Tag Archives: vancouver

Vaughn Moore’s Studio of Terpsichorean Art

For those of you who (like me) are not well-versed in advanced crossword clues, the term “Terpsichorean” pertains to dancing. Vaughn Drier Moore (1894-1965) made a career out of providing dancing instruction in the Pacific Northwest from about 1919 until … Continue reading

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Gone . . . But Not Forgotten: Used/Antiquarian Bookshops (1970-2020) – UPDATED

This post pays tribute to used and antiquarian bookshops (and their booksellers) which existed between 1970 and 2020 and are no longer operating in Vancouver. It will not include existing shops such as The Paper Hound, MacLeod’s, Albion, People’s Co-op, … Continue reading

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Gai Paree Supper Club in South Burnaby

The Gai Paree Supper Club was established in 1947 by the Morin family on Kingsway at Sperling. Anne Marie and R. P. (Rene Pierre) Morin were born in France, later moving to the Channel Islands in the U.K. where they … Continue reading

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The Happy Wanderers: Findlater’s Elgar Choir – Updated

Charles E. Findlater (1893-1975) founded and led the Elgar Junior Choir from 1924 until shortly before his death.¹ Until Findlater received permission from English composer Sir Edward Elgar’s daughter in 1932 (there is some disagreement as to the year; in some places, … Continue reading

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Drinking Fountains in the City

Early A very early (if not the first) Vancouver water fountain was situated at the corner which, from the 1930s, was known as Pioneer Place but is better known, today, as Pigeon Park. This piece of real estate was useless … Continue reading

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The Nanaimo Street Foundry

The foundry at 4080 Nanaimo Street, shown above, was Vancouver Pipe and Foundry from ca1913-1919, then Anthes-Tait Foundry (1919-1944) and finally Associated Foundry (1944-69). From 1969 until ca1980, the site was City of Vancouver property. I have been unable to … Continue reading

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Union Steam Ship Cutch

Old Cutch1, as she was affectionately referred to in the press in later years, was built in Hull, England in 1884 as a yacht of the British Raj in India but was sold to Captain Webster, the Manager of Vancouver’s … Continue reading

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Kerrisdale Baptist Church

As is true of most Baptist churches in the Greater Vancouver area, Kerrisdale Baptist Church had quite humble origins.1 Baptists living in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood met, starting ca1913, at the home of Ralph Daggett at 38th and Dunbar (which seems … Continue reading

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B. T. Rogers Family Silent Film

This is an atypical post about an unusual item at the City of Vancouver Archives. The item is a silent film. That in itself is not uncommon among CVA’s holdings – they have several early silent films. But most of … Continue reading

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A Lubritorium at Broadway Auto Dealership!

Dueck Chevrolet Oldsmobile established a large, multi-service structure at 1305 West Broadway (just a couple of blocks east of Granville at Hemlock) in 1947. In addition to new cars on display in Dueck’s swanky glass-enclosed showroom, there was a used … Continue reading

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Up, Up and Away!

The image above shows the hydrogen-filled* balloon that was featured in the 1956 blockbuster film, Around the World in 80 Days. It was in Vancouver as part of the B.C. International Trade Fair which was held at the PNE grounds … Continue reading

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1175 Haro Street

Granville School The building shown above at 1175 Haro Street was built in 1898 for Mlle. Marie-Louise Kern (1861-1951), the principal of Granville School. The school was a private boarding and day school for girls. Granville School was established in … Continue reading

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Pioneer Hotel and Current Bookstore Share Similar Logo Across 135 Years

The Greyhound Hotel (1886-1890) at 232 Water Street and a contemporary bookshop called The Paper Hound at 344 West Pender Street share a strikingly similar logo. I stumbled across the hotel illustration on CVA’s database yesterday. The photo from which … Continue reading

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Beatrice Shaw, Vancouver Vaudevillian, Dies on New York Stage

Beatrice Amelia Shaw (1901-1924), daughter of William Arthur Shaw (1866-1923) and Amanda Nelson (1876-1950) died in 1924 in New York City on stage, apparently due to heart disease. She was performing as one of “the Dale Sisters” in the International … Continue reading

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The DeMuths: Canadian Pacific Steamship Artists

Flora and Martin DeMuth were partners both in marriage and in art on Canadian Pacific Steamships. The pair made their first round-the-world cruise in 1925-26 aboard CP’s Empress of Scotland, a year after their wedding. Martin was a captain in … Continue reading

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Romance in Death Notices?

One doesn’t often find stories of romance in the obits. But in early September 1922, if one looked in the local newspapers, you would certainly have found one. It was the love story told of Captain Murdock & Jessie McLennan, … Continue reading

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Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Batman, this is NUTS!

The life net (or the Browder Life Safety Net) was invented by Thomas Browder in 1847 to assist people who are stuck on the upper story of a building that is on fire. The photo above, notwithstanding, I doubt that … Continue reading

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Carter’s Vintage Vancouver Christmas!

