William Mordaunt Dwyer Diary

William Mordaunt Dwyer was a Past Master of Temple Lodge No.33. His descendants have his diaries and have started transcribing them. So far they have transcribed the diary for 1897 and we have posted it below with the permission of John Dwyer and the Dwyer family. We will add more links to names as time permits.

William Mordaunt Dwyer, circa 1911
William Mordaunt Dwyer, circa 1911 (photo copyright Temple Lodge, No.33)

Diary of William Mordaunt Dwyer of Duncan, British Columbia.


Friday 1 January
Called on Mrs. D. Alexander. Dined at Mellins Tom Gibbings slept here.

Saturday 2 January
Stayed about house all day Harrison had dinner here.

Sunday 3 January
Jack came here from Vancouver. Went to Hawks in afternoon and stayed there for dinner.

Monday 4 January
Went home to David Alexanders after dinner and played whist.

Tuesday 5 January
Dance at Mrs. Footes.

Wednesday 6 January
Had lunch with W.P. and Mrs. Jaynes rehearsal at hall in evening supper party at Eatons had most roaring time.

Thursday 7 January
Dinner at hotel play and dance at hall.

Friday 8 January
Went to Victoria drew $50.00 from bank called on Frasers and Drakes.

Saturday 9 January
Busy all morning went to football match afternoon dined at Drake’s went to concert at drill hall after dinner also to music hall.

Sunday 10 January
Had lunch with Tom Fraser and went out dining with him afterwards. Went to St. Andrews church for evening service. Had supper at the Drakes.

Monday 11 January
Came back to Duncans dined at Jim Maitlands. Paid Chris Dobson $90 that I owed him.

Tuesday 12 January
Went to Mellins in afternoon.

Wednesday 13 January
Went to Indian dance at Quamichan ranch with Mr. And Mrs. Hawkes and the Jaynes girls. Paid Eddy Lomas $1.00 for meat.

Thursday 14 January
Went to Chemainus on hand car with Jim and Wife Bill Fred and Molly Lomas and Frank and Ernest Price got back at 3 a.m.

Friday 15 January
Dined at Hotel went to David Alexanders and played whist after dinner. Paid Milly Edgson $1.50 for meat.

Saturday 16 January
Young Mellin had dinner here.

Sunday 17 January
Spent afternoon and evening at Lomases.

Monday 18 January
Harrison had dinner here. Went to call on Duncans after dinner.

Tuesday 19 January
Dance at Mrs. Foots. Got letter from Flint.

Wednesday 20 January
Mellin had lunch here went up with him to his place and stayed evening.

Thursday 21 January
Had lunch at Jaynes. Took Mrs. Eaton to dance at hall. Mailed letter to Flint.

Friday 22 January
Got letter from Flint calling me to town. Dined at Hawks’.

Saturday 23 January
Went to Victoria. Met Gaston and arranged about Lillooet project. Drew $4.20 from Flint for expenses.

Sunday 24 January
Came up from town. Heavy snow storm in night. Dined at the Hotel.

Monday 25 January
Dined at Hotel. Played whist at Lomases after dinner. Got letter from Selwyn Rawson.

Tuesday 26 January
Went to Victoria to see Jim McLeonelly. Drew $10.00 from him for expenses. Went to meeting in city hall and to Theater.

Wednesday 27 January
Came back from town. Went to Dance at Mrs. Prevosts.

Thursday 28 January
Went over to Hadivins with Harrison and stayed night there.

Friday 29 January
Left Hadivins after lunch and came to Duncans. Had dinner at Jims came home at 11:00 am.

Saturday 30 January
Went to boxing classes at the hall.

Sunday 31 January
Had dinner at Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]

Monday 1 February
Whist party at David Alexanders got letter from Mother.

Tuesday 2 February
Wrote to Mother and Rawson.

Wednesday 3 February
Went to Mellins and stayed night there.

Thursday 4 February
Old Mrs. Wilson died. Had lunch at hotel.

Friday 5 February
Stayed afternoon at Lomases had supper there.

Saturday 6 February
Went to Mrs. Wilson’s funeral. Went to boxing in the evening. Sent $10.00 to Gold Comm. for miners licence for self and C. Bazeet.

Sunday 7 February
Called on Mrs. Prevost and Mrs. Hawkes. Had dinner at hotel. Went up to Old Duncans after.

Monday 8 February
Concert and dance at hall.

Tuesday 9 February
Political meeting at hall. Date of Miners Licence.

Wednesday 10 February
Rode down to flats stayed for dinner at Livingstons. Got my Miners Licence from Gold Commissioner Gore.

Thursday 11 February
Went over to Salt Spring Island with Wilmer. Made camp at Musgrove’s Landing.

Friday 12 February
Went along coast to L.W.D. Mine.

Saturday 13 February
Prospecting in mountain.

Sunday 14 February
Staked out two claims White Giant and White Oak.

Monday 15 February
Came back to Duncans struck heavy sea and head wind crossing and had to leave boat at Genoa.

Tuesday 16 February
Went to Livingstons from Genoa with boat. Walked to Mellins in afternoon.

Wednesday 17 February
Supper at hotel. Called on Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] after. Letter from Holmes.

Thursday 18 February
Dance at Hall. Wrote to Stanley Phillips and Bill Holmes.

