Fonds 033 - George Smith family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

George Smith family fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record
  • Cartographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1871-1994 (Creation)
    Smith, George (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 450 photographs
12.5 cm of textual records
2 maps

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

George James Smith was born in Greenspond, Newfoundland on August 18, 1910, one of two sons of Darius Roy and Rebecca Jane Smith. Darius Smith was a Master Mariner and captain of sailing vessels in the North Atlantic. In late 1910, Darius Smith moved with his family from Greenspond to Vancouver, where he found employment on coastal freighters and in the whaling and halibut fishing industry. In the spring of 1912, the family moved to West Vancouver when Darius Smith became employed as a ferry captain for the West Vancouver Ferry Company. The first Smith family home was a tent under a tree at the Southwest corner of Marine Drive and 19th Street, followed by a house located at 1459 Gordon Street, then at 660 13th Street. Except for serving in the Merchant Marine during World War I, he worked for the ferry company until his retirement in 1945. Known and beloved by thousands of West Vancouver ferry commuters, Darius Smith died on July 8, 1949 at the age of 70.

George Smith was educated in West Vancouver at Vancouver Technical School, and at the University of British Columbia. As a young man, he worked as a firefighter, a logger for the Capilano Timber Company from 1928 to 1931, and as a construction worker on Lions Gate Bridge.

After serving with the Calgary Highlanders during World War II, George embarked on a life-time career as professional land surveyor in B.C. He surveyed land for the British Properties, and in 1946 joined the survey firm McElhanney & McRae, later becoming a senior partner. For the next 30 years, George Smith was regarded as the province's best known land surveyor for route surveys, which included railways. He worked on numerous major projects in the province including the Harmac Pulp Mill, the Alcan Kemano Road Project, and the Cassiar Stewart Highway.

George Smith married Daisy Sinclair, and they had one son, James. His wife Daisy died on April 27, 1947 at the age of 38, and George Smith remarried in 1949 to Phyllis Hurdle. Throughout his life George was an avid sportsman who enjoyed skiing on Hollyburn Mountain, and after surveying, his interests included politics, history, geography, forestry, and fishing. George Smith died on September 5, 1994 at the age of 84.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of material relating to the personal and professional life of B.C. land surveyor George Smith, and his father Darius Smith who was a ferry captain for the West Vancouver Ferry Company. The material includes photographs, newspaper clippings, certificates, memorial information, booklets, postcards, maps, publications, papers, and diaries.

The fonds is arranged into the following series:
Series 1: Photographs
Series 2: Personal life
Series 3: Publications and maps
Series 4: Captain Darius Smith

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

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    Dates of creation, revision and deletion

    Created March 26, 2010

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      Script of description


        Accession area