Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Legendary Lumbermen

1910 is when this house on Woodland Drive was built.

There are three names that will forever remain in the history books as those who began this city. Those names Sewell Moody, Jerry Rogers and Captain Edward Stamp. They are the legendary lumbermen of Burrard Inlet. 

The North Shore's Pioneer Mills was the inlet's first sawmill, opening in 1863.A year later, the company had fallen twice into bankruptcy and was picked up by an American named Sewell Moody. Moody was smart enough to capitalize on the timber riches of the Douglas fir forest that lined the inlet.

International trade from Burrard Inlet was born with the arrival of Moody. The refurbished mill loaded the Ellen Lewis with lumber bound for Australia. Under Moody's firm hand, Moody's Mill was profitable for the next ten years.

The workers at the mill needed places to live so a company town around the mill of Moodyville was developed - the first settlement on Burrard Inlet. Moody made sure that the settlement was a family town and a role model for the rest of the area.

Moodyville had the first religious service in 1865; first wedding in 1868; opened its first school in 1870 adn installed the first electric lighting north of San Francisco in 1882. Sew Moody died in a shipwreck off the coast in 1875. It was then that the fortunes of Moodyville began to wane.
This house next door was also built in 1910.

The second legendary lumberman was called 'the greatest woodsman of them all'. Jeremiah Rogers arrived in the Burrard Inlet from Port Alberni in 1865. Rogers camped at Point Grey so he could log the grand stand of tress that grew there. (Jericho - originally known as Jerry's Cove - was named after him.) 

Rogers and his men produced some of the finest "Vancouver Toothpicks". Spars that were about 100 feet long and 24 inches square. It was intense physical labour to produce those. A single tree could take two days to fell then it had to be hauled out of the forest on "skid roads" by teams of oxen.

Jeremiah Rogers died in 1877 and his land was logged over two more times before all the finest trees were taken. It was in 1884 that Angus Fraser took over and he shipped flawless beams to Peking for the Imperial Palace - these 'toothpicks' were 112 feet long and 28 inches square.

I gleaned the above information from the book Vancouver, A History in Photographs by Aynsley Vogel and Dana Wyse. The information on the homes comes from Bob_2006 at flickr.com. 

Friday I will tell you about the third legendary lumberman - Captain Edward Stamp.

I hope you find the beauty around you.



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