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Kimberley Families

The Burch Family

as told by son Arthur

Art's parents came from Grantsburg, Wisconsin, in 1906. His father was Issac Lewis Burch, born of Swedish parents from Brockton, N. Y. Issac worked for the Otis Staples Lumber Company in Wycliffe as a bush foreman.

Art went to school in Cranbrook and in 1914 started working for Little and Atchison's grocery store, where he gained his experience in the grocery business. At that time he became acquainted with Lloyd Crowe, who worked for Manning's grocery store in Cranbrook. Lloyd Crowe came to Kimberley to manage a grocery store in the fast growing community. In 1927 Art came to work for Lloyd Crowe and Bob MacLeod, the joint owners.

O'Neill's drug store was next door and Rutherford's Clothing was located in the building presently occupied by MacLeods Hardware. Although Art didn't spend many years in Kimberley, he remembers how it used to be in those early days. He was the third person to be employed by Lloyd Crowe and the others who came to work there were Frank Johnson, Harry Bryant, Cliff and Jim Shea, Frank Stuart, Dave Robertson, Gus Nord and Bob Campbell. Stan Norton was the bookkeeper. They sold feed and hay as well as groceries and Art especially recalls the busy days, Saturdays and pay days. In those days the store remained open late on Saturday nights, and it was the usual procedure after the busy day to load up the orders and start delivering at ten o'clock at night and sometimes not-getting finished until one on Sunday morning. People had to stay up late to wait for their groceries. An incident that sticks in Art's memory concerned a man that owned several horses. Invariably, at ten o'clock on every Saturday night he would come to the store just as they were locking up and order two bales of hay and a sack of oats.

John Dickson was the janitor of the store and it was during this time that his son, John, was killed in a mining accident.

Art had a sister who died in Cranbrook in 1913. His brother, Bob, worked at McCreary Bros. Clothing store in Cranbrook until his health forced him to seek a drier climate in Nevada. In 1932 Art decided he, too, would go there but after two years came back and in 1934 moved to Wynndel to run his own grocery store.

In 1931 Art married a Cranbrook girl, Vera Baxter, and they have one son, Gary, now the maintenance foreman for the Wynndel school district. Gary has three "children: two girls, Dawn and Sandra and one son Robert. Art's daughter, Janice also lives in Wynndel and she has one daughter, Hilary.

While they lived in Kimberley, they resided in the United Church manse, which was near the newly built arena, so Art became very interested in hockey and attended many games. He remembers the Mackie brothers, Earl Mellor and Paul Kozak. Mr. Crowe was very active in getting hockey started in Kimberley.

When Mr. Crowe was transferred to the Company store in Trail, Safeway bought out the business in Kimberley but did not stay long. Many of the other business's at that time were Dave Sutherland's Jewelry store, Charlie Crisford's Hardware, Chatson's Confectionary (where Fred's place now stands), Martin Bros. Real Estate, Charlie Morrison's Furniture store, Zak's Butcher shop, Fred Burrin and Eric Wood's Garage, the Chinese Laundry and Houle's dairy at Meadowbrook. When Tony Muraca started up his store he asked Art to come and work for him. Bob MacLeod left Crowe's to manage the Mark Creek Store for many years.

When Art went to Wynndel, he still had connections in the area as he sold feed to the Company Dairy when it was operating in Marysville.

Art retired in 1970,the same year that he was awarded Citizen of the Year in Wynndel for outstanding contributions to the many organizations he worked for.

Wynndel is only a couple of hours drive from Kimberley where he still visits friends occasionally.

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