Bertha and Charlotte Streets are part of the naming of streets following the new Crofton pulp mill’s existence, forming part of the B.C.F.P. initials. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Bertha and Charlotte Streets are part of the naming of streets following the new Crofton pulp mill’s existence, forming part of the B.C.F.P. initials. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Where the streets have a name there’s an interesting history

Crofton’s core features connections to Henry Croft’s family and the BCFP pulp mill

Crofton’s streets tell an interesting story of earlier times, according to information from the Crofton Old School Museum Society’s membership.

When the town site was first being laid out in 1902, the planners used a grid system of straight streets running north-south and east-west with square corners. There was little regard for the actual shape of the land, so the streets laid out for south of Adelaide Street were never built because of the steep hillside and later subdivisions there dead-end at the hill.

Many of Crofton’s original streets were named by the village’s founder Henry Croft after in-laws and business associates. Thus, the main street, Joan Avenue, was named for his mother-in-law Joan Dunsmuir and Robert for his father-in-law. Musgrave and Chaplin were two brothers-in-law and many streets with girls’ names after the Dunsmuir daughters: Marian, Elizabeth, Emily and Agnes.

Berridge Street was named for the secretary of the Lenora, Mount Sicker Copper Mining Co. that was owned by Croft.

Crofton also has a Queen Street and one named Coronation, but many are surprised to learn the queen was Queen Victoria and the coronation was of Edward VIII.

The original plan featured a large smelter reserve that included all of the seashore between Joan and Berridge Streets and most of the land east of King Street. Today this area is traversed by Crofton’s famous seawalk, is almost entirely subdivisions and makes up a large part of the town centre.

In this area, Morgan Street likely commemorates the Morgan Ranch once located there.

And this, from Karen Dancy, who lived in the area as a young person: she said Bertha, Charlotte, Freda and Pauline Streets (B.C.F.P.) were named in the 1950s for the new B.C. Forest Products pulp mill established just north of town. It was felt these names would fit right in with the other female names from the original town.

At first the town plan only extended along Adelaide Street – named after Croft’s birthplace in Australia – to Berridge, but in later years the land further out was settled, some by retired British military officers.

Today, Barnes Road commemorates Lt. Col. G. E. Barnes of the Royal Marine Artillery and Smith Road is named for Michael Smith, who had preempted the land in 1894 before Crofton was built. Also in this area Vye Road was named after George Vye, it is believed, a blacksmith at the smelter. And Dyke Road named from a very first storekeeper and postmaster.

These are but a few names. Later subdivisions selected other names and for other reasons.

But knowing why a street has a particular name can be quite interesting.

Communityhistory

 

Freda Street is named in part of the B.C.F.P. pulp mill initials. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Freda Street is named in part of the B.C.F.P. pulp mill initials. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Joan Avenue is named for Henry Croft’s mother-in-law. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Joan Avenue is named for Henry Croft’s mother-in-law. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The naming of Robert Street in Crofton has connections to Henry Croft’s father-in-law. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The naming of Robert Street in Crofton has connections to Henry Croft’s father-in-law. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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