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Time Traveller Photos 2012

“Time Traveller” is a popular, long standing feature of the
North Shore News. It appears weekly as part of the paper’s “NEIGHBOURHOODS” section and is devoted to North Shore history. WVHS contributes every second week. Most of our photos appear courtesy of the West Vancouver Archives. We appreciate the efforts of the North Shore News and our Archives to share our history.

 New West Vancouver Municipal Hall, 1912

NS News, December 26, 2012








 In celebration of West Vancouver’s 100th anniversary the West Vancouver Archives launched a new digital collection tracing the history of the municipal government. The collection, available at archives,, contains more than 5,000 scanned pages of text and over 500 photographs. The materials document the leaders and decisions that shaped the community – from the first West Vancouver Council of 1912, pictured at left in front of the new municipal hall. 



Women on the PGE Railroad

NS News, December 5, 2012
























The Pacific Great Eastern (PGE) Railroad was an essential link between the communities of early West Vancouver for both passengers and freight. This undated photo of two women shows it was also used as a pleasant walking path.



Ernie Kershaw
(NSN November 7, 2012)
















Ernie Kershaw is remembered by many in West Vancouver as a teacher, coach and friend. Less widely known is that Ernie was an engineer, a musician, a Second World War pilot and had a long, successful career as a professional baseball player. Ernie died this year at age 102.


Len Corben, author of THE PITCHING PROFESSOR: The Life & Times of Ernie Kershaw was the guest speaker at the West Vancouver Historical Society general meeting, Wednesday, November 14.


Pansy Spencer
(NSN October 24, 2012)


















This is “Pansy” Spencer (née Catherine Isabel Potts) photographed in a hollow tree sometime prior to 1910. The tree was probably on the large Spencer estate, located at 20th and Mathers in West Vancouver. The estate had beautiful gardens, a large greenhouse, stables for horses, and a large house which still stands on what is now Westdean Crescent. 



West Vancouver Lumber Company
(NSN October 17, 2012)






West Van Lumber was located at 15th and Marine in Ambleside. This photo is undated, perhaps taken in the mid-1920s.

The lumber yard was behind the building, on Clyde Avenue. This later became Hollyburn Lumber which remained there into the 1950s until moving to North Vancouver to the site now occupied, since 2003, by Dick’s Lumber.


Francis William Caulfield, 1843-1934

(NSN October 3, 2012) 


















Francis William Caulfeild, 1843-1934, was the owner and developer of West Vancouver’s beautiful, historic community that bears his name. This intriguing story is told in the book Cottages to Community published in 2011 by the West Vancouver Historical Society.



The Jazz Baby

(NSN September 19, 2012)
















This is a photo of the “Jazz Baby” leaving Dundarave Pier in 1919. On board are Michael Sasson, J.G. Williamson, and their sons. Numerous tents are visible along the beach in the background.

Bess and Reg standing on a diving board, Summer 1921
(NSN September 2012)










This photo of “Bess and Reg standing on a diving board" camefrom an archived album page entitled Dundarave – West Vancouver. Summer – 1921.” The young man is possibly Reg Myers.


Kilby family picnic, 1909
(NSN August 8, 2012)








In early West Vancouver it was the tradition to dress for special occasions, even if it was a picnic.

This is a photo of the Kilby family having a picnic in the forest at Caulfeild in 1909.



Jacquie Zemel on a Raft

(NSN August 8, 2012)










 Being on the water has always been alluring in West Vancouver in the summer. This photo, taken in the 1930s, is of Jacquie Zemel on a raft with a dog just off Pilots Cove (renamed Caulfield Cove).



Allan family in front of a tent house - ca. 1913
(NSN July 25, 2012)









This photo, circa 1913, was taken by Jeanie Allan of her parents and grandparents on the porch of their tent house at Dundarave beach.

Like many others, the generations of Allan family residents of West Vancouver began as vacationers, most escaping by rowboat or ferry from the smoke of industrial Vancouver. At favourite camp sites, shelters grew into tent houses, then into cottages and permanent houses, forming the beachfront communities of Ambleside, Dundarave, Caulfeild and Horseshoe Bay.

Russ and Herb on Flume - 1922

(NSN July 11, 2012)












Taken in 1922, this is a photo of Russ Jones and Herb Ballantyne sitting on Shields’ flume.

Filled with water, the flume was used to transport ‘shingle bolts’ (large blocks of red cedar) from Hollyburn Mountain down to the millpond at what is now Inglewood and Sinclair Street.

This flume was part of a transportation system that covered the mountain. They were fun to climb on and made good hiking routes through the forest up the mountain.




East Beach (Ambleside Beach) - 1927

(NS News June 13, 2012)






















Early logging operations along coastal British Columbia led to large driftwood collections on beaches. Big stumps became popular places to pose for photos. This one of a man with two children was taken in 1927 at East Beach, now known as Ambleside Beach, in West Vancouver.




First West Vancouver Council - 1912

(NSN May 30, 2012)











This was West Vancouver’s first municipal Council. They are pictured here standing in front of a tent which acted as the first municipal hall while the permanent building was built. The municipality had been incorporated just two months prior, on March 15, 1912.



Queen "Peggy" May Day, 1931

(NSN May 16, 2012)







This photo portrays “Queen Peggy” Barker and her entourage on West Vancouver’s first May Day celebration at Ambleside Park May 25, 1931. May Day is now called Community Day and this year, on Saturday June 2, West Vancouver celebrates its 100th anniversary.



Vedder Shingle Mill, ca. 1917

(NSN May 2, 2012)




 This is a photo (ca. 1915) of the Vedder shingle mill, located on Lawson Creek at Inglewood Ave. and 18th St. (now Sinclair) in West Vancouver. It had a capacity of 360,000 shingles a day, employed up to 90 men, and operated from early 1917 until mid-1926 when the profitable timber (over 100 million feet) in their lease on the slopes of Hollyburn Mountain was exhausted. Years later, West Vancouver’s first High School was built on this site.


Harmony Hall, 1949

(NSN April 18, 2012)


















This is a photo of the cabin on Hollyburn owned by the very interesting Harmon brothers. They named it "Harmony Hall". The photo was taken in 1949. 



Woman on a Handcar, during 1920s

NS News, April 4, 2012
























his is a photo of a woman riding a handcar on the Pacific Great Eastern (PGE) railway tracks in West Vancouver sometime during the 1920s. This year, 2012, is West Vancouver’s centennial birthday.




Marine Drive at 1300 Block, Looking West, 1912

NS News, March 11, 2012







This year, in 2012, West Vancouver plans to sell its properties on the south side of the 1300 block of Marine Drive to Grosvenor Capital Corporation for redevelopment. This photo shows how that block looked 100 years ago. It was taken from 13th Street looking west along Marine. The property to be redeveloped is on the left, where today the police station stands. 



Jenny & George Barker, 1911

(NSN February 22, 2012)















This was the first home of Jenny and George Barker at Bellevue Avenue and 20th Street, seen here in 1911. Many early residents of West Vancouver lived in tents along the waterfront. Even the first municipal hall on 17th Street was a tent. Incorporated in 1912, this is West Vancouver’s centennial year.







Joanna Mathers circa 1900

(NSN January 25, 2012)














This is a formal portrait of Joanna Mathers, wife of James Bolivar (J.B.) Mathers who was elected to West Vancouver’s first council in 1912.

Mathers Avenue was named after him and, at one time, 15th Street was named Mathers Road.