Beasley or Beesley – what is going on?
– by Mike Manson
To find out more, continue reading!
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.
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!