Sault Saint Marie, Michigan…
If ever a guy was game (just a happy coincidence with the pun) to try new things, it seems that Sam W. Kirvan, was one such guy. S. W. Kirvan, the publisher of the Old American Locks postcard in our prior post, was also at various times, a pilot, fishing guide, fish and game warden, vaudeville theater partner, store and restaurant owner. Not surprisingly then, but luckily, as we can see from the ad below, he was also a very good self-promoter. (In the world of antique postcards it’s uncommon to find a likeness of the actual publisher.)
Samuel W. Kirvan was born in Ontario, Canada, November 15, 1862, and died December 26, 1937. He was the son of Irish immigrants, Martin and Ellen Jane Kirvan. The 1871 Federal Census shows Samuel at about age 6, with his family in Arran Township, Bruce County, Ontario. On October 3, 1886 he married Margaret Ann Harper, in Cheboygan, MI. It’s not clear how long he may have published postcards. The 1893 date comes from a snippet book result that shows up on another site with a later estimated date for the same four-page publication, and the American Locks postcard is 1906, though there may have been later ones. There don’t seem to be too many of S. W. Kirvan’s postal cards that survived. In any case, his name can be found numerous times in the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, as well as in census records and city directories. The following is an occupational timeline with rough date estimates:
1892 – Fruit and confectionery store bought from T. A. Campbell
Pilot and fishing guide – 1893 – ? 18 years experience as a pilot per ad
Deputy game warden – June 1893 – ?
Publisher of tourist views and postcards – 1893 – 1906?
Fruit and candy tent sales – May 1894
Restaurant at 59 Portage Ave. W. – 1898
Fur dealer – 1900 Federal Census
Dealer in Indian curios – 1900 – 1905
Opening vaudeville theater with Mr. Devine – 1906
Bought the Gerrish Cafe on Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie – about April 1906
Hotel manager – 1920 Federal Census
Owner of cigar store and billiard room – 1922 – ?
Owner of decorating store – 1930 Federal census
Some clippings below from the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News….
Notice of appointment to Chippewa County deputy game and fish warden, dated June 3, 1893.
Tent sales mention
A clip from a December 20, 1905 article, with Samuel Kirvan later in the article making the distinction that, “We will allow nothing that parents cannot conscientiously take their children to witness.”
An April 1921 snippet, remembering 1906.
United Cigar Store ad, December 16, 1922. The cigar store is mentioned in a later article as being a cigar store/pool hall.
Sources: Year: 1871; Census Place: Arran, Bruce, Ontario; Roll: C-9937; Page: 6; Family No: 16. (Ancestry.com)
Kirvan, S.W. Brook Trout and Black Bass Fishing: Tourists and Others While Visiting Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. .. S.W. Kirvan. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/4099601).
“Souvenir of the Soo: Scenes Around La Saut De. Ste. Marie, Michigan.” (1893) Google.com snippet view. (accessed May 28, 2017).
R. L. Polk & Co.’s Sault Ste. Marie Directories for 1895, 1898, 1900, 1902 and 1905. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995).
Original data: Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)
Year: 1910; Census Place: Sault St marie Ward 3, Chippewa, Michigan; Roll: T624_641; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0247; FHL microfilm: 1374654. (Ancestry.com)
Year: 1920; Census Place: Chippewa, Chippewa, Michigan; Roll: T625_761; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 21; Image: 49. (Ancestry.com)
Year: 1930; Census Place: Superior, Chippewa, Michigan; Roll: 980; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0025; Image: 1052.0; FHL microfilm: 2340715. (Ancestry.com)
Death Records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan. (Ancestry.com)
“Deputy Warden Kirvan.” Sault Saint Marie Evening News. June 3, 1893, Saturday. (GenealogyBank.com)
Tent sale. Sault Saint Marie Evening News. May 5, 1894, Saturday. (GenealogyBank.com)
“To Open Theatre.” Sault Saint Marie Evening News. December 20, 1905, Wednesday.
“15 Years Ago.” Sault Saint Marie Evening News. April 4, 1894, Monday . (GenealogyBank.com)
United Cigar Stores. Sault Saint Marie Evening News. December 16, 1922, Saturday. (GenealogyBank.com)