Use Your Head (With IBM)

Updated September, 2016

CVA 99-4954 - I.B.M. [International Business Machines Company store (515 West Georgia Street) at night] 1936 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4954 – I.B.M. [International Business Machines Company store (515 West Georgia Street) at night] 1936 Stuart Thomson photo.

This is an exterior shot of IBM’s Vancouver presence on Georgia Street in 1936. Their monosyllabic motto of the time, evidently, was ‘Think’ – which also was the name of an employee/customer magazine that published its first issue the previous year. Also in 1935, the company marketed the first commercially successful electric typewriter (and it would continue to sell them until 1990). One of the portraits on the wall (flanking THINK) is undoubtedly of Thomas J. Watson (CEO, 1914-1956); the other may be of Charles Ranlett Flint, who consolidated four other smaller companies into Computing-Tabulating-Recording company (CTR), which was renamed International Business Machines in 1924. IBM’s Vancouver presence was apparently that of a branch office; the site of the Canadian factory and head office was Toronto.

I’ve had help from a reader of VAIW, recently (see comment), who recognized his Dad and a couple of other local IBM sales and service gents in the photo shown below. The commenter’s father was the local head of the International Time Recorder division. In case you are curious (as I was) about what that division was responsible for, see this link.

cva-99-4785-i-b-m-sales-group-1935-stuart-thomson-photo

CVA 99-4785 – I.B.M. personnel. 1935. Stuart Thomson photo. The fellow sitting at the desk (in the corner) is Bob Nelles, manager of the EAM (Electronic Accounting Machines) division; Ferris Stricker, manager of the International Time Recorder division is the next person (moving clockwise and sitting under “Be of the TIMBER that produces PLANKS); the gent next to him is unknown to me; Harry Kitely, service manager, is seated on the right at front (sitting under the sign that reads “Turn plans into planks!”)

 

Posted in businesses, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Department Store Dining

Updated September, 2016

Woodward’s

cva-809-27-woodwards-dining-room-at-hastings-street-and-abbott-street-ca-1910

CVA 809-27 – Woodwards Dining Room [at Hastings Street and Abbott Street] ca 1910.

This is an early Vancouver interior shot of the Woodward’s dining room in what is today East Vancouver, but at the time was considered by most residents to be ‘downtown’.

The Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company)

CVA 99-4070 – Hudson’s Bay Company [interior of store at 674 Granville Street]. 1931. Stuart Thomson photo.

This is how the Hudson’s Bay Company dining room appeared in the 1930s. I have now confirmed (with the helpful tip from a reader of VAIW; see comment below) that this 1930s location was on the top floor of The Bay (the 6th), but that it was in a different section of that floor than the dining room which I recall (before it was closed in 2013). The dining area which I remember looked out on Holy Rosary Cathedral and other such structures to the north and east of The Bay. The 1930s photo above, however, is located in the northwest corner of the 6th floor. The key to identifying where the photo was taken is the skylight (which is still on that floor; currently, men’s jackets and slacks are located beneath the skylight.)

img_3769

View of the northwest corner of The Bay (Men’s Wear, today). The 1930s location of the Dining Room on the 6th Floor. Author’s photo.

The skylight is visible from above in the Google Street View shown below.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-4-03-43-am

A Google view of the exterior The Bay from above (looking from the northeast). The skylight is visible near the top right corner. Google Maps, 2016.

T. Eaton Company (Formerly Spencer’s)

marine-rm-in-t-eaton-co-formerly-spencers-dept-store

The Marine Room in Eaton’s when it was in Spencer’s former location at West Hastings and Richards. Postcard from author’s collection.

Outlook onto Burrard Inlet and the North Shore from the Marine Room, the dining room of the T. Eaton Company’s flagship store in Vancouver. This was formerly Spencer’s (at the site of today’s Harbour Centre) from 1907-48. Eaton’s took over this location when Spencer’s closed in 1948 and remained here until 1972 when it moved to its final Vancouver location at the corner of Robson and Granville (anchor of Pacific Centre Mall) until 1999.

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, department stores, interiors | 3 Comments

Elva Selman Drowns at 2nd Beach

Elva Selman, a 24-year-old member of First Baptist, died in the waters off Second Beach on Friday, August 21, 1908 at around 11am. She was the daughter of Samuel and Clara Selman. Samuel was a realtor in the City at the time of Elva’s death.

Elva apparently was wading in English Bay, using crutches to help her remain upright. She had had surgery about a year earlier (for reasons not explained in the Vancouver Daily World).

The scene of Elva’s death was evidently never treated as anything other than accidental. According to the Daily World:

“Miss Selman was somewhat crippled, and went into the water on crutches. None of the party saw the accident, but it is presumed that she must have lost her balance. Her absence was noticed and a quick search in the water resulted in the body being found within fifteen minutes. It was hoped that life might not be extinct and several men worked willingly for over an hour in a vain attempt [at] resuscitation. Immediately the accident was reported the police patrol, with a doctor, was hurried to the scene, and was later used to convey the body to the family home on Nelson Street.” (Vancouver Daily World, August 21, 1908).

I assume there was no autopsy, since the funeral service was held the next day, on Saturday the 22nd.

Elva’s death happened between senior ministers at FBC. Dr. J. Willard Litch had left FBC a year prior, and it would be almost another year after her passing before H. Francis Perry would take up pastoral duties at First.
img_20160919_0001Her Saturday service was, therefore, led by Rev. P. Clifford Parker (of the long-gone Central Baptist Church, Vancouver at Laurel and 10th) with assistance from veteran B.C. Baptist pastor, Rev. Peter H. McEwen, and another pastor who was in the city to supply the pulpit at First for a couple of Sundays, Rev. T. T. Shields. Albert E. Greenlaw  was also on hand to render a solo. Following the service, a special B.C. Electric train car was commissioned (at no small cost to the family, I suspect) to convey mourners from FBC to the graveside at Mountain View Cemetary.

The funeral service on Saturday, however, apparently was not enough. According to the Daily World column from the Monday following, “[t]he Sunday morning service conducted by T. T. Shields and A. E. Greenlaw in the First Baptist Church, took the form of a memorial service to the late Miss Selman, of which church she was a member.”

 

Posted in beach, First Baptist Church, Vancouver | 2 Comments

T. T. Shields ‘Second Fiddle’ to A. E. Greenlaw… Who?

This article appeared in the screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-53-53-amVancouver Daily World on August 17, 1908. An intriguing aspect of the piece, to me, was that Shields, who was near the beginning of his career as an Ontario Baptist preacher of note (later, pastor at Jarvis Street Baptist in Toronto, and, ultimately, a leader of the Canadian Baptist fundamentalist movement who would contribute to the mid-1920s strife that would split the denomination), was given much less attention (in terms of column-inches) than the to-me-unknown singer, A. E. Greenlaw, who is described as “one of Canada’s greatest singers”!

Albert E. Greenlaw (circa1880-1953) was an American bass singer who (judging from his many concerts in Baptist churches) was probably of that denominational stripe.

Greenlaw also was a black man. He was apparently an original member of the Nashville-based, African-American group known then (and now) as the Fisk Jubilee Singers (consisting of students at Fisk University).

ttshieldsGreenlaw apparently had a pretty busy solo career, post-Fisk, touring in North America; his popularity (and, to some extent, that of Shields) pulled 1,800 people into the Vancouver Opera House a week after this Daily World article appeared.  It cannot truly be said that Greenlaw was “one of Canada’s greatest singers”, however; indeed, it seems improbable that Greenlaw cast himself as a ‘Canadian’. By 1925, he was described in the Ottawa Journal as the “well-known bass of Detroit, Michigan”.

I have found an early recording of the Fisk Singers (1909); although Greenlaw would have been long-gone by the time this recording was made, it conveys something of their a cappella musical style. If you are wondering how Greenlaw sounded as a soloist, I suspect that he may have sounded quite similar to the late George Beverly Shea (1909-1913). An example of Bev Shea’s musical style is here.

A remarkable thing about Greenlaw and Shields is how they have almost completely disappeared from the historical ‘radar’ of most Canadians (and, I’d venture to guess, likewise of Americans). Neither is a household name. To borrow from Isaiah 40, reputations and notoriety wither and fade along with grass and flowers.

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“What the…?”

air-p73-2-hoffar-seaplane-on-the-water-in-coal-harbour-1915

CVA – Air P73.2 Hoffar Seaplane on the water in coal harbour,1915. (Exposure adjusted slightly by author).

I think this is a terrific shot made by some (today unknown) soul with enough spunk to see the potential of the shot and to just shoot it (in a day when camera technology didn’t often reward such spontaneity)! A pilot appears to be taxiing the Hoffar seaplane into Hoffar Shipyards (1927 W. Georgia Street), which backed onto Coal Harbour, pictured above. (For a decidedly less happy occasion in the career of Hoffar and his shipyards, see this dramatic post).

Hoffar Shipyards (later, Hoffar-Beeching) was ultimately bought by Boeing and became part of Boeing Canada where they built seaplanes and also more conventional seacraft. Boeing maintained the Hoffar site on Georgia Street until World War II when it was moved to a much larger facility at Sea Island.

There is a fact about James Reid Hoffar (1890-1954) of which I wasn’t aware until recently. He was the son of pioneer Vancouver architect, Noble Stonestreet Hoffar (1843-1907) and Sarah Hoffar.

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Peter Thomas, Pender & Homer Portrait, 1972

vpl 86489C Parking lot attendant at the corner of Pender and Homer  1972 Peter Thomas

VPL 86489C Parking lot attendant at the corner of Pender and Homer. 1972. Peter Thomas photo.

Peter Thomas is not a photographer with whom I’m familiar. But upon stumbling upon some of his work at VPL’s online historical photos site, recently, I have to say I like his style.

The image above was apparently made at the northwest corner of Pender and Homer, where, roughly from the 1960s until the 1990s, Downtown Parking Corp. (DPC) had a small parking garage. The image is one of four similar photos made by Thomas of the attendant. I like this one best.

The exterior of the attendant’s hut is visible here a couple of years later (in 1974) beneath the wall ad for the Niagara Hotel:

CVA 778-194 - 400 Homer Street west side May 1974

CVA 778-194 – 400 Homer Street west side. May 1974.

In this perspective image (made in the same year), it is clear that the DPC lot wasn’t much of a garage. Two levels, evidently.

CVA 778-193 - 400 Homer Street west side May 1974

CVA 778-193 – 400 Homer Street west side. May 1974. Cropped slightly and exposure adjusted by author.

The parking garage replaced longtime resident of this corner, Ellesmere Rooms.

CVA 1184-699 - [Oldest boarding house in Vancouver, corner of Homer and Pender Streets] 1943 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-699 – [Oldest boarding house in Vancouver, corner of Homer and Pender Streets]. 1943. Jack Lindsay photo. Slightly cropped and exposure adjusted by author.

Posted in art, Parking Garages, Peter Thomas | Leave a comment

Unsung Local Artist: Hans Lankau

CIBC Bronze at Birks2

Bronze formerly located at entry to Canadian Bank of Commerce (SE corner, Granville and Hastings). Today it is what appears to be a little used tiny foyer leading to a staircase in the Birks building (not the main entry to Birks; one door east of the main Hastings entry). 2016. Author’s photo.

Hans Gottfried Edita Lankau (1897-1971) was born and raised in Germany. He immigrated to post-war Canada in 1951 when he was in his mid-50s, settling in West Vancouver.

His principal work in Canada consisted of casting large coats of arms in metal. The Bank of Commerce example which appears above (the only work of his of which I’m aware that is extant in Greater Vancouver) appears to be a coat of arms plus. It seems to me to be similar to a piece of jazz music: the straight-ahead theme is in the coat of arms (encircled in the middle of the work), with improvisations surrounding it. It is, in my judgement, a brilliant piece of relief sculpture.

There was another, later (1965), coat of arms in Vancouver by Lankau, commissioned by the former Bank of Canada at 900 West Hastings. But Lankau’s specialization of coats of arms tends to lead to even more speedy disappearance of the art than happens with other kinds of public artwork in Vancouver. Once the corporation leaves the site of the coat of arms, the arms, generally speaking, are doomed. (This wasn’t the case, technically, with the Bank of Commerce work, but it was squirrelled away into such a non-travelled corner of the new Birk’s headquarters as to be gone in all but fact).

Lankau’s other work is listed here. Just how much of it is extant, I don’t know. Little, I suspect.

A giant piece of biographical mystery is his pre-Canadian training and works.

One of Lankau’s sculptures that remains  in B.C. is the Canadian Coat of Arms at Confederation Court in Victoria. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists tries to make a case for Lankau’s Victoria work being deserving of the highest marks. The Confederation Park work may have been the more technically challenging of the two works. But in my opinion, the Bank of Commerce bronze is by far the most visually stunning of Lantau’s work in the province he adopted as home.

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Langara School for Boys

CVA M-11-62 - A West End home [probably on the 1100 block of Georgia Street] 191- Richard Broadbridge photo

CVA M-11-62 – A West End home [probably on the 1100 block of Georgia Street] 191- Richard Broadbridge photo. This was the temporary quarters of Langara School for Boys (1913).

The Langara School for Boys was one of two private schools (the second was a school for girls known as Braemar) that were under the authority of Western Residential Schools. Principal McKay (of Westminster Hall) was president of Western Residential Schools and Rev. E. D. McLaren was the superintendent.

The photo above shows the temporary quarters of Langara. The school was at this downtown location on the corner of Bute and Georgia streets, apparently, for the best part of 1913. The principal of the School for Boys at this time was A. R. Tait.

vdw 7 Aug 1915

Vancouver Daily World. Ad. 7 August 1915.

Sometime in 1914, the school moved into its permanent quarters which had been under construction during 1913. This new location was located on 15 acres of land “adjoining the Shaughnessy Golf Course between Bodwell [33rd Ave.] and Whitehead [37 Ave.]”. The main building was situated at the corner of what is today 33rd and Heather.

vpl 20311 Langara School for Boys 1917. Dominion photo

VPL 20311. Langara School for Boys 1917. Dominion photo. This is the ‘permanent location’ of the school at 33rd and Heather.

The ‘permanent’ site of the school proved to be less than stable. By 1917, Langara was asked to shift out of its building so that a military hospital could be established there. Langara would move to Kitsilano to one of the corners at Larch and 2nd Ave. Residency was to be located in a separate building across from the school. I couldn’t find a photograph of the school at its Kitsilano location.

CVA 99-5096 - Patients and Staff - Langara Military Hospital June 1917 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5096 – Patients and Staff – Langara Military Hospital (aka Fairmont Hospital). (Formerly Langara School for Boys). June 1917 Stuart Thomson photo.

By 1920, Western Residential Schools was in the hands of the liquidators and negotiations were underway with the federal government to buy the Fairmont Hospital (formerly Langara school). It isn’t clear to me exactly why Western Residential Schools faced liquidation less than 8 years after establishing the schools. But I would speculate that being moved from their custom-built quarters near the end of the Great War probably didn’t help.

The federal government converted the former Langara property into a Vancouver barracks for the RCMP. The former Braemar would have a wing added to the Shaghnessy Hospital as a training site for Great War veterans (to be known by the awkward bureaucratic title: “Soldiers’ Civil Re-Establishment”.

CVA 780-288 - [Canadian Government RCMP Fairmont Barracks at] 4949 Heather [Street]. 1976.

CVA 780-288 – [Canadian Government RCMP Fairmont Barracks at] 4949 Heather [Street]. 1976.

The RCMP barracks have now moved off the former Langara School site to a location in Surrey. In October 2014, the Heather Lands were acquired by the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and Canada Lands Company “in an historic joint venture. The agreement will see the joint venture partners working side-by-side with local communities and municipalities to establish new visions for this site.” The former Braemar school for girls site is today Braemar Park at corner of Willow and 27th Avenue.

Posted in Dominion Photo, education, Richard Broadbridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Charles Schooley: City Paymaster and Prominent Baptist

Charles Abraham Schooley - FBC LIfe Deacon and COV Chief Paymaster

Charles Abraham Schooley. n.d. First Baptist Church (Vancouver) Archives.

Charles Abraham Schooley (1850-1931) was born in Port Colborne, Ontario. He studied law for a couple of years but ultimately withdrew from that course of study due to illness. He then was one of the first men to enter into the moss trade (of all things) while in Florida for a few years. He returned to Ontario where he began working with the Hobbs Hardware Co. of London until he came to Vancouver in 1889 with his recently-wed wife, Kate Eastman Schooley (nee Samons, of Hamilton). When he got to Vancouver, he worked at first as an agent with Imperial Oil Co. and later as a wholesale produce dealer. Finally, in 1905, he became a City employee, working initially with the Treasury department and, two years later, being promoted to the post of Chief Paymaster.*

Schooley became a member of First Baptist Church shortly after establishing his residence here. He served as a Deacon and as Church Clerk for many years. In January 1925, he was made an Honorary Deacon in recognition of his many years of exemplary service.**

When the Schooleys first came to the city, they lived on Howe Street between Smithe and Nelson. By 1908, they’d moved to 2020 Beach Avenue – a home on the south side of Beach near Chilco Street. By 1911, however, the City wanted to create a string of parkland east of Stanley Park and so, as part of that plan, Schooley’s beachfront property was purchased by the City’s Land Purchasing Agent for $13,513.60.

S-5-15 - English Bay [and Beach Avenue West of Chilco Street looking east]  ca1896

CVA S-5-15 – English Bay [and Beach Avenue West of Chilco Street looking east]. ca1896. The Schooley residence at 2020 Beach Ave. would have been along here.

The Schooleys moved to their final residence at 2057 Pendrell Street in 1914.

VW 29 Sept 1922-1

Schooley’s job as City Paymaster wasn’t without drama. On September 29th, 1922 at 10.15am, Schooley and his aide, Bob Armstrong, “were slugged by three auto[mobile] bandits and relieved of a civic payroll of $75,000, while a crowd of terrified Chinese, who were standing by, scattered from a fusillade of three shots fired by the robbers.” (Vancouver Daily World, September 22, 1922). (We will leave to one side the question of whether three shots may be accurately called a fusillade.)

Neither Schooley nor Armstrong seem to have suffered serious injury. City Hall, at that time, was in the Old Market Hall. The two City employees were returning to City Hall from the bank, where they had picked up the payroll.

To the best of my knowledge, the robbers were never brought to book for this crime.***

Kate Schooley pre-deceased her husband in 1927. Schooley died in 1931 at the age of 84.

Charles and Kate Schooley seem to have been childless. I had initially wondered whether Jennie Schooley, a teacher at Strathcona School from  1928-1959, might have been their daughter, but I later learned that she was the daughter of another local Schooley: William Francis Schooley.

Notes

*These early details of Schooley’s life were found in British Columbia From Earliest Times to the Present: Biographical. Volume IV. 1914. S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., p. 819.

**Mrs. Schooley was a devout member of a different church: St. John’s Presbyterian (just a few blocks from First Baptist).

***There was a report on November 1, 1922 that Tacoma, WA police had two men in custody on suspicion of being parties to the Vancouver robbery. It was established pretty quickly, however, that the two who were detained were in no way responsible for the theft.

Posted in biography, city, First Baptist Church, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘That Old [Herzogian] Feeling’

CVA 780-41 - [Houses along] Helmcken St[reet] 1966

CVA 780-41 – Scene on Helmcken Street. February, 1966. City of Vancouver Planning Dept. (Photographer unknown).

This image is a powerful reminder, to me at any rate, of a Fred Herzog image. I make no claim at all that this is a Herzog photo (it isn’t; it is one taken for the Vancouver Planning Department by a photographer for whom no attribution was attached). But it does have a few elements that remind me of Herzog’s published prints: 1) the mid-20th-century hint of smog in the air (most evident in the background near the BC Electric HQ on Nelson at Burrard); 2) the palate of blues, greens and rusty red; 3) the overall tone of the image that cannot be truly captured by a digital camera (nor with post-processing software); it comes only with images made around the mid-century period with traditionally-processed film.

At the same time, there is a major clue that this wasn’t a photograph made by Herzog. There doesn’t seem to be any artistic point to the photo. What do I mean by ‘artistic point’? This is where things get fuzzy and harder to relate in prose; but I’ll try. A huge part of it is that there are no people in this image (except for the part of a shoulder in the lower right corner). Not all of Herzog’s photos from the 1950s/60s were populated, but I’d guesstimate that at least 70% or more captured at least one individual that contributed to the ‘story’ of the photograph. For the Herzog images of this period – with and without people (for one without, see Blue Car, Strathcona) – there generally seemed to be a ‘story’ that he wanted to tell about life downtown (or in Vancouver generally) at this time. As with most art, however, the interpretation of that story is left to the viewer.

Although I’ve made the claim that the image above doesn’t have an artistic point, it certainly had a pragmatic point. It was taken by a photographer for the Vancouver Planning Department with a purpose in mind. I’d speculate that the point of this image was to be a ‘record shot’ of the three rooming houses.

Where on Helmcken Street was this image taken? It seems to have been made on the 500-block between Richards and Seymour. The CVA image below claims to be an image of the north side of that block in about 1981. It is remarkable how much remained unchanged between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s. The single-level commercial structure seems still to be present, as are the three rooming houses (by the 1980s, probably, looking worse for wear, although that is less obvious in a black & white image).

CVA 779-E08.28 - 500 Helmcken Street north side 1981 Vancouver Planning Dept Photo (Unknown photographer).

CVA 779-E08.28. 500 Helmcken Street north side. 1981. Vancouver Planning Dept Photo (Unknown photographer).

Although the roughly twenty-year period from the 1960s to ’80s left the buildings on this side of the 500-block remarkably unchanged, the subsequent 30 years have been less ‘kind’. The north side of that block has been wholly given over, now, to residential towers.

Helmcken west of Richards north side of block

Helmcken between Seymour and Richards. North side of block. 2016. Author’s photo.

Happily, however, the next block (the 400-block between Richards and Homer) includes a few vintage homes that have been re-done for commercial purposes, but still retain something of the ‘early-Vancouver home’ style.

Helmcken east of Richards north side of block

Helmcken east of Richards. North side of block. 2016. Author’s photo.

The title of this post was inspired by lyrics by Lew Brown (melody by Sammy Fein) of a tune by the same name. For the record, I prefer Diana Krall’s rendition to that of Sinatra (who had a hit with this song in 1960).

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The Gasoline ‘Strike’ of April ’40

CVA 1495-33 - What We Have We'll Hold! [David Spencer's Ltd. employees and unidentified man during gasoline strike of April 1940]_

CVA 1495-33 – David Spencer’s Ltd. employees and unidentified man during gasoline strike of April 1940.

The week-long, so-called ‘gasoline strike’ of April 1940 should probably more accurately be called an embargo or boycott. This wasn’t a withdrawal of labour, thus inconveniencing management and pressuring the latter to negotiate with labour’s trade union representatives (the common meaning of ‘strike’). Rather, this was an act of the oil companies of the day to pressure consumers to bring pressure to bear on their elected representatives. This episode had that effect, but probably not quite as the oil companies had in mind.

According to Vincent Bladen, in his Introduction to Political Economy, a central factor leading to the 1940 embargo was BC’s geography. He quotes Stephen Enke from an article written shortly after the embargo:

With a former base price at Vancouver of 27 cents an imperial gallon for ‘regular’ grade gasoline… retail prices in interior parts are in most cases 35 cents, and sometimes in excess of 45 cents. In the smaller towns retail margins are usually 7 cents and frequently more. Such spreads are not always a reflection on high retailing costs, however, but of collusion between a handful of dealers who know that the next settlement is 80 miles away. (Enke’s article from Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1941 and quoted in Bladen)

The province of B.C. appointed a Coal and Petroleum Products Control Board in 1938; the Board issued an order fixing the retail price of gas.

That ‘tore it’ as far as Big Oil was concerned; an injunction was sought and a legal tussle was begun. The Supreme Court of Canada, in April 1940, ruled that the province was able to establish the Control Board.

Having failed to defeat the legislation in the courts, the oil companies decided to “strike”. On April 26, they agreed to furnish no gasoline to dealers in British Columbia. Stocks quickly ran out. (Bladen)

B.C. Premier, Duff Pattullo’s government took a surprisingly tough and activist stance vis-a-vis the oil companies. The Assembly amended the Act to allow the Province to

take over existing plants in the event of another emergency. Amendment after amendment proposed by opposition ranks went down to defeat as division after division revealed the government and C.C.F. members voting together against Conservative and individual Liberal support. (Chilliwack Progress, May 15, 1940)

A compromise agreement was reached between Big Oil and the Control Board. In most regions of the province, the consumer would enjoy a two-cent per gallon cut in gas prices. The retail dealers and wholesale distributors would each be expected to eat 1 cent of this cut.

The Gasoline ‘Strike’ of 1940 was over.

It isn’t clear to me whether the amended B.C. Act was ever proclaimed into law. It seems to me that it would have been vulnerable to legal challenge. The Supreme Court of Canada was not until 1949 the highest court of appeal. At this time, the oil companies could have sought leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the U.K.

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An Audi Baritone: Update

Originally published October 2014.

image

CVA 1184-2072 John Charles Thomas signing a drum while group of people watch in music store. Jack Lindsay photo. 1940-48? (Probably 1946).

Who is the apparent rock star above? A fellow who, in his day, was a household word: American opera baritone, John Charles Thomas.  Today, his vocal stylings are not quite forgotten (although his name is all but so); his English rendering of Johann Strauss’s “Open Road, Open Sky” was used in Audi’s 2011 advertisement for its A6 Avant automobile (featuring robotic bird animation).  In the image above, he appears to be in Kellys Appliances shop (Georgia at Seymour).  Thomas was well known and appreciated by Vancouver music lovers; most notably, he drew some 15,000 to an outdoor concert at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl in 1939. I cannot imagine a crowd of that size at the Bowl!

August 4/16 Update:

Here is a shot I recently stumbled across on CVA that cracks me up. It shows John Charles in his pinstripes mugging as though he had something to do with the construction of the Brockton Point grandstand being built for Vancouver’s Diamond Jubliee at the time (1946).

St Pk N105 - [John C. Thomas and Mrs. Gordon Hilker during the stage and stands construction for Vancouver's Diamond Jubilee celebration at Brockton Point] 1946

CVA St Pk N105 – John Charles Thomas during the stage and stands construction for Vancouver’s Diamond Jubilee celebration at Brockton Point. 1946.

And here is another chuckle: John Charles in full costume as Captain Geo. Vancouver (and an unknown young Vancouver resident, I presume). As I recall, the Diamond Jubilee pageant was organized by an American who didn’t take Vancouver’s tendency to dampness into account. The pageant was not the roaring success that had been hoped for, as a result.

St Pk N103 - [John C. Thomas playing Captain George Vancouver at a pageant to celebrate Vancouver's Diamond Jubilee at Brockton Point] 1946.

CVA St Pk N103 – John Charles Thomas playing Captain George Vancouver at a pageant to celebrate Vancouver’s Diamond Jubilee at Brockton Point. 1946.

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Classic Images: Update

1936 John Vanderpant. The Silent City

John Vanderpant. The Silent City. 1936.

H. Mortimer Lamb Mine Buildings, BC

Harold Mortimer Lamb. The Silent City. Mine Buildings, BC,

These two images are, in my judgement, outstanding examples of pictorial photography (or camera work as art). Both were made by Vancouver photographers: Harold Mortimer-Lamb was an amateur; John Vanderpant a professional. But when looking at these two lovely images, such labels become irrelevant. They speak only to how a person earns their daily bread, rather than to skill or compositional eye.

The first photograph reminds me of the former Britannia Mines, but I have no way of knowing whether that was where the image was made. The second, I’m pretty sure, was made in the City of Vancouver.

August 3rd, 2016 Update

I’ve just noticed an image made by Leonard Frank in the same year as Harold Mortimer-Lamb (from what appears to be an identical vantage point – although with Frank’s quite different, ‘sharp and shiny’/f64, photographic take on it). The photo is identified as Premier Mine (near Stewart, Portland Canal, BC). This is a much more distant and remote location from Vancouver than is Britannia Mine. For more information about the Premier Mine, see here.

Premier Mine near Portland Canal, BC 1927. Leonard Frank photo

Premier Mine near Portland Canal, BC 1927. Leonard Frank photo. From An Enterprising Life: Leonard Frank Photographs 1895-1944. Cyril E. Leonoff. Vancouver: Talon Books, 1990, p. 120.

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Charles van Sandwyk

VAN SANDWYK-1

From Canadian Content. By Charles van Sandwyk (with an introduction by Waisiki Doughty). 2009.

Today’s post is a bit of a detour from the usual for VAIW.

I was reminded today, by a couple of events, of these wonderful illustrations. I was engaged this morning in the happy task of re-arranging the volumes in our bookcases and in so doing, I re-discovered the monograph (Canadian Content by Charles van Sandwyk) from which these two scans were made. Second, the book was a gift from my wife and me to ourselves on the occasion of an anniversary (the number of which neither of us can recall). It will be our Silver Wedding Anniversary in a couple days.

For more about van Sandwyk and his illustrations, see this site.

VAN SANDWYK-2

From Canadian Content. By Charles van Sandwyk (with an introduction by Waisiki Doughty). 2009.

Here is a link to Van Sandwyck reading from the volume from which these pieces were scanned.

Posted in Illustrations | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The ‘Heebie Jeebies’

CVA 180-1636 - Darlyne Slenderizing Glamour Salon device demonstration 1950 Artray Studio

CVA 180-1636 – Darlyne Slenderizing Glamour Salon device demonstration. 1950. Artray Studio.

When I first ran across this image in the City of Vancouver Archive online images, I was inclined to be scornful. Until I remembered some of the ads I’ve seen in recent years for so-called ‘body sculpting solutions’ and a wide variety of other ‘cures’ for a couple surplus cookies. Vanity of vanities.

Darlyne Slenderizing Glamour Salon was located at 1009 Nelson – adjacent to First Baptist Church (where FBC’s parking lot is today).

 

Posted in Artray, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, people | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unsolved Photo Mystery

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A scan of a Stuart Thomson print showing what appears to be a restaurant/lounge space. n.d. Author’s image.

I recently purchased the print from which the above scan was produced. It was made by one of my favourite early Vancouver professional photographers, Stuart Thomson. The photo seems to have been taken in a commercial food/drink establishment, somewhere in Vancouver I’m assuming. There is no year on the print, but I’m guessing it was a fairly early Thomson image, made in the 1920s, perhaps.

After buying the print, I did quite a lot of hunting for a similar image. I didn’t have much success.

The closest I came in my search was the interior shot shown below of the Peter Pan Cafe also made by Thomson (in 1929). I thought the space shown in my print might have been an earlier incarnation of the Peter Pan at 1138 Granville Street.

VPL 8927 Interior of Peter Pan Cafe (1138 Granville St) 1929 Stuart Thomson Cafe

VPL 8927 Interior of Peter Pan Cafe (1138 Granville St). 1929. Stuart Thomson photo.

This image has some features in common with space shown in my print, but there are a number of differences, too (not least, that the space in the print appears to be wider than in the Peter Pan). At the end of the day, however, I eliminated the Peter Pan space as a possible contender by the fact that there is no evidence that it was ever a restaurant prior to it becoming the Peter Pan.*

Ultimately, after pursuing the photo search for several more days, I said “Enough!” and decided to let the mystery rest in my subconscious for awhile.

This week, I was reading an excellent volume of oral histories by Vancouver old-timers .** I was reading David deCamillis’ early recollections, when I came across these sentences:

My father rented the basement of the Lotus Hotel and called it the Lotus Cabaret, with a partner who used to own a taxi company here. I was about 18 [1931] and I went down to see my father….It was fixed up real nice with these booths on the side with curtains, and we had a five-piece orchestra up on a stage that was built-in. (Opening Doors: Vancouver’s East End, p.82)

I allowed myself a muted and internalized “Eureka!” after reading (and re-reading) these lines. I couldn’t find evidence of a drinking establishment at the Lotus Hotel known as the “Lotus Cabaret”.  Indeed, as far as I can tell, it was known at the time – in city directories, at least – as the “Lotus Hotel Beer Parlour” – a much less mysterious/sexy name. But the description of the place offered by Mr. deCamillis was enticingly similar to what appears in my scanned print.

I should emphasize that I don’t consider the case closed.

I’m not convinced that my print is actually of the Lotus Cabaret. On the other hand, I’m not convinced that it is not. More digging is wanted. I’ll pursue this with the staff at today’s Lotus Hotel (an SRO, currently) and see if they have any photos that show something akin to the scene in my print.

Researchers tend to be optimistic. I continue to hope that I or someone else will eventually find a matching photo and/or some other clinching piece of evidence as to the location of the Thomson print. Perhaps not this month or this year. But eventually.

If it turns out that you figure out the location of the image, I’d appreciate hearing from you!

Notes

*B.C. Electric and Vancouver Gas Co. appear to have been occupants of the space for several years prior to it becoming the Peter Pan Cafe.

**It is called Opening Doors: Vancouver’s East End. Part of the Sound Heritage series (Vol VIII, Nos. 1 & 2). n.d. (c1980).

