Fonds includes textual records and photographs generated and collected by the Wilson family and pertaining to Tom Wilson, son Ed Wilson, daughter Ada Wilson and other family members. Textual records include: Ed Wilson's scrapbook, 1881-1968, which includes mainly items pertaining to Tom Wilson, Ed …
2 v. and 2 cm of textual records. -- ca.400 photographs : prints, copy negatives. -- 1 cm of print material
History / Biographical
The Wilson family were guides, outfitters and ranchers at Morley, Kootenay Plains, Banff and Nordegg, Alberta, Canada. Thomas Edmonds (Tom) Wilson, 1859- 1933, and Minnie McDougall Wilson, 1865-1936, had six children, including sons John Clark Wilson, 1888-1932, and Thomas Edmonds (Ed) Wilson, 1892-1973. Daughters were Ada, 1886-1967?, Rene, Bessie and Dora. Tom Wilson is credited with the discovery of Lake Louise in July of 1882, while working as a packer on the Canadian Pacific Railway survey through the mountains. In 1883, Wilson established his own business at Banff, Lake Louise and Field, British Columbia. After selling the business in 1904, Tom Wilson operated a horse ranch at Kootenay Plains. He later retired to Banff. Ed Wilson was born at Morley and raised in Banff. Around 1910 he began working for Brewster Trading Company at Banff and, later, Lake Louise. Just before the First World War, he moved to Nordegg, where he worked for the Bighorn Trading Company for many years.
Scope & Content
Fonds includes textual records and photographs generated and collected by the Wilson family and pertaining to Tom Wilson, son Ed Wilson, daughter Ada Wilson and other family members.
Textual records include: Ed Wilson's scrapbook, 1881-1968, which includes mainly items pertaining to Tom Wilson, Ed Wilson, the Wilson family, and early guiding and exploration in the Canadian Rockies (photocopy in two volumes); miscellaneous papers, 1905-1929, including a holograph speech by D. D. Galletly on the cave at Banff; letter and note re sale of horses to Frank Wellman, 1920; letters to Catharine Whyte from Ada Wilson re personal matters and Wilson family history, 1964-1965; transcripts of manuscripts by Tom Wilson and B. M. (Bess) Wilson re the CPR and tourism and 1916 pack trip Lake Louise to Kootenay Plains; letters of Col. Robert O'Hara to Tom Wilson, 1895- 1914, re Mount Assiniboine and Lake O'Hara; letter by Catharine Robb Whyte to Tom Link, 1965, re Lake O'Hara history based partly upon above material; diary, Trip to ranch by B. M. Wilson; essay, The last of the pathfinders by Dorie (Wilson) Legit; programmes, articles, clippings re Tom Wilson, 1924-1982; Eliza Edmonds certificate, 1845, and later clipping.
Photographs pertain to outfitting and guiding activities of Tom, John and Ed Wilson, including clients, associates and trips throughout the Rocky Mountains; Wilson family, friends and associates; Stoney Indians; Kootenay Plains; Banff people and events; Banff townsite and surrounding area; Canadian Pacific Railway; Nordegg area; 1861-1930. Includes photograph of Tom Wilson at Lake Louise inscribed to A. O. Wheeler, 1932. Many of the early photographs were taken by clients of Tom Wilson. Later, after settling at Kootenay Plains, Wilson was apparently given a camera by Mary Vaux and likely took many of the Stoney Indians views. Ed Wilson was an amateur photographer and likely took most of the views of staff at Lake Louise and of Nordegg.