5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Jericho Beach
Jericho Beach has had 140 busy years.
Vancouver is a city of beaches.
Each shore seems to have its own history, often dating back millennia as the sites of local Aboriginal villages.
One of these beaches is Jericho. Located in the Kitsilano/Point Gray border area, it is one of three in a stretch that heads west with Locarno and Spanish Banks. It’s a good part of the shore.
All of this you probably know.
You also probably know that there is a colony of cute but invasive rabbits: don’t feed them. If bunnies are part of recent beach history, let’s go back a little further.
1. It was the site of a Musqueam village
Called Ee’yullmough (or Iy̓ál̓mexw according to the Squamish Atlas), the village stood on the site which is now known as Jericho Beach long before settlers moved into the area, and the land would have seemed very different at the time.
Recently, Ee’yullmough returned as part of the Jericho Lands development discussion.
2. The name has nothing to do with Jericho, the city
It’s unclear exactly where the name comes from, but Jericho Beach’s name definitely comes from Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Rogers.
A lumberjack, Rogers ran his operations from the shore to the beach. The business was known as Jerry & Co. and the area may have been known as Jerry’s Cove. The Jericho is thought to come from one of these two names that run together.
3. It was the site of one of the first golf courses in western North America
The first golf club in Canada was founded in 1873 and it became popular in Eastern Canada before coming to the West.
In 1892, however, three Vancouver businessmen decided it was time for Vancouver to have a club and a course and founded the Jericho Golf Club. It was a nine-hole course and quickly became overcrowded and may have been the first organized golf club west of the Mississippi.
4. There was a military airbase there
For decades, Jericho Beach was not a place to sunbathe, but rather to pull a seaplane ashore.
Originally founded as a government flying boat station, the military ran the RCAF Jericho Beach station there from the 1920s through World War II. It expanded during the war (including taking over the golf course) and the military took over much of the land. The air base on the shore was closed and the hangars were abandoned by the air force.
While most of the site is devoid of the base that once was, the Jericho Arts Center is still there; the building was once the RCAF Recreation Hall and hosted dances for pilots and locals.
5. The hippies took over, and the police and the army chased them away
Former Vancouver Mayor Tom Campbell didn’t like the hippie movement, so when up to 400 hippies moved into the airbase’s remaining barracks and called it Cool-Aid, he decided he something had to be done.
On October 2, 1970, the site was ordered to evacuate. On October 15, police and soldiers were called. It took them more than three hours to evict them.
And that’s how Jericho Beach Hostel was founded.
It’s no wonder, but if you’ve seen Deadpool 2, did you notice where Cable got to when he arrived in the present day?