Kristen North Vancouver, British Columbia
Sea to Sky Regional Heritage FairProject:
The Heritage of My Home
My project traces the lives of the people who owned my home from 1926 until today. It included research of the architectural elements, items which were found in my home and research about the various homeowners.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
I learned that even if you start out not knowing anything about the heritage of your home, it is possible to get almost all the information you need from the old City Directories. I used these to find out the name of the person who lived there, his job, the address of his business and after 1934, the name of his wife. Specific to my house, I found out that the man who built my house, John Bull, was 76 when he built my house, and started his work at Lonsdale Coal and Building Supply when he was 64 and only retired at the age of 82!
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
I learned that although it is a lot of work to read the old City Directories, it is also a lot of fun, because you never know what you are going to find out. In the end, I learned that each heritage house has a story, and that really it is the people who lived in these houses who make them come alive. I also was happily surprised to find out that many of the heritage homes which were connected to the people who lived in my house, are still standing.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
I think that the lives of people in those days were harder but perhaps more simple. My house had an icebox built in, and I learned that they had to have blocks of ice delivered every week, just to keep the food cold. I also found out that the most of the houses and businesses were located close to Lonsdale so people didn't have to worry about rush hour traffic because they could mostly walk. Also, if a student was to do a project like this Young Citizens project, they would not have to worry about whether their computer had the right version of Movie Maker!