Unlocking North Vancouver History

Moodyville: Legend and Legacy

Early Days on the North Shore

The heavily forested slopes of Burrard Inlet’s north shore had initially seemed impossible to exhaust. However, by the end of the 19th century, the area had been heavily logged and the mill felt the cost of bringing in wood from sources farther away. This photo was taken only three years before Moodyville’s demise. At the time, activity on the north shore was concentrated in two areas. The Moodyville mill is on the right, and farther to the left you can see the single spire of St. Paul’s Church, built on the Mission Indian Reserve in 1884. Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish Native people had lived around the inlet, or come there to fish and gather clams, for millennia. They moved into more permanent settlements when many of the men took jobs in the sawmills. Native men made up a significant proportion — about one third — of Moodyville’s mill workers.

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This view of Burrard Inlet’s north shore shows extensive logging and two tiny communities. A Squamish village and Moodyville were the only settlements on the shore at that time.

Taken from the water, this view resembles what Capt. George Vancouver, the first European explorer to enter Burrard Inlet in 1792, would have seen.

This photo was taken in 1898. One decade later, the entire area had metamorphosed into the nascent city of North Vancouver.

The men who invested in Burrard Inlet’s first lumber mills were usually involved a variety of business ventures, such as provisioning and mining.
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