Hastings Mill has a great weekend coming up.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful early summer weather as much as we are at the Mill!  For your interest and enjoyment, we have back-to-back events upcoming the weekend of June 13th/14th.

Saturday, June 13th, 2 p.m. – Hastings Mill Store and the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886.
Hear Vancouver author and Native Daughter Lisa Anne Smith describe just how close Hastings Mill Store came to being destroyed by the Great Vancouver Fire of June 13, 1886.  Precisely 129 years and zero hours after that fateful afternoon, learn through historic photos, maps and commentary how most of the newly incorporated city of Vancouver burned to the bare earth, but somehow managed to spare Hastings Mill Store and townsite.  Discover the prominent role played by the store, mill and citizens from all walks of life in a massive rebuilding effort that saw Vancouver rise from the ashes within weeks of destruction.  Entry by donation, wheelchair accessible, light refreshments.

Sunday, June 14th, 1 – 4 p.m. – Bergamasca Ensemble
Enjoy music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as more modern works amidst the Mill artifacts.  Members of Bergamasca play a variety of period instruments, such as German-made Hopf Renaissance recorders, Moeck Baroque recorders and Swiss Kung contrabass.  You may hear works from early composers such as Agricola, Bach, Taverner, Rossi, as well as a variety of works pre-dating 1800. For further information on the Bergamasca Ensemble, visit www.bergamasca.webs.com.  Entry by donation, wheelchair accessible.

Summer hours are coming soon!  Beginning June 16, we will be open Tuesday – Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m.  Watch for further details on our popular summer open house evenings.

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.