Saturday, May 9, 2015

Commemorative booklet

          I was recently sent a commemorative album from the grand-daughter of Gilbert Mathewson, who was head male nurse at Essondale from 1915-1936.  Margaret Ann Simpson his wife added other mostly relevant photos to the album, some were removed by the grand-daughter before I received the booklet. But from what I have been told it is the only complete booklet known so far ( people may have others copies of it, and not know what it is )

            Created in 1912-1913 to remember the Male Chronic building, being opened; I was surprised that I have never seen a copy before, sadly not many items that relate to West Lawn's history have survived. one of the photographs of the reception room is also found in the 1912 Annual Report. A few of the others in the 1914 Annual Report.

         So I have crudely scanned the document, uploaded it to the Internet Archive, for all to enjoy, and also I have placed the higher resolution scans online at Flickr into the Mathewson Album
I have donated the booklet to the Riverview Hospital Historical Society, where it will be well cared for.

        It helped to finally put a name to the photographer who made the photographs contained within it, some of the photographs were also used in the Hospital Annual Reports, but no name credit was ever given.

Paul Seligman born May, 1865 France; married to Florence. In the 1911 Directories he was working with (Charles) Brown, Seligman & (Harvey S.) Brown at 440 Main street, Vancouver.
Then  in 1913-1914 had the Western Studio at 424 Main Street, Vancouver by himself it appears.  . Disappears then Paul shows up in Bend, Oregon still doing photography at the Bend Studio in 1917.

Monday, April 7, 2014

West Lawn in pictures

I have recently uploaded many images from my collection into a West Lawn photo set at Flickr.

Also I have a few crude panoramic images of West Lawn that are being hosted by Panoramio:
ONETWOTHREEFOURFIVE

Below is a painting done, presumably by a patient named F.A. Yukao, and dated July 1933.
Nothing is known about the artist, and he or she has proven to be difficult to find any trace of in the easily accessible public records.  Any information would be greatly appreciated about this person.
I have a feeling that this person was deported / repatriated which was common practice until recent times.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

100 years !!!

West Lawn will be officially a 100 hundred years old, in April. Even though it was finished late in the previous year and already had residents, who also helped build it by the way. To bad that the power that be have let OUR public asset deteriorate to the degree that it has,certainly would not happen with the legislative buildings,( which are more poorly designed )
Riverview's West Lawn Building turns 100

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !

West Lawn 1920  LINK some of the early landscaping visible.

Westholme Lumber Company, built West Lawn.
 Advertisement 1913


Keenes Cement advertisement 1915
Good old-fashioned HARD plaster, very durable.

Monarch Art Stone. Advertisement 1914
The window sills were made by this company, they have held up well being over a century old!
Most damage to them was done in the past 10 years as poorly trained contractors installed barriers to keep the salavagers out, blasted the sills using ramsets! to install plywood covers.







Monday, January 11, 2010

Sol Cameron

Northport smelter

Thompson building 1895

I have recently found out considerably more about Solomon Cameron,the contractor for West Lawn. Previous historians said that he came to BC from PEI, in 1902-3. How wrong they were, he actually was very actively building in Washington,Idaho and BC in the early 1890's. He actually built some of the first building at Washington State University 1892-4, one is still standing the, Thompson building and has federal government heritage status and had over 23 million spent on it a number of years ago. He also built the Northport smelter, and numerous building in Spokane.
More to come as I wade through the numerous piles of information that I now have about him and find the time to edit it all. Cheers

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Breakin problems

The buildings have been under continual assault by scroungers, pilfering the metals from especially West Lawn, so a few months ago, bars and screens were placed over many of the lower windows, but they left a few areas undone which were quickly found. So now they have cleared away some of the shrubbery, and finally almost completed the job of sealing the building from future attacks on its integrity. Hopefully in the coming years, new uses will be found for this stately building.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Names,names,names

At first known as; "The hospital for the mind at Mount Coquitlam", It was renamed as Essondale, in 1913 after Henry Esson Young, then Provincial secretary. The site was then renamed as the "Essondale Branch Hospital". The Male Chronic building, was started in 1909, and opened for business on April 1st,1913 when 340 patients were transferred from New Westminster Asylum, by the years end there were 453 residents. It was renamed as West Lawn in 1950. It has not been used since 1983.

The beginnings

It all seems to have started with Dr. G. H. Manchester, who was the Medical Superintendent, of the New Westminster Public Hospital for the Insane from 1901 to 1905. Dr. Manchester was particularly well qualified to document the earlier years, having had personal contact with Dr. J. S. Helmcken, Jail Surgeon at Victoria from 1850 to 1910, and also with Dr. I. W. Powell who was the first Medical Superintendent at the old Victoria Asylum. There is a story that Dr.Manchester was visiting in the area, of the future Riverview site, with a friend, and noticed the suitability of the site, for a future hospital.
George Herbert Manchester passed away on Nov, 22, 1956 at the age of 83, in New Westminster, he left a legacy….

Dr.Manchester report:
In 1904, the Government acquired 1000 acres of land at the junction of Coquitlam and Fraser Rivers, on the west bank of the former and extending up it for about two miles. About half of the area was composed of rich alluvial soil and being level and not too difficult to clear, would require only drainage for it to be used as a Colony Farm. Henry Esson Young, at Port Coquitlam's inauguration ceremony in 1913 commented, that the Government bought the lands for $5.00, per acre. The Wilson Farm was acquired later on.
The other half of the area, across the railway, was upland and covered with virgin timber, never having been used for anything but pasturage. It was observed that there were several excellent building sites on this part of the property, but no buildings at that time. Dr Manchester commented, "Having given a good deal of consideration to the subject, I am convinced that in view of the antiquated nature of the present institution, and the great need for considerable extension to meet future requirements as to accommodation, it would be a wise policy for the Government to lay out plans for the erection of a complete modern hospital for the insane upon that property, and convert the present institution into an idiot and chronic asylum. There is nothing to prevent these institutions being managed by the one head, as it has been satisfactorily demonstrated in several places in the United States. The uses to which the Farm Colony shall be put at once are the production of all necessary vegetables for the Hospital, fodder for the horses and hogs, all dairy products by the maintenance of a large dairy herd and the supply of fuel for the bakery and for the boilers in summer."

Two years earlier, Dr. Manchester had also pressed for provision of special accommodation for the criminally insane, thus this visionary advocated the creation of Riverview, Woodlands and the Forensic Services long before their geneses.

1904 also marked the first year that 25 patients were sent out camping under canvas, an event that seemed to be enjoyed by all despite the fact that the tents leaked during each heavy rain storm.

With C.E.Doherty, M.D.,C.M., Dr.Manchester’s successor, and Henry Esson Young, Provincial Secretary, the hospital for the Insane at New Westminster saw the full development of the principles of the “moral treatment of insanity”.
In addition to being the first year of Dr. Doherty's long tenure, 1905 marked the beginning of clearing of land for Colony Farm. Patients were segregated into "incurable", "curable", "feeble", and "infirm" upon admission. Rest, work, and amusement "judiciously selected" were basic treatment and a Musical Director was appointed, a Mr. Darcey, who organ­ized an orchestra of institution employees.
Work was departmentalized and the "hospital" atmosphere:, heightened by using the word "nurses" rather than "keepers" or "attendants", and an attitude of kindness towards the patient was enforced by dismissal, if necessary.
With regard to therapy, none were denied exercise and fresh air, “patients”, Doherty wrote, “...walks the grounds by the hundreds". Medical treatment - work of all kinds in the shop or on the farm, and recreation - was individualized and had the effect that Doherty, in 1907, could make the claim that the mechanical restraints of all kinds had been abolished.
After the introduction of hydro-therapy techniques to calm the few disturbed patients who remained, he added that "chemical restraint", also, was no longer in use.
Dr. Doherty passed away on August 14th, 1920


On July 10th, 1905, a start was made in clearing land and erecting temporary buildings at the Colony Farm site. The buildings consisted of four sleeping rooms, three attendant's rooms, a billiard room, dining room, kitchen and washrooms, initially, two attendants were in charge of a group of 19 patient workers.
Dr. Manchester left the hospital at the end of February after four years of sterling service. Although far less popular than either the predecessor or successor, through his wisdom, foresight and meticulous record-keeping, we can see with great clarity the origins of our Mental Health Services and learn much that might otherwise have been lost through the passage of time. His successor was Dr. Doherty, who returned to the hospital from private practice, and who would lead the hospital to the brink of the modern era over his 15 years of tenure.


By 1906, 15 to 25 patients under the direction of attendant Mr. Pumphrey had cleared about 17 acres of land at Colony Farm and had managed to produce a very good crop of potatoes. A road had also been built from the proposed building site to the Coquitlam waterfront which facilitated removal of cordwood and reception of building materials from scows in the Coquitlam River.

