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Posts Tagged ‘Archives’

Moustache Moves in Movember

Posted on: November 22nd, 2017 by

In November (Movember), Mo Bros, supported by their Mo Sistas, grow out their moustache for 30 days to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues – particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health awareness.  While some individuals rejoice at the opportunity to show off a moustache for 30 days, many young men spend Movember desperately trying to hide their moustache seemingly afraid of sporting such a style in 2017.  If you are one of these individuals, fear not.  Here are a few historic photographs of Chilliwack locals rocking a solid Mo.

 

 

Group portrait of Chief K’hhalserten Sepass family at Skowkale, P5571. [1912]

Group portrait of Chief K’hhalserten Sepass family at Skowkale, P5571. [1912]

Chief K’hhalserten (William Sepass) of Sq’ewqéyl was born circa 1845.  He was a respected and admired individual during a time of great disruption for his community. Chief K’hhalserten Sepass was forced to observed many changes in his community.  Re-settlers had moved into the valley and drastically changed the surrounding environment, reserves were established, and Euro-Canadian agriculture and labouring systems replaced traditional ways of living.  A first hand witness to these changes, Chief Khhalserten Sepass worked with Sophia White Street for four years translating songs from his community. The Sepass Poems: Songs of Y-Ail-Mihth, was eventually published by the Sepass Trust in 1963.  At the age of 98, Chief K’hhalserten Sepass died on March 23, 1943.  His lifetime of advocacy along with a reputation for fairness and wisdom remain as a legacy of his achievement and greatness.

 

 

 

 

Detailed view of David Richardson, P704. [1915]

Detailed view of David Richardson, P704. [1915]

David Richardson was born in Scotland in 1867.  In 1886 he joined the Lanarkshire Police and in 1891 he married Mary Prosser.  When Richardson immigrated his family to Canada he was a Police Inspector and Fire Chief for Rutherford District.  In 1913, David Richardson was granted the position of Chilliwack Chief of Police.  David and Mary Richardson eventually had 8 children, including James Cleland Richardson who received the Victoria Cross for rallying his company on October 8, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme.  In 1920, David Richardson retired from the police force and worked as a janitor at Chilliwack High School.  Active in many Chilliwack organizations, David Richardson passed away in February 1955.  Mary Richardson died in June 1956.

 

 

 

 

Looking for more great moustaches from Chilliwack’s past?  Here are a couple more individuals.

 

Portrait of Arlo Kipp, 2002.073.013. [ca. 1943]

Portrait of Arlo Kipp, 2002.073.013. [ca. 1943]

Arlo Kipp was the second of three children born to Wilfred Harvey and Winnifred (Baxter) Kipp.  He was the grandson of Chilliwack re-settler family Henry and Caroline Ann (Trenaman) Kipp.  Arlo served in the Canadian military during WWII.  After the war Arlo returned to Cultus Lake where he became the new secretary/manager of the Cultus Lake Park Board.  Additionally he served as postmaster from 1946 to 1973.  Arlo Kipp married Evelyn Pulford.  He passed away in 1984.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But wait… there’s more… 

 

Chilliwack Progress Press Photo: Francis Horne, 07 September 1977, page 29, 1999.029.179.002.

Chilliwack Progress Press Photo: Francis Horne, 07 September 1977, page 29, 1999.029.179.002.

Born in 1954, Francis Horne Sr. is a highly accomplished and respected self-taught carving artist.  At the time of this photograph in 1977, Francis was living near Chilliwack River Road at the Yeqwyeqwi:ws (Yakweakwioose) First Nation.  Francis Horne Sr. taught his son Francis Horne Jr. the art of carving.  Francis Horne Jr., a member of the Yaweakwioose First Nation is also an accomplished artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately archival records are limited on the following  individual.  However, it is pretty hard to deny that he rocked a solid Mo.

 

Chilliwack Progress Press Photo: Hop Picker, unnumbered.

Chilliwack Progress Press Photo: Hop Picker, unnumbered.

