Posts filed under protestant

Oliver Hector Allen

Dates: b. 10 August 1858 d. Revelstoke, 19 July 1928

Cemetery Location: Block A, Row 2, Plot 6


Oliver Henry Allen was born in Ontario in 1858, the son of a well-known Toronto brewer. While serving as lieutenant in the Riel Rebellion in Saskatchewan, Oliver met Mary Mclean, an editorial writer for the Regina Star, and they married on 30 August 1884.

In 1888, the Allens moved to Calgary and opened the Bow Valley Brewery. In 1889, they closed the brewery and moved to Revelstoke, where he partnered with Thomas Righton to open A & R Brewery in August 1890. The business was dissolved by October the same year, but Oliver immediately began working on a new brewery, which he built on the north bank of the Columbia River. The Revelstoke Brewery opened May 1891, specializing in fine class ales and porter.

An article from the Kootenay Mail, 1 December 1894, described the Revelstoke Brewery as the largest of its kind in the Kootenays. “The buildings now present an appearance of a small village, there having been recently added to the lager beer brewery a new ice house with a capacity of 150 tons.”

Oliver closed the brewery in 1900, but worked for the Enterprise Brewery in 1901 and 1902. In 1903, Allen started another brewing operation behind the Revelstoke Wine & Spirit Company’s building (RCMP detachment location), in partnership with William Johnson. Under the resurrected name, Revelstoke Brewery, the business operated until 1906.

Oliver died in Revelstoke in 1928, at the age of 69. The newspaper obituary claims he died in Queen Victoria Hospital, but according to his family, while in hospital he overheard a nurse say he would not make it past the night.  So Oliver left the hospital and walked home, wrote a note to his wife, then harnessed up the horse and buggy to drive to Three Valley; he wanted to see one more sunrise before he died. The engineer on an eastbound train saw Mr. Allen slumped over in the buggy, 20 feet from the railway, and phoned to notify the family.

The Allens had six children: Emma, Thomas, Marie, Dalton, Marjory and Jack. Their son, Thomas Allen, shot and killed his sister Marie’s husband, David Calder, during an argument at the Allen’s Eagle Pass ranch in 1924.

Benjamin Richard Atkins

Mr. & Mrs. B. R. Atkins skiing, c.1920s.

Mr. & Mrs. B. R. Atkins skiing, c.1920s.

Dates: b. Ireland, 1866 d. Kamloops 1941

Cemetery Location: Block A, Row 13, Plot 17

Irish born Benjamin Atkins came to Revelstoke in 1896 as owner and editor of the Kootenay Mail newspaper. He served as private secretary to Premier Semlin in 1899 and later returned to Revelstoke as collector of customs, a position he held until 1921. At that time, he became a feature newspaper writer and completed a manuscript entitled Columbia River Chronicles. He died in Kamloops, B.C., in 1941.

Thomas W. Bain

Dates:  b.1855 d. 2 April 1921

Cemetery Location: Block F, Row 15, Plot 19


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.

Louise Beavo

Dates: b. 1859 d. 13 November 1891

Cemetery Location: Block C, Row 10, Plot 49


Louise Beavo’s burial marker is the oldest remaining marker in the cemetery, although there were earlier burials. The marker has the date of death as 1892, but the marker was not made until 1893, and the date is incorrect.

Louise Beavo was 32 years old when she died of rheumatic fever. She had two young boys, Willie and George, aged eight and six. At the time of her death, she was working as manager of the Columbia House Hotel on Front Street on behalf of her mother, Barbara Clark of Clinton, who was the business partner of William M. Brown (who built the hotel in 1885). The hotel was the first on Front Street. 

After her daughter’s death, Barbara Clark moved to Revelstoke to raise her grandsons. She died in 1915 and is buried next to her daughter. 

Albert & Alice Bennison

Albert & Alice Bennison, Bennison Bakery (next to City Hall), 1909.

Albert & Alice Bennison, Bennison Bakery (next to City Hall), 1909.


Albert E. Bennison: b. 2 June 1867 d. 1 April 1913

Alice M. Bennison: b. 29 December 1859 d. 25 January 1937

Cemetery Location:

Albert Bennison: Block C, Row 13, Plot 21

Alice M. Bennison: Block C, Row 13, Plot 20


Albert E. Bennison immigrated to Canada in 1888, purchasing the Lawson building on MacKenzie Avenue in 1903 to open the City Bakery (today the home of the Modern Bakeshop). Albert ran the City Bakery for several years, but in January 1907, he retired from the business.

