Fonds MS 47 - Dave Kay and Dan MacDonald fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Dave Kay and Dan MacDonald fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1961-1982 (Creation)
    Kay, Dave
  • 1961-1982 (Creation)
    MacDonald, Dan

Physical description area

Physical description

30 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dave Kay was born in 1895 in Listowel, Ontario. Following his high school graduation, he went to a linotype school in Toronto to learn the printing business and apprenticed with the Listowel Banner and then worked for the Listowel Standard. When the Cranbrook Herald was sold in 1915, Dave Kay's elder brother, Tom Kay, was hired to run the newspaper under W.B. McFarlane. Dave Kay then moved to Cranbrook to work for the Herald as a linotype operator from 1915 to 1918. He worked briefly for the Medicine Hat News and the Vancouver World and then again for the Herald until persuaded to work for its rival paper, the Cranbrook Courier. With two others, Dave Kay became owner of the Courier which he ran until his retirement in 1961. With his partner D.A. (Dan) MacDonald, he edited a history column "Come With Me to Yesterday" in the Cranbrook newspaper for over 15 years starting in 1961. The two of them also published several small local history pamphlets and two books, "Come With Me to Yesterday" and "Fort Steele". Dave Kay was also a musician with the Cranbrook City Band, playing the pianoforte, trombone, euphonium and saxophone. In the 1940's, Dave Kay and his wife, Rita, performed drama at the Thimble Theatre. Dave Kay was an active member of the East Kootenay Historical Association, sometimes serving as its secretary. He also played a role in the reconstruction of the Prospector printing office at Fort Steele and after, the reconstruction of the Cariboo Sentinel in Barkerville. He also served on the House Committee of the F.W. Green Memorial Home, serving at one point as the Chairman. Dave Kay was married to Beatrice Alan, with whom he had two children, John and Marjie. Beatrice died in 1929 and in 1937, Dave Kay married Rita Jonasson. In 1978, Dave Kay moved to Creston where he died in 1988 at the age of 93.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dan McDonald, a Maritimer who settled in the Kootenays after serving in Europe during World War II, was employed by CP Rail in the tie and timber division. He retired in 1961. Dan MacDonald was also curator of the first Fort Steele museum.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of textual records created by Dave Kay and Dan McDonald while they researched and wrote historical newspaper columns, pamphlets, and books. Includes correspondence, publications, research materials, and clippings.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Script of material

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Alpha-numeric designations

BCAUL control number: FTST-85

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Control area

Description record identifier

MS 47

Institution identifier

Fort Steele Heritage Town Archives

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 15 January 2011

Language of description

Script of description


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