Archive for the ‘Gastown’ Category

157 Water Street

This seven storey warehouse has been redeveloped recently with its more modest next door neighbour. The facade is all that was retained, so today it’s part of a contemporary concrete framed building that shouldn’t suffer damage in the event of an earthquake.

The window frames on the top two floors have been replaced to match the remainder of the building, which was initially intended to have three storeys. We don’t know who designed the building, but Edward Cook was the contractor for the development, which was for the BC Plate Glass & Importing Company; he submitted the permit in 1905, and additions in 1906. The Province reported that he “intended to be 3-storeys, however, he rented the add’l floors as rapidly as they could be planned“. Edward was a prolific contractor with over 40 buildings constructed by 1891. He had arrived in spring 1886, and built a small house for his family to move into, but it burned down in the fire a few days later, and their first home was a tent. Edward developed a few projects for himself, but here we assume he might have been the contractor (and possible the designer) of the building.

The glass business was run by Arthur Bogardus, Charles Wickens and Frank Begg. Bogardus and Wickens had a retail and glazing business, and Frank Begg joined them in the early 1900s. They moved into a Yaletown warehouse a few years after this. They were still based here in 1910, sharing the building with the Otis-Fensom Elevator Co. Both businesses had moved to new Yaletown buildings by 1913, when Burke & Wood Ltd, a freight transfer company, Alcock & Downing, importers, the Carey Safe Co (warehouse) and R Madden & Son, wholesale produce occupied the building. In 1920 A P Slade’s produce warehouse took over the entire building, which they continued to occupy for many years.

By 1950 Eaton’s, the department store, had taken over the space. As Gastown was converted to a destination retail location this became home on the lower floors to the Games Company, who were here in this 1985 image. There was a 1995 proposal to convert the upper floors to residential use, but that never happened. The recent redevelopment initially proposed to rebuild the facade as 6 storeys, re-using the existing bricks but creating greater floor to ceiling height. That idea was dropped, and all seven floors were recreated in a concrete frame behind the facade. The building (including the adjacent Harper Warehouse) was fully leased to Microsoft while still under construction. A French-Japanese music and fashion label store and their associated Café Kitsuné will occupy the retail spaces.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2089

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Posted 25 November 2021 by ChangingCity in Altered, Gastown

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151 Water Street

We have waited to look at the history of this early Water Street warehouse until completion of the new office building that has been built behind, and above, the restored facade. Initially three additional floors were proposed to be added in a complementary ‘heritage’ style, but the plans were changed to add greater height in a contemporary style, set back to retain the heritage element’s integrity.

This was a 1912 warehouse developed by J M Harper and designed by A J Bird. Seen here in 1985, it had already transitioned to retail use, but it started life as a produce warehouse, built by Willis and Fisher for $16,000. Mr. Harper was an absentee developer, living in Kamloops where he was a partner in a wholesaling and retailing business supplying miners. He partnered with A S McArthur, both in the dry goods business and in property development in Vancouver, including a building at Hastings and Main.

J M Harper was often referred to in the press as Major Harper (having raised a mounted military unit in 1908), and he had extensive business interests. He was also an independent voice in the community. When Kamloops Board of Trade petitioned for the local Kamloops Band reserve to be reduced in size in 1913, Major Harper was one of few voices in opposition, “J.M. Harper merely pointed out that the Indians had never been treated fairly by whites and in any event Kamloops had a lot of room to branch out in without bothering the Indians.”

In the 1911 census James M Harper was aged 51, living on ‘income’, with his wife Elizabeth who was 48 and five children aged between 8 and 20. Both parents were shown born in Scotland, and we can track the family’s movements before settling in Kamloops; their oldest daughter, ‘Ena’, was born in Alberta in 1891 and Norman, their 18-year-old son in Manitoba. The other sons and daughter were born in BC. (Ena was Georgena in the 1901 census, born in the Northwest Territories, and Elizabeth was shown born in Ontario. In 1891 the family were living in Lethbridge, when Alberta was still part of the North-West Territories). From their son’s 1920 wedding in Vancouver, we can find his father was James Milne Harper, and his mother Elizabeth Paterson. James was born in Banffshire in 1859, one of 10 children.

