The Cannery Building, Grand Forks, BC

By Jonathan J. Kalmakoff

In 1913, the prominent Cannery Building was constructed in downtown Grand Forks. Yet despite its name and original purpose, it only served as a canning facility for 6 of its 62 years of existence. It also variously housed a sharpshooter’s range, farmers market, creamery, potato dehydrator plant, fruit packing house, apple butter factory, seed warehouse and retail department store. This article examines one of the largest commercial buildings in Grand Forks history, its various proprietors, and its untimely destruction.

Background

In the early 1910s, produce-growing assumed an increasingly significant role in the economy of Grand Forks, which until then, was primarily mining, smelting and ranching-based. Not only were large acreages of fruit trees coming into bearing, but growers were producing ever-greater surpluses of small fruit, berries and vegetables. This brought calls for the establishment of a local cannery to process Kettle Valley produce unsuitable for shipping to distant markets in fresh form.[1] Although a succession of non-local firms expressed an interest in developing one, nothing materialized from their proposals.[2] It thus fell on local capital to advance the Grand Forks canning industry.

Grand Forks Canning Company Limited, 1912-1914

To this end, in November 1912, a business syndicate led by accountant D.A. McKinnon formed the Grand Forks Canning Company Ltd to build a modern fruit and vegetable cannery.[3] Capitalized at $50,000.00, it issued a prospectus to sell $20,000.00 in shares to cover land and construction costs.

In September 1913, an expert processor, J.H. Wilson, was hired to operate the prospective plant.[4] By October, sufficient capital was raised to procure a site and arrange for the construction of the plant building. Seven lots were purchased on Main St (72nd Ave) between Second and Third St (3 and 4 St) adjacent to the CPR main line.[5] Contractor A.E. McDougall was hired to construct the building.[6] 

The Grand Forks Canning Co. ‘Cannery Building’ shortly after its construction in 1913. Boundary Museum and Archives, 1987_040_001_02.

Completed in December at a cost of $14,000.00, the impressive new Cannery Building was lauded as “the most modern structure erected in the Interior for the purpose” and “one of the largest commercial buildings in Grand Forks”.[7] It was 125 by 50 feet, 2 stories high with basement, built of brick and ruble stone with concrete floors.[8] It had a square façade with stepped sides. A rail spur from the south side to the main CPR line was built January, 1914.[9]

In the meantime, the company secured fruit supply contracts with local growers[10] and arranged for the sale of its entire production output.[11] It also obtained a ‘bonus’ from the City of Grand Forks in the form of a 10-year property tax exemption plus water and light at cost, approved by plebiscite in January 1914.[12]

Yet despite this all, troubles were afoot for the local enterprise. Construction overruns and undersubscribed/unpaid shares left it without sufficient capital to procure plant equipment, deferring installation from March to May to June, 1914.[13] In June, it was voluntarily wound up and liquidated.[14]

Fruit advertisement for the Grand Forks Canning Co. Ltd. Grand Forks Gazette, December 20, 1913.

Grand Forks Canning Association, 1914-1924

In September 1914, the principals of the Grand Forks Canning Company Limited launched a new entity, the Grand Forks Canning Association, capitalized at $50,000.00.[15] Having the same objective as the old company and having inherited all of its share capital and property, including the Cannery Building, it was incorporated under The Agricultural Associations Act, 1914, which entitled it to government funding.

By March 1915, the association received a $10,000.00 loan from the province for the installation of a cannery plant in the building and its operation.[16] It came with certain conditions: it was repayable with interest over a 20-year period; 20 percent of the association’s subscribed shares had to be fully-paid; and the association had to install and operate the equipment by the 1916 fruit season prior to the release of all funds.[17]

The Association, however, immediately faced the same issues as its predecessor; namely a shortfall in subscribed/paid-up shares. While it endeavored to raise additional capital, it leased out the Cannery Building to a variety of firms and groups described below.

Announcement of Grand Forks Fruitgrowers Association meeting in Canning Building, Grand Forks Gazette, July 4, 1914.

Shooting & Drilling Range, 1914

From April through December, 1914, the Grand Forks Sharpshooters, a local militia company, held parades and drills at the Cannery Building.[xviii] Following the outbreak of the Great War in July 1914, there was discussion about the building being requisitioned as a recruiting barracks, but it did not come to pass.[xix]

City Market, 1914-1915

From December 1914 until March 1915, the City Market was held in the Cannery Building, returning to its outdoor venue on Second Street (3 Street) for the summer months.[xx] Each week, local ranchers sold wagonloads of fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, and baked goods directly to city residents there.

Creamery, 1915-1924

In January 1915, part of the Cannery Building main floor was let to Curlew Creamery Co. of Curlew, WA, operating as the Grand Forks Creamery Co.[xxi] A large ice storage was erected adjoining the building and plant equipment installed in March.[xxii] Initially, the firm produced and sold over 3,000 lbs. of butter and large quantities of ice-cream weekly.[xxiii]

Grand Forks Gazette headline announcing installation of creamery in Cannery Building, January 16, 1915.

By April 1917, an uptake in local dairy supply enabled it to double butter production capacity and commence pasteurizing cream and milk.[xxiv] After operating 8 years, it sold out in November 1923 to J.E. Keatly and Associates of Nelson, which continued business in the building as the Kettle Valley Creamery Co.[xxv] 

Potato Dehydrator Plant, 1915-1916

In November 1915, the balance of the Cannery Building was briefly leased to Graham & Co. of Bellevue, ON to run a potato dehydrator plant to fill wartime contracts.[xxvi] By December, the company contracted a local supply of 2,000 tons of potatoes and installed a 4-unit plant with a 700-bushel per day capacity.[xxvii] Over the next 4 months, it processed and shipped 250 tons of dehydrated product.[xxviii] Despite intentions to run a second season, a decline in local potato supply resulted in the plant closure in August 1916.[xxix]

Grand Forks Gazette headline announcing erection of potato evaporating plant at Cannery Building, November 20, 1915.

Fruit Packing House, 1919-1921

The Cannery Building remained largely vacant from August 1916 to June 1919, leading G.A. Evans, editor of the Grand Forks Sun, to dub it a ‘white elephant’. In the meantime, the viability of the Grand Forks Canning Association continued to deteriorate. First, it defaulted on its loan, having failed to install and operate a cannery by 1916.[xxx] Second, it struggled to repay the loan from the nominal rents received.[xxxi] Third, as the building was not used for its intended purpose, the City rescinded its bonus in April 1917, subjecting it to taxes and regular light and power rates.[xxxii] By July 1917, the City threatened to sell the building for taxes, but was persuaded not to; in May 1919, it forgave half the taxes owed on the property.[xxxiii]

Insurance map showing Cannery Building occupied by Curlew Creamery Co. BC Fire Underwriters Association, September 1922.

In June 1919, the Association let the balance of the Cannery Building to the Kelowna-based Occidental Fruit Co., with an option to purchase the property.[xxxiv] Occidental intended to install plant equipment in the building to operate a fruit cannery the following season and received a bonus from the City for water and light at cost in this regard. However, following the devastating loss of its Carson packing plant and fruit to fire, it used the Cannery Building for packing for the remaining season, then ceased operations in Grand Forks.[xxxv]

The following year, Staples Fruit Co. of Creston bought up the local fruit crop and leased the balance of the Cannery Building as a packing house for the 1920 season.[xxxvi]

In July 1921, the Grand Forks Cooperative Growers’ Exchange leased the balance of the Cannery Building as a fruit packing house until construction of its own new packing plant was completed in September.[xxxvii] Meanwhile, the City agreed to a further grant on taxes owed against the building.[xxxviii]

Apple Butter Plant, 1923

By 1922, renewed calls for a local cannery were raised by the Department of Agriculture, Grand Forks Farmers’ Institute, Board of Trade and others.[xxxix] At the same time, G.A. Evans of the Grand Forks Sun called it a ‘fiasco’ that Grand Forks had a Cannery Building without a cannery – a huge building which sat vacant and unused, despite the financial outlay for canning equipment being comparatively small. Nevertheless, the Grand Forks Canning Association remained unable to raise the necessary capital on its own.

Advertisement for Fruit Products Co. at the Cannery Building. Grand Forks Gazette, January 26, 1923.

In January 1923, the Association let the balance of the Cannery Building to Fruit Products Co., a local venture headed by Board of Trade secretary J.D. Campbell, which installed an apple butter and cider plant.[xl] Following a successful first season, the firm expanded operations to include the production of plum jam. This technically marked the first canning operations in the building’s decade-long history.

Ministry of Agriculture, 1924-1940

After 10 fruitless years, the Grand Forks Canning Association failed to install canning equipment in the Cannery Building and remained unable to maintain principal and interest payments on its government loan. Finally, in September 1924, the Ministry of Agriculture appointed a receiver under The Agricultural Associations Act, 1914 to take possession of the property, title to which was quit-claimed by the Association to the Ministry.[xli]  

The Cannery Building, circa 1926. While the north (left) section of the main floor was occupied by the Kettle Valley Creamery, the remainder had stood vacant for several years. Note the windows are boarded up on the second floor and several windows are broken on the vacant south (right) side. Photo courtesy Greg Nesteroff.

Thereafter, the Ministry continued to let the building to tenants. Despite only producing apple butter in 1923 and 1924, Fruit Products Co. continued to lease space until September 1927.[xlii] The creamery occupied the rest: in March 1926, Kettle Valley Creamery Co. was purchased by Calgary, AB-based P. Burns Co. Ltd. and operated as Grand Forks Creamery until it ceased operations in September 1933.[xliii] Burns kept a lease on the vacant building until February 1940; allegedly to restrict competition from others.[xliv]

Eventually, in November 1939, in order to stimulate agricultural production in the Grand Forks district for the war effort, the Ministry of Agriculture issued a tender for the purchase of the Cannery Building to be operated as a cannery for fruit, vegetable and other agricultural products.[xlv] In February 1940, a successful tender of $2,500.00 was received for the property from Elwood L. Cross and Robert R. Broder.[xlvi]

Government notice of tender for sale of Cannery Building, Grand Forks Gazette, November 16, 1939.

Grand Forks Canners Limited, 1940-1952

Both men had years of experience in the canning industry: Cross as supervisor for Western Packing Corp. Ltd. in Kelowna, and Broder as principal of Broder Canning Co. of Taber, AB. When both independently considered coming to Grand Forks to set up a tomato cannery, they agreed to cooperate by jointly incorporating the Grand Forks Canners Ltd in June 1940, capitalized at $50,000.00.[xlvii]

The firm launched its Grand Forks operation by securing contracts from local growers to supply some 400 acres of tomatoes, supplying them with plants from Cross’ Kelowna hotbeds and providing expert advice on commercial tomato growing.[xlviii] It also obtained special City taxation and electricity and water rates.[xlix]

In June, 1940 the 27-year old Cannery Building was significantly expanded to equip it with a canning plant. A 125 by 50 foot concrete and metal addition was erected on the east side by contractors Charles W. Clark and J.B. McDonald at a cost of $30,000.[l] The addition housed the plant machinery, including 40-ton steam boiler, 3 steam cookers, weigh scale and various equipment for sorting, washing and peeling tomatoes. The original building was used largely for storage and office space. An adjacent 120 by 30 foot hothouse was erected to house a million tomato seedlings for spring distribution to growers.[li] A new rail siding was laid by the CPR on the south side, and 2 east adjacent lots were purchased for additional storage.[lii]

Grand Forks Gazette headline detailing Grand Forks Canners Ltd. expansion of Cannery Building, June 13, 1940.

The resulting Grand Forks Canners Ltd. cannery had a capacity of 250 cases per hour of canned tomatoes, catchup and tomato juice. Its first season proved a success, with some 100,000 cases (70-80 railcars) of product manufactured and shipped.[liii] However, a tomato crop failure in 1941 followed by inadequate tomato acreage planted in 1942 resulted in significant losses for the company, which ceased operations in fall 1942.[liv] Thereafter, the Cannery Building and plant sat idle for a year and a half.

Kettle Valley Packers Limited, 1944-1947

In March 1944, E.C. Miller of Ladner, BC incorporated the Kettle Valley Packers Ltd. for the purpose of taking over the Cannery Building and plant owned by Grand Forks Canners Ltd. via lease with purchase option.[lv] It installed additional fruit canning equipment alongside the existing tomato canning equipment in the building.

By May 1944, contracts were entered into for the local supply of 100 acres of tomatoes.[lvi] This was supplemented by peaches, pears and apricots shipped in from the Okanagan as well as locally-grown prunes.[lvii] During its initial season, the plant processed and shipped some 60,000 cases of tomatoes and 60,000 cases of fruit and employed 175 people.[lviii]  

In early 1945, E.C. Miller publicly advised that the cannery would require local contracts for at least 300 acres of corn and beans in order to operate that season; failing which the plant would be dismantled and the machinery sent to the Okanagan.[lix] Only half the required acreage was contracted; however, the plant managed to run a second season, shipping in Okanagan fruit to supplement local produce.[lx]

The Kettle Valley Packers Ltd. did not operate its cannery during the 1946 canning season due to inadequate acreages of local produce planted.[lxi] The following year, in May 1947, it dismantled the canning machinery and sent it to Lethbridge, thus ending the canning business in Grand Forks.[lxii] After multiple failed attempts to operate a cannery, no other company would consider coming in.   

Cannery Building showing 1940 concrete and metal addition, c. 1947. Boundary Museum and Archives No. 1997_052_052.

Van der Giessen Bros. Seed Growers, 1947-1950

Despite its failure as a canning plant, the Cannery Building did not remain vacant long. In March 1947, Nic Van der Giessen and family arrived in Grand Forks to open a branch of Van der Giessen Brothers Seed Company of Utrecht, Holland. The family had previously visited most seed growing areas of the continent and was so impressed by Grand Forks that the company decided to make it its headquarters for its Canadian subsidiary, Van der Giessen Brothers Ltd.[lxiii]

To this end, in July 1947, Van der Giessen Brothers Ltd. leased the Cannery Building for use as a seed warehouse from which it distributed its famous Dutch Bulbs, imported from Holland, through catalogue sales to Boundary and Okanagan residents.[lxiv] It was also used to store seeds grown in British Columbia for post-war export to Holland and other European countries.[lxv]

Insurance map showing Cannery Building occupied by Van der Giessen Seed Growers. BC Fire Underwriters Association, September 1948.

