5630 Dunbar St. at 41st Ave.

The Gerald Wellburn collection of historic Vancouver 1851/1899

An 88 page album of postal history, postcards, documents, ephemera.


The estate of Gerald Wellburn continues to reveal rich treasures.
See our Matthew Baillie Begbie page for 2018 lots.

Matthew Baillie Begbie framed 1866 18.5x15" appointment sold for $2,063 Lot 68 in our auction 29th September 2018

Historic Vancouver 1851 to 1899

Gerald Wellburn's extraordinary glimpse into Vancouver's journey from forest to city was contained in an 88-page album "historic Vancouver"

The sale started in January 2016 and the final page 88 sold in September 2017.

Over $187,000 was realized from pages including a letter by Gassy Jack Deighton and the Kitsilano beach claim by Sam Greer.

The album is a roll call of the most famous names from the history of the Burrard Inlet (later called Vancouver): Jeremiah Rogers the logger, Hugh Nelson, Sewell Moody, Captain Stamp, Gassy Jack, Governer Musgrave, Earl Granville, Arthur Herring. Edgard Dewdney, Robert Burnaby ....

See the highlights here


Page 88 end of album

The very last pages "The Cary Fir Hoax" from the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver album realized $220 in our auction on September 16th


Page 82 Canadian Pacific Railway 1886 newspaper clipping

Wellburn Page 82

See larger image

Page 81 Wellburn Vancouver - 15 Jan 1886 Burrard Inlet Crime Newspaper clippings

See the full document here

Realized $ $38.50 our 15 July 2017 aucxtion

Page 79 1884/85 Granville, B.C. Constable Miller -signed Arrest Warrant

See the full document here


1st July 2017

Sam Greer 1884 map and landclaim letter

Vancouver Sun John Mackie

Vancouver Sun article by Glenda Luymes >
Map drawn by man who bought Kits Beach for $200 sells at auction for $33,000

In our 1st July Canada 150 Auction

Vancouver Sun John Mackie
Vancouver Sun article by John Mackie >
Special auction: Celebrating Canada's 150th with Louis Riel, Sam Greer and a flaming zeppelin!

Page 80 Sam Greer Map

John Streit News1130 >

The Sam Greer 1884 handdrawn map and landclaim letter to what became Vancouver's Kitsilano Beach is one of the highlights of the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection.
Sold in our 1st July 2017 Canada 150 Auction for $33,000.

See the documents here

Page 78 Logging Kitsilano

See the full document


How a small, hand-drawn Vancouver map sold at auction for $24,000

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society article. Brian Grant Duff from All Nations Stamp and Coin explains the controversial land claim made by Irish settler Sam Greer on what is today known as Kits Beach


Kitsilano map goes for $24,200 at auction

Sam Greer's land claim and letter realized $24,200 in our Auction 20 May 2017.

Vancouver Sun article here


This Week in History: 1884-2017 A contentious, historic map of Kitsilano up for auction Saturday

"In 1884, Sam Greer bought about 200 acres of land in the future Vancouver for $200. He filed a claim with the province, and a small map was drawn showing where the land was. Greer built a farmhouse near a beach and planted some fruit trees. The area became known as Greer’s Beach. It’s now called Kitsilano. And on Saturday the 133-year-old map of Greer’s claim goes up for sale at an All Nations Stamp and Coin auction.

The pre-auction estimate was $5,000, but Friday afternoon bids had already gone up to $15,000: another 1884 letter by Greer that was initialled by B.C.’s famous “hanging judge,” Matthew Begbie, sold for $17,000 a couple of weeks ago.

The hand-drawn map is fairly rudimentary, but it looks like Greer’s claim roughly extended from Balsam to Chestnut streets, and from the water to West Fourth Avenue. It would have included all of Kits Beach and Kits Point save for today’s Vanier Park, which had been designated an Indian Reserve in 1869. “It’s an incredible piece of history,” said Brian Grant Duff of All Nations Stamp and Coin."

Read more in the Vancouver Sun article by John Mackie

Brian Grant Duff

Sam Greer's Land Claim

Page 76 of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album

16th February 1885 Granville, B.C. 2-page Letter from Sam Greer with various initials ex Wellburn

See the full Page 76 document here

Letters from Sam Greer

Page 75 of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album

16th February 1885 Granville, B.C. 2-page Letter from Sam Greer with various initials ex Wellburn

See the full Page 75 document here

Page 75 sold for $3,960 in our 13 May 2017 auction

Page 74 of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album

17th March 1884, a letter from Sam Greer on Granville Hotel letterhead (now with new proprietor). Wellburn notes: "Sam Greer tells that Captain Irving has written in respect of land titles at Kitsilano and English Bay. Greer was allowed to sell 100 choice city lots fronting on English Bay."

