Westminster Avenue Laundry Under Investigation – December 20, 1897

Westminster Avenue Laundry Under Investigation – December 20, 1897
Wah Chong laundry

The Health Committee got a letter from G. W. Thomas complaining about a “nuisance” (odour) from a Chinese Laundry near his premise on Westminster Avenue. The Wah Chong Family Laundry in this photo was located on Westminster Avenue, and may have been the very laundry complained of. Charles Mulhern and John M. McLean were appointed special constables at $60 per month each.

This document was transcribed in 2022 by Transcribimus volunteer Joanne McCormick

Illustration: COV Archives SGN 435.1
Wah Chong Family & Their Water Street Business, c1884

Original handwritten minutes: COV Archives Series 31
Volume 8 pages 101-107

To see or download pictures of the original pages, click on the buttons below (2 parts):

[Volume 8, Page 101]

The Council met on Monday December 20th 1897

Present: His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen Painter, Townley, McQueen, Neelands, McPhaiden, Brown, W.S. MacDonald, D.G. McDonald and Bethune.

The minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.


From the Toronto World asking for a share of the Klondike Advertising.
Referred to the Finance Committee.

From the Chief of Police reporting on the electric lights.

From J. Buntzen reporting the installation of 14 new lights.

From J.H. Smith complaining about the boys coasting on Richards Street.
Referred to the Police Committee.

From J. Buntzen, Manager of the BC Electric Co, stating that it would not be practicable to run the Pender Street car to the new City Hall on account of there being only a single track on Powell Street, also stating that he would give a 20-minute service on Ninth Avenue if one man were allowed to operate the cars.
Referred to the Railway Committee.

From F.S. Barnard, Managing Director ….

[Volume 8, Page 102]

…of the BC Electric Co., asking for an extension of time for the construction of the Denman Street line to the 31st of December 1898.
Referred to the Railway Committee.

From J. H. Watson objecting to relief being given to Mrs Lovett.

From the City Auditor reporting accounts correct for November.

From George McL Brown, Executive Agent of the CPR Co, stating that the Company wished a By-Law to be submitted to the people on the lines set forth in their first communication to Council or they would prefer to withdraw the whole proposition.
Filed for reference.

The following Reports were received and read:

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met on Friday December 17th 1897.

Present: the full Board

The following account was recommended for payment:

Evans, Coleman & Evans supplies $9.85

Signed James McQueen,

Moved by Alderman Brown;
Seconded by Alderman McQueen
That the Report be adopted.

Health Committee

The Health Committee met on Wednesday December 15th 1897.

Present: Aldermen McPhaiden, Neelands & Painter

The following accounts were recommended for payment:

Cleeve Canning Co supplies $.75

H.E. Lanps mental examination $5.00

J. Dodson supplies $26.15

City of Victoria care of leper $36.72

J.W. Aldfield repairs $18.00

G.M. Taylor expert evidence $4.75

Pioneer Steam Laundry washing $90.88

Dr. Tunstall medical consultation $5.00

F.J. Underhill medical consultation $5.00

F. Ellison supplies $47.60

William Ralph supplies $517.50

Valley Dairy Co supplies $39.37

Robert Clark supplies $16.50

J. W. Oldfield woman’s ward $1600.00

J. E. Barwick supplies $4.75

Mrs Davis nursing $10.00

Thp Dunn & Co supplies $2.70

City Grocery Co supplies $86.89

Evans, Coleman & Evans supplies $15.15

J.S. Rankin supplies $2.75

Clarke & Stuart supplies $4.90

Dorn Fish Co supplies $13.65

J.C. Woodrow supplies $60.38

McDowell & Co supplies $81.41

A. Nossle labor $5.00


From James Ellison stating that he would remove his buildings in premises on Prior Street at an early date.

From Dr Gahan submitting an account for attending Mrs. Lovett in her confinement.

[Volume 8, Page 104]

From G. W. Thomas complaining about a nuisance from a Chinese Laundry near his premise on Westminster Avenue.
Being attended to.

From Mrs. J. Campbell etal complaining about the Ellison Laundry.
Being attended to.

From Ed Johnson, Slocan City asking for time to connect his premises with the sewers on the corner of Richards & Davie Streets.
Referred to the Health Inspector.

From the Health Inspector recommending that 500 cards be printed giving number allowed in rooms liable to overcrowding.
Resolved that his request be granted.

From the Health Inspector furnishing Report.

From Dr’s Maclean and Underhill reporting a case of leprosy.
Removal to Darcy Island sanctioned.