I think the Christmas season is now near enough that I can safely notify you of an opportunity for you and/or yours (and, at the same time, to ‘toot the horn’ on behalf of a gifted friend)! Tom Carter is … Continue reading

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Cora McFarland, Public School Teacher

Very little is known today about Cora Helen McFarland (1878-1966). She was born and raised in New Brunswick by John and Isabella McFarland and attended the University of New Brunswick (UNB). She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the UNB with … Continue reading

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‘Oops’ – 501 W. Pender Street

The image above has been on my radar for quite some time. Ever since I first saw it in the City of Vancouver Archives online a few years ago, I have assumed that the address shown for it – 501 … Continue reading

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The Radlett

The rooming house shown above at 862 Homer Street was, early in its existence, called The Radlett. It was built in 1908 for about $3000 by owner, Thomas Foster. Depending who was counting, there were between 18 and 20 rooms … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s Zeller’s Ltd.

Walter P. Zeller, the founder of Zeller’s Ltd., was born in Ontario to Swiss parents (Province 13 May 1949). He got his start in business working at Woolworth’s, but by 1931 he had started his own retail shop in Montreal … Continue reading

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Department Store Food Floors

David Spencer Ltd. The food floor at Vancouver’s David Spencer Ltd. was fundamentally different from the other local department stores mentioned in this post. Its name was original: “David Spencer’s Model Food Market”. And it wasn’t located with the other … Continue reading

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An Early, Forgotten Hotel: The Cosmo

The Cosmopolitan Hotel [1], or ‘the Cosmo’ as it came to be known, was reputedly one of the first hotels to be opened after the 1886 Great Fire (World 11 Aug 1889). It was, presumably, open for business in 1887. … Continue reading

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Space Towers

The Spiro Tower, more commonly known as the Space Tower, on the Playland grounds at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) was Vancouver’s response to Seattle’s Space Needle. [1] The Seattle structure, built for Expo 1962, dwarfed Vancouver’s tower, however (Needle: … Continue reading

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The Dramatic Life of Carl Berch

Early Years Carl E. Berch was born ca1866 in Wisconsin. But he wasn’t made for mid-western life. He was made for the stage. Indeed, he seems to have made dramatic gestures throughout his life. Berch first came to the attention … Continue reading

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Vancouver Bible School

Update The Vancouver Bible Training School (VBTS) was a child of the Vancouver Evangelistic Movement (VEM). Among the goals of VEM was the establishment of a Bible training school. The school was, accordingly, started in 1918. The raison d’etre of … Continue reading

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Vancouver Street Fair/Carnival, 1901

A street fair was held in Vancouver August 5-10, 1901 on West Hastings Street between Granville and Burrard (it also included Howe and Hornby between Pender and Hastings). Along much of this stretch, there were booths set up where the … Continue reading

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Derril Warren BC Tory Ads from 1972

Encore Post There are a series of television ads on CVA located here¹ (to find the first of the PC ads, go to the 7.08 minute mark in the clip) that represented another in a long series of attempts by BC … Continue reading

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BCER Motorman Prevents Grim Scene Becoming Grimmer

The wreckage shown in the photo above shows part of the outcome of school boys playing around with the brakes on a Dominion Creosote boxcar that was parked on Main Street (as part of a reconstruction job going on at … Continue reading

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“Senator Grill” to White Spot’s “Garden Spot”

The Senator Grill was built in 1947 and opened in the summer of that year. The owners were Joseph W. Brault and John L. Cameron. Brault, a veteran restaurateur, had run an establishment just a few blocks away from where … Continue reading

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Dining Out – 50 Years Ago

I’m indebted to my friend, Rod Clarke, one of the proprietors of The Paper Hound Bookshop, for pointing out the book on which this post is based. It is called Where to Eat in Canada: 1971 and is a guide … Continue reading

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“On With the Show, This is It!” – The McCance Theatre Men

When I began researching this post, I intended to focus exclusively on Gail McCance, set designer for Theatre Under the Stars, the Vancouver Opera Association and other organizations. However, one of the first sources I encountered was a 1919 newspaper … Continue reading

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Happy Dominion (er. . . Canada) Day!

Originally posted July 1, 2014. This is a view from 1220 Homer (Yaletown) made by Ernie Reksten on a ‘holiday Monday’, July 3, 1967. The holiday was Dominion Day (known as Canada Day since 1982), and most Canadians should be able … Continue reading

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The Stock Theatre Companies of George B. Howard

George B. Howard (1868-1921) was a well-known figure in Vancouver in the 19-teens and twenties. He got his start in Vancouver at the Lyric Theatre (Pender at Hamilton), moved on to the Avenue Theatre (Main at Georgia) and finished at … Continue reading

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Christian Church (Disciples): 30 Years at Cambie and 13th

The church shown above began its life as Shelton Memorial Christian Church at 505 W 13th Ave (at Cambie Street) in 1927. It was on the site of what today is the former Plaza 500 hotel complex (the lower, four-storey, … Continue reading

