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And Occasional Poems



Reprinted by RICHMOND PRINTERS LTD. 1973

Reprinted by City of Richmond Archives 2007

A Note about the 2007 Reprint

of Thomas Kidd’s “History of Lulu Island and Occasional Poems”

In 2007, the Friends of the Richmond Archives and the City of Richmond Archives

decided to prepare a third edition of Thomas Kidd’s “History of Lulu Island and

Occasional Poems,” using funds provided by the Friends of the Richmond Archives.

Kidd’s book was first published in 1927 by Wrigley Printing Company, and a second edition was printed in 1973 by Richmond Printers. At the time the decision was made to prepare a third edition, the Archives had only a few copies of the first and second print editions in its possession.

The first edition of “History of Lulu Island and Occasional Poems” included thirty-one poems written by Mr. Kidd, only one of which was included in the 1973 reprint. In addition to removing the majority of the poems from the book, the compilers of the 1973 reprint included a table of contents and index, and changed the title of the book to “History of Richmond Municipality.” They also added 10 photograph plates reproduced from photographs provided courtesy of the Harold L. Steves Picture Collection and depicting scenes more recent than the stories told in the text. The 2007 reprint follows the 1973 reprint. It includes only one of Mr. Kidd’s poems and reproduces the table of contents and index (the index is not included in the PDF version). Where the City of Richmond Archives holds copies of the photographs included in the 1973 reprint, these have also been included. At some point, a biographical sketch of Thomas Kidd was printed and inserted among the pages of the book; this sketch is included in the 2007 reprint with the title “A Note about the Author.” It should be noted that the 2007 edition of “History of Lulu Island and Occasional Poems” replicates exactly the content of Mr. Kidd’s original text; thus, the language used was chosen by Mr. Kidd and reflects the language of the time in which he lived and wrote.

i A Note about the Author Thomas Kidd 1846 – 1930 Born in County Down, Ireland.

At age 17 left home and took passage on a sailing vessel for New Zealand, where he arrived after 100 days at sea. Shortly after his arrival he enlisted in the Third Regiment of the Waikato Volunteers, which had been organized to put down an uprising of the natives. Upon his discharge in 1866 he left for California, where he engaged in farming and later logging in the Redwood Forest.

He left California in 1874, and took passage for British Columbia – arriving at Victoria on February 11, 1874. A few days later he went to New Westminster, where he made the acquaintance of Mr. Brighouse and Mr. Scratchley, and with them came to Lulu Island.

He began farming for himself within a short time on 160 acres of land, and subsequently acquired further tracts. There are still living on parts of the above farms members of the first, second and third generations of his family.

He served in many facets of public life. The second election in Richmond (1881) put him in his first office as councillor, in which he served many years. In addition to that of councillor, he held the offices of Reeve, School Trustee in subsequent years. He was elected first M.L.A. for Richmond Riding in 1894, and held this office for eight years.

In private life he was a kind and helpful neighbour, with great compassion for his fellowmen. His formal education had terminated with his departure from Ireland, but he had been endowed with an avid thirst for knowledge, and he had continued his education by his own efforts. Due to his tremendous desire for study and a great appetite for reading, he was conversant on a wide range of topics. In the days when legal consultants were not readily available his neighbours found him a willing advisor whenever the need arose.

ii It might be of interest to some of the readers of this book to learn that Thomas Kidd’s eldest greatgrandchild, Gilbert J. Blair, was among those taking office as Aldermen on the 1971 Council in Richmond. Three years later he became mayor of the municipality, the incorporation of which in 1879 his greatgrandfather had played a part and to which he had given many years of service.

–  –  –

PART I. — EARLY MEMORIES A. Nature and Formation of the Islands, pp. 1-5 Choosing Name, 1; Geological Upheaval, 1; Soil Formation, 2; Work of Beaver, 2; Timber Growth, 2; On North Side, 3; Other Growth, 3; Sea Island Conditions, 3; Wild Roses Grew, 4;

Good Grass Patches, 4; Beaver Dams, 4; Indian Middens, 4.

