“I left Edmonton in May on the first train to get through to the end-of-steel at Hythe, after the early floods there. We arrived on Election Day. There was no room to be had, so we slept on the train that night, although at first the train crew said we could not.
“We” were a missionary lady on her way to join Miss Storrs at Fort St John, the Roman Catholic Father of Fort St. John, Mrs. McWha and her sister of Pouce Coupe, and Neil Gething of Hudson’s Hope.
“We hired a car to continue our journey as far as Pouce Coupe and at first all was fine. A few miles from Pouce Coupe the mud became so bad that we had to return. Neil Gething and the Catholic Father simply decided to walk. The missionary and I stayed at the Hart Hotel.
“The two men reached Taylor where they met Harry and were able to tell him where I was. He came down with Tommy Hargraves. We started back with him on the North road, the only one in use then. After a few miles we had to stop while the road crew built “corduroy” for us to cross a mud hole.
“When we reached the top of the Peace River Hill at Taylor it was so muddy that Tommy left his car at the top and we walked down – four miles of mud!
“Next day we started off in Tompkins’ “kicker” [motor boat] to go upriver. After a mile or so the engine caught fire. We drifted back to Taylor and stopped over until the repairs came. A lovely feather bed to sleep on, and father and young son to play cribbage for amusement.
“We finally reached the Halfway. It was a good raspberry year; we picked quantities of them. It was also one of the wettest autumns ever. The grain binder worked only half-days.”
In this memoir Marjorie did not record that later she twice walked the thirty-odd miles alone to Fort St John for dental attention, once in mid-winter!
“The next year we moved across the river and ran the ferry, a new boat that we used to paddle across while the horses and cattle swam. When the water was low, there was a ford.
“The mailman drove a team of mules – he never missed a trip and was seldom late. Once the team and wagon slipped off ‘The Hump’, a notorious single-track road over a hill of the greasiest clay imaginable. Single-handed he had to unhitch and manhandle the wagon and mail up again, re-hitch, and get on his way. He was, in the vernacular of the country, “some guy!” Today he would probably go on strike!
Adapted from Memoirs of Mrs. Marjorie Daw