Diary – John Hugh Roberts Jan 1887 to Jan 1891. Birth of Charles Steele to Mississippi and William in Vancouver .. His grandson, Charles Steele was first boy registered in Vancouver after incorporation of the city. Beginning the New Year in their new house… Block 27 Lot 302… On the south side of 9th Avenue .. On the hillside of False Creek in the new city of Vancouver January 1st Tomhu and JHR have been working everyday on building the new house… …every day since the 23rd of September worked on building. Finally on the 24th of January moved into the house with family.
February 1887 Saving firewood all week, and splitting firewood The Fraser River is frozen. There are 600 men working on the Railway between Vancouver and Port Moody A 550 year old tree was cut dow.n Sis who is 32 years old is building a hen house out of wood and cedar. Some Chinese people were abused because “they work to much” and Indian because they “Did not work enough”. In the diary Roberts felt it was terribly unfair.) The C.P.R. is clearing the land between the track and the Mill.
The Vegetables are up in the garden. There was an Avalanche on the mountain. Fire at the Brighouse estate. Council passed a law that one could not build fires in summer.
Fire at the Brighouse estate. Council passed a law that one could not build fires in summer.
Made Lager Beer – Mississippi – Sip sold her ducks. Picked three quarts of berries…Salmon and Blue Berries Jubilee of the Queen Victoria – 50 years on the throne… Band. Boat Racing, Horse Racing, Game and Processions John Hugh Roberts J.H.R.’s Mother 81 in Toronto- unlikely to recover October 1887 Went to the house where we (John Hugh and Tomhu) stood fighting the Great Fire of June 13th. 1886 .. What a change in the surrounding, the logs and stumps are all done. Stately home and cosy cottages stand now in their place and in place 1887 –
Winnie’s birthday- first grandchild- she is 5 years old.. Tomhu is 28 years old – Winnie lived with Anne , John Hugh and from the time she was 4 years old. (She and Tomhu were with them ..both Anne and JHR for their whole lives).
Very good crop for people this year – 10 million bushels of wheat ,which will being $7, 000, 000 to the country – it will require 1000 trains of 20 cars. There is one ship at the Hasting Mill and four more at another location. 1887 Tuesday had a letter from Sis (Sarah Anne) and a photograph of the baby 6 weeks old .. (Charly ( another Charles as Mississippi had Charles Steel before this) – married to Hector McKenzie who’s father was Charles McKenzie. Sipp (Mississippi) had another 2 month old baby .. Flossy .. granddaughter.
March 1888 Hector McKenzie is sick with Typhoid fever .. also the baby sick.
Tomhu and JHR go for a long walk along the Skidways May 1888 – a piece of property leased to the government by the Church in England for 999 years has reverted back to the church. Great fire ravaged all the Coast along the sound (Puget) to Columbia River.
1888 John Hugh Roberts is 60 years old. Tomhu is out everyday sketching .. Tomhu and J.H.R. went for a walk along Park Road which is now finished , making it 12 miles, beautiful views on the inlet side as well as the English Bay side. Tomhu and J.H.R. went through the woods over Skidways to the north Arm of the Frazer ,then across on the Ferry ,25 cents there and 25 cents back. Walked clear around the Island on Duke Continuation of a few points from the Diary Jan 1887 to Jan 1891 by THR They can see clearly Mount Baker T.H.R. buying various lots and there is a lot of bookkeeping involved – recorded in detail.
These are a few excerpts from the diaries – The legacy of the Roberts family is being preserved by the Roberts Heritage Foundation.
Dale Bertrand and Della Burford – Executive Directors