A History in Photos 3 (FGK 160)

Last night I received a wonderful gift, and my uncle spent hours (literally hours – I think over 3) going through my photos with me and a couple of cousins, and writing down who was in every one of them. Not only did he remember an incredible number of people, but he was able to name many of the animals in the photos as well. I am grateful and it will certainly make sharing these memories more accurate. Again though, if anyone is able to recognize anyone who is unnamed please pass that information on to me (or any good stories associated with the photos).

Additionally, I am looking for a local (Calgary area) recommendation for someone who does high quality scanning of old photos. I want to publish these in a book for the family to share and enjoy and my scanner is not of a good enough quality. Thank you in advance for anyone who has any suggestions.

Uncle Marshall down the hill at what is now Kumlins (Jack Copithorne’s)
Uncle Marshall said “if anyone tries to tell you I don’t know about turkeys, here’s proof that I know what I’m talking about”
Left to Right: Sheila Copithorne, (Back) Clarence Buckley, Anne Copithorne, Marshall Copithorne, Harvey Buckley, Kenny Copithorne, Richard Copithorne.
Grandma and Grandpa in front of the barn
Grandpa (Percy Copithorne)

A History in Photos 2 (FGK 159)

Fortunately Grandma wrote on the back of most of today’s photos – except this top one which I absolutely love and the one with the group of people. Enjoy!!

I would never have guessed this was Grandma – but I love it!!! I’m also guessing this is what we called “Grandma’s secret gate” when we were kids as it was hidden in the hedge of trees that were planted to block out the highway noise.
Jumping Pound Stampede 1923. Clem Gardner pick-up man
Percy Copithorne riding the ram with his mother and Aunt Ada Wills and brother George in the background. Note there were no treated fence posts of baled hay. Circa 1905. Photo taken by Sam Copithorne.
It’s weird to me that they scribbled out all the actual information about the photo and titled it “ride ‘em cowboy” but fortunately Grandma had written the information on the back as well including who took the photo.
Uncle Marshall

A History In Photos 1 (FGK 158)

I am starting a series called “A History in Photos”. I found this box of old photos of Grandma’s in my closet a couple of years ago. Some of them are labeled and some are not, so some days we will get to play “who are these people?” And hopefully y’all can help me out. I will experiment with some better lighting- the photos are in better shape than the scanning shows. Anyway, here we go!!

Edited to add: it seems taking a photo works better than scanning the photos so I’ve included those. And I’ve had some help from a cousin deciphering grandma’s handwriting which is greatly appreciated!!

CPR Station about 1913. Left to right: Mr Alex McEwen, other man is Charlie McGill (I think). Written on the side: you are welcome to use this picture if you wish.
Ladies Group 1909-10. Left to right Front row: Mrs Alec(?) Mortimer, Mrs McBain, Mrs Peyto, Mrs M McNamee Back row: Mrs McEwen, Mrs Grummit(?), Mrs Foster, Mrs Christanson, unknown, Mrs White (later became Mrs Chas Grayson) Mrs Campbell. Front row: baby Earl Mortimer, girl is Cathie McNamee, boy is Kenneth Campbell
I can’t make this out well enough – if anyone else can I appreciate that!! *Edit: Reme and Mrs Claston, Ruth Claston, Mrs Marion McEwen-Barkley, Marg (Mary?) McBain, Mr Laird (teachers)
Harvest Festival, St. Andrews Presbyterian church Cochrane 1911
Sorry uncle Gord
Louise Copithorne (Mrs Chas Copithorne) I didn’t know her but I think she’s absolutely stunning. I found her grave online: Louise Caroling TempanyCopithorne
1979 (aged 69–70)
Sorry again uncle Gord

The Opening of the Jumping Pound Hall (FGK 157)

These notes were attached to the end of my “Grandma Remembers” booklet. Dad must have typed these out, and I assume the comments are his. Kind of cool to get some bonus history on the Hall, I love that old building and am currently a board member.

The Opening of the Jumping Pound Hall

Notes by Edna Copithorne

House parties started Hall.

Built in stages – didn’t have enough money to line it so collected $50.00 from near neighbours. Hauled lumber over the rough road from Cochrane. Mrs. Harris was stranded on Cochrane Hill with a broken wheel on her democrat so rode home on the lumber wagon with the boys.

Charlie Cook said “Pesky Hall. I’ll fix it when the grown was frozen” – he used dynamite.

Galley <I cannot read her writing> and Bar played for local dances even in the homes before the hall was built.

