Fonds 078 - Colpitts family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Colpitts family fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1910-1973 (Creation)
    Colpitts (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

2 cm of textual records
16 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

The Colpitts family was a pioneer family in West Vancouver. With family roots in New Brunswick dating from 1775, Ella Teare (née Colpitts) and her husband John Teare (known as Jack) moved to Vancouver and then to West Vancouver in 1908. Standford Russell Colpitts (known as Russell) moved shortly after in 1908, soon followed by Ella's brother Frank Payson Colpitts (known as Payson) in 1910, and then by Payson's wife, Janet (née Robertson).

Jack Teare was West Vancouver's first police constable, and Ella Teare was West Vancouver's "Lady with the Lamp," bringing medical aid and assistance to the sick. They lived at 1244 Inglewood Avenue and had one daughter, Harriet Murcilla Teare, who married Russell Colpitts in 1911. Russell worked for the McNair and Fraser Logging Company for a short time before being hired as the first foreman of the roads department when the West Vancouver Council was established. Harriet and Russell had a son named George Standford (known as Stan) on February 17, 1912, and a daughter named Winnifred (Winnie) May on June 1, 1913.

Payson Colpitts worked for a number of years in the logging industry in New Brunswick and the state of Maine before moving to West Vancouver where he worked for McNair and Fraser Logging Company, on the PGE Railway construction, and in Lyall's Shipyard in North Vancouver. Eventually he worked for the West Vancouver Board of Works and later the West Vancouver School Board as janitor of Hollyburn School for twenty-five years. Payson and Janet lived at 1263 Fulton Avenue and raised eight children: Helen, Frank, Evelyn, Lorne, Eunice, Mary, Agnes, and Ella. Members of the Colpitts family continue to live in West Vancouver.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of photographs and textual records created and collected by the Colpitts family. The material includes photographs of the family and their homes, and records relating to the birth, death, education, and employment of family members.

The fonds is arranged into two series:
Series 1: Birth, death, education, and employment records
Series 2: Photographs

Notes area

Physical condition

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Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created March 2010

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