At Colony Farm, several acres of bench land had been cleared at the proposed building site and Dr. Doherty urged the Government to proceed with erection of a satellite hospital with all due speed, as the need for increased accommodation was now imperative. While in the east the previous year, Dr. Doherty had sought expert opinion as to the best kind of structure which should be considered and, almost without exception; the answer he received was that the corridor-pavilion style was most preferable. He had secured copies of plans of the Lancashire County Asylum at Whittingham, England and of the Claybury Asylum in Essex, both of which were built in this style. He suggested the Government adopt a plan for providing accommodation for at least 1200 patients, the buildings to be erected in sections as the necessity arose, but there was an immediate need to provide $75,000.00, sufficient for one block of buildings and a further $10,000.00 to add an additional storey to "C" ward at New Westminster.

The Provincial Secretary appointed to succeed the Hon. Fred Fulton in 1906 was Dr. Henry Esson Young who would achieve some degree of immortality with the eventual creation of the Essondale complex.

In 1907, Dr. Workman resigned due to ill health and was succeeded by Dr. James G. McKay as Assistant Medical Superintendent.

The Government had been persuaded to proceed in the matter of erecting new buildings at the Coquitlam site and Dr. Doherty urged they adopt a general plan for a complete modern Hospital for the Insane, providing accommodation for at least 1500 patients. "Such an Institution, when completed, should comprise, outside of administration, shops, stores, laundry, power and such buildings, two modern acute buildings with all provision for proper examination and treatment of patients, such as clinical laboratories, diet kitchens, hydrotherapeutic and electrotherapeutic rooms and a fair number of single rooms. There should also be two large buildings for the chronic cases, two separate buildings for disturbed cases and two more for convalescents.

In 1908, at Colony Farm, about 80 acres of bench land had now been cleared and a new road, representing a diversion of the Dewdney Trunk Road was put under construction. Work was also commenced on dyking and ditching of all the low land of the farm.
Some time during 1908, a competition was opened to architects of the Province and prizes offered for the best two schemes for a complete new Hospital for the Insane. The most important conditions laid down to competitors were that all prison and custodial features were to give way, so far as was possible, to wholesome and curative features, while every essential for the scientific study, classification and treatment of cases was to be afforded.

Many of the leading architects of the Province entered the competition, several spending much time and money in travel and study of modern hospitals on the continent and in the United States with the result that the Department of Lands and Works secured plans for a new hospital which had received the highest commendation from psychiatrists in Eastern Canada and from the Lunacy Commission of New York State.

1908 also saw the introduction of clinical stenographic services and for the first time, the physician's notes were typewritten.

Work commenced in 1909 on the first of the permanent buildings to be erected on the bench land to the north of Colony Farm, the area known at that time as Mount Coquitlam. This building, originally called "The Hospital for the Mind at Mount Coquitlam", would soon be renamed the Essondale Branch Hospital and eventually would become known as the West Lawn building.

On April 1st, 1913, the branch hospital at Mount Coquitlam which was renamed Essondale, opened its doors for the reception of 340 chronic male patients transferred from New Westminster, with Dr.D.D.Freeze appointed as the Assistant Medical Superintendent in charge.

Also moving to Essondale were Gowan McGowan, Bursar, Granby Farrant, Assistant Bursar and Harry Hoult as Chief Male Attendant. By the end of 1913, there were 453 patients at Essondale and 466 at New Westminster. At Colony Farm there was 259 acres under cultivation.






TREATMENT OF THE INSANE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

By C.E. Doherty, M.D., C.M.,
Medical Superintendent,
Public Hospital for the Insane,
New Westminster, B.C.

In the selection of the subject of this paper, which cannot contain any interesting features save that of an illustration of the remarkable increase of population in Western Canada during the past few years, together with the rapid rise of its number of insane, I must lay part blame upon my Canadian friend Dr. Burgess, for when at a loss to know just what subject to select Dr. Burgess hinted that a history of the treatment of the insane in British Columbia might be acceptable. Hence my decision and I now crave the indulgence of a few minutes of your time while I review this.

The earliest record of an insane person in British Columbia dates back to 1850, but during the rush to the Cariboo gold-fields in the years 1858 and 1859 many new-comers broke down under the strain and hardships endured, and had to be taken care of by the authorities. The nearest asylum at this time was in the State of California, consequently those cases which were at all violent or turbulent, and unable to make this long journey, were sent to the "lock-up” at Victoria for safe-keeping.

When female patients began to appear, however, it became evident that the gaol, which was not at all large, could not accommodate all. In 1872 the old Royal Hospital at Victoria was remodeled and converted into the "Provincial Asylum", under the management of the Provincial Secretary's Department, as it still remains to-day.

Prior to this time there had been no provincial act dealing with asylums or the insane, so in 1873 the "Insane Asylums Act" was passed.

At the end of the year 1876 the building was full to overflowing and could accommodate no more, and it was deemed advisable not to extend the institution on that site the then existing government decided to remove to New Westminster and locate upon a government reserve.

This institution, at first accommodating only 38 patients, rapidly grew, until in 1908 we were treating 509 patients of both sexes. At this time every indication pointed to the fact that the property at New Westminster, 30 acres in all, was too small for any further extension or enlargement of the old hospital; accordingly it was decided to commence work on a property, consisting of a thousand acres situated at Coquitlam, which had been acquired by the government some few years previously, but which still remained virgin forest with considerable low swamp land. Tents were secured and some twenty patients sent out to clear land for temporary buildings, which were completed before the fall of the same year

In the spring of the following year we started to clear land in earnest over forty patients, many of whom were excellent axe men, with the assistance of two donkey engines, also manned, with the exception of engineers, by patients, managed to clear up ready for the plough some eighty acres. During the winter of 1909 it was decided to push along the work of clearing as fast as possible. The temporary quarters were enlarged until we could accommodate some 65 of our best working patients; three more donkey engines were secured and in the spring work again commenced. The manner in which our patients took hold of this work surprised me, one patient alone during one month handling 17 tons of blasting powder.

By the fall of 1910 song 500 acres were cleared and all lowland dyked and completely under drained.

In the meantime the provincial government had called for plans for a complete new institution to accommodate 1800 patients, and had opened a competition in which any and all architects were invited to enter, prizes being offered for the plans obtaining first, second and third place in the competition. Franklin B.Ware, state architect of New York, was appointed adjudicator and the plan awarded first prize by him showed a design of an institution arranged in the corridor-pavilion style, consisting of a central administration unit, behind which and connected by corridors showed a steward's office and stores with service quarters above, the kitchen, bakery, etc., being the third floor.

The other buildings consist of infirmary, acute and chronic buildings on either side of the administration building in a horseshoe arrangement, while the convalescent homes, which are completely without the corridor arrangement, show at some distance in front on either side of the administration building; the isolation hospital, the mortuary and laboratory appear in rear on one side, with shops and amusement hall on the other.

All the building's are absolutely fire-proof, of re-enforced concrete throughout and faced with red brick, and now, when about completed, present a very fine appearance.

In connection with our new hospital, which when completed will cost from $1,600,000 to $2,000,000, there are two or three points concerning which I would like to have an expression of opinion, and it was to obtain this from a body of such experienced men as are here today that I really permitted myself to become a burden upon this meeting.

Three points which, along with many other features, I insisted Upon securing for the hospital, and upon which I laid the most stress, were provisions in construction, first, for the isolation and fresh-air treatment of all cases of acute insanity or acute mania; secondly, a provision for the handling of at least 90 per cent of our chronic, insane in congregate dormitories; thirdly, provision of proper buildings for manual arts and crafts training as well as for amusement.

We all know that acute insanity, aside probably from that which accompanies general paralysis, tends strongly towards recovery, and the indications for treatment are, therefore, to assist if possible and not to retard nature in her restorative efforts. A matter which has always weighed heavily upon my conscience, but which I must admit in our old building I was completely unable to avoid, and I have no doubt at all that most other superintendents have had the same experience, is that no matter now well an admission hospital may be equipped with well trained and observant nurses, diet kitchen, hydrotherapeutic apparatus, clinical laboratory, etc., unless proper provision has been made in construction of your hospital, the acute patient, unless he is to be stupefied with drugs, becomes a disturbing to all other and less acute new arrivals, and notwithstanding all prejudices to the contrary, in most instances you and I have had to fall back on drugs to the detriment of our cases.

Our hospital, in its acute buildings, is equipped in such a way acute that each acute case of the active variety can be treated as individually as if he were only patient in the hospital, while at the same time every provision is made for an abundant, supply of fresh air and maximum sunlight.

We all know how important fresh air is to persons suffering with tuberculosis, while most of us, where it has been given a fair trial, cannot deny that an abundance of fresh air is just as important in the treatment of the exhausting processes of the active variety of acute insanity, and certainly it is sometimes if not generally found that, at the expiration of a given period, say two weeks, the patient’s physical condition will be far better if sedative drugs have been withheld than if the physiological effects of these have been maintained.

Our acute buildings contain six large apartments arranged en suite, three in each building, each suite containing a room 15 x 20, with toilet, continuous bath, pack equipment, two attendant’s quarters and a small diet kitchen; the walls of each apartment are provided with extremely thick deadened partitions, triple doors and windows, and are also provided with the very best system of forced ventilation. Each apartment may be opened out on to separate compartment of a solarium when the patient's acute symptoms begin to subside and before he is passed along to the regular admission ward.

From my experience I would say that six, such apartments are quite ample for an institution of 1800, or where the yearly admission is about 350.

