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Laura Dunsmuir as a young woman

  • CA RRU 025-002-1-3-5
  • Item
  • ca 1870-1899
  • Part of K. McCann

handwritten text on the back of the original image reads:" would like this copied for each of the children". Photographer is Theo Marceau, 826 Market Street, San Francisco

K. McCann

  • CA RRU 025-002
  • Fonds
  • ca. 1890-1965, predominant 1908-1940

The fonds consists of photographs handed down through generations in the Dunsmuir family, some of the images are copies made for each of the Dunsmuir family members so there is some duplication across albums. The photo dates range from the late 1800s up to the 1960s. They include images of Hatley Castle, designed by Samuel Maclure, the Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and the Rose Garden and surrounding grounds designed by the Boston landscape architectural firm of Brett and Hall. Buildings on the property include the stables, garage, tennis courts, barns and a Lord and Burnham designed greenhouse. There are also many images of Dunsmuir family members, friends, visitors to Hatley Park and other properties, and trips to other destinations. These people and locations are not always identified.

Additionally, ephemera in this fonds includes an original copy of the Crimson Paradise film premiere program, with autographs from some of the cast, as well as the 1939 Maynard auction catalogue and the visitors book from Dolaura. This book was used first on the family yacht and includes a signature from Kaiser Wilhelm in 1908. In later years, Dola (Dunsmuir) Cavendish (1903-1966), used the book at her home, which was also named Dolaura. A number of celebrity signatures can be found here.

Dunsmuir Family

Photographs

  • CA RRU 025-002-1
  • Series
  • ca. 1890-1960, predominant 1908-1940
  • Part of K. McCann

The photographs cover a period from the late 1800’s up to the 1960’s. They include images of Hatley Castle, designed by Samuel Maclure, the Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and the Rose Garden and surrounding grounds designed by the Boston landscape architectural firm of Brett and Hall. Buildings on the property include the stables, garage, tennis courts, barns and a Lord and Burnham designed greenhouse. There are also many images of Dunsmuir family members, friends, visitors to Hatley Park and other properties, and trips to other destinations. These people and locations are not always identified.

A cottage in Wellington

  • CA RRU 025-002-1-1-169
  • Item
  • 1890-1937
  • Part of K. McCann

Wellington, north of Nanaimo, was the site of the first of the many mines Robert and James Dunsmuir would establish on Vancouver Island. Modest cottages were built for the miners employed in the mines.

Hatley Park Collection

  • CA RRU 025-001
  • Collection
  • 1890-1990

There are several images of the castle, gardens and grounds at various points in time, as well as of Dunsmuir family members, and those of staff or contractors who worked on the Hatley Park estate. Some images are not from Hatley Park but have been included in collection because of their obvious connections, such as images of the Wellington mines.

Dunsmuir Family

Images show Dunsmuir family members in various contexts. Some photos predate the family habitation of Hatley Park

Hatley Park Estate

The Hatley Park estate was so named in 1889 when the land was purchased by Roland Stuart and Charles St. Aubyn Pearse. The name derives from the ancestral home of the Pearse family in England. When James Dunsmuir purchased the land in 1907, he acquired some surrounding property to expand the estate and hired Samuel Maclure to design the large family home, now known as Hatley Castle. In 1911, unsatisfied with the estate layout, Dunsmuir hired Brett and Hall, a Boston-based landscaping company, to develop the estate and model farm.

While the castle was under construction from 1908-1910, Dunsmuir also hired a Japanese gardener, Isaburo Kishida, to install a Japanese garden to the west of the family home. The garden was maintained and expanded by another Japanese gardener, Tadashi Noda, between 1913 and 1927.

In 1937, when Laura Dunsmuir died, the estate was managed by trustees until it was sold to the Canadian government in 1940. Various attempts were made to sell the property, including a promotional film by Douglas Flintoff.

Images show the Japanese gardens at various points in time, as well as some of the other buildings on the estate besides the castle. Also in this series are some pictures of Roland Stuart’s Hatley Park Estate.

Black Album 3

  • CA RRU 025-002-1-3
  • File
  • ca. 1890-1949
  • Part of K. McCann

Images in this album were most likely collected by Dola Dunsmuir. There are around 100 pictures from Dola's school days at Miss Ransom and Miss Bridges’ School for girls in Piedmont, California, which she attended in 1920 at the age of 17. Also included are photos from a tour of the ruins in northern Europe after the Great War. Dola accompanied her sister, Muriel and husband Edward Molyneux on a road trip to such places as Cambrai, Lens, Rancourt, Vimy and Ypres. Also in this album are several pictures or Eileen Molyneux and Clifton Webb. Both performers on stage and in film, Eileen was a cousin of Edward Molyneux and long time friend of the Dunsmuir girls. Clifton Webb performed on stage several times with Eileen, including at the Paris nightclub co-owned by Edward Molyneux and Elsa Maxwell.

