Fonds jas-2570 - Otto Brothers fonds

A portrait photograph of Jack and Robina Otto. [Bruce Otto], Alberta Skookum Charley, a Kitwanga Medicine Man at Kitwanga, British Columbia. [Rocky Mountain Sheep] Two Kitwanga children with a canoe, Kitwanga, British Columbia. [Unidentified man with Rocky Mountain Sheep] An unidentified woman. [Rocky Mountain Sheep], Alberta Sliter family with dogs at a campsite, Jasper National Park, Alberta. [Rocky Mountain Sheep], Alberta
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Otto Brothers fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds

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Reference code

JAS jas-2570

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Date(s)

  • [1857-1941] (Creation)
    Creator
    Otto, Closson

Physical description area

Physical description

289 photographs : b&w ; various sizes. -- 4 pages of textual records

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Biographical history

Jack (1873-1948), Closson (1882-1968) and Bruce (1884-1980) Otto started their outfitting company "Otto Brothers" in Field, BC. They were very successful, outfitting for A.O. Wheeler and the Alpine Club of Canada. In 1910 they re-established their business in Jasper. Over the years they outfitted for several famous clients; Mary Schaffer (1911); James Oliver Curwood; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1914) and the Alpine Club of Canada (1913). They were involved in other ventures including; lumbering, they opened a dance hall, pool hall and barber shop (1917) and built several homes. They also built the first garage in Jasper (1923) and owned a fleet of touring cars. The outfittting business was sold in 1935 and the pool hall in the early 1940's. Jack Otto was born in Haliburton, Ontario in 1873. He was the eldest of a family of six boys and three girls. Very early in life he went to work in the local lumber camps, and spent the winters trapping. He arrived at Golden, B.C. in 1895 and set up one of the longest trap-lines in the district. This was brought him to the attention of Tom Wilson, pioneer outfitter of the Banff (AB) area, who convinced Jack to join his crew at Field (BC) during the summer trapping doldrums. Jack's good nature and sense of humor soon made him one of the most popular members of Tom's staff. Jack's brothers, Closson, (b. 1882) and Bruce, (b. 1884) had similar work experiences as Jack. Closson at age 18 and Bruce at age 16, came to Field in 1900, and like Jack went to work for Wilson. In 1907 Bruce and Closson joined with Jack and formed their own company named The Otto Brothers.The Otto brothers were involved in other ventures including; lumbering, they opened a dance hall, pool hall and barber shop (1917) and built several homes. They also built the first garage in Jasper (1923) and owned a fleet of touring cars. The outfitting business was sold in 1935 and the pool hall in the early 1940s. The Otto Brothers outfitted parties for A. O. Wheeler on his topographical survey in the Banff area, and in honor of their valuable service Wheeler named Otto Pass and Otto Creek after them. A. O. Wheeler was a Dominion Land Surveyor and the founder of The Alpine Club of Canada, formed in 1906. Because of their excellent service in the Alpine Camps from 1906 until 1908 they were named the official outfitters to the Alpine Club of Canada in 1909. They handled the 1909 camp near the shore of Lake O'Hara with 190 participants in attendance.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of photographs related to the Otto brothers (Jack, Closson, Bruce) guiding and outfitting business, their family, friends, neighbours and clients that employed them to guide and outfit their hunting, scientific and club expeditions, including photographs from their trips with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Alpine Club of Canada, James Oliver Curwood, and Dr. Charles Walcott of the Smithsonian Institution. The fonds also consists of calendars, note cards, and property leases related to the Otto brothers and their lives in Jasper (AB), Field (BC), and Golden (BC)

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Gift of donor

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Based on original order

Language of material

  • The material is in English

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There are no restrictions on access

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General note

Record No. ID229;PA 33;991.73;991.78;991.96;000.46<br><br>

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