Ben Abel

Ben Abel Creek (north fork of Dutch Creek), Abel Creek (into Lake Windermere), Mount Abel

“The most interesting old-timer in the valley… [Ben Abel] was a tall, handsome man about sixty years old, with a long black beard which reached to his waist and which he always rolled up and tucked inside his shirt on leaving the settlement. It was his great pride.” 54

Ben Abel was a reasonably well-known character of the early settler years of the Windermere Valley, but there is not a lot known about his life.

Abel was born in the United States, but this could have been in Vermont,1 Ohio,2 or perhaps somewhere else entirely. So too is his date of birth given in different sources as 12 December 1848,3 14 January 1848, 4 or perhaps sometime in 1846.5 Even his name differs depending on the source, being usually recognized in the valley as Willis Benson Abel,6 but reported elsewhere as Willis Benjamin Abel,7 or Benjamin Able (as he self-reported on census records the names “Willis” and “Benjamin”, the most likely combination is Willis Benjamin Abel).8 What can be said for certain is that he was colloquially known as “Ben Abel.”

We have to rely mainly on hearsay to account for Ben Abel’s activities before he arrived in Canada. In 1897 he is reported as, “having spent a great many years in Idaho, Washington and Montana before coming to East Kootenay.”9 Ben Abel himself recalled driving a “bull team” across the American prairies starting in 1867 until the railroad was completed (the first Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869). At that time, on the “hunt for a new job”, he got into prospecting, and wandered around Washington and Oregon before finally crossing the border into Canada.10 The only source I was able to find of Abel in the United States is from a few 1891/1892 newspapers, which place him in Kettle Falls, Washington doing various prospecting work on mines there.11

When exactly Ben Abel arrived in the valley is, of course, also unclear, and it is entirely possible that he crossed the border multiple times before settling more permanently. The first verifiable trace of him in the valley that I was able to find was as a labourer on the Kootenay Wagon Road in the East Kootenay at sometime between 1 July 1892 and 30 June 1893.12 His name also appears on a petition drawn up by residents of the Windermere District in September 1893.13

Abel himself variously recalled having arrived in Canada in 189014 or 1884.15 This might be explained by the story, reportedly from Abel, that he arrived into the West Kootenay in 1884, and into the Windermere Mining division in 1890.16 Still, Abel does not appear in any records prior to the ones mentioned above, including in the 1891 Canadian census in the Upper Kootenay area. As the above mentioned American newspapers place him in Washington State in 1891/1892, it is possible that he did not enter the Windermere Mining Division until late 1892 or early 1893. Wherever he did arrive from, Ben Abel lived out the last couple decades of his life in the Windermere Valley.

Ranching

After arriving in the valley, Ben Abel settled on a piece of land along the Columbia River near present-day Brisco. While there, he experimented with building a large dam in hopes of draining the slough to grow grasses and oats.17 As later reported, “He must have been quite confident of the outcome of this project because he also built a huge hay barn on the property. But the dam did not fulfill the builder’s dream, and the hay barn remained empty.”18 This ranch was loosely reported as having been sold in 1906 to Henry Toke Munn,19 but Abel is elsewhere reported as having lived on this ranch until shortly before his death in 1915.20

Prospecting

Ben Abel also frequently engaged in prospecting and working mineral claims. In 1896 he was working the Swansea copper claim near Windermere, which had been active some years previously. Abel revived interest in the claim by uncovering further deposits.21 Activity on the Swansea began in earnest, with a bond of the claim being given to George B Kirk of London in the summer of 1897,22 and the following year to Fred A Mulholland of Rossland.23 Abel, along with the other owners of the claim (Sam Brewer, Joseph Lake, and George S. McCarter), took steps to obtain a crown grant on the Swansea claim in October 1898.24 Mulholland’s interest in the Swansea claim prompted the formation of the Canterbury townsite company, the precursor to the town of Invermere.

The Swansea was not Abel’s only world-famous-in-the-valley mining prospect. At the beginning of 1897 reports first began to circulate about the, “famous ‘Mineral King’” claim up Toby Creek at the junction with Jumbo Creek.25 Abel later reported having staked this claim in 1895.26 There were repeated efforts to develop the Mineral King starting in early 1897, and Abel himself reported, “that he has put ever spare dollar he had in the claim.”27 It attracted sporadic interest during his lifetime but, despite Abel’s attempts, the amount and quality of ore at the site was unclear, and it would take a large amount of investment to make the necessary geological studies to prove the quality of the claim and to put in the necessary equipment to process the ore. Activity at the Mineral King did not begin in earnest until 1953, long after Abel’s death (I’ve just written two posts on the Mineral King Mine, starting with Part 1).

