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Kimberley Families

The Clarricoates Family
as told by son, Tom, and Tom's son, Charles

Five generations of Clarricoates have resided in Kimberley over the years. Grandfather and Grandmother, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Oliver Clarricoates, came to Kimberley in 1925. He worked as barn boss when Dick Burke and Harry (Blind) Morrison ran the livery stable, where the Liquor Store now stands. There were two big barns and one small one in that vicinity. The small one was run by George Bentley who took over the larger barn later. Thomas took care of several teams of draft horses that delivered freight, especially lumber, for the fast growing town plus groceries for the Mark Creek Store. His son, Tom Jr., was a driver of one of these teams.

Tom Jr. (T.H.) was born in Lincolnshire County, England, and came to Canada with his father when only sixteen, in the spring of 1913. They worked on a prairie farm near Saskatoon. Tom went back to England during the later part of the war and saw action in Belgium. He was there when the Armistice was signed, but did not get back to Canada until 1919. His younger brother, Jim, saw action in France and was gassed, which affected his lungs for the rest of his life.

Tom met and married an English lass, Mabel Cullen, from Codington. She arrived in Canada, a war bride, three months before Tom could get passage. They settled near Pouce Coupe in the Peace River, where he obtained land through a soldier's grant. They were there only two years and in that short time had experienced drought, hail and a cyclone. He spent a few weeks looking around for a good spot to settle, working at log- ging or whatever he could find, before returning to Kimberley. A son, Charles, had been born in the Peace River, in a place called Waterhole, Alberta.

Tom Clarricoates, Teamster

Tom's brother, Jim, married Annette Gauthier and lived in Kimberley. Their five children; Tom, Marie, Lucy, Jimmie and Elizabeth Ann now reside in Cranbrook. Jim has passed away and Annette moved to White Rock. Tom's older sister, Elizabeth, married Bob White. They had one daughter, Sarah. His younger sister, Millie, married Mike Rayko, who worked at the Stemwinder for awhile. They moved to Bellevue and Coleman and have six children.

In those early days in the mid 1920's, Tom was driving a team and he worked in many areas of Kimberley, hauling heavy equipment for T. Con- nors Diamond Drilling Company. He skidded logs for their wood-burning boiler that ran the drills. He worked on the construction of the back road to the Townsite with several other chaps, driving teams. John Dickson was the road boss. He also worked clearing the land for the cemetery and remembers the first burial, Angus Livingstone. Tom's father did hand mucking at the North Star Mine when they were cleaning up the dumps.

The senior Clarricoates purchased property and moved to Meadowbrook in 1929. They had been living in a log house built against the hill, on Wallinger Ave., just back of the Funeral Home.

In the meantime two more sons were born to Tom and Mabel; Bill in Cranbrook (due to the lack of hospital facilities in Kimberley at the time) and Dick in Kimberley. Tom had built a home in Happy Valley. He then went to work for the Company underground in the mid 1930's, where he worked for the next twenty-two years. He retired in 1956 at age fifty-nine. They continued to live in their home in Happy Valley for fifty-four years, until recently. In 1977, Mabel age 82, went into the Extended Care Unit of the Hospital and Tom, also 82, is now residing in the Pines Special Care Home nearby.

His son Charles has many recollections of growing up in those busy early days. Their first home was one of two small houses next to what is now the Sullivan Hotel. There was a Chinese laundry at the back of the building, with the residence in the front, run by a man named Sam. Another laundry on Spokane Street was run by Mah Sing (suits dry cleaned for $1.00! ).

Charles remembers the cows from McKay's dairy just up the creek from them, being driven to pasture past their back door. Once they caused a team of horses to bolt down the hill towards the barns, smashing up the wagon and breaking his father's foot. Once, a man named Stevens stopped at the Livery Barn overnight with a string of many pack horses that all had to be fed and watered. The building that was owned by Harry (Blind) Morrison, became the Mark Creek Store. It had rooms upstairs and a cafe and a warehouse for feed below.

Where the Bank of Montreal now stands was the Royal Cafe, run by King Lee, a very fat Chinaman that Tom says had a heart as big as his body.

He remembers Charlie Bernard's Coal and Wood Transfer, Bruno Fabro and George Wanuk also had coal and wood transfer, next door to the railway station. The C.P.R. water tank was near- by and a turn table was taken out and freight sheds built on the site.

Charles first went to work for Johnny Woods at the Cherry Creek Dairy before he joined the Seaforth Highlanders and spent four years overseas. He saw action in Italy, Sicily, France, Germany and Holland. He was wounded twice. He returned in 1945 and has worked for the Com- pany as a miner since then.

He married Alice Bureau, whose parents came to Kimberley in 1931, and they have five children; Cheryl, David, Susan, Bob and an adopted daughter, Janice.

Cheryl died in 1957. David married Patsy Per- visan and lives in Kimberley, working for the Company on transportation, dealing with the hot muck situation. They have three children; David Jr., Steven and Brenda.

Susan married John Lyon, first aid attendant underground, and they have two children; Pam and Darren. Bob used to work on the yard crew at the Mine and married Kittie Davidson. They have two sons; Charles and Craig. He is now working on trackless mining. Janice is still a stu- dent.

Charles and Alice have recently acquired property in Meadowbrook where he plans to retire.

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