Dispatch from the Moore Home
Updated: Jun 13, 2019
By Amie Lalonde, Collections Cataloguer
If you’ve walked down Bear Street towards the Whyte Museum you’ve probably noticed a little brown cabin with bright blue shutters—the colour of larkspur. If you’ve stopped to read the sign out front, or perhaps taken one of the tours offered by the Museum, you know that the house is that of the late Philip and Pearl Moore. Philip and Pearl were colourful characters in Banff’s early years. Their home remains a reminder of the life that some Banffites lived in the early years of the twentieth century.
In April of this year the Museum began an initiative to fully inventory and catalogue all of the objects in the Museum’s collection—especially those hidden away in the drawers and cabinets of both the Moore home and the Peter and Catharine Whyte home. For the past two weeks I’ve been working through the dining room in the Moore home—double checking old catalogue records and cataloguing some objects that were hidden away in drawers, cabinets and chests. So far I’ve come across some very real reminders that this building really was a home—including salt and pepper shakers still full of spices and a half full bottle of wine.
There have been some mysteries as well. A buffet cabinet door that is stuck shut (I desperately want to know what is in there), a silver chest that took over an hour to open (the key was hidden under a large pile of table linen) and trying to figure out exactly what the purpose of a spoon with a cup on the end was (an old fashioned bar multi-tool is my hypothesis).
Though Pearl and Philip didn’t often entertain guests for meals in their home (they preferred to go to the Mount Royal Hotel—conveniently owned by Pearl’s brother, Jim Brewster) the dining room has an abundance of china, silverware, glassware and barware in English, Japanese, Russian and North American styles. For as many things as the dining room contains—it’s actually one of the sparser decorated rooms in the home. The main bedroom, the study and the living room will be even bigger projects and each will likely present their own mysteries and challenges.
Stay tuned for more dispatches from the homes over the coming months and years!
If this sneak peek has piqued your interest, stop by the Museum for a tour of the Moore and Whyte homes! Daily 45-minute tours begin at 11:30 a.m. and cost $10+GST per person.
Want to learn more about the Moore family? Check out our virtual exhibition, Mountain Women: The Lives of Pearl Brewster Moore and Edmée Moore Reid of Banff.