Abel’s name was attached to yet another well known claim, the Red Line, up McDonald Creek, which was staked in the fall of 1898 by Abel, Wellington Kinnie, C.A. Watt, George Scott, and Pete Larson.28 As discussed in the previous post on the Red Line, there was a massive amount of interest and speculation on the Red Line claim, with large amounts of money changing hands over the ownership of it.

There were other mining claims as well. In 1899 Abel purchased a half interest in the Black Jack group on Ice Creek (likely now Ice River flowing into the Beaverfoot), located by Alfred and David Pedley.29 He was also part owner in the Hot Punch claim on Delphine Creek,30 the Paystone up Horsethief creek,31 and the owner of the Bullion and Diamond R Claims up Toby Creek.32 Abel had his fingers in many different pies: it is little wonder that in 1898 he was appointed president of the newly formed Miner’s Association in the Windermere District.33

Other Ventures

Not all of Abel’s attention went to mining. In 1898 he put in for a pre-emption on Lot 4348 (located just north of Horsethief Creek along present day De-Crespigny Road).34 The following year, during the local rush to set out townsites, Abel announced himself as the owner of “Selkirk City”, described as “a very promising townsite, situated between Horsethief and No 2 [Forster] Creeks.”35

Nothing much came of this townsite, and two years later it is announced that Abel had purchased land in the Canterbury townsite with the intention of building.36 It’s unclear if anything came of this, but by 1906 Abel had taken over the pre-emption staked in 1898 by B.H. Washburn just to the south of Canterbury (Lot 4616),37 and was planting more cherry and apple trees on the property.38

It is unclear how long Abel actually owned this Canterbury property, but his name survives in the form of Abel Creek running through it (locals tend to call it Ben Abel Creek). For a time, the point of land near where Abel Creek enters Lake Windermere was also colloquially known as Ben Abel point.39 A deal for the sale of Abel’s Canterbury ranch was pending in 1906,40 and in 1913 it had been subdivided and 5.5 acres given to Arthur Walker by the Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruitlands Company in exchange for the disappointing property given to the Walkers by the company on the Toby Benches.41

Dutch Creek Claims

It is one of Abel’s lesser known ventures that may have led to his name being attached to geographical features up Dutch Creek. In 1897, Abel was one of a group of prospectors to climb up and over the mountains from Toby Creek into the Dutch Creek valley to record a number of claims (the Dutchy, Little Giant, and Nickle Plate).42 The claims were later described as being, “best anything ever before seen in the district in the way of copper ore.”43 The various prospectors to originally stake the properties elected Abel as their legal representative.44

Abel took a long standing interest in these Dutch Creek claims, typically referred to as the “Dutchy” claims after one of the locations. He petitioned the government to partially fund the construction of a trail up Dutch Creek, and was himself given the contract to construct a bridge and a thirty-five mile trail to make Dutch Creek easier for prospectors to access.45 It is likely that this work in developing the area that led to his name being attached to Ben Abel Creek.

The Dutchy group was bonded to Henry Toke Munn, representing capitalists in Ottawa, in late 1897.46 This didn’t last, and Abel together with Arthur Austin continued to do work on the Dutch Creek claims in 1900,47 and again the following year.48 The claims were bonded again in 1901 to Henry Edward Neave, again representing outside capital.49

Despite this early attention, these claims do not seem to have been as promising as initially reported: they were never crown granted or developed on any large scale. The last we hear of Abel’s involvement in them is in 1904, when he completed the annual assessment work on the group.50 They reappear briefly in records from 1968 when a survey was conducted of the property, then owned by J.H. Conroy, by a party interested in developing it (it’s unclear who this party was, as documentation is cut off).51 Although notes from this examination do not directly mention the property’s history or its connection to Ben Abel, the location of this claim, the name of it, and its strong showing of copper match with earlier records.

