British Columbia – A Special Place!

British Columbia has held a special place in my world for a long time.  My mother and her brother were born there.  I will talk about their births in future posts.  It is time to do a little reminiscing.

My last post placed the Robert and Ethel Boardman family in Vancouver, British Columbia about 1909-1910.  Therefore, it seems fitting to share my experiences with British Columbia.  Seems to me we went up to British Columbia on camping excursions or day trips when I was a child, but where is a mystery?

At the age of 15-16, I drove the entire eastern side of Vancouver Island on my temporary driver’s license.  Of course I was with my parents. My Dad was co-pilot:  http://www.vancouverisland.travel/  We took the ferry across from Port Angeles to Victoria for that trip.

I do not know how many times I have been to Victoria on the ferry-boat.  It was something like $2-4 for a ticket when I was a kid, so it was a frequent sojourn for groups and easy to do such as Blue Birds.  It was a real ferry-boat that chugged along, not this fancy Victoria Clipper that you take today. http://www.clippervacations.com/ferry

You would take the ferry-boat from the Seattle harbor.  It took a good 4 hours, if memory serves, walk around Victoria and then come back, nothing fancy.  http://www.tourismvictoria.com/  I know I have been inside the Empress Hotel but did I have tea there?  A flash of memory of a dining room with a table.

I have fond memories exploring Victoria with my Aunts (my dad’s sisters) and my mom and visiting all the shops.  You cannot go to Victoria without visiting Butchart Gardens.  I think I walked that garden at least 3-4 different times.  I have been to Victoria other times with friends but I have never done any genealogical research in the archives there.  I have tried to figure out what I could do there.  Victoria is a lovely place to spend some time and dither!

The Victoria Genealogical Society:  http://www.victoriags.org/ This has some wonderful genealogical links for Victoria and the area.

I have visited Vancouver, B.C. on several occasions. I was with my Aunts and Mom and we went to Stanley Park  (I think?) and saw some exhibits.  It was about women’s unmentionables and it was a riot to listen to  them talk about all the finery and their own memories of owning these types of garments.  Boy do I wish I had written that down or recorded it. This was pre-genealogy so I didn’t even think of it.

Vancouver BC: http://vancouver.ca/visitors.htm

My hubby frequently goes to conferences and I tag along, especially if I think I can do genealogical research at the location. While my husband attended his conference, I walked down to the Vancouver Public Library and studied their books, newspapers, city directories and maps for clues to my family history.  I am referring to the Central Library and their history collection.  You might have to do a little digging to find what you are looking for.  It has been awhile and the website has changed.

This looks promising:   http://www.vpl.ca/find/cat/C448

I also visited the house my mother’s family lived in on Salsburg Drive.  It is still standing and being taken good care of.   I featured an old photo in a past post.

My hubby arranged for us to go up the gondola at Grouse Mountain to the top and have dinner.   As we sat there eating I looked out over Vancouver itself and pondered my mother and her life there.  It is a wonderful view from that mountain.  It was actually a little cold.  There was a little snow on the ground when we visited.

The British Columbia GenWeb has a ton of links for the area: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canbc/

Cloverdale Library, Surrey BC

The best place for me is the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, B.C.  I have been there twice and will be going for a third time in a few weeks. It is known for its Canadian genealogical collection. The first trip was with my best girlfriend.  We discovered, after knowing each other for 31* years or more, that we had genealogy in common.  We spent two days researching in their wonderful genealogical collection.  This is when I found my family the Browns and the Boardmans in the census, in Winnipeg.  Yes, this was before it was all put online.  I was scrolling through the census and there they were, both families living very close to each other.  I actually found the Browns first.  It was a very good day!

My hubby and I visited the Cloverdale Library again when we went to a wedding reception in White Rock for a co-worker of his.  This co-worker was Polish born who had emigrated with his family to Canada.  He was marrying a Polish woman and working in Seattle.  His parents lived in the area in a big beautiful house in White Rock.  I found White Rock to be a very interesting town by the water.  There historical society is right there on the bay. The houses and condominiums are up on the hill. After the wedding reception we went over to Surrey where I went to the Cloverdale Library and did more research:

The Cloverdale Library Home page: http://www.surreylibraries.ca/location-hours/4684.aspx

The Family History page: http://www.surreylibraries.ca/programs-services/4815.aspx

In the past, my family would drive up to Harrison Hot Springs and visit for the day.  There was a lodge there and it seems to me that something is amiss about it now?  I have a bad feeling it has been replaced?

I do remember going skiing one time.  It had an “S” name and might have been Silver Star but that was a long time ago. It was a foggy day on the ski slopes and I was making sure I didn’t get lost or disoriented and end up off a cliff. Alas my skiing adventures came to a close a great while back, my knees didn’t like it!  Ah yes, other things like freezing temperatures and hot spiced wine come to mind! I was never very good at it.

I do remember that the landscape along the freeway was amazing.  I believe it was the Fraser River Valley.  Seems to me some man named Fraser from Glengarry County, Ontario explored that region:  http://www.fraservalleyguide.com/History.html

So much for my reminiscing about British Columbia.  As you see it has been part of my life and 2.5 hours from Seattle, it was not that hard to get too and cross over the border, but that has changed so you need to take your passport and be prepared.

British Columbia’s official tourism website.   http://www.hellobc.com/

About a year ago, I learned that I had even more ties in British Columbia when I found my cousin Bob Hayes.  He is a Brown cousin descending from a sister to my great-grandfather Richard Brown who has been featured in this blog. I am off to visit with him and ask him a 1,000+ questions about the family.

Boy it seems I don’t have any photos of any of my trips up there, what a bummer!

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