An Interview With Grandma

Grandma and Grandpa came for a short visit and to see the chicken coop today, so I took advantage of that time to have a little discussion about this farm. Grandma was a great sport and has agreed to do more in the future, so if there’s anything you’re particularly interested in knowing about, leave me a comment! I’ll be sure to ask…

But first, I think it is important for you to have a vague understanding of (or at least a reference to!) the family structure, so that you can understand this post a little better. I hope there are more like it in the future of this blog.

Kathleen and Herb Anderson (the great-grandparents of this blog-writer) had  5 children. In birth order, they are:

  • Elaine, married to Elwood (my paternal grandparents). They have 2 sons.
  • Aaron, married to Muriel. They have a son (who runs the farm with his wife – our landlords), and a daughter. Aaron and Muriel still work on the farm daily.
  • Norman, married to Margaret. They have 4 kids including twins.
  • Sallie, married to Murray, with who she had two sons. She remarried after Murray died.
  • Albert, married to Dorothy. They run a nearby farm, have 4 kids, and many, many grandchildren.

Back row, left-right: Norman, Elaine, Aaron, Sallie Middle: Herb, Kathleen. Albert in the front.

The Interview:

K: How old were you when you moved from Saskatchewan to this farm?

E: I was eleven when we came from the prairies. It was October 1941. All four of us were in school – Sallie in Grade 1, Norm in Grade 4, Aaron and I in Grade 5. Albert was born here in October 1942.

K: And when did you think this house was built?

E: Probably 1955. We (your grandpa and I) were married and living on the island when this house was built. Albert and Aaron lived in this house with mom and dad.

K: It must have been pretty exciting. 

E: Well mother was pretty pleased. The old house was two shacks pulled together. When we first came to coast it had a wide verandah at the back, which was then built in to be part of the new kitchen, and the boys’ bedroom. When we first came it was just one good-sized room and two little bedrooms, with a front porch which was kind of closed in.

K: What’s your best memory of this house?

E: We would just visit (from the island), as a rule. We seldom stayed overnight here because we usually stayed at my in-laws. I stayed here overnight a couple of times when the boys were staying with their grandma and grandpa for a week or two.  And maybe after Dad died. But, I remember Sallie’s wedding reception was here. So was Norman and Margaret’s.

K: Kathleen and Herb had 5 kids and quite a few grandchildren…

E: So far as Dad was concerned, there were four grandchildren, all boys. He died in 1962. I’m not sure whether the twins were born yet or not, I’d have to look it up. We had the two boys, and Sallie had two boys.

After Dad died, Aaron had two kids, Norman had four, and Albert had four. So Mom knew 14 grandchildren. She had two great-grandchildren when she died – you were the only one she met.

The old house, when you think of it… we thought it was pretty big, so I guess the house on the prairies was really small! This house was quite a lot more up-to-date than the old house!

K: So it was obviously smaller than this…

Oh yes! And there were five kids in it. I remember when Albert was born we looked out the window. We’d come home from school, and of course in those days they kept ladies in the hospital for 10 days or so. Well we looked out the window and there was the preacher, and we quickly stuffed all the papers that were lying around under the couch!

So there you go, folks. It just goes to show… the good ol’ Stash & Dash is a well-preserved family tradition!


This Is The House That Herb Built



My dad has recently scanned and sent me some old family photos, and I thought it would be nice to share a couple here. These are my great grandparents, Herb & Kathleen. I hope my grandma will chime in and let me know where they are standing – I believe this would be the original house on the property.

I never met Herb, and I don’t remember Kathleen, though I understand that there is a picture somewhere of her holding me when I was tiny. I am the only great-grandchild that she ever met, and the 3rd great grandchild living in her house (that’s four generations through this house, folks!). There is a rocking chair that was hers that was passed on to me… maybe it’s time to find a little space and move it in.

Favourite-Things Friday

I’m sure other blogs do a “Favourite-things Friday,” but I don’t know any… so if you’d like to join me, do so in the comments, please!

One of the things I found in the house struck me as a “favourite” and my iPhone actually managed to get a pretty good picture of it. There is, in our basement, a no-longer-functional chimney in our basement. I gather it originally went up to a wood stove in the kitchen, which is sadly no longer there (too bad! What I wouldn’t do to have it!). Anyway, some of the bricks are stamped as shown in the photo, and I just thought it was really neat.

A designated heritage site, Clayburn Village is about half an hour away from us, and I know it for the little tea shop there. I found some history on the village website when I was looking for more information about these bricks. Apparently, Clayburn is considered the first “company town” in B.C. – neat! Here’s what the website has to say about these bricks:

The discovery of high grade clay throughout Sumas Mountain and the demand for bricks brought Clayburn Village into being. The Village and brick plant were built more than a century ago, in 1905, by Charles Maclure, son of John Maclure, a former Royal Engineer and B.C. pioneer. Because of fall off in demand, the brickplant, after operating for a quarter century, was dismantled in 1931.

So, the bricks downstairs definitely pre-date the house! I wonder where they may have originally been used.