5630 Dunbar St. at 41st Ave.

Historic Vancouver

The Gerald Wellburn collection of historic Vancouver is an 88 page album


1884 letter from Sam Greer

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.

See Full Document here

28 March 1884 postcard from Hastings Mill

This is the last Granville cancel in Gerald Wellburn's album. Page 72 of 88.

See the full image here

5 July 1883 cover to Jessie Cameron, Victoria

Cover addressed to Jessie Cameron, the sister of B.C.Author, Women's Rights activist and Granville schoolteacher Agnes Deans Cameron,

The cover is Page 71 (of 88) of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album and features as Lot 72 in our 8 April 2017 auction

See Page 71 here

16 February 1883 cover from Agnes Deans Cameron to Jessie Cameron, Victoria

Page 70 (of 88) features a cover from famous B.C. author, Granville schoolteacher and leader for Women's Rights Agnes Deans Cameron to her sister Jessie Cameron in James Bay, Victoria

Agnes Deans Cameron

See Page 70 here

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'"

See Full Page 69 here

6 Aug 1882, Granville. Benjamin Wilson signed letter to Edgar Marvin,

Wellburn remarks "a short note from Benjamin H. Wilson, enclosing a cheque for $76.71. He died shortly after."

Ben Wilson was storekeeper on the beach, now Water Street, at Granville, now Gastown, Vancouver

Page 68 of 88 total. Larger image here

1882 3c cover from Granville

to Jessie Cameron, James Bay, Victoria

& Wellburn continues the Granville story:
"Granville seems quite lively with no vacant houses and many new ones projected."

Realized $450 in our auction on March 4th 2017.

Page 67 of 88 in total See here

1879 3c cover from Granville

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"

See the full Wellburn Page 65 here

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

See the full Wellburn Page 65 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.

John Mackie in Vancouver Sun > This Week in History: 1877 A glimpse into Granville townsite, when it was 'rough'

See PDF Andrew Scott article "High Bids for Gastown mail" in British Columbia Postal History newsletter

See full Page 64 here

Granville P.O.

Page 63 of Historic Vancouver one of the earliest Granville P.O. cancels. It's dated 1877. Granville P.O. was in the store at Hastings Mill Wharf and Henry Harvey ws Postmaster.

Granville 1877 cancel

See the full page 62 here

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

1867 Escape from Custody

See the full document here Page 63 realized $990 in our 14 January 2017 auction

1878 Complaint On Oath signed by Jonathan Miller

1878 Complaint On Oath signed by Jonathan Miller

See the full document here Lot 86 in our 17th December auction

Read the full biography:
Jonathan Miller - Early Vancouver Pioneer

1879 Burrard Inlet Deposition of Jonathan Miller

1879 indictment for cutting and wounding by a seaman,evidence by Constable Jonathan Miller.
See the full document here

Read the full biography:
Jonathan Miller - Early Vancouver Pioneer

Granville Shooting Affray, 1876

Granville's first shopkeeper Gregorio Fernandes (Portuguese Joe No. 2) is accused of shooting and wounding John Baptiste Amor.

Justices of the Peace sign the document

Read more here

Portuguese Joe arrest warrant

Page 58 of the Historic Vancouver album shows the 1876 arrest warrant for Gregorio Fernande (Portuguese Joe) after his escape following the "Granville Shooting Affray"

See the full document here

James Noble Brown 3 Dec 1874 Murder Document

Page 57 from Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver album
Realized $1,210 in our 19th November 2016 auction.

James Noble Brown ".... did feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought, kill and murder one Jim alias Louis an Indian."

See the full documents here

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.

Wellburn Note Page 56


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

Earl Granville

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.

Lord Granville

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.


See Granville more here

Gassy jack

Rundhouse Radio

Martin Strong speaks with Brian Duff Grant, owner and operator of All Nations Stamps & Coins about a historic note written by Gassy Jack which recently sold for $44,000.
Listen Here


1876 Gassy Jack Deighton Estate settlement document

An 1876 Gassy Jack Deighton Estate settling document - the last Gassy Jack item (Page 47) from the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection

1875 letter dealing with Gassy Jack's estate

Gassy Jack estate letter

See here

Hastings Sawmil Story continued

Page 38 of the Historic Vancouver Album

In 1897 the Burrard Inlet P.O. became Hastings P.O.


Page 37 of Wellburn's Album has the only known Hastings, B.C. cancel and is coming to All Nations' 2 July 2016 auction

Moodyville P.O.

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

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

See Hugh Nelson signed document here


1863 Moodyville Sawmill, Burrard Inlet

Originally the "Pioneer Mill" the first sawmill on Burrard Inlet. Sewell P. Moody took over in 1864 and enlarged it and improved the new "S.P. Moody Burrard Inlet Mill"


19th May 1874 "We started the Mill today after having made good a faulty boiler. Tomorrow we start up full blast"

See more here

See here


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.

Sam Greer

"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

Jeremiah Rogeres

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



Latest Updates & Media coverage

Gerald Wellburn
Legendary B.C. Collector

Gassy Jack
Of Gastown

Sewell Prescott Moody's Mill
Dietz, Nelson and Robert Burnaby

Early Vancouver
from the Forest to a Magnificent City

Governor Sir Antony Musgrave
On Her Majesty's Service

Jeremiah Rogers
The Greatest Logger Of Them All

Sam Greer and Greer's Beach

Portuguese Joe No. 2
Accused of shooting, signs Statement with Granville JPs

Yesler's Grand Sawmill Prize
and the Puget Sound connection

Early Vancovuer Post Offices
Burrard Inlet PO
Moodyville PO
Hastings PO

Jonathan Miller
Early Vancouver pioneer.

Agnes Deans Cameron
Author, Schoolteacher at Granville and early leader for Women's Rights

More Historic Vancouver pages

Gassy Jack Deighton

Gassy Jack

See more of Gassy Jack's letter and transcript

Gassy Jack's signed Letter sold for $44,000 in our 1050th Auction

Gassy Jack letter held by Brian Grant Duff

Brian Grant Duff from All Nations Stamps and Coins holds the Gassy Jack Deighton letter and signature from 1875 from the collection Gerald Wellburn Photograph by: Jason Payne, VANCOUVER SUN Read more

See more of Gassy Jack's letter and transcript

Gassy Jack's signed Letter sold for $44,000 in our 1050th Auction

Governor Musgrave visits Burrard Inlet

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

Sewell Prescott Moody bought the Burrard Inlet Mill in 1865
Album pages Realized $ 2,200 in our Auction 6 February 2016.


Hugh Nelson

In 1865 Hugh Nelson bought into the Burrard Stree Mill
1887 - 1890 Hugh Nelson became Lt Governor of B.C. See more


The Historic Vancouver Album by Gerald Wellburn

Brian introduces the Historic Vancouver album:

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