Anvil Salute, 1970s Style

  In the spring of 1975, Beautiful British Columbia, the glossy promotional magazine produced by the provincial government—which eventually evolved into the present-day British Columbia magazine—featured a look at New Westminster's unique Victoria Day celebrations.   Entitled "spring comes with a bang...", the brief piece read: British Columbians are inclined to outdo Texans when it …

Continue reading Anvil Salute, 1970s Style

Advertisements

A Hotel Feast, 1880s

Stuart C. Cumberland (1857-1922), a journalist and mentalist from England (whose real name was Charles Garner), passed through British Columbia as part of a transcontinental rail tour he turned into a popular book in 1887. At New Westminster, his comments on the bustle of local economy and the handsome government and church buildings "for so …

Continue reading A Hotel Feast, 1880s

Architect Murray Brown’s Bank of Nova Scotia

A striking example of modernist architecture, the Bank of Nova Scotia building at 728 Columbia Street dates from the late 1930s, when--with the worst of the Great Depression over--the financial institution once again started building grand branches on main streets across the country, signalling the financial institution's growing confidence in British Columbia--as symbolized by the …

Continue reading Architect Murray Brown’s Bank of Nova Scotia

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 …

Continue reading Early Visitor: William Henry Withrow

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 …

Continue reading A Search for Hidden Gold in New West

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 …

Continue reading Model of the Pattullo Bridge