Last week I wrote about finding a Vancouver treasure 5,700 kilometres away in Prince Edward Island. It was a post card size photo taken around 1914 of a couple with their son and dog in front of a very handsome craftsman cottage on Clark Drive.
The one clue to the identity of this family was in the inscription on the back of the card which read
“2825 Clark Drive E. Vancouver B.C. A glimpse of us and our new home with units. Kind love and best wishes for a very happy Xmas and New Year to you all. Edie, Arthur, Willie”.
The house is still standing, hidden by a bushy tree, with pink stucco covering the formerly handsome exterior.
I asked readers whether anyone could help identify who Edie, Arthur and Willie were, and whether I could return the image to their family.
What a response I received. Within 24 hours I knew all about this family and their story, and had found another story of this family that should be retold for Remembrance Day.
Meet the Millachip Family. The family came to Vancouver in 1912 from England, and had their son’s christening in London.
Arthur Herriot Millachip and Edith Eliza Moore had one son, William who was born in 1904 in London United Kingdom. Arthur was a house decorator, a trade he also had in London. They moved into 2025 Clark Drive in 1913 and lived the rest of their lives in Vancouver. Edith passed away in 1935. Arthur died in North Vancouver in 1959.
Sadly, their son William died in Tranquille British Columbia at the time the facility was a tuberculosis hospital. Arthur did have a brother John who also came to Canada. His story is tragic as well. John signed up with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in 1914 and died in France at the battle of Somme in 1916. I will be writing up the remarkable story of John, and how the men in this extended family were decimated in war.
The house at 2825 Clark Drive was built around 1909 to 1910, and Frank D. Gore who was a butcher was the first home owner. This information came from @VanalogueYVR who also established that Arthur Millachip was the owner by 1914.
More information was found by twitter members @faintingincoils and @theaaronchapman, Jak King, Bud Pennington, Andy Coupland and Ron Usher. Homeless writer Stanley Woodvine also mentioned how vital it will be in the future to have a “reverse” Google street function to see how houses have evolved through the years in that app. He’s right~that could be a valuable future research tool.
Back to the continuing story of the Millachips. Arthur also wrote letters to newspapers about literacy and about beer. In the entry below he pondered why there needed to be a white line on a beer glass for a pour. This is from February 1946, and Arthur is living at 1566 East 11th Avenue.
After the death of his wife and his son, Arthur travelled back to England in 1952. In the newspaper article England is called “the Old Country” and there is a rather breathless statement that Arthur travelled “both ways by plane”. By this time he is living at 649 Royal Avenue in White Rock.
Arthur died at 88 years of age and had a funeral service on the North Shore in 1959. But that is not where the story ends.
Yesterday I received an email that had been prompted from Ron Usher. It was from Arlington Virginia and it was from a gentleman married to a surviving relative of Arthur H. Millachip. Arthur is the great uncle of his wife.
Richard Zeutenhorst has been working on the family tree for thirty years. Mr. Zeutenhorst stated:
“I am not sure there are any surviving direct descendants of this family. If you explore the descendants function on our web site for Arthur’s father William Thorp Millachip, you will find that there are nine known surviving grand-nieces and nephews, none of who today bear the surname Millachip.”
I have asked Mr. Zeutenhorst whether I can send him the Millachip postcard for his records and for uploading to his family’s genealogy page. Otherwise, I will be giving the photograph and all the information gathered to the Vancouver Archives.
Thank you for helping to put together the story of this early Vancouver family.
For Remembrance Day I will be following up on how four men of this family served their country in World War One, called “The Great War”. Only one survived.
Image: Early Photo of brother to Arthur, John S. Millachip. 1883-1916.
Canadian Expeditionary Forces from Vancouver. Body never recovered.