The seed warehouse operated in Grand Forks for 4 years, after which the Van der Giessen family relocated its business to Kamloops in August 1950.[lxvi]

Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society, 1952-1975

In June 1947, members of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ (‘USCC’) chartered a consumer co-operative in Grand Forks as the Sunshine Valley Co-Operative Society.[lxvii] In October, it opened its first retail store in the Burns Block, opposite the Gazette building on First St (2 St).[lxviii] Initially it offered flour, feed and groceries, but by 1950-51 entered the hardware, dry goods and oil retail sales fields.[lxix] In keeping with Doukhobor religious tenets, the Co-op did not sell meat, alcohol, tobacco, ammunition or fishing tackle.[lxx]

In April 1952, the Co-op purchased the 39-year old Cannery Building from Robert Broder as a branch of its First St location.[lxxi] Extensive alterations were made to it, whereafter the feed, flour, hardware and furniture departments were moved into the main floor and greatly expanded.[lxxii] The ground around the building was filled and raised to road level. In May 1952, the Co-op opened a service station on the north side with two gasoline pumps as agent for the British America Oil Co. Ltd.[lxxiii]

Cannery Building occupied by Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society, 1966. Boundary Museum and Archives No. 1991_034_003_15.

In March 1953, the second floor of the Cannery Building was remodeled to house the USCC Central Organizational Office, which included the offices of the Executive Committee, the Union of Youth, the print office of the publication ISKRA along with the USCC central library.[lxxiv] The main office of the Grand Forks & District Credit Union was also briefly relocated there from May 1954 to June 1955.[lxxv]

By October 1954, the Co-op further renovated the Cannery Building, relocating its grocery department there from the old store.[lxxvi] Thereafter, the hardware department occupied one-third and the grocery the other two-thirds of the main floor. Other improvements included a free parking lot, lunch counter, and faster service at the gas pumps and grocery counters, making the store one of the most modern in the Interior.[lxxvii]

With the new expanded location and greater volume of business at the Cannery Building, annual sales of the Sunshine Valley Co-Operative Society skyrocketed from $33,000.00 in 1948 to half a million dollars in 1954.[lxxviii]

Insurance map showing Cannery Building occupied by Sunshine Valley Co-op. BC Fire Underwriters Association, June 1959.

In September 1958, the Co-op leased the Zak Bros. garage diagonally across the street from the Cannery Building as a full-service garage offering automotive repairs.[lxxix] Then, following further renovation of the second floor of the Cannery Building, some 2,500 square feet of floor space was made available, resulting in the dry goods department moving there from the old store in October 1959.[lxxx]

With the consolidation of the Co-op in the Cannery Building, plans for expansion were put in motion. In December 1962, a new supermarket and dry goods single-storey wing was built on the north side, adding 10,000 square feet of space.[lxxxi] Renovations to the hardware and furniture departments yielded 7,000 square feet of space on the Cannery Building main floor, with the second floor devoted to office space.[lxxxii] Contractor for the $100,000.00 project was Walter Wlasoff, the consulting engineer, E.M. Bauder of Joseph B. Ward & Associates and the architect, R.B. Howard of Vancouver.[lxxxiii]

Sunshine Valley Co-op with original Canning Building (right) and 1962 supermarket expansion (left). Boundary Museum and Archives No. 2017_002_023.

The 1962 expansion saw the last major modification to the Cannery Building, which now had 16,000 square feet of sales area housing the dry goods, hardware, furniture, grocery and bulk oil departments, and another 12,000 square feet of rear warehouse.[lxxxiv] Over the next 13 years, it continued to be home to one of the largest co-operatives in BC, with annual sales surpassing a million dollars.[lxxxv] 

Destruction of the Cannery Building, 1975

The Cannery Building might well have remained in use for decades longer had it not been for the events of 1975. In December of that year, the building housing the Co-op’s hardware and feed operations – as well as USCC offices and library – was consumed in a fire of mysterious origin.[lxxxvi] The loss of the structure was valued at $400,000.00, while the library filled with old Russian books and paintings was valued at more than a million dollars.[lxxxvii] The supermarket wing on the north side was saved from the conflagration. It was later determined that the fire was deliberately set by members of the Sons of Freedom.[lxxxviii]

Firemen fighting blaze at Cannery Building, December 14, 1975. Boundary Museum and Archives No. 2006_039_072.

The Cannery Building was never rebuilt, thus ending 62 years of nearly continuous operation. In its absence, the Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society was forced to substantially curtail its operations to its one remaining building – the supermarket wing. The Co-op then went into a decade-long period of decline, ending with its foreclosure in 1986.[lxxxix] The supermarket was subsequently purchased by the Grand Forks Home Hardware, whose parking lot today occupies the site of the Cannery Building.


After Word

Special thanks to Sue Adrain, Boundary Community Archives for her generous assistance in locating and sharing fire insurance maps and other information.

This article was originally published as a two-part series in the Grand Forks Gazette, October 4 and 11, 2023.


End Notes

[1] That the Grand Forks district had ideal conditions for the successful operation of a cannery was the opinion expressed by provincial horticulturalists at the time: Grand Forks Gazette, May 11, 1912, July 26, 1913. A sufficient variety of produce suitable for canning were already grown in the district to keep a cannery running throughout the season. A cannery offered a ready market and quick cash returns for local produce unable to be shipped fresh to distant points without spoilage, given the speed and conditions of rail transport. It would also save on shipping costs for the many railcar loads of produce already shipped out of the district for canning purposes. And besides offering significant employment opportunities, it would spur the cultivation of hundreds of acres of additional land in the district which lay fallow.

[2] Non-local firms that expressed an interest in establishing a cannery at Grand Forks in the 1910s included: the St. Catherines, ON firm Dominion Canneries Co. (Grand Forks Sun, April 11, June 27, 1913, August 21, 1915.); Grand Forks Produce Association (Grand Forks Gazette, June 28, 1913); Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Industrial Department (Grand Forks Gazette, July 26, 1913; Grand Forks Sun, July 25, 1913); the Kelowna, BC firm Western Cannery Company Ltd (Grand Forks Gazette, August 2, 1913; Grand Forks Sun, August 1, 1913); and the Orser Canning Co. of Colbourne, ON (Grand Forks Gazette, January 15 & 29, 1916; Grand Forks Sun, January 14, 1916).

[3] The original objects of incorporation were considerably broader than canning, and included the “purchase, production, raising, preserving, curing, drying, smoking, evaporating, pressing, packing, pickling, manufacturing and preparation for sale of all kinds of fruit, vegetables, nuts and farm, garden and orchard products, dairy products, meat and animal products and fish products”: British Columbia Gazette, December 5, 1912 at 11376-11377. See also: Grand Forks Gazette, August 10, September 21, October 5, October 26, November 16, December 14, 1912, March 15 & 22, April 5 & 12, August 9, September 6 & 20, October 4, 1913; Grand Forks Sun, December 20, 1912, March 14, 1913, April 11, June 27, 1913.

[4] In September 1913, J.H. Wilson of Indianapolis, IN was hired for this purpose: Grand Forks Gazette, September 6 and 20, November 29, December 13 and 20, 1913, February 7, April 4, May 30, 1914; Grand Forks Sun, December 12 and 19, 1913.

[5] Grand Forks Gazette, October 18 and 25, November 1, 8 & 22, 1913.

[6] Grand Forks Gazette, October 25, November 1 and 8, 1913.

[7] Grand Forks Sun, December 12, 1913; Grand Forks Gazette, April 10, 1952.

[8] Grand Forks Sun, December 19, 1913; Grand Forks Gazette, October 18 and 25, 1913. There is evidence would suggest the bricks used to construct the building were sourced from the Doukhobor Society brick factory west of the city, as the contractor A.E. McDougall used Doukhobor brick to construct a number of other Grand Forks structures in the same period.

[9] Grand Forks Gazette, January 17, 1914.

[10] Grand Forks Gazette, September 20, November 29, December 13, 1913, March 7 and 14, April 25, May 9, 1914; Grand Forks Sun, December 12, 1913.

[11] Grand Forks Gazette, August 9, November 22 and 29, 1913, April 25, 1914.  

[12] The Grand Forks Canning Company Limited initially asked for a bonus in the form of $3,000.00, being the cost of the site. The City of Grand Forks responded by drafting a bylaw granting the company a 10-year tax exemption and provision of water and light at cost; the bylaw was submitted to ratepayers as a plebiscite in January 15, where it received majority approval: Grand Forks Gazette, November 29 and December 13 and 27, 1913, January 3, 10, 17 and31, 1914.

[13] Grand Forks Gazette, February 7 and March 14, April 25, May 9 and 16, 1914; Grand Forks Sun, December 12, 1913, January 16 and 30, May 15 and 29, July 3, 1914.

[14] British Columbia Gazette, July 16, 1914 at 4192; Grand Forks Gazette, June 27, July 4, 1914.

[15] British Columbia Gazette, September 10, 1914 at 5397; Grand Forks Gazette, July 4, August 1 and September 5, 1914.

[16] British Columbia Executive Council, Order-in-Council No. 690/1915 dated June 29, 1915; British Columbia Executive Council, Order-in-Council No. 36/1916 dated January 17, 1916; Grand Forks Gazette, December 19, 1914,January 20 and March 20, 1915, ; Grand Forks Sun, March 12, 1915.

[17] Grand Forks Gazette, June 21, 1913, January 8, February 5, 1916. $8,000.00 of the $10,000.00 was immediately released to the Grand Forks Canning Association; an additional $1,000.00 would be released upon installation of the plant and operation of the plant, respectively.

[18] Grand Forks Gazette, April 18 and 25, May 30, June 20, July 18 and 25, and August 1, 8 and 29, 1914; Grand Forks Sun, April 17, August 14, September 4, 1914.

[19] Grand Forks Gazette, December 12, 1914; Grand Forks Sun, December 18, 1914.

[20] Grand Forks Gazette, December 12 and 26, 1914, February 13 and March 13, 1915; Grand Forks Sun, December 11, 1914, January 1, 8, 15 and 22, February 5, 12, 19 and 26, March 5, 12 and 19, 1915.

[21] Grand Forks Gazette, January 9 and 16, 1915; Grand Forks Sun, January 22, 1915.

[22] Grand Forks Gazette, February 6, March 27, 1915.

[23] Grand Forks Gazette, April 10, 1915, July 27, 1915.

[24] Grand Forks Gazette, March 20 and May 19, 1917.

[25] Grand Forks Gazette, August 31, November 2, 23, 30, 1923; Grand Forks Sun, December 14 and 21, 1923.

[26] Grand Forks Gazette, November 6, 13, 20, 1915; Grand Forks Sun, November 26, 1915.

[27] Grand Forks Gazette, November 27, December 11 and 25, 1915; Grand Forks Sun, November 26, December 3, 10 & 17, 1915.

[28] Grand Forks Gazette, February 5, 26, March 4, 11, 18 and April 1, 15, 22, 1916; Grand Forks Sun, November 26, December 3, 10, 17, 1915 and March 31, 1916.

[29] Grand Forks Gazette, August 12 & 19, 1916; Grand Forks Sun, August 18, 1916.

[30] Grand Forks Gazette, February 5, 1916.

[31] Grand Forks Gazette, July 27, 1917.

[32] Grand Forks Gazette, April 14, 1917, July 27, 1917.

[33] Grand Forks Gazette, July 27, 1917, May 2 and 16, 1919.

[34] Grand Forks Gazette, May 30, June 13, 20, 27 1919,

[35] Occidental’s departure from Grand Forks operationswas precipitated by the destruction of their second fruit packing house at Carson due to fire, with fruit and property losses of $10,000.00: Grand Forks Gazette, October 31, 1919.

[36] Grand Forks Gazette, August 6 and 27, September 24 and 27, 1920.

[37] Grand Forks Gazette, July 29, August 5 and 12, September 2, 1921; Grand Forks Sun, July 29, September 2, 1921.

[38] Grand Forks Gazette, July 21, 1921; Grand Forks Sun, May 18, 1923.

[39] Grand Forks Gazette, January 20, March 10, 17, 22 and 24, May 19, October 20, 1922. Pundits for a local fruit and vegetable cannery emphasized the need for coordinated growers’ support and the growing of substantially larger acreages of small fruit to facilitate the industry. At the same time, G.A. Evans, editor of the Grand Forks Sun, railed against the Cannery Building as a ‘fiasco’, arguing that had local promotors used an old building for a cannery and taken their money and put it into equipment and operating expenses, they would have a dividend-paying cannery instead of having their money tied up in a vacant building: Grand Forks Sun, April 22, 1921.

[40] Grand Forks Gazette, January 5, 12, 19 and 27, February 2, March 23, June 8 & 22, September 28, October 5, 1923; Grand Forks Sun, January 19, 1923.

[41] British Columbia Executive Council, Order-in-Council No. 189/1940 dated February 17, 1940. The amount of the $8,000.00 loan owed by the Grand Forks Canning Association in September 1924 was $7,727.63, indicating that virtually nothing had been paid against the principal. The Association was subsequently dissolved in July 1928: British Columbia Gazette, July 26, 1928 at 2804.

[42] Grand Forks Gazette, October 5, 1923; Grand Forks Sun, September 16, 1927; Wrigley’s British Columbia Directory, 1923-1928. Although Fruit Products Company of Grand Forks appears in the 1928 civic directory, the listings were prepared in late 1927 and there is no record of corporate activity after September 1927.

[43] Grand Forks Gazette, January 15, February 19, March 5, 1926, September 1, 1933; Wrigley’s British Columbia Directory, 1925-1932. Note the Grand Forks Creamery continued to market butter and ice cream under its predecessor’s ‘K.V. Brand’. 

[44] Grand Forks Gazette, February 20, 1936; February 29, 1940.

[45] British Columbia Executive Council, Order-in-Council No. 189/1940 dated February 17, 1940; Grand Forks Gazette, November 16, 1939.

[46] Ibid.

[47] British Columbia Gazette, June 6, 1940 at 825-826; Grand Forks Gazette, January 25, 1940.

[48] Grand Forks Gazette, November 30, 1939, February 22, March 7 and 14, April 4 and 25, June 13, 1940.

[49] Grand Forks Gazette, November 30, 1939.

[50] Grand Forks Gazette, March 28, April 4, May 16 and June 13, 1940; March 27, 1941.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Grand Forks Gazette, June 13, 1940.

[54] Grand Forks Gazette, March 12 and 19, April 23, 1942. Grand Forks Canners Limited was eventually struck off the corporate register and dissolved in April 1952: British Columbia Gazette, April 10, 1952 at 1075.