Tragically, their son, Norman Stuart Harper, was killed on active service in the First World War. A postcard, written to his mother, showed up in a Washington state antique store. It revealed that he was in hospital in London in May 1918, having been injured landing his bi-plane. Less than two months later he was shot down and killed while on a bombing mission over Germany. He was buried by the Germans with full military honours, but his family only managed to trace his death in 1920. The 1921 census shows James and Elizabeth still in Kamloops, with three children still at home and Georgina Paterson, Elizabeth’s sister living with them. J M Harper died in Vancouver in 1937, already widowed.

The newly completed building attracted multiple tenants; Olmstead Budd Co Ltd wholesale fruit suppliers, Swartz Bros wholesale fruits, California Fruit Growers Exchange, Pacific Fruit & Produce Co and A Francis Tourville, produce broker. In 1920 The Foottit Co., Ltd became the tenants here, produce dealers headed by Harold and Ernest Foottit. A year earlier they were both working for F R Stewart and Co, a rival produce business whose premises were a few doors to the west. Harold was 39, and had arrived in BC in 1906. His wife Edith Longfellow arrived from England a year later, (they had married in 1905), and their son, (Harold) Raymond was born in 1914. Ernest was two years younger, and like his brother came from Hull. Ernest married Beatrice Thorley, who was also from Hull, in 1908, Harold Foottit was living in Vancouver when he died in 1968. Ernest died in 1971, in Seattle, where he was Superintendent of the Home Savings Building for many years, and was buried in Burnaby.

Their business didn’t prosper, and by 1923 W R Cook and Co had moved in here. Both Foottit brothers returned to working for F R Stewart. By 1930 the Independent Fruit Co had moved in, and a decade later the building was occupied by Slade and Stewart who were also in the adjacent building. Later Robison Cotton Mills used the warehouse, and as the area became more of a tourist destination in the 1960s an antique and contemporary art dealer took over the space. In recent years it became known as a destination for buying first nations art and artefacts, in Frances Hill’s store. Recently redeveloped, a flagship clothing store are fitting out the retail units while Microsoft have occupied the offices on the upper floors.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2090

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Posted 18 November 2021 by ChangingCity in Altered, Gastown

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73 Water Street

This brick faced warehouse was, according to its Heritage Statement, built in 1912 for the Vancouver – Prince Rupert Meat Packing Company. While the developer is correctly identified, the building permits weren’t submitted until 1914. There were three permits in total; two in January for $6,400 (presumably for preliminary work) and another in April for $50,000. The company designed all three stages of construction of the 33 feet wide, and 7 storeys high building, built by E J Ryan. It’s on the same block as a ‘rival’, and slightly earlier coldstore and meat-packing building, owned by the Canadian Swift Meat Packing Co.

By 1919 Swift owned the Vancouver – Prince Rupert Meat Co (as well as many other companies), and there is some suggestion that the business was always a subsidiary of Swift (a Chicago-based business). Swift had their name on the building in 1923, but by 1930 they had consolidated to their building to the east, and David Spencer’s departmental store were using this building as their warehouse. T Eaton and Co bought the Spencer business in 1948, and continued to use the warehouse. (When they operated as a rival to Spencer’s, they had a warehouse a block to the west of here).

As Gastown turned into a tourist area, the ground floor became a gift shop (seen in this 1985 image) and today a shoe store, with office space in the converted warehouse above.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2097

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Posted 26 July 2021 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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54 East Cordova Street

Like the rooming house to the west, (more recently known as the Wonder Rooms) this building was designed by Hugh Braunton, in this case a year later in 1912. The developer was W G Harvey and the building opened as the Alvin Rooms, although they didn’t appear in a street directory until 1914, when they were run by H McIntyre.

