Thursday, November 25, 2010


“I have seen the David
I’ve seen the Mona Lisa too
I have heard Doc Watson
Play Columbus Stockade Blues”

Music takes one back to many places from their past. Add tunes to an exhibit and the era and tone is set. Does anyone here today recall a CBC story on the music of contact? Colonial settlers and First Nations songs together as they were from about the time of that early history. Can you hear the fiddle and the drum together? Or have you ever attended a veterans' dance and watched that elder generation move across the floor, regardless of their age, their sails filled with the wind as they glide upon a hardwood sea?

All of us travel back with music. Good or bad tunes transport our innermost memories to an event, a place, time or to someone. I have played music for most of my life, recorder or “pre-clarinet” training, clarinet and then the guitar. The best way for myself to learn how to play guitar was to write my own tunes, some of them dreadful and maybe even a few that, with enough coaxing and the right "tone", you just might get them out of me again. After so many years, all these tunes reflect upon times and memories of my past.

All the music I listened to, whether my parent’s old records, or my own, runs the spectrum of genres, folk, classical, musicals, soundtracks, big band, rock, heavy metal, punk and country. Even the instruments remind us of memories, the Silvertone guitar bought second hand, the old Epiphone with the broken but repaired neck and the hollow body imitation of an ES-335 because your guitar god played one. Objects equally transport the listener or viewer, but the two together, the item with its familiar – sound and experience- is powerfully reflective.

For museums, the lack of a soundtrack in its galleries is a missed opportunity. Making use of any of the senses provides us with a holistic experience as exhibits are more than panels, things and cases. Can you hear in your museum the sound of the hammer upon the anvil or recall the smell of apple and cinnamon in the kitchen? Where does it take you? Who do you want to share your story with? If part of our work, in museums, allows the visitor to reminisce upon their own experiences, then we have succeeded in reconnecting them to an event, a place, time or to someone - their history.

The lines at the beginning, from the Guy Clark tune Dublin Blues, is a record of one man’s experience. What does he think of when he sings these lines? The song is a record of emotion unhealed by beauty or legend. Mixing experiences, choosing themes that link objects directly to human feelings, will always create connections to audiences, teaching us that memory is influenced, and associated with opportunities to respond, whether these experiences reflect upon happy or sad aspects of life.

Remember the LP record? Here Frosty the Snowman, a tradition at Christmas, takes many people back to familiar places of memory.

Guy Clark's Dublin Blues

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Will You Remember?

Dennis Peter Hepburn

Every day people walk past and drive by the Chilliwack War Memorial.

Covered with the names of soldiers from both the First and Second World Wars the memorial is a silent beacon of remembrance. These are not just lines of horizontal, lead lettering; they are Chilliwack, its people, recalling days when the world’s shadows hung over the landscape, all the while in anticipation of a peace that finally came on a November 11th day in 1918.

Each one of us remembers in our own way. For the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, we are fortunate to be the keepers of photographs, letters, telegrams, diaries, newspaper clippings and even some artefacts that family have chosen us, as permanent custodians. The context, in which these documents and artefacts rest, at the Museum and Archives, ensures that for many future generations these items will be preserved with the utmost care and respect.

For one Chilliwack soldier, Lieutenant Dennis Peter Hepburn, his pocket watch with protective covering is held by the museum. What does this object represent to us or to you? Does it remind us of officers in anticipation of going over the top, waiting for the minute and the resultant whistle that signals the troops to cross over the parapet and venture into no man’s land?

Dennis Hepburn, aged 21 years, lost his life while serving with the 47th Canadian Infantry Battalion on November 3, 1918. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery in France, located 27 kilometres south of Boulogne. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website tells us that the cemetery at Etaples was in an area where “eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot” operated and with the capacity to “deal with 22,000 wounded or sick.” Lieutenant Hepburn died of his wounds at the 20th General Hospital, Dames Camiers, France having been wounded on September 28, 1918.

How will you remember on this November 11th?

Pocket watch and cover carried by Lieutenant Dennis Peter Hepburn.
Portrait of Lieutenant Hepburn, Chilliwack Progress, November 21, 1918, page 1.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Junior Farmers Clubs in Chilliwack

Agricultural Youth Training

In 1913 the first Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs were formed in Canada to actively engage youth, aged between 10 and 18 years, later raised to 21 years of age, in the development of agricultural products and rural lifestyles. Governing regulations were established by the Canadian Farmers Institute under the Department of Agriculture. By 1918 clubs were established across Canada and in British Columbia they were known as “Junior Farmers Clubs.” The first youth club, along these lines, in Chilliwack was established in 1921 as a Jersey Calf Club. However, it was not registered with the Department of Agriculture and it was not until 1929 that a registered program, a swine club, was created in Chilliwack sponsored by the local fair association.

Cattle clubs soon followed with a Jersey Calf Club formed in the same year sponsored by the Jersey Breeders Association and the following year a short lived beef club was organized. After only one year of operation the club folded but was re-established by Oliver Wells in 1955. More successful were several dairy breed clubs that featured large memberships active with Ayrshire, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Red Poll breeds. Youth judging was also implemented and teams from the Fraser Valley represented British Columbia for the first time in 1931 at Toronto’s Royal Winter Fair.

In 1951 the “Canadian Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs” name was changed to 4-H and in British Columbia the name was adopted. The emblem of 4-H was a four-leaf clover with the letter “H” on each leaf and reflective of the club’s creed, “Head, Heart, Hands and Health”. Under the new banner Chilliwack organized the first junior council in British Columbia and new clubs were created, sewing, tractor, poultry, lamb, and cooking clubs. During the 1960s the age of membership was changed from 9 to 19 years and new innovations developed dress revues, judging rallies, camping and club exchanges. With their willingness to grow as an organization 4-H has become a proven organization that remains viable today bringing its enthusiasm for youth projects to many agricultural fairs that recontinue to this day.

Image: Chilliwack 4-H Club Sign

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chilliwack's Opera House

The Knight Block

I recall my first visit to the Mediterranean island of Malta and a grand tour, albeit at night and in a car, of Valletta. We were hosted by the grand doyen of Maltese history, A.E. Abela and I was very excited to have finally arrived. I recall now one of two* lasting memories of that first night. As we approached the hotel I remember the magnificently dressed Maltese arriving at Valletta's operetta center the Teatru Manoel at 115 Old Theatre Street . As our car slowed to allow these patrons of the arts sweeping passage across our stern and bow it was as if I was transported to another era,bending time and arriving in the late Victorian or Edwardian age.