Posted in stuart thomson | 6 Comments

Frank Hart’s Harangue

Port P1449.2 - [Frank Hart speaking to other pioneers gathered for the Maple Tree Monument unveiling on the southwest corner of Carrall Street and Water Street] - incldg Charles Gardner Johnson, K. SIlverman, Peter Larson - 1925

CVA Port P1449.2 – [Frank Hart speaking to other pioneers gathered for the Maple Tree Monument unveiling on the southwest corner of Carrall Street and Water Street]. Including 1. Frank W Hart (c1857-1935), 2. Charles Gardner Johnson (c1855-1928), 3. Kalman Silverman (c1857-1926), and 4. Peter Larson (c1859-1934). (I cannot find any source that identifies the gent with the long beard at far left; he appears also in the final image in this post – likewise unidentified). Image made 1925.

The photo was made to commemorate the Maple Tree Monument at the corner of Carrall and Water streets. The monument was created by prolific Vancouver sculptor, Charles Marega, originally as part of a drinking fountain in 1925. In 1986, with the establishment of the sculpture of “Gassy” Jack Deighton (artist, Vern Simpson, working from a drawing by Fritz Jacobson), the monument was incorporated into it instead. It isn’t clear to me when exactly the drinking fountain was removed from the site, but probably during the renovations to the Maple Tree Square/Trounce Alley section of Gastown in the early 1970s.

The gent who is apparently haranguing his fellow Vancouver Pioneers from atop the chair is Frank W. Hart. I suspect this was a bit of fun, staged for the camera. But it was probably not wholly outside of his personality to give others their marching orders; he was a funeral director/embalmer.* I expect he was used to getting his way and having his say; his customers couldn’t talk back!

Mon P77.2 - [Charles Marega unveils Maple Tree Memorial]  1925 Stuart Thomson photo

Mon P77.2 – [Charles Marega unveils Maple Tree Memorial]. 1925. Stuart Thomson photo. It appears to be Pete Larson (Prop., Hotel North Vancouver) on the far left of the photo.

A larger gathering of the pioneers present for the unveiling of the drinking fountain monument in 1925 appears below.

Port P1449.1 - [Pioneers gathered for the Maple Tree Monument unveiling on the southwest corner of Carrall Street and Water Street] 1925

Port P1449.1 – [Pioneers gathered for the Maple Tree Monument unveiling on the southwest corner of Carrall Street and Water Street]. 1925. Selected individuals are identified by CVA (the occupation of each person has been added by the author): 1. John S.Rankin (Accountant, Customs Broker, Commission Merchant); 2. Captain E. S. Scoullar (Tinsmith); 3. Unidentified; 4. Unidentified; 5. Peter Righter(Engineer, CPR); 6. “Pete” Giles Shenston (Occ. Unknown); 7. Mrs. Carson (Delegate, Council of Women); 8. Mrs. Emily Eldon (Widow of Harry Eldon, former Parks Commissioner); 9. Mrs. J. W. McFarland; 10. J. W. McFarland (Mgr, Real Estate Dept., Ceperley Rounsefell); 11. Andy Linton (Boatbuilder); 12. Kelman Silverman (Pawnbroker); 13. Captain C. H. Cates (Master Mariner); 14. George Munro (Railway Builder); 15. W. S. Cook (Dealer in Lime, Sand, Brick and Soil); 16. Pete Larson (Prop., Hotel North Vancouver); 17. Harry Hoffmeister (Automobile Dealer).

 Note

*Hart was also the owner of Hart’s Opera House located on Carrall St. It had the distinction of being the first opera house in the city, but by all accounts there was substantially less to see, architecturally, than the name suggested.

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When a Rake Was a Component of Pole Vaulting?

805-43 - St. George's School - Sports Day May 1939 Dominion Photo

CVA 805-43 – St. George’s School – Sports Day. May 1939. Dominion Photo.

This is something I don’t recall seeing in recent track and field days: a dude standing next to a pole vaulter with a rake at the ready! Gotta love those stripy jackets with short pants! (Presumably, the rake was to smooth out the soil after a vaulter had finished his turn).

Posted in Dominion Photo, sport | 2 Comments

Bow-Mac Supermarket

99-29-15 - [Bowmac sign at 1154 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.] Barbara Elizabeth Wilson 1982-82

CVA 99-29-15 – [Bowmac sign at 1154 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.]. Sketch by Barbara Elizabeth Wilson 1982-83.

The 80-foot Bow-Mac sign at 1154 West Broadway, has been a landmark in the neighbourhood since it was erected in 1958.

There were a couple of aspects about Bow-Mac’s history of which I wasn’t aware until today: (1) the lot was originally called the ‘Bow-Mac (Used Car) Supermarket’; and (2) that it was the used automobile lot associated with Bowell-McDonald (later, Bowell-McLean) Pontiac, Cadillac, and Buick (and, later, Vauxhall) new auto lot located at 615 Burrard Street (roughly where the Burrard Skytrain Station is located today).

For more info pertaining to the sign, this page is pretty detailed.

Crop of CVA 586-2130 - Victory Loan parade [on Burrard Street] 1942

Crop of CVA 586-2130 – Victory Loan parade [on Burrard Street], 1942. Bowell-McDonald new car lot on Burrard Street appears on the left of the image.

Posted in automobiles | 6 Comments

Mr. Rockefeller Regrets

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Correspondence written June 19, 1911 by Starr J. Murphy (Attorney to John D. Rockefeller) to Dr. Lachlan N. MacKechnie of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. Source: FBC Vancouver Archives.

This letter was written by John D. Rockefeller’s attorney, Starr J. Murphy (1860-1921), in response to a now-lost letter sent by Dr. L. N. MacKechnie (1864-1926) of First Baptist Church (Vancouver). It seems reasonable to conclude from the context that the letter from FBC was a plea for financial support from Rockefeller (1839-1937), to which Murphy replied in the negative on JDR’s behalf.

Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, was a noted philanthropist and well-known Baptist. He attended and supported (in both deeds and dollars, apparently) Erie Street Baptist Mission Church (later known as Euclid Avenue Baptist Church)  in Cleveland.

MacKechnie was a major mover and shaker at FBC in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was prominent in the building of FBC’s current structure at the Burrard and Nelson streets.

In June 1911, First Baptist was on the verge of moving into their brand new ‘fortress’ church at the corner of  Burrard & Nelson (the dedication service was on June 9, 1911). Exact figures are hard to come by, but there is no question that the new church building had set the congregation back by an unanticipated amount. So much so that the FBC ‘powers that were’ had been in contact with the architects (Burke Horwood & White) and Heard (of Matheson & Heard, general contractors) about getting them to reduce their charges, which were in excess of the original estimates. Burke, apparently, was prepared to accommodate FBC. But Heard was more uncompromising. According to a minute from March 28, 1911, a committee had had “several interviews” with Heard “regarding the suggestion made by the Committee, that in view of the excessive cost of the buildings over the estimates, particularly the Contracts under Mr Heard’s charge, some reduction might be made in Heard’s charges by the way of commission or otherwise.” According to the minute, Heard was prepared to make “some reduction”, but not nearly enough to satisfy the committee: $100.

MacKechnie, who appears to have been the de facto chairman of the church board at this time, must have been at his wits end and in desperation thought to invite the richest Baptist of the day to make a donation to FBC’s financial mess. There is no mention in any FBC minutes that I’ve been able to unearth of the church instructing MacKechnie to approach JDR.

A few years subsequent to the Murphy/MacKechnie communication, JDR would give $10,000 to the Western Canadian denominational regional body (the Baptist Union) to support missions work in the area.*

Note

*John Byron Richards. Baptists in British Columbia: A Struggle to Maintain Sectarianism. M.A. Thesis. UBC, 1964.

 

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Baptist Missionaries in Shaughnessy

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The Baptist Union of Western Canada: A Centennial History 1873-1973. J. E. Harris, p. 148. The photo shows Florence Pletch [correct spelling of her name: Pletsch)* at 1492 West 33rd, the home donated by Mrs. F.R. Stewart to the Canadian Baptists. Photographer unknown.

In 1953, a member of First Baptist Church, Mrs. Francis Stewart, moved out of her home in Shaughnessy district at 1492 West 33rd Avenue (at Granville) and donated it to the Baptist overseas mission board.

The home was used as the Vancouver Missionary Furlough Home for missionaries who were taking a break from service abroad. According to the history of the regional Baptist body, written by J. E. Harris, the home “served that purpose well for several years. Then, due to traffic increase on Granville, the house was sold and the money used to buy a duplex in a quiet area” at 2337 W. 10th Ave., which was used as the Mission Home going forward. (Harris, p. 134).

It isn’t clear to me just how long this real estate service was provided by the denomination to its missionaries. But it appears to have lasted through the 1970s for sure, and quite possibly into the ’80s.

The original Mission House seems to be extant. It is difficult to get an image of it from street level, though, due to the tall hedge that surrounds it. However, on Google, one can see the house from above, and it appears to be the same structure. The more recent house on W. 10th is decidedly not extant, being recently replaced with a new duplex structure.

Notes

*Florence Pletsch died in Revelstoke in 2008 at age 86. She grew up in Calgary and trained as a nurse, later serving as a missionary nurse in India for Canadian Baptists for over 40 years. (Obituary, Calgary Herald, September 2008).

Sources: I’m indebted to Linda Zlotnik, Phyllis Metcalfe, and Nancy Scambler, in addition to the above-mentioned volume by J. E. Harris, for information and memories pertaining to the Baptist Mission Houses. 

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver | Leave a comment

Local Shutterbugs: ‘The Bees’ Wings?’

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Camera Craft. May 1923. p243. (VAIW note: John Vanderpant’s name is misspelled in the caption).

Camera Craft was a long-running monthly periodical published by the Photographers’ Association of California which (thanks to Internet Archive) is easily accessed today. There are interesting articles of enduring interest to a camera-savvy readership. But our attention here will focus on  a few mentions made of the Vancouver/New Westminster branch of the association in the 1920s.

The photo above puts faces to the names of some of the photographers featured in VanAsItWas. W. H. Calder is one, so is George T. Wadds and W. J. Moore. Some of the gents in the photo above have not, up to now, appeared in VAIW. Why? Most of those whose work isn’t included in VAIW were principally studio photographers (e.g., Chapman, Bridgman, Rowe, and McKenzie) and this blog tends not to show many studio images (street photography is my emphasis). John Vanderpant was a landscape and a studio photographer, but unfortunately none of his landscape work is included among the City of Vancouver Archives or VPL Historical Photos collections.

There are a number of prominent photographers who were active in the 1920s who were not on the executive committee of the V&NWPA (locally/informally known, I believe, as the Vancouver Camera Club). Stuart Thomson and Leonard Frank leap to mind as two examples. It could be that they were members of the club but not on the executive. Or they may have been too busy making their careers at the time (for Thomson, the 1920s were certainly his most prolific decade).

In a 1927 issue, the following list of photographic sub-genres appeared in a Camera Craft description of a Vancouver area show of photographs:

[It] occupied two spacious floors with its 2500 prints. These came from twenty-three countries besides the local contributions and comprised a variety of branches of the art and the craft: aerial, criminal investigation, finger prints, astronomical, pathological, X-ray and the usual portraiture and commercial work. (Camera Work, December 1927, 596)

In addition to the ‘branches’ mentioned – a couple of which tried my imagination – please note one category which got no mention at all in this list: street photography.

cameracraft321925phot_0667  p587 Dec 1925 CC

Camera Craft, Dec 1925, p587. “Too Early on the Job”. John Helders photo.

Helga Pakasaar, in her article titled “Formulas for the Picturesque: Vancouver Pictorialist Photography 1930-45” says:

Vancouver photographers saw the work of Edward Weston and Imogene Cunningham at the Vanderpant Galleries [at 1216 Robson] in 1931 and followed the ‘great debate’ in the pages of Camera Craft where the ‘fuzzy wuzzies’ railed against the “sharp and shinies” in an extended dialogue that lasted from 1934 to 1941. Vancouver photographers… participated in these discussions through their involvement in the the journals and the exhibitions. (Pakasaar, Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983, Vancouver Art Gallery, 49).

John Helders (1888-1956) was a Vancouver amateur photographer. His image above of workers waiting for their work day to begin, seems to be evidence that Helders was of the ‘fuzzy wuzzy’ school. For a Camera Craft image from a Vancouver photographer that is a bit closer to the ‘sharp and shiny’ (aka f64) category, see this one by Hugh Frith.

cameracraft331926phot_0262-2 May 1926 p242

Camera Craft. May 1926, p242. This photo, made for Camera Craft by an unknown photographer, was taken at the annual banquet and dance of the V&NWPA, “held at Princess Cafe”. (VAIW note: I think the location was actually Prince’s Cafe – located at 560 Granville).

Posted in Photographers, W J Moore, W. H. Calder, Wadds Bros. | 1 Comment

A Five-Hour Tour

CVA 99-2008 - Visit of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, polo game (Saddled Up) 1929 Stuart Thomson

CVA 99-2008 – Visit of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, polo game. 1929 Stuart Thomson photo. (VAIW note: Henry appears to be closest to the photographer).*

87 years ago this month, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester,** came to Vancouver for a few days of R & R (or, rather, G & P . . . Golf and Polo) before a planned itinerary that was to include a stop (among others) near High River, Alberta at the Prince of Wales Ranch and points east of there.

As it turned out, the Prince ended up spending most of his visit in Vancouver. And nearly all of his time here was spent in his suite in the Hotel Vancouver. In bed. Convalescing.

He fell from his polo mount onto his head and fractured his collarbone. That happened on June 4. According to press accounts, he left Vancouver to return home to Britain on June 27. His Canadian tour (with the exception of a couple of days in Victoria before arriving in Vancouver aboard the Princess Mary) was a washout due to the polo incident.

Journalists of the day were remarkably discreet on the question of how, precisely, Henry came to be off his horse and wrong-end-up. Even several years after the Princely Tumble, one press account blamed the Prince’s horse, not the rider: “The pony slipped.”***

Prince Henry was in Vancouver for all of 5 hours before his fall. There was, evidently, no opportunity for a round of golf.

The prince’s polo match took place at the Vancouver Polo Club which was located, at the time, at Brighouse Park in Richmond.

CVA 99-2638 - Building at Brighouse Horse Racing Track 1929 Stuart Thomson

CVA 99-2638 – Building at Brighouse Horse Racing Track. 1929. Stuart Thomson photo.

Notes

*All of CVA’s Stuart Thomson images of Prince Henry at the Vancouver Polo Club may be seen here.

**Prince Henry was the third son of King George V and Queen Mary; he was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria. Henry married Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott (later, Princess Alice) in 1935. He was Governor-General of Australia from 1945-47. He died in 1974.

***The Spartanburg (South Carolina) Morning Herald. Sept 20/35.

Posted in people, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Designated Alien Landing Zones?

Real estate in Vancouver is at a premium. That is a truism. It has nearly always been the case in this city. Sure, there have been periodic and relatively short-lived dips. But only rarely has the real estate market here been seriously “off”.

If we accept that as valid, why are there some lots that seem to be chronically undeveloped (or nearly so)? Here are three that I can think of in the downtown area off the top of my head: the NW corner of Robson at Broughton (vacant for at least 50+ years; the North side of Hastings, just west of Hamilton (vacant at least as long as I’ve been a resident here – some 25+ years; and the lot near the NE corner of West Pender and Cambie (vacant since the 1950s, as far as I can tell).

Why?

I’m going to look at the last address in a bit of detail. I can find only one photograph in the City of Vancouver Archives or the VPL Historical Photos collection where there is a building on the lot in question (the lot is between what today is known as Architecture Centre – on the corner of Cambie and Pender – and the SRO known today as the Avalon). It is the building shown in the image below. The building number in this decade was 181 W Pender. (The street numbering along this stretch changed a bit: the number of the building – or the vacancy where there should have been one – was 189 in the 1920s).

vpl 80604A A T Rowell's Used Mags store now vacant 181 W Pender 1948  Art Jones photo

VPL 80604A A T Rowell’s Used Magazines store now vacant 181 W Pender 1948 Art Jones photo.

Here is the lot in 1910:

vpl 13676 Looking north at 100 Block West Pender 1910 R Broadbridge photo Savoy 167 W Pender

VPL 13676. Looking north at 100 Block West Pender. 1910 Robert Broadbridge photo.

Adjacent to the lot on the left is the Vancouver News-Advertiser building (which would later be occupied by the Province). To the right of the lot (east) is Avalon Rooms.

And here it is in 1981:

CVA 779-E16.12 - 100 West Pender Street north side 1981

CVA 779-E16.12 – 100 West Pender Street north side.1981. (VAIW Note: The empty lot in question is the one adjacent (to the east of) what today is known as the Architecture Centre – the 3-storey structure at the corner of Cambie and West Pender.

Nothing much has changed between 1981 and 2016 with respect to the vacant lot. It’s still empty. (Note: A narrow residential space has gone up adjacent to the Avalon since the 1910 image was made and that is still there today; it seems to have become part of the Avalon property; it is the lot to the west of there that remains vacant).

I don’t know what to make of lots like this one. They are islands of non-development amid a vast sea of lots which (if we listen to our civic officials) must not only be developed, but re-developed to appease the great idol known as Densification.

If, as Conan Doyle’s fictional detective is reputed to have maintained, once everything else is eliminated as a possible explanation, whatever remains must be true. . . then perhaps my ‘alien’ headline isn’t completely goofy!

Posted in Opinion, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Lumberman and His Boy

Str P221 - [A horse-drawn lumber wagon at the corner of Hastings Street and Cambie Street] 1888

CVA: Str P221 – [A horse-drawn lumber wagon at the corner of Hastings Street and Cambie Street]. 1888. Photographer not shown. CVA’s record indicates “Donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Blais in 1944 from the collection of Dr. A.M. Robertson” (the city’s first medical officer of public health).

This is one of my favourite early photographs of Vancouver, the condition of the negative, notwithstanding. I love it for the usual reason for love . . . just because! But also for compositional and historical reasons.

It seems to me all but certain that this was professionally produced, although there is no credit associated with the image as it has come down to us today. The image bears the compositional marks of a professional hand, in my opinion. The lumberman standing atop the cut lumber on the wagon is balanced by the young lad (his son, perhaps?) standing next to the rear of the wagon. Also, the angle at which the wagon is positioned – this is not a normal or natural way to ‘park’ a wagon. In my opinion, the vehicle was posed. It was arranged by the photographer so that the lumber in all of its amazing length was clearly visible, along with the horses and the two human figures.

If I were pressed to name a photo company that seems to me to be the producer of this image, I’d speculate that it was J. D. Hall of the Vancouver branch of the Vancouver Photo Co. Hall would have been in Vancouver for about a year by the time this image was made and his office was just a couple blocks away on Cordova Street.

In addition to the compositional strength of the image, I also love it for what the photo points to historically, today, about a crossing of streets which would become of some importance to the city over the decades ahead and into the 21st century. The four corners of Hastings at Cambie tell different stories. I will highlight just a few of them below:

  • SW:  To the left of the heads of the horses, is what today is (the un-square-like) Victory Square (1924), where the Cenotaph is located. At the time this image was made (1888), however, the first Provincial Courthouse was either under construction or would be very soon on this site. It wouldn’t last long, being torn down ca 1911; it would be an empty lot until Victory Square was established following the Great War (with a notable exception; in the 19-teens, the site served as the home for significant Christian evangelistic meetings). The courthouse would move to the site of today’s Vancouver Art Gallery (at Georgia and Hornby). Some of the buildings visible behind the heads of the horses would give way within the next decade to the Inns of Court building (1894) at the SW corner of Hamilton and Hastings and where the “Hamilton plaque” once was. The plaque commemorated where the CPR’s first land commissioner in Vancouver, L.A. Hamilton, first pounded a stake into the earth and laid out a significant proportion of the streets which are part of Vancouver today.
  • SE: The corner that the horses are facing is the one where the Vancouver News-Advertiser offices once were and which was HQ for a great part of the 20th century to Vancouver’s print journalism offices. Today, the building on that corner is the Architecture Centre (home to the Architectural Institute of B.C.). The building that would have been on the site at the time of this photo, however, was a wood-frame structure.
  • NE: To the right of the wagon, by 1900, would be another architectural landmark: the Flack block (William Blackmore, architect). This building had a substantial, but historically sensitive, re-do in 2008 by Donald Luxton.
  • NW: And, finally, behind the wagon would be, from ca 1895-1910, a shopping mall of sorts. Not by contemporary standards, perhaps, but the Arcade was an early version; it housed 13 shops. By 1910, the “tallest building in the British Empire” (as it would briefly be known), would replace the Arcade. It is the Dominion building and stands there today.

 

Posted in J. D. Hall, people, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe Go for a Climb

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The first of two snapshots “tipped in” on a blank sheet of looseleaf paper inside Cecil Akrigg’s copy (now mine) of the souvenir brochure published on the occasion of the opening of the Lion’s Gate Bridge in 1939. In this photo, the bridge construction appears to be almost complete. However, this image was evidently made prior to installation of Charles Marega‘s lions. ca 1939. Akrigg or Lowe photo.

IMG_20160602_0008-2

This is the second (and more vertigo-inducing) snapshot inside the Lion’s Gate Bridge brochure. ca 1939. Akrigg or Lowe photo. (Note: Both photos were a little over-exposed; I’ve tweaked the exposure of each for maximum clarity).

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This sentence with the signatures of Akrigg and Lowe appear beneath the snapshots in Akrigg’s former copy of the brochure.

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe were in their 20s when they made these images to remember their adventures in and around the Lion’s Gate Bridge ca 1939.

No mention is made as to whether their climb up the bridge tower (of just under 480 feet) was authorized by the powers that be, but it seems to me very doubtful! In adulthood, both men would have careers that were solidly respectable: Akrigg would become the Registrar of the Supreme Court of B.C.; Lowe would be an accountant.

Akrigg’s wife, Kathleen, died from cancer in 1983. Stan Lowe, who was Kathleen’s brother, also died from cancer two years later.

About a month prior to the publication of this post, Cecil Akrigg’s wartime story* and his wife’s battle with cancer were written up by the BC Cancer Foundation as part of their Leave a Legacy campaign. Akrigg, 99, has left his life insurance to the Foundation. No mention was made in the Foundation write-up of Akrigg’s and Lowe’s adventurous ascent of the Lion’s Gate Bridge, however!

I purchased the Lion’s Gate Bridge brochure from an antiquarian bookseller a few years ago. A reproduction of a few of the images within the 40+ page brochure may be viewed here.

CVA 1376-247 - [Fraser Boathouse, west of Kitsilano Pool] 1938 Cecil N. Akrigg photo

CVA 1376-247 – [Fraser Boathouse, west of Kitsilano Pool]. According to CVA notes, the image shows Claude Lowe and his son, Stan. 1938. Cecil N. Akrigg photo.

Upper part of tower

Lower part of tower-2

Tower Diagram 1938. This was included with my copy of the brochure. It was published much more recently, however. Produced as a fundraiser for Theatre Under The Stars. Portfolio Printsellers 1994.

Notes

*There is a recording of Akrigg recounting in a bit more detail some of his wartime experience at The Memory Project.

Posted in biography, bridges/viaducts, people | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Trevelyn Sleeth, Vancouver Vet

CVA 99-3465 - Dr. [Trevellyn] Sleeth's [Veterinary] Hospital [688 Seymour Street] - Operation on Dog 1923 S Thomson

CVA 99-3465 – Dr. [Trevellyn] Sleeth’s [Veterinary] Hospital [688 Seymour Street] – Operation on Dog. 1923. Stuart Thomson photo. (VAIW Notes:  There are at least two errors with the CVA record and two potential misdirections: “Trevelyn” is the correct spelling of Dr. Sleeth’s first name; the correct address of the hospital from 1914-1924 was 690 Seymour; the person treating the dog probably should be identified as one of Sleeth’s staff to prevent confusion; finally, it doesn’t look to me as though there is an “operation” underway – looks more like the dog’s paw is being disinfected or perhaps is having a dressing changed.)

Dr. Trevelyn Elston Sleeth (1890-1987) first showed up in Vancouver as the proprietor of B. C. Dog and Cat Clinic in 1914 (in his first year in the business, however, the hospital was called the “Canine and Feline Hospital”; perhaps too many potential clients didn’t know the meanings of those words). Sleeth had his first hospital near the NE corner of Seymour and Georgia, until just a few years before the Hudson’s Bay Co. would entirely re-do that side of the block to create their huge parking garage. He left Seymour in 1924 and seemed to have difficulty for a few years finding a new location for the hospital. Finally, though, he found a central location that stuck for awhile: the south end of Granville street just before crossing Granville Bridge.

vpl 5426A B.C. Veterinary Hospital 1928 1329 Granville St. Frank Leonard

VPL 5426A B.C. Veterinary Hospital (VAIW Note: Presumably, Dr. Sleeth is the middle figure). 1928. 1327/1329 Granville St. Leonard Frank photo.

The hospital remained on Granville at least until 1945. Shortly after, he seems to have concluded that the days at that site were numbered, as the Animal Hospital would need to give way to construction of the new (current) Granville Bridge. He moved his hospital out to Burnaby, the city in which he resided. He had a business already established there (from the 1920s) – Kingsway Boarding Kennels – to which he appears to have added the Vet Hospital around this time, moving it out of the City of Vancouver altogether. The Burnaby kennels/hospital site was located roughly in the Royal Oak area of Burnaby (with Burnaby’s renumbering along Kingsway, it would today be located at 5414 Kingsway). In the 1960’s, Sleeth apparently also had a clinic on Hastings and Willingdon and another one in the Whalley district of Surrey. He retired from veterinary practice in the late 1960s.

156-005Burnaby - Kingsway Boarding Kennels (1925)-2

156-005. Burnaby Historical Society Community Archives Collection. Kingsway Boarding Kennels. 1925. Today, the site of the kennels would be at 5414 Kingsway.

Sleeth was born in Toronto and did his veterinary training at Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), which later became a founding college of Guelph University. He married Isabelle Grace Petrie after arriving in Vancouver in 1914. They had six daughters together, Phyllis, Pauline, Barbara, and Dorothy (two died at or near birth). Isabelle and Trevelyn were later divorced and he later married again (Olive). Isabelle seems not to have remarried and kept Sleeth’s surname until her death in 1967.

Dr. Sleeth spent the 1970s raising thoroughbred horses at the Surrey end of the Port Mann Bridge. He lived until he was 97.

Posted in Leonard J. Frank, stuart thomson | 2 Comments

Not-So-Terrifically Respectful

tom-campbell - Vancouver Sun-2

Mayor Tom “Terrific” Campbell (1927-2012) captured by Vancouver Sun.

Vancouver’s 31st mayor (1967-72), Tom Campbell, was a pro-development, shoot-from-the-lip civic leader.

Campbell is best known to Vancouver heritage advocates and to the communities of Chinatown and Strathcona, as one of the most vocal proponents of the proposed downtown freeway system. Fortunately, community groups prevented Campbell (and others who favoured the freeway) from succeeding beyond the initial stage of that plan – the replacement of the old Georgia (McHarg) Viaduct with the Georgia/Dunsmuir Viaducts (which resulted in the near-total destruction of the predominantly black community of Hogan’s Alley).

In November 1967, a public meeting was called by City Council on the proposed freeway (evidently, Campbell wasn’t able to muster the votes necessary to prevent Council from taking that action).

Campbell responded publicly that the meeting would be “a public disgrace” and “a tempest in a Chinese teapot”.*

“The only purpose of the meeting is so that some politicians at city hall can appease people,”he said.

The Playhouse Theatre (part of the Queen Elizazbeth Theatre complex) was tentatively booked by Council for the meeting .

Campbell said, in response: “Do we have to hire a playhouse to put on a puppet show for objectors? All we’ll hear from are a few groups with vested interests who oppose the freeway.”

IMG_4121

Exhibit at MOV: Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver. Photograph illustrates the freeway system envisioned by Tom Campbell and others. 2016. Photo by author.

Notes

*All quotations in this post are taken from Vancouver Sun, November 6, 1967, p. 16.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Charles S. Price: Healing in Vancouver?

 

cdm.chungphotos.1-0219927full Dr. Charlie S. Price evangelist campaign, Vancouver, B.C. May 1923 UBC CHung

CC-PH-00416. Dr. Charlie S. Price evangelist campaign, Vancouver, B.C. May 1923. Chung Collection. UBC Library Rare Books and Special Collections. Yucho Chow photo. Note: Mrs. R.’s “she-devil”, Miss Carvell, is second from left in front row.

For three weeks in May 1923, Rev. Charles S. Price (1887-1947) held daily (and often twice daily) evangelistic meetings and faith healing services in Vancouver. Price had been in Victoria for several days in April 1923 before coming to Vancouver. According to one source, one-sixth of Victoria’s population went to hear Price speak at Willows Arena at Oak Bay.  Price held meetings in Victoria’s Chinatown, too, and many Chinese-Canadians went forward at his altar calls.

In Vancouver, the Price meetings were held at the Denman Arena, which could seat up to 10,000. Frank Patrick, owner of the Arena had this to say about the Price crowd: “[T]he evangelistic party addressed over a quarter of a million people in the space of three weeks. On more than one occasion, I could feel the very building tremble with the singing of the multitude who were unable to wait for the opening hymn.”

Ministers of Vancouver were more divided than had been the ministers in Victoria on the work of Charles Price and his claim to anoint people with miraculous physical healing. A number of Chinese pastors from Victoria came to Vancouver to lend moral support to Price in light of the less-than-overwhelming support of the Vancouver ministerial.

Price Before B.C.

Charles Sydney Price was born in 1887 in England*. Following completion of high school, he served in the British Navy for a couple of years and attended Wesley College and ultimately Oxford where he studied law. (Note: There is no evidence that the “Dr.” which he regularly used with his name was academically earned. Either it came from him being awarded an honorary doctorate, or it was tacked onto Price’s name by him as a way to seem more learned than in fact he was). In 1906, Price left England for Canada. He sought work with law firms in Quebec and Winnipeg, but to no avail. In 1907, he left Canada for Spokane. Shortly after arriving there, he came upon an evangelistic service at the Free Methodist “Life Line Mission”. He was converted there and took up a career in the Methodist church ministry.

Price drifted into the Christian ‘liberal’ movement known as modernism. “He quickly began to reason away his previous salvation experience, and his minstry from that point would be marked by the absence of altar calls and salvations for several years” (Enloe, 7). He pastored a number of Methodist churches in Washington and later was pastor of even more liberal Congregational churches in Alaska and California.

In 1921, he was pastoring First Congregational Church in Lodi, CA. He was told of revival meetings that would be happening at San Jose, led by Aimee Semple McPherson, which would include “divine healing”. He was determined to attend the meetings with the intention of debunking them from his pulpit. Instead of collecting evidence to condemn the McPherson meetings, however, Price was ‘converted’ to the ‘full Gospel’ of pentecostalism, with its attendant features of anointing with oil, faith healing, and speaking in tongues.

In 1922, Price accepted an invitation from McPherson to travel with her evangelistic troupe. In autumn of that year, representatives of some Ashland, OR churches invited “Sister Aimee” to lead revival meetings there. McPherson couldn’t go, but recommended that Price go in her place.

Price drew huge crowds in Oregon to hear him preach and to participate in his healing services. Price’s Oregon campaign led to Victoria and the Victoria campaign led to the 1923 Vancouver meetings (and to later sequel campaigns in both B.C. cities the next year).

Bill Carmichael’s ‘Search for Truth’

I recalled seeing a file in the Archives of First Baptist Church, Vancouver, labelled “Dr. Charles Price Evangelistic Campaigns”. Upon looking inside the file, I saw what appeared to be a couple of typewritten, contemporary accounts, of the experiences of people who had attended the Price meetings. Upon closer examination, however, it became clear that the two documents were written by the same person about a year apart; one of the accounts was written within days of the 1923 Price meetings; the second was written after the 1924 meetings. The author, it turned out, was  William M. Carmichael (1880-1947), a member of First Baptist Church.**

Carmichael had heard from FBC’s outgoing pastor, Rev. Gabriel Maguire, of Price’s meetings in Victoria and of the “wonderful cure, ascribed to the prayer of faith, anointing and laying on of hands.”

My experience of this reverend gentleman [Maguire] did not warrant me taking his statements at par value; his eggs, as the Scotch say, “had aye twa yokes” or, in other words, he had so developed the gift? of exaggeration that I never really knew, until I had tested his statements afterwards, where fact left off and fiction began.

Thus it was with a very critical but open mind that I first went to the meetings.

Carmichael attended the first meeting on Sunday night (May 6th) and went again on Monday. Carmichael returned on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. He described the message given on each evening as being “plain gospel”, but by the Friday meeting he added that “the address that evening was another plain talk but somehow it thrilled me. Quite unconsciously, I was clapping my hands and shouting ‘Hear! Hear’ [and] others were shouting ‘Amen!’ ‘Hallelujah!’ and ‘Praise the Lord!’

CVA 1399-523 - [Photograph of arena stage construction] ca 1925 Dominion Photo
CVA 1399-523. Denman Arena stage construction. ca 1925. Dominion Photo.

By the Tuesday of the third week of meetings, Carmichael was planning to go forward for healing. He had been hard of hearing in his left ear from an early age.

He received his anointing on Thursday night – the Victoria Day holiday***. He described his experience thus:

[Price] gave me a quiet look of discernment, then he raised his hand and anointed my forehead – that was all that I was aware of. A power came over me and I fell backwards. I felt someone catching me as I fell, I felt someone place something under my head…. As I lay on the floor I was perfectly conscious of the sounds. I was in a blissful state of rest or lassitude and through my mind surged these words, “Thank you Jesus, thank you.” This over and over again….. About a quarter of an hour passed when I opened my eyes and looking up saw Dr [George] Telford [former FBC moderator] standing guard over me. 