[55] British Columbia Gazette, March 9, 1944 at 410; Grand Forks Gazette, March 2, April 20, 1944.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Grand Forks Gazette, November 23, 1944, January 11, 1945.

[59] Grand Forks Gazette, January 25, February 15, March 22 and 29, April 5 and 19, 1945.

[60] Grand Forks Gazette, May 3 and 24, August 30, November 8, 1945.

[61] Grand Forks Gazette, May 15, 1947.

[62] Ibid. Kettle Valley Packers Limited was subsequently struck from the corporate registry and dissolved in May 1951: British Columbia Gazette, May 10, 1951 at 1446.

[63] Grand Forks Gazette, March 20, 1947.

[64] Grand Forks Gazette, July 31, 1947.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Grand Forks Gazette, July 20, August 31, September 28, 1950.

[67] The organization and development of producer and consumer co-operatives among members of the USCC in BC was initiated at a USCC convention held in Grand Forks on May 26, 1946: Grand Forks Gazette, June 4, 1953, March 21, 1963; ISKRA No. 1937 (U.S.C.C., February 26, 2003 at 7). Initially, membership in the Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society was limited to Doukhobors belonging to the U.S.C.C. but within five years was expanded to the general public after the co-operative enterprise became better established. Regarding the Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society charter, see: British Columbia Gazette, June 26, 1947 at 1963; Grand Forks Gazette, August 14, 1947; Peter P. Podovinikoff, “Doukhobor Credit Unions and Co-operatives 1940s-1990s,” in K. J. Tarasoff (ed.), Spirit-Wrestlers’ Voices: Honouring Doukhobors on the Centenary of their Migration to Canada in 1899. (Toronto: Legas, 1998) at 157.

[68] Erected at First Street in October 1911, the Burns Block housed various businesses, beginning with the P. Burns & Co. meat market, followed by J.M. McLean’s bakery in March 1939, John Onion’s store in May 1941 and Albert Talarico’s Grand Forks Meat Market in May 1947. The Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society purchased the block from Talarico in August 1947 for the sum of $6,000.00. The place was renovated enough to start a little grocery store with $485.00 work of stock, opening in October 1947. On New Year’s Eve, 1947-48, the Burns Block was destroyed by fire with a $14,000.00 loss due to arson by Sons of Freedom. In March 1948, the Co-op rebuilt its store on the same premises; however, the City of Grand Forks refused to reissue a trade license for almost a year until ordered to do so by the courts. The rebuilt store was finally licensed and re-opened in March 1949. In October 1959, the Co-op ceased operations in the building, and in February 1961, sold it to Mark Soon, who thereafter operated it as the Honey Confectionary & Restaurant.

[69] The Sunshine Valley Co-operativefirst advertised clothing and dry goods in the Grand Forks Gazette on February 9, 1950; and furniture and British American Oil Company Ltd. products on October 11, 1951. As the B.A. bulk sales agency, it supplied all B.A. service stations in the Boundary with petroleum products as well as fuel oil to householders.

[70] British Columbia Gazette, May 19, 1966 at 1137.

[71] Grand Forks Gazette, April 10, 1952, March 21, 1963; British Columbia Executive Council, Order-in-Council No. 1890/1954 dated August 20, 1954.

[72] Ibid.

[73] Grand Forks Gazette, May 15, 1952, March 21, 1963.

[74] Grand Forks Gazette, March 21, 1963; ISKRA No. 1937 (Brilliant: USCC, February 26, 2003).

[75] Grand Forks Gazette, April 10, May 1 and 13, 1954, February 17, June 23, 1955, March 21, 1963.

[76] Grand Forks Gazette, August 12, October 7, 1954, March 21, 1963. The relocation of the grocery department to the Cannery Building was made following the realization that the floor space at the original First St. location was insufficient to allow desired expansion. Following the move, only the dry goods department was left at the original store.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Grand Forks Gazette, August 12, 1954, March 21, 1963.

[79] Grand Forks Gazette, September 18, 1958, March 21, 1963.

[80] Grand Forks Gazette, October 1, 1959, March 21, 1963.

[81] Grand Forks Gazette, April 5, May 31, 1962, July 26, December 13, 1962. Note the grand opening of the new Sunshine Valley Co-op supermarket was held on March 21, 1963.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Grand Forks Gazette, March 21, 1963.

[85] See for example: Grand Forks Gazette, March 21, April 11, 1963, March 26, 1964, April 7, 1965, March 23, 1966.

[86] Grand Forks Gazette, December 15, 1975, December 2 and 16, 2015.

[87] Edmonton Journal, September 12, 1979.

[88] Vancouver Sun, September 11, 1979.

[89] Podovinnikoff, supra, note 67.

The Pacific Hotel, Columbia BC

By Jonathan J. Kalmakoff

The discovery of copper ore at Phoenix and Deadwood, arrival of the railroad and founding of smelting works brought a huge influx of miners, prospectors, farmers, labourers and entrepreneurs to the Boundary between 1895 and 1899. Businesses sprung up to serve the burgeoning industries and population, including hotels, saloons, restaurants and various shops. One such establishment was the Pacific Hotel, which served commercial, mining and railway men and other travellers for 19 years until its fortunes waned with changing times. This article takes a look at the once-iconic hotel, its proprietors and operation, and its untimely demise.    

“The Most Comfortable House in the Boundary…”

The Pacific Hotel was a business venture of John J. McIntosh (1866-?). McIntosh’s origins are obscure; he may have hailed from Ontario or the Maritimes. What is known is that he settled in the Town of Upper Grand Forks in 1896 and prospected, staked and developed a series of claims on Hardy Mountain.[1] Prompted by the imminent arrival of the CPR and the flood of travellers it would bring, McIntosh constructed a new hotel on the corner of Railway Street and Minto Avenue (today Donaldson Drive and 76th Avenue) in May 1898.[2] In June he received a hotel license[3] and in July opened its doors for business.[4]  

Original Pacific Hotel structure, Grand Forks Sun, August 15, 1905.

Christened the ‘Pacific’ after the railway, the new hotel was an impressive three-story 33’ x 60’ frame structure with wood foundation, full heating and electric system, clapboard siding and dormered mansard roof.[5] The main floor featured a large, first-class dining room with adjoining bar and rear kitchen. It had accommodations for 25 guests, with 10 spacious suites with hot and cold baths on the second floor, 12 smaller rooms on the third floor and sample rooms for commercial travellers.[6] Newly furnished and decorated throughout, it was billed the “Most Comfortable House in the Boundary.”[7]

Along with opening the hotel, McIntosh petitioned for the incorporation of Upper Grand Forks as the City of Columbia in April 1899[8] and was twice elected alderman in January 1900 and January 1902.[9] He was also active on the Columbia Liberal Association executive.[10] His involvement in local politics served him well, enabling him to secure the Pacific as a stop for all stage lines running into the Boundary in April 1899.[11] Then, in January 1900, McIntosh and councilmen successfully lobbied the CPR to build its station at Columbia instead of Grand Forks,[12] with all passenger traffic routed to the depot built opposite the Pacific. This assured the hotel a steady business, with weary train passengers arriving just steps away.

Insurance map showing Pacific Hotel across from C.P.R. Passenger Station in Columbia. Library & Archives Canada.

McIntosh leased the Pacific to a succession of proprietors who ran its day-to-day operations including: Columbia liquor merchant John C. Douglas from July to December 1898;[13] ex-Province Hotel managers Alexander W. Fraser of Grand Forks and Joseph E. Stark of Pullman, WA from February to April 1899;[14] ex-Arlington Hotel owner John Haverty of Trail from November 1901 to May 1902;[15] electrician Peter D. and Annie McDonald of Trail from June to September 1902, then (dining room) September 1902 to February 1903;[16] ex-Pacific chef William W. Shaw (dining room) from March to October 1903;[17] Mrs. W.E. Nichols and Miss Liddy L. Bailey of Summit City (suites) from September 1902 to September 1903;[18] Thomas and Harriet Walker of Midway from October 1903 to July 1904;[19] ex-VV&E conductor Charles V. Sloggy and ex-Victoria Hotel employee Thomas Donald, both of Grand Forks, from July to September 1904;[20] Sloggy again from September 1904 to May 1905;[21] and McDonald again from May to November 1905.[22] 

Throughout this period, the hotel did a splendid business in the west end of Grand Forks (as Columbia was known after its civic amalgamation with Grand Forks in 1903[23]), catering to thousands of commercial, mining and railway men and other CPR travellers to the Boundary. First-class suites were offered at $1.50 to $2 per day, while room and board was offered to long-term guests, often local workmen, at special rates of $7 to $10 per week.[24] In the sample rooms, travelling salesmen set out their merchandise for local merchants to view and inspect. The dining room and grill offered full-course cuisine and short orders at all hours, with special six o’clock chicken dinners held each Sunday, all prepared by the kitchen chef using the best to be found in the markets.[25] The main and assistant bartenders at the bar served up the choicest brands of wines, liquors and cigars to thirsty patrons.[26] Special events were also hosted, including business meetings, teas, dances and banquets. 

Pacific Hotel advertisement, Grand Forks Sun, July 24, 1903.

Three main competitors emerged in the west end at this time: the Queen’s Hotel (est. 1897), Columbia Hotel (est. 1899) and C.P.R. Hotel (est. 1902).[27] Others came and went, such as the Hotel Canada (est. 1898-1902), St. Johns Hotel (est. 1899-1901), Hotel Escalet (est. 1900-1901) and Golden Bar Hotel (est. 1900-1901).[28] However, none matched the Pacific in terms of quality, size nor proximity to railway stations. Indeed, proprietor C.V. Sloggy reported in 1904 that “every room in the house is filled nightly.”[29]

Meanwhile, John J. McIntosh continued to prospect, locating 56 square miles of coal claims near Morrissey in East Kootenay on behalf of a Grand Forks consortium in April 1903.[30] He spent most of the next year in Victoria, lobbying provincial authorities for licenses, and in Spokane, buying up adjacent claims from claimholders.[31] By May 1904, he helped form the Southeast Kootenay Coal & Coke Company[32] and moved to the Coast to promote the mine, returning to Grand Forks only occasionally.[33] Finally, in November 1905, he sold the Pacific to exclusively pursue coal development.[34] 

Front-page headline of Pacific Hotel sale. Grand Forks Sun, November 21, 1905.

“A Good Business to be Done…”

The buyer of the Hotel was Charles B. Peterson (1869-1943). Born in Sweden, Peterson immigrated to Canada in 1893, initially settling in West Kootenay before establishing a ranch at Princeton in 1898.[35] That year, he also built the Square Hotel on Bridge Street (now Market Avenue) in Grand Forks.[36] Then in 1903, he acquired the Owl Saloon and Clarendon Restaurant down the street with John Lind.[37] And in 1905, he built the Great Northern Hotel in Hedley with his brother John.[38] The Grand Forks interests were run by Lind and the Hedley business by his brother while Charles operated his ranch in the Similkameen.[39]

On purchasing the Pacific, Peterson hired Columbia Hotel owner Gus Eastman to manage it, whereupon Eastman closed down the Columbia and Peterson sold the Square to John Lind.[40] By April 1907, Eastman had departed and Peterson relocated from Princeton with his family to manage the hotel personally,[41] selling his Hedley interest to his brother.[42] (Incidentally and confusingly, Eastman bought the Queen’s Hotel with Charles ‘E.’ Peterson in 1910).

When the June 1911 census was taken, the family and staff at the Pacific Hotel were listed as follows: hotelkeeper Charles B. Peterson (41), wife Martha (29), sons Carl J. (11), Peter (7) and Valdemar (2), daughters Helen (9) and Lottie (8), waitress Annie Berquist (34), bartender William Doer (33) and cook Jim Sing (40).[43]  

From 1905 to 1913, the Pacific continued to do a solid business, much as it had before, serving the needs of weary, hungry and thirsty railway travellers and locals. Most patrons were fine, upstanding members of society, but as with many hotels and saloons, there were a few notorious exceptions.   

In August 1908, an elderly man arrived at the hotel and had two boxes carted to his room; that night he emptied their contents, 175 lbs. of opium, into gunnysacks, wheelbarrowed them half a mile west to the GNR Weston station and placed them aboard railcars bound for Washington; he then quietly departed the hotel, leaving only the empty boxes in his room to tell the tale.[44] Also, in November 1908, a young man forged the signature of the Granby Consolidated treasurer to a $58 bank cheque and cashed it with the Pacific night clerk; minutes later the clerk discovered the forgery and ran after him, netting the man in a dramatic capture.[45] Then, in September 1910, a boarder named Connors or O’Conner ransacked the rooms at the hotel, making off with a watch, safety razor and other small items before he was apprehended trying to dispose of them.[46]  This was not the first such incident, the Pacific having been ransacked in September 1902 by a young boarder named Delary, who made off with $130 while leaving a $60 board bill.[47]    

Pacific Hotel in 1912 with building addition and other improvements. Boundary Museum Society, 1987-024-001.

During this period, Peterson made a number of significant improvements to the hotel. In June 1907, he had the building raised to a higher grade and a stone foundation constructed under it.[48] Also, a handsome two-storey verandah was added to the front façade.[49] In March 1912, he began clearing ground for a new addition, with Lutley & Galipeau pouring a concrete foundation in April and day labour erecting a three-storey 30’ x 20’ adjoining structure in May.[50] This added ten more rooms, increasing hotel capacity to 35 guests. Finally, from May to October 1913, he hired J.F. Kraus to install a new hot water heating plant, the most modern in the city with radiators in every room, at a cost of $2700.[51] 

By now, the Pacific was one of only two hotels remaining in the west end, the C.P.R. Hotel having closed its doors in December 1912, while the Queen’s Hotel was closed in November 1912 when its owner, ex-Pacific Hotel proprietor P.D. MacDonald, built the new Hotel Colin a block west on Government Avenue opposite the GNR Weston station.[52] No doubt, these developments factored into Peterson’s decision to complete some of his later upgrades. 

However, even as these upgrades were underway, events were in play that would have devastating consequences for the Pacific. In June 1912, an agreement was reached between the city, CPR and KVR making Grand Forks a joint terminal and divisional point for each railway, with a joint passenger depot to be established at the KVR station on Third Street.[53] The joint station was not immediately opened, as the Board of Railway Commissioners took almost a year to consider it.[54] However, once approved in April 1913, the CPR routed all passenger traffic to its downtown station first, and only then back out to its west end depot.

