Charlie : Well I'm not too sure about that . See we came here in 21 and it had been built before that, I imagine about three or four years.
June : The oldest house.
Charlie : Yeah the old house.
June : Oh yeah. It wasn't built in 1904 or 1906 or
Charlie : Oh no, it was in the I imagine, oh maybe 1919 , 1918, something like that,
I'm not too sure.
Gene : I don't know why it was there. I know it was surveyed in 1917.
June : 1917>
Gene: This side
June : Yeah
Charlie : Like all the people up, this side
Gene : That's what all the old survey notes say.
June : I should make a remark that I am interviewing Charlie and Anne Davidson and Gene
and Genevieve Scott.
Genevieve : .. I'm not too well informed.
June : Well if you happen to say something then we'll know who it is.
Genevieve : yeah
Gene ; Macdonald I think was the name of the first people that was there.
June : Macdonald. At that farm eh?
Charlie : Yeah the first one he had. He built the house and they were the first ones to live in it,
that I know of
June : Oh yeah.
Anne : Yeah this was when the old house was still in use.
Charlie : And Skogdepo, he was the next in line. Skogdepo.
Anne : Was he there before Lopers?
Charlie : Yeah. No, no I'm all ...Lopers were there next., and they were there for...well must have been there for fourteen, fifteen years.
June : Oh yeah.
Charlie : Skogdepole.
June : How would you spell that name.
Charlie : I don't know.
Anne : Just the way it sounds.
June: S-k-o-g-d-e-p-o-l-e .
Anne : Skogdepole
June : Skogdepole
Anne : I think so.
June : .Was he a Scandinavian or...
Anne : I don't know.
Charlie: Shorty, Shorty was his name
June : Shorty?
Charlie : He was just a young fellow. He just took the ranch over, he didn't buy it, but he started farming, going to farm it and buy it then. His health didn't hold so he had to leave.
Gen : Gene who's the guy with the beard? (looking at pictures)
June : That's the Corrections guy.
Gene : Oh that's a hunter. Gary.
Genevieve : Oh the butcherman?
Gene : Pardon
Genevieve : The one that butchers?
Gene : No
June : He was a Corrections man, isn't he a corrections officer, wasn't he?
Gene : Yeah, he comes from Vancouver. That one looks like...
June : Oh that's my grandson, that's Donnie.
Gene : Was he out there?
June : Yeah he walked with me, remember? He was walking with that guy and I was walking with you talking, remember? And then before we left, him and I went back together. Good thing I had him along or I'd have had two miles to walk back myself.
Gene : HMMM
Gene : Bear country.
June : Bear country.
June : So the one house was built in...19 ..
Anne : You said you came in 21Chuck
Charlie : 21 Dad came here in 21 but it was built before that, but I don't know.
June : Oh yeah, and did that MacDonald build it?
Charlie : Now I don't know, I imagine he had help, he had somebody else helping build it.
June : But it was built for him. He was the first man there.
Charlie: No he was the ...Well his buddy owned the place but he was the first one that stayed there and farmed, worked on it. He wasn't there too long, I don't think till
Lopers came - George Loper.
June : I was wondering ..why did they build that house so big, that big house what nine bedrooms did you say Gene ?
Charlie : Well they had the kids , Lopers family, there was nine kids in the family
Anne : Do you think he was figuring on Lopers being there when he built it?
Gene : I think they were there and lived in the old house. They moved in the old house.
Gen : Didn't this guy from England build the house ?
June : The guy from England
Gen : Oh he wasn't from England.
Gene : Whittaker
Gen : He's the one that built the house didn't he?
Charlie : Yeah, he built it. He hauled the timbers there.
June : Whittier, Whittier did you say ?
Gene : Whitaker.
June : Whitaker?
Gene : Whitaker, Whiteacre
Anne : He must have figured on Lopers because George already was working.
Charlie : Yeah, well they lived in the old house , they lived in it for two or three years at least. They lived in the old house and then I think it was 25, 26 they built the new house
June : And that was Whitaker or
Gene : I don't imagine he did any work.
Charlie : He come out and financed it. Tell them what he wanted done. He come out maybe once or twice a year
June : Did he come from Ontario then when he came or....
Gene : Did you ever watch that , they had it on TV - White Oaks Of Jalna? Well that was his family.
June White Oaks of Jalna?
Gene : White Oaks of Jalna.
Charlie : I remember watching that.
Gene : There was about three episodes on it on TV and then they shut it off.
June : That would probably be on cable or they .. when you had a dish
Gene : Thirty years ago, no twenty years ago.
June : Oh 30 years ago!
Gene : It was on an ordinary channel. Something like Peyton Place you know.
June : Three episodes and then they quit it ?
Gene : Then they had cowboys.
Anne : It was quite interesting if I remember right.
Genevieve : The White Oaks of what?
Gene : White Oaks of Jalna . That's the farm where he came from.
June : There's another weird question I was going to ask you...Different people , when I start mentioning this farm here they say " Have you read The Silence Of The North" and I'm wondering what did Olive Hendrikson live around here ?
Anne : Frederikson.
Gene : Lived down here a mile.
June : Oh yeah, on this side but she lived in one of those houses that was knocked down
I guess would you say
Gene : Well there was no house there. It burned before I took it over.
June : Oh it burnt! I see.
Gene : There was no barn either.
Yeah there was part of a barn
Charlie : They had just a small house, just a small house, otherwise there was nothing there
Gene :There was no house
Anne : Eric Brown had it after that
Charlie : Eric Brown I helped him build that but it burnt down and Bill Couture got it.
June : So do you know the three or four, you know like the land that you got that had houses on it, do you know who owned those houses or does Charlie know who owned those houses ?
Gene : Yeah, well I know some of them I met some of them but Charlie knows them , he was raised with them.
Charlie : Her daughter, like Olive, she was raised there. Bailleys, two daughters
Gene : Well people, Lindsay was that their name? They lived down around where Wiums, was going to put the ferry across. The cottage roof house there of logs
Charlie : Findlays
Gene : Findlays .
Charlie : Finlays, they got that place.
Gene : Yeah, she come back with a husband and looked at it, and the tears were running down her face . She thought of when she was a girl swimming in that little back channel
Anne : Who was that?
Charlie : Jean her name was. I forgot what her married name was but she, but that was where she was raised . She was a Findlay.
June : Lindsay did you say her name was ?
Charlie : Findlay, she was a Findlay.
Gen : Is that where Findlay Road came from ?
Gene : What Findlay....Finmore?
Gen : Finmore, yeah
Anne : That's another district again.
Gen : It starts the same anyway.
Anne : And then there was the George White place
Charlie : Well that's right down where the ferry's at , at Gene's.
Anne : How about Vincents?
Charlie : Well that was the next place up above George Whites.
Anne : Well Whites is right down by the ferry crossing isn't it?
Charlie : Yeah, right there.
Gene : That's where I got the rhubarb from
Anne : That was the last civilized place wasn't it?
Gene : There was somebody down at the point, but they went out the other way.
Cxharlie : That was George Reynolds.
Genevieve: So how would you go out the other way?
Gene : By Happy Hollow. There's a road out through there.
