British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical News 1988

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Volume 21, No. 1
Winter, 1988
ISSN 0045-296.}
British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
The Bayliff Story
Cemeteries of the Alberni Valley
Early Kootenay Travel
Peace River Jim
Convention '88 — Banff MEMBER SOCIETIES
Member Societies and their secretaries are responsible for seeing that the correct address for their
society is up-to-date. Please send any change to both the Treasurer and the Editor at the addresses
given at the bottom of this page. The Annual Return as at October 31st should include telephone
numbers for contact.
Members' dues for the year 1986/87 were paid by the following Member Societies:
Alberni District Historical Society, Box 284, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M7
Atlin Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Atlin, B.C. VOW 1A0
BCHF - Gulf Island Branch, c/o Marian Worrall, Mayne Island, VON 2J0
BCHF — Victoria Section, c/o Charlene Rees, 2 - 224 Superior Street, Victoria, B.C.
Burnaby Historical Society, 5406 Manor Street, Burnaby, B.C. V5G 1B7
Chemainus Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 172, Chemainus, B.C. VOR 1K0
Cowichan Historical Society, P.O. Box 1014, Duncan, B.C. V9L 3Y2
District 69 Historical Society, P.O. Box 3014, Parksville, B.C. VOR 2SO
East Kootenay Historical Association, P.O. Box 74, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C4H6
Fraser Lake Historical Society, P.O. Box 57, Fraser Lake, B.C. VOJ 1 SO
Galiano Historical and Cultural Society, P.O. Box 10, Galiano, B.C. VON 1P0
Golden & District Historical Society, Box 992, Golden, B.C. VOA 1 HO
Lantzville Historical Society, c/o Susan Crayston, Box 76, Lantzville, B.C. VOR 2H0
Mission Historical Society, 33201 2nd Avenue, Mission, B.C. V2V 1J9
Nanaimo Historical Society, P.O. Box 933, Station 'A', Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5N2
Nanooa Historical and Museum Society, R.R. 1, Box 22, Marina Way, Nanoose Bay, B.C. VOR 2R0
North Shore Historical Society, 623 East 10th Street, North Vancouver, B.C. V7L 2E9
Princeton & District Pioneer Museum and Archives, Box 687, Princeton, B.C. VOX 1W0
Qualicum Beach Historical & Museum Society, c/o Mrs. Cora Skipsey, P.O. Box 352, Qualicum
Beach, B.C. VOR 2T0
Saltspring Island Historical Society, P.O. Box 705, Ganges, B.C. VOS 1E0
Sidney and North Saanich Historical Society, P.O. Box 2404, Sidney, B.C. V8L 3Y3
Silvery Slocal Historical Society, P.O. Box 301, New Denver, B.C. VOG 1S0
Trail Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Trail, B.C. V1R 4L7
. Valemont Historic Society, P.O. Box 850, Valemount, B.C. VOE 2A0
Vancouver Historical Society, P.O. Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X6
Affiliated Groups
B.CMuseum of Mining, P.O. Box 155, Britannia Beach, B.C. VON 1J0
City of White Rock Museum Archives Society, 1030 Martin Street, White Rock, B.C. V4B 5E3
Fort Steele Heritage Park, Fort Steele, B.C. VOB 1N0
The Hallmark Society, 207 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2K8
Nanaimo Centennial Museum Society, 100 Cameron Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2X1
Lasqueti Island Historical Society, Lasqueti Island, B.C. VOR 2J0
Second-class registration number 4447.
Published fall, winter, spring, and summer by the British Columbia Historical Federation, P.O. Box 35326, Station E,
Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4G5. A Charitable Society recognized under the Income Tax Act.
Manuscripts and correspondence for the editor are to be sent to P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B, Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4.
Correspondence regarding subscriptions and all other matters should be directed to the Vancouver address above.
Subscriptions: Institutional, $16.00 per year; Individual (non-members), $8.00.
Financially assisted by the Government of British Columbia through the British Columbia Heritage Trust. British Columbia
Historical News
Journal of the B.C. Historical Federation
Volume 21, No. 1
Winter, 1988
The Bayliff Story
Douglas Harker
Cemeteries of the Alberni Valley
Joan Thompson
Getting Around in the Kootenays
Clare McAllister
Survey for the Western Highway
Geoffrey Castle
Peace River Jim
Tom H. Inkster
History for the Brownies
Jacqueline Gresko
News and Notes
Second World War Memories
review by George Newell
Pioneer Tales of Burnaby
review by Charles Christopherson
Honore-Timothee Lempfrit, O.M.I, (and)
Will to Power,
review by Jacqueline Gresko
The B.C. Historical News welcomes submissions of interesting and informative
articles or photo essays on any subject relating to British Columbia history.
Manuscripts should be typed (double-spaced) with footnotes and/or bibliography,
if possible and pertinent. Length to 2500 words. Photos and illustrations appreciated and returned. Authors are asked to provide a very brief "bio" to run
at the end of the article. Send to: The Editor, B.C. Historical News, P.O. Box
5626, Stn. B., Victoria, B.C., V8R 6S4.
We are still looking for material for
the Spring issue of the News. The
focus of the next issue will be The
History of the Chinese in British Columbia, but, as usual, articles on any
topic dealing with the history of the
province are welcome.
From the few bits of feedback that
I have received, personal reminiscences
are very popular with readers. You
don't have to be an 'archive hound'
to write this kind of material. Certainly a great many of our readers have
had interesting experiences growing up
in different parts of the province. We
haven't heard from the North lately,
or the East Kootenay, or the North
Island. What about the Queen
Charlotte Islands and the Gulf
Islands? I know I'd be interested to
know what it was like in the Gulf
Islands during Prohibition when the
rumrunners were active. Or what effect the war had on coastal communities. And I'd like to read a first-
person account of early farming in the
Peace River area or mining in the interior. Let's hear from some of you?
I do ask that your manuscripts be
typed as I just do not have the time
to do it. If you can't do it prevail upon
a friend to come to your aid. The
editorial advice that they will undoubtedly provide will almost always
be of benefit!
Remember the B.C. Historical News
is committed to serving the members
of the Federation, but can only survive so long as there are enough
members willing to share their
research and memories.
Bob Tyrrell
B.C. Historical News Letters to the editor
Treasurer's Report
To the editor:
Re: 1988 Bicentenary of Chinese Settlers at Nootka
Nanaimo Historical Society is
grateful for the Federation's support
to name a mountain to commemorate
this historic milestone. The event will
likely take place in mid-May on Vancouver Island. Final details will be announced in the next issue of the
Historial News.
Efforts to persuade Canada Post to
issue commemorative stamps have not
yet been as successful.
John Meares' post at Nootka was
of threefold import. Apart from
building the first ship on this coast by
craftsmen brought from China, it was
the first British foothold in the Pacific
Northwest. To avenge its seizure, Britain mobilised her navy, and with her
Dutch and Prussian allies prepared to
engage Spain in the greatest naval encounter since the defeat of the Spanish
Armada. All Europe was agog over
the Nootka Controversy at the time.
This indeed was the birthplace of
Canada from the West. An historical
event of such major importance to
Western Canada should not go unnoticed in the rest of Canada. There
is still time to persuade Canada Post.
Members and Member Societies please
write to: Mr. Sylvain Cloutier, Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee, Canada Post Corporation, Ottawa, Canada. K1A OBI — in
Yours truly,
Jacque Mar
Chairman, Bicentenary Project
Nanaimo Historical Society
P.O. Box 933, Nanaimo, B.C.
V9R 5N2
I am a historian of education trying to find out as much as possible
about teachers in nineteenth-century
British Columbia, that is, before 1901,
when the province opened its first
teachers' training college.
While I have been able to put
together a list of teachers' names, it
is extremely difficult to determine who
teachers actually were — what were
their responsibilities within local
I would be very grateful to receive
any information. Letter, diaries, written recollections or other descriptions
of local schools and teachers will all
help to fill in the puzzle of nineteenth-
century teachers' lives. I would particularly like to hear from individuals
who remember hearing about a family
member — a great aunt perhaps —
who once worked as a teacher.
All assistance will be acknowledged
in any publications that result and I
will reimburse cost for photocopying
relevant materials. My address is: Dr.
Jean Barman, Dept. of Social and
Educational Studies, University of
British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
V6T 1Z5. Thank you in advance for
any help you can give me.
Yours sincerely,
Dr. Jean Barman
Rhys Richardson on September 16th
handed over to me the financial books
and records of the Federation and I
have accepted responsibility for the
Federation's bookkeeping from that
date. As those of you who have come
to know Rhys over his long term as
treasurer would expect, he has been
most generous with assistance both
during and after the transition and I
thank him for his kindness.
I remind the member societies'
treasurers that the Annual Report of
the number of their paid-up members
and the number of subscriptions to the
News as at October 31st should be sent
to me as soon as possible. These
figures are needed as a check on our
records and to enable us to prepare the
Federation's reports.
And: please make all cheques sent
to the Fderation payable to British
Columbia Historical Federation. A
note on the cheque or in an accompanying letter will ensure that the
funds are assigned to the proper account or special fund. This includes
cheques representing subscriptions to
the News.
Thank you.
George Newell
Deadline for the next issue of the
B.C. Historical News is March 15/88
Please submit articles and reports to:
The Editor
P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B
Victoria, B.C. V8R 6S4
B.C. Historical News The Bayliff Story
Douglas E. Harker
British Columbia owes much of its
fame and fortune to its ranchers, a
silent, anonymous breed of men who
work incredibly long hours, take holidays most rarely, battle deep snow,
numbing cold, vicious insects, loneliness, privation and the unpredictable
pranks of the weather, who share with
their wives and children a life of
strenuous, often monotonous but indispensable work.
Many of these ranchers came originally from Britain. They carved their
farms from the stubborn soil with infinite patience. One such man was
Hugh Bayliff. Four generations of
Bayliffs have ranched for almost one
hundred years near Alexis Creek in the
Chilcotin Valley. This is their story.
In September 1882, a tall, erect,
fresh-faced, fairhaired youth presented
himself to Clement Cornwall, owner
with his brother Henry, of Ashcroft
Manor, a stopping-house and ranch
built on British Columbia's old Cariboo Road.
The Cornwall brothers had come
from Gloucestershire twenty years
earlier, greatly excited by reports of
British Columbian goldfields. But they
became so impressed with the country
and its cattle ranching potential, they
forgot about gold and preempted 320
acres along the Thompson River. They
built a spacious, well-insulated log
house with livery stables and were
soon in the cattle ranching business.
Substantial sums of money from their
father the Reverend A.G. Cornwall,
The Bayliff ranch house, built in 1891.
chaplain to Queen Victoria and a landed gentleman of substance, enabled
•them to stock their ranch and become
the most successful ranchers in the
district. Clement later was appointed
Lieut.-Governor of British Columbia.
Hugh Bayliff, the 18-year-old youth
who stood before Clement, was his
new pupil. Like many others who
emigrated to Western Canada at that
time Hugh Peel Lane Bayliff came of
good stock. His ancestors, the Lanes,
had been Mayors of Hereford and
owned estates there for two hundred
years. Hugh's mother was a Peel,
descendant of England's Prime Minister, his sister had married into the
same family. But Hugh's father, Captain Richard Lane Bayliff was unable
to help his six children financially.
Because of ill-health he had retired
from the Army aged only 37 and gone
to live in Clifton where he tried to
make a living by writing. It was
Hugh's grandfather, the Reverend
T.T.L. Bayliff, Vicar of Albury,
Hants, Justice of the Peace and a
widely respected clergyman, who paid
the fees for Hugh at Clifton College
and who subsequently arranged for
him to go to the Cornwalls.
As a boy Hugh did not enjoy robust
health. Illness kept him away from
school for many months. His marks
were too low for admission to the Army or even, in spite of family influence, to the Bank . . . considered
a last resort in family circles such as
the Bayliffs. Hugh's father wrote
sternly to him:
"... You have failed to come up
to the mark in competitive exams. Being a poor lad with his own way to
make, you must be glad to get a living how you can, so long as it is honest
and sufficient."
It was Grandfather who paid
Hugh's passage to the Colonies. He
was not being sent away as a 'remittance man', a disparaging term reserved for wasters whose families are prepared to pay to have them stay away
from home. Hugh went in search of
adventure. Grandfather believed Western Canada offered great possibilities
of prosperity through agriculture.
B.C. Historical News As he eyed the young man before
him, Clement Cornwall felt a rapport.
They came from the same background. The Cornwalls were keen
horsemen with a racetrack adjacent to
the roadhouse where they held the
Ashcroft Derby every year: Hugh was
reputed to be an excellent rider. He
would probably be good at hunting the
coyote, introduced by the Cornwalls
as a substitute for the fox. Hundreds
of visitors came to Ashcroft Manor
and this well-mannered youth would
help the Cornwalls look after them in
a fitting manner.
Hugh learned much from the Corn-
walls and there was mutual affection.
But he had to make a living and there
was no future for him at Ashcroft
Manor. So when he received a telegram in December 1882 from W.J.
Roper offering him a job at Cherry
Creek, a 15,000 acre ranch near
Kamloops, he accepted at once.