The opening of the Hall was a big deal – stuffed animal heads all around the walls and bear skins, buffalo skins, etc. It was lit by Coleman lamps and decorated with beautiful Chinese lanterns. What orchestra was it for the opening dance?

The lunch was a drawing card- ham sandwiches, 12 or 14 loaves and salmon. Then the local ladies out-did each other making cakes.

One masquerade ended up in a free for all. All the men ended up out in the yard fighting each other. There was bits of costumes all over the country for the rest of the winter.

The floor managers were Dave Lawson, Frank Sibbald, and Cy Hopkin used to bring his won (?). Lennie Blow ran a taxi from the dam to the dances.

The pot-bellied stove was popular on winter nights. Clyde Lynn supplied this stove and the cook stove came from <no name inserted, just a blank>.

Right from the start Archie McClean <that’s the way she spelled it> was the cook in the kitchen and was famous for his good coffee made in those old copper boilers.

Clover leaf big white cups and saucers. Big old fashioned granite coffee pots.

(The land was donated by John Copithorne for the Hall)

Archie always wore a chef’s cap and a big white apron and wouldn’t let anyone in the kitchen. Paid Archie $5.00 a night for cleaning the hall etc.

Bill Lee wired the hall for electricity.

March 12th 1828 – $199.00 taken in. Price of piano, chairs, card tables $654.75 – total cost to build was $2612.00. Bullas orchestra was first to play – CFCN


Grandma Remembers (FGK 156)

I found this shoved in a bookcase in Dad’s office, aka my bedroom, aka Grandma’s bedroom. I have no recollection of having given her this book – I was 13 at the time – but I’m so glad I did. I’ve always been interested in our history, probably the reason why I have this ever so useful history degree. Anyway, this is kind of interesting and I had no idea, besides being from Ontario, of any of this history.

I figure Dad must have put this all together but I’m not sure when. It certainly wasn’t 1984 because he was clearly on the internet, but it also wasn’t 2014 because he used MapQuest (although my parents loved MapQuest). Either way, I’m glad he did it. It looks like he’s put together some of her relatives. I really knew nothing about Grandma’s lineage, so it is really cool for me to read a bit about about where she came from.

Grandma Remembers

September 27th, 1984

Melissa gave Grandma a “Grandma Remembers” book for her 76th birthday and Grandma wrote in response:

September 27th 1984

Thank you Melissa Ramsay for this thoughtful and flattering book for my birthday. For me, the title should be “Grandma Forgets”. Is it because I’m now 76 years old? I don’t think so. I’ve always been mentally lazy – a dreamer. I will do my best to fill it with facts.

My parents were both the youngest in their family and each family had nine children,. My mother lost her mother when she was two years old and was raised by her maiden aunt, Miss Betsy Thompson, and her bachelor brother Uncle William Thompson who lived with their widowed mother on a farm out at Westmeath near Pembroke Ontario. My mother had very fond memories of her grandmother being very loving and kind to her and her little brother Thomas who also lived there.

Her grandmother was a pioneer and lived there when the Indians were still unfriendly. Her grandmother was very popular for her skills in setting broken arms or legs and helping sick people. Her grandfather helped the Rideau Canal in “Ottawa” when it was still called “Bytown.”

Aunt Betsy used to tel her she could remember when they would put a few sacks of wheat in canoes and take it down to the Ottawa River to mill to grind it into flour. Aunt Betsy remembered as a small child being terrified of the forest fires when they would go to the river for safety sake.

My Great Aunt Betsy was a popular member of the Ladies Aid in the local church. I remember seeing a very beautiful hanging lamp above her organ which the church group had given her; it had a beautiful flowered globe with prisms hanging around it and a coal lamp under it. The organ was very beautiful too and she left it to me when she died. It is now in the Pembroke museum. Uncle William Thompson gave my mother a beautiful piano when she got married and your aunt Sheila Burger has it now Melissa.

My Mother’s father went to New Westminster British Columbia when it was called Port Moody. He went there int eh 1870s thinking it would be the terminal for the CP Railway and would become a big sea-port city, but Vancouver became that. He bought many lots in Port Moody and was preparing to reunite his family there in a home he built but he got sick and died there. I have a letter which he wrote to Great Aunt Betsy saying he bought a piano for Mattie (my mother) and there was a piano teacher there to continue her lessons but of course that never came about. You could perhaps someday try and find his grave in the oldest graveyard in New Westminster, BC.