I cannot but believe that fresh-air treatment of acute insanity is a cardinal point and also that while most of these cases are so noisy and so unmanageable that it is impracticable to keep them out of doors, the artificial ventilation, properly carried out, is a splendid substitute if not equally efficacious.

Now regarding congregate dormitories for the chronic insane: most of us can picture to ourselves the old single room provided with a chamber, locked when the patient goes to bed, and visited by the night watch hourly or less frequently, and while we will all admit that there is a certain percentage of these cases unfit for dormitories, the strongest opponents of this system will agree, I think, that the percentage is not more than from six to ten per cent of the chronic population of any insane hospital. These, of course, we will continue to treat in single rooms so arranged in an octagonal manner that even here it will hardly be necessary to keep the doors closed.

Our congregate dormitories are so arranged that each holds 50 patients, and that two dormitories can at the same time be under the constant supervision of one night nurse who never leaves his post unless relieved. These dormitories are all artificially ventilated so that no windows are open; patients have access to the toilets and fresh water throughout the night;: no bedchambers are permitted and the result of such an arrangement is not only an improvement in the general atmosphere of the place and the night discipline of such patients but also a reduction to a minimum of the many dangers which we only too well know exist in the single room or smaller dormitory periodically visited.

The third feature, and the one which caused me the greatest thought and difficulty in coming to a conclusion, was that in connection with proper shops, gymnasium and recreational hall. In my travels and visits to other institutions I never failed to notice, in many instances, the very inadequate provision in the buildings for manual arts and crafts training.

It always appeared to me rather peculiar that, in some institutions, even
Our hospital, in its acute buildings, is equipped in such a way acute that each acute case of the active variety can be treated as individually as if he were only patient in the hospital, while at the same time every provision is made for an abundant, supply of fresh air and maximum sunlight.

We all know how important fresh air is to persons suffering with tuberculosis, while most of us, where it has been given a fair trial, cannot deny that an abundance of fresh air is just as important in the treatment of the exhausting processes of the active variety of acute insanity, and certainly it is sometimes if not generally found that, at the expiration of a given period, say two weeks, the patient’s physical condition will be far better if sedative drugs have been withheld than if the physiological effects of these have been maintained.

Our acute buildings contain six large apartments arranged en suite, three in each building, each suite containing a room 15 x 20, with toilet, continuous bath, pack equipment, two attendant’s quarters and a small diet kitchen; the walls of each apartment are provided with extremely thick deadened partitions, triple doors and windows, and are also provided with the very best system of forced ventilation. Each apartment may be opened out on to separate compartment of a solarium when the patient's acute symptoms begin to subside and before he is passed along to the regular admission ward.

From my experience I would say that six, such apartments are quite ample for an institution of 1800, or where the yearly admission is about 350.

I cannot but believe that fresh-air treatment of acute insanity is a cardinal point and also that while most of these cases are so noisy and so unmanageable that it is impracticable to keep them out of doors, the artificial ventilation, properly carried out, is a splendid substitute if not equally efficacious.

Now regarding congregate dormitories for the chronic insane: most of us can picture to ourselves the old single room provided with a chamber, locked when the patient goes to bed, and visited by the night watch hourly or less frequently, and while we will all admit that there is a certain percentage of these cases unfit for dormitories, the strongest opponents of this system will agree, I think, that the percentage is not more than from six to ten per cent of the chronic population of any insane hospital. These, of course, we will continue to treat in single rooms so arranged in an octagonal manner that even here it will hardly be necessary to keep the doors closed.

Our congregate dormitories are so arranged that each holds 50 patients, and that two dormitories can at the same time be under the constant supervision of one night nurse who never leaves his post unless relieved. These dormitories are all artificially ventilated so that no windows are open; patients have access to the toilets and fresh water throughout the night;: no bedchambers are permitted and the result of such an arrangement is not only an improvement in the general atmosphere of the place and the night discipline of such patients but also a reduction to a minimum of the many dangers which we only too well know exist in the single room or smaller dormitory periodically visited.

The third feature, and the one which caused me the greatest thought and difficulty in coming to a conclusion, was that in connection with proper shops, gymnasium and recreational hall. In my travels and visits to other institutions I never failed to notice, in many instances, the very inadequate provision in the buildings for manual arts and crafts training.

It always appeared to me rather peculiar that, in some institutions, even
where large sums of money have been spent on the hospitals proper, to see patients engaged at the different trades in quarters so badly ventilated and otherwise so unsanitary that I myself felt quite uncomfortable from just passing through. Surely it is a matter of economy for us to supply this class of the best producing patients with every means of proper hygiene just as well during working hours as it is at any other time.

Our shop buildings are fire-proof throughout, all stories having fifteen feet head space, are well lighted on two sides, and are provided with the same artificial ventilation as the hospital proper.
Our amusement or recreation hall is large enough to accommodate and seat one-half the population of the hospital or 900. The gymnasium is large and commodious and when fully equipped should prove a source of pleasure not only to the patients but also to our employees.

Before closing this paper I would like to call your attention to the fact that, in British Columbia, so far at least, politics have never entered in any shape or form into the management of the hospital; on the other hand our governments have always shown the strongest disposition to keep this institution without the pale, and have to a remarkable extent carried out suggestions as made by its medical head. At the present time we are blessed in the fact that the executive minister, under whose particular head the management of this institution comes, is a medical man, the Honorable Dr. H.E. Young, who takes an immense interest in the welfare and treatment of the insane of British Columbia.

If any of you come to British Columbia and pay us a visit, we will always be glad to see you and show you around our institution, and should you find anything lacking you will know this to be the result of oversights by myself and predecessors.

The Asylums that Riverview was modelled after.

Whittingham Asylum

Whittingham Asylum, near Preston, built in 1869 originally to accommodate 1,000 patients, from designs by Mr. Henry Littler, architect of Manchester, of red brick and forms a quadrangle of detached blocks of buildings with corridors radiating from the centre 1,079 male and 1,035 female patients.
The buildings include a hospital for Infectious Diseases, and additional buildings were erected between the years 1897-1900. Within the grounds which cover a site of 60 acres, is a Church. There was a private railway in connection with Grimsargh station, for the conveyance of Visitors to the Asylum.

Claybury Asylum

Claybury Asylum at Woodford Bridge, near Chigwell in Essex was opened in 1893, closed in 1997. Built: 1889-1893 Architect: George Thomas Hine was the first Compact Arrow design, and was greatly praised in its time, becoming the model for asylum design and its architect G.T. Hine becoming the most accomplished and successful of asylum architects.
George Thomas Hine (1841-1916). In 1887, after winning the competition for the enormous asylum at Claybury, Essex, he established his practise in London. Hine specialized in asylum architecture, and his paper to the RIBA in 1901 still provides a valuable review of asylum design and planning. This was strengthened by his experience as Consulting Architect to the Commissioners in Lunacy - a post which he held from 1897. He was a frequent entrant for asylum competitions, winning his first, for Nottingham Asylum in 1875. He designed and saw completed four major LCC asylums housing over 2000 patients each (Claybury, Bexley, Horton and Long Grove), and his prolific output included new county asylums for Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Surrey, East Sussex and Worcestershire, as well as extensive additions to many others. His concentration on this one building type reflected his own perception of asylum architecture as an "almost distinct profession in itself".
The asylums he designed include Mapperley (1880) - Dorset (1890?) - Claybury (1893) - Horton (1894) - Bexley (1898) - Hill End (1899) - Rauceby (1899-1902) - Long Grove (1903-1907) - Hellingly (1901-1903) - Netherne (1909) - Park Prewett (1910- 1921) - Gateshead (1912- 1913) - Barnsley Hall, Bromsgrove - Isle of Wight ??) - Belfast -

Claybury Asylum -- Administration block

Claybury Asylum  -- Administration block

Whittingham Asylum

Whittingham Asylum

Claybury Asylum -- plan

Claybury Asylum -- plan

original concept plan

original concept plan

Solomon Cameron -- The Contractor

Solomon Cameron -- The Contractor

The builder --- Westholme Lumber Company

THE WESTHOLME LUMBER COMPANY, LTD.

This company was established in 1907, and carried on a general business as contractors and lumber manufacturers. The mills were situated at Mount Sicker Siding, Westholme, Vancouver Island and had a capacity of 30,000 feet per day, output almost entirely used in the owners' contracting work.
Westholme Lumber Company Logging railroad, used 36” wide tracks,(narrow gauge) and operated from 1908 to 1912. They logged around Mount Sicker, using 15 miles of tracks, two Shays, four rail trucks, one logging engine, with a daily output of 20,000 board feet per day. They used the Mount Sicker, Lenora mine equipment which closed in1908. #2 came from Lenora mine; the mine owned it since 1901. Then it went to Hernando Island, off of Campbell River, in 1912, wrecked in 1913 used by the Campbell River Lumber Co. until 1920. Then Puget Sound, Mills & Timber, Port Angeles, WA. The other Shay was sold to the Eastern Lumber Co., which operated near Ladysmith.

Among the principal contracts carried out by the company included the Hospital at Mount Coquitlam, the Government Wharf at Prince Rupert, the Portland Canal Short Line Railway at Stewart, and the Ross Bay sea wall at Victoria.