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1927 Beauty Contest a Schmozzle

Popularity Contest? Beauty Contest? Shown in the photo above are some of the contestants in the Canadian Legion Celebration Popularity Contest, gathered around the Auburn vehicle that was promised to the winner of the competition. Although the Legion referred to … Continue reading

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Frank Stuart-Whyte: Impressario Extraordinaire

When Frank Stuart-Whyte wrote to the Vancouver Parks Board in 1911 asking for a meeting to discuss whether his “Versatile” players from England could have a license to perform at English Bay in the summer, he almost certainly had no … Continue reading

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A Brief Revealing Tale

I’m reliably informed that this story has been told before, more than once. But it was new to me, and so, working on the assumption that others likewise may be unaware of the tale, I’m sharing it below. The story … Continue reading

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A (Forgotten) Dragon Named Sue

Monster Mash The 150-foot dragon (“painted in an Indian motif and floating on oil drums”) was installed in Lost Lagoon by the B.C. Centennial (1858-1958) Committee in June 1958 (Sun 19 June 1958). The Chinese junk, which was to be … Continue reading

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Misspellings of My Surname . . . Let Me Count the Ways!

Aurey, Aury, Owrey, and Awray. I have found all of these mis-spellings of the surname of Peter Alpaugh Awrey (1824-1906). (Oddly, his middle name — which seems to me more challenging — was never misspelled in official documents!) The good … Continue reading

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The Steno Sisters

In the early years of the twentieth century, it wasn’t often that a young woman started her own small business, much less made a ‘go’ of it for nearly 30 years! But that’s exactly what Catherine Pedden did. With help … Continue reading

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Art Glass at First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church is going to be closed to the public for the next two years (2021-ca2023) as it undergoes substantial renovation, seismic upgrading and development. It seems to me appropriate, therefore, to offer a stained glass ‘tour’ of First … Continue reading

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Sir John and Prince Volkonsky

Sir John Martin Harvey had a reputation as a Shakespearean actor on the stage and (later) as a silent film star in the U.K. and in the wider world, not least in Canada (when he was in Vancouver in 1921, … Continue reading

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Hornett vs. Solomon

The Process (and Some Findings) A number of VAIW readers have asked me how I get and develop ideas for my posts. This post presents a pretty typical example, so indulge me as I trace the process: I began with … Continue reading

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Some 19th-Century Lingo Related to Marriage and Singleness

This brief post is a tour of three odd Victorian words and phrases that pertain to marriage and singleness and that were employed in early Vancouver newspapers. Bachelor’s Hall The photo above shows a bachelor’s hall in Vancouver in 1890. … Continue reading

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Those Musical (and Tragic) Clays

Prof. Milton Clay his wife, Amy and their boys, Percy, Harold, and Reginald made quite a splash during their time in Vancouver. Milton, who was an unabashed promoter of himself and his family, made sure that from their arrival in … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s Junkmen of the Thirties

This is an atypical VAIW post. It consists largely of an extended verbatim quotation from a long-forgotten West End Vancouver newspaper, called the West End Breeze. The subject of the quote is the junkmen of the 1930s who, with horse … Continue reading

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‘Knight of the Brush and Broom’ and Curator of What Would Become MOA

William Tansley (1859-1951) was a UBC janitor starting in September 1916, in the period when the school was located in the Fairview district (at what is today Vancouver General Hospital). When Tansley accepted his position at UBC, it was another … Continue reading

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Playograph Adds Zing to World Series

The image shown above was encountered by me yesterday when I was researching a forthcoming post. When I saw the photo, I noticed that CVA’s description of the photo’s locale was wrong. It wasn’t “Hastings Street and Beatty Street” as … Continue reading

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‘Brood’ of Seven Baptist Churches

First Baptist Church (FBC) had, as one of its early objectives, the planting of daughter churches in the neighbourhoods of the city as it gradually grew. The focus of this post is on the churches of that ‘brood’ and, specifically, … Continue reading

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Lending Libraries: Private Sector Fills Public Gap

Before there was a network of branch public libraries in Vancouver, the demand for inexpensive reading material was met in large part by the private sector. Not principally by new or used booksellers, but by an entirely different category of … Continue reading

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John Jenkinson: Photographer

John Jenkinson (1871-1936) described himself on his marriage certificate as an electrician. His occupation in the early years of the 20th century was as a lineman for the CPR and later for the BCER (BC Electric Railway). He worked his … Continue reading

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Lest We Impress: Georgia Medical-Dental Building

Update It is all too easy to impress the present onto the past. Especially in cases where there has been an attempt made by contemporary architects to ‘nod’ to a prior building that once occupied a lot (which I consider praise-worthy). … Continue reading

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Dominic Charlie

I didn’t know who Dominic Charlie was when I came across these photos of him in the “incarcerated persons” section of CVA’s files. Here, he was a man in his mid-20s who had been nabbed by the local constabulary. He … Continue reading

