North Vancouver Archives offer great gifts for Christmas

The North Vancouver Archives are not the first place you would think to go to find a special present for a special person at Christmas. The kind of present you wouldn’t find for sale anywhere else, for that person who has everything. In fact, most people don’t even know where the Archives are located, or even what the staff does there.

Head north of the intersection of Mountain Highway and Lynn Valley Road (that’s along Lynn Valley Road toward the mountains, for those of us who are directionally challenged!) A block later, turn left at Institute Road. The Community History Centre is found immediately to your left at 3203 Institute Road in the old stone Lynn Valley Elementary School. The ground floor holds offices for the North Vancouver Museum and Archives; the museum itself is currently located at Presentation House at 209 West 4th  and will soon  move into a purpose-built new space near the waterfront. The North Vancouver Archives are on the top floor of the Community History Centre.

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Earthquake hit Lynn Valley 70 years ago today

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Earthquakes have been an ongoing concern in these parts for a very long time – here’s an account of a major earthquake that hit these shores 70 years ago today, from the diary of Winnifred Kate Walton.

Winnifred was born in England in 1888 and travelled to British Columbia in April 1912.  She had a number of homes in Lynn Valley, and in the 1940s and ’50s operated a ladies’ wear shop here as well, first in the Brier Block then across the street in the Fromme Block, now home to the TD Bank and Waves coffee house. Winnifred passed away in Lynn Valley in 1983. Thank you to her granddaughter, Dianne Elphinstone, for providing us with occasional excerpts from “Granny’s Diary.”

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Lynn Valley Day brings back memories

Thank you to Dianne Elphinstone for sharing some of her Lynn Valley Day memories and photos! Volunteer or attend this year’s community celebration on the weekend of June 17 to 19; check out all the details here.

In the early 1940s someone displayed fridges at Lynn Valley Day. Most people did not have one, or also had never seen one. Someone else had a live caged anteater; this would have been about 1945.

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Take a “Jane’s Walk” and hear Lynn Valley history

Jane’s Walks are coming to Lynn Valley,  just in time to celebrate the 100th birthday of the person after whom they were named.

Writer and activist Jane Jacobs had a significant influence on urban planning in the 1960s, when she introduced concepts such as “social capital” in designing communities that better served the overall needs of their residents.

LV Rd by Ross Rd c 1920s NVMA

Lynn Valley Road by Ross Road, circa 1920s. Courtesy of NV Museum & Archives.

Today, Jane’s Walks are free, citizen-led walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about, and celebrate their neighbourhoods. On Saturday, May 7, North Vancouver Museum and Archives Curator Karen Dearlove will lead a tour of Lynn Valley, which will be illustrated by historical facts, anecdotes, and historical images, many pertaining to the neighbourhood’s history as a logging and shingle-building community.

The tour will begin at the Community History Centre located in the former Lynn Valley school building at 3203 Institute Road. The tour will begin at 10:30 a.m. and last approximately one hour.

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1962 Lynn Valley Day May Queen remembers crowning glory

From Lynn O’Malley, Voice of the Valley

She may have accomplished many things in her life since, but chief among Jane Jessop’s memories is being crowned May Queen at the 1962 Lynn Valley Day. And it wasn’t just any Lynn Valley Day – they really put on the Ritz as it was the 50th anniversary of the first Lynn Valley Day that took place in 1912 in Lynn Canyon Park.

It wasn’t Jane’s first Lynn Valley Day, though. Then Jane Hambleton, she had been one of the May Queen’s flower girls when she was just in Grade 1. But that was nothing compared to being chosen by popular vote from amongst four or five other Lynn Valley Elementary School girls to be the May Queen in Grade 6.

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Mom won in a walk: a Lynn Valley Day memory

By contributing writer Len Corben

My mother’s Achilles heel was actually her most valuable asset. At least it was on the afternoon she entered the Lynn Valley Day walking race from 15th Street and Lonsdale Avenue to Lynn Valley Park on June 1, 1957, coming up 58 years ago now.

With this year’s Lynn Valley Day scheduled for Saturday, May 30, this is the perfect opportunity to tell the tale of my mom’s victory using a rather unorthodox finishing kick.

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Granddaughter offers glimpse into Lynn Valley Day history

Thanks to our internet-connected world, a little piece of Lynn Valley history recently came to light.

Kim Wertenberger of Wapato, Washington, sent LynnValleyLife a photo of a much-cherished trophy that once belonged to her grandfather, Brian J. Ingoldsby. “I love it dearly and wanted to share it with you,” wrote Kim, who had unsuccessfully tried to make contact with someone in Lynn Valley years ago. This time, her internet search found an appreciative audience in the LVLife editorial office.

