Nanaimo, 1858

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By 1858, the town of Nanaimo had between 50 and 60 buildings. In this photograph many features of the town are identified. The town at this time was called Colviletown after the Governor of the H.B.C., Andrew Colvile. On the left is Newcastle Island which is now crisscrossed with miles of underground tunnels. Next is the hoist used for raising coal. The Bastion was built in 1853 for protection from raiding Haida war parties. The Gap is one of the main entrances to Nanaimo Harbour. The Loading Wharf and Ballast Wharf were used to load the coal on ships destined for Victoria. Protection Island was earlier known as Douglas Island. Cameron Island is no longer an island. It was joined to the mainland and is now the site of Harbour Park shopping centre. The long bridge in the foreground of the photograph was built as an extension of Commercial Street. It crossed a large ravine that was later filled in with tailings from the local mines. The ravine originally a tidal arm of the sea which extended to Comox Road.
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