The Lesters and their Dance Schools/Halls

CVA 789-74 - Davie & 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. They 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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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.

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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 Clowes Building (with my thanks to the comment from ChangingCity below), 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.

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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.

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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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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. 

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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?

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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!

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

Sodturning at Carey 1958

Sod-turning at Carey Hall, a Baptist residence on UBC campus (today, Carey Theological College). 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.

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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.

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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.

Posted in interiors, Jack Lindsay, technology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

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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 & 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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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.

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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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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 (the church was at the corner of Georgia and Richards, just a few blocks from the Sanitarium) and they later had a family of six (Gordon, Douglas, Kenneth, Jean, Dorothy, and Robert).

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 & 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.

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, looking very Humphrey Bogart-ish. (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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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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Shack to ‘Monument’

Str P256 - [Looking north on Homer Street from Georgia Street] 1948 O. F. Landauer photo.

Str P256 – [Looking north on Homer Street from Georgia Street] 1948 O. 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 & 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.

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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.

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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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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 cafes/restaurants/eateries, Foncie Pulcie, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 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 another 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).

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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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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

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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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).

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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 backyard, 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.

Posted in Don Coltman, street scenes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

‘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.

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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 Institute 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.

Norman R, WLMK, Brooke Claxton, Arnold Heeney 1 Aug 1946 at Paris Peace Conf., Palais du Luxembourgv Library and Archives Canada C-031312

Library and Archives Canada C-031312. L-R: Norman Robertson (Under Secretary of State for External Affairs), Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King, Defence Minister Brooke Claxton, Arnold D. P. Heeney (Clerk of Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet). Paris Peace Conf. at the Palais du Luxembourg. 1 Aug 1946. (Note: Everyone in this photo (politicians and mandarins alike) appears to be bored stiff!)

Note: Robertson’s father, Lemuel Robertson, was Professor and the first Chair of the Classics department at UBC. He appears in the group portrait shown below.

port-p1688-presentation-ceremony-to-j-m-chappell-esq-chairman-point-grey-board-of-school-trustees-1915

CVA Port P1688 – Point Grey Board of School Trustees. 1915. Lemuel Robertson is in front row far left (with his and Norman’s characteristic bald pate).

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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

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.

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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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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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Forgotten Chinatown Playground

CVA 1477-69 - [Mayor L.D. Taylor with children and unidentified man at opening of children's playground at Carrall and Pender streets] 1928.

Photo A: CVA 1477-69 – [Mayor L.D. Taylor with children and unidentified man at opening of children’s playground at Carrall and Pender streets] 1928.

The newly-opened playground (in 1928) which is shown in Photos A and B was, according to CVA’s notes, somewhere near the intersection of Carrall and Pender Streets in Chinatown. But where exactly the playground was located is a bit of a mystery. Most of the lots at the intersection would have been developed for some time by 1928: the Sam Kee building (aka Jack Chow Insurance) on the SW corner has been there since 1913; the Chinese Freemasons Building (aka the Peking Chop Suey House) across the street from Sam Kee has been there even longer, since 1907; the Chinese Times Building on the NE corner (temporary home to Jack Chow Insurance while the Sam Kee block is undergoing renovations) has been on the site since 1902; the only lot that seems a likely site for this playground is the SE corner, where the Sun Yat Sen Gardens were built in 1986.

There are no CVA or VPL photos that I could find of the garden site before it became SYSG. But there are a couple of clues that tend to confirm my conclusion that the playground was on the site of what ultimately became SYSG.

First clue: The building in Photo B behind Mayor Taylor and the two Chinese gents appears to my eye to be very like the building in Photo C at left and marked “1904” (although without the awnings in Photo C). This structure would have been behind the men if they were facing east and standing roughly where SYSG is today.

Second clue: In Photo D, the men were standing on a platform. Behind them is what looks a lot like the Georgia Viaduct (No.1). The Viaduct would be visible south of the site of SYSG.

Item - CVA 1477-68 - [Mayor L.D. Taylor at opening of children's playground at Carrall and Pender streets] 1928.

Photo B:  CVA 1477-68 – [Mayor L.D. Taylor at opening of children’s playground at Carrall and Pender streets] 1928.

CVA 677-581 - [Looking north towards Pender Street along the west side of the 500 block of Carrall Street] 190- P. T. Timms photo.

Photo C: CVA 677-581 – [Looking north towards Pender Street along the west side of the 500 block of Carrall Street] 190- P. T. Timms photo.

