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Kimberley Families

The Caire Family
as told by Sadie

Justin Frederick Caire, known as Freddie, was born near Detroit, Michigan, in 1885. He left home to seek his fortune when a young man of nineteen. He started out in Medicine Hat, Alberta, as a brakeman for the C.P.R.

After a little over two years he spent some time in Spokane, then in 1906 he got work at the St. Eugene Mine in Moyie as a hoistman. In 1912 he was transferred to the Sullivan Mine at Kimberley, working at the Top Mine as an ore sorter in the Rockhouse. He became the shift boss in the Sorting plant.

George Henry Tibbetts from Windsor, Ontario also started working his way west with his wife, who came from Bowmanville. They had two daughters by this time, Sadie and Ruth. He got work on the railroad in north western U.S.A. for a few years and three more daughters were born, Jess, Grace and Ellen, a son Don was born in Omaha, Nebraska. By 1903, George purchased property above St. Marys River about one mile from Marysville, where a sixth daughter, Eva, was born. George worked this farm until his death in 1913.

Sadie began working for a family in Cranbrook, taking care of two boys. A cousin, Fred Egge worked at the Top Mine and Sadie came to work at the Cookhouse for three years. It was here she met Freddie Caire and they were married in 1916, and lived at the Top Mine. There were quite a number of newly-weds living there and Sadie enj oyed the friendliness of the close knit community. She recalls the good times everyone participated in, especially the long sleigh rides down the hill into town in the winter- time.

During the strike of 1919-1920, Freddie worked for the Otis Staples Lumber Company, and returning to the Top Mine in June of 1920. In 1926, Freddie and Sadie had the misfortune of losing a child that was stillborn.

In 1927, the Company was building several blocks of new houses on McDougall townsite to accommodate the many families that were moving in to work at the Mine. Since the main tunnel had been completed in 1915, the Company was expanding. When Freddie began working at the Machine shop, they moved into one of these houses. The rent was only fifteen dollars a month. After incorporation of the City in 1944, the houses were sold to the renters. Freddie retired in 1953 after forty-four years service With the Company.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and he enjoyed gardening and fishing until his death in 1971. Sadie and her sister, Ruth, were members of the Pythian Sisters. Sadie still resides in the little house on Seventh Avenue on the Townsite and enjoys her many friends in the community where she has lived so many years.

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