Posts tagged #mining

Thomas W. Bain

Dates:  b.1855 d. 2 April 1921

Cemetery Location: Block F, Row 15, Plot 19

Profile:

Originally from Lanark County, Ontario, Thomas Wilbert Bain moved to Illecillewaet, British Columbia, in April 1885. After founding Thomas Bain Mining Co., he established the Laurie Mines at Illecillewaet and the Dunvegan Mines south of Flat Creek.

On 9 Jan 1889, Thomas married Mary McRae in Ottawa and they lived together at the mining camp at Illecillewaet until 1890, when they acquired farming land along the Fraser River, near Dewney, B.C.  The couple had three daughters: Mrs. Nellie MacDonald, Mrs. Tessie Barton and Mrs. Alice “Allie” Paterson.

The Bains farmed at Dewney until they lost everything in the flood of 1894; moving back to Revelstoke where Tom would prospect for the next five years. When Revelstoke was incorporated in 1899, Tom became the city’s first chief of police.  He retired from the force in 1910 and became jail warden until his death in 1921, aged 66.

Thomas was prominent in Masonic circles. He was a past master of Kootenay Lodge, past principal of the Revelstoke Chapter, Revelstoke Arch Masons and Knights Templar. He was also a past grand master of Selkirk Lodge IOOF and a member of Gold Range Lodge, Knights of Pythias.

On the day of his funeral, the city hall flag flew at half-mast, the fire hall bell tolled for 20 minutes and businesses closed for an hour – a fitting tribute to one of Revelstoke’s earliest pioneers.

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

Profile:

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.

Andrew Kitson

Andy Kitson at Birch Creek Lodge, September 1938.

Andy Kitson at Birch Creek Lodge, September 1938.

Dates: b. Belfast, Ireland, 20 May 1877 d. 2 April 1955

Cemetery Location: Block G, Row 3, Plot 22

 Profile:

Irish-born Andrew (Andy) Kitson arrived in Revelstoke in 1903, where he became one of the area’s most renowned prospectors, venturing up and down the Columbia River to mines up the Big Bend. The writer Lewis Freeman described him in his book, Down the Columbia, as:

“a big Husky North-of-Irelander,” who was “deliberate and sparing of speech most of the time, but with a fine reserve vocabulary for emergency use.”

Andy worked for Ed Bradley on his prospecting claims at French Creek and took part in the construction of the Big Bend and Standard Basin trails. Later, he prospected at Standard Basin and then Carnes Creek in partnership with Elijah McBean, and between 1911 and 1919 took over the operation of the pack train in the Big Bend from George Laforme, in partnership with Jim Shields.

Andy continued working his Carnes Creek claims for many years, and died at the age of 78 in Kamloops, on 2 April 1955.

Andy Kitson's pack horses on Victoria Road, Revelstoke.

Andy Kitson's pack horses on Victoria Road, Revelstoke.

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

Profile:

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

Dates:

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

Profiles:

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.

Elijah McBean

Elijah McBean, 1920.

Elijah McBean, 1920.

Dates: b. New Brunswick, 1857 d. 24 August 1929

Cemetery Location: Block F, Row 1, Plot 35

Profile:

Originally from New Brunswick, well-known miner Elijah McBean came to the Big Bend around 1894, after purchasing a claim in the area. He also had a mining property on Downie Creek.

In 1912, Elijah, Alex McRae and Andy Kitson staked three timber berths at Seymour Arm, which they sold in cash for $33,000.

In August 1929, Elijah died of a heart attack on a trail about 5½ miles up Carnes Creek at the age of 72.

McBean cabin, Carnes Creek, date unknown.

McBean cabin, Carnes Creek, date unknown.

Florence (Frank) McCarty

Revelstoke's first mayor, Frank McCarty.

Revelstoke's first mayor, Frank McCarty.

Dates: b. 1854 d. 1920

Cemetery location: Block H, Row 32, Plot 33

Profile:

McCarty and his wife Mary were born in Wisconsin, USA. They came to Canada in 1883, following the railway construction across the country. They lived at Laggan (Lake Louise) for a while, cutting fuel for the old wood burner locomotives.

By 1889, the McCartys were operating a boarding house on the hill above the CPR station. It was advertised as a temperance house with board and lodging at $5 per week. Individual meals were 25 cents and beds were 25 cents a night.

Frank McCarty ran a butcher shop, was involved in the mining business, and also a part owner of the SS Revelstoke.

Frank became Revelstoke’s first mayor after the city was incorporated in March 1899. They built their family home that year at the corner of Mackenzie Avenue and Third Street. He later ran a livery business and steam laundry and owned a 60 acre ranch across the Illecillewaet River. He died in June of 1920.

McCarty home on Third & Mackenzie Streets.

McCarty home on Third & Mackenzie Streets.