Guide to the Camera Shop Collection (1940s – 1970s) – History

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Violet Mary Park was a photographer in Santa Cruz from 1942 to 1951. She was born in Portsmouth, England on December 9, 1897. She married Charles Whichelow in September 1919. They had a son, John Lionel Whichelow, who was born on December 19 but the year was not legible may have been 1916. Violet and Charles Whichelow apparently divorced, Charles did not die until 1934. She then married William Walter Morey in 1922. They immigrated to the United States on 27 May 1922, immigration records show her name as Violet Mary Morey. It appears that William and Violet divorced. Violet then married Elmer Joel Park on 14 or 18 May 1929. Violet Mary Park purchased the William Hollway Melliar’s Studio in 1942, this studio was located at 150 Pacific Avenue. Seven years later Vi Park bought the Camera Shop at 119 Walnut Avenue. By 1956 there were apparently two locations for the Camera Shop: one at 445 Main Street, Watsonville, phone 4-9770; and the other at 119 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, phone GA 3-7103. Violet operated the Vi Park Camera shop on Walnut Avenue from 1948 until her retirement in 1951. She turned the shop over to her son, John Whichelow, who operated the firm until it was bought out by Lightning Lab. Violet Mary Park died on January 10, 1965, in Santa Cruz. She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Santa Cruz.