1858 engraving of Victoria

Colonial History Vancouver Island

Maureen Duffus - Author and Historian


Excerpts - Craigflower Country

Lady Franklin's Craigflower Picnic

During the McKenzie era at Craigflower Farm the most famous visitor to be transported up the Gorge by boat was the widow of Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin.

In 1861 Lady Jane Franklin was in Victoria during a round-the-world voyage with her niece, Sophia Cracroft. On March 21 they were whisked from the fort by canoes paddled by Canadians for a 'pic-nic' at Craigflower. Miss Cracroft wrote about it, and the Colonist reported it the next day. Neither account mentioned the Craigflower bailiff or his wife. Miss Cracroft describes "the HBCos farm at Craigflower with its hamlet, biscuit manufactory and school" where they landed for luncheon, "several other persons having arrived in boats from Victoria."

The Colonist account notes that a portage was made at the riffles (or falls) and the party "soon reached Craigflower, where a collation was spread, and everything passed off pleasantly and agreeably." The party spent two hours at Craigflower before the boats moved off and "a parting salute was fired by parties on the shore".

Source: Lady Franklin visits the Pacific Northwest, Extracts from Letters, edited by Dorothy Blakey Smith

Back to Craigflower Country