Camera Workers, 1858-1950

The British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950

Mathers, Charles Wesley[1, 2]

Male 1868 - 1950  (82 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Mathers, Charles Wesley 
    Born 9 Jan 1868  Lucknow, ON Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1920-1921?  Taft, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1890s-1904  Edmonton, AB Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1918-1919  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1904-1920  Vancouver, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 12 Apr 1950  San Gabriel, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Association Boorne, William Hanson (Relationship: Employee) 
    Person ID I116  Camera Workers | M, vol. 1, 1858-1900
    Last Modified 23 Jan 2017 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsWhere Active (Non-Specific Address) - 1904-1920 - Vancouver, BC Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • STATUS: Commercial.
    • BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: C.W. Mathers began his photographic career with the Edmonton branch studio of the Calgary photographic partnership of Boorne and May. According to photohistorian Brock Silversides, Mathers was Edmonton's only photographer for several years, including the first two years of the Klondike Gold Rush. Mathers never ventured beyond Athabasca Landing, about 100 miles north of Edmonton, during those two crucial years. He photographed many Klondikers, including the first woman to leave Edmonton for the Yukon, Mrs. G.E. (Nellie) Garner of Fresno, California (the J.S. Mack or Fresno Party). It was her portrait taken in the Mathers studio that helped James Michener shape his novel of the gold rush Journey (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1988).

      In 1901, three years after photographing stampeders departing by boat from Athabasca Landing, Mathers made his own epic journey of discovery along the same rivers followed by some of the Edmonton goldseekers. In the company of a Hudson's Bay Company trader he reached Fort MacPherson on the Peel River, not far as the crow flies from Dawson, and was able to take the first professional photographs of Inuit in the region.

      Mathers sold his business in 1904 to Ernest Brown and moved to Vancouver, BC, where he practiced photography sporadically while attempting to collect from Brown on the payment for his business. In 1920 Mathers moved to Taft, California, where he worked briefly as a photographer and then retired to Gardena.
    • IDENTIFYING MARKS: Print surface usually captioned and signed "Photo by Mathers Edmonton" or "Mathers" or "Photo by C.W. Mathers, Edmonton Alta" or "Mathers Vancouver B.C." Ernest Brown retitled and claimed credit for many of Mathers' photographs after Mathers left Edmonton for Vancouver. Sometimes, however, Brown left Mathers' name on the negative.

  • Sources 
    1. [S404] Provincial Archives of Alberta (1989), Essay by Brock V. Silversides, ([Edmonton: Provincial Archives of Alberta], 1989).

    2. [S452] Silversides (1990), Brock V. Silversides, (History of Photography 14, no. 4 (October-December 1990):327-348).