Last week I finished one of these smaller projects for two realtors who have been great clients of mine, Ruth Chuang and David Jones. The house they wanted to research was at 2057 Ferndale, very close to my daughter's high school, Templeton. Ruth asked me to look and see if I could confirm that the house had been built in two stages... Perhaps there was some neighbourhood lore about this. She didn't explain that to me, but I went to the City of Vancouver Archives and got to work. This is a summary of what I found out.
The 1909 and 1910 directories have a number of listings for M. Taylors but none for an M. W. Taylor. A search of the 1901 and 1911 Canadian censuses turn up no record of an M. W. Taylor, so he is a bit of a mystery. The house was built at a time when Vancouver was booming and real estate speculation was rife. Many people came to the city to make a quick buck during the boom and then moved on. M. W. Taylor was likely one of those men.
On the map, what is now called Ferndale Street, was back then still called Keefer. You can see 2057 Ferndale on the south half of Lot 6 on block 49. It shows as a plain rectangle. There is not much in the way of interesting detail on this map.
Another search of the building permit records got me the piece of information I was looking for. On August 18, 1911, a carpenter named David Felstein applied for a building permit for an addition to his house at “2054 Keefer Street”. The addition cost $150.00. After going through the city directories for a number of decades I did some research online in the BC Archives Vital Events listings, then went to the 6th floor of the main branch of the Vancouver Public L and found that David Felstein was born in Russia on April 1, 1859, the son of Aaron and Tresa Felstein. His wife Annie was born in Russia in April of 1870, the daughter of Aaron and Pearl Kravitz. The Felsteins had at least three children at the time the house was built: Benjamin Myher born in “Poland” on July 25, 1900, Pearl, born in Russia on June 15, 1904, and Jacob, born in Russia in 1907. For a number of years, David Felstein is listed as "Henry" Felstein. From 1918 onward, David changes professions going into the second hand junk trade, listed during some years as a peddler, then later in the 1930s as the proprietor of a junk and second hand container store at 1322 Frances, near Clark Drive. The Felstein family lived at 2057 Ferndale until shortly after 1950 when the house was bought by carpenter Henry R. Southwell and his wife Mildred.
Though disappointed that I couldn't find a picture of the Felstein family, I was thrilled to see that some of the men immortalized in the picture were people who lived in houses I had researched on East Georgia, Union Street and Princess Avenue in my neighbourhood, Strathcona. Thanks to this piece of research work from Ruth and David, another couple of pieces of my East End history puzzle had fallen into place.
Photo L.00001 from the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia has a caption which reads:
"Led by Rabbi P. Wohlgelernter, the Chevra Chovevi Torah are worshipping at regular morning service.
Top: L-R: Ed Kravitz; Samuel Kravitz.
Fourth row: L-R: Yudah Tischler; Itzik Berger; Schmil Hersh (Hayit) Hyatt; Mnachem Mendel Farber; Daniel Yochlowitz.
Third row: L-R: Alexander (Berezofsky) Barratt; Isaac Lipovsky; Samuel Klausner; unidentified; Gershen Bobroff.
Second row: L-R: Shmuel Gurevitch; Leiser Rome; Maurice Kushner; Solomon Stusser; Maurice Goldberg; Benjamin Baltman.
First row: L-R: Abraham Levinson; David Meier Davis; Rabbi Solomon Wohlgelernter; David Morris."
The names that are bolded above I have come across doing house histories in Strathcona. It was great to be able to put faces to some names.
I did an online search to see if I could track down any living relatives of the Felsteins but could not find any. If you read this and are a relative, I would love to have a picture of David and Annie Felstein or any of the children mentioned in this blog.