It’s the opera though that I wish to journey upon further as all of us in Chilliwack know, that soon, the new Chilliwack Cultural Centre will be opened. Certainly it is a hive of activity in its preparations and the grand gala will soon be upon us. However, at one time there was another similar center, another hive of activity that was also the center of Chilliwack entertainment, the Chilliwack Opera House.

Located in the Knight Block, on the south-west corner of Main and Wellington,
construction commenced in 1907 and at the time it was the largest building in Chilliwack and the first three story structure in town. Through its years of operation it was continually improved upon raising its seating from 200 to 600 chairs, added a gently angled floor rising from front to back for better viewing of the stage and making sure that it was fitted the latest in decoration and theatre design.

Performances, concerts, public gatherings, dances and moving pictures were offered at the venue. In 1909 for the St. Andrew’s and Caledonian Society’s First Annual Scottish Concert reserved seating could be secured for 75 cents at Cowen’s Drugstore also located within the Knight Block. The headliner was the dance troop of Professor James Henderson named the Glengarry Quartet and the best piper on the west coast, James Begg, also performed. For moving pictures, better known today as the movies, admission for adults was 20 cents and 10 cents for children. (Seems to me movies cost 10 cents when I lived in Sardinia!)

When the Chilliwack Minstrels performed at the Opera House on May 28-29, 1908 the local advertisement reminds us of proper theatre etiquette of the time. “Late Comers not Admitted during the Singing of Any Number”. (Chilliwack Progress May 27, 1908, page 8). It seems so very reminiscent of today’s understanding, “Please Turn Off all Cell Phones during Performances”.

Image: "The Mikado" by Gilbert and Sullivan at the Chilliwack Opera Houee, June 1909.

*The second memory was seeing the Grand Harbour for the first time – truly wonderful, with the three cities across from Valletta, the lights, the ships, the forts, limestone and water.

Teatru Manoel Website:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chilliwack Council of Women

Caring from 1927 - 1982

The Chilliwack Council of Women, was formed in 1927 on the initiative of the Provincial Council of Women and afilliated to the National Council of Women of Canada established in 1893.

The local council was an umbrella organization of members from different clubs and associations in the area. These first five organizations increased over the years to 42 associated clubs. During the worst years of the Canadian depression there was a low ebb in the activity of the council which was revived again in 1934, when 7 more clubs joined.

The main interests of the Chilliwack Council of Women were in health, citizenship, laws, housing and township planning, community affairs, arts and letters, social welfare, and in later years mass media. The association kept its membership informed about updates in all of these fields. They also canvassed and set up needed facilities for local purposes.

In 1982 the Chilliwack association folded, having felt that many of their goals had been obtained. However, at the same time, the council also recognized that that many professional institutions were pursuing tasks otherwise taken up by the council.

Image: Promotional pinback button donated by the Chilliwack Council of Women

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Potential of Electrical Power

The World’s Columbian Exposition 1893

All museums have objects in their collections that somehow do not quite seem to fit in. One object at the Chilliwack Museum is an acid etched, glass service bell from the Columbian Exposition of 1893. The bell includes the name of the original owner identified as Kenneth A. McK. Wilkinson whose relatives lived in Chilliwack. It is a lovely little bell and at times, when I perused the glass cabinet, I often wondered how this bell might be included in a display, other than in a cabinet of curiosities.

Fortunately for us, we decided at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, to develop an exhibit on the British Columbia Electric Railway called “More Than Just a Tram”. We were certainly short of objects for the exhibit, especially objects that focused in on the trams themselves. However, the B.C.E.R. also sold electrical appliances for use in the home, on the farm and to businesses and so the exhibit was filled with older electrical items.

This same shortage of objects for the exhibit also made us look at the collection and ferret out objects that may not have originally seemed relevant to an exhibit about the B.C.E.R. and electricity. Somehow the bell came to mind and what a grand discovery was made! It turns out that this souvenir bell is our first featured object. Why?

The potential of electrical power was dramatically demonstrated in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World’s Fair). The electrification of the world was set in motion when a single dynamo was used to light all of the fair’s buildings and walkways. Over 27,000,000 visitors attended the exposition which ran from May 1 to October 31, 1893.

We like these types of connections and it always makes me curious what else we will discover through the day as we develop themes for exhibits and what object stories might surface through our research.

Image: Souvenir bell from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

Friday, July 30, 2010

Photographs and Moving Images

A Camera in Hand

Every day I sit and look at pictures from the past. There is something marvellous about finding the shot in a landscape – the one that captures “the moment” in time, as the summation of all you have experienced in that place.

Perhaps you have read about Ottawa photographer Yousuf Karsh who removed the cigar from Churchill’s mouth, clicked the shutter and captured, for eternity, the very being of the British Prime Minister? However, chances are few of you have heard about Chilliwack’s itinerant photographer James Orville Booen whose series of glass plate negatives are held by the Chilliwack Archives? Mr. Booen had an experienced eye and during his time in Chilliwack from 1895-1897 he captured many moments that today allow us to look into the early eyes of Chilliwack, First Nations families, new settlers, youth and adults, businesses and events. These images create wonder with curiosity and like Karsch capture the very being of those pictured.

The Chilliwack Museum is also very fortunate to have an extensive camera collection along with many related accessories. Recently we received the cameras used by Norm Williams in his photographic business which complement our extensive holdings of images taken by Mr. Williams throughout his years as a professional and Master photographer. Similarly, we are thrilled to have the Paillard-Bolex movie camera that belonged to Cecil Bradwin of Fairfield Island, Chilliwack. This camera, purchased in 1948, was used by Mr. Bradwin to film the 1948 Flood which we also retain in the Chilliwack Archives.

On the other hand I sometimes find myself thinking about the distinguished Canadian cinematographer Osmond Borradaile. Born in Winnipeg he saw his first film in Medicine Hat at the age of seven and his imagination was launched. Through his work he became friends with Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes met Lawrence of Arabia and worked for legendary film-maker Alexander Korda of London Films.

Borradaile travelled extensively and it was Osmond who discovered Sabu who became an international star. In 1939 Borradaile filmed in the Sudan on Korda’s classic film, The Four Feathers which was nominated for an Oscar for best colour cinematography. Borradaile’s other work included, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Elephant Boy, The Thief of Baghdad, Scott of the Antarctic, Drums and many others.

So what does this all have to do with Chilliwack?

