Posts filed under Swedish

Abrahamson Family

John Abrahamson, Kootenay Mail, December 1904.

John Abrahamson, Kootenay Mail, December 1904.

Dates:

Charles A. Abrahamson: b. Dorsland, Sweden, 1856 d. 21 December 1911

Andrew Abrahamson: b. Dorsland, Sweden, 1850 d. 5 February 1931

Otto William Abrahamson: b. Dorsland, Sweden, 1865 d. 17 March 1955

Noah Abrahamson: b. Dorsland, Sweden, 1861 d. 23 April 1942

John Abrahamson: b. Dorsland, Sweden, 1854 d. 27 September 1933

Cemetery Location:

Charles A. Abrahamson: Block C, Row 12, Plot 30

Andrew Abrahamson: Block C, Row 12, Plot 29

Otto William Abrahamson: Block F, Row 9, Plot 19

John Albert Abrahamson: Block B, Row 14, Plot 32/33

Profile:

The Abrahamson brothers were born in Dorsland, Sweden, immigrating to the United States in 1880.  Two years later, the older brothers Andrew, John and Charles –stonecutters and bridge builders by trade – followed the Canadian Pacific Railway construction westward.

In Donald, British Columbia, the brothers established a hotel business, eventually moving to Revelstoke in 1885. Unable to pack their pool table (a big money earner in the hotel business) over Rogers Pass, it was shipped by boat down the Columbia River, to what began as a 40-foot tent hotel on Front Street.  By 1908, the Central Hotel had grown into a three-storey building with accommodation for over 100 guests, and was popular with commercial travellers.

In 1888, Otto, William and Noah Abrahamson arrived in Revelstoke via the United States to join their brothers, and together they laid out the town site of Trout Lake in 1891. Andrew and Noah remained in Trout Lake to run the Queens Hotel, while John and Charles managed the Central Hotel in Revelstoke. In 1918, the Central Hotel was purchased by Molson’s Bank, and in 1919 it was bought and demolished by A. Pradolini.

Otto Abrahamson was a contractor who built many well-known buildings in Revelstoke, including: the Queen Victoria Hospital on First Street in 1912; the Howson Block on Mackenzie Avenue in 1911; the brick high school on Third Street in 1914; the Selkirk Hotel on First and Orton Street (now part of the Regent Hotel); and the Agricultural Hall (now the Golf Club).

 J.R. Hull & Co. Meat Market and Abrahamson home, c.1900

 J.R. Hull & Co. Meat Market and Abrahamson home, c.1900

Agricultural Hall (now the Revelstoke Golf Club), 1914, built by O.W. Abrahamson.

Agricultural Hall (now the Revelstoke Golf Club), 1914, built by O.W. Abrahamson.

Central Hotel, Front Street, c.1910.

Central Hotel, Front Street, c.1910.

Charles Abrahamson headstone

Holten Family

Charlie, Lyda and Drennan Holten, date unknown.

Charlie, Lyda and Drennan Holten, date unknown.

Dates:

Charles Holten: b. 1870 d. 13 October 1918

Lyda (Eliza) Holten: b. 1877 d. 22 November 1942

Cemetery location: Block J, Row 21, Plot 32

Profiles:

Charles Holten came to Revelstoke in 1885 and was one of the first successful miners in the Lardeau, discovering the Silver Cup Mine in the hills above Trout Lake. He made a considerable amount of money with the sale of the mining property and with his partner Thomas Downs established Enterprise Brewery on Charles Avenue.

Charles Holten was bor Carl Hultengren in Sweden, but does not admit to his Swedish heritage in the census records. He also gives a different date of birth in various records. In November of 1897 he married Lyda (Eliza) Edwards, and built his beautiful home at the top of First Street hill (currently known as Mustang Bed and Breakfast). The house was the site of many Anglican Church and Red Cross Society fundraisers.

Lyda’s father, Charles Edwards, took over the management of the Victoria Hotel from William Cowan. In his obituary, it was noted that he had been a sea captain in Australia. He had come to Revelstoke in around 1894 with his wife Mary, daughter Lyda, sons James and Edward, and James’s young daughter, Mary.

Family records prove that Charles Edwards was actually Craven Silcott, who had been a cashier at the House of Representatives Bank in Ohio. He was accused of absconding with large amounts of money from the bank.

The Holten home, 1221 Front Street, Revelstoke.

The Holten home, 1221 Front Street, Revelstoke.

John Stone

Dates: b. Sweden, 1839 d. 22 April 1890

Cemetery location: Block C, Row 8, Plot 34 (angled burial)

Profile:

Mr. Stone came to Revelstoke in 1885 and established the Stockholm House Hotel (later the Oriental Hotel) on Front Street. He was running a boarding house and restaurant at Beavermouth during railway construction, and he sent his 16 year-old son, John Albert, ahead to check on the progress of the new hotel. John Albert took four days to walk through the rough construction road to Farwell in April of 1885.