 Carmichael seemed to have had genuine restoration of hearing to his left ear.

When I went to the arena [on…] Friday, the second-last day of the campaign…I went to the furthest back and the highest seat in the whole building to test out my hearing; to my joy I heard Dr. Price in every word. 

He summed up his 1923 experience of Price and his campaign as follows:

There were Christians who would have given Dr Price the highest honour the Church could give; there were other Christians who consigned him to the lowest pit of hell where, they said, he belonged….Yet to all, friend or foe, Dr. Price…even in the hottest bombard of venom and criticism, like the Saviour, answered not a word. When he spoke of those who opposed him, it was in the most loving way. “If” as he told us, “you do not see the light as I see it, I have no condemnation for you. All I want you to do is follow the light you have.”

Aftermath

William Carmichael’s very positive reaction to the 1923 campaign was followed by more muted enthusiasm afterwards. He remained convinced that the Price campaign had been a spiritual “uplift” to the church (and not least for his own First Baptist congregation). But he wasn’t sure what to do with his personal ‘healing’ experience. For, although he experienced improvement to his hearing immediately after his anointing by Price, one month later, the deafness had returned.

Carmichael spoke with others of his acquaintance who had received anointing and healing at Price’s meetings. Two of these folks had had similar experiences to his of relapse of ailment (either within a month or within a space of 2-3 months).

I’ll allow Carmichael to relate the response to his inquiry of the third person of his acquaintance, who was more embittered than the others:

[N]ext I met a Mrs. R. “Excuse me, Mrs. R.”, I said, “but you were anointed at the Arena and fell under the power. Did you receive healing?”

She turned on me with a glare of anger, “No,” she fairly hissed. “I believe it was nothing more than that I was hypnotized by the wicked eyes of that she-devil, Miss Carvell.” (Miss Carvell was Dr Price’s singer and assistant.).

And before I could say another word, she shot out the door.

Carmichael went to the second Price campaign meetings in 1924, searching for answers to his questions about his lack of enduring healing.  At the end of it, he could only conclude:

Of Dr. Price’s gospel preaching there is no doubt of his sincerity and earnestness as far as I can see; as for his tenets on healing, while I could not say with certainty he is right, on the other hand I could not with positiveness say he was wrong.

______

Notes

*Background on Price comes mostly from “Dr Charles S. Price: His Life, Ministry and Influence”. By  Tim Enloe. AG Heritage. 2008.

**He was the author of FBC’s first authorized history, in celebration of the church’s Diamond Jubliee: These Sixty Years 1887-1947. Carmichael was the father of Mrs. Edna-May Slade, currently the oldest member of FBC.

***Victoria Day in these years, must not have been designated as falling on the 4th Monday of May, but rather as being on May 23rd – whatever day of the week that should happen to be.

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Yucho Chow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Answers to “Find The Errors”

1. CVA 99-3791

The image is not the Marine Building (which is decorated with terra cotta marine features such as seahorses); it is the Georgia Medical-Dental Building (decorated with healthcare-related features (such as the nurse figure at the very top of the building).  

2. CVA 447-335

I don’t honestly know what is meant by the title wording associated with this image.

The Scope and Content portion of this record claims that the “Photograph shows the Dunsmuir Viaduct.” That is an error. There was no such thing as a Dunsmuir Viaduct in 1949; indeed, not until after the second Georgia Viaduct project was completed circa 1971. Prior to that, the Georgia Viaduct carried traffic both east and west. Only after the 1971 project was there a separate Dunsmuir Viaduct to carry  westbound traffic while the Georgia Viaduct carried traffic eastbound.

The Viaduct in the image is Georgia Viaduct.

3. Str P257

This is pretty clearly somewhere other than Georgia Street. It appears to be an image of Ceperley Playground in Stanley Park’s Second Beach. See a very similar image on CVA here.

Posted in street scenes | 2 Comments

Find the Errors

If you’ve been following VanAsItWas for awhile, you’ll recall that a few months ago, we played Name Those Streets. This consisted of me showing three images which were misidentified by the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) as to their street locations.*

Today’s post is a variant on that theme. However, the errors pertain more broadly to the info provided by CVA. The archivists may have erred in the street location, or in some other aspect of the photo’s description. I will play fair, however. I’ll provide all of the info that CVA provides so you can make a decision as to what the error is and (if you’re ‘on the ball’) what the correct info ought to be.

1.

  • Title: The Facade of the Marine Building
  • Year: 1929

2.

  • Title: CPR Team Tracks Pender St.
  • Year: 1959
  • Scope and content: “Photograph shows the Dunsmuir Viaduct.”

3.

  • Title: View of buildings in the 300 block West Georgia Street looking East from Homer Street.
  • Year: 1948
  • Scope and content: “Photograph shows Hopps Sign Co. nLtd. (375 Georgia) and a street light.”

Answers will appear in tomorrow’s post.

Notes

*As of the date of publication of today’s post – 4 months after Name Those Streets was posted – none of the three errors then identified have been corrected.

Posted in street scenes | 1 Comment

Fine Work by Unknown Artist

cdm.langmann.1-0053409.0030full

Vancouver CPR: UL_1085_0030. Views of British Columbia and Alaska. University of British Columbia Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. n.d. [1880-90]. Artist and photographer unknown.

I find engravings such as this one in a volume from the Uno Langmann Collection entitled Views of British Columbia and Akaska to be very appealing. Unfortunately, the artist responsible for the work isn’t known.

Views was published by M. W. Waitt & Co, an early Victoria bookseller. Marshall Wilder Waitt (1833-1892) succumbed to Smallpox in 1892 and sometime after that, Waitt’s son-in-law, Charles H. Kent, moved the business to Vancouver. The year that Views was published isn’t known, but the staff in UBC Library’s Special Collections department estimate it was between 1880-90.

I’m aware of there being several examples of B.C. publishers publishing their own work anonymously. As far as I know, that wasn’t the case with Views. However, Waitt’s daughter (who married Waitt’s successor, C. H. Kent) Georgina (1866-1933), was a portrait artist and may have been connected to a capable B.C. artist who she brought to her father’s attention (and who was just hungry enough to agree to M. W. Waitt’s terms of publication anonymity).

I take it that Views sold well because a smaller, “best of”, edition was published a few years later (1900?). There were only 20 or so prints in this little volume. The Langmann (188-?) edition – a first edition, presumably – has about 60 prints.

I am no art critic; mainly I know what I like. I like most of the work in Views, and I’m very interested in finding out who the unsung artist was behind the fine images within its covers. Permit me a brief ramble about my assessment of the art (and artist).

The artistic form is Realism (with a capital ‘R’). There is no hint of any abstract influence in this work at all. I’m convinced that the work in Views is by a single artist; it doesn’t look to me like a compilation of work by a variety of artists. That said, it seems to me that there is a difference in the maturity of the artist’s skill among the several examples in Views. I think that the work comes from different periods in the artist’s life – some of them from relatively early in his/her life; others from later periods. This is best illustrated by looking at the artist’s weakest artistic subject: human figures. In the print shown below (which I take to be an earlier one), the figure in the rowboat is rendered pretty crudely.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 4.39.07 PM

The CPR Crossing the Columbia River: UL_1085_0046. Views of British Columbia and Alaska. University of British Columbia Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. n.d. [1880-90]. Artist and photographer unknown.

But here, in the image called “Indian Groups” the artist demonstrates a skill level vastly superior to that in the rowboat work. The human figures in this image are almost photographic.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 4.43.16 PM

Indian Groups: UL_1085_0028. Views of British Columbia and Alaska. University of British Columbia Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. n.d. [1880-90]. Artist and photographer unknown.

I wish that there was much hope of me tracking down the artist/engraver who did this fine work. But I’m told that engraved work of this period was typically unsigned and that it is very difficult to pin down who was responsible from this distant remove.

Posted in art, Uno Langmann Collection | Tagged , , , , , , ,

West Cordova Unit Block*

CVA 780-768 - [View of West Cordova Street from Carrall Street] 196--2

CVA 780-768 – A View looking west down the Unit Block of West Cordova Street from Carrall Street. Photographer unkonwn. 196-.

It is a pity that we don’t know who made this photograph. To me, it is one of gems in the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) collection. Why do I say that? The muted colour tones, for one thing, speak of a decade that was moving away from black and white images in favour of colour. The people in the image also are appealing to me. Nobody seems to be in a rush. Even the automobile traffic seems quiet. It could be a Sunday afternoon if this photo were made in an era when there was a good reason for pedestrians to be strolling in a retail area — Sunday shopping is two or three decades in the future.

The mix of businesses represented in the image is striking. Rainier Grocery is just visible at the southwest corner of Carrall and Cordova; the Army & Navy anchored the block then (as it does now) in the  Dunn-Miller block; there appears to be a loan service on the south side of the street, mid-way down; and, according to the 1969** Vancouver directory, there were assorted other shops plying trade in hardware, lock & safe services, sporting goods, tailoring, umbrella manufacture, and food service.

But if there was a dominant trade on this block, it was the hotel/SRO (single room occupancy) business. On the south side of West Cordova, at least two hotel signs are visible: the Cansino Hotel and the Hildon Hotel (for which, I have to believe, there must have been at least an informal slogan to the effect of ‘If you can’t afford the Hilton, stay at the Hildon!’). And on the north side of the street, there were Boulder Rooms, the Travellers Hotel (also known as the Fortin Building), the Stanley Hotel, the New Fountain Hotel, and Marble Rooms.

IMG_6358

The iron fencing that seems discouraging to potential shoppers at retail shops on street level of current Stanley/New Fountain Hotel. 2016. Author’s photo.

There are some big changes in the future for the block. One of the most significant is the redevelopment of the Stanley/New Fountain Hotel. Plans are reportedly in the works for a “facadification” of these old hotels. If reports are accurate, the currently 2-3 storey hotels will be replaced with an 11-storey combo market- and non-market-housing structure. The time is ripe for changes to be made to these SROs and the retail businesses that crouch beneath them (behind a foreboding metal fence). I know that there are critics of the 11-storey profile of the proposed Stanley Hotel. But, frankly, that will put it only three stories higher than its neighbour, the Lori Krill Housing Co-Op.

I’m not sure what is going into the former home of Rainier Grocery, but it looks as though it will be a food service vendor of some description. Across the street, on the northwest corner of Cordova and Carrall, the Bauhous Restaurant has established itself on the main floor of what was once Boulder Hotel/Rooms. But it is pretty clear that there are few, if any, tenants on the upper floors, currently. That will probably change soon.

Meanwhile, there has been at least one change to the block that would have our forebears scratching their heads. The Float House (specializing in “floatation therapy and sensory deprivation”, no less) today occupies the space that once was the manufacturing site of the eminently practical BC Umbrella Co.

———-

Notes

*A “unit block” is the block of a street or avenue numbered less than 100.

**I looked to the 1969 Directory because the 1960s are identified by CVA as the likely decade when this image was made. I have my doubts about that, however. I favour an early year in the following decade: possibly 1971 or 1972.

Posted in hotels/motels/inns, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada’s First Drive-In Theatre

vpl 81172B - Cascade Drive-in Theatre and two automobiles with rain visors. 1950. Artray Studio. Rain visors to be rented for cars attending theatre at 3960 Canada Way, Burnaby.

VPL 81172B – Cascade Drive-in Theatre at at 3960 Canada Way, in Burnaby. Two automobiles with rain visors (rain visors were rented for cars attending the Drive-In). 1950. Artray Studio.

The Cascade Drive-In in Burnaby was B.C.’s and Canada’s first drive-in theatre. It was started by George and William Steel and Joe and Art Johnson (Steel-Johnson Amusements, Ltd.) in 1946, opening in August of that year. The theatre was built along Grandview Highway. 
Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 5.23.21 PM

Cascade Drive-In. 1951. Vintage Air Photos.

In 1977, the theatre was purchased by Don Soutar, Al Chappell and Norm Green and continued to operate as a drive-in until it closed in 1980 and was demolished two years later. The property was redeveloped into a condominium complex now known as Cascade Village.

image1

Cascade Drive-In. 1946. Heritage Burnaby.

Posted in Artray, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vancouver Arts & Crafts Association

Bu N135 - [O'Brien Hall, Metropolitan Block and the De Beck Building, southeast corner of Homer and Hastings Streets] 1940.

Bu N135 – [O’Brien Hall, Metropolitan Block and the De Beck Building, southeast corner of Homer and Hastings Streets] 1940. This was the site of the inaugural exhibition of the A&CA, July, 1900. Interestingly, R. M. Fripp, who was later president of the Arts & Crafts Association, was the designer of O’Brien Hall. The Hall was demolished in 1940, presumably shortly after this image was made.

image2-3The Arts & Crafts Association came into being in April, 1900 and lasted little more than a couple of years.* It had as its “chief aim . . . to encourage artistic feeling and knowledge and to bring the designer and the workman or craftsman into closer relationship.” (Brochure, Arts and Crafts Association. Vancouver, B.C., Evans & Hastings [Printer?], n.d. {190-?], CVA Collection off-line).

The Association offered classes in a variety of areas:

  • Painting and drawing
  • Modelling
  • Art Needlework
  • Design and Execution of Furniture
  • Architectural Drawing and History
  • Mechanical Drawing
  • Photography
  • Painting on China
  • Carving

An “annual exhibition” was held in which members were entitled to submit their works for show and sale. The first of these was held in September, 1900 at the Theatre Royal (also known as the Alhambra Theatre), located at Pender and Howe. The second annual exhibit was in 1901 at the Fairfield Building on Granville at Pender. (There was a third exhibit that wasn’t one of the “annual” exhibits. It was an inaugural exhibition at O’Brien Hall (Hastings and Homer) to help celebrate the creation of the association. It was held in July, 1900.)**

Judging from the handwritten list of members held by CVA, about half of the 60+ paid members were women. The gender distribution among the executive was consistent with the time in not being representative of the membership, however the one woman among the ten officers – Mrs. Balfour Ker – was a Vice-President (the other V-P was S. M. Eveleigh). The President and a major force behind the Association was Robert M. Fripp.

Port P552 - [Robert MacKay Fripp] ca1888 J. D. Hall photo.

Port P552 – Robert MacKay Fripp. ca1888 J. D. Hall photo.

After the 1901 exhibit, the Association seemed to run out of steam. Mention was made in the press that the Association came to an end with the move of R. M. Fripp to California (temporarily) and “the scattering of other important members.”

Some of the functions of the Arts & Crafts Association were assumed by the Studio Club***(1904) and by the B.C. Society of Fine Arts (1908).


Notes

*The Arts & Crafts Association was birthed from an even more short-lived organization: the Art Workers Guild. Not much is known about the Guild except that it was established in early 1900. It was replaced by the A&CA when it was created about three months later.

**A. J. Davis showed some of his artwork and carving at the inaugural exhibit.

***Emily Carr was hired (briefly) in 1905 or 1906 by the Studio Club to be a resource person for one of their painting classes. William Thom quotes Carr regarding her time with the Club in his thesis: “The [Studio]… Club was a cluster of society women who intermittently packed themselves and their admirers into a small rented studio to drink tea and jabber art jargon” (Thom, 30). It won’t be surprising to anyone familiar with her acerbic wit that Miss Carr was dismissed from her job with the Studio Club after just one month. Her impatience with her students was doubtless exceeded only by her students’ distaste for ‘her’ sort of (decidedly non-Victorian) art!


Sources

City of Vancouver Archives. Off-line file on the Vancouver Arts & Crafts Association.

William Wylie Thom. The Fine Arts in Vancouver, 1886-1930: An Historical Survey. M. A. Thesis. UBC. April 1969.

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“What Food These Morsels Be”

Money's Former Slogan-What Food These Morsels Be

Money’s Mushrooms Former Slogan. On Prior Street a couple of blocks east of Main Street. 2016. Author’s photo.

This sign was painted on the side of a building on Prior Street many years ago. A friend, who is in his 70s, claims not to remember a time when the advertisement wasn’t there.

W. T. Money established W. T. Money & Co. (later, Money’s Mushrooms) in 1928. Its headquarters was at 631 Seymour Street; today, it is based in Surrey.

The slogan shown above was apparently adopted by Money’s in about 1940. It was in use by the company at least through the 1950s, and possibly through the 1970s. What Food These Morsels Be is an example of word play; in this case, the slogan plays with a quotation by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s line was “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”* The original Shakespearean line has also been adapted in a blues classic made popular by Etta James and released in 1969.

The elf figure on the left of the ad may be intended to represent the mischievous fairy, Puck, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The first apparent use of the current slogan, Money’s Makes Meals Mmmarvellous, was in an advertising campaign led by Canadian cooking personality, James Barber, The Urban Peasant. He the campaign for Money’s with the current slogan in the 1980s.

 

Notes

A Midsummer Nights Dream Act 3, scene 2, 110–115.

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Risky Swinging in the ’20s

cdm.langmann.1-0053399.0058full

Couple on (Apparently Hand-Powered) Cable Tram (Over Seymour Creek?) UL_1184_03_0058. 1920-30? Photographer Unknown. From Possible Murray Family Album. UBC Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs.

This couple appear pretty relaxed, given that they are suspended by a none-too-sturdy-looking cable over what I believe (but cannot prove) is Seymour Creek in North Vancouver. I’m led to conclude that it is probably Seymour Creek mainly from context. There are a couple other Seymour Creek images in the same album; and the water appears similarly calm in the other Seymour Creek photos. A friend has suggested that another possibility is the Lynn Creek headwaters.

There are three other similar images in the same album in UBC’s Uno Langmann Family Collection of Early B.C. Photos. The subjects in each of the other three photos are all different and they are not all as relaxed as this couple seems to be.

The photographs all appear to be made  by the same (professional, I assume) photographer. I assume that there was a parallel cable car on which the photographer was perched. Either that, or there was a bridge that ran parallel to where our brave pair were.

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Ye Little Brown Inn

xx-2Yesterday, I was looking at a printout of Sheet 16 of Goad’s Fire Insurance Atlas of Vancouver (March 1920) when I noticed the name of a business that was new to me: “Little Brown Inn”. What could that be, I wondered?

The name of the commercial enterprise was, in fact, Ye Little Brown Inn, and appears to have been one of the legion lunch counters in downtown Vancouver in the early decades of the twentieth century (among its near competitors were the 800-block Granville outlet of White Lunch and the Old Country Lunch and Tea Rooms at 641 Granville).

YLBI was first established at 606 Granville in 1915 by three ladies: Anna Fletcher, Agnes McKay, and Mary H. Lawrence. It appears that two of the women dropped out of the enterprise sometime within the first year or so of operation. By the time the 1916 Vancouver City Directory was published, Mary Lawrence was the sole proprietor listed. By 1918, the business had moved a couple of blocks, presumably to somewhat less expensive digs, at 745 Dunsmuir (roughly where Holt Renfrew is located today).*

There is no way of knowing how well YLBI did against its many competitors. But by 1922, the business was finished. Mary Helen Lawrence succumbed to Tetanus and died on March 5th, in her 55th year (just five days after being diagnosed with the illness)**. According to the Immunize Canada page pertaining to Tetanus (aka Lockjaw), after 1920, “[t]he introduction of horse antiserum neutralized the effect of tetanus toxin and improved the care of wounds, leading to reduced cases and deaths in Canada and other industrialized countries.” By the 1940s, the serum was readily available and the practice of immunizing infants for Tetanus began.

However it was that Miss Lawrence contracted the disease (whether as part of her work at YLBI or elsewhere), if it had happened just a few years later, chances are good that she would have survived.

Notes

*I was unable to track down any images of YLBI at its Granville or Dunsmuir locations.

**The following details about Miss Lawrence’s life prior to owning YLBI are excerpted from her obituary, published in the March 6, 1922 edition of the Vancouver Daily World“Miss Lawrence, who owned and managed the Little Brown Inn, had resided in Vancouver for the past eight years. She came here from Paris, France, where she had lived for several years. She was born at Niagara Falls, Ont., and at an early age went to New York, where she trained as a nurse. She followed that profession first In New York, later in Paris, then in Rome, Cairo and again in Paris. She was appointed by the Italian government matron in charge of the hospital ship which was sent to Messina at the time of the big earthquake disaster there and was later decorated by King Emanuel for her services. Her only brother lives in Buffalo and her only near relative in this city is Miss M. A. Leith. The late Miss Lawrence was a member of the I.O.D.E. and the Woman’s Canadian Club. The body will be sent to Niagara Falls, Ont. for burial.”

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A. J. Davis, Vancouver Painter

Blackfoot Chief Two Guns White Calf - Painting by A J Davis. n.d.

Portrait of Chief Two Guns White Calf. Painted by A. J. Davis, apparently from a photograph on a postcard (shown below). n.d.

The painting above was purchased by my good friend, Wes, at a thrift store, recently. He didn’t know who the artist was nor anything of his story. He just liked the painted rendering of the portrait. A bit of digging online revealed that the painting was made by Alfred John Davis (a Vancouver artist) – who was unknown to Wes or me – from a photographic postcard of Chief Two Guns White Calf.

A. J. Davis was born in England in 1868. He later immigrated to Canada and settled for a few years in Winnipeg. He came west to Vancouver in 1891, and he married Ellen Ann McCannell here in 1897. His occupation in Winnipeg and in Vancouver was as a railway coach painter for the Canadian Pacific Railway (later on, in Vancouver, he became foreman of the CPR paint shops here).

In a Vancouver Sun profile that was published just a couple of weeks before Davis’ death in 1933, the author noted that

“Mr. and Mrs. Davis are living in a veritable art gallery, wherein beautiful paintings, both in oil and water color, with huge pencil drawings adorn the walls throughout their well-situated home at 3741 39th Avenue West. Indian heads in oil is the chief subject for his brushes and over which has the most absolute control, so much so that he is recognized in artistic circles as the authority in such work.” (A Home Filled with Treasures. Vancouver Sun, January 7, 1933)

The indian subjects appear to have been paintings he did for his own amusement (and probably as an additional income source), although it is possible that his output for the CPR may also have included native american portraits. According to the Sun author, the Davis home was full of wood carvings in addition to oil and watercolour paintings. One of these sounds from the description as though it would have made a lovely piece for a local museum. Whether or not it was donated to the Maritime Museum or the MOV is unknown to me:

“The year 1863 marked the beginning of a new era in the history of British Columbia with the arrival on the Columbia River on March 19 of the first vessel, the historic Beaver, after a passage of 163 days from Gravesend, entirely under sail. Today, all that is left of the vessel* after sinking in the Narrows at Vancouver just forty years ago, is a beautifully carved scimitar and sheath brought to light from a trunk by A. J. Davis…This was carved from part of an inside cupola of the old vessel obtained at low tide after a lengthy scramble over barnacles  and sea refuse in the autumn of 1891 about three weeks before the vessel completely disappeared from sight. The Beaver knife sheath has a perfectly carved scroll-work. The curved blade contains a piece of one of the copper rivets used to fasten the old oak beams of the historic old steamer.”**

Although I’m very appreciative of the Sun for assigning a reporter (albeit, an anonymous one) to write the profile of the today-all-but-unknown artist, if I’d had my ‘druthers’, it would have been helpful to have more detail about A. J. Davis’ work for the CPR, including what exactly his job entailed. Was he responsible for any of the famous CPR posters? Was he responsible for painting scenes in railway coaches (in which case, most of his career art work must surely now be gone) or (more likely), was it his job to see that all CPR property was properly maintained with a fresh coat of paint, inside and out?

CVA 152-1.180 - [Construction progress photograph of the CPR Pier %22A-B%22 extension] July 1913.

CVA 152-1.180 – [Construction progress photograph of the CPR Pier “A-B” extension] July 1913. A worker is painting the exterior of the pier. Was this the sort of painting work with which A J Davis was principally concerned?

A. J. Davis died while still in harness with his employer of 45 years on January 25, 1933. His widow died in 1953 in Burbank, CA. What happened to the treasures in their former home is unknown to me.

IMG_1975-2

IMG_1977-2

AM1052 P-872 – The five Georges (ca 1910)
The above postcard (front and verso) is the only piece of art and information available at the City of Vancouver Archives pertaining to A. J. Davis. The drawing of the “Five Georges” is a reproduction of a painting, according to the note on the card’s face.

Notes

*This claim that the Davis item is the sole extant piece of the Beaver isn’t accurate. See here for an image of an auction mallet composed of wood from the craft and a reference to “a number of other such items” from the Beaver, including its boiler which resides outside of the Maritime Museum.

**I appreciate very much the information embedded here in an online request for help with additional details about her grandfather, A. J. Davis. Without the reference in her post to the newspaper article profiling Davis, I would have had very little to say about his life and vocation (and avocations).

__

April 19/16: I have just found a listing of a few others of AJD’s work; they were on display at the Theatre Royal (aka the first Orpheum Theatre), as part of the First Annual Exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Association, September 25-27, 1900.

 

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Another Controversial Subject: Vancouver Housing

Traffic congestion and inadequate housing are subjects which are revisited regularly in Vancouver. The previous post was a look at how the City tried to persuade residents not to be ‘Traffic Peakers’ in the 1940s. This post is a reproduction of a News-Herald ‘Editorial in Pictures’ that deals with the editor’s views on the state of housing in Vancouver during the WWII era.

I have been able to find all of the photos, except one, used in the News-Herald editorial within the City of Vancouver Archives. Except for that missing photo, the content of the article is reproduced here just as it appeared in 1944:

Something Must Be Done

(An Editorial in Pictures)

The authoritative and detailed survey by the Vancouver Council of Social Agencies reveals that more than 2,000 Vancouver families are living in such “shockingly inadequate” housing that ordinary city slums would look like heaven to them.

The City Council has made nine “appeals” to Ottawa for more housing, but has taken no practical steps to deal with the emergency. “I don’t see what more we can do,” says the Mayor.

The Dominion government has accepted responsibility for only a limited amount of housing for actual war workers, and for some financial assistance for post-war housing projects.

The provincial government merely supplies a sheriff to carry out evictions.

But 2,000 Vancouver families – 4,000 men and women and more than 4,000 children – are living from day to day, NOW, as are those pictured here.

Says the Council of Social Agencies: “These conditions . . . are a damning indictment of the failure of the authorities.”

<Image>

More than 12 families live in this double row of ramshackle and unsanitary tenements on Sixth Avenue in Fairview. They are less than a quarter of a mile from Shaughnessy Heights, but no proud citizens bring visitors to see Vancouver’s “line homes” HERE.

CVA 1184-639 - [Garbage and garbage containers at the slums in the 300 block East Cordova] 1943 Jack Lindsay photo-2

CVA 1184-639 – [Garbage and garbage containers at the slums in the 300 block East Cordova] 1943 Jack Lindsay photo.

Here is a Vancouver child. Here is his playground. Hundreds of youngsters, the hope of our city’s future, spend their waking hours at play in back alleys like this. This lane is one block from police headquarters and the city jail.

CVA 1184-2612 - [Tenement building] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo-2

CVA 1184-2612 – [Tenement building] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

War industry booms and Vancouver’s busy harbor seeths (sic) with activity less than a block from this row of hutches for human beings on Alexander Street. In such conditions as this live the city’s “pampered workers” – 20 of them and their families in this one ancient building. Notice the pathetic endeavor to grace its  tattered railings with flowers and vines.

CVA 1184-2615 - [View of the rear of a tenement house] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo-2

CVA 1184-2615 – [View of the rear of a tenement house] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

The city rejoiced when the Japs were moved out of the human rabbit warrens on Powell Street, hailing the end of our worst slum. But it was not the end. These wretched buildings are now filled with white families, in some cases, six and seven persons to a room.

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“Traffic Peaker” vs “Polar Cap Melter”?

Vancouver Traffic Peaker (July 19:44 Sports Page)

Downtown Vancouver “Traffic Peaker” Ad. Vancouver News-Herald. Sports page. July 19, 1944.

This 1940s ad, which I’m assuming was a production of the City of Vancouver, makes use of all three of the classical rhetorical appeals. There is ethos in the use of statistics, figures, and a chart to persuade the audience that the persuader is credible. Pathos is applied by attempting to make the audience feel emotions (guilt, primarily). And logos is used to persuade the audience by presenting an argument which the persuader hopes will be seen as logical.

It would seem that there has been little improvement in downtown congestion between the 1940s and the 20-teens.* What sorts of rhetorical appeals are used today in the ‘battle’ to reduce automobile congestion? The same ones as were implemented in the ’40s, as far as I can tell. Only today, the appeal to pathos seems to be in the guise of guilt over contributions to global warming, rather than guilt over slowing down your neighbours’ trips home at rush hour.

Notes

*But there appears today to be at least a willingness, on the part of many Vancouver residents, to support alternatives to automobile traffic into downtown (the growing popularity of mass transit Skytrain options, for instance, and bicycles). This is in contrast with the apparent situation in the 1940s. The ad assumes that the automobile is the only viable means of getting into downtown. And this in a decade when streetcars were still an option (albeit, for a very few years more).

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Henry (“Harry”) S. Van Buren

VPL 21209 North West Bldg, Nov 1921 Dominion Photo Co.

VPL 21209 North West Building (8-storey bldg.) and the site (as of 1939) of Western Manufacturers Salvage to the left at 525 Richards (roughly at the location where Albion Books is today; the building shown here is long gone). 1921. Dominion Photo Co.

Henry Samuel Van Buren (1885-1977) was a Vancouver business owner from the late ’20s until the late ’40s.  He seems to have had two principal businesses: VB Grocery (from 1926 until about 1935) and Western Merchandise Brokers (during the 1940s).

Henry Samuel Van Buren (often called “Harry” throughout his life) was born in 1884 in Morden, MB to Henry Cornelius Van Buren and Rosamond Law. He was the middle child of three; Abram and Hazel were his older and younger siblings, respectively. In 1905, Van Buren set out to homestead a piece of land in the area around Macleod, AB (today, Fort Macleod). A few years later, he moved to the Strathmore area (east of Calgary). What his occupation there was, isn’t clear.

Sometime between 1923 and 1925, Van Buren moved to Vancouver. He established his first business here, VB Grocery, at 1509 Commercial Drive. He packed it in as a grocer by 1935 and a couple of years later was proprietor of Western Merchandise Brokers, a salvage firm at 525 Richards (a couple doors south of Pender on the west side of Richards). By the late 1940s, he retired.

Henry Samuel married Clara Mabel Snell. The year they were married and the year of his wife’s death are not clear (one source shows her passing in 1935; another shows 1972). Henry and Mabel had one child, Henry Lloyd, who died in 2003. The Van Burens (at least as far back as H. S. Van Buren’s grandfather) had been Baptists.

Van Buren moved to Vancouver Island after retiring from the salvage business.* In his very late years, Van Buren returned to Vancouver, where he lived out his final days. He died at 92 at Pearson Hospital in 1977. Padre James Duncan (former Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Vancouver) led Van Buren’s memorial service.

Notes

*There is evidence of a Harry Van Buren living in Victoria from 1948. However, the Victoria Directory shows him living there with someone called “Enid”. Because I’ve found no other mention of an Enid in any Van Buren records, I’m inclined to treat this as being someone other than our Harry Van Buren.

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Mudge the Poultry Man

Crop of CVA 99-89 - Main Street market 1910 Stuart Thomson

Crop of CVA 99-89 – Close view of a wing of the Vancouver City Market where Mudge the Poultry Man advertised his presence within. The sign reads (in part) “Mudge The Poultry Man”. 1910. Stuart Thomson.

William Mudge’s business was known in early Vancouver as Mudge & Son and (probably better) as Mudge the Poultry Man. As indicated in the latter name, he specialized in Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 4.31.54 PMproviding chicken products to hard-working, hungry Vancouverites. He hung his shingle at Vancouver’s farmer’s market, known then as the City Market which was originally located, from 1908 until before 1925 (when the building was destroyed by fire) roughly where ScienceWorld is today.

vpl 7435 New City Market opened that year at Westminster Ave (Main after 1910), west of Westminster or False Creek Bridge. On south side ofFC. 1908 PT Timms

VPL 7435 New City Market opened that year at Westminster Ave (Main after 1910), west of Westminster or False Creek Bridge. 1908. P. T. Timms.

Mudge was a recent emigrant to Canada from England (1909) and lived near Main and 25th Avenue (King Edward Ave.) with his wife Ethel (nee Tremaine), first son, William, second and third sons Wilfred and Gerald, and his only daughter, Mary Monica (known by the nickname, ‘Queenie’, which may have been an homage to Queen Victoria.)

We don’t know the exact Vancouver address of the Mudges; their mailing address was simply “City Heights”, the name of the local post office which, with its establishment in 1911, was located at 4116 Main Street, George P. Findlay, postmaster.* I should point out that the original structure in which City Heights Post Office seems to have resided is extant; it is the building immediately to the south of the Walden Building (1910), which was known at the time as Findlay Place (Apartments), doubtless named for George the Postmaster.**

LGN 487 - [People entering streetcar on Main Street at 25th Avenue] 1912 ? W J Moore photo

LGN 487 – The camera is facing south down Main St, located approximately at 25th Ave. The Walden Building is the 3-storey structure on the left (extant); Findlay Place Apartments and City Heights Post Office was in the building adjacent to and south of Walden (also extant). 1912? W J Moore photo.

Later in life, William and Ethel moved to Cobble Hill, on Vancouver Island (not far from Cowichan Bay). It isn’t clear whether they continued to produce poultry at Cobble Hill, but there is evidence that they remained producers – of seed potatoes.***

William Mudge died in 1932 and was buried in Cobble Hill Cemetery.

