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Auction heats up for historical letter from Vancouver’s Gassy Jack

A 141-year-old letter from John Deighton, otherwise known as Gassy Jack, is attracting bids from as far away as England in an online auction.

Gassy Jack and a partial scan of the letter.


Gassy Jack and a partial scan of the letter.

A local collectibles shop has attracted overseas attention for an auction for a 141-year-old letter from Gassy Jack Deighton, the saloon owner who the Gastown neighbourhood was named after.

Bids for the March 11, 1875 letter, which concerns Deighton’s inability to pay a bill due to “some unexpected bad luck,” reached $1,995 as of Monday, according to All Nations Stamp & Coin’s online auction site.

Bidders come from as far away as Deighton’s hometown of Hull, England. Deighton worked on ships and participated in the gold rush before operating bars in New Westminster and in what’s now known as Gastown, where a statue was erected in his honour. The auction closes Saturday.

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