By Margaret A. Ormsby
In 1860, on the age of fourteen, Susan Louisa Moir left England for British Columbia. After settling at the beginning at desire, she lived in short in either Victoria and New Westminster, then BC's most vital settlements. Returning to pray, she helped her mom open the community's first university. In 1868, she married John Fall Allison and, on her honeymoon, rode over the Allison path into the unsettled Similkameen Valley.
Her list of the voyage, of Victoria, New Westminster, and desire and her stories of the remoted yet pleasurable existence she, her husband, and their fourteen childeren led within the Simlkameen and Okanagen valleys supply a distinct view of the pioneer brain and spirit.
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Extra resources for A Pioneer Gentlewoman in British Columbia: The Recollections of Susan Allison (Pioneers of British Columbia)
By the time of the Big Bend rush in 1866, Allison and Hayes had accumulated a considerable stock of cattle. But their hope of obtaining a good market tumbled when the diggings did not turn out well. Once more Allison made cattle drives over the Hope Mountains to New Westminster and Yale. One of these trips to Yale was made in August 1868, and it was on this occasion that he made arrangements to marry Susan Moir. From Hope he sent a short, hasty note to his mother to inform her of his intention.
So he set out to improve the quality of his stock by importing "Red Oak," a shorthorn bull, from California in 1872. His concentration on the production of thoroughbred stock did result in his beef—"Similkameen beef" as it was called—becoming famous on the coast market. But the expansion of his herds necessitated the acquisition of more property and more grazing rights. During the 1870's he went into debt to accumulate nearly 3,000 acres of land. When, in 1874, railway construction was delayed by the business depression and the change in federal policy after the Liberals came into office at Ottawa, he was forced to tell his parents he could offer them no help: "I am very troubled about you for I know that you need assistance, but at present I am not able to collect a dollar.
He had outlived his mother by only eight years, and he left behind him a widow, who at the age of fifty-two was still a vigorous woman. His two eldest sons had married, and in the spring following his death his daughter Rose married S. D. Sandes, a young English mining engineer who was interested in the deposits on Copper Mountain. Mrs. Allison took such a liking to Sandes that she allowed him to have the original pre-emption to lay out as a townsite. But this venture, like the one promoted by a company founded by Dewdney to lay out a townsite on the old Luard property, failed to succeed.