Letters to the Editor: A welcome trip back in time

Letters to the Editor: A welcome trip back in time

A reader writes to express her appreciation for new technology preserving our history.

Dear Editor,

I read with great pleasure the exciting news about being able to relive visually and emotionally Ashcroft’s streets and buildings as they were through “augmented reality” (“New tour of Ashcroft a step back in time”, The Journal, June 22, 2017). What a wonderful new aspect of technology to be enjoyed by those of us who love our history.

In 1973, when I first arrived in Ashcroft, most of those false front stores, sheds, and cottages that comprised Chinatown were intact. That bowled me over, finding a segment of that period of history from the horse-drawn transportation era (1884-1920). What was even more exciting was meeting Mrs. Aie, who became a friend, touring me through the building she and her husband had lived in for so many years. She showed me the rooms the indentured labourers who worked the produce fields in north Ashcroft lived in; where they slept, and ate their meals in the long kitchen.

Meals were prepared by Mrs. Aie, the food cooked on the enormous wood stove. She would make tea for us in the living quarters she and her family had lived in adjacent to the little shop where groceries were sold. The shelves of candied ginger and other candies were stored in glass jars in the shop. Mrs. Aie would serve the children who came in after school to buy the candies, which she put in a paper bag for them.

One day Mrs. Aie took me out in the back yard and showed me her little vegetable garden with shallow channels between the rows, watered in the Chinese way, the water running from late evening until early morning. She had some hens in a coop nearby, and told me that keeping hens was not allowed by the village, but she kept them anyway.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to live in what is now called augmented reality. What a privilege I knew it was, to be made part of the past. I sat outside the high board fence at the corner of Barnes Lake Road and Railway Street, and painted the Nabob Tea building, the former noodle shop. The painting is part of the permanent collection in the Ashcroft Library.

That false fronted shop enclosed by a vegetable garden, and the series of other false fronted shops—described by a Heritage Canada official visiting Ashcroft in the mid-1970s as “The finest streetscape in western Canada”—was destroyed by a controlled fire by our volunteer fire brigade at the time. Council was told the abandoned buildings were a fire hazard, and many thought them an “eyesore”.

How sad it is that we learn, too late, that our roots and our character lie in our earliest history; but thank heaven we have all come to realize this. I am absolutely delighted that Barbara Roden and our municipal council have had QuestUpon bring back to life, even temporarily, some of that precious time.

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft, B.C.

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

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The future of the Cache Creek pool is still up in the air as council ponders different options and cost considerations. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
No decision about whether Cache Creek pool will open in 2021

Council still discussing pool’s future; no date set for public meeting about its fate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read