Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Topic Leads to Another

Chilliwack's Strand Theatre with Ben-Hur film posters! 
Circa 1928. Image P3186

I always enjoy looking through our collections and discovering something new! Anytime there is an opportunity to browse through the pages of the Chilliwack Progress newspaper, which we have dating back to its origins in 1891, is always a bonus. One discovery leads to another and so it goes.

Recently we have been building up our knowledge of the fruit farming industry in Chilliwack and were delighted to find so much new information. Then searching through the online directories, courtesy of the Vancouver Public Library, we added to our findings. The scope of the fruit farming industry in Chilliwack is marvelous and has much potential for further study. I see a future exhibit in this!

Nevertheless while we look for one thing...we always find other interests.

It seems that Chilliwack was once, along with the fruit industry, a thriving bee-keeping community. As I scroll down the names of residents in Chilliwack, Sardis and Rosedale, in search of fruit related industry, I find other curiosities such as in the 1925 Wrigley's Directory the Palace of Sweets operated by J. Valalas, or C.J. Whittaker & Co. that sold farm implements locally. Still my favorite for the day, Mrs. K. Gregory pianist for the Strand Theatre! I can see her adding the soundtrack to the old silent films of the day! A little known and obscure fact that adds so much, I feel, to our knowledge of the Strand Theatre. From fruit to bees to the Strand and Ben-Hur! Who knew?

We may not know too much about these individuals yet, but they are there locked into our memory now, waiting for further discoveries that will add even more colour to this community's history. I wonder what this afternoon's discoveries will bring?

Incidentally the film Ben-Hur was produced in 1925!

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