The first year he was in Vancouver, 1895, W G Harvey’s store was at 322 E Cordova, and he was living at 515 Westminster Avenue. In 1896 the store had moved to 326 Westminster Avenue, and was described as ‘the leading East End Dry Goods Store’. In 1898 the store was at 400 Westminster Ave, and the family were living at 338 E Hastings, and in 1901 they had moved again, to 800 Hornby. That was the family home through the 1900s, although the store moved again to 70 W Cordova, and then in 1910 to the Hornby address. A year later William had retired, and moved to Shaughnessy, to the corner of Matthews and Granville.

Mrs W G Harvey died in 1919, and was only 58. We can trace from the details on her death certificate that Florence Gabriel married William George Harvey in St Mary’s Church St John’s, Newfoundland in 1891. The family must have moved west quite soon after that; Beatrix Harvey was born in 1892, in Victoria. (She married Ernest Williams in Vancouver in 1919, just before her mother’s death, and died in 1966 in Victoria). Lancelot William Harvey was born in 1893 in Victoria, married in 1921 and died in Coquitlam in 1980. In the 1901 census the children were recorded as Beatrice and Lance, and their uncle (W G’s brother) Herber Harvey was living with the family. W G Harvey was 64 when he died in Vancouver in 1925.

Miss J Anderson was running The Alvin Rooms in 1930, and Mrs S Saiga in 1940. In the 1940s these became the Franklin Rooms, in 1945 run by Choy Chin, and then by 1950 The Cordova Rooms, the name previously held by the building to the west. Choy Jung was shown running them that year, but by 1955 it was shown as Choy Chin again.

The Cordova Residence, as it’s now known, was part of the SRO Renewal Initiative of public owned heritage hotels, so we have documented evidence of the state of the building prior to restoration, and some of the more unusual aspects of the structure. It has a solid wooden frame – the main floor timbers are 12″ x 16″ with 2″ x 4″ laminated floors – suggesting a warehouse or perhaps industrial intended use. There’s an original wooden framed manually operated freight elevator from the main floor to the basement, and a belt-drive jack shaft to power a lathe also survives in the basement. The basement was linked to the building next door, and there’s an original rolling metal-clad fire door across the doorway. All of these elements were preserved in the renovation.

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Posted 22 July 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gastown, Still Standing

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Central Hotel – East Cordova Street

The building here is called The Central Residence and has been owned by the City of Vancouver for nearly 20 years, but it was built as two separate structures. Each cost $40,000, and 48 East Cordova (the left hand side of the building) was built first, in 1911, followed by the right in 1912. We assume the design of the first, by Hugh Braunton (for W C Marshall) was copied by Archibald Campbell Hope, whose client for the second was the Vancouver Realty Co. They were a business that had been around for a while, but this was their swansong. By the time the 1912 street directory was published the business was no longer listed, and their offices at 433 Seymour were vacant.

We can however provide an explanation for choosing a different architect; the Realty Co were represented by (and probably controlled by) Hope, Gravely & Co, a long-established firm of engineers, accountants and financial agents, with engineer Charles Hope partnering with pioneer land agent Walter Graveley. Charles was from Bradford, in England, and had studied architecture, like his father. His younger brother – the architect of the later building –  was A C Hope, who had been in San Francisco in 1906, and moved north in 1908.

