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Kimberley Families

The Linquist Family
as told by daughter, Florence

Olof (Ole) Linquist came from Skelleftea, Northern Sweden, in 1923. First to Minnesota, U.S.A., and then to Kenora, Ontario. He finally arrived in Kimberley and as he had studied to be an electrician in Sweden, he obtained work readily at the Concentrator.

Martha (Mary) Soderburg came to Cranbrook from Stockholm to marry Ole in February of 1924. Sammy Luciano, a Kimberley taxi driver, was the best man.

A son, Herb, was born in the Cranbrook hospital in 1924, due to the lack of a hospital in Kimberley. Four more children were born after one was built: Mildred, Stan, Florence and Ruth.

In 1928, Ole went to Creston. He became interested in an electrical power System for the town. He foresaw a good future for electrical power in the area and he financed and engineered a generating station on the Goat River near Canyon. Before it could go into production, the B.C. Hydro put in a line to Creston and Ole "lost his shirt". He returned to Kimberley and again got a job in the Electrical Shop at the Mine. He became the Shop Foreman until he retired in 1958.

He built two houses and renovated one on Chapman Street in lower Blarchmont, starting in 1930, and the family lived in one of them. That same year his brother, Hugo, came to Kimberley and went to work on the line gang. He was transferred to Trail and now lives in Rossland.

Ole was a strong supporter of any committee or organization he joined. He was one of the first members of the 1. M. M. & S. W. Union, Local 651. He was on the original Board of Directors of the Credit Union. He acted on the Medical Board and was one of the organizers of the Co-op Store when it first opened up on Deer Park Avenue. He was also a member of the C.C.F. political party.

He was also one of the first members of the early ski club when it built the cabin at Myrtle Mountain, and he helped to build the beautiful stone fireplace in it. Florence remembers the happy times everyone enjoyed in that cabin. After a day of skiing, the gang would dance to an old accordion, played by the caretaker, Chris Bristol. Everyone was sorry when this cabin burned down. Some of those early skiers were, George Chesham, Herb Linquist, Alf Johannson, Dave Dakin, Otto Skribe and Sam Wormington.

The children all received their schooling in Kimberley. Herb started an apprenticeship with the Company as a machinist. He joined the Navy and met the girl he married in Victoria. On his return he completed his training as a machinist and is now working in Victoria. They have three sons and a daughter: Alan, Gordon, Martin and Karen. Karen loves coming to Kimberley to ski.

Mildred trained as a nurse in Port Arthur, Ontario, and married Bob Wright. They live in Atikokan, near Thunder Bay, where she still nurses. They have a son and a daughter: Danny and Shirley.

Stan was the manager of the Co-op store for awhile. He was an accordionist and often played for dances at the Elk's club and the Legion, as well as for many Scandinavian affairs. Stan remained a bachelor and is now working in a sawmill near Bull River.

Florence worked as a cashier in the office of the Mark Creek Store before her marriage to George Wallin. He came to Kimberley in 1947, and worked in the Mine where he is still employed. They have three children: Grant, Eric and Janet. Grant and Eric are a third generation working for the Company. Grant is in the underground crushing chamber. Janet is working in an office in Yellowknife. They all enjoy the sport of skiing. Florence is a Jehovah's Witness and keeps busy with their many activities.

Ruth married George Jones, also born in Kimberley. He is the Manager of the Gulf Oil Bulk Plant in Cranbrook. They have three children: Michael, Terri Lynn and Douglas.

Mrs. Linquist was a member of the Hospital Auxiliary and did a lot of knitting and crocheting in her day. She passed away in 1964. Ole is now eighty-four and resides in the Tom Uphill Home for senior citizens in Fernie.

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