They also installed the Sooke Lake water-supply for the city of Victoria involving an expenditure of $1,500,000. The company also had a branch at Prince Rupert, there a trade in building materials was also conducted.

Mr. Solomon (Sol) Cameron, the president, was a native of Prince Edward Island.
He came to British Columbia in 1883, and was involved in construction for most of his commercial life. Sol passed away on August, 24, 1939 at the age of 76, in Vancouver.

Mr. Parker Clark, was vice-president, and Mr. Arthur Newham, secretary.

Portland Canal Shortline Railway

The Portland Canal Shortline Railway (Canadian Northeastern Railway), 1909-1929. The Canadian Northeastern Railway Company was incorporated by Special Act of the Legislature in 1909 under the name Portland Canal Short Line Railway Company, (PCSLRC). The name was changed in 1911 to Canadian Northeastern Railway Company. The time for the completion of the railway was fixed at five years from the date of incorporation (1911). H.H. Knobel supervised the preliminary work for the PCSLRC in April 1910 with W.H. Grant, general manager of construction. It was intended that the railway would extend from Stewart, at the head of Portland Canal, 13 1/2 miles up Bear River to some mining properties developed by Sir Donald Mann at Red Cliff. Port Mann, is named after him.
An arrangement to carry concentrates from the mines to the wharves at Stewart was made between the Portland Canal Mining Co. and the PCSLRC in December 1910. Previous to this, Sol Cameron had been granted the contract for the first section of the railway and by June 24, 1911, the line was opened for traffic and continued to operate until 1912 when the mines at Red Cliff were shut down. The original charter provided for its completion eastward to the Alberta boundary but failure to complete this extension resulted in the lapse of the charter. Then, in the fall of 1927, Vancouver Holdings Ltd., organized by H.H. Stevens and W.A. Lewthwaite, purchased Sir Donald Mann's title to the railway and announced their intention to rehabilitate the railway. The BC Legislature revived the charter, granting authority to build from Stewart to Finlay River along with a spur line to the northerly boundary of the province.

Red Cliff mine

Copper, Gold, Silver, Zinc

The Red Cliff mine is on the west bank of Lydden Creek, immediately west of the confluence of American Creek and the Bear River, about 12 miles north of Stewart. The portal to a lower, 425-metre long access tunnel (700 level) is at an elevation of 146 metres and is located on the east bank of Lydden Creek, about 700 metres west of the Stewart highway. Two portals (North and South) access the 1000 level and are located on the west bank of Lydden Creek, about 500 metres north-northwest of the portal of the lower tunnel. A fourth portal (Upper portal) lies about 30 metres above the North and South portals.

The Red Cliff group (Red Cliff, Montrose (104A 033), Mount Lyell, Little Pat (104A 062), Waterloo (104A 033) and Mac and Dot Fractions) were originally held by Lydden, Pederson, McDonald and Peardon who did some open cutting and drove tunnels in 1908. Apparently, other zones were discovered at the same time (Montrose, Waterloo). That year the property was sold to A.E. Smith, who formed the Red Cliff Mining Company. Between 1908-12, about 2,385 metres of underground development was carried out on 5(?) levels on the Red Cliff mineralization, including 4 portals, a long access tunnel and raises. The Red Cliff mine was the first significant mine in the Stewart area; it was linked to Stewart by road and rail. About 200 tonnes of ore grading 5 per cent copper was stockpiled in 1910; an additional 1.4 tonnes was shipped to the Tyee smelter and yielded 8.25 per cent copper, 83.7 grams per tonne silver and $5 per ton gold (1910 prices). In 1912, upon completion of the railway, a further 1,133 tonnes of ore was shipped to the Tacoma smelter and another 2,030 tonnes was placed on ore dumps. A total of 2,411 grams of gold and 40,100 kilograms of copper were recovered. The mine closed in 1912.

The property remained idle until 1921, when Trites, Woods and Wilson purchased the property and carried out minor work on the Montrose and Waterloo zones. Others have also tried to find the mother lode in 1939, 1946, 1950, reopened in April 1973, but closed due to unsafe conditions in September, 1973.


Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle was built during the years1887-1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. This Victorian mansion, built on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria (Craigdarroch means "rocky, oak place" in Gaelic) announced to the world that Robert Dunsmuir was the richest and most important man in Western Canada Unfortunately. Robert died on April 12, I889 just before construction of the Castle was completed so he never had the chance to live here. His entire estate, said to be valued at $15 -$20 million U.S. dollars in 1888 was left entirely to his widow, Joan. She moved into Craigdarroch in 1890 and lived there until her death in 1908.

Joan left her estate, including Craigdarroch, to her five surviving daughters, one son-in-law, and three of her grandchildren. In order to divide the proceeds, the contents of the Castle were sold in a three day auction. The auction, catalogue listed oriental carpets, silks, brocades, fine china and silver, and furniture of mahogany, oak and walnut. A developer, Griffith Hughes, assisted the Dunsmuir daughters with the subdivision and sale of the 28-acre property into 144 lots. When it became evident that there was little
interest in purchasing the Castle, they devised a scheme whereby anyone purchasing a lot would be eligible to win the Castle. The March 28, 1910 edition of the Victoria Times gave a first page account of this remarkable point in the Castle's history:

As a result of the drawing held in connection with the disposition of the lots at Craigdarroch Castle, possession of the Castle itself and the adjoining gardens passes to Solomon Cameron and Parker Clark of the Westholme Lumber Company…..After a few lots had been disposed of by Mr. Hughes, he then devised a scheme which was concluded on Saturday night in the drawing. In accordance with the scheme, over 120 lots were sold at $2750 each, but the allocation of these lots was left to be decided at the drawing…….all buyers were given a chance, in a second drawing, for the castle itself and the property around it. Pools were formed by many of the holders of chances in order to make sure of winning. One pool in fact, had three of the last five chances.

An individual holder, however, in the Westholme Lumber Company in which Messrs. Solomon Cameron and Clark are the interested representatives secured the prize. The drawing took place at the castle, the greatest interest being naturally shown be all those who flocked to Craigdarroch.

Mr. Cameron never took up residence at Craigdarroch. He put his brother in place as a caretaker and used the Castle as collateral for loans to finance his business activities. Ten years later, in 1919; he lost the Castle and other property to the Bank of Montreal when he failed to pay a (tax) debt of more than $300,000.

Thus begins the history of the Castle's use as a public building

In 1919. the Federal Government leased the Castle and massive renovations were made, to convert the building to use as a military hospital World War I veterans. By 1921, the hospital had vacated and a new tenant was found, the Victoria College.

Founded in 1903 as an affiliate of McGill University in Montreal, Victoria College had been dissolved in 1915 when a new university, The University of B.C was established in Vancouver.

3150 Rutland

3150 Rutland

Dominion Trust Block, Vancouver

Dominion Trust Block, Vancouver

Dominion Trust, New Westminster

Dominion Trust, New Westminster

Cliff Block, New Westminster

Cliff Block, New Westminster

St.Boniface, normal school

St.Boniface, normal school

Henry Sandham Griffith -- the architect

Henry Sandham Griffith

Henry Sandham Griffith, passed away at the age of 78, on October 18, 1943 in Vancouver.

BC Archives : MS-1281 Henry Sandham Griffith fonds / Henry Sandham Griffith, 1865-1944 — 1912-1930 3 cm of textual records; plans; drawings Henry Sandham Griffith was an architect. Horticultural dictionary-cum-diary, 1912-1929; account book and work schedules pertaining to construction of Griffith's Victoria home "Fort Garry" [afterwards known as "Spencer Castle"], 1912-1914; garden plans and architectural drawings; newspaper clippings and genealogical notes concerning author. Presented by Mrs. J.H. Hamilton, Victoria, 1981.

He also designed in the Victoria area;

2906 Cook St.,Spencer Castle 1911-12
1007 Joan Cr., 1915-16
106 Medana St., Chalopa 1909
3150 Rutland Road: This building designed by architect H.S. Griffith in 1914 was one of the first homes built in the Uplands.
Its owner, Thomas William Paterson, was completing a five-year term as Lieutenant Governor of BC and moved in when Francis Barnard took office. The home features a spectacular view of Mount Baker and a magnificent garden. It survived a fire in 1976 was restored shortly thereafter. Problem: The new owners have applied for a demolition permit. Despite its historical significance, the property has no official protection.

The Lower Mainland;

Dominion Trust Building, 1912, in Vancouver.

Dominion Trust Building, 1907, New Westminster, Columbia & 6th site bought bought by Dominion Trust in 1906, building finished by march,1907. David Spencer's & Zellers later occupants.

Cliff Block, 1910-1911, New Westminster, of stone and tan Clayburn brick. Contractor was M.D. Vandervoot.

