Fonds yuk-836 - Taylor and Drury Limited fonds

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Taylor and Drury Limited fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds.

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CA yuk yuk-836

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  • 1902-1960, 1988 (Creation)
    Taylor and Drury Limited

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Physical description

8.56 m of textual records;4 photographs : 2 b&w prints, 2 b&w negs;1 audio tape cassette : (ca. 60 min.)

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Biographical history

Taylor and Drury Ltd. (T&D) was established in Discovery, British Columbia (near Atlin) in 1898 as a retail business to supply stampeders with essential equipment and supplies. Founded by Isaac Taylor and William S. Drury, the store was moved to Bennett, B.C. in 1899. From a partnership, T&D became a family business when Isaac Taylor married William S. Drury's sister, Sarah. In 1901, Taylor and Drury moved their headquarters to Whitehorse, Yukon, a rail and river transportation centre. As time went on and the stampede lessened they recognized the need to supply First Nations people, trappers and prospectors. From their Whitehorse location, the company was able to expand its business throughout the Territory. From 1901 to 1947 T&D established another 16 stores or trading posts - Hootalinqua, Little Salmon, Ross River (known as Pelly in the early records), Champagne, Selkirk, Teslin, Carmacks, Mayo, Pelly Banks, Keno, Kluane Lake, Stewart River, Coffee Creek, Sheldon Lake, Pelly Lakes and Minto. The length of time each post operated varied, the longest being Whitehorse from 1900 to 1974. There were as many as 10 operating at one time. In 1909, T&D purchased the steamer "Kluahne" to supply the branches that were located on the Yukon River. Mining activity near Mayo and Keno Hill prompted T&D to open stores in these growing communities in 1919. A second smaller boat, the "Thistle" was purchased to supply these new posts located on tributaries of the Yukon River. The mining industry and the fur industry supplied the majority of T&D's clientele. In Whitehorse, the customer base for the main branch had shifted from supplying stampeders to supplying First Nations people, from supplying trappers and prospectors to supplying shipyards. During the construction of the Alaska Highway, T&D Whitehorse benefitted by supplying food to the civilian contractors. In 1969, T&D expanded its department store in Whitehorse when it bought the building next to it that had belonged to the Northern Commercial Company (NCCo.). The Mayo Branch was operated purely as an extension of the Whitehorse store. T&D Mayo did not directly pay for its own stock (accounts payable), nor did it extract profits for itself other than what was needed to cover immediate expenses, such as wages and payments to trappers for furs. All surplus cash on hand at the Mayo branch was simply remitted to Whitehorse in the form of bank drafts, usually $500 or $1000 at a time. Whitehorse used this money to pay for stock that was destined for Mayo and retained the remainder as profit. The Mayo store did pay directly for freight charges on supplies sent from Whitehorse to Mayo, but these charges were deducted from the remittances. The end of the Taylor and Drury era began in 1972 when economic conditions forced the closure of the Mayo and Carmacks stores. The Whitehorse store closed in 1974.

Custodial history

The Taylor and Drury Limited records (95/92) were originally stored in wooden boxes in the company safe. They were removed and kept by Isaac Taylor following the company's closure and eventually passed onto his son, Bill Taylor. William L. Drury and Bill Taylor donated the material and a photograph for copying to the Yukon Archives in 1995. Two accessions (89/35R and 89/36R) of Taylor and Drury Mayo Branch records were donated by Linda MacDonald on behalf of the Mayo Historical Society and Lynda Peters in 1989. Both groups of records came from Mayo where they were stored in the original Taylor and Drury building.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records documenting the establishment and operation of Taylor and Drury Limited (T&D) and its branch stores and shareholder company from 1902 to 1960. Fonds contains correspondence, bills of sale, leases, certificates, wills, catalogues, invoices, counter books, and other financial records relating to the establishment of T&D, property and merchandise purchasing, management of the branch stores, daily business operations including inventory, accounting, shipping, and receiving of stock, sales of company shares, and the estates of various T&D store employees. Also included are by-laws, articles of incorporation, minute books, and financial statements of the Taylor and Pedlar and Company and the shareholder company, J.P. Whitney Co. and J.P. Whitney Black Silverfox Farm (1914-1950). A further accession includes two ledgers for the Selkirk branch: an accounts ledger for Taylor & Drury Ltd. (Selkirk) 1922-1944 and account book, Taylor, Drury & Pedlar Co. (Selkirk) 1916-1922. The Taylor and Drury Mayo Branch records (1919-1960) are divided into the following six series: Correspondence, Inventory, Financial records, C.D. Taylor School Workbooks and Miscellaneous papers, Publications, and Photographs. The fonds also includes 4 photographs and an audio cassette of an interview of Charlie Taylor conducted by Lesley Buchan and Jonathan Parker at the Yukon Archives in July 1988. Topics covered in the interview include bookkeeping and accounting procedures of T&D, particularly in Mayo, and personal narratives about his wife Betty Taylor and economic conditions in the Yukon.

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Restrictions on access

Restrictions are noted in the inventory for accessions 89/35R and 89/36R.There are no other restrictions on files other than accession 95/92, COR 1018 Accounts Receivable file, 1942-1948 which may only be accessed for blind statistical studies. This restriction to cease on December 31, 2045.

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Finding aids

File lists are available. Inventory to the Taylor & Drury Ltd., Mayo Branch Records 1919-1960 held at the Yukon Archives Acc.# 89/35R and 89/36R (forms part of the Taylor & Drury Co. Ltd. fonds), Reprinted 2003.

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