiar to old pioneers. As female talent was scarce, or they were loth to take part in theatricals, the other sex had to be enlisted, and I shall not forget the meeting at the Boomerang (our meeting-place) when this difficulty was met by the suggestion that your humble servant should take the part of "Emily Trevor" in "Boots at the Swan." I protested my inability, but was overruled. Not yet having occasion to use a razor, and being youthful, it was decided that I should try my hand at female impersonation, under the "stage name" of "Helen Fawcet." The result of the experiment was that I subsequently took the parts of "Julia Jenkins" in "Who Stole the Pocket-book?" and "Mary Madden" in "Henry Dunbar." This last character was a rather more difficult one than the others, and although I was perfect in my part, I was reported in the next morning’s Colonist by "Leigh Harnett" as looking very sweet, etc., but "as not speaking up," which, of course, was a serious defect. This criticism was a damper on my theatrical aspirations in female parts, for I returned to the commonplace parts of a poacher, a brigand and a footman. The performances were generally given for some charity, such as the Orphans of St. Ann, the fire department, and so forth, and were "under" the distinguished patronage of Admiral Hastings and officers of H.M.S. Reindeer, and p.22 officers of the fleet often helped us out. I see by the bills that the admission was $1.50 reserved seats, $1.00 unreserved, and 50 cents "pit," with $10 for a box. "Performance to commence promptly at 7.30." The orchestra was composed, with others, of Digby Palmer, F. S. Bushell, Gunther and Roberts, with, I think, Bandmaster Haynes. All our performances were given under the direction of R. G. Marsh, a standard theatrical manager, who, with his wife, adopted daughter, "Jenny Arnot," his son and Miss Yeoman, was a great help to us. In fact without their assistance we could not have produced plays with female characters. Not to make this too long, I will wind up by giving what I can remember of a piece called "The Merchant of Venice Preserved," by a local poet. It was full of local hits, which only those who were acquainted with politics and the questions of the day at that time will understand:

"This shall Inform Bassanio that I’m done Brown,
My chance is up, my ship, alas! gone down.
The vessel on her homeward way, sir,
Laden with the rich products of the Fraser (river)—
The famed sal-lals for making jams,
Monster sturgeon, cranberries and clams—
Bumped on the sands and so a wreck became;
Captain, as usual, ‘not at all to blame.’
The people here say just as they like,
And lay the blame on ‘Titcombe’ or on ‘Pike.’
For me, no sympathy I get; to them ’tis fun;
Alas for me, I’m ‘Capitally’ done;
Then those brick stores, which I fondly thought
For bonded warehouses would soon be sought;
Bring ‘Nary red,’ no revenue they raise;
No ships arriving, no one duty pays;
p.23 From Sorrow’s page I’ve learned all man can know,
For ‘Cochrane’s’ just sold off my grand pi-an-o;
So if with means to aid me you’re invested,
Haste, for the Jews won’t rest till I’m arrested.

"Your loving friend,


The evening of my first appearance in female character, I was dressed at home, and escorted down town with a lady on each side of me, and I can remember how hard it was for them to keep their countenance, for several times I thought I was discovered ere we reached the theatre. We all walked to and from the theatre in those days—there were not half a dozen hacks in Victoria.

[Illustration: Government St. with Theatre Royal.]

The photo shows old "Theatre Royal" at the time of which I write, viz., 1866 to 1868, and in which all the theatricals were produced in these early days; although there was a sort of theatre used for nigger minstrel performances and concert hall business. This was situated under Goodacre’s butcher shop. The principal actor and negro delineator was "Tom Lafont," whose equal I have not seen since as an imitator of negro comicalities and as a bird whistler. He will be well remembered by old-timers. The Theatre Royal was situated on Government Street, one door from the corner of Bastion, as will be seen in the picture. This corner was first occupied by Doctor Davie, sr., then by a Doctor Dickson, when first I remember it. He died about a year ago in Portland, Oregon, just after a visit to this city. The theatre was, I think, composed of two of the big barns in the fort, which being connected together, made one long building, reaching to Langley Street. There was a saloon or p.24 restaurant kept by Sam Militich on the one side of the front entrance, and Newbury’s saddlery shop on the other. The upper front of the theatre was used as a photograph gallery, and was occupied, among others, by a Mr. Gentile and J. Craig. A showcase of photos, in a small annex, which was connected with the gallery above, may be seen with a magnifying glass.

Charles Keen and Mrs. Keen produced several of Shakespeare’s plays here in 1864, and I went with my father to see "Macbeth." We had seats in the pit, or orchestra chairs, as now known. Reserved tickets were three dollars, and although this was thought to be a famine price, the opportunity of hearing such celebrated people as the Keens was not to be resisted, so the house was packed at each performance.

Charles Wheatley, considered a fine comedian, produced the "Colleen Bawn," or the "Brides of Garry Owen." The play made a lasting impression on me, as the finest comedy I had ever seen. It may be that Mr. Wheatley’s fine personation of Danny Mann, the leading part, made me think so, but it was a fact nevertheless.

Madame Anna Bishop, whom Mr. Higgins has told us about in one of his interesting stories, delighted many audiences in "Old Theatre Royal."

I can also remember the Reverend Morley Puncheon, who was a celebrated Methodist preacher, and chairman of the home church in England. He gave readings from celebrated authors. During one of these readings, and while he was reciting from Macaulay’s "Lays of Ancient Rome," the fire bell rang, and in less time than five minutes there was hardly a man left of his audience. He was at first struck dumb with surprise, then offended. That such an ordinary thing, as it p.25 seemed to him, should have stopped his lecture! But it was explained to him how that fires were put out by the citizens generally; that it was a matter of much moment to them; that it may have been the home of any of them; also that many of the audience were members of a fire company, and were liable to be fined for non-attendance, although their services were given free. This satisfied him, and he went on with the reading. Theatre Royal served Victoria until the building of Theatre Victoria.

[Illustration: Corner of Government and Yates streets.]




How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wildwood,
And every loved spot which my boyhood then knew.
Oh! give me back my boyhood days,
The sportive days of childhood.
The merry games with bat and ball,
The rambles through the wildwood.

As I stated in my experiences in San Francisco in the early fifties, and in consequence of the loss of my father’s vessel near Alberni, we came north to Victoria after gold was discovered in British Columbia. We took passage in the steamer Northerner, which was filled with passengers and freight, and came via Portland, arriving in Esquimalt on the 11th day of February, 1859. I might state that all the ocean steamers docked at Esquimalt then, and the passengers were freighted round in a smaller steamer to the Hudson’s Bay wharf in our harbor. The first thing that attracted our attention on coming into the harbor was the high palisade of the fort, which ran along Wharf Street from the corner of Bastion to Broughton Street, up thence to Government Street, along Government to Bastion Street, to the cigar store with the brass plate p.27 on, now occupied by North and Richardson. Opposite Fort Street there was an entrance, and another on Wharf Street.

[Illustration: Fort Street, extending through the fort.]

In the centre of the large gates there were smaller ones. These small gates were opened every morning at seven o’clock on the ringing of the fort bell, which was suspended from a kind of belfry in the centre of the yard. To the north were the stores and warehouses, and to the south large barns; the residences were situated on the east side of the fort.

The stores were patronized by all the colonists, not then being confined to the Company’s servants, as in former times. Fort Street looked very different to what it does now. The roadbed was composed of boulders, which, being round, made rough riding, and so muddy, too! Try and imagine it. The sidewalk was of two-inch boards, laid lengthwise, three boards wide, I think, and commenced at the Brown Jug corner, running up for three or four blocks.

Where the Brown Jug now stands was a large orchard and garden, surrounded by a whitewashed fence, which ran along Government Street to Broughton, taking in the whole block eastward. Many an apple have I had from this orchard, and apples were apples in those days, whatever they may be now.

The Company’s bakery, where we got our bread, was across Fort Street, on the site of the Five Sisters block, and was a log-built house, whitewashed. I think part of the bakehouse was to be seen in late years in the rear of a carpenter’s shop on Broad Street, also I think the baker himself is still alive, and named James Stockham. He made excellent bread and charged twenty-five cents a loaf, but such loaves they were, being at least three times as large as modern loaves.


There was a good story told of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the price of flour and bread during the gold excitement, which reflected great credit on the Chief Factor of the company. It was said that a scheme was concocted to corner all the flour in the country (à la trust) by some enterprising citizens across the border; and the Company was approached by these gentlemen, who proposed to them to buy their whole stock of flour for that purpose. To the credit of the Company’s officials, they refused to do so, and sold at the usual price, against the combination, and so broke it up.

[Illustration: Sir James Douglas and Lady Douglas.]

After we had got settled in our new home the question of sending me to school was discussed, and easily settled, for it was Hobson’s choice. The Colonial School, as it was called, was on the site of the present Central School. It was the only one I can think of except Angela College, and maybe a private school. There was a fee of five dollars a year charged, payable quarterly in advance.

After you left Blanchard Street, the way to the school was by a pathway through the woods. The country around View and Fort Streets, up to Cook, was very swampy, and covered mostly by willow and alder trees. In fact there was a small swamp or lake on View Street, where there was good duck shooting in winter. When I went to the Colonial School in 1859, it was taught by a young man named Kennedy, whose father was Dr. Kennedy, of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and whose brother was in the same service. Some months later he resigned, and his successor was an Irishman named W. H. Burr, whose temper was quick, like my own, and although he tried to make me a good scholar, I am afraid I did not do him or his teaching justice, and p.29 I remember two good beatings he gave me far better than the useful knowledge he tried to inculcate.

It was thus: Our school might aptly be termed a mixed one, for it consisted of boys and girls who sat together. This arrangement just suited me, for I was fond of the girls. There were white boys and black boys, Hebrews and Gentiles, rich and poor, and we all sat close together to economize room. One day a dispute arose between a white boy and a black boy, and ended in a fistic encounter. I was mainly instrumental in bringing it about, and backed my man until the sponge was thrown up by the white boys’ friend. Mr. Burr heard of the occurrence through the boys not reporting at the school the next morning, and an investigation by the master revealed my part in the affair. I was sentenced to be flogged for aiding and abetting. This was announced in the morning, and to be carried out in the afternoon. My friends collected around me after school closed and various advice was given me as to how I should act under the trying circumstances. After the consultation was over it was decided that I should put on a pair of old gloves inside out, as it was supposed the cane would not hurt as much that way, and it being dusk at four o’clock, when we broke up in winter, the master might not see the difference in the color of my hands. I was on hand at flogging time, against the advice of some of my friends, who counselled me not to show up. Mr. Burr laid on the cane on my hands, and at first I did not feel it much, but after about half the whipping was given it got unbearable, and I could not hold out any longer, so bolted, was stopped, knocked down, and eventually I got under the seats and desks, and was followed by the irate master and hit on any part that was exposed to view. Mr. p.30 Burr did not give up until he was tired out, and I was glad to take advantage of this fact and get out, and off home, a much wiser if not a better boy. I got little sympathy at home when I told them that I had been whipped for causing a fight between a white boy and a black boy named White.

My next whipping was interrupted by the master’s wife, who frequently interfered, and by her pleadings for the culprit and offering to go bail for his future good behavior, got him off with lighter punishment. I shall always think kindly of Mrs. Burr, for if ever there was a good, kind-hearted woman it was she. Mr. Burr often went to auctions, and before going, he appointed a monitor, who had charge during his absence. One day during his absence all hands vacated our desks and proceeded to the vegetable garden, which contained a good assortment of all kinds, and as boys are known to be over-fond of raw carrots and turnips, especially if stolen, we were soon at work digging up our favorite vegetables. After peeling them with our jackknives we might have been seen sitting on the fence and school porch eating as only boys can eat. In the midst of our vegetarian feast the lookout announced the distant approach of the master, and then there was a scattering of the boys, as half-eaten carrots and turnips were thrown away, and we regained our seats in school looking as innocent as lambs. Then Mr. Burr appeared on the scene. Mrs. Burr must have seen us, but was too good-hearted to tell her husband all she knew.

I have said the school was reached by a trail through the woods, and very pretty the woods looked in summer. The school and grounds were surrounded by spreading oaks, which covered that part of the city, or country as it was then called, and it was under these trees we sat p.31 with the girls and ate our lunch, or rested in the shade after our innings at ball. Wild flowers, that now are only found miles away, were found there in profusion. We children always took our lunches, it being considered too far to go home for the midday meal.

Many will remember the old schoolhouse which was pulled down to make way for the present Central School. It was built of square logs and whitewashed, and was occupied by the master and his family. The school proper occupied only about a third of the building, and was a large room extending from the front to the back of the building. Of the old boys and girls who survive those early school days I can think of these: Judge Harrison; John Elford, of Elford & Smith; Theophilus Elford, of Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company; Mr. Anderson, of Saanich; the Tolmie and Finlayson boys; Edward Wall (late Erskine & Wall); Ernest Leigh, son of the late city clerk, now of San Francisco, and John and Fred Mecredy, also of San Francisco. Of the girls there are Sarah Allatt, now Mrs. Jos. Wriglesworth; Sylvestra Layzell, now Mrs. O. C. Hastings, and her sister Lucy, now also married; and Sarah Pointer, now Mrs. Carter. I had nearly forgotten Ned Buckley, who left here for the States and became an actor of some note.

Of those dead I can best remember David Work, of Hillside Farm, and my chum, the late James Douglas, son of Sir James, then Governor. If I remember right, he was unintentionally the cause of my second whipping. He seemed much attached to me, and many were the rides we had together in his trap, which brought him to school every morning. He was a kindred spirit, wilful like myself, and had a habit of suddenly getting up in school and announcing to the master that he was p.32 going home, or it might be for some long drive, usually to Cadboro Bay. Mr. Burr would remonstrate with him, but generally gave way, and off he went. As he and I got intimate he wanted me to go with him on these expeditions, and often at the unseemly hours of two or three o’clock, during school.

One day he got up suddenly in his seat and said: "Mr. Burr, I am going home and I want Fawcett to go with me; that will be all right, won’t it?"

"Now, Master James," said Mr. Burr, "I cannot allow this; I must protest against this going away during school hours. If His Excellency only knew, what would he say?"

"Oh, that will be all right, Mr. Burr."

"No, no, James, it is not all right, and as for Fawcett going with you I cannot allow it, Master James; heed me or I must have a word with Sir James about you."

[Portrait: William Leigh.]

All this time James was standing up at his desk with his riding-whip in his hand, and making signs for me to follow, which I proceeded to do, the master protesting all the time. I got my reward next day, but not as bad as I would have got had not good Mrs. Burr come to my rescue. We drove to Upland Farm, then the home of City Clerk Leigh and his family, at Cadboro Bay. Mrs. Leigh was always good to James and I on these visits to the farm, getting us the best to eat and plenty of fresh milk to drink. By some understanding between Sir James and Mr. Burr we continued these afternoon drives, and it may be imagined how we boys enjoyed them. We continued friends to the last, and years after I worked like a beaver when he was elected a member of the Legislature for Victoria City. He was godfather to my eldest son, who was named after him. I have still p.33 a handsome book given me by Sir James at the last break-up of school before I left.

We now and then hear complaints by prudish people of the boys bathing on Victoria Arm, on Deadman’s Island and elsewhere without a full bathing suit. What would they say to the boys of my time bathing in Nature’s suit only, and that on the waterfront from James Bay bridge all around to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf? We bathed there at all times, and to our heart’s content, and never was exception taken to it by the authorities, or in fact by anyone. Use is second nature, and I suppose that accounted for it.

Have any of my readers ever seen Deadman’s Island (the island which is opposite Leigh’s mill) when it was covered with trees and shrubs? Well, up these trees were corpses of Indians fastened up in trunks and cracker boxes, but mostly trunks, the bodies being doubled up to make them fit in the trunk, and then suspended like Mahomet’s coffin between heaven and earth. There were also some Indians buried in the shallow soil and surrounded by fences, and again boxes of corpses were piled one on top of the other. This island was a favorite place of the school boys as a rendezvous for swimming, and many a summer’s afternoon and Saturday have I spent there in the good old days gone by.

I shall now relate an incident of one of these expeditions to the island by myself and three others. I can recollect the names of only two members of the expedition of that Saturday, and I might say that they were my schoolfellows of the Collegiate School, which occupied the site of Mr. Ellis’s residence on Church Hill, and was afterwards burnt down. I left the Colonial School in 1860, and transferred to the Collegiate School, p.34 which was conducted as a church institution. Rev. C. T. Woods was principal, with Rev. Mr. Reese, "Cantab." Williams, and Messrs. Vincent and Palmer, French and drawing and music, as the full staff. Well, about the Deadman’s Island affair. One Saturday afternoon in midsummer four of us—Robert Branks, a brother of Mrs. Doctor Powell, William Galley, James Estall and a fourth whose name I cannot now remember hired a boat at Lachapelle’s, near James Bay Bridge, and made for Deadman’s Island. We enjoyed the luxury of running about the island like the savages on Robinson Crusoe’s island, then dived into deep water, swam around for a time and landed to dry and warm ourselves at a fire we had made for that purpose. All boys know that a fire is indispensable to swimming and bathing.

While squatting on the ground around the fire the idea struck me that by the way the wind was blowing it would not need much encouragement for the fire to take hold of some of the boxes of bones, which may have represented an Indian chief, his wife or child. I then proposed that we accidentally on purpose "set fire to the whole lot." After a council of war it was finally decided to carry out my suggestion, as a grand wind-up of our day’s outing. Time after time we dived off, and swam around till tired, and then came ashore to dry ourselves at the fire. This is the exact routine of boys’ swimming expeditions of these present days, and will be to the end of all time. We got tired of it at last and dressed, preparing to go home, when the subject of the firing of the Indian corpses was again discussed. Should we do it or not? Robert Branks was with me all right, but one boy was fearful of the consequences. "The chief and all the Indians on the Songhees reserve would p.35 soon see the fire and would be after us." There was something in this, for there were hundreds then, where there are now dozens, and it was risky.

After each had said his say, we put it to the vote, and it was carried three to one that the fire take place. We set fire to a lot of pieces of broken coffins at two separate places alongside a pile of boxes or trunks of bones. Then we made all haste to get aboard our craft, up sail and away. We had hardly reached the bridge and crossed the harbor from the bottom of Johnson Street to the Indian reserve, when the fire could be seen plainly as having been a success from our point of view—so much so that we made greater haste to get to the boathouse. We lost no time in settling up for the boat hire, and making the best of our legs in getting home. The paper next morning was early sought for, and with fear and trembling, too. There was good reason for fear, for the paper gave an account of the affair. The Indians had made complaint to the police, and they were searching for the culprits. I was afraid to go out at all, much less to go to school, and every knock at the door made me start. I at last confessed to my parents my share in the business, and it was decided that I must "lay low" for a few days, and lucky it was for me I did not get what I deserved, a good whipping, as my mother said. The quartette of boys kept their counsel, and we escaped a visit from the police.

Some time later we visited the island to see the result of the fire, and found that all traces of the burying-ground had vanished, the surface of the island being swept clean, with not a trace of boxes, bones or trees, and it has remained so till this day.

In the absence of Chinese market gardens, and the kitchen garden now attached to most homesteads, we p.36 had to go to a distance for our vegetables. It took us the best part of a day to go to Hillside Farm for a sack of assorted vegetables. Several boys would start together for this trip into the country. It is astonishing how the absence of streets or roads lengthens this distance, and so it was then. We started after breakfast and took our lunch, going across country by trail, each with a sack, which was filled by old Willie Pottinger, the gardener, for a shilling. Very good and fresh they were, and very cheap this was considered. With our loads we started for home, and the further we got from Hillside the heavier the vegetables got, and therefore the more stoppages we made to rest. At last Port and Blanchard Streets were in sight, and we were home again, tired out and hungry as hunters.

The last I remember of the Hudson’s Bay fort was during the contest brought on by the burning question of the day, namely Union and Tariff vs. Free Port. The mainland represented Tariff and the island Free Port. Should we join with the mainland with a tariff or remain Free Port? The hustings was erected in the fort, and the pros and cons were discussed by the rival candidates. I took part, although too young to vote, and worked day and night for my friend Amor De Cosmos, who was in favor of union and tariff, and we won the day, too.

Before I conclude I would again speak of the large stores in the fort, which supplied the colonists with all they required except meats. It was said at the time that you might get anything at the stores, from a needle to an anchor. This might well have been true, for it was the repository of all the Company’s goods for supplying their servants with all their necessaries.

One of the first visits I paid was with my mother, as p.37 in San Francisco, and amongst various articles I carried away was a pair of Old Country boots. These boots I am not likely to forget, as I wore them so long. The soles were twice the usual thickness of even boys’ boots, and, like a horseshoe, had a row of nails with projecting square heads a quarter inch thick. These boots left their mark wherever they went, and, as may be supposed, as I was a strong, healthy boy with a roving disposition, they travelled considerably. Wear them out I could not, kicking rocks and stubbing my toes against everything I came against, for I found them awkward and heavy to carry, and in fact everything gave way before them. My poor mother often called out at the marks of the square-headed nails on her clean floors, which in those days were not covered with carpets or linoleum, as now. These boots were a feature of the store, and were, I think, $3.75 or $4 a pair—but enough of hobnailed boots.




In 1860 was issued the first directory of Victoria, Vancouver Island, by Edward Mallandaine, an architect, who continued to issue a Victoria directory at intervals for years afterwards. Through the kindness of Mr. Mallandaine, who is a pioneer of 1858, I am enabled to review this relic of early and interesting times, for those of us who remember them as "the good old times." I shall here give some of the author’s "Prefatory remarks":

"It has been thought by the author of the following work that the present being an age of advancement, the period has fully arrived when our fair town of Victoria is of sufficient importance to deserve that index of commercial progress, a Directory. We have been reliably informed that about 35,000 immigrants from California and elsewhere have arrived, and have produced a most marvellous state of transition in the two countries [Vancouver Island and British Columbia.] A number of wharves have been constructed this past season, a new timber bridge across James Bay has been built, giving access to the newly-erected Government offices for public lands and to Government House, which are of an ornamental character. Streets leading to the bridge have been graded and metalled over and are passable at all times. A temporary want p.39 of funds alone prevents more being done in this way, as also the completion of two embankments (in lieu of bridges) in a ravine [Johnson Street, I think, E. F.]. Wooden buildings have ceased to be the order of the day. We have been fortunate in hitherto escaping with but one single disaster in the shape of fire. Some public-spirited citizens taking the lead, a Hook and Ladder Company has been organized, and subscriptions raised to defray the necessary outlay of a building and a Hook and Ladder Apparatus and an Engine. We have a large bookstore [Hibben & Carswell’s]; two hotels of considerable dimensions, Royal and Victoria, and several houses, all erected in brickwork. The Hudson’s Bay Company are erecting a warehouse of pretentious dimension of stone, which they import from a distance of not less than forty miles, and a new bank, ‘Bank of British North America.’ Great demands are made for a Public Hall for meetings, and the want of a Theatre is felt. The last few months have seen an increase in our legal defenders, and the arrival of an attorney-general for British Columbia.

"We have seen by an effort in the right direction a large tract of land, 20,000 acres in the neighborhood of Victoria, put up for sale by auction at the upset price of $1.00 per acre.

"We have of churches one Episcopalian, one Roman Catholic, one Methodist mission, one Congregational mission, one nunnery school, Sisters of St. Ann’s, one private educational institute (by the author) for both sexes, and one Young Ladies’ Seminary.

"We have an hospital (Royal) started originally by Rev. Edward Cridge, of Christ Church, and now sadly overburdened with debt.

"A Masonic lodge is in course of formation; an Odd p.40 Fellows’ Association has been in existence for a year; a Ladies’ Benevolent Society, under the presidency of Mrs. Col. Moody; a Hebrew Victoria Benevolent Society has been in existence some six months; a Philharmonic Society, under the conduct of John Bailey, is among one of its oldest institutions, and to conclude we have in Victoria a free port. This is an immense advantage, coupled with its commanding situation for an eastern and Asiatic trade and its position, opposite the North American and Pacific railway (which will shortly be an undoubted fact). In conclusion, we have to place our work in its present state in the hands of an indulgent public," E. M., etc.

[Portrait: Captain John Irving.]

I now propose to review the names of the 1860 pioneer merchants, as illustrated on the covers and through the directory, bringing their names before the pioneers of those days again. This directory is nothing more than a history of the city at that time, and to me is most interesting reading. It is not to be supposed that newcomers of twenty years’ residence will give it more than passing notice, but they will excuse us old hands for being interested.

On the front cover is a picture of the Royal Hotel on Wharf Street, corner of Johnson, Jas Wilcox, proprietor, who also owned property on Fort Street opposite Philharmonic Hall, Wilcox Alley running through the property. The Royal Hotel with the Victoria were the first brick hotels built here in 1858. It was on a vacant lot alongside the Royal Hotel that the Rev. Alexander C. Garrett, about 1861 or 1862, used to preach on Sunday afternoons to large crowds, mostly sailors and miners, although all sorts and conditions of sinners were there. He was a most eloquent Irishman, was a missionary to the Indians, and lived on the Songhees reserve. The choir of Christ Church attended to lead p.41 the music, and as I was a choir boy, I was there, as also, I think, Dr. Davie. The minister stood on a packing-box, and the whole scene is vivid in my memory. The motley crowd, as may be supposed, the music in the open air, and the eloquent speaker, all combined to make the scene one to be remembered. Mr. Garrett left here for the States, afterwards being made bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America.

On the inside of the cover is a picture of Stationers’ Hall, Hibben & Carswell, on the corner of Yates and Langley Streets. During fifty-four years the business has gone on prospering. Although the three principals of that day are gone to their rest, the business is still carried on as Hibben & Co., under the able management of William S. Bone, one of its partners. I might state that Mr. Bone entered the business as a boy at the age of eighteen years, and subsequently a partnership was formed, consisting of T. N. Hibben, C. W. Kammerer and William H. Bone. R. T. Williams, in charge of the Provincial Government Bindery, was also on the staff of this pioneer firm in the early sixties.

On the next page are two views, one of William Zelnor’s drug store, on Government Street, between Yates and Johnson, east side. He afterwards moved to the corner of Yates and Government, where the B. C. Market now does business. The second is the store of Webster and Co., Yates Street, the building now occupied by Bissinger and Co., hide dealers. Mr. Jesse Cowper, who was a resident of Menzies Street, James Bay, was a partner in the firm, and a cousin of the Websters, and after many years’ connection with the concern retired to enjoy the results of his success in this business. He has since died.

Janion & Green, commission merchants, foot of Johnson Street, near the bridge, come next. The firm p.42 was afterwards Janion, Green & Rhodes; the latter was the respected father of Mr. Rhodes, of the firm of Brackman & Ker Milling Co., and was Hawaiian consul, having previously been in business in Honolulu. The business house of A. Hoffman, dry goods, north-west corner of Yates and Government, is a frame building. Next are two well-known firms, viz., A. Gilmore, merchant tailor, Yates Street, fourth door from Waddington Alley, and K. Gambitz, Yates Street, next to Bank of British North America. He was an American Hebrew, and sold out to Thomas and William Wilson, who for many years conducted the business on Government Street as the "City House."

James Bell, general hardware, Johnson Street; Robertson, Stewart & Co., commission merchants, Yates Street; and Bayley’s Hotel, which was on the site of the Pritchard House, now turned into a bank; Sporburg & Co., importers of provisions and dry goods, Wharf Street, foot of Yates; Thos. Patrick & Co., corner Johnson and Government Streets, wholesale liquors; Pierce & Seymour, corner Yates and Douglas Streets, furniture dealers. Mr. Seymour was one of the charter members of the Pioneer Society, which society he took a great interest in. He was a firm believer in the cold water cure, and took cold water baths for all ailments. One morning, his furniture store (which then occupied the site of the Colonist Building) not opening up at the usual hour, the door was broken open, and Mr. Seymour was found dead in his cold bath. He was a good-hearted man, and a good friend to many. Lester & Gibbs, the colored grocers, Yates Street, between Wharf and Government Streets; Adolph Sutro & Co., wholesale cigars and tobacco, corner Wharf and Yates Streets; A. Blackman, stoves and tinware, Yates p.43 Street, near Wharf; N. Munroe & Co., Yates Street, opposite Stationers’ Hall, dry goods and clothing; Pioneer Mineral Water Works, Humboldt Street, south side; Phillips & Co.; E. Mallandaine, architect, Broad Street, near Yates; Macdonald & Co., bankers, Yates Street. Of this bank I have a lively recollection, as its career came to an end suddenly by the discovery being made one morning that the bank had been robbed, and exit made through the roof. I have $36 of their notes to remember it by. W. F. Herre, News Depot, Yates Street, between Wharf and Government Streets; W. H. Oliver, Johnson Street, opposite Wharf Street, wholesale dealer in liquors (situated over the ravine); C. J. Pidwell & Co., furniture dealers, Yates Street; Wells, Fargo & Co., Express and Exchange Co.; C. C. Pendergast, accountant, Yates Street, between Wharf and Government Streets; G. Huston, gunsmith, Yates Street, below Wells, Fargo & Co.; Langley Bros., wholesale and retail druggists, Yates Street; J. D. Carroll, wines and liquors, wholesale, Yates Street; Reid & Macdonald, commission merchants, Wharf Street; Wm. Burlington Smith, groceries, Government Street, near Yates; Selim, Franklin & Co., auctioneers and land agents, Yates Street. I think all these names will be familiar to some of the early pioneers, as they are to me.

Public Departments of Vancouver Island for 1860.

Governor—James Douglas, C.B.

Legislative Council—His Excellency the Governor, Hon. John Work, Hon. Roderick Finlayson, Hon. David Cameron, judge; Hon. Donald Fraser, clerk; Rev. Edward Cridge.

House of Assembly—Members for Esquimalt—J. S. Helmcken, M.D., Speaker; Capt. Cooper, harbor master, p.44 and Capt. J. Gordon. Members for Victoria District—W. F. Tolmie, M.D.; A. D. Waddington, H. P. P. Crease, barrister; G. H. Carey, Attorney-General, B.C., and Selim Franklin. Saanich—C. Coles. Nanaimo—A. R. Green. Lake District—Major Foster. Salt Spring—J. J. Southgate. Metchosin—J. McDonald.

Ecclesiastical—Right Rev. George Hills, Bishop of British Columbia; Rev. Edward Cridge, Victoria; Rev. R. Dundas, Esquimalt; Rev. R. Dawson, Craigflower.

Judicial—Hon. David Cameron, Judge Supreme Court; Attorney-General, Geo. H. Carey; Sheriff, G. W. Heaton.

Colonial Secretary’s Office—W. A. G. Young, R. N., colonial secretary; clerks, Philip Nind, Joseph Porter.

Treasury—Capt. W. D. Gossett, R.E., treasurer.

Lands and Works—J. D. Pemberton, colonial surveyor; surveyors and draughtsmen, B. W. Pearse, H. O. Tedieman.

Police—A. F. Pemberton, J. P., commissioner police; superintendent, Jno. Bayley, four sergeants and twelve constables.

Postmaster, Victoria, J. D. Ewes; clerk, J. Morrison.

Harbor Master—J. Nagle, J.P.

Postage—To Australia, via England, 48c.; to France, 50c. To Great Britain, 34c.; Germany, 40c.

It will be seen that the postage was high and letters a great luxury, and I have only mentioned the four principal countries we have an interest in; also I would call attention to the number of police constables required in those early days, there being a total of seventeen.

I have thought it might be interesting to the few remaining pioneers of 1862 to revive an interest in events of fifty years ago. I often wonder whether our old p.45 pioneers think of the days that are gone like I do, recall events and persons, take notice of the removal of old landmarks, such as the James Bay bridge and Sceeley’s "Australian House," at the north end of it, not forgetting the old pioneers who have passed away recently, among whom were Simeon Duck, Jacob Sehl, Thomas Storey, Wm. P. Sayward, Capt. Lewis, Isadore Braverman, Edward Mallandaine and Jeremiah Griffiths. There is a certain amount of pleasure in these reminiscences, melancholy though it may be to those concerned. I shall now quote from the editor’s preface of the directory of 1863 on the progress of the city:

"At no time since the excitement attending its first settlement in 1858 has Victoria made greater strides, or her prosperity so materially increased, as during the past year. Since the commencement of last year her population has at least doubled, and the increase of buildings and improvements has been almost in proportion. During the winter season the town is thronged with strangers from British Columbia and elsewhere, who migrate in the spring. Apart from that the number of the inhabitants may be set down at 6,000. Victoria contains about 1,500 buildings, some of them very creditable to the size of the city, among them the Government offices and the jail. There are several commodious brick hotels, the principal being the St. Nicholas, the St. George and the Royal. The city is adorned with five churches, two belonging to the Church of England, one Roman Catholic, one Wesleyan and one Congregational. A Jewish synagogue and a Presbyterian church (Pandora Street) are in course of construction. There are also a theatre (Theatre Royal, Government Street) and a hospital, the latter being supported by voluntary contributions.


"The sittings of the Legislature and law courts of Vancouver Island are held in the city. There are two joint stock banks (British North America and British Columbia), and three private banking houses. Until lately Victoria was without a corporation; during the past year (1862) an act to incorporate the town was passed by the Legislature. The authorities consisted of a mayor and six councillors. Effective and speedy measures will now be adopted to complete the grading of the streets and laying down sidewalks. The water frontage of the town has since the removal of the old bridge (from foot of Johnson Street to Indian reserve) been greatly extended, and several wharves are now available for shipping above the point where that obstacle to navigation existed. A company has been formed to build a railway connecting Victoria with the capacious harbor of Esquimalt. Among other institutions the town may now boast of its gas works. A company has also been organized to supply the town with water from Elk Lake, eight miles distant. The value of real estate in the city has increased in many places over 75 per cent. during the last nine months. The city is a ‘free port,’ and therefore not troubled with custom duties. Vessels drawing fifteen feet of water may cross the bar of the harbor at high water, and a sum of £10,000 has been voted by the Legislature to the improvement of the harbor. Steam communication is carried on three times a month between Victoria and San Francisco, every alternate trip being made via Portland. A surprising impetus has been given to agriculture by the number of newly-arrived immigrants, who have settled in the most fertile districts around Victoria.

"With land at four shillings an acre, and time allowed for payments, together with the improved state p.47 of communication between Victoria and the back settlements, we may hope that the inhabitants of the town will not in future be so dependent on neighboring countries for their supplies of produce."

Official List for Vancouver Island.

The Legislature.

Victoria Fire Department.


Note.—Of these pioneer firemen of Victoria of this date, Sam Kelly is (1910) the only surviving member of the executive.

H. M. S. Ships of the Pacific Station.

Rear-Admiral, Sir Thomas Maitland.

Bacchante, 51 guns; Chameleon, 17 guns; Charybdis, 17 guns; Clio, 22 guns; Devastation, 6 guns; Forward, 3 guns; Grappler, 3 guns; Hecate, 6 guns; Mutine, 16 guns; Naiad, 6 guns; Nereus, 6 guns; Tartar, 20 guns; Termagant, 25 guns; Topaz, 51 guns; Tribune, 23 guns; Sutlej, 51 guns.

Note.—One-third of these were on southern station. —Ex.


Consuls at Victoria.



Police Department.

[Illustration: Group of early legislators.]


It was customary for the "chain gang" to emerge every morning from a side gate of the jail yard on Bastion Street and march to Government Street to the music of their chains, with two guards in the rear with loaded shotguns. The gang often contained seamen from the ships at Esquimalt who were serving sentences, usually for desertion. This in course of time caused such indignation that the practice of putting men-of-warsmen in the chain gang was discontinued. The gang worked on the streets, on the Government ground and at other Government work. The uniform consisted of moleskin trousers with V.P., a checked cotton shirt and a blue cloth cap. It was thought a wrong to put a Jack Tar with malefactors of all grades, such as Indian murderers, thieves and whiskey sellers to Indians. It was the custom when a fire of any dimensions took place to telephone or send word to Esquimalt, and squads of Jacks were soon on the way to town, running all the way. After working maybe all night in saving property they would walk back to their ship, tired out and wet through, and all for nothing in the way of recompense. All the time they were at work they sang and joked as they do now. Is it any wonder that we have a soft place in our hearts for Jack? I know I shall not forget them and the days that have gone by, and I think we all shall regret the late change that takes him away, and his merry laugh and joke are things of the past.

To return to the directory. Of those remaining whose names are recorded, there are, alas! only sixty-two to-day with us. I have been carefully over the list from A to Z and sixty-two is the number. Of course there may be others that I did not know, and doubtless there are some; there are omissions also, I am sure, and p.51 several I have added to make up the sixty-two. There is one thing sure, that as a rule only the head of a family was recorded, male or female, as there are many residents to-day who were young men or youths, or young women or girls, when this directory was compiled. I shall give here the names of these sixty-two who are still privileged to be residents of this beautiful city that we old residents are so proud of, as well as those of two living abroad and one in Kamloops.

The list alphabetically is:

Many of these since died.

List of those deceased, but whose descendants are residents here now, or living elsewhere:

Many deaths since this list was made.

I must again repeat that this list of sixty-two may be augmented by others who were heads of families even at that time. I might take our own family for an example, although it does not prove the rule. It consisted of my father, mother and three brothers, and is represented in the directory by my father, Thomas L. Fawcett, and my eldest brother, Rowland W. Then, p.56 again, there is the Elford family, of father, mother, three sons and two daughters. This family is not recorded, and to-day there are two sons, John and Theophilus, and two married sisters.

Among the names in the list of those living now, but not recorded, is a son of Abraham Belasco, tobacconist of Yates Street in 1862, by name David. Those interested in theatricals (and who is not?) will recognize the name as the prominent theatrical manager of New York. I little thought when going to school with him at the Collegiate School, under Rev. C. T. Woods, that he would be so well known a character as he is to-day. In closing this reminiscence I would ask to be pardoned for any errors or omissions, for my memory will bear refreshing. I also must thank my old friend Dick Hall, and others, for names of early pioneers who have been left out of the directory.

Before closing this imperfect sketch allow me to offer a suggestion to the mayor and aldermen. It is that a portrait of Thomas Harris, the first mayor of the city, should be procured and hung in a prominent place in the council chamber, and this at the public expense. I think this would at least meet with the approval of the pioneers of 1862, when Mr. Harris was elected first mayor.




On Wharf Street, from the corner of Fort, looking north to the corner of Yates, the buildings looked pretty much the same as now, being all built of brick, with the exception of the wooden one to the south of Sutro’s wholesale tobacco warehouse on the corner of Yates and Wharf. This wooden building was a saloon, kept by one who formerly had been a prominent man politically, that is prior to 1859. I think this building can be identified with the Ship Inn. The two-story brick block to the south, erected and owned by Senator Macdonald, was occupied by John Wilkie, one of the earliest of our wholesale merchants. The next corner was Edgar Marvin’s hardware store. Mr. Marvin and his son Eddie, who came from the States in 1864, will be well and favorably remembered by old-timers. He resided on Marvin’s Hill, at the back of St. Ann’s Convent. Next comes the building occupied by Henry Nathan, who was afterwards one of the early members in the Commons to represent Victoria City. He was an English Hebrew, and he and his father were prominent men and large property-holders in the city, and I have no doubt are so still. He is standing in the front of his office in the photo. I can well remember the day that Henry Nathan and the balance of the Victoria contingent left for Ottawa for the first time. p.58 They left on the steamer Prince Alfred from Broderick’s Wharf, in the inner harbor, and there was hardly a square foot of room on the wharf to spare, the crowd was so great. In fact, half of the town went to see them off, many locking up their business places to do so. In the front of the next store may be seen Thomas Lett Stahlschmidt, who represented the English wholesale firm of Henderson & Burnaby. Next to Mr. Stahlschmidt is James D. Robinson, who was bookkeeper for J. Robertson Stewart & Co., and who is a resident of this city to-day, just died. Skipping the next two buildings, we come to the auction rooms of a well-remembered business man, P. M. Backus, one of the two prominent auctioneers of that time; the other being James A. McCrea, spoken of by my friend, Mr. Higgins, in one of his intensely interesting stories of early days in Victoria. Both he and Mr. Backus were Americans, as were so many of our business men of that day. Next Mr. Backus is Mr. J. R. Stewart, just mentioned, and on the corner is Mr. Joseph Boscowitz. They stand in front of the building occupied by Thomas C. Nuttall & Co. Mr. Nuttall I remember as the agent of the Phoenix Fire Insurance Company, and he did a large business in the city. Mr. Nuttall is still a resident, although confined to the house through illness. His was a familiar face on the street in those days, being a very energetic business man. (Since died).

