Barbour

Barbour Creek (flowing into Toby Creek), Barbour Lake

Jack immediately set himself up with a “first-class pack train,”11 equipped with twenty-two horses to haul equipment in and out of the mines up Toby Creek.12

The Before Times

In typical fashion, we do not have much information about the Barbour family before they moved to the Windermere Valley. John Smith (Jack) Barbour was born on 19 August 1860, in Derby (near Owen Sound) Ontario.1 In 1899 he had been living near Kalispel, Montana, and in August of that year came into the Windermere Valley with a pack train from the West Kootenays.2 He clearly liked what he saw as he would return to settle within the year.

Jack’s wife, Marguerite Ann Kreutter was born 31 October 1866 in Des Moines, Iowa,3 and in early 1900 was working as a “vegetable cook,” in Decorah (also in Iowa).4 It is unknown how she and Jack met. In autumn 1899 Jack returned to Ontario to visit family and, on his return through Iowa, he and Marguerite were married in April 1900.5

John Smith and Marguerite Barbour, likely a wedding portrait, 1900. Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, C348.

Living on Toby Creek

The newlyweds moved to the Windermere Valley immediately following their wedding,6 and in July 1900 Jack filed a pre-emption for a lot of land along Toby Creek.7 This lot is located just south-east of what is now Barbour Lake, and took over a previous pre-emption (no 331) made by Bill Nye.8 Marguerite’s younger brother, Henry Kreutter, also filed a pre-emption, in September 1900, for a parcel of land immediately west of John’s lot.9

The Barbour Ranch, surveyed 1907 [image cropped]. Crown Grant No 8631/446 (Lot 4338, John Smith Barbour, 26 October 1918), British Columbia Crown Land Grants, Vol 446 (no 8601/0446-8700/0446), 1920-1921. FamilySearch database img 421.

Jack was required in this land application to present a Certificate of Naturalization, which is to say he had to get British citizenship. This should not have been necessary, as he was born in Canada, so it could be that he had received American citizenship at some point (his naturalization application lists him as having lived in Minnesota).10

Marguerite Barbour riding on the Barbour Ranch. Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, A181.

A Good Business Venture

Jack and Marguerite settled into their niche along Toby Creek. They had chosen the property for the location, as Jack immediately set himself up with a “first-class pack train,”11 equipped with twenty-two horses to haul equipment in and out of the mines up Toby Creek.12 A wave of mining activity had begun in the area in 1897, with the first trial shipment of ore from these new mines, from the Delphine, having been made in spring 1899.13 With dozens of mining claims up Toby Creek, and with ore to be hauled out and provisions to be brought in, it was a good business opportunity.

John Barbour drumming up business in July 1900. Eventually word-of-mouth would do much of this advertising for him. The Outcrop (Canterbury B.C.), 5 July 1900, p 2.

Marguerite was an integral part of this early venture, recalling having, “spent the first winter in a tent by Toby Creek while Jack was packing.”14 She also helped Jack with packing of the ore itself, and was frequently found in Jack Pine Camp near to the Paradise Mine.15

Barbour was awarded numerous contracts through the years, gaining a good reputation and, as years went on and mining activity decreased, he established himself as a guide and outfitter for hunting and mountaineering groups.16

Additions to the Family

In January 1903, Marguerite left to visit her home in Iowa for a couple of months,17 and while she was there, her sister unfortunately passed away. When Marguerite returned, in May 1903, she brought her sister’s son with her, Ted Egge.18 Ted lived happily with the Barbours until autumn 1905 when he learned that his father had died. Wanting to return to his brother in Iowa, in February 1906, at age 15, he ran away from home.

A note in the local newspaper upon his sudden departure informs the reader that, “Ted is a good boy and a favourite with every person who knows him, and anyone who may meet this orphan, yet home sick boy, and aid him will receive the hearty thanks of this community. It is generally believed he started south, towards Cranbrook.”19 It is unclear what happened to Ted, but the request to help Ted rather than return him suggests he probably made it back to Iowa.

