|CVA Photo Bu P219 circa 1886|
Most of the time I hate multi-tasking... I never seem to be any good at it, but tonight there is a flow. I seem to be getting things done. Even Smokey our cat is behaving and letting me focus on my work.
I confess, I am one of those people who has piles of paper everywhere. Fire insurance maps from old house history projects, newspaper clippings relating to the history of Strathcona, my historic East End Vancouver neighbourhood, receipts for doing taxes, old photos... It's a mess. But I usually know where things are if things are left undisturbed.
Tonight as I was going through one of these piles I found an old photocopy of a City of Vancouver Archives photo of a house that used to stand on the west side of Westminster Avenue, now Main Street, just south of Prior Street. Lately the CVA has been digitalizing their photos and making high res versions for download online so before I tossed the photocopy I searched their website for the photo number Bu P219 and "click" I downloaded it and added it to my collection of images for my East End Neighbourhood History Mapping Website project.
This amazing image shows the exterior of T. J. Janes' residence as well as a livery and feed stable. The Archives website says the photo was taken in 1886 and that the house and stable were on Lots 5 and 6 of Block 23 of District Lot 196.
According to the 1891 Canada Census, Feed and Wood Merchant Thomas John Janes was born in England and was Methodist. In 1891 he lived with his Kingston, Ontario-born wife Mary Jane Leatherland and their six children. Sons William J., Albert Thomas, and Charles R. Janes were all born in Ontario. Daughters Mary Levina (July 12, 1885) and Annie Florence (January 7, 1887) and son Roy Franklin Janes (January 14, 1890) were all born in Vancouver. Mary was born in 1885, the year before Granville was renamed Vancouver. Her brother was born in Ontario in 1881 so they would have moved to the West Coast between those years so I checked the old BC directories available online through the Vancouver Public Library and found this listing in the 1884-85 BC directory that shows Thomas Janes worked early on as a butcher for George Black, who owned the Granville Market.
For some reason, Janes is not listed in the next available directory, the one from 1887. By the time the 1888 directory was published, Janes was established as a feed and grain merchant on Westminster Avenue, today's Main street.
|Excerpt from 1888 Vancouver City Directory|
|1892 Directory listing for Thomas J. Janes|
Here are a number of directory listings for Janes through the years. From time to time he is listed as T. J. and even D. J. James.
|1894 Directory listing|
|1895 Directory listing|
|1896 Directory listing|
|1897 Directory listing|
|1898 Directory listing|
|The 1899 directory listing shows a number of Thomas' sons as well|
|1900 - 1901 directory listing|
|1902 Directory listing|
|1904 Directory listing|
|Photo courtesy of Patrick Tam|
Thomas John Janes died on October 14,1926 but the circumstances of his death are a bit of a mystery as there is no death certificate for him--at least under his correctly spelled name--among the BC Archives Vital Events Listings. He may have died out of province. Thomas is buried in the Old Section of Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery in Plot 2/02/004/0002. Mary Jane Janes died in Vancouver on November 8, 1945 at the age of 92 and was buried in the Old Section of Mountain View Cemetery in Plot 2/02/004/0001.
If you have any information on the Janes family here in Vancouver, please leave a comment. Also, if you have any old photos of family members who lived in East End (Strathcona) Vancouver, or their houses, I hope you would consider sharing them for my East End Neighbourhood History Mapping Project.