Dorothy Mackenrot (Shorey)
Interviewers: Marilyn Clayton & Marie Bannister (for the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Project)
Recorded at the home of Dorothy Mackenrot, September 23, 1991
(Project) Tape 109:1
(Tape begins with unrelated conversation)
MC: Actually we just spoke on the phone to you so I didn't give you a card.
DM: But I have met you before.
MC: Right. You came by one day...
MC: ... with Barbara. (to the project house at Branscombe)
DM: At the station, yeah where you live now.
MC: At the station, right.
DM: At the Branscombe isn't it?
MC: Branscombe house.
DM: At the house.
MC: You called that the station, didn't you?
DM: I called at the house, but I wasn't, we weren't in. We called, we called at the door.
MC: But Barbara came back and talked with us one day.
DM: Yes, I know she did.
MC: I've just got a few sheets of questions here.
DM: It's very warm in here isn't it?
MC: Are you uncomfortable?
DM: I was just thinking of you with your jacket off.
MC: Don't worry we're going to be fine.
DM: If you get too hot.
MC: Okay. That's a good idea. We wanted to ask you just a few questions about when you lived in the house on the site.
DM: Yes well, from 1921 to 1965. 1921 to 1965 and we were married in June, the 16th and we arrived there the latter part of June in that house. Well we, that great big house, we went into a smaller house until the manager that was, Bill Lord was living in that. He lived in Kerrisdale and they build a beautiful home in Kerrisdale, so they wanted to move to this home in Kerrisdale. And when he died soon after that and we got the big house. It was given to George 'cause he was manager of the Britannia Machine Shop. When George came back, from the war, he was an engineer on the submarine chaser and he had met Mr. Henry Bell-Irving over there. Mr. Bell-Irving was in the navy too and he met him on Hastings Street and Mr. Bell-Irving said, ""Well George, have you a job yet?"" and George said, ""No."" He says, ""I haven't had time to look around"". Well, he said we have a nice position for you out in Richmond. We want you to go to the Britannia Shipyards and change it into a machine shop. So George went out and that was in 1920 and he changed it all over and he worked all those years in that machine shop until he died.
MC: And how big was the home that you lived in there?
DM: Oh, the managers, different managers put on rooms, added rooms to it. Because when it was first built it was built by Mark English, the man who first came and built the first cannery on the Fraser River. And he built a small bungalow for his family and he brought them from Virginia. He had come from England to Virginia and then he went to the Columbia River and learned the fishing and then he came up to Richmond and opened up that Britannia Shipyard as he called it, and he built the bungalow for his family. And then these managers from the canneries, over the years, built three very large rooms, one beautiful 63 foot living room (approx. 40x20 feet) with a 12 foot ceiling, and a large bedroom and a large kitchen to it. So we had one, two, three lovely bedrooms and a very large kitchen and a large living room and back rooms too, for storage, you know, for canning.
MC: Did you do a lot of entertaining there?
MC: What kind?
DM: We had a great many friends that used to come out and we'd have parties, you know Halloween parties and lovely parties. And I could, I used to stand on a very large trellis and paint the 12 foot ceiling too, it was a v-joint ceiling. Then we panelled the walls all in English panelling, and put a plate rail all the way along the top and then wall paper from the plate rail to the ceiling. We had a beautiful room with windows with nice frilled curtains. It was very happy, very pretty.
MC: Now we understand there was an orchard there. Did you plant that?
DM: Yes. Mark (Marshal) English put the orchard in when his family arrived. By the time we were the time we were there it had begun to produce fruit and had apples, and plums, and pears. Oh we had a wonderful orchard. It was very nice. And a nice stream running through there beside the house and at the back and it was very happy.
MC: Somebody told us about badminton parties that you used to have.
MC: Badminton parties.
DM: Oh yes.
MB: Barbara (Heeren) was saying that.