See the full Page 74 document here

Page 74 sold for $3,960 in our 6th May 2017 auction

Greer's Beach

Page 73 of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album is one of the highlights of the collection. An 1884 letter from Sam Greer on Joseph Mannion's Granville Hotel letterhead, witnessed by Matthew Baillie Begbie. Sam Greer fought to keep his land at Greer's beach but it was expropriated and kept by the Province and renamed Kitsilano. Read the famly perspective

Joesph Mannion was an informal Mayor of early Vancouver. The Granville Hotel was opened by him in opposition to Gassy Jack's hotel. A period of 'commercial expansion' in Burrard Inlet notes Wellburn. . A period of 'commercial expansion' in Burrard Inlet notes Wellburn.

See Page 73 full Document here

Page 73 with Sam Greer's letter sold for $17,000 in our auction 22 April 2017

28 March 1884 postcard from Hastings Mill

This is the last Granville cancel in Gerald Wellburn's album. Page 72 of 88.

See the full image here

5 July 1883 cover to Jessie Cameron, Victoria

Cover addressed to Jessie Cameron, the sister of B.C.Author, Women's Rights activist and Granville schoolteacher Agnes Deans Cameron,

The cover is Page 71 (of 88) of Gerald Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album and features as Lot 72 in our 8 April 2017 auction

See Page 71 here

16 February 1883 cover from Agnes Deans Cameron to Jessie Cameron, Victoria

Page 70 (of 88) features a cover from famous B.C. author, Granville schoolteacher and leader for Women's Rights Agnes Deans Cameron to her sister Jessie Cameron in James Bay, Victoria

Agnes Deans Cameron

See Page 70 here

October 1882, letter and cover from Fanny McCartney at Granville to Jessie Cameron in Victoria

Letter and cover from Fanny McCartney, wife of the steam engineer at Hasting Sawmill to Jessie Cameron, the sister of Agnes Deans Cameron, in Victoria. She says "we bought some sheep our little boy calls them 'lions'"

See Full Page 69 here

6 Aug 1882, Granville. Benjamin Wilson signed letter to Edgar Marvin,

Wellburn remarks "a short note from Benjamin H. Wilson, enclosing a cheque for $76.71. He died shortly after."

Ben Wilson was storekeeper on the beach, now Water Street, at Granville, now Gastown, Vancouver

Page 68 of 88 total. Larger image here

1882 3c cover from Granville

to Jessie Cameron, James Bay, Victoria

& Wellburn continues the Granville story:
"Granville seems quite lively with no vacant houses and many new ones projected."

Realized $450 in our auction on March 4th 2017.

Page 67 of 88 in total See here

1879 3c cover from Granville

to Miss Thain, a schoolteacher in Victoria. See here

Fanny McCartney to Agnes Deans Cameron

Page 65 of Historic Vancouver features 1884 Granvile and includes a postcard from Fanny McCartney in Granville to Agnes Deans Cameron in Victoria. Fanny was the wife of Allan Edward McCartney- a civil engineer and architect who had worked on Hastings sawmill and more. Agnes Deans Cameron was a famous woman of her time. A charismatic and progressive schoolteacher from Victoria, she went on to become "the first white woman to reach the Arctic" and published a bestselling book about her journeys called "The New North"

See the full Wellburn Page 65 here

Agnes Deans Cameron "Intellectual, adventurer, journalist, women’s right campaigner, first woman to reach the Arctic Ocean overland, literary sensation, when she died suddenly, editorials described her as “the most remarkable woman citizen of the province.”" Read Stephen Hume's article in The Vancouver Sun here

See the full Wellburn Page 65 here

There's a full biography of this astonishing woman in the B.C. Historical News journal.
Read AGNES DEANS CAMERON, 1863 - 1912 by Gwen Hayball
at UBC University Archives as a PDF see Pages 18 to 25 B.C. Historical News Journal 1974

Letter from Edgard Dewdney, Granville Townsite surveyor

Page 64 of Historic Vancouver has the letter contained in the Granville P.O. envelope from Page 63. It's from the surveyor of the Granville townsite "and a pretty rough one it is" he writes. The surveyor was Edgar Dewdney who later went on to become Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

John Mackie in Vancouver Sun > This Week in History: 1877 A glimpse into Granville townsite, when it was 'rough'

See PDF Andrew Scott article "High Bids for Gastown mail" in British Columbia Postal History newsletter

See full Page 64 here

Granville P.O.

