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Philip Jackman the Night Watchman

There were no night watchman positions available when Jackman injured his hand in 1866 but, at the age of 41, he re-applied for the position and was hired in February 1876 at the rate of $20 per month. His duties largely consisted of patrolling the dock, watching for fires, and dealing with drunk people. He even had a fabled wheelbarrow, nicknamed “The Black Maria,” that he used to transport the inebriated.

A newspaper clipping of an article from the Mainland Guardian that consists of a letter written by Philip Jackman on November 18, 1879. In the letter, Jackman contests the City Council’s decision to not grant him one month’s pay for his termination as night watchman and lamp lighter.

Letter to the editor of the Mainland Guardian

Jackman had various other tasks during his tenure as night watchman. He collected cattle taxes and dog licensing fees, impounding cattle belonging to those who hadn’t paid, and summoning owners with bulls or horses found roaming the city. Starting in October 1878, Jackman also lit and maintained street lamps for an additional $10 per month.

A newspaper clipping of an advertisement for The Beehive Saloon in the February 28, 1880 issue of the Mainland Guardian. The advertisement states that the saloon, which was recently purchased by P. Jackman, sells liquor, cigars, and newspapers.

Advertisement for the Beehive

Jackman was given two days’ notice that his services as night watchman were no longer needed in October 1879. The dismissal was based on a complaint against Jackman for not extinguishing the street lamps. Philip Jackman engaged in a new venture during his hiatus as night watchman.

He purchased the Beehive Saloon in February 1880 and owned it for a little more than a year. The Beehive was located on the corner of Mackenzie and Columbia Streets, and became The Grotto Saloon when it was sold to local photographer John Batrel Uren on March 25, 1881.

A photograph of three men standing and one man seated in front of The Grotto Saloon in New Westminster. A sign visible in one of the windows reads, “Beer Wine Spirits.”

The Grotto Saloon, 1886

He reapplied to be a city night watchman in March 1881, and was rehired at $30 per month. He performed in this role for three more years before submitting his resignation in January 1884.