[Illustration: Wharf St., Northward.]

Upstairs in the building was the Oddfellows’ Hall, where I was initiated into the mysteries of Oddfellow-ship in 1868. Among the prominent brothers present that evening were John Weiler, James S. Drummond, James D. Robinson, Hinton Guild, James Gillon (manager Bank of British North America), Joshua Davies, Judah P. Davies, Richard Roberts, Joseph York, and p.59 Thomas Golden. All these prominent Oddfellows, with the exception of James D. Robinson and Joseph York, have gone to their rest. The waterfront side of Wharf Street, from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s store south, is a blank until you reach the old cooperage, next to the late custom house. There is an historic oak tree alongside the cooperage, which is said to have been used to tie up the Hudson’s Bay Company’s vessels in the earliest times when wharves were few and far between. Beyond the old customs house was Sayward’s wharf and lumber yard, the lumber being brought by schooner and scow from the mill to Victoria. The business had not then attained the proportions that it has to-day under Joseph Sayward, son of the founder of the business, who now lives in San Francisco.

The next view represents Government Street, east side, from the Brown Jug north to the St. Nicholas Building. The first building south from there of any prominence was that now occupied by the British Columbia Market, and then known as the Alhambra Building. The upper floor was used as a public hall, and many grand balls were given here, as well as other social events. The lower floor was used as Zelner’s pharmacy, and next door by Gilmore, the clothier. Alongside and using the upper portion of Gilmore’s Building also, is the Colonial Hotel, one of the swell places of that day. I next recognize the store of the well-known firm of W. & J. Wilson, clothiers and outfitters, which was then conducted by the father and uncle of the present proprietor, Mr. Joseph Wilson. With the exception of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Hibben & Co. (then Hibben & Carswell) and Thomas Wilson, the draper, the firm of W. & J. Wilson is, so far as I can remember, the longest established in Victoria. p.60 I can remember being fitted out there on occasions as a school-boy. Their advertisement in the Colonist, with their autograph underneath, occupied part of the front page of the paper continuously for years.

[Illustration: Government St., Northward.]

The two-story wooden building in the middle of the block, between Trounce Alley and Fort Street, is the Hotel de France, kept by P. Manciet, and one of the two principal hotels of that day. Next was McNiff’s grotto, Mon’s Laundry, The Star and Garter, Thomas Wilson & Co., drapers, and farther on the two-story brick building, now Hibben & Co., and farther on south J. H. Turner & Co. Of course all will recognize the name as that of the Hon. J. H. Turner. The firm occupied the whole of the building up and downstairs, as drapers and carpet warehousemen, and I might state that the late Henry Brown, Walter Shears, late custom appraiser, and Edward White were on the staff. Next is one of the two meat markets, owned by Thomas Harris, the first mayor of Victoria. His prominent figure may be seen on the sidewalk looking across the street. With my mind’s eye I can see him at the Queen’s Birthday celebration on Beacon Hill. The chief event of the year was the racing on that day, and the mayor was an enthusiastic horse fancier, and a steward of the Jockey Club. These celebrations were nothing without Mr. Harris. The bell rings (John Butts was bellman) and the portly figure of Mr. Harris on horseback appears. "Now, gentlemen, clear the course," and then there is a general scattering of people outside the rails; the horses with their gaily dressed jockeys canter past the grandstand, make several false starts, and off they go for the mile heat around the hill and back to the grandstand. Oh, what exciting things those races p.61 were! Another prominent figure at these race meetings was John Howard, of Esquimalt. The race meetings without Messrs. Harris and Howard would not have been the genuine thing, and, I must not forget to mention Millington, who always rode Mr. Harris’ horses at these meetings. I believe he is still in the land of the living. I would we had such Queen’s weather as we had then. May was equal to July now for warmth, and with beautiful clear skies, they were days worth remembering. Everyone went out for the day and the hill was covered with picnickers. The navy was represented by bluejackets and marines by the hundreds, bands of music, Aunt Sally and the usual other side shows. And lastly, I must not forget the music. The flagships of those days were large three-deckers, line-of-battleships, such as the Ganges or Sutlej, which would make an ordinary flagship look small. It was understood that the officers, being wealthy men, subscribed liberally towards a fine band. It was a great treat to hear the Ganges’ full band, as I have heard it in the streets of Victoria preceding a naval funeral to Quadra Street Cemetery, and very few I missed. But I have digressed and will proceed to finish Government Street. The corner building, now torn down to make way for the Five Sisters’ Block, was occupied by William Searby, chemist, who was my Sunday School teacher. He left Victoria for San Francisco, and I had the pleasure of renewing his acquaintance years later, and, I think, he is still in business in Market Street. In the front of Searby’s stands John Weiler, father of the Weiler brothers of our day. The upper portion of this building was called the Literary Institute, and the first I remember of Mr. Redfern was at an entertainment given here for some charity, when he sang that beautiful p.62 tenor song from "The Bohemian Girl," "Then You’ll Remember Me," and it has been a favorite with me ever since. W. K. Bull, who presided over so many municipal elections, and was a very well-read man, also took part, giving a reading on Australia, and ending up with a recitation.

Crossing the street, we come to the Brown Jug, the same to-day as then, but kept by Tommy Golden, a well-known character then. In the front is a hydrant with a water-cart getting its load for distribution through the city. The water was conveyed in wooden pipes from Spring Ridge and sold by the bucket, which may be seen on the shafts of the cart. Forty of these buckets represented one dollar. Opposite the Brown Jug and across the street is a vacant lot, now occupied by the Bank of Commerce. The opposite corner to this is also vacant, but soon after was built the present brick building by J. J. Southgate and Captain Lascelles, R.N., of the gunboat Boxer.

[Illustration: Fort St., Eastward.]

This view represents the south side of Fort Street, from the Brown Jug corner east. The wooden building next is a photograph gallery owned by Fred. Dally. He with R. Maynard were the only ones in the business at that time, I think. Next is Dr. Powell’s residence and surgery; the house is not visible, being set back from the street. Alexander McLean’s "Scotch House" clothing store is plainly seen. Amongst those standing in front are Mr. McLean, the proprietor; James Fell, who later on was mayor; William McNiffe, of the "Grotto," and Thomas Harris, already mentioned, who is on horseback. Above McLean’s is Murray’s Scotch bakery, where I have gone often for bread and shortcake. Four doors above is A. & W. Wilson’s, plumbers and gas fitters, and Tom Wilson may be seen standing on the p.63 sidewalk—he is the only one of the brothers not here to-day. Next is Birmingham House, Kent & Evans, Charles Kent, the city treasurer, being senior partner. Across Broad Street is John Weiler’s upholstery store. Then comes James Fell & Co., grocers; then M. R. Smith & Co., bakers. Above Douglas Street there were few or no stores. On the upper corner was D. Babbington Ring, an English barrister, who always walked about with a dog-whip in hand and several dogs after him.

Above the corner lived Dr. Baillie, a cousin of Sir M. B. Begbie, who was afterwards drowned in South America. We come next to the Congregational Church, which lived a short life as a church, for Dr. Ash bought it and turned it into a residence, taking down the steeple, which may now be seen in the photo. It passed into the hands of Dr. Meredith Jones after Dr. Ash’s death. Above this I remember little as to individual houses, but know that they were very scattered.

[Illustration: Yates St., Eastward.]

This view represents Yates Street, from the corner of Wharf, south side. I have briefly mentioned Sutro’s tobacco warehouse, and this is the Yates Street side of it. There was a large figure of a Turk with a turban and large pipe as a business sign on the corner of the street. Next to Sutro’s is Joseph Boscowitz’s, the pioneer dealer in furs, and as may be seen he is not now far from his former place of business. Next door is the firm of Wolf & Morris, that I cannot now remember. The saloon next door was kept by Burns & Dwyer—the latter, I think, still lives on Pandora Street. Next door but one is William Dalby’s saddlery shop, and he is with us to-day. Guy Huston, the gunsmith, occupied the next store. He was the principal gunsmith in the city, and his two daughters, both married p.64 to prominent men of business, are still residents of the city. Alfred Fellows, iron and hardware merchant, who comes next, was the founder of the business of E. G. Prior & Company. The Fashion Hotel was kept by John C. Keenan, an American, and was a first-class gambling house and dancing hall. High play was the order, and many a Cariboo miner in the winter months threw away his easily-got gold by the hundreds here. Keenan was a prominent fire chief in those days of volunteer firemen. Wells Fargo’s Express comes next, presided over by Colonel Pendergast and Major Gillingham. On the arrival of a San Francisco steamer there was a rush to Wells Fargo’s for letters, and soon after the receipt of the express bags at the office the place would be full to the doors. I might state that it was the custom then for all mail steamers to fire a gun on arrival, either at the mouth of the harbor or inside the harbor itself, so that we gathered at the post-office and express office soon after. Either Colonel Pendergast or Major Gillingham then mounted a chair and called off the addresses, and the letters were either flipped or passed on to their owners by those nearest the caller, for it seemed as if everybody knew each other. Twenty-five cents was the postage paid in advance. Next door is the telegraph office and Barnard’s express. Our old friend, Robert McMicking, had charge of the telegraph, and maybe the express also, but I have forgotten. Langley & Co., the well-known druggists, I can remember ever since I can remember Victoria. The building is pretty much now as it was then, only larger. Those connected with its early history have passed away, excepting it may be Mr. Pimbury; Mr. A. J. Langley, who died in late years; Mr. Jones, who went into business in Cariboo and died there, and p.65 Mr. Pimbury, who went to Nanaimo and into business for himself. Between Langley’s and the corner of Langley Street, was Jay & Bales’ seed store. Both these early pioneers have gone to their rest, although the business is still carried on on Broad Street by Mr. Savory.

On the corner is the Fardon building, which in 1859 was occupied by Hibben & Carswell, the beginning of the firm of T. N. Hibben & Co. Mr. Hibben, Mr. Carswell and Mr. Kammerer, the principals, have all gone to their rest, but the firm still lives and nourishes. An incident connected with the junior partner might here be recalled. One summer day Mr. Carswell, if I remember right, was one of a picnic party, who got lost in the woods near Muir’s farm 30 miles from town, and the balance of the party returning to town without him, a search party was organized and a reward offered by Mr. Hibben for his partner’s return. They left next morning, and after a long and strict search, as the party was returning to town to report their want of success, whom should they see ahead of them but the lost James Carswell, trudging along on the highroad to town. He was told that they were a search party sent out to look for him, and that they were glad they found him. "Found me!" said Mr. Carswell; "why, I am on my way home!" and they then proceeded to town together. When the party reached home Mr. Carswell was told that Mr. Hibben had sent the searchers, and had offered a reward for his finding. This Mr. Carswell objected to pay, protesting that they had not found him, but that he had found himself, and was on his way home when they met him. It caused a great deal of merriment, and was a standing joke for some time. An incident like this would be the talk of p.66 the town in those good old days, and many visits would be paid to Campbell’s corner, kept by John Molowanski, a Russian, to hear if any news had been received of the lost Mr. Carswell.

The first time I remember going to Hibben & Carswell’s was in 1860, when I went to exchange a prize book I had won at school, and which was imperfectly bound, having several pages out of place. It was then I first saw Mr. Kammerer, and he informed me afterwards that he had just then been promoted from porter to assist in the office, and from this dated his rise in the firm to a partnership. Upstairs in this building was the Masonic hall and Fardon’s photographic studio. Across the street are Moore & Co., druggists, an old established business of 1859 or ’60, the present proprietor’s father being the founder of the business. The Bank of British North America next door is, so far as I can remember, the pioneer bank in Victoria. I assisted in the assaying department for a short time in 1867. The next building is the famed Campbell’s corner (the Adelphi). Who among our pioneers does not remember the genial face of Frank Campbell, his corner and all the associations connected with it? When was Frank not at the corner? I should say only when he was eating and sleeping. Morning, noon and until 11 o’clock at night he was on duty. All the births, deaths and marriages were recorded on his intelligence board. All the news of the day, events from abroad and at home—all were recorded by Frank. There never lived a better-tempered or so good-hearted a fellow. Before going home after a lodge or a political meeting the last thing was to call at the "corner" for the latest bit of news. It was the meeting-place of many who made it their headquarters. Evening after p.67 evening for years Frank had his audience. Everyone knew him and to know him was to like him—"requiescat in pace." Across Government Street and next to Zelner’s drug store I see the sign of J. S. Drummond, stoves and tinware. He was a grand master of Oddfellows, a prominent Mason, a fire chief, an officer of militia, and served a term in the city council. Beyond Drummond’s I cannot make out any more signs or buildings, even with the magnifying glass, and I have looked long and hard until my eyes ache. A deal might be written of many more of the old streets and their inhabitants, but it might be undertaken by someone else with a better memory, and who was older and took a prominent part in affairs of that day.




I have before me an old photo, showing the corner of Government and Yates Streets, as also Yates Street to Wharf Street. It is so faded it is difficult to make out anything very distinctly. All the buildings look as if built of wood. We know there were three brick buildings then, which have been written of in my last article on "The First Victoria Directory." So I will here only mention the corner building, afterwards known as the Adelphi. Up to 1860 the treasury and other public offices did business in and about this corner; the whole block, Mr. Higgins states, was government buildings to the corner on which stands Moore & Co.’s drug store. It is of the treasury in 1859 I am going to speak now. The official staff at that time consisted of Captain Gossett, treasurer; John Cooper, chief clerk; John Graham, bookkeeper, and E. Evans, clerk. John Graham, of Simcoe Street, after many years’ good work for the government and people, has retired. Young Evans, who was the only son of Rev. Doctor Evans, one of the two pioneer clergymen of the Methodist Church at that time, came to a tragic end while a young man. One day in the depth of winter, the ground covered with snow, young Evans went out shooting, and while walking along the beach near Clover Point, shot at a drove of ducks. Finding that he had shot one, and not being able to get it any other p.69 way, he stripped off his clothes and swam off for it. This in the month of December was a hazardous undertaking, and so it proved, for the young fellow took the cramp and was drowned. It was a very sad sight, so I am told by those who saw it, the old father walking up and down the beach all night calling for his son by name. In the morning the son was seen through the clear cold water lying on the bottom, and the body recovered. I remember his funeral, and to-day may be seen the granite shaft that marks his resting-place in the south-west corner of the Quadra Street Cemetery. In 1860 the staff of the treasury was sent to New Westminster, where they remained until 1868, when the union of the island and mainland took place. Some time subsequent to this removal a lot of vouchers and valuable papers disappeared from the treasury, having been put temporarily on top of the big safe. Search was made all over the premises, and the loss caused Captain Gossett much anxiety up to the time of their departure. Mr. Graham stayed behind to finish up some business and see to the removal of the big safe, and during the removal the mystery of the lost documents was solved by their being found behind the safe. Some time after removing to New Westminster, a Mr. Franks, who may be remembered by some as a very insignificant-looking little man, succeeded Captain Gossett as treasurer, and through his unpopularity with the staff, John Cooper, the chief clerk, resigned and went to Australia. Mr. Graham became chief clerk, and subsequently was appointed "officer in charge of the treasury." After Confederation he was appointed by the Dominion Government Assistant Receiver-General. I cannot do better here than give verbatim Mr. Graham’s remarks on the subject:


"Dear Mr. Fawcett:—I send you these few lines to complete my rather disrupted memory re the Victoria Treasury office. Mr. Alexander Calder, an ex-R. E. sergeant and a British Government pensioner, joined in 1860. Robert Ker was also employed for a certain time as clerk, but was removed to the audit office, and afterwards became auditor-general. Gordon was appointed treasurer of Vancouver Island on the exodus of the B. C. officials going to New Westminster; he did not continue long in the office—the truth is, there was something the matter with the ‘chest,’ and he took French leave. Mr. Watson succeeded him; he was clever but not very popular. In 1867 the island and mainland were united in one province; the officials at New Westminster were all sent down to Victoria. At that time I was ‘officer in charge of the treasury.’ A Savings Bank Act was passed by the Legislature. I received from the executive council a mandate to establish the bank, with the head office in Victoria, and four branches, one each at Nanaimo, New Westminster, Yale and Cariboo. The bank was under commissioners, Mr. Roscoe and Mr. Langley being nominated to that office; their services were purely gratuitous. The head office of the bank was in the Treasury, but to accommodate working men, an office was opened at Government Street, not very far from Sehl’s furniture store, for, I think, two hours two days in the week.

"I do not know if I mentioned the fact that the Dominion virtually bought out all the depositors in the British Columbia bank. A small temporary office was opened at the foot of Fort Street, next to what was Mitchell & Johnston’s feed store, which was in use until the new Post Office building was built; the savings bank, as you are aware, is now located in the grand new building at the foot of Government Street. If it would not be considered far-fetched I would like to send you a word or two on the p.71 origin of savings banks. The first ideas of thrift were promulgated by Daniel Defoe in 1697; it was a happy Socialistic discovery. In 1797 Jeremy Bentham taught the principles of thrift. In 1799 the first savings bank was started at Windover in Buckinghamshire, by the Rev. Joseph Smith. The Rev. Dr. Henry Duncan opened in Ruthwell, Dumfrieshire, the first savings bank in Scotland in 1810. Thrift is the keystone that supports the arch of the savings bank. The stormy petrel riding in safety on the crest of the wave in instinctive security, symbolizes the security of a depositor in a government savings bank. I do not know that I can say any more at present.

"John Graham."

[Illustration: Theatre Royal on Government St.]

This little photo shows the west side of Government Street, from Fort to Yates Street, as it appeared in 1863. The corner store was A. Rickman’s grocery, then Jones’ Bazaar (toys and fancy goods), then McNiff’s saloon, next Payne’s barber shop. Before going on I might, with Mr. Payne’s permission, give a little joke on that gentleman at the time. The Mechanics’ Institute gave an entertainment for, I think, the benefit of the library, and prizes were offered for the two best conundrums. The best was at the expense of Mr. Payne’s name, and was "Easy Shaving by Pain" (Payne). I don’t think Mr. Payne took the money. Then Norris & Wylly, notaries public and estate agents,—Mr. Wylly is still a resident of the city; Messrs. Lush and Zinkie, milliners; Shakespeare, photographer; Gentile, photographer (over the theatre), then Theatre Royal.

The north-west corner of Government and Bastion Streets was the brick building built by Mayor Harris as a residence, and afterwards turned into the Bank of p.72 British Columbia. Next the bank was the Daily Standard building, built and owned by Mr. De Cosmos; then T. L. Fawcett & Co., upholsterers; then T. C. Nuttall, Phœnix insurance; William Heathorn, bootmaker; next comes the post-office, a single story frame structure with a wooden awning in front, as were all stores in those times. Mr. Wootton was postmaster. One of the few brick buildings on Government Street comes next, built for and occupied by William Burlington Smith, and containing a public hall upstairs. It was in this hall that the British Columbia Pioneer Society was organized on the evening of April 28th, 1871, the writer being secretary of the meeting. Since died. William P. Sayward, who resides in San Francisco, and myself are the only two remaining of those pioneers who met in Smith’s Hall that night and formed the first society of British Columbia Pioneers. Next we have the Adelphi saloon, on the site of the Government offices of 1860. This is as far as the photo shows, and so I must close.




Through the kindness of a "fifty-eighter" I am enabled to give my readers, especially the old-timers, some extracts from this, the pioneer newspaper of Victoria, if not of British Columbia. To me, although only a "fifty-niner," and at the time a juvenile, these extracts are very interesting, for I remember nearly all the personages mentioned, and it is the incidents that these names are connected with that I mention. The editors announce in this, the first number, that they at first intended to name their paper The Anglo-American, but on second thought changed it to the Victoria Gazette, as more appropriate. The editors and proprietors were Williston & Bartlett, and the paper was a semi-weekly. To show the primitive and makeshift nature of things in early Victoria I will quote the first local item: "It is cheering to note the increase in frame and canvas buildings that are springing up."

Mr. Thomas Harris, of the Queen’s market, is the first to open a butcher shop in the Island.

The arrival of the first batch of Chinese by the steamer Oregon. The sign of the first to go into business appears as "Chang Tsoo," washing and ironing.

The beautiful view of the Olympic range covered with snow, as seen from Government Street, is commented on as a sight worth seeing.


Another item informs its readers that twenty vessels were advertised in San Francisco as on the berth for Victoria.

A most important announcement is that up to the present time there were no taxes levied in Victoria, except as liquor licenses. To sell retail the privilege cost $600 per annum, and for a wholesale license £100 or $485.

In nearly every number there is a cry of "No water; who will dig the first artesian well? In case there should be a fire how was it to be put out?" Then a suggestion of a public meeting to consider the important question, and a petition to Governor Douglas to have large tanks erected at the foot of Johnson Street, near the bridge, and to have salt water pumped up. Then a fire engine is asked for. In fact Governor Douglas seems to have been appealed to for everything they wanted, and in this instance he seems to have been the right man to appeal to, as will be seen later.

In a later edition is the announcement of the arrival of the steamer Oregon from San Francisco with mail, express and 1,900 passengers.

Alex. C. Anderson is appointed collector of customs by Governor Douglas.

The Governor has ordered two fire engines from San Francisco, and still the cry is "Water! water!" "Dig wells, citizens, we must have a supply." The editor seems to have water on the brain. It is suggested that there be an ordinance compelling people to have so many buckets of water alongside each tent.

The council have ordered the removal of all bodies from the cemetery on Johnson and Douglas Streets to the new cemetery on Quadra Street.

July 7th.—Complaints are made that a fence obstructs p.75 View Street, so that pedestrians have to go along Broad to Yates or Fort, and down these streets to reach Government. This obstruction does not seem to have been removed permanently, for Hibben & Co.’s store occupies this lot, and before the brick one was erected there was a large wooden building then owned by J. J. Southgate. That it was not intended that View Street should end at Broad is evident, as Bastion Street was then known as View Street, being so-called in Mallandaine’s first directory in 1860.

Another petition to Governor Douglas. This one by the local clergy to have a branch of the Y. M. C. A. instituted in Victoria.

The steamers Orizaba and Cortez have arrived with the large number of 2,800 passengers.

Proceedings of the House of Assembly.—Present: J. D. Pemberton, James Yates, J. Kennedy, J. W. McKay, T. J. Skinner and Speaker Helmcken. The latter gentleman asked to be relieved of the Speakership for reasons he has already stated. After a discussion on the subject it was decided that the Speaker be not allowed to retire, and the honorable gentleman continued to act.

The paper complains that the P. M. S. Co.’s steamers have lately dumped Victoria passengers at Esquimalt and carried the freight to Bellingham Bay, and after unloading Bellingham Bay freight have come back to Esquimalt with the Victoria freight. In consequence of this arrangements were to be made so that the steamers land the Victoria freight in our harbor.

The Freemasons are invited to meet at Southgate’s new store on Monday evening, July 12th, at 7 o’clock, to consider important matters connected with the organization of the order.


Three thousand five hundred mining licenses have so far been granted.

In a cutting from a European paper there is an item to the effect that it was generally understood that the Queen’s family name was Guelph, but that such was not the case, as that was the name of a religious faction of which the Elector of Hanover was the head, but that the real name of the family was "D’este."

Wells, Fargo & Co. will soon open a bank.

Collector Anderson notifies the public that all necessary provisions for miners for personal use may be taken up the Fraser River free.

It is announced that Rev. E. Cridge holds service every Sunday afternoon on Wharf Street, opposite the Fort gate.

In consequence of the reduction in the price of lumber to $50 per 1,000 feet, houses are springing up everywhere.

Governor Douglas has appointed Mr. Augustus Pemberton commissioner of police.

Theatricals are held in a mammoth tent, as there is so far no theatre.

One of the fire engines, named "Telegraph," bought by the Governor, has arrived from San Francisco, the cost of which is $1,600.

There has not been a death from natural causes in the city during the last thirty days.

The Gazette having received an Adams power press, the paper will be issued daily in future, and the proprietors look for a recognition of their enterprise. The rates are $20 per annum or 12½c. per copy.

The First Brick Building.—This matter may now be considered settled by this item, which reads: "Our p.77 first brick building is about completed, and is to be opened as a hotel" (referring to the Victoria.)

The first steamer to reach Fort Yalo is the Umatilla, 21st July, 1858.

The streets of Victoria have not yet been sprinkled, and there are many complaints from shopkeepers as to the damage their goods receive from dust. Why not use salt water, if fresh cannot be had?

Roussett is building a wharf at the foot of View Street, and Chas. B. Young one at the foot of Johnson. The former of these items would be hard to understand by people of the present day, "at the foot of View Street." This is, I think, the explanation. As originally laid out View Street extended from above Cook Street to Wharf Street, and would to-day were it not that Hibben & Co.’s building or stores stand in the way. On July 7th, as already mentioned in this article, the Gazette stated that there was great dissatisfaction at the fencing of the vacant lot on Broadway (Broad Street), opposite View, which they stated was used as a "cabbage patch," and there was talk of pulling the fence down. All the agitation seems to have amounted to nothing, for not only was the fence not pulled down, but J. J. Southgate, one of the earliest merchant emigrants, erected a large wooden building on the street. By referring to the engraving this building may be seen; later on J. J. Southgate erected the present brick building. The paper stated later that the Governor had sold the lot to Southgate, and that settled the matter.

Sheriff Muir announces by advertisement that anyone found with firearms on their person would be arrested and punished.

A salute was fired from the fort bastions on the arrival p.78 of Governor F. McMullen, of Washington Territory, accompanied by Governor Douglas, who had met the American Governor at Esquimalt, this being a friendly visit to our Governor.

In future Sheriff Muir will arrest all gamblers.

An Indian, convicted of stealing, was tied up in the fort grounds and received twelve lashes by Sheriff Muir.

Captain William Brotchie has been appointed harbor master for Victoria by Governor Douglas.

An exclusive grant was made by the Legislature to a company to supply Victoria with water for ten years.

The fare by steamer from San Francisco to Victoria is $30.

A fire occurred in the ravine on Johnson Street, which destroyed a canvas house tent and contents.

Two fire engines have arrived, and a petition is being signed to the Governor, praying him to organize a volunteer fire department under an officer appointed by himself.

A regular stage now plies between Victoria and the naval station, leaving Bayley’s Hotel, corner Yates and Government Streets (Pritchard House corner), hourly, the fare being one dollar each way.

The following gentlemen call a public meeting by advertisement to organize a volunteer fire department: M. F. Truett, J. J. Southgate, A. Kaindler, A. H. Guild, Charles Potter, Samuel Knight and J. N. Thain. This was the initial movement to form the volunteer fire department which did such good service for thirty years afterwards.

"July 28th, 1858.—The steamer Wilson G. Hunt left San Francisco to ply in these waters." Where is she now? and how old is she?

At the public meeting called to organize a volunteer p.79 fire department M. F. Truett was called to the chair, E. E. Eyres was elected secretary, and the following working committee was appointed: Jas. Yates, Chas. A. Bayley, J. H. Doan, Leopold Lowenberg, Rousett, Truett and Myers. The Hunneman engine to be known as No. 1 and the Telegraph as No. 2. The committee were to select one hundred men to each engine to form the companies. The first meeting of No. 2 company called, and the notice is signed by H. J. Labatt, W. F. Bartlett, J. W. Turnbull and David Green.

Albert H. Guild calls a meeting of all Oddfellows in good standing to meet on July 5th, at which it was decided that a register of all Oddfellows should be kept; a weekly meeting was to be held each Wednesday evening at eight o’clock over Guild & Webb’s store, corner Wharf and Fort Streets; C. Bartlett, secretary. From this meeting of a few members of this most beneficent order has sprung into existence forty-two lodges scattered all over the province, with a total membership of 3,527, and I am afraid that to-day not one of those faithful few brothers of the mystic three links survives.

August 4th, 1858.—The first arrival of the steamer Pacific in Victoria harbor is announced.

The Public Examination of Craigflower Colonial School (Midsummer).—In the absence of the Governor, Rev. Edward Cridge examined the pupils, and prizes were presented to Jessie McKenzie, Wm. Lidgate, Christine Veitch and Dorothea McKenzie. The prizes were donated by the Governor. Old-timers will remember these names well.

Married by Rev. E. Cridge, Wm. Reid to Margaret Work.

First trip of the steamer Leviathan to Puget Sound, p.80 Captain Titcombe. This leviathan of the deep was so small that she was hoisted on the deck of a steamer from San Francisco, and so arrived from that place.

The paper announces that over one hundred vessels from all parts were then on the berth for Victoria, and what was to be done to find wharfage room for so many in Victoria harbor?

Fire Engine Company No. 1 held its first meeting at the American Saloon, August 6th, 1858. J. H. Kent was elected president and Charles R. Nichols secretary. The American Saloon was on Yates Street, and I think was kept by Thos. Burnes, who for years was a most enthusiastic fireman.

An editorial calls for the establishment of a public hospital, a jail and a deadhouse (the latter seems a strange want, at least an urgent one). The present jail is too small, and coroner’s inquests have to be held in the open air in front of the jail; the jury stand around the corpse, some leaning against it, spread on some boards, and the coroner sits on the top of an empty barrel (very primitive).

The public examination of Victoria Colonial school (on the site of Central School). Rev. E. Cridge and the master, Jno. Kennedy, examined the pupils. Prizes were given to David Work, Wm. Leigh and James Pottinger. Six months later the writer was a pupil of this school.

Birth.—August 12th, 1858, the wife of Wm. A. Mouatt, of a daughter.

Married.—Same date, Edward Parsons, H. M. S. Satellite, to Emma, eldest daughter of James Thorn.

Improvements.—Since 12th June there have been two hundred and fifty brick and wooden houses erected in the city.


A writer thinks it time that Victoria’s streets were named and an official map made.

A. Pemberton, commissioner of police, notifies the public that no more canvas or wood and canvas houses will be allowed, as they are a public nuisance.

August 24th, 1858.—The stern wheeler Enterprise has arrived from Astoria, Capt. Thomas Wright, master. She is to run on the Fraser River to Langley.

An open letter to Rev. E. Cridge appears in the Gazette from an indignant American, who, with his family, had attended Rev. Mr. Cridge’s preachings, and who now feels insulted at the treatment he received lately by the sexton showing a negro into the same pew occupied by himself and family, also treating other respectable Americans in the same way. He further stated that, the day being warm, the peculiar odor was very objectionable, so that several Americans left before the service was over.

A day or two later this is answered by a letter signed M. G. W., who was a colored grocer of Yates Street (Lester & Gibbs). He was a clever writer, and handled the gentleman, Mr. Sharpstone, without gloves, saying some very pertinent as well as impertinent things, taking especial exception to the reference of Mr. Sharpstone to the peculiar odor and perspiration.

Mr. Cridge appears with a letter, throwing oil on the troubled waters, and the editor thinks enough has been said.

The arrival of the steamer Otter with news of a massacre of forty-five miners at Fort Hope by Indians; the news is considered of doubtful truth.

There is a project to build a bridge across French Ravine, where Store Street passes over it. Was this ever done, or was it filled in instead? Who can answer?


House of Assembly, Aug. 26th, 1858.—Petition from Nelson & Sons for exclusive privilege to supply city with water from a spring two miles to northeast of city, at the rate of 1½ cents per gallon, and a free supply to the Hudson’s Bay Company; also a petition from Hy. Toomy & Co., to light the town with gas. Mr. Pemberton gave notice of a resolution to provide for the erection of a bridge at Point Ellice; also a petition from Edward Stamp to grant him the privilege of bringing water into Victoria by means of pipes along the streets.

A Chinaman (one of the first batch to arrive) was found shot dead with five bullets in his body. He was on his way to a spring to fetch a bucket of water, and had to pass a camp of miners. Further comment unnecessary.

A change of ownership of the Gazette is announced, and Abel Whitton becomes proprietor.

A notice appears that all persons requiring seats in Victoria District Church should apply to J. Farquhar, in the Fort.

Bayley’s Hotel, corner Yates and Government Streets, J. C. Keenan, proprietor. Board $15 a week.

A cricket match between H. M. S. Satellite’s and Victoria elevens at Beacon Hill.

"Tipperary Bill" shoots a man at this cricket match and kills him. He is still at large.

September 14th, 1858.—News just arrived of the laying of the Atlantic cable, and a salute of twenty-one guns to be fired from the Fort.

There have been 344 houses erected in Victoria in three months.

New Map of City Issued.—The first three streets named after the three Governors—Quadra, Blanchard p.83 and Douglas. Secondly, after distinguished navigators on the coast—Vancouver and Cook. Thirdly, after the first ships to visit these waters—Discovery, Herald and Cormorant. Fourthly, after Arctic adventurers—Franklin, Kane, Bellot and Rae; and fifthly, after Canadian cities, lakes and rivers—Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, St. Lawrence, Ottawa, Superior and Ontario.

[Illustration: Inside Fort from Wharf St.]



VICTORIA IN 1859–1860.

I have before me an old picture of Victoria as it appeared in 1860. It is a watercolor sketch, drawn and colored by H. O. Tedieman, C.E., and artist. For me this picture has a great fascination, because it reminds me of those days gone by—"those good old days," as an old friend of those pioneer days remarked to me recently. A prettier place could not be imagined, with its undulating ground covered with grass relieved by spreading oaks and towering pines.

By the aid of this picture and information furnished me by Colonel Wolfenden and Mr. Harry Glide, I am enabled to give a pen-picture of the Queen City of the West forty-four years ago. Colonel Wolfenden says that when he first remembers James Bay he saw a gang of Indians—it may be one hundred—under "Grizzly" Morris, a contractor, and superintended by H. O. Tedieman, with pick, shovel and wheelbarrow making Belleville Street along the water and in front of the Government building. The sea beach then came up in front of the large trees on the Government grounds, about eighty or one hundred feet further inland. All this space was filled or reclaimed from the sea by the Indians. I might say that Chinese were almost as rare in those days in Victoria as Turks. Indians performed all manual labor—in fact were to that day what John Chinaman is to this. James Bay bridge, which was p.85 just built, looks a very frail structure in this picture, and must have been, as Colonel Wolfenden says, intended for passenger and light vehicular traffic, there being nothing to cause heavy traffic over the bay, the only houses of any moment being the pagoda-like buildings erected in 1859 for the Government, and replaced by the present palatial buildings, of which there were five. In addition to these I see the residence of Governor Douglas and Dr. Helmcken, Captain Mouat and City Clerk Leigh. There was also a good-sized house on Beckley Farm, corner of Menzies Street, in charge of John Dutnall and wife. Across Menzies Street there is the cottage now owned and occupied by Mr. Jesse Cowper, since dead, which was then occupied by John Tait of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s service, and who was an enthusiastic volunteer of the white blanket uniforms of 1861.

[Illustration: Government buildings, 1859–60.]

I see what I think was the residence of W. A. Young, on Superior Street, who was Colonial Secretary, and whose wife was a daughter of Chief Justice Cameron. If this is the place I see, it is still standing, and for years was the residence of the late Andrew J. Smith. To the right of the Government buildings is an isolated cottage which I believe is still in the land of the living, being built of corrugated iron, brought out from England by Captain Gossett, who in 1859 was colonial treasurer, mention of whom will be made later on. From Mr. Leigh’s residence, which with Captain Mouat’s was on the site of Belleville Street, until you come to St. John Street, there is a blank. On the corner is the house built and occupied by Captain Nagle, now occupied by Mr. Redfern, and across the street another built by James N. Thain and now occupied by Mr. George Simpson of the customs. From this on to the p.86 outer dock I see three isolated houses, that still remain. The large one was built and occupied by Mr. Laing of "Laing’s Ways," the pioneer shipbuilder; another by Captain H. McKay, the sealer captain; the third was built out of the upper works of the wrecked steamer Major Tomkins, the first steamer to run from Olympia to Victoria. She was wrecked off Macaulay Point in 1856. Mr. Laing bought the upper works and built this house. Lumber in those days had mostly to be imported from San Francisco—that is, the wood for fine work. Mr. Muir, of Sooke, bought the boilers and engines, which he put into a sawmill he built there, and good service they gave for years. Before the road opposite the Government grounds, which is now Belleville Street, was reclaimed from the sea, there was an Indian trail which ran through the woods, from Laing’s Ways, in the direction of town along the water-front, around the head of the bay to Humboldt Street. I might say that the plat of ground on which the Government buildings were built in 1859 was bought from a French-Canadian who came overland from Montreal, and although in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company for years, either could not or would not speak a word of English other than "yes" or "no." He built his house here and lived here until he sold out to the Government, the house being afterwards used as a Government tool house.

[Illustration: First bridge over James Bay.]

Mr. Harry Glide, from whom I got these particulars, is a pioneer of 1856, and lived near the outer wharf. He married a daughter of Mr. Laing. He says all James Bay from the bridge to the mouth of the harbor was covered with pine trees, and all this land, together with that facing Dallas Road up to Beacon Hill, was called Beckley Farm. The greater part of all these trees were cut down for Kavaunah, a man whom many p.87 will remember as having a woodyard about where the James Bay Athletic Association now stands.

Mr. Glide says that there were quite a lot of Cherokee Indians here who came from their native land to the coast of British Columbia for work, and a fine body of men he says they were, most of them over six feet and strongly built. It does seem strange that they should have travelled so far from their homes and country. There were also many Kanakas here, who came on vessels from Honolulu at odd times. They formed a small colony and located on Kanaka Road, or Humboldt Street, as it is now called. I can remember them in 1860, one family attending service at Christ Church regularly.

The most prominent building in sight is Victoria District Church, as it stands out in relief on Church Hill. When I first went there as a boy, it was a most primitive-looking building, with its low steeple or dovecote (as it looked like). There were two bells in this steeple, one larger than the other, which sounded ding dong, ding dong, many a year, until early one morning James Kennedy, an old friend of mine, as he was going home saw flames issuing from the roof.

He gave the alarm, and shortly after the whole town was there, and the engines with volunteer firemen. Nothing could save it though, as it was summer-time and very dry, and it was not more than an hour or two before it had disappeared. The other day I had the pleasure of meeting one of my schoolfellows of 1859, Ernest A. Leigh, of San Francisco, a son of the second city clerk of Victoria, and who was here on a visit to his niece, Mrs. George Simpson (customs). We of course had a long talk over old times, the days of yore, the days of ’59. In looking over this old picture he p.88 exclaimed, "There is the old church we went to! My father built it," and then I remembered the fact. Well can I remember the old church, with its old-fashioned windows, seats and gallery, and its organ that stood in the gallery, facing the congregation. When I first remembered it, Mrs. Atwood, now Mrs. Sidney Wilson, was organist, and I was organ-blower. Originally it was played as a barrel organ, as it contained three barrels which contained ten tunes each, but Mr. Seeley, the owner and proprietor of the Australian House, at the north end of James Bay bridge, made and adapted a keyboard to it, and Mrs. Wilson played it in the morning and in the afternoon. In the evening the keyboard was removed, and your humble servant ground out the hymn tunes as on a barrel organ.

