Tag Archives: Historical postcards

Postcards of the Whistler Museum Archives – Pt.2

This week’s postcards have more of a direct link to Whistler’s history than the ones featured in last week’s post (read pt.1 here) – they represent a fraction of the correspondance sent between Whistlers’s best-known pioneer Myrtle Philip and her relatives. Both of the postcards shown were sent to Jean Tapley, Myrtle’s sister who lived in Seattle.

In this era prior to text messaging, Facebook and other forms of quick communication, the postcard was the fastest means of contact, something you would send when you couldn’t find the time to write a full letter.

Rainbow Lodge Postcard

This first postcard was meant to advertise all of the amenities at Alta Lake and Rainbow Lodge – it shows a view of Alta Lake with mountains in the background, the bridge to Rainbow Lodge, an interior shot of Rainbow Lodge, and swimmers enjoying the chilly waters of Alta Lake. Myrtle sent this postcard to her sister on July 13th, 1927 – nearly 85 years ago today!

On the back, written in Myrtle’s own cursive, is a message which reads “Dearest – How do you like the new style postcards? Dr & Mrs. Naismith are here – look fine – send love to you – Wish you were here now, but Sept will be a lovely holiday time. Dad is fine. Was very pleased with your letter. Best love Myrtle.”

Lost Lake Postcard

This second postcard shows Lost Lake, and was mailed to Jean by Rhi Philip, who was married to Alex Philip’s brother, John. Rhi, John and their two children were frequent visitors to Rainbow Lodge.

Rhi appears to have been in a rather bad mood the day she penned this postcard in 1929. The message on the back reads, “Dearie – Owe everyone (sic) of my sisters letters but couldn’t write this mail. Didn’t feel like it. (illegible) feeling queer & restless all over. Rotten weather cold & pouring. Coming up in the summer time next year. Just when does your holiday begin? Think I have rent my house but had to come down to 27.50 but building no garages of anything else so (illegible) as far ahead & if I get it rented this week the two months rent will help pay my $70.00 taxes – Bye dear hope your feeling better – Rhi.”

We hope you enjoyed this journey back in time! If you have kids, keep an eye on our blog and website for details on our Family Saturdays – on Saturday July 21st we will feature a postcard craft and a short presentation on Myrtle Philip, who was in fact Whistler’s first postmistress. Family Saturdays activities run from 2:30-4:30pm.

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A Spectacular Parade Costume (or ‘How to paper mache a globe’)

We at the Museum take the Canada Day Parade seriously. Last year, we won a prize for ‘Best Interpretation of Parade Theme’, and this year we were thinking further along the interpretive theme. We spent several weeks trying to brainstorm a costume that would integrate this year’s theme, ‘Celebrating Whistler’s Multiculturalism’, and a historical theme to represent the Museum.

Last year our entry was popular due to some borderline nudity, which garnered laughs from the crowd. (Read about last year’s entry here)

After much thought, we decided that our multiculturalism is thanks in large part to the many visitors we have in Whistler each year. All of those visitors send their memories of Whistler home via postcards. So we collected a few postcards from our collection, as well as some we created specifically, and turned them into giant postcard costumes. That’s right; we dressed up as giant postcards.

Just dressing up as giant postcards didn’t seem to convey the message we were going for – what we needed was a globe to create a strong visual of postcards circling around the world. As we didn’t have a globe on hand, we had to figure out how to make one. Most of us had done some paper mache projects as kids, but the idea of making a giant paper mache wear-able globe was somewhat daunting. We quickly nominated Jeff to wear the globe. We figured he would be keen to wear a giant orb without being able to use his arms for an hour (he was the only staff member who wasn’t at work that day).

The postcards and globe from the back.

As we’re a pretty small organization, we needed volunteers to bolster the ranks of our staff. Fortunately we had a little help from Allyn’s family (thanks to Verity, Jennifer, and Alison) and our lovely volunteers Nadia and Kris. We handed out postcards to the enthusiastic crowd, so that they could continue to share memories of Whistler around the globe. As it turns out, anything free goes over pretty well at parades. We managed to hand out hundreds of postcards! (For some photos of the parade in action, as well as a shot of a couple of postcards, check out this post on Whistler is Awesome).

We were disappointed that we didn’t win a prize in the parade this year, but congratulations to all those who did. Watch out for the museum’s entry next year – we’re sure to be a heavy weight contender for a prize!

A big thank you as well to In Biz Signs in Squamish, who helped with the postcard costumes!

Here’s how we made the globe:

1. We wired and taped three large hula hoops together (which we fortunately had sitting around from our events last summer.

Allyn Pringle lashes three hula hoops together with heavy wire.

2. We wrapped the hula hoops in chicken wire. We didn’t cover one section so we’d have a space for the globe’s legs.

3. We wrapped the chicken wire in plastic to fill in some of the holes.

Allyn wraps the orb in plastic.

4. We cut a hole in the top for the head.

Allyn cuts the head hole.

5. We tried it on and adjusted any wires that poked through.

Robyn models the globe, pre-paper mache.

6. We shredded copies of The Question, The Pique, and old village maps.

7. We paper mached using a classic flour and water mixture. When it dried, the paper mache shrank a little bit, so the globe was not quite the round shape we’d envisioned.

Robyn getting her hands dirty with paper mache.

8. We did a final layer of paper mache using toilet paper. We thought this would make a nice texture and would make the globe easier to paint. It absorbed so much water that it almost ruined the project. It did look cool, but to work properly it would be better to have the project hanging, or somewhere where the water couldn’t pool.

9. We spray painted the whole thing blue.

10. We tried our best to draw on the continents using chalk. It was difficult to get it accurate, but we were happy with the result.

11. We painted in the continents using tempera paint, and outlined them in white to make them pop.

Alix fills in the continents.

12. We painted over the tempera with gloss to make it water resistant, and inserted little laminated flags into the globe with toothpicks.

The globe with some flags inserted.

13. Jeff rocked the globe costume at the Canada Day Parade!