In later years, Matthews would recall picking blackberries on wild land near Thurlow and Davie - and area built up today.
Matthews worked as a clerk, salesman and manager for Imperial Oil from 1899 to 1919. It was in 1907 that he came up with a way to provide fuel for the new form of transportation, the auto mobile. James adapted a kitchen water tank and attached a rubber hose to it. Yes, James Matthews created one of the first gas pumps in the country.
In 1924, Matthews retired from a series of business ventures and started exploring another of his interests - Vancouver history. He was director of the Arts, Historical and Scientific Society and had a collection of archival material.
This collection was massive and overflowed from his home to a space in the attic of Market Hall then to the Holden Building, then the new City Hall and finally to its own building which bears Matthews name.
Matthews took the valuable collection back to his house. This sparked a debate and Matthews was eventually appointed official archivist in 1933 - a position he held until his death in 1970. The archives were returned to City Hall.
I am getting this information from the book Namely Vancouver, A Hidden History of Vancouver Place Names by Tom Snyder and Jennifer O'Rourke.
This is a very interesting book full of tidbits of information. Like how the street Adanac got its name. There is so much to that story and I will tell you about it another time. A hint on where the name came from? Spell it backwards and you'll figure it out.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Major J.S. Matthews, history, Vanier Park, archives British Columbia,City Hall,World War I