“home to Vancouver's first saloon”
Gastown was Vancouver's first downtown core and is named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat captain and barkeep who arrived in 1867 to open the area's first saloon. The town soon prospered as the site of Hastings Mill sawmill, seaport, and quickly became a general centre of trade and commerce on Burrard Inlet as well as a rough-and-rowdy resort for off-work loggers and fishermen as well as the crews and captains of the many sailing ships which came to Gastown or Moodyville, on the north side of the inlet (which was a dry town) to load logs and timber. The Canadian Pacific Railway terminated on piles on the shore parallel to Water Street in 1886. From this the area became a hive of warehouses. Part of Gastown, that of Carroll Street was particularly swampy owing to it being low ground between False Creek and Burrard Inlet. Bridges overcame this obstacle and the low ground and beach was slowly filled in with refuse. In 1886, the town was incorporated as the City of Vancouver. It fell victim to the "Great Vancouver Fire" that same year, losing all but two of its buildings. The area was completely rebuilt and continued to thrive. As said Hastings and Main was the traditional centre of town, and the foreshore became an important staging area with the North and West Vancouver Ferries, and Union Steamships all having docks there. Evans, Coleman, Evans a longtime merchandiser had a warehouse; also, Fleck Brothers, and Koret distributors had buildings. Department stores such as Spencer's, Hudson's Bay Company warehouse,Woodward's, Fairbanks Morse, Army and Navy stores, and food retailers Malkins and Kelly Douglas traded and were based there.
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