The Miles Family
as told by son, Fred
Frederick (Fred) Miles was born in Tonbridge, England. He came to Canada in 1921, directly from India after spending seven years of the war in the Khyber Pass. The arid mountainous air for all those years caused lung problems.
He spent about a year around Bull River working for a lumber mill and in 1922 got work with the Company on the construction of the Concentrator. The Company was using a machine for moving heavy equipment called the "Mary Ellen" and he worked with that crew. He lived at the Chapman Camp bunkhouse and ate in the cookhouse where Tom Crosley was cook and Edith Grey was a waitress. He married Edith in 1924.For several years, Fred worked in the boiler house at the hospital and transferred to the power house at the Mine until his retirement in 1950.
Fred and Edith had four children, Frederick Jr. (Fred) and a daughter Dorothy that died while still an infant, Kenneth (Ken) and Donald (Don).
Their first home was in town, next door to the Kavanagh's. Fred can remember the different neighbors, the Skeads, Murrays, Dolsons, Edmonds, and Palms, with Dr. Davis, Albin Johnson and the Hedlands across the street. Their next home was in Summers Subdivision for a few years.
Fred and Edith both liked gardening and Fred raised small exotic chickens. Each year when the town used to hold a Horticulture Show, Fred and Jimmy Robson were always in charge of the birds and small animals on display. He liked bird hunting and raised hunting dogs, Labradors and Spaniels.
Fred owned some choice property at Wasa Lake when there were only seven cabins there in the early days, where the family would spend summer holidays. He sold it in 1948 for $110.
Fred was a member of the Great War Veterans Association and when the Candian Legion started up in Kimberley, he became a member and Edith joined the Ladies Auxiliary.
Fred Jr. began working for the Company on the outside crew, laying track and emptying coal s for $1.35 a day. One of the jobs was swamping out the road for the big shovel. This is now the hill to Townsite and Lois Creek. He joined the Navy and spent three years as a sonar operator in the Atlantic on a mine sweeper, a frigate and a P.T. Boat.
On his return in 1946, he went into the Rockhouse below the Mine portal and was only there for a year when he lost an eye in a dynamite explosion.
It was around this time that both Fred and Ken purchased adjoining properties on St. Marys Prairie near Pighins Dairy, known as the Pighin Loop. They continued to work for the Company and each ran a farm as well. In 1952, Fred Sr. and Edith also obtained property in the same area where he raised some livestock and had a garden.
Fred Jr. married Lorraine Eberle and they have three children, Scott and twin girls, Heather and Holly.
Lorraine has become totally involved in raising Arabian horses and beef cattle, a Charolais- Shorthorn cross. Both Fred and Lorraine have .taken riding instructions and Lorraine has many trophies and ribbons displayed that have been won. The children also ride. Like his father, Fred raises pheasants, ducks and exotic chickens. Their holidays are spent attending various exhibitions where they can view and participate in many events.
Ken works as a millwright at the Concentrator. He married Sophia Dishman of Creston. They have four children, Julie, Cathie, David and Rodney. Ken sold his property and moved to TaTa Creek in 1968. They now have a home at Wasa Lake.
Don first worked for his brothers, Fred and Ken, for three years and then moved to Cranbrook where he worked for Lancaster's Dairy. He went driving semi-trailers for a time and then a Pepsi truck for ten or twelve years. He now runs his own trucking business in Cranbrook. He married Lorraine Laing who had four children by a previous marriage. Don and Lorraine adopted two, Roddy and Anne, a brother and sister.
When Edith passed away in 1964,Fred tried to manage the property on his own but he finally gave it up and moved to a small dwelling on Ken's place at TaTa Creek. He passed away in 1972.
Fred remembers his father as a stern disciplinarian, but a very good provider.