Beasley or Beesley – What Is Going On?

Beasley or Beesley – what is going on?

– by Mike Manson

To find out more, continue reading!

The story starts at the cemetery in Mansons Landing. The summer of 1925 saw the community lose two of its dearly loved members within a few months of each other, Mrs. Beesley and then my grandmother Margaret Manson. Their graves are side by side.
(This notice from the Vancouver Province, May 1928)

In the years that followed, my father would place flowers on his mother’s grave to commemorate her birthday. This tradition continued until one year I too was brought along, a young boy, but I remember the experience well because of the striking gravestone next to my grandmother’s site. At that time most of the graves were marked with simple wood frames or a neatly placed pile of stones, but here was this impressive concrete gravestone painted white and boldly inscribed.

Many years after that first visit to the cemetery it slowly dawned on me that Beasley Road sign must be a mis-spelling. While researching a story on the World War I veterans of Cortes Island, I discovered Mr. Beesley was a vet, and now it felt important to see the spelling corrected. After all, here was the main intersection of downtown Mansons Landing, and one of the two main roads was mis-spelled!

Road signage likely became a priority with the arrival of ferry service. Bob Borland had done a subdivision in 1970, and the road allowance was unnamed at that time, but with his second subdivision in 1974, the name Beasley Road is used.

Road allowance unnamed
Note: Beasley Road is named

The error in the spelling can be traced back to 1925 when the Reverend Alan Greene filled out Mrs. Beesley’s death certificate. This piece of history was discovered by Frances Guthrie [Cortes Island local, long-time Realtor on Cortes].

The Strathcona Regional District gave their support to have the road spelling corrected. Douglas Sauer of the GIS Department was instrumental in moving the process forward with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Douglas joked that the error was likely due to an old, near-sighted clergyman. He was certainly right about the Reverend Greene’s eyesight. The Reverend, like Mr. Beesley, was also a veteran from World War I, and online access to his war records was available, including his medical exam, which recorded his vision as 6/24 and 6/18, a far cry from 20/20. We enjoyed a good chuckle over this discovery.

And that is the story of Beasley and Beesley Roads!

8 Responses

    1. Hi Bernice, it was a fun story to work on. I find it amazing the records that we can now access online. There are stories to be told!

  1. Huge congrats, Mike, for finally having all your time spent researching to correct the spelling on this sign fully acknowledged & coming to fruition with corrected signs installed.
    Now that winter’s coming, will there be time to start on the Larsen’s Meadow sign being corrected from ‘Larson’ to reflect the proper spelling of that family’s name??

    1. Hi Lynne,

      Haha, Larsen’s Meadow is your project. I understand Sireen Road was also changed in the past couple of years, but I don’t know the story.

  2. Thanks for the story/research, Mike. I always have wondered who Beasley/Beesley was, but I have never noticed, till now, that it’s spelled in two ways on the road sign! The sign for the clinic and senior’s village use ‘Beasley’ as, I see, does the Museum!

    1. Hi Hanyu, yes it will take some time for all to change to Beesley, no urgency but over time it will happen. As we near Remembrance Day, we know it is important to remember our veterans, and this is a good way to honour Mr. Beesley by getting his name spelled correctly.

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