Wednesday, February 5, 2014

British Columbia Toothpicks

Photo compliments of the Vancouver Public Library. It is of a logging camp sometime in the early 1900s and was taken by Kinsey.

Ida Madeline Warner Gunterman took this photo in the 1890s of a logging camp near Fish Creek. Also from the Vancouver Public Library.
Philip Timms took this photo of a logging flume in North Vancouver in the early 1900s.

This photo, taken by Brock and Co., taken in 1886 is of a famous stump at the corner of Granville and Seymour. Both this photo and the previous one are from the Vancouver Public Library collection.

One of the first things that brought settlers to what is now Vancouver, English Bay and the Burrard Inlet were the finest stands of easily accessible timber in the world.

In 1863, Pioneer Mills began to operate on the North Shore, about half a mile east of where Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver is today. The first cargo of lumber went to New Westminster on August 12 aboard the Flying Dutchman - a woodburning sternwheel steamboat. At that time, the major markets for lumber from the Burrard Inlet were New Westminster, Nanaimo and Victoria. Until the next year when the sailing ship Ellen Lewis sailed for Australia with a load of lumber. (I have already written on that in this previous entry.)

These two photos, from the Vancouver Public Library collection, are of clearing land in Point Grey in 1912. Photo credit goes to R. Broadbridge.

R. Broadbridge also took this photo in 1910 of logging with a a horse and sleigh.

This is a log train in the snow, also taken by R.Broadbridge in 1910 and from the Vancouver Public Library collection.

In 1865, Captain Edward Stamp built a sawmill on the South Shore, near the foot of Dunlevy Avenue. However, delays in getting machinery from Britain kept the mill idle for two years. So Stamp exported hand-hewn ships' spars. The mill did get going in 1867 and it could cut 30,000 feet of lumber a day with steam-powered saws. Oxen teams hauled logs out of woods along skid roads - greased wooden skids laid several feet apart.

During the good times, several hundred loggers and shake-cutters were at work at Burrard Inlet. The mills hired many Musqueam and Squamish Indians. Some of these moved their families and built new villages on Burrard Inlet to be close to their work.

By the late sixties, the export trade with Australia, San Francisco and South America was thriving. Sailing ships, which would be loaded with lumber and such items, were usually towed into and out of the Inlet by local steam tugs but some shipmasters didn't want to spend the money on a tow so they would wait for a favourable wind and tide then sail through First Narrows. This required excellent seamanship since the navigable channel was much narrower and shallower than it is now.

Oxen hauling lumber near Vancouver. Photo taken by the Bailey Bros. studio, dates back to the 1880s and I got it from the Vancouver Public Library archives.
Ben W. Leeson took this photo in the early 1900s of three loggers with a felled tree. Once again, from the Vancouver Public Library

Around the same time, Mr. Leeson took this photo of floating bunkhouses and crew.
Taken sometime between 1905 and 1913, Krebs took this photo of  logging equipment and supplies.

The title of this entry is British Columbia Toothpicks and these were timber from trees so large that the logs were 18 metres long and 1 metre wide- that's one foot thick and over 59 feet long. These massive pieces of wood were prized as masts for sailing ships and exported around the world.

Taken from the City of Vancouver website, here is a photo of British Columbia toothpicks. Photo dates to between 1900 and 1905 and was taken by the Edward Bros.
Again, I have to thank the City of Vancouver for this 1893 photo of more toothpicks.

Ox logging in 1880s. Photo taken by the Bailey Bros and from the Vancouver Public Library Archives.
The Bailey Bros. studio is responsible for this photo of the Royal City Mills camp in the 1890s. From the Vancouver Public Library files.

The information in this entry, I obtained from the book Vancouver's Past by Raymond Hull, Gordon Soules and Christine Soules.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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