Brown Suede Album

  • CA RRU 025-002-1-6
  • File
  • ca. 1890-1910
  • Part of K. McCann

Images in this album are predominantly from before the Dunsmuir family lived at Hatley Park. There are several images of the Dunsmuir children living at Burleith, their home on Victoria's Gorge waterway from 1892 until 1906 when James Dunsmuir became the province's Lieutenant-Governor and the family moved to Government House. There are also pictures taken in the UK soon after Maye was married to Lt. Arthur Bromley in 1904. Also included are images from an apparent tourist trip to visit goldrush settlements such as Bennett, Dawson City and Whitehorse. Along with these are souvenir photos of Atlin, BC, by noted photographer A.C. Hirshfeld. James Dunsmuir travelled to Atlin in 1901 as part of the provincial government's 'Atlin Committee' investigating mining licenses issued to aliens, among other things.

family group at Ashnola

  • CA RRU 025-002-1-6-12
  • Item
  • 1890-1898
  • Part of K. McCann

Ashnola was the residence of James Dunsmuir's sister, Emily Ellen Dunsmuir (Mrs. Snowden) and Northing Pinckney Snowden on Victoria's Gorge waterway, across the water from James and Laura's home, Burleith.
Laura Dunsmuir standing on right; Sarah Byrd is seated on the step.

Roland Stuart's Hatley Park

The Hatley Park estate was so named in 1889 when the land was purchased by Roland Stuart and Charles St. Aubyn Pearse. The name derives from the ancestral home of the Pearse family in England. Pearse died in 1901 and Stuart had a number of other business partners and tenant farmers who helped manage the estate.

A large fire destroyed the property in 1905 and shortly after, Roland Stuart put the estate up for sale.

Ephemera

  • CA RRU 025-002-2
  • Series
  • ca. 1890-1965, predominant 1908-1940
  • Part of K. McCann

The signed Crimson Paradise brochure is from the premiere of the film in Victoria on December 14, 1933. Kathleen (Dunsmuir) Humphreys helped finance and acted in the Kenneth Bishop film.
The 25 page Maynard auction catalogue lists the contents of Hatley Park that were for sale during the week long auction, June 1-6, 1939.
The Dolaura visitors book for the Dunsmuir family yacht was started in June of 1908. Although the family owned the yacht until 1920, the book fell out of use after 1911 until it was revived as the visitors book for Dola (Dunsmuir) Cavendish's home, also known as Dolaura. Names in this section of the book date from 1942-1965.

Roland Stuart's Hatley Park home from the pond

Image shows the farmhouse at Roland Stuart's Hatley Park estate. In the foreground, the pond that would later form part of the Dunsmuirs' formal gardens is visible. Farm labourers are gathering hay.
In the summer of 1903, architect Ridgeway-Wilson was engaged to make some alterations to the home, including the use of a half timber and plaster finish. It is possible that this image post dates the improvements made.

Kwakiutl housepost at Knight's Inlet

  • CA RRU 025-002-1-1-170
  • Item
  • 1890-1913
  • Part of K. McCann

In 1913, James Dunsmuir acquired a wooden structure created by the Kwakwaka'wakw people to be used as a gate entrance to the Japanese garden. The sculpture was carved from western red cedar and had three upright pieces joined by a horizontal lintel. The sculpture was located at the Dunsmuir property from 1913-1938. The posts were originally intended for the inside of a house in Dzawadi and were carved around 1884, but the house was never completed and the house posts were left until they were bought by a collector who later sold them to James Dunsmuir. Dzawadi is about 100km northeast of Alert Bay and within the traditional territory of the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nation. This images shows the house posts in their original location.
In 1938, after Laura Dunsmuir’s death, the posts were sold to George Heye, who was a well-known collector of anthropological and archeological artefacts of the Americas. The posts were part of the collection at the Museum of the American Indian in New York until 1975 when they were bought by the National Museum of Canada.
A conservator's report from the Canadian museum shows that the posts were damaged before they were positioned at Hatley Park. Careful restoration work had occurred when the house posts were relocated to the Dunsmuir estate. New wood pieces had been skillfully added to replace damage caused by a grass fire in its original location. A second, less careful restoration took place sometime after 1936, provable by the fact that pages of newspaper from that year were found used as filling material under a crude plaster and papier mache repair.

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