Page 63 of Historic Vancouver one of the earliest Granville P.O. cancels. It's dated 1877. Granville P.O. was in the store at Hastings Mill Wharf and Henry Harvey ws Postmaster.

Granville 1877 cancel

See the full page 62 here

1876 Escape from Custody document signed Miller/Raymur

Vancouver's first shopkeeper, Gregorio Fernandez, shot a man, escaped from jail, and hid on Siwash Rock. It was 1876 and Vancouver was called Granville. The Justices of the Peace were the Burrard Inlet Sawmill managers. Jonathan Miller and Captain James Raymur

1867 Escape from Custody

See the full document here Page 63 realized $990 in our 14 January 2017 auction

1878 Complaint On Oath signed by Jonathan Miller

1878 Complaint On Oath signed by Jonathan Miller

See the full document here Lot 86 in our 17th December auction

Read the full biography:
Jonathan Miller - Early Vancouver Pioneer

1879 Burrard Inlet Deposition of Jonathan Miller

1879 indictment for cutting and wounding by a seaman,evidence by Constable Jonathan Miller.
See the full document here

Read the full biography:
Jonathan Miller - Early Vancouver Pioneer

Granville Shooting Affray, 1876

Granville's first shopkeeper Gregorio Fernandes (Portuguese Joe No. 2) is accused of shooting and wounding John Baptiste Amor.

Justices of the Peace sign the document

Read more here

Portuguese Joe arrest warrant

Page 58 of the Historic Vancouver album shows the 1876 arrest warrant for Gregorio Fernande (Portuguese Joe) after his escape following the "Granville Shooting Affray"

See the full document here

James Noble Brown 3 Dec 1874 Murder Document

Page 57 from Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver album
Realized $1,210 in our 19th November 2016 auction.

James Noble Brown ".... did feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought, kill and murder one Jim alias Louis an Indian."

See the full documents here

Josiah Charles Hughes 1880 apologetic letter to O'Reilly

Page 56 of Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver album

Wellburn notes on the page: August 1880. Letter from J.C. Huges as Surveyor to Mr. O'Reilly in Victoria. J.C. Huges gave the longitude of Burrard Inlet as 142 degrees W. of Greenwich instead of 123 degrees "which would indiate Burrard Inlet is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean". He asks that the mistake be corrected. See full document here.

Wellburn Note Page 56


Arthur Herring's road to Burrard Inlet

Page 55 in Gerald Wellburn's historic Vancouver album is a Burrard Inlet road building contract dated June 1875 See full document here

Sold for $11,000 in our 5th November auction. A handful of leading local collectors and history buffs bid on the historic contract made out to New Westminster merchant Arthur Herring, and signed by Sheriff Jim Morrison among others. Vancouver archivist Major Matthews notes that Herring did not complete the road, which was finished by Thomas Kidd in 1876.

Herring's wife, Frances, was an early teacher and writer

Earl Granville

The last Earl Granville item from the Wellburn collection is an 1851 1d Red Cover to Earl Grey at Ampthill. It is endorsed by Granvile, on the back of the envelope is Granville's personalised monogram. Page 49 of the Gerald Wellburn Historic Vancouver album.

Lord Granville

Granville was named after Earl Granville, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Page 48 Gerald Wellburn's historic Vancouver album has an 1857 cover from Earl Granville in London to Ampthill.


See Granville more here

Gassy jack

Rundhouse Radio

Martin Strong speaks with Brian Duff Grant, owner and operator of All Nations Stamps & Coins about a historic note written by Gassy Jack which recently sold for $44,000.
Listen Here


1876 Gassy Jack Deighton Estate settlement document

An 1876 Gassy Jack Deighton Estate settling document - the last Gassy Jack item (Page 47) from the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection

1875 letter dealing with Gassy Jack's estate

Gassy Jack estate letter

See here

Hastings Sawmil Story continued

Page 38 of the Historic Vancouver Album

In 1897 the Burrard Inlet P.O. became Hastings P.O.


Page 37 of Wellburn's Album has the only known Hastings, B.C. cancel and is coming to All Nations' 2 July 2016 auction

Moodyville P.O.

Moodyville P.O. was established in 1874 and changed to North Vancouver P.O. in 1902. Page 36 of Gerald Wellburn's Album illustrates and realized $770 in our 18 June 2016 auction

Cover from Victoria, Grand Lodge to Moodyville

Wellburn's Historic Vancouver album: A cover sent from Victoria, B.C.’s Grand Lodge to Moodyville, North Vancouver in 1886 using a three-cent Small Queen realized $3,025 in our 11 June 2016 auction - see "Bidding War" article in Canadian Stamp News


Benjamin Springer

Benjamin Springer was Moodyville's Sawmill manager and also Moodyville postmaster from 1886 - 1890
Wellburn Page 34 Realized $441 in our 4 June 2016 auction

Hugh Nelson, 1878, Justice of the Peace

Hugh Nelson was active in the legislature and as a politician in early Vancouver. With his business partner George Dietz he operated the Gold Rush Express and together they bought into the Moodyville Mill. He was enrolled as a Justice of the Peace in Burrard Inlet where he acted alongside Jeremiah Rogers.