Notes

*I’m appreciative of the generosity of the gent who blogs at WestEndVancouver for clearing up the mystery of where on earth “City Heights” was. Thank you! Note: By 1919, the Mudges were living at 3115 Quebec (near 15th Avenue).

**Note: The numbers along this block today don’t accurately represent the locations of businesses with the same numbers in 1912.

***Just a couple years before William Sr.’s death, he was elected as an officer of the BC Certified Seed Potato Grower’s Association. (Daily Colonist, November 1929)

Posted in biography, businesses, P. T. Timms, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lest We Impress

CVA 99-3749 - [Georgia] Medical Dental Building [at 925 West Georgia Street] 1929 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-3749 – Georgia Medical Dental Building at Northwest Corner Georgia at Hornby. 1929. Stuart Thomson photo. (Note: The angle from which this image was taken makes the  ground level on the right side of the wooden construction zone fence appear to be lower than the street on the left side. But it isn’t. Photographer Thomson was probably inside the construction barrier of the 3rd Hotel Vancouver shooting from near the top of the fence line; Thomson was the official photographer of the hotel’s construction.)

It is all too easy to impress the present onto the past. Especially in cases where there has been an attempt made by contemporary architects to ‘nod’ to a prior building that once occupied a lot. A good example of this is the Georgia Medical-Dental Building (MDB, hereafter; 1929; McCarter & Nairne, architects), which was demolished by implosion in 1989, and the Shaw Tower at Cathedral Place (SCP, hereafter; 1991; Merrick, architect), which stands on the lot today.

When I recently happened upon the image above, I was initially disturbed by the apparent narrowness of the Medical-Dental Building. It appeared to me to be only half as wide as it ought to be.

At first, I thought that perhaps when work started on the structure, the economic downturn of the Great Depression forced the builder to focus on building just the southern slice; that the northern half would be built later to create the square footprint that I assumed was ‘natural’ for the structure.

But that was not the case.

The next image revealed my error: MDB had an ‘L’ footprint, not the square one that I’d assumed it would have. My assumption was due, in part at least, to my expectation that the older building would have had the same sort of footprint as today’s SCP has.

vpl 12176  View looking east on Georgia from Burrard Street. 1930. Frank Leonard photo.

VPL 12176 View looking east at the Georgia Medical-Dental Building from Burrard Street; this reveals that the structure had an “L” footprint, not a square one. 1930. Frank Leonard photo.

Features in Common and Differences

There was an attempt made by the architect of SCP (Paul Merrick, 1991) to replicate some features of the Medical-Dental building. Common features include:

  • ‘Nursing sisters’ on the corners of the buildings;
  • ‘Step-backs’ at higher floors;
  • Use of materials having contrasting colours (on MDB, use of differently coloured brick; on SCP, use of glass and concrete);

There are many more differences between the past and present occupants of the northwest corner of Georgia at Hornby than there are commonalities:

  • MDB had an ‘L’ footprint, SCP has a square one;
    Bu P179 - [Exterior Georgia] Medical and Dental Bldg. Vancouver BC [925 West Georgia Street and parking garage under construction] 1929 Leonard Frank photo.

    CVA 99-3749 – Georgia Medical Dental Building at Northwest Corner Georgia at Hornby. 1929. Stuart Thomson photo.

  • MDB had an appended, above-ground, 4-storey garage attached to the Hornby arm. SCP has an underground parking garage;
  • There was a single step-back at the 10th floor of the MDB. There are several step-backs on SCP;
  • MDB had 17 floors. SCP has 23;
  • On MDB, there were just the ‘nursing sisters’ as exterior ornaments and they appeared only at the 10th floor step-back and were of terra cotta. The nurses on SCP appear on the northeast corner just a couple of stories up and also higher on the building at the step-backs; there are other exterior ornaments on SCP, including griffins. The nurses and other ornaments on SCP are made of fibre glass;
  • MDB had a blunt roofline with lighter bricks near the roof to contrast with darker brickwork below. SCP has a chateaux-style roof (which, together with the griffins, is probably a nod to the architecture of its near neighbour, the Hotel Vancouver).
IMG_6794

A Griffin and Other Ornaments on Shaw Tower at Cathedral Place (taken from Hotel Vancouver). c2013. Author’s photo.

Posted in Frank J. Leonard, street scenes, stuart thomson, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Block of Libraries

CVA 1376-517 - [Clearing the lot at 2818 and 2820 Granville Street] 1928_

Crop of CVA 1376-517 – Workers clear front of lots at 2818 and 2820 Granville Street (east side of street between 12th and 13th Avenues) for construction of commercial space. One of the businesses at front would be The Stanley Library, not to be confused with The Library, another bookshop, initially located across the street. By the time this image was made, The Library had moved across to the east side of Granville, right beside where Stanley Library would be (note ad on The Library’s wall, cheekily facing the home). 1928.

 In 1925, Mrs. A. J. Davidson would start a little bookstore business across the street from the home shown above (later she would move the business next door to the home, later down the block a few doors; it would never be far away). She called the bookshop, perhaps with a vain hope of exclusivity, The Library.

But by about 1928, Mrs Davidson had a competitor on the block. The owner of the home at 2818 Granville was Mrs. Maud Leslie, a widow. Mrs. Leslie’s daughter*, Miss Lorna-June Leslie had an entrepreneurial drive and wanted to run her own little book and china shop. Start-up capital was doubtless an issue for June Leslie; if she was going truly to be an entrepreneur she wanted to own the property rather than be forever beholden to a landlord. So the Leslies decided they would capitalize on the front yard of their residence** and have June’s Stanley Library built on their home property. This was not by any means the first such residence/business mash-up in Vancouver. Indeed, in the downtown area (Davie Street, e.g.) this early variant on densification was fairly common. I don’t know whether a rezoning permit from the City was required in 1928.

CVA 1376-521 - [2820 Granville Street - the Stanley Library %22June Leslie's store%22] 1933

CVA 1376-521 – The Stanley Library, 2820 Granville. 1933.

Mrs. Leslie and June lived in the home at 2818 Granville for a couple of years, and then moved, presumably preferring to collect rent on the property.

One of the most remarkable things about this tale is that the home remains on the site today, its exterior at least, apparently substantially unchanged.

image2

Maud and June Leslie’s former home (2818 Granville) poking up behind Black Goat Cashmere and Daniel Chocolates, as it appears today. It isn’t clear to me whether the home is still used as a residence. But judging from a parking sign in the laneway (“Rear Entrance ONLY for Employees and Deliveries”), it doesn’t seem likely (Note: The concrete tower in left background of image is Chalmers Lodge, a seniors residence). 2016. Author’s photo.

What became of the apparent rivalry between The Library and Stanley Library? Who outlasted whom? Stanley Library seems to have remained in business for 17 years (1928-1945); a Mrs. Raymer took over the business in 1943. The Library, on the other hand) endured for more than a quarter century (1925-51); a Mrs. Kirby had assumed the reigns by the mid-1940s.

Even more interesting, perhaps, is that one block in the South Granville/Fairview area was able to sustain two independent bookstores for the better part of 20 years. How things have changed.

Notes

*I haven’t been able to establish beyond a doubt that Maud was June’s mother, but it seems to me to be all but certain.

**The home was built ca1909 for Fred Deeley by a J. Curtis for about $1,200.

Posted in books/reading, businesses, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Val Quan

IMG_20160114_0001 copy 10Late-breaking information on Val Quan (June 13, 2016): See comment from Bonnie, Val’s grand-daughter. She kindly provided some additional details. The information she supplied has been incorporated below. 

Val Quan (sometimes spelled Quon), his second wife, Pauline, and their family were fixtures around First Baptist Church for a number of years. Val was born in China in 1906, emigrating to Canada in 1921, when he was 15 years old. He settled initially in Moose Jaw, SK, where he worked in the National Café. He later spent time in Shaunavon, SK (pop. today is just over 1700); he was a member of First Baptist Church in Shaunavon.

In 1954, Val moved to Vancouver where he established his own café at the SE corner of Hamilton and Davie streets.* His café was in the heart of Yaletown, just steps from the CPR yards and the roundhouse.

Val and his first wife, May, were married in China. They had three daughters and one son, Robert, all born in China. The Chinese Exclusion Act, 1923-47, prevented Val from bringing his family to Canada. In 1950, when the Act was no longer in force, May came to Vancouver together with their two youngest kids, Jean and Robert.

May died of cancer in Vancouver six years after emigrating. Robert died 10 years later (1966) at age 18, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Val re-married; it isn’t clear to me when he married Pauline. They had a family – Edward, Gordon, and Nancy. Edward (Eddie) is remembered by First Baptist member, Edna-May Slade, as being a “magnificent” pianist; all of the Quan kids are remembered by her as being “brilliant”.

Val died in 1988 at 81; Pauline later.

As is often the the case with immigrant names, Val’s surname did not survive the journey to Canada unscathed. They were known around the church (and by others who were not Chinese, no doubt) as the ‘Thing’ family. Mr. Quan’s given name was not Val. It was Sung Siu. Val was probably his choice of an ‘English’ name.

Although it is not at all unusual, today, to have people who are of Chinese origin (and of other ethnicities) among the members and adherents of FBC, it was a different story in the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, the congregation (and the population of Vancouver, generally) was nearly homogeneously white.

Sung Siu Quan and his family truly were pioneers at First Baptist Church.

Notes

*It’s possible that he moved his cafe to Smithe Street near Cambie at some point.

The text of this post was written originally for First Baptist Church’s 125th Anniversary (2011), as part of my series of brief biographies of former FBC members, titled Who Was Who in the Pews. It is reproduced here with a number of corrections, editorial changes, and additional details. The author especially appreciates the information provided by Val Quan’s grand-daughter, Bonnie.

 

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, people | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

First Baptist Church in Disguise?

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First Baptist Church, Vancouver, mis-identified on this postcard as “Christ Church Cathedral”. Sent in 1927 from San Diego to Kingsbury, Quebec. “Printed by the Heliotype Ltd. Ottawa.” n.d. Photographer’s name not shown.

This was a gift presented today by JMV of Illustrated Vancouver. It was a delight to receive this postcard of mis-identification. The image seems to have been made between 1911 (when construction of FBC at Nelson & Burrard was completed) and 1921 (when right-side-of-the-road driving was established in the province, as the vehicle passing the Nelson Street doors appears to be on the left side of the road). If pressed, I’d speculate that the image was made closer to 1921.

It isn’t known  by me how many of these mis-identified cards were printed.

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The Lesters and their Dance Schools/Halls

CVA 789-74 - Davie &amp; Granville [after heavy snowfall] 1916_

CVA 789-74 – Looking west on Davie at Granville after a heavy snowfall. The M. Lester Dancing Academy is advertised on the Davie side of the building, although by the time this image was made, it had almost certainly moved into its new digs at Davie near Burrard. 1916.

It’s Hazy in Detroit

There isn’t a lot known about the proprietress of M. Lester Dancing Academy. Maud was an Ontario girl (although exactly where in Ontario she was born and raised or what her maiden name was isn’t clear to me). At some point, she married American Frederick W. Lester and in 1898 in Detroit, they had their only child, Dorothy.* How Frederick and/or Maud earned their daily bread while they were in Detroit isn’t clear, either. Indeed, it is clear only that they didn’t tarry there for long.

As the century turned, they set out for Victoria, BC.

Victoria: Little Michigan?

Frederick found work as a clerk in Victoria’s Driard Hotel  (facade extant). Their residence during their time in Victoria was, interestingly, at 52 Michigan Street (an homage to their earlier home?)

Maud, meanwhile, established a dancing school in Victoria.**

Lester in Vic 1905 Daily Colonist Jan 18:05

She leased the hall of the AOUW (Ancient Order of United Workmen). The following appeared in the Victoria Daily Colonist on October 31, 1904:

Mrs. Lester’s Dancing Academy – A very enjoyable time was spent at A.O.U.W. Hall Saturday night. The occasion was a grand Cinderella dance given by Mrs. Lester to the members of her Friday night class and their friends. About forty couples tripped the light fantastic over a beautifully conditioned floor to the music supplied by Miss Heater who presided at the pianoforte. Among the young ladies who joined in the various sets were many in their ‘teens, pupils of Mrs. Lester, and their ease of movement and the grace with which they went through the various complicated figures of dances, showing unmistakable evidence of careful training. The main hall of the A.O.U.W. building has undergone a complete metamorphosis since it has been leased by Mrs. Lester for her classes. Gay bunting is tastefully festooned overhead, the side lights are shielded in delicate and effective tints, while the “cosy corners” are neatly and comfortably furnished and draped with Oriental textures. There is ample seating accommodation, abundant floor space, and a happy temperature which is always maintained. The supper room is a model of neatness, as indeed is the whole arrangement. This is the third season Mrs. Lester conducts these dancing classes, and the success which is attending them is proof of their great popularity.

Maud’s dance lessons weren’t held exclusively at the AOUW Hall during their time in Victoria. There was also a period during which the Academy called the Alexandra Royal College ‘home’ (on Government Street, “opposite the new post office”). As well, “parties desiring instructions at their own homes may be accommodated.”

“Lester Hall”: 1205 Granville

The Lesters pulled up Victoria stakes by about 1908 and headed across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver. By 1909, the M. Lester Dancing Academy had hung its shingle on an upper floor of the chemist’s shop at the southwest corner of Davie and Granville (1205 Granville). The Lesters also lived in the building. The didn’t own the building, however. The owner, certainly by 1913 if not before, was local architectural luminary, Thomas Fee.

In the 1909-12 editions of Vancouver Directories, Frederick described his occupation as “Dancing Master”. In the 1909-10 editions, “M. Lester” didn’t get mentioned; and in the 1911 edition, while Mrs. M. Lester received her own listing, she didn’t rate a professional designation. Just before moving out of their Granville location in 1913, however, there had been a remarkable even-ing of self-described designations: both Frederick and Maud were described as “Dancing Teachers”.

In addition to the Dance Academy, the Lesters supplemented income from the business by sub-letting the space to groups that were looking for a hall in which to hold a dance. Thus, the 1205 Granville property was known not only as M. Lester Dance Academy, but also as “Lester Hall”.

“Lester Court”: 1024 Davie

Sometime in 1914 or 1915, the Lesters’ new professional and residential location (designed by Thomas Hooper) on Davie near Burrard, was ready for them to move into.

They chose to call the dance school in its new location what it had always been called. But the dance hall would no longer be “Lester Hall”; it would be called “Lester Court”. What was the reason for the name change? It was probably partly to distinguish the Burrard Street property from the older and probably smaller one on Granville.

CVA 99-5118 - Bazaar at Leister Court, Pro-Cathedral Bazaar - Flashlight 1917 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5118 – Bazaar at Leister (sic) Court, Pro-Cathedral Bazaar. Lester Court – 1024 Davie. Flashlight. 1917. Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-5119 - Allied Nations Bazaar, Leister Court 1917 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5119 – Allied Nations Bazaar, Lester Court – 1024 Davie. 1917. Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5227 - [Unidentified group at a dance]  ca1922 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5227 – [Unidentified group at a dance]. Lester Court – 1024 Davie. ca1922. Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-5231 - [Unidentified group in costume in ballroom] 192-? Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5231 – [Unidentified group in costume in ballroom]. Lester Coury – 1024 Davie. 192-?. Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-5296 - Vancouver Daily Sun Staff 2nd Annual Dance Lester Court [1024 Davie Street] Dec. 13th 1918 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5296 – Vancouver Daily Sun Staff 2nd Annual Dance Lester Court [1024 Davie Street] Dec. 13th 1918. Stuart Thomson photo. (Exposure adjusted by author). Note the fellow in the balcony (centre, rear) holding “Extra” sign.

CVA 99-5250 - Firemen's 25th Annual Ball. Lester Court [1024 Davie Street] Nov. 14th 1923 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-5250 – Firemen’s 25th Annual Ball. Lester Court [1024 Davie Street] Nov. 14th 1923. Stuart Thomson photo. (Exposure adjusted by author). Note the band instruments in the raised area at the rear of the auditorium.

Denouement

M. Lester Dance Academy ceased to be in Maud’s name in 1923. She would have been about 54, then. From 1923 until 1931, when the school seems to have ceased operations, it was known as Lester’s Dance Academy (F. W. Lester, proprietor).

Maud’s final years are as opaque as her very early years. I don’t know why she apparently withdrew from the dance school. Was she ill? Was she simply tired of the daily grind? I haven’t been able to track down her death certificate, but I know that she died in 1943.

Frederick was retired from the business by 1934. By 1935, Lester Court was no more; it was then known as the Embassy Ballroom and was under new management. Frederick died in 1946.

The building that housed Lester Court still stands today. See here for what it has been called at different times since the Lesters retired.

Bu P508.17 - [Exterior of the building at the South West corner of Davie and Burrard Streets] 1958 A L Yates photo

Bu P508.17 – Embassy Ballroom, sign on side of former Lester Court building. Embassy Ballroom was one of the later businesses at this location. 1958 A L Yates photo.

image3-2

Celebrities Nightclub (Former Lester Court) at 1024 Davie in 2016. Author’s photo.

Notes

*Dorothy died (of cause unknown to me) when she was just 13.

**Note Maud’s professional designation as a Member of the National Association of Masters of Dancing. See here for more about this American organization.

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Church Parades and Church Street

CVA 99-1951 - Police and Fireman church parade 1929 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-1951 – Police and Fireman church parade. The parade is passing the Georgia Medical-Dental building (under construction) with the Devonshire Hotel (later Apartments) in the background (on the site where, today, HSBC is situated). The parade participants were probably on their way to Christ Church, next door to the Medical-Dental block. 1929 Stuart Thomson photo.

I think I may have a reasonable explanation as to why Church Street (the north-south lane between Seymour and Richards and Georgia and Robson) was so named in the early years of the city. It seems to me that the name may have been connected to Church Parades.

Church Parades were parades of military and/or quasi-military personnel (e.g., police, firefighters) with the purpose of attending a service of worship together. In Vancouver’s early years, the official church which would likely have been attended by such a group was an Anglican one – most likely Christ Church (Georgia and Burrard).

The lane that was Church Street, it seems to me, would have been an ideal assembly location for church parade participants to get themselves organized prior to marching west up Georgia Street the few blocks to Christ Church.

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325 Howe

CVA 586-4174 - [Exterior of] Pacific Coast Fire Building [at 325] Howe Street 1946 Don Coltman photo

CVA 586-4174 – A view of 325 Howe looking toward the northwest. 1946. Don Coltman photo.

The Name Game

The building shown above has been known as the “Welton” Building (1912-1919), the “Pacific Coast Fire” Building (1920-?), and recently, probably, simply as good old 325 Howe.

Who decides what a building shall be called? It is usually safe to say that the owner calls the tune. That makes sense when you consider the name which 325 Howe has gone by for the better part of its life. Pacific Coast Fire Insurance bought the building, likely in 1919/20 and from then on (until relatively recently) it was known as the Pacific Coast Fire Building. The name doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. But naming the building after the corporate owner made some sense.

So, you may ask, who was the owner before 1919/20? Was it a Mr. (or less likely, but possibly, a Mrs.) Welton? Ah, gentle reader, that would be too easy.

In truth, the best I can do is guess why 325 Howe was known as the Welton Block in its early years. The original owner of the structure was National Finance Co. (Thomas Hooper, architect). It could be that there was a Welton on the board of National Finance, but assuming so doesn’t get us anywhere, as that is beyond my capacity to research.

I had the idea of checking Elizabeth Walker’s Street Names of Vancouver, to see if there might have been a street named after a Welton. Apparently so! Part of Sophia Street was once, briefly, known (1905-1910) as Welton Steet, named for “James Welton Horne (1854-1922), a pioneer Vancouver realtor who served on Vancouver City Council, 1888-90; chaired the Parks Board, 1888-94; and was an MLA, 1890-4).”

So the Welton building was named after a guy’s middle name? Really? (Well, it’s just a guess.)

A Glimpse of the Pre-Reclaimed Waterfront

CVA 99 - 3307 - Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Building [325 Howe Street] 1920 Stuart Thomson photo (INTERESTING VIEW FROM THE CPR TRACKS)

CVA 99 – 3307 – A view of 325 Howe from the CPR tracks looking toward the south/southwest; the “bluff” (and a retaining wall) is visible on the left of the image. 1920. Stuart Thomson photo.

Probably the most fascinating aspect of 325 Howe and the images above and below is that they afford us a glimpse of Vancouver’s waterfront prior to the “reclamation” of land north of what we know as Cordova west of Granville.*

Until 1952, Cordova didn’t extend west of Granville Street. It went to the CPR Station near Granville Street, and there it dead-ended. Between Granville and Burrard Streets was “The Bluff”. Major  Matthews, Vancouver’s first archivist, defined the bluff as the “cliff elevation” running between Granville and Burrard.

I was born and raised in Alberta not far from the Rockies, so you’ll forgive me if I take issue with the Major’s choice of the word “cliff” to describe what to me is a “hill” (less than 100 feet, I’d estimate from photos I’ve seen). But this minor word quibble aside, there was definitely a vertical drop,during the early years, from the foot of Howe to the CPR tracks.

It is possible, even today, for someone strolling past 325 Howe to get some sense of the bluff. At the corner of Howe and Cordova, there is a railing over which you can lean and see down to the lower floors of 325 Howe. The then-ground floor (as against what we know today as the “ground” floor on the Howe Street concrete platform) was parallel with the CPR tracks.

CVA 6-11 - [Royal Train arrives at the foot of Howe Street for visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth] 1939 W B Shelly photo

CVA 6-11 – A view of 325 Howe and it’s neighbours (including Finch Garage, from up the lane); also shows the Royal Train bearing King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (ultimately the ‘Queen Mother’). 1939. W B Shelly photo.

Notes

*The word “reclamation”, by the way, makes no intuitive sense to me (not, at least, in the way it is typically used by city planners and architects). It suggests that the act of reclaiming has, at its primary motive, the act of  putting things back as they once were. But, in fact, reclamation rarely, if ever, has been driven by this kind of historical “purity” (if that is even possible or desirable) as its principal motive or planned result. Rather, it is typically the establishment of a completely new thing, often using materials/technology which were earlier unavailable.

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Jean Fuller, Entertainer

CVA 99-691 - Central Garage, Seymour Street ca1918 Stuart Thomson photo (Jean Fuller's &gt;&gt;? 1142)-2

CVA 99-691 – Central Garage, Seymour Street ca1918 Stuart Thomson photo. (VAIW note: I believe the home that is only partly visible in this shot is what became Jean Fuller’s business and residential address: 1124 Seymour Street. Neither the residence nor the building which housed Central Garage in 1918 is still standing. The 6-storey apartment block remains on the corner, however, and is today known as Brookland Court).

There was a nightclub on Seymour Street in the 1930s popularly known by those who went there as “Nigger Jean’s”. Ivan Ackery, in his memoirs, Fifty Years on Theatre Row (1980), had this to say about the club and its proprietress:

Jeannie Fuller Flynn was a grand black woman who ran a good club on Seymour Street. Her husband, Don, played the piano at the Commodore, as well as other places around town. 

Jeannie’s place was full of well-known people. It was THE place to go and all the well-to-do met there. A lot of them used to get drunk and stay overnight. When you’d go in she’d whisper, “Don’t make too much noise now… I’ve got General So-and-So or Governor So-and-So asleep upstairs.”

Jeannie sang the blues in the club and she used to bring in black entertainers – girls whom she’d find work for in various clubs around town. She eventually gave up her place, ending her career in Vancouver as “Aunt Jemima” at the PNE for many years, and finally as the women’s room attendant at a cabaret. She returned to her home in the States, where she died some years ago, but her memory lives in the minds of those of us who shared the thirties with her. (p.120)

I’ve tracked down the location of the club (and Jean’s home). It looks like it was at 1124 Seymour Street (from 1933-40, in the name of Miss J. Fuller; and from 1941-50 in the name of Don Flynn). It was located south of Helmcken, near the apartment block known today as Brookland Court (what was known in Jean Fuller’s day as Hollywood Apartments).

VDW 30 Dec 1922 p 14

Vancouver Daily World. 30 Dec 1922.

It isn’t clear when she gave up the club (or, for that matter, when she started it). Today, the location of Jean’s home/club is the northern end of a clearing made for a family playground.

It hasn’t been possible, to date, to find a photo of Jean. If a VAIW reader happens to have an image of her (or knows where one can be located), please comment on this post.

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J. Q. A. Henry Declines FBC Vancouver’s Call

IMG_1518

The collection of the Online Archive of California.

This post is a footnote to the history of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. Neither These Sixty Years (1947) by W. A. Carmichael nor Our First Century (1986) by Leslie J. Cummings (the two official histories of the church) makes mention of a call from FBC issued to Rev. Dr. John Quincy Adams Henry (1856-1922) to fill the post of Senior Minister vacated in August 1907 by Rev. J. Willard Litch. Both histories note the date of Litch’s departure and then remark in the next sentence that Rev. Dr. H. Francis Perry took up the pastoral leadership at FBC in July 1909 (fully two years later). It doubtless seemed best to the authors, at the times the histories were published, not to mention the call to the then-pastor of First Baptist Church, Los Angeles. But, as all of the principals have been dead for decades, it seems to me that the that this two-year period can safely be sketched in a bit.

Who Was John Quincy Adams Henry?

Who was this man with the singular name whom FBC Vancouver leaders had concluded was the pastor who’d lead First through the pangs of establishing a new church building on the corner of Burrard and Nelson?

JQAH was born in Iowa in 1856, “a direct descendent of Patrick Henry” (Our Heritage and Our Hope). After finishing post-secondary studies at the University of Chicago and Union Theological Seminary, JQAH was ordained into Baptist ministry in 1880. He spent 20 years pastoring churches in cities including Denver, Chicago, and San Francisco; and he spent two years as superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League in New York State. But his greatest passion and evident giftedness was as an evangelist. After concluding his ministry in San Francisco, he spent nearly six years in the UK (he had initially planned to be there for three years), leading an evangelistic and temperance campaign, during which it was estimated he addressed over three million people.

Following a series of evangelistic meetings at First Baptist Church Los Angeles, the L.A. church called JQAH to be their pastor (August, 1907).

FBCLA was known at the time to be a less-than-peaceful pastoral charge. Indeed, as their church history reveals, it was known to have a body of lay leaders who didn’t mind stirring the pot. JQAH was no fool, and he could see from the start that this was going to be a challenge for him: “At his very first Council meeting he ‘made a strong address demanding absolute harmony and devotion to the Church’ by the official board” (Our Heritage and Our Hope). JQAH’s address to his board wasn’t the last word on the back-biting, however. It wasn’t long before there was an uproar over a (very modest by today’s standards) deficit budget,* and other issues.

The Courting of JQAH

In late 1908 or early 1909, JQAH came to FBC Vancouver, at Vancouver’s invitation, to preach. The lay leaders in Vancouver no doubt indicated to JQAH that he was ‘preaching for a possible call’. Whether the larger congregation was aware of that or not, isn’t clear. It is likely that JQAH was also interviewed by the board as part of the calling process during his time in Vancouver.

After JQAH’s visit, FBC issued a formal call for him to come to Vancouver as the new Pastor of FBC. He responded positively. Indeed, it seemed that he’d all but made up his mind to leave L.A. for Vancouver.

Abiding by the Stuff

In mid-February, 1909, a telegram was sent from L.A. to FBC Vancouver: “New difficulty here which forbids my leaving. A thousand regrets. See letter. Love to all.”

The letter (of February 17) to which the telegram referred expanded on the theme:

While visiting you, I was profoundly impressed by the greatness of the opportunity presented by your church and field….[I] left with my mind made up to accept your invitation and become your pastor, provided that I could see my way clear to leave the work in Los Angeles with a reasonable assurance that what I had already done for the peace and and prosperity of the church would be conserved and someone found to carry the work to a still further point of usefulness and power. But on my return [to FBCLA], much to my distress, I found the seeds of bitterness sown through the long years of strife bearing fruit in promised discord and disunion. It is now morally certain that if I were to leave at this junction another split would occur and irreparable injury be done to the work of God in this city.

The entire church feel that I alone can prevent this disaster. I feel therefore under sacred obligation to “abide by the stuff”** until a different state of things can be brought about – which may require weeks, months, or even years. I dare not keep you good people who have so highly honored me in  longer suspense, lest some peril should come to the great work in which you are called….”

In short, no doubt to the dismay of the board, he would not be coming to Vancouver.

It is impossible to know from this very distant point in time and space just how great a ‘disaster’ was imminent at FBCLA in the event of his departure. But, without wishing to cast any doubt on JQAH’s integrity, I’d suggest that things might not have been quite so bleak in L.A. as was the word picture he painted for FBC Vancouver. A couple of clues led me to this conclusion.

First, in a final letter sent to FBCV, just 4 weeks after his decline-of-call letter, he remarked: “The difficulties here are being smoothed out, with every prospect that the cause of all our trouble will soon be removed.”

Second, in November 1909 (eight months after indicating in his hand-wringing letter to Vancouver about the potential for “irreparable injury” should he leave FBCLA) he announced to the FBCLA congregation that he would be departing at the end of the year. In the words of FBCLA’s history, “his first love was evangelism and he had accepted an invitation for a year or more of such work in New Zealand” (Our Heritage and Our Hope).

I think that JQAH made the right choices – not to come to Vancouver and to leave FBCLA for evangelistic work. I believe he’d realized as early as February, 1909 that itinerant work as an evangelist was the life for him. There were no hassles with church boards and he could preach more or less unfettered without worries associated with political games. It turned out well for FBC Vancouver, too. The man who was ultimately called, Rev. Dr. H. Francis Perry had exactly the right skill/talent set for the job as First Vancouver prepared to move into its new building (the current one) at the corner of Burrard and Nelson.

Notes

*Projected expenses outstripped projected income by about $150/month, according to FBCLA’s history.

**This is a Biblical quotation (I Samuel 30:24). Mind you, the King James Version, which is probably the translation with which JQAH was most conversant, is a little different.

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Put By Your Pennies

CVA 1184-1411 - [Children at teacher's desk] 1942 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-1411 – [Children at teacher’s desk] 1942 Jack Lindsay photo.

This image is among my favourite school room photos of days gone by. Mainly, I suppose, because it seems so greatly to resemble my own elementary school experience a couple of decades later. It surprises me how little seems to have changed between the apparent experience of these children and my own memories of teaching methods/strategies some 20+ years later. Perhaps I’ve come to have a (flawed?) expectation that the pace of change is constant and always ‘lightning fast’.

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Salvation Army Service at First Baptist Church

CVA 1184-2673 - [Man addressing the congregation at a Salvation Army service] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay (sic Location- FBC Vanc)

CVA 1184-2673 – [Man addressing the congregation at a Salvation Army service] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo. (VAIW note: The service is being held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Vancouver).

The image above and the two below were taken by photographer, Jack Lindsay, of a Salvation Army service held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. According to City of Vancouver archivists, these were made sometime in the period between 1940 and 1948.

There are some points worth noting about these images:

  • The Salvation Army banner (showing their motto, Blood and Fire) is displayed prominently at the front of the sanctuary, over the baptistry;
  • There is a man seated on the left of the platform, in the second image, who appears to be wearing a native cloak. The gent wearing the cloak looks to me as though he may have been a native Indian;
  • There is a large dish on the far left of the second image, in the balcony. This apparently was part of a (temporary/makeshift?) public address system.
  • All images show a full sanctuary.

I have tried to determine what was the occasion for this Salvation Army service held in First Baptist; so far, without much luck. The contact person at the Salvation Army’s B.C. Division Headquarters in Burnaby speculated that this was “a Congress event where Salvation Army personnel from a geographic area would all gather together for rallying and holiness meetings.”

My theory is that these images were made in 1947 and that the occasion was the Diamond Jubilee of the work of the Salvation Army in B.C. But, for now, this is just a theory.

It should be noted that these three photos were made in First Baptist Church. However, there is another image, in the middle of the series, which was not made at FBC. This other image looks like it was made in a local theatre. (Apparently, the non-FBC service was held in the Strand (formerly Allen) Theatre on Georgia at Seymour. Thanks for this insight are due to JMV and Tom Carter; see JMV’s comment below).

CVA 1184-2672 - [Choir singing at a Salvation Army Service] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo (Sic - FBC Van location)

CVA 1184-2672 – [Choir singing at a Salvation Army Service] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2675 - [Congregation and band at a Salvation Army service] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-2675 – [Congregation and band at a Salvation Army service] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Jack Lindsay | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fairview/Roxy Theatre

Crop of CVA 447-348 - 7th Ave and Gran.[ville] Sts. - and showing Roxy (formerly Fairview) Theatre  1964 W E Frost. photo-2

Crop of CVA 447-348 – 7th Ave and Gran.[ville] Sts. 1964 W E Frost. photo. (VAIW Note: The Roxy Theatre is the light-coloured building with the marquee near the centre of the image).

There isn’t much known about the Fairview Theatre (1912-38), later called the Roxy Theatre (1939-55?). In fact, I have never before seen a photograph of the theatre.

According to the building permit for the Fairview (which appears in the permit database as being at 2222 Granville, but for all its history was listed in Vancouver directories at 2224 Granville), it was built in early 1911, apparently to cater specifically to “moving pictures”. This must have been one of the first such theatres in Vancouver; more typical were theatres that catered to vaudeville acts and, as vaudeville became scarcer, were modified to show movies.