Griffith also designed buildings in Manitoba;

210 Rue Masson-St.Boniface Normal School, Winnipeg, Man. H.S.Griffith & J.A.Senecal, 1902

One of Manitoba's first normal schools, this two-storey brick building remained until the 1970s as a symbol of the francophone community's determination to sustain its language and culture through education.
The St. Boniface Normal School on the southwest comer of rue Masson and rue Aulneau was built to house a bilingual training program for French teachers.
The building was designed by Henry Sandham Griffith, and constructed by Joseph Azarie Senecal. Estimated costs were $11,500 to $15,000.
After studies in his native England. Griffith emigrated to Winnipeg in 1887 where he was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad and Land Titles Office. He opened an architectural firm in 1893, designing several structures in Winnipeg and other Manitoba centres before relocating to Saskatoon in 1906 and Victoria in 1907. His British Columbia practice prospered until a collapse in 1918. Griffith subsequently operated solely out of Vancouver where he died in 1944. Among his Winnipeg buildings were the Ryan Mitchell and Baker blocks and the Criterion and Oxford hotels. The Quebec-born Senecal was a builder, architect and municipal politician. After farming in rural Manitoba for several years, he moved to St. Boniface in 1891 to work as a designer and contractor. His projects included St. Boniface Hospital the St. Boniface CNR station, the Church of the Holy Ghost, and Misericordia Hospital.
The Normal School sits on a raised, rough-cut stone foundation with yellow-buff brick walls rising to a stone-capped parapet. The building originally had a truncated hip roof with side gables and a cupola that crowned the entrance porch and frontispiece.
Griffith's functional design employed various neoclassical details. Predominant among these are sets of wooden columns with Ionic capitals supporting the entrance portico. This element has a complete entablature including brackets and dentils. Above are a small window with a stone lintel and a wooden pediment embellished with ornamental shingle-work
The symmetrical front (north) facade projects out in two stages; the east wall also has a projecting mid-section. Shallow pilasters separate bays of single and paired rectangular windows. The main-floor openings feature rough-cut stone sills and lintels; heavier lintels also appear above the transoms. Second-storey windows have smooth stone sills and brick heads. There are patterned brick belts and corbelled details above and below the second floor.
The main wooden door is flanked by side lights and miniature metal pilasters with Ionic capitals. This entire unit is topped by a large stone lintel.

Building description and reuse report

WEST LAWN BUILDING (B21733)
H.S. Griffith, Architect 1910-1913

In 1910, the provincial government announced a competition open to the architects of the province to design a new hospital complex to house 1,800 patients. Franklin B. Ware, the State Architect of New York, was appointed adjudicator.

The design of B.C. architect Henry Sandham Griffith was chosen, and construction was started in 1910 by the Westholme Lumber Company of Victoria.

The bricks were manufactured on site, in a building specially built for the purpose.

Known as the “Male Chronic Wing”, this was the first permanent building at Riverview, and was officially opened on April 1, 1913. Renamed West Lawn in 1950.

Architect H.S. Griffith was born in Oxfordshire in 1865, and attended Oxford University before apprenticing to Webb & Tubb in Reading.

After immigrating to Canada in the 1890's, Griffith practiced successively in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Victoria before moving to Vancouver. He died in 1943 at the age of seventy-eight after a long and prolific architectural career.

The need for natural light and ventilation in large hospital buildings dictated the use of sprawling, multi-winged plans. Although this was the only building on the site designed by Griffith, the subsequent Acute Psychopathic and Female Chronic buildings (Centre and East Lawn), designed by the Public Works Department, and closely followed his designs.

The three buildings share common characteristics, with tri-partite facades, articu­lated as a high base, a brick shaft, and a prominent hip roof. The architectural highlights include concrete basements with horizontal banding, brick cladding, and central portico entries with giant order classical columns, high roofs covered with slate, attic dormer windows, and regular banked windows. Originally, West Lawn had open sun porches on the end wings of each of the three main floors that have since been enclosed.

West Lawn is the oldest building on the Riverview site, and the westernmost of the Lawn buildings. Its most distinctive characteristics are the monumental, symmetrical massing, the central entry with classically-detailed portico, the broad, low hip roof forms, all-masonry construction, slate roof and beveled glass windows in the entrance area. Carrera marble used for wainscoting, showers and in stairwells, is expertly installed.

West Lawn is a four storey reinforced concrete structure, with a concrete foundation. The structure is cast concrete, with concrete walls backing the brick facades. The facing is common red face brick, with white mortar. The concrete base has been articulated as large blocks. Stone blocks have been used for the window sills and lintels. The central entry portico is two stories high, with giant order Doric columns. There is a balcony above the entry. Cast concrete balusters have been used at the main entry, which is reached by a narrow, curved staircase. Beveled glass windows highlight what would have been the main entry. There are sun porches at the two ends of the structure, faced with banked columns in series. The columns and portico trim are made of precast concrete.

Alterations

Alterations include the removal of the crenelated parapets, and the addition of several projecting exterior fire escape towers. Many of the original steel sash windows have been replaced with aluminum sash. The sun porches have been enclosed. The interiors have been modernized.
The building has been vacant since 1983. General disrepair is evident. There is some deterioration evident of the concrete surfaces at the entry portico, and at the sun porches. Some of the roof slates appear to have failed. The roof flashing has deteriorated. There is some surface damage where downspouts have given way, allowing water to drain across the surface. There are no visible signs of structural damage or failure.

REUSE CONSIDERATIONS

A study undertaken in 1994 by Davidson Yuen Simpson Architects examined the feasibility of alternate uses for West Lawn and Crease Unit. This study concluded that it is possible to upgrade and re-use the existing building shells.
The report cites the following opportunities and limitations in the adaptation of West Lawn and Crease to educational and cultural uses:
Opportunities
The general location of the buildings, the campus-like siting and the large amount of exterior landscape space would appear to make these facilities appro­priate for a form of educational and/or public use. The pressures on university facilities today have made the smaller college form of post-secondary education a very important resource in a number of communities throughout the province. The spaces are large enough for a variety of uses.

Building character, form and scale works well
Park-like site
Quality of materials
Non-combustible construction
High ceilings and large spaces are adaptable to use
Campus-like setting is very appropriate
Large surrounding site could provide required parking Limitations
Location of existing structural columns in large spaces affects the layout of interior spaces
Extreme length of central corridor and travel distance end-to-end
Limited flexibility in providing large spaces
Requires a large site area for parking

The Davidson Yuen Simpson report concludes that to renovate the two buildings for educational use would cost about $40,173,000, while to build a new facility of the same size would cost $41,731,000, a saving of almost 4% if the buildings are renovated. For a cultural facility, the cost to renovate would be $48,149,000, while a comparable new facility would cost $33,786,000, costing an additional 10% to renovate.

There are precedents for the adaptive re-use of existing buildings to educational and cultural use:

* The highly-successful conversion of the old Spencer's Store on Hastings Street to the downtown campus of Simon Fraser University
* The adaptive re-use of Granville Island industrial buildings as the Emily Carr Insti­tute of Art and Design.

There are also a range of other uses to which these buildings could be converted, including hospital use, health care, commercial and residential.
Riverview has been the site of a provincial mental health and teaching facility for over eighty years, and the surviving buildings represent a rich and varied architectural legacy. This study has determined buildings that are potential candidates for heritage conservation.
Five buildings have been evaluated as being of major significance. Twenty-three buildings have been evaluated as being of some significance. The site's landscape resources have been evaluated in a previous report that identified many noteworthy specimen trees, especially in the Central Lawn area.

The five buildings of major significance are clustered in a clearly defined heritage precinct that also contains the sites most significant landscape resources. Individually these resources are important, but as a grouping they are of even greater significance.
With in the context of redevelopment, there may be an opportunity to preserve significant heritage resources. The historic character of these resources may provide an appropriate vocabulary for new development, which will provide links to the past, and help establish a sense of community within the new plan for the site. Any proposed redevelopment of the site should balance historic conservation with realistic budget considerations, and recognition of modern economic needs.

These buildings may lend themselves to adaptive re-use to suit another function. They provide a large amount of floor space in a “campus” like, setting that would be appropriate for several new uses, including institutional, cultural, commercial and/or residential applications. In order to preserve significant historic resources, ways must be found to adapt them to new uses, whether directly through a client group, or through negotiated development bonuses.
The strategies for preservation include:

* Finding a client group that will take over the buildings on a long-term basis, for a specific use.
* Negotiation of appropriate development relaxations and bonuses with the City of Coquitlam that would allow the restoration of the buildings for another function.
* Offering the site to a short-term tenant group, that could undertake minimal upgrad­ing in return for temporary use e.g. motion picture clients. An interim use may provide new positive connotations for a site that has negative associations.
* If an appropriate use cannot be determined at this time, the buildings could be temporarily mothballed through appropriate techniques to arrest decay.
Within any of these options, it is presumed that the Central Lawn site will be open to the public for use as a park, and will require proper maintenance.

Early history

British Columbia Mental Health Services

Historical Perspective to 1961

by: Richard G. Foulkes, B.A., M.D.

