Some odd stuff has happened in Vancouver's past. Here's a sampling (click to view):

· 1792 to 1899
· 1900 to 1922
· 1923 to 1930
· 1931 to 1935
· 1936 to 1940
· 1941 to 1946
· 1947 to 1954
· 1955 to 1960
· 1961 to 1965

From 1792 to 1899

For more details on these items see the Chronology for the year cited.

  • In 1792 a Spanish exploration party in these waters taught the local native people a song called Malbrouck, and recorded in their journals that the men were singing the song as they paddled away. We know the tune as For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow!
  • In 1861 Col. Richard Moody of the Royal Engineers named Lulu Island in Richmond in honor of 16-year-old singer Lulu Sweet, a visiting member of a touring San Francisco musical revue.
  • In 1865 the first telegraph message from the outside world to arrive at Burrard Inlet told of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
  • In 1867 when newly-arrived John “Gassy Jack” Deighton arrived at Burrard Inlet he told the mill workers there they could have all the whiskey they could drink if they helped him build his saloon. The Globe went up in 24 hours.
  • In 1869 our first (unofficial) postmaster was hotel owner Maxie Michaud. He had walked here from Montreal.
  • In 1878 the Moodyville Tickler, Burrard Inlet's first newspaper, appeared. It had a very brief, tongue-in-cheek existence. For example, the more you paid for your obituary the more glowing it became.
  • In 1880 the influential London Truth newspaper editorialized: “British Columbia is not worth keeping. It should never have been inhabited at all. It will never pay a red cent of interest on the money that may be sunk in it.”
  • In the 1880s a company of American cavalry raided an Apache village in Arizona. Among other things, they discovered a stack of Canadian Pacific Railway pamphlets advertising lots in Vancouver’s posh “Brighouse Estates”!
  • In 1882, when the first electricity came to B.C. (at the Moodyville sawmill on the north shore of Burrard Inlet) the mayor and council of Victoria made a special trip to see the lights turned on.
  • In 1883 the first locomotive arrived in Vancouver . . . on a ship! It was used for local work.
  • In 1884 huge, knot-free beams, 34 m (112 feet) long by 70 cm (28 inches) square were shipped to Beijing from Burrard Inlet sawmills. They’re still there, part of the Imperial Palace.
  • In 1886 the incorporation ceremony creating the City of Vancouver was delayed when it was realized no one had thought to bring paper to write down the details. One of the men there ran over to Tilley’s Stationery and bought a pen and some paper.
  • In 1886 butcher George Black organized horse races down muddy Granville Street.
  • In 1886 when the city’s first fire engine and its supporting equipment arrived (two months after the Great Fire), there were no horses available to pull it. For a time it had to be pulled to fires by the firefighters themselves.
  • In 1886 the first badges for the Vancouver City Police were made of American silver dollars, with one side smoothed down and engraved Vancouver City Police.
  • In 1886, with a population of about 1,000, Vancouver had three daily newspapers.
  • In 1889, the writer Rudyard Kipling visited Vancouver and bought land here: two lots at the southeast corner of East 11th Avenue and Fraser Street.
  • In 1891, when the population of Vancouver was only about 13,000, the Vancouver Opera House, built for the Canadian Pacific Railway, opened on Granville with 2,000 seats.
  • In 1891 world-famed actress Sarah Bernhardt appeared in Vancouver, but audience numbers fell off sharply when it was found she acted only in French.
  • In 1892 BC premier John Robson, after whom Robson Street is named, was visiting London, England. He got his finger caught in a cab door, infection set in, and he died.
  • In 1893 the exclusive Vancouver Club was formed. Shortly after its inauguration it ran into financial problems, and its china and silverware was repossessed. It was used—complete with the club’s crest—in the restaurant of the man who had supplied the stuff!
  • In 1894 the forerunner of the Vancouver Museum was created. The first donation was a stuffed swan.
  • In 1894 gold was discovered on Lulu Island.
  • In 1895 Burnaby hired its first law enforcer, at $2 a day, to police rowdyism, notify owners of swine running at large, and enforce the wide tire by-law for wagons. He was dismissed for lack of funds in April 1897.
  • In 1898, on October 15, the Nine O’Clock Gun was fired for the first time in Stanley Park . . . at noon.
  • In 1899, the city’s first CPR station (a tiny building) was moved from the north foot of Howe Street to No. 10 Heatley Street. CPR worker William Alberts, who had been badly injured on the job, was allowed to move into the old, unused station and use it as a rent-free residence for the rest of his life. He lived there for 50 years.

1900 to 1922 »