Letters to the editor stock image

Letters to the Editor

A reader writes about the rich and lengthy history of the Ashcroft Slough

Dear Editor,

The social history of the Ashcroft Slough for well over a century is rich with characters who lived and died there. I refer to the area on the Thompson River where the river turns eastward, two kilometres from Ashcroft. One of the founding fathers of Ashcroft, Oliver Evans, developed a farm on the site. His wife Ellen (née Brink) had 14 children. The homestead was large: a two-storey dwelling with a wide veranda. It was situated in the shade of some cottonwoods below the CP rail line. An apple orchard situated nearby, and a wading pool built with river rocks by their father, created a warm and friendly country environment for the whole family.

A young Chinese lad was employed as a cook, and was probably trained by Ellen Evans in cooking Western food. This lad grew up and eventually opened a general store on Railway Avenue, Wing Chong Tai. Before Safety Mart was built, most of the people of Ashcroft shopped there for meat and groceries as well as work clothes, boots, etc.

About a kilometre from the Evans homestead, in a ravine below the south side of the rail track, a few shacks were built by rail workers for their families. I found the site in the early 1970s, and became a friend of Rita Fooks (née Evans). Rita was born on the family homestead (the Lady Minto Hospital had not yet been built), and she took me to the grave of her grandfather, William Brink, who was buried at the edge of the family farm. A wrought iron fence stood around the grave, and a rather large marker noted the year of Brink’s death: 1879, five years before the rail line came to Ashcroft.

When development of the site known as the slough began, the grave of William Brink was exhumed. I recently learned that the grave marker is now situated in the Ashcroft cemetery. The marker is cracked, lies flat, and is not visible until you are right beside it. There is no black iron railing. I am hoping the village will do more to acknowledge one of the founding fathers of the village.

Brink, [and Ashcroft founders] Bill Bose and John Barnes, incidentally were packers. They carried freight to the gold fields of the north. Brink’s daughter Ellen married Oliver Evans when she was 15 (Evans was 34). He was moving sheep to the gold fields at Barkerville and Richfield, saw the fertile field of Brink above the Thompson, and saw the potential, not only of farming, but as an important stop on the rail line being built. Barnes dammed the creek above, and created the lake which provided water not only for his ranch but for other ranches.

A mulberry tree and vestiges of the apple orchard at the slough were still standing on the abandoned site of the Evans farm in 1973. The evidence of human habitation at the site goes back thousands of years, actually, as native artifacts on the site have been found in plenty. I am told by a friend who lived on the site that a “stop work” is issued when the artifacts are found. I am wondering if anything is being done by the local native bands about the preservation of the artifacts?

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft, B.C.

Letter to the Editor

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Amy Newman follows the route of the Cariboo Waggon Road — now Highway 97 — through Clinton. (Photo credit: New Pathways to Gold Society)
Grant received for Cariboo Waggon Road restoration project north of Clinton

New Pathways to Gold hopes to start work this summer on restoring sections of historic road

Dan Cumming (l, with Lisa Colwell, LPN) was one of 1,918 people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine at a community clinic in Ashcroft in early May. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Vaccine clinics in Ashcroft, Clinton administered 2,664 first doses

Residents over the age of 18 are still eligible to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine

(from l) Ashcroft councillor Deb Tuohey, mayor Barbara Roden, and councillor Nadine Davenport at the opening of Ashcroft’s new water treatment plant in November 2019. At a recent town hall meeting, council said there are no immediate plans to install water meters in the village. (Photo credit: Christopher Roden)
Ashcroft homeowners face 2.5 per cent property tax bump in 2021

Village is moving ahead with variety of projects, but water metering not on the list of priorities

(from l) Cache Creek councillor Annette Pittman, mayor Santo Talarico, and councillors Wendy Coomber and Sue Peters at a budget meeting, May 7, 2021. (Photo credit: Facebook)
Cache Creek budget bylaws pass with one councillor opposed

Annette Pittman cites several reasons for voting against 30% tax increase and pool closure

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Most Read