"S.S. Beaver: The ship that saved the west" (used book0
S.S. Beaver: The ship that saved the west
by Derek Pethick
About the Book
Used Book. Hardcover. Dust Jacket included. Good Condition. Dust jacket in fair condition and is tearing.
-- from the dust jacket
Nearly eighty years have passed since S.S. Beaver sank to the rock-strewn sands deep in the tides of the entrance to Vancouver Harbour, the sturdy little sidewheelers continues to hold the interest and stir the imagination of all concerned with the story of the earliest years in the making of British Columbia.
It was the Beaver, first steamship to ply the waters of the north-easterly Pacific Ocean, that linked the scattered coastal trading posts of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It took trade and the law simultaneously into narrow inlets, where rival American and Russian sailing ships dared not venture, to meet the native Indians. The advantage is afforded the Hudson’s Bay Company was decisive. Thus, the ship played a vital part in helping Governor Douglas keep the flag of Empire flying in a region where thrustful ambitions of some United States policymakers threatened to cut off British America from the Pacific coast.
Later it was the Beaver that carried James Douglas to found Fort Victoria in 1843. Again, the Beaver bore governor and colonial retinue to the Mainland in 1858 when the new Colony of British Columbia formally came into existence. A para-naval craft, well armed, it carried the Queen’s law into remote coastal reaches.
In the following decade the Beaver flew the Royal Navy’s colors while it served as a survey ship, carrying the draughtsmen who refined and extended the first charts of coast waters produced by Capt. George Vancouver.
Growing older, and stripped down to serve as a tug, the side-wheeler towed log booms and lumber-carrying vessels to sawmill berths. Thus, it helped develop what became the major industry of the Coast.
Historian Derek Pethick has brought together not only these incidents of the Beaver’s notable saga of service in the making of a nation but many others. He shows clearly that the little steamer’s career was woven conspicuously and colorfully into the very fabric of Canadian history.