Are they really haunted? You’ll have to find out for yourself. These are the stories we’ve heard.
Evoking a medieval French castle, the Chateau-style Hotel Vancouver, complete with steep copper roof (now painted green), ornate dormers, and creepy gargoyles, is alleged to be haunted by an elegant “lady in red” who patrols the 14th floor. This fashionable apparition has reportedly been seen walking on an invisible ledge by hotel guests, employees and film crews. It is said that the hotel’s elevator often stops on the 14th floor, and as the elevator door opens on its own, the lady in red is seen gliding through the hallway . . . .
Hotel Vancouver – Archibald & Schofield, 1928-1939. Reference code AM54-S4-: Hot P70
This medieval style, fortress-like landmark is Vancouver ‘s earliest drill hall. Its notable features include two rounded towers complete with battlements, and rusticated stone trim. Three and a half foot thick walls and a parapet made from Gabriola Island limestone rest solidly on a foundation of huge granite blocks. The Hall has always housed Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s senior militia regiment, The British Columbia Regiment – Duke of Connaught’s Own. Various eerie sounds are the most commonly reported evidence of other-worldly residents: footsteps. . . . voices. . . . books falling from shelves. . . . items falling from walls. However, the image of a man has been observed in the Senior NCO’s and Officer’s messes. Little is known of the identity of those who haunt the Drill Hall, but the military personnel who trained here saw action in the Boer War, as well as the First and Second World Wars. Continue reading →
Join historians John Atkin and Michael Kluckner in the Space Centre‘s digital Planetarium Star Theatre to look back at Vancouver as you’ve never seen it before. Two “indoor” digital walking tours allow you to experience the changes that have enveloped our city over the last 100 years.
Michael Kluckner’s presentation pays special attention to the Olympic Village and Kerrisdale areas. View of Arbutus Street at 37th Avenue, Reference code AM54-S4-3-: PAN NX
The presentations use a selection of images from our W. J. Moore panorama negatives, which we’ve featured here before. Remarkably, the Space Centre has used the same high-resolution JPG images that you can download from our online search and projected them to fill the Star Theatre. They are matched with stunning modern panoramas and other audiovisual elements to produce two unique shows.
Home Movie Day is a free public event and the world’s leading effort to honour and preserve small format films. Bring in your amateur films, have them assessed by film professionals, and, if you wish, films in good condition will be projected for all to enjoy. On a second screen, there will be a continuous screening of home movies from the CBC Media Archives, the Royal BC Museum and us.
You can find out what’s on those old films you inherited, chat with archivists, discuss a transfer to video with a vendor, grab some popcorn and watch movies for hours. Check out the Vancouver event on Facebook!
Children and animals in garden, ca. 1930. Reference code AM1470-: MI-43.
Home Movie Day was conceived in 2002 by a group of film archivists as a way to promote the preservation of amateur small format films. They were concerned about what would happen to all the home movies shot on film during the 20th century. They knew many people had boxes full of family memories that they’d never seen for lack of a projector or out of fear that the films were too fragile to be viewed. They also knew that many people were having their amateur films transferred to videotape or DVD, with the mistaken idea that their new digital copies would last forever and the “obsolete” films could be discarded.
October 19 has been proclaimed Home Movie Day in the City of Vancouver.
Home Movie Day 2013 proclamation, City of Vancouver
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Time: 12 – 4 pm
Place: The Hangar at the CDM, 577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver
This post was written by Kathy Kinakin, one of our volunteers.
What to do when set to the task of rehousing of 335 17.8cm x 43cm panorama glass plate negatives stored in the drawers of a filing cabinet? The negatives are part of the Stuart Thomson fonds. Thomson was active as a commercial photographer in Vancouver for several decades in the first half of the 20th century. The negatives are large, very fragile and heavy, and because of their unusual size, the solution isn’t as easy as putting them in standard archival envelopes and an off-the-shelf archival glass negative storage box. In this case, a custom-made housing was necessary.
The glass negatives as they were stored in the drawers of the filing cabinet. Photograph by Kathy Kinakin.
Glass plate negatives are normally safest when housed in envelopes and placed upright on their long edge in a storage box, as this protects the delicate surface of the negative from pressure. The size and weight of these negatives meant that only 7-10 of them could be put in a single box before it became too heavy to handle. A box like this would be quite thin and very unstable when sitting on a shelf so this was not a practical option. A larger, more stable box with spacers to securely hold the negatives could be used, though with the number of negatives needing to be housed, this wouldn’t be an efficient use of space. With all of this in mind, I decided to build a custom sink mat for each negative, and a custom clamshell box for a group of mats. Continue reading →
In an earlier post we showcased the work of BC Sugar chemists and the records they created and used. Company agriculturists and plant geneticists also contributed to sugar beet production research. The first PhD hired by BC Sugar was Dr. Frank Peto, an agriculturalist with a doctorate in cytogenetics from the University of Wales.
Dr. Frank Peto in a sugarcane field in the Dominican Republic at the BC Sugar-owned Ozama Sugar Refining Company, ca.1945. Reference code: 2011-092.4388.