Meanwhile, the Barbours had expanded their family with four sons born between 1904 and 1909: John Edward (Ed), James Albert (Bert), Henry Theodore (Harry), and George Gilbert Grey. The boys were reportedly named after King George and Queen Mary’s sons.20 Marguerite took a series photos of her young sons that have long been favourites of mine, some of which I happily share in this post.

The four Barbour boys, George, Ed, Bert, and Harry. Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, A180.

Harvest time at the Barbour Ranch. Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, A251.

As the Barbour boys got older, the family moved to Wilmer for them to be closer to schooling, and Jack is listed a trustee of the Wilmer School for the 1916-1917 year.21

Other Encounters

The Barbour family settled into the community. In March 1907 Jack was appointed by the Provincial Secretary’s Office as a Commissioner to take affidavits for the supreme court,22 a position he held through at least 1909.23 He was also at one time Master of Freemason Columbia Lodge No 38,24 and on the executive of the Windermere District Liberal Association.25

In 1908, Jack had a chance encounter with then Governor General of Canada, Earl Grey, who was travelling over the mountains from Argenta. Grey’s party had taken refuge at a “comfortable camp” that happened to belong to Barbour, making themselves at home in absence of the owner. As Grey recounts,

“So far from resenting the occupation of his camp by strangers, he [John Barbour] appeared to be genuinely pleased. When I apologised to him for having made ourselves at home in his absence, and for having helped ourselves freely to his food, he replied with a broad smile that we were most welcome ; that such was the way of the country ; and that he would do the same by us when he struck our camp in our absence. … Mr. Barbour, after providing us with another excellent meal of Toby trout… drove us to his ranch, 12 miles down the road, where we were most hospitably entertained by Mrs. Barbour.”26

According to Barbour’s later account of the incident, he had been unaware that the interloper was the Governor General of Canada, and instead presumed the group to be a couple of mining experts he was expecting from Nelson.27 The camp referred to was likely in the vicinity of present day Barbour Creek (and likely the origins of the name).

Later Activities

Jack and Marguerite continued ranching activities, purchasing land up Frances Creek to make hay and winter horses.28 They each also purchased a lot bordering what is now Dunbar Lake, in 1909, likely as investment properties. By 1925 both properties were held by Dunbar Investment Co.29

Jack Barbour passed away in Invermere on 4 July 1939 at age 79.30 Marguerite followed on 20 January 1952.31 Both are buried at the Windermere Cemetery.

Watching the billy boil. Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, A250.

The Barbour Brothers

All four of the Barbour sons followed the example of their father to some degree.

The eldest, John Edward (Ed), born 31 March 1904,32 is listed in 1942 as a British Columbia Guide/Outfitter out of Wilmer.33 He was also manager at the Thunderbird Mine (located up Delphine Creek) in the mid 1940s,34 and was a partner owning a mineral claim up Hawk Creek (the Albion Group) in Kootenay National Park.35 According to local Wilmer knowledge, Ed lived in the old George and Delphine Starke home for a time.

Ed purchased the former De Crespigny Ranch near Radium (Lot 11107) in 1935, where he grew hay and raised horses until his death in 1991 (this is the “island” ranch in the wetlands visible from the highway driving south from Radium).36

The elder Barbour brothers giving their younger brothers a boost. Windermere Valley Musuem and Archives, A252.

James Albert “Bert”, born 15 October 1905 in Wilmer,37 was a labourer in 1928 when he married Mabel Edna Laughlin.38 He remained in Wilmer working sometimes as an assistant guide,39 as well as a rancher.