We don’t know the capacity of the Fairview, but from the image, it appears to have been a relatively small theatre (I would guess fewer than 500)*. This seems to be confirmed by its estimated construction cost: $6,500. In contrast, the Dominion Theatre, which was built the same year on Granville near Nelson, was estimated to cost $50,000.

The owners/architects of the theatre in 1911 were identified on the building permit simply with their surnames: “Stark & Crosby”. The Stark side of the partnership may have been William McIntosh Stark, Vancouver’s aviation pioneer, who had an interest in a variety of cool stuff (e.g., automobiles, airplanes, and bicycles, when they were novel) – but this is only a hunch; I cannot prove it. Who Crosby was, I have no idea. The builder of the structure was William O’Dell.

The theatre stood on Granville Street, just south of the south end of Granville Bridge.

The little theatre was demolished, along with the retail shops along the east side of the 2200 block of Granville around 1964 (shortly after this image was made, I assume), in preparation for construction of the Pacific Press building that would open on this block in 1966.

Today, the lot on which the theatre stood is a green space adjacent to Panache Antiques.

Notes

*According to this site, the capacity of the Fairview/Roxy was 449.

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Belmont Grocery and Quality Gifts

 

These are two separate images of adjacent shops made at the corner of Granville & Nelson in 1969. Left image: CVA 780-26 – Belmont Grocery, Theatre Row, [at 999 Granville Street] 1969. Right image: CVA 780-24 – [View of a] sign, storefront, Quality gifts, Theatre Row, [at 995 Granville Street] 1969.

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NOT a Winning ‘Campaign Promise’!

Crop of CVA 800-2100 - [Description in Progress] n.d. Alan J. Ingram photo

Crop of CVA 800-2100 – [Description in Progress] n.d. Alan J. Ingram photo.

There is what appears to be a slogan on the wall of the Blackstone Hotel (originally the Hotel Martinique; today the Howard Johnson Hotel), on Granville Street north of Davie, for Robert Reeds, erstwhile Mayoral candidate in the 1970 civic election. It seems to claim that Reeds will, if successful in his bid for the Mayor’s job, make sure that there is “Country Music, Fulltime“!

It seems doubtful that this was, in fact, a campaign slogan. It looks more likely that the “promise” was associated with The Barn – a country music dance spot adjacent to the hotel (with its pink wall facing the camera). But it makes a good story!

Reeds seems to have bailed out of the 1970 election campaign before voting day. He ran in the previous election, however (in 1968) and captured less than 1% of the vote. The winner in 1968 and in 1970 was Tom (“Terrific”) Campbell– the golden-haired boy of Vancouver developers. I suspect Reeds would have been crooning a classic ‘hurtin’ song if he’d remained in the race.

Posted in Al Ingram, music, politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Victory on 500 Block of West Hastings

Crop of CVA 1184-3444 - [View of Hastings Street] 1945 Jack Lindsay photo

Crop of CVA 1184-3444 – [View of Hastings Street] 1945 Jack Lindsay photo. (VAIW Note: In addition to cropping the original image, I have adjusted the exposure to better show the people near the right frame.)

This is a very nice image made by Jack Lindsay, probably on VE or VJ Day.* The photographer was on ground level for this shot, standing in a vacant parking spot in front of the Bank of Toronto building (later, the TD Bank, and today, SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue). I suspect that the rubber-necker in the foreground, far right, is responding to the sight of the photographer and is turning to see what is so photographable.

The building adjacent to the bank was one of Vancouver’s oldest commercial structures: the Innes-Thompson building (shown below). It was sacrificed for the development of the Delta Vancouver Suites in 1994.

SGN 14 - [Businesses at 500 block of West Hastings Street] 189-? Charles S Bailey

SGN 14 – [Businesses at 500 block of West Hastings Street] 189-? Charles S Bailey photo. (VAIW note: CVA mistakenly has described this building – in the Scope and Content section – as the Ogle-Thompson building. The O-T block was across the street, on the north side of Hastings).

Canadian National Telegraphs, Mitchell-Foley Stationers and Printers, and Premier Coffee Shop, (as well as, according to Vancouver’s Directory although not visible here, a shop called Personality Photo) were store-front tenants of the Innes-Thompson block in 1945.

Interestingly, there was a photographer who was a tenant in one of the upper suites of the Innes-Thompson from the 1950s until the ’90s. His name was Dick Oulton. Some of the remarkable story of his photographs may be found here.

Notes

*I reached this conclusion because of what appears to be toilet paper or ticker-tape on the pavement in the foreground and mid-air beneath the Woodward’s sign in the background.

Posted in automobiles, Charles S. Bailey, Jack Lindsay, street scenes, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PNE Rocket Science

CVA 180-4245 - Construction of a 'Project X' structure on P.N.E. grounds 1959 Graphic Industries photo.

CVA 180-4245 – Construction of a ‘Project X’ structure on P.N.E. grounds 1959 Graphic Industries photo.

This photo shows the 1958 Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) feature celebrating British Columbia’s centennial year.* Project X “was kept secret until the eve of the fair, when it was revealed that the attraction was a display of modern rocketry. The highlight of the show was a large standing rocket, complete with simulated blast off. Other displays included a Space Science club run by the Canadian Legion, a fifty-foot high American army missile, and earth satellites.” (Vancouver’s Fair. David Breen and Kenneth Coates. UBC Press: 1982, p.123).

Note

*If CVA’s date for this image is accurate, it seems likely that the photo shows Project X being dismantled rather than constructed.

 

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The Foot of Main Street

Crop of CVA 447-207 - [View of Canadian National Steamship wharf undre construction at the foot of Main St.] 1931? WE Frost photo

Crop of CVA 447-207 – East side of Main Street at Alexander (near the Burrard Inlet foot). VAIW Note: The newly built Canadian National Steamships wharf is visible just outside this crop (to the left). The Burrard Iron Works advertisement is still up; most of the other buildings in this crop are no longer here. 1931? W. E. Frost photo.

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Views of CPR Right of Way: Before and After 1932

CVA 447-285 - CPR RLY [Canadian Pacific Railway] tracks and Carrall Street ca 1930 WE Frost photo-2

CVA 447-285 – CPR RLY [Canadian Pacific Railway] tracks and Carrall Street ca 1930 WE Frost photo.

GF N3 - [C.P.R. right of way between Cordova and Carrall Streets] 1935

GF N3 – [C.P.R. right of way between Cordova and Carrall Streets] 1935  No photo credit attributed by CVA. (VAIW Note: This image is so similar to the photo above – in composition, exposure and sharpness – that I’d speculate that it’s also a W.E. Frost photo.)

These two images of the CPR right of way in Vancouver’s downtown east side have features in common. Both photos were made in the midst of the Great Depression, all of the people in the photo are men, all wearing dark suits. (I get the sense from these images of both an economic and an emotional depression). I’d speculate that the photos were made by the same photographer.

But there are differences in these photos: they were made from locations about 1.5 blocks and – more importantly – five years apart.

In the first photo, the photographer seems to have stood near the intersection of Carrall and East Hastings and faced north. I reached this conclusion because Lind’s Cafe (330 Carrall, a couple of lots north of the corner of Hastings at Carrall) is to the right in foreground and the Gordon & Belyea building (101 Powell, near the northeast corner of Powell and Columbia) is to the right in background.

Goad's Fire Insurance Map, 1912 superimposed over City of Vancouver's VanMap. Showing the CPR right of way slicing through blocks of downtown eastside.

Goad’s Fire Insurance Map, 1912 superimposed over City of Vancouver’s VanMap. Showing the CPR right of way slicing through blocks of downtown east side.

Both of the photos were taken in a northeasterly direction, but the second one was taken about 1.5 blocks northeast of the first one – from a spot near East Cordova St, between Carrall and Columbia Streets. The Gordon & Belyea building is in the background of this image, too, just visible behind another building near the right frame.

There are rail tracks visible in the first image, but not in the second. Indeed, in the first image, there is even a sign nagging pedestrians “not to walk and trespass on the railway”. (Notwithstanding the caution, a couple of gents are walking along and across the tracks). There isn’t a similar warning visible in the second image; nor are there level crossing signs in the lower one. But, then, neither are there tracks visible in the second image.

The reason there is no track in the second photo is that it was made later (ca1935) than the first one (ca1930); the CPR removed some of the track from the right of way once the Dunsmuir Tunnel was installed in 1932.

Trains henceforth travelling from the main line to English Bay entered the tunnel at a portal drilled in the bluff below Hastings near Thurlow. The track then looped around and travelled directly east along Dunsmuir, veered southeast under the Beatty Street Drill Hall and emerged onto the False Creek flats. For forty years the tracks connected with the railway’s marshalling yards and Roundhouse. (Vancouver The Way it Was. Michael Kluckner, 87).

Part of the Dunsmuir Tunnel was repurposed in 1983 as a component of the Skytrain system. The photo below has not yet been fully catalogued by CVA, but it appears to me to be a scene of the Dunsmuir Tunnel, ca 1983, as it was being modified for the Expo Line of Skytrain; the photo would have been taken somewhere between Waterfront station and Stadium/Chinatown station.

CVA 800-2575 - [Description in Progress] n.d. Alan J. Ingram photo. (DUns tunn?)

CVA 800-2575 – [Description in Progress] n.d. Alan J. Ingram photo. (VAIW Notes: The image appears to me to be the old Dunsmuir Tunnel being repurposed for Skytrain’s Expo Line downtown, ca1983. I have digitally modified the photo to improve the exposure.)

Posted in Al Ingram, Photographers, public transit, street scenes, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost? Found: Pendrell Street Grounds

Pendrell St Grounds May 1915 Dr Hanna and others...

“Opening of Pendrell St Grounds, May 1915” (from handwriting on back of photo). First Baptist Church Vancouver Archives Collection.

This photo shows a ‘park’ in Vancouver’s West End that seems to have been all but forgotten. It was located on Pendrell Street (D.L. 185, Block 70, Lot 31); an empty lot at the time the image was made. It was two lots west of the extant Gilford Court Apartments. The building in the background at right with the distinctive turret/tower feature was the home of architect Thomas Fee at the corner of Gilford and Comox. (To help you get your bearings, a piece of Goade’s 1912 fire insurance map of Vancouver appears below).

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.34.51 PM

Pendrell Street Grounds was located in District Lot 185, Block 70, Lot 31 (Pendrell Street). 1912 Goad’s Vancouver Fire Insurance Map, Plate 8.

Many if not all of the folks posing in the photo were members of First Baptist Church. The names that were scrawled on the photo’s verso appear to be (in a very rough, left-to-right order): S. Miner, F. McDonald, Baker, Mabel McKeen, C. Ivy, Marie Selman, G. Rafern?, H. Brown, Geo. Hanks, Dr. Sparrow, Mrs. Hanna, L. Selman, K. Stern, J. Allan, Dr. Hanna, Ella McBraid, Harvie S., Morgan L. Hearns, John, Mr. Morgan, S. Harcus?,?, May Selman.

I strongly suspect that the Grounds were not a formal City of Vancouver park, but merely an empty lot that was kitted out with a tennis net. I haven’t ruled out a First Baptist connection to the owner of the property, but it seems unlikely.*

The lot on which the Pender Street Grounds were remained empty of any residence, it appears, for well over a decade after the 1915 photo was taken. There is no evidence of habitation at 1937 Pendrell until 1927; B. Lotzkar was the owner at that time, according to Vancouver’s directory.

Another view from elevation appears below. This shows Pendrell Street Grounds clearly three lots left of Gilford Court Apartments. Today, La Carina apartment block is where the Grounds once were.

CVA 371-723 - [Houses on the north side of the 1900 Block of Pendrell Street] 191-

CVA 371-723 – [Houses on the north side of the 1900 Block of Pendrell Street] 191-?

Notes

*The owner of the adjacent lot (to the west) for the final two years of his life (1911-12) was FBC member and Vancouver pioneer, John Morton (1947 Pendrell – the home to the left of PSG in CVA 371-723. This doesn’t appear to be anything more than coincidence. Charles Abraham Schooley, City of Vancouver paymaster for many years and an honorary deacon at FBC lived at the end of the block (2057 Pendrell); again, there is no evidence of a connection with PSG.

I am indebted to two gents whose help was invaluable in unravelling the mystery of the location of the Pendrell Street Grounds: RKM, who blogs at westendvancouver, and Patrick Gunn, a board member with Heritage Vancouver and contact person with the Historical Vancouver Building Permits Database that is managed by Heritage Vancouver. 

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, parks, sport | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Answers to ‘Name Those Streets’

Image #1

This is Granville Street. The image was made from elevation near the intersection with Georgia; the camera was facing south. The Vancouver block, Castle Hotel, and the Orpheum and Capitol Theatres are visible (among other landmarks).

As of today’s date, CVA identifies this image as follows:
CVA 1184-992. Crowd Gathered on West Georgia to Watch a Parade. 1942? Jack Lindsay photo.

I suppose one might argue that this description isn’t entirely inaccurate, since there are some people on the sidewalk facing Georgia.  But, in fact, none of Georgia Street is visible in the photo and the principal street plainly is Granville (and that’s where most of the crowd is located that is visible in this image).

Image #2

This is Georgia Street. It was made from close to street level roughly from the intersection with Bute Street; the camera was facing east. The Georgia Medical-Dental Building features prominently on the left side of the street; the Hotel Vancouver looms on the right side with the Ritz Hotel and Begg Motors also visible.

CVA identifies this image as:
CVA 1184-1387. Armoured Car Passing Crowds on Burrard Street During a Military Parade. Oct. 1942. Jack Lindsay photo.

The parade travelled down Burrard Street, too, but certainly not exclusively.

Image #3

This is West Hastings Street at the intersection with Granville Street. The image was made from a standing position in the middle of Hastings, just west of Granville; the camera was facing east. Landmarks in the image include two classic temple banks on opposite corners (NE and SE), the extant RBC and the then-Commerce Bank (today, Birks).

CVA identifies this image as:
CVA 1184-3445. View of the 600 Block West Georgia. 1945? Jack Lindsay photo.

How did you do?

Posted in street scenes | 2 Comments

Name Those Streets!

I will show below three City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) photos. Each photo has been wrongly identified by CVA.

Your challenge (if I may borrow from the theme of a 1950s-80s U.S. television network game show) is to correctly Name Those Streets! You have 24 hours in which to enter your responses. I will post the correct locations then. (Sorry, there is no cash prize; the only prize is the satisfaction of knowing that you have bested CVA!)

Here are the your images:

CVA 1184-992 - [Crowd gathered on West Georgia (sic - Granville, in fact) to watch a parade] 1942 Jack Lindsay photo-2

Image #1

CVA 1184-1387 - [Armoured car passing crowds on Burrard (sic - Georgia Street, in fact) Street during a military parade] 1942 Jack Lindsay photo

Image #2.

CVA 1184-3445 - [View of the 600 block West Georgia] (sic - West Hastings at Granville in fact) 1945? Jack Lindsay photo.

Image #3.

Name Those Streets!

Posted in Jack Lindsay, street scenes | 2 Comments

‘Battle of the Jowls’? (or ‘Singing from a Different Hymnal’)?

Sodturning at Carey 1958

Sod-turning at Carey Hall (today, Carey Theological College), a Baptist residence on UBC campus. Prime Minister John Diefenabaker (a Baptist) on left; BC Premier  W.A.C. Bennett (a Presbyterian) and Mrs Olive Diefenbaker. UBC Archives Photo Collection: 23.1/457-3, 1958.

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John Morton

 

CVA 677-509 - [Studio portrait of John] Morton and second wife Ruth Morton 190-

CVA 677-509 – [Studio portrait of John] Morton and second wife Ruth Morton 190-

John Morton (1834-1912) was one of the first residents – arguably the first resident, although others have laid claim to the distinction – of modern-day Vancouver. He came to British Columbia in 1862 hoping to strike it rich in the Cariboo Gold Rush. He arrived too late to get in on that but, together with his two English partners, William Hailstone and Sam Brighouse, established a land preemption in an area that included most of today’s West End (his preemption shack was located near where the Guinness Tower is today).

Morton came from a family of Baptists in Yorkshire, and was himself a Baptist. For his first several years in B.C., however, he was pretty quiet about his denominational attachment. When he arrived in B.C., there were no Baptist churches in the Lower Mainland. Olivet Baptist in New Westminster was established in 1878; First Baptist Vancouver in 1887. By the time of Morton’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth Mount in 1884 (his first wife, Jane, died a few years earlier following the birth of their second child), he identified himself as a Baptist on the marriage register, although the marriage was performed by a Methodist minister*. Dr. Don Anderson, in his history of Olivet, notes that Rev. Robert Lennie (Olivet’s founding pastor and First Baptist’s ‘midwife’) befriended Morton in 1886, and soon after, Morton began aligning himself publicly with Baptist work and helping to fund it.

At about the same time, the CPR decided to extend its line to downtown Vancouver. Morton joined a syndicate to sell much of his West End property to the railway. That sale was critical: it made Morton a wealthy man; and through his generosity, it helped support B.C. Baptists and their churches, including First Baptist. Shortly after making the land sale, Morton put aside about 10 lots in Vancouver for a Baptist College. However, the tax burden on the land made it too much for B.C. Baptists to bear and, ultimately, it was sold.

In 1899, after several years of farming near Mission and time spent in England, the Mortons moved back to Vancouver**. In 1902, they joined First Baptist Church.*** At the time the Mortons became members, FBC was worshipping at the building on the SE corner of Dunsmuir and Hamilton, and it was bursting at the seams. A building campaign was underway, and Morton was the first major donor. He gave the first $1000 for construction of the building at the NW corner of Burrard and Nelson. In April 1910 – just two years prior to his death – Morton laid the cornerstone of FBC’s new (and present) building.

Morton’s will stipulated that $100,000 be distributed, following Ruth’s death, to B.C. Baptist churches for Baptist work and education. The will was contested (unsuccessfully) by relatives following Ruth’s death in 1939. When the dust settled in 1942, and legal bills were paid, B.C. Convention churches were left with less than $44,000.****

When Charles Bentall (another member of FBC) led a major fund-raising campaign for Carey Hall, which later became Carey Theological College, he was able to remark accurately that using Convention funds for the College was in keeping with John Morton’s bequest.

Notes

*Vancouver Methodist pioneer, Ebenezer Robson.

**For the day, the Mortons’ residence was quite distant from the church. Their Vancouver homes were at 1151 Denman Street (1902-11), near the NW corner of Denman and Pendrell, and later (shortly before his death) just around the corner at 1147 Pendrell (Note: There is some confusion on the part of CVA pertaining to John Morton’s respective homes. The image linked above to ‘1147 Pendrell’ accurately shows Morton’s home, briefly, at that address, although at the time this post was published, it was incorrectly described on CVA’s site as being the Morton’s home on Denman Street). One-block-long Morton Avenue (not Morton Street, as it has often inaccurately been called) was named in honour of the Vancouver pioneer in 1909; it is located on the stretch where Ocean Towers is today, about a block from the locations of his former homes.

***Curiously, Morton’s younger sister, Maria, became a member of First Baptist Church in 1891 – several years before John did.

****The B.C. Baptist situation had also changed substantially since Morton’s death. The B.C. Baptist denomination, in the 1920s, lost about one-third of its churches to a schism. Two Baptist denominations resulted: the B.C. Baptist Convention, which was regionally affiliated with the Baptist Union of Western Canada; and the Regular Baptists (known later as Fellowship Baptists). Broadly speaking, the Convention Baptists were considered somewhat more theologically liberal; the Regular Baptists more conservative. When denominational ‘sides’ were taken by congregations during the schism, FBC identified with the Convention Baptists and Ruth Morton Memorial Baptist Church (named in honour of John Morton’s second wife) was with the Regulars. Ruth Morton Memorial has recently merged with another congregation (19th Avenue Christian Fellowship, formerly known as the Metropolitan Tabernacle) and changed their name to Mountainview Christian Fellowship; the combined congregation meets for worship in the former Ruth Morton Memorial building.

Selected Sources

Donald O. Anderson. Committed to Continuing… A History of Olivet Baptist Church. New Westminster, 2003.

Donald O. Anderson. Not by Might Nor By Power… [A history of Carey Hall/College] Vancouver, 2006.

Robert K. Burkinshaw, Pilgrims in Lotus Land (McGill-Queen’s: 1995); in particular, his chapter called “The Separatist Solution: Fundamentalist Baptists, 1917-28.”

Bruce A. Woods’ manuscript, provisionally-titled Vancouver Love Story: The Legacy of John and Ruth Morton.

The text of this post was written originally for First Baptist Church’s 125th Anniversary (2011), as part of my series of brief biographies of former FBC members, titled ‘Who Was Who in the Pews.’ It is reproduced here with some additional information.

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1936 Commissioned Image of Granville

CVA 99-4856 - Sidewalk in front of [Eastman Kodak] store [at 610 Granville Street] 1936 Stuart Thomson photo for Travellers Insurance co-2

Crop of CVA 99-4856 – Looking up the east side of 600 block Granville St (roughly from the intersection with Dunsmuir). 1936 Stuart Thomson photo commissioned, according to the City Archives, by Travellers Insurance Co.

I very much enjoy the image above, made by one of my favourite local photographers, Stuart Thomson. I like the gentle blur of the strolling crowd. And I especially like the lady caught in profile looking into Saba Bros. Silk shop window. She appears to have been warming her hand with her breath, or perhaps covering her mouth due to an oncoming or just-finished cough or sneeze. I’m also pleased that the sign for the Lyric Theatre is just visible in the photo, far right in the background. That theatre was originally known as the Orpheum – not the first local theatre of that name, nor the last (today’s Orpheum, for a number of years known as the “New Opheum” would move across to the east side of Granville, and a bit south, in 1927). The older Orheum would have its name changed to the Lyric around the time this photo was made. In the late 1940s, it had another name change, becoming the International Cinema. In 1960, it became part of the chain of Famous Players Theatres, with a final name change to the Vancouver Theatre, until meeting the wrecker’s ball a decade later as part of the City of Vancouver’s apparent determination to demolish anything of any historic value over two or three blocks so that Pacific Centre Mall could develop, unimpeded by the older buildings of our relatively recent past.

The image above, however, despite my love of it, has been cropped by me. The odd thing about Stuart Thomson’s original image, is that he included so much sidewalk in the foreground. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is the fact that this image was commissioned by the Travellers Insurance Co. Perhaps Thomson’s idea was that this image could be used as part of advertising copy, with text overlaying the foreground. But this is speculation.

CVA 99-4856 - Sidewalk in front of [Eastman Kodak] store [at 610 Granville Street] 1936 Stuart Thomson photo for Travellers Insurance co.

Un-cropped version of the same image shown at the beginning of this post (CVA 99-4856).

Posted in Photographers, street scenes, stuart thomson, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Robsonstrasse in Days of Yore

CVA 778-341 - 1100 Robson Street south side 1974

Crop of CVA 778-341 – 1100 Robson Street south side 1974. In addition to cropping this photo, I’ve improved it (to my taste, at least) colour- and otherwise.

We are looking at the south side of Robson above, between Thurlow and Bute streets in the mid-1970s. Below, is a very fetching scene, in my judgement (note the effective use of light and shadow), of the same block, but across the street and made about a decade earlier.

vpl 1040 Coffee Time Cafe on Robson Street (North Side) April 1966. W. Roozeboom photo

VPL 1040 Coffee Time Cafe on Robson Street (North Side) April 1966. W. Roozeboom photo.

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Mum (Nothing Needs Saying About this Lovely Street Scene)

Crop of CVA 586-2573 South Side of 100 block of West Hastings (Made from the Cambie Street) 1944 Don Coltman photo

Crop of CVA 586-2573 South Side of 100 block of West Hastings (Made from the Cambie Street) 1944 Don Coltman photo.

Posted in Don Coltman, public transit, street scenes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ernest Augustus Muling, French Chef

Vancouver Tourism Guide 1905 Ad

Ad in Vancouver Tourism. 1905. This illustration of Muling is the closest thing I could find to a photographic portrait.

Ernest Augustus Muling (1861-1949) was a Frenchman by birth (in Blumenau), an Englishman by nationality, and a chef by profession.

He came to Vancouver from Brisbane, Australia where he seems to have spent his twenties and early thirties and where his first two children were born (May and Madeleine, also known as Madge); Ernest’s wife, Annie (1868-1942) was born in England.

His career in Vancouver was on-again-off-again. He would work for a year or more at a hotel or hotel restaurant, and then he would be described for a year or two subsequently (in the Vancouver directory) as a “caterer” – restaurant lingo, I presume, for self-employed.

His first experience of the restaurant business in Vancouver was at the Strand Hotel‘s King Edward Silver Grill (ca1905-06). The Strand was mid-way down the south side of the 600 block of West Hastings. He was catering during the years 1907-11.

In 1912, Ernest was the proprietor of the Trocadero Grill. The Trocadero was on the south side of the 100 block of West Hastings. He catered in 1913.

He was the proprietor of the Langham Hotel at 1115 Nelson Street in 1914. The Langham was what we’d call today a “boutique” hotel. Located just west of Thurlow on Nelson, the charming little hotel building (and its single family dwelling neighbours) is no longer there; in its place today is a concrete multi-residential behemoth.

Starting in 1915, Ernest had moved on to the Grosvenor Hotel Cafe. The Grosvenor was at the SE corner of Howe at Robson. He remained there until 1917/18.While he was working at the Grosvenor, the Mulings lived there. In 1919, he catered again.

CVA 780-415 - [Buildings along Nelson Street at] Thurlow [Street]1966-2

CVA 780-415 – [Buildings along Nelson Street at] Thurlow [Street]. 1966.

Site of Langham Hotel on Nelson Street

The view in 2016 of the site where the Langham Hotel once stood. 2016. Author’s photo.

In 1920, Ernest was a chef with the Canadian Pacific Railway. The meaning of this is opaque. Whether it meant he was cooking for the staff of the CPR or working in one of the CPR’s public eating establishments isn’t clear.

The CPR job seems to have been his final one in Vancouver. There is no further record in the city of Ernest, Annie, May (or the two boys who came later: Edward, who apprenticed with BC Electric Railway for a couple of years and who seems to have gone to California, dying in San Francisco; and Richard, who took up work as an electrician while in Vancouver). By 1921, the Muling family seems to have pulled up stakes and moved.*

They ended up, at some point, in Australia again. Whether they went there directly or took a more circuitous route, isn’t clear to me. But most of the family appears to have died in Camberwell (a suburb of Melbourne, today).

vpl-7601-grosvenor-hotel-at-howe-robson-streets-1915-pt-timms-photo-2

VPL 7601 Grosvenor Hotel at Howe & Robson Streets 1915 PT Timms photo.

Notes

*Madeleine (aka Madge) married Charles Simpson Scott in Vancouver. She seems to have been the one Muling to have “stuck” here. She died at the ripe age of 93 in 1989 in North Vancouver.

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, hotels/motels/inns, stuart thomson, timms, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Old Cecil

LGN 499 - [Y.M.C.A. buildings on Hastings Street near Cambie Street] 189--2

LGN 499 – [Y.M.C.A. buildings on Hastings Street near Cambie Street] 189-. I believe that one of the two buildings to the right of the brick YMCA building (probably the lighter-coloured one two doors to the right) was later home to the Southern/old Cecil Hotels. (The brick YMCA would ultimately be remodelled to become the Astoria Hotel. It wasn’t the last YMCA-owned property that would be repurposed as a hotel).

I refer in this post to the “old” Cecil Hotel (on the north side of 100 block West Hastings Street) to help distinguish it from the newer Cecil Hotel with which most Vancouver contemporaries are probably more aware – the one formerly on Granville near Drake Street (demolished in 2010 for the Rolston condo tower).

It isn’t clear  to me how many rooms were available to let in the old Cecil, but almost certainly fewer than 10. The proprietress during the time it was known as the Cecil, ca1905-09, was Mrs. Fanny Grieve. (In earlier years (ca1901-04), when the establishment was known as “The Southern”, a Mrs. McLusky was owner/manager.) I cannot trace Mrs. Grieve beyond mention made of her in Vancouver Directories  in connection with the old Cecil.*

As far as I can determine based on period photos and on Vancouver directories, the building which housed the Southern/Cecil rooms didn’t exist as such before the turn of the century. (Although the photo above indicates that the buildings were there as early as the late 1880s – probably initially used as single family dwellings or, perhaps, as un-named rooming houses). I don’t know what the inscription on the top of the building adjacent to the older, wood-frame Y is or signifies: “Elute”? “Clute”?

The building that housed the old Cecil didn’t seem to endure long after 1909. It was replaced by the Selkirk block, evidently, around that time. The Selkirk was ultimately replaced by one of several Woodward’s department store extensions. Today, the former Cecil/Selkirk/Woodward’s property is occupied in part by SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.38.30 PM

Ad in Vancouver Tourism Guide. 1905.

 Notes

*For more details about Fanny Grieve, see the comment below from Changing City.

Posted in hotels/motels/inns, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sir Charles Tupper the Object of ‘Fearless Loathing’!

Port P163.2 - [Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper inspecting Girl Guides] 1914-18

Port P163.2 – [Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper inspecting Girl Guides] 1914-18. (It seems likely that this is a Stuart Thomson photo and that it was taken sometime in 1917 or 1918.)

In one of the early posts to this site (May 2014), I remarked on what now seems to be a companion photo of the one above*. The City Archives (the source of both images) do not identify the central male, adult, figure in the earlier-posted photo. But they do identify him in this image as none other than Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper of the famous Nova Scotia Tuppers. If you are wondering what CHT was doing in Vancouver (inspecting Girl Guides – one of whom was less-than-respectful of Sir Charles ), I’d encourage you to read this excellent, brief biography by P. B. Waite. Waite’s conclusion summarizing the life of Sir Charles is worth reprinting here:

Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper had the Tupper courage, the Tupper eloquence, and the family concern for the glory of Tupperdom. He was energetic, talented, quick to seize a point, and almost as quick to take offence. He can be said to have been incorruptible, provided it be understood that with Tupper patronage was politics, not a form of corruption. That was the way political business was done in Canada, then and for a long time to come. Tupper contracted pneumonia in March 1927 and died on the 30th at his home in Vancouver. He was interred in Ocean View Burial Park, Burnaby. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol XV (1921-30). Charles Hibbert Tupper.

He died at the age of 71.

Notes

*A comparison of the man who appears in both images led me to the conclusion that, assuming the one in this post is Sir CHT, that the man in my earlier, ‘Fearless Loathing‘, post was the same fellow. The face is in shadow above, but the clothing (with the exception of the hat, which was removed for ‘Fearless’, appears to be identical. The mourning armband on the man in both photos would also fit because, as P. B. Waite notes, the Tuppers’ son, Victor Gordon, had died at Vimy Ridge in 1917.

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From a Photographer Some 80 Years Ago: ‘Happy New Year’!

CVA 99-4512 - Here's hoping that you will be %22Showered%22 with Health, Wealth and Happiness this coming Christmastide and New Year  193-? Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-4512 – ‘Hello Folks, Here’s hoping that you will be “Showered” with Health, Wealth and Happiness this coming Christmastide and New Year’ 193-? Stuart Thomson photo. 

This corny Christmas/New Year photo was a ‘selfie’ creation of Vancouver professional photographer Stuart Thomson, made sometime in the 1930s (the later 1930s, in my opinion).

May this year be a peaceful one on the Earth and in our neighbourhoods.

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Butter Packing ’40s-Style

CVA 1184-1785 - [Workers cutting blocks of butter and wrapping and weighing it for shipmentCVA 1184-1785 - [Workers cutting blocks of butter and wrapping and weighing it for shipment] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-1785 – [Workers cutting blocks of butter and wrapping and weighing it for shipmentCVA 1184-1785 – [Workers cutting blocks of butter and wrapping and weighing it for shipment] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

It is mildly shocking to our (or, perhaps more accurately, my) contemporary sensibilities to see butter being cut by patently non-antiseptic metal machinery and handled by people without any gloves. Ah well, the folks who consumed the butter were doubtless glad to have it (there was butter rationing in Canada during WWII and it was even harder to get hands on in Europe during and after the war).

It isn’t clear to me where the image was taken, but my suspicion is that this was the Burns & Co. plant at the northern foot of Woodland Drive (just a block west of Commercial).*

Notes

*There are hints in the history of the Okanagan dairy co-op that during this period, there was an arrangement by local dairy farmers to rent Burns’ facilities. Whether or not the Saskatchewan dairy co-op followed suit isn’t clear, but it seems likely. Beryl Wamboldt. The History of S.O.D.I.C.A. The Vernon News, pub., 1965.

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Rev. Dr. Elbert Paul, First Baptist Pastor

CVA 371-1769 - [Reverend Elbert Paul, D.D.] 1943 Campbell Studio.

CVA 371-1769 – [Reverend Elbert Paul, D.D.] 1943 Campbell Studio. Minister of First Baptist Church, 1932-51.

This is an image of a Senior Minister of First Baptist Church, Elbert Paul (1902-1985). He served the church for nineteen years (1932-51), the longest period to date. He took on the pastorship in a time of significant challenge: it was the beginning of the Great Depression; there was a new church directly across Nelson Street from FBC (St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church); and the church had just endured the trauma and expense of rebuilding the sanctuary in the aftermath of the fire of 1931. He would also pastor First through the Second World War.

In the years following his term at FBC Vancouver, he pastored churches in Winnipeg, Kitimat, North Vancouver and in the Lower Mainland.

