Time Line

  • 1907

    The Kanaka, a group of Hawaiian settlers, leave their dwellings on Portland Island.

  • 1906

    Howard Harris and Clara Menzies get married on Pender, the first wedding to take place on the island. They build a home at Hope Bay.

  • 1906

    Early in the year, the present Presbyterian Church is built under a contract priced at $1000 by Mr. H.B. Harris, who saws the lumber in his own mill at Hope Bay. Mr. Harris sublets the construction to Mr. John Irwin of Victoria, but much of the labour and material is donated. A substantial shed is later built behind the church.

  • 1906

    Miss Eva Baynes is the school teacher, with a salary of $400 a year.

  • 1905

    Robert Roe Sr buys 800 acres on the south side of Otter Bay and clears about 30 acres, subsequently calling it 'Roesland Farm'. The Roe property stretches all the way to Shingle Bay and includes Roe Lake. Robert Sr subsequently sells 200 acres to help finance the Roesland Farm and to bring his wife Margaret and his son William to Pender.

  • 1905

    The Pender cemetery is established and the first burial takes place on one acre of land donated by Rutherford Hope.

  • 1905

    The Presbyterian Church appoints its first ordained minister, Rev. James Millan, Land for a church was donated by James Auchterlonie and cleared by volunteer labour.

  • 1905

    John MacKinnon purchases 160 acres from Mr. S. Hayashi (the land is now the MacKinnon Road area).

  • 1905

    Mr J.G. Anderson becomes the teacher, starting in January.

  • 1905

    R.S.W. Corbett opens the Post Office and the first general store at Hope Bay. The store continues in business under the Corbett family for the next 50 years.

  • 1905

    The naval survey ship H.M.S. Egeria lands a party of seamen on Pender to record the hourly rise and fall of the tide below a benchmark carved in the cliff face, located just north of what is now the lower swimming pool at Poets Cove Resort.

  • 1905

    Stanley and Howard Harris relocate the sawmill from Shingle Bay to Hope Bay.

  • 1904

    A second Post Office is established at Bedwell Harbour. The postal address is simply "South Pender Island".

  • 1904

    Miss Lina (?) Abercrombie is the teacher from September to December.

  • 1903

    The excavation of the canal isthmus (referred to by First Nations and early settlers as 'the portage') is completed by the Federal government to accommodate the first regular ferry service from Sidney by the vessel SS Iroquois. Pender Island is thus physically separated by the new canal until a bridge is opened in 1955.

  • 1903

    Washington Grimmer sells his house and 160 acres at Port Washington to Spencer Percival, who calls it 'Sunny Side Ranch'. It is now the Old Orchard Farm. (1902?)

  • 1903

    A regular Post Office opens on South Pender in the shed at the Bedwell Harbour wharf. Mrs Lilias M. H. Spalding performs the postal duties for 43 years until she retires. Six Postmasters follow in her steps until the South Pender Post Office closes on July 7, 1970.

  • 1903

    The first B.C. provincial election that involves political parties takes place.

  • 1902

    In the midst of considerable community controversy, Robert Roe Sr purchases the former school and adjacent community hall on Port Washington Road. His wife Margaret and their four children, George, William, Margaret and Robert Jr., may have remained in Victoria awhile longer before coming to Pender.

  • 1902

    The Harris brothers, Stanley and Howard, arrive on Pender and establish a sawmill at Shingle Bay, which is moved to Hope Bay in 1905. They become active members of the church and have a small steam launch named Pearl in which local folk are occasionally taken on outings. Fuel for steam is from wood and bark gathered from the beach.

  • 1902

    A new school is built by David Menzies and Mr. Ward, near Hope Bay on land donated by James Auchterlonie. The building is now the Nu-To-Yu. The first teacher in the school is Ruby Springer, who leaves in October and is replaced by Miss E. Bradley.

  • 1902

    R.S.W., Isabella Corbett and their children purchase 160 acres of land near Hope Bay from Albert Menzies. They build a house on the land, which still stands today on Corbett Road.