It was in this gallery that I first met John Butts we have heard so much of through Mr. Higgins. I remember Butts as a sleek, respectable-looking young fellow with a nice tenor voice, which he was not afraid to use, and he was quite an addition to the choir, of which I was a juvenile member. In after years John fell from grace and gave up the choir, and might have been heard singing as he walked along the street, and not above taking fifty cents from someone well able to give it. He was always cheerful and goodnatured, and if a child were lost John would ring his bell and walk up and down calling out the fact.

This view of the old city is taken from the rocks on the Indian reserve, and in the foreground is a large building which occupied the site of the present marine hospital. When first I remember this building it was used as a lunatic asylum. It is the only prominent building shown on the reserve, with the exception of the Indian lodges, which by the extent might accommodate p.89 easily two thousand Indians. The harbor is full of shipping, taking up the whole frontage from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf north, which is the only one distinctly to be seen in the view. The vessels reach to the bridge across the harbor.

At anchor is the historic Beaver, and steaming out of the harbor is the British steamer Forward. On the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf is a large shed or house. I do not see the present brick building, which was not built then (1859), but Mr. Glide says in a large shed on this wharf the British Colonist first saw the light, the advance sheets being printed here in 1858. When the shed was torn down a little over a year ago there were brought to light a number of old letters, which was a good find for the man who had the job of taking the shed down, for there were lots of old Vancouver Island stamps on these letters.

The Colonist was moved from here to Wharf Street, about where the Macdonald block now stands. Also Wells, Fargo’s express first did business in this shed, then moved to Yates Street, where it was located in a building, the lumber for which was imported from San Francisco, being redwood. This building was afterwards moved to Langley, between Bastion and Fort, and used as a feed store by Turner & Todd, whom we all know.

An incident by my schoolfellow Ernest Leigh, of Upland Farm in 1859, finishes this reminiscence.

Killing of Capt. Jack.

Referring to Mr. Higgins’ most interesting account of the killing of the noted Indian chieftain, "Captain Jack," at the Victoria jail in the year 1860—the result p.90 of this shooting was to set the Indians over on the reserve wild with excitement, which condition was aided by a plentiful supply of infernal firewater obtained from the notorious wholesale joint at the end of the Johnson Street bridge. They immediately decided to start in their canoes up along the straits toward Saanich, calling at the many farms and wreaking their vengeance upon the settlers. A man was sent out from the fort on horseback to warn the farmers. At the Uplands Farm at Cadboro Bay, where the late William Leigh and family were residing, there were some seventeen people—men, women and children. When the warning came a hasty consultation was had, Mr. Leigh being away on business, as to whether it would be best to load up the wagons and all move in to the fort, or to barricade the house and run chances of being burned out, or to hide away in the forest behind the farm. The latter course was finally decided upon, and with a supply of blankets, mats and wraps, for protection against the cold, a movement was made down into a heavily wooded ravine about half a mile back of the farm, where, hidden under the spreading branches of a large pine, the party made themselves as comfortable as they could, the women and children huddled close under the tree and the men and elder boys mounting guard on the outer edge. Some of them were perched in the lower branches with whatever arms they had been able to secure, principally old Hudson Bay flintlock muskets.

It was very dark and gloomy in the ravine, which was heavily timbered with a pine forest, and the concealed partly expected that at any time the Indians might arrive and fire the farm buildings, and perhaps search for them.

Just before dawn several dark forms were seen by p.91 the best-sighted of the men on watch, creeping cautiously up the ravine towards the hiding-place. The cracking of twigs and an occasional grunt were heard, and we knew the Indians were approaching. Word was passed not to fire until our leader gave the signal, which was finally given. Two of the old flintlocks went off, the others missed fire. One of the bullets struck one of a drove of pigs which were quietly feeding up the ravine and which in our terror we took for the foe. The squeals of the wounded pig frightened the others, and the whole drove came charging and squealing up the ravine right through our camp, tumbling over men, women and children, whose screams, added to the noise of the pigs, made matters a trifle lively until the enemy went by. The morning growing bright, and no Indians appearing, a cautious approach was made to the farm, and shortly after a runner came from the fort with word that the Indians had taken to their canoes the night before and had started out, but had been turned back by the gunboat which was on watch, and they were not allowed to leave the outer harbor, so our terror was without cause.

(Note.—I saw the arrest of the Indian chief "Captain Jack," and heard the shot fired by Constable Taylor that killed him, as I stood outside the outer entrance to the gaol.—E. F.)




I had intended telling what I knew of the fires of early Victoria, but when I sat down to put to paper what I know of any noted fires, I first realized how little there was to tell of that dread element’s ravages in early Victoria. But although there is not so much to tell of great fires, there is a good deal to be said of the men who prevented those fires becoming great, so I decided to go on with my subject.

For a city of its size and age, there could not be one more immune from fires. Was it the fir of which we built most of our principal buildings? Some contend it was. The Douglas fir was hard to burn, and the honesty of those fir-built houseowners no doubt was also a reason. In the Victoria Gazette of 1858 there are many references to the subject of fires that might occur, and also to the fact that there is no water to put out a fire should one occur. Then the editor suggests a public meeting to consider the important subject and also as to the building of large tanks to hold salt water at the bottom of Johnson Street. Subsequently Governor Douglas is petitioned to procure a fire engine, with the result that he ordered two. Later one of these engines, named the "Telegraph," arrived from San Francisco, and I believe was second-hand, as the price paid was $1,600. Another petition was sent to the Governor to organize a fire department under an officer p.93 appointed by himself. Soon after a public meeting was called by advertisement by the following gentlemen to organize: M. F. Truett, J. J. Southgate, A. Kaindler, A. H. Guild, Chas. Potter, Samuel Knight and J. N. Thain. This was the initial movement to form a volunteer fire department.

At a subsequent meeting, E. E. Eyres was appointed secretary, and the following a working committee: James Yates (father of Alderman Yates); Chas. A. Bayley, hotel-keeper, corner Yates and Government Streets; Capt. J. H. Doan, since died (his daughter is still a resident); Leopold Lowenberg, a real estate agent, and uncle of Carl Lowenberg, German consul; and Roussett, Truett and Myers. This committee was to select one hundred men to each engine to form the companies. The first meeting of No. 2 engine was called and the notice is signed by David Green (clothier, whose widow is still a resident), H. J. Labatt, W. F. Bartlett and J. W. Turnbull. The first meeting of Engine No. 1 was called to meet at the business place of Thomas J. Burnes, August 6th, 1858 (customs staff.) His photo, taken in 1860 by Robinson (over Theatre Royal), is here reproduced, showing he has been elected foreman of his company. Mr. Burnes was a most enthusiastic fireman for many years after this. The photo of Jno. C. Keenan of same date is also given. He was another good fireman. (Note.—Both these photos have been lost.—E. F.)

[Illustration: Hook and Ladder Company.]

A picture is here reproduced of a May Day parade of Victoria’s volunteer firemen of forty years ago. I am sorry I am not able to give the names of more of those in line, but the photo is so old it is hard to make them out. Would you believe it, May Day was a general holiday, and set apart as "Fireman’s" day, and celebrated p.94 with a parade and picnic, either at Medana’s Grove or Cook and North Park Streets. The weather was usually fine with the warm sunshine of spring. I hear the gong of the engines as the procession moves along—the hook and ladder company, the Tigers and the Deluge company, all decorated with flowers, flags and evergreens. Under a canopy of flowers sits a beautiful little girl as the "May Queen." On each side and following behind march those who have constituted themselves the salvors of their fellow-citizens’ property and life. Among these men were some of our prominent business men, merchants, tradesmen and professional men, as well as workingmen. Would the citizens of the present day believe that these men had banded themselves together, put their hands in their pockets to build engine-houses and equip engines, had given their time, either by night or day, attending fires, and had paid monthly dues to keep the concern going, and all without fee or reward? It is even so, and no night was too cold or wet to keep these men from their duty. The picture I produce of the "Hook and Ladders" in a May Day parade of 1862 was taken from the original, and is here produced by the kindness of Mr. Fred Morison (customs). He was then a torch boy and continued a volunteer fireman for nearly thirty years. On account of the age of the photo the faces are rather indistinct, so that some of those present cannot be recognized. I should like to have known who the six or seven boys are, and whether they are with us to-day, but I make out of those present: Robt. Homfray, C.E.; J. D. Edgar, of Edgar & Aime; Richard Lewis, undertaker; Murray Thain, now of Moodyville; Henry and Robert Thain; Louis Vigelius, barber; Philip J. Hall, the banner-bearer; W. p.95 T. Liveock, Chief Factor of Hudson’s Bay Company; Fred. Morison, customs, torch boy; Wolff, merchant, of Yates Street; E. Grancini, merchant, Wharf Street; Wm. Harrison, now of Saanich, and J. R. Anderson, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, secretary.

On reading Mr. Levy’s interesting sketch appended, I see that the Hotel de France was also destroyed by fire, and, being built of California redwood, was entirely consumed.

[Illustration: Colonial Hotel.]

The first mention of a fire that is recorded in public print is taken from the Victoria Gazette in 1858. It is that of one of those primitive erections, a house-tent, with the contents thereof. At that time Victoria was covered in all directions, I am told, with canvas houses. In February, 1859, there were a great many, I know. As a member of the Victoria fire department, hook and ladder company, I attended many fires, but they were small comparatively. The destruction of the Colonial Hotel on Government Street, as here produced, is one of them. The Colonial was situated on Government Street, between the Alhambra building on the corner of Yates and the San Francisco baths (then kept by an old fireman, Thos. Geiger), occupying also the upper portion of the building now used as a music store by Fletcher Bros. The old photos of the Colonial show the hotel before and after the fire. Sosthenes Driard, who was subsequently proprietor of the Driard House, was the proprietor, and Mons. Hartangle, who was afterwards co-partner with Driard in the Driard House, was chief cook. He may be seen standing in front of Alex. Gilmore’s clothing store (now Fletcher’s); also a man with crutches, nicknamed "Pegleg Smith," who was an M.P.P. of that day, and behind him is, I think, p.96 your humble servant. Further south, and on the same side as the Colonial, was the Hotel de France, Manciet and Bigne, proprietors. Of this hotel I have a vivid recollection, as I paid several visits there with my mother when I was a boy. She had heard of a sick miner (maybe from Cariboo) who lay there dying. His physician, Dr. Powell, had done all he could for him, and he knew his end was not far off. He had, like hundreds of others, risked his precious health for gold, had been successful, and now was to leave this beautiful world and the gold with it. My mother thought it her duty to go and see him, read to him, and tell him of the better world beyond. So one Sunday afternoon she went, and I with her, to carry some little delicacy which he might not be able to get in the usual way. She got sufficient encouragement to go again and again, until the end came, and my mother was satisfied that she had done him some good spiritually. To come back to fires. There was the fire in Theatre Royal, after the play of the "Octoroon." Although the theatre was gutted, it was not consumed, the reason being partly, no doubt, that it was built of Douglas fir logs. The surroundings being of a most inflammable nature, this was very surprising. I might also instance the first and second fires at Christ Church, the second of which only was successful in consuming the building. It was the custom for every citizen present to lend a helping hand when a fire was of any dimensions. It was only doing for another what you might want yourself next week. If the fire was in the business portion of the city the stores on the opposite side of the street were thrown open to receive goods from the burning building, which were carried by many willing helpers. Oh, the good p.97 old days! As I have stated in a former article, the bluejackets from the war vessels at Esquimalt were telephoned for, and ran all the way up and worked like the bluejackets always do—with all their heart and soul. I might go on discoursing on these incidents of bygone days, but as Mr. H. E. Levy, one of the pioneer firemen, has promised to add to this imperfect account, I shall leave the fires and say something of the firemen. I would draw the attention of my readers to the picture of a May Day parade in 1862. It is the Union Hook and Ladder Company, drawn up on Bastion Square with their truck.

The Pioneer Engines.

(By H. E. Levy.)

"First in order comes the Union Hook and Ladder Company, a very swell affair, composed of the leading merchants of the city, sixty-five strong. They were first located on the present site of the Board of Trade building, then removing to Government Street to the spot on which now stands the new Promis building. Next came the Deluge Engine Company, No. 1, who ran a very cumbrous Hunneman tub, made in Boston, afterwards securing a Merryweather steam engine from England. This company also consisted of sixty-five men, and were first located about where the Poodle Dog now stands, moving thence to that point on Yates Street now occupied by the Maynard shoe store, again moving to their own building on the north side of Yates Street east of Broad. Next comes the Tiger Engine Company, No. 21, first located on Johnson Street, next to where the Jubilee saloon now stands, and afterwards p.98 moving to the north side of Johnson, just above Government. This company commenced business with an old double-decker that was brought up from San Francisco by the Hudson’s Bay Company, and was there known as Telegraph No. 1. This machine was very similar to the one brought here last summer by the San Francisco veterans; it was succeeded later by an up-to-date ‘Button and Blake’ hand engine, and still later by a fine steamer from the same firm. These three companies were very effective and presented a fine appearance in their semi-military uniforms, as they turned out in full force on their gala day, the first of May.

"On the arrival of the steam fire engines, six of the younger members of each company were taught to manage the same, and soon became proficient as engineers. Each company sent three members to the board of delegates, who made laws for the entire department. Whether owing to good luck or good management, we had very few large fires in those days, the most notable being the Rosedale store, owned by Reid and McDonald, on the north-east corner of Bastion and Wharf Streets; the Sam Price warehouse, then used as a lodging-house, opposite the Occidental Hotel—this fire brought out for the first time the Tiger steam engine, with Mr. H. E. Levy (one of the engineer class) at the throttle. Another large fire not to be overlooked was the Hotel de France on Government Street, nearly opposite Bastion. It is a notable fact that a great number of the most efficient heads of the department were nearly all Americans, viz., John Dickson, S. L. Kelly, John C. Keenan, Charles Brooks, J. A. McCrea, James Drummond, and many others, who no doubt are still remembered by the old-timers. There was a strong spirit of emulation p.99 between the companies, which added greatly to their efficiency, each striving to be first at the fire, as it was considered an honor to have first water on the same. At the tap of the fire alarm men could be seen running from all quarters to the engine-houses, as the first man at the engine-house had the honor of carrying the pipe into the fire, which was a position of some danger."




Some four or five years ago I came across an American illustrated newspaper containing an account of the discovery of a perfect mammoth in Siberia, where it had been imbedded in a glacier for thousands of years. It was stated that an expedition had been sent from St. Petersburg by the Imperial Academy of Sciences, headed by Dr. Herz; also that later a telegram had been received stating the expedition had been successful in securing the animal complete, and that all the principal parts, including even part of the contents of the stomach, had been secured and were being brought on sledges overland for thousands of miles. I was intensely interested in the alleged discovery, and made many enquiries of various people to find out if there was anything in it more than sensation such as is often got from some of the American papers. The result of my enquiries was very disappointing; most of those I interviewed considered it a yarn. I let the matter rest for some time and then decided to write a friend in St. Petersburg for particulars. Mrs. Calthorpe (née Dunsmuir), wife of Captain Gough-Calthorpe, who was naval attaché to the British Legation at the time, responded in due course of time, sending me a photo (Since lost.—E. F.), reproduced herewith, of the animal as it appeared stuffed in the Imperial Museum, and the promise of a description, which Mr. Norman, secretary of the legation, p.101 had kindly promised to translate from the Russian for me. This has lately come to hand, and as Mr. Norman states, is rather disappointing—that is, as regards the size of the mammoth, it being a young one. The wonderful part of the story is that the stomach of the mammoth contained food as fresh as the day it was eaten thousands of years ago. The food seems to have been young shoots of a species of pine tree, with vegetable matter. The hair on its back was about 13 inches long, with a thick fur at the roots of the hair. I submit the translated account by Mr. Norman, with his letter to me, which I think will be interesting to the many friends of the two British Columbia ladies mentioned therein. I also give an account of the expedition as contained in the newspapers at the time of discovery, as follows:

Story of the Scientific Expedition.

"The discovery of the mammoth to which the cable despatch on this page refers, was reported during the summer, and has excited the widest interest in scientific circles.

"A very interesting account of the discovery by Dr. von Adelung, curator of the museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg, has just appeared in the Globus, a leading German scientific paper, of Brunswick.

"From this account it appears that the mammoth was first reported by a Cossack named Jawlowsky. He found it in a glacier near the Beresowka River, a tributary of the Kolyma River, in far Northeastern Siberia. The nearest settlement is Sredne Kolymsk, three hundred versts (a verst is 3,500 yards) away.

"The situation of the body is a very extraordinary p.102 one. It lies in an enormous pocket of ice, between the mountains, near the river bank. The ice is evidently the relic of the great glacier that existed here in former ages. The upper ice in time flowed away, leaving only the lower part shut up in this pocket. The River Beresowka only thaws for a short time in summer. The surface of the earth in this region also thaws only at this season, and then only to a depth of two or three feet. Beneath that the soil is eternally frozen.

"A slight melting of the surface of the ice left a bright, smooth space, peering through which the Cossack Jawlowsky saw the ancient mammoth preserved, as we sometimes see a lobster in a cake of ice. The Cossack knew how interesting such relics were to civilized men and promptly reported this one.

"Through the agency of Mr. Horn, the Chief of Police of Kolymsk, the Cossack’s report was conveyed to the Governor of Yakutsk. He being interested in scientific matters, promptly communicated the report to the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg.

"The greatest scientific undertaking of this kind ever made was then determined upon. This was nothing less than an expedition to bring back the complete body of the mammoth. It was promptly organized by the Imperial Academy, with the fullest assistance of the government and the Ministry of Finance. Dr. Otto Herz, curator of the Imperial Museum, was appointed leader of the expedition, with Dr. Pfitzenmayer as assistant.

"The expedition proceeded along the Trans-Siberian railroad as far as Irkutsk. From there to the place of the discovery is a journey by land and water of fully 3,000 miles. The scientists made part of this journey in boats down the Lena River to Jakutsk. They then p.103 started on an overland journey to Sredne Kolymsk. They took fifty horses for transport. A large part of the way lay through virgin forest. Then came the formation called the Taiga, a sort of Arctic moorland, which becomes swampy and dangerous in summer.

"The scientists had to live on salt fish, mare’s milk and stewed tree bark. Several lives were lost on the journey, but it is now known that the chief scientists reached their destination. They proceeded without delay to excavate the mammoth.

"The flesh is treated with arsenic and then sewn up in new cowhide, which shrinks, becomes air-tight and preserves the contents.

"Nothing more will probably be heard from the scientists during the present winter. Dr. Herz, according to the last report, was in doubt as to which of two ways he will take in returning. He may, during the coming summer, endeavor to take the mammoth’s remains overland to Markova, a little settlement on the Anadyr River, which runs into Behring Sea. There he would winter and go down the river at the opening of next summer, and catch the steamship that calls there once a year.

"If this proves impracticable, he will have to wait until the winter of 1902–1903, and take the remains overland by sledges to Irkutsk. It would be impossible to make this tremendous journey in summer, through a roadless country, where there are thousands of square miles of swamps.

"Numerous relics of mammoths have been discovered in Siberia, including pieces of skin, and all the bones. On more than one occasion a complete animal has been found preserved in the ice, but a complete animal has never been secured in its entirety and p.104 brought back to civilization. That is exactly what the Imperial Academy of Sciences now proposes to do. According to the last report from Irkutsk, it is in a fair way to accomplish this.

"It is, perhaps, one of the most marvellous facts in the whole realm of nature that the body of a mammoth should be preserved exactly as it existed in life thousands and thousands of years ago, but there is every reason to believe that this happened in countless cases.

"The mammoth was a gigantic species of extinct elephant. It flourished in past geological ages, and also survived into the days of early man. When the Palæolithic or Old Stone man flourished on earth two hundred thousand years ago, the mammoth was as common as the horse to-day. In no part of the world were mammoths more abundant than in Northern Siberia. They must have roamed about there as freely as the buffalo did in North America fifty years ago.

"Though similar in structure to the modern elephant, the mammoth was very different in habits. He was a northern animal, and with this in view was provided with a very long, thick hair, reddish in color, like that of the camel. He had extraordinary teeth and stomach, so that he was able to masticate and digest, not only plants, leaves and so forth, but wood and the trunks of trees. His stomach has been found full of young fir trees. His teeth were built in layers and renewed themselves ceaselessly through life.

"Sometimes the mammoth would become mired in a soft spot of earth, and there sink in, die, become frozen and preserved forever. Another mammoth, while walking across a glacier, would fall into a crevasse, and there become frozen in a gigantic block of ice. That is what happened in the case of the animal p.105 recently discovered in Siberia. The soil is generally frozen to a depth of four hundred feet in Northern Siberia.

"There were many species of mammoths, some of them existing in earlier ages than others. One species was provided with four tusks, the upper ones turning up as in the present elephant, and the lower turning down, as in the walrus. These horns were of gigantic size, in some cases measuring twelve feet long. They were adapted principally to digging up and pulling down trees. The mastodon was a giant elephant of a still earlier period than the mammoth.

"In spite of their gigantic size and weapons, the mammoths were frequently killed by prehistoric men. These men must have been very brave and determined to kill these huge and terribly armed beasts, with stone and rude wood and bone spears.

"The very word ‘mammoth’ is of Siberian Tartar origin, being derived from the word ‘mammoth,’ the earth, on account of the beast being found frozen in the earth. Chinese records show that they, too, frequently discovered the frozen mammoths. The beast is probably the same as the ‘Behemoth’ of the Bible.

"The bones of the mammoth when first discovered in Europe were variously regarded as the remains of giant men and of elephants that had been brought to Europe by the ancient Romans. Even the majority of scientists held to this opinion until Sir Richard Owen, the great palæontologist, first proved that they were the remains of an extinct animal allied to, but of different species from, the elephant.

"One of the first mammoths described by modern scientists was found on the peninsula of Tamut, near the Lena River, in 1799. It was fully enclosed in a p.106 mass of clear ice. It was uncovered and rotted away in 1804."

Mr. Norman’s Letter.

The following is a copy of Mr. Norman’s letter:

"British Embassy, St. Petersburg,

"Dec. 24, 1904.

"Dear Sir,—Before leaving St. Petersburg, Mrs. Gough-Calthorpe, wife of our late naval attaché, asked me to send you some information about the stuffed mammoth which is in the Zoological Museum here, as you were interested in such things, and I promised to translate the passage in the catalogue which refers to the animal.

"The revolution which has been raging here for the last few months has given me so much to do I really have not had time to keep my promise sooner. However, I now send you the translation, which, I fear, tells disappointingly little about the mammoth, giving no measurements nor any description of his appearance. The earlier part, too, about the distribution of the elephant family, is doubtless also stale news to you.

"You have, I believe, already received a photograph of him from Mrs. Calthorpe, so you know what he looks like, but as I have seen him very often, I may add a few details as to his personal appearance from my own observation. He is smaller than I expected—a good deal smaller than an elephant, but then, it is true, he was young when he died, not full grown, I suppose. His tusks are magnificent. His hair is very thick, abundant and long and of a fashionable dark reddish-brown tint. Otherwise he is very like an elephant in p.107 general build, and I should say, so far as I can judge without being a specialist, in details also.

"I hope these few details may be of use to you. Should you want more about the mammoth, or require information about anything else in the museum here, I shall be very glad to do my best to satisfy you.

"The Calthorpes are much regretted by all of us here, as they were greatly beloved by us. Curiously enough, the wife of Calthorpe’s successor, Captain Victor Stanley, also comes from British Columbia.

"Yours very truly,

"H. Norman.

"Secretary to His Majesty’s Embassy.

"I send this by King’s messenger as far as London, which will still further delay it, but the posts are now very irregular and unsafe in Russia owing to the revolutionary strikes. H. N."

Translation from Catalogue.

"During the tertiary period elephants were very numerous and were distributed over Europe, Asia as far as the Arctic Ocean, North America and Africa. By the remains excavated, many species of extinct elephants are now distinguished, among which one, known under the name of Mammoth (Elephas Primigenius), existed in immense numbers in Europe and in Siberia as far as its most northern limits. In Siberia the frozen bodies of these animals have frequently been found well preserved, with the skin and flesh. On account of the remoteness of the places where these bodies have been found, not all the expeditions sent to p.108 exhume them have had a successful issue. In this connection the most successful of all was that organized by the Academy of Sciences in 1901 to the River Berezovka, in the Yakutsk district, which consisted of Messrs. O. F. Herz and E. W. Pfitzenmayer. Thanks to this expedition an excellent specimen of the mammoth was received by the Academy of Sciences,—rather young, with skin, parts of the internal organs, some food and almost the whole skeleton. Unfortunately some of the soft parts of the body, such as the trunk, were not found. The remains of this mammoth made it possible not only to set up the skeleton, but to stuff the animal, which is placed in the position in which it died, suddenly, in all probability, and in which it was found in a frozen condition."

This story can hardly be called a "reminiscence" of Victoria, but I thought that it might be interesting to many who, like myself, have a liking for old and ancient things, as this mammoth most assuredly was. Also there may be an interest taken in the letter from Mr. Norman, the secretary to H.M. Embassy, speaking as it does of one who formerly was a resident and native-born of British Columbia.—E. F.




Mrs. Edwin Donald.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."—Timothy 4:7, 8. Never was there one to whom these words could be applied with greater truth than to the subject of this sketch. A faithful servant of her Lord, she was always ready to say a good word for Him, and took advantage of any and all opportunities to bring back to Him some friend whom she thought had become careless, thoughtless, or indifferent in His service.

I am sure my old friend admonished me many a time during our forty-six years of close friendship, but always in the most kindly manner, that could not help impressing me, knowing it was well meant, and knowing also that she considered it her duty to say what she did.

It was in February, 1859, as a boy of twelve, just arrived from San Francisco, that I first met her. She and her husband had lately arrived from Wisconsin, U.S., where they had been living some years, and, having a sister here already, she had been induced to come to her. Her sister, herself and their husbands had all come from Cornwall. The elder sister and her husband (Trounce) had emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land, p.110 as Tasmania was then called; the Trounces later on went to San Francisco, and from there came to Victoria, in the same steamer as my father, in 1858.

The Trounces and Donalds lived in tents on Douglas Street in 1858, and when our family arrived in 1859 they had just moved into what was then considered a very handsome house. It now stands on Kane Street, between Douglas and Blanchard.

Like Dorcas of Joppa, "she was full of good works and alms deeds." The two sisters, with their husbands, were Wesleyan Methodists, and Mrs. Donald, although eighty-eight years of age, attended church twice on Sunday, and always walked both ways, to the Metropolitan Church on Pandora Street. This she did to the end, having gone twice the last Sunday. She did not believe in Sunday cars, and would not use them, although they would have been such a help to her; but no, she thought it wrong, so took the course she thought was right. My wife and I called on her about ten days before her death, and on asking her how she was she replied, "I am as well as can be expected, for I am an old woman, you know." She was as cheerful as usual. She never complained; everything was for the best, she thought.

And so it was in her case, for she was near her end, "having fought a good fight and finished her course." She died literally in harness, for an hour or so before she breathed her last, she was working for the church, propped up in bed sewing. Towards the end, being conscious, she said, "I think my Lord wants me," and so passed away to a better life. She was attended at her death by an affectionate niece, Miss Carrie Thomas; her other relatives being Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Morall.


Hon. Wymond Hamley.

[Portrait: Wymond Hamley.]

The late collector of customs, under whom I was privileged to serve from 1882 to 1900, was appointed by Sir Edward B. Lytton as collector of customs of New Westminster, and arrived by sailing vessel in 1859.

After the union of the mainland and island in 1867, the collector, with his staff, came down to Victoria and established the customs house on Government Street in a wooden structure near the post-office of that day, and it was a very unpretentious affair.

His staff of that time, and who were with him at New Westminster, was composed of Mr. Macrae, who in 1872 was pensioned on account of defective eyesight, and is now living in Ireland, chief clerk; Charles S. Finlaison (afterwards chief clerk), George Frye, C. S. Wylde and Richard Hunter. All of these, except Mr. Macrae, are dead. Mr. Hamley was the last of three brothers, and all of us have heard of the youngest, Sir Edward, the hero of Tel el Kebir, who, with his eldest brother, were generals in the British army. Sir Edward was a noted tactician, and it was through this he became the hero of Tel el Kebir. He was prominent in the Imperial Parliament also as a speaker. The elder brother I heard little of from him, but I know he was very proud of his younger brother.

The late collector was in early life in the British civil service, and subsequently joined the navy, and served on the China station. I shall always have a kindly feeling for my late chief, as he was a good friend to me, and felt kindly disposed to me, by the many conversations we had together. He was a just man in all his dealings with the public, and treated all alike without fear or favor, and his decisions were, as a rule, always p.112 upheld at Ottawa. There also could not have been a more popular man with his staff.

So one by one the good old stock of the early pioneers passes away, and their places will be hard to fill, so I say "Requiescat in pace."

Hon. G. A. Walkem.

As a friend of over forty years, I should like to add a few lines to what has been said of the late Mr. Walkem. Some forty-two years ago I was going up Yates Street, past Wells Fargo’s bank and express, which then occupied the brick building on the south side just above the American Hotel and next Pierson’s tinware store. It was steamer day, and Yates Street was full of life, as it always was when the San Francisco steamer had just arrived with passengers, freight, mails and express.

The latter was the more important in those days. The chief business was done with San Francisco, and the most of the letters came by express, costing twenty-five cents each, from San Francisco. As I said before, I was passing Wells Fargo’s. The large front office was open to the street and was full of business men and others. The staff of the express consisted of Colonel Pendergast, Major Gillingham (who introduced quail from California), and a colored man named Miller, as messenger.

What attracted my attention was "George Anthony Walkem," called in a loud voice. I stopped and squeezed inside, where there was a scene that never will be enacted again in this city, I think, in the way of business. Major Gillingham was unlocking express bags and cutting open bundles of letters, which he p.113 handed to Colonel Pendergast, who was mounted on a chair and calling out the addresses on the letters. If the addressee was there he called out "Here," and the letter was handed across the room to where he stood, or if not there, was taken by a friend. After all the letters had been called, the audience trooped out and went to their offices to peruse their correspondence.

"George Anthony Walkem" on this occasion was not there and did not answer to his name, but the letter was put in the letter-rack to be delivered by Miller, the messenger. This occasion is vivid in my memory, as if of yesterday, and is the first time I remember Mr. Walkem.

It was a couple of years after that I met him at a dance, and we became friends, and met at many home dances and parties. He was a young lawyer and fond of the society of young people, although older than they were. In those days dancing was one of our chief amusements, classes being formed under the direction of some lady. They were very enjoyable, being kept select. The ladies having the two principal classes were Mrs. Digby Palmer and Mrs. J. H. Carmichael. I belonged to each, and met Mr. Walkem often. The principal thing I wished to speak of with respect to my friend was his gift of animal drawing, he being no mean follower of Sir Edwin Landseer.

This I found out as a great surprise one day while visiting him at his rooms over Hibben & Co.’s store. The walls were plastered, and white, and all over were covered with animals and portraits of noted characters of the day done with a crayon pencil. These portraits were of such men as Judge Begbie, the Governor, an admiral of the station, or some noted politician.

But what took my fancy most of all were his lions, p.114 male and female and cubs, and in all positions. It was a sight well worth seeing, and would so be considered to-day.

Long after Mr. Walkem left these rooms these walls were left intact, and many schemes were devised to remove the pictures with the walls. A prominent man, I think Admiral Farquhar, asked my brother if it were possible to cut the plaster off the studding in blocks and so preserve these beautiful pictures. I am sorry to say it proved to be impossible.

To-day there are reproductions of these pictures in the judge’s residence. They were framed in gilt by us, and it is only a year or so since I saw them in Sommer’s being reframed. I recognized them immediately.

He was pleased to compliment me some time ago on one of my sketches of early Victoria, a subject we compared notes on frequently, when I suggested that he give to his friends some of his early experiences in Cariboo, which he recited to me, telling of those days when he started off from Victoria a young man, with a good profession, lots of energy, a fund of good humor, and not a very heavy purse. He had his experiences, and valuable experiences they were, and in Cariboo he entered into politics, and for years represented that constituency in the Local House. He was a good friend, and I shall miss his visits to my office, when he came in to chat for a few minutes, always to wind up with a "reminiscence." Well, as I said before, I shall miss him and shall remember him with the most kindly feelings.




Old-timers will be interested in the following clipping giving particulars of the consecration of St. John’s Church. The year is not given, but it was in 1860 (April 13th). It was when first built a very ugly building, having no semblance of a tower, which was added many years after. The first rector was Rev. R. J. Dundas, M.A. Of the clergy who took part fifty years ago, there are, I think, only three living, viz., Rev. Edward Cridge, now Bishop Cridge; Rev. J. Sheepshanks, now Bishop of Norwich, and the Rev. Alexander Garrett, now Bishop of Dallas, Texas. Of the bishops then present, both are dead. Bishop Morris, of Oregon, who preached the consecration sermon, died a few years ago, aged eighty-seven, the oldest bishop in the United States; and Bishop Hills died in England soon after he left this country, having resigned the bishopric of British Columbia, a very disappointed man. Strange to say, he took a rectorship under one of his former clergy, Rev. J. Sheepshanks, Bishop of Norwich.

It will be noted that the hymn-books used at the service were to be obtained at Hibben & Carswell’s (T. N. Hibben & Co.). To close the consecration services there was to be a social gathering or tea-meeting, which was a popular form of entertainment in those good old days. The admission was one dollar, and the proceedings commenced at half-past six o’clock. Just p.116 think of it, ye late birds of the later days, when half-past eight is not too late! As the choir of Christ Church assisted at these services, and as I was a choir-boy, I must have been there.

The printed programme reads: "The consecration of the Church of St. John the Evangelist is fixed for Thursday next, 13th inst. The solemn occasion will be marked by a series of services, at which a voluntary choir will contribute their assistance, aided by the fine organ just erected. It is also intended to hold meetings, one of which meetings will organize the Diocesan Church Society, and the other draw together in a social way the friends of religion, and the well-wishers of the Church of England. It is earnestly hoped that these various occasions may tend to strengthen the best influences amongst us, and advance substantially the work of the Lord.

"The following is the order of services:

"Thursday, September 13th, in the morning, consecration service at 11 a.m. Sermon by the Bishop of Oregon.

"The Holy Communion will be administered.

"In the evening service at 7 p.m. Sermon by the Bishop of Columbia.

"Friday, September 21st, service at 11 a.m. Sermon by the Rev. E. Willis (rector of St. John’s, Olympia).

"Evening service at 7 p.m. Sermon by the Rev. W. D. Crickmer, M.A., minister of Fort Yale.

"Sunday, September 16th, morning service at 11 a.m. Sermon by the Bishop of Columbia.

"Afternoon service at 3 p.m. Sermon by the Rev. E. Cridge, B.A., minister of Christ Church.

"Evening service at 6.30. Sermon by the Bishop of Oregon.


"Tuesday, September 18th, evening service at 7 p.m. Sermon by the Rev. J. Sheepshanks, M.A., minister of New Westminster.

"Friday, September 21st, evening service at 7 p.m. Sermon by Rev. Alex. C. Garrett, B.A.

"Sunday, September 23rd, morning service at 11 a.m. Sermon by the Bishop of Columbia.

"Afternoon service at 3 p.m. Sermon by Rev. Charles T. Woods, M.A., principal of Collegiate School.

"Evening service at 6.30 p.m. Sermon by Rev. R. J. Dundas, M.A., minister of St. John’s.

"Collections will be made after all services towards the debt still on the church.

"On Monday evening, September 17th, a meeting will be held in Collegiate School-room at 7 o’clock, to arrange and constitute the Columbia and Vancouver Diocesan Society, according to the plan adopted in the colonies of Great Britain.

"Addresses will be delivered. All friends of the Church of England are invited to attend.

"The chair will be taken by the Bishop of Columbia.

"On Thursday, September 20th, there will be held a social reunion of friends, when subjects of interest connected with social organization will be discussed. Admission by ticket, one dollar each. Tea will be provided. Proceedings to commence at 6.30 p.m."

The following communication from a gentleman who did his part in church work in this island in early days will interest many readers. Extract from the Union, London, December 7th, 1860:

"A correspondent in Vancouver Island sends an interesting account of the first consecration of a church in that far-off colony by the Bishop of Columbia. It is situated at Victoria and is dedicated to St. John the p.118 Evangelist. It is of wood, encased with corrugated iron plates, lined and panelled inside with redwood. It was sent from England by the bishop, and placed by him at the disposal of the people of Victoria, where a second church was needed. The interior, which is stained dark with the fittings, is extremely tasteful. There is a beautiful carved stone font, given by a late parishioner of the bishop’s; a fine organ, also a gift; a bell, altar cloth, and east light of stained glass. The consecration took place on September 13th. There was a numerous congregation, including clerical and lay representatives of the Anglo-American Church, who came from Washington Territory. The bishop and clergy robed in the vestry, and a procession being formed they proceeded round the church to the west entrance, where the bishop was received by the Rev. Edward Cridge, B.A., the incumbent of Christ Church, his church wardens and a committee of laymen, the chief promoters of the work. The petition, praying to consecrate the church, having been presented, the bishop signified his assent and proceeded up the centre aisle, followed by the clergy, the church wardens and committee following. The 24th Psalm was recited by the bishop and clergy as they proceeded up the church. The bishop took his seat within the altar rails attended by his clergy in the north choir seats, the service being full choral, and the effect very marked. It was, indeed, a privilege to join in such a service ten thousand miles from home. The communion service was said by the bishop, the epistle was read by the Rev. D. E. Willis, the Gospel by Rev. J. Sheepshanks. The bishop preached from Matt. 26:8, 9, subject, "Works of Faith and Love." The offering amounted to $358."

[Illustration: Iron Church.]


The Jubilee of St. John’s.

Certain misleading remarks having been made at the jubilee of St. John’s with respect to Christ Church not having been consecrated for long after being built, and that it was a log building, etc., I, after getting facts from Bishop Cridge and an early resident who attended its opening, replied:

"To the Editor of the Colonist:

"In reviewing the rather interesting article in Sunday’s Colonist on the jubilee of St. John’s Church, which contained a deal I had already given some years ago, I noted particularly the reference to the first Christ Church, and thought I could throw a little light on the matter, especially after a conversation with an early resident who attended the first service in the church in 1856. The original building that was destroyed by fire was named ‘Christ Church’ by Bishop Cridge, after Christ Church in London, of which he was incumbent up to the time of his leaving for Vancouver Island in 1855.

"After Mr. Cridge had been established here as resident minister and chaplain to Hudson’s Bay Company, Governor Douglas had Christ Church built for him, and when the congregation had increased, Mr. Cridge wrote to the Bishop of London, telling him that there were twenty candidates for confirmation, and asking him what he (Mr. Cridge) should do under the circumstances. In reply Mr. Cridge was advised to write to Bishop Scott of Oregon, asking him to come to Victoria and confirm them. This was done, and Bishop Scott came.


"Thus took place the first confirmation on Vancouver Island, and in this ‘unconsecrated church.’ The church is spoken of as being built of logs. This is not so, as it was a frame structure, weather-boarded on the outside, and lathed and plastered on the inside, with a stone foundation.

"The church had a low tower like a dove-cot with two bells. Altogether it was a pretty church. The building was put up by William Leigh, an official of the company, under the superintendency of Hon. J. D. Pemberton, who drew the plans and was architect. It was opened first for public worship in August, 1856, prior to which services were held in the fort. Later on, as the gold rush from California took place, and thousands came to Victoria, Mr. Cridge, being overworked, he (Mr. Cridge) wrote to England to the Church and School Society, asking for help. As a result of this appeal, St. John’s Church was sent out by Miss Burdett-Coutts.

"I might further state that the Catholic Church was established here prior to the arrival of Mr. Cridge, and for some time services under Bishop Demers were held in the bishop’s residence until a church was erected. This pioneer of Catholic churches is still in existence, having been moved from Humboldt Street south and east of St. Joseph’s Hospital to the rear of St. Ann’s Convent, being there encased in brick. As before stated, I was at the laying of the corner-stone of St. John’s Church in 1860, as also was Mr. Alexander Wilson, of Broad Street, and we both remember the occasion, especially the music by the fine band of H.M.S. Sutlej. I might here state that what I have said has been to throw a little more light on an interesting subject."




