Wain, Henry (1826-1914)

Henry Wain was born September 14, 1826 in Wilmington, Kent, England. On March 24, 1850, he arrived at Fort Victoria aboard the Norman Morison, contracted as an indentured servant by the Hudson’s Bay Company (“HBC”), to serve as carpenter. Six weeks later Wain and six other HBC servants deserted (see entry on Charles Fish for conditions at the fort which perhaps aggrieved the men) and made their way as far as Nisqually. The author of the Nisqually Journal, on May 31, 1850, observed poor conditions of the men: “pillaged of their property and food by Klalums [Tlalum],” camping at Point Partridge, and subsisting for three days on shellfish. They soon returned to Fort Victoria, excepting Lafleur, who sought to “make terms with Mr. Douglas.” Henry Wain continued in the Victoria district, working on a flour mill at Esquimalt Bay.

Wain sailed with the Norman Morison for England in September, 1850, returning October 30, 1851. He joined the Recovery crew on June 7, 1852, part of the HBC gold mining enterprise in the Queen Charlottes (Haida Gwaii). Wain’s service was halted in January 1855, sailing aboard the Princess Royal for England. During this period he married Sarah Davis (c. 1829-March 21, 1906; married March 1, 1856), presently resuming service with the HBC until 1856.

Subsequently, Henry and Sarah settled on a farm near Horth Cross Road (renamed Wain Road), North Saanich where they raised eight children. An entrepreneur, Wain acquired a second farm in 1863, siting a hotel and tavern, supplying drinks from his own California hops, and operating a postal office and stage coach between Deep Cove and Victoria. Henry Wain died in Victoria in 1914.


  • Anderson, Alexander Caulfield. The Dominion of the West: A Brief Description of the Province of British Columbia, Its Climate and Resources. Victoria, B.C.: Richard Wolfenden, Government Printer, 1872. (Page 51, reference to Henry Wain and Mr. Isaac Cloake owning land on which each has a hop-orchard of several acres, with hops introduced from California).
  • “Another Pioneer Gone [Obituary: Henry Wain],” The Daily Colonist, February 15, 1914. Page 5. http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist56y56uvic#page/n5/mode/1up
  • Chinned, Newton H.. Travels in British Columbia and Alaska. Victoria, B.C.:[s.n.], 1882. (Reference to hotels in North Saanich and Henry Wain’s establishment on page 69). https://archive.org/stream/cihm_29859#page/n5/mode/2up
  • Farrar, Victor J.. “The Nisqually Journal (Continued),” The Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3 (July, 1920): 218-229. http://www.jstor.org/stable /40474595?seq=9#page_scan_tab_contents
  • “Henry Wain,” Hudson’s Bay Company Archives: Biographical Sheets. https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/biographical/w/wain_henry.pdf
  • “Wain Park,” District of North Saanich, (n.d.). http://www.northsaanich.ca/Residents /Heritage/Heritage_Sites/Wain_Park.htm
Frederick Gentz