ROBERT ENGSTROM INTERVIEW

January 2nd, 2002

Interviewed by June Chamberland


 

Bob : ...taking out ties here at Cobb Lake and down here , in fact the fella that......these tumbled down buildings here, that was his place down there. They had the ferry, they moved it from Hewlett.

Ron : Do you remember Bowan

Bob : Yeah Bowan that’s Jimmy Simonson in Vanderhoof, and that’s his grandfather. See like Ed Simonson married Rosie Bowan and then a fella by the name of Carl Larem he built the place here. He’s married to another Bowan and apparently she’s still living and Frank Bowan he’s still living I think down at Parksville,some place

June : I heard the name.

Bob : Well he run the ferry . He come in here in 1908. Him and Louis Broden , you see Broden Road? Across from Keeler , the Brotten Road, well that’s where he lived . He came here in 1908. There was no railroad and no highway or nothing at that time and then who built the barn was Verne Lundeen and my dad built the barn down here. It was one barn and then they put an addition on to it, another one.

June : Do you know what year that barn was built?

Bob : Oh my God now I think we lived down at the river at the time and we moved out of there just where this here millionaires got now . They bought the place where we used to live ;

Ron : Yes

Bob : Yes , yeah. He had Bednesti for awhile. And anyway we left there in , I was five years old when we left there ( and now I’m giving my age away and everything) And then we moved onto Sob Lake road . That was in , oh we come down the river I remember with the horses and we come in at Hewlett, we didn’t come here.

And then my dad and Lundeen they built the barn . He was staying at Bergens if you’ve heard of them. 

June : Bergens?

Bob : Yeah Bergens ,that’s on the Sob Lake road on this side of where Penner and anyway this here Lundeen and this here Fred Erickson and Brugh Oldstrom they all come from Sweden and my dad and them they were able to talk to, my dad could talk Swedish, I can’t, anyway they were all carpenters like , all but Fred Erickson, he was working in the bush and so him and Vern Lundeen , they come down . At that time it’s hard times and nobody had any money . I think they built the barn there for around a hundred dollars or something at that time.

June : Really?

Bob : Yeah , because my dad and Vern they used to make them double dove-tail corners,

June : What’s the difference....what’s a double dove-tail corner, do you mean it comes from both sides like?

Bob : Yeah well we had one. He built a house on the Sob Lake road . I don’t know who’s on there now . Hubert Poole’s on the next quarter and that’s where we lived half a mile down the Sob Lake road and they built a nice house in there, double dove-tail corners. It had a well, now this is old history, sixty-five feet deep, he dug that all by hand and that well was still there even the park behind used to stop there for water and then the same year his mother was up . They come from Alexander, Minnesota and then they lived in Swift Current, Saskatchewan for quite awhile, he was ....oh he had ... he was on the steam tractors they had then and he was helping his brothers down in Saskatchewan , and his sister I think mother and them come up here , and then they went down, I must have been I would say between thirty-four and thirty-five when that barn was built, around that time, because he went down there. I remember he got an order of groceries from Prince George for a hundred dollars. That was a lot of money at that time. It lasted just about all winter.

June : Yeah

Bob : I think him and Vern got together, maybe they got fifty dollars a piece

June : That Vern Lundeen then was he a farmer then or ...

BoB : No he was.... He eventually moved to Vanderhoof and he had his own house there and he built the house for Lawrence French, if you knew him. He had the store where this here health store, I was in there today... shoping there in Vanderhoof, French’s store there and he worked for them . He built a big house and then he was on a bridge they built a bridge here, I think oh I don’t know what bridge, on the new bridge I think that goes down , there’s another bridge.....

June : The one that goes towards Stuart River like?

Bob : Probably. Some place in there. He was a bridge foreman on there and he and my dad worked on that , that was years ago .

Ron : What was your dad’s first name?

Bob : Ed,

June : Ed Engstrom. And your mother, did your mother live out here too?

Bob : My mother? Oh yeah. Not out here , no, No my dad never lived out here.

June : Oh he never lived out here.

Bob : No, we lived down further, down the river.

June : Oh yeah. You were born at Sob Lake, right?

Bob : Well I was born in Vanderhoof up in Smedleys place , name of Smedley that’s on the ...Oh that would be the Kenney dam road now I guess they call it or Stony Creek road. Anyway I think we lived, yeah he built a place on the Sob Lake road because we stayed there when they were taking out ties. It was a double building like you put an addition on double dove-tail corners and they claim when you do that you want to build it so you can’t put a paper in between They were very particular about building that but now today when you’re talking about dove-tail corners you mentioned that .... you’ve been to Vanderhoof have you?

