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Gibby’s Field
Cedar Cottage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


The following is from the seven-page “Gibby’s Field Final Research Report” (in HTML or PDF) by Arn Keeling, published 29 September 2001. There are additional entries for 1924 and for 1944 on. A reference to “the present-day Safeway building” is replaced by a reference to “the present-day King Edward Village.”

Key Dates and Events

1851     Moses Gibson born in Ireland, March 6.

1870     Gibson immigrates to Ontario (and marries?).

1886     Gibson arrives in Vancouver on April 12 (before the great fire).

1886     Gibson buys or builds the Queen’s Hotel on Water Street at Abbott.

1888     Williams’ Vancouver directory lists Moses Gibson as proprietor of Queen’s Hotel. An exchange of letters in the City Clerk’s files documents Gibson’s provision of burial for a dead seaman (revealed to be Joseph Evans) found on the shore near Carroll Street. Gibson was repaid.

1889     On November 13, Crown grants lands in District Lots 643, 649, 748, 749, and 750 to Moses Gibson.

1888     Arthur Wilson establishes his “Cedar Cottage” nursery on his spread near Westminster Road (Kingsway) and Knight.

1891     Interurban tram service established between Vancouver and New Westminster, including a stop at “Cedar Cottage.” N.b.: the area was, at this time, also known as “Epworth.”

1893     Gibson moves his young family out to his homestead in what was then the District of South Vancouver. He builds his ranch house at the southwest corner of D.L. 749.

1894     Gibson becomes one of the three first trustees of DL 301 school, located just across Knight Road on 20th Ave. between Clark and Inverness. A photo of D.L. 301 School from 1897 shows Moses’ son, Sam, amongst the class. Shortly, however, Gibson resigns from the position amidst a controversy surrounding the dismissal of the teacher, a Mr. Phoenix. The children are sent to Mt. Pleasant School.

1899     Williams’ British Columbia Directory lists M. Gibson, farmer, in Epworth, “a suburban settlement of Vancouver district ... situated on Westminster Road near the Interurban tramway.”

ca. 1900-1930    Golden age of Cedar Cottage, centered around the business district between 15th and 20th along Cedar Cottage Road (Commercial).

1902 (ca.) Cedar Cottage Brewery established by John Benson at Westminster Road (Kingsway) and Knight, on the banks of Gibson Creek at the site of the present-day Safeway building King Edward Village.

1904     A Moses Gibson, possibly junior, is listed in Henderson’s Directory as a teamster boarding at 209 Prior St.

1908     Robson Memorial Methodist Church (East 18th Ave. and Fleming) built and dedicated.

1914     Vancouver Joint Sewerage and Drainage Board approves and constructs two sets of extensions to its China Creek sewer line south of 11th Ave, which includes portions of Gibson Creek.

1915     On January 28, Gibson appeals for compensation for damage to his property during sewer construction. Such claims, the records reveal, were not uncommon. The board moves to offer Gibson $150 in lieu of the $195 he demanded. Unsure of outcome.

1915     Gibson sells some or all of his ranch at a “tax sale.” Hereafter, the land begins to be subdivided in earnest, with the exception of the strip on the south side of 18th Ave..

1921     After extending Gibson the option to repurchase his sold lands, the District of South Vancouver takes full ownership of DLs 748 and 749.

1924     Cedar Cottage resident Florence Anderson remembers that when she was a schoolgirl, aged about ten (in about 1924), she would take her younger brother and sister down to “Gibson’s Field” during the summer time. She would take lunch and they would have a picnic. She said, “I used to make sandwiches and we’d go down there” (personal communication with Dan Fass, 21 February 2007).

1929     South Vancouver municipality amalgamates with Vancouver. All city properties revert to Vancouver ownership, including the properties in question.

1937     Gibson dies July 23 at Burnaby of prostate cancer, aged 86. He is buried on July 28 at Mountain View Cemetery.

1944     According to Vancouver resident Olive Cairns (personal communication with Dan Fass, 2 May 2007), Gibson Creek and Davy Creek continued to cross Gibby’s Field until at least 1944.

1950s     Cedar Cottage resident Florence Anderson remembers that her nephew David Hampson and his friend Davy Anderson used to cycle down to “Gibson’s Field” from Dumfries and 33rd. She said, “Kids went from all over” to Gibson’s Field (personal communication with Dan Fass, 21 February 2007).

1973     Tyee Elementary School built.

2000     Formation of Gibby’s Field Group — see chronology of the group’s 2000–2001 activities.

2001     On 10 January, Bruce Maitland, Manager for Housing and Properties for the City of Vancouver, agreed to place a temporary moratorium on further residential development of Gibby’s Field.

2006     Formation of Gibby’s Field Subcommittee — see chronology of the subcommittee’s activities 2006–present .

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