I like this photo. It has a strong human element but enough contextual content that it isn’t exclusively about the two men who are its subjects. If I’d had my ‘druthers’, I would like to have seen the image in proper exposure (rather than in its still over-exposed condition; I did my best to bring it up to close to well-exposed, after the fact); I’m curious to know what the headlines on the Vancouver World newspapers say, for example!
Fred Ackers was in 1895 a very recent arrival in the city. There is no mention of him nor his tobacco/shoeshine stall, at any rate, in a BC Directory prior to that year. Nor does Ackers’ name appear in a later directory. Perhaps he was much like the Rene Mizonys and had wanderlust in his blood and settled in boom and mining towns only as long as they still appeared to be boom towns. Once they began to look as though they were going to settle into boring “big city” status, perhaps, he moved on!
Ackers’ shop was located on West Cordova between Cambie and Abbott (on the south side of the street) in the block where the Woodward’s condo development now is. He resided at Dougall House, which was a very short walk from his workplace (at the corner of Abbott and Cordova). Within a couple of years of Ackers moving on, his former stall was occupied by Miss Carrie Smith, milliner.