  • 1902

    The Brackett barn on Razor Point Road is built (c1901 or 03). It is now partially dismantled due to instability.

  • 1902

    The first power boat arrives on the island, a 30-foot steam launch called 'Pearl' which belongs to the newly arrived Harris brothers, Howard and Stanley, at Shingle Bay sawmill.

  • 1902

    The first Pender Island Community Hall, located midway between Port Washington and Hope Bay, is disposed.

  • 1901

    Government wharves are built at Hope Bay and Bedwell Harbour. At Bedwell Harbour, a wharf with a small shed serves as the South Pender Island Post Office. No regular post office exists, so the mail bag is dropped off on the wharf.

    The North Pender Post Office is relocated from Port Washington to a shed at Hope Bay. The Postmaster is James Auchterlonie.

  • 1901

    Miss Hart is the Pender school teacher.

  • 1901

    Canal excavation begins between North and South Pender to facilitate the navigation of the SS Iroquois and other boats, after a petition is sent to the province.

  • 1901

    A 3-D stereoscopic photograph viewer is patented.

  • 1901

    The privately owned S.S. Iroquois launches and begins ferry service to Pender Island.

  • 1901

    Alexander Hamilton builds his house, called 'The Knolls', at Port Browning.

  • 1901

    Victor Menzies joins the Presbyterian Church congregation at age 16 'on profession of Faith'.

  • 1901

    Miss Gertrude Brethour takes over as school teacher until November of 1901. She is replaced by Miss F. Hart who teaches until July 1st, 1902.

  • 1901

    On July 7th, Winifred Higgs marries Ralph Grey at Harold Payne's place on Saturna Island. The couple moves to Samuel Island.

  • 1901

    (c1900) Elijah Pollard gives up his land on Tilley Point and buys 70 acres on Port Browning. He later (1912) opens a home resort 'The Maples' to supplement his farm income.

  • 1899

    Rutherford Hope marries Jennie Reid on July 4th.

  • 1899

    The Pender's Farmers Institute is created. It's the first island-wide organization.

  • 1898

    After a great fire in New Westminster destroys their homes, Alexander Hamilton and the Brackett families move to Pender full time.

  • 1898

    Olive S.J. Grimmer is born on September 16th.

  • 1898

    Mr. A.M. Johnston is the school teacher until June of 1899. He teaches singing, astronomy, Sunday school, and games. He is very popular with his pupil Victor Menzies. Miss Jennie McMartin takes over in June of 1899 for a year.

  • 1898

    There are eighteen names on the school role, 9 boys and 9 girls from six island families: three Grimmers, two Davidsons; three Phelps, two Johnstons, five MacDonalds, and three Menzies.

  • 1898

    A period of provincial political instability is underway.

  • 1898

    The Klondike gold rush begins.

  • 1897

    Winifred and Mabel Higgs return to the Higgs property on South Pender, to their new home called 'Blue Tarpon' or 'Blue'. The construction of this house was overseen by their brother Leonard during the preceding winter.

  • 1897

    The new Parliament Buildings in Victoria are completed.

  • 1896

    Hope Bay quarry owner Evan Hooson marries Frances 'Fanny' Lawson, the first school teacher on Pender. Fanny resigns her post as teacher.

    The first school building is constructed during July and August beside the Community Hall on Port Washington Road, near the present lumberyard, on land donated by Washington Grimmer. The cost of the new school is $400. Edith M. Dabby is the first teacher in the completed school.

  • 1896

    Albert Menzies leases and later buys the Rutherford Hope farm (now the Ross-Smith farm) and builds a farm house. Rutherford Hope retains a few acres near the present Firehall/Police Station for his retirement. The land is 'across the Government Road', which is now the access road to the cemetery.

  • 1896

    Robert and Margaret Roe and their children George, William, Margaret and Robert Jr. (Bert), come to Canada from Port Glasgow, Scotland, via Cape Horn. They spend a few years in Victoria, BC, before arriving on Pender.