Chilliwack has a rich history that includes many different communities and ethnic groups.  The photograph to the right depicts an unidentified hop picker rocking a solid moustache working in Chilliwack, BC.  Archival records indicate the photograph was probably taken in September, 1977 for a hop special written by the Progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Finally…

 

Archivist Tristan Evans on vacation with family, 12 November 2017. Photo Credit: Alexandra Renee

Archivist Tristan Evans on vacation with family, 12 November 2017. Photo Credit: Alexandra Renee

Archivist Tristan Evans on vacation with the family sporting a moustache for Movember.  Left to right: Tristan Evans, Chelsea Daughters, Brandon Evans.

Museums, Libraries, Archives and One Summer Student

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by

By Janelle Haley, Museum Assistant, Summer Student 2016

If you came to the Archives or the Museum, or both, this summer there may have been a chance that you would have seen me: Janelle! I was so fortunate when Matthew Francis, Executive Director, phoned me to offer me the summer student position of Museum Assistant. Every day I learned something new. The staff and volunteers were so fun and inspirational to work with that the summer flew by.

Working at the Chilliwack Archives.

Working at the Chilliwack Archives. 

Working with Archivist Shannon Bettles, I started a project that consisted of doing inventory in the archives, as well as helped out with photo orders and property history inquiries. While working on the inventory project, I came across a document written by Casey Wells which ended up being his proposal for a “Community History Research Library”. This proposed institution would collect and preserve the history of the local community. Immediately I thought, “this is what the Archives does!” As I was handling the documents, I felt humbled and proud to be doing work with the Museum and Archives knowing that Casey Wells’ idea actually came to fruition.

With Curator Jane Lemke, I got to handle (always with gloves), photograph, and catalogued artifacts with really interesting stories connected to the people of Chilliwack. I also helped out with a few things for the upcoming photography exhibit such as finding old camera ads and adding captions to the famous J.O. Booen photos. Everyone should come check out this exhibit because it is going to be great!

At the Museum, I worked with Museum Attendant Anna Irwin to cover the extended hours, make up discovery hunts for children, and come up with activity and craft ideas for future programming. We also helped input data for our new online membership system, Wild Apricot, with the help of Administrative and Volunteer Coordinator Alison Adamson, which is now up and running online. I was also fortunate to be a representative for the Museum and Archives at the Chilliwack Fraser Valley Regional Library branch in June to promote National Aboriginal Day with Education and Engagement Coordinator Stephanie Clinton, where we saw almost 80 people who stopped by to talk with us. I was also onsite at the Museum for our Family Sports Day in July where I got to help facilitate crafts and try lawn bowling and ringette!

At FVRL Chilliwack Branch for National Aboriginal Day 2016.

At FVRL Chilliwack Branch for National Aboriginal Day 2016.

Over the course of the summer, I had a lot of people assuming that I must be a history student, due to the fact that I was working for a Museum and Archives (spoiler alert) … I am not! I have taken a few history courses as part of my Bachelor of General Studies degree at the University of the Fraser Valley that were very informative and interesting, but my main focus of study is in library and information management. This summer work experience showed me just how much libraries, museums, and archives have in common. At all three organizations, staff help visitors with research requests/questions, understand and implement classification schemes, catalogue items, create and offer programs, and participate in outreach initiatives in the community.

As the summer draws to an end, I feel the need to help promote all museums (but particularly ours) wherever I can, whenever I can. Through this experience I have become more aware of Chilliwack’s history and the work that is done by the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. So, if you are interested in learning a bit about the history of Chilliwack, please come by and visit the Museum and Archives! Thanks again to everyone who worked with me and taught me new things through this opportunity.

Local and Other Items

Posted on: January 6th, 2016 by
Chilliwack Progress Newspaper Clipping, January 7, 1892, page1.

Chilliwack Progress Newspaper Clipping, January 7, 1892, page1.

Chilliwack Progress, January 7, 1892, page 1.

  • “Nanaimo is now lighted by electricity.”
  • “Mr. Cory Ryder takes charge of the Post Office at Cheam.”
  • “The Gladys will continue her regular trips up and down the river.”
  • “Mrs. Spencer, of Victoria, is visiting her mother, Mrs. Evans, her husband accompanied her.”

If you’re like me, you’ve been browsing the recently digitized historic newspaper archive of the Chilliwack Progress. I always stop at the Local and Other Items column listed on the front page to read the detailed accounts of life in Chilliwack and the latest headlines from around the Province.