William C Marshall lived on Pacific Avenue with his 41 year old American wife Edna, their two children, and her mother, Susan Darcy. He was from Ontario, aged 48, and in 1911 was shown as living on ‘income’. His wife and mother-in-law had come to Canada in 1884, and William and Edna had married in 1904 in New Westminster. William Crozier Marshall was a widower, which explains how he had a 12 year old daughter at home, Elsie, and an 11 year old son, William, when he married Edna, who was 24 and born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

His first wife was Jennie (or Jenny) Loveless, and they had another daughter, Minnie, who was married in 1909 when she was 19.  Jennie had been 19 when she married William in 1888 in Vancouver, and had been born in Burton-on-Trent, in England, but she died in 1893. William had three very young children, so it must have been a relief to marry a widow from Ontario, Frances Chase, (known as Bertha), in 1895 and a further tragedy when she also died, in 1901. She was recorded in the census that year, with the children and two lodgers. The local press reported the nature of her death. “Well Known Lady Dies Suddenly This Morning in St. Paul’s Hospital. A very sad death took place this morning, the victim being a well known lady, Mrs. Bertha Marshall, wife of W. C. Marshall, of this city. Only last Friday the deceased lady was taken to the hospital, and a day later an operation was performed by Dr. McPhillips, which at the time appeared to be successful. but blood-poisoning set in mid early this morning the lady gradually sank and passed away. Mrs. Marshall had a very large number of friends in the city and was universally well liked. She was 32 years of age and had been married a little over three years. She lived since early childhood in Chilliwack, where her people are well known.

Before he became a real estate investor, William had run a livery stable, with the earliest record we can find for him being a payment by the City Council to W C Marshall, drayman in 1888. His inaccurately named ‘Sleepy Dan’ was a notable member of the stable. He was a frequent winner at the Richmond racetrack, and at Hastings Park. In 1905 he was fined $5 for racing on Cordova Street against Tommy Roberts – who also had to pay the same fine. Residents reminisced in the Vancouver Sun about hiring a horse and buggy from ‘Billy Marshall’ to impress a girl on a Sunday afternoon to take them riding around Stanley Park.

William was elected as an alderman in 1916. He was 73 when he died in 1937; the Province reported his death: “William C. Marshall, 73, pioneer of Vancouver In the livery business, died Wednesday night at his home, 1217 Pacific street He had been ill more than a year. Fifty-two years ago Mr. Marshall arrived from Ontario and, with Steve Tingley, drove the first horse stage from Esquimalt into Victoria. Next summer he came to Vancouver to live and for many years was in business on Water street. Marshall’s livery was a landmark In the old days. Twenty-five year ago he retired. He served as an alderman for several years”. Edna was 85 when she died in 1965.

When they opened the two establishments were used slightly differently; 42 was operated as the Central Hotel. Next door at 48 there was a business on the main floor (in 1920 the Kloepfer Hardware Co Ltd) and the Oliver Rooms upstairs. That was true through to the 1950s, although the Central Hotel had become rental rooms by then, run by J K Fun and Sue See in 1955. The Oliver Rooms were run by Harry and Anne Sherban.

This was one of the first buildings in the area to be converted from market to non-market housing. The work was done in 1973-74 by the United Housing Foundation with Jonathan Yardley as architect. During the renovation, which involved the consolidation into a single property, it was discovered that the builders had made the work easier by already leaving blocked up doorways between the two buildings. Our 1978 image shows it as The New Central. In 1980 the City of Vancouver, as owners since 1986, added a fire alarm system throughout the building. In private ownership it had 131 tiny rooms; today, as the Central Residence following a 2003 renovation (following two fires in rooms) the building was reconfigured with CMHC and BC Housing funds to create 64 larger units, 54 with their own bathrooms. Residents are 55+ or under 55 with a disability, although the building is not wheelchair accessible.

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Maple Tree Square 2

We looked at Maple Tree Square as it appeared just before the 1886 fire in an earlier post. We’ve examined pretty much all the buildings in this shot over the years. Just on the left hand edge is the Alhambra Hotel, and on the right is the Packing House; offices today, but once the Swift Meat Packing facility (and before that the site of the Alexandra Hotel). Further up the Malkin Warehouse is a six storey brick warehouse with huge old growth timbers forming the frame, and today hidden by street trees in the summer.

