Another in an ongoing series about Kootenaiana on eBay.
A century-old postcard with a rare cancellation from Williams Siding sold last week for $116 Cdn.
Williams Siding was synonymous with Taghum. The post office opened under the former name on February 1, 1906 with James Williams as postmaster. He resigned in October 1907 and was succeeded first by John Bell and then A.G. Lambert — partners in a Sproule Creek sawmill.
Joshua Marsden became postmaster in 1918, and the office changed its name to Taghum in 1924. Taghum had by then been in common use for about 15 years. It’s the Chinook word for six — but six what is a bit of a mystery. Possibly six miles from the Nelson wharf or Bonnington Falls.
The card in question was mailed February 17, 1912 by a Mrs. E.P. Horton to Mrs. John McKenzie of Duval, Saskatchewan and read: “Just a ppc [picture postcard] to let you see I still think about you. How do you like this pc? Would you like to come? I should like to see you again. The weather is very mild. We have had some fine tobogganing. Remember me to Mrs. Dan and all others.”
The lithographed card, published by Nelson bookseller and stationer W.G. Thomson, depicted a common view of the Nelson lakefront and was missing the corner where the stamp was.
• Last week’s column about postcards sent to Kaslo’s Frank Abey of the 54th Kootenay Battalion during the First World War brought a call from Abey’s grandson, Dr. Lloyd Abbey of Edmonton, who shed additional light on several things.
First, the Lola who sent one of the cards was Frank’s sister. Second, Frank was personal aide to Lt.-Col. Arnold Kemball, commander of the 54th, and a fellow Kaslo-area resident prior to the war. Kemball died at Vimy Ridge in 1917.
“I remember my grandfather talking about him,” Dr. Abbey says. “He was a brave man. He told my grandfather ‘Frank, I’ll be killed today.’ And off he went.”
Third, different branches of the family spell the name differently — some with one B, others with two. The original spelling is Abbey, but for unknown reasons, when the family came to BC from Ontario, they dropped one of the Bs. Subsequent generations restored it.
The Abbeys in Kaslo and Meadow Creek today are descendants of this pioneer family, and Abbey Manor in Kaslo is also named for them.
Dr. Abbey’s father, Kenneth Ross Abbey, who now lives in a veterans home in Edmonton, was a rear gunner in 419 Moose Squadron during World War II.
“I’m proud of my granddad and my dad and what they did,” Lloyd says. “War is scary at the best of times.”
Kenneth was a veterinarian, like his uncle before him and his son after him. He and Lloyd practiced together in Edmonton for a number of years.
The other occupation that runs in the family is pharmacist: Frank Abey’s father was one, and so is Lloyd’s daughter.
“It’s in the DNA,” he chuckles.