Transcribe – July 6, 1893 – page 1 of 1

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Transcribe – June 29, 1893 – page 1 of 1

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page 469


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Transcribe – June 21, 1893 – page 2 of 2

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page 460
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Transcribe – June 21, 1893 – page 1 of 2

To transcribe, please just type in what you see on the handwritten page below. Run your mouse over the handwriting to zoom in for a closer look.If you can't make out a word, just type in ? or [unreadable] and keep going.


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W. F. Salsbury, Vancouver Alderman

W. F. Salsbury, Vancouver Alderman

This biography of Vancouver Alderman W. F. Salsbury was originally published in the Vancouver Daily World of December 31, 1888, and transcribed by volunteer Lesley H. in May of 2018.


As a representative for Ward I, came out at the recent election in that ward at the head of the poll, which fact of itself speaks clearly of the very high opinion the electors have of him and the great hopes with which they look forward to his actions and good judgment in the Council. Mr. Salsbury was born at the pretty suburb of Kew, in the County of Surrey, England, within a few minutes ride by train of the “little village,” the metropolis of the world, in the year 1847. In his whole career he has shown a remarkable adaptability for figures, which faculty evinced itself at the early age of 4, his memory in that respect being perfectly wonderful, a qualification which we think should certainly cause his being appointed Chairman of the Finance Committee of the new Council. He entered railway life at the early age of 12, and was for some time in the service of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railroad. In the year 1870 he emigrated to Canada and entered the Treasurer’s Department of the Grand Trunk Railway under Mr. Hickson. Later, in 1881, he passed into the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. He landed in this Province in July, 1886, on the first through overland train. Mr. Salsbury has worked hard all his life, and his training is sure to be of the greatest service to him in dealing with any intricate points which may require his attention in the new Council. He has invested considerably in the city, and may be considered one of Vancouver’s solid, broad-minded, go-ahead citizens.

Videos about early Vancouver

Videos about early Vancouver

A ride through Victoria and Vancouver 1907
(Vancouver begins at about 3.14)
released by the Canadian archives in Ottawa, and enhanced by youtube user guy jones.

Sam Sullivan has made several Kumtuks videos about Vancouver in the early days:

Sam Sullivan’s video about the Chinook Wawa trading language

and more videos from Sam about early British Columbia:

The ward system in Vancouver, 1886

The ward system in Vancouver, 1886

One of the first things the Mayor and Aldermen did when forming a government was to divide Vancouver into five Wards. This was done through Vancouver By-Law No. 3

Wards in Vancouver 1886
Here are the ward boundaries established in 1886, superimposed onto an old map of Vancouver. If you want a closer look, click here for a downloadable PDF of this map.

Speaking of boundaries, you might be interested to see that Nanaimo Street* was the eastern boundary of Vancouver, and Alma Street* was the western boundary. The southern boundary went west along Sixteenth Avenue to Fraser Street, then jogged through the Kingsway and Fraser intersection, and continued along Fifteenth Avenue to Nanaimo Street. That was Vancouver in those days.

The ward boundaries were changed in 1891 through Vancouver By-law No 118 and again in 1895 through Vancouver By-Law No 233.

Later By-laws continued to change the ward boundaries, and increase the number of wards to six (in 1904) , then to eight (in 1911, when Cedar Cottage, Kensington and Riley Park became part of Vancouver).

Then when Point Grey and South Vancouver amalgamated with Vancouver in 1929, the number of wards increased to twelve. Six years later, Vancouverites voted 62% in favour of abolishing the ward system.

* though neither of them were called that then. Nanaimo was called Boundary Road, and Alma was sometimes called Campbell Road and sometimes also Boundary Road. Confused yet?

Reading the handwritten minutes

Reading the handwritten minutes

Reading the original handwriting from the early Vancouver City Council minutes can be a challenge. The nineteenth-century script is a spiky form of cursive, written with pen and ink; not always easy for twenty-first century eyes to decipher.