With the launch of the new CPR station, the Pacific emptied of guests almost overnight, as most railway travellers now opted to disembark downtown. This left Peterson with dramatically reduced revenue to pay off his expensive upgrades. Over the next three years, he struggled to keep the hotel afloat. To help subsidize it, he opened an autobus service, shuttling passengers between city trains and hotels.[55] However, by late 1916, the Pacific was insolvent: Peterson discontinued business and did not renew its license; in January 1917 the hotel office equipment and furnishings were seized by creditors and sold by public auction.[56]

                                                   Figure 6: Pacific Hotel, circa 1912-1913, Boundary Museum Society.

Sold (And Resold) For Taxes

Charles B. Peterson and family continued to reside in the Pacific building for another nine months. In May 1917, he had an opportunity to sell the hotel building to the Doukhobor communal organization, the ‘Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood’, but evidently the deal fell through.[57]

In June 1917, Peterson tried leasing it to Sam Mathews and Frank Peterson of Hedley, whose Great Northern Hotel (renamed from the Hotel Colin in February 1913) was destroyed by fire;[58] however, their application to transfer their license to the Pacific failed when west end residents signed a mass petition against it.[59] It seems that a hotel and bar were no longer seen as welcome in the now largely residential neighbourhood. By September, the property was sold by the City of Grand Forks for delinquent taxes.[60] Thereafter, the Petersons returned to their ranch in Princeton.

The tax purchaser of the Pacific building in September 1917 was Dr. William O. Rose (1870-1936). Born in Prince Edward Island and a graduate of McGill in medicine, Rose settled in Nelson in 1899 as the city’s medical doctor and was active in civic affairs, serving as alderman and mayor before being elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1916 and 1920.[61]

There is no indication that Dr. Rose actually occupied or used the Pacific building. Nonetheless, after two years of ownership, there were $1200 of taxes, water and light arrears owing against it, and it was once again sold for taxes, this time to the city, in September 1919.[62] In January 1920, Dr. Rose sought to redeem the property prior its registration with the city; however, he failed to pay the arrears within the time allotted by council.[63]

Over the next four years, the Pacific building largely stood vacant and unused.[64] In December 1921, an enquiry was made to lease it by Robert Grant of Vancouver, which council offered to rent for $50 a month, but no deal materialized.[65] Later that month, council moved to board up its windows.[66] In July 1922, the city took out a $1000 insurance policy on the building and heating plant.[67] Then, in October 1922, council received an offer to purchase it for $1000 or rent it for five years at $100 a year, however, nothing more came of it.[68]      

Tender for Sale and Removal

In April 1923, the city received an offer from local plumber J.H. Mathews to buy the Pacific’s heating plant for $325.[69] On considering the offer, council decided instead to sell the hotel, either intact or its heating system in place, by tender in May.[70] At least one offer was received, but was rejected by the city.[71]

Figure 7: Pacific Hotel Tender Notice, Grand Forks Sun, 1923.05.18.

In September 1923, council accepted the offer of Noble Binns, mayor of Trail, to purchase the heating plant for $500 for use in that city’s Knights of Pythias lodge.[72] A month later, in October, the offer of Wasyl W. Lazareff to purchase the building for $225 was accepted on condition that upon payment in full, it be removed within 60 days.[73] Outbuildings in connection with the hotel were sold separately.[74]

Lazareff was Secretary-Treasurer of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, Ltd. branch office in Trail, and managed a fuel supply and construction business on its behalf in that city since 1914.[75] This was not the first time that Lazareff and the Community purchased and tore down a Boundary hotel for its salvage lumber, having done so twice in 1920 with the Granby Hotel and Deane Hotel of Phoenix.[76]

For the Community, the salvage of the Pacific Hotel was particularly lucrative. The building contained some 50,000 board feet of lumber, which the Community purchased for $4.50 per thousand board feet at a time when new lumber in the BC Interior was selling for $23 per thousand board feet.[77]

To this end, in March 1924, Lazareff paid the balance owing on the building to the city, assembled a crew of local Doukhobor workmen, and tore it down, salvaging the wood for profit.[78] By May the city board of works reported that the old Pacific hotel was removed and its site cleaned by the purchaser. In the months that followed, the wood was repurposed for a number of Doukhobor building projects in the Boundary.

Conclusion

From 1898 to 1917, the Pacific Hotel was a prominent fixture in West Grand Forks. Had the CPR kept the west end as its main passenger depot, it might have remained so for many decades to come. Instead, it met an ignominious end by 1923 with changing times and economic downturns. Yet despite its loss from a heritage and architectural perspective, the salvage and reuse of its building material provides an early example of local conservation and recycling. Indeed, there may be structures still standing today in Grand Forks built from the lumber of this once-proud hotel.


After Word

An earlier version of this article was published in the Grand Forks Gazette, June 2, 9 and 16, 2021. The article has also been accepted for publication in the Spring 2024 issue of the Boundary Historical Society Report.


End Notes

[1] These included the Jubilee, Lizzie, Louisa, Sultana, Maple Leaf and Pass Creek claims: The Advance, 1896.06.01 and 1897.03.29; Boundary Creek Times, 1897.03.27, 1899.06.10 and 1899.06.24; Grand Forks Miner, 1897.03.27, 1897.03.17, 1898.05.21 and 1898.12.24; Cascade Record, 1899.04.22.

[2] Grand Forks Miner, 1898.05.21; The Advance, 1898.06.06; The Review, 1899.04.01; Fire Insurance Plan – Grand Forks, including Columbia, British Columbia, June 1912 (Chas E. Goad Co).

[3] The Advance, 1898.06.20; The Grand Forks Miner, 1898.06.19.

[4] Supra, note 2.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Photo, Grand Forks Sun, 05.08.15; Hotels and Boarding Houses on the Line of the Canadian Pacific Railway (Canadian Pacific Railway Co., 1912) at 2.

[7] The Review, 1899.04.01.

[8] British Columbia Gazette, Vol. 39, No. 12, 1899.03.23 at 439; Columbia Review, 1899.04.08; British Columbia Order-in-Council No. 0273 dated 1899.05.01.

[9] British Columbia Gazette, Vol. 40, No.42, 1900.01.25 at 196 and Vol. 42, No. 5, 1902.01.30 at 162; Grand Forks Sun, 1902.01.13; Vancouver Daily World, 1902.01.14; The Grand Forks Miner, 1900.05.19.

[10] Grand Forks Sun, 1920.01.02.

[11] Supra, note 7.

[12] Boundary Creek Times, 1899.12.16; Phoenix Pioneer, 1900.01.06 and 1900.03.17; Cascade Record, 1900.01.06.

[13] Grand Forks Sun, 1905.03.24.

[14] Columbia Review, 1899.03.11, 1899.03.18 and 1899.04.01.

[15] Evening World, 1901.11.20; Grand Forks Sun, 1902.01.21 to 1902.04.17.

[16] Grand Forks Sun, 1902.06.03, 1902.09.01 and 1903.02.27.

[17] Grand Forks Sun, 1903.02.27 and 1903.03.06.

[18] Grand Forks Sun, 1902.09.01 to 1903.09.29 and 1903.10.06.

[19] Grand Forks Sun, 1903-10-16, 1903.03.11 and 1904.07.08.

[20] Grand Forks Sun, 1904.07.08 to 1904.09.13; Grand Forks Gazette, 1963.03.07 and 1964.07.08.

[21] Grand Forks Sun, 1904.09.13 to 1905.05.16.

[22] Grand Forks Sun, 1905.05.16 to 1905.11.21.

[23] Grand Forks And Columbia Amalgamation Act, 1902 (British Columbia).

[24] Grand Forks Sun, 1902.09.01 to 1903.09.29; Hotels and Boarding Houses on the Line of the Canadian Pacific Railway (Canadian Pacific Railway Co., 1912) at 2.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Columbia Review, 1899.03.11, 1899.03.18 and 1899.04.01; Grand Forks Sun, 1902.01.21 to 1905.11.21.

[27] Boundary Creek Times, 1897.11.20 and 1897.12.18; The Williams’ Official British Columbia Directory (R.T. Williams, 1899); Henderson’s British Columbia Gazetteer and Directory (L.G. Henderson), 1899-1900, 1900-1901, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904. 

[28] Ibid.

[29] Grand Forks Sun, 1904.08.19 and 1904.09.13.

[30] Grand Forks Sun, 1903.04.21 and 1903.04.28.

[31] Grand Forks Sun, 1903.07.14, 1903.12.22 and 1904.01.05; Spokane Press, 1904.07.16.

[32] Grand Forks Sun, 1904.03.02, 1904.05.17 and 1904.08.09.

[33] Grand Forks Sun, 1904.10.19, 1905.03.28, 1905.05.02, 1905.06.16 and 1905.06.20.

[34] The $5,000.00 realty deal was put through by Grand Forks real estate dealer, Neil McCallum with Charles B. Peterson taking possession on December 1, 1905. Upon receiving full payment, McIntosh transferred the liquor license to Peterson on June 15, 1906: Grand Forks Sun, 1905.11.21, 1905.12.05 and 1906.06.15; Grand Forks Gazette, 1906.06.16.

[35] The Province, 1943.08.04.

[36] Grand Forks Miner, 1898.11.12.

[37] Grand Forks Sun, 1903.12.11 and 1904.01.15.

[38] Hedley Gazette, 1905.06.01.

[39] Grand Forks Sun, 1902.10.10, 1902.10.21, 1902.12.02, 1903.04.17 and 1905.08.22; Similkameen Star, 1903.09.26.

[40] Supra, note 34.

[41] Grand Forks Sun, 1907.04.26.

[42] Hedley Gazette, 1907.08.08 and 1907.09.19.

[43] 1911 Canada Census, District No. 9 (Kootenay), Sub-District No. 32 (Grand Forks), page 6.

[44] Grand Forks Sun, 1908.08.07.

[45] Grand Forks Sun, 1908.11.20.

[46] Grand Forks Sun, 1910.07.10; Grand Forks Gazette, 1910.07.19.

[47] Grand Forks Sun, 1902.07.29.

[48] Grand Forks Sun, 1907.06.28.

[49] Photo,Boundary Museum Society. [Item Number]

[50] Grand Forks Sun, 1912.03.08, 1912.04.12 and 1912.05.24; Grand Forks Gazette, 1952.05.08 and 1962.04.19; Grand Forks Fire Insurance Plan, June 1912, supra, note 2; Grand Forks Gazette, 1912.04.20, 1912.05.25, 1912.06.29.

[51] Grand Forks Sun, 1913.04.04, 1913.10.10 and 1913.10.17.

[52] Grand Forks Sun, 1907.04.12, 1907.11.15 and 1908.06.12. The C.P.R. Hotel does not appear in local newspaper advertisements and civic directories after December 1912.

[53] Grand Forks Sun, 1912.06.21.

[54] Grand Forks Sun, 1913.04.11.

[55] Grand Forks Sun, 1916.04.14.

[56] Grand Forks Sun, 1917.01.19 and 1917.01.26; Grand Forks Gazette, 1917.01.20.

[57] Greenwood Ledge, 1917.05.10. It is unclear whether the Doukhobors were interested in the hotel for its salvage value or perhaps as a warehouse building; the Christian Community already had a warehouse down the street from the Pacific and a second one near the GNR Weston station, two blocks away.

[58] Grand Forks Sun, 1912.11.29, 1913.02.14 and 1917.05.18.

[59] Grand Forks Sun, 1917.06.15; Grand Forks Gazette, 1917.06.06, 1917.06.08, 1917.06.22, 1917.06.29 and 1917.07.13.

[60] Grand Forks Sun, 1917.06.15, 1917.08.03, 1917.09.28 and 1918.02.22.

[61] Victoria Times Colonist, 1936.03.05; Nelson Daily News, 1936.03.05.

[62] Grand Forks Sun, 1919.10.03; Boundary Community Archives, City of Grand Forks Council Minutes, 1920.01.19; Grand Forks Gazette, 1920.01.16, 1920.01.24.

[63] Ibid.

[64] The only recorded use of the building from 1919 to 1923 was to feed Cascade Electric Power Company work crews in November 1919: Grand Forks Sun, 1919.11.28.

[65] Grand Forks Sun, 1921.12.02; Grand Forks Gazette, 1921.12.02, 1921.12.16.

[66] Boundary Community Archives, City of Grand Forks Council Minutes, 1921.12.29; Grand Forks Gazette, 1921.12.30.

[67] Grand Forks Sun, 1922.07.28.

[68] Boundary Community Archives, City of Grand Forks Council Minutes, 1922.10.09.

[69] Grand Forks Sun, 1923.04.13.

[70] Grand Forks Sun, 1923.05.18 and 1923.05.25; Boundary Community Archives, City of Grand Forks Council Minutes, 1923.05.14; Grand Forks Gazette, 1923.05.18 and 1923.05.23.

[71] Grand Forks Gazette, 1923.05.18.

[72] Grand Forks Sun, 1923.09.28; Grand Forks Gazette, 1923.09.28,1963.10.03 and 1968.09.25.

[73] Grand Forks Sun, 1923.10.12, 1923.10.26 and 1924.03.14.

[74] Grand Forks Gazette, 1923.12.14.

[75] The Mail Herald, November 25, 1914; Simon Fraser University, Doukhobor Collection of James Mavor, Minutes of the Meeting of the Directors of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, Limited, 1917.09.08, 1920.04.10 and 1921.03.01.

[76] Greenwood Ledge, 1920.07.29.

[77] Assuming the industry average of 6.3 board feet of structural framing materials in every square foot, then with 7,740 square feet, the Pacific Hotel held 48,762 board feet of lumber. In 1923, the average price of lumber per thousand board feet in the BC Interior was $23: G.H. Hak, On the Fringes: Capital and Labour in the Forest Economies of the Port Alberni and Prince George Districts, British Columbia, 1910-1939 (Ph.D. Thesis) (Simon Fraser University, 1986) at 30.

[78] Grand Forks Sun, 1924.03.14 and 1924.05.30.

Doukhobors Built Agro-Industrial Complex amid Orchards in Grand Forks

By Jonathan J. Kalmakoff

The Doukhobor ‘Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood’ at Grand Forks is probably best historically known for its religious pacifism, large brick communal homes, and once-vast fruit orchards. Less recognized, but also important are the many local agricultural and industrial enterprises it established. The following article examines the Doukhobor agro-industrial complex created west of the city from 1909 to 1939, and its contribution to the growth and development of the Kettle Valley.    

