Latest in a series on items of local interest on eBay.
A nifty ca. 1910s photo of the Nelson Daily News business office along with three pages of a contemporary letter from the paper’s manager sold last week for $147.50 US.
The 5 x 7 picture shows four well-dressed men at work, one seated at a rolltop desk. There’s also a big safe, overhead lamps, and other furniture. A wall calendar advertises J.M. Ludwig, a leathergoods store, but the date isn’t clear. Writing on the window reads: “The Daily News/Publishers/Printers and Bookbinders”
The photographer is not identified.
The letter that accompanied the photo is on stationary proclaiming the newspaper “The Only Daily Paper in South-Eastern British Columbia” and “A Live Newspaper Serving a Prosperous People.” At the bottom is the suggestion: “Come to Kootenay.”
The letter, signed by editor-manager William Garland Foster, was apparently to a distributor of atlases, which were to be given out as part of a subscription campaign. (The exact recipient is unknown; the first two pages are missing.)
It explains the newspaper’s new policy was to take only cash-in-advance subscriptions, and after a year “we do not intend to furnish the paper to a single subscriber who does not pay in advance.”
It continued: “We would expect you to cover every town from Revelstoke on the north to Waneta on the south and between Princeton on the west and Coleman, Alberta, on the east. Coleman, as you know, is just beyond the British Columbian boundary, and we already have quite a number of subscribers there.”
Although the letter isn’t dated, it’s from early 1912, as there is a reference to the provincial election of March 28 of that year.
The Nelson Daily News traced its lineage to The Miner, a weekly founded by John Houston and partners in 1890. It became a daily in 1898, and changed hands in 1902, whereupon it was renamed the Daily News and published continuously until it folded in 2010.
Its longtime Baker Street home was sold and is presently being renovated into offices.
Postmarked at Nelson in 1913, it was mailed to Banff and bore a slogan cancel for the Nelson Fruit Fair, held on September 23, 24, and 25 of that year.
The card, lithographed and coloured by J.V. Valentine and Sons, showed the hotel as viewed from across the lake at Procter.
This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser on October 4.