For the first time in more than 66 years, Darvill’s Rare Prints will be based in a state other than Washington. Owners Chris Brussat and Wade Campbell are relocating to the San Juans – the San Juan mountains of southwest Colorado, that is.
Fred T. Darvill, Sr. founded the business in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1918. He relocated to San Francisco, Calif., in 1929. Then, in 1942, Darvill closed the San Francisco store and moved his extensive collection to Orcas Island. Darvill is quoted in the July 4, 1971 The Tacoma News Tribune and Sunday Ledger: “We have sold more prints and paintings from our little island store than we did in both previous stores combined.” At the age of 91, Darvill sold the print shop in 1972 to Dale and Catherine Pederson, who operated the business until Brussat and Campbell purchased it in 2004.
“Now, with an average of over 40,000 hits per day on our website,” Campbell says, “we’re selling more in cyberspace than we did through the Main Street location.” Because of the success of their Web sales, Campbell and Brussat say they are able to locate their base of operations anywhere a high-speed Internet connection exists. Thus, the business will begin its 91st year operating out of Durango, Colo.
Campbell and Brussat say they will miss the beauty of the islands and the many friends and clients they have come to know over the past five years.
Campbell concludes, “It’s not so much goodbye, but ‘so long’ to a venerable old friend. We’ll see you in cyberspace!”