Fern Davidson

Archivist sparks talk of 19th century

Learn what life was like from 1890 to 1920 on the shores of Oak Bay

Jean Sparks still has the small wooden box she thought would be her log when the Oak Bay Archives started two decades ago.

Then a Heritage Committee member, she became the archivist in 1994, when they officially began in Oak Bay.

“I knew nothing about archives but I was on the Heritage Committee,” Sparks said with a laugh. “I’ve been muddling around ever since.”

For about six years, the Oak Bay Archives volunteers worked from a card table in the hall. Then for the millennium, council endowed the organization with a space of its own.

“We keep edging out,” Sparks said, seated at a boardroom table away from boxes of archival items.

Amazed by things like old photos, she loves history, historical novels, period movies and studied history and art in university. So Sparks is right in her element among the thousands of photos the Oak Bay Archives now boasts. Many now scanned and available for residents, and potential residents, to peruse.

“That’s one of our major focusses,” she said. There’s an extensive collection of old assessment cards, police logs, maps and building plans. “A cross section of things, and we accept donations of things within our mandate, which involves the boundaries of Oak Bay,” Sparks said.

Plus there’s a handful of oral histories.

“A lot were done about 1975, they’re people who grew up here in the early part of the 20th century,” Sparks said.

The offices now boast up to four working at a time out of the basement office at municipal hall, alongside a volunteer roster of about 11.

To celebrate the the 20th anniversary, Oak Bay Archives and Oak Bay Heritage present a lecture by Sparks called Tales from a Seaside Village, c.1890-1920 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Windsor Park Pavilion.

“They’re usually quite well attended,” Sparks said of the heritage group’s talks.

She’s basing the talk on three or four photo albums that depict life at that time, including the Haynes family, for which Haynes Point is named, and another family that lived a year in the boathouse at Turkey Head in 1916.

Tales from the Seaside Village is Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. at Windsor Park Pavilion, 2451 Windsor Rd. Admission is by donation.

Did you know?

Oak Bay Archives, 2167 Oak Bay Ave. is open Tuesdays 9:30 a.m. to noon and Thursdays 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments are accepted between noon and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and 3 and 4 p.m. on Thursdays. Email obarchives@oakbay.ca to arrange an appointment.

 

 

Just Posted

Young girls fight STEM stigma with hackathon

Three SD62 middle schools took part in the Hackergal Hackathon

Victoria dad laments loss of provincial accessible parking standards

Push for CRD to address regional parking standards

British Columbians saw their paycheques shrink in September

Average weekly earnings dropped to $978.10 in September, but year-to-year earnings rose 2.2 per cent

Oak Bay teen targets 1,000 toys

Toy drive for Stan Hagen Centre For Families is Dec. 15 and 16 on Oak Bay Avenue

Victoria Police investigate stabbing in restaurant on Douglas Street

Police were called to the 800-block around 1:30 p.m.

WATCH: Hundreds of gifts go out to Victoria’s Our Place patrons

The Angel Gifts Program saw 700 Christmas presents go out to the community

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Vancouver Island man named Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay’s Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Most Read