I love these old newspapers. Reading the Local and Other Items columns takes me back in time, where I imagine the conversations that ensued around the water coolers of years past. I imagine the discussion that might arise when the towns folk read things like:

  • ” A carload of wagons, buggies, sleighs and cutters, direct from the east, have arrived, and will be deposited at the Harrison House. For particulars see John Reece”. (Chilliwack Progress, 1892, January 7, p.1)

or

  • “Mr. James Bailey has gone east for a three month visit to his father and friends in Grey Co. and other places. We wish him a pleasant trip and safe return”. (Chilliwack Progress, 1892, January 7, p.1)

These news items are amusing. Phone numbers or postal addresses are not required, for everyone knows how to get a hold of John Reece. There is no need to explain who James Bailey is, for the entire Chilliwack Progress readership seems to be wishing him a pleasant trip. I picture these news items being discussed in length at social gatherings, much like many people today find themselves referencing Facebook and Twitter when recalling current news and gossip.

Social Media

Speaking of Facebook and Twitter, I can’t help but compare today’s social media phenomenon and popularity with the Local and Other Items columns found in historic newspapers. The local columns must have been popular at the time, seeing as they are often found on the front pages and have no end of minute details about people’s comings and goings. The “posts” even seem to be restricted to a short word length, not unlike the 140 character limit of Twitter.

This has me wondering: what will our descendants think about our social media posts and tweets 100 years from now? Will photographs of our meals and updates on our vacations inform researchers about who we were and what we’ve been up to? Were the Local and Other Items columns the 1890’s version of Twitter?

Research

Researchers at the Chilliwack Archives find the newspaper reports of local happenings a fun and often informative part of their research. I’ve seen, for example, many people get sidetracked reading these reports while looking for obits and other articles. Knowing when great uncle Bob arrived to town, who stayed with him and what social parties his wife attended, can provide a colourful glimpse into life and perhaps, personalities of their relatives.

Historical Context is Key

When it comes to historic newspapers and archival records in general, context is key. Historical context is not something easily grasped when you are faced with primary source records. With historical documents, historical context can help us better understand the moods, attitudes and cultural setting of a person, place or event in history.

Jonathan Reece, ca.1858. [Chilliwack Museum and Archives P.7]

Jonathan Reece, ca.1858. [Chilliwack Museum and Archives P.7]

For example, Johnathan Reece would have needed no introduction in 1898 Chilliwack, as he was a prominent landowner – the first Anglo-European to pre-empt land in 1959 in what would become the City of Chilliwack. As well, the Harrison House Hotel, which was located on the southeast corner of Wellington Avenue and Corbould Street, was a short buggy ride from Chilliwack landing and a four minute walk to the business district of Five Corners. An obvious choice for a deposit of large goods such as carriages and cutters.

So, while I reflect on the similarities between Facebook posts and the Chilliwack Progress Local and Other Items columns of 1892, I must also think of the historical contexts of the time periods in question. In 1893, Chilliwack’s population was about 3000 and so easy for the newspaper informants to keep an eye on local news and social events and for people to know one another well. While the Local and Other Items columns can be informative, they can also be selective in their reporting. For example, attitudes at the time were not always favourable towards First Nations and Chinese residents, and so these communities are not included or reported upon in the local happenings columns. As a result, if I were researching a Stó:lo or Chinese family history, the newspaper might not be a good source for information, where it may be a great source for Anglo-European residents.

Historical context can help place the historical documents we examine in to perspective. What is being reported upon; what is not being reported upon? Why or why not? How valid is the resource, what are the biases of the author or publisher? What does the reporter take for granted the readership will know and understand? Why or why not?

Engaging with History

Harrison House Hotel, Chilliwack

Harrison House Hotel, ca. 190-. [Chilliwack Museum and Archives, P835]

Back to 1892, the Chilliwack Progress newspapers continue to pique my curiosity and spark my imagination as I formulate a picture and narrative of Chilliwack’s past in my mind. Learning more about my community, its people and attitudes from historical documents is how I enjoy engaging in local history.

I would like to invite you, dear reader of this blog, to visit or contact me at the Chilliwack Archives. I’m happy to help you access the resources needed for you to engage with your local history here in Chilliwack and electronically, abroad.

– Shannon Bettles, Archivist