The Maritime Museum of British Columbia Closed for Moving
Most of the move will be done by professional movers but some things staff and volunteers can manage on their own, like the Museum’s collection of ship plans.
Our collection contains more than 1,000 ship plans, most of which are original. Stored in large folders four feet by four feet, getting them ready is time consuming. Each folder is taken out and checked for pests and mold then cleaned with a cotton cloth to remove any dust. Each ship plan is checked to ensure it is packed in the folders with paper between each piece of paper in the set of plans to ensure there is no movement or rubbing when they are in transit. The folders are then checked for any damage and repaired if necessary. Museum staffer, Christina Starko says, "It's a tedious process but it's pretty neat when you get to see just what is in the collection."
Approximately 250 ship plans are ready to be transported, just a quarter of what the Museum holds in its collection. For Starko though, the reward has been connecting personally to the ship plans. Starko adds seeing the Princess Sophia blueprints first-hand have been the highlight for her in the process as the disaster is one of the stories she told on her shipwrecks tour this past summer.
"The Princess Sophia story is the one story where the most people cry," says Starko. "Finding the blueprints added an another level for me to an already emotional story."
As she has been working on this project, she thinks back to the people who held the pencils, drawing out each line on the ship plans before her. .
The Royal Navy Canadian Volunteer Reserve at the gun emplacement near Ferguson Point during World War I. In the mid-1800s, the Royal Navy was looking for a deep sea sheltered port to serve the Lower Mainland. Burrard Inlet was the choice, and the Stanley Park peninsula was in an obvious position to protect it. The peninsula was designated as a military reserve, with survey work beginning in 1859. It didn't become Stanley Park until 1886.
In World War I, British Columbians were worried about an attack from across the Pacific because Germany had a fleet of cruisers stationed at Tsingtao, China. That's when the defences for the Port of Vancouver were established in the park. The Royal Navy put in two four-inch calibre guns, which were manned by naval reservists. When World War II broke out, the Pacific Coast was more prepared than it was during the First World War. Construction started in 1938 to build permanent defences. In Stanley Park, two guns were installed at Ferguson Point. There was a battery command post, and adjacent barracks where the Third Beach parking lot is now. There were also at least 10 searchlight positions established around the harbour.
There are still reminders of the rich military history of Stanley Park. The bases of the guns that were installed during the Second World War have been barely covered by grass. In late summer you can see two perfect circles of burnt out grass, due to the shallow soil. One of the searchlight towers is now the lookout near Siwash Rock. City of Vancouver Archives