Land Acquisition

Between 1909 and 1912, Peter V. Verigin on behalf of the Community purchased 4,182 acres of land west of Grand Forks.[i] These acquisitions included the historic Coryell Ranch in February 1909; Newby Ranch in March 1909; Vaughan Ranch in November 1909; Spencer/Macey Ranch in May 1910; Collins Orchard in July 1910; Hoffman Ranch in April 1911; Capsey Ranch in April 1912; and Pettijohn/Bell Ranch in December 1912; among others.

Community lands and orchards along Spencer Hill, c. 1918. BC Archives No. C-01718.

By 1931, the Community’s holdings expanded to 5,104 acres to include the historic Ashfield/Dinsmore Ranch acquired in June 1913; Hardy Bros Ranch in July 1919; Ward/Perkins Ranch in March 1921; Averill Estate between March 1924 and June 1928; and Hammer/Dewdney Ranch in May 1930.[ii]

These landholdings were grouped by the Community into three somewhat distinct geo-administrative areas and given rich, evocative Russian names as follows:

  • Descriptively named Dolina Fruktovaya (the ‘Valley of Fruit’) or simply Fruktovoye by Doukhobor leader Peter V. Verigin,[iii] this tract was bounded by Spencer Hill to the north and west, Saddle Mountain to the north and east, the Kettle River to the south and east and the Covert Ranch to the south. In 1932, it was renamed Sion (‘Zion’) by Verigin’s son and successor, Peter P. ‘Chistyakov’ Verigin;
  • Christened Dolina Khristovaya (the ‘Valley of Christ’) or simply Khristovoye by Peter V. Verigin,[iv] the tract was bounded by Eagle Mountain and Saddle Mountain to the south, Hardy Mountain to the west, Observation Mountain to the east and Smelter Lake to the north; and
  • Ubezhishche, a name given by Peter P. ‘Chistyakov’ Verigin meaning (place of) ‘refuge’ or ‘hideway’,[v] was bounded by Spencer Hill and Hardy Mountain to the east, the U.S. border to the south, July Creek and its tributaries to the west and Skeff Creek to the north.

Communal Settlement

Between 1909 and 1912, 713 Doukhobor men, women and children from Saskatchewan were resettled at the new Grand Forks colony.[vi] By 1921, their number had increased to 928 persons;[vii] and by 1931, to 1,000 persons.[viii]

They were primarily housed in large, two-storey brick communal homes, each with a capacity of 30-40 persons. Some 25 such communal homes were built, each with a large barn, several single-family frame dwellings and numerous outbuildings. Each communal home was situated on approximately 100 acres of arable land which it was allotted to manage and maintain. 

Large group at Doukhobor prayer meeting at Grand Forks. Boundary Museum and Archives, Item No. 1991_055_094.

Two to four communal homes were each administered as a village unit.[ix] Numbering 11 in total, these villages originally received numbers rather than names (e.g. Village No. 6). However, by the 1940s, many of them came to be descriptively known by the predominant family grouping that resided in them (e.g. Popoff Village, Novokshonoff Village, etc.) while others acquired quaint nicknames (e.g. London, Sleepy Hollow, Paris, etc.) and even more colourful Russian epithets.

Agricultural Development

The Grand Forks colony was acquired by the Doukhobors, first and foremost, for large-scale fruit-growing. While a small acreage was already under mature orchard when they purchased it,[x] most was virgin ranchland, open or lightly wooded. There were also some hundred acres of rough, forested land. Working together under the motto ‘Toil and Peaceful Life’, the Doukhobors rapidly cleared and cultivated it.

By 1912, the Doukhobors set out 50,000 apple, plum, pear, prune and cherry trees on 593 acres, making them (by far) the largest fruit grower in the Boundary.[xi] By 1921, the colony had some 85,000 fruit trees on 1,000 acres coming into full bearing; 2,000 acres cultivated in small fruit (strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries) as well as vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers), grain (wheat, oats), and forage (alfalfa, clover, timothy), with the remainder in pasture and timber.[xii]

Doukhobors cherry picking west of Grand Forks, c. 1915. BC Archives No. C-01716.

To support their orchard development, beginning in 1911, the Doukhobors established an extensive gravity-flow irrigation system, using over 30,000 feet of flume, ditch and self-manufactured wood stave pipeline to convey water from July Creek and tributaries, Ward Lake, Hardy Creek, and the Kettle River to their fruit trees.[xiii] In May 1911, they had 100 acres under irrigation; the following year, 230 acres; and by 1923, over 758 acres irrigated.[xiv] They also completed a large concrete and earthen irrigation reservoir (later known as Saddle Lake) in the draw near Hardy Mountain by 1919.[xv]

Undoubtedly, what contributed to the early and rapid success of the Doukhobors as fruit growers was their large pool of communal labour. All of the men, women and children of the colony were engaged in the growing effort on an unpaid basis. In return for their labour, the Community supplied its members with food, clothing, shelter and other necessities. This arrangement gave them a competitive advantage vis-à-vis other orchardists as their cost of fruit production at all stages was significantly less.

Agro-Industrial Enterprises

From the outset, the Doukhobor Community saw opportunities to expand their operations beyond merely growing fruit and other agricultural produce, and began to engage in the secondary manufacture of agricultural byproducts as well as other industrial commodities.

Between 1909 and 1939, an agro-industrial complex was established for the mass production of agricultural and industrial goods, both for the Doukhobors’ own domestic use and for commercial sale. Most of these enterprise coalesced at the rough geographic centre of the colony, in Fruktovoye, between what is today Spencer and Canning Roads and also along Mill Road.

Each of these agro-industrial enterprises is discussed below.

Brick Factory

Upon acquiring the Coryell Ranch in February 1909, the Community inherited Frank Coryell’s small-scale brickworks, which comprised a horse-powered clay mixer, a small hand-operated brick molding machine and large, promising clay pit.[xvi] By March, they substantially updated the brickworks by adding a steam power plant, a ‘Martin’ industrial brick-making machine and other modern equipment and turned out a million first-class bricks by the end of the summer.[xvii] The refurbished plant had a capacity of 24,000 bricks daily.

Community brick factory with Spencer Hill and Hardy Mountain in background, c. 1922. Simon Fraser University No. MSC130-3580.

The Doukhobor brick-making process can be described as follows: clay was manually excavated from the adjacent pits and loaded into carts, which were drawn by horse up to a hopper chute, then dumped into the side mixer and combined with specific quantities of dried sand and water. The mixture was then filled into brick molds and compressed by the brick-making machine into raw ‘wet’ bricks. The raw bricks were placed on a 300-foot conveyor leading to a series of drying sheds, where they were stored for 1-2 weeks. Once air-dried, the bricks were stacked to form up to 10 kilns, which were fired for up to a week, using cordwood and sawmill slabs and ends, to produce the final bricks.

The manufactured bricks were used by the Doukhobors themselves to face the two-storey communal homes in the Grand Forks colony as well as in many in their colonies at Brilliant, Ootischenia, Pass Creek, Shoreacres and elsewhere. They were also used in various Community undertakings, such as the Kootenay-Columbia Preserving Works jam factory at Brilliant, warehouses, retail stores, Community schools and other endeavors.

Many of the bricks manufactured at the Community brick factory were also sold commercially to builders throughout the Boundary. Some of the best-known structures built with the brick include the Davis Block,[xviii] Bower & Pribilsky Block,[xix] Royal Bank Building[xx] and Kerman Block[xxi] on Market Avenue, the Perley School Annex[xxii] and old Court House[xxiii] on Central Avenue, the old Post office[xxiv] on 4th Avenue, as well as the Beran Residence[xxv] on Hardy Mountain Road and the Glaspell Residence on Highway 3.[xxvi] Hundreds of thousands of bricks were also shipped to the Trail Smelter, with 325,000 shipped in April 1917 alone.[xxvii]

In 1927-1928, the Community brickworks were substantially enlarged under Doukhobor leader Peter P. ‘Chistyakov’ Verigin, with increased mechanization and manufacturing capacity expanded from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 bricks annually.[xxviii]   

The brickyard ceased operation in 1932; however, many of the buildings and equipment remained until the 1940s through the 1970s. Today, the depressions of the clay pits can still be seen today near the corner of Spencer and Reservoir Roads.

Sawmill

In 1909, the Community erected a sawmill in Fruktovoye with which to manufacture rough lumber for building their homes and village structures.[xxix] Operated for the Doukhobors’ own use, it was a small portable sawmill with a capacity of 10,000 board-feet per day, powered by a self-propelled steam engine.  There was no planer.

It was originally located below Village No. 5 (Hremakin village) near Saddle Mountain along present-day York Road.[xxx] Logs cut along the north bank of the Kettle River and south foot of Saddle Mountain were brought to the mill on horse-drawn dollies or sleighs (in winter).

Community sawmill near brick factory, c. 1924. Touchstones Museum of Art and History.

When the supply of logs was exhausted in one place, the sawmill was moved to another location. By about 1918, it was relocated north adjacent the Community brickworks.[xxxi] There, it milled logs cut from the west and north foot of Saddle Mountain, east foot of Eagle and Hardy Mountains, and south foot of Spencer Hill. 

During this time, the Grand Forks Community also maintained commercial logging, pole-cutting and sawmill camps on leased Crown timber limits at Cedar Creek on the North Fork (1923-1925),[xxxii] Myers Creek near Midway (1924-1927),[xxxiii] and elsewhere.

In 1927, the Community sawmill operation was relocated to Ubezhishche along July Creek at Village No. 10 (Horkoff village) near present-day Gibbs Creek Road and greatly expanded.[xxxiv] It operated as a 35,000 board-per-day facility and manufactured lumber for commercial sale from the Community’s extensive timber lots there. Much of the output was shipped south to the United States. It produced upwards of 2 million board-feet of lumber and 3,000 poles annually and had an adjacent planing mill, pole-making operation and box factory.[xxxv]

After 12 years of operation at this location, having survived an arson attempt in August 1931[xxxvi] and the July Creek Forest Fire of August 1934,[xxxvii] it was destroyed by incendiarism in October 1939 at a loss of $30,000.00.[xxxviii]

Flour Mill

In 1910, the Community established a stone grist mill to grind their wheat into flour in Fruktovoye.[xxxix] Operated for their own use, it had a capacity of 100 bushels of flour per day. Beside it stood a 10,000-bushel granary for storing wheat prior to milling. It was located beside Village No. 5 (Kootnikoff village).

The Doukhobor flour-milling process can be described as follows: a pair of large millstones was used as the grinding mechanism. The bottom or ‘bed’ stone was fixed into position, while the upper or ‘runner’ stone rotated above it. Motive power from a stationary steam engine was directed to the runner stone by a shaft which went through its middle and turned it. Wheat was fed from a chute above between the stones, where it was ground into flour collected in a hopper below. The distance between millstones could be adjusted to vary flour courseness.

The bread made of the mill’s wholegrain flour was dark but very healthy. Nothing from the manufacturing process was wasted: weed seeds, cracked and broken grains, bran and other mill screenings were sold commercially as chicken feed.[xl]

Community flour mill, c. 1920. BC Archives No. C-01722-14.

In 1917, the production of linseed oil was started at the flour mill.[xli] Flax or linseed was mechanically pressed to produce cooking oil. A seed-cleaning plant was also added during this period.

In 1930, the Community flour mill was shut down.[xlii] Six years later, in 1936, an arson attempt wiped out surrounding buildings, but the flour mill building itself survived because of its laminated wood.[xliii] Another arson attempt in May 1946 destroyed a barn and implement shed but the mill remained undamaged.[xliv]

Beginning in 1962, the flour mill was retrofitted as an electric hammer mill by the Doukhobor Milling Heritage Society and reopened in May 1964.[xlv] The new, modern process created a cleaner, more refined product and could handle a higher volume of wheat processing – up to 200 pounds an hour. It was sold throughout the Kootenay-Boundary as the famous ‘Pride of the Valley’ flour.

Today the flour mill still stands on Mill Road, named after it. It is jointly managed by the Doukhobor Milling Heritage Society and Boundary Museum Society and continues to mill grain on demand.

Fruit Packing Houses

In order to process fruit from their orchards as they came into bearing, the Community built a large packing house in 1912.[xlvi] Located in Khristovoye at Village No. 3 (Vanjoff village) along present-day Hardy Mountain Road, it was a two-storey, 100 by 30 foot wood-frame structure with concrete basement and gable roof. It had a fruit box-making plant on the second floor.

Large and small fruit grown in the colony arrived by wagonload to the packing house. There, it was received, unloaded, and weighed. It was then turned out on tables, graded and sorted, culling the bruised, spoilt or small fruit aside, and packed into boxes. The packed fruit was stored in the basement until shipment. It was shipped from the adjacent Great Northern VV&E Phoenix Branch at Copper Junction.

Community fruit packing house (left) at Village No. 3 (Vanjoff village), c. 1921. Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ.

The packing houses also processed Community-grown vegetables for outside markets, which were grown in massive quantities. In 1912 alone, the Community sold 8,000 100-lb. sacks of potatoes from Grand Forks.[xlvii]

By 1919, the Community’s orchards were coming into full bearing and a second fruit packing house was built.[xlviii] Located in Fruktovoye south of the Community brickworks at the corner of present-day Reservoir and Canning Roads, it was a two-storey, 100 by 60 foot wood-frame structure with elevator lifts, concrete basement and monitor-style roof. As there was no adjacent railway, fruit packs were hauled to the Community warehouses in Columbia Flats for shipping.[xlix]

By 1920, the Community packing houses were shipping 120-130 railcar-loads of fruit annually – apples, pears, plums and prunes as well as strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries – to outside markets.[l] This included 50 carloads of Italian prunes alone.[li]

Community fruit packing house, workers’ rooming house and granary near brickyard, c. 1928. BC Archives No. C-01376-14.

Tomato Cannery

In August 1912, the Doukhobors installed a small fruit and vegetable cannery at Grand Forks for their own use.[lii] Then in 1924, the Community erected a large, commercial-scale tomato canning plant beside their Community flour mill.[liii] It was the first cannery established at Grand Forks.

Operated as the Kootenay-Columbia Preserving Works, large volumes of tomatoes harvested from the Community fields were brought to the plant, where they were cleaned and blanched in large copper kettles filled with boiling water, then plunged into smaller copper pots filled with cold water, then finally poured into sterilized 28-oz. cans, topped with water and sealed. Sold under the ‘K.C. Brand’ label, they were marketed across Western Canada.  It operated until 1936, when it was destroyed by arson.[liv]

Label for K.C. Brand tomatoes canned at Grand Forks, c. 1924. UBC Rare Books and Special Collections.