  • 1896

    Irene Roe, nee Burnes, the future owner of Roesland and wife of Robert Roe Jr, is born.

  • 1896

    Twenty-five year old Winifred and her sister Mabel Higgs come to South Pender from England in June to visit their brother and sister-in-law Leonard and Emma Higgs at Kloshie Illahee for the summer. Their experiences are documented in the book 'Winifred Grey', edited by Marie Elliott and published in 1994.

  • 1895

    Mr. Hayashi purchases 160 acres of land from Washington Grimmer. The land extends from the present Otter Bay Marina in Hayashi Cove to James Point at the end of what is now MacKinnon Road.

  • 1895

    John MacDonald builds a house (which is still standing today) on 22 acres acquired from James Auchterlonie. The land sits between the current Nu-To-Yu and the police station.

  • 1895

    Gilbert Ainslie, for which Ainslie Road is named, emigrates to Canada from England.

  • 1895

    J. Alexander Brackett comes to Pender from New Westminster to help Hugh Hamilton build his house at the head of Port Browning. He purchases a small parcel of land from the Hamiltons and a larger parcel from Rutherford Hope, located opposite the present Driftwood Centre.

  • 1895

    Portlock Point light station is constructed on Prevost Island, just across the channel from Port Washington.

  • 1895

    Japanese Canadians are disenfranchised.

  • 1894

    John M. and Jessie MacDonald arrive on North Pender with their five children. John is the brother Mrs. Albert Menzies.

  • 1894

    The first school and three-member school board are elected on the island, with 11 pupils that year. Class takes place in the Community Hall near the current lumberyard. Fanny Lawson is the first teacher and boards with the Davidsons of Clam Bay until she marries Evan Hooson. A small separate building is erected close to the hall for the exclusive use of the school.

  • 1894

    The Presbyterian Church begins work on Pender in the early part of the year at the request of Mr A.H. Menzies. His younger brother George is a student of the Ministry at the time and builds comfortable slotted benches for use in the old hall, where services are held.

  • 1894

    Leonard Higgs sells his property to Arthur E. Stanford and calls his new ranch 'Southlands'.

  • 1894

    Elija Pollard and A.E. Stanford arrive on the island and both pre-empt land on South Pender. Elija's land is on Tilley Point.

  • 1894

    George W. Grimmer is born on April 5th.

  • 1893

    Washington Grimmer, James Auchterlonie, and Andrew Davidson apply to Victoria for a teacher for the eight children of school age that live on-island. The first classes are held in the community hall.

  • 1893

    Albert Hugh and Henrietta Menzies arrive on Pender via the steamer Yosemite with their children (one of whom is Victor Menzies). Albert works for Washington Grimmer for three years in exchange for $200 a year in cash and $250 a year in land, at $5 an acre for a total of 180 acres.

  • 1893

    Construction starts on the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.

  • 1892

    Andrew Angus Davidson arrives on North Pender (via South America) with his wife Margaret and their four children. He buys 300 acres at Clam Bay from Washington Grimmer.

  • 1892

    James Auchterlonie takes over the management of the David Hope farm at Hope Bay and subsequently builds a house at the corner of Port Washington Road and Clam Bay Road.

  • 1892

    Leonard Higgs's wife Emma and son Tom join him on South Pender from England.

  • 1891

    The first government wharf is built at Port Washington.

  • 1891

    Washington Grimmer builds a house at Sunnyside Farm, at Port Washington. It is now known as the Old Orchard Farm.

  • 1891

    Percy Grimmer is born on October 21st.

  • 1892

    A post office is established in Washington Grimmer's home at Port Washington and Washington takes the position of postmaster. The postal address is: Pender Island, BC. Washington first brought the mail in a rowboat from Mayne Island.

  • 1891

    Lawrence Auchterlonie marries his second wife Julie Roach on November 19th and builds a house for them on Hooson Road.

  • 1890

    The first BC-born settlers on Pender, brothers Robert and Sweany Colston, take land at Hope Bay.