When Mr. Borradaile retired from film, he and his family moved to an 80-acre farm in Cheam living there circa 1951 to 1959. I recall Gordie Mitchell pointing out Borradaile’s farm to me when we drove around Chilliwack and district many years ago. I may not have really understood who Osmond Borradaile was at that very moment, but once I researched him I learned that I had known of his film work for years. So it would be a wonderful bonus, if one day maybe a camera, maybe a film poster, might show up at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. I can picture this moment in a future time. A visitor comes through the door carrying a box, smiles and says, “I have this camera it belonged to Osmond Borradaile, do you know who he was?”

Image One: J.O. Booen image of Edenbank Farm
Image Two: Paillard-Bolex camera belonging to Cec Bradwin
Image Three: Osmond Borradaile, Chilliwack Progress, September 19, 1951

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Unique Bicycle in Chilliwack

Count Van Rechteren's Fongers
My first bicycle came from an auction in Nova Scotia. With its high handle bars, banana seat it was the epitome of bike fashion, circa 1970. I remember how I had injured my wrist that same summer and with a cast on my arm my Dad took me out onto the sidewalks to learn the art of balance. To my astonishment, and more likely his, when I said to let go I was already sailing down the path on my own.

Now, 40 years later, while I was walking through a park I saw a mother with her daughter gainfully attempting to teach the same art on a highly colourful bike. There was a lot of giggling and laughter and as I walked by there was great joy as the daughter managed to pedal a few feet further on her own. These days of magic are all too familiar and once again it beckons to another bicycle, one that came to the Chilliwack Museum in 2006.

The Fongers’ bicycle had sat in storage for a number of years but its colourful history was known to the donor. The bicycle once belonged to Count Van Rechteren, a well-known Chilliwack personality who was born in the Netherlands. The Count’s bike was unusual as it had an elongated peg attached to the left side of the rear wheel, and the driving gear was fitted to the left side of this unique velocipede. These modifications were made as the Count did not have the use of his right leg and these alterations allowed him to transport himself around town. The Count was careful to look after the bicycle and regularly took the Fongers in for work. In 1943 a professional bicycle mechanic named George Paris worked locally and perhaps his careful adjustments over the years ensured that the bike was used and saved.

When the bicycle came into our collection, we had one researcher who shared a particular interest in bicycles and was quite pleased to see this particular Fongers. Together, we had several discussions as to how to care for the bicycle and eventually agreed to have the bike returned to riding form. Over a short period the Van Rechteren Fongers was cleaned, and its wheels tuned. We were fortunate that our researcher was also a skilled bike mechanic, with all the appropriate tools, and so we had little difficulty in agreeing to most requests for the bike’s restoration. Our researcher was so eager to contribute to the preservation of the Count’s bike we were overjoyed with his enthusiasm! After all our bike mechanic of 2006 was the same mechanic from 1943, none other than George Paris himself!

Image: Count Van Rechteren's Fongers' Bicycle.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Harvest Time in the Valley

Berry Industry Artifacts

The time of year has come when all the vines we watched being prepared for the new season have filled themselves to capacity with their delicious berries. As I drive along I watch the crews tending the parallel lines of berry crops while the unusual machines, standing tall, work their way down the rows. Every once in a while I see a plastic container off to the side of the road with a batch of crushed berries nearby, their flavour and taste lingering in the air.

The Chilliwack Museum has a few items directly related to the modern harvesting of berry crops but not many. In 1996 a wooden raspberry crate from the East Chilliwack Co-op was brought to us. This organization started in 1947 with 23 growers investing $973.00 to begin the “pool marketing” of raspberries.

Another wonderful donation was made in 1995 when a box opener was brought in to us. The opener, resembling a hatchet and crowbar, was used by Roy Cunningham, Station Agent for the C.N.R. to open and close shipping crates. During the 1920s when Chilliwack was shipping a large amount of fruit to the prairies there was a shed, on the spur-line beside the station that was used to store fruit crates. All the farmers brought their fruit there, mostly raspberries and strawberries. Mr. Cunningham would check on the fruit on a regular basis to see ensure that fruit was actually in the cases and that it had not spoiled. In the fall farmers shipped prunes, pears and apples.

It takes time to build collections. After all, it does not often occur that a collection of objects can be obtained from one place to represent an industry. Maybe one day, from these humble beginnings, we will have a collection that will do historical justice to this thriving industry.

Image: Box Opener used by C.N.R. agent Roy Cunningham.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Artefacts, Memories and Inspiration


I know – let’s all go to the dentist!

Surely not something one would hear often, but after a successful trip to the specialists of the buccal and lingual I thought I might explore the realm of the enamel artist in Chilliwack.

As we walk about the Chilliwack Museum storage area we find, glowing in that all too familiar green colour, the dentist’s drill reminiscent of my 1960s. I stand in suspended belief recalling my early visits. I do not really remember sitting in the chair. My memory recall system suggests that it was more of an intense desire, and at anytime, that I would be launched from the chair similar to that fellow from the James Bond Aston Martin Corgi toy I cherished. (I wonder where the little blue guy in the passenger seat ever went?)

However, like the Aston Martin the style of dental equipment has changed and no longer resembles those green machines that seem so similar to a character from Dr. Who. I’ve changed too, now I am 007 or at least 008 in the chair, now in the Aston Martin's driver's seat, no longer waiting to be propelled! Calm, cool and collected I ask questions and gather information that might be applied to the dental collections of the museum.

Back in storage I wander over to Unit Two where a cased set of dentures are kept and recall our one summer student who became a dentist. I open the case and have a look. We know who wore these dentures, but I must have Dr. Kathy visit and tell us more. It’s strange too - thinking about collections and how they enable us to recall our own past and interests. I briefly return to my visit of the Gillies Archives, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, England. Here is an amazing collection of original material relating to the reconstruction of soldier’s faces, jaws, and teeth from the First World War - very powerful, and extremely emotive. I recall telling the dentist’s sister about this early place of care and the related website she saw online, and how thrilled we were to hear she was accepted to medical school. That’s the power of artefacts, archives and the past. One just has to have some imagination.

It’s thanks to one donor that we have many dental objects that belonged to Dr. J.C. MacDonald who graduated as a dentist in 1911. In 1917 he moved to Chilliwack and took over the dental practice of Dr. Hacking continuing to work in the field until his retirement in 1959. Our green dental drill came from the office of Dr. Newby who, after nearly 60 years of work, is thought to be one of the longest practicing dentists in all of Canada.

All in all it makes me wonder what year my early dentists graduated, especially the first one with the treadle style drill. That was another time and another place – it’s magical how artefacts can transport people in time.

Image: The dental drill from the office of Dr. Newby.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Two Scoops Please!