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Jean Campbell Haynes (nee Archibald)

I came across Jean Archibald yesterday when I was at The Paper Hound Bookshop. Not in person, mind you. She died in 1974. But I encountered her through her bookplate on a book that I purchased. Kim Koch, one of … Continue reading

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A Few Photos Showing Changes to Our Urban Landscape Over the Past Decade

Happy New Year! I’m not going to devote much text to this post; it is a slideshow, for the most part. The photos are my own made in Greater Vancouver over the past ten years. The photos have a story … Continue reading

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The Shack

There was a time, evidently, in Vancouver’s distant past, when office space wasn’t at a premium in the downtown core. The building shown above was developed by and named in honour of A. G. Ferguson in late 1888. When I … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s David Spencer Department Store

This post is about David Spencer, Ltd.  This was a now-long-gone but once much-loved B.C. department store chain with a store located in downtown Vancouver, which most residents of the city today know as the locations of Harbour Centre tower and … Continue reading

Posted in department stores, Dominion Photo, Don Coltman, Harry Bullen, street scenes, stuart thomson, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Yaletown’s Grocery Hall of Fame

In 1979, a Grocery Hall of Fame was established in Yaletown at 1241 Homer Street. The founder was Bill Spaner. He was then (and, evidently, still is) a food broker with a business called Tempo Sales. The Curator of the … Continue reading

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The First VAIW Post (February 2014): 1885 Brockton View

This photograph (CVA Wat P38) was the work of Lauchlan A. Hamilton. In my judgement, it is one of the most attractive early images available from the digital collection of the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA). Mr Hamilton lived in … Continue reading

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What Do CNR Depot and Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden Have in Common?

The Chinese Tennis Club was at both locations! A brief chronology of the Chinese Tennis Club: 1936: Chinese Tennis Club was established. The Club was affiliated with the B.C. Lawn and Tennis Association. The Club played other clubs in that … Continue reading

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Ernest Augustus Muling, French Chef

Update 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 … Continue reading

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Kolster’s Radio Musicians

The eight-person musical group shown above is Kolster’s Musicians. They were a group of Vancouver people who were assembled to play music on CKWX Radio (Vancouver) for their principal sponsor, Kolster Radios. Kolster was a U.S. brand radio, distributed in … Continue reading

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Ancient Mariners of Carrall Street

It is an ancient Mariner,And he stoppeth one of three‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,Now wherefore stopp’st thou me? The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. First stanza. Text of 1834. As far as I know, … Continue reading

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Flying Saucer Clubs

The 1950s and ’60s were prime time for flying saucer enthusiasts. There were at least two UFO-related Vancouver clubs at that time — one called the Vancouver Area Flying Saucer Club (1956-ca1979) and another at UBC known as the Varsity … Continue reading

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Civil Defence Training HQ on Granville Street

The property identified in the image above as Vancouver’s Civil Defence Training HQ was originally occupied by NeoLite — a neon sign company. [1] The space was only a temporary site for the civil defence HQ from 1951-1953 mainly because … Continue reading

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Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”

Update My very good friend, Art Hadley, died on Christmas Day, 2016. He had a special connection with Vancouver, although he and his wife, Edna, spent relatively little time in the Greater Vancouver area, recently. In their retirement, they settled in … Continue reading

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Change and the UBC War Memorial Gym

The War Memorial Gym is one of the few buildings on UBC’s campus that has withstood the plans of developers and administrators to demolish and replace structures that show the least age. As you will see in the photos below, … Continue reading

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Barron/Belmont Hotel

There is a hotel on the SE corner of Granville and Nelson that has stood there for nearly 110 years. It has been known for most of that time as the Hotel Belmont. During its early years, however, it was … Continue reading

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70 Years of FBC Organists

Update The early organists at First Baptist Church (1905-1975) are an intriguing collection. One was willful and arguably bad-tempered; another had an unusual name which the press messed up; one was on staff when the Sanctuary and organ burned to … Continue reading

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CONSECRATION Day?!

August 4, 1915 was declared by Vancouver’s civic authorities to be Consecration Day. It would commemorate the one-year anniversary of Canada declaring war against Germany and thereby entering the Great War. In the words of those who were contemporary to … Continue reading

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Murray and His Book Store

I was delighted when my friend, Jason, presented me with the bag shown above, a year or two ago. Murray’s Book Store wasn’t then known to me. It had gone out of business a few years before I’d started to … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s Hippodrome Pipe Dream

The drawing above is of the planned Vancouver Hippodrome. [1] It was to have been located on the SE corner of Granville and Pacific at the north end of the Granville Bridge #2 (see image near the end of this … Continue reading

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Professor Garnett Sedgewick: To the Fourth Power

Update In these times when the dollar is king, the norm in development circles is that he/she/they who donates the largest wad of cash to the construction of a building gets it named after him/her/them. This appears not to have … Continue reading

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J. W. Freeston, Photographer