Charlie : Going up the hill there he made a road with a team of horses.
Gene : Like we skidooed up, went down through that gulley and all up on top, that was how they used to get out of there. And then there's supposed to have been a road and once we come off from that last, where you cross that ......you come straight, then you cross kind of a little swamp and then it turns and goes along a hill, well afterwards I seen where that road took off straight but I don't know if it was used too much but it come down over the hill to where Whites lived, where the ferry is, it come down there somewhere.
Charlie : That's where it come out.
Gen : That was on this side right? On this side of the river. Some where that road's connected up.
Charlie : The old trail.
Gene : It goes down over the hill.
Gene : I never found it on the hill. I never tried to follow it. From where that road connects there is really definite .... the ruts were there, everything. It went down to what do you call them , Reynolds?
Charlie : Yeah, George Reynolds.
Gene : Lived right there on the point. There's a real, there's nothing grown on it and the>wagon ruts and everything were still there
June : Guess they were pretty deep that they stayed there that long, eh?
Anne: Well exactly
Gene: Well then there was that King. He had a bunch of cows over there and they walked on that road over to my place all the time. Thy kept it open.
June : Good cowpath.
Anne : So how many more people lived over at Mandalay?
June : Did Rustads buy it from White ?
Gene and Charlie :No
Gene : Well Rustads bought it from GLS
June : And what's GLS then?
Gene : Glacier Larsen and Scott
June : Oh that was a logging outfit eh?
Gene: Just the three of us. We were buying lumber, we were buying timber hey. We called it GLS
Anne : Where did you guys buy it from Gene?
Gene : Herb Lenon
Anne : When did Blondell have it ?
Charlie : Well he bought the place first
Gene : Lenon bought it in about 1970
Anne : From Blondell?
Charlie : Yeah. He bought all these homesteads , nearly all of them
Gene : Blondell put it all together. Lenon didn'y put it all together. Mycocks, he lived on Mud River out of Prince George there . He put all that together, and sold it to the Mycocks. It was a big ranch . He put all this together.That's what he did for a living. He was a big lawyer in Vancouver. I phoned him a couple of times about this place. He said "well if you want to ask me some questions" he said, "You better pay me some money".
Anne : You tell about him hitchiking ....an old raggedy coat on.
June : Who was that, the lawyer?
Anne : Blondell. He was filthy rich.
C or G : He was the fifth richest man in Canada
Anne : And he wouldn't spend money on a bus ticket from here to Prince and that raggedy old coat and hitchhiking.
Charlie : He always wore an old coat, afraid he'd get robbed or something, I don't know. He'd hitch a ride to Prince George from Vanderhoof, then come out here and I'd take him down the river
Anne : He never gave you 5 cents for any of your problems
June : That is why he was rich!
Anne : But didn't he always buy up land on tax sales. Always bid one dollar above the next bidder?
Charlie : No, I don't know
Anne : Well you were the one that told me about that.
Charlie : Not Blondell.
Anne : Yes Blondell because he owned that place that Gene has it now up the river too. Stuart piece.
Gene : Not Blondell, that was. I gotta think now. A Jewish name sort of. He had land all over B.C.
Anne : He was the one that bid one dollar more every time and when people usually, they were bidding against him they'd forget it and stop bidding then so he ended up owning it.
Anne : Wineberg, there we go. Now how did I get that mixed up. Was he ever involved in that ranch ?
Gene : What ranch? Not here, no. He owned that property up there though, above Jack's.
Anne : Yes
Gene : And he had lots south of town and we watched he had land all over B.C.
Anne : All over. He'd pick them up at tax sales.
Gene : Like he owned that Nukko Lake resort that used to be quite a nice little resort just past the intersection. He owned that and then when he died whatchamacallum took it over.
Anne : Oh yeah
Gene : Neilson, half-brother to Bob Neilson. He bought, somehow he got all that land. I don't think he paid anything for it but he got it and paid for it as he sold it. He spent lots of money there, sand and gravel and on that beach there all summer heck of a pile. If you did it now boy they'd pinch you, put you in jail. Both sides of the river
Genevieve : It was all Mandalay at one time
Gene : The original Mandalay was five sections.
June : Five sections, that was the original Mandalay.
Gene : Then apparently these other ones, there was people living on every quarter I imagine. I think
Genevieve : But then it was encompassed with that eventually by one person.
Gene : Well that Blondell he put it all together.
Anne : What year was it? But he didn't do that until 1970
Gene : I don't know when he started. That's when he sold it, that's when Linds bought it, the Yankee, 1970 I think.
June : Linds or Lin
Gene : Lin
June : L-i-nd
Anne : Herb Lind
Gene : Liem, L-i-e-m and Gordon Horner
June : And Gordon Horner
Gene : Gordon Horner was his son-in-law, he always, he was supposed to be partners in it but it didn't work out. Herb kept all the money.
June : So what did they, When they started up that Mandalay Ranch did they have a huge pile of cattle on it? Or what kind of ranch was it?
Gene : Well all I really know about it is what Howard told me and he said that they started out with sheep down there and like he was raising these sheep to prove that he could bring people in . I think he was one of those what do you call
June : Entrepeneur ?
Gene : No
Charlie : Promoter
Gene :Promoter. I think that he was doing this to show that it was viable to farm here so anybody, I think this is how it worked, I'm not sure Anybody he brought in here,if he could talk someone into coming down here and farm, then he got paid for it. He got something for it .
June : Oh like who would pay him, the government? Or...
Gene : The government would pay him
Anne : I know there is lots of pagewire down there. Yeah and he had sheep
Charlie : The fence was pagewire.
Anne : Yeah
Charlie : Lopers put that up.
Anne : Do you remember them having sheep
Charlie : They never had sheep but I think maybe MacDonald had sheep.
June : So was MacDonald was he the one who started up with the ........ was he the one that was the promoter for the sheep?
Gene : No No Whitaker.
Anne : MacDonald worked for Whitaker
June : Was he married, did he have a family? MacDonald?
Charlie: Oh you got me. He must have had a family
Gene : Howard was saying that they moved out George, Howards dad they moved into the old house there.
June : So I guess the reason that old house there went so badly to pieces was because it was just not lived in
Charlie :Well it was like most of the old homesteads there was no foundation under it, and. I don't think there was any foundation under that old house was there Gene?
Gene : I don't know. But like that big barn had a foundation under it. That was good. Well that old house it's sitting pretty good there yet.
Gene : That old blacksmith shop. That had a foundation under it.
Charlie : Oh yeah all that was good .
Gene : Well that old house it's certainly sitting pretty good yet. You know like that old machine.....that old black-smith shop, they had a foundation under it.
Charlie : Oh yeah, they all had.
Gene : The barn is still up.
Charlie : Yeah that old house sitting up there some way.
June : So this is the blacksmith shop, right?
Gene : Yeah that used to be the blacksmith shop.
June : OK
Charlie : Dannie Hogg and Nancy used to live there.
Gene : Who?
Charlie ; Donnie Hogg, they lived there for quite a few years.
Gene : Is that right?