June : Yeah

Bob : You must have been.

June : Yeah I have.

Bob : Anyway you go down there where that Shoppers Food Market is and you go down, down that street towards the schools in there and there’s a big building an old building there, that’s double dove -tail corners.

June : A big old barn?

Bob : Like a big old barn yeah.

June : Someone was telling me about that.

Bob : I think that’s where Hobb’s mother stayed there,  Rich Hobbs wrote that book

June : Oh yeah Uh huh”

Bob : Rancher Takes a Wife and Grass Beyond The Mountains. Yeah I just noticed that today , that's double dove-tail corners and I wished I’d paid more attention . There’s some that ....You know you got to take your time to do it, figure it out.

June : Yeah

Bob : But you see it was locked in and that Vanderhoof paper, somebody wrote in there  It wasn’t a good picture at all ...the old....Jake Fraser I think and he had everything mixed up because we had a house there or barn on the Venables road and Oscar Johnson never built that. His brother built it. It was in the paper, Vanderhoof paper “ Built by Oscar Johnson” He never built it. He wouldn’t go up twenty feet in the air. His brother built it. Yeah it’s the biggest barn in the country . I forget the name of the outfit that’s got it now.

June : So getting back to that Vern Lundeen, when he built that barn, what did he build it for these horses for the tie hackers or what?

Bob : Let’s see now because I come down to look at them horses That was in the ‘50's. After I come out of the Police Force in Edmonton, I think around ‘54 something like that ‘55, I was away four or five years and my brother wanted me to come out here and take out ties but anyway this here Bowan, we come down here to take ties, now there used to be a crossing over here where we loaded the ties up and he had a team of horses for sale so I went down to look at them and that’s when I noticed the barn , well I seen it before, but first time I looked at it  It looked like a nice barn, his horses in a pen in the yard. They were wandering around. Yeah , well you come down , they had a fire around there , that’s where the barn......  You seen the barn too ?

Ron : Oh yes, yeah the barn was close to the river when we were first in here.

Bob : Close to the river. It was in good shape then and one end had a mow in it like a hay mow. Then they put an addition. He had cows there too like. The people after that I don’t know who it was, they had another big barn or building. They tore it down later ...That was in the 50's too, they were in there and they had cattle on that meadow but anyway he had a few cattle and horses so I didn’t buy their team because my mother mentioned.... she said “ oh that was the horse that they had when she come in the country.” That must have been about 30 years ago or so  I didn’t want them . LAUGH

June : Across the river like?

Bob : Yeah , not on this side but one time they had the ferry going right across like a cable. See that’s what they had there. Down here at the river but Simonson he still continued on just with an ordinary small boat. He had a kicker or rowed across .

That’s the new cat we got there. The little fellows into everything.

Jean : I still think you should call her Snoopy. She’s into everything

Bob : I had a nice cat, she used to follow me all over then before they brought this down at Christmas time.

June : She’s young yet, just a baby.

Bob : Well it’s a different kind of a cat .....but anyway if I remember right, it was in the thirties sometime when that barn was built. Like my Dad come in here in 1921

June : Your dad came here?

Bob : Yeah and my dad and my mother they got married in the Prince George Hotel in 1923.

June : Oh yeah, what was your mother’s name?

Bob : Naomi Coulten, Her last name was Coulten.

June : Coulten

Bob : Coulton. Yeah they came up from Cape Scott. That’s at the end of Vancouver Island . It used to be a Danish settelment and that’s old history too. They come from, let’s see he was born in Peoria, Illinois and then he had a farm in Holders Nebraska taking out corn and they called them the “dried out corn....

Jean : “ Corn huskers”

Bob : And they moved up to Washington in an old stage coach. I can picture that. They were stuck there sometimes. It took them months to get down to Washington. Then they had a butcher shop down there at Linden, Washington . We got picture He was a butcher, they had a butcher shop there . At that time they weren’t too particular, all the guts and that go right down into the bay . See the picture hanging up there. Then he was a fisherman also, fished along the coast. He used to go every year down the river’s end. Fishing. Yeah he come in here, originally they were Scotch. Their people come in, his dad and great grandpa and all them. They were born in the States but they came in, maybe 500 years ago .

June : So how...where did you get the name Engstrom from with a Scotchman?

Bob : Well on my Dad’s side he was Swede , like my mother, my mother’s mother was Swede. She was the only one born in Sweden, my mother’s mother and her name was Anderson and then she got the name of Olsen , That’s the way they call them. His name was Ollie Anderson. That’s the way they do it in Sweden, They use the first name .

