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


Building bonds 

This morning we had a walk in memory of my dad. Actually, it was supposed to be a flower walk in his memory, but the weather was terrible so we ended up doing a walk of a different kind. Not what I had expected, but very good and filling and exactly what it should have been. There were memories of dad, but new ones as well, and different old memories of this town – the weddings and family events that have happened here – and ones of the ranch around it. My kids and my niece and nephew ran around squealing and having fun; my mom, sister and I were together, my aunt told stories of the movie site, friends of my parents listened and asked questions. Life keeps moving on.

This evening we had a community potluck supper which was a bonding moment in itself. This time I was able to visit with a bunch of family who I normally don’t get a chance to chat with. It’s interesting coming from this large extended family – we have so much in common and yet in many ways live completely different lives. A real blessing since coming back home has been getting to know parts of the family that I didn’t really know all that well before.

We are part of a pretty amazing tribe. I think when I was a kid I just assumed everyone had families like mine, the older I get the more I appreciate the roots that have been planted here and where I come from. My immediate family, memories of my dad, my extended family – that is happiness.



Wasn’t that a party 

We celebrated my uncle’s 80th birthday today with a huge party at the Hall. This guy has always been a bonus dad for me (I call him uncle-dad) and a bonus grandpa for my kids. He’s pretty cool.

It was a wonderful afternoon spent visiting with the community – friends and family – lots of people I haven’t seen in ages. And the Hall looked amazing, just like it is supposed to look with an old-time feel.

As someone who spent years floating as part of  a lost little pod of people in various places, I can’t express properly what it means to be part of this community, to know that we have this place where we are from, where we belong. Everyone has a family of some sort, but our family is really pretty unique – both in size and in the way it functions.

It is a deep kind of happiness, one that I carry with me all the time. An extra happiness was celebrating the birthday of one of my favourite people – I have always looked up to and admired this guy – I am really lucky that he’s my uncle.


Part of the community 

We had our community general meeting tonight and I volunteered to be on the board (or was elected or whatever the proper term is). I did this years ago, before we moved, and it was a great way to get to know our neighbours. I’m thinking it will again as we are settling back in. 

Our community is pretty special, given that we are almost all related or our t families have been here for well over 100 years. There’s a unique bond that comes with that and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. 

It was happiness getting to see some neighbours I haven’t seen in a while. It’s happiness knowing I can give a little back to the community that has been so good to me. It’s happiness knowing this is our tribe. 

It is where we are from 


We are regulars now

Jacob and I have been enjoying a morning coffee break at Tim Horton’s almost every morning since last fall when school started up. Over these past months we have begun to recognize, and be recognized by, the other regulars who show up every morning.

After so many years of feeling almost invisible or only being known as those Canadians in our travels, I can’t even begin to describe how refreshing it is to now have this deep understanding that we are home.

Moving back here and making Cochrane our hometown again has been an interesting experience. I know Old Cochrane, I was raised as part of that community, my family has called the town home for generations. It’s always been a place I can come to and see neighbours, old friends, family, and other members of the community.

In the 10 years that we were gone, Cochrane boomed in size. The town has grown, there are so many new people, and an abundance of stores have opened their doors here. It has been an interesting experience this past year – showing the kids the Old Cochrane that I know and love so much, and exploring together the New Cochrane that exists now, one that I also hold a lot of fondness for.

Even now when we come into town we always see at least one person we know. The town has maintained a lot of it’s old, small town feel, and we have such a large web of community here. There is always that comfort of being home and in a familiar place. Yet, there is so many new things to explore – new restaurants to try, stores to visit, and people to meet.

The people here are still refreshingly friendly, there are smiles and casual greetings often exchanged on the street. People hold the doors open for each other.

It is home.

We have become regulars. The people at Tim’s know Jacob’s coffee order every morning. The other regulars all know where “our table” is, and we all comment if someone has switched up the seating arrangement. I love watching the groups of people who meet there every morning. There are groups of friends – most of them older – sitting, sharing coffee, laughing, and enjoying a beautiful start to the day. We are now a part of that community.

My happiness moment was sitting at Tim Horton’s realizing that we had this deep sense of belonging in this place we call home. Then I eavesdropped on this table of older men (perhaps late 70s or early 80s) and found they were laughing and sharing stories of running around their yards.  I have no idea what the context was – but watching them doubled over at the table in laughter while they told their tales made my whole day.


Be a part of the community, not apart from the community. 

For years we have been on the fringe of the community. Being an introvert, going out and meeting new people is not something that I look forward to, but when you are constantly the new person it’s a trait you have to develop. Even in places where I felt more settled and had more friends, I still felt a bit like an outsider. Perhaps if we had stayed put a bit longer I would have begun to feel more at home, but we were on the move pretty often.

Now that we are back home I notice that not only I, but the kids as well, feel like we are a part of the community. When we go out they see relatives and now friends as well and it gives them the sense of familiarity. Even though this was a “new” house that we moved to, it has so much family history that it gives us all a strong sense of grounding and belonging. I hear the kids talk about how they know they are home here and that they know it because so many of their relatives have also lived in this house.

No matter how independent we like to think we are, I believe that we all need a tribe of people in our lives to help hold us up in hard times and to help us celebrate the good ones. We have that here with family and old friends, but we also have that just by being in our community. I have been so touched by how many people have expressed concern for Jenna while she’s been sick these past few weeks. Those close to us of course keep pretty good tabs on her and are sending her well wishes all the time. But, there are people out in our community, in town, who are just used to seeing us out and about who also come over and express concern and love for her when they hear her coughing away.

The lady at our Save On came over and sat with her and offered her one of her cough drops and to tell her she hoped she was feeling better soon. She came to talk to me after and wanted me to know that she had offered it to Jenna just so I would be aware. I said I had been watching them, and how kind it was that she was showing such concern for my little bean.

Guy, the Guy from Guy’s Cafe spent a long time with us this afternoon writing down his home remedy for colds. He made her laugh and feel more comfortable, which was so kind because she’s so self conscious about her coughing away.

Even though sometimes it seems like we are one wave alone on the ocean, in reality we are all joined together by the depths of the sea. Ella (little miss close-but-no-touching) is learning this lesson as well. She has gone from wanting to kill her new brother and sister, to befriending at least Aladdin and accepting Abu (I think Abu and Ella are friends when we aren’t around though). Today I was sitting on the couch having my tea when I felt Aladdin snake around behind me and lie down. Next thing I knew there was a Fancy Tailed Ella in there cuddled up beside him. This is the first time she’s actually cuddled with one of the cats and it was so cute. Proof that we all need love from each other. No matter how much we think we can, or are told we should do it alone, we are better when we have a tribe of loved ones helping us along.

My happiness moment today is a celebration of being a part of our community. Having loved ones close by, knowing that we will look out for them and they for us. Life is good.