DM: We had one of the sheds up there, that they used to use for the nets, they didn't need it any more so we turned it into a badminton court. And we played badminton there and then George and I used to play badminton in Richmond too, at the badminton courts. We were great on badminton. And then we had, the children were born you know, a little girl Barbie, and then Georgie so we were busy people, and happy. And the Red Cross, of course, when the war was on we, Teenie McKinney and I were managers, presidents of the Richmond, Steveston Red Cross, alternately all the years of the war. And we worked very, very hard and the canneries were good to us too. So we did very well. And everybody worked hard.
MB: What kind of things did you do with the Red Cross?
DM: Well, we used to make quilts, we made lots of quilts. And... Tell you the truth, I just couldn't tell you... And the sewing, we did a great deal and then we would put on dances. We'd have dances every second Saturday, or something like that, in a big hall at the high school. They gave us the hall and oh we would put on bazaars and everything you could think of to raise money, anything, teas, everything. I think my family was almost happy when the war was over so I'd get back home again.
MC: Did you have a garden?
DM: Oh, a lovely big garden. We had a beautiful garden belonging to the house with ivy fence, and nice rockery in the corner with acacia trees that some of the managers had come from California and they'd brought roots of acacia trees from California and planted them. So then of course we had beautiful flowers on the acacia trees. And a very large plot from our garden right out to the cannery walk and that was always empty so I made that into a very large garden too. And we had everything in it. Cantaloupe, we could grow cantaloupe, and everything you could think of. It was lovely, very nice.
MC: Did you do a lot of preserving, canning, and things like that?
DM: Yes, Oh I had 300 jars one time, my husband counted them. And big crocks of pickles, used to do. And we had a back room, you know, always had lots of rooms at the back there, he built shelves, put them all on the shelves.
MC: Did you have help to do all that preserving or on your own?
DM: Oh no, I did it myself. I was a very busy person. I didn't have help. Not, the children were young at that time, they were too young to help much. But no I was fine, I was always very active and busy.
MC: Now then, the children are Barbara and George. Were they allowed to play down in the shipyard? Or were they pretty well restricted to....
DM: Well, George was an artist, was born an artist. And so then when he was old enough the art teacher at the high school took him under his wing, sort of there, and he used to make cartoons and entertain the whole school room with art. Cartoons I believe, so they told me. And he was very good at sign painting too, so he was painting signs on the ships. He got paid for that and different, anything they needed done like that. He worked there for a while, until he joined the air force when he was 19, he joined the air force.
MC: So he would have written the names of the ships on with stencils?
DM: Yes, he wrote, he printed the names. They had to have large names printed on the front on the back, on the front of the ships. He did that for them on some of the ships that needed it. He was really busy. And then Barbara, I sent her into school to learn dress making or whatever she wished and she made her own wedding gown and it was very beautiful. Yes, she was very clever at it too. And then married at, she was 19 when she married. She was very young, I didn't want her to marry quite that young but he was in the airforce. He had gone to school with them and he was in the airforce, her hubby, and had to serve over in, way over in... I'm sorry, I beg your pardon, I'll have to think of it. And Bermuda
MC: I was going to say Bermuda, Barbara did mention that.
DM: Bermuda, it was in Bermuda they lived. So after she was married she flew to Bermuda and they lived there until her little girl was born there and she came home. After when he came back. So they had a good life.
MC: Did they bring friends down to the shipyard to play? Or at your home? Did they bring their friends down for parties and groups and things?
DM: You mean did they bring friends down to the shipyard, dear?
MC: Did they have parties for their friends at your house?
DM: Not the shipyard people didn't. They came, yeah, one time I had a great big party and they all came to the party, had a big party. But it was, you know, little too much for me later as the war came on and the children and everything, I couldn't take it, there were so many people. Yes, we had one beautiful big party for them, and then when George retired they gave a retirement party for him. He and I went up to it and it was very nice. Very pleasant. But they were all very good to us and George was good in his work and very happy. And he worked night and day and never complained.
MC: Maybe you could tell us about some of the work that George did. We understand he looked after his boats like they were children. He'd be down there....
