My Artwork

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Brockton Point - 1986, "Grace's Pearls" (thumbnail) Lions Gate Bridge - 1939 (thumbnail) Chinatown 1960, East Pender St. (thumbnail) Abbotsford - 1922 (thumbnail) Capitol Theatre, Granville S. - 1956; Love me Tender (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville St. - 1962 (thumbnail) Stanley Park Junction (thumbnail) Bon Voyage, Vancouver Harbour - 1938 (thumbnail) A Capital Christmas (thumbnail) Wigwam Inn, Indian Arm - 1913 (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville St. - 1950 (thumbnail) Marine Building on Hastings  - 1945 (thumbnail) Columbia Street - New Westminster - 1924 (thumbnail) Ten Years of Art (thumbnail) The Sunshine Coast Collection (thumbnail) The Langleys Collection (thumbnail) Canadian Skies Collection (thumbnail) Vancouver Collection (thumbnail) BC Airways at Vancouver Airport - 1928 (thumbnail) Boat and Plane at Pender Harbour (thumbnail) Boat in Boathouse (thumbnail) Cannery Worker's Shack (thumbnail) Egmont Post Office (thumbnail) Final Berth on Fraser (thumbnail) May Queen's Ball, Fort Langley - 1941 (thumbnail) Steveston Collection (thumbnail) Saturday Night at the Langley Hotel (thumbnail) Snug Haven - Finn Slough (thumbnail) Porter's Coffee and Tea House (thumbnail) Molly's Reach (thumbnail) Steveston Quay (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Hastings St. - 1926 (thumbnail) Out to Pasture, Street car # 153 (thumbnail) Pacific Gateway, Vancouver - 1912 (thumbnail) Top of Granville Street - 1912 (thumbnail) Passing Woodwards-1939 (thumbnail) Christmas Windows - Woodwards on Hasting (thumbnail) Lonsdale Quay-1919 (thumbnail) The Old Street Car Barn - 1894 (thumbnail) A Christmas Reunion-1914 (thumbnail) Stanley Park-1900 (thumbnail) Vancouver Exhibition - 1910 (thumbnail) Vancouver Public Market-1908 (thumbnail) Blackburn's Service, Seymour Street-1928 (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville Street-1948 (thumbnail) New Westminster BCER Depot - 1926 (thumbnail) Park Row, New Westminster - 1909 (thumbnail) Car #101 on Hastings-1949 (thumbnail) Red Racer Diner, Penticton-1960's (thumbnail) On the Rocks at the Garden Bay Pub (thumbnail) Starfighter Pilot (thumbnail) First Flight in Western Canada (thumbnail) Brookswood Barn (thumbnail) Halfway Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (thumbnail) Christmas in Milner, Langley - 1915 (thumbnail) White Spot No1, Granville Street - 1958 (thumbnail) Granville Street Bridge - 1921 (thumbnail) Christmas Shoppers, Hastings St. - 1913 (thumbnail) North Vancouver Ferry Dock - 1916 (thumbnail) Murrayville Cash Grocery - Christmas (thumbnail) Vancouver Bus Terminal - 1939 (thumbnail) Chilliwack - 1915 (thumbnail) Bathhouse on English Bay - 1931 (thumbnail) Cloverdale - 1913 (thumbnail) Aristocratic Drive-in - 1958 (thumbnail) English Bay, Vancouver, Canada (thumbnail) Granville and Hastings Streets in Vancouver (thumbnail) Crossroads at Langley Prairie - 1928 (thumbnail) White Rock Beach - 1929 (thumbnail) Christmas at Home - 1929 (thumbnail) Open Late, Otter Farmer's Institute, Winter (thumbnail) Otter Co-op (thumbnail) Murrayville Cash Grocery - Christmas Eve (thumbnail) Fort Langley Station (thumbnail) Drive-in Heaven (thumbnail) Danceland on Robson Street on September 7, 1963 with the Ike and Tina Turner Review performing a one night gig. (thumbnail)
Wigwam Inn, Indian Arm - 1913 (large view)
Wigwam Inn, Indian Arm - 1913
Limited Edition giclee print on canvas, sn95, of Wigwam Inn on Indian Arm, Vancouver harbour in 1913 with paddlewheeler Skeena approaching.

Completed in 1910 by partners Alvo von Alvensleben and Benjamin Dickens, the Wigwam Inn was located on the west side of Indian Arm near its northern tip. Alvensleben is believed to have secured financing for the venture from several prominent Germans including Kaiser Wilhelm who was rumoured to have plans to use the Inn as a retreat. The original design theme was to be native Indian but was soon modified to a German Luftkurort (a fresh air resort). It was described in publications of the time as having a beer garden theme, with stonewall terracing, lookouts and an elevated summer garden, or gazebo.

The Inn itself features a steeply gabled roof over scaled gable dormers and porch braces. The Inn’s exterior walls were clad with cedar tiles, and for the painting, I chose a reddish-brown stain. I finished the window trim and window casings in a creamy-white and the main doors in a dark green. The Inn had 32 bedrooms, with steam heating and hot and cold running water throughout. The dining room could accommodate 100 patrons with a summertime overflow of another 100 onto the veranda. In the 1930’s the southeast corner of the veranda was enclosed. Two summer cottages were built adjacent to the Inn; one is shown to left, just behind the hotel, built by partner, Dickens. The white canvas-roofed structure immediately behind the Inn resembles and probably was a German beer tent.

A floating pier extended directly out from the front door steps of the Inn into the tidal Indian Arm. At its head another floating docking pier ran parallel to the shore, equipped with an overhead trellis to provided support for night lighting.

The scheduled opening day was to be Empire Day, May 24, 1910 but due to delays it opened three weeks later. The steamer “Baramba” brought over 600 people to Wigwam Inn for the occasion. Impressively, among the first to sign the guest register were John D. Rockefeller and John Jacob Astor.

The Inn was served by various steam launches over the years. Amongst the earliest vessels, the sternwheelers “Alluvia” and “Skeena” made regular moonlight excursions “up the Arm”, often with a band on board and dancing on deck. By 1915 the big launch “Fruilda” ran the 20-mile outing every day from the Gore Avenue dock in Vancouver, leaving at 10 am. The price for the one-day excursion was $1. A weekend special was offered for $5, which included all meals while at the Inn. In later years, smaller vessels such as “Belcarra”, “Scenic”, “Harbour Princess”, “Lake Buntzen” and “LoOlbee” were also regular visitors.

Because historians and authors often refer to the early 1900’s as Vancouver’s golden years, I painted in support of that sentiment by depicting an idyllic and romantic Wigwam Inn. I used the waters of Indian Arm as a natural mirror, polished to perfection by an absolute stillness and calm. The double-reversed painting of the detailed reflections of the Inn and “Skeena”, arriving at midday, required an unnerving amount of extra work but in the end, it was worth every brush stroke. I hope you find in my painting, “Wigwam Inn, Indian Arm – 1913”, a warm and romantic glimpse of Vancouver’s grand days past.

-Brian Croft
20" H x 32" W
Price: CA $700.00