In 1935 Ed and Bert together purchased the 240 acre former Munn Lake Ranch, located immediately west of Wilmer, on which they ran cattle as well as having horses, hay fields, and potatoes.40 Bert died suddenly on 10 December 1971 while rounding up cattle on his ranch.41

Henry Theodore, born 21 December 1907 at Wilmer,42 married in Invermere on 29 September 1931 to waitress Hazel Simpson of Cranbrook.43 The two later divorced, and in about 1940 Henry moved up north to work as a Forest Ranger out of Pouce Coupe (just southeast of Dawson City), where in 1965 he received a certificate for twenty-five years of continuous service.44 He passed away there on 11 May 1988.45

H.T. Barbour, Ranger at Pouce Coupe, 4 May 1950. Forest Service Personnel Photographs, BC Archives, Item NA-10013.

The youngest brother, George Gilbert Grey (George), was born 27 October 1909 in Wilmer.46 He worked as a guide and outfitter out of Wilmer,47 and is noted in 1946 as being “Class A” with “suitable equipment for outfitting any person desiring to hunt game.”48 George died tragically on 4 August 1948 in Invermere in a farming accident.49

Barbour Creek, flowing north into Toby Creek from Mt Brewer, was officially named in the April-June 1915 decisions by the Geographic Board of Canada,50 It is very likely that the creek was named due to its proximity to the Barbour pack camp that Earl Grey had visited. Barbour Lake, located on the far west side of the Toby Benches, was named due to its proximity to the Barbour ranch.

