Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday, Smithers, BC

"In 1913 a new community was in design. Surveyors working for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad were laying out the streets that we in Smithers walk and drive upon today! January 1, 2013 we will begin our centennial celebration."

In 1913, John & Anna Lapadat, formerly of Romania, Oregon, Vancouver, moved to Smithers, BC. John, a brick layer by trade, had been hired to help build the Round House for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, thus the reason for moving to this new town. When the job was done, it was usual for John to pack up his family and move to the next job in the next town, but not this time.  This time the Lapadats decided to put down roots in the beautiful Bulkley Valley. This time, they decided to become farmers in the Smithers area.

As the years passed, John & Anna added to their family of 4 that had moved to Smithers.  The first child they had in this new home was a boy who was the first white boy, possibly the first white baby, born in Smithers, though a little girl was also born around that time and it is uncertain, at least to my knowledge, which was born first. This baby boy was named George Smithers Lapadat.

In 1923, already having several children, Anna gave birth to another girl, naming this one Annie.  This little girl was to grow up and marry a man named Jesse James (Jim) Price.  This little girl was to become the mother of 6 children, though sadly only raising 5 of them. This little girl was to see both of her parents and her first born son (second born child) buried in the Smithers Cemetery. 

In 1968, Annie & Jim, having sold their farm just west of Smithers, packed up the 4 children still living at home and moved south, to the small community of Mara, BC where they lived for 2 years before moving to Enderby where Jim's ashes are buried in the Enderby Cemetery and Annie, at 89 years young, still lives on her own in a nice little condo.

This post did not start out to be this long.... yet it flowed through the fingers on the keyboard.  It could be longer, so you can be grateful, haha.  Yes, this is the story of my roots.  I still have relatives that live in Smithers, 100 years after our grandparents settled there.  Sadly, my uncle, John Lapadat, passed away in January 2001, yet his loving wife Lois and 2 of their 4 children, Ron and Tony are still "Smithereens".

I hope to make it up to Smithers this summer, August 2nd to 10th, for the Centennial Celebration that is planned.  Since I have pets, it will depend on me having someone to care for them while I am gone. I don't know anyone there anymore, other than my relatives, yet it would be fun to go back again. Who knows, maybe someone I used to know will also go back, or someone I am supposed to meet will be there.  I know that if I am meant to be there, all will come into place and I will go. 

 The Sleeping Beauty atop the Kathlyn Glacier on the Hudson Bay Mountain, over looking the town of Smithers, and surrounding area, including the farm I was raised on.

Railway Station.  
My Dad worked here, for the Canadian National Railroad, 
so this building holds a lot of memories for me.

(Photos from Google Images)

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