Dugald Campbell Patterson 1860-1931
Pioneer of British Columbia, Civil Engineer, Builder and Author
One of British Columbia’s most prominent citizens, Dugald Campbell Patterson is known in the City of Burnaby as the pioneer that gave the Edmonds district its name. After settling in Burnaby in 1894, Patterson co-founded Central Park, served as the first postmaster of Edmonds in 1909, and was elected a Burnaby school trustee in 1912.
His other legacies include Patterson Avenue, which he originally built as a trail, and a simple wooden platform stop that he constructed on the BC Electric Railway, that today serves thousands of commuters as Patterson SkyTrain Station.
Dugald Campbell Patterson was born in Partick, Scotland on January 2, 1860. His parents were John Murdoch Paterson, of Rutherglen, and Margaret Purdon of Partick. He was educated in Glasgow, became a ship joiner, then later an engineer. Upon his arrival in Canada on July 1, 1884, he promptly added a second “t” to the spelling of his last name. Dugald married Frances Mabel Webb in Victoria, BC. See the biography of Frances Mabel (Webb) Patterson.
Dugald Campbell Patterson was employed at Armstrong, Morrison & Company, where he oversaw the building of the Fraser River Bridge at New Westminster. He was also foreman boilermaker with the Vancouver Engineering Works. Shortly thereafter, in 1903, he established Vulcan Iron Works of New Westminster, a business that was said to be one of the most important operations of its kind on the Canadian Coast. At the start of World War One, Patterson accepted a commission by the British Government to supervise the construction of submarines on the River Clyde in Scotland. Upon his return home, he founded his own insurance business. Patterson was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Foresters.
In 1930, as he neared the twilight of his life, Dugald authored and published a book of poetry. Dugald Campbell Patterson died in Vancouver, BC on June 25, 1931 having made many significant contributions to municipal development, industry and the arts.
Biography by Raymond Reitsma, family historian.