Old Timer's Dinner

       The early days were recalled at an old timers' dinner held in Burns Lake on July 4, 1963.
       Some of the old timers who attended were Lydia Saunders who was elected queen and King Bill Paterson; Walley Jeffery, R. R. Jeffery,Sr., John Keefe, Fay Short, C. V. Harrison, Mrs. D. McGrane, Arthur Shelford, Olaf Anderson, Bill Harrison Sr., Bill Bickle, Arthur L. Chadwick, Jimmy Morgan, Mrs. Marion Clark, Bartley McRae, Mrs. Kate Brunell, Albert Sturgion, Dick Carroll, Asa Robinson, Mrs. Lulu Beaver, Nev Sturgion, Mrs. M. F. Nourse, Bill Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. Del Cassidy, Mrs. Alf Sjooden, John Thompson, Mrs. Frank MoLarry, Mrs. Alma Allen, and Mr. and Mrs. Don Gerow.
       Mr. Cliff Harrison told of some of his experiences among the first settlers of the Ootsa Lake district; of the first school in the district, a log cabin at Wistaria with Mrs. Florence Anderson (Hinton) as teacher opening in 1915-16.
       Transportation was by pack train and wagon over the Hazelton, Bella Coola and Ashcroft trails. The first mowing machines being brought in from Bella Coola, first hay being cut by scythe.
       Lumber was whipsawed, the first power sawmill being set up by the Harrison family. Wiggs O'Neil operated the first ferry in 1916 which was packed to Francois Lake by mule team.
       Money was practically nonexistent and was not needed as goods were either exchanged for labor or other goods and people grew gardens. Trapping was one source of revenue.
       Mr. Arthur Shelford claimed hardships did not exist and were just part of life. He walked 1,100 miles fetching supplies during his first year in this country. He did not see a woman for the first two years he was here. He did admit that "Things were very slow as it took three weeks to reach Hazelton from Ootsa Lake by wagon team." He felt that women suffered hardships, if any, due the lonely life they led.

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