Fonds PR-0018 - Tommy Walker fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Tommy Walker fonds

General material designation

  • textual record
  • cartographic material
  • graphic material
  • moving images
  • multiple media

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Title notes

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

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

PR-0018

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1926-1989 (Creation)
    Creator
    Walker, Thomas A.

Physical description area

Physical description

4.3 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1904-1989)

Biographical history

Thomas. A. Walker was born in 1904 in Gravesend, Kent, England and educated at Marlborough College. He studied brewing and malting at a London brewery and in 1923 joined a firm of grain importers, from which he resigned in 1929 to emigrate to Canada.

Walker settled in the Bella Coola Valley, where he cleared land for a farm and helped to build Stuie Lodge, later renamed Tweedsmuir Lodge. He became a professional guide and outfitter, owning saddle and pack horses. In 1937 he was an active participant in the establishment of Tweedsmuir park.

In 1940, Walker married Marion Bullock-Webster and she helped him operate Tweedsmuir Lodge until 1948. In that year the Walkers travelled overland with a pack-train 900 miles to the headwaters of the Stikine River in northern B.C. Here, at Cold Fish Lake, they started a big game hunting outfit.

Walker eventually became disenchanted with trophy hunting and developed a lasting concern for the unaltered ecosystem of the Spatsizi area. He joined with others in 1956 to propose a wilderness research foundation; this later took form as the Spatsizi Association for Biological Research, of which he was a director and treasurer.

In 1968, the Walkers sold their business and property at Cold Fish Lake but retained their trading post at Tatogga Lake on the Stewart-Cassiar highway, where they also operated a small sawmill for local use. They sold the store and sawmill in 1972 and retired to live in Smithers. In 1976, Tommy Walker's book, Spatsizi, was published; it is an autobiography and the story of his battle to save that wilderness area which is now the Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park (created in 1975). Predeceased by his wife Marion in 1988, Tommy Walker died in 1989.

Custodial history

The records were donated by the executors of the Walker estate, G. Ronald Toews and Frank Seymour, in multiple accessions in 1990, 2003 and 2006.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of diaries, notebooks, literary papers, business records, subject and correspondence files, photographs, maps and films. The records were created between 1926 and 1989 and depict the activities of Tommy and Marion Walker as they operated Tweedsmuir Lodge from 1940 to 1948, ran their big game hunting and guiding business at Cold Fish Lake from 1948 to 1968 and Tommy Walker's advocacy role in promoting the conservation of the Spatsizi area from 1956 to 1989.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Photographs were transferred to the Visual Records under accession 199011-004, films to the Sound and Moving Images under accession F1990:14, and maps to the map Division under accession M90-046. Various published items, including magazines and scientific reports were transferred to the Library collection.

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Restrictions on access

No access restrictions apply.
Conservation restriction: material in cool or cold storage is unavailable for general research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Series level descriptions with file lists or item level descriptions are available.

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Accruals

General note

Accession number(s): 90-001; 90-027; 199011-004; F1990:14; M90-046; (90-9591).

Physical description

Includes 52 maps and plans and 18 film reels.

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