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Archival description
Community Life
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Memories of the Skeena

Publication contains "Memories of the Skeena", which accounts to life of Walter Wicks on the Skeena River in the years 1900-1922. Includes anecdotes and historical accounts of cannery work, railroad building, trapping, fishing, hunting, and the founding of Prince Rupert.

George Street, Prince George, BC

Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph reads: "George St. Prince George BC Photo. S Wrathall". Prince George Hotel and Cafe stand on left side of street in foreground, and many other buildings and businesses can be seen. Vehicles line the street, cut banks visible in background. Photograph believed to have been taken while George Street was being prepared for a new lawyer of asphalt.

Campbell's All Cash Store, Prince George, BC

Street view photograph of a commercial section in downtown Prince George with several "Campbell's" delivery carts parked along the road. Visible establishments include "Campbell's All Cash Store" and "Club Cafe." Handwritten annotation in blue ballpoint pen on recto reads: "Howdy from Prince George! Going easy with all these kids- good to see Kathee. Snow here. Have fun at the sports show & don't over do it. Thinking of you guys, love Judy and Vic. P.S. Can't wait to go home to somewhere peaceful and quiet. 2-27-83." Postcard is addressed to: "Mr. & Mrs. Hauffer 8429-221 PL. Sn. Edmonds, WA. U.S. 98020." Verso is affixed with four Canadian 8-cent stamps.

Pacific Great Eastern Railway Region Photograph Collection

  • 2020.08
  • Collection
  • [between 1905 and 1926]

This collection consists of photographs and "real photo" postcards that depict the construction and operation of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway line, communities nearby the railway line, and regional geography of areas adjacent to the PGE line.

Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. fonds

  • 2000.1
  • Fonds
  • 3 April 1952 - 15 March 1993

Fonds consists of textual, photographic, cartographic, electronic and promotional films/video recordings related to the mining operations of Cassiar Asbestos Mining Corporation (CAMC) and creation of Cassiar townsite. CAMC records primarily consist of records related to mining operations including construction, engineering, daily mining operations, administration of CAMC, tallies of extractions, labour and union activities, corporate events and visits by dignitaries. Townsite records are primarily visual representations of townsite construction, including the creation of health, education and community services including Cassiar's private hospital, school, library, as well as townsite images. Photographs include documentation of natural and man-made landscapes within the Cassiar region of Northern BC. Other holdings include a near complete run of Cassiar's community newspaper.

Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd.

Spectators sitting in the shade

Photograph depicts a row of spectators wearing nice clothing, sitting on the curb in the shade of mature chestnut trees. Many of the spectators appear to be Indigenous women and children. They may be gathered to watch a parade or special event. There are Union Jacks and Canadian Red Ensign flags hanging in the trees, suggesting the event may be a Dominion Day event. Although the location is unknown, the presence of the chestnut trees suggests that this may have been taken on Lillooet Main Street.

Dominion Day event on Lillooet Main Street

Photograph depicts an event on Lillooet Main Street with spectator crowds. The Union Jack and Canadian Red Ensign flags suggest this may be a Dominion Day event. The Lillooet community put on large, multi-day Dominion Day events between 1912 and 1916 with many planned activities. The particular activity depicted in this photograph appears to be a horse race event. Main Street businesses visible include the Lillooet Restaurant and the "C.A. Phair General Merchant" store.

Dominion Day event on Lillooet Main Street

Photograph depicts an event on Lillooet Main Street with spectator crowds. The Union Jack and Canadian Red Ensign flags suggest this may be a Dominion Day event. The Lillooet community put on large, multi-day Dominion Day events between 1912 and 1916 with many planned activities. The particular activity depicted in this photograph may be a horse race or rodeo-type event. Main Street businesses visible include the Lillooet Restaurant, the Lillooet Pool Hall, and the "OK" Baths.

Accrual

Collection consists of 30 audio cassettes containing 46 interviews conducted primarily by radio & TV broadcaster Bob Harkins with local personalities. Most recordings were conducted at CJCI Studios, Prince George. The station was launched in 1970 by Central Interior Radio, broadcasting on 620 AM. In 1983, Central Interior also launched CIBC-FM in the city. Central Interior Radio was acquired by the Vista Broadcast Group in 2005.

Harkins, Bob

Bob Harkins fonds

  • 2001.12
  • c.1953 - c.2000

Fonds consists of textual records, photographic items and published reports related to professional life and career of Bob Harkins, broadcaster, local historian, and former city councilor. Includes textual and photographic items related to development and history of city of Prince George and the Central Interior of BC region history and development in late 20th century. Items includes an unpublished manuscript on the life of Ray Williston by Eileen Williston, an unpublished paper on the history of technological change in logging industry; an unpublished paper on the history of radio and television in Prince George; a report related to the creation of a university for Northern British Columbia (1989) and proofs of the publication "Wild Liard Waters: Canoeing Canada's Historic Liard River" by Ferdi Wenger, c.1998. Also includes photographic files including CKPG Radio Studio photographic items c.1953; and photographs and correspondence regarding guide outfitter Skook Davidson c.1975.

