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Kimberley Families

The Hart Family

as told by Son Bud

Pack trains were a specialty with John Clayton Hart. Born in Mount Forest, Ontario, of Irish parents, he came west as a young man before the railroad was put through. He spent several years in the Fernie area as a Forest Ranger. It was here he met and married an' English girl, Daisy Chamberlain Williams. He worked in Yahk as a timber cruiser and in the winter he had a trap line, using a dog team and sled to cover the area. There is a Hart Creek named after him.

He moved around to different places for awhile and John Clayton Hart Jr. was born in Trail, B.C. In 1924 they came to Kimberley where Mr. Hart built the third house in Upper Blarchmont, before there was a vehicle bridge across Mark Creek. The lumber was taken up the North Star road and skidded down the hill to the building site.

The first summer, Mr. Hart did prospecting up Findlay Creek for the Company and in the winter he worked underground as a miner. In 1928 the Company procured the Estella Mine on Tracy Mountain near Wasa. Tracy Town once boasted five hotels but was by now a deserted village, so one of the hotels served as a barn. The trail up the mountain was very steep, rising one thousand feet in a mile and it was five miles to the mine. Mr. Hart's job was to transport all the equipment and supplies up this steep trail by pack horses, using as many as eight or ten on each trip. Jack Tams was the cook at the camp and assisted Mr. Hart. All the supplies, plus everything that was necessary to maintain the mine was transported in this manner by Mr. Hart.

One piece of equipment was the gasoline driven compressor for supplying air to run the drills and it weighed four hundred and fifty pounds even after it was stripped of everything that could be taken off.

Mr. and Mrs. John Hart

Mr. Hart chose his strongest horse and built a special frame to fit on its back. He improvised a unique contraption with four strong legs that could be lowered to the ground to take the entire weight of the motor, when the horse showed signs of fatigue he would lower the legs to the ground and the horse knew enough to relax free of the heavy load for short intervals. It was a slow and trying trip, but it was done successfully.

Young John (Bud) accompanied his father on many pack trips, starting at the age of ten. He recalls a two month trip to the summit of Mark Creek and Buhl Creek in 1942 for the purpose of building a dam to create a reserve reservoir. Again, a heavy piece of equipment, this time a gate valve weighing three hundred and eighty pounds, had to be transported up the many switchbacks to the summit. Mr. Hart built a narrow stone-boat that could be dragged up the long trail. Nels Bergstrom, Pete Rea and Don McGinnis built the dam while Charlie West, Bud and his Dad packed in all the supplies necessary for the two months stay.

Mr. Hart worked as a miner during the winters. He retired in 1943 and died in 1944.

Bud and his half-sister, Dorothy, his mother's daughter by a previous marriage, received their schooling in Kimberley. Dorothy married and moved to Butte, Montana, where Mrs. Hart went to live until she passed away in 1972.

Bud started working for the Company in 1936 and worked up to a miner. He married Alice Beauregard in 1941. In 1944 he joined the Army for a year and a half, but did not go overseas. On his return, he and Tom Hamilton of Wolfe Creek decided to go in to partnership as guides for fishing and hunting parties. They acquired about thirty pack horses and took fishing parties up Skookumchuck and hunting parties up Coyote Creek, a tributary of Sheep Creek, using as many as seventeen to twenty horses at a time. Two members on one of their hunting parties were well known jockeys, Johnny Longdon, weighing one hundred and five pounds and Herb Lindberg at ninety-eight pounds.

Bud would like to have continued as a guide but he had no pasture for his horses and the venture did not prove practical so he returned to mining.

He has been a member on the executive of the Rod and Gun Club for twenty-five years. He has been active in the Union as shop stewart for the contract miners and has acted on the executive of the Benevolent Society and the Community Chest.

Alice's folks both came from Sherbrook, Quebec. Henry and Regina Beauregard were married and had a daughter, Ida, and a son, Emile, before they started west to Big River, Saskatchewan, Alice was born while they were there.

Henry was a carpenter by trade and in 1921 he began work at the concentrator at Moyie. From there he went to the B.C. Spruce Mills at Lumberton working on the greenchain. In 1930 the family moved to Kimberley, and Mr. Beauregard worked as a carpenter at the Concentrator. He built a house in what was called French Town, now Lower Blarchmont. Their neighbors were the Cornfords and the Deschamps, and over at the foot of the hill lived the Dakins in what was originally the Eimer place.

Ida married and moved to Port Alberni where Mr. and Mrs. Beauregard went after his retirement. Mrs. Beauregard passed away in 1968 and Mr. Beauregard in 1974. Their son, Emile, was killed in Italy during the war.

Alice worked in the Hudson Bay Store before here marriage to Bud. They have two daughers; Sharon and Kathy. Sharon married Ron' Vermette and they live in Penticton. They have two sons. Kathy graduated in 1978 and plans to attend business college. Like her Dad, she loves horses. Bud still has one but he enjoys snow- mobiling in winter and, in summer he rides a trail bike.

Alice and Bud do lots of camping, fishing and hunting. He remembers all the game he and his father used to see while packing into the Estella Mine; deer, mountain sheep, bear and grouse, on Tracy Mountain. Bud retired in 1976 and plans to stay in Marysville, close to the outdoor life he has enjoyed all these years.

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