DM: Oh absolutely, he was hardly home at anytime during the season. Because some of the ships would be sent down in the winter time you see to be, or if they had any accidents. And say all of these came, even from the northern canneries and Bell-Irvings owned a number of canneries in the north too. And our ships also. And he would, all the engines had to be repaired properly and sometimes renovated, the ship renovated and that. I've been out sometimes at 3 and 4 in the morning calling to try and to get him to come home, on the docks but he's been so busy. But at 6:30, I think is the, 6:30 in the morning is the latest that he got in but he used to work very, very hard. Yes, everybody said he loved his work. And he worked hard. He was a good worker and they were good to him. The Bell-Irvings were nice people. Henry and he were great friends. And he also put in the jam factory, the jam factory in Mission for them. I think they owned that jam factory, the Bell-Irvings, at one time because Henry got him to go up and put in the machines for them.
MC: Would that have been when he was here on the site?
DM: Yes. When he was at the cannery. Because sometimes in the season, you know, the cannery work wasn't too difficult because when he'd get them all away in the spring, they were all renovated and it would be awhile. Then he wouldn't have to work on the boats so hard. And so he would, he went with Mr. Bell-Irving up there. I went up too and stayed in Mission while he did it for 3 or 4 days. We had a nice time. Mr.Bell-Irving was a very fine man and I've been to Richard Bell-Irving's home too, in North Vancouver. Invited, we were invited there, they're very good people, nice people.
MC: So you have really good memories of being on that site.
DM: Oh yes, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy. This quilt here came from Hungary, from one of the fishermen, brought a number of those when he came to Canada and out to the fishing at Steveston. He brought a number of these and he fished for our company and he gave, the cannery manager bought a few of them and I worked in the cannery store and helped him out, and so he gave me that lovely quilt. He bought it from the man. Isn't that beautiful, it was made in Hungary. And then when the manager died, I was manager of the store for two years until they built the big store in Steveston, you know, and they had everything in it then. Before they used to have just meats and vegetables and things like that but this big store had everything so the fishermen could go and get anything they wanted with out having to order it from me. I had to order it from the wholesalers, you see. So they closed the cannery store, they didn't need it. It was getting into the end of the year when they were going to close up the whole thing anyway. So that was fine. I got along very well.
MC: Good. We wondered, working conditions on the site, was it pretty safe there? Were there ever any accidents or mishaps?
DM: No, no, don't ever remember any accidents of any kind.
MC: People were pretty cautious were they?
DM: Bad accidents, no. I can't remember any. Oh there, a ship got wrecked out on the river here one time and that, it was stalled there. But my brother was an engineer on that ship too. But he got off and got home and I don't think there was anything very serious about it. It got onto a sandbar, coming in very late at night. But no, I don't remember anything very much in the ships. The man that was assistant manager, what was his name again? Do you know him?
DM: He lives in Vancouver, an awful nice fellow.
MC: Norm Goble?
DM: Yes, Norm Goble, he'll tell you about the accidents and things. He's very good. He'll have a good memory too.
MC: He's coming to see us tomorrow.
DM: Is he! Well, you give him my love, will you because I've know him for years since he was a young kid. And my daughter, they were great companions at times.
MC: Norm's coming with Buster McKenzie. Do you remember that name?
DM: Oh sure, I know Buster McKenzie very well too.
MC: And Ian Bell-Irving's coming tomorrow.
DM: Ian Bell-Irving, Ian Bell-Irving, that's his, Henry's son I think. Ian is, I think, It's Henry's son and they used to come. They had an island you know, Paisley Island, and they had their summer homes, the Bell-Irvings, and they used to come to our place and wait until the ship arrived for, to take them up to Paisley Island, and they would be, wait in my living room, you know, until the ship came. And then when they came back, they'd wait until their cars arrived. So I got to know them fairly well you know. It was really very nice. They're awfully nice people. They were like Ian. Tell him I was asking for him.
DM: I think he was at that affair wasn't he, the last time we had...
MC: Yeah, the one down at the shipyard, the anniversary.
DM: Yes, the shipyard and his wife was there too.
MC: We heard one time that there cows on this site.
