Easter Monday 25th April 1859

As the week progresses, various responsibilities are formalized.

25th Monday Commenced a powder magazine on the side of the ravine separating our camp from the Marines.  I was also placed in charge of all the stores and everything relative to the Commissariat Department in addition to superintending other works   The photographic equipment was also placed in my charge

--From the Journal of Lt. Lempriere, RE.

Lt. Blake presents his completed final report to Col. Moody.

Royal Marine Camp, Queenborough,
25 April, 1859

To His Excellency
Colonel Moody
Royal Engineers


I have the honor to inform you that according to your order, I proceeded last Monday in charge of an exploration expedition consisting of Captain Bazalgette, RM, one Private, RM, and three Indians with rations for five days for the purpose of ascertaining the relative position of Burrard Inlet with regard to Queenborough.

The route I pursued for the purpose of affecting this was by the small River Brunette to Burnaby Lake, making the latter my Head Quarters.

The distance from Queenborough to the lake I ascertained to be by the River about 6 miles.  The river is exceedingly tortuous in its course, and its stage at the time that I proceeded up it was very low, but perfectly navigable for small canoes the portages owing to the fallen timber are numerous; but these obstacles might easily be removed. 

The Lake is two miles and a half in length by one in breadth and the deepest part that I could find, I sounded at two fathoms, its entire shores are also very swampy its bearing is N.70 W. from where the Brunette running to the Fraser flows out of it and is about N.70 W. of Queenborough.  On the Second day I despatched Captain Bazalgette R.M., to reconnoiter the head of the lake and he discovered a river which he followed up on a Westerly course for 3 miles (Still Creek). 

This river runs into a lake but with an almost imperceptible motion, it is also much deeper than any other part of the latter that I sounded.  Its average depth being three fathoms, it also winds in small turns of every fifty of sixty yards but its general bearing is West, its shores are swampy and covered with alder, its general appearance might be likened to a Canal. 

On the same day I started with an Indian and two days provisions and took a course due North from the eastern point of the lake over a Mountain 600 feet above the level of the sea covered with dense forest on reaching the summit I found Burrards Inlet to be immediately beneath it on the opposite side branching off into two arms the Southern most one of which bore to the eastward and appeared to terminate within a short distance.  The Northern most one hugging the base of the opposite high range of mountains was shut out from any observation.  The mountain I ascended had an exceedingly steep descent to the Northward the breadth of the inlet was at the broadest part two miles: observing on this occasion that the mountain a short distance from where I had crossed it terminated abruptly to the Eastward and that a comparatively cleared valley about a mile in width skirted it in the direction of the Inlet, I devoted my third day to endeavoring to find out the nearest and most direct point from the latter to Queenborough and by returning about a mile and a quarter down the river Brunette from the Lake, I entered the valley and found it lead over a perfectly level and nearly cleared Country direct to the termination of the Southernmost branch of the inlet the distance from River to the latter being about two and a half miles and I compute the distance that exists between that part of the river and Queenborough to be about three miles in a direct line this would make the nearest point of the Inlet five and a half miles from Queenborough.

On the fourth day I tried to get up the River at the head of the Lake further than Captain Bazalgette had been but after three miles the snags were so numerous from the fallen trees that I found the labour of getting the Canoe over

Too great to proceed much further than he had already been the depth of the River continued the same at this point it also flows through a perfectly unbroken valley which heads due West to Burrard Inlet.  From the head of the lake and the distance across the former I should  say to be about eight miles. 

I have the Honor to be
Your Most Obedient Servant
G.S. Blake, Lt. RMA

On the same evening, Mrs. Mary Moody, writes from Victoria, to her sister in England.

Easter Monday (25th April 1859) -

Dearest Em,

The Mail has just come in, thank you for your letters 28th Feb.  I am so glad to hear that dear Papa keeps so well, it is a great comfort, but dear Em, you must cease to look upon us as "Exiles from our native country", I assure you we feel quite at home, particularly when we get your letters so regularly - I heard from Richard again on Saturday, he still hopes to get us up there soon.

