"History isn’t a myth-making discipline, it’s a myth-busting discipline ..."

Sir Richard Evans FBA

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maple Ridge census of 1917

Among the surviving records from the early years of the district is a census of the population of Maple Ridge showing a total of 2210 individuals. The census dates from the spring or summer of 1917. There were at that time in Maple Ridge 1893 whites, 241 Japanese, 62 Chinese, and 14 Hindoo. First Nations people living on the Katzie and Whonnock Reserves were not included in this census.
Compare the 1917 Maple Ridge population of 2210 with the 2006 number: 68,949

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wannick Cannery at Rivers Inlet

Wannuck: (sometimes Wannock or Whonnock), built in 1884 by Wannock Packing Co., Messrs. A. McNeil, W. McDowell, and S. McDowell. It was located at Wannock Cove, on the north shore of the Inlet, west of Moses Inlet. It was acquired by Victoria Canning Co. (R.P Rithet, Thomas Ladner and partners) in 1892 and became part of the B.C. Packers Association merger in 1902. In 1926, it was acquired by B.C. Fishing & Packing Co. with R.P. Rithet Co. as agent. In 1982, it was included in the B.C. Packers Ltd. Merger. It was abandoned in 1934. It was the site of the first summer hospital on the Inlet.
(Cannery Village: Company Town by K. Mack Campbell)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Whonnock at Rivers Inlet and the Fraser River -- not related

In the early 1880s, when a rail station and a post office had to be named, the white immigrant community on the Fraser River adopted the name Whonnock, an Anglicised version of name of the tribe that lived there. It is a Downriver Halkomelem name related to pink or humpback salmon. "Place where there are (always) humpback salmon" or "Place of the humpback salmon," are the most common interpretations of meaning of the name Whonnock. This Halkomelem name was also given to Whonnock Lake and Whonnock Creek.

Not everyone knows that there is another place in British Columbia called Whonnock and that there is a Whonnock River. This Whonnock and the river are at Rivers Inlet. In Kwakwakawakw (Kwakiutl) the name means "the owner of the river." Aside from the similar modern spelling of the name there is nothing that connects these two places or the First Nations peoples who lived there.

"Whonnock" was not used as a surname at the Fraser River, but it is well-known family name at and around Alert Bay and Rivers Inlet. As Shanon Whonnock explained it her great-great grandfather started using the name John Wanuwk and church records show a variety of spellings until, as from around 1828, the writing settled at Whonnock. Shanon's great-great grandfather acquired the name Wanukw through marriage. "It comes from his wife's grandmother who was a princess of a Chief from Rivers Inlet."