Thomas Griffiths: b.1877 d. 14 March 1964
Alice Griffiths: b.1884 d. 16 October 1980
Thomas Griffiths: Block F, Row 1, Plot 42
Alice Mary Griffiths: Block F, Row 1, Plot 41
Thomas and Alice Griffiths were born in England in the late 1800s. Tom spent his youth in Australia and New Zealand, and after serving in the Boer War, returned to England, where he married Alice. The couple immigrated to Canada with their baby daughter, Esther, in 1906.
Initially the family settled north of Winnipeg in Strathclair, where they endured a record- breaking cold winter. The Griffiths then moved to Calgary, where Tom was employed at P. Burns and Company, and in 1907 he was transferred to Revelstoke. The day after the family arrived in Revelstoke, Alice recalled waking up to a beautiful April morning, and said to her husband:
“Oh look at that lovely mountain. Oh isn’t it lovely? It must be heaven, let’s stay!”
After living several years in town, the Griffiths purchased two and a half acres of forested land at ‘Three-mile Crossing’, west of Revelstoke (The Big Eddy) and the family lived in a tent that summer while their house was built.
Life for the early settlers of the Big Eddy district was tough. In the early days the area was only accessible via the railway bridge over the Columbia River, and until the traffic bridge was opened in 1910, the walk over the railway bridge to Revelstoke was, in Alice’s words, “very frightening”.
By 1911, the Griffiths had four children and finding their house too small, bought a further five acres where they built a larger home. Tom worked at the rock quarry while they developed their land into a productive farm with vegetables, horses, cows and pigs.
In the early 1920s, Tom purchased 15 acres of land on the Columbia River, east of Griffiths Road. He built a large log cabin (‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’), where the Griffiths hosted parties and visiting family.
In 1930s and early ‘40s, the Griffiths operated the experimental station of the Department of Agriculture on their land. Every summer they hosted a field day to inspect the results of the harvest, and the event was attended by agriculturalists from all over Canada.
Tom and Alice had six children: three daughters and four sons. Tom died in Vancouver in 1964 at the age of 86, and Alice in Revelstoke in 1980, at the age of 96.