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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

British Columbia Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on November 28, 2022

 
British Columbia Coat of Arms, via Wikipedia Commons

 British Columbia ranks 56th among provinces and states with markers in this database. British Columbia is a province in Canada located in Canada’s West Coast. British Columbia is some 1.5 million square kilometers in size with a population of around 4.6 million people. The province is divided into 28 regional districts and 26 of them have entries in this database. In British Columbia we have discovered historical markers in 110 cities and towns lying in 203 postal delivery areas.

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There are at least 376 historical markers in British Columbia, by our count. We have cataloged 375 historical markers and five war memorials—each individually presented on 378 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another historical marker in British Columbia that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first British Columbia marker in the database, Kicking Horse Pass, was added July 4, 2008. It was photographed near Field in Columbia-Shuswap and was erected in 1980. The last one added was submitted on August 11, 2022, and titled Mount Stephen House: The Later Years/Les dernières années. It is in Field in Columbia-Shuswap. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in British Columbia was erected in 1928. It was this one: The Bastion, and one of our correspondents found it in Victoria in Capital on October 19, 2011.

British Columbia Historical Topics
92 • Industry and Commerce
70 • Settlements and Settlers
60 • Waterways and Vessels
37 • Forts and Castles
34 • World War II
33 • Railroads and Streetcars
31 • Architecture
30 • Native Americans
29 • Horticulture and Forestry
27 • Environment
    ... and others ...

B.C.ers don’t want to forget their Industry and Commerce history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from British Columbia about Industry and Commerce—92 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 70 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce topic was To the Goldfields!, added July 5, 2008. It had been erected near 150 Mile House in Cariboo. The last one submitted also was submitted on August 11, 2022, and titled Mount Stephen House: The Later Years/Les dernières années. It had been erected in Field in Columbia-Shuswap. The earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce topic that we have listed was erected in 1950. It is Forest Industry in British Columbia, found in Port Alberni in Alberni-Clayoquot on July 15, 2008.

What is the most interesting historical marker in British Columbia? What we know is that Peace Arch is the most viewed entry in the database from British Columbia since it was added in 2010. It is located near Surrey in Greater Vancouver. This year so far, the most viewed B.C.er entry is located in Victoria in Capital. It is The Parade of Ships.

Regional districts, Cities and Towns

The British Columbia regional district with the most historical markers listed in this database is Capital, with 200 of them. It is followed by Greater Vancouver with 36 markers. The Victoria area of Capital has the highest number of markers within its limits, 162. In Greater Vancouver the area with the most markers, 24, is Vancouver.

Historical Markers in These
British Columbia Regional districts
200 • Capital
36 • Greater Vancouver
12 • Columbia-Shuswap
12 • East Kootenay
11 • Cariboo
10 • Kootenay Boundary
10 • Thompson-Nicola
9 • Fraser Valley
9 • Central Kootenay
9 • Metro Vancouver
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in British Columbia with the most markers we again find Victoria at the top of the list with 162 markers in or near it. And Vancouver also shows up again in next place, with 28 markers. For the postal code with the most markers it’s V9C 2W8 at the top of the list with 29 markers in its delivery area. It is followed by postal code V8M 1J8 with 19 markers.

Historical Markers Near These
British Columbia Cities and Towns
162 • Victoria
28 • Vancouver
19 • Brentwood Bay
7 • Surrey
6 • Sidney
5 • Colwood
5 • Field
4 • Barkerville
4 • Ashcroft
4 • Kamloops
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Capital, the first marker added to the database from there, Fort Victoria, was added July 15, 2008. It was erected in 1952 in Victoria. The last one submitted was uploaded on December 10, 2021, and is titled The First Flight and was erected in 2017, in Victoria. The earliest marker erected in Capital that we have listed was erected in 1928. It was The Bastion, found in Victoria on October 19, 2011.

Latest entry from British Columbia. Click to go there
By Cosmos Mariner, July 4, 2022
Latest Entry from British Columbia
“Mount Stephen House: The Later Years/Les dernières années”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Vancouver. The first: Vancouver Rowing Club, was added June 17, 2010. The last: Beacon of Maritime Safety added on May 26, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1952: Here Stood Hamilton, added on March 4, 2011.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

Province of British Columbia is currently in charge of the familiar green Stops of Interest official historical markers found all over the province. You will also find official markers erected by the British Colombia Department of Recreation & Conservation, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1957, and we have 90 of their markers in the database.

In addition, The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has also erected numerous historical markers in British Columbia, and we have 133 of their British Columbia markers in the database. Also, a number of regional districts have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from British Columbia. Click to go there
Roger Puta via Flickr (Public domain), November 1984
A Province of British Columbia Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of British Columbia have been marked with history. Check out Central Okanagan, qathet and Comox Valley. We've only found two historical markers in the first and one in each of the other two. Visiting one or more of these parts of British Columbia might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Nov. 28, 2022