Newspaper clippings on Craigflower Schoolhouse

This is a collection of clippings about the Craigflower Schoolhouse.

DatePaperSubjectComments or Copy
1860-05-01Colonistbricks and brickmakingMay 1, 1860, Page 2, Col. 4 FOR SALE A portable english steam engine , on wheels, complete, and in good order with extra Brasses, Tubes, etc. Also Saw Mill and Brick and Tile Machinery Comprising upright Saw Frame, Mill Saws, Planing Machine, Moulding and Grooving Machine, Morticing Machine. Brick and Tile Machine with dies, etc.; all of English manufacture, with gearing complete. For particulars, apply to Mr Mackenzie, at Craigflower.
1860-08-02ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily British Colonist, August 2, 1860 EXAMINATION OF CRAIGFLOWER SCHOOL The fifth public examination of the Craigflower Public School was held on Tuesday, in the presence of His Excellency Gov. Douglas and a highly respectable audience. The room was tastefully decorated with flowers, etc. the pupils, twenty-three in number, were examined by the Rev. E. Cridge, the superintendent, and Mr. Claypole, the teacher, in reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, history, geography, etc. His Excellency, in distributing the prizes, expressed both to the teacher and pupils, his gratification at the progress which had been made, and noticed the examination in the subjects of arithmetic, geography and history as deserving of special commendation. The following are the names of eh pupils who obtained prizes for general excellence: 1st class, Dorothea McKenzie; 2nd class, Wm. McKenzie, Robert Anderson and Mary Lemon; 3rd class, Mary Liddle; 5th class, Ellen Melrose. Presents of books were also made to some of the more deserving of the pupils who did not obtain prizes. The prizes, etc., were, as on former occasions at eh Craigflower School, the donations of the Governor. Mr. Claypole has been in charge of the school a little more than a year.
1865-07-06ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily British Colonist Craigflower School We are sorry to hear that this institution has been of late suffering from the most wretched mismanagement.The new Superintendent of Education, Mr. Waddington, we understand, recently paid the school an official visit, and it is rumored found the system of teaching most inefficient, and the backwardness of the pupils most pitiable, exhibiting the grossest negligence on the part of the managers. a new teacher has just been appointed, but having been only a few weeks in office, he has not yet had sufficient time to effect the requisite improvements. It is plainly evident that the state of the public schools in the colony requires the most thoughtful and enlightened consideration of the Board of Education. it is deplorable to think that the children of this community should so long have suffered though the incompetence and negligence of teachers, and one of the first and most obvious duties of the Board of Education should be to establish a proper standard of qualifications as to the ability and character of public school teachers.
1867-12-13ColonistChristmas at Craigflower SchoolhouseDaily British Colonist December 13, 1867 Craigflower Soiree A soiree will be held at the schoolroom at Craigflower , this evening, for the entertainment of the young folks attending the Sabbath and Day school. The Committee, the Sabbath school teachers, have prepared speeches, songs, recitations, with three courses of tea and coffee, biscuits, fruits, &etc., and the report of Mr. Harrison, the teacher, and the exercises of the children, will be prominent features of the proceedings. Whilst treating the children they have also invited the old folks, the tickets being sold at $1, and have been heartily supported, so that there will be a large turn out. The surplus funds will be applied to the benefit of the District School. An omnibus will leave Bownmanصs Stables at 6 p.m., with those from the city who wish to attend.
1867-12-16Colonistcraigflower SchoolBritish Colonist, December 16, 1867. Craigflower Sabbath School The soirژe in connection with this feast came off on Friday evening last. In spite of a drenching rain, buggies wagons and other vehicles approached the schoolhouse long before the hour (6 _ p.m.), filled with both old and young, and an omnibus with the visitors from Victoria arrived about seven. The room was decorated with evergreens, and tables set up for the occasion. At one end there was the motto, زBlessed are the peacemakers,س and at the other, زChildren, the hope of the country,س while زUnityس and زHarmonyس occupied the sides. After singing the 100th Psalm, the company, numbering 110 sat down to a bountiful tea, after which, the Rev. Mr. Somerville, who occupied the chair, said that he regarded the present location as marking a stage in the history of their district, and a manifestation of the public spirit which prevailed within it. He believed that this was the first time so many had met together in social union, and so far as he knew, was the first of its kind in any of our country districts. It might be thought that people were as intent upon the sowing of the soil and the felling of the force, that they had no time and less inclination for anything of a public nature but he could testify that when he was asked to meet the Sabbath school teachers in committee for the purpose of setting up a soirژe, he was delightfully surprised at the an enthusiastic manner in which they had began. The matter had been initiated by the lady teachers, Miss Anderson and the Misses Veitch; but they had been nobly seconded by others, so that supplies for the feast had come from many around. He was glad to see so many children present, for whose gratification it had been principally got up, and was glad to state that in addition to the addresses and songs upon the programme, Mr. Jeffrey had kindly brought down a magic lantern, by the aid of which a number of views would be exhibited. The object to which the surplus fund was to be applied would be stated in the course of the evening, and be hoped that since a sweet is pleasure after pain, their enjoyment within would compensate for the discomfort endured without on such a stormy night. Mr. Harrison, the teacher of the District School, made an appropriate address on the subject of Education, and put the children through some interesting exercises singing and recitations, which were highly applauded. Mr. William Gibson rendered the song زLoudonصs Bonny Woods and Braes;س Mr. McKinnon زThe Spinning Wheel,س and several others, with much effect. Then there came a variety with a recitation of the زThe Graves of a Household,س by Mr. Temple and an address from Mr. Veitch, the revered patriarch of the district, who said that,س when he contrasted the present condition with that which existed 15 years ago, when the band of exiles first reach their home in the wilderness, where no path opened up a way for the gladsome light in the bosom of the forest, and no tapering spire announced to the traveller his approach to the abode of civilized and Christian man, he felt unspeakably glad. He trusted that the young before him would prove themselves worthy to have been the hope of the country.س After a service of cake and fruit, a song from Miss Veitch and another from Mr. Stewart, the views were exhibited, which had a magical effect upon young and old, keeping them in bursts of merriment. These occupied them agreeablyfor so long that the time arrived to breaking up, although the programme was not finished, amongst others, a glee from Mrs. Brown and some of the young ladies. Before departing, Mr. Wallace moved a vote of thanks to the young ladies and the others who had aided in the preparations, and Mr. Robert Anderson, seconded by Mr. Cook, that the surplus should be handed over to the Board of Education for the benefit of the teacher, who had not been paid, and as a testimony of the sympathy of the settlers with the Board in their efforts for public education.
1902-03-16ColonistCraigflower etcDaily Colonist, March 16, 1902. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. Census of Vancouver Island Colony, A.D. 1855. Sir, Rummaging amongst some dust-laden books a few days ago, زThe Written Census Returns of Vancouver Island Colony, 1855,س came into view. At this time the V.I. Colony had of course nothing to do with the Mainland, now called British Columbia. The census of course includes the employees, buildings and farmers of the Hudsonصs Bay and Puget Sound companies. This probably was the first census taken of the colony. Be this as it may, the census places the number of the entire population (excluding Indians), at 774 men, women and children, of whom only 36 were above forty years of age, and 147 males and 139 females under fifteen years of age. Victoria town is credited with a population of 232 bodies, of whom 80 are below fifteen years of age; 79 houses, outhouses 21, and stores 12; one church. Nanaimo had 151 souls. Constance, over Skinnerصs farm, 34; Maple point (McKenzieصs farm) 76; Burnside 26; uplandصs (H.B. Co,صs farm) 15; Esquimalt town, 20; Fort Rupert, 12; San Juan, 29, now American territory. The remainder scattered on various mentioned farms. There were thirty-seven farms, valued at £56,530, 1418 acres under cultivation, producing 1715 bushels of wheat, 1730 bushels of oats; 1567 bushels of peas; 381 bushels of barley; 6125 bushels of potatoes; 2000 bushels of turnips; cheese, 690 lbs.; butter, 4394 lbs.; wool, 900 lbs.; horses, 284; cows, 240; oxen, 216; cattle, 560; sheep, 6214; swine, 1010. There were three schools, Victoria School had 26 pupils; Maple Point, opposite Craigflower, 26; Nanaimo, 29. Education probably free; the teachers paid out of colonial funds. Taking the whole colony of Vancouver Island, there existed 243 dwelling houses, 39 stores, 144 outhouses, 3 flour mills, sawmills, 6 waterpower and one of steam at the Lagoon, near Esquimalt. Bricks were made by machinery at Craigflower, and lime burned at Colwood; coal at Nanaimo. There are some other items in this census of no present consequence. All this was suddenly changed during the 1858 1859 by the Fraser River gold excitement. It must be borne in mind that the colonization of Vancouver Island really commenced in 1850, when the Norman Morrison arrived with eighty immigrants under the agreement with the Hudson Bay Company. The Tory followed with those for the Puget Sound and other companies. Some of these are still living in Vancouver Island, and confess it to have been a happy day when they choose Vancouver Island for their future home. The Muirs, now of Sooke, at arrived previously but had gone to open coal mines at Fort Rupert. In the census Colquitz is spelt Coulcouts, and in a vocabulary found enclosed in the same book, زCowichinس is spelt زKawaitchin.س J.S. HELMCKEN.
1903-06-26ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, June 26, 1903. CRAIGFLOWERصS ANNIVERSARY. For Fifty Years Pioneer Schoolhouse Housed Happy Children. An Appropriate Celebration of the Event Yesterday Afternoon. Pretty Ceremony of Raising Flag Presented by Mister D. M. Eberts. The fiftieth anniversary of the erection of the Craigflower school building was duly celebrated in a fitting and appropriate manner yesterday afternoon. After the closing exercises had been gone through with, a very pretty and impromptu ceremony was performed. A flag, which Mister D. M. Eberts, K. C., Had presented to the school, after a short speech from the donor, was hoisted on the new flagpole, which had been erected to mark the fiftieth anniversary. Mister Eberts said he was very pleased to have been able to be present on such an auspicious occasion, and was sure those present, as well as the scholars, were also gratified to be there. It afforded him great pleasure to present this flag and he hoped that one and all would join him in singing زGod Save the Kingس. On the first strains of the National Anthem the flag was hoisted to the breeze. Reverend Mister Barber, before the prizes were distributed, on a platform erected under a large spreading tree, said that he had great pleasure in being one of those who had been present on this very pleasing and rare occasion in this country. It was in antiquity about the place that pleased him, as one of the first things which a person noticed coming to this country was a newness of everything. Mister Pope next read the following letter he had received from Mister Russell: زFOUNDING OF SCHOOL. Victoria, BC, twenty-fourth June, 1903. To S.D. Pope, Esquire, teacher, Craigflower School. Dear Mister Pope: I regret very much had not been enabled to be with you tomorrow at the picnic on Craigflower School ground because having been identified and the founding of Craigflower School half a century ago, and when I reflect that many happy memories will be revived at your gathering, I will have missed a treat rarely offered. It is most laudable to commemorate any good thing that may have transpired, but to preserve in memory a school which was the precursory of our free school system in this land of theس Far Westس is beyond all praise. I desired to make a few remarks of what led up to the founding of the school, and perhaps some who may be with you tomorrow would like to hear them through you. It is only fair to the memory of my brother in law, the late Kenneth McKenzie, to state, that when leaving Scotland for Vancouver Island, in charge of a number of families, young men and women, he was not unmindful of the great responsibility and trust placed in his hands, namely, the education of not only the bairns that were going with him, who had gathered hips and slaes on Scotlandصs Bonny braes, but other bairnies that might be expected after our arrival, hence he made it a condition that a schoolmaster should be engaged at the expense of the Company before leaving. Mister Barr was engaged to fill the position, himself and wife arriving with us on the ship Norman Morrison, on 16 January, 1853. At the time of our arrival at Fort Victoria, the late Sir James Douglas was Governor of the colony, and head of the Hudsonصs Bay Company, and having full control over all matters, and no schoolmaster being at the Fort, Mister Douglas retained Mister Barr for that section thence we had to locate at Craigflower without a teacher. An afternoon class was established for the benefit of the children who had been at school before leaving, until a schoolmaster could arrive, which occurred in the fall of 1854. It might not be amiss just at this juncture to give the names of the little band of adventurers who founded Craigflower; they are as follows: Mister Kenneth McKenzie, Mrs. McKenzie and six children Agnes, Jesse, Dorothea, Wilhelmina, Kenneth and William. James Stewart, wife and one child John. Robert Weir (widower) and six children William (grown-up), John (grown-up), Hugh, Adam, Isabella and Robenia. James Linddle, wife and one child John Robert Anderson, wife and three children John, Robert and Elizabeth Norman. Andrew Hume, wife and one child Andrew. George Deans and wife. Duncan Lidgate, wife and three children Maggie, Elizabeth and William. William Veitch, wife and three children Maggie, Christina and Elizabeth. John Russell and wife. Peter Barttleman and wife. Robert Melrose and wife. James Wilson and wife. James Tait and wife. James White, wife and four children George, James, Agnes and William. James Downie, wife and three children two boys and a girl. Joseph Montgomery, wife and one child Bessie. Single Isabella Russell, Harriet White, Christina Bell, James Deans, John Instant, John Bell and Thomas Russell. In the fall of 1854 the ship Princess Royal arrived, bringing with her are much-wished-for schoolmaster, Mister Charles Clark and wife. Shortly after their arrival, the school was opened with Duke form and ceremony, the enrolment consisting of eight boys and six girls from our own little party. The school gradually grew in strength, and continued to flourish under Mister Clark. One sad event took place at the end of the summer of 1855, in the death of Mrs. Clarke. She had always taken a deep interest in the welfare of the school, and especially in the girl pupils, by whom she was dearly loved: and in her death all felt that they had suffered an irreparable loss. Mister Clark resigned his position as teacher in March, 1859, returning to England in the same ship on which he had arrived. Much might be written about both school and pupils, but that is unnecessary just now. In possessing yourself and wife as teachers of the school, the trustees are exceedingly fortunate, and I sincerely trust you may long continued to directed. Yours very sincerely THOMAS RUSSELL. He read statistics he had compiled, as follows: Vancouver Island became a Crown colony in 1849. For years later, 1853, this school building was erected, the school having at that time the very appropriate name of Maple Point. In the Colonist of March 16, 1902, the Honourable Doctor J.S. Helmcken states that in 1855 the census returns of Vancouver Island colony show the following: زThere were three schools, Victoria School had twenty-six pupils; Maple Point, opposite Craigflower, at twenty-six, Nanaimo, twenty-nine. Education probably free,; the teachers paid out of colonial funds.س From the foregoing, as well as from information kindly given by old residence, we learn that Craigflower then was directly across the Arm from where we now are, and having a population of nearly 80 in all. We have also been informed that a large flour mill with bakery attached, was located there, and that at that time the name of the place was written ز Craigflour.س It may reasonably be inferred that when the wheel of the mill ceased to grind, in consideration of the great number of wildflowers with which this vicinity is especially beautified, a happy change was made in the spelling of the word زCraigflower.س In 1852 or 1853, the Major Tompkins, the first mail boat running between Victoria and Olympia, was wrecked at Macaulayصs Point. The bell of this steamer was purchased for the use of this school. It may be of interest to say that the bell was not used for many years, on account of the expense of hanging it, and that on the occasion of the visit of Lord Dufferin, in 1876, was kindly loaned to the Victoria trustees, who so admired its sweet tones that they were only too willing to retain permanent possession. They doubtless would have accomplished their desires, had it not been for the very persistent efforts of Messieurs the late James Stewart, Robert Porter and Martin J Dodd, your then trustees. On July 23, 1870, Craigflower School district was giving boundaries, which since have been altered and redefined at various times. I shall now endeavor to give the chief points of interest connected with this school, as given in the reports of the superintendence of education from the inception of the present school system, in 1872 to the present time: in 1872, the superintendent of education reports as follows on the condition of the school building then nineteen years old: زBuilding exceedingly dilapidated and almost past repair. New schoolhouse required.س During the following year the government expended $1125 in repairs on the building, and since that time repairs and improvements of a minor character have been made. The first pupil of the school to pass the examination required for entrance to a High school was Thomas Pottinger, in 1876. At the departmental examination held in 1879, the highest percentage in the زAس papers was obtained by Frederick Adams, and in the زBس papers by W. Parker the following additional pupils have passed for the High school in 1881 Copper W. Newberry, J. H. Ker, Albert Parker. In 1882 Janey H. Newbury, Herman Tiedman. In 1883 Katie Williams. In 1885 Mary Caroline Austin. In 1889 William Seafe. In 1891 John. B. Adams In 1892 Alice Porter. In 1897 Mabel Shepherd. In 1900 S. D. Harold Pope. In 1901 John B. Stewart, Alfred Williams. In 1902 Constance Williams. Prior to 1872 the only teacher of this school known to me, now residing in the province, his Mister Thomas Russell, of Victoria. The following is a list of the teachers of the school during the past thirty-one years: 1872 1875 L. Lievre. 1875 1878 George Pottinger. 1878 1883 John C. Newbury. 1883 1887 John Mundell. 1887 1890 A.M. Bannerman 1890 1892 R.C. Johnston. 1892 1892 E.R. Mulder 1892 1900 S. Sheperd. 1900 1903 S.D. Pope. In 1872 the trustees were James Stewart, R, Downer and Martin J Dodd. In the following year a complete change was made, Robert Porter, William Hillier, Henry Cogan, being the trustees. Two changes were made in 1874, Martin J. Dodd and John Parker being elected. Since this time and including the above the following is a length of service of each trustee: Robert Porter twenty years James Stewart eighteen years Martin J Dodd fifteen years E. Whittier ten years JW Rowland twelve years. J. J. Wilson two years. George Osborne one year. The last three named are our present trustees. While we would say all honour to those trustees who have so ably conducted the affairs of this school in the past, we should accord a mead of praise to the present trustees who are so earnestly endeavoring to emulate the example set them by their predecessors. Ladies and gentlemen, I have carefully prepared the foregoing statistics, and I trust that they have not been only interesting but they will recall pleasant reminisces. The most important thing that took place during the afternoon, most probably, in the scholarsص minds, was the distribution of prizes, which were as follows: Margarita Wilson, roll of honour; for Department; Edith Predmore, roll of honour for punctuality and regularity; Maie Rowlands, roll of honour for proficiency; Effie Johnson, a book, for writing;Maud Mockler, a book for reading; Alice Wilson, a book for writing and drawing; Willie Johnson, a book, for general improvement; Harley Stewart, a book, for regularity; Lily Osborn, a book, for regularity; Freeman Harding, a book, for reading and writing; Maurice Carmichael, a book, for general improvement; Albert Gurom, a book, for rapid progress; Harold Kaye, a book, for general improvement. After the presentation was over, and three cheers given for Mister Pope, the teacher, by the school children, refreshments were served.