Chilliwack’s Palms Confectionary

It seems that our neighbours to the south will be enjoying July as National Ice Cream Month, complete with a special day for indulgence in all those tasty treats. Plain cones, waffle cones, sprinkles, toppings, chocolate or butterscotch-dipped, vanilla, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, bubblegum and tiger stripe flavours beckoning to not just kids but adults alike. I like ice cream, but the fanciest I seek out is spumoni reminiscent of my earlier, sunny days in the Mediterranean. I also like good old fashioned vanilla and strawberry and sometimes when I feel daring its one scoop of each! Yum!

Ice cream and any treat that can be made from it were proudly on offer during the early business years of Five Corners. A well known ice cream parlour in Chilliwack was opened by Fred Leary in 1914 when he established “The Palms Confectionary” on Wellington Avenue. Later, Mr. Leary relocated to the Barber Block at Five Corners where a picture, now in the Archives, was taken of the storefront complete with eager children vying for entry while mothers seem to wait patiently as the kiddies seem to bound with joy.

Mr. Leary’s menu was filled with ice cream sodas, milk shakes, ice cream and sundaes. At 15 cents each, one could sip on one of 13 different flavours of soda including Crème de Menthe. There were 28 different sundaes ranging in price from 20 to 50 cents with names reminiscent of song titles like Cherry Dip, Date with a Peach, Victory, Aviation Glide and the Fraser Valley Taxi Special. As I glance through the menu, I have made my 1914 choice. Even then it would be the same - one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of strawberry. That will be 30 cents please.

Image: A selection of artefacts from Palms Confectionary donated to the Chilliwack Museum in 1991.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Putting the Best Paw Forward!

Celebrating the Dog!

This week, July 7th, the annual Chilliwack Music ‘n’ More program begins with a celebration of the dog by way of “Pet Parade”. Owners bring down Fido and Fifi (as well as other critters) dressed in all manner of personalities. Some dogs look as excited as ever, others complacent and my favourites - the ones who seem to say, “Why are you doing this to me?” Nevertheless dog owners enjoy their faithful companions, they give them a home, food and water and provide Rover with something to do like “Take my human out for a walk!”

Dogs have been in history for centuries and at the Chilliwack Archives one just has look through the many pictures and one will often find that Dixie is included. Just look at the James Orville Booen collection and the companion dog is shown in portraits, hunting scenes, and downtown. Sometimes they are lying down, sitting down, one ear up, one ear down, with tilted head just waiting for that moment when they are called to play. It reminds me of George Carlin asking “What does a dog do on his day off?”

Then again we still have to remember all those working dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, herding dogs and others. One of my favourite donations to the Chilliwack Museum was a gift of four rubber dog boots, manufactured by the Lewis Dog Boot Company of Enid, Oaklahoma. It was a complete set, four boots with carry bag and receipt indicating that they were purchased by Herb Ling in August 1964. The boots are worn to protect hunting dog's feet “from sand burrs, rocks, and brush or to protect an injured foot or sore pad.” The company remains in business today providing for our faithful friends of the furry kind.

Image: Lewis Dog Boots

Friday, July 2, 2010

School's Out

A Gift of Ebony and Gold

Every year as the school year draws to a close, teachers seem to gather a wide range of small appreciative gifts from students. Ranging from gift cards to chocolates, store-bought and homemade cards to things that say “I know teacher will like this!” it is these thoughtful expressions of, “Thank you! You’re a great teacher”, that speak volumes to their instructors. It is also a tradition that has been around for many years and in 1883 one Chilliwack teacher was presented with an ebony cane fitted with a heavily ornamented and engraved gold top. Amongst the cane’s golden scrolls and floral motifs is the simple inscription, “Presented to J.P. Johnston by his pupils Chilliwhack July 1883".

Scottish-born John P. Johnston taught in Chilliwack for more than 15 years and was considered to be one of the finest Latin and Greek scholars in the province. We do not know much about him, other than he died in New Westminster February 9, 1899. His obituary was printed in the Chilliwack Progress newspaper from which we were able to gather the above scant details. Obviously he had left a lasting impression on the community and was remembered by many.

Image: Cane top of the Johnston presentation cane.

P.S. Chilliwhack is an early spelling for the community of Chilliwack.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Canada Day

Chilliwack's 1946 Cherry Carnival

Not wanting to let an opportunity go by I decided to surf the Chilliwack Museum collection’s database and see what I might find about Canada Day. Keyword search “July” and object 1987.050.001 jumps out from the screen. Appropriate too as I wanted to write about the Cherry Carnival but not the usual, “The Cherry Carnival started in…and ended in” three paragraphs later! This leather pennant from July 1, 1946 marked an important date in the carnival’s history from 1927 – 1955.

It turns out that 1946 was the first year of the carnival after a five year hiatus due to the Second World War. Unlike previous years when the event was largely run by the Board of Trade and the Kinsmen Club, 1946’s success was due to more than a dozen organizations. A special CNR train brought visitors from Vancouver to the celebration, and additional city bussing moved people about the town. Who recalls the army balloons flying above the center of town marking Five Corners as the destination? The parade was a huge success, despite the shortages of decorative materials, and some 12,000 spectators appropriately applauded, encouraged and cheered the many floats and participants.

At the fairgrounds, located near present day Evergreen Hall, fastball and baseball were featured, but perhaps the grandest event was the cherry pie eating contest with various local celebrities and politicians involved in the all-star “munch-down”. The crowning of the Cherry Carnival Queen was a highlight and this year Gloria Hudson was chosen as the belle of the ball.

All the while the “Five Corners Fiesta” provided the longest continuous attraction of the event. As the carnival mascot, “King Bing” walked around the crowds distributing tickets and give-aways, some 4,000 carnival hats were distributed to school children. An earlier newspaper plea calling for fruit sellers, especially cherries, worked well as private vendors sold in excess of 4.5 tons of fruit. The two street dances in the evening, on Princess Avenue, were a great success with Sandy’s Serenaders and Neil Unruh’s band providing the tunes of the day until midnight. Who out there recalls our local citizenry who were encouraged to wear “national comic, hillbilly or comic strip character costumes to make the street scene as colourful as possible”? (Chilliwack Progress, June 26, 1946, page 18) It would be grand to find some images of this 1946 event.

The Museum is fortunate to have a number of Cherry Carnival objects representative of its many years of celebration. However, as always, we are always interested to know what you may have from the carnival, souvenirs of an event so fondly remembered and so often recalled.