Fruit Evaporator

In 1924, the Community erected a commercial-scale fruit evaporating plant beside their flour mill – the first permanent facility of its kind at Grand Forks.[lv] Small fruit and berries picked from the Community fields were brought to the plant. Once dehydrated, fruit was preserved at one-tenth of its original weight. In its first year of operation, some 12,000 lbs. of small fruit and berries was dehydrated into 1,200 lbs. of dried fruit.[lvi] The dried fruit could be stored for extended lengths of time without spoilage.

Most of the dehydrated fruit was sent to the Kootenay-Columbia Preserving Works jam factory in Brilliant. Once it arrived, it was soaked in water for several hours, after which it returned to practically its original state with all its colour and nutrients retained. It was then processed into jam. The plant operated until 1936, when it was destroyed by incendiarism.[lvii]

Jam Factory

As early as 1912 and again in 1923-1924 and 1927-1928, the Community proposed building a jam factory at Grand Forks to serve its orchards there.[lviii] However, each time, the Community elected instead to focus on developing and expanding its Brilliant jam factory. It was not until 1935 that the Doukhobors established a local jammery – the first ever in Grand Forks.

In spring 1935, the existing fruit packing house near the brick factory was retrofitted as a jam plant. A brick veneer was added to the building exterior.[lix] Twelve steam-activated jam-making kettles, ordered from England, were installed on the upper floor.[lx] Fruit and vegetable canning equipment was also ordered.[lxi] It had a production capacity of 12 tons of jam per day.

Community jam factory (former fruit packing house) at Grand Forks, 1935. BC Archives No. C-01592.

Adjacent to the north, a two-storey, brick 40 by 36 foot boiler house with concrete foundation and monitor-style roof was built to supply steam power to the jam plant.[lxii] A 30-foot high water tower was erected nearby to supply water to the boilers.[lxiii] An adjacent wood lot was stocked with cordwood, slabs and board ends from the Community sawmill to fire the boilers.

Over the first two weeks of August 1935, considerable quantities of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and other small fruit arrived at the new plant from the Community fields and from other Grand Forks fruit growers under contract.[lxiv] It was sorted and stored in the basement of the jam plant.

When production began, the fruit was brought to the main floor, where it was cleaned, peeled, de-cored/de-stoned, then cut into pieces and/or crushed. It was then taken to the second floor, where equal portions of fruit pulp and sugar were placed in each large copper kettle and cooked for 15 minutes while continually stirred. Once cooked, the kettles were emptied into smaller copper pots and wheeled over to long cooling trays filled with cold water, in which they were placed. As the jam cooled, it received a final skimming, and was then ladled by hand into sterilized cans and sealed.

The jammery operated roughly ten days, producing 194,250 lbs. of jam.[lxv] However, on August 17, 1935, the jam plant building burned to the ground in an incendiary blaze.[lxvi] It was a devastating blow to the Community with $100,000.00 in losses, including $40,000.00 of jam that was not shipped to market because of a delay in receiving jam tin labels from the printer.[lxvii] The arsonists were never brought to justice.

The jam factory boiler house still stands, having been converted, along with adjacent former Community buildings, into a family home in 1979.[lxviii] It is located on Canning Road, named after the jam factory.

Warehouses

Railway facilities played an important role in Community operations, both for receiving incoming goods and supplies purchased from Eastern Canadian manufacturers, and for shipping outgoing agricultural and industrial commodities (bricks, lumber products, fruit and preserves) to market. This required the establishment of Community warehouses for storing goods before their internal distribution or outside export, as the case was.

Plan of GNR Weston station yards showing Peter Verigin (Community) warehouse, c. 1918. Boundary Museum and Archives.

In circa 1912, the Community built a two-storey, 45 x 60 foot warehouse near the Great Northern Weston station in Columbia Flats, near present-day Northfork Franklin Road.[lxix] It was used for the shipping of produce to points on the Great Northern VV&E line. In about 1923, it was sold following the dismantling of the Weston station yards.

In 1912, the Community built a two-storey brick 75 x 50 foot warehouse with concrete basement and elevator lift near the Canadian Pacific west end station in Columbia Flats on present-day Donaldson Avenue.[lxx] The basement was used for fruit cold storage, the main floor for storing dry goods, while the upper floor was divided into living quarters and offices for the Community branch manager.

The Community store warehouse operated for 27 years. In 1940, it was purchased by Peter S. Polonicoff and run as Polonicoff’s Store until its closure in 1984.[lxxi] Today the building stands in good structural condition and has been converted into two heritage-style apartments.

Community warehouse and store near CPR west end station, c. 1935. Pam Faminoff.

Workers’ Cafeteria & Apartments

Another facility that supported the Community agro-industrial complex was a large, two-storey brick 40 x 30 foot rooming house. Built in 1918 in Fruktovoye adjacent to the fruit packing house, it housed a communal kitchen on the main floor for the Doukhobor workmen labouring at the various adjacent enterprises.[lxxii] Originally, the upper floor housed a Community shoemaker’s shop; after 1928, the shoemaker’s shop was relocated to the Community warehouse in Columbia Flats.[lxxiii] Thereafter, the upper floor was converted to workers’ sleeping quarters. In 1979, the structure was refurbished and is now a private residence.[lxxiv]

Former Community granary (left) and workers’ rooming house (right) near brickyard site, 1949. Simon Fraser University No. MCS130-5618-01-2.

Conclusion

In July 1936, the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Ltd. declared bankruptcy during the height of the Great Depression.[lxxv]

Its collapse resulted from a combination of complex factors, including low prices assigned to agricultural and industrial products during the Great Depression; burdensome interest rates on its mortgaged properties; a declining membership base, increasing the debt load on fewer members; members who defaulted on annual allotments; the enormous losses to its capital assets suffered from incendiarism; as well as financial mismanagement.[lxxvi]

In June 1937 and May 1938 it was placed under receivership by creditors who foreclosed upon the company and its property valuated at $4,000,000.00 for a total debt of $360,580.64.[lxxvii] Thus ended the largest agro-industrial enterprise ever undertaken in the Boundary and the largest experiment in communal living ever attempted in North America.

Enduring to this day is the Doukhobor example of bringing forth the bounty of the land, with the help of fertile valley soil and a moderate climate, fueled by the desire to work together in community towards a common purpose. The Doukhobors’ contribution to the early agricultural and industrial growth and development of Grand Forks deserves to be recognized and acknowledged.


After Word

An earlier version of this article was originally published in:

  • ISKRA No. 2185, April 2023;
  • Grand Forks Gazette, May 24 and 31, 2023; and
  • Trail Times, May 30 and June 17, 2023.

End Notes

[i] W. Blakemore, Report of Royal Commission on Matters Relating to the Sect of Doukhobors in the Province of British Columbia, 1912 (Victoria BC: King’s Printer, 1913) at 31. See also Certificate of Title Nos. 1155D, 14260F, 52D & 49126F, 14274F, 14262F, 14141F, 42009F, 14269F, 15D & 42183F & 48428F & 42008F & Map 523, 14262F, Similkameen Land District.

[ii] Snesarev, Vladimir N. (Harry W. Trevor), The Doukhobors in British Columbia (University of British Columbia Publication, Department of Agriculture, 1931). See also Certificate of Title Nos. 14257F, 47277F, 49665F, 50579F, 49666F, 42104F, 55398F, Similkameen Land District.

[iii] The first known recorded use of the names Dolina Fruktovaya is found in a letter from Peter V. Verigin to his followers dated August 5, 1909: Simon Fraser University Doukhobor Collection, Item No. 016-004-001-001. The first known recorded use of Fruktovoye is found in a December 7, 1910 letter from Peter V. Verigin to followers: Simon Fraser University Doukhobor Collection, Item No. MSC121-DC-079-003. The name was still in use on January 1, 1931: Snesarev, ibid. The first known recorded use of the name Sion for the same area is found in a letter by Peter P. Verigin to his followers dated October 18, 1932: Simon Fraser University Doukhobor Collection, Item No. MSC121-DB-036-002. This tract comprised District Lot Nos. 453, 2651, E ½ 518, E ½ 1025, E ½ 1027, 365, 364, Blocks 10, 13-16 of Lot 497, Blocks 21-22 of Lot 517, and 1699.

[iv] The first known recorded use of the names Dolina Khristovaya is found in a Record of Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Income and Expenditure dated August 7, 1909: Simon Fraser University Doukhobor Collection, Item No. MSC121-DB-049-001. The first recorded use of Khristovoye is found in a December 7, 1910 letter from Peter V. Verigin to followers: Simon Fraser University Doukhobor Collection, Item No. MSC121-DC-079-003. This tract comprised District Lot Nos. 538, 334, 333, 332, 1494.

[v] The first known recorded use of the name Ubezhishche is found on January 1, 1931 in Snesarev, supra note 2. This tract comprised District Lot Nos. W ½ 1027, Sub-Lot 8 of Lot 2701, W ½ 1025, Sub-Lot 5 of Lot 2701, W ½ 518, 1737, 2681, 2657, Sub-Lot 4 of Lot 2701.

[vi] Blakemore, supra, note 1 at 35.

[vii] 1921 Canada Census, Yale District No. 25, Grand Forks Sub-District No. 52, pp. 1-25.

[viii] Snesarev, supra note 2.

[ix] These village units were not compact; rather the comprised 2-4 large communal homes in proximity to one another over 200-400 acres of land.

[x] The acreage acquired by the Doukhobors that was already in orchard was relatively small. It included 10 acres on the Vaughan Ranch (Grand Forks Gazette, May 24, 1902 and December 23, 1905); 30 acres on the Collins Ranch (Grand Forks Sun, 1910.07.09); 65 acres on the Newby Ranch (Nelson Daily News, March 20, 1908; Grand Forks Sun, June 2, 1911; Greenwood Ledge 1912.04.25; Grand Forks Gazette 1912.04.20); and 8 acres on the Hoffman Ranch (Grand Forks Sun, June 2, 1911). These 113 acres of orchard ranged from fifteen to twenty years old and in full bearing, to five years old and just beginning to bear by 1912.

[xi] Blakemore, supra, note 1 at 32. Indeed, by 1911 the CCUB was the largest fruit grower in the Boundary Region, and second only to the Coldstream Ranch at Vernon (with 650 acres planted) in the combined Okanagan-Boundary Region. The next-largest fruit grower in the Boundary was the Kettle Valley Irrigated Land Co. with 340 acres planted, while in Grand Forks in particular, the next largest fruit grower was W.H. Covert with 140 acres planted.

[xii] Grand Forks Gazette, May 13, 1921.

[xiii] Province of British Columbia, Department of Lands, Water Rights Branch, Water License Nos. 5393 dated January 20, 1888, renewed July 22, 1926; 5394 dated October 24, 1888, renewed July 22, 1926; 8502 dated November 9, 1926, renewed July 10, 1933; 710 dated February 2, 1914; 289 dated November 9, 1889, renewed July 22, 1926; 290 dated June 13, 1916; 5397 dated August 3, 1914, renewed July 22, 1926; 9557 dated May 8, 1914, renewed January 20, 1936; 2689 dated May 9, 1917, renewed May 10, 1926; 5391 dated August 8, 1911; 699 dated June 12, 1913; 8499 dated April 8, 1911, renewed July 10, 1933.

[xiv] In May 1911, the CCUB had the fourth-largest irrigation system in the Kettle Valley covering 100 acres: Grand Forks Sun, May 19, 1911. At the time, the three largest irrigation enterprises in the valley were that of the Covert Estate (280 acres), L.A. Campbell (220 acres), and Kerman and Kerby & Atwood (180 acres). By 1912, the Society increased its irrigated acreage to 230 acres; and by 1923, to over 758 acres.

[xv] Nelson Daily News, August 22, 1919; Vancouver Daily Sun, August 27, 1919. See also: Province of British Columbia, Grand Forks Water District, May 3039 dated February 1, 1983 re: Water License No. 58084.

[xvi] Vera Novokshonoff, Lucy Reibin & Marion Obedkoff, “Doukhobors in the Boundary” in Boundary History: Third Report of the Boundary Historical Society, 1964 and Boundary History: Fourth Report of the Boundary Historical Society, 1964; William Rozinkin, “Grand Forks Brick Plant Launched in 1909” in Nelson Daily News, May 26, 1967. See also: Grand Forks Sun, May 27, 1902, May 16, 1905, June 21, 1907.

[xvii] Grand Forks Sun, March 13, 1909, June 5, 12, 19 & 26, July 3, 1909; Grand Forks Gazette, March 18, 1909; Greenwood Ledge, June 10, 1909; Boundary Creek Times, November 5, 1909; Report about incomes and expenditures for relocation to Columbia and payment in part for lands for 1911 year and for the period from the beginning of 1912 up to August 10, 1912, Simon Fraser University Doukhobor Collection, Item No. MSC121-DB-052-006.

[xviii] Grand Forks Sun, March 13 & 20, June 5 & 19, 1909.

[xix] According to the Boundary Creek Times, November 5, 1909: all the bricks for the several new brick blocks (i.e. David Block, Bower & Pribilsky Block, Royal Bank Building, etc.) in Grand Forks are made by the colony of Doukhobors who bought the Coryell ranch and are buying the Vaughan ranch.” This is corroborated by a review of the bricks used in these buildings, carried out by Jan DeHaan, MFA – Ceramics, owner/operator of Kettle River Pottery on September 11, 2020 for the writer, which found that the colouring and quality (weathering degradation and lime popping) of the bricks in question were consistent with Doukhobor-manufactured brick from Grand Forks. Chemical isotope testing of the brick is required for absolute verification. 

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] Ibid.

[xxii] Robert Hobson, M.C.I.P. Survey Coordinator, Grand Forks District Heritage Survey, A Report to the Grand Forks District Heritage Advisory Committee (July 1986) at 94.

[xxiii] Ibid; William Blakemore, Report of the Royal Commission on Matters Relating to the Sect of Doukhobors in the Province of British Columbia, 1912 (Victoria: Government Printer, 1913) at 33.

[xxiv] Blakemore, ibid.

[xxv] Joe Beran, “A Bohemian Immigrant in Canada” in Boundary History: Fifteenth Report of the Boundary Historical Society, 2006 at 47-48; Boundary History: Sixteenth Report of the Boundary Historical Society, 2014) at 101.

[xxvi] Melvin Glaspell, “The Glaspells of Grand Forks” in Boundary History: Twelfth Report of the Boundary Historical Society, 1992 at 136; Grand Forks District Heritage Survey, supra, note 22.