Tenders were received for supplying the Woman’s Ward of the City Hospital from the following parties: C. Cattell, Layfield & Co, Shelson & Co and Mrs. C.C Eldridge.
Referred to Aldermen McPhaiden and Neelands and Miss Macfie for examination.

After examination the Subcommittee recommended the acceptance of the following tenders:

C. Cattell, three-pound hair pillows @ $1.50 each

Mrs. Eldridge, towels $2.00 per dozen; toweling 20 cents per yard

Shelton & Co, hair mattresses $10.00 each, surgical bedsteads No 517 $18.00 each, iron bedsteads dom springs $10.50 each

[Volume 8, Page 105]

Layfield & Co

No 600 blanket $4.75

Quilts $1.00

Ticking 14 cents

Sheeting 22.5 cents

Pillow cotton 14 cents

White cotton 10 cents

Turkish toweling 25 cents

Signed D. McPhaiden,

Moved by Alderman W.S. MacDonald;
Seconded by Alderman Bethune
That the Report be adopted.

Fire and Police Committee

The Fire and Police Committee met on Tuesday December 14th 1897.

Present: the full Board

Dan Stewart supplies $18.00

J. Dodson supplies $27.85

J.C. Woodrow supplies $27.04

D.J. McLean supplies $2.00

M. Rae supplies $4.80

C.S. Philp supplies $7.15

Charles Mulhern special duty $28.00

M.S. Rose supplies $2.50

Geo. Leonard repairs $1.00

W.H. Canyon interpreting $6.00

S. James interpreting $5.00

Malcolm McLean car fares $2.00

A.H. Hatch supplies $5.50

McDowell & Co supplies $5.75

E. Clough express $.50

City Treasurer disbursements $11.00

Atkins & Johnson express $.50

Robert Clark supplies $15.50

R. Campbell & Son supplies $2.50

R.A. Muskett supplies $42.00

McLennan & McFeely supplies $880.00

Brackman & Ker supplies $128.18

S.A. Skinner & Co supplies $3.50

City Grocery Co supplies $41.00

[Volume 8, Page 106]

John Boyd & Co supplies $4.22

Evans, Coleman & Evans supplies $19.94

Thp Dunn & Co supplies $17.52

J. Storey supplies $14.25

Clarke & Stuart supplies $4.00


From W.B. Ross asking for liberty and justice.

From the Local Council of Women asking the City to provide more jail accommodation for female prisoners and appoint a matron.
Laid over to be considered when alterations are being made on the Jail.

From the Chief of Police asking that two Special Constables be appointed for the winter months as certain portions of the City were wholly without police protection.
Resolved that having considered the suggestions of the Chief of Police we would recommend that two Special Constables be appointed during the winter months.

From the Chief of Police asking the decision of the Board on two cases where monies were received by members of the Force as rewards for special services rendered.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

Signed D.G. McDonald,

Moved by Alderman D.G. McDonald;
Seconded by Alderman McPhaiden
That the Report be adopted.


Moved by Alderman Neelands;
Seconded by Alderman W.S. MacDonald
That Charles Mulhern and John M. McLean be appointed Special Constables during the pleasure of the Council at a salary at the rate of $60.00 a month each.

[Volume 8, Page 107]

Moved by Alderman Brown;
Seconded by Alderman D.G. McDonald

That the wages of all employees on the Water Works and Board of Works be paid on Thursday next.

Reconsideration of By-Laws

Moved by Alderman McQueen;
Seconded by Alderman Painter
That the Municipal Polling By-Law be reconsidered and finally passed.

Notice of Motion

Alderman McQueen gave notice that he will introduce a By-Law at the next meeting of this Council to exempt the property of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company used strictly for railway and steamship purposes from taxation for a period of 20 years on terms and conditions to be agreed upon the lines laid down in the communication of the Company to this Council.

The Council then adjourned.

Thomas Francis McGuigan
City Clerk

W. Templeton

Not mentioned in the above minutes but included in the meeting overview article of the Daily News Advertiser, December 21 1897, page 5 – City Council – Aldermen Enquire About the Cock Fight

Alderman Neelands asked how it had been possible to hold a cock fight within a couple of blocks of the Police station, without the police knowing anything about it.

The Mayor stated that the keeper of the livery stable, in which the fight had taken place, had been fined, in spite of his pleading ignorance of the matter. The Chief of Police, on being applied to, failed to throw any material light on the subject.

Ald. Neelands said it appeared that a number of “sports” had come over from across the line, with birds, and had taken all the money with them. It was time that the police should make a point of being cognizant of the entrance of such men into the City, and also of such illegal proceedings.