Unlocking North Vancouver History

Moodyville: Legend and Legacy


When Sewell Moody (1834-1875) arrived on Burrard Inlet, trees were still so plentiful that they could be felled directly into the water and floated to the mills. The waterway of Burrard Inlet, too, was an almost perfect natural harbour for sailing ships. Sometimes up to six or seven vessels loaded at once at the Moodyville docks. According to historian Derek Pethick, the captain of the British ship Jeddo wrote the following description to his company’s agent in about 1866:

“This is, without exception, one of the finest harbours I ever saw. It is locked in all round with high lands, covered with trees 300 feet [91 m] high, so that no wind or sea can hurt ships, and very easy of access for the largest ships afloat, and good anchorage. It is, likewise, a good place for loading. The ships can moor head and stern about half a cable’s length (92 m) from the mills in six fathoms (11 m) of water.”

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This image illustrates the ideal location of the Moodyville mill. Burrard Inlet allowed water access, and the slope made it easier to pull logs to the mill along skids.

This photo looks east toward the mill and up Burrard Inlet, one of the world’s largest natural harbours.

This photo was taken after 1864. Sewell Moody had recognized the area’s potential when he purchased the mill in 1865.

Sewell Moody and his partners secured many large timber leases to guarantee wood supply and set up logging camps to ensure the success of the mill.

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