Click on the chapter headings, below:

The Asylum 1872-1901
Moral treatment
Custodial care 1912 to 1950
Renaissance
Summary

During the colonial period of the history of British Columbia, the only facility available for the mentally ill was the common gaol. John Robson, then editor of the British Columbian, later Provincial Secretary and Premier of the Province, described their custody in the New Westminster Gaol on July 23rd, 1863, "The cells in which they (the lunactics/R.G.F.) are confined are not at all adapted for such a purpose, entirely too small, ill ventilated, unheated and an offensive effluvia arising from beneath them, the result of no proper system of drainage". In older colony of Vancouver Island, conditions were no less foul in the Victoria "lock-up", where Dr. J. S. Helmcken, B.C.'s first physi­cian, saw the colony's earliest mental patients as far back as the early 1850's. The facilities of Napay Asylum in San Francisco were also used occasionally, particularly for the committal of those insane members of the horde that traveled from this centre to Victoria en route to the gold fields of the Cariboo in 1358 and 1859.

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THE ASYLUM 1872–1901

When female patients began to present themselves, the gaol became even more unsuitable so, that after an abortive attempt to house "lunatics" of this sex in a private home on Pandora Avenue in Victoria, the first asylum was established. This was a "modest building" constructed of wood, 50 by 40 feet, that contained a number of "cells" or small single rooms. It was formerly the Royal Hospital, a pest house, and was located on the Songhees Indian Reserve in Victoria Harbour adjacent to the Marine Hospital. It accepted its first patient, a young woman referred by Dr. Helmcken, on; the 12th of October, 1872, just 14 months after B.C.'s entry into confederation. At the end of this first day of operation, the asylum was occupied by seven patients, all transferred from the "lock-up". To look after these were an equal number of staff, including a Dr. Powell, the Medical Superintendent, and Mrs. Flora Ross, Matron. An "Insane asylum act" was promulgated the following year, 1873. Within the next five years, in spite of the addition of a small wing, the facilities became inadequate and a second asylum, built at the cost of $24,000 was constructed as a replacement at New Westminster on the present site of Woodlands School. This new Unit with a population of some 37 patients was opened in 1878. The first annual report was not published until the year 1882. This document shows that the resident population had climbed to 49 and that the Institution was under a lay Superintendent, Mr. James Phillips with a Medical Officer, R. I. Bently, M.B., B.S. The first New Westminster Asylum is described as an ugly building with windows so high that the outside could only be seen by standing on a table. Further, it was poorly heated by means of open grates and so overcrowded that two patients were compelled to share a single room. The following year some improvements were made to the buildings and, in 1885, the asylum was, once more, headed by a physician, Dr. Bently. Mr. Phillips, henceforth, held the position of Steward. This year was, in addition, the first in which patients were allowed to work and the therapeutic effect on at least one of them is noted by Dr. Bently in the large, heavy, leather-bound case book that was the means of recording case histories in that day. We gather that improvement in a male patient discharged "cured" on the 12th of March, 1335, "...dated from the time '' he commenced to go out steadily to work every day" . During this early period that continued to the enforced retirement of Dr. Bently in 1895 as a result of a Royal Commission inquiry the previous year, custodial care only was all that could be provided with a minimum of recreation and outside work. The only physician, embattled with the problem of keeping the per diem cost at a low level (it was 48¼¢ per day in 1891), of urging construction to house the increasing patient population, of ensuring adequate water supplies, and of visiting the Royal Columbian Hospital sometimes twice in a day in addition to writing his own letters, had little time for experiment, therapy or supervision. The cruelty of the “Keepers” during this period was scandalous. As was stated in the report of the Royal Commission, composed of Drs. Hasel and Newcombe of Victoria, methods were in use that had been discarded in Great Britain more than a generation before. Equipment such as handcuffs leather mitts, pinion straps, camisoles, and straight jackets, with the cruel rope halter called "The Martingale" that could be used as a strang­ulation device, were in almost daily use. Also applied were tortures such as the "dip", in which a patient, arms handcuffed behind his back, was plunged head-down into a tub of cold water until he very nearly drowned and the "cage", a box constructed of wooden slats and made only large enough for a human body in which a patient might be kept confined for many hours. In 1895, Dr. Boddington assumed the senior position. The attendants, who had implicated the grizzly affairs of the last regime, were forced to resign. During the next few years, Dr. Boddington addressed himself to the task of humanizing the institution adding pictures to the walls, urging landscaping of the grounds, and reducing physical restraint. In addition he improved the food, constructed a much needed operating room, badgered the government of the day for increased maintenance funds, and started on a policy of the deportation of aliens who made up 70% of population in residence. On one occasion, he personally escorted to England a party of twenty-two “half-witted ne-ar-do-wells”, the progeny of wealthy British families who had been sent to the colonies as punishment for their failure to adjust to their parent country. Upon his return, he began formulating plans for the return of the Chinese, a large alien group that had given concern for many years. In 1897, the Provincial Asylum was renamed the Public Hospital for the insane (P.H.I.) and a new act was promulgated incorporating within it an "Urgency Order" that had long been required. In 1901, a Royal Commission, composed of Dr. C. K. Clarke, Medical Superintendent of the Rockwood Asylum, Kingston, Ontario, inquired into the operation of the institution. In spite of containing praise of the Minimal restraint, good food, and the excellence of the new Surgical ward, Dr. Clarke's report criticized .the "excess staff" and the high wages that they were paid and recommended stricter economy, better book­keeping (the old register was still the only record of the patient and slates were in use for passing messages from one nursing shift to another), further brightening of the wards, improved facilities for outdoor exercise, the establishment of a School for Nurses, and a Colony Farm as it was apparent that to bring about the required changes would entail an increased amount of work, Dr. Boddington “felt constrained through the advance of his years to relinquish the labour to younger hands”

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Moral Treatment 1902 - 1912

These hands belonged to Dr. 0. H. Manchester who stated with optimism in the 1902 annual report that the Institution ".has entered upon a new century under new management, and moreover, has emerged from comparative insignificance and obscurity to become the largest.institution under the care and support of the Province of British Columbia. The annual report, for the first time, contained a table of diagnosis. (Mania, melancholia, dementia and paranoia). Until this issue, the patient had been described but rarely labeled. Noteworthy is the fact that General Paresis formed 12% of the total number of admissions for the year (14 patients out of a total of 115). In addition, an "open-door ward" was reported and a statement of treatment principles was given that officially opened the era of ''Moral Treatment". These principles were listed as 1) essential medicines, 2) good food (there was a shortage that each patient, for example, being allowed only one egg per year and that at Easter), 3) regularity of living habits, 4) employment, 5) amusement, and 6) recreation. A need for separate facilities to deal with acute cases, the mental defective, the tuberculosis patient, and the “criminally insane", was recognized and a need for musical therapy and industrial training was discerned. During his first year in office, 1904, Dr. Manchester wrote into the annual report, the Kraepelin system of nomenclature. He announced, also that the Government had purchased 1,000 acres of land about twelve miles distant from P.H.I. near the junction of the Coquitlam and Fraser Rivers for purposes of expanding the mental hospital facility. With C.E.Doherty, M.D.,C.M., Dr.Manchester’s successor, and Henry Esson Young, Provincial Secretary, the hospital for the Insane at New Westminster saw the full development of the principles of the “moral treatment of insanity”. In addition to being the first year of Dr. Doherty's long tenure, 1905 marked the beginning of clearing of land for Colony Farm. Patients were segregated into "incurable", "curable", "feeble", and "infirm" upon admission. Rest, work, and amusement "judiciously selected" were basic treatment and a Musical Director was appointed, a Mr. Darcey, who organ­ized an orchestra of institution employees. Work was departmentalized and the "hospital" atmosphere:, heightened by using the word "nurses" rather than "keepers" or "attendants", and an attitude of kindness towards the patient was enforced by dismissal, if necessary. With regard to therapy, none were denied exercise and fresh air, “patients”, Doherty wrote, “...walks the grounds by the hundreds". Medical treatment - work of all kinds in the shop or on the farm, and recreation - was individualized and had the effect that Doherty, in 1907, could make the claim that the mechanical restraints of all kinds had been abolished. After the introduction of hydro-therapy techniques to calm the few disturbed patients who remained, he added that "chemical restraint", also, was no longer in use. The contemporary method of recording case histories was established and all physicians' notes were typewritten from 1908. The same year a Laboratory was established, with its work done by Mr. E.P. Hughes, a competent Bacteriologist, and, for the first time, research was added to the function of the institution. Detailed post-mortem examinations were carried out on all for whom permission could be obtained, investigations in the Spirochaetal etiology of General Paresis were pursued and thousands of observations of blood and urine were recorded and correlated with the mental diagnosis. By the end of 1912, in spite of serious overcrowding, there was reason for optimism. Crops raised on Colony Farm exceeded the most sanguine expectations and the "farmer's Advocate" of December, 1912, describe it as "...the best equipped barns, stables, dairy equipment, and yards in Canada, if not the Continent". Dr. Doherty read papers before the B. C. Medical Society and the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Psychological Association at Atlantic City, propounding his views of the treatment of mental illness for which he received approbation from many sources. The plans for the new hospital at Coquitlam, obtained by staging a competition between the architects of the Province, received the highest commendation of psychiatrists in Eastern Canada and the Lunatic Commission of New York State. The called the building, in stages of a number of structures, each specialized as to function: and administration building, and acute building, sick and infirm buildings, an epileptic building, a pair of chronic buildings, and adequate living quarters for nurses. It was decided that one of the chronic buildings should be constructed first so that it could be used to house the overflow from the P H I and the building now known as West Lawn was begun. The first building on the new grounds, named Essondale after Dr. Henry Esson Young The Provincial Secretary, was opened on April,1st 1913. Two institutes were now in existence: the P.H.I. at New Westminster with Drs. J.S.McKay, and H. S.Steeves, and Essondale with Dr. Freeze as Assistant Medical Superintendent. Dr.Doherty was Medical Superintendent of each. During the 1914 – 1918 World War, the dual institutions began to have increasing difficulties. Many of the nursing staff and Dr. Doherty himself left to join the armed forces. Mr. Hughes, upon whom the function of the laboratory defended, died late in 1913 and could not be replaced for 14 months. During Doherty's absence, the annual reports were edited by Dr.J.S.McKay who, continuing in the same vein as his superior, pressed for buildings at Essondale, the new building already being overcrowded, and advocated the reporting of known cases of Syphilis now known to be the cause of 12% of admissions. He also requested training for the 43 mental defectives then in residence and amendment of the "Mental Hospitals Act”, to cover voluntary admissions. In 1919, a six year old prison at Saanich on Vancouver Island was taken over to house the “criminally insane”. The same year, Dr.J.S.McKay resigned and started the Hollywood Sanatorium in New Westminster (70 beds) the only fully recognized private treatment centre for mental disease that the Province was to see until psychiatric wards were established at the Vancouver General Hospital (40 beds), and the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria (24 beds). Dr. Doherty died on August 14th, 1920. An era had passed and it would be thirty years before the same feeling of optimism would again pervade the institutions.

