The Deschamps Family
as told by Ed's son, George
Two of the Deschamps family ventured west shortly after the turn of the century. Edward (Ed) and Charles (Charlie) left St. Isadore, Ontario where they were born, and travelled their separate ways. Ed going to Rossland, B.C. in 1907, where he worked in logging camps for several years. The Deschamps had two sons, Steven and George and a daughter Albertine. Mrs. Deschamps died following the birth of George, and Ed remarried. A second tragedy followed when Steven was drowned in Duck Lake at Creston. Four more children were born in Rossland, a son Emil and three daughters, Clara, Florence and Yvonne.
Charlie went south to New York State first and then to Nevada and finally to Pincher Creek Alberta where he obtained a farm and lived there until 1929.
Ed moved from Rossland to Kimberley in 1925. The little town was really beginning to grow and McDougall Townsite and Chapman Camp were also expanding. He got a job with the Company, driving a team of horses and hauling lumber, gravel and other building materials for the Concentrator and Chapman Camp. His team was stabled in a small barn in Pig Pen Alley, about where the Baptist Church now stands on Marsden Street. The pigs were moved away many years ago, but the name Pig Pen Alley stuck to Marsden Street for a long time.
Ed Houle was in charge of clearing the land at Chapman Camp and the Townsite for the new homes and buildings.
When Charlie came to Kimberley from Pincher Creek in 1929, he started with the Company by taking over Ed's team and Ed moved up to a truck driver. Charlie married Ida Allen of Nelson and they had three sons, Allen, Stuart and Billy. He purchased the Eimer place at the far end of Lower Blarchmont against the hill. It had been nicknamed, Little Quebec and French Town owing to a few French families who built their homes there, the Rouleaus, Fontaines and Beauregards, to name a few.
Charlie later bought some property on Pighins road near Wycliffe where he worked a small farm for several years. Two of his sons still own the property.
Ed retired in the early 1940's and Charlie in 1950. Ed passed away in Kimberley in 1946 and Charlie in the late 1950's.
Ed's two sons, George and Emil still live in Kimberley. George was a roamer for several years, working at many jobs in many places. He first drove teams for George Wanuk and Dick Burke and then for Charlie Bernards Transfer. He has worked in farming, driving teams and working in the bush as an axeman. He has done blacksmithing, carpentry, pipe-fitting, diamond drilling and oil drilling in the Turner Valley, there is almost nothing that George wouldn't tackle. He worked for the Company five different times before he decided to stay with them in 1941 and went on the diamond drill crew until he retired.
George married Bill Therriault's sister, Zelma, in 1942. He often helped Bill unload and deliver coal in the rush seasons when Bill owned and operated the Kootenay Transfer Company. They have two children, a daughter Eileen, who was born in Rossland and an adopted son, Alfred. Eileen married Dick Leinweber, a contractor in Kimberley and they have four children: Ricky, Menila, Shelley and Lyle. Alfred is also married, he lives in Nelson and works for the R.C.M.P. on telecommunications.
George retired from the Company in 1968 and his wife passed away in 1972. He was remarried in 1974 to Zola Siedler and they reside in Meadowbrook, where they have an acre of land and a well kept garden. George found living on one lot in town was too confining. He and his wife are always busy and are presently remodelling a house in Lower Blarchmont.