Fonds AM1614 - Samuel S. Magoffin fonds

Vancouver footage Garden, Rockhaven construction, Speedwell Pluto, swimming Railway trestle embankment construction Boalts ‘26 Vancouver Harbour Northshore Terminal [Railway] Northshore Terminal Railway - Vancouver Harbour Personal - [Br--?] 1925 - Vancouver 1926 - Prince George - Prince Rupert House, ugly kid, pool, parade U.S. Family vacation in Cuba Rail journey through the Rocky Mountains, Victoria, and dog show Pool, view, horse and house 1932 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles, California Swimming pool construction and railway construction camp Christening and children's backyard performance Cross Canada road trip and Expo '67

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Samuel S. Magoffin fonds

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  • Moving images

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Physical description

14 film reels : acetate, original, b&w and col., silent ; 16 mm and 8 mm

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Biographical history

Samuel Shelby (Sam) Magoffin was the owner and president of S.S. Magoffin & Co. Limited Railway Contractors, an earth-moving company which he established around 1920. Between approximately 1920 and 1924, the company did filling, stabilization and clean-up work for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (Canadian National Railway) near Prince Rupert; during this time, the company’s head office was located in Prince George, British Columbia. Magoffin may also have been a sub-contractor in the building of the CNR through the Fraser Canyon. From 1925 to 1927, Magoffin’s company was in charge of levelling and filling along the waterfront of the North Vancouver harbour and, from 1925 to 1928, the company was contracted by the CNR to fill the Lyon Creek embankment.

Beginning in 1927, the location of the S.S. Magoffin & Co. Limited office is listed as the North Vancouver waterfront and in subsequent years is listed at various other addresses in that city, the last being at 1227 East 3rd Street, North Vancouver in 1958.

Sam and his wife Margaret (nee Margaret Plumer Boalt, b. 1892) first appear in Vancouver in the 1927 directory, as residents of the Devonshire Hotel at 849 West Georgia; in 1929 they are listed as residents at 855 West Georgia. Circa 1929, the Magoffins built a home “Rockhaven” at 3612 Marine Drive in West Vancouver.

Magoffin is also recognized as the founder and first president of the Golden Retriever Club of America. The Magoffins acquired their first champion golden retriever Speedwell Pluto in 1930, and established two kennels in Vancouver, “Rockhaven” and “Gilnockie”.

Sam died in Winona, MInnesota in 1959 and Margaret passed away in Colorado in 1972.

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Custodial history

Films were acquired by the Centennial Museum (Museum of Vancouver) from the estate of Margaret Magoffin in 1974. It is unknown how the Goold family films were acquired by Margaret Magoffin.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of ten films created by Samuel S. Magoffin in the 1920s and 1930s and two films created by George W. Goold in the 1960s. Subject matter of the Magoffin films includes the earth-moving activities of Magoffin’s company S.S. Magoffin & Co. Limited Railway Contractors during contracts with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in Prince Rupert, and along the harbour in North Vancouver. Films also include footage of downtown Prince Rupert; family, friends, and social activities; Vancouver area scenery and attractions, including Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, a parade downtown, a military parade and medals ceremony at Victory Square, and a rodeo at Hastings Park; Vancouver Fire Department vehicles; the Victoria, B.C. inner harbour; a dog show; a trip to Cuba; the 1930 Portland Rose Festival parade; the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles; as well as footage of the Magoffins’ home “Rockhaven,” its construction, and their golden retrievers. Goold family films consist of one film showing a childrens' performance and individuals exiting a church after a christening, and one film containing footage of a family trip to eastern Canada, including a visit to Expo '67 in Montreal, and various tourist attractions in South Dakota and Wyoming.

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Transferred to the City of Vancouver Archives from the Museum of Vancouver in 2011.


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Access to original films is restricted for preservation reasons.

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Original film cases and reels retained by the Museum of Vancouver.

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