My mother’s mother “Margaret Ruth Sullivan” was also from near Pembroke and her relatives ware still living there. There is a placebo n the Ottawa River called “Sullivan’s Point”, named after her people. My spelling is terrible Melissa, check it and correct it.

My mother’s youngest brother was a reporter on the first steamship to sail Lake Superior and it was caught in a bad storm and all aboard were lost. Another of there brothers was drowned when the ship he was on went down coming from the gold mines in Alaska in the early days.


Grandma and Grandpa’s 25th and other photos (FGK 155)

Today is the first of an on and off series I’ll call “who are the people in these photos?” Usually Grandma was really good about writing on the back of photos, but I’ve got a bunch that are unmarked. So – anyone who remembers and knows who these people are, please let me know!! This envelope of photos was in with her hospital letters, but the ones that are dated are from the late 50s, and I think when she was in Florida finishing high school.

I’m pretty sure this is mom
Also think this is mom?
Pretty sure the house is Grandma’s – so this is Uncle Marshall?
Finally a photo that was written on! Thank you Aunt Annie!!
I thought someone had been bad and had their face cut out of the photo, but based on the crutch mom cut her own self out of her photo. I wish she’d left it, but I also know I’ve cut myself out of too many photos for one reason or another.
Grandma, Grandpa, Marshall, Sheila at their anniversary party at the hall
Not sure who is on either end – is that Uncle Frank?
I always knew Grandma was a classy lady, but seeing her here all dressed up – wow. Just wow.
The year got cut off, but it says 1958. Grandma was 50 in this photo – same age I am now.

A brief history of the Copithorne Family 4 (FGK 154)

Here is the link to the article I have shared. It was published in the June 1949 issue of Canadian Cattlemen and written by Dora Dibney There are a few photos included in the article that I didn’t include because of the quality but they are worth checking out.

Again I am indebted to Percy Copithorne for this bit of historical information. “At the time when the N.W.M. Police were looking for Ernest Cashel, the notorious robber and the man who was wanted for the murder of Rufus Belt on the Red Deer River, Cashel walked into my dad’s place and asked for a saddle horse that he might <use to> catch his own which he claimed got always from him a few miles away. Dad was away that day but luckily his man was home and when my mother made inquiries for a horse the man said that the boss was very particular who rode his horses but that he no doubt could get a horse at a neighbour’s place a mile distant. This proved to be true and Glen Healey, the neighbour, did not see his horse again for sometime. That night at midnight several police rode in and inquired of Cashel. They slept on the floor of the sod-roofed two roomed house for the balance of the night.”

Although through the years, things generally became easier for these hardy men and women, there was still much to do. They had to be completely self reliant. Mothers made all the overalls for their active boys. They looked after the garden, milked the cows, fed the chickens, washed and cooked for the family, and brought up the children.

Jack Copithorne of Calgary has a fine photograph taken when he was a very young chap. It shows his mother, his brother, and himself, just outside their home, the white-washed log shack, and looking with pride on the small group as the father seated on his buckskin pony.

Jack and Mrs. J.C. Buckley, daughter of Richard Copithorne, recall how they and other children in the district rode their ponies to school, a pleasure which the child of today rarely knows. The old school still stands one and a half miles west of the Jumping Pound Post Office, and like other buildings, is made of logs. It was constructed by John Stewart and was considered very attractive with its red roof, whitewashed walls, and green trim.

Some of the teachers whose names will be remembered are Miss M.A. Walsh, Robinson, Hart, and Kent.

Church services were held in the school, and before it was built, in the various homes in the district. The minister had a large territory to cover but was always a welcome visitor.

Everyone took a great interest in politics and there was always lively discussion as to the merits of various candidates for office.

There are always amusing incidents to recall. There was the time when one of the Copithornes saw a bundle up in a tree and took a shot at it. Out fell and Indian corpse, not in good condition. Then, another time the cowboy with his chaps and guns was all for going out to find and capture, by force if necessary, the lost souls mentioned by an enthusiastic Salvation Army worker.

John Copithorne retired in 1912 and moved to Victoria. He died in 1933 and surviving are his widow, six sons: Jim of Sidney, BC; Jack, Calgary and Jumping Pound; Harry, Jumping Pound; Claude of Cochrane; Ernest, Calgary; Charles, Midnapore; and two daughters: Mrs. L.D. Nicoll, Jumping Pound, and Mrs. M. Morris, Victoria. One son, Bert, Died some years ago.

