Posts tagged #farming

Daniel Robert Campbell

Dates: b. Ontario, 1861, d. 1936

Cemetery Location: Block E, Row 1, Plot 61


Daniel and Margaret Campbell (nee McQuat) came to British Columbia in 1889, settling first in Beavermouth, where Dan worked for the local sawmill. In 1904, Dan, Maggie and their five children: Arthur, Percy, Leslie, Gladys and Gordon, moved to Revelstoke, settling at first in the Big Eddy.

In 1907, Dan purchased 51 acres east of Revelstoke on a bench overlooking the town. He built a homestead and barns, and established a small mixed farm with dairy cows, pigs, fruits and vegetables. By 1920, Daniel and sons Arthur and Leslie realized the potential for a dairy in Revelstoke. Their business, the Hillcrest Dairy, supplied the city with milk until around 1960.

After Dan’s death in 1936, Arthur and Leslie became partners in the business, which they expanded through the purchase of adjoining properties. By 1954, the farm (primarily all dairying at this point) had grown to 365 acres.

When the Trans-Canada Highway, which opened in 1962, bisected the property, it was no longer profitable to run the dairy business, and it was sold. (Parts of the property were sold for the Johnson Heights and KOA developments.) Hillcrest Hotel sits on land once owned by the Campbell family.

Mrs. Margaret Campbell and family, c. 1898.   

Mrs. Margaret Campbell and family, c. 1898.


Julius Cashato

Dates: b. Italy, 1873, d. Vancouver, 1949

Cemetery Location: Block J, Row 18, Plot 14


One of Revelstoke’s earliest Italian residents, Julius Cashato arrived in the city in 1893, via the United States. When he first arrived he worked in the Julian Shingle Mill, just south of Revelstoke. Five years later, he married Sophie Julian, daughter of the mill owner.

Mr. and Mrs. Cashato farmed at Mount Begbie for many years. They had three daughters: Jean, Anne and Oliffe.

In the days when travel was more difficult than today, visits to the Cashato farm were an event. The pioneer couple kept ‘open house’ and entertained generously.

Local citizens recalled the famous barbecue the family hosted to honor the late W. H. Sutherland, former Minister of Public Works. Several hundred people attended the banquet, typical of the Cashato’s hospitality.

According to his obituary, Julius was well known for his “cheerful personality–even in the face of insurmountable difficulties, he was serene, happy and good natured.”

He died at the age of 76 at Vancouver Hospital, after suffering from ill health for several months.

Henry Colbeck

SS Revelstoke at Downie Creek, 1905.

SS Revelstoke at Downie Creek, 1905.

Dates: b. England, 1869 d. Revelstoke, August 1949

Cemetery Location: Block A, Row 14, Plot 16


One of Revelstoke’s earliest pioneers, Henry Colbeck came to the Okanagan from England in 1889, and based himself in Kelowna at a time when it was little more than a steamboat call. He found employment on the first steamboat to ply Okanagan Lake, later joining the crew on steamer ‘Penticton’, and then the ‘Aberdeen’ in 1892.

Henry’s work took him to all the inland lakes and rivers servicing the Canadian Pacific Railway, including Arrow Lakes and the Columbia River.

He worked as chief engineer on the ‘SS Revelstoke’, which operated north and south of Revelstoke from 1902 until 1914.  The Revelstoke Navigation Company built the steamboat in Nakusp to restore navigation to the Big Bend country. The rugged little boat had a freight capacity of 40 tons and was licensed to carry 10 passengers.

When he retired, Henry and his wife acquired farmland on the Big Bend Highway, just north of Revelstoke. He died at the age of 80, in August 1949.

Samuel Crowle

One of Revelstoke's earliest farmers, Sam Crowle, date unknown.

One of Revelstoke's earliest farmers, Sam Crowle, date unknown.

Dates: b. Cornwall, England, 16 December 1861 d. 1943

Cemetery Location: Block B, Row 2, Plot 10


Samuel David Crowle was the first settler south of Revelstoke in the Mount Begbie area. He came to Canada in 1883 to work on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway before settling in Revelstoke in 1885. 

Acquiring farming land three miles south of Revelstoke (today the site of Revelstoke airport), Samuel supplied many of Revelstoke’s hotels with produce. Prior to the construction of the Revelstoke Arrowhead branch line in 1894, there was no bridge across the Illecillewaet River and Samuel had to ferry his produce and supplies by boat.

Sam was also involved in the early mining days in the Big Bend area, operating a pack train from Revelstoke north for three years, before selling the operation to George Laforme.

After his death in 1943 at the age of 82, the ownership of his property was passed on to his nephew, David Crowle.

Thomas & Alice Griffiths

Alice Griffiths, November 1962.

Alice Griffiths, November 1962.


Thomas Griffiths: b.1877 d. 14 March 1964

Alice Griffiths: b.1884 d. 16 October 1980

Cemetery Location:

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.

Griffith family farm, Big Eddy, Revelstoke.

Griffith family farm, Big Eddy, Revelstoke.

Frank Julian (Juliano)

Dates: b. Italy, 1952 d. Revelstoke, 21 September 1910

Cemetery location: Block H, Row 31, Plot 29


Frank Julian was born Francesco Juliano in Italy. The family came to Revelstoke in 1894, settling on a farm on the lower loop road just south of town. In 1904, they built and moved into a home at 411 Second Street East. Before coming to Revelstoke, Julian had lived in Chicago and San Francisco. It was believed that he had crossed the “Black Hand” at some point.

In July 1909, Julian’s son-in-law, Frank Orsetti, was the victim of a stabbing outside the Julian home. The assailants were caught and sent to prison.

