The Three Greenhorns

1863-1887: Newcomers

Vancouver’s West End, where Mole Hill is located was originally claimed by three Englishmen, known as the “Three Greenhorns” (pictured). In 1862 they each acquired 180 acres for the land from Coal Harbour to English Bay. Unsuccessful at various ventures including coal mining and brick-making, they started selling the land as lots, eventually donating one third of the property to the Canadian Pacific Railway – hoping it might bring people to the area.

By the 1880s the first houses were being built in the West End. The settlers were typically tradespeople, often with extended families and lodgers. These lots were on the outskirts of the city and considered to be far away from the business core at Cordova Street.