Fonds MS 3 - Michael Phillipps fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Michael Phillipps fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds

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Reference code


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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1891-1892, copied [1996] (Creation)
    Phillipps, Michael, 1840-1916

Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Michael Phillipps was born in England in 1840 and at the age of 18 left his homeland for Victoria, B.C. in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. He arrived in East Kootenay in 1865 and was employed by the Hudson's Bay Co. until 1868 - first working at Tobacco Plains, then at Kootenay (Fort Steele/Fisherville) and finally at Perry Creek. In 1872 he moved to the well known Phillipps' ranch on Tobacco Plains where he married Rowena (daughter of Chief David), fathered 12 children, farmed extensively, and from where he explored much of the area. He was one of a party to blaze the Phillipps' trail that later became recognized as the Crow's Nest Pass and B. C. Southern Railway route. He was the first man to report coal in the Crow's Nest area and to report oil seepage in the Flathead country. Michael Phillipps acted as Indian Agent in East Kootenay from 1887 to 1895. He also participated in other ways in public life acting as Justice of the Peace, sitting on the local School Board, and keeping in contact with many of the provincial politicians. He died in 1916 and was buried at Tobacco Plains.

Custodial history

The textual records for this fonds were collected from the old Phillipps' house at Tobacco Plains. They were in the possession of Edna Whelan, granddaughter of Michael Phillipps, when they were brought to Fort Steele for copying in 1996.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of the records of Michael Phillipps. Includes a diary, correspondence, financial records, water license, and ephemera.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


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    Script of material

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      General note

      Correspondence 1891-1892 original; all other material copied.

      Alpha-numeric designations

      BCAUL control number: FTST-81

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      Standard number

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      Control area

      Description record identifier

      MS 3

      Institution identifier

      Fort Steele Heritage Town Archives

      Rules or conventions



      Level of detail


      Dates of creation, revision and deletion

      Created 8 January 2011.
      Revised by BCANS Coordinator 24 January 2011.

      Language of description

        Script of description


          Accession area