Richard’s four sons are: Percy, now at the home place, and George who farms eight miles west; Frank, now on the old Fraser River ranch, and Clarence, on Clemen’s ranch; his two daughters: Mrs. J.C. Buckley (Marjorie), Springbank, and Mrs. Annie Jones of Okotoks. Richard died in 1936.

Sam Copithorne’s two sons are Louis and Bill, and his two daughters are Mrs. J.E. Robinson, and Mrs. Rex Young.

Sam is too busy these days with spring work to be bothered talking about his family, and anyway he doesn’t think it is important. But stories of Canada’s pioneers should not be lost, and who of these old-timers ever kept a diary? Their sons and daughters have heard their tales many a time, but they too, forget and much of Canada’s fascinating and unique history remains unknown.

The debt that this generation and posterity owes to the men and women who opened up this country, can never be repaid. Not only were there great material advantages, but if we can emulate their integrity, their great independence of mind and body and spirit, then indeed we may prove worthy of the hardships which they undertook so courageously and as a matter of plain fact.


A brief history of the Copithorne family 3 (FGK 153)

As far as I know my cousin still has Sophia’s sidesaddle and it’s in working condition. I remember she used to use it to ride in the Stampede Parade when we were younger.

“Well, it was tough going. Dick and John carried on mixed farming. They used to make butter and bring it into Calgary twice a year to trade for goods. No money in those days. You had to leave at daylight to make the trip in one day. There wasn’t money to pay for feed, so they took what they needed for the four-horse team, and of course, no money either to pay for a night’s lodging.

“They used to trade with I.G. Baker, probably the first storekeeper in Calgary. They did that right up to 1895.

“They had a great big barrel churn; it used to hold fifty pounds of butter and you had to have a man on beach end to turn it. There was no cream separator in those days. Them milk was left to set for 36 hours and the cream was then skinned off.

“They used to pack the butter into big wooden tubs and when they took it to the store, a man used to poke a broom handle right down to the bottom of the tub and then smell the butter on the stick. That was the way he graded it.

“They had about fifty hens and were able to trade the eggs, too.

“Dick had got married by then to Miss Sophia Wills of Springbank, and the women had lots of work. No fancy gadgets to help them with the washing and cooking and sewing. The women helped cut firewood sometimes, and the men also cut down trees to make A-fences and X-fences. We used to work in the bush all winter.”

Dick and John went out of mixed farming in 1898 and into beef cattle. Herefords. It was difficult to get a good sire so they raised their own and tried to improve their stock by culling. It was a good thing when the Calgary bull sale started, Sam remarked, because a rancher could get good animals then.

Asked how Jumping Pound got its name, he said it was one of the places where the Indians stampeded the buffalo. The animals, terrified and crazed by the Indians rushed to the cliffs and plunged over, breaking necks and legs as they crashed to the bottom. There was a good price for buffalo hides so the Indians were intent on collecting.

It wasn’t all work and no play. Men and women used to hunt coyotes and great was the competition to see who had the best saddle horse. They’d forgather with their hounds and off they would go across the country; no fences to bother with in those years. Percy, who is Dick’s eldest son and a substantial cattle rancher in the Jumping Pound district says, “I remember my dad mentioning Mr. Kerfoot and Captain Gardiner, father of Clem and Teddy Gardiner, as some of the enthusiasts. My mother used to take part also and was considered a good horsewoman. My dad said that very few women could sit on a bucking horse in a sidesaddle, but she had preformed the feat on several occasions. I still have her sidesaddle which is in excellent condition. There were also the kit-foxes to chase, a nearly extinct species of animal now. The men too, went out hunting lynx, for these great wild cats were a constant menace to the cattle. Sam Copithorne killed 21 lynx in the spring of 1907.

That was the year John and Dick made a trip back to Ireland, and Sam went over in 1911. He stayed three months, but Sam just didn’t care for Ireland; he said, “You couldn’t give it to me.”


A Brief History of the Copithorne Family 2 (FGK 152)

“John told about the Indian Sun-Dance. It was about the time of the Frog Lake Massacre and the Indians were pretty touchy. He had given out rations of print etc to be made into clothing. Instead they tore it up into little pieces and stuck it on the tree tops long before the Sun Dance. He described the Sun Dance much as you read about it today but the braves cut holes in their shoulders, put thongs through the muscles, and dragged poles, and sometimes ponies around and around the lodge, always yelling at the top of their voices, until they would faint.

