Finding Aids

Laurence Manson fonds
Laurence Manson fonds [textual record]. -- 1878 -1905, [194-].
10 cm of textual records.

Laurence Manson was born in Setter on the Shetland Islands on November 12,1854. His father, John Manson, was a farmer. Laurence attended parish school until age 15 when he was apprenticed to a grocery business in Edinburgh, Scotland. Due to ill health, he returned to the Shetlands where he obtained a position on an Ordinance survey. After a year, he resigned and sailed to Canada on the steamship "Manitoban". He arrived in Nanaimo on June 14,1877 and found work as a weighman with the Vancouver Coal Company. On November 27, 1880, he married another Scottish immigrant Catherine J. B. Duncan. At this time, he also bought the store on Haliburton Street, but hired someone to manage it. In 1888, he quit the coal company and worked full time at the store He continued there for over 40 years. Mr. Manson was an active member of the Methodist Church, serving as class leader, secretary, and Superintendant of the Sunday school. Following church union in 1925, he became a devoted member of St. Andrew's United Church and was a church elder at the time of his death in 1944. Manson was also a charter member of the Court Nanaimo of the Ancient Order of Foresters and acted as its secretary for about 25 years. Laurence and Catherine had three sons: William, Ernest and Douglas and one daughter Margaret.

The account book was donated to the Nanaimo District Museum by Mr. L. Hembroff (Courtenay, B.C.) in 1976. The advertising poster (Museum Accn 988.135B) was donated to the Nanaimo District Museum in 1988 by Maurice Rowbottom. The certificate was donated to the Museum in an undocumented transaction. These items were transferred to the Nanaimo Community Archives in 1993. The remaining records were donated to the Archives by Wade Ranger. Ranger found the records in the attic of the former Manson home on Haliburton Street.

Fonds consists predominantly of the business and personal records of Laurence Manson but also includes some records of other family members. The fonds is arranged in two series: 1) Business records and 2) Personal records.

Title is based on contents on fonds.
Series descriptions available.
Surname index to account book available.
The name is misspelled in some references and documents as Lawrence.

Series 1.

Business records [textual record]. -- [189-]-1905.
8 cm of textual records

Series comprises the records of the Manson Store on Haliburton Street. Includes an account book (1894-1896); account collection forms [189-]; printed store bags [190-]; an advertising poster [190-]; invoices related to Shadrick Bone's account and a pamphlet on successful retail practices [191-].

Title based on contents of series.
A surname index to the account book is available.
The spine and cover of the account book are damaged.

Series 2.

Personal records [textual record]. -- 1878, 1898-1907, [194-].
2 cm of textual records.

Series consists of the personal records of the Laurence Manson family. Includes correspondence (1898-1907); a certificate of membership for Laurence Manson in the Ancient Order of Foresters, Court No. 5886 (1878); and ration books for Nellie and Dorothy Manson (194-).

Title based on the contents of the fonds.
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