Old pioneer families lose loved ones recently

Yes, some more sad news with the passing of another one of our well known pioneer families, Hoyt Burt.

A dear friend

Yes, some more sad news with the passing of another one of our well known pioneer families, Hoyt Burt. What a life and what a wonderful family he has left behind and what great memories we all have of Hoyt.

He was a walking history book with his stories of the Southside. There are not many left sad to say as we are losing our old-timers and these old stories are gone. Hoyt’s family settled on the Southside in 1922 and Hoyt spent his entire adult life here. They came in from Montana where his dad cowboyed. His first job he had was fighting fire in what is now Tweedsmuir Park. He was paid 25 cents an hour. This was in the great depression and it helped keep the family going.

The one good thing the fire lasted all summer so fire or not it helped those early settlers keep food on the table. Barker’s meadows was Hoyt’s home for many years. His family will also have wonderful memories of their home place. It’s still their home as family homes are so important as we grow older they are more precious with such wonderful memories of growing up.

Is spring here?

Spring seems to be on its way and maybe a bit sooner than usual. The black birds are back and some robins, lots of geese and swans, it’s early for them but could be they know more than we do about the weather. This was many years ago now and it was the weekend of the big picnic and sports day at Francois and the weather was good but a flock of swamp robins or Alaska robins, on their migration north.

They were in a gully close to Richard and Margaret’s home. That night the temperature dropped and we got about six inches of snow, this was the 24 of May. I walked up the hill and the ground was covered with dead robins.

There were just piles of them. It was the end of the robin migration as they never came back again.

It seems to me that the birds are back sooner than other years. The robins as a rule don’t come so soon. Also a big bunch of snow geese stopped over. They are migrating up north. As most all the lakes are still frozen over so I ask this question, what do they feed on? Last year I saw a couple of snow geese in with the Canada geese. Snow geese are snow white, hence the name.


On Wednesday of last week we had the pleasure of the country western band Lone Spur entertain at The Tweedsmuir House.

They gave us about an hour of those old country western music. It was just like a family. Due to an arm injury I have had to back off. But I sure do miss playing with them. They always play my song and they played it just for me.

‘The blackboard of my heart’, in memory of my sweetheart, I loved and left when we moved to B.C.

I say thanks to Lone Spur for singing it for me. Thanks for the memories. Last week we also had the Grassy Plains church choir drop in to The Tweedsmuir House and entertain us with some of the old songs, this was great and we thank you for coming. Everyone enjoys singing, makes our day.

Sad times

Two weeks ago will be a week not soon forgotten with two funerals of members of our really old pioneer families.

The Burt family and the Van Tine family. These were so well known, so much wonderful history has gone with them. Those were the days when you had to work and I mean hard work. Even the kids had to do their best.

Great Easter

I was very lucky to spend Easter with the family and be back at the lake where I spent most of my life. I keep thinking of all the good times and the sad times too. I have always called it God’s country and it is still God’s country. It’s just too bad that the pine beetle destroyed so much of our lovely forests but in time they say it will come back again.

A little story

This was maybe over 30 years ago but I sure remember it. It was in the spring and after a cold winter with the ice very heavy and breaking up. Francois Lake was clearing up with huge chunks of ice floating east with a west wind.

A friend of mine Ben Benedict, who at the time was living on the east Francois road. He was in a hurry and he said to me “Have you got a boat and can you help me, there is a man on a floating chunk of ice and he is waving for help.”

It was Everett Jeffery on the ice block. He was out quite away and floating out further. He had shot a goose and he was trying to get it. He was very cold as he had no coat either, I had an extra. We were blocked in a sea of huge floating ice blocks and we were going out further all the time.

We were in trouble and big time. All we had was two oars to clear a pathway and it was not working. A strong wind had come up and the aluminum boat was not made for this. A miracle happened and Ben noticed a trail open up and we took it and got to shore about a half mile from where we had started.

We were happy campers to get solid ground under us. This was bad timing on Everett’s part as it was a disaster ready to happen and now as I look back we were three very lucky guys.

One was a boat handy and Ben just happened to notice Everett waiving for help. No matter how safe we think ice is it’s dangerous to take chances with. I have had my share of scares on frozen lakes and I have had many a lesson.

I must say how sorry I am not to be able to attend George and Hoyt’s service I feel badly about this but due to health reasons I’m what they call house bound. But My heart was with both of these special families and lifetime friends of mine.

Take care and always remember God loves you and so do I.