Our Home's Past
My Attempt At Writing History
This short page is an attempt to document the history of our house and property located at 5570 Cory Road, Wynndel, British Columbia, Canada. No particular reason for all this, other than some of the events are interesting.
If you are wondering where in the world Wynndel is, here is a Google Map link.
In case you are arriving by helicoptor, space ship or warp beam, our latitude/longitude is: 49.188604, -116.548672
Original Purchase from the Railroad
It appears that the land on which our home is situated was originally part of a large block of land granted to the British Columbia Southern Railway Company in 1888 as part of a Government of British Columbia scheme to develop coal resources and build a railway in the Crowsnest Pass. The BCSR was absorbed by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1897. For more info on this (and other) railroads in BC:
A 163.94 acre block of land was purchased in 1909 by Benjamin John
Murgatroyd from BCSR for $193.94. I have obtained a copy of the
original conveyance and done a quick-and-dirty transcription. The
copy I received from the Land Titles Office is very difficult to
read, but it's here in 4 pages:
|Cover Page||Text||Lists the seller, buyer, lawyers, etc.|
|Page 1||Text||Describes the property.|
|Page 2||Text||More description details and the start of the reservations.|
|Page 3||Text||Schedule of fees for timber (interesting!), signatures.|
Of interest is that the date of the sale was clearly 1909; however, it appears that Mr. Murgatroyd died in 1907. I can only presume that his wife must have purchased the property in his name? Perhaps as part of a settlement since he was killed on-the-job? Further evidence is in the actual conveyance: It has been signed by “Mrs. Harriet Ann(??) Murgatroyd” and “J. ? Armstrong, Administrator of the Estate of Benjamin John Murgatroyd”. I'm not aware of any legal reasons for this; certainly, women were permitted to own property in B.C. in 1909?
Another interesting little point is that property owners are not permitted to sell timber from their properties without permission (and paying a royalty). See page 3 of the transcript, above, for a fee schedule. I have had some conversations with commercial interests in the area and it appears some legal discussions are underway to address this issue. One major talking point is the simple fact that the timber now on the properties was not there at the time of signing ... does the conveyance refer to existing or/and future timber?
Some further information (not all of it correct) is available in the Wynndel history book Forest To Fields (Wynndel Heritage Group, 1986), p456:
Although Benjamin Murgatroyd never lived in Wynndel, he was a major property owner here in the early days.
Benjamin Murgatroyd was an engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railroad and was killed in a C.P.R. train accident in 1907. He and his wife, Harriet, came to Cranbrook in 1900 from Kenora, Ontario.
Florence Murgatroyd, daughter-in-law, states “He bought 160 acres of land, between 1900 and 1907, possibly from the government.” After Mr. Murgatroyd was killed, and time passed, “Mrs. Murgatroyd could not afford to hold on to the land on account of the cost of taxes, and it was put up for sale. The first piece was sold to Peter Andestand in about 1915-16 and the rest of believed to have been sold to a Realty Company.”
“The original chunk of land was 160 acres, and was situated on the west side of Duck Creek and to the north, almost to the site of the irrigation dam.”
A 10 acre parcel was purchased in the early 1970s from Reidar Andestad. This property was later subdivided into two 5 acre parcels.
Mr. Millott moved here from Calgary with his wife and three children (two boys and a girl ... but I could be wrong!). He built a small house first in which he lived while building the “big house”. The small one is now used as a workshop. I think the house was build around 1974. Note to self: I must check some building permit records to find out for sure.
Property was purchased around 1987 or 1986 in trust for a neice or daughter who lived here for aproximately 2 years. She found it too much to maintain, so put it for sale.
In 1989 we purchased the property from the Quinn trust and live happily ever after.
Oh, did I mention that we've renovated just about every part of the house. Joy of owning a house and having the ability to do things.
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