New Westminster

George Clarkson of Clarkson & Co., New Westminster Bookseller

After Seth Tilley sold his Colonial Bookstore in New Westminster to Victoria’s Hibben & Carswell in 1863, they took on a local partner named George Cubitt Clarkson, who operated the store as Clarkson & Co. Born in Ontario Born in 1843 in Ontario (or Upper Canada, as it was then called), George was the eldest child… Continue reading George Clarkson of Clarkson & Co., New Westminster Bookseller

Books for Sale · New Westminster · Victoria

At the Bookstore, 1861: Chambers’s Information for the People

Chambers’s Information for the People, one of the volume sets featured in an 1861 ad for Seth Tilley’s Colonial Book Store in New Westminster, offered everything “that is requisite for a generally well-informed man in the less highly educated portions of society”—or so claimed the book’s preface. “Designed in an especial manner for the People, though adapted… Continue reading At the Bookstore, 1861: Chambers’s Information for the People

Vancouver

The Final Years of the S.T. Tilley Book and Stationery Store in Vancouver

Judging by his ability to rebound after losing his Vancouver book and stationery store to fire not once, in June 1886, but twice, the second in February 1889, Seth Thorne Tilley must have been a man of spirit and some financial means. The losses he suffered in the fires were not adequately covered by insurance, yet… Continue reading The Final Years of the S.T. Tilley Book and Stationery Store in Vancouver

Vancouver

“Phoenix-Like”: S.T. Tilley Reopens Vancouver Bookstore after Second Fire

Following the devastating fire that destroyed his first Vancouver book and stationery store on Carrall Street in June 1886, Seth Thorne Tilley built a new store at 11 Cordova Street, at the corner of Carrall. A year later, when the first official train arrived at the Vancouver terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, he and… Continue reading “Phoenix-Like”: S.T. Tilley Reopens Vancouver Bookstore after Second Fire

Vancouver

Tilley’s First Vancouver Book and Stationery Store Goes Up in Flames

By the time the above photo was taken in the spring of 1886, Seth Thorne Tilley’s book and stationery store was an important part of Vancouver’s “civic centre,” as Vancouver archivist Major Matthews titled his description of the photo: Here stood the famous “Maple Tree.” Under its shade or shelter, in sun or shower, pioneers held public meetings,… Continue reading Tilley’s First Vancouver Book and Stationery Store Goes Up in Flames

Fort Hope · New Westminster

The Colonial Bookstore: First in New Westminster

When Seth Thorne Tilley opened the Colonial Bookstore on Columbia Street in April 1860, New Westminster was little more than a rough clearing hacked out of the towering cedars and hemlocks, a scattering of wooden residential and commercial dwellings lining the Fraser River. Born a world away, in Gagetown, New Brunswick, in August 1836 to a… Continue reading The Colonial Bookstore: First in New Westminster

Fort Hope · New Westminster · Vancouver

Seth Thorne Tilley: The First Bookseller in the BC Lower Mainland

“What was the first bookstore in Vancouver?” This was the question that started the journey that has become this blog, A Most Agreeable Place.  As it turned out, it was not an easy question to answer. Some of the resources that I regularly turn to when writing family history books either were silent on the question… Continue reading Seth Thorne Tilley: The First Bookseller in the BC Lower Mainland