Dr. Peto was head of BC Sugar’s agricultural research department. His career started as a National Research Council plant researcher and his specialized knowledge led to working with beet seeds at Buckerfields Ltd. In 1944 the portion of Buckerfields dealing with sugar beet seeds was purchased by BC Sugar. Continue reading →
Vancouver Sun fashion editor Marie Moreau poses on the roof of the Hudson’s Bay store, March 2, 1942. Reference code AM1184-S3-: CVA 1184-114. Photographer Jack Lindsay.
We have images from fashion shows of the past. These runway models are wearing belted bathing suits made by Jantzen, as the “diving girl” logo is visible. It’s hard to tell if they are made of wool, but it was still a popular material for knitted swimsuits in the 1930s. Continue reading →
Ah, the Archives! Shelves of ancient, crumbling volumes disappearing into shadowed heights, honeycomb walls of coiled scrolls, one skeletal, omniscient archivist-monk carrying a lantern… I can imagine hypothetical archivists and conservators cringing in horror. If you’ve read as many fantasy novels as I have and have been afflicted with similar fantasies/nightmares, I can assure you that the inside of the modern archives is much more sensible altogether, all uniform rows of acid-free boxes, labeled and ordered. Dust is out, HVACs, environmental standards and lint-free gloves are in. The labyrinthine memory of the mortal archivist is vastly improved upon by systematic arrangement and archival description databases. Gothic architecture or no Gothic architecture, in the archives—the real archives—there is still a sense of awe in the presence of the remains of history, an awareness of its fragility before the ink-fading, data-corrupting streams of time.
Records from the Victorian Order of Nurses. Photo by Cristen Polley.
Earlier this summer, archivist Chak Yung showed us to the boxes of unprocessed records we would spend the next month with, closely examining, analyzing, inventorying, describing and rehousing in archival-quality containers. Based on study of the records, we would reconstruct the lives of the records’ creators, their activities, and the logic of their recordkeeping system for future researchers—not always a straightforward task, since most of us don’t organize or label our files with their eventual comprehensibility to total strangers in mind. Continue reading →
Since I began my archival studies degree, I have been keen to get some hands-on experience. This summer, the City of Vancouver Archives took me in for a three-month internship.
On my first day, archivist Chak Yung introduced me to fourteen boxes of records from City Stage Theatre, which I would process over the next month. I was fortunate to be assigned a fonds with a diversity of materials. The City Stage fonds includes textual records (such as correspondence and play scripts), newspaper clippings, promotional materials (such as colorful handbills, posters, and programs for plays), stage plans, Playhouse magazines, reel-to-reel audio tapes, and approximately 500 (mostly professional black and white) photographs.
A sample from the City Stage Theatre fonds – Playboard magazines, reel-to-reel audio tapes, box office reports, and sheet music from a theatrical production. Photograph by Mel Leverich.
It was a pleasure to be assigned to the City Stage Theatre fonds, as it documents a fascinating part of Vancouver’s theatre history. City Stage Theatre was a professional theatre company based in Vancouver that operated from 1972-1986 and was founded and managed by Ray Michal, a passionate advocate for theatre in this city. In its early days, the theatre was located in a converted donut shop at 591 Howe Street where they offered short shows over the noon hour for the downtown business crowd and local residents. As Michal explained in an interview, “we wanted to break some of the preconceived notions of what going to the theatre was all about … You could just walk up to the shop, and buy an hours’ worth of theatre. Just like you could walk up to the deli and get yourself a corned beef sandwich” (AM1560-S6-F50). Continue reading →
As a volunteer at the Archives, I was recently tasked with sorting through boxes that contained display materials and photo enlargements from previous Archives exhibits and displays (pre-Internet days). The object was to find interesting content for possible Authenticity blog posts. One of the boxes was marked “Diners” and as a food history buff I was immediately intrigued. Curiously, the box only contained two photo enlargements. I was immediately drawn to this image of the White Lunch from 1918.
White Lunch Ltd. No. 4, 806 Granville St. Vancouver, B.C., 8 Mar. 1918. Stuart Thomson, photographer. Reference code: AM1535-: CVA 99-5167
The photograph shows the rather elegant interior of the White Lunch including customers, servers, menu and prices. In 1918, you could get a bacon & egg sandwich for 15 cents, oyster stew for 25 cents, and a hot clubhouse sandwich for 35 cents.
From about 1894 to 1908, summer camping on the beach was considered a fashionable holiday tradition, enjoyed by many of Vancouver’s early well-to-do families.
The most popular spot was Greer’s (now Kits) Beach, where “tent town” comprised two long rows of tents on either side of an irregular “street” of beach sand. Greer’s Beach was reached by boat down False Creek from Carrall Street; on foot across the CPR trestle bridge or via a sinuous trail through the cleared area; or by buggy over a former wagon track used by loggers with their oxen.
English Bay Beach was another popular camping site, where, in 1898, “about two score tents extended to the West” and “many were commodious and richly furnished.”
These are the camping beaches shown in the images below.
Beach camping was discontinued after 1908, due to improper sanitation conditions and increased development. Continue reading →