Historical records donated last spring by the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society make up a new Coquitlam Archives exhibit.
Launched Monday (June 19), the online display about the century-old səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview Lands offers images from the society’s collection and a history about its conservation and advocacy efforts for the grounds.
Opened in 1913 as Essondale Hospital, the psychiatric institution was once home to — and the workplace of — 4,500 people.
The hospital, which closed in 2012, has one of the best arboretums in Canada; it was planted by B.C.’s first botanist: John Davidson.
The online exhibit also has a photocopy of the plans for Finnie’s Garden, named after a nurse, farmer, former logger and Navy veteran who started it as a form of therapy for the patients; the site was originally called “Farm-view.”
The society’s collection also includes DVDs of filmed tree tours, as well as binders, scrapbooks and gardening journals.