The Maple Ridge Agricultural Association was created in 1901 to encourage the development of agriculture and to promote "mechanical & household arts".
Dr. Dundas Herald, son of Rev. James Herald, was born at Dundas, Ontario in 1870 and was awarded his medical degree at Queen’s University in 1891. Dundas and his brother Wilson registered with the BC College of Physicians within the year. Both brothers practiced in Vancouver before Wilson moved to Ashcroft, BC and Dundas moved to Quesnelle Forks in the Cariboo. After 1901 the brothers established a cattle ranch at Medicine Hat, Alberta.
In 1905 Dundas married Edith Phyllis Grant and their children Jessie Edith (1905 ) and James Barclay [Buster] (1907) were born in Medicine Hat. A third child, Arthur Dundas, was born in Salmon Arm in 1909.
Edith Phyllis Grant was born October 18, 1875 to Joseph and Anne Grant (nee Schroder) at Corona, Ontario. Her family moved to Walsh, Alberta in 1900 to ranch.
In 1906 the Heralds purchased “Bonny Bray” a 160-acre farm and home from John Reinecker near Sunnybrae and moved to the Shuswap. Dundas Herald never practiced medicine in the Shuswap.
The Heralds lived in isolation. Children Buster, Arthur, and Jessie were educated by their father at home and without the guidance of a school curriculum.
The family raised Jersey cows and took their milk across the lake every two or three days. They also made butter for sale – 70 to 80 pounds a week. Power for churning the cream into butter was provided by a water wheel. The Herald family picked and shipped cherries and raspberries for a few years, but gave that up and concentrated their efforts growing hay.
Dundas Herald died in 1951 and was survived by his wife and children. Their Sunnybrae property was sold to the provincial government and became a park in 1975.
Elizabeth Reid Miller [1887-1970] was born at Lanark County, Ontario and came to the Mt. Ida District of Salmon Arm with her parents in 1905. She married John Jackson in 1915 at her parent’s home. Rev. Reid, the Presbyterian minister, officiated. The couple operated a mixed farm in the Mt. Ida District. They had two children: Robert Douglas (Bob) born in 1918 and Marion born in 1924.
John Jackson [1877-1968] was the eldest son of Robert Jackson and Christina Paton and was born at Kippen Station, Sterlingshire, Scotland. John learned to farm by working with his father and grandfather, George Paton. He gained an appreciation of good draft horses, particularly Clydesdales. He taught himself to play the accordion and violin.
John emigrated to Canada in 1910 at the age of 33. He found work and lodged at Duncan Cameron’s farm. In 1911 John purchased a 40-acre parcel of land located in the Mt. Ida District calling it Cumberauld.
When Ruth Adair Peterson (nee Brooke) died August 1, 2008 in Reno, Nevada, a succession of remarkable events repatriated to Salmon Arm a collection of significant paintings which celebrate a lovely story, a loving family, and its community.
More than three hundred paintings by Ruth’s father, Arthur Adair Brooke, were found under her bed wrapped in a cotton pillow slip and tied with a green ribbon. They came “home”. The one-of-a-kind collection was archival in every sense of the word. It spanned an important period of time and documented rural life in the Mt. Ida District of Salmon Arm.
Ruth’s story begins in 1921. Life on the Brookes’ farm, Asterfield, was unexpectedly interrupted with her birth. She was a fourth child and the first daughter to middle aged parents Arthur Adair and Annie Florence Brooke. She was given her mother’s maiden name and raised like an only child, adored by her adult brothers. Family members tell us her parents were strict Baptists. Ruth left home to attend business school in Calgary. It was there she met the love of her life, a divorced American baseball player named Bill Peterson. Ruth followed Bill to the States and they were married in 1951. Ruth and her new husband lived in Oakland, California and Reno, Nevada. The couple had a long marriage until Bill’s death in 1985.
But the story really began with the artist. Born in Rome in 1874, Arthur Adair Brooke had a long journey to Salmon Arm, British Columbia. The eldest child of Arthur Swindells and Amelia Adair Brooke had little memory at the age of two of moving with his family to Switzerland. His father was a professional watercolour artist and supported the family of 9 surviving children by painting landscapes.
When A.A. Brooke finished secondary school he was sent to England before emigrating to Canada in 1890. The first stop in Canada was Manitoba where he learned to farm under the tutelage of Joseph Merry at the Barnsley Farm Home. Four years later, Brooke began working his own farm.
Brooke married Annie Florence Ruth in 1898. Their first son, Harold Arthur, was born at Barnsley two years later. The family moved to Didsbury, Alberta, and two more sons joined the family, Ralph Edward in 1902 and Ernest Cuthbert in 1903. A.A. Brooke worked a homestead and received his Western Land Grant in 1904.
Alberta was not to be the end of the journey. Brooke sold the homestead and its improvements, and moved the household west after purchasing 60 acres of the Goforth farm in the Mt. Ida District near Salmon Arm. They arrived by train in 1907 with two loads of settlers’ effects and set up residence, naming their new home Asterfield.
Still adjusting to retirement, the couple moved again, this time south to another farming community, Cloverdale in the Fraser Valley. Arthur Adair spent his remaining years painting.
Annie Florence passed away December 6th, 1957. After her death, Arthur ached with loneliness and moved to Siska Lodge at Lytton, B.C. to be with his son Harold. He kept busy painting watercolours to sell in the Lodge’s coffee shop.
Arthur Adair was a prolific artist and left a legacy of a significant body of work. The farmer artist sketched images all his life, using his drawings as inspiration for later watercolours. His landscapes depict Switzerland, Ireland, Manitoba, Alberta, Alaska, and British Columbia. Numerous watercolours and sketches are held in private collections, at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Dufferin Historical Society Museum in Carman, Manitoba and the Salmon Arm Museum. But his best work is said to be Ruth’s baby books that document his daughter's early life.