It is only thanks to this 1968 examination that there is a record of the location of the Dutchy claim, as it was never officially surveyed. Interestingly, the location is not on Ben Abel creek (as I had initially suspected). Instead, it is on what is referred to as “Copper Creek”, although this name never became official.52 It is one of the northern tributaries of Dutch Creek, and about five miles south of Coppercrown Mountain (see above map).53 This matches an early description placing the claims on one of the tributaries of Dutch Creek over the divide from Toby Creek.54

Death

Ben Abel passed away on 22 May 1915 in Invermere and was buried in the Windermere Cemetery as Willis Benson Abel (his death certificate was for Willis Benjamin Abel).55 He was remembered at the time for, “his straight forward manner of living, and was well-known locally by his drollness of speech.”56

Abel is later described by Henry Toke Munn as, “The most interesting old-timer in the valley… he was a tall, handsome man about sixty years old, with a long black beard which reached to his waist and which he always rolled up and tucked inside his shirt on leaving the settlement. It was his great pride.”57

Ben Abel. Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, Settler File “Ben Abel”.

Reporter James Butterfield later recalls a story about Ben visiting with Robert Randolph Bruce at his home Pynelogs. The two “discuss[ed] every prospect hole in the near or distant hills. And as they talked Ben punctuated his conversation with streams of tobacco juice. And every time Ben did this, Bob moved the cuspidor with his foot toward the last section of the carpet that had been thus violated. And every time Bob moved the cuspidor Ben sought out and favored new territory. When this silent battle had brought the contestants to the breaking point. Ben was the first to blow up. “Go! darn it, Bob,” he said, “if you don’t take that blame thing away I’ll surer’n hell spit in it, first thing you know. God, yes, boy, that’s the way she doos.””58 (It should be noted that Butterfield could tell a story, but there is no guarantee as to its historical accuracy)

Legacy

Given the widespread nature of Abel’s activities through the valley, it is curious where his name actually became attached to geological features. Abel Creek (or Ben Abel Creek) in Invermere ran through a (relatively) late acquisition by Abel that he did not own for very long. Abel’s mining claims up Dutch creek, on the other hand, were neither his most famous nor his most successful, and his association with the creek led to both another creek and a mountain being named after him.

Abel Creek near Invermere was first labelled as such on a 1914 map of the area as Ben Abel Creek (officially changed to Abel Creek in 1951 – this likely explains why many locals call it Ben Abel Creek).59 Ben Abel Creek (then Benabel), up Dutch Creek, was adopted in 1915 in place of “North Fork of Dutch Creek”.60 Both Mount Abel and Ben Abel Lakes were later named in association with the creek.

In a historical context, Ben Abel is one of those characters that pops up regularly. It’s rather frustrating that so little is known about his life before arriving in the valley, as once he was here he certainly made his mark. Just take a look at the “See Also” section below for an incomplete snapshot of the various projects/people he was involved with during his adventures!

(Edit: an earlier version of this article included speculation that the Dutchy group was located up Ben Abel creek. Additional information strongly indicates that this is not the case.)

See Also

Swansea Mine
Mineral King (Part 1) and (Part 2)
Red Line Mine
Henry Toke Munn
Henry Edward Neave
Alfred Pedley
Samuel Brewer