Like Clement Cornwall, Roper had
been lured to British Columbia by the
promise of gold and had switched to
ranching. He was the first rancher to
improve his horses and cattle by importing Clydesdales and Herefords
from Britain. But Roper, though a
widely respected public figure, was a
tough man to work for.
"I don't like the Boss," Hugh
lamented in one of his frequent letters
to his elder sister Charlotte. "The
more I see of him, the less I like him.
And the job doesn't pay! There is
much loss of cattle due to cold ..."
The cold was intense that first
winter. Hugh was no stranger to
poverty but he had never experienced
such privations and discomforts as at
Cherry Creek. He worked from early
December until March 9 before having his first day off — a Sunday
". . . We are all much too big. I am
so tall, in cold weather the ends of me
are so far away from the centre of
warmth ... If there is one useless
thing it's young gentlemen without
money. Everything they have learned
is against them ... I am getting so
horribly mean and miserly ... I hope
Mother will send me some socks. I try
to hide the fact that mine are worn
Hugh had qualities which stood him
in good stead. He had abundant common sense and good judgement. He
was well-liked and able to mix easily
with the assortment of characters living on British Columbian ranches in
those early days. He found he had a
natural talent for the many skills
demanded of the rancher. He was persistent and polite.
Roper supplied beef to the CPR
Construction Camps and Hugh became his cowboss.
In 1886 the summer was long and
hot. There was a severe drought
throughout the Interior, especially in
the Kamloops area. Hugh set out on
his own to find a place with a good
supply of water. He decided to try the
Chilcotin Plateau. It was his first visit
to that country. Until then the Government's attempts to establish Indian
Reserves there had kept it virtually
closed to settlers. However Tom
Hance had had a small trading post
there since 1875. He allowed Hugh to
take charge of a pack-train and go on
to trade with the Indians at today's
Anahim Lake.
Hugh who had developed a keen eye
for country realized the Chilcotin had
great potential. Bruce Hutchison
writes in "The Fraser":
"The Chilcotin seems to have been
designed by nature for the nourishment of beef. It has range running all
the way from the river westward to the
outeroppings of the Coast mountains.
It has succulent bunch grass to feed the
grazing herds and bluffs of timber to
shelter them from the winds of spring
and autumn ..."
Swayed by the attractions of this
magnificent area, Hugh decided to
strike out on his own. He formed a
partnership with Norman Lee, another
young Englishman, who had given up
work with the Hudson Bay Company
to become a cowpuncher. Together
they staked land between Alexis Creek
and Redstone which later became
Chilancoh Ranch. They would not
have to pay for it until the day came
when they would seek title.
They bought one hundred yearling
heifers from Roper with an agreement
that in five years they would return the
original hundred (by then, cows), plus
half the increase. Hugh drove the herd
from Cherry Creek to the Fraser,
made them swim the river at the Gang
Ranch where the channel is narrow but
rough and brought them across without losing an animal.
The two young partners wrote out
an agreement on two pages of an
exercise-book. The main clause stated
that if one of them wished to marry
they would toss and the winner would
have the right to buy out the other. In
1891 Hugh found his bride so he and
Norman tossed a coin. Norman won
but could not raise the money. Hugh
was luckier. His sister Charlotte lent
hinuC.1,000. He put inX, 1,000 himself,
the proceeds of a legacy from his
grandfather. Grand-Aunt Mary also
contributed. Chilancoh became his.
Norman Lee resumed ranching forty miles away at Lee's Corner. A few
years later he won fame by taking 200
head of cattle on a 1,500 mile beef
drive to the Klondike gold camps. Five
months later winter forced him to butcher them. He loaded them on five
scows which were lost on Teslin Lake
500 miles short of Dawson City. He
returned undaunted, borrowed some
money and continued his career as a
rancher in the Chilcotin grasslands.
Hugh hurried back to England to
marry Gertrude Tindall, daughter of
an executive of the London Times
newspaper. She had been brought up
in luxury and was totally unused to the
discomforts of life on a ranch in the
young province of British Columbia.
When she saw her new home for the
first time, she almost fainted with horror. Sitting on the split pole floor of
the bare living-room was Norman Lee
who had cut himself with an axe and
was sewing up a large gash with needle and cotton.
It was the only time Gertrude ever
lost her composure. She soon proved
herself equal to any emergency. Her
home, famed for its hospitality,
became the centre of most of the social
activities in the Chilcotin. But she had
brought with her nineteen pairs of
court shoes and that first winter the
split poles broke the heels of all of
Gertrude was the first of several
remarkable   women   who   brought
B.C. Historical News civilized living into a wild area. She
and Hugh now began a life of hard
work and discomfort such as would
have daunted many a young couple
brought up in far less sheltered circumstances. A few extracts from
Hugh's diary will illustrate:
(1894) ". . . I'm afraid this winter
will see a good many ranches broke.
I may pull through. Thank God there's
lots of hay."
". . .1 wish the winter would break.
Terrible losses. Drummonds have lost
120 calves."
"Gertrude rather overdid her
strength. She has not been out of the
Chilcotin since she arrived. I wish she
would go home for a visit."
"If only I could get a pupil. This
would help me pull through."
Gertrude who had inherited a
literary talent from her father included in her diary what she called 'amended proverbs'!
"One swallow doesn't make a summer but the mosquitoes make a Hell."
"You never miss the butter until the
cow goes dry."
Gertrude was as devoted to her
sister-in-law Charlotte as was Hugh
and often invited her to visit them.
"Why don't you come here instead
of Norway? Best for you and best for
me." In 1898 several of their dreams
came true. Hugh got his pupil.
Charlotte came to the Chilancoh for
a long visit and brought Harold Peake,
the husband she had married that year.
Hugh and Gertrude started a family
and when their son Gabriel was one
year old, Gertrude took him to
England to show him off. Her mother-
in-law decided he was just like Hugh,
"minus the broken nose . . . Gay,"
she concluded, "is very, very good."
Hugh's pupil was Reginald Newton.
A 24 year-old Englishman with a love
for travel and adventure, Reg was
good-looking, athletic, charming, rich
and spoilt. The Newton fortune had
come from the paint firm of Windsor
and Newton. The Bayliffs and the
Newtons had been friends for many
Reg never stayed long with any job
but he loved horses and the idea of
ranching in far-off British Columbia
appealed to him. As a pupil he must
Christmas dinner at Chilancoh, 1908.
have been a mixed blessing. Gertrude
refers to him more than once as 'bone
As the years went by, hard and good
management brought stability to
Chilancoh Ranch, Hugh was making
money from the furs which he sold in
England. Bear, fox and beaver were
the most profitable. He was doing
business with Douglas Lake Cattle
Company, the largest ranch in the
country. He made money from beef
drives. But lack of capital plagued him
all his life.
Nevertheless he and Gertrude improved their lifestyle. A photograph
of Christmas dinner at Chilancoh,
probably taken in 1908, shows them
seated with their friend and neighbour
Tom Young at a well-appointed table
with white tablecloth and candlelabra,
Gertrude in a long elegant dress, Hugh
in formal attire, Sanko their Chinese
servant waiting on them and holding
up a small terrier for approbation.
Tom Young, a bachelor, spent almost
every weekend with them.
In 1901 Reg Newton decided he
wanted his own ranch. He could afford it and he had learned much from
Hugh. Also, he wanted to indulge his
hobby of raising polo ponies. So he
bought from two brothers Bill and
Frank Copeland an acreage nearby.
Lot 147 became the Newton Ranch. Its
196 acres adjoined Chilancoh.
Reg sent a message to Bill Bliss, a
groom on his father's estate in Cornwall and an old soldier who had served with his brother-in-law Col. Louis
Dyson asking him to join him. Bill was
Reg's age and devoted to him.
Early in 1903 Bliss arrived with
several ponies. It proved a successful
venture. At that time one could ship
a horsebox from Alexis Creek to
Liverpool for $300 including the
groom. Bill Bliss and his family
became and have remained important
members of the Chilcotin community.
Reg also staked a claim twenty-five
miles south of his ranch where he drilled for gold. He even managed to interest Colonel Dyson in the venture.
B.C. Historical News This fortunate event led to the Bayliffs
and the Newtons being united by
stronger ties than business friendship.
Reg was to provide a wife for Hugh's
son and a ranch for Hugh's grandson.
In 1912 the Colonel, who was
retired, his wife, son John, daughter
Dorothy and a Nanny paid Reg a visit
to see how the investment was progressing. A journey to British Columbia was a real adventure at that time.
As they travelled across Canada by
CPR, they saw many piled-up rails and
other evidence of the hazards of
railway journeys in the West. A
Cariboo rancher J. Cunliffe met them
at Ashcroft, drove them in the first car
to go over those rugged roads to the
Gang Ranch where they stayed the
night, sleeping in the bunkhouse.
Next morning they drove another
one hundred miles over narrow,
precipitous trails to the Newton ranch.
A short distance from Reg's house the
car stuck in the sand. How pleased
they were to see Reg and Col. Louis
(who had preceded his family) striding
along to dig them out and take them
to the home ranch.
Dorothy Dyson celebrated her ninth
birthday on the train on the way back
to England.
Though the goldmine never produced much gold the Colonel came again
in 1921 to work on it with his brother-
in-law who was by then an established if eccentric part of the community. Dorothy was a beautiful girl of 18
and so sweet-natured that Gay,
Hugh's 23-year-old son, made frequent and not always necessary visits
to the Newton Ranch.
In the intervening years Gabriel
Bayliff had been at school and at war,
first to preparatory school in
Haslemere, Surrey, then to public
school at Charterhouse, where a
perceptive housemaster, after denouncing his poor spelling and lack of aptitude for French and Latin, reported
on him thus: "... a nice, fresh,
rather unconventional boy with plenty of character."
During his school years it was a rare
event for Gay to get back home. It was
hard enough to find money for school
fees. He spent his holidays with his
aunt Charlotte at Boxford, sometimes
Gertrude Bayliff.
with the Newtons. In 1916, when the
First World War was at its terrible
height, Gabriel Bayliff aged 18, left
Charterhouse and enlisted. He was the
same age as his father when he
emigrated to British Columbia.
One year later, Gertrude received
what her neighbour R.J. Bid well
described as "an infinitely troubling
telegram re her very nice boy." It told
her Gay had been taken prisoner.
When he returned home from his
years in Pilau Camp, he was skeletal
thin. Later he developed duodenal
ulcers from which he suffered the rest
of his life. Dorothy and Gay were married in the frame shell of a loghouse
Hugh was building for them a short
distance from the ranchhouse. In one
corner of the livingroom was a pile of
lumber, destined for shelves or cupboards when Hugh had time to build
them. They covered it with a large
Union Jack and used it for an altar.
It was September 1923 and the trees
were bright with rich, autumn colours.
Dorothy's wedding dress came from
Wollands of London, took months to
arrive and was a beautiful blue.
At first Gay and Dorothy lived with
Gay's parents in the ranchhouse.
When the loghouse was completed,
they all moved into it, though it was
much smaller. Dorothy was married
ten years before she had a house of her
own. By the time their firstborn,
Timothy, had arrived they had a comfortable dwelling in the old ranchhouse. In 1926 Hugh who was 62
decided it was time to hand over the
reins of Chilancoh to his only son.
Gertrude too was pleased to hand over
her varied, strenuous duties to her
daughter-in-law. She had worked hard
and long and her reputation as a
capable manager, an excellent rider,
riding always side-saddle, and an ever-
loyal support for her husband, was enviable. Sometimes Hugh, especially in
the early days of their ranching, had
felt unequal to the tasks destiny had
thrust upon him and needed her cheerful encouragement.
". . . Dear Hugh," Gertrude wrote
in one of her frequent letters to his
sister Charlotte, "is so much better
and has at last regained his self-
confidence. His self-esteeming smile is
beautiful to behold."
In spite of her multitude of domestic
chores, Gertrude's horse-drawn,
bearskin-lined cutter was often to be
seen in that part of the ranch where
Hugh was working. Without her support he might have found the creation
of Chilancoh Ranch impossible.
Dorothy had been at Chilancoh
Ranch for less than two years when she
B.C. Historical News became its mistress. She was the
cultivator of a vast vegetable garden.
She coped with the needs of dogs, cats,
chickens, horses, even some tame
crows. A large, ancient wood stove
was the centre of her being. Here she
presided for much of the day, baking
and preparing meals for her family,
hired men, friends, invited guests and
others who just happened to drop by.
All had large appetites and ate at irregular hours. She met and handled
medical, social and financial emergencies. Often, when a worker failed to
show up she helped Gay mend a fence
or build a dam.
All these pursuits Dorothy quickly
mastered. Moreover there was in her
nature so much compassion, humour
and modesty she was soon the friend
and confidante of every cowboy, Indian and settler in the district. Though
she has never returned to England
from that day to this, she has remained unmistakably the very best type of
English gentlewoman. A rare and
revealing title was bestowed on her.
She became known as "The Missis".
