Metro Vancouver History: Samuel Brighouse

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

During my adventure in Richmond yesterday I noticed the name “Brighouse” a few times in public places and thought I would uncover a bit more about this familiar name.

Samuel Brighouse was one of the earliest European settlers on Burrard Inlet (he was one of the Three Greenhorns) and in later years also had a farm on Lulu Island in Richmond.

Samuel Brighouse

After the West End/”Greenhorn” deal, pioneer Samuel Brighouse bought up 697 acres of Richmond land in 1864 and raised horses and cattle. In 1883 he petitioned for the incorporation of Richmond as a municipality and in 1887 he ran in Vancouver’s civic election and helped obtain the City’s charter. He returned to England in 1911 and passed away two years later, though his legacy lived on.

Minoru Chapel – Photo credit: Matzuda on Flickr

During the first World War the Minoru Park Racetrack was closed but re-opened as Brighouse Park in 1920. In 1941, with another war and the opening of Hastings Park, Brighouse Park closed. Side note: “Minoru” was the name of a race horse.

Most municipal and well-known structures in Richmond were built on Brighouse land, from City Hall, to Minoru Park, and Richmond Centre.

The area is full of history, including being the site of Canada’s first-ever parachute jump in 1912 [VancouverHistory], the first cross-Canada flight touched down in Minoru Park in 1920, and even the lacrosse box in Brighouse Park has stood there for nearly 100 years.

Photo credit: Stephen Rees on Flickr

To this day, the “downtown” area of Richmond is referred to as Brighouse and the new Canada Line station that was to be “Richmond City Centre” will now be called “Richmond-Brighouse”.

2 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. David MortonThursday, April 9th, 2009 — 1:20pm PDT

    Nice chatting with you last night about this and your other VancouverHistory posts!

    I wonder if you’ve read the relatively recent book, “The Man Game” by Lee Henderson – a novel set in Vancouver beginning with the Great Fire of 1886. A strange read that takes historical fact and combines it with audacious fiction, e.g. RH Alexander, the manager of Hastings Mill, and his wife, are hopeless opium addicts.

    Not a great book, overall, but it really shook me up. Much historical truth, I think, but some of the alternate realities he suggests are very cool.

    I think anyone interested in Vancouver history would get a charge out of this one!

  2. Trish Knight CherneckiFriday, June 24th, 2011 — 11:22pm PDT

    I’m writing this comment 2 years after you posted it. I’m a descendant of Sam Brighouse and thank you for posting an accurate condensed history of SB. We’ve seen lots of fiction.

    I’m wondering if David Morton is a descendant of John Morton – one of the Three Greenhorns along with SB? If so, we are cousins.



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