[xxvii] Greenwood Ledge, April 12, 1917; Vancouver Sun, April 16, 1917; The Standard, April 21, 1917; Creston Review, April 24, 1917; Rozinkin, supra, note 16.

[xxviii] Grand Forks Gazette, November 25, 1927; Nelson Daily News, November 21, 1927; Grand Forks Gazette, March 30, 1928; Rozinkin, supra, note 16.

[xxix] By June 1909, the Doukhobor sawmill was producing lumber for the first two-storey brick communal home in Grand Forks, being Village No. 5 (Kootnekoff/Nevokshonoff Village) located on present-day Mill Road: Grand Forks Gazette, June 17, 1909. See also: Edmonton Journal, May 2, 1910; The Canada Gazette, May 12, 1910 at 179; Grand Forks Sun, July 2, 1910; Nelson Daily News, December 2, 1911; Blakemore, supra note 23 at 33.

[xxx] Doukhobors in the Boundary, supra, note 16; Florence Kalmakoff, Interview by Anne Verigin for the writer, March 25, 2021.

[xxxi] The Community sawmill was still in its original location in December 1914: The Daily Province, December 21, 1914; but had already relocated to the brickyard by May 1923: Grand Forks Gazette, May 18, 1923. Photographic evidence indicates it was relocated between 1918 and 1922: Simon Fraser University, Doukhobor Collection, Item No. MSC130-3580.

[xxxii] In 1923-1924, the Community was awarded the tender for one or more Crown timber sales (X5285 and possibly X4773, X5440 and/or X6755) at Cedar Creek on the North Fork (Granby) River to cut several tens of thousands of lineal feet of railroad ties, poles, saw logs and cordwood over 2 years: Grand Forks Sun, February 9, July 13, August 31, 1923 and November 28, 1924. The Community established a camp near Stanwell Siding on the CPR Kettle Valley Railroad, which was used for shipping purposes. In May 1925, some 1900 ties, 21,000 lineal feet of poles, 5500 board-feet of saw logs, 2300 fence posts and other chattels belonging to the Community were seized by provincial police and sold by public auction at Stanwell Siding to satisfy fines levied against the colony for the failure to send its children to public school: Grand Forks Sun: May 1 & 8, 1925.

[xxxiii] In April 1924, the Community was awarded the tender for timber sale X5222 to cut 5,100,000 feet of saw logs and 96,000 ties over 3 years at Cedar and Marsh Creeks, west of Midway: Greenwood Ledge, February 14 to April 23, June 5 & 19, 1924; Journals, Legislative Assembly of BC 1924, Volume LIV, and December 9, 1924. The Community established a logging camp and sawmill at McArthur Siding on the GNR VV&E Railway, which was used for shipping purposes: Greenwood Ledge, May 15, October 10, December 4, 1924, February 19, 1925, April 8, 1926, November 17, 1927; Grand Forks Sun, May 16, 1924, April 16, 1926; Nelson Daily News, February 22, 1927.  

[xxxiv] The expanded sawmill was relocated from Myers Creek to Fourth of July Creek near Grand Forks in November 1927: Nelson Daily News, February 22, 1927; Greenwood Ledge, November 17, 1927; Grand Forks Gazette, March 30, 1928; Snesarev, supra, note 2.

[xxxv] Nelson Daily News, November 21, 1927; Snesarev, supra, note 2; Nick D. Arishenkoff and Cecil W. Koochin, “Life in the Doukhobor Commune” in MIR Vol. 2, No. 3-6, September 1974.

[xxxvi] Grand Forks Gazette, October 9, 1931.

[xxxvii] Nelson Daily News, July 31, 1934; Grand Forks Gazette, August 2, 1934.

[xxxviii] Grand Forks Gazette, October 19, 1939.

[xxxix] Edmonton Journal, May 2, 1910; Nelson Daily News, December 2, 1911; Doukhobors in the Boundary, supra, note 16.

[xl] Cranbrook Herald, November 12, 1925 to January 28, 1926; Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, “The Doukhobor Fruit Store in Cranbrook, BC, 1925-1926” in the Cranbrook Townsmen, February 17, 2022.

[xli] Doukhobors in the Boundary, supra, note 16; Snesarev, supra, note 2; Sheila Gardezi, “The Essential Mill” in Route 3, Fall 2010 at 23.

[xlii] Grand Forks Gazette, May 14, 1964.

[xliii] Steve Lapshinoff, Depredations in Western Canada Attributed to the Sons of Freedom, 1923 to 1993 (Krestova: self-published, 1994) at 6; Gardezi, supra, note 41 at 23.

[xliv] Grand Forks Gazette, May 30, 1946.

[xlv] Grand Forks Gazette, May 14, 1964; Gardezi, supra, note 41 at 23.

[xlvi] W. Blakemore, Photographs, Royal Commission on Matters Relating to the Sect of Doukhobors in the Province of British Columbia, 1912, British Columbia Archives, Item No. GR-0793.5, Accession No. 197904-015; Mike Sookochoff, Grand Forks, interview by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, April 25, 2020.

[xlvii] T.R. Powers, Grand Forks: Royal Commission on Doukhobors (1912), Proceedings, Volume 1; BC Archives GR-0793.2.1.

[xlviii] Nelson Daily News, August 20, 1935; Vancouver Daily World, September 1, 1921; Doukhobors in the Boundary, supra, note 16.

[xlix] Grand Forks Gazette, March 30, 1928.

[l] Doukhobors in the Boundary, supra, note 16.

[li] Grand Forks Gazette, Sept 27, 1918.

[lii] Grand Forks Gazette, August 17, 1912.

[liii] The cannery erected in 1924 was a large-scale commercial plant intended primarily for tomatoes but which could also be used for other vegetables as well as fruit: Nelson Daily News, March 13, 1924; Snesarev, supra, note 2; Gardezi, supra, note 41 at 23. Interestingly, in April 1925, 1110 lbs. of canned fruit (10 lb. tins) and 10 cases of tomatoes (24 oz. tins) were confiscated from the new cannery by provincial police to satisfy fines levied against the colony for the failure to send its children to public school: Grand Forks Gazette, April 17, 1925.

[liv] The tomato cannery is believed to have been destroyed by arson in March 1936: Lapshinoff, supra, note 43; however, it is possible the building (by then inoperative) was destroyed by incendiarism in May 1946: Grand Forks Gazette, May 30, 1946.

[lv] As early as 1915, the Community installed an evaporator at its Brilliant jam factory: Nelson Daily News, February 21, 1913, December 2, 1914 and March 6, 1919. Once dehydrated, fruit was preserved without spoilage at 1/10 its original weight; when required, dried fruit was soaked in water and returned to practically its original state with all colour and nutrients retained. The evaporator erected at Grand Forks in 1924 served the same end: Snesarev, supra, note 2; Gardezi, supra, note 41 at 23.

[lvi] In April 1925, 1180 lbs. of dried fruit (equivalent to 11,800 lbs. of fresh fruit) were confiscated from the new evaporator by police to satisfy fines levied against the colony for failing to send its children to public school: Grand Forks Gazette, April 17, 1925

[lvii] The fruit evaporator is believed to have been destroyed by arson in March 1936: Lapshinoff, supra, note 43; however, it is possible the building (by then inoperative) was destroyed by incendiarism in May 1946: Grand Forks Gazette, May 30, 1946.

[lviii] Nelson Daily News, January 8, 1912; “Report of Consular Agent, W.S. Riblet, Nelson, BC.” in Daily Consular and Trade Reports, No. 76, March 30, 1912 at 1289; Blakemore, supra, note 1; Grand Forks Gazette, April 13, 1923, February 8 & 15, 1924, March 21, 1924; Vancouver Daily World, February 21, 1924; Nanaimo Daily News, March 19, 1924; Grand Forks Gazette, November 25, 1927, March 30, 1928.

[lix] Grand Forks Gazette, August 22, 1935. The bricks forming the factory building veneer were self-manufactured at the adjacent Community brickworks.

[lx] Grand Forks Gazette, November 25, 1927.

[lxi] Grand Forks Gazette, August 22, 1935.

[lxii] Alex Padmoroff, Grand Forks, interview by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, March 17, 2020.

[lxiii] Grand Forks Gazette, August 22, 1935.

[lxiv] Grand Forks Gazette, August 15, 1935.

[lxv] Grand Forks Gazette, August 22, 1935.

[lxvi] Grand Forks Gazette, August 22, 1935; Nelson Daily News, August 20, 1935.

[lxvii] Ibid.

[lxviii] Sheila Gardezi, “From Toil to Peaceful Life” in Route 3 (Spring 2010) at 15-17.

[lxix] Plan of Great Northern Railway, Grand Forks, B.C., Weston Yard, c. 1918 (Boundary Museum & Archives Society); Letter dated April 24, 1919 from Nicholas J. Chernenkoff, CCUB to B.E. Paterson, Chairman, Committee of Enquiry & Research, Soldier Settlement Board in James Mavor Doukhobor Collection, Simon Fraser University.

[lxx] Grand Forks Gazette, August 17, 1912, February 15, 1913; Grand Forks Sun, September 6, 1912.

[lxxi] Grand Forks Gazette, July 18, 1940; Elizabeth Faminoff, “Polonicoff’s Store – A Personalized Reflection of the Past” in ISKRA, April 26, 2000 and in Boundary History, 17th Report of the Boundary Historical Society at 115.

[lxxii] Padmoroff, supra, note 62.

[lxxiii] Ibid; Anne Verigin, Grand Forks, interview by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, March 19, 2023.

[lxxiv] Sheila Gardezi, “From Toil to Peaceful Life” in Route 3 (Spring 2010) at 15-17.

[lxxv] The Victoria Daily Times, July 14, 1936.

[lxxvi] K.J. Tarasoff, Plakun Trava (Mir Publication Society: Grand Forks, 1982) at 153-154; S. Jamieson, “Economic and Social Life” in H.B. Hawthorn (Ed.), The Doukhobors of British Columbia (University of British Columbia, 1955) at 52-56.

[lxxvii] Ibid; Winnipeg Tribune, June 30, 1937 at 39; Medicine Hat News, June 29, 1939; National Trust Company v. The Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Ltd. (SCC) [1941] SCR 601, [1941] 3 DLR 529; 23 CBR 1; Medicine Hat News, June 29, 1939.

Sion Cemtery Map 10

Map of USCC (Sion) Cemetery
Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 91 – 100

North

100 99 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 91
Nastia Pepin
Marie Popoff Mary S. Parakin
Mabel Ogloff Mary Verigin John Plotnikoff Mabel F. Dergousoff Mike Stooshnoff Mary M. Demoskoff Pete P. Novokshonoff Mabel P. Chivildave Polly P. Derhousoff Peter G. Reibin
Fred N. Resansoff Mike Faminow William N. Kazakoff Nick Podovinikoff Nick Elasoff Mabel Negraeff William W. & Doris Semenoff Nellie Makortoff Peter P. Chursinoff John P. Makortoff
Pete S. Semenoff Mary Barisenkoff William Verigin John F. Markin Bill W. Planedin Vera Padmoroff Helen A. Zibin Millie
Kinakin & Nancy Kinakin Popoff
Peter A. Bawoolin Polly Popoff
Bill M. Novokshonoff Fred Medvedoff William Jmieff Patrick Marcus Ryan Horkoff Peter N. Hoodikoff William P. Stooshnoff Mike M. Novokshonoff Walter Rezansoff Irene Lawrenow Peter P. Sofonow
William Esakin Polly Chernoff Fanny Danshin Dorothy Reibin Hazel Verigin Pete S. Sherstobitoff William M. Lebedoff Frank G. Rezansoff Mary Koochin John T. Semenoff
Pete Konkin Gonia Kalmikoff Florence Varabioff John K. Horkoff James D. Legebokow Molly & Peter Zebroff & Bobby Waselenkoff Mike S. Arishenkoff Bill Makasaeff Doris M. Ozeroff Tihon Czynownkow
Mary Dovedoff Pete Shiloff Aliccey Kolmikoff George E. Kastrukoff George J. Abrosimoff John S. Gritchen Helen Verigin Elizabeth Rilkoff Nellie Skrepnekoff Nellie J. Pepin
Tina & John Sbitnoff Tena Hlookoff & P. Hlookoff Pete J. Demoskoff Alex J. Demoskoff Lawrence A. MacDonald Alex Ogloff Mike M. Negreiff Polly M. Hremakin Annie Horkoff Nick W. Popoff
Dora Negraeff Sam
Podmoroff
Tim
Rezansoff
Helen Murphy William F. Vereschagin Annie Strukoff Peter P. Dergousoff George G. Reibin Fannie W. Ostoforoff Nora A. & Phillip P. Markin
Paul W. Davidoff Cindy Musaev Fred F. Easkin Pete C. Podovinnikoff Christina Plotnikoff Lucy Sherstobitoff Tina Rezansoff Kathleen Arishenkoff John N. Konkin Peter Makeiff
William A. Malloff Pete P. Horkoff William E. Jmaiff James D. Fofonoff Peter Faminoff Anne Kohler Joe
Popoff
Mary Hlookoff William P. Padmoroff Polly E. Davidoff
Fred Gretchen Bill Vatkin John P. Verigin John P. Stoochnoff Alex Lazeroff Dora P. Jmaeff Peter M. Novokshonoff Sam
A. Horkoff
Margaret Makaeiff Gertie Zaitsoff
Nick M. Novokshonoff Florence Hlookoff Fred D. Posnikoff George G. Semenoff Mary Plotnikoff John J. Wishlow William Babakaiff Anastasia Parfeniuk Dimitry J. Postnikoff William M. Demoskoff
Florence Tomlin Polly Laktin Anna P. Verigin Mary Dubosoff Mike J. Potapoff Mary Semenoff Molly F. Reibin Molly Pereversoff Fanny Stoochnoff Steve A. Makortoff
Olga Dergousoff John Soloveoff Mike P. Skripnikoff Paul A. Lazeroff Molly Relkoff Harry Popoff Thelma Festerling Peter M. Saliken Florence A. Popoff Annie Rezansoff
Mike Astofooroff Mike W. Semenoff Lucy G. Lapshinoff Fred F. Makaeff Tony Seminoff Edward A. Lawrenow Dasha Strukoff Eunice Soukeroff John A. Derhousoff Helen Potopoff
Helen Konkin William J. Planedin Mary Doubinin Helen Salekin Mary P. Voykin Helen J. Zoobkoff Alex N. Chernoff William S. Konkin Andrew G. Makortoff Louis Chernenkoff
John Pereverzoff Nick A. Zibin Peter Kazakoff Nick Makeiff William Arishenkoff John Perepolkin Florence Koochin William P. Planedin William A. Novokshonoff Lorretta Wirischagin
George Pereverzoff William S. Zibin Walter Walasoff Polly P. Popoff Mike K. Markin Peter W. Makortoff Jack L. Popoff
Sophie Dutoff Samuel J. Legebokow Mike J. Novoksonoff Florence Siminoff Mabel Chernoff Mary A. Kolesnikoff
Helen Popoff Helen Semenoff Larry Soloveoff John J. Semenoff Pete Danshin

