Yates Street in Victoria during the Gold Rush days

Colonial History Vancouver Island

Maureen Duffus - Author and Historian

Prelude to a Province

Vancouver Island's
First Legislature

1856 saw the first elected government for Vancouver Island much to the dismay of Governor Douglas.

Attach Frazer's River to Vancouver's Island
In 1858 the colony tried to take control of the mainland, instead the second colony of British Columbia was created.


This site is about Vancouver Island's colourful history. It goes behind the scenes of official accounts for a look at the everyday lives of so-called 'ordinary people' - especially those who wrote letters, diaries and reminiscences that speak to us in their own voices. While text book history focuses on major events and politics, personal stories told in the context of the larger picture help to re-create the social climate of life in Victoria as it grew from fur trade fort to provincial capital city.

"Based on a prodigious amount of research, A Most Unusual Colony blends fact and fiction to present a picture of life in Fort Victoria that is both entertaining and convincing. Maureen Duffus must know more about the day-to-day life of this period than anyone writing today."
(Terry Reksten, author and historian, 1996)