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Kimberley Families

The Mellor Family
as told by daughter, Edith

Albert Mellor was born in Huntsville, Ontario, and came to Pilot Bay, B.C. in the late 1890's where he worked as a sawyer.

Mrs. Mellor was born Florence Moore in Rupert, Quebec, and worked as a hotel waitress, first in Winnipeg and later in Pilot Bay where she met Mr. Mellor. They were married there in 1902. They had three children before they came to Marysville where they bought a general store from a Mr. McCabe.

Marysville was booming at this time, and boasted four hotels. A smelter was in operation, but not doing so well, and finally had to close down. Business fell off, so they opened a second store in Kimberley in 1918. For a short time they rented the Mark Creek building which the Company purchased. Mr. Mellor built a store half a block down the street which had no businesses beyond that point, at that time. A wooden sidewalk continued on from the new store. In 1922 they discontinued the store in Marysville, and moved all the stock to Kimberley. By this time, they had built a house across the street, not far from the North Star Hotel.

The three Mellor children were Percy, Earl and Edith. Percy and his boyhood friend, Frank McMahon, were inseparable. Frank's mother helped run the North Star hotel. Percy worked for the Company. Earl was a baseball player and would often walk to Wycliffe to play. The nine mile road was rough gravel and very dusty.

Edith Mellor

When Edith was young, she took piano lessons from Belle Taylor, daughter of Alex Taylor who owned and operated the sawmill. A little later, she and Nell Handley of Marysville would play for the silent movies in Handley's Hall, a converted livery barn. Belle also gave piano lessons to pupils in Cranbrook, Marysville and Kimberley, travelling the twenty miles by horse and buggy. She married C. C. Snowden, a wealthy oil man of Calgary.

Edith recalls a birthday party at Wycliffe for Frances Chalmick. It was a gala affair held in the community hall. Roy Leask was a guest. He drove a small delivery truck between Cranbrook and Kimberley for Walkley's Meat Market. It was a warm August evening and Roy offered Edith a ride. The road leading out of Wycliffe went down a steep hill to the bridge across the St. Marys River. There were sharp turns both at the top and bottom. The truck failed to make the turn at the top and rolled down the embankment into the river below. Roy was thrown out, but Edith landed in the river. He ran for help and Edith, after wading to the bank, was brought up, rather badly cut and bruised. When asked how she felt, she replied, "I can dance another two step." Nevertheless, she spent a month in bed. A severe cut over her left eye threatened her sight, and her eyes were bandaged for some time. Luckily there were no complications except her father's ire. He forbade her to see that young, man again. However, youth will have its way and she continued to see Roy. When she reached eighteen, they eloped to Coeur d'Alene and were married. Roy lived in Cranbrook, so they made their home there for twelve years. When her father passed away in 1939, she came back to Kimberley where, together with Earl, she helped her mother run the store. Edith lived alone in the house her father built, until her death in 1977, having retired from the clothing business which she sold a few years ago.

Earl married Peggy Austin, a girl from Kaslo. Peggy trained as a nurse in the St. Eugene Hospital in Cranbrook. They had three daughters: Joan, Lynn and Wendy. Joan married Terry Johnson and now lives in Victoria. Lynn is Mrs. Batsford and resides in California. Wendy is Mrs. Berardelli and lives in Comox. Earl passed away in 1957 after a lengthy illness.

Percy married Lavine (Viney) Chapman, and continued to work for the Company until his death in 1966.

Going back to earlier days, Edith and Nell Handley once attended a skating party on Taylor's Pond. They came up from Marysville in a cutter. After tethering the horse at the North Star Hotel hitching post, away they went for hours of fun. They had just started for home, when old Dobbin who had been standing still for a long time decided he wanted some action. So around the first sharp curve the cutter overturned and the two girls were dumped into the snow bank. The cutter righted itself and the horse headed for home at top speed. The girls walked back to town and hired Hedley MacLeod's jitney.

Edith and Roy had two daughters. One is now Pat Kershaw and lives in Cranbrook. She had been married to Red Maxwell who died just two weeks after Edith's brother Earl's demise. Pat and Red had two daughters, Joan and Marlene. The other daughter, Georgina, now Mrs. Hood, is living in Victoria and is the mother of six strapping sons.

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