The Gerald Wellburn collection of historic Vancouver 1851/1899
An 88 page album of postal history, postcards, documents, ephemera.
Historic Vancouver 1851 to 1899
Gerald Wellburn's extraordinary glimpse into Vancouver's journey from forest to city was contained in an 88-page album "historic Vancouver"
The sale started in January 2016 and the final page 88 sold in September 2017.
Over $187,000 was realized from pages including a letter by Gassy Jack Deighton and the Kitsilano beach claim by Sam Greer.
The album is a roll call of the most famous names from the history of the Burrard Inlet (later called Vancouver): Jeremiah Rogers the logger, Hugh Nelson, Sewell Moody, Captain Stamp, Gassy Jack, Governer Musgrave, Earl Granville, Arthur Herring. Edgard Dewdney, Robert Burnaby ....
The Sam Greer 1884 handdrawn map and landclaim letter to what became Vancouver's Kitsilano Beach is one of the highlights of the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection.
Sold in our 1st July 2017 Canada 150 Auction for $33,000.
This Week in History: 1884-2017 A contentious, historic map of Kitsilano up for auction Saturday
"In 1884, Sam Greer bought about 200 acres of land in the future Vancouver for $200. He filed a claim with the province, and a small map was drawn showing where the land was. Greer built a farmhouse near a beach and planted some fruit trees. The area became known as Greer’s Beach. It’s now called Kitsilano. And on Saturday the 133-year-old map of Greer’s claim goes up for sale at an All Nations Stamp and Coin auction.
The pre-auction estimate was $5,000, but Friday afternoon bids had already gone up to $15,000: another 1884 letter by Greer that was initialled by B.C.’s famous “hanging judge,” Matthew Begbie, sold for $17,000 a couple of weeks ago.
The hand-drawn map is fairly rudimentary, but it looks like Greer’s claim roughly extended from Balsam to Chestnut streets, and from the water to West Fourth Avenue. It would have included all of Kits Beach and Kits Point save for today’s Vanier Park, which had been designated an Indian Reserve in 1869. “It’s an incredible piece of history,” said Brian Grant Duff of All Nations Stamp and Coin."
Page 75 sold for $3,960 in our 13 May 2017 auction
Page 74 of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album
17th March 1884, a letter from Sam Greer on Granville Hotel letterhead (now with new proprietor). Wellburn notes: "Sam Greer tells that Captain Irving has written in respect of land titles at Kitsilano and English Bay. Greer was allowed to sell 100 choice city lots fronting on English Bay."
Page 74 sold for $3,960 in our 6th May 2017 auction
Page 73 of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album is one of the highlights of the collection. An 1884 letter from Sam Greer on Joseph Mannion's Granville Hotel letterhead, witnessed by Matthew Baillie Begbie. Sam Greer fought to keep his land at Greer's beach but it was expropriated and kept by the Province and renamed Kitsilano. Read the famly perspective
Joesph Mannion was an informal Mayor of early Vancouver. The Granville Hotel was opened by him in opposition to Gassy Jack's hotel. A period of 'commercial expansion' in Burrard Inlet notes Wellburn. . A period of 'commercial expansion' in Burrard Inlet notes Wellburn.
October 1882, letter and cover from Fanny McCartney at Granville to Jessie Cameron in Victoria
Letter and cover from Fanny McCartney, wife of the steam engineer at Hasting Sawmill to Jessie Cameron, the sister of Agnes Deans Cameron, in Victoria. She says "we bought some sheep our little boy calls them 'lions'"
to Miss Thain, a schoolteacher in Victoria. See here
Fanny McCartney to Agnes Deans Cameron
Page 65 of Historic Vancouver features 1884 Granvile and includes a postcard from Fanny McCartney in Granville to Agnes Deans Cameron in Victoria. Fanny was the wife of Allan Edward McCartney- a civil engineer and architect who had worked on Hastings sawmill and more. Agnes Deans Cameron was a famous woman of her time. A charismatic and progressive schoolteacher from Victoria, she went on to become "the first white woman to reach the Arctic" and published a bestselling book about her journeys called "The New North"
Agnes Deans Cameron "Intellectual, adventurer, journalist, women’s right campaigner, first woman to reach the Arctic Ocean overland, literary sensation, when she died suddenly, editorials described her as “the most remarkable woman citizen of the province.”" Read Stephen Hume's article in The Vancouver Sun here
There's a full biography of this astonishing woman in the B.C. Historical News journal.
Read AGNES DEANS CAMERON, 1863 - 1912 by Gwen Hayball
at UBC University Archives as a PDF see Pages 18 to 25 B.C. Historical News Journal 1974
Letter from Edgard Dewdney, Granville Townsite surveyor
Page 64 of Historic Vancouver has the letter contained in the Granville P.O. envelope from Page 63. It's from the surveyor of the Granville townsite "and a pretty rough one it is" he writes. The surveyor was Edgar Dewdney who later went on to become Lieutenant Governor of B.C.
