Turning Back the Pages: Remembering those who left no family behind

By Colleen Palumbo

One of the most difficult things to do here at the museum is to record the stories of people long dead who left no family to pass on the information.

Many people made up the early history of Golden and its neighbours were bachelors or childless. In an attempt to keep some of their names and contributions, we wrote a few of these stories, lacking as they are for 2000 Golden Memories. 2000 Golden Memories make great Christmas gifts and can be purchased at the museum.

Suurmond family

Jacobus and Pieternelli Suurmond lived in the Valley for many years. They were both known to be hard working happy people. They were of Dutch decent. They had two children. A daughter Lentji, who married Rudolph Flemstrom, and a son Jacobus who died in Essondale in 1925. Mrs. Suurmond died in 1928 and Mr. Suurrmond in 1936. They are both buried on the farm at the 10 mile owned by the Hawkins family.

Denis Clarke family

Elizabeth Clarke was born February 11, 1871, in Hemein, Germany and married William Denis Clarke in London, England on August 14, 1904. Before coming to Canada, Mrs. Clarke was a journalist and wrote for Lord Northcliffe for 15 years. She came to Canada with her family and settled in the McMurdo area in 1913. She fell in love with the Columbia Valley and never lost interest in the advancement of Golden and district. She worked tirelessly towards the betterment of the area and lived to see fulfillment of several of the projects she had advocated, such as the installation of a radio booster station in Golden. Other matters which she advocated included the reclamation of land covered by sloughs of the district and establishment of a pulp mill. She believed that agriculture was of prime importance in the Columbia Valley and deplored the swing from farming to exploitation of the forest. She maintained that indiscriminate logging without reforestation would ultimately destroy the watersheds and ruin the agricultural future of the district. The temporary prosperity resulting from these operations would eventually bring poverty when the natural resources became depleted.

Mrs. Clarke had one son, Denis, born in 1909 who lived with her at McMurdo. He died in 1964.

George Tolley

George Tolley was born in Shepshed, England, April 22, 1887 and came to this area around 1935. He lived in the Mountain Ridge area of the McMurdo Bench. He married a widow named Elizabeth Bright, a woman with several children. One child was with them here in the Valley, a daughter named Daisy, who married Nat Addison. Mrs. Tolley died in 1941 and Mr. Tolley died April 22, 1960.

The Jolley’s

There were two Jolley’s in this area. Mr. Jack Jolley and Mr. Bill Jolley. Mr. Bill Jolley was a local MLA. He was married and for a time Harley Jacobs worked for them. Harley once shot them a grouse to eat that Mrs. Jolley fried but it was so tough they couldn’t eat it so she boiled it and they still couldn’t eat it. She finally ran it through the meat grinder in order to make it edible.

Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Cartwright

Enoch Cartwright was born in Whitechurch, Shropshire, England and came to the valley with his brother Charlie. Enoch was already in the McMurdo area in 1907. In January, 1930 he married Margaret Fettes in St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Golden. Enoch and Margaret had five children; Mildred, Charlie, Roy was a policeman, Louise, and Marlene.

Jack Gaffney

Jack Gaffney came to the Valley from Ontario, in about 1912 and settled in the McMurdo area. He served overseas with the 54th Battalion during the First World War and upon his return worked at various jobs through the Valley.

Jack died in the Golden Hospital at age 71, in 1947.

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