Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Ark, Prince Rupert, BC

"The Ark", Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
The house in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, where my mother was born in 1919. For obvious reasons, it was known to the family as "the Ark".
The legendary Cyndi Howells asked me why the house was built that way. As taught by Cyndi herself, I did a targeted Google search on "Prince Rupert" +houses +stilts. Up popped a result from Google Books - an article from Popular Mechanics magazine dated July 1922. It contains another photograph of the house:
The Ark in 1922
The article explains that:
The city of Prince Rupert, BC, is situated on very hilly ground, and in some instances houses were built before the grading operations were completed, which has led to many unusual sights. In one case a house was built with the first floor level with the street, but the ground was so far below the street level that it was necessary to support the basement on long timbers. A narrow wooden bridge leads from the sidewalk to the first floor of the house.
As it happens, I have a photograph of my grandmother, holding my mother in her arms, standing on that narrow wooden bridge:
Dora and Sheila Davis, 1919
I think this story illustrates three important genealogy lessons:
  1. Sharing your research in a website or blog leads directly to new discoveries.
  2. There is a good reason why professional genealogists like Cyndi teach us to ask the "who, what, where, when, why" questions about our research.
  3. It is simply amazing what you can find on Google Books.


  1. This bldg is now torn down. Previously it was a restaurant called Green Apple. They served the best fish & chips in town. Prior to that it was a conveince stored called Nora's Corner. The Lippett family owned it as N.C. I believe the bldg needed extensive repairs and was eventually torn down a few years back.

  2. It is now torn down circa 2009. It was a restaurant called The Green Apple and well prior to that it was a convenience store called Nora's Corner owned by the Lippett family.

  3. Alski - my apologies for the delay in replying to you. Sadly, my mother died on 7 April and so I overlooked your comment, posted the day before. I am really sorry to hear that the building has now been torn down. Do you suppose there might be any photographs of it available from its days as a restaurant and store?

  4. Caroline, search BC Archives (Royal BC Museum) Images. There might be one there. How interesting.

    1. Thank you, Nancy. I'm off to take a look.

  5. Best chips ever at the Green Apple. My aunt would take me there and buy some but wouldn't let me put vinegar on them. Said it would put a hole in my stomach. lol