Friday 19 February
Went down to hotel for breakfast. Had supper at Hotel and went to Eatons afterwards.

Saturday 20 February
Supper at hotel went boxing afterwards.

Sunday 21 February
Went to Hadwins with Milner for lunch. Dined at Hawks.

Monday 22 February
Dined and slept at Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]

Tuesday 23 February
Made out record papers of our claims on S.S.J. Dinner at Hotel went to Mellins after and stayed overnight.

Wednesday 24 February
Started to go to Salt Spring but got hung up in rivls (?) and had to come back slept at hotel. With Wilmer.

Thursday 25 February
Made a fresh start and got to Salt Spring Island Doug Livingston came with Wilmer and me. Camped on creek near Musgraves house.

Friday 26 February
Pt a shot in to ledge on White Giant Claim. Heavy rain in night.

Saturday 27 February
Went up to top of Claim in forenoon put in a shot after dinner.

Sunday 28 February
Came over to Duncan for the day. Had dinner at Hotel called on old Duncans afterwards. Got Record of Claims from L & M. Dept.

Monday 1 March
Went back to S.S.J. got Dickson’s boat to go in.

Tuesday 2 March
Working on White Giant until noon. Shot missed fire. Worked on top claim in the afternoon. Played poker at house in evening with R & G. Musgrave Gall and old Livingston.

Wednesday 3 March
Working on White Giant. Livingston and party came out and looked at claim. Played poker in evening lost $2.40. Borrowed $3 from Milner.

Thursday 4 March
Worked on top claim put in 3 shots but found no good rock.

Friday 5 March
Heavy snow storm. Went up to L.W.D. claim in forenoon came back for lunch and lay in rest of day.

Saturday 6 March
Came back to Duncans

Sunday 7 March
Fine bright day called on Hawkdo (sp?) in afternoon had supper at Eatons.

Monday 8 March
Walked up to Millins in evening. Borrowed $5 from E. Bazeit. Pd. Wilmer $3.00.

Tuesday 9 March
Went to Victoria. Saw Flint. Got photo taken stayed night at Grixus met Mr. And Mrs. Jacobsen and had dinner with them.
Wednesday 8 March

Wednesday 10 March
Over at Govt. offices all forenoon dined at Laurenas Café and spent evening with Jacobsen and T.S.G. at Oriental.

Thursday 11 March
Loafing about Badminton Club all day. Dined at Bank Exchange. 12 inches of snow on ground at this morning.

Friday 12 March
Came back to Duncans spent all day in Jaynes store helping Ada. Dined & slept at Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] Met Miss Shaw at dinner.

Saturday 13 March
Rode Jims horse [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] to Millins had supper there came home about 12:00.

Sunday 14 March
Spent afternoon & evening at Hawks’.

Monday 15 March
Had dinner at Hotel. Went down to W.P. Jaynes after dinner.

Tuesday 16 March
Dinner at Hotel called on Duncans.

Wednesday 17 March
Dinner at Hotel. Whist party at Harry Frys’.

Thursday 18 March
Photos came from Victoria. Sent one to Nell W. & Mrs. Jacobsen. Caled on Mr. Jim. Went over to D. Alexanders after dinner at hotel.

Friday 19 March
Went to Lomases in afternoon stayed there to supper.

Saturday 20 March
Played for ship in football match. Ship and Hope v Cowichan. Sprained my knee badly. Went home with Livingston girls & stayed night at their place.

Sunday 21 March
Came up on train from Koksila to Duncans. Ha a clean up went over to Hadwens. My knew very painful and swollen.

Monday 22 March
At Hadwens. Raining like blazes all day.

Tuesday 23 March
At Hadwens. Wet stormy day.

Wednesday 24 March
Came back on milk wagon had a change of clothes & rode to Mellins got mail from PD. HD Stanky & Marchus Phipps stayed night at Mullins.

Thursday 25 March
Came home after lunch got letter from Flint Saw Wilmer re S.S.J. Claims. Wrote to H.D. T.S.G. Marus Flint. Had dinner at Hotel & then came home still very lame.

Friday 26 March
Still lame. Had dinner at Hotel & went down to Maitlands afterwards.

Saturday 27 March
Leg a bit better. Dined at Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] Mullins were there.

Sunday 28 March
Went over to Hawks spent afternoon & evening there leg much better.

Monday 29 March
Walked over to Richards mountain to look at some claims.

Tuesday 30 March
Rode to Tom Windsors with Jack & staked off a claim on mountain there for JCD. Letter from Nell Watson.

Wednesday 31 March
Started about 11:30 for Richards Mountain. Looked at lot claims there. Got back about 3 o’clock. Letters from F & P re White Giant, G.S.G.H.D. & Welburn.

Thursday 1 April
Out with Jack on Richards Mountain.

Friday 2 April
Lunched at Jim Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] went fishing in Somenos Creek dinner at hotel.

Saturday 3 April
Out on the mountain with J.C.D. Staked a claim beyond Shaw & Whittomes. Called at the “Hilda”.

Sunday 4 April
Gathered some Lilies for Mrs. Hawks. Went to afternoon Church had a cup of tea at Jaynes afterwards. Went up Somenos on evening train had supper at Mellins.

