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Reford Family Fonds (P018)

1881-1967. - 100 cm of textual records and cartographic material. - 107 photographs. - 3 ambrotypes. - 2 daguerreotypes.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Robert Wilson Reford was a successful Montreal businessman in the transportation industry. He founded the Robert Reford Co. (Steamship Agents). Elsie Stephen Meighen (1872-1967) was the daughter of Robert Meighen and the niece of Lord Mount Stephen. She was an active member of the National Committee of the Royal Victorian Order of Nurses and was known as an avid gardener. The Reford Garden/Jardins de Métis still stands today as a witness to her passion.

Robert Wilson Reford and Elsie Stephen Meighen married in 1894 and had one daughter and two sons, one of whom was Lewis Eric Reford. He was born in Montreal on December 12, 1900, and became President of the Robert Reford Co. In 1927 he married Katharina Nickolaievna Pletschikoff. They had four children: Eric, Boris, Sonja and Lewis Alexis. Sonja Reford married J. M. Arnold-Forster.

Scope and Content:

The Reford family fonds consists of the following series: tourism, travel pamphlets, personal papers and cards. It provides partial information on Elsie Stephen Reford's work for hospitals and reflects Lewis Eric Reford's interest in travel, ships and current events. The records related to Elsie Stephen Reford include a diary of her hospital work, letters from the Royal Victoria Hospital, a voucher book from the University Lying-In Hospital, dance cards and programs. The records related to Lewis Eric Reford consist of a series of brochures and pamphlets on steamships, railways, national parks, travel guides, airlines, hotels and maps. The fonds also contains a calendar of the Grunt Club of Montreal, magazines, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, a collection of calling, greeting and invitation cards and records related to the Royal Commission on Transportation.

The photographs from the Notman Photographic Archives are primarily family portraits of the Reford, MacDougall, Fraser, Law and Paterson families. The photographs also include three ambrotypes and two daguerreotype portraits as well as one photograph printed on porcelain. There is also a portrait of two young women holding violins, and a view of the Paterson House at Cacouna.