This is Debbie Nowak of the Prince George Oral History Group. On January 16, 2000, and on March 7, 2000, I sat down with Ken and Jessie Stanyer to reminisce. As requested by Ken, the events which were discussed during the interview have been rearranged in chronological order. During the first 30 minutes of the tape, their daughter, Susan, was visiting.

At the end of this interview, you will find a photograph of Ken and Jessie Stanyer which was taken upon one of my visits to their home at Country Acres. You will also find a map which Ken drew of Summit Lake, showing all of the homesteads and buildings surrounding Summit Lake from 1949 to 1955. Art Buchanan assisted with the drawing and the names of the homesteaders.


INTERVIEWER: How did you come to Prince George?

Ken Stanyer: My brother, Vern, worked here and I was on the Prairie in Edgerton, Alberta. Itís near Wainwright. I was working on a farm there. He said there was a pretty good chance for a job for me in the sawmill. So I come out in 1947 and got a job in the sawmill. I didnít really like the prairie so I was happy to come out. I was only 21 years old then. You know, when I first come out here there were about 600 saw mills in the area. You were never out of work. If you got laid off at one, you walk a mile down the road and work at another one. You were never out of work, except at Spring Breakup.

INTERVIEWER: Did you meet your wife Jessie here then?

Ken: Yep, I met her at one of the dances at Summit Lake. We got married at Summit Lake in the school house by a Minister McBoothroyd of Prince George in 1952. Our first child was born that year and then we had one almost each year after that until we had seven. Then, we figured out what was causing them.

Jessie Stanyer: I was born and raised in Fort Ware. And I have never been back. I was brought up on a trap line.

INTERVIEWER: So it must have been pretty isolated?

Jessie: Yes, it was. We would come into town about once a year by boat.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have radios there?

Jessie: Yes, battery operated ones.

We had to walk everywhere.

INTERVIEWER: What did you do with your time there?

Jessie: Not a heck of a lot.

INTERVIEWER: Do you miss it?

Jessie: No, not really. I would like to go back and visit one day though.

Ken: Fort Ware was named after Fachter. I worked with his son, Jimmy Ware. He was Summit Lake there. If you wanted to find out more about that itís all in that museum at Fort St. James.

Ken: The guy I was working for, Neilsen, moved his mill to Summit Lake in 1949. There were a few mills in that area in those days. There was Ted Smithís, Ivor Killy, and Summit Lake Saw Mill.

I worked at Neilsenís Saw Mill for 10 years for him. I mostly drove the logging truck. I tried falling, but I couldn't make the trees go the way I wanted them to. I had one fall on me once and that was it. I went back to driving the truck. We lived there only 4 or 5 years and then we moved to Bear Lake. We went there to help build a sawmill, and then we went back to Summit Lake.

INTERVIEWER: So you went from Summit Lake to Bear Lake and then back to Summit Lake?

Ken: Yes, thatís right.

INTERVIEWER: So, what was life like at Summit Lake in the early 1950ís?

Ken: It was a good life, but I was only making $1.00 to $1.40/hour. We eventually got a shack in the logging camp. People wouldn't put up with that now Iíll tell you that. It was pretty darn cold you know when the temperature would drop to thirty or forty below. And that was the normal temperature in the winter. Those shacks weren't very warm.

INTERVIEWER: So, you had to cut your own firewood?

Ken: Yeah.

Jessie: They used to have wagon trains that would come to South Fort George. Just a dirt road.

INTERVIEWER: Just a dirt road?

Jessie: Hmm, yep.

Ken: Simmons had a farm this side of Summit Lake. He said it was a three day trip to town. Bring in the wagon one day, shop the next day and go home on the third day. His mother used to go. She went to town once in three years. (laughing) She couldn't stand the ride.

When we come in here, the park wasn't finished yet.

Jessie: No, they had that Old Summit Lake Road. It was winding.

Ken: I think when we come, you could drive to Summit Lake on the one road.

Jessie: Oh maybe, but when we first come out here it was, you could take a taxi and youíd be home in 2 hours because you had to push him out of the ditch all of the time. Those ruts were so big !

INTERVIEWER: Is that right?

Jessie: Yeah. For $7 you could take a taxi out to Summit Lake.

Ken: They pretty well finished Odel Creek by 1949. The whole thing has changed all along.

Jessie: We should have had pictures of them.

Ken: Well, there are pictures available I guess.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, the museum has lots of pictures of our history.

Whatís that black and white photo there?

Ken: Well, thatís a Ö.

Jessie: His mom and dad. A family picture.

Ken: That was taken on the farm in Edgerton.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have to bring in water from somewhere? Like from the lake, er? How did you get water then? Did you have a well?

Ken: At Bear Lake, there was something called a sandpoint and we drove it right into the ground in the house. It was a lot easier than building a dam in the creek. At Summit Lake, it was pretty rustic. We had lake water when I was there that we carried from the lake. We used pails.

INTERVIEWER: That must have been hard.

Ken: We didn't have indoor plumbing back then.

INTERVIEWER: So, you had outhouses?

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So, you didnít have washing machines then either, eh?

Ken: Nope.

INTERVIEWER: You just had to wash everything by hand?

Ken: I think eventually she got a gas washer.

INTERVIEWER: Oh yeah. And your lighting was probably coal lanterns, er?

Ken: Well, no. In the camp, they had a power plant. At Summit Lake, I think we had to use oil or coal lamps. We had an Aladdin Lamp. Have you ever seen one of those?

INTERVIEWER: No, I don't think so.

Ken: It was a gas lamp that had a big mantle on it. They were big lamps. They gave out a beautiful light.

INTERVIEWER: Were they nice and strong?

Ken: Yeah. You saw a white light. They were actually better than the lights we have now.

INTERVIEWER: Did they smell?

Ken: No. It had kind of a wick that you could turn it up.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a telephone in your cabin? At Summit Lake?

Ken: No.

Jessie: No there was no phones then.


Jessie: No.

INTERVIEWER: When did you get a phone?

Jessie: I donít know.

Ken: I think it was in the 1960ís, when we lived on Old Summit Lake Road South, just 5 miles out of town. It would only take us a few hours to walk into town if we wanted to.

INTERVIEWER: So, when you went off to work then the kids went off to school then? Did they have a school there, at Summit Lake?

Ken: Yes, but they hadnít started school yet because they were too young.

Jessie: No, none of the kids went to school at Summit Lake.

INTERVIEWER: At Summit Lake, they had a grocery store didn't they?

Ken: Yeah. It was called "Buckís Store."

INTERVIEWER: And that was run by Arthur Buchananís Dad?

Ken: Yeah, they were a little bit expensive, but you would understand that having to haul it all the way out there. And they were pretty convenient too. Buck and his wife, Anne, were quite the pioneers. They helped everybody. They were pretty strict. You had to pay your rent and your groceries. You could charge groceries there, but if he caught you buying something downtown, he would cut your credit. I donít blame him. You had to be hard in those times to make a living.

When we first moved to Summit Lake, we rented a cabin from Buckís Store.

Do you know Gilbert Rehier?


Ken: His dad owned that P.G. Highway 16 Motel. I think they still call it that.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, they do.

Did you do any hunting?

Ken: Yeah. We used to get a moose every year. Fishing in the summer. Well, there was hundreds of them around so you barely had to get out of your truck before you spotted a moose.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, I guess thatís a problem around here now.

Ken: Yeah, it is.

INTERVIEWER: Did you teach your kids how to hunt too?

Ken: Oh sure. And how to skin them.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a stove or something? Like how did you cook your meals?

Ken: Oh, she had a wood stove.

INTERVIEWER: So, that heated the cabin and thatís where you cooked too? Is that right?

Jessie: You had to have a heater too, and it had to burn all night.

Ken: I finally got an oil heater in. Those homes weren't very well insulated.

INTERVIEWER: When you went back to Summit Lake, were you there very long?

Ken: No, not very long. We were there just a short while before we moved to a place on Old Summit Lake Road South. We moved to Old Summit Lake Road in 1959. I bought a house and a piece of land there and the school was just right up the road.

INTERVIEWER: So, your kids just walked to school then?

Ken: Oh, yeah. There used to be a saw mill where that school, Shady Valley Elementary, was. In 1949, they moved that saw mill to Summit Lake.

We used to have to lug in water from the creek.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right? But not for the whole 25 years though right?

Ken: No. We eventually got pipes put in.

INTERVIEWER: It took awhile?

Ken: Yes, it took awhile. We had to get a pressure system put in. You know, it wasn't all rosy in those days. You had to do a lot of things by hand then.

INTERVIEWER: Did you make your own furniture along the way.

Ken: Some of it.

INTERVIEWER: So, when you moved to Old Summit Lake Road did you continue to work for Neilsens?

Ken: No. I was driving a logging truck for Simmons then. I worked for him for about 6 years.

INTERVIEWER: Did you drive a truck locally or did you travel, like to Alberta?

Ken: No. I just drove out to the bush and bring the logs back to the mill.

INTERVIEWER: Did you help fall the trees?

Ken: I did a little bit, but I didnít like it. I couldnít get them to go where I wanted them to. I had a log fall on me once in 1961 and that was it.

We hauled 30 foot logs and one day I tripped the stakes. I was standing on the wrong side so the trees fell off and I got hit in the head.

INTERVIEWER: Did you end up with a concussion or anything?

Ken: Well, my back was fractured in two places. I couldn't work for a few months.

Jessie: He was in bad shape.

Ken: I was going to draw a picture of what logging looked like back then. We used to haul using cats and sleighs. Then we had a loader we called it a hoist and jammer. All the hoist was an old Model A Ford engine with a transmission. There was a drum that was attached to the frame and it was attached to the transmission. We wound a cable around the drum.

There was an A frame which was mounted on skids and held up by cables wound around trees. There was a pulley at the top and at the bottom. The cable went up through the top of the A frame and into the travelling block. There were two hooks into the log and you winded up the cable and pulled the log onto the truck.

You had to be a bit of a mechanic back then because the trucks broke down quite often.

At Spring Break up, I would run out of work and go into the UIC Office. They asked me, "What kind of work do you do?" And I said, "Iím a hoist operator." Well, they had never heard of it in the UIC Office. Well, they looked it up and they looked around because they were going to put me back to work. Then they came up with stationary engineer. Luckily, the only one in the country was shut down so I didn't have to work.

INTERVIEWER: So how often did you have to apply for UIC?

Ken: Whenever I ran out of work, usually in the spring and the fall. Itís just got too muddy then.

INTERVIEWER: So, when was your first child born?

Ken: June 25, 1952. I know it doesn't look very good.

INTERVIEWER: because you have seven kids. Do you know when they were all born?

Ken: Yeah, just about a year apart. Sharon was born in June, George was born in May, Hazel was born the following May, Eugene was born in September 1955, Susan was born in June, Kelly was born in January 1959 and Sandy was born in December 1960.

INTERVIEWER: Did your kids get chicken pox and measles and all that stuff ?

Jessie: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Was it difficult to take care of them back then?

Jessie: No, they werenít really too sick. Before the spots broke out, they got a warm temperature and I just gave them baby aspirins.

Ken: I wish I would have taken more pictures back then.

INTERVIEWER: Well, it was probably pretty expensive then.

Ken: Well, no it wasn't. I bought a camera before I was married and it only cost $2.00. It was a Kodak and it was a really good one.

INTERVIEWER: Now, you helped out with the Nechako Little League. Was that in the early 1960ís?

Ken: It was in 1965. I was one of the founders of it. I felt the kids needed a place to play. There were about 50 kids who were interested so I helped build them a baseball diamond near the Eagles Center. Then I helped out for about five or six years with coaching and other things. Then after that I helped coach Babe Ruth Baseball.

INTERVIEWER: So how many of your kids were involved with baseball?

Ken: Well, the two boys were always involved and the girls were in softball.

INTERVIEWER: So did you coach your own kids?

Ken: Oh yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Did they like that?

Ken: Oh yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So your kids were, letís see, I guess your youngest would have been about 5 or 6 when you started in 1965 ?

Ken: Yeah, I think they started a little bit later than that. Sandy was our youngest and she didn't start playing until she was in Grade One.

We had that old Plymouth station wagon and I was coaching the junior girls. They were under sixteen or seventeen years old and we had a tournament in town and we had to move from one park to another. Parents wouldn't come help or nothing.

Jessie: Nope, nobody would come.

Ken: We got about 15 ball players in that old station wagon.

INTERVIEWER: Oh my goodness.

Jessie: Sitting on the tailgate. (laughter)

Ken: I rolled the back window down and they would hang out there. I stopped to put air in the tires were so low.

INTERVIEWER: Do you think parents are better now?

Jessie: Even when our kids were in Little League, you still didn't see everybody out there.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, is that right?

Ken: Well, when we got that Nechako Little League going we got some real good help then because of the coaching and all that. We were never short of coaches. Not many parents would come out and watch the games though.

Jessie: We built it all by hand over there ( Babe Ruth Park).

Ken: They would bitch and complain about things.

INTERVIEWER: But they wouldn't help out?

Jessie: Nope.

Ken: I would say to them well you are welcome to do it all by yourself I don't mind, and that would shut them up.

Jessie: Yeah, that would shut them up for awhile.

INTERVIEWER: Are you guys still really happy here (at Country Acres)?

Ken: Oh yeah.

INTERVIEWER: There seems to be more. Like, did they add a few more on the end there?

Ken: Yep, they finished now. I think he is going to build himself a new house and heís supposed to build a recreation center.

INTERVIEWER: Hmm. I donít know if you have read that or not, but here. No, I haven't read that.

INTERVIEWER: So did you keep in touch with people you knew in Edgerton, Alberta.

Ken: Oh yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Just by writing letters back and forth?

Ken: Yeah, and spoke over the phone every once in a while.

There was no tv, nothing but radio. I think we always had a radio.

INTERVIEWER: Did you get to listen to the radio on a regular basis to find out what was going on?

Ken: Oh, yeah. I forget what year CKPG started.

Jessie: Itís been around a long time.

INTERVIEWER: Was there a particular radio show you listened to?

Ken: Not too much. CKPG was the only going then. Well we used to get Texas radio too.

Jessie: We used to listen to Don Messer quite a bit.

Ken: Anything country we liked. We always had radio pretty well.

Jessie: Yeah. When we went to Bear Lake, we finally got the power in.

Ken: Yeah, we had an electric radio then. That was about 1954.

INTERVIEWER: So did you rent a cabin at Bear Lake?

Ken: No, we bought a house and moved it in there. There was an old cook house at the Hit Sawmill. It was only three or four miles south of Summit Lake. They closed down the sawmill so we bought the cook house and moved it to Bear Lake. People get a giggle out of that. Ross Ewen was there with his son Derrick. He came out and we jacked the house way up and we put it on this low bed. Derrick was driving the truck. We put some front rollers under it. We didn't hurt it when we took it off. It just right slid off the truck.

INTERVIEWER: So how big was the cook house then?

Ken: Well, it would have been probably only 20 by 30 feet. It wasn't very big, but it was built really well. It only had two bedrooms. One for all of the kids to sleep in.

INTERVIEWER: So was that house very warm during the winter?

Ken: Oh yeah. It had a wood stove.

Jessie: I had to can everything because there was no fridge.

INTERVIEWER: Oh. So you had to have a cellar then? Did you have a cellar to put all the canned stuff in to keep it cold?

Jessie: No. It didn't get very warm in those cabins anyway.

INTERVIEWER: Oh yeah, thatís right. You didn't have a problem there.

Ken: We had a root house there up on Old Summit Lake Road. To store extra fruit and vegetables.

INTERVIEWER: What kind of house was it?

Ken: A root house.

INTERVIEWER: So was that above ground?

Ken: Well, no. It was built right into the side of a hill.


Ken: It was built out of concrete blocks.

INTERVIEWER: Did you build that all by yourself?

Ken: Well, no. Me and an old guy and Susan there built it. She mixed the mud for us. She was a good worker. She wouldnít quit.

Susan: Oh, I remember that.

INTERVIEWER: How old was she then?

Ken: She was ten or eleven years old. Yep, she was always teaching me things.

You didn't really hire anybody in them days. You usually got a friend to help you . You didn't have money to pay anybody.

INTERVIEWER: Did you build your house on Old Summit Lake Road?

Ken: No, I think part of it was built and then we got a guy to come in and do the rest. He didn't do a very good job though. I didn't have enough money to get the materials to build. You pretty well had to get a loan.

INTERVIEWER: Jessie, did you make any of your kidís clothes?

Jessie: Yes, all of it just about.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right, eh?

Jessie: Yep.

INTERVIEWER: So you had an old sewing machine. Was it electric?

Jessie: No.

Ken: It was a foot pedal one.

INTERVIEWER: Do you still sew?

Jessie: Not much anymore.

Ken: Sheís got no room here to do anything. She still makes some of her own blouses.

INTERVIEWER: So, who taught you how to sew?

Jessie: No one. I just learned on my own.

INTERVIEWER: You taught yourself? Wow. Iím trying to teach myself, but Iím not getting anywhere. (laughter)

Jessie: Well for Sharon and George when they were little, I had an old long coat and I took it apart and made it into snowsuits.


Jessie: Yes, I have a picture of it somewhere around here.

Ken: Yeah, you made everything you could make, you know.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Did you make quilts and blankets and stuff?

Jessie: Yeah. I just recently stopped making quilts. I used to make them for the (Hart Pioneer)center down there.

Ken: We had our own farm and we used to have a few head of cattle. We used to make our own butter and milk and have our own garden.

INTERVIEWER: At Old Summit Lake Road ?

Ken: Yep.

INTERVIEWER: Wow. So, how many cattle did you have?

Ken: Not many, just a few milk cows.

INTERVIEWER: So then you were busy farming and driving a logging truck?

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Wow, you were pretty busy. And you had seven kids?

Ken: Yes, but then in 1965 I worked for Ocean Cement so I was home most of the time.

It wasn't too bad. Just a few cows. I would drive a tractor to clear the driveway of the snow, and the kids would try to help out. Well we had a pretty long driveway so it was tough to shovel it out.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, is that right eh.

Ken: I had a tractor that had a lever to lift the blower. It took 2 of my kids to lift the blower. I eventually got an electric one, but I remember when it was fifteen or twenty below and blowing snow.

You just think itís cold now.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I know weíre just spoiled.

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So what did you do at Ocean Cement then?

Ken: I was a truck driver.

INTERVIEWER: So did you just have to drive around town?

Ken: Well, for awhile I did quite a bit of highway driving. I used to go all over the interior and to Houston and outside of Quesnel to the south. I did quite a lot of driving.

You know I wrote a letter to the paper. I donít know if you have seen it or not. It was in the Citizen. It was about the prostitutes in town.

INTERVIEWER: No, I didn't see that.

Ken: I told them how to fix the prostitution problem. They should just legalize it.

INTERVIEWER: You know it has been around for so many years, decadesÖ.

Ken: Well, when I come to town they had some houses on Second Avenue. Nobody bothered them. The cops would arrest them once in awhile and charge them a fine, but before you knew it they were back in business again. There wasn't any of this picking up on the street or anything like that.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I know the police have enough on, they have so many other things to take care of

Ken: Well, they werenít bothering nobody. There were no rapes or murders or robberies.

INTERVIEWER: Hmm. Did they publish it?

Ken: Oh yeah, it was in the Citizen.

INTERVIEWER: Thatís great.

Ken: Yeah, I got quite a few compliments.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, thatís good.

Ken: You know Paddy Moran. He was a magistrate, like a judge. Used to fine them around $100 and then send them back home. He used to be a magistrate during the day time and a bootlegger at night.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right?

Ken: Do you remember the Connaught Hotel?


Ken: That was Paddyís place there. It was east of the Canada Hotel on Second there. On Second Avenue, he had the Connaught.His wife had the Corona Hotel right on George Street there. It was a rooming house, supposedly she had prostitutes there, but I couldnít say for sure.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, is that right, eh?

Ken: Yep, it was quite a setup.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, it sounds like it.

Ken: You know, you go downtown say in the afternoon to pick up a box of tools and put them in the back of your truck. Then if you went back say later in the afternoon, nobody would touch anything. You didnít have to lock your doors.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. When you lived out on Old Summit Lake Road, did you have to lock your doors out there?

Ken: No way. Never even had a key to that house.


Ken: There were no cops on every corner because no one was causing any trouble.


Ken: I remember one day, I had had too much to drink I was staggering down the sidewalk. They had Provincial Police back then. And he stopped me and said, "Youíre pretty drunk arenít you sonny?"

And I said, "Yeah, I guess." He said, " How old are you?" I said, " Oh I donít know. Iím twenty-three."

He said, "Do you get this way very often?" I said, "No, about once a year." He said, "Oh. Well, Iíll see you next year then." You see, I was quiet. I wasnít bothering anybody. Just a little tipsy though.(Laughing)

INTERVIEWER: Oh, thatís funny.

Ken: If there was a fight going on, they would call the cops and just stand back. Nobody would use knives or guns. The worse they could do is pound the hell out of each other.


Ken: Things were sure better in those days than it is now.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I know.

Ken: Now you just worry about walking down the street.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah , I know. And you never leave anything unlocked er out and about anymore.

Did you notice when things started changing?

Ken: Yeah, about the time the pulp mills came in.

INTERVIEWER: When the pulp mills came in?

Ken: Well, because there were so many people come in from outside the town then.

INTERVIEWER: When did the pulp mills come into the area, any idea?

Ken: Yeah, they started building about 1965. Yeah, I think it started at James End because there were thousands of workers coming in. They were making lots of money so they had lots of money to spend. When you are a single guy, you tend to be a little wild, especially with lots of money in your pocket.

INTERVIEWER: So what kind of car did you used to drive?

Ken: An old Mercury Ford.

INTERVIEWER: Is that one of yours there?

Ken: No, but I had one like that. That belonged to Johnny Ryer. He was a partner in Barton Insurance. He restored it. Thatís a 1950 Mercury. Mine didn't last.

INTERVIEWER: Was it new when you bought yours?

Ken: Oh yeah. It was brand new.

INTERVIEWER: How come it didn't last?

Ken: Oh, I don't know. My brother rolled it over.

Jessie: He was a wild guy.

INTERVIEWER: Was that in Alberta?

Ken: Oh no, that was out here. I got it from Fred Walls. I am sure I paid $1800 for my brand new pickup and that included finance charges and that was in 1950.

INTERVIEWER: Wow, I wish we could do that now. (laughter)

Wouldn't that be great?

Jessie: Yes, I would have a small Beamer by now.

Ken: Frank Buchanan had a í35 Dodge or a í38 Dodge pickup. I had rolled in to buy that, but they

didn't have one in so I they sold me a í41 Ford pickup. We were always bugging each other whoís got the faster pickup. Well, one day we got to racing going down the highway here. I think I was doing 80 when the hood came up. (laughter) And the brakes werenít very good so it took a long time til I could stop, but I was lucky. It was one of those pointed hoods so I could still see around it.

Frank went right on by me. He kind of won the race, but the Ford was the faster pickup.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, thatís amazing.

Ken: But that was a good pickup. I think there was a heater in it, but no radio. And the spare tire, I think you had to pay extra. And that was the deluxe cab on it too. Yeah, you got nothing extra at all, but I think the heater came with it.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, thatís just like it is now. You donít get a rear bumper, er itís pretty silly.

Ken: Yeah. Well now if you are looking at pickups, youíre looking at $30,000.

Yeah, mine was on old stick shift, 3-speed with a clutch and everything. Yeah it was a nice pickup.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a trap line?

Ken: No, but it seems to me I heard Charlie Colville might be selling his.

You know we led a pretty busy life back then. We were always going off to baseball or softball games. The boys were in the Junior Forest Wardens. And the girls were in the Junior Girls Forest Guard.

And we were always going off camping somewhere, like Camp McGinnis. It was good for them.

INTERVIEWER: Were kids involved in The 4H-Club?

Ken: Nope, but those two grandkids, Heather and Lisa, who just left were.

Jessie: They had sheep and rabbits. They had their sheep in there for 3 years in a row. They worked really hard on them there things. They had to bathe them and everything eh. Brush their teeth, and clean out their ears. Lots of things they had to do.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right,eh?

Jessie: Heather won 2 years in a row.

INTERVIEWER: I think that 4H Club is really neat.

Ken: I think itís quite expensive to get into.

Jessie: I remember once they had to borrow Sandyís motorhome and they camped right there. They had to be in there at five oíclock in the morning to get them ready.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right? My goodness. Did the sheep mind all the fussin?

Jessie: No, I guess not. They make pets out of them.

Ken: Sometimes they get pretty jumpy.

Jessie: They had to teach them how to walk around the pen.

Ken: Didn't they have stand there in certain positions too?

Jessie: Yep.

Ken: Itís good for kids. Kids now a days just go out and get into trouble.

Jessie: Itís awful.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I know.

Ken: Now, both parents are off to work and kids are left to take care of themselves.

INTERVIEWER: Did your kids like living on Old Summit Lake Road South?

Jessie: Yep.

INTERVIEWER: Did you guys have horses?

Ken: Yeah, we had a couple.

Jessie: Thatís a picture of Susan delivering the Citizen on horseback.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right eh? Wow.

Jessie: It was never dull.

Ken: Yeah, we were always doing something. On the weekends, we always tried to go out fishing or camping in a tent somewhere.

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever come across bear?

Ken: Not too often.

Jessie: Weíve never seen any when we were camping.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right eh? Thatís good.

Ken: And at Whiskers Point too. Yeah, we were always doing something.

Jessie: Yeah. Nowadays we take a trailer out there to camp.

Ken: We would take our own kids plus a couple of neighbours.

Jessie: Yep, always somebody.

Jessie: You know when I first came to town, they only had board sidewalks. There was no pavement.

INTERVIEWER: And so the streets were just dirt then?

Jessie: Yep.

Ken: Yeah, they didn't pave them until later.

Jessie: If you worked at a café downtown, you made only $7 a week.

INTERVIEWER: Did you work in a café?

Jessie: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: For how long?

Jessie: All winter.

INTERVIEWER: Did you like that?

Jessie: Yeah, yeah. In them days, yeah.

INTERVIEWER: I was talking to Gladys Thorp the other day. She used to work in a café I think she said.

Ken: Well, I guess she did. Isabel was her mom.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, thatís right. Isabel worked in a café too, cooking.

Ken: Yeah, she was a wonderful cook. She married Cal Perry. They had that café on the Hart Highway.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, the Shamrock Drive-In. Yeah I did a story on that for the newspaper. That was neat because nobody knew anything about this drive-in.

Jessie: Back then the Hart Highway didn't really exist because a lot of the times they didn't come out this way.

Ken: There was a night club too, but you canít find anything about it.

INTERVIEWER: A night club where?

Ken: Right around where the Hart Highway School is now.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, is that right eh?

Ken: Yeah. Right around there. Bertie Simmons built it. I forget what they used to call it now, but it didn't last very long. It didn't pay off. They tore it down or sold it or something. I was working for her ex-husband at the time.

INTERVIEWER: So is this person who built it still around?

Ken: I don't know where she ever went to. Her ex-husband lives in Princeton.

Jessie: I donít know if she died or what.

Ken: I think it was called something to do with the moon. "The Moon Dine and Dance." It was a supper club Iím pretty sure. Then there was a little Texaco Station where Arctic Autobody is now. Lloyd Brown used to run that.

INTERVIEWER: Was that the same guy that was in the Senior Games one year?

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Wasnít he a pool player?

Ken: No, a horseshoe player.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, I remember him, but heís moved now didn't he?

Ken: Yeah thatís right. He moved to Port Alberni, no I mean Qualicum Beach. We saw him down in Sparwood last year in the horseshoes. He got himself a gold medal there. We got a bronze medal.

You know I taught him how to throw shoes. I canít do it anymore because you have to throw too many shoes. He kind of got mouthy one day so I took him outside and showed him how it was done. And he started from there.

INTERVIEWER: Hmm, thatís funny.

Ken: Maurice Blanchette was there too.


INTERVIEWER: Oh, yeah, I remember him. Heís got that dog, doesnít he?

Ken: Yeah. He wasn't much at either and he got interested in it so I started coaching him too. Now heís winning medals.

INTERVIEWER: So how long have you been playing horseshoes then?

Ken: About 25 years now. I canít handle playing in the big tournaments anymore. I get tired. Mostly you gotta throw forty shoes er I mean 40 ends.

INTERVIEWER: How many shoes is an end?

Ken: Two.

INTERVIEWER: So that would be 80 shoes. Wow.

Ken: Now, wait a minute. If you throw 40 shoes or 40 points is a game. You have six games that would be 240 shoes. And you donít get no rest in between. I just canít handle that anymore.

INTERVIEWER: Are you guys still involved in, what were you doing now?

Ken: Carpet bowling?

INTERVIEWER: Yes, thatís the one. Is the Senior Games on this year?

Ken: Well, we went down to them in Sparwood last August. There were 3 of us. We didn't do very good.

Jessie: But itís fun going around to them.

Ken: Yeah, we had a good time. They will be in Kelowna this year.

INTERVIEWER: That will be nice to go there for them if you go. Is it in August every year?

Ken: Yeah, pretty well. I havenít heard yet, but we were working on having them here in 2001. They could have had them here in 2001, but thatís supposed to be a big year in Prince here. Too much going on so they worried they couldn't get enough volunteers because it takes a lot of volunteers. So we put in for 2002. We have good carpet bowling facilities here so we have a pretty good chance.

INTERVIEWER: Has it ever been held here?

Ken: No, not the Senior Games. They had the BC Summer Games here a few years ago.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I remember that.

Jessie: They need RV parks and hotels and lots of rooms.

Ken: Yeah, thatís the hardest part.

INTERVIEWER: Making sure there is room for everybody?

Ken: Yeah.

Jessie: We should see if we have some bed and breakfast places too.

Ken: Yeah, there is about 50 of those in town.

Jessie: Oh, thatís good then. When we went to Port Alberni, we stayed in a private house.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, so you were billeting?

Jessie: Yeah. That was a really nice time there.

INTERVIEWER: The carpet bowling doesn't bother you any?

Ken: No. You only throw two little balls and then sit down again.

INTERVIEWER: And then itís somebody elseís turn?

Ken: Yeah. I won a trophy in a horseshoe tournament this past summer. They were doing it by game and not by shoe. It felt good again to throw them around again.

INTERVIEWER: So, um when did you become in the Hart Pioneer Centre?

Ken: That was right after I retired.

INTERVIEWER: In what year did you retire?

Ken: In 1988. I had lung cancer.

INTERVIEWER: Are you President for two years?

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So is this your second year?

Ken: No this is still my first. We arenít making enough money at our dances.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, thatís what , who was that lady I used to talk to?

Ken: Denise, Denise Chenail.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. She was really upset about the changes in bingo.

Ken: Yeah, she was too, uhhÖ.

INTERVIEWER: She got very emotional about it.

Ken: Yeah, emotional. It donít bother me any.

INTERVIEWER: Well, thatís good. It is a thankless job, I think.

Ken: Yeah. I was trying to find out the population in 1948 or 1950, but nobody seems to know for sure. Iíve always thought around 5000 and I guess I was pretty close. Somebody said around 4800. There used to be a sign on Nechako Hill all the time that had the population. It was there for years.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, I didn't know that because itís not there now is it?

Ken: Oh no, that was way before your time.

INTERVIEWER: You think so.

Ken: Pretty well. It had the summit measurement of 1886 feet. It seems to me that sign said 2500, but Iím not sure.

INTERVIEWER: Hmm, somebody should know.

Ken: I guess if I went to the library I could look it up.

INTERVIEWER: There is some good information at the library. You just have to know where to look. Or ask the right librarian.

Ken: Iíve never really went in there.

INTERVIEWER: They need a bigger library here thatís for sure.

Ken: Even now?


Ken: They have smaller libraries out in the country, though havenít they?

INTERVIEWER: Yeah I think so. They have those little trailers.

Ken: This one here, on the Hart, is a pretty good size building.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, this is fairly new because it used to just be in a small trailer. They moved it in there.

Ken: Yeah thatís right. They were over at Kelly Road before.

INTERVIEWER: Oh thatís right.

Ken: It was a really small building.

INTERVIEWER: Do you have any idea how long the drive-in has been around for?

Ken: Theater? Itís only about 10 years old that one on Chief Lake Road.

INTERVIEWER: The one on Chief Lake Road? Thatís only 10 years old? Is that right eh?

Ken: Itís hard to tell time goes so fast.

Jessie: Maybe not that long, I donít know.

Ken: But see there was two of them: The Startime, and The Moonlight in town. Do you know where Hill Avenue is?


Ken: Well you go down Fifth Avenue past Tabor in that area. Down in that area The Moonlight was.

INTERVIEWER: Was it a drive-in or ah?

Ken: Oh yeah, it was a drive-in. The Startime was out at the foot of Peden Hill.

Jessie: I think so, yep.

Ken: It was just off Pedersen coming in off the highway there.

INTERVIEWER: Oh yeah I know where you mean.

Ken: It was there for years and years. But the Moonlight I think it got shut down because there was too much noise at night.

INTERVIEWER: Because it was right in the residential ?

Ken: No, it was nowhere close.

INTERVIEWER: Well then, who was complaining about the noise?

Ken: Well, I think they wanted to build residential so they had to think up some excuse to get it out of there.

INTERVIEWER: Okay that makes sense.

Ken: Yeah we used to take the kids there. Sandy she was just a kid, sheíd get her popcorn and her drink and then kind of curl up in the back seat and go right to sleep. (laughter)

INTERVIEWER: I don't know if parents are too busy now or theyíre too tired because they are both working.

Ken: Living too fast. Itís so hard to make a living.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah it is.

Ken: I would go off to work and Jessie would stay home and take care of the kids. I think thatís whatís wrong with our country. Nobody is staying home to raise the kids and that. It would be a lot better if they did.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I think so. I think you would have a lot less unruly kids.

Ken: Yeah. There was always something to do you know like taking the kids to see a ball game. Nowadays, kids are left on their own and they got nothing to do.

Jessie: And thatís when they get into trouble.

Ken: They complain thereís not enough facilities in town, but nobody is teaching their kids how to amuse themselves.

INTERVIEWER: Thatís right.

Ken: You got to do that. You got to make your own entertainment.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, you do. And itís a pretty good city with the amount of facilities that we do have.

Ken: Oh yeah, itís a great city. Well, look at those soccer fields that we got now.

INTERVIEWER: And now they are thinking of building a skateboard park.

Jessie: Yeah.

Ken: Some people don't stop. They think they could use the money for something else. They overprice everything so damn bad in this town. I just canít see how it could cost that much to level the damn field and put some pavement in. Like that bowling, what do you call it?

Jessie: Lawn bowling?

Ken: Yeah, it cost some $100, 000 and some odd dollars to build that. Why?

INTERVIEWER: I don't know.

Ken: That used to be where the old swimming pool down there.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right?

Ken: Yeah. It was an outdoor pool. So they didn't have that much to do in order to level it off. They nailed some $100,000 to build that. Connie Buchanan was President of that. I don't know if she still is.

Jessie: I wonder how often they use it.

Ken: Well, they used it a lot during the summer. I think its $150 for a membership and you can only play about three months. Sheíd be another one to talk to, Connie Buchanan.

INTERVIEWER: Is she related to Art Buchanan?

Ken: She was married to his brother. Did you meet Art?

INTERVIEWER: No, I talked to him a few times on the phone.

Ken: He helped me with that map.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, thatís what he was saying.

Ken: Yeah, he just lives on Greenwood here. Heís quite a guy to talk to. His dad used to run that store at Summit Lake.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, Buckís Store. There are quite a few people I would like to talk to.

Ken: Yeah, Van Somerís mind is pretty good yet. Heís about 86 now.

INTERVIEWER: So did you guys know any prospectors?

Ken: "Hamburger Joe."

INTERVIEWER: "Hamburger Joe?" Why did you call him that?

Ken: Well, his name was Joe Burganheimer so we called him ĎHamburger.í

Jessie: Yeah, it was easier. (laughing) Not quite as long.

Ken: He was a German fellow. He had a trap line and he was way in on the line there. He froze his foot. He got gangrene in his toes and he took a hammer and a knife and cut his toes off. I asked him how in the hell could he do that?

Jessie: There was no way he could get out.

Ken: Well, he says, you either do that or die of gangrene. I guess he had a bottle of rum and he drank that and it didn't matter. He was quite a guy. He lived all by himself. He died just a few years ago.

Ken: Yeah, George Myers and Sam Anderson. They were kind of trappers. Karl New had a trap line too.

Jessie: Sam Anderson didn't prospect. He was just a trapper. Heís my brother-in-law.

INTERVIEWER: Did your neighbours help you out when you were out at Summit Lake?

Ken: No, it was the other way around. We helped them.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right, eh?

Hey do you know, is there a Sam Parks living in here now?

Ken: Who?


Ken: Could be, I don't know everyone here.

INTERVIEWER: Because he was the guy who moved into the Shamrock Drive-In. Like when Cal and Isabelle moved, they moved to Telachuck Road or something. They sold the Shamrock Drive-In to this Sam Parks. Then Sam added on something to the drive-in to make it more of a house instead of a drive-in. He lived there for quite a few years until about 2 years ago and I think he said he was moving up here. And he gave the house to his daughter or son or something. Yeah, he remembered the drive-in.

Ken: They had a nice rancher on Telachuck Road

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I think it burnt down though.

Ken: Well maybe after they left.

INTERVIEWER: Or a flood. It was either a flood or a fire that they had to move again after that.

Ken: There used to be a little store there where you turn off the road at Telachuck.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I have heard that. I think Gladys told me about that. I canít believe what happened to Bednesti, eh? That has been there a long time, hasnít it?

Jessie: Over 50 years they said.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, I had pancakes there one morning. Oh, they were so good and they were huge.


Ken: Yeah, thatís where they made the biggest pancake in B.C..

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I heard about that. Yeah, I just canít believe that.

Ken: Frenchies had the biggest beef steak and Bednesti had the biggest pancake.

It used to be down where the Mohawk is now. I think he was the first café there. And then McIntyres added a store.

INTERVIEWER: So would you guys come into town at all when you lived out at Summit Lake on a regular basis?

Jessie: Yeah, just to go shopping.

Ken: Yeah, pretty well every week. I think we were still working till Saturday noon at that time, at least part of the week anyway. We used to work a 44 hour week.

INTERVIEWER: This was a dirt road here, the highway was when you were coming in?

Ken: Oh yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So which bridge was here then?

Ken: Just the Nechako, the old wooden bridge, past Nechako.

INTERVIEWER: Like do you mean the Cameron Street Bridge?

Ken: Yeah. The other one (John Hart) wasn't there.

INTERVIEWER: Right, that one is newer isnít it?

Ken: Yep. Oh yeah. They built it around 1966 or 1967.

Yeah, you know two trucks could pass on that old wooden bridge.


Ken: Oh yeah. Only when the changes they made, those guard rails along the bottom there. Once they put that in, you couldn't do it anymore. Two trucks got stuck in there once. They were dumb. They used to haul the lumber. We all had 3 ton flat decks back then. You put the lumber and tie it on with chains to bind it. You had to put that cinch on top, but two guys didn't. They put it on the sides once and got stuck in there.

INTERVIEWER: Oh no. So what did they do? Did they have to back up?

Ken: I forget how they did it.

INTERVIEWER: Did one have to jump in the river? (laughter)

Ken: No, they got out of it alright.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, Iíve never heard of that happening before.

Jessie: Itís scary.


Ken: Bobby Sindia got stuck on the Parsnip Bridge with a load of logs.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, is that right eh?

Ken: Yeah, he had to let the air out of his tires to drive out of there. (laughter)

INTERVIEWER: Who was that who did that?

Ken: Bobby Sindia.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, that is amazing.

Ken: Crazy, huh?


Ken: Well, heís a millionaire now.

INTERVIEWER: Did you know this Jack Boudreau who wrote Crazy Manís Creek ?

Ken: I have read it. I got the book for Christmas. I knew his brother, Joe. It was a good book. I really enjoyed it. I knew some of the guys in it.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, did you ?

Ken: Yeah. It was quite the times in those days. Everybody helped everybody out. If somebody was stopped by the side of the road, you never drove by. You stopped and helped them. You never see that now.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, now you are too afraid to.

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Did you go to the hospital to have your kids?

Jessie: Hmm. Yep.

INTERVIEWER: Did you go like a month before your due date sort of thing, er?

Jessie: No, not really.

INTERVIEWER: Or did you just go into labour and say, "Ken take me now!"

Jessie: Yep. (laughter)

Ken: Yeah, I was usually there. I think she just stayed there if I wasn't there.

Jessie: I stayed with Helen when you werenít there when you went to Alberta that time. That was before George was born.

INTERVIEWER: You stayed with a neighbour, er?

Jessie: My sister.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, your sister. Oh yeah.

So did you stay at the hospital for like a week after the kids were born?

Jessie: Yep. I would normally be in for seven days or something like that I think.

Now they let you out the next day.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah I know. The sooner, the better they think now.

Ken: George was somewhere in the Big Muddy down on the trap line all by himself one summer. I guess he was out cooking his food and he got a lot of gas in his stomach. He kept a diary. He made this machine to puncture his stomach to let the air out.

Jessie: He probably would have killed himself. (laughing)

Ken: They said it was quite the contraption. Somebody seen him, but her wrote and said the skin on a manís stomach is a lot tougher than he thinks it is. I guess he couldn't puncture himself. I think that if he would have punctured himself he would have killed himself.

Jessie: He had to come through the Kylie to get to Fort Ware.

INTERVIEWER: He had to come through what?

Jessie: Where was he?

Ken: Well, he was up in the Big Muddy.

Jessie: Where the heck was that?

Ken: Thatís up near Fort St. James.

Jessie: Oh, Fort St. James. I know he was up in the Pelly Country for a long time too.

Ken: Well, that could be too. I thought he went somewhere else..

Jessie: On Manson Creek? Yeah, maybe he went there with Johnny Neilson. Yeah, it was Manson Creek.

Ken: Yeah I guess so. Ludwig, he never went to school or nothing. He wasn't very bright. Johnny was out looking at the trap line. He was a real joker. He didn't feel good one day and he come out looking like a ghost. He said he caught a chicken. No he didn't say that. He said he had shot an owl and it took a while. And then Ludwig said "Johnny whatís for supper tonight?" Johnny said, "I was lucky I went out and got a chicken today." He cooked that up nicely. He said, "Johnny, you know the bones look awful big in this bird for a chicken." Johnny said, "Well if you think the bones are big, you ought to have seen the eyes." (laughter)

INTERVIEWER: Oh, thatís funny.

Ken: Those were the stories they were telling us. They had to do something to amuse them I guess.

INTERVIEWER: Was Buckís Store, did it move?

Ken: No.

INTERVIEWER: Because itís at number 14 and then 26 and 27 on this map.

Ken: Oh, yeah thatís right. He built it up by the highway later on.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, later on. I wondered.

Ken: Actually, to start it was right by the lake at 26 er something. Then they moved it up by the road, and then later, he built one up by the highway. Then he sold out to Sullivan. You have heard of Wayne Sullivan?


Did your kids come into town for high school?

Ken: At Kelly Road. They had a bus there.

INTERVIEWER: I guess Kelly Road must be pretty old then?

Ken: Oh yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Shirley Gratton was telling me that one of the high school principals committed suicide.

Jessie: Which one?

INTERVIEWER: Apparently, he drove out to Chief Lake Road and shot himself.

Jessie: For goodness sakes.

INTERVIEWER: Was it Swanson? No, it canít be Swanson.

Ken: Do you remember it was out by Hoodoo Lake.

Jessie: Yeah. Holy cow. Gee thatís terrible.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. So was the Hart Mall here?

Jessie: Oh heck no.

Ken: That wasnít built til the 1980ís.

INTERVIEWER: Oh is that right?

Ken: Yeah. Spruceland, they didn't build it until the late sixties. When I was with Ocean, they helped build that too. A lot of concrete out there.

Jessie: The only store on the Hart Highway was Jimís Better Buydown by the Hart Highway School for a long time.

Ken: Out here on Thompson across from Shirleyís trailer they had one too. The one Arm Thompson.

Jessie: The one with produce, the one right across the road from her?

Ken: Yeah.

Jessie: Yeah.

Ken: He wasn't even there to start with.

Jessie: The Royal Produce was there for quite a while.

Ken: Where that little store is now?

Jessie: Yep.

Ken: But he wasn't there in the early days. Not the one on Thompson.

Jessie: Well, who was working in that produce store where the kids used to go for their little bit of licorice? Who the heck was that?

Ken: I don't know.

Jessie: Boy, she was a real grouch. (laughing)

Ken: Well, maybe it was the McGandys.

Jessie: No, they were nice. The McGandys. No, no this was over here, across the road.

Ken: I know. I donít know.

Jessie: That produce store has been there quite a while. After they built the Hart Highway.

Ken: Yeah, but I don't think it was there when Thompson was built. Iím not sure.

INTERVIEWER: Whereabouts was Royal Produce?

Ken: Where that little store is now.

INTERVIEWER: Where the PGI Foods is now?

Jessie: Yeah, the same store. We use to drop in there all of the time.

Ken: Yeah, he used to have them all over the country.

INTERVIEWER: Oh did he? Oh yeah.

Jessie: The kids used to sell their tarts and go buy ice cream.

Ken: Well, there was an Esslinger Motors was here where the Burger King is now.

There was a café at the top of the hill there. Somewhere where the Turbo is now.

Jessie: They called it The Lucky Star

Ken: Yeah. They decided they were going to make it into a cat house. Well, they were going to have girls on the side. Didn't last too long. I guess somebody squealed on them. (laughing)

Jessie: The Lucky something.

Ken: The Lucky Three.

INTERVIEWER: Itís amazing what people do, eh?

Ken: Yeah.

Jessie: I used to shop at Jimís Better Buy all the time.

Ken: You see like in Prince there, when I came to town West End Motors was there at the corner of Third and Victoria.


Ken: Where The Dollar Store is now?


Ken: Right across from there was a Dunlop Tire Shop and it was run by Frank Hewlitt and Jim Slesinger.

INTERVIEWER: The same Frank from Hewlitt Tires of today?

Ken: Yes, but I don't think Frank was in on it to start with.

And on the other corner, where the Permanent is now, the office tower, was Prince George Electric. It was on the southeast corner. And The London hotel on Third Avenue is still going.

Jessie: Itís right beside that Peopleís Drug Store. Itís funny that hotel is still there. You think they would rip it down and put something else there.

Ken: Itís just a rooming house.

Jessie: Yep. It was. Yep.

Ken: There was a Royal Produce and Silver Spike Café. There was a vacant lot there somewhere too.

Jessie: The Silver Spike was right on Main Street there and the Royal Produce was right next door.

Jessie: Royal Apartments is where that bank is.

Ken: The Royal Bank was still, was there then.

Jessie: No.

Ken: Youíre thinking of the Imperial Bank.

Jessie: Yeah. You think so.

Ken: Victoria Street then, well Vancouver Street was the edge of the town. Thatís why they called it West End Motors Ďcause it was the west side of town.

Do you remember where that professional building is on Third? Just past Vancouver Street there.


Ken: My brother had a little accident there. A truck and his car locked. He called the cops and the cops couldn't even come because it wasn't even in the city. (laughing) Actually it was, but that was the excuse they used.

INTERVIEWER: Oh no, really.

Ken: But that was the edge of the city. There was nothing til you got up to Central and there were a few houses there.

INTERVIEWER: Just all trees?

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, thatís hard to imagine.

Ken: Yeah, it is now. The old power plant was down on First Avenue. They just wrecked that place.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, I know that ugly looking building there that was just sitting there?

Ken: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Oh yeah, I know. Is that what it was?

Ken: Hmmm.

INTERVIEWER: Is that right? Wow.

Ken: They had another one up, I believe somewhere around McCloud Eatery is now. It was one the army had scuffled off in the jack pines there. Her brother-in-law used to run that one. The other one was pretty much just a backup one, the one down on First there.

Yeah, it was a different city then than it is now, isnít it?


Ken: There was nobody west of the bypass. That was all woods. You could go and pick wild blueberries and flowers. I think that Central is there Ďcause Tawsacks their farm was at the bottom of Central.

Jessie: No, that was all bush then Ďcause remember Pete Larsen and them lived up there.

Ken: Thatís right, yeah.

Jessie: In the jack pine.

Ken: Yeah, it was Pete that ran that power plant too.

Jessie: Yep. Yeah, they had like little driveways, just for something they could trail.

Ken: Yeah it was a road for them.

Jessie: It was in the bush.

INTERVIEWER: Exhibition Park, was that around?

Ken: Yeah, it had to have been Ďcause they started that in something like 1912.

Jessie: Yeah, but I think it was somewhere downtown then. It wasn't way up there.

Ken: It could have started there. It was pretty well up there. It was there for awhile. Iím not sure when they went there.

Jessie: Iím gonna ask Bob Guest when I see him next time. He bowls Wednesday. He would know.

Ken: I remember we used to have the circus come in on a great big lot. There next to Calís Service Station there, where the Friendship Centre used to be.

Jessie: Yep thatís where they used to have the circus. I remember riding the ferris wheel the first time they brought it. I screamed. Oh how I wanted to get off it, but they can't stop it until the music ends.

Ken: Up on Victoria Street, we used to play ball there. Kind of where that travel bureau is now. Ed Paschal had a little store, Paschalís, on Vancouver Street, some place there. Then Oscar Nordin had little cabins you could rent there, close to where the Redwood Square is now. He was a Norwegian fellow. But there was nothing there really.

Jessie: Nothing past that.

Ken: No businesses much there yet. They didn't build the Parkwood Shopping Centre until the sixties Ďcause I helped deliver the concrete for it.


Ken: Yeah.

There was a doctor who built a ranch up on Cranbrook Hill there. I don't know how many loads of concrete that went into that barn , but it sure was a lot. It was muddy and raining. Back then that road wasn't paved to get up there. Oh, it was a terrible job. We had to use a loader because the trucks couldn't get in because it was too muddy.