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.
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:
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.
Map courtesy of Gerry Bicknell
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 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