Unearthing Your Home's History

Unearthing Your Home's History: Henderson Directory and Digitized Leader-Post

Delving into the history of your home in Regina can be an exhilarating journey that uncovers tales of the past and connects you with the rich tapestry of the city's heritage. Regina's historical records serve as a captivating portal into the evolution of the city and the lives of its residents, especially if your residence is nestled in one of Regina's older neighbourhoods, such as The Crescents, Cathedral, Lakeview, General Hospital, or Downtown. This article will explore two essential tools for this research: the Henderson Directory and the Digitized Leader-Post.

The Henderson Directory: A Treasure Trove

The Henderson Directory, a historical gem dating back to the 19th century, is a comprehensive archive of residents and businesses in Regina. Available in both physical libraries and online databases, this invaluable resource enables you to trace the history of your address and learn about the transformations it has undergone over the years.

Whether you're curious about the people who once resided in your home or the businesses that thrived in your neighbourhood, the Henderson Directory can provide the answers. It serves as a time machine, allowing you to journey through the annals of Regina's past and discover the individuals who once called your home their own.

The Digitized Leader-Post: A Chronicle of Regina

Regina's Leader-Post newspaper is a veritable chronicle of the city's history. Thanks to digitalization efforts, this treasure trove of information is now accessible online. By using keyword searches, you can delve into a vast archive of articles, advertisements, and photographs related to your home's history.

The Leader-Post is a captivating window into the daily lives, events, and noteworthy occurrences that shaped Regina throughout the years. Whether it's the announcement of a grand opening of a nearby store or a feature on a local personality, this newspaper has captured it all, allowing you to connect with the past in a deeply personal way.

Tips for Effective Research

Embarking on your journey to unearth your home's history requires a few key steps. Start by visiting regina.ca and searching your home's tax records to determine the year it was built. Armed with this information, you can then turn to the Henderson Directory to identify the person who occupied the property during its inaugural year or any other period you wish to investigate.

For a comprehensive timeline of your home's history, combine the data from the Henderson Directory with your findings from the Leader-Post. This is where you can find more details on the former occupants from old newspaper articles and advertisements. These details can provide impressive insight into former owners of your home.

Looking At An Example

Let's take a closer look at a real-life example from the historical Crescents area of Regina, specifically my property on Angus Crescent. Upon consulting the city of Regina's tax records, we discovered that the home in question was built in 1928. Using this information, we turned to the 1928 Henderson Directory, where we discovered that a gentleman by the name of Dr. Gitterman was the original owner and likely the one who had the home constructed.

With Dr. Gitterman's name in hand, we delved into the Leader-Post Digital Archive. What we found was a fascinating glimpse into his life – he was not only a dentist with an office on Rose Street in Downtown Regina but also an avid baseball enthusiast who pitched for the Young Hebrews baseball team. We even stumbled upon clues suggesting that he may have grown up in Moose Jaw.

Wanting to learn about our house’s other owners, we continued our search and learned that years later, Dr. Riddell, the University of Regina's first President, had also resided in the same home for a time, adding another layer to the property's storied past.

Conclusion

Uncovering Regina's history through your home’s own history is a gratifying endeavor that allows you to connect with your home’s past on a personal level. As you peel back the layers of time, you'll discover stories, personalities, and events that have shaped the community you now call home. This journey is rewarding for you and contributes to preserving local history for future generations to explore and appreciate.

We encourage readers to embark on their own research journeys, armed with the Henderson Directory and the Digitized Leader-Post, and discover the hidden narratives woven into Regina's history. In doing so, you become a steward of your home's past and an integral part of the ongoing saga of this vibrant city.

Ryan Bremner, Regina Saskatchewan

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