1876 Escape from Custody document signed Miller/Raymur
Vancouver's first shopkeeper, Gregorio Fernandez, shot a man, escaped from jail, and hid on Siwash Rock. It was 1876 and Vancouver was called Granville. The Justices of the Peace were the Burrard Inlet Sawmill managers. Jonathan Miller and Captain James Raymur
Josiah Charles Hughes 1880 apologetic letter to O'Reilly
Page 56 of Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver album
Wellburn notes on the page: August 1880. Letter from J.C. Huges as Surveyor to Mr. O'Reilly in Victoria. J.C. Huges gave the longitude of Burrard Inlet as 142 degrees W. of Greenwich instead of 123 degrees "which would indiate Burrard Inlet is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean". He asks that the mistake be corrected. See full document here.
Arthur Herring's road to Burrard Inlet
Page 55 in Gerald Wellburn's historic Vancouver album is a Burrard Inlet road building contract dated June 1875 See full document here
Sold for $11,000 in our 5th November auction. A handful of leading local collectors and history buffs bid on the historic contract made out to New Westminster merchant Arthur Herring, and signed by Sheriff Jim Morrison among others. Vancouver archivist Major Matthews notes that Herring did not complete the road, which was finished by Thomas Kidd in 1876.
Herring's wife, Frances, was an early teacher and writer
The last Earl Granville item from the Wellburn collection is an 1851 1d Red Cover to Earl Grey at Ampthill. It is endorsed by Granvile, on the back of the envelope is Granville's personalised monogram. Page 49 of the Gerald Wellburn Historic Vancouver album.
Granville was named after Earl Granville, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Page 48 Gerald Wellburn's historic Vancouver album has an 1857 cover from Earl Granville in London to Ampthill.
Moodyville P.O. was established in 1874 and changed to North Vancouver P.O. in 1902. Page 36 of Gerald Wellburn's Album illustrates and realized $770 in our 18 June 2016 auction
Cover from Victoria, Grand Lodge to Moodyville
Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album: A cover sent from Victoria, B.C.’s Grand Lodge to Moodyville, North Vancouver in 1886 using a three-cent Small Queen realized $3,025 in our 11 June 2016 auction - see "Bidding War" article in Canadian Stamp News
Benjamin Springer was Moodyville's Sawmill manager and also Moodyville postmaster from 1886 - 1890
Wellburn Page 34 Realized $441 in our 4 June 2016 auction
Hugh Nelson, 1878, Justice of the Peace
Hugh Nelson was active in the legislature and as a politician in early Vancouver. With his business partner George Dietz he operated the Gold Rush Express and together they bought into the Moodyville Mill. He was enrolled as a Justice of the Peace in Burrard Inlet where he acted alongside Jeremiah Rogers.
Hugh Nelson later went on to become the 4th Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
An 1878, Burrard Inlet,Recognizance to Give Evidence, signed Hugh Nelson realized $484 in our 21 May auction
On 30 December 1873 Charles Newton Young, the secretary of the Nanaimo Freemasons, mailed a list of officers to J. McDonald at the Mount Hermon Lodge in Moodyville, Burrard's Inlet.... Read more here
Sam Greer and Greer's Beach
Sam Greer is one of the historical characters that come to life in the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection.
"The Fall of 1891 is when our Family story of Greer’s Beach began. Our Great Grandfather Sam Greer was forced off his 200 acres of land in English Bay called Greer’s Beach, known today as Kitsilano and Kit’s Beach. .. " Read more
Jeremiah Rogers -
The Greatest Logger Of Them All
In 1860 he was cutting spars in Albernia, in 1863 he was already in Burrard Inlet and the very next year building the first big logging camp at Jerry's Cove or "Jericho beach". See more It will be offered in our 2 April auction.
When Jeremiah Rogers cleared the original Hastings Sawmill site, in what is now Stanley Park, it did not go well. Captain Edward Stamp was told the current was too strong there and they had to move the mill site further east. Gassy Jack soon showed up to supply the thirsty millworkers, and a new city was born. Captain Stamp never paid Jerry Rogers for clearing that mill site, and the rest is history. See more
Governor Musgrave failed to bring his previous posting, Newfoundland, into Canadian Confederation, but brought British Columbia into the fold. Gerald Wellburn's page details the governor's visit to the original Burrard Inlet sawmills.
Wellburn Album pages reaized $2,860 in our 19 March Auction See more
Moody's Steam-powered Mill on Burrard Inlet
Sewell Prescott Moody bought the Burrard Inlet Mill in 1865
Album pages Realized $ 2,200 in our Auction 6 February 2016.
In 1865 Hugh Nelson bought into the Burrard Stree Mill
1887 - 1890 Hugh Nelson became Lt Governor of B.C. See more