Update The panorama image shown above was made by B.C. professional photographer, John W. Freeston (1887-1923) in 1919. He married Florence Mary Hall (ca1874-1944) ca1904 in England. He and Florence had two daughters (Elsie May and Kathleen Mary) and one … Continue reading

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Crèches (1912-1932)

Crèche is an old-fashioned term that referred — in the early years of the 20th century — to a day nursery for the kids of working moms. [1] Typical husbands were assumed to be in the workforce and women to … Continue reading

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The Beers

William James Beer and Fannie Philips lived at 623 Richards Street — across Richards from the Holy Rosary (Roman Catholic) Church (as it then was), roughly on the land occupied later by the Dunsmuir Hotel. The neighbourhood was a ‘churchy’ … Continue reading

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The Wild West: Early Shooting Galleries

A shooting gallery in late 19th and early 20th century Vancouver was a quite different place than is conjured by that term 100 years later. A shooting gallery in early Vancouver had nothing to do with illicit drugs. It was … Continue reading

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Wilson’s 1907 Cadillac

Dr. Thomas Haddow Wilson was the first owner of the 1907 Cadillac which I was privileged to view, recently. Wilson was born in Kitchener, ON in 1869. He graduated from medical school at the University of Manitoba in 1897 and … Continue reading

Posted in Artray, automobiles, First Baptist Church, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mistaken Assumption . . .

There’s a building on West Hastings near Hamilton about which I’ve had a long-standing misconception. It’s sweeping facade reminded me so much of a 1940s-style movie theatre that I’ve always assumed that that was the original occupant. [1] But I … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, interiors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fowler’s Rose

This carving of a Tudor Rose was taken from the tomb of the Duke of York, Tewkesbury Abbey, England, in the year of 1881 when repairs were being made to the tomb. The same year it was given to Major … Continue reading

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Nabob’s ‘Harmony House’ on CBC

The “Harmony House” radio variety show was the first commercial radio program originating in the West to be put on CBC’s network. It was broadcast live from the Orpheum Theatre, starting in September 1943 [1]. The corporate sponsor of Harmony … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Smoking Prohibited at this Smoker!

This is a very brief post to point out a couple of interesting aspects of this WWII-era “Smoker” (a social gathering that typically included tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking) of the 201st Battery, held in downtown Vancouver. First, I should … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Mysterious Joseph Langer

Update (June 2020) Information on [J. F.] Langer is . . . difficult to find. There’s nothing on him in the City of Vancouver Archives, nothing in the Special Collections Division of the Vancouver Public Library, precious little elsewhere. — … Continue reading

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Analog Craig’s List, 1967

Given that Ron Morrier is best remembered today as the host of All-Star Wrestling, it may be a bit surprising to watch him hosting this 15-minute program. He comes across as a calm, well-spoken, and good-humoured gent. Joseph Roland DeLorme … Continue reading

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Dr. Ray Starr Goodwin

According to handwritten information on the back of this photo, it is an image of First Baptist Church young people on an outing to Deep Cove ca1904-05. The only person named is “Ray Starr Goodwin”, but he isn’t identified except … Continue reading

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Granville Street on the Verge

I was trolling through CVA’s online photographic holdings this morning when I came across this image. It wasn’t the first time. Once again, I was struck by how much it appeals to me. The appeal of this northward shot of … Continue reading

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No ‘Social Distancing’ Going on Here!

Original post published in 2015 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 … Continue reading

Posted in Jack Lindsay, people, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Variant of Vancouver’s SECOND Coat of Arms?

This brief post is just to notify my readers that I have stumbled across what may be a hitherto unknown variant of Vancouver’s second coat of arms (1903-1969). For a history of the city’s three coats, see here and here. … Continue reading

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Ladybug Tours

By Maurice Guibord, Guest Blogger Years ago, I came across this postcard (above) and then a pamphlet (below) touting “Ladybug Tours” offered in Stanley Park. I got the two pieces years apart, so it was nice to put them together. … Continue reading

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John A. Radford: ‘Artistic Dean’ . . . Who?

When John Radford died, the Vancouver Sun hailed him as “dean of Vancouver artists and famous throughout Canada as an architect, water-colorist and art critic”. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in Vancouver (even in art or local … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s Monarchs of the Bronze

In 1932 the Vancouver Sun newspaper teamed up with a number of suburban Famous Players theatres, as well as a few ‘country’ theatres across the interior of B.C. to have a “Sun Tan Contest”. [1] The ‘contest’ would actually consist … Continue reading

Posted in Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maison Henri: Vancouver’s Forgotten Parisian Hairdresser

Henri Gautschi’s Vancouver hairdressing business, Maison Henri, lasted for over 35 years. But today the business and its proprietor are generally unknown. Henri Edward Gautshci (whose surname sounded Italian) was born in 1875 in Paris, France. His father came from Switzerland. … Continue reading

Posted in Frank J. Leonard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Barry Glass, Star Photographer