Bob Harkins

Giscome Community Hall

Image depicts the Giscome Community Hall in Giscome, B.C. Map coordinates 54°04'18.5"N 122°21'57.7"W

Highway 97

Image depicts Highway 97 at 15th Ave. looking north. Map coordinates 53°54'42.1"N 122°46'53.1"W

Highway 97

Image depicts Highway 97 at 15th Ave. looking north. Map coordinates 53°54'36.0"N 122°46'55.5"W

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.

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.

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.

Bea Dezell Correspondence

File consists of several notes and letters addressed to Bea Dezell or Mr. and Mrs. G. Dezell. Most of the letters are short thank you notes but two letters concern her support for the creation and expansion of UNBC.

Commemorative Coins

File consists of 2 Prince George Golden Jubilee (1965) coins and 3 Corporation of the District of Kitimat (1953) coin.

Bridget Moran fonds

  • 2008.3
  • Fonds
  • 1935 - 1999, predominate 1954 - 1996

This fonds illustrates Bridget Moran’s careers as a writer, a social worker and a social activist primarily within the Prince George region of British Columbia. This fonds also contains records pertaining to her personal relationships with family and friends and her receipt of various honours and awards.

Types of records reflective of her career as a writer include: published articles and unpublished manuscripts, drafts and front cover mock-ups, correspondence with editors from Arsenal Pulp Press, grant applications, notebooks, background material, writer’s workshop invitations and overviews, photographs, oral history interviews and transcripts, and VHS recordings of classroom talks given by Bridget Moran, Mary John and Justa Monk re: her publications.

Types of records reflective of her career as a social worker and social activist include: annual reports, work journals, correspondence and published newspaper articles re: social policy, photographs, and general background material. Correspondence, photographs and newspaper clippings highlight her personal relationships, while her receipt of honours and awards is demonstrated through copies of letters of recommendation, newspaper clippings, photographs, VHS recordings of award ceremonies, event itineraries, congratulatory correspondence, and invitations.

The Bridget Moran fonds has been divided into the following four series:

  1. Published and Unpublished Materials
  2. Career Related Materials
  3. Personal Papers and Correspondence
  4. Honours and Awards.

Moran, Bridget

Island Cache Recovery Project Collection

  • 2003.11
  • Collection
  • 1998-2000

Collection consists of material resulting from Dr. Mike Evan's Island Cache Recovery Project Collection. Includes oral history interviews of former Island Cache (Cottonwood Island) residents on recording media (cassette and VHS) as well as transcripts of the oral histories. Also includes administrative records for the project and photocopies of background research material used for the project, such as Prince George city records, newspaper clippings, photographs, and correspondence.

Evans, Michael John

Upper Fraser Historical Geography Project Collection

  • 2017.6
  • Collection
  • 1999-2002

The Upper Fraser Historical Geography Project was conducted by UNBC faculty and a team of researchers between 1999 and 2002. The lead researchers were Aileen Espritiu, Gail Fondahl, Greg Halseth, Debra Straussfogel, and Tracy Summerville. The project resulted in the creation of 93 oral history records and their transcripts. Participants included regional forest industry executives, politicians (including former MLA Ray Williston, local mayors and Fraser Fort George Regional District representatives), forest industry workers, and former and contemporary Upper Fraser community residents. The oral histories document the rise, consolidation and demise of the forestry-based settlements along the Upper Fraser River between 1915 and 2000.

Al Elsey Moving Images Collection

  • 2006.25
  • Collection
  • 1961 - 2000, predominant 1961-1967

Fonds consists of original, silent 16mm reels that portray the natural, social and land use history of the Bella Coola and Chilcotin regions named the "Natural and Guiding History of the Bella Coola and Chilcotin Regions".

Possible locations that Al Elsey filmed include: Bella Coola, Bella Bella, Anahim Lake, Alert Bay, Nimpo Lake, Bulkey Valley, the Rainbow Mountains, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Dean River, Bella Coola River, Tchaha Lake, the Chilcotin region, the Ulkatcho Mountains, Lassard Lake, Fenton Lake, Atnarko River, Wells Gray Park, and Holt Homestead.