June : Yeah, that’s right.

Bob : That’s the way they do it yeah. Well you live at Salmon Valley then .

June : Yeah, I’m an Anderson originally hey?

Bob : Anderson hey

June : That was my single name. My parents both come from Norway hey.

Bob : Oh they did hey? Norway? Oh you’re a Scandinavian then too. You can talk it probably.

June : No, I can’t.

Bob : Well I can’t. I wished I could. A lot of times people come over and they talk Swede. Anderson, there’s some there related to Fetchtines, and Myer, Joey Myers his grandparents, they could talk Swede. My dad did but I figured I didn’t pay any attention but after, my grandmother I never heard her talk it. She used to go over to Mrs. Anderson, they were good friends and they talked Swedish . She couldn’t talk English very good. She was here for years something like Jean was saying today. "She was bushed" . She was out in the bush too long. Jean said “ Now I haven’t been to town for a month.

June : So she was getting bushed too    Laughing.

Jean : Fifth of December was the last time I was in town.

June : Just about a month hey?

Bob : I’m not bashful or anything like that but I got high blood pressure.

June : Oh yeah.

Bob: When I talk I get red in the face. Oh you’re an Anderson? Oh by gosh! You’ve been, you were raised in this country or?

June : I was raised in Manitoba

Bob : Oh raised in Manitoba. What part of Manitoba?

June : Ah, the Interlake area, about 85 miles north of Winnipeg.

Bob : Oh byGod. Well I had a friend in Prince Rupert I was going to school there, that’s why I happened to go to High School and then I worked part time in the shipyards and the friend of mine he was ninety miles northeast. I went down this last year to see him or the year before ) and I couldn’t locate him there. Fred Sollers was his name. He was from Sandilands or Sandy Banks or

June : Oh in Manitoba ?

Bob : Yeah

June : Yeah I think there’s Sandridge isn’t there? Sandridge? Sandridge, Manitoba.

Bob : Well he was a little older than I when he was an engine fitter on the mill and we got along good and he was Ukrainian descent . He kind of stuttered but they come, there was a place he could talk French or Ukrainian or English , I remember that.

June : Yeah we had lots of Ukrainians , some French too .

Bob : Yeah he said he went to school ,there was French talking when he went to school, Sandy Banks or Sandilands or something like that.

June : Yeah there might be a Sandilands

Bob : Ninety miles, I went through there when I couldn’t find the place.

June : There was a place called Sandridge . That’s not too far from where I lived.

Bob : Because at that time they didn’t make much money on your shipyard. My dad was a shipmate here. He only got a dollar an hour so they went home and then he wanted to come back up here and work in the bush. He had papers like for it. Itwould have been a good job now . He had 4'th class papers, engineer papers and anyway ( Oh you’re from Manitoba hey? Well you’ve been out here for quite a while then

June : Since 55.

Bob : 55 Oh by God! Well I must have been taking out ties. You knew that Walter Carsh with the big neck?

June : No I don’t know him. I have seen him though

Ron : She lives right in Prince

Bob : Oh in Prince, I see.

June : I’m north of Prince George.

Bob : Oh right you don’t live at Cluculz lake

June : I don’t live in Prince George and I don’t live out here either. My daughter lives here.

Bob : Oh that’s your daughter.

June : Yeah, well this is my granddaughter.

Bob :Grand-daughter, you’re not as young then as I thought you were.

June : No, I’m getting oldLaugh

Bob : By God I seen a guy today , and you know how old he was, He’s still working falling in the bush, He’s 76 years old.

June : Who was that?

Bob : Harris he’s got kind of a junkyard,

Ron : Oh I know who you mean.

June : That’s not the guy with the big....

Bob : Oh no. This guys a tall slim feller. Well his brother Kook  Harris , it used to be Harris and Miller . They had a mill together and he come up here ..........  When he left The police force making ties and they wanted me to come out here and I come out here and his brother, he was a great big fellow, there was 5 brothers, they worked for Anderson Construction and I seen him today and I said “ well you’re looking in good shape”. He had cancer and he beat the cancer see, radium treatments and he looked pretty thin but he said I work every year now and he was falling. He used to be on a cat. He was a cat skinner.

June : Still falling at 75.

Bob : Yeah 76, he’s 76 in December

Jean : Sucker for punishment.

Bob : He said “Well I got to get rid of that old grub I’ve been eating in the wintertime.

June : So Lundeen, did he have any family here or ...?

Bob : Not that I know of. I don’t think so.

June : Might have been just a bachelor like hey?