Charlie : Oh yeah him and Nancy, that's for sure must have lived there for 3 years anyway. Maybe 4. But he had a few of his own cattle there.
June : Who lived in that ...I think it's the shed past here? I didn't bring that picture but you said there was somebody lived in that other little house out on the place here but who lived out there?
Gene : Well that one building that was old Howard, we moved it up. That was out there on the river on the Loper quarter right where the ferry was over on this side and he'd lived in it
June : Who lived in it?
Gene : Howard Loper.He batched in it.
June : Is he one of the kids of the Lopers ?
Anne : Yeah
Gene : Originally Jim Tong's place
June : Jim Tongs
Charlie : Yes, he homesteaded it.
June : Oh he homesteaded it, eh?
Anne : Howard bought it from Tong
Gene : The place above it is Art Snyder
Charlie : I bought that from Art Snyder. I sold it to Blondell.
June : So your place, where you live now...
Charlie : That was my dads.
June : That was your Dads and what was his name ?
Charlie : Art Davidson
June : Art Davidson and he lived there since 19...
Charlie : 1921
June : Oh yeah so that is a very old homestead, hey? Do you have any old buildings on there?
Charlie: Well the old buildings, the old house fell down. It finally fell down we burnt it up. That barn that's sitting there is the original barn. I helped Dad build it.
June Oh yeah how old is that?
Charlie : Right by the road, you saw it.
June : Oh you mean...
Charlie : The old barn right where you turn, the old barn that's there.
Gene : Probably didn't see it.
June : I didn't see it, I was too busy looking for the buffalo sign there. Ok so you're just to the opposite way.
Charlie : This road turns in here and you're just.....
June : Oh just beyond it a little bit.
Charlie : My daughter owns that - Anne and then George, my youngest boy and they're on the same place about... and Nell, our oldest daughter lives up the river.
June : What's her name ?
Charlie : Nell married to Jack Wells.
June : So you all stayed around here then with all your children?
Charlie : Well pretty close.
June : How many did you have ?
Charlie : Four
June : Four girls, oh one boy.
Charlie : Two boys and two girls.
June : Two boys, two girls ?
Charlie : Two boys two girls . Just Margaret, my sister, and I in our family.
June : Oh yeah. Maybe I could go and take a picture of your old barn.
Anne : He kind of wrecked it, hit it with a jack and the roof moved over a little.
Gene: There's an old building up here but the roof's collapsed on it There's an old log building ....
June : On your farm here ?
Gene : Right up here
June : Oh.
Charlie : Jack Hamilton's He was the rightful owner of this place
Gene : Where did Davis, Mac Davis live ?
Charlie : He lived in there.
Anne : Across the river
Charlie : He lived across the river until he died. It was an accident. He had that across there and then he got this here. I don't know he bought it but he had to let it go back. He or something. He bought two, three places. He never did pay for it.
Charlie : Yeah Joe Couture got Happy Hollow. That place he bought I think he paid down so much on it
Anne : Max Davis just didn't have Happy Hollow, then Joe Couture?
Charlie : Couture bought it from Max
Anne : From Max?
Charlie : Yeah
Anne : Oh
Gene : The Mandalay had so many owners, I forget. I was trying to think the other night how many there was. John Young
Charlie : Oh yeah John Young. He was there for one summer anyway.
Anne : And the winter
Charlie : And the winter yeah.
June : They must have went through alot of people in that place eh?
Anne : When they lived there they were working for
Charlie : Rice (Rheys). I remember Rheys
Gene : All that John did was gather up a bunch of that pigwire.
Charlie : Yeah that's what he rolled up all that , what that was rolled up and he didn't even touch half of it.
Gene : I was out there and logged. I had that cat wrapped up in that damn stuff all the time.
Anne : And they were here during the 50's , weren't they ?
Charlie : I think so , yeah and Jack, Tom Hamilton, they bought it, they lived down there
Anne : That was before ..
Charlie ....many years
June : On the Mandalay
Charlie : Jack Hamilton's brother and Sadie came and I guess the younger son after that. They were there for a good number of years, 5 or 6 years, I don't know how many years. But Tom didn't do nothing here.
Anne : She had a thousand cats ,sharpening its claws on the chairs
Anne : But they were there before Nelsons came because I know that Margaret Nelson was quite disgusted that she'd let the cats wreck that furniture like that.
Genevieve : Well I guess.
Gene : Who had the cats?
Anne : Sadie Hamilton
Charlie : Tom Hamilton and Sadie. She had these cats
Anne : And they were sharpening their claws on the furniture. Just wrecked them She had a piano but Nelsons bought it. That was after 1940, sometime. Nelsons bought it right around there. He was going to raise pigs, big-time. Came from Alberta. Oh he had lots of pigs. He was the one
Gene : Big truck
Charlie : Yeah he brought it in. He went in and right back up with that old . It was a big log draw I thought he was crazy. Right across the bridge was washed out by gosh he took that old Romney? Down there I don't know how . Wouldn't hardly look at him when he got to the top. I see the pictures of that old threshing machine . It's all wrecked now.
dog would jump across that wheel
Anne : How did they ever rig up that windmill?
Charlie : Oh that was George Rustad
Anne : Come on.
Gene : It was a wooden tower when we bought it.
Anne : Howard told us about it how they packed a barrel, a huge holding tank. They had running water in the house.
Gene : Oh they had that big cistern beside the house
Anne : Didn't the windmill run the two of them?
Gene : All the windmill did, they had that 32 volt system They had 16 of those big glass batteries at the bottom. They also had a little gas generator... What's the name on that? Fairbanks Morse ....run the little generator and if there wasn't enough wind and the batteries got down they'd start the generator. There was lots of them around cross the prairies.
Anne : Some kind of electrical system to get the water up
Gene : Well they could have had 32 volt pumps on it. Like they pumped out of that cistern is what they did , because that's what George did . He didn't put anything there. He said I got such a tight top on it he didn't even have to clean it out.
June : So who built all that stuff, do you know .
Gene : I imagine Loper
Charlie : Well he didn't really. Tommy Smithers he was in charge of building the house. That log building down by the river. And pump the water up. I don't know how often. Well they have all them pipes, I don't know who put them there. All them pipes laying there yet. All them 2-inch pipes.
Charlie : There used to be very unsafe to drive in there because all them posts they stuck up. You'd tear a bottom out of a boat
June : So you sold it to who?
Gene : Rustads
June : And then Rustads sold it to Northwood. And Northwood, you bought it from Northwood.
Gene: Yeah. But that's modern history.
Charlie : That only goes back about 26 years. 74
Gene : Yeah one time you could've bought that whole Mandalay for 18,000 dollars. And you didn't have 18 cents.
June : That's a good price, the only thing is it so far away. Well they got a road. That KK road if they had left that open they blocked it up. When we left you guys there we took the k-K Road we drove about ten km and ended up where they dug out the culvert
Gene : They didn't have to , it washed out
June : It washed out? Well there was a big pile of dirt piled up there. But I guess that protects your ranch in a way having that
Anne : Well George Nelson they bought the place and they sold it again, don't know whether they got paid for it, registered so he bought it
Charlie : His mother bought it.
