These well worn leather cowboy chaps belonged to John Percy Watson (1882-1935), who used them when he was a ranch hand in Hedley, BC, in the early 20th century. A photograph, dated to 1906, shows the young Watson, wearing the chaps, sitting astride his horse.
The chaps are part of a collection, donated by the family, containing paperwork, photographs and objects used by Watson, who moved to BC in 1905. The collection illustrates his life as a young man, his love of sports and his community involvement as president of the Rotary Club, the BC Amateur Athletic Union and BC Amateur Hockey Association. Watson played hockey as a goalie in Victoria leagues into the late 1920s, and was a strong proponent of re-instating professional lacrosse in 1924.
The collection includes Watson’s lacrosse stick, with a photograph of him in uniform dated to approx.1898, as well as Watson’s personal set of golf clubs dated to approx. 1915. It also features baseball and hockey photographs from the 1910s to 1920s.