In February 1907, Albert married Alice Melinda Williamson, registered as a midwife in Revelstoke. Alice was previously married to Arthur M. Williamson and had settled in Revelstoke with her husband in 1893.

According to her family, Alice and Arthur had two children who died from diphtheria at a young age and a son, John Lloyd. Williamson’s Lake Park, five kilometers south of Revelstoke, is the site of the former Williamson farm.

Not long after Albert and Alice were married, Albert worked as a jail guard, but was suspended for giving alcohol to a group of prisoners in his charge. Apparently he had been running a chain gang on a hot day, and had given the inmates beer to quench their thirst.

After Albert left the jail, he worked as a rancher and on a bridge gang, where he was in a bad accident. While being treated for his injuries, a tumour was discovered at the base of his brain and he died in April 1913, at the age of 45.

Alice Bennison died 24 years later in 1937, at the age of 78.

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. 

Edgar & Catherine Burridge

Edgar & Catherine Burridge, date unknown.

Edgar & Catherine Burridge, date unknown.


Edgar Burridge: b. England, 1867, d. 1940

Catherine Burridge: b. Quebec, 1868 d. 1940

Cemetery Location:

Edgar Burridge: Block F, Row 9, Plot 20

Catherine Burridge: b. Block F, Row 9, Plot 21


Edgar George Burridge was born in London, England, and as a young man immigrated to Canada where he met and married Catherine Spearn in Barrie, Ontario, in 1889. The couple lived for a time in Toronto and Winnipeg before Edgar moved to Revelstoke in 1894 and found employment with Lawrence Hardware (now the site of the Roxy Theatre).

Catherine and their son Harold followed Edgar to Revelstoke in 1897. The family grew with the birth of Gertrude in 1898, Adelaide in 1900, Stewart in 1904 and Alfred in 1906. In 1912 Edgar and Harold opened a tin-smithing shop, E.G Burridge and Son, and in 1926, Edgar, Harold and Stewart bought out Humphries’ Plumbing and Electrical business on Second Street and Orton Avenue. Both shops were operated as E.G Burridge and Sons.

Edgar was a long standing member of the Knights of Pythias, Gold Range Lodge No. 26. and his shop was a regular stopping place for many townspeople, where issues of the day and subjects such as science, history and literature were debated and discussed. According to her granddaughter, Catherine was a kind, gentle lady who fed and clothed the needy who came to her door during the depression (once giving away her son’s prized hiking boots!) She was an active member of the Crystal Temple Pythian Sisters, St. Peters Church and Parochial Guild.

Catherine and Edgar celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1939 before they both died the following year in 1940.

E. G. Burridge & Son. Plumbing & Tinsmithing, c.1950.

E. G. Burridge & Son. Plumbing & Tinsmithing, c.1950.

Rev. W. C. Calder

Dates: b. Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1852 d. September 1931

Keywords: Presbyterian Church, Tonka Farm, Big Eddy, Alice Calder, David Calder

Cemetery Location: Block C, Row 13, Plot 18

William Caldwell Calder entered the ministry at an early age, moving his wife, Alice Mary Calder (nee Trump), and children west in the mid-1890s. He accepted the ministry position at Revelstoke Presbyterian Church in 1900. When a second Presbyterian church was established, Rev. Calder took over the ministry of St. Andrew’s Church. He retired when the two churches united in 1910.

Upon retirement, Mr. Calder began farming his land ‘Tonka Farm,’ at the Big Eddy amid the mountain scenery they all loved so much.  In 1915, the family purchased a valuable herd of Ayrshire cows to enter the dairy business. When the shortage of feed over winter became evident, the family built a silo the following summer – the first of its kind in the Revelstoke district.

After a brief illness, Mr. Calder died in 1931, at the age of 80. Alice Calder died in 1957 at the age of 94. The Calders had seven sons and three daughters: Bruce, Donald, Merle, Rex, William, James, David, Margaret, Martha, and a daughter who died prior to moving to British Columbia.

David Calder was shot by his brother-in-law, Thomas Allen, at the Allen’s Big Eddy residence on 20 July 1924. He died of his injuries at the Queen Victoria Hospital on 6 August 1924, at the age of 41, leaving behind a wife and four children.

The Calder family, date unknown.

The Calder family, date unknown.

Tonka Farm, Big Eddy, September 1963.

Tonka Farm, Big Eddy, September 1963.

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.


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.

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.

William & Bertha Cowan

William Cowan, Revelstoke, c.1914.

