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Longshoremen were a big part of this North Vancouver neighbourhood's early history

This image from 1889 shows a group portrait of stevedores (or, longshoremen) on the dock at Moodyville.
longshoremen moodyville north shore news
Photo: North Vancouver Museum & Archives, # 13378

This image from 1889 shows a group portrait of stevedores (or, longshoremen) on the dock at Moodyville on the North Shore.

The third figure standing from the left is Joe Capilano (later Chief Joe Capilano, known also by his Skwxwu7mesh name Sa7plek) and the centre figure holding a white bundle is 16-year-old William Nahanee Sr., who was born on the Kanaka Ranch near Stanley Park.

This image gives some insight into Moodyville’s ethnic diversity.

In addition to First Nations people, there were people from Africa, China, Chile, England, Ireland, Hawaii, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and many other places.

At its height, Moodyville had a population of about 400, made up of mill workers, longshoremen, logging-camp workers, and their families.

Over the years, Indigenous men established a fine reputation for being proficient mill hands and longshoremen.

The men in this photo pose proudly and confidently against the backdrop of the incredible complexity of the sailing ships’ rigging.

For more information about the history of the North Shore and to learn about the new Museum of North Vancouver opening in late-2020, visit nvma.ca and sign up for the museum’s e-newsletter at bit.ly/35MWr83.

Currently, the Archives of North Vancouver at 3203 Institute Rd. in Lynn Valley is open by appointment only. Contact: archives@dnv.org.

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