See Also

Delphine Mine
Paradise Mine
Frances Creek
Dunbar Lake
Thunderbird Mine
Munn Lake

Footnotes

1. “Barbour, John Smith,” (Statement given 11 May 1932 to Basil G Hamilton. (Pioneer) File: Barbour, Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, Invermere B.C. [reprinted in “Jack and Marguerite Barbour,” Valley History and the Windermere Valley Museum (November 2003), p 1-2.] https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.83/0bs.9b1.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2003_11.pdf
2. “Barbour, John Smith,” (Statement given 11 May 1932 to Basil G Hamilton. (Pioneer) File: Barbour, Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, Invermere B.C. [reprinted in “Jack and Marguerite Barbour,” Valley History and the Windermere Valley Museum (November 2003), p 1-2.] https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.83/0bs.9b1.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2003_11.pdf
3. Death Certificate of Marguerite Anne Barbour, 20 January 1952. Reg No 1952-09-001614. B.C. Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/54c18b2e-e60e-48c3-8b62-257a2ad45c61
4. Winnifred Ariel Weir, “Pioneer Women in the Windermere Valley,” British Columbia Historical News, Vol 21, no 4 (Fall 1988), p 9. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0190569
5. Marriage Registration of John Barbour and Maggie A Kreutter, 24 April 1900, Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa, United States. FamilySearch Database, “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1924.” https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XJ2S-PHW
6. “Barbour, John Smith,” (Statement given 11 May 1932 to Basil G Hamilton. (Pioneer) File: Barbour, Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, Invermere B.C.
7. Crown Grant No 8631/446 (John Smith Barbour, 26 October 1918), British Columbia Crown Land Grants Vol 446 (no 8601/0446-8700/0446), 1920-1921. FamilySearch Database img 419 to 431 of 1362. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WZ-17T2?cc=2052510&wc=M73D-2WL%3A351099401%2C352791201
8. “Local Outcrops,” The Outcrop (Canterbury B.C.), 12 July 1900, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/07/12/1/Ar00111.html
9. Crown Grant No 4091/318 (Henry Kreutter, 25 September 1912), British Columbia Crown Land Grants, Vol 318 (no 3999/0318-4098/0318), 1912. FamilySearch Database, img 1080 to 1095 of 1186. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99W8-M4YQ?cc=2052510&wc=M73D-1M9%3A351099401%2C353112101
10. “Certificate of Naturalization,” In Crown Grant No 8631/446 (John Smith Barbour, 26 October 1918), British Columbia Crown Land Grants Vol 446 (no 8601/0446-8700/0446), 1920-1921. FamilySearch Database img 431 of 1362. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WZ-176L?cc=2052510&wc=M73D-2WL%3A351099401%2C352791201
11. [Advertisement], The Outcrop (Canterbury B.C.), 5 July 1900, p 2. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/07/05/2/Ad00208_2.html
12. “News of the Mines,” The Outcrop (Canterbury B.C.), 21 June 1900, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1900/06/21/1/Ar00110.html
13. “First Shipment Made,” The Prospector (Fort Steele), 1 July 1899, p 5.
https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0186945
14. Winnifred Ariel Weir, “Pioneer Women in the Windermere Valley,” British Columbia Historical News, Vol 21, no 4 (Fall 1988), p 9. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0190569
15. “The Paradise Basin,” The Outcrop (Canterbury B.C.), 26 September 1901, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1901/09/26/1/Ar00102.html
16. A.O. Wheeler and Elizabeth Parker, The Selkirk Mountains : a guide for mountain climbers and pilgrims (Winnipeg: Stovel Co, c 1912), p 135. http://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.83397
17. “District Croppings,” The Outcrop (Wilmer B.C.), 22 January 1903, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1903/01/22/1/Ar00106.html
18. [no title], The Outcrop (Wilmer B.C.), 7 May 1903, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1903/05/07/1/Ar00110.html
19. “District Croppings,” The Outcrop (Wilmer B.C.), 22 February 1906, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1906/02/22/1/Ar00105.html
20. 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
21. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Public Schools of the Province of British Columbia 1916-1917 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1917), p A clxxxix. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0059923
22. “Appointments,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 47, no 13 (28 March 1907), p 1382. https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett47nogove_o1g0
23. “Appointments,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 48, no 1 (3 January 1908), p 5. https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett47nogove_y1w4
“Appointments,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 49, no 5 (4 February 1909, p 409. https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett49nogove_j8u0
24. Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of British Columbia at emergent communications : forty-third annual communication held at Prince Rupert, B.C. commencing on Thursday, the 18th day of June, 1914 (Vancouver: News Advertiser, 1914), p xxxix [183]. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0221780
25. “Invermere Meeting,” The Daily News (Nelson B.C.), 20 March 1916, p 5. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0386652
“Windermere Liberals Appoint New Officers,” The Daily News (Nelson B.C.), 11 March 1918, p 2. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0387941
26. Return of a communication addressed by His Excellency the Governor-General of Canada to the Hon. Richard McBride, with reference to His Excellency’s visit to the Province of British Columbia in the year 1908 [Earl Grey’s Visit to British Columbia] (Victoria: Government Printer, 1909), p G 28. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0064374
27. “Barbour, John Smith,” (Statement given 11 May 1932 to Basil G Hamilton. (Pioneer) File: Barbour, Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, Invermere B.C.
28. Alex Weller, “Ranches in the Windermere Valley,” (Invermere: Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, 2013), p 21. https://windermeredistricthistoricalsociety.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ranches-in-the-windermere-valley.pdf
