Friday, July 13, 2012

Mining Towns

Built in 1907, this home is at 2162 Ontario Street.

Frank Everett Woodside (1874-1954) lobbied hard in 1910 for Hastings Town site to sever its ties with Burnaby and amalgamate with Vancouver. Woodside was successful and became the first alderman for the district, serving from 1911 to 1928.

Leaving home at the age of 16, Woodside went to work in the mines of Colorado. At the age of 32, he returned to Canada, settling in Rossland, BC, to work in the mines there from 1896 to 1902. It was during this time that Woodside became the secretary of the Western Federation of Miners. Woodside pushed Premier Semlin to pass the province's eight-hour day labour bill in 1898.

Woodside had a 60-year mining career and during that time, he held a variety of mining interests in B.C. He suggested that a number of streets in this new district take the names of  B.C. mining towns, partially to show gratitude for the role that mining in the interior played in pulling the province out of bad slumps in the 1890s and 1900s.

These houses are at 2016 and 2022 Ontario Street. Both were built in 1908 and the first resident in 2016 was a machinist by the name of Alex Fraser followed by Elias Harris. An asbestos dealer by the name of William Crause first resided at 2022.

Woodside got his wish, which led to naming certain streets in the Hastings area after mining towns:
Atlin (The Atlin Mining Division), Cariboo (Cariboo Mining Division), Cassiar (Cassiar Mining Division), Kamloops (Kamloops Mining Division), Kaslo, Kelowna, Kootenay (Kootenay Mining Division) Le Roi (the Le Roi Mine, Rossland), Lillooet (Lillooet Mining Division), Nanaimo (Nanaimo Mining Division), Nootka, Renfrew, Rossland, Rupert (Rupert Mining District), Slocan (the Slocan Mining Division) and Windermere (Windermere Mining Division).

Later streets in the area were named after B.C. towns such as Hazelton (1927) and Skeena (1950). There is also the street Penticton but there is more of a story to that one.

Although it may seem that naming Penticton after the town was planned since Kamloops is on one side and Slocan is on the other, that isn't so. The street we call Penticton today was originally Clinton - after the Clinton mining district - and you can still see that name stamped in some of the sidewalks. Penticton is an Okanagan word meaning 'the always place'. (The street name changed in 1950)

Once again I would like to thank Bob_2006 at for the information on the houses and the book Namely Vancouver by Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke for the street naming information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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