Footnote

1. “Invermere,” Cranbrook Herald, 27 May 1915, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0069088
2. Death Certificate for Willis Benjamin Abel, 22 May 1915. Reg No 1915-09-180033, BC Archives.
3. Death Certificate for Willis Benjamin Abel, 22 May 1915. Reg No 1915-09-180033, BC Archives.
4. Fourth Census of Canada, 1901. British Columbia, District No 5 (Yale & Cariboo), Sub district D (Kootenay East – North Riding) (taken April 11-19), page 1, Line 12 (Willis B Abel). https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1901&op=&img&id=z000013420
5. “Invermere,” Cranbrook Herald, 27 May 1915, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0069088
6. “Invermere,” Cranbrook Herald, 27 May 1915, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0069088
Alex Weller, “The Windermere Cemetery,” The Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, 2017, p 6. https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.41/0bs.9b1.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/WindermereCemeteryOnlineVersionComplete2.pdf
7. Death Certificate for Willis Benjamin Abel, 22 May 1915. Reg No 1915-09-180033, BC Archives.
8. Fifth Census of Canada, 1911. British Columbia, District No 5 (Kootenay), Sub district 4 (Columbia), (taken June 15), page 2, Line 8 (Benjamin Able).
https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1911&op=&img&id=e001936655
9. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 19 November 1897, p 1
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227170
10. “Invermere,” Cranbrook Herald, 27 May 1915, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0069088
11. “Bruce Creek Mines,” The Spokane Review (Washington), 21 July 1891, p 3.
https://www.newspapers.com/image/565836358
“Wizard of the West,” The Spokane Review (Washington), 28 August 1892, p 5.
https://www.newspapers.com/image/565954380
“Found by the Shears,” The Spokane Review (Washington), 23 May 1891, p 6.
https://www.newspapers.com/image/566001776
12. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Public Accounts for the Fiscal Year Ended 30th June, 1893. Period From 1st July, 1892, to 30th June 1893 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1893), p 112. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0063519
13. “An East Kootenay Affair,” The Victoria Daily Times, 11 October 1893, p 8. https://www.newspapers.com/image/505101501
14. Fourth Census of Canada, 1901. British Columbia, District No 5 (Yale & Cariboo), Sub district D (Kootenay East – North Riding) (taken April 11-19), page 1, Line 12 (Willis B Abel). https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1901&op=&img&id=z000013420
15. Fifth Census of Canada, 1911. British Columbia, District No 5 (Kootenay), Sub district 4 (Columbia), (taken June 15), page 2, Line 8 (Benjamin Able).
https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1911&op=&img&id=e001936655
16. “Invermere,” Cranbrook Herald, 27 May 1915, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0069088
17. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Fourth Report of the Department of Agriculture of the Province of British Columbia, 1894 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1895), p 916. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0064023
18. Olive Wolfenden, “Brisco – Reminiscences of Early Days,” The Lake Windermere Valley Echo, 18 July 1958, p 8.
19. ‘Brisco Newslets,’ The Outcrop (Wilmer, B.C.), 13 September 1906, p 1
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1906/09/13/1/Ar00107.html
20. Olive Wolfenden, “Brisco – Reminiscences of Early Days,” The Lake Windermere Valley Echo, 18 July 1958, p 8.
Death Certificate for Willis Benjamin Abel, 22 May 1915. Reg No 1915-09-180033, BC Archives.
21. “Mining News,” The Golden Era, 29 February 1896, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227278
22. “Mining News,” East Kootenay Miner (Golden B.C.), 29 July 1897, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0081325
23. “Mining News,” East Kootenay Miner (Golden B.C.), 8 July 1898, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0081327
24. “Certificate of Improvement: Swansea Mineral Claim,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 38, No 45 (10 November 1898), p 2231.
https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett38nogove_m0v8
25. “Local and General,” The Golden Era, 13 March 1897, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227003
26. “The Mineral King Strike,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 14 June 1900, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/06/14/1/Ar00104.html
27. “The Mineral King Strike,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 14 June 1900, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/06/14/1/Ar00104.html
28. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 14 October 1898, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0226967
“Mining Activity at Windermere: The Season’s Records,” The Golden Era, 21 October 1898, p 3. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227358
29. “Mining News – Windermere Nov 15,” Nelson Daily Miner, 19 November 1899, p 8. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0082637
30. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Annual Report of the Minister of Mines for the Year Ending 31st December 1898, (Victoria: Government Printer, 1899), p G295.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0383371
British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. “List of Crown Granted Mineral Claims: Crown Grants Issued in 1904,” Annual Report of the Minister of Mines for the Year Ending 31st December 1904 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1905), p G295.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0064402
British Columbia. Legislative Assembly, Annual Report of the Minister of Mines for the Year Ending 31st December 1915 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1916), p K93.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0059746
31. “News of Windermere,” Nelson Daily Miner, 22 August 1900, p 3.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0082778
“St Eugene to Resume,” Nelson Daily Miner, 14 May 1901, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0084145
32. “Windermere Are Many Mines,” Nelson Daily Miner, 24 December 1899, p 6.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0082883
33. “Miner’s Association at Windermere,” The Golden Era, 16 December 1898, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227178
34. “Lands and Works: East Kootenay District, Northern Division,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 41, No 33 (15 August 1901), p 1333.
https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett41nogove_z5j9
35. “Windermere,” The Golden Era, 12 May 1899, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227256
36. [No title], The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 20 June 1901, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1901/06/20/1/Ar00109.html
37. “Windermere District,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 19 September 1901, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1901/09/19/1/Ar00102.html
“East Kootenay District, Northern Division,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 42, No 13 (27 March 1902), p 413.
https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett42nogove_q8j3
38. “District Croppings,” The Outcrop (Wilmer, B.C.), 15 February 1906, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1906/02/15/4/Ar00403.html
39. “Invermere – An Interesting Description of the Tourist City,” The Prospector (Fort Steele, B.C.), 2 September 1911, p 10. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0304905
40. [No title], The Outcrop (Wilmer, B.C.), 25 October 1906, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1906/10/25/1/Ar00110.html
41. Alex Weller, “Ranches in the Windermere Valley,” (Invermere: Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, 2013), p 3. https://windermeredistricthistoricalsociety.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ranches-in-the-windermere-valley.pdf
42. “Dutch Creek Mines,” The Outcrop, 19 July 1900, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/07/19/1/Ar00109.html
“Windermere,” The Golden Era, 13 August 1897, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227197
43. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 4 August 1899, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227285
44. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 19 November 1897, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227170
45. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 19 November 1897, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227170
British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Public Accounts for the Fiscal Year Ended 30th June 1898. Period from 1st July 1897 to 30th June 1898 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1898), p 651. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0064164
“Local and General,” The Golden Era, 10 June 1898, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227046
“Dutch Creek Mines,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 19 July 1900, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/07/19/1/Ar00109.html
46. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 19 November 1897, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227170
47. “News of the Mines,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 28 June 1900, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/06/28/1/Ar00106.html
“Dutch Creek Mines,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 19 July 1900, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/07/19/1/Ar00109.html
48. “Windermere District,” The Outcrop (Canterbury, B.C.), 22 August 1901, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1901/08/22/1/Ar00105.html
49. “Activity in Windermere,” Nelson Daily Miner, 23 April 1901, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0084146
50. “District Croppings,” The Outcrop (Wilmer, B.C.), 11 August 1904, p 1.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1904/08/11/1/Ar00105.html
51. “File Note: Dutchy Property,” 10 September 1968, British Columbia Geological Survey, Property File PF840874, p 1-2.
https://propertyfile.gov.bc.ca/reports/PF840874.pdf
52. For claim location map see: “Claim Map Dutchy Group,” 24 September 1968, British Columbia Geological Survey, Property File PF840874, p 2.
https://propertyfile.gov.bc.ca/reports/PF811173.pdf
53. “File Note: Dutchy Property,” 10 September 1968, British Columbia Geological Survey, Property File PF840874, p 2.
https://propertyfile.gov.bc.ca/reports/PF840874.pdf
54. “Round About the Mines,” The Golden Era, 13 August 1897, p 1.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0227197
55. Death Certificate for Willis Benjamin Abel, 22 May 1915. Reg No 1915-09-180033, BC Archives.
Alex Weller, “The Windermere Cemetery,” The Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, 2017, p 6. https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.41/0bs.9b1.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/WindermereCemeteryOnlineVersionComplete2.pdf
56. “Invermere,” Cranbrook Herald, 27 May 1915, p 4.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0069088
57. Captain Henry Toke Munn, Prairie Trails and Arctic By-Ways (London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd, 1932), p 126. https://archive.org/embed/prairietrailsarc0000munn
58. J Butterfield, “The Common Round,” The Province (Vancouver), 22 January 1926, p 6. https://www.newspapers.com/image/499265821
59. BC Geographical Names, “Abel Creek,” (Accessed 26 January 2021).
http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/134.html
60. BC Geographical Names, “Ben Abel Creek,” (Accessed 26 January 2021).
http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/3377.html

