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British Columbia History

British Columbia History 52.2 | Summer 2019

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.

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

in this issue

3 min
historical society enriches community memory henry houston scott heritage park

A line of apple trees on the grassy corner of 64th Avenue and 181A Street — recently named Henry Houston Scott Park — is all that’s left on the land to mark the life and work of a black pioneer family in Surrey. That the story came forward nearly fifty years after the death of the final Scott family member is testament to the work of the Surrey Historical Society (SHS) and the research of many people, notably Jim Foulkes. Born in Fannin County, Texas in 1854, Henry Scott was born in an era in which slaves made up nearly one-third of the population of the state. He was still a child when President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, and barely a teen when slavery was abolished statewide on…

19 min
conflicts with the law mennonites, hutterites, and doukhobors

Mennonites, Hutterites, and Doukhobors who emigrated to Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries faced challenges with federal and provincial laws that sometimes conflicted with their desire to practice communal living, educate their children in their own schools, and remain true to their nonviolent beliefs by avoiding military service. Mennonites and Hutterites, with origins in Switzerland and Italy at the time of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, and Doukhobors, originating in Russia about 1700, have much in common, including pacificism, a strong belief in the Bible, preference for communal living (Mennonites less so than the other two groups) and a long history of persecution that forced them to migrate many times. Russian Connection Another commonality is their long residence in Russia, a country many families from these three groups moved to…

2 min
letters from readers

First Woman Mayor Iona Campagnolo’s article about women accessing public office [52.1, Spring 2019] raised an interesting question about the first woman elected mayor in BC. Stella Gummow of Peachland holds the title. She served as reeve in 1943–44, following the death of her husband, who previously filled that role. In 1946, Prince Rupert’s Nora Arnold, then a sitting alderman and manager of a real estate company, opposed incumbent mayor Harry Daggett. The key plank of her election platform was reducing the mayor’s salary from $2,000 to $1,200 per year. She won by four votes, 541 to 537. At the same time, Emilie Popoff was acclaimed as mayor of Slocan City. Gummow, Arnold, and Popoff would have been well acquainted with each other through their involvement in the provincial Women’s Institute. They were not, however, the…

14 min
on vacation with bc history

Books on British Columbia’s history are summer sidekicks for many of us. Packed into suitcases and taken on vacation, tucked into a bag and carted off to the beach, or read at home without switching on a lamp in the sunny evening hours. I usually stash a book in the tractor when our farm is cutting hay in July to keep myself amused in the middle of a hot field, when inevitably, the best laid plans go awry. Most of the books reviewed this summer cover well-known topics in British Columbia history, but the authors bring fresh perspectives, take an in-depth look at the story, or challenge what we think we know. Where is your favourite summer reading spot? Maybe one of the books reviewed in this issue will accompany you there! Coming…

1 min
sons of freedom

The story of the Doukhobors is complicated by a breakaway group, the Freedomites (later known as the Sons of Freedom). In the early 1900s, British Columbian newspapers started reporting stories of naked protests in other parts of Canada. Towards the end of the First World War, reports of nude protests in BC started to appear in the newspapers. The June 24, 1921 Vancouver Sun ran a story from Nelson titled “In Adam and Eve Attire Doukobors Fight Mounties. The actions of the Freedomites escalated in the 1920s. They burned their own homes and the homes of other Doukhobors to protest materialism. In 1932 almost 600 men and women were arrested for nude parading, made illegal in 1931, with a mandatory 3-year sentence, but the authorities had nowhere to put them. A…

17 min
the adventures of captain jemmy jones

Born in Wales in about 1830, James “Jemmy” or “Jimmy” Jones was “one of British Columbia’s most noted characters whose celebrity extended down to Washington, San Francisco, and Mexico.”1 He left Wales at an early age to search for his father who he located working in a coal mine in Pennsylvania. His adventurous spirit led him overland to Salt Lake with a group of Mormons. From there he went to California in 1849, part of their great gold rush. After a few years he ended up at Bellingham working in a coal mine. Eventually he earned enough money to purchase his first vessel, the schooner Emily Parker.2 With this vessel he entered the trading business between Puget Sound and Vancouver Island. This venture was short lived. In 1856 this schooner caught…