Barry William Glass was born in North Vancouver in 1933 to William Glass and Winnifred Marr. He went to Britannia High School, where he was a member of the MacMillan Club of Fine Arts. During his years at Britannia, the … Continue reading

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Fun Facts: The Signal Station Atop Lions Gate Bridge

The signal station that serviced Burrard Inlet before the bridge was built was the Prospect Point station (1893-1939); the old signal station was located atop the cliff above the Prospect Point lighthouse. Lions Gate bridge station (formally known as “First … Continue reading

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The Age of the Searchlight

The late 1920s and 1930s was the age of the searchlight in Vancouver. Searchlights were not a new thing. They had been in use in 19th century Europe. Indeed, they were not new to Vancouver, either. Searchlight technology was in … Continue reading

Posted in Art Grice, Art Jones, Jack Lindsay, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A South Richards Street Survivor

The very solid brick structure shown above was at 1339 Richards Street and seems to have been built circa 1914. To my surprise, given Vancouver’s record of demo-ing most buildings that stand for more than 50 years, this structure endured … Continue reading

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Ted Lefebure’s ‘Voice’ (in the absence of a photo)

The germ of this post (if one may use such a word these virus-centric days) came from local music/theatre expert, Tom Carter. He found the correspondence that is at the post’s heart in a Gastown antique shop years ago and … Continue reading

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When the ‘King of Swing’ was Here

Benny Goodman (1909-1986) was my musical hero during my high school years. No, those years were not for me the 1930s or 1940s. They were the late 1970s! Yes, I was and am, perhaps, a bit odd. I was turned … Continue reading

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1948 Exterior Views of Vancouver’s Grand Old Lady

This is a pictorial post of crops based on some terrific images made of the Old Hotel Vancouver (1916) by Don Coltman in April 1948. Judging from the titles given the original images, I take it that these were commissioned … Continue reading

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William Fowler: Early Orchestra Leader in an Innocent Age

William Fowler (1875-1936) was the leader of Fowler’s Orchestra from ca1902 to ca1915. He was the eldest son of James Fowler and Jane Youngson. His sole sibling was his younger brother, Peter. The Fowlers came to Vancouver from England in … Continue reading

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Earle Hill: From ‘Dainty’ to ‘Cave Man’ Music

Earle Hill (1887-1955) was a noteworthy orchestra leader in Vancouver in the late 19-teens and the ’30s and ’40s. Earle Channell Hill was born in 1887 to William and Vella in Vanvert, Ohio. He played the violin. He had his … Continue reading

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Former U.S. President Tours Vancouver…in About 30 Minutes

When former U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt, came to Vancouver on July 18, 1915, he was in town for about half an hour. The Roosevelt party, according to press accounts, consisted of three people: Colonel Teddy Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt (Edith Kermit … Continue reading

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Avon Theatrical Productions: A Checklist

The Avon Theatre was originally known as the Pantages, from its opening with that name as a vaudeville house in 1908 (on south side of East Hastings between Columbia and Main). It was identified less formally as the ‘old Pantages’ … Continue reading

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Stauffer’s and Mitten’s Arctic Club

The Arctic Club was one of several cocktail and supper clubs in Vancouver in the ’30s, 40s, and ’50s (including the Quadra, the World, and Jean Fuller’s). According to recollections of the Arctic Club at the Vancouver Jazz Forum, it was a … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, interiors, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vending Before Food Trucks

Posted in Al Ingram, people, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Flying Was Still Exotic

Update 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 interior space to create the impression of a DC-3 aircraft fuselage. The Sky Diner … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Foncie Pulcie, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Crowd Welcomes Kilties at Union Depot/Thornton Park

The photos above and below are identified by the City of Vancouver Archives as being a “large crowd gathered around automobile, men in military uniforms” and the date shown for the photos is “ca1915.” I had doubts about the attributed … Continue reading

Posted in military, railways, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Nowhere – Fast – in 1901

This seemed like an apt image to post in this season of broken fitness resolutions. The image was made, according to the City of Vancouver Archives, about 120 years ago. My two questions, regarding the photo: (1) Where was it … Continue reading

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Archives Image Corrected by Horizontal Flip

Update It can be disorienting when a historical image’s negative is printed from the wrong side. By viewing the image to the right, you can see the way the image appears on CVA as of mid-February, 2017. (That the image … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, cafes/restaurants/eateries, churches, Ernie Reksten, hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Remembrance Services Past at First Baptist Church

Update 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 … Continue reading

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, jennifer friesen, people, Ross J. Kenward | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Behind This Wall at Hotel Vancouver…

Update Behind the wall shown above, in the elevator court of the third (1939) Hotel Vancouver, lies, quite possibly, Ascension, a work of bas-relief sculpture created by Beatrice Lennie (1904-1987) a renowned and very able good sculptor. Doris Munroe, in … Continue reading

Posted in art, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Shop at Sich’s Corner

