Delta Museum and Archive
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Finding Aid

GEORGE MASSEY FONDS
Fonds 131
Series MAPS AND PLANS
Maps and Plans [cartographic material; technical drawing]. -- [1934 : 1956]
Physical Description 6 maps & plans
Scope Content Series consists of maps and plans collected by George Massey in relation to the building of the Deas Island tunnel ( later named the George Massey Tunnel). The plans include a plan for the Fraser River bridge in 1934: geological sections of test holes; a few architectural/technical drawings showing the placing of the prefab tunnel sections and the sinking equipment along with a handrawn and painted map created by George Massey showing the proposed location for the tunnel crossing and highway 99.
Accession No. 1983-254 2009-033 2012-013
Fonds CR-131
The Tides and Tidal Streams [textual record]. -- 1920.
Physical Description .25 cm textual records
Acquisition Source Donated by Doug Massey
Scope Content File contains a 43 page bulletin pulbished by the Department of Naval Service, Ottawa, Canada, titled "The Tides and Tidal Streams with illustrative examples from Canadian waters" by W. Bell Dawson. The book was in George Massey's library who may have used it for research into the feasibility of a Fraser River tunnel crossing at Ladner.
Notes Title from title of bulletin
Accession No. 1983-254
Diagrams accompanying Fraser River investigation report by W.A. Johnston [textual record]/ prepared by W.A. Johnston for the Geological Survey of Canada. -- 1921.
Physical Description 4 pages textual records
Acquisition Source Donated by Doug Massey
Scope Content File contains four diagrams prepared by geologist W.A. Johnston from investigations he carried out in 1919 on the sedimentation of the Fraser River, British Columbia. A note on the diagrams states that the diagrams are "to accompany a report by W.A. Johnston", which may be Geological Survey Memoir 125. The titles of the diagrams are as follows: Diagram 2: High water data at Mission Bridge (freshet stages) Fraser River, 1876-1920. Diagram 3: Discharge data, Fraser River Diagram 4: Changes in river channels, Fraser River between Woodwards Landing [Ladner] and Strait of Georgia [comparing maps made 1827, 1860, 1890, 1919] Diagram 5: Seaward advance of Fraser River [comparing 1859 and 1919 soundings).
Notes Title from contents of file
Accession No. 1983-254
Fraser River investigation maps [textual record]/ prepared by W.A. Johnston for the Geological Survey of Canada. -- 1921.
Physical Description 4 maps : b&w
Acquisition Source Donated by Doug Massey
Scope Content File contains four maps prepared by geologist W.A. Johnston from investigations he carried out in 1919 on the sedimentation of the Fraser River, British Columbia. A note on the maps states that the maps are "to accompany a report by W.A. Johnston", which may be Geological Survey Memoir 125. The titles of the maps are as follows: Map No. 1: Float observations, ebb-tidal and river currents, Fraser River between Woodwards Landing [Ladner] and Strait of Georgia Map No.2: Float observations, flood-tidal currents, entrance of Fraser River and Strait of Georgia Map No.3: River and sea-bottom materials, water density observations and bank erosion, Fraser River between Woodwards Landing [Ladner] and Strait of Georgia Map No.4: Comparative soundings, Fraser River between Woodwards Landing [Ladner] and Strait of Georgia
Notes Title from contents of file
Accession No. 1983-254
Surficial geology, New Westminster Area [cartographic material]/ published by the Geological Survey of Canada. -- 1957.
Physical Description 1 map : b&w ; 72 cm x 78 cm
Acquisition Source Donated by Doug Massey
Scope Content Item is a geological map (Map 16-1957 to accompany paper 57-5) published by the Geological survey of Canada of the area centered on New Westminster from the east half of Delta to Langley, and from Boundary Bay north to Pitt Meadows. The geological units, preglacial, glacial and postglacial, are indicated by symbols within outlined areas, which are not coloured. The map is based on geology done by J.E. Armstrong in 1951-1953 and W.L. Brown in 1949-1951. The map shows the location of two dry oil and gas wells drilled on Boundary Bay.
Notes Title from contents of file
Accession No. 1983-254
Cross Section Illustrations of the George Massey Tunnel Construction [technical drawing]. -- 1950-1951.
