Tuesday, January 3, 2012


At the corner of Robson and Granville Streets there is an interesting display.
I've seen this numerous times from the window of a bus and one day I decided to go look at it. It is another piece of artwork - this one entitled Rogues Gallery circa 1900 and was created by Cam Andrews and Jessica Bushey. Andrews and Bushey consulted the  Vancouver Police archives to create this artwork that is not only interesting but also shows a bit about the attitudes of people in my city at that time.

So today, while showing you some of the beauty around the city, I will tell you about some of these rogues and ne'er do wells featured here.

James Carvey was a 25-year-old native of Sacremento, California. He was a sailor who was arrested on February 16, 1899 and charged with stealing a boat. Carvey was sentenced to six months hard labour in the New Westminster Gaol.

20-year-old Rita King was arrested on July 26, 1899. A sporting woman by profession, she was charged with shooting Lessil McDonald at the Opera Resort Saloon. 3 years in Agassiz Prison was her sentence.

An American Negro who went by names of Frank Johnson or Harry Brown and was known to be a porter and pimp was arrested on a charge of vagrancy on September 9, 1903. He managed to avoid incarceration if he would leave town immediately.

Carl Olson was a Spanish man whose occupation was unknown. He was arrested on January 4, 1904 because he was a frequent visitor to houses of ill repute and for living off the proceeds from prostitution. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

32-year-old K. Kabiyashi was picked up on August 26, 1900 for stealing lumber from the Hastings Mills. He was sentenced to 6 months hard labour.

On September 14, 1901 William McMillan was arrested for stealing a hive of bees from Mt. Pleasant resident M. Mclean. McMillan was sentenced to six months hard labour.

A 20 -year-old Chinese man by the name of Sing was arrested for stealing flowers from the house of Mrs. Pim at 924 Nicola Street on July 11, 1904. He was given a choice of spending thirty days in jail or paying a fine of $10.00 and costs.

An American tramp by the name of William Benton was arrested on May 27, 1904 for trespassing on the CPR. This twenty-year-old walked with crutches but Dr. McAlpine examined Benton and declared the injury to be a fake.

15-year-old Darwin Wood, a native of England, was arrested on August 21, 1903 for stealing cattle and horses. Wood received a sentence of sixty days.

Julia LeBrun was a lady of spunk. This forty-year-old French woman was arrested on November 9, 1903 on the charge of being an owner of a bawdy house at 130 Dupont Street. Well this madam refused to pay the $35.00 fine so she was sentenced to thirty days in the New Westminster jail after being re-arrested on November 26, 1903.

Another forty-year-old, Ah Sing - a Chinaman with no known occupation - was sentenced to six months after being arrested on January 27, 1900 for stealing chickens.

Jake Freeman was 38-years old when he was arrested on November 17, 1904. His nationality is listed as a 'North Arm Half-Breed' and his occupation was labourer. He was charged with stealing an Indian totem and vagrancy but instead of serving time, Freeman was ordered to leave the city immediately.

Gertie Johnson was a twenty-three-old, opium fiend and a native of the U.S. of A when she was arrested on February 20, 1905 on a charge of vagrancy. This prostitute was ordered to leave the city at once after being fined $15.00 and costs.

An American Negro labourer by the name of Charles Maynard was arrested on March 31, 1903. This 31-year-old was sentenced to six months of hard labour for stealing a saddle from the Stanley Park Stables.

Next we have the 22-year-old Mary Lewis. An enterprising young woman, she was arrested on September 2, 1902 on the charge of picking pockets and shoplifting both here and in Victoria. Apparently Lewis and her gang were known all over the West coast for being good pickpockets and thieves. She was sentenced to one year in Vancouver and two years in Victoria.

And finally I want to tell you about John Brown. When Brown was arrested he was sixteen and he was sentenced to two months. He was caught on December 18, 1901 and charged with stealing a quantity of champagne from The Vancouver Club.

There are some of the crimes that were prosecuted way back when and their punishments dealt.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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