The Beavers of Stanley Park
Beavers are fascinating creatures, but they do not make the most cooperative zoo animals. Beaver Lake in Stanley Park got its name because beavers were spotted there in 1907, but they didn’t stick around. When the area was being beautified in 1911, someone at the Parks Board figured Beaver Lake should, naturally, contain beavers, so a pen was built to house the creatures for public viewing. The beavers simply chewed through the wire enclosure.
A new beaver pond was constructed as a zoo attraction in 1972, with heavy gauge wire mesh covering the bottom to contain the industrious rodents. After the road beside the pond collapsed under the weight of a service vehicle, zoo staff discovered that the beavers had chewed through the wire and tunneled beneath the road so they could cut down saplings from the woods and bring them back into the pond. The tunnel was sealed up, but a short while later, staff noticed the miniature train tracks were starting to sag. The beavers had built a new tunnel. Finally, the beaver pond was drained and the bottom covered with concrete.
Source: Photo by Harry R Stenton, 1920s, City of Vancouver Archives #Misc P56. Story from Richard M Steele, The Stanley Park Explorer (Whitecap Books, 1985).
Monkey hunting, Tuesday 27 March 1928
Vancouver, March 27 — David Keedle, Park Board employee, is in the St. Paul’s Hospital with a badly lacerated wrist, and “Hogan’s Alley,” a big monkey, is at large in the woods of Stanley Park, being hunted by armed keepers, following a terrific struggle in the monkey house at the Zoo just before noon. Keddle, a keeper, was attacked by the simian, a huge beast presented to the park last year, when he entered the cage to feed the animals.
The monkey flew at the keeper’s throat as he stepped into the enclosure. Keddle threw up his left arm to protect himself and the enraged animal sunk his teeth into the tendons of his left arm. The man seized the animal and tried to wrest it from its hold, but only drove its teeth deeper into the flesh. Keddle tried to seize it by the throat, but failed, and pounded it about the head with his right fist, calling all the while for assistance. In his struggle to free himself from the beast he stumbled against the door, which was not fastened. It flew open and, seeing its way to freedom, the monkey let go and sprang away, disappearing in the heavy bush. At 2 o’clock he was still at large.
I couldn’t find a photo of Hogan’s Alley, so here’s a monkey that lived at Hastings Park, “sent all the way from Kansas City with a bag of tricks to entertain Vancouver residents and visitors.”
Sources: Photo, City of Vancouver Archives #371-2846; text, Montreal Gazette, 28 March 1928.
President and Mrs Harding in Stanley Park, Thursday 26 July 1923
President Warren Harding was the first US president to visit Vancouver. He likely came to Canada to get away from the corruption scandals plaguing his administration at home. Harding was probably the worst president (or at least a close second after GWB). He died a week after his Vancouver visit and we erected a memorial to him in Stanley Park.
Source: Photo by DL Hollandy, Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside
Suffragette outbreak, Sunday 11 May 1913
Source: Toronto Sunday World
I agree with dejavuphoto, this smells like a set up by someone against the vote for women. Vancouver’s first wave feminists tended to be suffragists rather than suffragettes, ie, more moderate than radical, unlike some of their American and British counterparts.
Brockton Point Map, 1923
A map showing the community that lived around Brockton Point in Stanley Park. It was produced by the City during the process of having them evicted. One of the squatters, Tim Cummings, was allowed to remain in the park until his death in 1958. Click here to view the large size.
Source: City of Vancouver Archives #MAP 6