Image 4The trophy was given to Mr. Ingoldsby for winning the “Mile Flat Race” in 1921, 22, and 23. The race was run at the first-ever Lynn Valley Day in 1912, and again in 1913, but there is a significant gap in the dates while World War One interrupted such idyllic pastimes. (For a first-hand account of another Lynn Valley man’s experience of this period, see Walter Draycott’s online chronicle of The Great War.) It must have been celebratory indeed when Mr. Ingoldsby won the race when it made its reappearance in 1921.

Says Kim: “I was told that [my grandfather] qualified for the Olympics as a runner, but was spiked by another runner’s shoe so couldn’t participate.  I’m not sure about the truth in that or even if I am remembering the story correctly…but he won this trophy three years in a row so he must have had some skill!”

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Lynn Valley loses loved Legionnaire

 

Received on March 12 from the Lynn Valley Legion. 

Comrade Harold Finnegan, a beloved member of Branch #114 and Veteran of the Korean War, passed away this week.  A Celebration of  Harold’s remarkable life will be held at Branch #114 this Saturday [March 14].  Please join us for a Full Legion Ceremony and service for family, friends and Comrades beginning at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow at the Branch.

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History Centre showcases diverse stories

 

A press release from the North Vancouver Museum & Archives:

North Vancouver has undergone many changes in recent years. We see this in changing skylines, advertisements about new businesses and festivals, and in the diversity of people now residing within our community.

It is important to recognise and document the multicultural history of our dynamic community. This is being done through the Diversifying History Project, a North Vancouver Museum & Archives’ oral history initiative which documents the arrival stories of new Canadians.

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Online project offers glimpse into Draycott’s war years

Some current-day citizens of Lynn Valley knew Walter Draycott when he was alive. Most of us, however, know Walter as the man sitting on the bench, immortalized in bronze, in Pioneer Park on the corner of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway. Others know him best from the pages of his excellent community history, Early Days in Lynn Valley, a must-have book usually available for purchase at the Community History Centre in the old Lynn Valley school.

Now, however, there is another, more intimate way to get to know him: from the pages of his own diary, in an online chronicle of his years spent as a military sketch artist in World War One. The unique project will unfold, one day at a time, each diary entry posted exactly 100 years after it was written. The North Vancouver Museum and Archives sent out the following press release today, and for a wonderful short video description of the project, click here.

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Walter DraycoOn September 13, 2014, the North Vancouver Museum & Archives launched a unique online project documenting and contextualizing one man’s experience of World War I. In commemoration of the centenary of the War, each of Walter Draycott’s war-time diary entries is being posted 100 years from the day it was written. The project, entitled “Walter Draycott’s Great War Chronicle” spans the four years of the War between 1914 and 1918. It will be updated daily between 2014 and 2018, with personal photographs, battlefield drawings, and other materials, complementing Walter’s terse diary entries.

An early settler in Lynn Valley,  Walter Draycott answered the call for men at the start of World War I. By the end of 1914 he was thrust into combat on the Western Front as part of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Years later, upon his death at the age of 102, Walter left his entire life-time’s set of diaries (1907-1985) to the North Vancouver Museum and Archives (NVMA). According to Archivist Janet Turner, “NVMA staff has long been intrigued with Walter’s life, the documents he left behind, and in particular, the tiny volumes that recorded his years as a soldier and military topographer.”

“The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War this year provides a perfect opportunity to share these unique materials with Canadians and the world,” Turner explains. “Walter Draycott’s personal records are significant because they provide an entry point into the momentous changes that were taking place at the time.”

Throughout the website, audio, essays, photographs, and other resources help connect Walter’s words to a rapidly shifting political, economic, and cultural landscape. Many of the significant diary entries are brought to life with voice-over readings by North Vancouver actor Gordon Roberts, veteran of the musical Billy Bishop Goes to War.

Yearly essays by BC military historian, David Borys, link Walter’s personal experience as a self-described ‘pawn’ to the unfolding global conflict. Photo albums help visitors envision Walter’s world with personal portraits, battlefield drawings, and images from his original handwritten diaries.

Walter Draycott Statue, Lynn Valley

Walter Draycott’s Great War Chronicle” is presented by the North Vancouver Museum 

& Archives with funding from Veterans Affairs Canada, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, and the Canada Summer Jobs program. The interactive website can be found at:  greatwarchronicle.ca