Dennis Quong was one of the oldest inhabitants of this area. He first came to the Wild Horse in search of gold. He had heard of the gold strike in his travels around California. He left San Francisco in 1881 travelling north by boat to Victoria and then across to Sapperton, as New Westminster was known. There was no great port of Vancouver in those days and Gastown was a mere off-shoot of the more pretentious Royal City. By pack train and afoot he travelled to Hope where he saw the construction work being carried out to complete the C. P. R.
From Hope it was necessary to re-enter the United States and proceed to Sandpoint, then north to Wild Horse, arriving eighteen months after leaving San Francisco. He staked his claim near the site of the present Fort Steele.
Eventually, the placer field gave out and our adventurer, struck with the richness of the virgin land, turned to the occupation of his ancestors, farming.
The railway had arrived by this time and logging companies were starting operations in a big way, as was mining. Dennis Quong soon found a ready market for his produce. The North Star, Stemwinder and Sullivan had occasion to thank Providence for Dennis Quong, for he showed faith in the future as he trucked his vegetables to the cookhouse doors. He was one of the first to welcome Mark Beduz to the Kimberley cookhouse.
His large garden was on property rented from Herb McClure on St. Marys Prairie. The McClures recall what a hard working but kind-hearted man he was. Christmas always brought gifts of Chinese silks and nuts for all, and each Easter everyone of his customers received a Chinese lily bulb.
Dennis Quong is part of the historic pattern of the Kootenays. His loyalty and touch of Eastern philosophy were a byword. His love of children and their love for him was a local tradition. Anyone who lived in Kimberley in those early years can remember Dennis with kind thoughts always.