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The resource sector was initially based on logging and later on exports moving through the seaport, where commercial traffic constituted the largest economic sector in Vancouver by the 1930s.The dominance of the economy by big business was accompanied by an often militant labour movement.The Fraser Gold Rush of 1858 brought over 25,000 men, mainly from California, to nearby New Westminster (founded 14 February 1859) on the Fraser River, on their way to the Fraser Canyon, bypassing what would become Vancouver.the first European settlement in what is now Vancouver was not until 1862 at Mc Cleery's Farm on the Fraser River, just east of the ancient village of Musqueam in what is now Marpole.Stamp, who had begun logging in the Port Alberni area, first attempted to run a mill at Brockton Point, but difficult currents and reefs forced the relocation of the operation in 1867 to a point near the foot of Dunlevy Street.This mill, known as the Hastings Mill, became the nucleus around which Vancouver formed.The family name Vancouver itself originates from the Dutch "Van Coevorden", denoting somebody from the city of Coevorden, Netherlands.
Labour leader Frank Rogers was killed by CPR police while picketing at the docks, becoming the movement's first martyr in British Columbia.
In 1870, the colonial government surveyed the settlement and laid out a townsite, renamed "Granville" in honour of the then-British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Granville.
This site, with its natural harbour, was selected in 1884 as the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway, to the disappointment of Port Moody, New Westminster and Victoria, all of which had vied to be the railhead.
in fact, the CPR was the main real estate owner and housing developer in the city.
While some manufacturing did develop, including the establishment of the British Columbia Sugar Refinery by Benjamin Tingley Rogers in 1890, natural resources became the basis for Vancouver's economy.A railway was among the inducements for British Columbia to join the Confederation in 1871, but the Pacific Scandal and arguments over the use of Chinese labour delayed construction until the 1880s.The City of Vancouver was incorporated on 6 April 1886, the same year that the first transcontinental train arrived.CPR president William Van Horne arrived in Port Moody to establish the CPR terminus recommended by Henry John Cambie, and gave the city its name in honour of George Vancouver.