DM: Oh yes, they had cows. You see, the Bell-Irvings decided to take some cows up to their island, Paisley Island, and then in the winter they wouldn't be there you see, so they brought them down and my husband took care of them and he milked them in the shed. We had a shed for coal and wood and so on, and he, I don't know whether they built another shed or not. But anyway, he had a milk shed for them and he would milk the cows, and we had lots of nice milk. And then the magistrate, he asked George if he could milk the cows once in a while to help him out because they had to be milked morning and night and George was a pretty busy man. And George said yes he could. So Mr. Darling, who's father-in-law was the one, Mr. English, his wife, Mrs. Darling was an English, she was one of the English girls. I know her name as well.... Virginia English, that was her name, that's right. And so they got along very nicely, he helped him. At times, he milked the cow in the evening and George would milk it early in the morning before he went to work. We had butter and we had lots of good milk.
MC: What kind of cows were they, do you remember?
DM: Oh, just....
MC: Were they the black and white ones?
DM: Yeah, black and white. What are they called?
MC: Right. They give a lot of milk.
DM: They were just... Oh yes.
MC: A lot of milk.
DM: Holstein, holstein cows.
MC: Do you remember Gerry Miller?
DM: Oh yes, I know him well. He was a kid you know, when he was brought up around our kids too. At school, he went to school with my daughter.
MC: He's coming tomorrow.
DM: Is he!
MC: To talk with us.
DM: Oh, say hello to him for me. Oh, that's nice, they're lovely people.
MC: There was another name too, maybe you can recall something. A Jean Gilmore.
DM: Oh yes, dear Jean, she lived with us. You see, she lived with us for four years and she married Harry Gilmore and she died quite young. But she has children. And Harry is supposed to come any day, but he hasn't had very good health. And they go east, they go down to Oregon is it? Or some place like that and they have a summer home they've had for years down there and he'll be leaving to go down there very soon, so I don't know whether I'll see him or not. But Jean, oh yes, she was a doll, I loved her. She was one of our family for years, yes. Lived with us. And was married from our home. We built a beautiful big affair for her, and had a big fancy wedding for her. She was lovely, a lovely girl.
MB: Why did she come and live with you?
DM: Well, her people were in Abbotsford and she came down to live with a cousin in Steveston and evidently they didn't have too much room or something to this effect, I don't really know. But then I, I don't like to tell you. We paid her so much a month to come and stay with us, you see, and she would be with the children when we had to go out in the evening or anything. And she helped. And then in the summer time, when the cannery was working, she went off to work in the cannery, and she took, kept the money from the cannery you see. So we didn't pay her much, we weren't able to at that time. George, when he first started, he had very, very little pay. And so she got very nicely paid at the cannery. She worked very hard and was very happy and we were happy to have her. We loved her.
MB: Did she go to school while she was staying with you?
DM: Did she what?
MB: DId she go to school while she was staying with you?
DM: No, she was finished with school.
DM: She'd finished her school.
MB: So she was older then.
DM: Yeah, yeah, she was a little older, she was a lovely person.
MC: Barbara mentioned that sometimes she worked in the cannery with the Fisher girl. Do you remember that?
DM: The Fisher, oh yes. Oh, well I don't know, Stella. I don't think Stella Fisher ever worked in the cannery.
MC: No, no Stella's daughter, would it be?
DM: She may have later but I don't remember that . Stella's daughter was very young. She, she could have worked in the cannery but I can't remember her working in it at that age but she could have worked in the cannery. But I know that Jean worked in the cannery every summer that she lived with us and it was very nice. We were happy to have her.
MB: Did you have many friends living near by? I was wondering because you lived on the site.
DM: No, they were all the Japanese, you know, they built those nice comfortable bungalows for Japanese and they were very comfortable and then of course when the war broke out they were all taken away and I suppose eventually the bungalows were burnt down. I don't remember that. But they, they were very fine people to live amongst because... though we didn't live amongst them we were off to one side in the orchard you know, up at the side like and they were down further. But they were very fine people. We never ever had any trouble with any of them. They ruled their own children and saw that everything was taken care of properly you know. And they brought their boats to be repaired and George repaired their boats and got to know them. And the Kishi's and in and in fact Sally Kishi, she brought me that little basket last Christmas with the flowers up on the top there. We're still great friends. I phone Sally quite often, Sally Kishi, she's right on Railway Avenue there. No, she's on Moncton.
