Letters to the Editor

Soup’s On is alive and well; and two 20 Mile Houses means twice the confusion.

Dear Editor,

On Friday, October 20 our team—Mixed Blessings—hosted the Soup’s On luncheon at St. Alban’s Anglican Church Hall in Ashcroft from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees already know that the lunch includes a variety of soups (one is vegetarian), salad and/or veggies and dip, desserts made by team members, fruit trays, buns from the Ashcroft Bakery, and beverages. They also know that the food is always delicious, and that the people they’ll meet each Friday, whether hosts or guests, allow for times of scintillating conversation or reconnecting with friends in a companionable setting. We love having everyone in the community attend and hope to see you there sometime soon.

The reason I’m writing today is because we heard from a guest that they had heard that Soup’s On was closing down. Where on earth would that kind of a rumour arise? And is that why guests seem to be fewer these days?

It is important to let you know that Soup’s On is not closing, and we have a variety of teams who love working together to joyously prepare and serve healthy and scrumptious meals to all our guests. We look forward to seeing you each week, and miss you when you don’t appear.

So come on over to Soup’s On. Bring your friends, coworkers, family, and anyone else you can think of who would enjoy a great home-crafted meal and great conversation!

Martina Duncan

Ashcroft, B.C.

Dear Editor,

I read Barbara Roden’s article about the store that once stood at Pavilion (“Golden Country: The Pavilion General Store”, The Journal, October 19), a general store we visited many times en route to Lillooet over the years. It appears to have been located at what was once known as 20 Mile House on the first Cariboo Wagon Road from Lillooet to Clinton via Pavilion Mountain; but confusingly, there was also a roadhouse called 20 Mile on the second Cariboo Wagon Road, built from Ashcroft north.

It was located where Loon Lake road connects with Highway 97, which contains parts of the Old Cariboo Road, and was built by Jacob Mundorf. He married a Barkerville hurdy girl circa 1863, and they settled at the location and operated the stopping house for some years.

While there may be some doubt about the proximity of the former stopping house at 20 Mile, I am guessing it was on the Old Cariboo Road where the late Stan Hook ranched and lived for many years. The old log barn, which I understand was burned down during the fires this summer, stood on the other side of the highway from the Hook ranch. It was a very old log barn, and might well have served the Mundorfs, who offered lodging and drinks to teamsters.

The Pavilion general store was a good several hours’ trip from Lillooet by pack train or horse in the 1860s, and it was located near the bottom of the original Cariboo trail that connects Clinton with Lillooet. This trail, or road, went over Pavilion Mountain. It’s still there, and comes out less than a kilometre from the site of the Pavilion general store. It seems to validate the claim that the Pavilion store was the oldest such business in the province.

The Carson ranch on Pavilion Mountain probably supplied fresh butter to the Pavilion General Store, as Eliza Carson helped finance the education of their large family through the sale of fresh butter to stores as far afield as Williams Lake. The date of the Carson family ranch also aligns with the Pavilion store claim, as Robert Carson started the ranch in 1863.

The gold rush began in 1858. That roadhouses or general stores like Pavilion were well-established by the early 1860s is well-documented. Haunted houses and buildings, including Historic Hat Creek House on the turn-off from Highway 97 to Lillooet, don’t have much credibility, I’m afraid. But they make good copy.

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft, B.C.

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