Monday 5 April
Went down to floats with Morton for some fishing no luck. Call on Mrs. Livingston. Had dinner at hotel.

Tuesday 6 April
Fishing in Somenos Creek.

Wednesday 8 April

Thursday 7 April

Friday 8 April

Saturday 10 April
Went down to flats after dinner called on Livingstons.

Sunday 11 April
Spent afternoon at Wilsons and had supper there.

Monday 12 April
Washed clothes.

Tuesday 13 April
Wrote to Mr. Johnston asking for job on ?ase Island.

Wednesday 14 April
Worked ½ day for Tom Gibbings got letter from MG.J.

Thursday 15 April
Worked ½ day fro Tom Gibbings. Raised $5.00 on IOU from BB. Made arrangements to got to work for him next week. Had dinner at Hotel. Went down to Jims after dinner.

Friday 16 April
Sent Record of Windsor Claim to Victoria by Dr. Hands.

Saturday 17 April
Lunch & dinner at hotel. Went up to Quamichan with Hicks Beach. Decorating church. Went for walk with Clare.

Sunday 18 April
Went to Hawks after lunch & stayed all afternoon Easter Sunday. Borrowed compass from Lomas.

Monday 19 April
Worked ½ day for Gibbings. Went to Easter entertainment. Sent down papers to Record “Hilda” claim.

Tuesday 20 April
Worked ½ day for Gibbings. Moved my blankets in there & stayed night. Working laying out orchard got invited to dance at Livingstons.

Wednesday 21 April
Working at orchard finished time owed at noon & commenced working for wages.

Thursday 22 April
Finished laying out orchard. 1 day. Returned compass to Lomas. Called in to Jim Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] and stayed there for a couple of hours. Got Record of Hilda claim.

Friday 23 April
Blowing out & grubbing stumps all day. 1 day.

Saturday 24 April
Quit at about 4 p.m. and had a bath. Went to dine at Hawks. Mrs. Hawks birthday got a rare good feed. Got letter from Mother. 1 day.

Memoranda: 3 ½ days.

Sunday 25 April
Washed clothes in forenoon. Went up to Mellins after lunch & stayed there until 11:00.

Monday 26 April
Grubbing stumps all day. Wrote to Harry and Mother. 1 day.

Tuesday 27 April
Blowing out stumps. Went down town in evening to Eatons. 1 Day.

Wednesday 28 April
Worked ½ day. Drew $10.00 from Gibbings. Went to dance at old Livingstons. ½.

Thursday 29 April
Got home from dance at 5:00 a.m. Wet day did not work. Went to Jim Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] for supper. 0.

Friday 30 April
Worked ¾ day rain in evening. Went down town after supper to Eatons. ¾.

Saturday 1 May
Full day. Went down town in evening called on old Duncan. 1 day.
Week 4 ¼ days.

Sunday 2 May
Washed clothes. Had supper at Lomases called on Hawks.

Monday 3 May
¾ day.

Tuesday 4 May
Went to Eatons after supper. Worked full day.

Wednesday 5 May
Called on Jaynes’ got home late full day.

Thursday 6 May
Raining in forenoon. Went down to Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] after lunch & Mrs. Jim & I drove down to call on Livingstons. Got back in time for dinner at Jims. 0

Friday 7 May
Worked full day in upper field.

Saturday 8 May
½ day. Rained hard all afternoon. Went down to Lomases after supper. ½.
Week 4 ¼ days.

Sunday 9 May
Washed clothes & cooked all fore noon. Went to call on Johnstones afer lunch & went on from there to Mellins for supper.

Monday 10 May
Worked all day. Went down to in evening. 1

Tuesday 11 May
Full day. J.C.D came in after supper for a while. 1

Wednesday 12 May
Worked full day. Went down to Jims [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] after supper. 1

Thursday 13 May
Full day. Went up to Mellins after supper got home late. 1

Friday 14 May
Full day. Went down town after supper. 1

Saturday 15 May
Full day. Got in full week. Went down town & over to Hawks in evening. Drew $1.00. 1 Week 6 days.

Sunday 16 May
Washed clothes. J.C.D. came out to lunch. Went to Jaynes in afternoon & stayed for supper.

Monday 17 May
Full day. Went to a show at Hall in evening. “Albini.” 1

Tuesday 18 May
Worked full day. Stayed at home after supper & set bread. 1

Wednesday 19 May
Worked full day. J.C.D. working hard with team. Morton came in for supper. Went down to Jims [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] in evening. Got letter from Stanley Phipps.

Thursday 20 May
Worked full day. JCD still here. 1

Friday 21 May
Worked full day. J.C.D. finished plowing. Went down to Lomases after supper. Got letter from M.T.J. re Dempsters Cannery. 1

Saturday 22 May
Worked full day. Went to Hawks after supper. Drew $1.50 from Gibbins. 1

Memoranda Week 6 days. To date 22 May, 24 days.

Sunday 23 May
Washed clothes fore noon. Went to Eatons for a few minutes & then went on to Mellins stayed night there.