On a trip to England in 1910 Reg
had met Kathleen Medwell and fallen
in love with her. A New Zealander she
came from Christchurch, the centre of
a rich agricultural district. Though the
daughter of a pioneer doctor, she was
no stranger to ranching. She was petite
but strong and determined and seemed to have all the qualities required for
survival in the Chilcotin in that era.
She could hitch a three-horse team
unaided. She could ride for hours in
the coldest weather. Life on the
Newton Ranch was a delight to her
and she and Reg were happily married
for twelve years.
In 1922 Reg Newton died. An infection following a minor operation led
to the sudden death of this adventurous, vigorous man, aged only 55.
Kathleen ran the ranch for the next
twenty-five years virtually unaided.
As Reg and Kathleen had no
children, two nephews came from
England on Reg's death to help her.
The elder, Edmund Hutton, drowned
in Puntzi Lake; his brother enlisted in
the Second World War which broke
out soon after his arrival at the ranch.
Hugh and Gertrude Bayliff
enjoy a winter outing.
But Kathleen scarcely needed their
help. She was fearless and it seemed
no task was too much for her. Under
her direction the Newton Ranch continued to flourish.
When Reg died Kathleen's sister
Greta came from new Zealand to be
with her and to everyone's surprise
married Tom Young, the English
friend of Gertrude and Hugh, who
was generally regarded as a perennial
bachelor. Tom had a ranch nearby at
Alexis Creek. The two sisters spoke
endlessly to each other on the
telephone to the diversion of other
Chilcotin residents who could hear
every word of their uninhibited chats
over the 'howler'.
In 1926 Chilancoh Ranch was
thirty-five years old. No longer was its
existence tenuous. It had become a
substantial ranch in one of the best
grazing areas in British Columbia,
though its financial problems were
unremitting. A fair-sized community
was beginning to build up of which
Hugh and Gertrude, Kathleen
Newton, Greta and Tom Young, Gay
and Dorothy were respected members.
They retained many English customs,
one of which was a formal family tea
every Sunday afternoon.
As the years went by the British Columbia weather seemed to move into
a warmer cycle. In April 1898 Hugh's
diary recorded: "Snow still solid: 21
inches of snow here. Two cows have
dead calves. I expect to lose 50% this
year." In April 1925 he
wrote: "Weather is getting warmer.
We shall be all right this year. No loss
except for calves".
In 1931 Gertrude died and two years
later Hugh. Though he had left the
running of the ranch in Gay's hands,
it was hard for him to divorce himself
entirely from it, especially from the
ever-present difficulty of making it
pay. In 1934, the year of his death,
Hugh had to apply to the bank for a
loan of $7,500. The 'Thirties were
Depression years and 1934 was the
very darkest of those troubled years.
It was hard for any business to keep
afloat let alone a cattle ranch in such
a remote, unemployment-ridden area
as the Chilcotin.
Dorothy and Gay now had two
sons, Tim born in 1925, Tony in 1929.
There was no thought of sending them
to school in England as Gay's parents
had done for their son, and both attended St. George's an independent
school opened in 1931 in Vancouver.
To move from the tiny Chilcotin community of Alexis Creek to the big city
and to a new world of boys and games
and masters and lessons was a shock,
B.C. Historical News Cemeteries of
the Alberni Valley
Joan Thompson
Gravesites are ghoulish? Nonsense!
A quiet Uttle cemetery is the last resting
place for many historic pioneers, and
has long been a place of fascination
for the historian.
Many early private cemeteries have
long since disappeared. George Bird
remarks in his book "Tse-Wees-Tah"
of the first cemetery in the Alberni
Valley . . . "There seems to be no
record or even memory locally of this
little cemetery. The three graves there
were close together in a tiny open
space. The neat picket fence around
each of them had been painted white.
This preserved the wood to some extent for about 30 years. They were very
near the alleyway that runs from Mar
Street to Montrose Street, between 1st
and 2nd Avenue." When a historian
digs a little deeper, he finds that there
is reference to this little cemetery
regarding one of the interred. An
article from the British Colonist,
March 27, 1861 reports a 'melancholy occurrance' . . . "The death of
E.H. King, agent of the Underwriters
to take charge of the wreck of the
"Florencia". Mr. E.H. King was commissioned by the Government to inquire into the causes attending the sale
of the "Florencia" wreck to Captain
Stuart of Ucluelet. After attending to
the "Florencia, King and a half-breed
named Charles Burnaby left the schooner and went ashore on a small island.
King's gun, a double barrelled English
Oval shaped stone with the caption: Sleep on in thy Beauty, Thou Sweet Angel Child. By Sorrow Unblighted, By Sin
Fowling piece, with a hair trigger,
discharged accidentally, inflicting a
horrible wound to King. An attempt
was made to send the unfortunate
gentleman to Victoria in a canoe; but
a southeast gale sprang up, impelling
it to return. On the same day the
schooner headed for 'Somas', Cap't
Stamp's settlement, on Barclay Sound
(now Port Alberni), but he expired
about one hour before the vessel
reached Port, and while it was in full
sight. The deceased was then enclosed in a coffin and decently interred in
a grave dug on a mossy mound at the
rear of the Mill (Anderson Mill)."
One private cemetery which contains four graves on a point of land
at Sproat Lake is still in existence today and is well marked with a tombstone bearing the names of Alfred
Denis Faber who died October 20,
1899, his daughter, Dorothy de Dibon
Faber (aged four years) and of his two
nieces, Emily Faber (aged 21 years)
and Mary Josephine Faber (aged 18
years). The girls all drowned in Sproat
Lake in July of 1894. The story of the
drownings is worth recounting, and is
taken from the memoirs by Anne
Traves (M. de D. Donaldson nee
Faber) in "Just One Of Us".
"Emmy and Mary were the two
nieces and only Mary, the youngest
girl bathed that day. She went out a
little too far and lost her foothold in
a dip in the lake. Mary got into difficulties and Emmy went to help her
in her long skirt and she also was pulled under. Little Dorothy, nearly four
years old, went in after the girls and
was found in just a few inches of water
where she had fallen over a stone, face
downwards. My brother who was 18
months old, had the sense to go up to
the house screaming at what he had
seen and so attracting Mother's attention. Father was away in Alberni that
B.C. Historical News day and what a terrible tragedy for
Mother to face. The two girls' bodies
were found further along the shore
and all three were beyond all aid.
Mother always maintained that if Emmy had only stopped to take off her
long skirt, both sisters might have survived because they were both quite
strong swimmers. My father was
buried in the ground on Faber property along with the girls. The property
was already consecrated by a visiting
Bishop from Victoria, who, when he
had arrived at the Lake, broke out into
surprised exclamations, for it was
discovered that the Bishop had been
contemporary with my father at Rep-
ton Public School."
The title to the lot of land where the
four were buried has remained with
the Faber family although the surrounding property was purchased by a Mr.
Kjekstad. Mr. Kjekstad replaced the
Faber headstone in 1950 and assured
the family that he would look after the
grave so long as he was there. He said
. . . "My work in connection with it
has been a pleasure ... a sort of silent
salute to the sturdy pioneers of whom
I am a great admirer.'' In recent years
the Second Arrowsmith Boy Scout
troop has taken responsibility for an
occasional clean-up of this plot.
Two other gravesites have joined the
ranks of the unknown. That of Mrs.
Eleanor Cook, who was buried on
Lakeshore Road on the property now
called the Maples. Mrs. Cook was
buried there in 1925. That of a young
girl, Aimee Rennie Armand, who
drowned while crossing the Somass
River on her way to school. She was
buried on the bank of the river, close
to the Crossing. Today, there is so sign
of the exact gravesites. My husband
remembers tidying up this gravesite
when he was active with the Boy Scout
Group many years ago.
The Beaver Creek Cemetery — circa
1886 — was never consecrated. An unsuitable site had been chosen for this
cemetery. The relatives of those buried
there had the bodies removed for reinterment into the Greenwood Cemetery when it was finally established.
One grave was left undisturbed, resting
quite near the Beaver Creek Road. The
Greenwood Cemetery on Josephine
Street off Beaver Creek is owned by
the city. The property was bought
from Dan Clark in 1892. A visitor
entering the small gate of the Greenwood Cemetery will almost immediately have his eye confronted by the
words on a monument ... 'an early
pioneer'; next would be the resting
place of the first mayor of the once
proud city of Alberni. One would then
see the grave of a man who became the
first recipient of the Old Age Pension
in Canada. In the same locality, the
grave of A.W. Neill who was responsible for the same. A.W. Neill, once
a member of Parliament for this district, deeply involved in obtaining the
Federal Legislation which provided for
the Old Age Pension in Canada, stated
. . . "So generally it was recognized
at Ottawa that I was the moving spirit
in the agitation for the Old Age Pension, that, when the Act was brought
into being, the permanent officials,
without my asking it, offered me the
opportunity of having the first Old
Age Pensioner come from my district,
and I have a photo of myself handing
Bill Derby the first cheque. It was
cheque number 1 and I gave Mr. Derby the cash, and still have the cheque.
Mr. Derby passed on several years ago
and I saw that his grave in the Alberni Valley (Greenwood) Cemetery is
marked as being that of the first Old
Age Pensioner in Canada!"
The Roman Catholic Church Cemetery is located on the hill just above
the site of the First Catholic Church
which was approximately on the corner of what is now River Road and
Falls Road. Tse-Wees-Tah says this
about that first Catholic Church . . .
"Picturesque and close to the road,
about 80 yards from the bridge on the
Alberni side. On the opposite side of
the road, was a bell on a 16 foot high
timber framed stand, set up right on
the bank of the river. The priest or
some other settler had at some time
scattered foxglove seeds here. When
in bloom they made a lovely sight,
for they flowered around in great
The property for the Roman Catholic Church and Cemetery was donated
by Dan Clark. The Clarks, Dan and
his mother, moved onto 320 acres on
the north side of the Somass River,
near River Bend. The Clark family
became one of the first genuine settlers
in the Alberni Valley. Surveyers
became necessary and the westerly
portion of the area was transferred to
the Roman Catholic Church. The land
then comprised 160 acres. Dan Clark's
final resting place is here in the property which he once donated to his
Church. This quiet little cemetery on
top of the hill is the last resting place
for many other Valley pioneers, and
some of the headstones are unique.
One, an attractive oval shaped stone,
marks the grave of Audrey W. Sell,
who died on June 10, 1891, aged 4
years, 7 months and 1 day. It has a
Sleep on In Thy Beauty
Thou Sweet Angel Child
By Sorrow Unblighted
By Sin Undefiled.
After all these years, the words still
portray the deep sorrow felt by her
grieving family. Many tombstones lie
in jumbled disarray, and some are
completely obliterated by time and
weather. The Roman Catholic Church
records however, go back as far as the
1880's. Most of these early records are
in French, and record the oldest interment as being that of A. Marchmont
who died in 1876. (It is assumed that
the body of A. Marchmont must have
been moved to that location in view
of the fact that the property that the
cemetery is on was not donated by the
Clarks until a few years later.) All the
deaths recorded (13) between 1881 -
1885 were those of Native Indians. All
denominations were buried here
because it was the only piece of consecrated ground in the Valley during
the 1880's.
There are many other Native Burial
Grounds that are remembered by old
time residents. One, just beyond Mission Road on Sproat Lake Road is no
longer in existence after a logging road
was constructed through it. There was
a burial cave across from Holm Island,
and also a burial tree on River Road,
a large spruce tree, at the north end
of what is now Clutesi Haven Marina.
Another Native cemetery is located on
the corner of Josephine Street and
Beaver Creek Road. The neat wooden
B.C. Historical News East Indian Funeral at the waterfront. A pyre was created out of refuse lumber
and slabs for the cremation of their dead.
fence, around the newest graves in this
little cemetery, has been painted.
There are many more very old graves
scattered here and there in the wood
around the enclosure, most of whose
markers are indiscernable. Today, the
Natives are using a cemetery located
on Hector Road just above the Somass
The East Indian Community in the
Alberni Valley at one time had a small
settlement down near the waterfront
in the vicinity of what was then known
as Alberni Pacific Lumber Co. A pyre
would be created out of refuse lumber
and slabs for the cremation of their
dead. The location of this was between
the E & N Railway track and the
waterfront. The East Indian people
also had a cremation site at the Great
Central Lake Sawmill. In 1943 they acquired 7!4 acres on Saunders Road,
which has been upgraded over the
years to the present facility still in use.
With a donation to the East Indian
committee Cemetery Fund, a person
of any race or denomination may be
cremated at no charge.
The Alberni Valley Memorial Gardens is a privately owned cemetery
which was in use in 1953. The property
for this cemetery was once Crown '
Land, auctioned off and bought by
two brothers named Hagel. The Valley
residents remember that plots for this
cemetery were sold 'door to door' in
its formative days. This cemetery is
located just off the highway at the east
entrance to Port Alberni.
The first undertaking service in Port
Alberni was owned by A.W. Heath
and J.J. Paul, who combined this
business with carpentry. It is no coincidence in those early days that these
two businesses complemented each
other. The business was taken over by
George Forrest in 1909 and moved to
where the Clutesi Haven Marina is
now. Later it was relocated on Burke
Street awaiting completion of conduction on 100 Block-2nd Avenue. Mr.