Sich’s Corner was the name of an early Vancouver tobacconist’s shop located on the southwest corner of Cambie at Cordova. The person who named it and for whom it was named remained at the corner and, indeed, in Vancouver, for … Continue reading

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One of the Largest Organs West of Winnipeg

Updated I purchased this photo at The History Store. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to know which church it is/was that housed the amazing-looking pipe organ. What I Knew (or Thought I Knew) The clues I had to … Continue reading

Posted in churches, new westminster, Russell Photo Studio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Forgotten Purcell Hall

Purcell Hall and the B.C. School of Church Music (the two were ‘tied at the hip’ for most of their lives) came into being in 1936 at the SW corner of Georgia at Denman Streets (1808 W Georgia), adjacent to … Continue reading

Posted in churches, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First Baptist Church’s Iron Fence/Notice Board Memorials

Judging from what I’ve heard and what appears to be the ‘vision’ of the current First Baptist Church building project, upon its completion, there will no longer be an iron fence surrounding the garden near the tower entry. That is, … Continue reading

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H.M.S. New Zealand at Vancouver, 1913

This post will showcase a few of the photos made by Vancouver photographer, Stuart Thomson, in 1913 on the occasion of a visit to the city of H.M.S. New Zealand. The ship had been funded by New Zealand as a … Continue reading

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Adult Ed in Technical Subjects in 1930s Vancouver

This post focusses on a series of photographs made in about 1937 by the great pro photographer, Stuart Thomson, of what appears to be adult education going on in a variety of technical subjects. The photo above, it may be … Continue reading

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S.S. Islander’s Forgotten Gulf Ferry Service

The Islander is today known by some as a gold-laden ship that was sunk by an iceberg off the Alaskan coast in 1901. But what seems to have been forgotten (1) is that prior to that unhappy event, it served … Continue reading

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Sea of Hats

Updated This is a somewhat unusual view of the Cambie Street Recreation Grounds (for ome later years, the site of the long-distance bus station, later still – optimistically – dubbed Larwill Park and serving as a City car park with … Continue reading

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Prof. Ludwig Zimmer, Herbalist . . . and Zimmerton’s Namesake

Ludwig (“Louis”) Zimmer (1838-1895) was born in Grunberg, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany, but left his homeland when a young man. He settled in Guelph, ON in 1861. In 1867, he married Salome (b1829), who was also born in Germany. His business … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, medical matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cleve’s Win Impacts at Least a Couple of Vancouver Residents

Who are the principal figures in this image? What is the context? And where is this bunch of early Vancouverites gathered on this occasion? This brief article in the Vancouver Daily World is helpful: Fulfilled the Wager At 2:30 this … Continue reading

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Who IS this Woman?

Who was this attractive woman with such a determined countenance¹? If you were to ask this question at the City of Vancouver Archives — where this photograph has resided, probably, for most of its life — staff there might, quite … Continue reading

Posted in biography, businesses, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Harry T. Devine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The McIntosh Girls in Tent Town

I’m not sure what it is about this image that I find compelling. It is a well-made photograph, to be sure; the exposure and composition are flawless. But I don’t think the technical competence of the photographer is what draws … Continue reading

Posted in Bailey Bros. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

International Harvester BC/Yukon HQ

The demolition of The Party Bazaar building this week, after 7 years at its Station Street location, made me wonder what other businesses had been in that building over the years. In fact, few. In 1950, the heavy truck manufacturing … Continue reading

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Adam’s Rib Cabaret

Update! I love the scantily-clad, outrageous word play on this card! Adam’s Rib (1047 Granville) was located on the west side of Granville Street, midway between Helmcken and Nelson. Specifically, it was between where “The Mexican” restaurant and the “Vietnamese … Continue reading

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

Connaught Beach Club

By Neil Whaley, Guest Blogger English Bay’s Crystal Swimming Pool had its beginnings in a 1926 proposal for a private luxury facility called the Connaught Beach Club. That club was to have a pool, tennis courts, separate Turkish baths for … Continue reading

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J. C. Rowley: Painter, Decorator and (Gasp!) Debt Absconder

John Capper Rowley (1844-1941) was a real character who was a resident in Vancouver during its pioneering period! Born in Staffordshire, England, he was the son of a coach shop owner. He began a lifetime of wandering when in 1861 … Continue reading

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B.C. Lions SNORED in ’54!

