Tucked into old Okanagan buildings are chapters of local history | Kelowna News | iNFOnews

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Tucked into old Okanagan buildings are chapters of local history

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Kelowna Museums
September 24, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Rip open the walls of an old Kelowna house and you may be surprised to find a piece of Okanagan history.

Recently, the Okanagan Heritage Museum received a donation of old printing plates, dating back to 1946, discovered in the walls of a building on Bernard Avenue.

The tin was commonly used as building material.

During that period, materials were often reused so every once in a while the museum will receive a donation found in the walls of a building, said Nikki Bose, curator of collections for the museum.

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“When a building was being built, a lot of people would hide a little memento or time capsule in a wall (or in) the ceiling somewhere. … when we find it, it’s quite fascinating to us,” she said.

The tin plates would have been used to make newspapers, so there’s a different newspaper page on each side, Bose said.

“You see it a lot on outhouses, people will cut them and tack them together… there are quite a few nail holes, so someone did staple them to the side of the building.”

The plates are now a resource for researchers and provide another piece of Kelowna’s history, she said. The objects found in the walls of homes and businesses helps tell the story of what life was like for Okanagan residents and their mindsets in the past, she said.

“It’s fun for the construction workers too to think that they might find treasure in the walls,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to celebrate the odd little bits of treasure that’s found in these old homes,” Bose said.

The donor found them in an attic where they were stored for roughly 30 years, but can’t remember which building on Bernard Avenue it was from.

If you happen to find a treasure in your home that unveils part of the Okanagan's history, you can contact the museum. The museum also has a conservation lab and can provide residents with advice on how to preserve their artifacts.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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