B. Biographies of the First Settlers, 1862-1879, pp. 5-26 Her Name Was Lulu, 5; First Survey, 5; Hugh McRoberts, 5; First Dyke, 6; The McCleerys, 6; Henry Mole, 7; Hugh Magee, 7; Mrs. McCleery, 7; The McCleery Homestead, 8; George Garripie, 8;

Rowlings, 9; Wm. McNeely, 9; Wm. Shannon, 9; The First White Family, 10; W. J. Scratchley, 10;

Sam Brighouse, 11; Boyd and Kilgour, 11; Smith and Robson, 12; Howard L. DeBeck - First White Child, 13; Still in Penticton, 13; John Brough, 14; On First Council, 14; An Unusual Settler, 15;

Thomas Kidd Arrives, 15; Mrs. Green's Quest, 16; A Home-Made House, 16; Woodward's, 17;

Versatile Englishman, 17; Difficult Transportation, 18; A Sociable Partnership, 18; "Mud-flatters" Toast, 19; Eburne's Dramatic Arrival, 20; Eburne Post Office, 21; Miller and Ferguson, 21; The McMyns Arrive, 22; J. W. Sexsmith, 23; The Origin of Steveston, 23; First Herd of Holsteins, 24;

Steveston Versus Vancouver, 25; The McDonalds, 25.

C. The Township of Richmond is Incorporated — Early Works, pp.

26-35 The Genesis of Richmond, 26; W. Beckman's Good Fortune, 26; The Carscallens, 27; Other Families, 28; First Municipal Election, 28; Private Dyking, 29; Sea Island Dyked, 29; A New Enterprise, 30;

Need of Water, 31; Late Judge Bole, Advisor, 31; First Municipal Hall, 32; Mrs. Boyd's Hospitality, 32; Pen Pictures of Councillors, 33; Revelry at the Hall, 35.

D. The Richmond Municipal Chronicle to 1888, pp. 36-56

1. Municipal Council Work, pp. 36-52 The Second Election, 36; First Discussion of Roads, 37; Reeve-Not Warden, 38; New Settlers, 39;

First School Trustees, 40; First Steamboat Service, 40; Brighouse Joins Council, 41; Chinamen on Trunk Road, 42; Pioneer Clerk Praised, 43; Aimed at Chinese, 43; Work and Materials Cheap, 45;

Telephone Suggested, 46; A Humorous Election, 47; Michael Clarke, Reeve, 47; Tribute to Hugh Boyd, 48; Borrowing Suggested, 49; Question of Bridges, 51; Gum Boots Only, 52.

2. Other Developments, pp. 52-56 First Churches, 52; Protest to Bishop Sillitoe, 53; American School Trustee, 53; The First School, 55;

'The Best-Remembered', 55; Oxen the Only Teams, 56.


E. Construction of the North Arm Bridges, pp. 57-78 To Connect With Vancouver, 57; Mayor Oppenheimer Co-operates, 57; Hon. John Robson Favorable, 58; $30,000 Loan By-Law, 59; Richmond's Rateable Value, 61; Awkward Position, 62; Vancouver's Population, 63; Interesting Comparisons, 64; Salaries — First Richmond Ballot, 64; Capt. Stewart's Services, 65; Pioneer Fruitgrowers, 65; Pioneer Liquor Control, 66; Urging the Government, 68;

C.P.R. Might Build Bridges, 69; C.P.R. Disappointing, 70; Vancouver's Protest Unheeded, 71;

Vancouver Condemns Richmond, 72; Ice Action Foreshadowed, 72; North Arm Bridges Completed, 73; Did Not "Care a Damn", 74; A Cautious Council, 74; The Proof of the Pudding, 76; Increased Interest of Electors, 76; New Reeve and First Contest, 77; Fortunate Ice Test, 77.