June : What was the age on that furnace down in the basement? It was an old what, was it 1908 do you remember ?
Gene : I don't know
Gene : They probably would have put it in there when they built the house, old power. 1924 they built the house. Just right around that time.
June : So is that a manufactured furnace? They didn't make it.
Gene: Oh no that's a bought one. We had one just about like that on the farm. It only took about two-foot wood, now that takes 4-foot wood, that's a big one.
June : A big house to keep too.
Genevieve : Yeah so it's kind of comparable.
George ; Yeah but old George Rustad started a fire in there a little bit and when it got really cold all he had was one of those pot-bellied Quebec heaters and then he had the fireplace and he had the insert in .
Charlie : It was pretty good, pretty efficient
Gene : That's what he heated it with
Anne : He shut off the upstairs yeah
Charlie : That was a pretty nice barn built there. It
June : So this barn here,
Gene : They bought it after we had it and there was nothing there like that . I can tell you nothing there like that when we bought it.
June So some of
Gene : There was the house, that old blacksmith house and that barn That was all that was there and the old house' oh yeah
June : So you first bought it in 1974 and the second time you bought it was not ..too long about 19...
Gene : ' 88
June : So maybe Rustads built some of those buildings then
Gene : Well they put the granaries in there and they built the wood shed and we moved that old building up to where we had the mill and then they had
June : So the main interest there is the old house which was built in 1924 and the very old house which was built in 1917 or whatever.
Anne : Pretty smart looking house that old one
Gen : This here one here. I love the lines on it. I just thought it was the neatest house.
Anne : Pretty good idea , whoever had that.
Gene : It was added to, Somebody added. Is it logs I think it's logs. Yeah it's logs
Charlie : Too bad the old schoolhouse isn't standing. You could take a picture of that.
June : Where was the school, across the river too?
Gene : The schoolhouse , the gable end was still standing it fell down but the gable end was still standing.
June : Where was that school.
Gene :Right....where we had that mill. Right where the ferry is
June : What's left of the ferry now. Is there any signs that there ever was a ferry there?
Gene : Well we put the ferry in. I put the ferry in.
June : Oh the ferry but the bridge then I should have said
Charlie : The bridge is up here
June : Has it still got some... what do you call it
Charlie : Pilings?
June : Pilings.
Charlie : If you come down the hill
Charlie : They worked on that when I was a kid. I don't remember but they must have been working on it '21 or '20
June So they used if they wanted to come across the river and go to Prince George Right?
Charlie : No they didn't go to Prince George there was no road.
June : They couldn't get to Chief Lake. The Mandalay Road wasn't in then
Gene : No We built that.
June : You built that
Gene : The first road we used we used the pipeline , the first one, then we built the road.
June : So what purpose was the bridge then just for the settlers
Anne : To get to town.
Charlie : And the first year 1958 that bridge was 1/2 way
Anne : Most people could make it to Vanderhoof
Gene : Whitaker. Whiteacre paid for that bridge. He paid for half that bridge .
Charlie : Whitaker he paid for half the bridge across the river and the government paid for the other half
Anne : Did they? No wonder he
June : So when Whitaker of the Mandalay, they got this bridge here they went this way to town, to Vanderhoof
Charlie : It was the only way they could go.
Genevieve : So was it Whtitaker or Whiteacre, what did they call him
Gene: Well, Whitaker or Whiteacre, it's all spelt the same
Anne : But he, he never did though, He used to come and visit them once in awhile.
June : Oh yeah he was the rich guy
Anne : I remember Howard telling what he gave them for Christmas, it was how many hundred pounds of flour. Practical
Gene: What was that old guy I used to golf with, lived right by the bridge there.
Charlie Ole Ole Strasburg, Hagborg, Hegberg He talked like must have been here in the thirties, something like that. He would ski all the way to town just to court them girls down there. Yeah him and his brother
Anne : He had a place you know where McDougalls is now , where Ray Lock used to live. Ole Hegburg owned that place
Genevieve : Did he?
Anne : Yeah and he cut ties
Gene : Like I golfed with him 6 or 8 years . Talked about getting on his skiis and skiing all the way to town
Anne : But that wasn't 2 hours.
June : So did he marry any of them girls ?
Gene :Eventually. Nina . It didn't last too long. Later in the later years That was after she was divorced from her husband Joe. She ended up marrying Ole. I guess it lasted for a year or so.
Gene : Yeah it did. Ole says he's got a boy.
He used to say.
Anne : It wouldn't be from her. I think Olaf had three maybe 4 , maybe he did have a kid
June : but not with her
Anne : She ended up marrying old Joe Huffman. Original husband. Gene and I were talking about it. It was so funny.
Charlie: The schoolhouse was there Whitakers had the school . George Loper built the school. George Loper, George Whitaker built the school when he was on the place.
June : Well actually if he had all his kids going to school he would be able to have a school all by himself.
Gene : Well he just about had enough.
Anne : Well if....some of them were too old to go to school.
Charlie : Some were too young
Anne : Howard and Ray and four girls
Charlie : 25 kids went to that school
June : Did you go to that school.
June : What did they call that school?
Charlie : Well Stuart River School.
Gene : Well did your kids go to start school there
Charlie : No none of mine
Charlie : I walked to that school. Mrs White she came back every year. Every year she'd go down and look at the old place, every year.
The only way I could go when I first started was walk
Anne : She's retired now. So is he. I haven't seen her for a long time.
Charlie : I think they had a lot of natives working on that place Gene .
Gene : who ?
Charlie : MacDonalds and Whites got a lot of Indians.
They cut the stumps right down to the ground. I think that was the idea to get sheep.
MacDonald , I don't know how long he was here but they had sheep on it to start with but I think they had even when Lopers were here . I think they had Indians working there too. Lopers of course they worked on the boards, now they. They worked year round on that clay all summer there clearing that land. They cleared up almost all the land, put up the fence. George Loper he hired anybody he wanted to come down and help him build the fence, the pagewire fence.
The Indians and Dad probably helped on that. Well Olaf there he used to ski down that big hill back of.......maybe Howard told you that back of the, on the meadow there, on that side . Ole and Albin they cut it out there and used to go up the sawdust and go down the meadow . It's quite a hill there. Yeah they used to come by Dad's place see them come down that hill, nothing on but just a shirt, maybe a sweater that's all they had , You could see the steam coming off them. They'd come. Ole and Albin had a mine at ???? Mountain near Germansen Lake. They used to ski there 140 miles. I don't know how long it'd take them but not very long. At the most two days cause it was good coming this way. They kept going down the hill.
>Jerrold Loper drowned.
June : Gerald Roper drowned?
Anne : And his grave is there somewhere.
Anne : He drowned in the Mandalay creek
Gene : Oh it wasn't the river
June : How old was he when he drowned.
Anne : How old was he?
Charlie : 21
Anne : He was haying and he was hot and he went for a dip I guess , the way I heard it.
June : Maybe he got a cramp.
Anne : Could be and then Chuck was saying maybe he got tangled up with weeds,
Charlie : He got cramps and tangled up in the weeds, I don't know. Ray was there.