Source

Leslie J. Cummings. Our First Century: 1887-1987. Updated 2001.

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Happiness Cafe and Neighbours

CVA 447-321 - Main and Cordova Sts. 1951 WE Frost photo

Crop #1 of CVA 447-321 – Main and Cordova Sts. 1951 WE Frost photo.

I love this Walter Frost image for several reasons. But my three principal reasons appear below.

First of all it shows a city block that was on the cusp of huge change. Within a few years of the making of this photo, this SE corner of Main at Cordova would be transformed into the concrete hulk that would be known (in true 1950s fashion) as the Public Safety Building, aka the new home of the Vancouver Police.

I’m also indebted to Mr Frost because he has shown in this image an older cinema building in Vancouver, the Star Theatre, that stood on this site for decades* but of which I’ve been unable to find another photo in the online collections of the City of Vancouver Archives or the Historical Photos of the Vancouver Public Library.

I love it also for reasons that aren’t, strictly speaking, historical; more arty. I’m pleased that Mr Frost chose to include so many people walking on the street. It creates more interest, in my opinion. I’m especially pleased that he captured a gent looking out the window above the Happiness Cafe; perhaps he was looking at Mr Frost, with his camera perhaps mounted on a tripod, as he took this image. I like that element of the above image so much, that I’ve cropped it even more (it was already somewhat cropped by me) to allow the viewer to focus on this fellow and a few of his neighbours as they passed on Main Street below.

CVA 447-321 - Main and Cordova Sts. 1951 WE Frost photo-2

Crop #2 of CVA 447-321 – Main and Cordova Sts. 1951 WE Frost photo.

Notes

*Star Theatre began life on the west side of this block (327) in 1914 and moved over to this location on the east side of Main (328/330) by 1922.

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Photographers, street scenes, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Toots for Terminal City Cycling Club!

Sp P18 - [Terminal City Cycling Club at the reservoir near Prospect Point] 1892

Sp P18 – [Terminal City Cycling Club at the reservoir near Prospect Point] 1892. Group portrait showing Mr. Stark, W.F. Findlay, C.A. Ross, E.S. Wilband, F.R. Begg, Mr. Marshall, and others.

These folks are seated near the Stanley Park reservoir which, for many years, supplied water to the city.

According to J. S. Matthews’* notes which accompany this image, the two buglers shown in the middle of the shot used their instruments to ‘control the ride’, but he didn’t explain exactly what that meant. There are a couple of clues here and here, however.

There are some individuals who are identified by name. “Mr. Stark” is almost certainly William M. Stark (son of James Stark, owner/operator of James Stark & Sons Glasgow House), an early automobile and airplane enthusiast and a good amateur photographer. A thorough bio of journalist, William Francis Findlay, appears in WestEndVancouver. Charles A. Ross was an employee of the Begg Motor Co. E. S. Wilband would become a director of the Vancouver Athletic Club. Frank Ross Begg was one of the two brothers (the other was Frederick Bruce Begg) who owned Begg Motors.

“Mr Marshall” would seem to be Colin (John) Marshall, who appears in the 1912 image below. He was a broker by occupation and served in the armed forces in the Great War and survived, retiring as an officer in 1921. He died in 1950.

Mil P166.1 - [Machine gun detachment, 6th Regiment, D.C.O.R. at Second Beach] March 1912.

Mil P166.1 – [Machine gun detachment, 6th Regiment, D.C.O.R. at Second Beach] March 1912 J. S. Matthews photo. The chap on the far left, according to City archivists, is (Major) Colin Marshall. (Apparently, the slightly blurry fellow on the right was (much later, Vancouver’s first archivist) J. S. Matthews – no doubt rushing into the frame from setting the timer on his camera. D.C.O.R. stands for the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles. Second Beach is not too far from where the Reservoir image was made – in Stanley Park.

Notes

*Matthews was Vancouver’s first archivist and author of the multi-volume Early Vancouver. For more of Matthews’ notes pertaining to this image, see Vancouver Was Awesome.

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South Granville’s Mid-Century Office Building

CVA 1399-493 - [Photograph of the Block Building, 2695 Granville St., Vancouver B.C.] 197-?

CVA 1399-493 – [Photograph of the Block Building, 2695 Granville St., Vancouver B.C.] 197-?

The Block Building (CBK Van Norman) stands at the corner of (South) Granville and 11th Ave. It was built in 1965, I believe.

The art work over the main door is a work by Lionel and Patricia Thomas and is called Nature’s Own Geometry.

CVA 1399-490 - [Photograph of the Block Building, 2695 Granville St., Vancouver B.C.] 197-?

CVA 1399-490 – [Photograph of the Block Building, 2695 Granville St., Vancouver B.C.] 197-?

This property was the site, in 1911, where M. P. Cotton Co. collected the sand and gravel necessary for road-making at the newly developing Shaughnessy Heights.

CVA 677-247 - M. P. Cotton Co. Ltd. [engineers and general contractors] - Shaughnessy Heights, Vancouver, B.C. - [construction crew and carts] 1911

CVA 677-247 – M. P. Cotton Co. Ltd. [engineers and general contractors] – Shaughnessy Heights, Vancouver, B.C. – [construction crew and carts] 1911.

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A. A. McWhinnie Wine & Spirit Merchant (Briefly)

CVA 371-2418 - [Exterior of A.A. McWhinnie Wine and Spirit Merchant at 55 East Hastings Street] ca 1901

CVA 371-2418 – [Exterior of A.A. McWhinnie Wine and Spirit Merchant at 55 East Hastings Street] ca 1901. I cannot say which (if any) of these men is AAM, but I’m betting he is one of the two gents to the right of the image. I’d further speculate that the second fellow on the right is a relation of AAM’s (perhaps brother? Thomas).

Judging from city directories, it seems that A. A. McWhinnie may have been a wine/spirit merchant for a year; perhaps less. By 1902, the space and the liquor business was in the name of the Urquhart Brothers – apparently the same family as the hardware  proprietor, H. A. Urquhart, whose business was next door at 51 E Hastings.

55 East Hastings has been home to two theatres (Princess and Lux) and today is the RainCity housing complex (also called Lux).

AAM, personally, made almost as brief an appearance in the Vancouver directory as did his entrepreneurial venture. There is no sign that AAM lived in Vancouver before 1901 and he appears to have left Vancouver by 1903. The occupation that appears next to his name in 1901 and ’02 – even during the year that he ventured into the wine/spirit business – is “Clerk” at the Columbia Hotel. There was a Thomas McWhinnie who was the proprietor of the Columbia Hotel at the time – AAM’s brother or father, perhaps*.

There is nothing in the provincial death records to indicate that AAM died in British Columbia.

CVA 180-1555 - View of floats and bands along 100 block East Hastings Street during 1949 P.N.E. Opening Day Parade 1949 Patton's studio

CVA 180-1555 – View of floats and bands along 100 block East Hastings Street during 1949 P.N.E. Opening Day Parade 1949 Patton’s studio. The Lux Theatre sign is in the middle distance on the right.

Notes

*The Columbia Hotel of which Thomas was proprietor was a different – possibly wood frame – building than the one that has stood since the 1920s at 303 Columbia.

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Early Development of 1000 Block Georgia Street

A Very Modest Undertaking (Telfords)

A building permit was issued to the Telford brothers in 1912 to build an apartment block at 1018 Georgia Street (architect was W. M. Dodd & Co.). According to the permit, it would be a 10-storey structure made of concrete, brick and stone on Georgia near Burrard and would cost an estimated $600,000.

An article in The Province enthused about the proposed apartment block:

The building will have sixty three-room suites and fifty-eight two-room apartments. These will be fitted in the most modern manner. Interior telephones for communicating within the building and also city telephones will be installed in every suite….Wall beds will be installed in every apartment….Although it has not been definitely decided it is thought that a roof garden will form an attractive feature of the building. (Emphasis mineThe Province. October 19, 1912, p.48)

I don’t know whether there were internal and external telephones, wall-beds, or a roof garden in the finished building, but the scope of the completed structure appears to have been much more modest than planned. The 1920 Vancouver Directory in 1920 showed a total of 18 suites, versus the planned number of 118. It seems very doubtful to me that Georgia Court reached 10 stories; 2 or 3 stories seems more likely.

I believe that the Georgia Court apartments were, in fact, the two former homes that constituted the Burrard Sanitarium – a private hospital owned and operated by one of the Telford brothers, Robert, from 1902-14. Beginning in about 1915, the Sanitarium was closed and doesn’t appear in the city directory of that year. But Georgia Court is listed, beginning that year. This fact, when added to the image below which shows at least one of the buildings that made up the Sanitarium still standing in 1929, leads me to this conclusion. Georgia Court, in fact, seems to have been a remodelling of the former Sanitarium, not a multi-storey, concrete structure.

Georgia Court appeared in Vancouver city directories through 1934. I suspect that it was demolished around that time. The lot on which it sat seems to have become part of the property on which the Palomar Supper Club sat for a few years. The Burrard Building would, by 1957, occupy the properties on which the Wesley Methodist Church (later, the Palomar Supper Club), the Burrard Sanitarium, and Georgia Court once stood.

Their Eyes Were Bigger Than… (YMCA)

At about the same time as the Telford Brothers’ Georgia Court was being ‘built’, the YMCA was building a new headquarters for itself just west of there (1040 Georgia). The building permit for the Y indicates that it was to be a 7-storey, reinforced  concrete structure, to be constructed at an estimated cost of $375,000.

The Y’s build began in 1913. However a number of factors (not least being the start of the Great War shortly after construction began and the depressive effect of that on local investment) meant that, by 1919, the structure was incomplete and it was decided by the Y board that the property should be put up for sale.

In 1924 the building was completed as the St. Julien Apartments and in 1929 was turned into the Ritz Hotel. The Ritz was demolished in 1983 to make way for the Grosvenor Building.

vpl4759 St Julien Apts Jan 1929 Frank Leonard photo.

VPL 4759 St Julien Apts Jan 1929 Frank Leonard photo. (Note the former Burrard Santiarium building to the left of the St. Julien Apts – later the Ritz Hotel. I’m convinced that the Burrard Sanitarium was converted to apartments after the Sanitarium closed and became, in fact, Georgia Court Apts).

The Beggs Anchor Georgia & Thurlow Intersection

The building to the west of YMCA/St. Julien/Ritz Hotel building was Begg Motors (1062-70 Georgia). On this property, since 1976, has sat the glass tower known (unimaginatively) as 1090 West Georgia.

CVA 99-3748 - Georgia Street West %22Automobile Row%22  1929 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-3748 – Georgia Street West “Automobile Row” 1929 Stuart Thomson photo. The camera is facing west and the Begg Block referred to in the post (within the 1000 block of Georgia) is on the far left of the image. There is another, slightly taller auto retail structure just across Thurlow Street which is also a Begg Bros. motor shop (where one could buy a used vehicle). The Begg Block marks the start of what once was known as Auto Row.

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Vancouver DIDN’T Need Vander Zalm, as it Turned Out.

VZ 1984

Screen capture from “Vander Zalm – City” ad (CVA – MI-348). Yaletown Productions Oct 23, 1984. Made for Non-Partisan Association (NPA).

This image is from one of three Non-Partisan Association TV advertisements made for Vancouver mayoral candidate in 1984, Bill Vander Zalm, and the other NPA candidates for City Council that year.

You may well have forgotten (or not realized) that ‘the Zalm’ was ever a candidate for mayor. Wilhelmus Nicholaas Theodore Marie Van der Zalm (his birth name) was known to me only as the B.C. premier who, by 1991, left that office after being charged with breach of trust (he became premier in 1986).

But his 1984 campaign for mayor was unsuccessful. He proved unable to unseat Mayor Mike Harcourt (who had been mayor since 1980 and would continue until 1986). Contrary to the tag line used with these ads, it seems Vancouver didn’t need Vander Zalm in 1984.

Some of the NPA candidates running with Vander Zalm that year proved to be much more politically successful than he.

Screen capture from "Vander Zalm - Office" ad (CVA - MI-348). Yaletown Productions Oct 23, 1984. Made for Non-Partisan Association (NPA).

Screen capture from “Vander Zalm – Office” ad (CVA – MI-348). Yaletown Productions Oct 23, 1984. Made for Non-Partisan Association (NPA).

Gordon Campbell became mayor of Vancouver after Harcourt (1986-93) and then served as B.C. Premier (2001-early 2011).

Philip Owen was a Vancouver councillor from 1986 until 1993. He then became mayor (1993-2002) after Campbell left for the provincial realm.

George Puil, of all of those who appeared on the NPA slate with Vander Zalm, was the most electable. He was elected to the Vancouver Parks Board for 12 years, and then spent another 26 years as a city councillor.

Puil and Don Bellamy were the only two people listed on the 1984 NPA slate who were elected that year.

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Feeling Less-Than-Fresh in THIS Crush?

CVA 1184-3450 - [Crowds at Georgia and Burrard Streets] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-3450 – [Crowds at Georgia and Burrard Streets] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

These crowds were dispersing up Georgia Street from watching the parade for Vancouver’s 60th Anniversary of civic incorporation (our Diamond Jubilee, 1886-1946). Thanks are due to JMV for the detailed comment and links below.

As to landmarks, there is a Standard Oil service station on the NW corner of Georgia at Burrard – just a slice of it is visible on right, on the lot where the Glencoe Lodge/Hotel Belfred once was. On the SW corner, to the left, you can just make out the Palomar Supper Club, on the lot where the Wesley Methodist Church once was. The Ritz Apt/Hotel is visible about a half-block down Georgia from the Palomar.

Posted in Jack Lindsay, people, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where W.E.C. Shopped?

CVA 1399-494 - [Photograph of Acme Novelty B.C. Ltd building, 7832 6th St., Burnaby B.C.] 197-?

CVA 1399-494 – [Photograph of Acme Novelty B.C. Ltd building, 7832 6th St., Burnaby B.C.] 197-?

This image appears to have been made sometime in the 1970s; right around the same period when the hapless Wile E. Coyote was entertaining fantasies of terrorizing the nameless Roadrunner using machines built from products made by Acme.

The company portrayed in the image, however, could not have been the same “Acme”; this one included “Novelty” in its corporate name – a word which would rarely be associated with the products produced by the fictional company portrayed in the Warner Brothers cartoon – and never with the cartoon’s plot.

Posted in advertising, automobiles, street scenes, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Fabulously Politically Incorrect Zoppes

CVA 180-5737 - The Fabulous Zoppes - featured in the annual P.N.E.-Shrine Circus 196-

CVA 180-5737 – The Fabulous Zoppes – featured in the annual P.N.E.-Shrine Circus 196-. (The Zoppes appear to my eyes to be less than wholly native American Indians. The outfits are pretty outrageous…not least those on the horses (what’s with the ground-pointing arrows?)

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From Lumber to Racquets

PAN NIVA - [View of teamsters and horse-drawn delivery wagons in front of Coast Lumber and Fuel Co. Ltd.] 191- WJ Moore photo.

CVA – PAN NIVA – [View of teamsters and horse-drawn delivery wagons in front of Coast Lumber and Fuel Co. Ltd.] 191- WJ Moore photo.jpg

The address of the yards of Coast Lumber & Fuel Co. was at a corner of Bodwell Road* (today’s 33rd Avenue) and Ontario Street. According to a City website, there was a streetcar track along Bodwell Road, so that, I’m figuring is the avenue down which the camera was facing. And, unless I miss my guess**, the direction the photographer was aiming was east, so that puts the yards just across 33rd  (north) from the location, today, of the Vancouver Racquets Club (SE corner 33rd and Ontario)***. That also puts the yards near the NW end of what today is called Queen Elizabeth Park (the site of the Bloedel Conservatory and a wonderful expanse of Vancouver parkland near the heart of the city).

A view from behind the yards appears below.

PAN NIVB - [View of lumber and stove wood in yard of Coast Lumber and Fuel Co. Ltd.] 191- WJ Moore photo

CVA – PAN NIVB – [View of lumber and stove wood in yard of Coast Lumber and Fuel Co. Ltd.] 191- WJ Moore photo.

Notes

*Bodwell Road was named in honour of Ebenezer Vining Bodwell (1827-1889), a Member of Parliament representing the Ontario riding of Oxford South, a lawyer and real estate broker, and (briefly), president of the Vancouver Board of Trade. He headed the Board in 1889 and died in Morley, NWT (now, Alberta) while holding that office. Mr. Bodwell was also a member of First Baptist Church, Vancouver and was selected to lay the corner stone at FBC’s second building (located at the SE corner of Hamilton and Dunsmuir).

Item D-07113 - Ebenezer Vining Bodwell Library &amp; Archives Canada. EbenezerViningBodwell23 WJ Topley photo

Ebenezer Vining Bodwell. Library & Archives Canada PA 033207.n.d. W J Topley photo.jpg

**I’m so guessing because the track appears to curve to the right in the topmost image. And, because 33rd Avenue today proceeds eastward from Ontario in a similarly curving fashion (turning into Midlothian Avenue as it turns to the SE). In contrast, 33rd, facing westward is a very straight-as-an-arrow avenue.

***And a stone’s throw – or, better, an outfielder’s throw – from where Nat Bailey Stadium is today.

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PNE Multiplex vs. BC Place

CVA 180-4340 - P.N.E. representative E.M. Swangard shows Premier W.R. Bennett and wife scale model of proposed Multiplex 1978 Robert Dibble photo.

CVA 180-4340 – P.N.E. representative (President) E(rwin) M. Swangard (1908-1993) shows Premier W.R. Bennett (1932-2015) and wife (Audrey) scale model of proposed Multiplex 1978 Robert Dibble photo.

According to a very good history of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Vancouver’s Fair, a Multiplex was formally endorsed by the association in 1978 as a way of overhauling the PNE physical plant in Hastings Park.

It was proposed that the Multiplex would include a 60,000-seat stadium, 227,000 feet of exhibition space, and a 239,000 square foot capacity for agricultural events. The PNE endorsement of the Multiplex plan was not by any means a ‘sure thing’, however. The problem was “the competition of some other grand visions to which powerful interests were attached” (158). One vision was for the redevelopment of the CPR’s former B-C Pier (which would become known as Canada Place), but that plan seems not to have been in direct competition with the Multiplex proposal. The real battle was between the PNE and those advocating a covered stadium in downtown Vancouver (what would later be known as BC Place Stadium).

The PNE and BC Place proposal representatives fought for favourable public opinion. The province ultimately appointed Paul Manning to choose between the two. “In April 1980, Manning announced that he had decided in favour of a domed stadium on the north shore of False Creek that would be the anchor piece of the larger B.C. Place Redevelopment Project. The decision marked the end of Multiplex…” (159)

This brief video clip shows time lapse perspectives from inside and outside of BC Place during the inflation of its roof.

CVA 780-816 - B.C. Place - events and parking traffic study 1983

CVA 780-816 – B.C. Place – events and parking traffic study 1983.

Source:

Vancouver’s Fair: An Administrative & Political History of the Pacific National Exhibition. David Breen and Kenneth Coates. UBC Press, 1982.

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Not Marine Building

Bu P508.100 - [View from Thurlow and Melville Streets looking east] 1955 A L Yates photo

CVA – Bu P508.100 – [View from Thurlow and Melville Streets looking east] 1955 A L Yates photo. (Note: If this image was made from Thurlow at Melville Streets, it is looking southeast. And it is pretty clear that the building on the left edge of the image is not the Marine Building. It is the Georgia Medical-Dental Building).

Posted in A. L. Yates, hospitals/health care, hotels/motels/inns | Leave a comment

Concert Pianist, Conductor, Theatre Manager…

CVA 1184-2290 - [View of Granville Street looking north from Smithe showing the Orpheum Theatre, Commodore, and Capitol Theatre] 1946 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2290 – [View of Granville Street looking north from Smithe showing the Orpheum Theatre, Commodore, and Capitol Theatre] 1946 Jack Lindsay photo. (The exterior of the Orpheum around the time Maynard Joiner was manager).

Maynard Joiner lived a long and fruitful life. He was born on one coast of North America (in Boston) in 1894 and died on another (in Vancouver) in 1990.

By the time he was 10, he was considered a child prodigy. His forté was as a piano accompanist and his abilities took him to the concert stage to perform with several outstanding American and European artists. One of these, the violinst to the court of Spain, who was on a world tour, after his performance invited Maynard (then 16 years old) to be his personal accompanist for the remainder of his tour. Another artist, an English soprano, upon seeing that a mere boy was to be her accompanist, stalked off the stage in high dudgeon. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and she reluctantly agreed to sing. When the concert was over, she was given a large bouquet of flowers and amidst the applause, walked over to young Maynard, kissed him on the cheek and handed the bouquet to him.

From Boston, Maynard’s family moved to Calgary. While the musical opportunities were more limited there, he became the leader of his own band that played the Banff Springs Hotel, the Chateau Lake Louise and other local resorts.

In his mid-20s, Maynard was the conductor of the symphony orchestra that played during vists of the Prince of Wales of the day (later to become, briefly, King Edward VIII). The Prince had a ranch near Calgary, so he visited the city nearly annually. Apparently the Prince repeatedly asked Maynard’s band to play When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Maynard developed such a strong disliking for the tune that, after leaving the symphony, he refused ever to play it again.

In his middle years, Maynard became a manager with Famous Players Theatres – managing first The Globe Theatre in Calgary and later The Orpheum in Vancouver. Ultimately, he became a district manager with the company. He finally retired at the age of 75 in Vancouver.

Maynard was happily married to Lottie Ethridge for 72 of his 96 years and they had two boys, 7 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandkids.

When he came to Vancouver, Maynard joined First Baptist Church and was a longtime and active member of the church’s managing board. And he was a natural choice for the board’s Music Committee.


Much of this mini-bio is based upon notes prepared by Rev. James Willox Duncan which, today, reside in the archives of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. The text was written originally for First Baptist Church’s 125th Anniversary (2011), as part of my series of brief biographies of former FBC members, titled ‘Who Was Who in the Pews.’ It is reproduced here with minor editorial changes.

Pg001

From Peel’s Prairie Provinces: Peel 10106. Cover of sheet music composed by Maynard Joiner, lyrics by Harry Hutchcroft, for the Calgary Rotary Club. c 1926.

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Jack Lindsay, music, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Church Street (Lane)

CVA 677-413 - First Congregational Church [500 Georgia Street] ca 1905.

CVA 677-413 – First Congregational Church [500 Georgia Street] ca 1905. (Church Street was the lane to the right of the Congregational Church. There are homes visible in the image that fronted onto Church Street: the two homes that appear in the photo to be behind the church; also the partially visible home that is at right angles to the town houses facing onto Georgia (and to the right of the church).

It is not unusual to find a “Church Street” in a Canadian city. Even today, in our post-church-attendance era, streets called “Church” can be found in New Westminster, North Vancouver, and in the Collingwood district of the City of Vancouver (near Boundary Road).

For the first half of the 20th century (1898-1947), there was also a Church Street (known after 1920 as “Church Lane”) in downtown Vancouver.

Church Street downtown was one block long and was bounded by Robson (south), Georgia (north), Seymour (west) and Richards (east). Today, the former Church Street is in the middle of the TelusGarden development.

Church Street seems to have borrowed its name from First Congregational Church, which was at the SW corner of Georgia at Richards from 1888 until 1925. Why this lane was so-named (among many other contender lanes close to churches at that time (there were, compared with today, a lot of churches in downtown Vancouver) is a mystery.  (For another idea on what may have been the source of the street’s name, see this more recent post)

Church was occupied predominantly by residences; there were no identifiable commercial properties on the block for as long as it was known as Church. The residents were mainly what we’d today consider blue-collar workers: teamsters, loggers, carpenters, and sawyers were well-represented; real estate agents and other white-collar desk-jobbers, less so. The folks who lived on Church also seemed to be on the move; there were almost no long-term residents of the block. It’s probably safe to assume that most of the residences on Church were rooming houses.

There is one family name that recurs among the residents of the block, however: Peake. I wasn’t able to find much information about the Peakes. Michael (1866-1943) was the father; Maria the mother; John and Frank, sons; and there were also Thomas and Patrick who shared housing with the other Peakes at different times. I’m not sure how they fit into the family picture, but I’ll venture a guess: I think Thomas was a brother to Michael and Patrick was Thomas’ son.

What is clear is that Michael immigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1893 and he brought something valuable with him – in addition to his wife and boys. He came with a trade: he was a tailor. Michael and Thomas were apparently both able to get steady work as tailors at first with William Murphy, Merchant Tailor (at various Cordova Street addresses). After Murphy went into the stationery business, I don’t know where the Peake tailors got work, but there seem to have been a number of tailoring shops in the city, so I’m guessing it wasn’t too hard. During the lifespan of Church Street, John and Frank Peake worked as “labourers” or at various table-waiting jobs with local hotels (such as the Windsor).

There was at least one Peake living on Church St. from roughly the turn of the 20th century until 1915. On this street of transients, that was a very long time.

image3

“Church Street” today…in the midst of the TelusGarden commercial/condo development. 2015. Author’s photo.

Posted in churches, street scenes, W J Moore, yesterday & today | Leave a comment

When a “Shooting Gallery” Was Where Guns Were Fired

Sp P74 - [The interior of a shooting gallery on Cordova Street] ca 1901

CVA – Sp P74 – [The interior of a shooting gallery on Cordova Street] ca 1901. (This appears to have been 27 West Cordova Street – according to the City Directory – William Blassing, proprietor. Note: By zooming on the target area, I was able to identify, I think, a wooden (?) deer, pheasant, and hare).

CVA 677-777 - Cordova St. Vancouver, B.C. 1890? George T Wadds photo

CVA 677-777 – Cordova St. Vancouver, B.C. 1890? George T Wadds photo. (Blassing’s shooting gallery was located, I believe, in the foreground of the right side of the street. The site of the shooting gallery today is probably where the Hindenburg club is; but I’m quite certain that the gallery was in an earlier – probably wood frame – structure.)

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“Not the Symbol, but the Living Presence…”

CVA 95-6 - [King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at reception outside City Hall] 1939 Ken Pattison photo,

CVA 95-6 – [King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at reception outside City Hall] 1939 Ken Pattison photo. (This Queen Elizabeth had no numeral attached to her title – she was neither I nor II, but ultimately became known as the “Queen Mother” , upon the coronation of her daughter, QE II, following the death of King George VI in 1952. The person standing directly behind the couple is Vancouver Mayor, Dr. Lyle Telford. City Hall was behind the photographer, the camera facing northwards. The sculpture of Captain Vancouver – a creation of local sculptor Charles Marega – remains at City Hall.)

These images marked the first visit to Vancouver by a reigning Canadian monarch just a few months before the declaration of war with Germany by both Canada and Britain.

There is an episode of CBC Radio’s Rewind which is a sort of summary of some of the highlights of the visit. I recommend it. However, I must say that I was disappointed with Rewind’s apparent editorial decision that coverage of the visit by the couple to Calgary would “do” for all other western cities visited by the couple. No coverage of Vancouver, Victoria, nor any BC ‘whistle stop’ was included in this broadcast. Instead, what seemed like nearly half the episode was dedicated to coverage of the couple’s 1939 tour of Washington, D.C. and New York City! A peculiar choice of the Canadian broadcaster.

The title of this post is drawn from the speech of welcome delivered by then-Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King; more of WLMK’s purple prose (at least, to my ears) is included near the start of the Rewind broadcast.

CVA 6-70 - [David Spencer Department Store on Hastings Street decorated for visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth] 1939 W B Shelby photo.

CVA 6-70 – [David Spencer Department Store on Hastings Street decorated for visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth] 1939 Shelby or Dettloff photo.

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Early “Black Friday”

Its Time for Dief pamphlet published by the PC Party. Cover of a pamphlet from Diefenbaker Centre. n.d. (1957?)

Black Friday: It’s Time for Diefenbaker Government. (An apparently 1957 election campaign) pamphlet published by the PC Party. Cover of a pamphlet from Diefenbaker Canada Centre. n.d.

The cover of the pamphlet shown above speaks to an earlier – and, frankly, to a more logically negative – meaning associated with the term “Black Friday” than is typical in 2015.

The text in the pamphlet (shown below) makes it clear that the Friday referred to here (in 1956)* was the one on which Louis St. Laurent’s federal government used its majority to impose closure on the (TransCanada) Pipeline Debate in the House of Commons.**

Closure has been imposed by governments of both Grit and Tory stripes over the years. Indeed, the Conservative governments of the recent Harper regime used this parliamentary procedure – which was intended for use only in exceptional cases – almost as a matter of course. Given the regularity with which Harper imposed closure, Dief was doubtless busily doing calisthenics in his grave (his famous jowls a-quivering), in recent years.***

Text from It's Time for Dief pamphlet. From Diefenbaker Centre. n.d. (1957?)

Text from Black Friday: It’s Time for Diefenbaker Government (apparently 1957 election campaign) pamphlet. From Diefenbaker Canada Centre. n.d.

vpl 60206 Prime Minister John Diefenbaker at a conference table 1958 Eric W. Cable photo for Province Newspaper.

VPL – 60206 Prime Minister John Diefenbaker at a conference table 1958 Eric W. Cable photo for Province Newspaper. (Diefenbaker was PM by the time this image was taken; the month it was made isn’t shown, so it isn’t clear whether Dief was the leader of his short-lived minority government (in 1957) or of his majority government that emerged from the 1958 election.

Notes:

*This wasn’t the last occasion on which “Black Friday” was used for political rhetoric in Canada. Just two years later, for example, Diefenbaker was Prime Minister with a very comfortable majority. On Friday, February 20, 1959, he rose in the Commons to announce that the Avro Arrow and Iroquois engine development programs were being cancelled. And closure was imposed.

**For examples of Dief’s speech-making style from this period, listen to one or more of the (free) audio files available from the Canada Diefenbaker Centre. If you are familiar with protestant preaching from days of yore, you will recognize some similarities in Dief’s public speaking style.

***One of my favourite Diefenbaker stories was told by Canadian constitutional expert, Eugene Forsey, in his memoirs. Forsey notes that he’d dropped in for a visit with Diefenbaker on Parliament Hill after Dief’s days as leader and during the period when Robert Stanfield was leader of the Progressive Conservative party. Dief was holding forth on how Stanfield ought to be making a statement on a subject that Dief considered important, but…

‘[i]nstead of that, he’s taking a two-week immersion course in French.’ Then John’s eyes started to shoot sparks and I said to myself: ‘Here comes one of his best.’ Sure enough, out it came: ‘Eugene, we Baptists know all about immersion [pause], but we don’t stay under for two weeks!’ (Eugene Forsey. A Life on the Fringe, 115).

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Early VanAqua

Item LF.00320 - Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia 1957 Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum &amp; Archives of BC.

Jewish Museum & Archives of BC – Item LF.00320 – Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia 1957 Otto F Landauer photo.

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Dr. Telford

Robt T.

From British Columbia: From the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol. IV, 1914 (S. J. Clarke)

There were, in fact, three men known as “Dr. Telford” in early Vancouver and the three were brothers – dentist George (1876-1920); James Lyle (1889-1960), an M.D. who was CCF MLA for Vancouver East and later became the 24th mayor of the city*; and Robert (1869-1938). All three were interesting in their own ways, but the most intriguing to me is Robert, the founder and principal force behind an early private hospital called Burrard Sanitarium.

Robert Telford first came to B.C. from his native Ontario in 1891 when he was 22. He earned a teaching certificate and taught in public schools on Vancouver Island for three years. Afterward, he took a medical degree from McGill University and then returned to the Island (Nanaimo and later Chemainus) where he set up medical practice. In 1902 (after completing a few months of post-graduate work in Chicago and Montreal), he established a practice in Vancouver and developed a surgery specialization after receiving a F.R.C.S. designation.

In July 1902, Telford married Ella Maude Monroe in his home church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian (just few blocks from the Sanitarium at the corner of Georgia and Richards) and they later had a family of five (Gordon, Douglas, Kenneth, Jean, and Dorothy).

Burrard Sanitarium

Telford established the Burrard Sanitarium in 1902 or 1903.

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An advertisement for Burrard Sanitarium.

Although there seem to be no clear, head-on, photos of the institution among the online collection of the City Archives (nor among the historical photos of the Vancouver Public Library), the cropped CVA image below shows two – apparently at-one-time residential – buildings on the lots (1010 and 1016 West Georgia) where the Sanitarium was situated. It was on Georgia just west of Burrard (where the Burrard Building is today).  The Sanitarium was a private hospital and, as such, received very little or no public funding for its operation. But it seems that it did participate in a program for nurse training, although few details are today known.

Ch P91 - Wesley Church, Georgia [Street] 1901:02 R H Trueman photo

CVA – Ch P91 – Wesley Church, Georgia [Street] 1901/02 R H Trueman photo.

By 1915, the Sanitarium closed and Dr. Telford seems to have assumed a private practice located in the iconic old Birk’s block on the SE corner of Granville at Georgia.

He retained his practice at the Birks building until his death in 1938.

Political Avocation

Although he didn’t play the political game to the same extent as his younger brother, Lyle, Robert apparently dabbled in politics. According to a paper written on the history of the proportional representation movement in BC, he became president in 1917 of the Vancouver PR league: “Here was a major find for the reform forces as Telford was a well known and highly respected surgeon of international reputation. He had built one of the city’s first modern medical facilities, the Burrard Sanitorium (sic), in 1903. He also had a hand in a number of other reform movements, notably prohibition.” (Dennis Pilon, The Drive for Proportional Representation in British Columbia, 1917-23. M.A. Thesis, SFU, 1996. p. 34). Exactly what these numerous “other reform movements” were (aside from prohibition), isn’t clear to me.

