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Archival description
Séries Community Life
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Newspaper clippings

Series consists of one file containing two newspaper clippings, one from the BC Saturday Sunset dated September 14, 1912 and another from The Globe dated Saturday March 23, 1907

Audio Recordings

Series consists of original audio reels of CKPG radio programming broadcasts recorded in Prince George from 1960 to 1979, as well as, dubbed audio cassette copies made by the Prince George Oral History Group.

Photographs

Series consists of nine photographs of Prince Rupert scenery, buildings, residents and surrounding area. Includes image of totem and dugout canoe.

Correspondence and Writings Series

Series consists of journals, draft manuscripts, correspondence, CMS documents and orders, speeches, sermons all written by or to Archdeacon W. H. Collison. Series also contains correspondence to W.E. Collison and Joyce Collison, genealogical information on the Collison family, newspaper clippings and a school paper written by Archdeacon Collison's grandaughter Katy.

Oral History Interviews

Series consists of the 46 oral histories conducted by the Island Cache Recovery Project. A file exists for each participant in the research project, which includes the original recorded oral history on cassette tape and/or VHS, consent forms for use of the oral history, a written transcript for the oral history, and a digital version of the written transcript.

City records related to Island Cache

Series consists of copies of City of Prince George records photocopied and organized by Island Cache Recovery Project researchers. Includes incoming and outgoing correspondence between the city and Island Cache residents, legal real estate and building inspection documents for Island Cache properties, and reports regarding Island Cache (Cottonwood Island).

Island Cache Research Material

Series consists of research material collected for the Island Cache Recovery Project. Includes resources photocopied from participants in the study (particularly material collected by Bob Parris), including newspaper articles, photographs, and personal correspondence. Also includes research material gathered by the researchers from other sources, such as copies of maps, articles, and public records.

Theatre and Community Development

Series consists of correspondence, itineraries, newspaper clippings, reports, theatre and event programs, ephemera, contact lists, prop lists, scripts, rehearsal and performance schedules, set lists, minutes, agreements, cheques, receipts, and background material all pertaining to Iona Campagnolo's involvement with the planning of the Royal Visit to Prince Rupert in honour of British Columbia Centennial Celebrations, May 10, 1971; North Pacific Player theatre productions of Man of La Mancha (1971), Mary Stuart (1972), Tom Jones (1973), and Fiddler on the Roof (1974); planning and development of Prince Rupert’s first Folkfest '74; and initial planning for Prince Rupert Homecoming event, October 1973.

Photographs

The images consists primarily of 130+ photographs taken by or belonging to Reverend R.W. Large, MD which depict communities on the Northwest Coast between approximately 1898 and 1920 including Bella Bella, Rivers Inlet, and Port Simpson, including native villages in which Reverend Large worked. Images show scenes of native fishing, canneries, mission hospitals, churches, girls schools, portraits of native families, and Northwest Coast totems. Other images include 25+ photographs and postcards from the Large family depicting ships and boats on the North Coast.

Family Records series

Series consists of records reflecting the activities of the Dezell and Rustad families. Series include mayoral records from Bea and Garvin Dezell when Garvin served as Mayor of Prince George. Series includes materials celebrating Bea Dezell's life created by her family. Series also includes fundraising efforts for the Northern Medical Programs Trust. Finally, series includes a collection of "spruce" dollars and commemorative coins.

Publications

The Publications series consists of news bulletins and newspapers documenting the community and work life of the residents of Cassiar, BC. Content includes text and photographs, as well as jokes, comics and games.

On March 7, 1956 the Cassiar Reporters Guild published one issue of an untitled newspaper simply titled “The Cassiar?” (vol.1, no.1) along with a “name that newspaper” contest call out to the local community. It is believed that no other issue of this first volume was published until December 7, 1957 when The Asbestos Sheet (vol.2, no.1) was published. The Asbestos Sheet, was generally published twice a month and ran from December 1957 to September 1976; after which time both its name and its format changed: the 8-1/2 x 10” news bulletin changing to an 11 x 17” newspaper; and The Asbestos Sheet becoming the Cassiar Courier. The Courier was published monthly from fall 1976 until February 1991 when it stopped circulation shortly before the closure of both the mine and the company town.

Box Inventory

The Cassiar Asbestos Corporation and townsite records encompass a massive archival holding of approximately 1,600 bankers boxes. A box level inventory was created by student employees of the archives over a 15-year period. This inventory is provided here for access purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

In 1952 the Cassiar Asbestos Mining Corporation constructed an asbestos open-pit mine and mill and created a town site for its workers that became the town of Cassiar, British Columbia, 50 miles south of the Yukon border, and 80 miles north of Dease Lake. For 40 years Cassiar was a thriving asbestos mining town with a population at its peak of about 2500, with production statistics for 1989, recording over 60 million tonnes of ore mined, producing a billion dollars of new wealth. In 1989 Cassiar added an underground mine to the site, and despite attempts to run it profitably, in 1992 the entire mine closed partially due to the global market decline in the demand for asbestos, resulting in the closure of the town, and the move of its workers and families out of Cassiar. An auction was held to sell off all the mining equipment, townsite infrastructure, its buildings, people’s residences and the site was bull-dozed, with many houses burned to the ground. Today little remains in this remote area of Northern British Columbia to mark Cassiar’s industrial, economic or social history.

In 1992 the University of Northern British Columbia acquired the holdings of CAMC and the Cassiar townsite recognizing its potential for academic research, as the records could provide insight into natural resource industry extraction operations in Northern BC from mid to late 20th century, illustrative of ‘boom & bust’ industries, and to provide context to the development of the Cassiar Asbestos Mining Corporation and the history of the ‘life’ of a one-industry company town. The holdings document mining operations by CAMC and of the town site of Cassiar, originally consisting of the equivalent of 1800+ bankers’ boxes, including records on construction, engineering, operations, administration of CAMC, tallies of extractions, labour and union activities, corporate events and visits by dignitaries (including Prime Minister Trudeau who visited CAMC’s northern operations unit in Clinton Creek in 1968 and M.P. Iona Campagnolo in 1978). As CAMC was owner of both the mine and the Cassiar town, the company provided municipal services (i.e. sewer, water, and electricity) for its workers and their families. The archived municipal records document townsite construction, including the creation of health, education and community services such as Cassiar’s private hospital, school, library, community centre, hockey arena, and retail store. The holdings also include extensive visual documentation of natural and man-man landscapes within this remote and scenic area of Northern British Columbia. The formats of the archival holdings are diverse consisting of textual, photographic, cartographic materials, electronic records, films, promotional video-recordings, and a near complete run of the Cassiar community’s print newspaper.