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British Columbia History 50.3 | Fall 2017

British Columbia History chronicles British Columbia’s unique story through the words and images of community writers, archivists, museum professionals, academic historians and more. Fresh, engaging, personal and relevant, every issue is packed with articles, photographs, maps, illustrations, book reviews and insights into local archives and historic sites.

British Columbia Historical Federation
$7.88(Incl. tax)
$26.25(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
digital rabbit hole

One of the joys of the modern age is having the ability to do research in your pyjamas in the middle of the night. So many records are readily available at our fingertips through the magic of digitization. On the one hand digitization makes research so much easier for historians. On the other hand, I know how easy it is when I am researching or fact-checking to get distracted by another fascinating line of research and sucked down the rabbit hole of time like Alice in Wonderland. Three articles in this issue rely on newspaper stories and advertisements to help build the chronologies for their stories. Other headlines jump out at me from the June 20, 1896 Vancouver Daily World — “Burrard Bicycle Club”, “The Coming Carnival”. A search for “Tilley”…

1 min
letters from readers

J.O. Patenaude Thanks to Ron Welwood for the British Columbia History Summer 2017 article on J.O. Patenaude. The magazine arrived here today. The then and now photos on the back page are lovely. I like the article text and illustrations and the range of research. What I especially like is the explanation of Patenaude’s name on page 17. Ovide and Avila are names in my mother’s Desautels family. I appreciate the explanation that “in Quebec the first name of almost every male was Joseph, so it was customary to use their second name.” My mother’s great uncle Joseph Alfred Payment went through most of his life as Alfred. Your article was worth waiting for. Jacqueline Gresko 88 Battalion Hi Andrea, I see your Editor’s piece in the latest issue. Good for you!! Just to clarify, the 88th did…

14 min
seth thorne tilley pioneer bookseller

When Vancouver’s first city council gathered for their swearing-in and inaugural meeting on May 10, 1886, one week after their election and just over a month after the incorporation of the city, they were undoubtedly caught off guard to realize that they had nothing with which to record their first decisions. Asking the assembly to wait a moment, quick-thinking William Gallagher, a future city alderman, rushed out into the street and around the corner to Tilley’s Book & Stationery Store on Carrall Street. Returning to the meeting with a pad of paper, a pen, and a bottle of ink, Gallagher wrote “City of Vancouver” atop the first sheet of paper, and the historic meeting was under way. Tilley’s was not the only book and stationery store in pioneer Vancouver at the…

1 min
historical inconsistencies

Seth’s daughter Jennie was born in New Brunswick in August 1879, and the Biographical Dictionary of Well-Known British Columbians states that the Tilley family moved back to BC in 1879; however, Tilley and his wife and children are enumerated in the 1880 US census as living in Santa Barbara as of June that year. Both the Biographical Dictionary and the census refer to Mrs. Tilley’s ill health; the census includes only the notation “general debility” and notes that the household included a fifteen-year-old “nurse girl” named Ella Woodworth. Seth Tilley shows up in the 1881 Canadian census records as living at Yale, though his family is not enumerated with him.…

4 min

1. There is some confusion about the date of the first meeting, with some sources recording it as May 10 and others as May 12. Major Matthews’ Early Vancouver states that the first meeting was held at 2 p.m. on May 10 and that a second meeting took place the evening of May 12. (Major James Skitt Matthews, Early Vancouver, Vol. 3 [Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 2011], 190.) 2. Matthews, Early Vancouver, Vol. 3, 189. 3. British Columbia from the Earliest Times to the Present: Biographical, Vol. 3 (Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914), 88. In May 1886, T.R. Pearson folded his New Westminster and Vancouver stores into the British Columbia Stationery & Printing Company with partners J.B. Ferguson and D. Robson (Daily Colonist [May 22, 1886]: 2). 4.…

6 min
let’s stop—look—and learn bc’s stop of interest program

Great things took place in 1958 for Heritage preservation in British Columbia. The restoration of Barkerville became our Province’s centennial project, chosen by Premier W.A.C. Bennett and his cabinet; the Stop of Interest marker program was inaugurated; and the Garbage Gobbler made its appearance along provincial highways. This was at a time, however, when heritage conservation was somewhat of an orphan in BC, a program without a home. For the 1958 Centennial of British Columbia becoming a British Crown Colony, heritage projects were funded through the Provincial Secretary’s Office, where civil servant Lawrie Wallace had the ear of the Premier. A year or two earlier, a Centennial Committee had been formed that included, amongst others, Wallace, Provincial Archivist Willard Ireland, and historian Margaret Ormsby. But who would be responsible for…