Image: Cherry Carnival pennant of 1946.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Before Computer Games

Monopoly in Chilliwack

On July 1, 2010 a new Canadian version of Parker Brothers’ Monopoly will be launched featuring Chilliwack with a place on the famous board. Monopoly was acquired by Parker Brothers’ in 1935 and the Chilliwack Museum is fortunate to have an early version of the game in its collection. Our game is complete with playing board, and the original box containing property cards, playing money, 'Community Chest' and 'Chance' cards. How many of you recall the original green wooden houses and red hotels or the metal game pieces?

Our Monopoly game was played in the Cuthbertson household at Cultus Lake during the late 1930s and 1940s. Just think of the time spent with family and friends moving the pieces around the colourful board. Loads of laughter, good natured teasing and fun! All the while hoping to either collect on rents due or anxiously trying to avoid those rich properties with hotels! That famous back nine whose properties always managed to be owned by one person, glowing with red hotels as we rolled and watched our fate revealed by two little squares covered in numerical dots! Arrgh! – Park Place with hotel – pay $1500!!!!!

Images: Cutherbertson family Monopoly game with rules from 1935 and 1936

Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Business in Chilliwack

B & K
The Brackman - Ker (B & K) Milling Company originated prior to 1878 when Henry Brackman and James Milne formed a business partnership. In 1878 they started to manufacture oatmeal, however, the partnership was short lived and the company was dissolved in 1879. In 1880 David Russell Ker joined Henry Brackman and the resultant B & K partnership was very successful. By 1886 their prosperity allowed for the construction of warehouses and offices in Victoria which became the company's business center. By 1914, after David Russel Ker had become the principal owner, upon the death of Henry Brackman in 1903, the annual business had increased from $25,000 per annum to $5,000,000 per year.

In 1928 the Brackman - Ker Feed & Milling Company acquired the three locations of the Chilliwack Producers' Exchange established in June 1913. With the acquisition of the three Chilliwack plants, B & K holdings in the province of British Columbia rose to 20 plants. During the conversion from the Chilliwack Producer's Exchange to B & K, several retail goods were discontinued. The new business eliminated the sale of drygoods, hardware and shoes. Instead they concentrated on the sale of flour and feed, poultry and stock supplies, fertilizers and sprays.

Later B & K amalgamated with Western Canada Flour Mills and the company had branches across Canada including grain elevators, flour mills and feed mills. David Russel Ker died in Saanich July 13, 1923. By 1965 the Brackman - Ker Milling Company had become a division of Maple Leaf Mills.

Image: B & K poultry feeder from the Nelson Johnston farm on Chilliwack Central Road.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Golf in Chilliwack

Puttering Around the Greens

In May 1924, work commenced on the first golf links in Chilliwack on the Fairfield Island property of Major Nigel Drury Theobald, M.C. The temporary course was sited on property four miles from the City post office and was leased by Major Theobald to the Chilliwack Golf Club. The nine hole course was laid out by Mr. R.A. Meekin of Vancouver who designed several of the best courses on the coast. Initial costs also included $300 for seed and $300 for a large grass mower. The local course was was opened May 31, 1924 with a match played between teams selected by president J.E. Lesley and vice-president Major Hamilton Ramsay. Mrs. Theobalds provided tea for the thoroughly enjoyable outing.

Work on a permanent course was also proceeding favourably and in August foundations for a club house were laid. By March 1925 there were ninety paid members who started to play when the course was opened in May. The permanent course was also nine holes of 3,004 yards in length, had a right and left hand dog's leg holes, two par 2 holes, one of which featured a punchbowl green, two holes with water hazards and four holes of over 400 yards in length.

Golf dues were set at $25.00 for a man and his wife, $20.00 for a single man, and $10.00 for a single lady, with $5.00 green fees for all. In its second year the Club was entirely free of debt and they considered securing a part-time golf professional. The original club house was destroyed by fire in the early summer of 1927 and replaced by a bungalow style building that was larger and more commodius. This building included a room for the Club's part-time professional Mr. J. Warman. The start of golfing in Chilliwack was well under way!
Image: Chilliwack Golf Club Crest circa 1960s - 1970s

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Rose King of Canada

H.M. Eddie & Sons Ltd.
In 1926, Henry Matheson Eddie, who had worked locally for B.C. Nurseries started to prepare his own land for the production of roses. In 1927, Eddie & Sons Ltd, located on Yale Road near the Vedder Canal dike was opened. The original Eddie firm specialized in the development of roses and even prior to venturing out on his own Eddie was known as the "Rose King of Canada". During the growing season the business handled 500,000 plants and by August 1927, the company was the largest of its kind in Canada with additional operations in the United States through Washington and Oregon.

The Eddies did not specialize in one type of rose. Initially they grew more than 300 varieties including old favorites and modern colourings. It was this blend of old and new varieties that became their hallmarks and Mr. Eddie added to the rose legacy by creating new and better plants.

In 1929 the Chilliwack Board of Trade desired to turn Chilliwack into the "Rose District of British Columbia" suggesting the creation of a rose highway running the length of the district from the Vedder Canal to east of Rosedale. In April 1929, 450 H.M. Eddie climbing rose bushes were delivered to residents who lived along the Yale Highway. During the 1930s, the Eddies created the "most perfect rose" known as the "Mrs. H.M. Eddie", the first Canadian rose to be patented in the United States. The rose was white with a cream-coloured center, and was featured in the National Rose Garden of Britain sometime after 1936 and was later grown in Paris, France.

Eddie roses were in high demand; in 1938 a New York firm ordered 15,000 bushes. A short time later the T. Eaton Company of Winnipeg acquired 14,000 rose bushes for their markets, preferring to pay a higher price rather than buy cheaper imported varieties.

In February 1946 the Eddie firm acquired 80 acres on Lulu Island, near Steveston, as they were not able to expand their 60-acre growing operations in the Chilliwack district. At the time, it was thought that it would take two years for the firm to relocate its office and plantations, however, the 1948 flood hastened their move when the nursery in Chilliwack was completely destroyed.

With the death of H.M. Eddie in January 1953, the management of the business was taken over by his son, J. Henry Eddie. The business continued until the 1970s when the Richmond property was sold and the lease on a second operation located on the Musqueam Indian Reserve expired.

The Chilliwack Museum has two trophies donated to the Chilliwack District Agricultural Society for the annual Chilliwack Fair and a catlog from the company. We would be pleased to learn of other H.M. Eddie Company material, especially items related to their time in Chilliwack.

