Golden Moments: From a street car to the streets of Golden

Laura Snider was born in Manitoba and took a roundabout way of moving to the Columbia Valley.

Pictured above is Laura Snider who has lived in Brisco

Laura Snider was born in Manitoba and took a roundabout way of moving to the Columbia Valley.

“I was married in Manitoba just after World War Two started in 1939. My husband, Jack Snider, joined the army and moved to Camp Petawawa. We had our first child in 1941 and when he was five months old his father went overseas,” she said.

After a while Snider was talked into moving from the Prairies to Vancouver where her mother and step-father were living.

“That’s what I did, I got on the train and moved to Vancouver,” she said.

While in Vancouver Snider explained she worked at the only job she would ever have and it was all because of her mother.

“They were looking for girls to work on the street cars because there was a shortage of men at that time. Mom said if I wanted to go to work that she would look after my son. I applied for a job and I got it,” she said.

Snider was hired as a conductor on the street cars until 1945 when her husband returned from the war.

“It was a wonderful job. I loved it. You got to know Vancouver and it was really good,” she said.

When her husband returned he tried to find work in Vancouver but Snider said he was not a the type of person who liked living in a big city.

“I don’t think he looked very hard,” Laura said laughing.

During this time Jack’s father and mother came out to British Columbia and ended up falling in love with the Brisco area. They kept inviting the couple to come out to Brisco to live and eventually that was what they did.

“It has changed a lot. When we first moved out here there was no power and there were only a couple of telephones in Brisco. We had one of the phones and the store had one.”

She added, “Brisco was a pretty quiet place. There was a store, post office and community hall. That was about it,” she said.

Jack started working at the Christmas tree company in Invermere and through his connections with men in forestry industry, the following year he started working in the backcountry around Parson.

“He had a pack horse and a riding horse. He used to go way up into the mountains to keep a lookout for fires,” she said. “My son, Don and I would take our old car and go up to visit him on the weekends.”

Eventually Jack got a job offer in Parson so the family once again packed up what they owned and moved.

While the family was moving it was also getting bigger. Laura and Jack would have four sons.

“It was a handful but they were good boys,” she said. “Their dad was a duck hunter and as soon as they were old enough they were out with him.”

Laura said she would take them out when they were younger but she was happy when they reached the age when they could head out with their dad.

“We would be out in the slews looking for ducks when Don was only four years old.  I had lots of ducks to clean and pick.”

Snider added that her boys had a wonderful time growing up.

“The boys had a wonderful time, especially when we moved to Nicholson, we were right by the river. We got a boat and they would come home from school and they would be away in the boat. They would go up by the slew and swim,” she said. “They were taught to be careful by their dad and when they were old enough, off they went.”

Snider is now a proud grandmother of 10 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

She said she enjoys it when she gets the chance to spend time with all of the children and takes a drive to go see them.

“I don’t know what I would do without my car. It is the only way I can get around. I couldn’t walk to the downtown area.”

As for Golden she said it has developed over the years.

“Golden has changed a lot. Businesses have changed. There are more businesses and they are so modernized now. There is also a new hospital, though I never had to go in the old hospital,” she said.

 

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