History buffs can start the new year with a peek back in time.
The Town of View Royal has copies of the late Maureen Duffus’ book Craigflower Country, An illustrated history of View Royal 1850-1950, are now available at the town hall.
The book, first published in softcover in 1993 but reprinted in 2011 with new information and photos from subsequent research, talks about the first European settlers on lands labelled by Hudson’s Bay Company colonizers as Craigflower Farm, the First Nations heritage of the area, and the transition from a farming community to a residential suburb. The book contains numerous archival photos and illustrations.
While the area within View Royal’s pre-municipal boundaries (incorporation as a town came in 1988) has a colourful past, Duffus, who died in 2018 at age 91, also had a long familial history in Greater Victoria.
Her great-grandparents James and Mary Yates, after whom Yates Street is named, arrived in Fort Victoria in 1849. Her grandmother attended classes at historic Craigflower schoolhouse on Admirals Road, and Duffus herself grew up in a waterfront home on View Royal Avenue.
The longtime journalist, historian and co-founder of the View Royal archives in 1993 was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her work in the community preserving local history. Duffus authored five books about local and Vancouver Island history.
Craigflower Country is available at View Royal town hall for $24.