As part of my research for volume 2 of “The Drive”, I spent yesterday at the City Archives digging up papers on the local provision of social services and the birth of the Grandview Woodland Area Council in the 1960s. I was also checking out documentation on the last gasps of the Grandview Chamber of Commerce which had been the narrative hook throughout volume one.
I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea reading dusty old minutes of long-ago organizations, and studying earnest reports that usually didn’t go anywhere, but I just love it.
I chose to go yesterday because it put me in the right place for the regular Vancouver Historical Society‘s lecture series. Last night it was the splendid Eve Lazarus talking about one of Vancouver’s most flamboyant entrepreneurs, Alvo von Alvensleben. During my researches into the great building boom of 1908-1912, I had come across von Alvensleben, and I was aware he left Vancouver under a cloud at the beginning of the First World War. But Eve filled in a wide range of detail, from his family in Germany, through his investment exploits in Vancouver, to his later life in Seattle. It was a fine talk, a packed room, and a bunch of good friends.
Before the talk began, just before sunset, I took this shot of downtown Vancouver; an unusual view.