Monday 24 May
Rode Mrs. Mellins to Duncans. Met Gibbons drew $1.00 from him got bottle of scotch & 1 of claret went back to Mellins & had little picnic by ourselves. Stayed night at Mellins. 0

Tuesday 25 May
Got back before breakfast worked full day. Went down to Jims in evening. 1

Wednesday 26 May
Worked full day planting spuds. Went over to Hawks in evening. 1

Thursday 27 May
Worked full day. Went down town in evening got letter from Mrs. Elliot. Went to Lomases. 1

Friday 28 May
Worked full day. Went out to JCDs in morning to get mare for harrowing. Went to Maitlands in evening. 1

Saturday 29 May
Full day. Went down to town in evening. Drove to Quamichan and back with Ada. 1
Memoranda: 5 days

Sunday 30 May
Washed clothes. Hicks-Beach & Doug Livingston came in to lunch. Went over to Hawks & went picking ferns with Mrs. Hawks. Had dinner there.

Monday 31 May
Worked full day. Went down town in evening got home early. Reckless Harrison came to supper. 1

Tuesday 1 June
Worked full day. Stayed home baking in evening. Tom went out after supper. 1

Wednesday 2 June
Worked full day. Went down town in evening came back early. Got letter from WS Gore. 1

Thursday 3 June
Worked full day. Went down to Jim Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] to borrow auger. 1

Friday 4 June
Worked full day. Harrison came in about noon. Brought me a letter from Tom Griffin. Tom went out after supper. I stayed in & mixed bread. 1

Saturday 5 June
Worked full day. Went to Duncans after supper & walked down to Quamichan to call on Ada.

Memoranda: 6 days. To date 5 June 35 days.

Sunday 6 June
Washed clothes in forenoon. Went down town in afternoon and saw H Fry re survey, called into Lomases. Went to Somenos by train & had supper at Mellins.

Monday 7 June
Worked full day. Went out after supper got letter from Mother. Drew $10 from Gibbins paid H. Keast $2.00. Went over to Hawks.

Tuesday 8 June
Worked full day. Went down town in evening. Letter T.S.G. Went to Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]

Wednesday 9 June
Worked full day. Got message from T Earle asking me to take job in Alaska wired acceptance.

Thursday 10 June
Straightened up with Gibbins. Said good by to Eatons, Mellins, Hawks, Maitlands & C.

Friday 11 June
Came to Victoria. Made arrangement to work for Earle at $75 per month & board time commencing today. David at Drakes.

Saturday 12 June
Around town all day stayed with Carrie all night called on Frazers Dre..?

Sunday 13 June
Loafing about went out to Beacon Hill. Went to English Church. Had supper at Drakes.

Monday 14 June
Drew $20.00 from bank got letter from Bill Holmes. Had dinner at club with Roberts.

Tuesday 15 June
About town met GSJ. Went to Hospital to see Harrison. Wrote Bill Holmes.

Wednesday 16 June
Dined at old Creases & went to band concert.

Thursday 17 June
Met Lomas in town. Drove out to Sannithan ? with him.

Friday 18 June
Knocking around with young Musgrave & Doug Livingston.

Saturday 19 June
Got orders from office to go Seattle tonight. Had dinner with Musgrave & Morton & sailed on Rosalie at 8:30 P.M. left my valise at New England.

Sunday 20 June
Landed in Seattle at 5:30 a.m. put up at Occidental Hotel. Found my schooner the Annie Nixen & interviewed captain. Went out to park in afternoon.

Monday 21 June
Moved from Occidental to Room at Lyndherst House on 3rd Avenue knocked about town all day had dinner at Hotel Steven.

Tuesday 22 June
Knocking around Seattle.

Wednesday 23 June
Wrote Mrs. Mellin & Mrs. Hawks boat to sail tonight. Did not get away after all I slept on board.

Thursday 24 June
Went up town in morning & had bath & breakfast sailed at noon.

Friday 25 June
Passed Plumifrer [?] Pass in forenoon & Nanaimo & Comox in afternoon.

Saturday 26 June
Got through Seymour Narrows on High water at 2 a.m. made Alert Bay at noon took on wood & water & left there about 2 P.M. anchored for night in bay near Nauville [?] .

Sunday 27 June
Crossed Queen Charlotte Sound in forenoon & Millbank Sound in afternoon had exceeding fine crossing.

Monday 28 June
Passed mouth of Skeena & went into Refuge Harbour for water. Met “Alki” on homeward trip & put our pilot aboard her.

Tuesday 29 June
Entered at Mary Island Custom House & arrived at Quadra Bay at Noon. Went to work after dinner.

Wednesday 30 June
Working on cannery pipe fitting.

Thursday 1 July
Working on pipe fitting. Wet day.

Friday 2 July
Moving Retort & fitting. Wet day.

Saturday 3 July
Moving test Kettel & putting in fittings. Wet day.

Sunday 4 July
Got shirt in store 75 cts. Most of the crew went off on a picnic on the steam boat. I stayed home. We all had a dance at night.

Monday 5 July
Working all day steam fitting.

Tuesday 6 July
Fixing cannery.

Wednesday 7 July
Fixing up cannery.

Thursday 8 July
Fixing up in cannery. China has arrived from Seattle. Mail came in got a letter from Mrs. Hawks.

Friday 9 July
Boat went to Mary Island for freight sent letter to Douglas Livingston. Working in cannery until 9:00 P.M.