First train leaving Prince Rupert

Photograph of a large crowd gathered in front of a Grand Trunk Pacific train. Residential buildings atop a hill are visible in the background. Annotation on recto reads: "First Train Leaving Prince Rupert June 14 1911"

Interior of chief's house in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph reads: "W.E. Collison Masset. Interior of Chief [Weah's?] house".

Caption under printed version of photo in W.H. Collison's book 'In the Wake of the War Canoe': "The house is about 40 feet square, forming one large room. The upper cubicles are on a level with the ground, which in front of them is excavated so that the fireplace in the centre is twelve feet below the surface. A ledge, for the use of slaves and dependents, is left half-way down."

Atlin, BC in 1899

Photograph depicts the Atlin townsite, forest in foreground, hills in background. Town stands on edge of lake located in left midground. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "Atlin City B.C., Sept. 3rd 1899. Copyrighted by S.A. Smythe Atlin, B.C."

Gitlakdamix Village Council

Photograph depicts 8 men posing in suits and ties, and a young girl, Ruth Adams, holding trophy seated in foreground. The group is gathered in open field, large building and hills visible in distance. Man on far right stands in uniform.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Gitlakdamix Village Council 1923. [Charlie Morven] Chairman. / Geo. Manase. / John Davis. / Dennis Woods. / Andrew Nass. / James Adams. Secretary. / Frank Blackwing. Chief Constable. / Walter McMillan (Nass). Constable."

Couples in period costumes

Item is a photograph of Ray and Gladys Williston in fancy dress with a number of other people. Mr. & Mrs. Williston are the second couple from the left.

Nisga'a chiefs and families posing with goods from potlatch

Three men stand in centre, each wearing a chief's dress and head-dress. Family members stand and sit on either side. Carved boxes and masks are positioned in foreground. The group poses in front of drapery hung against tall wooden wall.

Community members have stated that the people in this photo are from the Gitwilluyaxw clan from the wolf tribal house of Ksdiyaawak. The photo was taken at Gitlax̱t’aamiks along the Nass River.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Tsimpshian Chiefs & family. Goods [for or fr.] Potlatch".

Reverend R.W. Large fonds

  • 2004.2
  • Fonds
  • [ca. 1900]-1960, prominent 1900-1920

Consists of 165 black and white photographs depicting Northwest Coast communities including Bella Bella, Rivers Inlet, Port Simpson, and Prince Rupert between approximately 1900 and 1920. Also includes postcard images of ships and boats on the North Coast belonging to the Large family, from Reverend Large's son Dr. R.G. Large. Also includes 39 colour slides ca. 1960 of ship scenes and weather balloon launches from the Dr. R.G. Large family.

Large, R.W., Rev.

Interior of large church building

Many rows of pews span foreground. Banners hanging in front of sanctuary read: "THE ANGEL SAID UNTO THEM, FEAR NOT, BEHOLD I BRING YOU GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY WHICH SHALL BE TO ALL PEOPLE".

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Port [?] Church Interior."

St. Andrew's Church in Sandwick, BC

Church stands behind white fence, road and power lines in foreground.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "St. Andrew's Church, Sandwick, [?] Campbell River Rd (Maud Highway) The mother church in the '[?] District'."

Community gathering at Metlakatla Church during Synod

Large group of women, men, and children pose on front steps of church. Some men standing in back hold brass instruments. Bishop Ridley (with long beard) sits in front centre between W.H. Collison (on right) and his son W.E. Collison. Photograph depicts the first church built in Metlakatla, which was burned in a fire in 1901, and replaced in 1903.

Handwritten annotation below image reads: "A gathering of Missionaries and Indians in front of Metlakahtla Church During Synod"; on verso: "[Ven?] Arch Collison & Mrs Collison".

Close view of Metlakatla Church

Large church stands behind white fence, unidentified man visible on front steps. Photograph depicts the first church built in Metlakatla, which was burned in a fire in 1901, and replaced in 1903.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "With love, from your two old friends JH [& AM Keen?]".

W.E. Collison posing with other clergy at Metlakatla, BC

Group poses between two buildings, small dog visible behind. Wood piles and tree stumps can be seen on hill in background.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Metlakatla BC / Back row - W.E. Collison, Fr. Hogan, ?, ? Canon Keen / Front row - ?, ?, Bishop Du Vernet, Archdeacon Laycock". See also item 2009.7.1.32 for image featuring Father Hogan, and 2009.7.1.29 for image featuring Bishop Du Vernet.

Marion and W.H. Collison in garden at Kincolith, BC

Photograph depicts Archdeacon William Henry Collison to left of wife Marion, who stands bent over garden on right. Church steeple visible behind wood fence in background. Hills can be seen in distance.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Grandad & Grannie in garden at Kincolith".

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