Reminiscences of Clara Hallam (née Bailey) continued
Hallam reminiscences 2 (pp. 27-30) Some stylistic changes have been made in the text to reflect modern usage.
1907 – 1909
“… There was to be a big skating party on Duck Lake one night so brother Bill, Phoebe and I were going down with our skates over our shoulder and the old coal oil lamp in our hands. It was real cold that night we walked down about a good mile and a half, maybe two. They were skating across the bay from where we were. We had to cross over the ice and Bill was in the lead and he stepped in a hole in the ice and went down lantern and all. Of course there was some screaming there for a while but we stopped and were afraid to go any closer, but anyhow he caught himself on the ice and Perry Clark and Charlie Simpson came to the rescue with a rail to get him out. The old coal oil lantern is still there. And about that time we had a Presbyterian Minister come up to have service in the little school. His name was Rev. Grey. He used to ride up on saddle horse from Mr. and Mrs. Wood’s place at the end of Woods Lake it was then, the lower end of Kalamalka Lake now. He used to stay over there Sunday. That was the first time I attended church. I went down with Grandma Clark; she liked to go to Church. Was at Mr. and Mrs. Woods a very nice Scotch couple [Petries].
When we first settled at Wood Lake, Winfield now, there was only four houses in the whole district except the reservation. The Mrs. Wollan house and the Tom Wood house over at Woodsdale, burned down now, and the old halfway house where the road goes over the hill to the Rainbow ranch and the Postill ranch at the end of Duck Lake. I remember one day we took a picnic lunch and drove down to the Postill ranch to pick red currants as the fruit was pretty scarce in the Okanagan those days. How we did enjoy that.
There were no hospitals in Kelowna or Vernon then. We were lucky not to have very much sickness. But in order for the family to live, Dad, J. Bailey, worked at anything going, building or logging. He nearly always [did] contract logging and built roads or ditches.
He worked on Casorso’s big barn, worked or built most of the houses at Okanagan Centre.
The old Westbury Hotel, it has burned down in later years, and Jim Gleed’s house and Post Office (where we used to get our mail from Kelowna).
When I used to ride down on our saddle horse, we got our mail in the Grandview Hotel.
Mrs. Caesar was the Post Mistress, later taken over by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gleed at Okanagan Centre.
I will always remember how excited we were when we heard the Okanagan Centre Lands were putting in the pipeline by our house. That was the opening up of all the Country. That was about 1906 or 07. When they built the camp above our house. I think there were about 150 men working there. They lived in tents, a long tent for the cookhouse. Harry Gleed and his sister Miss Gleed, later Mrs. Rheam, being the cooks. And most of the men that worked at the camp bought land from and settled on the Okanagan Centre and surrounding district. And a lot more came from the East and from England and bought ten acre lots and planted all in Orchards and small Fruits.
Where the Okanagan Centre Land and Orchards or all the land between Winfield and Okanagan Centre that is in orchard now used to be the nicest stand of big pines and fur trees. Johnston and Carswell logged it all off in 1908 or 09. My brothers James and Bill, the Clark boys, Lidstone boys, Pete Bradshaw and Tom Johnson and several others that had settled around there helped to log it about 1909 or 10.
John McClure lived up above the Clark’s place, where the brick house is today on the road to Beaver Lake, for a while, then moved down to the Balanya Place on Dry Valley Road, that was called the Duck Lake fruit ranch later, and his children walked over the range to the Duck Lake school, about three miles. There were so many wild cattle on the range then and no fences and the school was out about the middle of the range.”