Anne : Ray was quite a bit younger, he was just a little kid and he was watching. He was supposed to be watching him while he had his little swim before he came in for supper, and he disappeared under the water. They buried him on the Mnadalay and put a little fence around it
June : So do they have a fence around it?
Gene: A few boards and stuff there now I guess
Anne : It won't be up now I bet
Gene : Well it was a few years ago like George, like they logged it . When they logged it>they took some trees off of there. George did all that I can remember. Like the Lopers they all come down here. They had a reunion and George Rustad was there and he said they showed him this fence around it. He didn't know it was there.
June : Funny in the old days they could do that eh? And they left some of those graves there. I think there's graves all over the place. People couldn't afford to bury them.
Gene : The Indians they didn't bury them, they packed them around.
Down where Joanne lives there's a grave there.
Anne : One of the Reynold kids
Gene : Oh they lived there? Reynolds?
Anne : Ann and Bill had a fence around it. Looked after it.
June : So that lower place was Happy Hollow?
Charlie : This is what we call the point, that is where Reynolds lived. Yeah George Reynolds.
June : He homesteaded that eh?
Charlie : Yeah built right in there some place. The next one I don't know who owned it. Right where the ferry is there, that was Whites hey?
Yeah That was Whites, that was the next one.
June : That would be like here
Charlie : And George Vincent was the next one.
June :Right here
Anne : No no no George Vincent
Anne : Was his name George ?
That Vincent they called him dad all the time .
And then who was after him do you know?
Bar bought the place
Anne : Who was next door to him?
Charlie : Next to George that was Findlays,
June : Findlay, like just like Findlay River?
Charlie : Ross
June : Ross
Anne : And then, who was next Charlie?
Charlie : Olive
June : Oh Olive Frederikson ? She wasn't Frederikson then I guess or was she?
Gene : No Reimer
Charlie : Reimer then.
June : She was a born Reimer. " I guess her husband had the name Reimer.
Charlie :Gravel bar by the house there.
June : So what's the number of your place then? Whats the number of your quarter?
Anne : 48
June : 9248 ok. That makes sense that would be here see ( looking at map )
June : And who was just that way from you ?
Gene : That's all mine now
That's the first one here
Charlie : Yeah Jack Hamilton
Gene : And who had the next quarter, you don't know?
Well where you were talking where the gravel bar was, the next one
Charlie : Tom Hamilton
June : So he would be Jack Hamilton's brother ?
Gene and Charlie :Yep
Charlie : That is where Gene is , that's Jack Hamilton's place.
June : See there's two houses that look like they were real close together so that's probably, >these are probably not sections, a quarter would be like that ( showing on map)
Gene : See that's a quarter, that's a quarter, there's a quarter a little bit bigger thaan a quarter but the ones on this side of the river , they are getting smaller, so like this one here is a full-sized one , this one's not quite as much, the next one's getting smaller, then it jogs up the hill, eh.
June : So they make different kinds of land surveys in B.C. than like where I come from. Everything's square.
Gene : Well these are square. They're a mile square. They're all a mile square.
June : Oh they're actually a mile square.
Gene : See that's a section but the river takes some of it.
June : So the sections are square but they've gone and put lines there. What's that blue line that must be a different line. Oh I know what they are. Those are township lines maybe. Do you have townships here?
Gene ; Well it was all surveyed the same thing.
June : Like in Manitoba they have 36 sections in a township.
Gene : That's 26 miles, more than six miles apart.
June : Well yeah, that would be 6 x 6. 12345, 12345, that would be 25. If each of these is a mile that would be 25square miles in a blue square
Genevieve : Yeah maybe townships were gauged differently.
June : Like I say like in Manitoba the land was flat. They didn't have that problem of mountains and stuff like that so it was easy.
Gene : Yeah, but then every once in awhile they had a correction line.
June : Oh yeah, that's right, Correction lines, I wonder what that was - curvature of the earth?
Gene : Well like the lines go and meet the North Pole, like they change, they don't make the quarter, the section, when they survey it a full mile wide so I think every township they put a correction line in so there's a jog in the road , maybe a quarter of a mile , 2-3 yards maybe, whatever it was.
June : To allow for the curvature of the globe like.
Gene : Yeah
June : Huh! Interesting!
Gene : They call it a correction line .
June : So I better be quiet I guess Hey?
Gene : South of the correction line , well the road would be up and then you' d hit that line like that road there would be at the end of it, go over here , the road goes here , not there, go over to the section line and they match up . When they first start out, they'd be right close but as it goes over they get further apart.
June : Yeah. So what I remember. Who lived in Happy Hollow then?
Gene : Hmm. McLellands.
Charlie : McLellands, yeah and...
Gene : Was it Hi Loper?
June : Hi Loper?
Charlie : Hiriam was his name.
June : Hiriam
Charlie : Hiriam, yeah.
Anne : And Hiriam Loper was a brother to George Loper.
Charlie : Yeah
Gene : Must have been a lot younger then because he just died not that many years ago.
Anne : Mrs. McLelland was a sister to George Loper.
Gene : He died not too many years ago
Gene : Hiriam Loper.
Anne : Jeet Loper died quite young. In between
June : Who?
Charlie : Jeet
Gene : I'd a thought Hiriam and Howard were brothers. They must be the same age cause Hiriam, he was still, he was still living when I moved down here.
Charlie : Hi
Gene : Hi
Anne : Yeah but he was 101 years old when he died.
Charlie : George Loper's brother.
Gene : Who?
Charlie : George Loper's brother.
Gene : Hi, I thought he'd be a lot younger than George.
Genevieve : But George died a long time ago.
Gene : But Howard, he was 80 some years old, that's George's son and Hiriam he didn't die much more than ten years ago.
Charlie : Well he was younger, see Hi...
Gene : That's what I say, he'd have to be a lot younger than George.
June : If he lived to be 101, that would make a difference because that would put another 20 years on an 80 year old. Yeah right.
Anne : Yeah he wasn't quite 80 then either when he died. Howard he died in his 70's.
June : Hiriam ,he was married then too, was he?
Anne : No he was single, an old bachelor.
June : Bachelors, lots of bachelors
Anne : And Mrs Mclelland was a Loper as well.
Gene : Oh was she?
Anne : She was George Loper's sister but what about that Jeeter?
Charlie : Jeeter was a half-brother.
Anne : He was a half brother.
June : What was his name ?
June : They had quite the names hey?
Anne : Well that's old time names huh
Gene : On the survey notes that I got , May, was it May McLelland, and what was his name? Harvey, He homesteaded one and she homesteaded the other and Hi Loper did the other one .
Charlie : See I think Jeet Loper got on her quarter , that's what it was.
Anne : Could be.
Gene : But like on the survey notes, they say who homesteaded it and that's who it was.
Anne : That makes sense. That's a good way to do it. Why didn't everybody think of that?
Genevieve : Yeah, that's right.
Charlie : But he built the home there.
June : Who built the home there ?
Charlie : Jeeter. On what was on May McLellands ?
Gene : Bottom of the hill, at the bottom of the road.
Charlie : I think that's right
June : So May was a Loper?
Charlie : Yeah
Anne : Yeah, she was.