VPL 22689 - Mayor LDT standing on platform of Chinese playground on Carrall & Pender March 24, 1928 Dominion Photo.

Photo D: VPL 22689 – Mayor LDT standing on platform of Chinese playground on Carrall & Pender March 24, 1928 Dominion Photo.

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Richard “The Troll” – Former Rhino Leader – Missed in 2015

rich-the-troll

Richard Schaller, aka “Richard the Troll”, former leader of the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. Credit: CBC.ca

Canadians are in the midst of a tedious federal election campaign with no truly interesting leaders nor stimulating platforms. I for one am missing Richard “The Troll” Schaller, of North Vancouver, the former western caucus chairman of the Rhinoceros Party (their ‘prime directive’: to not fulfill any of their promises), who died of cancer in 2006.

This CBC News clip from the 1988 federal election illustrates The Troll’s lighthearted and comic attitude.

Wouldn’t it make a welcome change if Harper, Trudeau, et. al. could (a) publicly laugh at themselves (without being scripted to do so) and (b) refrain from promptly polling the nation to check whether ‘we’ liked it?

The Rhinos are running candidates in 2015, but sadly not many in the West. Indeed, Parti Rhino seems to be strongest in Quebec – home to the current leader and several of its candidates. Between 1965 and 1988, the Rhinos captured between <1% to 2.4% of the popular vote.

For some of the RP’s ‘platform’, see here. My favourite is #11 (“Ban guns and butter – both kill”); #12 (“Reform Loto-Canada, replacing cash prizes with Senate appointments”) is a little too close to what has become reality in recent years.

Rhinocerous Party logo.

2015 Rhinocerous Party logo.

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Sea of Hats

CVA 99-1015 - Crowd watching soccer game in progress at Cambie Street ground ca1920 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-1015 – Crowd watching soccer game in progress at Cambie Street Grounds ca1920 Stuart Thomson photo. (Note: This version of 99-1015 has been cropped and had the exposure adjusted slightly by me. For the original  state of the image, see CVA online.)

This is a somewhat unusual view of the Cambie Street Recreation Grounds (for some later years, the site of the long-distance bus station, later still – optimistically – dubbed Larwill Park and serving as a City car park with aspirations to become the site of the Vancouver Art Gallery). The image appears to be taken from the SW corner of the block toward the NW corner. The crowd of mainly men was viewing a soccer game. And, remarkably, virtually every head in then crowd is covered. The soccer players were evidently permitted to play bare-headed without social impunity; however, notably, the men in striped jerseys – game officials, I presume – seem to have been be-hatted.

The second site of the YMCA is visible in the distance (near mid-photo, at corner of Dunsmuir and Cambie), as is part of the Sun Tower (right) and Vancouver High School (the school’s prominent tower appears to the left of the photo behind residences).

I won’t pretend to understand fully why hats were such a dominant and lasting feature of men’s and women’s fashion in the 19th and 20th centuries. For extended commentary on men’s hats in earlier years, see here and here, among other sources.

I cannot resist showing another CVA image of an Australian cricket team visiting Vancouver in 1911 (and including the photographer of this image and of the one above, Stuart Thomson, a former Aussie who emigrated to Canada the year before this image was made and who would make his home and career in Vancouver until his death in 1960). Interestingly, a couple of the gents in the photo seem not to have received ‘the memo’ and appeared hatless (gasp!).

…[N]o man wore fewer than one hat, outdoors, regardless of weather. A man’s hat was the status symbol that distinguished the white man from the aborigine, the God-fearing from the heathen, the clad from the unclothed. The hat was something to raise to a lady, to remove in church, and to hang in the home. It had the magic properties of the amulet, warding off evil, shielding the wearer at the most vulnerable part of his anatomy: the crown of his skull. — Eric Nichol, Vancouver

CVA 99-123 - Australian XI [group photo, poss. S. Thomson on right in bowler hat] ca 1911 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-123 – Australian XI [group photo, poss. S. Thomson on right in bowler hat] ca 1911 Stuart Thomson photo.

Facing NW corner of former Cambie Street Grounds. 2015. Author's photo.

Facing NW corner of former Cambie Street Grounds. 2015. Author’s photo.

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Mystery of the Dog in the Manger

CVA - SGN 1586 - [Teacher Dorothy Alison and students in classroom of Model School] 1907? C. Bradbury photo.

