Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gastown Weddings

Gassy Jack turned his saloon into a hotel in 1871 and since Gastown had grown in large in 1873, Jack completed alterations and refurbishing in early April of 1874. According to an advertisement in New Westminster papers, "the new Deighton House...comfortable parlours and commodious single and double bedrooms."

Shortly after the expansion, Jack left the hotel in the care of his cousin, Tom Deighton and Tom's wife. Jack too his Indian wife and their young son back to the Fraser where Jack became master of Captain Irving's new steamer, the Onward. Perhaps the renovations were more of a financial strain than Jack thought they would be.

For close to seven years, Gassy Jack Deighton, the town's founder, had been the leading citizen and for four of those years, its undisputed leader.

Jack didn't leave though until he attended Gastown's first wedding. The widow - and teacher - Mrs. Richards wed Ben Springer. Springer was a Moodyville man and later became manager of Moody's mill. Miss Redfern briefly took over as teacher and Miss Eunice Seabrook took over as the town's music teacher.

On December 2, 1874, Gastown had another wedding. These nuptials were between Abbie Patterson and Captain William Jordan of the ship Marmion. It took place in the parlor of the Patterson home. The Minister of the Interior officiated.

"Abbie made her own wedding dress," her sister said. "It was beige in colour. Mrs. Alexander brought the orange blossoms from Victoria; she was the prettiest woman there - so handsome!

"Ada Miller, the constable's daughter, had a dark blue dress, made from material bought at the mill store, and Mrs. Alexander wore a cornflower-blue silk, her own wedding dress.

"Captain William Soule, the head stevedore, was the best man.

"The ceremony was at half-past seven in the evening, and the wedding was performed in the sitting room. We all went to the kitchen for supper and afterwards to the mill library to dance."

Abbie's sister continues to relate the details of the wedding.

"It was a wonderful party and everybody was there. George Bone played the concertina and there was a violin, and Mrs. Alexander sang as so did Mrs. Haynes of Moodyville. Captain Pickard read the address to the bride and groom.

"We all, every one of us, drank wine, and there were lots and lots of presents - earrings and a brooch from the crew of Captain Pickard's ship, the Niagara, and a case of whiskey from Gassy Jack Deighton.

"There wasn't any honeymoon; they just went on board Captain Jordan's ship and sailed away to China..."

(Apparently, Captain Pickard had succeeded Captain Fry in command of the Niagara during the past year.)

Years afterwards, Captain Jordan's ship was wrecked off Cape Flattery. However, Jordan, Abbie and their children were unharmed and Jordan soon had another command.

Thanks goes to Alan Morley and his book, Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis. 

The photos shown here today were taken on Monday, February 23, 2015. Spring is here!

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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