A photograph taken back in 1910 of some of Prince Rupert’s earliest bankers returned home recently, coming all the way from the U.S.’s midwest.
Jean Eiers-Page of the Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives said she was pleasantly surprised after opening an envelope with Michigan as its return address and finding a 106-year old picture of employees from the community’s first Union Bank of Canada branch, which later become known as RBC Royal Bank.
Eiers-Page said the photograph was found in a box of old photos and letters at a flea market in Michigan. The man who discovered it decided to send it back to where it came from after reading it was taken in Prince Rupert.
Eight men are captured in the picture dated July 1910, a couple months after the city’s incorporation, along with their names and job titles.
“We have all these other pictures of Union Bank staff, but none of the people in those pictures were identified,” Eiers-Page said.
“Now, because of this picture, we’ll be able to identify all of these other people. That’s really important for us. We’re always trying to find out who’s who in every picture.”
One of the men identified, thanks to the photo, was bank teller Charles Youngman, who has been somewhat unknown by his descendants until now.
“[Getting to see this photo] was neat because I had never seen the gentlemen before,” said Prince Rupert’s Scott Youngman, grandson of Charles Youngman.
After being informed of the photo by Eiers-Page, Scott purchased a copy of the photo to show to others in the family. The artifact has garnered a lot of interest in the Youngman family.
“I’m not sure if they’re more interested in connecting to him, or connecting to the fact that the family has been in these parts since 1910. Both are very interesting to me,” Scott said.