photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Class Pictures 101 years ago

DUVAL, Francis and Vera, 1916 Lynn Valley School

It’s back to school week for us.  A perfect time to pull out an old family photo featuring school days.  Because these two photos are glued to one piece of cardboard, I decided to post them together.  They come from the collection of Vera Duval.  Her collection was passed to her niece, my Grandma, who in turn gave them to me.

The top photo is coming away just enough to see a notation on the back that reads:


Taken 1916 at Lynn Valley School, Vera & Francis Duval


Francis Duval is my great grandfather.  Vera is his older sister.

In the top photo, Francis is in the second row down from the top, second child in from the left.  In the same photo, Vera is in the second row back from the front, fourth child in from the left.

In the bottom photo, Francis is in the center of the front row.  I am not sure if Vera is in this photo.  The only girl who I think she might be, is the girl in the third row up from the bottom, third from the left wearing a dark dress with a colored bow on top of her head.  I am also wondering if their younger sister Dolores might be in either photo.  She was born in 1909 so… maybe?  None of the faces strike me as definitely being hers.

Francis looks younger in the bottom photo to me.  What do you think?

I am also trying to decide if the two buildings are the same.  There are definite similarities, enough to think they are the same building.  But it strikes me as odd that there would be two large staircases on different parts of the building.

The bottom photo is glued down so tightly that I have no hope of getting to any type of label that might be hiding there on the back of the photo.

Even if I can’t wrangle out every single detail, I love these old school pictures.  What a treasure!



13 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Class Pictures 101 years ago”

  1. Very interesting! My grade school had to large staircases one for the boys and one for the girls. In my time we all used both but earlier classes used them separately?

    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I’m hoping to find some images of the building today, I just learned it’s still standing, to compare to. Overall, the buildings look to be the same to me. I think? 🙂

  2. I think it is the same building, and I think Francis looks younger in the bottom photo. You are right–these are real treasures. You should hashtag the school name and location or something so that others can find the photos—there might be others with ancestors in these photos!. I wish someone had a class photo like this for some of my ancestors. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the input Amy. After your comment I wondered if the tagging I had already done was good enough for people to find my post. So I did a little googling. I found details about the school. It is an archive now and considered one of the oldest historic buildings in the Vancouver area. I looked into the Archives collection and found more photos of my family including another school photo that has Dolores in it on these same steps. I have more digging to do and now I totally want to go visit the Vancouver Archive in Lynn Valley. Thank you for prompting me to discover more! 🙂

        1. Haha!! I love it! Sometimes those thoughtful, loving, motherly reminders can spur us to experience great things. But when we are the kids we totally think of it as nagging. Not me, I have been humbled enough times in my research over the last 19 years to take every suggestion and consider it from all sides. If you call it nagging, well then, please, by all means, nag me anytime!

          I will add though, I still think of some things my mom says as nagging. If it’s about genealogy – no. But if it’s about life, I’m totally guilty! 😉

          1. LOL! Well, I do try not to nag my kids now that they are adults. But I bet they say I still “guilt trip” them. Sigh. What we do for love!

        1. The only silly question is the one you don’t ask! Tags are a simple way to label your blog posts with places, names, dates, or topics. For instance, I have a tag called “from grandma’s boxes”. This tag is for anything that comes from the boxes of photos, albums, etc that belonged to my Grandma Peterson. I also have a tag for her – “Mary Margaret Ellis”. Any post she is mentioned in gets that tag. So I could have lots of posts where both tags apply. Then when I, or a reader, visit that post, we can click on any of the tags and easily see other posts in common with some element of the current post. I have gobs of tags – WWII, Utah, Pioneer, Scotland, scanning, photos, family history mystery, solved it!, etc. The longer I blog, the more tags I have created. They are super helpful for sorting your posts. I hope that answers your question well enough! 🙂

  3. I agree he looks younger in the bottom photo. Look at some of these hairstyles!

    I’m very interested by the crosses on the arms of some of the girls in the top photo, especially in combination with those WWI-nurse-like uniforms of others in the front row. And are those boys holding toy guns in the top row? Maybe they were all playing war, with boys as soldiers and girls as nurses?

    1. Thank you for the input Katie! These photos are awesome, aren’t they? A feast for the eyes. I think I’m going to rescan them. This scan was done on an all-in-one years ago. I wonder what other details I can pull out from a better scan?

      I have a feeling those are real guns, but I’m not sure. There is a pic of my ggpa from this time frame that has a note on the back about some kind of military training at school. I need to find that and refresh my memory. This area of Canada was very supportive of the war effort. My gggpa enlisted even though he was MUCH too old.

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