The May 1889 issue of The West Shore. This magazine was published by Leopold Samuel in Portland from 1875 to 1891. The publication was a formidable contributor to the literary scene on the Pacific Northwest Coast, and it also established a reputation for publishing lavish and detailed lithographic illustrations, often with hand tinted cover illustrations.
Where can you read this publication today? Well, thankfully, the University of Oregon has posted much of the publication online (excluding many of the fabulous advertising pages). These digital scans come from the University of Oregon Libraries in Eugene, Oregon. I see the magazines themselves have the stamp of the Oregon Historical Society, and I think the microfilm may have come from the Research Library of the Oregon Historical Society. You can read the publication complete with ads on microfilm at VPL or at the UBC Koerner Library (in microfilm storage AW1 .R5326). UBC Special Collections also has a number of significant issues on hand, including the coveted Vancouver issue, thanks to the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection.
British Columbia features prominently in the publication a number of times. Most notably, the May 1889 issue is dedicated to Vancouver (I made a single PDF of this issue here), and the June 1889 issue is dedicated to Victoria. In the January 1879 issue, the magazine published the largest lithograph they had printed to date; a three-panel pullout tinted lithograph of Victoria. The May 1889 issue aimed to surpass this, and featured an amazing full colour five-panel pullout of Victoria’s harbour.
A few other significant issues of The West Shore that prominently featured Canada were the June 1881 issue featuring Victoria and New Westminster; the September 1884 issue dedicated to British Columbia; the December 1885 issue with a focus on the CPR, followed by the June 1887 issue which was again dedicated to British Columbia.
The centerfold above features the Vancouver harbour (from a photo, possibly this one or one like it) along with the very first CPR station and wharf, and the Burrard Inlet filled to the brim with tall ships of the 19th century.
And with this post, I have reached something of a historic landmark. From the start, it was my goal to fill my blog Illustrated Vancouver with 1,000 posts dedicated to the local arts scene and our city’s art history. After nearly 4 years, I have finally reached post number 1,000. It has been a most entertaining voyage.
Many folks have asked if I will produce a book on the subject. Indeed, it is an idea worth considering, but at the same time, perhaps the website has served its purpose. It was fun posting new imagery and unique historical research to Tumblr. There were numerous discoveries that we made. Lost murals found. Unknown artists attributed. Local legends rediscovered. And then there was my other book. Contributing to Vancouver Confidential was an inspiring experience, and while I never had the dream or goal to see my name in print, I now have a number of ideas I’d like to develop further.
Whatever the future holds, I look forward to uncovering more of our local history through art or artifacts, the printed word or the personal recollection, and through film or photography (which I have typically avoided here). Till we meet again, perhaps I’ll see you on one of those other social networks, flickr, Twitter, FB, or Instagram!