MC: That's Jim's wife, Jim Kishi's wife, Sally.
DM: No, it isn't Jim Kishi. Now wait a minute, Kishi. Jim would be, I guess, a brother-in-law or something like that, I can't tell you. Her husband's name isn't Jim, he's very nice.
MC: Well, what age would Sally be, do you know?
DM: Sally would, she would be in her 60s, oh nearly 70s, early 70s I think. Her children are getting, growing up. She's right on Moncton Street, right opposite the end of the road that goes into our cannery.
MC: Do you remember what the Japanese people wore? What kind of clothing they wore?
DM: Oh just like we did. They were very well dressed and they had cars and they had their school, and after school day, after they went to our school, the children, they had to go to their own school, to their Japanese school. And they had sort of a hospital of their own there too and I'll tell you more about that later. But anyway when the war was on and we were in charge and they were moved away, we took over the hospital and cleaned it all up and fixed it ready for emergencies. We had to have something, everybody did in those days, in case of an emergency. But we never happened to have any emergencies which was lucky. Fine, everything was fine. Oh no, they were very good people. We never had any trouble with them at any time. My husband did business with them and their boats over the years. Never had any, you know, any trouble at any time.
MC: And do you remember the Chinese people?
DM: Yes, the Hong Wo and we knew Hong Wo and his family. His family lived on Broadway not far from where I went to school on Broadway. But, yes I knew them.
MC: Did the Chinese people wear clothing just like you as well?
DM: Well, I didn't. It was the Chinese men that they had in a large house up the dyke and it be Hong Wo store and they just worked in the cannery and they would probably wear just the same working clothes as the cannery people did. They didn't wear Chinese clothes at all.
MB: So you didn't have any friends living close by?
DM: Well, we had a car, everybody had cars and all our friends were, great many of our friends were in Kerrisdale and then, oh of course you get to know all the people in Richmond when you're working in the Red Cross, everybody worked in it, all the women, everybody and so you got to know everybody. You know Mrs. Shephard and Miss Conway Jones were two English nurses out here and Mrs. Shephard was at the head office, you know. Oh they were lovely, lovely people, all of them. Never had any troubles at any time.
MC: When the Japanese people went away, were interned, did, did you look after their possessions or anything for them?
DM: Oh no, no. They just looked after everything themselves.
MC: Did they?
DM: Some of them owned lovely homes, you know, they had nice homes and I just don't know what they did about their homes. But oh no, they looked after everything themselves, they had everything taken care of and they were very sad about it of course, very sad, and I went up to see one friend go.
MC: It would be difficult, wouldn't it? Well, lets talk more about the parties that you had, that's a little bit nicer.
DM: Well, parties.
MC: I know lets just...
Tape turned off.
DM: And at our house you know, we had a big room and gosh the dinner parties, turkeys at both ends of the table. And, oh lots of nice parties.
MC: When you had bridge parties, how many tables would be going?
DM: Oh we had as many as 6, 6 tables. Oh yes, we had a lot of friends you know, great many friends, and they were good players too. We had a lot of fun. And we'd have dancing, and music. And I could play the piano a bit at that time and I was able to play for some of it. But then my mother, when she came to live with us, she was a wonderful player, and she could play the piano for them too. And we had the radios and a big room to dance in, we'd just take, roll the carpets up and have a dance. And everybody danced. Oh yes, we had very happy times.
MB: When did your mother come to live with you? And where did she move from?
DM: Well, she lived before that just not too far from us on Steveston Highway there, she and dad. But I was taking good care of them too, watching them and then of course dad passed away so she came.
MC: Oh, that would be nice. It would be nice for the children to have their grandma. That's lovely.
DM: Sure, it was good.
MC: So when you had bridge parties, did, did you have refreshments and things?
DM: Oh sure, you had to have everything, cakes and sandwiches and everything, pickles.
