Category Archives: Leslie Surname

Vancouver B.C. – The Road Leads West!

Sometime around 1908-1909 maybe 1910,  my grandfather Robert decided to head west to Vancouver, British Columbia.  I am not sure he did it in a straight line.  I will let you consider the following?

A curious thing happened when I found that my grandmother Ethel had crossed the border at Pembina, North Dakota in 1909 according to the NARA Bordering Crossings online at  Why she would do that I do not know?

Source:  Border Crossings  1895 to 1956, Ethel Boardman, 1909, Port of Pembina, North Dakota, List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for admission, NARA, Sht. #3.

Boardman, Ethel, age 27, Boardman (daug) Aileen, age 1 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Father Richard Brown, grandfather, Destination Pembina, Nebraska.

However there is this group photograph of the McKeen Car Company among the photos I inherited.  McKeen was located in Omaha, Nebraska.  Did grandmother take my Aunt Aileen, who was just a baby at the time, born in Winnipeg 23 May 1907 with her to visit my grandfather Robert in 1909.  Was he working there?  Pembina is directly south of Winnipeg and then straight south to Omaha?  It is 572 miles and 8 hours 55 minutes from Pembina (in our time) and in 1907 would that have been too far to go just for a visit?

McKeen Car Company

I share this photograph because it is wonderful.  Unfortunately there is nothing written on the backside.

UPDATE December 12, 1212:  The owner of The McKeen Motor Car Company website contacted me and asked if I would share the photo above.  I said yes.   He has provided a link to it on his website:  I have added a link to the home page of his on the right of this blog under General Links under The McKeen Motor Car Company.   If you recognize anyone in this photograph please let either of us know.  Enjoy!   In 2014, I gladly handed over the original photo above to Mr. Kirkman who would preserve and care for it.  Of course, I made copies.

UPDATE: October 12, 2014 The McKeen Motor Car Company website and host are raising funds to rebuilt one of the cars.  I gave a little money to the cause maybe you would be interested too:

Here are some links about McKeen.  I am not an authority on this company so you will need to dig further.  Don'[t forget Google Images.

In any event, my grandfather moved west to Vancouver, British Columbia by 1910.  The listings are as follows for the Vancouver City Directories:

1911 – Boardman, Robt coppersmith h 626 Victoria Drive.

  • 1913 – Boardman, Robt mgr Grandview Mfg. Co., 612 Victoria Drive.
  • 1914 – Boardman, Robt of Grandview Iron Works h 613 Victoria Dr (No Ethel or Charlotte listed).
  • 1915 – Boardman, Robert of Grandview Iron Wks. hs 918 Salsbury Dr. (No Ethel mentioned)
  • Robert’s mother Charlotte is listed living at 626 Victoria Dr. as the widow of Edmund. (page 502).
  • 1917 – Boardman, Robt mgr Grandview Iron Wks, Ltd. h 1749

The Vancouver Public Library has a great collection of these city directories and the Seattle Public Library has them on microfilm.  I consulted both.

In 1915 the Robert Boardman family are living at 918 Salsburg Drive in Vancouver, British Columbia.   The house they lived in is still standing.  I visited the area in 2003 and actually met the current owners who had restored it to it’s original glory.

918 Salsburg Drive about 1916

According to the handwriting on the back of the photograph of the house above the people who are gathered on the porch are Ethel, Charlotte Ann McMurray, Aileen and Marge.  The photo reads 1915.

Here is a photograph of my grandfather Robert about 1917 in front of the Vancouver Wire Works.  He is the one in the middle.  The other two men are Bill and Jack Leslie.  I really love the way he is posing.

Grandfather in from of the Vancouver Iron Works

I am wondering if this is the inside of the Vancouver Wire Works??  I am using the picture below as the header of this blog at the moment.

Could this be the inside of the Vancouver Wire Works?

Charlotte, the mother of Robert, joined them about 1915.  Why great-grandmother Charlotte left Winnipeg after 33 years is a mystery.  She left behind her first-born son Edmund James and his family.  She left her buried husband Edmund there at St. John’s Cemetery.  What compelled her to go west?