The above video clip shows downtown Cranbrook, B.C., on July 1, 1927, when local area residents turned out to mark the 60th anniversary of Canadian confederation. Led by three Mounties on horseback, the parade includes a marching band; a firetruck; floats representing the Native Sons of Canada, the Mothers and Daughters of 1867, and the Canadian Legion, as well as some local businesses; a contingent of First Nations (probably Ktunaxa people from the St. Mary’s Band); Cubs, Scouts and a girls’ group; and children who ride decorated bicycles or push a boy-powered flivver.
Although footage of local parades is by no means rare in home movies, this item is unusual in two aspects. For one, it records the parade from two different angles. At 2:30 in the clip, where the parade seems to start over from the beginning, the camera position has changed to the other side of the street, and we see many of the same parade highlights again from this new position. The second unusual aspect is its relatively early date.
The Allan H. DeWolf fonds includes some of the earliest home movie footage in the BC Archives collection. The 16-millimetre film format, which was the first practical motion picture format for amateur use, had been introduced in 1923, and Mr. DeWolf started shooting his own movies around 1926. This footage depicts family activities, aspects of his professional work, and life in the East Kootenay Region from 1926 to 1935.
Allan Hatch DeWolf (1887-1967) was born in Mora, Minnesota, and emigrated to Canada in 1907 or 1908. He earned professional designations as a B.C. land surveyor (B.C.L.S.) and engineer (Canadian Institute of Forestry). In Cranbrook, with Arthur M. Ham, he formed the DeWolf and Ham Construction Company. Their work included road and mine construction and surveying. DeWolf also became recognized as a specialist in the design and construction of log flumes. Between 1919 and 1935, among other notable projects in B.C. and Alberta, he built the B.C. Spruce Mills flume in the Moyie River valley at Lumberton, B.C. Between 1935 and 1951 DeWolf lived in Timmins and Aroland, Ontario, where his activities included designing and building flumes for Abitibi Pulp and Paper in Quebec. In 1950 he returned to British Columbia as manager of Nicola Valley Sawmills in Merritt B.C., and supervised the building of its new mill. In 1957 he retired from the lumber industry and set up his own business (DeWolf and Leggett) as a surveyor, which he carried on until retiring in 1962. He was an early proponent of a new highway through the Coquihalla region. Allan DeWolf died in Merritt, B.C. at age 80, in 1967.