OTD: Wind storm hits Vancouver’s Stanley Park, downs thousands of trees

On today’s date in 2006, Vancouver’s Stanley Park was hammered with 120-km/h winds and pounding waves that downed nearly 10,000 trees and caused landslides at the park’s iconic seawall walkway.

The park, which lost 41 hectares of forest, was closed to the public for nearly a year. About 3,000 trees were replanted after nearly 10,000 trees were levelled during the storm.

LORD STANLEY of PRESTON

Last October, a letter sent in 1890 by the park’s namesake, Lord Stanley of Preston, was sold at a Vancouver auction for $1,540. Lot 26 of All Nations Stamp and Coin Auction No. 1080 blew passed its pre-sale estimate of $500 on Oct. 15, 2016, when a bid from the floor—one of 14 bids entered from across North America—was made by a local collector.

The letter is addressed to a Lady Drummond, of 44 Eaton Pl., in Belgravia, a district of West London. The name “C. Colville” was stamped on the front. It was written on repurposed Citadel Quebec stationery, which Duff said “helps verify authenticity.”

Signed “Stanley of Preston,” the letter is exciting to Vancouver history buffs because of Stanley Park; however, the hockey connection was “the real draw,” said Duff, who added it’s a unique opportunity to introduce postal history and ephemera collecting to the hockey community, “and by extension, ordinary Canadians, who know the name Stanley from the Cup and Park.”

Duff said the letter was written from Cascapédia River in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula in July 1890. For context, this was after the dedicating of Stanley Park and before Stanley’s donating of the Stanley Cup.

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