Ernest Thomson Hermon: Birth: 17 Sep 1897.
Note: Excerpt: "Corporation of Brititish Columbia Land Surveyors Report of Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual General Meeting. January 13th and 14th, 1938. Page 62.
By his son, J.W. Hermon
ERNEST BOLTON HERMON The late Ernest Bolton Hermon wras born at Listowel, Perth County, Ontario, on April 2nd, 1863, and was the only son of Royal Wilkerson Hermon by his first wife, Anne Louise Bolton Hermon. His father, an Ontario land surveyor was of United Empire Loyalist stock, whose forebears had emigrated from Holland and settled in Pennylvania [note by RBH - It was New York or New Jersey], and from there at the time of the American Revolution, their descendants came with the United Empire Loyalists and settled in the Bay of Quinte district. It was here, on the old U.E.L. homestead at Rednersville that the late Mr. Hermon lived with his father from the time he was thirteen years of age until he came west in 1886.
Mr. Hermon received his early education at the Public and High Schools of Listowel and Rednersville, and from 1883 to 1886, after graduating from the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph, possibly in 1879 or 1880, he attended the University of Toronto, graduating from the School of Practical Science Civil and Mining Engineering in May, 1886. He had previougly, in 1885, obtained his Comission as Domnion Land Surveyor, and, at about this time, his Commission as Ontario Land Surveyor .
Mr. Hermon's early training in land Surveyring was in the capable hands of his father, to whom he was assistant and probably articled pupil and with whom he spent the seasons of 1882, 1883 and 1884 on inspection of Dominion Government Contract Surveys in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories; in one of these years, probably 1882, they put in the whole Winter at this work, living on salt pork and beans and working in the well-known sub-zero temperatures of those parts. That he still per- sisted in following the profession speaks highly for the compensating "joys" of a Surveyor's life .
Shortly after graduation Mr. Hermon came West and, in the early Summer of 1886, established himself in the budding young citry of Vancouver, where, in partnership with the late Jas. F. Garden, he hung out his shingle as Civil Engineer, Dominion and Provincial Land Surveyor and Assayer. Their first office was on Cordova Street, opposite the Commercial Hotel. [Note by JWH - I can dimly remember this office and the one or two bear cubs that for a time were kept, chained to a stump, in the back yard.]
A great deal of Mr. Hermon's practice, at this time, consisted of right-of-way and townsite surveys for the C.P.R. between Revelstoke and Vancouver, the laying out on the ground of the old "paper subdivisions" of Lots 541-185 and 181-196, etc. Messrs. Garden and Hermon were consulting engineers to the B.C. Electric Railway Co. Ltd. [now B.C. Hydro], and for them located and superintended construction of the original street railway and old car barn on Main Street, etc. They also did considerable work for the Provincial Government and carried on an extensive practice in laying out building sites on the growing city.
In 1888 and 1889, Mr. Hermon surveyed several of those many- sided Timber Limts on Vancouver Island, and at this time the late Herbert M. Burwell joined the firm, which became Garden, Hermon & Burwell, and so remained until 1900, when Mr. Garden dropped out on being elected to represent the City of Vancouver in the Legislature .
In 1895 Mr. Hermon opened a branch office for the firm at Quesnel Forks, and for two years carried on there a general engineer- ing and Surveying practice.
In l901 Mr. Hermon made a reconnaissance survey for the V.W.N. & Y. Railway, of a proposed line between Moodyville and Lilloet, by way of Seymour Creek Valley.
Messrs. Hermon & Burwell conceived and carried out, as Engineers in charge, the original Lake Buntzen power development, Mr. Burwell having charge of the construction of dam and power house, and Mr. Hermon of the driving of the tunnel and construction of transmission line from Lake Buntzen to the city. This covers the period from 1902 to 1905.
In 1906 or 1907 they were appointed Consulting Engineers to the Vancouver Water Works. and desig:ned and installed the high- level system on Seymour Creek, rebuilt the Capilano system, and designed and superintended construction of the Little Mountain Reservoir, etc. About this time the late John E. Laverock, B.C. L.S., who had served his time under articles to Mr. Hermon, became a member of the firm.
For the next five or six years Mr. Hermon devoted his energies to the survey of building sites and subdivisions in and around Vancouver, and to the practice of engineering chiefly in connection with domestic water supply, water power development, dyking and d:rainage . He designed and installed the Deeks gravel and power plant at Porteau, the Canadian Pacific Sulphite Pulp Co.'s power plant at Swanson Bay, the Mission City water supply, reported on the Sumas dyking; and drainage scheme, the Chilliwack River power scheme, and many other projects, some of which were carried through to completion, some never getting beyond the promotion stage.
About 1916, Mr. Burwell left the firm, and Messrs. Hermon & Laverock carried on (and in those war years the going was pretty tough) until in l918 Mr. Laverock met his death by drowning in Dean. Channel while engaged on Government Triangulation work.
Frcm 1918 until 1920, when Mr. Hermon gradually was joined in Partnership by his son J.W. Hermon, who had been under articles to his father since 1912 [he was overseas in the army 1914-1919], he practised alone, such work as there was during this time being chiefly surveys of city lots. From 1920 on Mr. Hermon gradually gave up the active practice of Surveying, devoying his time to Engineering and office work, and being an ever-present help in time of trouble to his son, who carried on the Surveying end of the business. In 1926 he designed and superintended construction of the North Burnaby sewer scheme, and in the following year designed the Central Park sewer scheme.
Mr. Hermon's last work of any size in the Engineering field was the design and installation of the Champion & White gravel plant on Howe Sound.
Mr. Hermon was married at Calgary, Alberta, on November 4th, 1889, to Catherine Elizabeth Thomson. Mr. Hermon died in St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, on February 6th, 1937.
ERNEST BOLTON HERMON BORN: 2 APR 1863, Listowel Ont. DIED: 6 FEB 1937, Vancouver B.C.
MARRIED 4 NOV 1889: CATHERINE ELIZABETH THOMSON Calgary, North West Territories (now Alberta) CHILDREN: (all born in Vancouver, B.C.) FLORENCE RUTH b. 2 OCT 1894, d. 15 OCT 1969 ETHEL ELIZABETH ALEXANDRA b. 9 JUL 1902 KATHERINE HELEN b. 22 APR 1906 OLIVE LOUISE b. l SEP 1891, d. 25 DEC 1926 ERNEST THOMSON b. 17 SEP 1897, d. 5 FEB 1973 JAMES WILLIAM b. 7 OCT 1892, d. 11 JUL 1970 Ernest Bolton graduated from the University of Toronto (as a Civil Engineer), and apprenticed himself to his father. He was appointed Ontario Land Surveyor 7 Oct 1885. He also became a B.C.L.S. & a D.L.S. He moved to B.C. in 1886 after spending sometime on the prairies with his father conducting D.L. Surveys. Note that E.B. Hermon was also a graduate of the Guelph Agricultural College. He married Catherine Thomson, daughter of a Presbyterian Minister.
For further data, see Ontario Land Surveyors Reports 1937-39; pp130-133.
Note : The marriage year is given as 1890 by Elizabeth Hermon (C602) and as 1889 in the O.C.L.S. Biographical Sketch.
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