A First Nations Shell Midden on Raymur Point, Victoria Harbour

September 11, 2017. By Grant Keddie There is an ancient archaeological shell midden – the refuse from what was once, at least, a seasonal camp on Raymur Point at the intersection of St. Laurence Street and Kingston Avenue. Raymur Point is a raised bedrock peninsula on the south side of Victoria’s inner harbour located to the west of Laurel Point and at the east end of Fisherman’s Wharf. The site was not occupied by First Nations in historic times and appears to have had a limited occupation in the distant past. The midden location, known as Archaeological site DcRu-33, includes the extreme northern extension of the point and the shoreline along the wider section of the point extending along the … Continue reading “A First Nations Shell Midden on Raymur Point, Victoria Harbour”

Clallam Mat Lodge

By Grant Keddie. 2013. Introduction The Victoria Harbour area, on Vancouver Island, is within the traditional territory of the Lekungen people who are represented by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. In 1843, the Hudson’s Bay Company built Fort Camosun (later Fort Albert and Fort Victoria) in the Harbour. In the early days of this establishment (1843-1855), Clallam First Nations, from the American side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, set up camps during their trading and employment activities with the Fort. The location and nature of these camps has been a subject of some uncertainty. But, the location of one of the Clallam camps has been made clear by the finding of unique images located in the Royal … Continue reading “Clallam Mat Lodge”

Victoria’s Chinese Immigrant Fishermen

By Grant Keddie. August 2013. Introduction A little known history of 19th century British Columbia was the creation of an early commercial fishing industry by Chinese immigrant fishermen. In 1861, Chinese fishermen began using fine meshed nets to catch large quantities of herring, flounder, anchovy and trout in Victoria’s inner waterway. These fish were salted and dried for shipment to Barkerville and other mining areas of the Interior, where they retailed at 40 to 50 cents per pound. The salting and drying took place in Victoria’s upper harbour at the north end of Store Street on the banks of Rock Bay. On April 11, of 1861 the Colonist newspaper reports: “These fish are esteemed a great luxury by the Chinese … Continue reading “Victoria’s Chinese Immigrant Fishermen”