Miss Woods, daughter of the late Sheriff Woods, and niece of the late Archdeacon, has handed me the original notice in the handwriting of the late Rev. R. J. Dundas, first rector of St. John’s, of the laying of the corner-stone of the St. John’s Church, reading: "The corner-stone of St. John’s Church will be laid by His Excellency the Governor (James Douglas), on Friday, the 13th April, at 3 o’clock p.m., 1860." This makes it over forty-six years old. The ceremony was performed on a beautiful spring afternoon. A procession was formed at the residence of Captain Dodds (which, by the by, is still standing), and marched to the site of the church. The magnificent band of H.M.S. Sutlej (a line-of-battleship), furnished the music for the occasion. No flagship in later days has had such a band, for size or excellence. My memory in this particular has been refreshed by a fellow-pioneer in Mr. Alexander Wilson, who also attended the ceremony. I might state that the oldest church building at the present time is the Roman Catholic, which used to stand on Humboldt street, and was later removed to the rear of St. Ann’s Convent and built around with brick. This church antedates even St. John’s, as I can remember it in 1859. In connection with this old church I have heard some fine singing, when Father Brabant, of the West Coast, was connected with the p.122 church, who was a fine baritone; also Madame Beckingham, then a Miss Tissett, Mrs. Fellows and Charles Lombard. It was a musical treat indeed. There were other good singers there, but these were notable, and they are all alive to-day.

[Portrait: Bishop Garrett.]

Bishop Garrett.

In connection with the above I have received from Bishop Garrett, who was present on the occasion as Rev. A. C. Garrett, a very nice letter with his photo, which I think may be of interest to those who remember this eloquent divine of the pioneer days of Victoria, and who is to-day Bishop of Dallas, Texas:

"Dallas, Texas, August 9th, 1906.

"Dear Mr. Fawcett:

"Your letter is here and has my most willing attention. I remember your father very well, and yourself, too. I also remember the iron church and the old cathedral on the hill very well. I also remember an incident which was amusing, in the iron church. Once the great archdeacon preached a flowery sermon in St. John’s in the morning. The evening sermon was preached by the Rev. C. T. Woods, who was out in the morning at a mission station. The archdeacon occupied a pew at the evening service. When the text was given out he pricked up his ears and sat up very straight. The opening sentence was the same as that of the morning; and so was the next and the next, even to the last! Some of those who had been present in the morning and had complimented the Ven. Archdeacon upon his eloquence, began to smile and nudged each other. At last the end came. The Ven. Archdeacon p.123 went into the vestry, where some of the morning flatterers were repeating their forenoon praises! At length they left, bursting with laughter. Then the archdeacon said: ‘I see that we two donkeys have been eating the same cabbage!’

"I remember also preaching in that church when the wind howled and rattled through the roof in such a way that nothing could be heard.

"Well, you are all greatly changed now—and so am I. Mrs. Garrett is still vigorous, and I am doing a full day’s work every day in the year.

"Affectionately yours,

"Alex. C. Garrett,

"Bishop of Dallas."




The other day I had occasion to go through the town of Esquimalt, to the end of the principal street, which runs north and south. It was to the north end I went to take a boat to board the cable-ship Restorer to see my son off for Honolulu.

I had not been on this spot, that I can remember, for thirty years, and I could not but stop and stare and wonder. Could this be the Esquimalt I used to know years ago?

I could not but conjure up memories of the past, of Esquimalt’s departed greatness, bustle and busy life. In 1858, and before my time, this was the British Columbia headquarters of the San Francisco steamers, as well as the headquarters of the navy. Of the latter there were always three or four vessels with nearly always a flagship, and such a ship! It seemed like climbing up a hillside as you passed tier after tier of guns, and finally reached the upper deck.

The steamers running from San Francisco in those days were large also, so large that they could not come into Victoria harbor, and the Panama, I see by the Colonist of that date, brought 1,200 passengers on one trip.

Well, to proceed. As I walked down the street I p.125 turned from side to side, trying to remember who lived in that house, and who in that one, in the days that have gone by. Oh! what desolation! What ruin and decay! Only about every fourth house was occupied—the others given over to the dull echoes of the past. I looked in several windows and saw nothing but emptiness, dust and decay.

Of the notable houses and notable people who formed the population of this once important town, there were the residences of Fred. Williams, a prominent Mason and Speaker of the Legislature; William Arthur, William Sellick and John Howard, hotel and saloon-keepers; William Wilby, the mail carrier, with his numerous family; the Millingtons and the Dodds. Of John Howard I have already written in my description of an early-time Queen’s birthday celebration on Beacon Hill. John was a great horse fancier, and owned some winners, which were generally ridden by the Millington boys. John, with his friend, Thomas Harris (first mayor of Victoria), and Captain the Hon. Lascelles, R.N., were then kindred spirits, and many a day’s sport they afforded to the public of Victoria.

After reaching the end of the street and the landing, what did I see of the bustle, business and life of forty-nine years ago—a small forest of worm-eaten piles sticking up in the water in front of me. They were the remains of a large dock which had been covered with warehouses and offices connected with the shipping of the port. The late Thomas Trounce, of this city, owned the property and managed it. Imagine what the arrival of a large San Francisco steamer with 1,000 or 1,500 passengers and 1,000 tons of freight on this dock meant? All these passengers and all this freight p.126 were for Victoria. The freight was transferred to small steamers for this city, and also carted up by road.

We ourselves landed here from the steamer Northerner with six hundred others in February, 1859, and came around to Victoria in a small steamer and landed at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf. There were several stages plying also, the fare being "only one dollar." The "’Squimalt" road of that day was not that of to-day. It branched off the present Esquimalt Road at Admiral’s Road and ran eastward parallel with the present road, climbing up a very steep grade before reaching Lampson Street, and then keeping on straight till reaching Craigflower Road. Then it branched into the present road again at Everett’s Exchange. This great change in ’Squimalt has not taken place in late years. The loss of the naval station lately does not seem to have made a deal of difference to its appearance. It dates back to the "wooden walls" of old England, and the appearance on the scene of the ironclad of later years. Whatever was the cause, the effect is there, and I suppose good reason could be found for the great change. Melancholy it was to me, who had seen the place full of life, jollity and laughter as bluejackets and scarlet-coated marines by scores landed with plenty of money in their pockets, and maybe three days to spend it in. They were soon on the road to Victoria, stopping at the wayside houses as they jogged along, singing and laughing like a lot of schoolboys let loose from school.

On one of these occasions a laughable incident occurred, as scores of these bluejackets and marines passed up Esquimalt Road. A squad or more might have been seen walking along, headed by a bluejacket playing a p.127 lively tune on a fife or tin whistle. One or two were dancing to the tune, when all at once the music stopped, as a halt was made, the command being "’Alt all ’ands!" They had come opposite a wayside house and the sign over the porch—saloon—had attracted their attention. One of the sailors had commenced to spell out the sign. "What’s this blooming sign say? A hess, and a hay and a hell and a double ho, and a hen—saloon! Why blast my blooming h’eyes, mates, it’s a blooming pub! All ’ands come in and take a drink," and you may be sure "all ’ands" forthwith filed into the saloon and "smiled," to use a Western phrase.

"For Jack’s the boy for work,
And Jack’s the boy for play;
And Jack’s the lad,
When girls are sad,
To kiss their tears away."

These good old days of ’Squimalt, I am afraid, are gone for ever with her prestige as a naval station taken from her. Shall we see her rise again as a commercial port, as a headquarters of the C.P.R.? Shall the echoes of commerce take the place of the echoes of Jack’s laughter and song? Let us hope so, and so end my little reminiscences of ’Squimalt’s early times.

Since writing this I have come across a cutting in my scrap book from the Colonist of May 17th, 1870, which gives the account of the arrival of the first and only flying squadron (under Admiral Hornby), which ever arrived here. By the by, we were promised flying squadrons in lieu of stationary squadrons on this station. When is the first to arrive? As there was a flagship here with two other vessels, at this time, my readers p.128 may imagine the number of men in Esquimalt harbor at that date; not less than three thousand five hundred, I am sure, and how lively this must have made Esquimalt and Victoria. The whole population, figuratively speaking, turned out to welcome these six vessels as they came in from Race Rocks under full sail. It was a beautiful sight. The Zealous (armor-plated), Admiral Farquhar, welcomed Admiral Hornby of the Liverpool, flagship of the flying squadron.

[Illustration: First bridge over the Gorge.]




"Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh."
"Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."

—Thomas Gray.

I must first apologize for altering two words in this quotation from this most beautiful poem that caused the celebrated General Wolfe to say that he would rather be the author of it than have taken Quebec.

I am moved to write these lines by the fact that these bones require protecting from the vandalism of certain persons unknown, also I have been approached by pioneers several times to write about this desecration of the last resting-place of our pioneers.

It was in 1859 or early ’60 that the Quadra Street Cemetery was opened, all the bones from the cemetery on Johnson and Douglas Streets being exhumed and carried to Quadra Street in carts. I have stood several times and watched the operation of digging up and carting away of the remains from the first cemetery. It was situated on the corner of Johnson and Douglas Streets, the brick building on the south-west corner being built on the site, and it must have extended into the streets also, as some years later skeletons were found by workmen digging trenches for water pipes. There p.130 were many naval men buried there, and the dates on some of the headboards and stones in Quadra Street Cemetery show an earlier date than the opening of it, there being two burials from war vessels, one in 1846, H. M. S. Cormorant, and one in 1852. These early dates show that Her Majesty’s vessels were in Esquimalt at that time. Naval men and Hudson’s Bay Company’s employees were the large majority of those buried in the first cemetery. As a boy, I had a great weakness for funerals, and living only a block from Quadra Street, I attended scores in my day. I naturally liked the naval funerals best, for there were soldiers and sailors, and bands of music, with three volleys over the grave, so I missed few. The funerals came from Esquimalt, generally by water, in large boats propelled by oars, and landed at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf.

By the inscriptions, a large majority were young men and sailors, and many were the result of accidents in Esquimalt harbor by drowning.

I well remember the funeral of Captain Bull, of H. M. surveying ship Plumper, who died at the age of twenty-seven years, the coffin being fastened to a gun carriage and pulled by bluejackets. The state of Victoria’s streets at that time was such that it required a deal of power to propel any vehicle, and especially was this the case with Quadra Street. I have often seen a funeral come to a dead standstill and the hearse dug out of the mud, as also teams loaded with stones for monuments in the cemetery.

We will suppose the hearse has been dug out, and in the cemetery near the grave, in many cases men might be seen bailing out the grave, one below and one on top; especially was this the case with the Roman Catholic ground. And I have known when it was necessary to hold p.131 the coffin down in the water with shovels or have a man get down and stand on the coffin until enough soil was thrown on it to keep it down. What must the friends have thought at this time, as the dirty water was forcing its way into the coffin? In the majority of burials there was no grave-case, which helped to make matters worse.

[Illustration: Quadra Street Cemetery.]

I have always paid periodical visits to this cemetery, the chief reason being that my mother was buried there when I was fifteen years old. She expressed a wish to be carried to her grave instead of being taken in a hearse, and it was the first instance I can remember in Victoria, although it may have been done earlier.

Both Bishops Cridge and Garrett, the clergymen who conducted the burial services over her, are alive to-day.

Some four years ago, I had a marble headstone put on her grave, which was enclosed with a fence, and last fall I saw it there although buried in weeds. A few weeks ago a lady friend asked me if my mother’s name was Jane; for that she had, in walking through the cemetery, come across a stone which must have been hers. I went up to investigate, and after some hours’ search found the stone, but the enclosure was gone, and I had a time locating the grave, to replace the stone. In compiling the information given in this article, I made many visits lately, and I can say that it is a disgrace to a civilized community to have the last resting-place of Victoria’s pioneers in such a condition—marble and sandstone monuments lying in all directions, broken either by falling over naturally, or with rocks by some vandal.

It is a mistake to suppose that there are few remaining relations of these long-buried dead. At least there are fifty per cent. of them represented by relations to-day, as I shall show later on, and I hope the state of p.132 affairs as here related, may cause them to move at once to right matters.

I might say that the individual plots were owned outright by the relations, and others, for they have certain title to them. Individual comments are made on all those that I know or knew of, and several large, heavy stones I could not lift to get inscriptions, as they lay on their face. In several cases wood headboards have outlived stone, the inscription on the former being more legible than the stone. The action of the elements in many cases has entirely erased some, especially from sandstone, although newer than the wood boards.

One of the inscriptions I have read many a time as being quaint, was so far as I can remember, thus:

". . . Physicians were in vain;
Till Christ did please to give her ease, release from all her pain."

Naval Corner.

Roman Catholic Section.

There are very few of the monuments left standing here. Besides those naturally destroyed by time, many have been broken by stones into many pieces.

Victoria’s First Cemetery.

The finding of the skeletons in the excavation of Johnson Street this week, recalls the last find nearby, a few years ago, in laying waterpipes on Douglas Street, and I find, in referring to an article I wrote five years ago on clippings from the Victoria Gazette, Victoria’s first newspaper, that "the Council have ordered the removal of the bodies from the cemetery on Johnson Street to the new cemetery on Quadra." I can well remember seeing this removal; the bones where the bodies were not entire being thrown into carts, and taken to the Quadra Street Cemetery. I might state that with the exception of a few Hudson’s Bay Company’s employees, those buried there were men from Her Majesty’s fleet at Esquimalt. This may seem a long time ago for vessels of war to be at Esquimalt, but by the tombstones in Quadra Street Cemetery, I find there were some of the seamen from H. M. S. Cormorant p.143 buried in 1846. One of these was Benjamin Topp, and also John Miller, of H. M. S. Thetis, who were drowned in Esquimalt harbor; also W. R. Plummer, James Smith, and Charles Parsons, all drowned between Esquimalt and Victoria, August 22, 1852; also James D. Trewin and George Williams, February 4th, 1858. These were all removed to Quadra Street the following year.




Some Reminiscences.

On the 28th April, 1871, or forty-one years ago, a meeting was held in Smith’s Hall, which was situated in the building now occupied by Hall and Gospel on Government Street. The meeting was called to organize a society of the pioneers of British Columbia, and especially of Victoria. Among those present, and one who took a prominent part in its work, was William P. Sayward. By the death of this pioneer I am the sole remaining member of those who founded the society. By Mr. Sayward’s death this city and province loses a man whom any city would be proud of. Knowing him as I had from boyhood, I can speak feelingly. He was one of the kindest-hearted men, a man who had no enemies that I ever heard of, but hosts of friends. Who ever went to him for charity and was refused? Who ever asked forgiveness of a debt and was repulsed? Although he was victimized many times, in his case virtue was its own reward. From small beginnings, when the lumber business was first started on Humboldt Street, on the shores of James Bay, to the present time, the Sayward business has gone on prospering, having been built on a firm foundation by a kindly and honest man, who in February, 1905, passed from our sight to a better life. The society elected as its first p.145 officers the following: President, John Dickson; vice-president, Jules Rueff; treasurer, E. Grancini; secretary, Edgar Fawcett; directors, W. P. Sayward, H. E. Wilby, Alexander Young, and Sosthenes Driard. Long may the society continue. Mr. Sayward’s son, Joseph, has since his father’s death disposed of the business, of which he became the owner, to a large corporation, and has retired from business, one of our wealthy men.

[Portrait: William P. Sayward.]

Nothing better illustrates what I feel to-day, as the last of the charter members who met together at Smith’s Hall, on Government Street, over Hall & Gospel’s office, on the 28th April, 1871, than the following lines from my favorite poet, Thomas Moore:

"Oft in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me.
"When I remember all
The friends so linked together
I’ve seen around me fall,
Like leaves in wintry weather.
"I feel like one who treads alone
Some banquet hall deserted;
Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead—
And all but he departed."

I have applied this to my visit to Smith’s Hall, of which I shall tell you. Since the death of my old friend, William P. Sayward, some months ago, I have reflected often on the fact that I was the last of that little band. The other night I woke up, and remained awake for p.146 some time; and my thoughts wandered to pioneer days, and from that to the gathering of pioneers this year, which, I understood, was to be a more extended gathering than usual. I thought I should like to be there for the sake of old times, but could not make up my mind to brave the disagreeable weather at this time of year.

After considering the matter, I decided to write, if I did not go; and, further, I decided to pay a visit to Smith’s Hall first. So next morning I called on Mr. Kinsman, who kindly showed me upstairs, and over the old place. I might well say, "the old place," for it looked old and deserted, like the banquet hall spoken of by Moore.

With my mind’s eye I pictured the scene of thirty-five years ago—I was at the hall early, being enthusiastic on the subject, and noted each well-known face as the guests came up the stairs and took their seats, until about forty had collected.

There was Thomas Harris, who had been the first mayor of the city. He was very stout, and complained of the exertion in climbing up the stairs, which was passed off as a joke, of course.

There was Major McDonell, a retired army officer; Robert H. Austen, a pioneer of San Francisco, whose uncle, Judge Austen (an early resident), had been a prominent member of the "vigilance committee" of San Francisco in the early fifties, when men were tried by that committee, condemned to death, and hanged, as I myself was a witness to on two occasions.

There was William P. Sayward, the father of Joseph Sayward, and one of the best men Victoria ever produced; Patrick McTiernan, a well-known business man; Captain Gardner, one of Victoria’s pilots; Henry E. Wilby, father of the Messrs. Wilby of Douglas Street, p.147 who was Portuguese Consul, and a resident of Esquimalt; Jules Rueff and E. Grancini, both Wharf Street merchants; Andrew C. Elliott, a barrister, and afterwards premier of the province; Honore Passerard, a Frenchman and property holder of Johnson Street; Robert Ridley, who claimed he was the original "Old Bob Ridley" who crossed the plains to San Francisco in ’49; Felix Leslonis, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s cooper, who was a Frenchman, and used to sing a song called "Beau Nicolas" at charity concerts, and usually brought down the house.

There was S. Driard, another Frenchman, and proprietor of the Driard House, and who being, like Mayor Harris, very corpulent and asthmatic, complained, like him, of the "upper room"; James Wilcox, the proprietor of Royal Hotel, now proved to have been the "second" brick hotel built in Victoria; William Spence, a contractor, and after whom Spence’s Rock was named; John Dickson, the tinsmith and hardware man of Yates Street—a quiet, goodhearted man, an American; James Lowe, a Wharf Street merchant, of Lowe Bros.; Frank Campbell, of "Campbell’s Corner"—genial, goodhearted Frank, a man without an enemy; Thomas L. Stahlschmidt, of Henderson & Burnaby, Wharf Street merchants, and father of Mr. Stahlschmidt, of R. Ward & Co.

There were Robert Burnaby, already mentioned; J. B. Timmerman, accountant and real estate agent, a Frenchman; Benjamin P. Griffin, mine host of the Boomerang, who had been a friend of my father’s in Sydney, Australia, and was accountant in a bank there; and lastly, your humble servant, who was secretary of the meeting. There were others present, but they did not see fit to become members, among them being Ben Griffin.


As I said before, they passed in review before me as I stood there thinking; and to-day I think no one lives to tell the tale of that gathering.

I am fully in accord with the suggestion that there be a reunion of all pioneers of early Victoria; but I think it should be in the summer, when as many as possible could be there, and it might be made very interesting by a recital of the personal recollections of those present. I should like to hear Mr. Higgins, for I am sure he has not yet told all he knows of the early history of Victoria.




I read with a great deal of pleasure the article on Christ Church by Canon Beanlands. These reminiscences of former days in Victoria have a charm for me that is not easy to describe. More particularly is this the case in the present instance, as my very earliest recollections of this fair city are connected with Victoria District Church. My mother was a devout church woman, and I attended her in her frequent and regular attendance. She encouraged me to join the choir as a boy in 1861 and taught me music, and my first position in the church in connection with its musical services was as organ blower. I afterwards took my seat with the adults, singing treble, then alto and tenor, and I have now the treble score of several anthems copied by myself at that time.

I shall now describe the church as I remember it in 1859 and 1862. The inside was an oblong square. The entrance was at the south-west corner, and there was a gallery across the west end, where the old organ and the choir were then situated. Under this gallery were pews, one of which was occupied by our family. The vestry was at the south-west corner, and had entrance from under the gallery as well as from outside. The inside of the building was lathed and plastered. There was a low tower at the south-west corner, dovecote shaped, where the pigeons made their nests and brought forth their young. There were two bells in the tower, p.150 one larger than the other, which when rung sounded ding-dong, ding-dong three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening of Sunday, and also Wednesday evenings. A plan shows a square contrivance opposite the entrance. This was Governor Douglas’ pew, and was occupied by the Governor and his family regularly each Sunday morning. He walked down the aisle in his uniform in the most dignified manner, and led the congregation in the responses in an audible voice. By the plan an organ and choir are shown in the gallery as well as one in the chancel, but the dates 1859 and 1862 explain that in 1862 there was a new organ, and the old one removed, and the gallery done away with. It was in this gallery my services commenced as organ blower, and the only one I can now remember as singing in the choir at that early date was John Butts, a young man lately from Australia. He had a nice tenor voice, and was very regular in attendance for some time, until he fell from grace. He was the town crier afterwards and a noted character. Mr. Higgins speaks of him in the "Mystic Spring."

[Illustration: Victoria district church.]

One Sunday morning in 1862 or 1863, while Bishop Hills was preaching, a man walked into the church and cried out, "My Lord, the church is on fire!" Judge Pemberton, one of the officers of the church, with others got on to the ceiling through a manhole above the gallery, and walked on the rafters to where the fire was located. He missed his footing and came through the lath and plaster, but luckily did not fall to the floor below, but, like Mahomet’s coffin, hung suspended by his arms until rescued from above. The congregation were soon outside, and with willing help the fire was soon extinguished. The church was built and opened in August, 1856, under the supervision of Mr. William Leigh, who was in charge of Uplands Farm, p.151 Cadboro Bay, and was in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Mr. Leigh was a man of very good attainments, being a good musician and contributing to the various entertainments of those days, when regular entertainments by professionals were few and far between. He subsequently was City Clerk, being the second to hold that position, after Mr. Nathaniel M. Hicks, who was appointed clerk on the city being incorporated. Mr. Hicks is buried in Quadra Street Cemetery, and his headstone is in evidence to-day as a mute appeal to our city fathers to put the place in order. I might say that Mr. Leigh was the father of a numerous family, but I believe, with the exception of a son, Ernest, who resides in San Francisco, and a granddaughter, Mrs. George Simpson, who resides here, all have passed away.

Victoria District church was destroyed by fire in 1869, one evening about 10 o’clock, the alarm being given by a Catholic priest on his way home, who with Mr. James Kennedy (who lived with me), was passing over the hill. Of the early pioneer clergy connected with the church, Mr. Cridge, the incumbent, was first; then Bishop Hills; the Rev. R. J. Dundas, afterward rector of St. John’s; Rev. Alexander C. Garrett, now Bishop of Dallas, Texas, and Rev. George Crickmer, who subsequently was sent to Langley or Yale.

[Portrait: Bishop George Hills.]

The organ used up to 1861 or 1862 was situated in the gallery, and had three barrels, each of ten tunes, so that thirty tunes was the limit. Mr. Seeley, who owned the Australian House, which stood until lately at the north end of the Causeway, was an attendant at the church, and being an organ-builder undertook to improvise a keyboard attachment for this barrel organ. This keyboard was used on Sunday mornings and on special occasions by Mrs. Atwood (Mrs. T. Sidney Wilson of St. Charles Street.) At evening services the p.152 music was produced by the barrels, worked by a handle, and the writer on these occasions was the "organist." An amusing incident occurred one Sunday evening when I, forgetting the number of verses of a hymn to be sung, stopped playing, and the congregation commenced another verse. Seeing that I had made an error I began again two notes behind. This made confusion worse confounded, as may be supposed, but having commenced I continued to the end of the verse. This being the closing hymn, "Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing," I was not long in making my exit from the church, as I did not wish to meet Mr. Cridge or any of the church officers, being only a youth and anticipating censure, but I forget if I got it. About this time a committee of ladies of the church, among whom were Mrs. A. T. Bushby, mother of Mrs. W. P. Bullen, and Mrs. Good, her sister, both daughters of the Governor, Mrs. Senator Macdonald, and Mrs. Cridge collected a large sum of money and sent to England for a fine pipe organ which I suppose is the one in use to-day. The first organist of this organ was a Mr. Whittaker, and of the choir, as near as I can remember them, were the Misses Harriet and Annie Thorne, Mrs. T. Sidney Wilson, Mrs. Macdonald and her two sisters the Misses Reid, Dr. J. C. Davie, Alex. Davie, his brother, Mr. Willoughby, Robert Jenkinson, Albert F. Hicks, John Bagnall, my brother Rowland and myself. Mr. Walter Chambers, as a youth, was organ blower also about this time. The first sexton and verger was William Raby, and the next John Spelde, who had charge of the Quadra Street Cemetery, digging the graves and collecting the fees for the same.

I have spun this article out beyond what I intended, but I must be excused as I don’t know when I have said enough on pioneer days.




"... When I remember all the friends so linked together
... Fond memory brings the light of other days around me."

I have been requested to give my recollection of a Victoria Christmas in the good old days, as to how it was spent and conditions generally. In the first place, in speaking of "the good old days" of the sixties, I would not convey the impression that they were literally so good, for they were, so far as I can remember, some of the hardest that Victoria has seen.

There is a something in recollections of the past that have been pleasant that is indescribable. It is easier felt than described, and I have no doubt is felt by many old-timers in this city to-day. Ask them to describe these feelings and they would be nonplussed. "Mark Twain" was written to by the pioneers of California inviting him to come and speak of the early days of San Francisco, when he was himself a pioneer of the Pacific. What his reply was I now forget, but it was something to this effect: "Do you wish to see an old man overcome and weep as he recalls those pioneer days?" These were a few words of what he said in reply to that invitation. "The good old days" may not have been the most prosperous, nor the happiest that "Mark Twain" may have spent, but there was a something, a p.154 charm indescribable that he felt, but could not express. I feel this way myself.

It is Christmas and its surroundings in any age that help to make these pleasing regrets. The incidents and the persons connected with them are gone and can never be recalled. The friends we knew then, whom we may have met at one of those Christmas gatherings, we see them as they pass before our mental vision. Where are they all to-day? The Quadra Street Cemetery might be able to tell, for each is "in his narrow cell forever laid."

I have rambled far enough, and it is time I got to my story.

I would remark in passing that Christmas, to be genuine, should be bright and frosty, with a flurry of snow, and this with walking exercise makes the blood to flow freely, and makes one feel better able to enjoy the festive occasion.

Well, we had just such weather in those days, and such weather is sadly lacking in these. Our climate has changed very much since then. Less snow and cold and more rain now. Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle! The merry sleigh bell! After the advent of the first snow, and when deep enough, there might be heard the sleigh-bell, either on a grocer’s or butcher’s sleigh, or on an improvised sleigh made from a dry-goods case with a pair of runners attached, to which would be fastened a pair of shafts from a buggy or wagon not now usable. Everyone who owned a horse had a sleigh at little cost, and good use was made of it while the snow lasted. Long drives in the country or to church, or to a Christmas party or dance. I can see such a merry sleigh party of young people, the girls well wrapped up peeping over their furs, laughing and dodging the snowballs p.155 thrown by a party of boys around the corner, who are always waiting for the next one to come along.

"Where is now the merry party I remember long ago,
Laughing round the Christmas fire, brightened by its ruddy glow;
Or in summer’s balmy evenings, in the field upon the hay?
They have all dispersed and wandered, far away, far away!"

We nearly all went to church—the Anglicans, and many Nonconformists with them—on Christmas morning, and the Catholics on Christmas Eve. But first of all there was the preparation for the event. About a week before wagon-loads of young fir trees were brought in from the outskirts, and every storekeeper and many householders procured enough to decorate the front of the house or shop, a tree being tied to each verandah post. In those days no shop was complete without its wooden awning, as may be seen in many of the old photos of that period. Imagine Government Street, both sides, from end to end, one continuous line of green, relieved with, it might be, white; just enough snow to cover the ground, "bright and crisp and even."

I have often longed for such a Christmas in these degenerate times, when rain is nearly always the order of the day. All the Christmas shopping was done during Christmas week. The fancy goods stores of those days were few—"Hibben & Carswell," "The London Bazaar," and David Spencer. The former was then on Yates Street, corner of Langley, and the other two in Government Street; and I must not forget Thomas Gorrie on Fort Street. There was not the choice in toys and fancy articles then. Children were satisfied with less, and were just as happy. The beautiful and expensive p.156 dolls then were of wax, and being susceptible to frost, were taken great care of. The butchers’ and grocers’ shops were then as now a great attraction at Christmas, and we had all to pay one visit at least to Johnny Stafford’s (afterwards Stafford & Goodacre), Thomas Harris’ two shops, and Fred. Reynolds’, on the corner of Yates and Douglas, and I doubt if a better show (for quality) is made to-day.

At Christmas there was the usual influx of miners from far-off Cariboo down to spend the winter in Victoria, with pockets well-lined with nuggets. It was "easy come, easy go" with them, and liberal were the purchases they made for their relations and friends.

Christmas Eve, after dinner, mother or father or both with the children were off to buy the last of the presents, visit the shops or buy their Christmas dinner, for many left it till then. Turkey might not have been within their reach, but geese, wild or tame, took their place. Sucking pig was my favorite dish. Wild duck and grouse (fifty cents per pair), with fine roasts of beef. Of course plum pudding was in evidence with poor as well as rich, although eggs at Christmas were one dollar per dozen.

A great feature of Christmas time was shooting for turkeys and geese at several outlying places, and raffles for turkeys at several of the principal saloons and hotels. The place I best remember was the Brown Jug, kept by Tommy Golden.

A special feature of the saloons on Christmas Eve was "egg-nog," and all we young fellows dropped in for a glass on our way to midnight mass at the Catholic Church on Humboldt Street. It was one of the attractions of Christmas Eve, and the church was filled to overflowing, and later on there was standing room only. p.157 We went to hear the singing, which was best obtainable, Mademoiselle La Charme, Mrs. A. Fellows (daughter of Sir Rowland Hill), Charles Lombard, Mr. Wolff, and Mr. Schmidt. These were assisted by the sisters, many of whom had nice voices. Amongst the well-dressed city people were many Cariboo miners—trousers tucked in their boots, said trousers held in position with a belt, and maybe no coat or vest on. When the time came for the collection, all hands dug down in their pockets and a generous collection was the result. My old friend, Tom Burnes, was one of the collectors on one occasion. There were not sufficient collecting plates, and Mr. Burnes took his hat and went amongst the crowd who were standing up in the rear of the church. As he passed through a group of miners, friend Tom was heard to say, "Now, boys, be liberal," and the response was all that could be desired; for, as I said before, it was "easy come, easy go." "Twelve-thirty," service is over, we are off to bed, for we must be up betimes in the morning for service at 11 o’clock.

"When I remember all the friends so linked together," who met on those Christmas mornings long ago, I think, how many are there left? Those of the choir who led in the anthem, "And There Were Shepherds Keeping Watch," and the hymns, "Christians, Awake," and "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." Of those who met at the church door afterwards to shake hands all round, "A Merry Christmas," "The Compliments of the Season," and many other good wishes—of all these a few are left, amongst them Bishop Cridge, Senator and Mrs. Macdonald, Dr. Helmcken, David W. Higgins, Judges Walkem and Drake, Mrs. Wootton, Charles Hayward, Edward Dickinson, Mrs. Ella, Mr. and Mrs. George Richardson, Mrs. Pemberton, and p.158 Mrs. Jesse, and maybe a few others I cannot now remember. Well, all things must come to an end, and so must this reminiscence of an "Early Christmas in Victoria," and in closing I wish all those mentioned here a "Happy Christmas and many of them."

(Note.—Several of those mentioned are since dead.—E. F.)




The reproduction of an item in the Colonist of "Forty Years Ago," giving a list of the committee formed to prepare a programme for the celebration of the Queen’s Birthday, called my attention to the names of that committee. They are nearly all familiar. His Worship the Mayor, I think, was Mr. Harris, who was our first mayor; next follows Doctor Tolmie, chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company; Wm. J. Macdonald, now senator; Lumley Franklin, was a prominent citizen, an English Jew. There were two brothers, the elder being named Selim. They were real estate brokers and auctioneers. Lumley was a clever amateur actor and as a member of the Victoria Amateur Dramatic Association he took a prominent part in all the entertainments for charity in those days. John Wilkie was a Wharf Street merchant. Mr. W. T. Drake was the late Judge Drake; D. B. Ring was a prominent barrister, who, when not in court, might have been seen walking about with a couple of dogs and a hunting crop under his arm. He was one of the old school. Allan Francis, the first American Consul to Victoria, a man liked by everyone; James A. McCrae, an American auctioneer, and very fond of sport; Mr. T. Johnston was manager for Findlay, Durham & Brodie; James Lowe, of Lowe Brothers, Wharf Street, merchants; William Charles, chief factor of Hudson’s Bay Company; p.160 Captain Delacombe, in charge of the garrison on San Juan Island; E. Grancini, hardware merchant, with whom Charles Lombard was chief salesman; T. L. Stahlschmidt, of Findlay, Durham & Brodie; Captain Stamp, a millman, representing an English company who owned a large mill at Alberni; Godfrey Brown, late of Honolulu, a clever member of the Victoria Amateur Dramatic Association. I might mention this association had many very clever men as members, who would have graced any stage. Mr. Higgins, with myself, have written of the theatrical performances by this club in early days. Next is A. R. Green, of Janion, Green & Rhodes, of Store Street; J. D. Pemberton, colonial surveyor; J. C. Nicholson, who married pretty Mary Dorman; George J. Findlay, of Findlay, Durham & Brodie; Francis Garesche, of Garesche-Green’s Bank; C. W. R. Thomson, manager of the Victoria Gas Works; George Pearkes, barrister; Lieutenants Brooks and Hastings, of H.M.S. Zealous, the first ironclad to come into the Pacific around Cape Horn, and Sheriff Elliott.

This was a strong committee, for those days. All prominent men and good workers.

[Portrait: Thomas Harris.]

Beacon Hill was the head centre of sport, and far enough from town, as nearly all of us walked. But all kinds of conveyances were brought into requisition to take people out, especially from Esquimalt and the country. We had to rely on the navy then as always. The two livery stables of J. W. Williams, on the corner now occupied by Prior & Co., and William G. Bowman, on Yates Street, where the Poodle Dog stands, furnished busses and buggies, and large express wagons were also improvised, seats being put in for the occasion. With my mind’s eye I can see Thomas Harris, first mayor.


The chief event of the day was the horse races, and the mayor was an enthusiastic horse-fancier and steward of the Jockey Club. These attractions were nothing without Mr. Harris, coupled with Commander Lascelles, of the gunboat Forward, a son of the Earl of Harewood, and John Howard, of Esquimalt. The time for the first race is near, the bell rings (John Butts was bellman), and the portly figure of Mr. Harris on horseback appears. "Now, gentlemen, clear the course," and there is a general scattering of people outside the rails, and the horses with their gaily dressed jockeys canter past the grandstand, make several false starts, then off they go. It is a mile heat round the hill, best two out of three to win. Oh! what exciting things these races were to us old-timers, who were satisfied with a little. The grandstand stood due south of the flagpole, and stood there for years after the races were held elsewhere. I must not forget to mention the Millingtons, of Esquimalt, who always rode John Howard’s horses at these meetings; they were born jockeys. I think one of them still lives near Esquimalt. I would we had such Queen’s weather now as we had then. May was then more like what July is now for warmth, with beautiful clear skies; they were days worth remembering. Everyone went out for the day, and whole families might have been seen either riding in express wagons, busses, or trudging along on foot, carrying baskets of provisions. Soon the hill was covered with picnickers, as well as the surrounding woods. There was plenty of good cheer and good-natured folk to dispense that cheer, not only to their own, but to those who had not come provided. "Why, how do you do, Mrs. Smith? Mr. Smith, how are you? You are just in time. Make room for Mrs. Smith, John, alongside you; Annie and p.162 Mary can sit by Ellen. Oh, of course, you’ll lunch with us! There, we are all ready now, so fall to!" This is a sample of the good-heartedness of the old-timers. Everyone knew everybody, and all were as one family.

The navy was represented by bluejackets and marines by the hundreds. Bands of music, Aunt Sally, and the usual side shows were there. Aunt Sally was usually run by a lot of sailors, or soldiers, with faces painted like circus clowns, and dressed in motley garments. "Now, ladies and gents, walk up and ’ave a shy at Aunt Sally; the dear old girl don’t mind being ’it a bit; she is so good-natured; that’s a right h’excellent shot that, ’ave another try." The same scene was likely being enacted some distance off with "Punch and Judy," and you may be sure that "Jack" was principal in this show as well, for where there is fun there Jack is. I must not forget the music. Outside the local band there was always a naval band, of a flagship usually, such as the Ganges or Sutlej, which were "three-deckers," line-o’-battleships which would have put an ordinary battleship to blush. It was supposed that the officers subscribed to the band fund, and as there were many officers on a large ship, and well-to-do at that, they had good music. The Ganges band was something worth hearing, about twenty-four strong. It was often heard in Victoria, either at a naval funeral or at some public function. The navy was the mainspring of Victoria in more ways than one. They took part in all public functions, furnishing music, help and flags, and by their presence in uniform brightened up and lent grace to the affair. Do we realize how great a loss their absence to the city is? We ought to have found out the difference by now. The races are over, the day’s celebration is near its end. p.163 Some of those who came early with children are tired out and have gone home, others will soon follow, as a general packing up of baskets is going on. "Jack" no longer calls on the passerby to have a shy at Old Aunt Sally, Punch has killed his wife and baby for the last time. Parties of bluejackets are moving off with one playing a tin whistle, to which some are singing. The day draws to a close, and in the words of the immortal Gray, "Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight," and I close this recital of echoes of a past—Queen’s Birthday forty odd years ago.

Through the kindness of Mr. Albert H. Maynard I am enabled to produce an old picture of Beacon Hill during a celebration.

[Illustration: Queen‘s birthday, Beacon Hill.]

The following account of the regatta during the celebration of the Queen’s Birthday appears in the British Colonist of May 25th, 1868:

"The first of the festivities forming a part of the celebration of the forty-ninth celebration of Queen Victoria’s Birthday took place on Saturday, and was in every respect a great success. The day, although warmer than usual, was well suited for the picnic parties which occupied the banks of our beautiful Arm, all the way from the bridge to the Gorge. It is estimated that there were one thousand persons assembled altogether. Early in the morning the town bore a most lively appearance, flags were flying from all the principal buildings and the shipping, and by half-past ten the streets were full of well-dressed persons wending their way to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf, where the steam launch and barges of the Zealous were placed at the disposal of the Committee by the Admiral to convey them up the Arm. The managing committee were here represented by Messrs. Stuart and Franklin, p.164 whose arrangements were admirable. From the wharf to the Gorge the Arm wore a most animated appearance. From Her Majesty’s gunboat Forward, all decked in colors, which took up her position near the bridge, down to the meanest craft, the water was covered with boats laden with people full of merriment and joy. From Curtis’ Point, where the barges delivered their living freight, the scene was really enchanting. An arch of flags spanning the water, the high banks covered with tents, the bridge and every spot on both sides of the Arm crowded with people, and the roads lined with equestrians, amongst whom were many ladies, gave the happiest effect to the whole scene. We cannot recall a single celebration which was more appreciated or enjoyable than our regatta of Saturday. Much of this success, it must not be forgotten, must be attributed to the gracious manner in which Admiral Hastings co-operated with the committee to secure the comfort and convenience of the public, and without which kindness and attention the day would have been shorn of most of its enjoyment. Owing to the severe illness of His Excellency the Governor he was prevented from being present. We observed Mrs. Seymour, Mrs. Hills, the Admiral, Sir James Douglas and family, the Chief Justice, Colonial Secretary, officers of the fleet and several of the principal officials and families. A more universal assemblage was never known; clergymen of every denomination, men of all politics, people of all nations, rich and poor, in fact, mingled together freely, forgetting the sectional and social differences which divide them, acted as became the occasion, that of honoring the monarch whose virtues are an example to the world. The racing was not so successful as last year, but, nevertheless, p.165 was good, and under the management of Mr. Hastings and Mr. Kelly gave perfect satisfaction.

