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Three Recollections

 by Douglas Fraser


While my family was looking after the Leslie Hill Ranch, 1917 to 1920, Kruger Mountain settlers would drive down in the summer (with team and wagon) for fruit from the Hill orchard.

Having collected their peaches, before starting back on the long climb up the mountain, the horses would be taken down to the lake to be watered. Standing on the shore, they would put their noses down to the water, sniff, toss their heads and sniff again. Obviously the stuff was not fit to drink, and rather than touch it, they were prepared to climb all the way back to Blue Lake on a hot August afternoon.

Another anecdote has to do with Tom Conifry, a bachelor settler near the summit of present Highway 3. In the 1920's, a small group of grouse hunters would go from Osoyoos to hunt on Mt. Kobau. Our car would be left at Conifry's, from where there was quite a walk up the lower open slopes before grouse country was reached, so usually it was late afternoon before we got back to Conifry's. Tom always had a welcome pot of tea ready, the strength of which he would check by noting the colour as he poured some on the kitchen floor.

A third recollection has to do with lunch at the Laceys, I think in 1926. A cow had gone missing from the Frasers, and after a search of the valley ranges, my father decided a trip to Kruger Mountain might pay off. So early one morning lunches were packed, horses saddled and we set off in search of the missing milk cow. Our route was past the old Dividend Mine, over the saddle in the vicinity of the U. S. border, and then north toward Kilpoola Lake.

We had our lunch at the Lacey homestead at the north end of the lake. Nothing was known of our missing Holstein, but news of Osoyoos and Kruger Mountain was exchanged as the Laceys kept our tea cups full.