Judge's Wife, The

Memoirs of a BC Pioneer

By (author) Eunice M.L. Harrison
Foreword by Jean Barman
Categories: History
Publisher: Ronsdale Press
Paperback : 9780921870920, 296 pages, May 2002


These memoirs offer a compelling account of life in early British Columbia from the 1860s to the first decade of the 20th century. The wife of Judge Eli Harrison, one of the province’s foremost lawyers and judges, Mrs. Harrison gives intimate glimpses into daily life in Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster, and her visits as a young woman to Granville (as Vancouver was then called) for dances and picnics.

Mrs. Harrison describes the interests of a well-educated woman of her time who was fascinated by the growth of British Columbia. She knew many of the important people in the colony and province, including the Douglas family, and speaks freely about everyday events in British Columbia, such as famous murders, rides on "the unfinished transcontinental" and her meetings with First Nations people. She also includes descriptions of her husband’s many hazardous trips over the Brigade Trail into the interior of the province to dispense frontier justice.

In the final sections, she describes her visit to San Francisco where she was caught in the earthquake of 1906 and the subsequent fire that destroyed much of the city. With her daughter and son at her side, Harrison walked the length of the city to the dockyards - avoiding the burning buildings and the mobs of people taking advantage of the chaos - to board the ship that would take her out of the flames and back to Canada. The volume includes many original black & white photos from the Harrison personal files.