Arthur died thirteen months after Annie on January 13, 1959.
Two lifelong residents of Salmon Arm: Henry Ivens (Buzz) Harper and his wife, Reba Mayne (nee Honey) Harper, played a paramount role in the local community.
Reba Mayne Honey was born on November 16th, 1913 in Salmon Arm to parents William John Honey and Agnes Lucy Bond. Furthermore, Henry Harper was born to parents Julia Edith Mary Ivens and Henry Arthur Harper on November 11th, 1909 in Salmon Arm. The parents of Henry Harper were first generation immigrants who were originally from England. Reba Honey’s parents and grandparents were born in Ontario. Her paternal great-grandparents immigrated from Cornwall and her maternal grandparents came from Scotland (Bonds and Baynes).
In his youth, Henry Harper, worked at various sawmills as sawyer, scaler and millwright including the Exchange Mill and Charlie Nakamura’s Mill as well as having his own mill on Mt Ida with his brothers-in-law, Max and Jack Honey. In 1953 he embarked on an economic enterprise for he started his own General Construction Company with another brother-in-law, Arthur (Rocky) Birkelund. Known as Harper & Birkelund, they built many commercial and residential buildings. Following Rocky’s departure, the business became known as Harper Construction. Throughout his lifetime, he was known for his industrious character and deep fondness of nature. Possessing a keen intellect, he studied mathematics and Western Canadian history in his spare time and followed the paths of the explorers and Hudson Bay trails as well as studying the C.P.R. history in BC. Meanwhile, Reba Harper in her younger years, had an incredible aptitude and intelligence for academics, and consequently furthered her studies as she trained as a teacher at the Victoria Normal School. Hereinafter she taught at Gleneden and Notch Hill Schools. Her father as Secretary Treasurer of the School Board for many years felt her to be better suited to teaching than to her dream of nursing.
Both Reba Mayne Harper and Henry Ivens Harper were positioned with fortune to see the critical junctures of the last century. For instance, during the societal, economic, and global quandaries that were brought by the catastrophes of WWI, Reba Harper, alongside her family, spent three years in Saskatchewan during the war. A rare occurrence of when she was not in Salmon Arm.
On May 8th, 1936 Henry Ivens Harper and Reba Mayne Honey were married.
After their marriage Reba became a full-time wife mother to daughter Linda and son John, bookkeeper, newspaper editor, crossword puzzle expert, and a hockey enthusiast.
Reba Mayne Harper died at the age of one hundred and four on January 14th, 2018. Her family described her as the “quiet lynchpin”. She was predeceased by her husband, Henry Harper, who passed away on New Year’s Eve of 1995.
According to the BC 4-H Club website, the Boys and Girls Club came into being in 1914. In the first year, over 200 young people between the ages of 10 and 18 were involved in competitions sponsored by the Department of Agriculture. The first clubs focused on potatoes, but later expanded to poultry in order to attract more young people and widen the influence of progressive farming practices on the BC farming community (see footnote below for source). When a local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club was formed in Salmon Arm is not known, but the Club was first mentioned in the Salmon Arm Observer in 1917.
The Boys and Girls Club was renamed 4-H in 1952. The name stood for the 4-Hs were: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The Four objectives of the 4-H are:
- To train the heads and hands of the boys and girls.
- To give them broad and big hearts.
- To improve their health by giving them an interest in outdoor life.
- To encourage, on the part of all Canadians, a strong and more intelligent interest in agriculture.
The objectives are accomplished by competing and exhibiting at Fall Fairs.
The motto of the club is “Learn to do by doing.”
Oddly, the first mention of the 4-H Club in the Salmon Arm Observer was in 1951 as members of Armstrong, Kamloops, Salmon Arm and Lumby 4-H Clubs joined together to attend
the PNE in Vancouver.
Over the years there were multiple branches within the Club including Beef, Dairy, Horse, Goat, Honey Bee, and Clothing Clubs. A 4-H District Council served the area from Sicamous, Mara, Grindrod, Deep Creek, Salmon Arm and Sorrento.
Footnote: History of BC 4-H Club https://www.4hbc.ca/contact/history
George Plummer (1862 – 1934) settled in Parksville in 1887. After first living on a property on the north-west side of Englishman River, the Plummers purchased land in 1889 on the south-east side of the river, built their home and established a farm. George Plummer raised livestock and worked on road crews. In addition, The Plummers had a son, Frank (1885-1972) and two daughters, Harriet (Hattie) (1889 – 1976) and Victoria May (1891 – 1974).
Frank Plummer worked as a teamster for the Alberni to Nanaimo stagecoach line and served in World War I. In 1908, Hattie Plummer married Will McDermid. He had arrived in Parksville from Ontario in the early 1900s and had begun work as a teamster at a logging camp at Englishman River. In 1910, the McDermid
Dr. Lawrence E. Lowe (March 29, 1933 – June 17, 2016) was a faculty member in the Department of Soil Science in the UBC Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (now Land and Food Systems). Born in Toronto and educated in England, Lowe attended Oxford University (B.A. 1954, M.A. 1958). He went on to graduate work at Macdonald College, McGill University (M.Sc. 1960, Ph.D. 1963). He joined UBC as an assistant professor in 1966, after a period of soil survey and soil research work in Alberta. A specialist in the field of soil chemistry, Lowe’s research focused on soil organic matter. He was promoted to associate professor in 1970, and professor in 1975. As Associate Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences from 1985 to 1991 Lowe held responsibilities for student counselling, admissions, records, and curriculum matters, as well as continuing to teach. He retired as professor emeritus in 1994.