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

High of 21 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Cyclists and drivers take to the streets Wednesday morning in first official Bike to Work Week celebration

The 25th annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week kicks off the followingMonday, May 27

Saanich lifeguards earn Vital Link awards for cardiac arrest response

Awards from BC Emergency Health Services recognize quick and skillful life-saving

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

‘Conservation financing’ could stop old-growth logging

Reader says with this type of financing province recognizes the benefit of forests

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Most Read