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

10 bags of donated Christmas toys stolen from Salvation Army

Victoria location reported theft to VicPD on Dec. 11

More storms brewing for Greater Victoria

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Capital Regional District moves pipeline to save up to 50 trees

Move comes after short but intense lobbying efforts from Grange Road residents

Downtown Victoria Business Association believes in the value of Christmas lights

The general public have mixed feelings after city council motioned to reevaluate decoration costs

Former Peninsula hockey coach hit by car in Beijing

Both legs broken, friends set up GoFundMe to bring him home for Christmas

VIDEO: Ballet Victoria’s take on the The Nutcracker tours Vancouver Island and the Mainland

Performances in Revelstoke, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and Victoria

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats in Vancouver Island park

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Tilray names several former politicians to international advisory board

Many former politicians and political operatives have made a foray into the legal pot industry

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

Most Read