Unlocking North Vancouver History

Moodyville: Legend and Legacy

Introduction

The lost sawmill community of Moodyville was the first significant non-Native settlement on Burrard Inlet, now the harbour of Vancouver. Surrounded by lush forest, it had easy access to seemingly never-ending supplies of raw material. The townsite was named after Sewell Prescott Moody, a dynamic entrepreneur originally from the United States who turned the mill into a success story. It soon became one of the biggest exporters in the new province of British Columbia, and the community achieved many firsts in the region, including the first wedding, school and electric lights. By the early 1890s, however, voracious logging and a worldwide depression had depleted its trees and fortunes. The mill closed in 1901 and the City of North Vancouver gradually absorbed the site. Curiously, almost no physical traces have survived — no buildings or landmarks, and only a few artifacts and photographs remain.

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