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A Short History of Victoria
Vancouver Handbook -- 1st Edition

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Victoria began in 1843 as a fur trading post and a fort built by the Hudson's Bay Company. It was named after the young Queen Victoria of England. Many British settlers began to arrive and here in the Canadian wilderness they built a beautiful and quiet English town.

The town of Victoria did, however, have exciting times. In 1858, twenty five thousand wild miners, a great many of them American, passed through on their way to the Cariboo Gold Rush in the interior of B.C. The border between Canada and the United States had not yet been set. For a while, people feared that Victoria and Vancouver Island or even the whole of B.C. might be taken over by the miners and joined to the U.S.!

The sea has always been important to Victoria. Ships came to its beautiful harbour all the way around Cape Horn from England and Europe, and all the way across the Pacific from Asia. One of the world famous "China Clippers", the Thermopylae, had Victoria as its home port for many years.

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and its main industries are government and tourism. It is a city with beautiful architecture and many cultural attractions. It has mostly kept its traditional English way of life. You can still go to the Empress Hotel and have "afternoon tea". Victoria, of all Canadian cities, looks and feels the most "English".

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