William Cowan, Revelstoke, c.1914.


William Cowan: b. Ontario, 1855 d. 13 April 1926

Bertha Cowan: b. 1855 d. 7 September 1906

Cemetery Location:

William Cowan: Block F, Row 10, Plot 37

Bertha Cowan: Block H, Row 18, Plot 33


William Cowan was born in Ontario in 1855. He came to Revelstoke in June 1885 and built the Victoria Hotel on the riverside of Front Street, on the north corner of Wright Street. He was one of the original partners in the Columbia Kootenay Navigation Company that built the steamers ‘Despatch’ and ‘Lytton’. 

In 1890 he established telephone service between his hotel and the CPR Station, and in 1896, formed the Big Bend, Trout Lake and Revelstoke Telephone company. In 1897 William built the Cowan Block at Third and Charles for the telephone office. He also founded the Revelstoke Water, Light and Power Company in the 1890s, which provided the first water system to the city in 1896, and the Illecillewaet Dam in 1898. The Power Company was bought by the city in 1902. 

In 1903 Cowan married Bertha Beatrice King, who was 20 years his junior and they had a son, William Patrick, born in 1904. Bertha died during childbirth on 7 September 1906. The child did not survive. Bertha was Roman Catholic, and was one of the first burials in the Catholic section of the cemetery, which opened in 1906.

William Cowan is buried across the road in the Protestant section, directly behind the maintenance shed.  At that time, the Catholic Church did not allow non-Catholics to be buried in consecrated ground, and William did not convert to Catholicism. 

Cowan Block, Third and Charles Street,  Revelstoke, c.1900. The property was built in 1897 to house the Revelstoke Telephone Company.

Cowan Block, Third and Charles Street,  Revelstoke, c.1900. The property was built in 1897 to house the Revelstoke Telephone Company.

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.

Charles Ambro Davis

Dates: b. Yorkshire, England, 1877 d. Taft, 1 August 1912

Cemetery Location: Block C, Row 3, Plot 41


The sudden death of English-born Charles Davis, Presbyterian student and missionary at Taft and Three Valley (approximately 20 kilometers west of Revelstoke) in August 1912, was a shock to the town.

Apparently Charles was onboard a logging train, seated in the front car with one foot hanging over. When the train mounted a steep grade, jerking the cars, Charles was thrown from the car and struck on the head by a brake beam, the blow proving fatal.

At the time of the accident, Charles was 35 years old and a student of Manitoba College. Charles had filled the pulpit for Rev. Stevenson in Revelstoke, and was a widely travelled individual (he had been a missionary to the soldiers in India).

Alpin Dewar

Dates: b. 1882 d. 9 July 1909

Cemetery Location: Block F, Row 9, Plot 26


On 9 July 1909, Canadian Pacific Railway engineer Alpin Dewar and his fireman J. Beattie were killed when their train left the tracks near Griffith Siding, east of Rogers Pass. The engine and several cars rolled down an embankment, striking a telegraph pole and throwing Alpin from the train. Nine other crewmembers on board escaped serious injury.

It was thought that the track may have expanded in the heat causing the derailment, but the Coroner’s inquest was inconclusive. The jury found no evidence to indicate the train was travelling at excessive speed or out of control. They also found that:

“the train was equipped with a sufficient crew, the said crew were giving proper attention to their duties, and safety appliances were in good working order.”

Alpin had been a long-term resident of Revelstoke and left behind his wife Annie and child. He was only 27 years old at the time of the accident, and J. Beattie, just 25.

Six weeks later, Annie’s brother Stewart McGuire drowned in Loon Lake, near Phoenix, B.C. According to his obituary, Stewart was a well-liked Revelstoke resident who worked at Bews Drug and Stationery Store.

William & Sarah Dickey

William & Sarah Dickey, c.1920.

William & Sarah Dickey, c.1920.


William Dickey: b. Ontario, 7 September 1859 d. November 1922

Sarah Dickey: b. Manitoba, 1861 d. 17 April 1939

Cemetery Location:

William Dickey: Block E, Row 1, Plot 53

Sarah Dickey: Block E, Row 1, Plot 53


William John Dickey was born near Barrie, Ontario, in 1859. Moving west with the Canadian Pacific Railway construction, he was struck by the beauty of the mountains in British Columbia, and in 1886 chose to settle in Revelstoke.

On 9 November 1887, William married Sarah Amanda Banting at Metheun, Manitoba, and they had three children: Benjamin John, William Earle and Shella Dickey.