"The amusements concluded by a duck hunt, but the men were not seen by more than a dozen people; it may be considered the only failure of the day. We must not omit to mention that two new racing gigs were built for the occasion, respectively by Mr. Trahey and Mr. Lachapelle, boat builders, who take the greatest interest in the regattas, and spare nothing to make them successful. These boats were both defeated in their maiden races, but the design and workmanship of the Zealous and Amateur, it is said, would reflect credit on any country."




[Portrait: Henry Wootton.]

I have before me at the present moment the envelope of an old letter. It was received from England in 1863 by my father. The three stamps on it show a value of 34 cents—one shilling, one fourpence and one penny. It is only a single letter, and a small one at that. In fact, if it were any larger it would have had more postage on it. Just think of the difference between now and then. The first postmaster I remember in Victoria was J. D’ewes. Something went wrong with the finances during his incumbency and he suddenly disappeared with a large sum for a more congenial clime (Australia, I think). D’ewes had one clerk to assist him in the work of the post-office, by name J. M. Morrison. He was succeeded by Mr. Henry Wootton, father of Stephen Wootton, registrar-general, and Edward Wootton, the barrister. Mrs. Wootton, senior, is still with us, hale and hearty, I am glad to say. The late J. M. Sparrow was also connected with the early Victoria post-office with Mr. Wootton. I well remember when the post-office was on Government Street, opposite the C. P. R. telegraph office, in a small wooden structure with a verandah in front, as was the fashion in those days for all business places. I also remember it when it was on Wharf Street, north of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s store, occupying the lower floor, while Edward p.167 B. Marvin’s sail-loft occupied the upper. The staff then consisted of Mr. Wootton and J. M. Sparrow, as before stated, with occasional extra assistants, say on the arrival of an English mail, which came then via the Isthmus of Panama and San Francisco. The "whole staff" had to work hard then, and long hours, even into the morning. I have seen a line of letter hunters reaching from the post-office up Wharf Street nearly to Yates, waiting for the mail to be sorted and the wicket to open. I especially remember one evening in 1865. The San Francisco steamer had arrived in the afternoon at Esquimalt, and at eight o’clock there had not been a letter delivered, although the staff had worked like beavers to get the mails sorted. The mails from Europe arrived about twice a month, and not regularly at that. The Colonist would state that "there was no mail again," but that it might be expected to-morrow. It was a day of importance when it did arrive, and people naturally were anxious to get their letters, even if it necessitated their standing in the street in line, maybe at ten o’clock at night. Many a time a dollar has been paid for a favorable place in line near the wicket by someone whose time was considered too valuable to spend in waiting for his turn.

A good deal of banter was indulged in by those in line. The anticipation of their hearing from friends at home made them good-natured, and brought out the best that was in them. And, oh! when the wicket was at last opened, distribution commenced and the line moved on and up, there was a shout of joy and satisfaction. Those were memorable days in Victoria’s history, the good old days of long ago.

[Illustration: Drawing of Government St. with old Bastion.]

I remember again when the post-office was on Government Street again, this time where Weiler Brothers’ p.168 building now stands, still in wood, and in no more pretentious a building than the former ones. From there it was moved again up Government Street to the old site, opposite the C. P. R. telegraph office, until that place got too small, and a final move was made to its present location, and a large addition is soon to be made to keep pace with the rapid growth of the city. Letters were an expensive luxury in the early days, as this table of rates will show: To send a half ounce letter to Great Britain cost 34¢., British North American provinces 20¢., France 50¢., Germany 40¢., Holland 57¢., Norway 56¢., Portugal 68¢., Sweden 52¢., and San Francisco 15¢. Most of the letters from the latter place were received by Wells Fargo’s express, and cost, I think, 3¢., and special charge of 25¢. on each letter. I have already described the receipt of Wells Fargo’s express from Esquimalt in the early times, and how John Parker, now of Metchosin, used to meet the steamer at Esquimalt. When she was expected their messenger, whose name was Miller, and a colored man, used to watch from Church Hill, and on her being sighted at Race Rocks the express flag was hoisted in front of their office on Yates Street to let the citizens know the fact. Before the steamer made a landing the letter-bags were thrown ashore to John Parker, and fastened on his horse, then off he galloped to Victoria, the horse being covered with sweat on arrival at the express office, where the letters were called off by Colonel Pendergast, or Major Gillingham, to a crowded audience.

On the death of Mr. Wootton, I believe Mr. Robert Wallace was the next to fill the position, which he did for some years. When he retired he went to his former home in Scotland. On his retirement the position was offered to the present incumbent, Mr. Noah Shakespeare, p.169 who so ably fills it. I might say, to show the growth of the post-office in this city since Mr. Wootton’s time, when he with two assistants carried on the work, that to-day the staff, including letter-carriers, numbers forty-eight.

The registered parcels and letters for last year were just twice the year before, with a large increase in money orders, and to show the large increase in letters in one evening at Christmas, twelve thousand were received and cancelled in the post-office.

In conclusion I would ask, were not letters which cost 34¢. postage in those days more appreciated than a lot of letters now at 2¢. each? It is the old story over again, that a thing easy to get is thought little of.

I might say this article was written in May, 1908, and at the present writing, December, 1911, the volume of business of the Victoria post-office has increased nearly fifty per cent.—that is, in three years. It might be interesting to note that of the present staff Mr. Thomas Chadwick, in charge of the money order office, is senior in years of service, having joined the staff in 1880. Next comes Mr. Charles Finlaison, 1882, and Mr. James Smith, 1887. The deputy postmaster, Mr. T. A. Cairns, joined the staff in Winnipeg in 1880, and the Victoria staff in 1882. Mr. Shakespeare, postmaster, has been head of the department here since 1888.




It is said, and I think truthfully, that youthful impressions are more lasting than any others. This is my own experience, for my mind is stored with early reminiscences. It is verified by no less a person than my dear old friend, Bishop Cridge, who told me quite recently that he well remembered an incident that occurred to him when he was between three and four years old—that of a regiment of soldiers passing through his native village, and of his following them quite a distance from his home, and of the distress of his family on discovering his absence. In a long life of ninety-one years this is, I think, remarkable. Well, this is not the subject of my present writing. It is to give my impressions of this fair city fifty years ago, as I remember it as a child.

To-day fifty years ago I landed with my parents and brothers on the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf, having arrived from San Francisco on the steamer Northerner, which docked at Esquimalt, as all large ocean steamers then did. We came from Esquimalt on a small steamer, the Emma, or Emily Harris. The latter steamer was built, I think, by Thomas Harris, and named after his daughter, Mrs. William Wilson, whom I am pleased to know is still a resident with her family. The scene will ever be impressed on my mind as I saw my future home on that 12th day of February, 1859. Outside Johnson p.171 Street on the north, Blanchard Street on the east, and the north end of James Bay bridge on the south, everything else was country—oak and pine trees, with paths only, otherwise trails made by Indians and cattle. Within this wood under the oaks were wildflowers of all kinds in profusion. Through these woods and by these paths I went day by day to the old Colonial School on the site of the present Central. With the exception of private schools kept by the late Edward Mallandaine, and another kept by the late John Jessop, our school supplied the wants of the time. It was built of squared logs, whitewashed, and was the residence of the master as well. It was situated in the middle of a large tract of land which is to-day used for school purposes. The school was built in the middle of a grove of oaks, and there could not have been a more beautiful spot. Under these oaks we boys and girls (alas, how few are left), sat at noon and ate our lunch, or rested after a game of ball, or "hunt the hounds." Those were happy days in their rustic simplicity, and so will those say who remain to-day, fifty years later. There are several living here in the still fair city of Victoria, but how many have gone to that bourne whence no traveller yet returned?

We made what would now be considered a pretty long trip from San Francisco, eleven days. Just think of it, long enough to have gone to Europe. We passed on and out of the east gate on to Fort Street. How strange it all looked to me after the large city of San Francisco. As I have before stated, nearly the whole block from the Brown Jug corner to Broad Street was an orchard. I "borrowed" apples from this orchard later on, and good they tasted, and like stolen sweets were sweetest. Fort Street from Government up was a quagmire of p.172 mud, this street not having been paved, as it was later, with boulders from the beach and with a top layer of gravel or pebbles, also from the beach. The sidewalk on the Five Sisters’ side of the street was made of slabs, round side up, and was very slippery in wet weather. This I have from my brother. I can remember the other side of the street was made of two boards laid lengthwise.

Douglas Street had many tents on it, as well as did Johnson. Where the Five Sisters’ block stands was a log house, set back from the street. This was the company’s bakery, where I used to go for bread at 25¢. a loaf (about four pounds). There was not a brick building on the west side of Government Street save the residence of Thomas Harris on the corner of Bastion. His daughter, Mrs. Wilson, with a large family, is with us to-day. This building was afterward converted into the Bank of British Columbia.

[Portrait: George Richardson.]

The only brick building on the east side was the Victoria Hotel, now the Windsor, the first brick building in Victoria, constructed by George Richardson, still a resident. Where the B. C. Market is now was a neat cottage built of squared logs whitewashed, with green door and window casings. It was the residence of Dr. Johnson of the company’s service. The corner now occupied by the Bank of Commerce and the C. P. R. offices was vacant lots, and there were many other vacant lots on that side of Government Street, both north and south. There was a lake on View Street above Quadra, with good duck shooting in winter. Fort Street from the corner of Douglas Street east was blank, with the exception of a lot of Hudson’s Bay Company’s barns, set back in the block. This was, I believe, the site of a farm before 1858, for there were so many evidences of p.173 it when I played in these barns as a child, often helping, as I thought, to unload hay for the cattle which were kept here in the winter.

A deep ravine ran east and west between Johnson and Pandora Streets into Victoria harbor. This ravine was bridged at Store, Government and Douglas Streets, behind Porter’s building. There were only two wharves in the harbor south of the bridge to the Indian reserve. Over this bridge all traffic passed to Esquimalt and surrounding country until Point Ellice bridge was built.

The Songhees reserve was covered with Indian lodges, and the Indians were numbered by hundreds. At times of feasts, when they had a potlatch, or at the making of a "medicine-man," the reserve was a lively place and the noise deafening with their yells, both day and night. It was unsafe to go there at night when these celebrations were held. Many outrages were committed on passers-by by Indians when in a state of drunkenness.

Over James Bay to what is now the outer dock, was a forest of pines and oak trees, with very few residences. With all this rustic simplicity we lived and enjoyed the passing hour. We have many things now we did not dream of then; not knowing of them we did not miss them, and were just as happy without them. I might conclude thus with:

"Victoria, the sweetest village of the west,
Scene of my youth, I love thee best."




April, 1908.

Sir,—I am always interested in "Forty Years Ago." It brings back to me food for thought, especially of late, when so many old-timers have passed away. Before commenting on the Colonist’s "Forty Years Ago" in Saturday’s issue, I would remark that I expected mention to have been made in the article on the late R. S. Byrn, that he was a newspaper man for some years. I remember Mr. Byrn as bookkeeper for the Standard, under Amor De Cosmos, forty-two years ago, seeing him every day, as the Standard office was next door to my father’s store on Government Street, opposite Trounce Avenue. The Standard, like the Colonist, was started by Amor De Cosmos. The first item of interest on Saturday is the sailing of the steamer Enterprise for New Westminster (she made only two trips a week); among her passengers were Chief Justice Needham, Rev. E. White (the pioneer minister of the Wesleyan Church in Victoria), and R. Holloway. The latter is connected with the government Gazette to-day.

The next item announces the first cricket match of the season at Beacon Hill. The Victoria eleven are Charles Clark, a clever amateur actor who helped to make a success of the various entertainments our club p.175 gave for charity in these days; E. Dewdney, afterwards Governor; —. Walker, a prominent barrister of those days; Joseph Wilson, of the firm of W. & J. Wilson; Josiah Barnett, cashier of the McDonald Bank; C. Guerra, a remittance man; C. Green, of Janion, Green & Rhodes; Thomas Tye, of Mathews, Richard & Tye; John Howard, of Esquimalt; Gold Commissioner Ball, and last though not least, Judge Drake. A cricket match in those days was always able to draw a crowd, being the ball game of the day. In this match the name does not appear of a Mr. Richardson, who was a professional player and at least an extra fine player, who came here about that time with a visiting team. He is still in Victoria, as I saw him quite lately.

Among the passengers by the steamer California for San Francisco, I note Rev. Dr. Evans, of the Methodist Church, and family; C. C. Pendergast, in charge of Wells Fargo’s bank and express, an important institution then; J. H. Turner, (Hon.) William Lawson, of the Bank of British North America, and brother of James H. Lawson; R. P. Rithet & Co., Mr. and Mrs. Pidwell, whose daughter Mr. Higgins married; John Glassey, an uncle of Mr. T. P. McConnell; J. S. Drummond, father of Mrs. Magill; Richard Broderick, the coal dealer, and wife, and Mrs. Zelner, whose husband kept a drug store where the B. C. Market now is. It will be noted that a number of people assembled on the wharf to see their friends off. I might say that this was the usual thing in those days. Even some business places would be closed while the proprietor went to the wharf to say good-bye to a relative or friend.


An Incident of the Mystic Spring.

Sir,—In Thursday’s paper in the "Forty Years Ago" column I note the account given of the suicide of a young girl at Cadboro Bay. An interesting account is given in the "Mystic Spring" by my friend, Mr. Higgins. Poor girl! It was another case of unrequited affection. I knew Miss Booth well, being of my own age. We had met on many occasions at picnics and dances and at other festivities. On the memorable afternoon cited I saw her walking on the Cadboro Bay Road from town just ahead of me, and I hurried and caught up and accosted her, asking where she was off to. She was then more than three miles from home, which was on the Esquimalt Road. She replied in the most cheerful manner, with a smile: "Oh, I’m going for a walk to Cadboro Bay." I remarked on the long distance she was from home, to which she replied, and passed on. Little did I think then that she was on her way to her death, and in so cool and collected a manner. My memory has been freshened lately by my brother, as to the circumstances attending the sad affair. Miss Booth was one of three sisters who lived with their father and mother, as before stated, on Esquimalt Road. She had become acquainted with a young gentleman who afterward became an M.P. at Ottawa, and this acquaintance ripened into something stronger, so much so that she fell in love with him, and showed it so pointedly that he, as well as others, could not well help noticing it. He did not reciprocate her affection, and I believe told her so, and like an honest man avoided her. This in time was too much for her and she took the fatal course which ended in her drowning herself near the "Mystic Spring."


Being the last to see her in life, and knowing her so well, I tendered my evidence at the coroner’s inquest. I might say that the family shortly afterwards moved to Ladner’s Landing, and the two sisters married there, and part of the family still reside in that vicinity. This ends another little episode of forty years ago. This is for those who may remember the sad occurrence and the interest taken in the poor girl’s sad fate at the time.




[Portrait: John H. Johnson.]

To the Editor,—As I sit writing, my eyes rest on the picture of the subject of these few remarks. This picture was sent to me with an autograph letter by Governor John Johnson, of Minnesota, four years ago, under these circumstances. In a magazine I was reading, as I lay in bed with typhoid fever, I came across an article written by a life-long friend of this good and great man. Of his early boyhood to the time when he was elected Governor of Minnesota, what an example he was to the youth of that day as well as this. The short sketch ran thus: John Johnson was the eldest, I think, of four children. His father was a blacksmith and a good mechanic. Both father and mother were Swedes. Although a good mechanic, he developed into a lazy, bad man, who neglected his wife and children, and eventually landed in the poorhouse. Being left to themselves, the mother took in washing, and after school, John, the eldest, took home the clothes and took out parcels for a tradesman. John was thus able to help to keep the family. He was ambitious, wanted to learn, attended night school for that purpose, engaged with a chemist, gave it up, went into a lawyer’s office, then into politics, and after filling several important positions got elected Governor of his native state. What I admired in John Johnson was his devotion to his mother, brother and sisters; also his self-denial. What would p.179 you think of an alpaca coat to resist the rigors of a Minnesota winter? Well, John, by working at night in various ways saved up enough to buy an overcoat, he having none, and having to be out late at night delivering the clothes his mother had washed during the day. Through unforeseen demands on his mother’s earnings the poor boy was forced to give up the overcoat and hand over the hard-earned money for something he thought was wanted more, and went through the winter with nothing warmer than an alpaca jacket. I cannot but believe that these hardships laid the foundation for a delicate constitution, and every time I looked at his picture hanging in my dining-room I thought, "How delicate he looks; will he live to be an old man?" I was so taken with the story of his early life, his trials bravely endured, and his final triumph, that I wrote to him and congratulated him on his election. This election was a great victory for him, as his opponents used the fact against him that his father had been an inmate of the poorhouse and had died there a pauper, to defeat him. These disgraceful tactics were repudiated by many of his opponents, who showed they did so by voting against their own candidate and for John Johnson. This gain of votes from his opponents elected him by a good majority. Well, I told him in my letter that I was a British subject living in Victoria, Canada, and as such I congratulated him on his victory, that I was glad his old mother was alive to see his triumph, and that she should be proud, and no doubt was proud, of such a son.

In due course he replied, and also sent me his photo, which, as I said before, I had framed and hung up in my dining-room as an object-lesson for all of how a good and noble son made a good and noble man. There is room for many more such in this world.


To show the respect and love of the people for this good and great man, I have added the account of his burial. The late Governor Johnson paid a visit to Victoria about a year before his death, and I am sorry I was not aware of the fact until it was too late, as I should have esteemed it an honor to have shaken hands with him:

"St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 23.—While the body of Governor John A. Johnson, of Minnesota, was being lowered into its grave this afternoon all industrial activity in the state was stopped for five minutes as a tribute to the memory of the dead Governor.

"The body, which had been lying in state in the rotunda of the capitol since yesterday, where it was guarded by officers and privates of the state militia, was taken to the railroad station at 9.15 this morning, escorted by ten companies of militia, preceded by a band of one hundred pieces.

"At the station the body was placed aboard a special train which left for St. Peter, Minn., where interment took place this afternoon at three o’clock. The funeral services were held in the St. Peter Presbyterian Church, where Johnson sang in the choir when a boy. While the services were in progress at St. Peter’s, memorial services were held in all the churches in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The public schools are closed to-day, and the whole state is in mourning."




The Ladrone Islands, which from time immemorial have belonged to Spain, now, as is well known, belong to the United States. There is a cable station on the chief island, Guam. The Ladrone Islands lie off the coast of the Philippines, and are about three thousand miles from the Hawaiian Islands in a west-southwest direction. The Island of Guam has about five thousand inhabitants, mostly Philipinos, natives, Chinese and Europeans. Guam, with its sandy beach, its cocoanut trees and coral strand, puts one much in mind of the coral islands of story books, where an open boat with boys of various ages have landed from some wrecked vessel, and lived on fish, berries and cocoanuts, not forgetting wild pigs and goats. Altogether it is typical of what all boys read and would like to read again.

The coins used in trade are all Spanish, mostly of copper, but silver is also used. The natives make mats, just such as our natives used to make years ago in British Columbia, so finely woven as to hold water. Water is carried in the Ladrone Islands in bamboos, the divisions being cut out, and the whole bamboo filled with water and carried on the shoulder. The usual vehicle is a two-wheeled cart, drawn by a bull with long horns, the reins being fastened to the horns; certain pulls on each horn turn him to left or right. They trot along like ponies. The ruins exist of a Spanish church p.182 at Agana, over a hundred years old, the bells belonging to it being hung in a low tower near by.

Since the American occupation the natives have taken to baseball as a recreation.

It is an interesting sight to see the native women wash clothes. They stand in a stream up to their waists, and after soaping the clothes, they pound them with a stone, or else take one end of the garment in both hands and dash the other end up against a rock or board. The natives have adopted a great many of the old Spanish customs among themselves, including cock-fighting, which sport is carried on every Sunday and holiday. Every man has his trained fighting-cock, and they take great interest in the sport, staking large sums on their birds. They lash sharp, razor-like knives on the birds’ spurs, and the fight seldom lasts more than a few minutes, and generally ends in one of them being ripped up.

The native huts have always the roof and sometimes the walls covered with palm leaves, which are impervious to rain, and will last about five years, when they have to be renewed. The floor is generally covered with rough boards, far enough off the ground to make a chicken-house underneath, or else room to tie up a bull or cariboo, or to put the bull-cart under.

One of the chief exports of the island is copra, which is the meat of the cocoanut, picked and dried at a certain stage of its growth. In front of nearly every native hut can be seen copra drying on mats, and it is always taken in at night away from the dew. It is used to make shredded cocoanut, cocoanut oil, soap and other things, and the natives get about two and a half cents a pound for it.




We left Victoria March 2nd via Seattle for San Francisco and Los Angeles by the good steamer Governor. We arrived at San Francisco Sunday, March 6th, after a rather rough trip, on which I did not miss a meal. After breakfast Mrs. F. and I, with three fellow-passengers, went to Sutro Heights and then to Golden Gate Park. The seals were still sleeping on the rocks or bobbing about in the water as of old. Sutro’s gardens were a disappointment, as they seemed to have been allowed to go to decay. Of all the beautiful statuary representing the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome, all were in a state of dilapidation—arms, legs and heads broken off and covered with moss and dirt. Many of the glass houses in the gardens were in a like state. We did not stay long there, but took cars for Golden Gate Park, which is kept up by the Government and everything is kept in a perfect state of repair. Beautiful avenues of tropical trees, flowers in profusion, statues of public men of the past, and then the museum. This had the most attractions for me, as there were many interesting things to inspect, of which more anon. On the down trip we took on board at San Francisco a party of seven gentlemen who were going to Los Angeles for a holiday, consisting of a judge, a lawyer, a doctor, a manager of an electric light company, two p.184 merchants, and last but not least, a blacksmith, all members of a singing society. These gentlemen gave us several most enjoyable little concerts. We arrived at Redondo on March 8th and took cars for Los Angeles soon after arrival, and were in Los Angeles about two o’clock. I must confess I was not impressed with San Francisco, for while there were some very handsome, ornate and very high buildings, especially in the burned area and on Market Street, there were alongside the new buildings the cellars of former fine buildings filled with debris of the buildings destroyed by quake or fire, also whole blocks boarded up and covered with advertisements, behind which were piles of broken masonry and twisted steel. I went along Montgomery to Kearney Street, up Clay to Powell and found very little change from what I left in 1859. The Plaza did not seem the least altered.

In 1855 my brother one day remarked that the street above Powell had had no name long enough, and, as we lived in it, he took the liberty of naming it. There was a box with "Taylor’s" soap or candles printed on the cover lying on the ground, and taking a saw he cut the Taylor in two, nailing "Tay" up on the corner house. Strange to say, it is "Tay" Street to-day, after fifty-five years, but instead of being on the house it is painted on a lamp-post. Clay Street had the honor of having the first cable street cars, but I did not see any on my late visit.

[Portrait: Park in San Bernardino.]

It seemed to me as if it would be a long time ere San Francisco would be like it was before the earthquake. A party of us went out to Golden Gate Park, but days might have been profitably spent in the gardens and museum, and on account of lack of time we could only partly inspect the many interesting things to be seen at p.185 the latter place, so I reserved a further inspection till my return home, which account will be given later on.

If I was disappointed with San Francisco I was more than pleased with Los Angeles, for several reasons—the most important being that it is the starting-point for so many trips into the most beautiful places, of which a deal might be said, more than I have time to say just now. Los Angeles is said to contain 320,000, and likely it does, for the traffic is more congested in the principal streets than in San Francisco. I was told it would be so hot in Los Angeles that I took a light suit and straw hat to wear there, but I found it just such weather as we get in June, and I did not change my winter clothes or wear the straw hat at all, and when going out after dinner I wore my overcoat, being warned that I ran the risk of taking cold if I did not. The theatres of Los Angeles are many and good. The restaurants and cafeterias are both good and reasonable in price. It took us some time to get used to the cafeterias’ way of doing business. Imagine a line fifty feet long—men, women and children—waiting their turn to get their knife and fork, dessert and teaspoons, napkin and tray; then just such food and drinks as you may fancy, from bread 1c., to meats, 10c. to 25c. When your tray is loaded, you pass on to the woman who checks up what you have and gives you the price on a celluloid check, which, on going out, you hand to the cashier and pay. It is said that you can get used to anything in time, and we soon got used to this and found it popular with all, for these cafeterias are always full, the food being excellent.

We patronized a vegetarian cafe often, where every thing was made from vegetables, no tea or coffee allowed, these drinks being considered unwholesome.


The abomination of Los Angeles is its automobiles and motor cycles, which I blessed many times a day. They say there are hundreds—I should say thousands—of them and they are always in evidence, day and night, and what with the number of cars, it was impossible to cross the streets at times, and it was surprising the narrow escapes I had. My attention was drawn to the height of the sidewalks, they often being twelve and fifteen inches above the road. It was soon explained, for a few days later, on going to the theatre, it rained, and three hours later, going home, the streets were running rivers of water, and we had to walk up and down to find a narrow place to get over to the sidewalk. The streets having high crowns, the water, of course, runs to the gutters, and often boards have to be laid from the sidewalk across the gutters to get over these torrents. The next morning, the rain storm being over, the streets were clear of water. It is the custom here to wash the streets down at night, so that they are always clean. They are made of asphalt, and in Pasadena of a composition of asphalt and fine stone or gravel, and are also treated with crude oil. As part of our time was spent in Pasadena, I have something to say of that most beautiful of all southern cities. It is about a half hour’s run from Los Angeles, and you pass scores of pretty bungalows on the way, as well as stretches of country covered with very low green hills with cattle feeding. Pasadena is termed the "home of millionaires." Well, if handsome houses, grounds, trees and flowers make a millionaire’s home, it is rightly named. Fine roads run in every direction past these lovely plains, and you are overpowered at times with the smell of orange blossoms as you pass through miles of orange orchards or groves.


Among the beautiful homes is that of Judge Spinks, surrounded by beautiful trees of all kinds, as well as an orange garden, where after a long auto ride we received the hospitality of Mrs. Spinks and Mrs. and Miss Clapham, and carried off a supply of oranges enough for a week. The many friends of Judge and Mrs. Spinks will be glad to know that his health has greatly improved since residing there.

Passing the orange trees one day in the cars I noticed in the distance that the ground instead of being black or green was golden for quite a distance ahead and on drawing near found it to be caused by oranges, which completely covered up the surface of the soil, and was in fact the product of that grove picked and lying on the ground.

What might be considered the finest place in Pasadena is the Busch estate; the grounds are a wonder in artistic taste and extent, and are to be added to, a large piece of ground having been recently bought by Mr. Busch for that purpose. The grounds are open to the public at all times, and his residence also at stated times. He is the head of the Anheuser-Busch beer concern. I might state what is a well-known fact, that they don’t believe in fences down there. I have not seen one yet. All these lovely places are open to the road. You walk off the sidewalk to the house everywhere. Flowers grow even in the street, alongside the walk, and are cultivated by those whose property faces them. Speaking of trees, I must mention that they have the greatest variety of shade trees to be seen anywhere. The tall eucalyptus, imported from Australia, is seen by thousands, and the beautiful pepper tree of Chili or Peru. This tree was my favorite, looking something between a weeping willow and an acacia, but growing much taller, with its red p.188 berries in bunches showing clearly on the green. Then the palms with their spreading branches or stems! Of these latter, we saw a pair that the gentleman informed me he had brought home in a coal oil tin sixteen years ago, and to-day the trunks were twenty inches thick and the trees spread over a surface of twenty-five feet, leaving a passage between to walk up to the front of the house. There are avenues of these beautiful trees in the various parks in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Riverside. Further, in the matter of trees I would draw a comparison between the authorities of these southern towns and our own municipal authorities. When making new roads or drives, they find a fine tree growing on the road; instead of cutting it down as our vandals do, they leave it there and protect it, and I saw a notable example of this, when three men were treating or doctoring a veteran growing on the road which showed signs of dying, and they were doing all that could be done to save its life and keep it there. As we wandered about admiring all this beauty in nature we came to an extra pretty place, and the impulse took hold of me to have a nearer view; to if possible get permission to pick an orange and some blossoms to send home; so I stopped in my walk and made for where I saw two ladies sitting in the sunshine in front of the cottage. My wife restrained me and I hesitated, but on casting my eyes towards the ladies I perceived one of them smile, so I proceeded on, and raising my hat, apologized for our interview, saying that we were from the north and were captivated by the beauty of the place. "Oh, not at all, you are perfectly welcome. Would you like to look around?" We gladly accepted, and were shown around the premises, and at my request to pick an orange myself to send home, I was given permission, and told I p.189 might pick a lemon also, and would I like a bunch of orange blossoms?

We finally had two card boxes given us, and packed the fruit in one and the orange blossoms in the other. We were then invited in to rest and found the ladies were representative of those we met afterwards—the most kindly and courteous—and here I must say that I never met more obliging people than these same good people of California. I never met with a rebuff from anyone, and I am sure I bothered them enough during our stay with enquiries of every kind and another.

The police are instructed to supply everyone with necessary information and are provided with books containing such information as people may require. There are many excursions out of Los Angeles in various directions, of which we availed ourselves. One of these took us to Causton’s ostrich farm, San Gabriel Mission, and Long Beach. The ostrich farm is well worth a visit, to see these monster birds running about with wings outstretched. We were informed that at the age of six months they were full grown, and considering their size and weight it is a wonder. They eat as much as a cow, and, to show how high they can reach, the keeper stood on something and raised his hand up to eight feet and the ostrich easily took an orange from his hand and swallowed it whole. We were warned not to come too close to them, for the ostrich is attracted by bright hatpins in the ladies’ hats or by jewelry, or by anything bright—all are swallowed whole. One was sitting on a batch of eggs, which had just been vacated by the male, who does the most of the sitting. The visit to the San Gabriel Mission was of great interest to me, for it was of ancient origin, having been one of those founded by Padre Junipero Serra in 1771. The church we visited, p.190 and were conducted through by a lay priest who, in a monotonous tone of voice, recited all he knew of the mission. As before stated, the mission was about one hundred and forty years old, and one cannot but admire the zeal and devotion of the men who endured the hardships of the life they must have led so long ago. The church windows were very high from the ground, as the natives were not to be trusted, and the fathers might be surprised at any moment during the service and shot at. They had often to take refuge there from further attacks in early times. We were told that the building, which was built, as all were at that time, of sun-dried bricks and mud, was renewed since only in roof and seats. The original doors were preserved and shown us in a room. They were made very substantially, with iron bolts and bands and big locks, but now crumbling with age. The pictures of saints on the walls were painted in oil, and very poor specimens of art, I should say. They were old, and were sent from Spain. Although twenty-five cents was asked for admission we were asked to contribute to a fund for the restoration of the building, and many small coins were given by our party, and, when it is remembered that these excursions are daily, the year around, it must be an expensive job keeping the old building in repair. It looked as if twenty dollars would have covered the cost of any repairs made in a year, and it looked to me a case of graft on someone’s part. There is another church, founded at the same time, in Los Angeles, and I produce all I could decipher of an ancient inscription I copied from the front: "Los ---- de Esta Parroquia A La Reina de Los Angelus" (built 1814). These missions are planted at stated distances from San Diego to San Francisco, and all by that pioneer of Roman Catholicism, Junipera Serra. There p.191 is a statue to him in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in the attitude of exhortation, leaning forward with arms extended upward. I visited three of the missions, and they are all about the same. There is great food for contemplation in visiting these relics of the past. To think of the conditions as existing then and now.

We were photographed in front of the mission, after which we left for Long Beach and spent the balance of the afternoon. The beach was covered with bathers—men, women and children—and although the surf rolled high on the sands the bathers ran in and met the rollers, which completely buried them. They then emerged laughing, and waited for the next wave. There was quite a small town on the sands where there were shows of all kinds and booths for getting money by many ways in profusion.

At the handsome and commodious Hotel Virginia we visited Mr. Roper of "Cherry Creek" who has been down here all the winter, and we found him getting better, but slowly.

Although there are many Victorians go south to spend the winter each year, the great majority are for many reasons unable to do so, and I thought it might be of some interest to these latter to give them "items by the way" in going and coming on this most enjoyable sojourn to the land of fruit, flowers and beautiful homes.

At all these winter resorts for people from the East and North are flowers, trees and fruit, with handsome hotels, fruits, beautiful shade trees, and last but not least, beautiful homes. There are public parks in all of them where in January people may sit out of doors among their flowers, with the mocking-birds singing on all sides. Residences are nearly all in the bungalow style, with projecting roofs. The more imposing residences p.192 may be of Spanish architecture with red tiled roofs which look very handsome.

I wondered at the large and handsome hotels in Pasadena, although Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego all have good hotels. In Pasadena there was the Maryland with its pergola, a Spanish appendage covered with climbing flower vines which was very attractive; also the Green and the Raymond. There is little to be seen of the original inhabitants of this country, that is to say, of their descendants. It put me in mind of our own Indians, of the remnant of the Songhees tribe. They are all seemingly half or quarter breeds, and work as laborers for the railway company. I have already given in my boyhood experiences in San Francisco an account of a flag incident, and strange to say, I nearly had another in Los Angeles. One day I saw what might be an English flag flying from a high building, and the sight stirred me. So to make sure I threaded my way through the crowd for some distance and when opposite the building I walked off the sidewalk and craned my neck to look up six stories to make sure if it were really a Union Jack. Well, well! I thought, is it up so high to protect it from molestation, or is it that they are more liberal-minded here? I felt pleased, but when I espied what turned out to be the British coat-of-arms below the flag I saw the reason why. Just then along came a motor cycle and a motor car, and in the opposite direction a street car, and I recovered myself and got out of the way in quick time. It was the office of the British Consul, and that is why it waved. I consoled myself with the thought that it was after all only a certain class of American who would not tolerate any other flag in this country but his own, and I shall try and always think this.


We left Los Angeles and Redlands March 24th for San Francisco, where we arrived March 25th. In San Francisco I met an old Victorian, Tom Burnes, brother of William Burnes, H. M. customs. I had not seen him for years, and we started to explore the Plaza on Kearney and Washington Streets. This was the most familiar part of San Francisco to me, as I have passed through this part often as a boy. It is now known as Portman Square. I looked for the "Monumental" engine house from which I had run to fires in the early fifties. A blank space was pointed out where it had been, but the fire had destroyed this ancient landmark. In the Plaza Mr. Burnes showed me a monument to Robert Louis Stevenson, the English writer of such interesting sea stories. On the top was a ship of the time of Elizabeth, with the high poop deck, which must have represented something in one of his stories, and an inscription:

"To Remember Robert L. Stevenson.

"To be honest, to be kind, to earn a little, to spend a little less. To make upon the whole a family happier for his presence. To renounce when that be necessary. Not to be embittered. To keep a few friends, but those without capitulation. Above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself. Here is a task for all that man has of fortitude and delicacy."

This was erected by some admirers of the very interesting English writer who died, was it not in Samoa, so beloved by the natives.


Piloted by Mr. Burnes, we next viewed St. Mary’s Cathedral. It had been fifty odd years since I had last been inside, and as a boy I had often been attracted by the music. The cathedral was completely gutted by the fire, which entered at the front doors and passed up the tower and to the roof, in fact making a complete ruin of the building. So that the original landmark should be preserved intact, they built a complete church inside of concrete and bolted the two walls together so that the building is as good as ever. New stained glass windows, altars and a new $25,000 organ have been donated by wealthy members of the congregation, so that we looked upon a new church inside and the original outside.

We spent the afternoon at Golden Gate Park, which was the great sight of San Francisco, four miles long, laid out as an immense garden or succession of gardens, with conservatories and aviaries, tropical trees, winding roads and paths in all directions. The first thing to attract my attention before entering the museum was a statue of Padre Junipero Serra, the intrepid founder of so many missions along the coast of California. There were also monuments to Abraham Lincoln, General Grant, and that stirring preacher of the south, Starr King. Time was valuable, so I had to give up a further inspection of the park to give all remaining time to the museum, which closed at four o’clock. All the time we were in the museum I noticed two policemen patrolling about and I thought it unusual, and on inquiry found that lately a most valuable picture had been taken by being cut out of the frame. After some trouble the thief had been captured and the picture recovered. The thief gave as a reason for stealing it that he thought it might inspire him to paint just such a picture, he being ambitious to be a painter. I hardly p.195 think this excuse will weigh with the authorities. In the room of pioneer relics I found many interesting things. First a large bell which recorded on the outside the founding of the volunteer fire department, organized 1850, George Hosseproso, chief engineer. Firemen of those days were men of account, in fact, many men of prominence were officers or members of the fire department. Second, four mission bells from an old mission church at Carmelo, Monterey County, built by Padre Junipero Serra, 1770; San Francisco’s first printing press, used in publishing the first newspaper in California, in 1846, at Monterey; a picture of Jno. Truebody, a pioneer business man of San Francisco, whom I remember well; two glass cases of relics presented by John Bardwell, of the vigilante days, containing firearms, batons, certificates of membership in the vigilante committee, pieces of rope, being cut off the original ropes with which they hanged Cora, Casey, Hetherington and Brace, for the assassination of James King of William, and General Richardson. James King of William was the editor of the Chronicle, and in an election campaign James King, who was opposed to Casey in politics, mentioned the fact that Casey had been a jail-bird in his youth. This was taken up by Casey’s friends and three of them agreed that the first one of the three who should meet James King should shoot him. Casey being the first to meet him performed the deed. For this he was hanged by the vigilance committee, who demanded him from the authorities. This committee was formed immediately after the assassination.

Cora was hanged for the murder of General Richardson because of a slight cast on Cora’s wife by the former. p.196 Pistols seemed to have been carried by all as a necessity. Cora and Casey were taken out of the jail by the vigilance committee and hanged May 18th, 1856. There were also pieces of the rope used in hanging Hetherington and Brace for the murder of Baldwin, Randall, West and Marion, July 29th, 1856. There were pictures also of Judge Terry, A. B. Paul, Wm. T. Coleman, Charles Doane, James King of William, and a picture of the scene of his assassination. I recognized this locality immediately I saw it. It was the offices of the Pacific Express Co., on the corner of Washington and Montgomery. There were also pictures of Fort Gunnybags, the headquarters of the vigilance committee, showing the alarm bell and the sentries on the roof; also Lola Montez, Countess of Bavaria, a most notable woman of those exciting times, and of William C. Ralston. There was a picture of the pavilion of the first Mechanics’ Exhibition, held in San Francisco in 1857. I remember this exhibition well, as on a certain day all the school children were given free admission, and it was as a school boy I went.

There was an extensive collection of relics of the past in the Egyptian rooms, many being facsimiles of the originals in the British Museum. Where this was the case it was so stated, but there were many genuine things, amongst which I noted a wooden statue dating back about 1,000 years before Christ, being the wife, and also sister of Osiris, and mother of Horus, chief deity of Egypt. Strictly on the stroke of four o’clock a policeman went through the building and called out that the buildings must be closed. I made a request to one of these policemen to see the curator, and he took me to his office; he was, unfortunately, not in, but I saw his assistant and offered her some relics of early p.197 San Francisco, which were accepted. I was watching the people filing out, prior to closing, when out came three bluejackets, whose caps showed they belonged to H. M. S. Shearwater. I introduced myself, and remarked, "What are you boys doing here? I should hardly have expected to have seen sailors so far from their ship." "Oh, sir, we are at anchor in the harbor yonder, and will be leaving Monday for Esquimalt." I saw her that evening at anchor, with the Union Jack flapping in the breeze, and suppose the Jacks were aboard all right.

