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.

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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.

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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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One Response to Nominee for Silliest Pioneer Surname…

  1. John R. C. Cave-Browne-Cave says:

    Hi there,

    We Cave-Browne-Caves still exist and live in the Lower Mainland and are proud to be part of the history of Vancouver, in our own humble way.

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