Image 1: H.M. Eddie in his field of roses.
Image 2: Eddie's Roses catalog circa 1967/68

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sports in Chilliwack

South Africa in Chilliwack:
Not Football or Soccer but Lawn Bowling

It may not have been the World Cup but for the 1937 South African (Lawn) Bowling Association team their Canadian Tour was very successful. The team, whose average age was 60, left South Africa on May 12, 1937 the day of the Coronation of King George VI. It was a long journey, stopping initially in England before proceeding to Canada and all of the team members paid their own expenses. Some of the South African team members travelled 15,000 miles to bowl on the Pacific coast leg of the Canadian tour and for many it was their first trip to Canada. By the time they played in Chilliwack, August 20, 1937 the team had spent ten weeks on tour.

Upon their noon arrival the South African team, of 29 men and 12 women attended a lunch held for them at the Empress Hotel. Afterwards they proceeded to the Chilliwack lawn bowling greens located at the corner of Princess Avenue and Edward Street where six matches were played beginning at 2:30 PM.

The South Africans dressed in “white flannels, white shirts, polished brown shoes, floppy cream straws with green and yellow bands, and green and yellow ties.” (Chilliwack Progress, August 25, 1937, page 5) continued their dominance of their Canadian opponents and defeated Chilliwack five matches to one. Their Canadian tour now stood at 38 victories and 8 losses.

Several lapel pins commemorative of the South African Canadian tour as well as a pennant of their association were presented to the local Chilliwack club. At the end of the tour, September 1, 1937 the South Africans left Canada for home with an anticipated arrival date of September 25, 1937. It is not known how the team faired for the rest of their Canadian tour.

The Chilliwack Museum has two of the commemorative lapel pins in its collection. One was presented to Chilliwack Lawn Bowling Society member Mrs. Ruth Goodall who was present at the 1937 Chilliwack matches but did not play. The second pin came directly to us from the Chilliwack Lawn Bowling Society.

Image: South African Bowling Association 1937 Canadian Tour Lapel Pin

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sports in Chilliwack

Chilliwack’s Twilight League

In its first year the Chilliwack Valley Twilight Baseball League comprised teams from Chilliwack, Fairfield, Popcum and Sardis. Games were played at Rosedale (who fielded a team in 1937), the Young Road Ballpark also known as Athletic Park and if necessary at the Chilliwack fairgrounds.

At the end of regular season Chilliwack was atop the Twilight League standings having won 11 games and losing only 4. They were followed by Fairfield, Popcum and Sardis. Despite finishing in last place with only 4 wins and 12 losses, Sardis advanced to the final championship series against Chilliwack.

David Spencer Ltd., the local Wellington Avenue department store, donated a shield emblematic of the league champions and displayed the trophy in their store window in July 1936. The final playoff series was played in August and September 1926 with Chilliwack winning the series three games to one.

The Championship team apart from the Spencer Shield received silver baseball medals of which the Chilliwack Museum has one in its collection presented to Chilliwack pitcher Garnet “Gan” Evans. The connection to McGavin’s is not known, although it is suspected that they were the league’s sponsor.

The medals were made of sterling silver by the Vancouver jeweller, O.B. Allan.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sports in Chilliwack

Baseball under the Bright Lights
Chilliwack’s first lit baseball diamond was constructed during the 1930s. The City of Chilliwack acquired the land, on which the Young Road ballpark was built, when the property taxes were not paid on the property. The land occupied an area from Second Avenue to Fifth and from Young Road almost to Nowell Street.

The building of the park and the layout of the grounds was a spirited venture made possible through the cooperation of the Chilliwack Amateur Athletic Association [CAAA] and by the citizens and merchants of Chilliwack. More than $800.00 was raised to help build the park and many hours of volunteer labour reconditioned the grounds. On June 13, 1934 Chilliwack’s new athletic park on Young Road was opened featuring a double header between the leading teams of the Vancouver League, Home Oil against the Vancouver Athletic Club, followed by the old rivalry of the Chilliwack Cherries versus Hope.

Almost a year later night baseball became a possibility when the CAAA purchased the electrical equipment formerly used at Con Jones Park in Vancouver. The lights were mounted on 12 posts, 10 of which were 75 feet high and 2 of which were 45 feet high. On May 24, 1935, during Empire Day’s evening entertainment, fifty-two 1500-watt lights were lit. The park turned “into veritable daylight” and “brought gasps of wonderment from 600 throats.” (Chilliwack Progress, May 30, 1935 p.1)

Over the years the ballpark also hosted night wrestling at times featuring Vancouver's Jack Forsgren a well known wrestler and fire fighter. Several noteworthy baseball teams also came to play in Chilliwack. Some of these teams were the Vancouver Asahis (Japanese-Canadians,) the American travelling all-star baseball teams called the House of David and two African-American teams named the Detroit Colored Giants and the St. Louis Blues.

Although no reasons were given for the end of night baseball at the Young Road ballpark it would appear the last game under the lights was played in August 1938 between the Chilliwack Cherries and the Merritt Gordons. In 1945 the park was subdivided into lots and sold to returned veterans.

Although we are fortunate to have a number of baseball artifacts in the collection we would certainly be interested in learning of others. The collection does include a number of trophies, and gloves but we do not have any bats, tickets or programs.

Image 1: Chilliwack's Young Road Ballpark.
Image 2: Baseball mitt, circa 1920 - 1949.
Video: Cecil Bradwin Collection 1948. 2006 19

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stanley Cup Hockey History

Chilliwack and the Vancouver Millionaires
In March 1915, the Stanley Cup championship hockey series was played in Vancouver, at Denman Arena, between the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Vancouver Millionaires and the National Hockey Association’s Ottawa Senators.

A special British Columbia Electric Railway train, bound for the first game in the series on March 22, 1915, left from Chilliwack at 5:00 PM. The train stopped at all points along the Fraser Valley line and a roundtrip single fare cost 50 cents. About thirty individuals from Chilliwack saw the game that was won by Vancouver 6 - 2. Afterwards the cheering fans boarded the B.C.E.R. train at 11:30 PM for their return journey. Chilliwack’s hockey fans arrived home at 3:00 AM undeterred by the wee hour of the morning and very pleased with the results.

Two more games were played on March 24 when the Millionaires defeated the Senators 8 to 3, and on March 26 when Vancouver defeated Ottawa 12 – 3 the Millionaires won the Stanley Cup. So what did adoring Chilliwack hockey fans see on their visit to Vancouver? Denman Arena and the Millionaires team were owned by hockey legends and future Hockey Hall of Famers Frank and Lester Patrick. Some of the players on the Vancouver Millionaires squad were also future Hall of Fame inductees including, team captain Si Grifts, Frank “Cyclone" Taylor, and Frank Nighbor who later became the first winner of the National Hockey’s League’s Hart Trophy and Lady Byng Trophy. Three other Hall of Famers from the Millionaires team later played for the National Hockey League’s Chicago Black Hawks, Mickey MacKay, Barney Stanley and goaltender Hughie Lehman.

