“Don’t fail to visit Grouse Mountain. Its wonders are proclaimed by the thousands who have been there. It gives you a thrill such as you have never known before and as you will never know again unless you return – which you probably will.” Such is a sample of the marketing campaigns aimed at visitors and residents of the Vancouver area in the late 1920s and early 1930s by the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd., the records of which can be found here at the Archives.
Crown, Dam, Grouse, and Dome Mountains, with the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd.’s road drawn onto it, ~1925. Reference code: AM76-F02-: CVA 257-1
The company, which was incorporated on November 27, 1924, sketched out an ambitious plan in its prospectus which was published about a year later in 1925. Its aim was to build and operate “a first-class hotel and encampment” on the plateau near the summit of Grouse Mountain, “with tourist camp facilities for summer and winter amusements and sports.” The chalet itself was billed as “modern in every respect, with plumbing, heating, electric lighting and water supply, telegraph and telephone service.” Indeed, the fruition of the chalet and facilities did come to pass, with the resort opening on October 23, 1926. The company’s prospect to bring investors a good return on investment did seem promising given the stunning setting of the resort combined with the exponential increase of motor tourists, particularly American tourists, visiting the Vancouver area in the 1920s, and the easy access to the North Shore with the then newly completed Second Narrows Bridge in 1925. (Previous to the completion of this bridge, the only way to connect to the North Shore from Vancouver was to take a boat.) Continue reading →
On January 1st, the copyright expired for
some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. These materials
may now be legally reproduced and used for any purpose. Here’s a quick look at
some of the images, maps, and documentary art that have become easier to
Mary Lewina Henley was born in 1901 and lived at 1933 Robson St., near Stanley Park, until 1926. A label on the back of the frame of this painting reads “Caretaker’s cottage, that used to be about where Lord Stanley’s monument is now, and was at the top of the hill after coming over to old Stanley Park causeway – in the foreground where large trees – painted by me in 1914 – usually a peacock sunned on the little lawn.”
Happy Holidays and all that from the
Archives! Also, a reminder that the Archives will be closed from noon on
December 24, 2019, until 9am on January 2, 2020, for the holiday season.
This year’s season’s greeting comes from
the Jack Boothe
fonds. We thought Jack Boothe’s fun holiday card wishing the recipient
“Greetings from the moon” was an appropriate card to pay homage to the moon
landing of 50 years ago. Although the exact year this card was drawn for is
unclear, we can surmise from some of its clues that it was for a Christmas
sometime between 1969, when the Jack and his second wife Aileen (née Brownrigg)
moved to West Vancouver (note the Duchess Avenue address), and 1972, the last
Christmas before Boothe’s death, which occurred in August 1973.
In May, I started an internship at the City of Vancouver Archives with the goal of supporting community outreach and engagement with the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives (BCGLA). This opportunity was provided through UBC’s Public History Initiative, which gives UBC students like myself an opportunity to apply academic skills outside the classroom and expand community engagement with history. Being both a history student and a member of the LGBTQ2+ community meant that this position held particular importance for me, and I had a passionate interest in increasing the visibility and public use of these holdings.
You may remember our blog post from last October when we announced that the Hugh Pickett fonds was available to researchers in person at the Archives. Now, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives, we are happy to announce that over 700 photographs from the fonds are now digitized and available online.
Hugh Pickett was best known as ‘Vancouver’s Impresario’. Pickett began his career working as a press agent for Hilker Attractions, and eventually ended up running the company with Holly Maxwell under the name Famous Artists Ltd. from 1947 until 1964. Famous Artists was an artistic management company dedicated to sponsoring appearances by artists and ballet and theatre companies in Vancouver and Victoria, and Pickett remained at the head of the company until he sold it in the mid 1980s.
This year in preparation for Halloween, the Archives staff rounded up some of the scariest things they have seen come past their desks over the years. So relax, eat some candy and enjoy perusing these creepy, weird and fun items from our holdings!
Archival Assistant Kim Unruh shared a newspaper clipping she came across from the Major Matthews Newspaper Clippings Collection. The clipping shows a 1940s Granville Bridge witch, complete with traffic jam poem. Still relevant today!
The BCGLA Audiovisual Recordings series consists of 43 audio tapes and 93 video tapes. The audio recordings include show tapes for drag performances at B.J.’s Club, various interviews for Angles, and Gay Games III coverage. The video recordings consist of drag events; fashion shows; made for television documentaries and specials; the Little Sister’s 2000 trial; and footage from various Pride Parades.
Thanks to local resident Flora Thompson, the Archives received a donation of over 400 photographs documenting the wrought-iron work and decorative designs of Vancouver residences. Thompson took these photographs from 1995 to 2003 and the images highlight a unique aspect and era of Vancouver building design. This same design aesthetic is reflected in Vancouver homes from a certain era beyond that of the Marpole neighbourhood.
As summer turns over into autumn, we present a new video wall show in keeping with this theme: Seasons: Vancouver through the year.
The Archives’ holdings have a delightful number of photographs that relate to various seasonal celebrations and activities, which was the seed of inspiration for this video wall show. It begins with spring, moving through summer and autumn, and finishes with winter. The viewer will be treated to photographs of gardening, track and field races, soccer matches, lazy days at the beach, wedding celebrations, regattas, groups hiking, Thanksgiving feasts, children in costume for Halloween, and skiers eyeing up slopes. The earliest image showcased is the gathering of a crowd celebrating Dominion Day in 1878, with the most recent image over a hundred years later depicting crowds celebrating Chinese New Year in 1987.
With LGBTQ2+ history month in October right around the corner, it is a perfect time to look toward the future of the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives photo identification project. With East Side Pride, the Pride Proclamation, and the Sunset Beach Festival, it was a busy summer for the Archives and we are excited for what the coming months will hold. Photo identification and community engagement are ongoing processes, and we have some exciting things planned for the fall to ensure that there is continued work being done with the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives. For now, we have a couple important announcements regarding the project.
We are pleased to announce that our online tool for photo identification is up and running and can now be accessed here. This online mechanism provides instructions for how to browse and search the photos on the Archives’ website as well as tools to supply information and comments. Photo identification is fundamental for developing historical research on LGBTQ2+ history in BC as well as being important for the access, remembrance, and sharing of these photos within the community. We are hoping that this tool allows people to more actively engage with the BCGLA photo collection and have an accessible way to share their knowledge.
We are also in the
process of organizing a formal photo identification event later this fall. We
will be putting on a large scale version of what we had at our Pride booths
with even more binders and digital copies of the photos. We are excited for the
future of the BCGLA and would love to hear from you if you have any insights on
potential groups or organizations that would be interested in attending photo
identification events or would like to be in touch with the Archives team.
If you would like to
get more information on the photo identification tool or events, please feel
free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stay tuned on both
Facebook and Twitter for updates regarding
this event and other BCGLA news.