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

CSRD hosting open house regarding landfill

There will be an open house February 1 at the Golden and District Recreation Centre hosted by CSRD.

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

MP Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor toured LP Mill.

New massage clinic in Golden

A new massage clinic opened in Golden to help ease those aches and pains.

Hockey commentator gets his start

Lukas Pfisterer is just 12-years-old, but already making his mark as a commentator.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Most Read