June : Oh yeah they had all these kids , they had nine kids so there'd be quite a few of them hey?
Anne : And it's her daughter that I knew . She was ........and Marg she always wanted to go back then to Happy Hollow because that's where she grew up there. She was an only child.
Gene : They got quite an orchard over there . There's still plum trees growing there.
June : Is that right ? I'll have to come out and see that.
Gene : There's old crabapple trees there that must be thirty feet high and thirty feet around and it's just covered every year with little crabapples about the size of your thumb nail because that's the only one there.
June : It'd be pretty in the spring when all the blossoms are out hey?
Anne : Well she had a regular little , what do you call it, a banana belt in there
Genevieve : Yeah there is natural springs come out
Anne : Yeah it's a real banana belt
Running water all the time
Gene : I used to go there for springs. Back on that hill it's the same thing.
Anne : You could plant some trees there then
June : So is there any buildings left at that place or...
Gene : There's one I think, what was his name, the guy, he had it for three years?
Anne : Elmer Keester
Gene : Yeah Elmer Keester. I think he built that little Swiss chalet thing about 12 feet square
June : But it's not very old , that one ?
Anne : I don't think so. The original house burnt down.
Gene : Yeah it did, barn and everything
Anne : The barn too?
Charlie : I think so.
Gene : There is quite a hole in the second quarter down. I would say that was, like the first
one was May's and the next quarter was McLellands , Guy, hey but on that knoll in there, there was quite a homestead . There was nothing there but the hole was there, the basements there , all that stuff hey so they had quite a homestead there, quite a ...
Charlie : That's Jeeter.
Gene : Huh?
Charlie : That was Jeeter.
Gene : Oh, I've never found any buildings on where Hi lived.
Anne : I think he just had a little shack there.
Charlie : Who?
Anne : Hi.
Charlie : He had, first he just had a little cabin and then he built a frame house there . It wasn't very big, down on the river, back on the river but he wasn't there when you went there.
Gene : I've never found any buildings there at all.
Charlie : No, it's all gone. He had barns there and everything.
Genevieve : Whose homestead was it where you found that rhubarb, like years later?
Gene : Wineberg's and there's still rhubarb but now I think there isn't. I moved it up here. The wife's not too good a farmer.
June : Should have left it down there hey?
Gene : That's right. There was one real fine red rhubarb . Every time I went by, I picked a few. Moved it up here but nothing grows anymore. Like the grass, what do you call that, wild cabbage you know. I don't know what it is. Great big flowers on them. You couldn't even see it in there and that is where they were and there hasn't been anybody there I don't know for thirty years , just setting there and kept growing. I moved it up here and it don't grow.
June : Huh! Maybe it liked it down there.
Charlie : Yeah, it's spring-fed too.
Gene : Yeah it's all spring-fed there too.
Charlie : They had gardens there too, big gardens - check
June : Maybe the different type of land, or the different , well it wouldn't be different type of land but like you said it was spring-fed there. Maybe the difference made it die.
Gene : Probably isn't as much sand, like bush all around that one here so like maybe it has changed.
June : Yeah
Charlie : McLellands place, Gene's place now, they lived there where the apple fruit trees were. See they got that sun coming right against that hill . They raised corn, they raised tomatoes right against the hill, on that point, I understand
Gene : They could grow corn there too.
Charlie : It's the sun against the hill that makes it
June : Well by the river here isn't it kind of, doesn't it make it warmer or does it make it
colder? Should make it warmer, shouldn't it?
Charlie : Oh yeah
I would say probably. That's one reason we don't get frost down here is because it fogs in , you know like in the fall. It really gets foggy just like a rain but it don't freeze either.
June : No
Anne : That's really weird isn't it, you know that the temperature can show freezing, yet nothing freezes.
June : Because at the ground level it doesn't freeze, oh the fog.
Genevieve : But our spring is later down here.
June : Because you're below the hill hey?
Genevieve : Sometimes they are farming already in town and we still have snow on the fields here.
Anne : But we catch up.
Genevieve : Yeah,that's true.
June : Catch up and pass them hey? Well I imagine this is more fertile land here because you have the river silt.
Gen : Yeah
Anne : I don't know. You see green fields growing like crazy down there and Gene might be just starting here. Before summer's over his grain is way past what's down the road. Like it grows faster.
June : So now these people here like Whites , was he a bachelor or was he married?
Gene : No he was married.
June : He was married, and did he have a family?
Gene : Dorothy, his daughter, I don't know how many more they had but Dorothy his daughter , she married Hughie James and they live in Vandehoof.
June : Oh yeah
Gene : He used to run Shoppers Food Market Store.
Charlie : I don't know where Doug is.
Anne : They had three kids, Dick, Dorothy and Doug. Dick, they lost him. He had his
tonsils out and he took to hemorrhaging and I guess. He'd be about twelve years old and Doug was the youngest one. I don't know where he is.
Charlie : You could ask Dorothy, she'd know.
Anne : She'd know.
Gene : Who?
Charlie : Dorothy, Hughie's wife.
June : And that George Vincent, was he a married man too?
Charlie : Yeah
June : And he had a family too?
Charlie : Yeah, Let's see three, four. I don't know how many there were. He had a big family. He must have had about 8 or 9.
Anne : They moved from Nova Scotia. The oldest daughter stayed over there because she was married already and they moved over here. The Vincent farm. Well his son married Chuck's sister
June : So these are original homesteaders though like ...
Charlie : Yeah
June : That's why I'm asking about them. So these are....I understand that when you come down the Stuart River here there was four houses or something along the river right on the banks , was that where some of these guys lived?
Gene : Well there was one over there, one here, Charlie, and somebody across over there too?
Anne : Joe
Charlie : Joe Hammond. Joe Hammond, he lived ...
Gene : Well actually those buildings where you cross the river there on the next quarter
Anne : Oh right, That was, what's his name?
Charlie : But that, that was Joe's place.
Anne : But he built on Joe's place - Bill Hammond
Charlie : His brother built there but he built on Joe's place . Joe Hammond.
Gene : But those buildings aren't on this quarter.
Charlie : No
Gene : They're on the next quarter. They're on the quarter opposite where you are.
Charlie : No, no
Gene : They're not on this quarter because you go and look at the lines.
Charlie : Yeah the line comes right down the other side of that building , that's over there
Anne : Gaillords ,that's the name.
Charlie : They took down the hill on the other side and came across the river. It's all yours,
that's your property there . It comes down and comes oh, pretty close right here.
Anne : We'll have to get that map out again.
June : Well the map's right here.
Charlie : It comes right over the hill Gene.
Gene: I know it was back from where the road is.
Charlie : It's just the other side of this building there.
Genevieve : Have you got your glasses?
Gene : Oh I got 'em.
June : This is all the area along here.
Charlie : What we're talking about is right there. This one here. This comes down here.
Gene : Why I said that , see the road comes down there and Charlie crosses the river with
his skidoos and boat and I've always said that that is on the next quarter .
Charlie : Yeah, that's on the next quarter.
Gene : Where your buildings are
Charlie : You mean...yeah
June : Are there still buildings there?
Gene : Yeah
June : Are they old?
Anne : Old house and that old root house is still there.