We were advised that the mint was open to visitors between the hours of 9.30 and 11.30, and as I had not been there for about twenty years we joined a party one morning. On presenting ourselves we were ushered into a waiting-room with others. Later on a man in uniform came for us. We were counted and told to follow. We were first taken down to a room in the cellar where we were instructed as to what we should see, and given a lot of information about the mint. This was done where it was quiet, as where the work was done it is very noisy. The first process was melting the silver in crucibles, which were emptied of their contents when in a liquid state into molds, which were in turn emptied out, were grasped by a man who passed them on with thick leather-gloved hands to powerful rollers which rolled the ingots out to long strips like hoop-iron, after being passed through many times. These strips, which were then as thick as a dollar, were passed under a stamp, which punched out the coins about 120 a minute. They were continually being examined by various men who now and then threw out imperfect ones. They were then passed on to another room where there was a perfect din of machinery. They were now passed under an p.198 immense stamp and the image was punched on under a pressure of one hundred and twenty-eight tons. They were then coins, and after several other examinations were cooled and passed, one being handed around for our inspection. In addition to the dollar we saw the same routine gone through in making a copper cent piece. I tried to get one, but he said every one was counted and must be produced. There were several who wanted souvenirs and wished to pay for them. We were counted again, signed our names and left.




The following interesting account of the historic steamer Beaver, the first to round the Horn into the Pacific, will be read by native sons as well as pioneers with renewed interest, as it is many years since this account was published.

The Beaver lay off the old Customs House for a long time, until taken by the Admiralty for hydrographic work. When done with for that purpose she was sold for mercantile purposes again.

For some years she was in charge of my old friend, Captain "Wully Mutchell," as he was called by his friends, and he had many, for he was as jolly as a sandboy and always joking, in fact more like a man of fifty instead of eighty, as he really was.

[Illustration: The steamer Beaver.]

"More than thirty-nine years have passed and a generation of men have come and gone since the Hudson’s Bay Company’s steamer Beaver, whose sale was chronicled yesterday, floated with the tide down the River Thames, through the British Channel, and went out into the open, trackless sea, rounded Cape Horn, clove the placid waters of the Pacific Ocean, and anchored at length, after a passage that lasted one hundred and sixty-three days, at Astoria on the Columbia River, then the chief ‘town’ on the Pacific Coast. Built and equipped at a period when the problem of steam marine navigation was yet to be solved, is it any p.200 wonder that the little steamer which was destined to traverse two oceans—one of them scarcely known outside of books of travel—was an object of deep and engrossing interest from the day that her keel was first laid until the morning when she passed out of sight amidst the encouraging cheers of thousands gathered on either shore, and the answering salvoes of her own guns, on a long voyage to an unknown sea?

"Titled men and women watched the progress of construction. King William and 160,000 of his loyal subjects witnessed the launch. A Duchess broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the bow and bestowed the name she has ever since proudly worn. The engines and boilers, built by Bolton and Watt (Watt was a son of the great Watt) were placed in their proper positions on board, but it was not considered safe to work them on the passage; so she was rigged as a brig and came out under sail. A bark accompanied her as convoy to assist in case of accident; but the Beaver set all canvas, ran out of sight of her ‘protector,’ and reached the Columbia twenty-two days ahead. Captain Home was the name of the first commander of the Beaver; he brought her out, and we can well imagine the feeling of pride with which he bestrode the deck of his brave little ship, which carried six guns—nine-pounders. The Beaver, soon after reaching Astoria, got up steam, and after having ‘astonished the natives’ with her performances, sailed up to Nisqually, then the Hudson’s Bay Company’s chief station on the Pacific. Here Captain McNeil (now commander of the Enterprise), took command of the Beaver, and Captain Home, retiring to one of the Company’s forts on Columbia River, perished in 1837 in Death’s Rapids by the upsetting of a boat. From that period until the steamer passed into p.201 the hands of the Imperial hydrographers, the history of the Beaver was that of most of the Company’s trading vessels. She ran north and south, east and west, collecting furs and carrying goods to and from the stations for many years. Amongst the best known of her officers during that period were Capt. Dodds, Capt. Brotchie, Capts. Scarborough, Sangster, Mouat and others, all of whom passed away long since, but have left their names behind them. We believe we are correct in saying that not a single person who came out in the Beaver in 1835 is now alive; and nearly all the Company’s officers, with a few exceptions, who received her on her arrival at Columbia River, are gone, too.

[Portrait: Captain “Willie” Mitchell.]

"Yesterday, through the courtesy of Capt. Rudlin (one of her new owners and future commander) we visited the old ship. On board we met the venerable Captain William Mitchell, who has had charge of the vessel for some years. He was busily engaged in packing his clothes into chests preparatory to going ashore. He remembers well the Beaver in her early days. Every room, every plank possesses historic interest to him. He pointed out the Captain’s room. ‘Just the same,’ said he, ‘as when I first saw it in ’36. There’s the chest of drawers, there’s the bunk, and there’s the hook where the Captain’s pipe hung, and many’s the smoke I’ve had in these cabins nearly forty years ago. Nothing below has been changed,’ continued Captain Mitchell, ‘except—except the faces that used to people these rooms in the days long ago, and’—pointing to his thin, gray locks—‘I was a deal younger then!’ He led the way into the engine-room, chatting pleasantly as he went and relating incidents connected with the Beaver and her dead people of an interesting character which p.202 we may some day give to the world. There are two engines, of seventy-five horse-power, as bright and apparently as little worn as when they first came from the shop of Bolton and Watt. From some cuddy hole the Captain drew forth the ship’s bell, on which was inscribed ‘Beaver, 1835;’ then he showed us into the little forecastle with the hammock-hooks still attached to the timbers, from which had swung two generations of sailors. Then the main deck was regained and we took leave of the gallant old gentleman and Captain Rudlin, who informed us that the Beaver will be taken alongside of Dickson, Campbell & Co.’s wharf to-day to undergo the important changes necessary to the new trade in which she will henceforth be employed."




When I look back over my soldiering days the figure that I first remember is Colonel Wolfenden, then a sergeant in the volunteers, and I a full private. It was not, I think, until I was twenty years old and a member for two years, that I remember him, when he was elected captain from sergeant. I might say that the volunteers were a different organization from the militia. You enlisted for a term, the same as in the latter organization, and officers were elected from the company. Uniforms were paid for by each member, the cost being $26 for everything complete. Dues had to be paid also, fifty cents a month, and ammunition for target practice had also to be paid for. It was a good deal like the volunteer firemen of that day, who had to pay dues and buy their uniform.

[Portrait: Colonel Wolfenden.]

If ever there was an enthusiastic volunteer it was Captain Wolfenden, and under the most trying circumstances. In those days (forty-four years ago) soldiering was not as popular as it was when it was merged into the Canadian militia, when uniform was free, ammunition was free and there were no fees to pay. It was therefore hard work to get a company together and keep them together under the circumstances. Captain Wolfenden having the matter at heart did his best, and more than his best, if that were possible, to make a good showing, and he encouraged me to get members and p.204 raised me to corporal, and later to sergeant and finally on our merging into the Canadian militia he made me senior sergeant. I must honestly confess I did not think I deserved this at the time, for I was a nervous subject and got rattled at times, but for his sake, who showed a partiality for me, I did my best and was always at drill as he was, no matter what the weather was. It was as captain of volunteers that he joined the Canadian militia, and soon after was appointed colonel in charge, which high position he worked for and earned by faithful service. I think what made us such good friends was our early comradeship in the volunteers. We used to have march-outs to Esquimalt, to Cadboro Bay or to Beacon Hill and back, and to enliven the march would sing songs; those with a good chorus which were joined in by the rest. These days of the past were often talked over by us in later years, while I, to please the Collector of Customs, Mr. Hamly, in 1884, resigned membership in the militia, after eighteen years as a volunteer soldier. Colonel Wolfenden continued on for many years. In conclusion I might add that when I joined the volunteers Captain Laing, then manager of the Bank of British Columbia, was captain. I cannot remember whether Colonel Wolfenden was a member then or not, but it was not long after. Other officers of that time were Adjutant Vinter, Captain Fletcher (P. O. Inspector), Captain Dorman (deputy Inspector), Major Roscoe (hardware merchant), Captain T. L. Wood (Solicitor-General), Captain Drummond (company No. 2), and Chaplain Rev. Thomas Sommerville. Occasionally we went into camp for a month, and generally at Beacon Hill, or at Henley’s, at Clover Point. These camps were made very interesting by entertainments being frequently given, and to which our friends p.205 were invited. Oh, those were days worth remembering! During the time of the Fenian Raid we were encamped in the trees just about where the bear pits were, and the night sentries were told to keep a strict lookout, and challenge all intruders. This was taken advantage of by some young fellows to play a lark on us. So one night when the camp was asleep, we were all awakened by the sentry’s outcry. He happened to be the late Robert Homfray, a rather nervous man. I got up with the rest, and there was the sentry with what he declared was an infernal machine, which had been thrown into the camp by someone who had made off in the darkness. The infernal machine consisted of a bottle filled with what was supposed to be giant powder, and bits of iron or steel, with a fuse sticking out of the neck of the bottle. It was, after careful inspection without much handling, put away till the morning, and then, a more strict examination revealed the contents to be simply small bits of coal to represent giant powder, and genuine steel filings. This was a standing joke against us, and especially Private Homfray, for many a day afterwards. To conclude, finally, I am sure I have the most kindly recollections of my friend of so many years, as have many more to-day, who will bear full testimony to his sterling worth as a soldier, government official and gentleman.




It is known to few only that View Street at one time reached from Cook to Wharf Street.

[Portrait: Senator Macdonald.]

In the Victoria Gazette of 1858 appear several items regarding this street. A public meeting was called for by certain citizens who considered themselves more aggrieved than the general public, in that they, being residents of the upper part of View Street, had on coming to business, to walk on to Fort or Yates Street to get to Government or Wharf. Without any notice the street was fenced across on Broad and also on Government. The Gazette states that there was great dissatisfaction at the fencing of the vacant space on "Broadway" and Government Streets, which the paper stated was used as a cabbage patch, and there was talk of pulling the fence down.

All the agitation seems to have amounted to nothing, for not only was the fence not pulled down, but J. J. Southgate, one of the earliest merchants of Victoria, erected a large wooden building on the street. By referring to the engraving this building may be seen indicated by a cross. Later on Southgate erected the present brick building which Hibben & Co. have just vacated after an occupancy of forty odd years. The Gazette stated later on that the Governor had sold the lots to Mr. Southgate, and that settled the matter.

That it was not intended that View Street should end p.207 at Broad is evident, as Bastion Street was then known as View Street, being so called in Mallandaine’s first directory (1859.)

Mr. Trounce, who owned the land through which Trounce Avenue passes, after the closing of View Street, decided to make an alleyway through his property so as to more easily let his stores. This alley has been open ever since, but used to be closed for a day each year for many years after.

I might state that J. J. Southgate, who was a prominent Mason, called a meeting of "all Free Masons at his new store on Monday evening, July 12th, 1858, at 7 o’clock, to consider important matters connected with the organization of the order."

T. N. Hibben & Co., who have just vacated this site after so many years, have moved only once before since going into business on the corner of Yates and Langley Streets, in 1858, by the firm name of "Hibben & Carswell." The building is that brick one lately sold. Both founders of this well-known and long-established business, together with their bookkeeper who later became a partner (Mr. Kammerer) have passed away, and the firm now consists of Mr. Hibben’s widow and William H. Bone, who has been connected with the firm since 1871.

"Did the Thoroughfare Once Run Through to The Harbor? A Question of Records.

"The question of whether or not View Street, which is now blocked by stores and office buildings at Broad Street, was ever open to traffic as a thoroughfare clear through, which theory D. W. Higgins, in an interview published in the Colonist last week denied, is causing p.208 considerable discussion among old-time residents. Yesterday Edgar Fawcett, who first broached the subject, gave the Colonist the following further argument on the question:

"As my friend Mr. Higgins joins issue with me on my account of the closing of View Street in 1858, I am going to give him some further evidence. I would not for a moment match my memory or knowledge of events of the early history of Victoria with Mr. Higgins, who arrived months before I did, and from his position as a newspaper man had far better opportunities of getting knowledge of passing events. But Mr. Higgins did not arrive early enough, if the evidence in the Victoria Gazette is worth anything. I had the opportunity of reviewing the first year’s numbers, and jotted down all items I thought of interest. This I gave to the Colonist readers some years ago, and the items regarding View Street were some of them. I think Mr. Higgins will forgive me if I say that the Gazette’s evidence is likely to be more correct than mere memory. I am glad of the opportunity to correct an error I made in copying from my former article; that of substituting the name of Southgate for Stamp. Southgate’s name occurred several times in items, and I find by referring to my former article, that I have Captain Stamp’s name all right. Now for the further evidence. I would ask if it is likely that any one would build a wharf on Broad Street, say at the office of the Daily Times, Ltd., which is now at the foot of View Street? I ask this because in the Gazette it is announced that Rousette is building a wharf at the foot of View Street, which meant next to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s warehouse on Wharf Street. Further, I produce from Mallandaine’s p.209 First Directory, compiled in 1859, two advertisements which will show that View Street ended on Wharf Street opposite the Hudson’s Bay Company’s store:

F. J. St. Ours
Wharf Street, near View
Kaindler’s wharf—Victoria, V. I.
Commission Merchant
Etc., Etc., Etc.

Reid & Macdonald
Commission and General Merchants
Wharf Street,
Corner of View Street
Victoria, V. I.

"Neither Bastion Nor View.

"To the Editor:—Having read with great interest Mr. Edgar Fawcett’s letter re the query as to the permanent term for the street now named as View and Bastion, may I make a suggestion that in the event of a re-naming that the thoroughfare be known as Fawcett Street? Many old residents are perpetuated in street names, and I feel sure, after the indefatigable efforts put forward by Mr. Fawcett in all issues connected with archaic research in Victoria and its immediate environs, that it would be a fitting tribute on the part of the city fathers to perpetuate the name of such a zealous citizen.

"Well Wisher.

"Victoria, B.C., Nov. 8th, 1910."


"View or Bastion or Both?

"To the Editor:—In case the project for extending View Street through the burnt block is carried out, what name would be given the street when it connects with Bastion at the corner of Government? Although View Street as originally planned commenced at the waterfront where the Hudson’s Bay Company’s store stands, I think ‘Bastion’ a better name for the street, as it was the northern boundary for the fort, and, as is well known, Richardson’s cigar store stands on ground formerly occupied by the N. E. bastion, and is therefore a historic spot or landmark.

"Since the correspondence with respect to View Street and where it commenced and ended, I have met two gentlemen who were residents in 1855 and who both state positively that View Street was always open for traffic from Wharf Street eastward until 1858, when the land now proposed to be expropriated was fenced in on Government and Broadway, as Broad Street was then known, by Captain Stamp, with the consent of Governor Douglas, on behalf of the Hudson’s Bay Company."

"The Bridge to the Reserve.

"Sir:—There cannot be two opinions as to the utility of a bridge over the harbor from the bottom of Johnson Street. The first bridge crossing to the Songhees reserve at this point was built by Governor Douglas prior to 1860, it being an ordinary pile bridge such as graced, or disgraced, James Bay until the Causeway was built. The first bridge over to the reserve was part of the highway to Esquimalt, Craigflower, Metchosin and Sooke, and was very much in use in the olden days.


"A continuous stream of people, many Indians amongst them, passed to and fro, and in times of potlatches, when there were hundreds of Indians living there, and as many visitors from other reservations on the island, and even mainland, it was a busy place. The ceremony of making a medicine man I have seen on two occasions, when a candidate was locked up for days, being kept without food, and then at the appointed time let loose, when he ran about like a madman and was supposed to catch a dog, of which there were scores on the reserve, and in his hunger bite pieces out of the dog. It was very unsafe at times for persons to go over to the reserve at night, on account of the drunken Indians.

"But this is beside the question I started to write about, which was the bridge and its approach on Johnson Street end. I repeat what I said in reviewing four old pictures of 1866 which appeared in the Colonist of a few weeks ago. In speaking of the old buildings to be seen on the water-front next to the sand and gravel concern, ‘there are two which, I remarked, should not have been allowed to remain so long.’ One was known in the earliest times as the ‘salmon house,’ where the Hudson’s Bay Company salted, packed and stored their salmon. It may have been considered an ornament in those days, but in these days of progress it is an eyesore and very much in the way. Opposite this building, and across the street, was manufactured most of the ‘tangle leg’ whiskey sold to the Indians in those days, and which drove them crazy, rather than made them drunk.

"Edgar Fawcett."




"Pioneer Pensioned by the Department—One of the Oldest Residents of the City.

"After twenty-nine years’ service in His Majesty’s customs as assistant appraiser in charge of the Postal Package and Express Office, Mr. Edgar Fawcett has just received word that he has been retired with a substantial pension. While glad to retire, Mr. Fawcett said he feels that he will miss the favor he has met with at the Customs House week by week for so many years.

"Mr. Fawcett was presented with an address by the customs staff yesterday and a presentation was made of a leather chair and stool. The presentation address was signed by every member of the customs staff.

"Mr. Edgar Fawcett is a pioneer. He came to Victoria in 1859 and is one of the best informed men in the city concerning the history and material development of this portion of the province, and he himself has taken no insignificant part in affairs of a general public nature. He has written many reminiscences of early days in Victoria and is a recognized authority along these lines.

[Portrait: Fawcett as Rifle Volunteer.]

"Mr. Fawcett is a native of Australia, having been born of English ancestry at Sydney, N.S.W., on February 1st, 1847. His father, who was a carpet manufacturer at the noted British manufactory of carpets, p.213 Kiddermaster, was a cousin of Sir Rowland Hill, the British Postmaster-General, whose work for the penny post is known. The family emigrated to Australia in 1838, and remained there until 1849, when they were among the ‘forty-niners’ to become pioneers of California. Mr. Fawcett, Sr., invested at San Francisco in a vessel which he engaged in freighting lumber between British Columbia and San Francisco, and this craft was lost in the Straits of Juan de Fuca in 1857, causing him some financial embarrassment. In 1858 the father came to Victoria to recoup his fortunes, the family following a year later. Mr. Fawcett, Sr., was an honored citizen of Victoria for thirty years, and for three years filled the post of Government agent at Nanaimo. In 1889 he returned to England and died at the age of seventy-six years. Of his sons, Edgar Fawcett and Rowland W. Fawcett remained in British Columbia.

"Mr. Fawcett came to Victoria as a boy of twelve years of age, and in the early period of the city’s history, when there was little more than a village on the site of the old fort, he used his facilities of observation to good advantage, and carries in his memory exact impressions and scenes as he then saw them. He received his early education in Victoria at the Collegiate School and the Colonial School, and began his business career with his brother as an upholsterer until 1882, when he entered the Dominion Civil Service, first as a clerk in the custom house, and he has been promoted from time to time.

"Mr. Fawcett served as a sergeant in the old Victoria Rifle Volunteers, afterward merged into the Canadian militia under Colonel Wolfenden. He was among the first to join the volunteer fire department of Victoria. He is the only remaining charter member of the p.214 Pioneers’ Society, and was secretary at the first meeting when organized in Smith’s Hall, Victoria, in 1871. He is a veteran member of the Oddfellows, having joined the order in 1868. He is a veteran member of the church committee of the Reformed Episcopal Church, and was active in the organization of this church about thirty-five years ago."




Here is an interesting little story to early residents of over fifty years ago that may be recalled for their edification. It would be interesting to present residents to know that in 1858 Victoria had a larger colored population than she has to-day, although with now three times the population. This is how it happened, and thereon hangs the tale:

Before the rush to the Fraser River gold diggings and in California there was an act passed through the Legislature of that state making it compulsory for all colored men to wear a distinctive badge. This called forth indignation from all the colored residents of California, and resulted in a meeting being held in San Francisco, delegates from all parts coming. At this meeting, after the matter had been fully discussed, it was decided to send a delegation of three, representing the colored residents of California, to Victoria to interview Governor Douglas, to know how they would be received in this colony. The delegation, consisting of Mifflin W. Gibbs,—Moses, a barber, and another, met Governor Douglas and received such encouragement that they returned and reported favorably. The result of this was that eight hundred colored persons—men, women and children—emigrated to Victoria during 1858 and 1859.


What induced me to write this matter up was the resurrecting of a newspaper cutting, evidently from the Victoria Gazette, for which I am indebted to Mr. Newbury, collector of customs, and which is given verbatim:

[Portrait: Samuel Booth.]

"Application for Citizenship.

"We have copied the names and occupations of the persons who have made application to be admitted to the rights of British subjects within the past few days, and give them below. They foot up fifty-four in number—fifty-three are colored and one white.

"Victoria Town.

[*] Footnote: White.


"Victoria District.

The names will be familiar to many of our old-timers, but, strange to say, of this list only seven families are represented to-day: That of F. Spotts, farmer; Nathan Pointer, M. W. Gibbs, William Grant, Samuel J. Booth, Paris Carter and Gus Travers.

As they were promised equal rights with the whites by Governor Douglas, they proceeded to claim these rights in various ways, which was resisted by the American residents, who formed a large majority of the residents of Victoria then. It has been told by Mr. Higgins of the colored people who had reserved seats in the dress circle of the theatre, and of the indignation of the Americans who had seats next to them; several colored men went into Joe Lovett’s saloon and called for drink. Joe Lovett refused to serve them. The colored men brought the matter before Judge Pemberton, who decided that Lovett was in the wrong, and must serve them; but that he might charge them $2.50 a drink if he wished. An American and his family occupied a pew in Victoria District Church, and one hot Sunday the sexton showed a colored man into the pew. The American left the church and wrote a very indignant letter to the Gazette on the insult offered to the American people by such a proceeding. This called for a reply from the Rev. Mr. Cridge in defence of his sexton. Also Mr. Gibbs wrote a very caustic letter, in which he handled the gentleman without gloves. This Mr. Gibbs, after leaving Victoria, rose to a high position in the United States, having been appointed minister to Hayti. He kept a grocery here on lower Yates p.219 Street in connection with Peter Lester. Many of these colored people returned to the United States after the Civil War was ended. The fire department was modelled after the San Francisco department, and was composed principally of Americans. On the formation of the hook and ladder company several colored men sent in their names for membership. All were black-balled. As they saw by this that there was a dead-set made against them, they then decided to form a volunteer military company. In this they were encouraged by the Hudson’s Bay Company, who lent them muskets. This move on the part of the Hudson’s Bay Company was supposed to have been made on the promise of the support of the colored military in case they were required to maintain order.

On the installation of Governor Kennedy, later on, this volunteer company stated they were going as a guard of honor. This, I believe, was discouraged by the press, but they put in an appearance with a band of music. In reply to an address, Governor Kennedy advised them to disband, as they were illegally organized, there being no authority for their organization. This was a great disappointment to them, as they had been to the expense of uniforms and band and drill hall; in addition to which they had been drilling for months, and now all for nothing. But there was nothing for it under these circumstances but to comply, and so the colored military were disbanded. They were succeeded by a company of white volunteers, who wore white blanket uniforms trimmed with blue. They used to drill on Church Hill in the evenings, and were a great attraction. This was the beginning of the volunteer rifle movement, which was eventually merged into the Canadian militia. I was one of the riflemen so merged.




Sincere will be the regret at the announcement of the death of the subject of this sketch. As I have known him since he arrived in the colony with his father (who was also John Chapman Davie), and his three brothers, William, Horace and Alexander, in 1862, it may not be inappropriate that I, one of his oldest friends, should tell what I know of him. Dr. Davie was born in Wells, Somersetshire, on the 22nd March, 1845, and was therefore sixty-six years of age. He, with his brother Horace (residing in Somenos), were educated at Silcoats College, England, and studied for the profession which afterwards made him known from north to south of the Pacific Coast, at the University of San Francisco. He also studied under a clever English physician, Dr. Lane, and under Dr. Toland, both eminent men who founded colleges in California.

After Dr. Davie had finished his medical course in California he came to Victoria and entered into practice with his father.

[Portrait: John Chapman Davie, M.D.]

When I was about fifteen years old I was troubled a deal with my throat and was under his father’s treatment. I was obliged to give up singing in consequence, being a choir boy in Christ Church. In my frequent visits to the doctor’s surgery I became acquainted with Dr. Davie, Jr., who undertook the treatment of my throat until I was able to resume my choir duties. Both p.221 Dr. Davie and his brother Alexander were members of the choir at this time, and regular in attendance at service and choir practice. I can see with my mind’s eye at a choir practice both brothers. Mr. Cridge, the rector, always conducted these practices, and he asked each brother in turn to sing his individual part over in the anthem, as they were to take solos, he (Mr. Cridge) beating time as they sang. I might say that we had some fine singers in the choir in those days, and more anthems were sung than even now. His brother Horace and I were school-fellows at the Church Collegiate School, which was situated on Church Hill, just about where Mr. Keith Wilson’s residence now stands. It was built as a Congregational Church, and was destroyed by fire about 1870.

At the time I first became acquainted with Dr. Davie his father’s office was situated where Challoner & Mitchell’s store now stands, and was a very unpretentious affair—as most business places were in Victoria at that time—a wooden one-story frame cottage of three rooms. The doctor’s first office was on the corner of Government and Bastion, where Richardson’s cigar store stands. At the former office my friend studied and worked with his father until the latter’s death, when the son continued the practice in his own behalf.

From Mr. Alexander Wilson, who was a director of the Royal Hospital at the time, I am told a deal about Dr. Davie’s early medical career. He says the young doctor was ambitious to become medical officer to the Royal Hospital, then situated on the rock at the top of Pandora Street, and asked Mr. Wilson to try and get the position for him, even without salary, and Mr. Wilson, having great faith in the young man, promised to do his best, and at a meeting of the board, consisting p.222 of Alexander McLean, J. D. Robinson, Henry Short and Alexander Wilson, Dr. Davie was duly elected, and at a salary of £100 per annum, and held the position for over twenty years. He entered on his duties with great zeal, his first surgical case being that of an Indian girl who was accidentally shot on Salt Spring Island. The poor girl’s arm was badly shattered, and she was brought down from the island in a canoe. It was a bad case, but the doctor pulled her through and, saving her arm, sent her home again as good as ever.

Dr. Davie was fond of music, and in early days was proficient on the flute, contributing to the programme of many a concert for charity in those days when amateurs did so much to entertain the public.

That the subject of this sketch was a clever man goes without saying. Many there are, and have been, who have been snatched from grim death by this skilful surgeon. By some he was thought to be bearish and unsympathetic, but they who thought so did not know him as I did, or they would not have thought so. Where there was real suffering and danger there could not have been a more gentle, kinder-hearted or careful man. Because he did not always respond to a friend’s salutation in passing it was taken as bearishness or indifference. It was really pre-occupation. He was thinking out a difficult case for the next morning at the hospital. As he once said to a lady friend, "They little know the hours I pass walking up and down at night thinking out a case I have to operate on—how I shall do it to make it a success." I went into his office one day and found him with a surgical instrument on his knee which he seemed very intent on, and I asked him what it was for. He hesitated for a moment, then said, "You would not understand." But still he explained p.223 it all to me. It was for an operation in the morning on the stomach of a patient at one of the hospitals, and I have no doubt it was successful. About seven years ago he attended me for typhoid fever, and even then he had his bad spells of sickness, but still he came regularly, and on reaching the top of the stairs to my room he would hold on till his coughing fit was over. "Well, old man, how are you to-day?" After I had taken a turn for the better and was very susceptible to the smell of good things cooking downstairs, I asked him when I should be allowed to have something solid, and added, "Oh, I am so tired of milk and egg-nog; when may I have a bit of chicken or mutton?"

"Well, how many days is it since your temperature was normal? Well, in so many days you may have jelly and junket."

"Is that all?" I replied, disappointed.

"Look here, old man, I want to get you well, and you must be patient."

"That reminds me of a little story," said the doctor. "Some years ago two men were digging a deep ditch on Johnson Street to repair a sewer. Some time after both the men were taken sick, which turned out to be typhoid fever, and, being single men, they were taken to the hospital. I saw them every day in my regular round of visits, and they progressed towards recovery until they got to the stage that you have, and complained of my bill of fare. They asked for ‘something solid,’ and I put them off with the same answer you got. A day or two after in making my regular rounds I noticed that one of my patients was not in evidence and I asked his friend where he was. Then the story was told me of his friend having had some visitors, one of whom brought a cooked chicken, part of which was p.224 eaten on the sly and the balance hidden under the mattress. The result was that he was then out in the morgue, having died that day, and in due time, to conclude my little story, his friend, who had no chicken, left the hospital cured."

"Now," said Dr. Davie, "I’ll go; you are in good hands (my wife’s); be patient and ponder on my little story."

It is pretty well known that Dr. Davie had had only one lung for years past, but that did not prevent him attending to his numerous patients. The many who to-day are indebted to his skill and kindness of heart will feel a great sorrow at his passing. Many of his former patients have told me of his refusal of pay for valuable services rendered them. At the conclusion of a sickness a patient would likely say: "Well, doctor, I am grateful for your pulling me through. I shall have to pay by instalments. Here is something on account."

If the doctor did not know his circumstances he would say: "How much is your salary?" On his replying he (the doctor) would say: "If that is all you get you cannot afford to pay anything," and that was the last the patient would hear of it.

On a certain occasion I heard the experience of three in a small party who had this or something to this effect to relate. With his extensive practice he ought to have been a very wealthy man, but not with such patients as these, of course, but if all the patients he has had in years past had been charged for his valuable services he would have been worth half a million instead of dying a comparatively poor man. This last year I have visited him regularly, and many events of early Victoria life have been recalled on these visits. p.225 He repined at first when he knew that his days were numbered, saying, "Fawcett, old man, don’t I wish I could go back to the days when we were young and took those trips to Cowichan. It is pretty hard to go!" I fully agreed with him then, but when later he got so bad and suffered so much, he prayed to go, and I again agreed with him, poor fellow. This latter time was when to speak made him cough and suffocate. "Old man, I cannot talk to you," and he would lie back in an exhausted state, and I would go, sorry that I was unable to do anything to relieve him, to slightly repay all his kindness to me in the past.

Tuesday last I with my wife paid my last call on him, he having expressed a desire to see me. I little thought it was the last time I should see him alive, for he said he would not go till October, he thought, and I believed him.

Well, maybe I have said enough, but I could say a deal more if necessary. What I have said will be echoed by many, I’m sure.

So, in the words of Montgomery, the poet:

"Friend after friend departs, who has not lost a friend?
There is no union here of hearts, that finds not here an end,
Were this frail world our only rest, living or dying none were blest."




In Mallandaine’s "first directory" of Victoria, I note the following: "We have an hospital started by Rev. Edward Cridge, and now sadly overburdened with debt."

In course of conversation with Bishop Cridge one day I learned the history of this—the first public hospital of Victoria—which, in due course, became the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

It was in 1858 that one day a sick man was found lying on a mattress in Mr. Cridge’s garden. The man admitted he had been brought there by certain parties, their names being known to Mr. Cridge. I asked Mr. Cridge why they had brought the man to him, and clandestinely, too? "Oh, they thought I was the proper man, and I suppose I was under the circumstances." He continued: "We set to work at once to meet the case, and temporarily rented a cottage owned by Mr. Blinkhorn, on the corner of Yates and Broad Streets, now occupied by the B. C. Hardware Company (the first patient’s name was Braithwaite), and placed W. S. Seeley, afterwards of the Australian House, at the north end of James Bay bridge, in charge as steward, and Dr. Trimble being appointed as medical officer in charge." This was the beginning. Afterwards p.227 there was a wooden building erected on the Songhees Reserve, on the site of the Marine Hospital. Later on the hospital was again moved to Pandora Hill, and by the exertions of Mrs. (Senator) Macdonald, Mrs. Harris (wife of Mayor Harris) and Mrs. Cridge, a female infirmary was built there, but afterwards merged into a general hospital. It will be seen from this that my dear old friend, Bishop Cridge, as also Mrs. Cridge, were first in this most important work for the relief of the suffering humanity of Victoria. Nor was this all.

I might state that Mrs. (Senator) Macdonald, with Mrs. Cridge, were the founders of the Protestant Orphans’ Home, through Mrs. Macdonald having a family of orphan children brought to her notice by some friend. She first of all found homes for the individual children; then as other cases were brought to her notice she, with Mrs. Cridge, took the matter up and rented a cottage, putting a Miss Todd in charge of the children. In course of time, the children increased, so that a larger building was rented on the corner of Blanchard and Rae Streets. Even these premises in time became too small, and another and final move was made through the munificence of the late John George Taylor, a member of Bishop Cridge’s congregation, who left all his property, some thirty thousand dollars, to the founding of the present home.

Mr. Taylor, whom I had known for many years, told me of the great interest he took in these orphans. He paid daily visits to the home, and assisted in many ways to help it along. Bishop Cridge and Mrs. Macdonald have seen these institutions grow from the smallest beginnings to their present state of usefulness, which must be a source of congratulation to both.


Craigflower School House.

With respect to what has appeared in the paper lately re "Craigflower School House," the following may be interesting:

In early days (1856) Rev. Edward Cridge held services at stated times in the school house, and later on services were held regularly by the chaplains of H.M. ships stationed in Esquimalt harbor, and later on by Rev. (now Bishop) Garrett and Rev. C. T. Woods.

I quote from Mr. Cridge’s diary, which is mentioned in his Christmas story of "Early Christmas in Victoria," that on August 24th, 1856, he held a religious service in the school house with Mr. Cook, the gunner, and Mr. Price, midshipman of H. M. S. Trincomalee.

In the Victoria Gazette of August, 1858, Rev. Edward Cridge, acting for the Governor, examined the pupils and presented the prizes to the following: Jessie McKenzie, William Lidgate, Christine Veitch and Dorothea McKenzie.

The first master of the school was J. Grant; the second Claypole, and afterwards Pottinger, Newbury and Pope.

With respect to the building itself, I might say that it was built under the direction of Mr. McKenzie, of Craigflower. The lumber used in its construction was manufactured from fir trees on the ground in a mill built by mechanics sent out from England.

The residence of the late Mr. McKenzie, which stands to the west of the Craigflower bridge, was also built of lumber sawn in this mill, and not of redwood imported from California, as stated lately. There are several men and women living to-day who attended this school in the early sixties.

[Illustration: Craigflower School.]




The Colonist has been handed the following self-explanatory matter, bearing upon the founding in this city of a branch of the Y.M.C.A., which is of especial interest:

"Dingley Dell, September 29th, 1911.

"R. B. McMicking, Esq., President Y.M.C.A.

"Dear Sir,—In searching through the files of the Colonist of 1859 for items of forgotten lore that might be of interest to our early pioneers, I came across the enclosed interesting account of the forming of a branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Victoria fifty-two years ago (September 5th, 1859), and am sorry I did not remember it sooner, so that it could have been read at the opening exercises, but ‘better late than never.’ I shall accompany it with some comment.

"In the first place, it is likely that all those present on that auspicious occasion are gone to their everlasting rest, with the notable exception of our dear friend, the Venerable Bishop Cridge, who is within a few weeks of entering on his ninety-fifth year. His has been indeed a life of doing good, for he, in early days, was at the head of all good work for the betterment of mankind. The chairman on that occasion was Colonel Moody, R.E., who had lately arrived in the colony with the sappers and miners.


"The three Protestant denominations then established in Victoria were represented by the Rev. Edward Cridge, as already stated; Rev. Dr. Evans, of the Wesleyan Methodists, and the Rev. W. F. Clarke, of the Congregational Church. Of the laymen mentioned, there was Judge Pemberton, father of Mr. Chartres Pemberton; J. T. Pidwell, father of the late Mrs. D. W. Higgins; Judge Cameron, C.J.; Captain Prevost, father of Charles J. Prevost, of Duncans, who was a very prominent naval officer, and later an admiral, who was an indefatigable Christian worker. Mr. Sparrow, of the post-office, whose son is a respected resident to-day, and also William H. Burr, master of the Colonial School, of which I was then a pupil. Mr. John F. Damon, on second thoughts, may be in the land of the living, and a resident of Washington. The society must have fallen into disuse in later years, for I understand the present institution is about twenty-six years old. I do not know that I can say anything more on this interesting subject but to wish it every prosperity.

"And believe me ever, yours truly,

"Edgar Fawcett."

From Victoria Colonist of September 5th, 1859:

"Pursuant to public notice the Supreme Court room was filled on Saturday evening by a large and respectable audience for the purpose of organizing a Young Men’s Christian Association.

"Colonel Moody, R.E., on taking the chair, requested the Rev. E. Evans, D.D., Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission, to open the meeting by prayer; after which the chairman explained the object of the Association, and urged with great cogency the importance p.231 of scientific and historical knowledge to young men, and the immense advantages which they would derive from Divine assistance in pursuing those various branches of study which were essential to the good citizen and Christian.

"The Rev. E. Cridge, pastor of the Victoria Established Church, then moved the following resolution:

"‘That this meeting, recognizing the usefulness and importance of Young Men’s Christian Associations, is gratified to find that steps have been taken to establish one in this town.’

"He supported it at some length with many pertinent illustrations, and expressed himself warmly in favor of the institution.

"T. J. Pidwell, Esq., seconded the motion. He adverted to the good results from similar institutions elsewhere; passed some strictures upon the alarming increase of saloons, and concluded that the organization of a Christian Association with its Library, and the opportunity which it would afford for the discussion of general theological and political questions would have a powerful tendency to guard the young men of this colony from falling into habits destructive of good morals.

"The Rev. Dr. Evans, with an eloquent and forcible speech then moved:

"‘That this meeting pledge itself to encourage and support by every means in its power this the first Young Men’s Christian Association established in Vancouver’s Island.’

"His remarks exhibited the greatest degree of tolerance. All narrow views in the organization and working of the Association were undesirable. To cherish the great essentials of religion as laid down by the founder p.232 of Christianity was the principal object of the institution. The moral and spiritual advantages to the young men of the colony arising from the Association he was satisfied would be very great. It deserved every encouragement, and he heartily concurred in promoting the object of its founders, and hoped it would not only secure moral but financial support.

"The Rev. W. F. Clarke, Congregational Missionary, with great pleasure seconded the motion, and supported it with a speech of considerable length, replete with argument and illustration, portraying the advantages of the Association in a community like this, where there was so little public opinion to influence and direct young men; whilst there were so many things incident to the love of money in a gold country to induce youth to contract habits adverse to the progress of morals and religion.

"A. F. Pemberton, Esq., then moved: ‘That the following gentlemen be requested to act as office-bearers for the ensuing year. Patron, His Excellency, the Governor; President, Col. Moody, R.E.; Vice-Presidents, Judge Cameron and Captain Prevost, R.N.; Committee, Messrs. A. F. Pemberton, Pidwell, Sparrow, Burr, Holt, Damon, Evans and Cunningham, with power to add to their numbers; Secretary, Mr. Cooper.’

"He concurred in the object of the Association; and briefly adverted to the fact that the Rev. Mr. Cridge and himself had, a year ago, contemplated a similar institution.

"John Wright, Esq., seconded the motion.

"Col. Moody having retired from the chair, it was filled by J. T. Pidwell, Esq., when the Rev. Dr. Evans moved ‘That the thanks of the meeting be presented to Col. Moody for the very able manner in which he had occupied the Chair.’


"Seconded by the Rev. Mr. Clarke, and passed with applause.