I saw a view of "Queenborough Camp" today, it looks so pretty, and the house, Captain Parsons' looks quite large!  I am sure we shall thoroughly enjoy ourselves there, and now the time for our going is approaching.

I shall be really sorry to go, for the people are all so kind, one feels so thoroughly "at home" with every body here, and some of them are really nice - The Clergyman's Wife, Mrs. Cridge is very nice, tho' not equal to dear little Mrs. Millar, you must not suppose that for a moment.

Everybody is so kind to the children, it is most fortunate Zeffie is not some 10 years older.  Mr. O'Reilly who came out by last Mail is so fond of her - When I came home from Church yesterday I found her entertaining Captain Luard!  However they are both constant to their first friends, Mr. Bushby came in yesterday afternoon, after a 9 week absence, and they both rushed to the door to meet him, and made so much noise that Mr. Begbie threatened to send for a policeman!!

Charlie is Captain Prevost's favourite! - Charlie is looking so well and so bright, really fat and rosy, tho' as Mr. Bushby says "he does not improve in his talking."

Thank you for the stamps, I finished all mine last time so you would all have to pay 2d.for your letters had they not come in time!

We had a most charming day on Saturday - Mr. and Mrs. Cochrane were going to Esquimalt to pay some visits, and asked me to go with them. I made sundry excuses, but found they were determined we should go, so they lunched here at 12 and we got into a boat, themselves and Baby, Zeffie, Dick and myself - It is a charming row, we paid 3 visits, at each place the Children had some milk, we had a long walk from one house to the other, however the Bairns quite enjoyed themselves.

One place, the Mackenzie's, is a thorough picture of a Farm house!  It quite did one good to see them all, they were strangers to me, but I felt as tho' I had known them all my life.  Mr. Mackenzie walked back with us to the landing place, and thinking Zeffie must be tired he took her up to carry her, soon I said, "Now Mr. Mackenzie, you better put her down"  "Well, I fear I must, for she is heavy!  So solid" - We did not get home till nearly 8, so you can fancy they were very sleepy, however I was very glad to get them to bed without a cry - They slept like tops and were none the worse the next day. - Poor Charlie passed a lonely time, Kitty said he was always asking "Where Mama, where Dick, where her?".   However one day last week when we were going to lunch at the Governor's, I wanted to take him also, and had him half ready, face and hands washed running about in his little red petticoat and calling out, "Me no like go din, me stay Kitty" - Then he put his hands in the rubble, and blackened his face, "Me no go din, me stay Kitty" - and so I left him with Kitty, and we went to "din" without him! -

Little Cochrane is growing a fine child, she comes to me every Sunday Afternoon when her mother goes to Church - She sleeps all the time, so that she is no trouble -

Thank you very much dearest Em about making something for Zeffie.  Anything "ready made" is invaluable here, but I must not think about it just now as I am late with my letters, and the Mail goes 1st thing in the morning, and Susan's letter is only 1/4 written and it is past 9 now - It is so good of you to think of them so much - The Dressing Gowns have been and are invaluable - Need no washing. - I am sorry Mary Hawks continues so delicate.  Emma Halford seems a devoted Aunt -

Kitty is quite disgusted with her relations!  They have only once written to her since she left home.  I have a good mind to write to James myself about it - It is a great shame.  I will write next time if there's no letter for Kitty - Anne may tell them from me that it is really very wrong of them not to write -

You must forgive me if I have only answered 1/2 your questions, as I've to send off my letters at once to Richard as the Steamer was leaving.  I must say "good-night" now -

I hope to hear you have gone to Bath - I hope also to hear you are meditating paying us a visit - Thank Uncle Jim for his letter, I must write to him and the others next mail - We are all quite well, excepting Walter's teeth troubles, and he comparatively gets them easily.  I hope soon to tell you he is trotting about - He gets on famously round the walls and chairs - Papa has never sent me his promised letter - This is a very "sleepy" place!!  I could go to sleep at any time.  An unusual thing with me you know!!


Our very best love to all ever dearest Em.

Your Loving Sister,
MaryS. Moody
(Written across the last page of the letter)
Mr. Blackwood takes great care of our letters - Each one has his initials in the corner -