Only two photos today but they’re a couple of my favorites and copies hang in our hallway. The first one is my grandpa with my great aunt (his sister) coming back from a successful fishing trip at the creek below the house. The second one is my uncle and my mom doing the exact same thing about 40 years later. For some reason we didn’t do a similar photo for the next two generations.
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 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!!
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
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.
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.
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.