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I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Who is John Bull of Hillcrest Mill, Duncan, BC?



I acquired this image in a Victoria, BC antique shop about five years ago. The photographer's imprint on the front reads, "A. Savard, Vancouver, B.C," probably Alphonse Savard, a Vancouver photographer who operated out of his studio at 225 Carrall Street from 1896-1899, and after that at 4 Cordova Street East, until about 19161.

On the reverse, there is a notation written in pencil: 
"Mr. John Bull
Hillcrest Mill
Duncan, BC"

There is also the photographer's negative number stamped on the back: 934543.

Duncan, BC is located on Vancouver Island, a couple of hours away via ferry from Vancouver. The research I've done into John Bull hasn't provided any worthwhile leads. There are a number of John Bulls in various censuses and vital statistic records, but without more specific information, I can't really narrow it down to which one it might be.

Perhaps the best course of action would be to look into the Hillcrest Mill history. I believe the mill was located at a place called Sahtlam.

To read a brief history of the Hillcrest Lumber Mill at Sahtlam, click here.

And that's all. So. The big question is, does "Mr. John Bull" represent the identity of one of the subjects of the photograph or does it refer to the recipient of the photo?

Can anyone help identify these two men?


1 Camera Workers 1858-1950 Website by David Mattison, http://cameraworkers.davidmattison.com/getperson.php?personID=I49&tree=cw18581950

1 comment:

  1. The seated man is quite "swarthy".

    http://www.vancouver-historical-society.ca/PDF/BecomingCanadians.pdf might provide a hint (page 74).

    A Captain (Cecil Robert?) Bull served in the British Army (in India) and later moved to BC. Seems there is a "India - BC" link.

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