CREMATION SECTION

Lucy Horkoff Polly Kazakoff Nick J. Persoff Alex E. Chivildave

South

Sion Cemetery Map 9

Map of
USCC (Sion) Cemetery
Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 81 – 90

North

90 89 88 87 86 85 84 83 82 81
John I. Parakin Mary Chivildave Tammy Wright Cecil W. Koochin Mike F. Chernoff Tina Kalugin Annie M. Abrosimoff Lana Kurnoff Fanny Kholodenen William Derhousoff
Helen P. Planedin Paul M. Negreiff Peter C. Esouloff Prokofy L. Verigin Anastasia N. Zeberoff Doris Trafimenkoff Alice Babakaiff Nick N. Pepin Nastia Danshin Helen Cheveldaeff
William T. Arishenkoff Fred Sheloff Polly Pereversoff Clara R. Strukoff William M. Jmaeff Marion & Trina Moojalski Andrew P. Markin Mary F. Zibin Polly F. Arishenkoff John E. Verigin
William L. Strukoff Timothy J. Relkoff Mary Podovinnikoff Pearl H. Stushnoff Polly Davidoff Alex J. Makortoff Alex A. Semenoff Mary Lebadoff John D. Markin Mary G. Stooshnoff
Nicholas Barisenkoff Polly Jmieff Fred F. Plotnikoff Nora Hawreluk Ann
Bloudoff
William W. Ogloff Mabel Soloveoff Annie Easkin Helen A. Semenoff Jenny Hlookoff
Polly Sheloff Oxinia Rezansoff Peter A. Verigin Ann
Plotnikoff
Fred J. Arishenkoff Nellie W. Postnikoff John P. Negraeff Paranna Plotnikoff William Argotoff Vera Borisenkoff
John Jmieff William J. Chiveldave Nick D. Arishenkoff Mike W. Rezansoff Anastasia Perepalkin Nellie Makaoff Joseph Makortoff Helen & George Hutchinson Florence, Larisa & Keith Perepolkin Pearl Demosky
Alex Hoolaeff Anna Makortoff William B. Padmoroff John S. Makortoff Andrew Doobinin John J. Faminoff William E. Savitskoff Alex Easkin Helen Seminoff Ruth Markin
Paul Metin Mickey A. Horkoff Bernice Faminoff Walter L. Strukoff Tina Chiveldaew Mabel Vatkin Peter W. Evdokimoff Mabel Antifaeff Nellie S. Semenoff Fred M. Novokshonoff
Vera J. Popoff John A. Davidoff William W. Dootoff Mike P. Faminoff Fedosia Perehudoff William F. Negraeff William P. Evdokimoff Tina Stupnikoff Polly P. Savitskoff Alex Arishenkoff
Nick N. Reibin John A. Makortoff Winnie J. Wlasoff Fred Antifaeff Anne P. Easkin Mary Soukoroff Helen Ogloff George W. Demoskoff John A. Tomlin Helen Sysoev
Lucy Kangian Tillie Kinakin John J. Kurnoff Pauline N. Seminoff George W. Popoff Mike F. Strelioff Anne Demoskoff Mike M. Gritchen
William B. Ozeroff Mike J. Negraeff Alex J. Gritchen Steve J. Gevatkoff Pauline A. Malloff
Nellie A. Pozdnikoff John J. Stooshnoff Florence A. Makortoff Ann
Popoff
Mike G. Plotnikoff Thomas N. Hadikin
Annie N. Zebroff Lucile Legebokow

South

Sion Cemetery Map 8

Map of USCC (Sion) Cemetery
Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 71 – 80

North

80 79 78 77 76 75 74 73 72 71
Cecil W. Zibin Philip E. Podovinikoff William Dowedoff Mike A. Gritchen Alex W. Seminoff Mary Konkin Paul Medvedoff Molly Popoff George Soobotin Wasyl A. Chiveldeff
Andrew J. Postnikoff Annie Kurnoff Dora Padmeroff Alex S. Demosky Alex W. Koochin Polly A. Reibin Helen Chernoff Polly S. Astafooroff William P. Zibin Ivan J. Davidoff
Helen Soukoroff Polagea Novokshonoff Fred Pereversoff Peter S. Demoksy Mabel Bawoolin Nick B. Strelaeff William P. Reibin Diane Shersobetoff Mike C. Swetlishnoff Mike P. Bloudoff
Helen G. Morozoff Pete A, Negreoff Charles J. Esouloff Pete Semenoff Anastasia A. Gritchen Lucy Popoff John J. Negreiff William F. Verigin Peter Demenoff Lucy J. Markin
Alex P. Padmoroff Pete W. Planedin Polly D. Strukoff Polly Argotoff Tina N. Strukoff Koozma Novokshonoff Sam Demosky Mavrunia W. Novokshonoff Anne Sherland Helen Metin
John J. Cheveldave Laura Potapoff John M. Derhousoff Anastasia A. Stoushnoff Ivan P. Dergousoff Nick A. Relkov William Rezansoff Annie Semenoff Taras M. Arishenkoff Bill M. Gretchin
Nick N. Hremakin Polly Holoboff Mavruna Popoff Martha Osachoff Lucy A. Arishenkoff Fedosia Chursinoff Peter Barisenkoff Peter Ozeroff Fred F. Zibin Dora Zibin
William J. Chernoff Peter W. Verigin Bill B. Ozeroff Fred F. Wright Peter L. Plotnikoff Mary J. Markin Alex Horkoff John D. Kolesnikoff Anastasia Popoff Polly M. Doobinin
Eileen Perehudoff Nellie Hadikin Vera Makortoff Nick Danshin Polly P. Danshin Helen N. Rezansoff Leonard A. Lagore Joseph M. Strukoff Mabel Arishenkoff Vera Voykin
Alex N. Laktin Harry A. Seminoff Mary J. Popoff John J. Hlookoff Peter W. Koftinoff William G. Horkoff Florence N. Markin Andrew Gritchen Andrew Podovilnikoff Tania Strulow
Mary J. Peregoodoff James Popow George M. Malloff Fred F. Makortoff Peter N. Vanjoff Nick A. Chernoff John N. Lactin Mooly F. Postnikoff John Stupnikoff Tania P. Konkin
Emil Festerling Catherine Vanjoff William E. Koftinoff Mike E. Gritchen Peter A. Nahornoff Annie Lactin Jesse P. Barisoff Debbora Katasonoff Helen L. Novoskhonoff

South

Sion Cemetery Map 7

Map of USCC (Sion) Cemetery
Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 61 – 70

North

70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61
Molly G
Joseph J. Negraeff Anna A. Makortoff Martha W. Chernoff Mary T. Gritchen William P. Skripnikoff George Gemieff Mary Prokopetz
Mary Chernoff Gladis O. Wright Grace F. Gritchen Mary N. Novokshonoff John G. Malloff Annie Kalesnikoff Anna M. Parakin Mary A. Jmaiff
Martha Katasonoff Nastia N. Areshenkoff Mable Wishlow Ann
Varabioff
Kuzma

Markin

Peter J. Barisoff Helen Hennessey Larry M. Strilaeff Peter P. Strukoff
Harry Novokshonoff Wasyl W. Remezoff Harry P. Fedosoff Nasta N. Cheveldaeff John J. Verigin William W. Pepin Nastia

Kinakin

Paul P. Ozeroff Helen F. Koftinoff Helen Verischagin Nastia G. Gritchen William F. Makortoff Polly Astofooroff Mary W. Savitskoff
Stephen P. Chursinoff Annie P. Borisenkoff Peter L. Strukoff Ed Rezansoff Nick F.

Zibin

Vera Seafoot
John Metin Dasha K. Plotnikoff Afanace Padmerow John N. Popoff John M. Lebedoff
Philip S. Markin Nick W. Sofonoff Peter M. Popoff Pauline Chernoff Marisha Ogloff Alex Ogloff
Mary W. Ozeroff Lillian W. Taylor (Malloff) Annie W. Reibin John S. Zibin John Davidoff Infant
John A. Chernoff Helen A. Hlookoff Pete J. Faminoff Mary J. Zibin Andrew W. Semenoff Vera Kabatoff
Lucy S. Horkoff Mike M. Grycak Tina Gritchen Nick W. Abetkoff
Dorthy Pepin Polly K. Postnikoff Toddy P. Chursinoff
Anna W. Vatkin
M. N. Vatkin

South

Sion Cemetery Map 6

Map of
USCC (Sion) Cemetery
Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 51 – 60

North

60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51
Rezansoff Anna Novokshonoff
Mike Novokshonoff
John J.
Elasoff
M. H. Elasoff Avdotia P. Bakonova
J. B. Jmaiff
Peter N. Chernoff George J. Plotnikoff Kathleen J. Verigin
Sam A. Gritchen Helen Popoff P. E. Jmaiff
Anna F. Horkoff
Polly Novokshonoff
M. V. Padmeroff

Sion Cemetery Map 5

Map of
USCC (Sion) Cemetery Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 41 – 50

North

50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41
Mike C. Vatkin Angelina Gretchen Jenny & Pete Hlookoff William Sookaveoff Nick N. Chernoff Annie Soloveoff Anne F. Koftinoff Annie J. Podovinikoff Nicholas P. Popoff
Florence A. Strukoff Paul W. Planedin & Edward W. W. Planedin Ann S. Fofonoff John E. Rezansoff Eli E. Swetlishoff Vera Kushner J. J. Konkin Otto Jahn, Sr
Alex A. Arishenkoff Joseph P. Chernoff Parania Lapshanoff Mike Moojalsky Philip Makasaeff Nancy Plotnikoff Otto Jahn, Jr Andrew Horkoff
Kathy Chernoff Mike Kuftinoff Seminoff Fred G. Plotnikoff William F. Gritchen
John S. Chernoff Pete V. Hlookoff M. K. Stoochnoff Elizabeth V. Sheloff Nick N. Strukoff Molly Gritchen
John P. Fedosoff John J. Demoskoff Frederick P. Plaskin
Malania Kostrukow Pauline J. Davidoff Frederick P. Plaskin Harold F. Rezansoff A.J. Savitskoff
Tatyana N. Abetkoff Hlookoff Ann Koochin Walter Zeberoff
Jackie Festerling Polly A. Moojelsky Marie J. Negraeff John J. Wishlow Cecil A. Zeberoff
Wally Verigin Harry T. Chernoff Anna P. Malloff Bill A. Moojelsky Harry N. Plotnikoff John S. Demosky Peter N. Chursinoff
Agafia Makaeff John P. Rilkoff Anna A. Relkoff Molly Postnikoff Nickit P. Chernoff
William Ogloff John W. Sherbinin Helen G. Rezansoff Martha N. Kalmakoff John M. Harasimoff B. W. Konken
Nicholas Cheveldeaw Mabel Horkoff Paul Straloff Nora Tedesco
Domania S. Koochina Ruth A. Cheveldeaw A. E. Chivildave Fred W. Pepin William Shukin Polly A. Negreiff
Aksyuta Astafooroff Pete V. Novokshonoff Peter P. Medvedoff Pearl Popoff Bill Soloveiff Katya K. Makortoff
Mike N. Semenoff Peter W. Koochin Larry Kolesnikoff John Trofiminkoff
Peter Maloff Ogloff Mary J. Shukin
Katherine Chutskoff Tania J. Sherbinin
Fred N. Chutskoff Patsy Strelioff

Sion Cemetery Map 4

Map of
USCC (Sion) Cemetery
Grand Forks, British Columbia

Rows 31 – 40

North

40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31
Lucy V. Demoskoff Nastia P. Zibin Maria F. Postnikoff Mary F. Negraeff Pete Szyjka Doris Rezansoff Tania Hlookoff Frank P. Chernoff John J. Fofonoff Mary Malloff
Polly S. Hlookoff Lena Chernoff Larion Strukoff Cindy J. Esakin & Joe W. Esakin Polly S. Barisoff (infant) Turner George S. Kalmakoff Anna K. Demosky Mable N. Ogloff
A. Arishenkoff Wendy M. Strukoff Dawn E. Makaeff Elizabeth Abedkoff (infant) Turner Bill Popoff Anastasia Chernoff Nick P. Relkoff
Mary A. Horkoff George W. Novokshonoff Pete P. Koftinow John D. Fofonoff Dmitri A. Fofonoff
Cathy K. Makortoff A. Samsonoff John S. Reiben Vera Dergousoff F. Gritchen Ellen J. Konkin & Polly Vanjoff Richard W. Fofonoff Agafia Fofonoff
Paul P. Chursinoff Mary N. Stooshnoff Nastia Wishloff Ignace P. Makaeff
Linda E. Makaeff Peter F. Malloff John S. Arishenkoff Nick I. Makeiff John J. Rilkoff
Nick Postnikoff John P. Negraiff Tania Kabatoff Mary V. Gritchen V. N. Zebroff Elarione Trafimenkoff Anastasia J. Rilkoff
Leecyna Moojalskoff & Annette Fofonoff Peter P. Polonikoff Pete J. Rilkoff
Hlene J. Medvedoff R. V. Chivildave F. F. Verischagin John Elsoff Anna J. Soobotin Billie Sofonoff Cheveldeaw Mary F. Rilkoff
John J. Potapoff Mike W. Popoff Peter S. Polonikoff Nellie Postnikoff & Luba Samos & Anne Swetlikoe Paul M. Chernoff John M. Peregoodoff Tania S. Sherbinin
Anna A. Chursinoff N. J. Zeberoff Ahafia N. Fofonoff Mary Pankoff Alex Posnikoff Mike N. Chernoff Max Peregoodoff
Mary A. Chernoff Peter C. Strukoff John J. Postnikoff Nick Sukoveoff
John J. Sherbinin Johnny Strukoff
Ronald A. Ogloff
Nick E. Rezansoff Walter A. Konkin Bill B. Kuftinoff
Sam
V. Davidoff

South