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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Dispatcher at Campbell River fire dispatch centre during wind storms on Dec. 20, 2018. Photo courtesy Campbell River Fire Department
North Island 9-1-1 celebrates 25 years of serving the community

From mountainous areas to forested landscapes and pristine oceanside communities, North Island… Continue reading

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

The recently acquired Thulin family car, photographed in front of the Willows Hotel in 1912. MCR7453. Courtesy Museum at Campbell River
No license to drive

A Look Back into the History of the Campbell River Area

The Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nation will be joining the SRD board as a full member in April, 2021. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Island First Nation on track to join Strathcona Regional District board

Representative Kevin Jules says he’s ‘thrilled’ to be a full member of the board

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, immunizes Victoria Schmid, Island Health���s vice-president of pandemic planning. (Submitted photo)
Can’t wait for a COVID vaccine? Get the flu vaccine in the meantime, says Dr. Enns

“We’re in a pandemic, and we can’t afford to have dual viral infections.”

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of B.C. girl, 7, by accused mother was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Most Read