"History isn’t a myth-making discipline, it’s a myth-busting discipline ..."

Sir Richard Evans FBA

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Assessment records show that in 1910 Edward Watson purchased the Spilsbury home and 70 acres of land of the SE part of  DL 326. Ashton W. Spilsbury kept the western part of 34 acres. The 70 acres were repossessed by Spilsbury in 1922 and were sold by creditors. The house must have been adjacent to River Road.  We  don't know when the house was demolished. Jim Spilsbury puts the focus for the monetary troubles of his father on the Watsons who had stopped paying for the 70 acres they bought (war-time moratorium of debt). But Spilsbury also had to pay municipal taxes on property he still owned in Whonnock beginning with the 34 acres left of DL 326. In addition  Spilsbury owned  the SW 1/4 of Section 1,  Township 12. In 1912 he subdivided the northern half of the 160 acres into four 5-acre lots (numbered from 1 to 4) and six 10-acre lots (numbers 5 to 10) obviously trying to sell. Beginning in 1911 he also owned three lots in DL 329, sub div F:  Lot 1 (4.46 acres) Lot 5 (7.83 acres) and Lot 6 (.28 acres).  DL 329 was subdivided in 1910 and it seems that AWS took his share of the land when it became available. It seemed a good investment at that time but unfortunately after a boom, the economy of British Columbia took a sharp downturn. Many went bankrupt in that pre-war recession and AWS survived barely.   

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It is generally believed that in 1891 Major-General John Twigg (correctly Twigge) together with his brother Samuel Knox Twigge purchased District Lot 438, a parcel of around 150 acres at the point where Stave River meets the Fraser.
It is also believed that it was Major-General John Twigge who allowed the Canadian Co-operative Society to build and operate the Ruskin Mill on a few acres of their property. It may well be, however, that Samuel Knox Twigge was the the one to do so, because the assessment and collection records of the period only show his name until 1905 when he sold the DL 438 to E. H. Heaps & Co. The S.K. Twigge and family did not live in Ruskin but in Vancouver where he also had property.
Samuel Knox Twigge died in January 1906 leaving behind his wife Frances (née Vance) who may have returned to the United Kingdom after her husband's death (?).
Samuel and Frances Twigge had a daughter named Sidney Ann Jane.  The part of the road from Ruskin to Stave Falls through the Twigge property was named "Sidney Road" (now part of 287th Street) after her. In August 1910 Sidney Twigge married Lieutenant John Gibson Kenworthy and moved to a 17,000 acre ranch in the Chilcoten. In 1914 Kenworthy (see photo) left his wife and a young son behind on the ranch to fight in the war in Europe. He died in April 1915 and his wife eventually sold the ranch. She left for the UK around 1923.
Another daughter of S.K. Twigge was Mary Mabel Twigge who married Charles E.W. Johnson in 1896. She died at Alkali Lake in 1934.