Charlie : No, no
Genevieve : No, not that, it's further.
Charlie : No that root house and that building . Gaillords there is on your quarter.
I know 'cause I put a fence down through there one time , right over the hill and
that comes out, you'll see, right where your quarter comes, right across here. It goes right over there and comes right up that hill Gene. Just about jives those two lines.
Anne : You haven't convinced him . I know that.
Charlie : I would say about halfway where those dips are.
Gene : Where those buildings are ...
June : It's a funny argument.
Charlie : It comes right down the hill by the house.
Gene : See Joe was supposed to put a peg in there by the river at the corner but I could never
June : So what's the number there ?
Anne : So which place Charlie? Which one of those spots?
Charlie : 9248
June : So this is all the buildings that belongs to you like or how is that ( looking at map)
How do they mean with these buildings ,do you understand this , the way they make the map?
Well this here's
Gene: There's Charlie's house - this is Anne and George back here.
June : This is Anne and George who?
Charlie : Davidson.
June : Oh that's your son?
Anne : And daughter.
June : OK and this is your house.
Genevieve : And then your daughter is in between that, isn't she?
Charlie : Who?
Gene : Anne, your daughter. Gaillord is right here and ...
Charlie : Gaillord is right here .....side
Gene : They're on the same quarter yeah.
June : So what is this house here .
LOTS OF TALK _ UNABLE TO DECIPHER
There was a big house there, barn there, everything off the ridge.
Charlie : All along Joe's place . They were right on....that's the original where the ridge comes across. Hammond and his brother built there. They were right on the ...........
Gene : That mark there, I'd say that's your old barn with the top off. You moved it over, right there.
Charlie Yeah, you mean here. That's the old barn.
This would be Joe Hammonds place
Gene : Right where we are, right here now.
Charlie : This here, that's where Dad homesteaded.
Gene : Yeah where that old barn is
Charlie : Yeah. There's Jack Welsh
Oh there's some more farther up.
June : Whose did that used to be?
Charlie : Keyes. He originally owned it. Keyes had the place and it went back.
Gene : K-E-Y-E-S
Charlie : He homesteaded there . I helped
June : Is there an island in the river some place ? Somebody living on it or did somebody live on the island ?
Gene : I don't think anybody lived on Grassy Island.
Charlie : No
Gene : Not that I know of.
June : Was there a house on an island?
Gene : Well probably a way up.
June : A way up
Charlie : Maybe . I don't know about that.
June : Someone told me that there were four houses on the river bank and then there was an island
Gene : Oh really?
June : Yeah, that's what somebody told me.
Charlie : There used to be a cabin on Big Island. Just a cabin on there but nobody owned it.
June : That was just a trapper cabin like?
Gene : Up where Northern Spruce used to have their big cabin?
Charlie : No, but right on the island. Big Island. The upper end of Big Island, had a sawmill there. Alexander and Lester . They had a cabin in there. Right on the end of that big island.
Gene : Fifteen, twenty miles below the ......
Charlie : Yeah, something like that.
June : How far is it going down the river here to Fort St James ?
Gene : We used to figure 40 miles, We used to figure 50 miles from the big house.
Charlie : I'd say 45.
June : As the crow flies, to Prince George how far are you?
Gene : It was actually. We were two miles this side of the big house on the hill and right from where we were logging right into Rustad's mill through town and back way out there it was exactly 50 miles. I would say it is forty miles from Prince George.
June : Like if you were to take a circle . By road it might be a long ways. Forty miles by road.
Gene : I've never been on that Foothills Bridge , the city limits come out to there like.
June : Yeah
Gene : It can't be anymore - like you take 10 miles this way from Rustad's mill, it won't put you out of Prince George yet. I don't think.
June : Like Rustad's mill, it's in The Industrial site.
Gene : Yeah way down there.
June : Right across from Netherlands. I was a scaler there.
Genevieve : Oh Anne was a scaler too.
(Talking about scales.)
June : Vincent - Where did they homestead?
Anne : Where did Margaret and Al homestead?
Charlie : Right across from Dad. Vincent and George Vincent.
June : Here ?
Charlie : Yeah Dad Vincent right about here.
Gene : I would say that'd be right about where Howard's house is.
Charlie : See they had that place for years on the "Tiger'" place but they don't show it on
They had a house. The house is gone now and they had a barn, a big barn there. Then they took them pictures. Because it went down, the barn probably went down . That's why it don't show.
June : So they were right across from there from the other Vincents eh?
Çharlie : Yeah right across here.
June : 5155
Charlie : Straight across from Al Vincent, George Vincent son and sister. They raised a family there but none of them went to school there. Margaret and I went to school there.
June : Where was the school?
Where was the school again?
Gene : Right over here somewhere.
June : Right around this part here?
Gene : No, over across the river, over in there somewhere.
June : Oh
Charlie : You had to go across the bridge , then walk the old road down there, 4 1/2 miles to school. In winter-time we took the dog team.
June : And I suppose there was certain times in the year when you couldn't go to school at all hey?
Charlie : Oh, not too often, used to paddle down in a canoe , Indian dug-out canoe down the river.
June : Yeah it probably doesn't take too long to freeze over once it starts to freeze.
Charlie : No, well we had the bridge
June : Oh you had the bridge.
Charlie : We used the bridge then . There was the Abbott kids, let's see, 2, 3, 4, of them two of us, 6 of us and we had to get a way . We walked to school or went down with a horse sleigh or cutter or walked most of the time in the spring we had to walk. There was no other way of going which we didn't mind. We always got. We were the first ones at school , the farthest ones away, the first ones at school.
Mother had to always get us started early so we'd get there.
Gene : Just to change the subject I've always been curious ....Did Max Davis own the old Mandalay too at one time?
Charlie : No.
Gene : Eddy Sikowski, you know Eddy. I knew him really well. He wanted to sell me this ... He was Max' son-in-law so he wanted to sell me this timber down here okay, the whole thing, land and all.
Charlie : Well Max had like, let's see
Gene : I was just wondering how he...how big a place he had.
Charlie : Donna, his daughter, well Mac had the place down here. I think he had oh, Olive Frederiksons and I think he had that for Donna, one of them places he had for her, and that's why Donna's husband phoned you.
Gene : Yeah Eddy.
Charlie : Cause he...that was after Max died.
Gene : When I was talking to him, Max was still here.
Charlie : See he had this quarter across here, you know that.
Gene : I didn't know what he owned. See Eddy, the way Eddy talked oh boy, after I didn't question him too much at the time but you know afterwards I remembered what he said. I thought he must have owned the whole damn thing.
Charlie : No most of what Max got he didn't own. He had just option to buy but he didn't have money to pay for them . I know that but he had so much down on it, in other words. These quarters Happy Hollow, he had so much on that too. But he hadn't paid for it.
June : So your parents came here, what year?
Charlie : 21
June : So where did they come from?
Charlie : They came from Vernon.
June : Vernon.
Charlie : Yeah, Westwold . They drove up the old Blackwater Road Trail in a Model T ton truck and a 1916 Chevrolet.
June : And a 1916 Chevrolet. You had your earthly belongings in the two things then
Charlie : What's that?
