Monday, December 5, 2011

A few interesting pictures from the NW archives

The New Westminster Archives, is constantly adding new photos to its database.
A few from the area here;
 Frank Goodship fonds. Item No. IHP9267-0434.  [between 1949 and 1954].
showing a tracked power excavator loading a dump truck. Record ID  47979
(Sure looks like the Cape Horn area to me! Looks like Mary Hill in the background.  This would be the Lougheed highway  expansion in the 1950's)

Frank Goodship fonds. Item No. IHP9267-0763.  September 24, 1953. Shows the Port Coquitlam Star Furniture building. Photograph was published in the British Columbian page 9, September 24, 1953.
Record ID 48308   (Got to get a today picture of the site. It was located on Kingsway Ave, near Burleigh, From the corner of which this photo was taken) A long wait but here is a TODAY picture of the property.
 Star Furniture was started in 1947 by Maurice Dorfman, (1904-1962) he was married to Ruth Starr (1908-2003), they had a son, James Solomon Dorfman. Ruth remarried after her husbands death to Alfred Toban,(1904-1989).  Maurice and Ruth are buried in the Schara Tzedeck Cemetery in Burnaby.  So it really should have been Starr Furniture.
I think the building was knocked down in the 1980's it was in poor shape,  the building would shake when the trains were near it.

Frank Goodship fonds. Item No. IHP9267-0761. between 1949 and 1954]. An unknown memorial obelisk in a park. (It sure looks like PoCo too me!) Record ID 48306
(I always thought that it looked much better in this original location, and this photo shows that well.
Lest we Forget !)

Frank Goodship fonds. Item No. IHP9267-0710.  Date 1953.  The remains of a Royal Canadian Air Force plane crashed against a mountain. Research indicates it was a Mitchell B-25 Mk 3PT Ex USAF B-25J-30/32-NC serial number 44-31346 that crashed at Widgeon Lake, near Pitt Lake. Record ID 48255.

I have created a pdf that describes the crash event using pictures from the New Westminster Archives, and newspaper articles written at the time of the crash.
  Download the PDF, or view it using Google Docs, (No sign in, required)

Update:  recently noticed that Coquitlam Search and Rescue has a few pictures of the crash site at Flickr.
 And you may want to be able to identify some of the debris up there, or maybe fly a B-25? You will need a copy of this:   Pilot Training Manual For The Mitchell Bomber B-25 (1944)  Very informative, bombs away.....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jesse Palmer Flint

Flint Avenue in Port Coquitlam is named after Jesse P. Flint, although he did not own the land upon which it is located; portions of Flint Avenue are the trail that he built to access his property.
Jesse Palmer Flint, received a Dominion Government Crown Grant for Lot 479, Tp39 Sec.1 Group 1 for 156 acres on the 15th of May 1900, he appears to have been homesteading the land from 1887 onward; although he was in the 1891 Census enumerated as living in Coquitlam and farming. Jesse is listed as living in Coquitlam until 1908, but his biography states he left in 1902 to live in Vancouver; my guess is he sold his property in Coquitlam and invested it in the rooming house in Vancouver where he lived the rest of his days.

   Born in April 1860,(23 April, 1863 in his biography) Jesse passed away in Vancouver on the 14th of June 1929 at the age of 66.
Jesse was born in England,(Ontario according to his biography) and is found in the 1881 census, working as a laborer in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario.

   In between the 1881 and 1891 census Jesse appears to have come to the Coast, and settled in Coquitlam, on his land grant.
On the 16th of May 1911 in Vancouver, Jesse married Elspeth Anne Spence, who was born in Scotland in February 1873, and immigrated to Canada in 1909.

   At that time Jesse bought or had built possibly in 1907 the "Jesse P. Flint Rooming House" a rooming house at 1514 Powell Street,(Note 1.) Vancouver and lived nearby at 1547 Powell Street,(Note 2.), living there until Jesse passed away in 1929, when she sold it and moved out, she is next found in 1932 living at 1715 Woodland Drive, Elspeth passed away on the 15th of June 1947 in Vancouver at the age of 73 years.

