Early Portuguese Immigrants in British Columbia - Abraham Bittancourt

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Abraham Reid Bittencourt

He was the nephew of Estalon . He also lived in Salt Springs but he was a second generation Portuguese he was born in Vancouver Island. His father was Emanuel (Manuel Antoine Bittencourt).

The following information was from the book of Charles Khan, “Salt Spring the Story of an Island”. Khan said Abraham Reid Bittancourt was running a store in Ganges Hill since 1900. There is a picture of his store circa 1907 on page 146 .It was a beautiful house. Bittancourt sold his store in 1910 to G.J. Mouat and Company held by Jane Mouat and her son Gilbert James.

On page 148 there is a picture of the boat of Abraham. His boat according to the author was called the Victor. He had also a boat called Winamac. It was used to chase rumrunners but he also used it probably also for fishing and carrying animals back in forth to the market.

On page 157 there is a map of the island and the emplacement of the settler’s houses. A teacher drew this map and we can see three houses belonging to Abraham Reid all near Ganges Harbor. We do not know if his father owned any of them because his name is not mentioned. It is also possible that some members of his family were staying in his houses and one of those buildings was probably a store. On the map there was 148 houses. Water was supplied to his buildings by a pipeline, which took water from Ganges Hill from a spring.

He was serious land owner that may have made somewhat wealthy for those days. He was also one of the first one owning his own car. He had the distinction to be according to Khan to have received the first speeding ticket in 1913 a fine of $15.00.

Reid Bittencourt was also a talented house builder. He may have build his own property because he did not lack skills. He build one house that according to the author was the largest of the time, a twelve room mansion.

On page 210 of the same book we see Abraham with his son Lyndell cutting logs from a very large tree with a fancy machine called the “Wee MacGregor”. The picture was taken in 1931. He may have bought the machine to cut wood to sell to the homesteaders.