Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The Yanks are Coming!
The arrival of so many Americans made us a bit nervous. In November, the governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island - James Douglas - was appointed governor of the Colony of British Columbia to ensure that British interests were promoted while the American influx was discouraged.
From B.C.'s earliest days of European settlement, the Americans have had some influence. In fact, even today I know of people who think that, at least geographically, British Columbia would have been better being a part of the United States. We have those little bumps called the Rocky Mountains separating us from the rest of Canada.
However, we can still American influence in our names, habits, customs and founders. Americans have played a vital role in the foundation of this province and its cities.
Stanley Park was originally a military reserve set up to guard against possible American aggression. Burnaby's Central Park was named for the one in New York City, birthplace of the wife of entrepreneur David Oppenheimer. 9th Avenue's name was changed to Broadway in May of 1909. Was that an attempt to encourage American interests in Vancouver's growing real estate market?
Benjamin Tingley (B.T.) Rogers came to Vancouver in 1889 from his birthplace of Pennsylvania. B.T. was owner of the B.C. Sugar Refinery and became one of the cities wealthiest men. Rogers and the city council negotiated a sweet deal for Rogers. A $30,000 "bonus", 15 tax free years, free ten-year water supply and a perpetual guarantee of water at ten cents per 4,545 litres. All Rogers had to do he would only hire white labourers. A sign of the times.
Thank you Diana for the book.
I hope you find the beauty around you.