1911-08-01ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist - August 1. 1911 Craigflower School Operating Costs. Extract from the entire report Financial Statement of the Saanich School Board for the year ending December 31, 1910 Craigflower School - Salary: $720; Repairs: $103.30; Janitor: $28.00; Incidentals: $13.05; Furniture: $24.25; Fuel: $12.75 Total - $901.35
1911-08-27ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, August 27, 1911 Make Quarters of vacant School. During the summer holidays some person or persons have been rusticating in the Craigflower school and, from the precautions which they took to be ready for an interruption of their tenancy, they would appear to have lived in fear of some physical violence. On Thursday afternoon when Mrs. Harding, the teacher, and a party of friends visited the school to ascertain in what condition the place was, found visible signs of the presence of intruders. All the drawers and cupboards in the building, which, during the school term is also the residence of the teacher, had been forced open and contents scattered about the rooms. A revolver and gun belonging to Mrs. Hardingصs brother, left in one of the rooms, were found loaded, shells standing beside the kitchen door, a revolver beside the head of the bed. A half-witted Negro was discovered sleeping in the place, but he denied all knowledge of the identity of the persons who had occupied the place previous to himself. He was taken in charge and brought to the police station.
1911-09-28ColonistCraigflower Legislature haddingtonDaily Colonist, September 28, 1911. Parliament Square Completing Arrangements for Moving Back Provincial Mineral Museum. Expedition is being shown by the contractors for the new southern, eastern and western blocks on Parliament Square. Messrs. McDonald and Wilson of Vancouver, who already have at their office premises well advanced toward completion on Superior Street and also have practically completed arrangements for the moving back of the historic old Legislative Hall, latterly utilized as a Provincial Mineral Museum. For the time being this is to be placed immediately in front of the new South faچade and library on Superior Street. It is expected that later a permanent site will be secured to which the old red brick pagoda-style structure will be carefully transferred, its historic value saving it from destruction. Arrangements will also be made for the preservation of the old Craigflower School, when that celebrated landmark has also been replaced by a modern school house, upon which contractors are now estimating.
1911-12-29ColonistCraigflower SchoolDaily Colonist, December 29, 1911. WOULD PRESERVE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE. HONOURABLE DOCTOR YOUNG SUGGEST THAT CRAIGFLOWER BUILDING BE KEPT AS A RELIC OF CROWN COLONY DAYS. Now that the handsome new public school at Craigflower provided by the Provincial government to meet the growing demands of that particular section is rapidly advancing towards completion, considerable speculation is rife as to the action to be taken by the Minister of education with respect to the old building, a familiar landmark on the most travelled suburban thoroughfare of British Columbia and which has recently been outgrown by the educational necessities of the district. Under ordinary circumstances of the old building would be unceremoniously razed or else sold and the proceeds turned in to augment the general revenues of the education department. This particular building, however, possesses historical importance entitling it to careful preservation is one of the landmarks of British Colombiaصs progressive development. It is the first public school of Vancouver Island or of British Columbia, the Pioneer School of all, of which Robert Barr was headmaster, having been established within the Hudsonصs Bay Company for enclosure a disappearing with the demolition of the companyصs original stockade and pioneer log buildings along the inner Harbour front. The Craigflower School has been in continuous use since earliest Crown colony days on Vancouver Island and is in fact the original public school of this westernmost Canadian province. It is therefore held to be only fit and proper that it should be preserved for posterity and one suggestion offered for the consideration of Honourable Doctor Young is that it be maintained as it stands, in its attractive location on upper Victoria Arm, provided with a suitable historical memorial plate, and utilized as a gymnasium and for manual training classes in connection with the work of the modern school now building. The suggestion at least is worthy of ministerial consideration.
1912-02-29ColonistCraigflowerDaily Colonist, February 29, 1912. Craigflower School. Premier McBride and Honourable Doctor Young to Attend Opening of New Building. The new Craigflower School will be formally opened today at 3 PM and both Premier McBride and Honourable Doctor Young will be in attendance at the ceremony. The event will mark the passing of a structure historical in the educational annals of the province. It is over fifty years since the old schoolhouse near the Craigflower Bridge was attended by pupils and there is probably no similar institution in British Columbia which remained standing for so long. The principal of the new school is Mrs. Hardinge.
1919-02-23ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, February 23, 1919. A Tangled Title. To straighten out the title to a tract of land with historic associations a bill has been brought down in the Legislature by Attorney-General Ferris to vest in the Province, Lot twenty-one, Victoria District, the site of the old Craigflower School. The land belonged to the Hudsonصs Bay Company and was set aside as a school site. In 1854 it was conveyed by the Hudsonصs Bay Company to the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, which registered it in the names of the trustees of the school. Later a dispute arose between the then colony and the Hudsonصs Bay Company as to the right of the colony to certain lands, including the school site, and it was agreed that the Puget Sound Company should secure a conveyance from the then School trustees to His Majesty. But this was not done, and in 1888 the then retiring trustees conveyed Lot 21 to new trustees, but exempted the school site, with the result that, so far as the land titles records are concerned, the site still continues in the name of the first trustees, who are long since dead, and it is to rectify this mistake and clear the title that the bill is brought down to vest the property in the Crown.
1921-10-27ColonistHistoric VictoriaSEEKING DATA ON HISTORIC PLACES Beacon Hill and Foreshore Land to Ross Bay Will be studied by Special Chamber of Commerce Committee. The special committee of the Chamber of Commerce which has been gathering data relative to Victoriaصs historic landmarks has decided to concentrate its efforts for the present upon securing information on the area including Beacon hill and Dallas Road, and the foreshore from Ogden Point to Ross Bay. The Natural History Society will be requested to write up the natural history of this section, and also to assist members of the committee in obtaining full particulars of the dedication of the park, the origin of its name, and an account of all historic events and episodes that have transpired in the area. The Photographic Association will also be asked to obtain a record of the pioneer woodland and other features. Among the points of historical interest which the committee intends to consider later on are the mystic springs at Cadboro Bay and the old Indian fortifications nearby, the old Hudsonصs Bay Company farm and the first schoolhouse in British Columbia at Craigflower Bridge, Leech river, زThe Devilصs Grip,س and other places made famous in the gold rush days. The committee will hold a meeting in ten days. Mr. C.C. Pemberton is chairman. Included in the membership are representatives of the Native Sons, Photographic Association and Natural History Society.
1922-11-05ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, November 5, 1922. Craigflower Locality by Walter W Baer. There is little history more interesting to contemporary pioneers in the pioneer history of their own localities. Been advanced in years dwell with satisfaction and solace upon their reminisces of early days, and the trials, triumphs or other exciting incidents linked up with and woven into the legends of a neighbourhood. A gratifying percentage of the rising generation is interested deeply in the pioneer history of whatever section of their country they may happen to reside in. The schools, too, are increasing their interest in and appreciation of the value of accurate knowledge of local evolution from wilderness days to the present state of civilization and material progress. So far as British Columbia is concerned, Victoria and Cariboo must continue to hold the centre of the stage since the memorable adventure of Simon Fraser navigating the river named after him in 1808. Cariboo is remarkable only for the advent of gold seekers in the ش50s and the Pacific Great Eastern nearly _ of a century later. Victoria and its environs, because of colonial beginnings on the Pacific Coast must hold its place forever as the focal point of historic interest. There remains still a few men, aged and venerable, who witnessed the first timid reaching out of the tentacles of civilization, extending into the adjacent territory, when it became safe from the imminence of Indian molestation. There is a much larger number of the immediate descendents of many of these pioneers still resident here, though most of these also are no longer enjoying the hearty vitality of use. These represent a generation that, for the honour and success of the human race, now is all too sadly passing away. It was a generation of pioneers of those who believed زthere be so many months betwixt seedtime and harvestس and who made no haste to be rich; a generation which laid the foundation of future development and ultimate prosperity well and truly, and, like the pioneers of early Hebrew nationhood, these all died in their faith, not having seen the fulfilment of their hopes. Their works remain, however, and something of this spirit of their adventure, the worth of their ambition and the solid foundation of their purpose, is with us still. Early Settlement. The first trespass upon Natures preserveصs on Vancouver Island with a view toward the subjugation of forest and soil for building and agricultural purposes took place at a quiet little been in the stream where Victoria Arm far above the Gorge expands into Portage Inlet. The Inlet is a beautiful sheet of shallow water surrounded by a fringe of willows, birches and fir trees, adding a sylvan waterscape to the other scenic charms of the locality. Portage Inlet is not only a fine, placid surface upon which to spend hours in a canoe. It is useful otherwise as forming part of the dividing line between the electoral districts of Saanich and Esquimalt. The line of division is equidistant from its shores, but it cannot be seen without a surveyorصs transit. Should there be a Redistribution Bill brought down in the local Legislature within the next two or three years, it may be difficult afterward to find it even with a transit. Several thousand acres of land were selected in the early fifties by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company for colonization purposes on the south end of Vancouver Island. This tract was one of these selected areas. The Puget Sound Agricultural Company seems to have been a sort of subsidiary scheme of the Hudsonصs Bay Company, though perhaps not officially recognized by that company as such. Its officers corresponded with prospective immigrants in England and Scotland , and in 1850 to arrange with one, Kenneth McKenzie, of East Lothian, Haddington Shire, to bring out twenty-five likely families for colonization undertakings. The little company sailed from England on the ship Norman Morrison in 1852, arriving at Victoria January 16, 1853. Little preparation had been made for the accommodation of these colonist, there being practically no housing ready for their reception. Some of them were accommodated temporarily in the Hudsonصs Bay Companyصs four to at Victoria and for others hastily improvised shacks and cottages were thrown up at the colony location. Kenneth McKenzie had been from the first a far-seeing man. Anticipating superlative pioneer conditions, he had shipped with his supplies a small portable sawmill, and this was installed immediately on the stream alongside the proposed colonial area. He set to work at once to cut lumber for the necessary buildings, and soon was laid the foundation for the first farm dwelling erected on Vancouver Island. The building was designed for the accommodation of several families arriving with McKenzie. It had a wide hall dividing it in the middle and roomy divisions, surrounding a common kitchen, in which the community food was prepared. For himself McKenzie built a small cottage near the stream in which he and his family dwelt until the other families were properly housed. Everything but locks, hinges and glass entering into the construction of this dwelling was hewed or sawn at Craigflower. Thus Kenneth McKenzie became the actual founder of the locality which since that time has borne the name he gave it. Establishing Industries. Inconsequential incidents sometimes lead to important results. Mr. McKenzie met one day in the Hudsonصs Bay Fort at Victoria a man whom he thought he had seen somewhere before the man also Iصd McKenzie with interested curiosity, although neither spoke to the other. Later Adm. Bruce, then in command of H.M. flagship at Esquimalt, called on McKenzie at Craigflower, and the former knowledge of each other was renewed. They had seen each other in the Old Country years before. The Adm. complained of the rations available in Victoria, and asked McKenzie if he could not undertake to erect a bakery and make biscuits and bread for the ship. The negotiations led to the erection of a small flour mill, a bakery and general store for trading. In the task of building these accommodations the sailors from the Navy enjoyed themselves almost irrationally, lending their assistance in the work. As the settlement extended along Craigflower Road and other houses became necessary a brick kiln and a lime kiln were built and the materials for chimneys, fireplaces, paved floorings and the like were manufactured on the ground. A blacksmithصs shop and carpenter shop also established for convenience of the colonists in the neighbourhood. All of these where the outcome of direct suggestion and supervision by Kenneth McKenzie, and no Hudsonصs Bay factor exercise greater authority in a way and he did. Contemporary speak of him as a competent, practical, hard-working but modest man, who never thrust himself into the limelight, but paid strict attention to the things which fell within the realm of his responsibility. During his incumbency as director of the agricultural colony he made provision for the education of the children of the colonist, as well as his own, of whom there were eight by erecting the first Craigflower schoolhouse. This was a modest a building, 30 x 40ص but adequate for the then attendance. One Robert Barr, a qualified teacher, had been brought out with the company on the Norman Morrison, but as there was no school accommodation at Craigflower on their arrival, Barr was transferred to the first colonial School erected on the island a year earlier, then on lower Fort Street. Having undertaken the erection of a school building, Mr. McKenzie at once entered into correspondence with another teacher in England, and as a result of his negotiations Mr. Charles Clarke arrived in Victoria in November, 1854. He took charge of the new school immediately, and remained its master until 1859, being succeeded by a Mr. Russell, who held the position until 1865. At that date and the attendance at the school was eighteen boys and eleven girls. A ship, the Vancouver, had been wrecked near Fort Rupert, then very far north, but McKenzie secured the shipصs bell and installed it on the schoolhouse. Later, when the now Craigflower School was erected, this bell was transferred to its turret. Mr. McKenzie brought also a terrestrial and celestial globe, both of which he placed in use at the first school. Although at that time there was a fairly passable road into Victoria, there was no bridge across the stream running between the lands of the colony and the eastern side. McKenzie cut the timbers and erected the first Craigflower Bridge in 1854 55, with a more than a year after his arrival in the place. Previously timbers were rafted across the stream and ox teams used to haul them to their destinations. Troublesome Indians. During all this time extensive clearing operations were being carried on in the locality began to change its wilderness appearance to one of more settled and civilized character. The Indians located on Songhees Reserve were not a little troublesome to these early settlers. Approach to the Hudsonصs Bay Companyصs Fort at Victoria was by way of the Indian Reserve. Horses were written to what is now the reserve side of Johnson Street, and from there boat or canoe brought passengers across. Many of these early settlers missed their Mexican saddles and blankets on their return to their mounts and never saw them after word this set of McKenzie that he never suffered such losses, as his simple, direct and generous treatment of the natives secured their loyalty, and they acted as guardians of his property rather than thieves. McKenzie continued to direct affairs at Craigflower for ten years, after which some differences arose between the Puget Sound Agricultural Company and the Hudsonصs Bay Company, these differences reacting on McKenzie, who was made responsible for the costs of transportation of the colonists and such expenditure in connection with their settlement. The difficulties presented annoyed him considerably, and, feeling of satisfactory negotiations, he withdrew from the colony and settled his family on what is still the McKenzie farm on Lake Road, Saanich. Here he died in 1875, and was followed to the grave a few years later by his wife. Two daughters occupy the old homestead at the present time. During the early years of this little settlement wild animals were troublesome at times. Wolves came quite close to the settlement and often did much damage to flocks. The needs of H.M. ships at Esquimalt resulted in the establishment of a butcher shop, and this had to have flocks and herds as a base of supply. Raids on these herds by wild animals were not an uncommon occurrence. With the advent of extended settlement, however, this handicap was overcome. Dear wrought great havoc in the harvest fields, at times necessitating constant guarding of the fields. Pioneers of much more modern settlements in various parts of British Columbia will appreciate the difficulties of such a situation. First Colonial Wedding. Naturally the early days in this little suburban community were not without some romance the frequent mingling of the young people afforded opportunity for much diversion and parties, soirژes and the like were no mean pastime. The first matrimonial contract solemnized was that of Mr. Charles Clark the second school teacher really the first at Craigflower with Miss Matilda Botwood. The marriage was solemnized in the Craigflower school room by the late Bishop Cridge, of revered memory, as colonial chaplain. Below is a copy of the marriage certificate issued to the contracting parties by the officiating bishop. The certificate is written on a small sheet of ruled blue paper, evidently snatched from the desk of the teacher in the school. Facsimile Inform Only. Charles Clarke, of Craigflower Matilda Botwood, of Craigflower Were married in the school room of Craigflower by license this seventh day of August in the year 1856. By Edward Cridge, Colonial Chaplain. This marriage was solemnized between us Charles Clarke Matilda Botwood in the presence of W.J. McDonald C. Cooper. Cost of Education. As the cost of education is a burning question today, and must ever remain a matter of deep and painful moment to taxpayers, it may interest the public to know that the cost of tuition in the first colonial schools was fixed by the Gov. in Council, sometimes by the governor in consultation with the teacher of a particular school. A schedule of fees was fixed in 1857 and the terms thereof were as below: Boarding pupils the parents resident on Vancouver Island, eighteen guineas per annum. Day scholars, five shillings per quarter, twenty shillings per annum. For this sum day scholars were taught reading, English grammar, writing, geography, arithmetic and industrial training. It would appear, therefore, that the question of زfrillsس was set at rest as early as 1857 by the authority of the Gov. himself and his counsel in session. For higher subjects, such as Latin, advanced mathematics, etc., and increased rate was to be charged, but this rate was arranged by the Gov. in consultation with the teacher of any particular school. All pupils had to provide their own textbooks and personal school accessories. This system, with varying rates, continued in force for many years. زLayingس a Ghost. Like all pioneer districts, Craigflower had its mystery tragedy with its consequent ghostly development. A few years ago, when the present Craigflower bridge collapsed, a span and excavations were being made in the soft clay for foundation for bents for better support, a human skeleton was unearthed. It was bleach completely, of course, and somewhat disintegrated. No trace of its identity could be found. A respected resident of the community, still living, though much advanced in years, believing in proper respect for even the bones of the dead, collected the disintegrated parts, the positing them carefully in an ample box secured for that purpose. This box he took to his home, placing it carefully, even reverentially, on a shelf in a lean to back of the living quarters. The fastening of the door was one of those old-fashion latches with some lever for raising the blade. Not many nights had elapsed when the peaceful quiet of evenings in the old home began to be disturbed by the insistent rattling of the latch on the back kitchen door. Not only could it be heard, but his agitation could be seen plainly. Opening the door and peering into the darkness did no good; made no revelation. There was nobody there. Repetitions of the disturbances and frequent investigations were regular incidents, with the same results always. Often in the middle of the night, when the aged couple were wrapped in slumber, the rattle of the latch of the kitchen door would arouse the sleepers from their deepest repose. But nothing could be seen, even with bell, book and candle. At last the lady of the house protested against the presence of the bones in the shed and insisted on their removal and burial in Mother Earth. Though not in any way superstitious, pater yielded to these demands, a proper grave in the soil some little distance away and gave the erstwhile Skelton decent interment. There has been no rattle of the door latch since; no impish or ghostly disturbance of nocturnal slumbers. Everything is at peace once more. This is the story as it is not only told, but vouched for by one who does not believe in mysteries, but who asserts this is the truth. Here then, is further work for Sir Oliver Lodge and Sir Conan Doyle.