  • 1890

    Alexander and Margaret Brackett pre-empt 160 acres of land next to the Hamilton property at Port Browning.

  • 1890

    The first horse is brought to Pender by Alexander Hamilton.

  • 1889

    The first Community Hall is built midway between Port Washington and Hope Bay, on Grimmer property at the site of the present gravel pit.

  • 1889

    Elizabeth Grimmer gives birth to Neptune 'Nep' Navy Grimmer on April 11th in a rowboat enroute to the midwife on Mayne Island.

  • 1889

    Arthur Spalding marries Lilias Mackay, the daughter of a Hudson Bay Company factor, on Saturna Island. Both are conveyed back to their home on South Pender in a dugout canoe paddled by two First Nations. Lilias is dressed in a white satin wedding gown.

  • 1888

    William Hooson arrives on the island with his 27-year-old son Evan. They acquire land from the Auchterlonies along what is now Hooson Road, south of Hope Bay. Being stonemasons, they open a quarry at Hope Bay, as well as a forge.

  • 1888

    Hugh Hamilton, the younger brother of Alexander Hamilton (who inherited their older brother Robert's land two years earlier), arrives on Pender at age 19 from Scotland with his friend John Liddle. He works on Alexander's land until building his own house in 1910.

  • 1888

    Helen Auchterlonie, sister of David Hope and wife of Lawrence Auchterlonie, dies.

  • 1886

    Arthur Spalding

    The first permanent settler arrives on South Pender, 23-year-old Englishman Arthur Reed Spalding

  • 1886

    Spalding purchases 800 acres of land from absentee owner James Alexander. The land previously belonged to John Tod.

  • 1886

    Leonard Higgs, the step-nephew of Arthur Spalding, first arrives on Pender. He leaves shortly after, but returns in 1891 to take up land and build his house, 'Kloshie Illahee', which means "the Good Land" in the Chinook language (which is rapidly disappearing by this time).

  • 1886

    Nellie Grimmer becomes the first white child born on Pender on September 24th.

  • 1886

    Robert and Isabelle Hamilton join Robert's younger brother Alexander on Pender and pre-empt the waterfront land where Port Browning Marine Pub and Resort is now located, which was previously 'Reserved for Government Use'. Both die tragically a few months later. They will their pre-emption to their younger brother Hugh.

  • 1886

    The first transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver.

  • 1885

    Washington Grimmer marries Elizabeth Auchterlonie on November 18th.

  • 1885

    Alexander Hamilton arrives on Pender after being sent by Mortimer's Monumental Works of Victoria to work at a quarry located at the site of the present canal. He pre-empts 180 acres of land at the head (west) end of Browning Harbour, where the Driftwood Centre and airfield are located today.

  • 1885

    Evan Hooson emigrates to Canada from England.

  • 1884

    Survey officer Lieut. Daniel Pender of the Royal Navy, after whom Pender is named, retires. He dies in 1891.

  • 1884

    The Canadian government makes First Nation potlatches illegal, a ban which is not lifted until 1951. They never successfully eliminate the tradition.

  • 1883

    Mrs. Potts patents stovetop 'sad irons' with removable wooden handles. Millions are sold.

  • 1882

    The Grimmer brothers, Oliver and Washington, arrive on Pender and purchase the 840-acre Noah Buckley property.

  • 1882

    Lawrence and Helen Auchterlonie, with their 15 yr. old son James and daughter Elizabeth, arrive on Pender. They divide David Hope's property with Helen's brother Rutherford Hope. Rutherford takes the Ross-Smith portion, from the present community hall to Port Browning.

  • 1882

    George Roe, son of Robert and Margaret Roe, is born in Port Glasgow, Scotland, on June 15th.

  • 1880

    The province surveys North and South Pender into quarter sections.

  • 1880

    A permanent native fishing settlement resides at Hay Point at the entrance to Bedwell Harbour. It is now the 3.2-hectare Reserve No. 8 of the Tseycum Band, which has 166 members.

  • 1879

    John Tod's land is sold to James Alexander on South Pender.