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Document/Book

Accession Number
986.016
Description
A soft leather-covered notebook book with lined pages on which are various notes and diagrams created by Hugh Campbell (1818-1927) during his contract to design and execute the landscaping around Craigdarroch Castle from 1889 to 1890.
Narrative
Curator's note: The verbatim excerpt below contains offensive racist language which has been preserved here for the sake of historical accuracy, and also so as not to pretend that such attitudes did not/do not exist. 

Hugh Campbell (1818-1927) arrived in Victoria from Glasgow, Scotland on June 18, 1889. On July 8, 1889 he wrote this in his diary:

"The day after we arrived in Victoria, I was told that a Mr. Dunsmuir was building a palatial residence here. I went and had a look at it and it is something like the style of Mr. Millan's in Invereck and 18 acres of grounds attached. It is covered with a few large and a good many small oak trees and at least 1/2 the ground is taken up with patches of rock, some on the surface, others 10 feet above it. I went to him, made inquiries, was told to prepare a plan of laying out the terraces, drives, gardens, stables, etc., so that it might be sent to Scotland for his widowed mother's approval, as it is her place. Old Mr. Dunsmuir died last April. The house alone cost fifty thousand pounds. It will take 6 months to finish at least. 

I presented my plan with all the strength I could muster to Mr. Alex Dunsmuir and his brother - they are by far the richest men on the whole island - - on Saturday, 29 June in his offices. There and then he arranged I was to meet him on the grounds in two hours. William and I did so, got the job. He enquired what tools and men we required, and that William, Donald and I were to start at 7 o'clock on Monday morning, 1st of July. Tools and five Chinamen were there on Monday morning. Five more Chinamen and nine quarrymen, seven wagons, (each a pair of horses) and drivers have started with us, our orders are to do it as we think best, and as economical as possible, but do it right. He asked us what wages we would expect, our answer was 'the rule of the place'.

Nothing has been offered since. We expect all are paid once a month. A Chinaman's wage is one and a quarter dollars, all others from 2 to 3 dollars a day and Tradesmen from 3 1/2 to 5 dolllars. At present a dollar is 4 / 1 1/2."


 
History of Use
This journal was created by landscape gardener Hugh Campbell and kept in his Victoria family until it was donated to Craigdarroch by his great-grandson in 1986.
Date
1889 – 1890
Dimensions
19 cm x 11 cm
Country of Origin
Canada