Creator George Massey
Physical Description 11 drawings :
Acquisition Source Doug Massey
Custodial History These records were inherited by George's son, Doug Massey who took over his father's Marine business in Ladner and donated to the archives in March 2012.
Scope Content File consists of 11 drawings showing cross sections of the construction of the George Massey Tunnel. The drawings are done with a black felt marker and are drawn in perspective showing the elements and fill. George Massey may have used these illustrations when making presentations across the lower mainland for the Lower Fraser River Crossing Improvement Association to educate and promote the idea of a tunnel crossing and to help explain and inform interested parties of the construction process.
Accession No. 2012-013
George Massey fonds [cartographic material; graphic material; textual record]. -- 1930 - 1959.
Creator George Massey
History Biographical Nehemiah George Massey was born in Courtown Harbour, Gorey County, Wexford, Ireland on September 15, 1903. George went to sea on his father's ship 'Courtown Lass' at the age of 13 yrs. as a cook's mate and then as a bosun's mate at the age of 15. George continued to follow a career as a ship's mate and captain sailing to many parts of the world. When George's father was lost at sea at the age of 49 yrs, George returned home to Ireland to help his mother raise his four brothers and four sisters. Being a loyalist in Ireland meant that George was under suspicion for being a member of the I.R.A. and was advised by his uncle to flee the country and signed him onto the steam ship 'Matilda' in Liverpool, England which set sail to Halifax in 1922. George jumped ship to conceal himself from the 'Sinn Fein' and arrived in Halifax. George got a job working in a logging camp near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. He then worked his way across Canada working as a harvester on various farms and ended up working for 'Poole Construction' in Regina, Saskatchewan. During this period in 1925, he upgraded himself as a mechanic by taking courses at night school. George met and married his first wife, Doris Holtham who was originally from Derby, England. They had 2 children, Doreen Patricia and Douglas George and resided in Regina. While living in Regina, George started his own business ' Massey's Garage' where he built his own auto wrecker. One of his hobbies while residing in Regina was building and racing his own speed boat, that he named ' Patricia'. During the depression in 1936, George decided to load up his family, his boat and his tow truck and headed west where he stopped in Ladner. The family rented their first house on Bridge Street in Ladner and George became the operator of the Union Gas Station. Tragedy struck when George's wife, Doris died from severe burns while stoking the fireplace. The community came to the family's aid and through the 'Rebekah Lodge', George met and married Lila Florence Dennis who helped with the care of his children. Lila was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Dennis of Ladner. George purchased property on the waterfront on Chisholm Street where he set up a small shipyard and repair shop naming it, 'Massey's Machine Shop' where he serviced the local gillneter fleet. Soon after, George purchased the adjacent property to the east which was formerly owned by Len Kirkland of 'Delta Freight Lines'. George repaired many gill netters and other boats at his marine shop over the years. George created a marine railway out of the old ferry landing to help haul boats up to 60 ft long, out of the water for repair.George continued with his hobby of building, modifying and racing his speed boat winning many prizes. Some of his other hobbies included fly and spin fishing, bird hunting, vegetable gardening, playing his accordian, making 8 mm films with his own camera and working as a volunteer fireman ( firefighter). Over the years, George conveyed his vision and frustration over the need for improved transportation between Delta and the lower mainland. George documented many of the problems concerning the local ferry transportation between Ladner and Woodward's landing and after reading an engineering article on the Maas River Tunnel in Holland, he was convinced this was the way to go. In 1942, he contacted the company Christiani Nielsen Engineering of Denmark who were responsible for the Maas River Tunnel and they offered to send an engineer to do a feasability study. He was the first chairman of the Tunnel Committee in 1947 to gather interested citizens to form a new association 'The Lower Fraser River Crossing Improvement Association'. The first directors of the association were Sam Cory as president,George Massey as vice president, Paul Dirks, Clarence F. Taylor, Grover Erickson, and W.B.Knickerbrocker. The objectives of the association were to improve the crossing facilities of the lower Fraser River at Ladner, to procure better ferry service from Ladner to Richmond, and to stimulate interest in and to promote a bridge or tunnel crossing of the lower Fraser River. Membership was extended to any one interested in the objectives of the association and had approximately 500 members until the completion of the tunnel. George took the initiative up with passion to promote a tunnel crossing at the Deas Island location and did many seminars to help promote this idea throughout the lower mainland, helping to convince levels of government, community groups and concerned citizens to help back the intiative. His efforts paid off and in March 1956, the contract to build a tunnel was granted to the Foundation of Canada Engineering Corporation Ltd. ( incorporated by Christiani and Neilson) and the tunnel was completed and opened in 1959. With his notority and support of many individuals and organizations within Delta, George was elected as a Social Credit M.L.A. in Delta from 1956 to 1960. George enjoyed observing the construction from start to completion and even created his own documentation using his 8 mm camera. A plaque was erected for the official opening of the Deas Island Tunnel in 1959 which read ' This plaque erected by the Citizens of the Corporation of the Township of Richmond in recognition of Mr. N. George Massey, MLA whose co operative efforts assisted greatly in making this tunnel a reality.' George paid the last toll for the tunnel in 1964 and died just days following this event at 60 yrs of age,on April 8, 1964. As a tribute the man who was instrumental in the building of the tunnel, the tunnel was renamed as The George Massey Tunnel on October 26, 1967.