One notable difference is that in 1970 the newly installed statue of Gassy Jack used to look along Water Street. Now he’s moved across the street, in front of the Alhambra, looking eastwards. There was a commemoration of Maple Tree Square as the founding location of the settlement here – originally called Granville, and then Vancouver after 1886. It was a drinking fountain, installed in 1925 in what was still an industrial street. The attempts to revitalize the run down neighbourhood in the late 1960s, once the decision had been taken not to bulldoze the entire street for a freeway, included the commission of the sculpture by real estate developer Larry Killam. Fritz Jacobson made a sketch, and Okanagan-born artist Vern Simpson sculpted it. It was presented to the City, although mayor Tom Campbell apparently wanted it towed to the City dump. The 1925 plaque from the fountain is now incorporated into the plinth the statue sits on.

Jack Deighton was a sea captain, gold prospector, riverboat pilot and bar owner, originally from Hull, in England, who squatted in a clearing just beyond the Hastings Mill boundary and built the first non-native structure in the area that would become a town, and then a city (although he died many years before that came about). Fond of talking, ‘Gassy’ Jack was the basis for Granville being known locally as Gastown. The first government survey of Granville was careful to ensure his his original saloon ended up in the middle of the street, forcing Jack to acquire a legal plot nearby to rebuild his Globe Saloon, where the Alhambra would be built after the 1886 fire. More recently ‘Gassy’ Jack has been covered in paint; a protest about celebrating someone who married his second Indian wife when she was about 12 years old. It’s possible he may move again, perhaps away from Maple Tree Square.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-770

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Posted 16 November 2020 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

Cambie Street north at West Cordova

This view north towards Burrard Inlet and the north shore is said to have been photographed around 1900, but actually it must be a little earlier than that. Two of the buildings are still standing, and most of the others we can see were built not too long after the picture was taken. On the left edge is the Horne Block, developed by James W Horne in 1895, and designed by N S Hoffar. It has an unusual arrangement of two floors of retail, exploiting the slope of Cambie Street. The upper floors were initially offices, but for many years have been SRO residential, with 18 rooms known as Danny’s Inn.

Next door is the Panama Block, developed in 1913. It’s triangular, without a lane, and was designed by fairly obscure architects (Wallington & Wheatley) who only appeared in the city in 1912, just as the economy tanked. The owners were McConnell, Abbott & Drayton and it cost $10,000 to build. We looked at who the developers were in the linked post.

Across the street to the north is one of the earlier buildings still standing today, developed as the Springer-Van Bramer Block, by American ships captain and mill owner James Van Bramer and mill manager Ben Springer. Built in 1888, it’s another N S Hoffar design, and once had the insignia of the Freemasons, whose hall was on the top floor. Down the hill, the Regina Hotel was the only building in Granville Township that survived the 1886 fire. It was replaced in 1907 by the Hotel Edward, developed by Swedish mining engineer Charles Edward Beckman at a cost of $21,000, although we don’t know the architect. He leased it for ten years to two former police officers, former jailer John Deptford, and Constable Gosby. They were fired by Chief Chisholm, after a bottle of liquor was found in a cell with its inmate. The chief in turn resigned his post, claiming he couldn’t run the police force due to interference from other officials in the city. John Deptford ran the hotel for several years, and today (unusually) it’s office space upstairs, rather than residential.

On the right, hidden by the trees, today there’s the McDowell, Atkins and Watson building from 1899, designed by J E Parr just before he formed his partnership as Parr and Fee. As there’s an earlier building in the picture, it must date back to closer to 1898. The developers were druggists, noted for their home-grown syrups like Linseed and Hoarhound, their Beef, Iron and Wine preparation and Extract of Sarsasparilla and Iodides. A few years later Stark’s Glasgow House moved their dry goods store here.