Turnross Family

Dates:

Claues: b. Sweden, 1853 d. 1910

Emma: b. Sweden, 1858 d. 1915

Selma: b. Sweden, 1879 d. Kamloops, 1967

Charles: b. Winnipeg, 1882 d. 1956

Francis: b. Revelstoke, 1893 d. 1980

Harry: b. Revelstoke, 1895 d. Revelstoke 1918

Gustav: b.  Revelstoke, 1896 d. Revelstoke, 1918

Cemetery Location:

Claues: Block H, Row 11, Plot 29

Emma: Block C, Row 11, Plot 22

Charles: Block B, Row 12, Plot 15

Francis: Block A, Row 8, Plot 7

Harry: Block C, Row 11, Plot 23

Gustav: Block C, Row 11, Plot 29

Profiles:

Originally from Sweden, Claues “Charles” Turnross immigrated to Canada to work with the Canadian Pacific Railway in Winnipeg in 1880. Clauses’s wife Emma and daughter Selma followed him to Winnipeg the following year, and in 1882 their son Charles was born.

The family followed the railway west, eventually purchasing 20 acres of land at Greely, near Revelstoke. Claues built a two-storey home on the hillside across the track from the end of Garden Avenue and operated a livery business – purchased from W. Fleming in 1905 – for many years. In Revelstoke, Claues and Emma had three more children: Frank, Harry and Gus.

Emma Turnross operated a confectionery store on Mackenzie Avenue and by 1908 owned the block of buildings stretching from the corner of First Street and Mackenzie Avenue, to City Hall. Son Charlie purchased the Windsor Hotel in 1919, changing the name to the Regent Hotel.

In February 1910, a building on the family ranch caught fire, killing Claues. The cause of the fire could not be ascertained, but it was speculated that a faulty stove set fire to the dry wood of the building.  Tragically, eight years later, the Turnross’s two youngest sons, Harry and Gus, died in the 1918 flu pandemic, aged just 22 and 23.

Andrew (Ole) Rupert Westerberg

Ole Westerberg on his Big Bend mail run, c.1920.

Ole Westerberg on his Big Bend mail run, c.1920.

Dates: b. Sweden, 8 May 1879 d. Kamloops, May 1963

Cemetery location: Block G, Row 8, Plot 18

Profile:

Andrew Rupert Westerlund came to Canada as a young man, settling first on a homestead at Wetaskiwin, Alberta. He was given the nickname “Ole” (a common nickname given to Scandinavians) and at some point changed his last name to Westerberg.

On his way to Vancouver in 1900, Ole met two miners travelling to their claims on the Big Bend. When they offered him work Ole couldn't refuse, and Revelstoke was where he would spend the rest of his life.

Ole spent the next few years prospecting, trapping and hunting, and in 1909 married Annie Kate Olson from Norway. The Westerbergs built a large house on 40 acres, roughly six kilometers south of Revelstoke, where they raised their seven children.

In 1914, Ole won the contract to carry His Majesty’s mail up the Big Bend to French Creek. The agreement stipulated he was to make two trips a month over the three summer months and one trip a month for the rest of the year. The pay would be $45 per trip, but when the highway became drivable as far as Goldstream, this rate was cut to $25.

Ole used snowshoes and skies to cover his mail route, and in the summer, he used packhorses. In the early days of delivery, there were around 1,500 men in the Big Bend area and a round trip normally took six to seven days.

Ole maintained trap lines along his mail route, selling furs to merchants in Revelstoke and Vancouver. In 1916, he was making about four to five dollars per beaver and the same for marten. Weasels brought in about 25 cents each.

It was said that over the 35 years he delivered mail, Ole never missed a trip, and the stories generated on his mail run were legendary.

One particular story hit the international newspapers, and told how Ole saved the life of a starving horse stranded in the bush on his route. Ole fashioned snowshoes for its feet, and after successfully walking the horse into town, tethered the animal outside the Union Hotel; the horse in snowshoes drawing crowds of spectators who couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

There are several versions of the story of how Ole earned the name “Ole the Bear”, but the most dramatic told of a surprise encounter with a grizzly bear while he was bent over with the weight of his pack. Ole thought he was dead when the bear attacked, slashing his clothing.  Fortunately, when they both lost their footing on a steep slope, Ole was quick with his rifle and when the bear landed on him, it was dead.

Another story involves a bear and an axe. When Albert Stone at the Oriental Hotel asked Ole for a bear hide, he set a trap nine kilometers south of Revelstoke and quickly caught a bear. Ole didn’t have a rifle with him at the time so he used a hand axe to kill the animal, skinning it and bringing the hide into the hotel the same night.

Andrew “Ole the Bear” Westerberg died in May 1963, at the age of 84 at Royal Inland Hospital, Kamloops.