F. The Gay and Fruitful Nineties, pp. 78-105 The Last White Navvies, 78; Proposed Electric Railway, 78; First Move for Drainage, 79; The "Magee Canal", 80; Direct Haul to Vancouver, 80; First Telephone and Newspaper, 81; Early River Craft, 82; Increased Land Values, 83; Booming Steveston, 84; Questioning Voter's List, 85; New Letters Patent, 86; Suit Against Council, 87; Suggested Road Round Island, 88; First Municipal Audit, 88; First Constable and Lock-up, 89; First Richmond Agricultural Show, 90; Settlers and Council, 91;

Public-Spirited Settler, 94; McLean Brothers Paid at Last, 95; Thomas Kidd, Richmond's First M.P., 95; Great Damage by Freshet, 96; Artesian Boring, 97; Richmond's Gold Excitement, 98; Water Shortage, 99; Twenty-three Canneries, 100; First Fire Chief, 101; Steveston "Clubs", 102; Waiting for "High Tide", 103; Late Johnathan Miller, 104; Sailor Boy's Success, 104.

v History of Lulu Island It has been suggested to the writer that he should write a history of Richmond Municipality and in responding to that suggestion he has thought it would make it more interesting and complete to preface it by a short outline of development, of the settlement before its incorporation, and begin that preface with a few remarks on the nature and formation of these islands.

The outline of these islands as they appear on the map shows a close approach to the form of the Greek letter Delta. We are told that because most of the islands formed by the matter carried down by rivers and deposited at their mouths take the form of that letter, its name has been given to these formations.

Choosing Name

Had not the settlers on the south side of the river, at the suggestion of W. H. Ladner, chosen that name in their petition for incorporation, which was in circulation for signature before the settlers on these islands, it is likely that Delta and not Richmond would have been chosen by the latter.

It may be well to state that these municipalities were incorporated in the same year, 1879.

It is very evident that the whole of Richmond and the greater part of the Delta are of the same formation, viz., that they have been built up by the alluvial matter carried down principally by the Fraser River, and the same process is still going on, adding area to these lands.

–  –  –

When the great geological upheaval took place, which threw up the mountain ranges on this border of the American Continent, it left Vancouver Island separated from the mainland by the great trough of the Gulf of Georgia and Puget Sound, with the Straits of Juan De Fuca to connect them with the Pacific Ocean. In this trough was also thrown up the many islands therein, great and small, and among the latter that which is now known as Point Roberts, which the alluvium carried down by the rivers connected with the mainland and separated Boundary Bay from the original greater bay, which ran up to and beyond where New Westminster now stands.

How much this bay was filled up by the great glacial action, which followed the upheaval, before it released the rivers to begin their work, need not be speculated upon, but that it still left a great deal of filling up to be done is evidenced by the fact that testings made on the west end of Lulu Island, put down over a thousand feet, brought up nothing but silty sand carried down by the river. And the sand found at that depth shows little difference from that found just below the few feet of grey matter on the surface, of which the rich soil of these areas consists.

Soil Formation

The shallowness of this layer of grey matter on the top shows that until a certain height had been reached in the building up of this area—being about the level of an average low tide—little but sand was deposited, but when that level was reached, the sand being too heavy to be carried to a higher level, then began the deposit of the clayish sediment which forms the top soil. It may be further pointed out that when these areas reached a height that prevented an equal over-flow of the water carrying the grey matter from spreading equally over them, then began a difference in the quantity and quality of the matter deposited upon them, a difference that would be greater on large areas than on small ones. For on the outer edges would be deposited the coarser and heavier particles, leaving the inner parts to be overflowed by the water, partly relieved of its load, and carrying only the finest and lighter part of the sediment.

Work of Beaver

On all such areas this process would continue until the inner portions would become shallow lakes the greater part of the year—the existence of which hastened and maintained by the work of beaver, whose dams were built across the small sloughs and streams and these prevented the flow of the water to and from those areas except at extreme high freshets and tides. Thus the work of the beaver prevented a greater amount of grey matter reaching the inner parts of these lands, and left them almost undisturbed for the growth of the vegetation which has produced the peat areas on these alluvial lands at the mouth of the river.

There is some evidence to show that these lands were not built up on the outlines as they appear today, but by smaller areas having been built up and afterwards joined together and added to later. Indeed, this process is still going on and will go on as long as the Fraser River continues in its present course.

Timber Growth

On these Islands, before they were disturbed by the white man, a considerable growth of timber along or near the water courses existed. A crabapple growth along nearly all the gulf side of both islands was an outstanding feature, with a spruce tree here and there to make its outline, at a distance, among which was one known as the Point Garry Tree and appreciated by mariners entering the Fraser River, but which became a victim to the remorseless work of the Fraser many years ago. Near the north end of this row on Sea Island a clump of spruce ended this margin of growth along the gulf side of this island.

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