Across Cordova is the Whetham Block, developed by Dr. Whetham (who also built the Arlington Block in 1887 that faces the Springer-Van Bramer building). This building came a year after the Arlington, so was built in 1888, and was designed by N S Hoffar. Although a medical doctor, James Whetham spent his time as a real estate developer; by 1889 he had the sixth largest land holdings in the city, was on the board of trade and was a city alderman. In 1969 the almost windowless building that replaced Whetham’s was the one of only two buildings completed for Project 200, a massive redevelopment plan that would have seen the entire waterfront of Gastown demolished to be replaced with a row of towers over a waterfront freeway. Once the plan was dropped, this rather more modest structure was home to CNCP Telecommunications – perhaps the first serious hi-tech investment in the city, designed by Francis Donaldson and developed by Grosvenor Estates. Today it has been refigured as office space, as there’s no longer a  need for buildings full of equipment.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-2095

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Posted 29 October 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered, Gastown

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Water Street – 100 block south side (2)

We’ve seen the buildings further to the west in an earlier post. We also looked at the history of the two very similar buildings on the left of the picture; 110 and 118 Water Street. On the left, Sharp and Thompson designed a rooming hotel for Dr. Alfred Thompson costing $65,000 to build, which opened in 1913. Next door the same architects were responsible for the 1911 block for Albert DesBrisay, built at a cost of $62,000. Dr. Thompson was the MP for the Yukon, although he moved to Vancouver (and practiced medicine) in the 1920s. Albert was from New Brunswick, and part of a sizeable family who were all in business in Vancouver. He was a commissioners agent, and had been in Winnipeg for some time. His investment rooming house initially called The Colonial Rooms (as seen in this 1914 picture).

The third building in this part of the block was another investment for a local developer, but one that came with substantially lower costs as there were no architect’s fees. W T Whiteway designed the $45,000 warehouse for himself in 1910. By 1916 he had already sold the building; Kirkland & Rose hired R W Watson to carry out $3,500 of repairs and alterations. In 1925 A E Henderson designed another $1,400 of repairs to the warehouse.

John Rose and Henry Sinclair Kirkland were manufacturer’s agents, specializing in confectionery supplies. Before they moved here they were futher west at 312 Water Street. They moved in here around 1918, with the Canadian Chewing Gum Co and Cowan Co who were chocolate manufacturers in Toronto and represented by Kirkland and Rose.

The building beyond the gap was another $60,000 investment, built in 1912 for McLean Bros, (three brothers from the Scottish Islands). It was designed by Thomas Hooper and like the Kirkland & Rose warehouse was a victim to Woodward’s expanding empire, in this case to add a parking garage.

Today the Colonial Hotel, and the adjacent Gastown Hotel are both managed by Atira Women’s Resource Society. The Colonial is still privately owned, while BC Housing bought the Gastown Hotel and has carried out a number of internal improvements to what had become a very run-down building. The rest of the block to the west was demolished to build Woodward’s Water Street parkade, which was re-built by the City of Vancouver a few years ago, and has been altered again this year with the addition of a childcare facility on the roof.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA LGN 987

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Stark’s Glasgow House – Carrall Street

We’ve seen three other buildings that were home to Stark’s Glasgow House; a business that expanded over 20 years into smarter and larger premises. Here’s the initial Vancouver store, a modest Carrall Street address. The Archives image says this is the second Cordova Street store in 1892, but we think that’s inaccurate. Comparing with Robert Clark’s gentlemen’s clothing store, it shows an identical unit in the same Carrall Street building photographed in 1897, and that date is good for Stark’s at this address too – the Cordova Street address would be the ‘Enlarged and Remodeled’ premises a year later.

James Stark sold ‘dry goods’ The display shows bolts of cloth and fringed throws. The window says they also sell gloves & hosiery, and the door promises ‘standard patterns’. An 1892 advertisement for his new store said “Ladies looking for nice cool washing dresses should see the assortment of prints, cashmerettes, sateens, yama cloths, ginghams, zephyrs, etc., at Stark’s Glasgow House, 226 Carrall street, facing Cordova.”