Forrest retired in the early 1940's. The
Stephens family took over from Mr.
Forrest and built the present Chapel
of Memories on 6th Avenue in 1964
and it was in turn purchased by Mr.
Hagel in 1972. Mountain View
Funeral Home located on 4th Avenue
was in business in the early 1950's. It
closed its doors in 1956.
Vandalism, disrepair and desecration seems to plague cemeteries over
the years, and the Alberni Valley has
been no exception. We seem to have
an ongoing record via newspaper articles and letters to the editor of these
problems. Any changes have been
fought by historians to ensure that
cemeteries be restored and maintained as closely as possible to the original.
Ketha Adams, writer of "Katimavik"
sums up 'Cemeteries' in a few short
words . . .
"To the Historian or Museologist, a
Cemetery is an Artifact — material
evidence of a culture — of beliefs and
customs and art forms expressing the
life and times of the community which
created it!"
"Just One Of Us" by Anne Traves (M. de D.
Donaldson nee Faber).
"Tse-Wees-Tah" by George Bird.
Archives of the Alberni  Valley Historical
Archives of the Notre Dame Parish of the
Roman Catholic Church.
Local Interviews.
Joan Thompson is a member of the Alberni
Valley Historical Society. Her husband, Art,
is a grandson of one of the Alberni Valley's early pioneers, dating back to 1886. The Thompsons currently reside on the original homestead.
B.C. Historical News
10 Getting Around
in the Kootenays
Clare McAllister
"Shanks mare", one foot put
before another, was, of course, the
earliest and most reliable form of
transportation in the Kootenays. Stout
boots counted for a good deal. One
early chronicler speaks of slow decay,
not only "saddle bags gone — patched with flour sacks" but "B's shoes
gave out — took to his stockings."
That could be sorrow, indeed! Dubbin or neat's foot oil kept boots
reasonably waterproof. Wet boots,
warmed by campfires or cabin stoves
must be oiled to keep them from stiffening up. Hob nails, Swiss edge nails,
the long spikes mysteriously known as
"corks" might keep feet from slipping on rock, or snow, or glaciers, or
moss-covered logs over foaming
streams. However, they did not always
serve, and early newspapers chronicle
men (lugged in for medical care) who
had broken their knee-caps, crossing
a creek, or who died of falls on slipping rocks. In winter, "German socks"
might be worn. Of heavy wool, they
had drawstrings with metal ends,
which could pull the sock tight and exclude snow from boot-tops. Melted
snow inside foot gear made for no
comfort on long journeys. Obliged to
tramp, experienced men wisely lavished their feet with attentive care. The
man who removed his socks, turned
them inside out and massaged his feet
at the noon stop, did not necessarily
whet his fellow travellers' appetites,
but was more likely to make it through
to the end of the trail than those who
thought elevating the foot against the
packsack was quite sufficient. That
newcomers did not always copy the experienced on first observation may
have accounted for their being known
as tenderfeet?
While a new article, "rubbers," was
advertised in the mid-90's, rubbers and
metal-clasped, rubberized cloth overshoes were not durable enough for the
trails, so were worn mostly in towns.
While they kept the feet dry, they were
slippery on snow or ice, and offered
no sure footing on the elevated
wooden sidewalks that were replacing
the old paths. "Snow creepers" were
also advertised — and who could now
fancy what they were, who had not
seen them? — small metal prods or
prickles, which clamped under the rubber insteps, ensuring traction if the
foot began to slide down icy inclines.
Saddle horses and pack horses frequently companioned the booted trail
walker. "Blue" (whose packs held the
gold, so must have been sure-footed),
"Little Roan", "One-eye George"
and "Gray" were gratefully
remembered by Bushby when he wrote
his journal. "The swamps are dreadful, and snow on the summit — our
horses are nearly starved, eat their
ropes and pack-saddle strapping." In
fact, the availability of fodder often
determined whether man or beast
would be called on to carry needed
supplies. The soft blowing grass of
mountain meadows above timber line,
the rank growth of river verges were
not adequately spaced for every
journey, even in the mountain
Where there were horses, there had
to be livery stables and blacksmiths.
Children passing to school might see
the smith at work in a place cavernous
and deep. How huge the dray horses
were! But they lifted up the foot to be
shod, when the smith gave his particular slap. And the sparks flew up
high as the flight of sparrows, who
were also in the strawy space, and who
also flew when the smith struck the
Livery stables and smithys, as base
for saddle horses, pack horses and
horse-drawn rigs of various sorts,
brought problems other than dust for
housewives. For each had its attendant
piles of manure, scraped outdoors
from well-kept stables, with yellow
stains seeping out into winter's deepest
snows, with vortices of flies in summer heat. One can understand why the
old church-sponsored recipe books, in
their "household hints", often had
suggestions for removing fly specks
from gold picture-frames; why "summer complaint" was the scourge most
feared by mothers of weanling infants.
There was one other sort of
transport where the horse supplied the
power. Out of the cities, beyond even
the most vertical, most switchbacked
roads, were claims and mines being
worked. This was industry. Ore must
be got out for assay or for smelting.
Where roads did not reach, ore
shipments still went out in winter: by
sacking ore, wrapping it in untanned
hides and "rawhiding" out the mummylike bundles bouncing and slipping,
rope trailing in the snow. Once
reaching a level space, they were pulled behind horses, who braced back
with all four feet on minor grades.
Eventually such loads got down to
where teams of heavy draught horses
could haul ore-laden drays or sleighs
on roads, which could get to where
B.C. Historical News steamer and rail freighting were
In the days before the Kettle Valley
Railway broke through the Coquihalla
Pass to the Fraser at Hope, Kootenay
passengers travelled by rail to the foot
of the Arrow Lakes. Thence they went
up the lakes by steamer, and there at
lakehead took the CPR to the Coast.
An alternative was to go to Spokane,
Washington, and take Great Northern
Railway to Seattle, and thence to
Coastal B.C.
In those days, a train was a very
gritty vehicle. The grit in winter consisted of small raspy coal cinders,
seemingly on everything. These could
scarcely have got from the panting
engine's coal-car or smoke-stack,
through two layers of window glass,
barring out the winter mountains'
cold. More likely they were produced
by the stove that provided heat, at the
end of each passenger car. This
moloch had necessarily to be surrounded, when in transit, by its own
supply of coal and its own ashes. It
.could, when refuelled and shaken
down, emit sulphurous fumes and
clouds of coal smoke, as well as grit.
Passages through tunnels with the excitement of lit lamps, could, in any
case, provide a choking ordeal, for
somehow the engine fumes, confined
by tunnel walls, got into all the cars.
Further contributing to hissing and
smell, could be the passage of the conductor or trainman to light the swaying oil lamps that hung from the ceiling. A flaring wick and the scent of
coal oil, if not a falling drop of oil,
then entered in the dark, making it
harder to discern outsides' ghostly
rush of trees and snow-clad stumps.
From such hot, coal-reeking
passenger cars, small children, weary,
nodding, jiggling, might descend into
a station hack, which carried parents
and luggage and child. The horse-
drawn hack's black, creaking, leather-
smelling depths were chill as iron. The
driver's plume of icy breath, twin
plumes from the team of horses
frosted the winter's night, as the train's
passengers were driven towards home.
From all such modes of getting
about, lake travel offered luxurious
relief. Better than afoot or in the sad
dle, alone or with a string of pack
ponies, were the canoes that first stirred the lakes. The canoe of the Kutenai
Indians varied much from the
forward-thrusting prows of the great
hollowed cedar canoes of the coastal
tribes, and nearly as much again from
the graciously curved bows of Eastern
birch bark canoes. While, like the latter, Kutenai canoe had a criss-crossed
wooden frame work, (in pre-trade
times covered with alder or birch bark,
and later with painted canvas) its shape
was much different. Both bow and
stern receded from the nose towards
the water-line at a sharply declining
angle. Of narrow beam, for the
uninitiated they were more prone to tip
than anything anywhere afloat. They
were certainly intended for moccasined
feet, and not those clumsily and insensitively shod. While with only two paddles they scarcely troubled the lakes'
surfaces, they could make great speed,
leaving an arrowy track with little
wake. Certainly the early explorers
Thompson, Baillie-Grohman and
others must have welcomed the opportunity to glide along a 100-mile lake,
rather than fight their way through
mountain and valley.
Later, when the settlements
developed, these Indian canoes,
(glimpsed only rarely, as when shiny
black mountain huckleberries were
brought down for sale, in August,)
were replaced by more manageable
small craft: clinker-built and occasional flat-bottomed rowboats,
"Peterborough" and "patent" canoes,
oddly brought from the East. Flat-
bottomed sculls for single and team
rowing competition, launches to convey fishermen, duck hunters, and
family picnic parties, stirred the lakes'
reflection of glacier, of green or rocky
peaks. They served too for summer
"idling", minnow watching, hand-
trailing, a private island for talks.
But, whether for utility, commerce,
transit, or pleasure, the lake steamers
fed the life of the country. Their shifting skeins of stops of call, at the mining camps, at the budding fruit farms
at the ends of short railways, or where
roads and trails wound vertically up
toward the peaks — their stops knit
them  all  into  a  community,  the
Kootenays. Towns might be rivalrous.
Nelson banqueters parodied, "Let us
eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we might be in Kaslo." Hockey
sports chanted, "Trail players go to
heaven, Nelson players go to h—" (—
which was going TOO far). Though
towns might compete, they were as one
in demanding wharves, from the distant coastal government of the
Stern wheeler cargoes can be deduced from early advertisements. Building
materials had priority, along with what
the miner and prospector required: doors, sash, blinds, nails,
hinges, glass, putty, sheet iron pipe,
terra cotta pipe, along with tinware,
steel, blasting powder, caps and fuses,
camp outfits. Transportation of
passengers was speeding up, too, and
it was noted in August of 1890 that someone had hit the lake, after only six
days' travel from San Francisco. We
could then find stores stocked with a
wondrous variety of underwear:
natural wool, canton flannel, balbrig-
gan, cotton and all wool. There was
gambling on the steamers, and the
newspapers did not hesitate to allude
to particular triumphs or failures. On
one occasion there was a little game
ashore, its outcome to decide who
should take passage on the "Idaho",
to reach an assayer and have the first
report on hoped-for ore values. In that
year, there were hopes of pile-driving
starting for a wharf at Nelson, but
Kaslo was reminding hopefuls that it
offered "the easiest way to the
Slocan". Through the years we hear
of the steamers. While the Literary
and Social Club was debating female
suffrage, and while the meat market
was announcing it sold its wares
"C.O.D. and no jawbone", the
steamer "Kaslo" was laid up, icebound. There was excitement because
steamers were to have "powerful electric searchlights".
Ball teams, celebrants of 1st July
and other festivals, and men content
with long, snaky, black, heavy pokes
of gold travelled on the boats. They
were not uncompanioned by sorrow.
In January of 1894 a man "chattiest
and pleasantest of all on the steamer
"Lytton," drew a "44 at Nakusp, call-
B.C. Historical News
12 ed out compliments of the season"
and put a bullet through his head. The
steamer "Hunter" capsized on the
Slocan. The new steamer "International" intended to offer a free
Indeed, events tied to the steamers
kept them always in the news. They
carried not only poor or sudden rich
prospectors, and hopeful fruit ranchers, but millionaire investors like
Count Riondel, and vice-regal parties.
In 1898 Governor General and Lady
Aberdeen were feted with streets lit
with over one thousand Chinese
lanterns, with carriages and a fire-
brigade parade, with a public luncheon
and toasts. In 1906 Earl and Countess
Grey and their vice-regal entourage
were met at Kootenay Landing by
Nelson's mayor and judge. When the
SS "Kuskanook" got within three
miles of the city, it was met by
decorated launches, canoes and
rowboats, in a flotilla.
The feel of the sternwheelers'
speedy, but somehow stately progress
is cherished in many a still-living
memory. Some may recall a small incident, like a swimming deer glimpsed from the old "Minto" on the Arrow Lakes. Kootenay Lake travellers
recall a succession of views from the
"Kuskanook" or later "palatial SS
Nasookin", proceeding up the lake
from Nelson: Five Mile Point, Willow
Point, the powder house, Ten Mile
Point, Balfour, Harrop, Pilot Bay
Smelter, Riondel, and on through the
main lake, rocky shores alternating
with truly golden sand, beyond and
above them the peaks, where glacial
snow cooled the summer air. An evening trip, in particular, afforded scent-
laden drafts of cool and warm, varying as air flowed down rockslide creek
indentation, gulley and mountain
flank. The bubbling wake, the steadily turning wheel had some hypnotic effect, left some special imprint.
Having a special fascination at the
time, though less novel in retrospect,
was Nelson's brilliant coup of setting
up its own street railway system: all
of two tramcars! First passengers were
invited aboard in December of 1899.
It is probable that people came a long
way to see and ride in them. But in
deed, in a city partly ascending vertical
mountains, and partly extending along
lakeshore to the suburb of Fairview
(often in those days referred to as
Bogustown) the tram cars offered considerable aid and comfort. Those who
did not have telephones need no longer
walk to grocer and butcher. Families
who wanted to picnic on the sandy
tree-shaded shore could put baskets
and children on the cars, and get less
wearily home from their excursion.