CVA – SGN 1586 – [Teacher Dorothy Alison (sic) and students in classroom of Model School] 1907? C. Bradbury photo. Miss Allison (correct spelling) became Mrs Bradbury in December 1907, marrying the photographer of this image, Charles Bradbury.

If you look closely at the blackboard of this image of the Model School (at Cambie and 12th; still standing, although the interior has been altered to make it City Square shopping mall), you can see part of the lesson for the day – a rural tale for these then-semi-rural Vancouver youngsters: that of ‘The Dog in the Manger’. According to the author of this site, this isn’t truly one of the tales of Aesop (of which there are no original written documents); it was added to an early post-printing-press edition produced by German printer Heinrich Steinhowel. The fable has been used (along with others with more verifiable Aesop pedigree) for centuries as a morals booster to improve societal quality (not a morale booster – which is principally concerned with making individuals feel better about themselves – a quite different thing).

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Early Tech for “Readin’, ‘Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic”

CVA 99-4860 - Clarke and Stuart [Company Limited office at 550 Seymour Street] 1936 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-4860 – Clarke and Stuart [Company Limited office at 550 Seymour Street] 1936 Stuart Thomson photo.

Most of the school supplies in this office building are recognizable to me. The 1930s version of the Remington typewriter, of course (with that almost unheard of technology, carbon paper inserted), variations on early document copiers (which I’m tempted to refer to generally – and, doubtless, inaccurately – as ‘Gestetner machines‘), wooden teacher desks that were ubiquitous in classrooms even when I was a student in primary and secondary schools decades later, globes, and educational posters.

One item which I was unable to immediately name, however, was the machine on which the woman near the centre of the image was working (and whom the balding fellow appears to be admiring). My wife identified this as a sort of early tracing machine which may have been used by art instructors and others for preparing classroom materials.

This office was in the still-standing 3-storey structure (1929?) shown below (far left). Stuart Thomson successfully captured not only the interior of the 1936 tableau, but also part of Clarke and Stuart’s exterior signage (which, if the dating is accurate, was due soon to be replaced with the sign shown in the W. J. Moore photo made one year later) and two of its still-existing across-the-street-building neighbours: — the apparently Georgian-inspired 543 Seymour (which would be CKWX radio’s downtown HQ for years, beginning in the 1940s, I believe; later home to the Canadian Armed Forces; in recent years, home for a series of private colleges and language schools) and the Seymour Building, at 525 Seymour (1920), known in its early years as the Yorkshire block.

Clarke & Stuart Newspaper Advert

James Duff Stuart (note: CVA shows his surname as “Stewart”; a misspelling) and Harold Clarke were the owners of the school supply purveyor shown above. For more about them and their apparently successful Vancouver business interests in several locations, see here and here.

CVA - Str N138 - [View of the 500 Block Seymour Street] 1937 W J Moore photo.

CVA – Str N138 – [View of the 500 Block Seymour Street] 1937 W J Moore photo.

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80 Years

CVA 1376-728 - Granville Street just north of Dunsmuir [Street] 1935 P.T. Timms photo.

CVA 1376-728 – Granville Street just north of Dunsmuir [Street] 1935 P.T. Timms photo.

There are differences that leap to my attention when I consider these two images together. A principal one is how much more clothing we Vancouverites wore 80 years ago as against today (although it must be admitted that the seasons shown are probably not identical). And how de rigeur was the practice of wearing something on one’s head – nearly all of the people in the 1935 image!

While I find the people in both images to be endlessly interesting, the architecture in the 2015 version I find less so.

Looking north on Granville Street between Dunsmuir and Pender Streets. 2015. Author's photo.

Looking north on Granville Street between Dunsmuir and Pender Streets. August 2015. Author’s photo.

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Why a ‘Bailey Bridge’ in Downtown Vancouver, 1944?

CVA 586-3200 - Hotel Vancouver 1944 Don Coltman photo.

CVA 586-3200 – Hotel Vancouver 1944 Don Coltman photo.

I could find out nothing about the above bridge either online or in the local library. The photograph of the bridge (1 of 2 by Don Coltman; the other image is here) shows the structure spanning Georgia Street at one-way, south-bound Howe Street in October 1944. There is no photographic (nor textual) evidence that I’ve been able to find to indicate that there was a bridge at this location except for this image.

