"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 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."
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."
THE IRON CHURCH AGAIN.
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 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.]
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 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.
"Alex. C. Garrett,
"Bishop of Dallas."
ITS DEPARTED GLORIES, OR ESQUIMALT, THEN AND NOW.
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 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 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 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 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.
OLD QUADRA STREET CEMETERY.
"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."
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 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 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.
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 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."
John S. Titcombe, pilot; monument erected by I. O. O. F.; died 1869, aged 41 years.
Matthew Hollow, died Feb. 28, 1871, aged 39 years; erected by Victoria Lodge, I. O. O. F.
Thos. Pritchard, died Oct. 31, 1883, aged 79; also Margaret his wife, died Dec. 3, 1871, 64 years. Note—This is the most pretentious monument in the cemetery. They leave grandchildren.
James Orr, died 1871, aged 32 years; buried by St. Andrew's Masons and I. O. O. F.
Alice Heathcote, wife of J. W. Hutchinson, jailer; died March 30, 1868, aged 27 years.
Margaret Langley, wife of Edward Langley; died 1866; leaves relatives.
James McCulloch, engineer steamer Sir James Douglas; died April 2, 1870, aged 46; also Margaret, wife of above, died Dec. 3, 1871, aged 64 years; also Wm. M. Doran, mate of same ship, who was accidentally drowned in Victoria harbor, July 7, 1868, aged 45 years; erected by officers and men of steamer.
Jessie Russell, wife of Robt. J. Russell (Russell's Station); died Aug. 29, 1860, aged 42.
John Wilkie, Wharf Street merchant; died April 28, 1871, aged 38 years.
James Murray Reid (Reid & Macdonald), partner of Senator Macdonald, and father of Mrs. W. J. Macdonald.
James Hepburn, died April 16, 1869; 58 years.
Nathaniel Milby Hicks, clerk C. M. C., died Oct. 31, 1870, age 52. (Member of first municipal council Victoria city.)
Capt. John W. Waitt, father of late M. W. Waitt; died 1870, aged 67.
Frederick and Arthur—children of Mrs. J. W. Williams.
Thos. Carter, of Hillside Farm, died 1869, aged 52 years; was husband of Mrs. C. Booth (and father of William Carter, provincial assessor's office). Note—Mr. Carter contracted a bad cold in the cemetery at the funeral of a brother Mason, and was heard to remark in an undertone to a friend as he was looking down into the grave, "And who will be the next?" Strange to say, he himself was the next, for within ten days his brother Masons met there to bury him.
Mrs. Harriet Jameson; died 1868, aged 18 years.
John Work, Chief Factor of H. B. Co., died Dec. 22, 1861, aged 70; and his son, Henry, died June 19, 1856, aged 12 years. (John Work was well known to all old-timers.)
Cecilia, wife of J. S. Helmcken, M.D., died Feb. 4, 1865, aged 30 years; also Douglas Claude, died Jan. 17, 1854, aged 3 months; Margaret Jane, died March —, 18 months; also Ogilvy Roderick, died March 5, 1 month—children of the above. (The wife of Dr. J. S. and mother of Dr. J. D. and H. D. Helmcken, and Mrs. — McTavish and Mrs. Higgins.)
Martha Coles; died March 13, 1865, aged 30 years.
Geo. Hooper; died March 15, 1865, aged 53 years.
Jane Neely; died April 1, 1865, aged 28.
Wm. Brooke Naylor; died Oct. 2, 1866, aged 42; sheriff of Vancouver Island. (Has a son here, Brooke Naylor.)
Cecilia Cameron, wife of David Cameron, C. J. of colony; died Nov. 26, 1859; also David Cameron, C. J., died May 14, 1872, aged 68 years.
Jno. Walton; died June 17, 1867, aged 55 years.
Abner H. Francis; died — 25, 1872, aged 59 years.
Chas W. Wallace, died March 13, 1865, aged 65; Jane Adison, died Feb. 5, 1854, aged 25 years; Kate, died July 11, 1869; Abby, died April 2, 1866; Edward, died Jan. 22, 1864; Charlie, died July 19, 1867—wife, children, father and sister of Charles W. Wallace (father of Mrs. E. E. Blackwood).
Mary Kamopiopio, wife of Wm. R. Kaule Lelehe; died Dec. 20, 1865, age 16. (Native of Hawaii.)
Henry Courtenay; born Oct. 27, 1869, died Sept. 14, 1871; 2 years. (Drowned at Burrard Inlet.)
