A Map For BC Historians

The always excellent BC Studies journal has now published online a map showing the location of all its articles over several decades. The map is easily scalable to any level of detail and could be a very useful tool for locating scholarly articles on a particular place.

I have to note that there have been no articles published that focus on Grandview. However, some of the seminal and important works about Vancouver in general can be found easily with this tool.

Great Day To Unveil A Plaque!

This afternoon, during a gathering at 1350 Graveley Street, we unveiled our plaque to the oldest surviving house in Grandview.

Members of GHG were graciously welcomed by the Calogero family who have carefully maintained the house since the 1970s, and we were joined by neighbours, and descendants of the Wheeling family who built the house in 1899 on the eastern shores  of False Creek. Some of the relatives travelled up from the States for the occasion. Many of us enjoyed a full tour of the interior along with expresso and biscotti.

We first engaged with a presentation on this house in September 2016, and the full story is scheduled to be published in the fall edition of BC History magazine. It makes for fascinating reading.

 

GHG On Car Free Day

We had a lot going on in the booth today — detailed maps of early Grandview buildings, a very fine display of period interiors along with modern furniture that can be used to match the look, some interesting items from 1917, and access to the Grandview Database.

The progress of folks interested in the booth was steady throughout the afternoon and we were able to give brief histories from the Database to a good number of residents. Our plaque-raising ceremony for Grandview’s oldest house also attracted a great deal of interest and comment — I suspect we will have a decent crowd on the 22nd.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped crew the table, and especial thanks to everyone who stopped by and encouraged us to continue our work on recording and preserving Grandview’s rich heritage.

GHG Events In July

There will not be a formal meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group this month. However, we will be involved in two exciting events:

  • On Sunday 9th July, from noon until about 6:00pm, GHG will have a booth at Commercial Drive’s Car Free Day festival. Our booth will be on the east side of Commercial just north of Parker, outside Bosa Foods. We will have a number of displays of Grandview’s history and heritage, odd items for you to guess their function, and access to the Grandview Database to look up the history of your house. In addition there will be volunteers who can discuss local heritage issues. We hope to see many of you and for you to put faces to names you may have read here and elsewhere.
  • Then, on Saturday 22nd July at 2:00pm, we will be unveiling a commemorative plaque to celebrate the extraordinary history of the house at 1350 Graveley Street which after being moved twice, is the oldest surviving house in the neighbourhood, dating from 1899. The current owner/occupiers will be joined for the celebration by descendants of the original family that built the house. Come join us for this historic event!

Grandview Database v 15

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.  

This version incorporates more than 2100 new data points since the previous release.

  • About 1,300 of these additional data points complete entries from the 1912 City Directory and take us deep into the 1913 Directory;
  • More than 450 households have been added from the 1921 Census;
  • And about 400 new data points have been captured from miscellaneous references in the “Highland Echo” and similar sources covering the period 1901-1999.

We hope you find the Database of value, and we encourage and welcome corrections, and additions.

Notes From The June Meeting

The GHG had another interesting meeting last night, covering a wide range of topics:

  • We discussed arrangements for the plaque to be placed at 1350 Graveley to recognise it as the oldest still-extant house in Grandview. The unveiling will take place near the end of July (date to be confirmed) when a number of the original owners’ family will be present. Dates and final details to be confirmed in early July to allow for notification of the event;
  • Eric took us through this month’s Neighbourhood Review which included a look at the work moving swiftly ahead at both the new Bosa store on Victoria and Brookhouse on Parker, stone wall repair on Lakewood, and the history of Robertson Church on Salsbury. These discussions also allowed us to look into the costs of “legalizing” a suite in an older building, the costs associated with that, and a review of various BC MIlls (and similar “packaged”) houses;
  • Plans for GHG participation at Commercial Drive’s No Car Day on 9th July were discussed.  We have a table and will display various maps of Grandview’s growth, some early real estate ads and, hopefully, we will have access to the Grandview Database to allow passers-by to check the history of their houses. More GHG business cards and flyers will be prepared;
  • Eric also took us through a number of upcoming events, such as Maurice Guibord’s walking tours, VHS activities, and Heritage Vancouver’s Top Ten Endangered Sites tour;
  • We then looked at the new development application for a 10-storey tower at 11th and Victoria which, they claim, will include preservation of a single “heritage” house on the site;
  • Nigel raised the idea — available in Europe, apparently — that people could step in, through some form of legal arrangement, to assist heritage home owners who are unable or unwilling to maintain their properties. He noted that we already lose a lot of heritage homes through development and demolition, and it is a shame to lose others simply through neglect;
  • Eric showed a video about home to build porch (and similar) concrete piers;
  • We finished the evening with a lively discussion about preservation of heritage interiors. John had taken the New Westminster Heritage Tour this spring and noticed that some houses had done this,while many others — including many in Grandview — had preserved the exterior and form, but stripped out the interior. There was a back-and-forth debate about how far can heritage preservation actually go (do we really want an Edwardian kitchen, for example?).

