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The original Souvenir Booklet, a collaborative publication ...
As a secretary treasurer of the Kettle Valley Farmers Institute and a member of the Board of Trade, Walter E. Hadden was understandably enthusiastic about the bright future of the Grand Forks valley, extolling the virtues of its desirable climate, and its mining, timber, and agricultural assets, at every available opportunity. Being also a real-estate and insurance agent, with an office on Bridge Street, it would be to his advantage to celebrate these attributes in the form of a printed souvenir booklet to distribute to prospective developers, other entrepreneurs and potential home-buyers, enticing them to build or live in Grand Forks. Such a booklet could be printed locally, but he would first need suitable pictures. Although he could have commissioned the famed Vancouver photographer R. H. Trueman, who routinely rented a week or two of studio space every year in Blome's Old Studio just down the street, he chose instead a young newcomer, F.J. Lake, who would more likely share a longer term mutual interest in the promotion of the town. F.J. Lake appears in the composite graphic below, his portrait boldly superimposed over a classy frontal view of his studio on Winnipeg Avenue. Seemingly somewhat more reserved, Walter appears at left in the shadows at the front door of his business establishment. This graphic, including its revealing cutline, was clipped from page 41 of their booklet.
The booklet was printed in 1913, with a three page introduction, likely Hadden's contribution in effusive praise of Grand Forks, and 47 pages of Lake's half-toned sepia photographs, many of which have subsequently appeared elsewhere, even online to this day, without any indication of their origin or source. It is unclear how many original copies of this booklet exist, although reproductions are still to be found, thanks to an exceptional re-publication of the original by another local establishment in 1982.
The Souvenir Booklet re-published ...
(Link to an online version of this booklet)
We can only presume that the original intention of this remarkable booklet, as visualized by the 1913 publishers, was fulfilled in its time. Be that as it may, with the passage of decades the booklet became a valued historical artifact in itself, giving a fascinating bird's eye view into the Boundary ambience of times past. By 1980 or so, the only known extant copy of the booklet was on display at the Boundary Museum (adjacent to Gyro Park, across the street from the Court House at the time) in downtown Grand Forks.
Motivated by incessant requests for copies of the booklet, Museum staff approached a local printer, Lloyd R. Popoff, for a proposal to reprint the booklet and make it available for sale at the Museum. Mr. Popoff, although a native of Blaine Lake, SK, had significant family connections in the Boundary and had moved to Grand Forks about a decade earlier, for several years of employment by the Grand Forks Gazette, where he struck up a close association with Gazette publisher Stanley Orris, and quickly acquired a great affinity for the Boundary Country and its colourful history. Later, Mr. Popoff established his own printing firm, POP offset inc., which he operated for most of a decade.
In 1982, in response to the inquiry from the Museum, he offered to publish a facsimile reprint of the 1913 booklet (once it was determined that it was not under Copyright), with arrangements that the Museum would pre-purchase a certain number of copies for resale to Museum visitors. An initial print-run of several hundred copies sold quite briskly over the next year or two, and was made available at a variety of other retail and tourist outlets throughout the Boundary. Soon, however, Popoff's business was sold to a new proprietor, and the remaining stock of less than 50 copies was sold to a local book store, where the booklets were effectively sold out prior to the closing of the book shop in 1986.
Mr. Popoff died in 2001, leaving no heirs, and copies of his reprinted edition are now also very rare. A copy was made available for these web pages by one of Mr. Popoff's relatives and, since it now seems to again be in the public domain, with blessings from all concerned, it has been digitally reproduced and is once again being re-published here in gratitude (albeit in web-view format), on this website.