Ogilby was born in County Derry, Ireland in 1874. He settled along Francois Lake in 1911 and the following year traveled to Hazelton to marry his new wife, Dorothy Stanton.
Dorothy Stanton was born in England in 1880, and as a young woman came to Vancouver Island to keep house for her brother. She then took a housekeeping job in Duncan, where she met Ogilby Forde.
Mr. Forde's friends, the Jeffrey's were also there at the time. Mr. Forde and Mr. Jeffrey made a trip through the interior of B.C., and were very enthusiastic about the country around Francois Lake.
In 1911 Mr. Forde came to Francois Lake, and took up a homestead, several miles East of what is now the Landing, and built a log house. The following spring he sent for Dorothy.
She came up the coast to Prince Rupert, and from there by sternwheeler, Inlander, to Hazelton where he met her and they were married. She was then 31 years.
They were met there by Jack Glen, Mr. Jeffrey, and his sons Bobby, Jimmy and Wally, and together they set out to their homestead at Francois Lake. They had four wagons loaded with their belongings, including a Singer Sewing machine brought by Mrs. Forde, which still sews perfectly today.
The going was very rough, and it was often Dorothy's job to go ahead with a stick, and test to see how deep the mud holes were. The flies and mosquitos were terrible and sleeping, almost impossible. At Houston they found a sleigh road and followed it to Nadina, at the west end of Francois Lake.
They had come about 167 miles, and it took them about a month. They had thirteen head of cattle, including a milk cow for the Forde's and one for Mr. Glen, and a team of mules.
At Nadina they built a big raft, Dorothy took the four canvasses from the wagon, and sewed them together to make a sail for the raft. Two of the men took the horses and cows around the lake to Southbank, while Dorothy, her husband, and the other men rafted their supplies down the lake to the homestead. Dorothy cooked meals on a fire built on green boughs, right on the raft. The journey took 26 hours. Shortly after they landed, a fire flared on the other sid of the lake, indicating the men had arrived with the stock, then began the task of rafting them over.
Dorothy was the first white woman to live at Francois Lake, she was often alone, as her husband was fire warden, and J.P., and he was also a freighter. Her first child, Dorothy was born the next spring, a woman came in to help her. The five children were all born at home.
The Fordes built up a herd of Holsteins and ranched at Francois Lake for 13 years. Dorothy often had the milking to do, and made 90-100 pounds of butter a week, and sent it out as far as Smithers. She had the Post Office and started the first library. She loved to read. Her favorite author was Jack London.
With the coming of the railway in 1914 Mrs. Jeffrey came and the two women were lifelong friends. Dorothy was midwife for anyone who needed her, and had a good supply of medicine, which she would bring along if anyone were sick. She had special sympathy for anyone who was ill. Her home was open to all newcomers and bachelors.
The family moved to Chilliwack to farm in 1923, but they returned to Francois Lake in 1935. Dorothy's heart must have been in this country, for while in the Fraser Valley she returned most summers to Francois Lake. The first few trips in a Model A Ford.
They moved again to Kamloops, and this is where Dorothy passed away in 1964 at the age of 84. She, her husband and youngest son are buried in Burns Lake.
Pioneering was a way of life, hard, but she loved it and often in her later years said she would like to do it again if she was younger.
Original Forde Home -