Archive Finding Aids

Here are detailed file-by-file descriptions of the contents of specific fonds and/or links to scanned documents.

Construction of Central Methodist Church, Calgary, [ca. 1905]
Construction of Central Methodist Church, Calgary, [ca. 1905]
NA-1042-5

John Gillespie fonds

To view brief biography and summary of contents click here.

Table of Contents

indicates that the series includes scanned documents.

Series 1 Diaries and notebooks. -- 1893-1931
Series 2 Photographs. -- 1904-1912, 1929

Inventory

Series 1 Diaries and notesbooks. -- 1893-1931. -- 3 microfilm reels. -- The series consists of John Gillespie's diaries related to his work as a stone mason, and his personal affairs. Includes comments on various public events.
  Microfilm reel 1. -- Diaries. -- 1893-1915
Microfilm - Gillespie-1 Diary. -- May 15, 1893-June 11, 1894. -- Consists of daily accounts of work as a stone mason on his arrival in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of interest re individuals around Calgary, the cost of living, etc.
Note: There are no diaries for the remainder of 1894, and 1895 through 1898.
Gillespie-2 Diary. -- 1899. -- Consists of memorandum for the previous year; working for J.W. Munro (January 4-April 4); running a quarry for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR); cash account for quarry gang; Boer War news; and personal affairs and items of general interest.
Gillespie-3 Diary. -- 1900. -- Consists of personal memorandum for the previous year; work with the CPR until August 31; miscellaneous private work; and personal affairs and items of general interest.
Gillespie-4

Diary. -- 1901. -- Consists of personal memorandum for the previous year; comments on working for himself; work for the CPR;and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

March 22, 1901 - Curfew bylaw passes
September 6, 1901 - CPR wreck at Swift Current

Gillespie-5

Diary. -- 1902. -- Consists of comments on working at Waterworks; work as foreman for CPR; private work; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on this event:

April 1, 1902 - Started work for CPR

Note: There are no diaries for 1903 through 1905.
Gillespie-6

Diary. -- January 1-December 8, 1906. -- Consists of details of work for the Department of Public Works and material used in building the Bow Marsh Bridge and Content Bridge; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

September 18, 1906 - Looking at Glenbow Quarry but not open yet
September 28, 1906 - Carpenters' strike
September 29, 1906 - Riot of Italians at Cochrane

Gillespie-7

Diary. -- January 1-22 and June 8-December 31, 1907. -- Consists of account of work for the Department of Public Works; prospects of stone for the Parliament Building [Legislature Building] in Edmonton; replanking Langevin Bridge; stone work for the Normal School and Court House in Calgary; start of Land Titles Building in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on this event:

December 23, 1907 - British Columbia contract officials failed and govenment took over at the Normal School

Gillespie-8

Diary. -- January 18-June 9, 1907. -- Consists of details of work for the Department of Public Works; working on estimates for stone and brick work for the Legislature in Edmonton; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

March 30, 1907 - First telephone call from Banff to Calgary
April 22, 1907 - Glenbow Quarry secured by Mr. Hayden

Note: There is no diary for 1908
Gillespie-9

Diary. -- 1909. -- Consists of account of work for the Department of Public Affairs; estimate for stone cutting and stone used for the Ponoka Asylum; work at the Telephone Warehouse in Calgary; awarding of contract for Legislature in Edmonton to Carter and Quinlan (February 23, 1909); quarry work for the new Legislature Building; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

January 2, 1909 - Western Milling company elevator and storehouse burned
March 22, 1909 - Provincial Election, Cushing and Bennett elected
October 1, 1909 - Earl Grey laid corner stone of new Legislature Building

Gillespie-10

Diary. -- 1910. -- Consists of memorandum re the previous year; work as Inspector of Masonry for Public Works; Glenbow Quarry;; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

April 4, 1910 - Looking a Quarry at east end of Glenbow Ranch
May 3, 1910 - Left for Edmonton to take charge of the erection of the new Legislature Building

Gillespie-11 Diary. -- 1911. -- Consists of daily account of building the new Legislature Building in Edmonton; work as Inspector of Masonry for the Department of Public Works; and personal affairs and items of general interest.
Gillespie-12

Diary. -- 1912. -- Consists of memos re family affairs and summary of work for the previous year; work as Inspector of Masonry for Public Works; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

April 6, 1912 - Stone cutters refuse to work

Gillespie-13

Diary. -- 1913. -- Consists mainly of business in Edmonton re Legislature, Land Titles Building, Government House, Court House, bridges (5th Street and 7th Street), and blacksmith shop; work on the Calgary Court House. Includes comments on these events:

January 12, 1913 - Burns abbatoir burned in Calgary
January 17, 1913 - Fire on 4th Street, lives lost
January 21, 1913 - Big fire in Fort Saskatchewan
February 11, 1913 - "House" in Edmonton opened
April 1, 1913 - Painters' strike
June 19, 1913 - Regular trains start running on High Level Bridge
August 5, 1913 - Big fire in Athabasca Landing
August 18, 1913 - Government House "end in sight"
September 5, 1913 - Moving into Government House

Gillespie - 14

Diary. -- 1914. -- Consists of memos re work finished the previous year as Inspector of Masonry for the Department of Public Works; difficulties with contractors for Legislature and Land Titles Building; money harder to get for enterprise; start made on Fort Saskatchewan jail; and personal affairs and items of general interest, including First World War news. Includes comments on these events:

January 26, 1914 - Lord Strathcona buried
February 1, 1914 - Land Title Building ready for work tomorrow
May 14, 1914 - Work as magistrate
May 28, 1914 - Great excitement over oil discovery west of Okotoks

  Microfilm reel 2. -- Diaries. -- 1915-1923
Gillespie-15

Diary. -- 1915. -- Consists of memos re deep wells at Fort Saskatchewan; account of work as Chief Inspector of Masonry for building of the prison at Fort Saskatchewan; work there as magistrate; and as of November 29th his work in Calgary as Chief Janitor and general maintenance for the Public Building. Includes comments on these events:

Feburary 25, 1915 - "House" opened in Edmonton
april 15, 1915 - Frank Oliver scandal
January 28-29, 1915 - Flooding Saskatchewan River at maximum height
July 21, 1915 - Sifton supports women suffrage and better banking facilities

Gillespie-16

Diary. -- 1916. -- Consists of memos re the previous year and his salary being cut; work in Calgary schools, Military Hospital, Court House, Ladies College and Red Deer. Includes comments on these events:

February 10-11, 1916 - Rioting soldiers wreck two White Lunch restaurants, Riverside Hotel gutted and threat made to Brewery, Burn's Packing Plant and the street railway
May 8, 1916 - Daylight savings came in

Gillespie-17

Diary. -- 1917. -- Consists mainly of details of routine work as Chief Janitor at Calgary Court House and head of maintenance of Public Buildings in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

January 19, 1917 - Reverend John McDougall buried
June 7, 1917 - Provincial election

Gillespie-18

Diary. -- 1918. -- Consists of entries re routine work as head of maintenance for Public Buildings in Calgary; items of general interest; and comments on the war. Includes comments on these events:

July 11-12, 1918 - Miliary and civil courts at loggerheads
July 29, 1918 - Postmans' strike still on
July 30, 1918 - Government takes over Institute of Technology fro retraining soldiers

Gillespie-19

Diary. -- 1919. -- Consists of memos re war news; routine work as head of maintenance for Public Buildings; work as magistrate; summation of 1919; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

February 2, 1919 - Difficulties of Trade and Labour Council fining place to meet due to protests of returned solders
April 15, 1919 - Considering forming union of civil servants

Gillespie-20

Diary. -- 1920. -- Consists of entries re routine work as head of maintenance for Public Buildings; mention of meeting of Civil Servants Association re union; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

September 9, 1920 - Stakes laid out for new Techinical Institute
October 1, 1920 - Government took over Colonel Walker School again, having turned it over to the army
December 5, 1920 - Hillhurst Bridge collapsed

Gillespie-21

Diary. -- 1921. -- Consists chiefly of account of routine work as head of maintenance for Public Builidngs in Calgary; new Institute of Technology [later called SAIT] and Normal School being built; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

June 22, 1921 - Foundation of new Institute of Technology laid
June 24, 1921 - Liberal Convention held
July 5, 1921 - Big Liberal meeting in the Pantages Theatre, Mrs. McClung and Premier Stewart are chief speakers
September 15, 1921 - Dr. Clark broke with United Farmers of Alberta party
September 16, 1921 - Big fire at the soapworks
November 6, 1921 - Western Canada Stone Company plant destroyed by fire
November 11, 1921 - Unveiling of tablet to lawyer soldiers
November 15, 1921 - W.L. Mackenzie King meeting in Victoria Pavilion
November 15, 1921 - John Gillespie resigned as Justice of the Peace on request of Deputy Attorney General and returned commission held since November 23, 1905
November 19, 1921 - Woolworth's store, Royal Bank, and Ashdown's hardware slightly damaged by fire
December 8, 1921 - "Fountain pen" election

Gillespie-22

Diary. -- 1922. -- Consists of account of routine work as head of maintenance of Public Buildings in Calgary' moving from Colonel Walker School and old Normal School building to new Normal School in June; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these event:

May 10. 1922 - Planted trees at Normal School in memory of ten ex-pupils and teacher who died in France during First World War
November 16, 1922 - Trouble with a photographer working for W.J. Oliver
November 17, 1923 - R.C. Edwards [Bob Edwards of the Eye Opener and MLA] buried
December 20, 1923 - Ex-Mayor Herbert Sinnott arrested for using other people's money

Gillespie-23

Diary. -- 1923. -- Consists of account of routine work as head of maintenance of Public Buildings in Calgary; estimates cut to the bone; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Included comments on these events:

December 14, 1923 - R.B. Bennett and Ballachey had a face slapping match in the Court House

  Microfilm reel 3. -- Diaries, accounts and notebook. -- 1914, 1924-1931 and n.d.
Gillespie-24

Diary. -- 1924. -- Consists of account of routine work as head of maintenance of Public Buildings in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Included comments on these events:

March 5, 1924 - Numerous cases of smallpox in town and country
May 19, 1924 - J.A. Nolan died suddenly
July 3, 1924 - Old part of Lake Louise Hotel burned down
August 30, 1924 - Calgary Post Office moved to Southam Building

Gillespie-25

Diary. -- 1925. -- Consists of account of routine work as head of maintenance of Public Buildings in Calgary; appointment as Factories Inspector to start February 9; comments on inspections and wages in Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Included comments on these events:

April 4, 1925 - William Roper Hull died
April 29, 1925 - Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) start Beauty Parlours
September 24, 1925 - George Lane died at Pekisko
Septeber 28, 1925 - Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) put on free train to High River for George Lane funeral, about 130 people went from Calgary
October 30, 1925 - Bennett and Davis sweeping victories in West Calgary and East Calgary in the federal election

Gillespie-26

Diary. -- January 1-February 17, Febuary 28, March 14-December 31, 1926. -- Consists of account of work as Factories Inspector; cases against companies for back pay and hours of work; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Included comments on these events:

March 25, 1926 - "Great oil excitement, many potential millionaires in town"

Gillespie-27

Diary. -- 1927. -- Consists of account of work as Factories Inspector in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

April 20, 1927 - Governor General here
July 8, 1927 - Tornado at Rocky Mountain House
August 13, 1927 - Prince of Wales and Prince George visit Calgary
September 29, 1927 - Hillhurst Bank held up
October 12, 1927 - R.B. Bennett elected leader of Conservative Party in Winnipeg

Gillespie-28

Diary. -- 1928. -- Consists of account of work as Factories Inspector in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

January 5, 1928 - Fire at Wood Preserving plant
April 10, 1928 - Elma Block gutted
July 21, 1928 - Bishop Cyprian Pinkham buried
August 12, 1928 - Storm damage to crops

Gillespie-29

Diary. -- 1929. -- Consists of account of work as Factories Inspector in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

Feburary 17, 1929 - A.B. Cushing factory burned, also large part of yard
June 20, 1929 - Elevator, East Calgary Terminal burned down

Gillespie-30

Diary. -- 1930. -- Consists of account of work as Factories Inspector in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

July 3, 1930 - W.L. Mackenzie King had big meeting, organized attempt to keep him from speaking
September 25, 1930 - Air mail plane crashed
October 5, 1930 - Plane crash near Gleichen
November 1, 1930 - Corner stone of new Masonic Temple laid

Gillespie-31

Diary. -- January 1-August 6, 1931. -- Consists of account of work as Factories Inspector in Calgary; and personal affairs and items of general interest. Includes comments on these events:

January 30, 1931 - Big fire at Riley and McCormick, and Uren and Glass Brothers, $125,000 damages
March 14, 1931 - Old Windsor Hotel burned
May 1, 1931 - Attempted parade of unemployed
May 5, 1931 - Question of Gillespie's superannuation

Gillespie-32 Account book. -- 1914. -- Consists of extras and alterations ordered and made on the Normal School. Includes accounts re stable footings for cell block, guard rooms and old buildings, forms, reinforcing, boiler room, scaffolds and runways, door anchors, crushing stone, hoist, concrete, steel, gravel, window frames, cement, door frames, trim, electric wiring and hollow tile.
Gillespie-33 Notebook. -- n.d. -- Consists of estimated prices and diagrams of various classes of cut stone for the Legislature Building, Edmonton
Series 2 Photographs. -- 1904-1929. -- 11 photographs
NA-1042 Views of construction of stone buildings and bridges, including Central Methodist Church and the Alberta Legislature. -- 1904-1912, 1929. -- 11 photographs link to photos View now.
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