Helen Amelia Dallas; born Feb. 20, 1859, died Jan. 24, 1860. (Granddaughter of Sir James Douglas.)
Barbara, wife of Thomas Mann; age 25 years.
Mary F. Semple; died Oct. 4, 1866; 1 year 10 months.
Wm. Honey; died Dec. 3, 1866, age 54 years.
Caroline Harrey Ewing; died June 3, 1864, aged 45 years.
Lucinda Mary, wife of Robert Grienslade; died Dec. 6, 1868, age 18 years.
Harriet, wife of Thomas James; died Oct. 19, 1868, aged 18 years.
James Wilson Trahey; died Dec. 2, 1868; 38 years.
Isaac Cameron; died Feb. 6, 1870; 29 years.
John B. McClearn; died Jan. 29, 1870, age 42.
Andrew Phillips; died Jan. 24, 1870, age 10 years.
Bridget, wife of Timothy Roberts; died Nov. 7, 1872, age 40 years.
John Bowes Thompson; died Aug. 6, 1870, age 49.
Hy. Francis Lee; died June 22, 1872, age 36 years.
Charlotte Dandridge; died March 7, 1863, age 70 years.
B. A. Wolsey. (Erected by her father.)
Hugh Cavin Walker; died May 16, 1868, age 26 years.
Freddy, child of J. W. and M. A. Williams; died March 31, 1870, age 4 years.
Wm. Emery; died May 2, 1871, age 33 years.
C. A. Schmid; died Nov. 29, 1871, age 48 years.
Charlotte, wife of John Holden; died March, 1863, age 28 years.
Monument erected to officers and men of H. M. S. Satellite—Daniel Evans, John Stanton, James Butland, John Willmore, Richard Stone, all drowned June 6, 1860; Wm. Brewer, died 1856; John Blackler, died 1859; Wm. Kett, died 1859; Richard Brown, died 1857; William Stout, died 1858; William Bell, died 1858; George Kembery, died 1860.
Monument to men of H. M. S. Sutlej—George Lush, John Guff, Edward Tiller, Joseph Neckless, died 1863 and 1864.
Monument to Benjamin Topp, H. M. S. Cormorant; died Oct. 22, 1846, age 40.
John Miller, H. M. S. Thetis, drowned in Esquimalt harbor June 3, 1852, age 22; W. R. Plummer, H. M. S. Thetis, age 23; James Smith, H. M. S. Thetis, age 31; Charles Parsons, H. M. S. Thetis, age 35—all drowned between Esquimalt and Victoria harbors, Aug. 22, 1852. Note—This headboard is wood, and although nearly 50 years old, is in splendid preservation, painted white with black letters, which stand out as plain as the day they were put on.
Monument to men of H. M. S. Plumper—James D. Trewin, died June 12, 1858, age 32 years; George Williams, Feb. 4, 1858, age 37 years.
Monument to William Johnson, H. M. S. Hecate; died Jan. 3, 1862.
Monument to men of H. M. S. Sutlej; died 1864 and 1866—Thomas Depnall, John Reese, George Crute, William Douglas, Albert Gilbert, Alexander Borthwick.
Monument to men of H. M. S. Tribune, 1865.
Chief Engineer of H. M. S. Sparrowhawk; died 1866.
Paymaster of H. M. S. Devastation; died 1864.
Engineer of H. M. S. Topaz; died 1861.
Commander Robson, of H. M. Gunboat Forward; died 1861, from effects of fall from his horse.
Engineer Charlton; died 1861. (Accidentally shot himself.)
Captain John A. Bull, master of H. M. surveying vessel Plumper; died —, 1860, age 27 years.
Granite monument to Edwin Evans, only son of Rev. E. Evans, D.D., age 20 years.
I have already given an account of this young man's death and burial in one of my former reminiscences; how he was drowned off Beacon Hill one December day. He undressed and swam out after a duck he had shot, got caught in the kelp and was drowned, his poor father walking up and down the beach all that night, calling "Edwin! Edwin! My son!" He was buried in a snowstorm, and great sympathy was shown by the public, by the crowds which filled the cemetery that day. Dr. Evans was Methodist minister when the church was built that is now being demolished.
Monument to Frederick Pemberton, Edward Scott, Eber and Grace, the four children of Bishop Cridge, who all died within two months, from diphtheria, in 1864-5; also his sister, Miss Cridge.
Jane, aged 47, wife of Thomas Lea Fawcett, and mother of Rowland, Edgar and Arthur Fawcett, the latter of London, Eng.; died January, 1864.
