The Martin Family
as told by son Lyle
George Duncan Martin was born in Arnprior, Ontario and began his working years as a logger. He moved west to Prince Albert Saskatchewan where he met and married Willena Shannon in 1914. Willena's parents were McBeths from Nova Scotia and came west to that area in a Red River cart. Willena's brother was a North West Mounted Police. In their trek west, they en- countered no Indian trouble and only lost one chicken.
From Prince Albert, George and Willena moved to Grandview, Manitoba for a short time. A daughter Muriel had been born in Prince Albert and a son Lyle was born in Grandview.
Their next move was to Edmonton, Alberta where a son Jack was born. George was still a logger but arranged to take a welding course. On completion, he along with John Shannon and Tom Lewis opened the Reliance Welding Shop but it didn't pay enough to maintain three partners, so in 1922 George sold his share. He went to work on the crew that installed the first gas line into Edmonton and he went to Cincin- nati, Ohio and helped install the first gas line there.
In 1924 he came to Cranbrook looking for work. No luck so he tried Kimberley but was in- formed they had enough blacksmiths and were not familiar with welding. George went to Trail but still could not find employment. On his return to Kimberley he met Don Revie, who also had tried to get work with no luck. Don decided that a Stage Service was needed between Cranbrook and Kimberley and offered George a partnership in the Star Stages. George turned down the offer and tried one more time to get a welding job with the Company by offering to work a day or two without pay to show the Company the advan- tages of welding as opposed to forging. He proved his ability and George became the first welder in the area.
He brought his family to Kimberley and they stayed with the Ben Schorheim's until a small dwelling was built across Mark Creek from town. This was all bush at the time, with only two other houses there, the John Harts and the Osterloh's. They lived there only a short time as Kimberley was growing so fast that a proper bridge was replacing the foot log that crossed the creek and according to town planning, George had built his house in the middle of Wallinger Avenue, on the corner where it enters upper Blarchmont. Today that corner is between Mr. Mikes and Dixie Lee Chicken.
He built another house in Happy Valley but the Company was busy filling McDougall Townsite with homes for their workers, so they rented one of these on Sixth Avenue. George died in 1944 and when the Company sold all the houses, so the City could incorporate them, Mrs. Martin purchased the one she still resides in.
George was an active man even after working hours. His hobby was building boats in his spare time, nine in all. He once designed and built a hydroplane by utilizing two motorcycle engines. He used to test it out on the old Taylor's mill pond, but it didn't prove very successful. He was interested in Trap and Skeet shooting and in- vented an electric thrower for clay pidgeons to replace the hand operated one. He had a small work shop in his basement and made his own shaper and planer.
Their daughter Muriel trained to be a teacher and taught in Kimberley for five years. She died in 1940 of pernicious anemia. When the family first moved here, Muriel remained in school in Prince Albert and lived with her Aunt and Grandmother Shannon there.
Lyle went to work for the Company, first as an oiler in the power house for seven years. Then a short time in the welding shop with his father and then worked on heavy equipment on the back fill and the open pit where the Top Mine use to be. Later he went underground on drilling and the timber gang, and blast hole loading. Lyle retired in 1974 after one year on sick leave.
He married Marie Hansen in in 1938. Her parents originally came from Norway to Saskatchewan in 1927. They came to Kimberley in 1934. Her brother, Erling, has worked for the Company for many years and still resides in Kimberley.
Lyle and Marie had seven children that all attended school here. Rochelle married Ken Roe who works at the Mine warehouse, and they have three children. Annette was only twelve years old when she died in the 1952 polio epidemic. Ar- dith is now in Penticton working in a hospital laboratory. George married Gail Burton of Cran- brook. He is a millwright at the Concentrator and they have a boy and a girl. Terry is a diamond driller in the Mine and also acts as a trainer for the Dynamiter Hockey team. He married Katherine Pearson of Kimberley and they have one son, Karey. Son Toni works in Enderby at present and Grant is still attending school.
George and Willena's youngest son, Jack, married Mary Settler, and they have three boys, all raised in Kimberley. Keith works for the Company at the Mine. Darrel is a salesman in Calgary and Doug is a Biologist, working in Banff. Jack has just recently retired from the Company where he worked as a welder.
Lyle and Marie still reside on Townsite, near Mrs. Martin, Sr.