In the Hawaiian language kanaka means "human being", their name for themselves, kānaka ʻōiwi or kānaka maoli, . In the 19th and early 20th centuries Kanakas were workers from various Pacific Islands employed in British colonies, such as British Columbia Fiji, and Queensland, Australia. They also worked in California and Chile. Canadian Kanakas were [...]

By |2018-09-05T14:52:19-07:00September 5th, 2018|Comments Off on Kanaka

The Greene Family

The old rice mill housed a ship-breaking industry that evolved into one of Victoria's most comprehensive and popular hardware store. The Victoria Harbour History Society is currently researching the Greene Family's contribution to the vibrancy of Victoria's Harbour. If you would like notification of this story's post please send us an email. [...]

By |2018-05-21T06:19:10-07:00May 7th, 2018|Comments Off on The Greene Family

J.H. Tunstall & Billy the Kid

John Henry Tunstall In 1872 England’s John Henry Tunstall Sr. dispatched his son John Henry Jr. to look into declining profits at Turner, Beeton and Tunstall, a large dry goods store located on Victoria's Wharf Street. John Henry enjoyed the expanse of the new country and often rode out to the deserted [...]

By |2017-10-18T09:14:00-07:00October 17th, 2017|Comments Off on J.H. Tunstall & Billy the Kid

James Douglas Warren

James Douglas Warren James Douglas Warren was born in 1837 in Prince Edward Island. He arrived in Victoria in 1858 and began trading with the natives on the west coast of Vancouver Island in his sloop Thornton. Though he freighted cargo and shipped passengers his main business was trading dogfish oil and [...]

By |2017-08-24T10:27:22-07:00August 24th, 2017|Comments Off on James Douglas Warren

Peter Skene Ogden

Peter Skene Ogden Peter Skene Ogden (1790–1854) served for a brief time with the American Fur Company then joined the North West Company in 1809. He had frequent run-ins with the traders from the rival Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and engaged in physical violence on several occasions. In 1816, HBC clerks reported [...]

By |2017-08-11T20:36:30-07:00August 11th, 2017|Comments Off on Peter Skene Ogden

Michael Williams

Michael Williams, by Godfrey Stephens (pen and ink on paper, 1994). Image: courtesy of UVic Legacy Art Galleries. Michael Collard Williams (1930-2000) came to Canada in 1950 from the farming region of Shropshire, England. After several years in the Okanagan Valley, he arrived in Victoria in 1958. By the 1970s, Williams had [...]

By |2017-07-18T14:53:09-07:00July 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Michael Williams

David Butterfield

David Butterfield (1948 -2017) was a real estate developer whose drive for beauty, quality, and permanence set the modern standard for residential and mixed-use development in Victoria, particularly on the shores of her Inner Harbour. His vision is on par with that of Michael Williams, whose foresight has ensured Victoria’s Old Town retains its [...]

By |2017-07-18T14:51:11-07:00July 17th, 2017|Comments Off on David Butterfield

William Turpel 1843-1926

William Turpel was born to Irish immigrants to Nova Scotia John Campbell and Mary Turpel In 1888 Turpel purchased the Colling and Cook’s Ways established on Victoria’s Upper Harbour in 1873. The yard was located on a point of land that created the deep, sheltered bay on harbour’s west shore, perfect for ship-building. He renamed [...]

By |2018-05-14T14:59:23-07:00April 21st, 2017|Comments Off on William Turpel 1843-1926

William Brotchie

William Brotchie was born in Scotland, entering service in the British Royal Navy around 1830. The original aid to navigation was constructed in 1898 lasted ninety-one years. Wave action undermined its base and a new beacon replaced it in 1989. His name lives on in Victoria’s harbour history as the namesake for Brotiche [...]

By |2016-10-31T12:05:01-07:00September 22nd, 2016|Comments Off on William Brotchie

Blayney Scott

Blayney Scott (standing) inspects an extrusion die. Blayney Scott (1924 - 2000) was born in Calgary, Alberta. After serving in the merchant marine during WWII, he built a troller and fished the BC coast until 1952, when he founded Scott Plastics Ltd in Victoria. From its humble beginnings his company, Scott Plastics [...]

By |2016-10-31T12:05:02-07:00August 24th, 2016|Comments Off on Blayney Scott