Thomas H. Botterell; died 1866, age 27 years.
Eliza A., daughter of George and Isabella Simpson; died 1872, aged 16 years 8 months (sister of George Simpson, H. M. customs.)
James Murray Yale, chief trader, H. B. Co.; died May 7, 1871, age 71 years.
Charlotte B., wife of Joseph Corin; died July 12, 1863, age 24 years. (She was the wife of partner of Charles Hayward.)
Elizabeth Caroline, wife of Edward G. Alston; died January, 1865, age 27 years. (Mr. Alston was registrar-general.)
Charlotte, wife of John Dutnall (John Dutnall was sexton of Christ Church, and formerly in charge of one of the H. B. Co.'s farms. Has a brother at Albert Head, farming.)
Antonia Hernandez; died March 22, 1862, age 32 years.
Henry Proctor Seelie, of London, England; died July 23, 1864, age 24 years.
Cecil, fourth son of G. T. Gordon; died April 20, 1861, age 5 years 4 months.
Anna Maria, widow of the late William Yardly; died March 5, 1864, age 59 years. (Mother of Mrs. Hy. Wootton.)
Samuel Hocking; died Sept. 15, 1862, age 37 years 8 months.
Louis Richards, native of Cornwall; died Oct. 21, 1872, age 21 years.
James Brown, of Kingston, Canada; died Feb. 9, 1873, age 37 years.
Alexander Deans; died October, 1858, age 17 months.
Mary Jane Deans; died July 8, 1868, age 5 years.
John Spence; died Sept. 29, 1865, age 67 years.
Mrs. Johnson, wife of J. H. Johnson, engineer H. B. Co. steamer Beaver; died Dec. 22, 1858. (Johnson Street named after him.)
George Leggatt—headstone is illegible.
Barbara, wife of Thomas Mann; age 25 years.
John Miles; died January, 1861; age 35 years.
William Wallis; died Jan. 3, 1862.
Ann Sayward; died August 17, 1870, age 46 years. (Mother of Walter Chambers and Joseph Sayward.)
James Chambers; died Dec. 7, 1859 (father of Walter Chambers), age 38 years.
Joseph Austen; died July 2, 1871, age 89 years. (A pioneer of 1858, and also of San Francisco, where he was a prominent member of the "vigilance committee." When he was made a judge, sentenced men to death during the stirring times of the early fifties in that city.)
John Parks; died June 6, 1862, age 27 years.
Millicent Page, wife of William Page; died Feb. 19, 1864, age 55 years.
Kenneth Nicholson; died Nov. 10, 1863, aged 35.
John Sparks, killed by explosion on steamer Cariboo, Aug. 2, 1861, age 28 years.
John Murray; died May 6, 1872, age 44 years.
William Henry Downes; died June 17, 1872, age 47 years.
Thomas, son of W. H. and A. J. Huxtable; died Feb. 8, 1869, age 4 years 9 months.
Anne, wife of Joseph H. Brown; died Aug. 16, 1871, age 31 years.
Jos. H. Brown; died July, 1869, age 39 years.
William and Edith, two children of William B. and Eliza Townsend; died in 1868 and 1871. (William B. Townsend was mayor of Westminster.)
Hannah, second daughter of John and Christiana Kinsman; died Feb. 26, 1865, age 7 years. (Daughter of the late Alderman Kinsman.)
Agnes Laumeisler; died Sept. 4, 1861, age 36 years.
Cecil Montague, second son of W. A. G. Young; died June 22, 1865, age 5 years. (Mr. Young was colonial secretary in 1865.)
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.
Carroll monument.—This, the second largest and costliest in the cemetery, has been very badly used, but it is also one of the oldest. Erected by Ellen Carroll, in memory of her beloved husband, John D. Carroll, died July 11, 1862, age 38; also in memory of her beloved babes, George Washington, born Feb. 22, 1860, died same day; John Thomas, born July 26, died same day; Mary Margaret, born Sept. 29, 1862, and died same day. (Who could blame this bereaved wife and mother if she didn't long remain a widow?)
Sosthenes Driard, a native of France, born 1819, died Feb. 15, 1873. (This marble stone was in several pieces, and difficult to read, but I persevered, as he was so well-known a man in early days, as mine host of the Colonial Hotel and afterwards of the Driard House.)
Marie Manciet; died Oct. —, 1868, age 21 years.
Mary Hall; died May 31, 1860, age 40 years. (This headboard is one of the best preserved in the cemetery; the black letters stand out as clear and bright as if just executed, but the white paint has nearly disappeared.)