Saturday 10 July
Working on cannery worked after supper until eight.

Sunday 11 July
Worked all day & ½ the night.

Monday 12 July
Worked until 1 a.m. fitting up fishing commenced.

Tuesday 13 July
Worked all day & all night. Boats came in loaded down with Hump back.

Wednesday 14 July
Commenced canning every thing upside down & all the kettles leaking like hell. Worked until mid night boats laid off.

Thursday 15 July
Commenced cooking put up 504 cases worked until midnight.

Friday 16 July
Running a little better put up 516 ¼ cases. Worked until midnight fixing up.

Saturday 17 July
Worked late cooking put through 584 cases turned in about 10:30 dead tired.

Sunday 18 July
Started at the usual hour 6 a.m. & got all fish out of cannery at about 5:30. Got tobacco at store 25 cts.

Monday 19 July
Put up 365 ¾ cases.

Tuesday 20 July
Running full lick. 642 ¼ cases.

Wednesday 21 July
701 ¾ cases.

Thursday 22 July
Worked until midnight putting up 925 ¾ cases. “This is the day on which poor Bill Lomas died”.

Friday 23 July
Moved my blankets & ictas [?] to Bushmans house. Bushmans wife & family & Mrs. Mikes Stream went away in the morning. Put up 581 cases.

Saturday 24 July
843 ½ cases worked late.

Sunday 25 July
Fillers all played out quit filling at noon put up 184 ½ cases.

Monday 26 July
682 cases got 25 cts Tob at store. Worked late packing valves & doing some fitting on retorts.

Tuesday 27 July
Put 735 cases.

Wednesday 28 July
735 cases.

Thursday 29 July
640 ½ cases. “Al Ki” came in about 6 am landed some stores and left. No mail came on her.

Friday 30 July
Put up 714 cases.

Saturday 31 July
Crimper and solder machine bucking [breaking?] all day put up 707 cases.

Sunday 1 August
446 ½ cases. Worked all day very slow as no squaws turned to. Went over to Martins Saltery with Langly and Farson after supper got a few drinks of whiskey. Quit canning Hump backs.

Monday 2 August
Got Tob 50 cts at store. Put up 409 cases. Started again on hump backs.

Tuesday 3 August
Fish very slack put up 281 ¾ cases. Put whistle on big boiler. “Nixon” came in with mail & and a whiskey smuggler in tow. Got letter from Gibbins with sad news of poor Bill Lomases death also got letter from D. Livingstone.

Wednesday 4 August
Put up 661 ½ cases. All the fishermen very sick after a good old drunk last night.

Thursday 5 August
745 ½ cases. Mailed letter to Mollie Lomas.

Friday 6 August
661 ½ cases.

Saturday 7 August
Worked late put up 1000 cases did not get last retort out until 1 a.m.

Sunday 8 August
First Sunday not working in over a month. Went over to Martins with Langley after supper.

Monday 9 August
714 cases. Got Tob 25 soap 25 & fipe05 [?[ at store.

Tuesday 10 August
679 cases. Drew $10.00 from Bushman.

Wednesday 11 August
724 ½ cases. Paid Charlie Sails $1.50 for bottle of whiskey. Paid china man $1.40 for washing . Sor Barnoff arrived from Wrangle with losc lumber [?].

Thursday 12 August
602 cases. Boats brought in about 20,000 HB which were no good & thrown overboard. Got through at 8:00 P.M. which is early here.

Friday 13 August
294 cases did not start until nearly noon. Lent Johnson $1.00.

Saturday 14 August
331 ½ cases. Worked late. Alki came in just after I turned in. Went aboard & drank a couple of bottles of beer with a lady of easy virtue from Juneau.

Sunday 15 August
Worked all day 407 ¾ cases.

Monday 16 August
584 ½ cases.

Tuesday 17 August
735 cases.

Wednesday 18 August
Worked late 787 ½ cases.

Thursday 19 August
700 cases. Quit fishing Hump back. Langley & I went over to Martins in evening.

Friday 20 August
360 ½ cases got through early.

Saturday 21 August
Fixing up lacquering tables in forenoon did not start canning until 1 pm & finished up every thing by 5:30 only getting 56 cases. Wrote Tom Griffin.

Sunday 22 August
Spent most of the day in bed played card for a while in afternoon.

Monday 23 August
Got Tob 25 in store mail came in got letter from Millie & JCD. Put up cases.

Tuesday 24 August
Labeling commenced put up cases.

Wednesday 25 August
Put up cases.

Thursday 26 August
Put up cases.

Friday 27 August
Put up cases got sox 85 cts in store.

Saturday 28 August
Put up cases worked late.

Sunday 29 August
Wrote to Mollie. Lay around all day & had a good rest.

Monday 30 August
Finished all the tall cans about noon altered machinery for flats. Total pack of talls 23 580 cases.

Tuesday 31 August
Canning flats put up 532 cases worked late got tob 25 cts in store.

Wednesday 1 September
Alki came in about 3:00 finished flats all hands got most miraculously drunk got a bottle of gin off boat. Letter from Frank Harrison.

Thursday 2 September
Cleaning up in cannery. Took down all the belts & top gear.

Friday 3 September
Cleaning up in gut shed took fish cutter & wiping machine to pieces got Tob 50 cts in store.

