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

Enrolment numbers up at TRU Williams Lake

More domestic students are taking courses at the university in Williams Lake

Chilcotin receives large dump of snow

The snowstorm that fell in B.C. over the weekend also impacted areas in the Chilcotin

COS patrol issues charges to riders within mountain caribou habitat

A patrol by the COS resulted in the location of snowmobiles operating in protected caribou habitat.

Lebrun to take aim at provincial biathlon competition

Cadet Kaitlin Lebrun of Williams Lake shot her rifle and skied to a gold medal.

Gymnastics club sends largest contingent in recent years to PG meet

Williams Lake gymnasts saw strong representation at the Prince George Judges Cup Jan. 13-14.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

Most Read