Zooming on the image reveals a sign on the structure identifying it as “Bailey Bridge Class #2(? or 7?) Dual Carriageway”. Initially, I assumed that “Bailey” was after a local British Columbian (e.g., Vancouver professional photography pioneer, Charles Bailey). But I’ve since concluded that while Bailey is indeed a surname, it wasn’t for a B.C. resident (rather, for British engineer, Sir Donald Bailey); furthermore, the name of the bridge isn’t a unique identifier, but instead a type of bridge (created by Bailey) which was commonly used during and after WWII in Europe and elsewhere. In short, the Bailey Bridge was a modular means of spanning a water or land gap with a structure that could carry vehicles as large and heavy as tanks. For detailed info on Bailey Bridges, please consult this page.

The Georgia Street crossing was evidently meant to carry both pedestrians and automobile traffic (there is one vehicle visible). However, there seem to be a number of pedestrians who ignored the existence of the bridge and preferred to take their chances crossing Georgia at street level. The lack of buy-in from many pedestrians plus the limited clearance on Georgia (10’6″) imposed by the bridge may have contributed to the bridge’s brief lifespan (especially in post-war Vancouver with increasing industrial traffic travelling on Georgia to and from the North Shore).

But, for now at least, the questions of motive (why it was built and why it stood so briefly) remain unanswered. My wife has suggested that perhaps it was a demonstration bridge. That’s a plausible explanation, but why build it here, over a moderately-busy intersection in a part of the world where there are no lack of water crossings?

If readers of VAIW have any clues/tips (or are aware of other images of this bridge), I’d appreciate hearing from you.

CVA 371-33 - [Military tanks and Jeeps travelling west on Georgia Street in the Diamond Jubilee Parade] 1946.

CVA 371-33 – [Military tanks and Jeeps travelling west on Georgia Street in the Diamond Jubilee Parade] 1946.    (Note: We are looking east on Georgia – the opposite direction in which Don Coltman was facing when he made the initial image featured in this post. The photographer in this image was looking towards where the bridge once was on Howe (just below where the Hotel Georgia sign is on the left). This is to illustrate that certainly, within 2 years or less, the bridge had been removed).

Note: A fascinating article of the contribution of a Canadian to Bailey Bridge variants may be found here: “Kingsmill Bridge in Italy”, by Ken MacLeod.

Posted in architects, bridges/viaducts, Don Coltman, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Jubilee Methodist Men in Drag

CVA 99-3535 - Jubilee Men's Musical Revue at Jubilee Methodist Church 1925 Stuart Thomson photo.

CVA 99-3535 – Jubilee Men’s Musical Revue at Jubilee Methodist Church 1925 Stuart Thomson photo.

This amusing photo may be one of the final images made (and certainly one of the last professional photos made) at Jubilee Methodist Church in Burnaby before it became Jubilee United Church later in 1925. Jubilee Church was located on Kingsway near Imperial Street. In 1936, Jubilee and the former Henderson Presbyterian Church – which, by then, had become Henderson United Church (at nearby Kingsway and Joyce) – amalgamated to become Henderson-Jubilee United Church; they constructed a new building in 1947 (Twizell & Twizell, of St Andrews-Wesley United Church fame) and became known from then as West Burnaby United Church (which still stands as such).

This ‘musical revue’ may have been a variation on the traditional English pantomime.

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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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PNE Parade on East Hastings

2010-006.167 – Vancouver 1956 PNE Parade, Aug 1956.

The scene above captures well the enthusiasm of PNE Parade spectators at East Hastings and Princess Street in the mid-1950s. There would be parades to kick off the Pacific National Exhibition each year for another 40 years (ending in 1995). The only exception since ’95 has been a parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the PNE in 2010; but that parade was held on Beach Avenue near Stanley Park rather than along the traditional Hastings Street strip.

The Carl Rooms block (which apparently went up in the early years of the Great War, likely 1915) at 575 East Hastings still stands, as does the 4-storey Spokane Rooms two doors east (left) of there, which seems to have been on the block since about 1913. There is still a grocery where B&B Grocery once was; and today, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House is where The WashHouse Launderette was in the image. At least a few of the single storey structures east of Spokane Rooms appear to remain: what was in 1956 home to such ‘Mom & Pop’ shops as Sak’s Tailors, a butcher (no baker or candlestick maker, as far as I can tell), an accordion manufacturer/college/musical instrument repair shop, and (of course) a barber shop and lunch counter (Princess Lunch). The dwelling between Carl Rooms and Spokane Rooms has been demolished to make way for the Tung Koon Benevolent Association block.

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Marine Chain Manufacturing

CVA 586-1262 - Welding [for] wartime merchant shipping 1943 Don Coltman photo.