Before the steamboats had ceased to
travel the lake, the automobile had arrived. This was not necessarily coincidental with the existence of what
would now be called roads. High-
standing, brass-bound Fords on narrow roads could cause horses to rear
as vertically as the mountains. Back
up the car half a mile to find a place
to pass? No other way! Mud, dust,
corduroy roads, nothing deterred the
cars. They boiled easily, one must admit. Some child's job then was to run
with water can to the nearest creek
(pronounced "crick" and no other
way). Kootenay drivers felt lucky to
be in a country where streams were so
handy, never less than a mile of
passage affording fresh runnels and
waterfalls. Hazel and alder branches
impinged on the narrowing road,
through the car's flapping, button-
down side-curtains. In those days it
might take a day to go from Nelson
to Trail. The return journey is now only an evening's spin. As no-one had yet
thought of spare tires, the seven
blowouts that might occur, en route,
afforded time to admire the river mists
curling down the valley, along the
Slocan Pool. Patching kit and hand-
pump had full play. There was one
supreme hill (long ago circumvented
by other routes) which skunked even
the car's lowest gear. All passengers
descended to push, in ankle-deep, hot
yellow dust. How wonderful to reach
the top and bowl away again, past
stands of lively-smelling tamarack and
bull pine. "A car sure gets you there",
people thought, superior to slow moving horse-drawn rigs, left behind in a
trail of dust.
Winter had speeding pleasures, too,
utility forgotten. With the short winter
days came leather-squeaking snow,
and flaming sunsets. Lucky children
had "Flexible Fliers", a patent sled
that steered well. Small fry rated only
rigid sleds. Young people, even adults,
might have communal ownership of
bobsleds, which provided a rush of
speed and thudding bumps, more impressive than that given by toboggans,
that would hold only two or three. The
crew of a bobsled, legs up or legs
down, braking to the steersman's
shout, was a vision of glory as knit toques and mittens flashed by. "Track!"
the crew yelled in warning, as it sped
down the slide. Winter also afforded
the fun of skating, which was good in
rinks, which every community
boasted, but best where a sudden
freeze-up brought clear black ice to a
lake, lit by flaming winter constellations. This was getting about for fun,
as was the skiing on Rossland's
famous Red Mountain.
Snowshoeing was often for fun.
Mixed parties, that is "gentlemen",
and "ladies" with long skirts trailing
in the snow, went for extended
snowshoe hikes and came home to hot
suppers, cheeks flaming from the cold
air. Snowshoes could also afford the
trapper or prospector a means of getting into town for mail and supplies,
a long trip from a distant cabin. A
paper of 1897 shows they did not
always make it: "exhausted prospector frozen two miles from camp —
tripped on snowshoe."
So then, as now, by whatever
numerous devices men sought to ease
the toil of travel, some did not come
B.C. Historical News SURVEY FOR
m **
Geoffrey Castle
M i
Each summer, between 1949 and
1951, the B.C. Government conducted
topographic surveys for the proposed
Western (Alaska) Highway route from
Hazelton to Atlin Lake. At the end of
each season, canned foods, gear and
camping equipment were stored in a
cache built in the trees. With up to 30
men in the party, two useful modes of
transportation proved to be a Norseman seaplane and pilot belonging to
Queen Charlotte Airlines, and a Bell
47 helicopter rented with two pilots
and a mechanic from Okanagan Air
Services, to assist in frequent movements of men and supplies.
This was a contrast to some 20 years
earlier when Philip Marmaduke
Monckton did some preliminary work
under contract in the same area. Born
in South Africa, Monckton came to
Canada in 1908 and received his surveyor's commission number 144, in
1913. While working in the Kinaskan
Lake area, his resourcefulness and
ability to survive on local berries
and small animals resulted in the
Tahltan Indians dubbing him "The
Main camps were set up for the
helicopter survey at such places as
Bowser Lake, Tiegen Lake, Bob
Quinn Lake, Kinaskan Lake, Eddon-
tenajon Lake, and Buckley Lake. Sixteen miles downstream along the
Stikine River from Telegraph Creek
. ****&
Survey party's storehouse constructed at Bowser Lake, September 1950. The
metal attached to the tree trunks helped keep out marauding animals.
was the townsite of Glenora which, in
1898 boasted 35 saloons and was a
starting off place for gold prospectors.
The area teemed with wild life such
as ducks, geese, grouse, ptarmigan,
and bald eagles which would feed on
migrating salmon. Goats and grizzly
bears usually kept to the high ground.
Fairly numerous were moose, sheep
and caribou (3 herds numbering 200
were observed in the summer of 1951).
The lakes were abundant with Rainbow, Cut-throat and Kamloops trout
up to 2-lbs. weight and it was entirely
possible to catch the day's limit in half
an hour with no special lure. Also in
evidence were wolves, black bear,
coyotes, mule deer, porcupines, chipmunks and squirrels.
The survey went as far as Atlin
which, in 1899, had an estimated,
though temporary, population of
around 10,000 thanks to gold mining
which saw 40,000 ounces of gold
recovered there.
This is just part of the magic that
cannot fail to be sensed when driving
north along Highway 37.
Akrigg, G.P.V. and Helen B. British Columbia Place Names.
Andrews, G.S. Cumulative Nominal Roll —
Castle, Geoffrey. Modern Motoring and
Travel. January, 1957 article.
Emerson, G.C. Canadian Surveyor. Topographical Mapping by helicopter. Jan. '52.
Province of British Columbia. Report of the
Lands Service, 1951
Geoffrey Castle is past president of the Victoria
section of the B.C. Historical Federation and
is Municipal Archivist for the Corporation of
the District of Saanich.
B.C. Historical News
Tom H. Inkster
While many men have pioneered
and explored Canada's northland,
J.K. Cornwall had a leading role in its
development. A legend in his own
time, he was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1869. At the age of 27, after
much travel and unusual experiences,
he was working on western railroad
construction before going north.
Cornwall arrived in Edmonton,
then little more than a village, and
struck out for Athabasca Landing, to
become a trapper and fur trader
among the Indians. Then George Cor-
mack's squaw, while washing clothes
one August day in 1896, found a nugget in what became Bonanza Creek.
The magic word "gold" boomed out
of the Klondike, and Jim found
himself in the midst of fortune hunters
drawn like a magnet from all over the
Oldtimers and tender feet, honest
men and scoundrels, hurdled the
rapids of the Athabasca, descended the
Slave and Mackenzie, went up the Peel
and hiked over the Divide to the Klondike, where they fully expected to find
riches beyond their wildest dreams.
Very few of them found their pot of
"Peace River Jim" and Tom
Inkster. Known for his efforts
to settle the Peace River area,
and one of the most colorful
personalities of the Canadian
North, J.K. Cornwall piloted
scows through the rapids during the gold rush of '98. He
commanded a battalion in
France in WWI, earning the
D.S.O. Owning river boats,
he was a pioneer in northern
gold at the rainbow's end.
Having done some freighting on the
Athabasca, Jim Cornwall knew every
whirl, rock and eddy in the rapids, and
when best to navigate them with safety. Piloting gold seekers in scows at the
beginning of the longest, and most
strenuous journey in the history of the
search for gold, he acquired sizeable
The Klondike gold rush over, Jim
operated a string of Peace River
trading posts in partnership with W.F.
Bredin. When the company was sold
to Revillon Freres, Cornwall formed
the Northwest Transportation Company, which operated several steamboats on the Athabasca and Slave
Rivers and on Lesser Slave Lake.
When the Canadian Northern
Railway built a line from Edmonton
to Athabasca Landing, Cornwall
realized this could be the link needed
to boost his steamship business and,
at the same time, open up the Peace
River area to hundreds of settlers from
the United States and eastern Canada.
To publicize the Peace River country, with rich soil where grain,
vegetables and flowers grew profuse
ly, Cornwall, with the assistance of
Herbert Vanderhoof, editor of
C.P.R.'s "Canada West" magazine,
organized 18 leading writers and
agriculturists from Canada and the
United States who accepted the free
journey through a (then) remote part
of Alberta. In later years he would
campaign for a rail line from Vancouver to the Peace River district.
Under the able leadership of James
Kennedy Cornwall, M.P.P. for the
Peace River constituency, the party of
writers and professors set off from Edmonton for Athabasca Landing on July 27, 1910. Cornwall had arranged for
the perfect movement of the expedition which took four weeks and
covered over two thousand miles by
wagon, steamboat and foot. Good accommodation and fine food amply
supplied was thoroughly enjoyed by
the men who were pleasantly impressed in their travels through the land
awaiting settlement.
While the expedition made the
Peace River country known across
Canada and the United States, it is
doubtful if it helped Cornwall financially, though it did earn him the sobri-
B.C. Historical News Wood-burning paddle-wheel steamboat Northland Echo, operating between
the northern rail terminus and Fort Fritzgerald at the southern end of the
16-mile Smith Portage. Tom Inkster was purser on the Echo for a season.
quet "Peace River Jim". His boats
faded from the scene as the Grand
Trunk Pacific and the Canadian Northern pushed their lines westward from
Edmonton and provided an easier
route to the Peace. Edson became the
jumping off place for a track (later an
improved highway) which led many
settlers to the Peace River area.
Due to the Athabasca River rapids
being safely navigable only at high
water, the transportation operational
base for supplying settlements along
the chain of rivers to the Arctic was
moved to the end-of-steel at Waterways on the Clearwater, and a few
years later to Fort McMurray, where
the Clearwater joins the Athabasca
In 1905 Cornwall had formed the
Athabasca Railway Company line
from Edmonton to Waterways. Failing to obtain financial support, he sold
his interests in 1908 to a syndicate
which eventually built the scandal-
ridden Alberta and Great Waterways
Railway from Edmonton to Waterways and Fort McMurray. It was barely completed when a comic opera plot
in the Balkans, fired by young Bosnians — who hated their new Austrian
rulers more than the Turks —
assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and started World War I.
Peace River Jim organized a battalion and led it to France and
Flanders, and was decorated by both
England and France. Home again,
Colonel Cornwall became involved in
managing trading posts and transportation on the Athabasca, Slave and
Mackenzie Rivers. He was barely back
in harness when in 1920, the discovery
of oil below Fort Norman cracked the
Mackenzie Basin wide open with
another rush of fortune hunters. 1 was
one of them.
Having more enthusiasm than
knowledge about oil, I did not stake
my claim in the right place. Out of
funds, I had to quickly find work of
any kind and approached Jim Cornwall. I asked him for a deckhand job.
"There is no opening for a
deckhand," Cornwall stated with a
faint touch of regret. Then, with a pixie smile, he said, "I don't suppose you
would be interested in a job as a
purser." And that is how I became
purser on steamboats operating to the
Arctic and formed a close association
with Cornwall that endured through
the years.
Most of the drillers were brought in
from Texas and Oklahoma oil fields,
and the North certainly handed them
a few surprises. One time I was telling a lanky lad from Texas that he
would soon be seeing the Midnight
Sun and would be able to read a book
by continuous daylight, to which he
burst out with, "If I can go back to
Texas and make them believe that, I'll
be able to make them believe
Jim Cornwall stands out as the most
fascinating man I have ever known.
With an abounding sense of humor,
honor and the theatrical, he could talk
Cree with any Indian and joke with
footloose prospectors like they were
The writer at the oil wells below Fort Norman.
B.C. Historical News
16 Fort McMurray in the early 1920s, before the discovery of oil, pitchblende
(radium ore) and gold. Population of the sleepy village has zoomed to over
25,000 with development of the tar sands.
old buddies. Self-educated, always
with a book at hand, he could hold his
own with any university professor and
talk finance with bankers in New York
and London. There was the touch of
Barnum, but he was all man, solid as
a rock, generous, kindly, and ever willing to help an unfortunate fellow
down on his luck. He had that rare
ability to turn a difficult problem into an amusing incident.
The Indians admired Cornwall and
would double up with laughter over his
amazing yarns. One day we were
unloading freight for a happy Metis
fellow who had set himself up as a
trader at Fort Simpson. He complained about the carrying charge and Cornwall said, "I'm not making big
money. Look at the patches on my
pants." The trader smiled and said,
"Long time I know you, Cornwall.
Always you have patches on your
pants." Cornwall roared with
Never the touchy kind who always
wanted the joke to be on the other
fellow, Cornwall could laugh at
himself. Like the time Captain Lou
Morton was landing a steamboat at
Fort McMurray. Jim had been imbibing a bit from the cup that cheers and,
as he stood on the dock telling Captain Lou how and where to dock, he
became excited and flopped into the
river. Kidded later about the incident,
he laughed and said,' 'The way of the
transgressor is hard."
I worked on the river boats in the
summer and spent the intervening
winter in the "old" North. Radio and
the airplane had not yet arrived and
dogs were necessary for travel. I read
every book I could get my hands on
and was entertained nightly by the
dancing lights of the aurora borealis.
Next spring I was on the rivers again.
