Carole Harmon Editions

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Historic Harmons Building in Banff


HARMONY LANE
Building Information (continued)


In May 1909, Byron Harmon opens a new photo studio across the street on Block 1 Lot 7, 113 Banff Avenue. This lot is leased by Ida Griffith at this time and has an existing building on it; Moore’s Livery Stable. Austin Moore (liveryman) built this stable in 1906. Byron Harmon purchases the building from Ida Griffith and transforms it into a photo studio and soda fountain. Byron Harmon secures the lease of this lot on September 23, 1916.

SOURCES: Parks Canada Lease Card Collection; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Town of Banff Tax Rolls; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- May 29, 1909 & April 27, 1966; Whyte Museum Date File.

In 1913, Byron Harmon opens a movie theatre on Block 1 Lot 6, 111 Banff Avenue. This lot is leased by D.C. Bayne at this time and has an existing building on it; the Chinese Cafe operated by Charley Sing. John Campbell (storekeeper) built this restaurant/dwelling in 1905. D.C. Bayne is a merchant and David White’s business partner. Byron Harmon tears down the old restaurant to build his movie theatre; building permit #6. Architect Harvey Wright of Chicago designs the theatre. Byron Harmon secures the lease of this lot on December 5, 1914.

SOURCES: Parks Canada Lease Card Collection; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Town of Banff Tax Rolls; Whyte Museum Date File; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- October 12, 1912 & June 7, 1913 & April27, 1966 & February 1, 1913.

In 1914, Byron Harmon makes an addition to the rear of the building to include a workshop and brick vault on Block 1 Lot 6. The drugstore and ice cream parlor is also opened in the building this year on Block 1 Lot 6.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Town of Banff Tax Rolls.

On January 9, 1917, the Harmony Lane building bums down. All of the building is destroyed except for the cobble piers. By the end of this month Byron Harmon has leased a portion of J.D. Hansen’s Real Estate store located across the street on Block 2 Lot 11, 122 Banff Avenue; in the front comer of the Cascade Hotel, to continue operating his drugstore while the Harmony Lane is being rebuilt. J.D. Hansen is the local real estate agent, insurance agent for Byron Harmon’s insurance policy on this building, and the executor of wills.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Whyte Museum Date File; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- January 20, 1917 & February 27, 1917 & April 27, 1966; Whyte Museum BioFile; Photos; Parks Canada Lease Card Collection.

By June 1917, the new Harmony Lane building is rebuilt; building permit #404. The existing cobble piers are incorporated into the new building. The architect for this building is Rex Arlo Millar. The drug store is now located on the north side of the building on Block 1 Lot 7. On the south side of the building is the tearoom (fountain lunch) on Block 1 Lot 6.

SOURCES: Rex Arlo Millar Fonds M848#42 Glenbow Archives; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Whyte Museum Date File; Parks Canada Lease Card Collection; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- January 20, 1917 & February 27, 1917 & April 27, 1966; Whyte Museum Bio File; Town of Banff Tax Rolls; Photos.

In May 1920, Byron Harmon makes additions to the building- building permit #498. These additions consist of a hollow tile building on Block 1 Lot 6.

SOURCES: Parks Canada Lease Card Collection; Rex Arlo Millar Fonds M848#42 Glenbow Archives; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- May 8, 1920; Town of Banff Tax Rolls.

The drug store is moved to the south side of the building on Block 1 Lot 6 and the fountain lunch is moved to the north side of the building on Block 1 Lot 7 sometime after 1920. The store was enlarged in the 1920’s by removing the center wall and making the building one unit. By 1940 the building consists of a drug store, curio store, photographic studio and fountain lunch with two entrances on the northerly and southerly ends of the building. The fountain lunch closes in the winter months. The fountain lunch, part of the curio store and photographic studio are on Block 1 Lot 7. The photo finishing room is located at the rear of Block 1 Lot 7 and is separated from the rest of the building by a tile wall and fireproof metal door. The drug store and part of the curio store are on Block 1 Lot 6.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Town of Banff Tax Rolls; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- April 27, 1966.