“Well he got a job with the Indian department as farm instructor at Crooked Lakes near Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan and then he followed the railway to Sarcee. You remember they were issuing rations to the Indians in 1886 and 1887 and that’s what John was doing and running freight from Sarcee to the Stones. He used to drive a bull team; took him two days to make the journey.

“He had to stay overnight at the home of Napoleon Blanche; that was the only house between the two reserves. Nearly always John had an Indian guide.

“There is a story that Mr. Blanche trie to raise hogs just like cattle. He would turn the sows out on the range in the spring. It would be nothing to jump a bunch of razor-back hogs during the summer as one rode across the country. In the fall the hogs, as many as could be found, were gathered in. The next problem was the slaughter and dressing of these porkers. Apparently Mr. Blanche was not very skillful at the job for when scalding and shaving off their hair failed he decided to skin them. After all were skinned they looked such a gory and disturbing sight that he decided to put them up in the hay loft. He stood the frozen carcasses on their feet and covered them with hay so that nobody could see them. However, a neighbour made a friendly call one evening and went to the loft to get feed for his horse. Uncovering one of the skinned hogs gave him such a start that he backed up and fell down through the hole in the floor to the manger below. He wasn’t injured but certainly had a good fright.

“It was a mighty different life to what my folks had planned for him. He’d taken the civil service examinations in Ireland and he’d passed. But he just wouldn’t take a job. That’s what my father wanted for me too, but I wanted to go farming. I was going to go to Australia, but I came out to my brothers’s place instead.

“Anyway, Dick was the next one to come to Canada. He got here in 1887 and first of all he got a job in Calgary working on the old Mission Bridge so that he’d have enough money to buy a team and wagon.

“Then they started looking for land; the country wasn’t surveyed then, and they passed through Springbank to Jumping Pound. So John and Richard were in partnership from 1888 go around 1900.

‘If a man had an axe and a hammer and a saw, he could build anything. So John and Dick built a log house with a sod roof, and stables, also of logs and with a sod roof.

“The house had just one room, one window and the door was right in the centre of the front wall. The second house Richard built was nearby; it had two windows and a lean-to for a kitchen. That was on the hill. John built his house at the foot of the hill on the river bank. He got married in 1887 to Susan Toone. She was jut out from Ireland. She’s 86 now and living in Victoria BC.


A Brief Story of the Copithorne Family 1 (FGK 151)

I found this interview with Sam Copithorne and thought it could be fun to share. At the end of the stories, I’ll post the information to source it, but this is written by Dora Dibney – I have no idea who she was. I always wondered (but not badly enough to ever ask lol) who Grandpa was named after – and it looks like it was after one of his uncles. Enjoy!

A Brief Story of the Copithorne Family

(Dora Dibney)

“Now look,” Sam Copithorne remarked, “there’s no use writing a story about me. I’m not a pioneer becuase I didn’t come out to this country until 1904. It’s my two brothers you ought to write about, if you HAVE to write about the family.”

“Where was I born? Oh, in Clonakilty, that’s in County Cork, Ireland. My father had a dairy farm, dual purpose Short horns and we milked about 25 cows. Guess we had about 120 acres.

“Besides John and Richard, I had four older brothers: James and William and Robert and Edward. We had one sister: she was the eldest. John came out here in 1883 and Richard came out four years later in 1887.

“James went to Central Africa as a missionary and before that he was in the civil service. but he was in Africa, oh less than a couple of years when he got fever and died.

“John was the first to make a move though. He just decided to come to Canada so my father got him a lot of letters of introduction to people in Montreal, but he never used a single letter.

“He didn’t like Montreal so he bought a ticket through to Winnipeg. Well he looked for work and somehow or other he met a man who wanted someone to drive eight mules. John had never had a thing to do with mules, but he waits sure he could drive them so he got a job and $10 a month. That was doing farm work.

“It wasn’t long after that that a man came to the farm and he bought the mules. He couldn’t drive them so John got the job of taking them to Brandon.

“That was the time of the rebellion I, so John volunteered for the army and he was sent to live with the Indians and watch their movements. Well, he lived with them for a long time; he took part in their powwows and he got so he could talk Cree with the best of them.

“He lived with them so long that they nearly forgot he wasn’t an Indian. They used to call him Wapoorshwian which means Rabbit-Skin-Robe. I remember him telling us about the way they used to eat. They’d put all their meat into one big pot and they’d sit around and fish it out when it was cooked. Sometimes they’d fish out a piece of dog meat and then they’d remember and say “white man no eat dog” so they’d find a piece of rabbit meat for him.