29. “Tax Sales : Golden Assessment District,” The British Columbia Gazette, Vol 65, no 47 (19 November 1925), p 3558. https://archive.org/embed/governmentgazett65nogove_u1u6
30. Death Certificate of John Smith Barbour, 4 July 1939. Reg No 1939-09-900259. BC Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/c6c0de85-458c-4bfa-8174-b2d785ae935e
31. Death Certificate of Marguerite Anne Barbour, 20 January 1952. Reg No 1952-09-001614. B.C. Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/54c18b2e-e60e-48c3-8b62-257a2ad45c61
“Lake Windermere,” The Calgary Herald, 23 January 1952, p 12. https://www.newspapers.com/image/480796705
32. “District Croppings,” The Outcrop (Wilmer B.C.), 7 April 1904, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1904/04/07/1/Ar00102.html
33. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Province of British Columbia Department of Attorney-General Report of Provincial Game Commission for the Year Ended December 31st 1942 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1943), p M 103. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0319055
34. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Minister of Mines Province of British Columbia Annual Report for the Year Ended 31st December 1946 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1947), p A173. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0339906
35. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Minister of Mines Province of British Columbia Annual Report for the Year Ended 31st December 1953 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1954), p A155. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0367825
36. Alex Weller, “Ranches in the Windermere Valley,” (Invermere: Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, 2013), p 9. https://windermeredistricthistoricalsociety.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ranches-in-the-windermere-valley.pdf
37. “Croppings,” The Outcrop (Wilmer B.C.), 19 October 1905, p 1. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/OTC/1905/10/19/1/Ar00103.html
38. Marriage Certificate of James Albert Barbour and Mabel Edna Laughlin, 28 April 1928. Reg No 1928-09-345853. BC Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/a529c4f0-81a4-4ac5-a926-e80e392873ad
39. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Province of British Columbia Department of Attorney-General Provincial Game Commission Report for the Year Ended December 31st 1950 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1951), p T 81. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0343144
40. Alex Weller, “Ranches in the Windermere Valley,” (Invermere: Windermere Valley Museum and Archives, 2013), p 25. https://windermeredistricthistoricalsociety.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ranches-in-the-windermere-valley.pdf
41. “Bert Barbour Dies Suddenly,” The Lake Windermere Valley Echo, 16 December 1971, p 1.
Death Certificate of James Albert Barbour, 10 December 1971, Wilmer. Reg No 1971-09-017717. BC Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/721ae20a-716e-420c-a715-8cf7b881054d
42. Death Certificate of Henry Theodore Barbour, 11 May 1988, Reg No 1988-09-008574. B.C. Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/51e68f2c-8ab4-481a-8f81-6e9a83e31214
43. Marriage Certificate of Henry Theodore Barbour and Hazel Simpson, 29 September 1931, Invermere. Reg No 1931-09-396081. BC Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/a057cb4b-cb4c-4caa-9d22-d1df4048ddea
44. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Civil Service Commission Forty-Seventh Annual Report January 1 to December 31 1965 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1966), p 25. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0364117
45. Death Certificate of Henry Theodore Barbour, 11 May 1988, Pouce Coupe. Reg No 1988-09-008574. BC Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/51e68f2c-8ab4-481a-8f81-6e9a83e31214
46. Death Certificate of George Gilbert G Barbour, 4 August 1948, Reg No 1948-09-007871. B.C. Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/2da635f6-2150-4cc2-b330-6780a0f8d3ee
47. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Province of British Columbia Department of Attorney-General Report of Provincial Game Commissioner for the Year Ended December 31st 1933 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1934), p I 40. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0308220
48. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Province of British Columbia Department of Attorney-General Report of Provincial Game Commissioner for the Year Ended December 31st 1946 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1947), p DD 86. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0339999
49. Death Certificate of George Gilbert G Barbour, 4 August 1948, Reg No 1948-09-007871. B.C. Archives. http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Image/Genealogy/2da635f6-2150-4cc2-b330-6780a0f8d3ee
50. “Geographic Board of Canada: Decisions, April-June 1915,” The Canada Gazette, Vol 49 no 2 (10 July 1915), p 88. http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=cangaz&id=4576&lang=eng

Other References

Census of Canada 1901, British Columbia, DIstirct No 5 (Yale and Cariboo), Sub-District D (Kootenay East – North Riding), Division 5, Page 2, Family 15 (John S Barbour). https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1901/Pages/item.aspx?itemid=19432
Census of Canada 1911, British Columbia, District No 9 (Kootenay), Sub-District 5 (Columbia), Page 5, Family No 32 (John S Barbon [sic]). https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1911/Pages/item.aspx?itemid=738503
Census of Canada 1921, British Columbia, District No 17 (Kootenay East), Sub-District 11 (Columbia : Wilmer), Page 4, Family No 51 (John Barbour). https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1921/Pages/item.aspx?itemid=4477834
BC Geographical Names, “Barbour Creek,” (Accessed 10 January 2022) https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/11095.html
BC Geographical Names, “Barbour Lake,” (Accessed 10 January 2022) https://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/11097.html

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