Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Kitsilano Beach:Sam Greer Shoots Sheriff Over Land Dispute
Kits Beach: Greer's Beach
Known as the "happening beach" and a haven for sun worshippers and yoga enthusiasts, Kitsilano beach seems oddly peaceful on this winter day. Listed as one of North America's top 10 sexiest beaches by Forbes Traveler it was originally named Greer's beach after the colorful character Sam Greer, one of the first non native settlers who in the late 1800's built his home on the site that later became the concession stand.
At that time, Greer's beach was so far out of town that people would escape there for weekend camping. Greer's daughter Jessie tells of her father shooting wolves and cougars from the back door of their home. Unfortunately for Greer, Canadian Pacific Railway claimed that the 65 hectares Greer had claimed for his homestead to be Crown land which had been ceded to them. Greer had no interest in leaving the land and tried to sabotage CPR's work by taking down telegraph lines as fast as workers could install them. Finally a sheriff was called in to deal with Greer and his rebel ways. Greer, still not ready to leave the land he claimed was his, took aim at the sheriff, injuring him. He was sent to prison for this act, and his home torn down. He lived well into his 80's and died in 1925.