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Kimberley Families

The William Young Family
as told by son, Bill

Kilmarnoch, Scotland, was the birth place of William (Billy) McArthur Young. He came to Canada in 1910 to Nanaimo to work in the coal mine there. He was married in Nanaimo. They had two daughters, Jean and Isobel (Isa), and a son Bill while they lived there. He also played in the Brass Band in that City.

In 1915 the family moved to Rossland but Mr. Young worked in nearby Trail, and they moved into Trail later. A son, George, was born there.

In the spring of 1922 Mr. Young was transferred to Kimberley as a shift boss at the newly built Concentrator. His family arrived in September, just in time for the children to start school. It took almost a full three days of travel to get to Kimberley. First, the train from Trail to Nelson where they boarded a Kootenay Lake Paddlewheeler and stayed all night. Next morn- ing they travelled down the lake and again got on the train at Kootenay Landing, arriving in Cranbrook late afternoon, to spend the night in a hotel. In the morning, a man named Ted James drove them to Kimberley in a model T Ford, loaded with luggage. This trip today can be made in four hours or less, taking the Salmo-Creston route.

Their first home in Chapman Camp was one of six tar-paper shacks. Joe Harris lived in one, the others were occupied by Mark Brooks, Dune Robertson, Nick McKenzie and Harold Andrews. Ross Doran lived in a tent as did many others. Water was obtained from a community tap near the cookhouse in summer, and from the cookhouse itself in winter. There was a large trap door in the middle of the shack floor, with a hole underneath that acted as a cooler for food.

The older children started school the next day after they arrived, by walking to the Central School in Kimberley. It was another two years before a school was built in Chapman Camp. If the weather in winter got extremely cold, (and it could be thirty or forty below zero Fahrenheit) the Company supplied a sleigh with straw and heated bricks. Their lunch consisted of two syrup sandwiches wrapped in an Old Country paper. Two children, Agnes (Sls) and John were born after they moved to Chapman Camp. Sis was the first baby born in Camp.

Billy Young was the first Band Master of the Kimberley and District Band when it was formed. Fred Webber was also a member of that Band. Billy played in an orchestra as well and taught the Indian kids at the St. Eugene Mission to play brass instruments and to form their first band.

Bill remembers getting rides to the Top Mine with Mr. Keer and they got their milk from McClure's Mountain View Dairy near Wycliffe. He also recalls the dances that were held with George James' one-man band consisting of a mouth organ, guitar and drum. There was no recreation hall as yet, so the dances were held in one bunkhouse and the refreshments served in another. Next day the kids would have a party on all the leftover goodies from the night before.

Other memories were Mr. Kaprons's pig pens near Mark Creek that gave Marsden Street the name "Pig Pen Alley". But in those early days the pigs ran wild among the shacks and rooted around the trees in Chapman Camp.

Bill watched the actual building of the first permanent homes in the area. The basements were dug with a horse drawn scoop, and he remembers a man named Mike Dominic who blasted all the stumps out to make the ball field, now the village green. Little Bill was the mascot for the Camp baseball team when they played in the League at Wycliffe, Cranbrook and Lumberton.

A small store and the Post Office was run by Dave Clark and Tommy Ellison. Dave Clark was the man that operated the huge shovel when it dug its way up to the Townsite. This is now the main road between town and the Townsite.

Jean Young became a stenographer at the Concentrator in 1934 but died that same year. Isobel (Isa) worked for Tommy Ellison at the Post Office until her marriage to Don McKenzie. They have one son Donald, now a Chiropracter in Edmonton. Agnes (Sls) also worked as a stenographer for the Company at the Concentrator and married Ken J. McKenzie (no relation to Don). They have four children: three boys, Edward, Brian and Donald and one girl, Arlene.

George (Gee) took an electric apprenticeship with the Company and he worked in the electric shop at the Concentrator and later transferred to the drafting office. He married a Jaffrey girl, Jean Desrosier, and she worked at the Company General Office. They had no children. Both George and Jean are now retired.

John has worked for Fabro in the store and the lumber yard for twenty-eight years. He married Joyce Swan who is remembered for her activities in figure skating, and they have three daughters: Denise, Susan and Dayle. John played hockey for the Dynamiters and still plays for the Old Timers. He has acted as time keeper for the Hockey Club. John now works at at the Concentrator as a sign painter.

Bill started with the Company in 1930. He was the second apprentice in the pipefitters shop when Joe Harris was the boss. Angus Morrison was the first man to be a pipefitter apprentice. When Bill retired he was the Foreman of the Pipe Shop. This job included the managing of the Concentrator Fire Department.

Bill married Etta McGill of Cranbrook in 1942. They have no children. They have both been active in the Masonic Lodge and the Eastern Star. Bill is a Charter member of the Cranbrook Kinsman Club and now a Life Member. He was active on the Chapman Camp Village Council for two terms. They belong to a square dancing group. Bill recently retired and moved to the An- tique Trailer Court in Erickson where the winters are a little milder but still close enough to Kimberley to visit often.

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