The store was about to move just over a block to West Cordova, to the Callister Block, so there was a sale offering ‘big bargains’ on the stock. A few years later the store moved again to a former drugstore, slightly further west on Cordova at Cambie. That store was well on its way to a full departmental store (finally achieved a few years later on West Hastings), with a large millinery department that could be reached by elevator.

Robert and his wife and five children aged from 7 to 18 arrived in Vancouver in 1892 when he was 45. It’s not entirely clear why he chose the name ‘Glasgow House’ as James was born in Dundee. He married Julia Leck, who was also from Scotland, in 1871 in Toronto. In 1901 they was living at 1027 Robson Street with all five children. The business offered both dry goods and millinery and two sons worked with their father, joined by the youngest son William (always known as Billy) in 1903. James Stark died in 1918.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA SGN 1075

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Posted 11 May 2020 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Gone

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Braden & Co – 300 West Cordova Street

This provisions and meat retailer occupied a store in the Arlington Block, developed in 1888 by Dr. James Whetham. No architect has been identified with the building, but another building nearby developed by Dr. Whetham around the same time was designed by N S Hoffar, so it’s likely that this was too. The Arlington Hotel was upstairs.

Whetham, like many early Vancouver developers, came from Ontario. His father moved to Canada, established himself as a general merchant and then died, leaving a widow and three young children. James initially became a teacher, then headed west, farming in Manitoba in 1878. Somehow he managed to study medicine (his biography says ‘in winter’) in Toronto and then Portland, Oregon, while living in Spokane Falls. He only practiced medicine very briefly before moving on to develop real estate, initially in Spokane Falls and then from 1887 (aged 33) in Vancouver.

By 1889 James Whetham had the sixth largest land holdings in the city, was on the board of trade and was a city alderman. He was boarder in the Hotel Vancouver. He died in 1891, aged only 37, of what was diagnosed as typhoid fever.

T J Braden lived on Richards Street, near here, in 1898 when the photograph was taken. He first shows up in 1896, working as a butcher and living on Harris Street. It’s possible he was Thomas J Braden, from Simcoe, Ontario. His brother Robert was working with him a year later, and by 1900 they had additional branches on Harris Street and Granville Street, but by 1901 they were no longer in the city, and these were the premises of the Burrard Inlet Meat Co, managed by Herbert Keithley. Mr. Keithley and his brother-in-law, Robert Leberry, ran six meat stores, some that they had acquired from the Bradens, and lived in New Westminster. Early in 1902 they failed to open the stores, and two days later the San Francisco Call reported their pursuit in the US (left).

The sheriff was on the right track, but not fast enough. A few days later the Province reported that the two men were already mid-ocean, having boarded a sailing ship in San Francisco headed for Australia. It added “The unfortunate part of the affair Is that the wives of the departing men were left in ignorance of their husbands’ destination, and they were left absolutely without funds as well. Both women live In New Westminster and are sisters, and through no fault whatever of their own are left all but penniless. It is said Keithly did write his wife once after his departure, saying that he enclosed certain shares in a local company, the value of which would amount to about twenty-five dollars, but he forgot to send the shares.”

The store was no longer associated with the meat trade after this: A J Bloomfield sold cigars here in 1902. A couple of years later the street address disappeared, and the retail space appears to have become associated with the hotel upstairs. In 1905 it was run by Cottingham and Beatty, and a year later John Beatty on his own, later corrected to Beaty.

Within a few years the premises had been renamed the Arlington Rooms; Alice Gill ran them in 1915. The retail uses reappeared here; in 1920 Mrs Tosa Takaoha had a barber’s shop and S Nunoda sold confectionary.

Today the building still has retail stores; the butcher’s shop would be unrecognizable to former operators in its contemporary uses as an Italian fashion store for men and women, with the stripped-down design favoured by some clothing retailers.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu 5

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Posted 4 May 2020 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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