Saturday 4 September
Cleaning wiping machine. Cooking D.o’s. [?]

Sunday 5 September
All hand except Langly & I & 3 men went away on Hannie Nixon. Went over to Martins after dinner. Fine bright day.

Monday 6 September
Cleaning up & painting played poker in evening fine bright day.

Tuesday 7 September
Painting. Fine day dryed & put away all the belts.

Wednesday 8 September
Playing poker in evening started raining.

Thursday 9 September
Planing boxes & painting.

Friday 10 September
Planing boxes & painting. Raining like blazes.

Saturday 11 September
Cooking D.O. had a hot bath in evening.

Sunday 12 September
Planing boxes until noon. Went over to Martins with Langley after dinner.

Monday 13 September
Planing boxes and painting.

Tuesday 14 September
Planing boxes.

Wednesday 15 September

Thursday 16 September
Blowing a heavy gale from SE & raining like hell.

Friday 17 September
Still raining.

Saturday 18 September
Painting press & cleaned up around both boilers. Fine bright day.

Sunday 19 September
Slept most of day. “Alki” came in about 9:30 pm just as I had turned in raining like blazes. Worked all night putting salmon aboard.

Monday 20 September
Alki pulled out about 11 am with 6000 cases of salmon. Langly & Chris went down with her to Mary Island for mail. Turned in after lunch & slept all day.

Tuesday 21 September
Chris & Langly came back from Mary Island at noon got mail from Mrs. Hawks & Mrs. Mellin scraped & cleaned donkey boiler.

Wednesday 22 September
Did some painting & cleaning up raining & blowing.

Thursday 23 September
Plaining boxes. Raining & blowing like blazes.

Friday 24 September
Moved pump & cleaned it up ready for shipment.

Saturday 25 September
Hauled two boats up into new building & trucked salmon from there to warehouse.

Sunday 26 September
Lay around all day. Raining like blazes. Mike Martin came over.

Monday 27 September
Hauled up more boats. Cleaned & painted. Solder moulds. Weighed solder. Munson hurt his back bailing out boat.

Tuesday 28 September
Hauled up boat. Took up salt water pump pipe. Tarred solder machine & stack.

Wednesday 29 September
Tarred one of the boilers & planed boxes took down stack of solder machine got Tobacco 25 & pipe in store paid for same.

Thursday 30 September
Got up steam in morning. Tarred solder machine chains. Cooked D.O’s in after noon & Tarred donkey boiler. Chinamen finished lacquering. Mike Martin came over.

Friday 1 October
Hauled up 2 more boats finishing up fishing boats. Planing boxes.

Saturday 2 October
Planing boxes.

Sunday 3 October
“Annie Nixon” arrived about noon with Bushman and crew of carpenters aboard on their way north. Got letter from Mollie Lomas.

Monday 4 October
Planing boxes all day.

Tuesday 5 October
Planing boxes & working on donkey engine. Drw cheque from Bushman for $25.00

Wednesday 6 October
Nixon went away before day light with Munson & Norberge leaving only me, Langly & Chris on the ranch. Cleaned donkey engine.

Thursday 7 October
Tarred big boiler & both smoke stacks put cover on stacks & finished cleaning & painting engine. Broke main water pipe.

Friday 8 October
Slackened all the valves in cannery broke all unions & put away tools. Broke all water pipe & finished up the seasons work.

Saturday 9 October
Shaving & cleaning up. Had a big dinner in evening roast chicken & Charlie the China boss was our guest. Langly opened the bottle of champagne.

Sunday 10 October
Laying around waiting for boat.

Monday 11 October
Laying around.

Tuesday 12 October
Did little work in cannery & fixed up coal house.

Wednesday 13 October
Alki came in about 6 am. Took aboard 6,000 cases of salmon & left off about 5 pm. Left Mary Island at 9 pm.

Thursday 13 October
Crossed Millbank Sound about 7 pm smooth crossing.

Friday 15 October
Crossed Queen Charlotte Sound during night. Passed Alert Bay after breakfast smooth crossing sound got through Seymour Narrows at supper time.

Saturday 16 October
Landed Port Townsend at noon Seattle at 5 p.m. put up at Hotel Butler. Took in the town with Langley & chap called TW Graff.

Sunday 17 October
Called on Capt. Streams People in afternoon. More than taking in the town at night.

Monday 18 October
On a bit of a toot. After drinking until “City of Kinston” arrived in Seattle. Left on her for Victoria about 2 am.

Tuesday 19 October
Made a good crossing & had a most comfortable room. Landed in Victoria at 9:30 am. Drew $50 from Mangeson got some clothes. Called on Drakes.

Wednesday 20 October
Knocking about town. Went to show at Theater with Nucome Musgrave. Turned in early.

Thursday 21 October
On a bit of a toot driving two fairies about in hack during the wee small hours. Dined at Bridgermans.

Friday 22 October
Langley came over from Seattle. Drew $20 from Magneson. Took in town with Langley & Williams dined with Cecil Roberts stayed with girl at Fay Watsons.

Saturday 23 October
Settled up with Magnison most satisfactorily. Spent quiet evening at Frasers turned in early.