Photo A: CVA 586-1262 – Welding [for] wartime merchant shipping 1943 Don Coltman photo.

My friend, Wes, has knowledge on a wide range of topics – from cars to aircraft to, evidently, welding processes. I asked him today if he had any idea what the manufacturing steps were that were illustrated in these Vancouver wartime images. Today’s post is largely thanks to his smarts.

What is being created in these images is chain for use as anchor cables on war period merchant ships. James Pritchard in A Bridge of Ships: Canadian Shipbuilding During the Second World War (2011) points out that a Canadian crown plant called Wartime Merchant Shipping, Ltd. was set up on Granville Island. The crown corp purchased a chain creation process called “Electro-Weld” from Pacific Chain and Manufacturing Company (Portland, OR) to supply 144 sets of anchor-chain cable. The process at Granville Island was the same as that employed at the American company’s Seattle plant:

  1. Steel bar stock was cut, heated, and formed into chain. Photo A shows the steel being formed into chain.
  2. The support was welded into each link (whether by hand or machine isn’t clear; perhaps it was begun by one process and finished by the other). See Photo B.
  3. The completed length of chain was stretched out for inspection and testing (and some welding was done at this point, presumably to fix missed areas). See Photo C.
  4. Completed chain was heat-treated for strength in an oven (steps 3 and 4 may have been reversed). See Photo D.

CVA 586-1261 - Welding [for] wartime merchant shipping 1943 Don Coltman photo.

Photo B: CVA 586-1261 – Welding [for] wartime merchant shipping 1943 Don Coltman photo.

Photo C. CVA 586-1267 – Chain plant [for] wartime merchant shipping 1943 Don Coltman photo.

Photo D. CVA 586-1279 – Chain plant [for] wartime merchant shipping 1943 Don Coltman photo.

According to Pritchard, the Granville Island plant “was soon turning out 15 fathoms (27.4m) per shift, or fifteen sets of chain per month. The venture was so successful that Canadian-type 10,000-tonners were supplied with a full prewar quantity of 270 fathoms (494m) of anchor cable, which was also exported to the United States.” (p. 233)

If you are interested, this video shows a present-day, more automated chain-production process.

Posted in boats/ships, businesses, Don Coltman | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unusual Angle on Hotel Vancouver #2

CVA - Van Sc P63.5 - [Looking southeast from Howe Street and Georgia Street] 1929 Leonard J Frank photo.

CVA – Van Sc P63.5 – [Looking southeast from Howe Street and Georgia Street] 1929 Leonard J Frank photo.

This perspective affords us photographic time travellers an atypical angle on the second (and best, in my opinion) of the Hotels Vancouver (Swales, 1916), of its northern neighbour, the York Hotel (Honeyman & Curtis, 1911) – which was demolished in 1968 for Pacific Centre mall – and bits and pieces of several other structures (e.g., the second Vancouver Courthouse (Rattenbury, 1912), which became the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1983 appearing in the bottom right corner of the image). This incarnation of the HV was demolished in 1949 after serving as home for difficult-to-house veterans during and after WWII.

Where was this image made? It was pretty plainly made from the north side of Georgia, likely closer to Hornby Street than to Howe St, most probably from the Medical-Dental Building (McCarter & Nairne) – opened in 1929, the same year as this photo was made, and demolished in 1989. The Devonshire Hotel (also McCarter & Nairne, 1925) – demolished in 1981 (the HSBC bank replaced it on the site) – is really the only other contender for the honour, but it was a relatively shorter structure than the Georgia Hotel (next door and east of the Devonshire) – of which we can spot the near upper corner in the lower left image of the image, meaning that the camera was angled downward relative to the Georgia, and that would have been impossible from the rooftop of the Devonshire. It had to be taken from the relatively taller Georgia Medical-Dental building. For a helpful visual illustration of the differing heights of these buildings, see this image.

The photo also allows us helpful perspective of the rooftop garden of the former Hotel Vancouver. For a couple of nearer views, see here and here.

Posted in architects, hotels/motels/inns, Leonard J. Frank | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-Expo ’86 Perspective

CVA 800-3087 - [Shows man on Skytrain line construction] 1983 Al Ingram photo.

CVA 800-3087 – [Shows man on Skytrain line construction] 1983 Al Ingram photo.

