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Kimberley Families

The Cannon Family


contributed

John and Jane Cannon came from County Donegal, Ireland in 1920, arriving in Halifax and coming to Cranbrook by train.

John had already spent about five years from 1909 to 1914, working at the Top Mine, and this is where he returned to work. They walked the two and a half miles to the Top Mine along the narrow wooded trail.

They obtained a house, although it had no electricity for two years and kerosene lamps were used. A coal and wood stove was used for cooking and a Quebec heater kept them warm.

The week before Jane's first baby was to be born, she walked down into town and took a taxi to Cranbrook. A daughter Annie was born in the hospital there. She returned to Kemberley the same way and again walked to the Top Mine carrying the baby as well.

A son Robbie was born at the Top Mine. When a baby was expected, Dr. Hannington would walk up from town or catch a ride with the grocery truck and wait at the cookhouse until the baby was to be born, then he would be aided by a neighbor lady who acted as mid-wife. The Dr. cam up the next day to see how the mother and baby were doing.

A hospital was built on Townsite by the time a second son Mickey was born.

Memories of life in those early days were varied. All members of families were inveited to weddings and a young couple was always shivereed. Milk was delivered in large cans by horse and wagon or sleigh by Ben Keer. Everyone had a clean lard pail outside their and it would be filled to the amount required.

The recreation hall was managed by Jack Willis. It had a confectionary and bowling etc. and was open day and evening. The one room school housed all eight grades, with an enrollment of about sixteen to twenty pupils. The teachers remembered were Martello, Knott and Orchard. The teachers usually lived in Kimberley and walked the hill.

Mr. Thor made swedish chairs and many used them for going and coming from the Top Mine to Kimberley in winter. Many accidents happened because of the speed they would travel going down the long hill.

Any entertainment for the children was put on by the people of the Top Mine, who supplied the food and gifts, especially at Christmas, when the school put on a concert.

John and Jane and their family left Kimberley about 1930.

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