Bob : Well he was something like I was. He was quite a drinker. They’d work maybe six or seven months then they’d get on their big drunk for a month, then he’d kind of bloat up then they’d go to work again . He wasn’t an alcoholic I wouldn’t call him that ... Lot of them did....

June : Was he a tie hacker then? Tie hacker?

Bob : He made ties too yeah

June : He mostly had this big barn

Bob : There’s a picture in that Vanderhoof paper that said Lars Berg had died. Well Lars Berg, I knew him good, he never made ties, Lundeen , from Prince George, he made the ties, Lars Berg used to haul them . Lars Berg in the place I had up here that Ron  Scaling up there where to show the ignorant fours across from ssurance

June : What was their name ?

Bob: Subdens . They're old timers here

Ron : There’s a place on Cluculz Lake called Subdens Point

June : Oh Sundance.

Bob : I knew them when they were kids, Elsie , she was a school teacher here at Decker Lake . I worked there for awhile and I went with her. She come up here and she remembered the time. Then she worked in Port Coquitlam as a nurse there for about thirty years . They lived there and they also lived down here at Cobb Lake. They had mink. Mink ranch there. They had mink there.

Ron : We were talking about that earlier today.

Bob : There was across the lake , there was let’s see now, Irishman on this side it was his mink farm and then on the other Alger, Johnny Alger on the other side and they were, they didn’t get along at all, see they both had mink farms and the building on the other side of the lake I don’t know if that road is opened up, I

< /p>Ron : You can still get in there . There was a guy in there the other day.

Bob :I went in there with a skidoo.

Ron : Yeah it’s rough in there. I told him not to go in there. He said “Ah I was in there last week.

Bob : There used to be a big house in there, Johnny Alger and he used to shoot across at the guy on the other side, you see. They were both First World War veterans and then when Subden went down there, Lars was still here . I used to write to him. Oh down south there he was on the news lots of times. He was a geologist for the Wildlife and that. He was that for years. He had a very good education , He done that till he retired , now his wife, she was a school teacher too . She sent her letters just like poems.

Jean : Her Christmas cards, she makes them herself.

Bob : Yeah, yeah and Elsie she was up here she didn’t , about the size of Jean here, they lived there for years like and then they had mink but they had to move out of there because they had cows and they claim the cow bells scared the mink you.

Ron : Even when I first moved here Bob, you used to be able to drive just about

Bob : I see, Well ....

Ron : We dug up rhubarb plants there,

Bob : I remember that, I remember you saying when Hanson and I stopped there one time we found an old bottle down in an old building. Remember he gave me a bottle

Ron : Of course there was no A-frames there at the time but there was some old log buildings with trees growing right up through the middle of them.

Bob : Right, I seen

Ron : And there was rhubarb growing outside so we picked a few of them .

Bob : Well I remember the people that lived there too I think probably Doris and Kathleen probably remembers.

Ron : Do they remember the old school house down here?

Bob : Doris said, well she’d been there.

Ron : Kathy says she never went to the school.

Bob : Well neither did Doris. Their mother was a school teacher see. They never went to school I don’t think, as far as I know but they’ve been in there at meetings like they used to have dances and every year, like these old country schools , oh they run the whole school house and they’d have Christmas concerts and dances here and you’d just play like you play there, somebody’d play a violin or guitar, something like that . My dad used to play a violin for dances around Meadowdale there and him and Anderson they both played the fiddle but they were kind of backward They didn’t want to play if there was somebody else there but they were real good players and they’d play all these old fight for the fiddle man, fast music you see , had to be a good fiddler. ?????? But I never learned how to play but I’ve still got the fiddle here . The kids took it all apart . Mother used to play the mandolin . They played together like. Yeah years ago they had them old dances We used to go there when we were a kid They had these old style desks before we went to Rupert we’d have a ( are you, oh my God I better be quiet here) (Laughter)

June : No that’s interesting. Just keep going.

Jean : I didn’t realize it was on.

Bob : Well the kids done that with me sometimes when and I’d come in, I’d have been drinking and then when they take my voice and

June : I’m not taping anything bad so...

Jean : Thank God he doesn’t drink anymore.

Bob : Nothing bad then , it’s just the good things it will tape.

Bob : Let's see now Jean : Now he won’t talk anymore. Bob : We’ll you’ve heard about sturgeon in the river then.

June : Sturgeon?

Bob : Sturgeon, these white sturgeon. At Hewlett he come here in 1908 . He was the only one that could catch them with a net . No one else could do that because he come in here it was the law said you couldn’t catch sturgeon and during the hungry ‘30's I remember them years because , not in your time yet, I was born in them days you see and then he was pretty well off then . They were shipping caviar to the States and selling the sturgeon meat here to restaurants here in Prince George and then somebody stole his net one time He thought and here he found it later, he made his own nets in the winter time found it later and he figured that sturgeon must have been close to a ton. Oh every week he’d get a sturgeon and he’d dress them out.I didn’t care for the meat . He used to give us some here. He lived at Hewlett for years..

June : Where is this Hewlett?

Ron : It’s a section up. It’s seven miles from here upthe track .

June : Oh okay, okay

Bob : See every , like there’s Vanderhoof, and there’s Sinkut, then Hewlett , and now Finmoore and then Wedgewood and .......................

Ron : By God, you know who I seen walking down the other day?

Bob : I seen him too. Walter Cosh walking from Vanderhoof.

Ron : Oh he came along the tracks.

Bob : On the track. I said Come in Walter, he just kept right on a going . I’d have drove him home. He had a big pack.

Ron :Must have had his winter supplies

Bob : Well I guess so because I went in to see the police if they had seen him . I went over there oh, just about a week before I seen him down the track and I thought that something must have happened to him but the door was locked, just a latch on the outside so I thought he must be around and then anyway there was trees over the road and everything and nobody could get in there . There was ( French guy) he used to cut wood up that road and he went in to see Walter , to see if he needed any wood????? He lives on Jardine road around the loop there . He cut wood there for ...anyways Walter down there, that’s the guy with the big neck and he’s been down here for at least thirty years. I had too much timber, I let him have timber and I went broke at that time . I had a fellow by the name of Rigler here and then I got my mill He’s still got that, and a whole bunch of ties all piled up . He could sell them . ....give him the address....

June : We bought some ties

Bob : They weren’t creosoted but they were good . He had them all dry-piled, they would have been good here about six, seven years but he wouldn’t sell them then

Jean : He could have sold them for twenty-five dollars a piece.

Bob : They said they would pay twenty-five dollars a piece

Jean : But he wouldn’t sell them.

Bob : He wouldn’t sell them. Twelve hundred...

Ron : Because he’d have to pay the stumpage then.

Bob : No the stumpage was already paid. He said that, the stumpage was paid, yeah. Because Paul he would have bought them for two dollasr apiece and then he changed his mind, he didn’t want to sell it, No, he said, they're for the CN. But he wouldn’t sell it. He went into the bank in Vanderhoof and he wanted to get money on the ties but they wouldn’t give him any so now he deals with the Credit Union. More talk. Now is there anymore information you want on this before the tape breaks.

June : Well like that barn there you said it was built and the guy had a house there and what he was doing actually was he farming and making ties like?

Bob : Well let,s see now . Years ago they come from England originally, Bowans see, and I don’t think he ever hacked any ties. I don’t think he hauled ties either. I don’t know exactly but Frank Bowan that’s his son they had that hotel up at Stone Creek , married to a Taylor, do you ever ..Cecil Taylor and them , Taylors of Prince George used to call them Pack-rat Taylor .

June : Oh yeah, okay

Bob : : He used to travel all over the country . He had a bunch of oh my dad bought a truck off him one time , traded for a couple cows years ago. It run alright but when they went down to Hewlett, took it down to Hewlett to take the train, he had two flat tires. Inner tubes in there was about two or three put together you see . (Laughter)

Ron : Good trade for a couple of cows.

Bob : But I think he eventually sold it to Bernice Berg. And he was up there done some clearing after ......but Dad he done a good job

Ron : Goodland ranches way down south??????

Bob : Yeah, yeah

Ron : That’s where I was working this summer. Right next to Goodlands ranch.

< /p>Ron : Well I got a couple days off.

Bob : Is there good timber in there?

Ron : No bad. It’s full of bugs. That’s why we’re working there.

June : Well I’ll just take out what I want.

Bob : You’re a good lady then.

June : So it was actually Bowan that owned the place but Vern Lundeen and your dad, and Ed Engstrom they built it?

Bob : Ed Engstrom and Vern Lundeen they built it. I don’t know who started or anything like that but I remember them talking about they got a hundred dollars - a hundred dollars a piece or I think it was a hundred dollars for putting that ... there was one that was built there, they put an addition on to it and they fixed the other one up and I think they put a loft in there something like that with dove tail corners . It might have been just a few logs but they finished it off-

June : Oh it was started already like ?

Bob : I think it was started if I remember right, I think so ....like years ago...

June : Like they built the second part in 30's so the other part would have been older.

Bob : Yeah well I think now if I remember right, at that time, they didn’t use these creosote ties so they didn’t have proper foundation, I don’t know because we, or...that was built in the 20,s and that house is still standing . Yeah I walked down there... the track with Roy Nelson, my brother-in-law is married my older sister. We went down there and he got tired . We went in Johnny Eliases road. You know Johnny Elias. We went down that road there a shortcut,we followed the fence down you see and anyway that’s where my Grand-dad had a place to start with so they sold it to ... now this here Giesbrecht wanted it but I went over and seen him at that place - Shady Lake . He wasn’t home but he didn't ...he wanted the first chance to buy it see if George wanted to sell. So anyway I got a sale for it then and I paid her off, her share, first because she wanted the money but anyway so then we sold it and we walked down from there to see how much timber was on it. We didn’t think there was that much timber but anyway we got a fairly good price, I figure, for it, all hills no doubt. and I wanted to go down and look at the old place down at the river so I went down there, there’s a fellow by the name of Slump. He used to live up there where that Carbon? Hill is now.

June : That’s the house that’s down there now?

Bob : Yeah it’s still down there. It’s double dove-tail corners on it. And when he built them he drilled holes in every log like and pinned them see so they stayed together . That’s the way they done it years ago because I remember him telling me when I was a kid I’d help and he’d make the pins and dried them there. I’d be maybe 14 years old and he claimed he’d make a round hole and a square pin to hold better then square pin you’d drive them in and fit them on top and then wedge them again you see. Well wedge it and drive the wedge in. That’s the way they built them years ago. So if one tumbled down the whole works would have to go.

June : Yeah

Bob : but the foundation that,s ... like this place here the other... I heard somebody come down here Jack Abraham and they put a new foundation under it. Otherwise it would have rotted see. Like thaht Cabin now where the holder where .............. Lived and somebody was in there yeah Art Cassel was down the other day, He said how come that place burnt down? I guess you were in there hunting. And I said I don’t know Well cause they said here they come dowwn because and Jean was here then and they said what a mess , well I know that.

Jean : It was a mess.

Bob : So they just burnt it down.

Ron : Oh they burned it down on purpose.

June : So who owned that house was that your dad that owned that house that you’re telling me about that’s still down there?

Bob : Down there yeah. Down the river, right. I’ll tell you what happened. The reason we moved , he owed nine hundred dollars that’s to the Government. He couldn’t pay the taxes , things were tough then so he moved out of there and Dad moved down the Sob Lake road and then there was a bunch of timber on there , nice and he always cut there was nice timber down there too, big pine there , that,s all he was doing then, hacking ties and he was the champion tie-maker in the country. He made up to sixty ties a day ,an awful man to work. He was a carpenter, he’d do just about anything, shoemaker and welder , not welder , but brick layer and all that kind of stuff there. But anyway that’s what happened. And then on the Sob Lake road, the same thing there he built up and he had it better down there and we had a few cattle there and then he owed taxes there too so he moved down and went down the Sob Lake road for Oscar Johnson place there a big barn, a great big barn or that wasn’t dovetail but he built some other buildings south there too. I was through there oh, several times, I don’t know who’s on there now , there’s trailers and some house they built so much simpler but I think they’re tore down maybe when they come there. Then we moved, we didn’t stay there too long then we moved to Prince Rupert to the shipyard during the war years and we went down there as well in 19....

Ron : What year did they, about what year did they stop hacking ties and start sawing them?

Bob : 1961

June : ‘61! That late hey?

Bob : Yeah we had well I had a big contract that was in 58, that was the biggest contract I had and I went and bought a new car, a brand new car for $3,000 at that time. Around 3600 a Chev. That was in Johnson.... Now they’re around 30,000. Anyway things were ... so then and we had I think I took out 40,000 ties that year. And had oh a bunch of hackers there was mostly Scandinavians , there was one Chris Vanolshon, he was Norwegian .

June : What was his name?

Bob : Veneroshun Chris. And Hjalmer Christianson and Tom Halvorson and they made ties like this Hjalmer Christianson he died out here at Cobb Lake Riglers on there now . I was down there then putting logs on the skidway with a forklift like and he had there on the skidway and then he said “well that’s one I don’t have to pay Hjalmer “ well I said “You could buy a monument for his grave” He was drinking see and then they came home and here they found him next morning, he was lying ...he told him sometime you might have a heart attack anytime. He was an awful worker. He kept writing home to the old country. There’s still a big depression in Canada I can’t make it back.

Ron : That was ‘50.

June : He was drinking.

Ron : Yeah a big depression . Couldn’t make it back. Laughter. That was the fifties hey?

Bob : Well he come here let’s see now , he was he must have been fifty. If he was alive now he’d be over a hundred. Anyway they come here in the 20’s see

Ron : Yaeh but it was in the 50's that he said that

.

Bob : Making ties, yeah.

Ron : That he said the depression was still on.

Bob : Then when he died....Let’s see now. Oh yeah he kept writing back He worked up at Rigler till 61 or 62 , 62 I guess. His family wrote him in English, some of them see, his brothers I seen their pictures, They looked like Hjalmer only they had a sivet? Or factory? They were doing that kind of work. So he said he often wanted to go back but he never had the money and he said every time he seen Chris this Vanerosion in Edmonton years ago he’d buy him a big meal and he said he hated it because his stomach had shrunk so much he couldn’t eat it all And Chris said “ Now finish , eat your ......” That Chris , my God he was quite a worker. He was 61 years old , he made 5,000 ties , then he come down here working for Peterson falling that big fir up there. That’s the fellow I told you made them oh about that long, a chain, a little jack-o-leen lanterns with little balls inside and all that , when he left, everybody he worked for, Rigler said he made him one too, he used to work for him and he’d fall trees with a cross-cut then . Nobody on end but he had Charlie MacArthur , he had like a spring and a stake down and he’d pull the crosscut and the spring would pul it back. Then he said he laid down and go to sleep when his jobs done, played out, then he’d get up again and go at it again. Oh he said he couldn’t ....the way he worked

Ron : Wasn’t there a Peterson that owned that barn at one time?

Bob : That’s right. They had it down there. Because Jake was in there, I knew John and Jake Peterson, one of them .... John’s son was down here a couple of years

Ron : That’s right. Brian Ryerson used to work there, that’s right.

Bob : Well that’s right, yeah and then they were logging up the hill, that’s the road he said “I used the axe”

June : Yeah I was going to ask you how many children your mother and father had.

Bob : Father and mother, well there was five and then we had one adopted.

June : So what were all the names of your family

Bob : The family, you want to know all the names.

June : Yeah just the names of your brothers and sisters.

Bob : Alright, wait and I’ll tell you. There was Leon Francis, that’s the oldest ,okay,

Jean : I thought it was Ruth Naomi.

Bob : No, Ruth Mary Millicent,

Jean : Oh

Bob : Millicent is in there because my dad wanted Millicent.

June : Dolores, you’re down to Dolores

Bob : Okay then there was David John. No yeah David Jodd

June : Jodd,

Bob : Yeah J-o-h-n ,yeah John. Norwegian , they say “Yahn”they don’t say

June : David...

Bob : David John and then there was Hester May, she was adopted if you know Pooles’s

June : She was pted?

Bob : Yeah we got her when she was about six months old , just the same as our sister. She’s the one who writes the most to me. In fact I put my will in, she’s been looking after my will when I pass on she inherits all the junk around here. She doesn’t like that job, anyway to make a long story short, she was a.... if you knew Hubert Poole and them,

>p>June : Not really.

Bob : See Eddy Poole I was up to see him not long ago. He’s in the senior home there in Vanderhoof . He’s 80, his sister ......He was up in the bush, he was an awful guy to work making ties like Huey and he was falling a tree and she come out, she cut across side She had glasses. He fell a tree by accident on her, he mentioned that the last time I seen him . Now he’s in kind of a , he’s all bent over, oh used to be an awful man to work . You don’t remember working with Eddy Poole

Ron : I didn’t know him, I knew Hubert but I don’t know him.

Bob : Well Hubert, that’s let see now that’d been a different Poole. See Eddy Poole's dad and Hubert, they were brother

Ron : Yeah

Bob : Fred Poole and then there was Charlie Poole. He just had Grace and that Hubert The other one there was a whole bunch of them there, like Iva Poole she’s married to Harold and then there was oh I think there was six boys in thefamily and then Mrs Whitfield. They had the .....Whitfield he was English, Whitfield road on the stump road you go down that way somebody living down there now the old Whitfield place. I met the guy one time used to be.... Anyway then that was Rosie she was the youngest in the family . She got killed with a tree so her mother, her mother was born in Germany Mrs Datchpo. And she wanted my mother to take, we lived close to her, she wanted to know whether we’d take .........................................she was born in 1942 , now she’s in Dawson Creek and the other one they live in Parksville that’s Dolores, and Ruth and Roy they got a big farm in the Peace River nd now they’re up at Parksville too, They spend the winter up there. He was in the Second world war, he’s older than I am and he was Scandinavian and he worked for Dad in the mill when he had the mill in , they had a turn in it after down around oh it was a spot around Hancveville, they had timber there And then I had the mill set up in there too, the one that Walter’s got and then I forget now what happened but gone and Alphonse Peu We hauled the mill down to where the cabin had down, tore down somebody at Cluculz lake took the cabin, hauled it down there, a nice cabin . This Tom Halvorsen and Albert Christianson they built a nice little log cabin . That half a section there, it was all virgin timber there , nobody’d been in there at all ............................I could have been well off today if I had taken it . The quota there, third biggest quota ........................... but I had too much timber and .... Have you got the tape going now? I drank all my profit up so I couldn’t afford ..... Laughing. (Laughing.)

June : I was going to ask you, do you know who had that little cabin at Tamarack Lake?

Bob : Tamarack lake?

June : Yeah there's a little cabin left there now.

Bob : Oh yeah, right on yeah. No I don’t. There was several people asked me about that. Yeah Mrs , Ida Cutler ? In fact asked me about that too,

June : Some kind of a Danish guy or something.

Bob : Could have been. On the other side of the road, I remember years ago my brother and I we stopped there then there was a whole bunch of traps in there. Somebody had a trapline in there on the opposite side. That cabin at that time was up. It was made in three different sections. I think kind of added to it. I think that’s where ...I see the sign on there last year - For Sale and there used to be fish in that lake , years ago . See that connects with Bednesti Lake some way , I’ve been there, there’s a creek going through there and Gravel Pit Lake , have you been in there?

June : Which lake?

Bob : Gravel Pit.

June : No.

Bob : Across the From here pretty well. There’ fish in there.

Ron : They’re stocked fish.

Bob : Are they?

Ron : They’re stocked, right.

Bob : One time when the ................ upset and they dumped them in there. That’s what they claim

Ron : They had the fish to stock some other lake and the truck broke down so they dumped them in there.

Bob : I’ve been in there. I see them in the bottom swimming. But I never caught them in there.

June : Well that highway that’s running there now used to be way over this way didn’t it?

Bob : Right, oh yeah when you go down here like where the Shallow Bay road just past that other station now or restaurant up on top of the hill. Did they have that when you

Ron : Yeah I saw her but just before Christmas.

Bob : But I seen her in the store

Jean : Would you like a cup of coffee?

June : Oh maybe.

Bob : And her the one they bought the place where that Jean Philpot is now She said

Ron : So who was it Teinan that bought that? Philpot,s ?

Bob : Well she takes Ivor around every Wednesday shopping and I met her in Extra

Ron : Well she lives in town now”

Bob : Yeah I know that but she used to live up on that loop road ,.she had goats there

Ron : Well I when I met her she lived this side of Vanderhoof.

Bob : I know that’s where she was before but then she had to move in. She bought her

Ron : Quite the old girl she’s still pretty bright

Bob : oh my God yeah well she’s the only one left in the family. All the rest of them, One was Joyce, school teacher Joyce there married to Albert and then there’s Johnny

Bob : Well you do the talking here. You go ahead.

June : That Bowan there was he a married man then or was he single?

Bob : Bowan, oh yeah he was married.

June : Well did he have a , what was his first name?

Bob : Maybe you didn’t hear me “ I might have talked too fast. That one, his wife, she had

Jean : What was his wife’s name?

Bob : If I remember right I think it was Annie. Annie Bowan.

June : What was his name? His first name?

Bob : Jim . Jim Bowan I think. Yeah I think so if I remember right. Because I seen him there

June : So he lived there for many many many years?

Bob : Well I don’t know how long they lived here but they lived down near First. See the place burnt down down here where they had the ferry and then whether

Ron : I gave her some.

Bob : Oh you did hey.

Ron : The overhead and

Bob : 95.

Ron: Said he’s doing pretty good. It was nice to talk to him.

Bob : So how old is Knute? I don’t know if he’s older than I am or younger.

Ron : Oh I think he’s probably a little bit older. I’m not sure .

Bob : I knew his brother. I got along good with Folbert. He had the mill up here.

Ron : Yeah I remember I never met his partner.

Ron : So you go and see Helga once in awhile? She lives pretty close to Pine Centre

Bob : Yeah right across. Lord or Lorn Road

Ron : We never saw her since she moved away.

Jean : If you come out the back door at Sears, she’s right across from there

Bob : Yeah she’s got a nice place there. She wanted to sell but you don’t get enough for it. She was going to move in with her son. He was down here last ...

Jean : That,s what she should have done when she left here.

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