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Return to custodial care 1912 – 1950

Dr. Doherty was succeeded by Dr. H.D. Steeves, who died on December 7th, 1926, and was succeeded in turn by Dr. A, L. Crease who continued as head of the organization until March 31st, 1950. During the 38 year period between the opening of the first building at Essondale and the resurgence of activity highlighted by the establish­ment of the Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine, progress was slow and sporadic and regression in some aspects of patient care took place. Each of the buildings added during this interval, before they were officially opened, were doomed to become the site of suffocating over­crowding at an estimated average of more than 55% of rated capacity. The resident population at the end of each ten year period during this inter­val increased by approximately one thousand. In 1912, it was 722, in 1924, when the first "acute building" now known as Centre Lawn was opened it had risen to 1,784; in 1930 when East Lawn was opened for women, 2,411. By 1951, the number resident at the end of the year was 4,602. During this period, wards overflowed into the attics and basements, choking out areas needed for day use and therapy, especially for that of the occupational and recreational variety. On the wards, conditions were such that, towards the end of the period, there were more patients than beds. Those unfortunate enough to be in excess had to sleep on mattresses placed on the floor. Furthermore, a return to locked wards and even to physical restraint took place. As many as 30 patients in restraint and 51 in seclusion, mostly women, were counted by an inspection team as late as 1951. Efforts to provide well trained professional staff during this period moved forward when, in 1925 a Miss Van Wyck, a registered nurse, became "Superintendent of Nurses" and the first with this qualification to hold this important executive position. An "Instructress of Nurses", a Miss K. Mallott, was appointed in 1930 and the first Nurses Training School was established. June, 1932, saw the first graduation exercises addressed, appropriately, by Dr. H. Esson Young, then Provincial Health Officer. The first male graduates did not appear until 1940 and then were only five in number. The Nursing Services, built up by 1938 to an. enviable ratio of two registered nurses to one psychiatric nurse and one student, were devastated by war. The sudden resignation of forty-one trained (most of the R.N.’s) and seventy-two partially trained staff in 1942, reversed this ratio and resulted in the hiring of aides “…of various standards”. There was at this point 56.5% new staff devoid of any experience in hospital work or psychiatric training. A change in hiring policy, in 1944, brought married women, mostly psychiatric nurses, back to the staff and relieved the situation. By 1945, male training, stopped in 1940, was resumed and, by 1947, the nursing problem had been stabilized but with a new ratio of 18 registered nurses, 44 psychiatric graduates, and 192 nurses-in-training. The solution to the problem of providing separate facilities for the acute mental-patient, the mentally defective, and the tuberculosis had to await the 1950 period but some changes were made that ameliorated conditions and assisted in "setting the stage". With regard to the mentally defective, an effort, inadequate from the outset, to establish a school was made at Essondale in 1920. Dr. Steeves, in 1922, was the first to suggest using the P.H.I, for this purpose. This suggestion was underlined by the Royal Commission of 1925 that dealt in great detail with mental deficiency and sounded the keynote for the future that the problem was "...educational rather than medical" The number of mental defectives increased through the years. In 1927 they numbered 200; by 1930, 400. The transfer to P.H.I started in 1932 and was near completion with five school teachers on staff when the "Schools for Mental Defectives Act" came into being in 1953. Similar temporary measures were affected with the tuberculosis patients. The first attempt at isolation in 1938 was unsuccessful as these patients were placed on wards with patients suffering from other illnesses. In 1940, two separate wards one for each sex, were formed and were soon crowded with a total of 300 cases, 200 of whom were classified “active”. Facilities for the care of the acute mentally ill remained inadequate because of overcrowding, although a psychopathic ward was established in the Centre Lawn building in I924, with facilities that were improved when compared to those that had existed for so many years. The Royal Commission of 1925 recommended the conduction of a separate institution a "psychopathic hospital", as was in existence in the eastern United States, but this was not to come into being until the Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine with its 300 beds, was constructed in 1948 by adding a wing to the recently vacated Veteran's Building built 13 years before. Special provisions for the aged psychotic became available in 1936 when the buildings of the Boys' Industrial School, abandoned in favor of the Borstal system and located on property adjacent to Essondale, were utilized as "Homes for the Aged". This collection of two story buildings, architecturally resembling Tudor style, and constructed on the side of a large hill were obviously unsuitable for elderly patients but, never­theless, fulfilled a need. Various departments were formed during this period that, although each suffered from severe limitations, were available when resurgence occurred. Directors were found for Occupational Therapy and Recreational Therapy. Physicians on staff were appointed to direct or to work in major departments such as, Pathology, X-ray, and Pharmacy but held these positions as duties secondary to their ward work, so that activity in one field was detrimental to effort in the other. A study of the reports on the laboratory, for example, reveals a variable load, usually contin­gent on the presence or absence of a laboratory technician, as well as the freedom of the Medical Officer in charge. A successful attempt was made to keep up with the admission serology tests and the routine exam­inations of water and food, but routine blood and urine examinations fluctuated as did the number of autopsies performed. The chief cause of death for many years is given in the reports as "exhaustion, due to.." followed by the psychiatric diagnosis. This diagnosis was most frequent in years such as 1931 when only one autopsy was performed on 304 deaths and least in years like 1937, when 51 autopsies were carried out on 236 deaths. A social service department was established in 1932 with the appointment of Miss J.Killburn, R.N., a trained social worker. This action was based on a recommendation made by Dr.Steeves in 1926. This constantly understaffed group carried a large work load that was composed of case work done not only for the Mental Hospitals but also for the Child Guidance Clinic established in Vancouver on July 15, 1932 and later expanded to include Victoria, (1934) and the traveling clinics to Nanaimo and Chilliwack (1935). The department also administered psychometric tests to various groups, including the Borstal Home candidates, and accepted responsibilities to lecture to classes at U.B.C. All members of this department were responsible to the Welfare Branch until 1957 when they were trans­ferred to the Department of the Provincial Secretary. A psychologist, Mr. Watson, M.A., was appointed in 1937, thereby relieving the social work department of much of the labour expended in administering psychometric tests. There were definite advances in treatment during this period but limitations of staff and space reduced the number of patients to whom many of these could give benefit. By 1926, intravenous tryparansamide had been used for Syphilis and found to be effective but palliative only for General Paresis. During this year, malarial therapy was begun and, by 1933, G.P.I, showed, a definite decrease in frequency. By 1946, with bismuth, sulfa, and penicillin added to the therapeutic agents, treatment definitive. The purely physical treatments were less dramatic but gave rise to much optimism. Hydrotherapy, the chief physical treatment in the 1907 period, continued in use to the 1950's. The use of insulin shock was first reported being carried out on 20 patients at a time, in the 1938 report. At this time, metrazol therapy introduced but was not too promising from the beginning. In 1940, to give an idea of the number affected, there were 239 patients on insulin shock and 301 on metrazol that is, 540 patients under treatment out of a total population of 3836. Insulin treatment was decreasing during the war years owing to the lack of trained staff. At the same time, electroconvulsive therapy came into use and replaced the dangerous and much hated metrazol. Surgery for mental illness was introduced in 1946 when 9 lobotomies were performed in the Vancouver General Hospital by Dr.F.Turnbull. The following year, there were 45 cases and over the next five years, psycho-surgery suffered a gradual loss of popularity as other means of therapy became available.