Byron Harmon was reported as the first individual in Banff to incorporate neon lighting on the facade of this building. In 1928 a sign 4 feet long and 12 inches wide made out of glass lettering was erected on the facade of Block 1 Lot 7. The sign read “Cafe” “Soda” and was made by the Daylight Sign Company out of Toronto. In 1939, he erects a neon sign on the facade of the building; building permit #2321. Signs erected on the facade of the building in 1966 include:

14’x 6’, projecting sign, “Harmony Lane”
25’ x 18”, illuminated sign, “Harmony Drug Store & Gift Shop”
11 ‘.4” x 18”, illuminated sign, “Peter & Wendy”
Illuminated sign, “Monod Sports Ltd.”
Illuminated sign. “Blank”

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Crag & Canyon- April27, 1966; Parks Canada Lease Card Collection.

Other additions/renovations to the building are as follows:

In 1937 a hollow tile addition is made to the dark room on the rear of Block 1 Lot 6. This is an extension of the existing dark room.

SOURCES: Parks Canada Lease Card Collection; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T94 72.

Between 1942 and 1944 a new floor is installed. A new roof is put on by “Reggin Roofing & Metal Works” from Calgary. The heating system is repaired and renewed (the original furnace and drier were also put in by “Reggin Roofing & Metal Works”).

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472.

In 1948 a new icehouse and storage shed are built to replace the old storage shed (which is torn down); building permit #0823. These buildings are located at the rear of Block 1 Lot 7. There are also temporary interior alterations to the kitchen located on the rear of Block 1 Lot 7 -building permit #0841. As well, the cement on the exterior rear walls is refinished.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2, tta Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Parks Canada Lease Card Collection.

In 1953 there are interior alterations and additions to provide for washroom facilities for both sexes; Block 1 Lot 7.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472.

In 1962 a concrete block wall (fence) is built across the rear of the lots.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472.

In 1965 the building is redeveloped to make it into a mall. Included are the demolition of the old buildings at rear of store, a two story addition to the rear of building, and the refacing of existing stone columns with split fieldstone. The architect is Bruce Colvig. “Manor Construction Ltd.” is the general contractor. “W.C. Wilson” is the general contractor for the framing and finishing. “W.B. Rogers” is the contractor for the plumbing and hot water heating. “Gunthers” is the contractor for the finishing work and hardware. “Henry’s” is the contractor for the electrical. Stores in the building include Harmony Drug Store, Harmony Gift Shop, Monod Sports Ltd., Peter & Wendy Children’s Wear, and the Klondike Shop.

SOURCES: Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- April 27, 1966; Town of Banff Municipal Tax Lease Card.

The Harmony Lane building has been a drug store, gift shop, fountain lunch, Byron Harmon’s photos, lending library, radio/record section, beauty shop, woolen shop, doctor’s office, liquor dispensary. Items that have been sold in the building include: pharmaceuticals, sporting goods, fishing tackle, gramophones, records, stock from China, India, Mexico and Europe, Byron Harmon photos/postcards. The name “Harmony” was reported as being suggested by a travelling salesman for the National Drug Co., named Hugh Graham. Early visitors reported at the Harmony Lane building include the King of Siam, the Crown Prince of Japan, the Prince of Wales, and many movie stars.

SOURCES: Whyte Museum Biofile; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- April27, 1966.

The Harmony Drug Store managers and/or pharmacists:

1919 to 1923, H.A. Gourlay
1923 to 1965, W.C. (Bill) Bryan (also worked as the local veterinarian with Steve Hope out of the store).
1965 to 1967, Stewart Dunlap ‘r 1967 to 1969 - Gary Mironuk
1969 to 1973, Wayne Steinle
1973 to 1984, Ken Newcombe (leased the drug store)
1985 to 1990, to ? Ernest Libech

Ted Langridge and Charles Reid worked at Harmony Drug Store early in their careers.
Dorothy Boyce (Draper) (Whiteman) worked at the drugstore during the pharmacist’s holidays.

