Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Len and Cub Project

In 2016, Dusty Green uncovered the story and photos of two young lovers Len & Cub while working in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Leonard O. Keith and Joseph Austin “Cub” Coates were both from Havelock, a village in South Eastern New Brunswick. Len was an amateur photographer and his photos not only document rural life in New Brunswick at the beginning of the 20th Century, but also his relationship with Cub. Sadly, Len was eventually exposed as a homosexual and driven out of town in the 1930s.

The tale of Len & Cub is a rare example of an early queer relationship in New Brunswick and Canadian history. Green, along with the help of archivist Meredith J. Batt are in the process of writing a book on the lives and relationship of Len & Cub set to be released along with an exhibit at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2021.

Postcard portrait of Leonard Keith (left) and Cub Coates, c. 1915-1920

Len Keith and Cub Coates c. 1915

Leonard Keith (left) and Cub Coates sitting together in a shirtless embrace c. 1915

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