William was a member of Revelstoke’s first school board, and in 1903, appointed dominion fire ranger. Later, when Revelstoke was made sub-agency of the Kamloops district, he became the first dominion land agent, a position he held until 1911.

In 1899, the Dickeys built a home on First Street on the site of the present Revelstoke Museum & Archives, later moving to the northwest corner of Third Street and Rokeby Avenue.  John died in November 1922 – the local children lining the street to say goodbye as his funeral procession drove by.

Sarah Dickey was an accomplished musician, playing the organ for the Methodists, Presbyterians and Anglicans on alternate Sundays. She also sang in the senior choir at the Methodist Church. Her sons, Benjamin and William, played the trombone and French horn, and both were members of the local band. Her daughter, Shella, was well known throughout B.C. as a talented pianist and music teacher.

Sarah was also an active member of the Methodist Ladies Aid and she taught at Sunday School until the week before her death, aged 78, in 1939.

William & Norah Fleming


William Fleming: b. Clinton, Ontario, 22 June 1868 d. February 1935

Norah Fleming: b. USA, 8 July 1867 d. August 1938

 Cemetery Location:

William Fleming: Block G, Row 14, Plot 52

Norah Fleming: Block G, Row 14, Plot 53


Ontario-born William Fleming came to Revelstoke in 1889, where he worked for the city, relocating the schoolhouse and Catholic Church. Later, William worked as a butcher for P. Burns & Co., and for a while operated a butcher shop of his own.

In October 1891, William married Norah Mullaney from Pennsylvania (she met William on a trip to Revelstoke to visit her sister) and had seven children: Tom, Mamie, William G. (Tick), Laele, Jean, Frank and Eva.

In 1928, William was appointed government road superintendent, and became specialized in mattress work to prevent further erosion from the banks of the Columbia River.  His experience took him across the province to advise communities in the management of erosion.

In February 1935, after returning from a work trip to Bella Coola, William became ill with pneumonia and died at the age of 65.

Frank Alfred Ford

Saint Peter's Anglican Church and rectory, Revelstoke.

Saint Peter's Anglican Church and rectory, Revelstoke.

Dates: b. 1868 d. 27 January 1899

Cemetery location: Block C, Row 6, Plot 17


Frank Ford was the vicar at St. Peter’s Anglican Church from 1897 until his death in 1899. He had come to Canada from Plymouth, England.  At the end of January 1899, he traveled by train to Rogers Pass to visit some parishioners there. On the way back the train stopped briefly at Albert Canyon and Rev. Ford stepped off to speak to someone on the platform.  As the train started to pull away, Rev. Ford ran to board the train, but slipped and fell under the wheels. He was brought to the private hospital at the top of Douglas Street, but did not survive. 

The parish was devastated by his death and created memorials to him, including the marker in the cemetery, and a memorial plaque in the church.  A photograph in the museum reveals this gravesite used to have picket fence around it.

Fred Forrest

Group standing in front of Waverley Mines shed, Albert Canyon, 1897.

Group standing in front of Waverley Mines shed, Albert Canyon, 1897.

Dates: b. Scotland, 1872 d. 17 March 1947

Cemetery Location: Block G, Row 10, Plot 15


Frederick Elliott Forrest was born in Leith, Scotland, in 1872. His father, Charles Forrest, was a partner in Forrest & Turnbull, a sugar importing company. After some time in Belgian Congo (Zaire), Fred moved to British Columbia in 1897 to work for The Gold Fields of British Columbia, a British company that operated the Tangier and Waverley Mines at Albert Canyon.

By 1899, the mines had closed down, but Fred remained in Albert Canyon for 50 years, working as the local fire warden for much of this time. He also published the quirky Albert Canyon newspaper. 

According to his obituary, Fred spent almost every Saturday in Revelstoke, bringing with him beautiful bouquets from his garden to give away to the locals.

Fred was active in political circles in the early days as a Liberal and in 1907, largely financed the campaign of the late A.B. Cayley, unsuccessful Liberal candidate in the local riding.  Records also show Fred once petitioned the Minister of Public Works to install a fish ladder at the dam on the Illecillewaet River, which he regarded as an ‘insurmountable obstacle’ to fish.

At the time of his death on 17 March 1947, aged 75, Fred was survived by a brother L.S. Forrest, Oxford, England; a sister, Mrs. C.L. Gilby, Exeter, England; a sister-in-law, Mrs. J.M. Forrest; a nephew and three nieces in Courtenay.

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.