Another excellent evening of fascinating talks.

The June Meeting

It’s that time of the month again — another Grandview Heritage Group meeting!  We will meet at

7:00pm Thursday 15th June, Britannia Board Room, Napier Street

As usual, we will have an open agenda that will include our monthly review of Neighbourhood Changes, confirmation of the Plaque Reveal day for the Oldest House in Grandview, and discussions about GHG’s table at No Car Day in July. No doubt there will be a  number of other heritage and historical issues that come up.

Come along and join the conversation!

 

 

Grandview Database v.14

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.  

This version incorporates almost 1,500 new data points since the previous release. Nearly all the new entries are households from the 1911 census, which is now complete. The balance includes an almost complete set of entries for the 1912 City Directory.

I had hoped to be able to say that everyone listed in the 1911 census is now listed in the Database. However, readable handwriting was NOT one of the requirements for census enumerators, and much of the writing, even if well formed, has now faded from sight.There are several hundred households missing for these reasons.  The following link is to a typical page to illustrate these issues.

We hope you find the Database of value, and we encourage and welcome corrections, and additions.

 

 

Meeting Notes: May 2017

The GHG had another fine meeting last night, covering a diverse set of topics.

  • During the 1940s and 1950s, oil heating was marketed across Canada, became a popular alternative, and many people had oil storage tanks buried in their yards. These days, the old tanks are considered a hazard and are generally removed, especially when a house is for sale. Steve Holmes gave an excellent presentation on the removal of the oil tank from his yard. The presentation was illuminated with videos of the action. There was a discussion about the pros and cons of digging up and disposing of contaminated soil as opposed to a biological remediation, which Steve chose. The discussion also encompassed the use of sawdust for heating (very popular in Grandview);
  • The meeting looked at the mock-up of the plaque we are preparing for 1350 Graveley, the oldest house in Grandview. After debate, we agreed the images, the text and the financing.  We are aiming to inaugurate the plaque in July when descendants of the original house-owner will be in town. We were glad to note that Donato’s article on the house has been accepted by BC History Magazine and will be published this fall. Congratulations!
  • The sixth birthday of GHG (May 5th) was duly noted;
  • We discussed arrangements for a GHG table at No Car Day which this year is pushed to 9th July. Jak will prepare a series of maps showing the growth of Granville from 1900-1915, and will also have available a series of 1900s real estate ads enthusing about our neighbourhood. It was also agreed that, if we can secure power, we will have a computer available to perform searches on the GV Database. Eric will help prepare the displays, and will contact the organizers to try to secure a spot away from loud music.  Final details will be completed at the June meeting;
  • Jak gave a short presentation on changes to land values between 1929 and 1955;
  • James Evans, the developer, kindly visited to give us an update on the work moving forward at Brookhouse (1870 Parker). The old building has been moved to its new location (2 feet north and 8 feet west of its original spot) and the new foundations will be poured this week.  Framing for the old house and the new infill building will begin next week;
  • The meeting next looked at a number of housing issues in the neighbourhood, including  the recent Open Houses on changes to the RT zones which will effect heritage (“character”) houses. It was noted that while some ideas seemed positive, there seemed to be little discussion by Planners of how they would work in the GW environment where many lots are not standard 33×100.  It was also noted that the Britannia Renewal housing committee will be meeting on May 29 to discuss housing options for the Britannia site. The unconfirmed report that Boffo is withdrawing from its tower project at Commercial & Venables was also discussed;
  • The meeting closed with a shortened version of Eric’s Neighbourhood Update, during which it was noted that Vancouver Heritage Foundation is still looking for volunteers for its Heritage House Tour on June 4th.

Next Meeting: Thursday 18th May

The next meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group will take place this Thursday, 18th May, beginning at 7:00pm.   We will meet at the Britannia Boardroom in the Info Centre on Napier Street.

As usual, we have an open agenda but we will certainly be discussing the regular Monthly Neighbourhood update, our plans for No Car Day, the plaque for the Oldest house in Grandview, and celebrating GHG’s 6th anniversary. No doubt there will be additional matters to attract our attention.

Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing many of you on Thursday!