Excerpt from page 36 of "B.C.'s Inland Empire" by Erskine Burnett associated with this image: A pioneer of pioneers would aptly describe Robert Tapping whom we found at his comfortable home on the slope just above the railway tracks. Born at...
Show moreExcerpt from page 36 of "B.C.'s Inland Empire" by Erskine Burnett associated with this image: A pioneer of pioneers would aptly describe Robert Tapping whom we found at his comfortable home on the slope just above the railway tracks. Born at Clapham Common, near London, Tapping reached Winnipeg in 1880. Moving west he engaged in fur-trading and he gave us his reminiscences of the fight at Cutknife Creek when Gen. Middleton's forces met the half-breeds under Louis Riel, of the trial and execution of Scott by Riel and of his own dealings with Col. Walker of Calgary. When Tapping reached Revelstoke in May, 1867, it was known as Farwell. Rogers, after whom Rogers' Pass was named, and Farwell were engaged in survey work and had just about decided that construction though this pass was not feasible. Then one night Farwell had a dream and, emerging from his tent in the morning called to Rogers, - "I've found the way to do it, we'll build it on loops". And that was the way they did it. Old-timers will remember the loops on high trestles which zig-zagged down the pass and which were afterwards superseded by the Connaught Tunnel. The young city was afterwards re-named Revelstoke after a London banker who helped finance construction. Tapping entered the lumber business and, becoming a building contractor, built the Revelstoke opera house. Besides serving on the city council and on the board of school trustees, he was president of the North Kootenay Pioneers' Association at the time of the Silver Jubilee celebration, to which this picture refers. George Laforme of Big Bend fame was on our list but we found that he had died in December, 1939. The story of how he was marooned on the trail by a November snowstorm many years ago, and eventually had to shoot all his pack train, has become an epic. The Big Bend is not to be trifled with in winter. In November, 1940, six cars containing nineteen persons were stranded by a heavy snowfall sixty five miles north of Revelstoke and were rescued after a forty eight hour wait. Henry Colbeck we had met before and he then related some of his experiences when employed as engineer on one of the Okanagan Lake boats, he was afterwards engineer on the Revelstoke (#99)
- Erskine Burnett (creator)
- Portraits, Tapping, Robert
- B.C.'s Inland Empire
- Enderby and District Museum and Archives