The man in the image is standing on what will become Skytrain’s elevated concrete guideway near what will be the Main Street/Science World Station. The worker seems to be looking toward the Pacific Central Station (VIA Rail’s local railway station and the long-distance bus terminal). There are early signs across Main Street (at ground level below the guideway) of construction of what would be known as Expo Centre (Freschi) and which would become Science World in its post-Expo life (Alexander).

It is undeniable that Expo was a major hinge of change (much of it positive) in Vancouver. I’ll touch on just a couple of those changes. One, plainly, is the development of a component to the local public transit system, SkyTrain; this novelty would, gradually, be taken more seriously by Vancouver residents and their political leaders as a real and viable option as a people mover for Greater Vancouver.*

Another change was the early development of a downtown stadium district. BC Place (with its, then, air-inflatable ‘puffy’ roof construction), visible behind the head of the gent in the photo, was opened in 1983 and would be the site of Expo’s opening and closing ceremonies. Notably, before Expo, it would host some of its largest audiences for a couple of Christian gatherings – Pope John Paul II’s ‘Celebration of Life’ visit and a Billy Graham crusade (both in 1984). There is no sign above, of course, of GM Place (which would replace the Pacific Coliseum in 1995 as the main indoor sport stadium, housing the NBA expansion team, Vancouver Grizzlies, and to be home to the NHL franchise, the Canucks. In 2010, GM Place would be re-branded as Rogers Arena.

____

*I was surprised to read, as part of my research for today’s post, about a Vancouver monorail system that was installed as part of Expo ’86 and which in 1987 was moved to the U.K. See here for details. If you are wondering, as was I, what features distinguish monorails from Skytrain and other elevated rail technologies, this site is helpful. This is a very good video showing Expo ’86 buildings, monorail, and gondola.

Posted in Al Ingram, public transit, sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welding Vancouver Streetcar Track

CVA SGN 1068.08 - [Man with generator near man laying streetcar tracks, for reconstruction of Hastings, Main and Harris (Georgia) Street lines] 1912?

CVA SGN 1068.08 – [Man with generator near man laying streetcar tracks, for reconstruction of Hastings, Main and Harris (Georgia) Street lines] 1912?

There was something about the image above that bothered me. Something that didn’t look safe. Then it struck me. The fellow standing next to the wagon with the warning: “Danger: 500 Volts. Do not touch machine or watch flame” had a solid grip on the wagon! I doubt that the welder was actually welding during this photo session, but it appears that the wagon was hooked up to a power source. I suspect that the BC Worker’s Compensation Board, had it been in operation at the time, would have had something to say about this.

I don’t know for certain where this image was made. But if I had to guess, I’d say it was near the trolley car barns (Main and Prior). The streetcar nearby and the quantity of track (both laid and in pieces) led me to that conclusion.

CVA SGN 1068.10 - [Man welding streetcar tracks, for reconstruction of Hastings, Main, and Harris (Georgia) Street lines] 1912? (Note: This seems to be the same welder as in the first image, but taken from his front.)

CVA SGN 1068.10 – [Man welding streetcar tracks, for reconstruction of Hastings, Main, and Harris (Georgia) Street lines] 1912? (Note: This seems to be the same welder as in the first image, but taken from his front.)

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Robson Square Ice Rink Formerly Public W.C.

CVA - Bu P252 - [Entrances to the underground comfort stations on Howe Street near Robson Street] ca 1931 W. J. Moore.

CVA – Bu P252 – [Entrances to the underground comfort stations on Howe Street near Robson Street] ca 1931 W. J. Moore.

If you are a Vancouver resident or have visited the city, you will probably know that these apparently quite handsome public washrooms are no longer here (there are two remaining sets of these relics, neither in the downtown core and both on Hastings Street; one on Hamilton at Victory Square, the other on Main at Carnegie Library. Both of these are exceptionally clean, by the way). If you find yourself in need of public facilities in the heart of downtown, you are restricted to those in nearby hotels/department stores or (if you are adventurous/desperate), the public pod-like WCs that were installed around the time of the Winter Olympic Games.

The photographer of the image above seems to have been standing on Howe Street, just across from where, today, is the parking garage entry to the former Eaton’s/Sears (soon-to-be Nordstrom’s), facing south toward the Robson Street side of Robson Square. Where the W.C. steps descended was, roughly, to where today’s Robson Ice Rink is. The Court House Block (left background) and Clements Block/Alexandria Ball Room (right) – later known as “Danceland” (b&w image below) – were where the grounds and buildings of Vancouver’s Law Courts are today.

For an intriguing history of “comfort stations” or “sanitary conveniences” in early Vancouver, see this article by Margaret W. Andrews.

