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Sandon Paystreak envelope sells for $241

Updated: Dec 23, 2018

A neat item sold this afternoon on eBay for $192 US (which is $241 Cdn): an envelope from the Sandon Paystreak newspaper. It was postmarked Jan. 3, 1898 — two days after Sandon incorporated as a city — and sent to a J.W. Wheatley, Esq. at 1427 11th Ave. in Spokane. Wheatley was a lawyer, according to the 1900 US census. The envelope’s seller was in Seattle.

The Paystreak was one of Robert Thornton Lowery’s many mining-themed papers in the West Kootenay. Although he owned it and helped launch the weekly on Sept. 26, 1896, he wasn’t involved in its day-to-day operation, which was handled first by J.J. Langstaff and in 1899 leased or sold to Billy MacAdams. UBC has digitized the newspaper’s entire run. The Paystreak office was in Cody Avenue, and is depicted in one photo of Sandon, although I can’t seem to find a link to it online.


The final issue was Dec. 27, 1902, the subscription list afterward absorbed by The Ledge, a peripatetic paper Lowery was then running in New Denver. The Paystreak’s printing press was shipped Vancouver for Lowery’s short-lived Ozonogram, a humour magazine.


One other bit of trivia: before using the name in Sandon, Lowery contemplated starting the Rossland Paystreak. According to The Ledge of Feb. 19, 1914, April 15, 1915, and Oct. 9, 1919 (then published in Greenwood) he got as far as issuing a prospectus, but the paper itself never materialized. However, Lowery took credit as the “indirect cause” of the launch of the Rossland Miner in 1895. He did publish a one-shot called Lowery’s Golden Claim in Rossland in 1898.

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