Orm Braisher spent much of his life working on his father’s ranch

Golden Moments: A legacy that has lasted almost a century

In 1920 Orm Braisher began his life in the valley he would call home for the next 92 years.

In 1920 Orm Braisher began his life in the valley he would call home for the next 92 years.

“I was born 21 miles up the valley on the bench land. There was only dense forest, my father homesteaded out there,” said Braisher. His father left the army after he was injured in France in 1917, and came to the Rockies to homestead on the land that remains in the family today, almost a century later.

“The ranch is still there. It will be the biggest ranch now between here and Cranbrook, my son has had it now for 40 years,” said Braisher.

Being that far out of the main community, Braisher had some tough times growing up. He was eight years old before he made it to school because there was no way to get him there. Then he had to play catch-up.

“I had a very able young lady teaching, and I got through school,” he said.

Even though his family was that far away from Golden, they still felt the warmth of the community. Braisher had a sick younger sister, and the doctor would travel all the way up there to treat her.

“It was good of him… He would often come out to deliver babies, and lots of times he wouldn’t get any money for it,” he said. And when his sister passed away, neighbours would walk for miles to come visit his mother.

After going as far with school as he could, Braisher started working on his father’s ranch full time at the age of 13. It was hard work pulling stumps and working the land, but he developed skills that have stayed with him his whole life.

“I learned how to fall trees very young, and I did that most of my life, until I had to stop,” said Braisher. In his mid forties he was forced to slow down when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“That ended my work in the bush. That was really a setback. My boys were growing up then, and it was hard on them. They did a lot of work that boys that age shouldn’t have to do, but later in life it did them a lot of good. They learned how to do everything, fix anything,” said Braisher.

Before this setback, Braisher was able to bring an important element to the ranch. Something his wife appreciated very much.

“I put my own electricity into the ranch. It took three years, but we got it in in 1960. We put up 21 poles from the valley to the farm… I put in an awful lot of labour, but only a few hundred dollars and we had power,” he said.

His wife, having been born in New Westminster, was happy to see an end come to her 17 years on the ranch without electricity.

“The first thing she did was get an electric washing machine.”

Braisher now lives at Mountain View Assisted Living, and is grateful to live in such a supportive community.

“Very small communities can get pretty childish sometimes. But on the other hand, if a serious thing comes up, they’re all there,” he said.

He spent many hours of his life travelling to Calgary for work, but isn’t thrilled to see how much it has grown.

“I dealt in Calgary, all my life really. And I remember when it was 66,000 people there, and you could say hello to people on the streets… It’s growing like a weed. There’s no mountains to stop it, it’s just sprawling all over the prairies,” said Braisher.

“Golden is a nice town, just the right size. Everybody is friendly and neighbourly. That’s the best part of a small place, the kinship between people.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kicking Horse Update Tuesday January 21

Kicking Horse reports 4 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,… Continue reading

Highway Update Tuesday January 21

Watch for slippery sections on Highway 1 from Revelstoke to Leanchoil, just… Continue reading

Alberta man dies in vehicle incident on Trans Canada Highway

The collision occurred Jan. 20, closing the highway east of Revelstoke till 1:30 a.m.

Kicking Horse Update Monday January 20

Kicking Horse reports 2 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,with… Continue reading

Highway Update January 20

Highway 1 is closed just east of Revelstoke according to DriveBC due… Continue reading

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read