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Renaissance 1950

March 31st, 1950 was the 1ast day of the 35 year career in the P.M.H.C. of Dr. A.L. Crease. It also marked the beginning of a new phase in the treatment of mental illness in the province. By this date, in addition to the Departments of Pathology, Pharmacy, Social Work, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, and Recreational Therapy that had been formed over the previous three decades and was now in charge of specialists, there was added a Department of Neurology. In addition, there came into being a new facility for the aged at Vernon, “The New Vista” a rehabilitation centre for discharged female patients, and the Crease Clinic, dedicated to the intensive treatment and rehabilitation of the acutely ill and to education and research. When Dr._A.M. Gee, Dr. Crease’s successor, accepted on April 1st, 1950, the senior position in the Mental Health Services, the population, in residence was 4,602. On this date, the various mental health activities were amalgamated into the Provincial Mental Health Services. Divisions were formed, governed by a "Hospital Council". These divisions were called
1) The Active Treatment Services,
2) Geriatrics Division,
3) Preventive Services,
4) Rehabilitation Services,
5) Research Division.
At the same time, the New Westminster Mental Hospital was re-named Woodlands School in keeping with its function, although direct admission would not tike place until 1953, the word "attendant" was deleted from the Civil Service Structure, and the Provincial Mental Hospital's "Chronic Buildings" were renamed "Lawn Buildings", thus updating the semantics of mental illness. Pennington Hall, containing a cafe, bowling alley and theatre, was started as were increased facilities for the aged at Terrace and for the patients at Woodlands School. The Nursing School at this time had centralized its training heretofore carried out independently by both mental hospitals, and commenced a "block system" for its 230 female and 190 male students. In addition, the annual report for this year, 1950, carried the nomenclature of the American Psychiatric Association, thus spelling an end to the system that had been used for many decades. In 1950, the Medical Faculty of the University of British Columbia started to train its first class of undergraduates. The high hopes were expressed in the annual report for the year that the new school would be of great assistance with the vexing problem of post graduate training for resident physicians of the mental health services, who were, by this time, severely restricted by regulation formulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. They could, for example receive credit for one year only towards certification regardless of the number of years spent in the mental hospital, and further, were to be encouraged to train in several centres rather than remain in the same geographical area. By 1961, a firmly organized, integrated scheme was yet to be developed, although co-operation in many fields, particularly neurological research, had continued. On January 1st, 1951, “The Clinics of Psychological Medicine Act” was proclaimed and “…for the first time it became possible to receive patients at an earlier stage of their illness” This moment, long sought caused plans for a second large hospital to be shelved and stimulated thought on the next advance - the reaching further into the community with day hospitals and out-patient clinics. This latest “Act” made voluntary admissions and certified admissions without the loss of civil rights possible for a maximum period of four months. The first year of operation of the Crease Clinic was indicative of success. 791 of the 963 patients admitted were returned to the community within the statutory period. During this year (1951-1952), the first consultants in general surgery and neuro-surgery were retained by means of a "Mental Health Grant" and a survey of overcrowding was made at the request of the Federal Government. The results of the latter shocking, one building (the male side of Centre lawn) was found to be 81.1% over­crowded; that is, a facility designed for 143 patients housing 260. West Lawn (male), East Lawn (female), and Centre Lawn (female side) were 30.8%, 56.8%, and 42.5% overcrowded respectively. The year, 1951 marked the commencement of a policy to establish "open wards" in the P.M.H. and Crease Clinic. The following year, all forms of physical restraint were, once again, abolished, except for sec­lusion under strict safeguards and, a year later, children under six years of age were permitted direct admission to the Woodlands School, thereby ending the tragic mixing of small patients with adults suffering from various types and degrees of mental disorder. During 1951, a research "colony" was established at the University under Dr. W. Gibson and investigations were begun. 1952 saw the opening of operating room facilities in the Crease Clinic. Since the peak days at the Public Hospital for the Insane, all surgical operations, at great inconvenience to all, had to be carried out either at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster or the Vancouver General Hospital. This year a remotivation program for long neglected patients in the “chronic” buildings was started in the female building, and in harmony with this increased activity, regular ward rounds were commenced and two social workers were appointed to begin full time work on two wards in the Provincial Mental Hospital (P.M.H.). Alcoholics, long refused admission for treatment; were allocated 25 beds in the Centre Lawn Building. In 1953, a “School for Mental Defectives Act" became operative on the 1st of October. Woodlands School at this time had 1,098 patients “on the books” and a growing waiting list. On the wards of both the P.M.H. and the Crease Clinic, the "relationship" or "mileau therapy" was incorporated into the teaching program and the team approach of physician, nurse, psychologist, and social worker was stressed. Insulin Coma, which had been discontinued at the P.M.H., was re-introduced and marked the point at which treatments available in the Clinic were also in use in the P.H.H. Group psychotherapy, including an adolescent group, was pract­iced volunteer workers, organized by the Canadian Mental Health Associat­ion (C.M.H.A.) appeared for the first time on the wards, and out-patients services were established for discharged patients to be used, especially, by those who resided in the nearby geographic area. Oh April 1st, 1954, the Neurological Research Centre which had pub­lished an impressive list of titles and whose members had presented papers to numerous societies, was formally transferred to the University to become the Department of Neurological Research. By March 31st, 1955, there were five unlocked wards in the P.M.E., and the Crease Clinic, serving 537 patients, definite progress was being made. General Paresis, the scourge of so many years, was practically eliminated. Epilepsy was under control, and it was calculated that 50% at least of schizophrenics could be assisted back to the community after a relatively short period of treatment. Chlorpromazine and Reserpine were added to the armamentarium. By this time, too, the community's involvement in the treatment of mental illness was obvious and it had such representatives as the. CM.H.A. volunteers and the Auxiliary formed at Woodlands School by, the B C. Society for Handicapped Children. The personnel of the Provincial Mental Health Services participated in many community-sponsored efforts in the field. They assisted in the Mental Health Training Program that was held under the direction of the Vancouver School Board, in addition to advising the Alcoholism Foundation of B.C., and the Narcotic Addiction Foundation. On May 4th, 1955, a centre for the treatment of tuberculosis, the North Lawn building containing 230 beds, was opened after many years of anticipation. On January 2nd, 1957, the “Mental Health Centre" in nearby Burnaby was opened. This unit provided accommodation for the Child Guidance Clinic which was freed from its long residence in antiquated, inadequate quarters and was to provide out-patient services and a day care centre for the community. The same year, the quarters vacated by the Child Guidance Clinic were converted into "Venture", a rehabilitation centre for men. Dr. Gee retired on August 31st, 1953 and his position as Director was taken by Dr. A.E. Davidson. The next year the Mental Health Services were removed from the Provincial Secretary's Department where they had been since 1872 and were transferred to the Department of Health Services and Hospital Insurance. Dr. Davidson became a Deputy Minister represent­ing the P.M.H.S. and moved his office from Essondale to Vancouver. During the 1959 - 1960 fiscal year, considerable expansion took place in the areas dealing with the aged and the mentally defective: an infirmary building named the Valleyview Building at the Homes for the Aged, Port Coquitlam, was opened; and 130 males were transported from Woodlands school to Tranquille, a recently vacated sanitarium at Kamloops, no longer required for the treatment of large numbers or Tuberculosis cases. At Essondale, approximately 70% of the patients were living on open wards and the result of 10 years of increased therapy were now available for comparison and were cause for exultation. In 1948- 1949, the total population increased by 354 with an index increase of 28.09. In 1959-1960, the increase was 20 with an index of 0.61%. The total admissions in 1943-1949 were 1,260. In, 1959-1960, 3,294. For the first time in history, there were actual decreases in the resident population; 78 patients less in 1956-1957, and 90 less in 1958-1959.

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Summary

It may be added, in summarizing, that the history of the treatment of mental illness in the Province of British Columbia is, to the largest extent, the history of the development of the Provincial Mental Health Services. This extends now from 1872 to 1961. Starting as an institution to provide custodial care chiefly for the dependant insane, it developed prior to the first World War into a model demonstrating the principles of the “Moral treatment" of mental illness that were in vogue in that day. This was followed by a long time interval, marked at each end by a devastating war and plagued throughout by episodes of economic depression. During this there was a slowing down of construction and a consequent building up of and overcrowding problem in addition to a periodic shortage of trained personnel that not only reduced the efficiency of the organization as a treatment centre but re-introduced, some at least, of the restrain­ing practices of a previous barbaric time. During this period, however, sporadic but important advances were made that were available for devel­opment during the resurgent period of the last decade. During the resurgent period, there have been some definite advances as shown by statistics (and when scrutinizing these we must keep in mind the sobering facts that there is a long waiting list for Woodlands School and for the Homes for the Aged and that many of the persons discharged from the long term buildings in the P.M.H. remain public charges in board­ing and nursing homes). There has, in addition, been a re-establishment of the "Hospital" atmosphere with wards made as cheerful as is consistent with continued overcrowding. Facilities for occupational therapy, rec­reational therapy and amusement have been improved as have the means for providing treatment - Psychiatric, Medical, and Surgical - to those patients to whom these can bring benefit. Finally, there are encouraging signs of rising community interest in mental illness and commencing expansion of the mental health services to provide facilities within the community itself to all who can be accommodated with no regard for socio-economic status.

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