Kimberley Chronicle

Your Biweekly Source for Kimberley’s Past, Present & Future


Volume 13 August 27, 2012 kimberleychronicle@gmail. Welcome to the thirteenth issue of Kimberley Chronicle. We hope everyone is soaking up as much sun and fun as they can and that all the teachers and students (and parents) are getting excited for the school year to start. This week we have the story of the Otis Staples Lumber Company in Wycliffe. Wycliffe was a happening spot. If anyone has comments, questions or rants; we’d love to hear them. You can email us at or call at 250-427-5430.

Otis Staples Lumber Company - Wycliffe

Less than 10km downstream of Marysville on the St. Mary’s river lies the sleepy little village/hamlet of Wycliffe. With its picturesque setting along the river, the small cluster of homes and farms are sitting on land that at one time had one of the busiest sawmills in the country operating there. The man responsible for starting the mill was Otis Staples. Otis was born in New Brunswick in 1847; at the age of 22 in 1869 he moved and settled in Stillwater Minnesota and started his career in the lumbering business. Thirty years after moving to Minnesota tragedy struck. His pregnant wife was killed in a buggy crash. The personal tragedy as well as the shrinking timber limits nudged Otis to move on and have a change of scenery. A friend that worked with the CPR told Otis of the booming East Kootenays and he arrived at Fort Steele in 1903. In 1904 he built a sawmill at a small village called Bayard. Being a religious man, Otis renamed the village Wycliffe after the 14th century English Church Reformer John Wycliffe. In 1905 he applied to start the ‘St. Mary’s And Cherry Creek Railway Company’ which was used to transport logs to his busy sawmill. (continued)

Kimberley Heritage Museum
105 Spokane Street - above the library Tuesday-Saturday 9am - 4:30pm Phone: 250-427-7510 Email: Entry Fee - By Donation

Firewood For Sale Pine, Split & Delivered $100/Pickup Load 250-427-5430
Happy Hands Tattoo

The Otis Staples Lumber Company was milling wood from as far away as Tata & Cherry Creek and up the St. Mary’s Valley. Since logging trucks were not really around at that time the logs came down the river or were pulled by one of the three steam powered Shay steam engines called Spot 1, Spot 2 & Spot 3. At its peak the sawmill was producing around 40 million board feet per year. A century later the sawmill in Canal Flats now produces around 120 million and the mill in Elko produces 180 million board feet per year respectively. The company supported a thriving community that was well known for both its baseball and hockey teams. In 1912 Otis was fishing on the St. Mary’s and accidentally got a hook caught in his eye. The injury became infected and Otis died shortly after the incident. His three sons Elmer, Chester and Bayard contined to run the company for another 16 years but the mill eventually closed in 1928. Some remnants of the sawmill still remain however they are on mostly on private property. Some of the trestles that were built for the railway can still be found in the Cherry Creek area near the old airport. These old remnants help to remind us of days gone by and why the communities that we live in came into existence. For more info visit the Kimberley Heritage Museum.

418 - 304th St



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Otis Staples Lumber Company Logging Train at Wycliffe (1910). Photo courtesy of Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History High Quality Prints Available @

(donations for a refugee family will be accepted) Hot Yoga is coming to Kimberley! Until the studio is up and running come enjoy some FREE YOGA. Classes taught by Moksha certified teacher, Kristi McRae. Classes starting AUG.15, 2012 and running until SEPT.26, 2012 at Blarchmont Field. Mondays @ 9:30am (75minutes) & Wednesdays @ 6:30pm (60 minutes). Bring a mat, water and a smile.

Free Yoga Classes!

1) John Wycliffe (who Wycliffe is named after) is associated with what famous book? 2) How many average houses per year could be built with the amount of lumber that the Otis Staples Lumber Company produced? (40,000,000 board feet/year). 3) What percentage of Canada’s softwood lumber output comes from BC? 4) Where was the first railway built? 5) How many students are enrolled in publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Canada? 6) Which famous rock star was once an elementary school teacher? I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. Winston Churchill Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. Albert Einstein True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. Kurt Vonnegut I’ve never let my school interfere with my education. Mark Twain A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. Theodore Roosevelt
The Kimberley Branch of the Order of the Eastern Star is collecting postage stamps, Campbell Soup Labels and Pop Can Tabs for various charities. These items can be dropped off at Curves or at 960 Rotary.


Tuck & Owen’s Lawn Care 250-427-0593
Specializing in Marysville Lawns Try Advertising in Kimberley Chronicle We’ll Make it Worth Your While 250-427-5430 Katryna Sigurdson
Memories made to last a lifetime!

Tryna’s Eventz

Event & Wedding Specialist Serving the East Kootenays and beyond Internationally Certified 778-481-1981

Renovations, New Construction, Finishing Carpenter call 250-432-9507 for a quote

Colin Parfey Carpentry

Mostly sunny, with the odd cloudy day and some isolated showers. Average temperatures: High 22oC Low 7oC.
1) Wycliffe’s Bible. John Wycliffe was big believer of having a translation of the Bible that the common man could read and understand. 2) Over 2600 homes per year could be built. (average house uses roughly 15,000 board feet during construction. 3) 50%. Roughly half of Canada’s softwood lumber comes from BC. 4) In Ancient Greece around 600 BC. 5) Just under 5.1 million. 6) Gene Simmons from KISS


Trivia Answers

computers - networks - communications 250-432-5269 101 370 Wallinger

Truck For Sale

Wednesday August 29: Free Yoga at Blarchmont Park 6:307:30 pm. Wednesday August 29: Wild West Wednesdays at Fort Steele Sunday September 2: Kimberley Village Market. 10am-2pm at Lions Park, Marysville. Monday September 3: Free Yoga at Blarchmont Park 9:3010:45am. Tuesday September 4 - Saturday September 29: Gallery Exhibit at Centre 64. Fernie “Outside In” by Laura Nelson. 1-5pm. Wednesday September 5: Free Public Swim 5-6pm. Sponsored by Robert Apps Law Office. Wednesday September 5: Free Yoga at Blarchmont Park 6:30-7:30 pm. Saturday September 8: Gallery Opening Reception for Laura Nelson at Centre 64 2-4pm. Sunday September 9: Kimberley Nature Park Society Walk. Annual Members Hike & Picnic. Sunday September 9: Kootenay Country Fair and Threshing Days at Fort Steele.

Upcoming Events

1979 GMC Sierra Pickup ‘Camper Special’ $1000 with or without camper 250-427-3058

Kimberley Forest Consulting
Your forest expert. Wildfire Assessments, Forest Development Plans, Ecosystem Management, Surveys. Wade Jarvis, RPF


Meadowbrook Motors (Reds Country Store) is now open!

propane, gas, marked premium, and diesel

Certified Journeyman Automotive Mechanic Motorbike, ATV’s and other small engine repair Kimberley’s STIHL Dealer Call 427-7690 for an appointment or stop in

Monday to Saturday 7am-7pm

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