An Unexpected Find

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This rather sad looking building on Franklin Street near Woodland Drive was once something quite wonderful and unexpected. However, looking at it in this Google Street view, it is clear that whatever renovations have taken place over the years haven’t been very successful and that there’s something missing. It’s not well known but Franklin Street was once a thriving Chinese district in the years before the First World War. This building was designed by Stuart, White and Peters for the Chinese Reform Society. The permit was taken out in 1912 with a value of $26,000 for a brick and timber building with stores on the ground floor and rooms above. It is one of three the firm designed for Chinese clients on this side of the street and all of them had a private internal alley separating a smaller residential block from the main building that connected through to Woodland Drive. Franklin St P1040547 The plans from the Vancouver Archives (AP 289) show an extraordinary composition of traditional Chinese forms married to an Edwardian building. The roof crest is of particular interest. Of all of the society buildings in Vancouver this was one of the most elaborate constructed. One could dream of a restoration one day… sigh… — The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC is hosting a walking tour of “The Other Chinatown” on April 18th. at 10am. $15.00 for non-members and free for members. Meet at Commercial and Franklin.

Jean Barman, Chinese Food & Prizes! What an Evening…

Jean Barman
Jean Barman “British Columbia’s Historian” to be honoured at CCHSBC banquet

April 11th. 6:00pm Fraser Court Restaurant, 3489 Fraser St.

It’s that time of the year again for the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC’s Annual Banquet!

The 10th Anniversary edition is honouring historian, and founding CCHSBC director, Jean Barman for her contributions to Chinese Canadian history. She’ll be feted by comedy troupe Assaulted Fish, Jan Wall’s Clapper tales, guest speakers and maybe a photo or two.

It’s a chance to come out and meet old and new friends and support the society’s ongoing education projects.

Tix are 50 and 55 for early bird members and non-members rising to 60 and 65 after April 1st.
Buy them now.

Here’s the poster

Shanghai Alley on a Summer Afternoon


Here’s a screen grab from the fabulous 1956 CBC film Summer Afternoon which follows two boys around Chinatown. There are many great images of a long gone landscape. In a brief segment the two are seen climbing over the gates to Canton Alley and then wander down Shanghai Alley.

There are very few good images of Shanghai Alley, and even fewer that show the buildings on the east side of the street before the majority were demolished. This image is a screen grab of two shots that have been stitched together to show the stretch of buildings erected in 1905/06. The west side of the alley was never something to look at, as it was the backside of the tenements of Canton Alley. The southern end of the alley had been demolished in the 1940s for warehouses, seen in this image from the film.

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Watch the whole 28 minutes, it’s great fun.

Get your History Fix At The Hastings Mill

Happy New Year from all of us at Old Hastings Mill Store Museum!
We hope that you are having an enjoyable winter, wherever you happen to be!

It promises to be an exciting year at the museum!

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Captain Edward Stamp’s Burrard Inlet arrival on a point of land just west of the seasonal First Nation village of Kumkumalay, and his establishment of the B.C. and Vancouver Island Spar, Lumber and Sawmill Company.  Of course it took a while for things to get rolling, but we traditionally view 1865 as the year Hastings Mill Store had its earliest beginnings.

Here are a few dates for your calendar:

February 14th – Old Hastings Mill Store Museum opens for the season, 1 – 4 p.m.

February 15th – Our first “Talk and Tea” of the season with Native Daughter and Vancouver author Lisa Anne Smith Old Hastings Mill Store Museum:  Portal to Vancouver’s Past. If you are unfamiliar with the history of Hastings Sawmill and Store, this is a good opportunity to learn something of the colourful past.
2 p.m.,  Entry $5.00, light refreshments to follow.

February 22nd – Music at the Mill. Back by popular demand!
Enjoy old time sea chanties from 1 – 2 p.m. (main floor) and traditional fiddle music upstairs from 2 – 4 p.m.

Please note that the fiddle portion of the program is not wheelchair accessible.  Entry by donation.

June 14th – Bergamasca Recorder Ensemble, featuring Baroque music amidst the artifacts.  1 – 4 p.m.

Please note that the museum will only be open on weekends, 1 – 4 p.m. until mid-June.

If you would like to arrange a group tour (10 or more) or are interested in our school program, please call 604-733-9749.

Hope to see you at the Mill!