4 Vintage Vancouver Portraits


Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 — 10:14am PST
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Browsing the City of Vancouver Archives, I am often searching for a building, a place, or a theme related to how much Vancouver has changed over the years. Lately I’ve been focusing a bit more on the people of Vancouver who walked in Stanley Park, went to parties in the Hotel Vancouver ballroom, and who drove down Georgia Street long before us.

4 Vintage Vancouver Portraits

Using the search term “portrait”, I found 4 stories to tell by researching the people captured on film many years ago.


1927: Mayor L.D. Taylor smoking a cigar in his living room. Archives# CVA 1477-51.

Vancouver’s most-elected Mayor was Louis Denison (“L.D.”) Taylor who served as Mayor eight times between 1910 and 1934, spending 11 years in the city’s top office. During his time in office the Sun Tower was built (at the time it was the World Tower), he pushed for South Vancouver and Point Grey to amalgamate with Vancouver, and the airport at Sea Island opened. [Read More]


1870s: Studio portrait of Mrs. Jane Morton, nee Bailey, and her mother. Archives# CVA 677-512

Mrs. Jane Morton was the wife of one of the Three Greehorns, John Morton. Morton bought land on Burrard Inlet in 1862 along with Samuel Brighouse, and William Hailstone. The group was dubbed the “Three Greehorns” as it was believed that they paid far too much — $550.75 — for 180 acres of land, which is now the West End.

Jane was Morton’s first wife, and she had owned a tea merchant’s business in Blackpool, England, with her brother James. When Jane passed away during childbirth in 1881, Morton was able to claim her entire share of the business, worth about 700 pounds, and use the money to retain his part in the Brickmaker’s Claim and, in 1884, to purchase a large farm in Mission.


1930s: Mrs. Herbert Drummond. Vintage print attributed to Chas. West Studios. Archives# Port N527.22.

Herbert Charles Drummond was a real estate broker born in India to British parents. He lived at 1960 Robson Street from 1913 to 1938 with his wife Helen Frances Mitcheson Lewis but the couple traveled extensively through India and Europe. In 1916 and 1917, Helen was the regent of the Coronation Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, the first chapter to be established in Vancouver. In 1931, Helen was the guest of honour at a luncheon given by Comtesse Alexandre Lambert. (Before her marriage, the comtesse was Flora Macdonald Russell, the daughter of Joseph Ambrose Russell of 1973 Robson Street). [Source]


1954: Miss Surrey 1954 (Miss Valerie Crockford). Archives# CVA 180-4421.

I found Municipal Council meeting notes from Surrey in 1954 that named Miss Surrey a Miss Valerie Crockford. They approved a motion to grant Miss Crockford $50.00 to help pay for her Miss Surrey expenses. She was a contestant in the 1954 Miss PNE pageant, competing against the likes of Miss Chilliwack, Miss Vernon, Miss New Westminster, Miss Vancouver, and others.

Related Posts: Vintage Vancouver Workforce Photos, Vintage Moustache Photos, Fashion Photo Shoots, Awesome Women in Vancouver History, Athletes.

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