This a picture of North Golden when it was first being settled.

A look back at the history behind ‘The Cache’ in Golden

The river delta that Golden sits on was known by the first tappers, traders, surveyors and miners as Kicking Horse Flats.

The river delta that Golden sits on was known by the first tappers, traders, surveyors and miners as Kicking Horse Flats. As more Europeans moved into the area they became aware of the old log supply cache that had been built for the surveyors and began referring to it as the cache. Trappers and natives made dates to meet at the place where “The Cache” was, on say – when the moon was full in October.

As a result of its favorable location at the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers it became a popular spot for such meetings and soon a few rough log buildings were built.

Packers and traders began bringing supplies into the area. It became more than the meeting of two rivers, it was also a gathering place for people of all kinds.

It was in 1882 that Baptiste Morigeau and his sister Sophie Morigeau, came to the area to trade. Baptiste opened the first store in Golden, having brought in a pack trail of horses with supplies to get him started. Just as the supplies started to run out Sophie arrived with a pack train to restock the store. She stayed a time, probably selling her supplies while her brother went back to replenish his.

Baptiste, was born in 1842 to Francois and Isabella Taylor and was a remarkable man. A metis man, whose father was born to a mixed marriage, Baptiste’s first wife was Colette (Koolate) Kinbasket, daughter of Chief Pierre Kinbasket. He had several children with Colette. Although I have no definitive proof at this time, I think she may have died after the birth of one of the children.

On April 18, 1881, Baptiste married Therese Kaiuse (aka Cai, Coy, Cain), a woman of mixed blood, and they had a dozen children together. Therese was with Baptiste when he came to Golden.

I think people generally assume that settlers to this country came and stayed but one of the things that I have learned over the years is that people moved all over the place. Baptiste and his family was no exception. Over the course of his years he lived in Golden, Rocky Mountain House, Windermere, Colville Washington but travelled as far as Minneapolis to pick up supplies.

Sophie Morigeau has to be one of the most interesting characters I have ever studied. Here parentage is still in question. I was believed that her father was Patrick Finley but its also possible that Francois was actually her father. At any rate her baptism certificate says Sophie she was Sophie Finley but from the time her mother started to live with Baptiste she became a Morigeau.

From her birth she realised that she would have to fit into two really different lives. While her father, Francois was a man of mixed blood himself, he insisted that all of his children be baptised in the Catholic faith and learned the ways of other Europeans. They were sent to school when it was possible and learned how to sew in the European style. On the other hand she could easily adapt to the native side of her family, and learning several languages and dialects which was useful in her trading business.

Sophie was encouraged to be independent but at the ripe old age of 16 she married Jean Baptiste Chabotte in Washington. She didn’t enjoy the married life at all and after 8 years of marriage the two separated.

Sophie was a clever business woman, who was respected for her skill. She eventually settled in the area near Eureka, Montana, running a store. She had a large tract of land and kept horses and cows.

One of my favorite stories about her is that after an accident with a horse Sophie, whose rib was broken and protruding through the skin, used her hunting knife and performed surgery on herself to remove the broken rib – which she kept on display in her home until her death.

As she advanced in age she travelled less, and was more vulnerable. Each winter Sophie took in men to help her but come spring she would shoo them on their way.

Those who didn’t have the good sense to leave when asked were evicted – more or less! One who refused was shot, another she sent to the barn for something and while he was inside she set a big bear trap outside the door and left for supplies. When she came back three weeks later she found him frozen stiff in the trap.

Look for new exhibits coming to the Golden Museum on the life of these early traders.


Just Posted

Your weekly Mountain Minute

Golden’s 60-second news recap

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Interior Health study offers take-home drug testing kits to spot fentanyl

Interior Health to evaluate safety of at home drug testing kits aimed at reducing fentanyl overdoses

Golden Fire Rescue training grounds get a facelift

Residents may have noticed some changes at the fire hall in the… Continue reading

Area A Aquatic Feasibility Advisory Committee appointed

Submitted A committee has been formed to look into the idea of… Continue reading

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read