Early Visitor: William Henry Withrow

In the late 1880s, William Henry Withrow, a Methodist minister from Toronto, recounted a cross-Canada trip from Cape Breton to Vancouver Island in Our Own Country: Canada Scenic and Descriptive (William Briggs, 1889). In celebratory terms, he describes "the magnificent extent, and varied beauty, and almost boundless resources of our country," with the overt hope—as …

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“Fifteen Siwash Houses Burned” — Colonial Attitudes in New Westminster

Researching and writing local history, as I did in Toronto for the better part of a decade and have started to do in New West, means reading a lot of local history books, articles, and commemorative plaques. And you start to notice that, to great extent, local histories for any given community recount the same …

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A Search for Hidden Gold in New West

Is there a cache of hidden gold in New West dating back to the Cariboo Gold Rush? This news account, from an Ontario town's paper, suggests such rumours were once well-known and that efforts to locate it drew at least some attention nation-wide. Certainly this city's role as a waypoint to-and-from the gold fields in …

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Model of the Pattullo Bridge

This past December, I visited the New Westminster Museum and Archives in the Anvil Centre. Among the artifacts and panels, one display particularly impressed me: this massive model of the Pattullo Bridge, which spans almost the entire width of the room. It's an incredibly detailed reconstruction--down to the lampposts and handrails--all that's missing are miniature …

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