Allan Mills arrived in Sunnywold in 1909, joining his brother, William, who had been farming there since 1894. Allan and his wife added to their original Sunnywold pre-emption by purchasing their neighbours’ land, as it became available, from the Siddons, Whites and McLounies. The Mills’ 1340-acre operation, the Bar U Ranch, grew grain and raised beef cattle.
Allan Mills’ brother, “Billy,” served as Postmaster for the Sunnywold Post Office from 1914 to 1939, at which time the post office closed. Allan Mills’ sons (likely the two boys featured in the photograph below), were Les and Doug “Buster.” Les married Grace Rawsthorne of Oyama and they operated the Bar U Ranch.
Local historian Penny Baughen writes: “Allan Mills owned a gasoline-powered threshing machine which he and his crew moved from farm to farm pulled by a good team of horses. Careful attention had to be paid to the brakes on the steep downhills and two teams were needed to pull the heavy machine on the return climb. Among the threshing crew who travelled with the machine from farm to farm were neighbours George Tronson, “Speed” Powers and, from further south in Carr’s Landing, James Tocher.
The machine featured here appears to be self-propelled, likely driven by a belt off the flywheel. A rod connects the wheels on each side, making this a four-wheel drive implement. Perhaps it just needed assistance on steep hills.
The Lake Country Museum recently acquired this photograph taken in the Sunnywold (Carr’s Landing) area at the turn of the twentieth century.
Source: Baughen, Penny. Carr’s Landing. A History. Lake Country, BC: Carr’s Landing Community & Recreation Association, 2006.
Photograph: Lake Country Museum & Archives