Some good old history about Fred Knowles

Another moose kill, a cow moose and her calf. This was on Hopper’s Hill or some call it the summit on Hwy. 35.

Another moose kill, a cow moose and her calf. This was on Hopper’s Hill or some call it the summit on Hwy. 35.

I understand it’s the second kill there this year. This cow has had her calf there for some years and it’s too bad to see she is gone. Drivers should know this is a game crossing and has been for many years. It’s too bad to lose a cow and calf. A note; Hoppers Hill now and not the sumit the old name.


I have been hearing reports on the number of weasels in our area. A couple of farmers have lost all their chickens. They don’t always eat what they kill but just kill for the fun of it. The one thing about them is they are so small and can even go through a page wire fence. They can be mean and nasty. Some cats will kill them but not all as they are fighters.

Bears seem to have moved in and are not only a nuisance but dangerous. Folks had reported they come into their yards. That’s too close. One year a bear started to get into Richard and Margaret’s chicken yard, this was much too close for comfort for us at the landing. It had made a bed of feathers within 10 feet of the trail the kids went up the hill on. Grandson Seth Hunter came down with his rifle just as the bear came onto the trail and that was the last of the bear. It was a big one too. Seth got its hide tanned and it’s a beauty.

There is a hugh black behind the Landing here. It crosses the highway at the Brown Road corner where it joins the main highway. Anyone who has seen it thinks it’s a grizzly but its a black.

I came face with this bear some years ago. Laura and I were riding through the hayfield behind the landing and we noticed something big and black walking toward us, it looked like a heifer, it kept coming, the horses were used to bears and this was the big bear. He was not going to stop. It was a bit scary but Hunters big shepherd dog came out and the bear left in a hurry. That was close enough for me. This big bear is still in the back but not seen too often.

An old story

I said a while ago I would pass on some of Fred Knowles stories. This happened many years ago while he was a trapping partner of Ed VanTine in the Whitesails. It was Christmas time and Ed wanted to go home to be with the family so he left Fred on the trapline alone. Fred said it started to snow and snow and even the animals would not come out. It went down very cold and he ran out of food.

Ed was unable to get into the trapline for the deep snow. Fred was starving, he thought this was the last time, he was finished. He could smell smoke so some one was close by.

It was the Jack family, it was a lifesaver for Fred. He got food from them, enough to see him through and saved his life. He remembered this all his life. How I got this story Tommy Jack told me that story  and he saved my life many years ago. He is always welcome.

Another one of Fred Knowles old-time stories. I feel if I don’t they will become lost more or less forever. During the summer months Fred would leave the trapping and tour up the west coast with a small boat. He became friends with a number of the First Nation people. Very often he would cross over to the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Fred got along well with them. The First Nation people would take prisoners of the other  First Nation people along the coast. Also take supplies from them. The coast First Nations are afraid of them. Fred told me they invited him to go on one of their raids.

The war tribes  would go for miles up and down the coast line. They had wonderful boats that were very sea worthy and very fast. While staying in their camps he noticed a number of the women hobbling along having walking problems. He talked to one of the chiefs who he became friendly with and he told Fred that years ago they would hamstring the girls they took so they could not run away. How horrible.

He enjoyed his stay with them as they were very very hospitable and respectful to him.

He never forgot his visits. Our family always enjoyed Fred’s visits as later on he more or less made our home his home. Fred was trained to become an English butler but he left it all behind when he came to Canada. I checked the records this morning and Fred Knowles came to Ootsa Lake in 1912 but he came to Canada some years before.

I can still see Fred at our big table with our kids beside him listening to his stories. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. My wife Jo and Fred loved to garden together and we missed him very much when he passed away. So much history went with him. Hard to realize over 100 years. Time seems to just slip away on us.

Singing at the house

It was a treat last Sunday afternoon to have the Grassy Plains Gospel Church stop over for some good old hymn singing. From the Tweedsmuir House they go up to the Pines where they are also enjoyed. We thank the choir very much for visiting.

Jim Newman, also an old-timer from the south side of the lake, spent his last years at the Landing. He was also a welcome visitor to our home. Jim took up land in 1905 which is now Grassy Plains. The Bateson family now own the old Newman farm. Lots of history goes with that old place. At one time it was an experimental farm. Our kids used to enjoy visiting Jim and Fred as they lived close to us.

Pickup for sale

I have decided to put my pickup for sale. The only thing I will do for whoever takes it will replace the wind shield, it has some rock breaks.

As to price I contacted GM and they gave me a fair price so that’s what I will go on. To keep it safe it’s at Ron Meadows home at Minsmere just across from the Brown Road. I have the particulars, no matter what price it will be a good buy.

Always remember God loves you and so do I.