"Col. Moody then briefly replied that he came here from England with the sole object of promoting the best interests of the country, and in aiding in the promotion of the objects of this Association he was but performing his duty.

"All the speakers were repeatedly applauded; and all the resolutions passed by acclamation.

"The Doxology having been sung, the Rev. E. Cridge pronounced a benediction, when the meeting dispersed, highly gratified with the organization of the First Young Men’s Christian Association of Victoria, Vancouver Island."

[Illustration: Sir Richard McBride.]




About thirty-five years ago, maybe a little more, it was a fine bright summer afternoon and rather warm. The sun beat down on the awnings on the east side of Government Street. It was the custom then for all stores to have wooden awnings with a kind of drop curtain awning which rolled up and down, and on the summer afternoons it was sure to be down. But to proceed; when all these drop curtains were down the sidewalk was enclosed from one end of the street to the other. Before I proceed to say anything more about these awnings and sidewalks, I will have to admit that our city was not the Victoria of to-day, and I am sure I shall hardly be credited if I assert that a cannon might have been fired down the centre of Government Street, and chances taken of not striking anyone. I mean that a time could have been chosen when it could have been done with perfect safety. On any of these quiet afternoons, a sudden uproar might have been heard of a flock of geese alighting from a distance on Government Street to feed on the sides of the streets on the grass that grew there. As they passed up the street they chattered away, likely discussing the quiet times which permitted them to make a feeding ground of the chief business street of the city. During the time the geese are chatting with one another, several little groups of Victoria’s respected citizens are having p.235 their afternoon chat on the several topics of the day. I see them now, as I saw them then, a row of chairs, some of them tipped back and the occupier perhaps smoking. There was, likely, Alexander Gilmore, merchant tailor. Then half a dozen guests in the front of the Colonial Hotel, which was next door to Fletcher’s music store; then Joe Lovett of Lovett’s Exchange, and then the subject of my little sketch, Tommy Geiger. He was well known and well liked by all, and fond of a joke was Tommy. No one ever thought of calling him other than "Tommy" in those good old days. Very few fortunes were made in those days on Government Street, or those summer afternoon chats, sitting on tipped-up chairs would not have been held.

It must have been a slack time of the day to be able to enjoy themselves in this free and easy manner. A customer goes into one of these stores, the proprietor gets up, goes in to serve him, and then returns to his seat to resume the conversation. They did not worry, they lived quietly, were able to bring up their families as they should, and to-day these families represent some of our best business men. So I say "requiescat in pace." He was an enthusiastic fireman in those days when volunteer firemen did so much for nothing and that efficiently, too.



The following is a list of those who remain of the twenty thousand people who arrived in Victoria from San Francisco in 1858, the first year of the gold excitement:

Anderson, James R.November.Str. Cortez, from San Francisco.Ar. with sister; retired Deputy Minister of Agriculture
Adams, Frank.JulyStr. Pacific, from San Francisco.Ar. young, with father and mother; now with firm of E. B. Marvin & Co.
Allatt, Frederick.August 12.Str. John L. Stephens, from S. Francisco.Ar. young, with father and mother; now carpenter and contractor
Alexander, Charles.March.Str. Oregon, from San Francisco.Ar. with wife and son
Borde, August.April.Str. America, from San Francisco.Ar. with father and mother; now Municipal Water Rates Collector
Booth, Samuel.September.Str. Cortez, from San Francisco.Ar. with brother
Borthwick, Ralph.July 7.Str. Orizaba, from San Francisco.Ar. single; hotel-keeper
Burnes, Thomas J.May 11.Str. Commodore, from San Francisco.Ar. single; hotel-keeper, now Customs Officer; was prominent fireman in early days
Chambers, Walter.Ar. with father and mother
Cogan, Mrs. George.August.Ship Oracle, from San Francisco.Ar. with father and mother
Collins, Henry.August.Ship Oracle, from San Francisco.Ar. with father and mother
Gribble, Henry.June.Str. Republic from San Francisco.Ar. single; gold miner, then engaged in retail business
Harrison, Mrs. Eli, Sr.July.Str. Brother Jonathan, from S. Francisco.Ar. with husband, son and daughter
Harrison, Eli.July.Str. Brother Jonathan, from S. Francisco.Ar. with father, mother and sister; now Judge
Hastings, Mrs. Oregon C.August.Ship Oracle, from San Francisco.Ar. with father, mother and sister. Maiden name Layzell
Helgeson, Hans.July 4.Str. Brother Jonathan, from S. Francisco.Ar. single
Higgins, David W.July 19.Str. Sierra Nevada, from San Francisco.Ar. single; newspaper proprietor, retired
Humphreys, William.Dec. 28.Overland, from California.Ar. single; gold miner, now in Customs
Lombard, Charles.August.Str. Oregon, from San Francisco.Ar. with father and mother; now in the optical business
Marvin, Mrs. Edward.July.Str. Pacific, from San Francisco.Ar. with husband and son
McPhadden, Mrs.July.Str. Brother Jonathan, from S. Francisco.Ar. with father, mother and brother. Maiden name Harrison
Moore, John.July.Str. Cortez, from San Francisco.Ar. with father, mother and brother. Purser C.P.R. Co.
Moore, William.July.Str. Cortez, from San Francisco.Ar. with father, mother and brother. Miner in Alaska
Moore, James.May.Via Bellingham Bay, from San Francisco.Ar. single; gold miner
Phillips, Mrs. Alexander.July.Str. Pacific, from San Francisco.Ar. with husband and son. Resident of Seattle, Wash.
Phelps, Mrs. Edward.August.Ship Oracle, from San Francisco.Ar. with husband; now widow in this city
Scott, Mrs. William.June.Barque George Anna, from San Francisco.Ar. with husband; now widow in this city
Seward, Thomas W.May.Barque D. M. Hall, from San Francisco.Ar. single; gold miner
Sere, John B.June 11.Str. Republic from San Francisco.Ar. with wife and son; was prominent hotel-keeper—Hotel de France
Stelly, George.May.Str. Oregon, from San Francisco.Ar. single; contractor
Wolfenden, Mrs. H.August.Ship Oracle from San Francisco.Ar. with father and mother

This list and statement has been compiled with the greatest care by the undersigned, who has lived in this city continuously since February 13th, 1859, when he arrived with his mother and three brothers on the steamer Northerner, from San Francisco, Cal., his father, Thomas Lea Fawcett, having arrived the previous year, July, 1858.

Sept. 1st, 1908.


The undersigned, who has lived in this city since July, 1858, certifies to the correctness of this statement.


Note—Since the original list was compiled in 1908, thirteen have since died, leaving thirty-one remaining, as per above list, on March 1st, 1912.




Being those remaining in 1908 of the 20,000 people who came to Victoria from California in the year 1858. Total, 45.—E. F.

Before the year 1858, Victoria was a trading station or fort of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In that year the news that gold had been discovered on Fraser River had reached San Francisco. It was not long ere the news travelled all over California and craft of all kinds were soon on the berth for Victoria. The list of steamers alone is a long one, and they were mostly taken off the Panama route, and are all to-day a thing of the past. There was the Pacific, the loss of which caused the greatest loss of life of them all put together, the Cortez, John L. Stephens, Oregon, America, afterwards the Brother Jonathan, Orizaba, Commodore, Republic, Sierra Nevada, and several smaller ones.

Of those on the framed list there is Frank Adams, who has spent the best part of his life here, and is a partner in the firm of E. B. Marvin & Co.; James R. Anderson, late deputy minister of Agriculture, whose father was the first Collector of Customs for Vancouver Island in 1858; Frederick Allatt, who has also been here from childhood, and whose father was an early time contractor; Charles Alexander, of Saanich; August Borde and his mother, the former water rates collector p.238 for the city; Samuel Booth, who was in business in the city market building; Ralph Borthwick, and Thomas J. Burnes, formerly hotel men, and the latter a chief of the early Volunteer Fire Department. Walter Chambers, who came an infant, and who is so well known in connection with the lumber industry of this city; Mrs. George Cogan and Mrs. Henry Collins, two daughters of the late Mr. Rabson, of Esquimalt and Comox; Alexander Gilmore, one of the pioneer clothiers of this city; Henry Gribble, who for years kept a fancy goods store, and who is to-day blind; Mr. Judge Harrison and his mother, whom I have known since 1859; Mrs. O. C. Hastings, née Miss Layzell, with whom I went to school in 1859; David W. Higgins, of whom I need say little, as he is so well known as an editor and writer of such interesting stories of early pioneer life; William Humphreys, late alderman and Cariboo miner; Samuel Kelly, who was another prominent volunteer fireman, chief of the early fire department; Charles Lombard, who was an amateur singer, assisted to make life pass pleasantly at the various concerts of early times; Mrs. Edward Marvin, mother of Mr. Frank Adams; Mrs. McPhaden, of Vancouver, and sister of Judge Harrison; Captain William Moore, the veteran steamboat captain, one of the best known men of British Columbia; Mrs. Moore, John Moore, the veteran purser, and his brother William; James Moore, one of the discoverers of gold on the Fraser River; Mrs. Alex. Phillips, her son, whose husband and father was a pioneer soda water maker of the early days; Mrs. W. Scott, whose husband was steward on so many of the early steamers of these waters; Louis G. McQuade, of P. McQuade & Sons; Thomas W. Seward, a veteran miner of Cariboo, and who is a familiar figure on our p.239 streets to-day as he strolls about; John B. Sere, of the Richmond, a former proprietor of the Hotel de France, on Government Street; Chas. McK. Smith, brother of Amor de Cosmos, founder of the Colonist; Stephen A. Spencer, a pioneer photographer; George Stelly, owner of the Clarence Block, and a pioneer teamster of long ago; Frank Sylvester, who died a month ago; Mrs. Julia Travis; Joseph W. Carey, formerly mayor; E. Cody Johnson, caretaker of the city market; Mrs. R. Wolfenden, wife of the King’s Printer. This list will be framed and hung in the Parliament Buildings for the inspection of the sons and daughters of the above in the years to come.




I had intended to let "View Street" and its closing up in 1858 alone, being content that I had proved that it was understood in 1858 that it reached to Wharf Street, but I have since come upon some interesting evidence bearing upon it and so give it to those old timers whom I am sure will be interested. Firstly, there is to be seen plainly painted on a verandah on a building facing on what was then known as View Street, opposite the Hudson Bay Company’s store "View Street," and I also produce an editorial in the Colonist, written by my old friend Amor de Cosmos, November 14, 1859, which proves that it was a burning question at that time and here it is verbatim.

The British Colonist, Printed and Published by Amor
De Cosmos, Wharf Street, East side, between
Yates and View Streets, Victoria, V. I.
Friday, September 9, 1859.

This was cut out of the file that contained the editorial, as further proof.

E. Fawcett.

[Illustration: View St.]

"We have long been aware that the Hudson’s Bay Company claim the ownership of the streets of Victoria. In fact, in 1858 their title was so far asserted as to sell a portion of the street where Johnson and Wharf Streets unite at Victoria bridge.


"They also shut up one street at the south end of the Fort and opened another a little beyond. Besides this they promised in 1838 to the purchasers of lots on View Street that that street should be opened from Broad to Wharf. Instead of fulfilling their promise like an honest company, that street was actually closed, instead of opened, by blocking up the west end by a large brick police building. It is true that since May last—when the Government reserve between Yates and the block house was seized by the Company, with the consent of His Excellency—a small alley has been opened where View Street ought to be, but even that by some unknown authority, assumed by the Police Commissioners, has been closed to vehicles. That authority will, however, soon be tested, if the obstacle is not speedily removed, as purchasers of lots in the reserve are entitled to its use. Had it not been for our timely exposure of the intentions of the Company, the line of Wharf Street would have been deflected like an elbow, from Reid’s corner southerly. The last act, however, of the honorable Hudson’s Bay Company, is not only contemptible, but ‘unjust and oppressive,’ although His Excellency Governor Douglas, in his despatch of October 25, 1858, said that the often asserted charge in England that the Company ‘had made an unjust and oppressive use of their power in this country,’ is altogether unfounded.

"It appears that the agent of the Company sold last week all the trees on our streets to a party for firewood. Mr. Pemberton, Police Commissioner, at the request of some property holders, cut down the two oaks at the corner of Government and Yates Street, but it was no sooner done than Dr. Tuzo presented a bill to him for twenty dollars, ten dollars each. Opposite Mr. Adams’ p.242 property on Douglas and View Streets, Mr. Adams forbid the parties, but in his absence they were felled. He then claimed the trees, as they were intersected every way by his property. But Dr. Tuzo threatened him with five hundred dollars damages, assuring him that the trees belonged to the Company. Up Fort Street a number of oaks have been felled. Aside from the vandalism which would sell and cut down a single tree for a few paltry dollars, where it was no obstruction to travel, but an ornament to the street—the act of itself is a foul wrong—unwarrantable and without a particle of right to support it, either in law or equity. We cannot well conceive how that the agents of the Company could do such a scurvy trick—such an act of vandalism—except that they have been influenced to do so by a resident San Francisco landshark. Selling the trees therefore may be to maintain color of title to the streets. But that will prove useless. Viewing the townsite as their private property, when they sold they forever conveyed away their claim to the streets. But the townsite is not private property, although it has unjustifiably been so claimed from the first settlement of the Colony. As private property the Company have no claim to it which will stand the test of law or equity. It is to all intents and purposes in the same condition as the lands of Cowichan, Nootka or Cape Scott; and the funds derived from the sale as justly belong to the Territorial revenues of the Colony. Taking then the townsite to be like other lands, subject to the conditions of the grant, (which we will hereafter prove) we find that one of the conditions says: ‘That the said Company shall (for the purposes of colonization) dispose of all lands hereby granted to them, at a reasonable price, except as much thereof as may be required for public purposes.’ p.243 The streets are used for public purposes—and for that reason the Company have no more right to them, nor the trees, than anyone else. Their act of felling trees on the public streets, and their intimation, deserves the strongest mark of public censure—and merits the attention of the proper authorities.

"Besides if our connection with the Hudson’s Bay Company is not speedily ended we may expect many more such trumped-up claims as their claim to the streets, which they will want us to pay for."

I think my pioneer friends will now agree with me that enough evidence has been furnished to prove my contention that View Street was originally intended to reach from Wharf Street to Cook Street, and farther if necessary.




Some years ago the Colonist requested several "old timers" to write for the Christmas number a description of Christmas as it was observed in the early days in this city.

The following were those who wrote: The Venerable Bishop Cridge, Hon. Dr. Helmcken, Hon. D. W. Higgins, and the author of these reminiscences. I was so much interested myself in these stories (as I am in all Christmas stories), I decided, with the consent of the writers, to reproduce them in my book; not only as interesting, but as very instructive, describing, as they do, life in the pioneer days of the colony.

[Portrait: Rev. Edward Cridge, 1859.]

In essaying to write an account of my first Christmas at Victoria, I am met at the beginning with the inconvenient fact that I kept no journal, my only written records relating simply to my ministry or to things purely personal or domestic. What I write, therefore, is not a history, seeking materials from any and all sources of information, nor a biography, dealing with the writer’s proper business in life, but a narrative of incidents occurring to memory, interesting to the reader only because they refer to the early history of our beloved city.

Another thing has to be considered, namely, that as, after fifty years and more, the remembered incidents of a particular day or season would occupy but a few lines to relate, such a season may properly be regarded in relation to things going before and things following after.


In this view, my memory carries me back to a very happy day, April 1, 1855, when the good sailing ship Margius of Bute, chartered by the Hudson’s Bay Company to bring its freight and passengers, including myself as chaplain and district minister of Victoria, my wife and servants, to this far-off island, calling at Honolulu by the way, cast anchor off Clover Point, so terminating a voyage of about six months’ duration from London. The next day, having moved to the inner harbor, we made our first acquaintance with several Victorians, who came on board to give us and our compagnons de voyage a cordial welcome. That same morning we received an invitation from His Excellency Governor Douglas to luncheon, who also sent a boat to take us ashore; the boatman was good John Spelde, concerning whom I curiously remember my wife telling me that her domestic, Mary Ann Herbert, referred to him later in the day as the "man with the fingers," he having lost three of those members in the firing of a salute on some ceremonial occasion.

After the luncheon, never to be forgotten for the cordial welcome of His Excellency and Mrs. Douglas and their interesting family, not to say the delicious salmon and other delicacies after shipboard fare, we were conducted to the Fort, which was to be our temporary abode till the Parsonage, which then began to be built, should be finished. I have no recollection of the impression produced on my mind as we entered by the south gate the large square fenced in by tall palisades and frowning bastions, only I am certain I had no fear of being imprisoned in this stronghold of the great Adventurers; on the contrary, I distinctly remember that as, proceeding past the central bell-tower to our rooms, on the north side, east of the main entrance, we p.246 entered the spacious, though empty, apartments destined for our reception, my wife fairly danced for joy at our release from the long and tedious confinement on shipboard. The very emptiness of the rooms was a charm. It was the new home to which from her mother’s house in London only a few days before sailing together to the other end of the world, I had brought her, and what bride does not joy to see her work awaiting her, though the house be empty and bare! With the help of our two servants, and local carpenters, supplies from the Company’s stores, and our ample outfit, she soon effected a transformation.

I remember also, something of the evening and night of that first day; the tea and fresh milk and bread and butter; and how, when settling ourselves to sleep for the night, we saw a large white rat crossing the stovepipe which ran through our bedroom from the great Canadian stove in the sitting-room. It is curious how trifling things cleave to the memory, while the monotonous things of everyday life, which are our proper business, give no signal.

The next morning I was introduced to several officers and cadets of the company messing at the Port: W. J. Macdonald, now our well-known representative in the Senate; B. W. Sangster, Farquhar, Mackay, Newton, Sangster (Sangster’s Plains Postmaster), also to Chief Factor Finlaison, who lived in a house in the southwest corner of the Port; and Dr. Helmcken, now, for reasons of state, the Hon. J. S. Helmcken, residing with his wife in the house which he still occupies; later J. D. Pemberton, who returned from England, bringing his sister, Miss Pemberton.

Looking back now to my first Sunday service, I have no recollection of it as distinguished from other similar p.247 services to follow. From my written records only I find that the text of my sermon on the occasion was, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," and that I referred in the conclusion to the Crimean War just ended; but there is pictured in my memory the figure of a man coming past the bell-tower with a prayer book under his arm, "going to church." Him I was afterwards to know as good John Dutnall, a dear and faithful friend to me as long as he lived.

The church services were held in the messroom. There was no instrument and no organized choir. Of those whose voices contributed to this part of divine worship I think only Mrs. W. J. Macdonald survives.

As to my first Christmas Day, which this year (’55) fell on a Tuesday, I can remember nothing of it as distinguished from other Christmas Days to follow (more than fifty in number); but my records say that my text was, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men." But where we dined, what we had for dinner, or how we spent the day, my wife might have told, but I cannot. I know that we spent many Christmas evenings at the Governor’s very pleasantly, and this may have been, and probably was, one of them. I remember that one New Year’s Eve there was a violent snowstorm, which hindered me from holding a service at Craigflower, as I had intended, but my records show what I do not in the least remember, that I preached at Craigflower on New Year’s Day. I also remember that by Christmas Day we had moved into the Parsonage, and that my two sisters, who had arrived at Esquimalt from England, a week before, were with us on that day. I remember a good deal about the Parsonage in those early days. It was almost p.248 in the country. As it was at first unfenced, my wife was often afraid at noises. One night we heard a scraping, and she was sure that someone was breaking into the house. I tried to persuade her that burglars did not announce their presence in that open fashion. However, to reassure her, I reconnoitred, and found it was only an old sow rubbing her back against an old shed nearby.

The Parsonage ground was all wild, but the soil good, and as it was my future home, the task of trying to make it a worthy appendage of the district church was a pleasant one. My servant, James Ravey, was a good gardener, but rather more inclined to the useful than the ornamental. When my wife wanted to enlist his interest in flower gardening, he remarked that the flowers he had liked best were cauliflowers. However, she had her way, he nothing loath. Dr. Helmcken liberally supplied us with a variety of flowers from his well-kept garden, among which I remember daisies—not the wee, modest, crimson-tipped flowers, but variegated beauties, gorgeous through ages of culture. There was not a wild daisy in the country; but now they are spreading everywhere, as if when left alone they preferred their natural state. The Governor also took a kindly interest in the work, offering valuable hints as to the planting of fruit trees, etc. Mr. Work, of Hillside, also sent me a fine lot of young ornamental trees, which flourished well. A good gardening book was loaned me of the company—a long loan, I think, as I have possession of it still.

So the garden, though nothing to boast of in the artistic point of view, yielded abundance of fruit.

[Portrait: Bishop and Mrs. Cridge.]

But if it were pleasant to get into the Parsonage, it by no means follows that life in the Fort was dreary; p.249 on the contrary, some of our happiest hours were spent there. Besides my satisfaction with the present and hopes for the future, coupled with the companionship of one who had full possession of my heart and life, we were forming and cementing friendships which were to endure for many a long year. Not only this—there were pleasant musical and social evenings. There were voices and instruments; Mrs. Mouat, with the piano brought out with her from England; Mr. Augustus Pemberton, lately arrived from Ireland with his flute; Mr. B. W. Pearse, with his violin; I did what I could with my ’cello, the instrument my father had and played when a boy.

It was also during those early days that we, my wife and I, had our first experience of the Governor’s delightful riding parties on Saturday afternoons, when the officers of the Company and friends, their wives and daughters, rode merrily across the country unimpeded by gates or bars. I remember the first, when my wife, who did not ride, had her first drive in the Governor’s carriage—a homemade vehicle, without springs, as befitted the times and the place; our destination was Cadboro Bay, which we reached by a trail which, beginning near the Fort, lay all through open country without a house or field till we arrived at the Company’s farm at that beautiful spot; and though I cannot remember what we did there on that day, I remember well that on many another day I had to send man and horse there for meat for my family.

On another occasion our ride lying along the Saanich trail, when near the North Dairy farm the Governor called a halt; a man stepped out and fired up into a tree and a grouse fell dead; he reloaded and fired up into the same tree again and another grouse fell dead. p.250 I, if no one else in the party, was astonished at conduct so different from that of birds in civilized countries. Whether it was the proper time for grouse-shooting I know not, for I have no record of the date, nor, indeed, of the occurrence. Perhaps the Natural History Society might be able to explain why the second bird behaved as it did. I think it was in the same ride that another halt was called, it being reported that a bear was in a thicket near the trail. All listened and looked, and when I remarked to the Governor that I thought I heard the creature roar, His Excellency said, "Bears do not roar!" I believe he was right, for though we read in both versions of the Bible, "We all roar like bears," I have reason to believe that the translation is incorrect, besides believing also that the man whose life is largely spent in the wilds is more likely to be right on such a point than the scholar in his study. Perhaps the Natural History Society may throw some light on this question also: "Do bears roar?"

In those early days there were frequently several men-of-war in Esquimalt harbor at once. Being the only Protestant clergyman then in the Island, I often visited them and had much pleasant intercourse with the officers. But my memory serves me little as to particulars. I find the following entries:

"Aug. 28, ’55.—Attended a prayer meeting on board H. M. S. Trincomalee."

"Sept. 9, ’55.—Trincomalee sailed and President arrived."

"Oct. 28, ’55.—The Reverend Holme, Chaplain of H. M. S. President, preached for me in the afternoon at the Fort."

"Aug. 11, ’55.—H. M. S. Monarch arrived."

"Sept. 14, ’56.—Mr. Green, Chaplain of the Monarch, preached for me in the afternoon;" also "on Sept. p.251 21." These last two sermons were preached in the district church (called "Christ Church," after my church in London), it having been opened and divine service held therein the month before.

"Aug. 30, ’56.—The Governor went in the Trincomalee to Cowichan to demand the Indian who had lately shot a white man." The wounded man was brought to the Fort, where I visited him. He recovered and was sent away to be safe from the Indians’ vengeance. The Indian who shot him was delivered up by his tribe, was tried and executed in their presence.

"Aug. 21, ’56.—Held a prayer meeting at the Parsonage, with Mr. Cook, the gunner, and Mr. Price, midshipman, both of the Trincomalee.

"Aug. 24, ’56.—Held a prayer meeting with Mr. Cook, of the Trincomalee, in the Craigflower school-room."

From the above records it would appear that the Trincomalee was in these waters over a year at this period. I think her presence had to do with the Russian war. It was after Admiral Price shot himself on account of some error he had committed in the war. I remember the Governor saying to me one day, that he had received instructions from the Home Government to build a hospital at Esquimalt for some wounded sailors expected down from Petrapolowski, but had not been told where the money was to come from. The hospital was built, however, but I do not remember that any wounded were brought; but I remember visiting afterwards a sick Victorian, who died there. The present naval hospital is, I believe, the one I refer to.

About this time I remember an American ship-of-war coming with a United States Commissioner on board to settle with Governor Douglas the boundary between the p.252 British and American territories on the mainland, and his attending divine service in the district church, and my including the United States President in the church prayers.

I remember also my wife’s inviting Lieutenant Parry, of one of H. M. ships, to stay a few days with us at our rooms in the Fort, he being in delicate health and having just heard of the death of his father, Sir Edward Parry, the celebrated Arctic navigator and explorer.

As the latter died in July, 1835, the visit referred to would be shortly after this. I have still the gold pencil case he gave me as a memento of his visit. He died not long afterwards, and I had some correspondence in reference to the sorrowful event with Bishop Parry (his brother, I think).

I remember also, though the names escape me, the captain of one of the ships telling me a thrilling story of his recently finding the remains of a Captain Gardiner and his party, who had been starved to death on some shore in the neighborhood of Cape Horn, a tragedy which caused widespread interest and pity at the time.

At this time there were no local newspapers. Mails were received from England once a fortnight, fetched by canoe from the American side; ships from England once a year. The opening of the annual box from friends there was an exciting event to my wife. The Otter (Capt. Mouat) was occasionally sent to San Francisco for requisites. In the same vessel I remember our going with Governor Douglas to San Juan Island, then in possession of the British, and Mr. Griffin, the Company’s officer in charge there, presenting my wife with a beautiful fawn, which we brought back with us.

I know not what the population of Victoria might be p.253 at that time, though I think two hundred would be the outside; the population on the whole island being about six hundred. You could, I think, count the houses on each of the four principal streets—Government, Fort, Yates, Johnson—on the fingers on one hand. I only remember three on James Bay side, to reach which, there being no bridge to connect with Government Street, you had to go round by where the Church of Our Lord now stands.

For reasons which will presently appear, I regard the Christmas season of 1855 as the ending of a first chapter of the very remarkable history of this province of British Columbia, to be followed by another in the ensuing year destined to include events which the most far-seeing at the time could not possibly have imagined. I write simply as an observer, included, indeed, in the great movement, but not, strictly speaking, a working part of it. A time was coming, as we now know, when a flood of people was suddenly to overflow our city, sweeping onward to and over the mainland like a tidal wave from the great ocean of life; but whether it was by some fortunate chance decree of an overruling Providence, it did not come till the city was better than of old and prepared to deal with it.

The time had now come when the dual government—the imperium in imperio—was to cease, and the people to stand in direct relation to the sovereign. Influenced, as we have reason to believe, by complaints of the settlers, it was decided by the Home authorities to grant them a free constitution after the English model, so far as popular representation was concerned. And so it came to pass that within eight months after Christmas, 1855, the newly-elected representatives of the people were, in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, p.254 called together by the Governor in a room within the Fort, and by him, with counsel and prayer, commended to the long-coveted duties of legislation. Thus was a small shoot of an Empire unsurpassed for the freedom of its subjects well and truly planted in the western shore of the vast possessions of Great Britain, this side of the provinces in the East, and now did the people, rejoicing in their freedom, begin to look for expansion and progress. But with what hope? What was the prospect of their reaching the conditions which we see to-day?

[Portrait: Bishop Cridge.]

Looking at the more than twenty years it had taken to reach their present population of six hundred souls; looking at the inaccessibility of the Island to all but a few adventurous or wealthy immigrants; allowing also full force to the new attraction of a land whose people enjoyed the privilege of self-government; I think the most sanguine in that day could not have expected such a result as we see to-day in a less period than centuries to come. To us who know what brought it to pass; to us who know that the real efficient cause of the marvelous effect was the strongest passion and incentive to adventure that ever actuated the mind of man, it all seems natural and easy; but to the six hundred in 1856 it would have seemed a dream. At the same time it must, I think, be admitted that such a sudden inrush must have endangered, if not the independence, at least the peace and order of the community on which it fell. For what, we may ask, might have been the consequence if the cry of gold for the picking up had been raised earlier, in the time, say, of the dual government, when, as is well known, the people were discontented with a government which, excellent as it confessedly was for the times, had its own profit first of all to be p.255 considered, instead of coming, as it did, to a people which, rejoicing in its newly-found freedom, was not to be reckoned on for favoring any schemes of wildness or riot? I do not suggest any danger of invasion or overthrow of the government when hundreds of thousands of gold-seekers from the neighboring country filled the streets of our little city; England’s far-reaching arm sufficed to cope with that; but I do suggest danger to law and order afterwards. For this the presence of warships in Esquimalt harbor could afford but slight remedy. The remedy must be in the people themselves and in the administration of law. A little leaven leavens a great lump, but in this case the leaven of discontent being removed, the lump remained uncontaminated. That this was how order was restored will appear from what followed after the suppression of the disorder which broke out among the miners at the beginning.

Mr. Augustus F. Pemberton, commissioner of police, was staying at my house when, after he had gone to bed, a message came from the Chief of Police that the town was in an uproar, and that the miners were threatening to take the city. Mr. Pemberton immediately repaired to the Governor’s and reported. His Excellency’s first impulse was to fix on his sword; but he changed his mind and sent a messenger express to order a gunboat from Esquimalt. Meanwhile Mr. Pemberton went into the city and conferred with the miners till the gunboat arrived, and thus ended the matter.

As I went with Mr. Pemberton to the Governor’s house and to the city on this occasion, I write as an eye-witness. I may say that my impression is that there was no serious intention on the part of the miners as a body to take the city by force. I knew too many of p.256 them afterwards, of good and peaceable conduct, to think it. But it was well that the disorderly among them should begin their education in English law by this prompt display of force.

I now note a singular condition of things, as conducive to the continuance and perpetuation of the order thus restored. The miners at this time to the number, it was computed, of some ten thousand, were encamped in the open spaces of the city, waiting for the most suitable time for proceeding to the mainland in their search for gold. I do not remember how long the time was that they waited, but it was certainly some weeks. And what I wish emphatically to say is, that this interval afforded them a unique opportunity of learning what British law and order meant. Mr. Pemberton was their teacher. Fearless, untiring and vigilant, he suppressed every disorder as it arose. There was need.

A man was killed in a duel on Church Hill. Thenceforth it was at a man’s peril to be found with a revolver on his person, and so the odious practice fell into disuse.

The effect of this practical education in obedience to law on the thousands thus gathered together in one place can easily be imagined. Not only did they become peaceable and orderly, and even friendly, while here, even meeting in a body to hear the Governor’s advice as to their movements, but wherever they were scattered abroad on the mainland, lawlessness was a thing unknown among them as a body, and they wrought as if they remembered the Governor’s parting words which still seem to sound in my ears: "There is gold in the country, and you are the men to find it!"

Thus I think it is plain that Mr. Pemberton was practically the real exponent of British law and order p.257 in that arduous time. We do not forget what is due on the mainland to Matthew Baillie Begbie, Chief Justice, who dealt rigidly with offenders committed for trial before him. His inflexible administration of the law struck terror into the hearts of evildoers. Still less must we forget the man at the helm and master of the ship, His Excellency Governor Douglas, who, by his sagacity, penetration, and godly fear, coupled with his long experience of personal rule over men, ever knew what to do and when to do it.

Thus from Victoria went forth an influence for law and order throughout the land, which will not soon pass away. Our little city has ever been noted as being English in character and law-abiding in conduct. May she remain so. She does well to rejoice and be thankful for the natural beauties which so richly adorn her site. Let her also so continue to follow the right, the good, the loving and the true, that she may for this also be as a city set on a hill whose light cannot be hid.

Regarding, as I do, the six hundred islanders with the patriotic Governor at their head as the real foundation of the things to come in the second chapter of their history, I have written from memory such names as my position enabled me to become acquainted with at that early period, intending to add them to this paper, but space forbids.

And now I should earnestly desire to send my Christmas greetings to the people of Victoria; first to the few dear old friends that remain of the old Fort days, and next to those who have come later, from all of whom I have received kindnesses which God alone can repay. May His blessing rest on all and each one not only of our beloved city, but on the whole of this our Province of British Columbia, for we are all one, as the name imports.




Hudson Bay Days.

You ask me to give some information as to the observance of Christmas Day in the early days of the Colony, say fifty-five years ago. I may say at once that there were no set forms of celebration in those days, save that the chaplain, Rev. Mr. Staines, held divine service in the mess-room, a hall that served for baptisms, deaths and marriages, also balls and other recreation. At the same time Rev. Father Lamfpet, a missionary Catholic priest, assembled his flock in a shanty, built chiefly by himself and plastered with clay, which had wide cracks in it. This edifice stood on Courtney Street, between Douglas and Government. Of course Christmas Day was a holiday.

[Portrait: Dr. Helmcken.]

In the early days changes came quickly. In 1852 Captain Langford, wife and family arrived. They were in some way connected with the then Governor Blanchard. T. Skinner, Esq., wife and family arrived at the same time. These were British and cultured people. Langford and Skinner were agents of the Puget Sound Company, so with them came a large number of Britishers, to open up and cultivate farms at Colwood, the latter near the now Naval Hospital at Esquimalt. Captain Grant and Captain Cooper were here, and soon p.259 came the noble, steadfast laird, Mr. Kenneth McKenzie, wife and family. These brought their customs with them, so of course Christmas observances. It will thus be seen that Christmas and other customs came with the immigrants, and from the planting of that seed, the present Christmas observances have grown. In Scotland and America the day is much more observed than formerly; all did as they pleased—shooting, hunting, fishing and visiting being the chief recreations, and getting as good a dinner as possible, perhaps practise at the Beacon, a barrel riddled with bullets, and standing on a long pole. This beacon was a mark for ships. Another stood near the water to the north. Captain Sangster used to perambulate here, a telescope in hand, watching for the annual Hudson’s Bay Company’s ship, the signal being two guns.

No waits at night, no chimes, no bells, no Christmas carols, no pianos, in fact no musical instruments of any kind, save the bell of the Fort. On one occasion a dance and supper were determined on, but where was the band? Nothing but Mr. Tod and his fiddle existed. Mr. Tod, a good soul, peace be with him, ever ready to assist, assisted. Mr. Tod had a peculiarity; when playing he would cast off a shoe, and kept time by stamping the resounding floor with his stockinged foot. However, an employee came forth, "I can help you, sirs; give me a sheet of tin." He got it, and in a short time came back with a tin whistle, on which he played admirably. This was the band, and everyone enjoyed the dance and everything else. The band, too, was the orchestra at a night of private theatricals, in which J. D. Pemberton and Joseph McKay were the p.260 star actors, whilst the others handed round port, ale, cider, ginger beer, oranges, lemons and nuts—that is to say they would if they had them.

There were no public-houses nor public amusements at this time, turkeys unknown and beef scarce. In fact a rudimentary Christmas festival of a holiday, not holy-day, type.

It may be here remarked that sixty years ago Christmas Day was but little observed in Scotland, and the same may be said of America. In England, however, where it was and is a statute holiday, Christmas was universally celebrated. Essentially it was a children’s day and one of family reunions, and in those days when travelling was expensive and tedious, this meant more than it does to-day. The visitors received a joyous welcome, not a sort of empty every-day one. Plum pudding, roast beef, and mince pies and nuts were the order of the day, for beverage various kinds of drinks. Holly and mistletoe and evergreens obtained in nearly every house; in fact it was a joyous day from morn till night. Games of various kinds were played. Toys for children, rudimentary toys and picture books, cheap, and such as the too knowing children of to-day would turn up their little noses at, and my goodness! the fun of the mistletoe and mulberry tree! Spreading of course from British Columbia, but in sober earnest to the immortal Charles Dickens’ works, particularly the Pickwick Club and the annual "Christmas Stories."

The holly now, as in England, generally used, is not indigenous, but grown from introduced seed chiefly. The berried holly is now in great demand all along the Pacific shores, and American purchasers are eager to buy it. Curiously, it grows well in Victoria and neighborhood, p.261 but fails as it grows south. Mistletoe, a parasite, used of old in the mystic rites of the Druids, does not grow here, but a species thereof comes from the States, which serves its usual purpose, in spite of all moral reformers and the scientific maxims of the dangers of bacteria (bacteria of love) incurred in and by osculation. Who cares about this kind of danger when under the mistletoe at Christmas—the fun and pleasure of obtaining it or at "blindman’s buff," and the pretended wish and effort not to be caught. None of this in Victoria in 1850. How soon after?

Oh, the merry days when we were young! Turkeys were rare, but Dr. Trimble had a turkey which he kept on his premises on Broad Street. Daily he and Mrs. Trimble would visit his treasure, who with his fantail erect and feathers vibrating and with a gobble-gobble and proud step would show his pleasure at the meeting, but the doctor and wife, although admiring and loving the proud and handsome bird, had murderous thoughts in their "innards," and declared he would be a splendid bird by Christmas for dinner, so in due course they invited some half dozen friends to eat the turkey on Christmas Day. A few days before Christmas, the doctor and wife, on their daily visit, found the turkey had vanished. Inquiries were made for it, and the invited friends were assiduous in helping to unravel the mystery, and concluded in the end that it had been stolen. They condoled and sympathized with the bereaved, and tried to assuage the grief by telling Trimble and wife that they would give him a dinner on Christmas Day instead! The grief-stricken parties accepted the invitation, as the best thing to be done under the unfortunate circumstances. So on Christmas p.262 Day they assembled very jollily. The earlier courses were eaten with fizz, etc. Now comes up the principal dish, which being uncovered displayed a fine cooked turkey. Trimble was a good-natured fellow, so you may easily foretell what followed. Who stole the turkey? The echoes of their laughing, intertwining shadows reply "Who-o-o?"




By D. W. H.

"Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."—Matt. 7:7, 8.

On the 22nd day of December, 1860, nearly fifty-three years ago, I sat in the editorial room of the Colonist office on Wharf Street, concocting a leading article. Mr. Amor De Cosmos, the able editor and owner, had contracted a severe cold and was confined to his room at Wilcox’s Royal Hotel, so the entire work of writing up the paper for that issue devolved upon me. The office was a rude, one-story affair of wood. It had been erected for a merchant early in 1858, and when he failed or went away the building fell into Mr. De Cosmos’ hands. On the 11th December, 1858, Mr. De Cosmos established the Colonist, which has ever since filled a prominent and honorable position in colonial journalism. Our office, as I have remarked, was a rude affair. The accompanying picture will convey a better idea of its appearance than anything I might write. The editorial room was a small space partitioned off from the composing room, which contained p.264 also the little hand-press on which the paper was printed. A person who might wish to see the editor was forced to pick his way through a line of stands and cases at which stood the coatless printers who set the type and prepared the forms for the press.

[Portrait: Amor de Cosmos.]

