William 'Bill' Dungate was born in Vernon in 1909 and moved to Houston with his family as a young boy. The Dungates ran a farm in the area for 10 years before moving to Prince Rupert. Bill returned to Houston as an adult with his wife, Betty (nee Aitken) and they raised their daughter, Nora, on a farm near town. In addition to farming, Bill worked in the logging industry, as a weatherman for the Forest Service, and as a community photographer. He also collected and restored many historic photographs from the Houston area. Betty played a major role in the development of the Women's Institute and the recording of Houston's history in the book "Marks on the Forest Floor." Bill recieved the Queen's Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the community in 1978, and both he and Betty were declared Freemen of Houston in 1985. Bill Dungate died in 1993; Betty passed away at some point between 2000 and 2021. (For more detailed info, see Finding Aid).
The photographic negatives and slides in this fonds were all created or collected by Bill Dungate during his lifetime. Many of the older negatives (pre-1960s) are reproductions of historic photographs lent to him by locals for copying, whereas many of the newer ones (1960s onwards) appear to have been taken by Dungate himself. Following Dungate’s death, these items came into the ownership of Dino Laramie, who donated them to the Bulkley Valley Museum on August 12th 2021.
Scope and Content
This fonds contains several hundred photographic negatives and slides depicting people, places, and events in the history of Houston and the surrounding area from the 1910s to the 1980s.
Photographs in this fonds were assessed and numbered in the order in which they were removed from the envelopes they arrived in.
Not all of the original donation (1000+ photos) has been retained. Of those kept, only those with identifiable context and relevance to the Museum’s mandate were selected for scanning and accessioning into the database. For most of the newer photographs (1960s-1980s), multiple alternative shots showing different angles, additional people, etc. are available but have not been scanned or numbered.