Fonds CR-28 - Edith Eleanor Pearson fonds

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Edith Eleanor Pearson fonds

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  • 1902-1939, predominant 1902-1927 (Creation)
    Pearson, Edith Eleanor

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Physical description

ca. 2800 photographs;7 v.

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Biographical history

Edith Eleanor (Major) Pearson was born on November 4, 1867, the eldest daughter of Charles George Major and Mary Elizabeth (Clarkson) Major, both of New Westminster. In 1887, she married Thomas Robson Pearson, a prominent New Westminster businessman and her father's partner in Major and Pearson, a real estate company. Major and Pearson was incorporated with the Dominion Trust Company in 1906, and Thomas became a director and local manager of the firm's New Westminster office. He was also a director of several other businesses on the Lower Mainland, including the Pacific Loan Company, the Royal Agricultural and Industrial Society, the Pretty Timber Exchange, and the Vancouver Harbour and Dock Company. Edith and Thomas R. Pearson had three children, Thomas Roy, Leslie, and Geoffrey. The family lived at 715 Royal Avenue in New Westminster until 1920, when they moved to "Hillside", a rural property in South Westminster. The Pearsons were active in the Methodist Church in New Westminster and in musical and community organizations. Thomas was for forty years the leader of the Queen's Avenue Church choir; he was also secretary of the Choral Union and honorary president of the Choral Society. He served the City of New Westminster as alderman for two years. Edith was a talented pianist who taught music for fifty years and served as the organist of the Queen's Avenue Church for forty years. She was a life member of Post Number 4 of the Native Daughters of British Columbia. Edith was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, developing and printing her own photographs of her family, friends, and community events. Thomas died November 24, 1947, four months after he and Edith celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary. Edith died Aughts 14, 1959, at the age of 92.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of black and white photographs, black and white copy prints, and negatives of the Pearson family at home in New Westminster and on holidays in British Columbia, Alberta, the United States (particularly California), and Europe. Includes many photographs of the Pearson family and friends engaged in leisure activities at their vacation home, "Edgewood", at Boundary Bay. The property was purchased by the Major and Pearson families in 1896. It is identified on the Corporation of Delta's Assessment Roll No. 160 as part of Lot 30, Group 2, consisting of two acres. The property was approximately where Meredith Place is now. The families that owned the neighbouring lots included the Corbould, Drew, Meredith, Major, and Kirkland families. Unidentified people in the Boundary Bay photographs may include members of these families. The majority of the photographs concern the activities of the Pearson, Major and Lee families. Edith's interest in photography appears to have begun around the time of her youngest son Geoffrey's birth in 1901, and the collection contains many photographs of him from infancy through adulthood. He married Shirley Foley and had a son, Ken. The two older boys, Thomas Roy (known as Roy) and Leslie, were born in 1888 and 1891, respectively. Roy appears to have been in the military during World War I, and later married Nora, a teacher. They had no children. The photographs show Roy and Nora at their home in Los Angeles and later in South Westminster, where they had a chicken farm. Leslie is also shown in uniform during the war. He married Ethel Watson in 1912, and they had a daughter Mary Isabel, who appears to have visited her Pearson grandparents frequently. Also prominent in the collection are Edith's niece and nephew, Dorothy and Ormsby Lee, the children of her sister Mildred Jane and John Andrew ("Jack") Lee, a New Westminster merchant. Dorothy traveled frequently with her aunt before her marriage to Sid Mallinson, with whom she had a daughter, Diana. Ormsby married Jessie Blair and had a son, John ("Jackie").

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BCAUL control number: DMA-314

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