W. L. Williams; died Dec. 17, 1862, age 20 years.
Jane Forbes; died July 22, 1859, age 26 years.
John Clarke; died Dec. 27, 1860, age 31 years.
James Farrelly; died Jan. —, 1866, age 28 years.
Maria Ragazzoni; died —, 1864.
Marie Newburger, died —, 1861, age 12 years.
Dr. N. M. Clerjon; died Feb. 25, 1861; age 53 years.
To the memory of my darling little Eva, who died July 14, 1863, age 7 years and 5 months; also her infant brother, age 3 days. J. S. Drummond (on a large flat stone.)
Charles H. Blenkinsop, H. B. Co.; died March 22, 1864.
Sacred to the memory of John Wood, from his wife—1864. Note—This is one of the best preserved headstones and enclosures in the cemetery, the latter being of iron, and 43 years old. My friend, Mr. Higgins, in his book "The Mystic Spring," gives the story of this clever actor, and his wife also, so I will not enlarge on it.
John Sparks, age 28 years; killed by the explosion of steamer Cariboo, Aug. 2, 1861.
Smith Baird Jamieson, killed by the explosion of steamer Yale—April, 1861; Archibald Jamieson, and James Baird Jamieson, killed by the explosion of steamer Cariboo in Victoria harbor, Aug. 2, 1861, three brothers, sons of Robert Jamieson, Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland.—I refer my readers to Mr. Higgins' book for the story of these brothers also. I remember the morning of the explosion of the Cariboo. It woke up the whole town. I think her bones lie in the mud alongside Turpel's ways in Songhees reserve.
William Alexander Mouat, chief trader H. B. Co.; died April 11, 1871, aged 50 years; also Clarissa Elizabeth, daughter of the above, age 8 years. (Father of Mrs. Richard Jones.)
Eleanor M. Johnston; died Feb. 27, 1872.
Elizabeth A. Kennedy; born at Fort Simpson, Nov. 1835, died at Fort Victoria, February, 1850; also Dr. John Kennedy, chief trader, H. B. Co., died 1859, age 52 years; also Fanny Kennedy, age 25 years; James B. Ogilvy, died Dec. 23, 1860, aged 5 years; John D. B. Ogilvy, Victoria Lodge, No. 783, F. & A. M., age 30 years; died May 12, 1865. (Father, mother, daughter and nephew, and Dr. Kennedy had two sons, one master of the Colonial school in 1859, and one clerk in H. B. Co.'s store.)
William Wright; died July —, 1870, age 53 years.
John Hender Wood, master of ship Ellen; died May 12, 1868, age 41 years.
George H. Booth; died Sept. 1, 1867, age 1 year 8 months. (Wood headboard is in good state of preservation.)
Henry Francis Lee; died June 22, 1872, age 36 years.
Mary Ann Dougherty; died Sept. 5, 1863.
Paul Medana; died Nov. 14, 1868.
James Webster; died Sept. 15, 1862, age 37 years 8 months.
Millicent Page, wife of Wm. Page; died Feb. 19, 1864, age 55 years.
Kenneth Nicholson; died Nov. 10, 1863, age 35 years.
Charles Dodd (Chief Factor H. B. Co.); died June 2, 1860, age 52 years.
Eleanor M. Johnston; died June 2, 1860.
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 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.
PIONEER SOCIETY'S BANQUET.
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 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 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, 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.
VICTORIA DISTRICT CHURCH.
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, 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."
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, 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 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.
CHRISTMAS IN 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 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 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 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. 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 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 QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY FORTY YEARS AGO.
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; 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 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. 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.
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, 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, 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."
EVOLUTION OF THE VICTORIA POST-OFFICE.
[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 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.
I remember again when the post-office was on Government Street again, this time where Weiler Brothers' 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 34c., British North American provinces 20c., France 50c., Germany 40c., Holland 57c., Norway 56c., Portugal 68c., Sweden 52c., and San Francisco 15c. Most of the letters from the latter place were received by Wells Fargo's express, and cost, I think, 3c., and special charge of 25c. 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, 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 34c. postage in those days more appreciated than a lot of letters now at 2c. 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.
FIFTY YEARS AGO.
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 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 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 25c. 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 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."
FORTY YEARS AGO.
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 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.
THE LATE GOVERNOR JOHNSON.
[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 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."
A TRIP TO A CORAL ISLAND.
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 at Agana, over a hundred years old, the bells belonging to it being hung in a low tower near by.