CVA 784-111 - Robson Square, 800 Robson Street 1986. (Note: In this image, we are facing northwards and looking towards the Robson Square ice rink, rather than facing southwards, as in the prior image).

CVA 784-111 – Robson Square, 800 Robson Street 1986. (Note: In this photo, we are facing northwards and looking towards the Robson Square Ice Rink (beneath the more distant of the two dark domes), rather than facing southwards, as in the prior image).

CVA 447-351 - S.E. Corner Robson and Hornby Sts. 1965 W. E. Frost photo.

CVA 447-351 – S.E. Corner Robson and Hornby Sts. 1965 W. E. Frost photo. For a painting that appears to be based on this image, see Illustrated Vancouver.

Posted in street scenes, W J Moore, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whetham Block/CP Telecom Building

CVA - Str P209 - [View of Cordova Street from the corner of Cambie Street] 1899.

CVA – Str P209 – [View of Cordova Street from the corner of Cambie Street] 1899. (Note: The camera is facing northeast down Cordova; we can confirm this because the Savoy Hotel/Theatre is east and up the block, towards Abbott St, at 135 West Cordova).

The City of Vancouver Archives claims in the Scope and Content section of the record for this photo that it “shows the Wetham Block”. This is a typographical error; it should read “Whetham Block”, named after Dr. James Whetham. There is a biography of Charles Whetham and others in his family (including James) at this site. Note, however, that there appears to be an error in this article pertaining to the Whetham Block. It notes that the Whetham Block was “situated on the North East corner of Cordova and Cambie” (which is correct); but the article then asserts that this building is “still standing” (incorrect). As ‘evidence’ to support this claim, the author shows a Google ‘street view’ image of an early structure on the northwest corner of Cordova at Cambie. (Note: See comment below from Changing Vancouver).

The building on the northeast corner today (175 W Cordova) is the former CNCP Telecom Building (Francis Donaldson, 1969) – today, home to Allstream. The Telecom block was one of the buildings approved as part of Mayor Tom “Terrific” Campbell’s ill-fated “Project 200”. Harold Kalman describes this project as being part of the “sweep-the-old-stuff-away mania of post-WWII urban redevelopment.” (Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide, 2012).

The Canadian Pacific Telecom Building (Francis Donaldson, 1969); today, the Allstream building. 2015. Author's photo.

The CNCP Telecom Building; today, the Allstream building. 2015. Author’s photo.

Posted in people, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Waterfront Station: Howe Street Entry

CVA 784-082 - Granville Street, 200 Granville Street 1986. (Note: 200 Granville St, in fact, is the tower in the background. This image is of the NE corner of Howe at Cordova).

CVA 784-082 – Granville Street, 200 Granville Street 1986. (Note: 200 Granville St, in fact, is the tower in the background. This image is of the NE corner of Howe at Cordova).

NE corner of Howe and Cordova Streets. The Howe Street entry to Waterfront Station is in the foreground. 2015. Author's photo.

NE corner of Howe and Cordova Streets. The Howe Street entry to Waterfront Station is in the foreground. 2015. Author’s photo.

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The Quadra Club

cva-69-21-05-crosswalk-across-w-georgia-street-on-seymour-street-1972-or-1974-ernie-fladell-photo

CVA 69-21.05 – Crosswalk across W. Georgia Street on Seymour Street. 1972 or 1974. Ernie Fladell photo.

I like this image. It shows a Seymour Street that has largely disappeared. It also shows (just barely) a sign of one of Vancouver’s enduring clubs that had a couple of locations before this address (724 Seymour). I’m referring to the Quadra Club – the sign for which is visible on the left midway up the image (vertical orientation).

The Quadra seems to have been started in about 1925 at 901 West Hastings (where the little green space is, just east of the Vancouver Club, today). By the 1930s it had moved up West Hastings a block to 1021 West Hastings (adjacent to the the 1930-completed Marine Building). Harold Kalman (in Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide, 2012) describes this building as being of Spanish Colonial Revival design (Sharp and Thompson, 1929). By the 1940s, the Quadra Club had moved into its Seymour address. I’m not sure when the Quadra eventually went belly up, but it seems to have ceased operation by the ’60s. There are references on the website of guitarist, Howie James to “resurrecting the old Quadra Club in Vancouver” in the ’60s and ’70s . This isn’t strictly so, however, as the Quadra which he claims to have had a role in reviving was not the Quadra Club, but the Quadra Cabaret (shown below). The Cabaret was in Yaletown on Homer near Nelson.

