Flash Back Fridays
LAND FOR A BOY’S CAMP 1959
Jim was trying to get land for a boy’s camp from Mr. Dickenson, the Chief Executive Officer of the East Asiatic Company. This company owned most of the timberlands that now belong to TimberWest. According to Jim, Mr. Dickenson was going to help him; however, my dad, Wallace Baikie, said that if Jim wanted a site so badly he would subdivide the acreage that he had received from B.C. Hydro in exchange for the land that had been flooded during the power development. The brothers, Harper and Wallace, had al- ready divided this strip of land between them and my dad had the southern end. It was the end with the somewhat derelict Strathcona Lodge on it. With the help of his friend, the surveyor Gordon Wagner, they subdivided the landalong the lake into about forty lots, most with about 100 feet of frontage and the Lodge on a piece with 300 feet on Upper Campbell Lake. The properties were offered to all of my dad’s former employees, as well as relatives and friends. It was a great deal; $100 per 100 feet a year for nine years and then a bit more on the tenth year and it was yours. My uncle Harper did a similar thing with the land that he had along the lake.
FULL SPEED AHEAD 1959
Now that Jim had property on Up- per Campbell Lake, he could hardly wait to get started. His good friend and fellow PE teacher Ron Leversage was going to go into business with him but Ron’s wife, Pat, said no way. She could probably see how much work lay ahead. Me, I was not that smart. Those were the days when you followed your husband’s lead. Not only did he choose my career, teaching, he also eventually convinced me that in the summers we should run a camp together. At university I had not been quite sure what I wanted to do and took a wide range of courses including commerce and a lot of sciences. I ended up in Home Economics with a Commerce minor. I had wanted to be a vet but my dad said he would pay for any other education he was afraid that I would be killed by a horse. I came to love teaching, especially nutrition which has become a lifelong interest. My interest in food has also stood me well in what became a large food service business.
Jim started to work on his dream. In 1959 we spent about half that year at the family cabin at Cedar Creek. I cooked for the surveyor Gordon Wagner and his sons while they worked on the subdivision. I was pregnant with Annie and had a small child, Elizabeth, who was not yet two. There were a lot of wild animals around including cougars so Jim borrowed a blue tick hound to keep us safe. Their howl would scare anything away; at least that was the theory.
Stay tuned next Friday and find out about the restoration of the Lodge.