The day was chill and raw. A heavy wind from the south-west stirred the waters of the harbor and hurling itself with fury against the front of the building made the timbers crack and groan as if in paroxysms of pain. A driving rain fell in sheets on the roof and drops of water which leaked through the shingles fell on the editorial table, swelled into little rivulets, and, leaping to the floor, chased each other over the room, making existence therein uncomfortably damp. As I wrote away in spite of these obstacles I was made aware by a shadow that fell across my table of the presence of someone in the doorway. I raised my eyes and there stood a female—a rare object in those days, when women and children were as scarce as hen’s teeth, and were hardly ever met upon the streets, much less in an editorial sanctum. I rose to my feet at once, and removing my hat awaited results. In the brief space of time that elapsed before the lady spoke I took her all in. She was a woman of scarcely forty, I thought; of medium height, a brunette, with large coal-black eyes, a pretty mouth—a perfect Cupid’s bow—and olive-hued cheeks. She was richly dressed in bright colors with heavy broad stripes and space-encircling hoops after the fashion of the day. When she spoke it was in a rich, well-rounded tone—not with the nasal drawl which we hear so much when across the line, and which some Victoria school-girls and boys seem to delight in imitating in spite of the efforts of their teachers. Taken all in all I sized the lady up as a very presentable person.


Having explained to her, in response to an inquiry, that the editor was ill, she said that she would call again and went away after leaving her card. Two days later, on the 24th of December, the lady came again.

"Is the editor still ill?" she asked.

"Yes; but he will be here in the course of a day or two."

"Ah! well, that is too bad," she said. "My business is of importance and cannot bear delay. But I am told that you will do as well."

I assured the lady that I should be glad to assist her in any way. Thanking me, she began:

"My name is Madame Fabre; my husband, who was French, is dead—died in California. I am a Russian. In Russia I am a princess. (She paused as if to watch the impression her announcement had made.) Here I am a mere nobody—only Madame Fabre. I married my husband in France. We came to California. We had much money and my husband went into quartz mining at Grass Valley. He did not understand the business at all. We lost everything. Then he died (and she drew a lace handkerchief from her reticule, and pressing it to her eyes sighed deeply). Alas! Yes, Emil passed from me and is now, I trust, in heaven. He left me a mountain of debts and one son, Bertrand, a good child, as good as gold, very thoughtful and obedient. May I call him in? He awaits your permission without."

I replied, "Certainly," and stepping to the door she called, "Bertrand! Bertrand! my child, come here, and speak to the gentleman."

I expected to see a boy of five or six years, wearing curls, in short trousers, a beaded jacket and fancy cap, whom I would take on my knee, toy with his curls, ask p.266 his name and age and give him a "bit" with which to stuff his youthful stomach with indigestible sweetmeats. Judge my surprise when, preceded by the noise of a heavy tread, a huge youth of about seventeen, bigger and taller than myself, and smoking a cigar, appeared at the opening, and in a deep, gruff voice that a sea captain or a militia commander would have envied, asked:

"Did you call, mamma?"

"Yes, my dear child," she sweetly responded; "I wish to introduce you to this gentleman."

The "child" removed his hat, and I noticed that his hair was cut close to the scalp. Having been duly introduced at my request he sat down in my chair while I took a seat on the edge of the editorial table, which was very rickety and would scarcely bear my weight at the present day.

The parent gazed at her son fondly for a moment and then proceeded:

"Bertrand’s fortune was swallowed up in the quartz wreck; but he is very sweet and very patient, and never complains. Poor lad! It was hard upon him, but he forgives all—do you not, dear?"

"Yes," rumbled the "child" from the pit of his stomach; but the expression that flitted across his visage made me think that he would rather have said "No," had he dared.

"That being the case I will now explain the object of my visit. As I have said, we have lost everything—that is to say, our income is so greatly reduced that it is now a matter of not more than $1,000 a month. Upon that meagre sum my dear boy and I contrive to get along by practising the strictest economy consistent with our position in life. Naturally we wish to do p.267 better, and then go back to Russia and live with the nobility. Do we not, Bertrand?"

"Yes," rumbled the "child" from his stomach again, as he lighted a fresh cigar.

"Well, now, Mr. H.," the lady went on, "I want an adviser. I ask Pierre Manciot at the French Hotel, and he tells me to see his partner, John Sere; and Mr. Sere tells me to go to the editor of the Colonist. I come here. The editor is ill. I go back to Mr. Sere and he says, see D. W. H.; he will set you all right. So I come to you to tell you what I want."

She paused for a moment to take a newspaper from her reticule and then continued:

"After my husband died and left the debts and this precious child (the "child" gazed abstractedly at the ceiling while he blew rings of smoke from his mouth) we made a grand discovery. Our foreman, working in the mine, strikes rich quartz, covers it up again, and tells no one but me. All the shareholders have gone—what you call ‘busted,’ I believe? We get hold of many shares cheap, and now I come here to get the rest. An Englishman owns enough shares to give him control—I mean that out of two hundred thousand shares I have got ninety-five thousand, and the rest this Englishman holds. We have traced him through Oregon to this place, and we lose all sign of him here." (Up to this moment I had not been particularly interested in the narration.) She paused, and laying a neatly-gloved hand on my arm proceeded:

"You are a man of affairs."

I modestly intimated that I was nothing of the kind, only a reporter.

"Ah! yes. You cannot deceive me. I see it in your eye, your face, your movements. You are a man of p.268 large experience and keen judgment. Your conversation is charming."

As she had spoken for ten minutes without giving me an opportunity to say a word, I could not quite understand how she arrived at an estimate of my conversational powers. However, I felt flattered, but said nothing.

Pressing my arm with her hand, which gave me a warm feeling in the neighborhood of my heart, she went on:

"I come to you as a man of the world. (I made a gesture of dissent, but it was very feeble, for I was already caught in the web.) I rely upon you. I ask you to help me. Bertrand—poor, dear Bertie—has no head for business—he is too young, too confiding—too—too—what you English people call simple—no, too good—too noble—he takes after my family—to know anything about such affairs—so I come to you."

Was it possible that because I was considered unredeemably bad I was selected for this woman’s purpose? As I mused, half disposed to get angry, I raised my head and my eyes encountered the burning orbs of the Madame, gazing full into mine. They seemed to bore like gimlets into my very soul. A thrill ran through me like the shock from an electric battery, and in an instant I seemed bound hand and foot to the fortunes of this strange woman. I felt myself being dragged along as the Roman Emperors were wont to draw their captives through the streets of their capital. I fluttered for a few seconds like a bird in the fowler’s net and then I gave up. The contest was too unequal. God help me! The eyes had conquered and I lay panting at the feet, as it were, of the conqueror. I have only a hazy recollection of what passed between us after p.269 that; but I call to mind that she asked me to insert as an advertisement a paragraph from a Grass Valley newspaper to the effect that the mine (the name of which I forget) was a failure and that shares could be bought for two cents. When she took her leave I promised to call upon her at the hotel. When the "child" extended a cold, clammy hand in farewell I felt like giving him a kick—he looked so grim and ugly and patronizing. I gazed into his eyes sternly and read there deceit, hypocrisy and moral degeneration. How I hated him!

The pair had been gone several minutes before I recovered my mental balance and awoke to a realization of the fact that I was a young fool who had sold himself (perhaps to the devil) for a few empty compliments and a peep into the deep well of an artful woman’s blazing eyes. I was inwardly cursing my stupidity while pacing up and down the floor of the "den" when I heard a timid knock at the door. In response to my invitation to "come in" a young lady entered. She was pretty and about twenty years of age, fair, with dark blue eyes and light brown hair. A blush suffused her face as she asked for the editor. I returned the usual answer.

"Perhaps you will do for my purpose," she said timidly. "I have here a piece of poetry."

I gasped as I thought, "It’s an ode on winter. Oh, Lord!"

"A piece of poetry," she continued, "on Britain’s Queen. If you will read it and find it worthy a place in your paper I shall be glad to write more. If it is worth paying for I shall be glad to get anything."

Her hand trembled as she produced the paper.


I thanked her and telling her that I would look it over she withdrew. I could not help contrasting the first with the last visitor. The one had attracted me by her artful and flattering tongue, the skilful use of her beautiful eyes and the pressure of her hand on my coat sleeve; the other by the modesty of her demeanor. The timid shyness with which she presented her poem had caught my fancy. I looked at the piece. It was poor, not but what the sentiment was there and the ideas were good, but they were not well put. As prose it would have been acceptable, but as verse it was impossible and was not worth anything.

The next was Christmas Day. It was my first Christmas in Victoria. Business was suspended. All the stores were closed. At that time in front of every business house there were wooden verandahs or sheds that extended from the fronts of the buildings to the outer edges of the sidewalks. One might walk along any of the down-town streets and be under cover all the way. They were ugly, unsightly constructions and I waged constant warfare against them until I joined the aldermanic board and secured the passage of an ordinance that compelled their removal. Along these verandahs on this particular Christmas morning evergreen boughs were placed and the little town really presented a very pretty and sylvan appearance. After church I went to the office and from the office to the Hotel de France for luncheon. The only other guest in the room was a tall, florid-faced young man somewhat older than myself. He occupied a table on the opposite side of the room. When I gave my order M. Sere remarked, "All the regular boarders but you have gone to luncheon and dinner with their friends. Why not you?"


"Why," I replied, with a quaver in my voice, "the only families that I know are dining with friends of their own, whom I do not know. I feel more homesick to-day than ever before in my life and the idea of eating my Christmas dinner alone fills me with melancholy thoughts."

The man on the other side of the room must have overheard what I said, for he ejaculated:

"There’s two of a kind. I’m in a similar fix. I have no friends here—at least with whom I can dine. Suppose we double up?"

"What’s that?" I asked.

"Why, let us eat our Christmas dinner together and have a good time. Here’s my card and here’s a letter of credit on Mr. Pendergast, Wells Fargo’s agent, to show that I am not without visible means of support."

The card read, "Mr. George Barclay, Grass Valley."

"Why," I said, "you are from Grass Valley. How strange. I saw two people yesterday—a lady and her ‘child’—who claimed to have come from Grass Valley."

"Indeed," he asked; "what are they like?"

"The mother says she is a Russian princess. She calls herself Mme. Fabre and says she is a widow. She is very handsome and intelligent and"—I added with a shudder—"has the loveliest eyes—they bored me through and through."

My new friend faintly smiled and said, "I know them. By and bye, when we get better acquainted, I shall tell you all about them. Meantime, be on your guard."

After luncheon we walked along Government to Yates Street and then to the Colonist shack. And as I placed the key in the lock I saw the young lady who had submitted the poetry walking rapidly towards us. My p.272 companion flushed slightly and raising his hat, extended his hand, which the lady accepted with hesitation. They exchanged some words and then the lady addressing me asked, "Was my poem acceptable?"

"To tell you the truth, Miss—Miss—"

"Forbes," she interjected.

"I have not had time to read it carefully." (As a matter of fact I had not bestowed a second thought upon the poem, but was ashamed to acknowledge it.)

"When—oh! when can you decide?" she asked with much earnestness.

"To-morrow, I think"—for I fully intended to decline it.

She seemed deeply disappointed. Her lip quivered as she held down her head and her form trembled with agitation. I could not understand her emotion, but, of course, said nothing to show that I observed it.

"Could you not give me an answer to-day—this afternoon?" the girl urged.

"Yes," I said, "as you seem so very anxious, if you will give me your address I shall take or send an answer before four o’clock. Where do you reside?"

"Do you know Forshay’s cottages? They are a long way up Yates Street. We occupy No. 4."

Forshay’s cottages were a collection of little cabins that had been erected on a lot at the corner of Cook and Yates Streets. They have long since disappeared. They were of one story and each cottage contained three rooms—a kitchen and two other rooms. I could scarcely imagine a refined person such as the lady before me occupying those miserable quarters; but then, you know, necessity knows no law.

The girl thanked me and Barclay accompanied her to the corner of Yates Street. He seemed to be trying p.273 to induce her to do something she did not approve of, for she shook her head with an air of determination and resolve and hurried away.

Barclay came back to the office and said: "I am English myself, but the silliest creature in the world is an Englishman who, having once been well off, finds himself stranded. His pride will not allow him to accept favors. I knew that girl’s father and mother in Grass Valley. The old gentleman lost a fortune at quartz mining. His partner, a Mr. Maloney, a Dublin man and graduate of Trinity College, having sunk his own and his wife’s money in the mine, poisoned his wife, three children and himself with strychnine three years ago. By the way, I met a Grass Valley man this morning. His name is Robert Homfray, a civil engineer. He tells me he is located here permanently. He and his brother lost a great deal of money in the Grass Valley mines, and we talked over the Maloney tragedy, with the circumstances of which he was familiar, but the strangest part of the story is that three months ago the property was reopened and the very first shot that was fired in the tunnel laid bare a rich vein. Had Maloney fired one more charge he would have been rich. As it was he died a murderer and a suicide. Poor fellow! In a day or two I will tell you more. But let us return to the poetry. What will you do with it?"

"I fear I shall have to reject it."

"No, no," he cried. "Accept it! This morning I went to the home of the family, which consists of Mr. Forbes, who is crippled with rheumatism, his excellent wife, the young lady from whom we have just parted and a little boy of seven. They are in actual want. I offered to lend them money to buy common necessaries p.274 and Forbes rejected the offer in language that was insulting. Go immediately to the cottage. Tell the girl that you have accepted the poem and give her this (handing me a twenty-dollar gold piece) as the appraised value of her production. Then return to the Hotel de France and await developments."

I repaired to the cottages. The road was long and muddy. There were neither sidewalks nor streets and it was a difficult matter to navigate the sea of mud that lay between Wharf and Cook Streets. The young lady answered my knock. She almost fainted when I told her the poem had been accepted and that the fee was twenty dollars. I placed the coin in her hand.

"Mamma! Papa!" she cried, and running inside the house I heard her say, "My poem has been accepted and the gentleman from the Colonist office has brought me twenty dollars."

"Thank God!" I heard a woman’s voice exclaim. "I never lost faith, for what does Christ say, Ellen, ‘Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened.’ On this holy day—our Saviour’s birthday—we have sought and we have found."

This was followed by a sound as of someone crying, and then the girl flew back to the door.

"Oh! sir," she said, "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your goodness."

"Not at all," I lied. "You have earned it and you owe me no thanks. I shall be glad to receive and pay for any other contributions you may send." I did not add, though, that they would not be published, although they would be paid for.


A little boy with a troubled face and a pinched look now approached the front door. He was neatly but poorly dressed.

"Oh! Nellie, what is the matter?" he asked anxiously.

"Johnnie," answered Nellie. "I have earned twenty dollars, and we shall have a Christmas dinner, and you shall have a drum, too." As she said this she caught the little fellow in her arms and kissed him and pressed his wan cheek against her own.

"Shall we have a turkey, Nellie?" he asked.

"Yes, dear," she said.

"And a plum pudding, too, with nice sauce that burns when you put a match to it, and shall I have two helpings?" he asked.

"Yes, and you shall set fire to the sauce and have two helpings, Johnnie."

"Won’t that be nice," he exclaimed gleefully. "But, Nellie, will papa get medicine to make him well again?"

"Yes, Johnnie."

"And mamma—will she get back all the pretty things she sent away to pay the rent with?"

"Hush, Johnnie," said the girl with an apologetic look at me.

"And you, Nellie, will you get back your warm cloak that the man with a long nose took away?"

"Hush, dear," she said. "Go inside now; I wish to speak to this gentleman." She closed the front door and asked me, all the stores being closed, how she would be able to get the materials for the dinner and to redeem her promise to Johnnie.

"Easily enough," said I. "Order it at the Hotel de France. Shall I take down the order?"

"If you will be so kind," she said. "Please order what you think is necessary."


"And I—I have a favor to ask of you."

"What is it?" she inquired eagerly.

"That you will permit me to eat my Christmas dinner with you and the family. I am a waif and stray, alone in the world. I am almost a stranger here. The few acquaintances I have made are dining out and I am at the hotel with Mr. Barclay, whom you know and, I hope, esteem."

"Well," she said, "come by all means."

"And may I bring Mr. Barclay with me? He is very lonely and very miserable. Just think, that on a day like this he has nowhere to go but to an hotel."

She considered a moment before replying; then she said, "No, do not bring him—let him come in while we are at dinner, as if by accident."

I hastened to the Hotel de France and Sere and Manciot soon had a big hamper packed with an abundance of Christmas cheer and on its way upon the back of an Indian to the Forbes house.

I followed and received a warm welcome from the father and mother, who were superior people and gave every evidence of having seen better days. The interior was scrupulously clean, but there was only one chair. A small kitchen stove at which the sick man sat was the only means of warmth. There were no carpets and, if I was not mistaken, the bed coverings were scant. The evidence of extreme poverty was everywhere manifest. I never felt meaner in my life, as I accepted the blessings that belonged to the other man. Mr. Forbes, who was too ill to sit at the table, reclined on a rude lounge near the kitchen stove. Just as dinner was being served there came a knock at the door. It was opened and there stood Barclay.

"I have come," he said, "to ask you to take me in. p.277 I cannot eat my dinner alone at the hotel. You have taken my only acquaintance (pointing to me) from me, and if Mr. Forbes will forgive my indiscretion of this morning I shall be thankful."

"That I will," cried the old gentleman from the kitchen. "Come in and let us shake hands and forget our differences."

So Barclay entered and we ate our Christmas dinner in one of the bedrooms. It was laid on the kitchen table, upon which a tablecloth, sent by the thoughtful hosts at the hotel, was spread. There were napkins, a big turkey and claret and champagne, and a real, live, polite little Frenchman to carve and wait. Barclay and I sat on the bed. Mrs. Forbes had the only chair. Johnnie and his sister occupied the hamper. Before eating Mrs. Forbes said grace, in which she again quoted the passage from Scripture with which I began this narration. Oh! for a catchup meal it was the jolliest I ever sat down to, and I enjoyed it, as did all the rest. Little Johnnie got two helpings of turkey and two helpings of pudding and then he was allowed to sip a little champagne when the toasts to the Queen and the father and mother and the young and rising poetess of the family were offered. Then Johnnie was toasted and put to bed in Nellie’s room. Next it came my turn to say a few words in response to a sentiment which the old gentleman spoke through the open door from his position in the kitchen, and my response abounded in falsehoods about the budding genius of the daughter of the household. Then I called Barclay to his feet, and he praised me until I felt like getting up and relieving my soul of its weight of guilt, but I didn’t, for had I done so the whole affair would have been spoiled.


Barclay and I reached our quarters at the Hotel de France about midnight. We were a pair of thoroughly happy mortals, for had we not, after all, "dined out," and had we not had a royal good time on Christmas Day, 1860?

The morrow was Boxing Day and none of the offices were opened. I saw nothing of the Princess; but I observed Bertie, the sweet "child," as he paid frequent visits to the bar and filled himself to the throttle with brandy and water and rum and gin and bought and paid for and smoked the best cigars at two bits each. As I gazed upon him the desire to give him a kicking grew stronger.

By appointment Barclay and I met in a private room at the hotel, where he unfolded his plans.

"You must have seen," he began, "that Miss Forbes and I are warm friends. Our friendship began six months ago. I proposed to her and was accepted subject to the approval of the father. He refused to give his consent because, having lost his money, he could not give his daughter a dowry. It was in vain I urged that I had sufficient for both. He would listen to nothing that involved an acceptance of assistance from me, and he left for Vancouver Island to try his fortunes here. He fell ill and they have sold or pawned everything of value. The girl was not permitted to bid me good-bye when they left Grass Valley. After their departure the discovery of which I have informed you was made in the Maloney tunnel and as Mr. Forbes has held on to a control of the stock in spite of his adversities, he is now a rich man. I want to marry the girl. As I told you, I proposed when I believed them to be ruined. It is now my duty to acquaint the family with their good fortune and renew my suit. I p.279 think I ought to do it to-day. Surely he will not repel me now when I take that news to him, as he did on Christmas morning when I tendered him a loan."

I told him I thought he should impart the good news at once and stand the consequences. He left me for that purpose. As I walked into the dining-room, I saw the dear "child" Bertrand leaning over the bar quaffing a glass of absinthe. When he saw me he gulped down the drink and said:

"Mamma would like to speak to you—she thought you would have called."

I recalled the adventure with the eyes and hesitated. Then I decided to go to room 12 on the second flat and see the thing out. A knock on the door was responded to by a sweet "Come in." Mme. Fabre was seated in an easy chair before a cheerful coal fire.

She arose at once and extended a plump and white hand. As we seated ourselves she flashed those burning eyes upon me and said:

"I am so glad you have come! I do want your advice about my mining venture. In the first place I may tell you that I have found the man who owns the shares. He is here in Victoria with his family. He is desperately poor. A hundred dollars if offered would be a great temptation. I would give more—five hundred if necessary."

"The property you told me of the other day is valuable, is it not?" I asked.

"Yes—that is to say, we think it is. You know that mining is the most uncertain of all ventures. You may imagine you are rich one day and the next you find yourself broke. It was so with my husband. He came home one day and said, ‘We are rich’; and the next he said, ‘We are poor.’ This Maloney mine looks well, but p.280 who can be sure? When I came here I thought that if I found the man with the shares I could get them for a song. I may yet, but my dear child tells me that he has seen here a man from Grass Valley named Barclay who is a friend of that shareholder, and," she added, bitterly, "perhaps he has got ahead of me. I must see the man at once and make him an offer. What do you think?"

"I think you might as well save yourself further trouble. By this time the shareholder has been apprised of his good fortune."

"What!" she exclaimed, springing to her feet and transfixing me with her eyes. "Am I, then, too late?"

"Yes," I said, "you are too late. Forbes—that is the man’s name—knows of his good fortune and I do not believe he would sell now at any price."

The woman gazed at me with the concentrated hate of a thousand furies. Her great eyes no longer bore an expression of pleading tenderness—they seemed to glint and expand and to shoot fierce flames from their depths. They no longer charmed, they terrified me! How I wished I had left the door open.

"Ah!" she screamed. "I see it all. I have been betrayed—sold out. You have broken my confidence."

"I have done nothing of the kind. I have never repeated to a soul what you told me."

"Then who could have done it?" she exclaimed, bursting into a fit of hysterical tears. "I have come all this way to secure the property and now find that I am too late. Shame! shame!"

"I will tell you. Barclay is really here. He knew of the strike as soon as you did. He is in love with Miss Forbes and followed the family here to tell them the good news. He is with the man at this moment."


"Curse him!" she cried through her set teeth.

I left the woman plunged in a state of deep despair. I told her son that he should go upstairs and attend to his mother, and proceeded to the Forbes cottage. There I found the family in a state of great excitement, for Barclay had told them all and already they were arranging plans for returning to California and taking steps to reopen the property.

Miss Forbes received me with great cordiality and the mother announced that the girl and Barclay were engaged to be married, the father having given his consent at once. The fond mother added that she regretted very much that her daughter would have to abandon her literary career which had begun so auspiciously through my discovery of her latent talent.

I looked at Barclay before I replied. His face was as blank as a piece of white paper. His eyes, however, danced in his head as if he enjoyed my predicament.

"Yes," I finally said, "Mr. Barclay has much to be answerable for. I shall lose a valued contributor. Perhaps," I ventured, "she will still continue to write from California, for she possesses poetical talent of a high order."

"I shall gladly do so," cried the young lady, "and without pay, too. I shall never forget your goodness."

I heard a low chuckling sound behind me. It was Barclay swallowing a laugh.

They went away in the course of a few days and we corresponded for a long time; but Mrs. Barclay never fulfilled her promise to cultivate the muse; nor in her several letters did she refer to her poetical gift. Perhaps her husband told her of the pious fraud we practised upon her on Christmas Day, 1860. But whether p.282 he did so or not, I have taken the liberty, fifty-three years after the event, of exposing the part I took in the deception and craving forgiveness for my manifold sins and wickednesses on that occasion.

What became of the Russian princess with the pretty manners, the white hands and the enchanting eyes and the sweet "child" Bertie? They were back at Grass Valley almost as soon as Forbes and Barclay got there, and from my correspondence I learned that they shared in the prosperity of the Maloney claim, and that Mme. Fabre and her son returned to Russia to live among her noble kin.




I often pass through the Songhees Reserve, and the recent controversy respecting the reserve, and the dilapidated state of the former homes of the Indians, induce me to recall the reserve as I knew it first, when it was swarming with "flatheads," men, women and children. The term "flathead" was applied to the Songhees on account of the shape of his head, which was pressed flat with a piece of board strapped to his forehead while he was in a state of infancy.

In this state of bondage, if I may so term it, the "tenass man" (infant) passed his infancy. He was fed, took his sleep, and carried on his mother’s back by a strap passing around his mother’s forehead; thus he got his fresh air and exercise.

The mother, in fact all the females, chewed gum. I have always credited our American cousins with having originated this beastly practice, but now I suppose the credit for the discovery belongs to the Songhees, who must have taught our friends, and then gave it up themselves. Groups of men may have been seen carving miniature canoes with carved Indians paddling in them, also totem poles and bows and arrows, while three or four Indians would be at work shaping a full-grown canoe which might possibly hold half a dozen Indians. It was very interesting watching them at work and many an hour I have spent watching them when a boy. p.284 The women, while their "papooses" were playing about, worked also. Many made fancy articles out of tanned deer hide, embroidered with pearl buttons and beads, moccasins mostly, and for which there was a good sale. They were worn for slippers. I have bought many pairs at fifty cents a pair. The blankets they wore were decorated with rows of pearl beads down the front, red blankets being the favorite color, as they showed off the pearl beads to advantage.

All these articles, as well as many others, such as game, fish and potatoes and fruits, wild, were brought to our doors, and at prices much below what such things could be bought now—grouse, 35c. to 50c. a pair; wild ducks, the same; venison, from 5c. to 8c. a pound by the quarter; potatoes, about 1¼c. pound; salmon, 10c. each; wild strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and bilberries, at about 5c. pound. Even "gumstick" for lighting fires was brought to the door at 10c. a bundle. Their cries as they passed the doors might be heard at all hours. "Ah! Culla Culla" (grouse and ducks), "Mowich" (venison), "Oolally" (berries), "Sooke Oysters," "Salmon" and "Cowichan potatoes." These oysters were small but very nice, and for twenty-five cents you would get a bucketful; also the same quantity of clams. "Ick quarter" or "King George" quarter (twenty-five cents), bought almost anything.

All these cheap foods were a godsend to early residents, and at the same time were fresh and wholesome. The men and the young women went out washing by the day, from seven to six o’clock, at fifty cents.

[Portrait: Songhees Reserve.]

The one drawback to them was their dishonesty. Small articles of clothing, towels and handkerchiefs were easily hidden under their clothing, so that a close watch had to be kept, and if suspected, they were p.285 searched. The chief of the Songhees tribe was "King Freezey." He might have been seen parading about town in a cast-off naval officer’s uniform with cap to match, and he was very proud, as befitted such an august personage. When asked his name, ("ict micaa name") he would reply "Nica name, King Freezey, nica hyas tyee." ("My name is King Freezey; I am a great man.") This king of Songhees, after imbibing too freely of the ardent, was drowned by the capsizing of a canoe in the harbor, and so ended the life of a well-known personage.

That he left descendants is evident, as I see their names amongst those who got $10,000 each from the sale of the reserve. Compare these descendants with their grandparents. The former’s native ignorance and simplicity, when their wants were simple and few, with their grandchildren of to-day, who must have everything their brother whites have, to modern houses and furniture, buggies, sewing machines, musical instruments, etc., and not forgetting a bank account, and last, but not least, post office boxes, and one may well wonder at the "evolution of the Songhees." More might be said, but for the present this must suffice.

Indian Burying Grounds.

Islands were favorite burying grounds among the Indians, probably from the protection the surrounding water furnished against the incursions of animals, and coffin islands may be found at different points around the coast. In Victoria harbor and the Arm both Coffin Island and Deadman’s Island were used for this purpose within the memory of such old-time residents as Mr. R. T. Williams and Mr. Edgar Fawcett. Mr. Williams, p.286 whose memory goes back to the fifties, when he went to school from a shack on Yates Street opposite the site of the present King Edward Hotel, believes Colville Island may also have been used for this purpose as well, but distinctly remembers the trees and scrub on Deadman’s Island and the fire on it described in the following account, which is kindly furnished by Mr. Fawcett. Mr. Fawcett writes:

"Like the Egyptians of old, the Indians of this country had professional mourners, that is, they acted as they did in Bible days. The mourners, usually friends or members of the same tribe, assembled as soon as the death was announced, and either inside or outside the house they (mostly women, and old women at that) kept up a monotonous howl for hours, others taking their places when they got tired. In the early sixties an execution of four young Indians took place on Bastion Square for a murder committed on the West Coast. All day and night before the execution took place the women of the tribe squatted on the ground in front of the jail, keeping up the monotonous howl or chant, even up to the time the hangman completed his task. After hanging the prescribed time, the murderers were cut down and handed to their friends, who took them away in their canoes for burial. In the earliest days, I don’t think they used the regular coffin; the common practice was to use boxes, and especially trunks. Of course for a man or woman a trunk would be a problem to an undertaker, but the Indian solved the problem easily, as they doubled the body up and made it fit the trunk. For larger bodies a box was made of plank, but I do not remember seeing one made the regulation length of six feet, even for an adult, as they always doubled the knees under. A popular p.287 coffin for small people was one of Sam Nesbitt’s cracker boxes. He was a well-known manufacturer of soda crackers and pilot bread, whose place of business will be remembered by many old-timers at the corner of Yates and Broad Streets.

"The Indians rarely dug graves for their dead, but hoisted them up in trees, tying them to the branches, or merely laid them on the ground, and piled them up on top of one another. In time they fell into the customs of their white brothers, and got coffins made by the undertaker, and many a time I have seen Indians carrying coffins along Government Street, down to the foot of Johnson, for their reserve."—E. F.

In 1861 Mr. Fawcett with four companions, all school-boys at the time, were bathing on Deadman’s Island, and had lit a fire to warm themselves. Broken coffins were lying about, and piles of box coffins and trunks; these were set fire to, and the boys promptly made off to escape the wrath of the Indians, who, in those days, were numbered by hundreds. They made good their escape, and the whole island was swept by the flames—trees, scrub and coffins being burnt up. Since that time the island has remained in its present condition.

The Indians on the Songhees Reserve, also, Mr. Fawcett says, buried at two points on the reserve, but when the smallpox worked such havoc among them, the authorities insisted on the bodies being buried in soil, and when the removal of the Indians was accomplished a special amount was allotted to provide for the removal of the bodies elsewhere.—Editor.




I have been asked to tell of some of the changes that have taken place since Victoria, the fairest city of the West, commenced her career, viz., in 1858. I have produced several photos that explain a good deal without my help, but they may require explanation. As my endeavor shall be to give our visiting friends of the Methodist Church an insight into some of the changes in fifty years, I shall in the small space of time allowed me confine myself to events connected with the early history of the Methodist Church in Victoria, as I know them. Although not a member of their body I have claimed many of the founders of the church as my most intimate friends. There were Thomas Trounce and Mrs. Trounce, Edwin Donald and Mrs. Donald, Sheriff McMillan and Mrs. McMillan, Jonathan Bullen and Mrs. Bullen and Father McKay (as he was called by his friends in the church), and Mrs. J. W. Williams and Mrs. Lawrance Goodacre.

Of the pioneer clergy I well remember Dr. Robson, Dr. Ephraim Evans, Rev. Mr. Pollard and Rev. Mr. Derrick. Of these I best remember Dr. Evans, as having been here so many years with his wife, daughter and son. It will be remembered by old timers the sad story of his son’s death by drowning which I will in a few words relate. He was very fond of gunning, and one afternoon p.289 in December he went off with his gun to shoot duck from the beach off Beacon Hill, which was the common practice in those days. Having shot one or two and not being able to get them any other way, he stripped off his clothes and swam out after them. This was a very bold thing to do, as the water is so cold there, and especially in December. It is supposed he got the cramps or got caught in the seaweeds where the ducks were shot from, and so was drowned. Not coming home at his usual time, search was made, and having been seen going to Beacon Hill, it was there the searchers found his clothes and gun on the beach that evening. The poor father seemed heart-broken, for he would not leave the spot, but walked up and down all night calling "Edwin! Edwin, my son!" In the morning they recovered the body under the seaweed. Great sympathy was felt for the parents, and I well remember the funeral on a snowy day, and the unusual number of friends who attended the funeral in the old Quadra Street Cemetery. The granite monument is still to be seen there.

[Illustration: Bastion at S.W. corner of Fort.]

In the view of Government Street in the early sixties here produced, may be seen marked with a X Theatre Royal. In this building, which then was used for theatrical productions, concerts and lectures, I heard the Rev. Morley Punshon, then president of the Wesleyan Conference, I think. He lectured on Macaulay, and was reciting from "Lays of Ancient Rome" when the fire bells rang, and in less than five minutes there were only a score or so left of his audience. He stopped an instant, proceeded, but finally stopped for good, saying that it was the first time he had ever had to stop one of his lectures for a fire. But when he was told that it p.290 might have been the home of any one of his audience and that it was the custom for citizens generally to assist the firemen (who themselves were volunteers), he continued his lecture to the end, and very interesting it was.

The first Methodist services were held in Judge Pemberton’s police court room on Bastion Square until the church on lower Pandora Street was finished. This church was built on the corner of Broad and Pandora on land given by Governor Douglas, and was considered just outside the city (1859), the tall pine trees being much in evidence a couple of blocks away. In order to get to the church you had to pass over a gully with water at the bottom; a sort of trestle sidewalk on stilts was afterward constructed until the gully was filled in. At this date the Methodists had the most pretentious church in the city. The basement was used for Sunday School, prayer meetings and lectures. I must not forget the tea meetings which were given in those days. They were presided over by prominent ladies of the congregation—Mrs. Trounce, Mrs. Donald, Mrs. Bullen, Mrs. McMillan, Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. N. Shakespeare—and the admission to these "tea fights," as they were termed generally, was $1.50, and well patronized they were at that price. I attended many, and I think I can see now the tables spread with good things, and those sitting at them, nearly all of whom have passed away. We were early birds in those days. Entertainments commenced at six o’clock and all over at ten. By the large view of Government Street in 1858 it will be seen how it has progressed. It was not metalled until 1859, and nearly all the buildings were frame. The first brick is p.291 now to be seen on the corner of Courtney Street, the "Windsor Hotel." Where the Empress Hotel now stands, and all the land to the south and east, was the upper part of James Bay, and mudflats, and at times not very savory. It was not until late in 1858, or 1859, that a bridge connected the north and south sides of James Bay, people having to walk around the bay eastwards. The population of James Bay District was very sparse. Trails instead of streets ran in all directions. Belleville Street, that is now so thronged with passengers to and from the C.P.R. steamers every day, was not then in existence, for the beach reached to the trees in the front of the Parliament Buildings. Where the new Pemberton block now stands, down to the corner of Government Street, was an orchard and vegetable garden. Across the street where the Five Sisters Block stands was a vacant lot with a log hut in the rear where the Hudson’s Bay Company baked bread for the citizens, four-pound loaves being twenty-five cents, and very good it was. From Mr. Harry Glide, who arrived in Victoria in 1856, and has lived near the Outer Wharf for fifty-four years, I have learned much of the condition of things previous to the inrush from California in 1858–1859. He says all James Bay District was covered with fir trees and all the land from the mouth of the harbor along Dallas Road to Beacon Hill was "Beckly Farm." He says there were quite a number of Cherokee Indians here, who came from their native place to the coast of British Columbia for work; most of them were over six feet and strongly built. It seems strange that they should have travelled so far from their homes for work. There were also many p.292 Kanakas here who came on vessels from Honolulu at odd times. They formed a small colony and located on Humboldt Street, then called Kanaka Row. I can remember them in 1859, one family attending Christ Church regularly. There are many buried in Old Quadra Street Cemetery. The first sheets of the Colonist were printed on the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf in a large shed or warehouse, and later on the paper moved to Wharf Street to about where the Macdonald Block now stands. This was fifty-two years ago, and our visiting friends can draw a comparison with what it then was, a small double sheet, to its Sunday issue of to-day, with its many illustrations. For the information of our visiting friends I might say that the Hudson’s Bay Fort shown in the view of "Government Street in 1858," enclosed the two blocks running south from the corner of Bastion (the brass plate on the corner will show this) to the corner of Courtney and westwards to Wharf Street. In this fort all hands took shelter at night at the date of its erection. In 1858 and for years later, the fort bell rang at six o’clock in the morning, when the gates at the east and west ends were opened, and at six o’clock in the evening they were closed. There were two large general stores, and many storehouses and barns inside, and at the stores you could buy anything from a needle to an anchor, from a gallon of molasses to the silk for a dress. I might say a deal more, but it might not interest those for whom this sketch is written. As it is, there are many repetitions of what I have already written in the Colonist and Times during the last six years.


The Metropolitan Methodist Church.

To-day, February 13th, the Metropolitan Methodist Church celebrates the fifty-third anniversary of its foundation as a congregation. It was exactly fifty-three years ago yesterday that the first Methodist missionaries, sent out by the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canada, then part of the English Wesleyan conference, landed in Victoria. They were Rev. Dr. Ephraim Evans, his wife and family; Rev. Arthur Browning, Rev. Ebenezer Robson and Rev. Edward White, who also brought his family, one of his little sons being Rev. Dr. White, to-day Superintendent of Methodist Missions in this province. Rev. Dr. Robson was married shortly after his arrival. Of the gallant little party who faced the hardships of the then comparatively little known West with such tranquility and courage, all have now passed to their rest, Dr. Robson, the last survivor, dying less than a year ago in Vancouver.

The missionaries were received by Mr. John T. Pidwell, father-in-law of Mr. D. W. Higgins, and entertained in his home until they could secure permanent quarters. The following Sunday, February 13, service was held for the first time in the courthouse, and Rev. Dr. Robson subsequently went on to Nanaimo, where he found Cornelius Bryant, a young schoolmaster, who enjoyed the distinction of being the first member of the Methodist Church to set foot in British Columbia. He afterwards entered the Methodist ministry and died a few years ago. Rev. Edward White was quartered in New Westminster, where he established Methodism, and Rev. Mr. Browning, after acting as evangelist at different coast points, became the pioneer Methodist missionary in the Cariboo country.


[Illustration: First Methodist Church.]

Laying Corner-Stone.

During the following August the corner-stone of the first Methodist church in Victoria was laid. The building was situated at the corner of Broad and Pandora Streets, and was afterwards known as the Pandora Street Methodist Church. The stone was laid by Governor Douglas, and the building was dedicated the following May. Its usefulness was considerably lessened, however, by the building of the Metropolitan Methodist Church in 1890, which claims the honor of being the mother church of Methodism in the province, as, though the Pandora Street edifice was built first, it was not used for church purposes alone. The first pastor of the Metropolitan Church congregation was Dr. Evans, who was assisted by Rev. Dr. Robson, Rev. Arthur Browning and Rev. D. V. Lucas and Rev. Coverdale Watson (whose widow is now living in Vancouver), who acted as pastor for two separate terms.

Of the pioneers of Methodism, the following families were prominent and whom I counted among my friends: The Trounces and Donalds we had known in California; Sheriff McMillan and family, Captain McCulloch, Mr. and Mrs. T. S. Bone, Mr. and Mrs. Humber, Mr. and Mrs. Norris, Alderman Kinsman, and Father McKay, as he was affectionately termed by his intimate friends. All these have gone to their rest. Of those who are still with us, hale and hearty, are Mrs. Bullen, Mrs. Capt. McCulloch, Mr. and Mrs. David Spencer, Mr. and Mrs. N. Shakespeare, Mrs. Carne, Mrs. Branch, Mr. and Mrs. Pendray, Mrs. John Kinsman, Isaac Walsh, and others I cannot remember. I have attended many tea meetings held in the basement of the old church, presided over by these pioneer ladies.

Transcriber’s notes.

For this digital transcription, illustrations have been repositioned and page numbers in the table of illustrations have been omitted.

Minor punctuation errors have been emended without notice.

Corrections to original printed text:

Page Original Correction
7 Recolections Recollections
39 Johnston Street Johnson Street
79 1558. 1858.
108 Pfizenmeyer Pfitzenmayer
180 abroad aboard
256 peacable peaceable
291 Courtenay Street Courtney Street
292 Courtenay Courtney