For more about the Quadra (and its successors), see comments below.

vpl 24915 Quadra Club dining room interior 1939 Dominion Photo

VPL 24915. Quadra Club dining room interior. 1939 Dominion Photo. At its second location adjacent to Marine Building.

CVA 779-E08.30 - 1055 Homer Street 1981.

CVA 779-E08.30 – 1055 Homer Street 1981. Quadra Cabaret.

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, music | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wooden Sidewalk, 1914

CVA 789-64 - 16th Avenue 1914.

CVA 789-64 – 16th Avenue 1914.

This wooden sidewalk was, according to the City of Vancouver Archives, somewhere on 16th Avenue in 1914. Where this was on 16th, I don’t know. It might have been almost anywhere — from Collingwood Street (in Dunbar/Point Grey) in the west to Main Street (Mount Pleasant area) in the east.

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Brutalism on Broadway

CVA 800-1964 - [Description in Progress] Al Ingram photo

CVA 800-1964 – [City of Vancouver Archives Description in Progress] Al Ingram photo.

I have mentioned this building elsewhere in VAIW, but was prompted to show it again this morning upon seeing that this image hasn’t been identified by CVA. It is Broadway Centre (1974) at 805 West Broadway, a fine example of Brutalist architecture. Another example of Vancouver brutalism is the MacMillan-Bloedel building (1965) on Georgia Street. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention University Hall at the University of Lethbridge (1971) – see images below – and the current Vancouver Law Courts building (1980). Mac-Blo, University Hall, and Vancouver Law Courts were all designed by Arthur Erickson. U of L and the Law Courts are examples of brutalism turned ‘on its side’, with a predominant horizontal orientation rather than the more typical vertical one.

University of Lethbridge Library Archives Collection. Exterior image of University Hall sraddling the coulees on the west side of Lethbridge, AB:  campusdev-70.

University of Lethbridge Library Archives Collection. Exterior image of University Hall straddling the coulees on the west side of Lethbridge, AB (around the time construction was finished).

University of Lethbridge Library Archives Collection. Interior image of University Hall: 1972_2.

University of Lethbridge Library Archives Collection. Interior image of University Hall.

Posted in Al Ingram, architects | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When the Subject was Not Human

CVA 586-4770 - Home of Mrs. C.J. McIntosh - 470 West 17th [Avenue] 1946 Don Coltman photo

CVA 586-4770 – Home of Mrs. C.J. McIntosh – 470 West 17th [Avenue] 1946 Don Coltman photo

Although one might be tempted to identify the humans in this photograph as the principal subjects, I don’t think that is the case. It seems more likely to me that the prime subject of this image is the huge living room window letting in a lot of sunlight – atypically for Vancouver! The ladies are not posed to show off their faces nor for comfortable conversation. They appear, rather, to have been positioned to prevent their shadows from unduly messing with the incoming light. I think I would have liked this image better if it had consisted of just the lady on the left (see my cropped version below). It would be a little less awkward and almost arty!

Cropped version of CVA 586-477.

Cropped version of CVA 586-477.

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Georgia Through a Windscreen. . . Dimly

CVA – 2010-006.108 – Grey Cup Decorations Nov 1963 Ernie H. Reksten photo.

The image above seems to have been made through the windscreen of a vehicle that was stopped on Georgia St. for a red light. (Not, in 1963, we may safely assume, taken with the driver’s mobile phone!) It appears to have been shot eastwards from where Bute St. intersects Georgia, probably near dusk (the sun would set behind the driver-photographer’s vehicle).

Much has changed along Georgia. No longer is there a Volkswagen Service centre on the south side of the street, nor is the Shell Oil building on the north side. Today, Coastal Church is the occupant of the former Scientology structure (right foreground); and the Shangri-La today towers over this section of Georgia.

The Grey Cup decorations referred to in the City of Vancouver Archives description seem to have been the large red banners with a Lion Rampant portrayed on one side and ‘B.C’ appearing vertically on the other side. The other team playing in the football game was acknowledged only with the small circular sign affixed to the light pole in the right foreground: “Welcome TiCats”. This referred to the ultimate winners of the 51st Grey Cup, the Hamilton (Ontario) Tiger Cats.

Notably, this was the first CFL championship to include the Lions. The headline on the “Extra” edition of the Vancouver Sun, describing local reaction to the game’s outcome, was “NUTS!”

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