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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Victoria in Capital Regional District, British Columbia — The Canadian Pacific
 

The Birthplace of Victoria

 
 
The Birthplace of Victoria Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2011
1. The Birthplace of Victoria Marker
Inscription. We would like to take a moment to share with you the history that you are standing over, around and next to.
This harbour was originally the sole domain of the Lekwungen First Nation who plied its protected waters and fished in their dugout canoes. When James Douglas arrived here in 1843, he chose it as the site for a new Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, eventually called Fort Victoria. It wooden walls stood along the rocky shore overlooking this site (behind you along Wharf Street).

At first no dock existed here, so Lekwungen were hired to transport goods ashore in their canoes. To aid this process, large metal canting rings were embedded in the rocks and lines from the stern of the ships were tied to them. This kept the vessel steady while it was being unloaded. One ring, now painted white, remains in the rock to your left and what remains of another is just under the boardwalk (behind and to the right).

By 1858 about 25,00 men passed through Victoria on their way from California to the Fraser River Gold Rush. Within a few years the fort was dismantled and Victoria’s Old Town grew up where it once stood. While stores, hotels and saloons were built on downtown streets, docks, warehouses and factories were built along the shoreline.

The Enterprise Wharf (located where the parking lot is behind you) was early Victoria’s

Detail from the Birthplace of Victoria Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2011
2. Detail from the Birthplace of Victoria Marker
Watercolour by James Alden of Fort Victoria as it appeared in 1854. You are standing off to the right of this painting. Royal BC Museum Archives image PDP 02143
most famous dock. Goods which arrived at this port would be levied by the Canadian Government by the Customs House (looming to you left) which was built in 1875.

[Illustration captions] Watercolour by James Alden of Fort Victoria as it appeared in 1854. You are standing off to the right of this painting. Royal BC Museum Archives image PDP 02143

Note the stern lines of the ships attached to the metal rings on shore. Royal BC Museum Archives image A-03112

An 1864 photograph of Wharf Street looking North from the corner of Fort Street. Look off to you right at Wharf Street and note how little the original architecture has changed. Royal BC Museum Archives image A-03033

In this photograph taken during the Klondike Gold Rush shows the livestock pens on the Enterprise Wharf. In the background is the Customs House and the pier you are standing on. Royal BC Museum, BC Archives image D-07254
 
Location. 48° 25.462′ N, 123° 22.224′ W. Marker is in Victoria, British Columbia, in Capital Regional District. Marker can be reached from Wharf Street. Click for map. This marker is down by the water near the seaplane dock. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Wharf Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The 75th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy (within

Detail from the Birthplace of Victoria Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2011
3. Detail from the Birthplace of Victoria Marker
Note the stern lines of the ships attached to the metal rings on shore. Royal BC Museum Archives image A-03112
shouting distance of this marker); Old Victoria Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Victoria (within shouting distance of this marker); The “Veteran Sailor” (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy (about 150 meters away); Vancouver Island Wallmap Mural (about 150 meters away); Windsor Hotel (about 150 meters away); a different marker also named Fort Victoria (about 180 meters away). Click for a list of all markers in Victoria.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesSettlements & Settlers
 
Detail from the Birthplace of Victoria Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2011
4. Detail from the Birthplace of Victoria Marker
An 1864 photograph of Wharf Street looking North from the corner of Fort Street. Look off to you right at Wharf Street and note how little the original architecture has changed. Royal BC Museum Archives image A-03033
The Birthplace of Victoria Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2011
5. The Birthplace of Victoria Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 509 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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