In due time far-off places beckoned.
Ten years later pitchblende (radium
ore), gold and other mineral finds were
shaking the North. After travels to
Canada's Arctic islands on the famed
Nascopie, in Alaska, and through the
Orient and South Pacific, I was again
"down north", being amazed at the
tremendous changes. This was the
"new" North. Prospectors were being
flown to likely locations and the moccasin telegraph was replaced by radio
stations. Fast diesel-powered boats
were on the rivers. Norman Wells was
in production. Beehive activity was
everywhere, but it was still a land of
rugged beauty and simple philosophy,
fortitude and a few luxuries interwoven with humor.
I was kept busy getting supplies
pushed through, by transit down the
Mackenzie, up through the Great Bear
River rapids and across Great Bear
ijfamt fc#Sf
Before the advent of the airplane and, in later years, the snowmobile, all winter
travel in the Far North was by dog team.
B.C. Historical News "Here comes the boat!" Planes fly mail and perishable cargo, but the MacKenzie River boat is still an important factor in hauling all types of equipment
and supplies.
Lake to Eldorado Mine. For one
whole summer I shared a cabin with
Peace River Jim and never knew a dull
moment when in his company. Night
after night I laughed at his true and
tall tales. When I asked him what he
was doing in "Coxey's Army", a
group of one hundred thousand
unemployed protesting men led by
Jacob S. Coxey, a businessman of
Massillow, Ohio, to Washington during the Panic of 1893, he replied,
poker-faced, "I was a war
Soon after entering the Peace River
country Cornwall met a lanky aged
American who had been in the
California gold rush before the lure of
riches led him to the Cariboo in British
Columbia. His name was "Twelvefoot
Davis", but not for his height. H.T.
Davis acquired international fame and
the nickname when he noticed that two
claims at Barkerville exceeded the limit
by 12 feet, which he promptly staked.
His 12-foot claim yielded more than
$15,000 in gold. Cornwall and Davis
became fast friends and partners.
One evening when they camped atop
a hill overlooking the valley of the
Peace and Smoky Rivers spread out
below, "Twelvefoot" said, "Jim,
when I die I want to be bured here."
Jim promised to fulfill his wish. Davis
died some time later. Cornwall was
then on his own and in a distant part
of the country, but he buried his old
friend at the final resting place he
chose. The inscription on the stone
He was every man's friend,
And he never locked his cabin door.
Cornwall's boats carried some
strange cargoes, including cases of
whiskey handled like Ming china with
more security than a shipment of gold
from Fort Knox. One unusual consignment came about through surplus
plains buffalo on the broad acres of
Alberta's Wainwright Park, due to be
slaughtered. Through Jim's interest,
7000 of the magnificent animals were
shipped by rail through Edmonton to
Waterways, then moved down the
Athabasca River, across Lake
Athabasca and down the Slave River
to Wood Buffalo National Park to
mingle with their fellow creatures in
one of the world's largest unfenced
game reserves.
Transportation changes were taking
place as the airplane replaced river
boats for moving cargoes requiring
quick delivery. Cornwall gave up his
shipping interests and trading holdings
to spread his wings over the entire nor-
thland in search of minerals. I kept in
touch with him while overseas during
World War II, and could never think
of him growing old as he continued to
search for hidden wealth in old mother
mould. It was a sad blow for him when
his only son was lost at sea.
Many men have been involved in
developing Canada's northland, but
Peace River Jim did more than any
other single man in making people
aware of the possibilities and opportunities awaiting there. He opened the
door for entry to the. fabulous Peace
River country, and left his mark from
Waterways and Fort McMurray to
Aklavik and Coppermine on Coronation Gulf. He used to say, "Somebody
has to go ahead. If you make money
while doing it — fine. If not, it does
not matter. There's enough thrill in
blazing a new trail."
Cornwall's life was an adventure,
during which he never lost faith in
himself and his fellowman, while retaining a happy and friendly outlook
and an ever-ready helping hand.
Before he died, in 1955 at the age of
86 in the Veterans Hospital in Calgary,
he saw the long awaited rail route he
so ardently advocated completed from
the Pacific Coast to the Peace River
country, and he witnessed his dream
of a prosperous Canadian Northern
Empire emerge into greatness.
B.C. Historical News
Jacqueline Gresko
A few years ago British Columbia
Historical News suggested that
members of branches encourage future
historians by volunteering to test
Brownie or Guide History badges.
When I commented informally on
having done several Brownie Pack
tests at the February 1987 federation
executive meeting, some members suggested that I write this topic up for the
News. One member involved with
Beavers and Cubs expressed hopes
such an article might be used to prod
the scout movement into developing
similar badges. So here, thanks to
Mrs. Annabelle Cutting and the
Steveston Brownies, is a report on a
Brownie Provincial Heritage Badge
Mrs. Cutting invited me to test the
Brownies at their weekly meeting in
Steveston United Church Hall on
February 24, 1987. The Brownies are
girls aged 6 to 8 attending grades 1 to
3 in school. For the Provincial
Heritage Badge the purpose is listed
as "to help the Brownie discover the
richness of her provincial heritage."
The requirements include:
1. Learn your provincial song or
a song about your province.
OR Listen to or read a story or
poem by a writer from your
2. Know the capital of your province and tell about its
3. Visit a museum or a site of
historical interest in your province. Draw a picture or tell a
story about it.
OR Learn about some of the early
settlers in your province. Draw
a picture or tell about these
4. Recognize and tell about two
of the following in your province: the coat of arms, the
provincial flower, the flag.
The Steveston Brown Owl, her
assistants and the volunteers at the
Steveston and Burnaby Heritage
Village museums had helped the
Brownies do projects and prepare to
answer my questions on these requirements. The Brownies told me
about a story and poems by Dan
George, the coming of fur traders to
Fort Victoria, their own museum visits
and their own projects. Some of their
drawings and writeups are included.
Their coloring of the provincial flag
and dogwood craft would not
transport well but were lovely to see.
Mr. Andrews would be happy to know
they had also constructed a salt and
flour topographic model of the province including all northern mountain
I really must commend the Brownie
leaders for imagination and effort.
Most of the girls have as yet had no
history in school. To them history
comes from TV: the Pilgrims arrive
for American Thanksgiving or Laura
Ingalls goes West.
Suggestions for future Brownie
badge work include recommending: Emily Carr, The Book of Small
(Toronto: Irwin, 1966), paperback;
Sound Heritage booklets from the
Provincial Archives Victoria: No. 40
Imbert Orchard, Growing Up in the
Valley or No. 37 Floodland and Forest
B.C. Historical News or No. 22 Janet Cauthers, Victorian
For members and branches of the
B.C. Historical Federation I suggest
our news publish reports from other
Brownie or Guide heritage/history
badge testers. These reports could be
printed in local papers and in the
Guiders newsletter so as to applaud
and encourage historical work by the
guiders, parents and museum people.
About Steveston
In the olden days at Steveston there
were no dykes, when there was a high
tide the water would come all in.
Steveston would get flooded in water.
The streets were muddy, the streets
were made out of wood so were the
The Post Office was a Bank and the
manager lived upstairs which was
above the bank, above the bank which
was upstairs there were three rooms
one room was kitchen and one of the
other rooms was a bedroom and the
last room was a guest room where they
eat like a living room.
by Diana
A Visit to the Museum
It was fun when we went to the
museum! The bath tub is so small you
wouldn't fit in it. I'd hate to have that
kind of lamp, it's too hard to light.
The curling iron is so weird. If I was
a girl then I don't think I would like
it because it would be boring wearing
the same dress for a week. I wouldn't
like to be the mom because you had
to clean the toilet. The way they wash
their clothes they scrub it against
something put it in a tub and twist the
top then you put it through two circle
things to dry the clothes. They were
lucky to have the can opener.
Editor's note. Unfortunately we were
unable to reproduce the artwork submitted by the children. Suffice it to say
that there were wonderfully creative
representations of "old brick
buildings," the Steveston Post Office,
a "blind pig," bath tubs, washing
machines and boardwalks.
When Steveston was old it had
wood for sidewalks. Steveston was a
little fishing town. It did not have any
fresh water, it had to get it from Vancouver. There was a big fire and this
man went with a safe on the middle
of the street and a fire truck had the
fire. When they saw the man they
could not stop in time so the man
stood behind the safe and the safe got
broken and the man died.
by Dieuwke
B.C. Historical News
20. ***********************
*                WRITING COMPETITION *
)^-            The British Columbia Historical Federation invites submissions of yL
>u         books or articles for the sixth annual Competition for Writers of B.C. ^
History. ^
^T*            Any book with historical content published in 1988 is eligible. The 3^-
yL        work may be a community history, a biography, a record of a pro- *u
ject, industry or organization, or personal recollections giving glimp-
*r         ses of the past. Names, dates and places with relevant maps or pic- ^
yL        tures turn a story into "history". yL
^            The judges are looking for fresh presentations of historical infor-
^        mation with appropriate illustrations, careful proof reading, an ade- *T
J^-        quate index, table of contents and bibliography. Winners will be chosen yL
^         in the following categories: ^
1) Best history book by an individual writer. Winner receives the *T
)^*             Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing and a monetary yL
yL             prize. ^
X^         2) Best anthology. *
^r         3) Special Award — for an author or editor of an outstanding book. Jf-
yL         4) Best article published in the British Columbia Historical News yL
^ quarterly magazine.
^            All winners will receive considerable publicity, an invitation to the ^T"
yL         Annual General Meeting in May 1989, and a Certificate of Merit. yL
^            Books should be mailed as soon as possible after publication to: .
^             British Columbia Historical Federation *T*
yf'             c/o Mrs. Naomi Miller yL
yL,             Box 105 ^
Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0 **
Please include name, address and telephone number, the cost of the *T*
7f-        book and an address from where it may be ordered if a reader has yL
yL         to order by mail. Deadline for 1988 book submissions is January 31, ^
^         1989. *"
^T             Articles should be no more than 2,500 words, substantiated with J^-
yL        footnotes if possible, and accompanied by photographs if available. ^
. (Photos will be returned). Deadlines for the quarterly issues are
^        September 1, December 1, March 1, and June 1. Please send articles ^T"
yL        directly to: yL
yL                          The Editor T
British Columbia Historical News ^
*-                           P.O. Box 5626, Station B jf
yL,                          Victoria, B.C. ^
V8R 6S4 **
* *
B.C. Historical News
21 News and Notes
Springtime in the Capital!
National   Conference   on
Heritage Interpretation
"Interpretation and Tourism" will explore the relationship between heritage
interpretation programs and tourism
past, present and future. One strong
focus of the conference will be on
bringing a marketing perspective to the
planning and running of interpretive
programs. Another will be on identifying emerging trends in tourism
related to heritage interpretation.
April 13-17, 1988 in Ottawa and
Interesting guest speakers, sneak
previews of new museums, workshops,
demonstrations and field trips in Ottawa Hull and region will allow you
to enjoy springtime in the nation's
capital! Interpretation Canada, Box
2667, Stn. D, Ottawa, Ontario,
Port Moody Station Museum
The Port Moody Station Museum
is urgently seeking the following: van
(for picking up artifacts, travelling to
schools, setting up outside displays,
etc.), podium, microphone, slide
screen, photocopier, metal shelves,
paper cutter (for the dark room), small
fridge (for photographic paper). Also
nice would be oak barrel-type planters
for our parking lot and the back porch
of the Station Museum. If you can
help, please contact the Curator, M.
Diane Rogers, at 939-1648.
Kootenay Lake
Historical Society
To the residents of Kaslo, former
residents and all friends of the S.S.
WE need your help!
Since 1957, when the sternwheeler
S.S. Moyie, after 60 years of service
on Kootenay Lake, was beached at the
east end of Front Street in Kaslo, the
Kootenay Lake Historical Society has
been responsible for the ship's upkeep.
As the years go on, this is becoming
increasingly difficult. The structure is
deteriorating; the hull needs stabilizing and a fire protection system is
The K.L.H.S. feels that preserving
the ship for the enjoyment and edification of future generations is a worthy
project. The S.S. Moyie is a priceless
part of our history.
The Federal Government has offered to contribute $150,000.00 toward
the cost of repairing the ship — provided that we can come up with a matching $150,000.00.
We earnestly seek your financial
support in order to SAVE OUR SHIP
from falling into ruin.
All contributions of $10.00 or more
will receive a tax-deductible receipt.
Please mail your cheque to:
Kootenay Lake Historical Society
S.S. Moyie Preservation Fund
Box 534; Kaslo, B.C.; VOG 1M0
B.C. Museums Association
The Museums Association will
sponsor a seminar in Preventive Conservation at the Kelowna Centennial
Museum and NEC in Kelowna,
February 15 & 16, 1988 from
9:30 - 4:30. Participants in this intermediate seminar will study the
precautions which can be taken to prevent damage and deterioration of their
collection. Environmental concerns
and establishing guidelines for the
care, handling, storage and display of
objects will also be covered. The
responsibility of determining an appropriate balance between preservation of the collection and demands of
access of the collection to the public
will be emphasized. Instructor: Richard Fuller, Conservator,
Kelowna Centennial Museum.
