John Jack Deighton

gassy-jack-jpg1A former river pilot, John (Jack) Deighton, set up a small (24′ x 12′) saloon on the beach about a mile west of the sawmill in 1867 where mill property and its “dry” policies ended. His place was popular and a well-worn trail between the mill and saloon was soon established – this is today’s Alexander Street. Deighton’s nickname, Gassy Jack, came about because he was known as quite the talker, or “gassy”. A number of men began living near the saloon and the “settlement” quickly became known as Gassy’s Town, which was quickly shortened to “Gastown“. In 1870, the colonial government of British Columbia took notice of the growing settlement and sent a surveyor to lay out an official town site named Granville, in honor of the British Colonial SecretaryLord Granville, though it was still popularly known as Gastown (which is the name still current for that part of the city). – Wikipedia History of Vancouver

It is rumored that John Jack Deighton was a bootlegger, and provided a Slave sanctuary for Slaves coming through British Columbia on their way towards the East Coast.

It’s equally rumored that he had one illegitimate child with a slave who stopped at the Gassy Jack Sanctuary though that rumor has never been proven.