MC: And you did all that yourself, did you?
DM: Oh yes. Oh, we did have wonderful times, lovely happy, busy, busy.
MC: Busy times, yeah. Did you ever go down to the shipyard to see?
DM: Oh yes, often. I'd have to go down to take his lunch to him when he couldn't get home. Yes, I went often.
MC: He probably wouldn't take time off for lunch if you didn't go down there, is that right?
DM: At times, yes that's it. You had to go down with it or else he wouldn't have anything. But yeah, they were good, everything.
MC: So when would he have had his lunch. Right, was there a lunch room or something?
DM: No, no. No, no, he'd sit down anywhere, out on the wharf part you know, there was a wharf part there, you'd sit down there in the fresh air.
MC: Out in the sunshine.
DM: And the water was very pretty, and it was nice having the river.
MC: It sure is.
DM: The river was lovely.
MC: What was the weather like?
DM: Very good.
MC: Do you remember bad storms or anything?
DM: I do remember, oh one time we had a bad storm because my husband had built a cottage at Point Roberts, you know. Friends in Steveston told us they built one, so we went down and we rented a piece of land, just a piece of the farmer's property that was up on the cliff and we came down on the cliff a bit and rented just enough to build a cottage on and paid them so much a year for that. And George built this nice cottage and about two years later, Christmas times, the manager or the man that owned the property phoned us and said, ""Come down and have a look"", he says, you and all your friends who had built cottages with us too, 8 of us, 8 friends, better come and have a look at their cottages, they're all floating out on the storm. And we said no thank you, we won't go down and look at them but we'll build another one a little higher up. So he built one higher up the cliff, half way up and I'm darned if a man didn't go in and use it for the, in a storm and he left a log, come out on the floor and he burnt the cabin down. But the other cabins weren't burnt because it was snowing you see. And they were lucky, the other cabins. So then George had to build one up higher, and all this building it, you know, he had to bring the lumber all down from Steveston and he'd shoot it down the hill and he had sort of a frame made. I would be inside the frame and he'd shoot the lumber down and as each piece came in, I'd have to push it over into a place so that there'd be room for the next piece to come. We did and the cottage is still there and Sheldon, my son-in-law, they're living there now and you know they've just added, he's built a big verandah on to it now. (Looking at a photograph)
MC: Oh, that's beautiful.
DM: And those are the acacia trees that came from California, I told you about, I planted there. Isn't that beautiful?
MC: That looks right by the clay cliffs, is it?
DM: Yes, it isn't right... You know up this way on the, well, around the corner there was a cannery, if you remember.
MC: I remember that.
DM: Well then on this side here, there was nothing but just, no houses or anything. And then our camps right in the next lot with the cabins, our cabins. Well, you'll know it , because nobody else has acacia trees like that. They're beautiful and he's been awfully busy, he's building a nice, better stairway. In hopes... Oh I want to get down, I thought I'd get down for my swim this year. I haven't been down for 2 or 3 years. I'm dying to get down. And so I think I can get down perhaps before the winter comes. Get down on the stairs, go right to the cliff you know and that our cars are parked up there in the farmer's place. Yeah, its nice.
MB: Did you have any pets when you lived on the site?
DM: Oh yes, we had doggies and we had pussy cats and we had a parrot and it could call ""mommy"" and he would talk. And then we had a budgie bird that used to sit on my husband's shoulder and wherever he was and talk to him and we had budgie birds and canaries. We had everything you could think of in the line of cats, my daughter will tell you that.
MC: She had a favourite cat, didn't she?
DM: Favourite cat, yes, she had a favourite cat. Barbie was very fond of pussy cats.
MB: So you had a house full of kids and a house full of pets.
DM: Yes, house full of kids. Now, I didn't have many cats, too many because when you have birds you just can't have too many cats. You can have one good cat and watch it, that's all.
DM: But you can have doggies and we had a quite, what do they call those, beautiful white, pure white doggies?
MC & MB: Poodles?
DM: Lovely little doggie. Yeah, we had lots of doggies, and Jack another big brown fellow. They were very good. We never had trouble with any of our animals.
