Skip to content

Wheeling In the Years

August 27, 2016

In the spring of 1906 two Brownsville lads got into an altercation which resulted in damage to a bicycle.

“Chas. Espeland, an employee of the Schaake Machine Works, against whom a charge was laid by EB Hubbard, of Brownsville, of knocking him off his bicycle and inflicting damage to the wheel, to the extent of $1.50, has settled the case and the charge has been withdrawn. He shelled out the $1.50 and costs.”

Charles Espeland was the son of Brownsville pioneer homesteader Hans Espeland.

Charles had been a pupil at Brownsville School where he was twice included on the honor roll, along with classmates Punch and Quible.

The Espeland family later moved to Collingwood, a Vancouver neighborhood, and Charles remained on the lower mainland after his father moved to Bellingham WA.

Charles Espeland died of illness in 1918 at the age of 32.

The Hubbard’s were neighbors of the Espelands at Brownsville, coming here from the USA in 1900.

The cause of Espeland’s ire is not stated and we don’t know if it was a collision or something else entirely. However, in an age when pedestrians competed with horses and wagons, bicycles, livestock, motor cars, cats and dogs, there was more than the odd chest-up over right-of-way.

Bridge traffic congestion on the south-end on-ramp to the Fraser River Bridge is shown in this detail from a Joe Plaskett photo, c1936. Pedestrians are separated from traffic by a fence on the upriver side of the ramp. A bicyclist leads ascending car. Cars on right are yielding way.

Fraser River bridge cyclist - Joe Plaskett

No comments yet


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s