Sunday 24 October
Came up to Duncans dined & stayed night at Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]

Monday 25 October
Paid Dickie & Berzett in full $11 & $16.20. Came up to JCD’s [?] found him away. Called on Lomases slept at hotel.

Tuesday 26 October
Stayed about Duncans all day JCD not turned up. Had dinner at Hotel slept at JCD.

Wednesday 27 October
Went to work for Wilson Driving team. Worked full day.

Thursday 28 October
Worked ½ day for Wilson. Went up to Mullins stayed night there.

Friday 29 October
Had dinner at hotel with Louise Jaynes. Raffle for a bike at hotel. Slept at hotel.

Saturday 30 October
J.C. turned up on request over dead Indian. Went to dinner party at Tom Gibbings got back to JC’s at 12 slept there.

Sunday 31 October
Putting away my clothes & fixing up bunk. Went over to Hadwens after lunch stayed night there.

Monday 1 November
Went over to David Alexanders in evening.

Tuesday 2 November
Bad cold feeling mean stayed in all day went down to Jim Maitlands after supper. Got letter from Howard Langley mailed letters to Mrs. Hawks & mother.

Wednesday 3 November
Attended adjourned inquest. Had supper at old Livingston’s.

Thursday 4 November
Went over to Prevosts with Fred Lomas after supper.

Friday 5 November
Raining like blazes all day. Went to Mellins in after noon & stayed night there.

Saturday 6 November
Came down to Duncans on morning train from Somonos got on a bit of a toot at night.

Sunday 7 November
Spent a very lonesome day had dinner & lunch at Hotel. Went to call on old Duncan in evening.

Monday 8 November
Went out to try get a deer but failed. Called on Mrs. Skinner spent evening at home reading “Ben Hur” & sorting out old letters.

Tuesday 9 November
Went down to Old Livingstones in afternoon. Had dinner there.

Wednesday 10 November
Went to Kickapoo show in evening.

Thursday 11 November
Dance at Hall.

Friday 12 November
Mellin & Roberts had dinner here.

Saturday 13 November
Went over to Provosts with Mr. Lomas after supper came back to hotel & played poker until 4 a.m.

Sunday 14 November
Turned out at noon went down to Mayos & stayed night there.

Monday 15 November
Came back from Mayos. Had 3 teeth pulled by Kickapoo doctor. Took Mollie to show in evening.

Tuesday 16 November
Had dinner at old Leakeys. Got photo from Jimmie Frazer.

Wednesday 17 November
Lomas & I went over to Provosts for dinner.

Thursday 18 November
Went to Lomases & played whist after dinner. Wrote to Flint & Phipps.

Friday 19 November
Went up to Mellins & stayed night.

Saturday 20 November
Went over Dave Alexanders with Fred Lomas.

Sunday 21 November
Spent all afternoon & evening at Jim Maitlands.

Monday 22 November
Went to see Lomas about putting up dog salmon. Went to Lomases house after dinner & played whist with Dr. Hands.

The Earle Building, 534 Yates Street, Victoria, B.C. Designed and built in 1900 by architect Thomas Hooper as a warehouse and office for Thomas Earle.
The Earle Building, 534 Yates Street, Victoria, B.C. Designed and built in 1900 by architect Thomas Hooper as a warehouse and office for Thomas Earle.

Tuesday 23 November
Went to Victoria saw T. Earle & placed order for 1 ton smoked salmon. Went to horse farming show with Agnes Hadwen. Took in town with Hubert Keast.

Wednesday 24 November
In Victoria got on a bit of a toot with Morton.

Thursday 25 November
Came back to Duncans. Went to dance at Hall.

Friday 26 November
Rushing about trying to get siwashes to dry salmon for me. Dined at Lomases went over to Prevost’s after dinner.

Saturday 27 November
Wilmer came down from Lake dinner at Hotel. Jack went to Victoria.

Sunday 28 November
Jack came back from town. Spent afternoon & evening at Jim’s.

Monday 29 November
Got all my kitchen & outfit of grub powder tools &c down to bay. Came back with trap & slept at Hotel.

Tuesday 30 November
Wilmer & I crossed over to Salt Spring Island. Made camp in old house in orchard.

Wednesday 1 December
Working on claim digging away dirt.

Thursday 2 December
Working on claim cleaning down to bed rock & getting ready for drilling.

Friday 3 December
Working on claim drilling & blasting.

Saturday 4 December
Rained steadily all day. Stayed in camp.

Sunday 5 December
Worked until noon came down & crossed over to Cowichan Bay & walked to Duncans got there at 6 pm went to Lomases after supper, slept at Hotel.

Monday 6 December
Went up to Jacks after breakfast. Wrote to T Earle. Had lunch at Hotel & started back to Salt Spring crossed over in heavy gale.

Tuesday 7 December
Raining & storming all day in camp got in a lot of wood.

Wednesday 8 December
Worked on claim. Got hind ¼ mutton from Aitken pd $1.00 for same.

Thursday 9 December
Raining & storming all day. Lay in camp.

Friday 10 December
Raining & storming heavily all day. Went up to claim & got off two shots & then had to give up & come back to camp.

Saturday 11 December
Crossed over to Cowichan Wharf got bacon, sugar & cocoa at store paid $1.60 for same.

