Gow Family Residence – Yukon Street, Vancouver BC – 1911

Yukon St residence Vancouver BC-Postcard 1911From the message, this house was on Yukon St. in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the postcard may have been sent to someone in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The house # on the porch post appears to be “3035”.  Message in ink on back as below. Unused postcard; one cent stamp box.

Vancouver BC
May 8/11
Dear Friend
I received your postal last week and was very pleased to get it. No I am not following Winnipeg fashion in the harem skirt although I certainly think they are an improvement on the hobble skirt. There are several girls in Vancouver that are wearing them. We had the loveliest weather during April, it was just like summer almost too warm, but it has rained nearly every day of this month. This is a picture of our house on Yukon St. were we live now. so if any of you come to Vancouver you will be able to find the house. Best regards to all, Ruby.

Since I too once lived on Yukon Street in Vancouver, BC, I was immediately interested in this image, but I was also most happy to see Ruby’s mention of a current fashion in 1911 Vancouver – the harem skirt. Much more comfortable than the hobble skirts! And yes, I do have postcards featuring both harem and hobble skirts, mostly comic ones, but no others from Vancouver.

I believe the writer was Ruby Margaret Gow, daughter of John Alexander Gow and Mary Euphemia White. This is largely based on the signature “Ruby” and the address: 3035 Yukon St. Vancouver and directory listings from 19111 on which show John A. Gow, a shipper at Seymour Lumber Co. at that address. (Ruby Gow is not listed.)

As Ruby’s message implies, they may not have lived there long before she sent the postcard. The 19091 directory shows John A. Gow at another address: 142-10th Ave. E., Vancouver.

If thiis is the right Ruby, then in 1913 she married Norman Hull. I do have a file of tentative information on this family.

Please contact me if the family or the photograph is of interest to you. I am not related (as far as I know.)


1Henderson’s Greater Vancouver Directory, 1909, and for 1911 and 1912, both Part 1.(Vancouver, BC, Canada: Henderson Publishing Co.). Accessed 14 April 2014 at Vancouver Public Library, Online Resources, British Columbia City Directories, 1860-1955: http://www.vpl.ca

Vancouver Postcard Club meets 19 January 2014

It’s a New Year and the Vancouver Postcard Club‘s first meeting of 2014 will be at Hastings Community Centre, 11:30 am to 2 pm.

Mike Hocevar will present rare and fascinating Japanese –Canadian ephemera of British Columbia, 1890s to 1940s.

The meeting begins at 11:30 am so that members may view (and sometimes purchase) cards from other members’ collections. Usually there is a great variety of cards and this is a good time to get to know people and ask questions too. All interested in postcards are welcome to attend.

An additional late note: The meeting tomorrow will be in the Community Hall Room at the Hastings Community Center.  Walk through the parking lot to South end of building, past the big blue garbage dumpsters; the entrance doors will be near the sign on wall “Community Hall”.

Do have a look at the Vancouver Postcard Club’s website: http://vancouverpostcardclub.ca/

Vancouver Postcard Club meets Nov 17, 2013 – Christmas theme

Coming up this weekend, Sunday, 17 November 2013 – the Vancouver Postcard Club meeting, starting at 11:30 am at the Hastings Community Centre, Vancouver.

Club member Neil Whaley will present Vancouver Christmas postcards and ephemera.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing some quite unique cards – and I do love ephemera. One of his cards is from 1887 when the City of Vancouver was just a year old. See that card on the Vancouver Postcard Club website.

Here’s a lovely embossed postcard from my own collection showing Santa visiting on Christmas Eve. Mailed in the USA; stamped General Delivery Vancouver BC Jan 1 ? 5 ? 12m, and addressed just to Mr. E. C. Shaughnessy Vancouver B C. (possible Edward Shaughnessy).
Christmas postcard

Christmas postcard - back

A ‘Dear Doctor’ postcard – from Thailand to Esperanza, BC, Canada

As I now know, this is an example of a ‘Dear Doctor’ advertising postcard, sent by Abbott Laboratories in the 1950s and 60s to doctors and other health professionals.  These must have been ‘attention getters’ for sure. You can see that at one time someone had this particular one pinned up, perhaps as ‘art’.

I think my mother collected this card at one of the many stamp/collectable shows or flea markets we’ve attended. She’d have been interested in the image of Thailand. When I saw it, I was more interested in the address it was sent to – Esperanza, BC!

Esperanza and Esperanza Inlet are on the north side of Hecate Channel, south of Zeballos on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Nootka Land District, British Columbia, Canada. Apparently the British Captain Cook named ‘Hope Bay’ in 1778, which was changed by the Spaniard Captain Malaspina to ‘Espérance’ in 1791. BC Geographical Names database (citing John T. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: Their Origin and History, published for the Geographic Board of Canada, Ottawa, 1909, as reprinted 1971).

According to the official BC Geographical Names database, the name of the settlement was adopted in 1946, changed to Esperanza Landing in 1959, then changed back in 1983.  Originally a nearby cannery post office (1926) was called Ceepeecee from the initials of the Canadian Packing Company; the name Esperanza was adopted for the settlement post office in 1960 but it closed in 1974.  The hospital there operated from the 1930s till 1974 when it closed.

See The Dear Doctor Postcard Collector Page by Tom Fortunato for more about these cards. And David C. Lai has written a book about them, Pentothal Postcards (Mark Batty Publisher, 2005). See the link at the bottom of The Dear Doctor page linked above.

A Dear Doctor postcard - sent from Thailand to British Columbia, CanadaFront of a ‘Dear Doctor’ postcard, titled on the back, ‘Dhonburi, Thailand, scenery of Pagoda of Dawn’ and mailed to Dr. Herman McLean, Superintendant, Esperanza General Hospital, Esperanza, B.C. Canada.

Back of a Dear Doctor postcard - sent from Thailand to British Columbia, Canada

 The back of the same ‘Dear Doctor’ postcard. Unfortunately someone removed the no doubt colourful stamp, and along with it, most of the postmark.



This video, Esperanza Vancouver Island 2009, published by thewestcoaster on YouTube, shows the modern Esperanza and its beautiful location along with historical photographs. For more about the Esperanza hospital and Esperanza today, see these links: BC Christian News and Esperanza Ministries.