Notes

* James Lyle Telford died of a stroke at age 71. His wife, Mabel (45 at the time of JLT’s death) was an apologist for parapsychology and outspoken about her ability to communicate beyond the grave. She claimed to be in regular contact with JLT after his passing (in the book Strings for a Broken Lute, 1971-72). She died in February 1972.

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Granville Bridge by Landauer

Item LF.01899 - Extra - Granville Bridge - course of construction 1953 Otto F. Landauer. Jewish Museum &amp; Archives of BC.

Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. Item LF.01899 – Extra – Granville Bridge – course of construction 1953 Otto F. Landauer photo.

This is an outstanding image made of what today we typically refer to as “the Granville Bridge” (left), but which is in fact the third and unquestionably the most massive of the three False Creek crossings at roughly this location. The image was made from atop the steel superstructure above the second Granville Bridge (1909-1954, partly visible to the right).

From this angle, the photographer has created, for me at least, an impression of a great, mid-twentieth century metallic beastie threatening to lick the industrial buildings of Granville Island beneath it.

If you are interested, there is a compilation of vintage images of all three bridges here.

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Winter on Davie at Homer

2010-006.175 - Snow from Office at 1020 Homer 1968

CVA – 2010-006.175 – Snow from office at 1020 Homer 1968 Ernie Reksten photo. (Note: I am sure that “1020 Homer” is an error; I believe it should be “1220 Homer”.)

A zoomed image on the same (December) day in 1968 appears below. For a summer scene made from what appears to be the same window (or a nearby one) and with notes about the area, see this VAIW post.

2010-006.174 - Snow 1020 Homer 1968 Ernie Reksten photo-2

CVA – 2010-006.174 – Snow 1020 Homer 1968 Ernie Reksten photo. (See note in first image re address error in CVA).

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George Marsden, Early Photographer

George Marsden was a young Vancouver photographer with his own local business, for a brief time.  There are just two images in the City of Vancouver Archives online collection (none in Vancouver Public Library’s historical photos) that are attributed to him, both of them made in the 1907-08 period. Very little seems to be known today of George’s early life.

George (who had no middle name, as far as I know) was born in Wales in 1886. He first showed up in Canadian official records (in the federal census) in 1891. It seems the Marsden family emigrated to Canada around 1890. The family consisted of Henry (a butcher), Sarah, and eleven kids, mainly girls, but three of the youngest were boys: Henry Jr., 7; William, 5; and George, 4*.

The first time George showed up in BC City Directories was 1902, when he was 16 and working as a clerk with the Vancouver law firm Davis, Marshall & McNeill. His career with legal eagles was destined to last for just a year, however. From 1903-06, George had a position as clerk at Wadds Bros. Photographers (337 W. Hastings) – a firm that specialized in making portraits. George’s time at Wadds Bros. appears to have been a turning point for him. Everything he did occupationally from then until his death in 1966 would be related to photography.

In 1907, after leaving his photographic apprenticeship with Wadds Bros., George struck out on his own, establishing Marsden’s Photo Studio (544 Granville) as a sole proprietorship. Oddly, at about the same time as George was setting up his photo studio business, his two older brothers – William and Henry Jr. – teamed up to create Marsden Brothers Photographic Supplies just a block up the street (665 Granville) from George’s studio. Neither the studio nor the supply shop would last long.

Ad placed in An Elite Directory of Vancouver, ca 1908.

Ad placed in An Elite Directory of Vancouver, ca 1908.

By 1910, both corporate establishments had vanished from Vancouver’s directory. And so, indeed, had George and his two brothers. At this stage, I lost track of the other male Marsdens, but happily not of George. He struck out for America where, presumably, he hoped to establish a reputation as a portrait photographer and to make his way in the world.

LP 269 - Vancouver Police Department 1907-08 George Marsden photo.

CVA – LP 269 – Vancouver Police Department 1907-08 George Marsden photo.

‘If You Can Make it There . . .’

George moved from Vancouver to Seattle in 1909. It would be a brief, but professionally crucial, stop for him. According to Broadway Photographs, he spent less than a year in Seattle, coming to the attention of vaudevillian Billy Gould, who funded the relocation of George from Seattle and the creation of Gould & Marsden Studio in New York City. “Marsden, a Canadian art photographer who first founded a studio in Vancouver, won a regional reputation by placing in several Seattle exhibitions. He relocated to Seattle [from Vancouver] in 1909 and his great success as a Society portraitist convice [sic] Gould that [Marsden] should join the galaxy of celebrity photographers in Manhattan.” The life of Gould & Marsden studio was brilliant but brief. It lasted only until early 1914, as “[n]either Gould nor Marsden had much head for the financial end of running a gallery, and they had the misfortune of setting up business at a bust period on Broadway.” After the dissolution of Gould & Marsden, George accepted another NYC position as chief operator at Davis & Sanford studio (which, although the company’s heyday had passed, was still regarded as a good position). He remained there from 1914-19.

Shortly after leaving Davis & Sanford, George partnered with Omaha, Nebraska photographer, Frank A. Rinehart and married Helen, one of Rinehart’s daughters; there don’t appear to have been any children produced by the union.

Photographer George Marsden wearing a hat and trench coat. Negative is part of the Rinehart-Marsden personal collection n.d.

Photographer George Marsden (part of the Rinehart-Marsden personal collection), n.d.

George continued to do at the Rinehart-Marsden Studio what he had done, professionally, in Vancouver, Seattle, and New York: to make very good photographic portraits. There was a difference, however. For the first time since he started out with Wadds Bros. in Vancouver, he was in a pretty stable place, professionally. Although he may have missed the heady days as portraitist to celebrities in NYC,  I suspect that he was also pretty pleased, finally, to be in a job that promised to sustain over the long-term. After joining Rinehart in Omaha, George never moved again.

Photographer or Archivist?

It is one of the ironies of history that the  professional act for which George Marsden is now best known had nothing to do with any photographs he made; indeed, it was more of an archival than a photographic act which is associated with his name.

In 1898, when George was just 12 years old and living in Vancouver, Frank Rinehart was about to reach what would be his career peak as the official photographer of the Indian Congress at the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha. This gathering of representatives of many Native American tribes proved to be a photographic watershed for Rinehart. He produced glass negative portraits of each of the Native indians present at the Congress – dressed in all of their traditional regalia.

Frank Rinehart died in 1928 and Rinehart-Marsden Studio passed to his wife Anna and George Marsden to continue to operate. In the early 1950s, according to Royal Sutton who was working for Rinehart-Marsden at the time, “we produced a two volume set of brown toned, 16 x 20 photographs bound in split cow hide. A local artist burned Indian designs on the inside and outside covers. These handsome table top volumes sold for $800 per volume in the mid 1950s.” I have seen, recently, an auction estimate of between $3,000-$6,000 on one of these sets of images printed by George.

Anna Rinehart was bedridden for a number of years before her death in 1955. Care of her meant that debts accumulated and, by the time Royal Sutton was willed the business by George upon his death in 1966, there was “[t]oo much of a burden to turn around” and he closed the business.

portrait-indien-reinhart-usa-ancien-01

An example of one of the images made by Frank A. Rinehart at the Indian Congress and immortalized later by George Marsden in print form. 1898.

Notes

*George had a younger sister (Dorothy) and a  younger brother (Philip). Philip was born after the 1891 census (in 1895).

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Hammond Furniture

CVA 1184-1988 - [Exterior view of Hammond Furniture warehouse and manufacturing facilities] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-1988 – [Exterior view of Hammond Furniture warehouse and manufacturing facilities] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

The buildings that today house at least three businesses on the NW and NE corners of Clark at Venables were ones that I’ve wondered about each time I’ve gone past. This morning, as I was browsing through online photos of the City of Vancouver Archives, I was delighted to see a 1940s image of the familiar buildings which were then home to the warehouse and manufacturing facility (NW) and showroom (NE) of Hammond Furniture. Ernie Hammond was its head. Today, the NW building houses Russell Food Equipment and the NE corner is home to AquaPaws and Mr. Mattress.

It isn’t clear to me when Hammond Furniture closed, but it was a going concern in the 1940s and was advertising into the 1950s and ’60s. I was pleased to note (from the first image below) that furniture sold by Hammond in the 1940s – and perhaps manufactured as well – was very similar, if not identical, to some of that which my grandparents once owned!

CVA 1184-1986 - [Furniture display at Hammond Furniture] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-1986 – [Furniture display at Hammond Furniture] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo. (Presumably, from the showroom building, on NE corner).

CVA 1184-1985 - [Woman cutting wood at Hammond Furniture] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-1985 – [Woman cutting wood at Hammond Furniture] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo. (From NW corner manufacturing and warehouse building, I presume).

CVA 1184-1987 - [Man sewing cushions at Hammond Furniture] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-1987 – [Man sewing cushions at Hammond Furniture] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

Posted in advertising, businesses, Jack Lindsay, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Boeing’s Vancouver Plant

CVA 99-2331 - Boeing Aircraft Co. of Canada, flying boat construction, machine shop 1930 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-2331 – Boeing Aircraft Co. of Canada, flying boat construction, machine shop 1930 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 1184-40 - [Interior view of Boeing aircraft plant on Georgia Street] 1942 Jack Lindsay photo

CVA 1184-40 – [Interior view of Boeing aircraft plant on Georgia Street] 1942 Jack Lindsay photo.

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Nominee for Silliest Pioneer Surname…

While I was riding a city bus across Greater Vancouver this afternoon, I was looking for inspiration for this post from a PDF copy of the ca1908 Elite Directory of Vancouver. Among the items I spotted is my nominee for one of the silliest early Vancouver surnames (at least to my 21st century eyes): Cave-Browne-Cave.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 5.15.13 AM

Edward Cave-Browne-Cave was the manager of BC Assay and Chemical Supply Co. (a mining outfitter), then located at 513 W. Pender (near Richards). By 1920, BC Assay had changed its address to 567 Hornby, just north of Dunsmuir. Edward Cave-Browne-Cave was still the manager. Within a couple of years, 567 was known as “the Cave Building” and was still the business home of BC Assay.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.20.22 PM

Following Edward’s death in the early ’30s, BC Assay underwent a name change – to Cave & Co. – and acquired a new manager – C. C. B. Cave. This surely must have been a relation of Edward’s – and most likely a son (probably Clement Cave Browne Cave, who died in 1945; he was 48). He seems to have taken the first two sections of his surname and, for the purposes of business at least, retained them as middle names.

(It occurred to me that the Cave Supper Club was on Hornby. Could the two businesses have been related in some way other than proximity? Nope. The supper club (621 Hornby) and the Assay/Cave building (567 Hornby) were a block apart and on opposite sides of the street).

I felt I had to dig a bit further into the Cave-Browne-Cave name matter. Was the hyphenated handle merely an affectation of Edward which was dropped by the next generation? Or was there more to it? Having no experience rooting about in the family histories of English Lords and Baronets (and having no wish to begin today), I’ll leave this an open question on which someone may wish to comment. I’ll merely direct readers to this link.

Str P15 - [View of Lord Roberts School from the corner of Davie Street and Cardero Street] ca 1901.

CVA – Str P15 – [View of Lord Roberts School from the corner of Davie Street and Cardero Street]. ca 1901. (Note: This section of the West End had apparently just been ‘cleared’ of what remained of forest here. I believe the residence of the Cave-Browne-Caves was on this corner – at the nearer, Davie Street, end of the Cardero block from Lord Roberts School).

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Shack to ‘Monument’

Str P256 - [Looking north on Homer Street from Georgia Street] 1948 Otto F. Landauer photo

CVA – Str P256 – [Looking north on Homer Street from Georgia Street] 1948 Otto F. Landauer photo.

The shack-like home of Hopps Sign (and everything else on this block – residential and commercial) is where, today, the International-style, monumental structure dedicated for many years to the sorting of mail is located. We are looking north on Homer Street up the block which was the Main Office of Canada Post for five decades (from its completed construction in 1958). The Alcazar Hotel may be seen at the end of the block on NE corner Homer at Dunsmuir, where BC Hydro’s building (333 Dunsmuir) stands today.

If the signage on Hopps Sign Co. is to be believed, the sign-maker was a survivor – having existed from the turn of the century. (There is no indication of any “Hopps” – person or corporation – in BC City Directories in 1900; however by 1902 there was an “F. W. Hopps, painter”.)  The sign company continued to draw corporate breath after it was turfed out of its home by the start of Canada Post’s construction in 1953. Hopps still existed in 1955, having moved north to the 300 block of Homer.

Canada Post has now moved out of its downtown building to a new home in Richmond, closer to YVR. Heritage Vancouver in 2013 put the building on its list of Top 10 Endangered Sites list. Rumours about the future of the building have been bandied about but, as far as I know, no decisions as to zoning or other related matters have yet been taken by the City.

For an interesting side-bar to the subject of the now-old Post Office, see here.

Item LF.00797 - The Vancouver General Post Office building at 349 W Georgia Street 1960 Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum &amp; Archives of BC.

Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. Item LF.00797 – The Vancouver General Post Office building at 349 W Georgia Street 1960 Otto F Landauer photo.

 

 

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The Gifted Mr. Bradbury

CVA - SGN 1534 - [View of Hastings Street, looking west from Carrall Street] 1915? C Bradbury photo.

CVA – SGN 1534 – [View of Hastings Street, looking west from Carrall Street] 1915? C Bradbury photo.

A real pleasure for me in this photo-historical adventure I’ve called VanAsItWas is in discovering and re-discovering crisp, well-exposed images that speak of an attention to detail and a real concern (whether consciously or not) for issues that would ultimately be considered ‘historical’. I have found those qualities to be present in most of the Stuart Thomson photos available from the CVA, VPL, and UBC archival collections. I am similarly drawn to many of the Vancouver photographs taken by Charles Bradbury who is typically considered to be an ‘amateur photographer’. Mr. Bradbury’s corpus – that which is available in digital form, at least – is much more modest in quantity than is that of Mr. Thomson. But Bradbury’s choice of images and his care in producing them make his photographic ability, in my judgement, a close match to Thomson’s.

Mr. Bradbury: A Couple of ‘New’ Personal Details

There is not much information known today about Charles Bradbury (1871-1950). Much of what is known is summarized in the earlier VAIW post titled Precursors. Peter Grant, in his bio sketch of Bradbury that appears in his out-of-print volume called Wish You Were Here: Life on Vancouver Island in Historical Postcards (2002) – noted that “the record is silent as to whether [Bradbury] married or had children.” To my delight, I’ve been able to coax the record to ‘speak’ a little bit on this matter, as I’ve found Bradbury’s marriage certificate and also death certificates for both him and his wife (the certificates are reproduced at the end of this post).

Charles Bradbury married Dorothy Allison (whose image is in CVA’s digital collection, and which appeared in an earlier VAIW post). The two were married in December 1907 at Christ Church in Vancouver when he was 36 and she was a “spinster” school teacher of 27. The two were both born in England (he in Staffordshire, she in Essex). I’m assuming, for now, that the couple did not have children given that Dorothy’s death certificate (she died in 1968, some 18 years after CB died) was signed by her nephew, a Mr. D. Allison of West Vancouver, and that Charles’ death certificate was signed by another nephew, Mr. W. J. Allison, also of West Vancouver.

CB’s death certificate also reveals some intriguing information about his occupation. His “kind of work” was shown on his certificate as being “commercial photographer” which he worked at this as his “own business”. Furthermore, the “total years spent in this occupation” was entered as “20” and the “date deceased last worked at this occupation” was entered as “1935”. So, put differently, Charles’ nephew described his career in his later years as being that of a professional photographer (rather than as an amateur, as had previously been assumed). And that he worked at this career from about 1915 until 1935, at which point, I assume, he retired.

Columbia Theatre: 1916 or Later

City Archivists have identified the beautifully detailed image above as being taken in “1915?”. That seems doubtful to me, as the silent film playing at Columbia Theatre at the time the image was made was (as we can see in the image) “Sporting Blood”, starring Dorothy Barnard, which was released in 1916. Given that fact, it seems probable that the image was taken sometime in that year, or perhaps in the year following.

I am reminded by this image of a brief slideshow I compiled a year or two ago of what I believe are some of the best archival images of the old theatres in the Hastings area back in the day when Hastings Street was one of the most-flocked-to areas in downtown Vancouver for entertainment and other commercial enterprises.

Royal BC Museum Archives. Charles & Dorothy Bradbury (nee Allison) Marriage Certificate.

Royal BC Museum Archives. Charles & Dorothy Bradbury (nee Allison) Marriage Certificate, 1907.

Royal BC Museum Archives. Charles Bradbury Death Certificate, 1950.

Royal BC Museum Archives. Charles Bradbury Death Certificate, 1950.

Royal BC Museum Archives. Dorothy Bradbury Death Certificate, 1968.

Royal BC Museum Archives. Dorothy Bradbury Death Certificate, 1968.

Posted in advertising, biography, C. Bradbury, Photographers, street scenes, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reg Rose

UBC Archives. Reg Rose at Sod-Turning for International House. 1957.

UBC Archives. Reg Rose at Sod-Turning for International House. 1957.

Reg Rose was born in England in 1901 and came to Canada in 1912. After serving in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserves, 1916-19, and taking several short-term jobs, he began working for the YMCA, serving in CalgaryLethbridge and Edmonton as the Secretary of that organization. In 1943, he became Manager of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, and in 1946 moved to Vancouver where he became Executive Secretary of the Vancouver Board of Trade. He later became the General Manager of that body, retiring in 1967.

Reg was a member of various Rotary Clubs. He joined the Vancouver Rotary in 1946 and became President in 1957-58. In a speech he gave at the opening of International House at UBC in 1959 (much of the funding for which came from Vancouver’s Rotary), he remarked that the initial, primary motive of Rotary was fellowship: “Just getting together”.

When Reg, his wife Jean, and their family moved to Vancouver, they joined First Baptist Church, where he served as Moderator, Chair of the Deacons Board, and in many other positions. But his work for Baptists extended beyond First. He was President of the B.C. Convention of Baptist churches from 1969-70 and was an officer of the Baptist Union of Western Canada (the regional denominational body with which FBC was affiliated) for many years. Reg’s role was vital in the gradual establishment of Carey Theological College on UBC campus from its origins as merely a Baptist student residence (Carey Hall). Dr. Don Anderson’s account of the development of Carey indicates that Reg played an important diplomatic role in ensuring the development of the school.

Reg died in 2003, after a very full life of 102 years.

The topic Reg was given for his speech at the opening of International House was sweeping in scope (but strangely appropriate for the optimistic 1950s): “Can World Government Prevail in a Space Age?” In the talk, Reg argued persuasively that our world needs a wider inclusiveness in our concept of ‘neighbour’. “[W]e must lay aside that spirit of smug satisfaction which is willing to ignore the rest of the world,” he said. Such an attitude will lead to “narrowness, pettiness, and bigotry.” Indeed, he said, “Even if a group of visitors from the space world should come upon us, we shall have to get along with our next door neighbour on this earth.” That, it seems to me, sums up Reg’s message to the 1950s gathering at UBC and to our world today – much changed, to be sure, but with many of the same challenges.

Sources:

– Reg Rose bio – International Rotary Website

– Reg Rose’s speech at opening of International House, 1959, UBC Archives

– “Reginald T. Rose – 100 Years.” By Ken Atkinson, FirstPEOPLE (former news magazine of FBC)

– Not By Might Nor By Power: The Story of Carey Hall 1960 to 2005. 2006. By Donald O. Anderson.

UBC Archives. International House. n.d.

UBC Archives. International House. n.d.

The text of this post was written originally for First Baptist Church’s 125th Anniversary (2011), as part of my series of brief biographies of former FBC members, titled ‘Who Was Who in the Pews.’ It is reproduced here with minor editorial changes.

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scenic Subterranean Studio 20

CBC Archives. Jurgen Gothe , n.d. (CBC Still Photo Collection). Photographer unknown.

CBC Still Photo Collection. Jurgen Gothe , n.d., Photographer unknown.

The above portrait is of gently eccentric Jurgen Gothe (1944-2015), during his years as CBC Radio’s host of DiscDrive. He died in April. DiscDrive was produced from what Gothe regularly referred to on-air as “Scenic Subterranean Studio 20” in Vancouver’s CBC building at 700 Hamilton. There is a tribute to Gothe on Michael Enright’s Rewind.

CVA 784-092 - CBC Plaza, 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. 1986.

CVA 784-092 – CBC Plaza, 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. 1986. Photographer unknown.

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Floral Trunks? Really?

VPL 83107 Men Modelling Rose Marie Reid bathing suits 1948 Artray photo.

VPL 83107 Men Modelling Rose Marie Reid bathing suits 1948 Artray photo.

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When Flying Was Still Exotic

VPL 27452 Waitresses-stewardesses at the Sky Diner Cafe 1947 Province photo.

VPL 27452 Waitresses-stewardesses at the Sky Diner Cafe 1947 Province photo.

This image is one of several available online at VPL showing Clancy’s Sky Diner Cafe. This unusual cafe took clever advantage of the long, narrow space to create the impression of an aircraft fuselage. The Sky Diner seems to have been established in the late 1940s and continued to be in business at 776 Granville (near the former Birks building and the Vancouver Block) until, I believe, the later 1960s.

The following charming vignette about the Sky Diner was offered by Harvie Davidson, in response to a very detailed and helpful history of local eateries written by Mia Stainsby for the Vancouver Sun: “[The Sky Diner] had the tail section of a commercial sized aircraft jutting out from the restaurant and partially protruding over the sidewalk. Inside along the walls, moving scenery passed by rectangular portholes.” I take it that the ‘rectangular portholes’ mentioned by Mr. Davidson are those that appear along the two long walls in the image above.

Remarkably, given the atypical neon signage attached to the structure, there are no exterior images available (at least, none that I could find), solely of the Sky Diner. However, there are some Foncie photos of various Vancouver residents and visitors, collected courtesy of the Knowledge Network, which show the Sky Diner sign in profile, in the background. Here is one:

Foncie’s Corner, Knowledge Network. “May Shopping” 1956. Foncie Pulcie photo.

February 4, 2016

I’ve noticed recently that Clancy’s was one of a few restaurants at that location. A 1940 photo taken by Joe Iaci of Kandid Kamera Snaps (Foncie’s first employer, made after Foncie had left the firm), shows in the background a neon sign for Chanticleer Lunch with a rooster mounted over the name. A 1946 image (a Foncie/Iaci-like photo but unattributed to them or anyone else) shows in the background the old Chanticleer rooster sign, but the name beneath had been changed to Rooster Lunch. There are no interior shots of which I’m aware showing the interior of the cafe under its Chanticleer/Rooster management, but it seems safe to assume that the decor was not of an aircraft, nor very likely of a barnyard! (“Chanticleer”, by the way, apparently is a reference to a male vocal ensemble, such as the U.K. group, The Kings Singers, or this group. It is also – probably more pertinently – a literary reference to a rooster who appears in the fables of Reynard the Fox).

vpl 21401 Stores on Granville Street. 1923. Dominion Photo.

VPL 21401. Stores on Granville Street. 1923. Dominion Photo. (Note: Chanticleer Lunch, as it then was, appears to have been on far right of the image).

Posted in air flights, cafes/restaurants/eateries, Foncie Pulcie, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Zukerman’s Bassoon

Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. Item L.00112 - George B. Zukerman, internationally acclaimed solo bassoonist 1951.

Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. Item L.00112 – George B. Zukerman, internationally acclaimed solo bassoonist 1951.

This portrait shows Greater Vancouver solo bassoonist, George B. Zukerman, in his prime in 1951. There are online bios of GBZ available here and here (and elsewhere). Here is Zukerman playing his “calling card”, Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-Flat Major (First Movement), among a very enjoyable variety of other listenable numbers by him and other artists, as he guest-hosts CBC Radio’s This is My Music. It is worth a listen if only for the pleasure of hearing a master story-teller at work!

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Remembrance Services Past at First Baptist Church

VPL 40788 Rembrance Day Service (at First Baptist Church), Nov 6, 1966 The Province - Ross J. Kenward photo.

VPL 40788 Rembrance Day Service (at First Baptist Church), Nov 6, 1966 The Province – Ross J. Kenward photo.

I was browsing through images in the Vancouver Public Library historical photos database this morning; I saw the image above and almost immediately recognized it for what it was (and what had, apparently, been forgotten or mislaid in the institutional memory of The Province newspaper upon donating this image to VPL): that this photo was made inside my home church, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church. This 1966 congregation (Rev. Dr. S. Arnold Westcott was Senior Minister at the time) was not collectively known to me, as I was worshipping then with my family in a smaller church in Alberta. But this image of the sanctuary is unmistakably that of FBC. It looks as though it was made from the slightly elevated choir loft at the front (north end) of the sanctuary, viewing one of the Remembrance wreaths on the podium from behind and with a view of congregants in the background. November 6, the day that this image was made, was a Sunday. That was the tradition at FBC for many years; to have the church Remembrance Service on the Sunday immediately preceding Remembrance Day (November 11th).

I cannot recall Remembrance Services past without recalling the true force behind those services for many years, Rev. James Willox Duncan (1906-2002). I can readily remember him at the front of the sanctuary on a Remembrance Sunday with the Canadian Red Ensign on the podium (the Canadian flag during both world wars and afterwards until the Maple Leaf became the official flag in 1965). There was a reading, often from John McCrae’s WWI poem, In Flanders Fields, the playing of Last Post and Rouse by a trumpeter and of Lament by bagpipes. And always, always, the very moving reading of the Ode of Remembrance (which is an excerpt from Lawrence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen).

Padre Duncan’s obituary, reproduced below, sketches in some of the highlights of his life (I had not recalled that he died in the month of November in 2002, but it seems fitting). For an opportunity to hear Padre Duncan’s voice, one of his sermons is free online at Regent College’s Audio site. It is appropriately titled “Vitality for All Ages”.

Padre James Willox Duncan, (n.d.) Jennifer Friesen photo.

FBC Archives. Padre James Willox Duncan, 2000 Jennifer Friesen photo.

Padre James W. Duncan Obituary. Nov 19, 2002.

Padre James W. Duncan Obituary. November, 2002.

Postscript:

It makes me smile today to see the number of lady congregants who were wearing head gear of various descriptions in 1966. Today, such an abundance of hats would be unthinkable (today, neckties on gents is very nearly unthinkable; having a Starbucks coffee in hand is becoming commonplace; and bringing a Tim Horton’s breakfast into the sanctuary to munch on during a worship service – if still widely considered very poor form – is not unheard of. Sadly.)

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, jennifer friesen, people, Ross J. Kenward | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congregational Church Picnic?

The image below is an early one from the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA). On the glass positive of the image, there are notes; these are difficult to make out, but I’m pretty sure it reads as follows, starting at the top margin: “Granite Falls. North Arm Burrard Inlet, circa summer 1890. Probably First Baptist Church Sunday School. [And along the bottom, appears the following note:] Rev. W. Pedley and Baptist minister in Vancouver.”

The notes were almost certainly made by the photographer or, if not, then by a person who was much closer to the event portrayed than are we today. But that does not mean that the note-maker was infallible. If my argument presented below is correct, it seems likely that the note-maker made at least a couple of errors, one of which may call into question this person’s conclusion that this was “probably” an assembly of First Baptist Church’s Sunday School.

LGN 506 - [Group of men, women and children from the First Baptist Church assembled for picnic at Granite Falls, Indian Arm] 1890?

LGN 506 – [Group of men, women and children from the First Baptist Church assembled for picnic at Granite Falls, Indian Arm] 1890?

Rev. James W. Pedley, Pastor, First Congregational Church

The name of the only clergyman identified by name appears to be in error. There never was (to my knowledge) a Rev. W. Pedley living in early Vancouver. There was, however, a Rev. J. (James) W. Pedley who was the first pastor called to Vancouver’s First Congregational Church. He came to the city just two years after its incorporation in 1888 and remained for 7 years, leaving in 1895 to accept a call to pastor a church in London, ON. For a helpful obituary of Pedley kindly supplied by BC Conference United Church of Canada archivist, Blair Galston, see below:

The Province. May 25 1933 Obit of Rev. J. W. Pedley. Clipping from The Bob Stewart Archives of United Church of Canada (BC Conference).

The Province. May 25 1933 Obit of Rev. J. W. Pedley. Clipping from The Bob Stewart Archives of United Church of Canada (BC Conference).

The error with J. W. Pedley’s name and the absence in the notes of his denominational affiliation suggests that the notes were written by the photographer in a hurry or (more likely, I think) by an assistant who was probably not present at Granite Falls for the making of the image.

Where’s Pedley?

The notes on the image do not indicate where (J.) W. Pedley is located in the photograph. Let me ask you, the reader of this blog: Where would you say that Pastor Pedley is situated among this collection of mainly young Sunday School students?

If you concluded that Rev. Pedley was the gent on the left of the image with high-forehead (revealed by his respectfully removed hat) and dressed in a dark three-piece suit – at a summer picnic! – I believe you’re correct. How do I reach that conclusion? By comparing the fellow in this photo with a couple of portraits in which Pedley is indisputably the sole subject or one of the subjects. The first one of these is a later portrait made after Pedley had left Vancouver:

Port P226 - [Reverend J.W. Pedley] ca 1900 Freeland photo.

Port P226 – [Reverend J.W. Pedley] ca 1900 Freeland photo.

The pastor’s hair is a bit curlier and his forehead a little more elevated than in the 1890 Granite Falls image. But the intense gaze and his prominent nose conspire to give away Mr. Pedley. It seems to me almost certain that this is the same man. But, to be safe, I sought out another image of JWP which was closer to the year in which his image was made at Granite Falls.

Crop of Port P566 - [Sod turning ceremony for the first Y.M.C.A. building on Cambie Street] ca 1889 Bailey and Neelands photo.

Crop of Port P566 – (Identifying Reverend J. W. Pedley at ) [Sod turning ceremony for the first Y.M.C.A. building on Cambie Street] ca 1889 Bailey and Neelands photo.

This cropped image of sod-turners at the construction of the first YMCA building in Vancouver includes identification of JWP just one year before the circa1890 year that Granite Falls was taken. Again, the eyes, nose and hairline betray him. There can be, it seems to me, little doubt as to where Pedley is in Granite Falls.

In Search of… the Elusive “Baptist minister”

Locating Pedley was a relatively simple matter. Finding the elusive pastor of First Baptist Church in 1890 was more problematic. Initially, it seemed to me, that there were two FBC ministerial contenders: Rev. J. B. Kennedy, whose Vancouver pastorate spanned the years 1887-90 and Rev. W. C. Weir (1890-94). J. B. Kennedy may be safely ruled out, however, by a careful reading of the text of First Baptist Church’s first historian, W. M. Carmichael, where he remarks that: “[JBK] bade the people farewell on the last Sunday of January, 1890…” Indeed, if we continue to assume that Granite Falls was made in Summer 1890, we must also eliminate the only other FBC contender in that year, Rev. W. C. Weir, for he (again according to Mr. Carmichael) “entered upon his ministry [in Vancouver] on September 14, 1890.” There seems to have been a period extending over the winter and summer period of 1890 during which First Baptist was without any minister. (There is nothing in FBC’s historical record, of which I’m aware, which suggests the church retained a part-time minister between JBK and WCW. Most likely, Baptist guest pastors from New Westminster and other nearby communities were enlisted to deliver Sunday sermons.)

So, given these facts, we need either to take more seriously the “circa” part of the note-maker’s “circa 1890” OR to call into question whether the gathering is likely to have been one of “First Baptist Church Sunday School”, as the note-maker claims, or some other gathering.

Let’s consider each option in turn. I cannot establish either way whether the note-maker’s dating of Granite Falls is 1890 or some earlier or (more likely, I think) later date. One way to be certain, as far as I can figure, is if there was included in the image a face of either J. B. Kennedy or W. C. Weir. I can find neither one in Granite Falls.

It seems to me more likely that this is an image of a First Congregational Church Sunday School Picnic rather than one of FBC. What would the pastor of First Congregational be doing, in the normal course of events, at a First Baptist Sunday School picnic? The only way to establish that, with any degree of certainty, would be to compare Granite Falls with a comparable image of First Congregational Church attenders – and even better, of Congregational Sunday Schoolers – around the same time. Is there such an image extant? Yes! There appear to be, at first glance, two Congregational picnic images available from the City of Vancouver Archives (one allegedly from 1891 and the from 1892, both apparently made on the Sunshine Coast at Bucanneer Bay). In fact, the images (CVA’s Ch P136 and Ch P156) are identical.

But even one image of Congregational picnic-ers from the 1890s would, I’d assume, assist us in answering the question as to whether Granite Falls is of a Baptist or Congregational Sunday School. Alas, not to my eyes. Readers of this post are welcome to compare the Congregational image (see below) with the “Baptist” one at Granite Falls, but my eyes are unable to detect close similarities between anyone in the two images.

Conclusions

What may be concluded from all this? A couple of modest corrections (and a question/speculation):

  1. There is no Rev. W. Pedley in Granite Falls, nor serving any Vancouver church.
  2. Rev. James W. Pedley, the founder of First Congregational Church in Vancouver, is in the image, and he appears to be the gent on the far left.
  3. There is no evidence in Granite Falls of a clergyman from First Baptist Church, nor indeed any evidence of which I’m aware that establishes that this is the Sunday School of First Baptist Church. It seems far more probable to me that this is the Sunday School group of First Congregational Church during Rev. J. W. Pedley’s pastorate. That, however, remains unproven and is wholly speculative on my part.
Ch P136 - [Congregational Church picnic] 1891. (Note: The author has enhanced the image a bit to improve its general over-exposure).