Dr. Learn had his office in the Harmony Lane building during prohibition. He would prescribe liquor to his patients. Liquor was dispensed by the drug store at this time.

A radio repair man worked in the rear of the building for two years.

SOURCES: Crag & Canyon Newspaper- April27, 1966; Whyte Museum Biofile.


HARMONY LANE


Byron Harmon Information
Business/Personal


Byron Harmon arrived in Banff in 1903-1904. His family originally came from Exeter, England. Byron was born on the family homestead in Olympia, Washington. He was a photographer and traveled all over Western Canada and the United States. When he came to Banff he made it his home. He opened his first photo studio across the street from the present Harmony Lane building in the Mackay & Dippie building at 108 Banff A venue. One of the individuals that worked with Byron at this time was Elliot Barnes- an outfitter/guide & photographer. Elliot Barnes worked for Byron Harmon during the winter of 1907-08. Elliot Barnes also ran a small outfitting business and catered to the Alpine Club of Canada, which Byron Harmon was a member and official photographer.

SOURCES: Elliot Barnes Collection- Whyte Museum; Alpine Club of Canada Collection- Whyte Museum; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9478; Whyte Museum Biofile; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- April27, 1966; Parks Canada Lease Card Collection.

Byron Harmon was very involved in the Banff community. He became a school trustee and treasurer for the new schoolhouse, which was opened on November 17, 1913. He was the official photographer with park boundary survey crews from Banff to Mt. Robson- working with A.O. Wheeler. He was the official photographer for the Alpine Club of Canada. He was one ofthe first members ofthe Banff Rotary Club and became a chartered member. He was also reported as working for the FoxMovietone Co. as a newsreel cameraman. He also promoted the Canadian Rockies in lectures all over the world including such places as- Europe, South America, U.S.A., Orient, and Mexico.

SOURCES: Alpine Club of Canada Collection- Whyte Museum; Whyte Museum Biofile; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- April27, 1966; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9472.

Byron Harmon pursued his love for photography and climbing. On May 19, 1909, Byron Harmon, Dr. Lyman and G. Martin guided by Syd Baker were reported as being the first Canadian guide and party to make a successful ascent of Cascade Mountain. Byron Harmon was reported as being the first to travel the Columbia Icefields on horseback with Jimmy Simpson. He was reported as being the first man to successfully climb Mount Resplendent with the famous mountaineer- Conrad Cain. He also made a trip in 1924 that lasted 10 weeks with Louis Freeman who was a famous author and explorer. The results of this trip were published in the National Geographic Magazine, including many of the photos that Byron Harmon took along the way. He made many trips into the backcountry to film and photograph images for exhibit, and many of these photos were published by newspapers and magazines all over the world.

SOURCES: Whyte Museum Biofile; Crag & Canyon Newspaper- October 13, 1917 & February 2, 1924 & May 24, 1924 & October 18, 1924 & April 10, 1925 & June 5, 1925 & April 27, 1966.

Byron Harmon held leases for several properties in Banff. From 1904 until 1917 he held the lease for a dwelling on the west half of Block 9 Lot 1-2- 202-204 - Muskrat Street. He may have lived in this house for part of this period. From 1917 until 1928 he lived in a dwelling located on Block 27 Lot 4-5- 112-116 Otter Street (although he held the lease from 1928-1932 he may have rented this property). George Hunter built this dwelling in 1913. George Hunter was an early superintendent for Yoho and Glacier National Parks. In 1929 Byron Harmon built his dwelling on Block 39 Lot 16-17- 134-136 St. Julien Road. He also had a dwelling and farm in Wilmer B.C. from 1921 -1923 - ?. From 1926- 1929 he held a lease on Block 1 Lot 26 - 128 Bear Street, where he was operating a paint shop. There were several other leases that he held for short periods of time that had no activity on them.

SOURCES: Town of Banff Tax Rolls; Parks Canada Lease Card Collection; Photos; Parks Canada RG84-A-2-a Central Registry Series Microfilm #T9550.