Wednesday, April 22, 2015


If you remember from Monday's entry, the railway was getting closer to Granville and Coal Harbour. The CPR acquired the land they needed to make this area the terminus. But Port Moody was still dissing Granville and Port Moody.

The Port Moody Gazette proclaimed:

"The true inwardness of the Coal Harbour scheme is being speedily brought to light, proving the same to have been purely a speculation dependent on suckers."

Those "suckers" continued to invest and speculate. There must have been a lot of bad feelings from Port Moody now that it was so obvious the town site wasn't chosen for the terminus. But did they really think articles like this were going to change Van Horne's mind?

On March 10, 1885, the SS Euphrates became the first deep-sea screw freighter to enter the inlet. During the following months and into 1886, more people came. As Brighouse put it, "The mob arrived."

Among the 1885 mob were Richards, Akroyd and Gall, real estate agents; T.R. Pearson and Co., branch stationery store, J.Z. Hall, manager; Walter E. Graveley, real estate; E.E. and C.D. Rand; and Henry Allardyce Bell, who "walked over the (Rocky) mountains".

Three of the 1885 arrivals deserve special mention. The ship Robert Kerr, was wrecked on East Point the previous winter. She was bought by Captain Soule, towed to Granville and refitted as a barque. With the ship came Seraphim Fortes, a Barbadoes-born son of a farmer of pure African blood and woman partly Spanish or Portugese. These two had signed on in England.

"Joe" Fortes became porter and part-time bartender at the Sunnyside Hotel. He also became our first lifeguard. If you want to read more about Joe Fortes, please refer to a previous entry I wrote in 2011.

A former domestic chaplain of the Duke of Newcastle, Reverend H. G. Fiennes, replaced Mr. Ditcham as rector of St. James. Those of the Roman Catholic faith had nowhere in Granville to worship until Father Fay arrived towards the end of 1885. He offered his first Mass in Blair's Hall, at the back of Billy Blair's Terminus Saloon on Water Street. Father Fay became a great favourite around town and was known as "the Merry Priest".

The first bookshop was opened by Seth Tilly and the shop was on Cordova, near Carrall. Earlier in the year, McKendry the cobbler moved his shop there and it was described as "quite out of town". Today, Carrall is the cut off point between the east and west sides of Vancouver.

Tilly's bookshop was where his son installed and operated the New Westminster and Porty Moody Telephone Co., a "20-point" switchboard, with 35 subscribers on the list.

Other arrivals first seen in the city who later became well known include Thomas F. McGuigan, T.F. Neelands, George F. Baldwn and M.A. MacLean. J. W. Horne paid his third visit to Granville, this time to stay. He bought some choice lots along Coal Harbour, where there were "only a few shacks".

Thanks to the book Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis by Alan Morley for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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