Ch P136 – [Congregational Church picnic] 1891. (Note: The author has enhanced the image a bit to correct for its general over-exposure).

Posted in Bailey & Neelands, biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Freeland, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hycroft Towers Service Station

VPL 82310C Hycroft Towers with Gas Pumps at Entrance! 1950, Artray photo.

VPL 82310C Hycroft Towers with gas pumps at entry to the parking garage. 1950, Artray photo.

This is an early 1950s image of Hycroft Towers at the SE corner of Granville and Marpole Ave. Hycroft Towers was originally the “kitchen garden” of Hycroft Manor (which today is across Marpole Ave from HT). It isn’t clear to me how long these gasoline pumps remained at the entry to the parking garage of HT. (It strikes me as a potentially dangerous place to locate pumps.) Neither is it clear to me how payment for gasoline was arranged as I don’t see any sign of an attendant or booth in the image. Robert Moffatt, in a Dec. 1999 article titled “Vancouver Modern“, for the Vancouver Heritage newsletter, pointed out that HT was the first venture into apartment design of Harold Semmens and Douglas Simpson (architects). Moffatt points out that among the features interior to HT were “…space-efficient storage walls and removable party walls which allowed reconfiguration of the units into 1, 2, and 3-bedroom combinations.” Semmens and Simpson were responsible for designing a number of attractive and enduring buildings in Vancouver, including the Burrard Street Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (1957) – now occupied, in large part, by the local flagship of an American-owned women’s underwear store; VPL Central moved in 1995 to a new building at Georgia and Homer, Moshe Safdie, architect – St. Anselm’s (Anglican) Church on the UBC Endowment Lands (1952), and the United Kingdom Building (1960) on Granville at Hastings.

VPL 88323, VPL Central Branch (750 Burrard Street) Business Division librarians at desks, Unknown photographer, 1970s. (This is an interior shot of another building designed by Semmens & Simpson).

Posted in Artray, homes/apts/condos, street scenes | Leave a comment

Railway Street in 1970s Shadows

CVA 780-327 - [View of the] 300 block Railway [Street] 1970-80.

CVA 780-327 – [View of the] 300 block Railway [Street] 1970-80. (Note: Original image modified somewhat by author).

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Granville Bowling Before Commodore: LaSalle Recreations

CVA 99-2058 - Bowling tournament, people in front of LaSalle Recreations Ltd., 945 Granville Street 1929, Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-2058 – Bowling tournament, people in front of LaSalle Recreations Ltd., 945 Granville Street 1929, Stuart Thomson photo.

These gents, who appear to be pretty pleased with themselves, were apparently in a bowling tournament held in 1929 at LaSalle Recreations at 945 Granville St. This was a year before Commodore Lanes came along (on the other side of Granville – east – and one block north of LaSalle). LaSalle was located roughly where Tom Lee Music is today. The following ad is from the BC Teachers Federation newsletter. (I like the parenthetic note in the ad that an “Improved Ventilation System” had been included; doubtless a welcome feature given the airless environment of most bowling alleys – typically located in the basement – and the many less-than-pristine socks going into well-used bowling shoes!)

The BC Teacher (Ad), BCTF 1929.

The BC Teacher (Ad), BCTF 1929.

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Funland Amusement Arcade (The Orillia)

Item LF.01639 - Exterior final, Royal Bank of Canada, Granville & Robson Branch 1963 Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum & Archives of BC.

Item LF.01639 – Exterior final, Royal Bank of Canada, Granville & Robson Branch 1963 Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum & Archives of BC.

This is an inspired image by Otto F Landauer of part of The Orillia block (SW corner Robson and Seymour) in its full colour (in every way!) in contrast with the duotones of the new RBC building on Robson at Granville. For more about The Orillia in VanAsItWas, go here.

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Shipcraft on Human Scale

CVA 99-2527 Vancouver Shipyards taken for Mitchell Printing. 1931. Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-2527 Vancouver Shipyards taken for Mitchell Printing. 1931. Stuart Thomson photo.

This photo is of the hull of a small pleasure craft under construction at Vancouver’s Shipyards at the opening of the 1930s (and located then at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow, near where the Shangrila building is today). A decade later, construction of such a human-scale water craft would be almost unthinkable. In the 1940s, with Canada’s focus fully on producing war-related products, spending this kind of time, attention and material on pleasure would be seen as quite decadent. In the new decade, Vancouver’s shipyards would become associated almost exclusively with building big troop movers and other war-related craft. The building of the much larger warcraft would take place on the waterfront at locations like the North Vancouver drydocks and West Coast Shipyards on False Creek.

Posted in boats/ships, people, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Salon as Clinic . . . Enduring Myth

CVA 99-4307 - Georgian Beauty Salon at 3870 East Hastings. 1933. Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4307 – Georgian Beauty Salon at 3870 East Hastings. 1933. Stuart Thomson photo.

This ’30s image is a reminder to me of the myth (which endures today, albeit in different form) of an implied near equivalence of hygiene standards between the purveyors of beauty products and those of medicine. Witness, above, the white uniforms on all staff except the receptionist. Today note, for example, the dominance of white in ads of Clinique products.

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Bob’s Market

CVA 447-331 - Robson and Howe [Streets S.E. corner] 1968 WE Frost photo.

CVA 447-331 – Robson and Howe [Streets S.E. corner] 1968 WE Frost photo.

This was once the downtown site of Chapters bookstore. Rumour has it that a sportswear arm of Canadian Tire will be the next retail resident of the SE corner of Robson and Howe. At the location where Anne Muirhead Florist was in the late 60s, I think there was in the 1990s another bookstore; this one was an antiquarian shop and, if memory serves, its specialty was art and music-related books and scores. I believe the owner moved his stock to the North Shore after leaving this site.

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Roberts Modernist Realty

CVA - Item LF.01654 - Office of H.A. Roberts Ltd. Real Estate, Insurance 1956 Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum & Archives of BC.

CVA – Item LF.01654 – Office of H.A. Roberts Ltd. Real Estate, Insurance 1956 Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. (This mid-century modern structure was at 530 Burrard, roughly where the Bell building stands today).

Item LF.01657 - Office of H.A. Roberts Ltd. Real Estate, Insurance, Burrard St. view 195- Otto F Landauer photo. Jewish Museum &amp; Archives of BC.

Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. Item LF.01657 – Office of H.A. Roberts Ltd. Real Estate, Insurance, Burrard St. view 195- Otto F Landauer photo. (Looking up Burrard Street, the then-very-recently-built Burrard Building – 1957; CBK Van Norman – dominates the skyline at Georgia).

Posted in businesses, Otto F. Landauer, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Canterbury Coffee Shop

Crop of CVA 294-63 - [The Kitsilano Boys Band in a parade on Burrard Street] 1946-48 Bertram Emery photo.

Crop of CVA 294-63 – [The Kitsilano Boys Band in a parade on Burrard Street] 1946-48 Bertram Emery photo.

This photo makes me smile. It shows one of my favourite things (a coffee shop) on one of my most frequented walking streets (Burrard) and features a marching band, to boot! The band appears to be on one of the breaks that’s necessary for marching bands (I presume) — if for no other reason than to catch their collective breath before beginning the next tune. (Strangely, this sound of relative silence is one I can readily conjure from my memory of bands I’ve seen at the Calgary Stampede and elsewhere over the years: the sounds of people marching more or less in unison with perhaps an errant cymbal tinkle or other percussive ‘oops’ as they march past). If I’m not greatly mistaken, a number of eyes of this ‘boy’s band’ are turned toward the marching minority: the young girl banner holder and the majorette just behind her!

What had been on this northwest corner of Burrard and Pender before the coffee shop? The corner had housed, among other things, a dairy (indeed an ad for Empress Dairies can still be made out in this image on the wall of the building closer to the Marine Building).

By 1953, this block was changing dramatically; the home of Canterbury Cafe was demolished (see first image below) and was replaced by a federal Customs House (which endured from 1955 until, in turn, it was demolished in 1993). The mid-century modern Customs House (CBK Norman, architect) was replaced with the current structure (at 401 Burrard St), the federal government building named in honour of Douglas Jung (1924-2002), Canada’s first Member of Parliament of Chinese origin (MP Vancouver Centre, 1957-62).

Crop of CVA 180-7871 - Soldiers in P.N.E. parade heading north on Burrard Street, near Pender Street 1953.

Crop of CVA 180-7871 – Soldiers in P.N.E. parade heading north on Burrard Street, near Pender Street 1953. (Note the “Please Excuse the Noise” notice from the developer!)

Crop of CVA 447-72 - New Customs Bldg. [1001 West Pender St.] 1955 WE Frost photo.

Crop of CVA 447-72 – New Customs Bldg. [1001 West Pender St.] 1955 WE Frost photo. (Note: This photograph appears to have been made from the corner of Hastings and Burrard, rather from the Pender corner).

Posted in Bertram Emery, cafes/restaurants/eateries, music, people, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamilton Street North of Georgia

CVA - Port P6.1 - [Procession travelling along Hamilton Street at Georgia Street for the memorial service for the late King Edward VII] May 20,1910 Rosetti Studios photo.

CVA – Port P6.1 – [Procession travelling along Hamilton Street at Georgia Street for the memorial service for the late King Edward VII]. (First Baptist Church – as it then was – appears on the corner of Hamilton at Dunsmuir; further north on Hamilton, the dome is just visible of the first city courthouse situated on what would later become Victory Square. The peaked roof to the right of FBC’s steeple appears to be that of Vancouver High School.) May 20,1910 Rosetti Studios photo.

View north of Georgia on Hamilton Street, showing Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Playhouse Theatre on the block. 2015. Author's photo.

View north of Georgia on Hamilton Street, showing Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Playhouse Theatre on the block. 2015. Author’s photo.

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Lonel Haweis' Rosetti Studios, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Early Vancouver Art Gallery

CVA 677-711.11 - City Museum and Art Gallery, part of west wall, Vancouver, B.C. 1932 PT Timms.

CVA 677-711.11 – City Museum and Art Gallery, part of west wall, Vancouver, B.C. 1932 PT Timms.

This is an early incarnation of the Vancouver Art Gallery (which was housed at this time in the same building as the City Museum (the ancestor of the Museum of Vancouver) and the Vancouver Public Library. All three were in the structure known today as the Carnegie Community Centre, which still houses VPL’S Carnegie Branch.

The Art Gallery moved into separate quarters at 1145 Georgia Street in the early 1930s (see also here). In 1983, it moved to its present location at the site of the second court house.

If the board of the Art Gallery gets its way, the gallery will move within the next decade or so to yet another location – the former site of Cambie Street Grounds; today the grounds are a City parking block.

CVA 677-711.2 - City Museum, Art Gallery and Library, Vancouver, B.C. 1932 PT Timms.

CVA 677-711.2 – City Museum, Art Gallery and Library, Vancouver, B.C. 1932 PT Timms.

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Stanley in Winter

CVA 586-123 - Two skiers looking at a view of Point Grey and Stanley Park from the top of Mt. Seymour, B.C. 1940 Don Coltman photo.

CVA 586-123 – Two skiers looking at a view of Point Grey and Stanley Park from the top of Mt. Seymour, B.C. 1940 Don Coltman photo.

This slideshow is a compilation by me of some of the best winter scenes of Stanley Park in the holdings of the City of Vancouver Archives.

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Ice Skating Lost Lagoon

CVA 99-1976 - Skating, Lost Lagoon 1929 Stuart Thomson photo.

Crop of CVA 99-1976 – Skating, Lost Lagoon 1929 Stuart Thomson photo.

Crop of CVA St Pk N5 - [People skating on Lost Lagoon] 1924 or 1925 Walter H Calder photo.

Crop of CVA St Pk N5 – [People skating on Lost Lagoon] 1924 or 1925 Walter H Calder photo.

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Education Block

CVA - SGN 49 - [Vancouver High School, Central School buildings, Cambie and Dunsmuir Streets] 1983.

CVA – SGN 49 – [Vancouver High School, Central School buildings, Cambie and Dunsmuir Streets] 1983. (Note: The building in the foreground is VHS; the one in background is Central School). If you’d like to see other images of this site, over the years, see my Education Block slideshow.

View of Vancouver Community College Downtown Campus from the SE corner of Dunsmuir at Cambie. 2015. Author's photo.

View of Vancouver Community College Downtown Campus from the SE corner of Dunsmuir at Cambie. 2015. Author’s photo. (Note: The low-rise Labor Temple and the tall Hydro building visible in the background of this image are situated where the residences appear to have been in the older image, above).

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A 1977 View from Harbour Centre

CVA - 2010-006.358 - Looking S.E. to Central Park from Harbour House Sept 1977 Ernie Reksten photo.

CVA – 2010-006.358 – Looking S.E. to Central Park from Harbour House Sept 1977 Ernie Reksten photo.

This is a very different view from the comparable one you would see today from atop Vancouver’s Harbour Centre. This image appears to have been made a few months after the building opened in June, 1977. The sprawling downtown Woodward’s department store complex has, of course, been replaced by the Woodward’s condo development. And the industrial buildings located just east of the Sun Tower is where International Village is today.

The clump of trees on the top border of the photo is one constant. It is Burnaby’s Central Park (with the iconic Telus structure – what is now known as Telus’ Brian Canfield Centre at 3337 Kingsway – silhouetted in front of the trees).

“Harbour House” (mentioned in the City of Vancouver archives notes accompanying the image) was the original restaurant in Harbour Centre (today it is the Top of Vancouver).

Posted in advertising, aerial photo, city views, Ernie Reksten | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Need Chicks for Your Backyard? Get ‘Em This Week at Woodward’s!

CVA 99-4720 - [Brooding cages in] Woodward's store basement 1935 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4720 – [Brooding cages in] Woodward’s store basement 1935 Stuart Thomson photo.

This stack of brooding cages full of young chicks was apparently in the basement of Woodward’s Department Store in East Vancouver. My suspicion is that these chicks were sold to the only-partially-urbanized residents of Vancouver, some of whom kept a couple of chickens in their backyards. I have a friend who was born (in the early 1940s) and raised in Vancouver who has said he remembers a neighbour keeping live chickens in her back-20, so this is not far-fetched (although, I admit, it seems so).

Posted in birds, department stores, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

“All Kinds of Weather, We Stick Together…”*

CVA 180-4274.3 - Yokohama Mayor I. Asukata in 1969 P.N.E. Opening Day Parade.

CVA 180-4274.3 – Yokohama Mayor I. Asukata in 1969 P.N.E. Opening Day Parade.

The “Lord Mayor” of Yokohama in 1969 is pictured here riding in what appears to be a North American car travelling on Burrard Street just north of Georgia Street. Vancouver and Yokohama seem to have been honouring the twinning of the Canadian and Japanese cities a couple of years earlier (in 1965). The 50th anniversary of this relationship is celebrated here.

*The title of this post is borrowed from the Irving Berlin song, “Sisters”, performed in the movie, White Christmas.

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The Robert Marrion Family

CVA - Be P125 - Greer's Beach. 1897. [at the foot of Yew Street] 1897.

CVA – Be P125 – Greer’s Beach. 1897. [at the foot of Yew Street] 1897.

I find the photograph above to be a very charming early Vancouver vignette. It was made, according to City of Vancouver archivists, in 1897 at Greer’s Beach – which today is known as Kitsilano Beach – and shows (among others) Mr. and Mrs. Robert Marrion and their kids.

Robert Marrion was appointed as the City’s health inspector a couple of years prior to this image being made. He was, before that time, a master plumber. His reputation among the staff that grew around him over the years evidently was positive, witness the corporately self-congratulatory 1912 photographic assembly of the lot of them which appears below. (Salus Generis Humani, by the way, translates as “Salvation of the Human Race”!) Mr. Marrion’s reputation was not as great among the Chinese population of Vancouver, where he was known for enforcing health laws in a manner that today would be considered racially discriminatory. John McLaren and others have correctly pointed out, however, that Marrion was a product of his time (as are you and I in ways we cannot begin to imagine).

CVA - LP 344 - [Vancouver Health Department] Salus Generis Humani 1912 Western Photo Studio.

CVA – LP 344 – [Vancouver Health Department] Salus Generis Humani 1912 Western Photo Studio.

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An All But Unknown Burrard Street

CVA 586-2115 - Victory Loan parade [on Burrard Street] 1942 Don Coltman photo.

CVA 586-2115 – Victory Loan parade [on Burrard Street] 1942 Don Coltman photo.

This is a northward view along Burrard Street from near Melville Street (the street that today is adjacent to the Burrard St. Skytrain Station). The most striking aspect of this image to me is that the only building I recognize is the Marine Building.

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Made in Japan? China? Vancouver!?

CVA 1184-2135 - [Man making figurines using a ceramic mould] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2135 – [Man making figurines using a ceramic mould] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

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Commodore Lanes

CVA 99-4030 - Commodore Recreation Interior 1931 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4030 – Commodore Recreation Interior 1931 Stuart Thomson photo.

Commodore Lanes. 2015. Author's photo.

Commodore Lanes. 2015. Author’s photo.

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‘Geeks’ of the ’40s

CVA 1184-2331 - [Vancouver Chess Club tournament] 1948? Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2331 – [Vancouver Chess Club tournament] 1948? Jack Lindsay photo.

These gents (I don’t see any women, do you?) were evidently having a mid-tourney smoke break at the time Jack Lindsay captured this moment. I imagine that the location was at the club headquarters of the Vancouver Chess Club at the former Scottish baronial-style building that was the flagship of the Bank of Montreal (but by this time, had become the Imperial Bank). The club HQ was at 675 Dunsmuir*, which would put it just up the street from Granville (and from the bank, proper), but likely still within the bank building. Today, this is neither a bank property nor a chess club; it is a Shopper’s Drug Mart.

CVA 447-333 - Imperial Bank [of Canada - 586 Granville St.] - Formerly flagship of Bank of Montreal - 1955. W. E. Frost photo.

CVA 447-333 – Imperial Bank [of Canada – 586 Granville St.] – Formerly flagship of Bank of Montreal – 1955. W. E. Frost photo. Note: From 1957, the baronial building would come down to make way for the current structure on this corner (a modernist CIBC structure, now a Shopper’s Drug Mart).

Notes

*Before the Royal Bank’s temple tower replaced the Hadden Building at the corner of Granville & Hastings, the Chess Club was located there (Suite 9, 633 West Hastings) for several years.

Posted in Jack Lindsay, people, sport, street scenes, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Man of Influence from UBC

Group photograph of students at Fairview campus of UBC. (Left to right: Jack Clyne, Alan Hunter, Norman Robertson, Ab Richards, Bob Hunter, Keith Shaw). University of British Columbia. Archives.

Group photograph of students at Fairview campus of UBC. (Left to right: Jack Clyne, Alan Hunter, Norman Robertson, Ab Richards, Bob Hunter, Keith Shaw). ca 1922. University of British Columbia. Archives.

The undergraduate pictured third from the left in the UBC photo above would become an Ottawa ‘mandarin’ within a few years of the date this exposure was made. In 1929, Norman Robertson joined the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa, and by 1941 he was appointed to the highest post within that department: Undersecretary of State for External Affairs. In the intervening years, Robertson was a student at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and later at the Brookings Institue in Washington, D.C.

Robertson was the recipient, in absentia, of an honorary doctorate from UBC on October 31, 1945. The UBC Senate regretted that “duty in England” prevented him from being present in person to receive the degree. I’m not sure what were the specifics of this duty, but we know that Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King was in England for much of October and that Robertson accompanied him. This visit included, no doubt, post-war meetings; another subject of the visit, likely, was the then-secret Igor Gouzenko defection, which happened around this time (although it wasn’t made public until February 1946).

Vincent Massy with Norman Robertson during visit to UBC campus 195- . University of British Columbia. Archives.

Governor-General Vincent Massey with Canadian High Commissioner to England Norman Robertson (right) at London Airport. ca1952-57 . University of British Columbia. Archives.

Judging from the caption on a duplicate of the image above in a profile of Robertson (in a 1956 issue of Alumni Chronicle), Robertson was greeting Governor-General Vincent Massey (1952-59) upon his arrival for a visit to London, England, presumably during Robertson’s second appointment as Canada’s High Commissioner there (first appointment, 1946-49; second, 1952-57).

A couple of excellent sources of information on Norman Robertson and his Ottawa mandarin colleagues are:

The Ottawa Men: The Civil Service Mandarins 1935-1957 by J. L. Granatstein.

and

• A Man of Influence: Norman A. Robertson and Canadian Statecraft 1929-68 by J. L. Granatstein.

Note: Robertson’s father, Lemuel Robertson, was Professor and the first Chair of the Classics department at UBC.

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‘Tame’ Big Band

CVA 1184-1710 - [Poster advertising the Wayne King Show on radio station C.K.W.X. presented by the B.A. Oil Company dealers] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo. Note: This is a cropped version of the original photo (by the author).

CVA 1184-1710 – [Poster advertising the Wayne King Show on radio station C.K.W.X. presented by the B.A. Oil Company dealers] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo. Note: This is a cropped version of the original photo (by the author).

I have been a big fan of the ‘big band’ music genre for many years (when friends were wild about KISS in the 1970s, I was nuts for Benny Goodman), but Wayne King was not a band leader with whose work I was familiar. In fact, he was so unknown to me that when I first saw this image, I assumed that King was a local broadcaster on Vancouver’s CKWX radio. Nope. He was an American bandleader who recorded his broadcasts in the U.S. by electrical transcription. King’s musical stylings (he became popularly known as “the waltz king” were a little too tame for me; his sound was similar to that of Guy Lombardo’s. If you are curious, there are several tunes of King’s available for listening or free download at archive.org.

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Fur Vault

CVA 1184-2244 - [Man with fur coat entering the fur storage vault at Nelsons Laundry] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2244 – [Man with fur coat entering the fur storage vault at Nelsons Laundry] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

The first and second image in this post were apparently commissioned by Nelson’s Laundry to local pro photographer Jack Lindsay to demonstrate the secure fur coat storage service offered by the launderer. It is difficult to recall/conceive in this day when fur coats have experienced a real ‘crash’ in public esteem (for good reasons) that at one time they were greatly valued and cared for, in some cases at very significant cost. Nelson’s Laundry was located on Cambie Street at 7th Avenue, where today there is a Save-On-Foods grocery store.

CVA 1184-2243 - [Woman in fur storage vault at Nelsons Laundry] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2243 – [Woman in fur storage vault at Nelsons Laundry] 1940-48 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 99-4978 - Nelson Laundry [2300] Cambie Street 1936 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4978 – Nelson Laundry [2300] Cambie Street 1936 Stuart Thomson photo.

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China Creek Cycle Oval

CVA - 2010-006.164 - Vancouver - Bike Oval 1956 EH Reksten photo.

CVA – 2010-006.164 – Vancouver – Bike Oval 1956 EH Reksten photo.

This cycling oval was originally built for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954. After the Games were over, it became known as China Creek Cycle Oval. The oval seems to have been located just east of where Vancouver Community College (Broadway Campus) has been since 1980. The track cost $115,000 to construct and was made of all wood.

Posted in education, Ernie Reksten, sport, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Handsome Garage

CVA 99-4337 - F. Cheeseman's Garage [at 1147] Howe Street 1933 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4337 – F. Cheeseman’s Garage [at 1147] Howe Street 1933 Stuart Thomson photo.

Ah, these were good days; when architects and automotive dealers/mechanics cared enough to make even a garage appear as though it were a work of art! This was one of two Fred Cheeseman garages in Vancouver at this time. This one was located roughly where the Cinamateque is today.

CVA 99-4336 - F. Cheeseman's Garage [at 1147] Howe Street 1933 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4336 – F. Cheeseman’s Garage [at 1147] Howe Street 1933 Stuart Thomson photo.

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City of Vancouver Engineering Works, 1945

CVA 586-4132 - Vancouver Engineering Works [interior of shop] 1945 Don Coltman photo.

CVA 586-4132 – Vancouver Engineering Works [interior of shop] 1945 Don Coltman photo.

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Neilson’s Chocolate – Almost Makes Being Ill Seem Like a Treat

CVA 99-72 - Burns Drug Store [732 Granville Street] [exterior view of window display] ca 1920 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-72 – Burns Drug Store [732 Granville Street] [exterior view of window display] ca 1920 Stuart Thomson photo.

The sweetest drug of all – chocolate – brought to you by Neilson’s at Burn’s Drugs Co. Burns Drugs was in a building adjacent to the Vancouver Block (sharing space in 1920 with West End Nurseries). Neilson’s is a Canadian dairy success story.

Posted in businesses, cafes/restaurants/eateries, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hotel Dunsmuir

CVA 677-978 - Dunsmuir Hotel [502 Dunsmuir Street] Vancouver, B.C. 1923 Gowen Sutton Co. photo,

CVA 677-978 – Dunsmuir Hotel [502 Dunsmuir Street] Vancouver, B.C. 1923 Gowen Sutton Co. photo,

Former Hotel Dunsmuir (recently a Salvation Army hostel for international students). 2015. Author's photo.

Former Hotel Dunsmuir (recently a Salvation Army hostel for international students; currently under lease by BC Housing, but looking very much abandoned and left to decay). 2015. Author’s photo.

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Photographers of the Pacific Northwest in Vancouver

CVA - PAN N174A - Seventeenth Annual Convention of the P.A. of P.N.W. Vancouver B.C. Aug 2 to 5, 1921 [Photographers Association of the Pacific Northwest] 1921 WJ Moore photo.

CVA – PAN N174A – Seventeenth Annual Convention of the P.A. of P.N.W. Vancouver B.C. Aug 2 to 5, 1921 [Photographers Association of the Pacific Northwest] 1921 WJ Moore photo.

With panorama images of this sort (of which W J Moore was an acknowledged local professional specialist), I like to use the magnifying icon to inspect individual faces and speculate on what each person may have been thinking at the time the exposure was made. As an amateur photographer myself, I have perhaps a bit of insider knowledge as to what some of the thoughts might have been that were going through the heads of a few of these amateurs and pros:

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 4.24.50 AM

Skeptic: Does this Moore chap really know WHAT he’s doing?

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 4.21.48 AM

Impatient: Come ALONG, Moore! Today, please, while we still have SUNLIGHT!

Alright, I've removed my hat, as you've asked. I could have made the image work without asking one of my models to remove his hat... but plainly you are just learning your craft, so I'll indulge you!

Super-ego: Alright, I’ve removed my hat, as you’ve INSISTED. I could have made the image work WITHOUT asking one of my models to remove his chapeau… but plainly you’re just LEARNING the craft, so I’ll indulge you!

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 4.19.33 AM

Shy: Mr. Moore surely will not be able to spot me behind this coniferous limb. If I remain perfectly still and quiet back here, I’m SURE I’ll go unnoticed.

Posted in people, Photographers, W J Moore | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Which of These Things Doesn’t Belong (Today)?

CVA - 2008-022.077 - View of reception area of Vancouver General Hospital's Centennial Pavilion 1959 LF Sheraton photo.

CVA – 2008-022.077 – View of reception area of Vancouver General Hospital’s Centennial Pavilion 1959 LF Sheraton photo.

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1960s Camera Shop Interior

The images below show a couple of interior views of an unnamed camera shop taken (it is estimated by the City of Vancouver Archives) sometime in the 1960s. I wondered if these were early shots of Leo’s Camera Supply on Granville near Nelson. It has certainly been around long enough, having recently celebrated 60 years in business (August 2015). The counters in the images also appear to me to be similar to the counters at Leo’s; however, I suspect that such fixtures were de rigeur for any serious camera shop of the time.

In a bio note in CVA’s online records, they indicate that the photographer of these images, Leslie F. Sheraton, “was co-owner of a photographic supply shop in Vancouver.” Whether the shop was Leo’s or some other shop, is not stated. But it seems likely that these images were made in the retail outlet co-owned by Sheraton.

CVA - 2008-022.038 - [Interior of camera store] 196- LF Sheraton photo.

CVA – 2008-022.038 – [Interior of camera store] 196- LF Sheraton photo.

CVA - 2008-022.039 - [Interior of camera store] 196- LF Sheraton photo.

CVA – 2008-022.039 – [Interior of camera store] 196- LF Sheraton photo.

Posted in businesses, L. F. Sheraton, people | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gift of the Gods

CVA - 2008-022.130 - PNE Parade, on East Hastings and Jackson, Gift of Gods float and spectators 196- L F Sheraton photo.

CVA – 2008-022.130 – PNE Parade, on East Hastings and Jackson, Gift of Gods float and spectators 196- L F Sheraton photo.

This image of a PNE float is, in my judgement, one of the most outrageous of those I have seen. It was a bit of a puzzle, at first, as to just what was being advertised. The central figure – a young woman – was raised above the float level with lightning bolts apparently radiating from her throne. The text on the float’s front reads “Gift of the Gods” and another piece of text seems to read “Power in Pardise”.

The clue to the origin of the float is the word “Wenatchee” – which appears on the side of the float. Wenatchee, of course, is a community in Washington State. This led me to speculate that the float was from the Pacific Northwest. It seems that the float was a celebration of the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival. For a more modest float photographed as part of the Daffodil Festival in Tacoma in 1976, see here.

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NOT Teeny-Boppers

CVA - 2008-022.145 - PNE Parade, on East Hastings and Jackson, women on Chevrolet automobile 196- L F Sheraton photo.

CVA – 2008-022.145 – PNE Parade, on East Hastings and Jackson, women on Chevrolet automobile 196- L F Sheraton photo.

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BC Scientific Instrument Manufacturers

CVA 99-4241 - B.C. [Scientific] Instrument Manufacturers [at 1840 West Georgia Street] 1932 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4241 – B.C. [Scientific] Instrument Manufacturers [at 1840 West Georgia Street] 1932 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4238 - B.C. [Scientific] Instrument Manufacturers 1932 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4238 – B.C. [Scientific] Instrument Manufacturers 1932 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4240 - B.C. [Scientific] Instrument Manufacturers 1932 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4240 – B.C. [Scientific] Instrument Manufacturers 1932 Stuart Thomson photo.

Corner of Georgia at Denman. Running Room (formerly site of BC Scientific Instrument Manufacturers). 2015. Author's photo

Corner of Georgia at Denman. Running Room (formerly site of BC Scientific Instrument Manufacturers). 2015. Author’s photo

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The Savoy (Now Avalon) on Pender

CVA - Van Sc P57.1 - [View of the businesses in the Carter-Cotton building at 167 West Pender Street] 1909.

CVA – Van Sc P57.1 – [View of the businesses in the Carter-Cotton building at 167 West Pender Street] 1909.

Avalon Hotel (formerly the Savoy). 2015. Author's photo.

Avalon Hotel (formerly the Savoy). 2015. Author’s photo.

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St Roch Apartments

CVA 1435-163 - British Columbia - Vancouver skyline 197-?.

CVA 1435-163 – British Columbia – Vancouver skyline 197-?. The apartment block image above, made in the 1970s, appears to be the still-standing St. Roch Apartments at 2323 West 2nd Ave in Kitsilano.

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27,000 Miles Through Space!

CVA 180-7619 - Cablevision converter display booth (PNE) 1978 Bob Tipple photo.

CVA 180-7619 – Cablevision converter display booth (PNE) 1978 Bob Tipple photo.

The programming available in 1978 from Jerold Cable Converters seems uninspiring, but perhaps that’s just me. Maybe there was more of an audience at that time for House of Commons TV, the CBC Northern Service (in both official languages, no less), and no fewer than three channels of American old-time-religion (delivered through new-fangled media): Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, Paul Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting Network, and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL service.

According to Blue Skies: A History of Cable Television, by Patrick Parsons, ‘Fanfare’ was a regional sports provider that would be swallowed in 1979 by Showtime to become Showtime Plus (p396).

The ‘Grand Prize’ cabinet TV appears to be perched pretty precariously atop this PNE booth!

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Views of South Side of Courthouse

CVA - Bu P347.2 - [View from the corner of Robson Street and Hornby Street of the second Hotel Vancouver ] ca1914 Frank H. Gowen photo.

CVA – Bu P347.2 – [View from the corner of Robson Street and Hornby Street of the second Hotel Vancouver ] ca1914 Frank H. Gowen photo.

CVA - 1921? Bu N344 - [Southwest exterior of the Court House, viewed from the corner of Hornby and Robson Streets] WJ Moore.

CVA – 1921? Bu N344 – [Southwest exterior of the Court House, viewed from the corner of Hornby and Robson Streets] WJ Moore.

Crop of CVA 1504-1 - [View of Downtown looking north from Burrard Street near Smithe Street] ca 1923 J W Freeston photo.

Crop of CVA 1504-1 – [View of Downtown looking north from Burrard Street near Smithe Street] ca 1923 J W Freeston photo.

CVA - 2008-022.056 - [Robson Street scene showing old courthouse] 195-.

CVA – 2008-022.056 – [Robson Street scene showing old courthouse] 195-.

CVA - 2008-022.059 - [Former Vancouver courthouse building] 195-  L. F. Sheraton photo.

CVA – 2008-022.059 – [Former Vancouver courthouse building] 195- L. F. Sheraton photo.

Posted in advertising, Frank Gowen, J. W. Freeston, L. F. Sheraton, people, street scenes, W J Moore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment