Posts tagged #Columbia River

Robert Ayre Blackmore

Riverboat captain, Robert Blackmore, date unknown.

Riverboat captain, Robert Blackmore, date unknown.

Dates: b. England 1867 d. 17 September 1944

Cemetery Location: Block A, Row 14, Plot 14


English-born Robert H. Blackmore spent most of his life in the Big Bend country. He was a river guide on the Columbia River for 50 years.

In the early years, the Columbia was an important transport route for fur traders, but with the arrival of the railways, the use of the river for this purpose declined. Bob Blackmore, however, kept the route alive for timber cruisers, hunters and prospectors, guiding them through the treacherous waters of the Big Bend.

Tragically, in September 1944, the veteran voyager went missing, presumed drowned, on the Columbia River; his boat was recovered 16 kilometers south of Revelstoke. His friends believe he stumbled when making a landing somewhere along the river and lost his balance, falling into the water.

Robert Blackmore, Walter Nelson and unknown woman booming logs, Big Eddy, 1920. 

Robert Blackmore, Walter Nelson and unknown woman booming logs, Big Eddy, 1920. 

James & Marjory Cleland


James Cleland: b. Torfechan, Scotland, 13 July 1880 d. 19 February 1920

Marjory Cleland: b. 1906 d. 27 June 1920

Cemetery Location:

James Cleland: Block F, Row 15, Plot 28

Marjory Cleland: Block F, Row 15, Plot 29


James “Scotty” Cleland was born in Torfechan, Scotland, on 13 July 1880. He joined the Edinburgh police in May 1900, where he served for seven years before immigrating to Canada in 1907. After a short period in Montreal, James moved west to Revelstoke in 1909, where he was employed by the local police force and promoted to Chief of Police in 1916. During his career, James suffered a gunshot wound while arresting a man attempting to rob the Dominion Express Office.

James died at the age of 39 in 1920, following complications from the flu. His funeral was well attended, many citizens lining the sidewalks on Second Street to say goodbye. He left behind a wife and four children: Malcolm, Marjory, Ina and James.

Tragically the same year, James’s 14 year-old daughter, Marjory Cleland, was drowned when her boat capsized on the Columbia River on the 27 June 1920. Three other young people from Revelstoke, aged 18 to 21 years, also lost their lives in the accident. Two months later, on 26 August 1920, the Cleland family home was burnt to the ground, allegedly caused by faulty electrical wiring in the front of the house. Only a few valuable papers and a pet canary were saved from the fire.