The Chilliwack Museum's collection of ice hockey related objects is very small. Most of the items in the collection were collected at the time of the destruction of the Chilliwack Coliseum in 2005. Let us know if you have any gear reflective of Chilliwack hockey. Where are those leather gloves, shin pads, jerseys, goalie gear and sticks?

World Championship Hockey Ad, Chilliwack Progress, March 18, 1915, page 3

Working With Collections: Part V

"The Reindeer Brand" An Artifact and its Nine Lives

Of course these "Reindeer Brand" blogs reflect only the first life of this wooden box. What became of the “Reindeer Brand” box once it left its original setting, once the product was removed? Did it find another use? Was it taken home and filled with tools, toys or maybe just sat empty on a shelf for years? Where has it been and who has used it? Of course these are questions that we are unlikely to ever find answers. That it survived because someone thought to save it from the garbage heap it was found on has allowed it to find its place in history within the collection of the Chilliwack Museum. Of course, that’s another life and so it continues.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Working With Collections: Part IV

“The Reindeer Brand” Research Never Ends

In preparing for this series of blogs I decided to search the internet to see what else has shown up since the last time I worked on "The Reindeer Brand". The Google search for "Borden Milk Company" Reindeer once again led to that wonderful resource This resource pointed us to the online publication “The Condensed Milk and Milk Powder Industries” by F.W. Baumgartner, July 1920. So what did we learn?

In 1883 the first condensed milk factory in Canada was built in Truro, Nova Scotia by “The Reindeer Condensed Milk Company.” During the 1880s and 1890s several other milk condensing companies were established mostly in southwestern Ontario. Many of these companies were absorbed by the Borden Milk Company. The most important milk condensing plants included several Borden plants in Ontario and Quebec as well as Truro, Nova Scotia and Sardis (South Sumas), British Columbia. Although the connections of condensed milk, Truro, Reindeer Brand and Borden’s are well established what happens when you Google: “Truro Condensed Milk Company Ltd”? It takes you on a new path to the Heritage Places website focusing in on Mission, British Columbia. Here we discover a picture of the Truro Condensed Milk Company Ltd. located near the railway bridge, circa 1900 – 1910!

That companies acquire, absorb and merge with other businesses makes the study of business history fascinating and complex. With their acquisitions, businesses often acquire the rights to former firm’s names and brands creating a puzzle, a challenge for further research. It never ends. Our wooden box reflects these mergers and complexities - the business tree of who begat who.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Working With Collections: Part III

"The Reindeer Brand" Local Plants

In December 1915 the Borden Milk Company acquired the B.C. Milk Condensing Company located at South Sumas. Three large Borden plants already existed in eastern Canada including one in Truro, Nova Scotia. The Borden Company invested $75,000 to enlarge and improve the former B.C. Milk Condensing Company plant, and obtained their milk supply from the Fraser Valley Milk Producers’ Association. By 1926 Borden’s South Sumas plant was producing 60,000 pounds of milk per day and from 1937 to 1947 they averaged 90,000 cases of evaporated milk over a nine to ten month season. Their well-known condensed milk products included “Reindeer”, “Eagle” and “St. Charles” brands. Due to insufficient milk supplies, as the F.V.M.P.A. was having difficulty meeting its own milk requirements, Borden’s decided to close their operation in 1947. The plant was acquired later in the year by Canada Packers Ltd. and converted into a fruit and vegetable cannery.

I wonder if anyone has seen wooden boxes for either the Eagle or St. Charles brands? Borden’s St. Charles brand is probably derived from another milk condensing company called the St. Charles Company.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Working with Collections: Part II

"The Reindeer Brand" Trail of Discovery

Our “Reindeer Brand” quest actually started with us becoming interested in some photographs of the B.C. Milk Condensing Company held in our archives. A search through the directories for Chilliwack provided us with some dates to start with and set us on our path through the Chilliwack Progress newspaper. The articles we found linked the B.C. Milk Condensing Company to the Borden Milk Company and we also discovered that the Borden Company manufactured “Reindeer Brand Condensed Milk”. It was at this point that the wooden box in our collection was remembered and knowing that the Borden Company had a plant in Truro, Nova Scotia it seemed that the two were linked.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Working with Collections

"The Reindeer Brand"

Many museums and archives are filled with artifacts, documents and photographs that await discovery. By working with collections and attempting to document their place in the history of Chilliwack we have been pleasantly surprised with some of our discoveries. One such item was a wooden box for Reindeer Brand Condensed Milk. We knew nothing about the box other than it was found locally. What was its connection to Chilliwack especially when the box itself is marked “Reindeer Brand Condensed Milk., Truro Condensed Milk Company Ltd., Truro, Nova Scotia”? This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to the trail we followed for the Reindeer brand.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Early Chilliwack Druggists: Part Five

C.H. Cowen Drug Company: "Palace Drug Store of the West!"

In April 1909, Charles Henry Cowen, a pharmacist from Vancouver, B.C., opened his first drug store in the Knight Block located at the southwest corner of Main and Wellington. Cowen's Drug Store provided the usual prescriptions as well as confectionery, perfumes, stationery, school supplies, chocolates and sundries.

Like other area druggists Charles Cowen advertised regularly and marketed his products for special holidays and celebrations such as Easter, Christmas and Dominion Day. In Cowen's first newspaper advertisement, he makes specific mention of his perfumes available for Easter: "Some of the odors are: Crushed Roses, Blue Lilies, Orchids, La France Rose, Safranor, Azurea, Crown, Crabapple Blossoms." (Chilliwack Progress, April 7, 1909, page 8).

Cowen also promoted the store's soda fountain. In June 1909, his ad for Dominion Day mentions his ice cream and soda fountain, "We have no doubt but nearly every one in the district has heard of Cowen's Ice Cream Sodas. They are simply delicious. Think of it, the richest ice cream, served with luscious fruits and fruit juices. This will be your opportunity to drink Soda Water in one of the Palace Drug Stores of the West." (Chilliwack Progress, June 23, 1909, page 8).

In November 1912 Cowen relocated his business to Five Corners opening in the new, but not completed, Irwin Block. Cowen remained at this location for many years but relocated to Sardis prior to 1937. His new drugstore was located at the corner of Knight and Vedder and it was at this location that Charles Cowen passed away May 7, 1938.

