The life and times of the Robinson family in Golden

The following information was submitted to the Historical Society’s publication of Golden Memories and was authored by R.E. Robinson.

The following information was submitted to the Historical Society’s publication of Golden Memories and was authored by R.E. Robinson. When I was including the names of area soldiers who died as a result of the wars and were never returned home, I missed Leroy Robinson. Leroy was one of five sons who served our country – who of whom lost their lives.

This branch of the Robinson family has been around for the best part of one hundred years and during much of that time some member of the family has lived in or around Golden.

For the record the writer’s name is Robert Earl Robinson born in Golden on the 30th day of November 1919, the seventh of a family of eight sons and daughters.

Our mother was born Effie May Bailey in the State of Kansas in the United States(1883). Our father Edward Clark Robinson was born in Beacon in the State of Iowa(l873). Shortly after their marriage they moved up to Canada and settled in the little town of Donald, the town of the stolen church fame. Times were very difficult for them in the beginning.

Our father had to sell the horse harness that he had brought with them to Canada in order to put food on the table. Mother was a good shot with a twenty two rifle and managed to find some protein in small game in the area.

She became pregnant while living in Donald and returned to the United States to give birth to her first child, Edna. Shortly thereafter they made a move to Golden where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Father’s life revolved around the outdoors. Before moving to Canada he had been a trapper in and around Yellowstone Park in the US. He had spent some time as a meat hunter in company with Buffalo Bill Cody who had a contract to supply meat to the railroad construction crews. It follows then that when he arrived in Canada he could see the potential for earning a living as a trapper and he followed that trade for the balance of his life.

When he first arrived in Golden our father struck up a friendship with a man named Bill Avery who

himself was something of a trapper. The two of them invaded the rich swamp land south of Golden and by the time the spring trapping season was over they had acquired more than fifteen hundred muskrat hides.

With his share father purchased one half of a Village block and built a house on one corner of the lots on the Alberta Street side, a stone’s throw from what eventually became the Lady Grey School. Bill Avery had his roots in the soil and eventually developed a very fine farm on the Blaeberry bench.

The twelve lots in Golden did not sit idle. A second but smaller house, a barn, chicken house and woodshed soon took shape under my father’s skilled hands.

Much of the property had good soil and before long a miniature farm evolved. Our mother never had an idle moment for there were cows to milk and gardens an idle moment for there were cows to milk and gardens to look after and all the while bearing and raising eight children.

Edna was the oldest. Her destiny was to many a local school principal, Jack Buchanan, and eventually raised her family of three in New Westminster.

Everett, the finest man I ever met, could easily be the subject of a book himself. His talented hands,

along with those of the bonnie lass that he married, helped carry his family through the difficult days of the Great Depression. He died in the service of his country in World War Two but left a legacy of three fine sons.

Elsie, became Elsie Graham, wife of a CPR section foreman.

Irvine was the second son in our family. He never married. After a dramatic and traumatic life in the wartime Royal Canadian Artillery he returned to his part time job as a summer employee for the B.C. Forest Service while his winters were spent with our father on his Bush River trapline.

Edith was born a sickly child and passed away quite young.

Leroy, like all the Robinson children received his schooling in Golden. He spent a season on his dads trapline and when duty called, he joined the Army and then transferred to the Air Force. He excelled in marksmanship and eventually became an Officer instructor in Air Gunnery. Eventually he was

posted overseas to a bomber squadron where he too lost his life in the service of his country.

Robert, the author of this article spent much of his military career as a flying instructor. After WW 2 he took employment with the B.C. Forest Service and is now a retired Forest Ranger living in Nelson B.C.

Harry or Bud as he is known to his many friends began a career with the railroad but joined the Navy as soon as he was old enough to be accepted.

At the end of the war he returned to the C,P.R. and eventually became a retired locomotive engineer living in Dallas just East of Kamloops.