Fonds RC0104 - Hurst family fonds

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Hurst family fonds

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  • 1927-1987 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

25 cm of textual records and graphic material.
Approximately 257 photographs and 12 maps.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The fonds contains information largely relating to George Alexander Hurst (1894-?) and his daughter Jean M. Hurst (1921-). After serving in World War One, George Alexander Hurst married Kathleen May Coutts in 1920. During the 1930s and 1940s he was the secretary of the On-to-the-Bay Association (now known as the Hudson Bay Route Association), an organization dedicated to the promotion of the Hudson Bay Railway as an efficient and cost effective means for western farmers to transport grain to Europe. Completed in 1929, the railway extended from The Pas to Churchill, Manitoba. He also worked on the National Harbours Board, a group responsible for the business and service operations of ports across the nation (it is now known as Ports Canada). Jean Hurst worked as a librarian at Mills Library from 1944 until 1987; her career as a McMaster librarian is documented in her unpublished manuscript, “A Librarian's Recollections Mostly of McMaster, 1944-1987.”

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Scope and content

The Hurst family fonds consists of textual records (contained in Box 1) and photographs and graphic materials (contained in Box 2). Newspaper articles regarding the Hudson Bay Railway occupy a significant portion of the collection. Written by George Alexander Hurst in the late 1930s and early 1940s, these articles were largely published in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and Saskatchewan Commonwealth. Some articles are contained in “University Loose leaf Notebook.” Reports, proposals, and memorandums authored by Hurst and the On-to-the-Bay association are also included, as well as Submissions to the Royal Commission on Co-operatives by The Davison Co-operative Association of Davidson, Saskatchewan, and Hurst’s correspondence with D.J. Munro regarding the railway route. Additional textual material includes George Alexander Hurst’s unpublished manuscript, “Rambles Round the Ram Pasture” and Jean Hurst’s manuscript, “A Librarian’s Recollections Mostly of McMaster, 1944-1987.” Graphic materials include photographs (some contained within two photo albums) of George Alexander Hurst and friends and family, and extensive images of Churchill, Manitoba and its harbour. Notably, there is a photograph of Charles and Anne Lindbergh taken during their 1931 survey flight to Asia, when the couple made stop in Churchill. The fonds contains the following cartographic material: a 1929 map of Manitoba, a map of Southern Manitoba, five maps of Churchill, including the town, river, and harbour, a map depicting freight rates on grain products on Canadian National Railway stations in Manitoba, a 1929 map of the Yukon, and map of Lake Athabasca.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds (56-2009) was acquired in August of 2009 from Jean Hurst via Liz Bayley.


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Further accruals are not expected

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