The Chilliwack Museum collection includes a container with a Cowen’s Drug Store label, a Cowen's Alum box and a labeled prescription bottle. Cowen was also the first Rexall affiliated drugstore in Chilliwack and there must be a myriad of Cowen/Rexall related items in existence.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Early Chilliwack Druggists: Part Four

Barber Drug Company Limited

Harry James Barber started the Barber Drug Company in January 1906. The firm’s newspaper advertisements often featured non-medical goods in their ads such as stationery, fountain pens, inks, books, souvenir chinaware, toys, cameras, film, as well as other goods.

Within the medical department Barber produced a number of his own remedies including Barber brand cough syrup, dental cream, corn cure, mosquito lotion, and “White Pine and Tar Mentholated” for coughs and colds.

Barber also brought in a wide range of Nyal products such as Blood Purifier, Liver Salts, and Hypophosphites with Wild Cherry and Creosote. At times the Barber Drug Co. advertised itself as a Nyal Drug Store and in one major ad produced in October 1924 more than 50 Nyal and Nylotis products are listed. This brand of products was featured in a Barber Drug Store calendar produced in 1919. Unfortunately the Chilliwack Museum and Archives does not have one in its collection.

In October 1926 Barber sold his interest in the business to Mr. J.H. Robinson who had managed Barber’s business for some time. Robinson continued to use the Barber name however; in September 1929 Robinson changed the name to Robinson’s Drug Store although he continued to carry the Barber name in his advertising.

The museum has a clear glass medicine bottle embossed with the name of H.J. Barber, Chilliwack, B.C. in its collection. It is not known if the bottle came in any other sizes. The Museum also has a few Barber Drug Store labels as well as Barber’s mortar and pestle which may have been used in the earlier Barber and Henderson Drug Store.

Mr. Barber, apart from his steady drugstore business, was a busy man. He was the President of the Chilliwack Board of Trade from 1910 through 1912, Mayor of Chilliwack from 1914 – 1916 and was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative in 1925. He was re-elected in 1926, 1930 and 1935 and remained in office until 1940.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Early Chilliwack Druggists: Part Three

Barber and Henderson

In May 1902 the Chilliwack branch of the Nelson Drug and Book Store was acquired by Mr. H.J. Barber and Dr. J.C. Henderson.

Harry James Barber was educated at the Ontario School of Pharmacy in Toronto, Ontario. Upon graduation he moved to Selkirk, Manitoba where he worked as a druggist for one year. Barber then moved to Chilliwack and added to his valuable work experience by working for the Nelson Drug Store.

Barber’s business partner was Dr. John Cotter Henderson who received his medical degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Henderson came to Chilliwack in 1886 and for many years was the medical health officer for the municipality.

The Barber and Henderson firm continued to sell many of the same items as its predecessor. They also operated their own lending library, sold stationery, seeds and gift items. Often their newspaper advertisements featured specific name brand remedies, tonics and medicines. Soon such brands as Celery and Burdock, White Embrocation, Sovereign Sarsaparilla, Best West India Lime Juice and Laxative Fruit Syrup appear, ranging in price between 25 cents to $1.00 per bottle.

The Barber and Henderson firm produced its own clear glass, embossed medicine bottle of which the Chilliwack Museum has one example. It would be intersting to learn if the Barber and Henderson bottle was produced in a variety of sizes.

In January 1906 the partnership of Barber & Henderson was dissolved and H.J. Barber became the sole proprietor.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Early Chilliwack Druggists: Part Two

The Nelson Drug and Book Store

After the Jessup fire in December 1894 two druggists moved into the area. John S. Glover, a prescription druggist and dental surgeon, leased space in Chilliwack for his store called “The Pharmacy”. Although a few advertisements were placed in the local newspaper it does not appear that Glover actually opened his business venture. No other details are currently known.

An experienced Vancouver druggist, Charles Nelson, opened a store in Chilliwack similar to his City Drug Store within a week of Glover’s entereprise. The Chilliwack business, known as "Nelson's Drug Store," was first located opposite the Chilliwack Progress newspaper building on Yale Road East and later relocated to the Masonic Block at the corner of Wellington and Young. Like Jessup he sold many of the same patent medicines offering Dr. Agnew's Catarrh Powder, Dr. Agnew's Cure for the Heart, the Great South American Kidney Cure and the South American Rheumatic Cure.

By September 1895 the business was renamed the Nelson Drug and Book Store as it better represented the store’s many products. Over time Nelson’s developed several new markets and published a seed catalogue and provided area farmers and fruit growers with sprays, washes and insecticides. Nelson also brought in recreational gear and by 1896 was selling fishing tackle, baseball and cricket goods, croquet sets and hammocks.

In February 1897 "The Nelson Drug Store Company Limited" was formed and it was during the summer of 1897, that they introduced Nelson Lime Fruit Juice and Joy's Root Beer. In September 1898 Harry J. Barber was hired as manager and by May 1902 the Nelson Drug and Book Store was acquired by Mr. Barber and Dr. J.C. Henderson.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Early Chilliwack Druggists: Part One

Grant Jessup

In July 1890 druggist Grant Jessup established his business on Wellington Avenue located in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall. Jessup maintained a stock of commercial medicines and compunded prescriptions. Amongst his stock of patent medicines were the "Great South Kidney Cure" a relief used to treat kidney and bladder diseases and "Agnew's Cure for the Heart". He also carried a stock of "the choicest wines and liquors, for medicinal and sacramental purposes" (Chilliwack Progress, August 4, 1892, page 4)

In December 1894 a fire destroyed Jessup's business and all of his stock and furnishings were lost. Jessup soon relocated to Vancouver Island working for a local Nanaimo druggist. However, by October 1904 he was re-established in Ladysmith as proprietor of the Ladysmith Pharmacy.

His surname has also been seen as Jessop. A search of the BC Archives Vital Events database reveals that Richard Grant Jessop died at Ladysmith April 26, 1924. He was 52 years of age.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Research Based Collecting

Hello for today!
Recently I was working on a project that required using our microfilm reader-printer. While going through the pages of the Chilliwack Progress newspaper I was reminded that it would be interesting to compile a list of products and other goods for sale in Chilliwack pre-1900 and so on. Half the battle is learning what exists, who the merchants were, what did they produce and what did they offer for sale. In the near future I will focus on a few Chilliwack specific items that we would like to add to the collection.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stay Tuned for Curatorial Insights

This is a test of the Chilliwack Museum and Archives Blog. This is a test. Do not adjust the dial. Stay tuned for our curatorial insights!