The Grants

Closer view (cropped) o CVA - Port P1396 - [The wedding party of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Hopcraft at Skunk Cove] - Rev Roland Grant #2 Aug 4 - 1904.

Closer view (cropped) of CVA – Port P1396 – [The wedding party of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Hopcraft at Skunk Cove]. Aug 4 – 1904.

This wedding party photo is important, in my opinion, for a couple of reasons. It is one of the first records of an outdoor wedding in the Lower Mainland, to the best of my knowledge. And it is the last photograph made in Greater Vancouver, of which I’m aware, of First Baptist Church’s former minister, Rev. Dr. Roland Dwight Grant.

The wedding allegedly took place “beneath a spreading maple tree” in what was then known as Skunk Cove (today, Caulfield, West Vancouver; not far from where Lighthouse Park is today).

The bride (#1) was Annie Evalyn Hopcraft, nee Grant, (although she is sometimes referred to as Nancy); the groom (#4) was Lt. William Dixon Hopcraft (sometimes the surname is spelled Hopcroft, for some reason). W. D. Hopcraft was an officer with the Canadian Pacific Empress transpacific liners. He would go on to command the Empress of Japan.

Rev. Dr. Grant, 1852-1912, (#2) was a Baptist minister who came, originally, from Connecticut and had held pastorates in Boston, New York, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Grant accepted the call of First Baptist Church, Vancouver, in 1900 and resigned from a (temporarily) split church by 1904. Grant seems to have been largely responsible for the split; the short story is that his supporters were the ones who walked out of FBC (including E.B. Morgan who appears in the un-cropped version of the wedding photo below). By early 1906, happily, the divided church was reunited.

CVA - Port P1396 - [The wedding party of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Hopcraft at Skunk Cove] - Rev Roland Grant #2 Aug 4 - 1904.

CVA – Port P1396 – [The wedding party of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Hopcraft at Skunk Cove] – Aug 4 – 1904. 1) Mrs [WD] Hopcraft; 2) Rev. Roland Grant; 3) Mrs Hopcraft’s mother; 4) Mr Hopcraft; 5) Orson Banfield; 6) Mr Montilius; 7) Mrs Montilius; 8) Miss Montilius; 9) Mary Banfield; 10) Lois Banfield; 11) Alderman Grant; 12) Mrs. Grant; 13) Mrs Ollie; 14) Miss Grant; 15) Dr A. S. Monro 16) Mrs Monro; 17) E. B. Morgan; 18)Mrs Faulkner; 19) Mr Faulkner; 20) Lilllie Falkner; 21) Mrs Argue; 22) Mr Banfield; Mrs Banfield (at back with arm raised); and others.

Presumably, “Alderman Grant” in the un-cropped version of the photo was a relation of the Roland Grants (he wasn’t Roland’s brother, however; his brother’s name was Alonzo Timothy Grant). It seems likely that he was early Vancouver Alderman Robert Grant, but he is probably not the female person identified in the photo (#11 and #12 seem to have been mistakenly switched and probably should show #11 as Alderman Grant and #12 as Mrs Robert Grant). #3 appears to be correctly – although oddly – identified as Mrs Hopcraft’s mother; she was that, but it would have made more sense (to me, at least) to refer to her either as “Mrs Roland Grant” or (even better) as “Mrs Helen Grant”. The “Miss Grant” identified as #14 (the lass whose hand Rev Grant is holding) is most probably his younger daughter, Berona.

I should note upon conclusion that this probably wasn’t a church crowd; or at least, it wasn’t a predominantly Baptist crowd. Hopcraft is believed to have been of the Anglican persuasion. Although Roland, Helen, and Annie, as well as E. B. Morgan  appear on the membership rolls at FBC, it seems unlikely that this wedding party was dominated by Baptists. Indeed Caulfield’s St. Francis in the Wood church website identifies this wedding (which pre-dates the St. Francis church building being erected in 1927) as having been an Anglican one (although the St Francis site shows the bride, Mrs. Annie Hopcraft, as Mrs. ‘Nancy’ Hopcraft, so I’m not certain of the site’s historical reliability). It isn’t known if Roland participated in officiating in the wedding; but given the size of Rev. Grant’s ego, I would be very surprised if he didn’t play some role!

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2 Responses to The Grants

  1. Sheila says:

    The bride is wearing a total “whatever…” expression! Getting married is such a bore!

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