1923-11-25ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, November 25, 1923. Letters To the Editor Craigflower School. Sir, The Residents and Landowners of the District Line Approximately East and West between Craigflower Bridge and Parsonصs Bridge, and North and South between the South Boundary of Saanich and Esquimalt Harbour (All within the Electoral District of Esquimalt), having been endeavoring, in vain, for more than twelve months past to obtain from the Department of Education separation of this area from the Saanich Municipal School system, as well as a separate school for their children, beg the editor of The Colonist to grant him space in his columns for the following statements on a matter so vital to them. The original Craigflower School, one of the oldest on the island, was a small school in a rural district and was attended by from 12 to 20 pupils, whose parents resided along the Gorge, The Craigflower and Admiralsصs Roads, and in the district before described. When the Saanich municipality was incorporated, this rural school district was handed over to that municipality for school purposes only, and the school tax was collected by the municipality. The land tax was, of course, collected by the Provincial Government. For several years the school tax was light, but as the land along the Gorge and between the Gorge and Burnside Road became much more thickly populated, the old schoolhouse was abandoned, and a new and large school built close to it, on the opposite side of the road. The attendance at the school has so increased that in 1922 it rose to 130. The total cost of the school was $6722.34, being $51 per pupil. Towards this sum we, the rural land owners before referred to, contribute to, we understand, the egg Sorby and some of about $4500. As we had in 1923 only fourteen children attending, we paid $321 per head for our children. In the first half of 1923 we had twelve children attending, so paid $375 a head, or having only twelve children we paid for 88 of the 130 or three quarters of the total, and there is no legal limit to our liability for the Craigflower School, however great the number of pupils may become. Are land taxes have roughly multiplied by four by doubling the assessment, and then raising the rate from _% to 1%. Saanich Mill-rate is 2 _% (twenty-five mils). As an example of this rise certain land that in 1906 paid forty-five dollars land and five dollars school tax, in 1923 paid $110 land tax and eighty-six dollars school tax, $197, or nearly 400% increase. It is, therefore, readily seen how excessive and unjust are the school taxes, impose on us by Saanich, rising annually in the past years, owing to the influx of population into what is now a suburban district (the Gorge-Burnside area) and into Saanich as a whole, and to the rise of the Saanich School rate from 1 _ mils in 1907 to 9.006 mils, or nearly 1% in 1923. A rural district is, in fact, being compelled to pay for the children of a suburban and municipal area, and as if to accentuate this injustice we have had the tax calculated so as to include the value of improvements as well, as land, although Saanich, being administered under the single tax system, does not include the value of improvements in its assessments, which are calculated on land alone, thus departing from its own methods to our discomfort. Having passed under the زSaanich yoke,س verily we are as the toad under the harrow. All of this, of course, is well known to the Education Office, and its injustice admitted, but here political considerations intervene to deprive us of justice. Saanich, determined not to lose the annual $4000 we pay in excess of are just proportion of the school tax, practically puts a veto on our application to the Education Office for separation. On 13 July, 1923, at an interview with the Superintendent of Education on this subject, the question was put to us, whether, if the excessive and unjust taxation of which we complained were equitably adjusted by Saanich, we should still desire a separate school and a separate district? In reply to this question we all, parents and taxpayers alike, stated in our petition dated July 23, 1923, and after careful consideration we desire a separate school and a separate district, giving our reasons for this decision. On September 12 we sent a deputation to the Saanich School Board to inquire the attitude of the board as to our petition. He assured us that no opposition from them need be apprehended. It was even said that we were entitled to have our request granted. The chairman, however, offered as transportation for our children if it was the wish of the parents, but so far the decline unanimously to apply for it. On October 1 the Superintendent of Education, by letter, declined to grant us a separate school, basing his refusal on his own opposition to ungraded schools, and supporting it by adding first report of Inspector Stewart, who says (inter-alla), زIt is impossible to get away from the fact that the reason and basis for this request is a desire for less and taxation. Such a desire is perfectly natural, and in many respects altogether reasonable, but your inspector hesitates to make any recommendation for reduced taxation at the expense of the childrenصs education.س A dispassionate view that ignores all consideration of righteousness and justice, although equitable adjustment of taxation was a remedy suggested by the Superintendent of Education himself, who would give us relief if he would. On November 14, the Superintendent of Education, in reply to inquiry by Doctor McLean on this matter stated: زThe parents of the children are quite satisfied with the present arrangement, viz., That their children attend the Craigflower School. The objection seems to come from persons who are property owners, some of whom have no children and to have no direct interest in the school. The object seems to be to secure relief from the payment of their school taxes.س This is a half-truth, whose first proposition, i.e., زThat the parents are quite satisfied that their children attend Craigflower,س is absolutely without foundation, and in evidence of its incorrectness all the parents have signed a second petition to Doctor McLean asking for a separate school and district; also denying that they have ever wavered from the position taken up in their first petition, or told anyone of their satisfaction with the present arrangement; indeed, they are all against it. As to the second half of the proposition, figures already quoted as to our land in school taxes show how fair these two high officials are indubbing as tax evaders our heavily burdened land owners. It is obvious that if this policy of refusing us a school, and of enlarging Craigflower School, is obstinately adhered to, our taxes must rise automatically with the number attending the school. It would be difficult to devise a more insidious method for driving us from our homes. Is quite natural, even reasonable, it schoolmasters should be serious for schools, their happy lot being rather to receive taxes and to pay them, but their duty is a teaching of justice and fair dealing between man and man. However, in bright contrast to this opposition, Mister Duncan McTavish has generously offered us, or a school or playground, about 2 acres of land at the junction of the Island Highway, with the old road to Palmer Station (just were an enormous board calls attention to the merits of Dominion tires) a valuable central and eligible site. We, Mister editor, are only asking for ordinary every day British justice. H.H. Francis, Parsons Bridge, BC, November 24, 1923.
1924-04-16ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, April 16, 1924. Editorial An Old Landmark. Because of sheer neglect an historic landmark, in the Craigflower schoolhouse, is falling into decay. It is a local link with the earliest times the settlement of white people in this quarter of the Dominion because it was the first schoolhouse on Vancouver Island, and, indeed, we believe in British Columbia. Is it worthy of preservation as a relic of the past? We think it is, and are writing with the object of drawing attention to the state of neglect which is marked this erstwhile schoolhouse during recent years. The old building stands in about half an acre of ground. The building wants underpinning if it is to be saved from collapse. Possibly it needs interior strengthening so as to prolong its life. The ground in which it stands would be all the better for some little attention. There should be a memorial tablet telling what the building is. The expenditure that would be involved in effecting these improvements could not be very great. It would be well worthwhile, and it is a happy an appropriate occasion to advance the suggestion for its preservation next month there is to be a reunion here of the pioneers of British Columbia. Among organizations we are certain will enthusiastically favour the proposal for the preservation of the old Craigflower schoolhouse is the BC Historical Association. It is an idea that should appeal to the Native Daughters and the Native Sons, to Rotarians, to Kiwanians, to Gyros and to the Daughters of the Empire, whose pride it is to keep the present in touch with the past. Indeed, it should appeal to every organization in our midst that is imbued with patriotic ardor. We are informed that the outlay to carry out the proposal to preserve the Craigflower schoolhouse would not exceed $1000 and that it possibly could be done for less than half that sum. It would be a simple matter to ascertain the cost. It is a proposal in which we would like to see the BC Historical Association take the initiative so that this old landmark may not become a heap of ruins. Action should be taken before the Pioneersص Reunion is held. The people of Victoria and the adjacent municipalities will not grudge a few hundred dollars to save the Craigflower schoolhouse from passing into oblivion. .
1927-02-05ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, February 5, 1927. PIONEER SCHOOL MAY BE MARKED. BC HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION SEEKS RECOGNITION OF CRAIGFLOWER SCHOOL. Historic Sites and Monuments Board Will Be Requested to Provide Tablet. The local feature committee of the British Columbia Historical Association is seeking to have the old Craigflower schoolhouse, which is the sole remaining representative of the early public schools in this Province, officially recognize and marked as one of Canadaصs outstanding features of a national historic character in educational matters. Mister C.C. Pemberton, convenor of the committee, so informed the Saanich Council at last nightصs meeting. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is establishing and marking points of national historic character throughout Canada. Mister Pemberton pointed out that the Gonzalez Hill landmark had already been marked. When the Monument Board grants recognition of the landmark it marks the site by a bronze tablet with required data embossed thereon. The tablet is then affixed to a permanent place, and an unveiling and dedication ceremony follows. Apart from this there is a movement to make a museum of the Craigflower School, with the managing committee comprising the chair of the Board of School Trustees, the president of the Craigflower Parent-Teacher Association, British Columbia Historical Association, and Native Sons and Daughters of British Columbia.
1927-09-27ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, September 24, 1927. Craigflower School Preservation. A meeting of the Post Number Three, Native Daughters of British Columbia, will be held in the Victoria Club on Tuesday, September 27, at 8 oصclock. A talk on the Craigflower School will be given by Mr. Lorimer, Chairman of the Craigflower School Committee, and trustee of the school and members of their committees will also be present. As the lease for the Craigflower School has now been handed over to the British Columbia Historical Society, and the Native Sons and Daughters, the subject will be of special interest to the members.
1928-02-16ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, February 16, 1928. Native Daughters Hold Regular Meeting. A short article outlining the upcoming meetings of the Native Daughters of British Columbia, Post Number 3. Upcoming meetings included a visit to the archives and old Craigflower schoolhouse.
1928-03-03ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, March 3, 1928. To Clear School Grounds. Messieurs R. Hiscocks and W. Waller would appreciate assistance in clearing the grounds of the old Craigflower School house this afternoon. A subscription list, headed by Mister J.E. Wilson, has been started to restore the old schoolhouse, one of the earliest landmarks in the city, and to preserve it as a spot of historic interest.
1928-04-28ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, April 26, 1928. Native Daughters Meet. (Excerpt regarding Craigflower Schoolhouse). On Saturday at noon His Excellency the Gov.-Gen. has consented to plant a dogwood tree at the Old Craigflower School, and members with cars and willing to lend them for transportation are asked to communicate with Miss Boo Wilson, for the Native Daughters and Mr. Fred Waller, for the Native Sons. (and) This morning Their Excellencies Lord and Lady Willingdon will be greeted on their return to Victoria by the Native Sons and Daughters at the old Craigflower School where Their Excellencies will plant a tree.
1928-06-21ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, June 21, 1928 Basket Picnic. The Native Sons and Native Daughters will hold a joint basket picnic next Saturday afternoon at 330 oصclock at the grounds of the old Craigflower School. A committee composed of Messrs. FW Waller and William Lorimer was appointed by the Native Sons to act with the Native Daughtersص committee in completing arrangements for the fete.
1928-09-18ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, September 18, 1928. MUSEUM AND PARK PLANNED. Project Would Attract to Historical School Building At Craigflower Which Has Become Public Trust. Government Is Ready to Help. The lending of aid by the Provincial Government to the scheme for creation of the Craigflower schoolhouse, the first one erected in the province, into a historical museum, will receive the careful attention of the Government as soon as the requirements as outlined by the Native Sons and the Native Daughters of British Columbia have been filed with the Government. Yesterday afternoon the situation which presented itself was outlined at some length before the Premier by a committee consisting of Miss Bowrun and Mrs. Harold Beckwith representing the Native Daughters of British Columbia and Mister R.H. Hiscocks and Mister W.A. Lorimer, for the Native Sons of British Columbia. The committee was introduced by Mister Reginald Hayward, member elect for this city, and himself a native son of the province. It was explained that in order to preserve the old schoolhouse at Craigflower, and to extend its usefulness, a twenty-year lease at a nominal yearly rental had been obtained from the Saanich municipality. This carried with it the option of a continued lease thereafter. The idea was to convert the school into a historic museum and also to lay out a small public park about the place. The former Government had promised to provide a grant for the putting of the foundation in shape, and for other necessary improvements, but with the passing of that Government the grant was not forthcoming. Premier Tolmie was asked to provide for this sum. The request was made that the requirements be set out, and a formal request be presented, when the matter would receive attention.
1928-11-25ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, November 25, 1928. Two Societies to Conduct Card Party, November 29. The Victoria Post, Native Sons and Daughters of British Columbia, will hold a card party in Amphion Hall, Yates Street, on Thursday evening, November 29. Play will commence promptly at 815 oصclock. The proceeds from this function will be devoted to a fund for the restoration of the Pioneer schoolhouse of British Columbia, situated at Craigflower.
1928-12-20ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, December 20, 1928. Old Schoolhouse Scene of Christmas Party. A most delightful Christmas indoor picnic was held in the old Craigflower schoolhouse on Tuesday evening by the Native Sons and Daughters of British Columbia. The affair was under the convenorship of Miss Merle Lorimer, assisted by Mrs. J.C. Newbury, and the old school room was gay with Christmas decorations and a bright fire in the huge fireplace. The company was drawn up into two teams, under the captaincy of Messrs. Kinsman and Hiscocks, and an amusing, though difficult, spelling bee was held, which resulted in a drawer. This was followed by group and community singing and by the presentation of gifts off the Christmas tree by Mr. Fred Waller. One of the first to receive a present was Mr. J.C. Newbury, who was one of the early teachers in the school, followed by Mrs. J Stuart Yates and Mr. Fred Adams, who were pupils of Mr. Newbury. A special prize was donated to be presented to the most popular man ladiesص choice and the unanimous decision was that Mr. Newbury be the recipient. Among those present were the chief factors of each post, and Mr. William Lorimer, Chairman of the committee for management for the old schoolhouse. Miss Bowrun gave an interesting talk on the old school, laying stress upon the point that it was a privilege of the Native Sons and Daughters to assist in the repairing and upkeep of this old landmark, and asked that the names of pupils who attended the old school be sent to her, together with their present addresses.
1929-03-31ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, March 31, 1929. Craigflower School Building. The old school house, now leased by the Native Sons of British Columbia, is quite an attraction for tourists, for in addition to the building itself, Mr. H Palliser, caretaker, who lives there, has some treasures that would make an antiquarianصs heart jump. A Queen Anne table of ancient veneer, an old Chippendale desk, and other odd pieces of furniture, besides the Venetian glass and old Willow pattern China, also old steel engravings, as well as some old Indian relics that were dug up in the field adjoining. The inscription put up by the Native Sons on the building reads: زVancouver Island Crown Colony, Colonial School, Craigflower, one of two buildings erected for school purposes by the first Council of Vancouver Island, 1853, and the only one still standing. Many of the notable pioneers receive their education in this building. Called Craigflower after a farm in England which belong to Andrew Colville, then Gov. of the Hudsonصs Bay Company.س Some of the teachers in the old school are well-known, including Dr. Pope and his daughter Mrs. Harding; J.C. Newbury, late collector of customs; George Sluggett, old pioneer of Saanich, and others. The late Dr. R.L. Fraser was one of the early teachers in West Saanich School.
1931-06-05ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, June 5, 1931. Craigflower Reunion. Sir As many of your readers know, the old Craigflower School building has been leased and renovated by the Native Sons of British Columbia and the Native Daughters of British Columbia. These organizations have entrusted the control of the building and property to a Board of Trustees called the Craigflower School Committee, with the idea of making a historical museum in the old schoolhouse and beautifying the grounds for the use of the public. In order to stimulate interest in the project and to honour the pioneers of the oldest remaining schoolhouse in the province, a reunion is being arranged for the pupils and teachers of the old school and pioneers of the district to take place on the afternoon of June 27, 1931. It is the wish of the committee to have a picture of each teacher, pupil and pioneer of the district hung on the walls of the old school room. A great many of these have been donated already, but it is hoped that those whose pictures have not yet been sent will be good enough to comply with this request so that the collection may be as complete as possible by June 27. All pupils and teachers of the old Craigflower School and pioneers of the district are requested to accept this invitation to be the guests of the committee on the afternoon of June 27 at the old Craigflower School. Any communications may be addressed to the undersigned. Margaret A Beckwith. On Behalf of the Craigflower School Committee. 1336 Carnsew Street, Victoria BC, June 3, 1931.
1931-06-07ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, June 7, 1931. CRAIGFLOWER A MONUMENT TO PIONEER ISLAND DAYS. Old Schoolhouse on Gorge Road Been Restored to Life As Museum to Contain Historical Records of past. By Margaret A Beckwith. Those who motor along the Gorge Road toward the Craigflower Bridge notice on the left an old red-roofed, whitewashed schoolhouse. Those interested stop long enough to read the inscription: زVancouver Island Colony Colonial School Craigflowerس. This is one of the two buildings erected for schools by the first Council of Vancouver Island in 1853, the only one still standing. Many of the notable pioneers received their early education in this building, called زCraigflower,س after a farm in England which belonged to Andrew Colville, then Gov. of the Hudsonصs Bay Company. The motorists pass on, wishing, perhaps, that there were something more than the building to re-create for them school as it was in use nearly 80 years ago. To satisfy such a longing the old school has been renovated and is being made into a historical use EM contains pictures and records of the early teachers and pupils and the founders of زCraigflower.س Brought to Life. With the help of these pioneers and the staff of the Provincial Archives the old schoolhouse is being brought to life again. From old albums come pictures of ladies in crinolines; of schoolchildren playing under the large maple tree which gave the original name to the spot, زMaple Pointس; of the school bell which came off the mail ship Maj. Tompkins, wrecked at Macaulayصs Point. One ex-pupil has sent two autograph albums in the fine handwriting of her schoolmates of fifty years ago, and another pupil has given a Bible nearly a century old and brought out from England by the first schoolmaster, Charles Clark. And this is a story of the founding of Craigflower: About 1841 the Hudsonصs Bay Company decided to raise crops and cattle and cultivate the land for commercial purposes. As this was likely to interfere with the fur trade, a separate company was formed, called زThe Puget Sound Agricultural Company.س Farms on Nisqually and Cowlitz, on Puget Sound, prove so successful it was decided about 1850 to establish three others near Fort Victoria. In the Old Country three bailiffs, Mr. Langford, Thomas J Skinner, and Kenneth McKenzie were chosen to take charge of the new farms. Colonists Arrive. Some twenty-five married men and their families and his many others unmarried, from Scotland and England, carpenters, blacksmiths and artisans of all kinds decided to go with the bailiffs. How busy were the men collecting provisions of all sorts; farm implements, material to construct a sawmill, a grist mill, a bakehouse, a blacksmithصs shop; how busy were the women making dresses for themselves and children and packing their furniture and precious belongings, and how excited were the children with the expectation of a trip in a sailing ship and the prospects of life in a strange land where Indians and wild beasts bounded. Mr. Langford and his family, with some of the employees for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company from Dorset, England, left to head of the other bailiffs on the Tory, and they arrived in Victoria May, 1851. It was the Norman Morrison, a teak barque built in 1846 at Moulmien, Burma, that brought Mr. McKenzie and Mr. Skinner, their families and employees. The Norman Morrison belong to the Hudsonصs Bay Company, Capt. D.D. Wishart in command. So on August 14, 1852, the founders of زCraigflowerس set sail from Gravesend. Account of Voyage. The Granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Anderson, two of the emigrants gives the following account of the voyage: زmy grandmother didnصt want to come at all, but when she realized she might never see her husband again she bravely accompanied him, with their two small boys. At the mouth of the Thames my grandmother gave birth to a baby girl, who later became my mother. زMy mother was christened by the Capt. during a storm when rounding Cape Horn, and given the name Eliza Norman Morrison Wishart Anderson, after Capt. Wishart, his ship and wife. It was a great rejoicing on board, and the sailors were served an extra ration of grog. زCaring for a baby and two small boys onboard a sailing ship was a difficult undertaking, even with the help of a nurse. There were no hot water bottles. The babyصs clothes were warmed around grandmotherصs silver teapot. It was very little fresh water for washing purposes. Fortunately, grandmother had brought plenty of clean clothes. Another descendent of Mrs. Vineصs gives further details of the voyage as she was told by her mother then a little girl of ten years old: زThe children used to play on deck, and often big waves came right over. Sometimes they were sheltered against the bulwarks and let the waves go over their heads, but other times they were caught. Once my mother was unconscious after being knocked down by a big wave. My grandmother was very cross with her and kept her below in the big cabin for several days much to her discussed. Several families were living together in this big room, and after a meal the tables were pulled up to the ceiling by ropes. A Florence Nightingale. زGrandmother had had some nursing experience in the Old Country, and not suffering from seasickness she was a great help to the shipصs doctor. She used to carry one very sick lady up on deck every day for an airing. One poor little girl died on the voyage. زOne day a ship full of men passed under the bows of the Norman Morrison and asked for lime water. But when Capt. Wishart asked them questions they sailed away. He took them for pirates, and the next day, when another ship came near and asked for lime water to cure their scurvy, he refused to give them any, thinking they belong to the pirate band, although he could see some dead men on the decks. زThe only time the passengers sighted land between England and Cape Flattery was when th e Falkland Islands came in view. All the 500 passengers who were able rush to the side of the ship, endangering their own safety.س Slept in Bathtub. When William Wale, of Colwood, was alive he used to tell the following story about the trip: زI was just thirteen years old when I came out on the Norman Morrison and used to sleep in a movable bathtub in the doctorصs cabin. One very stormy night the door of the cabin came open, and as the ship lurched the other way the bathtub, with me in it, and skating across the hallway into the room occupied by the two Wier girls. They were startled!س During the voyage a baby girl was born to Mrs. Cheesman on December 10, 1852. Jonathan Simpsonصs child and James Whyteصs little girl died on board, as did John use one, an Englishman, age 35. Shoals of Whales. For those who were able to enjoy it there was excitement in watching large shoals of whales and catching big fish and birds, among which were a porpoise, a bonito, and albacore and an albatross, which measured 10ص2س from tip to tip 3 _ feet from bill to tail. زWeather permitting, divine service was held every Sunday morning, Capt. Wishart reading the prayers. There was no mockery here; the ship, a tiny speck on the ocean, and more or less at its Mercy, did not seem to lands men a stronghold.س A terrible storm drove the ship back three times from the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Both passengers and crew kept watch to avoid running on the rocks. At last a fine day dawned in the Norman Morrison sailed slowly with land on either hand. One side was American, the other British soil, yet looked very much like chips off the same block, frowning, sullen and gloomy, like relatives in a bad humour. زNot an acre of clear land could be seen, and we wondered how agriculture or even travel could be carried on in such a mountainous, thickly-wooded place. All are on deck and ask, زis this the promised land we left our homes, kith and kindred and companions to live and make our fortunes in?س Reach Race Rocks. زAt length Race Rocks are rounded, two guns fired, the signal of the Hudsonصs Bay Company ships. After a time the pilot, Capt. Sangster, came on board. He had been many a day looking out for the ships from Beacon Hill. Of course, everybody wanted news from the pilot. زNews?س Said he, زwhy you have the mail and newspapers aboard, and the Hudsonصs Bay people are anxiously waiting their letters and papers. No, there is nothing for any of you; you are the mail boat.س He, however, told us of the discovery of gold in California. زThe ship came to anchor in the Royal Roads on Sunday, January 16, 1853. The only welcome a parent was from several canoe loads of Indians who had come out of curiosity to gaze at the latest arrival of a Hudsonصs Bay Company ship. They were a dirty lot, covered either with a blanket or cedar matting made by themselves and equally filthy. They would not give any information, for they did not understand this, nor we them, nevertheless it was interesting to see even these miserable specimens of humanity human faces amongst savage grandeur. They seem good-humoured and in good condition, but had nothing to sell or to give. زThe following day the English immigrants went ashore with Messrs. McKenzie, Wier and Stewart in small boats to Fort Victoria. The Scotch people landed the next day where the Marine Headquarters Building is now in scrambled up the rocks to the fort. زInstead of fine houses for the bailiff and cottages for the others which Andrew Colville, Gov. of the Hudsonصs Bay Company had promised them; instead of a land flowing with milk and honey, beer, grapes and wine, they saw and uninviting palisaded Fort, with frowning bastions at opposite corners. Bitter Disappointment. زOne of the very few people who welcomed the party was the mother of the late William Irvine, of Cedar Hill, who made them tea. زAll of the twenty-five families were herded into one large barnlike structure with no floor, no furniture and no partitions. Fine rugs brought from England were strung up to act as walls. It was one large stove for heating and cooking purposes. The women wept and the men were angry. But for their sign contracts with the Puget Sound Agricultural Company they would have returned to friends and comfort in England on the Norman Morrison. One young lady, having no contract to fulfil and remembering how the mate had wanted to marry her, decided sheصd except him after all and hastened to the captain to marry them.س There certainly had been a misunderstanding between the company and its employees. The bailiffs and their men expected houses and farms would be in readiness for them, and James Douglas, the agent for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company at Fort Victoria, expected the immigrants would be the type used to زroughing itس. This experience was gradually gained. The immigrants lived in the Fort until their permanent houses were constructed at Craigflower. The whole colony in 1853 numbered three or 400 people. One thing which helped make the strangers feel happier about the prospects of life in such a wild, rough place was the profusion of wildflowers which made their appearance in the spring soon after the arrival of the immigrant vessel. Dr. J. S. Helmcken, who had arrived in 1850 on a former voyage of the Norman Morrison, mentions the flowering current on the banks of the harbour and his enjoyment of a walk across Langford Plains, which he named Greenwich Park, where زthe new green grass was interspersed with purple flowers; we were charmed and declared Vancouverصs island to be not a bad place after all.س
1931-06-28ColonistCraigflower ScxhoolhouseDaily Colonist, June 28, 1931. CRAIGFLOWER SCHOOL MADE INTO MUSEUM. Historic Ceremony Rallies Teachers and Old Pupils at Ancient Building. Premier Presented with Symbolic Key. Two airplanes, unconscious symbols of the swift flight of time, wheeled over Old Craigflower School yesterday, afternoon while J. C. Newberry, a teacher of the late 70s of last century, rang the ancient bell summoning to their seats the زboysس and زgirlsس of a far past, rallied for the reunion of former pupils and teachers held under the auspices of the Native Sons and Native Daughters of British Columbia. It was a memorable gathering, doubly so from the fact that it marked the formal opening of the Craigflower School Museum, which has been assembled by the same active organization with the assistance of the provincial archivist, John Hosie, and various pioneer families of the island. Old-timers from far and near were present. Fifty former pupils, one of whom, eighty-year-old Donald McKenzie, attended the school as a boy of five when it was first opened, occupied the chairs drawn up in front of the venerable schoolhouse; and mingling in the group, perhaps less austerely than they might have done in times gone by, were at least four former teachers, the senior of whom was Mr. Newbury himself. Not the least impressive figure in the gathering was Premier S. F. Tolmie, representing the Provincial Government as well as one of the most distinguished pioneer families of the province. Sitting beside him was Honourable R. H. Pooley, whose maternal grandfather taught in the old school for a short time in 1865, and another who took a leading part in the proceedings was F. V. Hobbs, Chairman of the Saanich School Board. R. H. Hiscocks, chief factor of Victoria Post Number One, Native Sons of British Columbia, acted as Chairman in the unavoidable absence of Joseph E Wilson, Chairman of the Craigflower School committee, and Mrs. H. A. Beckwith, as vice chairman, presented Dr. Tolmie with the key to the museum during the latter part of the proceedings. THE PROGRAMME. Half an hour before the formal proceedings began, the quite old grounds were thronged with old-timers busy exchanging reminisces, while members of the committee pursued them with registers in which the names are being preserved as a memento of that location. Then the old bell clanged, and, as if by instinct roused by the sound of a familiar voice, the old pupils moved to their appointed seats in front of the school, and faced some of the ancient landmarks which is children they could see across the Gorge. Mr. Hobbs related the facts concerning the renovation of the old school, expressing gratitude that needs had been found to save it from demolition, a suggestion which, as Chairman of the Saanich Board, he had strenuously fought. Now, under the joint trusteeship of the Native Sons and Native Daughters and the Saanich Board, with the proviso that the building should always be kept under repair, itصs future was secure. Great credit was due to the Native Sons and Daughters for the splendid way in which they had carried the enterprise through. The creation of the museum was a happy inspiration and deserving of all praise. JUST THE SAME. زThe astonishing thing is that boys and girls of those days where exactly the same as the boys and girls of today,س said Mr. Pooley, who referred to some notes made by Robert Melrose, who came out from England in 1852 on the زNorman Morrisonس to take a bailiffs position with the Hudsonصs Bay Company. Robert Melrose kept a diary, and from this Mr. Pooley had learned that the English voyageurs on the ship landed at Esquimalt one day in advance of the Scottish folk, which would indicate that for once the Englishman زbeat the Scotsman to it.س A very cordial tribute was paid by Dr. Tolmie to the committee which had arrange the details of the celebration. He also recalled some historical happenings connected with Craigflower Farm and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, and the names of Kenneth McKenzie and Robert Melrose, who took charge of to the Farms, were specially mentioned. The pioneers of that time had to depend on themselves for practically everything. In the building of their houses and barns they use local materials, even burning their own limestone and making their own bricks. Kenneth McKenzie had made his community self-contained, even erected a sawmill, a flour mill and a bakery; all the materials for building were cut at the sawmill; supplies were brought up the Gorge in boats which they made themselves. Among the early teachers at Craigflower whom Dr. Tolmie mentioned were Clark and Clegpool. With the exception of Kenneth McKenzie himself, Dr. Tolmie remembered the entire family, زa splendid type, finely built.س زBobس McKenzie had been a champion athlete. The family had left an enviable record in pioneering, and were proud example of what the Aberdonian Scott could do in this way. زThe Aberdonianصs have done a great deal for every country to which they have gone. They have adapted themselves and gone to work. And I can say, after living here for sixty-four years, that I donصt know any way for a person to make a living in British Columbia except with some good hard work and common sense,س said Dr. Tolmie. زBritish Columbia could do with some Aberdonians at the present time. While the Scots are joked at a good deal, they set a good example in thrift and industry.س Dr. Tolmie concluded with a word of warm praise for the committee which had carried through another commendable effort to reserve one of the old landmarks. It would be a happy thing if a similar move could be set a foot to preserve some of the landmarks in the Cariboo country. After Mr. Hiscocks had thanked Alex Watson, a grandson of Kenneth McKenzie, for his help in collecting and adding curios to the museum. Mrs. Beckwith presented Dr. Tolmie with the key of the museum, زas a symbol of the fact that it is now open to the people of British Columbia.س She also called attention to the fact that Mrs. McDonald, a daughter of the Mr. Melrose whose diary had been quoted by some of the speakers, was among those present, and added a few reminiscences concerning her experience and discoveries while in pursuit of the information concerning the old Craigflower School. The formal proceedings were followed by tea, served by ladies in colonial dress, from a picturesque stall in a sheltered part of the grounds. THE MUSEUM. The museum was visited by everyone, not alone for the relics which it contained, but for the interesting memories which were revived and discussed by many who had last seen the room when they were schoolchildren at their lessons there. Among the souvenirs in the collection is the organ used in the early days of the school, particularly on Sundays, when the Sabbath services for the community were held in the school. Mrs. J Stewart Yates, a daughter of Mr. J. J. Austin, one of the first organists, was among the visitors present. Other souvenirs were Miss Goody Mackenzieصs silk riding hat; a photostat copy of the Melrose diary, donated by John Hosie, provincial archivist; a number of farm implements presented by Alex Watson from the McKenzie farm, at Lake Hill, this collection including molds for bricks made at Craigflower in 1853, and also some of the original bricks; a butter churn of oak made and used at Craigflower Farm; an oxen yoke, reminiscent of pre-horse and pre-motor age; bricks brought from England in 1852; some handmade nails brought from England at the same time, some of which can still be seen in the floor of the old school; a piece of the log cabin in which Mr. and Mrs. Melrose lived; pictures of many old-timers, including those of the whole McKenzie family, and a rather famous old Bible used in the school by Charles Clarke, the first teacher. This Bible is now kept in the provincial archives but was loaned for the day, although a photostat of the flyleaf has been made by Mr. Hosie and is now a permanent part of the Craigflower Museum. Tree-Planting. An interesting little tree-planting ceremony took place yesterday afternoon, George Jay, Chairman of the Victoria School Board and Alex B Watson officiating. The two little holly trees were off of a tree which Mr. Jayصs father, a pioneer nurseryman of the city, gave to Miss Agnes Mackenzie. The tree, now fully grown, is at the old McKenzie farm at Lake Hill. Mr. Watson is a nephew of Miss McKenzie. Mr. Jay express a hope that the berries would decorate the Christmas pudding of many a Craigflower pupil descendent. Many visitors took advantage of the kind invitation sent by Mr. Newton, the lessor, to visit the old McKenzie home across Craigflower Bridge. The committee in charge of yesterdayصs arrangements consisted of R H Hiscocks, Mrs. HA Beckwith, William H Kinsman, Fred Waller (treasurer), Mrs. TP Waters, Miss Anna Mason and Miss K Wilson (secretary). These represented the Native Sons and Daughters. Tea was served by a committee convened by Miss Anna Mason, assisted by Mrs. Waters, Mrs. F Webb, Mrs. JA Lorimer, Miss Etta Neelands, Mrs. Ronald Grant, Mrs. JC Newbury, Mrs. J King, Mrs. CB McDonnell, Mrs. Nickerson, Mrs. Hubbard and Mrs. A. And M. Chrow. THOSE PRESENT. Additional to those already mentioned, there were present Mrs. Tolmie, Mayor Herbert and Mrs. Anscomb, Mr. Justice Martin, Hon. Jay Hinchcliffe and Mrs. Hinchcliffe, Mrs. RH Pooley, Dr. SJ Willis and Mrs. Willis, John Hosie, Miss Hosie, Miss Pooley, G. H. McTavish, Miss a Russell, Mrs. Cree and several other members of the British Columbia Historical Association. Former Teachers of Craigflower School who were present Included Mr. Newberry (1878-1883), A.M. Bannerman (1886-1890), George H Sluggett (1906-1908), Margaret MCKillican and Mrs. Michael, of Ladysmith a daughter of Thomas Russell, who taught in the school in 1865. FORMER PUPILS. Former pupils included: Mrs. a McDonald (ش 76), Mrs. N. Douglas (ص60),M.E. Dodd(ص75), Mrs. Eva Roland, Maie Roland, C.G. Jones, Mrs. W. Isbister, WF Adams, Mrs. M Lewis, HF Peatt, MA Murray, Mrs. JA MacLaren, Eva Kemp, Mrs. Alice Michael, A W Semple, Mrs. AM Bannerman, Gerald Few, Mrs. JS Yates, Edward Williams, Mrs. A. T. Peatt, WJ Barker, Lucy Hancock, WB McMicking, William R Scafe, Carl Strable, John B Adams, Frank Morriss, Mrs. A Turner, Mrs. AM Sinclair, WL Sea, Donald McKenzie, Mrs. Ware, Mrs. H Parker, Thomas Francis, DR Pottinger, Mrs. MF Morrison, Catherine Davis Wharf, Alice Downse, Alfred Peatt, P Stewart, Mrs. A Reynard, M Fagan, JW Rowland, Hattie Newberry, Jesse Martin, JE Jones, JO Jones, AL Stewart, Minnie Croghan, JP Stewart and JE Dodd (ص78).
1933-08-06ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, August 6, 1933. GOVERNMENT ASKED TO MAKE MONUMENT OF OLD BUILDING. Old Craigflower Schoolhouse Scene of Interesting Field-Day Meeting of BC Historical Society History of District Is Reviewed by Speakers. The forwarding to the Dominion Historical Sites and Monuments Board of a request that Craigflower School be classed as a national monument, and marked accordingly at the earliest possible moment, was one of the direct results of the field meeting of the British Columbia Historical Society, held at the old school house, yesterday afternoon. John Hosie, provincial archivist and librarian, framed the resolution which was seconded by Alderman R. T. Williams. Recommendation followed several interesting addresses concerning pioneer events related to the locality, an audience of about sixty members of the British Columbia Historical Society and others being present. C. H. French, president of the society, presided and sitting with him under the venerable Maple, and the picturesque school grounds were زC. C. Pemberton, Donald Fraser, James Beatty, MPP, (representing the Victoria Chamber of Commerce), Robert H. Hiscocks, (representing the Native Sons of British Columbia), Mrs. H. A. Beckwith (representing the Native Daughters), and F. V. Hobbs, Chairman of the Saanich School Board. Photograph Taken. Before the formal part of the program began, a photograph of the entire gathering was taken, and this will be added to the interesting museum which has been assembled in the schoolhouse. Following the formal proceedings, the meeting dissolved into a basket picnic, in connection with which the little pavilion, recently constructed from logs taken from an old building on Craigflower Farm, just across the water, was used for the first time. Mr. French gave a very fascinating talk on the history of the Hudsonصs Bay Companyصs farming operations in the district, recalling that the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, formed within the Hudsonصs Bay Company for the purpose of supplying the farm supplies needed by the parent company after our arrival on Vancouver Island, had been allotted 10 mi._, which was divided into four farms as follows: view Field, 595 acres; Constance Cove, 600 acres; Craigflower, 759 acres; and Colwood, 620 acres. History of Farms. The history of these four farms was interesting. In 1852, Mr. Langford, who built and operated the Colwood Farm, arrived from England with thirty servants. In 1853 Mr. McKenzie and Mr. Skinner Arrived with sixty men to take over Craigflower and Constance Cove. Viewfield had started sometime earlier. None of the farms proved profitable. The Hudsonصs Bay Company also built a sawmill at Millstream, in 1848, and brought out machinery for a gristmill to be built to the same place. But there was not enough water to operate and when it was decided that steam must be used, Craigflower was chosen for the site of the mill. There were also erected a bakeshop and planing mill. Craigflower Bridge was started in 1853, and completed in 1855. Reference was made to Sir James Douglasصs faith in the power possibilities of the Gorge, and Mr. French noted that although the waters had never been used for this purpose, they still had potential value. The bakery was discontinued after 1876, having served in the meantime to supply biscuits and bread to the British Navy stationed at Esquimalt. Much other interesting history of the district was added. Historic Sites. A brief survey of the work that has been accomplished by the historic features committee of the Victoria Chamber Of Commerce since the formation of the latter 1921, was given by James Beatty, first president of the Chamber Of Commerce. Craigflower School had been one of the first places considered by this committee. F.V. Hobbs, representing the Saanich School Board, recalled the transactions whereby the Government transferred to Saanich, and Saanich to the Native Sons and Daughters of British Columbia, the old Craigflower School, which had subsequently undergone repairs which had much improved it. Mrs. Beckwith expressed, on behalf of the Native Daughters, the great pleasure they had experienced in cooperating in this work; and R.H. Hiscocks, speaking for the Native Sons, endorsed her remarks. It was subsequent to this that Mr. Hosie move the resolution requesting the Dominion Government to class the old school as a national monument. Appropriate Place. Commenting at Craigflower School was a fitting place for such a meeting, C.C. Pembertonصs paper in its opening paragraph briefly rehearsed some of the incidents of the world-famous search for the Northwest passage, the discovery in 1787 by Capt. Charles William Barclay, of the زlong-lost Strait of Juan de Fuca,س and the effect of the maritime fur trade built up by the Hudsonصs Bay Company and other traders. The audience was also reminded that direct descendents of Capt. and Mrs. Barclay (the latter as a bride having accompanied her husband on his historic voyage to this Coast) still lived at Westholme, Vancouver Island, زnot very far distant from this historic farm in school building.س Founded in 1843. The Hudsonصs Bay Company in 1843 founded Fort Victoria as new headquarters in a locality that would be more certain of remaining British territory than their previous headquarters at Fort Vancouver in the State of Washington. The company formed a corporation known as the Puget Sound Agricultural Company to operate farms, of which Craigflower Farm at Victoria was one. This was under the management of Kenneth McKenzie, native of Ross shire, Scotland from 1853 two 1866. McKenzie arrived from England in January, 1853, with his family, also bringing with him, for colonization purposes twenty-five families, consisting of tradespeople of all classes, and machinery and tools for their use. In order that they could have free water way to Victoria, the farm site was selected on the banks of Victoria Arm, the establishment being named Craigflower after the English estate of Gov. Colville of the Hudsonصs Bay Company. Successful Management. Under McKenzieصs management Craigflower soon became important as the source of supplies. In those days the men engaged on the farm, besides tilling the fields were drilled to repel any attack the Indians might make. McKenzie was an outstanding man, the family were among the most prominent of the pioneers, and the McKenzie name consequently was among those perpetuated in Coast place names. Craigflower School. The old Craigflower farmhouse, still standing, was indicated to the visitors, with the comment that it was a lasting memorial not only to the International-organ Boundary dispute and the founding of Fort Victoria, but also of the days of the historic Overland fur trade in which the Hudsonصs Bay Company manage, by a policy of honesty and fair dealing, to win the cooperation of the wild and barbarous native tribes of North America. The colony of Vancouver Island the first British colony in the North Pacific, was created in 1849 and was proclaimed by Gov. Blanchard at Fort Victoria on March 11, 1850. Rev. Edward Cridge, brought here from England as Chaplin in connection with the companyصs policy of providing for public worship and public education in its communities, often held services in the old Craigflower School. Two Schools. The two most populous sections of the Island at that time were in the immediate vicinity of the Fort and the vicinity of Craigflower, so the Colonial Council erected a school in each of the centres, Rev. Edward Cridge be appointed the first Superintendent of Education for the colony. The Craigflower School has survived the Victoria School, and thanks to the work of the Historic Features Committee appointed by the Victoria Chamber Of Commerce some years ago, has been suitably marked with a tablet, while the repair, conservation and conversion into a museum are the results of interest on the part of Post Number One, Native Sons of BC and Post Number Three, Native Daughters of BC. This Interest Was Initiated by the Late Brother W. A. Lorimer, and the Undertaking Was Consummated with the Aid of the Provincial Government, the Provincial Archives, Saanich Municipal Council; F. V. Hobbs, of the Saanich School Board; Mr. Watson (grandson of Kenneth McKenzie), and other relatives the pioneers of the Craigflower district.
1937-07-07ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, July 7, 1937. Obituary Palliser Hugh Palliser, 3132 QuصAppelle Street, passed away yesterday afternoon at the Jubilee Hospital following a lingering illness. Mr. Palliser was born in England and had been a resident here for the past twenty-five years. For eighteen years he was caretaker of the old Craigflower School. He leaves to mourn his loss, one son, William, with whom he resided, three daughters, Mrs. ETW Adlem, Burnaby; Mrs. Bertha Clair, Victoria and Mrs. Frank Gronlund, Refuge Cove, BC, one brother and sister in England, also seven grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
1937-11-11ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist November 11, 1937. Craigflower. The first monthly meeting of the newly inaugurated Craigflower Institute, will be held at the Old School House, Craigflower Bridge, on Friday at 2 PM. Members are reminded of the cup and saucer shower for the Institute. The speaker will be Mr. C. H. French, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Queen Alexandria Solarium.
1938-11-13ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, November 13, 1938 Native Daughters. The monthly meeting of the Native Daughters of British Columbia, Post Number Three, was held Wednesday evening at the K. of C. Hall with the chief factor, Mrs. RG Creech, presiding. The initiation ceremony was performed when Mrs. Catherine Guptill was initiated into the Post. Mrs. Guptill was the recipient of a bouquet composed of white and yellow flowers, owners of the post. A report on the recent dance held at the Oak Bay Theatre Hall, sponsored by the Native Sons and Daughters of British Columbia, Was Given by Miss زBooس Wilson. Reports were read by the posts two representatives of the Local Council of Women and BC Historical Society. Mrs. WG Roach reported on the Halloween penny frolic held recently at the old Craigflower School, which proved to be a great success. A committee composed of Mrs. C Davies, Mrs. F Webb, Mrs. J McIntosh, Mrs. JC Newbury and Miss زBooس Wilson are planning a Christmas party to be held at the Old Craigflower School on December 16. Mrs. L Lorimer won the special prize and Mrs. James Brown was the winner for the attendance prize. Refreshments were served at the close of the meeting by a committee composed of Mrs. H. A. Beckwith, Miss D Lyell and Miss E Neelands.
1939-03-22ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, March 22, 1939. Lady Tweedsmuir Will Be Guest of Womenصs Institutes. Under the auspices of the South Vancouver Island District Board of Womenصs Institutes, eighteen display of handicrafts will be held at which Her Excellency, Lady Tweedsmiur, and Mrs. K.W. Hamber will be the guests of honour. This will be on Tuesday, March 28, in the Old Craigflower schoolhouse. An invitation is extended to all Womenصs Institutes and their members. The latter are advised to get in touch with their own secretary for further particulars.
1943-03-13TimesFarming in VictoriaVictoria Daily Times, March 13, 1943. Finlayson Gives First Report on Agriculture. Island Farm Life Dates from Century Ago. By JK Nesbitt. Is difficult to imagine Vancouver Island without any farms with growing crops and grazing cattle. Yet a century ago such was the case. The island was a wilderness of rocks and mighty forests. What a difference today. Now the island is known as a farming paradise, one of the lushest areas in Canada, where grow certain crops that will not grow elsewhere in this country. Once the area where the business portion of Victoria is now located was a vast farm; the entire Fairfield area, from Beacon Hill Park to Ross Bay was likewise a farm. Sir James Douglas was largely responsible for starting a farming industry on Vancouver Island. He encouraged the Indians to grow potatoes, he personally bought land from the Hudsonصs Bay Company and started his own farm. Abundance. Note this letter from Sir James to the British colonial office in Downing Street, in 1851: زI am happy to inform you the grain crops were abundant this season. The potato crop will greatly exceed our annual consumption, and the potatoes are remarkably large and of good quality. The natives generally are turning their attention to the cultivation of potatoes.س But nearly 10 years before this dispatch was written the early residents of the Fort had started farming. The diary of Roderick Finlayson, who came here in 1843 with James Douglas says: زafter the Fort and buildings were put up, the next objective was to cultivate the land, so as to raise food for the maintenance of the establishment, as after the first year any application for agricultural products from headquarters would be ascribed to a want of energy on the part of the officer in charge, and every effort was made to be independent of this source. Wooden plows were made, with mold boards of oak, dropped out with an axe. Harrows were made of the same materials, with oak trees. Horse traces were made from old rope, got from the coasting vessels. As a favor we were supplied with a few iron plowshares from the depot at Fort Vancouver, and our plow molds we got lined on the outside with iron hoops taken off the provision casks first supplied to us. In about four years from our arrival (1847) here we had over 300 acres of land under cultivation, and besides supplying our own wants, delivered about 5000 bushels of wheat, with some beef and butter to two Russian vessels which came here for supplies.س In a later entry, Finlayson wrote: زby the end of 1847 we had at this place (Fort Victoria) to dairies with 70 milch cows each, regularly milked twice a day, some of these wild Indians as assistant dairymen, each cow giving 70 pounds of butter for the summer the butter exported to Sitka.س On May 7, 1851, Douglas wrote to William F Tolmie, manager of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, and HBC subsidiary: زThe Una arrived off port on the fourth inst., and entered Esquimalt harbour on the fifth and her cargo of livestock is safely landed a four night, the loss of one sheep, which died on the passage. The total number of sheep landed here was 301 gimmers and 100 wedders.س First farms were started on Vancouver Island about 1845. That year the Hudsonصs Bay Company engaged Indians to clear land, and three farms were started Fort Farm, Beckley farm in James Bay, and North Dairy Farm, on the northern outskirts of the city. Within a few years the Sooke-Metchosin district was being settled, and in that area are some of the provinceصs most historic farms. Often settlers from England landed along those shores and so impressed where they with the beauty and the fine agricultural land that they stayed there. Some of their descendents are still in the district. Colwood Farm. In 1851 Capt. Edward Langford started Colwood Farm, on land where is now the Colwood Golf and Country Club. Part of the original buildings still remain. Perhaps the most famous farm was Craigflower. It was started in 1853 by Kenneth McKenzie, who managed it until 1856. He had brought farm machinery and equipment around the Horn from England in the Norman Morrison. Later McKenzie farm at Lake Hill. At the same time Constance Cove Farm was started, and it was operated from 1853 to 1864 by Thomas James Skinner. The farm stood on land where Yarrowصs Limited is now building ships. In those days only a trail connected the farm with the Fort. In 1854 William Tolmie, from Nisqually, wrote to Mr. McKenzie: زin my opinion all farms on Vancouver Island, where the extent of pasture is Zug limited, will find it to their interest to have their livestock of the choices description, and if you entertain similar views, the present is a fine opportunity of replacing the Spanish stock of cows on the companyصs farms with good American animals worthy of the bull which you are soon to have from England.س Later that year, Mr. Tolmie wrote from Nisqually to Mr. McKenzie: زI have purchased for you to full-blooded American mares, besides some 20 head of American cows and heifers. The mares would come to be between $150 and $200, the full breadth, and $50-$60 half bread, and the cows and heifers at from $50-$75 apiece the horned cattle are of as good Durham stock as was to be found in the Willamette Valley.س Vancouver Island was a British Crown colony, but the Hudsonصs Bay Company sold enormous pieces of lands. Records in the Archives, dated 1851, show that the HBC sold the following parcels at 1£ per acre: 100 acres to W. G. Grant, 300 acres to James Douglas, 100 acres to John Tod, 200 acres to J. M. Yale, 200 acres to James Cooper, 100 acres to Rod Finlayson, 70 acres to James Nesbitt, 20 acres to Elisha Chancellor, 200 acres to William McNeill. Early Reports. In Archives records are also reports from farmers in the Victoria area. John Muir at Sooke wrote: Wheat is produced only for the purposes, ruling price 1 _ cents per pound; average yield of oats, 40 bushels per acre; peas, 20 bushels per acre; average yield the potatoes in fair years, 6 tons per acre, ruling price, $18 per ton. C. E. King, who had a farm on the northern section of the city reported: زHills and valleys would best describe my district, the valleys having, as a rule, good black, loamy soil, on which large crops can be grown. The hilly ground is inclined to be gravelly, and in many places is to rocky for cultivation. The City of Victoria, 325 miles distant, affords a good market for all the produce grown in the district. There is fairly good shooting of pheasants, grouse, quail and ducks.س But even long before this period of settlement is a record that there had been some farming on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Mrs. Barclay, wife of the famed explorer, after whom Barkley Sound is named, wrote in her journal, dated 1787, from Nootka Island: زI was allowed to land here, and Capt. Barclay and myself explored the island, which sheltered, and indeed, made the harbour. We lay in and were astonished to see traces of cultivation. The ground was covered with coarse grass, but a few oats among it; peas, one crop apparently just out of bearing, and another in bloom; a very few plants, of course, but plenty of strawberry plants, not of the wild sort, but evidently had been planted. They were all stripped of their fruit, no doubt, by our friends, who brought them on board; indeed, all they brought us were dead right, but of a good size, of the sort we call Carolina.س First Apple Tree. There is an interesting and romantic story concerning the first apple tree that ever grew in the Pacific North West. At a sumptuous banquet in London in 1826 the guest of honor was Capt. Simpson, who was on the eve of his departure for Fort Vancouver, in the service of the Hudsonصs Bay Company. Apples were served for dessert. A lady guest at the dinner picked out seeds from her apple and dropped them in Capt. Simpsonصs pocket. She told him to plant them in the New World. Simpson forgot all about them. He had no occasion on the long voyage around the Horn to wear his dinner clothes. But, at the dinner of welcome in Fort Vancouver he came across the seeds; he told McLoughlin the story. McLoughlin was a great horticulturist, he gave immediately instructions to his Scottish gardener, Bruce, to plant them in a box. To the astonishment of everyone at the Fort the seeds produced. The first yield was one apple, which was cut into 17 pieces, a peace for everyone at the chief factorصs dinner table. As men left Fort Vancouver for Fort Victoria, they brought seats here and planted them, and they grew; some of the trees are still producing fruit in various parts of Victoria, their identity, however, completely lost.
1943-07-25ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, July 25, 1943. Native Daughters of BC. Members of the Native Daughters of British Columbia, Post Number Three, will hold a Victory Fair on August 4 at the Old Craigflower School, commencing at 230 oصclock, when tea and refreshments will be served. Games and stalls will be convened and there will be a زLady with 1000 pockets.س
1943-07-30ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, July 30, 1943. Fair on Wednesday. The Victory Fair planned by the Native Daughters of British Columbia, Post Number Three, promises to be a colourful affair. The fair is to be held at the old Craigflower School on August 4 from two until 5:30 PM this affair will also afford an opportunity to view the old schoolhouse and Museum, with its many relics of bygone days. Craigflower School is the oldest school in British Columbia and some of the former pupils of fifty years ago will be special guests at the tea. Convenor of the fair is the wife of one of the early principles of the school.
1944-08-01ColonistCraigflower Schoolhouse1944-08-01Daily Colonist, August 1, 1944. Holding Fete at Craigflower School. The Native Daughters of British Columbia, Post number three, will hold a garden party an afternoon tea at the old Craigflower School, admirals Road, on Wednesday, at 3 oصclock. There will be home cooking, fancy work and baby where stalls as well as a زwhite elephant.س Soft drinks and hotdogs will be on sale, also afternoon tea will be served by members of the post.
1948-01-18ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, January 18, 1948. Oldest School House nears Centenary. On a narrow salt water inlet 3 miles from the centre of Saanich, one of British Columbiaصs historic landmarks still stands as a tribute to the sturdy construction of those far-distant days when Vancouver Island was a Crown Colony and notable mainly as a chief post of fur trading on the Pacific. Now a centre of tourist interest, the old Craigflower schoolhouse is the oldest school building in Western Canada and the third oldest building in all British Columbia. When its doors were first opened in 1855, the famous James Douglas, later Sir James, was Gov. of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island. School examinations were conducted orally in those days and the children of Craigflower always wore their best on examination day for it was the custom of Sir James to visit their school and conduct the examinations in person. Craigflower was settled by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudsonصs Bay Company and the old schoolhouse was built for the children of the companyصs employees. The first schoolmaster was a Mr. Clark, of whom little appears to be known today except that he was appointed by the Legislature of the Colony. The settlement of Craigflower has been swallowed up by the growing town of Saanich. Preservation of the historic landmark in this good state of repair was insured by the Native Sons and Daughters Association of British Columbia who in 1929 had the building raised and a cement foundation put in. At the same time the building was whitewashed and maroon coloured asphalt shingles were laid over the ancient hand hewn cedar shakes which are done service since the building was built. The old schoolhouseصs fine condition today is a credit not only to the sturdiness of its timbers but to the fine materials and construction used in its renovation in 1929. Ownership of the building is vested in the Saanich School Board from whom the Native Sons and Daughters have leased it as a historic site. The building contains a diary which reveals much of the history of the settlement and also houses many interesting relics of pioneer days. Go to sleep
1948-05-30ColonistCraigflower McKenzie SaanichThe Daily Colonist, May 30, 1948. Old Homes and Families. By J. K. Nesbitt One snow-driven, wind-whipped January day in 1853 the barque Norman Morrison, Capt. Wishart, dropped anchor in Esquimalt after a five month voyage around Cape Horn from England. There were close to 200 eager passengers aboard, coming to settle in a new land. Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth McKenzie and their six children the oldest ten, youngest eight months. The thirty-year-old mother must have been tired and relieved, too, that the voyage was over at last. The forty-two-year-old father was probably too busy searching out officials of the Pugetصs Sound Agricultural Company, whose servant he was, to pay much attention to his wife and youngsters that day. Horse and Wagon. The family came the three miles from Esquimalt by horse and wagon and found a house just outside the fort. Mrs. McKenzie immediately started her housekeeping affairs, while Mr. McKenzie hurried to the head of Victoria Arm and commenced establishment of a farm for his company. He called the place Craigflower, after the English estate of Andrew Colville, deputy governor of the Hudsonصs Bay Company. Soon he had his family at Craigflower, living in a small house until the big residents, which stands yet, was ready about 1855. At Craigflower two more sons were born. Determined to live permanently in the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, Mr. McKenzie looked around for land to start a sheep station. In 1856 his eyes fell on nearly 1000 acres in the Lake Hill area rich, rolling acres surrounding Christmas Hill. As far as can be learned today, he built the rambling farm home that is still in use, about 1866 in there until a few years ago the members of his family. Today, renovated and altogether delightful, set off by a beautiful old-world garden, with an ancient rose-pink camellia by the front door, live Maj. R. C. Farrow, Comptroller of water rights and Mrs. Ferrow, who have done all they could to see the old house was kept as much like the original as possible, making it at the same time modern in its conveniences and comfortable. One of the Big Men. McKenzie was one of the big men of the early days in Victoria. Little was done without his advice, certainly as far as agricultural affairs were concerned. First mention of him in the newspapers was in July, of 1858, when The Gazette ran this advertisement: زFor sale from 20 to 30 pure Southdown rams of English stock, a strong American country horse and several young country horses. Apply to Mr. McKenzie, Craigflower.س In 1860 he served on the grand jury, with Chief Justice Cameron (brother-in-law of Sir James Douglas) on the bench. The Colonist of November 13 that year listed members of the jury: Edward Green, Alex Watson, Robert Burnaby, Charles Thompson, Thomas Trout, John Cox, Jason Langley, J. R. Stewart, JJ Cochran, Jason Reid, E Wright, Michael Muir, Jason Bell and Kenneth McKenzie, Foreman. Supply to Navy. With Craigflower Farm nearing completion, McKenzie went into the baking business and soon had contracts to supply ships of Queen Victoriaصs fleet, based in Esquimalt Harbour. There was evidently much talk that he had some kind of political pull, for The Colonist of September 5, 1861 had this to say: زwe learn that the contract for supplying the fleet with bread was on Saturday last awarded to Kenneth McKenzie, Esq., of Craigflower, for the term of two years at 7 _ cents per pound. The bakers of Victoria complained of the contract was not opened to competition that they have not been fairly dealt with by the admiral. We are inclined to think there must be some mistake. The contract for the time, and at the figure awarded, will prove a fortune to the possessor, and we cannot believe that Admiral Maitland would award so important a contract without first of 40 Holly chance to compete for it. The report as we stated, however, is being circulated, and, if untrue, should at once be contradicted by those whom it affects.س There was no contradiction. Adm. Maitland and Mr. McKenzie held their silence. From time to time Mr. McKenzieصs contracts with the Royal Navy were criticized. Mostly, it seems today, McKenzie ignored the criticism, but March 24, 1869, he wrote to the editor of The Colonist: زIn reply to a letter signed زFair Playس in The British Columbian, I have to state that for three weeks I advertised for bakers but got no response. Under these circumstances I called on the admiral and he kindly gave me the assistance of two men, to each of whom I agreed to pay one dollar per diem, with their provision, and not, as stated by the anonymous writer, one shilling per diem, should however, any competent baker offer himself I would gladly assist the workingmen of this Colony and so dispense with private labor.س Farm at Lake Hill. McKenzie was an active farmer at Lake Hill. His diary show he kept the detailed list of the vegetables he grew, their amounts in the prices he received for them. He had nearly 10 years at Lake Hill, busy with a sheep and cattle and horses. He died April 10, 1874, and The Colonist next day said: زWe regret to announce the death at his farm on the Saanich Road of Kenneth McKenzie, Esq. The deceased gentleman had been an invalid for some months. Mr. McKenzie came to Victoria some 23 years ago from Scotland and filled for many years a position of high trust for the Pugetصs Sound Agricultural Company at Craigflower, and at the time of his death was proprietor of the Craigflower Bakery and a naval contractor. Mr. McKenzie was universally respected by all classes in his estimable family of the sympathy of the entire community.س The funeral account: زThe attendance was very large. Among those present were His Honor, Lieut. Gov. (Sir Joseph Trutch), several members of the Executive Council and Legislative Assembly, several gentlemen attached to H.M. Fleet, many old neighbors of the deceased and most of our prominent citizens.س Pallbearers were Sir James Douglas, Dr. Tolmie, M. P. P., Jason A. Grahame, Roderick Finlayson, T. L.Stahelschmidt, Jason Lowe, B. W. Pearse and T Dobbin. Daughters Married. In 1863 at Craigflower, Jesse McKenzie was married to Alexander Watson, treasurer of the Crown Colony, and later they lived in California. In July 1882, another of the daughters, Dorothea, was married, The Colonist noting زHyrnenealس a large number of persons assembled at St. Johnصs Church to witness the nuptials of tea. S. Dobbin, Esq., of Esquimalt, and Miss McKenzie, of Lake Hill. The ceremony was performed by the Rector, Rev. P Jenns, the bridesmaids being Miss McKenzie, sister of the bride; Miss Finlayson, Miss Tolmie, and Miss J. W. Tolmie. Two of the daughters, Agnes and Wilhelmina Ann Blair, called زGoodieس lived on in the Lake Hill farmhouse with two single brothers, and their mother, who died there July 14, 1897. The unmarried daughters and sons remained in the home, being joined by one of their nephews, Alexander Watson. Agnes died in February 1928, when she was 84, and Wilhelmina died the next year at 76. In 1929 all the fine old furnishings that had come by sailing ship around the Horn were sold at auction, but Alex Watson stayed on in the house until a few years ago. He died last Autumn. Wilhelmina Mackenzieصs reminiscences, as told to her nephew, are in the Archives. One note says: زMrs. JS Helmcken took three young girls out to Beacon Hill Park in February, 1853 Miss Sophie Wishart, daughter of Capt. Wishart, of the Norman Morrison; Agnes and Jesse McKenzie. Mrs. Helmcken saying the Sultanصs Polka and the girls danced on the sod. Miss McKenzie also later added that Jane and Agnes Douglas were also with them. The dance took place where the Burns monument now stands. Dean Cridge started a school for girls on Humboldt Street, near the Reformed Episcopal Church of today. Mrs. Cridge and Miss Mary Cridge, the sister of the Dean, taught, well Miss Lizzie Cridge looked after the house. The girls who attended were Mary Kennedy, Agnes McKenzie, Kate and Cecilia work and two Thorne girls. Only two borders were Miss Kennedy and Agnes McKenzie.س The McKenzie Sons. Of the McKenzie sons, little is recalled here now. Andrew and William went to the United States. Robert later married Andrewصs widow and died at Lake Hill shortly after the turn of the century, as did Kenneth, who never married Kenneth, it seems appeared destined to be in many accidents, according to old newspapers. The Colonist of August 12, 1876, said زA gun accident of a very painful character took place near Parsonصs Bridge by which Mr. Kenneth McKenzie was severely shot in the breast and about the arms and body. It appears that he was in company with another gentlemen, who lost sight of him for a few minutes, and that a bird, suddenly rising between him and his friend, resulted in the discharge of the latterصs gun with the effect mentioned. Mr. McKenzie, who suffered a great deal from his wounds, was at once conveyed to the naval hospital at Esquimalt the gentleman was so unfortunate as to be the cause of the accident, of course, feels very much distressed.س In two years later, on August 6, 1878 زMr. K McKenzie, of the dockyard, Esquimalt, while writing home along the old road, was thrown violently from his horse and very severely cut about the back of the head and face. Mr. McKenzie was found lying senseless in a pool of blood by two blue jackets and Mr. Innis, Junior., Who at once rode into town summoned Dr. Helmcken, who drove out and sewed up the wounds on the head and pronounced them serious though not dangerous. The injured gentleman was then conveyed to his residence near Swan Lake.س Original Entrance. Today Lake Hill Farm is a picturesque link with the past. Itصs 14 rooms ramble every which way. Itصs front door contains the original massive lock and key, which still work perfectly. It seems are mostly wood, the quaint dining room has a skylight; its timbers are as sound as a day it was built. The floor slope here and there, and many of the Windows there are 34 are there ripply type of glass that denotes age and perfection. There are remnants of the old barns left and about the whole place is an air of the past when boys and girls frolicked in the many rooms, before the finally tiled fireplaces, and worked and played in the fields and climbed to the top of Christmas Hill to see what to them must have appeared the whole wide world spread out before them.
1948-12-12ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, December 12, 1948. OLDEST SCHOOL IN WEST STANDS AT CITYصS EDGE. By HB Steven. Approaching Craigflower Bridge from Victoria a traveler may see an insignificant and uncared for sign varying two words, زHistoric Site.س If you were the traveler the only thing with insight would be an old house, probably painted or white-washed many years ago and carrying an old red roof. on the other side of the buildingصs original plate, very dirty and unpolished, set on a cairn with the words; زCraigflower School House, established by the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, March 1855. زThe oldest, school still standing in Western Canada.س The British Columbia Government Travel Bureau erected the care in 1940. A knock on the door of the house which holds a museum, will bring Mrs. B Claire, who, with her family has been in charge of this museum for 37 years. To this beauty spot on Portage Inlet in 1853 named Kenneth McKenzie from Scotland. He came as bailiff for the Puget Sound Agricultural Association a subsidiary of the old Hudsonصs Bay Company, and brought with him 25 sturdy families from Scotland to settle on the land. Build School. The school building was not erected until 1855. It had a sitting room for the teacher on the ground floor immediately opposite the school room, and four other rooms above which served as general living quarters for the teacherصs family. Charles Clarke, the first teacher, was there from 1855 to 1859. He was succeeded by Henry Claypole, from 1859 to 1865. No record is available showing how many children went through the school beyond a statement that it زopen with eight boys and six girls.س To combination desks with curved seats, and the original blackboard, are all that remain of the furniture. Pupils who later became prominent include Robert J Porter, Mayor of Victoria from 1922 1921; JS Yates, former city lawyer, now living in retirement at Langford and Alex Semple at Victoria West. Trip in Canoe. His Excellency, the Governor General, Lord Willington once made the journey from Victoria to the school by Indian canoe. The Indians made him an Indian Chief in 1927. The visitors book also shows that Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of the former Gov.-general, and Simon Fraser Tolmie, where guests at the opening ceremonies of the museum. The first glimpse into this museum reveals a dull room with one showcase filled with a heterogeneous mass of odds and ends. On the walls are hung such things as old and handmade garden tools, shopping bags and timeworn chess boards. No care has been taken to classify them. Historical Bibles are mixed up with powder horns and a muzzle loading buffalo gun belonging to G Duntnall of Metchosin is placed with homemade fish spears and nails from England. Handbag. Also still there is Mrs. Kenneth McKenzieصs hand-bag, a handwoven shopping bag 1 foot and 10 inches long by 1 foot, 5 inches wide. Branding irons bearing the initial K. M and K McK.; old shoe lasts brought from Scotland and used by the shoemaker; ancient types of scythes ; bird rattles; milk churns; ram rods for muzzleloading guns and a mirror belonging to Mrs. McKenzie are also in the collection. A gun use by زPorters and Hollersس for killing cattle in the slaughterhouse lies disconsolately on the old mantelpiece, nearly eaten away by rust. A slate bearing the name A Winter is bordered by wood edging in which the owner, believed to have been Ann Winter, had burnt holes with a hot spike. As as she was unable to afford a new red flannel for the edges like some of the other girls, she ripped red flannel from rural petticoat and fix the border around the slate. Hearty Band. The men and women who made up the hearty band of settlers who built the school was composed of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth McKenzie with their children Agnes, Jesse, Dorothea are, Wilhelmina, Kenneth and William; Mr. and Mrs. R Anderson with John, Robert, and Eliza Norman; Mr. and Mrs. A Hume and Andrew; Mr. and Mrs. G Deans; Mr. and Mrs. D Lydgate with Maggie, Elizabeth and William; Mr. and Mrs. W. Veitch with Maggie, Christina and Elizabeth; Mr. and Mrs. John Russell; Mr. and Mrs. P. Bartleman; Mr. and Mrs. R Melrose; Mr. and Mrs. J. Wilson; Mr. and Mrs. J. Tait, Mr. and Mrs. J. White with George, James, Agnes and William; Mr. and Mrs. J. Downie with two boys and a girl; Mr. and Mrs. J. Montgomery and Bessie; Robert Weir, widower, and his family of William John, Hugh, Adam, Isabella and Robenia; the Misses. Isabella Russell, Harriet White, Christina Bell, and also James Deans, John Instant, John Bell and Thomas Russell. The total cost of clearing their land and directing the schoolhouse amounted to $4300 in the building is still standing after 92 years. A painter with some paint for the outside of the school, some energetic girls with imagination and good broom could convert the whole thing into a historic spot of remarkable interest. The Native Sons, Post One, and Native Daughters, Post Three, of British Columbia were appointed trustees of museum in 1927 for a period of 20 years. The renewal of this trusteeship has been granted for another similar period. The board now consists of three Native Sons, three Native Daughters, one member of the Greater Victoria School Board and one member from the BC Historical Association.
1950-12-10ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, December 10, 1950. City Requested to Aid Society in Restoring First BC School. City Council assistance in the restoration of British Columbiaصs oldest school at Craigflower Bridge has been requested by the Victoria Posts of the Native Sons and Daughters of BC. William JV Church, Chairman of the Board of Management of the old Craigflower School, stated yesterday in a letter to Council that the Native Sons and Daughters had undertaken preservation and restoration of the Pioneer School. He said a fund of $6000 had been set as an objective for the carrying out of the work. Mr. church asked Council to set aside in its estimatesس a generous amountس for the fund. He said the building should prove an attraction for tourists and residents of Lower Vancouver Island.
1964-10-27Craigflower SchoolhouseAddress 😕 2765 Admirals Road,? Craigflower, Victoria, British Columbia Recognition Statute:? Historic Sites and Monuments Actت(R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4) Designation Date:? 1964-10-27 Dates: - 1854تtoت1855 (Construction) - 1854تtoت1911 (Significant) - 1927تtoت1927 (Significant) Event, Person, Organization: - Kenneth McKenzieت (Person) - Charles Clarkeت (Person) - Hudson's Bay Companyت (Organization) - Native Sons and Native Daughters of B.C.ت (Organization) - Puget's Sound Agricultural Companyت (Organization) Other Name(s): - Craigflower? Schoolhouseت (Designation Name) - Maple Point Schoolت (Other Name) Research Report Number:? 1964-38, 1969-12 Plaque(s) Existing plaque:? ت2765 Admirals Road, Victoria, British Columbia Built in 1854-1855,? Craigflower? Schoolhouse was one of several established and paid for by Vancouver Island's colonial administration. It was constructed with lumber obtained from a steam-powered sawmill at the Hudson's Bay Company's? Craigflower? Farm. Its one schoolroom served children from the farm and nearby districts, while the upstairs provided living quarters for the teacher's family and student boarders. The schoolhouse operated from 1855 until l911, and since 1931 has served as a museum. It is the oldest surviving school building in Western Canada. Description of Historic Place The? Craigflower? Schoolhouse National Historic Site of Canada is a two-storey timber-framed building located on the north bank of the Gorge Estuary in the greater Victoria area. Built in 1854-1855, to meet the educational needs of children at? Craigflower? Farm, the buildingصs five bay plan, gable roof, Georgian proportions and white clapboard exterior echo the form and design of the nearby? Craigflower? Manor House National Historic Site of Canada. The schoolhouse is a conspicuously sited historical landmark. Official recognition refers to the building on its lot. Heritage Value The? Craigflower? Schoolhouse was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1964 because: preserved virtually intact, it is the oldest surviving school building in Western Canada.? The? Craigflower? Schoolhouse was constructed with lumber obtained from a steam-powered sawmill at the Hudsonصs Bay Companyصs? Craigflower? Farm. Designed with a schoolroom and accommodation for the teacher and his family on the main floor and several rooms for boarders on the second floor, it served children from the farm and nearby settlements. The building was also used for church meetings and public gatherings. After the schoolhouse ceased operations in 1911, the building quickly fell into disrepair. In 1927, it was acquired and restored by the Native Sons and Native Daughters of British Columbia and preserved as a museum. Its well-preserved interior and exterior illustrate architectural and construction practices associated with the transition from fur trade to settlement on the West Coast, and convey the importance attached to education during the early stages of European settlement in Western Canada.? Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 1964, June 1983. Character-Defining Elements The key elements relating to the heritage value of this site include: the situation of the schoolhouse on its original site and relationship between the building and its grounds and the waterfront; its siting on the north bank of the Gorge Estuary opposite the? CraigflowerManor House National Historic Site of Canada and the former site of the? Craigflower? Farm settlement; its rectangular, two-storey massing under a gable roof with end chimneys, and its two clapboard lean-tos located on the south-west side and along the rear; its mortice-and-tenoned timber frame construction with clapboard siding; its use of local construction materials; its five-bay faچade with evenly spaced double-hung multi-pane windows; its pedimented and protruding single entryway; its surviving original interior layout, materials and finishes, including original furnishings.
1966-11-06ColonistThe Islander CausewayDaily Colonist, November 6, 1966. Main Street Victoria 1908. First of the Series. By Ainslie J. Helmcken Constables Used Stopwatches to Trap Causeway Speeders. Limit Was 10 Miles an Hour. The Causeway had been finished for some time and in spite of the many complaints of a bad surface it was fast becoming a speed trap for the unwary drivers of زhigh-poweredس automobiles. The speed limit was 10 miles an hour, and to enforce the law constables were stationed at opposite ends of the roadway. When a car entered the road the Constable nearest would signal the other Constable who then started a stopwatch. Woe unto anyone who made it under a minute. Hailed into court the fine was $10. Under an earlier Mayor some street paving had been commenced. Then some 330,000 wooden blocks of fir cut at Taylor Mill, then creosoted, were laid on Government Street. To this day one can remember the change in the sound of the city. From the grinding crunch of gravel to the clip clop of the horses hooves on the new block pavement. Such a program of improvements always developed an additional pride in the public and signaled more to come. In 1908 the streetcar services were being extended throughout the city and district. The fare was five cents. Esquimalt residents had risen up in righteous wrath because they were being discriminated against. They were required to pay a double fare. Spring Ridge residents were pressing for action to have the line extended into their district. Street lighting was gradually extended and Matt Hutchinson was in charge of the city light plant as well as being the wiring inspector for the City. British Columbiaصs own pride and joy, Dick McBride, was firmly seated in the office of premiere of the province. With the able assistance of his outstanding minister of finance, Capt. Tallow, they had turned what appeared to be a very difficult situation in 1903 to a substantial surplus by 1908. Conditions were just right for a boom. The combination of the progressive changes created a whole new atmosphere in the community both socially as well as commercially. With the opening of the Empress Hotel it became fashionable to entertain at tea in the Palm Room. Formerly hostesses were زat homeس on certain days of the month and this had been the order of the day. My Uncle Harry Helmcken and his wife had become early residents of the Hotel and we find that Mrs. Harry, we never called her anything else, had a very large tea in the Palm Room at which mother and Mrs. Roy Troup, Mrs. Harryصs daughter by her first marriage, saying with Mrs. Higgins, Aunt Dollie to everyone else in the city, as accompanist. My eldest sister, Mrs. Douglas Bulen, and our cousin, Mrs. Claire Downing (Dorothy McTavish) were there so they were able to tell me what a lavish affair this was. Even though Queen Victoria had been dead for several years the intensely British populace resisted the advances of the Edwardian years. Suddenly the changes brought a completely different atmosphere. Had this been today we would probably say the old girl had begun to swing. To me at least, Victoria was a very friendly City. The more mature citizens seem to have time to talk for a minute or two with a youngster and in this way one had the privilege of mixing with the very many nationalities which had been attracted to the town. History however shows that some of my impressions were misinterpreted by me. There was a great deal of the Country being overrun by East Indians and Orientals. The legislature passed a Natal Act. The provincial government insisted on the prohibition of employment of Orientals on government contracts. Labor organizations were bitter in their denunciation of attempts to import Orientals. In retrospect it would appear that all men were created equal in the eyes of God alone, but he quality of the citizenry depended upon the length of the nose of the beholder and his breadth of mind. Long may one and all have, figuratively speaking, stubby noses and broad minds. Are you ready now to take a stroll along the west side of Government Street in 1908. For a start letصs go into the post office building at the corner of Courtney Street. The building is quite an imposing one built of sandstone and a very solid appearance. It contains the post office department on the main floor together with stamp wickets. Here the entrance is the office of the Dominion government telegraph service. The bearded gentleman who approaches is the postmaster, Noah Shakespeare. His greeting is always pleasant and sometimes, as we open box 10, he peers in to make sure we have got all the mail. This is his little joke. Mr. Shakespeare serve Victoria in several capacities over a period of years. Arriving in the city on January 11, 1863, from his native England he first went to Nanaimo where he was employed as a weigh man and later a miner by Mr. Dunsmuir. After about one year he moved back to Victoria almost at the same time as the arrival of his wife from the Old Country. They decided Victoria was a place for them to settle. Mr. Shakespeare became associated with a pioneer firm of photographers and learned the business well. He later started his own firm and find examples of his work may be seen in the provincial archives. There is a very fine example in British Columbia; A History, by Margaret A. Ormsby. Always active in good works he took an interest in civic politics, serving four years as an alderman. He was elected mayor in 1882 and in the same year was also elected to represent Victoria in the House Of Commons at Ottawa. Reelected in 1887 he gave up his seat to accept the postmaster position in his adopted home city. At the time we are meeting this gentleman he is in his retirement here, having spent 21 years in this office. He and his wife enjoy the love and respect of a host of friends and will live out their lives in Victoria. They celebrated 50 years of marriage. While we are on the main floor shall we say good morning to Mrs. Morley in the stamp wickets? In three days (in fact until comparatively recent times) the stamp vendors worked on commission. Mrs. Morley is a very pleasant lady sometimes have to act as a buffer between the public and unavoidable mail problems. The next gentleman I would like to introduce is one who is admired by everyone, especially the many people in the districts served by the Dominion Government Telegraph Service. He Is Billy Dee, the district superintendent Billy is a real pioneer in this business of telegraphy. He served his apprenticeship with Canadian Pacific Telegraphs in Toronto and Chicago then came to Victoria in 1887. First he managed the Canadian Pacific Telegraph office here, then change to Western Union local manager and still later accepted the position in which we now find him, (later still he was transferred to Ashcroft BC, still as district superintendent). The problems of a man in his position may be better understood by listening to the conversation he is having with Ted Gordon of Otter Point, Vancouver Island. Ted is the lineman of the government telegraph charged with the job of keeping the lines open between Jordan River and Victoria. The lines were strong from poles trees and back to polls again in some sections were just a grounded circuit. Storm for which the West Coast of the island is famous gave Ted many a bad day and night. How each time he arrived in Victoria that he was زgoing to chuck it upس. It was a rugged life working from horse-drawn buckboard and doing makeshift repairs in a hurry only to find more of the same to be done a few miles away. One remembers Ted sitting in our home telling of some 10 or more breaks in the wire between Victoria and Otter Point. Ted Gordons wife, Katie, was a telegraph operator at otter point with the key and office actually in the living room of their home. It was Kitty who spotted the ships entering Juan de Fuca Strait and as soon as she could identify them would send the advice by wire to Billy Dee who relayed the news to the ships agents and the newspapers. Mrs. Gordon was a well educated woman, handsome, a most accomplished musician when she and my mother got together one heard a spontaneous concert and music at its very best. They would play the piano and sing for hours. At the time we are discussing, the fish traps at Otter Point are on the Gordonصs for sure lease. Through the Gordons one hopes you have learned some of Billy Deeصs problems. He exemplifies the word زServiceس to the populace: the telegraph is a lifeline to the west coast and Billy moves heaven and earth to keep the people happy. On numerous occasions he goes out of his way to make purchases and intercept the horse-drawn stage to that area in order that the goods may be expedited. Any service he could perform, even obtaining medical advice, all things quite beyond his job, was done with pleasure. His son, Harry Dee, former principal of Victoria High School and still a resident of Victoria district is a son of Billy Dee. The post office building is blessed with a slow elevator to the upper floors. Often I wrote on it when going to see my Uncle Dick Jones, Collector of Inland Revenue. Uncle Dick is a transplanted Halegonian who constantly talks about the beauty of Halifax in particular and Nova Scotia in general but wouldnصt go back there for anything in the world. Soup strainer mustache, very erect in his carriage, a lover of cocker spaniels named the Duke of Teck and Duke Roxborough and several others from time to time. He and And Helen, motherصs sister, live in a new home at the top of Head Street and the Old Esquimalt Road and named Brierley. In the adjoining office a man, very much admired by the young men in particular, by the name of Dan OصSullivan holds forth. One just have to like this fine man even before speaking with him. He is naturally friendly with a consuming interest in the mail younger generation. Dan is one of the accomplished oarsman on the Pacific coast. He started rolling 18 years ago more or less and organize the crew of young gentleman and surprised everyone, including themselves, by winning their first race. Danصs enthusiasm for rowing never waned. During the winter of 1891-92, largely through his efforts and enthusiasm, the James Bay Athletic Association was born. The Club quarters you can see across the harbour at the foot of Menzies Street and next to the Canadian Pacific Wharf. Dan OصSullivan is a Native Of Victoria and the easiest man to engage in conversation if the subject is rowing or any branch of athletics. a dyed in the wool amateur, he required the same high principles from all members of his crews. He was a bachelor. The only link now with this gentleman is his nephew, Douglas Hunter. A few paces down the corridor is a long room of the Customs department. While you are here you must meet the Collector, John Cowper Newbury, another native Victorian. Cowper Newbury has quite an interesting career for a still comparatively young man. If my mathematics are correct he is in his 30s. As a student in the public schools he was an outstanding scholar. He won many scholastic honors including the Gov.-generalصs Medal and graduated at an early age, in fact he was much too young to adopt the career he wanted, that of the civil service. So here is a bright young man, not yet 17 years of age as a principle of the historic Craigflower School; and teaching other members of his own family. Four years later he was able to enter the Customs service and after only three years was made collector, which position he still holds while we are speaking to him. He retired after 21 years service. He is a man of rather retiring disposition but always active in behalf of his City. He is a member of the Native Sons of British Columbia, Post 1. A son, coniper Newberry, lives in Vancouver, Stanley Martin and Mrs. Frank Shandley (Lillian Martin) nephews and nieces, live in Victoria. I think youصll find it faster to walk down these broad stairs to the main floor. BC elevator every time. Now will cross Courtney Street and pay a visit to Robert Porter in Porters meat Market. Mr. Porter is fairly tall, rugged and raw boned, with a large nose. An affable man he always has a cheery greeting for his customers, even for a small boy with a nickel to spend. For this large sum of money one can obtain three frankfurters. My goodness they are delicious eaten fresh, especially when walking down the street. At this time of life Mr. Porter is very active in the BC Agricultural Association and devotes much of his spare time to developing the exhibition, at the Willows Park, then referred to as the Driving Park. Four years later we would find him taking an active part in civic politics and in 1918 and again in 1920 he would be mayor. He was not a happy lot as mayor. The war had just ended and finances were not in the best shape but he worked hard and did a good job. Bob Porter always managed to find time to be on hand when the boats ringing soldiers home arrived at the docks. For his very active and genuine interest he was dubbed by his friends زSir Loin Porterس and he thought it a good joke. he was held in high esteem by his colleagues on the city council that, after his sudden passing, they name the park behind the Sir James Douglas school, Robert Porter Park. As we take us short stroll up Government Street we have the opportunity to observe some of the residents of the City as they go about their business. Thereصs Mr. Solly across the street. Heصs the land agent for the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway. Always has his water spaniel with him. Possibly we will meet him again when we tour Store Street. Can you hear the top slot of the horses hooves and the rattle bang of the cars? Thatصs Charlie King and his milk delivery wagon on his way to James Be deliveries. He is driven in from near Cedar Ill. When he reaches our house we will have a chat with him and tell about the milk business. Next week we will tell you the Love story of a candy maker.
1982-01-01ColonistCraigflower ManorDaily Colonist, The Islander. (Date unknown Probable sometime in 1982.) Jean Thompsonصs Craigflower. By Gary Green. On February 24, 1982 at 4 PM in the afternoon, Jean Thompson closed the door to Craigflower Manor for the last time ending a 20 year career as owner and curator after the provincial government took possession in 1967. It was two decades of deep personal involvement and love for an important part of Victoria history. Craigflower, the prestigious Manor house on the bank of Portage Inlet, may have fell victim to the bulldozer had it not been for the stubbornness of Mrs. Thompson. Due to her valiant struggle and hard work Craigflower Manor stands representing the pioneer spirit of colonization of Vancouver Island by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, subsidiary of the Hudsonصs Bay Company. Of the four original farming communities, only Craigflower Manor remains to remind us of Victoriaصs colonial grandeur. Craigflower Manor was built by a hearty Scott, Kenneth McKenzie, and his fellow settlers during the years of 1854 and 1856. The design was after his former home of Rentonhall in Scotland which he and his family sold due to heavy debt. Craigflower would subdue the homesickness and take away the chill of a dreary West Coast climate in the land several thousand miles from his native homeland. May 1, 1856, saw the McKenzie family moved into the home. His prediction at that time was at the regal Manor house would stand longer than any brick house of comparable design. During the ensuing years Craigflower passed through many hands. It was a home for farmers, a girlصs camp, a clubhouse for the Hudsonصs Bay Company, and part of a motel complex. The passing of a century was taking its toll on the Manor House. Pristine farmlands were now choked with service stations, hotels, and a drive in hamburger stand. Jean Thompson first saw Craigflower Manor in November, 1961. Searching for a rustic home to purchase she was taken to Craigflower by a friend. It was love at first sight. To her amazement the door did not creak when swung open. Going from room to room her excitement grew. She knew that this was a home for her and that it needed a family to take the coldness away. It was a persistent effort on her part but she was able to convince her husband Jerry that it was the home she wanted. Despite the protests, Jerry, Jean, and her two boys, David and Ian, were able to move into the Manor House on a 10 year lease with an option to buy. The old saying that hard work makes easy chairs was soon to be applied by the Thompson family. Taking their life savings they set out on the mammoth task of restoring the Manor with the prospect of sharing it with fellow Victorians and visiting tourists. Whatever Jean could beg, borrow or con was utilized to outfit the Manor House. Hard work had brought the Thompson family closer together; Craigflower was taking possession of its occupants. Six weeks after moving into the house the Thompson family was ready to open the doors to the public. Jean was able to speak on a local TV show and have brochures printed to inform the public about Craigflower. Due to the tourist overload several rooms at Craigflower were set up to provide sleeping quarters. During the period of 1962 to 1965 the Thompsonصs hosted many overnight guests. One stipulation however that was the rooms would have to be vacated before 9 oصclock in the morning as the Manor was open to show. Jean recalls the three young men visiting from the United States and indulged in the spirits, turning in at 3 oصclock in the morning. When she came to clear the room there was no response. The situation was quickly rectified by her entering the room hitting a pan with a wooden spoon. The young gentlemen made a quick exit holding their sore heads. Providing overnight accommodation in a house of historical value does have its hazards. A family of five visited the manner and decided to stay overnight. Each member of the family weighed more than 200 pounds. During the night Jean was awakened by a loud crash. The following morning after the family had left, Jean located the origin of the disturbance. One of the old beds could not bear up to the weight of its occupants and had collapsed. It is felt by many that every old home possesses a ghost which haunts during the late night hours. The Thompsonصs began to feel the Craigflower was not to be the exception. During the night they often would be awakened to the sound of slamming doors and footsteps. It was soon realized that their ghost was a sleepwalking housekeeper. When she left the haunting and mysterious sounds went with her. Christmas was always a favorite time at Craigflower Manor. A large tree filled the living room decorated with an assortment of homemade decorations. The arbutus staircase railing was wrapped in cedar and holly. Sitting before the crackling fire popping popcorn the thoughts of the Thompsonصs wood drift over the past century to when the McKenzie family shared Christmas in a new land. Jean would cook supper over the large fireplace as was done in years past, the sound of Christmas carols drifting through the Manor House. In 1963 the Manor was purchased by another motel owner. His thoughts were not in the preservation of the Manor of the value of the land on which it stood. An effort was made by him to break the lease with the Thompsonصs and tear down the Manor House. Jean took action immediately contacting representatives from the historic sites and archives. The government had passed legislation that they could override a personصs right to a historical site. Such was the case at Craigflower, the motel owner admitting defeat. In 1965 the Thompson family was able to purchase Craigflower. At last the Manor House was safe. Soon after the purchase Jean and Jerry found that the expense of running the Manor was beyond their budget. Also they felt that a building of such historical importance should not be owned by one person. As a result, after two years of ownership they sold the Manor to the provincial government. In 1967 the Manor House changed hands and Craigflower belonged to the people of BC. November 17, 1967 saw the last social functions to be held at Craigflower. In a home which hosted events in the company of Sir James Douglas, officers of the Royal Navy, and visiting dignitaries. The wedding reception of Jeanصs youngest son David, and his wife Connie, was held. 40 guests attended bringing to a close another chapter in the history of Craigflower. It was with a great deal of sadness that the Thompsonصs moved from the Manor House in December, 1967. The best years of their lives had been spent in this home, yet it was more important that all people should enjoy the Manor House. Jean was appointed curator of the Manor moving to a house close by. She could share the memories with others and all the historical information she had researched over the years. Craigflower Manor was restored by the provincial government under the direction of Peter Cotton a prominent Victoria architect, in 1969 to the period when it was occupied by the McKenzie family. Surrounding land was purchased and the motel, service station, and hamburger stand were torn down giving the Manor House some breathing room. Today it stands at the corner of Craigflower and Admirals Road, the testimony to the pioneer spirit which made Victoria and of Jean Thompson whose hard work help preserve it for all peoples of BC. Jean reflects the past 20 years at Craigflower as the most memorable of her life. She gives most of the credit to her husband Jerry who died three years ago. زIt was his love and understanding which allowed me to work with this project.س Jeanصs hospitality has been shared with people around the world, her scrapbook full of hundreds of cards and letters. She has made history come alive with thousands of schoolchildren retelling the stories of the grand days at Craigflower. Celebrities such as Susan Day, Vivian Vance, Fred McMurray and others have trod the halls of Craigflower listening to the joyful narrative of Jean. Jean retires to other pursuits it she leaves behind Craigflower for all Victorians to enjoy as their heritage.
