The Dales House at 414 Alexander Street circa 1890 CVA Photo SGN 490

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When the Planets Align...

This morning I was preparing for two walking tours that I have scheduled tomorrow... I can't remember exactly why I ended up doing the search but at some point I was looking at the Jewsih Museum and Archives of BC's website to see what they had on Strathcona. Of course, the East End was the home of Vancouver's first significant Jewish comunity so there was a lot on the site, but this photo in particular interested me.
L.0092 Jewish Museum and Archives Cyril Leonoff 1974
I did not recognize the two houses on the left but there was something about the house on the right that piked my interest. I sent out an e-mail to three freinds and neighbours asking if they could recognize the houses in the photo and then went about working on other projects for the rest of the day. I had to concentrate a lot of work in the afternoon as we were expected ast a friends house in the evening for a house cooling party, (our friends had sold their house and were temporarily leaving Strathcona). Anyway, I didn't think about the photo for the rest of the day. My partner and I had a quick vegetarian dinner (Cannelini bean salad) and headed out to our friends house down the street. It is autumn now so night comes early. We had bought some Colli Albani Fontana di Papa wine and had baked some Tartine Alsation Bacon Tarts as our contribution to the party. We had locked our house and were walking to our friends' place on the 800 block of East Georgia when I suddenly noticed the house two doors over from our friends' house. Though covered in stucco, it looked strikingly similar to the house in the middle of the picture. Then it dawned on me... The house to the right of the photo was our friends Randy and Marie's house... I whooped at the discovery. The reason it was hard to place these house was because the house on the left was demolished and replaced with a newer house. As well, there is a new house between the house in the centre and our friends house on the right. Here is how things look now...

I am not quite sure how this will all fit on one screen so here is the older photo again so you can compare.

L.0092 Jewish Museum and Archives Cyril Leonoff 1974
Neat, eh?


522 East Cordova, East School on Oppenheimer Street, 1887 or 1888 Sch P46
This Saturday I am hosting an event for the Heart of the City Festival called:
Saturday October 27, 4pm – 6pm
Chapel Arts, 304 Dunlevy
This will be an exciting opportunity to meet and pose questions to a number of the historians who live, share and celebrate the storied and rich history of the Downtown Eastside. Our panel of history treasure hunters features: house history researcher and heritage activist James Johnstone;author and civic historian John Atkin; Lani Russwurm, writer and Vancouver history blogger; Larry Wong, enthusiastic historian and writer born in Chinatown; Kat Norris, Coast Salish activist and community leader; and Grace Eiko Thomson, freelance curator and respected Japanese Canadian elder. Houses, rumours, streets, labour strife, ancestors, and community successes are just some of the fascinating topics in the neighbourhood treasure box of DTES history. 
Admission is Free

Since the event is taking place at Chapel Arts, a former funeral home located at East Cordova and Dunlevy, I thought my talk would focus on the history and heritage of the two block radius around the venue. I will be using a lot of archival images from the City of Vancouver Archives and the Vancouver Public Library. This promises to be a great presentation. The Heart of The City Festival plans to makes this an annual event.
Bird's Eye view map of the East End in the 1890s