Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

July 2014 Posts:

28 July 2014

William’s Garden

During the First World War, letters sent to loved ones serving overseas connected them to the ordinary details of life at home. Shown here is a copy of a letter, dated 20 June 1915, written in Winnipeg by Isaac Cowie who was a retired Hudson’s Bay Company chief trader. He had worked at various fur trade posts from 1867 to 1890.

Cowie kept typewritten copies of many of his outgoing letters. Cowie’s records contain inward and outward correspondence with various family members, friends and colleagues. His two sons, William and Victor, both served in the First World War. This particular letter was to his son, Private William Cowie, who was stationed with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in England during the First World War. In it, he gives an update on the state of William’s garden, which the Cowie family had planted and tended in his absence. Cowie also sends news of the latest Manitoba political intrigue, namely the corruption scandal connected to the construction of the Parliament building. Sadly, Isaac Cowie died on 18 May 1917 and did not get to see his sons return from the war.

Isaac Cowie to William Cowie, 20 June 1915. Private correspondence outward, Isaac Cowie fonds. Archives of Manitoba, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, E.86/67.

Search Tip: Use keywords “Isaac Cowie” in Keystone to see descriptions of these records. To view this letter and Cowie’s other records at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, visit the Archives of Manitoba.

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Leesa Walker — 2014-10-24

The "Mary" referred to in this letter was my great-grandmother. She was adopted by Mr. Cowied and his family while they were stationed in Fort McMurray. Have tried for some time to get more info on her birth parents without much success.

Archives response:

Thank you for the comment. You are welcome to come to the Archives Research Room to explore the Isaac Cowie records and records related to Fort McMurray in our holdings. If you have not previously consulted them, you might find these records to be interesting and useful for your research. However, we cannot say whether you will find information about your ancestor's birth parents within them.

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21 July 2014

Play Ball!

Until the First World War was declared in early August, life in Manitoba went on as usual. People enjoyed typical summertime activities like baseball, picnics, visiting with friends at the cottage and swimming at the lake. Photographer L.B. Foote captured many such scenes in Winnipeg. Come to the Archives to take in a selection of his photographs featured in At Home: Winnipeg, 1914-1915.

Crescent [Creamery] Baseball Team, 1914

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Crescent [Creamery] Baseball Team, 1914. Archives of Manitoba, L.B. Foote fonds, Foote 1051.

Visit the Archives of Manitoba during regular hours to explore the exhibit on your own or you can come to one of our free public tours. Sign up for the next one on August 20th at 4:00 p.m.

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14 July 2014

Vancouver’s New HBC Store

In 1914 the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) opened a new store in Vancouver, B.C. at the corner of Georgia and Seymour. It was built behind the old store on Granville Street. It was added to in subsequent years but this is what it looked like during the later stages of construction in 1914. HBC’s plans for other retail construction projects were put on hold at the start of the war.

building

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HBC’s Vancouver Store, at the corner of Georgia and Seymour, March 1914. Archives of Manitoba,
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Hudson’s Bay House Library photograph collection subject files.
1987/363-V-110/1-5 Vancouver Store - Georgia & Granville, item 1.

Search Tip: To find the description of this photograph and others related to the Vancouver Store, do an advanced search of listings in Keystone. Use “Vancouver Store” as your Keyword and choose “photographs, documentary art and posters” for Format.

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7 July 2014

Military Parade

Photograph: "61st Battalion in Military Parade, Winnipeg, November 1915." Do you recognize this street?

soldiers in front of Bank of Montreal building

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Archives of Manitoba photograph collection, World War I 55

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2 July 2014

Kitchen Patriotism

Are you curious about what people were cooking and eating one hundred years ago, during the First World War? Gertrude C. Code was a Winnipeg woman involved in women’s efforts to support the war. Here’s a pamphlet she helped write on “Kitchen Patriotism.”

Women's Canadian Club “Kitchen Patriotism” pamphlet

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Kitchen Patriotism, ca.1917, Archives of Manitoba, Gertrude C. Code fonds.

Search Tip: Search the “Gertrude C. Code fonds” in Keystone to read more about Gertrude and the records held at the Archives of Manitoba.

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