1991-09-01ColonistCraigflower SchoolhouseDaily Colonist, September 1, 1991. Craigflower Is Way Back to School by John Adams. The year 1931 is very special in the annals of British Columbiaصs Heritage Conservation it marked the Diamond Jubilee of British Columbiaصs union with Canada. And to help mark the occasion The Native Sons and Native Daughters of British Columbia in posts throughout the southwestern corner of the province set about to reserve landmark structures that served as links with the pre-Confederation era. During 1931, amid local fanfare, these structures were opened as historical museums, the very first in BC: the Bastion in the Nanaimo, the last surviving building of Fort Langley, the old Hastings Mill Store in Vancouver, and Craigflower Schoolhouse in Victoria. Now, 60 years later, is a good time to reflect on how far the study of history and the preservation of the artifacts that illustrate our recent past have progressed in the interval. Although the provincial museum was founded in 1886 and a handful of other museums in centres such as Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Kamloops and Kelowna opened their doors in the decades that followed, all of them paid scant attention to what we now call زhistoryس. Instead they dealt exclusively with natural history and with the ethnography of the native peoples of the province. The story of European contact and the subsequent social, economic and political changes that took place in British Columbia were simply not covered. Place in this light, therefore, those first four history museums in 1931 were quite revolutionary. Craigflower Schoolhouse was one of the first to be officially opened that year, on June 27, 1931. The event marked the culmination of four years of hard work. As early as 1925 the importance of the old structure had been recognized by the BC Historical Association. But it wasnصt until two years later that the Native Sons and Native Daughters manage to obtain a 20 year lease on the building from Saanich. Initial stabilization followed, new cement foundations, repairs to the siding, a new coat of whitewash, and a new roof. In 1930 a funding drive to raise $6000 for the restoration work was initiated, to which the provincial government contributed $500. While the building was being prepared for its new role, some of the Native Daughters were busy behind the scenes tracking down all they could find that pertained to the old schoolhouse and to the settlers from the Craigflower district. Margaret Beckwith was to serve as volunteer curator and many years later he called her visits to some of the descendants of the old families. What she and her colleagues were able to collect quite likely was considered rubbish by some of those who donated it. Nevertheless, they collected wisely and today the Native Daughters Collection is one of the finest examples of early colonial materials from British Columbia. Imagine the excitement of paying a visit to 80-year-old Miss Goody Mckenzie, the last surviving child of Kenneth and Agnes Mckenzie, founders of Craigflower Farm! Luckily, her familyصs home and barn at Lake Hill Farm proved to be a treasure trove for Mrs. Beckwith. Modern day museum curators would turn green with envy at the chance for a similar opportunity to collect such objects as an oxen yoke used doodles still in the margins one even with an inscription from Gov. James Douglas on the flyleaf which the McKenzie children had used in the old schoolhouse. Among the more functional relics of farm life even came a few real oddities, like a backgammon board that folds up to become the leather board cover of The History of China! Thus from the attics and trunks of Goodie McKenzie and others came the materials for the displays at the old schoolhouse. Back in 1931, nobody in British Columbia was very aware of museological principles, least of all as they might be applied to historical exhibits. Conservation and collections management, today is sophisticated aspects of running even the smallest community museums, were then unknown here. Nevertheless, the زcabinet of curiositiesس produced by the Native Doctors had considerable charm and certainly appeal to those who enjoyed browsing through documents, photographs and artifacts from a bygone age. Visitors werenصt bombarded by electronic media then, but had the opportunity to breed old fashion, hand-written labels and to chat with friendly, knowledgeable volunteers who staffed the museum. Why had the Native Sons and Native Daughters chosen Craigflower Schoolhouse as a project in the first place? Because even then it was the oldest standing school building in British Columbia. Although it wasnصt the first to have been built, the few earlier ones (such as the original log Central School in Victoria and the Nanaimoصs Colonial School) had long since been demolished. The old school at Craigflower had also when served as a church and a community hall to the nearby settlers and so it had a special significance to many people, not just former pupils. The very fact that Craigflower Schoolhouse exists at all may surprise some, but it is interesting to note that education was given a high priority by our forbearers. The Colony of Vancouver Island was only five years old when construction of the Schoolhouse began, but Gov. Douglas had determined as early as 1851 that the children of the زlabouring and poorer classesس in the colony should receive زa good sound English education and nothing more.س To help achieve his goals, school reserves were set aside in several parts of the colony and the cost of building the schools and paying the teachers the princely sum of £50 per year was borne by the colonial government. On Vancouver Island, schools were built before churches or any other kind of civic or community buildings. Weصre fortunate that the construction of the schoolhouse was well recorded for prosperity. One account was by Robert Melrose, self styled chronicler of the Craigflower settlement. Here are a few excerpts to from his diary now preserved by the BC Archives and Records Service. August 24, 1854 Gordon (Halcrow) and his Gang commenced to build a School and Schoolhouse March 8, 1855 زMajor Thompkinsس Bell hung at end of school. Other written records about the Craigflower settlement are also in the Archives, among them lists and cost of materials used in the construction and furnishing of the schoolhouse. From them we learn that the land was cleared by native Indians, that French-Canadians did much of the construction, that the lumber was sawn in the steam-powered sawmill at Craigflower, and that the grand total of the work came to £416/13/4. From 1931 to 1974, the Native Sons Post No. 1 and the Native Daughters Post No. 3 operated Craigflower Schoolhouse as a museum. During most of this time volunteers provided the sole means of doing all the work, from keeping the frame structure in repair to dusting the exhibits, to giving tours. Live-in caretakers occupied a lien-two edition at the rear of the building and latterly they were responsible for providing security and for keeping the museum open to the public. Anyone who visited the schoolhouse during the tenancy of the last caretakers, Mr. and Mrs. Gerry Clark, will vividly remember Mr. Clarkeصs lessons in the history of the British Empire and his demonstration of adding pounds, shillings and pence. Itصs a strange quirk of fate that the Clarks happened to be both the first and last tenants of Craigflower Schoolhouse, since the first teacher back in 1855 was Charles Clarke, sent out from England specifically for the position. He and his wife and their children occupied the teacherage, a spacious suite of rooms above the school room, which they were expected to share with student borders from outlying districts such as Burnside. By 1874, the old schoolhouse needed considerable restoration which the Native Sons and Daughters would have had difficulty paying for giving the oldest school building a new lease on life. Planned and paid for by the provincial government, foundations were renewed, the structure was strengthened where needed, wiring, plumbing, heating and other services were upgraded and some additions were removed. Finally in 1983, the work was complete and during the Royal Visit in March that year, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H. Prince Philip visited the schoolhouse where representatives of the Native Sons and Daughters, the provincial government and students from the new Craigflower School were presented to them. While the Queen unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event the school bell rang out once again, exactly 123 years to the day when it first called children from the farm to class. Craigflower Schoolhouse currently is administered by the Heritage Properties Branch of the Ministry of municipal affairs, recreation and culture. Community involvement is part of its mandate. Thus in recent years school classes during the winter have taken part in special school programs in the restored classroom. Using a technique called زTheatre-in Educationس professional actors and actresses employed by the Victoria Rediscovery Society have brought the past to life for thousands of schoolchildren who have assumed the identities of actual boys and girls known to have attended Craigflower School in the 1850s. This summer to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, the Canadiana Costume Society mounted a fascinating exhibit a. Clothing in the old school house, depicting the era around 1911 when the last classes were held there. If you visit the schoolhouse donصt miss seeing the upstairs where the زNative Daughtersص Galleryس presents some of the more intriguing relics gathered from the original Craigflower settlersص families 60 years ago. And just across the bridge is Craigflower Farmhouse where more colonial history is presented daily.
2005-12-05Times ColonistCole IslandOur Orphan Island The 140-year-old buildings on tiny Cole Island have been falling into disrepair. Now efforts are underway to salvage this remnant of our naval heritage Norman Gidney Times Colonist Monday, December 05, 2005 The old brick buildings standing amid the arbutus and Douglas fir look romantic on a grey December afternoon. But the picturesque ruins on Cole Island are falling apart from neglect and vandalism, literally dropping into the sea. "A lot of work went into these buildings years ago. It's remarkable workmanship," said Lloyd Brooks, who lives on the waterfront in View Royal a couple of hundred metres from the island. "It's a shame to let them go down," he said. The Friends of Cole Island, a group that keeps an eye on the place, calls the little island with the Victorian-era military structures "the orphan of Esquimalt Harbour." Orphan is the right word for a forgotten place that has been passed around between different governments and agencies over the four decades since the navy declared it surplus. The Friends have warned municipal governments, the province and the Canadian Forces about the danger of losing a piece of naval history dating to the 1860s, when Britain's Royal Navy defended the Pacific coast. The sturdy wooden and brick buildings were built on Cole Island more than 140 years ago to store powder and shells for Royal Navy ships. The buildings are the last remnants of coastal work carried out by the Royal Engineers who came from Britain after the 1858 gold rush. They are believed to be among the Esquimalt base's oldest structures. "As they stand, the buildings are extremely hazardous," says the Friends of Cole Island website. "Escalating vandalism continues to take a toll," it says. Vandals have stripped buildings of sheet metal, wood and bricks -- some of the first bricks came around Cape Horn as ballast in sailing ships. Crude shelters have been built around the island with the materials. Responsibility for Cole Island has been pushed around over the years. In the late 1950s, Ottawa offered the island for sale, then backed away under protest. It went to Parks Canada when Fort Rodd Hill historic site was established. The federal agency stabilized buildings and installed steel doors to keep people out of some structures and dismantled others considered too hazardous. But it decided naval history didn't fit the mandate of showcasing an army fort and passed the island to the B.C. parks branch. The province in turn has been trying to pass Cole Island to someone else. "It's on the radar," said Ken Pedlow, heritage stewardship officer with the heritage conservation branch. The province has been "devolving" its heritage sites to local groups. Pedlow said the first priority has been to find operators for the active sites which draw visitors, as happened with Craigflower Manor. Brooks said one big issue for anybody assuming responsibility is liability, since the island's buildings are dangerous. Since the Friends turned their spotlight on Cole, some new efforts are being made to stop the destruction. The navy recently took over responsibility for Esquimalt Harbour and does a daily patrol around the island as part of CFB Esquimalt's heightened security. The Friends, mainly a View Royal group, went to Colwood asking if it would agree to a boundary restructuring to put Cole Island inside View Royal. It declined, but did take action of its own. Colwood Fire Chief Russ Cameron has asked the province to secure the vacant buildings and to put up appropriate warning signs. Colwood supports designation of Cole Island as a marine protected area. "To me it's integral with Fort Rodd Hill," said Cynthia Day, former Colwood councillor. "There are beautiful old trees and the old brick buildings are certainly picturesque. I think it needs to be maintained in some way as a heritage site."
2009-02-27Times ColonistHeritage Victoria GovernmentPoint Ellice House, Craigflower Manor, Emily Carr House to benefit B.C.صs heritage sites will receive $8.1 million over the next three years to help keep their doors open to the public, the provinceصs tourism minister said yesterday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONISTBill Bennett, minister of tourism, culture and the arts, announces the funding injection for heritage sites at St. Annصs Academy Chapel in Victoria. The ministry set aside the cash from the $15-million surplus left from this fiscal year. The money provides secure funding to B.C.صs 12 provincial heritage sites as the economy slumps and the province runs a deficit, said Bill Bennett. It will be mainly used to cover operating expenses and repairs for the old sites. During a press conference at St. Annصs Academy yesterday, Bennett acknowledged government heritage funding has lagged in past years. Despite facing budget cuts for the next three years, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts was able to set aside the heritage cash out of $15 million in surplus remaining from this fiscal year. Previously, the government handled heritage funding by parcelling out varying amounts each year. زInstead of always writing applications and worrying about where their next nickel is going to come from, they can actually focus on preserving, maintaining and celebrating the heritage assets that they have,س said Bennett. زIt will be considerably more than what they were receiving.س Representatives of local heritage sites such as Craigflower Manor, Point Ellice House and Emily Carr House praised the announcement and said it will give them stability in difficult times. زThe most important thing we are going to do with the funding is simply continue,س said Ian Fawcett, deputy director of the Land Conservancy, which manages Craigflower Manor. The manor, the provinceصs third-oldest site, was damaged in a fire earlier this year. Many heritage sites are struggling financially but the money will allow them to survive, said Fawcett.
2014-04-22ColonistCraigflower Manor SchoolhouseCraigflower manor Gets New Life as Highland Games Group Steps In The Victoria Highland Games Association is renting historic Craigflower Manor in View Royal with plans to breathe new life into the property. The association and other community groups will hold special weekend events to attract citizens who can tour the manor at no cost, Jim Maxwell, Games Association president said Tuesday. The province took over ownership of Craigflower Manor and its schoolhouse in 2012 from The Land Conservancy of B.C. because the non-profit group, now in creditor-protection, was losing $150,000 annually on the museums. In 2013, the province sought expressions of interest for the heritage site at Craigflower and Admirals roads. Maxwellصs group of about 150 volunteers aims to maintain the site on their own, he said. زWe are going to use the power of volunteers to bring the site alive.س That means there are no salaries and benefits to pay. There are no set museum hours at this time. The one-year lease of $35,000 does not include the schoolhouse. Work that association members carry out on the property will help offset the rental cost, Maxwell said. The association has a strong track record in the region. It stages the annual Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival which attracts about 20,000 people. This yearصs May 17-18 Games at Topaz Park marks the eventصs 151st year. Maxwell sees a link between his association and the manor, built in the 1850s, associated with early Scottish immigrants. Theتbuilding is among 62تprovincial heritage sites and is also a national historic site. زWith the Victoria Highland Games Association taking residency, the Craigflower National Historic Site will again become an active and important place in the community,س Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson said in a statement. The manor house was built for the capital regionصs first farm bailiff, Kenneth McKenzie and his family, by the early Scots settlers and looks similar to Renton Hall in Haddington, East Lothian, McKenzieصs ancestral home in Scotland. McKenzie likely attended the first Highland Games in Victoria, Maxwell said. Details of how future events will be staged are still to be developed, he said. The aim is offer the three-acre site to local associations to showcase their interests to foster community spirit. زWe want to be a good community partner.س After this yearصs Highland Games, the associationصs website will either include Craigflower event information or a link will be posted, Maxwell said.-
2014-04-24ColonistCraigflower Manor SchoolhouseFrom The Vancouver Sun of August 23, 2008 'Old School' courses from heritage foundation teach preservation values Too many older buildings have already fallen Bob Ransford, Special to the Sun Published:تSaturday, August 23, 2008 Recycling newspapers, wine bottles and aluminum cans has become commonplace in most households nowadays. But in an urban region as young as Metro Vancouver, we haven't done a very good job yet of figuring out how to recycle our historic buildings. Part of that failure comes from a lack of appreciation for what our historic buildings represent as tangible cues to how our modern-day culture has evolved. A new series of courses for building conservation will hopefully help change our attitudes about the rich heritage resources that are the collection of old houses and commercial and institutional buildings throughout not just Vancouver, but in our suburbs as well. Demolishing a 2,000-square-foot house sends 60 tons of waste to the landfill. In fact, 20 per cent of all of the waste accumulated in landfills is made up of construction waste. Usually we tear down an old building because it doesn't fit with our current tastes or is deficient in its functional design. It is rare that we elevate the historic, social, cultural or spiritual value of a building to a level that makes that building too precious to demolish. The parents of young students at a new school in my suburban hometown couldn't understand a few years back why anyone would want to save the old schoolhouse that sat in a corner of the new school's playing field. That 75-year-old simple, small, two-storey building was the place where my grandfather and I both went to elementary school. It was also the first school in Steveston that integrated students of different ethnicities, bridging the ethnic chasms that existed in the early part of the last century. Few could figure out what it would take to conserve the old building, struggling with the unfamiliar architecture and the outdated building systems. Planning to adapt the building for a modern-day use dragged on without resolve. Unfortunately, that building that meant so much to me, and an awful lot in terms of the history of the community that has evolved around it, fell to the wrecking ball. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation has established "Old School" -- courses for building conservation that will hopefully engage a wide audience with the theoretical and technical tools to consider how heritage conservation can help build more sustainable communities. The Old School courses involve hands-on learning, using local case studies, illustrated on-site lectures and workshops in actual heritage buildings and walking tours to provide homeowners, renovation contractors, realtors, architects, engineers, planners and others with the practical knowledge and skills to tackle every stage of the conservation of heritage buildings. You live in a early 20th-century house with "good bones" that seem to have aged well, but clearly it's time to strip the cosmetic changes made over the years to bring the true beauty out. But you have no idea where to start. Old School is the place to start. The learning program is a series of concise individual courses, including a one-day core overview course, three key elective courses on topics like project planning and managing, building exteriors and building interiors. All the courses are taught by well known local heritage conservation practitioners -- people who have actually saved some of the real historic gems in this area. The upcoming fall series of courses begins with the mandatory core course: Heritage 101 - Understanding Heritage Buildings on Oct. 25. Further information is available at vancouverheritagefoundation.org on the Internet or by calling 604-264-9642.