36 West Cordova Street

36 Cordova 1

In 1889 the Vancouver Daily World reported that “Messrs. Callister and Hayes & McIntosh are about to erect fine brick stores on Cordova Street, between Abbott and Carrall”. The two buildings were side by side, next to N S Hoffar’s Dunn – Miller block, (which we’ve seen in earlier posts). Today the façade of both buildings are still standing, incorporated as part of the Cordova frontage of the mainland meat 1887Army & Navy store rebuilt in 1970. (Deliveries to the store come off the street, rather than the lane as is more usual in the city).

Callister’s acquisition of the site appeared in February 1890, and Hayes & McIntosh had already built their premises, so although the building description says it was built in 1890, it might be a year or so earlier. The sepia image above is dated from 1891, while below is said to be taken in 1898. Hayes & McIntosh had been in business for several years – here’s their 1887 advertisement. They traded as the Mainland Market, both retail and wholesale. On the earlier image the name over the store advertises G A Roedde, a bookbinder who was born in Germany, worked his way from Cleveland to San Francisco to Victoria, and eventually settled in Vancouver in 1888. He started work at the News Advertiser, was briefly based here, and then in 1892 moved to premises on Cambie Street.

In 1891 George Hayes was living in lodgings, aged 46, born in the USA and described in the census as a cattle dealer. His partner, William McIntosh was younger – just 31 – and born in Ontario to a family with Scottish origins. He lived with his five younger sisters, Margaret (who had also been born in Ontario) and Maud, Grace, Fanny and Gertrude who were all born in the USA. He was described as a cattle dealer and butcher, and the entire family (including a five-year-old grandson, Robin Arnott) lived with their 62 year-old mother, Charlotte, who was described as ‘Capitalist’ as her occupation. We can find the family in an earlier census, from 1880. That year they were living in Boca, Nevada, California, United States, and Charlotte’s husband is around; Adrian McIntosh. William has an older sister, Mary, and another a little younger, Ella, as well as Maggie, Maud, Gertrude, Grace and Fannie. The US census had more detail, so we know the family had moved around. Maud was age 10, and born in Ohio. Gertrude and Grace, eight-year-old twins were born in Indiana, and Fannie who was five, once again in Ohio.

36 Cordova 2

In the 1901 census Charlotte McIntosh and two of her daughters were still living together – Grace was a teacher at the Central School – with her grandson Robin, but William wasn’t listed although he was shown in the street directory for that year living on Pender Street, and his company is still listed, although ominously described as “(in liq)”, which we assume means the company was bankrupt which would probably explain why it changed hands around this date. The Pender reference is wrong; it should have been Pendrell.

We don’t know who designed the Hayes & McIntosh structure, although the window style is the sort favoured by N S Hoffar. Although it isn’t really his style, another possibility is that it was designed by C O Wickenden; the McIntosh and Wickenden families were next-door neighbours on Pendrell Street.

Charlotte McIntosh died in 1902, and the McIntosh family seem to have left town. The meat store lived on, now run by P Burns – Patrick Burns the Ontario-born but Alberta-based meat mogul. Some histories will tell you that in 1907, Dominic Burns, a brother of Pat Burns, oversaw the construction of Burns Foods’ first slaughterhouse in the city, but actually that was in 1899 when he commissioned Francis Rattenbury to build new cold storage premises on Cordova Street, that we think were at the back of this building and built soon after the acquisition from William McIntosh. Rattenbury’s offices were for a while across the street in the Holland Block, and he is said to have designed Gustaf Roedde’s house in the West End. Dominic Burns commissioned the Vancouver Block on Granville Street (designed by Parr and Fee) in 1911, while Pat Burns in 1909 built a 6-storey warehouse on Hastings (now a rental housing building – the milk brick and window design suggests Parr and Fee might be the designers here too).

There is relatively little written about Hayes and McIntosh’s time in business, but there are snippets. John Garnier delivered meat for the company: “Jack used to ride around on horseback with a basket of meat on his arms, resting it on his thigh.” Chris Winskill, who moved to Mount Pleasant in 1896, in a 1947 conversation with Major Matthews recalled shooting three bears in the area and selling the meat to the McIntosh store. “They were good bears, not too tough, and at that time Vancouver people were not afraid of eating bear meat like I hear they are now.”

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P4 and Bu P553

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Posted April 20, 2015 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

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