When Cristine Lund went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Campbell River recently, it was a roll of wallpaper that caught her eye.
“I thought it would make a good drawer liner,” she told CHEK News.
One of her hobbies is refinishing old furniture.
“I just saw that it was kind of old wallpaper, kind of cheap, $2 so why not?” she added.
Lund didn’t use it right away but when she finally unrolled the vintage wall covering she got quite the surprise.
“Opened it up and it’s like ‘Oh what’s this?’ And yeah, over six feet of family tree was on the back,” said Lund.
The family tree is written in pencil and includes English names like Hodgeson, Kent, Edwards and Elizabeth.
However, the timeline is what’s really remarkable. The most recent dates are in the late 1800s and they go as far back as 1593.
“So my first thought was OK, I guess I can’t just cut that up because clearly a lot of work has gone into it,” Lund said with a chuckle. “And I kind of just had this picture in my head of somebody’s grandma sitting down and spending hours trying to map things out for her family.”
At the Salvation Army thrift store staff wasn’t aware the wallpaper had been bought there.
“It’s pretty unusual,” said store manager Lona Croissant. “We get a lot of unusual things but that’s one for the record books for sure.”
She says the wallpaper was probably donated locally but could also have come from an unclaimed storage locker.
The wallpaper appears to have been white with a flower design on it but today it’s faded with time.
Christine has no idea how old it is.
“You know, I know from my own curiosity and wanting to learn more that you know this could be really important to somebody,” she said.
Now she plans to turn the wallpaper over to the Campbell River Genealogy Society and encourages anyone who might know the owner to give the Society a call.