Hugh Nelson later went on to become the 4th Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.

An 1878, Burrard Inlet,Recognizance to Give Evidence, signed Hugh Nelson realized $484 in our 21 May auction

See Hugh Nelson signed document here


1863 Moodyville Sawmill, Burrard Inlet

Originally the "Pioneer Mill" the first sawmill on Burrard Inlet. Sewell P. Moody took over in 1864 and enlarged it and improved the new "S.P. Moody Burrard Inlet Mill"


19th May 1874 "We started the Mill today after having made good a faulty boiler. Tomorrow we start up full blast"

See more here

See here


On 30 December 1873 Charles Newton Young, the secretary of the Nanaimo Freemasons, mailed a list of officers to J. McDonald at the Mount Hermon Lodge in Moodyville, Burrard's Inlet.... Read more here

Sam Greer and Greer's Beach

Sam Greer is one of the historical characters that come to life in the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection.

Sam Greer

"The Fall of 1891 is when our Family story of Greer’s Beach began.  Our Great Grandfather Sam Greer was forced off his 200 acres of land in English Bay called Greer’s Beach, known today as Kitsilano and Kit’s Beach. .. " Read more

Jeremiah Rogers -
The Greatest Logger Of Them All

Jeremiah Rogeres

In 1860 he was cutting spars in Albernia, in 1863 he was already in Burrard Inlet and the very next year building the first big logging camp at Jerry's Cove or "Jericho beach". See more It will be offered in our 2 April auction.

When Jeremiah Rogers cleared the original Hastings Sawmill site, in what is now Stanley Park, it did not go well.  Captain Edward Stamp was told the current was too strong there and they had to move the mill site further east.  Gassy Jack soon showed up to supply the thirsty millworkers, and a new city was born.  Captain Stamp never paid Jerry Rogers for clearing that mill site, and the rest is history.  See more



Latest Updates & Media coverage

Gerald Wellburn
Legendary B.C. Collector

Gassy Jack
Of Gastown

Sewell Prescott Moody's Mill
Dietz, Nelson and Robert Burnaby

Early Vancouver
from the Forest to a Magnificent City

Governor Sir Antony Musgrave
On Her Majesty's Service

Jeremiah Rogers
The Greatest Logger Of Them All

Sam Greer and Greer's Beach

Portuguese Joe No. 2
Accused of shooting, signs Statement with Granville JPs

Yesler's Grand Sawmill Prize
and the Puget Sound connection

Early Vancovuer Post Offices
Burrard Inlet PO
Moodyville PO
Hastings PO

Jonathan Miller
Early Vancouver pioneer.

Agnes Deans Cameron
Author, Schoolteacher at Granville and early leader for Women's Rights

More Historic Vancouver pages

Gassy Jack Deighton

Gassy Jack

See more of Gassy Jack's letter and transcript

Gassy Jack's signed Letter sold for $44,000 in our 1050th Auction

Gassy Jack letter held by Brian Grant Duff

Brian Grant Duff from All Nations Stamps and Coins holds the Gassy Jack Deighton letter and signature from 1875 from the collection Gerald Wellburn Photograph by: Jason Payne, VANCOUVER SUN Read more

See more of Gassy Jack's letter and transcript

Gassy Jack's signed Letter sold for $44,000 in our 1050th Auction

Governor Musgrave visits Burrard Inlet

Governor Musgrave failed to bring his previous posting, Newfoundland, into Canadian Confederation, but brought British Columbia into the fold.  Gerald Wellburn's page details the governor's visit to the original Burrard Inlet sawmills.


Wellburn Album pages reaized $2,860 in our 19 March Auction See more

Moody's Steam-powered Mill on Burrard Inlet

Sewell Prescott Moody

Sewell Prescott Moody bought the Burrard Inlet Mill in 1865
Album pages Realized $ 2,200 in our Auction 6 February 2016.


Hugh Nelson

In 1865 Hugh Nelson bought into the Burrard Stree Mill
1887 - 1890 Hugh Nelson became Lt Governor of B.C. See more


The Historic Vancouver Album by Gerald Wellburn

Brian introduces the Historic Vancouver album:

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Phone: 604-684-4613

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