Monday, December 9, 2013


In January of 1944, BC Electric went on strike for three weeks and the streetcars stopped running.

If you have been reading some of my past entries, you may recognize the name Leonard Frank. In 1892, Frank came from Germany to Vancouver. The 22-year-old came in search of gold, but that didn't work out. Then he won a camera in a lottery. Frank's father was a professional photographer and taught the craft to his son.

Leonard began to take pictures and never stopped. He took nearly 50,000 photos of a previous British Columbia and his photos were works of clarity and beauty. On February 23, 1944, Leonard Frank passed away at the age of 74.

On April 23, Jack Benny did his famous radio show from Vancouver. With him was his regular cast from New York - Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, Dennis Day and announcer Don Wilson. Jack would visit Vancouver often and even helped with a Save The Orpheum fund raiser.(I wrote a little on that in this 2012 entry.)

Another reason that Benny may have visited Vancouver is that his wife and comedic partner, Mary Livingstone, was from Vancouver. Then her name was Sadie Marks.

June 7, 1944. A letter was written by a medical officer on his experiences in Vancouver that day. It is a moving letter apparently in which the man describes how he escaped death a dozen times. Today, it hangs on the wall of the military/medical museum at Jericho and was printed in the Canadian Medical Association Journal for December 10, 2002.

The first two photos are of the apartment building on Hastings Street where Jack Benny met Sadie Marks.

On June 30, 1944, 85-year-old Charles Hill-Tout died in Vancouver. Hill-Tout was an ethnologist (a person who analyses and compares human cultures), born in England and arrived in Vancouver in 1890. He was quick to realize that Vancouver's Marpole Midden was the largest of its kind in North America. (The Marpole Midden is an ancient Musqueam village and burial site.)

Charles was the founder of the Buckland College on Burrard Street and educated people for a decade. After those ten years, Hill-Tout moved to a farm in the Abbotsford area where he owned and operated a mill producing ties for the CPR - Canadian Pacific Railway. A devoted amateur anthropologist, Charles focused on the Salish Indians of B.C. When the CPR asked Hill-Tout to name a new subdivision in Vancouver, he chose the name Kitsilano, a modification of the name of the chiefs of the Squamish band.
Thanks to the History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the information on 1944 in Vancouver. I will tell you more on Wednesday.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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  1. Marpole Midden, I had no idea! That is so good to know and thanks again for another fun history lesson. My mom loved Jack Benny :D

    1. Hey, I had to look up Marpole Midden when I wrote that part. Thanks for reading and commenting.