This portion of the interview is about Reidun Seim talking about what the Curtis Street neighborhood looked like in the 1930s and 1940s. She tells a story about the next door mink farm. She also describes Curtis Street road and the avenues that branched off Curtis Street on Burnaby Mountain above P…
This portion of the interview is about Reidun Seim talking about what the Curtis Street neighborhood looked like in the 1930s and 1940s. She tells a story about the next door mink farm. She also describes Curtis Street road and the avenues that branched off Curtis Street on Burnaby Mountain above Philips Avenue (First Avenue). These avenues (First to Ninth) were part of a street grid laid out for Hastings Grove in 1911 and are now forest in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. She also talks about the old Hastings Grove store building, the Adams family who lived in it and the community events held there.
Recording is of an interview with Reidun Seim conducted by Kathy Bossort. Reidun Seim was one of 23 participants interviewed as part of the Community Heritage Commission’s Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project. The interview is mainly about Reidun Seim’s memories about her parent’s farm on Curtis Street, events in her childhood, and the people who lived in or visited her neighborhood. She takes us on a tour of her neighborhood in the 1940s, telling us stories about families who lived on Curtis Street on and east of 7300 block, including people who lived on Burnaby Mountain in the old Hastings Grove subdivision above the end of municipal water service at Philips Avenue. She describes changes to Curtis Street, particularly after it provided access to Simon Fraser University in 1965. She also talks about her teaching career, and about how she values the green space and conservation area on Burnaby Mountain.
Reidun Seim was born in 1931 in Vancouver B.C. to Sjur and Martine Seim. Sjur and Martine Seim emigrated to Canada from Norway in 1930, and after settling in Vancouver, moved to an acre of land and a new home at the base of Burnaby Mountain in 1932. Sjur attended UBC to learn about poultry farming and began his own chicken and egg business in 1935. The farm animals and large garden also contributed to the family’s livelihood and self-sufficiency. The Curtis Street neighborhood was a lively place and extended well up Curtis Street on the west slope of Burnaby Mountain, where Reidun would babysit for families. Reidun attended Sperling Avenue Elementary School (Gr. 1-8), Burnaby North High School, and Vancouver Normal School for teacher training in 1950-1951. She began teaching primary grades in Port Coquitlam at James Park School. Most of her career was spent in North Delta, teaching at Kennedy and Annieville schools from 1954-1958, appointed Primary Consultant (1958-1960) and Primary Supervisor (1960-1985), before retiring in 1986. Reidun lived at home with her parents on Curtis Street, commuting to Delta, and continues to live in the original farmhouse.
Kathy Bossort is a retired archivist living in Ladner, BC. She worked at the Delta Museum and Archives after graduating from SLAIS (UBC) in 2001 with Masters degrees in library science and archival studies. Kathy grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and, prior to this career change, she lived in the West Kootenays, earning her living as a cook for BC tourist lodges and work camps. She continues to be interested in oral histories as a way to fill the gaps in the written record and bring richer meaning to history.