References

BC Geographical Names, “Abel Creek,” (Accessed 26 January 2021). http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/134.html
BC Geographical Names, “Ben Abel Creek,” (Accessed 26 January 2021). http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/3377.html
BC Geographical Names, “Mount Abel,” (Accessed 26 January 2021). http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/133.html

2 thoughts on “Ben Abel

  1. Hi, Alex — This was of particular interest to me, because of Abel Creek.

    Coincidentally, I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan named Able Acres so I always felt it was a good sign.

    When we created our small five-property strata corporation on Johnston Road, we named it Abel Creek Development.

    And when I bought The Pioneer, I created my business name Abel Creek Publishing — which was unfortunately sold along with the newspaper, but it is still in use.

    Now I see that there is a new property developer across the creek on the CastleRock side that has erected big signs saying Abel Creek Development, in spite of the fact that our little strata still exists.

    I wish now that we had called it Ben Abel Development!

    Anyway, another great story and interesting to learn that Ben Abel once owned Lot 4616.

    I have a proprietary interest in Lot 4616 because when a developer named David Behan offered to purchase it from the town so he could erect yet more condos, I circulated a petition and got 800 signatures and presented it to council, way back in the year 2004, and successfully blocked the sale.

    David Behan never spoke to me again, nor did he ever advertise in the Pioneer. However, he is long gone and Lot 4616 remains public land.

    Keep up the good work, Elinor

    >

    Like

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