John Fannin and a tuskworthy friend

A old-timey photo of a man and a taxidermy walrus.
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John Fannin, the museum’s first curator and taxidermy enthusiast, pictured in the provincial museum’s natural history collection. He became the first curator of what is now known as the Royal BC Museum in 1886. At the time, it was nothing more than a small room attached to the parliament building.

Fannin led an interesting life. Born in Kempville, Ontario in 1837, he worked as a shoemaker before moving to BC to join the goldrush. Following that, he tried his hand at farming and ranching in the interior before settling into taxidermy.

He also surveyed large portions of BC and as a result, Fannin Range, Fannin Lake, and Fannin Creek are all named after him.

Fannin retired from the museum shortly before his death in 1904.

Photo credit: Albert H. Maynard, circa early 1900s of Fannin and a taxidermy walrus.