House Contents, Grandview, 1922

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One hundred years ago today, there was an auction of household contents at 1549 E. 2nd in Grandview. The 6-room wooden house had been owned and occupied for some time by Albert Cameron and his wife, Susannah. Albert is listed in the census of the previous year as a carpenter in a railway shop, while the 1922 City Directory lists him as a painter. He claimed wages of $655 in the 12 months prior to the 1921 census.

In these years, auctions of households were a regular occurrence in East Vancouver. They were usually a result of either a death, a move out of town, or the failure to pay rent. Albert Cameron owned the house so there was no rent to be defaulted, and he was 63 years old at the census. So, I assume (without any stronger evidence) that he died and his widow was selling the house.

Province, 1922 Jun 3, p,22

The value of the list of contents to be sold is in the view it grants us of the home of a skilled tradesman and his family in those years. As can be seen, the couple enjoyed a full range of furniture and furnishings, a china cabinet, several carpets, and some electrical appliances. The list tells us nothing about the quality of the items for sale, but I believe they allow us to imagine a fairly comfortable, almost middle-class life for this working man just off the Drive.

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