MC: Jack was the dog, the big brown...
DM: Yeah, Jack was a lovely dog, great big brown fellow, nice doggie.
MC: Was he like a watch dog for on the site?
DM: Well, they were good watch dogs, they would bark if anybody came near, you know, let you know somebody was coming. But nobody ever came near us or bothered us at anytime, no. They had a watch man at the cannery and that was a Kishi, his name was Kishi too. Tonino, Tonino Kishi, and he was watching all the time and he had to watch the store and the office and our cannery. But our house was built just back in there, in the field you see so he could see it easily.
MC: Did things change much during the war years here? Did like, did you have to use black out curtains or anything like that?
DM: I don't remember, dear, ever having to use black outs. I can't remember. We were always so busy those times. I don't remember using the black out ourselves. But they may have had to, I don't think so in Vancouver. I don't think we had to use black outs. You'll have to ask somebody else about that time.
MC: Well, I've exhausted all of my questions, how about you?
MB: I think I'm fine.
DM: I don't know anything I could tell you about outside of just having a very happy... And we used to, when we first went there, you know, we could go swimming. We'd go right down from our house into the river and the water was clean and beautiful and clear. And not too long ago, they took me, I went on a little cruise up the river and it was on the other side of that island (Shady Island) Well, we never had those islands, those came from the silt being drifted down over the years you know. And the river was just mud. I could never imagine anybody getting, no wonder they're having trouble with the water. Cause the river was just all mud where we went through. All the way, we went almost to Westminster. You know that trip they take on the river up there. This side they say isn't so bad, but the water used to be beautiful and clear and we'd take Bell-Irvings cows on a raft you know, behind a ship. My husband would have to take them up in the spring and then we would ask our friends to come on the boat with us. So our friends from Kerrisdale would come out and we'd have a sort of party on the boat too, you know.
MB: With a raft full of cows behind you.
DM: Yeah, the cows on the raft.
MC: I wonder if that affected their milk. Wouldn't they be a little bit scared on the raft?
DM: No, it wasn't rough. It was a nice calm day and we got them off very nicely and with no trouble. The men made a gang plank for them and they got off nicely. They didn't complain about them at all.
MC: No. Did you ever take pictures of those kind of things?
DM: No, not with the cows.
MB: I was thinking it might be funny to see a picture of a boat with a bunch of cows being pulled behind.
DM: Yeah, it would have been nice. Well, the cows were back quite a bit, you couldn't get the two together unfortunately. But you know, I didn't pictures of those but... I'll look up all my pictures and see what I can find, if there's anything for you at all, I'll keep it for you, and let you know. I've got books and books of pictures but they'd have to be looked through to see.
MC: What we do is we borrow pictures sometimes and then take a picture off them so that you get to keep yours but we get the benefit.
DM: This is a nice picture but this doesn't belong here. This is my father. I was born in Inverness, Scotland you see and I was a year old the day we came to Canada. Because he wanted to go to the gold rush and my father took us to Vancouver and settled us and then he went up to the gold rush in Atlin and then he built this, he and my brother, built this ship and they'd take the miners around to stake their mines. He wasn't a miner, he was really an engineer. And they'd stake the mines and that. And this was when we, the ninth year the gold rush went flat, you know how they do, they just go flat over night. And so everybody wanted to leave before the lake froze over, cause you wouldn't get out until late in the spring if you didn't and we were all on the boat and he put the boat in this cove and then we left. And he had intended to go back next spring and he'd also built a nice hotel. Well, Atlin had a very bad fire in the winter time and the hotels were burnt down and then the, his hotel was burnt down too, and then everybody ransacked the ship and took the engines and everything out of it. So they wrote to dad and told him no use coming back here, your ship is ransacked and the base of it is in underneath some place or another.
MC: So is that you up on the deck there, that little girl?
DM: Yes, with my sister, Connie and I. I was about 10 years old. And Connie and I, and then and my big sister's there and my mother is here with my father. She's got a feather boa on her head. I can take it off and show you.
End of Interview.