The following year in September 1910, Frank was clearing his farmland near the Illecillewaet River when he met up with three Italian transients who agreed to help him for board and pay. He left the house on Second Street on 21 September 1910, telling his family he would be back that evening. The next day he had not returned, and his family contacted the police, who sent out a search party. Louis Cashato discovered Frank’s body, covered with brush near his clearing.

Julian had been attacked from behind with one of his own axes, receiving a deep gash in the head and another across the throat. His forehead had been marked with a black cross, which could not be removed. This was believed to be the mark of the Black Hand. A piece of his skin was sent to Ottawa for identification, and it was determined only that it was a corrosive substance.

The murder was never solved. The three men who planned to work for him were found and cleared.

George Laforme

George Laforme, c.1940.

George Laforme, c.1940.

Dates: b. 1861 d. 30 December 1939

Cemetery Location: Block C, Row 8, Plot 35


A key figure in the early mining days of Revelstoke, George Laforme left his home in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, to follow the Canadian Pacific Railway construction westward.

In May 1885 he arrived in Revelstoke and began prospecting, establishing his famous pack train business in 1889, which provided supplies to miners and trappers in the Big Bend area for 16 years.

A disastrous trip in November 1896 – which cost him $1,500 and the lives of 27 pack animals in treacherous weather conditions – was legendary. On another occasion, 24 mules and 11 horses had to be put down to prevent the animals – stranded in deep snow and ice – from starvation.

George acquired his well-known farm near the Revelstoke Golf Course around 1896, growing cherries and strawberries for the prairie and local markets.

At the time of his death in 1939, aged 78, George left behind his wife, Gertie, and son, George.

George Laforme's pack train on Front Street.

George Laforme's pack train on Front Street.

Thomas & Mary Lewis


Thomas Lewis: b. 1846 d. 29 October 1917

Mary Lewis: b. 1843 d. July 1918

Cemetery Location:

Thomas Lewis: Block C, Row 12, Plot 27

Mary Lewis: Block C, Row 12, Plot 26


Thomas Lewis and his wife, Mary (Davis), immigrated to Canada from Shropshire, England, settling in Revelstoke in 1890. Thomas was a blacksmith for the Canadian Pacific Railway and they were both members of the Presbyterian Church, where Thomas served on the board in 1905.  The Lewis’s had seven children: Thomas, Frank, Herbert, Robert, Charles, Henry, Edith and Margaret.

Thomas A. Lewis Junior, born 22 August 1874, was a rancher and dairy farmer and purchased an express and draying business from J. Henderson in 1907, which he named Revelstoke Cartage Co. He was killed in France on 21 August 1917, at the age of 42; the oldest World War I recruit from Revelstoke to die in service.

Frank Bernard Lewis, born 5 October 1876, became a prominent Revelstoke businessman, operating a general merchandise business in Revelstoke until 1900, and then switching to insurance, real estate and the mining business.

Marino Family


Frank Marino: b. Italy, 7 June 1860 d. 5 March 1937

Anna (Annie) Marino: b. 23 April 1878 d. 28 October 1927

Joseph Marino: b. 1893 d. 1 Jan 1944

Cemetery Location:

Frank Marino: Block J, Row 28, Plot 17

Anna (Annie) Marino: Block J, Row 28, Plot 16

Joseph Marino: Block B, Row 14, Plot 19


Frank Marino and his brother, Piedro, were among the first Italians to settle in Revelstoke, immigrating to the west coast of British Columbia in the early 1880s to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway. After the death of his first wife, Frank brought his young son, Joseph, to Revelstoke, where they lived with Piedro and his wife, Vischensa.

Frank married his second wife Anna (Annie) Theresa Sanseverino in St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church on 18 October 1903, and they had ten children: two boys, five girls and three babies who died in infancy.

In 1905, the couple purchased 169 acres of land northeast of the old city hydro dam (on the site of the current K.O.A campground) and built a large family home.

The family was largely self-sufficient, with cows, goats and chickens. However, during the winter months when they were snowed in, the children were unable to attend school. When Vischensa died in 1924, and Piedro in 1925, leaving their home to Frank, the family could move closer to town in the winter. After the death of Frank in 1937 (at the age of 76) the farm was left vacant.

Joseph Marino was a veteran of two world wars, serving with the Royal Canadian Artillery in World War II. He was discharged from the service on account of his age in 1939. On 1 January 1944, at the age of 53, he and three others drowned in a tragic accident – their car plunging over the end of a ferry in Victoria, B.C.

Charlie Sing

Charlie Sing, 1942.

Charlie Sing, 1942.

Dates: b. China, 29 January 1885 d. Vancouver, 18 October 1954

Cemetery Location: Block G, Row 4, Plot 14


Prior to the Three Valley mill fire in 1913, Charlie Sing (Low Wai Jing) supplied fresh produce to the villagers from his Chinese market garden located half way around the lake, 21 kilometers west of Revelstoke.

In 1913, Charlie moved to Revelstoke and took over the Fraser farm on Powerhouse Road, living in one of the small buildings on the property.

Everyone knew Charlie. Every week, spring, summer and fall, he drove his horse and cart through the back lanes of town selling fresh produce. When school was out he often had children tagging along for a ride (he would always carry candies for the children along his route.)

At Christmas, Charlie would give a brightly embroidered Chinese silk handkerchief and a lily bulb to his female customers, and when a family member suffered from illness, Charlie would leave a gift of fruit or vegetables at their door.

For a while, after the Japanese invasion of China, Charlie lost track of his wife and family. At one point his teenage son, Bing, came from China to join him in Revelstoke, but he did not like farm work and eventually moved to Vancouver.

When Charlie’s health deteriorated, he was transferred from Queen Victoria Hospital to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, where he died on 18 October 1954.

Charlie Sing with children, date unknown.

Charlie Sing with children, date unknown.