Images were posted to a local Victoria Facebook group, and the original poster said she’d meet with Allison soon to return it to her (Contributed)

Renovations at B.C. home turn up 70-year-old handmade book

After contractors found a book behind a wall, a Saanich homeowner used social media to find its author

While contractors were changing some office cabinets in Jana Kim’s 1929 Saanich home, they found a small, fragile paper book behind a wall.

Found this “book” in my 1929-built Saanich house. Anyone know how to find the family of the girl who wrote it? from VictoriaBC

“He brought it down and gave it to my husband and, he kind of wasn’t that interested in it,” said Kim. “I had a look at it and I read the whole thing and this is like, written by a child, it was really sweet, talking about her dog and the puppies that were born and going to a dog show and I said, “that’s so interesting” that it had her full name on it.

The book was written by Alison Snape, and called “The Story of Lassie — an Irish Setter.” It seemed to be written in the 1940s, but the date is obscured by a tear in the cover. She wondered if the young girl used to live in her house, so she went upstairs to the office and some wood behind the wall was marked “For Snape,” seemingly part of an old wooden crate from Stocker’s Moving and Storage.

Kim thought about it for a few days, sharing the story with friends who thought she should post it on a Facebook group, Old Victoria B.C., where she would meet some history buffs. Commenters began to dig through old newspaper archives and wedding announcements, finding additional details on dog shows where Alison could have gotten Lassie from, a public speaking prize she may have won at St. Margaret’s School, and much more.

“I couldn’t believe how quickly everyone put that up,” said Kim.

She also posted it to the Victoria B.C. subreddit, and 13 minutes later, there was a breakthrough.

“She points it out to her co-worker who says ‘Oh, my gosh, my nana is Alison Snape!’”

After making contact, Alison, her daughter, and her granddaughter will meet with Kim on Monday to chat about the property.

“I put it out on the internet as a long shot, thinking somebody might enjoy looking into this puzzle, but I had no idea that we would connect with her family so quickly,” said Kim.

Kim said she hasn’t yet spoken to Alison herself, but Kim has been told that Alison is still “very fit and healthy”, so she looks forward to learning about the Snapes and their old home.

Just Posted

Saskia and Darrel kick off spring tour with Chilliwack concert

Stories of the Great Plains delivered in Gaelic, French and more

RCMP officer reaching out to youth about intimate partner violence

Chilliwack officer and friends of Maple Batalia team up to encourage bystanders to speak up

Sarah Wark faces do-or-die match at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark’s rink will face Manitoba Thursday morning with a championship pool berth on the line.

Chilliwack Chief Kevin Wall nominated for BCHL awards

Wall is in the running for MVP and top rookie, and will find out if he’s won before the playoffs.

Permaculture group planning a seed swap

The AGM is Feb. 23 for Valley Permaculture Guild members

VIDEO: North Delta elementary school closed following stabbing that left cop, woman in serious condition

An off-duty police officer and a woman were injured outside of the school Wednesday afternoon

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

5 to start your day

Two people are in critical condition after stabbing, searchers recover body of missing snowshoer and more

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Most Read