Registration fee: $50.00 BCMA
members, $75.00 non-members.
Theme Issues.
The Spring issue (Vol. 21, No. 2) of
the News will focus on the history of
the Chinese in British Columbia. The
editor is still looking for material for
this issue. If you have done some
research in this area or know someone
who has, please contribute.
The Fall issue (Vol. 21, No. 4) will
focus on the role of Pioneer Women
in B.C.
As usual, there is always room in the
News for articles dealing with any
topics of historical interest.
B.C. Historical News
The Department of History at the
United States Air Force Academy will
sponsor the Thirteenth Military
History Symposium from 12-14 October 1988 on the topic, "The Intelligence Revolution: A Historical
Perspective." The symposium's first
session will analyze intelligence activities before 1939. The day will conclude with the Thirty-first Harmon
Memorial Lecture, which will assess
World War II as a watershed in the
evolution of military intelligence. Sessions on the second day will examine
the effect of intelligence on the war's
major belligerents, while an evening
banquet address will probe the intelligence revolution's influence on
counterintelligence activities. The final
day will feature sessions dealing with
the revolution's legacies and will conclude with a panel discussion on how
the intelligence revolution has affected
current military postures. For information concerning symposium
registration, contact: HQ
USAFA/DFH, Attn: Captain Mark
Clodfelter, USAF Academy, Colorado
Springs, CO 80840-5701,
Telephone: (303) 472-3230 (Commercial), 259-3230 (Autovon)
Copy Needed!
The B.C. Historical News requires
articles, reminiscences, photo stories,
etc. pertaining to the history of British
Columbia. Put it down on paper and
send it to the editor.
Articles up to 2500 words (shorter
is fine). Typed manuscripts please.
Plan now to attend the joint B.C. - Alberta Historical Conference
May 5 - 8, 1988. A diverse program will be offered in the campus style
facility of the Banff Centre (formerly Banff School of Fine Art) which
boasts of "a beautiful view from every window."
The program starts Thursday evening with a speaker, a get acquainted
session and a social. Both the Historical Society of Alberta and the
B.C. Historical Federation hold their Annual General Meeting on
Friday morning. The afternoon will feature a speaker from Banff, our
own John Adams on "Heritage Cemeteries", and a viewing of the
Centre's Art Gallery. The evening entertainment will be a film showing.
Participants will have a choice of programs on Saturday, both
morning and afternoon. There will be workshops on "Book Repairs
& Simple Book Binding," "Care of Archival Material on a Limited
Budget," "Helpful Hints for Would Be Writers (G.P.V. & Helen
Akrigg)," "Pioneer Foods," & "The Pros & Cons of Umbrella
Organizations." After lunch you may go for a guided hike, visit one
of Banff's Museums or explore the neighbourhood. A banquet will
be the cheerful conclusion of the day.
Members of member societies can obtain Registration forms from
the local secretary early in March. Readers are invited to this Conference. Application forms may be obtained by writing or phoning
Naomi Miller at Box 105, Wasa, B.C. VOB 2K0 (604-422-3594).
B.C. Historical News (cont. from page  7)
but both accepted it and adjusted
without difficulty.
History repeated itself. As Tim's
schooldays drew to a close war again
broke out and as his father had done,
he at once enlisted. He served with
distinction in the Royal Naval Reserve
and then returned to Chilancoh. In
1948 an eye infection took him to
Alexis Creek Nursing Station where he
had the good fortune to meet Merle,
an English nurse whose fondness for
adventure was taking her around the
world to out of the way places like
Alexis Creek. Here her travels stopped
and she and Tim were married.
In 1946 Kathleen Newton died and
left the Newton Ranch to Tony
Bayliff. As Tony was not yet 19 and
by no means sure this was the career
he wanted for himself, he left the running of the ranch in the capable hands
of Jack Bliss. By that time Gay was
ready to hand over Chilancoh to Tim.
He and Dorothy, with a sensitivity that
is a Bayliff characteristic, decided they
might be in Tim and Merle's way, so
they moved five miles down the road
to live with Tony who had by now
decided ranching was in his blood and
taken over his heritage.
His wife Barrie whose forebears go
back in British Columbian history as
far as the Bayliffs, was equally en
thusiastic. She and Merle soon proved they had an ample share of the
tough qualities demanded of a
Chilcotin chatelaine.
The Newton Ranch today comprises
3500 acres and runs 450 head of cattle. Tony and Barrie have a son
Michael and daughter Jane. Doubtless
the ranch will remain in Bayliff hands.
In 1977 Gabriel Bayliff died, a man
widely admired and respected by the
ranching community of British
Today, the closing months of 1987,
Chilancoh Ranch comprises 5000
acres, and runs 700 head. Tim has
managed it for thirty years and increased it substantially. In the family
tradition he may soon hand over the
reins to elder son Hugh. Indeed Hugh
already shares in all major decisions.
An innate mechanical ability has
enabled Tim to keep pace with the
technological changes which have
swept over the ranching profession.
His ranch has computerized irrigation
and ultra-light aircraft. Though self-
taught he can handle most of the
repairs and maintenance problems of
his many vehicles.
Tim served as President of the B.C.
Cattleman's Association from
1980 - 82 and later as Chairman of the
Land Use Committee. He has helped
bring about the multi-use concept of
resource management, an amended
grazing act and a change from one-
year permits to ten-year leases.
The old ranchhouse has changed little over the years. It boasts no modern
or streamlined furnishings. The rolltop
desk, the skins on the walls, the cupboards under the staircase, the
hassocks, the portraits of Great-Aunt
Charlotte and Prime Minister Sir
Robert Peel, the rugs on the wooden
floor have probably remained undisturbed in the comfortable sitting
room since the time of Hugh and Gertrude. In the kitchen the huge iron
stove and immense cook pots bespeak
vast meals and vaster hospitality. The
old house, spacious and sturdy, exudes
warmth and friendship. The first of
the fifth generation of Bayliffs, Bryce,
son of James, Tim and Merle's
younger son, who was born in
February 1987 and is agreed by all
family members to be the finest, most
talented, handsomest, cleverest infant
ever, may well be a major part of
Chilancoh's second century.
Help Urgently Required!
Job requirements: 1) available time — a few hours most weeks;
2) the patience of Job, this is a 'fussy' job; 3) detective skills of a
high, if unadventurous order. Definitely a challenge!
If we can find someone (preferably in the Victoria area) to undertake this task, I will be most willing to work closely with the new
subscription secretary over the next issue or two in order to pass on
my hard-won experience.
This is an important job. Can someone come to our aid?
If you would like more information, or are willing to volunteer, please
contact me by mail or phone (after 6 p.m.).
Ann W. Johnston, Chairperson
News Publishing Committee
R.R. 1, Mayne Island, VON 2J0
B.C. Historical News
24 Bookshelf
Book Reviews should be sent directly to the book review editor, Anne
Yandle, 3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V6S 1E4.
Second World War Memories!,
Phylis Bowman. Prince Rupert,
the author, 1987. 84 pp., illus.
(Available from P. Bowman, 688
Skeena Drive, Port Edward,
B.C., VOV 1G0). $7.00
In 1939, Prince Rupert, Mrs.
Bowman writes, was "a quiet, rather
isolated little settlement with a population of around 6,000." The coming of
war changed that. The city and its environs became an important military
centre, especially after the United
States entered the conflict and, with
Canadian approval, designated Rupert
as a "sub-Port of the Seattle Port of
embarkation." American forces came
into and through the city in a big way
— over the next three and a half years
in excess of 75,000 personnel were
shipped from the port as well as extensive quantities of supplies and ammunition. Construction of many large
and small buildings in Rupert and in
the nearby village of Port Edward
transformed the communities. It is this
military "occupation", by both Canadian and American forces and their
support staffs, that is the subject of
Mrs. Bowman's Second World War
As is the custom in her books,
Bowman relies mainly on photographs
and memorabilia and, in many
respects, she compiles rather than
writes. On small pages, in this instance
514" by 814", there are usually two
or three or more photographs with
Bowman's comments appended, and
this gives the impression of an extended collage. Reproductions of club
membership cards, cards announcing
dinners and other social occasions,
snatches of the lyrics of wartime songs
and poems, and even of musical
scores, are all brought in. With neither
a table of contents nor an index, there
is an initial impression of disorganization. There are no chapters — only
two sections, one for the "Canadian"
period from the beginning of the war
till early 1942, and the second for the
period beginning with the arrival of the
first American forces in March 1942.
Yet there is continuity in the narrative,
and the "story" carries through clearly
so that one comes away from the book
with a vivid sense of the place and the
Second World War Memories! is the
latest in a series of nine books written
and published by Mrs. Bowman about
Rupert and its immediate vicinity.
Together they provide an impression
of the history of the area which may
not be matched for any other small
community in the province.
George Newell
George Newell is a member of the Victoria
Branch of the B.C. Historical Federation, and
one time resident of Prince Rupert.
Pioneer Tales of Burnaby, edited
by Michael Sone. Burnaby, B.C.,
The Corporation of the District of
Burnaby, 1987. 496 p. $25.00
Pioneer Tales of Burnaby is an impressive publishing achievement of
Burnaby's Municipal Hall. It contains
700 photographs and 175 "first-person
reminiscences" by old-timers about
how they and their predecessors settled and lived in the Burrard Peninsula
between 1888 and 1930.
The book could easily be called a
"family album" for the District of
Burnaby. Among other things, it continually surprises the reader with little asides. Gordon Haddon, for instance, mentions that his grandfather
came to British Columbia via San
Francisco in the 1860s:
... He was an English minister
who started a church on Saltspring
Island after living awhile in the
Nanaimo area. At that time, there
was quite a large settlement on
Saltspring made up largely of black
slaves who had fled the U.S. in
search of freedom.
My grandfather's congregation
was made up mostly, therefore, of
black Americans. — Pioneer Tales,
page 318.
And as Chairman of Brewery Creek
Urban Committee in Mount Pleasant,
I have to pause when I read in Pioneer
Tales that before the Yorston family
moved to Burnaby they lived in a
house on "Front Street," which was
close by Brewery Creek. Wilfred
Yorston says:
. . . We lived in the Mount Pleasant
district of Vancouver when we arrived here from Moose Jaw, Sask.,
in 1906. Our house was right on
False Creek waterfront. At high tide
the water would come up
underneath. — Pioneer Tales, page
The initial idea for the book came
to a former Mayor of Burnaby, now
MLA, Dave Mercier, as a result of an
official "tea" attended by 600 senior
citizens in the summer of 1980. Seven
years later, with financial help from
the Government of the Province of
British Columbia, it has now been
published under Mayor Bill Lewarne.
B.C. Historical News As  to the  political  side,   Mercier
You might say that Dave kicked it
off and Bill carried the ball. Bill was
determined, and, in his persuasive
way, he gained full support of
But there was much skepticism,
and a few said that Pioneer Tales
was a "boondoggle".
There were only three of us who
really believed in the book and its
marketability: Bill Lewarne,
Michael Sone (the editor), and
myself. — Dave Mercier, MLA, in
conversation with CC, November
20, 1987.
Michael Sone, formerly on the
sports staff of The Province, is now
an independent writer; and, as editor
of Pioneer Tales, he was working by
contract for the Municipality of Burnaby. Mercier says:
Mike did it all. He's the author, he
suggested it, he spearheaded the
funding, he insisted on the quality.
He "sold" Mayor Lewarne on the
nature and the quality of the book.
He's the man that assembled it —
everything: style, cover, size, format and shape.
He did an outstanding job. He
got the money together, prodded
the   successive   Councils,   and
definitely   made  the  book  the
"class" presentation it is. — Ibid
One has to agree: the editing, design
and layout of the book are well and
professionally done. Despite the usual
severe restraints inherent in municipal
budgeting and in producing an item
within the purchasing capacity of the
average citizen, Pioneer Tales has been
a marketing success, a "best-seller" in
its genre in Canada.
The book has immediate human appeal. For a person of my generation,
born in Vancouver shortly after the
First World War, the book evokes a
reminder of a way of life and a system
of values, now on the verge of being
forgotten, that used to exist in the
Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
From the point of view of its human
content, Pioneer Tales is an unmistakably worthwhile achievement.
It has a certain quality of almost family concern, pride, and even love.
Above all, one must credit the special
character and mentality of the
"pioneer" writers of these stories for
the sympathetic feelings which the
book engenders.
The first two sections of Pioneer
Tales contain memories of childhood
and initial parental homemaking in
Burnaby in the years before the First
Great War. While we know that circumstances were often exceedingly
uncertain for their elders, particularly in the Great Depression years of the
1890s, the writers of these Tales recall
their early childhood in those "Golden
Years" with respect. Typical is Alfred
Naud's comment:
. . .they were certainly happy and
carefree times for a boy growing up
in Burnaby in its pioneer days. —
Pioneer Tales page 86.
In general, however, in their stories
these senior citizens present us with the
historical panorama through which
they have witnessed the tumultuous
violence and chaotic expansionism of
the 20th century mechanized human
society, a time in which tremendous
social/economic forces have converted
the rural "heaven" of pioneer Burnaby of a few hundred souls into today's populous metropolitan region of
several hundreds of thousands.
