Captain Maria Narvaez

1791-1862: Exploration

In 1791 Spanish Captain Jose Maria Narvaez (pictured) was the first newcomer to explore the Strait of Georgia. In 1792, a British expedition led by Captain George Vancouver landed in what later became the City of Vancouver. In 1808 Simon Fraser was the first European to reach the area overland.

However, settlement on Burrard Inlet and English Bay remained almost unknown during this period as the interior of BC was most easily accessed via the Fraser River and the area surrounding New Westminster.

The first non-Indigenous settlement within the current city limits of Vancouver was in 1862 at McCleery’s Farm in what is now the Southlands area. Henry Mole, the namesake to Mole Hill, arrived in the area in 1862, seeking to prospect for gold. Instead he established a neighbouring farm to McCleery’s and became one of the notable early pioneers of Vancouver. Mole’s daughter Annie later married Samuel McCleery.