Memoranda: A.T.J. 11.16 size 6 ¼.

Alexander Chalmers Aitken, Reeve of North Cowichan 1909-1911, 1923.
Alexander Chalmers Aitken, Reeve of North Cowichan 1909-1911, 1923. (photo courtesy of Municipality of North Cowichan)

Sunday 12 December
Fine day worked all day on claim. Aitkens got us some groceries at Duncan paid him for same 0.50.

Monday 13 December
Raining & blowing heavy gale all day creeks all flooded. Hell to pay everywhere stayed in camp got some flour & yeast powder from Aitkens paid for same.

Tuesday 14 December
Fine bright day worked all day on claim got fore ¼ mutton from Aitken.

Wednesday 15 December
Working on claim fine day.

Thursday 16 December
Working on claim drifting into ledge damp unpleasant day.

Friday 17 December
Raining & snowing packed tools down from claim in afternoon.

Saturday 18 December
Crossed over to Cowichan hauled up boat & stored tools &c at Maitlands [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]. Got mixed up in goose raffle at Duncans.

Sunday 19 December
Came home after breakfast had a wash & clean up went over to Provost in afternoon stayed to dinner there. Wilmer came to stay with us.

Monday 20 December
Round station all day waiting for word from Earle re fish.

Tuesday 21 December
Around town all day. Supper at Lomases.

Wednesday 22 December
Went to Chemainus River after dry salmon but found Indian failed to fill contract.

Thursday 23 December
Wilmer & I went to church for decorating. Melline had dinner there. Clare gave me her photo.

Friday 24 December
Decorating church. Went to dinner party at Hicks – Black’s. Got home 2 a.m.

Saturday 25 December
Pouring wet all day. Went to church in morning with Wilmer (he went on to Hadwens). Had lunch at Lomases dinner at Mellins.

Sunday 26 December
Had dinner at Hotel. Called on old Duncans people in evening. Raining like blazes.

Monday 27 December
Dined at Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall] Rained all day.

Tuesday 28 December
Dinner at hotel. Doug Livingston dined with me. Big dance at hall afterwards. Poker game after that got home to bed 6 a.m.

Wednesday 29 December
Whist party at David Alexander’s. Got home about 4 a.m.

Thursday 30 December
Laying low. Went to Lomases in afternoon had supper there. Called on Dr. & Mrs. Lucas in evening.

Friday 31 December
Laying about Station all day. Went to midnight service at Quamichan Church. Party at Jaynes after church all got tight.

1898 Saturday Jan 1
Turned out late. Went to see great football match. Young Smithe got his leg broke. F. Lomas had dinner with me at hotel. Went to call on Mrs. Provost.

1898 Sunday 2 January
Called on Hadwins. Had dinner at hotel went to Jaynes after dinner.

1898 Monday 3 January
Went to Chemainus to see Duncans amateur theatrical group perform. Got back about 5 a.m.

1898 Tuesday 4 January
Had dinner at Jim Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]

1898 Wednesday 5 January
Went to Chemainus River with JCD & team. Bought balled & shipped 620 lb of dried salmon for Earle Victoria.

1898 Thursday 6 January
Went to Somonos station in morning to ship salmon. Rode to Duncan on freight. Went to kid party at old Leakies.

1898 Friday 7 January
Dined at Bob Barckleys in Westholme & went to dance in hall there afterwards. Got home 4:30 a.m.

1898 Saturday 8 January
Laying low. Went over to the Alexanders after dinner.

1898 Sunday 9 January
Went over to Provost’s with Fred Lomas after dinner at hotel.

1898 Monday 10 January
Lent pair of jack straps to Wilmer. Had lunch at Maitlands. [note: we think this is James Maitland-Dougall]

1898 Tuesday 11 January
Dance at Hall home at 3 a.m.

1898 Wednesday 12 January
Got up at 5:30 went up Mt. Sicker with Fry to survey two mineral claims. Started on XL claim camped in cabin on “Lenora” claim.

1898 Thursday 13 January
Finished XL claim & surveyed Herbert sprained my knee badly. All hands went out to settlement after dark I stayed behind.

1898 Friday 14 January
Packed my blankets down to wagon road. Very lame & sore. Got a ride home from end of trail.

1898 Saturday 15 January
Lame as a duck. Rode grey mare to look at football match Cowichan v Nanaimo. Cowichan boys won. Had supper at Lomases.

1898 Sunday 16 January
Still dead lame. Stayed in all day.


Several notes including some later coded notes by his children:
Norah D***
Eileen D****
Kathleen D**
Ive D***

Also calculations re passage to Alaska and time worked from June 11th to Oct. 16th at $75.00 per month totals $314. Add $12 for extra 5 days and subtract $70 cash and cheque received to date and subtract $39.40 spent on clothing, tobacco and sundry at the camp store leaves $216.60 owed at end of trip.

Also, a list of expenses on supplies for Saltspring work with Wilmer.


Note: We will gradually add more links to this page as time permits. We will also add more to this page as more of the diary is transcribed by the Dwyer family.

William Mordaunt Dwyer is buried in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican Cemetery.

William Mordaunt Dwyer, grave, St. Peter's Quamichan cemetery
William Mordaunt Dwyer, grave, St. Peter’s Quamichan cemetery

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