Rev. HG Fiennes-Clinton’s letter home – April 3, 1886

Rev. HG Fiennes-Clinton’s letter home – April 3, 1886

Rev. H.G. Fiennes-Clinton was one of the first clergy of St. James’ Church in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster.  On April 3, 1886, he wrote a letter to his sister-in-law Mrs. Clement Fiennes-Clinton, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, England, telling her about his life in “Vancouver,” as it was soon to be called.

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Please note that some of the content in these historical documents may be racist, sexist, or culturally insensitive. This content reflects the time and culture when they were written and not the views of Transcribimus.

 

Mrs. BT Rogers reminiscences – 1885-1886

Mrs. BT Rogers reminiscences – 1885-1886

In the City of Vancouver Archives we found the manuscript below.  Written by Mrs. B.T. Rogers (born Mary Isabelle Angus) at age 85, she shares her memories of Vancouver when she visited as a sixteen year old girl.  She saw Vancouver not long before the Great Fire of June 1886, was a passenger on the first CPR train to arrive in Vancouver, and much more.

Help transcribe this document

You are invited to help transcribe Mrs. Rogers’ memories.  Each page has been photographed, and a text box placed beside it.  Type what you read in the photo into the text box.

Each photograph can be zoomed in for a closer look at a word or phrase.  Just run your mouse over the area you want to zoom in. If you can’t read a word or phrase,  don’t worry, just type “unreadable” and keep on going.

Click the “submit” button when you are done.  You can go to the next page of the letter by clicking the link at the bottom right of the page, or go back using the link at the bottom left.


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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.