Monday, November 22, 2010

A Mad, Mad Monday

Actually a very cold Monday. And I should have known it was coming - take a look at what the mountains looked like a few days ago.

Don't you get the chills just looking at it? I do!

I did walk today but I didn't get a lot of photos. As it gets colder my camera may not work as well so I will dig into the ones on file and then let you know about different facts about the city.

(A fitting sentiment I thought.)

On March 3, 1892 Charles Woodward opened his first store near Main and Hastings. He sold dry goods. I wonder exactly where that building was.

On April 30, 1892 South Vancouver had its first election. W.J. Brewer was elected first Reeve.The municipality of South Vancouver didn't last long. It amalgomated with Vancouver on New Years Day 1929.

The ninth Premier of British Columbia, John Robson, died on July 29, 1892 in London England. Robson had previously got his finger caught in a cab door and then an infection had set in and so on and so on. He was replaced by Theodore Davie.

I don't know anything about this house. It just looks old and I wonder about its story.

On November 1, 1892 Firehall No. 3 was opened west of Main Street on Broadway. Their hose reel was hand drawn and there were no horses to draw the wagon. They did have a telelphone though.

In 1894 the first Vancouver Museum opened. The first donation was a stuffed swan.

On October 12, 1894 a group of hikers climbed a mountain near Vancouver. Upon reaching the top they saw a blue grouse. Hence the mountain was named Grouse Mountain and that is what it remains called today.

Mrs. Thomson started the city's first kindergarten class in 1894. It was located on Georgia Street.

I didn't walk by here today though I should. I am curious to know how they are surviving the cold. A great way I think to make use of an empty lot. Less expensive and harmful to the environment then erecting another building.

Did you know that on August 15, 1895 Mark Twain visited Vancouver? The American writer/storyteller visited the opera house as part of a speaking tour. He had his audience laughing so much, and so loudly, that a lot of what he said couldn't be heard.

On the first day of 1895 one of the city's future mayors arrived in town. William H. Malkin came to find a city with a population of 17,000; numerous store fronts vacant and a city that didn't look like it had a great future.

Also in that month the founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, visited Vancouver.

1895 happened to be the year that the first letter boxes were installed on Vancouver's streets.

This mushroom is real. It almost looks like it has been painted or manufactured somehow. But it was real I am sure of it.

September 17, 1896 L.D. Taylor arrived in Vancouver. This gentleman went on to become mayor of Vancouver seven times and served a term of eleven years.
Taylor was an interesting man. Or at least had an interesting history and political career. Taylor was born in Michigan and lived for a while in Chicago before coming to Vancouver. (Rumour has it that he was running from an employer that he had defrauded.) Taylor dabbled in the Klondike Gold Rush before turning to politics.

First elected in 1910 Taylor was a strong advocate for the amalgamation of South Vancouver and Point Grey with Vancouver. He oversaw a variety of public works such as the opening of the airport on Sea Island and the Burrard Street Bridge. (Although Taylor worked for the amalgamation it wasn't realized until 1929 under Mayor W.H. Malkin who had taken office in 1928. )

Taylor was a newspaperman as well. He began working for the Vancouver Daily Province before purchasing the Vancouver Daily World. He is responsible for one of today's city landmarks - the Sun Tower. (tidbit of info. I was watching the television show Human Target with Mark Valley yesterday. At the end of the show he pulls open the curtains and stands in a window. As the camera goes wide I see that he is standing in one of the offices in the Sun Tower.)

Although Taylor was popular with the people he was also surrounded by controversy. An exhaustive 1928 investigation into police corruption showed that Taylor had connections with known vice operators in the city. Mayor Taylor claimed he wasn't running a Sunday School Town and thought police resources should be spent on major crimes not victimless vice crimes.
Gerry McGeer's electorial campaign in 1934 used this as its basis and finished Taylor's career with the largest electoral defeat in Vancouver history. Ironically McGeer had been the lead prosecuting attorney in the 1928 police inquiry. Taylor never managed to get back in office and remained bitter about the 1934 defeat. (The information about the defrauding an employer in Chicago was a secret that Taylor kept hidden for years and only came to light in a recent biography.)

I must say that some of our politicians - both in the city and province - have been colorful characters.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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