Some of the terms common in the minutes are no longer in use.  Some words can be figured out in in the context of the sentence. Others, such as names, are far more difficult.

Here are some articles and resources to help volunteer transcribers and the public read and understand the original handwritten minutes of early Vancouver.

 

A Vancouver child’s letter to grandma – October 18, 1909

A Vancouver child’s letter to grandma – October 18, 1909

This Vancouver child of 1909’s letter is kept in the City of Vancouver Archives, [Reference AM336-S2] indexed as “letter from unidentified child”. Assigned to write a letter during school hours, the child apparently took a break mid-sentence from writing to grandma and turned over the page to draw “robers and cowboys.”

This letter was transcribed by Transcribimus volunteers Leesa and L. Ellema.  Their transcription is below the original handwriting and drawing.

original handwritten minutes here

Dear Grandma :-
I received your welcome letter. Glad to hear that you are well, I am going to school and in the third Reader, we are all well, I am writing this letter in school.

This is a fine city I only wish you were here we have street cars running all over the city. It is all lit up at night there is a bit light on every corner, some of the biggest ships come here from all parts of the world, we have a building here 16 stories high, we got a lot of chicken’s and we get 5 eggs a day. I am working at a grocery store.

Alf Pilkington’s letter to New Zealand – July 8, 1906

Alf Pilkington’s letter to New Zealand – July 8, 1906
City Hall, 425 Westminster Ave. COVA reference no AM54-S4- City P47

Alf Pilkington and family fled the San Francisco earthquake and great fire of April 8, 1906.  By July 8, Alf has re-settled in Vancouver as the city accountant, and writes to his uncle in New Zealand, giving a picture of his life and work here.  This document is a photocopy (Vancouver City Archives AM 1024) of a damaged original.

copy of original document

COPY

Sixth Avenue East,

Mount Pleasant,

From A. J. Pilkington Vancouver, B.C.,

Canada.

8th July 1906.

Dear Uncle James.

Since my last to you in which I described how we had been burnt

out or shaken out in San Francisco, I am sure you would be feeling

anxious to know how I have been getting on, so am writing to let you

know that I have settled down here. I just managed to catch last mail

with a letter to Ernest telling him that I had made a start here, but

I know you would sooner hear direct. The position I have secured is

that of Accountant to the “City of Vancouver” at what they would call

in Auckland the “City Council”. It is a good billet with a good salary,

and plenty of chances of advancement, especially as the City is growing

very fast. The population at present is between 50,000 and 60,000,

not quite as big as Auckland, but at present rate of progress there

should be 100,000 inhabitants in four or five years. I made a start

on the 17th May, seven weeks ago, and have got a solid grip of everything

now, and find the position first class. Office hours are 9 to 5, with

an hour and a quarter for lunch, 12 to 1:15, and as we are living within

10 minutes tram ride from the City Hall, I have plenty of time at home,

far more than in Sydney. Also I have a free pass on all the City tram

lines, so can get around without any trouble or expenses. We have

been fortunate enough to rent a nice little house of seven rooms, with

electric light, hot water fittings, etc., and a lawn for Frankie to

play in, so I reckon that we have been very lucky, considering that houses

are very scarce here for renting.

As far as I can see there is very little agriculture this side

of the Rocky Mountains, but I have not had any chances yet of getting

out of the town. Certainly there is no farming in sight of Vancouver,

and will not be until the heavy bush is cleared. When I learn the

country a little more I will write to you more fully about the country.

It is summer here now, and the weather is very much like Auckland summer

without any wind. In winter I am told it rains oceans, six months

without a stop – in fact the older residents are said to be web footed.

got a severe nervous shock from the earthquake

and has not recovered yet, but Frankie and I are both first class. We are

expecting a letter from you soon, and I will then write again. We

hope everybody is well, and that Nelson is quite better. The photos

from Harold have not yet arrived – we are expecting them any time now.

Did I mention that your photo was in the Gladstone Bag that we saved

from the fire? Hoping to hear from you very soon.

I remain, with love to all,

Yours Alf