Deighton was originally a man of the water, coming to Canada from his home of Hull England as he worked aboard a ship. He then became a steamboat operator but swelling of his feet and legs forced him to find other employment. He ran a saloon in New Westminster that was quite popular due to the Cariboo Gold Rush of 1862 but five years later business was slow so he closed it.
In September of that year Deighton and his native wife stepped off the boat with a barrel of whiskey. He told the idle millworkers that if they built him a saloon he would serve them all whiskey. The saloon was up and running within a day.
Three years after that the area was named Granville in an attempt to make it sound more distinguished but everyone still referred to the settlement as Gastown after the colorful saloon owner.
This statue of John Deighton stands at the corner of Water and Powell Street or Carrall and Powell Street - the three streets merge there.
Hotelier Angelo Calori had this hotel built close to the old steamship docks and there was a bus that transferred passengers from the docks to the hotel. In 1983 it was redone for affordable housing units.
And thanks for gastown.org I have a photo for you.
When I walk somewhere I like to duck in behind buildings and such to see what might be there, what the general public may not be likely to see. Gastown is great, the developers have mixed the old with the new and tried to keep the new in the same style. But I found this on my wanderings and it looks pretty old to me.
Another thing that Gastown is known for is our steam clock.
Under the clock is a steam grate that was part of our distributed steam-heating system. The clock was put there to prevent an eyesore - the grate - prevent the homeless from sleeping on the grate and to make use of the escaping steam. Every fifteen minutes the clock chimes and steam billows. Quite a sight and one that wouldn't show up well with my little camera.
This area of town, a very important part of Vancouver's history, was almost lost to us. After the Depression of the thirties it became a forgotten area, allowed to fall into disrepair. Then a group of concerned citizens started campaigning in the sixties and in 1971 the provincial government declared it a provincial historical site which has provided protection for the buildings that show our past. The federal government declared Gastown a national historic site in 2009.
I hope you enjoyed the little trip through the Vancouver's first settlement. I will have to go back another day when the weather changes and take more photos so you can see more. I did see something interesting on the Inlet though.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
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