Exhibition Building at Willows Fairgrounds. Built in 1891, it was totally destroyed by fire in 1907. (Courtesy Oak Bay Archives)

Lost Victoria: Story of the Crystal Palace

Historian Stuart Stark launches book about iconic Oak Bay structure that was lost to flames

Historian and heritage consultant Stuart Stark launched his book The B.C. Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows with a reading Friday at the Oak Bay Library.

The book and launch are about celebrating the beauty and history of an iconic Oak Bay building that nobody alive today had the chance to experience.

Stark weaves historical tales of horse races and agricultural dreams to bring to life the story of the impressive Exhibition Building at Willows, known as the “Crystal Palace,” that was built in 1891 (in a heroic 65 days) and that tragically burned down in 1907. Stark shares that the great oak that stood at the gates to the exhibition grounds, still stands today in Oak Bay – a marker to what once was.

Hosted by Oak Bay Heritage, Oak Bay Archives, and the Greater Victoria Public Library, the book launch included a cake cutting that saw Mayor Nils Jensen and Stuart Stark cutting a replica of the book cover.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Stuart Stark does a reading at his book launch at Oak Bay Library for his new book The B.C. Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Stuart Stark pointing out features of the exhibition building at his book launch at Oak Bay Library for his new book The B.C. Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Mayor Nils Jensen taking a photo of Stark presenting one of his books to Caroline Duncan of the Oak Bay Archives as a thank you for all her assistance. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

A cake to celebrate the book launch with a photo of the old exhibition building. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Mayor Nils Jensen and Stuart Stark cut the cake. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

The old exhibition building. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Stuart Stark signing books. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Stuart Stark signing books. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Front gates to the Exhibition Building at Willows Fairgrounds. Built in 1891, it was totally destroyed by fire in 1907. (Courtesy Oak Bay Archives)

Just Posted

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Homeless Action Week: Our Place Society asking for blankets, sleeping bags

The fundraiser is off to a slow start as the days get colder

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Surge in requests for help, reports of sexual assault since #MeToo

Growing demand for Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic’s services in first year of #MeToo

Victoria among Top 10 sunniest Canadian cities

Victoria ranks 6th in sunny days per year

Victoria teen suffers whiplash in school ‘bubble’ soccer game

Middle school students injured in teacher-student competition

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

ELECTION 2018: Vancouver Island politician ending unprecedented 40-year run

Mike Kokura served on the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board since 1972

Most Read