Hastings Mill

By (author): Lisa Anne Smith

In the summer of 1865, when Captain Edward Stamp began to organize the construction of a small sawmilling operation on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, he likely never realized that a future metropolis was in the making. The fledgling Stamp’s Mill, later to become Hastings Mill, was Vancouver’s first community-a townsite inhabited by an eclectic mix of colourful characters from widely diverse backgrounds. Life centered around the iconic Hastings Mill Store, where one came to obtain groceries, hardware, mail and the warmth of human interaction around an oil drum fire. Historic times aplenty unfolded at Hastings Mill. Here residents rallied to assist victims of the Great Vancouver Fire. Lumber cargo loads of legendary size and quality were shipped to markets near and far. Dominion Day festivities were celebrated in fine style on a sports field of mill sawdust. Indigenous occupants of the region engaged in mill employment and commerce. Chinook jargon was the widely spoken, multi-lingual trade language of the era. When time and local demographics ultimately spelled the death knoll for the sawmill and its weathered structures in 1930, an unlikely group of determined ladies rose to the challenge of saving the Hastings Mill Store, Vancouver’s oldest building.


Lisa Anne Smith

Lisa Anne Smith was born in Burnaby, B.C. and has been an avid fan of B.C. history for much of her life. She is a longtime education docent at the Museum of Vancouver and is a member of Native Daughters of B.C., owners/operators of Old Hastings Mill Store Museum, Vancouver’s oldest building. Over the last five years, she has done extensive research in the archives on Vancouver’s great fire of 1886, which is now seeing publication with Ronsdale Press as Vancouver Is Ashes in 2014. Her published books include Our Friend Joe: The Joe Fortes Story (Ronsdale Press, 2012) and Travels with St. Roch: A Book for Kids (2001). Lisa lives in Vancouver with her husband, two grown children, and Sunny, the world’s least intelligent but most loveable golden retriever.


“Lisa Anne Smith’s finely researched Hastings Mill: The Historic Times of a Vancouver Community is bursting with characters set against Vancouver’s defining moments. “&nbsp- Mark Forsythe, BC BookWorld Lisa Anne Smith “has given us a lively and thought-provoking story of past and present.” – BC Review


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350 Pages
9.07in * 6.05in * .87in


March 25, 2022


Ronsdale Press



Book Subjects:

HISTORY / Canada / General

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