June : Did you have all your earthly belongings in these two trucks?
Charlie : Well some, but not very much. We had quite a few , what they had enough to get by and Dad came out and homesteaded here and we stayed in Vanderhoof for well, I'd say we stayed there I think two years anyway till they got the house built.
June : So did you go to school at all before you moved out to the ....
Charlie : Yeah I went to school in town for one year or two years.
June : And how many kids was there in your family then ?
Charlie : How many? Just two.
June : Just the two of you, you and your sister?
Charlie : Yeah
June : So when you moved out to the homestead what did your dad do? He farmed like and
Charlie : Oh no, The reason he came up here to trap. That's when fox were high. Black fox were worth 500 a piece one time. He wanted to trap. He moved up here. When he got up here course the price of fox went down but he done pretty good in trapping.
Anne : Now you have the same trapline.
Charlie : Oh yeah, a little more.
June : So you lived , are you living on the homeplace then? Your Dad's place?
Just a quarter.
Charlie : See it was divided in two - East and West.
June : And your dad was on one side and you were on the other?
Charlie : Yeah.
June : And then of course your dad's gone now I guess,
Charlie : Yeah he is.
Charlie : There at that time, now trapping. In depression time you know the trapline was I figured it was a good thing cause we could always go out , catch a fox, and fox then were worth I remember Margaret and I caught one . Dad set a trap for us across from the house and he set a trap for us. Margaret and I we caught a cross fox . We got seventy-five dollars for it. That was alot of money then . Boy we had Christmas presents . We had a whole bunch of things but lots of the people, you know, they didn't have a trapline and it was tough for them. Cut ties and milk a few cows . We could always go on the trapline when I got big enough. I wasn't very old to get out on the trapline on snowshoes and make my living. Partly for other families ...for awhile. That's what a lot of them did.
June : So did you have cows then or you didn't even have
Charlie : No we didn't have cows but later on
June : Did you buy milk from the other people or trade or anything?
Charlie : Oh I think so. Just neighbors hey?
June : Your mother had a garden though.
Charlie : Oh yeah we had nice gardens.
June : You were going to ask a question there . I cut you off
Gene : He's talking about trapping . Like my father-in-law, my first wife's dad , he quit, he sold his trapline , probably 20-25 years ago but he trapped all his life. He's 93 now.
June : Does he live around here too?
Gene : He lives in Prince George. But he was over at Snowshoe , out by McBride, that's where he trapped. That's where he had his trapline.
June : What's his name?
Gene : Tindall, Barney Tindall. If you met him you'd know him because he never stops talking.
June : I never met him. I was just wondering about 93.
Genevieve : How many years were they in that house?
Gene : They moved there in 46.
Charlie : A lot different now than it was then. Everything was snowshoes. You had to get on your snowshoes and go. We run a pretty good line.
Gene : That's why they all had these little trappers cabins so you could stay overnight.
June : Yeah
Charlie : Must have had one of those. And then he had them about eight miles apart, 8 or ten miles. He'd get there, stay overnight and then go on and then come back
Anne : So you could be gone 2 - 3 days huh?
Charlie : Oh yeah
June : How many miles long was your trapline?
Charlie : I had a trapline on the other side . I'd cover over about 50 miles.
June : Fifty miles hey?
Charlie : Yeah with snowshoes. I'd go down the river 18 miles.
June : It would take at least a week to make the rounds eh?
Charlie : Oh yeah, going all the time . You had to go all the time.
June : Well maybe farther, maybe two weeks because you had to go one way and then come back.
Charlie : You could get to it. Like now I can't go but you get on the skidoo and go.
June : Do you still trap?
Charlie : Oh yeah, I still trap.
June : And I bet you don't get that much for the furs anymore.
Charlie : No, the fur price now is as low as I've ever seen it in all the trapping
Gene : Is that right?
Charlie : Yeah of all the furs I've ever trapped , some fur is not too bad but average of fur is way down like marten. Does all my trapping now, grandson Tyler . He goes with me now and he likes that. I've got to have somebody with me now. If I go back there. About twenty miles or so I can't walk . I could get out but I'd have a tough time but I take him with me and we get a few marten . I think we got close to fifty now marten, but if we average out I think on the last year we averaged about 45 dollars . A marten which is not bad but I seen the marten when I first, Anne and I first got married I'd get 125, 130 dollars for a big marten.
June : And look at the price of things now compared to then.
Charlie : Yeah and like 45 dollars now don't get you nothin'. It might get you a meal if it's a good one.
Gene : I know during the hungry 30's that one guy that used to work for Dad in the summertime on the farm , he trapped in the wintertime up north and if he caught a fisher, well fishers were worth a hundred bucks during the hungry 30's , well that would be like 10,000 dollars right now..
June : Yeah
Charlie : Well the fisher came in at the same time Barney ? Was trapping but there's cycles. This fur runs in a cycle . The fisher come in which was good well I just trapped fisher that's what was here . I'd get oh sometimes 15 to 20, 25 fisher. If I got the young female , take two of them in there, bring me 500 dollars, matched hides, but you see the difference now , the fisher, they don't even want it. I got five last winter, which we don't want to catch them but they get in the marten conibear traps. I think Tyler got 55 dollars for one. We got twenty dollars for the other. We don't want to catch them . Lots of difference in price . Same as lynx. All that fur now, lynx come up a bit now. Good lynx, we don't get that kind here. They get them up north. It will bring you 125 dollars but what lynx you get here you might average out 40 dollars on them.
June : Hmmm
Charlie : Which is nothing. When I first started trapping lynx we averaged out I think a hundred dollars on them lynx, didn't we Anne ? The lynx we caught the first winter?
Anne : I think so
Charlie : 38 lynx. We were trapping. Now it's just we get out. Tyler he likes to be able to get out. And he likes to get out.
June : Kind of neat to teach him the tricks of the trade!
Anne : He likes it.
Charlie : And I like being with him, you know.
Anne : He knows how to skin and everything.
Charlie : Oh yeah. That's one thing that trappers course they took. He took that trappers course. They paid for it. They learned alot in there that I didn't know.
June : Is that right hey?
Charlie : You know the handling of the fur?
June : If you don't spoil it, the fur at all
Charlie : They want good pelts, nothing but good pelts and skinny ones makes a lot of difference. But trapping and farming, there ain't much in it. HAHAHA
Gene : It's a way of life.
June : Yeah ....life has changed.
Charlie : Yeah we come off that trapline in west here one time in the wintertime when I was first licensed, I come in the night . I wanted to come home and I was down about 1/2 way down the line which was about eight miles come to ...And here wolves come in behind me and I had an old dog, Dan I called him, part collie and I don't know what else but he would trap with me all the time, went with me on the snowshoes , that old dog. The wolves would get close. He jumped on my snowshoes and tripped me. I gave him heck. "Get off my snowshoes" you know , The dang wolves I could see their eyes all the time . My hair was kind of standing up on end.
June : The dog was scared too.
Charlie : And the dog was scared . He was scared. He stayed back a little bit. Then they'd get too close , he'd get on my snowshoes and down I'd go on my face. They come....