Many of these old-timers feel that,
in the rush for growth and expansion,
important human values, such as simple caring and neighbourliness, have
been jettisoned. They miss the
"camaraderie and spirit" of Burnaby's pioneering days, some question
"so-called progress".
While these senior citizens show interest in local affairs, I miss seeing a
bit more highlighting in Pioneer Tales
of municipal leadership in Burnaby's
"pioneer" years, some brief mention
of their alternative policies, perhaps
the odd newspaper heading. I think,
as well, that the fine photographs of
the current Mayor and Council included in the dedication pages of Pioneer
Tales ought to have been counterbalanced in some way by more emphasis on the few photographs of
municipal politicians from the past. At
least, the archival photograph of Burnaby's first Council with Reeve
Charles Shaw (page 49) might have
been larger and placed in a more prominent position. And why did that
photograph get lesser treatment than
the one of Reeve Peter Byrne and the
1910 Council shown on page 152?
As well, Pioneer Tales might have
benefitted from two or three
panoramic drawings to indicate
roughly where the four major centres
of Burnaby's community development
were located and what their regional
interrelationships were. Burnaby is a
very large municipality which is
powerfully bisected at its centre by
Burnaby Lake and a depression of
peat bogs and scrubwood lands. Professor Walter Hardwick notes, for
To the north, an extension of the
Hastings East area of Vancouver,
called   Vancouver   Heights   and
Capitol Hill, pressed into northern
Burnaby. Although this part was indeed in the municipality, the majority of residents were functionally part of the Vancouver labour
force. The street-cars and buses
looped near the Vancouver boundary, offering access to the city core
and the industries of the harbour.
—  Walter   G.   Hardwick,   Vancouver. Don Mills, Ontario, Collier
Macmillan Canada, 1974, page 134.
Certainly, the "mental maps" of
Burnaby's "pioneers" included jobs,
high schools, entertainment and shopping   in   Vancouver   and   New
Westminster.   For  instance,  Elsie
Wilson, who was born in 1898 near
Central Park, writes:
. . . Mother dealt mostly at Woodwards in Vancouver. She exchanged extra eggs and butter for
groceries at Woodwards, and often
shopped there on 95-cent Day. Occasionally, she depended on the
local delivery services. — Pioneer
Tales, pages 24 - 25.
And Madeling Clarke Cooper writes:
. . . We went to the movies on
Saturdays at the Edison Theatre
... on Columbia Street in New
Westminster. My two girl friends
and I would pay ten cents to get in
. . . The movies were silent then
with a three piece orchestra in the
pit. We all liked Rudy Valentino,
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fair-
B.C. Historical News
26 banks. — Ibid, page 176.
When she was older she worked in
downtown Vancouver.
I was working swing shifts as an
elevator operator in the Vancouver
Hotel when the war ended (Nov. 11,
1918). I'll never forget Armistice
Day in Vancouver. — Ibid, page
Pioneer Tales is a major book purchase for many people, and may be
their only reference to Burnaby's
development. Such a book as this,
therefore, should be reasonably comprehensive. I miss a bibliography; even
a minimal one would have been
And I continue to think that the two
early maps of the Burrard Peninsula
included in George Green's History of
Burnaby, (pages 37 and 39) are still not
all that widely known; I would have
included them somewhere in Pioneer
A brief introduction by Sone
precedes each story in Pioneer Tales.
In most instances, the story is narrated
in the old-timer's own words with only
slight changes "to achieve a uniform
. . . Sone said although he edited
for spelling, he left the language of
the pioneers alone. It's what gives
the book its unique flavour. — Burnaby Now. May 13, 1987, page 21.
Sone made no attempt to correct for
historical accuracy. He says, for
I've got (the notorious bank robber)
Bill Bagley shot in six or seven different areas of Burnaby. But it's
delightful, because that's the way
they (the old timers) remember it.
— Ibid.
One  understands,  therefore,  that,
while  containing   much   valuable
material, Pioneer Tales is edited for
"human  interest"   rather  than
Notes on the dust jacket of Pioneer
Tales make it clear that difficulties
were experienced in achieving progress
on the book.
Between 1981 and 1984, work on
Pioneer Tales was sporadic at best
. . . Work resumed in earnest in the
summer of 1985 after Council voted
seed money for research. With four
students from Burnaby secondary
schools and one from the British
Columbia Institute of Technology
compiling an average of fourteen
stories each, the complement of
tales steadily rose.
Editor Sone added stories he wrote up
We habitually exclude from our
thinking the Salish people who inhabited these lands for ages before the
coming of Europeans, and whose trails
through the woods the early European
settlers undoubtedly used. We find no
mention of the Salish in Pioneer Tales.
Certainly, a true "pioneer" in the context of European newcomers would be
WilUam Holmes who is mentioned but
briefly on page 17. Holmes moved his
wife and six children into a cabin on
Brunette Creek in 1861, long before a
formal municipality was thought
The people whose lives are portrayed in the pages of Pioneer Tales
of Burnaby belong to our modern era
dominated by the railroad, the motor
vehicle, and electric power. Even those
who settled in what is now Burnaby
in the late 1880's were essentially urban. As was typical for these
"pioneers", George Leaf's mother,
Mrs. Burgess, soon after arriving in
what is now Burnaby, had her name
on a petition circulated in 1891, the objective of which was municipal incorporation to insure that taxes would be
used to provide the signators' properties with public services and
With his Pioneer Tales of Burnaby,
Michael Sone has achieved what
amounts to a master work in social
history. In summing up, he writes:
... I was astonished not only by
the optimism of the pioneers but by
their self-effacing humor. Here
were people who had lived through
the incredible deprivations of
homesteading, two depressions,
several recessions and at least one
global war, and the phrase I heard
most was, 'I wouldn't have missed
it for anything.' — Preface, Ibid,
page 8.
Charles Christopherson
Charles Christopherson is Chairman of
Brewery Creek Urban Committee, member and
former President of Mount Pleasant
Neighbourhood Association, former member
of Vancouver City Planning Commission
(1977 -1981), and member of the William Morris Society.
Honore-Timotbee Lempfrit
O.M.I: His Oregon TraU Journal
and Letters from the Pacific
Northwest, 1848 -1853.
Edited by Patricia Meyer.
Translated from the French by
Patricia Meyer and
Catou Levesque.
Fairfield, Washington:
Ye Galleon Press, 1985.
261 pages. Illustrations, notes,
map, bibliography, index, $21.00
Will to Power: The Missionary
Career of Father Morice.
David Mulhall.
Vancouver: University of
British Columbia Press, 1986.
239 pages. Illustrations, notes,
map, bibliography, index, $29.95
1985 and 1986 were remarkable
years for the history of Catholic
missions to the Indians of British
Columbia as they saw publication
of two books, on the least known
early missionary and the other on
the best known late-nineteenth century missionary.
The first book, Patricia Meyer
and Catou Levesque's Honore-
Timothee Lempfrit O.M.I.: His
Oregon Trail Journal and Letters
from the Pacific Northwest, 1848 -
1853, is a fine treatment of his
work. Both introduction and translated text detail missionary practice
and life on the frontier. The editor
explains nineteenth century Roman
Catholic practices and Latin terms.
She gives us interesting insight into Lempfrit's labours among Songhees, KlaUam, Sooke, Saanich and
Cowichan and his departure from
the field. She hints that the Unguis-
tically-able priest was valuable to
James Douglas in negotiating the
Fort Victoria treaties but troublesome once the Cowichan complain-
B.C. Historical News ed about him. The major problems
of continental Frenchman Lempfrit
seem not to have come from these
Indians. Rather, his own faux pas
in missionary protocol, complaining
to Rome over the local superior
about one of the French-Canadian
bishops of Oregon, meant all hell
broke loose. The French-Canadian
bishop responsible for Vancouver
Island manoeuvred to remove
Lempfrit from his post while the
embarrassed Oblate superior down
at Olympia had to accede to the
prelate's wishes as well as those of
his chiefs in France and Rome.
Meanwhile Governor James Douglas, who had had his own tussles
with AngUcan clerics Beaver and
Staines, must have sat smiUng if not
chuckUng in his office.
One closes the Lempfrit book
feeling that the editor and translators have made every effort to
take us back in time with Lempfrit,
to give us a sense of the man and
a sense of the country.
David MulhaU's Will to Power:
the Missionary Career of Father
Morice is less satisfying. He mentions Fort St. James and Morice-
town but does not make us sense
the distances of the region nor feel
the heat and mosquitoes of summer
travel there. Yet this pubUshed version of Mulhall's 1978 McGiU doctoral thesis does present in English
much research in French sources.
MulhaU contends that Oblate A.G.
Morice, an "anarchic individual",
aimed from his youth in France to
be a priest-king and scholar among
a Dene people in North America.
He describes how the young Morice
got himself out of teaching in Mission and Williams Lake boarding
schools and up to Fort St. James
as the missionary to the Carrier
1885 - 1903. He argues that Morice
outdid fur traders and agents in influence over the Indians of the Northern Interior. Aided by his strong
personality, his Unguistic skiUs and
adaptation of Cree syUabics to Carrier, Morice by 1896 had become
"king of the country". MulhaU,
however, also notes that the natives
persisted in the forbidden gambling, potlatching and drinking; and
that Father Morice neglected his
reUgious duties in the field more
and more for scholarly interests in
his Fort St. James office or map
making treks to the wilderness. All
that makes us wonder how powerful this priest-king was. The super
ior who withdrew Morice in 1903
and had him removed east of the
Rockies also had doubts about
Morice's kingdom.
Significantly MulhaU neglects
what anthropologists have recently discovered or reconstructed about
the native response to Morice, for
example Margaret Tobey's "Carrier" in the Subarctic volume of
The Handbook of North American
Indians (Washington: Smithsonian,
1981). He also ignores the research
of former B.C. Historical News
editor Maureen Cassidy for the
Gitksan Carrier Tribal Council and
her pubUcation Proud Past: A
History of the Wet'swet'en of
Moricetown, B.C.
In sum, the editors of the Lempfrit volume and the Societe Historique Franco-Colombienne who
backed them deserve our applause.
David MulhaU needs our invitation
to come west for long enough to
Usten to the informants of Cassidy
in order to fuUy appreciate Moricetown as well as Morice.
Jacqueline Gresko
Please let us have your change of address. The list of branches of the
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a member of your current historical society or join a new one which
is affiliated with the British Columbia Historical Federation, please
indicate your wish for an individual subscription when your present
one runs out.
(include Postal Code)
B.C. Historical News
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Honorary Patron:
Honorary President:
His Honour, the Honourable Robert G. Rogers,
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
Dr. W. Kaye Lamb
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Recording Secretary:
Naomi Miller, Box 105, Wasa, VOB 2K0
422-3594 (res.)
John D. Spittle, 1241 Mount Crown Road, North Vancouver, V7R 1R9
988-4565 (res.)
Myrtle Haslam, 1975 Wessex Road, Cowichan Bay, VOR 1N0
748-8397 (res.)
T. Don Sale, 262 Juniper Street, Nanaimo, V9S 1X4
753-2067 (res.)
Margaret Stoneberg, P.O. Box 687, Princeton, VOX 1W0
295-3362 (res.)
George R. Newell, 27 Seagirt Road, R.R. 1, Sooke, B.C., VOS 1N0
642-5072 (res.)
Dorothy Crosby, 33662 Northcote Crescent, Mission, B.C., V2V 5V2
Daphne Sleigh, Box 29, Deroche, B.C., VOM 1G0
Leonard G. McCann, 2-1430 Maple Street, Vancouver, V6J 3R9
736-4431 (bus.)
R.J.C. Tyrrell, Editor, B.C. Hbtorical News, P.O. Box 5626, Stn. B.,
Victoria, V8R6S4 721-1416
Chairmen of Committees:
John D. Spittle
Ann W. Johnston, R.R. 1, Mayne Island, B.C., VON 2J0
539-2888 (res.)
Historic Trails
and Markers:
B.C. Historical News
Publishing Committee.
Award Committee: Naomi Miller
Publications Assistance Helen Akrigg, 8-2575 Tolmie Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6R 4M1
Committee (not involved 288-8606
with B.C. Historical Loans are available for publication.
News): Please submit manuscripts to Helen Akrigg.
Heritage Cemeteries John D. Adams, 628 Battery Street, Victoria, B.C., V8V 1E5
Committee: 384-9988 The British Columbia Historical News
P.O. Box 35326, Stn. E.
Second Class Mail
Registration No. 4447
Why not join the British Columbia Historical
Federation and receive the British Columbia
Historical News regularly?
The BCHF is composed of member societies
in all parts of the province. By joining your local
society you receive not only a subscription to
British Columbia Historical News, but the
opportunity to participate in a program of talks
and field trips, and to meet others interested in
British Columbia's history and the BCHF's
annual convention.
For information, contact your local society
(address on the inside front cover).... No local
society in your area? Perhaps you might think
of forming one. For information contact the
secretary of the BCHF (address inside back


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