“Dear Auntie . . . don’t be cross”: Scenic British Columbia in Old Postcards

gorge-bridge

Postmarked July 12, 1921 (Note Is Below)

Back in the day writing letters and cards was the routine thing to do if you wanted to stay in touch with distant friends and relatives. Picture postcards also allowed the recipient vicariously to experience what the sender did and saw.  As suggested by the note below on one of these cards of British Columbia, the folks back at home expected a long form letter if possible and sending only a postcard from a trip was an occasion for an apology (being Canadians and all). 🙂

gorge-bridge-note-side

Note Side of Card Above of Gorge Bridge, Victoria, B.C.

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yoho-glacier

Yoho Glacier, near Field, B.C. (About 1910)

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simash-rock

Simash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C. (About 1905)

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seven-sisters

Seven Sisters, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C. (About 1910)

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lynn-canyon-bridge

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, B.C. (About 1915)

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fraser-river

Fraser River, Yale B.C. (About 1910)

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capilano-suspension-bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, B.C. (About 1951)

56 responses

  1. This is old home week for me. I lived in Vancouver for 5 years and have been across Capilano bridge and used to walk in Stanley Park past Simosh Rock, although I thought it was called Siwash. When I was young, I used to send postcards when I was on a trip, but we always beat the postcards home by a week!

  2. Thanks for sharing these. In 2002, I attended a conference in Vancouver. I took a ferry across to the north and then a bus from the ferry terminal for about 30 minutes, so I could walk to a park that had a suspension bridge. I have to look to see if it was Lynn Canyon (that sounds familiar). Anyway, you brought back a nice memory.

    • Postcards leave such little room to convey much of anything so I always admire one that’s well written and packs a lot into the short space afforded. (I came across this card in a local antique shop.)

  3. These are beautiful pieces of history, natural wonders and culture.
    I love reading postcards from my Grandpa, who always included his wife, my Grandma in his salutations and messages. I also received and returned letters back. 🙂

  4. I love the quality of the old printing processes. I think the writer was very brave to admit that she hadn’t read two of the three letters she had received from home! Being in her “suit” so much and the weather being better than what she had left behind, I presume she means swimming suit? I wonder if she received a cold reception on her return home, both from the weather and her relatives.

    • It seems to be an intimate thing to be “confessing” when one is preoccupied with the demands of traveling. Ironically, even without modern technologies, many families were more connected back then and so the expectations were greater to stay in touch even from afar. At least, that’s my speculation. 🙂

      • I think you are right. There appears to have been more of an understanding that those at home or away, were incredibly isolated by distance and therefore more effort was made to bridge it by making the effort to write. There is often a sense these days, that we get all these photos blasted at us on Instagram or Facebook but that nothing is specifically for us or is posted in a genuinely communicative way. It is more like a moving bill board of “look at me, see how great my life is?” , than anything else.

  5. You’re reminding me to revisit those suspension bridges while I’m here in Vancouver, especially the Lynn Canyon one, which has such lovely trails to go with it. It’d be interesting to see a photo of the Yoho Glacier now, from that same spot; it is surely much smaller than it was in 1910…

    • Penny, I was up in Lynn Canyon a few years ago and that’s a beautiful area well worth visiting. Capilano is amazing (and a little frightening). I’m sure you’re right about the toll on Yoho.

  6. These are beautiful, Brett – intimate and touching images from a more innocent age.

    As “Photobooth Journal” rightly pointed out, these postcards are so much more personal and “from the heart” than the mass methods of communication we use today such as Instagram or Facebook.

    I’m fortunate to possess some family postcards myself and I treasure them!

    Many thanks for posting!

  7. Letter and postcard writing is a lost art, but I love the anticipation of mailed correspondence. You just can’t get that with email and instant messaging. It’s a much more personal and mindful way to communicate. Let me know if you’d like to join my international pen pal list 🙂

    • That’s a good way of putting it — “the anticipation of mailed correspondence”. I feel the same way. Still love to send and mail letters for sharing more reflective thoughts. 🙂

  8. Loved this post! I am an avid postcard collector and especially love postcards that have been written out and mailed. It’s fun to see the vintage pictures and how things have changed, but I’m usually more drawn to the messages than the picture.

  9. Thanks for these images, Brett! I imagine that postcard was made back when the Seven Sisters were still there. : ) Glad you love Canada – I do too! Thank you for the blog ‘like’!

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