Sea Island
Heritage Society


The Sea Island Heritage Society is compiling the history of all the people who lived on Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia between 1900 to date. If you wish to be part of this ambitious project, please contact the Society to share your photographs and memories.

Sea Island Settlers

Richmond, British Columbia was incorporated as a municipality on November 10, 1879, and designated as a city on December 3, 1990. Richmond's islands were built up and shaped by the mighty Fraser River. Richmond's history is rooted in fishing, agriculture, shipping, aviation, and later in manufacturing, service and technological industries.(1)

The need to build dykes was a significant factor in causing the early settlers to petition the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council to grant status as a municipality to Richmond in 1879. Local government was a necessity if dykes, roads, bridges and other services were to be developed and maintained. This early start means that Richmond is seven years older than our neighbouring city, Vancouver.(2)

Some of the original patentees of Richmond were from Sea Island. Letters Patent issued by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council incorporated Lulu Island and Sea Island and its inhabitants. Of the few settlers on the islands, only thirty were entitled to petition (being male land-owners over 21 years of age) and of those, the following 25 signed the petition:

  • W.M. Beckman
  • Hugh Boyd
  • Samuel Brighouse
  • John Cochrane
  • Dan and A.H. Daniels (two brothers from England)
  • J.T. Errington
  • John Ferguson
  • John Green
  • Thomas Kidd
  • Alexander Kilgour
  • James Knox
  • Walter Lee
  • Hector McDonald
  • James Miller
  • D.J. Robson
  • J.W. Sexsmith and his son Charles G.
  • W.J. Scratchley
  • E.A. Sharpe (Edward Albert)
  • J.G. Smith (James Gowan)
  • Manoah Steves
  • O.D. Sweet (Orison Davis was the brother-in-law of J.W. Sexsmith)
  • Nathan and Dan Woodward (Nathan and his son Dan were living on Lulu Island in 1901.(3)

Sea Island and Dinsmore Island

Gerry Bicknell, a resident of the Cora Brown subdivision donated the sketched map of Sea Island below. Number eleven shows Dinsmore Island, a small island in the Middle Arm of the Fraser River. This island led to a poem by John Dinsmore's oldest daughter, Maud McCubbin.

sketched map of Sea Island

Map courtesy of Gerry Bicknell

  1. Eburne Sawmill
  2. Marine Gas Station
  3. Marpole Bridge
  4. Eburne Post Office
  5. Grauer Store
  6. Clausen (sp?) Blacksmith
  7. Eburne Bridge
  8. Community Hall
  9. Burkeville
  10. Sea Island School
  11. Dinsmore Island
  12. Site of first airport
  13. Boeing Site
  14. Seaplane Base
  15. Terra Nova Cannery
  16. Cannery Site
  17. Indian Midden
  18. Japanese Boatworks (Baba)
  19. Wharf 100'x70'
  20. Japanese Boatworks
  21. Acme Cannery, 21(a) Thomas Goulding's Cork Mill
  22. Japanese Boatworks
  23. Vancouver Cannery, Donald Farm
  1. Vancouver Cannery Store
  2. Marine Gas Dock
  3. Japanese lived in this area
  4. Cannery Wharf
  5. Cline Hoggard farm (both sides)
  6. Karl Hoggard farm
  7. Poplar Tree Stand
  8. Mr. & Mrs. Miller
  9. Clarence Hoggard farm
  10. Mike Murphy farm (best one to work for)
  11. Radar Tower WWII
  12. McDonald farm
  13. Musqueam Indian Reservation
  14. Tapp Road Subdivision
  15. Ralph McDonald Farm
  16. Duncan McDonald Farm
  17. McDonald Beach
  18. Cora Brown Subdivision
  19. Dick Laing Farm
  20. Grauer Farm
  21. Army Barracks WWII
  22. Dummy Anti-aircraft Gun (wood pole for barrel)

"My Garden Island Home" by M. McCubbin

The poem is titled "My Garden Island Home Dinsmore Island" and written by M. McCubbin in June 1960. The author, M. McCubbin is Mary Florence (Maud) McCubbin (1885-1964), the oldest daughter of John Dinsmore, one of the original patentees.

poem titled My Garden Island Home

Poem courtesy of Joni Burdett of Whitehouse, Texas, great-grandaughter of John Dinsmore


(1) (2)  City of Richmond, Discover Richmond, History of Richmond [digital image]. Retrieved from City of Richmond on November 23, 2017.

(3)  The Henderson's British Columbia Gazetteer and Directory and Mining Companies, Williams British Columbia Director for 1900-1901, Henderson Publishing Company. Retrieved from Henderson's British Columbia Gazetteer and Directory on November 23, 2017.

Sea Island Heritage Society
4191 Ferguson Road, Richmond, British Columbia
Canada V7B 1P3