This post is a fun excuse to show off a few of Gordon Poppy’s photos of a window display he helped set up for the Vancouver flagship store of  T. Eaton Company (at the time, from 1949-1973, in the former … Continue reading

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Sleeper Photo Reveals Lost Deco Interior in Marine Building

Update! Thanks to a 2012 publication by Michael Windover, Art Deco: A Mode of Mobility (Québec : Presses de l’Université du Québec), I have learned that the mural on the wall shown below (with a deco-style airplane and ocean liner … Continue reading

Posted in art, Leonard J. Frank | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Phone Exchanges: Tools for Local Historians

By Neil Whaley, Guest Blogger I collect vintage Vancouver items and I like to be able to pin down the date they were created as accurately as possible. Phone numbers on items are helpful; many telephone exchanges in Vancouver existed … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Comfort’s 1954 Portraits at UBC

This is just a line to accompany the images of the portraits shown above. It was learned this week that these six images of UBC faculty and officials (which had been shown in UBC’s Archival Collections as painted by “unknown” … Continue reading

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Tag Days

  — By Neil Whaley, Guest Blogger ‘Tag days’ were one-day fundraisers held in Vancouver before, during and after WW1. Volunteers canvassed on street corners for a particular cause, and donors received a tag on a string they could wear … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ‘Whisper Off Granville’: Delmonico Cafe

Like me, you may never have heard of the Delmonico Cafe. It was on the south side of Robson Street ‘just a whisper [west of] Granville’ (to borrow from one of their slogans) for scarcely six years. In its brief … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Where Was This Photo Made?

I’ve intentionally not shown a caption description of the location of the above image. I’d like you to study the photo and take your best guess as to which block is shown here. Okay, ready? It is the east side … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

In Love . . . with a Photograph

I think this is a superb post-war image of a Vancouver intersection. What do I love about it? First and foremost, I love that it is not a standard Vancouver view. This is not an intersection that was often photographed and, … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, cafes/restaurants/eateries, food, Otto F. Landauer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Grand Union Hotel: Moving Around

When it occurred to me, recently, to research the history of the still-standing Grand Union Hotel (on unit block West Hastings), it seemed to me that it should be a fairly straightforward task. How mistaken I was. It turned out … Continue reading

Posted in hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

700 Seymour in ’47

The three images featured in this post of the 700 block of Seymour Street are among the finest available of the block from CVA online. Professional photographer, Don Coltman, was commissioned to make the images for Shell Oil, Co. in … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, Don Coltman, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

WHAT-ithumpians?!

What on earth is a “calithumpian” and what is its relevance in a blog about how Vancouver once was? An article in the Woodstock (Ontario) Sentinel-Review, had this to say: According to the Thamesford [Ontario] Calithumpian website, the word Calithumpian … Continue reading

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Spider and the Fly: Personality Politics at First Baptist in 1905

Context It was the spring of 1905. First Baptist Church was still worshipping in the modest wooden building on Hamilton and Dunsmuir, but they had purchased the lot on Burrard and Nelson and were beginning to raise funds to build … Continue reading

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Missing?: Monument to First City Survey Stake

This monument was created in 1952 to honour the driving of the first survey stake by CPR Land Commissioner, L. A. Hamilton (sometimes referred to as the “Godfather of Vancouver”), at the site (300 Hastings Street; SW corner of Hamilton and … Continue reading

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‘Bailey Bridge’ in Downtown Vancouver, 1944

Updated (First Published August 2015) This photograph shows a 240-foot Bailey Bridge (1 of 2 by Don Coltman; the other image appears below) spanning Georgia Street at Howe Street in 1944. Zooming on the image reveals a sign on the structure … Continue reading

Posted in architects, bridges/viaducts, Don Coltman, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

First Baptist’s “Living Room” to be Demolished

Update (first posted October, 2018) “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing … Continue reading

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MIA: The Loss of a 20-foot Painting (Rolph Blakstad: Part I)

This is a tale of discovery. Of learning what a painting was called, who created it, and, perhaps, what became of it. The story began with the photo shown below. I have a peculiar passion for Fred Sunday’s panoramic images. … Continue reading

Posted in art, UBC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pierre Elliot Trudeau in Vancouver: 1976

Update I’ve been remembering, recently, the dominant national political personality during my formative years, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I found this rather good photo in UBC Library’s Digital Collection of his June 1976 visit to UBC. Here, he is visiting UBC shortly after the official opening … Continue reading

Posted in biography, Former Prime Ministers, schools/colleges/universities, UBC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Musical Occupations of Horace W. Harpur

Horace William Harpur was a prominent Vancouver organist, pianist, and band leader in the 1890s and beyond. Family H. W. Harpur was born in England in 1869 to Rev. George Harpur and and Miriam Browne. Rev. Harpur was initially a Congregational minister … Continue reading

Posted in churches, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Park Lane

Park Lane was one of the early residential districts in Vancouver; it later was a proposed ‘red light’ district; the homes of the Lane were destroyed to help make way for the Union railway depot; the depot ultimately also succumbed … Continue reading

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Turn On Your Headlights for Car Service

Update This is an unusual photo. I’ve seen other photos taken from Smithe or thereabouts on Burrard Street (such as the one that appears below) with the White Spot neon signage displayed. But this is the only image I’ve seen … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Werner Lenggenhager | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Professor Alan C. Cairns

The fact that Professor Alan Cairns was on the faculty of UBC’s Political Science Department was one of the principal reasons that I came to Vancouver and UBC to do my M.A. And so it is with sadness that I … Continue reading

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