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Facebook page offers a window into Vernon's past

Deena Lehoux, the founder of Vintage Vernon, stands on 30 Avenue holding a photo of what the street used to look like.
October 16, 2014 - 12:08 PM

VERNON - History fanatic Deena Lehoux admits one of her reasons for creating a Facebook page all about old photos of Vernon was a selfish one.

“I wanted to see what everybody else had,” she says. “I’ve always been fascinated with the history of Vernon. I can’t drive downtown without trying to envision the way it used to be.”

She’s not the only one getting excited about old photos. Since its launch on Oct. 11, the Facebook page Vintage Vernon has climbed to nearly 1,400 likes. Lehoux was inspired to create it after hearing about a similar page, Old Kelowna.

“This is definitely something people are interested in,” Lehoux says. “I’ve had comments like ‘thank you’, ‘it’s about time’ and ‘this is so cool.’ Every time someone uploads a picture I get so excited.”

Scrolling through the page, you’ll find photos of the Royal Bank (which now houses Gallery Vertigo), the Capitol Theatre, undeveloped hillsides and many others, as well as old class photos.

Lehoux has always been drawn to old photographs, studying them at the Vernon museum as a teen, and today, on the bedroom walls of the senior’s home where she works. She can’t help but ask the residents to tell her about the photos.

“I’ve always tended to dwell fondly in the past,” she says.

Lehoux’s hope is for Vintage Vernon to become a community photo album of sorts; an interactive and evolving collection of images and stories. Anyone with old photos tucked away in shoe boxes or scrap books is invited to give them new life by sharing them on the page.

“It’s something permanent for people to go back to,” she says. “And it’s just a click away.”

While many historical buildings still stand in Vernon, the old photos show how much the city has changed. For some, viewing the albums is a way to remember the old days; for others, a way to show younger generations how it used to be.

“People have looked at photos and said, ‘I remember that’, or ‘My house is right over there now,’” Lehoux says. “There’s one picture of a taxi driving downtown and another car driving towards it, and a guy swears it’s him driving his dad’s car.... It’s really neat. It makes it more personal and more about Vernon and its people.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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