Custodial History Records were either created by George Massey or in his personal collection over the course of his life and inherited by his son, Doug Massey and donated to the Delta Museum and Archives between 2007 - 2012.
Scope Content The collection consists of photographs, correspondance, diagrams and textual records created and or collected by George Massey over the course of his life in Delta and Saskatchewan. Records refer to his business, hobbies, interests and family life while he resided in Regina and Ladner. Many records refer to George's committment to the implementation of a tunnel crossing between Richmond and Ladner and his involvement with the Lower Fraser River Crossing Improvement Association. Maps and diagrams published by the Geological Survey of Canada about the geomorphology and tidal action at the mouth of the Fraser River (reproduced "to accompany a report by W.A. Johnson"), a hand painted canvas map about "Proposed New Fraser River Tunnel and North Arm Crossing", and a publication "The Tides and Tidal Streams" by the Department of Naval Service, Ottawa.
Related Material See also Lower Fraser River Crossing Improvement Association fonds, CR-88 for other records relating to the George Massey tunnel and Doug Massey collection CR-
Accession No. 1983-254 2004-007 2004-009 2004-039 2009-011 2009-031 2009-033 2009-043 2009-088 2010-032 2010-033 2011-054 2012-013
Proposal for Bridge [textual record]. -- 1947.
Creator Christiani & Neilsen Corporation
Physical Description 1 cm textual records
Acquisition Source Donated by Doug Massey
Custodial History From the personal library of George Massey and donated by his son Doug Massey.
Scope Content File contains a proposal created by Christiani & Nielson Corporation, New York and is titled 'Fraser River Crossing at Ladner B.C. Proposal II, High Level Bridge'. The report includes technical drawings and a report in regards to building a bridge across the Fraser River. This report belonged George Massey who was a member of the Lower Fraser River Crossing Improvement Association.
Notes Title from title of bulletin
Accession No. 1970-024
Series PHOTOGRAPHS
Photographs [graphic material]. -- [1930 : 1960]
Acquisition Source Doug Massey
Custodial History Photographs were donated by his son Doug Massey.
Scope Content Series consists of photographs showing George Massey, his family, his business on Chisholm Street in Ladner, his life in Saskatchewan, construction and opening of the Deas Island Tunnel (later named the George Massey Tunnel) and his public life as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of B.C.
Accession No. 2004-009 2009-033 2004-039 2009-088 2004-039 2010-032 2011-054
Item 1983-254-10
Proposed New International Express Highway showing Fraser River Tunnel and North Arm Crossing [cartographic material]: Title based on contents of item. -- 1948 - 1951.
Creator George Massey
Physical Description 1 map : hand painted on canvas ; 152.4 cm x 177.8 cm
Conservation In need of proper housing so that it can be laid flat.
Scope Content Consists of a hand drawn and hand painted map on canvas with wooden dowels at the top and bottom created by George Massey. The map shows the proposed highway 99, tunnel crossing and north arm crossing. This map was part of the promotional display for the Lower Fraser River Crossing Improvement Association which accompanied George when he traveled to make presentations to local government, community groups, engineers and media.
Notes Fragile
Accession No. 1983-254
Image File Name photos/1983_254/00001.jpg
Item No. Range 1983-254-010