John Dean Park 100 – We’re now experiencing the 100th anniversary of John Dean Provincial Park. The scope of this anniversary ranges between 2018 and 2021.
1918 was the year John Dean spent the most time at his cabin retreat, Illahie. It was the year he promised the Sidney Board of Trade a portion of his property for a reservoir.
100 years ago, on August 17-18, 1918, John Dean placed a map of the Saanich Peninsula at the summit of Mount Newton. It was housed within a glass cabinet, attached to a post that had a tripod sitting on bedrock and it was anchored by piled rocks. Here’s the excerpts from John Dean’s Cabin Diary:
August 17, 1918: Returned at 10:50, fine day, though sprinkled rain. Finished fence around north gate + got out tripod for map to set up on summit; carrying up at 9pm. Finishing first volume of Don Quixote, to bed at 10:30pm. (10:50am 58, 1:30pm 64, 10pm 58)
August 18, 1918: Rain – Fairly fine, rain heavy shower at 8pm. George, Mrs. + Norma Porter arrived at 4:00, set up triangle in morning for map, cleaned up trail to big granite bolder from map, cut down oaks to give better view of Victoria. Afternoon fixed map frame + finally set up at 9pm. (8am 56, 3:30pm 60, 10pm 59)
Two years later, on August 25, 1920, John Dean wrote: Quite cool – Made signboard, lettered + painted letters, Mt. Rainier >>> 150 miles away, 14,408 Ft. High; finished paint 8:45, retired at 9pm tired. (6:45am 55, 12pm 54, 9pm 58)
Similar to how the 1st 1995 purchase centennial shifted to the 2nd 2009-2017 cabin builds centennial, the 3rd centennial has now commenced. The 2018-2021 establishment of Dean Park centennial notes the inspiration John Dean received, and acknowledges the time spent to create Dean Park.
Through 1919 and 1921, John Dean conversed and worked with the provincial government to eventually preserve and protect 80% of his Mount Newton property:
– 1921, November 11 – Conditions of Trust signed
– 1921, December 9 – BC Legislature established Dean Park
The John Dean Park Centennial Era will likely be celebrated on Saturday, July 17, 2021. This is Canada’s Parks Day which takes place on the 3rd Saturday of July each year. Afterwards, the actual Centennial will climax on December 9, 2021.
- 100th SOUVENIR BADGE
The first Centennial Era souvenir is now available. Between 1981 and 1985, this entrance portal sign was positioned at the NW corner of East Saanich Road and Dean Park Road. After a truck dislodged the sign, BC Parks stowed the sign at Goldstream, and in 1988 reinstalled it within the provincial park, halfway up the road on the right where the middle fire hydrant is. In 1990, someone chain sawed the letter J off. Soon after, BC Parks removed this sign and replaced it with the current entrance sign.
$4 – meet in the park
$5 – send by mail