(Note 1.)      Jesse is listed as living there in 1905, in 1907 a new building mentioned.
Called the J.P. Flint Rooming from 1909 to 1920 in the directories. Today in 2011 the site is a gas station. the lot also appears to have had a collection of buildings "cabins" in its past life
See this Xcel file which lists the businesses and residents of the 1500 block of Powell Street from 1904 to 1940 for further details.

(Note 2.)     In 1909 Mrs.T.C. McKenelley running a rooming house at 1547 Powell, the following year Jesse is listed as living there, this became his residence. In 1926 to 1931 aptly named as the Woodland House, since it is on the corner of Woodland Drive and Powell Street; vacant in 1933, J. Walker living there in 1934. Today in 2011 the site is a car storage lot.
See this Xcel file which lists the businesses and residents of the 1500 block of Powell Street from 1904 to 1940 for further details.

 Note: Most of these dates come from the directories; so the dates could be wrong by a year.

 Jesse P. Flint owned 1514 Powell Street, and probably other lots in the 1500 block of Powell St.
This image was created from: Goad's atlas of the city of Vancouver,Volume Two, December 1912. Which contains insurance maps, that can be very useful to researchers. Volume One
Other early maps of the area are available at Canada Archives 
and Geoscan (which is primarily geological maps, and you need to be somewhat specific in the searches)

 Here is 1500 block of Powell Street in April 2009

 The present day location of the Flint property.

Article about him in the;
B.C. from the earliest times to the present, Biographical Volume IV (1914) pages 1073-4

     Jesse P. Flint, living retired in Vancouver after many years of close identification with the up-building, growth and development of Port Coquitlam and the surrounding districts of British Columbia, was born in Essex, Ontario, on the 23d of April, 1863.
     As a very young child he was left an orphan,(See note) and was adopted into first one family and then another, acquiring in his childhood a very limited education in the public schools of his native community. 
     At the age of twenty-one he began earning his own livelihood, working for a few years in the United States and in eastern Canada. During this time he saved a considerable sum of money and with it came west to British Columbia, locating on the present site of Port Coquitlam in 1887.
    He found here a wilderness which stretched for miles in every direction, broken here and there by the scattered habitations of the few white people who had come to the vicinity. Mr. Flint worked for a time on the ranches and also homesteaded from the government land lying one mile from the junction of what is now known as the Flint road. During the winter months he contracted to clear land and also spent a great deal of his time improving his own place, operating upon it for a time his own logging camp. He proved title to his land and, seeing the steady and rapid rise in property values, was one of the first to subdivide his farm into twenty acre tracts.

     He disposed of all of his holdings, selling at nine dollars per acre land now worth about one thousand dollars. Mr. Flint continued to reside in Port Coquitlam for some years thereafter, witnessing practically the entire development of the city and bearing an active and honorable part in the work of progress. About the year 1902, having accumulated through his own ability and well directed efforts a substantial fortune, he retired from active life and came to Vancouver, where he has since resided.
    He has invested extensively in city real estate and, being an expert judge of land values, these investments have proven extremely profitable.

    He is fond of athletics and spends a great many of his leisure hours in outdoor sports. His political allegiance is given to the conservative party, and while a resident of Port Coquitlam he served as a member of the city council, discharging his duties in a capable, energetic and far-sighted way, his influence being always on the side of reform and progress. The period of leisure and rest from the active cares of life which he now enjoys is well deserved, for it was won by unremitting industry and well directed work in former years.

note:   1871 Census of Canada for Gosfield, Essex County, Ontario, finds four others named Flint, but no J.P.Flint, all appear to have been under the care of other families. They are: Arthur Flint age 15; Charles Flint age 18; Elizabeth Flint age 13, and Mary Flint age 6. These children were born in England and the USA. A coincidence maybe, but Arthur Flint's parent were Stephen Flint and Isabella Palmer,(Palmer was Jesse's middle name.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Piss poor

Where did "Piss Poor" come from? -- Interesting History.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor."

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot -- they "didn't have a pot to piss in," and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be...

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a “bouquet of flowers” to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how “canopy beds”came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside.
A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.. Hence: a “thresh hold.”

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“the graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell,” or was considered “a dead ringer.” And that's the truth.

Now, whoever said History was boring?

So get out there and educate someone! ~~~ Share these facts with a friend.
By: Cathy Cashmere